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May 2010 Girltalk: Moms, Daughters and More

In honor of Mother’s Day, our May Girltalk topic is  Moms & Daughters & More: Strengthening the Bonds, Breaking the Chain. To download this month’s PDF Discussion Guide, click here. For more information on Girltalk, click here.

A personal note from Christine Arylo, founder of Girltalk

Whether you are adopted, from a family of seven, an only child, whether your mother is like your sister or you never talk to your mother, whether your mother is alive or passed on… the truth is that we were all born, we all came from a mother, and we are all women. What’s not so black-and-white is how these relationships with our mothers and mom-like influences impact who we are today… consciously and subconsciously. And since they are some of the most influential relationships in our lives, I say let’s put on our wetsuits this month, dive into the water and do some exploring of what may be lurking underneath in our subconscious sea!

No matter how ‘close’ you are with your mother or daughters, all mother/daughter relationships are complicated, intertwined and full of many levels. It’s just part of the deal. Just as we might receive a set of good china, we are “handed down” behaviors, patterns and beliefs from our mothers that affect our lives on many levels. Some are strengths that help us have great lives, and create lives that are even better than the women who came before us. These are bonds to be strengthened, celebrated and appreciated.

But we also get unstylish and dysfunctional china sets… generation after generation of woman passing down liabilities, limitations and self-sabotaging habits and beliefs. These chains are the most harmful because 1. They keep us from our best life, 2. We pass them down to our children, usually without knowing it. And then they keep the patterns going, generation after generation, and 3. They are the hardest to break, because often times breaking these chains can feel like losing connection to our families.

But as women of the 21st century, we owe it to ourselves, to future generations, and also to the women who have come before us to stand with strong hearts to break the chains that do not serve us… and to strengthen the bonds we have with the women in our lives – sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers. mom-like figures – both from our birth families and our “soul families”(the families we have created).

We’ll do this in true Girltalk fashion, asking you to open up conversation with the women in your life  – daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, godmothers, aunts – and get to know them as women first, not as their role to you. They have fears, dreams, ideals, hurts, victories, just like you. Get to know who they are, and what you can learn from each other. Then you can decide what you want to strengthen and what you want to break. And in the process get to know yourself even better.

The Girltalk… Taking it Deeper May Adventure:

“Go Beyond the Role… Girltalk with Your Mom, Daughter & More”

Before you get together with your Girltalk… Taking it Deeper group, your challenge, should you choose to take it, and we really hope you do, is to be real and vulnerable with your mother, mom-like person, or daughter and ask her these questions about HER. Get to know her, as a woman or girl. Invite her to do the same with you.  Why? Because when you meet each other woman to woman, the complications and the expectations of the relationship move aside so you can see each other as the human women you are.  You will learn a lot about her, and you will learn even more about yourself…even if you think you know the answers.

If this challenge feels a little uncomfortable, great! It means that you are making positive shift in your life. If this doesn’t feel challenging, ask yourself why? And either change your perspective, find questions that do push your edge or choose a different woman. These adventures are about challenging yourself to move outside your comfort zone… because that is where transformation happens.

And, if needed, you may also make some alterations to this adventure. If a face-to-face, heart to heart talk isn’t feasible, then call, or even an email will pass. If you can’t do this with your mother, but you have a grandmother, sister, godmother, aunt, step mom, etc. that you can talk with, do that. The point is that you are reaching out to and connecting with an influential woman in your life and getting to know her better.

Starter Questions

  1. What were your dreams as a little girl? As a woman?
  2. What is your biggest regret? Success?
  3. What was your first heartbreak? What has been one of your biggest lessons about love?
  4. Was religion or spirituality a part of your upbringing? How did you feel about this?
  5. What was your relationship with your mom? What do you wish had been different?
  6. What women were big influences in your life? How did they influence you?

Go Bold Bonus Question

  1. At what age did you first have sex, with whom, how did it make you feel? What was your ‘sex’ and ‘period’ talk like with your parents?

Go Deep Bonus Question

  1. What do you wish was different about your relationship with me?

Alternate Questions For Mothers

  • What would you change about how you raised me?
  • Did you actually like being a mom and all the responsibility?
  • Did you face any special challenges or pressures raising me?
  • Did you have other significant relationships before my father, your current partner?  What were these relationships like and how did they help you/hurt your growth?

May Topic: “Moms & Daughters & More”

Be Real. There is a lot of Hallmark hype out there about what a mother/daughter/sister/ relationship should be… although most of us don’t have that Hallmark version. We have the human version. There is a lot of power in this human version, when you share the realities with other women.

  • Describe your relationship with the women in your birth family.
  • What are your expectations them? How do they meet them, how don’t they?
  • What do you wish you could tell or ask your mother that you never have?
  • Do you have women outside of your birth family that feel like your real family, and if so describe that relationship.
  • What do wish your mom had told you about life, so you didn’t need to figure it out on your own?
  • What is the most personal thing you’ve ever told your mom?
  • How are you most like your mom? How are you least like her? How do you feel about both of those?
  • What other women have been big influences in your life?

Be Wise. Time to change the china patterns! What wisdom is there for you to share about your relationships, patterns, beliefs with your female family? And how can you take that wisdom to create a better life for yourself and the women in your life today?

  • What does it really mean to have a ‘close’ relationship to you? And what is a healthy relationship look like?
  • How do you act out of obligation and guilt in your relationships to your mother, daughter, sisters, etc. vs. a place of love and choice? What keeps you acting from obligation. And what would it take to change that?
  • What did you learn from the May Girtalk Adventure of having a conversation with your mother, daughter, mom-like figure?
  • What female familial pattern have you broken and what was the impact?

Be You. Strengthening the bonds and breaking patterns is part of you discovering and being who you are. Make a conscious choice to do both this month.

  • What one pattern or belief from your female birth family do you choose to give back and transform?
  • What one pattern or belief do you choose to keep and strengthen?
  • State both of these aloud, even write them down.

With big heart,
Christine Arylo, Chief Girltalker

1 Comment

  1. Excellent post thank you!

    Sent from my Android phone

    Comment by gt40 lover — August 20, 2010 @ 6:59 am

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