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Monday Thoughts 4/13/2020

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

“Happiness is acceptance.  ~~Unknown

“The grass is always greener where you water it.”  ~~Unknown
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#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.

Happiness is created, not waited for.
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Last week I was able to celebrate a new milestone in my New Life; 13 years of sobriety.  This felt incredibly special to me, one year for every Statement.  Yet, what is even more significant are all the changes that have come from that initial day of sobriety.

The changes did not occur overnight and have come over an extended period of time.  Statement #3 encourages me to challenge unhappiness and create it myself. The definition of happiness also took on a whole new meaning in my New Life.  In the past, happy meant escaping from reality and having a “good time.” Little did I know that I was creating the opposite effect while cementing emotional turmoil.  Today, happiness feels more like contentment and remains even while feeling imbalance.

As we move through this time of uncertainty in our lives, it is important to keep joy, happiness, contentment and even laughter present.  Below, you will find a calendar that can be used to track, implement and continue to find joy as we live and adapt to ever changing circumstances.  Stay healthy, be well.

What methods help you to remain balanced during this global crisis?

Hugzzz

Karen

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Hi 4C Women,

I love this calendar and have subscribed to receiving it by email for over a year.  I love the positive reminders as it relates to various feelings such as coping for April.  It may seem extremely challenging to practice Statement #3 at this time yet it is crucial that we have a foundation in place to sustain us as we work through the ups and downs of social distancing.

Jean always said that happiness comes in moments.  It’s the awareness of those moments that we can hold onto in our memory banks.  Those precious moments will help build our foundation.  I call it contentment as Karen does.  There is a strong sense of contentment and peace that keeps me assured I will make it through this pandemic.  It also helps me accept that my feelings – a mixture of fear and hope – are okay.  I, too, understand that I denied or tried to ignore my fears which led to drinking.  Now I can say I don’t fear, fear.  It’s a natural response to circumstances.  It’s how I cope and respond to fear today that makes the difference.  That’s where the strong foundation I created gives me hope and, yes, courage.  So, if I feel sad, disappointed, concerned or unsure, I am okay with that.  I accept it, I examine it and then cope by working diligently on recalling fond memories and am grateful for those and the new ones I will create.

I decided to clean out my bedroom closet and found so many treasures I had completely forgotten such as my mom’s Easter hats, button collection that was hers and won me an award when I was a little kid for having the most different buttons, a love letter my dad wrote to my mom, lots of professional photos of my granddaughter growing up, wigs from the 70s and so much more.  I found myself smiling and crying and then smiling again.  There were a lot of memories buried in that closet and I wouldn’t have gone through it if it wasn’t for the social distancing.  I’ve also been in contact with so many people and that’s been such a gift.  So, Jean was so right when she said happiness comes in moments.  It is our willingness to create and be aware of those moments, hold onto them and know new ones are out there.

What happiness moments have you experienced recently?

Can you recall past happy moments in this time of quiet solitude?

What is giving you hope and courage?

Bonded in developing happiness and building a foundation of contentment, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 1//13/2020

“You are made to thrive.”  ~~Karlee Fain

 “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”  ~~Maya Angelou

 “Independence is happiness.”  ~~Susan B. Anthony

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#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.

Happiness is created, not waited for.

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What does it feel like to thrive in your New Life?  To grow, to shine, to flourish?  For many women, it is a feeling of freedom that flows through a portal of sobriety and recovery.   In our WFS Program booklet, Jean writes, “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.”

Alcohol or drugs numb life out and prevent meaningful connection but that is behind us today. Practicing Statement #3 encourages self-reflection which in turn encourages actions towards creating our own happiness without a reliance on what others say or do.  This opens an avenue to create depth and meaning.

Just like the above quote from one of our positive and energetic keynote speakers from our WFS Conference, Karlee Fain: Make yourself thrive.  This week, challenge yourself to thrive each day.  It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic, just small, simple actions.  You are creating your happiness, your best self, your contentment.  Send a Statement #3 tool that work for you to karen@teamwfs.org for future use in our Monday Thoughts.

Statement #3 Tool: Identifying and employing boundaries.  Knowing what belongs to me and what does not aides in the ability to thrive.  For example, in a past, conflicted relationship, I shared exactly what I needed in order to move forward.  Essentially, this put the ball in their court.  To date, these needs have not been met, yet I feel content and at ease.  I stood up for myself and my needs and am no longer exposed to emotional abuse.

Hugzzz

Karen

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Monday Thoughts 4/15/2019

Monday Thoughts

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” ~~Sylvia Plath

“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” ~~Dalai Lama


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


Before sobriety and New Life, happiness felt evasive and fleeting. Like a rare butterfly, happiness would land without any idea of how or why it came to be. Not knowing how to create happiness created feelings of lack and insufficiency, and alcohol came to be an easy solution to fill life with fun. It didn’t last.

Of course, over time, alcohol became the problem and not a solution to feeling happy. The practice of Statement #3 and embracing the WFS New Life Program creates a foundation for happiness to not only emerge but to flourish. In our WFS Program Booklet, Jean writes “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.”

Here are 4 avenues to assist in developing happiness:

  1. Define what happiness means to you: This is not your family/friends happiness, it’s yours. What does happiness feel/look like to you?
  2. Release expectations: Letting go of the “I should’s” and of strict time-frames……”I’ll be happy when (_______)” sets up an illusion of future happiness. Happiness is felt only in the present.
  3. Invest in experiences: Instead of collecting artifacts, collect experiences. (note to self here…been collecting an overabundance of art supplies”)
  4. List making/journal: Simply listing 3 good things each day can cement a positive outlook and change perspective.

What other ways help you to create happiness?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I have a book on happiness titled, “Field Guide to Happiness” by Barbara Ann Kipfer. It is mostly comprised of lists, which I am inclined to use to keep me on track. There are 206 lists which is pretty overwhelming and when I first saw it, I thought this is not making me happy! However, I realize that as a previously unhappy person, sometimes there is a bit of work to be done for real change and it doesn’t have to happen immediately as we wish it could.

I’ve decided to choose a few in a shortened version and leave it up to each of you to decide what speaks to you in uncovering and discovering what happiness means to you and how to reach for it.

Happiest Moments/Situations List: It is helpful to reflect on happy moments and situations you have already experienced. This serves to remind you to be grateful. The list gives you a chance to remember important stories or people in your past as they define who you are in the present. You can gain tremendous insight into the person you are today. Open to the happiness of the list and expand your awareness of the overall themes involved. I like this one in particular when I am feeling sad and realize that I as look at the list, I have happy memory moments to be grateful for in my life.

Make a list of what makes you happy in your life roles: We wear so many hats in our hectic lives that just making a list with all the different roles we play will be enlightening. At first, I thought this was more like labeling which goes against my core beliefs. I realized as I started this list that I was smiling as I wrote the roles that bring happiness–being a moderator, volunteering, writing this message.

Make a list of the 5 most pleasurable experiences of your life: Then describe “one” and try to reawaken your feelings. I remember the pure joy I felt when I first saw my granddaughter. I can still feel it in my heart.

Describe your favorite songs and how they make you feel: Music stirs powerful emotions in all of us. Choose ten favorite songs. Are there events or people attached to them? Were you of a certain age? I went to a wedding last year and they asked me to write down what song would get me on the dance floor. My answer was “Sweet Home Alabama.” It was played and I danced. It was a happy moment that might be on the list of Happiest Moments.

Create an “Alter” on your desk or by your bed: Alter is just one word for a collection of family photos, trinkets or a vase of flowers. The idea is that the place where you work or spend a lot of time, should be cheering and inspirational. A desktop or bedside “alter” can help create a sense of calm. Stick to simple objects that are linked to a specific memory, belief or goal. What makes your collection in your intention, which can be as simple as your desire to return to the present moment and become aware of it each time you see your special collection. I alternate between different photos, quotes, special books I receive as gifts that bring a smile to my face each morning and evening. It truly is a gift of happiness to me.

Bonded in developing happiness,
A beautiful 4C woman.