“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.”
“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.”
#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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Trust and let go. Something weighing you down? Is holding on helping? What will it take to release?
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
Author of Gray Area Drinking
Functional Nutritionist, Health Coach
Peer Recovery Support Specialist
Ph.D. Student in Transpersonal Counseling