I never kill a bug.
I have never been a big bug killer and I still remember my father carrying spiders outside. But I did keep a trusty can of Raid under the sink, swatted some flies and have been known to throw my shoe at a spider. In college my closet had camel crickets and I would spray them with Lysol (not exactly sure why…but not sure about a lot of the things I did in college).
But I have noticed over these last several years that the longer I follow yogic practices, the further away I become from being able to take the life of an insect. To take the life of anything really. It doesn’t feel right.
Bee in my office – I open the windows get a broom and escort her out. Stinkbugs get scooped up in my hand and shown the door. Small beetles that somehow end up in my sink or tub and have spent all night climbing up the side only to slide back down, get handed a tissue to use as a ladder. As ants arrive in the spring I find their path and sprinkle it with cayenne pepper which sends them marching right back out. Bugs eating my garden - I look for companion plantings that discourage that particular insect.
But what about mosquitoes?? I’m sure you give them a good slap when they land? No, I simply shoo them away and kindly ask them to let me be. Yes, really. I actually energetically send out a message with my body. Does that mean I never get bit? No, but a lot less often. And you know what? Even when you get a lot of bites, they itch for an hour and then go away. Killing mosquitos as they land on you is never going to end mosquito bites. They need to eat too….and I have allowed the bats to nest in my eaves to keep the life cycle complete.
It works with gnats as well. This summer I actually made a study of observing people and their interaction with gnats. When gnats are heavey I get stiller and again ask them to keep some distance. Most people move and swat and curse and try to kill them. Many times they even go back inside. You know what? They get landed on a lot more than me. Try it. Get very still and relax. Notice how they circle but don’t do a whole lot more than that when left alone to be gnats. That which you resist……persists.
So this morning as I woke up I knew this was what I was going to write about. I walked into my closet to get my yoga clothes and as I reached down a large striped spider ran onto my yoga bra. Ahh!! Very funny Universe. Testing me with something more challenging I see…… I took a deep breath. But a bag next to him which he ran up. Carried the bag ever so slowly (keeping a very close eye on him lest he decide to run up the bag and onto my arm), opened the window and set him on the ledge. It felt right.
Never is a such strong word. Not one I am sure I can actually live up to…..but it is my intention. And intention is what matters.
Saw my first praying mantis in the garden!
Making peace with all beings,