For the first time in my life, I am happy to see snowfall! Well, at least that I can remember in my adult years. Beforehand, I would resent snow so much I would complain even though I knew it would come eventually. I prefer Summer and love the heat! Winter comes around and I resent everything about it—the cold, the ice, snowstorms of upstate New York, shoveling, laying down salt. And most of all, driving in the white madness!
Last year I moved to the upstairs portion of my 2-family home with a lovely porch that you can turn into an indoor porch. I found myself sitting on the porch more and more throughout spring, summer, and fall. I guess you can call me an old lady, but the truth is that I love being in nature. I am very appreciative of nature: the trees blowing within the wind, the smell of freshly cut grass, the flowers blooming—the better environment for a peaceful meditation session. I remember being in Maui, where I had my own room with these shutter doors that lead out to a small garden that I could safely leave open at night to be at one with nature and all the tiny little noisy creatures. I remember thinking to myself, gosh, I wish I had this back at home so I don’t have to spend so much money to get it elsewhere. I am happy to say that my thoughts were in the right place, I put it out to the universe, and it has manifested in my home for the first time in 2020. Just when I thought things were going great, COVID happened.
COVID is a blessing in disguise, even though it has taken so many lives and affected so many families. Sometimes tragedies are blessings because they help us to become better people—if we choose. Even death. We have the opportunity to understand the true meaning of life, which is Love, and the connection we have with people. Not just family members, but with the entire world! We learned as a whole that coming together and voting a dictator out of office. Year 2020 has been a learning experience for us all.
I was blessed to have my job still after the doors closed during the first wave of COVID. I worked from home, which I have always dreamed of doing, but the work itself was daunting and redundant. I remember saying to my friends and family that I feel it will be my last 9 to 5 job. Even though I was home, every day I would resent waking up in the morning, logging into my computer, and doing the same thing repeatedly. Before COVID, it was more like getting up in the morning, checking the weather, making sure I had lunch, making sure my dog was good (walks, food, and attention), constantly checking the time, and then rushing out of my house hoping that I don’t get stuck in traffic and am late. I finally found the courage after all of these years to leave my job behind. And it’s not like me just to quit a job, I would always try to stick it out. Honestly, I was afraid of the lack of financial security being a single woman. I was happy to have a good savings cushion and rental income to help during the transition. Then I finally became what I always wanted: to be self-employed.
Fast forward to now, as I sit on my “renovated” porch on my chaise lounge chair, blanket over my legs with my cute spoiled dog in my lap, electric fireplace going, fake flowers hanging from my enclosed windows, a nice scented candle lighting up the room, and a nice cup of coffee. It is snowing outside for the first time this year, and I am sitting on my porch as I have done in previous seasons. I thought about life itself and how the situations we go through me seem like winter. We may resent those struggles, but they are a natural occurrence in each and every one of our lives—just like winter and snowfall. Being the divine beings we are, we can create our summer and winter just like I have for the first time in my adult life.
So what is it that you’re going through right now that makes it feel like winter? That makes it feel cold and unbearable? It is only our perception of the situation, and changing our perception is where happiness lies. Sometimes we have to welcome the pain, sometimes we have to embrace winter, sometimes we have to welcome snowfall, and sometimes we have to sit on our pain (or porch) to reflect. And then get up and start creating! Start creating a life that we want within the midst of winter. Namaste, JoAnnah (Jo Jo) Thompson
Owner, Life Coach, 200-Hour Yoga Instructor