I was tempted to name this “attack of the killer bees”. Then I thought that might be too dramatic. As a child when there were bees buzzing around it did feel like attack of the killer bees. Feeling threatened I would always swat or do some other kind of frantic movement that just left me with not one, but usually many bee stings.
I felt threatened so I went into self-protection mode. The problem was my reaction intensified their reaction and the end result was never in my favor. I love metaphors so instantly I began to think of the way my brain works. How I used to (and still do at times) get caught up in a mind mess so heavy it does feel like bees buzzing around my head.
Then I read a short piece about a book called “ The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” where the author Soygal Rinpoche compares the monkey mind to a beehive.
A ha! It came quite quickly and suddenly to me just the other day. If I start imagining and hearing the beehive when my thoughts are all bunched up it gives me perfect practice to flip my focus. Can you tell I’m a visual type of gal?
Think about it, bees are always buzzing and swarming around the hive. Much like our thoughts (usually the worry and anxiety filled ones) are constantly chattering away in our minds. If we react frantically by swatting at them or moving our bodies too much, they attack.
I realized as I matured into an adult that I still followed the same reactive mode of self-protection. When I began doing self-work and recognized my monkey mind and the havoc it was creating in my life I went full force after it. I tried everything: suppressing it, analyzing it, and even arguing with it. But I found that these efforts only intensified its existence. Then when I tried to flip my focus to something completely different it came right back like a magnet.
It was not until I imagined those thoughts as a beehive that I started to be able to separate myself from them. As soon as I heard the buzzing I did what I should have done as a child: I stepped back. I acknowledged them but they no longer pushed me along and I was no longer reactive to them. When you realize they will always be there and get comfortable with that, they can’t stand in your way.
If you find yourself obsessing over your health, your career or anything else imagine the beehive. What’s the smartest thing to do? Step back and flip your focus away from the thought of being stung. The bees may still be there but they won’t be the focus of our energy.
If you find yourself stuck in a mind mess try visualizing the beehive or any other image that helps you flip your focus from the chatter.
I feel better every time I use this tool. It helps me stop the mind chatter and calm my body down. It also helps me slow down. I realize I have more than enough time and there will always be something sweet waiting for me, so there’s no need to swarm myself with self criticism and doubt.
Try it! I’d love to hear what you come up with…