Dear Best Selfers,
There is a wondrous window one is invited to peer through when entering the personal space of another. One of my favorite things is getting the opportunity to conduct our feature interviews in our subject’s homes.
Their walls whisper stories, their energy envelopes you, the framed pictures on the bookshelves document life, even the teacup sitting on the counter has something to say to you. It is intimate and it is sacred.
Elizabeth’s house, like her, is warm, inviting, unpretentious — the kind that immediately says, hey, let’s just kick off our shoes and cuddle up on the sofa with a nice cup of tea and chat.
That said, here’s my truth…it was also a little bit intimidating.
I was about to sit down and interview someone who has conducted decades of her own interviews, has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey several times, co-founded The Omega Institute — the mecca of holistic education — and has pretty much been in contact with every spiritual teacher and thought leader in the space of self-empowerment.
And then I was reminded by one of the many beautiful passages in her latest book, Marrow: A Love Story, in which a friend gently guided her through the giving process, the giving of her bone marrow and the giving of her soul to another.
Give from your strength, and give to your sister’s strength. Don’t be the big sister helping the little sister. Don’t be the strong one helping the weak one. Don’t be the fortunate one helping the victim. Give from your strength to her strength. Strength to strength.
Those words comforted me and reinforced the core essence of what it means to be our best selves. Elizabeth was meeting me “strength to strength.” And in doing so, her generosity of spirit fed mine.
When not giving Ted Talks, writing New York Times bestselling books, sitting on the board of Omega, or mothering her family — she shows up and gives of her strength to others, inspiring us to do the same.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes — we were both making our way through post-holiday colds, both hiding tissues and cough drops.
But with a pot of her hot ginger lemon tea and some good ‘ol determination – we met in a space of connection…and once there, remarkably, never coughed during our interview!
We celebrated this beautiful book, the journey of her becoming a bone marrow donor for her sister — the journey to healing on so many levels. And as Elizabeth eloquently conveys, opportunities for true healing and true loving are before us in countless ways big and small throughout our days — in our homes, in our encounters, in our communities and in the bigger world at large.
In the spirit of love, and in the words of Elizabeth’s sister, Maggie, “Be lovers. Love the earth, and love each other. Love comes first.” Strength to strength.
Return to Issue 15