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Home At Last

It’s very character building. I’ve laughed through tears of frustration, screamed so loud in exasperation that my voice echoed off the walls and talked out loud to coach myself through it. I’m painting some rooms in my new home and I can’t believe how time-consuming this process has been. There was wallpaper that had to be removed which took a full day and then scrubbing the wallpaper paste which took another full day. Hunching over counters and wrangling the heaviest of appliances away from the wall ~ it’s been a workout physically and for my patience.

I FINALLY finished the first coat and, while it continues to dry,  I’m going outside to shovel for the second time today. I am a first-time homeowner and learning patience, faith, and determination every day. I LOVE MY NEW HOME. I never thought I’d want to “settle down” but one day at the end of July, I realized (actually the universe told me) it was time. The most perfect wonderful home was waiting for me and every day I marvel at how lucky I am. 


Statement 11: Enthusiasm is my daily exercise. 
I treasure the moments of my New Life.

Safe in my bedroom are the notes for the event I’m co-hosting next week on our regional PBS station. It’s my debut on the channel and hopefully funding will be in place by the spring for a 13-part series that I will be co-producing.  Isn’t that the coolest? There are so many wonderful things happening to me, yet I honestly don’t even have much time to sit and think about them. I just keep saying “yes,” going about my daily routine and focusing on the tasks in front of me. 

My next door neighbor is an answer to a prayer that I hadn’t prayed. He’s about my age and willing to help with anything. He hauled all my leaves onto his trailer to take them out to the brush site, helped me get my lawn in order and I’ve consulted him on many other things. When he asked if I was going home for Thanksgiving (I am not close with my family), I told him,  “THIS is my beautiful home!” He seemed a bit horrified that I would be spending the holiday alone. But when I went inside after the conversation I wept tears of joy at the realization – I AM HOME!

I’m trying to stay cordial but not warm – I’m not interested in a relationship with him and I can tell he would be. The truth is – I’m not really interested in having a relationship with anyone right now. I have so much else to focus on and so much more to do. 

LIFE IS GOOD, life is calling to all of us to join in on its goodness.


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

I am enjoying every moment of my goodness because I have worked HARD to create this reality. I’ve spent years rewiring my thoughts and changing my behaviors. My work isn’t done because I keep accepting bigger challenges and I have even bigger dreams yet to realize. I could never ever give up my morning routine because it is what makes my life possible. There is nothing special about me, I just realize the importance of putting in the effort to get what I want and what I am worthy of. Because of Women for Sobriety, I am doing what I dreamed of as a child and countless things I never would have dreamed of. 

My life overflows with abundance and love! Sobriety isn’t about surviving or making do. Sobriety is about dreams coming true!

~running9bear

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Trust the Universe

I often want to share about how wonderful sobriety is, but that can feel overwhelming because there are so many experiences I could discuss. I’ve decided to share about trusting the universe and what happens when you do.

I stopped drinking on July 2, 2016. My first half year of sobriety was simply focused on not drinking, studying the Women for Sobriety (WFS) Statements and beginning to feel stable without alcohol. By the following spring, I began to get antsy. I knew that my life could be so much better, but how would I even start to make changes? I pondered on that, attempting to discover my purpose. Then, early one morning during my daily routine, I wrote in my journal “I am ready for my change.”

That afternoon, I learned that my teaching contract would only be half-time for the following year due to low student enrollment. My first reaction ~ well it was some colorful language! Then I acknowledged, “This is exactly what you just asked for.”  My superintendent offered to help find me a full-time position in another school district, but I knew something else was out there for me.

By mid-summer I was offered a new job in a completely different field, one where I would be able to apply my teaching expertise. After just two short months, I felt overwhelmed and asked myself,  “What have I done? How can this be my purpose when I feel so unhappy?” Yet, I decided to stick with it for one year and give it my all. I learned as much as I could in the field and always tried to go the extra mile.  Life can be ordinary or it can be great and I was going to do a great job!

Within a year, I found myself applying for another job that someone had suggested. I had only worked in the field for a short time and had almost none of the required qualifications. But when I walked into the interview, I recognized people who had seen my efforts and knew that I had put my whole heart into my work. I felt like  crying tears of joy! I was offered the position and thought, “Yes! This is my dream job!”

Nothing is what I would have imagined ~ but my dream job is a perfect fit! I have a vision for what I am doing and I am becoming an expert. This is the coolest thing – I’m still in disbelief – but my new job is so fulfilling! I write a newspaper column related to my work and it’s published in eight papers. Why? Simply because I told them I wanted to!

Here is what I’ve discovered. I am not afraid of my passion anymore! I don’t try to dull my enthusiasm for fear of being ‘too much.’ I’m not afraid to use my voice to advocate for what I believe in my heart is right. Women for Sobriety has taught me so much about compassion and love, and that allows me to connect with people in ways that I wouldn’t have known before I stopped drinking.

I can feel my power inside. I harness that power, along with self-belief and courage, to tackle unimaginable challenges. I have confidence and I trust myself now. I am what I think, and I think positive thoughts throughout my day. I believe this is true because I have experienced it. The more amazing you believe you are, the more others will see it, too!

It’s all a work in progress. Every morning I wake up and tear off yesterday’s page on my Audubon calendar. I ponder my newest feathered friend before my journaling, meditation and setting of priorities begin. I know that the time I spend each morning is an investment in my future. There’s no question that I will do this routine each day for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine going back to my drinking days! Drinking was a closed circuit loop; sobriety is a wide open field. “The sky’s the limit!” This is what I was told when I accepted this job, and I now push myself to reach for it! For me, that’s fulfillment.   

Running9bear

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Monday Thoughts 5/6/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is a special occasion.” ~~Author Unknown

“The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary of dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there. ~~Monica Baldwin

“Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.” ~~Ruth Ann Schabacker


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


Our WFS Program booklet states, “Although we only get a one-way 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.” Yet, none of us have endless tomorrows which is why it’s important to live today and Statement #6 helps us accomplish this.

Living today means something different for everyone. For some, a career brings feelings of life, while for another, it may be grandchildren or connecting with nature. Each can fill the moments of life with ordinary greatness.

Before sobriety and New Life, it was easy to overlook living. Today, with the WFS Statements, the journey of recovery can be incredibly fulfilling. Every moment has the opportunity to be authentic and real. We can enjoy the ordinary, the great and everything in between.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Do you ever find that life gets so hectic, you forget to appreciate or even acknowledge the positive changes that are taking place in your life? Whether it’s an ordinary day or one that is absolutely fantastic, sometimes we need to stop, take a breath and take it all in. I am a list maker and every time I read Statement 6, I am reminded that life is more than a list of tasks to be accomplished. While I feel good when I complete the tasks on my list, I realize I am not living in the moment of their completion. It’s a check mark and on to the next task!

Right now I am in the midst of planning my annual northern trip and there are 2 pages of tasks to be done before I leave and then a page of what to take when I leave. It has become all consuming. Last night I started feeling nauseous and spent most of the night tossing and turning. I think it was my body’s way of saying to slow down, take that deep breath.  So here is the lesson I am trying to learn – enjoy life, slow down, be aware!

Here’s a quote from Daily Affirmations for Forgiving and Moving by Dr. Tian Dayton that I absolutely love and relate to:

“When I can simplify and regulate my life so that I can really experience it as it is happening, I will have enough. I will experience my own spontaneity and creativity in the course of living my day. I am allowing myself to bloom gently. The flowers of peace and simplicity continue to grow as I find more time to nourish what is important and in need of attention in my heart.”

Bonded in appreciating the greatness and the ordinary,
A Capable, Competent, Caring, and Compassionate Woman

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Monday Thoughts 2/11/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” ~~Harriet Tubman

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~~Jim Rohn

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~~Leo Buscaglia


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


Recently, I received my DNA history and it’s proving to be a fascinating look back in time. Contemplating the lives my grandparents lived, it is heartwarming to think of how love changed the course of their worlds and subsequently, mine. Who knew Statement #7 could fit so beautifully into a double stranded helix?

On page 22 of our Program Booklet it states, “Love and caring can be difficult for women with drug and alcohol problems. We may close ourselves off from others, physically and emotionally. We are afraid to trust, give or receive love.” With the clarity that sobriety and recovery bring, we can create a sturdy foundation for love to flourish and grow.

Past relatives could not have anticipated life as it is today, yet our keynote speaker from our annual WFS conference a couple years ago enlightened us with the knowledge that our actions today can affect the next seven generations. Incredible. This is a very powerful image which cements how vital love is in our everyday lives. It feels comforting to know the love I give and receive today has far reaching implications. Love does change the course of the world, today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Self-love certainly changed the course of my world. It is amazing to me how I survived with the self-loathing I carried inside. My greatest need was acceptance and my greatest fear was rejection. I felt unworthy, unlovable and inadequate. When I first learned about WFS, I finally understood why I drank to numb those self-inflicting negative thoughts about who I was and what I had to offer the world. I had pretended a lot and that was such a burden. I didn’t realize that until I quit drinking, started practicing the WFS Statements and became my authentic self. Redefining the definition of me, allowed love to fill the emptiness I carried in my soul. It truly was a metamorphosis – the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I was free and the many, many years of hating myself, feeling stupid and accepting whatever I felt I deserved, which was little, I finally experienced the gift of love.

Being a moderator has taught me a lot about caring for others. It has been and continues to be the most rewarding time of my life to be able to give and receive caring, encouraging support from the women I have met through WFS. It has enhanced my recovery in ways I can hardly define with its positive impact on my sobriety. When I feel myself doubting my worth, I reflect on the brave women who have walked through the doors to a meeting or registered online, knowing I have been privileged to share in their decision to change their lives and pay it forward. That is self-love, loving others and showing caring in a powerful way. It lifts my spirit each time. Self care builds self esteem. Self-forgiveness opens he door to receiving love. How do you express your caring for others and for yourself? How has love changed the course of your world? Have you accepted who you are right now, today? What words would you use to describe yourself? Who is part of your caring circle?

Bonded in accepting that love can change the course of our world and caring is all important.
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 2/4/2019

Monday Thoughts“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” ~~Wilma Rudolph

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” ~~Mary Kay Ash

“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.” ~~Dorothy Height


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


Sobriety and Statement #6 provide the force for feelings of fullness. Whether reveling in the simplicity of the ordinary, or savoring determination leading into greatness, the contentment Statement #6 assists in creating can firmly cement a beautiful New Life.

“Sobriety is a rewarding experience for those who invest in the moments of each day” our Program booklet states. Some days it can feel difficult to invest in those moments, yet each of us has what we need within us to persevere, to use conscious effort to create the life we desire. An example of this happened this past week. I was getting my computer worked on, and what I was hearing felt conflicting. I kept questioning and made decisions based on my understanding. In the past, it felt impossible to investigate something or to stand up for myself which often resulted in feeling ineffective and invisible, anything but great or ordinary. But this week, I felt the greatness that Jean wrote about. Through sobriety and the WFS New Life Program, each of us are able to stand in our own strengths.

Instead of running away or relying on someone else to rescue, the practice of Statement #6 encourages daily conscious effort which can translate to greatness, even in an ordinary moment like computer repair.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Oh, how I relate to computer problems. It took 3 weeks, many hours of frustration and a lot of support from a generous friend to get most of my email stuff worked out. There are still issues but at least I have my Bellsouth email account up and running. In this age of technology, I have to say it felt overwhelmingly wonderful to regain access to all the phenomenal 4C women who receive the Monday Thoughts. I persevered even when I didn’t understand most of what was being said and done. To me, that is the beauty of facing my fears of asking for help and doing the best I can.

As I mentioned in previous messages, I have started to organize the many years of WFS paperwork. In doing so, I have been reading messages from Nancy Cross, former moderator and board member, who inspired me and hundreds of others with her commitment to WFS. She is sorely missed but her words continue to encourage those working on their New Life in recovery. I consider Karen and Nancy powerhouses in the written word.

When I consider how I envision my life as ordinary and great, I came across an exercise presented by Nancy.

  1. What do you want to keep in your life?
  2. Let’s face it, some things are working and not everything has to be thrown out. I consider this a powerful question which requires total honesty.
  3. What do you want to change?
  4. 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.
  5. What do you want more of?

Now that you understand what you want to keep and what you want to change, answering this question could be used as a guide to creating plans to achieve what you want more of? Is it fun, more time spent with friends, adventures, alone time, building stronger relationships, volunteering at something that gives you purpose, reading a book that’s sitting on your night stand, go to more movies, learn a new skill, dancing – the list goes on. Now some of these suggestions could also be part of what you want to keep or change because you are doing them already or want to do. The important thing to remember is do you want more of them if that is the case? What can you add to this list of suggestions?

Bonded in making life ordinary or great and appreciating the ordinary moments,
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 11/12/18

 

Monday Thoughts

“You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.” ~~Mitch Albom

“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful its ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” ~~LR Knost

“Sobriety is a rewarding experience for those who invest in the moments of each day.” ~~Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.


Statement #6

  Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.


What’s in a minute? Joy? Sadness? Curiosity? Awe? Each of these listed here, plus endless other moments can be experienced in sixty seconds. In the past, before sobriety and New Life, it was easy to rush through to the next moment, ignoring everything to get to somewhere else. It was easy to miss life, which created a cycle of yearning for more and then missing the present again.

Statement #6 in action can assist in focusing on being present. From our Program booklet, “Although we only get a one-way ticket through life, we speed through our days as if planning to enjoy them at another time. We live as if there are an endless number of tomorrows.”  With this knowledge, each moment can be lived fully, increasing feelings of balance while lessening regret.

Investing in each moment can lead to feelings of contentment, peace of mind and simple joy. Do you recall the first time you became aware of being connected to the moment? It feels wondrous! The sun warmed my face, the breeze tasseled my hair and the fall colors mesmerized my eyes; I was acutely aware of how fleeting that moment was and felt grateful for being present. No matter the circumstances, one moment follows another and we have the choice to be present.

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I love the quote from LR Knost that Karen included in this message. Just as happiness is created, not waited for, I feel the same way about ordinary life, including those that become moments of greatness. Or, I would say, those moments of “awareness” of joy, surprise and wonder. I received two thank you cards last week and read them over and over because they were so loving and kind. They truly brightened an ordinary day. I felt the same joy on Halloween. The little kids are so joyful, showing off their costumes and grinning from ear to ear when I hold out the bowl of candy for them to choose from. It’s fun and brings back wonderful memories of my childhood when my mom took my sister and I out trick or treating.  For me, most of my great moments are the ordinary ones that become extraordinary because of one intense feeling – love! A beautiful sunset, leaves changing, a bonding moment with a friend or stranger who responded to my conversation, finding a cute decoration on sale, quiet reflection – all of these for me are love whether it’s nature or people. It’s the feeling that changes the ordinary into greatness and that is the conscious effort of awareness.

This week, I encourage you to practice that awareness. Make a list of the things that brought the ordinary into greatness. At the end of the week, keep the list handy to remind you of all that’s ordinarily wonderful, joyful and great in your life.

Bonded in awareness,
4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 11/5/18

Monday Thoughts

“You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.” ~~Mitch Albom

“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful its ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” ~~LR Knost
“Sobriety is a rewarding experience for those who invest in the moments of each day.” ~~Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.


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


What’s in a minute? Joy? Sadness? Curiosity? Awe? Each of these listed here, plus endless other moments can be experienced in sixty seconds. In the past, before sobriety and New Life, it was easy to rush through to the next moment, ignoring everything to get to somewhere else. It was easy to miss life, which created a cycle of yearning for more and then missing the present again.

Statement #6 in action can assist in focusing on being present. From our Program booklet, “Although we only get a one-way ticket through life, we speed through our days as if planning to enjoy them at another time. We live as if there are an endless number of tomorrows.”  With this knowledge, each moment can be lived fully, increasing feelings of balance while lessening regret.

Investing in each moment can lead to feelings of contentment, peace of mind and simple joy. Do you recall the first time you became aware of being connected to the moment? It feels wondrous! The sun warmed my face, the breeze tasseled my hair and the fall colors mesmerized my eyes; I was acutely aware of how fleeting that moment was and felt grateful for being present. No matter the circumstances, one moment follows another and we have the choice to be present.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I love the quote from LR Knost that Karen included in this message. Just as happiness is created, not waited for, I feel the same way about ordinary life, including those that become moments of greatness. Or, I would say, those moments of “awareness” of joy, surprise and wonder. I received two thank you cards last week and read them over and over because they were so loving and kind. They truly brightened an ordinary day. I felt the same joy on Halloween. The little kids are so joyful, showing off their costumes and grinning from ear to ear when I hold out the bowl of candy for them to choose from. It’s fun and brings back wonderful memories of my childhood when my mom took my sister and I out trick or treating.  For me, most of my great moments are the ordinary ones that become extraordinary because of one intense feeling – love! A beautiful sunset, leaves changing, a bonding moment with a friend or stranger who responded to my conversation, finding a cute decoration on sale, quiet reflection – all of these for me are love whether it’s nature or people. It’s the feeling that changes the ordinary into greatness and that is the conscious effort of awareness.

This week, I encourage you to practice that awareness. Make a list of the things that brought the ordinary into greatness. At the end of the week, keep the list handy to remind you of all that’s ordinarily wonderful, joyful and great in your life.

Bonded in awareness,
4C WFS Member