Friday, January 27, 2017

A relationship does not make you happier

At first sight this might be a bit a 'blunt' statement. Try to be very, very honest to yourself... If you recognize something in it (or in relation to your neighbors) feel invited to read on. 
Absolutely no recognition? Congratulations! You can be proud to be part of a select group who indeed found that extra luck. So skip this time reading my blog and go on enjoying a happier life being together. 

Like me, you probably recognize sometimes all this kind of coincidences. And you can ask yourself is this coincidence or is there something to learn?
Last week, during my work, I watched again a presentation of Nick Vujicic (The Australian man without arms and legs). This time a keynote speech in relation to achieving goals. Again, I had to laugh loud hearing one of his statements towards his audience.

“My estimation is that most of you have been married at one stage of your life. And you know, you see all this teenagers and college people who are single and they’re like: “Oh, I just can’t wait to get married”. And their goal is to get married. And if they get there it’s not all that they thought. They think: “O my live’s gonna get easier when I get married. Nu-uh! Any married person will go up to them and say, “Honey if you ain’t happy single, you ain’t gona be happy married.” Can you hear an amen? All say “Amen”. And Nick responded: “See those are the married people”.

That same day, during my studies I got an explanation of my teacher on the same subject. And in the evening I picked, at random, a story to prepare a morning session from my workbook - believe it or not – about being or not being more happy in a relationship.

Many single people are looking forward to, or in search for, a partner. That would give a feeling of being ‘complete'. On the other hand, those who are in a relationship and do not like it anymore are on search or looking forward to their freedom or being single and their selves again.
Previously, much more than now, couples stayed together. Nowadays people recognize that if, despite trying many things to get things in their relationship better, for whatever reason or disturbance they –as individuals and as couple - cannot grow anymore, it might be better to decide to take a different and individual new course to flow again.

Based on (2014) statistics from the United Nations (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs) figures indicate at that time an average global "Divorce - Marriage - Ratio" of 43%. On top that period Belgium with 71% followed by the USA (53%) and Russia (51%).
All couples who decided not to proceed in their marriage. Ultimately it manifested being together in their relationship did not bring them any higher value or higher happiness any more. This figures talk only about married people so only as a part of all kind of relationships in general. Obviously there are also lots of couples not at all really happy anymore with each other and with their relationship that remain together whatsoever reason. They just ‘accept’ (not really accepting) the grown situation for that what it is and carry it as a burden on their back. Financial reasons, responsibilities (some only pretended), fear, and still in charge of the pretended expectations of the outside world. Sometimes I ask myself in relation to this expectations, did you really ask? It’s only something you created in your mind.
And of course, let's face it, fortunately there are also couples who are real sparkling and bright shining being together in their relationship. And maybe this blog is just about them.

Osho writes in his book ‘The Search, Find your inner power, your potential’:
“A very intricate, complex thing that has to be understood: if you are not in love, you are lonely. If you are in love, really in love, you become alone.

Loneliness is sadness; aloneness is not sadness. Loneliness is a feeling of incompleteness. You need someone and the needed one is not available. Loneliness is darkness, with no light in it. A dark house, waiting and waiting for someone to come and kindle the light.

Aloneness is not loneliness. Aloneness means the feeling that you are complete (all-one). Nobody is needed, you are enough. And this happens in love. Lovers become alone – through love you touch your inner completeness. Love makes you complete. Lovers share each other, but that is not their need, that is their overflowing energy.

Two persons who have been feeling lonely can make a contract, can come together. They are not lovers, remember. They remain lonely. Now because of the presence of the other, they don’t feel the loneliness – that’s all. They somehow mislead themselves. Their love is nothing but a trick to mislead oneself: and the world around showing I am not lonely – somebody else is here. When two basically lonely persons are meeting, their loneliness is doubled, or even multiplied. That’s what happens ordinarily.

How can two lonelinesses coming together become completion, totality? Not possible.
By the time the honeymoon is finished, the marriage is also finished. It is very temporary. It is just an illusion.

Real love is not a search to go against loneliness. Real love is to transform loneliness into aloneness. To help the other – if you love the person, you help him to be alone. You don’t fill him or her. You don’t try to complete the other in some way by your presence. You help the other to be alone, to be so full out of her or his own being that you will not be a need.”

My teacher of an International Buddhist University in China, online, told during his lecture that the majority does not feel happier because of their relationship. On the contrary relationships, after a first happy start - and most of the time stimulated by the normal natural and biological impulses if people feel attracted to each other – sooner or later face personal restrictions and suffering. Partners in many relationships step by step and more and more feel lonely. Not understood, discouraged or even hindered in personal development and growth. Afterwards it showed up to them they had different expectations. Lots of times they only create their expectations afterwards. Because they do not feel happy in their relationship anymore they start to think (and feel) about it. At that time they start thinking about (or creating) their expectations. They realize they basically too much adapted and restricted themselves. And again in retrospection, they now feel this happened against their will.

If you adapt yourself – against who you actual are and want or maybe to life your mission need to be – at a certain moment you have to face a kind of inner revenge. Because all this adapting limited both partners in growing and sharing their uniqueness. Not only they caused harm to themselves as an individual but also their partner / family. The relation formed a routine. A downward spiral in personal growth and development of each individual and the relationship.

And he as well noted that the first step to do is to learn to be happy with yourself, you need to feel free and have unconditional love for yourself. You're the one who lives 24 hours with yourself a day. And un-conditional love to yourself means you do not want to depend on or depend on anyone else to have bliss and success. It’s only yourself. If you succeed in that, to get in addition something even more is not needed but can be felt as a nice bonus.

If that unconditional love and the recognition of yourself starts to overflow, and you cannot hide radiating that energy in all directions, you have a free choice in how to share that surplus to and with others. At that moment you are one with yourself and experience yourself as a part and connected with everything and everyone. There is no need for a specific love affair with another person. It’s only an option. Possibly is only disturbs that process in the long run.

Whatever the choice and way, you should always remain alert to yourself not to sag that basic personal level of completeness and unconditional love for yourself first.
Isn’t that a bit selfish? If you would go for less, how can you be there for others in optimal forma?  And perhaps that is what the people who actually experience they make each other real sustainable happier being in a relationship, have. They are and remain, first for themselves, continue to feel free in their relationship, enjoy mutual and collective growth and take steps forward in a natural way together where they both feel 100% connected and satisfied.

A day again with quite a few approaches to gain insights. Maybe by reading this blog not just only for me.

Being all-one. Single or in a relationship? A relationship for sure does not have to make you happier ...
The first step is to be there, to be available for- and happy with - yourself. So you can share from your own abundance, in freedom to the world around, your uniqueness in an optimal way. 
Nothing selfish and perhaps there still is a lot to do.

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, January 20, 2017

Your sleepingroom is for sleeping and sex. The restroom to let go, to drop and to rest

A few weeks ago a guest visited me in relation to her already many years suffering from insomnia. She had tried everything and now could not sleep without an increasing dose of sleeping pills any longer. She had become addictive. She wondered if meditation might be something to bring a solution to get rid of her addiction. So far we did not even come during our chat about her problems.

Sleeping pills are fighting or controlling the effect. So does the fire department, my old job. It's much more effective to look for the source. More and more I discover, certainly in relation to my ongoing studying philosophy, that whenever there is an effect, for certain there is a source. If, in firefighting terminology, you turn off the gas (taking away the source, fuel), the effect (fire) does not occur. Simple enough.

In a very short time she discovered and told me a number of sources – some from the past and some still in the present - that are or could be the cause or at least possible had a relation to the insomnia problem.
And this week I want to talk about one of the sources she mentioned. Possibly, no I am sure about that, more people suffer from it. It has to do with your lifestyle, well actually maybe in relation to the question of the guest, with our "How can I fall asleep and stay asleep” style.

In my thirteen months 'burn-out' period, a doctor asked me to describe to him my availability and attainability in my role as director of safety and regional commander of the fire brigade.
Full of pride I told him I was always available. My responsibility I told him.
"The fire brigade is never closed, you know," I said with a smile on my face. I was still used to an alarm receiver and an old fashioned phone and sometimes even a walkie-talkie on my nightstand.
"And you know doctor, it may sound strange to you, but even before the alarm I can hear the soft click that precedes to send the alarm signal. And at once I am fully awake and clear to answer the phone. Sometimes even the people working in the night shift at the control room tell they thought I was waiting for the phone call because I was so clear."
And yes, that was how it was. The doctor looked at my shining face with question marks in his eyes. He asked me if I was proud of the story I told him and if I really understood what I told him. Actually (then) I had no idea. I was used to that, no problem.

During the conversation with the woman this story came up in my mind again. Fool I was. I learned it is totally unhealthy day in, day out having such an alarm receiver on my nightstand, not only because of the energy waves or radiation, during your sleep. The other thing is your mind starts to connect with it. It create a certain alertness hindering you to fall asleep or to sleep deep. It’s an underlying attention during your sleep.

The guest told me in her bedroom, before going to sleep, she watched TV. Sometimes read a book, then took her pills, did her final checks on Facebook and for latest emails on her iPhone and after that put her smartphone on her nightstand. When I asked her about her behavior in the rest-room she told me with a laugh that she could not visit the toilet without her IPhone using her "session" there to check her emails and the social media. What else can you do?

If you only listen to this behavior, this lifestyle, don’t you think it is strange this woman cannot sleep well? At night visit the bathroom and coming back in your sleeping room before trying to fall asleep again checking messages on your iPhone. Possibly, I did not ask her, getting Line or text messages during the whole period you want to offer yourself for sleeping? You, not only, serve yourself day and night a continuous dose of radiation close to yourself but you server yourself as well with an ongoing disturbance of your sleep. Being available for all kind of new incentives during your (needed) period of rest. The need for and addiction to pills to rest is almost assured.

For now, let’s skip to take the step to meditation. You are not ready for that. Change your sickening and disruptive behavior for yourself (but for your neighbor possibly located next to you as well). My wife, I once was married to, could not get used to my always day and night constant accessibility. But I was crazy! And I took my job too serious. Nobody ever asked me to be always, 24-7 year after year available. This doctor was totally right. No you cannot get used to it. It’s disturbance and you accepted it.
A sleeping room is for sleeping and having sex. A restroom, as the Americans call it, to let go, get rid of your natural shit, and to rest. Not for all the (free choice) different disturbances. And it are not only the Americans who do not rest at the restroom. They are less unique than they think they are.
The first step to get rid of your insomnia is to work on the source and prepare yourself for the night. The stop the sleep disturbing sources or switch them off. At least all your digital devices halve an hour before sleeping out of the sleeping room (or in the switch off mode (your wake-up call will function)) till the next morning you have to start up again.
Your last check emails check before your dinner and to create a period of doing nothing before going to sleep. And yes, that can be difficult because doing nothing you connect with yourself. Possibly in that case you can think about meditation to calm your mind down.

Usually in Thai temples, next to the main Buddha statue, on one side you see gold on the other side silver. That has a meaning.
Gold is associated with the sun, the day and action. Silver is associated with the moon, the night and rest. In order to be and remain healthy, there should be a good balance between action and rest, without any disruption.

And this resting here is called 'recharging' and if you do you will get building up inner wisdom in return. You do not have to do anything else. No study (that’s building up knowledge) needed. Going on in your daily life with being available and accessible to every impulse, through Line or whatever, disrupt this necessary pattern and does not only make you less productive. The quality of your work (and engagement) will be less. You start to worry more (because you do not guard your mind but only create more and more chaos) and you start to make more and more mistakes. You are much faster irritated. You get less energy for the new day and… you suffer more and more of insomnia. Toxifying your health. Learn from nature, the seasons. Longer nights in winter? A quest and offer to sleep longer.
Isn’t is strange that people usually absolutely do not forget their Smartphones to recharge on time, but forget to do that themselves?

In The Netherlands we have the slogan: "Alcohol destroys more than you want." In my opinion, we can introduce and add a new slogan in relation to the new addiction which causes many people to suffer from insomnia: "A Smartphone destroys more than you want."
Unfortunately, I already have some experiences with it ...

And again; "Disconnect to connect" Give yourself and your relationship right attention and good (night) rest ...

Sleep well!

Frans Captijn

Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

Attention, popularity and approval. I feel lonely and in my relationship I am jealous and feel not too happy.

Last week from a former Dutch colleague I got a message about a research into the use of ‘social’ media. For me the article hit the nail on the head. And in the city and the Asian culture where I live now it hit the nail even harder. An invitation to reflect and share some personal thoughts. Maybe some the same, maybe some as addition about this theme.

For me it seems for many people getting lots of ‘likes’ on things they post on the social media give them a kind of satisfaction. They strive to get more and more ‘friends’ feeling they increase their ‘popularity’. In return they ‘like’ everything they see from their contacts. If they really like it or not.

I know people who already have a couple of thousands ‘friends’. Just thinking about that makes me tired and busy in my head. Dealing for instance with, in general, about 10 or more birthdays a day gives a lot of work to do if you want to show a bit ‘personal’ attention and connection. After all you want to stay ‘friends’. You almost need at least two IPhones to handle. And yes, I discovered some people have. At least here.  
On the other hand it hides something very delicate. You never have to be a single evening alone. If your friends live nearby you can visit 10 birthday parties every evening. However, you will almost need a private driver for it but at least you are very busy bringing flash-visits.
And visiting them you immediately can take happy selfies with your friend, post where you are and tell the next ‘birthday candidate friend’ you are on your way to visit him or her. Surprise!

I even ask myself if it’s still possible to connect with your work at all. After all you are so busy. Visiting several public places and several real fantastic shopping malls here in the city, shows me most of the shop assistants are only there (not even aware they are there). They are not at all involved or connected with their tasks (to help/ advise customers, exchange in relation to the customers quest the best possible solutions and to sell). They are only connected with their IPhone. Afraid to connect face-to-face it seems (or possibly really is). Real contact makes the new generation scary.
Even temporary ‘Hot sales’ events, like BMW a couple of month ago in our big Central Airport Plaza shopping center, shows 9 ‘salesman’ / ‘saleswoman’ not at all connected with their task. It seems to be quite ‘normal’ not to connect with possible customers. IPhones were calling... Truly a fantastic (bizarre) ‘Business Card’ for this brand (and this is just one example. There are dozens more of them). Stay at home! And… be happy I’m not your boss. 

More and more people, in an ongoing stream, post sparkling radiant selfies. Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and sitting for a while near the Tha Phae Gate of the old city is one of the places day and night you can see this phenomenon. It is really sometimes to laugh. People nearly stumbling with their selfie stick over the pigeons. And couples with their IPhone, selfie stick or whatever else, doing exactly the same. The picture in this blog I really made within one minute being there. And watch the real happiness on the face of the boyfriend.
The most wonderful thing to see there watching this 'Selfie people'? Immediately after they made there number ? selfie the bright smile is gone again showing the real mood. Sitting there for a while is an entertaining experience of unreal life shows.  

Do they want to show how beautiful the are? What's beautiful? Ever tried to describe that word 'beautiful'? And yes, easy to say, it's the opposite of 'ugly'. And how to describe 'ugly'? If you need lots of cosmetics to hide (only) your external real beauty - so to shine for the outside world being a different 'bright shining' you - what about beauty? What about you? You show the world you are not happy and satisfied with the person you are. 
Beautiful? It's just and only in your mind and created by marketing hired by industries who want to earn money on you. Everybody is beautiful. Just a matter of natural taste and personal attraction. And yes, I like just that little touch to attract peoples wonderful eyes, mirrors of the soul.  

Research, there is a lot to find on the internet already, learns that most of the people posting in an ongoing stream selfies feel lonely. Even possibly having thousands of ‘friends’. It’s just an ongoing scream for getting attention.
Couples, especially the ladies of the team, showing their ongoing smiling relationship pictures and moods on the ‘social’ media are not really happy. Very often this has everything to do with jealousy, possessiveness (clinging) and obtain some form of approval from the outside world. The approval that they, as a couple, fit into the "ideal picture". A kind of idealistic thought lots of them have of being ‘complete’ the white picket fence dreamlike, suburban bliss? They/we only created this kind of thoughts in their/our mind that this is the socially accepted value. Trying to follow and strive to be in this pattern as well. And if a sudden break in the relationship appears, all the ‘friends’ react they never ever even imagined this couple should ever give up… They were an example! An example of how fantastic they succeeded (And sad to say, don’t get me wrong, with lots of personal suffering, misery and family damage), in only the show of different appearances on the outside. A show for asking the outside world for approval.

One of the reports I found about this says:
“If people are happy and feel free in a relationship they live in the here and now. Researchers have found that those who don’t use social media are on the whole happier than those who do because they don’t constantly compare themselves with their colleagues and friends — all of whom always only appear to be somehow better or happier on the outside. We too often forget that all that matters are our real lives, our relationships, our experiences, and our feelings — and not the endless search for attention, popularity and approval online.”

Something perhaps to ponder about for a while. For me at least an impulse to avoid and switch off my ‘social’ media more and more. Only twice a day a short check. Still happy not to have an IPhone or tablet. It gives me the opportunity to really connect with my (only a handful of real) friends and the wonderful colleagues I am able to work with. Technology is just a tool. Not the purpose. The purpose is always conversation and change offline, face-to-face in engaged connection. 

Feeling lonely? Maybe turn it into an allowing yourself to be alone first. It’s called being All One. The rest will come on its own time. Just by being willing to reclaim conversation. The essence of society. Meeting each other.

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, January 6, 2017

The imprisonment of the programming of many parents

Considering my experiences of the past year, perhaps the things that touched me the most deep were the many stories I heard from younger generations about their parents and the disturbances in their relations with them. The imprisonment of their parents in relation to their programming. Their culture, religion, tradition, status, position, (family) pride and how they think other people think about them and about their family.

Several sometimes very sad stories. From people from Europe, America, Africa, Australia, New-Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, but most of all from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

The younger generation more and more does not believe in ‘old happiness’ any longer. They try to escape the old vicious circle. The circle of going on with only thinking money, position and outside ego show will make you happy. They discover that following this - by former generations - engraved idea does not make happy at all in a sustainable way. It appears more and more a untrue story. Happiness is peace of mind. Getting more and more money does not create this peace of mind. There is never enough and if you have already enough money to live a happy live, you start worrying how to protect and keep that money. So what about peace of mind? And what if tomorrow the sun did not rise for you…? A rich (wo)man can be poor and a poor (wo)man can be rich…

The new generations want to connect more and more to what they desire. With sharing their uniqueness in the world around and earning a normal and real happy life. A world that more and more appears to be a big village. They think about what make them happy if money was no object. To find the real purpose of life and try to find creative ways of how to find and follow their mission, whatever other people think of it. The economy is changing.

Trying to escape the old circles causes most of the time lots of problems, disturbed relationships, wrong understanding, even exclusion.
Strange if we all recognize that, as a basic most natural law, between parents and children and children and parents the foundation (and intention) is UN-conditional love to each other. Whatever happens…

There is a lot to learn and a lot to understand for both generations.
For the parents, first of all, your children are not your children. They do not belong to you. They only come through you. Be aware they carry 50% of the genetic background of both parents. So isn’t it possible to trust ‘your’ children taking steps into their future? To keep the door always open for them as a safe harbour in times they (only think) they cannot make it? To stop clinging and pushing ‘your’ children in a direction you think that make them happy? To enjoy (and be proud) and support them to find creative ways to follow their mission (maybe you only dreamt about)? To see and feel your children are happy? And yes, like your life path, also their experience will be trial and error. It’s called accepting growing and accepting growing is accepting change. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth their own free way. Accept the target they want to reach.

For the new generation, your parents have the best intentions and for them sometimes it’s hard to understand what’s going on. They are from a different generation you know? So accept their way of trying to be there for you. Being available to guide you (not to push you) having your free choice of living your life and find happiness.
Much more than they ever got, you are blessed with different communication skills to explain what’s going on with you and what you want. There is nothing to convince, no debate, only dialogue and trying to get understanding from both sides. Not in a digital way but face-to-face.
And YES you are the new generation and also you will be ‘old’ generation in one of the next decades. So prepare yourself for that as well. Children have the future. Follow and fulfil your mission and show your parents they can be proud seeing YOU happy, whatever other people think of it. And do not forget this. Maybe you are in a much more fortunate position than your parents ever were to have the opportunity in your life to follow the path of your mission.

Keep on speaking terms even if it’s sometimes hard. Stay connected out of respect and feel free to live YOUR life and to contribute the world around in the best way to make yourself, the world around and for sure finally your parents as well the most happy.

Open the door and break the vicious circle. Only you can do that your way…

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.”