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Coaching Through a Rough Winter


What’s the plan?

Rev. Dr. Jason C. Whitehead

I’ve been thinking about the coming winter for three months now. So much happens when the weather and time changes. The looming winter welcomes us to the reality of:
• Shorter days
• Colder weather
• A pandemic run amuck
• Loneliness
• Isolation
• Frayed social networks
• Delayed hopes and expectations
• Lowered capacity for adaptive change
• Depleted energy reserves and creativity

It’s going to be a rough winter for many.

So, what’s the plan? How will we proactively engage our capacities and networks to promote ours and others wellbeing? What are the things we want to attend to now so that we are prepared for later?
We’ve adapted to this COVID-laden world with a hopeful realism. We believed that doing so would bring us together sooner. Unfortunately, the road ahead is still long and it takes us through winter. The reality we face is an Advent over the internet and reimagined Christmas traditions.

As we work our way toward Advent, the reality is that the waiting we are called to do will be extended. Even the triumphal arrival of Christmas can feel muted when we can’t be with those we love. However, we can help ourselves and others prepare.

Maybe you can answer the questions above without hesitation. Good. You’re well ahead of the curve.
Maybe you’ve thought about those questions but don’t have a specific plan. Great. That probably puts you in good company.

However, there are a great many of us who look ahead and are overwhelmed. The thought of preparation seems daunting. Maybe just putting one foot in front of another seems like enough most days.

As we approach these coming seasons, mental and emotional fitness matters. Like working out in a gym, the guidance of a personal trainer or coach can help us recognize our capacities, understand our gifts, and capitalize on our strengths. Like a personal trainer, a good coach challenges us find our potential to grow and form with compassion and care.

Coaching is a way to ground ourselves in the present moment so that we might act with meaning and intention in the future. It helps us see and name our strengths and build capacities to engage them when the road ahead seems fraught with difficulty. Coaching provides the space to develop a plan for wellbeing with creativity and imagination.

If you would like to find a coach, here are several people who are trained coaches and already work with leaders in the PC(USA).

Rev. Nikki Collins, ICF Trained Coach or
Rev. Nidia Fernandez, ICF Trained Coach (bilingual, can coach in Spanish)
Rev. Libby Tedder Hugus, ICF Trained Coach
Frances Lin, ICF Trained Coach
Rev. Chip Low, PCC, CMC
Rev. Dr. Pablo Rivera Madera, ICF Trained Coach (bilingual, can coach in Spanish)
Rev. Taeler Morgan
Rev. Jim Moseley, ICF Trained Coach
Rev. Dr. Jason Whitehead, ICF Trained Coach
For other referrals or coaches:


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