I found a bumblebee in my bathroom this morning.Â She was working hard attempting to pollinate the milky white fluted glass light fixture over the sink.Â As I watched her, I was mesmerized by the repetitive action of her tong reaching again and again to the inanimate, non-existent source of nectar in front of her. I was drawn into the futility of her actions, andÂ knew that there was honey for me if I delved deeper into the flower. Curiosity stirred. Since we are all connected, I wondered â€“ How was the bumblebeeâ€™s pointless mission relevant to me? How were her instinctual yet ineffective attempts to extract nectar from the light fixture mirrored in my life? How many activities do I mindlessly do with the same hopelessly unproductive results? These questions made me shudder.
The electricity produced from the exploration of the questions began to light up the bulb of my thinking with a host of fruitless patterns: playing solitaire, reading People magazine, self-doubt, procrastination, shame, ridged determination, resignation, and worst case scenario building; to name a few. The list could go on and on, but to what avail?Â Was creating the list itself another example of ineffectual action â€“ to get lost in a catalog of things that are not my strengths? There certainly isnâ€™t any flower worth pollinating in that garden of weeds. Or is there? Â The first two patterns, though mindless, are not instinctual so are not relevant at this time. The next question is â€“ What pointless habitual, instinctive pattern is currently blocking me from doing what I say I want to do?
Finding, accessing, and utilizing my own personal voice is my lifeâ€™s work. The fact that I used the word work, instead of avocation or calling, is telling to me. It is when I doubt myself or my abilities that writing becomes work and I begin to procrastinate by filling my time with mindless tasks. When Iâ€™m operating out of my gifts, away from the negative inner dialogue, my writing becomes pure golden honey; straight from the honeycomb of my heart. When I write from the place of no-doubt, my pen dips into the sweetest of flowers and I buzz from one word to the next, unconsciously caught up in the rhythm of the flight of the bumblebee and the industry of pollinating and gathering nectar.
When I left for vacation three weeks ago, I was caught up in the work of producing a weekly blog post, and was stressed; the flower of blogging had lost its bloom. I felt obliged to produce one blog per week. Sensing that I felt pressure my husband asked â€“ Why donâ€™t you take a vacation from the blog?Â Why not indeed! Iâ€™m the person who set the goal of producing 52 blogs this year, and I would be the person to adjust the goal so that I may achieve the more important outcome of â€˜enjoying the process of writing again.â€™Â I gave myself a two week vacation, with the promise that I would resume writing as soon as I returned.Â I felt renewed and refreshed when I returned, but busied myself with a myriad of inconsequential things to do; none of which were as important as coming back to my writing. Then I met my bumblebee and Iâ€™m reminded that being busy like a bee can be futile and frequently a clue that I’ve been caught in the silent fog ofÂ self-doubt.
Doubt has been the bane of my existence for as long as I have memory. I no longer try to locate its roots. Itâ€™s enough to know that this plant is toxic, and when found needs to be extracted and burned. Unfortunately, doubt it is not an easy weed to see. Does a fish know itâ€™s in water if water is the only thing sheâ€™s ever experienced? Doubt masquerades as wisdom, rational thought, a fact, something obviously true: â€˜you canâ€™t write, others laugh at your efforts; they take pity on you and humor you with their compliments!â€™ My challenge is to be able to recognize when doubt has me in its grip! The water that I swim in (my thinking) is so much a part of me that itâ€™s difficult to recognize healthy from self-destructive thoughts. It all sounds true or at least possible; I’ve thought it for so long.Â Since Iâ€™m not skilled at ferreting out the weeds of faulty thinking, Iâ€™ve devised other means to flushing it out.
How do I know that doubt is lurking in the dark moist shadows of the garden of my psyche? Ineffectual action is the major clue. Â Because action occurs in the external world, Iâ€™m better able to recognize it. When I hear the buzzing of self-doubt; that I canâ€™t write, canâ€™t spell, not good at punctuation, that my vocabulary is limited and that my words donâ€™t flow, the drone of this internal dialogue quietly lulls me to sleep and I move into an inactive, mindless state . Iâ€™m transported back to the fish in her water, unable to divide my thinking from real possibility or historical story.
Watching the futility of the bumblebee, frenetically extending her tong hopelessly trying to extract nectar from the milky white glass fluted light fixture in my bathroom, was the clue that I needed to recognize my own senseless ineffectual action. Once the poisonous weed was spotted, I could dig it out.
Before the bumblebee tiered, I captured and released her back into my backyard garden to continue its life work. As she flew away, I silently thanked the benevolent universe that brought her into my bathroom and provided me with a glimpse into my instinctual pattern of filling my time with inconsequential futile activities, when doubt arouse. With gratitude, I faced named and discarded the poisonous weed and move again into constructive action.Â Just like the bumblebee will continue her work of collecting lifeâ€™s nectar; I am free to dip my pen into the flowers of lifeâ€™s situations and use it to pollinate my writing!