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Monday Thoughts 5.16.22

women for sobriety decorative image growth

“She does not know what the future holds, but she is grateful for slow and steady growth.”
Morgan Harper Nichols

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost

“Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.”
Helen Keller


#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.


When I find myself on the side of conscious growth, Statement #8 feels like a warm, cozy blanket. It feels comforting, even satisfying, and I am able to identify and acknowledge the path of growth, even if it was difficult or painful. Sobriety and recovery make this possible.

At other times, trying to practice Statement #8 can feel like a terrifying tornado blowing everything over in its path. Fear and uncertainty abound, and the fight/flight/freeze response is kicked into high gear. This is where sobriety sets the foundation for growth to take place. Through the WFS Online Forum or face-to-face meetings, we can learn new tools/skills to manage how we feel and gauge our growth.

My favorite aspect of this Statement is that there is no destination, and there is no one size fits all. It’s personal and it’s intimate. The object is simply growth. This version of me will be different from next year, five years, and so on. So in-between the comfy blanket and blustering storms, I embrace the possibilities and welcome 4C development.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,
I always thought, and have shared this over the years, that I thought all my major life decisions would be made and completely accomplished by age 40. As I have grown older, way past 40, I learned gratefully that life provides numerous opportunities along with choices to continue achieving emotional and spiritual growth. As Karen shared, there is no destination but plenty of roads to travel.

One of my favorite things about the WFS program and this Statement, in particular, is that emotional and spiritual growth is a personal, individual, unique journey. How I define my priorities, my spiritual journey, and ways to achieve emotional growth belong solely to me. While we may share commonalities, our history, our openness to seek support, willingness to change, and setting specific priorities is our choice, and our decisions to make. And as we learn life lessons, we learn to set different priorities. That is the beauty of emotional and spiritual growth.

Before recovery, emotionally I was still thinking like a teenager who was hurt by her bio father at age 16. That life lesson changed me in a powerful but definitely not a positive way. It certainly affected my self-esteem; skewed my priorities. It took therapy and sobriety to address those issues and heal. Before I made those life changes, I had no idea of how to make myself a priority that would empower me to know my core values and create a New Life of self-love and self-worth. Through determined perseverance, thought patterns changed, behavior changed, and I became a New Woman! I started thinking about what mattered the most to me, known as core values. I questioned whether I was spending quality time on those core values, where my focus and time were spent.

I encourage you to make a list of your core values. Be courageous, and fearless in writing down what matters most to you. I say this because I initially found myself writing what I thought I “should” consider my core values according to societal standards. It was quite a challenge to be authentically and soulfully honest. I finally understood that if I was to grow emotionally and spiritually, I needed that complete honesty with myself. And I as grew over the years, my core values changed and shifted. It was exciting to recognize and be okay with that shift.

As you look over your core values, i.e., career, family and/or friendships, fun/recreation, health/fitness environment/home, money, significant relationships, and any important aspect of your life, how much time do you spend on them?

If you find yourself needing to shift your invaluable time according to your listing of core values, what is your action plan to start doing that?
How do you show up for yourself when setting priorities? In other words, are your core values connected to your current needs?

Answering these few questions will be a guide to making a conscious effort to set the right priorities that speak to your heart. I often think of our emotional and spiritual history as a compass, directing us in creating change, becoming resilient in the discomfort of healing, and pain, and value our worth.

Bonded in setting priorities and spending focused time on your emotional and spiritual growth, Dee


The 2022 WFS Conference – Bloom – will be in beautiful, fun, and funky Portland, Oregon at Portland State University.

Register now!!

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Tapping Into The Human – A Podcast On Addiction, Recovery, and Mental Health

adrienne miller from women for sobriety on the podcast tapping into the human

Tapping Into The Human is a podcast on addiction, recovery, and mental health, hosted by Alex Colyer, Founder, and President of the Albertus Project non-profit. Weekly, listeners will hear powerful stories from people about their journey with recovery and be inspired by individuals and organizations that are leading the charge in decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction. By tapping into the human behind addiction and mental health, we can empower those suffering by creating a culture of empathy and support.

In this episode, Alex chats with Adrienne Miller of WFS about what the recovery group has to offer and how women can discover a happy ‘New Life’ in recovery.

Listen here!

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Teddy Bear Challenge Update!

women for sobriety teddy bear challenge thermometer 2022

WFS needs our annual support. The Teddy Bear Challenge is a major fundraiser for WFS.
Donate to support WFS. Or donate to win a doll in the drawing. Donate to be part of … All
Love Given Returns.

Here is where the Teddy Bear Challenge is on May 2:

92 donors have collectively donated $9,975!
Plus we have a pledge of $50,013 in available matching funds!
Including matching funds … we are now at $19,949!!!

women for sobriety teddy bear challenge thermometer 2022

20% toward our goal of $50,013 from the community
59% towards our participation goal <— can we blow this out of the water?
5 donors at the Silver level, $500 – $999
1 donor at the Gold level, $1000 – $4,999
0 donors at the Platinum level, $5000+
1 WFS Angel, matching up to $50,013!!! <— your dollars are doubled!

Are you able to make a donation to turn your gratitude for WFS Online, the WFS meetings or
the WFS support into an action that helps sustain the services in 2023? We appreciate your
consideration.
Donate to the TBC online at

womenforsobriety.org/donatetbc

or download this form to mail in your donation.

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The Creative Crew Blooming Sale Catalog is open!

women for sobriety blooming sale june 10-11

Aloha Rock Stars!

We would like to invite you to the second event sponsored by The Creative Crew!

A glorious, blooming showcase of handmade items created by our sisters are for sale. There will be quilted items, glass pieces, theme bags, and other delights.  And if you missed out on the bee journal in our last sale, we have another one for auction!

Some items will be auctioned and others are offered at “Buy It Now” for a set price. All funds (100%) support WFS.

What you need to do: 

  • Register or Sign In to the Blooming Sale Catalog at The Creative Crew Blooming Sale
    TIP:  If you registered for the Conference Auction in June 2021, or the Creative Crew Holiday Sale in November, your login is still active. If you do not remember your password, you can request an email to reset the password.
  • You may now preview items online as they are added to the catalog!
  • The Blooming Sale opens at 11am Eastern (your timezone), on Friday, June 10… and closes with the auction ending at 10 pm Eastern (your timezone) on Saturday, June 11.

Bunny & Creative Crew

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Monday Thoughts 5.9.22

“I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences.”
Maya Angelou

“The choice to love is the choice to connect—to find ourselves in the other.”

Bell Hooks

“Actually, being able to exercise your own choice can bring about greater opportunity. I think it’s just as important what you say no to as what you say yes to.”
Sandra Oh


#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.


Love… as a choice? It has taken sobriety and practicing Statement #7 as well as a life examined to begin to understand that love is a verb. Love is not static or fixed, but rather an action, or the center of expression. Sure, love “makes the world go round” yet I had difficulty comprehending the concept of love as a choice. Alcohol had blurred the lines of everything, including love.

The WFS New Life Program and the Statements are about choice. Learning to live without alcohol is the beginning of the journey, discovery is then unleashed and choices abound, including love. Saying “NO” to alcohol says “YES” to you. This one choice opens up a whole world, one that was hidden away behind the pain of substance use.

Today, everyday experiences are examples of choice and love in their purest form. Instead of escape, sobriety and recovery offer a way to transform into the living of life and love. Choice expands and so does our insight. In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Practice of Statement #7 leads to understanding love and the importance of self-care. Our New Life depends on establishing healthy, loving relationships, first with ourselves and then with others.” Choose love today.

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I had been talking to a friend about helping a family member who was resistant to helping themselves and it was wearing me down. I was exhausted and frustrated. My friend looked at me with concern and said, “You can’t care more than they do.” It was one of those light bulb moments!  I understood that while it is compassionate to care about others, leaving myself out of the equation of caring and self-love can empty my own love tank. And when the well is dry, it is next to impossible to give what you don’t have. This is not a new theory yet it felt brand new to me in recovery. Statement #7 was going to the well, filling my bucket with self-love, and sharing love with others –creating a beautiful balance.  It is self-love and self-care that provided me the vulnerability to be open to loving others authentically while still taking care of my needs. I always thought it was one or the other. Sacrifice was the way I lived yet it was at the expense of my own peace and contentment. It was through WFS, Statement #7, that taught me my world could encompass loving myself and others without sacrificing either. The only difference was that I began setting boundaries when I felt I cared way too much than they did. These boundaries were and still are, at times, challenging for me depending mostly on with whom I am setting them. Family is definitely the most challenging because of the emotional history and roles we have played for many years. My need for acceptance was way out of proportion to the point of being emotionally unhealthy, even unattainable. I was in such fear of rejection. Who would love me if I didn’t ignore my needs and focused only on the needs of others? There was no balance, no recognition that I mattered.  Being a facilitator taught me more about caring than I ever dreamed possible. I began to feel cared about as I cared about the women who courageously walked into a meeting, searching for a New Life. My heart, my love tank, was no longer empty. It is incomprehensible at times to reflect on the woman I was – fearful, self-loathing, believing I was unlovable, unworthy of love. This Statement offered a real opportunity to change my negative self-talk. The more I let go of my fears, the more I let love in, knowing and believing that I am truly worthy of giving and receiving love.

Was there a time in your life when love changed the course of your world? What were the circumstances?

How do you practice self-care?

Do you struggle with being a people pleaser? If so, have you considered setting boundaries to create a balance between giving to others and also getting your own needs met?

How difficult is it to set boundaries? Do you find it depends on the person or situation?

Do you know when you’re giving too much? What are the signs?

How do you speak to yourself when it comes to self-love and self-worth?

What is your greatest fear of being vulnerable?

Authentic love truly changes the course of your world when a balance is created and the choice is made to love yourself as well as others, Dee


Here is where the Teddy Bear Challenge is on May 2:

92 donors have collectively donated $9,975!

Plus we have a pledge of $50,013 in available matching funds!

Including matching funds … we are now at $19,949!!!

20% toward our goal of $50,013 from the community

59% towards our participation goal <— can we blow this out of the water?

women for sobriety teddy bear challenge thermometer 2022

Donate to the TBC online!

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Monday Thoughts 5.2.22

woman smiling in sunset from window life is great

“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.”

Marie Kondo

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien


#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.


Statement #6 can sometimes get pushed out of the way while more focus is spent on the seemingly larger Statements like S#4 or S#7. Yet, it is the simplicity of this delightful Statement that can make my day shine like a brand-new penny or bring about comfort like a favorite worn sweatshirt. All it takes is a little “conscious effort” and daily practice.

Before sobriety and my New Life, days were filled with trying to out-do everything previous or an attempt to escape. Unaware of my thoughts, it was impossible to use conscious effort in anything. Lacking the tools to manage feelings and emotions, I bounced off everything like a pinball, blaming or lashing out at others then sliding into isolation. It felt so chaotic, and it was incredibly exhausting.

Sobriety and practicing Statement #6 paved the way to experience life from an unfamiliar perspective. Through WFS face-to-face and online meetings, I began to learn new ways to actively participate in life. Moments became meaningful, and simplicity started to become the norm. I felt contentment ease in, while chaos decreased. Additionally, I no longer felt attached to drama. Such a gratifying way to live!

Here are four ways to add mindfulness

  1. Sit in stillness each morning after reading the Statements. Give yourself an extra 5 or 10 minutes to simply enjoy being. No pressure to do, give, or make anything, simply be.
  2. Focus on being present multiple times during the day. Maybe set a timer for each hour, notice how you feel, what you are thinking or doing, and just breathe for 1 minute.
  3. Shift into gratitude. List five things that you are grateful for each day. Jot in a journal or notebook. Reread when feeling uncertainty or fear.
  4. Trust and let go. Something weighing you down? Is holding on helping? What will it take to release?

Hugzzz,

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

As I read Karen’s message, I was thinking of how much the pandemic taught me to be okay with my ordinary New Life in recovery. It’s been many years since I discovered and began to practice the 13 WFS Statements yet I am so grateful for the coping tools I have learned. The isolation was the most challenging during the pandemic as I feel such joy being “with” people. I laughed when I saw a post on social media that said going grocery shopping was now considered their social outing. That was me! I wasn’t escaping through alcohol to cope with loneliness or belittling myself for not taking better advantage of my free time. I learned how to zoom, continued writing, calling, or emailing my family and friends and women inquiring about WFS. I felt peace among the challenges. When I didn’t, when the loneliness would kick in, I reached out. I have gone back to f2f meetings every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month. This past Monday I had 4 new women attend. My heart was exploding with joy and thinking of the courage it took for each of those women to walk through the door. I actually felt nervous as I love WFS so much and hoped the women could feel that love coming through, especially the hope of having a New Life in recovery.

I also had women there who have been consistently attending, supporting and encouraging each other. They absolutely made the meeting a welcoming place for the new women, perhaps recalling their own bravery in coming to a meeting for the first time. I felt the greatness of their compassion and caring for every woman there. Talk about life being ordinary or great!

I came across a message I wrote about the great moments I had with my granddaughter when she was a teenager. She is now 25. It is amazing how I had forgotten how much I treasured those moments and am so grateful I wrote about them. Something as simple as clothes shopping or big as watching her compete in barrel racing. It is being aware, being in the moment, that helps us to understand and appreciate those fleeting moments, those enormous moments and have them bring the ordinary into greatness.

I hope you will put into practice what Karen has suggested. Writing about gratefulness can be a place to visit when we need a personal reminder of what is positive in our lives – a wonderful balance.

Bonded in creating balance as we experience the ordinary and the extraordinary, Dee


 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

jolene park

Jolene Park

Author of Gray Area Drinking
Functional Nutritionist, Health Coach

eboni jewel sears

Eboni Jewel Sears

Peer Recovery Support Specialist
Recovery Advocate
Ph.D. Student in Transpersonal Counseling