Have you ever been in a situation where you could not believe what you were hearing or seeing?
If you had been with me and my fellow traveller Dee Pattni on a recent trip to Poland to spend time with one of my lovely clients Anna Nocoon, you would have been sitting in a golf-style buggy in the centre of Krakow and about to get an eye opening experience…..
“Hey ladies, I’m Sylvia and I am your guide, English is not very good but we have tapes in English so we can go – yes? Here is a blanket, you look cold!”
Looking at her smiling face, with her red hair and her many layers of clothes, little did we know that the chill in the air was about to become even more intense.
“Ladies, I will take you to Ghetto Hero Square, it is a place with deep tears and is the sad history of this beautiful city.” As she places her hand on her heart I feel the power of her emotion and realise she is speaking the universal language of connection.
The tape begins with the history lesson as we approach the square:
” The Kraków Ghetto was formally established on 3 March 1941 in the Podgórze district. Displaced Polish families from Podgórze – 15,000 Jews were crammed into an area previously inhabited by 3,000 people who used to live in a district consisting of 30 streets, 320 residential buildings, and 3,167 rooms. As a result, one apartment was allocated to every four Jewish families and many less fortunate lived on the street.
The Ghetto was surrounded by the newly built walls that kept it separated from the rest of the city. In a grim foreshadowing of the near future, these walls contained brick panels in the shape of tombstones. All windows and doors that opened onto the “Aryan” side were ordered to be bricked up. Only four guarded entrances allowed traffic to pass in or out. Small sections of the wall still remain today, one part is fitted with a memorial plaque, which reads “”Here they lived, suffered and perished at the hands of Hitler’s executioners. From here they began their final journey to the death camps.“.
As Sylvia’s smiling face turns into one of sadness she takes over from the tape:
“So here you can see chairs; they represent the only possession that most of the occupants had and in total there are 70. Each chair also represents 1,000 Jews as 70,000 were deported to Auschwitz”
The silence between us all is intense, a humbling moment, time for reflection.
Taking photographs I start to think of the pain of the people who these chairs represent and relate it to the pains that I have had in my life……….INSIGNIFICANT in comparison. However, these pains that led me to have self doubt, to play safe in life and to try to blend in, rather than stand out are what now drive me to want to help others.
Today my focus is off me, I now re-direct this focus to help my clients to move away from the pain they have experienced or indeed may still be experiencing, to choose a life of freedom. The ladies (or as I call them the WHY’s women) who are part of The Live Love Laugh Lounge are helped to take all the pains of the past and turn it into a positive future. WHY, because…
You don’t need to figure it out on your own and you don’t need to do it alone.
The Holocaust was a turning point in the 20th Century and had an effect on the world and impacted the way that we live today. In today’s society you are taught from day one to “treat others the way you would want to be treated”.
So here’s something you might want to consider. WHY is it that some people don’t treat themselves very well?
Are you ready to create a positive future? Or are you being held back by your past?
“Just because your past didn’t work out how you wanted it to
Doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you imagined”