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Rites of Passage

Female graduate

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Rites of passage move us from one stage of life to the next. Our middle child celebrated one this week: high school graduation. As we sat in the auditorium looking at all the shiny, radiant faces, I considered how much we learn through rites of passage.

Graduation: A Rite of Passage

We document graduation as a rite of passage in TV, movies, books, social media, and our life stories. True, it’s a rite many of us experience. It’s also a common event with a visual iconography with which we immediately identify. But what’s so special about graduation?

I think we value graduation as an inflection point, a time where we can clearly see a “before” and “after.” And who doesn’t love tidy “before and afters?” I do!

“Possibility” remains embedded in the DNA of this rite of passage. We get hooked by the change involved in realising our potential.


Graduation shows us TRANSITION writ large. Transitions birth us anew. Rebirth gives us a chance to recreate – to fix a mistake, to test a theory. Who doesn’t enjoy starting fresh, like the first day of school, the front bookend to graduation? Opening the new page of a book. The smell of ink. New pencil cases. All of it tied to transition, saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new.

Change and Choice

Rites of passage indicate times of change. We create ceremony around them – rituals – to reflect their importance to us and to indicate to others, “Hey, this is important. Pay attention!”

As humans, we instinctively want to grow. We evolve through public rites of passage like graduation and private ones (grieving death is an example of a private rite of passage). Growth occurs naturally in these contexts. Knowing we have choices in what happens next makes understanding the purpose of transition points easier.

Finally, let’s address fear, which inevitably comes up when we change – how we move forward when we’re scared about what’s next.

Choose Love over Fear

We move forward by choosing love over fear. Decide to practise the attributes of love such as courage and compassion instead of succumbing to fear of the unknown, the unproven.

You do it by knowing you don’t need to figure out everything right now. You only need to take the next step. That’s it. It’s a lot less scary knowing you only need to take one step instead of ten, isn’t it?

Growth happens at the place of transition between comfortable and uncomfortable. The edge.

Our biggest block to change is fear. That’s why I say choose love.

Fork & Knife 2

Forks and Knives

Remember you always have choices. Be a fork not a knife. If you start down one path (knife) and it doesn’t work out, choose another (fork). Fear, personified by our saboteurs, encourages binary thinking. Love offers many paths. Take comfort knowing you can’t go wrong when you have many avenues to choose from.


Consider rites of passage in your own life. Reflect on who you are and how far you’ve come. Welcome possibility grounded in the knowledge that you’ve mastered the unknown before so you can do it again.

Header Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash Header Photo by David Billings on Unsplash, Heart Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash, Chess photo by Praveen Thirumurugan on Unsplash

Every time you master something new, you grow. Once mastered, you feel compelled to try again. You do it through love not fear. Be a fork.

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.