MENTORING A DEEPER INQUIRY
Just what is mentoring and why might it be something you would consider? Mentoring, more than counseling, coaching or therapy, is difficult to explicitly define. It is dynamically interpretive, and therein lies it's power and creativity - as well as an edge which requires impeccable communication and trust between both the roles of "mentor" and "mentee".
"Mentoring is an important adult relationship since it creates a legitimate and special space where people can take chances by trying to be authentic about, and find meaning within their real-life professional experience".
- D. Doyon
"Mentoring involves primarily listening with empathy, sharing experience, usually mutually, professional friendship, developing insight through reflection, being a sounding board, encouraging"
- David Clutterbuck
"The purpose of mentoring is always to help the mentee to change something - to improve their performance, to develop their leadership qualities, to develop their partnership skills, to realize their vision, or whatever. This movement from where they are; "here", to where they want to be "there"
- Mike Turner
I have personally benefited over the last 25 years from receiving mentoring; from mentors that were accidental and some that were formally arranged. What I want to make clear is that as a mentor, I am in a service role to whomever I am sitting and engaging with in that relationship. I do not have answers to extoll; nor do I assume that any model, technique, idea or concept that comes up in our time together is "the" solution. What I do intend each and every time we sit before each other, is to bring my full attention, my full creativity, my deepest listening, intuition and experience into focus to collaboratively explore the discussion at hand and to ground any realizations, understandings or shifts in paradigm or personhood into the soft belly of nature. Underneath our intellect, our words, our deepest emotions; underneath our very feet, and always before our eyes, is nature; the most perfect, still mirror that provides us with a pristine reflection of our true selves and the origins of our joys and discomforts inherent in the human journey.
My goal with each person is to support them in discovering, practicing and bringing healing to the value of their own intuitive, creative passion for mitigating the challenges in ourselves, our relationships and the communities and greater world around us. Together we will examine from all sides what has brought you into the "dojo" to confront.
A dojo is a miniature cosmos where we make contact with ourselves - our fears, anxieties, reactions, and habits. It is an arena of confined conflict where we confront an opponent who is not an opponent but rather a partner engaged in helping us understand ourselves more fully.
I like what the image of a martial arts "dojo" suggests. I think it's appropriate for the mindset when entering into this kind of process. It requires dedication, discipline, adherence to the established tenets of what will make the dojo safe, respectful, powerful and meaningful. An accomplished martial artist could tell you that once a certain level of mastery of form and experience has been attained, the expression of the technique becomes a form of art. The embodied master turns the forms and techniques into an exquisite and efficient display of subconscious choice-making in each and every expression of physical contact unique and identifiable to that individual; much in the same way an accomplished jazz musician seemingly is an extension of their instrument, able to effortlessly move with the music in their own creative interpretation in the moment. So too, it is my intent to bring this same concept of mastery to the you the practitioner; except this will be the development of your own technique with practices constructed through creative forms of body, mind and spirit. Through exploring the themes, beliefs and stories in your life, we can begin to explore all the creativity and imagination available to us through conversation, poem, music, art, movement, writing, observation, feelings, connection with nature, and yes, sometimes we will just need to kick the hell out of a punching bag - safely of course! Through this process, I am dedicated to helping you create your 'art' of living fully and support you on the path to mastery through the unique embodiment of your own technique.
This container I intend to provide in this work is a high performing one in which each and every moment we are aware and present to what is arising and moving through individualized, intimate conversation and activities. Empowering work requires vital attentiveness and I am personally committed to certain standards to ensure the highest quality of experience in maximizing the efficacy of the sessions we spend together. In short, I am personally committed to:
being on time, present and prepared for the duration of our scheduled sessions.
creating a space that can be trusted, feels safe, and provides an equanimity of shared power.
bring my best and most neutral deep listening, patience and curiosity into our scheduled time.
bring my best ideas, creativity, and imagination to every aspect our our time together.
create a space to safely explore and find inspiration through any mode of process that suits the circumstance, feels supportive, safe and helpful.
bring my responsibility, tenacity, knowledge, wisdom and experience to ensure steady and progressive support to meet the intentions you set for yourself.
be present with compassion, empathy, and respect for your sovereignty as a unique, individual human being.
following through and completing any commitments, contracts, or intentions I have agreed to with you.
I am so very passionate about this work! When engaged deeply in this process with someone, I am equally inspired, invested, alive and full of anticipation for the next moment. I find joy in the presence of someone encountering empowerment, transformation, inspiration, vulnerability, breakthrough, and yes, equally essential - breakdown; the shattering of the false self and profound pain, and harbinger of a rising gift which needs the broken, fertile, and safe ground to take root. Yes, even joy is present in those moments; a subtle current imperceptibly moving us down the river of healing on a raft of hope bound together with determination. After years of being estranged from this word, I had my own transformation in embracing joy as the source from which the power of my own gifts emanate from. Now, by holy dedication, I place myself in a contexts where joy has surface to arise in. It is for this reason that I have created this context of working with others and it is my highest intention to provide consistent, trustworthy, dependable interactions and experience with each and every person who heads down the trail of this unique process.
I hope you have found this information helpful in determining whether or not a call to explore working together will be beneficial. I invite you to reach out via email, text or phone if you would like to discuss any of these ideas further and answer any additional questions. I look forward to talking with you.
Shawn C. Berry