“The best thing to happen
to your difficult
I am often mistaken as someone who specifically helps adult daughters estrange themselves from their mothers.
I have never described myself that way, nor is that the primary goal of my clients, although some do make that choice. The vast majority of people who work with me cite a variety of reasons, including:
- Wanting to improve the relationship they have with their mothers (or daughters).
- Wanting to have healthy boundaries with their mothers (or daughters) in an effort to avoid estrangement.
- Wanting to do certain things in their lives that they’re worried their mothers will disapprove of.
- Wanting to do certain things in their lives but are terrified of “out shining” their mothers, while at the same time telling themselves their being ridiculous, but still not doing the thing.
- Wanting to make sure they don’t pass on unhealthy patterns to their own children.
- Wanting to make sure they’re not “just like” their mothers.
- Wanting to navigate their role in their aging mothers’ lives.
- Wanting to reduce the amount of guilt, shame, resentment, and anxiety they feel.
- Wanting to be less triggered around their mothers (or daughters).
And I’ll tell you right now what the answer is to all of the above: radical self-acceptance and unconditional love, which is basically the opposite of everything we’ve been taught for the past 6,000 years. No biggie. 🙂
My coaching practice is trauma-informed, based on intersectional feminist principles, and I have worked with people across many (but not all) intersections. I have worked with therapists, business owners, performers, coaches, executives, stay-at-home mothers, sex workers, artists, writers, equestrians, doctors, lawyers…
I don’t have an agenda (other than that I stand for the equality of all women and those who identify as such, and intersectional feminist principles).
Why do I focus on those who find themselves in difficult mother-daughter relationships? Because of my own story, of course.
I recently saw a meme that said: “I think ppl get offended when you aren’t ashamed of things that were taught to be ashamed of. They resent you for not caring what everybody thinks.”
I shared it and said: For many of us, “ppl” = “mother.”
This doesn’t make our mothers bad people…it makes them people who learned that shaming is “protective.” A way to remain safe and connected to resources.
That ancient impulse still resides within us. It keeps us small. And powerless. And unable to create resources.
It’s likely that our mothers didn’t, or don’t, know how to process and heal shame, or even what it looks like or how it shows up in them.
We are learning a different way. And at the same time overcoming thousands of years of oppression and conditioning that tells us we’re not okay.
Right now, mothers and adult daughters have a unique opportunity to examine, with love and care, where we’ve internalized that conditioning, who we’ve passed it along to, and what it looks like when we’re no longer basing our relationships on it.
My job is to facilitate that with as many mothers and adult daughters who want to do this brave work with me and the way I do that is through the 1:1 Mother Lode Mentorship, a four+ month deep dive into your difficult mother-adult daughter relationship.
I’m not for everyone and everyone isn’t for me, but maybe you and me would be a great fit.
In the Mother Lode container, I work with clients on three things: knowing themselves and what they value, establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries that actually work, and re-mothering themselves through an understanding of their nervous systems. I incorporate story-telling, journaling, awareness tools, shadow work, and simple energy and somatic practices. It’s safe, fun, and effective.
I am also the author of Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters: A Guide For Separation, Liberation & Inspiration; The Difficult Mother-Daughter Relationship Journal; and Overcoming Creative Anxiety: Journal Prompts & Practices For Disarming Your Inner Critic.
I recognize that what’s possible personally is what’s possible collectively, and that “the Mother Wound” is not actually about mothers, but about systems that oppress all women. I understand the adage, “hurt people, hurt people,” but prefer to say “people who are unaware of their hurts sometimes hurt other people,” while also acknowledging that cultivating compassion and empathy does not mean you have to hang out with hurt people, and that healthy boundaries (up to and including going “no contact”) are at the heart of healing.
I was featured as a subject matter expert in the New York Times: Remember, It’s Okay To Set Boundaries!
In June 2020, I hosted a community project: The Mother Lode: A Conversation About Emotions, Power & Creativity. 21 powerful and creative women to joined me in answering this question: What did your mother teach you about emotions, power, and creativity? Their answers were inspiring, hopeful, and as diverse as the women themselves. You can read, watch, or listen to their contributions by clicking here and entering your name and email address.
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Certifications & Education:
- Dare To Lead Trained Professional
- Master Certified Coach, Life Coach School
- Healthy Boundaries for Kind People coach and facilitator
- Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner (EFT Training For Trauma, Levels I + II)
- Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Marist College