Our Mentors are the people in our lives who have helped shape our beliefs and informed the many different ways that we think, whether we feel the influence was positive or negative.
THE EFFORT: Create a list of the names of the people you’ve encountered in your life who have influenced your thinking in some way, big or small.
CONSIDERATIONS: Begin with your earliest memories and experiences. If you can’t remember or don’t want to use a name, a brief description of the person works just fine. Spend the amount of time it takes to lead you through your pre-teen years without having to stop and think to add more. Read back through the list, adding an M (for Mentor) next to the name of each person who had a significant influence on your thinking, whether the experience was positive or negative.
OUR PARENTS: Whether they are present in our lives or not, our parents are ALWAYS mentors because even their absence will affect the way we hold our thoughts. When considering your Mentors, pause and ask yourself what you learned from each situation. Spend time acknowledging that these are the experiences that determine how you operate in life, regardless of how that looks to the outside world. Our egos are largely supported and/or damaged by the people we encounter, despite the nature of the experience. Whether it is the unconditional love of a cherished grandparent or the unwanted attention of an abuser, these people have each taught you something valuable that relates to your soul’s purpose, and affects your thought patterns, creating your beliefs and ‘truths’.
PURSUE this process with each additional decade, taking care to consider each moment that your thinking changed course (for increased insight, ask yourself who else was there, what time of year, environmental conditions, etc?).
GUIDANCE Determine that you are looking with a primarily objective eye, rather than diving into any emotion that may be attached to the situation. This will not only move the exercise along, but will ensure that the emotion isn’t able to “grab” you in the same way it may have in the past. The sum of these experiences make up your personal perspective and will always be unique to you alone. If we can work to recognize and accept each of these experiences as a necessary part of developing our ego, we can start to honor the ones that present with feelings of shame, and instead welcome them as an active and necessary part of our being. When we embrace the things that have shaped us, our sense of Wholeness becomes more present, our fears begin to fall away, and our intentions become more grounded.
This exercise can be continued throughout your life. Once you start to categorize your people and your experiences it becomes easy to do on the fly. You will likely find yourself identifying the people you meet this way from here forward even if/when you no longer commit your Mentor List to paper
ROOT IT OUT
A journaling/list-making habit is a beneficial companion for this practice. Feel free to note challenges, frustrations, successes, breakthroughs and interesting thoughts in the time between ORM Efforts. You will likely enjoy the opportunity to reflect on your own musings at a later date. If writing is difficult for you, feel free to voice record your thoughts.
You can review your own interpretations for an honest refreshing perspective on your deep and personal root system.