Even as a kid, my guest, Elizabeth lesser was the rebel, the activist, the feminist in the family. Growing up with three sisters, and one very traditional father, she could never understand why the women didn’t make more decisions and have more power. Hers was not a voice that could be silenced, even from the earliest age. She eventually traveled down a path of activism, social justice, graduated from Barnard, became a student of a renowned Sufi mystic, and studied with a wide range of spiritual teachers. Her fierce devotion to discovering what is real and true, teamed with a passion for advocacy and intentional community, lead Elizabeth to co-found the iconic Omega Institute, a 140-acre communal gathering and learning retreat in Rhinebeck, New York, that has hosted everyone from Eckhart Tolle, Eve Ensler, and Maya Angelou, to Pema Chödrön, Ram Dass, Allen Ginsberg, Gloria Steinem, Pete Seeger, and thousands of other luminaries from every tradition and walk of life.
Elizabeth also found an outlet in writing, eventually penning a series of moving memoirs and social commentary. Her book, Marrow: A Love Story, shares her experience of profound reconnection and healing between her and the sister, who she’d donate bone marrow to in a quest to save her life. Her most recent book, Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes, reveals how humanity has outgrown its origin tales and hero myths, and empowers women to trust their instincts, find their voice, and tell new guiding stories. In today’s deep-dive Best Of conversation, we explore the moments, stories and insights that awakened her call to action, community, and creativity, and how a personal crisis, in the form of her sister’s cancer, led to unforeseen reconnection and reckoning that eventually led to reconciliation and healing. And, right now, we could all use a little more of this.
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