Wednesday, April 11, 2018

“Take a shower, wash off the day.  Drink a glass of water.  Make the room dark.  Lie down and close your eyes.  Notice the silence.  Notice your heart.  Still beating.  Still fighting.  You made it, after all.  You made it, another day.  And you can make it one more.  You’re doing just fine.”  ~~Charlotte Eriksson

“Life is too short to spend in negativity.  So I have made a conscious effort to not be where I don’t want to be.”  ~~Hugh Dillon

“We focus so much on our differences, and that is creating, I think, a lot of chaos and negativity and bullying in the world.  And I think if everybody focused on what we all have in common—which is—we all want to be happy.”  ~~Ellen DeGeneres
Statement #2
 “Negative thoughts destroy only myself.”
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.
 The journey of sobriety opens the door to recognizing negativity and Statement #2 encourages walking through, with action, can reduce the effects of self-damaging emotions.  This was a new concept, for the view I held closest was that life was painful and fighting back was necessary for survival.  Over time, alcohol had become closely guarded ammunition, yet it boomeranged right back and amplified pain.

     In GHHL, Jean states “Removing negative reactions from our lives is tough.  Old patterns and inclinations are hard to deal with.”  Yet, with the simple recognition of negativity, we are already moving in a different direction.  Slowly, reducing negativity becomes more manageable with the empowering results increasing determination.

Some beneficial techniques to aid in reducing negative thoughts:

1.  Question your thoughts:  Ask yourself is this thought true?  Is this thought empowering or hurtful?
2.  Write out your thoughts:  Putting down thoughts on paper/journal can give repetitive thoughts an escape route.
3.  Create unique ways to release negative thoughts:  Wash them “down the drain” in the shower, let them go as a balloon, or lock them      in a box.
4.   Share thoughts:  Share thoughts with a loved one, f2f group, online forum, spiritual setting or share in nature (a friend once laid her negative thoughts at the base of wise oak tree) 

Hi 4C Women,  
Ah, those negative thoughts! I am going to a wedding in 2 1/2 weeks so I decided to go dress shopping. After visiting 14 stores and trying on numerous dresses, I finally gave up. It seems my stress eating this past year has definitely caught up with me. Before this disastrous non-buying shopping spree, I decided to get a talking scale because it was free with my new health insurance. Now what possessed me to do that is still questionable. But on the scale I went and when this woman whom I don't even know, told me what my weight was, I actually talked back to her saying I didn't like her very much. The reason for this story is that negative thoughts started creeping into my head - the ones that said I am stupid, fat and ugly. Now I haven't heard them for a while but I have to say, they stung like a wasp (I like bees but not wasps). Years ago, this would have led to a drinking binge just to drown out the hurtful thoughts that I am unlovable based solely on my dress size. I am grateful that I haven't had a drink in response to my overwhelming stress, yet as a 4C woman, I also know that stress eating isn't healthy either. So, I sat quietly and thought about Karen's first question. What is true is that I am lovable and that lovability is not measured by a number on a talking scale or dress size. I have worked hard to learn to love myself. Now I am working on self-forgiveness as I accepted the fact that I have, all on my own, mistreated myself, my body and my self-esteem. I read an article from The Clearing that says self-forgiveness is the process by which we release ourselves from judgments we've placed against ourselves. When we accept that we are the only one holding the judgement, we can be the only one to release it. As Statement #2 says, negative thoughts destroy only myself and it is my responsibility to stop, forgive and work through it. It's amazing how quickly the inner critic makes its appearance when in a vulnerable state of mind. So rather than punish myself and continue to believe the inner critic of negativity, I decided to shut him down and shut him up by focusing on what I can do now to be my own best friend, to keep the self-love alive and in the present. I do think all of Karen's suggestions are what I need to do. Perhaps if you are in a vulnerable state of mind, you might consider changing your negative inner critic self-talk by answering the questions as well and sharing if you choose.
Bonded in positive thinking! 
4C WFS Member

Don't miss this workshop at the
June 8-10 in Center Valley, PA
Sound Immersion: Release Tension with the Gong
(Let Gong and Let Go)
Sit in a chair or lie down and listen. Participate (or not) in preparatory pre-gong warmups and breathing practices. Gongs rejuvenate the parasympathetic nervous system and positively affect overall body harmonics. “Sound is a uniquely useful medium for holistic approaches to health and wellness as it naturally unifies our entire being…our consciousness and our biology.” (“The Unifying Principle of Sound,” Thomas Anderson, in Being and Biology: Is Consciousness the Life Force? Edited by Brenda Dunne and Robert Jahn, ICRL Press, Dec. 2017.) Bring mat or blanket to lie upon. Whatever makes you comfortable. PJ’s fine. All welcome to listen and let go
Priscilla E/Ruffy (Peer Presenter) – Priscilla has been a WFS member since 2006 and is a writer, yoga teacher, hike leader, and gong player. She’s been writing all of her life and has a book coming out in 2019: 50 Best Day Hikes in New Jersey (published by Appalachian Mountain Club). An accredited yoga teacher since 2012, she studies gong playing under Crown of Eternity. Learn more about Priscilla at
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