Today, I’m interviewing Patricia Cohen, who wrote the “Redefining the Great American Ritual” chapter in Jack Canfield’s new book – Pearls of Wisdom. Patricia Cohen is a Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking through the Beloved Community. Having six brothers and a sister launched her on a journey of exploring and working with children, searching for a better way to help them thrive. She is a former President of the Board of the Nevada County Jewish Community Center, Vice President of the Board of the Mariposa Waldorf School, and Vice President of the Board and Program Coordinator of New Frontiers of the Gold Country. Her education in human development and her work with children in the religious school, private school, public school, day care center and juvenile hall have qualified her to bring the benefit of ritual and tradition to the forefront of our lives for the unification of families.
Q: Patricia, how did you get into this collection of inspiration with people like Jack Canfield?
A: I got into this collection when I attended a Full Time Messenger conference and attended a presentation with Randy Davila who invited me to submit my manuscript.
Q: What is your chapter about?
A: My chapter is about the need for rituals and rites of passage for Americans.
Q: What do you think makes this book unique and who would want to read it?
A: I think the book is unique because we don’t have regular rites of passage that are considered American, and I propose we adopt them. I think parents will want to read this to help their children mature into healthy responsible adults. I think everyone can benefit from recognizing that each milestone we pass in life can be a rite of passage and brings with it a new status that empowers us to be more than we were before.
Q: What kind of wisdom do you have to offer the reader?
A: The wisdom I offer the reader is that ceremonies and rites of passage have empowered people of all ages in healthy development from their first birthday to their last.
Q: The publisher promises that the authors such as yourself are “up and coming” leaders in self-help. How does the publisher know this, and what is your expertise in “self-help?”
A: The publisher knows I am a leader in self-help as I am compiling the rites of passage from all cultures that now reside in the United States and am presenting them as American for the spiritual development of all of us.
Q: Most people know about Jack Canfield from the Chicken Soup books and Marci Shimoff from her Happy for No Reason books … How would you like your readers to think of you? What is your “signature niche?”
A: My signature “niche” is “Every breath you take is sacred,” and every birthday is a sacred graduation, a celebration of your accomplishments and an initiation into your new status.”
Q: In your chapter, you talk about ways to add an element of ritual to birthday celebrations. Can you share a personal example of how you’ve incorporated this suggestion into your own life?
A: Yes, I have been incorporating rituals into birthday celebrations for a few years now. I started by adding special acknowledgements and blessings for my own children when the last one turned 18, and for my friends and family as their birthdays were celebrated. I now create birthday books with the help of one of my daughters. We add blessings, wishes, and photographs of special events in the life of the person celebrating their birthday. I also add interesting things about their birth date, like Chinese astrology and Native American and Jewish astrology, and many other items that add to their self-discovery. I ask each person to tell us about their accomplishments for the year and their wishes for the coming year so the gifts can be tools to help them achieve their goals or simply rewards for what they have accomplished thus far. I even created a birthday book for myself!
Q: We often hear that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – how does that proverb apply to the 30 authors in this book?
A: The 30 authors in this book combine to create a message of peace, love, and hope that is current to this moment in time.
Q: What is your most central and compelling “pearl of wisdom?”
A: My most central and compelling “Pearl of Wisdom” is that “Every breath you take is sacred,” and if you know that from birth to the end of life, you will remember that all of your life and all life itself is sacred.
Q: How can our readers find you?
A: Your readers can find me at www.sacredamerican.com