Friday, December 29, 2017

Captijn Insight Thailand New Year's Wish 2018

New Year's Wish

Every wish is a gift
If you grant someone something beautiful, you give something beautiful.
If you grant someone something ugly, you give something ugly.
And if you then understand that we get back hundredfold everything we give
('Whoever sows wind will reap storm'), then it is actually highly remarkable
and extremely regrettable that we only have a few days a year
to wish others good things and that all of these wishes
usually do not extend beyond our family, friends and acquaintances.
We do not grant ourselves and the people around us enough rewarding and wish for.

That's why I wish for you the following things in the coming year:

Enough discernment to see everything that comes on your life path as necessary to learn and to grow and to do exactly what the situation demands and needs at the right time.

Enough trust in the natural course of things to not feel compelled to compete.

An effortlessly flowing and being present for that which appears to you.

Enough space in your life to take every day a moment to wish all beings in the world beautiful things.

Enough light in your heart to not exclude anyone out of this wish
or, if that does not work, enough silence in your mind to sincerely find out what is holding you back.

And furthermore;

That you may discover what’s your deepest purpose and desire of your life and that you may be given everything that is needed to live that deepest desire.

Of course, this wish does not limit itself only to you but also applies to the people around you, all people I know and all people that I do not know (in so far as there is any difference between the latter two groups).

A brilliant 2018 ( Buddhist year 2561)!

Frans Captijn
Host Captijn Insight work-retreat programs

(Captijn Insight wishes you a nice transition to a year in which you can receive love and friendship, give the best of yourself in function of your own development, and develop the courage and strength to complete the next steps on your life path, supported by good health (by taking full responsibility for it in the first place yourself)).

We hope to meet you in 2018 at one of our programs.

(Thanks for the inspiration to my former teacher and members of the Satsang of the Padma Center, Middelburg-NL)

Friday, December 22, 2017

Distraction. The unbroken connection with unrest ... The fear and escape for rest and coming home.

Many people who have already been here at the place where I live and work, regularly and independently of each other have said that they think I live in Paradise. To be honest that feels like a super compliment about that what I call ‘being home'.

Mainly for me it is the experience of the high energy level I experience here, the connection with nature (flora and fauna) and culture. The, for me, much stronger relationship with what is LIVING life all about than I had ever before. All available for free. It’s just a matter of opening your senses to accept.

The Pavana Chiang Mai Resort, where I live and work, calls itself; 'The one-stop destination for healthy living'. A holistic approach.
After all, being healthy does not only have to do with your physical body. Your mind, emotional balance, spiritual connection and deepening and insight into you’re your approach to your energy givers and drainers are also part of it. All of great importance to feel intensely 'healthy' and therefore also to be able to really call yourself ‘healthy’.

In the approach of the physical body, the resort also works together with an external organization that mainly focuses on the body fitness. People of literally all types / come-off and sizes who are here for a week or sometimes more. Intensively busy with their body. And with the temperatures we have here and in relation to the intense and heavy program is not always only having fun I can tell you. A program especially full of intensive physical activities. No stopping or standing still. Running, cycling, swimming, training. When I often see the bitter faces of many participants, I sometimes wonder if they do not experience it as a temporary physical torment for the 'good cause' instead of the possible introduction of the invitation to a long life healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle. But if people really give it a place, make it a routine in their lives afterwards? I just and only wonder.
And actually this does not make any difference with doing a detoxification program here. Giving your body only a one time gigantic shock by heavy cleansing cannot really be healthy in my eyes. You need to change your lifestyle. The intention is to see it as a start to do that.

Recently when I walked to the Sala, my open classroom here on the hill, I met a man from that fitness program. Outwardly he looked stressed, completely caught in his mind, headphones on his head (more and more people I see walking around with it).
I tried to speak to him. Of course he did not hear me. I could hear the hard fitness/workout music on his ears from a distance. Totally in a kind of 'trans'. He finally saw my approach to connect with him and took the trouble to take his earphones from his ears and to hang them around his neck for a short while. In the for me now even more noise created by the device, I told him that he missed the free available fantastic bird and animal sounds in this paradise as a gift to remember the start of a brand new day. If looks could kill…

When I returned home I saw that I had not turned that morning the ‘page of the day’ of my book "Wisdom from the Far East 365 Days" yet. So I did. And it showed me this:

"The wind blows and lies down. The birds are whistling. A dewdrop of a leaf falls in the deep valley of the mountain. Even more peaceful is the mountain. "
(Master Keizan)

A smile on my face arose. Accidently?
I am thankful and grateful to hear those birds every day, almost every day I witness the always different sunrise. Indeed I hear those dewdrops fall, my dog and myself breathing, the sound of my footsteps on the walking path and his dribble and especially ... all those fantastic morning sounds that the animals make at the crack of the day. That fantastic energy of the living environment. The smell of the forest, of the farmlands under the dew, or the rice paddies. The chanting of monks in the distance. The man who early brings his cows to his land and, hopping behind the animals, his little daughter in her school uniform supporting them. She is already ready for the school bus, but still helps to bring the cows to the land together with her dad. No mobile phone in her hand.
Yes ... indeed ... a paradise.

And does that all only have to do with here? I do not think so and I think certainly it plays a role. It’s more inviting but, not to everybody like the headphone man. Much more, however, I think it has to do with the lifestyle and your own choice to be able and allow yourself to connect with that what already is there. With that what is free available. With the silence. And do not get me wrong. Silence is not the absence of something. It is not. It is the invitation to be aware of the availability of everything that is already waiting, is already there, for you. For me a different connection than walking with music on my ears in this beautiful nature.

Always and forever the need for distraction. And if you ask people, they just do it to relax ... For me a run away from yourself. Fear of going and coming home to yourself.

So for me no headphones in that fantastic nature. Nice to hang them on the willows.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, December 15, 2017

Pure nature, pure connection. No pedaling a stationary bike that goes nowhere. Thanks to Kadhow

Last Saturday I worked with a wonderful group of 10 business women from Myanmar. The ‘girls’ offered themselves a four day program of movement and actually of standing still. Of stopping. A nice way of deepening and real connecting again. Time to breathe.

In the evening I organized a campfire meeting with the wonderful ‘Chiang Mai Khom Fai lanterns’. A playful way of letting go or to wish for. And after that we worked with connection dance. Accepting flow and feeling trust. All together till nearly midnight.

In the afternoon during their break two of the ladies of the group visited me and invited me to bring my dog that evening because all the ladies were animal lovers. I never got this question before and so actually, accept for the weekly hike, I never brought my dog to my classes. Sometimes, earlier when it was still living together with us, I brought my owl but my dog… never.

I looked Kadhow, my dog, in his eyes and his tail started to twist already. So I thought; let’s do it! It turned out it made the guests, my dog and me myself very happy and he behaved fabulous well.

During the campfire I got all kind of questions about him. As a six weeks old puppy he came into my life. He found me. A gift from a monk from the temple (Wat Saluang, about 20 minutes from here) he was born. Now, five years old (younh) already. I tell everybody who ask me what type of dog he is, what ‘brand’, that he is a Royal Thai Temple dog. This makes sense because temple dogs are sometimes believed to be former monks that in their former life did not behave very well and have to learn over again. To be honest I think Kadhow has to be more lives a temple dog because he still acts as a playful puppy. Knows how to steal what he wants to have and actually is always happy.
Once I got a book from my son Rik, who is a zoo keeper, to help me in how to raise a puppy to get an understanding and listening dog. The book showed all kind of pictures that shows the different expressions, body language, of dogs. Kadhow only shows me one expression. Always happy, not shy, and his tail with a curl in the air. The other pictures? Waste of paper in the book for him i guess.

I told my guests that Kadhow for me is my Buddhist monk and teacher. He is my fitness instructor, our house guard, my warning signal for snakes and other animals and reptiles in the forest. The guide who shows the tracks for hiking. The one who lowers the already very low threshold (actually takes it away) in making interactions and connections with other people and animals for me. The one that shows me empathy and understanding. My alert wake-up call if I only very seldom do not wake up on time. The one who shows what unconditional love is. My companion.
And last but not least he showed my last Sunday evening the one that goes on bringing me new branches out of the forest to keep the campfire - and so the nice chats and energy around - running.

The past is already gone, the future not yet there. The present moment is the only moment that life can be touched. And being aware of that is being aware that this is the only thing that never stops. Do not suffer, stop complaining, accept life as it is, do not worry. Be only yourself. That’s the teaching of my Buddhist temple dog.  

The campfire shining in his glittering, inviting, charming, and playful eyes. Guarding the group walking around several times. They call it instinct I guess. Wonderful to observe.

Pure nature, Pure connection. For me no pedaling a stationary bike going nowhere for hours or doing physical exercises to get my body fit. Without any effort I get it all for free and with a lot of fun, love and pleasure from my dog!   

What a wonderful experience to have a, for me THIS, dog Kadhow!

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

Don't expect less. Be happy to face you are different.

Last week I had a chat on Skype with my daughter in Australia. She had a sad experience in relation to her expectations. Still over and over again I have the same experiences (and my son as well). Feeling a bit sad about expectations not come true.

For over five years already in my house I have a sign (actually the only one because I do not like this ‘tile wisdom quotes’) on the mirrors in both my bathrooms. The one shown on the picture of this blog. The way to understand this ‘simple’ rules is less simple than they simple are.

Many times I get requests about the programs I offer in relation to flow, talents, purpose of live, transitions in live, personal development, and so on. People share a part of their life story and this stories resonate with me. I feel I can be available for them to work on their personal discoveries. Lots of times a couple of week interaction by mail and even Skype.
Believe it or not. After this intense and engage contact in about 1/3 of the cases at a certain moment there is full and total silence from the other side. You hear nothing anymore. For me it has a lot to do with no respect, no politeness and… for myself learning.

More and more guests who visit us here ask me to take a picture with me. Many want to have a copy of my poems and classes. They promise you to send you the picture. 90% Never does do. You send them the requested information the same day. 75% Not even a thank you. And I can go on sharing this kind of experiences. Not only work related it has also to do with lot of ‘social media friends’.

People ask you to connect on for instance LinkedIn and show interest in you. The first step for me to know they show interest is that they do not just and only push the unfriendly automatic button: “Hi Frans, I'd like to join your LinkedIn network.”, but write you a short personal message (so they take a little bit time to connect) and ask you about your life. One of the things for me to see they really want to spend a bit time to interact again is if they finish the sentence or couple of sentences with writing their greeting and name full. Many times it shows for instance (in Dutch): Gr. P (as Greets Peter or have a nice day Peter). Less and less people really are interested and take the time to connect. The wonderful digital world.

So am I not satisfied with this kind of things (and more as I already wrote down)? Actually it has not to do with satisfaction. It has everything to do with expectations. And facing that, there is still for me a lot to learn.

The mirror of this ongoing experience is that I am different (not better). My parents showed me another way. For me a way of real interest (again only my view), willing to interact on a deeper level, respect and of ‘keep your promise’ so people can trust you. Normal in my life.

And writing this, what I have to learn is not to feel sad about things not working out in the way I expect or expected. I just need to learn to turn that emotion (bring my mind in another motion) into a feeling of being happy. Happy because in this faster and faster world of ‘me’, ‘me’, ‘me’ and ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, in my opinion over and over I face the mirror…’Be happy you are different’.

Not a bad idea for me to turn the last simple statement ‘expect less’ into ‘Accept you are different and be happy with that’. For me a reason to share my energy more and more with people who respect and interact with my differentness. 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, December 1, 2017

A great experience. We can improve the sensitivity of our senses

My son visited me recently for the second time this year again in Thailand. This time he brought a friend of him. Both together and sometimes the three of us had lots of fun discovering our wonderful surroundings.

His friend used to smoke. And because I do not smoke and do not like smoking in my house he respected me and used to smoke outside. No problem.

At a certain morning they wanted to do a cooking class in the city and needed to wake up early. To start the day my son's friend smoked a cigarette outside. Walking downstairs I felt extremely sensitive to the smell of the smoke and no this had nothing to do I once was a fireman.

It offered me the insight my senses improved their sensitivity or my response raised alertness the last couple of years. What and how did this happen?

Discussing this here with a guest I discovered at least four causes for this expansion of my awareness.

First of all in my opinion it has everything to do with the environment I live in now. I live and work at a health & wellness resort in a more than beautiful and natural environment in the Northern part of Thailand. It is a high energetic and peaceful place that really invites you to connect with yourself and with nature in a deeper way. Food and drinks are most of the time totally different than I was used in my former home country. It’s nearly always fresh and with an inviting rich blend of taste and smells here.

The second thing is I totally changed my life-style. For over 30 years I was a very busy scheduled manager till the end of 2010. I was connected with everything that happened in the world around me. Following the newspapers and the (inter)national news on radio and television and was 24 x 7 available for everyone and everything. Lots of email and social media connections. Always running.

For over five years now I am a person without a watch, no I-Phone, not reading the newspaper or watching the (inter)national news anymore. Actually I have no social media for more than half a year already. Not longing to get it again as well. I have no fixed schedule at all and I am living by the day. Enjoy face-to-face conversations and above the entrance of my house you find the text: “The clock won’t find you here.”. Walking with my dog and stopping lots of times to take the time to explore what I see, feel, hear, smell or even taste.
Confusius was right in saying: "Everywhere there is beauty but some people do not see it". I once joined that group that almost did not see it. And this has completely changed as part of my lifestyle change. What a blessing and wealth to be thankful for.

The work I do now has everything to do with mindfulness and awareness and on a daily base that’s training the senses and the mind. Meditation (like the labyrinth walk on the picture), mindful photography and Tantra workshops are continuous stimuli for the senses and the mind to become more sensitive.
And the funny thing is, that this is happening with our guests as well. This morning a guest who has already been here three times noticed that he had heard nine different bird sounds during my morning class about silence.

Last but not least it has to do with abstinence. Not everything is available at the moment you want to have it. Electricity, water, internet, milk, butter, bread, you name it. Sometimes waiting for it makes you first of all creative to discover supplements. On the other hand it makes you much more thankful for the availability of things if you need them.

Being much more sensitive over the years, offers me for free an even better understanding and appreciating of the availability of my life.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

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, love, family, business, career and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or 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, love, family, business, career and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or 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, love, family, business, career and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or 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, love, family, business, career and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or organization.”