Tag Archives: Don Miguel Ruiz

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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Always Do Your Best-This Marriage Stuff Part 2

Jason and Sarah 2014Last week I wrote about my marriage (click here to read that) and asked for pointers on getting more connected to the man I share my life with and have been friends with for over half my life.  I really appreciate all of you who shared your thoughts.  I’m condensing them here and hitting the highlights.

Jacqui-

“I advise you treat your marriage sacred like God intended and be grateful for what you have versus what you don’t, and definitely keep your marriage issues private between you, God and your husband…Good luck, you two will be in my prayers!”

Glenda-

My vote is that you go back to that therapist and start where you are at this moment. If an intersection is blocked, walking around drinking coffee and holding hands will not clear the path–although, walking and holding hands are excellent ways to approach the de-construction.

Cari-

Remember that marriage is a call to teach God’s love to the foreign culture we call our husband. Sometimes i have to step back and try to figure out how to relate to him. Sometimes I have to step back and give him room. What helps most of all is to remember the good times and try to get him to do the same. “Remember when we met?” is a good starter.

Bridget-

…we actually just started communicating better when I got ill. We threw everything right out on the table for one another, no matter how bad or heartbreaking it was. That night showed us how much we actually love and care about each other.

Nancy

It’s little things that matter. Take some time each day to show him you appreciate him. Maybe set up a regular date so you guys can connect. Sharing a cup of coffee in the morning or allowing a half hour of uninterrupted time for each other in the evening.

Janice-

You remember what drew you to him in the first place. Oh, and going to the beach is nice, if not, go for a long walk…..without kids.

Kerri-

Kiss. 15 seconds, no less every day. Even if you don’t want to. Carve out fifteen minutes of alone time together. Even if it is a walk or a coffee. I constantly feel disconnected with so many kids and a full time job, and my husbands PTSD. It is a struggle….but!!! When something is as important as marriage you do everything to keep it from being tarnished—you polish it every day.

Here’s what happened after that post.  I started thinking there were steps I could follow to fix our marriage.  I also started searching for that feeling of re-connection and happiness from him which led to some creepy neediness from me.  It felt horrible.  I don’t want to do THAT to me or him again.  I’m sure I’ll slip up and end up there from time to time, but I sure as heck hope I catch it sooner than I did this past week.  He lovingly saw me through it but we’re both exhausted and it didn’t make us feel any more connected.

Anyway, here’s what I ultimately learned and know to be true from my little visit to CRAZY TOWN.

No amount of kind words or thoughtful actions on either of our parts will fix anything or make the other person feel complete or loved.  Those activities are nice and should be done daily, but we both have to do the work of being completely happy and whole on our own to enjoy a happy healthy relationship, free of neediness, grudges, finger pointing, or guilt and shame.

The ONLY thing either one of us can do is DO OUR BEST each day to work on ourselves and be nice to our partner.  We’ve agreed that this is the best course of action, doing our best, which made me think about The Four Agreements because the fourth agreement is Always Do Your Best.

Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I’ve decided to give away a copy of the book in January to a member of the POWERFUL Woman community (The P-dub Hub.)  To become an official member of the community and be entered into each month’s give away automatically, just fill in the form below.

Goodnight and good luck from the Kentucky Lottery!

Wait!  That’s the wrong sign off.  Let me try again.

My name is Sarah Boucher and I approve this message.

Join below!!!  I’m throwing in a little something besides the book as well.  I just haven’t decided what yet 🙂

 

 

 

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Charles In Charge

Sarah Boucher

I went to a temporary service on June 2nd and started working in a factory the following day. I’ve been a stay at home the majority of my adult life so it was quite an adjustment.

Is it my dream job? Heck no. Does it pay? Yep. Would I like to do something different? Yes. Will I be okay if I end up working there the rest of my life? Yes. Is that the plan? Nope.

This past week, I trained in a different part of the factory with a man named, you guessed it, Charles. Here are a few of the lessons I learned from him.

Lesson #1 Age is just a number.
Charles is 65 years old. I wouldn’t have known it unless he had told me. I’m not sure how much a canvas bag full of 60 car belts and powder weighs, but he tosses them around like they are loaves of bread. During the week, he mentioned arthritis in his knees once, but told me he’ll keep working until he’s physically unable to do so.

Lesson #2 I’m a rebel.
As Charles was explaining the task at hand, he said, “I do 60 belts at a time, but you’re really supposed to do 30. They’ll be too hard for you to move from point A to point B.”

Uh…challenge accepted. And so I set out to prove that I too could do 60 belts at a time. The bags didn’t look like loaves of bread when I tossed them, more like bags of something really heavy, but I did it anyway.

Which brings me to

Lesson #3 Charles doesn’t know everything.

I’ve heard a few times, not just from Charles, that certain jobs in the factory aren’t for women. Maybe they aren’t for every woman, but I’m sure a certain woman COULD do the job, and some could do it better than the men that are currently doing said job. If a woman wants to do a job, she should be given the opportunity. When people make statements like that, I want to prove them all wrong. But, I don’t have time to body build right now, so I’ll save that challenge for another day. Yeah, probably not.

Lesson #4 Always do your best.
It’s a lesson that I’ve known for awhile but it was reinforced this week as I watched a man take pride in his work, a job that most people wouldn’t consider doing, and did it with energy and enthusiasm.

“Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”
― Miguel Ruiz

Check out The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

It FEELS GOOD knowing that you’ve done your best instead of going into a job dreading it and hating it the whole time. I am learning that I can do any job with energy, enthusiasm, and like it’s the most important job in the world, even if it’s dusting and cleaning toilets. The day goes by quickly when you do what needs to be done and do it with a good attitude.

give 100 percent

Lesson #5 Self Defense
On our last day together, Charles left me with a couple of self defense moves in case I ever find myself in danger. He is all about team work and sharing knowledge to make the job and life easier.

Lesson #6 Life is too short. Have fun!
The whole week was full of fun. Charles said it makes him sad to see people walking around with their heads down, not enjoying themselves, so he does everything he can to brighten up the day. Wednesday was full of, “Hey Chuck!” or, “Hey Young Blood! What day is it?” and the response would sound back, “Hump Day!” and then Charles would laugh like it was the greatest thing ever.

Charles has an inside joke with, or a nickname for everyone that walks past and they all seem to enjoy him as much as he enjoys them.

I also learned this life changing fact.

“That’s what she said,” did NOT originate with Michael Scott from The Office, but Charles has been saying it since the 70’s.

Do you have a co-worker that makes work more pleasant or do you dread going into work? What can you do to brighten up your environment, to be an energy giver? Let me know about this awesome co-worker or about your plans to be happier at work this week in the comments or over on facebook.

I Am A Powerful Woman shirt

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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You Don’t Have to Apologize

Andy Andrews quote

You Don’t Have to Apologize
I have been known to take responsibility and apologize for many things that are not my fault. I was dubbed Sorry Sarah in fourth grade because I constantly said, “I’m sorry.”

It was not until I apologized for walking near someone in the grocery store (I wasn’t even in the way) that I realized I had a problem.

That day I got mad. I wasn’t less of a person. There was NO reason for me to lower my head and apologize for breathing the same air as this gentleman. It was on this day that my quest for higher self esteem began.

If you happen to think, “Hey! That’s me too,” I have good news for you!
You don’t have to apologize anymore, unless you want to.

Four Thoughts to Turn Your Thinking Around

I am very fortunate to have a therapist in my family, so I went straight to my mom and said, “How do I feel better about myself?”

I was going through a really tough time in my life. I was having trouble in my marriage. I felt like I had no idea who I was and why I felt so bad about myself—why I felt like less of a person.

My therapist mother told me to start with The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word

“Avoid using words to speak against yourself, or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love, always.”

Working on mastering the first agreement was what turned it all around for me and my self esteem started improving. When I noticed that I was beating myself up, I was able to correct it and use my words “in the direction of truth and love.”

You don’t have to apologize for taking up space when you realize you have value in the world.
YOU DO HAVE VALUE!

2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY

“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.”

There is great relief in learning not to take the negative actions of others personally when their actions seem directed at you. It is their drama, not yours.

3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS

Don’t assume other people know what you are thinking and don’t assume you know what they are thinking.

“We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”

4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

“Just do your best–in any circumstance in your life. It doesn’t matter if you are sick or tired, if you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself. And if you don’t judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame, and self-punishment. By always doing your best, you will break a big spell you have been under.”

I am bound and determined that the words Sorry Sarah will NOT be on my gravestone!

“My life will not be an apology. It will be a statement.”-Andy Andrews

You don’t have to apologize for your dreams!

You don’t have to apologize for being you!

Grab a copy of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) Break the old agreements you have with yourself and replace them with these life changing ones!

I would love for you to come connect with me at I Am A Powerful Woman.

Sarah
I Am A Powerful Woman

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The Days Are Long

This was a facebook post I made January 28, 2012.

“Do not be concerned about the future; keep your attention on today, and stay in the present moment–Don Miguel Ruiz

Presently I have a one year old emptying the box of garbage bags all over the kitchen floor and a five year old ready to do a sewing project. How cute–she thinks I can sew : ) I better go get present.”

Fast forward to about three weeks ago and these were the messes my 2 year old made on a less than present day.  It was amusing to retrace her steps and document her path of destruction.

Amelia Decided to Feed the Fish

My older girls alerted me to this near fatal (for the fish) but well intentioned effort on Amelia’s part to care for smaller creatures.  As soon as I cleaned up this mess, I spotted the following one.

Amelia Decided to Fix Oatmeal

I personally find the thought of eating dry oatmeal rather unappetizing.  She picked this up from her older sisters.  Yuck to eating it and cleaning it.

Amelia Decided to Enjoy a Refreshing Coke

Can you blame her really?  She put so much effort into making sure the fish were well fed. And then she prepared her own snack.  You’ve got to wash all of that dried oatmeal down with something.

Amelia’s Mommy Decided it was Nap Time

I am just thankful that when she keeps herself busy, she is looking for ways to contribute to others (like the fishies) and working on becoming a self sufficient mini POWERFUL woman.  What more could a mom ask for?

Even though I was somewhat distracted on this day, I am glad I was present enough to enjoy her two-ness.

It was just another reminder to be more present.

One of my favorite quotes is by Gretchen Rubin.  The days are long but the years are short.

My oldest just turned 16!  I wish I knew about being present when Sam was Amelia’s age.

Sam on his 16th Birthday!

What is the craziest mess your children made?  Pop over to facebook and share.  What are your tips on being present?  I am interested in hearing both!

Sending lots of love and POWERFUL thoughts to you!

 

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Overcome Your Insecurities!

I was born insecure–well not really, but it seems like I was always that way.  I wanted to be accepted by other people.  At a slumber party, as a ten year old, a friend told me I smelled like strawberries and cigarette smoke.  I was so embarrassed and sad.  As soon as I got home I made a major effort to keep my bedroom door closed so my clothes wouldn’t smell like smoke ever again.  When I was about 14, a girl hollered down the hallway when she saw my white white legs, “Hey Sarah!  That’s why they have tanning beds!”  I don’t believe I ever wore shorts to school again and still don’t like them too much.  With the 100+ degree temperatures we have had this weekend if I owned a pair, I would be wearing them for sure though.

After the birth of my fourth child, I went through a depression that lasted about a year, not as bad as postpartum but unpleasant nevertheless.  I was completely overwhelmed with a new baby, homeschooling my 2 oldest, and keeping up with a toddler.  My little boys got used to the frequent melt downs and knew that when I had one, we wouldn’t be homeschooling that day.  They started looking forward to their free days.  One day I was sitting in my bed crying to a friend on the phone, and it occurred to me that I was NOT functioning.

I hit rock bottom emotionally when my husband and I almost separated a year later.  I remember feeling like I was NOTHING.  I knew I was blessed with healthy kids and a husband who loved me and wanted to work things out, but all of it threw me for a big loop.  It’s handy to have a mom whose day job is a therapist.  I called her and asked her if there was a way to work on my confidence.  She told me about The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The first agreement is be impeccable with your word.  Don’t use your words to hurt yourself or others.

I later learned how our mind believes that what we tell it is true.

About two and a half years ago I really started applying the first agreement in my life.  I got sick of the self abuse I was putting myself through every time I made a mistake.  I remember giving myself a verbal lashing and stopping myself in mid sentence.  “No.  That’s not true.  I am a powerful woman.”  I made a choice to be nice to myself that day–to change the message.  When I caught myself being hateful, I would correct myself.  It took time, but it worked!!!

You would not stand by and watch anyone else being verbally abused.  Do not allow yourself to be abused either!  You ARE a POWERFUL woman!  Love and honor yourself!  You are POWERFUL and worthy of being treated like the POWERFUL woman that you are every day by YOU!  Set a good example for the little girls and women around you!

Watch this video You Are A Powerful Woman! and then share this post to share the POWER!  Sending love and POWERFUL thoughts your way! Sarah Boucher

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