Tag Archives: experience of life

Trouble in Paradise-This Marriage Stuff

Boucher Family Pic 2014This marriage stuff is a lot harder than I thought it was. We’re almost 17 years into this and I’m scratching my head wondering what we can do to make it a happier and healthier relationship.

My experience of my marriage was that we had a pretty great one, one of the best in the history of mankind.  Unfortunately, the story stopped being legen…wait for it…dary 8 years ago.  I know it wasn’t a good experience for my husband by the 4 year mark.  That’s when he told me he thought we should see a counselor, but I “heard” what he had to say, told him we were fine, and everything got better (for me, not for him.)

If there’s one lesson I’m 100% sure of, it’s if your partner mentions counseling, don’t dismiss it.  RUN!  Don’t walk.

I want to write about my marriage because it’s real.  The struggle to be connected is real.  The feelings feel real for both of us.  There’s crap to deal with.  I don’t want any of my writing on this topic to blame or shame anyone, myself included, which is really where most of those negative thoughts would be directed since I’m the one writing this.

Here’s where I sit today.

We both had different experiences of our marriage.  We’ve made lots of happy memories over the years (I love those), but there’s also been a lot of pain and damage done on both our parts.  Our excellent communication was not as excellent as I thought it was.  We separated for 9 months in 2012 and then we made the decision to work on our marriage.  Even at our worst, separated and in relationships with other people, we still cared for and encouraged each other to make good choices.

When we decided to recommit, we went to counseling for three weeks.  The counselor told us we weren’t like other couples she’d worked with.  She really said that.  She praised our communication and respect for each other.  She told us we were doing great and sent us on our merry way.  Fast forward to today.

We’ve talked and agreed that our marriage lacks connection and we don’t know what to do about it.  We like each other.  I’d go so far as to say we love each other.  We want to stay married, but we’re just not very connected.

Here’s my analysis.  I feel like we both learned to live apart during those 9 months and since we’ve been back together, we’ve still been living separate lives.  We just do our own thing and sometimes our paths cross.  We’re both busy with life, which happens to all couples and is not unique to our situation.  So my question is what do you do when life gets busy and you get disconnected from your partner, besides the obvious.  My husband said it best jokingly, “We connect with our hearts, not with our parts.”

So, how can we get more connected?  What are your suggestions?  Seriously.  Share your ideas by commenting below or come over to I Am A Powerful Woman and post them on the wall.  I’ll compile a list and we’ll try them.  This will be fun and it might just work.

Thanks for your help!

Sarah

 

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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.)

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. 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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Are YOU Fed Up?

Are you fed up | I Am A Powerful Woman | Stress | Overwhelm | Fear | Worry

Are YOU Fed Up?

I am looking for 5 women who are fed up with feelings of overwhelm, fear, worry, and low self esteem and are ready to kick all of that negativity to the curb. It’s hard to imagine life without all of that inner turmoil, but I have experienced life both ways, and know that it is possible to struggle less even when outward circumstances are rough.

I will spend 2 hours a week for 12 weeks with five of you, starting July 22nd having one of the most powerful conversations you will ever have. You will leave this 12 week program KNOWING that you are loved, valued, and capable of creating a meaningful, joyous life for yourself and also that you are able to create an environment where those around you experience their own ability to produce the same result in their lives.

The cost of this 12 week program, plus daily access to me Monday through Friday, via a private fb support group, is $740.

In addition, I have asked Bill Cumming, the creator of this powerful conversation, if he would kick off our 12 weeks together in a group call, as well as a call at the end of the 12 weeks, to make sure I delivered the goods. When Bill works with clients in corporations, he charges $800 for an hour of his time so this is an incredible bonus for all of us!

If you are fed up, ready to break out of the daily struggle you have been experiencing, and commit to a more peaceful future of your creating, then send me your five paragraph application…Your who, what, what, why, and when.

Who are you? — tell me a little bit about yourself.

What is it you struggle with most?

What do you REALLY want your life to look like?

WHY should you be one of the first five women to go through this 12 week conversation with me?

And…

When is the best fit for you…Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between 9:30-3:30 pm ET, for your weekly appointment? It is super important that you are free of all distraction during these calls. If I can manage it with five…

Send your letter to sarahboucher@iamapowerfulwoman.net

I will review the applications and contact you to set up an introductory call before our July 22nd kick off call with Bill. If 30 people submit applications, I can put you on a waiting list for the next 12 weeks, or if you are READY to have this conversation with another convener before then, let me know that in your letter as well. I will do my best to get you connected with someone.

As a busy mother of five children, I simply do not have time for a full client load. My space is very limited and I want to give the BEST support possible to those who sign on to go through this conversation with me.

I ABSOLUTELY love supporting other women in seeing possibilities. I’m THRILLED to be starting this journey with those of you who are ready to invest in yourself and serious about changing your experience of life.

Love,
Sarah Boucher

Sarah Boucher

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

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You Are Not Stuck

Random Thoughts N' Lota Coffee
You Are Not Stuck
I hope you are having a very happy experience of life, but some of you are in a different place than that. Your thoughts are filled with pain, worry, and maybe even hopelessness. You are not stuck.

I was greeted this morning with the terrible news of a suicide. A sweet, red headed woman who always had a big smile on her face. I barely knew her but the news hit me like a ton of bricks.

POWERFUL woman–listen to me. There are ALWAYS choices available to you in ANY situation. YOU ARE NOT STUCK! YOU ARE NOT TRAPPED! HELP IS AVAILABLE ALL AROUND YOU. Reach out and take the hand of a stranger even. MAKE THE CALL. People all around the world care about YOU and we are cheering you on.

There are so many stories of success–of women who took that first step to make the change for herself and her children.

Depression
If you suffer from depression, please call your doctor, get free counseling, and even learn techniques to change your thinking. If your depression is not severe, look for something you can do for someone else or look for the next thing that needs to be done. Get up and get to work. Find the next thing that needs to be done and do it. Don’t sit and think for hours (I’m a thinker, so I know how easy it is to get stuck in this place. I struggled with depression for about a year, maybe longer than that after my fourth child was born. I didn’t want to accept the fact that I was depressed. Learning that I had more control over which thoughts I put energy into, proactively filling myself up with grounded, positive thoughts and a daily Self Care routine made a world of difference in the way I experience my life whether the circumstances around me are “good” or “bad”.)

Single Moms
You are definitely not alone. There are many resources available to single moms–grants, state programs, single parent groups in your community and in churches. I did a search for single moms on Pinterest and found all kinds of encouragement there. Check out this article as a jumping off place if you are feeling overwhelmed or need extra encouragement. 10 Single Mom Secrets.

Addiction
If you struggle with addiction, check out Sisters of Serenity and Sobriety for daily encouragement and start your journey to recovery. Katie has quite a survival story.

Physical or Emotional Abuse
If YOU are being abused or your children are being abused, call the police, get into a shelter, and start rebuilding your life.

Human Trafficking Victim or Prostitution
If you are in either of these situations, you are not alone and help is available to you.
How to Know if You Are a Victim And for those of us who want to fight for our sisters, here’s 20 Ways You Can Help Human Trafficking.

Hookers for Jesus Their desire and goal includes providing transitional support and assistance to the youth and women seeking to leave the sex industry.

Loss of Loved Ones
If you are dealing with the loss of someone close to you, first of all, I am very sorry for your loss and secondly, I hope this site helps you make sense of your grief. MedicineNet.com

Take Action
If the action is calling National Suicide Prevention Hotline, then make the call now. Be your own hero by taking that first step today to rescue yourself. GET HELP! I believe in YOU! YOU are a POWERFUL woman. YOU are not STUCK!

Please comment below if you have encouragement or a resource to pass along to anyone who might feel alone in any of these areas.

All my love and POWERFUL thoughts being sent your way!
Sarah
Sarah Boucher
www.facebook.com/IAmaPowerfulWoman

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Find Your Power

Find Your Power pic
Find Your Power

Do you feel like all you have ever known is struggle? Even though you can count your blessings until you are blue in the face because you do realize you are blessed, at the end of the day, you still feel like you are struggling–struggling to live peacefully with your spouse, to be consistent with your parenting, to encourage your children to get along, to stay on top of things at work, to keep the house decent, to pay the bills, to make ends meet, to ever get ahead? Are you ready to Find Your Power and move beyond struggle? I sure as heck am.

I have written blog posts that talked about the reality of my situation where I said, if you want expert advice in finances, organization, business, or healthy eating, don’t come to me. When J.K. Rowling said, “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life,” I can relate. I know my situation could get worse, but I’m at rock bottom of what I have experienced in my life so far. I am 34 years old and I feel like someone just handed me an encyclopedic sized book entitled How To Be A Grown Up.

I feel ridiculous when other women compliment me on my parenting, “Girl, I don’t know how you do it? Five kids!” The whole time we’re conversing, I’m thinking how glad I am that they can’t see what a wreck my house is or my bank statement. My neighbors know all about my parenting because they see the ugliness my kids display in the front yard as they yell all sorts of obscenities over who gets shotgun. Guess what? My teenagers aren’t allowed to cuss but they do it anyway. Compliment me now. Since my husband left 8 months ago, my children and I have had more McDonald’s $1 menu meals and bowls of cereal for dinner than I care to admit. I make $100 a week babysitting. Yep, that’s right. The face behind I Am A Powerful Woman is a babysitter probably making less than my teenage colleagues.

All of that to say that I don’t have it together. I’m surviving, but I don’t want to survive. I want to give my life my best shot. I want to have a plan for my family’s success and if I don’t make it, who cares. I will have tried my best and had fun doing it. I am ready to find my power in each area of life that needs work (which is every area honestly, and I think we all would agree that parenting needs to be first on the list of areas to tackle, what with the cussing kids in the front yard and all that) and excel.

Find Your Power

My strengths going into this Find Your Power phase of life are that I use Self Care daily to stay grounded in my well being in the midst of some pretty major trials, and I REALLY believe in possibilities for myself and others. If there was a Queen of Possibility, I would be it or next in line for the throne behind Oprah.

My focus for the rest of 2013 is Find Your Power! I will be sharing my own journey in finding my power, resources that I find useful, and ideas that I implement that work. If you also are on a journey to Find Your Power, please stay connected. Comment below or come to I Am A Powerful Woman and share where you are and what has worked for you.

I Am A Powerful Woman was never about me and how powerful I am. It was always my intention to encourage others to grow in their power as I was growing in mine, because this power is in all of us.

This is our year POWERFUL woman! Find Your Power!

I believe in you!
Sarah

Sarah Boucher

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Unleash Your Power With Self Care

Self Care helps me get centered–grounded in my well being.  When I approach my day this way, I have a better experience of life.  Circumstances that would normally send me over the edge are easily handled and life moves on.  I have experienced a major shift in my life because of practicing self care.

We are taught that the world is an outside in deal–that things outside of us make us happy.  When I get this thing I’ve always wanted, then I will be happy.  The truth is that happiness is ALWAYS an inside out job.  This is why self care is crucial.  Michael Neill says, “We think we are experiencing reality but what we are really experiencing is our thinking.”  Making Self Care a habit has definitely helped me with my thinking.

Image

Self Care is a very personal practice.  You have to find the right combination for you, but I will offer you the same starting place that was given to me.

These four Self Care thoughts come from Bill Cumming.  His organization is called The Boothby Institute. Bill recommends spending time each morning thinking about these four main points and then reading a couple of pages from authors like Marianne Williamson, Don Miguel Ruiz, and Greg Baer, whose books reinforce the main ideas of Self Care.

Self Care Thoughts

  1. We live in a miracle.
  2. We are ALL interconnected.
  3. The ONLY thing I can control today is the way I CHOOSE to BE in the world.
  4. Be gracious with yourself.

When I first started self care, I thought about these four thoughts and then tacked on The Four Agreements too.

  1. Be impeccable with your word.  (Don’t use your words to hurt yourself or others.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.  (Nothing others do or say is because of you.  It’s their own drama.)
  3. Don’t make assumptions.  (Don’t assume you know what others are thinking or that they know what you are thinking.)
  4. Always do your best.  (Your best changes from day to day.)

Doing self care that way worked for me, but now I do it differently.  I pray about the Self Care thoughts and then pray about whatever else I want to pray about.  It just seems natural to me in thinking about the miracle of life, to thank God for it right then and there.  That may or may not work for you.  There are no rules.  I only know that taking time to dwell on those four points does make an incredible difference in the way I experience a day.

If you find yourself in the middle of the day ungrounded–do self care.  It makes sense that if it works in the beginning of the day that it would work in the middle too.

I want all of us to go through our days with MORE JOY, MORE PEACE, and MORE POWER and Self Care is a very effective way to do so. I created a one page Self Care Guide that you can print off. I use it from time to time to help my wandering mind stay focused. I even skip around from one section of the page to another as my thoughts roam, filling out whatever part of the page the thought fits into.

In addition to the Daily Self Care Guide, here’s a link to an AMAZING video that leaves me feeling like I’ve just done Self Care every time I watch it.

I hope you enjoy these resources and please feel free to share them with others!

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.  If you have questions regarding the 12 week program What One Person Can Do or the online version What Every Person Can Do, you can get in touch with Sarah here.

 

 

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