Leslene was born and raised in the Bay Area in California. She grew up on the outskirts of Berkeley, when it was still countryside and had the privilege of roaming far and wide as a child, which gave her a glorious sense of freedom. Today it is much harder for children anywhere to have such a childhood. Leslene eventually attended UC Berkeley where she quickly became a "flower child" of the 60's-exploring consciousness and pursuing a deep spiritual awakening, as the awakening pursued her. After graduating from college she traveled and studied spiritual traditions and settled on The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee where she lived for nearly eleven years. There she learned about living in community. She studied spiritual midwifery among other things and later used her experience as a midwife assistant to help the dying, as well as to write her book, Midwifing Death: Returning to the Arms of the Ancient Mother (Plainview Press 2005, www.midwifingdeath.com).
The Farm was/is well-known for its work with midwifery and during her years living in the community she gave birth to two daughters, raising them with feminist values-an exceeding difficult task in a patriarchal society. She moved back to the Bay Area in the mid 80's to be closer to her aging parents and continued to raise her family. She also mothered a foster son and a stepson, also an exceedingly difficult task in a patriarchal society.
Her spiritual awakening continued all through her raising of her family. She studied shamanism and worked with many different shamanic teachers and spiritual mentors. She established her center, Winged Women Return, where she has provided a unique ministry, holding teaching circles in feminist shamanism and consciousness expansion for many years and has had an outreach ministry to the dying and their families. As she began to understand things that no one had taught her-that male dominance was threatening the planet with violence against women and serious destruction of the environment, she developed a deep passion for women, having learned that until women are free, no one is. Her work today is dedicated to the freedom of women, and hence, all beings, and she continues to be a student of her spiritual awakening, as it brings her to the edges of deep radicalism-a place she calls home.