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“Take notice of what thoughts you fill your mind with each day. Our thoughts draw to us whatever is dominating our mind, so always keep what you are thinking about in check.”
“While we can’t control that life involves hurting, we can control how long we endure it and what we do with it.”
“Someday, somewhere—anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.”
#5 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.
Being in charge of our thoughts and mind starts with sobriety but it is with Statement #5 in action that it becomes possible to identify and manage thinking. Under the influence, I had no control over who or what I thought about and inevitably I was creating some farfetched story in my brain instead of what was actually happening. This easily turned into having many, many arguments …all by myself…. but that changed with WFS.
But why is it important to keep track of thoughts? If I am unaware of my thoughts, my mind can easily fall into creating those far-fetched stories again which can include justifications for drinking or using. Sobriety and recovery are at the top of my priorities and Statement #5 helps me maintain this. Here are 13 ways to manage your mind by Shonna Waters, Ph.D.
1. Practice mindfulness meditation and breathing exercises
2. Include positive affirmations in your self-talk rather than put-downs
3. Take a pause during your day to slow your mind down
4. Avoid things that trigger negative thoughts, like scrolling through social media
5. Ask self-evaluating questions if you’re confused or unsure how to think
6. Develop better self-awareness to identify patterns that cause your unwanted thoughts, like rumination or a bad attitude
7. Work on challenging your inner critic and changing your perspective on situations to be more positive
8. Make sure you rest your mind properly after exercising or on a stressful day
9. Journal down your thoughts to let them out and express your feelings
10. Talk with a therapist, life coach, or a trusted friend and loved one for support
11. Learn that it’s OK to acknowledge your thoughts, but let go of the ones that don’t serve your purpose
12. Stop listening to negative, pessimistic people and the advice they give you
13. Practice positive visualization when you become overwhelmed with unwanted thoughts
Dear 4C Women,
When I began writing this, I was in the midst of a storm and eventually lost power. However, my laptop was still working until the battery also ran out of power! This situation reminded me of last Monday’s Statement #4 of problems bother me only to the degree I permit and this week’s Statement #5 of I am what I think. Power being out is a problem that won’t change if I become overwhelmed. While I am not a technological person, I am competent and patient. I can wait for the power to return – what choice do I have? Never got a generator but even if I did, I probably wouldn’t remember how to use it. My mind just doesn’t work that way. And you know what, that’s okay. I know who I am and who I am not. This is why I believe in both independence and interdependence. I have skills to offer that someone else might not and vice versa. I am independent in so many ways yet I do need others.
There is great power in knowing who you are, reaching out for help when you need it, and building on your unique qualities. A woman came into the meeting room a couple of weeks ago asking if I knew how to set up the tv to play a video in the room she was using. I looked at her and said, “Sorry, you asked the wrong person.” There was another woman in the building and she was able to help her. Did I feel stupid or bad that I didn’t know? In the past, I would have felt awful, and ignorant, or even tried to pretend I could help. Instead, I felt free and true to myself. In practicing Statement #5, it’s important to learn where your strengths lie and accept those special qualities you possess. I didn’t always feel competent or capable but I started out knowing I was compassionate and caring. Those other 2 C’s were available to me. I just had to believe in myself, be open to change and stop the negative critic when it showed up. This is the beauty of WFS. You move at your own pace. You receive support and encouragement from others. I get photos from OneDrive each day of memories for that day in different years. The one that came up today was a baby shower we held several years ago for one of the women in the group. It was joyful and even the women at the church where the meeting is held, contributed to the gifts. Each woman brought a different gift. I thought of how this is somewhat similar to Statement #5. We each have special gifts and share them, grow them, and add to them. Of course, the gifts of Statement #5 are the inside, personal growth journey we take. I love thinking of being willing and open to giving ourselves the best gift of positive change and for me, that is freedom.
I encourage you to read through the list Karen shared and choose what you feel you can do at this time. I have started journaling (suggestion 9) about my daughter’s passing. It’s important work for me as I have the usual feelings of guilt that I could have done more. For now, it is therapeutic for me to express myself. I have done a lot of emotional and personal growth over the years. It is because of WFS and the New Life Statements that I have the tools to remain sober. It is not easy, yet I know without the changes I was willing to make, the outcome would be very different.
So, if you want the outcome to be different for you no matter what you are facing today, what are you willing to do?
What is the gift you have given yourself in sobriety/recovery?
What are your unique qualities that you value?
And now the 5C’s – I added courageous
I am capable of:
I am competent in:
I am caring about:
I am compassionate about:
I am courageous when:
Bonded in believing and becoming a 4/5C woman, Dee
Thank you for being a dedicated reader of Monday Thoughts!!
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