“Unraveling the narrative of motherhood in all its forms, Returning to My Mother’s House: Taking Back the Wisdom of the Feminine is a book of enormous transformation, intimacy, and heart.”
—Eve Ensler, founder, V-Day, author, The Vagina Monologues and Insecure At Last

“Returning to My Mother’s House is Gail Straub’s poetic, heartfelt, and very personal journey story, but it is also my story, your story, and the story of a culture in desperate need of ‘taking back the wisdom of the feminine.’ Enough history, we need her-story! We need books like Gail’s—brave tales of the feminine, lost and found. Reading this book encouraged me to go back and heal aspects of myself and my relationship with my mother. I found myself dreaming of my mother, looking at old picture albums, reading letters we wrote to each other over the years, and thinking about her—her unrealized dreams, her abandoned self, her frightened heart, and the legacy of love and loss that she passed on to me. I came away from the adventure of reading Returning to My Mother’s House full of hope for the restoration of the feminine in each of us, and our world.”
—Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder, Omega Institute, author, Broken Openand The Seekers Guide

“Gail Straub’s new book, Returning to My Mother’s House, is a book for mothers and daughters everywhere. Gail’s thirty-year journey is a testament to the fierce power of the mother-daughter bond as a healing force in our world. This book both encourages and challenges us to take back our female wisdom, our emotional intelligence, our interior lives, our creativity and imagination, and our willingness to live with death as a wise advisor. More than anything Gail’s book is a prayer that we take back this wisdom before it is too late for both our human family and our earth.”
— Immaculee Ilibagiza author, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust

“Returning to My Mother’s House is an intimately personal yet universal book. It’s a rousing tale of a gutsy woman’s adventures, her worldwide travels, her caring work, and her trials, tribulations, and joys. Above all, it is a daughter’s tribute to her own mother, to all our mothers, and to feminine wisdom and power.”
—Riane Eisler, author, The Chalice and the Blade and The Real Wealth of Nations

“In Jungian psychology, the house is often seen as a symbol of the self. Gail Straub’s return to her mother’s house is the archetypal journey of the self back to the sources of its deepest wounds, as well as the sources of its deepest wisdom and healing.  It is the kind of ‘return’ that can only be made with the wisdom of time and perspective—and still it requires courage and persistence to take what Jung called the night sea journey into the fertile conflicts of our early houses. In her new book, Returning to My Mother’s House, Straub bravely takes this journey for all of us—and what reader, having entered into the journey alongside this engaging soul, does not come out more whole?”
—Stephen Cope, director, Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living; ;author, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self and The Wisdom of Yoga

“Gail Straub’s memoir, Returning to My Mother’s House: Taking Back the Wisdom of the Feminine, shines as a model for a life lived outside convention.  Here the remarkable Straub, who has helped thousands of people achieve their dreams with her ground-breaking Empowerment Institute, examines the dreams of her ebullient almost-artist mother, sadly unfulfilled in her shortened life. By drawing her mother’s portrait in words bright with detail, Straub finds the feminine principle that she almost unwittingly sacrificed in her own life. The contrasts between the former bohemian, upward-striving mother and the international innovator daughter are both sharp and tender. As Gail Straub uncovers the forgotten layers hiding what her mother gave her, she discovers that her mother’s circumscribed life prepared her for the vast changes she has been able to make in the journeys of others. In powerful and profound ways, this extraordinary woman has lived her mother’s dream.”
—Molly Peacock, poet, president emerita, Poetry Society of America, author, Paradise, Piece by Piece

“As too many women in leadership positions know, the flame of passion and purposefulness can be extinguished by workaholism which is often rooted in a neglect of our undervalued feminine. In this biography and teaching guide, Gail Straub courageously names the undiscussable shadow aspects of achievement that have accompanied her enormous success as a global activist and beloved spiritual guide. She painfully acknowledges the legacy of her mother’s lost connection to her heart’s desires as a woman who extinguished her feminine voice. Gail takes us on spellbinding travels of both personal and global proportions to retrieve her own lost feminine and reveals her own nature as an unbounded flame. Most poignantly, we as readers see Gail’s bold paint strokes of vivid imagery as her mother’s artistic expression finally finding its beautiful canvass. Gail leaves us with the kindling needed to fiercely yet gently examine what is required to stop, be still, and illuminate the quiet wisdom needed to lead in these urgent times.”
—Ellen Wingard, editor, Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership

“A good book gifts its readers with an exquisite map of the human heart, and Gail Straub’s Returning to My Mother’s House does exactly that.  In this healing story Gail has written an eloquent and compelling narrative of a daughter’s thirty-year journey to reconnect with her late mother’s authentic self, and the discovery of her own powerful feminine spirit in the process. This book addresses so many questions of motherhood that spoke deeply to me: choosing to be, or not to be, a mother; looking for a mother; and finding a mother. Gail’s journey takes her literally around the world but ultimately returns her to her childhood home, to the original drawer of her heart-map with the imprints of love and wisdom left there by her mother. And as her story continues Gail expands upon these imprints, and creates her own empowered map.  This book honors not only Gail and her mother’s spirit but also the feminine power in all of us.”
—Loung Ung, author, First They Killed My Father and Lucky Child

“Returning to My Mother’s House is a sacred incantation of celestial feminine remembrance.  Gail has written so tenderly, and so courageously about the crisis and opportunity that confront us all.  In these tumultuous times, our mother planet is beseeching women of all ages, cultures, and dimensions to awaken, reintegrate, and honor our most precious gifts in service of ourselves and the most high. As one who has “lost” her mother at a young age, I experienced this book as an act of love, faith, and healing.  It is a mantra for the reclaiming of our divine feminine purpose. I am so grateful for this deeply personal yet profoundly universal journey.”
—Rha Goddess, artist, activist, author, We Got Issues

“The journey to reclaim lost aspects of one’s past and so unfold into greater wholeness is a classical and dynamic theme.  In this beautifully written memoir, Gail Straub brings this process home to us in poignant and lucid ways.  Her story will inspire many to look for the spiritual treasures in their own history. Returning to My Mother’s House is an important and nourishing book.”
—Gunilla Norris, author, Inviting Silence and  Simple Ways: Towards the Sacred



Returning to My Mother’s House can be customized for a conference center, professional association, organization or training program. To learn more about this opportunity contact Gail Straub.


“Unraveling the narrative of motherhood in all its forms, Returning to My Mother’s House: Taking Back the Wisdom of the Feminine is a book of enormous transformation, intimacy, and heart.”

— Eve Ensler, founder, V-Day, author,
The Vagina Monologues and Insecure at Last

To learn more about the Returning to My Mother’s House, read these excerpts from the book.


Justine Toms interviews Gail Straub
This audio file is divided into four tracks.
(mp3 files, 59 minutes total)

Cheryl Richardson interviews Gail Straub. During this October 27, 2008 telegathering, they talk about the challenges of living in a fast-paced, overworked society and what you can do to honor your inner life to create more meaning and fulfillment in your daily experience.


“There isn’t a woman alive who won’t be able to relate to this lyrical, poignant, and beautifully written story. Like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, Gail’s story will help women gain insight and wisdom that will not only help heal their relationships with their mothers, but could, quite frankly, help save their lives! Bless you, Gail, for doing work that heals all of us.”
— From the Foreword by Christiane Northrup, MD, author Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom 
and Mother-Daughter Wisdom

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