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Let it BEe



I recently pondered upon something I saw while having a traditional afternoon tea at a hotel with my husband; while waiting for our treats to arrive, I noticed there were 2 friends who were a bit disturbed by a bee that was attracted to what was on their table. One of them stood up trying to shoo it away to protect their food. After a few minutes, a waitress came and managed to get the bee inside a cup, freeing the bee from a slap and freeing the ladies from their disturbance.


We had our tea and cakes and when we were almost done with it all, a bee came to visit us too, we did not mind it, we did not try to shoo it away but we observed it, and you know what? It did not stay long or bothered us, it flew away as quickly as it came, while the bee that was around the ladies table stayed for a good few minutes.


As soon as the resistance is gone, the bee is gone


This situation brought me to the realisation that the fear of being hurt, bitten or disturbed is what makes us resist the presence of certain experiences and people. It’s connected to our need to control so that we feel safe.



We get so disturbed by the presence of that which brings us discomfort that we would do anything we can to fight it, resist it or avoid it at all cost, be it a bee, mosquitoes, a person, a thought and even our own emotions.


However, no matter how hard we try to avoid them, they are a part of life and will continue to hunt us unless confronted.



This confrontation does not mean fighting against it, but being willing to look at the source of our fear (or any of its relatives such as anxiety, aversion, worry uneasiness, agitation, blame, etc.) and be with it, attend it, get to know it, befriend it without trying to control it, solve or change it (which is a very natural reaction!). This is known as Mindfulness and it is the beginning of freedom


Avoiding feeling what we feel only increases our vulnerability to being overwhelmed by it. When we resist, tighten and try to fight against something, our world becomes small, our sympathetic nervous system goes into "fight, flight or freeze" and we lose our sense of enjoyment, we lose or parasympathetic quality of rest and digest, hence we block the circulation of energy. Our perception changes our bio chemistry


Our perception changes our biochemistry; when we "fight the bee", we create an internal fight which sends signals to our endocrine system and in simple words, it goes like this:


Our hypothalamus is the part of the brain that interprets perception. When it perceives stress, it send a signal to the pituitary gland , the master gland, and this send a signal to our cells (trillions of them!), and if it a threat, it will send the signal to the adrenal glands which will then release stress hormones to the body.

The blood then goes to the arms and legs, and when this happens, a lot of blood that was in the gut/viscera helping with growth, digestion, reproduction, health maintenance and even logic, leaves and our ability to be mindful, in charge and also able to heal shuts off. Stress hormones shut off our immune system and if you get stressed a lot of the time, you're constantly shutting off your defence mechanisms.


Our PNS, parasympathetic nervous system(connected to Rest & Digest) is the brake, and SNS, sympathetic nervous system(fight, flight, freeze) is the gas. Both systems are useful and incredibly helpful, but when we have the gas on all the time without an occasional break, it can become quite detrimental and our mental, emotional and physical health will pay the price, it takes a lot of fuel!


We all want health, we all want to be at peace and happy, so how do we do that? Awareness


One of the many things yoga offers is opportunities to become aware of our internal landscape and learn how to feel the feelings without becoming overwhelmed by them, recognising their transient quality. In this process we become more tolerant, less reactive and increasingly equanimous, which means that we are able to observe what arises or unfolds without (so much) attachment to it.


Paraphrasing spiritual teacher , Eckhart Tolle, "The cause of your unhappiness, is not the bee, but your thoughts about it"



Who is unhappy? the one who finds fault



In a nutshell, what can bring more ease into our lives is having a willingness to meet ourselves as we are, which means not turning away from the people, emotions, experiences that are here to teach us something, stay tHERE. Get to witness what's behind the aversion to the bee (annoyance, disturbance, discomfort, uneasiness, pain, etc.) not by analisis but by simply getting to know it, sitting with it. Stay present to it all and witness without attachment. Let the lesson reveal itself as you get to know yourSelf better


If you're thinking as you read, how unhappy you are in your job, relationship, country, career, or if you're dealing with a condition or disease then by all means change, heal and do what you need to do to make things better! The invitation of allowing does not mean to stay in a place that feels toxic, meaningless or even dangerous!


We can only work with what we are aware of, the more aware you become, the more you'll notice the thoughts that cross our minds, the avoidance mechanisms that come up as supposed solutions, the need to fix, control or change what is... It’s being here that takes us where we need to be, rather than aversion to what's unfolding



When we turn a something into an enemy , there’s no chance of getting to know it; and instead of moving towards it which can be healing, we instead move away from it.


Perhaps, the bee you fear holds the honey you seek



In yoga with love,


Amor







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