Letting Go of the Outcome: The Wisdom of Mentorship

As a new teacher there is so much to think about…logistics, following the curriculum, using the scripts, maintaining the container, and so many other aspects of the Mindful Eating practice. My goal was to be present, patient, and to let go of the outcome even amidst the ever growing list of questions that I had. Would I be able to guide the participants of the group like Jan and Char? What if I wasn’t skillful during inquiry?  Am I doing this right? Letting go of the outcome was in direct competition with my need for order, for all things to have a resolution, and my desire to be a good teacher. Yet, listening, patience, presence, and mentorship were the tools necessary for acceptance.


The principles of mindfulness and mindful eating are so supportive and useful in my own life, both professionally and personally. It is what propelled me to embark on this journey to teach mindful eating. I have regularly returned to the practice of letting go of the outcome, because of the compassion that it imparts to live in the present.  The practice of letting go has relieved my own suffering, so my hope has been to impart this same wisdom to my mindful eating participants. At first, I likened the idea of letting go of the outcome to stepping off of a cliff. Later I learned, this frightening visual was in direct contrast to what letting go really is- a way of being with and allowing for what is already here. Letting go is no longer scary to me, it’s welcoming and freeing.

Mentorship helped guide me like the roadmap I so desperately needed. The guidance and wisdom that organically arose when Char would ask questions allowed for clarity so necessary with this work. One vivid example occurred during week six of mentorship. I felt the classes were going well and that personal growth seemed to be arising for the participants. Char asked one simple question about the group inquiry and “pleasing” behaviors.  It dawned on me that I had been so focused on all the participants getting something out of the classes and being “okay” that I had missed the key element of letting go.

Char suggested during inquiry in my next class that I “plant my feet as if standing barefoot in the dirt and settle in.” This image resonated so deeply. I could relate it to the words of the poet, Kabir, “Stand firm in that which you are.” As a new teacher, it was so freeing and empowering to be able to allow and accept the outcome and to bear witness to the participants and their experiences. To firmly root myself in the present moment, opened space and brought clarity. There was no longer teacher and participants, but shared humanity. To let go of the outcome was to stand with feet firmly planted, not losing my footing and falling, but accepting life’s experiences as they arose.

Mindfulness Meditation: Why It’s So Important?

Mindfulness meditation is one form of meditation that has been practiced for thousands of years. It has been passed down from teacher to student through a long standing oral tradition. Meditation has numerous benefits but when I was recently asked why it is so important, I had to pause before answering. The answer is in the descriptions of those who practice as they describe their personal journeys. Their reflections usually end with a similar phrase; “It saved my life.” This isn’t uttered with a hint of melodrama. It is said with the strength that it just is. I would have to count myself among those uttering the same words.

I have been practicing mindfulness meditation for four years.  I have experienced my own personal benefits leading to a shift in my professional career as a nutritionist and mindful eating teacher. Scientifically proven, mindfulness meditation when practiced consistently decreases stress, reduces anxiety and depression, as well as ameliorating pain. This practice also increases mood, executive function, body satisfaction, and memory. These are all impactful truths, empowering for those practicing, and important for emotional well-being. I am blessed to have experienced many of these benefits, but what I find so incredible are the subtler, positive benefits. I find that I am able to sleep better enabling better food choices. I can respond to family situations with greater compassion. I am able to be kinder to myself during moments of stress, and therefore make better decisions. My life feels more real, more whole-heartedly lived. I am able to relate to my family, friends, and clients with greater compassion and connection. Isn’t this what we, as human beings, are striving for in this life? For these powerful reasons, I affirm that meditation saved my life.