What have you learned from the Mentors in your life, and from when you have mentored others? A mentor is a Teacher (of the TEACHER Archetype), yet the Mentor is a specific kind of a Teacher; one who imparts Wisdom, not just knowledge on a subject. So the Mentor is often paired archetypally as a TEACHER/MYSTIC character, such as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, or Dumbledore at Hogwarts.
This week I invite you to make a list of some of your primary Mentors. I encourage you to contemplate and/or journal about their influences on “the person you have become.”
I will share about just one of several key mentors from my life; I will call her Dr. T, or Bonnie. Bonnie was a philosophy professor at my undergraduate college. I first met her while I was a student in a class on Creative Studies. She was a guest professor that day who was to speak with us about the philosophy of creativity. I arrived a half hour early to our class that day (held in a lounge sort of area where we students often liked to ‘hang out’ even apart from classes there). Dr. T. was already there, too, sitting with a student who majored in art and who had brought a papier mache figure of a human being he had created in an art class that day.
“How the *x*x* did you do that!?”
These were the first words I ever heard uttered by Dr. T.
“I mean, I could never do that; how could YOU?”
She persisted. The student was stunned, as was I, at this encounter. Soon others arrived and the class began. Bonnie proceeded to explain her profound appreciation for the creative process this student had drawn upon to envision and then manifest his vision in an artistic form. From that day on I became fascinated with Dr. T. I took several philosophy classes with her and several Independent Study classes as well. I even came to mother-sit for Bonnie’s elderly mother for two or three years before I graduated and left Buffalo for Arizona.
Of many insightful lessons I learned from my Mentor, here are two:
Dr. T. took a nap every afternoon at her old-style, stone and oak Buffalo house. She slept in a small room on a single bed like a cot. One day she told me:
“Every day, I swim in the Ocean!”
I remember her telling me this one wintry Buffalo afternoon when I had arrived to mother-sit. I understood she was telling me that she dove into a deep contemplative state every day with her nap.
Another time she told me how when her son was young, one day while they were sitting under an oak tree in a park, she picked up an acorn and asked her son to hold it in his hand.
“There is God!,” Bonnie proclaimed.
From then on I understood why she had furnished her home completely with used oak furniture from Salvation Army. She loved the sturdy Oak Tree as a symbol of mature spiritual wisdom.
images are from pixabay.com
After I left for graduate school in Arizona, I touched base a few times with Dr. T., but sparingly. One time she told me she had started painting with oils in her retirement. Like Van Gogh, she told me, she painted with full tubes of paint instead of with brushes. A local gallery had held a showing of her works. To the end Bonnie expressed her passion as a spiritual Being fully and with gusto!
How the *x*x* did she do that? I have ever since emulated Dr. Bonnie’s integrity and drive to create, to thrive, to truly BE.
I invite YOUR Comments and Story!