First rite of passage: unwrapping the gifts of mentorship

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Sharon and Ginny amused with a question in the “room of blessing”.

I wholeheartedly believe that in the world of those who live and those who learn, every person has something to offer. There are value-laden opportunities in almost every conversation and around nearly every corner. Mentoring isn’t just about sitting under the bodhi tree of wisdom, it’s also about sharing vulnerable stories about adolescent crushes, demonstrating how to replace a chain on a bicycle, or teaching a kid to cook broccoli. According to dictionary.com, a mentor is really just a “wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Someone who has something to contribute. Someone worthy of trust in a given area, whether it’s quilting or quantum physics.

So in the spirit of mentorship, in preparation for this first rite of passage, I had an assignment for each participant: fill a 4 x 2 inch wooden thrift store Chinese herb drawer with as much wisdom as you can. You can do it with objects, pictures, symbols, words, trinkets, whatever you want, but just make sure each item represents to you something of value to teach Ginny about womanhood.

Simple. Anyone could fill a 4 inch box. Simple, but ultimately, extremely profound. Only each individual could fill a 4 inch box with themselves- the wisdom, insight, enlightenment, and creativity that comes from that singly unique soul. Every stone explained, every word expanded upon, every trinket from today or time past would open up Ginny’s world into the wisdom and inspiration of one soul’s walk on the edges and main thoroughfares of womanhood and humanity. And in doing that, I knew that mentorship could be contained within the perimeter of the palm of a hand, but also leave indelible lifelines.

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the simple, but incredible magical, Chinese herb chest

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4 thoughts on “First rite of passage: unwrapping the gifts of mentorship

  1. I love this idea. I need to do something more symbolic for a teen who is struggling with self-image and what she wants and her place in the world. This sounds like a beautiful place to begin. Thank you, Renee

    • Renee, thank you for your comment. I’ve done a rite of passage twice now for my daughter, at 14 and at 18, and it really has given her a sense of affirmation, appreciation, and a group of “go to” people outside of me to whom she knows she can call on if she needs to. Again, thank you for your kind comment, and I wish you all sorts of good things for your growing teen.

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