As I finished the writing process on a memoir of toxic work, mindfulness, and inner peace, I realized that I wrote a lot about my Grandmother – or as we call her, Nani in our culture, meaning maternal grandmother.
How is a sweet woman in her 80s related to my toxic work experience? It turned out quite a bit, and it was through the writing process that I truly explored and discovered how my early years with Nani and with Mom and Dad shaped me to have the work ethic and tendency to overwork that I did. But as the story came together, I also realized this early role model of mine had the wisdom to help with the other part of my journey – inner peace.
Reflecting back, I see that grandmother love is the kind of love that is unconditional and gives you a soft place to rebuild yourself when personal and work life gets tough. And the best part is Grandmother love is available from so many sources. I can find it when I’m present in nature, with my dog Harvey, cooking for my family, throwing a birthday party for my daughters, and meditating.
I’m lucky to have Nani in my life still and enjoy her at family celebrations like our recent Thanksgiving dinner, which also celebrated the birthdays of both of my daughters. It was a joyful family occasion, and Nani lit up the house with her big love.
Here are a few ways to bring the feeling of Grandmother love into your day right now and make today extra joyful:
- Think of someone who has loved or helped you. As you breathe and come into the present moment, imagine their face, hear their voice, and remember their comforting touch. Send them love and gratitude wherever they are, and feel that special connection that still exists in your heart whether they are with you or not. If you like, place a hand over your heart and feel that loving connection.
- Do something loving or kind for yourself or another person – a stranger or loved one. Feel the feelings of warmth that come from just doing something loving. It could be making yourself, or a loved one a cup of tea or taking your pet on a walk. Take a mindful moment to feel the love infused in your actions.
Life is not always kind or easy. But you can always take a time out to remember a part of your past that was kind and loving. Or you can infuse a small moment of kindness into your day. These mindful moments charge you up with positivity to go back into the hustle of daily life and figure things out.
Go ahead, bring some Grandmother love into your day.