Sunday, 18 May 2014

Up in the Heady Heights

I have always been uncomfortable with heights, or more accurately with falling. Growing up with brothers there was ample opportunity to face this fear on nature adventures that always seemed to involve jumping down from high up or over some chasm.

This week I got the chance to face this fear again when I was called out to remove some bees living in a chimney.

This chimney situation was my worse case scenario when I agreed, along with a friend, to be a honeybee 'swarm collector' this year - and this was our first call-out!

Thankfully, due to meditating every day, I didn't have any fearful thoughts leading up to the event. I just researched how best to help the bees and beekeeper and left the future in the future.

When we drove up to the house and I saw the scaffolding, however, I felt my heart thumping a little harder. It was high. I could feel fearful thoughts vying for my attention but I concentrated on saying hello to the little crowd of people who had come to witness the event.

Not only was the chimney up high but the house was also on a hill and looking out over a 360° view of NW Donegal. I could see all the mountains I know and on out to sea.

As soon as I put my foot on the first ladder my body went into a kind of ancient alert mode. I continued up higher and higher. I could feel myself shaking and thoughts like bullets offering such horrible scenarios as: falling, falling, falling and my body splattered on the ground, newspaper headlines about this woman who died trying to save bees.

The thoughts came rapid-fire saying, 'What if I faint', 'What if I get stung and jump', 'What if this ladder snaps', 'Oh I'm just meant to stay at home, safe and sound, and never leave the house',  'This is crazy!'.

Through each moment I stayed with my breath and focused on each little movement. Although there was an audience I paid no heed to how slow I was going and, shock horror, 'how it must look'. I stayed with my love for the bees, my love for my wee bee-loving self and knowing the beekeeper needed my help.

I felt deep inside that I was following my passion, my purpose in life.
The Honeybee Helpers
Aoife & Nadine, The Honeybee Helpers

By the time I got to the top I felt fine. The shaking had stopped and I just felt a sense of carefulness and seriousness. I checked the bees and could see they were so well established we would have to try another method rather than removing the comb (if you're interested in how see this link - thank you David Heaf!).

As I moved down each rung I felt lighter and happier, not just because I was coming back down to earth, but because the fear had gone. I had faced it and burnt it up.

Now that I have faced what I projected to be the worst I feel so much freer about all the other call outs. I know that my love is stronger than my fear - and that is a very good feeling indeed.

When we are in tune with our purpose there will be opportunity after opportunity to face and let go of fear. It's kind of the whole point I think. Yes, sometimes it is tough, but there is a grace and an ease that comes along with it; an unshakeability and a ferocious love.

May we all come into the light of our true path and walk it unashamedly.

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