Coming of Age
For people 10 years of age and up…
- Do you wish you could celebrate your adolescent’s journey into adulthood with authenticity and joy?
- Would you like your pre-teen or teen to have the opportunity to mindfully explore life’s dilemmas as s/he is safely empowered to overcome obstacles and lean into her or his promise?
- Wouldn’t it be great if your adolescent could be formally welcomed into adulthood without the haphazard, sometimes self-destructive behaviors (smoking, truancy, law-breaking, etc.) that too many youngsters use to announce their independence?
Let’s face it – growing up isn’t easy! Change is everywhere. Hormones. Acne. Friendships. Romantic Relationships. Career. Academics. With every change there are challenges and every challenge is an opportunity to become more of who you really are. I don’t know about you, but I would never want to be a teen again.
At the same time, a customized Coming of Age Ceremony may be an avenue to a more mindful and productive adolescence. If we decide to work together, the Coming of Age Ceremony is the public celebration of a young person’s 6-12 week creative experiential rite of passage into adulthood! Designed in collaboration with the young person, this customized Coming of Age process, helps young people address their need for separation and individualization, engage with the challenges of adolescence – physical, emotional, spiritual – and emerge with a life-affirming vision for themselves.
“We are the only civilization in history to have created a whole category of people (adolescents) for whom we have no real use. In times not long gone by, fourteen year olds helped on the farm. They assisted with the animals, cared for younger siblings, and helped et in crops before the frost. If they lived in the city, they got into the shops and found jobs as apprentices, helpers, stock clerks, or custodians. They had a role in society – and they understood that hard work and responsible behavior were the keys to their future success. They were in partnership with adult mentors. Now we have ‘protected’ them out of jobs and relegated young adolescents to the roles of pizza consumer and videotape junkie… Children this age need to be needed, but we have institutionalized our rebuff to their pleas to be of service.”
~ Bill Kerewsky, T.E.A.M.–The Early Adolescent Magazine
The truth is adolescence is not supposed to be easy or without responsibility. It is like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon with puberty there will be scars and childish ways of being must be left behind. Authentic adulthood reflects a growing awareness that there are consequences for our actions, that life does not last forever and as long as we keep breathing there is a way to overcome life’s trials and tribulations. The ancients would have their adolescents participate in challenging experiences that include scarification so that the kids’ would internalize the fact that all adults must deal with the reality of pain and death. The innocence of childhood is relinquished as they accept the rights and responsibilities of adulthood. Young people, who do not have a socially conscious way to receive these types scars and move through the trials of adolescence, create their own -- drugs, breaking the law, and other types of reckless, self-destructive behavior are often clumsy ways to break the bonds of childhood and acquire the wounds of adulthood.
There is a better way for you, your teen and your community to acknowledge your child’s burgeoning adulthood. Let’s schedule a no-obligation phone call to discuss the customized journey and Coming of Age ceremony we might create.
By the way, if you are an adult, but never had the opportunity to formally experience a Coming of Age ceremony and believe you would benefit from one, this would be a dynamic and beautiful experience for you too!
There are 5 Steps to this Coming of Age Experience:
- The Call to Adventure – Recognition that the young person is no longer a child
- Crossing the Threshold – The young person explores the rules and values of adulthood and creates a value-based vision for her/his life.
- The Approach – The young person explores life’s quintessential questions: Who do you intend to be and how will you be of service?
- The Ordeal – A physical, social and emotional adventure that symbolizes the young person’s successful quest to accepting the rights and responsibilities of adulthood.
- The New Beginning – The young person returns to the community, sharing the knowledge and treasures of this journey and is recognized as a competent young adult with all the corresponding rights and responsibilities.