Are you in the midst of a life transition? Considering a career shift or a lifestyle change? Do you need some support as you discern your heart's true desire? Maybe a mentor would be a useful resource for you.
I have had the great privilege of a wonderful mentor in my life for almost thirty years. Jewel Graham was initially my undergraduate college advisor, and we have stayed connected over the years, across many miles, beyond retirement, health crises and career changes.
Jewel has been a consistent source of humor, warmth, inspiration, stories and wise counsel for my entire adult life. She has written letters of recommendation, guided me through difficult decisions, and remained a loyal, loving teacher and friend.
Sometimes mentoring happens in a very formal institutionalized way, between teacher and student, seasoned professional and rookie, supervisor and employee, sponsor and sponsee, clergy and congregant. Other times it occurs more organically or informally.
Now that I have begun to mentor others, I am mindful of the awesome responsibility and care that is required. When I lead mentoring groups or meet with people one-on-one, I am acutely aware of people's longing for trustworthy mentors.
The mentor is an inspiring blend of muse, advisor, witness, teacher, friend and coach.
People need to feel safe, understood and respected, and the mentor needs to be both confident and humble at the same time. This is an ongoing process that requires the mentor to be attending to her own inner life in order to be fully present and available as a safe resource for others.
Jewel Graham set the mentor bar extremely high for me; I will do all that I can to follow her example.
I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travellers to go
–from "Friends" by Elton John
Who have been the mentors in your life? Who is accompanying you on your life journey right now?