My uncles: Mentors to challenge my beliefs.

Mentors offer valuable guidance to navigate work and life.

Mentors can provide a valuable role to navigate the challenges and opportunities of both work and life. They can fill a number of roles, such as a role model, teacher, counsellor, advisor, sponsor, advocate and ally. These roles create a space for you to learn and to grow.

As a busy, working parent, I was keenly interested in both leadership and personal development. I had read lots of books and tried lots of different methods to feel calmer and more productive. I also had the support of a number of informal mentors. Yet I struggled with some reactive patterns and over time, they were getting in the way of what was important to me. In fact, the busier I became, the harder it was to control. Logosynthesis offered a unique approach and I was curious to explore. I became highly intrigued and the more I learned, the more the work drew me in. I sensed that this model would allow me to connect with my innate knowing. What I didn’t realize was that I would also tune in to the wisdom of the mentors of my youth.

My experience with my uncles as mentors.

About a year ago, I found an old autograph book filled with quirky rhymes in interesting handwriting. And as I flipped through looking for one from a friend who had recently passed away, I noticed a beautiful note written by my uncle. I will share the note with the understanding that it may not have significance for everyone but for my family, I think it will ignite memories of a very inspirational man.

Last fall, as I attended a Logosynthesis seminar, it became apparent to me that I listened because this work reminded me of my two wonderful uncles who visited our family when I was a child. Heeroom Tinus and Heeroom Harrie. Father Martin Lammers and Father Joseph Lammers, from Tanzania and Belgium respectively,  inspired many people. It is hard to describe what specifically they did but anyone who knew them can appreciate their ability to spark interesting conversation to broaden thinking, anchored in a strong faith. Their warmth and patience created a space that made it safe for me to challenge my thoughts and my interesting beliefs. Although we did not see them often, they held an important mentoring role in our family.

Reconnect with the mentors from your youth.

So why do I share this? I believe we all benefit from having mentors in our lives, especially during our childhood, that inspire us to embrace our spirit and challenge our thinking. I also share to reinforce for myself what drives my passion. This is not about me having all the answers or fixing the world. It is about holding a perspective so as not to become overwhelmed and to appreciate a purpose in life, perhaps through following my uncle’s guidance to the little girl forty years ago, encouraging me to ‘write friendly letters to make others happy’.

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