Volume: 1, Issue: 1

August 8, 2011


Conflict Between Mother and Daughter (Parent and Child)…
The pattern between the mother and daughter often affects fertility for both. A woman’s fertility is more than her reproductive system. When there are reproductive disorders, the conflict often becomes focused on the internal organs rather than on what may be antecedent to the disorder. More and more we find that there are issues which are multigenerational, affecting generation after generation within the family. The energy of the family becomes expressed in patterns of genetics, lifestyle, communication, and choices that are either expressed or so hidden that they become very subtle in their expression.

Let’s look at a simple example of what this means. Suppose that there were a relationship between mother and daughter which had many conflicts regarding separation of the child from the mother–so that the daughter could establish her own identity as a grown woman. (And, what mother and daughter do not go through this to one degree or another!?) In many instances, the daughter finds herself saying, “I don’t want to be a thing like her!”…only to find that, to her dismay, everyone tells her how like her mother she is growing to be. The struggle NOT to be something becomes the defining energy, and the unwanted thing is incorporated into the self. We become what we struggle not to be…in other words, we develop a negative identification.

This is so like the woman who vows she will not be the abusive mother that her parent was, and she becomes so anyway! Then she justifies her abusiveness by calling it love. She may well be emotionally controlling and domineering in a way that is different from her parent, and end up with the same results for her own children. Her children, not wanting to be like her, may choose an opposite behavior and find themselves like their grandmother. This is the dance of opposites, producing more of the same. It is also the way in which behaviors, addictions, and characteristics seem to skip a generation.

Let’s look at the story another way.

I knew a man who was ignored by his family of origin, longed for a mother who would nurture, defend, protect and love him. Ultimately, he married a woman who had the qualities that he longed for…or so he thought! He wanted for his children what he did not have himself. The woman he married, mothered him….put him on a short leash….and when they had children, did the same to the children. She mothered so well that I teased that staying home to care for the children for preschool continued until the children entered university! The devastation to children in this type of parenting is that they cannot learn to be independent and so they become irresponsible, sometimes defiant; and they leave home, not learning the skills to selfcare. They become what the father was. And, even though the mother looked different from the grandmother, the end result is the same.

It is these patterns that must be confronted and discussed between mother and daughter as the daughter seeks her own identity, as a mother. It is insufficient that the daughter wants to be “not like” the mother. She must develop a concept and view of herself that is inclusive of the part of her that is like the mother and transform it, not into an opposite, but into “other than!” The task before the daughter is to become Self, recognizing the generations that she carries within her and then to transform the gifts (and curses!) of her foremothers and forefathers. Each child stands as the culmination of all the wishes and aspirations of those who have gone before and also holds the power to bring a new energy and transformation to the longings of those who gave her life.

Many times I hear patients say that they saw what their parents went through, gave up, to give them their lives; and they feel unable to do the same themselves.

I remember once my daughter saying to me, “You didn’t just give me my life; you gave up yours so that I could have what I wanted in my life.”

I had to thank her and, at the same time, help her to see that my life choices which took her into account were NOT a giving up of my life. I made those choices because it gave me life to give her, her own life. It is the power of the choice, the capacity to make a choice, and not the choice itself that is the energy and force behind creative living. When we live in such and such a way because we think we have no choice then all of life is a sacrifice. To have the choice, and live so anyway, is no sacrifice; it is a gift. My daughter had to see that the life I gave, the choices I made, were freely given and therefore gift.

It is no gift to say: I must live in this manner for the sake of the children. That is a fundamental lie. Persons who make this statement live in fear of having a choice and so, allow the choices to be made by others. This allows them to rail against the outrages of not having choices about their lives.

The decision a couple makes to have a child means that they MUST consider that the enacting of their choices is the basis for expressing themselves; this enacting of choices is not because there is a requirement to sacrifice one’s life for one’s children. Failing to recognize this leaves us with the nonsense of parents who tell their children how they “worked their fingers to the bone” for them, or what they “might have been” had they had other possible choices. In these circumstances, the child becomes guilty for the parent’s losses and unable to see that he or she bears from the lie the pain of those losses in their own lives.

Resolving these life questions is often difficult. Facing the lies our parents told themselves and us is difficult and necessary, if we are to learn to be free to choose to become fertile men and women. This is necessary if we are to become free parents, creating freedom for our children

Other Stories

Welcome! From Dr. Kathleen Quinn
Dear Reader, The other night I watched the movie, eXistenZ. Now, there is no doubt that I do something that is somewhat unusual when I watch certain types of programming. Dear Reader,

The other night I watched the movie, eXistenZ.

Now, there is no doubt that I do something that is somewhat unusual when I watch certain types of programming. (Ordinarily, this behavior is restricted to educational or academic television.) I take notes! But during a movie!? For entertainment!? You bet.

Every once in a while there will be a quote I will want to save or a thought that triggers other thoughts. I am so prepared for this response that I am seldom without my journal or some writing materials. Never know when a thought will be jogged!

This movie, however, nearly drove me nuts, because the dialogue was written on more than one level so that each line had more than one meaning. There was the meaning within the “game” which was the storyline, and then the meaning “out here in the game of life.” Just great thoughts, well written, and I kept jotting them down. Somehow in the process of getting it all down I managed to see and not see the film at the same time. I was so involved in a dual process that I didn’t just watch and enjoy. The writer, teacher, editor in me worked. The artist in me marveled at the writing. The philosopher thought. There was something for everyone!

I was reminded somewhere during the process, or immediately after, of the Buddhist teaching: Whatever you are doing, do it. If you are eating, eat; walking, walk….etc. BE IN THE MOMENT. Immersed.

Sometimes I just can’t immerse totally. I am torn…need, want to do two things at the same time….and so the new creation is born.

I think there are hybrid experiences that hinge and connect to what is going on, and those experiences are connected to the context of the event and beyond that limited context. This simultaneity of contexts is “more than” either context. It is not viewing film, nor taking notes. It is both and the thing beyond…


Ah….levels of meaning!

That is what this newsletter is about: Contexts, meaning, levels of understanding, communication, intra/intercommunication, growth and self awareness…self creation. No idea where that will all end up, but to quote the film: “You play the game to find out why you play the game.”

Dr. Kathleen Quinn

Ask Dr. Quinn…
_an ongoing column designed to address your needs! Feel free to write to askdrquinn@drkathleenquinn.com to have your concerns or questions answered in this column!
Dear Dr. Quinn,
I am 24, and I got married a year ago to a man who is 33. That never seemed to be a problem until we started living in the same house. I wanted and had a fairytale romance and wedding; everything was perfect. We took great trips together before the wedding and spent lots of time together, so I thought I really knew him. Now, though, a year later, I am finding that he is not the man I thought he was. He has an ugly temper and does not want to do anything at home to help cook or clean. When we go out in public, he is that same nice, sweet man I thought I was marrying. I don’t know what to do. No one would believe me if I tried to tell them how different he is at home. We are thinking about having a baby, but now I’m not sure. I don’t even know how to figure this out. Can you help?

Dear Rachel:

Thank you for your e-mail. You are not alone. I cannot tell you how many times a week people call and I take patients with problems very much like yours.

You are describing a problem that is common in many relationships….all types of relationships. There is a period in relationship building that is common to all relationships; it is called the courting process, and there are behaviors and characteristics assigned by the structures of our brains to bring us into sexual and biological connection with each other. These behaviors are often hormonally induced; we think by levels of oxytocin in the blood stream that affect hormone levels and support the strong sexual responses associated with “falling in love.” The problem is that this process is consistent across all cultures and is designed for one purpose only, to have us mate, pair bond and ultimately to reproduce.

It is also true that there are cultural differences in the activity of “pursuing” a partner. This means that every culture has its own definition of beauty, value, attractiveness, and meaning for what a good partner would be. Each culture has a view of relationship that becomes part of the stories that are told to children to get them to conform to the expectations of the culture. In our culture, one of those is the fairytale relationship that culminates in a wedding! The problem is that in the elevated hormonal state that is courtship the lovers are less able to see clearly than those from the outside. It is also true that it is easier to maintain the level of the courting gestures when one is not living with the other person. This is why so many people marry and then have a rude awakening. Part of this is at play in your relationship.

There are other things going on here. You have married a man who appears to be, at the least, verbally abusive. You are playing a part in this interaction by allowing it to continue. You need counseling help, yesterday! If no one else believes you about this man, then you are in a very precarious situation because you will be isolated if you act or speak against him. This is part of how anyone who is abusive in any form maintains control….no one would believe he or she is capable of what is actually going on.

You also have another serious problem: You are considering a pregnancy and co-parenting with a man who refuses to accept his responsibilities for taking care of his own household. You absolutely must resolve all of this before you become pregnant for a very good reason. When a woman is being subjected to any abuse in a relationship, the pregnancy almost always escalates the abuse. The instances of abuse increase more than 50% during pregnancy and the form that the abuse often takes is that the woman is kicked in the belly by the person who is supposed to be loving and carrying for her.

One of the things that makes it more difficult for a person to leave an abusive relationship is that there are children present. It ties you into the relationship and permanently bonds you to this partner. Therefore, pregnancy is the last thing you need. What you need is help, and so does your partner. But if he won’t go for counseling with you then you must go alone.

This is a time for you to open your eyes, look at your life, and answer a few questions. One question is: Do you really want to live like this the rest of your life? If you answer…”but I love him,” then you are stuck in an illusion about relationship and what your role as a woman is.

Women, and men, discover what the purpose of their lives is in the spaces between the roles they assign to themselves or allow to be assigned to them. Wife and mother are such roles…and you are either taking those on or allowing someone else to decide.

Dr. Kathleen Quinn is the CEO of Discovery Integrative Healthcare Centers in four states; she holds five graduate degrees, with a Doctorate in psychotherapy, Master’s Degree/Nurse Practitioner in obstetrics/gynecology and certification in high risk obstetrics. She has a daily radio talk show, writes for several health care magazines, is a consultant nationally to healthcare organizations in transition as well as corporations developing an integrative approach to global workforces. She is in pre-production for a weekly television show. She holds retreats and is a much sought after national lecturer.

Life as a Meditative Experience…Breathing__by Dr. Kathleen Quinn

This column is devoted to helping the practitioner achieve a sense of self and serenity that comes with centering and awareness. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that meditation is necessary for physical health as well as for mental and emotional balance. For those of us who struggle with physical problems, this aspect of care cannot be overlooked. The truth is, if you watch a child playing, there comes a point in that activity where the child will sit still and seem to disconnect from her surroundings and go into a state that we all call “daydreaming”. There are qualities in this state which are necessary for learning and programming the long term memory…this is how we learn. Moreover, it is part of how we stay healthy.

When I teach courses in meditation, I like to use illustrations of things that we have all done which contain the essence of the skill we are trying to learn. It is this way with meditation: If you can recall as a child just sitting and watching, disconnecting from your surroundings, lying in the grass and watching clouds drift…..any of these play forms embody the essence of meditation. The skills are accessible to any and all of us.

These very human exercises are what the human person is about. These play/games are part of the human experience. It then follows that what we call meditation is a part of the human experience…it is part of what makes us human.

Oddly, the same is true of prayer, which can be akin to meditation. While they are two different activities, they have qualities in common. In the natural flow of life when we are confronted with extreme situations, most if us utter some form of prayer….even one as simple as “Oh, god.” The observation that “there are no atheists in foxholes” is simply an illustration of those qualities that help define us as human.

So, let’s examine a stressful situation. Suppose that you have been diagnosed with either a terminal illness, or a reproductive disorder, or even a life event that causes you great stress. One of the fundamental responses to receiving the news or having such an event occur is to take a deep breath.

AH-HA!; we often do something called sighing.

The sigh is the most fundamental of all our breathing activities which comes without rehearsal, is spontaneous, and functions as a stress reducer. Let’s look at what is at work here. In the sigh, there is a deep abdominal breath in (inhalation) and then a moment of non breath or quieted breath (        ), and the strong release of the breath from the abdomen (exhalation).

There is a common pattern to this type of breathing. The inhalation draws breath and awareness to the face, through the chest to the abdomen, and the exhalation reverses the process. It is the exhalation that provides the opportunity for the body to soften, relax; the mind clears itself and the body clears itself of toxins through the lungs. The inhalation is the portion of the breath that brings in oxygen, stimulates the blood circulation within the body and increases the functioning of the central nervous system. Medically speaking, the process enhances body functioning and provides the internal system with the capacity to stabilize itself.

In the circumstances of medical illness, reproductive disorders, and many other types of illness, this effect of stabilizing and balancing impact the immune system and encourage the body to function at its most efficient level. In a well oxygenated body, there is greater transport of iron in the blood, greater release of endorphins, and an increased sense of well-being and comfort. All of these qualities together have a system-wide influence on stress reduction and increased effective functioning.

We will begin with this newsletter an exercise for learning to meditate. We will begin to practice all of the basics, and you are invited to teach yourself and learn along with us. These are the babysteps for wellness. You will find that these exercises parallel work found in our Journalling book Broken Wings which will soon be available for purchase through this web site. OR, you can do the beginning exercises along with the work in this newsletter. If you need to reach us for workshop information or for coaching, please click “contact us” located to the left of your screen.

Journaling…The Journey Within

In this newsletter, we are going to be teaching skills that we hope will be usable as you go through your day. Each newsletter will have an holistic focus, but I made the decision that, in addition, we would attempt to teach and support growth for visitors to this site. We anticipate (wish for) an ongoing dialogue between you and us. Part of this process requires that as teacher, healer, I do what I ask others to do.

The act of writing down one’s dreams makes for interesting reading (!), records the events for later understanding, and opens the doorway for self-discovery. From the email that we are getting before this site is even up and running, I expect that we will be working together….I don’t know where we are going, but we are getting there quickly! I will begin the process by excerpting from my own work. Scary, to share with anyone who comes here, but all I have to teach with is my Self.

“I had a dream about five days ago where surgeons had opened my abdomen and all of my organs had been wrapped in bandages. They looked like boxed bandaged squares that had been tucked inside me. (Whenever I had surgery I always was awake and watching the process…curious I guess…and it was my body.) I asked one of them what was going on, and he said that I had been bound up inside and that if they undid them [the bandages] I could live a normal life, have babies, and finally love. Subsequently, I dreamed that I had a little brown baby (!) who looked at me with huge round eyes and smiled! (I think I can leave that part to my daughter but I need to tell her this dream, it is connected to her also.)”

About a week later the following dream presented itself:

“I was walking in an old run-down neighborhood in New Orleans. This area was a place that I knew I had been to in dreams before. There was a wrought iron fence around the property, and the house looked different than it had in other dreams. It had been painted and repaired on the outside. I was so surprised to find the house in this condition that I went in and walked around. To my delight, the house looked the same but each room had been renovated, painted, and each was beautiful. As I moved to leave, I walked through the kitchen and stood there soaking up the renovations!

‘I want to remember what has been done in the kitchen! Maybe I can incorporate it into the work I am doing now!'”

I then awoke.

Talk about lucid dreaming!!!!

Now, we all have dream patterns and places to which we go. What is important is to watch the transformation of those dream places as we grow and change.

All of this relates to the real-waking world. In my “dreamed-up-awake-life,” I am really renovating an old house. The man I am working with is a gentle caring person. When I told him what I had been dreaming and that Carl Jung equated “house” with “the body,” and that this is “my” house….MY BODY…. he turned and grinned at me.

“So when we are knocking out these walls, what am I knocking out in you?” (See, everybody begins to join in our processes if we allow it!!!!)

“Barriers….boundaries….walls….obstacles….I am opening up.” I almost whispered the answer to him….it was such a private thought.

And it is true; I am uncovering windows and lost stairways….opening walls for light to stream in….and…..who knows what else as we renovate this house.

A little while later….sledgehammer in hand….he calls to me: “Katarina, look….” It slams into the wall we had planned to remove…. “Another barrier goes!!!” He is laughing gleefully.

Now, would I do this, say this, with just anybody? No.

And neither should you.

As you begin this process, the act of journaling is a sacred journey into the self, reserved for yourself….alone. Great care must be taken…the book (unlined art pads are wonderful) should be cared for as you care for your SELF. No one should have access to the contents unless you choose to allow that access.

Set aside time each day…or as frequently in the week as you are capable. Disregard what others say about disciplining yourself to write daily. I always say, “I only do what is fun! If it’s not fun I’m not going to do it.” For heaven’s sake….don’t make this work!

I encourage people to write their dreams on waking and then write, without stopping, whatever comes to mind. It is amazing what will begin to unfold …lucid dreaming is only the beginning!

The Poetry Corner…
All of life
is light
each of us
casting many colored lights
and shadows
across lifetimes
and lives.

My mother chose
bent darkness
into my life –
destroyed the
men who
touched me –
I saved my children
them from her
but I was
awash in the blackness
of the dark
she wished around
Kali she came
devouring –
I wanted so much
not to be like her
to be some other
kind of woman
I desperately wanted
to choose the good
to be the kind
she was not.
My daughter
grew into this lovely
gorgeous woman.
Both of us
struggle each
for the other.
I chose.
Bending light
across her life, mine.

And herein is the choice.
This becomes the pivotal
point of my whole

A gift to myself –
a future for all of us.

I stand alone in
and choose light.
And as it bends
through me.
I see across generations
that I have
the course of
corrupted carrying
through generation
after generation
the brokenness of my mother’s legacy;
changing in this present
for all futures.

I choose the change –
for my children
light blue
for my grandchildren
warm green
for my great-grandchildren
brilliant purple.

I choose light
my past
my children
my descendents.
All it takes
(who knows the price in pain self inflicted
self endured
for all of us)
in a single choice
a moment
each moment
tumbling into
changing the course
of life
showering for all time


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