Rites of Passage

photo-1423278220277-c63a9688ec90What does this mean?  After an in depth discussion over the last year, it seems clear that Rites of Passage is any form of process and ceremony that prepares and empowers a teenager for adulthood.

For many generations the process of this transition has lost its importance in western societies.  I feel this has had a direct impact upon the state of perception within our culture.  Today the only responsibility of a teenager is to go to school.  Can we trust our schooling system to fully equip our children for life?

To answer this question we can have a good look at what one really needs to live a conscious, flourishing life.  We could use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a guideline.

  • Firstly we need to know how to look after our basic survival needs, find clean water, find or grow food, build a home.
  • Secondly we need to know how to look after our own health and wellbeing.
  • Thirdly we need to feel a sense of belonging.  For this we need to know how to share love with others and .  We need to know how to build a relationship with friends and with a partner.
  • Forthly we need to know ourselves, we need to know what our gifts, to feel confident within them and how to share them with others.  We need to have a sense of our place within our community.
  • Fifthly we need to have an understanding of the way our world works and strive to keep learning.
  • Sixthly we need to have an appreciation and honor for both beauty and order, feeling the dance between abstract flow and structured direction and how both of these are essential for life.
  • Seventhly we need to know what truly feeds our hearts, what life means for us as an individual and how to work with this deep sense of being.

If these are the fundamental needs of a human being, do we have the teachers to guide us with these learnings?  Does school provide this?  School provides us with a specific skill set of academia.  There isn’t much about personal responsibility, self sustainability, conscious communication skills, personal discovery, beautiful sexuality, creative expression, searching beyond limitations or relationship skills.  So where do we learn these?

Traditionally we learn about life from our parents and from our community elders, so what happens if this lineage of wisdom has been broken within our own family, then what?  Is it possible that many of us have been functioning in life, the same way as we did as teenagers?  Is it possible there isn’t that much support within our society to become a self responsible adult?  It seems clear that something needs to change.  It is up to us to go an a beautiful exploration through these topics, within our close friends and families, giving space to rediscover that which holds true value in life.

For many of us the simples rite of passage is having the courage to work on creatinng deep, vulnerable relationships with our partners and our closest friends.  This way we can re-inspire those old wisdoms that we hold within our cells, and help them to find their place in this world once again.  We can become the wisdom keepers, and have something of deep, core value, to pass down to our children and our grandchildren in time.

This is an exciting time to be on this planet.  It is a time filled with more possibility than ever before.  The trick is to explore the magic, that thing that gives us goosebumps and flows through us with electrical joy.  That thing that inspires our soul and makes our heart sing.  That thing that we wish to share with those so dear.  That thing that settles within us and feels like we are coming home.

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