Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #13



“When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.”  -Evelyn Waugh

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings and emotions, goals and values are in balance.”  -Brian Tracy

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”  -Eleanor Roosevelt

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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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      In the past it was easy to fight for perceived limitations, it was predictable and comfortable while responsibility felt overwhelming and filled with uncertainty.  Alcohol accelerated negative self-talk and created a dangerous scaffold of knee jerk excuses and blame.  Over time isolation became the norm, relationships became emotionally painful, and living became almost too much to bear.
      Sobriety and Statement #13 in action provide a course for continuing recovery and feelings of contentment.  Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD, put Statement #13 into action even before writing the WFS New Life Program.  With the acceptance and realization of what she was doing was not working, Jean devised a plan that would.  Examining her thoughts, Jean identified and organized her thinking.  Letting go of limitations and discovering and encouraging her strengths; Women for Sobriety was born.
      In practicing Statement #13, it is possible to experience trust, release blame and respond with ever increasing ability.  In our Program Booklet on page 34, “Through the New Life Program, we learn we are competent women, trusting our ability to make decisions.  It teaches us how to be in charge of our minds, our thoughts and our lives.”
·        Do you have a blame or excuses tape that runs through your mind?
·        How you do interrupt and eliminate any self-defeating tape?
·        What does responsibility feel like before and after your New Life?

Hugzzz
Karen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi 4C Women,
      I started laughing out loud when Karen asked if we have a blame or excuses tape that runs through our mind.  Years ago, it would have taken an oversized truck to haul those blame/excuses tapes out to examine.  While there are life situations that can stop us in our tracks and tackle years of hard personal growth work, in the end we are responsible for our reactions and responses by taking these situations and making them life lessons for change and retrospection.  I guess you could say it is learning from our mistakes and making healthier choices.  For me, that is what Statement 13 represents when it says that I am responsible for myself and for my actions.  Sober, I can no longer blame others for my actions/reactions.  I have to say it was easier to blame others in the past.  It was a habit I had developed and it took a lot of going through, not around, my choices/thoughts to take charge of my life.  I was terrified when I went through my divorce and without having a choice to ignore it, I actually began to feel more and more empowered as I decided what I needed and how I had to stand on my own.  Not everything went the way I had thought it would, yet I was no longer feeling defeated, punished or the victim.  This process took time, lots of it, yet I knew I was in a much better place and moving in the right direction by making my own decisions, learning to trust myself and feeling hopeful! 
      Nancy Cross, a dear friend of WFS who passed away, once wrote in a message that we need to understand the difference between controlling and being in control.  When you find yourself wanting to control others, ask yourself what do you want and then how can you get it?  By focusing on how you can get what you want, rather than on how others can give it to you, you assume a much more active role in determining what you get from life.  This represents the blame/victim mode to me.  While blaming and being the victim, I tried to get others to help me and not in a positive way.  I believe in compassion and supporting those who need our encouragement.  I am talking about manipulating others so I didn’t have to do the work of Statement 13.  It took time to fully understand and practice this Statement and I will tell you, I am grateful that I kept on trying even in the darkest of times.  Thank you, WFS, for the guidance of the Statements and especially #13.

Love,
4C WFS member
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Don’t miss this workshop at the
June 8-10 in Center Valley, PA
 
 
The Past is Gone Forever
 
The only real time we have is “NOW”.  Often we bring the past to the present.  Together we will explore ways of tending to our visitations of the past that can move us in the direction of healing.  With compassionate honest communication, giving attention to the tenderness of our heart can heal a multitude of self-negating patterns. 
 
 
.O  -  .O was certified in 1979 as a massage therapist and has made health and well-being her personal commitment and life’s purpose.  She is a group facilitator with many years of experience in body wisdom, stress modification, and the healing powers of love.  Her new passion is participating in theater, promoting social change, and addressing issues involving domestic violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, economic injustice, and environmental justice.  .O has provided presentations and workshops for various organizations and has appeared on radio and TV talk shows.
 
This workshop is an optional Friday afternoon add-on; a small additional fee applies.
_____________________________________________________________________
© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
Join our Email Service by clicking HERE or text your email address to WFSORG at 22828.
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C | Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.
DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services. Thank you!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #12




“I would say to always follow your dream.  And dream big because my whole career, including any of the things that I’ve accomplished, I never thought in a million years that I would be here.  So it proves that once you believe in yourself, and you put your mind to something, you can do it.”  -Simone Biles

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.  It matters that you don’t just give up.”  -Stephen Hawking

“Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too.  Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.”  -Diane Sawyer

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Statement #12, “I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.”
This is what I am, and I shall know it always.
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      Not believing in oneself knows no boundaries; from an Olympic athlete, community leader to a reflection in the mirror, anyone can become discouraged or distressed by feelings of lack or inadequacy.  Substance abuse demolishes the ability to feel able or competent, further decreasing self-worth and self-esteem.
      Statement #12 in action increases self-belief.  In our Program Booklet, Jean writes, “Each of us is unique and has something very special to give.  Claiming and accepting our own competence is a vital aspect of our New Life.”  Answering the questions on page 32, “Can you identify your strengths?  Are you aware of moments throughout your life when you were competent?” offer insight into increasing competence.
      Balancing a checkbook to solving a complex equation to winning an Olympic medal; are each born from asserting it is possible.  Starting with smaller actions such as making the bed or doing yoga every morning, it is possible to continue to build feelings of believing in the self and knowing it always.

Hugzzz
Karen
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Hi 4C Women,
      I read that self-esteem is the reputation we have with ourselves that includes self-respect, self-love and self-worth and a measure of how much we like and approve of our self-concept.  It contains a wide variety of beliefs and images.  Healthy self-esteem does not prevent us from having doubts or feeling occasionally inadequate.  It permits us to view ourselves and the world around us realistically and to make wise choices in our lives.
      I use to do a lot of negative self-talk, always apologizing even when there wasn’t a reason to, seeking approval from others because I didn’t like myself, rejecting compliments and feeling so inadequate.  There were those who believed in my abilities long before I did.  Drinking quieted the voice in my head that kept telling me these people would soon realize I was a fraud.  Fortunately, sobriety helped me build compassion for myself, forgiving my self-doubts and the willingness to continue challenging the inner critic when he appears to knock down my confidence with old messages that are not my truth today.
      So, I think to myself, what do I have to give to life?  Where does my competency show in this world?  How would you answer these questions?
      List 5 things you admire about yourself.  Hopefully this will be easier to answer after completing the questions above.

·        I am worthwhile because....
·        I deserve...
·        I practice Statement 12 by doing...

Bonded in competency,
4C WFS member
_____________________________________________________________________ 

Don’t miss this workshop at the
June 8-10 in Center Valley, PA 

Relapse Prevention
Relapse Prevention planning is basic to recovery.  Relapse is a process, not an isolated event.  It is more than a return to drinking, it’s a return to negative addictive thinking, feeling, and behavior.  Participants will receive handouts that will include an article by WFS founder, Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick, called “Understanding Relapse,” and there will be a role-playing segment so that participants can get involved in responding to events or other triggers. 

Sue K/Zeecha (Peer Presenter)
     Sue has long-term sobriety from alcohol and other drugs since 1996.  She has been the Certified Moderator for the Champaign, IL, WFS group for several years.  Many women know Zeecha as the auctioneer from the WFS Conference and her welcoming and friendly self.  WFS has been the only program she has ever used.  She credits Jean Kirkpatrick as her inspiration.

Christine S-J/CakeLady (Peer Presenter)
     Christine has been 4C woman since July of 2015 and is also a stage-trained actress and former SAG member.  She will be leading the role-playing segment of this workshop. 
_____________________________________________________________________
© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
Join our Email Service by clicking HERE or text your email address to WFSORG at 22828.
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C | Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #11





“Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.”  Ivern Ball
 
“Treasure the things about you that make you different and unique.”  -Karen Kain
 
“If you act enthusiastic, you become enthusiastic—and it spreads like wildfire!”  -Mary Kay Ash

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Statement #11, “Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.”
I treasure the moments of my New Life.
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     “Enthusiasm?  You’ve got to be kidding!” I stammered.  Feeling nothing even remotely close to enthusiasm, I was busy focusing on just staying sober.  Enthusiasm?  Well, maybe later.  Reading the Statements each morning and anything else I could on addiction, the hours ticked away ensconced in the WFS Forum, and like a sponge, absorbing as much as possible.
      In hindsight, I did have enthusiasm, I just didn’t recognize it.  Every little thing having to do with sobriety and recovery was so different and I was drawn like a moth to a flame to learn more.  Clear minded and newly open to ideas and suggestions, this new energy was pushing me further into this New Life and it felt, well, it felt comfortable.  This was something new!
      In our Program Booklet, Jean asks “have you ever known a person who can make shopping for an onion a rich experience?”  While initially I argued with this question; (…seriously who would do that? an onion? really Jean?) it is a treasure to see someone be so in tune with the moment and enthusiastically choose an onion.  Yet the ultimate treasure is when I experience these moments… onion or not

·        What does enthusiasm feel like in your New Life?

Hugzzz
Karen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi 4C Women,
      I relate to Karen’s comments about the lack of feeling enthusiasm in early sobriety.  I felt irritated and scared but also determined.  As I learned and practiced healthier coping skills, I began to feel enthusiastic about my future.  My goal that first year was to learn, grow and become a moderator.  I wanted other women to experience the joy of having a New Life of freedom, choice and empowerment.  When I first met Jean Kirkpatrick, I didn’t think I had a problem and asked her if she thought I did.  She looked at me and said, “If you have to ask, you do!”  I knew in my heart she was right and that became very clear when I quit drinking.  I hated coming home as that is where I did most of my drinking.  At the time there was no Forum and I had to practice by putting the WFS Statements into action on my own.  By the end of the year, I was very enthusiastic about starting a meeting.  Twenty-nine years later, I am just as enthusiastic about being a moderator.  It is my reward.  It also built up my confidence in so many other areas.  I went through a divorce that took 4 years, bought my first car, home and moved to Alabama to be near my daughter and granddaughter.  I am blessed to witness the women in my group take on new adventures and sharing it with others.  It gives me such great joy to be a part of their personal growth.
      Where are you on your enthusiasm journey?  Have you taken a risk to try something totally out of your comfort zone or something you’ve been thinking about for a while?  What was the outcome?  And remember enthusiasm can be experienced in moments such as a beautiful sunset, the sound of birds chirping early in the morning, the first flower sprouting up, the color of leaves turning to beautiful shades of gold, red and yellow in the Fall, a child skipping delightfully in a puddle, a pet giving you the most awesome greeting, a new job that will use the gifts and talents you possess, the list goes on.  I sometimes refer to it as the pursuit of enthusiasm, much like the pursuit of happiness.  We create it, we observe it and we rejoice in the uplifting feeling. 
Bonded together,
4C WFS member
_____________________________________________________________________ 

Don’t miss this workshop at the
June 8-10 in Center Valley, PA

Exercise for Every Body:  Belly Dancing and Beyond!
Exercise as a form of self-care can be a powerful and effective tool in our recovery toolboxes. For many women who are in recovery from substance use disorders, negative feelings about their bodies have contributed to low self-esteem, stress, and using chemicals to cope with those feelings. Letting go of body shame and building up a healthy body image in its place can help us “create a new self that will provide us with a happy sobriety” (Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD). In this workshop, we will discuss the psychological as well as physical benefits of exercise and develop strategies to help us accept and love the bodies we live in every day. We will put these ideas into practice by learning some basic, gentle belly dancing steps and experiencing the joy of dancing together. No previous dancing experience is required and all bodies and all physical abilities are welcome! If you like, feel free to bring a colorful scarf to tie around your waist, a belly dancing hip scarf, a flowing skirt, or fun jingly jewelry. 

Rebecca W/allRebecca (Peer Presenter)
     Rebecca has been a WFS member since 2014 and was thrilled to become a Certified Moderator in October 2017. Regularly attending face-to-face WFS meetings and using the 13 Acceptance Statements of the New Life Program have been central to her long-term recovery. This fall, she is returning to school to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Minnesota. Rebecca has enjoyed many kinds of dancing as a hobby since middle school. She studied and taught Middle-Eastern dance at the Cassandra School and performed with Cassandra Shore’s Jawaahir Dance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

_____________________________________________________________________
© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
Join our Email Service by clicking HERE or text your email address to WFSORG at 22828.
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C | Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.

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

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #10

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert
 
“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”  -Maya Angelou
 
“To be deeply loved, means a willingness to cut yourself wide open, exposing your vulnerabilities …hopes, hurts, fears and flaws.  Hiding behind the highlight reel of who you are, is the real you and that person is just as worthy of love.  There is nothing more terrifying or fulfilling, that complete love, it’s worth the risk…reach for it.”  -Jaeda DeWalt
 
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Statement #10, “All love given returns.”  I am learning to know that I am loved.
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      Sobriety and Statement #10 in action are essential to accepting and feeling love in my New Life.  In the past, I accepted the love I felt I deserved, which was often unhealthy and abusive.  I was drawn to drama, uncertainty and often lived on the edge.  Over time, this created a cycle of emotional pain which I attempted to soothe with alcohol.  This ever-temporary solution evolved into deep feelings of desperation, shame and loneliness.
      The WFS Statements encourage a shift in thinking, and the action part of Statement #10 “I am learning to know that I am loved” is empowering and life-changing when applied daily.  Recalling my first glimpses of sobriety, I felt welcomed into WFS even though I felt I didn’t deserve this level of acceptance.  There were no hoops to jump through, no lectures or admonishments, just open arms and understanding.  This rekindled hope, and a new cycle of healing had begun.
      The “Love” Statements can be difficult to practice, yet the results can move mountains.  In our WFS Program Booklet under Statement #10, a beautiful quote from Nancy Cross states “All recovery roads lead to the ability to love and be loved!”  Nancy, who was a long-time member of WFS, felt love in her New Life and from this life-changing love, created our WFS Online Forum.  Nancy devoted her time, talents, and secured funding to make sure this aspect of WFS remained available to all women.  Love does make the world go around and around and around…..
 
Hugzzz
Karen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi 4C Women,
      One of my favorite updates to the Statements is this one - I am learning to know that I am loved.  I especially appreciate the various forms of how love is given and received as written in the updated Program Booklet.  For so long I felt unlovable, disconnected because I was not in what I thought was the real definition of love - a couple.  Just to see in writing the many ways love can be expressed means the world to me.  I do experience love from friends, family and any adorable animal I encounter.  Because of my allergy to animal dander, I am sadly required to be pet-deprived without wanting to be.  Whenever I get a chance to give and receive love from another person’s pet, I do it.  Hand washing is a must afterwards but so worth the love given and received.
      I believe my biggest obstacle in receiving love was that I didn’t love myself.  I often silently say these words after “I am learning to know that I am loved,” – “and it begins with loving myself.”  I was my own worst critic and it took a long time to see myself in a loving light.  That change created a pathway to accept and believe that others loved me.  I learned that while I did not love my actions or behavior when I drank, those were the end result of my choice of coping skills and not my identity.  Learning healthy coping skills created the beginning of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-worth.
 
Here is an excerpt from 40 lessons learned along the way for finding strength in hard times: 
 
You must love yourself too.  One of the most painful things in life is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much and forgetting that you are special too.  When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters?  When was the last time someone told you that you did a good job, or took you someplace, simply because they know you feel happy when you’re there?  When was the last time that ‘someone’ was YOU?  Something to think about.
Bonded together,
4C WFS member
_____________________________________________________________________
 
Don’t miss this workshop at the
 
 
June 8-10 in Center Valley, PA

Creating Movement Forward
From the moment we took our first breath of life as an infant, up to this very day, we each have been influenced by our individual experiences. The joys and heartache that we have experienced shape us. The challenges we endure create depth. Our individual experiences create growth that, understood, will uniquely move each of us forward. 

Yet many don’t welcome the power of movement within their own life stories. 

Most of us have an innate ability to identify all of the difficulty we’ve experienced within our lifetime, but we are challenged to pinpoint how difficulty offers the opportunity to move us forward. Perhaps this is why we get ‘stuck,’ why we have trouble letting go of the past and can’t recognize our continued growth. 

The truth is, movement forward is the consequence of personal effort. 

Consider this workshop your active beginning to create movement forward!

What to expect:
  • We will discuss how welcoming the past, present, and future experiences into our lives with a renewed perspective can impact their outcome.
  • Why our willingness to relentlessly participate with our life experiences offers greater insight into their multitude of layers.
  • Personally revisit some of our individual experiences that have created positive movement forward.
Participants will share:
  • Stories and insights with a little fun role-playing
  • Intention setting
  • Good heart-felt laughter
  • Personal journaling exercises
  • Opportunities to renew your mind and create movement forward!

Dannielle A/D (Peer Presenter)
     Dannielle (‘D’) is an enthusiast for life with a passion to inspire, offer hope, ignite bravery and become a catalyst for women to live with greater intention. Founder of “beyouandthrive.com” and “The Practice of Living as We Intend” podcast, ‘D’ shares insight, personal stories and experiences that offer empowering practices to refine how we ‘think, do and become.’ Dannielle has a unique background; spanning the boardroom where she was the Creative Director for a global aviation company, to an entrepreneurial role at her farm, where she enjoyed practicing agriculture. Now residing in Chicago, her passions include travel with her husband, nature, her dog Miss Sofia and all things creative.
 
 
 
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© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
Join our Email Service by clicking HERE or text your email address to WFSORG at 22828.
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C | Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.