Coyote Wisdom: The Power of Story in Healing by Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona

This is a remarkable book, full of inspiration and hope. Lewis Mehl-Madrona is a master storyteller himself, and in Coyote Wisdom we see the full range of his talents. This is the third book in which the author merges his own and other Native American methods of healing with contemporary Western medicine. The first two, Coyote Medicine and Coyote Healing, were great — this one is even better.

This book explores all kinds of stories — those that we tell about ourselves, and those that we hear from others. The author, a psychiatrist by background, makes the case that hearing and telling stories is integral to healing. If we are sick, then the story that we tell about our illness may contain clues for what went wrong, or what got “out of balance” in our relationships. This could be one’s relationship to his or herself, to the family, to the community, even to the world.

In turn, hearing the correct story can inspire the ill person to look inside for the right method to heal, or perhaps even to believe that healing is possible if there has been no hope. According to Mehl-Madrona, stories contain the hidden blueprints for transformation, a kind of secret code for how to restore the balance in relationships. By choosing the correct story to tell a patient, he offers guidance and a vision of how that person can change his or her own story.

This use of stories in healing is called “narrative medicine” or “narrative psychology,” and it incorporates much of the shamanic wisdom and attitudes about illness that are so different from the more constrictive Western biological model. This is not to say that the biology is ignored — instead, Mehl-Madrona posits that there is no biology without context. In this manner, changing the story that we tell about ourselves is more important than it may sound initially. To put it simply, when we change our story, we change our mood — and when we change our mood, we change our brain. Thus, physiological changes follow from an altered perspective — a changed story. Once you have physiological changes than anything is possible, including “miraculous” or “spontaneous” cures. With this model, our stories have a biological effect, not the other way around.

This is not a book of stories, although there are examples. You can tell you’re in the hands of a master storyteller as Mehl-Madrona slows and shifts the pace of the book for each. The stories themselves are wonderfully told and draw from a surprising range of cultures, both ancient and modern.

But more important is how the author chooses the correct story for healing, and that is what Coyote Wisdom focuses on. Mehl-Madrona raises several important points — not only must the story be inspirational and contain the clues for healing, but it must be one that the patient can identify with and that he or she can make their own in order to transform. Once the patient is transforming themselves and their story, then it is important that the community around them support this new story as well. This importance of community is key — as the author says, stories are the glue that binds families, groups, communities, and even nations together.

According to the author, we each contain our own hidden wisdom for how to change or heal, but it is the healer’s job to pull that knowledge out. The right story challenges our hidden assumptions, (that change is not possible, or that there is no way out or only one way out), by presenting us with new possibilities. Mehl-Madrona says that stories are alchemy — if we hear enough stories about transformation then we can’t help but transform. This is powerful stuff, as is the idea that biology follows context — and Coyote Wisdom is a beautiful and powerful book.

A Podcast Interview With Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Merlian News

For more information, visit Dr.Lewis Mehl-Madrona’s website at www.mehl-madrona.com


The Mouth-Body Connection by Gerald P. Curatola, DDS

| by Cheryl Shainmark

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Q&A with Dan Millman, Author of Peaceful Heart, Warrior Spirit

Those who seek a greater spiritual dimension may be searching for glasses that are perched upon our head. Now, after all the experiences I describe in my new book, I see and feel spirit everywhere. We swim in spirit, we breath it, and it breathes us, interpenetrating every cell. We need only open our eyes and hearts in moments of free attention.

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Someone Else’s Yesterday by Jeffrey Keene

| by Clarissa Tallon

Shakespeare’s famous words, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players” serve as the foundation for Jeffrey Keene’s book, Someone Else’s Yesterday. It is the story of a proud warrior who discovers his past life from another century. It is the story of reincarnation, and opens up a Pandora’s Box (or rather Pandora’s War Chest) of the unconscionable sufferings of the American Civil War — a time in American history when a great nation turned against itself and endured the slaughter of well over 600,000 lives — more American lives than any other conflict in the nation’s history.

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The Back in Time Tarot Book by Janet Boyer

| by Cheryl Shainmark

This is a fascinating book, and a whole new way to bring the sub-conscious up to the light of day. The Back in Time Tarot Book is not like any other tarot book you may have read before. Janet Boyer has developed an innovative and unique method of working with the cards… Not only does this teach the Tarot deck in a uniquely personal way, but it allows you to gain valuable insight into your own psyche. By exploring the past you begin to learn what is influencing you in the present.

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Already Here – A Doctor Discovers the Truth About Heaven by Leo Galland, MD

Already Here tells of the death of Leo Galland’s son, Christopher, at the age of 22; the direct visual evidence Christopher showed him that our souls do go on; and the communications he received from Christopher’s spirit that dramatically changed Leo’s understanding of life and its meaning.

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Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age

| by Cheryl Shainmark

In his new book Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age Feiler notes that the idea that we’ll have one job, one relationship, one source of happiness for most of our lives is outdated, and that we now live in a non-linear world that forces us to make transitions. While this trend has been occurring for some time, what is new right now is that the whole world is going through these transitions at once. How we face these life altering changes, and what tools we can use to help the process these events is at the core of this book.

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The Humming Effect by Jonathan Goldman & Andi Goldman

| by Cheryl Shainmark

For those searching for a way to improve their health without medicine, or intrusive measures, The Humming Effect really rewards the reader. This slim book covers a lot of ground showing how humming can make a difference to one’s well being. The authors build a strong case through research and anecdotal data that humming can lead to increased oxygen levels, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, increased nitric oxide, release of endorphins, enhanced lymphatic circulation, and more.

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Shift Your Life by David L. Cunningham with Linda Lee Ratto

| by Cheryl Shainmark

“True stories of healing are interspersed with the insights, milestones and synchronicities that guided the author along his path. Journal entries capture the dreams, premonitions and spiritual guidance that Mr. Cunningham received for years before he fully accepted his calling to heal. This culminated in a life shifting event in 1990 in which he was captured by Saddam Hussein’s army, and held hostage for over three months. It was during that period of captivity that Cunningham pledged to dedicate his life to helping others.”

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