The Art of Phoenixing: How to Burn and Rise

My favorite animals are all badasses, and not all of them exist in the physical dimension: honey badgers, dragons, and snakes.

Perhaps above all others, though, I love the Phoenix. The mythical bird who rises from its own ashes, again and again and again, in a blaze of fire and a glorious defiance of death.

What’s not to love about that?

A Phoenix knows how to make an exit. And an entrance. It’s the prima donna of mythical creatures.

What even is a Phoenix?

A Phoenix is kinda like a snake on steroids. Forget about just shedding your own skin, how about setting it on fire and using the flames to usher in your new self? (Note: don’t try this at home. We’re just talking metaphorically here.)

Of course, the one thing that myth fails to mention is this: burning your old self to create your new self would suck.

Totally, unequivocally suck.

As far as renewal strategies go, it’s the total opposite of going on a spa holiday where you chill near a pool with a detoxifying mocktail in your hand and a purifying mask on your face.

That’s because the Art of Phoenixing (as we’ll call the bird’s “burn and rise” strategy) is the real thing.

It’s as real as life is. As real as death is.

The Art of Phoenixing

From the moment we’re born, we engage in the Art of Phoenixing.

We’re made out of the material of stars that died. We’re born covered in gunk and blood. Our food is grown in soil fertilized by feces (ugh! Don’t think too long about that one).

From our first ancestor, a lonely microbe, all the way to us. We come from humble beginnings. And we’re still only… a humble beginning.

For who knows what potential lies within us?

And, unlike a spa retreat, the Phoenix knows about the unknown. For it is only in the unknown that potential lies.

Does the Phoenix ever worry if the process will fail this time? “Yeah, sure, I’ve done this a thousand times but what if… if this time, I don’t rise again? What if this is the end?” 

It takes guts to leave behind your past self to create a new self. But that’s the only way this process works.

You can’t fake your way to a new self.

You can’t self-care your way to a new self.

You can’t spa retreat your way to a new self.

All you can do is lose your old self so you can discover your new self.

When you do, you’re practicing the ancient Art of Phoenixing.

P.S.: I help people embody their new selves and lives. If you're interested, you can find more about my coaching here.

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Louise is the founder of Leader for Good. She's a former lawyer and academic who moved from Germany to the United States where she started her own business. Today, Louise loves helping her coaching clients and students connect with their passion and purpose. You can find out more about her coaching business at
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