My Heroes

/My Heroes
My Heroes 2018-04-05T13:40:43-04:00

Viktor Frankl

Viktor FranklViktor Frankl is one of my all-time heroes. He was the first person who inspired me to believe that we could find meaning and happiness regardless of our circumstances. He was a Jewish psychiatrist who lived in the Nazi work camps. His study was to understand what truly brought our lives meaning. He was studying this when the war broke out and he was taken to the camps. Here, he was faced with the ultimate “levelling of humanity” – everyone lost their families, jobs, money, prestige, pride, hope, freedom – everything that we believe brings us happiness and meaning.

Yet there were those who still helped the dying. There were others who stole food from the dying. There were those who would stop and point out a beautiful sunrise amidst the absolute horror of the camps.

Four years later, Viktor escaped the camps and went on to create “logotherapy” – “meaning-oriented therapy”. Instead of looking at everything that is wrong with your life, the question is truly what are your hopes. WHY do you want to be alive. We could talk forever about the past and what was wrong about it. But as a holocaust-survivor, Viktor could honestly say that you might never understand WHY some things happen. But we do know what we would like out of life… the reasons that we want to be here.

His best-selling book is “Man’s Search For Meaning”. This is one of my favourite books although I was initially afraid to read it – I didn’t want to read about the horrors of the camps… But the book isn’t like that. It is uplifting and incredibly inspirational. When I was in University, I even went on to do many projects on his ideas and logotherapy.

Truly, a wonderful man.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

I discovered Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, more commonly known as Osho, while living on the farm. In a time when my days were filled with milking cows, raising children and driving tractors (plus lots of joy), his perspective on life kept my philosophical side alive.

I ordered every book I could find of his teachings and they resonated deeply with what I knew to be true.

Later, I discovered that many of my favourite tantra teachers were also followers of Osho… And then I met a wonderful woman named Siddhi who had lived with Osho in his communities for 14 years… She then introduced me to who Bhagwan was, beyond his current persona of Osho.

I recommend all of his books… and his tantra books definitely describe the philosophy that takes us deep into ourselves to create the foundation for true loving, tantric living.

Bernie Siegel

Bernie Siegel, Katrina Bos & MomBernie Siegel was one of the first doctors to look at what was really going on within cancer patients. He moved his desk to the side of his office, sat with his patients and tried to understand how they ticked. Why did some people heal and others didn’t? Were there patterns in the survivors? Essentially, he began treating his patients as whole humans – where their entire beings held the secrets to what was going on within them.

When my mom got sick back in 1994, he was one of the main people who gave us hope and tools to help get to the bottom of what was going on. My whole family read his books, putting us all on a very new track in terms of what health and wellness was all about. My mom listened to his cassette tapes of meditations to do during her chemotherapy. He was truly a godsend for all of us.

My mom and I even got to attend a workshop with him in Toronto in 1992. What an incredible experience to sit in a crowd of thousands of people, all either struggling with cancer, or the caregivers… all listening and learning from this great man.

And then, in 2009, when my book “What If You Could Skip the Cancer?”, I sent my manuscript to him and amazingly, he wrote a beautiful  endorsement for my book.

Mohandas Gandhi

GandhiI had obviously always had great respect for Gandhi. But when I read his autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, this is when he truly changed the course of my life.

First of all, he shared his inner struggle. Although we all remember him for his incredible effect on the people of India and the world at large, we seldom imagine that he had inner turmoil. But that is far from the truth.

He struggled like all of us who want to follow something that isn’t understood by the outside world. He called the book “My Experiments with Truth” because he wanted to live his life by following Satya – or Truth. Now, this is “big T” Truth. This is whatever that point is where your life intersects with “the will of God”. There is no good way to say that that will make sense to all people. But because Gandhi used the word God, this is what I will use as well.

And so, this book chronicles the moments in his life where he was truly challenged. He had to make the choice to either follow that little voice inside that whispers the truth or cave to the situation around him that seemed completely impossible to make it through. In detail, he shares his moments of crisis, his inner dialogue, his absolutely fears right up until the final hour… and truth would always come through.

I feel that many people on the “spiritual” path feel this inner struggle. We are trying to recognize which way to go. We have “crises of faith” where we aren’t sure we have the courage to stay the path.

To know that even the greats like Gandhi were just like us brought my soul so much incredible peace. 🙂