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Monday Thoughts 1.23.23

women for sobriety decorative image enthusiasm

“The way you tell your story to yourself matters.”
Amy Cuddy

“Learn to differentiate between the sound of your intuition guiding you and your traumas misleading you.”
Unknown

“Being optimistic is like a muscle that gets stronger with use…You have to change the way you think in order to change the way you feel.”
Robin Roberts


#5 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.


Sobriety and Statement #5 encourages identifying, adjusting and exercising thoughts. Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD realized the importance of managing thoughts as she developed the Women for Sobriety program. In an article Jean wrote about WFS she states, “The philosophy of the Women for Sobriety ‘New Life’ Program is that the image precedes our actions. Whatever we think, we eventually act out. If our thoughts are always negative, our actions will also be negative. If our thoughts are positive, so are our actions. One writer once said a garden of weeds cannot produce a beautiful flower. This is also true of our minds. If we have upsetting thoughts, we cannot have a serene life. We have the power of changing our way of thinking. We live in the atmosphere created by our mind and our thoughts.”

For me, Statement #5 is the glue that bridges all of the other Statements together. It is from this core that a sturdy foundation is cemented. Once I began to grasp my thinking, managing them became an important and healthy new habit. A helpful tool that I use daily is asking myself the question, “Will this line of thinking take me deeper into sobriety and recovery or further away?” Immediately I am able to assess thoughts and make changes as necessary. Oftentimes this one question helps identify anxiety and offers deeper insight.

This week, equip yourself with Statement #5 and challenge any long held belief system.  What limiting story are you telling yourself? When you identify one, switch your story to one of empowerment. For example, with a family member who is a professional artist, for years I felt not good enough creatively. Hiding in the shadows and trying to copy her style left me with deep feelings of inadequacy. Once able to identify this, I reframed my story from one of being less than to one of discovery. Today I have many creative outlets, from acrylics to writing and many things in-between and am happily content.
What will you uncover and discover this week?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

The 2nd quote Karen shared “Learn to differentiate between the sound of your intuition guiding you and your traumas misleading you” immediately spoke to me as I realized years ago that I didn’t trust my instincts at all. I made decisions based on my traumas as I truly believed they were my identity. I was damaged, unworthy and a product of my painful choices. I am beyond grateful for Jean creating this Statement as it became a goal for me to change my definition of me! I started learning from my past rather than beating myself up and making healthier choices based on the ever-changing way I saw myself. I started using positive affirmations and even today, I am learning new ones.

In the past few years, I started telling myself I can do this rather than I can’t when feeling slightly overwhelmed or an old untrue message tried to whisper in my ear how I wasn’t smart or creative enough. Just changing can’t to can helped me feel more confident and definitely becoming more 4C. It is absolutely incredible how powerful the impact of positive, affirming words can change the image of ourselves and fuel our empowered actions to follow. I also gave myself time out, a brief retreat when needed, without criticizing myself as lazy. I began to listen to my intuitions as to what my mind and body needed without judgment. Beautiful feelings that I mattered and it was my responsibility to make sure I took care of myself.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who do I think I am?” The authentic answer to that question is a guide to what work still needs to be done and what work has been done. We are ever evolving and must be willing to seek our truth so we can change our belief in ourselves. This transformation is a process and a rewarding one. In my lifetime, I never thought I would get to the place where I cared more about how I viewed myself than what others thought of me.
Here are 4 questions I have asked over the years around Statement 5. I have 4 response sheets to these questions and since they are dated, I am so fascinated by different answers and yet some similar answers. It is such a mix and I am so glad to look back and acknowledge where I’ve grown and what personal growth stills needs work. It is that authentic look that keeps me focused and growing in my 4Cness.

1.    Capable of:
2.    Competent in:
3.    Caring about:
4.    Compassionate about:

Bonded in creating the most positive, powerful definition of ourselves by practicing Statement 5 with the strong belief in change and personal growth, Dee


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Monday Thoughts 12.12.22

“Your crown has been bought and paid for. Put it on your head and wear it.”

Maya Angelou

“There will be haters, there will be doubters, there will be non-believers, and then there will be you proving them wrong.”

Jennifer Allen

“Know the truth. You have it in you to climb every mountain.”

Hiral Nagda 


#12 I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.

This is what I am and I shall know it always.


She told me that I couldn’t do it and that failure would follow. Did she know me better than I knew myself? There was a choice to make and I decided she didn’t know me as well as I knew myself. She hadn’t known me for that long yet here she was, making predictions about my life, all the while painting the future with a broad stroke. Staring at her, I felt this wasn’t fair and silently questioned what was happening. In that beautiful, spectacular moment, I refused to give consent to fall in line and fail. Statement #12 swirled through me, though I hadn’t even begun to practice the WFS Statements yet.

This was a new path to follow and our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. had opened the door to a community of welcoming women; capable, competent, caring, and compassionate women! Reflecting back, it was an incredible act of strength to move out of my comfort zone and into something unfamiliar. This is what WFS and Statement #12 in action do… empower women in endless ways.

Sobriety and recovery take work but practicing Statement #12 results in a healthy belief in self and contributes to our well-being as well as to life. In the past, there was nothing healthy that I recognized from within, yet because of Statement #12, I am able to embrace those parts but also encourage inner growth and development. Thanks to Women for Sobriety, and all the women who cheered me on (and still do) I have become my own cheerleader. Go ahead and shine in your 4C Crown this week!

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

When I reflect on old messages, I realize that I permitted other people’s opinions to define me. If only I had listened to those who believed in me rather than focus on the negative messages. In my youth, I never questioned people in authority for I had no life experience to counter their input. They had to be right, didn’t they? It was a difficult journey to start believing I was and am a competent woman. Thank goodness for WFS and this Statement.

I worked for the YWCA whose mission is the empowerment of women and girls. I created many programs that addressed empowerment after I was promoted to the Director of the Women’s Program Department. I was skeptical that I could provide opportunities for women to grow emotionally when I was stuck in unbelief about myself. It seemed that others believed in me long before I believed in myself. And during that time, I learned about WFS. I invited Jean Kirkpatrick to speak at the YW to educate others about addiction. I asked her if perhaps I had a problem. She looked at me and said, “If you have to ask, you probably do.” Again, a woman in authority in my eyes but this time, her response was accurate. I decided to quit drinking 34 years ago by solely utilizing the WFS Program, became a facilitator when the internet didn’t exist (grateful it does now), served on the WFS Board for 27 years, and have led groups for 33 years. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined being competent enough to take on these challenges or to share as that would have been seen as boasting. Today, I am proud to share the life changes I have made due to the WFS program.

Opening the meetings by saying I am a competent woman felt so uncomfortable at first but as time went on, I began to believe it, and live it. I am competent and empowered and that includes acknowledging when I also need input, information, and additional support and I’m not afraid to ask for it! Now that defines competence and confidence to me. We are a sisterhood that provides a safe place for bonding, to express our feelings and thoughts respectfully without judgment.  Because of the WFS empowering statements, the YW welcomed my request to have meetings there and accepted, without judgment, my problem with drinking. It took a lot of courage to share this with my supervisor. It was an amazing experience and I will always be grateful to the YW for that acceptance.

As you think about being competent, what comes to mind? Do you believe in yourself? Have you turned off the old negative messages from the past and replaced them with your true value today? If asked to describe your values, what would they be? Today, I would say I am resilient, courageous, trust my instincts, listen and continue to learn life lessons from my own experience and what others generously share with me.

Bonded in being and believing you are competent and have much to give life, Dee


WFS Online: Join (if you haven’t already) and visit often!!

The new WFS Online platform is a space to access virtual meetings, make the daily pledge, and give/receive support 24/7 this holiday season!