Years ago a healer said to me, “Go home. Nurture your inner grandmother. Put on a bathrobe. Make yourself some tea.” In high school Sister Josephine started her lessons with, “Listen to your grandmother.” Since then, I have learned all sorts of things about what Grandmother Wisdom has to teach us.

In this world that rewards stress and calls it high efficiency, it’s important to remember (and sometimes, to learn) that slowing down is a strength, not a weakness.

Have you ever had an injury that forced you to renegotiate how to move through the world? Maybe you've worked yourself into exhaustion. Whatever your journey, if you’ve ever felt that you “just couldn’t do it anymore,” Grandmother Wisdom has something to teach you.

As I write this, it is a bright white, snowy, late winter afternoon. I have my downstairs couch pulled out, blankets and pillows propped, wood stove burning. Three puppies are at my feet (an extra one today – heaven!). I’ve had a hard day and this is my way of healing. It grounds me back into my most cherished values: safety, freedom, wonder, magic, and love. I keep chocolate in the house because another teacher told me that grandmothers keep treats in their houses. It makes people feel better.

Grandmother Wisdom is really simple common sense. But it’s kind. It’s indulgent. It takes time.

Writer Gertrude Stein said, “It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.” Artist Georgia O'Keeffe said, "Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time." These women are speaking the language of Grandmother Wisdom.

What might you be missing by moving too fast?

About the Author

deirdre mclaughlin (she/they/we) is a counsellor, sex educator, and phd student in clinical sexology. they live and work within the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the tmixʷ (Syilx Okanagan), snʕickstx tmxʷúlaʔxʷ (Sinixt), and ɁamakɁis (Ktunaxa) peoples, as well as many other diverse Indigenous persons, including the Métis.

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