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October ‘ 07 ~ Morning Glory Care

October '07

Life Coaches often introduce the concept of self-care to their clients. Since most of my clients are active and talented women in midst of the challenging midlife transition, I suggest they practice extreme self-care to help maintain a daily sense of harmony and balance.

Attending to your self care is a matter of looking after those personal elements that bring you back into balance – back to a connection with your center. And extreme self care, or as one client of mine put it, radical self care, is required when your life is in transition, or some unexpected event turned it upside down.

And that’s what happened to me over the past few weeks when my 92 year-old mother became hospitalized and could no longer live independently upon returning home. If you’ve ever looked after an elderly and/or ill parent, you may relate to the feeling that my life had been snatched away.

At first, I soldiered on – meeting all my business and volunteer commitments, while making calls to nurses, doctors, etc. and tracking the details of my Mom’s health care. Every night I awoke at about 3:00 a.m. to remember some neglected issue of her care. Waking in the middle of the night is a sure sign I’m out of balance; I’d forgotten the first rule of staying connected to your center during challenging times – practice extreme self care.

So back I went to those activities that nourish my body and soul. One of them is tending to the morning glories that encircle my deck this time of year. These wonderful flowers bloom for one day only, then curl up and drop off the vine. This means that, usually, my first task of the day is to step onto my deck (often in my pj’s) and gather the dying blossoms off the vines before they fall. (Just for fun one day, I counted as I collected and was a little surprised by my total of 490.) It’s a simple chore, but one that restores my soul, as I take in the dazzling blue of the new day’s blooms, breathe in the fresh morning air and watch swans glide by on the water beyond.

On one especially gorgeous morning, a friend and her husband came over to take some photos of these beautiful flowers so I could capture their late summer glory. Check out the photo below and see if you don’t agree that morning glories are the true joy-bringers of the plant kingdom.

And if your life is in transition, or has been turned upside down for one reason or another, you may want to remember tip # 1 for successful transitions: practice extreme self care, before you attend to everything else!

Happy tending,

Bonnie Leonard EdD, CLC