“Life is Beautiful”

I am reposting this blog in order to help promote a new movie about this amazing woman.  To see a short portion please go to “The Lady in Number 6”.  I believe that such an inspiring story should be shared.  

Many blessings, Maureen

Life is beautiful.  It really is.  It is rough at times, and there are moments in a day when my first thought or feeling is not, “Oh, isn’t that beautiful!” But it is.  It all is.  And I am grateful that I get to be alive today to experience it.

This morning I went onto Facebook to find an amazing little clip that was posted by my friend Brian Goldblatt.  It was of a woman named Alice Herz-Sommer, a WWII Holocaust surviver.  Alice is 109 years old and filled with joy, hope, love and laughter.  Alice is my new hero.

A little while later my friend Portia Kamons sent me a longer post of an interview between Alice and Anthony Robbins, and it is well worth taking the twelve or so minutes to watch it.

Alice believes that everything is a present.   Throughout the horror of her experience she focused on her  music, and on loving and protecting her child.  She knew that the best thing that she could give him was a feeling of security.  Her focus on joy gave him a sense that all was and would be well.  

Alice harbors no hatred toward her captors, and those of her little boy. These people killed her parents, and heaven only knows the true atrocities  that she witnessed.  But she smiles, laughs, plays her piano and says, “I look where it is good.  I know about the bad, but I look at the good thing.”

This past week two very traumatic and horrifying events happened not far from where I live.  One was in a town called Herkimer, NY where a man went on a shooting spree, killing four people and seriously injuring two others.  A loyal police dog was also killed by him.  The second was in Clay, NY where a ten year old girl was raped and her mother was brutally stabbed to death.  Needless to say there were many, many heavy hearts in the Central New York area, mine among them.  And last night, after learning of the little girl and her mom, I went to bed feeling very sad and angry.

So this morning when I opened my computer and found these wonderful videos, I felt a restoration of my faith and joy.  I just love that Alice is clearly not in denial.  She knows that there are horrible things in the world, but she focuses on the good.  This is a practice that I have been cultivating for a long time and I feel deeply inspired by this wise and wonderful woman to keep at it.  If Alice can do it for 109 years, I can do it for another fifty-four if I am blessed to reach her age.

So my thank you today is to Alice Herz-Sommer.  Thank you Alice for your vibrant joy, your pealing laugh, and your iron love.  It’s people like you that inspire me.  It’s people like you who make me feel hopeful for us all. It’s people like you that make me believe that, even in the seemingly darkest moments, life really is beautiful.

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