Friday, February 23, 2018

Ratio versus emotion. An ongoing battle. Nothing to do with following your heart.

Even before we are born our feeling exist. Feeling connected with and in relation to living. Feelings are personal developed reactions in relation - and as a personal chosen response - to two main basic questions: “How to survive?” and “How to stay safe?”.

Our ratio (making choices/decisions out of calculating the relation between things out of learned facts, does not really exist yet. It has a relation to learning. We learn ratio.
Learning is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information” (Source: Wikipedia).

Soon in life we start to learn and - without even being aware - are being programmed. Living and learning, so feeling and ratio, the first couple of years of our existence go together in balance hand in hand.
Sooner and sooner in life, driven by the expectations of our environment, culture, marketing (I see as cultivating desires), feeling in relation to living (so emotion) fades away and learning (ratio) takes a huge flight upwards.

Getting older, and maybe wiser, people discover that life cannot be calculated at all. They discover a lack of feeling and showing and freeing their emotion and lots of times they do not know how to deal with this. Strange to say, they have to learn it. Or maybe better to explain they have to un-learn the idea that everything in life can be treated only by ratio. They will find out more and more that only ratio will not sustainable connect in friendships and deeper personal relationships.

Management tools help us to understand there is a ‘muscular’ (basic male way of ratio and convincing/debate)  and a ‘feminine’ (basic female way of emotional connecting and dialogue). But in our lives, when we really want honest and sincere connections, so no fake empathy, management ‘skills’ are not needed, not even wanted. There need to be a good mix and people have to be capable to use this mix in their authentic approach to situations.

So called ‘self-help books’ and magazines in relation to ‘health’, ‘relationship’ and ‘discovering yourself’, more and more give us the advice to act out of - and to follow - our heart instead of our rational thoughts. But is this really the best solution? Is this the real truth? What does it mean to follow your heart? Is it really possible? Is the heart the center of our emotions?

In a rational way, Mind Science teaches us our organ called brain, by evolution, is build up out of three brain types. The reptile brain part (survival instinct), the mammalian/animal brain part (feelings/emotions and memory formation) and the neocortex/human brain part (language, reasoning,  logic and forward planning). And yes I know there is new knowledge as well. But let's take it for a while just to get more understanding.  
The brain has two hemispheres. The right side of the brain deals more with verbal emotional (feeling) matters. The left side more with rational/logical ones. The inner ongoing battle between our ratio and emotion is caused by our human brain parts and the ‘fight’ between the two hemispheres. Ever seen a cat or dog suffering about his past or his future? I guess they live in connection with the now.

So not our heart but our brain is the general manager responsible to select a rational approach (choices in relation to our truth (thé truth most of the time is much more and bigger)) or the emotional (feeling/intuition/inner wisdom) approach. 

Emotions are personal related and can be different for every person. The positive or negative feeling you get has to do with your pré- or sub-conscious mind. You learned to get this feelings in relation to known or unknown circumstances. So, maybe without even knowing, your feelings are reactions that you choose to have and not emotions that happen to you. During the first young years of your life and out of life experiences you ‘learned’ them yourself.
Being an adult or at least being ‘older’ you can ask yourself the question if this emotions still serve you in the best suitable way to grow, to connect, to share, to love and to enjoy life.

In personal-, as well as business life we need a balance in our response out of ratio and emotion. Getting older and having more life experience we discover living life is an art. We all have the tools inside us to deal with life. Nobody can calculate life. To live life it is to feel life. During growing up and building up our career we lost feeling. Getting it back is only a matter of un-learning.

Be aware of the choices in life that you already made (or out of their best intentions were made for you by your caretakers). So find the source of disturbing emotions and just stop/drop them. And yes, open your heart so you can give and receive inner energy but only change your thoughts.

Change the battle of suffering caused by choices to be made out of ratio or emotion. Make them a playful game of understanding.

Frans Captijn

Captijn InsightCatalyst in developing tranquility & in-sight to get in a sustainable way real connection, purpose, pleasure and flow in life, love, family, business, career and work again.

Friday, February 16, 2018

What is holiday for you?

The guests who visit the resort where I live next door are changing. This has everything to do with a change of the concept a new management brings in. The once quiet ‘one stop destination for healthy living’ now brings in more and more families with young children who are spending their holidays. Nothing wrong, just different.

Today in this blog two experiences of different understanding of the meaning of ‘holiday’. What is holiday for you?

A couple of months ago I did a mindful communication café with a family. A Russian father, Ukraine mother and their two young children, a boy and a girl. A wonderful insight appeared.
The parents work and the family lives in Bangkok. Once a year they bring a family visit to Russia and Ukraine. The children see their grandparents again and they like it.

In the communication café the daughter wanted to talk about what holiday is. She shared her experience that even during holiday, especially her father, did not have holiday or spend enough time on the family. She thought it a strange experience to nearly never see her father because of his work in Bangkok and being in Russia he is only working on the house of her grandparents.

The dialogue gave her the inside that her father really experienced holiday because he was with his family together, they spend wonderful evenings and meals and working on the house of the parents was a relief from him. Helping his parents with fixing some things on the house because they were to old to do this things by themselves and they did not have enough money for all this things to hire a company to fix it for them. The father told the family he really enjoyed his holiday. Having time to have all the meals of the day with the family together, no disturbances from work, enjoying to see how the children and his wife related to the (grand)parents and the country life. Spending long evenings with the children and the family on chats and taking care together of the animals at the farm.

Just as a kind of automatic response, a kind of ‘the light switched on’, the daughter said to her father she never thought about this. She explained now she understood there are two kinds of work. One you have to do for money, a kind of must. The other one to help other people out and to relax and connect. It made her even happy (and it created some tears in the eyes of the father and mother).

The second story just appeared here one week ago.
Children want to play. Totally normal, I think they need to play. So what happened… some children from guests, although the garden Labyrinth as a sacred place shows signs it is not a play garden for children, ruined the Labyrinth.

It made me angry. Especially because parents do not take care of their children.
A father came to my house and told me: “Sir, because of you my son is crying now.”
I replied: “Your son let me cry.”.
I explained him the meaning of the Labyrinth. That I spend half a year free time to build it. That it’s a sacred place for meditation and that there are all signs around it to tell (even in their language) this is no place for children. His son was digging holes in the walking path so that does not make me happy. I think children have parents to take care and guide their children. Isn’t that their responsibility?

He told me they were having a holiday and wanted to spend some quality family time together. He apologized for the damage and told me he did not see it. I know, I told him. You were sitting next to the labyrinth, totally focused on your phone and even talking to it. He responded telling me this was something important from his work and my last answer was: Do you call this quality family holiday time…?   

What is holiday for you?

Frans Captijn

Captijn InsightCatalyst in developing tranquility & in-sight to get in a sustainable way real connection, purpose, pleasure and flow in life, love, family, business, career and work again.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Living life is like a ride in a train.

One of my neighbors suddenly left our nice residences. One and a half month ago she invited me, some other people living at our place and some of her friends for a New Year’s Eve dinner. Without saying a single word of goodbye she left. A couple of days later another person, a friend of her, also left. She lived next door for a month and without saying a simple word or leaving a single message she also left.

With another neighbor I talked about this for me a bit sad and funny and instructive experience as well. She compared living life as taking a ride in the train. The idea touched me and I started to contemplate on it. Actually a wonderful mirror, this train.

You can see the train as your temporary life path on the never ending, ongoing changing and developing world. We are all traveling on the crust of this small planet, earth, and nowhere else. This is a constraint.
The changing scenery, wonderful fields, rural villages, crowdie cities, industrial parks, garbage fields, beaches, mountains, and tunnels as the influences you have to face and or to deal with in life. They all pass by. At several stations the train stops. An opportunity to leave and explore for a longer or shorter time or… to just go on. But always a stop so you can think about leaving or going on.

You start to take your train ride immediately after birth. Actually after conception. And, you are not alone in life, so not in that train. One of the things that Alfred Adler in his book ‘What life could mean to you’ explains as a second constraint. ‘None of us is the only member of human race. There are others around us (in that life train), and we exist in association with them.” So if you like the people around you or not… total isolation is not possible. We are always tide to others. Adler mentions a third constraint; Human beings are made up of two sexes.
Individual Psychology has found that all human problems can be grouped under three main headings: occupational, social and sexual.

So here we go in our life train. Some people sitting close to us. Some further away, some very far away. We do not even know them. Other people walk in for a short trip or a longer trip. So they stay short or longer and maybe even they take the nearly same ride but are in another compartment of the train and you never saw them or see them. And at a certain moment you reach ‘ocean view’, end of your time. The life train goes on without you and you created space for somebody else to take your place. For again a short or longer ride…

So, comparing your life and connections in life with a train ride. Don’t feel sad. It’s just facing nature and no one can escape. Some people go and create space for new people to take place. Up to you to be willing and open to interact. Up to the other persons to respond or not. Also up to the other people to say goodbye or not. Be only a mirror. Be aware mirrors do not have emotions. So do not be affected by their choice.

In the present time people in trains less and less interact in face-to-face conversations. They are in their own digital world. Not even being aware of the changing scenery outside. Does it still matter to them?

Maybe at their time of ocean view… they discover they left so many opportunities and valuable free gifts… the life train wanted to show them. Now the same train, with another passenger on their chair rides on without them. Don’t be sad. No emotions, it’s just a life lesson.

Frans Captijn

Captijn InsightCatalyst in developing tranquility & in-sight to get in a sustainable way real connection, purpose, pleasure and flow in life, love, family, business, career and work again.

Friday, February 2, 2018

The four kind of foods we consume every day and can keep us healthy or make us sick

During one of my classes we talked about how to love. I used a Dharma talk from the Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh. It brought a lot of insight and wonderful understanding about the many influences (on self-love and love) we have because of the different kinds of foods we consume every day.

Ever thought about the idea, without even being aware, we consume four kinds of food every day. And these sources can make (or keep) us healthy or can toxify us.

This four kinds of food we feed ourselves are:
  1. Eatable food (that what we put in our mouths to nurture our bodies)
  2. Sensory food (what we smell, taste, hear, feel and touch)
  3. Volition / Desire (the motivation and intention that fuels us)
  4. Consciousness (this includes our individual consciousness and our environment).
Our body is the temporary temple of the soul. How do you treat your temple (body, mind) and your soul?

Nearby the place I live we have a huge, luxury, treatment center for people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs. And as everybody knows there are many, many addictions. Smoking, eating too much or too fat, an overload of coffee, and the last couple of years internet and our addiction to our tablets and I-phones.

Maybe it’s strange to say and many therapist will tell me I am wrong. But can it be addictions have everything to do with how you manage (or actually are not able or willing to manage) your own life? Are you in charge of your own life? So who is the boss of living your life?

And this four kinds of food have everything to do with this.

If we eat with moderation, eating only the foods that help our bodies to be strong and healthy, then we’re showing love and respect for our own bodies and for the Earth. This does not say you need to be a vegan or vegetarian or what else. It also does not say once in a while you cannot eat French fries with a hamburger. It’s just a matter of being more aware, more conscious of what you are eating and why.

We consume sensory impressions with our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. When we read a magazine we consume. When we watch a television program we consume. Being the whole day on Facebook, Weibo, or whatever other means on the internet, we consume.
Whatever we consume affects our body and mind. If we consume toxic magazine articles, movies, video games, etc., they will feed our craving, our anger, and our fear.
If we set aside time each day to be in a peaceful environment, to walk in nature, or even just to smell and look at a flower or the sky, then that beauty will penetrate us and feed our love and our joy.

The energy that keeps you alive is your desire, your hope, your aspiration. You want to be someone. You want to do something with your life (I guess). If you are motivated by compassion and love, your volition will give you the energy and direction to grow and become even more loving and compassionate.
If your desire is to possess or to win at all costs, this kind of volition is toxic for you (and your environment). It’s a matter of trying to know and to understand yourself on a deeper level.

The fourth source of nourishment is collective consciousness and individual consciousness. Our individual consciousness is influenced by the collective consciousness of our environment. Is your environment, the place where you live, the workplace, the right one for you to flourish?
We absorb and reflect what is around us. If we live in a place where people are angry and violent, ten eventually we’ll become like them. Many stories I remember from a Dutch television program “The traveling judge” of neighbors who could not stand each other any longer because of all kind of things that worked out to be irritating. For Dutch audience watching this programs it was adorable (nothing better to do maybe).
If we live in a family or community where there’s a culture of being understanding and compassionate with each other, we’ll naturally be more peaceful and loving. Children growing up in such an environment will learn to be caring and kind.

Be aware of your daily consumption and become or remain healthy.

Frans Captijn

Captijn InsightCatalyst in developing tranquility & in-sight to get in a sustainable way real connection, purpose, pleasure and flow in life, love, family, business, career and work again.