Your Personal Council Awaits
We all know the importance of having a mentor or mentors in life and professional environments. The style and type of mentor is generally chosen for professional reasons. Do you have any now? What are they like? Let’s discuss mentors for a bit here. The specific instances may not apply to your personal life, but the essence of mentorship is quite helpful to explore.
Learning how to ask the right questions, especially in serving a purpose, is one of the keys to success. Mentors help to guide one in the direction of their best interests for personal and professional benefit. Knowing more about leadership allows one to grow in their ability to lead both self and others. I prefer a mentor as a master teacher, a confidant; one who stretches my ability to conceive of ways to accomplish goals with increasing ethical foundations that can be shared with others in the process.
I prefer a mentor that has depth, is able to share insights into human dynamics and problem solving while asking me to consider the same. Because of my awareness of psychospiritual mechanisms, I also prefer a mentor who has at least an open mind and shares their own personal discoveries in the moment, creating opportunity for discussion and reflection. A mentor leads you to ask better questions about yourself and the world around you.
A mentor shares a variety of ways to ask pertinent questions that reveal opportunities to garner support and strength in partnering, moving groups toward achievement and excellence in performance. Mentors have contributed greatly to my life and well-being, increasing my sense of fulfillment and connectedness to life in general.
Knowing that mentors are a great benefit, we don’t always have access to them when we most need them. So how can you have access when you need their guidance? This next exercise is designed to help you create your own council of mentors. Acquiring these mentors for this purpose is quite easy. Just imagine them in your head, using your visualization to create the scenery. They can be living or dead because in your imagination there are no boundaries.
Pick a mentor/hero/inspiration for each of the twelve areas of your chart
Twelve Views of your Council and their Characteristics:
1. Being – a strong natural presence, with solid ethics, morals, and values.
2. Having – shows others the gifts life can offer by example.
3. Local Learning – demonstrated learning in immediate environment.
4. Root/Home – firmly rooted in their center, confident and serene.
5. Personal Expression – achieved their dream with natural passion.
6. Service/Sacrifice/Self-Transformation – served humanity with their life.
7. Intimate Others/Close Friend/Family – you honor and respect.
8. Partnership Results – demonstrated success through collaboration.
9. Higher Learning – pioneered education, discipline, or mentorship.
10. Work – success through applying abilities, skills and talents.
11. Public Expression – impacted the lives of many through their public life.
12. Mystery – successful through synchronistic or serendipitous events.
Two formats are provided for recording your inquiries and results. The first is an in-depth view of your personal responsibility based on self-knowledge and your willingness to accept constructive advice. The second is event or situation specific, allowing you to explore the choices for action. Take time to journal at the end of the exercise.
Long Format: Ask each to tell you your worst (personal weaknesses), your best (personal strengths), and how you can improve your skills from their point of view. This is an extremely powerful tool. It can offer a tremendous gift if you are willing to review the information openly, allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the comfort of your own private space. This is particularly nice if you like to keep your inner processing and thoughts private. The council already knows you deeply and can reflect many things that your normal processing might have missed. There is no time limit to the meeting. Make sure to journal about the process.
Short Format: Pick a few mentors relative to the specific area you need help and ask each to give their view of how you can perform in a specific situation, problem, event, opportunity, etc. Reflect on the information each gives you, like using conversational clarifiers or a reflection of what you understood. This allows you to completely relax without having to think about taking notes. It also helps in the journaling process afterward, which must be done in order for the process to have maximum effect. Journal afterward.
Once a week or when you are in need of counsel, call the twelve together in your mind and ask for their advice. You can construct a collage of pictures in order to visualize them more easily. It is important to make this meeting special, giving yourself time alone and uninterrupted. Ritualize the occasion (incense, candles, special garment, whatever will mark the process as being set apart from the routine of your life) Praise your mentors for their hero-hood, and thank them all for their past service, and in advance for what you are about to receive. Anticipation of phenomenal results adds to the experience. Begin by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths to relax and prepare. All you are doing is having a conversation that is focused on you.
If you are uncomfortable or overwhelmed with such a large council, just create what is comfortable to you. The actual number of mentors is totally up to you. The point is that you make the attempt to create your council and work with it until you are comfortable in knowing it is available. This experiment can transcend your current cache of direct experience. Boundaries can disappear between worlds, physical and non-physical, if you let them. The four components: ask, believe, allow and receive.