Tag Archives: Self Care

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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Daily Self Care

I was told about the benefits of daily Self Care 5 years ago.  While I have tasted the sweet fruit of getting my day started off on the right foot with Self Care many times, I have yet to make it a discipline.  What the crap?!

5 years is a long time to know that doing this leaves me feeling happier and peaceful (even when life isn’t playing fair) and still not do every day.  I guess it’s no different than anything else we know is good for us that we choose not to do, like eating healthy, exercising, budgeting, and so on.  What I’m told will happen and I hope to prove to myself, is that by making Self Care a discipline, not only will I have better days more often, BUT I will be able to be more disciplined in other areas of my life by learning to be disciplined in this one.

Here are the 4 thoughts I was taught to spend time thinking about each morning.

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 with myself.

Four thoughts.  That’s it!  That’s REALLY easy, easier than eating healthy and definitely easier than exercising.

The other day I was at work, feeling a little low and I decided to turn to Self Care to lift me out of my funk.  I started with the first thought WE LIVE IN A MIRACLE, which for me has turned into THIS DAY IS A GIFT.  I tried to get in touch with that grateful/excited to be alive feeling but it just wasn’t happening.  I didn’t feel like the day was a gift at all.  I felt sorry for myself.  Here I am standing in one spot for 12 hours, doing a really boring job, and missing my family.  The whole day is over by the time I get home.  Some gift.

I stayed in pursuit of the feeling.  I kept exploring different thoughts and then I hit one.

I thought about Joey Feek, the world’s most famous dying person.  She’s truly a beautiful soul.  I’m sure she’d like more time with her family and wouldn’t mind working in a factory to get it.  She’s not the only one. There are women all over the world and whether they are dying or in poor health, they would do ANYTHING to be able to come home and hug and kiss their families at the end of a long day.

That did it.  The “feeling” was there!  The THIS LIFE IS A LIMITED TIME OFFER/THIS DAY IS A SPECIAL ONE thought was locked in.  I was grateful for my health, for a pleasant work environment and great co-workers.  I felt grateful for the opportunity to keep creating my life, to exploring possibilities because I’M NOT STUCK. I have choices.  WE ALL DO!  Even if we get to a place in our lives where, like Joey, our choices are less and less, we still have one choice left, perhaps the most important choice of all.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—

to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

-Viktor E. Frankl

Writing this post has me raring to go.  If taking a few minutes each morning to do Self Care can help me live each day more POWERFULLY, if it can help me be more present with my family, if it can help me face hard times with more peace, what the heck have I been waiting for?

I’ve been thinking about this for a week already, but it’s time to quit thinking and start doing. Tomorrow morning, I’m waking up 30 minutes early to do Self Care instead of getting thrown into the day.

Here’s one of the first posts I wrote about Self Care way back when, if you want to see more about how I do it.

Do you have a morning routine?  I’d love to hear about it and be encouraged by your discipline as I start my own.  Leave your thoughts here or on Facebook 🙂

I Am A Powerful Woman shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

If YOU are ready to experience more peace and less struggle, I’d LOVE to personally go through the What One Person Can Do program with YOU.
This conversation has been conducted in schools, corporations, prisons, and one on one with the program’s founder, Bill Cumming, and other program conveners for 30 years.  Space is EXTREMELY limited for anyone wishing to go through this with me.  I only have room to work with 10 women, so click HERE to contact me (or Bill) with questions and to grab your spot.
There’s also an online version of the program available HERE.  It’s an incredibly affordable option. 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 for both the online and one on one programs.

 

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Happy Belated New Year!

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a good New Year’s Eve post. Naturally it was about coming to the end of the year and preparing for the new one. She talked about writing things down that you want to put behind you and creating a ritual of burning, burying, or immersing the paper. Ain’t nobody with 5 kids got time to burn pain (or to write a New Year‘s post within the first week of the year for that matter. That’s not entirely true, but it’s my excuse for now, so indulge me.)

She talked about loving the feeling she gets on New Year‘s Eve,

“that the universe has been generous to me, to have let me stick around for another year, and to now erase the slate and give me another chance.

Tomorrow I will be gifted with a brand new year – with no mistakes in it yet, and no heartbreaks yet, and no failures yet. I get to try again. Amazing.

You will be gifted with this huge blessing too. A clean and empty book awaits us all. Maybe we will be able to write things differently this time. Maybe a bit better. Maybe we will be wiser this time. At least we get to try.

We have all been given a fresh chance.

Let’s close the old book, and open a new one.”

As I read her words I got a thrilling feeling thinking about approaching EACH NEW DAY this way (without the burning, burying, or water mess, but if you have time for that, go for it.) But seriously, EACH DAY is an occasion, a celebration, a fresh start, a new chance, a clean slate, a new book. “Maybe we will be able to write things differently this time. Maybe a bit better. Maybe we will be wiser this time. At least we get to try.”

Taking time to reflect on the day we’ve lived, what went right, what we’d like to do better tomorrow, how we want to be, that is Self Care. It’s living intentionally and it makes for a beautiful life experience, one that YOU are present for and fully engaged in. I want to challenge myself to live this way, one day at a time.

I read Liz’s thoughts and had thoughts to add to her good thoughts, so I’m assuming YOU might have some thoughts to add too.  Please do!  Leave them in the comment section here or over on Facebook.

Happy belated NEW YEAR and a very HAPPY TOMORROW!

Love,
Sarah

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If YOU are ready to experience more peace and less struggle, I’d LOVE to personally go through the What One Person Can Do program with YOU.
This conversation has been conducted in schools, corporations, prisons, and one on one with the program’s founder, Bill Cumming, and other program conveners for 30 years.  Space is EXTREMELY limited for anyone wishing to go through this with me.  I only have room to work with 10 women, so click HERE to contact me (or Bill) with questions and to grab your spot.
There’s also an online version of the program available HERE.  It’s an incredibly affordable option. 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 for both the online and one on one programs.
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Running Out Of Time

Saturday I wrote my most well received blog post to date.  (You can read that HERE.)  It’s been really exciting!  Usually when I share a post it gets 2-5 likes.  That’s right TWO – FIVE.  This one got over 60! and several people took time to tell me they enjoyed it or that it touched them.

It was awesome to get all of that LIKE love but I couldn’t figure out what I’d done to make this one appealing.

We were all in the living room later that night and Jason said, “Do you know what happiness is?”

I quickly replied, “2,000 views on your blog post!”

He was actually referring to family time, but whatever 🙂

When thinking about why this post was embraced and the others go mostly unread, I decided it was because the picture and title I chose made it look like Jason and I might be Moving On from each other.  And so I’ve decided that all future blog posts will be teasers of some sort.

Thanks to all of you that read, liked, commented and shared that post.  That really was a treat!

I feel like there’s a lot of pressure in writing subsequent posts now.  I sat down for an hour or two last night and tried to write something worth reading.  I got nothing.  

I sat down again this morning about 9:30 and threw out some thoughts that will EVENTUALLY be posts but it’s just not happening yet.  

It’s 11:30 a.m. and I’m starting to freak out a little.  I was supposed to go to work this morning but I called out in order to have more time to get our stuff ready to move.  Instead of organizing, I’m obviously writing.

Thankfully Jason is out “adulting” so I can finish this post, get dressed, and appear to have been working hard by the time he gets home.  Unless one of you talks, he’ll never know.  

It’s no secret that I’m unorganized.  I’m literally running out of time today.  It’s decision time.  Will I sit and continue to let time slip by or will I wrap these thoughts up and move on to the next task?  

I’ve made a decision.  Here are my TIME TO WRAP IT UP thoughts.

  • No guilt.  It’s 100% okay to do something enjoyable, whether or not it makes a larger contribution in some way or produces an income.  If it contributes to your personal happiness, that is MUY IMPORTANTE!  Nurture yourself.  Buy and read that book.  Watch that movie.  Go out with that group of friends once a month.  Take that class.  Take time to write.  Be good to yourself.  It’s been said many times by many people that taking care of yourself allows you to be there MORE for others.  I can vouch for that.
  • You matter too.  YOU wouldn’t deny ANYONE ELSE the right to take time for themselves; time to relax, to create, to soak in life.  YOUR need for that time is ABSOLUTELY as important as theirs.
  • Think about the BIG PICTURE for the day and find a balance. – What is the feeling you want to have at the end of the day?  How do you want to use your time?  Make a plan and go for it!  Don’t forget to do nice things for yourself too.  

If I think about my day at this point (I’m embarrassed to say what time it is now) and what I’d like to accomplish, then I know what I need to do to make it happen.  I can take an honest look at what’s most important to me for the day, when I think about the feeling I want to have when I go to sleep tonight.  It might mean I don’t finish this post right now.  I know making progress on the house would FEEL GREAT.  I know that if I don’t haul butt upstairs and organize, then while I’m at work tomorrow and Jason moves stuff over to the new house, he gets to decide what gets moved and what gets tossed.

Uhm…yeah…gotta go!

I really enjoyed reading your responses to the last post so let’s do that again 🙂

What is it you love to do or would love to do more of?  Are you good about making time to do it?  Leave your answer here or over on Facebook.

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How To Have A Great Day

Friday was a GREAT day! I got the kids on the bus, made a quick call to Bill to catch up with him after his recent workshops in England.  I got off the phone and decided to take a little bit of quiet time and plan my day and maybe even write a little before tackling the house.  It was a wreck.  I’ve been working 3 twelve hour days a week for a little over a month.  On my days off, instead of staying home and cleaning, I’ve been off with Jason in search of fun inventory for The Awesome Possum or house hunting.    

I sat down with a cup of coffee and started writing.  I don’t do it enough and I REALLY enjoy it.  There are ALWAYS other tasks that need to be done and I’ve felt so stifled creatively, but the words flowed that morning.  As I was wrapping up my post (you can read it here) I got a text.  

beth and sarah

My friend Beth wanted to drive 40 minutes to see me.  Panic set in.  I wanted to spend time with her.  We haven’t seen each other in 6 months but she couldn’t possibly come over.  Beth is so organized and put together.  She’s one of my oldest friends and has seen my messy house many times but this time was different.  She’s got 8 month old Finlee now and I couldn’t imagine that sweet baby on my dirty floor.  My vehicle decided to give me grief a week ago and we’re down to 1 car for the time being, so I couldn’t meet her anywhere.  I told her she couldn’t come over but we could go out to eat.  

You’d have thought I was going on a date the way I prepared for lunch. Like I said, Beth is ALWAYS put together (for example she and 8 month old Finlee were both wearing WHITE! AND STAYED CLEAN!!!) but she also works for a dentist. I took extra care brushing with toothpaste and hydrogen peroxide for EXTRA bright teeth. I don’t get out enough 🙂

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We had a nice lunch and then went to a few little shops around my tiny town in search of birthday presents for a couple of friends, to no avail.

When she dropped me back off, I went inside and started cleaning.  I worked for a few hours.  The kids got home from school in the middle of the cleaning stint.  I could’ve cleaned for days, but settled for the downstairs being good enough.  We ordered pizza and watched Hocus Pocus.  CLASSIC! The girls loved it.

I fell asleep during the second movie but when we moved upstairs to bed, I got a second wind and stayed awake until around 2:00 watching Friends on Netflix.  I’m so not okay with the fact that all of those actors and actresses are now in their 50’s and I’m quickly approaching 40.

There was nothing extraordinary about the day but it felt special.  It felt complete.  I love days that feel complete.  They occur more often when I take time to think about my day, when I take time to do Self Care.  When I don’t take time to “set my intentions” for the day or to recognize that life is going by quickly (Jennifer Aniston is 50 for crying out loud!) then I’m just reacting to what life hands me instead of creating a day that feels complete.  

Yesterday wasn’t a great day for me.  I didn’t take time to get grounded in my well being.  I didn’t take time to pray/do Self Care.  I woke up and fell into the day.  I chose to dwell on some pretty unpleasant thoughts ALL DARN DAY.  I KEPT on choosing them over and over.  I kept choosing to look at a picture that triggered the thoughts.  It was a choice.  I created my unpleasant day.  It was rough.  There was a happy period in the day when my kids asked me to play games with them.  As you’ll recall, the upstairs of the house hadn’t been cleaned yet.  I told my son I had work to do and he insisted I take time to play.  I’m so glad I did.   

Anyway, this morning I woke up a little down and these thoughts helped me get back on track this morning and I hope they’ll be of use to you too.

Don’t get going on your day just yet.  What do you want from today?  How are you going to live today fully?  What do you want to do with your time?  Who would you like to spend time with?  How do you want to feel at the end of the day?  Think about it.  

Now…you’re ready.  Make it a great day.

For more on Self Care click here and here.

If you’re struggling or dealing with a loved one in pain, check out What Every Person Can Do.  It’s incredibly affordable.  12 weeks of support for what 1 hour of counseling would cost!  But…and I know this firsthand, even reasonably priced is not an option sometimes, so don’t write this off. Partial and full scholarships are available for those that need them and are serious about going through the work.  If you have questions for me, you can get in touch with me here.

 




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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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5 Posts YOU Loved

5 Posts YOU Loved

In a recent blog I talked about the writer’s BLOCK I’ve had for some time. Between that and facebook’s recent algorithm changes, I’ve mostly been sharing great posts from other pages. I enjoy sharing what encourages me. I don’t share random thoughts or posts from others. You’ll be able to tell what’s going on in my world by the posts I share. Occasionally I share posts that don’t apply to me. If I do, it’s because I think it might encourage a friend going through a difficult time, but mostly I see one and I’m like, “I really needed to see this today.”

I think it’s interesting to look at the ones that get the most response from you.

Here are the Top 5 Posts YOU Loved from this past week.
Click on each image to be connected to the corresponding facebook page.

#5 From Joy of Mom
Joy of Mom Trust Your Gut
I posted this one because I hear my gut more clearly than I used to. That doesn’t mean I always listen, but I know the minute I tell someone I’m going to do something whether it’s in line with my gut/soul’s vision.

#4 From Sara Brown – Use it 2 lose it
You Are Amazing
This one was shared because I think all of you are absolutely AMAZING women and I want to encourage you to see yourselves that way.

#3 From Womenworking.com
Love Yourself
When I was at rock bottom 7 years ago, I asked my mom, who happens to be a therapist (her words come in handy in rock bottom moments like these) how I could get some confidence. I felt completely useless and worthless. She told me about Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and then she said, “You are neither more nor less important than anyone else.” All of that NEW information was a turning point for me. It wasn’t an instant fix. I had to work on it, but over time I have come to see myself as worthy of love from myself and it’s made a HUGE difference. I want everyone struggling with low self esteem to experience that difference too.

#2 From Sue Fitzmaurice, Author
Get Out of Your Head
I’ve spent way too many days stuck in my head. It can be a very unpleasant place to be stuck when it’s filled with worry, fear, or self loathing. I just finished reading Finish Line Feeling by Liz Ferro. I love the way she describes what running does for her. “Running is a time during which your soul is both purged and rejuvenated. Running with a good friend is the best remedy for what ails you that a person could wish for, as your sweat washes away the sludge built up in your mind and your heart. It’s as if your problems somehow sweat themselves out of your pores, becoming dried-up salt that you can simply brush away.” I’m pretty sure that whatever means of exercise one uses, similar results are produced.I want to spend the least amount of time trudging around in my head as possible.

#1 From A Mighty Girl
Self Love
This post got the most likes this week. My theory is that as moms, we all want to spare our daughters the grief and crap we’ve been through in learning to love ourselves. The quicker we can recognize our value and learn to love ourselves, the better off our daughters will be. They’ll know how special they are from the time they are little and be able to get to living life to the fullest at an earlier age. This is what I want for my girls and my boys.

I LOVE to hear your thoughts, so always feel free to make comments on posts no matter what page they’re from. Let me know how you are.

I hope you have an AMAZING week. Don’t forget about Self Care 🙂

4 Self Care Thoughts

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Wake Up and Live

wake up and live rebel thrivers

21 Day Self Care Challenge, Day 4
Wake Up and Live

Some days feel magical: birthdays, vacation days, Christmas. This day was one of those days for me. Self Care can definitely support you in turning ordinary days into days that feel magical.

Besides being grounded in my thinking, today was great because Jason, inspired by our first REAL snowfall this winter or knowing that our girls would pick at each other all day out of sheer boredom, kept the ball rolling with traditional snow day activities.

He made a big breakfast, but he didn’t just prepare food. He turned our kitchen into a diner and had the girls help. They went around taking individual orders, preparing drinks (the drink station was a MESS!), and serving the orders as they “came up”.

boucher snow day bkft

After breakfast, they made snow cream.

boucher snow day snow cream

Then it was time to go outside and play in the snow.

boucher snow day playing

I love that Nora kept her apron on. 🙂

I was the photographer all morning, documenting the special day. I had a choice. I could take the opportunity to write or I could go outside and enjoy this rare snow day with my husband and kids. I knew better than to pass this chance up. I quickly bundled up and joined the fun. We watch a lot of Man Versus Wild and Man Woman Wild on Netflix, so the girls were calling Jason “Bear” and handing him big pieces of ice from the trampoline for the walls of an igloo.

boucher snow day igloo

When we were thoroughly frozen, we came in to read by the fire, drink hot chocolate, and eat the earlier prepared snow cream.

fireplace

When I finally did Self Care, I thought about how I want to ALIVE. I don’t feel like I’ve been living life fully for the last couple of years. I was already kind of isolated. Jason and I made the decision to stop going to church 7 years ago. The intention was to be with Christians regularly in our home, but things didn’t go according to plan, and I haven’t quite figured out what the next move is. When he and I separated for 9 months in August of 2012, I got REALLY REALLY isolated. I pushed away the support of friends for an unhealthy relationship. One thing I’ve learned for sure is that life is not meant to be a solo act and had I stayed connected to my support group, I wouldn’t have made some of the choices I made.

I’ve definitely become a homebody. Besides my new-ish life as a hermit, I haven’t been as present with my family as I’d like to be. More experiences out in the real world and lots of time with my family are at the top of my to do list and I’m actively looking for ways to make both of these things happen.

Self Care is a regular reminder of what matters most in my life.

After I did Self Care, our family had an impromptu photo shoot. Jason sells unique vintage items. He draped this old flag up on the piano so he could get a vision for what he’s going to do with it next. He sat down in front of it and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take some silly pictures.

Boucher snow day fun

I’m extra pleased tonight because I chose to BE PRESENT with my family. I LIVED today to the fullest. Even though the day was filled with some extra fun, I know this feeling is possible on a normal day because I’ve experienced it many times before on Self Care days. I suspect that with regular Self Care, ALIVE is going to be the new norm. Off moments and days will still come, but not as often. If I’m wrong, I’ll let you know.

You may want to read Struggle Less if you’re curious about Self Care.

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Self Care

21 Day Self Care Challenge, Day 3
I’m starting to see the beauty of this discipline thing. I’ve made a commitment to daily Self Care and the way in which I’m doing it, is exciting to me and killing all kinds of birds with one stone. I’ve never read the book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, but I hear people talking about it and I know I’ve been experiencing MAJOR resistance.

Have you noticed that I haven’t been talking much on my facebook page? I haven’t said much in months. Even though I’d love to sit down and have a chat with you and I spend a great deal of time thinking about what I’d say, when I sit down to share it, I just haven’t been able to. There’s been a BLOCK. It’s been extremely frustrating.

I’m not going to share pre and post self care thoughts today. You get the point and I notice my thoughts tend to be mostly the same before and after the process. I do want to share a feeling I noticed last night.

I’ve slowed down a lot over the last couple of months. I haven’t been trying so hard to get into my future. I want to be present and presently I have growing kids that I want to spend quality time with every day. I have a house that needs daily attention. I don’t want to live in a spotless house, but I know I can do better than I’ve been doing. I’ve been spending less time on the computer and more time on the house. The problem is that in a family as large as mine, I could work on the house all day and by the end of the day, there’s just as much work to do as there was at the beginning of the day. I’ve been going to bed feeling rather discouraged because I feel like I’m working really hard but not getting anywhere. When these feelings start to come, I give myself the what for because I’m OBVIOUSLY not good at my job as a stay at home mom.

Last night was different. I got half of my dishes done and that was the ONLY house work I did yesterday. My house was an ABSOLUTE wreck but I felt VERY peaceful as I walked back to the bedroom. The mess had no effect on me. And right this minute, hours later as I get ready to tackle that same mess, I feel that same tranquility. It’s AWESOME and I’m giving credit to the Self Care process for this calm.

When I mentioned killing lots of birds with a single stone, I feel like there’s added peace that comes when I pray about the Self Care thoughts. This 21 day commitment is allowing me to do Self Care, pray, and write about the process consistently, three areas of my life I have longed to be more disciplined about. Multiple birds with a single Self Care stone. I LOVE IT!!!

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 and do your own 21 Day Challenge. I used it today and it helped my wandering mind stay focused. I even skipped around from one section of the page to another as my thoughts roamed, filling out whatever part of the page the thought fit 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 with Sarah Boucher

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 going through the 12 week conversation What One Person Can Do, you can get in touch with Sarah here.

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21 Days of Self Care, Day 2

Strong Women
21 Days of Self Care, Day 2

If ever there was a day I needed to do Self Care, today was it. I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. watching episode after episode of Once Upon A Time on Netflix. My 7 year old suggested we have a marathon, but she conked out by 10:30.

My intention before I left reality and was transported to Storybrook, Maine was to get up early and do Self Care before the day got going. I set my alarm for 6:30 and was prepared to tackle the day on only four or five hours of sleep. I did not however, expect the 3 a.m. phone call to go pick up an unhappy 9 year old at a lock in.

Ugh…

ANY TIME IS A GOOD TIME FOR SELF CARE

While getting grounded in your well-being is a GREAT idea 1st thing in the morning, and it’s silly for me to put it off, the good news is that Self Care is available 24/7. I finally made some quiet time at 4:00.

Why wait until 4:00, Sarah? Well…
I sat down at the computer as I do many mornings and got completely sidetracked. This morning’s sidetracked adventure was in learning that March is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8th!!!

I’ve only known International Women’s Day even existed for 2 years, even though it’s been observed for over 100 years. I find this bizarre. Why isn’t there more awareness about a day that honors women who paved the way for the rest of us? Why isn’t there more awareness about this day that gives us a chance to consider our sisters around the world who don’t have the same rights we have?

If you’ve never heard of International Women’s Day, here’s a short video from the National Women’s History Museum that explains how this day came to be.

But I digress…

My pre-self care thoughts today were pretty rough because I was extra tired. I was having some major mom guilt over the lock in drama. I didn’t realize the lock in and Maggie’s Academic Team Regionals were the same weekend until just a couple of days before they took place. After much debating and some tears, we decided to take a chance and do both. I knew what the possible outcome would be, but it was worse than I predicted.

Not only was the lock in a bust, but Maggie was WAY TOO TIRED to even make an appearance at Regionals and as a result, lost her spot on the Academic Team. This MOM Fail on top of forgetting to pick up my 13 year old from school yesterday, on top of lack of sleep myself was too much. Had I taken time to do Self Care before this morning’s events unfolded, I might not have descended into the depths of mom guilt I found myself in.

Self Care Thoughts

My Self Care time was no different than any other time I’ve taken time with these 4 POWERFUL thoughts. I locked myself away and emerged feeling refreshed and focused, ready to create a productive and happy night with my family. Self Care is good stuff. Tomorrow I’m going for the good stuff at the beginning of the day instead of the tail end of it.

21 Days of Self Care, Day 1 goes into more depth about what Self Care is, if this is the first you’re hearing of it. It’s been so beneficial in my life and I’m doing this 21 day challenge to make it a habit instead of a random dose of well-being here and there.

I Am A Powerful Woman with Sarah Boucher

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 going through the 12 week conversation What One Person Can Do, you can get in touch with Sarah here.

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