Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Monday's Message ~ Statement #12

http://www.womenforsobriety.org/beta2/

 It’s not a contest, it’s a process. 

҉ 

“Believe in yourself when nobody else does.”  -Mary J. Blige 

“It’s no good being too easily swayed by people’s opinions.  You have to believe in yourself.”
-Donatella Versace 

“You have to believe in yourself, otherwise you can’t do it.  If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?  Because ultimately, you’re the one who has to do it.”  -Donny Osmond 

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Statement #12, “I am a competent woman and have much to give life.”
This is what I am and I shall know it always.
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+ Karen’s Perspective +
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     One of the things I did not understand about drinking, while I was drinking, was the immense toll it took on my self-worth.  With each drink, I cemented a growing distrust of myself and increased feelings of guilt and shame.  Gratefully, I have come far from those days with the help of many 4C women, friends, family and the life-changing WFS Program.
     Statement #12, when practiced daily, builds a cocoon of comfort that can be tapped into at any time.  Layers upon layers of trust become realized and experienced while feelings of inadequacy lessen and are replaced with confidence.  This is not a quick fix but rather a new way of looking at and living life.
     One personal example that comes to mind is writing.  Some time ago a number of people commented that I should look into putting some things down and creating a book.  I had not once considered this.  Each time I heard this, I disbelieved, after all who would want to read what I wrote (low or no self-worth) but then I began to counter it with why not?  (Increasing self-worth and value.)  I began to see myself and feel differently.  I was practicing Statement #12.
     Once I began to believe I could do this, I set out to make it happen.  Again, this didn’t happen overnight.  It was a process of growing in competence and confidence and learning to trust my own spirit.  I was reaching out and teaching myself about my own value.
     Today you can go to the WFS website and see the effects of living Statement #12.  Currently there are three volumes available, with one more scheduled for the future.  With gentle encouragement and active practice of Statement #12, anyone can enjoy the monumental results of believing in themselves!
Hugzzz, Karen

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+  Member Insights  +
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     Hi 4C Women, Karen’s books are full of encouraging, inspiring and uplifting words based on her own recovery.  She is so open and gives hope through her writings.  I highly recommend purchasing any one or all three books.  Not only do her words give hope, it supports the very program that has guided and continues to guide women to become all that Statement #12 describes.
     I remember the first few meetings I moderated and how difficult it was for many women to introduce themselves as competent women.  When I explained that alcoholism was the coping mechanism they used to deal with life and not their identity, it seemed to help.  The more they said they were competent, the more it seemed to resonate and belief eventually followed.  There is no time table on when the statements take root, the important thing is to keep trying.  Some women began to feel competent quickly, others took quite a while.  It’s not a contest; it’s a process.  This is another reason I value the statements of the WFS program.  There is no judgment on how long the process takes; it’s the willingness to work at it.  I believe we have always been competent women but the alcohol and drugs covered up our belief in ourselves as well as our ability to cope with life’s challenges.  Once we have worked on meeting the challenges (and there are always challenges), we continue to move forward in accepting and believing in our competence.  What a healthier, more joyful way to approach life.  -WFS Member

When you are presented with a challenge….
  • What is your self-talk saying about your ability to handle it?
  • What are the exact words you use to describe yourself on a daily basis?
  • Do you build on your successful handling of a challenge or consider it a fluke that has nothing to do with your personal and emotional growth?

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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026
DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday's Message ~ Statement #9



Be Here Now & Live Life


҉

“The inability or rather unwillingness of the human mind to let go of the past is beautifully illustrated in the story of two Zen monks, Tanzan and Ekido, who were walking along a country road that had become extremely muddy after heavy rains.  Near a village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep it would have ruined the silk kimono she was wearing.  Tanzan at once picked her up and carried her to the other side.

“The monks walked on in silence.  Five hours later as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido couldn’t restrain himself any longer.  ‘Why did you carry that girl across the road?’ he asked.  ‘We monks are not supposed to do things like that.’

“’I put the girl down hours ago,’ said Tanzan.  ‘Are you still carrying her?’”
Eckhart Tolle:  A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

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Statement #9, “The past is gone forever.”
No longer will I be victimized by the past.  I am a new person.
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+ Karen’s Perspective +
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        One way to keep addiction flourishing is to dwell in the past.  I did this daily before sobriety and my New Life.  By concentrating on what was, I stayed disconnected from everyone else and was unable to connect to the present moment.  Unaware of this, I relived painful moments repeatedly; no matter the role, victim or perpetrator.  Guilt and regret ruled my life.
        Many times I felt incredibly afraid that the past would “catch up with me” and I easily turned to alcohol for relief.  Sobriety and Statement #9 in action provide a link to presence and can eliminate that fear.  I was drawn to this Statement when I first found WFS and it remains my favorite.  It is such a freeing feeling to be in the present moment, for me it is where life and love reside.
        Today I can learn from the past.  I find out what works and what doesn’t and more importantly, I am able to be here now and live life.  Instead of wanting to relive an experience over and over again I feel the fullness of that fleeting moment.  I feel gratitude, love and some feelings that I have no idea how to put into words.  There is no desire to go backwards since it was not fulfilling the first time.  If it is a difficult moment I am able to (briefly) look back, learn and make decisions that encourage and enlighten.  Hugzzz, Karen

·         Are you aware of carrying some experiences from the past?
·         Is there something that you are ready to let go of?
·         What can you learn from it?

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+  Member Insights  +
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        Statement 9 is my favorite as well.  It is so important to forgive yourself for your past actions/behaviors or you will be drawn back into the guilt and shame that keeps personal growth from happening.  The past cannot be changed, hear it, believe it!  It is a gift that will set you free.  That freedom is earned as we behave in a way that shows we can be trusted, that while we can’t change the past, we can show that we’ve learned and are working hard at change.
        Many times people try to drag us back to the past when we’ve hurt them with our words and actions.  They feel now that we are sober; they can express themselves because we will hear them.  I can accept that for a while because that is their truth and I also recognize that they have some fear that our sobriety won’t last.  This is where that trust plays a big role.  Once I felt that I had earned trust (about a year), if the past was brought up, I would remind them that I couldn’t change the past so what could I do today, this moment, to heal the relationship.
        I was not willing to be held prisoner to a past that I could not change but I was more than willing to listen to what their needs were to have a healthier relationship.  I felt, and still feel, very strongly about this.  Being pulled back into shame and guilt can be a trigger for many.  If you know you have earned trust, stand strong, find your voice and work towards healing both the relationship and yourself rather than hurting yourself by drinking away the pain.  This would, of course, destroy the trust you have and are working so hard to establish.  Trust and forgiveness takes time.
        Please be patient with yourself and with others who have fears of their own.  Again, the key is to know when you have earned and deserve to be trusted.  That is when Statement 9 saved me a lot of pain and I found a way to heal relationships that worked for me.  As Dr. Phil says, we teach people how to treat us and being treated with respect and trust was my goal.  I encourage each of you to consider making it yours.  -WFS Member
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thoughts To Think About ~ Bad Days


  

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WFS Statement #4,
“Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.”
I now better understand my problems
and do not permit problems to overwhelm me.
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No matter how much progress we make, we’re still going to have “bad days.”  You know…when the old critical voices are milling about in your head.  You try to send them all away with your favorite powerful affirmation, but only a few of them even look up – and one of them turns away and snickers.  So, what do you do when no matter what you do, you’re just icky? 

REMIND YOURSELF: 

1.       The icky voices do not tell the truth.  They’re just your old voices coming up to feed.  Do not feed them.  This is what makes them stay.
2.       This is not who you are.  The voices like to tell you that this messed up person is who you really are and that the rest of the world doesn’t have these same flaws.  Not true.  This is just a temporary setback.  That’s all.
3.       You can put off your productivity until tomorrow.  Consciously choosing to be unproductive is much more effective than spending the day wondering why you can’t get anything done.  It really is okay to put down your goals and to-dos for one day.  You can return to them tomorrow.  Today, make it your goal to consciously do nothing.
4.       Everything seems worse when you’re tired or hungry.  If you are tired or hungry, that could be the primary cause of feeling bad.  Eat something yummy.  Take a nap.  Go somewhere and sit quietly.

WHAT TO DO: 

1.       Stop feeling bad about feeling bad.  Know that you’re allowed to have this stuff and that nothing horrid is going to happen with this one day of getting thrown off.
2.       Make no decisions.  Low moods are a natural occurrence and that any low-mood decisions are typically not healthy.  Put off all decisions when you’re having a bad day.
3.       Take a 20 minute walk.  Bring a gentle affirmation along with you.  On days like this you don’t want to say, “I am master of the universe!!!”  On days like this you want to say, “I am loved.  I am precious.”
4.       Say NO to anything if it’s motivated by the word “should.”  This is a good rule to follow on good days too!
5.       Ask yourself what you feel like doing.  Sometimes the answer to this can be surprising.  Maybe you’ll want to begin a fiction audiobook and clean your closet!  Maybe you’ll just want a nap.  Don’t judge your response.  Just do it.  You might be surprised at how this one little bit of permission changes your state instantly!

WHAT TO BE:  Be very, very kind to yourself.

WHAT TO KNOW:  That the victory is not about not having bad days anymore.  The victory is that you can get back up after having one.
EnJOY!  Nancy/fourcwoman 
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Hi 4C Women,
        I want to thank Nancy for this timely message and the coping tools she has given us for those days when we feel “icky.”  In the beginning of my sobriety, I was so fearful when I started feeling sad.  I saw everything as all or nothing and that I was back to zero, feeling worthless and stupid.  Thank goodness for WFS in teaching exactly what Nancy has shared with us.  Low moods are a natural occurrence yet I think it scares us into thinking this will be a permanent feeling especially after working so hard at change.
        In creating more awareness/self-discovery, I eventually learned that even without an addiction, life presents everyone with small and huge challenges.  For me, even a small bump in the road became a huge boulder, bringing down all the work I had done on my self-esteem and self-worth and maybe that’s the difference for women with addictions.  Just trying to learn to love ourselves is a challenge and then along comes an obstacle that seems impossible to overcome.  Just when you thought you’ve come to a place where you believe you can handle life’s ups and downs, your self-doubt takes over.
        That’s why this message is so invaluable.  It is a reminder to accept our low days as a natural occurrence and to know that the feeling isn’t going to last forever or destroy all our hard work.  It’s that bump in the road that will become smooth sailing once again and a road that is not traveled alone.  We have a wonderful support system that gives us the opportunity to share our concerns, to seek encouragement and work through our challenges. 

·         How did you handle your last “icky, bad” day?
·         Can you add another coping tool to Nancy’s message?
-WFS Member
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday's Message ~ Statement #13

  

~Strong Women~


҉



Strong women are those who know the road ahead will be strewn with obstacles, but they still choose to walk it because it’s the right one for them.
Strong women are those who make mistakes, who admit to them, learn from those failures, and then use that knowledge.
Strong women are easily hurt, but they still extend their hearts and hands, knowing the risk and accepting the pain when it comes.
Strong women are sometimes beat down by life, but they still stand back up and step forward again.
Strong women are afraid.  They face fear and move ahead to the future, as uncertain as it can be.
Strong women are not those who succeed the first time.  They’re the ones who fail time and time again, but still keep trying until they succeed.
Strong women face the daily trials of life, sometimes with a tear, but always with their heads held high as the new day dawns.
-Brenda Hager


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Statement #13, “I am responsible for myself and for my actions.”
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
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+ Karen’s Perspective +
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        You are one of the strongest women in the universe.  You are taking charge of your life in ways that encourage growth and welcome love.  No, it is not easy but you are worth every single effort, no matter how big or small the challenge.  You simply reading this speaks un-fathoming volumes; you have connected to a life-changing force which results in the brightest of stars and the most magnificent of moments.
        You read the Statements each morning in quiet contemplation.  You choose a different one each week and notice how it touches you.  You are growing right before your very eyes.  You are responsible and competent.  You are sober, recovering and living the Statements.  You refuse to entertain negativity and focus on joy and happiness.  You know problems are what you make of them and you own your own thoughts.  You share your New Life and give through your heart.  You embrace greatness and leave the past behind you.  You know spirituality and emotional balance.  You feel enthusiasm and compassion.  You are a 4C woman with so much to give life! 

YOU ARE A STRONG WOMAN! 

Hugzzz, Karen 


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+  Member Insights  +
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        Hi 4C Women, When I think of being responsible for my actions, yet alone my whole life, I must say there was a time when I rejected that responsibility.  It wasn’t until I stopped the blame game that I realized how empowered it felt to truly be in charge and be responsible.  The more I practiced Statement 13, the more I wanted to be in charge.  It was scary and exciting all at the same time.  After my divorce, I was so grateful that I had already stopped drinking and was practicing the WFS program.
        Today I can appreciate the definitions of a strong woman as described in Karen’s message above.  The idea of facing my fears, learning from my mistakes, healing from hurt and pain, well, I never thought that was a possibility.  I think back to when my dad died and my mom had not written a check in her life and was faced to take on more responsibility than she ever bargained for at the age of 81.  She did it, though, and that was amazing to me.  She was strong and when I reflect on the courage it took for her to be in charge of her life, I realized that she had been that woman all of her life when she had to raise my sister and me while working factory jobs, when there wasn’t enough food in the house and when babysitters she trusted turned out to be just the opposite.  That’s when I realized that we are all 4C women of strength, just waiting to re-emerge through sobriety and the life-changing WFS statements. 

·         How do you see yourself being in charge of your mind, your thoughts, your life?
·         What has changed for you in your sobriety?
·         What fears have you faced and what healing has taken place?
-WFS Member
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Topic Summary ~ Self-Care


 


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Chat Topic from “Living Out Loud with Lambie, Lunch Chat”
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Last week, I asked the chat members that if there was ONE THING they wanted to accomplish THAT DAY, what would it be?  The ladies gave me their answer.  It was to be something simple and it was to be about self-care.  Then I asked what time would they like to do this?  They gave me a time.  Then I challenged them to put a reminder on their calendar, phone, wherever and to commit to doing what they wanted to do. 

It is a simple step towards change.
It is an easy way to practice self-care and make changes that help us grow.
The only thing stopping us from change is ourselves. 

In the WFS Booklet, “A Plan for Life: Relapse Prevention” by Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., she tells us that we need to know ourselves; our strengths and our weaknesses.  If we have a particular handicap (real or self-imposed), we need to really know what our limitations may be or if we are actually scared to let go and find out who we are by beginning the ritual of self-discovery.


Having a plan, a purpose in life, keeps us grounded in who we are, what we want and something to work towards for ourselves.  Even when life changes through something that is not in our control, we will always have something to return to once that temporary circumstance has passed.  We can still see our futures and have something we are meant to do.  It just might have to be in smaller steps with slow and steady progress versus writing a bestseller in a week!


Today we need (myself included) to discover the priorities in our life.  The first being to find quality time with ourselves so that we may begin to unveil our inner selves and embrace her desires to accomplish something, great or small.  And to begin building our self-esteem through positive self-imaging and thoughts and build a prioritized order of daily, weekly, and yearly list of goals.  Every goal we meet will give us a feeling of achievement.

I know what I first started out in sobriety the last thing I felt was accomplished.  I felt like a huge disappointment and failure in my marriage; as a mother, daughter, sister and friend.  I was wrong.  I was simply sick and needed help and I needed to uncover the woman I always had been and let her live out loud!

Join me at 12 Eastern every Thursday for Lunch Chat!
Bonded, Lambie (littlelambe18, WFS Certified Chat Leader)
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!