Friday, November 24, 2017

The unhealthy great stress ball from November till New Year is on its way again.

Recently I watched the movie; “A bad moms Christmas”. The comedy follows three over-burdened women as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the ‘Super Bowl’ for moms: Christmas.

Once again it made me very clear what a crazy, in many ways unhealthy ‘show’, most people not only make from Christmas but even more how most people create a great stress ball from November till New Year by themselves. All because everybody else does do and they cannot be, or are afraid to be, ‘different’.

Unhealthy first of all because they live opposite to nature. Nature shows December, in the Western world, is the time to recharge. To connect with the core of life. In Christianity for instance there is the so called period of Advent. Being religious or not, it offers the opportunity to stop, to contemplate for a while because (the original meaning of the word Advent) a notable person is arriving. In relation to Christmas it has everything to do with new life.
So nature and also Advent offers us from November till New Year NOT to stress up. It’s the invitation to stop running and to connect with what life really is about.

Unhealthy in another way because in many cases December seems to be a deadline. In work, in projects, financial/tax, etc.. And actually it’s not. It’s just the opposite, the celebration and preparation of a new beginning.

Marketing and advertisement induces us we need to give and/or receive presents otherwise we cannot ‘celebrate’ the end of the year happiness show. Marketing and advertising created the ‘fake’ Santa Claus and, for instance in my home country, in addition also the ‘holy’ Sinterklaas as well. So even double presents in The Netherlands.

Don’t get me wrong, celebrating Christmas and Sinterklaas, certainly have their charm. The way we do most of the time is to make them overwhelming shows, not even realizing whatever their real backgrounds and meanings are. It’s all about buying and materialism, good for the economy, making people only very temporary happy. Several times even jealous or unhappy.

People change in December. They show on social media even happier faces, families, cloths, and more shining jewelry. All part of the show. Ever thought about the idea after December there is a high rise of divorces?

Nice to see this ‘A bad moms Christmas’ comedy to really face the December ‘race’ and fake happiness shows.
The place where I live is about 25 kilometers from the crowdie Thai city Chiang Mai. Full of tourists. In our area we even have big Makro stores and yes… there is something to earn in this Buddhist country as well in November and December. Plastic Christmas trees and more. Everybody feels it does not belong here and it are nearly only the Farang (foreigners) who buy this decorations. Not to create a real December atmosphere in my idea with today again a tropical temperature of about 32ยบ C (90 F).

No December stress for me anymore for a couple of years. And actually this has nothing to do with December at all. It has to do with every month during the year. Celebrating every day my way. And yes, Christmas in its original meaning and the end of the year celebration are part of it as well in a very connected way. No extra gifts, no extra shopping needed. Even not necessary because here this coming 25th of December is just a regular Monday and all the shops are open. For sure nobody is looking forward for snow ;). So what about a Christmas feeling? All in the game ;).

Maybe not good for the economy… enjoy a healthy and stress free end of the year (whatever the world around you thinks of you). Take your time to recharge and connect with what life is all about and maybe… face nature as a mirror 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, November 17, 2017

Get rid of weight, whether you're skinny, 'normal' or fat, and ... un-cover who you once were (and still are) again.

From a former, still young, colleague who is suffering of an incurable illness and yet even more aware of counting his days, I received a message that on a daily base he loses weight. My first impression was he was talking about losing physical weight because of his disease. It turned out to be not the case. He lost, he calls it, 'I' weight.

The process of decay, in which he physically endured, ended up in bringing him on a path of literal 'I' enlightenment. Every day he releases pieces that have been covering his "I" over the years. That step by step changed him, formed him, in the way people knew him. Covering his true ‘I’ in his life. I just call it in an easy way covering with 'veils'.
And those veils around you, you create gradually out of all kind of life experiences. Thicker and thicker. Veils you think you need to protect you. And so they really start to hide your true self more and more. And one veil or only a few veils are possibly not too ‘heavy’.  Carrying them for a longer period of time or even carrying lots of veils at the same time can feel, no is, a burden on your back.
You change and change, and you justify to yourself this process telling yourself - and believing it -, you only ‘adapt’. I wrote already about this process in my (Dutch) book 'Search for personal mastery'.

If you take the time to look deeper into it, you can discover that there are two main driving questions underneath this process; “How to survive?” and “How to stay safe?”. And if you look even more deeply, the final base is; “I do not want to die.”

After I officially finally divorced in 1999 after nine years of marriage, many people told me they recognized me again as the one I once was. It told me in our marriage I changed myself too much and was not even aware of it. Note I use the word I. I changed myself. So it was only me who did this to myself. Not a kind of fault of the mother of our two kids. Out of the best intentions (and where did I ever learn, where does anybody learn? This makes me not unique at all in this world), I thought I adapted to serve and get the most out of our relationship. To stay even both together as well as alone 'safe' and to help our relationship to succeed, to survive. More and more it became a burden, and not only for me, to continue with it and losing myself. Unfortunately though, we did not succeed at all and during the long lasting divorce process, sad to say, we even ‘sustainable’ and for lots of money we could use for better things, destroyed it.

And this only is an example out of my own private life experiences. I can mention quite a lot more as I think many people can tell out of their life. Nothing unique.
What about your "adjustments" that you've already made in your life that helped to lose that authentic person deep inside? Those things that, when you look back now, actually helped you step by step to change into "another person" than you really deep inside are?

Adjustments you only made yourself and without being aware changed your ‘I’. By adapting to your parents, your brothers and sisters, your living environment, your school, religion, your work and position, your relationship (s), and so on.

Get rid of ‘weight’! Start dis-covering. Drop your veils. Feel more and more enlightened. That is to feel lighter by throwing that weight out of that burden on your back. Of your shoulders. Bring all your adjustments in your buckets and drop them into the sea.
Nobody, but really nobody is waiting for that show you made of yourself, of your life. You only think it makes you and the world around happier. You tell yourself only a joke.
Be sure many people have a flawless eye and feel that you are not your true self. Stop playing hide and seek with yourself.

Who are you? Who are you really?
Drop some weight from your shoulders on a daily base. Make yourself free to be who you really are and live who you really are. Just live that uniqueness. A relief!

And please do it now. Do not wait till it’s too late. Until you get into unpopular (health) circumstances that will force you to think about this. Better to live yourself, your real perfect, basic and unique “I”, NOW.

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, November 10, 2017

Are you afraid to die?

At the end of last October, after my first early morning class, a Chinese woman came to me. She asked if she could ask me a very personal question. Of course! It made me curious.
"Frans, are you afraid to die?"

Well, to be honest, it woke me up even more. Spontaneously, as if I was prepared for the question, I gave the answer. "No, not at all. About the way I will die and in how things are going to happen is something different for me. And because I do not know when I will die, I am not going to worry or suffer about this now."

I actually had not spoken those sentences, which came straight from my heart (or soul), when I started to think about how I could actually give this answer. Yes, it's true to me and why did I, without even thinking about it, spontaneously give this answer?

And in fact, the answers to why giving that response came to me over the days after expressing it and brought me a lot of clarity.

No, I do not want to think or worry about how to meet that - besides most normal thing connected with life -, death. For me it feels a kind of wasting time now to worry about that. So a disturbance and waste of time to live and enjoy life. It will be as it comes and is already waiting for me. I guess it will come exactly at the, so far for me unknown, right time.

But not being afraid to die... That's something else ... though ...?

Thinking more and more about that question and that answer afterwards, the spontaneous idea arrived in me that I actually will not die at all. That has always been my idea and from my experience here in Thailand and my connection with Buddhism, it has become even stronger. Not even I believe this any longer, it’s deepened into trust.

There must have been lots of love for me before I was even born and before I ever realized I can give love myself in return.
Think about this; I ‘just’ got my wonderful parents. I did not ask for this inspiring managers in my life I just got them. They brought, out of love, life force energy in me. The air to breathe and live. I have not chosen the place where I was born but only got it. I got my environment to grow up. I got my dearest - and still living in me and working with me - spiritual guide whose name I carry. I got the wonderful people (and sometimes only in my eyes some less wonderful) around me to help me to grow and to develop to the person I am. I got two good legs, two arms, two eyes, a complete healthy good functioning body. I got feeling and the possibility to connect and to give love back in return.  

I think all out of a very special kind of love. As a request to live my purpose and an assignment to make good use of this all because there is something specific for me in this world to do. Like there is for every human being because every person is unique.

I did not ask for it, I got it all out of a very special love (that's at least my full conviction). And that's something, to me that is divine. And I am very grateful and thankful for that.

So I can ask myself the question; what is there of me to give back? And is living "only" something temporary?
To me, death is about the farewell of only the temporary temple, the body I may use, that is the short-term home for this life time to the soul. That wheelbarrow available to help me to learn, to grow, to build up wisdom and to share. At a certain moment this temporary home cannot serve me any longer. How beautiful it is (just at the right time) you can say goodbye to it. And I know sometimes this can feel very sad and in our (human) way of thinking not fair. Still I am not and will not be the one who is in control of this ‘right’ moment. At that moment it's a soulless body. Very often, I have seen soulless bodies in my previous career within the fire department. You do not need to be an expert to see and feel right away that the soul, that sparkling force, that life force energy, suddenly disappeared. Is free again…
In Physics there is a basic law. Energy will never be lost.

So I'm free again to take new steps forward in further growth, in developing myself... I want and trust to go on with that so… I will never die.

It's just how you look at things and not what you believe but what you much more than 100% trust ...

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, November 3, 2017

Insomnia? Wake up! Stop it. Go to sleep.

In my 'previous life' in this life, in my role as CEO of an organization, I regularly woke up suddenly at night and could not sleep anymore because of my playful monkey in my mind, all my jumping thoughts.

In fact, it worked out like this; I did not even ‘smell’ and touch my bed or within a split second I fell asleep. Actually I know now because I was physically and mentally exhausted (which step by step and without realizing this, brought me over many years a huge burnout at the age of 53). And because of that overload of sensations and impressions, I fell asleep deeply. At least, it felt like that.

After a couple of hours I came as a cork on a fishing rod that was pulled straight down by an eating fish, as a kind of rocket suddenly "upward" as if the fish spit the food/the hook. Totally clear after a kind of sudden interrupted sleep again. And… could not sleep anymore. Taking care of all kinds of situations, projects, problems, etc., both business wise as well as private.

Now I know what I really did. I went on, the whole day and evening and just even before going to bed, to get more and more information about everything that was going on and to find solutions. In my work, in my family, in the small and bigger world around, sometimes even a little bit in me. Falling asleep you switch off the influences of your five main senses. That does not mean your mind is at rest. Not at all. It’s still full speed working because I did not give it a ‘cool-down’ period before I went to sleep.

Ever since I live and work in Thailand, I do not experience any nights of insomnia any longer. They almost do not occur. My body just takes the rest and time it wants/needs to recharge. I sleep well, sleep calmly and sleep deep. Actually connected much more with the day and night rhythm of nature. I wake up early by my biological clock. An alarm almost is not needed.

Insomnia is an effect. And if there is an effect then there is also a source. Medications help in the fight against the impact of the effect. Certainly, as a former firefighter, I know that it is many times better not to fight the effect but to learn and be alert not to let the source arise. And in my opinion, the fundamental and sustainable solution to stop insomnia you can find in this source approach. A very natural and cheap solution I think as well.

It's great to know how things work and it's great too, that pharmaceutical company’s offer pills, whether or not by a medical doctor, that help you to sleep. In fact you start depending (at least in your mind) on taking that pill and often such a pill makes you an addictive. It does not really solve anything more than ‘a tissue for (ongoing) bleeding’.

The basis of insomnia lies in ourselves, in our lifestyle and in the way we deal with our attention to situations. And yes, experiences we have gained in the past and forms of primordial anxiety trouble our minds and thus keep us from sleeping. We can wonder why babies (by far the most) can sleep comfortably and not feel disturbed by where they are or what's happening around them. So what did we do to ourselves? Why aren’t we able to ‘manage’ our sleep anymore?

I still remember our two kids during the carnival in the Rodahal (a big party and events hall) in the city of Kerkrade (The Netherlands). Hard music, very crowded, lots of singing, talking and fun. Lots of noises of all kind of instruments. And both of them were lying, dressed as clowns, in a corner of that place just on the ground. Out of their basic trust safe. Knowing their parents where somewhere around, took care about the situation, the feeling they were loved, and nothing could happen (I advise you not to sleep on the street as I showed in the picture unless somebody that really cares about you keeps an eye on the situation).
And actually also my dog, I see him as a kind of personal Buddhist teacher, shows me he can sleep everywhere. Not suffering about the past or worrying about the future (I guess).

During our growth and education we are not aware that we do not know and recognize our own information 'porter' or 'guard'. We do not know our 'switch-off' buttons and mind calm down way. We throw an overkill of information inside as a sort of trash into our head. We are overwhelmed by the hang to get information and ‘connection’ with everything and everybody in the world around us. Yes, we are addicted. We have lost the rhythm of nature and started to live opposite. In the winter long evenings (the opportunity to get more and longer rest) for instance we work longer and harder. And in the summer (actually longer days and more energy of the sun) we spend our time resting on the beach.

You need to prepare yourself to sleep. Not just and only for that sleep but you should be aware that it is a normal and natural part, a rhythm, of the day. Time for action (Gold in Buddhism on the right hand side of the Buddha in relation to day, sun and action. Silver in Buddhism on the left hand side of the Buddha in relation to the night, moon and recharging necessary to build up wisdom). Everything in an ongoing cycle. Everything in balance. To prepare for that sleep, that rest, you need to keep the things in balance.

The preparation for the night or the sleep has everything to do with calming down the influences of the experiences and sensations of the day (instead of just even more building up). To cool down as I mentioned earlier. Not to put extra impulses by doing all kind of energy consuming mind things again. Calm down, relax. Go for a walk. Enjoy nature. Etcetera.  
To let go of all the things and influences from the outside world that keep the mind (extra) busy. To give less attention. To give time before going to sleep for emotions to fade away. To become the observer of your thoughts and not to jump into the energy field or push away (meditation, for example, can offer you a way to do that). To loosen your attention.

One of my teachers a while ago said to me; "Frans, if you look back on your lifetime so far, did all this worrying and suffering ever bring you any solution for your problems? If you are honest to yourself you see you only created in your mind more problems and situations that did never arrive. Not even trusting yourself (and you can because you already survived a long time) you are always ready and prepared to deal with every situation your mind is dealing with…

And yes looking at it this way, what a waste of (life) time. And all the ideas, plans and plans+, that I created in my mind. They all in practice worked out totally different and actually most of the times were much less ‘destroying’ me and mild than I ever thought (during my actual night / rest time). And so far, otherwise I was not able to write this blog, I succeeded and am still alive. And out of that experience, it is better just to stop it. To stop the craziness in your head. And the first step is to realize you do it all to yourself. You are the source and not the world around.

Real solutions cannot be found in the outside world but only in yourself. Working on tranquility and insight (understanding how things work) give you ‘enlightenment’ to make things light. To drop some weight from the burden on your back really feels lighter. Becoming the guard (manager) of your own life is the art. One of the main issues in that is to bring balance in life back again. To experience that not having all this contacts, all this information, help you much quicker to reach (and keep) this balanced mind than you think. All the disturbing ‘news’ items actually creating fear and unwholesome feelings and in between trying to get your attention to buy again something to make you temporary happy (marketing).

The result? Step by step no more drugs/pills needed, a much better night's rest, getting back the opportunity to sleep wherever you want or where, just like my children during the carnival, it is possible if needed. A better connection during the day. Higher quality of work and life, less mistakes, go with the flow.
See nature and connect with it so you can use it as a mirror to follow and… Become the master of your ‘connection toys’, your mobile devices (know how to switch them off and just do it in the evening and during the night for example. Be the guard of external influences and diminish impulses in the evening. For instance no emails after dinner. Become the master of your mind, the master of your life again.

Stop your insomnia. Do not fool yourself thinking that others or situations create and created this for you. Only YOU are in charge. Change and customize your lifestyle (just mirror on nature). Be aware that worrying is only a time-consuming activity not helping you with anything. Trust yourself. It’s all and only in your hands and you will survive and stay safe.

Sleep well!

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, October 27, 2017

Women have more guts to free themselves than men

Living and working here now for over five years and looking back I learned that actually much more women than men are open, willing and working on learning to know themselves better. Actually learning and discovering themselves the way they really - authentically - are.
It’s having guts to start to walk the way of self-discovery, to find out who you are, what the purpose of your life is and to follow that calling. Call it personal development. No tricks, no courses anymore, no theatre to show who you are not. Just to take steps in the process of ‘unlearning’. That’s learning to know yourself and to develop your way of being who you really are and to do what you really want. Undisturbed any longer by what the world thinks of you. And this all in physical health, mental health, emotion, spirituality (asking yourself for instance the question; what am I doing with my life, knowing I run out of time?), and causal (your environment. Energy givers and drainers).

This process a lot of times this has to do with freeing yourself from all kind of things from the past. From what you think your environment thinks of you (a lot of thinking isn’t it?). With not satisfying other people’s needs and expectations at the first place (forgetting yourself) any longer. With being open and willing to receive and grow the way it’s actually mend to be for you.
And also… to leave the world of ego, power, and only showing the world around (for instance on social media) you live such a wonderful rich (actually lot of times poor) ‘material’ lifestyle.

In my international ‘practice’ the ‘balance’ is about 75 % women and (only) about 25 % men. A Chinese colleague, over and over shows me her ‘rating’. About 95% women and not even only 5 % men. Cultural related to show the world around men are ‘strong’ and ‘hard’ and to keep ‘family traditions and pride’ alive (ruining many peoples personal live).

This week my German neighbor Josefine thought about me in relation to what I am doing here and she send me a for her (and also for me) inspiring youtube movie with the name “Slomo”.
Again an inspirational story of a very well educated and ‘rich’ man who discovered he ‘lived’ an absurd life and lifestyle like many of us do.

When he met a man of 93 years old in the canteen of the hospital he worked he got his wake-up call.
Seeing this old man taking lots of food on his tray and as a joke he asked: “How does a strapping (well build) young man like me, get to be an old codger (wise fox) like you?”. The old man answered him in return: “Do what you want to!”.

This wake-up call and the relation with starting to suffer with his heath gave him the guts to choose for himself and to listen to his inner child to start to live a life. Much more basic, more connected, roller-skating as a boy of 11½ years old. Building up happiness, joy, and… a much better health LIVING his life.

And yes, immediately you can bring up General Excuses why this is not possible for you. Money, responsibilities, and… here we go again. So go on making yourself unhappy staying in your prison. Be strong and never ever ask yourself, running out of time, if you really lived your purpose…

Wake up men (and still also women)! Don't be shy. Be stronger to face and free yourself and start (more) living 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, October 20, 2017

We do not know what true love is. A mindfulness training to make progress.

We always keep talking of and about love. It’s hard to give a definition of love especially if you live it. For all other purposes it’s much easier. Wikipedia describes love as “a variety of different emotional and mental states, typically strongly and positively experienced, that ranges from deepest interpersonal affection to simple pleasure.”. And with this explanation actually you still do not know at all what love is.

Studying more about love in Buddhism and working with more and more guests in programs and sessions, I discovered many people (maybe even an increasing percentage in this and next generations) do not even understand what true love in live is and/or know how to live it. I want to be open and honest. I gave it several times a try myself and think I am still one of them who is on search for it as well. A one-night stand can be ‘simple pleasure’ as Wikipedia calls it, but is this (true) love…?

I really think there are people who know and live true love. People who reach very long and real ‘true love’ companionships or marriages being (even more) happy together. Their gold, diamond or even platinum wedding anniversaries (celebrations) sometimes even show up in local newspapers.
I am sure I will never show up with this anymore in my/this lifetime although it was my intention. 
Many people actually only think they know what true love it is and start to live their interpretation of it and after a longer or shorter period do not succeed in their relationship(s), like me so far.

Where do we learn love? Nature shows us and we learn by example. We see and feel (or do not see and feel) the love between our parents and in our family. Sometimes experiencing the differences of what we saw and learned of love when we get a relationship and learn more about her or his family life (and background of love within) a bit.

So we copy what we saw and think what is love in the for us right way. Much of the way we live our love life, our love behavior, however has to do with the negative experiences we got, saw and felt and do not want to bring in our lives any longer. And many times just the opposite thing happens…

Our parents learned from their parents and so on. Every person just gives love a try to make the best of it. Like rising children. Where did you learn? Living love has a lot to do with trying not to make the same ‘mistakes’ you already ever experienced and to reach a state of love satisfaction we see in the world around us and offered by marketing. And if we are honest to ourselves we discover and know many things in our behavior and interpretation of our love life are deeply rooted and connected with our personal desires. Not wanting to be lonely, need for attention, satisfy ourselves and in several cultures even to satisfy parents. So a ‘desire driven’ love. And with this approach actually a kind of love already prepared to fail.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not blame my parents at all. I got and felt more than enough love as well as their right intentions in my life of them.

And what about loving yourself? I learned this is the first and basic step in true love. Where do we learn? Lots of time only by ourselves. Trial & error and ‘The Street University’ learning by doing or sharing stories with our friends we trust and sometimes following their ‘advises’.

If you love yourself you take care of yourself in the first place. Loving yourself is the fundamental of your loving relationships with your life, with others and the World. Not an egoistic thing. Don’t be hard on yourself, give up negative self-talk. Know just how unique, talented, fabulous and powerful you are.

How to practice? Maybe the first step is to free yourself of anything that is not good for your health (in relation to food, addictions, negative people, things, situations, and everything that drew you down and away from yourself).

True love…? True love? What’s true love?
Buddhism offers us the five mindfulness trainings. The five mindfulness trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. The third training of them is called true love. A concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the path of right understanding and love. Leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world.

It explains sexual desire is not love and sexual activity motivated by desire always at a certain moment harms ourselves as well as others. True love is much more than being only in love with your own and somebody else his or her body.
It motivates to durable learn appropriate ways to take care of personal sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for personal greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. True love is something that help you to suffer less. And help the other person to suffer less. True love is something that you make you happy and the other person happy. True love can help you have more freedom.
Practicing true love, it says, we know that we will continue beautiful into the future.

So the four basic elements of true love as mentioned in Buddhist teachings are:
  1. Cultivating loving kindness (Maitri). Maitri has the power to offer happiness. When you are able to generate a feeling of joy and happiness to you that’s true love. Offer to yourself. And if you can generate a feeling of joy and happiness in helping the other person generate a feeling of joy and happiness, that is loving kindness. So if you are a true lover, you create happiness for you, for him, for her.
  2. Compassion (Karuna). That is the capacity to make yourself suffer less, and the other person suffer less. It is the ability to understand the emotional states of another person or yourself not putting yourself in the other person’s place (in that case it’s called empathy).
  3. Joy (Mudita). If love does not generate joy every day it’s not love. If love make the other person cry every day it’s not love. If love make you suffer every day, that’s not true love. So true love is capable of generating joy for yourself and for the other person.
  4. Inclusiveness (Upeksha). Not excluding anyone is the fourth element of true love. And you begin with yourself and the other person. But if you continue with this practice of true love, your heart will open, grow, and very soon you will include all of us in your love. You do not exclude anyone, anything from your love. Including any living beings. No discrimination about race, citizenship, religion, or anything. And that is that element of non-discrimination, of inclusiveness, that make you feel very free, very happy. Make your love unlimited. And in true love you continue to grow. Your love continues to grow. Until it embraces everyone in the cosmos (connect. be inspired. be nourished.).
Studying more about this made me aware I am on my way, made steps forward, but I am still not yet there. I will continue my path of cultivating loving kindness, compassion and joy. Improvements need to be made in freeing myself even more of things that are not good for my health, loosen personal desires, and work on inclusiveness.

About true love there is still a lot to learn, to discover and to bring into practice. To make progress. And… I know for sure I am not the only one.

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, October 13, 2017

The dark and light sides of the life most people live in.

A young lady from Denmark for a couple of weeks was my neighbor. She did a yoga-teacher-training at our resort. At a Sunday she joined me on my scooter to the city. I had to go there because I had to serve in the cathedral. She wanted to do some shopping in Chiang Mai and because she did not have transportation she asked me if she could be my passenger that Sunday.

She already traveled a lot and in my opinion she has a lot of insight, wisdom as well as understanding for her age about different cultures and living live. 

On our way back we talked about the two different personal worlds most people live in. About one personal world part people are most of the time ‘open’. This part has to do with work, education, position, place where you come from and place where you live, etc..
About the other personal part people are ‘closed’. This has to do with harm, feeling, sensuality and sexuality.

Both parts have to do with the interaction with yourself and the interaction with the outside world. For most themes is easier and more safe, to talk about the relationship with your outside world. So to bring it in the light.  What’s going on in the inside world we keep in the dark. A dark secret, sometimes sacred world.

People feel ashamed to talk about this part of their personal world and most of the time do not even want to discuss this part in silence with themselves. That’s why they do not know themselves, they do not feel home with themselves, not comfortable at all to face the inner war so they run away for themselves. There are many, many ways to do this. 

During Tantra work (basically a spiritual Tibetan Buddhism practice) you start to discover being your free self in your own natural environment. To free inner energy, sensitivity and bliss. Related to Ethology (the study of human behavior under natural conditions from a biological perspective). A journey to discover yourself in the first place. To touch yourself, to explore your feeling without shame. To start to love and honor yourself as a free human being without any judging. Opening up to yourself. Starting to make your personal dark side visible to yourself.
Working, in a safe comfort zone, with yourself and also with others you learn to give and to receive. To open up.

Having a dialogue with my neighbor on back of my scooter on the way back to the residences we live, we talked about so many sad experiences, brought by raising of children, culture, religion, environment, sexual abuse, etc., that helps to keep the personal dark worlds dark.

Our (programmed) brain a lot of times is a very disturbing thing. Creating the 'voices' in our head (not our own voice but out of the best intentions from our parents, ancestors, culture, relationship(s), religion and so on). Open up, free your mind. Not opening up, not being able to expire what really feels good for you (so gives energy) in the way you for instance touch yourself or want to be touched by other people or your relationship, keeps you away of living your life the fullest. You are always in the mood to hide, not to show up, not to open up.

How wonderful I meet more and more people who are already open or have the intention to open up. The present they discover is what this personal dark side has to offer. A lot of energy, a lot of pleasure and bliss and last but not least a so much better health.

Bring light and love to your hidden (sacred) world.

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, October 6, 2017

You cannot always be happy. Without Mud (suffering) no Lotus (flourishing).

We must always be happy. And apparently we are not because the world around us keeps on telling us we must always go on buying the newest of the newest things to be happier. Even for instance the Dutch magazine “Happinez” for over 50% is full of advertisements of things you need to have to get happier. Our lives are focused on happiness and when we are happy, life around us is not happy with that. Last April 28th I already wrote a blog about it. Happiness is not very goodfor the economy. We need to go ‘mountain up’ and even to stand still on a top of a hill for a while to enjoy or celebrate our success does not seem to be good.

Isn’t it more than normal that we leave the valley when we walk up to a top of the hill and need a to go back or further to reach a valley again as a start for the next, maybe even higher mountain peak?

Nature helps us to understand this. Out of the four seasons there is a lot to learn about how to accept life and today I want to explore the example of a lotus flower a bit deeper.

Without mud there is no, or cannot be a, beautiful lotus to flourish.

Mud in Buddhism is connected with our world of worrying and suffering. That mud is essential to germinate the lotus seed. The roots go deep into the mud. From that mud, all the experiences in your life, the young plant grows. If the lotus but reaches the water surface, the small but - still closed -  fantastic flower grows higher on a thin and super strong stem to get a kind of ‘helicopter view position’ above the water surface.

The water surface teaches us that emotions need their own time to calm down. A process you cannot force. If there is a storm, the water surface starts moving and the water becomes muddy. The lotus stays strong and present and only moves with the wind around it’s balance point (the roots in the mud). And after the storm it takes a while until the water is smooth as a mirror again. However ... not yet crystal clear. The mud and dust in the water caused by the wind stirring the shallow spots at the banks of the water, is still not clear and you cannot force this process either. Only by giving the process its own time the water will not only become smooth as a mirror but also crystal clear.
And only then can you see everything in relation to what caused that emotion clearly and without judgment. Giving you the possibility to learn about it.

High above the water opens at its own right natural time, and also you cannot force that time, the lotus to show itself in majesty. No effort. Just the way he or she is. Showing his or her self, no matter what the world thinks about it. Just being available. And after a day or two, that beauty becomes less. The petals fall into the water to serve as fertilizer for the mud for the new generations to come. Giving back. And after a while the new seeds, produced in the flower, drop into the mud again and the process begins from the beginning. The life cycle, (Cycle of Samsara).

Another possible discovery is that water does not adhere to the leaves of a lotus plant. Water forms pearls and by wind or gravity, again no effort, it rolls off the leaf. And therefore, the leaf is not disturbed by anything that happens around him or her.

Mud is needed to share 'only' your uniqueness, that, what and who you are. Learning from the past, being present in the now, and taking steps into the future. And that process, that cycle, involves various steps like change / transformation, taking, growing, flourishing, giving, growth.

Be aware of this ongoing learning process in which you cannot always shine and be happy.

Do not force yourself. Just be aware of going up and down as the natural movement called living. And do not forget... happiness depends on our mental attitude and not on external conditions.

Without mud no lotus.

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.” 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Don't pray for peace! He made and still makes life more beautiful. Tribute to my oldest brother Fons Captijn

Picture: 'Car' blessing by Fons in Santpoort - NL
Thanks to Ron Pichell / RTV Seaport for the picture.
I just got a message my oldest brother passed away.

This is not an “In Memoriam” as a form of remembrance of somebody that left this world and who occasionally can or may be back in our mind. It's a tribute. An ode and an active call. An encouragement to continue. Only a remembrance is not at all enough for covering the value of his (ongoing) life.

My eldest brother Fons is the first born of our family of father, mother and five children, and I am the last. Between him and me is a thirteen year time difference. At least one generation maybe even two.  For my parents it was an honor, out of their and our Catholic background, that Fons was going to study to become a priest at the monastery of the "Missionaries of the Sacred Heart" (MSC) in Driehuis, The Netherlands. Eventually he decided not to become a priest and after a few short wanderings, he actually became a kind of priest. He married, became father of a family with two children and worked in various parishes in the north-west part of The Netherlands as an inspirational deacon. For people who do not know this word/profession, you can translate it the simplest way in my eyes as ‘layman priest'. A person blessed/dedicated by a bishop to serve as a helper in and for the church community.

To me, it is the experience that a so-called ‘clerical collar’ is not always necessary to bring in depth, experience, hope and flow. Fons did this on his own creative, humorous (see picture) and sometimes a bit progressive way. Standing, rooted and with lots of experience, as a shepherd in the middle of his flock, the community. The present Pope Francis, I think, would be proud and inspired by his way of serving and sharing. He brought motion in and to people. He inspired people.

Do not pray for peace! Only one out of many of his phrases and speeches during a preaching with Christmas, from a whole lot, that woke up people  Shaking them awake with the intention of bringing them into balance again).
And if you only think about that sentence, that statement, isn’t that a kind of inner wake-up call?

What a waste of time and effort to pray for peace. Even at the time Christ was born there was no peace in the world. Has there ever been peace in the world? And is that because of the world? And do you think there will ever be peace? No peace is lasting. There is a tendency to pray for peace so you can push peace a bit away because yes it’s a good thing but you might think you are not able to help make it happen. You do not see any solution anymore. It is out of your hands… So by praying you pass your wish, your efforts, onto somebody else. Somebody that is bigger, some power that is much stronger, in the hope it might be possible for him/her. That ‘God’. Aren’t you fooling yourself in a gigantic way? Isn’t this an easy way. To give peace away? Pray for peace? Stop it! Fiddle sticks.

People, mere human beings, make a mess of it. And praying to no longer have those ruins no longer will not help. People are different, cultures are different, religions are different (even though they actually are basically all the same), and because things do not fit in our thinking, our behavior, our ‘own street’, there is no peace. It’s not even possible. Praying for it or not.

Stop with the energy and time to pray for it. Just start yourself. The first thing to understand is that you are "only" human. And human beings make mistakes. Nothing wrong with it. You probably learn from it and that process we call living. One of the things in life that is certain is that you do not live alone. There are men and women around you. And those are all human beings so they also can make mistakes. And if the things they do are really wrong or not ... that has everything to do with your opinion and your perception. With your judging. Things make you upset? You only can make yourself upset. No, no other people. It's all about your programming from the past that causes your personal reflections. and thus personal disturbances, anger, greed, hate, jealousy, anxiety. Do you intend to make mistakes? Do others have the intention to make mistakes to bring you into trouble?

It’s all up to you. You are in charge. Just go ahead. First, live that peace yourself. Show. Share. Be real. Don’t go for praying, just focus on doing. First, face and tackle that war within  yourself instead of seeking solutions in the outside world and blaming others. And yes, that can be challenging or maybe even more confrontational and yet you are doing a good job. Much better than praying.

And besides, out of my more than five years' stay in Thailand, this is a very valuable Buddhist approach as well.

Fons is different, Fons goes on. So much he planted and did sow. He brought too many people in motion and nobody will ever be able to stop that ongoing process. And with that he made and, beware, he still makes LIFE become a bit more beautiful. Because others will go on with that as part of their lives. With those insights and with that inspiration. And they bring it into the world at their own way.
He once studied at the monastery and gymnasium of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. He did not have to learn to become a missionary. He already was. That mission, that passion, being there for others with a message, is his life and although there is no movement any longer in that physical cover only showing my brother on the outside, HE does not say goodbye.

In fact, it's just a start. An invitation. A beginning to hear that call; "Do not pray! Get started! Put into practice! " And yes, these are my own words.
An active call an encouragement. No need for any reminder, remembrance or “In Memoriam”. The seed that is sown or plant that is planted just need some water, temperature and air (action) and occasionally some sun. Do not wait. You always can create the right season…

And so he goes on with that. In Memoriam? No, not at all for my brother. His life was too valuable for that. People who know him and had to deal with him do not know what I mean. They just feel it and continue with him, just like me!

And that's why I do not feel his death as a farewell or goodbye. Much more, it is a feeling of getting the opportunity to let go in full trust that he is deeply rooted in me and I will easily continue my life with him always beside me and partly in me. 

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.”