The Overflow: Mentoring and Being Mentored

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I live in Los Angeles, California.

It is one of the most populated cities in the US and at the same time, it’s common to hear how lonely it can get. So many people and yet you still feel like a ghost.

Los Angeles isn’t the only place prone to making us feel like singular units. Maybe it’s this era that we live in. We have so much simulated connectivity through social media and email that it’s easy to assume we’re engaging with humans when in actuality all those things happen in the midst of our schedules and timelines. So what options are there to keep from being an island unto ourselves?

Something I believe in wholeheartedly is that we should both be being poured into and that we should be pouring out. Think of it in a three-part structure:

-There are mentors who pour into us. Ideally this includes people you can actually reach out and contact. Look for people a little further down the road you’re on, meaning they might be a mom with older kids than your own, or they might be someone in upper level management within your career field. They are the people who have wisdom to share about the direction you’re headed. That being the case, you can also be mentored by people you don’t know. Some of the best advice I’ve received came from blogs, podcasts and books of people I respect like Seth Godin or Bob Goff. You might never meet them in real life but you also don’t have to wait for permission to learn from them.

-There are contemporaries who are on this road with us. Look for people who are in your same place whether that’s age-wise or stage-wise. Is there a writer’s group you can join? A mommy group? A business breakfast? Look for opportunities where you can intentionally mingle with some people who can speak into your life from the same angle. It’s a way that you can gauge whether your experiences are actually as unusual as you think they are (they normally aren’t).

-There are mentees who we pour into. In the same way that we are seeking people to pour into us, there are people who are just getting started down the path we’re on. They’re looking for someone just a little ahead of them and there’s a good chance you are that person. So don’t forget to be aware of people who may be seeking you out. At a certain point sponges get so full that they stop being able to absorb water and in the same way, it is good for us humans to be wringing out some of what we’ve collected. I’m not meaning that you assume every person wants your sage-like advice. Just know that you are not the end of the road on the information train. Keep an eye out for who’s behind you. Who is new at your office? Maybe it’s a younger sibling, niece or nephew.

The idea is that in the overflow of your life, things start to make sense. It is in this cascade model that we get the chance to see just how much life is coming and going from us. When we’re alone, we get this feeling of stagnation. What are we here for? What is the purpose of me? But when you are actively seeking mentors, when you are active in mentoring, you are part of a flow, a rhythm. It combats the lie that you are by yourself. It gives you a starting place to develop relationships. It reminds you that not every person is meant to be a part of your life and that’s totally normal and okay.

So who are they?
Who are your mentors?
Who are your contemporaries?
Who are you mentoring?

Dose of Inspiration: Being Strong

Happy Thursday!
Wishing you a day of strength, of fearlessness, of feeling free.
Here is a little drop of wisdom from some of our favorites:

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

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The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
-Ernest Hemingway

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Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.
-Hermann Hesse

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Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars.
-Khalil Gibran

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Silence is a source of great strength.
-Lao Tzu

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You have power over your mind – not outside events.
Realize this, and you will find strength.
-Marcus Aurelius

Barbie gets a more human makeover

A lot of our ideas for what “pretty” is gets determined on the pages of magazines and the screens of our televisions. For little girls, even the dolls we play with say something about waistlines, eye shadow and super cool ponytails. However lots of things are changing for the better! Dove ads have revealed the beauty of everyday women. Clothing lines like Calvin Klein and H&M are featuring models long considered plus size (translation: sizes 6-10) in their campaigns. Now, even Barbie is getting a makeover. Continue reading

Father’s moments with his newborn son

There’s a chance you’ve already been rocked by this video of brand new father Chris Picco singing the Beatles’ famous “Blackbird” to his son Lennon James Picco from the side of his incubator. For a few days, it was just father and son after mother, Ashley Picco, passed away in her sleep following an emergency C-section. Continue reading

#WorldAdoptionDay

Borrowed kindly from Instagrammer Mvolz8
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Sunday, November 9th was the very first World Adoption Day and people took to the technosphere to share their stories of adoption and family. Sponsored by Adopt Together, an organization that helps families crowdfund a process that can sometime price in the neighborhood of $25,000, they asked that in honor of the day, people draw a smiley face on their palm and share it via social networks. What started with a team in Los Angeles turned into an explosion of more than 10,000 photos on Instagram alone from all over the world including Patagonia, Kuwait and the Duck Dynasty. Continue reading

Dear James: Living With My Boyfriend

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DearJames,

I’ve been living with my boyfriend for the last 4 years. He keeps saying that he wants to get married, but he also keeps looking at singles sites and he won’t actually propose and make it what we’ve talked about. He also isn’t working and he’s not looking for a job. I’m not sure what I should do? Please help. Continue reading

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