The “Bee”!!

Hi everyone,

I decided to post a photograph of myself as a bee at our recent Halloween party, one reason being for fun, as a few people have asked to see this “splendid” sight. But another reason is to lighten the mood a little after my last poem.

In order to manage this condition of MS, I often use practices which are Buddhist inspired. One such practice is to liken our emotions to the weather in its ever changing states, and simply allow ourselves to feel rather than fight the feelings, acknowledging that they are impermanent and will change.

I am a great follower of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, author, poet and peace activist. His book Peace Is Every Step has helped me enormously since my diagnosis, to come to terms with subsequent physical limitations and the accompanying roller coaster of emotions.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh, Stepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices




57 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ina
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 11:40:30

    Hi Christine, it is a great photo 🙂 your really look wonderful as a bee!

    And it is good that you found a way to manage!

    Hugs and Love



  2. harulawordsthatserve
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 11:43:26

    What a gorgeous photo Christine, full of joy and radiance…you certainly suit being a bee! ‘Peace is every Step’ is my ‘go to’ book for any crisis, small or big, it just immediately brings me to centre and makes me smile…:-) As did this photo:-) Love and blessings, Harula xxxxxxxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 05, 2013 @ 12:22:30

      Hi Harula!

      Im pleased you are familiar with his book; I thought you might be. It has helped me and still does, so much!

      It was good fun being a bee and I looked at the photo again after I had posted the poem and felt the comparison was worth sharing. It really does illustrate the weather practice.

      Love and blessings to you too.


  3. Harry
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 12:03:06

    Your looking great Christine.


  4. Through My Eyes
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 12:30:07

    That’s a gorgeous photo of you Christine. I’m glad to see that you had a great time 🙂 Hugs, Norma xxxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 05, 2013 @ 12:46:10

      Thank you Norma! It was great fun, and these days Im not bothered about sharing my picture! I used to be very self conscious about it but don’t seem to be bothered anymore. And if illustrating our changing emotions helps someone else, then all the better 😊. Xx


  5. Jane Thorne
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 13:40:46

    I love this photo Chris and your inner ‘shininess’ will always surface again. It’s about self-nurturing and as you say allowing the feelings to be, rather than trying to fight them. They are valid at the time and will pass when we’re ready. Much love and teapot hugs for you. Xxxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 05, 2013 @ 13:47:52

      Thank you Jane. Its surprising how our emotions can travel on that roller coaster without us being sick, isnt it?! 😊 i do have to work hard though at letting them be instead of punching them, smacking them and fighting them off!! That in itslf is exhausting!

      Teapot hugs to you too and
      Lots of love


  6. Janette moran
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 14:20:11

    Enjoyed reading this and I’m sure all your Buddhist inspired practices are making you look younger – great photo xxxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 05, 2013 @ 14:53:22

      Aw thanks Janette! What a nice surprise to “see” you here! I wasnt very Buddhist inspired on the way home from my flu jab just now when someone overtook us when he shouldn’t have!! Certain expletives could be heard!! 😊 Xx


  7. lscotthoughts
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 14:41:04

    Hi Chris,

    You make an adorable Bee, love the photo, and I’m happy you found something to help you anchor your feelings and find emotional balance along the way. I know it’s not easy and I’m sure you have “down” times, but for the most part, I see a strong woman with an amazing attitude! ♥ HBL xo


  8. Cynthia Jobin
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 15:15:02

    What a delightful photo, Christine! Isn’t it great to no longer fear the camera and to just bee out there? Thich Nhat Hanh’ s Breathing took me from death’s door a few years ago to a full recovery of health. Some of my favorite of his works are THE HEART OF THE BUDDHA’S TEACHING; OLD PATH, WHITE CLOUDS; LIVING BUDDHA, LIVING CHRIST; and his collection of poetry: CALL ME BY MY TRUE NAMES. I’m not a Buddhist, but I think this little Vietnamese monk is a great treasure in his understanding of how Buddhism can speak to us westerners. His most wise and basic advice pulled me through some tough times when none of the other usual helps seemed to address suffering so well.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 05, 2013 @ 15:26:01

      Thanks Cynthia!

      Im so pleased for you that his works have helped you, and I can see very much how they did if my experience of him is anything to go by. It was some of his other writings along with Peace Is Every Step that brought me back to life after my diagnosis. And with such immediate effect too. I could hardly believe how deeply his simple but profound words went inside me. It changed my whole outlook on my illness, and on life in other areas too. Im not a Buddhist either but I do follow the path in my own way and I too found his words reaching a place when nothing else seemed to help.

      I will check out Call Me By My True Names; I have the others but not that one, thank you! 😊 X


  9. leamuse
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 17:18:10

    A bee, how perfect for you. Your love of flowers and you do spread the sweetness as you go! I do love the photo!

    The closest I get to Buddhist readings are The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet.




  10. Caddo
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 17:29:04

    Oooh, I’ll be right over to dance to Buddy Holly with you–can’t think of anything more fun right now!! I was always scared of bees, but now I’ve met the Most Adorable, delightful and lovely Queen Bee–and I feel so privileged! Love to you, Hugs and Smoochies–Caddo


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 05, 2013 @ 17:33:29

      Thank you Caddo!

      You know I would never sting you!! And yay!! You and me with our rainbow glittery boas daning to Buddy! What more could we wish for – apart fom the sweet onion crisps of course!!

      Love ro you too
      Hs and Ss


  11. Jackie
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 21:22:16

    You look so good in that costume! I’m glad you have found something that helps you cope. xx 😀


  12. triciabertram
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 21:33:07

    I love this photo, Christine, and am pleased you put it on your blog.
    Yes our feelings do come and go, we have good days and bad days, sometimes good weeks and more difficult weeks. I’m so pleased you’ve found something that helps you. A friend in the U S has given me a couple of his books and they are beautiful.
    I think I’m going through a defiant phase at the moment, where I don’t want comfort. I think I need to be angry for a while. Does that make sense?
    I do love you my beautifule bumble bee. Reading your words is like a gentle back rub for my spirit. Your MS poetry book arrived yesterday and I spent the afternoon reading it from cover to cover. I’m going to go through it again more slowly and if I have the breath, read each of your poems aloud. Your writing is powerful, honest and beautiful.
    Much love
    Tricia xoxo ❤


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 05, 2013 @ 21:51:18

      Oh Tricia, thank you. And yes, what you say makes total sense to me!! I go through exactly the same feelings myself!

      “a gentle back rub for my spirit” – what a lovely thought and a lovely thing to say.
      So pleased you have the book; there are some very moving poems which I need to read again and again to get more and more from them. I wish I could hear you read my poems. We could sit and have coffee while we had a reading! That would be so lovely.

      I love you too


  13. PookyH
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 22:08:52

    Oh this is a such a happy happy picture – and contrasts so much with your last post; though I do appreciate that the lowest lows often follow the highest highs.

    How did posting this make you feel?

    Thinking of you x


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 06, 2013 @ 11:57:20

      Thanks Pooky!

      It felt good to write this and post it because its a reminder for me of the varying nature of our emotions, how none are permanent , and if I have a bad period I know it will pass, as will the good. Im trying very hard to do what I spoke of above and acknowledge the feelings without judgement, whatever they are. Xx


      • PookyH
        Nov 06, 2013 @ 21:27:19

        Acknowledging your feelings seems like a really sensible, pragmatic approach – I hope that the difficult ones are starting to ease a little?

  14. tikarmavodicka
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 22:32:45

    Awww, This is such a lovely photo Christine! 🙂 You make a most delightful bee. 🙂

    It’s good to let that “inner child” out to play, and what a beautiful smile she has. 🙂

    I’m really glad to that you have found a way of thinking and being that helps you through those toughers moments and brings you to a place of greater appreciation for the good moments.

    Thank you for continuing to inspire.
    (((BIG WARM HUGS)))
    and lots of love


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 06, 2013 @ 12:02:25

      Thanks so much Tikarma!

      A few years ago I wouldn’t dream of posting a photo like this! It would have been a case of wondering what people would think, of not looking perfect, of everyone realising Im not 18 etc etc etc, all those rubbish things that mattered for some unknown reason! , well I have freed myself from all that now. I still have a long way to grow spiritually, but Im enjoying he journey! 😊

      Lots of love and
      (((BIG WARM HUGS)))


  15. greenlightlady
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 03:21:47

    Christine, you make a very beautiful bee! I also love the bee pictures you have on your other blog.

    Blessings ~ Wendy


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 06, 2013 @ 12:10:14

      Hi Wendy! Thank you so much! I

      have been so taken up with the bees this summer! I know it is because I have taken the time, not just to watch, but to really observe them. It has been fascinating and I love them so much I decided there was nothing else I would rather dress up as, than a bee!

      I have bought some more bee friendly seeds planted for next year, so the story will continue, and I hope my hands hold out to still use my camera. I will find away!! i have also bought a bee log which I have hung in the garden so they have a cosy winter home.

      Christine xx


  16. Libby
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 15:02:48

    Great photo, such a beautiful smile. So pleased you have something that helps.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 06, 2013 @ 15:11:12

      Thank you very much Libby.

      I was a little reluctant to put the photo up here but a few had asked to see it so I thought it was the easiest way to do it. And then it occurred to me that the comparison between how I felt after the party with the actual party mood could be helpful in explaining the changing emotions. I really use weather practice a lot. So simple and yet its so effective for me. Xx


  17. Wendell A. Brown
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 01:05:27

    Wonderful picture!


  18. bardessdmdenton
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 19:44:45

    Love this photo, Christine – you are bee -ming! I so agree with you words on how Buddhism helps you. ‘Peace is Every Step’ is one that I need to have with me! XO ♥


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 07, 2013 @ 19:57:34

      Thanks so much Diane. This post just seemed appropriate after the poem. It was one of those posts that wrote itself and it will be a good point of reference to remind myself that the negative feelings pass like the weather.
      ❤ Xxx


  19. suzywordmuser
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 21:30:56

    It’s good to see you as that bee!! 😀 Looks like it was a fun party. I didn’t know anyone would go as a be to a Halloween party, but great idea – much better than a Zombie or a Witch. Too many of those already! 😉

    I like the idea of measuring our moods and feeling to the weather! Can’t say I’ve ever thought of dong that, but I guess it must really help to clarify exactly what mood is going on, instead of being unsure as to how you are feeling. I shall have to try that – could have some interesting results! 🙂


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 08, 2013 @ 13:25:56

      Thank ou Suzy!

      I didnt want to dress up in anything scary for the tiny grandchildren so as I seem to have been somewhat taken by the presence of the bees this summer (I have taken several photos of them and put a few on my flower photo blog), a bee seemed the natural way to go!

      Using the “weather practice” works for me most of the time, but there are days, of course, when nothing seems to work! But those pass too, so in that respect it is working after all! 😊 Xx


  20. Peter Wells aka Countingducks
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 12:11:46

    Hi Christine, Firstly, I love the photo, and its nice to see you having some fun, and looking so nice. . As to letting things go through you, or feeling them, rather than fighting them: very wise approach if I may say so. I’ve been a little concerned because, selfishly, I have noticed you commenting less often on my posts, and hope this is not through any difficulties you may be having. You always have my very best wishes, as I hope you know


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 08, 2013 @ 12:27:59

      Hi Peter!

      And thank you so much for this lovely comment.

      And now Im getting concerned, and puzzled. I hope my comments are showing up as I haven’t missed commenting on any of your fab posts at all as far as I can remember. I have quite a few favourite blogs and yours is right up there at the very top! You either make me laugh out loud and want to read on and on, or give me something to think deeply about and that is a great balance in my opinion. Will you please check your blog for me to see if my comments are showing? I know I havent missed any because I always feel a frisson of excitement when I see a new one of yours in my inbox!

      I am a great follower of Alexander McCall Smith’s books and your writing reminds me very much of his. Are you familiar with him? You are equally as good!! 😊


  21. Francina
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 17:38:05

    Dear Christine, such a beautiful photo from a very lovely lady. You truly are the queen bee in my books 🙂
    love and hugs across the creek x0x0x


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 09, 2013 @ 11:11:11

      Thank you very much Francina! It was good fun, hard work just getting ready, but well worth it for the grandchildren who all loved the idea of grandma being a bee!

      Love and hugs



  22. beckarooney
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 17:57:17

    That is a really lovely photo of you Christine, such a realistic bee costume too – I love the wings!
    We can all learn a lot from the Buddhist way of life, a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote springs to mind “The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship”.
    Thank you for sharing this post, glad to see you are doing well 😀 x


  23. Laurel's Reflections
    Nov 12, 2013 @ 08:22:19

    Wonderful photo, and wise words! I am working through a lot of ‘stuff’ at the moment, and it helps to keep remembering that we are all finding our paths… I found these words very helpful, thank you!


    • journeyintopoetry
      Nov 12, 2013 @ 10:22:40

      Thanks Laurel, its lovely to see you.

      Yes you’re right, we are all finding our own paths and sometimes its hard and we feel lost and alone. I think also, we are in danger of thinking everyone else has found their path and theyre all ok, which, of course, isnt true. And the work doesnt stop does it because we find that we have ben directed down an unexpected road and need to start again to aclimatise ourselves wirhvit and beginto manage it all over again.

      Love to you and blesings too.


  24. Betty Hayes Albright
    Jan 07, 2014 @ 21:00:37

    What a beautiful bee you make!! (And I too am a “follower” of Thich Nhat Hanh – so very wise and gentle.)


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jan 08, 2014 @ 09:50:52

      Thank you Betty! I must say this took some doing for me but I was determined. The Irish part of the family were here for halloween and they celebrate it much more than we do, so as there were also two birthdays to celebrate we decided to make the small gathering a fancy dress one. I felt like I could t be bothered but the incentive was the grandchildren, so I went for it but it exhausted me. However I am pleased I made the effort.

      Yes, Thich Nhat Hanh is having a great influence on how I handle all I am faced with.

      Sending love and hugs


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