Friday, September 22, 2017

Autonomy: Withdraw peoples autonomy and they become depressed. A survey of my life living over five years abroad now.

I help a friend in the Netherlands with developing a course "Sleep better within five weeks". It’s a great experience and opportunity to share things with each other and to go deeper, to discover more, about and into yourself.

In response to a dialogue about the meaning of life he noted:
"Another completion to life purpose is that human beings have two basic needs:

1. Being part of a group
2. Prestige within this group.

Autonomy: withdraws peoples autonomy and they become depressed."

And looking back on living and working here in Thailand for over five years now, I feel connected with and recognize more and more that last sentence. My autonomy…

I am in a process of embracing that autonomy more and more. Doing that I take more and more distance and say goodbye to all kind of “groups”. And it is visible I am doing this. Except LinkedIn no social media ‘friends-connections’ anymore. The uniform I've ever worn has changed a lot, and also if you see what I still keep (need) in my house or what belongs to me (all temporarily too). No more car, no personal driver, no luxury (although maybe in a different way I still have), no closets full of suits, shirts and ties or all kind of different pairs of leather Floris van Bommel (brand) shoes ...

Shorts. Some of them even with holes in it. Slippers. Shirts that I would never really wear in the Netherlands because of my job and because they are sometimes even broken. My thought changed in "It’s still possible to wear". Not to save money but because it not necessary to throw them away yet.
I can and may be myself without any outside show or expectations (to be honest I created in my own mind).

What I like more and more in my life, I yesterday spoke about it with my German neighbor, are the wonderful guests walking in and out of my life. I am open and willing to connect intensively and deeply for the period they stay with us here. To listen to their life story’s, and after their visit to let go. In full inner belief that we did not mixed up ‘for nothing’ but it brought something for all of us including me. Insight, flow and growth. I call it 'Street University of Life'. And yes many new ‘friendships’ and long lasting connections show up. All without any ‘clinging’. I've lost the "clinging". Everybody is responsible for his or her own life. And the first thing to do is to keep peace of mind (happiness) myself so I can be available in the best possible way to fulfill my mission (to others).  

If possible no routine any longer or at least as less as possible. To open up for what’s waiting to show up during a day and what people (connections) bring. And maybe that can be seen as a new routine. However ... unpredictable and free. Intense, innovative, creative, challenging, enough time, rest, growth, respect, deeper holistic connection, playfulness, authenticity, nature and even affection.

More and more freedom from all mind constructs, from all mind games; freedom from all structures, freedom from the other / freedom in connection. No discipline. When there is no discipline, when there is no enforced order, a totally different kind of order arises in you. For me it is an experience of arising of more and more access to insight. It just happens. It is simply creating space for new things to come and fall and flow into place. 

And if I look deeper into this, I do not think it's even possible for me to walk this life-path in good health without that ongoing changing diet for growth etc. Life feels wonderful and more meaningful to me because of short intense contacts and, above all, that autonomy.
That autonomy for me is so powerful that I do not really feel the two mentioned ‘basic needs’ anymore. Or at least do not feel that needs as I experienced before in my life.

I feel less and less the need of any emotional connection in any group. Maybe because it can be an attack on my autonomy I am just discovering more and more. Actually what a strange new experience ...
And of course I know that I still belong to many groups. As still being Dutch, belong to the 'group' Dutch people in Thailand, to the 'group' people who live in Mae Rim, etc .. But to express I feel a real good group member? I don’t think so.

It even plays a role for me in personal relationships and in my family life. It first encloses working on being and staying 'All - one'. And for me, again, that’s not selfish. In a holistic way (body, mind, emotions, spirituality, and energy balance in relation to your environment) in good health and balance to be there for others in the best suitable way. Freedom in connection or freedom in bond, I call it regularly. And it's more than amazing to actually get that back as a mirror from my two children. Freedom in union initiated by a basic respect and trust towards each other. I wrote about it a little while ago in relation to my daughter (

That five years so far, this first lustrum, is an experience and invitation to go on living this way and explore even more about Living life. An invitation not to go back to my country of birth.

And when I sent this message to my friend, his send me this response again in return:

Frans, you make me something clear I can understand completely. How important autonomy is to you.

In your description of your personal vision on autonomy and membership to a group, this came up in me. It's not the connection with the group, but the judgmental character and the commitments to the group you made yourself free from. Living your autonomy learned you to connect and let go. The way you describe this, it seems like balance between day and night and the changing of seasons. Living your autonomy more and more this way you experience the rhythm of pure life, in which you are completely who you really are and what was not accepted or appreciated several times by others, the group. The regular judgmental character and the commitments to the group raises resistance in you.

The distance, now, has become so far both figurative and literal, that it seems unbridgeable..

Don’t forget and keep in mind that some people here seek that connection with you without obligations and judgments. Out of pure love to you as the man you are. A personality, authentic Frans, who they have made part in their hearts. Perhaps they form a small group you are part of. A group without a judgmental character and obligations.

And this answer touched me deeply. And this reaction touched me. The nail right on the head. Freedom in connection. Thankful and grateful for the life that I may and can live.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Missing you makes me happy and connect me even more with the here and now.

Yesterday I wrote to a good friend of mine in an e-mail: “Missing you makes me happy and connects me even more with here and now”

After a short while I got a response from her and she asked me two questions;
# Let me know "missing me so much" can make you happy?
# Let me know "missing me so much" can make you live more in the "here and now"?

Sure I can understand at first sight what I wrote down can feel and look a bit strange. And thinking deeper about those two questions gave me and her a deeper understanding of the underlying meaning. And I really want to share that insights because most of the time we connect missing someone with a kind of sad feelings and/or unwholesome thoughts.

After my mom passed a way, to honor her, I started to do courses in the evening hours to become an actor. My mom was an actress and I just I wanted to discover if she shared that gems with me as well. People who know me will get a smile on their face because they will immediately tell me I do not have to discover that because they met my inner Jester already many times before that courses.

One of the things I learned is that there are several ways to deal with feelings and so also to act and express. My courses made me clear that we behave, act, respond out of basic elements. Earth, Water, Fire, and Ether. You can see them as underlying energies.

Out of for example the element Fire, you can use the same energy to create a happy feeling (you spread your energy for instance by laughing, bright shining eyes, openness for connection) but also to get a sad feeling (you keep the energy inside yourself, feel down, do not want to connect, maybe even tears in your eyes).

A warm, kind, friendship and for sure a relationship has to do with connection in many ways. A kind of holistic connection. Emotional, mental, spiritual, environmental (energy giving) and also physical. Interaction of senses with yourself and in relation to other persons as we learn in tantric work. In the present time I think there is a huge lack of this intense connections some people are even afraid. But…that’s beside this story.

“Missing you makes me happy” ? Because the connection experience and energy that once appeared in a natural way, even not being physically close together now, gives me the energy to be even more sparkling, attentive, open to give and to receive. The sad sides (the other energy use of the elements) so far did not show up. So do not affect me because it does not appear (yet).

Let me explain why. For me it is essential to know and to feel there still is a connection. Sending and receiving short messages to each other on a regular base for instance helps me to understand ‘the energy, the connection wire, is still there’. For me that’s different than to get a message once in a while. For me it works as watering the roots of a plant and sometimes to offer the plant some sunshine or even rain for a shower. Call it attention (every person needs in my opinion). Not that I am clinging on attention but if in a natural way things work out this way this feels OK. Being free and feeling a deeper connection.
The second thing is I know and feel there will be a time, I do not know when, we will be close together for a short while again. Looking forward to that moment gives me a kind feeling of longing. And that feeling again is a wonderful energy.

In relation to the second question I already gave the answer in between the lines.
This positive energy of “missing you” does not make me sad so far but on the contrary gives me positive energy. Energy to be more open, more alert, more connected. It’s a kind of feeling of excitement. And believe it or not… this connect me even more with the here and now.

How wonderful to understand even more to use the energy of the elements in a stimulating way. Free available energy to create an even higher level of peace of mind (happiness).

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, September 8, 2017

The self-satisfaction of: "There is always better and you MUST go for it!" ? Do not destroy your life.

A short while ago I worked with a Shanghai guest. In full pride he told me about all the trophy’s he already got and what he already had achieved in life. He was honest, he also had to face a few huge disappointments in his life so far. A few times, he did not win the first prize in relation to his work. Actually, that was very unfair and possibly the jury was influenced. His friends made him believe out of their knowledge and connection his work was much better than the winner...

Success stories, accomplished goals, drive to more and better. He was well-known and on his way to become famous. Something in which I also once believed. To say it right, not so much on my way to become famous but still... many people knew me and were my "friend" on the social media. My name was in the (Dutch) newspapers and sometimes even on television.
It’s so nice to discover many of our guests do not even know where to find The Netherlands on the world map. They had never heard of me before. And I still know and meet even more people who (only think) they are famous, sometimes even a celebrity. And I never heard about them before. This all made me clear that it is all and only satisfying the image you only create in your mind. Nothing 'VIPs'. Wake up, go to the toilet, take a shower and discover you are not so ‘important’ at all. You play a game with yourself. Consuming lots of energy and being more and more in the role of actor in your life.

What triggered me in my guest's story was that he did not even literally hold the next trophy or he was already trying to get the next one, showing he reached the next higher level.

He literally lived the Chinese quote: "There's always more to achieve, there's always better to get." Or he actually understood the two sides of the same medal…? This was an insight he got when he started to work on himself here.

The saying gives you for example the understanding; There is always a more beautiful and/or more loving and caring woman, and always a more beautiful and/or more loving and caring man. " There is always a higher place to reach in society, a higher position, a higher status, just always more to reach. And even if you reach the highest place ... it's all only temporary. The Olympic Games for example shows it. Every other four years human beings ‘beat’ the ‘old’ speed, height, winner(s). We stress ourselves up, make ourselves sometimes even ill, trying to reach more. It’s never enough. And our society, our culture, etc., supports this process.

Our hang to fame, for the outside world visible more and more ongoing success, show, has a lot to do with the self-satisfaction of our Ego. There is no end to it.

Is it wrong to chase goals? Not at all. It has to do with our clinging on reaching goals. And because of that clinging we are so focused that we do not enjoy available life the fullest. Know that you can live without 'goals'. In many cases you live life much more connected and intense.
Wanting to reach a goal you can see as a driving force, a motivation. First of all a drive to satisfy your basic needs, then to satisfy your ego, after that to work on your personal development and growth and last but not least (and usually when you grow older) in relation to what your life really is about, your purpose (we also call it spiritual).

And although self-satisfaction of the Ego is also a very natural process, a driving force, you can get out of balance. It can make you sick. Exhaustion, burn-out.

There is always more to reach, there is always better, there is always more beautiful, there is always a higher level of ‘loveable’.  
And do you also enjoy living life, enjoy being with yourself? Being thankful and grateful of the (most of the time more than enough) ‘things’ you have in life? Do you celebrate life? Do you really live life or changing endlessly the finish line of goals to reach further away? You will never come ‘home’.

Nothing is exhausting more in sports than to put the finish line (your goal to reach) further away during for instance your running. It’s like changing the rules during the game. And this is what you do to yourself. If you keep on focussing, keep on moving, from goal to goal, you miss the experience of all the impressions everything that is waiting for you during your trip. Your focus is on the goal and all the free available values of life, nature, blue sky, air to breath, a playing child in a small stream, the smile on the face of your love, his or her twinkling eyes (mirrors of the soul), you do not even notice.

Ego satisfaction? Keep in mind that it's an endless deep well in which your energy flows away. An energy drainer. And after a short while, with all your trophies, who do still remember you, ‘honor’ you? Is still thankful for having you around(I speak a little bit out of my own experience)?
Perhaps it's not even a crazy idea to start to live life and give attention for yourself, to stay in (right) balance, find and live the right lifestyle as well to keep a sustainable better health. Good for you, good for the world around you.

There is always better, there is always more, there is always more beautiful. Enjoy more the journey of living instead of striving for more and more success (which you usually forget to celebrate).

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Dare to stop and experience your biggest step forward

A few weeks ago I met a Chinese colleague. By chance we met each other when she followed a health program at our resort.

She told me about various experiences with her guests in China and soon we came to the turnaround that both of us made in life. Both actually around six years ago. My one-sided accident driving through a tunnel made me stop. For her it was a conscious choice because she did not get enough satisfaction in her job caused by a lack of full flow of her talents.

We stopped. In fact, we had never really experienced that stopping. Always on the move to the next goal, always focused on more to reach, both in personal life and with and for our organizations. She once worked for a big Chinese company as HRM director and now, like me, independently. And she also took the pen to write books related to personal development and life flow, purpose and sources, like I did.

That topic , the art of stopping, became a very enjoyable subject for a dialogue. Deepening and exploring. She indicated that there was a Chinese saying, actually it worked out to be her own saying; "If you dare to stop, you make the biggest step forward." It worked out to be her way of life. A sentence to deepen and to ponder about a bit.

Stopping, actually doing nothing, means much and much more than I ever thought. And still I often have trouble with stopping. Just to 'drop', to leave everything you're up to. Well, people who know me a little bit, know that's nothing for me, Now I can say that it was nothing for me. Always busy. Multi-tasking. Actually, it gave me a fantastic opportunity and way to flee away for myself, as things showed up now. And even that experience you do not get or understand when you're moving, not being at halt. And in this way stopping is a lot doing…

You, or better to say we, as also worked out during our chat about this topic, are always looking for something outside ourselves. In our outside world. A solution, a direction, an answer. We are trying to change the world around us so it can help us to make progress – we only think – in moving on.

And by focusing on the next goal, we are not even aware about so many solutions for the things we are dealing with stored within. If you do not feel comfortable in a situation you are in the real solutions cannot be found in the outside world. They real answers and solutions are already stored in you. Ready and waiting to be discovered, un-covered. And to give this process a chance you need to come home to yourself first.

If you dare to stop, you will find out that you first may have the (lot of times uncomfortable) feeling that you are confronted with yourself. And isn’t that actually a great challenge? You are the one that spend 24 hours with yourself. Getting to know yourself better is a lot more a favor than a threat. Be sure at a certain moment you will recognize this. Being always busy. Always moving and alert on what’s happening in the outside world. You leave too many chances and opportunities ready for gathering.

Stopping. Just to hangout as a kind of "hermit" is a foundation for creating inner wisdom. Listening to the resonation of your own bell being the clapper yourself. No study or school needed. Simply isolate yourself for a short while to listen to yourself. How am I doing? Why do I do this? What is the cause I'm suffering from this effect? Do others experience the same? Why and why not? What is over and over again disturbing me? Has this to do with my programming? Is it still necessary to interrupt me any longer? Am I not too short-sighted? Does the other or others really have the intention to hurt me or us? Am I curious enough? And many more other questions you can ask yourself just by contemplating.

Stopping will prove to be your greatest step forward in creativity, solutions, anticipating instead of responding, rest, resilience and in health.

Stopping, as my guests show me more and more, is taking steps forward. Nothing selfish. It's not necessary to move on all the time...

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Live without aim. Accept your life as an adventurous educational journey

"Happiness means feeling you are on the right path every moment"
(Thich Nhat Hanh)

Since half of July 2017 my daughter is living in Perth, Australia. Within one day after her graduation in Maastricht (The Netherlands) she left her 'home country'. Actually not feeling 'home' already for a long time any more. 
No goal, just longing for the adventure of life. And, I, as her dad, am so proud she has the guts to do this. Many people cannot understand my support to her. 

The whole system we live in drains us with all kind of wonderful basic and standard ideas. You need to go to school, you need to marry, you need to have a career, you need to get children, you need to have a nice house, you need to behave, you need to show you live happy, you need to be better, you need to 'be something'. 

The more I live and work here and the more I contemplate about this system, I discover we are pushed in a kind of general pattern. I kind of (financial) control.  
And we think a lot about what other people and society possibly think of us. All together we spend lots of times, days and nights, on thinking. Trying to find creative ways to not be different. We do not want to be judged and so harmed by what other people think of us or tell about us. And without being aware we leave and lose our self. Showing a happy non-self. We thrive... And the system is happy with that. 

What about the only goal in life? LIVING, being yourself! 
If you can be yourself, that is already action. You only think you need to be in the system and if not something terrible will happen to you. No food, no love, no roof above your head, no care, etc.. Thinking this, only is a trick of your mind joking with you, supported by your environment and the system. Action is based on non-action; action is being. 

You don't need to arrive at the end of the path, as Thich Nhat Hanh mentioned, in order to be happy. If you do not have a fixed destination..., every day you reach an adventurous destination. The right path refers to the very concrete ways you live your life in every moment. Striving for reaching goals disturbs you from being aware of the many beautiful opportunities and invitations life can show you if you take the time to reach you. And if you reach your goal, the aim, most of the time you are not even happy because your are already running to the next goal.

There are people who do a lot, but who also cause a lot of trouble. The more they try to help, the more trouble they create even if they have the best intentions. They're not peaceful, they're not happy. It's better not to try so hard but just to 'be' and live. Then peace and compassion are possible in every moment. 

Happiness is possible only when you stop running and cherish the here and now and who you really are. 

As a proud father I have never seen my daughter so bright shining, full of tremendous energy, living and accepting life day by day. If and how this goes on...? I don't know. One thing for me is sure. Nobody never ever will take this life experience away from her. What an aim to open up to live life the fullest. 

Have the guts to enjoy the adventurous educational journey of life. You are already someone; you do not need to become someone else. You are already a wonder of life. 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Isn’t it great to have an ego? Use it well.

I sometimes get a bit tired about all the negativity expressed in relation to having an ego. In the culture I live in, it's most common that your make use of your ego to serve yourself and to serve the world around. Without ego you cannot even live. It’s a natural thing to interact with other people and changing situations. So to connect.

In short, that cultural (Buddhist) background learns that we all have 8 so-called states of consciousness. One of them has everything to do with our ego.

And of course I understand where the regularly negative commotion over ego comes from. An ego that can sometimes even drift into a form of ‘rooster behaviour’ (haunting behaviour) or narcissism (a form of behavior characterized by an obsession with its own personality, with selfishness, domination, ambition and lack of empathy. Often with a background of personal fear).

If you do not know yourself, never met yourself, do not know who you really are, why you are here, what’s the purpose of your life, you're definitely do not know or understand how to deal with that amazing instrument, "Ego consciousness". The way you can, no actually must, use it.
You do not have that ego for nothing or for the fun. Because you usually do not know what and how to do or deal with it, you are used to try and get what you can get. To "conquer" status and position. At least, that’s what you think and that’s what the world around shows you.

Have you ever thought about the idea that you got that ego to give form and matter to your uniqueness, your authenticity and your specific life-purpose. Your ego is precious. It is the basis for our adaptability to bring that uniqueness into the best possible way in the world. To be yourself, and thus not somebody else, because they are already taken and better in being their selves than you ever can be. To share what there is to share from that uniqueness you are. And with process to personally grow and develop yourself further on the path called life.
In fact, it has nothing to do with hard working but stimulates things and situations to come as they get along (to accept and learn). That's exactly how you give flow to your life.

By hiking against that (life)stream, you are going to work hard, do not accept the meaning of your life, but you make the choice to fight life. A form of inner battle to (only show the outside world) you are 'better'. To be different. To concur the expectations, you usually only think, others have of you. By not listening to yourself.

Just release this use of your ego, release this inner and outer fight. Allow your ego to freely support sharing your uniqueness, to be and to stay yourself. To interact out of harmony with yourself and your environment and to surrender to the path that is called life. Great to use your fantastic ego in the only right way. It's all about knowing yourself and finding the right way to give water (your rareness) to the roots of others out of empathy. The tree then takes care of the distribution of that water to all the parts, trunk, branches and leafs, that needs this food, this vitamin, this mineral, this energy or maybe even this treatment to make further steps forward as well.

Use your ego well and do not overwork yourself. Sharing your life flow of who you are not only is much easier, more supportive and healthier for yourself as well as for the world around you.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, August 11, 2017

What do you want to be when you've grown up? What a strange question.

What do you want to become? A question that often cause parents, and for sure children / adolescents a lot of thinking and possibly even suffering.

Looking deeper in relation to this question you can find it often puts a form of pressure on the development of your uniqueness. Often you do not know at all what you want to become, and if you know, there are only a few children who follow that path the rest of their live.

When I take myself as an example, I never had a pronounced opinion for the hospitality branch, as a truck driver, in men's fashion, as an architect / constructional engineer, as an officer in the fire brigade and emergency services, and as a master in crisis and disaster management. And yet… I did it all and still use only some tiny little parts of it. I've got lots of degrees and certificates on my pocket and I am now in the world of personal development and transition processes and talent coaching in and for people and organizations. Surprisingly, sometimes I say that it still has a lot to do with crises and disaster management but in peoples personal lives.

Once my main interest was in photography and in animals. And yes, that's still a bit of hobby but has never become something in the direction of a career. Although, with photography as a 16-year-old boy, I still earned a lot of money by making pictures of traffic accidents I heard off, listening to the scanner / of the Haarlem (my birth place and place I grew up in The Netherlands) control room of the police, in my bed/study room.
Actually, thanks to my parents who offered me the opportunities, my life consisted of things that attracted and attract me and in which I can live freely my creativity.
At the moment, I call it the Street University of learning by doing. A fantastic experience of soul engagement, living my mission, my calling, and to make myself and other people and organizations happy and believe it or not… it also helps me, earning money with it, to keep myself so far in finest health.

What a weird question actually; "What do you want to be when you've grown up?" I basically followed mathematics and science because I felt more attracted by them. During all kind of testing and during following studies I was told to take time to think careful about my future directions because there was no way back. Step by step I should come closer to that goal and leave behind all kind of other possibilities and career chances.

What I discovered during time... This is all nonsense! Follow your calling and your mission and isn’t it very normal that you do not know that calling or mission when you are in your teenage years. In fact, dealing with this question of what you should be later on in society for many young people create big limitations and even anxiety to fail. The idea that you close doors behind yourself because you might not be able to do what you might want to do in and out of your heart when you grow older.

The first answer that may be given from childhood is that you want to become nothing at all but want to stay your unique self forever. As if you're not good enough.
Do not focus too much on a goal that's 10 or 15 years or maybe even more away. Do something you really like and discover during walking your life path what's your purpose in life (always live life first). Nice on and in a playful way. Get rid of the idea that you close doors behind you with any choice. After all, isn’t it first and for all not first all about YOUR happiness and YOUR pleasure to do (or not to do) with your uniqueness what YOU want?

If you live your uniqueness and go on living that uniqueness, to be and stay yourself and thus not to accept the (soft) pressure of the outside world, the system, parents or anything else, you will experience that it brings you enough money to live a life that suits you.

Follow YOUR uniqueness, be and stay yourself (everybody else is already taken). Only that brings you and the world around you the most happiness.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Adults need to learn to un-learn and free their inner child again.

Last week, by co-incident, two times I stood face to face with playing children. While they were in their carefree and creative world, parents where connected in and with their mobile devices.

A child still is a free soul. Parents need to empower their soul to exercise its own will. Taking some time to watch this pictures you can see it as children who are really exploring, creative creating, learning by doing, connecting. Learning at the ‘street university’ to improvise more and more in a professional way. They (still) have a free and open mind.

How different their parents. The picture of the two playing children I took of them playing in a stream of a wonderful waterfall nearby the place where I live. Two couples and all together three children. The parents payed the entrance fee and watching them I think they did not even see the magnificent waterfall. Only connected in their mobile phones. Not supporting the children, not teaching the children, not empowering the children, not inspiring their children at all.

They were in their world of suffering and worrying. Discussing, a bit furious, things that showed up on their devices and showing the screens with comments to each other. What a difference. Trapped in their own created prison of desires, without space in their mind. Their mind, as a garden, full of a chaos of impressions. Not able to guard or to garden their mind. To create some space to be at ease and at peace with themselves. Running away from their selves. Trying to avoid a kind of inner war, afraid to come home to themselves. Not listening to their inner child that still is available but tired of calling…

There is so much to learn from children. A young child is not afraid to shine, to show what it is capable of, to hug itself and to say it’s great. Creative, at peace, space in mind, joyful. The older the child becomes, the more its listening to the environment, the more it gets different desires, the more it is toxified by marketing, by money. Telling him/her there is a better way to live life and to be more happy.

Actually parents empower children, - not to be available for them because they are busy with their own suffering and worrying life -, to follow the same idea. To become an actor in their own life.

Un-learn and learn from children. They can be the teachers of and in your life to love yourself more. Not to be disturbed by what the world wants from you or what you think other people are thinking of you. Being and developing yourself more in interaction with your inner self instead of only with the outside world.

If we are able to free our child inside again and love ourselves more, we give room to Self-esteem, Self-respect and Self-expression. We become fuller, more compassionate people who are able to enjoy life intensely and connect to others on a deep level.

We create space in our mind. Are more playful, creative and at peace with ourselves. We start to breathe again and discover that only we are responsible for our anger and the war within ourselves. 

We become, as a child, a free minded, connected an more free and happy adult!

Learn to un-learn. 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, July 28, 2017

The story of the (cherry blossom) tree. Mirror for a more balanced lifestyle with purpose.

The Buddha was inspired by nature. There is a lot to learn from nature. In our running life more and more we are disconnected with fauna. The present connection and identity for most people now a days is technology. You cannot fetishize the technology. It’s just a tool. It’s not the purpose. The purpose is always changing in the off-line mode. What is there to learn from nature.

This story, I sometimes use during my early morning meditation classes, is mend to share some insights. You can use it just to read and to contemplate or to use it as a means for (guided) meditation.

In this story I make use of the image of a cherry blossom tree (Tree of life) but also just a normal tree that connects with you is a wonderful and useful image.

In Japan, cherry blossoms, next to other meanings, also symbolize the impermanence of life, which is a major theme in Buddhism (everything is temporary and everything is interconnected). The cherry-blossom tree is known for its short but brilliant blooming season, a natural process that metaphorically describes human life.

The brilliance, fragility and transience of life
Tied to the Buddhist themes of mortality, mindfulness and living in the present, Japanese cherry blossoms are a timeless metaphor for human existence. Blooming season is powerful, glorious and intoxicating, but tragically short-lived — a visual reminder that our lives, too, are fleeting.

Why don’t we marvel at our own passing time on earth with the same joy and passion? Why do we neglect to revel in life when it can end at any moment. Or in the grace surrounding us everywhere like possible: our family, friends, a stranger’s smile, a child’s laugh, new flavors on our plate or the scent of green grass? It is time, cherry blossoms remind us, to pay attention.

In short:
The Japanese use the short life of a cherry blossom before it is scattered by the wind and rain to symbolize the cycle of life, and they use it as a reminder to celebrate beauty. The Buddhist consider the opening of a cherry blossom as a symbol of wisdom because it is like the mind blooming into enlightenment. They also consider the cherry blossom as a reminder to exist in the present moment before life fades away.

Note in relation to meditation:
# (Standing) If you want to use this story as a meditation you can do it standing in nature or in your garden or terrace and just connect with any tree that is asking your attention. 
# (Sitting down). If you want to use this story as a meditation and nature around you is not available, then just sit down at a place you feel at peace and at rest with yourself. A place where for a while you will not be disturbed.

The story of the (cherry blossom) tree

I invite you to connect with a tree in nature or, if nature is not available now, imagine a Cherry Blossom tree standing in a landscape.

The first thing to recognize is that a tree does not make any effort to be attractive. The tree is just available in the landscape. Undisturbed by other trees, animals, plants, houses or human beings. Undisturbed by what his or her environment thinks of it. The tree is just effortless being. Resting, breathing, showing its uniqueness. Flexible, rooted, not hiding for storms, rain or when the baking sun beats down. Just accepting. Not trying to be anything else than just his/her uniqueness, this tree. Showing his or her uniqueness in beauty. Yes beauty because its attracting you.
A tree is showing us the ongoing cycle of life. The ongoing process of growing and renewal. It shows us how to be and how to stay rooted. Is shows us the only simple things needed. Like water, soil, fertilizer, sun and air. It is the mirror of taking and giving and of letting go. It shows us that even having maybe many life cycles to make, also for a tree finally there will be an end. The tree shows us the seasons of life and the seasons in natural growth and renewal even in the process of getting older. The tree obeys nature.

Do you live in harmony with the seasons of your life? Do you recognize the beauty of all seasons? Many people live contradictory. They do not obey nature. Their rhythm is opposite from nature.
Winter for instance is a period of rest, of making up balance and of preparing for the new four seasons to come. Summer is the period to flourish and to be in optimal strength.

If you think of your live how do you live? Very often, without even being aware, we live opposite. In summertime there is more light of the sun. More energy. We go to the beach to rest. In winter we have more darkness, longer nights to serve us and so the natural quest and offer to have more rest.
In winter we use electricity to create more light so we can make longer working hours. We eat higher energetic food and, especially around European Christmas time and end of the year we reach the climax of our busy-ness as if life does not start up again the next year.

So winter is the time to recharge, to rest, to connect with the source and meaning of your life. To make up your balance sheet, build up wisdom, and to prepare for the next cycle to come. 

In Spring the tree starts to make one step forwards in growth again. The new and energetic juice stream helps the tree to start its new life cycle. The buds of the leafs, waiting already from the end of autumn many months ago, unfold soft and in a bright and sunny green shining ‘Sprouting Spring color’. And with this process the first blossoms appear. Opening to attract the right insects to help creating the fruit and the seeds for the next generation to come.
After only a short period of a couple of weeks. The blossoms drop their petals. The first giving back to nature again. Blown by the wind they are the first new fertilizers for the soil.

In summer the leaves turn darker in color. They turn into adults. Stronger, harder. The tree is strong and in optimum state for the breathing (photosynthesis) process. Giving back oxygen for animals and human beings to breath.

When we mirror this to our lives we can ask ourselves some questions.
First of all we can ask ourselves why we continuously want to shine. It is not possible to always shine. It’s only marketing that helps you to believe it is. Actually what you do is you force and punish your body if you do not obey nature like a tree. You do not obey nature, you do not respect nature, you do not accept and respect the beauty of yourself in the ongoing growing and transforming process.
The second question you can ask yourself is; “what do I give back to the world? Am I only taking? What do I give?”

In Autumn every leaf turns into a flower. In many ways you can see autumn as harvest time. Time to give and time to let go. Creating space for something new to become.
First of all a tree shows us during this period there is an effortless and painless way to let go. Accepting change. It is necessary to grow. If you do not accept change there will be no growth. Without any effort the tree, just at the right moment drops its leafs. Sometimes with some help of the wind. The leafs are the fertilizers for the soil needed for the next generation to start-up there first of many possible life cycles.

Then the tree drops the fruit, the seeds. The fruit, the harvest to eat or to multiply as a guarantee (new) life has to go on. In nature it is just a question where the seeds fall down and how big the multiplying of life will be. That’s why most of the time and growing at the right place and with the right circumstances the tree produces lots of seeds and/or fruits.

Again we can ask ourselves what is our harvest, how do we give back. Do we really take care for the next generation to come. Different than in nature we have the opportunity to plant our ‘seeds’ at the most wonderful and for the specific seed best places. Are we willing to do this? Is this connected with the purpose of our life?

Are we connected with nature? It’s just a matter of connecting, of contemplation.

Being as a tree and obeying nature…

Living a more balanced lifestyle with our unique purpose.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight
“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”