In which sometimes you need mentors

Or gurus. Or sages. Or wise women. I find occasional doses of wisdom and positive energy are absolutely essential for keeping my equilibrium. Here are a few of my favorites. Most have books, and some even tweet.

Sarah Ban Breathnach. From SIMPLE ABUNDANCE, her life has taken an interesting turn. There are loads of object lessons in her story, and in PEACE AND PLENTY she shares exactly how low she fell after her initial success. But if anyone can pick herself up and rise above, she will.

Martha Beck. Beck writes a monthly column for Oprah’s magazine, and I’ve torn out most of them. Beck has a unique way of looking at things. Her upside down perspective to problems is sometimes just the ticket for a tricky situation–particularly if it’s one that keeps coming back around.

Kimberly Wilson. Wilson is a yoga teacher and philanthropist, entrepreneur and fashion designer. Her blog and podcasts are engaging and she takes full delight in being a girlie girl who loves pink and chandelier earrings as much as she loves Eastern philosophy.

Alexandra Stoddard. I started reading her decorating books  years ago, but along the way she evolved into a lifestyle guru as well. She gives a lot of practical advice as well as some thoughtful philosophy.

Jennifer Louden. Louden is the first self-help (God, I hate that term, don’t you?) author who pointed out the dangers of “shadow comforts”–those things you THINK are good for you but are really diverting you from your purpose. She’s down to earth, witty, and a little ruthless about stripping away the security blankets, in a good way!

Marianne Williamson. The most philosophical of the writers I read. She blends traditional religion with modern spirituality and loads of compassion.

Who are your mentors, chickens?

9 thoughts on “In which sometimes you need mentors”

  1. Michelle Turner says:

    I’ve been a fan of Sarah Ban Breathnach, Martha Beck, and Marianne Williamson for many, many years. Recently, I’ve learned a lot from Brene Brown and Sheryl Sandburg. Thanks for mentioning Jennifer Louden. I think the idea of “shadow comforts” may be something I need to investigate for myself.

    1. Yes–discovered Brene Brown after I wrote this. Amazing stuff! Think I held my breath the entire time I was reading DARING GREATLY. So, so powerful.

      1. Michelle Turner says:

        I read The Gifts of Imperfection first and now I’m reading Daring Greatly.

  2. A book I keep nearby is “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It’s not written in the “self-help” tradition. But I find much wisdom and comfort in it.

  3. Elaine Cohoon Miller says:

    I have Stoddard and Willliamson on my bookshelves but have not re-read them in a while. I, too, enjoy Beck’s take on life. I find the nonfiction works of Madeline L’Engle inspiring. Also, Carol Flinders, Jean Shinoda Bolen and Kay Refield Jamison. I will look for Brene Brown.

  4. Nancy C says:

    Well, honestly, I think you should know: YOU. For bits and pieces: writing, of course, and grace. You’re full of it 😉

    Dale Carnegie’s books are like bibles to me. They’re dogeared and marked up just like my bible. I also look at C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters in a guidebook manner.

    Those counter as mentor-ish, right? If I preempt my statements with, “Well Carnegie says . . .” that means they’re pretty mentory then, I would think. They’re in my head as reference on certain protocols for behavior.

    1. That’s very kind of you, Nancy–so happy that things you read here are helpful!

  5. I love all these ladies! I love Brene Brown, Katie Hendricks, and James Hollis….to name a few. There are so many more! Here is a lovely Jame Hollis quote!
    “Fear of our own depths is the enemy.”

    Love it and great post! xoxo

  6. Kristin says:

    C.S. Lewis, Ann Voskamp and my three closest girl friends make the top of my list.

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