Letter From the Publisher August 2017
Jul 28, 2017 10:07AM
Jacqueline & Kendra, Co-Publishers
As experiences unfold, they can become reference points for navigating our priorities and co-creating the reality to which we awaken every day. Unconventional ways are often the answer to forging new and higher ground in assimilating the past with the present and exploring how we assign meaning to the circumstances that have shaped our lives. Simply paying attention to memories and beliefs sharpens our awareness into a masterful spiritual lens.
Through excavating and deconstructing the details of our lives, we can discover personal treasures and build from the essentials of self-worth and wisdom to create miracles. Our stories heal us by honoring our inner landscapes and recovering and acknowledging the many layers. Akin to the body’s function of autophagy, where recycling inherently rich and life-giving nutrients enable cell components to be cleaned and restored, our psyche returns to recollect and integrate the fine points of our experiences. Expressing our “voice”, or authenticity, is directly linked to the intuitive and diligent process of homeostasis and repair.
This issue’s theme, “rethinking cancer”, introduces alternative ways to address a widespread and deeply personal experience. Our feature, on page 20, is supported by a sidebar glimpse into the creative writing world of Melissa Greene, founder and director of Write From The Heart, and her collaboration and work in area hospitals’ programs and subsequent new research into the positive effects of this form of therapeutic sharing.
Modern health care is beginning to recognize the benefits of offering formal and informal outlets through which patients can gently and professionally access the most basic element of healing, self-compassion. Narrative medicine is this dynamic approach that involves paying attention to much more than the physical dynamics of care. As patients, caregivers and healthcare providers explore individual stories and creative expression, a shared learning experience is created and the healing relationship can expand to integrate all that the journey holds. The approach is illuminated in esteemed educational institutions, including Columbia University, where Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D., has become a leading voice in the movement, which she describes as providing a “commitment to understanding patients’ lives, caring for the caregivers, and giving voice to the suffering.”
One of the oldest traditions, storytelling can access the deepest fiber of being and allow for release into original wholeness. Mark Nepo’s beautiful reflections in his bestselling Book of Awakening, portray the humility, strength and dignity required in his progression from patient to survivor. By recalling earlier life challenges, Nepo was able to sharpen his insight into the trauma of his illness and attain a profound gratitude for the experience. A raw truth shines through his stories of suffering; pain is transformed and perspective shifts as faith brings re-discovery of life, day after day.
Choice always reigns, be it in word, belief or attitude, and along with self-reflection, this August issue brings forth various natural options for attuning to a state of resilience. Partnering more intimately with being well becomes a rhythm for shifting the curative context into a higher realm.
~Jacqueline & Kendra, Co-Publishers