Friday, April 28, 2017

Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. Marketing helps us to worry.

How easy can it be? How sad is this world?

“The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more?

How do you sell anti-aging moisturizer? You make someone worry about aging. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind.

To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.”

(From the book: Lessons to stay alive by Matt Haig, page 189))

“Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. The American Marketing Association has defined marketing as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."
Marketing is used to create the customer, to keep the customer and to satisfy the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that Marketing is one of the premier components of Business Management - the other being Innovation."

That marketing is about satisfying customer requirements really resonates with me.
But is it (still) really about this? Marketing may be called a profession, but in my experience in most cases with a totally different approach. It has become an art to create desires to draw attention to things that actually are not needed at all. An economy is developed of creating fear, worries, feelings of not feeling complete, not connecting with the general standards, not beautiful enough, not showing your status, etc. Needed or not needed. The needs and desires are just created.
Once I learned in Dutch Economics class (Professor Heertje) that an organization or business gets the strength to survive and its value if it covers with its products and / or services the real needs of its environment.

Maybe it's weird to say that marketing possibly works the other way around. A need, lack, gap or worry first is created by a company, and then with a big ‘Walhalla’ the same business offers the solution to close the ‘gap’.  Just and only to produce and earn money.
The story of the Furby. You share for free 100 pieces of this electronic robotic “let’s have fun” toys resembling a hamster or owl-like creature to children. Children know the art of ongoing playful ‘nagging’ to get mostly their desires fulfilled and the magic happens. It became a ‘must have’. Was there really a need, a customer requirement…? What an honor and purpose to work for such an organization (other than just and only earning a salary).

New marketing trends?
An article in the Dutch magazine MT from about six months ago mentioned:
"It is increasingly possible to automate a personal (?) approach to your customers, tracking and guiding a purchase. We spotted three trends:
  • Customer journey management (using smart technology to follow the 'journey' of customers to proceed with a purchase. To, quite precisely, find out what channels they use on the internet and determine what time defines the purchase decision.
  • Customer service bots (automated customer service (Chat robots) that talk with clients to answer questions in a way that customers feel ‘personalized' reflection and are confident feeling real heard and helped. They are seen as a valuable addition to the customer service and play an important role in customer-management journey.).
  • App marketing. (Making use of App's and push messages to approach customers and seduce. With an app you can make your customers a 'personalized' proposal. By collecting customer data and to use the sensors of the smartphone, you can persuade customers to visit the website or web shop.

How smart can it be? How more and more sad this world is getting to be?

On me (so sorry for the economy) there is less and less to earn. I have more than enough. No magazines that are for 2/3 part filled with screaming marketing / advertising, no newspapers or free publicity, no more commercial TV ... Maybe a personal happiness indicator?

It makes me more and more happy and an increasing amount of people recognize this energy. 

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, April 21, 2017

Wanted and unwanted speedbumps in your life. Adjusters of priorities.

In a short time, I have heard several stories of friends / acquaintances that unfortunately they were forced to make huge transitions in life. This for example because they themselves or their partner suddenly were confronted with cancer. You take for granted this always happens to others. Until you have to face these things happen to yourself or to your close love ones as well. Unwanted you run up against a speedbump in your life.

Everything first seemed so perfect. Now this kind of experiences put your life upside down. Perhaps you would like to hide yourself from the outside world. Your life turns into a crisis. You seem surrounded by fear, which brings you face to face with what the values of life really mean to you. Maybe even you entered a process to make a huge shift in life. Actually and most of the times to the direction or flow it always was mend to be for you. So to come back on your personal life-track.

Recently I worked with a guest who runs her life. No matter how young you are, time is running out so you have to focus on living life the fullest. You do everything that’s possible, because you only live once. So you run life. You mirror the happiness appearances of life from others, and run to try to reach at least the same happiness level. Slightly and soft only touching life experiences as a butterfly. No time to explore or live things deeply. Depression and insomnia increased in combination with an almost continuous connection to social media. An overkill of too much impulses simply can (and finally will) make you sick.

Wanted, she took some “me-time”. Time for a time-out. To do a retreat program. Not willing any longer to wait for the time, she would be forced (unwanted) to take a time-out. A time out to contemplate on life themes and things, to make up her life balance, and to face her priorities in life once again. A suicide by one of her friends with a happy family with two young children during her retreat was a stupor of disbelief.

As strange at first sight as it may sound, many experiences show that this type of wanted and unwanted speedbumps of life often contain incredibly valuable lessons. It brings you to the deeper meaning of life, to your core values of life. To connect with the one you really are. Not the one who usually step by step is formed by wishes, desires, environmental judgments, expectations, marketing, etc..
These processes can be seen as steep (but if you look back afterwards often very meaningful) exercise slopes that bring your back to the person you actually always were.

We all have different values based on our perception of satisfaction and happiness. If you believe that people only love you when you are financially wealthy, money is your main value. If your self-esteem is connected to your appearance (something in my opinion in the Thai culture for ladies is number one), your face and figure maybe the top priority.
And if you the physical body is getting and starting to look older…, does your happiness disappear? And if you seemingly cannot compete with the ‘happiness level’ of your friends or acquaintances, will you feel miserable?

Life challenges you to constantly adjust your priorities. For example, the decision to make health one of your priorities can be a reversal. Perhaps a whole new world will open for you. The discovery of a huge reservoir of inner strength and joy. The discovery that the real person hiding in you, finally gets the possibility to make yourself and others truly happy.

If your view of yourself is based on superficialities, perhaps you need to face your priority list over once again and make some major changes.

Recently a speed bump appeared in the small street in front of my house (see photo). It invites guests who come by in their golf cart to slow down and be more aware of the wonders of our magnificent place. Some guests who walk through our street, sometimes painfully, are remembered to focus on the art of balanced walking instead of keeping their focus on their mobile devices.

Invite yourself, before it's too late, for whatever kind of wanted ‘deliberate speedbump’ process to reconnect with your core of life, adjust priorities to connect with real living and staying in a healthy holistic balance. 

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, April 14, 2017

As long as you both shall live and/or as long as love stimulates bond and growth? Being happy in your relationship.

I was married in my life once. Proud our two children out of love are born out of that relationship. After nine years of marriage, in spite of trying everything to stay more happily together, we decided to quit our bond. A very unpleasant emotional time and lots of personal and legal issues to solve. For a period of two years I did not dare to touch any woman. The ‘waves’ needed time to heave down to. Now I know you cannot force that process. Happy that period in my life passed.

If I look back on my life so far now, I face a couple of shorter and longer lasting relationships. Many people cannot understand or accept this from me. Certainly not in relation to my religious background and social functions and positions that I ever held in the Netherlands and in the world. Sayings as: “You do not 'do' this kind of things. It’s not right to live this kind of life. You do not make the choices to live life this way. Your parents showed you the other (the right?) way.”

As of my life experiences I dare to say that “this things” that happened in my life have nothing to do with a willing or intention to ‘do’. Believe it or not, it never ever was my intention to divorce the woman I intensely loved and got our two children. My intention at the time of marriage literally was ‘to love and honor each other for as long as we both shall live’ as mentioned in celebration of matrimony.
As last born child in our family of five children, at the time we both as a couple started thinking of the idea of getting married, we both had wonderful examples of how a stable marriage looked like. It seemed my two brothers and two sisters showed and paved the way. After nine years I could not persevere in clinging on my sincere intentions and even promise I made. Not an easy decision and an misery in regard to both our personal emotions, Dutch law as well as my religion/faith. But I found a way to go on living without suffering about our decision any longer. But this blog is not about that.

This blog is about being happy in a relationship with another person (whatever gender). As long as you both shall live or until the time love is not strong enough any longer to connect and/or prevent you in your personal (and joint) development, fulfilling your life mission and your personal and mutual growth. And, of course, immediately the thought can arise that this is a very egoistic and very selfish and self-centred approach.
I invite you to wait with this abrupt labelling and use the inner impulse to do to be curious and with an open mind just to explore more. Not to change your mind or meaning but just to face (and possibly to respect) different possible approaches as a wider truth.

I'm different, from another generation and ‘newer time’ than my older siblings as I recently heard from my eldest brother. And in my eyes that's a valid expression and explanation. In addition, I tried to discover more into the philosophy of deeper meanings and goals of having a relationship. I also live for five years already in a culture that invites me to take the time to be more curious, look wider and deeper. This offers me the opportunity to shine a new light on themes as life mission, personal and mutual growth and development, karma (action), and mainly on the underlying intentions.

More and more I discovered that love primarily is about the relationship you have with yourself. You're the one who live 24 hours a day with yourself together. Do you really know and understand yourself? Do you spend enough time on yourself (not only the outside ‘look’ and your physical body, but also the inside and understanding for instance how your mind works)? Do you know your mission, your purpose? Are you alone (All-one) or feeling lonely? What lifestyle do you really want to live (see lifestyle as the way you respond to things happening in your life)? Are you happy with yourself?

The answers on this questions to myself, the insights and the attention to myself offered me in my opinion enormous growth and development. Mind you, I'm not telling that I could not have had this experience and development in an ongoing relationship with one person. I just do not have that experience and it worked out this way for me.

My relationships after my marriage, although I had imagined never to be ‘different’, worked out not to be like “as long as you both shall live”. They turned into “as long as love stimulates bond and growth”.  I do not see myself in my relationships as a kind of playboy and person that persistently have the intention to make other people unhappy or want to harm somebody. My life and relationships turned out to be just different. A relationship is something you need to give time, attention and air. My last long relationship was even nearly one and a half times longer than the period I was married.
For sure, and again, for many people in my outside world I possibly do not follow the “regular accepted pattern” living my way of loving. I have to accept for instance the direct labelling about possible differences in age between me and my partner other people do. For me it’s a looking deeper than ‘just’ and only difference in age. In my opinion there is so much more like for instance life experiences, connection and understanding level/background, willingness to sustainably understand, to explore and to learn from each other and face-to-face communication (genuine personal connection), balanced life, respect, and having real quality time for each other. This are all items that make it so easy for other people - who are not willing to take some time to only be curious in a different way and understand - to label.

It is not your partner’s responsibility, I learned, to make you happy (and the other way around). It’s always and always will be your own responsibility. And if your own happiness and love for yourself is overflowing you can share that happiness and love with the one you love.
If the closeness in a relationship at any time for a longer period of time is disturbed, and – willing to work on that together - you both do not succeed to bring new flow in it, I see it as responsibility from both to grant each other a new opportunity to get love and development. To me that certainly is not a kind of ‘dump’ or ‘drop as garbage’, knowing however my ‘outside world’ and sometimes even a former partner grasps it like that.

Having a relationship for me is not a kind of 'hop-on hop-off bus’ at all. In reality it is still all about sharing love, respect and happiness (in relation to my understanding of this words). I don’t see a partner as a kind of ‘toy’. Too much and too often I see with my own eyes at the place where I live, hear from my children, and see at social media ‘girls’ (sorry but I do not call them ‘ladies’ in friendship and relations to this item any more) being used (or willing to be used) like that.
Working here with people from all different backgrounds and cultures, I found many people feel trapped or even ‘dead’ in their relationship. Having nothing to say and to share anymore. Are even hiding in their relation or found another ‘outside’ lover showing the world on social media as couple they are still so happy and in love together. No growth, no development, actually no love anymore and yes still staying together. Underlining they are from a different generation with that for me. Not having the guts to make each other happy again by finding a suitable way to let go.

If love, whatever is the understanding of that word by different generations, becomes an outside show without any driving force or spirit within, you can ask yourself if and how you respect your partner. What kind of feeling (so no love anymore) you grant your partner and yourself.

For me, the relationship I have and feel now, out of commitment and both our feeling, may go on for ever. Be aware this is not our goal. Living respecting and enjoying your love by the day without a goal to reach in the future, you reach a destination, the next step, every day.

And if my family, my environment, the world around me will or can accept… It’s just and only their choice and my/our choice to live the life and love, the freedom in bond, we want.

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, April 7, 2017

White-picket fence – a settled life - & rat race versus exploring the adventure of living an authentic life.

Last week I got an email from a for me so far stranger. A young Dutch woman. She had a personal question in response to a message that I posted on a Dutch Facebook page with stories and tips about visiting Thailand. Her question inspired me for my this week’s blog.

We are born in a world full of expectations, rules, competition, expertise, power and reputation. Two weeks ago I was in a shopping mall in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to buy a present for my girlfriend. Suddenly I heard all kind of encouraging screams of vengeance. Let's see what’s going on there plopped up in my mind. So I did. Believe it or not... A baby race! The photo in this blog takes you a little bit in the scene. Yelling parents ‘supporting’ and ‘encouraging’ their babies, raised in stabilized carts with small wheels, in most unique ways to be the best and to become the winner. Things can be…

It crossed my mind that this actually already shows the start of our unlearning an authentic life. And in every culture basically it’s the same. You especially have to try to be the best and run your future. And what you achieve you need to show the outside world. You show your possessions, your trophies. Post beautiful pictures and story’s about how happy you are on social media. You act according to the rules and standards set by others in our society. You try to fulfill expectations that other people possibly could have of you.

Many of these rules and standards, otherwise, we created as a kind of illusions only in our heads. Many of us miss the courage to deviate from them and so do not fit into the so-called 'perfect social picture', what that picture even may be. You adapted to them ... step by step not even aware of the shortcomings in living life you possibly offer yourself. And at some stage in life, often because you realize you run out of time, you start asking yourself what was actually the value of my life. What did I made of it. Whether you have lived the life that you really wanted and appreciated YOURSELF. Yes you matched with the picture what others of ‘ideal life’ showed you. You might even honor and held high the family pride. And indeed you can ask if asking yourself these kind of questions, particularly in  Western culture isn’t a luxury status or position. My parents for example were not able and did not even think about asking themselves this kind of questions. They saw everything as their duty and responsibility. It was a different time.

Who am I? What do I really want or desire? What is the purpose of my life being here now? What makes me happy, gives me peace of mind? Isn’t it first my duty to take responsibility for myself, for my own life, instead of contributing others? What would I like to do if money was no object? What choice would I make in this situation if I knew I had only a few more months to live? What does my source of inner silence, stillness, learn me instead of my intuition, my heart and / or the voices in my head?

Have you ever thought about the idea that those voices in your head are not at all your voices? These are the voices that come for example from our system, our parents, ancestors, teachers/masters in our lives, our environment, culture and religion. And yes, generally, all out of the best intentions. Also out of a limited view of truth, as part of a much bigger truth. That kind of voices often help you to set course to directions in life that, afterwards turn out not to be your authentic wanted way.
Looking deeply on your inside, connecting with this inner silence, passion and mission, often offers you other insights. It’s just a matter to have the guts to follow them…

Many relatives and friends do not understand my support of the choices of my children to discover the adventure of life. Actually to have and follow damn little more goals to explore living life. To sometimes stand still, look back, be proud of what you already achieved, learn from mistakes (as something to learn), every time stand up one more time than to fall down, and find out that life cannot go wrong. For me they do not have to be house owners with  heavy mortgage burdens on their shoulders, a bright shining new car in part-payment, a happy relationship to show they are not lonely, status and position in their jobs, and whatever else. Daddy, so I, had it all and showed them all.
Now, ask them yourself if you do not believe,  they meet a father who LIVE life in a different way. And yes, I am thankful and grateful for my past as well. I am not suffering of a kind of homesickness. It gives me a mirror and background so I can compare. Not as a romantic thing but just to observe a different life style, a different approach, a different way to respond to situations that happen in my life, and it makes me so much more happy. A feeling of being free. I dropped the gold from my cap and shoulders, am even more playful and so much more connected with being open to widen my view and truth. A more common and blissful Frans. And it’s that what makes it so appealing for my children and my girlfriend. They do not just only see, even more they feel.

Where do you want to go for? What’s your goal of living. For a white-picket fence – a settled life - & rat race or exploring the adventure of living your authentic life. And just be aware, I am not telling you one choice is better than the other. It’s just a choice. It’s just a matter of taking sometimes the time for yourself to reflect, connect deeply, and make the right choice for yourself. Better to do it now and respond to that inner real calling (even if you think possibly you will hurt other people with it) than to find out later (or too late) you did not even explore other possibilities or even live them. Simply do not get regrets…

Let it be a conscious decision by YOURSELF and not by the voices in your head or your heart, created by others. Free the child in you and listen more to it. Be creative and laugh about all your general excuses your mind automatically create for you. Do you want to dream your life or respond to the inner call out of silence to live your dream?

And what about that crying "looser" baby on track 3 in terms of the picture? It would not surprise me if at the second part of his life he/she laughs the most because it turned out in fact he/she was in the Chiang Mai Shopping mall at Sunday March 26th 2017/2560 already at a very young age the real winner of life. Whatever other people and even parents think of it 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, March 31, 2017

An experience and story about sight

A couple of weeks ago the sight of my right eye diminished. A strange experience. It felt as if some dust was floating on the surface of my eyeball but even with special cleaning fluid I got at a pharmacy I was not able to get a clear view. So the pharmacist advised me to visit a specialist at the hospital. So I did.

A very kind, young, eye specialist at our Lanna Hospital with a kind of special microscope examined my eyes to get the diagnosis I am suffering of Eye Ablatio Retinae. She told me this has everything to do with just getting older. Possibly an operation is needed if things are getting worse.

I got the same experience as a couple of months ago, waking up and not being able to walk for a couple of hours.
When your sight is ok, you never worry about seeing. You are not even aware your eyes are always available for you to serve you in everything you do. Watching uses 70% of our so called ‘sense energy’. What about seeing?

There is a sense in that we are all born blind. Minutes after our birth our newly opened eyes see a variety of shapes, colors and surfaces. It’s only slowly that our seeing begins to recognize our mother and father, our bed, strangers, color. It takes time to really see shapes and surfaces, objects, relationships and meanings. And seeing objects, our mind starts to create a kind of inner seeing in our consciousness. Visualization and even a support to imagination. We start to create our ‘own’ world, our own truth (most of the time not even aware that this only is part of a much bigger truth) and start suffering …

Having good and healthy eyes still many times we are ‘blind’. We cannot see beyond the surface. We do not like what we see. Why are we so afraid; what is it that we are afraid of?

Perhaps we are frightened and threatened by a world beyond our understanding, a world that we cannot control. Possibly we are afraid of a new world that invites us to let go of our fears and see wonder and amazement. If we skip our ‘blindness’, being more engaged with the art of looking deeply, we can see below and beyond the surface. Unafraid of what we cannot understand or control. Curious to learn of the visible so far invisible things. There is much more available for us than we think.

Maybe, being more aware of - and grateful for - the opportunity of seeing we have, we need to open our eyes to the wonders that are all around us. To quote a well-known rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ....get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” Amazement - rather than doubt – is the root of all knowledge, understanding and (inner) wisdom. Also about yourself ...

My disturbance because of my age of my sight opened my eyes even more to look deeply. To be more aware of the gift of seeing and the possibility I got to see beyond the surface of the world around me. It’s just a choice to take the time to be aware of living.

Maybe an invitation, because yes we run out of time, to open our eyes and hearts to the amazement, and the wonders that constantly surround us. 

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, March 24, 2017

Hearing is passive. Listen active and become aware of a wonderful ‘new’ world waiting

A second blog this time in relation to sound. After last week’s change in soundscapes now about hearing and listening.
For quit a period of time now I work in several of my classes with quite a large set of Tibetan Singing Bowls, Ghantas (Bells), Tingshas (cymbals) and Gongs. Used within meditations and physical healings the bowls’ characteristic blend of harmonic resonances are used as a vibrational tool to induce stress reduction, chakra balancing, energy synchronization and even spontaneous healing.

When you first become aware of harmonics (also known as overtones) as a phenomenon of sound, your entire way of listening becomes altered. You may hear harmonics in the dripping of a tap or overtones in the wind as it rushes past your window. As you become aware of harmonics, your listening patterns change and, as this occurs, so does your consciousness. You make yourself available for the sounds of life.

Listening is one of the great active experiences in which we can easily learn to partake. It is one that we are quite naturally born to do, although unfortunately it is an ability that many of us lose as we grow older. Hearing is a passive experience in which sounds may or may not be received and perceived by the ear and then sent into the brain for stimulation.
Listening is not passive. It is active. Listening involves really using our ears as an organ of consciousness. When we hear, we do not discriminate between the sounds around us. We may be unaware of them. This is why sitting in silence allows us to empower listening. There are many levels of listening.

# The first level involves this enormous step of going above the passiveness of hearing into the activeness of actually listening an becoming aware of the multitude of sounds that surround us. Through listening we can begin to open up to sound. All sounds come up out of silence, take on form, do manifest and fall down into silence. So listening to sounds in this way you can see sounds as signs to silence.
# The second level of listening involves the perception of harmonics in the sounds we are hearing.
# The third level of listening involves the use of imagination. We often do this naturally when we listen to certain pieces of music that seem to take us places.
# A fourth level of listening involves transforming the physical plane reality of sound to an alternative reality, travelling to other planes of existence on the sound .
# A fifth level to meditate upon is silence. As we began in silence, so we end in silence. For, as already said, all sound comes from silence and returns back to silence. And silence is not the absence of something but the awareness of the availability of everything.

There is a lot to discover with ‘only’ listening. Active listening to sounds can make you aware of direction, distance, loudness, frequencies, vibration, form, rhythm, melody, harmony in the here and now. You can even give names to the sounds (like bird or car sound).

And… listening is free. Free of charge and a free choice.
I hope this week blog invite you to give listening a chance.
An invitation to give yourself the gift to be aware of the sounds of life.

(Thanks to so more understanding and insight because of lessons of Jonathan Goldman, Suren Shrestha, Inayat Khan, The Chinese International Buddhist Temple and the Buddhist University ‘Wat Suan Dok’ Chiang Mai).

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, March 17, 2017

Sound extinction. Man is gaining ground.

This morning I walked a long time with my dog through the woods. More and more he knows the way and he goes where he wants to go. I follow. Do I walk with my dog or does my dog walk with me? No matter what, we stay vital together walking several times on a daily base.

On a quiet forest trail he as well as I felt attracted by the sound of a singing beautiful big bird. Actually, we stopped together at the same time to listen quietly to the harmony of all the sounds in that place.
Maybe it's because I'm learning and practicing more and more with sounds the last months that I am even earlier alert of this phenomena. I am more and more aware and sensitive of the wonderful sounds of nature surrounding us.

When you become more and more aware of harmonics as a phenomenon of sound, you entire way of listening becomes altered. You may hear harmonics in the dripping of a tap or overtones in the wind as it rushes past your window.  As you become aware of harmonics, your listening patterns change and, as this occurs, so does your consciousness.

Listening takes about 70% of our sense energy. Listening is one of the great active experiences in which we can easily learn to partake. It is one that we are quite naturally born to do, although unfortunately it is an ability that many of us lose as we grow older. There are other important things to focus on.

Science shows that one of the basic functions of our ears are to provide, through natural sound, both a charging of the cortex of the brain and 90 – 95% of the body’s total charge.

Every morning I start my day in the forest and my first class in one of the Sala’s here at the resort. Carlien, my daughter calls it the ‘bird disco’. It is a fantastic experience to be able to know and "read" the time by the soundscape around you. Being aware of the ongoing changing combination of sense impulses during the day liberated me of using a watch and a clock. A great experience.

On that spot in the forest, actively listening together to the harmonics, in the distance we heard some new sounds arriving. The sound of a motorbike. And.. another one and another one. It appeared to be three motocross motorcycles, like idiots, tearing across the walking trails. Large clouds of dust and a deafening noise. Just in time I could attach my dog on the leash to avoid a collision with the first rider, who was not aware that there was still someone ‘silent’ listening. All three on a wild way passed. I felt left coughing in the dust and with a not amused dog. We both kept silent for a while beaten down to the dust. The sound was different. The silence, the experience of the presence of all, had become "dead". That everything there was ... suddenly was no more. Extinguished, destroyed by the sudden disturbance. One man's pleasure, the other should just swallow dust as a thank you.

It reminded me of a very short movie impression which was sent to me recently about the work of the to the musician and naturalist Bernie Krause. He is one of the world's leading experts in natural sound. Krause has been recording "soundscapes" - the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the songs of humpback whales - for over forty years and has amassed the largest archive in the world. In doing so, Krause can chart how wildlife sounds have changed over the course partly because of climate and partly because of habitat changes actually all forced by humans. If you want to listen for yourself click here. The silence speaks volumes. 

It seems like we cannot live without extra noise anymore. The radio or music in the car turned on, music during fitness, sports or running, music at home and during studying. Additional sound everywhere. And with all that extra noise we extinct more and more the natural sounds that were available for us to serve, get a peaceful feeling, to make curious, to heal, or even to stand still (like I did in the forest).

Is there a way to re-open the idea of listening in the world and to connect in a better way? At least better listening would be. By listening better tot the sound of life, rather than shutting it out, we are led to search for a harmonizing force appearing in the hollow din of our situation. That will be a second listening and there are many more layers. They come from silence. There are levels of listening and one leads upward towards the next. Serving you to connect, enjoy and discover (yourself) more.

Man is gaining ground. The world around us calls it growth. Growth is change and we need to connect with change. Nothing wrong with that idea. We want and need ‘more’. It’s all about ‘I’  and ‘me’. And the world around us just only need to accept that behavior. Dust and extra noise or not. I, MY, pleasure. MY deliberately destroying. Climate change and habitat change does not bother us. WE live NOW so what about next generations. They can and will solve the problems we arrange with technical solutions. Let’s ‘trust’ that idea…

I hope my bird disco still holds for a long period although, after seeing and hearing the short movie of Bernie Krause, I am not sure about a long term guarantee. Natural silence, being open and willing to experience the awareness of everything... On a daily base and as long as it still is possible for me here I go on opening up for receiving the healing harmonics of my early morning bird disco. 

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, March 10, 2017

Service clubs. 100% intention to serve? Or to be proud of yourself about what you achieved?

“A Service Club (or service organization) is a voluntary non-profit organization where members meet regularly to perform charitable works either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations. A service club is defined firstly by its service mission and secondly its membership benefits, such as social occasions, networking, and personal growth opportunities that encourage involvement. Service clubs perform many essential services for their community and other worthy causes.”
(Source Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)

Many years I have been a member of several Service Clubs. As a professional young fire officer I was a member of Junior Chamber International. Becoming a fire-chief and moving to another part of my country I was asked to become a member of Round Table International. Reaching the age of forty I became a member of the 40+ club of Round Table international and Kiwanis International.

I keep lots of good remembrances and friendships as well.

There is still a lot charity in this world to do. What I liked most in the clubs I was able to join was the hands-on activities and the friendship. Talking and discussing about other things than work and cooperation to achieve something together for the benefit of others.

Living here in Thailand now I am no member anymore of this kind of clubs. Several times I still see or hear discussions from clubs spread all over the world and I think the intention is going more and more in the wrong direction.

The intention is and has to be SERVICE to the community. Not only as club but also as individual members. I feel sad to hear several times that a company pays for the membership. Just to get business benefits because of the network and friendships their employee gets.
For me it’s a pollution of the real intention of this kind of clubs and its members. When a member really wants to work on personal development and personal growth… it’s all about a personal thing and not a business related thing. So you pay yourself to keep your intentions clear and clean.

And although a service club is not necessarily exclusive of ideological motives, lots of them identify themselves through their club. And here is the other thing that sometimes makes me feel a bit sad. In my opinion, people who are member of this clubs have or had a certain social status or position and could easily afford being a member (themselves).
But what about the intention? Is the intention there 100% to serve community, friendship and personal development? As I look around on the internet (and in the area I live) the intention is more and more to identify their organization. To show how good they are in charity to society. To get or keep a status.

Showing the world how proud they are to be a member (and yes, I was as well) and what a wonderful things they are and were able to do to ‘serve’. Do not forget ‘WE’ did it…

When you are really up to serve out of your abundance, creativity, network and hands-on mentality that’s more than great and at lots of places and for lots of individuals or groups in society its more than needed. But does that most of the time for you ‘easy job’ need a ‘lifetime label’ you were so good together? To give attention to your visibility?

Sad to see for instance old men, sweating on their old tricycle bicycles, transporting ‘wealthy’ guests through our city with an immense sign of a service club on their back showing they are the sponsor of this sweating… And yes, the man earns some money with it I know. And still…

A basic thing in live, and you do not have to be a Service Club member for that, is to grow by sharing. Isn’t it your (and everybody’s) normal duty to share? It has everything to do with living and fulfilling your mission. You do not have to put a ‘sign’ or ‘label’ on it afterwards because it has everything to do with your calling. And yes again, I catch myself as well sometimes to share ‘my good deeds’ with the world. Being aware of it is again a step closer to just do what you have to do. If other people appreciate it, just accept a be willing to receive their ‘thank you’. That’s more than enough. No statue needed. 

Service clubs, connect with your basic intention. That’s 100% to serve. Not to promote yourself telling the world around how proud you are about your own serving. Isn’t it just your (charitable) work to do? No statue needed.

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.”