Yeah, I remember my first blog in which I said something about 'blogging on a regular basis.' Oh, boy ... did I set myself up! BUT ... yep, I've got a big ol' but ...
But, I've been busy feeling my way around a new arena. Please don't think I've been slacking off since that first post. To the contrary, (I will brag for only a moment, promise!) I hit Best Seller status over the '09 holiday season, and just last week my book made it to the White House! I've traveled to some incredible places and met the most awesome people, and I'm finding that my journey has only just begun! With that said, I believe I've finally realized that there will be no perfect time to commit to writing more regularly in my blog, and so I am diving back in today!
Since this Sunday is Mother's Day, 2010 ... I'm posting an article I wrote for the occasion. I hope you enjoy the read, and that my ideas and tips bring Mothers and Daughters around the globe a little closer.
What do you want for Mother’s Day?
Photo: My Mother’s DaughterBy Debbie Mancini-Wilson
Family Creativity Expert
Wouldn’t a glimpse into daughter’s heart be the best gift ever? Especially if it was willingly delivered to you, personally and exclusively mapped out by your daughter? I’ll bet right about now, there’s a bubble over your head with a great big, ‘Yeahbut’ in it. ‘Yeah, but how do I get that?’ ‘Yeah, but how do I even ask for that?’ ‘Yeah, but is it even possible?’
I’ll answer the last question first; it’s not only possible, chances are great that your daughter WANTS to give it to you! And, if you think you’ve got a big ol’ ‘Yeahbut’ rest assured that your daughter’s is even bigger! ‘Yeah, but I’m not sure my Mom wants to know what I’m thinking!’ ‘Yeah, but I don’t know how to do that!’ ‘Yeah, but I don’t know where to begin!’
Your first question (‘Yeah, but how do I get that?‘) is the easiest to answer. Just ask! OK, stop laughing, I’m serious here! You really should be paying attention:
The BIG ‘Yeah, but’ in the middle … ‘How do I even ask for that?’ is tricky, but the answer might just surprise you because you don’t really have to ask for it. You just simply lead her to it in a fun way.
I’m all about creativity … especially when it leads to warm-n-fuzzy moments that end up being lifetime memories!
With that said, let’s get creative and lead your daughter right into our perfect little plan! It’s totally acceptable to rub your hands together (mad scientist style) right about now.
“Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.” (Dr. Frankenstein)
Shall we begin? …
One of the easiest ways to get this party going is to offer to do this, too. In other words, you are not only asking your daughter to do this for you, you are doing it for her and swapping with each other on Mother’s Day. Below is an outline of how to write a special recipe … don‘t worry, there is no cooking involved.
First, prepare an outline similar to a recipe card and ask your daughter to fill it out as if she were giving someone who had never met her a recipe teaching them how to get to know a particular side of her inner-most self. You can repeat this fun exercise many different times, each time asking for a recipe to make a different ‘dish.’ And, of course, you will insert your name and your daughter’s name in place of ‘Debbie’ and ‘Shannon’ in the examples below.
Some ideas are: ‘The Debbie Dish’ that co-workers ask for when they need help with a project, or ‘The Debbie Dish’ that your charity of choice asks for when they are trying to raise funds, or ‘The Shannon Dish’ in the example below.
List of items in Shannon’s personal pantry: (Key ingredients that make Shannon the person she is today) Note: you might want to ask some friends or family members for words that describe you.
sense of humor
plain old silliness
Now design a recipe for a special ’Shannon Dish’ … This is a recipe to make: The ‘Shannon Dish’ friends ask for when they are in a dilemma.
List of ingredients pulled from Shannon’s personal pantry (in order of importance):
5%-sense of humor
Note: the ingredients total 100%
Instructions to make this ‘Shannon Dish’:
In a large bowl:
-Listen with 20% compassion because usually they just need to know that someone cares
-Add 20% understanding into the conversation, even if I don’t completely understand their point of view, I try to imagine their pain
-Even though I’m 100% sincere, mix 20% sincerity into my attitude when speaking; too much at this point might be mistaken for ‘sugary-sweet-shut-her-up-detachment’
In a small bowl:
-Try not to use too much kindness; limit it to 10% to give a fair opinion (not just jump on my friend’s bandwagon because she’s my friend) but still be kind
-Temper the 10% love with the kindness to keep a fair opinion
-Then add the remaining 4 ingredients
Faith is always needed
Creativity will help when you must toe the line between compassion and fairness
Honesty is a must; however, this smaller dose might be best to keep from hurting her feelings (can adjust accordingly with sense of humor to make up total combined 10%)
Always keep at least a small amount of the sense of humor (can adjust accordingly with honesty to make up total combined 10%)
Stir contents of small bowl in with the large bowl.
Once all ingredients are combined, mix them together with the friend’s emotions and allow to gently simmer for as long as the friend needs.
Then, remove from the heat of the moment, and allow to cool until set.
Now, Mom … this is a great way to get to know a lot about your daughter and her perception of herself as a friend, student (ask for a recipe that she’d give to her teacher), or even as a daughter (ask for a recipe for you). It is also a chance for you to open up and reveal a precious side of yourself to your daughter. I believe that she will feel honored, special and touched to know a deeper part of you.
And I bet I know how you will feel. You’re probably already feeling giddy with excitement because this will just about guarantee access to a part of your daughter’s soul that you might not even know existed. The bonus is that since she will be writing her own thoughts at her own pace, she will most likely be more open and free with her information.
There’s no better way to get something we want from someone than to make them feel like it’s their idea and that they are giving it to us on their terms. And hey, let’s face it, there’s something thrilling about pulling off a sneaky caper … Now, enjoy your Mother’s Day, you’re going to be awfully busy once the Oceans 11 casting crew hears about you!