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Natalie's Story

Andrew Petty is Dying

Release Date: 07/26/2021

End-of-Life Planning: Why You Should Do It Now, and How, with Michelle Mathai show art End-of-Life Planning: Why You Should Do It Now, and How, with Michelle Mathai

Andrew Petty is Dying

Do you have a plan for when you die? Do you have a plan for when your loved ones die?  In 2001, Michelle Mathai was just two years into her first foreign service post as vice consul in Auckland, NZ. She and her parents were on a farewell trip around the island in anticipation of Michelle's imminent departure for a new post in El Salvador. In the blink of an eye, the trip turned tragic when their car, with her dad at the wheel and her mom in the back seat, careened off the road and into the mercilessly icy current of a glacial river. As water rushed in, Michelle was able to kick out the...

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Suffering, Surrender, and the Leap of Faith: How to Find Freedom on the Other Side of Letting Go, with Carrie Chown show art Suffering, Surrender, and the Leap of Faith: How to Find Freedom on the Other Side of Letting Go, with Carrie Chown

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do you need to let go of? In her teens, alcohol became Carrie Chown's refuge from emotional pain. By her early college years, she was firmly in the grips of alcoholism. Carrie worked hard to keep everything looking shiny on the outside, but inside she wanted to die. Then, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension as a college junior and was told she had two years to live. Ironically, it felt like an answer to her prayer to die.  In June of 1999, Carrie summoned the will and the courage to get sober so she could begin an IV treatment the following month. Remarkably, she survived...

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What Do You Do?: A Tool for Understanding Yourself Better and Finding Your Unique Path in Life show art What Do You Do?: A Tool for Understanding Yourself Better and Finding Your Unique Path in Life

Andrew Petty is Dying

“What do you do?” We’re all familiar with that question. It comes up naturally when we meet someone for the first time in a social setting. Its usual purpose is to learn what someone does for a living to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.  In this episode, however, we’ll REpurpose this old question in a new way to help you know yourself better and discern even more clearly the paths in life for which you’re uniquely made. It will become a new tool in your ongoing quest to live YOUR life with guts, gusto, and abandon.    My Answer to “What do you...

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Have Time, or Time Will Have You: Escape Regret and Create a Life You’re Proud Of show art Have Time, or Time Will Have You: Escape Regret and Create a Life You’re Proud Of

Andrew Petty is Dying

This episode is a wake-up call, a call to get back in the driver’s seat of your life, a call to become the boss of your most precious nonrenewable resource: Time.  Because if you don’t have time, Time will ultimately have you. And you won’t like the results.    Guilty as Charged How many times have we heard someone say, “I don’t have time,” or “If only I had more time,” or said something like that ourselves? I imagine we’ve all done it. I sure have.  If we’re honest, sometimes we trot out statements like these like badges of honor in an attempt to show...

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Rites of Passage: How Reviving Neglected Rituals Can Set You Free, with Amy Musson show art Rites of Passage: How Reviving Neglected Rituals Can Set You Free, with Amy Musson

Andrew Petty is Dying

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...

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The Making of The Alpinist's Marc-André Leclerc: A Transformational Conversation with Marc-André's Mom, Michelle Kuipers show art The Making of The Alpinist's Marc-André Leclerc: A Transformational Conversation with Marc-André's Mom, Michelle Kuipers

Andrew Petty is Dying

"If I've learned anything in the last three years, it's that life and death are so much bigger than us. You embraced life and love with all your amazing energy, which still reverberates. You are still with us on walks in the forest, on windy ridges, in a sunlit moment after the rain, in the love, laughter, and music of your friends and family. You are there in dreams that seem more real than waking moments. Everyday I think of you on your timeless flight. I love you with all my heart, and miss you more than words can say." Michelle Kuipers wrote this heartrending caption for an Instagram post...

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How To Make the Most of Today: A Simple Framework show art How To Make the Most of Today: A Simple Framework

Andrew Petty is Dying

How do we make the most of today? This episode is short and sweet, banged out somewhat hastily during the current season of curveballs I mentioned in the previous episode–but banged out with love and goodwill toward you, my fellow traveler along life’s winding path, you who are waking up to the reality of your Mortality and courageously embracing it to live with guts, gusto, and abandon.  So today I’m gonna give you what I’ve got and pray that it reaches the hearts of those who need it most. And what I’ve got is a simple framework for making the most of today–the only day...

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What to Do When Life Throws You a Curveball: Notes from the Field show art What to Do When Life Throws You a Curveball: Notes from the Field

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do we do when life throws us a curveball?  On this podcast, we’re equipping ourselves with the mindset and the means to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. Growing in our ability to respond to life’s inevitable curveballs requires both evolving our mindset and upgrading our means. And as we get better at responding to life’s curveballs, we increase our capacity to live with even more guts, gusto, and abandon.  In this episode, I’ll draw from my own recent experience to share with you what I’m learning in real-time about what to do when life throws us a curveball. ...

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Ignore at Your Own Risk: How Your Relationship with Death Affects Your Quality of Life, with Dr. Frederic Tate show art Ignore at Your Own Risk: How Your Relationship with Death Affects Your Quality of Life, with Dr. Frederic Tate

Andrew Petty is Dying

What is your relationship with Death?  It may seem like an odd question, but your answer to it has everything to do with your quality of life. My guest on this episode shares actionable insight into this relationship so that we can optimize our quality of life.    Introducing Dr. Frederic Tate Dr. Frederic Tate is a fascinating human with a perspective on Life and Death forged in the crucible of end-of-life care. A trusted friend connected us, so I knew Frederic was someone I should get to know. And I took an immediate shine to him from afar when I learned that he grew up in the...

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What Do You Want?: A Path to Purpose and Fulfillment, with Chris Slota show art What Do You Want?: A Path to Purpose and Fulfillment, with Chris Slota

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do you want?  It's a simple enough question at face value, but it can be far from easy to answer. Many of us have never truly tried to answer it. Many of us have never been aware that it was important to do so. And many of us are a lot better at knowing what we DON'T want.  Failing to answer this question can lead to surprisingly harmful consequences--but answering it can put us on a path to unprecedented purpose and fulfillment.  Don't just take my word for it, though. In this episode, my guest, Chris Slota, gives us unfiltered access to the remarkable personal...

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More Episodes

How do you answer life’s 3 big questions--first posed on this podcast in episode 018 by coroner Rob Ryg: Where did we come from, what’s this life for, and what happens next?

My guest in this episode, Natalie Niksa, reveals her answers to the Big Three. And in doing so, she challenges all of us to consider our own answers to those questions. Natalie’s answers are far from conventional, and therein lies some of the gold in this episode. When we take time to view the world through someone else’s eyes, we invite their perspective to challenge and change our own. And that, my friends, is a good thing. 

There’s way more to Natalie’s story than we could ever hope to cover in one episode. And it is a WILD story. But we touched down in some of the more significant chapters of her story to see what they meant to Natalie and what they could mean to us as we continue to write our own stories. You will see the theme of Death and Rebirth appear and reappear throughout. 

 

Meet Natalie

Natalie, her husband, Jon, and their son, Smith, live in Napa, CA, where Natalie and Jon own La Saison--at face value a world-class catering and food provisions company that they started in 2007. But when you look just a little deeper, you find that La Saison is really more like a vehicle through which Natalie and Jon bring their own brand of beauty into the world to enrich others and fulfill their unique purposes. In other words, it’s about way more than the food. And a more recent addition to their menu is personal life guidance via the framework of Human Design, facilitated by Natalie. I’ll provide contact info in the full shownotes for this episode for those of you who want to connect with Natalie and learn more about La Saison. 

BTW, La Saison means “the season”--to live in the present and allow life to unfold, instead of resisting it. And you’ll see this orientation to life bubble up everywhere in my conversation with Natalie. 

 

Close Encounters with Mortality

The entry point into our conversation was a discussion of two encounters Natalie had with Mortality, separated by 16 years. First, at just seven months old, Natalie stopped breathing and turned blue due to (of all things) an ear infection. Her dad, then in medical residency, scooped her up and ran across the street to the hospital, administering mouth-to-mouth the whole way. 

Then, at 17, Natalie was literally run over by a truck on a bike ride with her brother. Her “whole left side was broken,” and she had major head injuries. Remarkably, on this occasion, too, her dad was first on the scene to assess the situation and begin treatment. 

 

Connecting Dots in Hindsight

Natalie finds meaning in those two encounters with Mortality through the lens of hindsight. “I was always one foot in and one foot out,” Natalie says--unsure on some deep level if she could handle “humanness.” But her encounter with Mortality at 17 came after a fundamentally transformative moment on an expedition in the snowy mountains of Colorado. On that expedition, in one magical moment of stillness, Natalie became aware that “this is all temporary.” When she returned home, she began to slip into her old pre-epiphany ways. The run-in with the truck shook her out of that, though, and two months without the ability to walk literally stopped her in her tracks and allowed the changes she experienced in Colorado to become more fully integrated within her. 

From that second near-death experience onward, Natalie has been all-in. 

 

Some Key Takeaways from Natalie’s Story

  • Each of us is a unique puzzle piece in the huge jigsaw puzzle of humanity. 
  • Self-discovery is perhaps the most important job each of us has because each of us has a specific spot to fill in the puzzle of humanity and a specific role to play. Commit to a lifelong practice of self-discovery.
  • When you're on the path that you're meant to be on, magical things happen. We tend to get off-course when we are seeing the dangling carrot or shiny object of someone else's life that's not our own path. Our own path will always keep us feeling complete. 
  • To hear our inner voice--the voice that whispers the truth of our existence to us and sets us on our unique path--we have to “create time and space to be with ourselves.”
  • Until we're in a position of really being able to take care of ourselves, we really are not ready to be in service to others.  
  • And more...

There’s so much meat on the bone of this episode. Tune in to the full episode for the full impact. 

 

What About You?

Our unique stories and our unique purposes in the world are inseparable. Natalie’s story is another demonstration of that truth. 

How well do you know your own story? I mean, really KNOW your story, like you know your best friend, your spouse, or your significant other? You may be able to identify the dots on your timeline, but some of those dots from the past are wreaking havoc in your present and blocking you from the future you could have because you don’t yet know them intimately. And often, it’s because they feel like enemies to be held at arm’s length rather than friends to be embraced. Until we embrace them, they will remain enemies indeed--standing defiantly if not secretly between us and our full potential.

Natalie’s story landed differently for each one of you listening. That’s awesome. It’s part of the mystery of stories--that one story can affect so many people so differently and in just the way each person needed. And, I hope this episode has also affected each of you in one shared way: I hope Natalie’s story has encouraged you to become even more intimately acquainted with your own Story so that, like Natalie, you can fulfill even more of your potential in the world--for your own enjoyment and the world’s benefit. 

Natalie reminded me of this quote from Carl Jung in the days leading up to our recorded conversation, and it’s a perfect bow to tie on this episode: 

"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." 

 

I Can Help

We won’t fully understand our story without the compassionate, curious support of other people. They see our Story and us within it in ways that we simply can’t. I can be a compassionate, curious partner for you, helping you to become more intimately acquainted with your amazing story so it can inhibit you less and empower you even more moving forward. What are you capable of when you’re more completely you?? That’s very much worth finding out. 

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram or  LinkedIn, visit my website, or email me.

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

 

Connect with Natalie

Email | Instagram | Facebook | Website 

 

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