Authentic Conversations of Guts, Grit, and Gusto
Authentic Conversations of Guts, Grit, and Gusto
In the face of trauma—any trauma—degradation, hurt and suffering,
never give up. Live with guts, grit and gusto.
People who have identified their life’s purpose live longer than those who don’t.
Discover the connection between living longer and personal growth in the process of ever evolving.
Serving in the Israeli Air Force was not for the faint of heart. Between boot camp, border patrol, and the constant threat of danger, I was terrified, but I never flinched from duty. To this day, as in the past, I don’t allow fear to rule me. I’m counter-phobic. I take deep breaths and do what has to be done. On the other hand, I won’t invite danger. I don’t need to experience everything. Life is too precious to take unnecessary risks.
Message to my mother: Don’t tell me I can’t do it. Don’t tell me that because I’m a girl, I cannot climb trees and play sports like the boys. Don’t tell me because I’m a woman I cannot have it all—a husband, children and a thriving career. Don’t tell me to reign in my adventurous nature because I’m a woman. Just be proud of me, Mama. I followed my dreams and accomplished it all.
Life is a chain of marathons you’re determined to run for the joy of
In the pursuit of passion, some people encounter a tug-of-war between being selfish and selfless. What I’ve discovered is that before you can take care of others, you need to be able to take care of yourself. It’s like the flight attendants on airplanes say, “If the oxygen masks drop down, put yours on and then help your children.” Remember, everybody matters. So do you. Life takes guts, grit and gusto.
When people tell you that you can’t do something, how do you react? Do you react with anger? Are you immobilized? Are you indignant? Do you give it thought and consider options? Does a “no” response just make you more determined? People react differently when others do things that affect them in a negative way—whether through criticism, discouragement, opposition, warning or dissuasion. What I’ve learned is to stand back and evaluate the situation before reacting. While you may be upset, think about what’s important to you. Then take control of your life by exercising personal responsibility in the pursuit of worthy goals. By planning the steps, you need to take, maintaining a positive attitude and having fun, you can accomplish your life’s dreams. While you might experience chaos, uncertainty and setbacks along the way, remember, you are constantly changing in the never-ending process of evolving. How can you change your response to people who push your buttons?
Memories. We all have them, good or bad. But the truth is that your past does not own you. You own your future. Your past is just a toolbox to use whenever necessary. What’s important is for you to gain control of who you are, what you want to become and how you view yourself in the context of your life. These beliefs have stayed with me all of my life. I chose a life as a mental health professional, author and speaker so that I could participate in ‘TIKUN OLAM’ (repairing the world) and inspire and empower others vulnerable to abuse to seek a life well-lived. Remember, being engaged in ‘TIKUN OLAM’ is a choice. You Can Do It!
Yes, I’m a holocaust survivor, but that’s not how I want to be known. What’s far more important is my philosophy of life. Along my journey, I developed five core beliefs and practices, which have enabled me to lead a blessed and empowered life. Here they are. What resonates with you?
1. Life is an amazing journey. Life is a mystery unfolding. You are the lead character in the process of your involvement. No rehearsal is required or desired. You are the creative, authentic author and producer of your life script. Embrace your uniqueness with courage and positive anticipation. Face all challenges head on as well as the opportunities life has to offer.
2. Flex your muscles. To lead the “good” life, find your inner determination, courage and resilience. Follow your heart and set a vision for yourself. No one knows you better than you what will make you happy. You are the captain of your boat of life. Navigate. It takes a vision before you can generate opportunities. What is your vision at the moment. Ponder this question until you find one that inspires you. It is never too late to take a different path on your life’s adventure.
3. There is no failure. It will cost you nothing to dream and everything not to. Failure is a concept of the feeble-minded. Replace the word “failure” with “challenge” and you will create the readiness for the next opportunity. Reflect on what you want to do, where you want to be and go for it.
4. Hurt brings opportunities. Resilience is a life-coping trait that encompasses the ability to rebound from misfortunes. It means learning from disappointing life experiences and becoming capable of moving forward to your next opportunity. Embrace life with vigor and positive anticipation. Make sure to seek, maintain and nurture significant relationships with those who will walk with you through thick and thin.
5. Live life today. Your past does not own you. Live in the moment as if you will live forever. Be open to some of the mystery and unexpected occurrences that life offers. Curiosity, excitement and positive anticipation will support you as you embrace the unknown. Yesterday is gone and past experiences are now in your archive of references for you to use constructively. Take your next steps forward. If the results do not pan out the way you exactly aspired, so be it. You will still end up closer to your imagined goal than without having strong intentions. The journey is worth it because you’re worth it. You can do it!
Life extension is a choice. It is a desirable goal that is achievable.
Stress is a fact of life, and too much of it can lead to a shortened life span. To reduce stress and heal your life, try these tips and suggestions.
No one is a mind reader. That’s why open and direct communications are the foundation for healthy relationships, whether at home or work.
Life is a journey to be lived in the moment, in the here and now. Yes, there are challenges to solve, lessons to learn and experiences to have, share, and enjoy.
On December 30, 2005, I was awakened by a deafening noise, explosions, thick smoke and the rattling of fire raging mercilessly and engulfing my home. In an instant, I was back in the Holocaust war zone of my youth. Although half asleep, my thoughts came quickly. “Run, run for your life. Get out.” My breathing was shallow, and my heart was beating fast.
Fortunately, my husband and I got out in the nick of time. As we exited the house, the roof over our bedroom collapsed. From the front yard, I watched the house burn. As it did, the survivor in me kicked in. It was the house that was burning, not me. I was safe.
The Nazis did not get me as a child, and the fire was not going to get me now. The lessons learned about surviving have to do with free will and destiny (Beshert). In addition, surviving is a conscious decision that comes from the ability to stay calm in the face of danger. As a child in the Nazi concentration camp, I learned to carry-on, entertain myself, and avoid panic.
Those traits served me well through the years and have helped me deal with all types of threats, disappointments and vulnerabilities. These are the skills I’ve developed and applied in my personal and professional life. If I can do it, so can you. What traumas have you experienced, and how did you survive them?
Do you believe in free will or destiny? There is a lot that has happened in my life that I had no control over. In one sense, I believe my path was chosen for me. But in another, equally important sense, I know I have always determined for myself what to make of my life. No one—not the Nazis, not my parents and certainly not the rules of society—chose the kind of person I would become. Destiny may have charted my course, but I chose the pace. Destiny may have written much of the script for my life, but I’m still the executive producer.
ositive thoughts produce positive results. Your attitude plays a major role in the success you achieve throughout your life. ☺️
You can improve yours by
1) Recognizing your competence
2) Developing a strong sense of personal security or self-esteem
3) Being dedicated to the pursuit of your life’s dreams. ☺️
Maintaining a positive attitude takes guts, grit and gusto. You can do it!
Enjoy travel with friends. Most people look forward to recreation and vacations. It’s a time to unwind, let loose, and take a break from daily routines and responsibilities.
It’s also a time to create memories, deepen relationships with family and friends, grow and learn.
The power of healing. Memories of hurt, trauma and loss are powerful. Why do some people heal and not others? The reasons vary.
I love monkeys. They remind me of myself. I’m a monkey in a dress! Optimism, or a positive attitude, is the foundation for living well. It doesn’t spare you from life’s traumas, difficulties and challenges, but it can help you thrive and grow as you experience them. What do you do to maintain a positive attitude?