A completely revised English edition of my book: ‘How to move an elephant – Embracing Life beyond Trauma’ is currently in progress and will be published shortly.  Stay tuned! Here is a sneak peak:

Dear reader!

Many years ago, I attended a trauma healing conference in Berlin. I was not expecting anything significant to come out of it. But then something very surprising happened! Luise Reddemann, a well- known German trauma therapist, gave a lecture on the factors of resilience, those particular aspects that make it possible for an individual to recover from difficult life experiences and, consequently, to find a way to lead a fulfilled life. Many aspects she mentioned in the lecture were familiar for me. I realized that these particular aspects of resilience – well-known and most important healing components in trauma therapy – are what I myself had discovered purely through my own life experience. I felt inspired and happy about this. This confirmed for me that through the experiences I had had first hand, I had acquired a valid basis for my own insights around healing trauma. I had not merely imagined it: I had personally discovered and personally tested and proven how to successfully emerge from trauma into embracing a fulfilled life.

Dear reader, I will take you on the most beautiful journey imaginable: The journey towards yourself. I am so excited that you take the time to read this book and I truly hope that you will benefit from it for your own life. Reading has always been one of my greatest pleasures. I was born at a time when television was already accessible, however this was not the case in the home I grew up in. Reading was the only means by which I could nourish my fantasies and escape the misery of daily life by immersing myself in other people’s stories. These stories were often dramatic, but mostly turned out for the best. The books were colorful, the characters were ordinary people, or out of a fairytale. They fed my dreams, hopes and wishes. For me, a good book is like a good friend who supports and guides me, encourages me, sets me straight, and helps me to stay on the ball!

Above all, I have written this book to support you to dare to be the person you truly are. I hope that it will be a source of encouragement and guidance and perhaps also rejuvenate you when you feel you have lost strength. I believe that the reason people often give up is because they feel alone, with no-one to turn to, who they can talk to. I know how it can be when nothing moves forward because I am afraid to take the next step. It was often difficult for me to admit that I needed help. Of course, a book cannot be a substitute for the very real support and help one can receive from the right people. But a book can be a ‘pocket friend’, filled with tips, suggestions, insights and motivation, available to you when you most need it.

About the title of the book: A participant in one of my workshops on vision and goal setting, had become overwhelmed with self-doubt and expressed the following: “ I have been working on this for so many years and nothing has changed, I feel I am incapable of being the way I want to be. I am continually falling back into old ways of doing things, I don’t get it, I just feel like giving up!” That was the moment when the symbol of the elephant came to my mind. Because of their great size and weight, elephants are very slow animals. However, they are also good-natured, determined, very intelligent and have a very good memory. They are playful, they like to havoc and they can also be surprisingly fast when they want to be. I believe the human psyche is a bit like an elephant. We have to make friends with all of its unique qualities, not give up on it, stick with it, lovingly accept it and patiently support it to move into the direction we chose.

But, how are we supposed to encourage the ‘elephant’ of our psyche to start climbing the steep hill of personal growth and transformation? Well, with a lot of patience, endurance, love, purposefully, playfully and one step at a time. Bear in mind that there is one element the elephant will always take to effortlessly: Water. So, find your own element, your own path, and you will be able to achieve a fulfilled and happy life.

Researchers have discovered that about fifty percent of our ability to feel happy is innate in us. The other fifty percent is up to us. That certainly is a real opportunity, isn’t it?

Thomas von Aquin once said: “Health is not so much a state, as it is an attitude. And health thrives with the joy of being alive.”

What exactly is so special about this book? There are hundreds of self-help books out there. Why should you read this book in particular? I feel that with my upbringing, my history and my talents I am in a unique position, as all of it has led to the determination I have, to overcome obstacles and barriers and to become the best version of myself. This is apparent, for instance, in the opportunities I have taken, and a strong will and inner strength that have helped me grow beyond what I thought I was capable of. I have never given up, no matter how many stones have been strewn on the path, or how many setbacks I have endured. My strong faith in possibilities, and a deep trust in a higher force have supported me to keep going.

I was not born with a golden spoon in my mouth, in fact the complete opposite: My family were poor, restrictive and not particularly intelligent or open-minded. I grew up with violence, abuse and traumatization. But I had such a strong life force, and luckily there were a few people who also noticed this, myself included. It is because of this and because there are so many people just like me, that I wrote this book. I hope this will give you the courage to begin walking YOUR path and not give up!

I am an inspiration because I am nothing special. I will tell you how I arrived in myself, how I found my way, how I keep going, what has helped me, and what still continues to help me, as the journey never ends.

I wish you much joy on the journey with your elephant!

Since I wrote this preamble, almost 20 years have passed. My life changed completely. After the very painful separation from my husband in 2008 I lived alone for 14 years. I focused all my energy on my work and created a wonderful therapy program called ‘Heal your Roots’, which I am teaching internationally and, since Covid, also online. A year ago, I moved to live with the man I had fallen in love with on zoom and via emails. We are currently writing a book together. I believe in possibilities, and I encourage you to do so too.

With Love    Sakino Mathilde Sternberg,  2023




You find a number of publications in my blog (German and English)