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Story 4. Dear Elizabeth Lesser

Dear Elizabeth,

In 2012, I read an article you wrote that was published in O Magazine.  Your topic became a prompt during a writing bootcamp I was in last year.  It caused a spark within me to ignite and has since burst into a flame atop a tall torch shining its guiding Light on a transforming path between my female ancestors and me, and beyond.  It was “Mamisma!”  THE writing prompt perfectly fitted to descend me into the past.  To my surprise, however, it turned out to be a “calling” from my future!  One thousand words spilled through the ink onto my paper, and …

Sacred Pearl Tours was conceived!

In a whisper, Mamisma conveyed a message to lead a pilgrimage for women of all faiths to Israel. Nine months after finishing the bootcamp, I realized the heat of my desire had been propelling Sacred Pearl Tours’ pregnancy.

Elizabeth, you might be wondering what Mamisma has to do with an interfaith women’s pilgrimage?  First, I must tell you—having never heard that word, you activated my curiosity and I rapidly scanned the article wondering what the heck was Mamisma?  Since I knew you are a co-founder of the Omega Institute, and that it’s emphasis is on personal and cultural transformation, I expected I would learn something important about the relationship between Mamisma and feminine power?  And I did.  Mamisma is a force!  You said it is “femininity defined by mature and maternal qualities.”  Mother love!  You went on to say, “But one need not be a mother, or even a woman, to be motivated by mamisma.  It’s available to anyone who values the power of the heart.  Mamisma is not to be confused with machisma, which is the sister of machismo. The world does not need patriarchy to be replaced by matriarchy.  It needs mamisma. It needs women to harness their hearts and drive the chariots of love into the center of town.”

And where does our strength as women come from, Elizabeth, for us to have what’s needed for harnessing our hearts and driving our chariots?

Could it come out of the stories from the lives of women who came before us?  Are we their conduit?  Have they been pumping that Mamisma through us, into the women who came after, and for those who came after them, and for those who will come later?

Are we the conduit for the Pearls of Wisdom grown by our ancestors?  Do we have a duty to our female lineage to turn toward their stories and listen to their life journeys to find the Pearls of Wisdom in us?  And if we continue our journey within, will we each come to the Mother Pearl?  As conduits, do we need to connect first with our own Mother Pearl to build the muscles required to drive love into the center of town, and into the lives of those who come after us?

The Pilgrimage to the Mother Pearl in Israel was conceived for us women to pump our Mamisma!

In Mamisma, Elizabeth, Thank You!

Jacke Schroeder

Your Future! Has It Ever Come “Calling” For You?

Have you ever thought about where good ideas come from?  When I started telling friends about Sacred Pearl Tours, they asked what made me want to lead women on a sacred journey to Israel and how did this begin?  My thoughts weren’t concise.  I wasn’t sure enough to give them a direct answer.  Instead, I started telling them stories about experiences I had been having over an extended period of time, and how I was being effected by those experiences.

One way I’m going to use this blog space is to tell you some of those stories along the path to choreographing the Women’s Pilgrimage to the Mother Pearl in Israel.

(As a side note… I can get kind of “out there” and esoteric when I tell personal stories.  One friend tells me I’m speaking Jackenese when I go into that mode!  Not to worry though…I always get back on track when I veer off.  So please bare with me… and let me know if you need me to clarify anything.  I’d love to converse with you here!)


Story One: Dame Freya Stark is one of my heroines.  She was a passionate nomad.  Born in 1893 in Paris, Freya was a resourceful and scholarly travel writer who was the first Westerner to journey through many regions of the Middle East.  She wrote 24 travel books and autobiographies and eight volumes of letters from the 1930’s to the 1980’s. Many of the books were based on often hazardous journeys by vehicle, camel and donkey. One godson, Malise Ruthven, wrote, “Traveler Through Time: A Photographic Journey With Freya Stark,” a tribute in which he observed: “Freya never lost her passion for acquiring fresh knowledge and new skills. Writing, like travel, she saw as the pursuit of truth.”


Dame Freya said, “There is a great moment, when you see, however distant, the goal of your wandering. The thing which has been living in your imagination suddenly becomes a part of the tangible world.”


Do you have any recollection of that ever happening to you?  I believe it is exactly what happened to me!

Three springs ago, during a 3-hour workshop with four other women in New Renaissance Bookshop in Portland Oregon, Ingrid Kincaid, the Rune Woman who changes lives with ancient wisdom asked our group two really hard questions.  One was this:

Not caring what anyone else thought, if you could do anything with your life, knowing you wouldn’t fail, what would you do?


She instructed us to take out a sheet of paper, and without thinking jot down the first three things that came to mind.  I put my pen to the paper, started writing, and to my great surprise the first answer was “Be a Tour Guide on the Appalachian Trail.”  Ha!

I thought about where that idea could possibly have come from?  I remembered many years earlier knowing a man named Gene S. who accomplished something that historically very few people do–he hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from one end to the other.  I wondered if perhaps I was to get in touch with him again.  So I Googled him.  I found who I thought could have been him, left a voice message on the phone I thought could have been his, but I never heard anything in return.  And I never gave any more thought to being a Tour Guide.

Until now. Three years later!

My future came calling for me. 

Has yours?

(More to come…)