Ripples In A Pond

I think I was struck most by the thought that the glimmer of an idea that came to me literally as I was washing my hands at a First Tuesday meeting, would have manifested itself a year later, living and breathing with unknown pulsing potential.

In March of 2011, First Tuesday launched the Mentor Ring, with its vision of connecting First Tuesday members with women and children in need of support. Our first group of mentees were two families First Tuesday had worked with as part of their non-profit Circle of Giving. The Burtons were a large family of wonderful, loving, boisterous members, while Mijan was a single mother with two children and a voice to die for.

Our mentors were just as diverse; their similarity being that they were willing to offer their time and their hearts to their partners. One year later, we gathered together to celebrate the graduation. No team was the same, no experience identical, but somehow, almost each partnership was the perfect combination of mentor and mentee.

With each individual couple the experiences were just as unique as the participants. For one young man it was going from not knowing how to swim to learning to surf a wave. For another, it was the tools and encouragement that helped him score well enough on his SAT’s to get accepted into five colleges. For a third, it was participating in a spiritual retreat and gaining a newfound understanding and acceptance of his own talents and gifts.

As the ceremony began, we sat in a circle, each taking a turn sharing some of the year’s highlights and a blessing we had received from the experience. And for each person, regardless of their role, there was a tremendous sense of gratitude and grace for having participated. As we shared the stories, I was amazed at the gifts that had been given and received.

One woman spoke of the despair she felt after a family trauma, and how grateful she was that her mentor was there to provide that lifeline of support and encouragement during her darkest days. On the other side of the relationship, her mentor was inspired and motivated by the woman’s courage and determination. And out of the pain, a new idea was born: to take her experience and create a book that would serve as a resource for others.

One of the younger boys spoke of his love of kites, his desire to go to church, and his fascination with all things mechanical. Likewise, his mentor encouraged him, exposed him to those experiences, and bought him a tool kit. And in return, she said she was simply grateful to be a kid again.

The stories of give and take went on as we made our way around. At the end, we all stood together in a circle, as each mentee stepped into the ring to voice their dream. And as one, we took that dream and offered it to the Universe for its blessing.

First Tuesday About First Tuesday

First Tuesday is a Professional and Social Network for Extraordinary Women. Gatherings are held in private homes or public venues on the first Tuesday of each month. Each evening includes unstructured social time, dinner, networking and a program on subjects that span the mind, body and spirit. Newcomers are welcome to join us!

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