Who is the most incredible human being that you personally know?
Anytime I am asked to reflect or learn about resilience, generosity or selflessness the same person pops into my head.
I was recently at a Yoga Workshop in Bali and during a meditation session we were cued to think of somebody who radiates love and who we felt a strong sense of care and admiration for.
This person came to mind and I dedicated my practice to them.
When ever faced with challenges or adversity and I am required to reflect, think and decide on how to overcome them the same person pops into my head and gives me strength and perspective to keeping trying or moving forward.
This person isn’t a world leader, sporting star, coach or public figure… this person is far more significant to me and as I have grown older I realise more and more what a superhero she is.
This wonderful human being that I love so much is my Nana (grandmother).
For sometime now, I have wanted to explore more about her “why” and reason for being, she has shown me how to love, how to learn and how to live in so many ways. It was time to connect a little further and she was happy to do it on camera.
She is as sharp as a knife, with quick wit and humour and has never looked like losing a game of scrabble in her life.
For somebody that hated school and had leave it at 14 years old, she is full of knowledge and expertise on so many world topics, she regularly surprises me with something new to learn.
Caring for us as children, sharing with us as adults and living her best life no matter the circumstances. It is my pleasure to share with you a little bit about her.
She embellishes the qualities of a Saint and I’m not just saying that because she is my grandmother. She doesn’t have a Victorian Cross or Purple Heart, but she sure has a place in mine and you will see why.
Watch the video to find out out more about her life as a child in a remote Western Australian school where a monstrous head mistress was a “dragon”, she shares her biggest challenge which would be hard for any human being to deal with and we take a look through the eyes of somebody who has lived through some of the toughest times about how stress doesn’t have to consume your life.
Meet my beautiful grandmother, the biggest super-hero of them all.
88 years old (and going strong)
Likes: lawn bowls, scrabble, cups of tea and phone calls from me
Summary of Video Topics
Koojin School about 160km North-East of Perth, Australia.
One room school with no facilities at all.
Attended school until she was fourteen. Had to leave school to look after the family due to her mother suffering from a bad leg injury.
Memorable moments of school:
“I hated school”
Had to walk 2 miles to get to school.
Summer there was no air conditioning, in a community where the temperature can be as high as 45 degrees celsius in summer.
“The teacher was an old dragon”
“She would take us on what she would call a nature walk”
“She would find a nice long thin sappling off the banskia tree and hit us with it”
“As we got older we decided we weren't going to go on these nature walks anymore, so when they all got up to go on their walk we all got up and went home”
What she liked most about school:
Playing games like rounders, hop scotch… “no facilities whatsover, there was nothing”
“We had a nice teacher, a Miss Owen, and she was a real lady, she was lovely, she treated everybody like human beings
I never had a “man teacher”
Thoughts on Education Today:
There is a vast difference in what happens in schools today.
Main subjects reading, writing and arithmetic
History and geography
“We used to have to draw a map of Italy and put in all the regions, ports, what they grew there etc”
Biggest Challenges in Life:
“The biggest challenge would be when my husband went blind”
“My motivation was always to be there care and making sure that they were all okay”
What brings her the most joy: (her Ikigai)
“Family and I love seeing family, i love getting your little phone calls”
“I’m quite happy with what I’ve got and where I am”
What gets her up in the morning:
“I usually bounce out of bed because either Ive got to go to the toilet or ive got a cramp in my leg”
How she feels about stress:
“I don’t get it to the extent where Ive got to do something about it”
“I probably swear under me breath a few times”
“I just get on with it. If you can’t fix it, just get on with it”
Best experiences in life:
Marriage, birth of my children
Loves New Zealand and Cambodia
Once the camera stopped rolling, we had a deeper conversation about the real journey that took place when my Grandfather suddenly went blind. I don’t feel the need to share this personal part of our families history with all of you, but what I will say is this… for a mother of 4 in a working class farming family to take on the roll as primary carer plus run a farm, look after the children, care for her mother and still keep smiling is incredible.
She is an inspiration for all of us. She demonstrates that perspective is everything, your attitude towards circumstances has a massive impact on your quality of life. Your approach to stress and life is critical to your overall well being and if you are ever struggling because you’ve had a difficult week or day or hour, take a deep breath and think about it, life will go on.
Mastering your ability to leverage stress and teach in the right mindset starts with our Mindset Manoeuvre Workshop in October, we are currently offering a limited time offer of $75 per person.
Perhaps a week in Bali for our Teachers Retreat is more your style, professional development and good times in a world class resort. Tax deductible!