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Monday Thoughts 2/11/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” ~~Harriet Tubman

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~~Jim Rohn

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~~Leo Buscaglia


Statement #6
Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort. 


Recently, I received my DNA history and it’s proving to be a fascinating look back in time. Contemplating the lives my grandparents lived, it is heartwarming to think of how love changed the course of their worlds and subsequently, mine. Who knew Statement #7 could fit so beautifully into a double stranded helix?

On page 22 of our Program Booklet it states, “Love and caring can be difficult for women with drug and alcohol problems. We may close ourselves off from others, physically and emotionally. We are afraid to trust, give or receive love.” With the clarity that sobriety and recovery bring, we can create a sturdy foundation for love to flourish and grow.

Past relatives could not have anticipated life as it is today, yet our keynote speaker from our annual WFS conference a couple years ago enlightened us with the knowledge that our actions today can affect the next seven generations. Incredible. This is a very powerful image which cements how vital love is in our everyday lives. It feels comforting to know the love I give and receive today has far reaching implications. Love does change the course of the world, today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Self-love certainly changed the course of my world. It is amazing to me how I survived with the self-loathing I carried inside. My greatest need was acceptance and my greatest fear was rejection. I felt unworthy, unlovable and inadequate. When I first learned about WFS, I finally understood why I drank to numb those self-inflicting negative thoughts about who I was and what I had to offer the world. I had pretended a lot and that was such a burden. I didn’t realize that until I quit drinking, started practicing the WFS Statements and became my authentic self. Redefining the definition of me, allowed love to fill the emptiness I carried in my soul. It truly was a metamorphosis – the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I was free and the many, many years of hating myself, feeling stupid and accepting whatever I felt I deserved, which was little, I finally experienced the gift of love.

Being a moderator has taught me a lot about caring for others. It has been and continues to be the most rewarding time of my life to be able to give and receive caring, encouraging support from the women I have met through WFS. It has enhanced my recovery in ways I can hardly define with its positive impact on my sobriety. When I feel myself doubting my worth, I reflect on the brave women who have walked through the doors to a meeting or registered online, knowing I have been privileged to share in their decision to change their lives and pay it forward. That is self-love, loving others and showing caring in a powerful way. It lifts my spirit each time. Self care builds self esteem. Self-forgiveness opens he door to receiving love. How do you express your caring for others and for yourself? How has love changed the course of your world? Have you accepted who you are right now, today? What words would you use to describe yourself? Who is part of your caring circle?

Bonded in accepting that love can change the course of our world and caring is all important.
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 2/4/2019

Monday Thoughts“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” ~~Wilma Rudolph

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” ~~Mary Kay Ash

“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.” ~~Dorothy Height


Statement #6
Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort. 


Sobriety and Statement #6 provide the force for feelings of fullness. Whether reveling in the simplicity of the ordinary, or savoring determination leading into greatness, the contentment Statement #6 assists in creating can firmly cement a beautiful New Life.

“Sobriety is a rewarding experience for those who invest in the moments of each day” our Program booklet states. Some days it can feel difficult to invest in those moments, yet each of us has what we need within us to persevere, to use conscious effort to create the life we desire. An example of this happened this past week. I was getting my computer worked on, and what I was hearing felt conflicting. I kept questioning and made decisions based on my understanding. In the past, it felt impossible to investigate something or to stand up for myself which often resulted in feeling ineffective and invisible, anything but great or ordinary. But this week, I felt the greatness that Jean wrote about. Through sobriety and the WFS New Life Program, each of us are able to stand in our own strengths.

Instead of running away or relying on someone else to rescue, the practice of Statement #6 encourages daily conscious effort which can translate to greatness, even in an ordinary moment like computer repair.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Oh, how I relate to computer problems. It took 3 weeks, many hours of frustration and a lot of support from a generous friend to get most of my email stuff worked out. There are still issues but at least I have my Bellsouth email account up and running. In this age of technology, I have to say it felt overwhelmingly wonderful to regain access to all the phenomenal 4C women who receive the Monday Thoughts. I persevered even when I didn’t understand most of what was being said and done. To me, that is the beauty of facing my fears of asking for help and doing the best I can.

As I mentioned in previous messages, I have started to organize the many years of WFS paperwork. In doing so, I have been reading messages from Nancy Cross, former moderator and board member, who inspired me and hundreds of others with her commitment to WFS. She is sorely missed but her words continue to encourage those working on their New Life in recovery. I consider Karen and Nancy powerhouses in the written word.

When I consider how I envision my life as ordinary and great, I came across an exercise presented by Nancy.

  1. What do you want to keep in your life?
  2. Let’s face it, some things are working and not everything has to be thrown out. I consider this a powerful question which requires total honesty.
  3. What do you want to change?
  4. This goes back to how you answered the first question. Knowing what you want to keep will provide knowledge for what you want to change.
  5. What do you want more of?

Now that you understand what you want to keep and what you want to change, answering this question could be used as a guide to creating plans to achieve what you want more of? Is it fun, more time spent with friends, adventures, alone time, building stronger relationships, volunteering at something that gives you purpose, reading a book that’s sitting on your night stand, go to more movies, learn a new skill, dancing – the list goes on. Now some of these suggestions could also be part of what you want to keep or change because you are doing them already or want to do. The important thing to remember is do you want more of them if that is the case? What can you add to this list of suggestions?

Bonded in making life ordinary or great and appreciating the ordinary moments,
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 1/28/2019

Monday Thoughts

“You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” ~~Marcus Aurelius

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~~Hans Hofman

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, and opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” ~~Kristin Armstrong


Statement #5
I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.


Advertising is a big, big industry, and there’s a reason Superbowl commercials cost 5 million for thirty seconds; they get our attention. Reaching millions of people, ads for alcohol come with fancy horses or supposedly ‘interesting’ men. The ads urge us to find our beach, insinuating that glamour and fun can be ours if we only drink this or that. Today, women everywhere are tuning out ads and tuning into their own minds, making decisions based on need instead of snappy jingles or perceptions of lack.

Sobriety and Statement #5 in action encourage self-reflection. By focusing on where thoughts originate from; ‘is this a core belief’ or ‘am I being sold something” helps to differentiate empowering thoughts from slick advertising and slight of hand deceptions. Challenging our thoughts creates distance from impulse and can cement goals or intentions.

From our Program booklet, “Our day is programmed from the start by our thoughts. If we have a difficult morning and think that everything is going wrong, we can become unreceptive to positive thoughts.” This practice of awareness will enable the mind to not be hijacked by unhealthy thoughts, including disruptive advertising.

How do you mind your mind? Which tools are most effective?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I have had many positive experiences this week which have led me to reflect on how I think about myself deep down inside, not what I hope to project to the outside world. This has been quite challenging as I am in a place of uncertainty about my daughter. My heart is either breaking or wondering how I can help, using my life experience, which with families can be a challenge all on its own.

I encountered a woman at the grocery store who helped get a product off a high shelf for me. I am 5’1″ and she was just as tall . We had a lengthy conversation that was powerful, compassionate and openly sharing our situations. It was uplifting and I felt that we helped each other in meaningful ways.

The next experience was at a silver/gold buyer’s store. I was feeling quite sentimental about the sale and he shared a story that helped me accept my feelings rather than feeling silly. He said he learned a big lesson while at a buyer/seller convention. A young woman standing in line in front of him put a gold necklace with diamonds in it. The buyer picked it up, looked at it, slammed it down and said it was fake. Did she have anything else? She didn’t and as she turned around, he heard her say, “My mother gave that to me.” He learned at that very moment that there are memories behind most pieces of jewelry/heirlooms and it’s not easy to part with them so the need must be great to do so. He learned to be compassionate. He also said how blessed my daughter was to have me for her mom as his mom was a heroin addict and sadly never got help. Why he shared that I am not sure but it brought me back to Statement 5 and how WFS changed my life, the way I think about myself because I was fortunately willing to change. At church today, the pastor leaned back and said my name would be mentioned during service. I had no idea why. Each week a mission of program is lifted up for special recognition. As the staff member was making the announcements, she said that the program being lifted up this week is Women for Sobriety and there was our website logo big and bold on the screen. She then thanked me for my leadership and how grateful they were that this program was available for women in our community. As she later prayed for the congregation, she mentioned WFS again and to be sure to contact me if anyone needed help or knew someone who needed help. Got a sweet card from a WFS member back in NJ on how women in their 70’s approach happiness. The fact that she took the time to photocopy and send it to me with a handwritten note meant so much to me.

These experiences have helped me to believe that I am a 4C woman even at a low point in my life. I am grateful and hope that each of you will take the time to reflect on the changes you have made or are making to know your contribution to those you love, who love you and even strangers who sense you are a safe place/person to share. I hope that as you reflect on this Statement, that you will carry positive interactions/moments with you and remind yourself that no matter how difficult life may be at times, how we think about ourselves is crucial to our recovery. I also hope that each of us recognizes how blessed we are to have the foundation of the WFS Program to guide us, nurture us and keep us moving forward.

Bonded in being 4C women,
Dee

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Monday Thoughts 1/21/2019

Monday Thoughts

“The road to success is always under construction.” ~~Lily Tomlin

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” ~~Rikki Rogers

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” ~~Eleanor Roosevelt


Statement #4
Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.
I now better understand my problems.
I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.


Women in recovery have incredible strength and are able to overcome problems of every size and shape. Sobriety and the WFS New Life Program, especially Statement #4 in action, offers connection, understanding and the creation of solutions.

Alcohol or drugs sever the ability to problem solve and distort what the problem may actually be. With Statement #4, strategies can be developed and each success builds on the next. By practicing this Statement, we can choose better understanding instead of doubt or disaster. We can learn to ask for help. We can discover some problems do not even belong to us.

Statement #4 can also encourage us to reach down to our core and learn about our beliefs. We also have the opportunity to challenge those beliefs if they do not benefit us.  Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” If we feel deep down, or fully believe we have the ability, success is within reach.

How are your problem-solving skills different today than before your New Life? Have you challenged any outdated belief systems?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Statement #4 always reminds me of setting priorities, especially when there are real concerns to be addressed. When everything feels like a problem, how can we discern between a need to problem-solve and let go of what we have little or no control over. I have a couple of ways I cope with feelings of frustration such as journaling, writing a letter I won’t send, crying to release the tension rather than give it more power, reaching out to those I feel safe with and trust. I am also a list maker. It is another one of the coping tools that has helped me when I feel overwhelmed and need to prioritize. At this moment, I am in that place. So, I make a list and ask myself the following questions which I have used often in prioritizing.

  • What are the consequences of NOT changing this situation or behavior?
  • What do I feel I have at stake in this situation?
  • What am I willing to let go of?
  • What benefit am I getting out of keeping things the same way?
  • Do I need to review the boundaries I have set and whether or not I am adhering to them?
  • Have I reached out to my support system for input, comfort and understanding?
  • Do I care more than the other person in this situation? If I do, why?

These questions help me tremendously in organizing my thoughts and begin looking for possible solutions and moving away emotionally from “problems” that are out of my control and most importantly, not valuable use of my time and energy. If you are facing a concern that needs your attention, I am hoping some of the coping tools I have used and the questions listed will help you prioritize and begin to problem-solve as needed.

Bonded in creating priorities and problem-solving skills,
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 1/14/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Happiness is acceptance.” ~~unknown

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” ~~Rita Mae Brown

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~~Oprah Winfrey


Statement #3
Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.


In our Program booklet, our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. states, “Happiness never came to me until I learned the secret of making it for myself, of finding an inner glow that somehow made all other things right.”  Jean understood happiness was brought forth from within and created Statement #3 to shift thoughts of self-pity into self-contentment.

Here are 4 ways which can aid in creating happiness:

  1. Define what happiness means for you: In early sobriety, emotions can feel flat or difficult to name. Take a look back, what made your insides smile when you were younger? What made your heart sing?
  2. Let go of comparisons: Comparison kills the spirit, and squashes confidence. Comparing also puts your happiness in the hands of someone else. Instead of comparing, list your achievements and review them often.
  3. Recharge: Find ways to recharge yourself. Unplug the phone, TV, internet. Make yourself a priority, take a walk in the woods or connect with water. There is something uplifting about being in nature.
  4. Invest in yourself: Develop a meditative, journal or yoga routine, learn tai chi or karate, invest in your being. Dedication to inner and outer growth is an investment in the self.

What actions help you to create happiness in your life?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

My definition of happiness changes as my life changes, as I age, as I experience new adventures and even loss. Now that last one might seem at odds with happiness yet I guess I can compare it to new sobriety when I felt I would never laugh or feel excited about life without alcohol to foster that feeling. When my mother passed away, all I felt was sadness and grief. I still miss her terribly and yet I am beginning to feel a smile cross my face when I reflect on our shared moments in life. I can look at photos and be grateful for the lessons she taught me without her knowledge. I had been sober for a while when she passed and I felt her whispering in my ear how proud she was of me and to keep my emotional and spiritual changes in tact to honor her. I have and that makes me happy. It’s amazing what unexpected places happiness and joy can grow from.

When it comes to practicing Karen’s #4 suggestion, I would like to add to do what you love. Practically speaking, we may not have the job we love yet we can bring joy into our lives with a creative talent, volunteer work, hobbies, dance lessons, joining a book club or any number of things that bring a new adventure into our everyday life.

Lastly, be patient with yourself as you work on developing the habit of happiness. It took a while to trade in my habit of negativity to allow the glimmer of that happiness to make its way into my thinking and life. I’m glad I didn’t give up because when tough times hit, I know I have a foundation of joy to hold me up.

Bonded in creating our own happiness,
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 1/7/2019

Monday Thoughts

“There’s no prerequisites for worthiness. You are born worthy, and I think that’s a message that a lot of women need to hear.” ~~Viola Davis

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”  ~~Louise Hay

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” ~~Brene Brown


Statement #2
 Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.


Alcohol or drug use disorders can easily remove feelings of self-worth or value. Repetitive thoughts and/or feelings of failure, much like when awareness of a substance use disorder is realized, can increase lacerate core feelings of self-worth and value. Trying to overcome these negative thoughts can feel like a never-ending swim against a strong current. Yet with Statement #2 put into practice, a portal for building a strong core is opened.

Learning to identify and name our thoughts and feelings can begin the process. For women in recovery, shame and guilt are two of the most common emotions felt early on in the journey. Shame states there is something wrong with me at my center, while guilt says I’ve done something wrong. Shame holds us down by not allowing ourselves to feel what is underneath, such as loneliness, grief or despair. The commitment to move through our negative feelings reduces the destructive effects.

For some of us, negativity was learned when we were young and we carried it into adulthood. Today we have a conscious choice and have the ability to challenge our thoughts. Moving through negative feelings reduces their impact on our core which makes room for self-worth to increase. No longer hiding behind negativity, we can name what we feel, move through our emotions and embrace our New Lives. After all, we are capable, and competent, caring and compassionate women.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

This has certainly been a week of fighting negative thoughts! This is what I’ve learned so far. Before WFS and therapy, negative thoughts were all about shame and guilt. Now they are about the challenges that come along and how to “reduce” the negative thoughts in problem solving. This is the beauty of understanding that there will always be challenges – major and minor – and learning how to cope with them through seeking positive support, input and encouragement. If I did not have a strong support system, I could see negative thoughts taking over completely. There would be no reduction, just negativity clouding my thoughts and behavior. While negative thoughts do destroy my ability to cope in a healthy way, that air of negativity can hurt relationships as well. I always joked that I probably wasn’t much fun to be around before I started practicing the WFS Statements.

Nancy Cross once wrote not to make our thoughts our prison. For me, that spoke volumes. I am creating my own prison when I stay stuck in negativity. Again, it’s not having the negative thoughts in reaction to circumstances or people, it’s how we respond and especially stay stuck. I tend to start creating my personal gratitude list all the way to the basics and I found that really helps me.

Nancy also wrote about another coping tool and that is keeping an inventory of memories that can immediately make you smile. Occasions where you felt happy, appreciative, cheerful, at peace. Reminiscing those happy moments gives a balanced perspective to your situation. You realize that what appears negative today will change tomorrow. Nothing stays the same.

Each Statement is a guide for change and for me, this one is the one I needed. So grateful for both this Statement and the support of the women I am privileged to know through WFS.

Bonded in reducing negativity,
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 12/31/2018

Monday Thoughts

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward.” ~~Amelia Earhart

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“My life used to be like that game of freeze tag we played as kids. Once tagged, you had to freeze in the position you were in. Whenever something happened, I’d freeze like a statue, too afraid of moving the wrong way, of making the wrong decision. The problem is, if you stand still too long, that’s your decision.” ~~Regina Brett


Statement #1
 I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my well-being. I accept the responsibility.


With the New Year, comes new decisions. The decision to live life without alcohol or drugs is a decision that is made every day by 4C women all over the world. Waking up sober, feeling content in not only remembering activities and conversations from the night before but enjoying the moments comes from multiple decisions from the preceding 24 hours.

The very first time the decision to embrace sobriety is made, it feels incredibly difficult if not impossible. Racing thoughts and muscle memory for substances can be strong, but with the Women for Sobriety Program in action each and every day, sobriety and recovery become cemented. You are never alone; the WFS Online Forum offers a wealth of information, plus connection to understanding women. You are never alone, for we are bonded together in our decision.

New to sobriety and recovery? You are invited and welcomed with open arms to attend a face to face WFS meeting, use the WFS meeting locator here.  Or, if there is not a meeting near you, please take the time to explore our WFS Online Forum here. The WFS Program and Statement #1 in action propels every woman into experiencing a 4C New Life!

Happy New Year!

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Can you believe that tomorrow will be 2019! I find myself reflecting on the choices and decisions I made in 2018, over 30 years since I made the decision to quit drinking. Each year has challenged me to make both major and minor decisions and while I have struggled along the way, the decision to quit drinking has remained the most important one of my life. Even though I thought life would be a breeze once I stopped drinking, I soon learned that it was definitely not stopping drinking that was life-changing, it was changing my thoughts, responses and so much more. Yet, if it wasn’t for the WFS program, I doubt that I would have made this absolutely necessary transition to being in charge of my life and well-being. I learned how to cope, to feel safe in sharing my feelings and concerns without judgment and to especially embrace the happy moments. In the past, I either kept looking for the other shoe to drop so to speak or completely missed the joy right in front of me. Being in charge of my well-being seemed an unrealistic concept to me. Yet, this is the process that takes place when practicing the WFS Statements.

For me, it’s all about choice. Each day we get the opportunity to react, respond and choose how we will be in charge of our well-being, sobriety/recovery and to learn from both our mistakes and successes. I love how Karen expressed the feelings of tackling racing thoughts and muscle memory as we make the decision to become sober. While definitely difficult, it is true that we are not alone. I am most grateful for that.

As you read this message and are not sure how to start or continue on this sobriety journey, consider the rewards of sobriety and how that impacts your life and your relationships. Although it may be obvious to you, putting it in writing may be just what you need to uncover, discover and recognize what matters to you and what you are willing to do to get it.

Bonded in empowering our lives by being in charge of our well-being,
4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 12/24/2018

Monday Thoughts“Surround yourself with people who empower you to become better.” ~~Anonymous

“I’ve seen plenty of powerful women squander a chance at power simply because they waited for someone else to give them permission to have power. There is no permission slip—you just have to BE powerful.” ~~Shonda Rhimes

“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” ~~Beyoncé


Statement #13:
 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life. 


Years ago, did someone tell you couldn’t do something? Has doubt defined you? Have you questioned your self-worth or value? Sobriety and Statement #13 in action can eliminate doubt and instill feelings of ability and confidence.

Our Program booklet states “Often our thoughts are formed by past experiences, actions, and attitudes inherited from family and society. By understanding our thoughts, we can accept responsibility for our actions. We recognize we have options and choices.” It’s like moving into the driver’s seat.

Dina Marais, a Business Growth Coach writes, “To take responsibility for your life, is to take responsibility for your powers of thinking, feeling, speaking and acting, because this is the structure of all human experience. You create your life with your thoughts, feelings and actions.

You take responsibility when you accept that the thoughts you have are your thoughts coming from your mind. How you feel happens in your body and is a result of your thoughts. The words you speak come from your mouth and voice. The actions you take, are taken by you. What this means is that nobody can make you think, feel say or do anything. Nobody can push your buttons, because you are the button maker! In the same way you don’t have control over how other people respond as they respond from their mindset.”

Here are 4 ways Dina encourages for taking responsibility:

  1. Stop blaming. When you stop blaming and accept responsibility, you shift from victim to victor.
  2. Stop complaining. Complaining is another form of blaming and playing victim as if you have no choice.
  3. Refuse to take things personal. More than likely it has nothing to do with you.
  4. Live in the present. Be here now, the only moment there is.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Those old messages can play havoc with our lives when we keep them in the present. Learning to be and feel in charge of our minds, thoughts and lives takes time and understanding that as we develop responsibility, disappointments are bound to occur. Nancy Cross once wrote about disappointment, lack of confidence and rebellion that I thought was quite powerful.

Disappointment: A certain amount of negative feelings are inevitable, even necessary. But don’t repress them or get bogged down in them. Instead, experience them, work through them, and learn from them. For example, don’t allow disappointment to halt your progress. Disappointment is just a message or feedback telling you that things are not going according to plan. So, instead of quitting, find out what went wrong and what changes need to be made. When I first read that, I thought about the disappointments I experienced in life and how would I ever overcome feeling unworthy or inept to handle life because of my choices. Nancy’s words helped me realize that I don’t have to win in every situation or put myself down to prove my worth. I work through it, learn and survive.

Lack of confidence/low self-esteem: Nancy shared about how early childhood experiences may have caused us to lose confidence and if so, this is a FACT, not an EXCUSE. This is why, as adults, we need to heal those wounds and realize that self esteem is not a goal but a result of our willingness to heal and trust in who we are today.

Rebellion: Many of us are stuck in the “resistance syndrome” learned from childhood when we had no power. That may be happening as an adult when we automatically resist because you hear the “should” echoing in your thoughts. Rather than saying I “should” go to school to complete my degree, say I “want” to go to school and your personal reasons for that choice. “Shoulds” create resistance while “wants” dissolve resistance.

My response to her message rings true today as it did years ago. What we deserve is the chance to try our best, learn from it and take those lessons into the next challenge – because we know there will be more! Positive self-talk, reflection and changing our attitude and approach from a rebellious child getting in our way to an empowered woman with clarity of choice is Statement #13 in action.

Bonded in in being responsible for ourselves and our actions,
4C WFS Member

 

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 12/17/2018

Monday Thoughts
Don’t ever doubt yourselves or waste a second of your life. It’s too short, and you’re too special.” ~~Ariana Grande“

“The one way to get me to work my hardest was to doubt me.” ~~Michelle Obama

“An exciting and inspiring future awaits you beyond the noise in your mind, beyond the guilt, doubt, fear shame, insecurity and heaviness of the past you carry around.” ~~Debbie Ford


Statement #12:
I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.
This is what I am, and I shall know it always.


Doubt can be a natural by-product of uncertainty, which can either serve us well by keeping us safe from something we don’t fully understand or it can be a crippling sensation which severs us from completely living. Doubt can also be quite obvious, such as the panicked hesitation before bungee jumping or it can be shrouded in secrecy, much like when trying to make the decision to embrace sobriety and recovery.

Statement #12 is encouraging and empowers us to invalidate doubt. It needs direct action and requires us to override some of our most intense feelings. Jean states in the WFS Program booklet, “First the thought, then the reality.” With Statement #12, we can think it, believe it, reach it. It is important to remember that this is a process, and it can be rare to reach goals with a single attempt. In between belief and actualization is learning; what doesn’t work, what does and what falls in the middle.

The WFS Online Forum or face to face meetings can assist with learning. In these connecting and close- knit communities are women who understand and believe. Every day, cheering each other on with encouragement and experience, victories of every size and scale are achieved.  We are capable, and competent, caring and compassionate, bonded together!

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

We all need encouragement, especially during the hectic holidays. This may sound odd but today my pastor talked about a study on Neuroplasticity: brain healing and changing itself. One remark really stood out to me as it reminded me of the personal and emotional growth that takes place when practicing the WFS program: “Positive mental experiences such as happiness, compassion and accomplishment can actually change your brain structure.”  I thought about Statement 3: Happiness is a habit I am developing; our WFS moto that we are capable and competent, caring and compassionate; and Statement 1: I have a life-threatening problem that once had me all pointing to our accomplishment of gaining sobriety. When I reflect on all the emotional and spiritual growth I have achieved through the use of the WFS program, I related to this study of how our thinking and life experiences can actually have a profound, lasting change on how we react and respond in our sober lives.

Each year, I have our group answer 3 questions and give their answers as a wrapped gift to themselves. Perhaps you would consider doing this yourself:

  1. Self-Care Plan(s) for 2019
  2. Blessing(s) received this year
  3. Acknowledgment of positive change(s) made this year

Just as we cherish encouragement from others, it is important to be our own encouragers.

As we learn, gain insight, realize our competency, express it and share it, having it in writing is a reminder and a gift to ourselves. Be proud, be bold and acknowledge all that you have accomplished, what your plans are to increase your self-care and what you are grateful for as you reflect on this past year.

Bonded in acknowledging our competency and knowing it always,

4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 12/3/2018

Monday Thoughts

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~~Aesop

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~~Lao Tzu

“Ask yourself: Have I been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.” ~~Annie Lennox


Statement #10
All love given returns.
I am learning to know that I am loved.


Sometimes those closest to us, including ourselves, can be the most difficult to love or to express kindness to. Whether we feel we do not deserve love or are unsure how to receive it, love can be difficult to experience at different times in our life. By focusing simply on kindness, a pathway to love is forged and can be strengthened. Here is an article by R. Owens with 5 ways to put kindness in action:

  1. Communicate on a deeper level by asking your loved ones how they wish to be treated. Don’t assume that loving this person automatically gives you insight into what they need. True love helps us develop special sensitivities to the needs of others, but often our love is tainted with attachment, which tends to turn those we love into objects we think we own. If we begin making decisions on our loved ones’ behalf, they will likely feel robbed of a sense of agency. This is the opposite of kindness.
  2. Empathizing is an important expression of kindness. We begin by empathizing with ourselves and developing a relationship to our own experiences, including our comfort, discomfort, and what we need to be okay. After that, we are able to direct that same empathy toward others. This empathy is full of kindness as it is a kind of attention that sees and holds the most tender parts of others.
  3. Learn to set boundaries and communicate when it may be difficult to be kind. We have periods where extending kindness is particularly difficult. If you are with love ones during one of these times, it is important for you to care for yourself. You do this so as to prevent taking your discomfort out on them. Asking for space is an act of kindness.
  4.  Let go of the idea of being nice. Being nice can be superficial, as well as inauthentic and lazy, as we use niceness to manipulate others or bypass real feelings that need to be expressed. We must challenge ourselves into a deeper engagement around the expression of love for others.
  5.  Holding space is another important act of kindness. Holding space means that we allow our loved ones to show up as themselves. We are not reacting but listening compassionately and witnessing them without judging them or criticizing. Holding space is at the heart of our loved ones (sic) feelings seen and heard by us.”

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I am subscribed to Action for Happiness calendars. The December calendar is all about kindness and relates so well to Statement #10. Hope you can practice kindness while learning to love yourself and know you are loved by others. Practicing kindness with the guidance of the December calendar suggestions and the article by R. Owens as provided by Karen, are all wonderful ways to love and feel loved.

Bonded in giving and receiving love,
4C WFS Member