I was eating by myself in an LPQ on the upper west side of Manhattan after a long day of therapizing and was seated next to a beautiful woman, also eating alone. I was exhausted, but was compelled to make a connection with her. That woman was Debbie Phillips, the founder of Women On Fire. That two hour deep dive was the beginning of what I know now would become, a lifelong friendship. Debbie became my cheerleader, strategist, supporter, sister and mentor. She generously shared her wisdom and knowledge without expecting anything in return. From the beginning she said, “You are meant to do this, I want to help you. We need you.” Her belief in my purpose, gave me courage, strength and guidance to stay the course.
Mentoring is an invaluable service that you can give to a young woman coming up. We need this next generation to be awake because even though we are making strides, there is much to be done.
The gift of mentoring is not one sided. I have mentored many young women in my career and each and every experience added as much value to my life and it did theirs. One of my mentees, Christine Gutierrez, who is also a psychotherapist and coach now and the founder of Cosmic Life, continued to email me and offer to be of service until I finally agreed. That was years ago and our relationship has transformed us both. I am so incredibly proud of the work she is doing in the world and honored to be a part of her journey.
We must remember that the young women (and men) of the world are our future. We will soon need them as much, if not more, than they need us right now. They will become the decision makers, caretakers and role models. They will run our countries and the world. So reach out, lend a hand and help them rise up to become their best selves. Can you imagine where you would be without the support and guidance of mentors and wise women in your life?
Some of my greatest inspirational mentors I’ve never even met (Yes Pema Chodron– I’m talkin’ to you!). Yet, it was through their messages in books or lectures, that I found tools, wisdom and inspiration to transform my life. As long as you keep seeking, you will find your teachers and your students will find you. This process of mentoring, sharing and evolving never ends, if you’re lucky.
In regards to making a difference, many of you have a powerful desire to help, but don’t know where to start. To those of you feeling uncertain I say, ‘start by starting.’ A simple $10 donation to an organization that empowers women, can help change a life. One of my favorites is Women for Women. Or perhaps call your niece or younger sister, take her to coffee, listen and encourage her. If you don’t have any younger women in your life you can become a mentor for HerFuture.com, Gabrielle Bernstein’s social organization or support one of my faves, I am That Girl, created by Emily Greener, teaching girls and young women from 14 to 24 how to resolve conflict, support each other and love themselves. How amazing is that?!
In whatever way you can help a sister out, please do. I want to go big with this message. So please share it using the hashtag #HelpASistaOut. Connect with me on my FaceBook wall to continue the discussion and please share with me in the comment below one action you will take to help a sister out and any of your favorite organizations that other readers can support.
I am really excited to hear from you and I look forward to connecting further on this topic. Take care of your sisters, and as always, take care of you!
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of Dany Masson