How Goldie Hawn Channeled Her Childhood Fear Into Her Charity For Children’s Mental Health


Goldie Hawn is probably best known for the hilarious characters she plays in several award-winning comedies. However, Hawn’s most notable and impactful work is happening away from the cameras in a very unexpected place.

Minding The Fear

As a child, Hawn understood what it was like to experience fear. At only 11 years old, she was forced to watch a horrific training video about the atomic bomb in her fifth grade class. After viewing the violent video, which graphically depicted the dangers of an atomic attack, Hawn experienced considerable fear. However, the trauma didn’t end there. It resurfaced for her later in life. Instead of running from the fear, she became mindful of it and acted.

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After 9/11, the fear that Hawn experienced at 11 years old returned. “I felt that our children were feeling that, too,” the actress remarked in a USA Today interview. Not knowing what to do, all she could think to do was to knit the American flag. “That’s the only thing I could do to find some solace. I knit the flag and I cried and I thought, ‘The world is changing forever.’ And what can I do?”

That’s when the award-winning actress realized that she could do something. She made a promise to herself to help as many people as she could. In 2003, Hawn created MindUP for Life, a social and emotional learning program for schools. MindUP helps children develop the knowledge and tools they need to manage stress and regulate emotions with optimism, resilience, and compassion. On the program’s Instagram page, Hawn explains in a reel how MindUP is “really a solution. It’s not just a program. It’s really a way of life.”

This way of life has taken the world by storm. In fact, the program serves children, parents, and educators in 47 countries. Hawn’s promise to herself over 20 years ago has impacted the lives of over 7 million children worldwide.

Goldie Hawn On The Importance Of Mindfulness

Obviously Hawn is no stranger to fear and anxiety. The actress shared how her own journey has consisted of learning how to deal with anxiety attacks and making mindfulness a way of life. In fact, Hawn’s favored practices include writing and meditation. As she remarked, “I remember the first time I did [meditation], it was probably the most extraordinary experience where I was breathing and focusing. Now we know the research behind meditation. It’s very important to your brain, it actually brings a little bit more harmony within your own body.”

As our children continue to experience more fear, anxiety, and trauma, it’s promising that so many schools have implemented meditation and other mindfulness practices. Just as mindfulness started with writing and meditation for Goldie Hawn, our kids can start small with daily practices in school and even at home. As Hawn perfectly put it, “Life is messy, and we have to figure out all the ways that we can help each other and help ourselves.”





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