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Monday Thoughts 2/3/2020

“I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore.”  ~~Georgia O’Keefe

“Relax wild one.  It’s not your job to be everything everyone needs.  And you don’t have to be impressive to be loved.  Stop trying so hard.  Just show up and be real with the world.  That is enough.” ~~Brooke Hampton

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”  ~~Mother Teresa

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#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

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Being present in life opens avenues that have been difficult to reach in the past and Statement #6 can be the ignition switch to embracing those ephemeral moments.  For example, each winter, pelicans arrive and spend time on the river near our home.  The ginormous wings are amazingly silent as they fly overhead, only making a small swish as they gracefully land in the water in search of tasty minnows.  It is a breathtaking sight to behold.

Before sobriety and New Life, it would have been easy to miss the greatness in these fleeting moments.  Overcome with negativity, birds of any feather would have been a reason to complain, be agitated or simply apathetic.  Yet, practicing Statement #6 can stimulate a healthy level of consciousness.

Taking notice of the world we live in begins with our reading of the Statements each morning.  Choosing one Statement for the week with intention directs our minds to grasp everything possible in each moment.  From a pod of pelicans to giving or receiving a smile from a stranger lays a foundation to be engaged in life.

Statement #6 Tool: The last line in Statement #6 states “Savor the greatness of ordinary moments.” Take time to be present.  Try a gratitude journal in the morning or evening, or both, and make full attempts at finding greatness in something ordinary.  A dear family member derives heart-FULL pleasure from an often hard to find rye bread.  If you would like to share any tools that you use with Statement #6, please email karen@teamwfs.org

Hugzzz

Karen

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Hi 4C Women,

I’ve been writing for many years and feel so grateful to be able to share what I have learned through my own life experience and from other phenomenal women who so willingly shared their life’s recovery journey.  In addition to Karen’s insightful, creative and courageous writings, was Nancy Cross.  She was a beautiful example of expressing and understanding the WFS program.

Here are some questions that Nancy posed to us:

1. What do you want to keep in your life? Let’s face it, some things are working and not everything has to be thrown out.  I consider this a powerful question when it comes to Statement #6.

2.  What do you want to change which could also be seen as “adding”? This goes back to how you answered the first question.  Knowing what you want to keep will provide knowledge for what you want to change/add to your life, creating your personal life vision.

My question would be to consider what barriers are keeping you from following through on your changes/additions?

The Seven-Ups of Life  (author unknown)

1.  Wake up – Decide to have a good day then seek out ways to make it so.

2.  Dress Up – the best way to dress up is to put on a smile.  A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

3.  Shut Up – Say nice things and learn to listen.  (I would change this to Listen Up because shut up isn’t nice.)

4. Stand Up – For what you believe in.  Stand for something or you will fall for anything.

5. Look Up – To the bigger picture.  Get outside of your limited perception and consider other possibilities.

6. Reach Up – For something higher.  Stretch your mind, stretch your abilities, stretch yourself.

7. Lift Up – Focus on the positive, on what’s working and on what you want in life.

Bonded in creating our personal vision of a life filled with great moments in our everyday life, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 11/4/2019

“When we shift our perception, our experience changes.”  ~~Lindsay Wagner

“Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships, they’re all a projection of you.”  ~~Deepak Chopra

“I think the perception of peace is what distracts most people from really having it.”  ~~Joyce Meyer
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#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.
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In our WFS Program booklet it states, “In early sobriety, our perceptions of life begin to change.  We often go through a period of feeling not fully alive.”  If you look up the antonym of perception, you might find such words as; misunderstanding, misconception, ignorance or unconsciousness.  These words describe quite well, the living of life before sobriety.

The WFS New Life Program and Statement #6 aid in developing perceptibility and awareness.  This Statement focuses on conscious effort, which enables past or outdated judgments to shift.  It is easy to recall times before sobriety in which mountains were made from molehills, only to realize later that it was my perceived perception which increased the size of the experience.  This dissolved any ability to feel contentment.

Whether life feels ordinary or great, sobriety and recovery employ clarity and Statement #6 encourages continued effort.  This week ruminate on how your perceptions in life have changed on your recovery journey.  How has this affected who you are?   What has changed for you? What are you aware of now that you weren’t before?

Hugzzz

Karen
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Hi 4C Women,

Back in 2009, Nancy Cross asked 3 questions that were quite challenging for me at that time.  So much has happened since then and I wondered if the questions would be as difficult to answer now as they were back then.  Here they are:

1.       What do you want to keep in your life?

2.       What do you want to change?

3.       What do you want more of?

Today, my answers, my perceptions are probably similar yet I go about achieving them in a different way because I am different.  What helped was another post by Nancy in 2011 (I had 2 years to work on the 3 challenging questions) and part of her message included guidance by Janet Grace Ortigas.

1.       Explore

2.       Be more adventurous – doing something new or different once in a while

3.       Challenge yourself – doesn’t matter what it is, push yourself a little and see how it builds your self confidence

4.       Plan an adventure

5.       Do volunteer work

6.       Get a hobby – do something you love the most and follow your passion

7.       Laugh more

8.       Live in the now

What I learned from this message is that life can be ordinary and great in small bits of time and effort.  I can take a new way home and find places that I didn’t know existed; take a class in art or dance and either learn something or laugh at my efforts (#7); volunteering can be so rewarding as you give back and receive the joy of knowing you are making a difference; living in the now rather than the past is a gift you give yourself to be able to create the great and appreciate the ordinary.

Bonded in learning what creates greatness in your life and appreciating the ordinary in recovery, a 4C sister.

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Monday Thoughts 8/5/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work, or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” ~~Earl Nightingale

“The art of life is to live in the present moment.” ~~Emmet Fox

“When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.” Anonymous


Statement #6
Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.


This quote from Jean on Statement #6 is as still profound as the first day I read it…. “Although we only get a one ticket through life, we speed through our days as if planning to enjoy them at another time. We live as if we have an endless number of tomorrows.” Oftentimes, before my New Life, I was in search of anything but the present.

One of the reasons why the present felt so uncomfortable was that I didn’t really know how to be. My mind was in constant search of something bigger, better or more interesting. Additionally, the present felt emotionally painful; my mind ruminated on the past and fueled anxiety in the future. Sobriety and recovery continue to help change this self-defeating habit.

With Statement #6 in action, I can be immersed in the now. I am quite aware of being present when doing something that makes my heart sing, such as during a face to face WFS meeting, catching a fleeting moment in nature or even while painting/drawing. It takes more effort and patience to be present when I am involved in something uncomfortable, or fearful. Gratefully, the WFS Statements, especially Statement #6, encourage the living of life. See for yourself how many times the word “Life” appears in the WFS New Life Program Acceptance Statements!

What actions can you take to bond yourself to living life in the now?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Nancy Cross once asked what motivated you into sobriety and what inspires you to continue building a New Life in recovery? Statement #6 is a powerful reminder that no matter why we became motivated, the question to ask ourselves in the present moment, is truly what inspires us to continue our recovery journey. She continued to say that “motivation is usually short lived yet important as it makes a person want to improve from a sense of lack into a better outcome. Inspiration is very powerful because it helps a person stay focused on their desire for what they want in life.”

One thing I’ve learned is that “greatness” is a personal definition. For some, “ordinary” is greatness with all the rewards of being sober. Getting up in the morning and remembering the night before, spending the day in clarity, saying no without guilt to a request…the list is long and wonderful. For some, greatness might mean taking a risk, big or small, feeling the pure joy of the risk, living in the moment. Facing a fear can be a risk, too. It’s not always something physical such as sky diving! Speaking my voice and being heard has been risky at times yet the end result certainly filled me with empowerment beyond the imagined risk. I was afraid to express my needs, my opinion, my soul. Once I started taking that risk, I understood how life could become filled with greatness out of an ordinary self-expression.

I would encourage you to consider the question Karen asked as well as Nancy’s. I would add to think about your definition of greatness in sobriety/recovery. What risks have you taken to live in greatness, in the moment?

Bonded in knowing that greatness is yours by a conscious effort and ordinary may just be your new greatness,

a 4C sister

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Monday Thoughts 8/6/2018

walking on the beach

Monday Thoughts

“Simply enjoy life and the great treasures that come with it.” ~~Karolina Kurkova

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast—you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ~~Eddie Cantor

“Find ecstasy in life and the great pleasures that come with it.” ~~Emily Dickinson


Statement #6:
Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.


One of the greatest fears before sobriety and New Life was not knowing how to live life without alcohol. For years, addiction directed my behaviors and influenced my decisions but learning empowering tools through the WFS New Life Program, those fears have been replaced with empowering skills making room for the enjoyment of life.

Statement #6 encourages consciousness, whether it be first thing in the morning or throughout the day, awareness is key to enjoying sobriety and recovery. Instead of wondering how to make it through an event without alcohol, I am free to enjoy what is. Even if the moment is less than desirable, I am able to understand value contained within.

Enjoying days whether they are ordinary or great, some days can still be very difficult, but when placed next to some of the devastating moments before this New Life, the differences are quite striking. By using the Statements on a daily basis, awareness is increased and greatness is unleashed.

How do you make life great?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I love how Karen pointed out the major difference between how we view similar circumstances in our New Life to when we were drinking/using. This is crucial because life is full of bumps, sometimes huge boulders in our way. There is no clear path because we are sober. What we have are positive guides through the WFS program to choose how we respond, how we cope with adversity and ways to create awareness of the beauty and joy before us. Perhaps we didn’t care in the past as we had shut down our feelings out of fear, disbelief that we even wanted a great life or deserved one!

There is a lot of material available on mindfulness and I must say that in this world of technology, with our heads down, glued to our cell phones, we are probably missing out on some beautiful sights, some engaging conversations, an opportunity to change someone’s day with a smile, a compliment or a hug of compassion and understanding. The human connection we yearn for requires attention and participation.

For me, when I was drinking, my interaction mostly consisted of pretending everything was just fine. It’s difficult to build a great life when pretending. Oh, how I love the authentic expression of my feelings in sobriety. Gone is the fear of rejection, being misunderstood or judged. I have learned that in order to receive what I need, I had to learn to step out of my comfort zone, to be true to myself.

Another big lesson is knowing who to trust and share your feelings. For me, it is the women I have met in WFS. I know this because we are all eager to learn how to change from the inside. The biggest lesson is that in order to create a great life, which includes the ordinary, it is appreciating the moments when they are at our doorstep.

These are questions that have been part of my message in the past yet I do think they are powerful ones for Statement #6:

  • What am I going to do today to make the day count?
  • What can I do today to love myself?
  • Today I dare myself to …
  • Today I take full responsibility for …
  • What I most need to learn today is …

Bonded,
4C WFS Member