It was my turn. Eyes closed, I felt the purple velvet mantle of the Master Hypnotherapist drop onto my shoulders and heard my revered teacher Ilene invoking my new role as helper and guide. But instead of rejoicing, I was filled with doubt and terror…
Did I dare take on the responsibility of helping people heal themselves?
Could I really help others listen to their own inner wisdom?
And most doubtful of all, could I—failure-dogged, rigidly shy, a corporate castoff whose world had recently turned upside down—actually make a living doing this? I had heard so much from well-meaning friends: “You can’t make a living in this town doing alternative healing work, you know,” they had said. “Doesn’t matter how good you are. It’s impossible.”
Then this extraordinary teacher whispered just two words in my ear. “Wise Woman,” she said. ME??? No way!! But there was something about the absolute conviction in her voice…
In that moment I made up my mind that if Ilene, a wise and insightful soul herself, saw a Wise Woman somewhere in me, by golly, I would let her come out. And my world changed.
Four months later I had a thriving hypnotherapy practice that earned me a full living. I had decided to pretend I didn’t know that was impossible—and it worked. I felt that Wise Woman inside yearning to come forth, and resolved to give her a voice—and that worked, too.
Two words was all it took, breathed into my ear at the perfect moment. I doubt Ilene remembers whispering those magic words, yet they impelled me into action and kept me forging ahead as nothing else could have.
That was nearly a quarter-century ago, and there have been many more beautiful sources of inspiration in my increasingly delightful life. Yet no one else has ever packed so much sheer grace into such a small verbal parcel. My deep thanks and eternal blessings to you, Ilene, and to all the many who’ve taught me, mentored me, or simply walked beside me with uplifting wisdom and an open heart…
What about you? Who’s inspired you? How did they hand you the key to a locked door? What rickety-looking bridges have they helped you cross? And how have you passed this gift along to those around you—those who were waiting for just a word or two of permission to grow?
I’ve found it’s worth thinking about.
Feeling short on inspirational mentors at the moment? The adopt-a-mentor process in today's other article, Making It Yours, can provide very powerful help in developing a quality you admire. Enjoy!