I was in the backyard one afternoon last fall simply looking at the flowers blooming there. The morning glories caught my eye. I noticed the light emanating from the center of the flowers and took the photo of them that you see here with the camera on my phone. I was struck by the quality of the light at the heart of the blossoms. It seemed to me that the very soul of the flowers was evident. I stood still, taking in the image of the flowers with their radiating light. I realized that the flowers were communicating a message: “Be alert, yet, calm. Breathe.”

Metaphors, words or phrases that become a symbolic representation for something in our lives, allow us to understand our experiences more fully. Metaphors are used frequently in hypnotherapy. The image of the morning glories has become a metaphor for me that represents calm and awareness especially when I am under pressure. I take a moment to focus, even when I am with others, and to bring to mind the image of the morning glories. Immediately, when I picture the morning glories I remember to take a breath, and to calm myself.

That moment in the garden when I looked at the morning glories was an ordinary moment in my life. What I treasure about it is the opportunity it provided. The moment offered me bit of time in the world of nature,  time to pay attention to a flower that became a metaphor to draw on when I feel stressed. I can revisit the mental image of the morning glory with its brilliantly radiant center whenever I want to, and wherever I am, in order to achieve a sense of calm, quickly.

I invite you to take a look at the natural world around you to see what is there for you that will suggest a metaphor that you will use to calm yourself. You might see something in your yard, or, on a walk, or, even looking up at the sky as you stride through a parking lot to your car. You might look around as you as you wait at a corner before crossing the street. You might look through a window to see what catches your attention outside. The natural world speaks with us and nurtures us when we take a moment to notice, and to listen.