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Winter Transformation

winter streets with snow

December 21 marks the first day of winter. For many, it can feel like a time of cold, dark, and bleak nothingness. Let’s just say, it can feel depressing.


Here’s a different way of looking at it that I hope will inspire you!


Think of the seasons like the cycle of the butterfly.

Note: don’t take this literally: butterfly reproduction cycles don't follow the seasons. It's just a metaphor.


Spring represents the emergence of the beautiful butterfly from chrysalis. The butterfly finds a mate which results in eggs being fertilized and laid.

Spring yellow flowers landscape

Summer represents the hatching of the eggs. It’s a time of growth as the caterpillar feeds on abundant foliage.

summer palm trees

Fall represents the time at which the caterpillar prepares to go into chrysalis (pupa).

fall leaves

Winter then represents the time in chrysalis wherein the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly. That butterfly emerges in spring and the cycle repeats.

winter streets with snow

It's easy to romanticize spring: it's a time of new beginnings. Even summer can be intoxicating as a time of growth and abundance. Heck, even fall has a warmth of nostalgia and reflection. But winter: YUK! We tend to relate to it as a time of death!


However, from the perspective of the butterfly cycle, I believe winter is actually the most exciting season. Why? Because it’s the time of ultimate transformation!


Hear me out . . .


It's a pretty amazing thing that the caterpillar goes into chrysalis and, later, magically pops out as a butterfly. Instead of thinking about chrysalis as a "line" between caterpillar and butterfly, let's zoom into what's happening in that chrysalis.


On the outside, nothing seems to be happening at all: it just "looks" dormant. But on the inside, radical change is happening: the caterpillar is transforming into the butterfly (you can read this if you want to know how that happens).


transforming butterfly cocoon

I like to think of winter like chrysalis. Instead of viewing it as a season to hunker down and just "survive," I like to imagine it as a time of inner growth and change – even radical, transformative change – in preparation for emergence in the spring.


Instead of dreading the shorter, darker days, I turn it on its head and embrace it as a gift to spend more time inside – literally and figuratively! Just like the caterpillar going into chrysalis!


In summer we tend to work longer days because they seem longer - the sun shines later.

In the winter, I use the sunset in winter as a trigger to let go of the day and give myself the gift of creativity in the longer evening.


So what will your winter entail?

What creative projects do you want to bring into existence?

What old self do you want to shed?

What new, exciting beginning do you want to design?


Get to work on that and you'll find that winter is anything but dead when you look at it from a different perspective!


And . . . if you're in the market for change but not sure to what or how, then reach out and let's talk about your metamorphosis!


See this 3 minute video for more:


How do you like to use the seasons for your productive purposes? Share your thoughts and comments at the bottom!

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As an executive coach, I work with leaders to transform their influence and impact on their organizations and the world. You can reach me at ted@tedwhetstone.com  

Transformation transformational change agent thought leadership certified development coaching 360 qualitative assessments organization business corporate enterprise los angeles 

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