Friday, May 27, 2016

The value of taking the time for at least once a day enjoying a meal as a family together

For lots of people just a normal fact for lots not at all.
During a Dhamma talk (Buddhist teaching) I was told that according to Thai tradition, even though you might have three meals a day, there should be at least one of those meals when the whole family is together. To be aware of being together, to share thoughts and to learn from each other and from Dhamma (how to live life without suffering) and to be aware of eating. No television, no mobile devices. It is just a common way to truly connect.
It is a way of making your home a receptive and safe habitat.

“Some people claim that they are overburdened with work. However if you consider that the only reason that you spend so much time at work is to be a (or one of the) breadwinner(s) for your family to send your child to day care, to drive in an even more expensive car or a to live in a bigger bigger or even more comfortable house – then think again. If you are left with no time to bring up your children properly and your child gets addicted to heroin because of your negligence, a million dollars or Euro’s would be insufficient to rectify the problem”, the teacher told.   

He went on: “If on the contrary, you can get by while still finding sufficient time to give full attention to your child’s upbringing, then you will be rewarded (and you help the child to reward him/her self) when your child grows up into a virtuous example of a human being.”

Many parents make themselves ill in the rat race earning money for even more luxury and when they have the time to spend their money with their family they still are not even connected together. They still are connected with work because they think the work and the world cannot miss them. People call themselves manager but they cannot even manage their own life in a proper way (as was my own personal discovery years ago about my own life).

Bringing up children means more than just seeing that there is food on their plate, a roof above their head, that they can join all kind of clubs - where you have to organize or to stress-up to bring and pick them up again -, that they have the newest mobile devices (electronic nanny’s) so they can keep themselves busy and will not disturb you. The monk added.

Many parents, when it is too late, discover that they cannot change the past and are disappointed about what went wrong and why they did not see it. Actually at that moment it is a mirror that they didn’t take the ‘trouble’ to bring up the child properly, the monk told us.

The Buddhist teaching is that parents need to instil their children with virtue and to this end, both children and parents should see each other’s’ faces and take the time to deeply connect with each other across the dining table at least once a day. No mobile devices, no television, real personal connection open and willing not to hear each others talk but to understand."

This talk touched me. Thinking about my life in The Netherlands for a long time. Every morning seeing parents in a rush to sometimes literally ‘drop’ their children at day-care. Just before closing time of day care in the same or even more rush because they had to prepare for their personal evening activities, pick them up again.

My parents both were busy and hardworking people but they felt responsible and understood the art of raising a family and that there was time needed to stay connected with that what was going on in their household. So yes, we had at least one meal a day together and had really quality family time as the pictures showed to connect with each other (no mobile phone to see and indeed television switched off). 

And yes, even I got their wonderful example, I made in my early career years exactly the same mistakes as the monk described. Work was my life and to be honest it took its toll. Happy to took really the time for my children to connect with them. Nice when they are here to dive into lots of envelops full of pictures of the past that shows why we still have a strong connection with each other and with living life.

Be aware and take care. Time flies and never comes back again. Disconnect to connect…

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, May 20, 2016

Our blindness for the destroying of our sensitivity

This week some personal wanderings around our fading away sensitivity in relation to life after reading a book I borrowed from my neighbors.

When you deal with blind people you can discover that they are accustomed to realities we cannot even imagine. Their sensitivity to the world of touch, smell, taste and sound is such, as to make the rest of us seem like boring chunks. We pity persons who have lost their sight but rarely take into account the enrichment that their other senses offer them. It is a misfortune that those riches are ‘bought’ at the heavy price of blindness and it is quite conceivable that we could be as alive and finely attuned to the world as blind people are without the loss of our eyes.

We connect with the outside world with our senses. Watching takes about 70% of our so called ‘sense energy’ so when you close your eyes automatically there is more energy available to raise the sensitivity of the other senses. And with them the awareness and connection with the world around us raises. Tasting, touching, smelling and listening – and even being aware of the energy around you - become more and more a journey of discovering and real connection.

Once we got mobile devices to support us and make things easier for us. Nowadays they seems to be the meaning of life. We cannot live without them anymore. They are not only attachments but became to be the new addiction, a drug.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against use of ‘social’ media. I use them myself. I feel sad about the addiction, the drug that people need to feel connected but actually to show they are not connected at all anymore.
I know, everything you give attention grows. Walking around in shopping malls, in the city, in restaurants, during the service in our church and, sad to say, also more and more at the health location I live and work, everybody only the greater part of the day seems to be connected with his or her mobile ‘lifeline to the world’.

Lusting eyes, being afraid to miss any experiences of what’s going on, the feeling of being connected, the idea the device gives meaning to our existence.
Thich Nhat Hanh, a famous Vietnamese monk, calls them devises to help us to flee home. To help us to not connect with ourselves. We are afraid of going home. Because we are anxious, feel lonely, we are afraid, in doubt, uncertain, feel lost, jealous, possessive and carry our sorrows and pain. So this is a means we think it is the passport to lasting joy, peace and freedom. Actually destroying the sensitivity of the senses that really connect with people, our environment, with life.

They help us to come into a cycle starting with attraction. From attraction to pleasure, then to attachment, to satisfaction, which finally leads to boredom and frustration. Mixed with the anxieties, the jealousies, the loneliness, the sorrow, the pain, that makes the cycle a roller coaster. And we are not even aware anymore of this.  Our attachment to our digital devises more and more nowadays is a need, a clinging that blunts your sensitivity, a drug that clouds your perception. A sensitivity destroyer.

Awareness caries the key. To strike the destroyer of sensitivity and real connection with life.

See the suffering that this drug is causing you. The ups and downs, the thrills, the anxieties and disappointments, the boredom to which it must inevitably lead. Where is your time to do nothing?
Realize what this drug is cheating you out of, namely the freedom to really connect and enjoy every minute in life.
Understand how, because of your addiction and your programming, you have invested the devise with the beauty and value it simply does not have. What you are so charmed of is in your head, not in your device.

Awareness breaks the spell. So, not even in a playful way, the device is no longer ruler of your life or the meaning of living. Switch it of more often to help, like a blind person does, and keep all your senses sensitive. To connect (and when this is nothing for you then to show respect at least for the cook who prepared your diner).

Maybe strange to say. Let’s say, to make it easy, it’s an addiction. So you will have to deal with withdrawal symptoms for sure. But there is a wonderful gift waiting for you.
You will learn you start to enjoy more and more and finally everything (instead of nothing). You make the great discovery that what you are enjoying on the occasion of each thing and person is something within yourself. The orchestra is within you and you carry it, like the devise, wherever you go. The stories on your device about things and people outside you merely determined what particular melody the orchestra would play. And when there is the awareness that your device – so no one or nothing - has your attention the orchestra will play a music of its own; it needs no outside stimulation.  You now carry in your heart a happiness that nothing outside of you can put there, and nothing can take away.

You suddenly become sensitive to realities whose existence you have never suspected and respect them. Real sympathy and concern for others. Real connection. Not respond from need but from sensitivity.

Be aware of the use of (and start switching off more) your digital supporting equipment. When you call yourself a manager and think about the idea this is not possible ask yourself what manager you are of your life....
Be as alive and finely attuned to the world as blind people are without the loss of your eyes.

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

Friday, May 13, 2016

Music and singing, language that connects with the symphony called life.

“Music is a language that connects”. Music is the red thread through everyone’s life. It gives energy, strength, comfort, joy and cherishes memories of all kinds."

I got the inspiration for the title of this blog by a message from an old friend of mine, Everdien Berendsen, in the Netherlands. She is president of a Dutch music association. This music association had chosen this theme for the New Year's reception of this year.

The title intrigued me to think about it even deeper and some of these thoughts I want to share this week in our blog. Music and in my opinion also singing, language that connects.

Thinking of “language” mainly speaking and writing are plopping up in my mind. When I look deeper, I come to the word communication. A transmitting and receiving so, when open to it, connection. But can you see music as a kind of talking? Is it a language all those notes on staves that you write? Anywhere in the world it's written the same and you can read it wherever you are in the world. It's a kind of worldwide language and thus inviting to connect worldwide. A language that has the possibility to express things that lots of times can not be told.

Music and singing for me are vibrations that can bring something into turmoil. Like spoken language it has to do with frequencies. The frequency of music and singing, out of my experience, is so much more. Sound creates wonders, sound has the energy and possibility to heal. The combination of sounds in music or by using the voice in song (much stronger than speaking) connects with emotion, with feeling. It is not for no reason that Tibetan monks beside chanting also use sound (singing bowls) for meditation. They free the mind and have a healing effect. 
Masaru Emoto, with his water experiments, showed  the enormous influence music, sounds and intentions can have on the molecular structure / crystal structure of water (think about the idea we are about 80% water). So music and singing literally have an influence on our well-being.

Real connection has to do with energy, with emotion. How different as, nowadays, the ‘emotion’ of  gently touching a screen of any supporting mobile device in your right or left hand... 
Fortunately, I know quite a few people who know the art of touching and connecting by music and singing. My former secretary is one of them. She sometimes just is her music instrument (piano) and shares, with heart and soul, her deeply rooted talent with passion. She is also teaching how to play piano. Just last Monday she wrote to me: “For me it’s ongoing incredibly fun to experience how I can learn people (especially children) a new language / environment / emotion which permanently enriched their lives.”. For me this is certainly true. 

Several years ago I attended a course named "Aristotle, music and mastery." Victor Müller and Erik Boers were the inspirational hosts. A combination of discovering the power of the application of philosophy in organizations, and connection and flow through music. I still use experiences and insights from this course in my programs here. One of my beautiful experiences, by singing at work, believe it or not, was simply getting a playful connection again. In Great Britain,  during a fire officers training  it helped to get an even better team spirit and even mayors who joined out of interest spontaneously and with a relaxed smile on the face started to sing again. And what about singing at scouting (or in the army). It's a powerful beat to connect.

Music and singing support energy to flow again. To get the experience you only just have to give room to the art of stopping so you give yourself the opportunity to experience this beauty. And it’s useless to debate about taste, music you like or not, but for 100% there is always to find some music or song that completely resonates with you. 

How simple you can give yourself a wonderful gift. Many thanks to all those people who just share this unique talents and make others happy with it or be supportive in flow or dealing with emotions in the rhythm of life.

Just feel invited to really stop and open your sensations for being touched and connected with music and singing. The road to connection with the symphony of life. Music and singing in fact creates natural space to connect with your inner world and outer world on a much deeper level widening your world. 
And a great Buddhist understanding. Music brings you in connection with the now. You cannot look backwards but are willing to stop clinging to attachments (present tones you hear) and open up for the new tones to come in harmony.

An example? How talent in music and singing can rely. More than enough examples. This one just happened to cross my path this week (Andrea Bocelli - Solomia | Voice Kids 2015). It’s all a matter of being and showing yourself and to share your uniqueness within.

Enjoy what’s called the symphony of LIFE in sincere connection.

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, May 6, 2016

“I don’t have the time for it!” Ever took the time to give attention to this expression?

Recently, two guests wanted to do a health program of two weeks. They made the choice to only spend 10 days on it. They knew, it was even scientifically proven they told me, the best effects could only be reached doing the program two weeks but ... they did not have time for it because of busy work and life.

The sentence; "I do not have time." stayed in my mind the rest of the day ongoing circling around in my head. What do you actually say?
I have no time for it. I do not have time for it now. I do not yet have time for it. In fact it are all excuses you make in your mind not to do that what you actually want to dot. And of course, it may also be true sometimes you come up with this general apology because you actually do not want to do something at all.

That sentence shows something about your personal choices. My father and mother often told me if I spoke the same sentence; "Then create the time for it." Indeed, there is always time and it is all about where you lay your priorities. Now they would probably complementary say: "If you are a little bit less available on the Internet you will discover you have plenty time for yourself left."

We periodically organize a program "Time is everything" here in Thailand. A wonderful theme to discover. Time is not faster or slower than before. We think we can or should do more with our time. We strive and compete in life because we think it is necessary for the reason that everyone around us does do the same. So we think it is normal and necessary.
Just for fun practice aimlessness for just five minutes, and you will see how happy you are during those five minutes. Maybe you may experience a sense of joy and room to breathe. Not crawl into the countless distractions that you are even carrying on your girdle or in your pocket. Just do nothing. Perhaps as well a sense of disquiet out of a form of anxiety to connect with yourself. In aimlessness, you can explore that you do not lack anything, that you already be what you want to become. So all your striving can come to an end. You may experience a sense of joy and room to breathe.

If you have no time - or not have time yet - to do things that are especially good for you, as working on your holistic health, your long-term happiness, your ‘ME-time” (timeout to make up your balance sheet and to recharge), breathing again, turn around and be proud of yourself of what you already achieved in life, to determine what life for you really is all about, your only goal in life called 'LIVING' (instead of running)... then something is wrong with your priorities in life.

There is more than enough time, even now. It has everything to do with making the right choices (for yourself and that’s not an egoistic thing). In your life there is nothing else to do than to live and fulfil your mission. To share your unique contribution and to make yourself and the world around more happy. There is nothing to attain, nothing to realize, no program, no agenda for life. You do not have to wait for the next signal, shock or wake-up call from your outside world (or maybe even your inside world) to make facts visible what life really is all about.

You want to gain time for yourself right now? Just a fact. An exercise I regularly do about holistic time balance with guests shows that people have time left during the span of a day. Every time a strange discovery. They find out that this is due to time-consuming use of social media and about twenty minutes per hour watching television which marketing steals from them. Maybe a an option to switch off more often.

Stop your general apology and immediately just now take the time for what really matters to you. Do not plan it, as I said already there is no agenda or program, make it your nature. Do not wait too long and certainly not till it will be too late (even though you yourself will not realize that anymore). And thing about that specific moment can be very soon. For sure that’s not a wish but just a statement.

Take your time to LIVE life NOW. Do what you have to do in the understanding there is nothing to attain. 

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.”