Triumph of the Human Spirit

By February 18, 2013Uncategorized

I just returned from the Boulder Film Festival where I had the great pleasure to see the film, No Place on Earth. This movie is an amazing documentary about several dozen Ukrainian Jews who survived World War II by hiding in a huge underground cave (one of the biggest subterranean caves of Europe.) The survived for over 500 days in an amazing feat of human fortitude, ingenuity and creativity. The highlights of the movie are the interviews of these remarkable people, many now in their 80’s and 90s as well as their return in 2010 to the Ukraine to the underground cave. The horrors of WWII rank as some of the most extreme stressors known to humanity. To see the determination of these people portrayed in this film surviving against all odds is nothing less than astonishing. And it certainly puts our trivial day-to-day problems in perspective.  What is the triumph of the human spirit? It is the ability to rise above our problems and not only survive, but thrive in the face of adversity. Each and every one of use has the ability to do this (once we move our ego out of the way). The triumph of the human spirit includes utilizing our muscles of the soul: faith, optimism, creativity, humor, patience and persistence.Time to start exercising these muscles.
Stress Tip for the Day
No matter what ordeal you might be going through right now, you have the means to deal with it successfully. The most important first step is to move out of fear-based thinking. The next step is to cultivate your inner resources (muscles of the soul) and often it takes many of these at the same time. Fear tends to immobilize the human spirit.  If you are feeling stuck, it might just be time to take some initiative, a pro-active stance to move from victim to victor. I think it is safe to say that the heroes of this movie never saw themselves as victims. Today it’s time to be a hero.
Links, Books and/or Movies Worth Noting:
Here is a link to the movie’s website. It might appear on the History Channel. I HIGHLY recommend this movie. Stay tuned.
And once again, I would like to recommend the book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. It will put any day you are having into perspective.
Quote for the Day:
“Giving up is the final solution to a temporary problem.” —Gerta Wiessman Klien, Nazi Concentration Camp Survivor
Photo For the Day
I didn’t have any photos of the Ukraine or even of huge cavernous caves, but I do have a photo of the iconic pose of triumph of the human spirit. This photo was taken during our Spirit of Ireland tour last year on a hike up the sacred mountain, Crough Patrick near the town of Westport. Here Matt Helm does the honors… Thanks Matt.
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website:
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.
Brian Luke Seaward

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