A Hand to Guide Me

I just sat down to work on a few projects and I turned on Oprah. Today, she is talking with Denzel Washington about his new book, “A Hand to Guide Me,” which includes stories of finding his mentors in life. The timing of catching the show is uncanny because finding a mentor has been on my mind lately.

Last week when I heard Judy Blume speak, Marcia Greenberger of the National Women’s Law Center said that women have a much harder time finding mentors. Obviously, a new challenge is presented when you work for yourself out of your home. I came to the realization that this was what was missing for me.

I decided that the best way to find what you were looking for was to provide it for someone else. So last week, I met with Allyson to talk about teaching a class for the Horizons Club at Calvary, which is an after-school program. I am pretty excited about the possibilities of working with this great group of kids each week.

This past weekend, Shannon and I went to Seattle for a vacation. Since we were only there for a few days, we never switched over to Pacific Coast time. We ended up catching up on any sleep that we might have missed in the last month. I had the craziest dreams every night. One night I was walking home through a bricked walkway, which turned into an arts and craft booth, where it dead-ended. I finally stood up on top of an aluminum punched-tin chest to look over the wall. I was going to climb over and keep on my path until the piece crushed under my weight. I remember looking at the cracked dolls head on the floor that served as the furniture’s casters. A woman in her fifties came and started yelling at me about how I had ruined her mother’s work. I promised to fix anything that I had broken and pay for any damages. Somehow I ended up in a large open art gallery with grand modern paintings on the walls. In the gallery was an older woman who was in her late 80s and early 90s. Somehow I knew that I had found my mentor. And then I woke up. Of course.

So how do you go about finding a mentor? I know that you can have distant mentors, who lived in a different period of time. We visit them through books and history. But it would be very nice to have someone I could visit and have lunch with every once in a while. Maybe I can start by looking back at who has helped me in the past. Maybe I can ask a few friends. Or maybe I will find my mentor at one of the many small business groups I attend. Maybe Denzel’s new book has the answer. Hmmm… Any thoughts?

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