Listen-and-Read-Along MY HERO Stories - for ESL

Marianne Williamson

by Wendy Jewell from The MY HERO Project

"Love is a hero's journey, and the hero's journey is a noble but difficult path." • Marianne Williamson, "Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power Of Intimate Relationships"
Marianne Williamson ( ())
Marianne Williamson ( ())



Spiritual Teacher, Author, Lecturer

Founder, Department of Peace Campaign

Marianne Williamson is an internationally recognized spiritual teacher, lecturer and author of the best selling books, RETURN TO LOVE: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", ENCHANTED LOVE, THE AGE OF MIRACLES, A WOMAN'S WORTH, ILLUMINATA and HEALING THE SOUL OF AMERICA. She has appeared on some of the most popular shows on TV like Oprah, Good Morning America and Larry King Live. Marianne founded Project Angel Food in Los Angeles in 1989, a meals-on-wheels program that today serves over 1,000 homebound people a day, living with AIDS.

Where did this woman, who has changed so many people's lives for the better, come from?

Born in Texas and raised in Michigan, Williamson says: "I grew up in a pretty political home. A home that was. part of being Jewish actually, in that we were part of a very involved community. I think it was more natural for me to never lose site of the fact that all the spirituality in the world means nothing if you are not concerned on some level with helping starving children."

A student of comparative religions, a child of the sixties, with its talk of flower power and love, Marianne told an interviewer on TVO:

"I'm a child of my generation.  One of the things that the sixties were known for was a lot of interest in eastern religions, people like Allan Watts, the I Ching. The sixties were very fertile grounds spiritually. At that time you had a spiritual and political revolution that were intertwined. So those things were always of interest to me and as I progressed through my own life my spiritual and philosophical interests grew and I started reading a course in miracles in 1977.

What is A Course in Miracles?

Marianne explains: "A Course in Miracles is a self study program of spiritual psychotherapy based on universal spiritual themes. It's not a religion it talks about these great spiritual themes at the heart of all great religious teachings and spiritual philosophies. You can't attain inner peace without learning to forgive. The dominant world-view is based more on a thought system of fear than of love. So it becomes almost your instinct to recognize what's wrong with someone rather than what's right. To judge, basically.  Judgment is a cornerstone of the thought system of the world rather than forgiveness."

A close friend of mine had this to say about her experiences with Williamson and A Course in Miracles: "In my lifelong search to feel connected to God, I stumbled upon Marianne Williamson in the late 1980's and attended many of the lectures and talks she used to give on A Course In Miracles.  Her book, 'A Return To Love', sparked an awakening in me that has grown exponentially through the years along with my spiritual study.

Marianne Williamson is one of our most profoundly inspiring teachers of spiritual wisdom and transformation.  The philosophy she lays out has shown me how to deal with the many challenges I have faced in life.  Her common sense, insight and guidance are truly a miracle."

But possibly one Marianne Williamson's most important roles to date is the founding of the Department of Peace Campaign that is gaining momentum from a grassroots level to a burgeoning movement with an "alliance of organizers and advocates throughout America who are taking peace building into the centers of power, of national discourse and policy priorities."

In a recent video of support for this campaign Marianne spoke passionately:

"I think in the world today we're in the midst of an all systems breakdown and the only adequate response to this is an all systems response. You can't look at just one area that's the problem and really see the whole picture. She went on to say, "The reason we at the Peace Alliance chose this particular piece of legislation to campaign for is because the legislation to establish a cabinet level department of peace will provide an institutional platform to the peace building community. The idea of a cabinet level position is that cabinet level is important. It means the President gets to hear their opinions. This particular cabinet job would be to research, to facilitate to articulate and to scan the country for the best practices and techniques for creating peace."

She continued: "You don't just wait for that violent eruption. You proactively seek to cultivate the conditions of peace. Any time you have large groups of desperate people you have an almost inevitable trajectory in the direction of violent eruptions. We can have a much more sophisticated analysis of what it would take to create a Peaceful world. The Peace department calls for just as much concentration on domestic issues as on international issues. We have a military academy and we are calling for a peace academy. You have the people out there who know how to ameliorate conditions of violence in people's hearts and minds before it even starts and then how to diminish it within them once it has. Have them be the faculty at a peace academy. Train people how to do what they do and then send them out to the bloodstream of this country and this world and we can turn this ship around."

Marianne on Oprah (OWN ())
Marianne on Oprah (OWN ())

Who is The Peace Alliance?

Marianne Williamson is part of an "alliance of organizers, advocates for peace, elected officials, moms, dads, kids, sisters, brothers, volunteer grassroots teams in high schools, colleges, towns and cities all over the country.

One of their many supporters says:

"This organization is on the leading edge. Through your organization the word spreads out among the people, so it becomes a more popular thing to be counted as one of the pilgrims, trying to lead us to this promised land of peace." ~Walter Cronkite -

Where does one go to support this Department of Peace? You can check out the Peace Alliance website to find out how to take action, discover tools to share this in education, join their movement and learn all about creating a new cabinet level department.

There is also a Student Peace Alliance whose motto is: Mobilizing our generation to create and sustain peace.

One thing you can do right now is to make a commitment to practice peace in some way: whether it's a daily choice or a larger effort they tell us to work for peace!

Thank you Marianne Williamson for all you do for PEACE, for LOVE and for showing us the path to living more inspired, fulfilling, loving, enchanted lives. Please enjoy some quotes from Ms. Williamson and in the words of the late John Lennon, GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.

Marianne at speaking engagement ( ())
Marianne at speaking engagement ( ())

Marianne Williamson QUOTES:

"Always seek less turbulent skies.

Hurt. Fly above it.

Betrayal. Fly above it.

Anger. Fly above it.

You are the one who is flying the plane."

"The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world." 

"Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. The world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world."

"Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us." 

Page created on 3/1/2015 1:58:00 PM

Last edited 10/17/2019 8:31:37 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Marianne Williamson Official Website
Students for Peace - Check out the Students for Peace Alliance and see what you can do in your own life to create peace. Sign their petition to ask Congress to pass the Youth PROMISE Act!
The Peace Alliance - The Peace Alliance empowers civic engagement toward a culture of peace.
Project Angel Food - For Life for Love, for as long as it takes. Founded in 1989 by Marianne this meals-on-wheels program serves over 1,000 people daily in the Los Angeles area who are homebound and suffering from AIDS.

Extra Info

According to the Peace Alliance website:

The campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding is only one aspect of a fundamental response to the problem of violence, but it is critical. It represents an important collective effort, as American citizens, to do everything we possibly can to save the world for our children's children.


- Provide much-needed assistance to efforts by city, county, and state governments in coordinating existing programs; as well as develop new programs based on best practices nationally

- Teach violence prevention and mediation to America's school children

- Effectively treat and dismantle gang psychology

- Rehabilitate the prison population

- Build peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures both here and abroad

- Support our military with complementary approaches to peace-building.

- Create and administer a U.S. Peace Academy, acting as a sister organization to the U.S. Military Academy.

- And more...


Author Info