“Expect nothing and appreciate everything.”
“Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15-100 times a day. Be six again.”
“Find the time to read, to smell the flowers, to paint your dreams, to have coffee with a friend, to learn a new craft, to write a letter, to bake a surprise cake, to go somewhere special, to really be with the person you love, or even do nothing for a while…”
#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure the moments of my New Life.
When young, one of the most favorite things to do was see how high I could swing. Jumping on the seat, I would pump my legs and try to touch the sky. With toes pointed upward, I gleefully soared higher and higher until my tummy fluttered. With hair flailing all over my face, I would feel free and energized in the midst of this forward and backward dance. Yet not once did I ever capture that feeling with alcohol.
Remembering what brought feelings of joy and enthusiasm in the past helps me practice Statement #11 today. When first becoming sober, I had difficulty feeling anything, much less enthusiasm. What I found was that it was the little things that helped me to experience and keep enthusiasm. Nothing major or life-shattering, just simple awareness and appreciation.
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 excited. Reflect on your life and find things to be thankful for.” For me, reaching new heights brings out the child in me. This week, take time to practice expanding your enthusiasm one moment at a time.
Hi 4C Women,
I sometimes struggle with this Statement as finding enthusiasm as my daily exercise can be daunting. Yet, Jean realized when she created this program that it is the awareness of these moments that can shine a positive light on even the smallest treasured experience. Just as we cannot be happy all of the time, we can create moments of joy and happiness. I am learning slowly that feeling enthusiasm is being willing to be vulnerable, to expressing child-like wonder at special moments that I previously didn’t recognize or appreciate. Moments such as hearing the birds chirping as Spring approaches. They are searching for places to nest and I am searching for places to feel freedom, joy and healing. I’ve heard birds chirping for many, many years yet just stopping, pausing and truly listening and watching them was not something I did. I can be feeling down and yet facilitating a meeting, volunteering, helping others and catching my dog, Molly, doing something silly, can bring out enthusiastic joy in my heart.
This past Saturday, a dear friend, who calls me her 2nd mom since her mom passed, came to my house and helped me decorate for Spring. We made chicken salad together and created a house filled with bunnies and other treasured Spring decorations. She said it was the first time she felt like she was having a family time in a long while. We hugged and said our goodbyes. As she drove away, I turned around and looked at our beautiful Spring creation and realized that this was a feeling of enthusiasm that I might have missed or overlooked without Statement #11. I remember going to my nephew’s daughter’s wedding a few years ago (before COVID) and they asked on the reply card, what song would get me up to dance. This was a question on everybody’s card. I just knew that my request would probably not be repeated – Sweet Home Alabama! Well, they played it and I danced with enthusiasm. I have musical bunnies and my former neighbor’s boys came by one year and played every one of those bunnies, giggling and dancing. I giggled right along with them. This Statement is a path to awareness, to be vulnerable to your child-like joys and creating a chest full of wonderful moments to treasure.
I am going to put into practice what Karen has suggested – to pause, reflect, look and listen. I hope you will do this as well and write your feelings to share with a group, a friend or partner. Consider the last time you felt enthusiastic and share that as well.
Bonded in awareness and treasuring the moments, Dee
As I finished writing this, I decided to go outside and sit on the porch to read and observe. It’s 1:30 p.m. in AL and over 70 degrees. I noticed how blue the sky was and all of a sudden, I see a bright white half-moon peeking through the sky. The birds were singing, there was a slight breeze and I found myself enthralled in the beauty of nature that I might have missed completely. I had my treasured moment for the day!
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