Archive for the 'mentor' Category

29
Mar
14

role models

role modelsWho’s your role model?

Everyone needs or has a role model, right?  Someone, whether they were aware of it or not, that they looked up to through the years as an example to follow.  We might find that we follow in their footsteps only to discover later that we do cannot fill their shoes or even want to.  But many times, there is that one person who shines the light on a path which teaches anyone how to live a life well.  For me, that is my grandmother.

My grandmother is 90 years old.  She still lives on her own in her own apartment.  The building belongs to senior living, so there is support in case she has an emergency.  The management holds different activities for the residents including bingo, potlucks and movies.  Her apartment overlooks a beautiful garden and has lots of natural light.  Recently, they had a power outage and she had to stay with my aunt for a night.  One night was too much.  She was looking forward to going back to her place and doing her own thing.

When we visited her today, she took us on a tour of her building and shared about her adventures.  She still has adventures, even at her age.  Perhaps they may not seem exciting to others, but because of her perspective on life, she continues to see every day as a chance for fun and growth; not taking any moment for granted.  I don’t believe that she stresses about anything.  She takes each day at a time.

I hope I can have her vision for life; to see the extraordinary in the ordinary and remain active intellectually, socially and physically as long as my body will allow.  There are all kinds of role models in life, but it is usually those who quietly and simply live their lives filled with love, kindness and joy who provide an example without even knowing it.

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02
Feb
14

cloudy with a chance of sunshine

cloudy with a chance of sunshine“Don’t rain on my parade!”  This is good advice as I found out today.

My day was going on swimmingly and then I got an email that brought a stormy cloud.  It was of a critical nature, but not very constructive.  I’ve received these notes before and have learned how to deal with them.  For some reason though, today I found myself more sensitive than usual and allowed the message’s venom to find its way into my heart.

Criticism can be very good, if it is constructive.  However, if general and lazy, it can be most destructive and discouraging.  Having just written a blog about mentoring, I confess that I have longed to find another mentor during this season of my life; one who will give me healthy feedback and advice.  I’ve reached out in many directions and have not found reciprocation.  I have many wonderful friends and do not down play the efforts of many who have sincerely wished to assist me, but I have failed to find that one person who has the time and energy to fully invest in my life’s goals in a mentoring role.

As a result, I felt the sting of this email more keenly as it reminded me of this unfulfilled desire.  Thankfully, my husband was there to help me combat my downward spiral by giving me perspective.  First he reminded me that I have the choice how to receive criticism and not put value in those who give it without careful thought or reflection.  Then he proceeded to encourage me to see that though I have not had one continuous mentor, I have had different people who have contributed to my journey throughout this season of my life.  So though it might not have come in the form I expected or wanted, I still received what I needed to arrive at this place – which is a good place, I might add.

No one has the capability to rain on our parade unless we allow them.  At times when it may seem cloudy, we may need to look a little harder for the sunshine, seeking in unexpected places, but knowing that it is always there.

01
Feb
14

accentuate the positive

accentuate the positiveWhere are our role models for girls and women?  Look in the mirror – you’re it!

I feel strongly about women mentoring other women.  Having strong women in my life, especially during pivotal times, has made all the difference.  This is most advantageous in the workplace, but also overlaps with our personal lives because we women do it all- or at least try.  Everyone can be a mentor and be mentored.  It isn’t a formal thing, it can be something as simple as intentionally encouraging a younger woman in your life or looking to a woman with more experience for advice.  The truth is, we’re not alone and there is nothing that we have or will go through that another woman at some point in time has not already conquered.

There are good role models and not so good role models in the media.  See the following link for a year’s review of the good, bad and sad if you need a reminder of what we’re up against.  http://www.upworthy.com/a-glimpse-at-how-the-media-treated-women-this-year-is-a-look-at-way-too-many-cringe-worthy-moments-aa3-5c-2?c=reccon1

However, I have hope because organizations like http://therepresentationproject.org/ exist and there is a conscious awareness of the need for positive examples.  What we have to remember is that those who will have the most impact on our daily lives are those near to us and within reach.  We need not look to the billboard, television or films to find the women to emulate – though we can find inspiration from some of them.  Strong and amazing women are all around us; quietly and courageously living their lives and making a difference just by being themselves.  These are the women to uphold.  And there is always someone looking to you for an example – we have more influence than we realize.

We have the power to conquer the negative images out there.  We’re surrounded by other positive images everyday – our teachers, friends, coworkers, family.  And we can also find another one if we’d only see the truth when we look in the mirror.