Tag Archives: Bill Cumming

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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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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I Want Balance, Lots and Lots of Balance

You know those days when there’s nothing to be upset about but you just feel down or unsettled? I’ve been feeling that way lately and I discovered the reason while listening to a Zig Ziglar audio a few days ago.

Zig was talking about the 7 areas of our life that, when worked on, leave us feeling a sense of balance and set us up to lead a more successful life.  As he was talking, I recognized that my life is pretty dang unbalanced and knew instantly what was bothering me the most and how to fix it.

7 areas of life

Another reason I get frustrated and feel “off” from time to time is because I try to tackle all 7 areas at once.  I’m all over the place and I’ve struggled to move forward with any consistency in any one of these areas.

Why am having so much difficulty moving forward?

Bill and I discuss this problem in today’s video.  (We had a technical glitch at the end but the audio continues.)

Sarah, I, 4_24_15 from Bill Cumming on Vimeo.

If you missed last week’s video, click here.

For the Ziglar audio, click here.  (There’s a big pause halfway through the audio but it picks back up after a couple of minutes.)

I truly appreciate your presence in the P-dub Hub and over on Facebook!  Feel free to share your thoughts or questions about everything posted.  I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!  Post  inspiring videos, songs, and posts on the wall.

What I’d really really love is if YOU share your experience of growing in your POWER, accomplishments (big or little as much and often as you’d like to share) or a post about the women in your life who inspire you.

 So let the sharing begin!

 I’m so happy to be connected to each of you and want only the best for YOU!

Sarah

P.S. I’d like to encourage you, if you’re struggling or dealing with a loved one in pain, to 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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Loving Kindness, Relationships, and Parenting

I’m EXCITED to share with you the first, of what I hope will be many, short recorded discussions with Bill Cumming, founder of The Boothby Institute.  Bill has been my mentor and friend for four years. His program What Every Person Can Do, now available in an online course as well as one on one, has been a life changer for me.  I consider it an honor to know him and work with him on projects.  I walk away from every conversation wanting others to be able to benefit from his loving kindness and friendship too.

Bill has no desire to be in the lime light.  His work is to point everybody back to themselves and the power, peace, and love that is in each of us, so that we can live joyful lives and the world will be a healthier safer place for all of us.  I’d be okay with that.

This video is LOADED with takeaways.  (I was not as angry as I look. I promise.)

Bill touches on unconditional love in healthy relationships and in parenting, what that kind of love feels like, and how to stay calm when the kids are pushing all of your buttons.

zoom_3 from Bill Cumming on Vimeo.

I’d LOVE your feedback.  Was this video useful?  Would you like to hear more about any of the subjects talked about in this video?  Do you have other questions about any area of your life or concern that you’d like Bill and I to address next?  I’m looking forward to your comments!

I’d like to encourage you, if you’re struggling or if you are 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.

Thanks for watching and thanks for your feedback.

Sarah

 

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Why Have a Mind?

why have a mind

Keep an open mind. Be open to new thoughts and experiences.

Don’t shut out possibilities because you’ve made up your mind a long time ago that life is the way it is.

Embrace life! Embrace people who see the world differently than you do. We’re all just people.

Not a SINGLE one of us has more worth than another.

I don’t have less worth than Mother Teresa.

Am I A Fool

I don’t have more worth than someone who has committed rape or murder. I may be less of a threat, but my life is not more valuable than theirs or less valuable than Mother Teresa’s and neither is yours.

Don’t agree with me or find it hard to accept that you’re made of the same stuff Mother Teresa was?

Do you want to talk about it?

I do. How about this Monday?
Grab your spot on Monday night’s call here.
http://iamapowerfulwoman.net/person/

Be there or be square. 🙂
Just joking. I’m looking forward to talking with YOU Monday night.

Love,
Sarah

Sarah Boucher blog picture

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

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What Every Person Can Do

WEPCD image

Why have I started slapping www.whateverypersoncando.org on EVERYTHING?

I’ll tell you why.

I think this message of what every person can do is so important that it belongs in EVERY home, EVERY office, EVERY school, EVERY church, EVERY prison, EVERY community, EVERY government, in EVERY country!

Let me cut to the point. We get one shot to live this life and I want all people everywhere to struggle less.

“Impossible!” you might be saying to yourself.

“That’s a lost cause,” was the actual response of someone very close to me.

Well, in my opinion NOT A SINGLE ONE OF US is a lost cause and I’m willing to spend the rest of my life pursuing that theory.

I have a sincere apology to give you.

I’ve been hogging Bill Cumming all to myself for 3 years.

boothby institute bill cumming

I have this AMAZING resource to share in Bill and his life experience and I haven’t done so. Life is short and Bill’s not getting any younger (sorry Bill.) That’s the truth of the matter. He says he hopes to be around for 20 more years, but there’s no guarantee of that. That FREAKS ME OUT! I feel this sense of urgency to learn everything I can from him and share it.

I want EVERYONE I know to meet Bill and hear what he has to share. His message is not about how SUPER DUPER Bill is. It’s about how SUPER we all are.

It’s a POWERFUL message and it’s made my life easier. It’s helped me understand other people better. It’s made me want to step out of my comfort zone and do everything I can to get it in front of everyone.

Bill has been leading the 12 week program What Every Person Can Do with individuals, in schools, prisons, and in corporations for 30 years and has helped hundreds, if not thousands of people experience their worth, including me. I want you to add your name to that list. I want you to get the chance to hear his story and speak with him personally on Monday night at 8:00 Eastern. This is not a fancy pants recorded call that you can get the link to if you’re not able to make it, although I wish it were. I hope you can make it.

This call is for YOU if:

You are struggling in ANY way at all
You desperately want to help someone who is struggling but don’t know how
You are grumpy all the time
You stay worried a lot
You are going through marital problems
You hate your job
You are frustrated by your children’s behavior
You are rich
You are impoverished
You have a heartbeat

This call is not for you if:

You are a zombie
Your arms are to short to hold the phone up to your head because you are a t-rex
You are a blade of grass
You get the point 🙂


I’m looking forward to talking with all of you on Monday night!
Love,
Sarah Boucher

Sarah Boucher blog picture
Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there.

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21 Days of Self Care, Day 1

4 Self Care Thoughts21 Days of Self Care,Day 1

I have experienced the incredible difference that taking time to do Self Care makes in my day. I feel like the 4 Self Care thoughts have become part of my thinking. Because of the overall impact this way of thinking has had in my day to day life, it is easy to become complacent when I wake up feeling peaceful, to skip the routine altogether. “I’ll do it after I get the kids off to school,” I say to myself, but then I start my busy day and later never happens.

My kids and husband have also noticed the difference Self Care makes in my day. When I’m not being patient or very loving, they call me out on it. “Have you done Self Care?” EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has asked me this at some point over the last couple of years.

I’ve written a couple of blog posts and lots of facebook posts about Self Care, but it has yet to become a discipline for me. So even though, I’m mostly relaxed, even in the midst of some pretty chaotic times, I still have lots of off moments and occasional days where I’m a bit of a mess. This has been especially embarrassing when my friend Bill Cumming, who introduced me to Self Care, asks me how often I’m doing it.

So…it’s time. It’s time to get disciplined and experience the full effect Self Care can have on a life so that I can not only live my life to the fullest, but share with you what’s possible as well. I don’t want any of us to suffer needlessly. My life before learning about Self Care was full of unnecessary drama and self inflicted suffering.

For the next 21 days, I am challenging myself to be fully committed to doing Self Care every morning. After reading this post, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to do your own reflection on the 4 Self Care thoughts and see what a difference it makes in your own equanimity. Merriam Webster says equanimity is evenness of mind especially under stress. Self Care WORKS!

Pre-Self Care Thoughts on Day 1

So…it’s 11:00 am. I’ve had 5 hours of thinking time already this morning. These are some of the thoughts I’ve been thinking lately, having not done Self Care consistently for the past few months.

*Most mornings are unpleasant because of my 7 year old’s behavior. I love her but I dread waking her up. This morning’s fit was 5 minutes of drama over shoes. I don’t want to dread waking up my children.

*I’m not focused on my goals. I have so many ideas but I’m not making time to work on them. I’m scattered.

* I’ve been REALLY hard on myself. My life, while I feel so blessed, is not what I’d like it to be. I’ve made so many mistakes. BIG MISTAKES. I’m having trouble forgiving myself for not making better choices. I feel ashamed.

*I feel torn. I have a picture in my head of what life can be like on a day to day basis. I’d made the decision to pursue that picture, but reality is saying, “Not yet Missy.” I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

*I feel worried about some unknowns, like my health. I haven’t been to a doctor in years and I’m feeling kind of MORTAL these days.

As you can see, my mind visits some dark places. This has been my line of thinking once or twice a day, without the discipline of daily Self Care. Because I’ve done it in the past, I might spend more time than I should stewing over these thoughts, but I don’t stay in a constant state of worry or panic like I did before I learned about this invaluable tool. Still, these thoughts are unpleasant and Self Care will snap me out of it, get me grounded in my well-being, and support me in having a wonderful experience of being alive.

The 4 Self Care Thoughts
You can spend a few minutes thinking about these or praying about them. If you decide Self Care is beneficial for you, you’ll develop your own way of doing it, but here are the 4 Core Thoughts.

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 to yourself.

Besides thinking about and/or praying about these thoughts, you’ll want to reinforce them by reading a couple of pages out of one of these books or a similar book.

Real Love by Greg Baer

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

Post Self Care Thoughts
Check out the difference!!!

We live in a miracle. Today I’m thankful to be alive, for my family, my health, and all my blessings.
We’re all interconnected. We all effect each other. There is lots of work to do, starting in my home, with my children. If I’ll look past myself and how others are inconveniencing me or not meeting my needs…if I’ll take time to do Self Care and get grounded, I’ll see what I can do daily to help decrease suffering in the world. I’ll see opportunity everywhere.

None of this is about me. I want to share what I’ve experienced with others. I want everyone to have access to more peace and more joy.

The ONLY thing I can control is how I choose to be in the world today. If I’m grounded, I’ll see what needs to be done to show my 7 year old that she’s loved without condition. I’ll have the patience to go into her drama filled world and love her through her meltdowns. Instead of looking at her as an energy taker, I can fill my moments with her with positivity and help her see what choices are available in helping her create a happier experience.

About my health concerns and mortality. What can I do about my concerns today? Do I need to call and make an appointment of some sort? I feel GREAT today. I need to make the most of this day. It’s the ONLY moment I have any guarantee of. How am I going to use my time?

How do I choose to be in the world today?

I choose to be loving, joyful, and peaceful. I choose to not attempt to control the people with whom I live. My husband and I have changed a lot over the years. We’re not on the same page about a lot of things. I love him anyway. All I can control is how I choose to be today. My children are not little Sarahs. I choose to do the best I can to set a good example for them, to offer them loving guidance and hope they make good choices. It only causes me lots of frustration to try to micro manage everybody’s words and actions.

So my life isn’t going according to plan. All I can do is the best I can do moving forward. I’ve made mistakes. I can beat myself up and stay down or I can offer myself the same graciousness and love I would a friend and even a stranger. I choose to believe that everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to, whether it ever looks like that from my point of view or not. I’m human and I can’t see the bigger picture.

Today I choose to be hopeful,
to do my best,
to love unconditionally,
to be calm,
to be a hard worker,
to take time to pursue my goals,
and to share what I’ve experienced.

WOW! I feel better!

I promise that future posts, concerning this personal Self Care Challenge over the next 20 days, will not be this lengthy. I just wanted to give you an example of my thinking before and after. This shift is possible for all of us, any time of the day, with these 4 simple but POWERFUL thoughts.

What did you think about this post? Can you see yourself using these 4 core thoughts to develop your own Self Care routine? Don’t be shy. Share your comments below. Speaking of sharing, I’d love it if you would share this post if you think the content would be useful to someone you care about.

I Am A Powerful Woman

Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to grow in their power daily over facebook at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there. If you are interested in going through the 12 week conversation What One Person Can Do, you can get in touch with Sarah here.

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My Concord

Little-Women-book-cover-2-221x300
My Concord

I have loved the story of Little Women since I was a little girl. Many many women can say the same thing. A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a children’s book about the woman behind the book. Reading that book to my five year old started an insatiable obsession with Louisa May Alcott. I went on to read two biographies, a book of letters from people who knew her, a book of her journal entries, and started but never finished a book about the author and her philosophical father. They all pretty much said the same thing and to my disappointment, Louisa died at the end of every single one. I knew the obsession had gone too far when my 20 month old daughter picked up a piece of paper, studied it, and said, “Alcott.”

Louisa May Alcott www.biography.com

Louisa May Alcott
www.biography.com

Louisa’s life was much more interesting than the classic book based loosely on her life. In the book, there was no mention of Fruitlands, an experiment in communal living that almost ended in a broken marriage between her parents. There was no mention of a childhood filled with constant moving, poverty, and a deep thinking father who dearly loved but did not provide for his family. Abba Alcott and her four daughters worked tirelessly to take care of the day-to-day necessities, while Bronson was lost in thought somewhere or another. There was no mention of being home schooled by Henry David Thoreau or of perusing Ralph Waldo Emerson’s library and having that philosophic soul hand pick books for the little girl who would grow up to become the huge success she was.

What a life!

I identified with Louisa’s desire to improve her family’s economic situation. I was inspired by her hard work ethic and willingness to do whatever was needed to bring in as much money as she could for years and years without seeing any improvement in the family finances. I identified with her crazy father and his attempts to live life counter culturally. Louisa was so discouraged by poverty and such a “victim” at times that she seemed unaware of the amazing people that surrounded her and helped her family along the way–Ralph Waldo Emerson being one of the greatest benefactors and supporters of the Alcott family. I remember thinking that I should like to have a benefactor/mentor of my own. How absolutely splendid life would be with devotion and continual support from one who believed in another the way Emerson loved and supported Bronson Alcott.

It was at this point in my journey–the desire to have my own mentor, that amazing events began to unfold for me–happenings that I could not have imagined or planned for myself.

super coach academy

Like Concord, Mass. in the mid to late 1800s, there is a school of philosophy otherwise known as Supercoach Academy currently in session. It was my desire to go in 2012, and listen to the great minds of my time impart knowledge to those who are open to such matters as choices in all situations, inside out experiences of life, unconditional love and so on and so forth. In an attempt to make it to “Concord,” I signed up for and listened to teleconference upon teleconference.

It was one of these programs, A Taste of Supercoach Academy where I first heard Bill Cumming (aka Ralph Waldo Emerson) speak about unconditional love and making a difference. I wanted to start implementing what I heard in that call with my family immediately and I thought, “This is someone I would like to learn more from.”

Fueled by the question, “Who’s going to stop me?” from going to Supercoach Academy, I continued to brainstorm ways to start making money sharing the powerful concepts that I had been exposed to thus far and had been so instrumental in waking me up to life.

On a teleconference regarding creating money with Michael Neill and Steve Chandler (Bronson Alcott and Henry David Thoreau–at this point any of the three of these great teachers can fight over who gets to be who–I just enjoy picturing everyone as 19th century philosophers and writers), I posed the question of what value I could place on having conversations with insurance agents without having had any formal training in insurance sales or coaching.

Michael recommended I speak with Mike Schweppe (one of the top State Farm Insurance agents in the country) and Matt (his son.) I’m sure I heard a twinkle in Michael’s voice as he said, “That should be an interesting conversation.” (Shoot! I’m out of deceased people to compare the Schweppes to.)

I had a wonderful talk with Mike and Matt, who saw right through my “desire” to assist insurance agents in being top producers and posed the question, “What do YOU want?” After hearing my answer, the Schweppes suggested that we have a second conversation with their associate Bill Cumming.

Inside my head I was like, “SHUT UP! NO FREAKING WAY!!!” But my actual response was more like, “Okay. That would be really nice.”

And so my desire to have an Emerson of my own was fulfilled. I am still amazed and thankful for the opportunity to meet, become friends with, and work on projects alongside the Schweppes and Bill.

While I was not able to travel to Concord and attend the modern day School of Philosophy, I look forward to making a pilgrimage one day and seeing Walden Pond and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for myself. What an amazing time and place those great people lived in all interconnected, sharing new ideas, and producing brilliant works of literature.

What a great time this is!

If you want to learn more from some of the great thinkers of our time,
check out the links below.

Bill Cumming The Boothby Institute
Michael Neill Supercoach.com
Matt Schweppe Taking A Stand
Steve Chandler

(I can’t help but think of all of the additional content Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and the Alcotts would have produced with computers.)

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Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there. If you are interested in learning more about What One Person Can Do or one on one coaching, you can contact Sarah here.

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