My name is Lisa Weinert. I'm passionate about powerful voices and the potential for storytelling to heal and transform lives. I've worked with authors as a publicist, editor, and agent for fifteen years, and I created the debut annual program, "Narrative Medicine: A Cutting-Edge Approach to Healthcare" at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. I'm currently teaching a publishing course at Wesleyan University and am about to launch a new kind of online publishing course called The Age of the Storyteller with The Authors Guild. I'm the mother of a soulful pup, Stella Loretta, who has a bouffant and who trains me how to be a kinder and more tolerant human in NYC.
What do I do best?
The summer between sixth and seventh grades, my parents sent me to circus camp in upstate New York and I spent months mastering walking a tightrope. Though I was scared, I learned how to put one foot in front of the other, holding my head high and trusting I would make it to the other side. It turned out I had a natural ability and I’ve made this an art form ever since. I’m best at setting my gaze and setting forth boldly and I’m willing to make minor or major adjustments as needed. What this means is being willing to begin again. On some days, I may start over every fifteen minutes, on others I may wait until my balance returns, or stop entirely and rest. Then, there are those days when the path is easy and I am light. It’s all learning and it’s all balance.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I am best when I begin my day with yoga, meditation and morning pages. When I put pen to paper first thing in the morning, as Julia Cameron suggests in her seminal work The Artist’s Way, what may begin as grumbling, anxiety or even lofty aspirations almost always ends up being an outpouring of gratitude and loving devotion. These pages reveal so much, sometimes creative, sometimes practical, sometimes whimsical. In a sense, they function as a letter to the greater forces out there. Because of them, I’m better able to spend my day looking up and away from myself and toward others. I’m the best version of myself when I’m connected and connecting.
What are my aspirations?
Our healthcare system is in deep crisis, and the publishing landscape is also in a time of great tumult, expansion and confusion, leaving many authors frustrated. I believe these problems are connected by the same solution – empowering storytellers.
My mission is twofold. On one hand, I want to empower all of us who are on healing paths—patients, doctors, nurses, caregivers of all varieties—to utilize the freeing and accessible power of storytelling as healing medicine. I also want to empower writers to experience publishing as a wellness journey. It’s my experience that the acts of reading, writing and listening can serve as lifesaving medicine. How we pay attention to the stories that surround us and how we absorb them is key to our wellbeing.
Storytelling and publishing can be a spiritual pathway toward personal freedom, happiness and health. My annual Narrative Medicine Program at Kripalu, which brings in visionary doctors, writers, yogis and spiritual leaders seeks to explore the healing properties of storytelling.
My course work and consulting work offer an integrated approach to publishing and promotion that keeps the creativity experience at the center of the process.
My goal in all my work is to cultivate environments and opportunities to listen and connect.
My Biggest Success?
Committing to lifestyle choices and daily practices that support my belief system and a work life schedule that supports my well-being and happiness.
My Most Challenging Moment?
A challenging moment happened four years ago when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and panicked. Alongside my family, I made a series of frantic and fear-based decisions based on the terrifying diagnosis, and I was rushed into major surgery. That was a challenging moment, but the most challenging moment came after surgery when the doctor called and told me I had been misdiagnosed and was cancer-free—had always been cancer-free. At that moment, I felt sicker, weaker and more hopeless than ever. That was the most challenging moment, and that was when I had to dig deep and began my healing journey. This was an inside job that led to me toward a path of profound healing and self-discovery, primarily through a combination of yoga, meditation and writing.
Gratitude is my motto and it’s a daily action. I take part in a daily gratitude list and each day we share ten things we are grateful for. When I’m in gratitude, I’m in service and out of self, which makes me more able to connect.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My role model is my soulful pup Stella Loretta. Daily, she teaches me patience, unconditional love, how to be a gentle presence in this world and that play is the pathway to joy.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
My favorite destination is Star Island, a bucolic and rustic small island off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire that offers weekly conferences each summer. I have been going to Star since I was four years old. It offers a unique and timeless sanctuary in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In this ever-changing, overstimulating, chaotic and tragic world, Star Island offers a beautiful, unchanging place to reflect and rest. I’m so excited to be teaching yoga this July during the International Affairs Conference.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
On my writing desk I keep objects of meaning. There sits a heart rock from my writing angel, artwork and letters from dear friends. I also always have journals nearby along with my favorite sage or crystal. Recently I’ve been draw to sage and selenite.
My Current Passions?
I’m currently passionate about Iyengar yoga and studying with Nikki Costello. She teaches me that I am stronger than I think I am. She embodies truth-seeking freedom, d iscipline, joy and love.