Episode 212: Leading with Love
Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Run – Embracing Miracles and Building a Better Future
Hi everyone. Welcome to the show. My guest today is Marianne Williamson. And this is a different type of show for me. I tend to do the health and wellness and scientists and things like that, and I’m obviously not that much into politics; I don’t want it to get into those types of debates. However, Marianne is a renowned author, activist, and spiritual leader. She’s penned a ton of books -ones that you know are “Return to Love,” “The Law of Divine Compensation,” and “Healing the Soul of America.” And there’s a ton of wisdom and compassion in these books, and she was inspired by a huge book called “A Course in Miracles.”
And why I wanted to talk to Marianne wasn’t really to get into a conversation about her politics. However, I was fascinated by why a woman who’s been successful in one field was so upset by how things have been going. And I think we all feel that way. If we believe that we can make a difference on a public scale (Senator, Congressman, President is lofty), if we could do something to try to heal or bring us all closer and back together to work this out collectively, I think we would all do that.
So, why would she take this on? It is hard. They don’t accept her in politics. It is a closed-loop place; unless you’re groomed for that, they don’t want that. So here’s somebody who’s highly beloved in this one space, and she willingly walks into this other space because she feels so strongly about wanting to do something. For that, I appreciated her. And yes, I want to know how you maintain a schedule with a lot of heavy lifting. She’s certainly very healthy and vibrant, but she’s a little bit older. So how does she take care of herself? How does she sustain her health with that type of tempo and schedule? That’d be hard for any of us. I look at it, and I would fall apart because I like to have my routine and implement some hectic things here and there. Still, she is taking it on full bore and leaning head-first, so it’s not sprinkled heavily in politics. I can’t get to the bottom of things anyway. So, I’d rather talk about the tangibles and the things that relate and pertain to all of us regardless of our beliefs or our gender, or our age. And so that’s really what I wanted to talk to her about.
I encourage you to keep an open mind regardless of whether you have preconceived ideas and listen to the conversation. She has a lot of wisdom, so I hope you enjoy my show with Marianne Williamson.
Welcome to the Gabby Reece Show, where we break down the complex worlds of health, fitness, family, business, and relationships with the world’s leading experts. I’m here to simplify these topics and give you practical takeaways that you can start using today. We all know that living a healthy balanced life isn’t always easy. Let’s try working on managing life a little better and have some fun along the way. After all, life is one big experiment, and we’re all doing our best.
“I’ve been in the rooms with some of the most powerful people in this country, and it’s no different. Just like in business, you know, whether you have two zeros or you’ve gotten to the point of having six zeros, you learn it’s actually the same. And politics is a room where people sit around and talk about what they want to do, and then the question is not the technicality. The question is, are you going to do the right thing, or are you going to do the thing that the insurance companies will allow you to do, or the pharmaceutical companies will allow you to do, or big food or big chemical companies or big agricultural companies will allow you to do or gun manufacturers or big oil companies or defense contractors will allow you to do. Franklin Roosevelt said that the most important job of the President was not administrative but moral leadership.“
Marianne Williamson, thank you so much for coming to my home. I know you are (and this is an understatement) busy beyond belief.
Well, I’m honored to be here, and thank you for having me.
I want to explore your backstory because I believe you are an inspiring example of how our experiences shape us and enable us to bring valuable lessons and skills to our current roles.
When someone embarks on a spiritual path, as you have, and writes a book, such as “Return to Love,” it’s natural for people to highlight certain aspects. They often mention your connection with Oprah or try to categorize your journey neatly. However, I understand that a personal journey led you to where you are today. Please share some of the books you’ve read or experiences that propelled you toward delving into spirituality. How did this transformation lead you to explore the topics of love, finding love, and cultivating gratitude in your own life?
During the 1960s and 1970s countercultural era, there was a sense of unity and exploration. It wasn’t about categorizing oneself as spiritual or political; it was a holistic experience encompassing sexuality, music, politics, and more. It was a time when everyone was everything.
The collective trauma of events like the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the Kent State shootings, profoundly impacted society. There was an unspoken threat to back off political activism, causing many to reevaluate their paths. For me, this led to a personal journey of self-discovery and introspection.
While I remained politically engaged and active, my twenties were a time of searching for my true self, much like others in my generation. I was always drawn to anything related to the higher mind, whether reading the I Ching, studying Hegel, exploring the Kabbalah, or delving into astrology. The distinction between Western and Eastern, esoteric and mainstream, didn’t matter to me. I gravitated toward anything that deepened my understanding of consciousness.
In my mid-twenties, while at a party in New York City, I came across a set of books called “A Course in Miracles.” Its introduction boldly stated that it was a required course, which intrigued me. Initially, I assumed it was a Christian book, but the absence of an author on the cover piqued my curiosity. Although I didn’t discuss it much then, it stayed with me.
A year later, feeling down with bronchitis and on my way to the doctor, I suddenly decided to get that book. To my surprise, when I returned home, it was sitting on the coffee table! My boyfriend had sensed the timing without us even discussing it. Many people have their own unique stories about how they first encountered “A Course in Miracles.”
As I began reading the course, I discovered that while it wasn’t offering entirely new truths, it presented universal spiritual themes through a practical and psychological lens. It provided a key to unlock the door to deeper understanding and personal transformation. I had been metaphorically climbing the steps of a cathedral, only to find the door still locked. The course taught me that the key was in blessing others, forgiving everyone (including myself), and embracing a mindset of love and forgiveness.
This revelation made all the difference in my life. It was like finding the missing piece of the puzzle, enabling me to move forward on my spiritual journey. “A Course in Miracles” may not hold a monopoly on truth. Still, its emphasis on practical application resonated with me and shaped my perspective on love, gratitude, and spirituality.
Can you share the process or practice you implemented when praying for someone or wishing them well? Did you discover this approach or already have it in place when the idea resonated with you?
I understand that perfection is not attainable, especially regarding spiritual growth. Like physical training, the “Course in Miracles” offers a structured approach with 365-day workbook exercises. It’s like going to the gym without knowing how to use the equipment. Having a trainer or guide can be incredibly helpful.
Personally, I felt like I was at the gym, surrounded by machines, believing in the potential but needing someone to show me the way. The “Course in Miracles” provides a specific curriculum for relinquishing fear-based thought systems and embracing love-based ones. It’s an ongoing practice, much like physical exercise – you can’t simply stop once you’ve made progress.
There’s an emotional and psychological gravity to life, just as there is physical gravity. If we don’t continue working on ourselves, our growth can decline over time. While I’m not an enlightened master and still make mistakes, I no longer justify getting things wrong. I believe in the importance of consistent effort and learning from our experiences.
It is intriguing to consider how you found the courage to write “A Return to Love” and navigate the position of influence that came with it. Acknowledging the potential conflict between assuming a position of authority and the essence of the practice you advocate for is important. Could you share your thoughts on managing this dynamic while writing your book and engaging with others?
Actually, that wasn’t the issue. Let me explain why. Back then, the career I have now, and many others like it, didn’t exist as a recognized niche. There was no ambition for it. Bestselling books weren’t on my radar. The concept of the internet hadn’t even emerged. When my parents heard me express my desire to talk about God, love, and forgiveness, they suggested I go to rabbinical school or teach comparative religion at a college. They wondered how I could make a living pursuing those topics.
At that time, I was working as a temporary secretary and a waitress, just trying to get by. But I found books on spirituality absolutely fascinating. The idea of personal transformation and consciousness was only starting to gain momentum, with Indian gurus like Muktananda gaining attention. However, the broader societal interest in universal spirituality and personal growth was still in its early stages. Making a living from such pursuits didn’t even cross my mind. I was simply an innocent seeker driven by a desire for knowledge and understanding.
When I moved to Houston and started a bookstore, I would talk passionately about these books. Then, in Los Angeles, I began speaking at events like the Philosophical Research Society, sharing insights from these texts. It was during the AIDS crisis that my career took an unexpected turn. Word spread among the affected gay community in LA about this young woman who fearlessly spoke about a loving God and the power of miracles through love.
Gay men in LA played a crucial role in launching my career. Their support and interest led someone to suggest I write a book based on the cassette tapes of my talks. As fate would have it, Oprah Winfrey came across the book and invited me onto her show. For those who can remember, being featured on Oprah, and receiving her endorsement, held great significance. She not only provided me with a mainstream audience but also propelled my career to new heights.
As I prepared for this interview, I took the time to revisit some of your interviews. What struck me is how poised, composed, and confident you were back then, just as you are now. It’s fascinating to observe the natural ease and comfort you exude in both settings.
The “Course in Miracles” is more than just a book; it requires discipline. The word “disciple” and “discipline” share the same root, and there is an emotional and psychological discipline that comes from truly immersing oneself in its teachings. While the course may not explicitly use the term “discipleship,” its principles require commitment and dedication.
As a parent, it’s common for us to feel uncertain or not as confident, whether in our romantic relationships or role as parents. What I find interesting is how you can shift from being playful and light-hearted to suddenly becoming serious when discussing specific topics. It’s as if there’s no room for jokes or lightheartedness when it comes to discussing being rooted or connected.
I often contemplate this from a biological and movement perspective. Our biology and instincts drive us in a world that sometimes feels incongruent with our true selves. We may engage in behaviors like overeating or other actions that don’t align with who we truly are. That’s why it’s crucial to examine the motivations behind our actions constantly. Are we driven by fear or love?
Most of the time, if we’re honest with ourselves, our initial motivations stem from fear. However, as we grow older and work on ourselves, we can better operate from a place of love. It’s a muscle we need to exercise. But I often wonder why it isn’t the other way around, naturally. Why weren’t we initially wired to be driven primarily by love rather than fear? There must be a reason behind it.
“A Course in Miracles” teaches that we are born from love and inherently love itself. However, millions of years ago, a thought was conceived that was not rooted in love. This thought gave rise to fear, which is the absence of love, much like darkness is the absence of light. Humanity, metaphorically speaking, fell asleep and has yet to experience a collective awakening. We have forgotten our true nature and purpose: to love one another. This forgetfulness has caused disharmony in the world. However, a growing gathering of individuals recognizes the urgency for a mass awakening.
One of the signs of this disharmony is the prevalence of issues among young people, particularly teenagers and those in their twenties, such as the alarming increase in cases of eating disorders. It is clear that something is deeply amiss on physical, emotional, and societal levels.
For me personally, I realized that my greatest contribution and talent lies in the realm of personal transformation. However, over time, I recognized that personal transformation alone cannot address the larger systemic issues. It is not enough to focus solely on individual growth when there are environmental, social, and economic injustices that affect people’s lives.
Engaging in philosophical conversations or personal transformation becomes a luxury for those who struggle to meet basic needs like food and healthcare. I came to understand that private charity, although important, cannot fully compensate for the lack of social justice. There is a need for political change and a holistic approach that encompasses both personal and societal transformation.
The world of personal transformation itself became commercialized, which made me realize the importance of challenging the existing capitalist system. Political change and addressing systemic issues became fundamental to my understanding of creating a more just and harmonious world.
I am intrigued to know how you personally navigate self-governance in your own practice, especially when navigating the complexities of success. As someone who serves as a messenger, whether through your own voice or a divine force working through you, what practices do you employ to ensure that you stay aligned and in check with your true intentions?
Different aspects of our brain and personality contribute to who we are. For me, meditation has been an essential practice, particularly transcendental meditation and the “Course in Miracles.” These practices have helped me develop discipline, especially in my work. While I’m not perfect and occasionally make mistakes, I have learned how to quickly self-correct.
Interestingly, I’ve noticed that certain areas of my life, particularly personal and intimate relationships with men, present more challenges. It’s almost as if my subconscious decides to excel in one area while requiring more work in another. I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing this dynamic.
I remember expressing my frustration to a therapist years ago. I felt like I had it together in certain areas but was a mess in others. She acknowledged that having strength in some areas is positive. Still, we all have blind spots where we struggle to apply our knowledge and understanding. Despite intellectually knowing what should be done, there are moments when I still make mistakes, sending that text or saying something I shouldn’t have. It’s a continuous journey of growth and self-improvement that we all undertake.
I recognize that my work is far from complete, and I remain committed to doing the necessary work to become a better version of myself.
What about the experience of being a successful woman? It’s an aspect that often goes unaddressed. When you have a thriving career and are accomplishing great things, and also have your daughter, it might seem like you have everything you need in terms of family. But for many of us, it raises questions. How would someone even have a chance to be interested in you? Is there room for someone to come into your life and offer companionship without overshadowing your achievements? I’m not asking for intimate details; just curious about the dynamics. Many women aspire to strive, participate, and create a fulfilling professional life. But where is the space or opportunity for someone to enter your life and say, “Would you like to have a coffee with me?” How do you navigate the balance between career success and personal connections?
It’s intriguing because, at this point in my life, I have two separate careers that stem from the same place in my heart. One revolves around spiritual teaching, writing books, and personal transformation, while the other has developed into the realm of politics.
Initially, I thought your question might pertain to being a woman in leadership and the challenges of misogyny, which is a fascinating topic. But first, let me share my experience with men in these two career paths. In my spiritual journey as a writer, I always cherished a sense of freedom and independence. This mindset allowed me to easily explore new opportunities or take off on a whim without any constraints. When you’re younger, you often take such freedom for granted, assuming there will always be another chance. However, as you grow older, perspectives shift.
During that phase of my career, I was the one setting limitations based on what I just mentioned. On the other hand, entering the political arena presents a completely different dynamic. It becomes a profound emotional rollercoaster unlike anything else imaginable. Having someone like Bernie Sanders with his wife Jane around him constantly, or Barack and Michelle Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, or even George and Laura Bush, is truly invaluable. In the political space, where everyone around you is either on the payroll or part of the campaign, having someone who doesn’t need you to be “on” all the time is a wonderful support. It’s an understanding presence amidst the chaos.
Interestingly, it used to be a case of sacrificing my career for the relationship. Still, I wonder how they manage without that support system. Unfortunately, you can’t simply order such a connection from a catalog or find it on the fly.
You mentioned that you have spoken to a therapist, which indicates that you are open to seeking support from others. However, now that you are involved in politics and have specific goals and messages you want to convey, how do you find the balance between expressing your ideas and maintaining your authentic self? How do you calibrate these two aspects in your approach?
It’s devastating. People ask me when I ran before, and at the end, they ask me, what was your experience? And I always gave the same answer because it was very real, and it’s even more real now. I learned that the political-media-industrial complex is more corrupt and vicious than I feared. I saw that the voters, the people, and the United States were even more wonderful than I had hoped.
So there are two worlds. You are out there; you’re talking about things, you’re talking to people, you’re talking to young people, to older people, to people about this instinctive yearning we all have people on the left, on the right, people knowing that we’re the keepers of this great ideal and we have to save it. We have to make it better. And there’s something so beautiful and exhilarating.
And then you see something on Twitter about how you’re the most awful person in the world, and somebody is lying about you and smearing you. So you have about 15 minutes before you get back on again to call somebody and say, would somebody put out a statement about that? So nothing has ever been such a spiritual challenge for me as this is.
Doesn’t it seem like the media and other influential groups act as a bridge between you and the public? Even if you go out and personally connect with people, there always seems to be this intermediary element that translates your message to the masses.
It’s as if the narrative floats in the collective consciousness or the “ethers” and needs to pass through this filter before reaching the intended audience. In the realm of personal transformation and women’s leadership, I never felt that it came naturally. There was always this underlying notion that books written by men were universally applicable, while books written by women were perceived as solely for women to read. It was a small but noticeable disparity.
However, when it comes to politics, I had a different experience. I always had a visceral understanding of issues like antisemitism and racism, to the extent that a white woman can comprehend. But it wasn’t until I entered the political arena that I truly grasped the concept of misogyny.
In my campaign, if people decide to leave, it’s immediately labeled as chaos and dysfunction, with me being branded as difficult or unpleasant. Yet, when someone like Ron DeSantis fires six people, it’s seen as a bold move, shaking things up and improving his campaign. The narratives surrounding these situations are often crafted by women themselves, which is disheartening.
It’s unfortunate to witness how frequently women contribute to these narratives that perpetuate gender biases and unfair judgments. It highlights the prevailing challenges that women face in the political sphere and the need for continued efforts to address and overcome such biases.
In several interviews, women questioned your qualifications and experience even before the interview began. As a woman myself, it made me wonder why you believed you could make a difference despite being an outsider with limited experience. It’s an intriguing situation.
Furthermore, the current political system is deeply flawed, with a sense of rigidity and corruption. The influence of corporations has overtaken the genuine interests of the people. This is evident in sectors like healthcare and education, where profit-driven motives often take precedence. Politics has become a multi-million dollar industry, detached from the needs and concerns of ordinary citizens.
Given these circumstances, what prompted you to take a stand and participate in politics? Was it the realization that the system was severely flawed and needed change? Or was there a specific event or moment that compelled you to step up and make a difference?
That’s a great question. The first time I ran for office, it felt like I was venturing into the unknown, almost like a whimsical decision. I entered the race with a certain level of naivety. However, after experiencing the realities of the political system, I became far less naive. So when it came to deciding whether to run again, it was a lengthy process. I was well aware of how vicious the system can be in silencing or marginalizing voices that don’t align with their predetermined agenda, which often revolves around corporate interests.
There’s no doubt that it was difficult to make the decision. But in my mind, I had this image of running into a burning building. I couldn’t pretend that I wasn’t aware of the challenges ahead. However, I also visualized being internally protected by a white fire retardant, a symbol of divine support. I also developed emotional resilience that I lacked during my previous campaign. Yet, at the same time, it feels harder this time around because last time, they simply mocked and ridiculed me.
What personal growth have you experienced that has made you more resilient? What events or experiences have shaped you into the person you are?
I don’t know if I’ve become more resilient. Resilience is something you have to develop because the messages I receive are clear: they want me gone. It’s strange when they’re not attacking me directly; they’re erasing me, pretending I don’t exist. And in some peculiar way, that hurts even more. It’s worse when they don’t mention my name or refer to me as a long shot. I mean, I’m no more of a long shot than Barack Obama was when he first ran in 2008 or Donald Trump. I could quit and carry the burden of shame they’ve placed upon me with all these negative stories, painting me as an unpleasant person. It’s incredibly painful because, throughout my 40-year career, I’ve tried to maintain dignity, find success, and embody decency.
So, I have this choice: I can retreat, tail between my legs, carrying the scarlet letter of shame. But I don’t know if I would ever forgive myself for giving up. Alternatively, I can stay in the race. Someone once told me something fascinating a few months ago. Do you know who the most successful tightrope walkers are? It’s those who don’t have a safety net. They cannot afford to hesitate, even for a fraction of a second. There’s no room for doubt. It requires intense practice. So, it’s a decision between being fully committed or stepping away. And as a Cancerian, I feel things deeply.
Another thing is that I have personal friends who are loving and compassionate. Still, they don’t truly understand the political game. I have political friends too, but I don’t want to show them my vulnerability and risk them doubting my capabilities. It has been a lonely road, but I tell myself it’s a spiritual practice. It involves forgiveness and discipline.
There’s also a small voice inside me that says, “Just in case you do become president, this will have been incredible training.” Because if this is tough now, being President is a whole different level.
It is incredibly intriguing to think about transitioning into a new career and the aspirations that come with it. When everything seems chaotic, like a complete mess, it’s natural to dream about becoming the President and envisioning how one could make a difference. Personally, I often contemplate what it would be like to be in such a position of power and influence. If given a chance, I would surround myself with the most knowledgeable individuals who could educate me on the complexities of government. After all, I don’t possess an in-depth understanding of all the intricacies involved. I’m genuinely fascinated by the practical aspects of how you navigated through this process. Now, the question arises: How does one develop a strategy to bring about those changes?
I see politics as a daytime soap opera. It’s like when you’re sick at home and have the TV on in the background. At first, you don’t know who any of the characters are. But as the days go by, you start recognizing them and getting invested in their stories. It’s the same with politics. You don’t understand the plot at first, but eventually, it clicks, and you realize what those politicians are up to.
The corporatization of various aspects of our society becomes apparent. Our food supply, energy, media, foreign policy – it’s all influenced by big corporations. The game they play is to make everything seem more complicated than it actually is, like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind a curtain. But I wouldn’t be there to play a wizard. My goal would be to expose the truth.
I’ve been in rooms with powerful people, and let me tell you, it’s no different from any other room. Just like in business, whether you have two zeros or six zeros, you learn that it’s all the same. In politics, people sit around and talk about what they want to do. The real question boils down to whether they will do what’s right or what the special interest groups will allow them to do.
Franklin Roosevelt once said that moral leadership is more important than administrative duties for a president. We don’t need more political mechanics; we need someone who can remind us of the vision we all share. We’ve been gaslit and forgotten the faces and connections that make up our collective aspirations. It’s time to set our course straight and move in the right direction.
It can be incredibly overwhelming. That’s why I had a heartwarming encounter with a young man recently. For some reason, I feel a strong connection with Gen Z. It’s like they truly see and hear me, and there’s a mutual understanding. This young man approached me at an event and referenced the story I often tell about when I dropped out of the race before. He mentioned how the men advised me to stay, and the women urged me to leave, drawing parallels to Joe Lewis’s regret. He pleaded with me to stay.
It’s similar to conversations I have with some of my friends. They express concern, asking how I can continue when it feels like the fascists are at our doorstep. And my response is always the same: you have access to healthcare and insurance, right? Can your children afford college? And you can live comfortably on one job, making more than $15 an hour, correct? Unfortunately, there are too many people who, despite potentially knowing better, seem oblivious to the widespread suffering that exists. It’s this awareness that motivates me to persevere.
How does your belief in the interconnectedness of all things play a role in your approach to creating change and staying connected with others?
Indeed, as Martin Luther King once emphasized, we require both external changes in our circumstances and internal qualitative shifts within ourselves. It is not enough to seek only quantitative change; we need to address the deeper layers of our souls. This applies to our current situation as well – we are in need of both inner and outer transformation.
For a long time, I have advocated within the transformational community that we cannot ignore politics. We need to engage and be actively involved in the political sphere. However, it is also becoming apparent to many individuals who enter transactional politics to address symptoms that there is a deeper level on which things have gone astray. We must recognize this and strive to bring about change at that profound level.
It’s intriguing to consider how the consequences of certain policies will eventually catch up with us. Regardless of our financial status, whether we have billions or just a modest sum, these policies will impact every family. The effects may take longer to manifest for the wealthy. Still, eventually, they will be affected, perhaps even reaching future generations. It emphasizes the universal nature of these repercussions, reminding us that no one is exempt from their reach.
Indeed, money cannot shield you, your children, or your grandchildren from the potential consequences that may arise should an unfortunate event occur. That’s precisely why there is a push toward the development of spacecraft. It’s quite intriguing. It’s almost as if the idea of going to Mars is a way of saying, “I want to escape from this place.”
How would you describe the Peace Alliance, the organization you founded, and its significance as your initial foray into the realm of politics?
Interestingly enough, Dennis Kucinich, an old friend of mine, is now serving as Bobby Kennedy’s campaign manager. During his time in Congress, he supported a piece of legislation for a Department of Peace, which aligns with the organization I co-founded to advocate for such initiatives.
Many people are not aware that peacebuilding is a tangible concept. There are four key factors that statistically indicate a higher incidence of peace and a lower incidence of violence:
- Greater economic opportunities for women,
- Improved educational opportunities for children,
- Reduction of violence against women, and
- Addressing human despair.
How I perceive war and peace mirrors how those in the personal growth community view sickness and health. Sickness is the absence of health; we must actively create and promote health. The same principle applies to societal health.
We cannot solely focus on fighting a war; we must learn how to wage peace. Our goal should be proactively creating a peaceful world. As JFK once said, if we do not end war, war will ultimately bring about our downfall.
Considering your overall experience, did you find it to be a moment where you realized that you could effectively navigate and work within the existing system?
It’s fascinating, isn’t it? In a peculiar way, the private sector can be viewed as the most pure compared to the nonprofit world. This is because there are clear rules and a shared understanding of the purpose within the private sector. While larger corporations may have their own set of challenges, when it comes to general business interactions, there is a certain level of ethical conduct that is expected. On the other hand, the nonprofit realm often harbors a multitude of deceptive individuals, making it akin to navigating through a graph filled with snakes. And when it comes to politics, the situation goes beyond just snakes; it becomes a treacherous landscape riddled with landmines.
As you campaign and address topics like corporate tyranny, it’s clear that you understand the importance of looking beyond surface-level issues. This resonated with me, particularly when discussing matters like the environment, healthcare, and education. The younger generation seems to connect with your message, which must surely provide an additional source of motivation for you.
Not only is it an emotional matter, but a political one as well. In the upcoming presidential election, it has been projected that young people will vote in equal numbers to older individuals. While there has been a traditional belief that young people do not vote, recent events, such as the 2022 elections, have shown that this generation is actively voting for their future. They connect with my message that the entire system is profoundly corrupted.
If you are old enough, you likely have a memory of a time when things may have been bad, but at least they seemed to operate within certain rules. You remember a time when success didn’t require significant wealth. I reflected on the 1970s when I was in my twenties, and I recall speaking engagements where I could rent a room and ask for a $3 donation. It was easier to get started back then. However, nowadays, it is incredibly challenging for young people to enter the game. They are burdened by the impact of outdated economic ideas from the 20th century.
This generation of young people in our country lacks the experience of a government that supports them. They do not have access to affordable healthcare or the opportunity to attend college without accumulating massive student loan debt. They observe other advanced democracies where universal healthcare and tuition-free education are provided and question why the American system falls short. They recognize that the current economic system is oppressive and unjust.
If you were elected the President, what would be the first thing you would do?
One of my immediate priorities would be to cancel the Willow Project. This is not the time to increase fossil fuel extraction; rather, it’s crucial that we scale down such activities. Today, I came across an alarming report highlighting the widespread occurrence of extreme heat worldwide. Surprisingly, despite this, it seems we are experiencing the coolest summer of our lifetime. This situation is an emergency, and yet we seem to be downplaying its severity because of the government’s strong ties to the oil industry. This is disheartening for young people who witness the despair that comes with it.
For those who may not be familiar, the Willow Project refers to an $8 billion oil extraction endeavor by Conoco Phillips in Alaska’s North Slopes.
The project undermines the positive impact of green investments outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act. What’s more concerning is that this administration has granted more oil drilling permits than even the previous one under Trump. It’s disheartening to see that both the Trump and Biden administrations seem to prioritize big oil over the urgent need to address climate change. We are already witnessing the consequences of climate change with flooding, storms, and heat waves. If we don’t take immediate action, whole regions, particularly in the global south like Africa, could become uninhabitable due to extreme heat. This would lead to a collapse of economic and food systems, potentially displacing millions as climate refugees. Human civilization would face a catastrophic failure if we allowed this scenario to unfold. Therefore, my first step would be to cancel the Willow Project and initiate a massive mobilization toward transitioning from a fossil fuel-dependent economy to a clean and sustainable one.
Another aspect of your approach that is both intriguing and challenging is your commitment to playing by the rules, refraining from negative talk, or speaking ill of others. I admire this aspect of your campaign. However, when someone writes something mean, or opponents come after you, I’m curious about where you find the inner strength to respond with love consistently.
It’s pretty amusing, actually. I mentioned this to my campaign manager recently. Two individuals seem to thrive on spreading lies and engaging in smear campaigns. However, I’ve reached a point where I can genuinely pray for their happiness, as I understand that it can help alchemize the negative energy they emit. There is also a journalist who seems determined to undermine and sabotage our campaign. Every event or action is twisted into a negative narrative by her, regardless of whether she was assigned this task by her publication or not. The way they speak about me could potentially harm my career. I haven’t reached the stage where I can pray for her happiness yet! But I am working on it! Right now, I focus on praying for my strength and resilience. Eventually, I hope to be able to extend that prayer to her as well. Intellectually, I know that is the way to approach such situations, and I genuinely believe in the power of positive energy and transformation.
If elected President, how do you plan to bring love and positivity into politics and the White House?
When talking about feeding children, repairing the Earth, and providing healthier food, it is not fundamentally different from how we care for our own children. It’s about ensuring they are well-nourished, well-educated, living in a safe environment, and feeling loved. The same principles apply when it comes to loving anyone. We wish them happiness and create an environment where they can thrive. This perspective should also guide public policy decisions. Ethical questioning goes hand in hand with these considerations. How can we improve ourselves in relationships? Martin Luther King spoke of Mahatma Gandhi, who believed every human possesses an inner light. Gandhi drew inspiration from American transcendentalists and Quakers, recognizing that this concept not only heals personal relationships but also can transform social and economic dynamics.
According to Martin Luther King, Gandhi was the first to extend the ethic of love beyond personal relationships and turn it into a force for good on a broader scale. Therefore, the principles of personal transformation and societal transformation align. Society is a collective of individuals, so the healing and transformation we seek in our lives mirror what America needs. Rejecting the idea that psychological, moral, and spiritual principles don’t apply to societal matters is precisely why we find ourselves in the current state of affairs.
In this evolving era, social media has provided a direct avenue for connecting with people. I’ve noticed that individuals like Jeff Jackson on TikTok have gained significant popularity due to their transparent approach, reflecting a genuine desire to be seen. As someone in a similar position, I’m curious to know if it has been an intriguing adjustment for you to utilize social media to engage with others.
No, because that’s someone else’s responsibility! During my Q&A sessions, it’s apparent to everyone that I am trying to make my presence known! But I believe in being patient and love the opportunity to get there. I simply do what I do. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a fantastic team of knowledgeable individuals who excel in areas like posting content on TikTok. That’s not my area of expertise, but I’m blessed to be surrounded by people who are well-versed in it.
Do you find what you’re doing to be incredibly demanding? It’s evident that it is indeed a grueling endeavor. Personally, I believe that even with my strength and dedication to physical practice, it would undoubtedly push me to my limits.
You have a remarkable appearance, though, especially considering your age. I believe it’s a testament to the power of love. When we cultivate more love in our lives, particularly as women, we prioritize self-care and nourishment. We may seek lotions and various products, which certainly contribute to maintaining a youthful appearance. However, I’m curious, what practices do you personally follow? You mentioned meditation, but are there specific dietary choices or physical activities that support your overall well-being?
Yoga! I’ve kept up with my yoga but not with my weight training. And that has reflected in my weight. It’s very interesting – after Covid, I found what I used to do to lose 5 or 10 pounds and have it come right off doesn’t work the same way anymore! So, that’s disappointing. So I still have the yoga and enough physical activity to keep me emotionally stable enough. Still, I need to get back to pumping some iron.
Talk about time under tension! As our time is running short, a common question often arises: “What can I do?” If you were to extend an invitation to everyone listening, encouraging them to take action beyond voting, what would that invitation entail?
First and foremost, if anyone is interested in supporting my campaign, I would greatly appreciate it. You can visit Marianne2024.com to learn more. Recently, reports indicate that Joe Biden has raised $35 million and Kennedy has raised around $6 million. In comparison, our campaign currently has a modest amount of around a hundred thousand in the bank! However, despite being a small operation, we are determined to make a difference. Many people often offer suggestions and advice, but it’s important to note that we already have a dedicated team working tirelessly every day.
If someone wishes to contribute, whether it’s $5,000, $500, $50, or even $5, please know that every donation matters. Our average contribution is around $25, and these contributions fuel our campaign. Sometimes, individuals, particularly younger ones who are not accustomed to donating to political campaigns, feel that their $5 won’t make an impact.
However, I believe that each small donation has the potential to make a significant difference. Occasionally, I’ll come across inspiring messages on platforms like Instagram, and I think to myself if each person could donate just $1, it would be a successful fundraising day. So that’s the first point.
Additionally, volunteering is crucial for us to achieve ballot access and meet other requirements in different states. Some states have simpler processes, while others require gathering numerous signatures. If you’re interested in supporting the campaign, it’s time to take action. Visit our website, sign up to volunteer, and help with phone banking.
I believe that the issues we face extend far beyond just one person’s campaign. It’s about the evolution of our species, and time is of the essence. We need to act swiftly to steer away from a potentially detrimental path. It feels like we’re approaching a critical junction, and there’s a sense of urgency. I hope anyone interested in my campaign recognizes this urgency, not just as a matter of voting for me in the primary but as a call to action. If you believe my voice should be heard in this race, please visit the campaign website and do whatever you can to support me.
Lastly, I resonate with the words of the Dalai Lama, who said that in order to save the world, we need a plan, but no plan will be effective if we do not also take time for inner reflection and meditation. I believe that the internal aspect is just as important as the external. When we center ourselves through prayer, reflection, or meditation, we gain clarity amidst the noise and distractions. We can better discern our role and purpose, and even if we discover it, our nervous systems need to be prepared to act upon it.
In today’s modern world, our nervous systems are constantly under attack, with impulse control being challenged, especially due to social media. It is essential for conscious individuals to prioritize self-care and take care of themselves holistically. By doing so, we can navigate turbulent times and contribute positively to the world around us.
Are either of your parents alive?
No, but I feel they’re watching from someplace.
Would they be surprised?
My mother would not. I feel that once we leave this physical realm and enter the realm of the soul, everything becomes known. When my father passed away, I couldn’t help but feel that his perception of me as a daughter was influenced by societal beliefs and generational differences. The same feeling arose when my sister passed away as well. It was as if they were looking at me from beyond, finally understanding who I truly am. It’s a common experience for many people to gain clarity about their loved ones and themselves after they pass away.
You’re not scared, are you? About what you’re undertaking here?
One of the biggest fears I have, and it seems to be shared by many people I know, is the fear of dying. It reminds me of a line from Woody Allen, although it may be hard to appreciate his humor now. He once said, “I don’t mind dying; I just don’t wanna be there when it happens.” While death itself doesn’t frighten me, the process of dying certainly does, just like it does for anyone else. We all have our preferences on how we would rather not go.
At 71 years old, like many others, my age, what scares me more than the thought of dying is the realization that I haven’t truly lived to the fullest while I’ve been here. It’s like letting the bastard stop me, as my father used to say. I want to feel in that last moment that I have accomplished great things during my time on Earth. I want to feel in that last moment that I kicked ass while I was here.
I think you are kicking ass. This is my last question. When you find yourself entering a room where you can sense that you may not fit in, perhaps it’s a politically charged environment with a tightly knit group; what gives you internal courage? That inner strength and determination to hold your head high, walk in, and face the situation head-on. Where does that well of resilience come from?
It’s becoming a common occurrence these days. You feel as though people are looking at you, thinking they know who you are, but deep down, you know they don’t truly understand.
Yes, it’s exactly what we discussed earlier. It’s a moment of decision: either you commit to this path, or you don’t. And if you choose to move forward, you will enter that room and remember your true self. There’s a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that comes to mind, though I may not have the exact words. It goes something like this: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And I believe that someday, those individuals will come to realize the truth.
Best of luck to you, and I sincerely appreciate the time you’ve given. Thank you once again. We will make sure to provide clear instructions on how everyone can support you, donate, and keep up with your journey.
It was really lovely talking to you. Thank you so much. Thank you.
- Return to Love
- The Law of Divine Compensation
- Healing the Soul of America
- A Course in Miracles
- The Peace Alliance
About Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, political activist, and spiritual thought leader. For over three decades, she has been a leader in spiritual and religiously progressive circles. She is the author of 15 books, four of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers.
Williamson founded Project Angel Food, a non-profit organization that has delivered more than 14 million meals to ill and dying homebound patients since 1989. The group was created to help people suffering from the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
She has also worked throughout her career on poverty, anti-hunger and racial reconciliation issues. In 2004, she co-founded The Peace Alliance and supports the creation of a U.S. Department of Peace. Williamson ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.