• Courtney Kirschaum

How to use the power of rites and rituals

This week, I saw a picture of a mustard colored flaky powder with these words beneath it:

“If you know what this is, you’re a vegan.”

I laughed out loud because I recognized it.

But what amplified the impact was only six months ago I would've had no idea.

In 2020, I went vegan.

To be fair, egg whites are still on the menu but all other animal products have been exorcised from my kitchen and that gold powder has pride of place in my cupboard.

It takes some effort to learn the nuances of a new world.

Yet from Parrot Heads to Trekkies, if there's a name for it, there are rituals, rites and language you can learn to shore up your belonging.

And for vegan's, one is Nooch.

Short for Nutritional Yeast.

This powdery staple of vegan life that smells like vitamins is probably most famous for making vegan cheese.

Early in my shift from Baconators to Beyond Meat, I saw Nutritional Yeast in a recipe.

Baffled, I searched YouTube to discover countless videos explaining its virtues and uses.

It's commonly referred to as "Nooch" by vegans.

Knowing obscure details and shared experiences creates a true and fast bond. It brings instant affinity and quickens trust.

Recognizing “nooch” affirmed my membership.

My reward was the bump of dopamine or whatever feelgood drug your brain pumps out when you share a secret handshake or see a stranger on the other side of the world wearing the sweatshirt of your obscure alma mater.

Referring to initiation rites or specific in-group only language of your field, profession or industry will validate you more than 100 letters behind you name.

Showing you know these details will win open the door to a more resonate connection we all seek.

It's the feeling you get when you realize your dog is playing with their long ago littermate at the dog park, then finding yourself doubly delighted to learn the owner is cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Just. Like. You.

Learn the rites and rituals. That's where the power is.

Two more days to get Booster Shot and then prices go up.

Get it here! Amen!




The best thing you can do for your career is help someone else with theirs.

In that spirit...

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