The Divorce Ceremony: Healing Spiritually and Divorcing Amicably in Twelve Weeks
How to see what’s right in front of your face to transform your relationship with your divorce…
In the late 90s, Patricia Ann Russell and her soon-to-be ex-husband mailed 400 invitations for their Divorce Ceremony to family, friends, and acquaintances. Over 100 of them came, including their three teenage children, caterers, photographers, a DJ, and their in-laws. Especially important for Patricia was that her father, who had not visited her from their native Bahamas since she’d moved away 25 years earlier—and where he’d originally walked her down the aisle—came to take her back.
In a world that’s accustomed to bitter and angry divorces, Patricia’s father had never imagined two people with great respect and love for each other going their separate ways with a ceremony. The idea is a new one, and revolutionary in its simplicity and healing power.
In spite of Patricia’s best intentions to move forward, however, she struggled mightily after her divorce. The departure of her daughters for college, the gravity of her father’s advanced prostate cancer, and mounting financial stress compounded her loneliness and desperation. One night while lying in bed, exhausted from crying, praying, cursing, and screaming to God for help, Patricia heard a voice say, “Who would you rather take on your journey? Fear and Grief, or Love and Joy?” Too tired to respond, the question was difficult to ignore. And yet the answer was obvious.
Patricia’s dark night of the soul was the turning point where her faith was restored and she began to understand and accept her divorce as a symbolic act of divorcing her own Ego, a prelude to its final submission to a higher authority, the spiritual Self.
Until now, no other book has provided an integrated approach that enables the divorced to navigate the emotional quagmires, regardless of time. The Divorce Ceremony helps people to acknowledge their pain but not wallow in it; to understand spiritually what they’re going through; and to help them step into their greatness.
From the preface:
“This book reflects my conversations with God, my Dad, and divorcees, all centered on this premise: Divorce is an unconscious, intentional, self-initiated spiritual act designed to help you know God. It is a response to your soul’s call to remember who you are and to reconnect and re-establish communication with Spirit.”
“The Divorce Ceremony helped me to see a familiar topic in a new context. Big on ritual, it’s almost unbelievable to me that I’d never thought about or heard of creating an actual ‘ceremony’ to honor the closing of this profound chapter in so many people’s lives. In no time, I imagine we’ll see such ceremonies taking place in homes, churches, backyards, and resorts the world over, becoming a common, healing rite of passage.” –Linda Sivertsen, bestselling author of Lives Charmed and Generation Green
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Patricia Ann Russell is an entrepreneur, executive coach, and author. Having taught Divorce Seminars from a spiritual perspective for over a decade, she knows both subjects—divorce and spirituality—intimately. She has also taught these concepts in her consulting practice to more than five thousand participants for well over fifteen years, in both private and public institutions. It was her public Divorce Ceremony in late 1998, which she wrote about for the Democrat and Chronicle, her local Rochester, New York newspaper that began her writing career.
Ms. Russell invented and tested a unique approach to accelerate the healing process of divorce, which later became the framework for a course, entitled Cultural Competence and Mutual Respect (CCMR) used by healthcare and higher education institutions to learn how to be more mindful in their interactions with others. She holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and the University of Rochester, respectively.