I found my first mentor by accident. Like most people I had studied under plenty of teachers and professors, but no one like Louise Lebrun. I say it was an accident, because I thought I had signed up for a seminar on women in business. Instead I was confronted by a depth of content and an emotional intimacy that I had never experienced before. It was a unique combination of science, spirituality and self-empowerment. It was as though a shaman was practicing Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)
My mind was racing. I wanted to leave because it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I couldn’t discern any tools or strategies. Yet, something in my heart made me stay. It was soaking up energy and information that my mind couldn’t understand. By the end of the seminar I had experienced a personal breakthrough that would dramatically change the trajectory of my life.
I continued to take courses with Louise for several years. I dove deep into her work and her community and I became certified as a facilitator. It was all about my own personal transformation, I connected with an emotional freedom that healed my body and opened my heart.
However, there was one component of her work that intrigued me more than the others. She made frequent reference to Huna, a shamanistic Hawaiian spirituality. Something about that called to me and I found myself on a new trajectory; travelling to Hawaii and studying under a new mentor, a Kahuna named Laura Kealoha Yardley.
Something in me recognized Huna as an essential part of my life. People often ask me how I KNEW that this was for me. It’s an important question, because what they are really asking is, “How will I know when I find my mentor?” The answer to that question is always subjective, but the first time I met Laura, when she told me about Huna, it felt like coming home.
At the time I felt like I could have stayed under Laura’s wing forever, but eventually she did something surprising, she pushed me out of the nest. Laura felt I was ready and she wanted me to teach and share the wisdom of Huna on my own.
Great mentors should guide you to your own inner compass so that you can become your own teacher and guide. They don’t want to keep you as a follower, they want to empower you to find your own way.
I’ve had many mentors. Sometimes we are lucky enough to share our path with a great teacher, and in a sense that is all that a mentor needs to be. When everything that is needed has been received, we part ways to make space for others.
How do you choose a mentor? First and foremost, let your heart be your guide. Follow feelings like curiosity, wonder, and awe. Don’t be intimated by those feelings, they don’t imply a lack on your part, only a resonance. Stay with your mentor as long as you are learning and growing. Trust that you will know how much focus to give them at different times in your life, and don’t be hard on yourself when you change focus and pursue new passions.
Most importantly, remember that this is your journey and you are going to live it in a way that is completely unique to you. Your collection of influences and mentors will inform your own perspective on the world, and will eventually be your gift to others.