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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
  • Thursday, June 10th, 6-8 pm US/Eastern – CLICK HERE

 

The conference website has already launched and the icebreakers have begun – sign up today for instant access!

Self-selection Sliding Scale: $25-$75, Scholarships also available
Attend 8 live sessions, review the other 13 later! Read our FAQs here.
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Monday Thoughts 3/9/2020

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

“The possibility of the dream gives strength.”  ~~Lailah Gifty Akita Pearls of Wisdom: Great Mind

“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.”  ~~Oliver Wendall Holmes
_______________________________________________________________

#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.

_______________________________________________________________

Early on my sobriety and recovery journey it was difficult to identify enthusiasm.  Everything felt flat, in fact, one of the first times being conscious of a lack of enthusiasm came when I was riding in a race car at 190 MPH.  With my helmet snuggly down on my head and my fire suit on, I knew something was missing.  I didn’t feel anything.  No excitement, no enthusiasm and no fear.

I wanted to feel enthusiastic; here I was, doing something on my bucket list.  Statement #11 in action helped my awareness and I began to look deeper into what I was feeling and when.  Daily writing in a journal helped me identify patterns and assisted me in finding simple joys and contentment.  I became aware that it was unrealistic to feel enthusiasm all the time.  (If every day were the 4th Of July, the meaning would be lost)

Statement #11 Tool: From our WFS Program booklet “How can you increase your enthusiasm today?  What energizes you naturally?  How can you enjoy what you currently have?

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.”  (if you would like to share a tool that assists you with Statement #11, email karen@teamwfs.org

Hugzzz

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

Hi 4C Women,

How challenging to create enthusiasm when you might be feeling flat.  I give Karen a lot of credit for acknowledging that something was missing and finding a way to change it.  I, too, struggle with Statement #11 at times.  What helped me was to practice being still and take in what was happening at that moment.  For me, that is what treasuring the “moments” of my New Life means to me.  I also see it in appreciating what I do have, especially loving and supporting friends, being able to take care of my responsibilities, being creative in decorating for the seasons (that’s when my pure joy and enthusiasm takes wings) and being proactive in standing up for myself and my beliefs.  There was a time when I lived in fear of speaking my voice.  WFS taught me to be strong and confident even when I didn’t actually believe it.  Practice helped and it created an enthusiasm for feeling authentic and free.

I have a list on how to create enthusiasm which I reflect on whenever I need a reminder that there is enthusiasm in my life.  It helped me in writing this message and I hope it will inspire you to make your own list of how enthusiasm shows up in your life.

Be passionate                                                     Be proactive

Be grateful                                                          Be reasonable

Be positive                                                          Be patient

Be proud                                                             Be enlightened

Be creative                                                          Be evolving

Bonded in creating enthusiasm in our daily lives, Dee

 

WFS Annual Weekend Conference
June 12th – 14th, 2020
Hamline University
Saint Paul, MN
Pre-Conference Activities Begin June 11th

Registration Open Now!

2-night registration fees cover:
  • Friday & Saturday night lodging (except Day Pass)
  • 6 meals – Friday dinner through Sunday lunch at noon
  • 3 large group sessions
  • 4 breakout periods – choose from 16 amazing workshops
  • WFS meetings, icebreakers, informal activities, and workshops Thursday through Sunday
Residence Hall Lodging 2 nights Add Thursday night lodging
Double room** $275 +$50
Single room $350 +$70
Apartment Lodging  
Double room $350 +$70
Single room $430 +$90
Day Pass (No Lodging) $200 $220


Read more about lodging options, agenda, workshops, and more on the 2020 Conference webpage!

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Monday Thoughts 12/09/2019

“Enthusiasm is energy.”  ~~Lailah Gifty Akita

“Live your truth.  Express your love.  Share your enthusiasm.  Take actions towards your dreams.  Walk your talk.  Dance and sing to your music.  Embrace your blessings.  Make today worth remembering.”  ~~Steve Maraboli

“Enthusiasm is a supernatural serenity.”  ~~Henry David Thoreau
_______________________________________________________________

#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.
_______________________________________________________________

The WFS New Life Program and especially Statement #11 have inspired me to live in enthusiasm and to be myself while doing it.  For years, I tried to be like everyone else.  From my thoughts, and ideas, to how I decorated my house, I tried to either please others or be like someone else.  Over time, I had smothered my authentic self and emptiness overwhelmed me. I then tried to fill that void with alcohol.

With a clean slate, recovery is an invitation to unleash wholeness and embrace life.  Statement #11 encourages self-evaluation and restores authenticity when practiced daily.  Initially, my feelings felt flat, but it became easier over time to identify even the briefest feelings of gratitude.  It began when I felt the excitement and enthusiasm of staying sober each day.

It is comforting to know that this Statement does not mean jumping off the wall enthusiasm.  It can be as simple as a nod of gratitude for the moment, or the hour.  Today, I feel enthusiastic whenever I draw or create, or am deeply connected to the moment.  Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph. D, was deliberate in her use of the word ‘treasure’ in Statement #11.   This week take some time to reflect on your journey of enthusiasm and authenticity.  Do you see a connection between the two?  When was the last time you felt gentle enthusiasm?  When was the last time you felt overwhelming enthusiasm?  What do you treasure today?

Hugzzz

Karen

_______________________________________________________________

Hi 4C Women,

The last time I felt enthusiastic was on Friday when I opened the mail and there was my ticket to the Reba McEntire concert.  I was so excited as I had waited online for a couple of hours in anticipation of buying a ticket.  Finally, the moment arrived and there were over 700 people ahead of me, but I was enthusiastically patient.  A lifelong desire realized!  I have also been enthusiastic decorating for Christmas.  Each snowman brings joy to my heart and a big smile.  Less enthusiastic is the fall I took on Tuesday, hitting the cement driveway while trying to open the flap of my hand truck so I could put a slightly heavy snowman onto my porch.  I went to the ER and while I still have a headache and toothache, I did not suffer a concussion, brain bleed or fractured skull.  So, for that, I am slightly enthusiastic and grateful.  Being grateful is a form of enthusiasm that I encourage everyone to embrace.  It can be, as Karen said, a smile, a nod or practicing/doing something that brings authentic joy.  Sometimes it is just getting back to the basics.  We’ve done an exercise in our f2f group that always makes me think of my sensory delights and to be in the moment when I experience them.

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:

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 on this recovery journey.    Bonded in learning to treasure the moments of your New Life, your 4C Sister

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Monday Thoughts 9/10/2018

Monday Thoughts

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”  ~~Frances Hodgson Burnett

“Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance and it allows us to appreciate their true value.”  ~~Rafael E. Pino

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points.  Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an 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 11
Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure the moments of my New Life.


In our face-to-face group, I like to share how I ‘get’ to do some of those “unremarkable” things in sobriety and recovery.  In the past it was easy to overlook those small moments, but with the practice of Statement #11, it becomes easier to treasure moments that we may once have taken for granted.

A beautiful example of Statement #11 in action happened at our annual WFS Conference a few years ago.  In one of the workshops, Nancy Cross (who lovingly established the WFS Online Forum) brought a small glass or possibly marble rabbit and sent it around the circle that we were sitting in so that each woman present could hold and touch this tiny treasure. As this little rabbit went from hand to hand, Nancy shared with the group that she wanted to re-energize this little bunny and take each of us home with her.  Each of us had quickly become treasures.

Instead of dreading an activity or task, it is possible to feel content or even grateful for the experience.  Fresh perspective encourages embracing the treasures all around us, and Statement #11 leads the way. Friendships, family, experiences can become filled with awe and wonder.  This Statement can also help cement sobriety and recovery, and like all exercises, invigorates and strengthens.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Karen’s perspective regarding Statement #11 came at just the right time for me.  In preparation for a family wedding, I was fluctuating between enthusiasm in seeing the whole family, including my son, and the thought of driving 15 hours.  Enthusiasm and a bit of dread all caught in one moment’s thoughts!  So how to stick with the enthusiastic part of gratefulness, as Karen suggested, is the question.  If there is any Statement that helps to bring focus to such a situation, it surely is Statement #11.  It guides us to consider how our thoughts have a huge impact on the outcome of a specific situation/event/interaction with people in our lives.   Do we automatically respond with dread or do we shift our focus to the possibilities of adventure, learning new skills, the joy of spontaneity or unexpected positive benefits from taking a risk, overcoming a fear by facing the unknown?

I’ve been reflecting on just that.  Thinking about my decision to quit drinking certainly did not initially bring about a feeling of enthusiasm or considering how much I would treasure the moments of my New Life.  Yet, I took that risk and wow, how much my life has changed, how I learned that fear can be faced with full force and surviving becomes thriving.  The woman who automatically said no was now saying yes and became filled with wonderful surprises, unexpected and treasured adventures and relationships.  What surprised me the most is my confidence began to take hold as I relished the feeling of enthusiasm.  There are still situations I struggle with yet I am not fearful that I will remain stuck.  It’s part of living and years ago, I finally learned and understood that life is change, growth is possible and it’s important to choose wisely.  I will make mistakes along the way yet I do know that I want more enthusiasm than dread when new situations arise and I have the tools given to me by WFS to reflect and choose wisely.

  • How do you experience enthusiasm?
  • What tools do you have to face your fears and be spontaneous, to thrive in your New Life?
  • What is the last spontaneous moment you experienced?
  • What ordinary moments do you treasure?
  • What does “being in the moment” feel like to you?

For some, creating a grateful journey keeps the focus of enthusiasm fresh and current.  Consider writing down at least 2 experiences each day for a week that highlight your gratefulness for your New Life in recovery.  Treasure these moments.

Bonded in treasuring the moments of your New Life,
4C WFS Member