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.”