In Search of Enlightenment

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Pushing my buttons!, Uncategorized

I am a poet. I am a writer. I am a seeker of knowledge, wisdom and light. I’m also an introverted extrovert in an ENTJ (with a little “P” tendencies at times – if you’re familiar with Myers-Briggs, you’ll understand the last descriptor).  As such, I sought advice from trusted sources & friends in the poetry, music business who are also entrepreneurs. When more than five people suggested the same advice I decided to follow through on it which was to find a mentor who understands me/my work and who has been through the rough times of building a reputation/name for themselves.

So, I set out to find my wealth of knowledge mentor! Who wouldn’t want to find someone who understands the trials and tribulations of trying to make it? I explored my poetry circle of compadres and found many men and women whose poetry was so enlightening, poignant and stimulating that I had to pick their minds for insight. However, trying to talk to them after the shows was sometimes difficult, or I’d find myself feeling silly when they treated me like a groupie and said a polite thank you, or not-so-polite thank you as they moved away quickly to greet friends. You would think I was asking for a kidney! I mean, really…I probably would have gotten a kidney faster…but I digress.

So then I decided to take another approach. If the mountain wouldn’t come to Natasha, Natasha would get up early, study the weather, learn to rock climb, practice climbing religiously, check rock climbing gear, lace up and powder down, and go tackle that master poets’ mountain by reading books, blogs and pieces by the men and women I admired. I mean, I really paid attention to their poetic flow, words and delivery. Then, I posted comments that ranged from praise for great writing to questions about the pieces. I figured I was well on my way to learning and interacting.

Wrong! Well on the interacting part. After getting to know some of the people I considered so enlightened based on their work and seemingly humble outlook on life, I was disappointed. Several of the older men hit on me often and while I brushed it off nicely and worked in conversations about my significant other, it didn’t let up. It seemed that by being a newbie to poetry performances and by praising their work, I stamped, “I want you to hit on me/say/text/voice message me crude yet poetic comments” across my forehead. Again, don’t get me wrong, I am flattered and said “no thanks” to “I’m not available” in no uncertain terms but these older guys just didn’t seem to get it. Not to mention, some are married! What happened to all those great words of advice and wisdom in the writing?

A close friend said I’m too naïve and I should expect that older men who see a young’un wanting advice will automatically want to “mold”…Well, I refuse to see older men that way. Whatever happened to Gentlemen? Oh, and before you go thinking that I’m painting all old dogs with the same brush, I have to say that I’ve met three older and two younger, absolutely genuinely nice men I communicate with regularly and have even gotten to know on a personal level. Not to mention I’ve been meeting more women who write poetry and as such, I now have a couple of women to look to and share experiences, pieces and events with….

But back to my point.  I didn’t give up. In so doing, I also had a revelation.

After a year on the poetry grind (more writing, performing, reading, paying $5 to $10 to attend open mic events), I found quite a few Baltimore, DC and Virginia spots to share my poetry as well as enjoy awesome pieces from fellow poets. I even had the great fortune of meeting several of the people I considered “masters” at the poetry craft and completely forgot about finding an official mentor as some of these folks just provided insight by their pieces and casual conversation about upcoming events, etc. After a few months, I started to get to know some of them personally since we would show up at the same events, etc. Okay, so here comes the revelation part…

I sought out wisdom and enlightenment actively but in my thirst for knowledge, I wasn’t focused on attracting it. Now, don’t go thinking I’m talkin’ bout Voodoo and black magic just ‘cause I’m from the Islands. I’m simply saying that by being too eager to find wisdom-aged elders, I was seeking those whose outer shell and appearances gave the illusion of enlightenment that was available for sharing. As such, I missed the calm, righteous teachers who don’t go advertising, so to speak, their righteousness.

Basically, I made a rookie mistake so I’m writing this to say to those reading who have a dream, to always follow your dream. Yes, a mentor and experienced folks in your craft will provide insight, but don’t rely too heavily on others to help you get there…even if they are considered masters in their field. I found wisdom-aged elders when I wasn’t seeking a mentor. I believe that my positive energy through my words and actions as well as my inability to deal with the bullshit and by cutting it short, allowed me to gravitate towards what I need.

Last, but certainly not least, is my constant promotion of others who are doing great things in the poetry field. I want to share my good fortune, positive energy and excitement about poetry to all who will listen. Positive vibes will yield positive results. Dream it, plan it and create it!


  1. cre8tivelygiftd says:

    I enjoyed this. I have been in a similar situation with seeking a mentor and even trying to be a part of a “group” in the poetry scene. I’ve had many failed attempts and reaching out to them. When they reached out to me, it was only to help them promote their talent.

    This blog is enlightening and I’m glad that you shared. Now..on to the creating:-)

    • Thank you, cre8tivelygiftd!

      I appreciate you reading my post and sharing your experience. I guess many of us have gone through this at some point…only later do we realize that what we seek is internal and that we will make it if we just keep on keepin’ on! 🙂

      Keep creating and please shoot me a link w/your work! I love meeting fellow poets and writers. Peace.


  2. Love your tenacity! Those mentors were not for you. Enjoyed your writing flow as much as the message. This WordPress page is nice up! Thank you for your positive vibes, and I wish I could say something more deep, more inspirational, use more picture words…. just so that I could express my appreciation of your honesty!

    Go girl!


    • Aw shucks thanks for the compliments lovely lady!!!
      You’re right, those folks weren’t meant for me. I just needed to realize it myself and figure out how to be strong while staying true to what I believe I can and will do! That’s why I love your style of writing as well!! Honesty is healing. Hmmm, may have to trademark that line and t-shirt it!
      Yeah, I like wordpress because it’s easy to use and I can reach the world outside of FB, etc.

      Thanks again my Island cheerleader!!! I certainly appreciate you 🙂

  3. Toni says:

    Magnificent! With words shooting off of the page like this.. I would think you a mentor’s mentor..

    • Toni, thanks for reading & being a pillar and ear while I was venting about the madness and always being one of my biggest cheerleaders!

      I don’t know bout a mentor, but I promise to not do to others what I don’t want done to me and just share the positive energy. This was my purge 😉 Luv ya bestie! 🙂

  4. Tracy says:

    “Positive vibes will yield positive results.” That pretty much summed it up. Thanks for sharing.

  5. affrodite says:

    I feel you on trying to find a mentor but finding people with the wrong motivations or none at all instead. It sounds like once you learned to trust yourself everything fell into place. Keep blazing trails your way and you might find that you are quite the mentor to someone that you were looking to for guidance. I’m enjoying your blog and will put it on my blogroll. Thanks for sharing the link with me.

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