We all need support: The Importance of mentoring
Dear Soul Journeyers,
I invite you to make a cup of tea, take 3 deep breaths to settle your nervous system and take a little break from your day to read this.
As we approach the solstice and come to the midway point of 2021 (how did that happen?!) we are invited into a time for reflection of the year so far. Perhaps we bring attention to where we’ve been and where we may be heading. If you’re like me, I’m considering where there’s a need for more support and calling it in.
I’d like to share some of my own reflections with you about how mentors and guides have supported my own path and also present ways I can help you attune to the deeper currents at play in your life.
Much of my personal journey of self-inquiry has been guided by my own drive to know myself. However, I couldn’t have embarked nor continued on this path if it weren’t for beloved and trusted mentors and teachers along the way. There’s a delicate balance to be struck between trusting one’s own journey, guided by Life’s lessons, and having enough discernment to trust one’s own inner teacher. Also to develop the discernment to follow the guidance of those who have walked with love and integrity before us. Indeed, it takes a lot of inner clarity to even connect with and trust the teacher within. To come to that inner clarity and connection, it’s essential to have others guide us who themselves have cultivated inner clarity. They are thereby able to offer valuable advice, pointers, and practices that we can follow with discriminating diligence.
In many of our modern cultures, mature, wise guidance is hard to come by. Much of modern westernised cultures idolise materialistic values devoid of depth and wisdom and are largely absent of leadership that listens deeply to the undercurrents of Life. Our social media feeds are flooded with people calling themselves “masters”, “experts”, and “specialists” in every area imaginable, but how do we know what’s true and of the depths, not just of the times? When it comes to the science of spirit and soul, I sense that only those who have committed to doing their own inner work and walk the talk with heart will insightfully guide others on that path. I count my lucky stars that in all my travels to far-flung places I’ve come across and been guided by some pretty amazing wise ones, some human, some non-human (Mother Nature is an extraordinary teacher, if only we listen!).
It’s also essential to note that all honest and loving mentoring/teaching/parenting has to have one goal and that is to aim at setting the student/person free on his or her own journey when the time has come. To know when to let go and when to be there if help is needed should be clear to the student and teacher – as any worldly curriculum would demand.
To name a few of my own mentors, they have ranged from an African American tantrika disguised as a psychiatrist; to a Native American elder sharing, with their blessing, his people’s Medicine Wheel teachings; to another elder of European heritage, based in Peru, having immersed decades worth with master plant teachers and Vedantic teachings at the feet of his guru in an ashram in India; and his partner, an Australian therapist of 30+ years specialising in spiritual emergency, also guided by sacred plant teachers and their love for gardening. I’ve been under the care of an Ayurvedic doctor of Indian heritage based in Indonesia, while currently my heart is warmed and touched by the humble wisdom of 2 wise women healers from rural Thailand who have been holding me in their care and high regard. I have also been among those who thought themselves to be clever or business savvy, but who through their own misguided ways taught me more than enough on how not to do things.
Having been raised and continuing to live in lands foreign to my ancestral lineages, a global nomad to the core, in love with the recognition that we are truly one human family, I’ve had to find ways to recognise and weave together the golden threads rooted in Source. All the while learning to embody the teachings with dignity and respect. I especially honour my relationship with my mom. She has been my mentor and guide in the wise ways since birth, who herself through decades of spiritual guidance, deep listening, and observation, found ways to navigate her own path into re-connection with Earth, Heart, and Spirit.
I’ve been deeply grateful to the people in my life who have held space as I dove into my personal inquiries, explorations, and transformations. The moments that stand out in my journey are when my respected mentors or teachers took an interest and showed up in service to my own process. Within those relationships, I was able to learn a lot about myself because someone held up the torch and lit the way when I didn’t know what the next step was. They reflected to me the things I was unable to see. They asked me some hard questions that helped reveal parts of myself I did not want to face on my own. All of these reflections have led to a much deeper understanding of myself. They’ve allowed for broader insight into the ways of my own mind/body/heart. This in turn grows my compassion for all beings and a more confident ability to navigate the challenges and joys of life guided by Soul.
Having my own caring mentors urging me along and having myself been walking the path of space holder for transformation for 25+ years as a yoga teacher trainer, practitioner, and a former crisis counsellor/social worker operating from a trauma-informed, compassion-centered approach, I’m increasingly being called into the role of mentor and Soul guide. I have the qualifications not only on paper, but in life experience and attunement.
Working with people in a 1-2-1 coaching capacity, as a Soul Guide, is a way we can explore your own unique soul path. We begin by exploring your heart-felt mission or desire (sankalpa) with tangible tools and applicable practices in holding yourself accountable on a week-to-week basis (or according to your desired timeframe). Practices are self-directed yet held in deep Presence, while together we explore and draw from mindfulness, yoga, pranayama, meditation, yoga nidra, holistic health-related themes including nourishing cleansing practices. This invites a shift of deep-seated patterns, all the while incorporating an understanding of the context of your life (intersectionality of gender, culture, race, age, etc.), and learning how to make creative, inspiring decisions aligned with your purpose, skills, strengths, and soul.
The sail that keeps us from going adrift….
To better understand the power of intention setting (Sankalpa) as the premise to work from and utilising practices, we can apply the metaphor of the sail on a sailboat on the open ocean. The sail gives the boat the ability to steer and direct so it doesn’t drift aimlessly on the vast ocean. Intentions and practices, like the sail, offer a way to direct our attention and energy towards what we want to see change or blossom in our lives.
“Where attention goes, energy flows.”
The purpose of a ‘Sankalpa’ or intention is to align ourselves with the deeper truth of our purpose and direction in life (‘dharma’ in Sanskrit).
We are aligning with what is already naturally there, rather than an “undoing” which is a form of resistance to what is. You can think of it as the seed of an oak tree. The seed already contains within it everything for it too, one day will become a majestic oak tree.
In the same way, you already contain within you all you need to blossom into your destiny. We can help it along (like fertilising the soil and watering it well!) by directing our attention towards what we want to see grow, nurturing it along by using conscious intention and practices which give it energy through focus and power. It’s a way being born of your heart…. this is soul work.
If this speaks to you, please get in touch. I’d be delighted to work with you.
Oceans of love,
‘The sessions with Simone provided me a platform to honour and acknowledge the inner voices speaking to me and; the good, the bad and the noise, and the practices which I could deploy to deal with them. She has helped me to navigate my work and life experiences from a deeper inner connection; to look beyond the ego and judgement. She has also helped me to recognise that constant self-criticism, exacerbating some painful experiences. I have been able to practice responding instead of reacting through techniques and advice from Simone.’ ~ Sin-Niew Loh, Singapore