Shut-down, shut-out, shut-up, follow these directions if you want to lower your self-esteem. The mothers and daughters in Magical Shoes Affirmation Group are exploring what affects their self-esteem. What conscious or unconscious demands limit their lives? What brings life to their self-esteem? The mothers and daughters are wise, but that wisdom is shut-down, shut-out, and shut-up by their lived experience. What if instead, they heard: relax-down, build-up, speak-out? The team created various activities to first guide them with relaxing activities. After the first relaxing activity, the mothers reacted, saying that relaxation is not part of our lives. They have always lived vigilant of their daughters' disabilities, so they could not afford to relax. If a mother never learned how to relax, she would not have permitted her daughter to relax either. What happens when mothers and daughters relax together? It takes time to understand and to relax. Sometimes, it is tough, but they are learning techniques relaxing little by little. According to team members, doing these exercises together reinforces the positive benefits of relaxation.
At the end of the activity, they are asked how these ideas and activities can be integrated into their everyday lives. The mothers need to identify any feelings such as guilt over relaxation or sources of stress. Stress is the number one enemy of peace and self-esteem. They talk about ways to incorporate these ideas at home and report on them in the next session. The women are grateful for a program that does not put extra burdens on them, create guilt, or keep them silent. They don't have to shut-down, shut-out, and shut-up. These mothers and daughters have started a long journey to improve their self-esteem together. The problems that the mothers face in their lives are many times passed on to their daughters.
They end the session by sharing gratitude, creating an encouraging and constructive path home. The affirmations groups are grateful to you for all your support. It means a lot to the mothers to know that others are willing to support a program that helps them reflect with their daughters and build their relationships. Their daughters' well-being is vital as they recognize that a girl with a disability has to face many social problems. Still, their daughters are number one in their eyes, and they know that they can assist them in integrating more successfully if they understand and believe in them.