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Friday, September 26, 2008

Rachel Naomi Remen -- Heroine of Healing

The following is a contribution to the Heroes of Healing Group Writing Project by Mokihana Calizar. Thank you Mokihana for sharing the inspirational work of Rachel Naomi Remen. The bottom of this post will share updates on where the Project is now.

Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. by Mokihana Calizar (who can be reached at ssvardo@gmail.com)

“Rachel Naomi Remen is one of the earliest pioneers in the mind/body holistic health movement and the first to recognize the role of the spirit in health and the recovery from illness. She is Co-Founder and Medical Director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program featured in the Bill Moyers PBS series, Healing and the Mind and has cared for people with cancer and their families for almost 30 years…She is also a nationally recognized medical reformer and educator who sees the practice of medicine as a spiritual path. In recognition of her work she has received several honorary degrees and has been invited to teach in medical schools and hospitals throughout the country. Her groundbreaking holistic curricula enable physicians at all levels of training to remember their calling and strengthen their commitment to serve life.” www.rachelremen.com

Rachel Naomi Remen is a master storyteller who finds the essence of humanness through her gifts as listener and teller. Her 54 year old personal history of Crohn's disease has woven a rich, authentic voice as a physician, teacher and healer of self. Her books Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings are filled with beautiful tales that heal the heart and soul of a society seeking comfort and connect at times of lost hope, confusion and isolation. Before there were bloggers, there were storytellers like Rachel Naomi Remen.



For an audio interview: Listening Generously

For a written interview: www.shareguide.com/Remen.html.

For an article on medical reform:http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC39/Remen.htm

For excerpts from Kitchen Table Wisdom www.SpiritSite.com/writing/racrem

What have I, Mokihana Calizar, learned from Rachel Naomi Remen:

(I have included several quotes from this original article that appeared in the Noetic Sciences Review, Spring 1996 because it may not be readily available to be read in its entirety.)

I am a storyteller who was given a reprint of an article “In the Service of Life,” written in 1996 by Rachel Naomi Remen at a time when the threads of my life were snipped into pieces. There lay the disconnected parts of my life/my story I thought would always be true. What I learn from this article served as compost for my shredded life at the time, and continues to teach me twelve years later. I thought I needed “help” but after reading this article again and again, and then again year after year, I learn Help is not what heals. “Helping incurs debt. When you help someone they owe you one. But serving, like healing is mutual. There is no debt.” That lesson remains the core life lesson of my life. I have experienced many losses in my life, and sought teachers, physicians, counselors and friends to aid me. Time and time again throughout my more than 60 years, I live the lesson that fixing and helping are different than serving. Fundamentally, helping, fixing, and service are ways of seeing life. When you help you see life as weak, when you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole.”

When I began the rebuilding of life as I’d known it 14 years ago, I suspected that many ideas I had about myself and the way I understood life might need tweaking. Today I laugh at the depth and breath of a ‘tweak’ when it comes to the evolution of my soul. Storytellers like Rachel Naomi Remen have given me hope and courage to challenge people in positions of authority when their opinions smell of helping or fixing my life. When I was diagnosed with “cell tissues of questionable character” coupled with two surgeons opinion to remove my thyroid because of that diagnosis I heard my deep self ask, “What would Rachel Naomi do? What stories would she encourage in me?” The answers I got from this experience have led me to believe this final paragraph from the article “In the Service of Life,” “Fixing and helping are the basis of curing, but not of healing. In 40 years of chronic illness I have been helped by many people and fixed by a great many others who did not recognize my wholeness. All that fixing and helping left me wounded in some important and fundamental ways. Only service heals.” I live with my whole thyroid with cell tissues that re-generated with time and attention. She, my thyroid, is as I have come to believe, the messenger of love situated on my fifth charka point in the throat. To be without her would mean love to be a distant ‘thing’ dependent upon prescriptions someone has conjured. I have much to learn about being of service to life, and know in my bones that when questionable cells show up they have stories worth hearing and Real stories take time …” (from “Listening Generously The Medicine of Rachel Naomi Remen.)


The Deadline for Submissions is still Friday October 3, 2008. There are still many Heroes missing from the below list. Contact me at jennymannion@yahoo.com if you want to write about someone not posted or comment on someone already on the list. I am THRILLED with the way this project is turning out and look forward to posting the full list Monday, October 6th on my new site. Thank you for all your support!

Heroes of Healing -- written by:

Brandon Bays by Suzie Cheel of Abundance Highway

Dr. Michael Beckwith by Lisa Erickson of Mommy Mystic

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor by Jenny Mannion at Heal Pain Naturally

Dr. Joan Borysenko by Lisa Erickson of Mommy Mystic

Gregg Braden by Sharon -- (posting soon)

Paul Chek by Stephen Cox of Balanced Existence

Dr. Deepak Chopra by Dawn Abraham of Qualified Life Coach

Gary Craig by Akemi Gaines of Yes To Me

Dr. John DeMartini by Angela Recchia at Ange’s Biz– (posting soon)

Mike Dooley by Camille Olivia Strate of The Raja Project

Bob Doyle by Suzie Cheel of Abundance Highway

Dr. Wayne Dyer by Jenny Mannion of Heal Pain Naturally

Gangaji by Lisa Erickson of Mommy Mystic

Thich Nhat Hahn by Isabella Mori at Change Therapy

Louise Hay by Kelly Rigby of She Power

Jerry & Esther Hicks and Abraham by Camille Olivia Strate of The Raja Project

Napoleon Hill by Cath Lawson of Cath Lawson (Tips for Success in Business and Life) -- (posting soon)

Ernest Holmes by Lyman Reed of Creating a Better Life

Roy Hunter by Ellie Blunt of The Transparent Hypnotist

Susan Jeffers by Kate of Experiments in Living

Byron Katie by Caroline Middlebrook of Life Should Feel Good

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross by Ari Koinuma of Our Best Version

Michael Losier by Suzie Cheel of Abundance Highway

Nelson Mandela by Mark Hayward of My Tropical Escape -- (posting soon)

Barbara Marx Hubbard by Slade Roberson of Shift Your Spirits -- (posting soon)

Dan Millman by Matthew Wadleigh and Lisa Erickson at Mommy Mystic

Dr. Christiane Northrup by Marilyn Kay at Mommy Mystic

Mary O’Malley by Dr. Nicole -(posting soon)

Dr. Mehmet Oz by Karen Lynch of Live the Power!

Dr. Eric Pearl by Jenny Mannion

Rachel Naomi Remen by Mokihana Calizar at Heal Pain Naturally

Susan SARK by Jenny Mannion of Heal Pain Naturally

Eckhart Tolle by Jenny Mannion of Heal Pain Naturally

Vaishali by Jenny Mannion of Heal Pain Naturally

Doreen Virtue by Suzie Cheel of Abundance Highway (posting soon)

Neale Donald Walsch by Evelyn Lim of Attraction Mind Map -- (posting soon)

Ron Wilkens by Jennifer Abbott of Principles for Peace

Marianne Williamson by Lisa Erickson of Mommy Mystic

Oprah Winfrey by Jenny Mannion of Heal Pain Naturally

Brad Yates by Suzie Cheel of Abundance Highway


Delightfully Healthy said...

What a great lesson for me! I'm going to dig out Mr. Moyers book and re-read.

I found a link to the full article mentioned. You can find it here: http://www.wellnessgoods.com/serviceoflife.asp

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi, Thank you for sharing the link and for commenting. :-) Jenny

Akemi "spiritual entrepreneur" @ Yes to Me said...

I LOVE the way this project is growing organically! Wonderful contribution from Mokihana!!

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Akemi,

I am SO happy with the way the project is going! Everyone has helped so much and I have found so many wonderful new Heroes through other's posts! Mokihana found me through your site so THANK YOU! Whoo hoo -- one week to go! Have a wonderful weekend! Love, Jenny

Mike Foster said...

Another great video and author for this wonderful project. A must read for those looking to advance their health awareness. Thanks, Jenny.

My Mom Makes One Mean Lasagna

Jenny Mannion said...

Thanks so much Mike for your nice comments. I am very happy you are enjoying the project - I am as well! :-) There's still time to write -- is anyone that you find inspirational missing? Thanks again! Gratefully, Jenny

Anonymous said...

Hi there! My name is Jessie and I work at W Magazine. For our most recent issue we published an in-depth interview with OB-GYN-turned-alternative-health-guru, Christiane Northrup. It's a really interesting, empowering, and frankly controversial article. I think you and your readers might be interested in how it relates to women's health. Here's a link to the article on our website...

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Jessie, I love W magazine and Dr. Christiane Nothrup is one of the women featured on the heroes of heroes Group Writing Project I am working on. Thanks for telling us about the article -- she's a hero indeed!

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