Lissa Rankin, MD believes that writing and healing can be intimately related and teaches writing workshops, both in person and now virtually, that not only help writers improve their writing but also help them know, love, and accept themselves better so the magical muse can come out to play.
Lissa has been writing since kindergarten and was offered her first book deal when she was 12, which she turned down, since they were her private stories.
She was a creative writing major at Duke University and wrote her first fiction book as her thesis on African American women's literature while in college. Throughout her medical training while becoming an OB/GYN, she wrote stories inspired by her patients and used writing to heal the moral injury she felt while working within a corrupt medical system.
When she quit her job as a doctor in 2007, she finally succumbed to her lifelong desire to be a career writer. Her first book Broken, a memoir about her journey through the wounded health care system, never got published because she didn't have an audience.
So at the urging of her literary agent, in 2009, Lissa began blogging and publishing The Daily Flame, a daily email love letter from your "Inner Pilot Light" to your wounded parts, based on the healing model Internal Family Systems (IFS), a trauma healing spiritual path which Lissa incorporates into all the healing and writing workshops she facilitates.
Because her blog and Daily Flame emails quickly garnered a large readership, she was able to publish her first book in 2010 and has been blessed to have her last 6 books published, with the 7th and 8th on the way. Her third book, the New York Times bestseller Mind Over Medicine, has sold over 300,000 copies in 28 languages. In addition to putting in her 100,000 hours and writing every day, in 2012, Lissa founded the Whole Health Medicine Institute, where she and a team of luminary faculty train physicians and other health care providers about “Whole Health” and the “6 Steps to Healing Yourself.”
Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials, her TEDx talks have been viewed over 4 million times, and she leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen, 1440, Omega, and Kripalu.
Her latest project is non-profit work committed to democratizing trauma healing and energy work while eliminating the public health epidemic of loneliness, bringing Sacred Medicine out of its current status as a luxury good to anyone who needs it and is open to it, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, or gender identity.
Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her daughter Siena, who is also a writer, and her puppy Gaia, who would tell great stories if only she knew how.