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Becoming Nana


Becoming Nana

Val MacDonald

My daughter Amy, gave birth to a healthy baby boy, ten months ago.  At that time I became a grandma, but because I had a name preference, I became Nana.  I like Nana; it has a light-hearted, friendly ring to it.  So Nana I am.

My grandson's name is Arthur.  It is an old-fashioned name with tons of character, and it suits him.  I get to take care of Arthur part-time when Amy teaches yoga.  I thoroughly enjoy my time with him!  I get to see the changes in him, and he changes from day to day as he learns and grows.  It's phenomenal.  I know it is not anything new or different, but because he is my grandson, it makes it seem like it is.

My favourite sound in the world right now is the sound of Arthur's laughter, and finding ways to make him laugh creates this wave of pure love and delight between the two of us.  Spending time with him makes me feel light, happy, and completely in the moment.  

As a Holistic Nutritionist, I have talked so much over the years about which foods to take in.  Lately, it is becoming more clear to me that I need to turn the conversation towards the other things in life that we need to take in.  Besides food, what nourishes us?  What brings us to a place where we can feel that amazing energy; that higher vibration; that way of being that is our true nature?

How can we feel totally in the moment, not thinking about our "to do" list, or about work, or about our finances?  How can we forget about the news and about the world's troubles, and simply take in something that makes us feel light and happy?  

Can you think of different ways to get to this place, besides being with a baby? (Although right now for me that is my favourite way!)  What about spending time outdoors in nature?  Or spending time with an animal? How about creating something that is important to you?  It could be to grow something; build something; host an event; go on a trip; or put together a photo album or a video for a loved ones birthday; or play an instrument.  It could be volunteering for some cause that is close to your heart; or connecting with a friend you haven't seen in a while.  What about singing, dancing, walking or yoga?

We need to take in the things that delight us, energize us, give us peace; all the things that make us feel joy and connection. We need to find the things that nourish our souls.  We need to feel lit up and happy to be alive!

For a lot of us, we tend to take care of the business of life, thinking that once that is out of the way, we will reward ourselves by doing something fun, or relaxing, for ourselves.  I think that what some of us need to do, is to first ponder about what we would like to be doing, and then give ourselves permission to do it.  We then need to put it into our busy schedules.

I have discovered something about myself, through caring for Arthur.  I have discovered that through nurturing him, I feel nurtured.  By being with my grandson, I feel both loving and loved at the same time.

By me just being silly Nana, I am expressing my true self; not the version that I think I have to be, to be accepted or approved of.  Arthur does not care if I sing loudly or dance clumsily around the house.  In fact, he prefers it when I do.  Who knew that entertaining a baby could be so much fun? The feeling I have is that I am becoming more who I am.  More me.  Through this self expression,  I do not feel judged.  (What 10-month-old baby is going to judge?)  I am getting freer; more open, and more in the moment.  I feel like I am a woman expanding.  

By me connecting to this feeling of expansion,  I have begun to see how important self expression is.  I am beginning to understand that it is through being authentic to my self and to others, that I feel my best.

I think that authenticity could be considered a non-food nutrition fundamental.  Finding ways to express yourself can be just as nourishing as whole foods. I think that a nutrient dense way of eating is important, but it needs to be supplemented with a life fully expressed.

Because we are both body and soul, we need to find ways to nourish both.

So go plant that garden, paint that picture, play that instrument, or find ways to laugh with your favourite friend.  Or baby.