“If she got really quiet and listened, new parts of her wanted to speak.” –SARK
“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing--just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?” -Ralph Marston
“With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.” -William Wordsworth
Statement #8, “The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.”
Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
+ Karen’s Perspective +
So often I had covered up quiet. Quiet felt disturbing, foreign almost. Alcohol quickly erased that stillness; in my mind and in my life. Under the influence, there was no such thing as hushed or low key. It was all or nothing; out of this world and over the top. It got so loud I couldn’t think anymore. My mind was on autopilot while my inner self disappeared.
In sobriety, something simply amazing happens. The mind begins to resurge, one minute at a time. Clarity comes into view. With this arising, come new thoughts and new insights. Here is where the WFS Program in action unfolds into New Life. For me, this was akin to an awakening. Thoughts began to flood my brain as newly sober sensations and feelings were being uncovered.
I noticed how I had been surrounding myself with noise. From music, to TV, to drama and negativity; I had longed to occupy my mind. Now sober, I needed to make sense of these ricocheting thoughts. I began to journey into quiet and stillness. Statement #8 paves the way. I held on tight. (Still do)
Many 4C women encourage meditation, writing in a journal, or spending time in nature. Jean wrote about sunrises and sunsets. In our Program Booklet, Jean mentions, “I feel spiritual in the observation of nature, for then my spirit floats free and joins in an otherworldly force. I feel a oneness with the universe. I especially feel this oneness when I watch a dawn or sunset.” I like to picture our Jean sitting in the stillness of a new dawn with a joyful smile on her beautiful face.
Sometimes quiet for me is as simple as turning off the radio in the car. The landscapes feel fuller and brighter and so do I. My most favorite time of stillness is being present as the sun breaks through the tall trees while the rising reflection bursts over the river. There is such a glow inside and out that I have no words to describe what I see and feel and it’s almost paradoxical; embracing stillness allows fullness to unfold.
However you experience stillness, be it outside in nature or in the comfortable confines of routine, the growth that stems from this quiet reflection enables us to majestically soar. Hugzzz, Karen
+ Dee’s Insights +
Hi 4C Women, I turned off the radio in the car yesterday and it was so peaceful. I didn’t realize how much I mindlessly have noise much of the time. It made me realize that I need to put into practice more of the lessons Nina taught at the Mindfulness Class at the WFS Conference. That is not an easy thing to do. I am more into writing or expressing verbally what I am feeling/thinking. It is a challenge to be in the quiet. However, I do appreciate the changing of the seasons and there are times when I walk outside my house and just smell the air, listen to the birds chirping and look at the colors of the blooming flowers or fall leaves. I sometimes wonder why Jean put spiritual and emotional growth in the same statement and it always goes back to creating a blend of knowing who you are and your place/purpose on this earth. Working on these two certainly puts into perspective what our priorities are for us personally.
I have found my spiritual growth in my faith and my emotional growth - well, that is definitely an ongoing process but progressing it is! This is what I appreciate about WFS - there is no right or wrong way to feel yet there are healthier choices and decisions that we learn as we grow spiritually and emotionally. For me, spiritual growth is my faith and that is okay. It can be something else entirely for someone else. Emotional growth is done at our own pace. It sometimes reminds me of grief and how not drinking or drugging can be like losing a best friend and we grieve about that. Yet, no one says, okay, that is long enough - get over it now! You wouldn’t do that to a friend who lost a loved one so why would you do that to a woman who is doing her best to move forward, who is struggling but willing?
For me, that is the key - the willingness to change, to find the way to this beautiful new life. As we say, it is not about the number of days sober, it is what you do with those days. This is how emotional and spiritual growth takes place and this is how we set our priorities. Are you willing? –Dee
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration to start off our week! ~Becky Fenner, WFS Director