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Post-Holiday B.S. Blues, Mindfulness and Keeping the Heart Open

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It's usually sometime between Christmas and New Year's Eve that my heart starts to close. As I unknowingly disconnect from home base, my B.S. upstairs tends to throw an embarrassing fiesta.

I hardly notice the mindless partiers, at first. But as the holiday busy-ness winds down, I start tripping over their wicked-heavy baggage. I feel sufficiently indignant, Grinchy and sad, which only causes them to snuggle in closer.

The holidays are decked out in not enough solitude, self-care or creative time. This leaves the welcome mat wide open for past disappointments, high expectations and B.S. (Belief Systems) to wipe their snowy ol' boots.

Ready to pop out from behind door number one is the familiar "I'm not enough" B.S., and the scary feeling that my humanness is quite unsightly. "I didn't give enough, spend enough, care enough or do enough."

I eat enough, however. The goodies soothe the "God-sized hole" of not-enoughness for exactly the same amount of time it takes to enjoy them.

I often blog about the not-enough-crew, I speak about them, I invite them in for hot cocoa and cookies... but I still don't want to accept that they are me. I continue to dangle an unrealistic fairytale life out beyond my reach, instead of truly loving what is right in front of my red nose. Warts and all.

Growing up, we always had a rousing New Year's Eve celebration with our family friends -- sixteen of us at least. In stark contrast, my hubster and I tend to have a quiet evening at home with our two boys. It's like any other night... except that we watch a big ball drop and a throng of folks freezing their buns off in Times Square.

I heard a Christmas song playing in the store yesterday. My pine-scented B.S. started to whine. Where's the magic now? Why does the wonder fade?

Cue up B.S. #2 -- "Childhood joys are over, sister." Plus, my fear insists I haven't created an awesome life for my boys. And B.S. #3, "I must suck at mothering." Right now I wanna build a couch fort and retire from the whole parenting thing.

Last week I felt inundated with newsletters about resolutions for "Your best year yet!" and it made my butt twitch. What about the stuff I didn't make happen this past year? Do I put it back on my list, just to disappoint myself again?

Best solution to my negativity? Extreme self care. When my messy mind gets a death grip on the wheel (tell-tale signs are hopelessness, eye-poking, candy-grabbing etc.) my heart needs to gently pry the grubby fingers off. For me that requires lots of uninterrupted solitude. I need to breathe. Write. Slow down. Lighten Up. Read. Meditate. De-clutter. Eat simply. Open. Be.

So while the hubby was home on vacay, I slept in and stayed in my polka dot pajamas for as long as possible. I didn't shower, blow dry my hair or put on a bra or make-up for days. I closed and locked my door. It. Was. Unprecedented. Heaven.

It was a permission slip to go away. And return to myself.

Wild applause please!

My attitude shifted like tectonic plates. Oh the epic relief!

My B.S. will insist I'm selfish, spoiled, guilty, greedy and not living up to my potential. With a bit of quiet time, I can smile at my little girl fears. I know she'll pull out of this. She'll believe, once again, that she belongs. That the world is safe for her. That just because things didn't work out before, there is still enough time, energy and love to make it so.

It's safe to keep dreaming.

Suddenly when I'm loving myself again, I realize that my holiday blues (or any sadness for that matter) visits when my gratitude is in the can. The hubster that I ached for, and didn't believe I deserved, and the boys I wasn't sure my body could ever have, are right outside my door. That's phenomenal! And some fab friends from childhood are still close at hand. Whahoo! And two fur friends on the bed nearby. Aw! And this rawkin computer that lets my posts reach YOU across the globe. Totally cosmic!

I could go on and on. And so could you. We have endless bounty going into 2015. We get to wake up to powerful gifts every day -- a hot shower, food in the frige, trees in the yard, things to do, people to love. And I find that when I appreciate what I already have, and I let it be "enough," it tends to grow three sizes that day. Ironic.

Even though our bank accounts can't record these many intangible treasures, we are still rich.

We all face heartbreak, uncertainty, loss... but the world is experiencing a major metaphysical makeover. We've got a lot to live for! We have a beautiful world to explore, inspiring people to meet, adventures to create and mountains to move!

The years we were asleep bring us more wonder when we wake up. The times we live in fear and negativity, make learning to follow our own starlight a major WOW today.

Michael Singer puts it this way, "You can learn to keep your energy centers open. You do this by just relaxing and releasing... Remember, if you love life, nothing is worth closing over. Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over." Not even our losses, failures, our inner nastiness, dreams that didn't come true, someone else's dreams that DID, our critics, our past, our partner or lack of one, kids, finances, fears and flaws.

It takes mindfulness and courage to stay open. Sometimes, a donut seems quicker.

Your life is beautiful. Even when a deep ache keeps you awake at night. Even as your partner walks away. Even as the bank takes your house. You have something much more radiant inside you, waiting to be reborn. You have air in your lungs and sun on your skin (or snow in your face.)

You have a lot of living to keep on loving. Whatever the question, you're still the glorious answer.

That amazing heart beating in your chest is willing to believe in you, again and again. That's not foolish, that's fabulous. That's the joyful creator inside who knows how to pull her head out of the sandbox, dust herself off, breathe in the present moment and keep enjoying the whole luminous playground.

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