Category Archives: body arts

Embrace Your Self

When I watch an animal, like my dog Klara, I cannot but help think that we humans are just about the most disconnected species around.

Animals are totally connected to their immediate environment, sniffing, smelling and using all their senses to imbibe the immediate moment with no past or future.

I mentioned in a previous blog that it seems that much of the Western mind seems to have lost its soul in the mad rush for immediate gratification, and the addiction to external approval  in its many variations.

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Photo by William Farlow

It has become very difficult to discern who we really are on a soul-purpose level when we are bombarded by countless distractions from the moment we get up in the morning, and take that stretch toward the smart phone.  Most of these forces want to make us believe in self-images, or “false Gods”, with a manipulative purpose. Many of the rich and famous “role models” on glitzy magazine covers show exceedingly dysfunctional behavior. Some are obviously very unhappy people.

A growing number of neuroscientists even believe that we are a species with no free will, and can be manipulated in any direction if the communicator knows how to play the reptilian part of the brain – the oldest part of the brain – with strong emotions such as anger and fear.

The historian and author of  the book “Sapiens – A brief history of humankind”, Yuval Noah Harari, said recently that he is most concerned that “we are close to the point when an external system can understand your feelings better than you. We’ve already seen a glimpse of it in the last epidemic of fake news.”

Knowing and embracing your true self can thus become a matter of survival. If we don’t live our true self, we can become very unhappy, and fall ill because the body is always reflecting what is happening in the mind.

Finding and embracing yourself is pretty easy by taking time out for introspection. This can be anything from time for prayer, meditation, pilgrimage walks, body-mind retreats and other methods that bring us back into alignment with the higher or true self. We need to learn again who we really are.

Liberating yourself from the powers of distraction, that alienate you from your true self, is the real challenge of our time. 

Each one of us alive today has a spark of the divine, has desire and purpose, unique abilities and something precious to give back.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

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Filed under body arts, gratitude, happiness, lifestyle management, mental-health, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Taking care of your body is spiritual work

It is a real tragedy that Christian religion has taught us for generations that it is better to live outside the body than within. Eastern religion has taken a different route with the body arts of yoga and tai chi deeply embedded in Buddhism and Hinduism.

Early mankind did not see the soul as separate from the body. Nature was part of the “oneness” – that feeling of being intertwined within the matrix of the universe.

As within so without. How we treat ourselves is how we treat our environment. We need to rediscover our body as a temple and an instrument harboring the soul that needs to be nurtured and loved like a good friend.

Our lifestyle choices in what we eat, how we exercise and how we deal with our stress level determines how healthy we are and who we are.

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Now there are some folks out there who might argue that health is like a deck of cards: You have a bad hand or a good hand. The truth is that we do have control. Only a small percentage of people in fact have bad health that can be attributed to accidents or  hereditary factors.

Health is a choice we control. We do have a choice when it comes to eating healthy or processed foods. We can control our recuperation by getting enough sleep and reduce our stress levels. Exercise has an enormous beneficial effect on the body metabolism, immune system and our mood.

Body work is spiritual work because our body gives us a signal in many ways whether we are on track or not.  The Chinese teaching of the five elements is a real eye opener when it comes to typical health issues:

  • Digestive problems for example could mean an issue with letting go of old things.
  • Fear could manifest itself in kidney and bladder problems
  • Liver and gall bladder, anger and frustration
  • Heart, unresolved emotional issues
  • Lung, setting boundaries or crossing the boundaries of others.

We are imperfect beings. Life is an ongoing learning process. But its quite possible to live a long and healthy life when we become more aware and mindful of our physical and spiritual needs.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

http://www.reinogevers.com

    

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Emotions running wild?

A common thread in the teachings of the great sages is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts and behavior as a means of avoiding pain and suffering.  It is one of the easiest and hardest things to do. In the age of social-media and political demagogues “the right to vent” has become the norm.

A single uncontrolled outburst of anger so often ruin a long-term relationship, destroy a team or scuttle a business deal.

woman covering her right eye using her right hand during daytime

Photo by Pham Khoai on Pexels.com

Toxic emotions are poison. They weaken our immune system and can spoil our day as soon as we get up and open a social media account. We are being manipulated 24-7 with emotions that have a detrimental long-term effect on our mental health.

Negative emotions get attention and attention generate “likes” and advertising revenue. It is human nature to focus more on the negative than the positive. Why do otherwise so many people follow the herd in the next shit-storm?

How you start your day will determine your day. It is important to immunize yourself against negativity. Anchor yourself with a positive meditation, visualization, or exercise routine before you do anything else. Negative thoughts and emotions have the habit of drawing more negativity into your life. It is therefore crucial that you exercise emotional shifting that will center you into positive mindset whenever you are confronted with something that disturbs or angers you.

Practicing “emotional shifting” can immediately pull you out of the maelstrom of negativity.  You will become a negative person if you occupy yourself with negative thoughts and you will bring positive things into your life, if you focus your mind on the good and nice things in life. It’s that simple.

Here are some typical emotional shifters that can change your mindset from the negative to the positive in an instant:

  • Take a step back and count your breath – inhaling and exhaling
  • Focus your mind on that beautiful beach you remember from your last vacation or other special moments. Freeze those moments in your mind and recall them when you need them.
  • Laughing is probably the best antidote to negativity.
  • If its been a bad day, try walking it off with a brisk walk in the park, training your mind to focus on that special bird song or the scent of a herb along the path. Open your senses to the natural healing effects of nature.

There are many more emotional shifters you can use, anything basically that will make you feel that life is good and good things are flowing your way.

In my book “Walking on Edge: A Pilgrimage to Santiago” the main character Jake is tutored by fellow pilgrim Chuck on how to start the day in such a way that the daily hike becomes so much easier. You can read the sample chapter here.

Centering comes through regular daily practice of meditation, even if its for only a few minutes a day – and the best time to do it is in the morning.

Reino Gevers – Mentor and Author – Your Health Matters

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

Start your day by adding turmeric to your meals – one of the best ways to boost your immune system.

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Filed under body arts, corporate health, exercise mental health, happiness, happiness research, lifestyle management, mental-health, Uncategorized

Feeling stressed out?

Mankind is living in its best era yet, experiencing better health, peace and higher standard of living than all generations before. So why do so many people suffer from stress and chronic fatigue?  Has the “comfortable” life made us less resilient? Other generations experienced war, famine, disease and all sorts of challenges that we do not have to deal with.

Businessman pushing hard against falling deck of domino tilesMy take on this is that stress is not really the problem but that a host of factors come into play, especially the lack of recuperation in today’s fast track world. Here are some tips to make you more resilient in riding the storm during those tough times. We cannot avoid stress. It is part of life, but we can learn to deal with stressful situations differently.

 

  • Body movement: When you are under stress your body is flooded with a stress hormone called cortisol. The more cortisol in your system, the more your adrenal glands on the kidneys become fatigued. Try body arts that relax you both mentally and physically and bring your entire body metabolism into balance. Yoga, taiji, qi gong, pilates and meditation are ancient proven methods that work. But even a gentle walk in nature and jogging at a gentle pace will help bring down your stress level.
  • Eating good foods:  Too much sugar and salts in processed foods is wreaking havoc in your body. White sugars rob the body of phosphates which are vitally important in almost every intra-cellular reaction. Too much salt interferes with the natural absorption of water in the body, causing constipation, accumulation of toxins and higher blood pressure. You can’t go wrong with a good mixture of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. The supplement spirulina is loaded with beta carotene, iron, magnesium and other trace materials which your body really needs during times of stress.
  • Healing rituals: When everything around us appears to be in disarray or collapse a ritual can restore balance and sense of belonging and connection. It could be a religious prayer, the lighting of a candle, a meditation or any other regularly performed daily action at a certain time or place of the day. Rituals have been part of human life and social interaction since the dawn of mankind but we seem to have forgotten the significance of them in the rat-race of modern times.
  • Friends and family: A typical symptom of burnout caused by stress is the withdrawal from social interaction. We are social animals and need to talk and interact with our fellow human beings, who give us important feedback, empathy, sense of meaning and comfort. Sharing and volunteering your help for a non-profit organisation, church, neighborhood initiative or any other group that serves a higher purpose often brings you “back to earth”.

If you can learn to ride the storm, change can positively enrich your life in many ways. The challenge lies in dealing with those defining moments of transition from a position of strength and power. During tough times we more than ever need time for recuperation, a time out and activities or hobbies that take the mind away from obsessive worry.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under body arts, cortisol, cortisol effects, exercise mental health, happiness research, longevity, meditation, personal choice and happiness

Stress: A curse or a blessing?

We hear it all the time: People complaining that they are stressed out, attributing all sorts of health problems to stress. It’s a myth. Stress is not the problem – lack of rejuvenation is.

Stress hormones flooding our system are crucial to our survival instincts. Let’s just go back thousands of years to our ancestral past. Uma the hunter is out in the jungle following the tracks of an antelope that he hopes to bring home to his clan living in a cave nearby.

Then a huge tiger blocks his path. Uma freezes. Within a split second the hypothalamus in the brain   sends a message to the adrenal glands on the kidneys that instantly floods the body with the stress hormone adrenaline.

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Adrenaline binds to receptors on the heart, arteries, pancreas, liver, muscles and fatty tissue. In effect adrenaline increases heart rate and respiration, and by binding to receptors on the pancreas, liver, muscles and fatty tissue, it inhibits the production of insulin and stimulates the synthesis of sugar and fat, which the body can use as extra energy.

Uma needs to decide for his own survival: Do I head for the nearest tree or fight the tiger?

Stress hormones enable us to focus all our energies and mental capacities to that one task that needs to be addressed. Whether the threat is real or imagined the body reaction is the same. Singers or speakers know this body reaction as stage fright, moments prior to their act. But when it comes to the actual show, they deliver a starring performance with nobody in the audience having had an inkling of what the performer went through.

Adrenaline and other stress hormones start becoming a problem when the imagined threat is more or less a permanent condition. The constant pressure on arteries weakens the heart muscle eventually leading to heart failure or a heart attack. It can also impair the brain’s memory function and weaken the kidneys. Vital nutrients are extracted from the body to feed the constant adrenaline rush, eventually leading to chronic fatigue or even skeletal problems.

Our stressful modern lives have us more or less constantly facing the tiger. After Uma frightens away the tiger with his spear, he even manages to bring home the antelope for dinner. All the hormones fall back to normal after he has had sumptuous meal and the clan has celebrated him as a hero around the fire.

Stress becomes a problem where there is no longer a balance between activity and recuperation. Even in so-called recuperation periods we often tend to go for strenuous exercise routines that don’t really bring down our stress hormone levels.  So what calms the mind and body most effectively?

Exercises that synchronize body and mind very effectively are those that calm your breathing and relax the entire muscular system from within. A daily meditation of between five and ten minutes is a good way to start. All the body arts such as yoga, qi gong or taiji have an enormously positive effect on the immune system. Even a gentle walk in the park where you concentrate on mindful breathing will bring down your stress levels.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.

 

 

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Where is your attention?

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by Reino Gevers

When you practise the martial art of “taiji push hands” you instantly become aware when your mind is wandering elsewhere. As soon as your attention slips your opponent has easy play in finding the gap and pushing you over. Its all about:

Where your attention goes your energy goes.

In our connected world the power of distraction lurks everywhere. Our mind becomes like a butterfly constantly fluttering from one short attention span to the next. We search for something on google and suddenly a pop-up diverts our attention elsewhere and before we know it, we have spent hours surfing meaninglessly on the Internet.

Mass media is brainwashing us 24-7 with drama and catastrophes. The objective is to shock and awe. The result: more clicks, more viewers, a higher circulation and more advertising revenue. Good news is no news. I know what I’m talking about because I worked in the news industry for more than 26 years. Don’t get me wrong. Its not about sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the world’s problems. Its the dosage of negativity in relation to positivity.

Human nature has a habit of looking first on what is bad than on what is wonderful and on what we can be grateful for in our lives. If your mind is filled with thoughts on wars, riots, crime, the antics of the rich and famous and all the other shadow sides of humanity your subconscious mind will begin to confirm all this as the reality of existence. The end result is often depression and a sense of hopelessness. Moreover, negativity hurts us on the physical level, weakening our immune system and causing many of our modern day plagues such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The truth is that we live in a world of polarity – of yin and yang. For every bad event being flashed across the globe you can be sure there is another positive thing happening at the same time. Its just not receiving our attention. There is so much distraction, brainwashing and mind control from external forces that we spend less and less time in reflecting on what is happening to us. The end result is living a life behind a veil of negativity and emptyness.

You have the power! Draw your boundary on what you want inside your “room” and what needs to stay out:

  • By anchoring yourself with meditation you are extracting yourself from distraction. Meditation is a powerful tool in helping you perceive that inner voice that keeps you connected to your Soul Path.
  • As you meditate you will observe your thoughts. Are they mostly of a positive or negative nature?
  • Are the people you surround yourself with kind and compassionate? Do they exude positive vibes or are they abusing you as a refuse bucket in venting all their anger and frustration? Remember you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with.
  • How much time are you spending in nature? Are you exercising enough? Taking a walk in nature, doing yoga or taiji,  will hugely improve your mood and help you realign.
  • Are you nourishing your body and mind with healthy foods and liquids?

In training your awareness by doing the right things every day, of every week of every month and of every year you will be aligned and become immune to energy-sucking distractions.

By Reino Gevers – Health Mentor for Leaders and Achievers

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under body arts, corporate health, exercise mental health, lifestyle management, mass media, mental-health, outdoor coaching, psychology, spirituality, Uncategorized, yin and yang

8-point plan to improved health

Most of us have good health as a top life priority. We know that we need to adopt a certain lifestyle to stay healthy. The information is all out there. We read about it almost daily in the glossy lifestyle magazines and self-development books.  But why do so many people start with good intentions and give up after a few weeks. At the start of every new year yoga and other fitness studios have a run of new members who then give up after a few weeks.  

lightIn most cases people are too ambitious, realising after a couple of weeks that the mountain is too high to climb. They give up and sadly they get angry at themselves and lose a lot of their self-worth. This is one of the reasons why most diet programmes simply don’t work. After losing some kilogrammes they regain most of their old weight.

In the following weeks I will provide some information about our 8-point PowerBodyMind concept that can lead you to a much higher state of physical and mental well being. All it takes is to follow a few simple steps every day, of every week of every month. So lets look at why physical exercise is so important and again this is nothing new:

Our body metabolism is very similar to that of other mammals. We need movement and exercise to stay healthy. The body naturally loses muscle mass as it grows older which slows down metabolism which we need for e.g. to digest food. Regular daily exercise has a major impact on body weight, muscle mass, body posture, metabolism and mental health.

Tip of the day

Do you really want to become a couch potato with a body plagued by pain and ill health? Regular small daily dosages of exercise lasting perhaps 15-20 minutes make all the difference when it comes to living a long and happy life of vitality. If you have the time to surf on the Internet you have the time to include an exercise routine in your day. Small things can do it: Use a bicycle to get to your workplace, walk to the bakery instead of using the car, climb steps instead of using the elevator. Find some activity or exercise routine that you really enjoy doing!

Your Benefit

Improved heart and lung functions, better body posture, improved mood and higher level of general well-being, improved coping-strategy with stress situations.

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