I cannot be your mentor, here’s everything I know

i have been getting weekly requests to mentor people. i am not a great one to one mentor, and my life dance card is full in the best way. here are some things i know related to mentoring and the things i would offer to those in search of such guidance:

a mentor cannot teach you more than life itself. gather lessons from those who help you see your life as practice ground.

beware of mentors who say you remind them of their younger selves – you can never know how they feel about the past, and what they might try to help you avoid that you actually need to go thru.

accept the guidance and feedback of people who love themselves.

choose who you will belong to, let them, let those relationships, grow you up.

while romance is wonderful, great friendship is more valuable and sustainable. build friendship foundations under all of it. prioritize your time accordingly.

sometimes when it’s hard you have to stay in and get shaped by it. sometimes, you have to go. both moves will teach you the importance of themselves and of the other. the other move, yes. and the other person (or people) who you are enduring or abandoning.

you will do almost everything you say “i promise to never” do, especially things you promise to never do to someone who loves you. and if you don’t do exactly those things, it may be at great cost to your destiny. it’s in our design, so you’re not above it. promise less. promise to become yourself and nothing less.

most things you declare about yourself are aspirational. just be, and let yourself be experienced.

use scrivener to write books.

track your time anytime you feel you have none. find where you are wasting it and decide how much you care about your destiny. is your destiny more compelling than scrolling? than corresponding with people who annoy you? than reading circular news about things you will do nothing about? than a mediocre delicious show? than obligatory relationships? we all need enough room to stare into space sometimes, enough time to integrate life.

read (articles, books – or take in other forms of texts like art and music) as much as you write. but write (think, converse, ideate) as much as you read (scroll) too.

you can’t skip the hard parts and have any meaningful impact on the world.

while you’re inside the hard parts, it doesn’t feel like wisdom.

trust the part of people that doesn’t follow through. let it/future expectations go.

your body is saying everything to you, you can know almost everything if you listen.

your feelings are never more important than revolution. and your feelings are a crucial part of revolution. find the balance and get to work.

don’t ask me anything you can find in a book or on the internet, start talking at the edge of what’s known.

find the front lines of humanity inside your own life and system. advance them.

love yourself along the way for being part of the greatest purpose of our species: liberated and liberating life.

Author: Adrienne

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your uprising against the forces of darkness has got to do more than say "no." A fierce, primal yes should be at the heart of your crusade. (rob brezny, long ago)

7 thoughts on “I cannot be your mentor, here’s everything I know”

  1. Stacy Abrams has an awesome chapter ‘Myth of Mentors’ in her book, Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change. It’s a clinic on how to structure support for yourself and your career. She frames it as ‘Building and Evaluating your Board of Advisors’ and helps people sort out the kinds of support they need for what. It’s a great reference for folks. I also loved the audio book because listening to Stacy read her book is dreamy.


  2. “don’t ask me anything you can find in a book or on the internet, start talking at the edge of what’s known.”

    oh the edges, such a profound, challenging and beautiful place to be in dialogue about, and one filled with so much possibility. thank you dear one.

  3. Thank you (always) for your generous sharing of the magical details from your own learning. All of this resonates deeply.
    I feel a deep mis/dis-trust for teachers who claim that it is only through them that the learning happens. One of the things I know to be true is that there are truly skillful teachers and mentors, but they always remind the student that what is being revealed through any teaching is the magic and wonder that are in all things.
    The flip side of that coin is that we all (as students, teachers alike) have to do our own work. No one can do it for us, but we can trick ourselves into thinking that a mentor or some other quick fix will put us on the fast-track. The slow path is where it’s at. <3
    Finally, one thing my teaching teacher 😉 shared years ago was that in order to truly get free, we have to do the things we said we'd never do. (Oh my gosh has this teaching blessed me with some major compassion.)
    Anyhow, thank you!!

  4. Thank you so much for these thoughtful and powerful words! So much resonates…

    Cheers and respect, marc

  5. I adore this piece. You’ve managed to communicate the love and exhaustion and encouragement I feel for my students. I’m pinning this to my wall. Thank you.

  6. I just wanted to say thank you. I’ve read this so many times. & I finally downloaded Scrivener; what a gift to my disorganized ass writing life lol. xo

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