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Home / Articles / Arts & Entertainment / Celebrities /  Moms and Offspring – Arrows of Creation
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Friday, May 5,2023

Moms and Offspring – Arrows of Creation

An Interview with Mother and Daughter Artists Stephanie and Alexandra Nason

By Liz Sterling  
I live in a mid-rise building.

There are eight stories in all, and I’m on the ground floor. I get to see the comings and goings of everyone who lives here, and often, by the front door or in the parking lot, neighbors will meet other neighbors. About eight months ago, I met Stephanie. We clicked, and have become good friends since our initial meeting.

Throughout the year, as the holidays came and went, so did our sons and daughters who were visiting from other parts of the country. Stephanie and I each have a son and a daughter. Our sons are the younger ones and our daughters are the older siblings, who coincidentally, were born five days apart.

We have hosted each other’s children at our apartments for conversation, and have even gone out for dinner together. This has fostered an interest in each other’s family dramas, if you will, and generated ongoing good wishes, which also fly back and forth from coast to coast.

I learned early in my relationship with Stephanie that her daughter, Alexandra, was an artist. Her bold paintings are hung with pride throughout my upstairs neighbor’s home, and I have marveled, on more than one occasion, at Alexandra’s unique and creative painting style. But it was an Instagram reel that got me excited and inspired to write this feature story.

Since May is the month of Mother’s Day, I decided to interview both Stephanie and her daughter Alexandra to illustrate the joy in seeing our offspring succeed in the world. Before proceeding though, I considered how to make this article relevant for every reader. So bear in mind, if you do not have any offspring, you are one. Take a moment to think about yourself as the offspring, for what you have brought forth into the world. Honor yourself, as having been birthed by your mother to become your most valuable and expressive self. Take another moment, if you wish, to acknowledge the undeniable bond that makes this a truly umbilicalworthy relationship. (Hear the sound of hands clapping).

Alexandra Nason is a 35-year-old who proclaims, “I’m an artist and designer, and I feel passionate about public art and empowering community through creativity. Currently, I’m the Project Director at Urban ArtWorks, a Seattle-based nonprofit whose mission is to engage youth, artists and communities in the creation of public art that inspires connections and honors their voices. We make all kinds of community-based murals around the Greater Seattle region, and we also provide youth mentorship programs in the arts.”

“It’s really inspiring,” she continues, “to see joy come to life through people when they engage with their creativity and take part in something larger than themselves. It’s also fun to lose yourself for a little while in a collective effort like muralmaking, where you come out with new connections, a fresh perspective, and a piece of artwork that has a lasting impact.”

I hope you enjoy the sampling of artwork on our Happy Herald cover and on the pages of this story.

Stephanie (Mom) and Alexandra (daughter/artist) met with me on Zoom for this article. None of us envisioned how powerful a meeting it would be! Witnessing mom and daughter, recognizing and hearing how each helped build the bonds of their relationship had an enormous impact on me. Mom’s encouragement toward Alexandra was palpable. I was overwhelmed with emotion, experiencing that when daughters and mothers express their admiration and mutual support for each other, it can have life-changing effects. Stephanie and Alexandra both expressed that they gained so much from the experience of meeting together and experiencing their relationship through my eyes as well – an unexpected gift for all of us.

Just before the interview, I brought up on my screen, Kahlil Gibran’s well-known essay/poem “On Children” from his book, “The Prophet.”

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the Infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

When I asked about the poem, which mom read aloud at the beginning of our Zoom interview, this is how each responded. Alexandra reflected by saying, “Children are their own human beings and yes, they are yours, but they are also a living, breathing separate entity helping to perpetuate life.” She then paused for a brief moment and added, “Mom, I will always be your child.”

Stephanie responded by saying, “When I was pregnant with Alexandra, my first child, I was in charge – but the baby emerged, and that was my first understanding that I had created a life separate from my own. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t get to decide everything anymore. This baby is going to sleep when she wants to sleep and be hungry when she’s hungry. It was big for me.’”

We established the separateness and connectedness of the parent/child relationship, and then Alexandra spoke about being supported by her parents in pursuit of her artistic abilities. “I am so grateful for that,” she reflected. “There were times I didn’t feel confident in my abilities and had some rough times, and I went away from art, but I came back to it, and it lights me up and brings me joy. I think that’s relevant to anyone – if you are feeling good in life, you are more apt to engage with what brings you joy, and it’s a cycle that feeds on itself in a beautiful way. That’s what life is — it ebbs and flows. I’m now in the practice of making art and here I am in Seattle, far away from my family, but when I think about myself as the arrow in the poem, I flew far away, and mom always encouraged me. Mom stays connected by sending daily quotes from inspirational calendars. According to the poem, we both did our jobs well.”

It wasn’t always easy for Alexandra. Like most people, she had times of doubt and fear, but she used that time to be an adventurer and to travel. Now, she says, “I’m in ‘joy drive.’ I wake up inspired and I know creativity is my path.”

“I did learn lessons during the times of uncertainty and doubt about my drive and passion. I had to let go of perfection, and from hindsight, I’d say to anyone struggling, just put your work out there.

“First and foremost, take care of yourself. Feed your mind, body and soul by getting proper sleep, nutrition and self-care including self-awareness, yoga, meditation, and therapy when appropriate. I encourage people to take care of their energy too. When you consider what you are consuming, that is part of what you are bringing out to the world. We have to learn our lessons and go through the stuff we go through. We all have a path, so when I was in the depths of my own journey, I was aware I had to go through it – shit stuff is going to happen, and a lot can come out of those times too. My prescription for anyone, and especially artists, is deliver what you can from wherever you are at the moment.”

Mom chimed in and spoke about the time that Alexander took a trip around the world for 11 months when she was in an in-between state of unknowing. She shared that, “Alexandra started drawing pictures of temples in Thailand, which were amazing, and that’s when the text notes started every night, and that’s when she was in the Outback of Australia, and those text notes, which do continue today, eight years later, kept us and keep us connected.” Mom went on, “I remember saying, this is the trip that will be the thing in your life, Alexandra, that keeps on giving. It’s like a lot of bows in your quiver,” I told her. “It was a very brave thing to do, and it has proved to continue delivering many gifts to her.”

Alexandra replied to her mom. “So glad you brought that up. I was very anxious when I came back, and on paper I looked great, but I was deeply unhappy, so I quit life and went home to live with mom. I also went on Birthright (free trips to Israel for the offspring of Jewish mothers, for children under the age of 27) and I met great friends and learned so much. Even though I thought I should be at another place in my life, I realized that my travels led me to meet great people where lots of synchronicities happened, which planted the seed for believing I am in conversation with the universe. I started seeing life from a whole other perceptive, and from there my art flowered, and the magic in my life began.”

Mom and daughter both had the awareness that everything is happening for us and that our arrows are poised to fly out in the world. Each of us is here to live our life, sometimes through tough stuff. Mom Stephanie says love them unconditionally and let them find their own way. Thank you Stephanie and Alexandra. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Liz Sterling is a writer, coach, teacher, broadcaster, advice columnist and inspirational public speaker. Meet her at:

Alexandra’s Wisdom For All

How to Tap Into Your Own


1. Take Care of Yourself

2. Keep Your Mind Clear

3. Listen to Your Intuition and Curiosity

4. Trust Where You Are

5. Take One Step at a Time

6. You Will Attract What You Desire so Focus on What You Want

7. We All Have Limitless Possibilities and Unlimited Potential.

To view more of Alexandra’s art and work:

• Instagram: @alexandranason




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