by Jennifer



IMG_2133Take a mother daughter retreat to truly reconnect. It is so easy to get stuck in auto pilot in our lives. Our daily schedules repeat to the point of a blur.  We wake up on Monday to find that it is already Thursday in a blink of an eye. We drive the same routes to and from places, we repeat the same conversations and we lose those precious moments in a haze of “same old same old”. In fact, ninety-three percent of our thoughts have been thought before. Only seven percent of our thoughts are new. How crazy (and a little sad) is that? I just returned from  a memory making weekend with a group of mothers and daughters. We made the time to get out of our routine—purposefully changing our setting, our daily routine and how we relate to each other. Here are five things that I learned on this incredible mother daughter getaway.

1) Make the time to truly see.

We think we know the important people in our lives. But as time goes by, people do change. Could you name the favorite color or food of your mother or daughter right now? When was the last time that you looked in their eyes and really absorbed them totally? As a person. No labels. Someone with interests, desires and dreams different than your own.

2) Really listen.

If you are like me, a lot of time I am at my computer or looking on my phone when talking to my daughter and mother. This multi-tasking takes away from true connection. Step away, turn away, or even go away (somewhere where there is no internet connection) to be more mindful of conversing and hearing.

3) Do Something that Is Out of Each of Your Comfort Zones. 

Our natural tendency is to stay where we are comfortable, safe and certain. But to create new memories and to break the repeat pattern of thinking and relating, getting uncomfortable together (in a safe way) will increase a feeling of connection. Fraternities and sororities use this idea to bond their incoming members. Go hot tubbing (even in -6 temps like we had on our retreat), head out together on snowshoes for the first time, do yoga together even if one or both of you are newbies.

4) Dwell on each other’s positive characteristics and personality traits.

We all have faults and weaknesses. It is sometimes easy to focus on the things we wish would change in another. To truly connect, start keeping track of your mother or daughter’s strengths, what makes her shine, what you admire about her, how you are similar to her.

5) Share.

Be authentic. Be open. Share yourself fully. Then spend time asking questions about who they are, what they feel, their dreams and their fears. Open up and share your own stories. Be real. Be human. Remove the labels. Tell her how you see her, admire her and how proud you are that you are in her life  .



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