Sometimes I get very stressed and caught up in my worries.

The hustle and bustle of daily life means that I can spend days caught up in my schedules, obligations, work and people. I’m always thinking about “the next thing”, rather than being conscious and mindful of the present.

On a particularly stressful day, I decided to sit outside to read my book to try and chill out for a short while. It was a sunny day and I was easily distracted, spending most of the time looking around the garden rather than reading. I watched a bee for a while, going about its daily business, buzzing from flower to flower, and it truly grounded me in the moment. It looked very content flying around and didn’t seem to be worrying about what it had to do. (I know it is a bee and I do hope it was not stressed!) But watching that bee grounded me in reality. My world was not the bee’s world.

I get so caught up in the small things and my “little world” that it is easy to forget what’s going on around me. The reality is, that many people in the world are truly suffering and have very real worries. When I was grounded in reality by that bee, my own worries evaporated. Compared to someone suffering the typhoon in Japan right now, I have very little to be stressed about. I can (and must) acknowledge and allow my stresses of course – that is important – but not think that is the only thing that matters!

Only by joining our personal pain with the universal suffering do we give meaning to it. Then, we can be conscious of what really matters, and be generous in giving our time to ease that same suffering of others.