Tag Archives: Real Love

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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Struggle Less

Sarah Boucher

Struggle Less

Do you feel like all you have ever known is struggle? Even though you know 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 everything at work, to keep the house and yard in shape, to pay the bills, to make ends meet, to ever get ahead?

What if you woke up one morning and life no longer felt like such a challenge? What if all of the circumstances above remained the same but when combined, they no longer had the power to unravel you?

A couple of years ago, I had the honor to go through a 12 week program called What One Person Can Do. Grounded in loving kindness and personal responsibility this program allowed me to discover my value, the power that exists in each of us, and the ability I have to produce a joyful life of contribution and create an atmosphere where others are able to experience that same ability in their own lives. This program has been conducted with individuals and organizations ranging from school systems, Job Corps programs, the Maine State Prison System, YMCAs and corporations for 30 years by Bill Cumming and individuals who he has trained to do this work, known as conveners. I learned a great deal from that conversation, ended up going through the training to become a convener, and am pleased to share one of those life changing lessons with you.

One year ago, my father passed away from complications of Multiple Sclerosis. One month later, my husband and I separated.

Separated

I was blindsided. Although he continued to support us financially, for eight months I was a single mother to our five children. Because of the foundation that was laid through the What One Person Can Do conversation, I was able to walk through these painful circumstances with more equanimity than I would have otherwise been able to do. I still went through shock. I still cried on and off for a couple of months. I still made mistakes trying to readjust my life plan, but I survived. I took my life one day at a time. I did not get out in my future and let fear of the unknown take over.

Those of us raised in America, with televisions in our homes, have been taught that it is an outside in world. We have been taught that the right combination of the right possessions, the right job, and the right partner will make us happy. The truth is that happiness is ALWAYS an inside job. It is not our circumstances that make us happy or unhappy, but our thinking about our circumstances. Author Michael Neill says, “We think we are experiencing reality but what we are really experiencing is our thinking.”

So how do we get our thinking about our less than perfect circumstances to improve?
The answer is to develop a daily Self Care routine that includes visiting these four thoughts for a few minutes before you start each day.

1. Life is a gift. The only moment we have any guarantee of is this one.

2. We are ALL interconnected.

3. The ONLY thing I can control today is the way I CHOOSE to BE in the world.

4. Do the best you can and be gracious to yourself.

Self Care is a personal practice and you have to figure out what works for you, but the core ingredients are these four thoughts. Spend a few minutes thinking, meditating, or praying about them and then follow that time up by reading a couple of pages from one of these books that point back to the Self Care thoughts.

Real Love: The Truth About Finding Unconditional Love & Fulfilling Relationships

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

Living Buddha, Living Christ 10th Anniversary Edition

A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

By making Self Care part of my daily routine, these simple but powerful thoughts changed the way I experienced my life. My life consisted of the same circumstances but my thinking about those events changed.

Thinking about the gift of each day, the brevity of life, helped me become more present in my life. One of my favorite quotes is by Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. “The days are long but the years are short.” This life is speeding by and I want to be aware of and cherish each day and person I come in contact with.

Every person on this Earth is interconnected. Our actions each day have a ripple effect. One of the first life changing lessons I learned from Bill is that we don’t have to go out and look to make a difference in the world. We already are making a difference. Is it a positive one or a negative one?

I do not have the ability to control anyone (spouse or children included) or anything (broken appliances, vehicles, or the weather) but myself. Once I stopped trying, I experienced less stress, less worry, and more peace.

Learning to be gracious with myself, recognizing that I am doing the best I can each day, accepting those efforts, letting go of the mistakes or shortcomings, and trying again tomorrow has been great for me in conquering feelings of low self esteem and inferiority to others who appear to have the game of life down perfectly.

Yesterday a friend said, “Who wouldn’t want a family, a school, or a business with people in it who have mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation?” Those qualities happen to be the definition of equanimity.

You will still experience off days. They happen. By developing your own Self Care routine, most days you can be that person pointing the way to less stress and less struggle for those in your circle of influence.

Sarah Boucher blog picture

Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to find 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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