|My mentee, Wan Ting, in Authentic Movement in the Nature.|
Personally, a mentor is someone who journeys with us. Someone who has walked the path before, knows the ups and downs and is still open to know more. A mentor is one who is dedicated to their craft or their beliefs, and has the interest and ability to nurture those who come after them. A good mentor teaches through their actions, rather than solely through words. A good mentor models, by being invested and committed to their personal well-being; by being comfortable with their own discomfort; acknowledges their own mistakes when they are wrong, and continually learn from others, no matter who they are. A good mentor is a space holder, and is comfortable with holding space for mentees to explore, learn and make mistakes – to learn from their mistakes, without blaming or quick to make things better, or by glossing over things. A good mentor does not baby others, but empowers their mentees by encouraging them to own their decisions, to have courage when necessary, to pause when needed. A good mentor is a shapeshifter, who knows when to be a teacher, a friend, a cheerleader, and when to hold silence.
I first met Elizabeth through a friend, at a time when I was exploring the path of being a Dance Movement Therapist. I attended the workshops she conducted and through time we got to know each other better, and I was given the opportunity to hold group movement sessions with older adults in a day care centre. The initial stages were challenging, but I found myself growing and changing with time, under her guidance. She provided me with the guidance I needed to get started. She encouraged me to learn, to seek and to ask questions; to make mistakes and to learn from them. She patiently listened to all that I had to say. She reflected what I couldn’t see, voiced the words that I couldn’t say. She gently and patiently highlighted areas I repeatedly struggled with, and provided me with the space to learn them at my own time and space. She was comfortable giving me the space to explore what I needed to learn, to take on greater responsibilities for more learning whenever possible. She provided me with the opportunities to continually grow and continually inspire me in our work and as a human being.
Elizabeth is someone I deeply respect as a person, as a mentor. Her honesty in her personal struggles, and how she uses that to connect, to understand, and to inspire others around her. How she continually prioritizes her healing and self-growth. Elizabeth’s life circumstances, personality and choices, brought her to a certain path, a path of faith and spirituality. The deeper I journey on this path, the more important I feel it is to have someone, and to be someone who is connected to Self, to Others, and to God. Personally, it was very important for me, and for the people I look up to, to be comfortable with their shadow sides and to have worked through their shadow sides. That is when true healing starts. For one who is comfortable with their own shadows, are then able to hold others in their shadows as we do our personal healing work.
~ Quek Wan Ting, 27 years old, Master in Psychology