Before Dawn


Photo by Simona D'Auria on Unsplash

By Joni Woods, ACC

A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes. Mahatma Ghandi

It’s been a long few days in the North. I, myself, found the weight of power outages, freezing temperatures and so much uncertainty absolutely draining. My emotional tank was at bare minimum to start, but snuggling under blankets, additional food expenses while the refrigerator proves useless, and trying to find the next warm place to take your family - wears on a person's mental health. Keeping a positive attitude in the midst of trying not to panic is a tool I have spent much too long developing.

Because I know, the storms come.

Every hemisphere on this earth finds its way through a wintery season of some sort. Whether it is frigid temperatures combined with thick ice, or turbulent weather conditions and its destructive forces. It’s a season you can’t avoid, which should tell us, it is a season we should accept, and without fear, look at embracing. It’s true that short days and long nights can get the best of us. Our thoughts can go dark in the midst of stress, fear, and of course, loneliness; and it is in loneliness that we begin to lose track of our worth. Questioning the value we hold in the lives of our family and friends, or even worse - ourselves.

In many ways, we can lose the emotional battle to these feelings, allowing the dark thoughts to take us over, dragging us further and further down a well.

But what if we were to reframe this season? REFRAME what it means to be in the dark? REFRAME what it means to sit in the silence? What if we were to see these shorter days and longer nights as opportunities to build something new inside of us as we wait for the sun to bathe us in its light and warmth. What if we were to FIND ourselves in the dark, rather than LOSE pieces of our worth and humanness. To sit in the beautiful and peaceful silence, leaning into and listening to what our emotions are telling us. Challenging us to move forward, to grow, to learn.

There are so many fancy psychological terms being shared these days and when it comes to the definition of REFRAMING, in it’s simplest terms it means we LOOK at our NOW circumstances differently than we FIRST encountered them.

The perfect example: Looking at a glass half full rather than a glass half empty.

So let’s take this time to REFRAME what our personal winter season means to us. Before it is gone. Before we have successfully shoved our desires, our wants, our needs, out of the way. Only allowing it to multiply in pain, allowing the loneliness to grow. Before we are able to take the negative and turn it into a healthy positive! Reframing what we see as failures and brokenness into what we can achieve and celebrate. Let’s reframe this winter season as the most important part of personal growth.

One may ask, How does growth happen? It is not an answer people like- growth happens when we sit with the feelings, emotions, struggles inside of us. When we sit with all the uncomfortable ess and face then head on. Asking ourselves the tough questions. When we feel lonely, is that because of the relationships that we are in? When we are fearful of our future, is that because of the positions we have put ourselves in? When we are angry about a betrayal, is it time to let that relationship go? When we are concerned about the future, is it because we don’t know our place in it?

Are you ready to make the most of your winter season? Are you ready to look inward so you can grow? Are you ready to sit with those uncomfortable, sometimes painful thoughts and emotions?

Reach out and make an appointment with me to make the best of your winter season!

Here’s to us moving out of this winter season!

About: Joni Woods is bringing her almost twenty years of experience, working with families, couples and singles, into the business world as a Relationship Coach. At the core of her practice is Effective Communication, Active Listening and Healthy Boundaries paired with a lifetime of love for people. Joni currently serves on the board of GAAshrm, and the membership committee of West Washtenaw Business Association.

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