What is mentoring? In its truest sense, mentoring is a time-tested form of reciprocal relationship through which vital skills and embodied knowledge about the world and our various roles within it as human beings are passed down from generation to generation. For millennia, this capacity kept diverse land-based cultures intact and vibrant—every generation learned what they needed to know about the world from their elders and guides, allowing them to live full, connected lives and also to pass a growing compilation of natural, cultural and spiritual wisdom along in an unbroken chain of transmission to the next generation.
The Nature of Mentoring
In the modern era, many of these mentoring chains are broken—ruptured through the brutality of colonialism, conquest, genocide and the forced displacement of people from their homelands. Regardless of where we find ourselves within this history, the capacity and instinct for mentoring lives within each of us. It is how we have survived as a species for hundreds of thousands of years.
More than 20 years ago, Jon Young, co-founder of the Wilderness Awareness School, started bringing groups of people together to learn about the Art of Mentoring. The word “art” in the context of mentoring implies something important—mentoring is a refined skill that relies in large part on creativity and the intelligence of interrelationship. There is no better example of this kind of creative intelligence than the infinite complexity modeled by the living systems on this planet – in a word, nature. Mentoring as an art also speaks to the wide array of specific techniques and approaches that we as mentors get to embody and express through our particular, unique creativity. This style of mentoring works because of the cultural container that holds it. It is an entirely experiential model of learning that draws upon that natural world as the primary teacher. What’s elicited from the Art of Mentoring and other connection-based mentoring practices, is the innate capacity for interrelationship that exists within all people. The results of awakening our connection to all of life are often quite beautiful – increasing levels of happiness, health, vitality, empathy, awareness, compassion, aliveness and aiding the individual to discover their unique gifts and service to the world.
Heighten Your Senses In The Art Of Mentoring
Weaving Earth is grateful to Jon Young and his many teachers for helping us to rediscover the importance of mentoring in modern times. We believe that learning and living within a culture that cultivates our sense of relatedness to the living systems of the earth is key to reawakening the natural creativity and genius that is needed in these times. The Art of Mentoring strives to do just that, confirming knowledge, tools, and practices that deepen our relationships in all areas of life—which includes the important work of reconciling our shared history of colonialism and all of the continuing impacts and systems of oppression that manifest today. Contact Weaving Earth today to learn more about the details of our variety of nature-based mentoring programs!