Women for Sobriety, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women overcome alcohol and drug addictions. It is, in fact, the first national self-help recovery program for women. The WFS New Life Program helps women achieve sobriety and sustain ongoing recovery. WFS has been providing services since July 1975. This blog has been created to share news, events, and encouragement to those interested in the organization and the program.
“If you approach each new
person you meet in a spirit of adventure, you will find yourself endlessly
fascinated by the new channels of thought and experience and personality that
you encounter.”-Eleanor Roosevelt
“Live your truth.Express your love.Share your enthusiasm.Take action towards your dreams.Walk your talk.Dance and sing to your music.Embrace your blessings.Make today worth remembering.”-Steve Maraboli
“Enthusiasm is a divine
Can you feel it?The enthusiasm and joy from Conference
weekend has been spread across the country, across the world even, brought to
life from one woman’s past determination and enthusiasm for a New Life.Through her own discoveries, our founder, Jean
Kirkpatrick, PhD, opened a portal for incredible possibility.Through this portal, enthusiasm continues to
grow and evolve.
Our opening ceremony certainly
evolved, and we let go…literally!Moving
and magical, whispers of enthusiasm began to build.Saturday morning, Karlee Fain, our inviting
keynote speaker took us into thrive mode, sending us off to empowering
workshops and wonder.Auction time
filled our hearts and our totes with brightly colored quilts, masterpieces, an
absolutely stunning scrapbook and many other gems to either share or sweetly
Statement #11 was in full display
during karaoke on Saturday night and we closed our weekend securing our
connections.Feeling refreshed and
renewed, emails and phone numbers were shared, and new friendships cemented.Thank you for being a part of this treasured
weekend.Ride your wave of enthusiasm!
Hi 4C Women,
The conference was a joyful, enthusiastic,
soulful event.We bonded with
understanding and acceptance.I am at a
loss to fully express the loving support shared throughout the weekend and that
doesn’t happen often for me.
Nancy Cross once wrote that Enthusiasm is
like the jet fuel for motivation.How do
we sustain it?Are we running on empty,
so busy with everyday tasks that we lose our enthusiasm for even the smallest
moments of joy or those spontaneous moments?
proactive * Be reasonable*Be
are a few tips on being passionate in order to continue feeling enthusiasm:
What puts a smile on your face?Is there a particular event, a particular
topic that makes your whole face just lighten up?Whatever it is that makes you smile, and
makes you happy whenever you encounter it, this is a sign of something you are
passionate about.I truly believe that
happiness and passion walk hand in hand.Both require each other.So,
following what makes you truly happy is a wonderful way to figuring out what
you were put on Earth for.Think about
something that you do or that perhaps you used to do that brings total peace to
you when you do it.Peace is happiness,
and happiness is passion.
What do you find easy?Usually, what we find easy for us to do, will
be related to what we are passionate about.It’s very hard to hate something that is very easy for us! For example, let’s say you are naturally good
at playing the piano, you will find the activity easy, and this ease makes it
much more fun for you.Fun leads to
happiness and happiness is synonymous with passion.So, assess everything that you do, whatever
it is that you find really easy and fun, this may very well be your passion.And don’t think that anything is off limits
What sparks your creativity?Think about something in your life where you
seem to always expand its horizon, always coming up with new, fun, and exciting
ideas relating to that subject.Whatever
makes you creative, is probably something that you are very passionate about.
What would you do for free?In this society, we are ruled by the almighty
dollar.That’s the way the system works,
and that’s the game we have to play.The
problem is, this leads many people to seek making money first, instead of what
makes them happy.I have read countless
number of stories about stock brokers and doctors for example, leaving their
high paying positions to follow what they really love.There is a reason for that.I truly believe that if you follow what you
are passionate about without thinking about if it will make you rich or not,
you will end up being successful.Doing
what you have a passion for brings out your best, and this leads to greatness. Greatness breezes to success. Do you think that the most successful people
in the world got to where they are because they wanted to get rich? Absolutely not, they did what they were so
passionate about, and their immense success was just a byproduct of their
dedication. So, think about something
that you would just love to do, even if you were not getting paid. Think about
something that you look forward to do, something that you wish you could do all
What do you like to talk about?The topics of conversation we have can
definitely tell what we are interested in, and this is a good way to find out
what we really enjoy in life. Most of
the time, we aren’t totally aware of this. This is why, a very good way to figure this
out properly, is to ask your friends. Ask
them what they believe you like to talk about the most. Ask them what topic makes your eyes brighten
up, and changes your entire behavior. I
can guarantee you that some of their answers will be surprising to you. Some of these things weren’t that clear to you,
but your friends can see the reaction on your face that you can’t see yourself.
Try it out, it’s a very insightful
exercise, and one that can direct you closer to figuring out your passion.
What makes you unafraid of failure?When we do what we are passionate about, we
have total confidence in our abilities. This
makes us not worry about failing, because in our mind, how can we fail when we
do what we love? Doing what you love is
a success in and of itself, so failure is like an impossibility. Think of something that you just do or want to
do, no matter what. Something that you
do not have second thoughts about. Think
about something that you feel you must do and that failure is not even a
concern of yours, because the mere act of doing it is like the journey and the
destination all wrapped up in one. This
may very well be your true passion.
This last one
reminded me of the encouraging words we heard throughout the weekend.It’s all about trying, facing the fear and
letting it go in order to fill our lives with something that provides meaning,
joy and enthusiasm.What would that be for
in treasuring those moments of enthusiasm in our New Life,
“Learning to love yourself is easier when you have someone to show
you how.”-Martina Boone
“Love is multi-faceted.It
can be shared in many ways.We can
receive love from friends, family, partners, colleagues, spouses, and even
pets.We can experience it through
nature, companionship, romance, or a sense of loving connection to the world.”-WFS Program booklet
“All recovery roads lead to the ability to love and be loved.”-Nancy Cross
In a few short days, over a hundred twenty women will be
converging in a quaint little town in Pennsylvania.Suitcases and auction items are being readied
and the WFS office is in full swing.Thanks
to dedicated volunteers and our steadfast office crew, Conference 2018 will be
underway in just days!
Our founder Jean Kirkpatrick PhD, in her
own search for a New Life, has given each of us a new way to experience
sobriety; to enjoy the present, leave the past behind while planning for tomorrow.What a gift of love the WFS Program is and a
wonderful example of Statement #10 in action.It is a joy to see Jean’s legacy in the hearts of 4C women everywhere.
Love in action takes many forms.From the online community, face to face
meetings, WFS Conference or simply living a sober life, love continues to
flourish.Love is an expressway for
courage, a path for learning and an opening for connection.Soon, the sound of laughter will fill the
dorms, with late night chatter and early morning walkers or joggers.Workshops will inspire, encourage and bring
insight or comfort.Bids on the many
auction items will continue to rise, showcasing the talents of creative 4C
women.Love will be displayed with new
friendships being formed as Conference buddies get to know each other and
familiar friends catch up.Ready, set,
Hi 4C Women,
I am so excited to be attending the WFS conference.This is my 25th conference and I continue to
be inspired with all that is offered. I
am especially excited to meet new attendees and reconnect with friends I’ve
made over the years.
I love this updated Statement.Every time I read, “I am learning to know
that I am loved,” I feel as though I am being given a huge, warm hug.It took a long time to learn to love myself
and to believe that I am loved by others.If I didn’t love myself, how could I accept that others loved me.I encourage those who need to accept love
from others, to consider the following questions about loving yourself first.These were actually sent to me in 2007 by
Nancy Cross, whose quote in included at the beginning of Karen’s message.Nancy was a phenomenal woman who was very involved
in WFS for many years.
·Do you love yourself?
·Are you in harmony with you?
·Do you treat yourself with respect?
·Are you generous, kind and supportive of you?
·Do you trust yourself and treat yourself as though you can be
·Do you accept your weaknesses and celebrate your successes?
Until you love who you are...not just say
it, but do it and believe it...you will never find the love you are or the love
you believe someone else has to give you.
The most important relationship is the one
you have with yourself.Love, nurture,
practice self-care and all that love given to yourself will be returned and
experienced in various ways--from romantic relationships, friendships, family,
pets...What/whom can you add to this list?
had been so focused on what to discard, on attacking the unwanted obstacles
around me, that I had forgotten to cherish the things that I loved, the things
I wanted to keep.”-Marie Kondo
who you were.Love who you are.Look forward to who you will become.”-unknown
taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved—and
perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses—you actually can
enhance everything about you.Self-acknowledgment
and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward
toward higher goals and accomplishments.”-Jack Canfield
The bright, pink juice of the ripe
watermelon being sliced was dripping onto the counter and creating a sticky mess.As the nearby bowl filled up with the sweet
tasty pieces of fruit, my mind was flooded with emotions from the past.Feelings of satisfaction and well-being
induced a smile, while my present thoughts dove deeper into the past.Was this a new aspect of Statement #9 coming
Sobriety and Statement #9 in action enable
the release of painful emotions and feelings, yet it can also encourage
feelings of contentment and appreciation.Before handing out a slice of watermelon to any child, my mother would
fold a paper towel into thirds, wrap them around each wrist and secure them
with tape.It was only then we could enjoy a juicy slice of
watermelon.These “watermelon sleeves”
prevented sticky arms, legs and of course, furniture and became a family tradition.
Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., knew
how important it was to release the past and remain present. Statement #9 provides a path for letting go,
yet this healing Statement can also be utilized to cherish and not cling to
those past moments which have contributed to our being.Feelings of appreciation can enter, encouraging
gratitude and contentment.From a simple
slice of watermelon to sobriety and New Life, life is sweet!
Hi 4C Women,
love all the quotes and how Karen reminded us that there are parts of the past
we need to keep.Statement #9 is about
healing from the painful past and moving forward, not victimizing
ourselves with living in the pain.It
reminded me of my 27-year marriage that ended in divorce.I know the negative outweighed the positive,
hence the divorce, but that is the key point - there were positives along the
way.Not that I don’t go back to the
pain every now and then, but I don’t live in the pain and I don’t let it hold
me hostage as it did in the past.Resentment
grows from holding onto the painful past.It closes off the paths to healing, to forgiveness and to a New
Life.Letting go doesn’t mean the hurt
wasn’t real.It means we will not be
imprisoned to a past we cannot change.I
think it is the purest form of freedom and forgiveness.
reflecting on the past, are you bound to the residual feelings of “should have”,
“what if”, “why me” and mostly “regret”?Here’s a different way to look at the past.Accept that you made mistakes, learn from it
so you set healthier boundaries, forgive yourself, practice self-compassion,
trust yourself and build trust with others and have a plan that supports your
choices to not repeat unhealthy patterns.This will empower you to continue moving forward because you can’t do
otherwise if you keep looking in the rear view mirror with fear and judgment.You are a new woman!
Sobriety and recovery invite growth, yet it is the continued
practice of Statement #8 which produces and illuminates the all-encompassing
beauty of a 4C woman.No longer held
captive, independence begins to flourish, strength expands and discernment
addiction stunts healthy growth while slowly separating life from living,
thereby increasing feelings of loneliness and separation.Guilt and shame can develop, creating an even
further divide.Emotional and/or spiritual pain can begin to
feel normal with the attempts to regain balance feeling foreign and fearful.
Program booklet, “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.”Identifying fears and moving through theminstead of away springs
Statement #8 into action.Cultivating
this growth boosts self-value and self-esteem, enriching life and cementing
Is there a fear holding you back right now?What would happen if you moved through that
Hi 4C Women,
I’ve said so many times over the
years that I thought there would be a time when emotional and spiritual growth
would be accomplished - job done, no further work required.I am constantly learning how incorrect I was.The good news is that the learning curve does
lessen, yet it doesn’t end.We continue
to learn about our ability to face change without substances that use to cloud
our judgment, gain knowledge about our resiliency to face fears, hurts or
disappointments, develop a positive attitude along with positive self-talk,
accept what we can and cannot control and releasing the past to keep moving
forward.That’s a lot of emotional and
spiritual growth taking place once we are open and willing to take action.That’s the most important part of any change.Words on a piece of paper are just that -
words.While knowledge is necessary, it
is the use of that knowledge in action that creates the powerful, empowering
life we are seeking.All of this
requires time, dedication and commitment.Mistakes will be made yet those mistakes teach us new ways of
responding, reacting to future situations.And let’s remember - we are not alone on this journey.I value and appreciate the support and guidance
from the women in WFS.I feel safe and
nurtured by them.They have helped me
achieve, relearn and accept myself where I am at each stage of my life.
I found some questions from a
book I bought at conference, Change
Your Questions, Change Your Life, by Marilee Adams, Ph.D.If you are wondering what might be helpful to
practice Statement #8, consider some of her questions listed below:
·What are the facts here?(I’m
a big believer in gathering info before I react as I use to.)
·What new ways can I think about or approach this?
·Is this what I want to feel?
·Is this what I want to be doing?
·What am I missing or avoiding?
·Am I seeing the big picture?
·Will this get me what I really want?
·How is this working for me?
·What is my choice right now?
Perhaps you can share your
situation with others you trust and obtain some input as you consider the
questions above.It’s all part of the
emotional and spiritual growth journey and learning how to set priorities.