The Writer's Connection, SM
a publication of The Virtual Writing Coach SM
In This Issue:
2. Publisher's Note
3. Kitchen Table Wisdom
4. Helpful Hints
The Writer's Connection explores the creative process of writing and the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and actions. We are an interactive community of authors and readers who share ideas to enhance our knowledge, skills, and experiences in writing fiction in any genre, but our emphasis remains mystery and suspense thrillers.
Published monthly, the Newsletter offers writing tips for authors, coaching suggestions, editing, and marketing information.
Topics are presented from the perspective of Keith Barton and represent only his ideas on producing your first manuscript, and are provided to the general public. Because we are an interactive community of writers, other viewpoints are welcomed and may be printed in future monthly newsletters with permission from Keith Barton.
2. Publisher's Note
Dear Writer's Connection Subscriber,
This month features some important information on the writings of Kitchen Table Wisdom.
Kitchen Table Wisdom
Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.’s book of the same title was published over ten years ago but remains an inspirational book for opening the heart and embracing life. Her subtitle to Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal is a compelling treatise to the mind-body-spirit paradigm. Dr. Remen was the first doctor to use a psychological approach to people with life-threatening illnesses and to educate physicians about patient needs. This book addresses the spiritual issues of suffering, meaning, love, faith, and miracles. Research now supports this powerful mind-body-spirit bond in that immune systems are healthier in cancer survivor patients who belong to a support group with longer remission rates.
In her chapter on “Touching” Dr. Remen leads her cancer patients through touching and healing exercises which are a time of discovery for patients who heretofore have been the objects of mechanical inspection from their doctors and hospital staff. They’ve been probed, evaluated, tested, stuck, scoped, and other invasive procedures, all in an attempt to diagnose and treat them. Her remarkable program reveals a universal truth that touching for patient wellness by patients with similar illnesses has a profound effect on the human spirit. Instead of the patient being a physical specimen, they are transformed and bonded together with like patients who support and care for one another fully and completely.
Many of our healing techniques are borrowed from Eastern Zen masters who promise a peaceful mind to those whose hearts are at peace with themselves and the world. Time alone to meditate with a life force, whether you call it God, Allah, Buddha, or higher power, can have a profound impact on physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Cancer survivor groups now practice these techniques in churches, synagogues, hospitals, community centers, and individual homes. Healing services are not part of mainstream religion.
In a particularly compelling chapter on “Grace” Dr. Remen relates the Hindu parable on the Divine Couple, Shiva and Shakti, who come upon a poor beggar who is hungry and Shakti, the wife, asks of her husband to give the beggar a “bag of gold” so he can eat for the night. To her dismay, Shiva refuses saying the beggar is “not yet ready” to receive the gold. After much pleading from his wife, Shiva drops a bag of gold in the beggar’s path but is not surprised that the man steps over the bag only to come upon a large rock in his path which he steps around; the man says to himself “lucky for me I saw the rock for I might have torn my sandals and not been able to walk further to find food.” It is more amazing that this story is told by one of Dr. Remen’s cancer patients, a physician, who when asked by Dr. Remen what his bag of gold was, he replied “my cancer.”
- Read Kitchen Table Wisdom and experience the tenderness and healing powers inherent in our paths if we only choose to notice.
- Join a chronic illness support group as a family member or friend for someone you know suffers from a debilitating disease. Experience the commitment and support for one another.
- Think about the last memorial service or funeral you attended and what was said about the deceased person. How did the personal accounts differ from those less familiar with the deceased person?
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Keith Barton, Ph.D.
(c) Copyright 2010 A. Keith Barton, Ph.D.
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The Writer's Connection SM Mission:
The Writer's Connection SM is dedicated to helping first-time authors create their first manuscript for publication and to offer an exchange of ideas and opinions from our readers who might be interested in becoming authors.
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About Keith Barton, Ph.D.
Dr. Barton received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Texas at Austin and has been a practicing therapist for over thirty years. He is currently enrolled in MentorCoach and is accepting new clients. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, consultant to Fortune 500 companies in executive development, founded and managed Texas Community Living Ventures, Inc., in 1986 for providing group home services to persons with mental retardation, and has been running a clinical practice in Northwest Houston since 1990. He writes part-time with the goal of completing one novel a year. His desire to coach others derives from his passionate interest in helping others become attuned to their creative powers of storytelling.
Dr. Barton has training in coaching, cognitive and family therapy and health psychology. He has published articles, made presentations and conducted workshops about:
Anxiety and achievement
The relationship between psychology and spirituality