Cultivating Core Memories

Have you seen #corememory on social media or heard “core memory created” and
wondered what that even means or why is that important.

What is a core memory?

Although “core memory” is not a technical term it can be metaphorically used to refer to
the fundamental experiences, beliefs, and memories that shape an individual’s identity
and behavior. It’s a way of describing the foundational aspects of a person’s life that
influence their decisions, perspectives, and the way they interact with the world.


As I reflect on my childhood, a pivotal memory that profoundly influenced my present
self is the time I spent with my paternal grandparents while my parents were working.
This time played a significant role in steering me towards a career in nursing.
My grandpa was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis long before I was born and by the
time I was born my grandma has assumed the role as his primary caregiver. During the
time I spent with my grandparents’, I had a strong desire to assist my grandma in any
way possible with my grandpa’s care. I would willingly help her with tasks such as
dressing him, emptying his leg bag, preparing his feeding tube, and cleaning of his
trachea and g-tube. The one task I absolutely couldn’t stand was the deep suctioning of
his trachea, which would always make me gag. My grandma would frequently make the
statement “grandpa’s little nurse” when I would help. I remember feeling a sense of
pride that I was doing something that would help make someone else’s life easier.
Homecare workers would come and assist with care and respite. At even a young age I
saw how their assistance was a welcomed help and provided a level of comfort to my
grandma. Interacting with these homecare workers gave me the desire to extend the
same level of assistance and comfort that they provided to my family.

As parents we have the remarkable opportunity to shape the core memories of our


Five simple ways to nurture these core memories 

  1. Be Present: Engage actively in your children’s experiences, demonstrating your
    interest and support.
  2. Embrace Imperfections: Show that mistakes are part of learning. This can lead
    to memories of self-acceptance and a willingness to learn from errors.
  3. Encourage Open Communication: Create a safe space for your children to
    share their thoughts and feelings. This nurtures trust and the formation of positive
    core memories.
  4. Document Memories: Take pictures or journal about special moments.
    Keepsakes help solidify core memories over time.
  5. Reflect and Discuss: Reflecting on these memories together can reinforce their
    significance and the value they represent.

Cultivating core memories with your children is a gift that keeps on giving. By
intentionally fostering positive experiences, embracing challenges, and nurturing open
communication, we provide our children with memories that shape their identities,
values, and emotional well-being. Through these efforts, we empower the next
generation to face life’s journey with resilience, positivity, and a sense of self.

Much Love,

Shelby Smigelski

LPN & Student Coach


I am a Licensed Practical Nurse and have been practicing for 11 years. Upon graduating I worked in a clinic setting, until shifting to bedside nursing on family medicine unit in a small rural hospital.

My passion for branching into this area of health and wellness comes from the desire to get to the root of an issue and not just surface treat. I wish to give clients the knowledge, tools and motivation to take control of their own health and wellness.

I’m committed to being authentic and empathic in my support of others on their health and wellness journey.


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Hi, I’m Brianne

Here at The Holistic RN you’ll find a place where holistic healing and western medicine come together to create a brand new way of looking at your health- including real food recipes, easy to understand information and overflowing inspiration. Let’s get started!

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