This Mother’s Day, instead of sending your Mother a Hallmark card and checking her off your to-do list, I invite you to use this holiday as an opportunity to get to know her (and yourself) better.

As children, our brains are not fully developed, and we naturally see the world in black or white, including the people in it.

We tend to believe our Mothers are at first perfect, and then as we grow we may villainize them for their shortcomings, rejecting them where we once unquestioningly accepted them.

It is only in our mid-20s that we fully develop the brain structure that allow us to fully process life’s grey areas.

As we grow, we begin to see that our Mothers are multidimensional people with positive AND negative qualities.

One beautiful way to fully honor our complicated relationships with our mothers this Mother’s Day can be to focus on her strengths, your strengths, and how those strengths are interrelated.

Sit down together and take 10 minutes to fill out the VIA Strengths Survey to find out what you and your mother’s top strengths are. If your mother is no longer living, try this exercise on your own, the bond is so deep, she is living within you.

Before sharing your results, take a few moments to write down what you think your mother’s top 3 strengths will be, and ask her to do the same for you.

After taking the Survey, take some time to process the results together

·      What did you think each other’s strengths would be?

·      Do you feel that what actually came up from the survey accurately reflects your strengths?

·      Do you have any strengths in common?

·      Are any of your strengths complimentary?

·      How can you use your respective strengths to deepen your relationship?

You might just discover (and embrace) a hidden side to yourself that you didn’t know existed and accept a quality of mom’s that was hard to see.

Write your own Hallmark card that really captures how you feel!

To find out more about how your relationship with your mother still affects your career today, check out What’s Mom Still Got To Do With It?: Breathe New Life into Your Career By Understanding Your Mother-Daughter Relationship