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Monday Thoughts 9.5.22

women for sobriety decorative image happy

“This is a wonderful day I have never seen before.”

Maya Angelou

“For my part, I am almost contented just now, and very thankful. Gratitude is a divine emotion: it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.”

Charlotte Brontë

“Always have an attitude of gratitude.”

Sterling K. Brown


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


Statement #11 and gratitude go hand in hand; our WFS Program booklet states “To be enthusiastic is to live each day to the fullest. It makes us feel alive and vibrant. It lights up the inner part of our being—we glow, and others respond to this.” Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. knew and understood how important it is for women in recovery to practice gratitude and treasure moments throughout each day.

Alcohol was a replacement for what was missing in my life yet it never worked. Drinking only took me farther away from what I needed, yet it was not possible to embrace this fact. Only when the emotional pain and drama became unbearable did I realize how my alcohol use was messing up my life.

The beauty of sobriety and Statement #11 is that it uses open direction and is not a far-off concrete goal. Just like any other type of exercise, whether it be walking, biking, or running, there is an element of progress instead of a destination. Some of the most memorable and treasured moments in my New Life are linked to simple awareness and embracing a fleeting point in time. These exquisite moments have nothing special about them except that I participated in them. For example, a colorful leaf or butterfly can stop me in my tracks and genuine enthusiasm fills my heart. I know that the leaf will never fall or the butterfly will not pass the same way again, it’s a special moment and then it’s gone. It can be and feel breathtaking, indeed a treasure. This week, be on the lookout for bursts of enthusiasm in everyday moments.

Here are four ways to engage with the present moment:

1.   Practice awareness: Choose a moment to discover sights, sounds, smells, and conversations. What other things can you notice about that moment?

2.   Set a timer: Set a timer for each hour, or maybe use the chime of a clock to take 30 to 60 seconds to connect to the moment. Again, notice sights, sounds, etc.

3.   Note your response: What is happening to you at that moment? Are you cold? Warm? How fast are you breathing? Do you feel the chair underneath you? Do you feel the sun/wind on your face? What else does your response contain?

4.   When it’s gone, it’s gone: While that moment is no more, you have the experience within you now. There is no need to chase after it or regret it, you were present and can now treasure it.

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

My dear friend sent me 2 articles about the need to connect with others, even strangers. I was thinking of how I used to interact when grocery shopping, at the checkout, in a doctor’s office, or during social encounters. I had an old cell phone so I didn’t have the internet or email to check out. I would look around and see everyone attached to their phones or having earphones while shopping. Once I thought a shopper was talking to me and realized they were talking to a person on their phone. I was slightly embarrassed and naive. I vowed that I would not be one of those people.

I found that I became that person when I got my new phone. It seemed uncomfortable to try and talk so I started using my phone as a distraction like everyone else. I realize now that those previous moments of connecting with another person were treasured moments. I recently went to a restaurant to pick up food and while waiting, the woman next to me started a conversation. It was brief but brought me back to me how much I missed that unexpected and joyful interaction. I have decided that I am going to go back to the person who reaches out without fear of it not being reciprocated. I will just say to myself, NEXT! I love being around people just as much as some people love being in nature. It feeds my soul, my spirit. During the pandemic, it was Zoom that kept me connected to the group and welcomed new members. It could have been such a lonelier time as I so missed the in-person meetings. Now I am fortunate to have both. I sincerely treasure the time shared with the women in WFS. We understand and respect each other. It’s many treasured moments filled with enthusiasm. I am so blessed.

My neighbor rings my doorbell each time there is a magnificent sunset. We stand together and just stare at the beauty of it. I volunteer at the church office and part of that is providing groceries from our food pantry. I have met and heard so many challenging stories that touch my heart and inspire my compassion for the strength these families possess in such hard times. Our church has had town hall meetings in the last few months. I was amazed at how people felt safe to share their family struggles and know they would not be judged. This is the church that welcomed WFS without question 15 years ago. It is all about acceptance and inclusion. So many moments to treasure.

I love what Karen shared about awareness and knowing that while the moment is gone, the experience remains. A quote from Nancy Cross, “Enthusiasm is a balancer, it sparks life and then renews it when it fades.” I encourage you to think of it in those terms. When enthusiasm fades, renew it with all the wonderful suggestions Karen made, perhaps writing in a gratitude journal as a way to recall treasured moments when natural feelings of sadness, loneliness, disappointment, or regret come along. I’m a big believer in acknowledging authentic feelings. I let them stay a while but if they stay too long, I need a tool to help me remember the positive, joyful times. A grateful journal will do that. Or if you chose a specific Statement at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day write about how it helped or influenced your thoughts and your experiences.

What feeds your enthusiasm?

When is the last time you felt enthusiastic?

What are some of your treasured moments?

Bonded in exploring what enthusiasm means to you and how you recognize treasured moments, Dee


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Monday Thoughts 6.6.22

women for sobriety decorative image enthusiasm

“Gratitude paints little smiley faces on everything it touches.”

Richelle E. Goodrich

“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Life is a series of thousands of tiny little miracles. Notice them.”

Roald Dahl


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


When first starting to use the WFS Statements I thought “How am I supposed to practice Statement #11 when feeling so empty?” Early sobriety felt blank. Like some giant eraser had come along and scrubbed away any feelings, especially excitement or enthusiasm. While I didn’t understand it at the time, this was completely normal. It was like my sober brain and body were rebooting and it simply required a bit of time and a shift in thinking to feel enthusiasm again.

The 4C women on WFS Online talked about how they practiced gratitude, and this became a starting point. After just one sitting of writing down what I felt grateful for, it was amazing to see how much I had taken for granted. Alcohol had prevented me from experiencing a fullness of life but Statement #11 in action had me engaged and eager to learn more.

Soon I began to notice feelings of enthusiasm again, and this was especially noticeable with the little things. Practicing gratitude by listing tangible things, like home, vehicle or treasured possessions got me started and it became easier the more I noticed. Then going deeper, the intangible things came into view like ideas, connections, or simple kindness. Today, experiencing gratitude is a way to treasure life and feel all the feels.

  • Begin each day determined to note gratitude. Set a timer each hour to simply note something to be grateful for, even being sober for one-hour counts.
  • Write a list of people you know, from casual to long-term. Next, write down something you know about each person. Your neighbor is a dog person. This friend loves the color purple. Maybe that person, you only know their name but nothing else. You are creating a connection to life and this simple exercise demonstrates your ability to concentrate and look for commonality. The more similarities there are the less judgment and the more treasure to be found.
  • Practice mindfulness. This takes us into the now where the past and future cannot enter, releasing past guilt or fear of the unknown. The present really is a gift.
  • Find patterns. Whether it be in nature, or your own thoughts or behaviors, notice patterns. Recognizing patterns can create comfort and provide insight.

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Karen’s words always inspire me and provide me with new ways to look at the Statements, including Statement #11. I love the idea of creating a list of people I know and what I know about them to feel that strong connection no matter how small. Just thinking of doing that creates enthusiasm in my heart.

I also appreciate being reminded of gratefulness and mindfulness. When I find myself feeling stagnant, I think about what I do have in my life that brings me joy. This past birthday gave me a huge dose of love and gratefulness. I found myself feeling enthusiastic about my connections with people, the lives I have touched, and vice versa. Feeling that was the best gift of all.

Sometimes when I think of enthusiasm, I think of being proactive. That approach pulls me up from that stagnant feeling and helps me focus on what I can do and will do! Along with being proactive, I also try to be patient. Patience has taught me to appreciate the process, to enjoy the moment when it arrives, to be in it fully.

Years ago, I wrote that I thought of enthusiasm as “hope.” When I was drinking, hope didn’t exist. In recovery, I began to look at enthusiasm as sprouts of hope in creating treasured moments in my New Life. Jean Kirkpatrick always said that we have moments of enthusiasm and happiness, we just need to be aware of them. Karen’s suggestions will certainly create that awareness.

Sometimes it’s challenging to get started, especially with writing about enthusiastic/happy/joyful moments. I encourage you to carry a small notebook with you and jot down the treasured moment and be sure to date it. On my birthday, I went to get my favorite cake – ice cream – at Dairy Queen. The young woman behind the counter showed me the cakes and described what was in them. She asked me how old I was and then blushed as she said she was sometimes socially awkward and apologized for being inappropriate. I told her I wasn’t offended at all and that I was 77. She asked if I wanted happy birthday written on it and I decided yes! She brought the cake to me when it was finished and asked if she could give me a hug. It was a spontaneous request and I said yes again! I think she needed that hug perhaps more than me but what she doesn’t know is that she gave me a beautiful moment to treasure.

These are my 5 favorite questions and I usually include them with Statement 11.

  1. I love the taste of:
  2. I love the sight of:
  3. I love the feel of:
  4. I love the smell of:
  5. I love the sound of:

Think of any questions you might add. I love the smell of the air after it has rained. Knowing that makes it easier to remember to step outside once the rain has stopped and just breathe in the air.

Bonded in awareness of treasuring the moments of your New Life, Dee


women for sobriety teddy bear challenge and blooming sale decorative image
The Blooming Sale starts this Friday, June 10 at 11am Eastern US and closes Saturday, June 11 at 9pm.

Last day to donate to the Teddy Bear Challenge is Tuesday, June 14!  Over $17,000 in matching funds available.

 

 

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Monday Thoughts 3.7.22

Women for Sobriety enthusiasm next exit sign

“I believe, every day, you should have at least one exquisite moment.”    Audrey Hepburn

“When your actions and habits combine with intense effort and are directed by a solid purpose, it is this level of commitment that charges the senses and fuels your enthusiasm for attaining the seemingly impossible.”

Scott Allen

“Enthusiasm rules the world.”    Arthur Balfour


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


Sobriety and Statement #11 in action offer a unique perspective to a New Life. It is the practice of finding moments during the day to embrace and experience gratitude. It is so easy to get caught up in negative thought patterns, especially in active addiction. Yet sobriety and recovery present an opportunity to be involved in life and hold dear its moments.

What does it mean to treasure? According to Dictionary.com, used as a verb as in Statement #11, it is to “regard or treat as precious; cherish. To retain carefully or keep in store, as in the mind or to put away for security or future use, such as money.” Before sobriety, my actions showed little to no regard for anything other than feeding the insatiable dragon. Gratefully today, enthusiasm has become part of my daily practice.

Each morning reading the Statements, I am “keeping in store/retaining carefully” the framework to “treasure the moments of my New Life.” In our WFS Program booklet, it states” Enthusiasm gives life a special meaning. To be enthusiastic is to live each day to the fullest.” This week, identify and focus on what gives your life special meaning. Define it, own it, and experience it. It is your beautiful treasure.

Hugzzz

Karen


Dear 4C Women,

Such a powerful question to focus on what gives your life special meaning, especially considering what is happening in the world, our world, and those who are struggling for their lives, their safety. At the beginning of my recovery journey, I told myself I was making a big sacrifice to give up drinking. What I failed to incorporate into my “sacrifice” was the purpose, the reward of this sacrifice. I thought the sole purpose was to not drink, that would make my life perfect. Yet through the WFS program and Statement #11, came a much deeper understanding that led to my discovering the purpose behind it all. I discovered that there were diverse purposes, beginning with creating a New Life, a rewarding life with moments that I cherished.  After facilitating for a year, I recognized there was a profound purpose, the reward of sharing the WFS program, and being privileged to watch the personal and emotional growth of women who were searching for their purpose.  I became a new woman, I loved helping women learn how to create a new life for themselves. I had found my purpose beyond not drinking. Each time a new woman comes to a meeting in person or zoom, my enthusiasm for my purpose is enhanced and my gratitude is beyond measure. I truly believe that having a purpose in recovery creates enthusiasm, awareness, and joyful moments to treasure.

Think about where you are in your recovery and what your purpose is that feeds your enthusiasm, your gratefulness for having such an empowering, self-esteem building program. As change happens, make note of how rewarding it is to know you have created this powerful change. You are the driver of your enthusiasm journey. I feel so strongly that we need to express enthusiasm when it appears, to have the awareness of the moment.
Questions to consider when thinking about enthusiasm, gratitude, and possible changes to create those treasured moments in your life:

What activity makes you lose track of time?
What small act of enthusiasm/positive change do you feel will have a major impact on your life?
What currently is your reward or rewards in creating your New Life?

Have you discovered your purpose in sobriety, recovery? If so, what is it?
Bonded in gratitude for our New Life, the women who support us, and the challenges we have, continue to face, and survive, Dee


The REAL PRIORITY for the Teddy Bear Challenge is to raise money so that Women for Sobriety, Inc. (WFS) will be able to continue to maintain and expand this community for us … and for the women who join AFTER
We pay it forward.  
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Monday Thoughts 12/6/2021

“The passion of genuine enthusiasm is an energy you can generate yourself. How?  Simple: by focusing your time, effort and energy on those ideas, activities and pursuits that get you excited.”  ~~Rita Davenport

“Enthusiasm and misplaced belief can take you a long way.”  ~~John Otway

“Enthusiasm does not come easy to everyone; sometimes, it is not for lack of trying, but we simply are not all naturally optimistic people.  However, while negative feelings are as valid as positive ones, they can really take over our lives and harm us, in the long run.”  ~~Lucy Stanmore

#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


Sometimes Statement #11 can feel difficult to practice especially during the holiday season.  It seems that we are pulled in different directions during this time of year and it can feel natural to put our self-care further down the list.  Yet to maintain our sobriety and recovery it is essential to be aware of our thoughts, feelings, and self-care needs.

Enthusiasm can be simple, appreciating and acknowledging fleeting moments or savoring a cherished holiday tradition.  Embracing each sober day whether it is our first or fiftieth turns the key towards action.  In our WFS Program booklet it states, “Pause at random times throughout the day and identify something to appreciate about that moment.  Learn which things make you smile and feel excited.  Reflect on your life and find things to be thankful for.”

Each day this week look for opportunities to treasure or appreciate something during the day.  Yesterday, as I walked our senior chihuahua the sunrise was absolutely breathtaking.  It lit up the eastern sky with an incredibly vibrant glow that I was able to carry along throughout the day. It felt mesmerizing.  Embrace and illuminate your inner glow today and shine bright!

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Of all the WFS Statements, this has always been the most challenging for me in creating daily enthusiasm.  Yet, like all of the Statements, it needs practice along with patience.  For me, patience is learning that I must not compare myself to others but appreciate and acknowledge the work I am doing. Thankfully WFS has helped me to have a positive attitude (Statement #2) which is extremely helpful in putting this Statement into practice.

While I may struggle with daily enthusiasm, I absolutely have learned to treasure the “moments” of my New Life.  Before WFS, I have to say I neglected and missed many treasured moments.  Right now, the struggle for feeling enthusiastic is mainly because I have been sick with a respiratory infection (not Covid) for almost 3 weeks and having asthma just makes it take longer to recover.  One of the positive outcomes is that it’s given me plenty of time to reflect on treasured moments.  Currently, I do treasure that I have medication to help in healing, can rest as much as I need, can help my daughter who lives with me and unfortunately caught the respiratory infection from me.

Even being sick, I can facilitate my WFS meetings on Zoom, deeply appreciate my wonderful neighbor who has brought groceries for me, my dog, Molly, who brings me joy each day and the warm weather we are having in December!  Mostly, I treasure my sobriety gained through such a life-changing program.  I treasure the women I have met, the friends I have made and how WFS has given me a purpose in life. I treasure that above all.  To have a purpose creates enthusiasm and provides much joy.

How would you describe your enthusiasm?

How do you show your enthusiasm?

What makes you feel enthusiastic?  Be as specific as possible as this will help in answering the next question.

Do you include fun activities or things you love into your day?  Setting time aside each day for joy or the things you love, activities that bring an instant smile to your face, nurtures your well-being.  It is one way of creating a treasured moment along with enthusiasm.  The key is to know where that joyful, fun feeling comes from in order to include it in your daily exercise.

Now this goes to changing our attitude.  I saw a video that asked to me to make a list of things that make me unhappy and decide next time they happen, to approach them with enthusiasm and experience how differently I feel.  Now that’s a different way of creating enthusiasm!  I thought of so many things that don’t necessarily make me unhappy, i.e., laundry, bills, cleaning, but to approach those tasks with enthusiasm would be worth trying.  Are you up to that challenge?  Do you have a specific task or situation in mind?  When you have faced this challenge with a different, enthusiastic attitude, how did you feel afterwards?  Think about writing it down, perhaps sharing the experience with others and then try it again!

We talk a lot about choice and change in WFS.  This Statement exemplifies the willingness to make a major shift in how we define enthusiasm and ways to practice it.  It certainly was a positive change for me even with struggling to practice it on a daily basis.  Yet, I will not judge my path because I’m still on it.  I am not in competition with anyone, not even myself.  I am doing the best I can and as long as I stay on the path, continue to be open to learning, I will count that as a treasured moment!

I encourage you to practice what Karen has suggested in looking for opportunities to treasure or appreciate something each day and remember to include fun and what gives you joy as you practice this Statement.

Bonded in developing enthusiasm and treasuring “moments” of your New Life, Dee


Hear more about Statement #11!

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Monday Thoughts 9/6/2021

“The treasures of the heart are most valuable of all.”  ~~Nichiren

“Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security or love—you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.”  ~~Eckhart Tolle

“Treasure the things about you that make you different and unique.”  ~~Karen Kain


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


Treasure?  That is a verb (and a noun) that felt completely opposite of sobriety and recovery.  Initially fighting against a new way of life much like our founder Jean, I began to understand the devastating effects of addiction. Yet my emotions and feelings felt flat and nonexistent. How on earth would I possibly treasure anything after quitting drinking?  The answer was simple. Another verb…Practice.

It is comforting to know that Statement #11 is a direction and not a destination.  Each day there are a myriad of opportunities to treasure moments.  In our WFS Program booklet it states “Pause at random times throughout the day and identify something to appreciate about that moment.  Learn which things make you smile and feel excited.  Reflect on your life and find things to be thankful for.”  Jotting down a few things to be grateful for each day got my mind searching for even more things to practice gratitude on much in the same way shopping for a red car makes you see all the red cars around you.  It’s always been there, now it’s just easier to see.

Jean treasured her New Life by sharing what she was learning and putting it into practice.  Finding key ingredients for a splendid New Life, the WFS Statements were brought into existence. This week, take note each day and find something to treasure.  Inside or out, no matter the size, it is there for you.

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Indeed, treasuring the moments and feeling enthusiasm daily seemed a high order to accomplish.  Yet, as Karen shared, it is a direction not a destination.  Each day is a new day to practice this Statement.  At first, I thought I had to live up to other people’s definition of a sober woman.  I needed to immediately and with great enthusiasm, show how much better my life was.  While it was definitely much better, I thankfully began to understand that I had to be authentic, to go through the stages of emotional and spiritual growth to learn what brought me joy and enthusiasm in order to genuinely feel it.

Initially, my reluctance to explore new avenues had a lot to do with my expectations.  They were way too high and I would not try new things or explore other options for fear of disappointment.   I began to reflect on how many times I had been disappointed in my life and most of it had little to do with seeking joy.  It had to do with my unhealthy decisions, being rejected which with low self-esteem only enhanced my fear of being vulnerable, rejected once again and running away from feeling any positive emotion.  So, what if I tackled this feeling of enthusiasm and I was disappointed?  The bigger question was, what if I chose enthusiasm in something new, something I knew I enjoyed and it was a treasured moment?  Why would I pass that up?  I had to let go of fears surrounding the risk of not feeling that uplifting joy of enthusiasm.  As I discovered what brought a smile to my face, laughter in my soul, I began to experience enthusiasm.  What I also learned is that practicing the WFS Statements becomes a habit just as turning to alcohol had become a habit for coping.

I found a few articles on enthusiasm and a few suggestions really stood out for me.

Take 15 minutes a day to do something you love (perhaps start smaller with 5 minutes).  To start, make a list of everything you love to do.  What’s calling you right now?    At the end of the day, jot down a few thoughts in a journal so when your enthusiasm is waning, you can read the joy you felt doing something you love.

Practice self-compassion.  It is the practice of noticing what you’re feeling, remembering that you’re human (and therefore fallible, just like everyone else on the planet), and treating yourself with the same kindness you’d give to a beloved friend.  More often our response is to beat ourselves up when we stumble, but research has shown (and your own experiences may echo) that self-flagellation is counterproductive.

Avoid energy drains.  Negativity is also contagious.   If you feel drained or badly about yourself with certain people or situations, it may be time to set personal boundaries and practice that self-compassion.

Learn to say no.  Notice where your time is going.  Is it nourishing you or are you acting out of a sense of false guilt?

Flex your “what’s going well” muscle.  It’s sometimes easy to notice what’s not going well.  This goes back to practicing self-compassion, discovering what you love and doing it, working through fears of disappointment, surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging and supportive people.

Bonded in practicing enthusiasm and treasuring the moments coming from this practice, Dee


Women for Sobriety, Inc., is excited to announce that our WFS Online community will be moving to a new, more user-friendly and feature-rich platform in the coming months. READ MORE

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Monday Thoughts 6/7/2021

“When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.”  ~~Shannon L. Alder

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind.  The real you is loving, joyful and free.  The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.”  ~~Don Miguel Ruiz

“If we can just let go and trust things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully.  The joy of freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.”  ~~Goldie Hawn


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


One of the greatest feelings of freedom today is experiencing life with all its intricacies, simply sober.  There is something that feels absolutely refreshing about being present. It runs through the body like a current of childlike wonder, bringing a sense of vibrancy and aliveness.  Statement #11 can take us there at any moment we choose.

Alcohol or drugs negated feelings of balance and joy.  It hung like a dark cloud and cast doubt and insecurity.  It kept the colorful door of life shut and painted everything in varying degrees of gray.  Over time, fear and feelings of lack developed and any childlike enthusiasm vanished.

Yet, enthusiasm is brimming wide and expanding… especially this week! Our annual WFS Conference is upon us (our second time virtually due to covid) and each day WFS will have icebreaker activities to jump start the upcoming weekend.  It’s time to get your toolkits ready, have schedules in hand and connect with other 4C women!  We have a variety of exceptional keynote speakers and breakout sessions.  Our theme this year is “I’m Possible” so get ready for connection, fun and loads of enthusiasm!

Click here to sign up and register for this empowering WFS 2021 Conference

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

In addition to the phenomenal keynote speakers, there is a plethora of breakout sessions available at the virtual conference. I am overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the opportunities for personal growth!  After all these years, I continue to be open to change, learning new ways to cope, to embrace living an enthusiastic life and treasuring the moments.  All of this is possible because of the WFS Program.  Whenever life throws me a curve ball, of which there have been many, I go back to the Statements and am filled with needed direction and positive ways to help me work through it.  What I have learned as well is that when I make mistakes along the decision-making path, I am not a mistake.  I am student willing to learn and make different choices.  I am also surrounded by supportive women who encourage me, building me up to keep moving forward.  That support alone fills me with enthusiasm, reminding me that I am resilient and building a very useful tool box for upcoming issues/concerns.

Years ago, I had zero confidence in my choices, fearful of each mistake, feeling I was incapable of any positive outcome.  When I think back to that woman, I am in awe of how the WFS Program transformed me into a 4C woman – an extraordinary change.  Of course, that change depended on my willingness to practice the Statements.  I have always said that while the program is phenomenal, it’s only words on a piece of paper unless you are willing to put action behind the words.

The conference is an opportunity to learn, to share, to build a magnificent tool box to practice this life-changing program to be the 4C woman you’ve always been.   Be ready to blossom with enthusiasm!

Bonded in becoming enthusiastic and treasuring the moments of your New Life, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 3/8/2021

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count.”~~Steve Maraboli

“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”  ~Gandhi

“Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.”  ~~Mandy Hale


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


Statement #11 has not been easy to embrace and practice recently; the global pandemic upended the daily lives of everyone. Life looks and feels quite different from just over a year ago.  Yet in our WFS Program booklet it states, “Much of what we do in life can feel unremarkable — going to work, doing the laundry, shopping for groceries, etc.  These actions take up a great deal of our waking time.  Many of us grumble about these tasks, yet if we choose to be enthusiastic about doing the simplest chores, they can become more gratifying.”

One of the ways that has helped to foster enthusiasm and put action into Statement #11 is by changing my internal dialogue. For example, instead of beginning my day and saying that “I have to _______” (while not feeling any enthusiasm either), I can change it to “I get to ________.” (there it is!)  This subtle shift of one word changes the temperature and tone of internal dialogue.  Now it is all about possibility and anticipation, which can remove potential hesitation or criticism.

Additionally, altering the Statement to fit your current needs is helpful as well.  Maybe enthusiasm feels too much of a stretch, so a phrase like ‘Contentment is my daily exercise’ or even ‘Connection is my daily exercise.’  (current events makes connection that much more critical).  Whichever word speaks to you and encourages appreciation, gratitude and being fully present, embrace it.  Live it.  Be it!

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I absolutely love changing my internal dialogue from “I have to” to “I get to.”  Immediately I felt a shift in my attitude.  I also felt a great sense of gratitude that I am able to do the ordinary and explore new adventures or experience unexpected moments of enthusiasm/joy.  Being open to spontaneity was something I had to learn.  I am an organizer which actually gives me a sense of comfort.  However, in being so restrictive, I am sure I missed those fleeting moments of joyfulness in the past.

I still plan/organize, even my vacations, because my one and only vacation is visiting friends and family in PA/NJ.  However, I have relaxed in what I do when making those plans.  I just want to be sure I see the people I am missing so I am learning to be a bit more flexible as to how we spend our time together.

Have you ever woken up with the list of tasks on your nightstand and your first thought was, “Is all this really necessary?  Is fun anywhere on that list?”  Knowing I “get to” do the necessary, is there time for the acceptance of a spontaneous adventure?  With this pandemic, a spontaneous adventure could be just about anything from a thrift shop sale to a drive in the country.  Just a change of scenery can create enthusiasm.

I was reading Life Lessons for Women from the creators of Chicken Soup for the Soul.  One writer talked about the nurturing voice that she had to learn to listen to when her critical voice demanded she do what was expected of her by others and even herself, putting a lot of pressure on herself to be perfect.  Well, there is no perfect person or as the writer said, “Remember Super Woman? She’s not dead – she never existed!”  So, for me the key word in experiencing enthusiasm is “BALANCE.”  Perhaps your list on paper or in your thoughts could contain a couple of things you have been thinking about that sounds like fun, contentment, enthusiasm, joy, different, out of your comfort zone – you choose the word that expresses what might be missing as you learn to practice Statement #11.

If the pandemic is not the cause for delaying an enthusiastic experience, think about what is stopping you and if it is the pandemic, perhaps plan it to happen in the timeframe that fits your life right now.  If it is a simple and doable activity, I encourage you to just go for it.  Be spontaneous or plan it just for a change of pace and see how it feels.

Bonded in learning what inspires our enthusiasm and how to make it happen, Dee


WFS Conference News

June 11 – 13, 2021

Registration will be opening soon!

Registration fees will be on a sliding scale: pay $25 – $50 – $75.

Be sure to be on the lookout for the announcement as the first 400 conference registrations will receive the “I’m Possible” Toolkit!

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Monday Thoughts 12/07/2020

“A contented heart is a calm sea in the midst of all storms.”  ~~Anonymous

“Contentment comes from many great and small acceptances in life.”  ~~Anonymous

“Comparison makes finding contentment a million times harder.”  ~~Anonymous


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


Enthusiasm has been at times difficult to embrace, especially this year with changes from the pandemic.  Many things are different and routines have been disrupted. As I struggled with practicing Statement #11, I found that switching out the word enthusiasm with contentment has helped me connect and appreciate moments each day.

Obviously, this has been a difficult year for numerous people; uncertainty with finances, the inability to connect with loved ones, fear of the virus itself, and the inflammatory political spectrum has stretched our nervous system to the extreme.  Being enthusiastic feels almost impossible, yet contentment feels practical.  In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Pause at random times throughout the day and identify something to appreciate about that moment.  Learn which things make you smile and feel excited.  Reflect on your life and find things to be thankful for.”  There are numerous moments throughout the day to embrace contentment, it takes conscious awareness and effort.

Even though life feels unsteady lately, it doesn’t mean sobriety has to be unbalanced.  Recovery is the one constant in life that I have complete control over and it means the world to me.  Taking stock of who I have become and the many positive changes in my life is a baseline of stability.  So even when life feels the complete opposite of enthusiastic, I can feel contentment, even amidst chaos.  Again, from our WFS Program booklet for Statement #11, the following questions are asked:

How can you increase your enthusiasm (contentment) today?

What energizes you naturally?

How can you enjoy what you currently have?

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I am grateful for the word “contentment” that Karen used to express enthusiasm as she feels it today.  I love decorating for the holidays yet this year I find myself fluctuating between pure joy and exhaustion just from packing up the fall decorations and dragging the winter/Christmas/holiday decorations into the house.  I know the exhaustion is a combination of age, energy and space.  As I unpacked each snowman, decorated the tree and found a spot for just one more decoration, I found myself feeling lighter and dare I say, enthusiastic!  I treasure the memory behind each decoration and soon gratefulness was flooding into my heart.  Like many of us, I am missing family and friends that I haven’t seen in person for over a year.  Many of my snowmen are gifts from family and friends who know my love for snowmen.  I mean how can you not smile back at a cute, fluffy smiling snowman!  As Jean said, enthusiastic moments are just that – moments.  It’s the awareness of them that makes them treasures.

I’m feeling that this year, perhaps more than ever, we need that awareness to lift our spirits, to treasure the joy – contentment of those precious moments.

So here are some questions I have presented in the past that I find make me dig a little bit deeper to know there are enthusiastic, joyful, content moments to treasure even in uncertain times:

What is the last spontaneous moment you experienced and treasure?

What sparks your creativity?

When we do what we are passionate about, we have total confidence in our abilities. What makes you unafraid of making a mistake? Is it your passion, enthusiasm, joy that keeps you moving forward without fear? In the past, I was riddled with fear of making a mistake so I became stagnant, not opening up to taking on a project that in my heart, I was passionate or joyful about just thinking of it.  Where does your passion or joy take you that making a mistake doesn’t hold you back?

Answering these sensory questions may be just the spark needed to discover what brings a smile to your face, where you feel most creative and how to achieve the joy of enthusiasm, meaning and living a balanced life

I love the taste of:

I love the sight of:

I love the feel of:

I love the smell of:

I love the sound of:

The answers to these questions may lead us to create and enjoy an uplifting song, cooking a meal that evokes a powerful, wonderful memory, watching snow fall or depending on where you live, a beautiful fall tree with leaves still brilliantly shining, eating your favorite snack or food.  So much we can do personally and individually to bring about enthusiasm and contentment when we explore, discover and uncover the answers to these questions.

Bonded in discovering and treasuring the moments of our New Life, Dee


 

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Monday Thoughts 9/7/2020

“Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.”  ~~Marty McGee Bennett

“Start today by imagining the life you want in the future and taking one practice step towards it.”  ~~Denise Duffield Thomas

“Generosity is a practice.  And as with anything we practice, we get better at it over time.”  ~~Barbara Bonner
_______________________________________________________________

#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise. 

I treasure the moments of my New Life.
_______________________________________________________________

Let us acknowledge for some, feeling enthusiastic can be challenging right now with the uncertainty and disruption of our daily lives.  Take a moment to reflect and ask yourself ‘What is it that I need right now?’  Why not adapt Statement #11 to fit your needs: Feeling frustrated or snappy? Patience is my daily exercise.  Feeling alone? Connection is my daily exercise. Procrastinating? Diligence is my daily exercise. 

Why did Jean use the word ‘exercise’ in this Statement?  Reading her books and articles, her intention was to create a healthy habit.  Whatever you may be struggling with right now is an opportunity to adapt and practice.  The more we move through the discomfort, treasuring the moment can come naturally or become automatic. 

Each of us adapted when we became sober.  We chose a different way of living our daily lives.  Through the many small, healthy changes that we make, we cement our sobriety and recovery.  This week examine what you can do to adapt and strengthen your New Life.  What area of your life needs attention?  What will you practice? 

Hugzzz

Karen

““““““““““

Hi 4C Women,

I relate so much to Karen’s message.  The first part of Statement #11 has always been a bit challenging for me and during this pandemic, it is even more so.  The questions are just what I needed to read and consider how I can better adapt and strengthen my New Life.  For me, it goes to the second part of the Statement.  In order to treasure the moments of my New Life, I have to be “in” the moment.  And that goes back to what Karen said, that in order to be enthusiastic and treasure the moments, we need to create a healthy habit and practice, practice, practice. 

I know what brings me enthusiasm and that is being with people.  Perhaps that is why I am struggling more now than usual and why I love going to the grocery store, mask and all, just to be in the presence of other human beings.  So, I gave it more thought and realized that I also like holiday decorating and organizing.  I decorate for 3 seasons – Christmas/Winter, Easter/Spring and Fall/Halloween.  I say winter, spring and fall because I tend to keep up my bunnies and snowmen way past the actual holiday.  It’s a great excuse to do so.  They put a huge smile on my face and why would I want to give that up? 

Now that I know what my top three enthusiastic joys are, here is the difficult question to answer – what area of my life needs attention and how will I practice making that change?  I almost wanted to pretend I didn’t see that question.  For some reason, I am eating as though I live in a grocery store that is attached to a restaurant.  My structure/routine of life has changed and eating has taken a front row seat.  That’s the area I need to focus on so I have the energy to keep up on my 3 top joys and be healthy.  Perhaps I needed to say this out loud so I am accountable.  All I need is a bit more motivation and begin to practice, practice and practice some more! And most of all, for anyone answering these questions, please have patience with yourself.  These are not ordinary times yet we are 4C women and capable indeed of creating positive change as we are able.

Lastly, try these sensory delight questions to lift your spirits:

I love the taste of:

I love the sight of:

I love the feel of:

I love the smell of:

I love the sound of: 

Bonded in learning to treasure the moments of our New Life, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 6/8/2020

enthusiastic women

“You are your best thing.”  ~~Toni Morrison

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things….I play with leaves, I skip down the street and run against the wind.”  ~~Leo Buscaglia

“Determine to live life with flair and laughter.”  ~~Maya Angelou
_______________________________________________________________

#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.
_______________________________________________________________

It is just days away!  “Envision It 2020”, our Women for Sobriety Virtual Conference will start on Friday, June 12th and is filled with connection, WFS meetings and informative and exciting workshops. This weekend is the culmination of countless hours of volunteer effort, adaptation and what Statement #11 is filled with, enthusiasm!

Just like many other plans that needed to be altered this year, WFS adapted the format and virtual conference planning began.  Our keynote speakers this year are Dawn Nickel, Ph.D., founder of She Recovers and Lynn Matti, MA, author, coach, and Cognitive Behavioral Licensed Mental Wellness Counselor.  Starting with our Opening Ceremony on Friday evening, the weekend is brimming with enthusiasm.  Join in the fun with interactive sessions, themed video lounges and discussion boards.  This year WFS offers 4 live workshops opportunities and 17 breakout sessions which include “Intuitive Eating in Recovery,” and “Five Money Questions for Women.”

Set your enthusiasm soaring this weekend.  If you have not signed up yet, there is still time.  Jump start your practice of Statement #11 this week and join us for WFS Envision It 2020 Virtual Conference, click here to register.

Hugzzz

Karen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi 4C Women,

I love how the WFS organization and the incredible 4C women have accepted this unprecedented challenge of a virtual conference.  It has taken the commitment of many women willing to volunteer hundreds of hours to get this together.  I have to admit that along with my enthusiasm is acknowledging that I am a bit out of my comfort zone but that is okay.  It is one of the many reasons I value the WFS program.  I can admit my concerns and focus on what I will learn from this experience.  One thing I can share is that I did not volunteer to be part of the IT team and for very obvious reasons!

I do hope you will consider registering for the conference.  There is so much we can learn from the workshops and presenters.  I believe this conference will be such a powerful benefit in giving us both the enthusiasm we are seeking and bonding together in coping with this recent time of social isolation.  What’s great is that we can view all the workshops and presentations for a whole week after the conference.  We won’t have to miss a single thing!

In thinking about enthusiasm and treasuring the moments of your New Life, what interests have come into your life in recovery?  Are they new interests or renewed ones?  What treasures have you discovered as you embark on discovering and uncovering your joy, your enthusiasm in your New Life?

It might help to answer these questions if you are struggling to find enthusiasm:

What puts a smile on your face?

What sparks your creativity?

What would you do for free?

Bonded in seeking and experiencing enthusiasm in our New Life, Dee


WFS Virtual Weekend Conference
June 12-14, 2020

Last Chance to Register!

Don’t miss your chance to connect with hundreds of 4C women from around the world at the immersive online experience!

Still on the fence about the tech?

Check out these FREE opportunities to try Zoom before the event.

NEW! WFS Online Video Meetings!

  • Tuesdays Together with MACC
    Every Tuesday at 9:30 pm US/Eastern (6:30 pm US/Pacific)
  • Midweek Refresh with Susieh
    Every Wednesday at 2:00 pm US/Eastern (11:00 am US/Pacific)
  • Thursday Connections with mistyeyed
    Every Thursday at 5:00 pm US/Eastern (2:00 pm US/Pacific)
  • Great Start Girlfriends morning check-in (30 min only)
    Daily – see WFS Online Chat Schedule for full details
Conference Open Houses – OPEN TO EVERYONE
  • Tuesday, June 9th, 9:30-11:30 am US/Eastern – CLICK HERE
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The conference website has already launched and the icebreakers have begun – sign up today for instant access!

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