Who Are Your Mentors?

[Written 1/6/11]

I just finished recording a segment for my Download of the Month Club. This audio features an exercise on finding your inner mentors, so as I recorded it I thought about some of the important mentors in my life

The one who immediately came to mind is my Chow Chow, Waiki. She is very old and infirm but still very much able to enjoy the moment. My walk with her this morning was bittersweet because I know she only has a few more walks in her. Her back legs suffer intermittent paralysis so she has been falling often, each time patiently waiting for me to pick her up so she can go on exploring.

How is she a mentor? Because from the moment she came into our life she demonstrated immediate trust and devotion. She was a street dog who had been abandoned and was surviving on scraps. It turns out that she had laid claim to a barbecue place close to us, eating crickets and other insects she found in the lighted areas nearby.

My wife Beth and our now-deceased Golden Retriever Weiser were on a walk, and Waiki followed them home, limping badly. She was a mess. At the best of times Chows require lots of grooming, so imagine one who hadn’t been touched for several months. In addition to fleas and mange, she was suffering from “milk fever” and had a liter of puppies.

The minute Waiki arrived she decided she was ours, and from that time on we bonded in a profound, trusting way. I have subsequently learned that Chows tend to form tight, protective bonds with either their master or family. She did that and then some. Her name, which came to us quickly, is a Quechua (Inca) word meaning “esteemed companion.“ She has been that and much more.

Waiki is only expected to live for a few more days. While preparing ourselves for the inevitable, she recovered from the paralysis in one of her rear legs, allowing her to walk again. So on our walk today, I allowed myself to fully feel. Tears came to me, and I sobbed uncontrollably. I realized once again that as my mentor, Waiki made it okay to face painful truths.

I have been recovering from a heart attack that, on an emotional level, I believe was caused by my unwillingness to deeply feel and experience painful truths. The heart attack was essentially caused by a blockage, and my new willingness to feel deeply has resulted in an opening of my heart. After determining the areas in which I have not been loyal or trusting, I have committed to doing so for the people and ideas deserving my loyalty and trust. Perhaps most important, I have committed to trusting myself. This means that I am choosing who to commit to and how to be more trusting.

So who are your mentors, and what are you being called to question or learn from this year?

Please let me know. I am interested in hearing from you.

P.S. Do you want to share this article? Please do, but be sure that it remains intact and includes the following bio.

About Terry: Terry Hickey, M.S., is a Certified NLP Professional Coach, Business Trainer and Consultant, a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the co-owner of NLP Advantage Group. His monthly e-zine, Belief Change Alchemy, offers coaches, entrepreneurs and leaders strategies for abolishing limiting beliefs that interfere with success, ultimately replacing them with life-changing, empowering beliefs. His tips and strategies can help you launch yourself into the future you want NOW. http://www.terryhickey.com

Categories : Mindset, Random Musings


  1. […] number of you have read my comments and stories about our Chow Chow, Waiki. After 14 adventurous and wonderful years, she […]

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