If you speak to anyone who has attained a high form of mastery in their chosen field of study they will often make reference to their inspiration, influences and teachers that guided them on their own journey of exploration.
This relationship of Master/apprentice, Teacher/student, and Coach/client has always been present throughout history in one manner or another. The master tradesmen instructed the apprentice in the art of the craft, an honorable Liege shaped the courtly life of the page, the spiritual guru awakens the disciple, a professional coach hones the skill of the athlete in training, and the wise Sensei refines the eager student…
For the last 20 years of my life I have always had one or more teachers, guides or mentors who play this role for me. Without their honest, objective perspective and true devotion I know that I would not have realized the version of who I am today. This is why I advocate, endorse, and personally practice this alchemical relationship (now in both roles as teacher & student) and I firmly believe in the power that a true coach, mentor or a guide offers to your spiritual growth. At the highest level, there is a humility, knowingness and mature recognition when a “student” or seeker realizes that internal hunger for something more—deeper refinement, training, and growth through an objective example, role model or living example of what they respect, admire and hope to emulate.
When choosing a mentor, teacher or guide for your journey, here are some things to consider…
The teacher’s presence affects you.
You will resonate to your teacher or mentor and you will feel a sense of kinship with their manner, teaching method and their very presence. The mentor will feel strangely familiar and their presence in your life will ignite something within you that is ready to come to the surface. The teacher may offer an invitation but the teacher rarely chooses the student. The student chooses the teacher.
The teacher serves your Self (big “S”) not your self (small “s”).
A truly conscious teacher is devoted and honest with you and will lovingly challenge and inspire you to be “uncomfortable” and push you to the far end of your comfort zone where all lasting transformation occurs. They will not be fooled by your excuses, seduced by your patterns and they will recognize and sometimes confront the mercurial and sly ego that is often your worst enemy. Their job is to hold you accountable to the truth and empower your process.
A true guide empowers you through Expansion.
Expansion inspires expansion… An effective teacher will inspire, uplift, honor and encourage you through expansion as opposed to contraction. They will point out unrefined parts but their focus will be on helping you heal, transcend and integrate those unrefined aspects. We often experience powerful expansion as discomfort as we push outside of our familiar and stuck spaces, but that is different than contraction. People often confuse the two. The teacher can guide you through recognizing this process.
The honorable teacher will “walk his talk.”
This is another way of saying that your mentor has personal integrity. They reflect on the outside what is on the inside. Your guide will not only reflect and teach their version of the truth, but they are also a living example of their own teachings and process. They teach from their personal experience and offer you the tools, guidance and perspective that they have practiced themselves and have achieved a level of mastery in their own journey.
A great teacher is continually devoted to their own evolvement.
A great teacher was (and is) a devoted student. They cherish and consciously invite refinement with humility and grace. They are the epitome of the perpetual student of life, always looking to refine themselves and deepen their experience of Self. Be cautious of anyone who espouses that they have “arrived” or are “done.” Humility is a character trait that opens the Universe to you.
A wise teacher is a living river of invitation.
A patient teacher will offer invitations, advice and guidance but they will allow you to make your own choices and help guide you through your process. It is your journey, your process and your adventure. The teacher who is the living invitation has enough wisdom to allow you to find your way.
A teacher empowers and inspires you to ALWAYS follow your heart.
Even though this guide will serve as your temporary “training wheels” and you may heed their advice and follow their direction through your process, their ultimate goal will be to point you back to your Self so you can discover what feels right to you. They will encourage you to follow your own intuition, inner guidance, listen to your heart and make choices that resonate with you. Do not allow anyone to impose their agenda, ideas or their version of the truth upon you at the expense of your own internal knowing.
Always be aware, thoughtful and conscious with your decision, follow your heart, and trust your instincts. Pay attention to the signs and allow the process to unfold naturally. And remember, there is no such thing as a wrong decision and you can always change your mind. All choices are wonderful opportunities to invite you to awaken and realize the unlimited potential of your True Self.