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Like the Phoenix Rising

Andrew Petty is Dying

Release Date: 10/04/2021

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

So...funny story. My guest in this episode not only has a mind-blowing story to share but also the dubious distinction of having dated me more than 20 years ago. Don't worry--she exercised much better judgment in the years that followed! 

Lindsay Nohl is just glad to be alive. There were many moments over the past two years when she was not at all sure that she would be much longer. Lindsay's story is one of profound mental, emotional, and physical anguish, a remarkable recovery, a new lease on life, and a new outlook on life, too. And Lindsay courageously brings her whole ordeal and what she's learned from it to this conversation to encourage and serve all of us. 

This episode is packed with insight about choosing courage in the face of fear, the sacredness of the present moment, the power of empathy, and how Mortality can propel us to live with even more guts, gusto, and abandon. 

 

A Word of Warning

This is a tremendously life-affirming story. But the journey to "life-affirming" passes through a prolonged season of desperation, when suicide was on the table for Lindsay. For some of you, this part of the story might hit too close to home, so I wanted to be sure you were aware in advance that it would come up if you tune in to the full episode.  

 

Meet Lindsay Nohl

Lindsay currently lives in Victor, Idaho with her two dogs Owen & Brady, where she serves as executive director of a non-profit called Mountain Bike the Tetons. She is also a mountain bike coach and certified life coach (CLC).  Prior to moving to the Tetons, Lindsay spent 18 years working for the National Outdoor Leadership School, or NOLS, as a field instructor, director of the Southwest program, and in other administrative roles in Arizona and Wyoming. She's a life-long athlete, and her initial passion for soccer carried into her early twenties. After attempts at playing soccer professionally, she dove headfirst into various outdoor sports like rock climbing, canyoneering, caving, and more recently, mountain biking. Today, her favorite outdoor adventures are long bikepacking trips in the desert southwest. 

 

Reduced to Ashes

In August 2019, Lindsay’s 8-year relationship with her partner was coming apart. Then, on a routine pre-run lap of a mountain bike race course, she crashed, landed on her face, and split her chin open. She got checked out, stitched up, and sent on her way. The visible injuries healed up, and she moved on. 

Two weeks later, though, while talking to a friend at a social gathering, things started to get weird. In the middle of the conversation and from out of nowhere, “kill yourself, kill yourself” popped into her head. And things quickly went downhill from there. 

Over the next nine months, Lindsay’s life burned to the ground in a conflagration of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and bizarre physical symptoms. She hid her household knives from herself--painfully aware that the impulse to kill herself could at any time get the best of her. She lost her job of 18 years along the way, too, a consequence of both the deteriorating COVID situation and her own debilitated mental, emotional, and physical state.  She wasn’t eating, her gut was in shambles, and she lost 15 lbs. She couldn’t perform some of the most basic life tasks. A laundry list of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds weren’t up to the task of righting Lindsay’s ship. She checked herself into a behavioral health center to be placed on suicide watch and did a stint in a treatment center, too. Nothing provided relief or a glimmer of hope for a better future. 

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

 

The Tide Begins to Turn

Then, mercifully, when the last fragile threads of hope were almost gone, the tide began to turn in Lindsay’s favor. An integrative medicine doctor helped Lindsay heal her gut through nutrition, and gradually Lindsay’s physical and mental health began to improve. So much so, in fact, that she was able to drive and ride her bike again. Then, a therapist helped Lindsay realize that her fall on the bike 9 months earlier had in fact given her a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the TBI was substantially complicit in causing her descent into mental, emotional, and physical hell. Until that moment, neither Lindsay nor anyone else supporting her through the ordeal had seen the connection. 

And this time, the right medication became the final piece in the puzzle of Lindsay’s recovery. On May 23, 2020, within 48 hours of beginning to take Wellbutrin, Lindsay texted her dad: 

“Dad, I feel normal today. I'm cleaning the house and not really tired. And I feel ‘happy.’ It feels crazy. I think the Wellbutrin is working."

Wellbutrin is a norepinephrine and dopamine re-uptake inhibitor (NDRI), and it works by making the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine available to the brain’s neurons for longer. (from verywellmind.com)

“It was so clear to me that I had a dopamine issue in my brain with how fast that stuff worked for me,” said Lindsay. “It was like the key went in the lock and I turned back on, you know, as a human.”

 

Like the Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

It has been an upward spiral from that point forward. Lindsay feels 95% normal again, with the main lingering symptom being diminished short-term memory. 

“I'm like the Phoenix rising from the ashes here. And I have the ability to put the pieces back in any way I can...As the months have gone on, I've thought a lot about what decisions am I--I make decisions every day, many times a day and are those moving me in the direction I want to go with my life, you know? And so when everything's gone, it makes you think a lot about what you want.”

Lindsay has put the pieces of her life together in impressive fashion--including getting back on her bike and conquering races more challenging than any she’d tackled pre-TBI. 

 

Transferable Lessons

The point of this podcast is to help us all tap into the power of our Mortality to become the people we were made to be and live the lives we were made to live--to equip us with the mindset and the means to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. And to do so BEFORE a crisis hits because then it’s too late. So, what transferable lessons are available to us from Lindsay’s story that we can put into action in our own lives right now? 

  • Live in Community: Lindsay’s friends and family were rock-solid supports for her through every grueling step of her ordeal. She says they literally saved her life. 
  • Treat Every Day Like a Bonus: Post-ordeal, Lindsay feels like every day is a bonus. Be willing to see each new day as a bonus in your own life--full of potential and possibility that didn’t exist just one day before. See each day as a gift. 
  • Get in “[email protected]%$ it” Mode!: Go for it! Why NOT do the scary or hard thing?! (Not recommending foolhardy recklessness, BTW...)
  • Live Like There’s No Tomorrow: Lindsay is more aware than ever now of the sacredness of the present moment. It’s all we have. So make this moment, this day, your primary focus. How can you make it the best day it can be?
  • Choose Courage Over Fear: Do the hard thing. Venture outside of your comfort zone. Don’t waste time trying to get rid of fear; instead, practice becoming MORE brave. 
  • Be Kind to Others: You don't know what they’re going through

Remember, Lindsay has been to the edge and back. She knows what it’s like to stare Mortality in the face, and those are some of her big takeaways from that experience. We can borrow what she’s learned and put them into practice in our own lives RIGHT NOW if we simply choose to--without having to experience a catastrophe of our own first. 

I think that’s a WAY better strategy. What do you think? The alternatives are tragic, in my opinion. 

 

Let Today Be the Day!

"When everything's gone, it makes you think a lot about what you want." Wow. That hits home. 

Listen. One day--maybe even one day very soon--you'll run out of tomorrows. You'll run out of second chances. You'll run out of time. 

Grab yourself by the scruff of the neck today and shake yourself awake. Wake up to the reality of your Mortality, to the sacredness of this present moment--the only moment you've got. 

Make the phone call to the estranged family member or friend. Take the first step toward fulfilling that big dream. Do the hard thing now. Start the big thing now. Tomorrow never comes, ladies and gents, there is only today. 

Let today be a day like none other before it. The day that you summoned the courage to live with even more guts, gusto, and abandon by looking your Mortality square in the eyes and holding its gaze, unflinching and with resolve. 

This is your one and only life. What will you make of it? 

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

I Can Help

Becoming the person you were made to be and living the life you were made to live with guts, gusto, and abandon is heroic work. It's not for the faint of heart. And it happens best in the company of others who have your best interests at heart. 

Connect with me to learn more about how a powerful, confidential 1-1 coaching partnership or participation in a Graveyard Group can help you live even more courageously and die regret-free. 

And I'm excited to share that the first-ever women's Graveyard Group will launch soon, too! 

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

 

If You Liked This Episode, I Think You’ll Like These, Too

 

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

 

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New to APiD?

I’m so glad you found Andrew Petty is Dying. This podcast is a mix of long-form interviews with fascinating people and short-form solos on topics that will help you acquire the mindset and the means to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. 

If you’re wondering where to start in the archive of episodes, I recommend these three episodes, in this order: 

  1. Ep. 001 | You're Dying: How to Make the Most of It
  2. Ep. 016 | The Question That Changes Everything: The Go-to Tool for Living the Life You Were Made to Live
  3. Ep. 006 | The Nine Lives of Lise Leroux: One Woman's Mind-blowing Tale of Living With a Terminal Diagnosis