FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

Moving You From Surviving to
THRIVING

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Recently, I posted on Facebook that I am reading Waking Up in Winter by Cheryl Richardson. In truth, I am listening to it on Audiobook, which is always nicer when it’s read by the author. I’m enjoying this book so far – it’s very different from her others because it’s a journaled memoir. At the start of the book, she mentions that her husband reminded her of her love for May Sarton’s journals, so she structured this new book in much the same way.

The added gift for me in all of this is that it reminded me of my own love of May Sarton’s journals and that I have had Journal of a Solitude in my Kindle library for quite awhile. I used to own Plant Dreaming Deep and lost my copy of it to the storm all those years ago. “Why haven’t I read this one yet?” I wondered to myself.

Fast forward a few days when I decide to pick up Journal of a Solitude while simultaneously reading Waking Up in Winter. Reading them both is a great way of caring for myself during this introspective time of the year. Lately, I’ve felt a yearning inside of me, but I wasn’t quite sure what I was longing for. Reading both of these books seemed like a good place to discover what’s been missing.

What these two memoirs have given me so far is a reminder to notice the beauty that is all around me. I can get very distracted by work, time commitments, and a desire to do all the things I want to do. And those distractions keep me from really noticing the silky golden beauty of my granddaughter’s hair or the perfect grace of my cat’s leap onto the couch just before he snuggles next to me.

While uncovering and re-positioning plants after the latest freeze, I noticed how the Jasmine’s leaves are still so shiny and was reminded that we will soon see the tiny buds of her flowers begin to show. ( I am so grateful she didn’t wither away during this cold winter we’ve been having.)

Mardi Gras is early this year, so I am delighted by social media photos of the vibrant colors on glorious Carnival ball gowns. And the familiar Zydeco music on my Pandora playlist begins to fill my office because I am ready to wake up a little myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning I made a new chili recipe and I was happy to see the mix of yellow corn, red tomatoes and black beans. And the smell of Coriander and Cumin are all around me as I write this post.

I don’t like getting so caught up with the every day routine of life that I forget to notice and articulate the beautiful things that surround me.

Even before I recognized what was happening, I was drawn to the simple beauty of the blog, videos and Instagram photos of A Wooden Nest. Seeing the simple made wonderful in knitting a pair of socks or making a pot of oatmeal made me instantly connect with this woman’s work.

Once I connected with the realization that I was craving simple beauty, it all made sense. The journal memoirs, the videos and the enjoyment of being outside again after weeks and weeks of bitter cold weather – I needed to pay attention to all of it.

Noticing creates connections to those things I love – those things I am craving. Beauty brings me back to myself.

May Sarton said “Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.”

So that’s my deeper intention for this little while – to slow down and force patience. To seek out the instruments of grace that surround me.

Now that I’ve opened my eyes, they won’t be hard to find.

Do you notice that January brings a desire to declutter, purge and re-organize your home, office and maybe even your car? If so, you’re not alone. While the phrase “Spring Cleaning” is more popular than “January De-Cluttering,” this is a natural time for us to take stock and think about what we own, where we store it and whether it’s still relevant to our lives and our work.

As 2017 winds down to an end, I realize again how much I love this transition from the old to the new. Everything seems fresh and possible to me. A new year, a new day, a new hour. Everything that’s old is new again.

Of all the times of the year, the holiday season can be one of the most busy and, therefore, stressful. We can take on a lot. We can have high expectations. We can encounter difficulties in relationships with others who are stressed and carrying high expectations.

One of the most joyful times of the year can often be fraught with sadness and disappointment.

Add in the fact that for some, the end of the year brings additional stresses at work as there can be more planning, more reporting, more covering for those who take time off and more.

So what can you do to prepare for the holiday season?

But today, I just want to take a moment to honor a woman I never met and to be grateful for all that she was to me. To say that she changed my life is also an understatement. My 4 Elements for Success are based on these principles that I learned and used to create my business. I wouldn’t be where I am today, sitting on my couch in a home that is perfect for me doing work that I love more than anything I’ve ever done, without the wisdom this woman shared with me and with the world. 

It is my deepest hope that you have benefitted from this program and will continually look at self care in a different way. Hopefully, practicing self care will become a daily habit for you. Maybe you have learned a lot about yourself and will continue to learn more as you engage in journaling and reflecting. Undoubtedly, you may have had difficulty practicing each prompt and that’s perfectly okay. One of the purposes of this month-long exercise was to create some regular self care time, but also some ideas for when you only have a moment to pop on a playlist or when you have an entire weekend that can be dedicated to a retreat.

If you are familiar with my work at all, you know that I have created what I believe are 4 Elements for Success in almost every area of life. While this generally applies to work, family or specific goals people have set, it can absolutely apply to self care as well.

So my first question is – do you have a goal for your self care practice? Many people tell me that they want self care to be a daily activity for them, rather than being the first thing that gets tossed off their plate.

On Day 6 of our Summer of Self Care series,  we talked about the value of Dance on our feeling of well being. Hopefully you took a Dance break that day and maybe a few days since.

Today, music takes the center of the stage in our mind as we learn about the value of incorporating music into your self care plan.

When we are sick, stressed or in the middle of a great change, the need for self care often intensifies. Yet this is the very time we are seemingly unable to put our needs in front of the ever changing landscape unfolding in front of our eyes.

In particular, self care often changes greatly when we are sick, especially if we are also trying to juggle child care, work, other caregiving for family and more.