Connection is the focus of this, the 7th week of the Mother-Daughter Way journey. My connection to my mother, Alice Steer Wilson, fifteen years after her death, is one of imagination and memory. I lead this part of the journey with a renewed sense of the relevance of the program mission, which is to open up the process of self-mothering the way you wish you could be mothered, or in the case of a difficult daughter, the way you wish you could open up that connection using the MOM Fix.
Yes, I still feel strongly connected to my mother, although she’s been gone for more than a decade. I look at her paintings daily and see her hand, her heart, and her eye. But when I think of connection in the context of our mother-daughter relationship, I can’t help but recall the challenges and how, over the years, I’ve learned to disarm two enemies of connection, which are envy and perfectionism.
For me to connect with my inner guide, and to keep an open and loving connection with others, I’ve found it essential to be aware of, and honest about feelings. An exercise I gave my pilot group this week is one I call the “envy trail.” Quickly, without much thought, make three columns. In the first, jot down four or five things you envy about your loved one. Then, in the second column, write a phrase that describes why you are envious. For the third column, write an action you might take to make yourself whole. What could you do to turn a trail of envy into a path towards your own happiness and connection?
One of my ‘envy’ items was the fact that, even years after her death, my mother is still more popular than me. She was not computer-oriented, but her Alice Steer Wilson, Artist Facebook Page has more “Likes” than my Janice Wilson Stridick, Author Page! I’m laughing as I pout. I mean, really? I set up her page. I maintain her page. I am thrilled when people “Like” my mother and her art! I am an artist in my own right, and it was a bone of contention between us. She wanted me to follow her, and I wanted to go my way, serve and lead. Frankly, I keep her memory alive to keep the connection, and that’s what got this whole mother-daughter program started. When I spoke of my mother, her art, and our difficulties before we became so close, women cried. They opened up about their own issues with mother or daughter. The longing for connection was palpable, and I realized that my journey resonated for one simple reason: Mothers and daughters must acknowledge and make peace with each other to be complete.
How can you foster connection, especially within the mother-daughter bond? Keep opening the channels: Listen. Pay attention to the questions, share insights and maintain a lively dialogue. This week’s goal is to foster connection and overcome the procrastination of the critic, or perfectionist. Tap the wisdom of the body by opening and balancing the 2nd and 5th Chakras, which feed collaboration, creativity, and voice. Try hip openers like Supta Baddha Konasana and Pigeon. For the 5th Chakra, concentrate on throat and shoulder openers such as Yoga Mudra or Eagle Pose. If you respond to color as I do, surround yourself with the tones for these chakras: orange for the 2nd Chakra and sky blue for the throat.
As I write this, my throat is encircled by a sky-blue necklace made for me by my niece, Alice’s namesake. These mother-daughter voices blend and filter down through the generations. I hope you can open any channels that are closed, and revel in the richness of connection. And please leave a reply below, to let me know how it’s going. I’d love to hear from you!
PS: If you like this blog, please “Like” my Facebook page (click on this link)!
PPS: If you’re ready to jump in, contact me right away! There may be seats left for the Mother-Daughter Way LIVE in Cape May (click this link)