This year certainly feels like the worst is happening right now. A global pandemic, racial tension, the effects of climate change, and deep divides in ideals have all pushed us to brink—and who knows what's next in 2021. Many of us are barely hanging on to the last shreds of our sanity.
The truth is life never promised us that things would be easy. In fact, things can be downright terrifying as we've seen in 2020. Theoretically, things can get worse. They can also get better. Events horrific and fantastic will happen whether we like them or not, and people will be awful or saintly.
What matters most is how we view and respond to anything and anyone.
No one lives and breathes this mantra better than Dr. Edith Eger.
Edith Eva Eger was just a teenager in 1944 when she experienced one of the worst evils the human race has ever known. As a Jew living in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, she and her family were sent to Auschwitz, the heinous death camp. Her parents were sent to the gas chambers but Edith’s bravery kept her and her sister alive. Today, she is a clinical psychologist who works with people to heal trauma by helping them tap into their powers of self-renewal.
I read her new book called The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life, which is in itself a gift to humanity. A few of the priceless bits of wisdom from this book include:
"Many of us stay in a prison of victimhood because, subconsciously, it feels safer. We ask 'Why?' over and over, believing if we could just figure out the reason, the pain would lessen. Why did I get cancer? Why did I lost my job? Why did my partner have an affair?
Well, why not you?
Instead of 'Why me?' ask, 'Why now?'
Stop focusing on why this bad thing happened, or is happening, and start paying attention to what you can do with your experience.
When I do this, I'm not looking for a savior or a scapegoat. Instead, I begin to look at choices and possibilities."
And perhaps the most timely piece of wisdom:
"We don't know where we're going. We don't know what's going to happen. Just remember, no one can take away what you've put into your mind.
During the long, terrible days and nights in Auschwitz, I'd choose what to hold in my mind...
It didn't bring back my parents or ease the pain of their deaths or the looming threat of my own. But it did help me see past where I was, to envision a tomorrow that included my beloved, to keep starvation and torture in perspective. I was living through hell on earth--and it was temporary. If it was temporary, it could be survived."
This book has such an impact on me that I want to share it with you. I've put together a workshop scheduled for Sunday, 12/27/20 at 4:00 p.m. PACIFIC TIME that uses Dr. Eger's wisdom in this book as a foundation. We'll look back at the challenges we've overcome this year and examine ways to look at hard times as opportunities for growth. This will be an interactive workshop where you'll walk away with a new perspective and tools that you can use when life inevitably throws curveballs at you. For more information and to sign up, go here.
Peace, love & yoga,