I was driving back from Trader Joe’s last night, when I had a major revelation that shifted my world. You know how you often have those when you’re driving, or taking a shower, or taking trip — in short, when you’re by yourself and relaxed?

Anyway, it was dark and wintry outside. And I have a confession to make. For the past half of my life, I have hated winter. I disliked the cold and the dark. In fact, I’d start to get depressed every year as the days grew shorter, because I knew we were on the downswing towards the darkest, shortest day of the year, which meant less sunlight. And that creepy feeling would start knocking around inside of me by the Fourth of July — right after Midsummer!

It’s not a great way to live. I kept telling myself I should be in the tropics — full-time, not part time. But you know what? It’s actually a lot easier to just change your attitude.

So what happened in the car? Well, I was listening to a beautiful chant dedicated to two of my favorite goddesses, Durga and Kali — twin sisters who are really two sides of the same coin. Durga is the grand protectress and Kali, her darker, more destructive sister, is the Queen of the Night.

You can see representations of these lovely goddesses all over Asia, both out in the open and also hidden in plain sight.

Anyway, as I was listening to the music, singing along, and thinking about these two, I suddenly became aware of the deep, dark, velvety beauty of the night around me, offset by a sparkly smattering of Christmas lights. And to my surprise, I felt safe and uplifted in that warm, velvety darkness. There was nothing negative about it. On the contrary, I relished it.

All it took was a tiny shift in consciousness.

The reality is that we need the darkness as well as the light. We women especially can use winter as a time to go inward, soothe our souls, renew our bodies, and take a profound and badly needed rest. Strangely, I’d actually been doing this automatically this year as fall inched towards winter. It partly had to do with a vision I had when I was in Hawaii over the summer studying with Brian Ridgway — a vision that was a beautiful confirmation of something the goddesses wanted to share with me.

But getting back to the present, my new relationship to winter got me thinking how as a child, there was a time when I was afraid of the dark. Now, when I go to bed at night and pull the warm covers around me, I welcome it. I feel deeply content and nurtured as I’m enveloped in its warm, cozy embrace.

So here’s my question. Is there something in your life that you’re rejecting, the way I rejected winter and the darkness? Because even if the rest of the world agrees with you, it can cost you a lot.

Everything in this world depends on how you view it. So if you’re one of those people who dreads the winter — or hates the holidays — then I would encourage you to take another look and try to APPRECIATE what those things have to offer.

It may be hidden from you — in plain sight.

This year, instead of cursing the darkness, I’m appreciating warm foods, warm clothes, warm times with family and friends, and a chance to step back, regenerate, and REST before everything springs to life again.

For the first time in decades, I’m appreciating the fact that the sun is going down earlier and earlier, because it means less activity in the evening and more time for contemplation and reflection. There’s more time for sitting in front of my meditation candle, or before a roaring fire, and taking long, hot soaks by candlelight in a bath sprinkled with soothing and fragrant essential oils.

There’s a lot to like.

Here’s something to think about: When you dislike anything — when you’re in resistance — all your energy is goes towards that and there’s less left over for the things you love. If you hate or fear anything, you’re giving your power to it.

So give that up. right here, right now.

And feel the relief as your own essence starts flowing back to you.

Stop bringing the fear and hate — or even mild dislike — into your own consciousness and polluting it.

As a teacher of mine once said to me:

The wise woman has no preferences. But she’s prejudiced in favor of the Truth.