Friday, October 27, 2017

Women have more guts to free themselves than men

Living and working here now for over five years and looking back I learned that actually much more women than men are open, willing and working on learning to know themselves better. Actually learning and discovering themselves the way they really - authentically - are.
It’s having guts to start to walk the way of self-discovery, to find out who you are, what the purpose of your life is and to follow that calling. Call it personal development. No tricks, no courses anymore, no theatre to show who you are not. Just to take steps in the process of ‘unlearning’. That’s learning to know yourself and to develop your way of being who you really are and to do what you really want. Undisturbed any longer by what the world thinks of you. And this all in physical health, mental health, emotion, spirituality (asking yourself for instance the question; what am I doing with my life, knowing I run out of time?), and causal (your environment. Energy givers and drainers).

This process a lot of times this has to do with freeing yourself from all kind of things from the past. From what you think your environment thinks of you (a lot of thinking isn’t it?). With not satisfying other people’s needs and expectations at the first place (forgetting yourself) any longer. With being open and willing to receive and grow the way it’s actually mend to be for you.
And also… to leave the world of ego, power, and only showing the world around (for instance on social media) you live such a wonderful rich (actually lot of times poor) ‘material’ lifestyle.

In my international ‘practice’ the ‘balance’ is about 75 % women and (only) about 25 % men. A Chinese colleague, over and over shows me her ‘rating’. About 95% women and not even only 5 % men. Cultural related to show the world around men are ‘strong’ and ‘hard’ and to keep ‘family traditions and pride’ alive (ruining many peoples personal live).

This week my German neighbor Josefine thought about me in relation to what I am doing here and she send me a for her (and also for me) inspiring youtube movie with the name “Slomo”.
Again an inspirational story of a very well educated and ‘rich’ man who discovered he ‘lived’ an absurd life and lifestyle like many of us do.

When he met a man of 93 years old in the canteen of the hospital he worked he got his wake-up call.
Seeing this old man taking lots of food on his tray and as a joke he asked: “How does a strapping (well build) young man like me, get to be an old codger (wise fox) like you?”. The old man answered him in return: “Do what you want to!”.

This wake-up call and the relation with starting to suffer with his heath gave him the guts to choose for himself and to listen to his inner child to start to live a life. Much more basic, more connected, roller-skating as a boy of 11½ years old. Building up happiness, joy, and… a much better health LIVING his life.

And yes, immediately you can bring up General Excuses why this is not possible for you. Money, responsibilities, and… here we go again. So go on making yourself unhappy staying in your prison. Be strong and never ever ask yourself, running out of time, if you really lived your purpose…

Wake up men (and still also women)! Don't be shy. Be stronger to face and free yourself and start (more) living 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, October 20, 2017

We do not know what true love is. A mindfulness training to make progress.

We always keep talking of and about love. It’s hard to give a definition of love especially if you live it. For all other purposes it’s much easier. Wikipedia describes love as “a variety of different emotional and mental states, typically strongly and positively experienced, that ranges from deepest interpersonal affection to simple pleasure.”. And with this explanation actually you still do not know at all what love is.

Studying more about love in Buddhism and working with more and more guests in programs and sessions, I discovered many people (maybe even an increasing percentage in this and next generations) do not even understand what true love in live is and/or know how to live it. I want to be open and honest. I gave it several times a try myself and think I am still one of them who is on search for it as well. A one-night stand can be ‘simple pleasure’ as Wikipedia calls it, but is this (true) love…?

I really think there are people who know and live true love. People who reach very long and real ‘true love’ companionships or marriages being (even more) happy together. Their gold, diamond or even platinum wedding anniversaries (celebrations) sometimes even show up in local newspapers.
I am sure I will never show up with this anymore in my/this lifetime although it was my intention. 
Many people actually only think they know what true love it is and start to live their interpretation of it and after a longer or shorter period do not succeed in their relationship(s), like me so far.

Where do we learn love? Nature shows us and we learn by example. We see and feel (or do not see and feel) the love between our parents and in our family. Sometimes experiencing the differences of what we saw and learned of love when we get a relationship and learn more about her or his family life (and background of love within) a bit.

So we copy what we saw and think what is love in the for us right way. Much of the way we live our love life, our love behavior, however has to do with the negative experiences we got, saw and felt and do not want to bring in our lives any longer. And many times just the opposite thing happens…

Our parents learned from their parents and so on. Every person just gives love a try to make the best of it. Like rising children. Where did you learn? Living love has a lot to do with trying not to make the same ‘mistakes’ you already ever experienced and to reach a state of love satisfaction we see in the world around us and offered by marketing. And if we are honest to ourselves we discover and know many things in our behavior and interpretation of our love life are deeply rooted and connected with our personal desires. Not wanting to be lonely, need for attention, satisfy ourselves and in several cultures even to satisfy parents. So a ‘desire driven’ love. And with this approach actually a kind of love already prepared to fail.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not blame my parents at all. I got and felt more than enough love as well as their right intentions in my life of them.

And what about loving yourself? I learned this is the first and basic step in true love. Where do we learn? Lots of time only by ourselves. Trial & error and ‘The Street University’ learning by doing or sharing stories with our friends we trust and sometimes following their ‘advises’.

If you love yourself you take care of yourself in the first place. Loving yourself is the fundamental of your loving relationships with your life, with others and the World. Not an egoistic thing. Don’t be hard on yourself, give up negative self-talk. Know just how unique, talented, fabulous and powerful you are.

How to practice? Maybe the first step is to free yourself of anything that is not good for your health (in relation to food, addictions, negative people, things, situations, and everything that drew you down and away from yourself).

True love…? True love? What’s true love?
Buddhism offers us the five mindfulness trainings. The five mindfulness trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. The third training of them is called true love. A concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the path of right understanding and love. Leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world.

It explains sexual desire is not love and sexual activity motivated by desire always at a certain moment harms ourselves as well as others. True love is much more than being only in love with your own and somebody else his or her body.
It motivates to durable learn appropriate ways to take care of personal sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for personal greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. True love is something that help you to suffer less. And help the other person to suffer less. True love is something that you make you happy and the other person happy. True love can help you have more freedom.
Practicing true love, it says, we know that we will continue beautiful into the future.

So the four basic elements of true love as mentioned in Buddhist teachings are:
  1. Cultivating loving kindness (Maitri). Maitri has the power to offer happiness. When you are able to generate a feeling of joy and happiness to you that’s true love. Offer to yourself. And if you can generate a feeling of joy and happiness in helping the other person generate a feeling of joy and happiness, that is loving kindness. So if you are a true lover, you create happiness for you, for him, for her.
  2. Compassion (Karuna). That is the capacity to make yourself suffer less, and the other person suffer less. It is the ability to understand the emotional states of another person or yourself not putting yourself in the other person’s place (in that case it’s called empathy).
  3. Joy (Mudita). If love does not generate joy every day it’s not love. If love make the other person cry every day it’s not love. If love make you suffer every day, that’s not true love. So true love is capable of generating joy for yourself and for the other person.
  4. Inclusiveness (Upeksha). Not excluding anyone is the fourth element of true love. And you begin with yourself and the other person. But if you continue with this practice of true love, your heart will open, grow, and very soon you will include all of us in your love. You do not exclude anyone, anything from your love. Including any living beings. No discrimination about race, citizenship, religion, or anything. And that is that element of non-discrimination, of inclusiveness, that make you feel very free, very happy. Make your love unlimited. And in true love you continue to grow. Your love continues to grow. Until it embraces everyone in the cosmos (connect. be inspired. be nourished.).
Studying more about this made me aware I am on my way, made steps forward, but I am still not yet there. I will continue my path of cultivating loving kindness, compassion and joy. Improvements need to be made in freeing myself even more of things that are not good for my health, loosen personal desires, and work on inclusiveness.

About true love there is still a lot to learn, to discover and to bring into practice. To make progress. And… I know for sure I am not the only one.

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, October 13, 2017

The dark and light sides of the life most people live in.

A young lady from Denmark for a couple of weeks was my neighbor. She did a yoga-teacher-training at our resort. At a Sunday she joined me on my scooter to the city. I had to go there because I had to serve in the cathedral. She wanted to do some shopping in Chiang Mai and because she did not have transportation she asked me if she could be my passenger that Sunday.

She already traveled a lot and in my opinion she has a lot of insight, wisdom as well as understanding for her age about different cultures and living live. 

On our way back we talked about the two different personal worlds most people live in. About one personal world part people are most of the time ‘open’. This part has to do with work, education, position, place where you come from and place where you live, etc..
About the other personal part people are ‘closed’. This has to do with harm, feeling, sensuality and sexuality.

Both parts have to do with the interaction with yourself and the interaction with the outside world. For most themes is easier and more safe, to talk about the relationship with your outside world. So to bring it in the light.  What’s going on in the inside world we keep in the dark. A dark secret, sometimes sacred world.

People feel ashamed to talk about this part of their personal world and most of the time do not even want to discuss this part in silence with themselves. That’s why they do not know themselves, they do not feel home with themselves, not comfortable at all to face the inner war so they run away for themselves. There are many, many ways to do this. 

During Tantra work (basically a spiritual Tibetan Buddhism practice) you start to discover being your free self in your own natural environment. To free inner energy, sensitivity and bliss. Related to Ethology (the study of human behavior under natural conditions from a biological perspective). A journey to discover yourself in the first place. To touch yourself, to explore your feeling without shame. To start to love and honor yourself as a free human being without any judging. Opening up to yourself. Starting to make your personal dark side visible to yourself.
Working, in a safe comfort zone, with yourself and also with others you learn to give and to receive. To open up.

Having a dialogue with my neighbor on back of my scooter on the way back to the residences we live, we talked about so many sad experiences, brought by raising of children, culture, religion, environment, sexual abuse, etc., that helps to keep the personal dark worlds dark.

Our (programmed) brain a lot of times is a very disturbing thing. Creating the 'voices' in our head (not our own voice but out of the best intentions from our parents, ancestors, culture, relationship(s), religion and so on). Open up, free your mind. Not opening up, not being able to expire what really feels good for you (so gives energy) in the way you for instance touch yourself or want to be touched by other people or your relationship, keeps you away of living your life the fullest. You are always in the mood to hide, not to show up, not to open up.

How wonderful I meet more and more people who are already open or have the intention to open up. The present they discover is what this personal dark side has to offer. A lot of energy, a lot of pleasure and bliss and last but not least a so much better health.

Bring light and love to your hidden (sacred) world.

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, October 6, 2017

You cannot always be happy. Without Mud (suffering) no Lotus (flourishing).

We must always be happy. And apparently we are not because the world around us keeps on telling us we must always go on buying the newest of the newest things to be happier. Even for instance the Dutch magazine “Happinez” for over 50% is full of advertisements of things you need to have to get happier. Our lives are focused on happiness and when we are happy, life around us is not happy with that. Last April 28th I already wrote a blog about it. Happiness is not very goodfor the economy. We need to go ‘mountain up’ and even to stand still on a top of a hill for a while to enjoy or celebrate our success does not seem to be good.

Isn’t it more than normal that we leave the valley when we walk up to a top of the hill and need a to go back or further to reach a valley again as a start for the next, maybe even higher mountain peak?

Nature helps us to understand this. Out of the four seasons there is a lot to learn about how to accept life and today I want to explore the example of a lotus flower a bit deeper.

Without mud there is no, or cannot be a, beautiful lotus to flourish.

Mud in Buddhism is connected with our world of worrying and suffering. That mud is essential to germinate the lotus seed. The roots go deep into the mud. From that mud, all the experiences in your life, the young plant grows. If the lotus but reaches the water surface, the small but - still closed -  fantastic flower grows higher on a thin and super strong stem to get a kind of ‘helicopter view position’ above the water surface.

The water surface teaches us that emotions need their own time to calm down. A process you cannot force. If there is a storm, the water surface starts moving and the water becomes muddy. The lotus stays strong and present and only moves with the wind around it’s balance point (the roots in the mud). And after the storm it takes a while until the water is smooth as a mirror again. However ... not yet crystal clear. The mud and dust in the water caused by the wind stirring the shallow spots at the banks of the water, is still not clear and you cannot force this process either. Only by giving the process its own time the water will not only become smooth as a mirror but also crystal clear.
And only then can you see everything in relation to what caused that emotion clearly and without judgment. Giving you the possibility to learn about it.

High above the water opens at its own right natural time, and also you cannot force that time, the lotus to show itself in majesty. No effort. Just the way he or she is. Showing his or her self, no matter what the world thinks about it. Just being available. And after a day or two, that beauty becomes less. The petals fall into the water to serve as fertilizer for the mud for the new generations to come. Giving back. And after a while the new seeds, produced in the flower, drop into the mud again and the process begins from the beginning. The life cycle, (Cycle of Samsara).

Another possible discovery is that water does not adhere to the leaves of a lotus plant. Water forms pearls and by wind or gravity, again no effort, it rolls off the leaf. And therefore, the leaf is not disturbed by anything that happens around him or her.

Mud is needed to share 'only' your uniqueness, that, what and who you are. Learning from the past, being present in the now, and taking steps into the future. And that process, that cycle, involves various steps like change / transformation, taking, growing, flourishing, giving, growth.

Be aware of this ongoing learning process in which you cannot always shine and be happy.

Do not force yourself. Just be aware of going up and down as the natural movement called living. And do not forget... happiness depends on our mental attitude and not on external conditions.

Without mud no lotus.

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.”