Shampoo, Style, and Systergy

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Whenever I want to be really kind to myself (something I wish I would want more often), I splurge for a shampoo and style.

Some might call this extravagant.

Perhaps it is.

But given the sense of well-being I have when I leave the salon, it always feels to me like money well-spent.

Especially because, on my latest visit to the salon, it occurred to me that there's a lot that a shampoo and style can teach us about mentoring, and mentoring is integral to daring to dream.

Take the shampoo, for instance.

There aren't a lot of things more self-nurturing than relaxing back in a chair, knowing that capable hands are about to wash my hair, and gently massage my head.

When done well, doesn't mentoring have the same salutary effect? We are figuratively in the charge of competent, and loving hands. As mentors, we, ourselves, are these hands.

After the shampoo, comes a set or style.

When I finally open my eyes after a delightful catnap, I am always struck by my hairdresser's ability to transform what was unkempt, pulled-back-into-a-ponytail, more-often-than-not unwashed hair, into something rather fetching.

Again, there's a comparison to be made. Isn't it true that our most beloved mentors are those that see something magnificent in us that we can’t yet see, and are our see-er, until we can be our own?

And finally there's the quid pro quo, or the give for the get.

Before leaving the salon, I pay and leave a tip. I'm happy to do so because I feel and look great, and the hairdresser is, in turn, happy to be paid.

Though we usually think of a mentoring relationship as asymmetrical — the mentor gives, the mentee receives, I would argue that the most fruitful mentor-mentee relationships do involve some type of quid pro quo.

And it's not necessarily money.

For example, with the children in our lives, our relationship is by definition a mentor-mentee relationship, and then some. But my truth be told, it is much easier to really invest in my kids when for the give, there is some get.

Whether they are obeying me, being kind to one another, making me look good in front of other people (I know, I know — we all try SO hard not to feel this way, but alas we do), or they are wrapping their arms around me — and your kids are wrapping their arms around you — and saying, “I love you mom.” In short, if we need some type of get, even with our children, in a mentor-mentee relationship, we absolutely do.

Why is all of this so important?

Because we only really dream when we are together.

And what better metaphor for what we can achieve through systergy, than a salon, shampoo and a style?

When was the last time that you did something nurturing or kind for yourself?

Can you think of someone who sees something wonderful in you? What is it they see? Can you do that for someone else?

When you consider your most satisfying mentoring moments, what were you giving? What were you getting?

Why is it that when we isolate ourselves we don't dream, but when are are together, we do dream?

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