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Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.

Stop acting so small.  You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Set your life on fire.  Seek those who fan your flames.  

--Rumi

 

 

After writing and re-reading this intro it feels somewhat heavy and serious.  Which it is.  But not in a sad way.  Rather in the way of opening and expanding and becoming stronger.  In the way of taking this moment and using it to grow.  

 

What I'm trying to recognize in life is this: I am the strength that I seek.  I spend so much time reaching outward for appreciation, acknowledgment, courage, permission, justification, and empowerment that I have missed entirely that I am capable of all that -- and more -- within myself.  I am so afraid of making a mistake that I often don't trust myself with my own intuition, aspirations, and beliefs.  Even when the pain of staying quiet and stagnant becomes all-consuming.  I can count on half of one hand the number of decisions I've made just for me and nobody else; without influence or response to judgement.  And though what resulted wasn't always easy and never perfect, those decisions opened doors to a better, more confident me.  

 

This challenge is about not losing myself to the start of the school year.  It's about putting myself first while deepening my compassion toward others, two things I've struggled to do for the past several years.  It's about respecting the slow process.    

 

Health Goals:

 

Yoga 3x/week.  During this challenge I will start my search for a new yoga class or studio.  I have a few in mind that I would like to visit -- it's just a matter of pushing aside my worries and doing it.  I learned last challenge that I like going to a class with a teacher and other students.  It gives me skills that I can practice more easily at home.  Ideally I would like to take a class once a week and then commit to practicing at home at least twice a week.    

 

Eat mindfully: 1) 2 servings of fruit and/or veggies each day; 2) no chips.  The ban on chips is an extension of last challenge, and I want to keep going with it and know if I don't make it an official goal I'll likely fall off the wagon.  And although I was doing really well with my freggie intake during this past school year, this summer turned into a long break and I'm cringing as I realize just how little I've eaten over the past few months.  So, starting back up small and manageable.    

 

Limit Facebook scrolling to 1x/day.  For me this is most certainly a health goal.  Staring at the computer or my phone hurts my eyes and my brain and my shoulders; Facebook seems to be my biggest weakness.  Last summer I was trying out being an online health coach and was instructed to post on Facebook several times a day, so I started to get used to (and enjoy) using social media as a tool for sharing interesting information.  However, over the course of the year it turned into a tool for distraction and although I do often find good tidbits posted, more often I just end up falling down a frustrating rabbit hole.  My goal is to give myself one time during the day to check and scroll through Facebook.  I'll have to sort of "see where it goes" and figure out how to manage this.    

 

Life Goals:

 

Focus on honesty + voice.  This is a goal without parameters or guidelines.  Simply, I want to stop being so afraid to speak and honor my truth.  Whether it's sharing an idea during a staff meeting, asking for what I need at home, or following a pursuit I feel passionate about, I need to start cultivating the ability to be honest.  I don't take this to mean that I need to start opening up and sharing everything about myself all the time; I am still and will always be an introvert with a very capital I, and I love that about myself.  But staying closed up and silent all the time isn't working for me anymore.  It leads me to feel resentment, passive aggressiveness, anger, and hopelessness.  I direct frustrations at people I shouldn't and allow myself to get wrapped up in negative, spinning thoughts.    

 

Consider life outside of teaching.  Welp, this is a big, scary goal that I've sort of been dreaming of since I started teaching 4 years ago.  Almost immediately after I started my first year I knew wholeheartedly that teaching wasn't for me.  There are many things I love about teaching, but being a teacher in a public school just doesn't fit.  I lost control of myself so quickly.  I gained 30 pounds, got really sick really often, fell into deep depression, and stopped connecting with my friends and family.  I wasn't me anymore; I would look in the mirror and not see my face.  I told myself that I would make it to 5 years, and now I'm about to start my 5th year.  Last year was a lot better and I felt mostly successful and confident, but I still didn't feel very happy.  What has kept me tied to the job is the money and insurance and vacation time, I started to worry that I wouldn't be able to find something that would support me as well.  So I want to really think about what might come next and ease some of my fears: show myself that this isn't the end of the road.    

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Twilight said:

Career changes are so scary. Support!

 

Thank you!  It's terrifying and exhilarating to think about changing my life.  But I know I need to do it.  We got our back-to-school letters and I had such a sense of peace wash over me knowing that I'm going to be a good teacher this year and that it can be my last one.

 

So far, so good on the off-week.  No yoga yet but I have my last class tomorrow.  No chips, though also only about 1 serving of vegetables each day.  Too much Facebook time but I'm weaning myself off it.  I feel like being honest to MYSELF about wanting a career change has helped me focus myself and feel more centered, and I spent some time yesterday making a list of jobs that I could feasibly get for next year while I figured out the next step.  I know of at least two that I could get very easily and would provide me a livable income.  So that's good!

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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On August 15, 2016 at 0:35 PM, Bee said:

I am the strength that I seek.

 

I love this! Thanks for the follow. I'm following you back and looking forward to see how you do on this challenge! 

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On 16/08/2016 at 6:35 AM, Bee said:

Focus on honesty + voice.  This is a goal without parameters or guidelines.  Simply, I want to stop being so afraid to speak and honor my truth.  Whether it's sharing an idea during a staff meeting, asking for what I need at home, or following a pursuit I feel passionate about, I need to start cultivating the ability to be honest.  I don't take this to mean that I need to start opening up and sharing everything about myself all the time; I am still and will always be an introvert with a very capital I, and I love that about myself.  But staying closed up and silent all the time isn't working for me anymore.  It leads me to feel resentment, passive aggressiveness, anger, and hopelessness.  I direct frustrations at people I shouldn't and allow myself to get wrapped up in negative, spinning thoughts.    

I can relate so well to this! And as someone who went from being extremely introverted and closed to someone who is still introverted but also able to ask for help when needed and speak up when I have an opinion, I'm telling you it is totally something you can overcome :) I had the same experience with bottling stuff up and realised not only was I doing myself a disservice, I was taking it out on those around me. It has taken me a long time, and to be honest I am still working on it, but by taking baby steps I was able to turn it from being an impossibly scary thing into more of an automatic response to situations. Initially I found it easiest to to voice my opinions via email/message etc, and then gradually start talking face to face with people about stuff. Good luck, you got this! 

 

And good luck with the other stuff too! Career changes are scary for sure, but can be pretty exciting too and it sounds like a natural choice for you. Good on you for giving teaching a proper chance too, that is really admirable. 

 

On 16/08/2016 at 6:35 AM, Bee said:

opening and expanding and becoming stronger.  In the way of taking this moment and using it to grow.  

Beautiful :) 

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Thanks, all!  And thank you @Owlet for the amazing words of encouragement and reassurance.  It feels like I'll never be able to speak up the way I want or need, but I truly hope to get there.  What helped you along your journey?  For me it feels like I just need to "get it out" sometimes and not be afraid of how people will react, but that seems way too difficult!!

 

Today was very stressful but ended well.  We had to take one of our dogs in to a last-minute vet appointment to check out a growth.  It was totally benign but it was a stressful 12 hours from the time we found it last night and when we got into the vet today.  It was one of those days where I normally just would have shut down and eaten everything in sight.  Instead, I pushed myself to get to my last yoga class and felt totally inspired, albeit super stiff and tired.  I just love it.  I'm sad to be done with this particular series and to have to find a new place, but I feel that I've been given so many great tools and so much confidence that I have complete trust that I will find my next direction.  And upon coming home I ate a reasonable amount of food and was able to completely listen to my body when it felt full.  I also scooped a small bowl of ice cream and only ate half of it!  :biggrin-new:  

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Bee said:

It feels like I'll never be able to speak up the way I want or need, but I truly hope to get there.

You will!

4 hours ago, Bee said:

What helped you along your journey?  For me it feels like I just need to "get it out" sometimes and not be afraid of how people will react, but that seems way too difficult!!

Haha I know exactly what you mean. It was (and still is) a gradual process for me. I started out just 'getting out' the smallest bits of what I was holding inside, to close friends who I knew would only offer support (and yeah even though, logically, I knew they would respond well I was still terrified of being open about and making myself vulnerable like that) It got slightly easier every time I did it and once my friends knew how hard it was for me they were good at asking questions and prying stuff out of me, without being pushy. Now it's a lot easier and it feels weird to hold stuff in. I still struggle a lot with conflict though or telling people when they've upset me. For that I generally resort to email/text dialogue because I tend to freeze up in person. Even that is getting easier though and I have no doubt I'll get to the point of being able to discuss difficult subjects face-to-face and hold my own. Hope that helps!

 

Sorry to hear about the stress with your dog, glad it turned out to be harmless :) Well done for sticking with the healthy eating and going to yoga, that is a real victory!

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I love your goals, especially your life goal.  I empathise here - it's easy to feel trapped and hard to see a way out sometimes when you recognise that something isn't right for you, because of the need to consider grown-up, life things too.  Looking forward to following how you get on here!

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21 hours ago, Owlet said:

I still struggle a lot with conflict though or telling people when they've upset me.

 

Thank you so much for sharing some ideas.  I'm only really honest with my mom and my husband, and even then I still keep things inside that I'm nervous to share for whatever reason.  And I so agree with you!  I avoid conflict like the plague.  It probably creates the most issues for me because I stay quiet but get really upset inside, then end up venting to said mom and husband.  But I'm getting better about just letting things go, and focusing on what are BIG issues rather than sweating the small stuff.  Step by step I'll keep trying to be more honest!

 

Today was good.  I had an appointment with my nutritionist who I just adore.  I don't need to see her as often because I've learned so much, but it was nice to set some goals and make a plan for the start of the school year.  No chips and really no snacks, again was able to avoid stress eating.  Had a super lovely massage tonight and I feel wonderful!  Self-care is so important.  I don't spend a lot of money on things for myself, and I'd really rather spend it on things like massages, pedicures, yoga, etc. that makes me feel truly special. :) 

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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Venting and bottling things up sounds really familiar. I've done a lot of self-reflection this year on emotional labour and self-care. Put your lifejacket on before helping others. It's ok to have needs, it's ok to ask for things. Putting your needs aside and prioritizing the needs of others over your own to the point where you're hurting yourself is a bad thing. It's ok to set boundaries so that you won't keep getting hurt and overextending your ability to care for others or yourself. The people who love you want you to look after yourself, too!

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Kind of whizzing through this zero week.  Can't believe it's already Friday.  

 

Yoga: I did an easy practice today at home.  I've been pretty sore this week from our Wednesday class as we got into some pretty intense poses (for a beginner, anyway).  I'm so glad that I can keep going at home, though, because it allows me to explore poses further and focus on what I really like to do.

 

Chips: None!  I haven't been craving them at all, which is awesome.  I'm glad I kept them in this challenge, but I'm hoping that once this one is finished I can keep going on my own like I did with soda.  Still slacking on the fruits and vegetables though I did have a salad today and may have blueberries for an evening snack.

 

Facebook: Eesh, I've been pretty active on there this week.  It's so hot that we've spent quite a bit of time at home with the AC, so just sort of lying around and feeling lazy.  I think when the official challenge starts I may have more motivation.  Or this may just be a way for me to really track how often I'm on there.

 

Voice/Honesty: I guess I haven't encountered much need to speak up for myself lately.  I did ask a question about an issue I was having during yoga, which isn't something I normally do.  I have also been journaling a lot every day about what I want out of life and tackling the fears and reservations I have.  Also, something I have been doing somewhat regularly for the past month is keeping a dream journal.  It was suggested by my yoga teacher, and it's completely fascinating.  I'm a heavy, vivid, weird dreamer but I've never really paid much attention to the symbols or recurring themes that closely.  Lots of insight to be found!!

 

Job: As the first day of work approaches (10 more days) I'm getting more and more anxious.  Now that I have kind of resolved to go into the year planning on it being my last, I'm not too excited about having to go through said year.  I'm like, "Crap, I still have to do this job that I'm planning on quitting for another 10 months!!"  Again, I'm really just trying to be calm about it and let go of my worries.  It's more getting back into the routine, being around a bunch of people again, the unknown of what this year holds.  I know the magic that can be found this year with my students, and I know that it'll be so much easier than any other year I've had (in terms of what to teach and the familiarity with the school -- not necessarily the students, that's always a surprise!).

 

I'm starting to feel a little bit of that down feeling with the thought of almost going back to work, leaving my dogs, and losing some of the peace I have discovered this summer.  And I'm trying to let myself be okay with that sad feeling because it's valid.  But also knowing that I'm going to be okay, that this year will make me even stronger and take me one step closer to the next chapter in my life.   

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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On 8/19/2016 at 4:10 PM, Bee said:

 I avoid conflict like the plague.  It probably creates the most issues for me because I stay quiet but get really upset inside, then end up venting to said mom and husband.  

Haha yup same. Except I didn't used to even vent to anyone. 

 

On 8/19/2016 at 4:10 PM, Bee said:

 But I'm getting better about just letting things go, and focusing on what are BIG issues rather than sweating the small stuff.  Step by step I'll keep trying to be more honest!

That's the spirit :) And if you can't let it go, try saying something - it's scary as hell but makes it so much easier to get over and usually isn't as bad as you imagine.

 

2 hours ago, Bee said:

Voice/Honesty: I guess I haven't encountered much need to speak up for myself lately.  I did ask a question about an issue I was having during yoga, which isn't something I normally do.

Great! Little things like this gradually add up and really help :)

 

2 hours ago, Bee said:

keeping a dream journal.  It was suggested by my yoga teacher, and it's completely fascinating.  I'm a heavy, vivid, weird dreamer but I've never really paid much attention to the symbols or recurring themes that closely.  Lots of insight to be found!!

Oh cool! My dreams are usually super mundane or involve me running away from someone lol. 

 

2 hours ago, Bee said:

Job: As the first day of work approaches (10 more days) I'm getting more and more anxious.  Now that I have kind of resolved to go into the year planning on it being my last, I'm not too excited about having to go through said year.  I'm like, "Crap, I still have to do this job that I'm planning on quitting for another 10 months!!"

Can you reframe it as valuable time to work out what you want to do after you quit, and start planning how to do it, without the pressure of needing to find a new job immediately? 

 

2 hours ago, Bee said:

It's more getting back into the routine, being around a bunch of people again, the unknown of what this year holds.

Even after a couple of weeks off I always get a little nervous going back to work, thinking I've forgotten how to do my job haha. You'll be fine once you get there :)

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@Owlet thank you for all your awesome responses! Yes, I think I had an extra-anxious day and was nervous about going back to work, but I'm definitely thankful to have a job and have the time to think through goals!

 

@Leimanu -- awesome!

 

Today was great. Lots of family time and some celebration. 

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Bee said:

@Owlet thank you for all your awesome responses! Yes, I think I had an extra-anxious day and was nervous about going back to work, but I'm definitely thankful to have a job and have the time to think through goals!

Always a pleasure :) Looking forward to hearing some of your goals as you start formulating them!

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Official first day of the challenge, so . . . 

 

Yoga: Not today.  We were pretty busy running around for different errands and events.  I had hoped to do some practice when I got home but I'm exhausted!  

 

Fruits/Veggies:  I did really well with this yesterday!  About a serving of veggies today.

 

Chips: None!  Fries, yes.

 

Facebook:  I checked right away this morning like I normally do, then realized I had "used" my once a day.  Which was fine.  Then tonight I checked it again when we got home without even thinking.  I posted a picture, then decided that I wouldn't check it again until tomorrow.  Normally I keep checking in the few hours after I post something to see if I get any notifications, so this is a good exercise in letting go and not getting sucked in.  So technically I was on twice today, but kept it short and didn't check throughout the day like I normally do.  

 

Voice: Just trying to find little ways to speak up and/or be honest.  Today at dinner with my mother-in-law I was sharing about how I keep a dream journal.  Normally I either wouldn't share it at all, or I would share it and then not give details.  She asked a few questions and it could have ended there, but I decided just to speak up and share a little bit more.  I don't often do that because it's weird to a lot of people, but it was fun to just talk about something that I like rather than keep it all in my head.

 

Job:  Not much to report.  Just trying to be excited about making money again rather than being bummed out about going back.  

 

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Bee said:

it was fun to just talk about something that I like rather than keep it all in my head.

Yay! Well done :) I'm always worried people will judge me if I speak up about stuff I care about, I should follow your lead!

 

8 hours ago, Bee said:

 

Job:  Not much to report.  Just trying to be excited about making money again rather than being bummed out about going back.  

Great way to reframe the situation :) 

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23 hours ago, Daryl of Barbaria said:

Mad respect for the courage to decide on a career change. I wish you well with this endeavor.

 

Thank you!  I've actually been pretty overwhelmed from the incredible support I've been receiving on here.  The few people I've shared my thought of changing careers with sort of listen, but either try to talk me out of it or don't necessarily take me seriously.  Putting it on here was nerve-wracking enough, so it has been really wonderful to hear from so many people who might understand the need to do that. :)

 

Today wasn't so great -- some hormone-related issues and very tired.  But I'm still managing to keep my eating under control and avoid snacks.  I'm trying to back off on alcohol almost completely.  I rarely drink but will have something on occasion, and lately it just seems to make me feel so icky.  I went out to dinner with a group that I'm volunteering with and just stuck to half my sandwich and no drink.  I wish I would have made time for yoga today but after an extra-long breakfast and a nap and going out to dinner I didn't have much time.  I'm just feeling too tired to do it tonight.  That's okay though.  One thing I was proud of myself for doing was letting my committee know I couldn't come to the next meeting, and rather than making up a white lie (which is my go-to when I can't or don't want to do something but feel embarrassed about why), I was honest and said it was the night before my first day with kids and I knew I would be too busy and stressed out.  They completely understood and moved the date to later in the week.  It's little things like that -- I'm trying to keep in mind the great advice from @Owlet and just find little ways here and there to be honest in order to "practice."  I could have easily said that I had a meeting or another obligation, but I felt it was important just to be honest instead!  

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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Oops!  I also forgot to say that I did a pretty good job with Facebook today.  I woke up in the middle of the night and could NOT go back to sleep, so I gave myself a little 5-minute scrolling.  I checked it this morning, this afternoon, and this evening, but just for notifications and not any scrolling.  Yay!  It feels good to let that go a little bit.  

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Bee said:

They completely understood and moved the date to later in the week.  It's little things like that -- I'm trying to keep in mind the great advice from @Owlet and just find little ways here and there to be honest in order to "practice."  I could have easily said that I had a meeting or another obligation, but I felt it was important just to be honest instead!  

Haha I'm kicking myself for saying that now because I'm going to feel like such a hypocrite if I don't stick to it (and there are a few situations that could use some honesty). I'm a shocker for white lies too. That is so great though, well done you! I know I always prefer friends etc to just be honest with me if they are too tired to hang out or whatever, rather than making something up that is usually obvious. Just have to remember to do it myself! Well done on the facebook progress too, it's such a hard habit to kick!

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This has been a busy, but good, week.  

 

Yoga:  I did some stretches yesterday, but I haven't been able to get back into my yoga routine after my class ending.  I can feel myself needing it so much.  Which I think is a good thing, because it shows just how important it is in my life.  I have made a decision that I'm going to try a new studio on Monday after work.  I'm nervous and have been putting it off.  But the worst that can happen is that I don't like it and never go back!  

 

Chips/Freggies:  No chips still, so I probably will stop updating on those since I'm committed to not eating them.  In terms of fruits and veggies I have been good about getting one serving each day.  Still working on increasing.  I think the routine of going back to work will help.

 

Facebook:  A little hit and miss.  I was really good in the beginning of the week of just limiting myself to checking it 2-3 times per day.  Lately I have been checking it more often, but just for my notifications and not scrolling through.  Which seems to work fine for me!  A good place to start.

 

Voice/Honesty:  I've tried to be honest in a lot of different ways during the week, which has been good.  The most memorable so far has been emailing Amazon with my concern over a package failing to be delivered on time, and being expected to arrive several days later.  I was disappointed so I got in touch with a polite but firm email, and they refunded me 50% of the order!  Yay for me.  It showed up and I was able to give the gifts to my husband.  

 

Job:  I have shared with two people my thoughts on quitting last year.  I told one of my best friends yesterday (who is also a teacher).  She was really supportive and though my idea of subbing was great.  I also told my mom, which was the hardest.  She has always tried to encourage me to stick with teaching because it's a good job with some good benefits.  It's one of those things where every time I brought up that I was wanting to do something else she always supported me, but would try to remind me that things would get better and that another job could be just as difficult.  I was nervous about telling her, but once I did and was able to clearly articulate why, my plan for next year, and my goals for a different path in life, I could tell she finally understood.  I also was really honest about how teaching made me feel and how it exacerbated my anxiety and depression, which isn't something I had really been totally open about.  It was helpful for her to hear that.  And in the end, I just had to remind myself that even if she still had her doubts (she's so amazingly supportive, but always wants to make sure that I'm in a situation where I can live comfortably), that my life = my choices and she'll never be disappointed in me following my dreams.  

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Moon Bee // Druid // Level 4

 

Challenges // DBL 1  2  3  4

5: Bee is Everything

 

 

 

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