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The Mentor

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I write about process and mindfulness because it helps me to see my own self more clearly. I write because for me, it’s like air. I feel more alive when I’m doing it. It’s bliss. Even when it’s not, it is. I share my writing, not because I know the “right” way to do it (life, parenting, relationships), but that through my exploration you too may find your light. Perhaps reflected in these words. Perhaps because you see yourself and feel the relief of knowing you’re not alone. Perhaps by pushing against or rejecting them, because they don’t align with what feels true to you.

We learn as much about ourselves from what we don’t love (like) as what we do love.

I see myself as a guide of sorts. On a path, not to my yes, but to yours. I guess in this way, we are all guiding each other. How freaking beautiful is that?

I believe each of us has a wise, old (or young) mentor inside of us, there to support, guide, and love us no matter what. That’s what wholeness is. You get love, no matter what. I’ve been imagining my mentor as an ancient form of myself, with long gray hair and a warm inviting smile, until this very moment, when I became aware of another subtle part of me, young and innocent whispering, “Let me lead.”

Yes! This is why I write about process. To keep myself in this magical realm where I can be in touch with all these parts of myself. This young part, she has energy and light and such enthusiasm for a life lived in fun and play and laughter and a touch of mischief.

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This is going to be a good time. And perhaps there will be some resistance to turn over the reigns. I don’t know, and I’m excited to find out. I’m happy for the reminder to pay attention to who and what I am allowing to lead. My therapist once talked about this idea in terms of family and relationships. Sometimes I’ll lead. Sometimes my partner will lead. Sometimes my kids will take the helm. There is such relief in not always having to be the driver (and yes, with a son just learning to drive, I know it’s kind of terrifying sometimes too). I’ll keep you posted.

I wonder, “Who is the mentor that lives in you?”

Cheri Huber writes in The Fear Book about becoming a mentor to ourselves. “If we can become for ourselves the mentor we always wished we had, then everything in life becomes an exciting adventure.” As with anything we want to get good at, it takes practice. Same thing in building a relationship with the mentor. Love letters is the practice I have cultivated for myself. Here are a couple other ways:

With every fearful thought that arises, take a few minutes to check in with the mentor and write down what the mentor might say. Just a side note: the mentor does NOT lecture or say I told you so. The mentor is an energy of unwavering, unconditional, loving kindness.

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Another fun way to check in with the mentor is recording and listening. Next time you find yourself in a funky way, grab your phone and give yourself two or three minutes to say whatever it is you need to get out. Listen (to the recording). Then, give the mentor a turn to record a response. As the mentor repeat your experience (the one you have just heard back to yourself. Start with yes or I hear… (free of judgement, social commentary or advice). After that, see what flows next and pay close attention to how it feels. If you feel relief, you have connected with the mentor. If you feel worse, there is likely some conditioning (suggesting you need to be fixed or changed) happening. That’s ok. Keep practicing.

Today I give you permission to just be. Whether you are following what you love or exploring something you hate. It’s all good.

I’d love to hear about your experience. What happens when you try this exercise? Do you have a mentor? How do you stay connected?

Xo

P.S. In case you are interested – I love this book!

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