Showing Up

Showing Up

“You’re doing so well,” my friend Angel said to me the other day. From the outside, I may appear to be handling the separation, full time employment (for the first time in my life), the accident, and pending divorce well, but I’ve actually been struggling the entire time. And so I told her how not well I’ve actually been.

Before Jason moved out, I experienced crippling financial stress, loneliness, and hopelessness in just about every area of my life. I was quite overwhelmed. Even though I pushed for growth or separation (which I feel was an act of self love) my self esteem has taken a blow that’s set me back 10 years, back to before I learned anything about taking care of and loving myself. I’m at square one, only this time I can’t unlearn what I’ve learned.

I will eventually recall how to let thoughts go that don’t serve me and replace them with ones that do. I’ll remember that my value is just as great as yours. I will remember that I have choices available, even when I don’t feel like I do, and that choosing to do nothing is still a choice. I’ll remember that I can create my day. I don’t have to exist, reacting to what life tries to serve me on its mediocre platter. I have more control than what I’ve been able to see the last couple of years.

While I can’t control what happens around me, I can control how I react. I can set about putting events into motion and creating a life that I’m excited to live, instead of moping through the rest of my days, defeated and looking for acceptance and love from others, instead of filling my world with Real Love (check out this book if you haven’t yet.)

I used to power through hard times with such hope, knowing I was okay no matter what, thanks to what I learned from Bill Cumming and What Every Person Can Do.

I feel like I’m writing the same post over and over again. It starts out, “I’m struggling, but this is what I’m doing about it.” I keep saying I’m going to lean on the basics of Self Care and being present. I keep telling myself I’m going to give YOU more of my time, but my focus has been way off.

I have bursts of inspiration and for those brief moments, I feel like I’m capable of implementing the dreams I dreamed 6 years ago, when I first learned that I had more control over my thinking and my life. I had lived as a victim, waiting for someone else to give me step by step instructions on what to do next to have a happier existence. I learned I could be an owner (Thank you, Steve Chandler.) I worked on my thinking. I quit looking to anyone else for my happiness, but I’ve slipped back into a victim mindset. I’ve been crushed by my circumstances. I’ve definitely been looking to others to make me feel worthy and fill the void that separation left behind as a parting gift.

There’s No Perfect Tuesday

My friend Bevin told me years ago that there’s never going to be a perfect Tuesday when I wake up and all the problems are fixed…when I’m fixed. Why do I keep thinking I have to have all of my problems fixed to share with you any more? She also said that we can HAVE IT ALL, just not all at the same time.

This journey was never about me having all the answers or any answers really. It was about having an outlet to share what I was learning, as I was learning it, with a tribe of women…my tribe…our tribe… because the people we love and share our lives with, don’t always get us. They don’t always share our vision and even though they love us, they have the potential to crush our dreams instead of giving us the encouragement to GO FOR IT. But you and I get it. We get each other.

My commitment to you today is to show up in some form EVERY DAY, whether it’s a post like this, a goofy 2 or 3 minute video, Facebook live once a week (which still terrifies me) or a quote and a quick hello.

I’m showing up. Thank you for doing the same.

All my love (my REAL LOVE),
Sarah

 

I Am A Powerful Woman

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My Last Day

Here it is the middle of May.  Life is a bit of blur for me these days.

I’ve shared that I’ve been struggling to “find” happiness consistently over the last year and a half. Jason and I are officially separated.  Having been through it once, I thought it was going to be easy this time around.  No big emotions.

Boy, was I wrong!  For 4 years we’d been attempting to put back together a marriage that’d been severely damaged for 10.  Back in September, we decided together to let this 19 year journey together die.  We continued living under the same roof until the beginning of this month when he moved into his new home.  Four days later, Jason and Amelia were in a serious car wreck and OH MY GOODNESS! did I take an even bigger hit to the well being groin.  Not sure where that’s located, but it sure did hurt.

Here I sit in the middle of the chaos, trying to decide my next move.

I’ve done a great deal of thinking about perfectionism (which despite my disdain for it, I still find that I’m holding myself to its unattainable standard), low self esteem (which I truly believed I’d conquered, but realized the other day I need to go back and re-learn how to love myself right where I am), loneliness (and how to deal with that beast), finances (the lack thereof and how to get more in a way that is emotionally satisfying), friendship, guilt (how to let go and move forward), and a host of other topics all of which I want to discuss right now, but I won’t.

Reflecting on the lack of joy/well being I feel these days, it occurred to me that when I wake up each morning, I’m falling into my days.  I’m not being present.  I’m not being mindful each day of the fact that life is fragile, even after an accident that was an inch or two off from ending in fatalities, had Jason not hit the tree head on.

Jason Boucher/The Awesome Possum/Sarah Boucher/I Am A Powerful Woman

When I have lived like this day might be my last day, I felt lighter emotionally, not weighed down by worry, fear, loneliness, hopelessness.  I felt immeasurable love in my heart not only for my family, but for perfect strangers (WHAT A GOOD SHOW THAT WAS!)  I wanted to LOVE the entire world.  I didn’t take life personally.  I just went about my day with a smile on my face and when life threw a curveball at me, I thought, “Oh well. I’ll be fine or I won’t.  No sense in worrying.”

TODAY COULD BE MY LAST DAY.  

It’s a morbid thought, but some day it WILL BE my very last chance to live a day.  Living like today is it, gives each day a sense of purpose.  I’ve actually been less afraid of dying when I’ve lived like I might kick the bucket tomorrow and that’s HUGE for me.  I’ve spent most of my life afraid of dying.

Way Back When

  • Living with mortality in mind meant more patience in parenting.  I loved my kids where they were instead of trying to “fix” them.
  • I didn’t get my feathers ruffled as easily in disagreements with Jason.  I was able to let him have his opinion without thinking I had to get him to agree with mine.
  • I didn’t take as much personally.
  • I recognized that I was good enough. I had just as much value as anybody else alive and all I could do was my best (not talking about perfectionism here.  It meant I was giving the day and the people in it my all.)
  • I was thoroughly enjoying my journey and the growth I was experiencing.

The Shift

I feel happier thinking about what it felt like to live in that space and I want to be able to do it again consistently.  The good news is, it’s so possible and I can start now.  I just have to get in touch with the realization that there are no guarantees that I’ll be here tomorrow or that you’ll be.

I’m going back to the basics and the Self Care thoughts that Bill Cumming shared with me in his program What One Person Can Do (available in an online course here.)

Everything is a miracle.  Life is a miracle.

Everything/Everyone is interconnected (all 7 billion of us.)

The ONLY thing I can control today, is how I CHOOSE TO BE in the world.

And…

I’m going to stop beating myself up and holding myself to the ridiculous standard of perfectionism. It’ll take some work, but I’ll beat it.  I’m going to love and accept myself the same way I love YOU.

I’m going to quit looking for validation outside of my own body and I’m going to rock this life POWERFUL WOMAN style.

If I tap back into this way of thinking and living, I’m not going to be bogged down with worry.  I’m not going to have time to dwell on imagined scenarios of doom and gloom or even dreams of a happily ever after that may or may not ever be.  If I’m present, I’m living my happily ever after each and every day.  My cup will be running over, even in the middle of an emergency room with blood and stitches and broken bones.  I’ll be full of hope again.  I’ll see the bright side of life and the very real darkness isn’t going to feel so dark, because there’s so much you and I can do to make the load lighter for someone else.

I just have to get out of my head and back into my life.

If you can do it, I can do it and the other way around.

Here are a few closing quotes from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

“The final way to attain personal freedom is to prepare ourselves for the initiation of the dead, to take death ourself as our teacher.

We have just the present to be alive.

And of course I treat the people I love with love because this may be the last day that I can tell you how much I love you.

The love that makes me happy is the love that I can share with you.  Why do I need to deny that I love you?  It is not important if you love me back.  I may die tomorrow or you may die tomorrow.  What makes me happy now is to let you know how much I love you.”

All my love,

Sarah

Sarah Boucher/I Am A Powerful Woman

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This Time It’s Going To Be Different

This time it’s going to be different.

Early on in this separation (that hasn’t officially happened, but we made the decision 5 months ago) I decided circumstances were going to be drastically different than the last go around.

Already pretty isolated in 2012 (because we’d stopped going to church a few years before and we were no longer homeschooling) I shut out my closest support system for an unhealthy relationship, that took 6 months to break away from.

My Tribe

As soon as Jason and I decided this 19 year marriage was beyond repair, I reached out to multiple friends and said, “Will you be part of my tribe so when the loneliness come (because it does come and it comes with a vengeance) I don’t make bad choices?”  There were multiple yeses and actually not a single no. I’m so thankful for my tribe.

I’m keeping in touch and being transparent about what I’m up to in life.  Lots of checks and balances.

More Doing Things

I’m spending actual time with friends.  No more isolation for this girl!  I spent the last decade doing life alone and that’s no way to live. Within the last couple of months I’ve gone out to eat, to the movies, hiking, and to friends’ houses for actual old school visits and coffee. Long visits were weekly events 12 years ago.  How I’ve missed those!

Professional Help

I’m going to counseling regularly.  I KNOW I need this additional level of support.  I tend to put far too much on my plate, so it’s nice having input so that I take on new ventures and major life choices at an appropriate pace.

“Put yourself in the way of beauty.”-Cheryl Strayed

I’m buying plants a little bit at a time, a candle here, a cheap set of curtains there.  I don’t have extra money to spend on these little luxuries but they brighten my physical space and bring me a great deal of pleasure.   The amount of debt I have compared to the amount of income I bring in is a crippling figure, so in the words of Scarlet O’Hara, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”

Speaking of tomorrow-

When life gets overwhelming, I’m taking a page from Glennon Doyle Melton’s book Love Warrior.

Do The Next Right Thing

Glennon wrote about making the decision to carry a baby after a lifetime of eating disorders and addiction.  “What is the next right thing to do?” she asked herself, with that pregnancy test in hand. That’s how she made it during her transition, always looking for the next right thing to do.

Knowing What I Don’t Want

I’ve been given some bad advice on what I should GO OUT and do.  While that might feel good in the moment, it’s not me.  I have zero desire to randomly date and have casual anything…  That seems like a fruitless distraction and way too much drama.  And besides, last time I rushed into the first set of arms willing to embrace me and ended up with a lot of regret, not to mention guilt from hurting someone looking for love in all the wrong places, and a hip tattoo! (sad but true.)

I have BIG goals for my life and chasing temporary comfort would throw me completely off course.

Back to the NEXT RIGHT THING

My goal is to continue to put myself in the way of beauty, create a life that is filled with LOVE (not the romantic kind…not yet anyway) but to focus on my other relationships, my children, my extended family, and friendships.

I am going to live a life that is so busy and full, that even though I will naturally tend to want someone to share the journey with, I won’t be wasting away waiting for it.

Be Present

I am going to live in the present as much as possible.  I am going to live each day to the fullest and squeeze every drop of goodness out of it.  Even on the hard days, I am going to “hunt for the good things.”

It’s true that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.

Gratitude

The day my dad passed away, was not a day full of painful memories, but had sweet memories folded into it.  My dear friends drove by the nursing home and slipped money into my hand for lunch, so we’d have one less task to take care of that day.

I was relieved to see how many nursing home staff genuinely cared about my dad as they expressed their condolences.  In my mind, my poor dad laid in that bed for 2 years neglected and miserable, but the reality was that he was loved.

My mom, brother, his wife and I spent the next few hours dividing my dad’s small box of earthly belongings and just being together.

A month later, Jason and I separated.  I didn’t function very well the first couple of months, but even then, I remember being thankful for my kids and for all of the laughter we shared.  Bouchers are natural comedians, so there’s always always always something to laugh about, especially when others would find it inappropriate to be telling jokes and laughing.

Pursue Goals

I’m going to write and create and dream.

I’m going to take action on those dreams.  I’m going to pick ONE BIG DREAM (decisions aren’t my favorite) and pursue it even if I change my mind 3 months down the road.

Be Honest

I’m going to be really real.  I’m going to be honest.  I’m not going to hide hip tattoos or feelings.

And I’m going to be honest with myself.  That’s tricky because I haven’t allowed myself to feel the scope of feelings available to feel, like sadness and anger.  Those “BAD emotions” have been pushed deep inside to allow only the cheery positive ones to dominate my life up until recently.  Apparently when we don’t deal with our emotions, we can’t properly heal…blah blah blah.

So yeah, I’m going to allow myself to feel some crap and I’m going to acknowledge the thought or feeling for what it is and then move along to the next thought.

“Live the life you have imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau

My future will be filled with family dinners (around the table even), extended family dinners, delightful company, kids’ sleepovers, accomplishing goals -little and big, a vacation or two along the way, but also a lifestyle that gives me the feeling that my life is already a vacation-maybe not a vacation anybody else would want to go on, but my own personal vacation living.

This is my life and it’s a good one.  I’ve had trouble seeing that the last few months, but I see it now.

This post is so full of I’s, me’s, and my’s that I’m a touch uncomfortable, so now it’s your turn to tell me about ways you actively take care of yourself.

Share them in the comment section here or post a comment over on Facebook.

Thank you so very much for reading, for being part of this journey, and for allowing me to be part of yours.

~Sarah

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I Went Crazy

This time last year, my life didn’t look much different than it does now. Our family was in the middle of a move, as we are now. I was settling into my job as a temp in a factory, making friends, and weighing every single possible educational/career option for my future during those long 12 hour shifts.

This time last year, I wrote a blog post about moving on. I declared that as we left our physical space, I was leaving my relationship baggage behind. We were starting fresh in a new home. We were going to be okay.

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While no one was watching, I grabbed a few of those “bags.” After a couple of months, I began searching through the contents. I pulled out an unresolved issue, waved it around, and then stuffed it back in the bag. A few weeks later, I pulled out another issue and went through the same routine. I have in fact spent the last year trying to divorce my husband. It’s become our joke. Before I leave for work, Jason will often ask, “Are you going to want to divorce me when you get home?”

I love joking around with Jason. The material from our lives over the last decade gives us both a ton of comedic material to pull from. I hope we always laugh with each other.

I recently read Love Warrior. One of the mantras the author applied to her life during a MAJOR transition was DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING.

Love Warrior | Making Decisions |

When Jason and I separated in 2012, I did NOT do the next right thing.

I did MOST OF THE THINGS you aren’t supposed to do in a separation. I broke common sense rules. I’m still so shocked by my actions.

When I came to my senses, I went on a mission to figure out where I went wrong. Where had my brain disappeared to in the months that followed the separation?

In my search, I got together with a couple of single women who appeared to have handled the transition better than I had. I was ready to learn.

“Are you acting…crazy?” one of them asked in a playful manner.

“YES!”

“Go to Barnes and Noble RIGHT NOW and get the book, Crazy Time. I’ve read it more than once.”

I did as I was instructed. I didn’t make it to the end of the book, but the beginning was about losing it, in one way or another, and how some people SNAP completely and go on to kill their exes or commit suicide…or both. I sure am glad I didn’t reach SNAP level crazy, just super poor decision making skills level crazy.

Why don’t people talk about this more?! It’s like we’ve all secretly agreed to not talk about this CRAZY TIME and other traumatic events and big feelings that follow.

Well thanks a lot people! I could’ve used the warning.

Consider this post your warning from me.

As you might imagine, a year of waving around those unresolved issues and living in limbo has taken its toll on both of us. It hasn’t all been bad. It never was. We’ve had more than enough happy moments to replace all of the bad ones.

So what happens next?

I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, because plans change regularly around here, but as a family, we’re headed in a direction where healthy and happy is the goal for all seven of us. In the meantime, I have the opportunity to DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING daily. I think I’ll print that out and hang it everywhere, just in case I forget.

Taking action | decision making | Love Warrior | Crazy Time

Thanks for reading!

I happily encourage women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there.

If you’re struggling or dealing with a loved one in pain, check out What Every Person Can Do.  It’s incredibly affordable.  12 weeks of support for what 1 hour of counseling would cost!  But…and I know this firsthand, even reasonably priced is not an option sometimes, so don’t write this off. Partial and full scholarships are available for those that need them and are serious about going through the work.

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Pardon Me While I Bleed

I Am A Powerful WomanMy writer friend, Caroline Madison recently shared her opinion about transparency in writing memoirs.

“The truth is hard sometimes, but steering clear of it, walking on eggshells because it’s easier than turning the tides and moving forward, is a cop out.”

I have to tell you, I’ve been a little shocked by some of the personal details Brave Caroline shares, like her parents’ flaws or struggles in her marriage.  “I could NEVER write that!” I’ve thought.

I feel a strong desire to protect everyone; my kids, my husband, my parents, my secrets, and to keep your opinion of me solid, that is if your opinion of me is a good one.

One reason I can’t write openly is because I don’t want to spark a debate.  This pertains mostly to thoughts on religion and God.  I really just want you to agree with everything I write and say, “Me too,” or, “Well said,” so I barely say anything at all, to stay in favor with you.

Ernest Hemingway (who I initially loathed, but on further reflection have decided to cut him a little slack, what with him being human and all) wrote, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Caroline Madison bleeds when she writes.  Elizabeth Gilbert bleeds when she writes.  Glennon Doyle Melton BLEEDS when she writes.

I stay away from all sharp objects.  I can’t afford to bleed and that’s why my writing and my posts have been as dull as plastic knives in a Little Tikes kitchen.

I join the tens of critics (family members and Facebook friends who I imagine shudder every time I put myself out there with a new post or a silly video) in wondering what exactly it is that I’m up to in the world.  Why do I keep embarrassing myself?

I don’t even know.  I’ve lost sight of the reason.  I’ve lost my passion, my vision.  I’ve become lukewarm in almost every area of my life.  I am a freaking people pleaser and I’m getting less and less okay with that (except I still want everyone to like me.)

I’m hiding behind so many layers that I can’t even find myself these days.

So bare with me, while I attempt to peel back these layers, rediscover my passion, and begin to bleed.

Does anybody have a band-aid?

Glennon Doyle Melton, courage, Love Warrior

Thanks for reading!  Also, my little blurb at the bottom of the post has been updated, so please read. Thanks again!

If you’re struggling or dealing with a loved one in pain, check out What Every Person Can Do.  It’s incredibly affordable.  12 weeks of support for what 1 hour of counseling would cost!  But…and I know this firsthand, even reasonably priced is not an option sometimes, so don’t write this off. Partial and full scholarships are available for those that need them and are serious about going through the work.  I’m creating a private Facebook group for anyone wishing to go through this online program starting in October.  I’ll be going through it again too! We’ll have a safe space to share and discuss what we’re taking in.  If you have questions for me, you can get in touch with me here.

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Take Back The Night

A few weeks ago, I got an invitation via Facebook to go to an event called Take Back The Night. My gut reaction was, “Heck no!”

Take Back The Night is a night for survivors of sexual assault, friends, family, and the community to get together to raise awareness about sexual violence. At some point my adamant, “Heck no!” turned into, “Maybe I should consider going.”

On my way into town, I called my mom and asked her to join me. She served on Hope Harbor‘s Board and had been to Take Back The Night in the past.  She accepted the invite.

I’m not a survivor of rape but as a former chronic worrier, that violent act has always been near the top of Sarah B’s Top 10 Fear List.

Even now that I’ve learned I can’t control ANYTHING but how I choose to react to what happens, and now that overwhelming daily fear and worry is a distant memory, self defense comes to mind from time to time. What would I do if someone tried to hurt me? Jujitsu? Pray and hope for the best?

Going that night was important because I wanted to take the first step to acknowledge and deal with my fear.

I didn’t know what to expect but I felt like I was in for an emotional night.

We walked into the church’s fellowship hall and the room was full of mostly women, but plenty of men, children, and dogs as well.

A group from a fraternity had on shirts about respect.

fraternity brothers

We registered and got our free t-shirts.

A woman from Hope Harbor gave an introduction and some statistics.

If I remember correctly, in Kentucky 47% of women and 20% of men are sexually assaulted. That number is higher than the national average. What the heck KY?!

A teenage girl, named Abigail took the stage next. As soon as she started talking I teared up. I don’t do live events very well. Abigail said she would be the voice for those that didn’t feel like they had one. I reigned in my emotions as she went on to deliver a passionate spoken word poem about being strong enough to slay her own Monsters.

After Abigail and two rounds of applause, a university student got up and broke her 2 year silence about having been raped. She talked about hope and not letting this act of violence define her.

After the girls spoke, the lot of us took to the streets and marched around the city square and a couple of blocks.

Take Back The Night 2016

My mom and I may or may not have skipped that last block and taken a short cut back to the church.

When everybody else got back, there was a candle light vigil and a group singing of This Little Light of Mine, followed by a moment of silence for the survivors present.

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Everyone was then invited to an art show and live music at The FFOYA House, a couple of streets over.

My mom sat in the car while I popped in to look at the art.  As I walked around the house looking at the art, I listened in as the women around me introduced themselves to one another and traded credentials. This one teaches social work on campus. That one works at The International Center. As is the theme of my life these days, I stood there asking myself what it is I’m supposed to be doing with my life.

What’s holding me back? Fear? Fear of change? Fear of hard work? Fear of picking the wrong path? Fear of making a move when the most important work I could be doing is in my own home? These are the people that need me more than anybody else. BUT!…will I make a bigger difference in their lives if I push myself to grow, give myself more earning power, and have myself set up to provide fully for them in case tragedy strikes or should my sometimes rocky marriage ultimately crumble?

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An image from the night that had a huge impact on me about the reality of what we were all there for, was a cute little girl about 5 years old with dark skin and brightly colored clothes.  She was stomping happily in a rain puddle while holding up a sign about innocence.

What am I supposed to be doing with my life?

I’m blessed to call Bill Cumming my friend. He’s worked for 30 years to do his part to end violence and he’s invited me into this work with him. He began his important work after realizing he had the capacity to kill the man that raped his then 8 year old daughter.

When I see people in pain from daily hardship or hear of violence, I feel like part of what I’m supposed to be doing with my life is to connect them to Bill and his program, What One Person Can Do. He’s conducted this life changing program in schools, churches, prisons, corporations, with individuals, and is currently working with the Vermont Air National Guard.

Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’m going to try to get Bill to Take Back The Night next year as a speaker.

If you haven’t watched Bill’s Tedx Talk yet, what are you waiting for? 🙂

Would you like to have a conversation with Bill or me about this program or about any possibilities that came up for you while you were watching?  You can reach us here.

As I was driving into town that night, and my mom and I were discussing the event to come, facing my fear of bodily harm and the pesky details of the unknown future were playing in the back of my mind. Even though I spend a minuscule amount of time fearful or worried these days, I noticed that night that I still have plenty of fears yet to conquer and except for sky diving, I’m up for the challenge. Bring it!

Much love and peace!
Sarah

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I Will Not Sit In Silence

busy mom

What started out as sheer annoyance with a family member last night has turned into this mushy desire to get involved.

Have you ever known somebody that has an answer for everything, even if it’s the wrong answer?  That’s my cuz.

Last night, he was being pretty nasty to his wife and kids and I’d had all I could stand.

He snapped at his daughter, “Stop being an idiot and don’t cry if you wreck. Crying’s for sissies.”

She walked by me with her tear streaked face and I couldn’t sit in silence.

Too often I sit in silence when people are being borderline ugly to each other, so I spoke up. “You’re NOT an idiot and it’s PERFECTLY okay to cry if you get hurt.”

Later on, he and I were talking about parenting and I urged him, “Don’t call your kids idiots. You’ve got to build them up. You’ve got to tell them they’re strong.  They’re going to grow up having such low self esteems and then they’ll turn to mean men for validation.”

He sputtered some nonsense back at me. I asked him, not out of meanness but out of curiosity, “Did your parents call you an idiot?” His eyes seemed to soften as he shared with me the list of worse names he was called.

The thing is, all names are bad names and I would argue that being called idiot your whole life is just as hurtful as being called a mother fucker.  (I’m not slamming his parents. I’m sure if I asked them, they’d have similar stories to share about their childhood.  We ALL make mistakes as parents and my kids will happily list off every single time I’ve been hateful and completely lost it…but, I digress.)

I was SO frustrated with him last night that I wanted to hit him with Lorraine (his belt) but this morning, I really want the opportunity to sit down and tell him there’s a better way than all of that stress and anger that he’s currently carrying around. I want to say, “Trust me. This works. You can be happier. I WANT you to be happy. I love you all. Please give me a chance to share.” (This side of the family isn’t mushy at all and this would totally freak them out.  I’d probably get shunned.)

I don’t know that I’ll ever get the chance to share with him but for some reason (and thank you for doing so) YOU are reading this and I CAN share it with YOU.

The What One Person Can Do conversation is a life changer.  I know this because it changed mine. It not only helped me see that I’m capable of doing tasks that I once found hard or overwhelming, but it helped me through one of the hardest times in my life, being separated from my husband; and it’s been extremely useful in reconciling. I use what I learned on a DAILY basis to help my day go more smoothly and to love on the people around me.

If I could give you one gift, it would be this conversation/program. Give it a chance. If you’re struggling with anger, overwhelm, depression, stress or you’re worried about someone you love who’s struggling, GO THROUGH THE PROGRAM. You’ll feel more peace in dealing with your own set of rough circumstances or in being there for your friends and family.

It’s a conversation for ALL people because it’s about the basics of being a person. It’s not rocket science. It’s not information that’s not also being shared in other places, but it’s been put together in such a way that you’re not just learning about it, you’re experiencing it and it’s useful all day every day.

This program needs more exposure. Look at it. Go through it but don’t stop there.  Figure out how to share it with people you care about: your immediate family, your church, your schools, your prisons, your community. Get in touch with Bill Cumming, the program’s founder and ask him to come speak at one of those places. Ask him to work with your family.  Ask me to. I tend to defer to Bill because he’s been at this for 30 years and I’m new at it, but if he’s busy, ask me 😉

The more people that understand their own value, the less damage we’ll all do to each other and the less damage we’ll all have to deal with in the form of road rage, broken homes, drugs, rape, murder, corrupt corporations and governments. No, we can’t fix all the world’s problems or all the broken people, but we can do our part to make our little corner a nicer place to be.

“Sometimes you need to believe in people, even if the cost seems too high. Because the real cost of not believing in people is huge.” -Chris Morris

What One Person Can Do is available as an online course here or it’s available one on one, via phone or skype. Contact information for Bill Cumming and I can be found here.

Don’t put this off. Your world needs a joyful, peace filled YOU!

Love,
Sarah

I’ve included Bill’s Tedx Talk below so you can “meet” him.

 

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Comparing Apples to Giraffes

Thank YOUfor being a friend!

I’m on overload today.  My thoughts are a jumble of indistinguishable whatnots. I feel overwhelmed by the should do’s and want to’s.  After having read a couple of wonderfully written articles, I feel deeply moved and am further questioning what I’m up to in life.

Earlier this morning, I was torturing myself by comparing my life and talents with everyone I hold on a pedestal, which is pretty much everyone but me…I promise that I DO love myself.  I’m growing as a person, but it’s taking FOREVER.  I feel like I should be further along in the process than I am.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

One thought I had while comparing myself to one such POWERFUL woman friend who went back to school a few years ago and is wrapping up her first year of teaching, was to get my butt off the sidelines and join her in the action…whatever that looks like for me.  It could be the decision to pour myself into my family and let go of any other dreams.

20160327_124059-1The family dream is a beautiful dream in and of itself and worthy of every minute of my time.  I admire women who run their homes so well, regardless of where they work both in and out of the home.  Maybe it looks like going back to school or doing what I’ve already been trained to do by stepping out of my comfort zone (that’s full of excuses) and offering to tell people about What Every Person Can Do.  Maybe it’s a combination and I haven’t hit on the right mix yet.

It feels like decision time and there’s no wrong decision, except indecision. I can ALWAYS change my mind at any time and pick a new route.  I don’t have to have everything figured out.

I am creating my life one day at a time.  We all are.

While I’m figuring out what my next move is, I want to share with you these two articles that touched my heart today.  They are both about how we belong to each other and full of moving and powerful quotes and they are located below my post.

When you’re done reading the articles, I would love to know what you think about them. Did they move you too or was that just me?  Do you relate to life being brutiful? Do you want to save all the kids?  Please share your thoughts.

Thanks for reading and discussing!

Much love,

Sarah B


 

Life Is Hard But They Are Brave
we ache

“Heartache is a signal to you that you’ve stumbled upon something worthy of your life. Do not run, do not turn away: follow your heartbreak. The broken road is the road less traveled. Take it, walk it, it will make all the difference. Everything beautiful starts with a broken heart.” Glennon Doyle Melton

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From Chris Morris

chris morris

“Sometimes you need to believe in people, even if the cost seems too high. Because the real cost of not believing in people is huge.” -Chris Morris

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I’ve felt blocked for months.  I’m going to share and see what happens.  That was my original intent anyway on this journey to personal power.  There are times when I feel like I’m supposed to have answers for my life that I don’t have and so I get quiet.  

Good, bad, ugly…I’m going to say where I am and how it’s affecting me.  You’ll either judge me and go away, or you’ll relate, or you’ll have something encouraging to share.  

Fear

The other day I saw an online article meant to induce panic.  It gave the scenario of a woman becoming friends with a man she didn’t know on Facebook, thinking that she’d probably met him somewhere and forgotten.  He seemed nice so she accepted his friend request.  Later on when she shared a post of her child, he took that picture and offered it to his sex trafficking customers.

HOLD THE PHONE!  

Needless to say I analyzed what I make public on my page and if I wanted to shut it down on the spot because it’s definitely not worth having one of my babies abducted over.

After calming down a little and further consideration, I thought about all of the millions of people using social media, including authors, bloggers, and YouTubers whose kids go un-abducted every day.  With my overprotective nature, my kids will continue to be as safe as they’ve always been and I can keep sharing through this creatively satisfying process of blogging and Facebook posting.

Don’t let FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) keep YOU from enjoying what makes you happy. We can live in constant fear if we choose to, but fear and worry truly are misuses of our imaginations.  Let’s use our minds to create a beautiful present moment, instead of worrying it away.

We’re all interconnected.

It seems like every time I’ve thought about shutting down my page, in moments of self doubt, fear, or guilt (feeling like I’ve taken way too much time from my family for this time consuming, zero income producing hobby)…anyway times like these are when POWERFUL women seem to step out of the shadows and send a message letting me know that they appreciate the page.  That happened this morning and it’s always the boost I need to keep on keeping on.  THANK YOU to those of you who have sent messages or made encouraging comments!  I appreciate it more than you know!

My Life

It’s a mess, both literally and figuratively this week.  I am surrounded by boxes.  Four months ago we moved out of my brother in law’s house but didn’t move all of our stuff with us.  He recently got married to a wonderful woman and moved out too.  They’re selling his house and so we HAD to move the rest of our crap.  Jason wanted to throw it all away but I objected, so now I have to deal with it all.  I’m dealing with it by writing this post.  That works, right?

Our personal mess is upstairs and one third of Jason’s business is downstairs as he transitions from one building to another.  We’re up to our eyeballs in stuff.  I said I was sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The following picture is of Jason’s goods, but they don’t look so good piled up in our downstairs living room. Parts of our house look like an episode of Hoarders.

Possum Junk

Donald Trump

Don’t even get me started.

Marriage

Jason and Sarah Carousel

I said I was sharing good, bad, and ugly so…

My marriage has suffered the last few months and a lot of the problem has been my thinking about our marriage.  I’ve stirred pots and picked emotional scabs and…I started going to counseling a few weeks ago to break the cycle of my stinking thinking.

I’m a big fan of counseling.  We went to family counseling over the summer a few times and I was geeking out.  I LOVED IT and wondered why we hadn’t always been doing it.  I think my enjoyment of family counseling had something to do with my enjoyment of my family.  We’re all a bunch of goofballs and that means a lot of laughter, even in counseling.  These family sessions were being filmed because the two counselors were still under supervision..  One day on the way home, my 15 year old admitted to giving the camera random glances like Jim in The Office.

jim-halpert

NBC The Office

 

That’s comedy my friends.  I wonder what the “counselors in training” and their supervisor thought when they watched the video.

Back to marriage.  Marriage is T-O-U-G-H but our lifelong friendship, love for our family, and mutual disgust with Donald Trump make the load lighter and the days brighter.

Work

I’m still making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a factory.  With Jason’s work picking up for the Spring and Summer, I’m able to go down to two days a week!  Yay!!!  That starts this week!  I’m looking forward to helping him out, being home more, and having more energy to put toward creative projects and having the What One Person Can Do conversation with POWERFUL women.  I actually have time to do that again!

The Future and Work

It’s up in the air.  I’m still thinking about going back to school.  I especially think about going back to school on Peanut Butter Jelly days.  It’s just a matter of fitting all the pieces together.

Kids

Saturday we took a road trip.  This is a normal event for us but it was not a normal day.  In the history of road trips, this one’s going down in the books as one of the worst.  Our girls were DIFFICULT.  By the end of the trip, Jason and I decided we’d just go alone next time.

We set out to go to an exotic animal auction to see zebras and camels.  We were about an hour late.  SHOCKER!  We paid $5 a head just to get in.  We missed the exotic animals, but a couple there had a little capuchin with them.  We did see a zdonk in with some plain old boring donkeys. We learned that one zebra sold for $10,000 and one of the camels sold for $20,000!!!

We watched a couple of miniature horses sell and walked around and looked at the normal animals.  I don’t know llamas from alpacas, but I’m pretty sure it wanted to eat me.

Exotic Animal Auction

I LOVE going places I’ve never been before and I LOVE taking the road less traveled.  We saw some of the most beautiful scenery…giant hills and deep valleys and cows grazing on steep hillsides.  As we were driving up and around one hill, there was a turn off onto another road.  We could see that second road down below us, making a wider curve around the hill.  It was such an interesting view of both roads.  I wish I’d taken a picture.

Road Trip

As much yelling and fighting as our girls did, there was the usual laughter and fun too.  Even though we came away from the road trip worn out and a bit frustrated, the experience wasn’t a total wash.

Road Trip 2

Why yes.  That is a two headed doll that we lovingly refer to as Two Baby.  Nora picked Two Baby out when she was four.  He/she resurfaced during all of this moving of STUFF. The whole family is sentimental about Two Baby. #BoucherStyle

The girls’ rough housing earlier in the day was bad enough that Amelia’s new earring came out. When we got back into town, my boys accompanied the two of us to the mall to get her ear re-pierced.  We ended up eating dinner at a sushi train.

Sushi Train

That was a fun meal, even though Amelia dropped a WHOLE PIECE of sushi onto the floor!

My boys LOVE sushi!  They DON’T love hanging out with their little sisters.  Every day with 3 little sisters is like living our road trip over and over and over again, so this dinner was especially nice. Chuck played Paper Rock Scissors with Amelia and attempted to teach her how to use chop sticks. Sam took over while Chuck and I finished eating.  They watched Youtube videos of animals to pass the time.  I’m a REALLY slow eater and Chuck was going to get as much sushi out of the deal as he could.

The night ended with the purchase of a new laptop.  I’ve been using the slowest computer known to POWERFUL woman kind.  This new one is so speedy!  Is it bad that I told Cortana to refer to me as YOUR HIGHNESS?  Maggie helped me come up with that 🙂

And now after months of silence…you’re all caught up.

Thanks for reading this lengthy post.  As I’m finishing it up, it seems fitting to end with the little things quote.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

-Robert Brault

Wishing you a heart full of love for yourself (in addition to all of the other people you love) peace, and joy in the little things in your own life!

Love,

Sarah


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Daily Self Care

I was told about the benefits of daily Self Care 5 years ago.  While I have tasted the sweet fruit of getting my day started off on the right foot with Self Care many times, I have yet to make it a discipline.  What the crap?!

5 years is a long time to know that doing this leaves me feeling happier and peaceful (even when life isn’t playing fair) and still not do every day.  I guess it’s no different than anything else we know is good for us that we choose not to do, like eating healthy, exercising, budgeting, and so on.  What I’m told will happen and I hope to prove to myself, is that by making Self Care a discipline, not only will I have better days more often, BUT I will be able to be more disciplined in other areas of my life by learning to be disciplined in this one.

Here are the 4 thoughts I was taught to spend time thinking about each morning.

1. We live in a miracle.

2. Everything is interconnected.

3. The ONLY thing I can control is HOW I CHOOSE TO BE in the world today.

4. Be gracious with myself.

Four thoughts.  That’s it!  That’s REALLY easy, easier than eating healthy and definitely easier than exercising.

The other day I was at work, feeling a little low and I decided to turn to Self Care to lift me out of my funk.  I started with the first thought WE LIVE IN A MIRACLE, which for me has turned into THIS DAY IS A GIFT.  I tried to get in touch with that grateful/excited to be alive feeling but it just wasn’t happening.  I didn’t feel like the day was a gift at all.  I felt sorry for myself.  Here I am standing in one spot for 12 hours, doing a really boring job, and missing my family.  The whole day is over by the time I get home.  Some gift.

I stayed in pursuit of the feeling.  I kept exploring different thoughts and then I hit one.

I thought about Joey Feek, the world’s most famous dying person.  She’s truly a beautiful soul.  I’m sure she’d like more time with her family and wouldn’t mind working in a factory to get it.  She’s not the only one. There are women all over the world and whether they are dying or in poor health, they would do ANYTHING to be able to come home and hug and kiss their families at the end of a long day.

That did it.  The “feeling” was there!  The THIS LIFE IS A LIMITED TIME OFFER/THIS DAY IS A SPECIAL ONE thought was locked in.  I was grateful for my health, for a pleasant work environment and great co-workers.  I felt grateful for the opportunity to keep creating my life, to exploring possibilities because I’M NOT STUCK. I have choices.  WE ALL DO!  Even if we get to a place in our lives where, like Joey, our choices are less and less, we still have one choice left, perhaps the most important choice of all.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—

to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

-Viktor E. Frankl

Writing this post has me raring to go.  If taking a few minutes each morning to do Self Care can help me live each day more POWERFULLY, if it can help me be more present with my family, if it can help me face hard times with more peace, what the heck have I been waiting for?

I’ve been thinking about this for a week already, but it’s time to quit thinking and start doing. Tomorrow morning, I’m waking up 30 minutes early to do Self Care instead of getting thrown into the day.

Here’s one of the first posts I wrote about Self Care way back when, if you want to see more about how I do it.

Do you have a morning routine?  I’d love to hear about it and be encouraged by your discipline as I start my own.  Leave your thoughts here or on Facebook 🙂

I Am A Powerful Woman shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

If YOU are ready to experience more peace and less struggle, I’d LOVE to personally go through the What One Person Can Do program with YOU.
This conversation has been conducted in schools, corporations, prisons, and one on one with the program’s founder, Bill Cumming, and other program conveners for 30 years.  Space is EXTREMELY limited for anyone wishing to go through this with me.  I only have room to work with 10 women, so click HERE to contact me (or Bill) with questions and to grab your spot.
There’s also an online version of the program available HERE.  It’s an incredibly affordable option. 12 weeks of support for what 1 hour of counseling would cost!  But…and I know this firsthand, even reasonably priced is not an option sometimes, so don’t write this off. Partial and full scholarships are available for those that need them and are serious about going through the work for both the online and one on one programs.

 

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