What My Nana Taught Me

I have a empowering memory from when I was little thanks to my Nana. She was ½ Yaqui and ½ Mexican and her name was Victoria Salazar Cañez and she was one of the smartest people I knew...

Certainly, it is worth investing in our early learners to do everything we can to make sure their early years are filled with inspirational learning moments, teachers and parents. I feel blessed living in Tucson, because here in Southern Arizona, we understand the meaning of what a strong start is and how it can impact a child’s life…. Forever.

She knew that our thoughts matter, followed closely by our words. She modeled affirmation for me and with me. “Everything you touch turns to gold,” she’d say to me with a very serious face, attempting, yet failing to hide that twinkle in her eye and the very beginning of a smile.  

 

 

Breathe...

Remember that everything you touch can turn to gold… to something meaningful

 

Those words would seep into my psyche and would change the course of my life. To this day I believe I have the ability to create change WITH others.  My Nana was a common woman, which is no small thing according to the music of Aaron Copland in “A Fanfare for the Common Man.” My nana looked common, but she was special, and so are each of us.  This is one thing my Nana taught me…

 

We each have something to give

 

 

Breathe…

Everything you touch can become better from your touch

My Nana had very curly hair, a bit of a mustache going on and she was always sweating because she was almost always cooking for her 5 sons and 2 daughters.  Her home was an informal Latino Circle K for the family and I remember when the front half of the home still had dirt floors. If you didn’t know my Nana and saw her walking to United Market on 6th St., you would not take notice of what she was wearing.  However, you might have taken notice of her posture… upright, steady and quietly proud.  This is something else my Nana taught me…

It’s what you wear inside that people truly notice

Breathe…

Anywhere, anytime, your influence can matter deeply to others…

Years later, I was graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Arizona.  My Nana showed up, which I expected, but she looked very different.  She had a shiny pink dress on… she never wore dresses! She had some jewelry on, which was odd and her crazy curly hair, was toned down into what looked like an Afro… AND… she was smiling in a very big way.  I was young and in a bit of a hurry to see friends, but I stopped long enough to hug her and chat with her.  She had a 6th grade education, because after 6th grade she was told “You know enough now to write love letters to boys.”  She was furious and wanted to have more schooling, so she educated herself and was a voracious reader and thinker.  She was one of the first people in her family to own her own home and went from dirt floors to tile floors.  She raised 7 children and many grandchildren.  There she stood, eyes glistening and then I began to understand.  I was the first person in my family to attend college and also the first to complete a college degree.  It would be followed by 2 more degrees.  I believed I could. There was no doubt, no question.  There was internal belief and there was work ethic. Talent wasn’t really discussed.  How many hours I practiced my piano and tuba is what put a smile on my Nana’s face.  I learned a lot from my Nana…

Choose your thoughts wisely and believe in your potential

 

 

 

Work with your potential in mind

Being first isn’t showing off

 

 

Fun is being great at what you do...

 Know who you are

 

 

My Nana never knew of Tony Robbins, Les Brown or Zig Ziglar, but they should have known her. With no hype, she was one of my inspirations. How many children today have such an inspiration? Hard to know.  Certainly, it is worth investing in our early learners to do everything we can to make sure their early years are filled with inspirational learning moments, teachers and parents. I feel blessed living in Tucson, because here in Southern Arizona, we understand the meaning of what a strong start is and how it can impact a child’s life…. Forever.

 

Breathe…

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for

 

 

Peace

Enrique C Feldman

Founder, Global Learning Foundation

Public Speaker

Co-Author, Sam the Ant Children’s Book Series

Inventor, iBG, Intellectual Brainwave Games

2-Time Grammy Nominated Artist and Composer

Music Producer, Kaleidoscope, a new children’s album

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  • published this page in Blog 2016-12-31 09:55:52 -0700
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