We here in the Northeast have an affliction that hits every year about this time with the mid-winter thaw. We should have a name for it like “Hopelessly Harbingered” or “Punxsutawney’s Will” so that when a friend shows up with sockless shoes on February 28th you can label the danger. But even the oldest salt among us is seduced by a string of 50 degree days: the smell of thawed moisture in the air, daylight until 5:40 PM, chirping birds equally as persuaded as their human counterparts. We begin to congratulate ourselves on our Puritan fortitude for having survived another winter…but it ain’t over yet. Not even close. March is a bear despite claiming the first day of Spring in its line up and April is no better — “April showers” hardly encapsulates the icy, mucky result of a week of rain with forty degree temperatures. To make it through these next two months is, to me, the truest test of our New England stock.
But even in their ugliness, March and April hold a sort of admirable grace. Like a sentry, they stand tough against battering wind protecting the buds and seedlings preparing deep in the ground for glorious May and June. March and April don’t seem to mind their duty, willing to succumb to the insults and thrashings of cabin fevered beings between winter and spring sports, fireplaces and fire pits, sweaters and short sleeves. Somehow March and April know their enduring role to create beauty and change and to nurture and house potential and possibility.
Right around the mid-winter thaw is when we finish up round one of our internal employee reviews. Twice a year, every person who works in this company gets one-on-one time to talk about everything from external impacts on their work lives, to hopes for the year to come, to challenges they face in advancing (whatever that may mean to him or her). It is one of my most favorite parts of my work. Fifteen people. Fifteen visions and hopes and destinies. Fifteen self perceptions, developed behaviors, formed attitudes…all up for grabs. Because it isn’t often that we stop to name our most powerful impact or to identify behaviors that are impeding the very path we seek…yet we spend enormous amounts of unconscious energy protecting our fear of failure. So imagine the power of a whole company filled with individuals who instead channel conscious and positive energy into goals that will begin to shift head trash to thoughts of possibility, hope and potential? Imagine the difference if even one person operates with more intentional wholeness…what he or she can then bring to you.
It won’t be pretty right out of the gate. While the seeds of personal powerful impact are being nurtured deep inside it might feel more like March than May. At some point, one of us may want to give up when it feels like the sun will never come. But I know this team will endure the perceived external bleakness because every year we do. We grow a little bit stronger, emerge with a little more authority, root a little more deeply into our true selves. This team has always been stalwart enough to hold against the wind and the rain and instead take in the sustenance needed to blossom when we make it into the sunshine.
If you see any one of us, make sure you ask what we’re working on — maybe you can offer an umbrella or an extra layer to help us through.
“Life is not a path of coincidence, happenstance
and luck, but rather an unexplainable, meticulously
charted course for one to touch the lives of others
and make a difference in the world”
– Barbara Dillinham
All my best always,