The Gift of Mentoring and the Holiday Season

This time of the year brings back sad memories for me as it was just prior to Christmas that my Mom went to a better place. She had fought a courageous battle with cancer and sadly lost that battle. I spend a lot of time at this time of the year reflecting back on all the good times that we had. The family dinners, the laughter, the tears of happiness as family and friends came together to share the holiday season.

It seems strange to me that a lot of what I experienced is now happening for others as well. Health illnesses jump to the forefront and we are forced to deal with these life challenges at a time when we would prefer to be celebrating with family and friends. We have family gatherings and there is an empty seat at the dinner table. We struggle with dealing with the emotions that are rushing through our bodies as we search for answers to the question “why?”

We then add to this mix of emotions the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Increased traffic volumes with people who are bent and determined to get to a shopping mall before anyone else. Road rage seems to have found a new high as it relates to bad behaviour. Everywhere that you turn there are people all in a hurry to get their shopping done most without a smile and most with no patience at all. A lot of this negative energy isn’t left at the shopping mall and is brought home or taken to the workplace.

Perhaps all this negative energy is what fuels the health challenges that we seem to see more of at this time of the year. We know that negative energy drains us and has a huge impact on our immune system but yet we allow it to control us.

I have spent some time with some wonderful folks in a mentoring relationship and we have talked a lot about the holiday season and the impact that it was having on them. There was this sense of despair over buying gifts, preparing family meals, trying to be everywhere for everyone and getting to a point where the holiday season was more of a burden than a joyous time where family and friends celebrate. We talked about how all of this impacted them and I heard the word “stress” in a lot of situations. To set the record straight there is no such thing as “stress”. In the majority of these situations we have choices that we can make. We can allow the situation that we are dealing with to control us or we can decide to take control of it ourselves. I am sure that you can think of some personal examples that you are dealing with right now. You are in control and can determine what the outcome will look like.

I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as stress and I have worked on training my body to deal with situations differently. I am in control of the outcomes and you can be in control as well. I have reached out to my mentors to share my feelings and have been guided by their advice. You can reach out to your mentor and do much the same thing. If you do not have a mentor here is yet another reason why mentoring is so powerful – “The Gift of Mentoring” is just that – “a gift” and you need to embrace that “gift”.

I hope that as you begin your holiday celebrations that you think about what we just talked about. You are in control of you and you are in control of when you embrace mentoring. It is time – can you afford not to?

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