Mentoring is a long term and progressively deep relationship between mentor and a client who feels having an experienced resource person to help them navigate a a life path, including numerous creative projects that may arise. Coaching tends to be more limited to a specific problem, or a specific capacity or skill set to do something. Mentors do coach their clients on specific issues and projects, but it is their own ongoing inspiration and creative life that is the foundational project.
The word Mentor suggests someone who is older and more seasoned with life experience, at least in a given field. I train psychoshamanic life-coaches, and they do important work. A coach may have technical knowledge and useful skill sets, but work short terms with clients. In my own psychoshamanic mentoring it is the life path, the path of heart or individuation that is fundamental, focusing on the calling and vision of a life, navigating life from the heart, and allowing the creative inspiration and projects to grow out of that organically.
Dante Aligheri, who wrote the Commedia describes himself at midlife in a dark wood and lost. He had turned aside from his true calling and path, the “verace via,” and just then , by a synchronicity, a human mentor, Virgil, the Latin poet appears as a guide. Virgil has been through much of the psychospiritual geography and the forces that Dante must face, if he is to recover his true path. Virgil acts as his guide and soul friend, until Dante is ready to rely on inner guidance or inner mentoring, which comes to him in the figure of Beatrice, who acts like Dante’s inspiring muse and guiding spirit.
C.G. Jung spent the early part of his career as a medical psychologist and did lots of psychotherapy. But after the resolution of his famous midlife crisis, he came increasing to mentor individuals in his second half of life, people who were seeking their own calling and path. imagesJung schooled them in navigating through dreams and synchronicities, withdrawing projections and dissolving limiting attitudes, but increasingly taught them “active imagination,” a psychospiritual practice very much akin to the shamanic journey, and similar to Dante’s relationship with Beatrice as inner guide. Once Jung saw that his clients could work well on their own through active imagination, he knew his role was less necessary, or no longer necessary at all.
My own psychoshamanic mentoring tends to last several years and my clients work with me on site at my wilderness retreat center, Crows Nest, in the Southwest Michigan woodlands. CN circlelargeThis wild and natural environment allows people to drop our of busy city life and social consensus, unplug from the “matrix,” if you will, a drop down into their true self, where we can go to work on the life-calling and see what kind of life redesign may be in order. I also offer workshops which facilitate and expedite this work, and in Europe, South American, and S. Africa, I offer workshops, and trainings, as well as individual consultations in beautifully wild retreat centers. However, some choose to work with me via tele or Skype, and some like to work with me in intensive one on one retreats at Crows Nest in SW Michigan. We tend to tailor make the right kind of relationship frequency and depth of work, as suits the situation, location, and pocket book of the client.