Tag Archives: Self Care

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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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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Are You Afraid?

Fear

Are You Afraid?

“Some mornings you just need to punch fear in the face & tell it to shut up! Go past the emotions & don’t look back! Then, make it habit!”
~Sandi Krakowski

I didn’t eat much for a couple of years, as a child, because I was terrified of being poisoned. My mom had to take the first bite of any food I was afraid to eat to get me to eat it. She ended up taking me to a psychologist because I started looking malnourished.

My dad was diagnosed with MS when I was four and all of the unknown about what was going on around me, manifested itself in me being afraid of EVERYTHING. The psychologist encouraged my dad to spend one on one time with me. I eventually started eating properly again.

My irrational fears, while not as intense as they were during that period of my life, followed me into adulthood. The fear went from being afraid of being poisoned, to being afraid of a house fire (I was so scared any time Smokey the Bear came to school to talk about fire prevention), to being afraid my mom wouldn’t come home after work. As I got older I feared being raped. As a young adult, I had anxiety about severe weather. After that fear subsided, I felt like life was going too good and every time the phone rang, I was afraid it was going to be bad news, because how long could this happy time possibly last?

Do you know how many times the things I have obsessively worried about have actually happened? Like once! and I survived.

What changed?

Stay tuned

When I was 21, I had a few small panic attacks following a big hail storm. I got to a place where I wasn’t functioning properly on days there was a threat of severe weather. I’d pass up opportunities to get out with my 3 year old and socialize. Instead I would just stay home and hide from the clouds. I went to talk to a counselor about my fear. She reassured me that I wasn’t the only one in town traumatized by that storm.

At some point I noticed that our local weathermen like to create a lot of drama about potential severe weather, because they don’t see a lot of action here. Because of our karst topography, we don’t get the severe weather that other parts of the state and country get. I came to the realization that I can’t do anything about severe weather one way or the other. I HATED the way it felt to be afraid, so I quit watching the weather. I also felt like being terrified didn’t show much trust in God and why would anyone want to become a Christian if Christians were so afraid? There was also a coming to terms with the fact that I am going to die one day and if that’s how it’s going to happen, then that’s how it’s going to happen, (but more than likely it wouldn’t happen in my hometown so I could quit worrying about it so much.)

The second big shift came about 3 years ago. I was listening to Steve Chandler talk about how much energy people spend worrying about things that DO NOT ever happen. That audio gave me permission to quit being so fearful. It was exactly what I needed to hear. He went on to say that we can use that same amount of energy to create solutions and take action to improve situations that we can actually do something about. If there is nothing that can be done, we can focus our energy in a different direction besides worry. Do what you can and then MOVE ON.

The ONLY thing I can control is how I CHOOSE to BE in the world today. I have absolutely ZERO control over anything or anyone but myself.

If someone who spent as many years being afraid as I did can overcome fear then I KNOW you can too!

A Self Care routine is helpful in overcoming fearful thoughts as well. It’s a daily reminder that this day is a gift and you get to choose whether to live it in fear or bravely facing your fear. Read more about Self Care here.

Thanks so much for reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. Come over to facebook and let me hear em!
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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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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.

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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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Enjoy the Laugh

Enjoy the Laugh

Sometimes you just need to laugh. When life feels too serious or grim even, laughter can be much needed relief from all of those negative emotions you’ve been experiencing.

With the internet, a good laugh is just a click away. There are facebook pages dedicated to jokes. I stumble upon a post that makes me laugh and I get completely obsessed and sidetracked looking for similar available laughs.

One day I stumbled across funny church signs. A good hour was spent joking and laughing with my sons. Just Google funny church signs and you too can while away an hour.

funny church signs

More recently, I got sidetracked looking at pictures of people planking.

Planking Olympics

This baby planking cracks me up. More planking laughs available at the URL on the photo.

If you are surrounded by negative people, if circumstances beyond your control (which all circumstances are) have you worried, if the laughter is not coming to you, seek it out. There is NO shortage of laughter in this world. Sit down and have a conversation with a 3 year old. They’ll have you in stitches.

Laughing is so good for us. I’m sure there is all kinds of scientific data to back this up, but since I’m a quote lover, we’ll go with those instead.

Here are 3 AWESOME quotes that illustrate my point beautifully.

“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.”
― Veronica Roth

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”
― Robert Frost

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
― Audrey Hepburn

Christina Bianco is just such a person for me. She delivers joy and lots of laughs in this hilarious rendition of the song Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Enjoy the laugh!

I really love her Kristin Chenoweth impression. Who do you think Christina best captures? Comment below or tell me over on fb.

Feel free to share this post with someone you know who can use a laugh today!

Laughter is a great form of Self Care, but be sure not to neglect the other.

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

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Are You Walking Through A Storm?

storms of life | I Am A Powerful Woman

Are You Walking Through A Storm?

Nothing you or I do can EVER effect the forces of nature or the unpleasant circumstances and trials we will walk through in our lives. All we can do in the midst of any storm, is take a deep breath and remember that in this moment today, we are okay. We are breathing and our life is still a gift. We have survived many storms in the past, maybe not this ferocious, but this storm, just like every other storm, will eventually pass and the sun WILL shine again.

Perhaps this storm will leave behind a horrible path of destruction. If that is the case, all we can do, is take a deep breath, and make a choice. Are we going to let the devastation consume us along with its other victims or are we going to continue to breathe, be thankful for the good things that remain, and move forward POWERFULLY one day at a time?

The ONLY thing I can control today is how I CHOOSE TO BE in the world.

My heart is FLOODED with love and concern for you when I think about the storms you are seeking shelter from today. All I can do from here is take a deep breath and tell you how much I care for you. You ARE truly a POWERFUL woman. I am amazed by the strength we were all created with that gets us through the storms of life.

Don’t try to face this storm alone. Reach out for support. Remember the POWER of Self Care. One day when this storm is a memory, you will be able to support another POWERFUL woman, feeling scared and alone, who is going through a storm of her own.

Self Care is the resource that has helped me through major trials in my own life, especially within the last year. I love to learn from other women. What thoughts, actions, people, or resources have been a comfort to you in times of trial? Let me know below.

I love you!
Sarah

P.S. Feel free to share this post with anyone you know who is walking through a storm.

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

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Take A Smile

www.takeasmile.org

Take A Smile
If your husband has a bad attitude today…take a smile.
If your kids aren’t listening to a word you say…take a smile.
If your car is in the shop or
your washing machine is broken…take a smile.
If someone you love dearly is in the hospital…take a smile.
If someone you care about is addicted to drugs or alcohol…take a smile.
If you are a single mom…take a smile.
If you are a widow…take a smile.
If you are sad…take a smile.
If there’s no money in your bank account…take a smile.
If EVERYTHING seems to be going wrong…take a smile.

YOU are a POWERFUL woman. YOU are breathing and life is still a gift. We are all connected. This smile that you take, will lift your spirit and you will bless the next person. All of those circumstances above happen to us and go on around us every day. We can’t DO anything about them. The ONLY thing we have any control over is the way we CHOOSE to BE in the world. So…know someone cares very much about you and take a smile.

Self Care is the resource I turn to daily that helps me smile even through “tough” times.

YOU are going to be okay…one day at a time.

I want to hear what you have to smile about today, even if you are walking through a trial.
Let me know in the comments below.

~Sarah
Sarah Boucher

Sarah Boucher offers encouragement for women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman.

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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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How Did You Cope?

Boucher Family

The Boucher Family

When I started I Am A Powerful Woman on facebook, my biggest problem was that we were a family of seven with very little income.  I was on top of the world emotionally.  I was no longer a victim of my own thinking.  I was creating my days instead of reacting to them.  Nothing could bring me down or so I thought.  I was living through tough financial times and I wasn’t freaking out over everyday challenges. In all our years of marriage I felt like we always had our priorities straight.  We didn’t have money but we had each other and five healthy kids.  We were rich indeed.  And it was just getting ready to turn around for us financially.  My husband was promoted to management and we finally had enough money to get on top of our financial situation.

My husband moved out of the house a month ago.  I was completely blindsided.  My well being flew out of the window and I crashed hard.  I am not angry–just very sad.  We are not at each others’ throats.  Our communication is civil and the situation could be much worse than it is, but it is still not at all the way I would choose for my life to be going.  I was CRAZY in love with him and my life was completely intertwined with his.  I am still scratching my head over this turn of events and what is to become of me.

Some of my first thoughts were that I would be okay one day.  I will get through this and it is an opportunity to explore my life independently.  I was a young wife and mother and have never been independent from another grown up.  Some days I have been just fine.  Other days I don’t know how I could ever be happy again.

I thought recently about how much pressure he was under to provide for such a large family and how unhappy he was in that struggle–especially the last couple of years.  During his darkest days was when I learned I had control over my thoughts and could be happy regardless of other people’s emotional state and actions.  I soared.  He sunk.

My feelings of despair have really shaken me up.  Will I ever be happy again?  How is it possible that I was able to feel happiness in the midst of his stress, but I can’t feel it now?  How can I separate my life from his and find myself again?  Where did my POWER go?

Have you been in my position?  Are you here now?  I am very curious as to how others coped through these hard days of learning a new way to live without sinking into despair and not functioning.  The best advice I have been given for really rough days is to ask myself, “Am I breathing?”  and then ask, “What’s the next thing?”  With five kids, there is always a next thing to be done.

I cannot change the past.  It is what it is.  The ONLY thing I can control is the way I CHOOSE to BE in the world today.

I made a list yesterday of all of the things that I have done for myself or that others have done for me that have encouraged me during this time.  Here are a few of the things on my list.

* Self Care

* bubble bath

* candles

* an $8 purse

* Pumpkin Spice Latte

* dinner with a couple of friends (Yummy Mexican food!!!)

* my mom took me to the movies (a lovely distraction–We saw Dark Knight Rising.  Nothing like fighting and killing to get over a broken heart.)

* I bought a puppy for my kids

Puppy Power

Puppy Power!

* Loads of love and support from friends and family–texts and calls.   These have meant so much to me.

How did you cope?  What did you do (or are presently doing) to make it through a similar situation?  What helpful books did you read?  Comment below or come over to fb and share.

 

 

 

 

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