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Turning trauma into victory

Like many others, I watched President Zelenskyy address the joint meeting of Congress in the US. I was struck by how a man who, a few short years ago, was an actor playing the role of a president, has become, in reality, a president whom the world admires above almost any other.

Here is someone who has transformed the horror of what is going on in his country into a beacon of light for all who value liberty, personal security and freedom of expression. He is the epitome of someone who has found his own emotional fitness.

I’m reminded that Emotional Fitness had its birth in Nazi Germany. In 1944, at the age of 22, Eugene Heimler was an inmate of Auschwitz and other concentration camps. While there, he reflected on his childhood and on his future, determined to survive. Years later, Heimler recognized that, no matter the level of negative energy surrounding him, and how much frustration he felt, that this was the source for his creativity and action.

I learned much from Heimler. I learned how I, too, could transform my childhood anguish at the loss of my close family members into creative, positive action. The absence of anyone who would, or could listen to me became a desire to listen to others. And my experience of being listened to became the impetus for developing the tools of Inner Balancing, which in turn help us to find our own Emotional Fitness.

The people, and perhaps especially the children of Ukraine and other places around the world who are living through war and other traumatic events, have the capacity to become remarkable human beings, bringing scientific discoveries, inventions, art, and great leadership, and making small but significant contributions to the health of our planet and humanity. Let us help them overcome the negativity and offer them the tools at our disposal for them to become emotionally fit. We can each turn our traumas into victory.


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