We all need mentors. The good news is that mentors are everywhere.
Maya Angelou has been one of the people I would consider such a mentor. I have never met her, but her words hit home and cut through to a sense of goodness and belonging that we all need.
In her book, "Letter to My Daughter," she writes, :"I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters. You are Black and White, Jewish and Muslim, Asian, Spanish-speaking, Native American and Aleut. You are fat and thin and pretty and plain, gay and straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you all. Here is my offering to you."
This week's belonging reminder:
You can check out Maya Angelou's book, "Letter to My Daughter," by clicking "Look Inside," after following the Amazon link. You can read the entire short first chapter entitled "Home," within the preview. By the way, you don't need to a daughter or identify as female to benefit from the reading!
Here is Dr. Angelou with Oprah on "the best advice she's ever given." May Dr. Angelou's mentorship move you a smidge further toward knowing your own belonging.
This week's practice suggestions:
- If there is someone you would consider to be a mentor in your life, write about their attributes that make them a good mentor. For example, I would describe Maya Angelou as unconditionally loving, steadfast, warm, wise, and strong. Alternatively, you could write about the attributes you would give to your ideal mentor if you could create a mentor to be whomever you wanted them to be. Get as specific as possible, and imagine them in as much detail as you can. Then practice closing your eyes, and in your mind asking your mentor for advice with a specific situation.
- Pay attention this week to any unacknowledged mentors that might be in your life right now! It may come in the form of something a stranger says to you, an article you come across, or your own inner voice. Pay attention and allow yourself to be surprised!