I love workbooks. I love visualizations. I love self-help, and woo woo, and goal setting, all of it. So when I recently heard Tara Mohr discussing her concept of an "Inner Mentor" on the Being Boss podcast, it planted a seed deep, deep in my brain. Your Inner Mentor, as described by Mohr, is essentially your Future Self, and you can visit them through meditation for guidance in the present. Without doing any of the work, I had a pretty clear idea of who I thought my Future Self would be.
She would be an older woman who still rocked long, natural hair. Someone who painted and drove an old, wood-paneled station wagon and wore a funky shearling coat. She had a bowl full of old polaroids documenting her life full of crazy stories. Imagine my surprise on Sunday night when I finally sat down to do Mohr's guided meditation, and met someone almost completely different.
The exercise starts by centering yourself in your present body, then imagining a light emanating from your third eye. This light eventually lifts you upward, out of your house, above the city and into space. Mohr prompts you to notice the quality of the light, it's color (mine was bright white, almost blinding). Then you notice a light next to yours, beaming up from Earth. Again, you take note of this light's quality and color - then you let it guide you back down to Earth.
The light that brought me back was a pale, silvery purple - almost lilac. Already outside of what I expected - lilac has never been a color I particularly identified with. But this light felt soft, inviting.
From there I saw a gravel driveway, surrounded by trees, leading up to an old white stone house in the middle of a wild garden. I walked up to the front door and noticed it was a deep eggplant color, with a big brass knocker.
This is the moment when you actually meet your Inner Mentor / Future Self.
Here's what I immediately noticed about her:
- She was casually dressed (slouchy jeans, sweater), no makeup, sunkissed and freckled skin
- She was warm, quietly confident, and incredibly welcoming
And this one surprised/freaked me out:
- The self-deprecating humor that is kind of my trademark was gone. No need to undercut herself, just confident and present...
We walked through a clean, uncluttered and utterly unfussy house, with white walls and dark wood floors. We went upstairs, sat in two chairs by a big window, and she brought coffee and simple, homemade scones. Next you ask your Inner Mentor a series of questions meant to guide you. Here's what my mentor said to me:
Q: What has mattered most to you over the last 20 years?
A: You. Just meeting you. Discovering you. Finding ourself.
Q: What do I need to know to get from where I am to where you are?
A: *Sigh* Peace. Release the fuss.
Q: What will help me sing my true song?
A: Focus. A good pair of jeans, and dirt in your hands.
At first, I was sort of frustrated with these incredibly simple answers. But I'm trying to dig a little deeper into them. Maybe simplicity is the whole point? There was one last question, and this one surprised me too:
Q: What is your true name? (Other than what you are called.)
No offense to anyone named 'Amber', but it's never been one of my favorite names. What part of my psyche pulled that one out? I'm choosing to look at it through a more symbolic lense, and here's what I dug up:
Overall, I found this exercise surprisingly comforting. It wasn't what I expected, but that seems almost better. I feel like I met a real person, someone who could actually be me in the future, not just a walking-talking-moodboard. Future Liberty / Amber was so calm, so centered, so balanced - warm but uncompromising. Completely herself. Uncomplicated. That sounds pretty good to me...
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