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Monday Thoughts 8/16/2021

“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.”  ~~Unknown

“You have done all you can on a physical level, and now must enter sacred waiting.  The hardest most integral step is turning all over to the grace of life and the coming transformative powers born from the steps you have already taken.”  ~~Sarah Blondin

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.”  ~~Gail Sheehy


#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.


Learning that sobriety is the beginning of New Life, and recovery is the discovery of New Life, keeps me focused on moving forward.  In the beginning, it took all of my energy to just stay sober and during this time I felt like a sponge; absorbing information from all around me.  As I began to feel more comfortable, growth became more focused and directed inwards. This is where Statement #8 in action opens a portal for exploration.

Beginning to practice this Statement, I felt like an adult and thought why do I need to grow?  Yet as I traveled down the road of recovery, I soon realized that even though I was physically mature, my thoughts and mind tilted towards immaturity.  Yet, there was something quite positive in that knowledge: I was starting with a clean slate and was in charge of the chalk.  A masterpiece was ready to be expressed and created.

For me, Statement #8 will always be in motion and it is not a destination.  It is a road to define, explore and discover.  The WFS Program offers the starting direction and it is up to each 4C woman to set out and chart her own path.  I absolutely love that Statement #8 simply opens the door, yet we get to build and design our New Life.  This week, reflect on where you started and note where you are right now. How does it feel?  Do you feel content or satisfied?  What do you need right now? Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 or 15 years?

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Karen has presented some thought-provoking questions.  Thinking about what I feel right now, I find myself fluctuating between contentment and uncertainty.  And these fluctuating feelings are why I am so grateful to know that Statement #8 is all about accepting where we are at the moment, being able to grow emotionally and spiritually as we discover and uncover our needs, creating our own individual path.  Most important to me has been my willingness to change, to step out of my comfort zone at my own pace.  In the past, change was a scary place for me to even consider.  Usually, my fear of change was like most, the unknown, not being able to control an outcome, unrealistic expectations and wondering if I was making choices that would actually support my personal growth.

In our meeting, we talk about our authentic feelings of that day, and it has been a great source of understanding and comfort. The comfort is accepting and acknowledging all of our feelings.  It is teaching me that, with Statement #8 guiding us, there is so much insight to gain.  We not only acknowledge what we’re feeling but also why.  What happened that we are feeling sad, angry, joyful, content?  If our goal is to gain emotional and spiritual growth, understanding the reason for those feelings is key to learning the direction we want to go and to fill our tool box with impactful resources and knowledge of our inner needs to do so.  It helps us to consider whether we need to dig deeper into our needs and find a way to move forward or celebrate and even repeat the action of that joyful and contented feeling.  It’s like a puzzle that needs to be solved putting the pieces together, creating the big picture.

The action part of Statement #8 can be daunting – daily putting your life into a proper order and knowing what those priorities are. For me, it depends on what is happening in my life on any given day.  Sometimes it’s survival and other days, it’s exploring new directions.  I used to think priorities were the tasks that needed to be accomplished.  While I am a list maker and love to just check off those tasks, I do understand that a priority needs to match the genuine purpose of my emotional and spiritual growth.  This is how it was explained at a workshop I attended: A priority is whatever has first claim on your time, energy, and resources.  That one sentence stopped me in my tracks.  How do I spend my time and energy and resources?  Does it truly match my core values, what I consider the essence of who I am and want to be?  If my answer was giving back for what I have received in this New Life, does my priority reflect that?  One way to know your core values is to think about what feeds your spirit, what emotional needs are left unattended to begin the practice of self-care so that your core values become clearer.

Bonded in creating a huge tool box of understanding our emotional and spiritual needs and ways to support them, Dee


Hear more about Statement #8 in this video!


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Monday Thoughts 5/17/2021

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint—and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”  ~~Oprah Winfrey

“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock.  The most successful people in life recognize that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.  For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday.  And, lessen the suffering of others.  You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”  ~~Neil de Grasse Tyson

“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.”  ~~Caroline Myss


#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.


Before New Life, there was a feeling of lack, fear and immobility that overwhelmed many aspects of my life. Yet who I am today is a direct result of choice, meaning and growth. Thanks to WFS and the 13 Acceptance Statements, I am able to enjoy a life of sobriety and recovery filled with dimension, opportunity and fulfillment.  Sobriety paired with Statement #8 in action is the core of inner growth.

Starting with the WFS Online Forum, I found my tribe.  For so long, feelings of being alone pervaded life but 4C women welcomed me with open arms and hearts.  It was so refreshing and I immediately felt connected.  Beginning to practice Statement #8 I felt unsure but decided to do the opposite of what my brain said and proceeded to walk into my fears and become unstuck.

After growing into Women for Sobriety and wanting to share the WFS Program, I thought about starting a chat meeting since I felt comfortable being online.  Yet starting a face-to-face group felt uncomfortable.  So, naturally I applied to become a F2F facilitator. Over 10 years later that decision, to look fear in the face and start a group, has been one of the most rewarding decisions.    What I absolutely love about this Statement is that it does not tell us how, where, why or when to grow, it simply encourages growth.  Forward progress, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant is still progress.  It moves us from one point to another and in the space in-between is where growth takes shape.  Oftentimes I am not even aware that growth has taken place, it simply appears as motivation, accomplishment or deeper connections.  It feels fulfilling and helps prevent relapse.  Growth is always evolving, shifting and changing and here are 4 helpful ways to engage with Statement #8:

  1. Define your own meaning:   You get to decide what meaning to give something or anything. Families, institutions, or social constructs can influence what something means to you, but you get to live with the meaning you assign something.  If it does not fit your heart and bring you balance, redefine it.
  2. Use trauma to grow:  When a dear friend of mine lost her life due to domestic violence, her brother, a policeman, began speaking in front of groups to educate about safety, options and agencies.  This helped him move through his grief, allowed him to give the trauma new meaning and he continues to help others 20 years later.  The lives this has saved is impossible to comprehend.
  3. Challenge fear:  Sometimes our fears prevent us from moving forward and growing.  Is there something that you can do this week that challenges a fear you have?  Move towards it.  (Unless it’s a grizzly bear in front of you, then of course run the opposite way!)
  4. There is no destination:  There is no end to growth, and it is different for everyone.  There is no finish line, to rush to win a race, it is a process that ebbs and flows.  Some years are filled with growth (2020 comes to mind with all the changes) while other times in life, growth is something that is felt long after it actually happens.  Enjoy the journey.

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Such great suggestions on how to develop emotional and spiritual growth.  I honestly thought my emotional growth would be completed by the time I turned 40!  Through WFS, I learned It was just the beginning and continues to this day as I get close to turning 76 in a couple of weeks.  I remain amazed and grateful that I have been open to change.  There was a time that I tightly closed the door, sealing it shut on change due to my fear of making unforgivable mistakes, having to live in continual regret or accepting responsibility for my choices.  That was a huge obstacle for me.  I have shared this often about being the queen of the blame game.  So, if I chose to practice Statement 8, I would have to be responsible for my emotional and spiritual growth.  Thank goodness, I unlocked the sealed door and walked through it with enthusiasm that I never dreamed possible.  I found spiritual growth a bit easier for me as I chose the path of faith to support me.  The emotional growth was quite a bit more difficult, yet my perseverance kept pushing me forward.

I found a message written by Nancy Cross in February 2013 in which she wrote about why we need emotional sobriety.  Among the reasons she listed, this one hit home:  To develop the confidence, satisfaction and resilience that comes from dealing with your emotions directly and effectively, rather than self-medicating to avoid pain.

Those words helped me realize that I did learn to challenge fear, heal and grow from some traumatic events, chose my path from all those who influenced me both positive and negative and learned that emotional and spiritual growth is full of timeless, powerful self-discovery.

Are you making time to reflect and discover what you need for emotional and spiritual growth?

Bonded in uncovering, discovering and setting priorities based on your personal emotional and spiritual journey, Dee


2021 WFS Virtual Conference “I’m Possible” Toolkits are shipping TODAY!

There are only 100 of these left so be sure to register by clicking here!

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Monday Thoughts 2/15/2021

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”  ~~Zig Ziglar

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”  ~~Harriet Beecher Stowe

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.  That’s what this storm’s all about.”  ~~Haruki Murakami


#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.


Sobriety and the embracing of Statement #8 have been life-changing, and it drastically simplified what my view of life was all about.  This allowed a feeling of self-worth to increase and a continuing pattern of growth to take place.  The end result feels incredibly freeing, while moving through can feel incredibly difficult.

The difficulties faced in life can be our greatest teacher.  Like the old Rolling Stones song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you find you get what you need” feels on point; in the past I ran away from life with alcohol, yet sobriety and recovery bring fullness and growth to life.

In our WFS Program booklet It states, “Growth is an essential aspect of our recovery.  It is the process of learning who we are and where to focus our efforts for personal change.  Our morning meditation time, during which we read the Statements, gives us the opportunity to center ourselves and set priorities for the day.”  In the past, alcohol directed the days but today, 4C women everywhere get to set priorities and live for today while growing into tomorrow.

Here are 4 tips to embrace growth:

  1. Own your own power: Release the blame.  It is easy to blame others yet when we let go of that blame, we can create our own circumstance which empowers ourselves.  Reframing is a great tool to practice this.
  2. Embrace/look for change:  The old adage of “nothing stays the same” is true.  Look for even the smallest of ways to embrace change.  Early in sobriety, I challenged myself by going to unfamiliar grocery stores, switching routines, moving furniture in rooms etc.  It does not have to be monumental change.  Start small and work into bigger changes or challenges.
  3. Acknowledge your fears: What are you afraid of?  Dig deep and get to the core of a fear.  Maybe you do not like or are afraid of being alone.  Where did that originate?  What can you do today to overcome that fear?  Act, even the smallest of movements forward edge us into development and growth.
  4. Change YOU, not the world:  It can feel overwhelming/impossible to change events out of our control.  The day may be filled with rain or snow, which none of us have control over but you can use an umbrella and enjoy the patter of the raindrops or dress warmly and walk outside taking in the silence of newly fallen snow.  You can change your response to create a positive or rewarding experience.

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I wasn’t sure where to start with my comments.  As I read each of Karen’s 4 points, I thought oh, wow, that’s fabulous and I relate to that and oh, yes, I relate to that as well.  So, after I calmed my thoughts, I decided to share how I learned to work on each point.

#1 – Power/Release Blame.  Many of you have heard me over the years share how I was the “Queen of Blame” and I wore that crown each and every day.  It took away all responsibility for my choices, my responses, my willingness to change.  I was fearful of change because that meant I had to actually “change!”  While in therapy and finding WFS, I realized that if I took responsibility for my role in choices I made, I was actually becoming empowered and confident, releasing the fear of what might happen if I retired my crown.  Retiring that crown brought about such positive changes that I began wearing a 4C crown more befitting of the woman that was always there but living in fear.  What I also realized is that there were people in my life that hurt me, harmed me and played into my insecurities.  What I also learned is that as long as I allowed that to continue, there was no room for emotional or spiritual growth and I was giving away my power to them.  No more!

#2 – Embrace Change.  At one time, I hated change.  I resisted it as though it would be the end of the world once I accepted it.  As one of the members of my WFS group says, it’s not the end of the world until it’s the end of the world.  So, when I start thinking in those terms, I quietly realize that, again, I have choices.  I can choose to live in the fear of change or embrace it as Karen says, no matter how small.  I have actually learned to like change as I see it as a challenge to uncovering the fear.  A quote from Janet Jacobsen defines it so well for me. – “Fear is a great motivator.  It is designed to be compelling so that we take survival action in the form of flight, fight or freeze…OR, take THRIVAL action by facing the fear, feeling it fully, learning from it, and, therefore, freeing up all that energy for creativity and fun!”

#3 – Fear. My greatest fear was rejection which kept me from accepting responsibility and letting people hurt me because if I became assertive, they might walk away.  It was easier to silently blame others for where I was and cope by drinking.  And in some ways, it was easier.  I had to acknowledge that because taking responsibility meant I had to learn to handle rejection, even perceived rejection, to make healthier choices.  How in the world would I even live a life of emotional and spiritual growth if alcohol was making the choices?  Yes, easier to run and hide but oh my goodness, the rewards from being sober, being in charge of my life, putting my priorities in order, was incredible.  It was worth the hard work and I finally learned to love myself enough that rejection was no longer my greatest fear.

#4 – Personal Change. This is the crux of the whole Statement, the WFS program.  Change, scary and exciting all at the same time.  I sometimes reflect on the sad, fearful woman I was when drinking and I put my arms around her and tell her she is loved, lovable and worth every ounce of work she put into becoming the 4C woman she is today.  I hope you are able to do the same.  Statement #8 provides a path to healing, growing and empowering change.

What is or was your greatest fear in changing?

What lessons have you learned or are learning in facing your fears?

What are your priorities that support your well-being, your emotional and spiritual growth?

Have you learned to trust yourself in knowing that your priorities are what you need them to be right now and not what others may be telling you?

Bonded in daily creating our priorities to live a life of emotional and spiritual growth, Dee


Click here to read Promising Young Woman

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Monday Thoughts 11/16/2020

“There is comfort in acceptance.  There is unexpected growth of seedlings of life if we take the risk of opening ourselves up.”  ~~Jan Warner

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers simple.’~~ Dr. Seuss

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.  It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.  If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”  ~~Brene Brown
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#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
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Recently, winds of change blew through my New Life like never before. I have experienced a multitude of emotions and experiences over the last decade plus and the tools from the WFS New Life Program continue to help move me forward. Yet this was different. This time I felt helpless, but not hopeless, thanks to practicing Statement #8.

The threat of storms is a constant in life, but today I understand so much more that what I do before those storms even appear can make all the difference. In addition to the recent hurricane, I was hospitalized for COVID. While physically alone, I was connected emotionally which enabled me to focus my thoughts and priorities. Self-imaging became my go to tool as I envisioned my body fighting back and getting stronger. I pushed myself to make even the smallest of milestones and set goals for each day. Being connected to family and friends helped me cement attitudes and acts of healing. The years of growth from living the WFS New Life Program are a critical aspect of sobriety and recovery and helped my forward progress.

Gratefully, power is restored and a sense of healthy balance is settling in after this past uncertainty. Allow me to offer a huge thank you to Dee and the WFS office for the continuation of our Monday Thoughts. We are a great team of 4C women! Also, I wish to thank all health care workers for your care, dedication and commitment. You are our heroes as our world moves through this pandemic!

This week can be an excellent time to examine growth in your life. Where have you excelled? Where do you need more attention? Does your recovery need an update? Where do you see yourself next year? 5 years? 10 years?

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,
First, I would like to say that it was a privilege to write the Monday Thoughts while Karen was recovering from COVID. I am both thankful she is back home and that she was able to create the first part of this week’s Monday message. I really missed her inspiring, uplifting words.
I am repeating a message on Statement #8 from last year. I am doing so because it’s been an emotionally draining week and I realized my priorities needed a check-up! In addition to a family matter, my dear friend’s husband of over 54 years passed away on Saturday. She lost her son to cancer 6 years ago and her 17 year-old granddaughter 4 years ago in an accident. In addition, she has been in severe chronic pain for the last 25 years. My heart is breaking for her. We’ve been friends for 54 years, working together at the Redstone Arsenal in AL. She had a surprise baby shower for me and I for her. When her son was ill, one of my priorities was to visit her family every Wednesday and continued to do so after he passed away. With COVID I have not been able to visit and I think this is why this message has struck me so deeply.

As I read over the message, I began to realize what was missing for me this past week was my “authentic” priority. As I am expecting a similar situation this week, I really need to dig deep in determining how I will handle my feelings and my priorities. If we are to practice Statement #8 to its fullest, putting our priorities in a proper order requires serious reflection and understanding of our chosen authentic priorities, not what might have been chosen for us by the expectation of others, circumstances, convenience or culture. An authentic priority gives our life purpose, direction and meaning. It allows us to grow, to move toward wholeness and fulfillment. For me, sobriety was the first choice in setting priorities which led to clarity in my thinking. Over the years, my priorities have changed as I have changed. This is why emotional and spiritual growth needs to have direction and flexibility.

We have the freedom and ability to make decisions about our lives and the direction in which we wish them to go. In other words, we can establish our own priorities. We are not limited to reacting instinctively to our surroundings; we have the power to exercise control over our lives. This is an incredible power and if we want to make the most of our lives, to realize our potential, we need to use it consciously and wisely.

What is a priority?

Simply put, a priority is something of leading importance in your life.

A priority is what you live for, what gives focus to your life.

A priority is the shaping value around which the rest of your life tends to be ordered, for better or worse.

A priority is whatever has first claim on your time, energy and resources.

A priority is something you consistently prefer to (or feel you must) do, have, worked toward, think about or spend money on.

A priority can be consciously chosen or it can be set for us by outside circumstances.

Now think about your priorities in general. Which is your number one priority? After you answer that, determine if it is an authentic priority.

Authentic priority is:

Consciously chosen

Gives your life purpose, direction and meaning

Gives you enthusiasm, energy and motivation

Frees you from the forces of circumstance, expectation and habit, giving you a way to stay on the course you’ve chosen

Is realistic and attainable as an unrealistic priority will lead to frustration and disappointment

To determine if your priority is authentic but not quite sure, answer these last 3 questions:

Time: What do I spend my time thinking about?

Money: How do I spend my money?

Energy: How do I spend my energy?

I thought about my priorities and these questions helped me so much in thinking about how I spend my time, what causes or people I support financially and where I spend most of my energy. It all goes back, for me, to what an authentic priority is and answering those questions, was a real eye opener. I hope you are able to give serious consideration to the questions and most importantly, to your answers.

What I learned this week is that sometimes a priority is set by outside circumstances. The key for me is to accept it temporarily (that’s where flexibility comes in), reset my boundaries when the timing is right, take a deep breath and remind myself that this is a process, that I have made tremendous progress over the years and acknowledge the emotional and spiritual growth I have accomplished.

Bonded is setting priorities that support your life’s purpose and meaning, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 8/17/2020

“Don’t go through life, grow through life.”  ~~Eric Butterworth

“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”  ~~Oprah Winfrey

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”  ~~Chinese Proverb
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#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
_______________________________________________________________

 Before my New Life, any growth was measured in height, weight, years and always against others. Today, with the WFS New Life Program and Statement #8, growth is an investment.  It is measuring myself against my own yardstick instead of comparing myself to the world.  It is a reflection of who I was yesterday, who I am currently and who I wish to be in the future.

Growth is as fluid as a river; winding, ebbing and flowing.  In sobriety and recovery, growth is critical to development and prevents relapse.  In our Beginner Collection booklet on page 79 it states, “The word ‘growth’ appears in the explication of almost every Statement.  ‘Growth’, or change, is the key to recovery.  It really means an exploration of ourselves.  It is a learning process of who we are and what we need to change.  The object of living is to find the best of ourselves and, when we do that, we experience emotional growth.  Spiritual growth is possibly the most important aspect of our recovery.  It means our acknowledgment that we are part of a larger whole.”

The WFS Statements encourage growth.  Each year, I reflect and take note of just how far I have come and focus on what’s next.  My first year sober was like a newborn, everything was brand new, fresh, and filled with learning.  I immersed myself on the WFS Forum and attended as many chats as I could.  I read the Statements forwards and backwards.  Today, I can either read or recite them silently, treasure time with other 4C women and connect spiritually.  Adapting to the ever-changing pace of life, growth is expected, contains wisdom and is the fundamental object of life.

Hugzzz

Karen

“““““““

Hi 4C Women,

Emotional and spiritual growth is a life-long process and I am so grateful for that.  It leaves me open minded to continue learning, understanding the need for positive change and discovering what my priorities are as my life is definitely not stagnant.  These past few months have made that evidently clear.  I have learned a lot about myself during this pandemic, what my current needs are and how to hopefully meet them as I now have different priorities.  Here is my WFS life-lesson – the 13 Statements of Acceptance for a New Life has already given me the coping tools as my foundation for recovery.  It has taught me to be resilient when I might have wanted to run in the past.   Not saying those thoughts don’t pop into my mind every now and then but I have also learned that those are brief moments and they do not scare me as they did in the past.  I know it is the action that follows the thought that sustains my recovery.   The action of letting go of the fear that these negative thoughts will sabotage my sobriety is why it is remains at the top of my priority list no matter how much time has passed and what the circumstances are.

As we work through the process of emotional and spiritual growth, I’d like to share a message from Nancy Cross, a beloved WFS member who gave so much while she was still with us.  “Recovery demands not that we heal every wound immediately, not that we battle a dozen fronts at once, but that patiently, we pick one area, start someplace.”  This is what I encourage you to do.  If you are struggling with where to start, focus on one thing that speaks to you now and identify the feeling that might be the key to uncovering your path to emotional and spiritual growth.  Is it fear, uncertainty, anger, resentment, disappointment, betrayal? These are just some feelings, however, there are many more.   Where is this feeling coming from – a person, a situation?   How can you face it and challenge its hold on your emotional and spiritual growth?  Our healing depends greatly on identifying the feeling, meeting our needs and in the process, understanding our emotional and spiritual priorities.  Can you list 2 or 3?  Do you have an action plan to tackle them in a manner that promotes and heals your fears, your wounds to experience emotional and spiritual growth? Consider sharing these with someone you trust to get feedback from their experiences.  I always appreciate the life experiences of others yet knowing we decide where we need to start or to continue moving forward.  Bonded in understanding and setting our priorities to attain emotional and spiritual growth, Dee


New Offering on WFS Online!

We are rolling out our recorded sessions from the 2020 Virtual Weekend Conference (as permitted by presenters) through a series of Watch Parties! Grab the popcorn and hop into the WFS Online Zoom Room to watch the recording. Discuss the session in the chat box in real time and stay after to chat as a group.

Access the event through WFS Online (wfsonline.org/events)

Registration is always free and easy!

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Monday Thoughts 5/18/2020

“You are never alone.  You are eternally connected to everyone.”  ~~Amit Ray

“Growth is uncomfortable because you’ve never been here before.  You’ve never seen this version of you.  So give yourself a little grace and breathe through it.”  ~~Kristin Lohr

“No man was ever wise by chance.”  ~~Seneca

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#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.

_______________________________________________________________

Growth?  What growth?  Before my New Life, growth was for other people; those people who wrote self-help books and did motivational speaking. Unaware that I was living in a pattern of immobility, life was something to be reacted to.  I had little to no understanding of cause and effect and felt life was basically unfair but Statement #8 and the WFS New Life Program helped me update that thought process.

Practicing Statement #8 became incredibly freeing; soon I felt free from self-limiting beliefs and expectations.  One of the first beliefs to fall from the wayside was the belief that I was stuck where I was.  In our WFS Reflections for Growth booklet it states (on Nov 1), “From sunrise to sunset, the day experiences many changes.  In fact, the changes are constant, although most of us are not continually aware of them—only the drastic difference between dawn, midday, twilight and night.  This is the way it is with each of us.  We are in constant change but we don’t notice it until after the fact.  Today I will be aware of the changes in myself.”  This is such a beautiful example to embrace and become aware of change.

Here is a helpful tool to practice Statement #8 from Lara Fielding, author of Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-Up:

When we are distressed by a situation in our lives, we can do a quick writing exercise in which we detail:

·         What happened, what we saw, heard etc.

·         The thoughts that this provoked in us, or how we interpret the event

·         The emotions we immediately felt

·         The bodily sensations we immediately felt

·         What action we took in response

How will you practice Statement #8 this week?  How is your life different today in sobriety?

Hugzzz

Karen

“““““““““““`

Hi 4C Women,

If there ever was a time for me to consider the above questions, it would certainly be now.  I thought it was challenging to handle life’s issues before current circumstances but now I find myself with a lot of time for self-reflection and feeling like a lost child sometimes.  Perhaps even a rebellious teenager who wants everything to be corrected to my liking and immediately no less!  Thank goodness I have the WFS Statements to pull me back to emotional maturity (I’m trying) and putting my priorities in order as best I can.  This is what I’ve learned so far – I really like helping and supporting others on this journey, it is my reward and as I recently heard, my sobriety insurance.  It centers me, makes me grateful for the opportunity and to feel others value my input.  I’ve also learned that I love ice cream way too much and I am not happy with my talking scale as she is exaggerating my weight gain during this isolation period.  It seems that priorities were easier to do when I was busy outside my home, but it also helped me realize that many of those priorities were tasks and not much to do with emotional and spiritual growth.  So, the questions Karen posed are quite relevant.  How much time do I give to spiritual growth now that I have more time?  What is a true priority that promotes my emotional growth?

I have previously shared the monthly Action for Happiness calendar as it provides a positive action for each day of the month.  Last week they launched 10 Days of Happiness, a free online coaching program which guides individuals through daily actions for happier living, all based on the latest research.  I joined and am so grateful that I did.  Each day there are 3 different actions to take to promote happiness and it has made me accountable to follow through.  The one that helped most in changing my attitude was reaching out to treat people with a little extra kindness, including myself; Asking a loved one how they’re feeling and really listen to them; Offering to help someone who might be lonely or in need of support.  I reached out to my neighbor, a women from years ago who I met through WFS and their joyful response truly inspired me.  It reminded me of what I treasure and that is the relationships I have developed over the years.  A plus to all of this is that my son called me 3 times in one month!  That’s a record so maybe he is thinking about listening, really listening, to his mom!

Bonded in developing emotional and spiritual growth, Dee


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Monday Thoughts 2/17/2018

“I’m still learning.”  ~~Michelangelo

“We all have ‘issues’ because we all have a story.  And no matter how much work you have done on yourself, we all snap back sometimes.  So be easy on you.  Growth is a dance.  Not a light switch.”  ~~John Kim

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”  ~~Abigail Adams.
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#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
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Many of us recognize the inspirational works of art by Michelangelo, whether it be his smooth sculptures or magnificent ceilings.  Yet, it was the depth of his willingness to continue to grow and learn that is most often overlooked. The result of this openness to growth made him an unintended master. Being able to adapt, to change, to grow and learn is what Statement #8 is built from.

Growth can be as simple as extracting something valuable from a situation, feeling or moment. For example, my friend Jackie recently shared that she adores the rain and it has been raining quite a bit lately. Growing up, in the back yards of her neighborhood sat an old, rusty bread truck with its doors wide open, dusty windows and tattered seats with grass growing beyond the worn-out tires.  During the summer it was simply too hot to play in, but……when it rained…it was the perfect spot to stay dry, safe and cozy.  Jackie spent hours listening to the rain plop onto the withered metal as the stillness surrounded and comforted her. It filled her senses in every way. Today, rain is a gentle reminder to see and feel the value in the moment and Jackie can be transported back to that secluded place whenever the sky unleashes the next shower.

Statement #8 encourages finding value and embracing growth in your New Life.  What is your ‘bread truck’ moment that you can bring forward and use to enhance your life?  What did that moment feel like? Describe it fully. What has it taught you?  How is this different today in sobriety and recovery?  Are you open and willing to continue learning like Michelangelo? If not, what is holding you back?

Hugzzz and dancing in the rain,

Karen
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Hi 4C Women,

This reminds me of a quote by Roger Miller:
Some people walk in the rain.  Others just get wet.

To me, this symbolizes listening to our spirit, living in the moment.  Nancy Cross once shared a post that spoke so much to me about doing just that.  I’d like to share it as I am feeling a great deal of physical pain and discomfort and am struggling with pulling back.  It feels unnatural and yet reading this message, I realize I need to listen to my body and my spirit in order to heal.

Taken from: Faith in The Valley – Iyanla Vanzant
“When you get the urge to stay home, be alone, pull back, or shut down, it is probably your spirit urging you to take a rest. Do not ignore it! Honor yourself by taking some time out. Take a day away. There may be something very important going on within you that you need to know about. You must get quiet in order to hear it. The job will be there, and people will simply have to understand; what can be done today can also be done tomorrow. All duties and responsibilities can wait. Your spirit cannot!
Rest, Stillness, Solitude, Introspection, Reflection, are spiritual vibrations. They keep us from breaking down, falling apart, and being forced into a living deficiency.”

Reward yourself with a spiritual health day once in a while!  How do you envision your personal spiritual health day?
Bonded in listening to our spirit to promote spiritual growth, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 8/20/2018

flowers-in-field

Monday Thoughts

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells constellations.” ~~Anaïs Nin

“For behind all seen things lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal, or window opening on something more than itself.” ~~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~~Anaïs Nin


Statement #8:
The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.
Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.


Early sobriety can feel like a past feeling from youth of wanting to be older, wiser, more adult or grown up. Adulthood seemed so fancy, with immense schedules and deep conversations through childhood eyes; thoughts of the grass is always greener…. except it isn’t greener, it’s just different. With WFS, sobriety, and the practice of Statement #8, the grass can be greener with growth.

Unknowingly, alcohol prevented growth. Emotionally stuck, life was experienced through a filtered lens. Unable to see or feel clearly, life felt overwhelming and filled with fear and pain. Feelings of dread and of “what’s the point” were common emotions. WFS provides the tools to clear that foggy lens and bring about balance and growth. Connecting with sober women near and far, whether on the WFS Online Forum or in a face to face group, the warmth from feeling a part of a courageous community continues to inspire growth and development.

Statement #8 with its simplicity, encourages new avenues to be explored. Instead of rigid rules or paths to be taken, growth can occur by embracing priorities. The practice and understanding of this Statement can ease fears of purpose, opening a portal for mindfulness and spirituality to flourish.

How do you incorporate Statement #8 into your daily life?
Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Setting priorities has a lot to do with core values as defined by Cookie Tuminello.

“Core values are the foundation that creates more of what you do want and less of what you don’t want in your life. They must be present in your daily actions if you want to be truly at peace with yourself. Core values are who you are right now, not who you think you should be, can be or might be. They define who you are on the “inside” – your core. These values help you define what matters most to you in your life and they are the basis for making better choices for taking better care of yourself.”

I think that as we all work towards emotional and spiritual growth, start achieving it, our core values become clear to us and we can continue to make decisions that authentically reflect our core values/priorities.

I was watching an episode of Iyanla, Fix My Life on OWN (Oprah Network). It was about a mother-daughter relationship in need of major healing. When Iyanla said that unhealed people create unhealed situations, I thought of how I struggles with putting my priorities in a proper order when I so wounded. Drinking certaining didn’t help the healing process. It numbed, stopped and harmed any necessary healing I needed in order to grow my emotional and spiritual life. Her question was to figure out what you need help with, because if you don’t ask for what you need, the need gets bigger.

I realize I drank because I had unmet needs that I had no idea of how to meet or could even identify them at that time. Over the years, I have also learned that as I identify my needs and meet them, other needs start to appear. WFS has taught me that there is always room for emotional and spiritual growth to take place as life presents new challenges. Knowing that lessens my fear and cuts short the negative self-talk that I “should” be able to handle any situation after all this time.

In order to determine if you are using your valuable time and energy that includes your core values, make a list of what matters most to you. Remember, be completely honest with what you value and not what you believe you “should” value. As you reflect on this list, consider if you are prioritizing your life incorporating these values by the choices and decisions you are making. Most importantly, this list is to create awareness, not guilt. Make changes, if necessary, in how you spend your time and energy once you know what your core values are.

Bonded in discovering and living our core values,
4C WFS Member