Healing The Mother-Daughter Relationship with Karen C. L. Anderson

Healing The Mother-Daughter Relationship with Karen C. Anderson | Relationship Coach

Karen C. L. Anderson is a writer, author, and master-certified life coach who helps women use the troubled relationships they have with their mothers and/or daughters as a catalyst for growth, empowerment, wisdom, and creativity. 

She is the author of:

  • After (The Before & After) (2011)
  • The Peaceful Daughter’s Guide To Separating From A Difficult Mother (2015…no longer available)
  • Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters, A Guide For Separation, Liberation & Inspiration (March 2018) 
  • The Difficult Mother-Daughter Relationship Journal: A Guide For Revealing and Healing Toxic Generational Patterns (January, 2020)
  • Overcoming Creative Anxiety: Journal Prompts & Practices for Disarming Your Inner Critic & Allowing Creativity To Flow (June 2020)
  • Dear Adult Daughter, With the Emphasis On Adult (July 2020)

Karen’s next book, tentatively entitled Unshame Yourself: Healing The Most Toxic Relationship Of All, is scheduled to be published in 2022.

She is also at work on a memoir, A Letter To The Daughter I Chose Not To Have.

Prior to all of this? Karen spent seven years as a freelance writer and before that, 17 years trying to fit her right-brained self into a left-brained career as a trade magazine journalist in the field of plastics (and if she had a dime for every time someone mentioned that line from The Graduate…).

Karen and her husband Tim Anderson (a left-brained engineer) live on the Southeastern Connecticut shoreline.  

Certifications & Education:

  • Certified Dare To Lead Trained Professional
  • Master Certified Coach, Life Coach School
  • Healthy Boundaries for Kind People coach and facilitator
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner (EFT Training For Trauma, Levels I + II)
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Marist College

You can find Karen and learn more about her coaching program, The Mother Lode on her website: www.kclanderson.com



I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

One Simple Way To See If You Trust Yourself Ep 10

One Simple Way To See If You Trust Yourself | Relationship Coach

All of us have struggled with times in our lives when we didn’t believe in ourselves, times when we didn’t fully trust we could reach a goal we set for ourselves; I’m willing to say that it plagues most of us every single day. I know there are days when I have a positive mindset and everything I have said I would do gets accomplished, but then there are other days where my mind is convinced I’ll never “make it.” Learning how to trust yourself is a practice well worth doing because every time you take a step forward and prove self-trust to yourself, your brain will more often trust you. Today I’m going to share one simple way to see if you trust yourself; this example was the first time I sat down with myself and told myself the truth about whether I trust myself or not. 

I used to believe that I trusted myself, but honestly, I hadn’t really thought about it; I just denied that I didn’t trust myself. I thought I trusted myself because I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone else, so of course, I thought I trusted myself. What I have found to be the truth, though, is that as I have learned how to trust myself, I have let go of my lack of trust in other people. I have found confidence in myself to take care of myself, to recognize when others might be attempting to take advantage of me but not always assuming upfront that they are. I trust everyone until they give me a reason not to trust them.

Today I want you to ask yourself if you trust yourself.

Answer that question and then ask yourself a few others. Why do you think you trust yourself? What does it mean to trust yourself? Do you trust other people, or are you suspicious of them? Do you check your partner’s phone messages, do you listen to their phone conversations, do you look with distrust to your co-workers who are chatting together without you?

I’m not telling you that you should be unaware of what is happening around you, but when you trust yourself, you can let other people be who they are. You can join co-workers in their conversations without wondering what they think of you. You can love your spouse without having to check on them behind their back; as a matter of fact, if you have a question for them, you would ask from a place of curiosity or conversation rather than distrust.

Here is one simple way to see if you trust yourself:

Ask yourself how many times per week you do what you told yourself you would do. How many times do you tell yourself you’re going to do something, and then you don’t follow through?

Every time you do this, you solidify your brain’s belief that you are not going to do what you say you will do. Every time you tell yourself you’re going to do something and you don’t do it, you reinforce that distrust superhighway in your brain. If this is you, you know it, and it’s not something to be ashamed of; it’s something we do. When we become aware of a behavior that isn’t serving our best life, it is an opportunity to change it, to grow, and this is what life coaching is all about. This is why I love life coaching because there is always something to uncover within ourselves, something that is holding us back from being our next best selves. When we uncover this behavior, we can get to doing the work of solving and changing.

Ask yourself about today. How many times today did you follow through and do what you told yourself you were going to do? How many things did you tell yourself that you would do today that you didn’t do?

“I’m going to eat ‘healthy’ today.”

“I’m going to have a 10 minute conversation with my husband tonight.”

“I’ll call so and so after work.”

“I’m going to plan a get-away for our anniversary.”

How many times have you carried over that one task you have been telling yourself to do for ummm, a month, maybe even longer? If I look back at my life a couple of years back, I remember having lists of things that I wanted to get done. I would carry many of those to-dos over and over and over every week, but now I no longer do that. Sure, there are times when I carry a task over for a few weeks, but if I continue to do so for more than a few weeks, I ask myself why I’m not completing this task. If it’s important, I have a little discussion with myself, look at why I might be avoiding and solve the problem and get the task done. Sometimes I simply decide that this isn’t important enough; I’m not making it a priority, so I let it go trusting myself, knowing that if it’s important enough, it will come up again, and I can re-visit it at that time.

Think about that friend of yours who is consistently late to commitments you plan; maybe she doesn’t show up or bows out at the last moment; do you trust her to show up on time anymore? Do you expect her to have an excuse as to why she can’t make it this time and find yourself surprised when she does commit?

There are a few important tips that I will be sharing with you next week to help you start the process of building trust within yourself, but for now, I want you to start paying attention to the times throughout the day and the week that you don’t follow through on what you tell yourself you will do. I suggest you take five minutes at the end of the day and write the things down and then take another five minutes to answer the question: “Why didn’t I do this thing I keep telling myself to do?” Creating awareness this week to the ways you are re-inforcing the belief that you don’t trust yourself, and then next week, I’ll share ways to start taking steps towards building self-trust.

Look at yourself honestly and then decide if you like not trusting yourself.

I didn’t like it so I decided to change it, tune in next week to learn how to change it!

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

How To Increase Physical Intimacy In Your Marriage

How To Increase Physical Intimacy In Your Marriage | Relationship Coaching

Welcome back to part six of my relationship intimacy series! I cannot even believe that we are already on the fifth type of relationship intimacy; these weeks, I have been so into the things I am teaching, learning, and putting into action that time has gone by quickly. Digging into this series has also created a deeper level of wisdom in my own life around how I show up in my relationship and the dynamic of the intimacy dance between partners. Today we wrap up the series by talking about how to increase physical intimacy in your relationship. Then I’m going to take a little break from the intimacy topic before coming back to explore a few different aspects of physical intimacy that will help you right where you are in your relationship so you can sensitively take steps of exploring where you want to go from there.

In review, if you haven’t listened to my previous teachings on intimacy, please take some time to go back and listen, starting six weeks back with the first episode on What Is Relationship Intimacy.

Let’s start with looking at the definition of physical intimacy.

Intimacy: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

Physical: relating to the body.

Physical intimacy is a close union of the body, an intimate mixture of physicality.

An intimate mixture of our bodies most certainly brings about a mental image of a couple having sexual intimacy, which most certainly is an intimate mixture, and I don’t think any of us will argue with that, but that is not the only way to be physically intimate with our partners. If we are only intimate in a sexual way, without including other forms of physical connection, we might be having sex in a transaction form, meaning it is being done as a “transaction” or duty rather than for intimacy and connection.

There are many other forms of physical intimacy that we want to consider to build trust and desire for our relationship, physical intimacy, and our desire for sex that isn’t transactional. Touching your partner in ways that let them know that you see them, in ways that aren’t sexual or making the other feel sexually threatened, in ways that don’t tell your spouse that “it’s time to have sex.” These could be touching their shoulder when they walk by, making eye contact when you talk, holding their hands, touching in bed without the intention of it leading to sex, putting your hand on their knee when sitting together, sitting close enough to touch. All of these forms of touch are important in letting your partner know you care about them and making them feel safe. If you are only touching your partner when you want sex, that can create a habit of withdrawal; your partner could take that to mean that the only time you want connection is with the intention of having sex.

How to increase physical intimacy in your relationship.

The pattern you’ve noticed in this series is intention. If you want more physical intimacy in your relationship, you must be intentional about creating it and creating it safely. It’s good to understand that many people have experienced some sexual trauma in their lives, which is a great place to start communication. Opening up about our physical desires and our fears can make us feel vulnerable, and that is what this whole series has been about, being open to the discomfort around exposing our fears and desires. Starting the conversation is a good place to start, always knowing how someone else is acting in your relationship has everything to do with them and their life experience and nothing to do with you. It’s important to be sensitive to this truth.

Start small and be open to exploring what is going on for each other and knowing that you are not responsible for how someone feels. We are always responsible for how we feel; if our partners aren’t initiating the connection, it is about something they are struggling with; it is never about you and your lovability or attractiveness.

Another place to start is implementing physical touch forms that feel safe for you and then observing what happens in your body when you implement these strategies. Talk to your partner about what you are feeling and why; as you explore what is happening for you, you’ll start creating awareness, and you might be surprised about what you discover about yourself. As you start to introduce other forms of touch, you build trust and connection, connection to yourself first; from here, you can start exploring each other in the bedroom as well. You can start observing what you are thinking and feeling when having sex; this in itself can reveal a clearer picture of what might be getting in the way of enjoying sex. Taking time to explore what is going on inside of you will help you take steps towards developing a physically intimate relationship that feels real instead of forced or obligational.

Let’s look at some examples of how you can increase physical intimacy in your relationship.

  • Start small and ask yourself what you would like more of; maybe you want to start with increasing physical intimacy, not through touch but physical presence, eye contact, and awareness. Maybe the two of you aren’t spending much time together; ask yourself how you can increase time together. In many relationships, the less time you are together, the further apart you grow, making it difficult to connect when you are together, again we’re looking at creating intention and talking about it together as a couple.
  • As you start intentionally creating more physical intimacy in your relationship, please pay attention to how you feel, what you are thinking, and how you are showing up, be curious about it. If you’re feeling withdrawn or defensive, ask yourself why. If you don’t know what to talk about, refer back to previous articles, like creating a connection in your marriage and planning things to talk about. Start small, plan short times together if you haven’t been spending intentional time together. Many of my clients start implementing a weekly huddle; you can read about the relationship huddle here.
  • Then experiment with other forms of physical intimacy and touch, continue to explore what happens for you as you practice. Think about these exercises like learning how to weight train and build muscle, but you are building your mind, mental fitness. Try something and see what results you get; if you like the results build on your practice.
  • When it comes to sex, it will be the same; start introducing something different; it could be as simple as exploring how you might want to make suggestions to make the time more pleasurable for yourself. Notice how you think, feel and act while stepping into a bit of empowerment and discomfort; use it to learn and grow instead of seeing how it might appear not to be working.

Learn how to take ownership over what you want and start creating it, remembering that change takes time, one uncomfortable step at a time.

People often ask me why they can’t have the relationship they had when they were dating, and that’s a great question; let’s look at it for a moment. I want you to go back and think about times when you’ve “fallen in love” with someone. Remember how you were willing to do things with them that you might not consider doing with someone else, all because you were “in love.” What often happens when we meet someone and “fall for them” is letting go of our normal relationship boundaries. We let people into our space and “let our guard down” for the sake of love, passionate connection, and the magical moment. The natural progression is for our personal boundaries to snap back into place. When they do, these personal boundaries will keep us from expanding in our love relationship unless we intentionally do the work of stretching them. The work of stretching them is the culmination of all of the things we talked about over this intimacy series.

Intimate relationships are an intimate mixture of two humans with two different sets of relationship boundaries. To grow more intimately connected, work and discomfort are required; if we choose to avoid the hard work, we choose to stay where we are in our relationship. We choose to have a stagnant relationship where we don’t explore ourselves, our discomforts, and our boundaries. Doing the uncomfortable work of growing together creates a dynamic, intimate relationship that keeps growing, that each couple contributes themselves to, looking forward to what tomorrow might bring.

I hope that as you have worked through this series with me, you have been exploring the first four forms of creating intimacy in your relationship. If you have been exploring emotional, mental, spiritual, and experiential intimacy, I imagine you have been experiencing some interesting emotions along the way; it’s even possible that some of those emotions have stopped your progress in creating a more intimate connection with your partner. If this is the case, I want to encourage you to keep moving forward, to look at the steps you have taken as progress, not a failure, and to use what you have done as a way to continue learning about yourself and your partner.

As we start uncovering layers of ourselves and learn more about who we have been in the past when we put ourselves out there, it feels uncomfortable, and our brains want to bring us back to our comfort zone. This isn’t a problem; it’s doing what it has been conditioned to do; the important thing for you is to recognize this pattern and reassure yourself that nothing has gone wrong, that you aren’t in danger, and that you are actually taking these steps to grow and learn. Over time you will build self-confidence brick by brick and see the progress you have made. Remember and remind yourself that you have your own best interest in mind, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

If this series has been helpful for you and your desire to increase intimacy in your relationship, I’d love to hear from you; I’d love to hear how it is helping you and what you might be running up against that might have you holding back from taking future steps forward.

Through this series, I have found a couple of other topics that I would like to explore with you, so please come back over the next couple of weeks as I continue to dig into physical intimacy and affection. Together let’s build relationships that we are proud of, proud because we did the bold work of stepping into what we want to create with our partners.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

How To Increase Experiential Intimacy In Your Marriage

How To Increase Experiential Intimacy In Your Marriage | Relationship Coaching

Welcome to week five of our deep dive into learning what relationship intimacy is and how to create more of it in your closest relationship. If you are joining for the first time with this post, I want to encourage you to go back to the initial post about what relationship intimacy is and discover the different ways to start connecting differently with your partner and experience how these start to increase the breadth and depth of intimacy with your partner. We started with the article on Three Ways To Increase Spiritual Intimacy. Then we talked about How To Increase Mental Intimacy. Then we dug into emotional intimacy; you can check that article out here: What Is Emotional Intimacy and How To Get More of it in Your Relationship.

This week we are talking about my favorite form of connecting with others because I absolutely LOVE creating experiences in my life. When I share these experiences with others, it seems to increase the experiential enjoyment triple-fold. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my solo experiences. Still, when I get to share an experience with others, it gives me someone else to talk to about the experience, someone else who experienced it in a whole different way which enriches my experience.

To start learning how to increase experiential intimacy in your relationship let’s start with a definition of what experiential intimacy even is.

Starting with this definition of intimacy: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

Then looking at the definition of experience: which is a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something as in an event or occurrance.

Combining those two definitions gives us a definition of experiential intimacy being encountering or undergoing something together, in close union; creating an intimate mixture through a personal encounter with your partner.

Why is creating experiences together important in creating overall intimacy?

First, I want to make it clear that having things that you do on your own or with other people, without your partner’s participation, is very important. I wrote this article that you might want to read about How To Create Great Connection In Your Marriage and in it, I talk about creating a list of different ways you crave connection. Then finding people who are great matches for those connections, your partner will not be the one to fulfill all of your connection desires and that’s important, as well as freeing, to know. BUT, it’s also important to know that finding new ways to connect with your partner and being curious about what those ways might be will be another avenue to relationship growth.

I often hear my clients talk about how their partner doesn’t like helping in the kitchen or doesn’t like doing the types of things they like doing, and I like to challenge them to question these thoughts. These types of thoughts keep us stuck in blame, resentment, and avoidance. I like to ask questions around these thoughts and start to poke holes in them, questions like, how might your husband enjoy helping in the kitchen or what are the sorts of things you have done with your partner in the past that either of you might not have fully enjoyed but gladly participated in because it meant spending time with the other? When we have thoughts that close us down from what we want, it’s always helpful to look at how we might be creating evidence that our thought is true.

How to increase experiential intimacy in your relationship.

By this point in the series, you’re probably noticing a repeating theme and that repeating theme is intentionality. Asking yourself what you might try to increase your relationship’s mutual experiences, ask yourself how you could get participation by trying different approaches. Let me start with an approach that most likely won’t increase participation: “Well, I know you don’t like going for long walks with me, but would you like to go anyway?” Ask yourself how you might want to be invited along on an experience with your partner while also knowing that you have the full ability to say “No thank you.” and still feel love and maybe even come up with some compromise. I do not want to encourage you to do something you don’t want to do, but if you want to spend some time getting to know your partner, what about that thing might you want to enjoy participating in? In other words, how might you look differently at the invitation to do something with your partner when you think about your desire to pursue new experiences and connect with your partner. Could you look forward to the afterward part of spending time doing something they wanted to do, something you would never have wanted to do on your own, and see how the time spent was time well worth it when it comes to deepening your connection with your partner.

Besides being willing to spend time doing what your partner wants to do, what is it you want them to do with you and why? The why is what’s important here. Them spending time with you or not doesn’t have to mean that they love you or that they don’t love you; it can simply mean they aren’t interested. Can you be ok with that? From there, how might you generate some interest and willingness in your partner to do things with you? How might you invite them to help out in the kitchen or participate in activities you enjoy doing? Again, look at your approach and how it might be creating a tension that is creating resistance for them in their willingness to join you.

Let’s look at some examples of how you can create experiential intimacy.

  • My background was thirty years of coaching athletes to perform at a higher level, helping them break through limiting beliefs, so let’s go with the example of working out together or, even better, finding something to workout together for, like a competition or a race or an endurance event. Preparing together gives you the experience of helping each other out and supporting each other along the way. After the event is completed, you can look back and have shared memories of the experience.
  • Here’s one for those of you who think your partner doesn’t help out in the kitchen. Meals are a daily event; even though many of your weekday meals might not be much of an event, they are still a process where both can participate and enjoy each other’s company. Maybe it’s sharing duties with one partner creating the main meal and the other partner cleaning up or doing the other dinner necessities like preparing the table, prepping the beverages, cleaning up as you go along. If you think that your partner isn’t interested in participating, I would like you to challenge yourself to question why you think this thought. Could it be possible that he fears doing it “right”? How might you help show him how you would like the table set or how you would like the beverage served, or how could you be ok with him doing it his way and not judging it as wrong? Taking everyday tasks and finding ways to make them enjoyable is how we create deeper connections while working them into our everyday routine.
  • What about outdoor activities? How could you incorporate cooperation? Maybe one person decides what you will do and where you’ll go while the other person takes care of all of the other details, like any supplies you might need to have a comfortable experience?
  • What else do you enjoy doing, or are you interested in doing? Something you could start exploring with your partner? Short mini-vacations or day trips to local towns or cities you haven’t explored or camping or canoeing, perusing through a local museum or art show, the farmer’s market, discover something new and explore while learning more about each other.

Notice what thoughts come up for you around any suggestions and how you might be turning them into “no’s” and why. If your partner chooses to say yes and if while you are sharing the activity, you catch yourself thinking thoughts like “they’re bored,” or “they aren’t having any fun,” or “they aren’t participating.” Explore how you might express your thoughts and feelings, another way to explore deeper emotional intimacy and observe how you are judging them versus enjoying the experience. I love to ask myself how I can get out of his business and how can I enjoy this time together?

Creating experiences with your partner after a dry spell of being separate and not doing many activities together will take some planning, as I talked about in previous episodes; I want to encourage you to go back and listen to my post about Scheduling Time To Improve Your Relationship and start taking baby steps, use these steps to learn, not to close down and give up, and find out what it’s like to have your own back when it comes to creating the relationship you love.

If you want help with any of the material I shared today, I want to encourage you to reach out; I would love to help you find more ease around creating experiences with your partner.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.