On Mentorship: The Power of Mentorship (part1)

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Have you ever arrived a crossroads and wondered which road to take?

Have you ever wished that someone would guide you through challenging times?

Have you ever wanted to reach out and connect with someone who inspires you?

Maybe mentorship is the answer you have been looking for.

Working with inspirational mentors has helped me to step into my true calling in life. So in order to  pay-it-forward I designed a Creative Mentorship Programme to share everything I have learned with people who want to blaze bright trails in the world. I am here to show you what's possible for you, uplift you, amplify your gifts and help you realize your calling in the world. I have spaces opening up in August and look forward to supporting you to create momentum in your life.

I met one of my mentors when she narrowly avoided running me over on a dark rainy night in Dublin in 2009. Over a cup of tea we exchanged life stories - it turned out we had crossed paths at university. She was now blazing a trail in the world of tech and I was trying to set up a cultural exchange project between Ireland and Iceland. She became my mentor and has been my rock ever since. She is my go to person when I need to find my True North. I am so grateful for that fateful moment in time and where it has brought me.

When I reflect on all of the brilliant mentors who have guided me, I am moved by their willingness to invest their valuable time, energy, care and commitment in me. A great mentor is an incredibly generous human always ready to hold up a torch and light the path ahead. 


What is a mentor?

Etymologically speaking the word “mentor” is derived from a character named Mentor in Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey. According to Gregory Nagy, a classics professor at Harvard University, “In the Greek of The Odyssey, a mentor is someone who instills a heroic mentality in somebody”. And so, from a story written nearly three millennia ago, we’ve inherited the word mentor, which has come to mean a wise and trusted counselor or guide.

The mentor is also one of the archetypes drawn from the depth psychology of Carl Jung and the mythic studies of Joseph Campbell. The mentor represents the bond between parent and child, teacher and student, doctor and patient, god and human. The role of mentor is one of our most potent cultural symbols. Think about the relationships between Dumbledore and Harry Potter, Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings and Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Ben Kenobi in Star Wars. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy meets a whole series of mentors: Professor Marvel, Glinda the Good Witch, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and finally the Wizard himself.

Oprah Winfrey was mentored by celebrated author and poet, the late Maya Angelou. “She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. Mentors are important and I don’t think anybody makes it in the world without some form of mentorship,” Socrates mentored Plato, Plato mentored Aristotle, Steve Jobs mentored Mark Zuckerberg, Christian Dior mentored Yves Saint Lauren, Audrey Hepburn mentored Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Freddie Laker mentored Richard Branson, Nora Ephron mentored Lena Dunham and so it continues.

The relationship that keeps on giving

Mentorship is a special relationship that can bring so many nurturing gifts to your life. Leonard Bernstein once sent a letter of gratitude to his mentor Serge Koussevitzky thanking him for “your creative energy, your instinct for truth, your incredible incorporation of teacher and artist, I give humble thanks. Seeing in you my own concepts matured is a challenge to me which I hope to fulfil in your great spirit”. I want to dedicate this post to all of the mentors who have shared their gifts with me over the years. Thank you for believing in me.

Kathy xox

Some resources for you to explore:

Elena Brower       elenabrower.com

Mary Jane Jacob  saic.edu

Judith McAdam   judithmcadam.com

Joan Mulvihill     I know where you live!