Friday, December 30, 2016

Aging. Do not fight the process of getting older. Accept the wonderful flow to get new. A New Year's thought.

Many people, and especially women, are suffering about aging. The older they get the more they fight it. A battle, for some even a war you can never win. Cosmetic industry and hospitals (plastic surgery, cosmetic medicine/botox) are fond off it because they earn tremendous amounts of money on this battles. Ever thought about the idea botox is bringing toxic (botulinetoxine) into your body to disconnect the connection between nerves and muscles?
Marketing helps us to go on believing the lie we can stay forever young. So it’s a hard job, every day again, and it takes you lots of money to help you to only think you stay forever young. Actually you change yourself more and more to show they outside world you are not young anymore. Taking a shower and looking at yourself in the mirror actually tells you the same or you turn yourself a blind eye and just try to believe something else…

A guest who was working with me was suffering about aging as well. It turned out to be a deeper and deeper conversation, contemplation and discovery. Happy to share the insights in this week blog, just at the end – the aging – of this year.

If you talk about your ‘Self’ at least you will find there are two things in relation to this ‘Self’ (I wrote a blog about it a couple of months ago already). The physical body and your mind in connection.
It’s believed the seat of our mind is our brain. The brain is ‘just’ an organ and part of the physical body as well.

Do not believe marketing you can stay forever young. When you stop and take only a little bit time to contemplate on this wide spread stories and (photo shopped) publications you know these are all lies. When people smile the paint (cosmetics) on their faces can crack, I sometimes think. Coming closer you see they are not showing what they really are. They show you a look alike or sometimes not even that any more. But yes an (un)natural smile. Sometimes I ask myself If they are ashamed for their own bodies? Don’t get me wrong. I really like it when ladies give attention to themselves showing who they really are and sometimes a little bit of cosmetics can make them, whatever age they have, even more bright shining the way they are.

So, you are getting older and cannot stop it. It’s a fact. You are, like me, only temporary and you can be happy (if you want) to reach an old age. If you are open and willing for that…accept the natural change. Many faces I see from people living here in the countryside show exited life stories you know?  

If you are willing to contemplate on the process of aging, you will be in for a great surprise. You are getting more and more new by the day!

The physical body is aging, including your brain. Just a natural process. Your mind, your spirit, can be more and more new by the day! This is called spiritual growth (do not think about religion). Building up more and more wisdom. And… most of us are not aware of this process.

Marketing and our outside world helps us to believe we have to work on our physical body. To buy all kind of things to change ourselves step by step and more and more into a person covered by veils. To go to the gym to give some times a week our body a fitness shot. Knowing you cannot (and for most of us will not) go on with this forever (and no, I have nothing against gyms). Our physical body is the thing we give attention and everything you give attention grows. We discover more and more and see things in the world around us that server our idea (and are willing to help us if we pay for it) to stay forever young.

You want to get more and more new by the day? Change your lifestyle!
Accept the flow of getting older. Nature is a wonderful mirror. Stop spending money on your war against aging. Start to LIVE in a different way. Give attention to the flow of getting more and more new by the day.

It’s just a matter of awareness and making use of nature as a mirror to learn. Being aware of what you eat and if you eat, being aware of eating (so no multitasking and no i-phone on the table). Taking more time to rest so to listen to your body (and switch off your i-phone on the nightstand sending and receiving radiation disturbing your sleep). Spend more time in nature. Just to breath and not necessary to run but just move. Walk more or use a/your bike. Disconnect to connect and re-claim conversation (face-to-face communication). Listen and follow your child in yourself. Stop judging but use the signal inviting you to judge to be curious and learn from different insights of another part of the truth. Contemplate more on the purpose of your life. Just some things out of a much wider span of things that does not cost you any money and make you live healthier (a matter of not only feel healthier).

Doing this you automatically build up more wisdom (that’s different than building up knowledge). You will get more and more new by the day and… as a result – believe it or not (yet) – you start to look younger. Your physical body will reward you for this approach by shining more in a natural way.

It’s just a different free and natural approach and you can go on with it till final rest.

Have a happy and more and more new New Year 2017 / 2560 (2560 is Thailand next year, Buddhist counting).

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, December 23, 2016

You run out of time! Too many signals not to ponder about this theme (especially at the end of the year).

What time is it? Hoe laat is het? Quelle huere est-ill? ¿QuĂ© hora es? Skol'ko syejchas vryemyeni? Perhaps the most asked daily question in the world.

Your run out of time! No, not the time. The time, likely, will go on for ever. Your time!
Did you use your time, so far, wisely? To be still? To cherish? To be grateful for your uniqueness and share your specific gifts as purpose? To live your dream instead of dreaming your life?

As a present and reward, from a Russian / Ukrainian family, - mother, father and two children – I recently worked with together, I got a book. "The Time Keeper" (author Mitch Albom). For several years already, at first request, I organize the program "Time is everything". Reading the book again offered me the connection, no to be honest attachment, to focus on this amazing theme and the insights you can get of it. Last week, because I got a serious traffic accident and a good too young friend of mine passed away (the next one) with his dreams what to do after retirement, again I had to face this theme deeply. 

At the canopy above the front door of my little house here in Thailand, a couple of years ago I placed the text: "The clock will not find you here". A twofold significance. On the one hand it shows that we have no clock in my house (only one without a battery  showing "five to twelve"). I do not want a clock to be the leader (or making me suffer of my time at home. On the other hand we invite the guests who want to visit us in this house to be there for each other. To re-claim conversation and do not feel in a hurry or stressed up. If you enter my house, better to leave your clock outside or turn it off. I do not appreciate disturbance in personal connection and face-to-face communication. Just out of respect.

I live here now more than four and a half years. Once I was really fond of watches. I believe I had over twenty. I must have them somewhere in a box, but did not find them so far. I am not wearing watches anymore to be the master of my life, as I do not wear any jewellery (accept a very thin golden chain my mother once gave to me to protect me).
My dog and owl do not wear a watch as well. That may sound a bit ridiculous but looking more deeply, only human beings brought the clock / time in their lives (thinking even more deeply you can see it as bringing in electric light so we are able to extend our working days in a day…). Because of this phenomenon we cannot live without time, we think. Animals do not have a clock. They obey nature, they go with the flow, follow their feelings, the rhythm of the day and the seasons.

More and more clock’s not only control our lives, they take hostage of our life. Even time management appears to be only a ‘tool’ to more and more laugh about. To schedule time in your agenda once a week for your relationship? Start to laugh about it! What are you doing? Is this really LIVING life in a spontaneous way?
It does not solves anything in the stress we experience. We run our lives as if time is running out. Be aware, time never runs out! Time goes on till the final ‘end of time’ God knows when… Ever thought about the idea only YOUR time is running out? Just a common and very natural principle related to life. Creation, Sustenance, Destruction, Silence (AUM).

And if you realize this, then ask yourself - perhaps specifically in this period of the end of the year – or even wonder, "What the hell is my life all about? What am I doing? Does this satisfy me? Who am I pleasing the way I act (run)? Is my life worth it? Great to pay my/our monthly mortgage and debts to enrich banks, pay for the caretaking of our children, having no free/private time anymore, destroying (yourself or together as partners) your relationship. But… the environment is proud and accepts the show (we only think). " Showing the environment how ‘happy’ we live, what a great jobs we have and what wonderful places we live…  And… there is always more to achieve… Other people show us so… let’s go for it…

We always want more, better, one step higher on the social ladder (I know all about it) until we discover what damage we made to ourselves and to others. Still going on in this vicious circle. And time ... always goes on, never stops... but never comes back.

Ever watched your breathing? Your breathing is showing it but we hardly are aware. If you stop breating… no more goodies. In a split second all you “have” (had) gone… Your ‘power’, ‘status’, ‘position’, reality gone. “Rich” or poor. Maybe for a very short time you can be aware of it but… that time very often is too late. You discover you created your own live (being unconscious about it).

Time is your biggest asset. We run our lives firmly thinking, or not even thinking, it will never come to an end. And the end of our time still may perhaps might take a while (though? my experience working in the fire department, emergency response and crisis management and my road traffic accident last week again really change my thoughts). But you can be for 100% sure your life will not go on forever.

Time may have brought a lot and made a lot of things and processes 'measurable'. Time also raped our lives. And with our continuous mode of clinging to it we harm ourselves and our environment more and more. We even do not enjoy the moments in life we are aware of living. Running to the future because we think some happiness is waiting for us. Not even aware we are (in most cases) standing on top of it.

Just an invitation to give it a try. Especially at the holiday season that’s starting today. Try for a while to live without a clock. Go to bed when you're tired, wake up when the birds outside start to sing their early morning wake up songs. Go for an early morning walk and be inspired. Take off your watch and switch off all the clocks in your house, on the walls, on your nightstand, of your microwave, your phone (so switch it off), in the kitchen, or anywhere (you'll be surprised how many clocks you have). Do not want them to rule your life for a while.

We do not realize the sound the world makes – unless, of course, it comes to a stop. Then, when it starts, it sounds like an orchestra.

An invitation, just for once in your life, to give it a try at the end of the year and to make life a new experience again.

For me it feels great. The clock won’t find you here (nearly) anymore in my house and I experience ongoing freedom around my wrist.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and an even higher awareness of the coming year 2017 or 2560 (because that’s the year we already start to live in Thailand. What about time? ;) 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, December 16, 2016

VIP? Every person is unique. The imprisonment of the “P” of a not being so “V”

More and more I am observing the ongoing show people make of life where they are acting who they think they are. A lot of time just only an expression of the ego. They call themselves VIP’s or other people create VIP’s of them out of personal dependency.

I think it has to do with the programming my parents gave me and my cultural background, thankful for that, but I never ever felt very impressed by the ongoing VIP-shows. Being in the middle, sometimes even the spotlights, arranging outcomes and people around them behaving as a kind of slaves.
Actually I always felt this people cannot be their selves. Behaving to expectations and so not able to show all their uniqueness, not really having a private life any more.  

I still remember, being a young professional fire-chief, with a part of my staff members we went for lunch at the restaurant of the Ministry of Defense who had a department in the city I lived in and worked for. At a certain moment during one of our lunches a lot of ‘panic’ and everybody was summoned to stand up next to their chairs because the general was entering the restaurant. He was mend to be a VIP visiting his own department. That’s all great and well and still for me the question was why this panic, why this show. And yes I know it is possible a way to show respect but do you show respect behaving as a kind of subservient showing dependency not being dependent at all of him?
A unique human being enters a place full of other unique human beings in the restaurant. So we stayed seated and I had a nice and funny conversation with the general afterwards because the uniform of the fire-brigade in The Netherlands, at that time, had much in common with the uniforms of the Royal Dutch Navy. He showed up to be just a normal human being like every one of us.

Just before I started to write this blog I got an article from a former Dutch colleague who was impressed because a mayor of a Dutch town (a VIP but also just a human being) made his apologies to a farmer in his town about something he first expressed in the media. Is this stunning news because he is a VIP showing he is (just as the farmer) just an unique human being as well?

More and more visitors we have at our resort seem to have or get a ‘VIP status’. Taking the role of an observer it’s a wonderful show to enjoy. People getting nervous and acting different because of a ‘celebrity’ who arrived.

When I tell about my former job as CEO people a lot of times ask me what I did and where. I tell them it was in Zeeland, province of the Netherlands. They tell me they know New-Zealand but no… I am so sorry, that’s not the place. It’s called Zeeland! Where is that? They do not know… I feel sad they never heard about it. Sometimes they do not even know where The Netherlands are.
I ask them if the know our prime minister or our former queens commissioner and the chairman of our political board and I mention their names. Or the mayor of the capital of our province Middelburg. They are all VIP’s in a certain way I guess but… the answer still is no… ;(. Some people know our lovely Dutch queen.

One of my neighbors here is a former American pilot, now a pilot and flight instructor. He told me, talking about this VIP theme, a couple of times he had VIP’s on board. Famous Hollywood movie stars. The crew members at that time were very enthusiastic and exited and wanted to go for a signature (nowadays possible even a selfie together with the 'celebrity'). It did not bother him. He told me his thought “He or she was not a legend in his own time, he was a legend in his own mind.”

Very important persons most of the time seem to be not ‘Very’ important. They are possibly well known in a part of society, a town or a village. And even having a million followers on Facebook or Weibo does not say (for me) you are very, very famous, special or important. Only like me, unique. I never heard about most of them, like they never heard about me. But why do you need to be 'Very' Important?

The show made around a so called VIP puts the person (the P) in a kind of prison. Even their houses many times are guarded, protected by walls and camera systems. What about a ‘private’ life?

The so called importance of a person is created out of status, position, power, narcissism, money and dependency we (think) we have. Not because of his or her uniqueness. It is something else for me in relation to respect. But as a VIP be respectful to other unique human beings as well. Lots of times I see a different behavior at our place.

So maybe we can help VIP’s to become VUP’s. Better even make it shorter to UP’s (Unique Persons, like everybody else). Helping them out of their imprisonment of VIP’s. 

As my parents told me: “Just do normal, that’s crazy enough”. Respect every person as long as he or she deserves it in a normal way and respect you in return. They are not God.

The Thai way of doing the so called “Wai” (Greeting saying: “A lotus for you, the Buddha (inside yourself) to be”. The invitation just to be the one you are. Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.

Show your uniqueness not how important you are. It will take some time and maybe till eternity I guess. In the meantime I go on being the observer, enjoying the show people make of showing their unique lifestyle in public. 

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, December 9, 2016

Did you already reach your goals this year? Are you Future Fit?” Absolutely! How?

What a question ... "Did you reach your goals this year? Are You Future Fit? "Absolutely! How?

I received, skilfully placed exactly in time, a message via the social media of a good acquaintance. Actually nothing personal but a personified group mail.

"Dear Frans,
The countdown has begun. 2017 Is knocking at the door. A new year with new opportunities. Opportunities that you can redeem only if the organization is ready. A Future Fit organization is continuously improving its services. Continuously developing its people and processes."

With an approach of my 'old' lifestyle, no wrong business propositions.
Personally, you can link questions like: "Have you achieved already your goals this year? Are you Future Fit?”. In short, the mail invited me to respond personally so one-to-one and not marketing wise.  Like no other I know this acquaintance from a former cooperation. The great passion and creativity of the sender and the desire to share that passion. And that is why I dared to mirror my feelings. Something that I want to do with this public blog as well.

More and more I unleashed all the 'goals' that I had in my life. More and more I laugh about them thinking once I had them in my mind. Many, many management training helped me to believe the question and follow the outcome; “Where do you want to be within five years?”. To work on achieving that. Discover what I needed to do. To go for them. Taught to run after the goals in your life because you need to go for goals. And, if you finally succeed in reaching them, you hardly celebrate them. You are already up, on your way, to run to the next objective. How stupid that I never saw this before ... That I believed that lessons from the system called society.

Fulfilling my former profession in fire-brigade, rescue, disaster relief and crisis management, I'd rather known better. Too many have I seen in the splendor job and to discover that everything in life, and even life, is only temporary. In a split second you can lose everything…
Too many friends and acquaintances with their dreams for the future I lost. Their dreams about what to do after retirement age (I think you are always entitled to stop working, but that's something else) did not come true.
I learned to run after. To sometimes even fight the battle of achieving my personal the targets in five years. Even damaged myself and my family with it (I shared that a couple of months ago already). When I reached them, already I was running to the next target to reach in the next five years (instead of taking the time to sincerely celebrate I got there). “If you want, you can achieve everything! Just believe it!”, was (and perhaps still is) the slogan (or lie).

Too much future focused, too little enjoying that I was standing on top of the real and only goal in life. I did not see it (because, after all, I stood on top). And once I had reached another goal ... immediately a hop on to the next target. Too little standing still, sitting on my ‘milking stool’, to ponder on the flowers I had sown (and the weeds that may have been there between). Not waking up, but only very briefly sad, if friends around me, with their future dreams and goals died at a young age.

I changed (had to change) my way of living. Did you already achieved your goals this year? How Future Fit are you…? Wake up! There is only one purpose in life (words of OSHO I live now) and that is TO LIVE.

Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, once said that every journey begins with the first step. For me every day begins with the first step. So tomorrow not with the second but consciously again with a first. And living without all the so well known targets - al fixed destinations - allows me, every day and so far over and over again, every day to reach a destination. Just look back and learn, go to sleep without worrying (or at least worrying less) and be thankful if you get the opportunity to wake up the next day. For me, if not, with all the sadness my life, like yours, knows as well, all together it was very good…
Do not create scapegoats and general excuses that this for me now is easy talk and that you have your responsibilities. For me it was a hard way to unlearn and more and more I feel free.

I should have known better and much earlier but did not want to admit to. I needed a crash in the 7 km long Dutch Westerschelde tunnel to listen to the final ‘wake-up-call’. Now I can say… just in time. I am thankful, living this (my since five years new) life philosophy, I reach my goal every day again. The great insights I get by working with many different people and cultures in what I call 'Street University' help me to always be more than enough Future Fit for the next day again. So to take the first responsible step without any stress and having fun again.

Embrace your life, your future naturally creates itself, do not fight it. Build your bridge while walking it. Every day enjoying the first step again. Being proud of the unknown destination you reach and of the result.

Goal reached. Ongoing Fit for the Future… LIVING can be beautiful.

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, December 2, 2016

Our life is a life of suffering (and many, many wonders)

Some people understand, some other don’t (yet).

Learning more and more about personal lives of people from all different cultures from all over the world actually show me everybody is suffering in his or her life. We only think other people are much more happy than we are. But in practice the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence till you get there. Soon you will realize it’s all an outside show, hiding their personal unhappiness in live even with a smile.
Even people who think and tell this is not the truth will discover it is the truth when they are getting older reaching the last rest.

Our life is a life of mental and – for sure when you are getting older - physical suffering. This is even mentioned as the first of the so called “Four Noble Truths” in Buddhism.

The question is; “How do you deal with this suffering?”.
Lots of people focus their attention on themselves, on their not easy lives. Have pity with themselves, complain about everything, seek attention for their ‘problems’ in life, and toxify themselves and their environment. They only see the suffering in life. But suffering is not the true nature of the universe. There is so much more.

We need to find the cause. That can make us free from our suffering.
Suffering is the result of the way we live and of our erroneous understanding of life. Of our ignorance. A false way of looking at reality.
We take life for granted, run life, strive for more, and marketing helps us to create more and more desires. Not our desires but our clinging to our desires causes a lot of our suffering. Thinking the impermanent is permanent for instance, is ignorance. And from ignorance is born greed, anger, fear, jealousy, and countless other sufferings.

We focus on our suffering. Think we are victim but actually we create being a victim.
This is not only a life of suffering. This is also a life of many, many wonders. But when you are disconnected with life you do not see the wonders that are available for you on a daily base. And when you do not see them, you do not live them. You stay with a dream instead of living your dream.

When I was still living in The Netherlands - as a ‘stretcher bearer’ and helper – I several times joint a pilgrimage to Lourdes (The Pyrenees, France / Europe) with a group of most elderly and disabled people. It says many wonders appear and appeared at this holy and sacred place. I do not even believe but, deeper, I surely know this is truth. People who are suffering of a mental or physical illness or disease meet other people. They connect with each other, they hear and feel each other’s stories. The wonder that appears is it makes them silent. They hear stories much worse than they are in themselves. It’s a relieve.

We continue to focus on the things that disturb us in life. Health, money, disturbances and disappointments in friendships or relationships, problems in our work, etc.. Actually you can see them as things to learn. A lot of times you do not get the things you want. Afterwards you understand you got the things you needed to grow… And yes this can be hard to handle. Especially when you are in that specific situation. It can be hard to find a way to be the witness, the observer, of the situation. Not to judge but to understand and possible learn from it. 

Our suffering keeps us busy and focused on the things we are suffering about. Keeping us away from the possibility we have to focus on the many wonders that are available in our lives, here and now.

Focus on the wonders, be thankful for all you have and got. Enjoy LIVING life more and feed and nurture your grass to be and stay green. No show needed. Only enjoyment.   

Overcome ignorance, be curious, cross borders and fences, be connected with all that is already available for you as well. Stop your general excuses and find creative ideas to take every day again the first step to connect with the many wonders in life.

True liberation. 

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.”