Friday, December 14, 2012

#REVERB12 (DAY 14): What was the most important thing you learned in 2012?: BEING a MENTOR is a JOURNEY

MENTORING WAS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED! I needed to get rid of some old ideas first. I needed to be challenged, experience breakdowns, and go for a breakthrough! (Art by Hallelujah Truth)

#REVERB12 (Day 14) PROMPT: What was the most important thing you learned in 2012? How does this learning shape the path going forward?

I learned about MENTORING. Each year now, when I order my annual calendar, I personalize it. On the front cover is printed "Hallelujah Truth" and underneath it a specially selected word to direct me in the upcoming year.

For 2012, I reached out and grabbed the word, MENTOR! For 2012, I would be one! And I have learned all kinds of lessons in relationship to that word in the past year!

First of all, I had sort of a hippy dippy idealistic mentality about my MENTORING goals! I would engage people in their own creativity, just as I am deeply involved in mine. And because I have been focusing with great intensity on the creative process, its obstructions and saboteurs, I would know how to lead others away from their obstacles and demons. Once friends, students and even my spouse were all actively engaged in pursuing their dreams, all of us would experience an abundance of joy resulting in contagious good will. Soon all of the world would be holding hands, singing songs, as we fulfilled ourselves through our labors of imaginative love!

HA HA HO HO HO, I had lessons to learn...

What is a MENTOR? And just what is a MENTOR'S ROLE? At the beginning of 2012, I didn't have this mentoring-thing clearly defined. As the year progressed, I discovered slowly that I had unexpressed ideas of GLORY in playing the role of a MENTOR.  

I figured a MENTOR was something close to a WISE WOMAN, a SAGE, or a TRIBAL LEADER. As the months progressed, I became clearer about my undisclosed inner definition of MENTOR as I experienced a certain disappointment in not being recognized as one by the "mentees" I was serving. 

I appreciate how the grandiose ambition of striving to be a MENTOR has resulted in breakdowns for me because breakdowns are opportunities for breakthroughs! YES!

Here are some of the epiphanies I collected in my 2012 MENTOR QUEST:

1) LEADING MEANS LISTENING. Helping someone find a sustainable creative path requires the MENTOR to have really big ears in order to help the "MENTEE" hear herself better. 

2) THE REWARD IS INTANGIBLE. Unless accepting payment for MENTORING, the holy act of "guiding" someone through her doubts and disappointments while giving birth to creative acts is the reward itself. 

3) THE CONNECTION IS EPHEMERAL. Once a MENTEE has attained confidence in her own creative process, there is "a waking and a forgetting" of the MENTOR who guided.  The mentorship is over and the tie is severed. Independence is achieved.

4) BEING A TEACHER DOES NOT EQUAL BEING A MENTOR. A classroom teacher organizes, sets time limits, and must assume an authoritative role in order for learning to take place. A MENTOR combines experience with insight while listening with curiosity. Both the MENTOR and MENTEE are their own authorities.
BIRTH OF A MENTOR. Becoming what we envision for ourselves takes time, patience, experience, and insight. Most of all, it requires that we lean into ourselves and listen and understand what we have learned. By cultivating ourselves on the JOURNEY is the way we connect with others in a mentoring relationship. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)

Without going into detail how these epiphanies were learned, I can say my foray into MENTORING gave me a "beating." Yes, my feelings got hurt. I felt a certain "craziness" for thinking I could assume the role of a MENTOR. Then...

I got to thinking. I got to thinking that this "beating" was a chance to have a breakthrough about leadership! I know so much more now at the end of the year for having taken on this MENTOR QUEST. I have been humbled along my journey and am in a far better place to MENTOR now than I was a year ago.

What will 2013 bring regarding MENTORING? I don't know yet. 

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! What important thing have you learned this year? What is your understanding of MENTORSHIP? SOUL BLOG with me and share your ideas!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: As always, thanks to Kat at "I Saw You Dancing," for managing #REVERB12

1 comment:

  1. Your struggle between your expectations for the mentoring experience and what you learned and then opened to is a real discovery. How lucky!
    This year I learned that I can accomplish a daring goal (my hole dig again!...broken record)with the confidence to proceed and discover what to do along the way. Failure remained a possibility, but having that occur would not be daunting, so I was free to go for it.