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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

Craving Peace: Stringing Wisdom Pearls Along the Path to Peace

Last year, I participated in a Heal My Voice collaborative book project and became one of the contributing authors of Inspired Voices: True Stories by Visionary Women.  Now, I have been working on a story for an upcoming Heal My Voice book project called Harmonic Voices:  True Stories by Women on the Path to Peace.  Without needing to ponder for long what category of Peace I would be writing about, or what Peace means to me, my intuition centered me on “Inner Peace.”

Story Three.  During the summer of 2012 I entered a writing boot camp.  For 10 consecutive days I wrote 1000 words and forwarded them by midnight to the boot camp leader, Max Regan.  Following those provocative days, I looked back through the 10,000 words and found something thrilling!  Eye-opening memoir was pouring through the ink onto the papers.

On first glance, it felt a bit hazardous as I was discovering how my own life had been influenced and affected by the lives of my female ancestors.  I identified how I was linked with those who came before me and those who have come since.  And I acknowledged how many “knots” had formed within me and among all of us—mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and in our relationships—because of those continuing linkages.

To my surprise, I felt uplifted while facing the truth of their “not so nice” qualities and characteristics, which were left lingering in the stories of their lives.  In hindsight, I understood that for many moons my soul had been craving the untying of those knots, craving peace—Craving Inner Peace!

Unbeknownst to me, while my discovery was happening, pearls of wisdom were saturating me.  I felt compelled to make some changes in how I was relating to others, and myself.

pearlsWisdom Pearls were being strung.

The driving question I asked myself repeatedly central to inspiring the sacredness of the obstacles I met when taking action to make those changes was, “What would happen if I decided to tell the mi-nute truth about my life?”

Phil Cousineau, in The Art of Pilgrimage, said, “What is sacred is what is worthy of our reverence, what evokes awe and wonder in the human heart, and what when contemplated transforms us utterly.”

Over this last year I’ve further investigated the lives of our Matriarchs and my female lineage—gathering, reading, writing and telling stories about them.  My daughter and I even traveled to South Florida to gather stories from our 99-year-old Uncle.  And I’ve been telling the truth about things that happened in my life.

I followed the sometimes rocky and sometimes blissful path.  I arrived at Inner Peace.

To take the first step on the Path to Inner Peace, you may want to try this right now?  Visualize your female lineage standing behind you.  (If you don’t think you visualize, you can know they are there or hear them or smell them or feel them.) Behind you are your mother and your father’s mother.  Then standing behind each of them is your mother’s mother and your father’s mother.  Then standing behind them is your mother’s mother’s mother and your father’s mother’s mother.  And so on.

Notice what you notice.  Notice how you feel.

Feel free to share what you discover.  Let us hear your Voice!

**Heal My Voice is a nonprofit organization with the mission to empower women and girls to heal grief, loss, and trauma, and reclaim their inner authority so they can discover and use their leadership skills in their homes, communities, and the world.  Heal My Voice develops projects that encourage leadership, community building, and the reclaiming of each woman’s voice.  Book Circles are at the heart of what Heal My Voice does.