The Power of a Supportive Community
In this episode of Elements of Community, Lucas Root had the pleasure of talking to Sandi Boucher, an expert in the areas of Indigenous recruitment/retention and Canadian Reconciliation. In their conversation, they discussed what community means to her and how she's been able to create meaningful connections in her own life. A community can
Lucas Root had the distinct opportunity to sit down with Sandi Boucher, an expert in Indigenous recruitment/retention and Canadian Reconciliation. As they talked about community building, their conversation illuminated how meaningful connections can be crafted from adversity – a truly inspiring message for us all!
Sandi Boucher’s insightful story speaks to the importance of having a supportive community. Sandi and Lucas discussed how a village alone is not enough to constitute a true community – one must also be responsible for recognizing that community within the village and contributing something back.
She showed how she achieved greater authenticity and security through the power of supportive people. Genuineness, she concluded, is special in its uncommonness – it attracts us to those who carry it with them, and Sandi noted that only when she consciously sought out encouraging people did her journey really begin.
Her words offer important lessons on the significance of shared understanding and uplifting support from our communities.
Other subjects we covered on the show:
- Sandi shared her experience with her community, where she felt accepted no matter how long it had been since she visited last, as well as, feeling safe to be herself within the community.
- We also discussed the five elements of community, and how these elements allow individuals to connect with each other.
- Lastly, Sandi emphasizes the importance of finding your own supportive community in order for self-growth.
AND MORE TOPICS COVERED IN THE FULL INTERVIEW!!! You can check that out and subscribe at https://pbp.li/eoc32.
If you want to know more about Sandi Boucher, you may reach out to her at:
[00:00:00] Welcome back Sandi. I am delighted that you are here to join me. We’ve been trying to get this scheduled for actually months. But just like you had you just finished saying, just before I press the record button everything happens for a reason. It seems like my previous solo episode was the thing that needed to queue up this conversation.
I totally agree. It wouldn’t, it couldn’t have happened earlier. I believe everything happens when it’s meant to. So this is our time. It’s up.
This is our time. Would you like to take a moment and tell our audience who you are, and why I am so in awe of you?
Aw. Well, I dunno that part, but I can tell you who I am. So my name is Sandi Boucher. I’m Red Thunderbolt woman of the LUN Clan and a proud member of St. River First Nation in Treaty three Territory in Northern [00:01:00] Ontario, Canada. So I am an indigenous person, a First Nations person. I believe in the US it’s still Indian, is the term that we use, and I focus entirely on bringing people together, or more specifically, we call it Canadian reconciliation.
So looking at previous history, looking at what happened to the indigenous people, it’s not a pleasant story. Owning that history and trying to figure out how to work together. So I’m an author, I’m a trainer, I’m a consultant, I’m a whatever you need to bring this country together kind of person, so that’s me.
I love. What’s the name of your nation, your tribe?
Yeah, so we are Anishnabe, or Ojibwe would be the English term.
Very cool. Thank you.[00:02:00] And do you have a name for a community that you’re working with regularly? Do you think of your, go ahead.
I’ve worked with so many different communities and I think that’s essential. If you’re gonna do the kind of work that I do, you have to recognize the communities are different. That I see so many people that assume because they’ve been in one indigenous community, oh, I know what to do.
It’s like you are so about to land on your butt, that not the way to go. So I definitely belong to my first nation community. I live in the city of Thunder Bay, so that’s an entirely different community. I’m a huge part of the indigenous community inside city of Thunder Bay, which is completely different from the mainstream city population.
Yeah, I’m a mom, I’m a grandma . [00:03:00] I belong to a lot of different communities, as do we all.
As do we all. Well, we can hope to at least. We should hope to at least.
Is there one particular community that you’d like to talk about more today?
You know what, honestly, do you mind if I tell you a story? I just wanna lay it.
Please. I love stories.
Well, this is, if anything, like I was sharing before we started this really solidified community for me. So I work with a lot of different communities across Canada, whether they’re towns and cities or whether they’re are university community or whether they’re an indigenous community.
We call them First Nation communities here. So I’m incredibly busy and traveling around all the place. But a week ago, two weeks ago, I had the chance to work with my community, [00:04:00] my First Nation community, and I don’t get to do that often because I am traveling and working with so many people. So just a little bit of a backstory, I have never lived in the community, like geographically in the community, but my eldest brother did.
For a long time and this is when I was much younger and my kids were little, and my eldest brother used to come visit all the time, and because he was a very outgoing, gregarious type, he always had friends with him and they were usually community members. So I met all of these different people and so did my kids.
Years ago, probably six, seven years ago now, my eldest brother passed away, so that no longer happened, but when I was doing this seminar, so of course I’m there for work. I have a certain information that I’m gonna share with people, but during the breaks, [00:05:00] during the coffee breaks, and at lunch, one by one community members would come up to me.
And these are people I knew through my eldest brother and like the elder was someone that was really, had such a profound influence on my son. Just my son was blown away by this man the first time he met him. And my son was like 10 months old, but he could not get enough of this man. And one by one, they asked me how the kids were doing.
The elder asked me to show pictures of my kids so that he could see them now as adults. And the one comment that really just, wow. One of the community members asked me how they were doing, what they were doing. And he said, well, do me a favor. And I was like, okay, sure. And he said, well make sure to tell them that we’re thinking about them.
That we never stopped thinking about them. We keep them [00:06:00] in our prayers and I’m glad to hear they’re doing okay. And I just went well because as a mom to know that my children are thought of and cared about and that there’s an entire community that refuses to forget them. I was like, that’s community. It’s not about how often you’re there or how many people you know.
It’s that recognition that you are a member no matter where you’re standing, that you belong here. And I was just, it’s like, yeah, that’s, and the laughter was loud, like you are when you’re in your inner circle. It’s not that polite laugh, right? It’s like really loud. And there was some personal sharing that was, you know, brought tears to the eyes.
It was just authentic and powerful and safe [00:07:00] because we knew we were in community. So.
Amazing. Thank you for that story. Wow. Yes.
Yes. You belong no matter where you stand.
Exactly. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been here last week or six years ago. You belong here, you’re accepted here, right? So, yeah.
Yeah, it was awesome.
Yeah. That hit home. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. That’s exactly what I’m talking about when I talk about community, that you feel safe, feel powerful, you can share anything. You can be a hundred percent transparent.
Yeah, and I think that’s where so many people go off the rails [00:08:00] because they think community is anyone who lives close by, and we all know that that may include people that you don’t feel safe with. That may be people that sit in judgment of you. That may be people that go as far as condemning you. There is no sense of safety or acceptance in that geographic community, but when you’re in true community, it’s the space to be you.
That’s all that’s expected, just be you, don’t like, my mom would be the first and like, who exactly are you trying to be today? Right? Like, you don’t do that. You don’t say that. Right. And my mom and her wonderful blunt self would definitely have said something like that. So it’s just so freeing and refreshing. Like you can just, you end up [00:09:00] taking that deep breath without even planning to.
Yeah. So I tell people, and I’m glad you brought this up, I say it regularly village and community are not the same thing. Yeah. And they never have been the same thing. But technology has given us an opportunity to see that from a whole new perspective of clarity. Cuz all of a sudden we can travel.
You know, you and I are having a conversation face-to-face, a thousand miles apart.
Yeah. And you know what, I just popped into my head as you said that like, can we just send this out to all the politicians we know in our respective countries. Because how often, I don’t know about you, but I’d be willing to bet you have the same experience where we hear leadership, that type of leadership.
They’re talking about the village.
Talking about wanting to bring the community together and they’re talking about the village.
The [00:10:00] communities are together, right? So maybe you need to focus less on that.
Hmm. Oh hell yeah.
And focus on identifying, and respecting and recognizing the communities within your village.
Right, right. So because it’s otherwise it would be so fake. And that’s what happens. We’ve all been to those meetings where all the different communities show up and we’re gonna pretend that we’re like supportive and totally agree with you. And it’s like, that is totally not what I think. But this forum requires facade. This fake comminity.
Amazing. Yes, fake I completely agree.
It grates my, you know, like the sound on of fingernails on chalkboard. Like it grates my nerves when I hear a politician say the word community, like I get a twitch. I’m like, oh, no, no.
Yeah, yeah, [00:11:00] yeah. And the other thing, I’m trying to remember your five points, but in my experience, a community is self sustaining, the community takes care of itself and takes care of its own. So if communities were supported, we would see a lot less challenges than trying to support this village that doesn’t
What powerful statement that is. Wow. Yep.
bring people together in the first place. Right,
And I deal with this on a regular basis in my work, because I’m a huge advocate for indigenous people working with and supporting indigenous people we’ve had a traumatic past. A lot of healing is required, but I am adamant that realizing you have the ability to heal and that you are empowered enough to be able to do that is just as important as the actual [00:12:00] healing.
there is no empowerment when someone else saves you, right? Because then you still feel weak. But when you are the one that grabbed onto something and pulled yourself back up and realized, wait a minute, I can stand again.
We don’t do it alone.
That’s Powerful. And that’s what you do within community. So don’t bring your community to my door.
Right, exactly. But don’t assume our community needs you to rescue us. We may need some supports, but you look after your community and make sure it’s healthy. We’ll do that for ours, and it’s just as important that we do that. But yeah, I just think some communities are challenged.
They have hardships. That doesn’t mean they’re not capable of healing, and I think that’s the mistake way too many make the communities that are in a better place. Think they have to [00:13:00] save the others, and it’s like, no, just give us time and space to do what we need to do. We know what we need. Just give us time and space.
Time and space.
it’s true at the individual level too. As long as there are no barriers to healing as an individual, we’ll figure it out we’ll move forward. Sometimes I need help removing a barrier to healing, like something that’s stopping me from being able to move forward.
Okay, so you had a question?
Yeah. And it’s because, and it’s one of the things I love about this conversation is that we are coming at the idea of community. From two entirely different directions. Like my cultural lens is incredibly different from yours being raised in my culture and my teachings, but we’re ending up in the same place.
So that’s why I find it so exciting. And why I wanna ask questions like, does this happen for you too? And what? So
Yeah, let’s do
The question is, [00:14:00] in our communities responsibility is huge. So the line we use is, with a gift comes responsibility. So if you are blessed to be a member of a community, you have a role and a responsibility to play.
Whereas when I look at the news in either one of our countries, to be fair, I see a lot of individualism, right? And, and it’s just about what I need, and we’re all about the social contract. It’s like, no, your needs get taken care of as part of the community, but you have to do your part. So I was wondering how big responsibility plays in your definition of community?
Huge. I love it. Thank you that question. It’s huge. I had an [00:15:00] amazing so once a month, I host a group of people online, open forum, open conversation to talk about community. It’s once a month, every month. Last month the conversation was focused on the definition.
And I shared this in my podcast as well. Last month, the conversation was focused on the definition of adulthood. What does it mean to be an adult. And one of the really cool questions that I made sure that I got to during that conversation was, how does being an adult through the lens of community, prove that both the individual and the community must be supportive together and uniquely?
And the conversation around that was amazing. And here’s where I took it up a notch. Like, I went for the groin, so to speak. We spent about 10 minutes on that. It [00:16:00] was beautiful. And at the end of that, I said now look at, you know, communism, the worldwide, which to those of us here in the US.
Communism is like the evil other, and look at our perception of communism and tell me what is missing in communism. And of course I was leading that question, right. Tell me what is missing in communism that takes it away from community because that thing is missing? And and it was a beautiful conversation.
And the agreement in that conversation was that the support of the individual is the thing that takes it away from community. And communism becomes not community because there’s no support at the individual level. And as you pointed out beautifully in this conversation supporting the individual is not empowering, and so the support for the individual has to come from that [00:17:00] individual first. So I must first support myself.
And acceptance is huge, and that’s something that I’m gonna be speaking on in the next little while and realizing that. So I’m gonna go back to my teachings again. So we believe that everything happens for a reason, and that if you are born into a community, it’s not that you need that community. The community needs you. That creator sent you because you carry a teaching, a perspective, a desire, whatever the case may be, that that community needs to grow.
But if you are in an environment that wants to fit you into the box, and you must behave this certain way and speak this certain way and dress this certain way, then why you were sent is lost.
So, it [00:18:00] right. So it is so imperative that we stop asking, why are you that way? And start asking, why did I need to meet you?
So that’s where the individual fits into our community. The metaphor I use is the puzzle, and I’m one of those a thousand piece puzzles that I’m so not into, but I use the metaphor and I ask my audiences, have you ever put a puzzle together? And you get to the end and there’s two pieces missing, and you just wanna like rip your hair out.
We are all one of those puzzle pieces. And if we’re not allowed, if we don’t use our voice, if we’re not able to share our perspective, if we’re not able to add our dialogue into the community dialogue, then that puzzle’s not complete.
Oh, What a [00:19:00] powerful metaphor.
Right? So that’s why it’s not about control. It’s not about ego, it’s about recognizing you are all that in a bag of chips.
But so am I, and so am I, and the challenge is to figure out why.
Yeah. Hmm. Beautiful. Thank Thank you. I read a paper that was published just recently that suggests that the weeds that grow in your field are the weeds that that field needs to be growing in order for it to balance out the nutrients that it needs to have for the next stage of growth.
Yeah. In the same way up here, to the chagrin of our city council the leaves that fall in the autumn is the blanket that protects the earth when the soil comes, we’re not supposed to remove [00:20:00] it and make the lawn look pretty.
No, we’re not.
Why? that you have to add fertilizer and all that stuff in the spring. Why didn’t you just leave the leaves there? It would’ve done it. It is self-sustaining like our communities, right?
But when you take the leaves away, now you have to put fertilizer in.
Yeah, because ego got into it.
Because ego got into it.
right. And, and that’s it. Like, humility’s a huge part of our teachings and I just believe until a human being figures out and has the ability to design something as intricate and interconnected as either the planet, or our body systems shut up because you don’t know as much as Mother Earth or creator or whatever, because we’re nowhere close [00:21:00] to the knowledge they have.
The example we use looking at the wildlife, they’re not destroying their environment, they know they need the environment to live. We are the only creatures that are so egotistical that we’re going to do that, and we will be our own demise. Why? Because of ego.
It’s amazing. One of my favorite stories is the story of Yellowstone National Park. I don’t know if it’s one that’s told up there. In all of our infinite wisdom, we U.S people, we hunted the wolves in the United States to near extinction and Yellowstone National Park, which is this big, beautiful, gorgeous park started falling apart.
And nobody really understood why. And then we reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone and all of a sudden it flourished, it bloomed, it became beautiful. It turns out, they do a pretty good job taking care of [00:22:00] their home.
Right that we are, we are the only creatures that don’t understand we’re a puzzle. The deer, the squirrels, the birds. They all know they fit into this huge and they do their part right, and we, we’re better than that. It’s like, we have a lot of deer here and I hear people complaining all the time, well, the deer are eating my garden.
It’s like you realize you actually put a garden in their territory, right? Can you say buffet? Like of course they’re gonna eat that, you know, it’s like how nice of these humans look at all the things they grew for me, right? Like they were here first, so, and we used to live in partnership with them. So community, and we don’t anymore.
We chose to leave and we’re paying the consequence.
Yeah. And we don’t [00:23:00] necessarily understand that we’re paying the consequence. We’re confused.
Yeah, I think the people want to do, I mean, there’s some chosen ignorance going on.
I don’t wanna look at that. I’m just gonna stay clear of that. Like even, and this is totally from an outsider perspective and I own that, but I see not only the rain in California, then the drought in other areas.
And it’s like, like we’re sitting up here and of course from an indigenous perspective, it’s like, why are you using all the water to try to live in a desert? You realize it’s a desert, right? Like, but trying to make it man-made rather than creator made one of the big differences. I see is, non-indigenous people see undeveloped land.
We see pristine land. Sacred land that has not [00:24:00] been touched by man, which means it’s more sacred and more powerful. It’s not undeveloped. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s actually more valuable. So that’s a huge cultural difference, different perspectives.
Yeah. Yeah. That.
Yeah. That. So I’m curious, remind me, what are the five I’m putting you on the spot here.
I’m, I am delighted to be on that spot.
Unique common language. And that’s that deep, smooth language that you develop through the years in trials and tribulations and challenges and drama and successes inside the community. So unique common language is number one, purpose, number two. I don’t think I need to explain that.
I think people understand what purpose means pretty well.[00:25:00] Projects number three. So we actually have to get together, we have to sweat together, we have to do things together in order to be a community. Value is number four. And that’s not the alternate word for morals that people are using because they’re afraid to talk about their own morals.
But rather that is the value that you give to the community and receive from the community for being a member. And that could be hugs, that could be a cup of sugar from time to time, you know, value comes in different forms and looks different to different people. And then the fifth is the thing I’m calling Common Heart, because in English we don’t have a good word for it.
I’ll bet you do. I’ve also studied other languages to find a word for this. My favorite is the Greek word philotimo, and that describes this this sense of sharing care. So I care about you because we’re in community together and I [00:26:00] accept the care that you have for me. When we do work together, I do the work that I do with pride and Honor.
Even if it’s not necessarily work that I’m great at, I still always do the best that I can because you are you, I care about you and you are the recipient of that work.
So that I’m calling Common Heart cuz we in English don’t have a word for it. And of course there is a commentary there that we don’t have a word for something that is so important. There’s a story there, there’s something to talk about there.
Because it’s not yet seen as so important.
Yeah. A hundred percent. I like to look at this. Oh, I’m Sorry. We’ll, go down that road. But first there’s a tribe in Africa that has 200 different words for cow.
We make words for the [00:27:00] things that are important to us. How many different words do we have in English for our genitalia?
Many, many, many. We make words for things that are important to us by comparison. This thing, this fifth element of community that I’m calling Common Heart, we don’t have a word for it because as you’ve perfectly stated, we haven’t yet seen that it’s important.
Yeah. And the Ojibwe language, it’s a very practical language. So for example, having a word for river. Would make zero sense to us. Cause who cares? But there is a word for a river flowing towards you and word for a river flowing away from you, because that’s what you need to know. If you wanna get over there and you’re gonna use the river to get there, you need to know, are you fighting a current or going with it?
Right? So it’s very descriptive. We didn’t just assign names. It’s [00:28:00] practical. so Yeah.
Mm-hmm. That’s really cool. That’s what I’m talking about.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, and for me, when I saw values, I interpreted it as shared values. For example we consider ourselves the stewards of Mother Earth. We treat the earth as our mother, so you take care of your elderly mother and she gives you what you need.
It’s reciprocal. So that is a deep truth for us. A value that’s not going to be questioned by anyone. That’s just a given, and that takes precedent over anything else. If it’s gonna harm the water, the error, or the earth, we take issue because we understand we need those things to survive. Again, it’s why do you want to destroy what [00:29:00] for money?
Like, okay, I think the common can you eat money, right? So yup.
I I mean, you could put it in your mouth. You can chew. Not sure if want to.
But it’s not gonna sustain you very long. Yeah exactly. So, yeah. But yeah, just that’s, and that’s one of the things, I think that’s how people would know they’re in community. Like one of the things I love the most about being in an indigenous community as opposed to mainstream there’s certain things I just don’t have to explain.
The fact that it’s exhausting to live in a non-indigenous world as an indigenous person, they get it. I to say it. They know they welcome me home and give me hugs cuz they know she probably needs them. The fuel is low. Let’s welcome her so she can ramp back up again. And I love that, that just, I don’t have to explain the [00:30:00] joke.
You get the joke, right. So, yeah, it’s that sigh, like I said, that involuntary sigh that just signals your home.
Your home. That’s right.
Yeah. Amazing. People always think about from a community perspective and there’s a good reason for this and psychologically speaking, there’s a pathway to understanding this. People think about protection inside the community. And there’s a conversation to be had there.
But I’d like to step beyond protection cuz I think that it’s the other things that come after you get that taken care of, that really start to get interesting. I’ve started referring to community in my close friends as a force multiplier.
It’s a force multiplier, so the whatever it is that you are focused on in the community, each person can only do so much, but together we can do so much more.
We are actually greater than the sum of [00:31:00] our parts when we choose to pursue that purpose, we’re a force multiplier. What are the things inside your community that you force multiply? What are the things that you explode outward with because of the fact that you guys are focused on this thing and you can really turn it into power?
Oh my laugh. I mentioned that earlier. I have a deep, loud laugh. It is not subtle. My entire adult life, I’ve had people like, what? What was that? In the community. That’s never, they’re going to join in. No one would ever comment
So let’s use it.
So, I wanted to share. Yeah, it’s.
Your laughter is actually music. They join in.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s,
It’s an invitation.
Well, we recognize authenticity, and that resonates with us.
So if in the same way, if I suddenly [00:32:00] feel the need to share a story that is gonna bring me to tears, no one’s interrupting, they’re probably just gonna form a circle to sit by me and hold space for me when I’m done they might pass me Kleenex. They’re not gonna do it while I’m talking because that tends to shut down the sharing.
But it’s just she needed to share this now. Hmm, It’s just like I said that, so every aspect.
You just said, you just said that your community is a force multiplier for authenticity.
A hundred percent.
Oh my God. That’s so cool.
A hundred percent. Which is why we don’t build bridges easily or lightly, Yeah. because authenticity is really not commonplace.
I want more of that.
Yeah. And, I know you agree with this. When you run into someone, [00:33:00] meet someone who’s a hundred percent authentic, you gravitate to them. It’s like, oh, I need more of this. Like, what is this? Right? And we recognize that.
I don’t know if it’s even based on security. I think you are hoping to become more secure, which is why you’re attracted to it. Right? I’m not saying you are capable of doing it, but it fascinates you. how like I run into people all the time.
Right. I run into people all the time, young women specifically, that will come up to me and say, how in the world do you do that. And it’s like, okay, first explain to me what I’m doing. And it’s, how are you so confident? How do you just speak your truth? How do you, you’re non apologetic. Y’all just gonna say it. And I was like, honey, 58 years of a journey. That’s [00:34:00] how. right? Having to try to breathe in that box. That wasn’t big enough for me.
That’s how, like I don’t even get anywhere near a box now. It’s like, no, I need space. I need room. But yeah. So
That’s amazing. I Hmm. What a beautiful reframe.
Thank you. I think every aspect of who I am is magnified by the community. Whatever the community is, whether it’s my immediate family, me and my children, indigenous community here, or my first nation community, there are just those givens.
This is where Sandi can be Sandi, right? And then we’ve all experienced it. You walk in the door of a new place for the first time, you’re hesitant. You don’t speak as loud as maybe you normally would. You don’t speak as much because you are trying to determine the safety and comfort [00:35:00] level of this new environment.
Mm-hmm. That’s right.
So, I’m not showing all my cards till I know you are going to, or that I would be safe doing that. And it’s not that I’m going, I’m definitely not staying there if I can’t share all my cards. That’s just the advantage of being at the elder stage. It’s like, the price is too high now.
Every now and then I have someone who wants to hire me for a position with their company. It’s like, get away from me. Right? You know, I’d have to play by your rules. Show up when you want me to say what you want me to. I passed that two decades ago. There is no way I’m giving up this freedom now. Like I would get fired so fast. Let’s get real here. I’m gonna say one thing and you’re gonna go, you’re outta here, right?
So let’s just save the time in between. Yeah.
Amazing. I’m gonna call attention back to the rephrase because Cuz [00:36:00] damn, that was amazing. We gravitate to authenticity.
Not because we are secure, but because we want more of it. And it is being secure that allows authenticity. That’s so cool. That was amazing.
I think it might be reciprocal.
Because like for in my instance.
You’re like, I’m a little more secure, so I can be a little more authentic. I’m a little bit more secure, so I can be a little bit more hand in hand there.
It goes hand in hand confidence, right? Like what happened in my life? At some points people just started saying like, holy molly, how are you so confident? And I remember thinking, wouldn’t did that happen? Exactly, they don’t remember taking the test and getting an A, like, when did that happen?
And it’s, that’s why I said I think it’s [00:37:00] reciprocal that you try something, and you don’t get pushed off the ledge. So it’s okay, I’m a little more secure, I could be a little more authentic. Okay, that worked. I’m more secure. Right? And I think it goes hand in hand. It’s not one or the other. And like when I mentor a lot of women and it’s like, if you’re not feeling confident, first thing you’ve gotta do is look at how you’re treating yourself.
If you treat yourself as someone of value, you’re gonna start acting like someone of value. So long before you feel it, start doing it. Make a conscious effort to do it right, and then it’ll slowly build. So it definitely wasn’t just born like this. Well, actually that’s not true. You’ll love this speaking about community, I was lo raised in a beautiful, loving, caring, [00:38:00] supportive home that just you walk on water, right?
And for the first 17 years of my life, I thrived like some competition I’m gonna enter and like I won awards and got straight A’s in school. There was nothing because I was in this environment that fed everything I wanted to do.
My dad literally thought I walked on water when I was 17, my dad passed away. And suddenly that thriving community didn’t exist anymore.
And it’s only in the last maybe five, 10 years that I’ve realized like, wow, I’m finally who she was or who was supposed to be, right? Like I’m finally back to being that confident.
I’m just gonna try it, that I was at 17, but I went off the rails for the longest time.
Hmm. [00:39:00] And I don’t know if I’m speaking out of place here and I’m sorry for your father’s death maybe you going through that, that experience of thriving and then losing that support has built the approach that you have now to rolling out community and the power that community can be because it opened your eyes.
Well, and you pointed it out earlier, the sum of the parts, right? I was still capable of the things I was capable of, but I did no longer had the soil to grow in the sunlight I needed, the rain.
A missing puzzle piece.
A hundred percent. And then when I, again consciously, cuz I went into a real dangerous place for a while, and then when I consciously decided, okay, that box doesn’t work anymore, I’m gonna add in supportive people, encouraging people, people I want to emulate authentic people, and when I [00:40:00] started building the garden, I started to grow again.
Mm-hmm. So, What a journey. Wow.
Yeah. Which is why I have no judgment and can so relate to someone on a bad path or lost and it’s like, oh, I’ve been there, done that. But guess what? You have the power to change that. Not you don’t need to meet somebody or wait for someone else to do it. It’s actually inside you. And I show you how to do that because I did that.
Mm-hmm. We’re there. This has been a beautiful conversation. I’m gonna ask this quick question and then I, so I always close every episode with three questions, but before I even get to those, were there barriers to healing that you had to remove in order for you to realize you needed to build the garden so you could grow?
110% , that’s an easy yes, yes. [00:41:00] And even as far as ways that I thought would help me heal that weren’t at all.
Right? So yeah, guess what? Seeking your validation in other people bad idea.
Yeah. Amazing. Thank you. My three questions. I end every episode with these three questions. The first one where can people find you?
Oh, SandiBoucher.com. So if you throw that into Facebook, you’re gonna find my business page. You throw it into YouTube, you’re gonna find my videos. You throw it into LinkedIn, you’ll find my professional page. I’m over on Instagram. Literally everything’s tied to my name. So.
Yep. Awesome. And it’ll be in the show notes. Second question. One of my favorite questions in every episode is this one right here.
Um, is there a question that you wish I had [00:42:00] asked but did not?
No, because I’m not about control. It’s exactly what it was meant to be.
Ooh. Oh yeah. Right. Amazing. Thank you. That’s exactly right. It’s exactly what it was meant to be.
Third question. Can you, in one sentence, can you sum up the conversation we just had?
An appreciation of community.
Hmm. Yeah. Two lenses coming together.
Yep, and, and I think it, we really highlighted the universality of community that it doesn’t matter what your background is or whatever in community, you will thrive. So find your community.
It’s a human thing.
Thank you. Thank you, Sandi.
Awesome. Awesome. Take care.
Thanks for joining us this week on Elements of Community.
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Lucas is the host of Elements of Community. He is a community growth strategist and works with mega companies like The Pokemon Company to help build and foster community. This podcast is Lucas' way of giving back what he has learned about the magic of building and growing community.
Join Our Inner Circle
Like what you hear on the podcast? We have more secret recordings from every guest. We keep the microphone rolling after the podcast is done and get our guest to spill the beans on the best tactics for growing their communities profitably. You don't wanna miss this.