Author Archives: Sarah Boucher

About Sarah Boucher

Hi! I started this blog and fb page, by the same name, to encourage women to grow into their powerful selves. I used to be extremely insecure and overwhelmed by life. Since the inception of my fb page one year ago, I have learned more about the power that has always existed in each of us, the power of unconditional love, and the joy of living grounded in my well being. I am currently in training with Bill Cumming from The Boothby Institute and LOVING life with my supportive husband and five, funny, redheaded children!

I Want To Be Drunk All The Time

I want to be drunk ALL THE TIME.

First off…my mom raised me better than this.

Sarah Boucher | I Am A Powerful Woman | Rebel

(The picture is from The Greatest Victory and the first video I made…Lol)

My life is probably too much of an open book, but I’ve said in the recent past I’m going to be true to who I am, and if that means some people need to walk away, I’ll learn to deal.

Last night after work, my friend Amador and I went out for drinks. I’ve never understood the appeal of alcohol or why anyone would ever want to get drunk and deal with a hangover the next day.

Jason started drinking beer daily before we separated. He didn’t get drunk. It was just annoying to me because of the expense. I judged him pretty hard and even counted bottles. The EXPENSE!

When I quit being a nag, I’d taste the different beer he brought home and tease him that it all tasted like saltine crackers. He’d sit down with a pack of saltine crackers and drink a beer.  Kind of redundant in my opinion.

Since the separation I’ve dabbled in different fruity drinks and had a buzz 3 or 4 times. I’ve wondered at what point a person is considered drunk. I even Googled it one night with my bottle of coconut rum.

Well I found out last night. I had 2 Bahama Mama’s on an empty stomach. As I sat there laughing and thoroughly enjoying myself I said, “I used to feel like this all the time.”

I did! I used to feel THAT in love with life on a regular basis even in the middle of crappy circumstances – very little money, a marriage falling apart, the stress of raising a house full of kids, and trying to find myself.

I don’t really want to be drunk all the time. My tiny hangover this morning helped me recognize that, but I do want to get back into the head space where I experience that drunk on life feeling.

Life has been such a turd this last decade that I truly believe it will never be as I would have it, but that’s neither here nor there. Even in the middle of the occasional disappointments and chaos, I get to choose to feel defeated or to look around at my blessings and make a plan for the day that will leave me feeling giddy about life.

If I did it once, I can do it again.

I called Bill yesterday. He asked me how I was. I teared up and said, “Not great. I should’ve called a couple of months ago.”

I poured out my little broken heart. He offered reassurance as to my humanness and told me to, “Get the (air) hug,” and I told him I’d call him when I got off work.

Forgetting my intent to call, I got drunk instead.

I’m glad I did. To momentarily feel such elation was the perfect reminder that I didn’t used to need alcohol to accomplish that feeling.

I called Bill this morning to wrap up yesterday’s conversation. I told him about my drunken revelation and said I realize my lack of discipline where daily self care is concerned is the missing link between the way I’ve experienced life recently compared to 5 years ago..

He ended the call by saying, “We’re friends for life,” and reminded me that he’s here for me any time.

I so wish YOU had the opportunity to know Bill too. If you did, he’d make the same statements of love and support to you, but you know me instead so I’ll have to share what he’s taught me as I relearn it.

For me to move forward and not be a complete victim of my thinking as I’ve been the last couple of years, there’s 2 main ingredients.

The 1st thought to let in is that I’m loved unconditionally by at least one person. (I’m blessed enough to have more than one person love me this way.) By letting in that unconditional love means just that and it isn’t going anywhere, no matter what crazy choices I make or don’t make, I’ve been able to experience that my value in the world is indeed undisputed, as is yours and everyone else’s. I forget from time to time. This unconditional love is also a pretty great example of God’s love for us.  (Check out the book Real Love.)

The 2nd step is to reflect on a few Self Care thoughts to get myself grounded as my day starts.

  1. Everything is a miracle. (Life is a gift.)
  2. Everything is interconnected. (Every word we speak and action we take makes a difference- good or bad.)
  3. The ONLY thing I have ANY control over is how I CHOOSE to be in the world today. (As much as I’d like to orchestrate the events of my life, it just doesn’t work that way. But I get to choose how to react to what life throws my way.)

And then a 4th thought that’s been useful for me is to be gentle with myself, to treat myself with same love and compassion I show everybody else.  I really need to remember this one especially as of late. I’ve been ridiculously hard on myself and I wouldn’t dare be this way with anybody else.

So life is not as I’d have it here and now, but there is still MUCH to be thankful for and I can only do what I can to make each day a little brighter for myself and others.

Thanks for the reminder Bahama Mama!

I’m looking forward to going through life tipsy on LOVE and all things good.

You can experience the goodness of Bill’s work through his online course What Every Person Can Do.  It’s the next best thing to knowing him personally 🙂

If you have questions about the online course or if you’d be interested in going through the one on one course with me, you can message me.

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Don’t Rain on My Parade

There have been times in this 6 year journey of learning to love myself and stepping into my power, where I’ve had to be my biggest cheerleader.  Those closest to me- my mom, husband, and even close friends didn’t understand what I was up to.  Why was I spending so much time blogging and Facebooking?  Why would I want to pay a coach to “be my friend” when there were friends who loved me and would tell me like it was?

That was the problem though.  They were going to tell me like it was, according to their limited vision for my life.  They were going to tell me the practical, safe, normal way to do life.  They couldn’t see what I could see for myself.

NO THANK YOU!

Don’t Rain on My Parade!

barbara streissand/i am a powerful woman/ sarah boucher/ don't rain on my parade/ funny girl

There will always be naysayers, but it’s shocking when it’s from those you ABSOLUTELY KNEW would be there to cheer you on.  In my case, the people that didn’t get it originally do now, but that’s not always the case.

All of this to say, you have to believe in yourself.  You have to hold tight to your visions, even when you don’t know when or how you’re going to carry them out.  Don’t give up on YOU!

There have more recently been times when I’ve lost my vision, my focus, my passion – like this entire past year and a half.  Thankfully there are people, like my friend Caroline, who have helped me see those dreams that have become blurry and speak POWERFUL words into my life.  Caroline is a brilliant writer and as encouraging as it is to read her words, having an actual conversation with her is the REAL TREAT.  She fires off one uplifting thought after another and I’m blown away by how her mind works.  After a recent conversation about accepting all parts of oneself, even the parts that don’t seem to fit (for example – my inner rebel) she posted this for me.  I wanted to share it with you because I want YOU to accept all the parts of you too.

This POWERFUL WOMAN journey isn’t about one of us having all the answers.  We ALL have lessons to learn from each other.  I hope Caroline’s words encourage you the way they encouraged me.

YOU have to define yourself for yourself.

You know who you are–you have known all along–because you know how you feel inside; you know what makes your bones ache, your blood churn, and your spirit come alive.

Logic is useful in many ways, but it is useless in defining the immeasurable, such as passion, soul, intuition.

Logic can help you make sound decisions, but trusting the intuitive parts of yourself keeps you from oppressing and suppressing the very essence of who YOU were created to be apart from everyone else.

Get off the path logic paved on its own.

Define a whole new path in uncharted territory which demands your intuition to pick up a shovel and help clear the brush.

Trust what you find on that path.

Believe in it.

Dig your truth up from the dirt and brush away all of the dust from its edges.

This is where you find yourself; this is where you free yourself.

Be ready.

When you come to fully realize YOU, you’ll never be able to unsee it.

You’ll cry. You’ll scream. You’ll think, ‘My God, there YOU were all along! Look at how beautiful you are.’

Lightness comes. With the stones of preconceived notions cast aside which served no purpose but to weigh down your pockets.

Calm comes. With self-acceptance. With self-love. With self-gratitude.

Space comes. With acceptance of others. With love for others. With gratitude for others.

Life falls into place. With the universe attracting to you all of those things which speak to your essence, your soul, your truth.

#forSarah

#rosecoloredlensesblog

#iamapowerfulwoman

 

You can follow Caroline on Facebook and read her blog at Rose Colored Lenses.

Sidenote -my ego loves #forSarah. Feel FREE to send encouragement my way and use #forSarah…Lol

A few thoughts to consider and I’d love to discuss if you’d like to leave a comment.

  • Are you being cheered on?
  • Is it time to find a tribe?
  • Do you need to put some distance between you and the naysayers?

Don’t settle for mediocre treatment from anybody…ever!

You deserve respect and love – the same as everybody else.

Thanks so very much for being part of this community!

Much love,

Sarah B

 

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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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