One of my fondest memories as a child was when I saw a ladybird for the first time. My granddad had come to visit me on the farm and together, we stood on the top of a gate post to look out at the sheep in the field. When I went to steady myself on the top of the gate I noticed this red bug crawling along the wooden post. I asked my grandad what it was and whether it was going to sting me. My reasoning was that because it was red in colour, it was dangerous to me in some way. My granddad didn't answer me; instead, he put out his hand and allowed the beautiful bug to crawl delicately along his fingertips. I stood in awe at the way the little creature moved and the way the spots were lined up on its back and I wanted to share the moment and experience it for myself. But as I held out my hand the ladybird spread its wings and flew away.
Although this experience took place almost 30 years ago, I still remember the day like it was yesterday. Today I smile when I see a ladybird because it brings me comfort as I feel a little closer to my Grandad who sadly passed away, shortly after.
As a child, life, for most of us, is relatively simple; we learn through observation, we ask questions and we mirror behaviours.
However, as an adult we can lose a sense of the child within. We carry pain from past experiences that can cause us to act out of fear. We may feel pressure to continuously achieve or strive to do better. This can lead us to almost punish ourselves as we neglect to appreciate the small things that have already happened that do indeed pave the way to achieving the great and the wonderful. We can also become driven by instant gratification because of the fast paced world we live in. Answers are available to us at a touch of a button on our phones, which have become our biggest distraction.The tool that was supposed to connect us to others more easily has in some way helped us lose our connection with others, with nature and the simple things in life.
Over the years I've learnt that it's the small things that impact me heavily and that these gestures have had the biggest impact on others. A simple smile to a stranger can be just the warmth needed by someone struggling with their own battles. A handwritten letter to someone you haven't seen for a while can make a welcome change from only ever receiving bills. A walk in the park observing the nature that surrounds you can help clear away the weight of your worries. Just like seeing the sun set, the moon full, or the stars light up the night sky can all help put life in perspective.
We only experience a miniscule drop of life that is out there for us. Life is bigger than you and me, and it is so easy to get caught up in chaos, stresses and emotion that we forget the pure pleasure that simplicity can bring us. So the next time your mind is full of the woes of living in a fast paced world and all that it brings, pause for a moment. Open your eyes wide and allow your heart to appreciate the simple things in life because it really is those things that can lighten your soul and brighten your day; and it is the simple things that people are remembered for.
Tessa Sillifant is a travel extraordinaire, life guru and quirky Cornish girl who lives in New Zealand. An introverted soul, Tessa helps students navigate their way through tertiary education and has a key focus on enhancing wellbeing and providing access to careers. In her spare time Tessa dances at every opportunity, jogs through her local park and is continuously updating her bucket list!
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