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Monday Thoughts 6/17/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.” ~~Susan Gale

“There are better starters than me but I’m a strong finisher.” ~~Usain Bolt

“I like feeling strong. It keeps my mental floor higher.” ~~Pink


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


It was truly an honor to be surrounded by so many strong women last week. It was simply a joy to be witness to such incredible strength; each woman has their own story and mountains to climb yet the cumulative strength made each of the Statements come vibrantly alive.

Statement #12 can feel difficult to practice at certain times. Depending on our physical, emotional or spiritual energy, one day it is easy to climb that mountain and at other times each step forward can feel immense. Yet, it is the understanding and knowing of our competence that lays a sturdy foundation to navigate future uncertainties.

In our WFS Program booklet it states, “Each of us is unique and has something very special to give. Claiming and accepting our own competence is a vital aspect of our New Life.” We can ask ourselves the following questions: Are you aware of you uniqueness? Do you claim your own competence? How can you better accept your strengths and abilities?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Do you remember the first time you introduced yourself as a competent woman at a WFS meeting? Did you believe it? Did you resist saying it and silently tell yourself that not only is that not true but it will never be your truth? I felt that way in the beginning yet had to believe that Jean Kirkpatrick knew instinctively that if we spoke it aloud often enough, it would eventually become our truth. For me, I finally believed I was a competent woman and started to uncover and discover what I had to give – to myself, to loved ones and mostly where my passion for life existed. Being numb and angry most of the time put up very tall and solid walls, not allowing myself to feel or believe anything positive about myself.

I worked for a non-profit for 25 1/2 years. Even when I was promoted to be a department director, I couldn’t understand what they saw in me because I still didn’t believe in myself. However, that belief in me and the WFS Statements were the turning points in my thinking, my life.  It is those negative messages that might bring us back to the times we weren’t able or ready to face struggles. WFS provides the tools to guide us in building our self-esteem so that we authentically believe we are competent women. I encourage you to have a positive message created just by you and for you that can be used against that inner critic of old messages. Just knock that critic off your shoulder and speak your truth.

I understand how challenging it can be to work through years of pain, hurt and feeling unworthy yet I am a firm believer that it can be done!  As Karen shared, Statement #12 can feel difficult at times. We need to be willing to work on our self-esteem so when those low times happen in our lives, we are prepared to be our own best friend and support our well-being. Call it a self-esteem check up when you begin hearing those old negative messages. Refute them and even when you don’t believe, practice saying, “I am a competent woman and have much to give life.”

Bonded in believing we are competent women,
a 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 9/17/2018

Monday Thoughts

“Have a vision.  It is the ability to see the invisible.  If you can see the invisible, you can achieve the impossible.”  ~~Shiv Khera

“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing.  Then everything would be.  It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth.  When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder –or impossible to lose.”  ~~Sarah Dessen  Along for the Ride

“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”  ~~Walter Scott

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

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Over the last few months, numerous women have asked for me to share how I was able to quit smoking using the WFS New Life Program.  Sobriety and Statement #12 helped tremendously to achieve this goal and while WFS focuses on alcohol and/or substance abuse, I am now eight plus years smoke free thanks in part to the WFS Statements.

Around three years into my New Life, I began to think about quitting smoking.  In Goodbye Hangovers Hello Life, Jean encourages the reader to quit and lists many of the long-term effects of smoking.  While devoting less than three pages to the subject, this made a lasting impression and I began to ruminate on how to quit.

The beautiful words in Statement #12 began the process to quit smoking and encouraged me to keep going.  This Statement was saying that I was competent, even though I felt I wasn’t when it came to quitting smoking.  Already feeling somewhat competent in recovery, I began to create a plan of success to quit.

Organizing this new goal, I needed to change the way I felt about smoking.  It was a love/hate relationship.  Intellectually I knew the dangers of smoking; sadly, my mom had passed away from emphysema/ COPD at the age of 72 yet cravings helped keep my habit alive.  Through WFS, I had begun to understand the connection between thinking and creating, (Statement #5) so I started to tell myself whenever I smoked that “this cigarette tastes terrible” or “this smells awful.”  Time and time again I repeated these phrases and before long, the smokes tasted and smelled exactly as I had thought.

After six months of these repeated affirmations, I wrote out 13 benefits to quitting.  I listed one for each Statement.  Fresh smelling clothing and hair, breathing easier, and saving money were just a few of the benefits on this list.  I carried this list in my pocket, so that even while I was smoking, I could read and affirm my decision.

Purposely, I had not given myself a quit date.  A quit date would shift my focus from healthy preparation to unhealthy avoidance.  If I knew the date, I would have focused my attention on what I felt I was losing instead of compiling tools for success.   My husband decided to join me in this effort and together we began to look at a time frame.  Still avoiding a set date, but setting intention, we chose springtime, once spring arrived, we then decided in April, and then to keep the uncertainty going, we decided to quit when our last carton of cigarettes was gone.  Right then and there I became a non-smoker.

By now, I had associated the benefits of quitting with the empowering WFS Statements and I turned to these as the hours ticked by.  Knowing the first three days would be the most difficult, I kept a plastic drinking straw cut in half near me and chewed on the end whenever a craving hit hard.  Driving proved to be the most difficult, that particular association was quite strong, but using Statement #12 I proved stronger. Additionally, having a partner to discuss how I was feeling, or when a craving appeared helped a great deal as well.   We were not an easy couple to be around those first days!

As it happens, the Gulf Oil spill occurred within the first 24 hours of quitting, so each time I heard the news, I became aware of how many days it was since the oil had started to leak. (I almost felt as if the news folks were keeping track along with me!)  Soon the days turned into a week, and the weeks into a month.  Cravings came and went but it began to become easier.  Feeling better physically, I embraced what I had just accomplished.  I quit smoking cold turkey and moved through cravings and impulses using the tools that I had learned in sobriety and recovery.  Around 5 years smoke free, I joined an online support system to learn more and discovered a tool which calculates how much life has been added back because of quitting and how much money saved.  To date, I have added a year and eight months back to my life and saved over $13, 440 dollars. (that’s $26,880 with my husband!)  To celebrate our success, we bought a travel trailer with our savings.  This led to the discovery of a lovely area downstate full of fishing and spectacular sunrises.  Now, eight years later, we have sold our travel trailer and moved our home next to this beautiful river.

Life is good breathing free!

Some tips to consider:
1.       Plan ahead but try to avoid a set date.
2.       Define your relationship with smoking and change it.
3.       Identify your benefits from quitting.
4.       Quit together.  Use this Forum or try the one I use  ww.quitnet.com

Hugzzz
Karen

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Hi 4C Women,

Never having smoked but knew so many women who did, I began to learn what a challenge it was to quit.  And just as Karen did, others started using the 13 Statements to help them quit alcohol/drugs and smoking.  Being healthy is a worthwhile goal and I have to say Karen’s questions do apply as well to recovery.  I thought of my relationship with alcohol and what would be the benefits of sobriety.  I loved thinking about what I would gain from sobriety rather than what I was giving up.  And the end result from all of the questions, struggles and changes was this – “I am a competent woman and much to give life.  This is what I am and shall know it always.”  As you begin to see your value, think about what you tell yourself each day.  Are the words encouraging, powerful and kind?  Do you believe in your heart that you are competent, that you have much to give life?  This Statement and its meaning will set you free to achieve self-love, self-worth and self-confidence.

Bonded in competency,

4C WFS Member