Today is Father's Day, a day to acknowledge fathers and those who have helped us in this world. Although I have lived almost 80% of my life without my birth father, I still hold him in my heart along with the many "father figures" who have been helpful people or mentors in my life. Helpful people/mentorship energy is considered a "Yang" quality since it is an active role as opposed to the "Yin" quality of nurturing of which I have spoken in earlier blog posts.
I use the word "mentor" as it is one of the qualities we associate with "fathers" according to several schools of Feng Shui. Although mentors are considered a Yang quality, I've had mentors from both genders and all age brackets. How about you?
Let me share a few of mine with you to hopefully stimulate thoughts of those special people in your life who have influenced who you are.
My father died when I was 15 and my older brother stepped in to fill "my father's shoes". Even though he didn't have children, he's done a great job of educating me on so many topics and "common sense" issues. He's also one of my best friends. Although he lives 400 miles away so I don't see him as often as I'd like, I do talk with him every week.
When I started dating my future husband, his father became a substitute father, taking me places and doing things for me only a father would know to do. He sent me flowers when my second child was born. No one else did. Obviously it made an impression on me since that was over 35 years ago.
Having said that, you know I have children, so there was the father of my children. He helped to guide them down the paths he knew best. A brilliant man with multiple degrees from CalTech, he instilled the gift of striving for knowledge, not only in my children, but myself. I remember attending many lectures at CalTech, gaining insights I carry with me today.
After my divorce, I dated a "gentleman" many years my senior. He cared for me in a way I needed to help guide me through the tough times physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am so grateful for all he did in my life. Active in "Twelve Step Programs" he taught me to HALT - never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. That lesson I learned over 20 years ago is just as relevant today as it was then - and not just for myself. I have shared it with many through the years.
Then there are my colleagues - both male and female - who have taught me, guided me and shared parts of themselves with me in all walks of life. My many Asian Arts and Feng Shui Masters are one example. My students, who ask me "out-of-the-box" questions, are another. They are all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Several close friends are on my "virtual board" of trusted advisors.
Even my animals have been mentors. The dogs in my life have taught me to "play and love unconditionally" while my cats have taught me to cuddle, take naps, purr with contentment (well, maybe not purr, but definitely acknowledge when I'm content) and observe the minutiae of life to evaluate whether it be friend or foe.
Several fathers have influential roles in my heart these days. Three are the fathers of my grandchildren. Each brings unique qualities - knowledge, teaching styles, life-by-example opportunities and skills. I see them instilling these qualities into their families, coworkers, friends and activities. Being a living example of our traits, we share these qualities with all whom we meet.
Last, and definitely not least, is the love of my life. This man who has been with me through the proverbial "thick and thin, in sickness and in health" for the last 21 years I hold most revered. He has shown me by example how true love withstands all the trails and tribulations life throws at us. I know I would not be alive, nor the person I strive to be, if it weren't for him.
Today we generally think of those men to whom we think are our fathers - by birth or familial proximity. My Feng Shui training would ask you to expand this thinking to all those who have been your mentors, helpful people and benefactors, whether they be young or old, male or female, human or animal. Who are the mentors in your life?
The Feng Shui wealth of knowledge, life experiences and playfulness or the Feng Shui love of life, beauty and being in contribution to serve others come to my mind on this special day set aside to acknowledge fathers. Using this Feng Shui study approach, I hope you have several people in your life you can categorize as a father or mentor. It might even be yourself as we sometimes are our own "helpful" person.
Intelligent, giving, lead-by-example, fun, unconditional love, contentment, beautiful, trustworthy, honorable, gentle, kind, compassionate, yet strong, these are qualities we honor in those we call our fathers, father figures and mentors. I gratefully acknowledge and honor fathers and mentors in this world. I am especially grateful for the many "fathers" I've had and for these blessed gifts they have given to enrich my life.