(#25) LADYBUG SAYS: “Notice the Little Things”

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.” —Leo Buscaglia

“I think it’s important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy.” —Paula Cole

There are some rosebushes in our side yard and unless you go around a corner of the house, you would miss them. About a week ago I wandered there and was struck by several roses on three different bushes that were in various stages of blossoming. I paused to look and noticed the brilliant hues of red, pink, and yellow ones. In one particular rose all of these colors were brilliant. Reminded me of a sunset. I was entranced as I noticed the younger red and pink blossoms preparing to bloom, getting ready to offer up their petals to the world as if to announce the coming of their strong, full presence.

It’s moments like this, where I pause, breathe, and focus my complete attention on the little things that reminds me of the intricacy of Life. There are so many possible moments like this, from gazing into my grandchildren’s fine features, watching soap bubbles dance along with their rainbow reflections, gazing up at the stars on the night of the dark moon, and observing the symmetrical structure in a leaf.

It does feel as if life is speeding up. Just get on any freeway in southern California or other metropolitan areas if you have any doubts. Though the speed limit is 65 mph, drivers who obey that law are typically confined to the slow lane while most other cars zip by them.

The reliance we have on computers, television, and smartphones, while they keep us constantly in touch, serves to avoid being in touch with the natural world and noticing the details of the abundant life forms around us. The constant mind chatter and the various distractions that our contemporary world holds can prevent someone from being fully present and seeing, really seeing, ladybugwhat’s before them—particularly the little things.

An exercise I sometimes suggest to clients is to take five minutes while outdoors and move at about 80% of your usual speed, being conscious of your breath at all times. Sounds easy? Try it out and as you do, look and see, listen and hear, sense and feel, your environment. Pay particular attention to the little things, the details of the trees, the plants, and the sky above you.

From the guidebook for the Children’s Spirit Animal Cards Ladybug has offered her advice about noticing the little things.

Have you ever noticed how small I am yet how much attention I can attract when I land somewhere nearby? My colors and my unusual dot markings do attract the eye in spite of my size. It’s important to notice the little things around you, like how the veins in a leaf look like tiny rivers, the way that spider meanders along as if she knows exactly where she’s going, or the scent of the flowers on a spring day.

Many people today are in such a hurry that they forget to look and really see all the little things that are so close by. Our world is full of such amazing detail and you have the advantage of being smaller than adults so you are more likely to see them. You just have to look! Even look a little closer at the people in your life. Get to know them a little better by noticing the different expressions on their faces, the way they move when they walk, or any other smaller details about the person that you may not have noticed before.

As is the case with the other spirit animals, there are a few suggestions to support the idea proposed by Ladybug.

* Take a Nature walk and go slow, observing details of your surroundings.
* Notice details that you like about your friends and family members and compliment them on these.
* It’s often the little things you do for others that mean a lot, such as saying, ”thank you” with a smile whenever you have the opportunity to do so.

Here are a few tips for parents that will help your child in experiencing the significance of the guidance offered by Ladybug

* Take your children on a slow Nature walk and guide them in observing the finer details of the plants, trees, rocks, etc. Make it into a game and have fun.
* Throughout the day point out small details that they may not have noticed so that they will notice them in the future.
* Express your appreciation to your children for the smaller things they do, such as when they clean up after themselves without being asked or play quietly after you’ve told them you need a rest.

It requires little effort to shift your attention to the smaller things in life. As has been said, God is in the details as well as the whole. Paying attention to the little things opens consistently opens up a whole new world for the one viewing.

“A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. “ —Sivananda

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” —Arthur Conan Doyle

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”     —John Wooden

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