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Monday Thoughts 4/01/2019

Monday Thoughts

“For many years before leaving on Safari, I carried the same old map around in my pocket. The map was torn and faded from so much use, but it was always there like a comfort to me when I needed to know where to go. The map had lands on it that might appear strange to some, but to others on our Safari, they are familiar places: The Republic of Resentment, the Nation of Negativity, the Icy Fjords of Fear, the Dark Seas of Self-Doubt, the atolls of Apathy. Numerous times I would tell myself that I wanted to journey to a different destination, but each time I pulled out that map, I wound up in the old familiar places.

“In a supreme act of faith, I began looking for a new map. One day, when I feared there were no more places to look, I saw a light on in a quiet little place and small sign said simply, WFS. The women were leaving on safari and said I was welcome to travel with them. But, in order to go, I had to surrender any maps I already had, as they would not serve me in the place I was going. I solemnly placed my map onto the warm fire and could see the ashes of the other maps that had been placed there…..it gave me courage. No one person had all of the pages, but together they were complete. I gathered together all that they have given me and, as if by magic, the separate pieces came together to form a single map. There were many choices of ways to go, but no matter which path I chose, they would all lead to the destinations I had been seeking: The Hallowed Hills of Happiness, the Estuaries of Enthusiasm, the Glaciers of Growth and Greatness and the Lands of Love.”

~~LC, An empowered 4C Woman


Statement #1
I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my well-being.
I accept the responsibility.


The quote this week came from a retired WFS pamphlet, the WFS Sobriety Safari Series which was submitted by Nancy Cross and compiled by many, many, incredible 4C women. Below, you will find each section that was used in the series. Feel free to discuss and answer the questions in each section. (slightly edited for space)

  1. Preparing for Departure:  We all came to a point where our addictions became an issue. What was it like for you? What prepared you to want to change your life? What will you take with you and what will you leave behind?
  2. Arriving in New Territory: What is it like as you touch down and land in this new place called Recovery? Why do we sometimes feel like we don’t fit and can’t understand the foreign language of love? What was the excitement/fear like for you?
  3. Exploration: Mapping Your Journey: How did you find you way around? What did you use to get and keep your bearings? Do you dare go out among the lions, tigers and unfamiliar territory without some advice or map?
  4. Obstacles & Unknown Dangers on the Recovery Trail: How will you respond to different obstacles in this new land? How will you respond to feelings of fear?
  5. Survival in the Wild: What tools do we need? How can we keep from being eaten or getting lost?
  6. From Darkness to Light: Sometimes the jungle is dark, or lands go on forever and we become tired. What keeps the sun at your back and hope in your heart on your sobriety safari?
  7. Treasures Discovered: What have you found? What will you carry forever? How will you decide what to keep and what to leave for others to discover and see?
  8. Understanding Our Discoveries:  What does this trip mean to you? How will your legacy be changed by your adventure here? What are you learning about yourself and the world you live in?
  9. Leaving a Trail for Future Travelers: How will people know where you have been? What legacy are you going to leave behind?
  10. Returning to Civilization: What can we do to fit ourselves back into the world from which we always tried to escape? How will our families, friends, and co-workers benefit from what we have learned on this sobriety journey?

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I have the pamphlet of the “Safari” series and used it at the WFS meeting a few years ago. The questions provided a great deal of discussion and a lot of personal insight was gained from sharing and uncovering our journeys in sobriety/recovery. My favorite question was from Chapter 9 regarding the legacy I am leaving behind.

It brought back the memory of a member in the group from several years ago who had one year’s sobriety when she sadly passed away from an undiagnosed heart problem. However, what she did in that one year was phenomenal. The legacy she left behind was one of resilience, courage, commitment, fearlessness, loyalty and a trusted wife, mother and friend.

That has stayed with me all these years and it has kept me grounded when the tough times have confronted me, as it does each of us. Amid the struggles, I keep that question in my mind – how will I be remembered? Even with the mistakes I’ve made, I hope I can show that I am learning from them, that I didn’t collapse completely and am still willing to learn more about my reasons for my current choices.

While I have remained sober, I know there is still emotional and spiritual growth that needs to take place. That’s okay with me because in my heart, that is the legacy I want to leave behind – that no matter what, I am willing to continue on this learning and healing journey.

I am feeling very melancholy today as I have been packing my daughter’s house and coming across so much wonderful history and realizing how much has changed. I yearn for those fun times yet that is not what today, this time, is bringing. While the tears flow, I am grateful for having those fond memories and always hopeful for better times ahead. This is what WFS has taught me and mostly that I am not alone and will make it through with the support, encouragement and love of my WFS sisters.

We are bonded together in taking responsibility for our lives and our well-being on this journey.

– A beautiful 4C Woman

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 12/31/2018

Monday Thoughts

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward.” ~~Amelia Earhart

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“My life used to be like that game of freeze tag we played as kids. Once tagged, you had to freeze in the position you were in. Whenever something happened, I’d freeze like a statue, too afraid of moving the wrong way, of making the wrong decision. The problem is, if you stand still too long, that’s your decision.” ~~Regina Brett


Statement #1
 I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my well-being. I accept the responsibility.


With the New Year, comes new decisions. The decision to live life without alcohol or drugs is a decision that is made every day by 4C women all over the world. Waking up sober, feeling content in not only remembering activities and conversations from the night before but enjoying the moments comes from multiple decisions from the preceding 24 hours.

The very first time the decision to embrace sobriety is made, it feels incredibly difficult if not impossible. Racing thoughts and muscle memory for substances can be strong, but with the Women for Sobriety Program in action each and every day, sobriety and recovery become cemented. You are never alone; the WFS Online Forum offers a wealth of information, plus connection to understanding women. You are never alone, for we are bonded together in our decision.

New to sobriety and recovery? You are invited and welcomed with open arms to attend a face to face WFS meeting, use the WFS meeting locator here.  Or, if there is not a meeting near you, please take the time to explore our WFS Online Forum here. The WFS Program and Statement #1 in action propels every woman into experiencing a 4C New Life!

Happy New Year!

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Can you believe that tomorrow will be 2019! I find myself reflecting on the choices and decisions I made in 2018, over 30 years since I made the decision to quit drinking. Each year has challenged me to make both major and minor decisions and while I have struggled along the way, the decision to quit drinking has remained the most important one of my life. Even though I thought life would be a breeze once I stopped drinking, I soon learned that it was definitely not stopping drinking that was life-changing, it was changing my thoughts, responses and so much more. Yet, if it wasn’t for the WFS program, I doubt that I would have made this absolutely necessary transition to being in charge of my life and well-being. I learned how to cope, to feel safe in sharing my feelings and concerns without judgment and to especially embrace the happy moments. In the past, I either kept looking for the other shoe to drop so to speak or completely missed the joy right in front of me. Being in charge of my well-being seemed an unrealistic concept to me. Yet, this is the process that takes place when practicing the WFS Statements.

For me, it’s all about choice. Each day we get the opportunity to react, respond and choose how we will be in charge of our well-being, sobriety/recovery and to learn from both our mistakes and successes. I love how Karen expressed the feelings of tackling racing thoughts and muscle memory as we make the decision to become sober. While definitely difficult, it is true that we are not alone. I am most grateful for that.

As you read this message and are not sure how to start or continue on this sobriety journey, consider the rewards of sobriety and how that impacts your life and your relationships. Although it may be obvious to you, putting it in writing may be just what you need to uncover, discover and recognize what matters to you and what you are willing to do to get it.

Bonded in empowering our lives by being in charge of our well-being,
4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 10-1-18

Monday Thoughts

“Behind every successful woman there is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.” ~~unknown

“Tell your story. Shout it. Write it. Whisper it if you have to. But tell it. Some won’t understand it. Some will outright reject it. But many will thank you for it. And then the most magical thing will happen. One by one, voices will start whispering, ‘Me too.’ And your tribe will gather. And you will never be alone again.” ~~L.R. Knost

“We spend so much energy and breath trying to be accepted in tribes that are not in our ‘soul DNA’. Learn to walk away from a table that has no seat reserved for you. Align, go with your flow and the rhythm of synchronicity will lead you to your tribe.” ~~Malebo Sephodi


 Statement #1
  I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my well-being I accept the responsibility.


Sometimes it comes in whispers, and sometimes it comes through a megaphone, but it comes. It comes when it no longer works, it comes when it makes absolutely no sense, but it comes. Yet the tribe, the tribe awaits. Women are welcome, anytime, from anywhere. A beautiful tribe of 4C women has open hands, minds and hearts.

Taking hold of any number of strong hands from the tribe, Statement #1 begins the WFS New Life Program. We are women reaching out to one another, bonded together in overcoming. From the first month of sobriety to the toughest day spent in recovery and beyond, we support each other. We listen, we laugh, we cry, we encourage. We are one in the same, we are capable, competent, caring and compassionate. We are the tribe of 4C women.

Even before knowing the need, before the whispers or megaphones, this tribe of strong and mindful women, live life. Real life, with all the joys, the sorrows, the ups the downs and everything in between, but always ready to welcome and extend a hand and heart. Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD, created and rooted this ever-growing tribe, inviting any woman desiring a new way of life to embrace Statement #1 and live, fully. Every day, through the WFS Online Forum, Face to Face meetings, on the phone or in person, this tribe forever strengthens and connects.

“We are capable and competent, caring and compassionate, always willing to help another, bonded together in overcoming our addictions.” WFS Motto

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I love belonging to this tribe of 4C women. After 30 years, I remain enthused and grateful for the women I have met and watched grow emotionally and spiritually through the WFS program.

Statement #1 gave me hope. It was life changing to realize that I was able to take charge of my life and actually accept the responsibility! It was freeing as it changed my negative thinking from believing I was stuck without a way out to learning new coping tools for what life handed me, all the ups and downs. It was tricky at first because those up times could be triggers that I had everything under control forever. Bring on the challenges – I was ready! Well, life experience has shown me that there is always room for learning new ways of coping and to be aware of diverse triggers. I’ve learned what many of my triggers were, some new ones along the way, and created plans to handle them as best I could.

This may also be a time when you are struggling with staying sober/not using. WFS is an abstinence program yet it is also a safe place to seek input, learn more about yourself, new ways of coping with life situations/people and to make plans for whenever such a situation arises again. Trust me, there will be more situations/challenges to face yet as we continue to learn, we build up the confidence to handle them differently. The goal is for a New Life and each of us is in charge of making that happen but remember we are never alone. Take the time t o reflect on the who, what, why and where of your urges and make those plans. This is the time to uncover our wounds, begin our healing and discover all the possibilities that lay before us.

It is also important to have a strong support system where you feel safe in sharing. This is what I love about WFS. We do the best we can, no judgments, no blaming ourselves if we make a mistake. WFS encourages learning from our mistakes, no beating ourselves up as this can be a trigger for “what’s the use?” Freedom, availability, self-respect, self-love, self-worth and all those other positive self’s – that is the purpose of practicing Statement #1. We are gaining a whole New Life and that is worth it all.

Do you know what your triggers are?
What coping skills/plans have you developed?
What are the benefits of recovery? (i.e., defining boundaries, healthy relationships)
What is the most challenging part of recovery at this point in your life?
Who makes up your support system?
How has Statement #1 changed your approach to recovery?

Bonded in accepting responsibility,
4C WFS Member