What My Nanna Taught Me

18 August 2016 Lucinda Garlick, Education Program Manager

My nanna was as close to being perfect as possible and someone who, without realising it, taught our family about mindfulness.

On our walks when I was little, she would say to me, “the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the dogs are barking – all is well.”

She noticed things, she was in the moment.

As most people of her generation did, Nanna lived a simple, quiet life.

No-one ever had to teach her to take her time and be in the now, she was always present, always in the moment.

When I walk past her house that is only one street away, I see a different family living there.

My nanna isn’t out the front sweeping the leaves as they fall off the tree.

Or in the window, carefully, lovingly, mindfully preparing her meat and 3 vegies for dinner.

No-one is sitting on the porch, soaking up the sun because it’s a beautiful day, in that moment.

There are no bowls of water out for the birds in case they are thirsty after a long hot week, no signs on the door saying ‘welcome’ and there definitely isn’t any signs of neighbours chatting over the fence.

Life has changed.

I try to use my nannas simplicity and gentle manner in my every day life.

I notice the blue skies, birds singing, children laughing, dogs barking.

I practise kindness to others, being non-judgemental, compassionate and empathetic.

This knowledge is being lost in our busy lives.

This practice is the most important lesson our children need to learn.

Without being in the moment, anxiety creeps in, depression sets in and these emotions are dangerous for our children.

I don’t want my children to lose the art of enjoying every little moment, of having a sense of peace and clarity and an understanding of their emotions, good/bad or otherwise.

Our lives are so busy that we need to be reminded of the practise of being present.

This is called mindfulness.

We need to make sure this is always part of our children’s daily lives, even if it’s only a small part.

Without this, our future is a generation of chaotic, unhealthy, unhappy people with lots and lots of leaves on the ground!


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