Submitted by la miller on 21 April, 2009 - 15:07

Bob's bees are buzzing. I got to help with them for the first time over the weekend. "I've got no problem with bees," I rather blithely proclaimed before suiting up in veil, gloves and jumpsuit. But as we opened the hive and pulled out frames to look for larva, a lot of bees started flying around me. I noticed I felt some fear—what if they get angry? what if one gets in my veil?

At that point, I reminded myself that things were okay. I had the smoker. When I watched them it didn't look like they were getting angry. The worst that could happen anyway is a few stings, and I'm not allergic. So basically, I had to remind myself that I had no problems with bees and things were fine, which they were.

I've been really trying to pay attention to my fear these days—notice when I use the phrases "I'm afraid of" or "I'm worried that" in conversation and notice when my breathing changes or when the adrenaline starts to flow. When I look squarely at the fear I'm feeling, it may or may not change, but I can work with it consciously and that's better than just hiding from it or shutting down.