“Virginia’s life journey reflects the pressing need for all of us to reexamine our deeply held assumptions about the meaning of effective leadership, the role of peacemakers in violent and nonviolent conflict zones, and the meaning of spirituality and its link to building peace individually and collectively. Her life story can inspire us in how to overcome our struggle to build and sustain difficult relationships, especially within the context of international and intergovernmental organizations who tend to resist transformative change. Virginia’s message of practicing love and compassion is crucial to effectively meet the challenges we face.” – Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Professor of Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University, Washington DC and Senior Advisor, KAICIID International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Vienna
“I can’t thank you enough for all the good work and book you have done and written and continue to do in the service of peace, leadership and the human family. I came upon this verse for you from Psalm 40:7-10. ‘Then I said, Here I am, I have come. It is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is written within my heart. I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart. I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.’ Your light shines so brightly, Virginia, and you have helped feed many other people’s flames as well. May the blessings keep showering down upon your soul and the world.” – Brooke Bishara Belcher, Reconciliation Leader and Former Teacher, Bancroft School, Mountain View, California
“Virginia Swain has given us an inspiring spiritual autobiography that interweaves a journey of personal healing with a divinely-inspired engagement in healing humanity’s collective wounds through Reconciliation Leadership and the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation.” – Russell Boulding, author of Preparing Ourselves for the Great Shift (2008) and editor of Elise Boulding:A Pioneer in Peace Research, Peacemaking, Feminism, Future Studies and the Family (2008), Indianapolis, Indiana
“Virginia Swain’s newest book is a gift. She shares her life journey – with the difficulties and resources she encountered – from emotional/spiritual crisis, through relationship issues, vocational and spiritual journeying, to exploring how we can be part of healing our country and our world. It’s a journey into reconciliation, forgiveness and new possibilities, shared in such a way we readers can identify with her and so find something of ourselves we’ve overlooked. This is a powerfully honest and yet very gentle book, a blessing with many insights and how-to practices that touched this reader’s soul and may well touch yours too.” – Dr. Michael Britton, Counseling Psychologist, Board of Trustees, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies.
“This spiritual memoir by Virginia Swain is a gift to the reader. It is beautifully written. The candor she shares of her personal journey is filled with insights that support each of us in exploring our own unique paths. At the conclusion of each chapter is a question that reflects what she has written but more importantly, draws the reader to deeper reflection. It is a book to read, enjoy, and reread with many useful resources listed at the conclusion.” – Jane Cutting, Interfaith Activist, Charlton, MA
“Virginia Swain is more than an amazing author and teacher. She is a world leader, a peace-maker whose words can activate the same visions and qualities within others’ hearts. Just as she rose like a Phoenix, her story can help us all do the same.” Cyndi Dale, author of over 20 books, including The Subtle Body series, Minneapolis, Minnesota
‘When I finished reading the manuscript, I had the sense that I’d just been given The Answer. Not just another first-person experience of the tragedy that was 9/11. But an intimate look into a life that is lived very intentionally under the auspices of God. The author’s awareness of Jesus in her everyday living, the time she devotes to going away into the wilderness, the silence she cultivates so that she can hear God speaking are extraordinary to the minds of ordinary people. Most moving is that she knows she will hear and be heard, and she responds ‘Yes!’ with her whole being every time. Swain knows what the world needs now — and invites the reader to say ‘Yes!’ to the invitation to join her in deep listening with open hearts.’’ Wendy Driscoll, M.Div., Westborough, MA
“Virginia Swain is extraordinary. I have known her for thirty years. She has been relentless in her commitment to transform life on this planet. Her dedication to empowering and training international leaders is unparalleled, in my experience. She has reinvented herself time and again as she has discerned her limits and then has endeavored to develop her own leadership, with transparency and without apology. She is consistently able to create partnerships with movers and shakers wherever she happens to be.” The Rev. Eileen Epperson, Salisbury, Ct.
In My Soul’s Journey to Redefine Leadership, A New Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of 9/11 Virginia has given us a glimpse into her inner life – her soul’s regeneration (to use a Swedenborgian term) and it is exciting, awe-inspiring and deeply, personally relevant since this is the journey we are all called to make if we would become our best selves. Imagine the possibilities for our nation and the world as more and more human beings are called to develop their spiritual selves and humbly listen to their inner Voice. A life changing, soul affirming transformation took place in Virginia’s life – taking her from the brink of despair, disillusionment and thoughts of suicide – to creative and meaningful work with the United Nations, Imagine Worcester, Reconciliation Leadership counseling, and even finding her “beloved”. These miraculous changes are available to all of us. Read the book, answer the questions at the end of the chapters, and be still. Listen for your unique possibilities. What beautiful Phoenix rises from the ashes of your old life? Janet Farrell, Wife, Caregiver, Volunteer, Swedenborgian, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
“Reading the book in virtually one sitting, I see My Soul’s Journey to Redefine Leadership as an adventure story. It’s like a Jason Bourne thriller, but without the violence. It’s a blazing, amazing, instructive and inspiriting story and you open up aspiring spiritual beings to a new world view.” Robert Kauffman, Kauffman Design, Atlanta, Georgia
“Virginia’s courage to share her life journey in defining spiritual leadership will serve to inspire countless others who seek to bring these qualities into their own and others’ lives.” Gioia Persuitte, Shrewsbury, MA
“I admire your courage and willingness to choose a path of healing.” Bernie Siegel, MD, Founder, Exceptional Cancer Patients and Author, Love, Medicine and Miracles and Prescriptions for Living
“A chronicle of a soul-searching, spirit-guided life showing how a deep love of humanity is beautifully expressed through a life of service based on compassion.” – Iris Spellings, Representative to the United Nations, Peace Through Unity, Brooklyn, New York
“Make no mistake: although Virginia recounts her burgeoning self-awareness through her faith, personal experiences, and fascinating career path, this book is not about her. It’s actually about you. It’s clear from the first pages that her real, albeit unattainable, wish in this world is to get to know each and every one of us. She warmly invites us to reflect on our own lives and paths as we join her in hers, as if we’ve reunited with an old friend for a soothing heart-to-heart.” – Mary Waggoner-Moritz, French to English translator and World Café host, Grandfontaine, France
“Virginia brings a passion for the United Nations and the multilateral peace process that is contagious and engrossing. The exposure to diplomatic officials and NGO professionals offers an unbelievable degree of access into the functioning of the UN. It is emotionally edifying and spiritually uplifting power-networking, and you’ll never look at the UN the same way again. Great work is being done there and Virginia brings you into the heart of it.” – The Rev. David Woessner, Rector, St. Michael’s Church, Worcester, MA
“Phoenix describes the spiritual and emotional evolution of Virginia’s conscience awareness. Virginia’s ability to reflect and adapt from her rich experiences molds her into a confident leader and peacemaker throughout her journey on life. Her revelations throughout the journey allow the reader to self-assess and ultimately inspires the question “How can I make my mark and connect the world through harmony”. We learn from Virginia that life is precious and that we have an opportunity to make a true impact on the lives of others.” – Juan Zhong, Psychologist, Glastonbury, CT.