Writing this book was just something I had to do. Sentences and images popped into my head and I found myself searching for a piece of paper or time at my computer to let it all out.
Today, I am celebrating a big milestone. I sent my book to the printer. It is officially finished!!
I thought I would share the introduction to celebrate. Here you go....
“I wish I could live a little more. Look up to the sky, not just the floor.” —Adele[i]
The first time I heard Adele soulfully sing these two lines, tears welled in my eyes. I had been searching for the right language to describe the purpose of writing this book, the purpose for sharing my soul with the world. Nothing felt quite right—until I heard these words. Yes, these seventeen words are the anchor for everything I do in my life. That’s because for much of my existence, all I did was look down at the floor. No longer!
This is a book about being aware. To notice how you are presenting yourself and to live life awake rather than on autopilot. I strive to live a life where I spend more time looking up at the sky and feeling free rather than looking at my feet and feeling weighed down. My hope for myself—and for you—is to learn from all of it, whether we are looking down or looking up. To find the gift in all of our experiences and work toward living with our heads up, fully present, standing proud and even.
Simply put, this is a memoir containing some elements of a self-help book. When I first starting writing, I discovered I was actually helping myself as I wrote. I felt better. I felt free from the accumulated years of experiences that felt like bags of rocks hanging from my shoulders. It dawned on me that perhaps if I shared my story it might actually help others. So here I am, a person who had always identified myself as being deep, proud when people called me an old soul, a typical wife and mother of two. But I had never considered myself as a writer who would publish a book with the intention of inspiring others to see life’s experiences in a new light and to define what mentorship means in their own lives. Yet, the writer in me blossomed. Yes, I wrote a memoir, but it is also a self-help book. I truly hope it helps.
What will this book help you with? This book is about defining mentorship and discovering how it shows up in our lives. It is about how powerful mentorship is if we are willing to explore ourselves. Our greatest mentors can be found in our experiences and the people with whom we interact every day. My invitation to you as you read my story is to allow for a shift in your own perceptions and beliefs. To be open to the possibility that your experiences are a great gift waiting to be explored and to be open to a definition of mentorship you may have never considered before. My invitation is for you to open the door to your own wisdom through reading about the opening of my door. Will you be moved by my story? I cannot answer that, but I hope it stirs something in you to look a little deeper at the people and experiences that make up your past and present. Just maybe it will influence who you invite into your future and the life you decide to create going forward. Just maybe it will influence who you choose to be—how you choose to behave—at work and at home. Just maybe you will walk away with more questions and some answers about what you stand for.
Each chapter offers a glimpse into what mentorship means for me and how it shows up for me as a working woman, a daughter, a mother, and a person who finally accepted the deepest, most raw feelings of her heart and decided to take a leap of faith to share them openly. I ask questions, share stories, and offer an invitation for you to pick up the tools you may need so you can move forward in your own life. What I am offering is a door. It will be up to you to open it and up to you to decide what to do with what you find on the other side of that door—what to reflect on and how to choose how you want to present yourself in your professional and personal life. The purpose is to enhance the relationships you have with your experiences, your peers, and your loved ones. Will you experience an expanded point of view? I truly hope so.
As I’ve said, this book is part memoir and part self-help book. I had an experience with someone who ended up being a powerful mentor without realizing it at the time. I am peeling back the layers of this experience that first brought me to my knees then pushed me on my journey to stand back up and choose who I wanted to be.
It all started when I was fourteen years old in the kitchen with my dad. That was the moment the door began to open …
[i] Adele, song “Million Years Ago,” from the album 25, XL Recordings (2015).