After the beautiful chaos of the holidays, the bright and shiny New Year’s celebration (including all its expectations) and the recent unexpected frigid temperatures, I find myself in February, confronting some Winter Blues.  But, as “they” say, “it’s all curriculum” and is turning into nuggets of wisdom that remind me how to take care of myself in this month of love!

#1.  “This too shall pass.” This maxim has stood the test of time and while it can be classified as mighty corny, it’s true. If I have the patience to accept, let go and keep going, everything unfolds and shades of melancholy shift into satisfaction.  Works every time.

#2.  “Where am I?”  A good question to ask myself when I feel stressed.  Am I in the past, ruminating about a (stupid) thing I said or did or something someone else said or did? Am I in the future, making endless and overwhelming lists or attempting to control the outcome of a situation?   If so, my emotions will run the gamut from depression to anxiety with a side of doom ‘n gloom thrown in.  It is only when I am in the present that I have any chance of peace.

#3.  “All rise.  The Honorable Judge _____ (fill in your name) presiding.”  If only I had a nickel for every time I judged another person, a situation or myself…… bet you know what I mean!  The moment I am aware of my resistance and the judgmental thoughts that are attached, I can laugh at myself and start to let go of the ensuing tightness I feel in my body.

#4.  “Notice the Inner Eeyore”.  OK, this could just apply to me, but Sad Sack mode is often my default setting.  While yours might be Anxious Andy or Fearful Florence, the solution is always in the noticing of it.  When the spiral takes a downward spin, the sooner I am aware of it (“Whoa, here we go, Eeyore!”), the less power it holds.  What I love is that I don’t have to put energy into fixing anything, all I have to do is notice.  No heavy lifting required!

So, in this traditional Month of Love, while you’re buying Valentines and sweets for those you appreciate, acknowledge the person who stares back at you in the mirror every day. After all, the most powerful love of all is Love of Self.

    –Kathy Babula