By Roslyne Buchanan.

In the latest instalment in the Woman of Worth books created by Founder Christine Awram, “Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters”, 15 women bare highly personal accounts of heartbreaking stories. While you might ask why subject yourself to such sadness, in the end, their stories are a triumph of human resilience through adversity.

Katherine McEachnie, chapter contributor, signing Woman of Worth book

The Greeks called it catharsis – “the purification or purgation of the emotions (especially pity and fear) primarily through art” – as defined by Encyclopedia Britannica. There is some debate to how Aristotle and other philosophers perceived it, however, the idea remains that the process of vicariously experiencing the tragedy of others has “a healthful and humanizing effect”.

My copy of Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters signed by Katherine McEachnie

You can’t help feeling if these women were able to find the strength to cope with the situations they faced, that resilience is latent in you as you face your own challenges. The stories are diverse and truly inspiring.

While it is helpful to read Awram’s introduction first, it’s the type of book you can start at any chapter. I was introduced to the book by an amazing friend of mine, Katherine McEachnie, who along with her husband Bill has a beautiful vineyard in Penticton. The fruit from their Winston Estate Vineyard is coveted by some of the area’s highly respected wineries such as Evolve Cellars, Lake Breeze Vineyards, Pentage Winery and Time Winery. I know her first as a wine expert whom I highly respect. When she invited me to her home for the book launch, I was highly intrigued to learn she was one of the contributing women.

Winston Estate Vineyard 100 per cent estate grown Ehrenfelser made for the McEachnies by Pentage Winery

Naturally, in reading the book after I checked out the acknowledgements and introduction, I skipped ahead to her chapter ‘Determination Wins’. I was glad I had the foresight to have tissue on hand because at times her words were blurred by my crying. By the way, reading it and the other stories had the same effect on my husband. Katherine observed, “Adversity causes some people to break and others to break records.” With “an abundance of gratitude” she is willing to share, Katherine is a model to emulate.

Settling in with the Woman of Worth Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters book

In the book, I discovered a chapter by another local hero of mine, Ellen Walker-Matthews. I got to know her mostly through the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. I already knew a bit about her story because she lives in Summerland and is the driving force behind the ‘Giants Head Grind – Christopher Walker Memorial Race’ named in honour of her son. In reading her chapter ‘When a Piece of Your Heart Dies’, I see her strength and understand more deeply why her credo is “Grief will not define me, I will harness its power to drive me forward.” What a powerful force she is, indeed.

Earlier in the season at Winston Estate Vineyard chapter contributors Ellen Walker-Matthews with Katherine McEachnie

Whether you know any of these women of not, the stories shine a beacon of light on survival. We can all use a pep talk periodically to push us upward. A number one bestseller, it’s available at Learn more about this book, other editions, and the important role of emotional intelligence in your mental health at


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Roslyne Buchanan (aka Roz) Roslyne Buchanan is a regular freelance contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine Trails, WestJet Magazine, OpenRoad Driver, Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine, My Van City, and Based above BC’s Naramata Bench in Penticton, she enjoys spectacular views of forests, vineyards, lakes, and hills beyond and regular visits from wildlife. Enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. For her it’s the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences. Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at, follow her on twitter @RozDB and Instagram @roslynebuchanan


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