Frank and Me: A Legacy of Mentoring (Giveaway Post)

by Lance Ekum on · 80 comments

jan2Today, I have Janice Lynne Lundy here, sharing a story of beauty and love.

Jan is an author, speaker, retreat leader, and spiritual director.  She also writes deeply meaningful articles at her two blogs, Awake Is Good and Awakened Living.  When I first connected with Jan, I was drawn into the honest and caring space she has created in her writing.  Stop by for a visit, and you too will feel the warmth of being in her presence. 

As Jan and I talked over the last couple of months, she indicated she had a special story she would like to share.  Today, that story is a gift I am honored to share here.

Jan will be taking us back to an earlier time in her life, and how a very special gentleman gave her a beautiful gift – the gift of his time and caring.  This is a wonderful story of how we can all touch another person's life through our caring and love.  Please read along, as Jan shares:

Frank and Me:  A Legacy of Mentoring

  "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~ Maya Angelou

It was the early 1990s and I was the mother of three small children, earning a part-time living as a rep for a direct sales company. I enjoyed my work, sharing an exceptional line of self-esteem based products to parents, teachers, and counselors.

It was at our annual convention in Salt Lake City that I met Frank, the mentor who would change my life. This is his story—and mine—and how I came to know the importance of reaching out and helping others through mentoring.

Actually, I never met Frank at the convention that year. I saw him from a distance, an energetic and affable consultant they’d brought in to fire up the sales reps. Rumor had it that he was a retired multi-millionaire, having started, or bought and sold ten companies. He didn’t need this gig as a consultant; he was doing it for the pure pleasure of it, and as a favor to the owners.

I also heard he was cherry picking reps, working with them one-on-one to improve their sales. The thought terrified me. With three kids, a multitude of household and volunteer duties, I sure didn’t want someone breathing down my neck to urge me to do more than I was already doing.

I remember the day all that changed. The phone rang, I answered it, and a voice boomed, “Hi, Jan, it’s Frank ____, from the convention. Have you got a minute?”

I was immediately struck with feelings of terror. I did not want to talk to this man; I did not want to perform better or achieve sales goals. But for whatever reason—now it’s known to be Divine Providence – I said, sure, I had a minute.

“I’d like to mentor you,” he announced. He went on to explain how he would do this and what would be involved on my part. Actually, it all sounded pretty good, more supportive than scary, but I was still puzzled. Why had he honed in on me? So, I asked him.

“Jan,” he replied, “I see something in you that you don’t even see in yourself. I’d like to help make that picture a reality.” I was intrigued so I agreed, hesitantly, and we were off. Thus, began the mentoring relationship that changed my life, a relationship that, in time, steered my own life path toward mentoring.

Frank called me every week for one year, on his dime. He told me what books to read, what tapes to listen to (no CDs then!). We started with Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, and my eyes were opened. What seminars to attend—Tony Robbins, Dan Kennedy, Denis Waitley, and my world shifted a bit more. Frank taught me how to motivate myself; to set daily, weekly and monthly goals in all areas of my life, though we focused primarily on income, work performance, and another of his passions, health. He taught me how to visualize and manifest.

Soon, my goals were being met, income was rising, and my self-esteem was off the charts. At the next annual convention, my efforts were recognized. I’d made it into the Top 10 in the nation in sales. And, within months, Frank had me training other reps at regional conventions. Before I knew it, I was a full fledged personal and professional growth speaker and trainer.

And then the day came, a day I will never forget. Frank called me for our usual weekly phone conference, but this time, his tone was different. Serious, quiet.

“Jan,” he said, “this is the last time you’ll be hearing from me. Our time together is done. You’ve done a great job and I couldn’t be prouder.” My heart sank. Tears filled my eyes. I had come to deeply love this man. As a mentor, he’d accepted me as me, something I’d rarely experienced with others. He gave of himself in such unselfish ways. When I failed or experienced self-doubt, he was there to encourage. He looked for the light within me and helped fan it to flame. I had grown by leaps and bounds under Frank’s tutelage.

I couldn’t believe our relationship was over. Surely, we’d be in touch? “Nope,” he said, “but I will be in touch one way, because I know, beyond a doubt, that someday I will be listening to your tapes and reading your books. (With that pronouncement, I remember thinking to myself, ‘Ridiculous.’)

“Now, I need you to do something for me. I need you to do the same thing for others as I’ve done with you. That’s what life is all about, you see.” With that invitation, Frank said goodbye. I never heard from him again.

Though I did try to contact him, I never imagined myself an author, so when I did write my first book in 1998, I sent Frank a copy. No response. I sent him a letter, just wanting to touch bases; to thank him for all that he’d done for me. Nothing. It was true, he was not reachable. All I had were memories, and Frank’s voice echoing in my head reminding me to do for others what he had done for me.

And so I have. In 2000, I dedicated myself to mentoring others, though the form was different than Frank’s. It was focused on the spiritual. Via a formal, three-year training program, I found my way beyond Zig, Tony, and Og to Meister Eckhart, Rumi, and Teresa of Avila; to Jesus and Buddha and beyond.

To mentor, to offer myself in support of the life path of another has been a profound experience, even beyond teaching or writing. To see a spark of the Divine in each person and help fan it to flame; to encourage him or her to see their innate beauty and light, what joy!

This, I believe, is what we all must do for one another, especially now, with the world being what it is. In this pivotal time when so many are suffering or confused; anxious or depressed; weary or overwhelmed, we can mentor. Offer an outstretched hand, a listening ear, an affirming blog response, a phone call or handwritten note of encouragement. In whatever way you do it best, bear witness to another’s heart and lend a piece of your own. Be a supportive presence.

I pass the baton, today, from Frank, through me to you. Mentor. Mentor with all your heart. Will you accept?

Who crossed your path today? To whom can you give a kind word, a gentle touch, pockets of your time? Everyone wants to be validated, valued, and understood. Will you accept my invitation and mentor someone? Frank would be really happy. I will be, too.


Special Note:  Jan has graciously offered to give away one copy of her recent book, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be, to one lucky winner.  Alternatively, if you would rather have one of her earlier books, they are available also:  Awakening the Spirit Within or Perfect Love.

Winner will be chosen at random, from the comments below, on Saturday, December 12th.  (Edit December 12, 2009:  Winner is Erin Prais-Hintz.  Congratulations Erin!)

Learn more about Jan Lundy, her programs, books, and spiritual mentoring at her website: She blogs there, and at

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Karl Staib - Work Happy Now December 9, 2009 at 6:56 am

That is a truly awesome story. It’s the story that I actually tried to write, but missed the mark. That’s for another comment.

I like that Jan was resistant at first. We all usually are, but overtime she came to love Frank. My favorite part is that he gave her all she needed and left. He was there to pass on love and confidence and was done. Now it was her turn to do the same for others.

I hope to win this book because it’s the type of stuff I’m trying to teach.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..Work Happy Tip – Just Ask =-.


Lynn December 9, 2009 at 7:06 am

So often we do not realize the effect we have on others. I practice what I like to think of as “lifestyle evangelism” – but am always looking for ways to improve.
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Carving, flourish and effort =-.


Trish @IamSucceeding December 9, 2009 at 7:49 am

AMAZING story!

Thank you for sharing with us!
.-= Trish @IamSucceeding´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Finale of Inspiration =-.


Jill December 9, 2009 at 8:02 am

When I finished reading this, Jan, I was a bit overcome with emotion. I felt myself wishing that I could be such a mentor to someone. That I could touch lives in life-changing ways. Then I felt myself wishing that I had a mentor such as Frank to show me the way. To show me how to be helpful to others. Now the Divine is whispering in my ear and telling me that I may not have a personal mentor, but that I have many such mentors available to me through the blogging community. I am also pretty sure that I am already mentoring a small group of people right now. Those would be my children. I so love being one of the people who is helping them on their journey through childhood and early adulthood. So for now, I will not waste time wishing for things that I don’t have yet. I can focus on what I have. Thank you, Jan, for sharing this story. And thank you, Lance, for inviting her over.
.-= Jill´s Last Fabulous Post ..Tis the season to be…stressed? =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 8:20 am

Hello everyone! I am thrilled to be here today sharing heart thoughts with you. I am, literally, here–all day. because we are in the midst of a walloping big snowstorm and I won’ t be venturing out in the white stuff, not when it’s like this.

I appreciate your kind thoughts and what I planning to do is backtrack to everyone’s sites so I can get a feel for who you are–if I don’t know you that is. 🙂 But first, I’ll add this.

Mentoring styles vary from individual to individual. What Frank did for me was really unique, and then he said goodbye. When I mentor someone, I do not ever say goodbye. I think faithfulness, steadiness, is key to companioning someone. I leave the leavetaking up to the person. At this point in time, I’ve mentored someone for as long as 8 years or 1 phone call. It is totally up to that person how long we stay connected. Though I do sometimes have to refer someone out for further assistance, counseling or healthcare perhaps, depending on their needs. I mentor casually–through e-mails or handwritten letters–I mentor formally, and there is a “donation” for the services. Mentoring takes many forms. No matter which one you choose, go for it, and know that your offering is a sacred gift.

Also, for the record, Frank was the first of many mentors I have been blessed to have in my life. My book, Your Truest Self, features 12 more of them–powerful, amazing, generous-of-spirit women with whom I crossed paths over the years. Some are well known, some are not. It doesn’t matter. What does is how they shared their truest selves with me in an unselfish way.

Now, to the comments….


JAN December 9, 2009 at 8:44 am

Gotta say. One of the reasons I approached you about this topic is because YOU are such a great mentor, and I knew you would catch my drift. I see you positively mentoring others in so many ways. Through your family, church, community involvement, and more. You embody for us what a mentor is: an “anamcara, ” a “soul friend” who is there with ever-encouraging words and complete acceptance. Truly, who could ask for more? Thank you, again, for offering up this sacred space for my visit. 🙂

Hi Karl,
What great work you are doing on your site! Kudos to you for reaching out to others in this way to help them improve their lives. There are a lot of really great books on mentoring if you want to go that route. My favorites are those that have to do with listening–really listening. You might want to check out Dr. Mark Brady’s books on this: “The Wisdom of Listening” and “Right Listening.” Marvelous. May your mentoring be blessed!

An evangelizing lifestyle speaks to an awareness that others have needs that perhaps you can fill. Good for you! May your efforts be grace-filled!

Hi and thanks for the kind comment. And congrats to you for all the good “work of self” you are doing on you, via your blog. You are a stellar example and inspiration to others. “Keep on keepin’ on,” as my friend Kenny would sing. Now, that’s ANOTHER mentor story….


Terie December 9, 2009 at 8:46 am

WOW this is really inspiring. I often wonder how I can give or share in the fortune I’ve had with friends, family and just life in general and mentoring…that word just says it all. This is an amazing story and one that will surely change someone’s life – maybe even my own. Thank you lance for sharing Jan’s story, book, and for being you!!

We are all so blessed — so now we must pay it forward!

.-= Terie´s Last Fabulous Post ..It must be love =-.


Zeenat{Positive Provocations} December 9, 2009 at 9:10 am

Dearest Jan,
Youre such a pleasure to read. Your words were like music to my soul. I felt such a deep connection with you.
I am a counseling psychologist by profession..and felt this need to “be supportive” a long time back when i felt just counseling wasnt enough. In more ways than one I try my best to give…I love how you say it “Be a supportive presence”. I do try..and I hope I am. The satisfaction I get when i see another person smile and take charge of their life, is incomparable to any feeling I have ever had. I never really knew I was mentoring people till I read this article. In my mind i thought i was just being caring and supportive to a more deeper degree. But mentoring seems like the right word 🙂
What an absolute delight this post was…and I think i am going to enjoy reading your blog and your books too. I think i am going to mentor with a deeper passion now 🙂

Dearest Lance,
Thank you to the power of infinity and beyond…for introducing me to JAN 🙂 Youre the best 🙂
.-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Decision To Be You =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 9:20 am

Dearest Jill,
Your words bring such a smile to my face and heart. I know from reading your blog you do mentor others. And one of the ways you do this the best is simply by being you. You are so wonderfully transparent about your journey that you inspire all of us onward. 🙂

As for personal mentoring, please know that I have many mentoring relationships with others through e-mail and letter exchange. This is what I mean by “informal” mentoring in the comment above. (Meaning an exchange of ideas, no currency involved. 🙂 “Formal” mentoring, this is more structured. We talk once a month, on the phone or in-person, and touch bases through the month via email. I do request a “donation” for this service if someone can afford it. Mentoring, done in this way, is an aspect of my “profession.” Please know that if you are longing for a mentor, I am available in whatever way suits you. Or I can refer you to someone else. I would not ever want anyone to feel alone or without access to a mentor … just because….Having a soul friend is so important. I also think many of us are serving as soul friends to one another just through blogging. 🙂 (Read Zeena’s comment, which is just perfect!)

So glad this touch your heart. Your site is lovely, by the way. I am sure you mentor others even through that. But setting a new intention to be open to receive others is a very powerful way to jumpstart or enhance your mentoring. Open the door and you just might be surprised who comes in! May you always be of service to others.
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 9:29 am

I believe we have crossed paths now and then in blogland. Hello! You are doing such marvelous work in the world. Gasho! (That’s a deep bow of respect in the Taoist tradition.) I commend you for dedicating your life to others in this way. Spiritual counseling and mentoring (or spiritual direction) are not that different, though “counseling” sometimes implies advice giving. Spiritual mentoring or direction leans toward a “being with” and listening deeply to how the Spirit is moving in each person. I believe that the Divine speaks through each person in a very unique way and, sometimes, especially if we are in crisis or transition, it is helpful to have a “seasoned” other journey with us. The mentor helps the person “lean into God” or the Sacred (the Holy, Allah, Jehovah, Spirit, the One, the All–whichever term you use) to hear the whisperings of a call, a lead, a practice, clarity, etc. The process is very individualized. Deep listening and compassionate, non-judgmental, no-anxious presence are key. 🙂

Upon reading your blog you definitely ARE mentoring in beautiful way. May your journey of supporting others continue to be blessed and fruitful. (p.s. I just bookmarked your blog. You will be seeing me again!)
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


Jewel/Pink Ink December 9, 2009 at 9:39 am

Wonderful post, Lance. Janice, thank you for sharing your story. What an amazing, amazing gift Frank was to your life!! And yes, a great reminder that we can lift others too.
.-= Jewel/Pink Ink´s Last Fabulous Post ..Glad to be a dog? =-.


suzen December 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

Hi Lance! Superb choice my friend! It takes one to know one is all I can say – well, that, and THANK you!

Hi Jan! Powerful story! Kudos to Frank for seeing the light of the Divine in you! It would be hard to miss! There have been few people in my life of 62 years that speak to me in pure soulful poetry, with the warmth of heart that is Divinely inspired – you are beyond a doubt one of them!

I have no “formal” mentoring to speak of, such as Frank’s. I use every possible opportunity (informally) to support and encourage everyone to be the best that they can be in whatever they choose to do. I worked in the school system for decades with an enrichment program I created to bring creative confidence to kids and, more importantly perhaps, their teachers. In the journaling workshops/classes, I worked with hundreds of women in desperate need of “finding” their true selves. Inspiring and motivating people is what I feel called to do – be it through spiritual avenues, or when all else fails, using humor. I find hanging out with people like you in the blogosphere helps ME become better at keeping those fires stoked and never giving up on the opportunities that present themselves to lighten a load or help people think outside the box. The light you shine travels far, my dear! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that!


Tess The Bold Life December 9, 2009 at 10:25 am

Hi Lance and Jan,

What a great story to read. I find it amazing that you knew Dan Kennedy in the 90’s. I love the story of Frank. And understand why he had to move on. There have been so many people who have wanted to stay connected to me after I’ve mentored them but it’s impossible. I let them go so they can move on and use their gifts to mentor another. I also move on to mentor someone new. All remain in my heart always. What a wonderful gift you had and how blessed people are today that come across your path. I love your advice…now is the time to reach out connect and help.

Great guest Lance, we go back a long way!
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..Work Happy Now =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 10:36 am

Thank you, dear hearted girl, for your kind comments. I blush…I love YOUR sharing of all the many ways you have mentored others over the years. My, what fabulous path! Your energy is contagious, and I fully understand how you were able to touch so many lives. Here’s to many, many more. May we all be faithful to the spirit of mentoring.

Oh, the stories I could tell! You, too, I imagine. (where was a I just tooling around and I saw the photo of you and Christopher Reeves–I know he was a huge influence on you and mentor…)

I appreciate your stance of letting go. What’s interesting about the spiritual mentoring process I use is that both of us seem to sense when the time is right to part. Amazing how that happens. Spirit-led, I am sure. As long as both of us are listening well. May all your efforts of being present to and Presence for others continue to bring joy to all… You are an amazing woman, Tess Marshall. Yep, we go back a loooooong ways….
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 10:41 am

Ms. Jewel,
Thank you for these kind thoughts. And thanks for stopping by my website for “women on the path.” It will be great to get to know you better. Yes, we can uplift others, sometimes in ways so simple it’s astounding.

Here’s a quick one. I am in the post office a lot. The people who work there often seem so unhappy and stressed. I always make sure I look each one directly in the eye (even though they might want to rush me onward). Then I smile. I’ve done this long enough now that when I walk in, their eyes light up. Three of the workers now regularly say to me, “I love it when you come in. You just brighten my day.” Simple kindnesses, sometimes that is all we are talking about…It’s just remembering to offer them. The Dalai Lama is my guy you know: “My religion is kindness.”
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


Evita December 9, 2009 at 10:50 am

Hi Lance – what a guest and what a story – wow!

Jan, this was so beautiful to read. Isn’t that something that someone out there will pick us, for reasons that at the time may not be available to us, they pick us. And later, perhaps much later we understand how and why all unfolded as it did.

Thank you for all the work that you do. You are a great inspiration and in so many ways I do feel called to mentor as well, but for now parts of me still feel unsure, as if not ready. But the truth is are we ever as ready as we want to be or think we need to be?
And I love what you said about reaching out to others – I know Lance for example does that better than most, if not all people I know, so he too is an inspiration.
Thank you both!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Big Evolving Beings Christmas Giveaway 2009 =-.


Erin Prais-Hintz December 9, 2009 at 11:01 am

Wow. That was most certainly an inspiration. I believe that every thing happens for a reason and this is a true testament to that fact. Frank most certainly knew what he was doing, he was guided by a Higher Power in seeking Jan out to be her mentor. And look at the great things that Jan has done because Frank lit the spark. We have no idea the effect that we have on others who pass in and out of our lives. We all have the capacity to mentor someone in something. I relish those opportunities and see them as a great gift that I can give to the Universe. Thank you Lance, for sharing Jan with us today. And thank you for your inspiration.
Enjoy the day!
.-= Erin Prais-Hintz´s Last Fabulous Post ..Inspired by…Grandma’s Jewelry Box =-.


Julie December 9, 2009 at 11:35 am

Oh, Jan, this moved me so much, I just can’t tell you… In contemplating why, I thought perhaps it was Frank’s selflessness, or the fact that you were so scared but took the leap anyway, or that you dove right into everything so gung-ho and “made it,” or even that you are now mentoring, too. But while all those touched me, it was this statement that instantly brought the tears to my eyes: “I see something in you that you don’t even see in yourself.” And, there, it’s happening again, those tears… There’s just something so incredibly tender and painful about being lost in this way, and endearing, too. We’ve all been there, even more than once. Knowing this within ourselves, we recognize the experience in others—and we are drawn to help in whatever way we can. That’s one of best aspects of blogging, I think, at least in this community of ours. …that we genuinely care and, so, are willing and eager to offer whatever help we can.

Lance, I love it when you make me cry. (Well, you did! You invited lovely Jan.) You are a treasure. Thank you.

PS to Jan: Thank you for your smiles at the Post Office. A family member works there, and what you say is true; it’s not a happy place. Bless you for your humanity!

Side note to everyone: If you could just please do away with the demeaning phrase “snail mail.” You’ve just no idea what your service industry endures for you…
.-= Julie´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Different Thanksgiving =-.


Akemi - Yes to Me December 9, 2009 at 11:44 am

I started reading Jan’s blogs recently, so this guest posting came so timely. Thank you.

This is a great story of the possibilities we have within. Thank you for sharing.
I, too, find it interesting how Frank completely shut down the communication after the mentoring. Because he doesn’t want you to be reliant on him any longer. Because he wants you to be YOU, not a copy of himself. This alone tells me what a great mentor he is.

.-= Akemi – Yes to Me´s Last Fabulous Post ..Review: Tribes By Seth Godin =-.


Hilary December 9, 2009 at 11:59 am

Hi Lance – that was an inspiring story for us all just before Christmas .. something that we will remember as we go about our life at this time ..

Jan – what an incredible set of circumstances .. and how brilliant that he was so aware that he could help you and guide you forward. That saying goodbye .. I too would struggle with that – I like to keep contact with people .. and wonder how they get on – if I’ve lost that contact.

It is a lovely story; especially to be reminded that we can in our own small ways mentor everyone we come across – if they are open to our expressions .. mind, word or deed – as your smile says it all.

It is lovely to read everyone’s comments and hear their stories .. one day I’ll have mine ..

With love to everyone and this gentle, so definitive post …
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Cricket Ball Squash, Santa Claus, Italy and us … =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Just visited your lovely site. My, what great work YOU are doing in the world. Carry on! You are mentoring in so many ways. But I understand what your hesitation might be about. I think of mentoring this way. It is not something I do, but a presence I am and can be. Can I be clear, calm and (hopefully) wise with someone? Can I be fully present? Mentoring is not so much about doing something for someone (which requires a skills set) but being who we really are–our essence, a manifestation of Spirit in our unique form. Make sense? Sort of takes the pressure of being something we must work at. Also, I believe Spirit brings the people to us who do need mentoring. We may have very little to do with the whole process. I certainly do not seek people out to mentor. They just come, dear ones, who are seeking a little clarity or warmth or kindness.

The Persian poet Rumi wrote: “Be grateful for whomever comes, because has been sent as a guide from beyond.” I love this. It captures the spirit of mentoring. We are “sent” –as are those we mentor being sent to us. May you mentor wisely, with confidence and joy!

Nice to meet you. I adore the name of your blog. It is so true–inspiration is everywhere, if we have the eyes to perceive it and the heart to receive it. 🙂 I appreciate your kind words, too. May the Spirit continue to guide you as you reach out and inspire others–mentoring in your own unique way.
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Lovely to meet you. Sorry to make you cry! I sense, though, they were tears of joy and connection with something deep inside of you that loves to affirm and be affirmed. Don’t we all. Yes, we need these pathways to be open, such as those we are finding in the blog world. There are so many wonderful people sharing their hearts so transparently–that’s what brings me to tears every single time! Your site is just stunning by the way, so I am celebrating you and how you reach out to others with your particular gifts and talents. Smile on!

Hi Akemi,
Nice to see you. I think you are right about Frank letting go. Though, interestingly, I knew in my heart I would never be a clone of him. My leanings at that time were definitely toward the spiritual, and though he was a very religious man (he was a very strong Mormon, by the way) we never spoke of this. Once our pairing was done, and I was moving on, I recognized something need in me was still not being met. I had found joy in personal and professional growth, but it felt like something was missing. In fact, I recall saying that to myself one day. As Providence would have it, I lost my health a few years after that and that loss took me into the arms of the spiritual. That was when I REALLY found my true home. Frank’s mentoring was a gateway so I could find my own unique path.

Congrats on the lovely mentoring you do, Akemi. What great gifts you have to give to others!

(I love your invitation to let go of the snarl about snail mail. I am going to, because of you! I do appreciate postal workers as they are waaaay overworked and stressed, especially this time of year. )
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


Lisa (mommymystic) December 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Wow, what an amazing story! And wonderful to learn more about you too, Jan. In this age of networking, where we are so often encouraged to ‘trade’ help, how wonderful to hear a story about someone who helped with no apparent desire for gain on his own part. In some ways, it reminded me of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and books of that ilk, with a mysterious teacher appearing for a time while needed, and then disappearing when his work is done.
.-= Lisa (mommymystic)´s Last Fabulous Post ..Spiritual Processing,Transits and Empowerments =-.


Ernestine Lawson December 9, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Jan, what a wonderful post. I am so pleased that I found you. There have been those who have encouraged me at times in my life. There have been those who I have reached out to and encouraged.
Some special stories in One Woman’s past. Blessings sent to you this day.


Hayden Tompkins December 9, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Wow, cutting off all contact? That’s BOLD. What an amazing gift, Jan, that he was able to lovingly push you out of the nest to let you fly.

This is a lovely story, thank you for sharing this experience!
.-= Hayden Tompkins´s Last Fabulous Post ..10 Ways to Get Your Winter Awesome On! =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Such sweet thoughts you share. Your kindness is a “mentoring” gift to many. I am sure you have had your share of times when your own wisdom enabled others to be warmed or to fly. 🙂

‘Tis true, if we can stay present, awake and aware there are opportunities in every moment to uplift others. May all your encounters be blessed!

Hi Lisa,
So nice to connect with you again. I never thought of it that way but, yes, Frank could have easily been one of the “angels” who comes then moves on to the next person who needs a boost, too. I did enjoy the “Peaceful Warrior” movie for that very reason. May you continue to the supportive presence to others that you are!

You have been blessed as a giver and as a receiver! It would be wonderful to read some of YOUR stories someday. Your blog is a wonderful memoir of sorts, perhaps there? I, for one, would enjoy reading them. May you continue to bless and be blessed!
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


Carolynn December 9, 2009 at 1:44 pm

You truly have a gift to uplift, Jan. As I read this post, I reflected on the personal e-mails we’ve shared, however brief, and the blessing that they are. I still have them, btw. I haven’t deleted them. They’re quite special to me, as are you. You are a rare and special soul, Jan, and it comes through in everything you do.


Joy December 9, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I knew this would be powerful–thank you for sharing this story.
I personally believe mentoring comes in all forms, and part of how we all mentor is just as simple as being authentic and sharing what you have with someone who needs it without being asked. Whatever form that is–from a smile or encouraging word, to active listening, to formally guiding someone down a path. I believe each person was placed in my life for a reason so I try to be mindful and present; there have been some amazing Angels and Teachers placed in my life, some I haven’t felt ready for so pretty much ignored (but remembered), some I wasn’t ready for but stayed present and open to anyway. When I remain open there is so much to experience and learn it is joyous, when I am closed or doubting it can be exhausting to take even one step but I try.
In our blogging community there is so much Spirit and Wisdom that it is such a blessing to receive all that is shared by each host. I’ve been inspired, challenged, encouraged, guided; it’s been amazingly good, and at times life changing. Thank you, Jan, and thank you Lance, for being such a big part of that:) Lots of good energy to you both:)


Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings December 9, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Hi Lance and Jan. That is an aweseome story and so well written that now even I miss Frank! This is a perfect example of paying it forward. The gift that Frank gave you Jan, you have passed on to countless others. What a fantastic legacy for him and you to leave.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Daisy List #55. Make a Cupcake Stack =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Hi Hayden,
Nice to meet you! Yes, I suppose that it was bold for Frank to do so, but I assure you he had no problem letting go. Mentoring was his true nature and off he went to mentor many others after me. I did google him of late and he is still alive (in his late 70’s now, I think) and I bet he is as active as ever. Sometimes I imagine trying to contact him again, but then…..I allow memories to sustain.

Your site is so energetic, by the way! Many blessings to you as you continue to inspire others onward!

You are so dear. Such kind words. It is a joy to have connected with you. And you inspire others by the way you live so soulfully, from your heart, especially with such tenderness toward the animal world. May all your steps and paw prints be blessed!

I agree that there are so many gifted folks on the web. It is just amazing to me! I appreciate what you say so candidly about teachers, being ready for them or not. I think that if we are not, they will return, perhaps not in that exact form, but in a way that we will recognize when the time is right. I am sure you are an inspiration to many people in your daily life. Your blog posts are so transparent, they urge all of us to go the distance, especially when it gets tough. May all the sailing days of your life be blessed!
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


Mindful Mimi December 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for sharing Jan’ story. And what a story. I think we all have such a story, to a certain extent. Sometimes there are people willing to mentor us but we are not ready. Or we do not see it. I have been there. But now I have learned to learn from the lessons, I know how to recognize a helping hand, and I accept it. And I am doing my best to pass it on, help others in some way or another. Sometimes they are younger and I see myself years back and I try to find the words that I needed to hear back then and didn’t. Sometimes it works.
But the most amazing work right now is setting up these charity team building events. I am not mentoring one person in particular, but I am changing the dynamics of a whole company little by little. And I am proud of that.
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am. — Bernard M. Baruch =-.


Jodi at Joy Discovered December 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Hi Lance, thank you for continuing to bring such lovely bloggers to your site!

Jan, this is such a wonderful story. It really warms my heart to read it. I believe in the power of mentoring so much. Before having kids, I mentored quite a bit and it was a truly wonderful experience. I mentor on a small basis now but in time will take it on more. I miss it. The way you went on to mentor others is really fabulous. Thank YOU for being you and for touching all of our lives! xo! Jodi
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..Planting Seeds for the New Year =-.


Barbara Swafford December 9, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Hi Lance,

Thank you for introducing us to Jan and this beautiful story.

Hi Jan,

As I read your story it reminded me of how we touch other peoples lives every day. Just as the quote says, it’s not what we say, but how we make someone feel. Your story made me feel like what I do matters, and just like Frank paid it forward to you, and you’re paying it forward with us, I pray I can continue to do the same and in the end, leave this world a better place.

Thank you for all you do.
.-= Barbara Swafford´s Last Fabulous Post ..Requesting Two Minutes Of Your Time =-.


JAN December 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Nice to meet you. Isn’t the idea of paying it forward just marvelous!? I imagine you do much of that through your own blog and outreach to others. May your efforts continue to bring joy and laughter to many. 🙂

Nice to meet you, too! I am so heartened to hear that you have had wonderful mentors in your life. And that you reach out to others, as well. We all need a little help from our friends, don’t we? Many blessings to you as you connect heart-to-heart with others via your lovely blog.

Such sweet words. Thank you! I am sure you mentor others in untold ways. Especially by your blog, which is so very soulful. We never know when our words can soothe or uplift another at exactly the right time help is needed. May we all be open to the opportunities that await us…
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Not Marley and Me, But It Is a Story of Love… =-.


Bern December 9, 2009 at 7:53 pm

This inspirational story reminds me of the Way of the Peaceful Warrior and how Socrates mentored Dan Milman. Its wonderful Jan that you had a Socrates in your Life. Socrates too disappeared, but his love, as Franks, shines within you for all to see and feel forever. The wisdom we receive certainly expands exponentially when we open up and share the life we live, for life is the daily arena to share what we have been gifted.


Diane AZ December 9, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Hi, Just wanted to say that it’s nice to read about people who help others without expecting anything in return.
.-= Diane AZ´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sepia Scenes – Sunset =-.


Wilma Ham December 9, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Hi Lance and Jan.
Oh Jan, I so can feel your reluctance at being mentored at first.
Being authentically great is still a challenge to our ego and inner little voice, we rather be hot air and puff ourselves up than really flaxing our greatness muscles and become solid.
Isn’t it amazing what longer term encouragement and accountability can do.
I have seen it over and over again in my own work too AND it is hard to let go fro the mentor and the mentoree.
That in itself was also a great experience, letting go and moving on even when you think you are not ready yet.
How wonderful that you took it on so fully, and how wonderful that you were coachable to do things differently.
And the ripples that this all had, the ripples we all can cause when we give from our heart without feeling obliged or because we have to, are invisible mostly and yet so life changing.
Love to you both, Wilma
.-= Wilma Ham´s Last Fabulous Post ..Don’t let change in your circumstances fool you. =-.


Peggy December 9, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Dear Lance and Jan,

I have to admit, I’m a collector of signed books, by the author of course! When I completed my Passion Test this past April, my third passion was “helping others help themselves” – whether it’s women in general, breast cancer survivors or stepmoms…mentoring, teaching, that’s what I do…that’s who I am.

Jan, regardless of whether or not I receive a signed copy of your book (which I would love), I would love to connect with you.

Lance – thank you for introducing me to Jan!

In Gratitude,
.-= Peggy´s Last Fabulous Post ..Merry SITSmas & Christmas! =-.


Audra Krell December 9, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I so want to win the book! This is deeply inspiring. I hope several new mentor relationships are formed from your story.
I have been a mentor and haven’t enjoyed it because the women I have been with have not wanted to change in any way. They also wanted the relationship to go on forever. I see now, that the mentor/mentee relationship needs to have a set time limit, that I need to set much stronger boundaries in my relationships. You have inspired me to be a different kind of mentor – thank you!
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..Macy’s Believe =-.


Laura Hegfield December 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Jan and Lance I loved this story! And yes it’s so true that is what we are called to do…be supportive, loving, compassionate, cheerleaders and mentors for everyone we can…YES, YES a resounding YES. And of course, the essence of this cheering and mentoring is often holding silent space and listening, just simply listening.

Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story!
.-= Laura Hegfield´s Last Fabulous Post ..Home Bound-Gnome Mound =-.


Lance December 9, 2009 at 9:48 pm

What great thoughts and discussion being shared here in the comments. Your words all ring true to what mentoring is about. I feel this very much as I read everything being shared, just what a mentoring relationship can be…really so many different sideshoots off what I might think of as typical mentoring. And that’s okay. There is no one “right” way to do this. It’s what works for each of us, where we’re at when that relationship is taking place. And that’s whether we’re the mentor or the mentee. Wonderful and caring thoughts are being shared, and it’s all so good to read and let really soak into my own soul. Thank you, every one of you, for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings. It is all touching my spirit…


Lance December 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm

This story you have shared is one that I find filled with hope and possibility for all of us. There are “Frank’s” out there in this world, women and men doing this every day – giving of themselves to make our world better, one person at a time. What a selfless gift to give! Jan, I see this so much in you, too. You are a “Frank”. You bring light and possibility for so many. Just the words you use speak volumes to the deep care you have for your fellow travelers here on this earth, travelers all going along some journey through life. As I said above, it is an honor to have this story of yours told here. Know that the words you share in this story have touched me deeply. Beyond that, too, you have an amazing gift to bring out the good in others, and I believe that’s because you see the good in others, you see the potential. As I type this, and glance outside, lights softly glowing off the new fallen snow, I’m again reminded of the peacefulness your presence brings. Jan, I am deeply thankful for your trust in me with this story here today.



Liara Covert December 9, 2009 at 10:19 pm

What a beautiful example of Pay it Forward. If anyone has not yet seen this movie, it is truly an uplifting experience. Jan reminds us that part of the purpose to physical existence comes from giving back, from inspiring others to be the best they can be based on lessons you learn and apply. You truly give of yourself when you do something for someone who cannot pay you back or, who does not want you to pay them back. Do yourself a favor, empower someone to realize its within their scope to completely transform in uplifting ways. If you choose, help more. It uplifts your spirit and transforms you during the process.
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..What feels right? =-.


Tim December 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Jan, I am blown away by your story…thank you for sharing it! It really makes me realize how important it is to help others. I know there are a lot of older people that might be threatened by someone younger, but it is so important to support everyone to their fullest potential. Thank you, as well, Lance for allowing Jan to share this very cool story!
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Magic of Showing Up =-.


Erik December 10, 2009 at 5:32 am

I like the paying it forward idea. I like that she was resistant but said yes for some reason and it came together. I’m realizing that things like this do happen when we are receptive to them. Thanks for the words of encouragement from all of you.


JAN December 10, 2009 at 6:14 am

Oh, my, I wake up to more snow and a flurry of comments. Wow! Hello again, everyone. I am really touched by all your comments, difficult to express how much. Thank you for your kind responses! You all are just terrific and I know from now on some of you are going to offer amazing mentoring to others. Yep!

I just want to echo what Lance said. Mentoring can take a myriad of forms. From simply listening to being present to actually helping someone navigate the ups and downs of their life, it’s all the same. Last night, my husband and I watched the movie “The Soloist” with Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx. Have you seen it? Wow! This turned out to be a mentoring film!

What touched me the most was how Mr. Lopez (Downey’s character) learned the value of listening, presence, and friendship. He had an idea of how HE thought Mr. Ayers ( a homeless, gifted musician) life should go, but that was not honoring Mr. Ayers’ desires or capabilities. Lopez pushed, until a breaking point happened, then he had to let go of his expectations and simply BE with this lovely man. Mentoring, in this way, did not involve transforming someone’s life and lifting them up out of poverty. It meant allowing another to trust their own journey and provide support for them as they lived it–on their own terms–friendship, pure and simple. I wish everyone could watch this film and learn from this true story. 🙂


JAN December 10, 2009 at 6:22 am

Hi Barbara,
Oh, yes, what YOU do does matter. Over the years I have learned how such small things can shift someone’s perspective or provide a dose of courage. What you do on your blog alone is very powerful. Many blessings on your creative form of mentoring!

Hi there! Frank was definitely a Socrates. I appreciate the correlation. I love how you said that our wisdom expands when we open ourselves up to to the journeys of others. I imagine you have assisted many people and helped their clarity and wisdom to expand to by your presence….

Welcome. It does warm the heart doesn’t it to give unconditionally, no strings attached. Pure and simple service.

Interesting thing I am experiencing right now. I participate in a program called “Chemo Angels.” You are paired with someone who is going through cancer. You send them cards and small gifts while they are in treatment. This is a one-way gifting relationship. The cancer patient does not usually respond back to you. This has brought up so much in me, awareness of how I may still expect something in return. To send someone things and not receive a formal thank you, or have any news about how they are doing has been a real learning curve. I am so glad I chose to do this because it has helped me grow in generosity. To give for the pure joy of giving … What a journey!
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..Are You Going Crazy or Waking Up? A Guest and A Giveaway =-.


JAN December 10, 2009 at 6:37 am

Wilma, your comment points out the MANY lessons to be gleaned by both parties in mentoring. That is one of the untold beauties of this. Mentoring is truly a two way street with reciprocal benefits. We each gain, are challenged, have learnings and letting gos. So powerful. I am certain that the way you uniquely mentor others
has had many, many ripples. Blessings!

Hi there! The results of your Passion Test sound marvelous. I will hope that this next year you find yourself mentoring (and being mentored!) by others with true joy. I would be happy to connect with you further, should you desire. Your blog is just marvelous. I love the byline about serendipity! My friend and dearest mentor ever–Sue Patton Thoele (check out her website: calls serendipity “Wonderful Weirdness” or “Holy Synchronicity.” I love that, don’t you? May your journey be blessed!

Welcome and congrats on your lovely site and personal mentoring efforts. I think the BIG thing to remember about mentoring (as I shared above in my first comment this morning) is mentoring may not necessarily be about OUR agenda for a person. Sometimes we just need to be present and let go, “let God” care for the other.

I have a dear loved one right now, for example, who is struggling with alcoholism. I can give her every piece of advice, line up opportunities for recovery, etc. but if she does not want to make a change, she won’t. So, the question remains for me, yes, how to set healthy boundaries, but also how to keep my heart open, to allow her to walk her path (even if it is self-destructive), to be some sort of presence for her. This is NOT an easy walk. This is hard for me. But I do it because it is even harder for her. How can I love and serve without limits? is a very big question…I try to remember that there is a bigger plan here, a greater force in the world, and I do not need to know it all or be in charge. I can let go and live in love…..
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..Are You Going Crazy or Waking Up? A Guest and A Giveaway =-.


JAN December 10, 2009 at 6:51 am

Dearest Laura, you said it so well. “Holding space” for someone. Truly, I think this is the CORE of mentoring. As Frank did– saw the spark in me and held a holy space for me to recognize it in myself. This is one of the greatest things we can do for another. To see and tend the Sacred within them. You do that so well, Laura. Hugs!

Thank you again for your kind and loving heart. What a role model you are to others! It is a joy to be here with you and bear witness to your wonderful efforts in the world….done on so many levels.

This is beautifully said, a powerful invitation you offer. Yes, may we continue to open our hearts and be the love we wish to see in the world (ala Mahatma Gandhi…). You, too, are doing such magnificent, helpful “work.” You invite us to be all that we already are. Blessings as life unfolds for you…

Tim, what a wonderful blog you have. So inspiring. I am just amazed how many of us are out there doing the good “work” of self. You bring up a very interesting point. In a handful of formal mentoring situations, I have had an older person come to me and after a session or two been reluctant to continue. They were honest enough to admit that my age was a factor. (They were in their sixties or seventies and I am mid-50s). They felt uncomfortable “sitting with” someone who appeared younger and wiser. What this told me was that there is a very big need to be open to “whomever comes,” as Rumi said. It could be a wise child, an unconditionally loving pet, the sway of the trees, the light at dawn–each has beautiful presence (and wisdom) to offer if we let it in. The Sacred is in everything and we just need to open our eyes and hearts to perceive it. I got one of the biggest lessons in life from watching a spider weave a web, believe it or not!!! May your journey be a wise and faithful one…
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..Are You Going Crazy or Waking Up? A Guest and A Giveaway =-.


janice December 10, 2009 at 8:24 am

Hi Jan,
This was a lovely piece. Like you, my whole life has had threads of inspiring and mentoring others, supporting others and helping them shine and get their voices heard. I did it as a teacher, translator and parent before I went the whole way and became a coach, a mentor coach and then later, a writer. I love knowing that every one of us has a life a bit like George Baillie’s in It’s a Wonderful life. We can never know how many people we’ve touched in our lifetime, but mentoring is a way to do it with presence.
.-= janice´s Last Fabulous Post ..Angels at my Table =-.


Jan December 10, 2009 at 11:00 am

Thanks for your comment. As the Taoist saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” So true! I imagine that you have had “teachers” appear in your life, as well. Blessings to you.

Love your blog! What an inspiration you are to others. And I really love the way you expressed these connections–as threads that weave through, and though we can’t see the pattern up close, in time, all the pieces have come together to make a beautiful tapestry of our life. Blessings on all you do to mentor others.


Nadia - Happy Lotus December 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Hi Jan and Lance,

Lance, thank you for featuring Jan. I have been reading her blog for sometime now and she is an amazing woman.

Jan, I so much loved reading this post. The world needs more people like Frank. I think it is wonderful that you honored his request. Not many would.

So many of us are in need of guidance but so often everyone is wrapped up with themselves, they forget to lend a helping hand. The concept of paying it forward is something that is dear to my heart. There was a time in my life where I was in need of help and life somehow brought it to me. As a result, I always do what I can to help someone along in their journey. Compassion is so vital to human existence. How I wish more people saw that.

Hope all is well with the two of you!


JAN December 10, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Lance and guests,
I had another thought. Truly, The Soloist is a perfect movie about mentoring, what might be involved, what can go wrong, and how it can change lives. I thought of another film about mentoring: The Visitor. Perfect! I am getting a number of emails from people privately and I can’t reiterate enough that mentoring is about being present to people, not about trying to fix or change them with our agendas. That never works. It really is about being PRESENT to others. If any of you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to write me. You can contact me through my website:

I always love your comments and process! You, of all people, do know firsthand the benefit of an outstretched hand. And because of that, you so easily do so for others. This is wonderful reciprocity. Yes, paying it forward is a powerful concept. Actually, my most recent book got published because someone payed it forward, opened a door for me because she had had many others open doors for her. Her name is Joyce Rupp, OSM and she helped me tremendously when it came to getting my book looked at. May you continue to bless others with your presence!


Diane Fit to the Finish December 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm

What an absolutely amazing story. So inspiring and wonderful. Jan, thank you for sharing.
.-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s Last Fabulous Post ..Thanks – I’m Not Cold =-.


Stacey Shipman December 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm

What a beautiful story. I never really had a mentor, and now I realize that my time is coming to serve in that role. Actually I do as a Big Sister, but I know there is more to come. It feels good to help others come along in their journey – whatever it might be. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I would have had a huge hole in my heart if a mentor said good-bye. By nature I’m curious and would want to know how folks are doing! Glad to hear you do not say good bye.

I love the quote you started with – Lance or Jan – I experienced that just last night and boy does it “feel good”.


Lori (Finding Radiance) December 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm

That is a lovely story!
.-= Lori (Finding Radiance)´s Last Fabulous Post ..Let it snow! =-.


Keith December 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Hello Jan and Lance!

Jan, I am so completely moved by this story. If you only knew all that is going on in my life right now, you’d understand how this story speaks to me. I am in the middle of many life changes (all good!) and the path I am on goes with this story perfectly. I am into all the same things, concepts and people that Frank and you are/were into!

When I got to the part about you and Frank parting ways, I seriously teared up, even though I think I understand why he did what he did.

Thank you so much for blessing me with this story and I want you to know that in reading it, I feel confirmation in my heart that I am definitely on the right path. I can’t thank you enough for that.
.-= Keith´s Last Fabulous Post ..Risk The Unusual! =-.


Tanej December 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Thank you for the powerful story and motivating ideas. Mentoring isn’t exactly the word (and actions) I’ve been mulling over. Yet, it does contain most of my plans. My nephew & his wife had twin baby girls a few short months ago. These children will be the closest chance I have for grandchildren. I plan to be a part of their individual and collective experiences as they grow and develop and blossom. Marriage came for me after long years of career, travel, relocating, lonely singlehood, poor choices in relationships, and learning to enjoy my own company. I just hope that my experiences (and tribulations!) of girlhood, college, various jobs, career, and life can inspire them to recognize themselves as Worthy Individuals all along life’s journey. I want them to have the opportunity to know, earlier in their lives than I did, that being a woman is the strongest and the softest “career” choice.


JAN December 10, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Thank you and nice to meet you. Your blog is amazing, as is your journey. You certainly are mentoring people in your own way by inspiring them. May your journey be joyous!

Nice to meet you, too! And congrats on your great site and the relaunch of your TV show. Sounds fabulous. I am thrilled you serve as a big Sister. I just suggested that to someone today who e-d me about how to get started with mentoring. I suggested that organization. 🙂 Keeping your heart and intentions clear just may bring a mentor to you, too! Blessings….

Howdy, and so glad to visit YOUR blog. What an amazing journey you are on. Like so many others here, you mentor others by example, by doing your life journey so faithfully and transparently–a very powerful key to living as your truest self, to be sure. I hope you make your goal!

Your comment is so touching. I am thrilled that the Frank story affirmed your own journey. I took a peek back at your blog at what you’ve been posting about and it does seem that you are on a powerful new leg of your journey. The teachers we share (and so many more!) really did open up inner doors for me. Confidence, courage, not mention sales ability. 🙂 Marketing, too. (wink) But, truly, there came a time when my spirit was longing for more. So I left that path behind (though I do believe I’d integrated most of the concepts) to enter a more mystical path. And that is where my heart is now and I suspect it will be forever after. Blessings to you as you faithfully follow your heart…

Hi! Oh, I love your last thought, “being a woman is the strongest and softest career choice.” I so agree! And as I grow older (now 56), I treasure that I have been born female. Our capacity for compassion blows me away and, to me, that’s what life is all about–caring for others with compassion and lovingkindness. I am sure you will be a wonderful mentor and more to these fortunate twins. Enjoy the journey!
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..Are You Going Crazy or Waking Up? A Guest and A Giveaway =-.


Jannie Funster December 10, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Um, okay I’ll mentor. Somehow. Some way. Reach out. Fan a spark. Share A smile. Listen. Encourage. Listen some more. Go the extra mile. Go two. Drop in. Plant a flower. Plant a seed. Plant a row of goodly deeds.

It is so timely to get to know this lady better, seeing as I will be appearing over in Jan Land on Tuesday. So I best be going off to slumber now –need my beauty sleep to goof off in blog land tomorrow.

Oh, I thought at first this was going to be about Sinatra. Love Sinatra, but love me some Jan and Lance even more.
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..“Inner Productivity” by Christopher R. Edgar — A Gem Of An Excellent Book =-.


Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord December 11, 2009 at 7:54 am

What a tremendous story, and a gift you’ve given us – both Lance and Jan.
Lance, thank you for having such a stellar guest on your site.
Jan, thank you for sharing this awesome story with us. I have been mentored and believe in mentoring, as well. I’m not sure I do it formally, but I sure do try to backdoor my way into that role with those who request it. Isn’t it funny how the best mentors come into our lives and then leave, and perhaps we never hear from them again, but we always remember them. I had one professional mentor who was like that, and when I didn’t hear from her for a year after we parted ways, I was convinced she was an angel — an actual angel. She sure acted like one during our time together!
You have me thinking, Jan: Who can I mentor? Am I open to it? How would I do it? I suppose divine guidance is all I need – well, that and an open heart.
Many blessings to you!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..7 Steps for Climbing the Staircase to Joy =-.


jenx67 December 11, 2009 at 8:03 am

This is an amazing story. I feel so inadequate to mentor, but I have attempted it on numerous occasions. I wish I’d had a mentor. My goodness! What a gift and a blessing and a miracle one could be. Thank you, Jan, and thank you Lance for filling this space with inspiration and hope. Lance, you attract the most high caliber people. It is a delight to share in the success of your blog.
.-= jenx67´s Last Fabulous Post ..30- and 40-something gen x men return to college =-.


JAN December 11, 2009 at 8:41 am

You know, happy hearted one, I think in my ways you do mentor…through the power of laughter. Your presence invites us to open up to something more. I, for one, admitedly, can take my life journey far too seriously, and laughter can be very good for what may ail me any given day. You shine in that arena and “invite us to be more,” just as Frank did by his dedication to his life path through helping others. (And thanks for the huggies (not diapers!), they are much appreciated. I feel the same way toward you…)

Cute story. Frank believed wholeheartedly in the power of AFFIRMATIONS to change our lives. I assume you all know what those are. He would write affirmations for all areas of his life (health, wealth, marriage, friendship, education, etc.) and put them on index cards. He carried the cards in his front pocket at all times. Whenever he had a spare moment, he would read his cards, all throughout the day. He told me that he worked on about 100 affirmations at a time. 🙂 Perhaps that is why he ended up being such an astute and successful business man –and all around good guy!

Thanks for your kind comments. The story of your angel mentor is heartwarming! Love it. You, too, are someone who mentors by presence. Being kind and caring and compassionate…what more could anyone strive to be? Yes, I am sure you could enter into more “formal” mentoring relationships and they would benefit many. But you bring up a VERY important point here. We are REQUESTED to mentor. We never force ourselves in on anyone. We are asked to mentor. Or we can very gently suggest assistance.

When I was being trained as a spiritual director, we were encouraged to let others know what we do because, truthfully, it is a charism not many people are familiar with. So if I was having a conversation with someone about anything at all and they were struggling, I would gently invite them to learn more about how spiritual direction might help. I always left (still do) the option in their court. I never “pursue” someone just because I think I know what could be good for them. (This can be a real ego-deluded trap, to think we know what others need.) Growth is all about readiness. Blessings upon all that you do, Megan, to encourage and support others…

By the way, if anyone wants to learn more about formal spiritual direction, I would suggest going to It is the “governing body” for spiritual directors worldwide, firmly rooted in a code of ethics.


Srinivas Rao December 11, 2009 at 9:48 am


This has to be my favorite blog post I’ve read here at Jungle of Life. I recently graduated from an MBA program and as you can imagine have had a somewhat challenging time. In that time however, I launched my blog and connected with many people through an interview podcast that I do. It turns out these people have almost become my informal mentors. I love that your mentor took such an active role in guiding you. One thing a best friend I decided to start doing with each other was a weekly call on goal accomplishment, and what’s been funny is that we have noticed that because of accountability to a mentor of sorts we tend to be much more driven to accomplish our goals.
.-= Srinivas Rao´s Last Fabulous Post ..Wave Selection, Choices and The Ride to Success =-.


Katie West/The Levity Coach December 11, 2009 at 11:01 am

How exciting it is to “meet” you. I am looking forward to visiting your site in a moment. There is such a serenity to your words…you have a calm and powerful energy. Thank you for sharing.
I love this story and found myself smiling when you received the call-how incredible for both his calling and for your receptivity and willingness to go for it. That takes courage and passion. Yehaww!
I love this idea of mentoring. Lately, I have been thinking of it in microterms. That every day, each person is both our student and our teacher. Each day, I try to juice those moments seeing in what ways I am being asked to lead and in others learn. I love how you are offering that energy that was given to you to move through you to others. Such wonderfulness.
I think when we see life as an ongoing mentoring & learning process,Life is fulfilling.
You rock. A pleasure to meet you, Jan!
PS Lance, you are a smart cookie for having Jan here… she makes you look good buddy. 🙂
.-= Katie West/The Levity Coach´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Levity Project: Laughter Flash Chicago! =-.


lisaschaos December 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm

First I must apologize for being so far behind, blizzard, hubs home and underfoot, grandkids spent a night, and gingerbread houses have left me little time on the computer over the last few days.

Wow! What a great thing to have a mentor like that. I’m not sure I could mentor, but maybe in a way I do mentor cancer patients, I’ve been there and try to help them through too.
.-= lisaschaos´s Last Fabulous Post ..Clearing the driveway =-.


JAN December 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm

What amazing people you have gathered here. I have backtracked to each person’s site before I responded and I am truly WOWED by all they do to improve themselves and the world. Such giftedness! Says volumes to your own journey, as like attracts like. 🙂

Nice to meet you. What inspiring work you are doing over at your blog. You are mentoring, too, just by being you. Remember that mentoring can take many forms. My favorite form is simply to sit with and listen to someone, 1000%. More powerful than we can imagine…

So glad this post spoke to your heart. What you and your friend are doing is marvelous–you are co-mentoring each other. Love it. A very unique idea. (similar to a Master Mind group…) Like you, I have countless informal mentors, people with whom I have a small, but genuine, relationship. Just their presence nurtures me along. And I am sure that I do the same for others. We all do. Good luck with your future as it unfolds for you–as you unfold it!

How great to meet you too. I love the languaging you use here…that everyone is both a teacher and a student…that you try to juice all that you can out of moments of life…oh, yes, marvelous attitude and perspective. This does allow us to engage in life with greater levity, doesn’t it? Perhaps my most favorite question of life is “What am I supposed to be learning here?” Makes life a bit more simple and helps us stay true to our path…Blessings of joy to you!

A fellow snowbound gal. Yep, we are navigating big snows here. Stay warm! Mentoring cancer patients, simply by just being with them, or listening to their journey stories is such a gift. You are a generous soul. I believe one of the highest forms of mentoring in which we can engage is being “non-anxious presence” to someone in suffering or crisis. This is what chaplains do so well. Blessings to you!

If I could suggest one thing for each of us to do if we do mentor others is to do our own “work.” Learn how to access your calm center and stay there. Cultivate practices that help you to be calm and clear. Your wisdom will innately follow. We must BE the peace (or joy, or confidence, or love) that we wish to help make manifest in others and in the world. Truly, we must BE these things, or mentoring is a sham–and it can even by harmful. We must tend to ourselves well if we are going to tend to the lives of others. (okay, enough preaching to the choir. LOL)
.-= JAN´s Last Fabulous Post ..Are You Going Crazy or Waking Up? A Guest and A Giveaway =-.


Patricia December 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Thank you for sharing Jan with us right now – a perfectly timed post for me and a lovely introduction.

I so appreciated your story and was wondering if I was going to hear about the “Frank” I paid lots of money to to be my mentor…? I was glad it was not that person.
Since I was in my 40s I have been reading all the books and I too started with Hill….I started on a spiritual quest when I was about 12 ….and with only my resistance working for me ended up in a Graduate program that was not supportive…but gave me skills to assist other young women in how not to be treated disrespectfully by a system and how to get the education they needed to be their best selves.

…and here 40 years later I am truly giving up trying to fit into this system and prove myself worthy.

In my 50s, I paid $3000 for a coaching program with a Frank, who did not know what he was talking about…and by the end of 6 sessions I was so devastated I could hardly stand myself…. but I was able to mentor my experiences with a special needs child with Oppositional Defiance Disorder and hyper activity into helping other parents get through the scary years and find some success.

Until I started blogging I have felt alone in all my endeavors….so I have endeavored to help others not feel alone.

I thought I was searching my whole life for a “best” friend or a real sister bond…but maybe my search has been for a mentor who was real and saw the “ME”.

Thank you for sharing your story…
.-= Patricia´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Friend in Need – Another Thank you =-.


Lori December 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm

It seems I’m the last to the party – but I assume better late than never!

I LOVE this story, Lance & Janice. I loved reading all the comments here, too. You (both) are inspiring and I can’t agree more with the message.

Especially in 2009, more than ever, I give as much as I can to others (time, guidance, an ear, whatever it takes!). And, in return, I have received greater peace, understanding, and hope. What a beautiful tradeoff.

Hat’s off to you, Janice, and thank you for sharing your story.
With Love and Humility,
.-= Lori´s Last Fabulous Post ..Front Porch: Of Bands, Explosions, and Cattle Auctions—Laughter with Jay Schryer =-.


Mark Salinas December 11, 2009 at 4:42 pm

“Everyone wants to be validated, valued, and understood. Will you accept my invitation and mentor someone? Frank would be really happy. I will be, too.” Absolutely! Thank you for sharing your story!


B. Lynn Goodwin December 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I love this story of teamwork and mentoring. Lance, I don’t know you at all, but thanks for featuring Jan. It was truly a blessing to stumble into this wonderfully upbeat story. I agree fully that this is “a story of beauty and love.”

Take care,

B. Lynn Goodwin
Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers


Rose December 11, 2009 at 9:59 pm

What a fabulous story! My mom believed in angels that appear in our lives when they’re needed, and I do, too. When allowed to do so, God uses our gifts and talents to serve His higher purpose in this world. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, Jan!
.-= Rose´s Last Fabulous Post ..Filled with Christmas Spirit! =-.


Daphne @ Joyful Days December 11, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Loved this true story. It’s awesome that Frank was so firm about being uncontactable, thus forcing Jan to be independent and spread her own wings. Only when we stand on our own two feet can we teach others to do the same, and that severing of contact, though painful, is something I recognise as necessary. This is something I too must remember – not to depend on a mentor forever, and to nudge those I mentor to make it on their own. Wonderful story, Lance and Jan.
.-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s Last Fabulous Post ..Can You Pack Your Life Into Two Suitcases? =-.


JAN December 12, 2009 at 8:04 am

Dear Patricia,
Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt story. I hear the disappointment (and sense of betrayal) in your sessions with another Frank. I am so sorry you had to experience this. When it comes to mentoring (or coaching or counseling) of any sort, I can get very “fierce.” To walk with someone through life is a very precious thing; to have soul conversation, to help someone navigate their spiritual life is so tender–a holy calling–that when I hear of someone who entrusted themselves to another and were misled (or abused), oh, I ache. It is very important to make sure anyone that you allow into your inner kingdom is absolutely trustworthy, truly credentialed, walking their talk, and can be personally recommended by others.

I am very glad to hear that you turned your pain into something quite positive though. That says alot about you. Your site is lovely and I am sure your presence inspires others. May life continue to unfold for you in beautiful ways…

p.s. At your site I learned about the “kindness” blog and movement. Thank you! I joined. 🙂 For me, that is what this life journey is all about…

Your words are lovely! Your understanding that you more you gift, you more comes back to you. Yes, generosity is a two way street, surprisingly so. May your journeys with others be blessed!

Thank you for accepting this challenge! I wonder, who will it be for you? I’d love to hear any follow-up you have to offer. You can email me through my website: Each one, teach one. Each one, reach one….

Hi Lynn,
So nice to see you here! I hope people will check out the soulful work you do, too, because the process of helping others learn to journal out their feelings is so important to our journeys. I commend you for that! Blessings to you…

Ah, yes, angels everywhere. I heard Wayne Dyer say once (now that is another mentoring story!!!) that if we knew who walked beside us, we would never be afraid. I believe that we are so divinely cared for; all we need do is open up to it. Thank you for the reminder. xo


Fatibony December 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Awesome story Jan and I cannot express how touched I was reading through it. I must say I do admire you for seeing it all through and becoming a Mentor yourself.. I beliefs its such a wonderful experience just to reach out to others. Services and support too many leads to greatness . 🙂 Look forward to visiting again 🙂
.-= Fatibony´s Last Fabulous Post ..Whilst The Christmas Bells Are Swinging….. =-.


Angelia Sims December 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm

This is beautiful Jan. It really fills my heart with love, and hope, and kindness. What he did for you and what you do for others – amazing. It’s truly a gift and a pleasure. Thank you so much for sharing your story. If we can only pass on a shred of it from our own soul, it will change us, and those around us. I look forward to reading your work.
.-= Angelia Sims´s Last Fabulous Post ..Festive Ride aboard the Jeep Express =-.


Lance December 12, 2009 at 9:35 pm


The winner of Jan’s book goes to: Erin Prais-Hintz

Congratulations Erin!


Patricia December 14, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Thank you for your kind reply and I am glad you found the Kind network on my blog…and something to read on my site! I have saved your words…mentoring is quite a walk in deed
.-= Patricia´s Last Fabulous Post ..Donuts, Coffee and the Wisdom of Daughters =-.


J.D. Meier December 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm

I’m a fan of lifting others up and I like the way you put it as passing the baton.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..What 25 Holiday Classics Teach Us About Life and Fun =-.


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