Bright yellow and black buses flew through my development this morning, the buzz of back-to-school. Smiling children and sleepy teenagers accept their summer is over. The days are shorter, a few leaves turning. These colors and sounds are a reminder of change; actual bees will soon disappear as they prepare to hibernate.
Bees remind me of anxious thoughts buzzing in my head. “Be careful, do it this way.” “Be sure to get it right.” “Be-ware, you’re running out of time!” Maybe this year I’ll put perfectionism to bed for the winter with the bees?
I once said, “If I was a perfectionist, I’d be perfect”. Like most perfectionists, I believed hard work and high expectations made me successful.
Perfectionism and honey bees are sneaky. Honey bees’ stingers are shaped so you don’t feel them entering your skin; the sting comes after the bee finishes. The sting of perfectionism comes when our self-compassion meets the sting of unrealistic expectations.
We don’t realize the cost until later—lost time with family, unnecessary worry, fatigue. Why do we risk getting stung? Because perfectionism pays off in the sweet honey of achievement.
Through mindfulness practices, I’ve been able to enjoy what is and I look forward to sharing my journey with you in future posts. Until then, self-care includes compassion for yourself and taking the stingers out of those bees. You can have honey without getting stung!
At the end of each post, I’m going to include a simple exercise, and invitation to REFLECT, LISTEN, or PRACTICE a concept related to mindfulness. This week, REFLECT: journal about your bees. Notice what they are saying to you.