Friday, March 13

you are the teacher you have been waiting for*

blue heron, 12 march 2015

The other day I reached out to the Magic of Myth community and asked them for support as I start the ignition on this online journal after being away for so many months. True to form, this circle of goddesses jumped to my aid and sent me a motherlode of questions.

What grabbed me this morning was Melissa's query:

Hi Elizabeth. It is so good to hear from you again.
I miss the energy of this class. To me, it felt holy.
Or perhaps that is what I infused into my experience of it.
My question is: I serve as mentor to many people
in my daily life, but I have no one that I can call mine.
The Universe is nudging me to get one.
How do I find then approach a mentor?

Wow. Such a great question. Simple -- on the surface, anyway-- but for me, there are layers upon layers in this idea. Part of the reason it pushed its way to the top of the pile is that this has been a central concern for me, my whole life long.

Once upon a time, I would stretch out on a window seat and imagine what life would have looked like had I had been smart enough when I was a lost and confused 18 year old to head off to Arizona to find some magical shaman to guide me through. You know, some pure fantasy where in one short summer I learn all the wisdom that it has taken me these long years to learn the hard way.

ha ha ha

Those meditations were such sweet escape. I could smell the sage, feel the hot sun, savor the wide wide open horizon-- and my perfect, perfect beingness. How very perfect and wise I was.

Ahh, such is the beauty of imagination.

The truth is, I had no such guidance. Not ever. Alas, no. Most of my deepest learnings are much more like my old pal Pinocchio who had to learn from all the bad that results when you follow the wrong people down the alley who hold out promises of candy and good times.

And just like the wooden puppet who became a real live boy through love, my ungainly exodus from the belly of the whale carried me out on a wave of love and gratitude that has been my constant companion ever since.

Do I have a mentor? Nope.

Have I always wanted one? Begged for one? Tried to squish people into that mold and then be disappointed when they weren't able to fulfill my very specific needs? Oh yes. Yes, indeed.

What I slowly came to understand is that we can learn buckets from books, people, teachers, guides, gurus, yogis, the cab driver, the kid on the playground, poets, painters and shamans but the only spirit who really knows all we need to know is the one who dwells within.

That's right. Not so much Jiminy Cricket (though he was a fine fellow) but that ONE voice that is within us that most of us never listen to.

Be honest. We don't.

Sometimes because we keep our lives so busy and filled with distraction that we can't even hear it, but also in those times we have gotten quiet enough to listen and then reject what it tells us because we don't like the answer we got.

In my experience, the truth my soul holds out to me looks quite a bit different than what my ego has decided would suit me best. My true path is often quite plain and devoid of banners, ribbons and bows. My true path often has me doing the thing that scares me, not doing the thing I thought I was going to do and all too often simply requiring me to sit in the discomfort of a moment that I would much prefer to bury under a fat slice of chocolate cake.

Which is not to say the bliss of my life that is visible to anyone who knows me isn't real. It is decidedly real. It's just what real pleasure looks like. And yes, it does come from doing the hard work of living with honesty and authenticity. Watching your thoughts, your words, your actions and seeking always to think, speak and live from gentleness and love. Not easy but the payoff is huge.


I will give you one example and then I gotta fly--- busy day here at Squam HQ.

Yesterday I got an email from a person I had hired to change my front door handle. (Quick backstory: Things went very south and not only was I out a ridiculous sum of money ($500) I also didn't have the right replacement and the person and I were in opposition. The kind of opposition that causes my stomach to clench and my body to flood with hot anger for being taken advantage of. The kind of opposition that a younger version of myself would have taken as an invitation to war.)

In the email, the person was going to come on Monday and take the handle away, leave my original handle on-- and in their words, with no guarantee that the original handle would work.


Feel all the rush of anger, outrage, righteousness?  Yeah, that.

So I sat with it. UGH. UGH. UGH. Think aggression. Think violence. Think kill kill kill.

Still sitting with it.  Not getting any better.  I go into meditation and ask for help.  HOW can I navigate through this?  I don't want to be a doormat and let the person walk all over me. I don't want to be the warrior queen who cuts their head and sends the bleeding skull to roll down the hill. Such a quandry it was.

What I KNEW was that I had created this situation.  I did. This is my life, my dream, my drama, my movie. Mine.  So why did I create this character to do me wrong? Do I have a deep-seated belief that people are "out to get me" to "cheat me" ?  Ugly stuff that.  Do I really want to face that?  Do I really have a choice?

So I sit. Breathe. Ask for guidance.

And then, my inner guide suggested I send the following:

Hi Person,

I know you will do your best. I'll be here to meet you at 10 am Monday.

thanks, Elizabeth

So I did. Releasing all expectation of anything. Taking the $500 loss as a very expensive lesson on how to (or how not to) hire contractors. Just let it go. I do not want to be at war with anyone. Period.

A few minutes later I got a response.

Thank you.

Before I even received that response, I was in full peace.  Deep easy sweet peace.  I had let it go. I had followed my inner guidance and done what was right for me and I haven't thought about it since.

For me, this is beyond revelation. This is a way of living that blows my mind.

So Melissa, not sure I answered your question-- not sure that I can.
But I know that YOU can.
Please look at your question again and see the statement smack dab in the middle . . .
I highlighted it. :)

bisous, e

*via Byron Katie


  1. Yep. Spent years flailing around in the dark, wishing someone, anyone would show me the way. Wishing someone would come along and tell me how to be an artist and a mother and a wife and a good daughter and a friend. No one could tell me, because no one else IS me. Tough medicine to swallow, but I'm so glad I did. xoxoxo

    1. you NAILED it-- those are the exact words-- the exact words-- the exact feeling I have had.

      boom. the blessing AND the curse? it's all on us. :) xoxooxox

  2. Yes, yes. It IS all on us. To me, that's so freeing. To not simply react to emotionally everything that happens to us--like we were little bundles of "id"--but to have the choice to take moment's pause, reflect, and find the kindness and love before we act, is a powerful thing. Our inner guide knows us best, after all. Around my house, we say "white leather couch (that's a long story)" to help one another remember to listen to our inner guidance. Anyway, lovely and well-timed post, e! thanks!! xxxooo

    1. yum-- "white leather couch" I want to know that story!! :) xoxoxoxo

  3. I had a yoga teacher who would say, spell guru out loud if you're trying to find one. It's always stuck with me.

    Sometimes I suppose the challenge is trusting the teacheršŸ˜‰

    1. I just wrote you a long answer that got eaten-- trust so important-- trust in YOU and everything else follows .. XOXO

  4. Love these words today. Just what I needed to read.


    1. Scamp!!! so happy to connect with you -- it feels like a hundred years!!! xoxoxoox sending you big love

  5. Oh, Elizabeth. I read your words and they brought tears to my eyes. There is so much truth and beauty here on this page. I feel blessed. Blessed by your insight and intuition and words that call and cradle me in the ethers. You, Elizabeth, are the gentle voice of the Universe reminding me what I already know. Every seven or so years I yearn for a mentor. I reach a plateau and believe I am not good enough or wise enough to bring myself to the next level of insight and skill. Each time I chose mentors who disappointed me, or worse betrayed me. Always I berated myself, sometimes for years, for having chosen them in the first place, even knowing the choosing and losing was in itself a spiritual life lesson. How lucky I am that this time, today, I am listening and heeding the Universe as it tells me, through you, that I am already all that I need. I have inside me a seed of divinity that knows exactly when to wake, shoot, leaf, bud, bloom, fruit, and scatter blessings. That seed knows, too, when to sleep and rest for its next cycle of rebirth. I feel in my bones that it is time again for me to choose a mentor. This time I will make the bravest decision of all. I have no one to blame if it all goes wrong. This time, I choose to honor that seed and its cycles. This time, I choose me.
    xoxo, Melissa

    1. oh you goddess you, how much do I love this-- SO so so so so much!!!! and you are a poet!

  6. Replies
    1. just like you, gorgeous! and yes on the PIE/PI xoox

  7. Oh, that story...about the door handle? Perfect. I had a similar situation, but with my sister. My sister. Oh, man. It was hard. But I kept thinking, how do I want to be. I know what would have FELT good in the moment, but to sit in that awful moment and THINK, and have the foresight to see the consequences before there are be the person I want to be without taking out a billboard to announce it (because that isn't it either). I love this! And that whole explanation of how BOOKS are mentors, and PODCASTS, and BLOGS (ahem), and all the people who answer questions and take you under their wing, until you can fly on your own...but how that is what has to happen...we fly on our own. So good. Inspiring really. I love the advice of Cassia's yoga teacher. Spell Guru out loud when you need one. I am totally using that as a remembrance of this post of yours. What a wonderful way to close my day today. Thank you!! xoxo

    1. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO yes yes yes you are DOING it!!! you are creating your life, Megsie-- and it's all exactly right. :) e

  8. I just ADORE you and your soul!! xoxo

    1. we are total soul sisters my darling Eileen!!! xoxoxo

  9. Elizabeth,
    What an insightful answer. You opened my eyes!! Taking it in and sending you loads of love!!

    1. you + me in AUGUST!!!!! we get to sink into ALL of this .. . !!! :)

  10. Letting go and living in peace, love the simplicity of living your truth and knowing the answers are inside all of us. Maybe we need to learn life lessons to find the peace and inner strength that resides within, I love reading your thoughts Elizabeth x

    1. ohhhh THANK you Tracey-- that makes me so so so happy!

  11. Well then. I missed the part where you asked us all for support, but no matter, this post is exactly the thing I've been struggling with for the last few weeks. Where's my mentor?! I NEED one. And of course, I've known the answer all along, actually have it written here in front of me from some journaling I did a week ago..."Stop doubting yourself, listen to your intuition and trust it." Being my own mentor, duh. (Of course that won't stop me from surrounding myself with people I can learn from, but in a more curious, less idolizing way.) Oh this is good stuff Elizabeth. Thank you.

    1. yes yes yes---- and it DOES help to have kindred spirits around to provide support and nurturance-- XOXOOX


thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e