The Talk Of Mothers and Daughters


Gloria Steinem once said, "Every time a woman passes a mirror and criticizes herself, there's a girl watching..." Often as a role model for the young women and girls in our life we feel powerless as we struggle with our own body issues and acceptance. Yet, we are not unaware of the impact we can have on her developing self-image.

The one thing I have learned over the years, whether it be in parenting my own daughters or in working with other women, is that our children see everything. So when we skip a meal, complain about our cellulite, compare and critique other women's bodies or say disrespectful comments about our own body, it is witnessed and taken in. These young girls watch us as we look in the mirror at our reflection, they hear us talking to others about our body dissatisfaction, they listen to how we receive compliments and are aware of how we feel about our bodies.

Knowing this, it is important the we recognize that we need to change the way we are responding to our thoughts and self talk. We need to remember that our daughters see themselves through the mirror of our eyes. What we draw attention to about them and their body sends very strong messages. What we show them we value, whether it be a certain size, an age, or a hair color for example, they begin to use as their value system. If physical appearance is important to us, it will be to them.

It means creating healthy boundaries between our own personal process with our body acceptance and what we say and how we react in these body standards. Positive self talk will be witnessed and embraced. Focus on other attributes that are not beauty related and have nothing to do with appearance, changes where you and she will place value.

It takes time, it takes awareness, but in order to change the pattern of repetitive low self-worth and body shame, we have to start somewhere. There will still be plenty of messages passed on to our daughters about their beauty and their body through media and peers, but if our conversations with them focus on all that makes them so wonderful and unique, things will begin to change. If we can model to them acceptance and grace with our body, celebration of how it serves us and appreciation of all body types, the message will be loud and clear.

So where to begin? For starters stop talking and talking and talking about the latest diet. Try to send good healthy messages about your body through words and activities. Stop the negative talk about your body or anyone else's. Listen to the way she talks about her body and have conversations with her to help her see it from a more positive perspective or to share why she feels that way. With making some of these changes in your relationship with your body and with your daughter, you will begin to see changes both in your body awareness and in her developing self-concept of her beauty and her body image.

To learn more about Body Image Coaching, visit me at

When She Looks At Me


When she looks at me, I feel witnessed. I see her searching my face for the tell tale signs of all I have been through. It has been quite a lifetime, that I cannot deny. There has been some of the most amazingly beautiful experiences any woman could hope to have! She traces the smile lines besides my mouth. There have been births of children who bring to this world their wondrous offerings and individual beauty. There has been passionate love from a life partner who delights, challenges and cares. There has been opportunities to hold tenderly the souls suffering in indescribable pain. There has been laughter that shakes the belly and brings tears to the eyes.

She smooths the furrow in my brow. There has been suffering, some shared and some kept hidden in the recesses of my being; the pain to harsh to be rehashed and so I choose to let the demons lie. There has been the witnessing of life's losses and unfairness, the things one walks away from unable to understand and taking time to shake off.

As she traces the crows feet at the corners of my eyes she listens to my stories of delight as I share the humorous stories that created the laughter in a full family of seven; times spent at the shore, family game night or summer barbeques.

Her hand reaches to the back of my neck and slowly releases the stress held there by the muscles. My body exhales with relief. Time spent writing, listening, journeying, coaching; leaning into the hearts of those who come to me for support or guidance leaves its reminder. Often the tension lingers in my body and I need to cleanse and release in order to move on.

She understands these markings and holdings of my body. She knows that they add to the depth of my beauty. She appreciates that what I often fail to see upon first glance comes with time as I embrace the deeper meaning of my essence. My body is honored by her. My body is cherished with her touch. My soul feels the softness, my heart the compassion and love. I look deeper into her eyes and smile, she responds in kind. Together, she and I, know that with each moment that is lived fully, this body of mine will embrace yet another sign, another line, another smile, another shadow or dimple or crease...the beautiful recognition of a life lived fully. And I turn slowly, still smiling, away from the mirror.

Blessings, Lisa