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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Petty

APiD Ep. 060 | Rites of Passage

How Reviving Neglected Rituals Can Set Us Free, with Amy Musson


What place do rites of passage have in your life?

In this episode, my special guest is MY coach Amy Musson, and we explore why rites of passage matter and the surprisingly harmful consequences of neglecting them.

It turns out that there's more at stake than you might have thought--if you've ever given rites of passage much thought at all.

If you haven't given them much thought, then you're not alone. I think most of us in the materially affluent Western world today have largely neglected meaningful rites of passage. Emphasis on "materially affluent," by the way, because, as Amy and I discuss in this conversation, we affluent Westerners are perhaps quite impoverished in other less tangible but vitally important areas.

An Episode is Born

I hadn't given rites of passage much thought until recently, as my oldest son approached his 13th year. Then, a couple months ago, Amy and I had a coaching conversation that led us to stumble upon the importance of rites of passage in a fresh way that had immediate value for both of us. It's out of that coaching conversation that the idea for today's episode was born.

That's one of the things that I love about coaching conversations: At their core, they are creative exchanges that generate fresh insight and create new depths of understanding.

And that's what I invite you into today--a very candid continuation of a creative exchange about rites of passage that Amy and I began a couple months ago.

A creative exchange that made an impact in both of our lives. I hope it will spark your own curiosity and creativity around rites of passage and make an impact in your life, too.

Introducing MY Coach, Amy Musson

Amy and I met almost two years ago when we were both members of an online forum created by Ozan Varol, an author I've mentioned in previous episodes whose book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist, entered my life at just the right time--as books can do. Long-story-short, Amy and I recognized that we each had something to offer the other, and we struck up a peer coaching partnership that's been going strong ever since. We alternate coaching each other on a weekly basis. Our partnership has been one of the most influential and transformative I've ever experienced, personally AND professionally. Amy is an innately gifted coach, with vast amounts of training, experience, and wisdom to boot, and an ever-evolving array of offerings. In fact, it was one of those offerings–her podcast, The Growth Moment–that triggered a revelation for me about unexpressed grief and led to newfound freedom. I'll include details about how to connect with Amy in the shownotes for this episode.

Highlights From This Conversation

  • Amy’s own recent successful experience with a rite of passage for her son and her painful missed opportunity with her dad

  • What happens when we fail to observe rites of passage

  • How rites of passage set us free to be all that we can be

  • The surprising connection between the First Law of Thermodynamics, rites of passage, and our development as humans

  • And more…

Making It Matter In YOUR Life

Where in your life have transformational moments become merely transactional? Where in your life have you sterilized that which should be ritualized? What parts of you are developmentally delayed because a rite of passage was either neglected or mishandled in the past? How could a rite of passage help you acknowledge and catalyze a transition you're currently experiencing? How could a rite of passage help one of your kids transition well from one stage to the next?

In my own case, I'm aware that a mid-life rite of passage might be in order.

There's much simmering beneath the surface that needs expression or transformation, I think--maybe some of that trapped energy that Amy brought up. I want to embrace my stage of life even more fully and move forward with guts, gusto, and abandon, but I think in some ways I'm still mourning what I'm leaving behind. I wonder if I'm stuck emotionally and developmentally and if a rite of passage could help. I don't have a clear next step yet, but it's on my heart and mind. And frankly, on the one hand it feels easier to just keep trudging ahead without giving this any attention. On the other hand, though, I don't think that's the best way forward if I want to move into the next stage of my life with as much freedom, guts, gusto, and abandon as possible.

That's me. What about you?

Remember: You ARE going to die. But you’re not dead yet. So get after it!

I Can Help

Are you feeling stuck or need help making a transition in life? Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, visit my website, or email me.

I’m so glad you tuned in today. Don’t forget to follow this show, and I’ll see you next time on Andrew Petty is Dying.

Connect with Amy

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If You Liked This Episode, Try These, Too

New to Andrew Petty is Dying?

And if you're new to this show, welcome! I invite you to browse the archive of past interviews with fascinating people and short, topical solo episodes--all designed to equip you with the mindset and the means to become the person you were made to be and live the life you were made to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. We flip the script by inviting our ancient foe, Death, to become an unlikely ally in our heroic journey to leave it all out on the field of life. Turns out, Mortality might just be the best motivator available--blasting us out of our ambivalence and complacency and toward the fullness of our potential.

I’m so glad you tuned in today. Don’t forget to follow this show, and I’ll see you next time on Andrew Petty is Dying.

105 views2 comments


Susan Kovarick
Susan Kovarick
May 17, 2022

Andrew, I am Amy’s maternal link. Listened to your podcast with Amy at 2 am today. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Have many, too many ideas cursing through my mind. Certainly foremost the need for sharing Rites of Passage here where I live with a daunting array of people, residents and staff, with worldwide and cultural backgrounds. You and Amy can help me explore meeting the hidden need here for a Rites of Passge discussion group😇

Andrew Petty
Andrew Petty
May 17, 2022
Replying to

Hi, Susan! Forgive me for having to ask--what does "maternal link" mean? Judging from your last name, safe to assume that you're Amy's mom? So glad this episode prompted some good thinking for you! LOVE the idea of a rites of passage discussion group! How can we help?

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