Category Archives: gratitude

Walking alone

The ancient masters of all the great religions recommended time alone as a crucial means of discovering true self.

It was the 40 days that Jesus took for time alone in the desert to confront his own shadow and the demons of temptation.  Moses removed himself alone to Mount Sinai to receive the ten commandments from God.

It is in the time spent alone that we come closest to the divine and our life purpose, especially if it is time alone in nature.

IMG_1676 (1)

The Chinese masters of the body arts such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong called the empty space between the spokes of the wheel more important than the spoke itself.

It is in that empty dark space between the stars where you touch the divine.

We as a society are obsessed with what the wise ancients called the distractions of the 10,000 things.

The news media feed on negative news, the constant subliminal messages working our emotions instill a need for material things we mostly don’t need. There is confusion between necessity and want.

It is no coincidence that with the addiction to distraction there are very few people who can truly bear to spend time alone.

We are thus constantly seeking the accolades through social media as a reassurance. But it will seldom lead you onto the path of deeper spiritual experience.

It is during the walk alone, the time-out during a silent retreat and the alone time in nature where the gateway to the soul opens and you begin to realize who you truly are.

It is during the alone time that we discover the heart, the love and the divine within. It is who we truly are and that which soul wants to illuminate.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

Leave a comment

Filed under gratitude, happiness, lifestyle management, psychology, raised consciousness, self-development, spirituality, Uncategorized

Abundance and gratitude

The rise of extremism in much of the western world comes at a time where there has never before in the history of mankind been so much material abundance which bodes the question why many people remain frustrated and angry.

Obviously the comforts of the modern world are not providing the contentment and inner peace that is desired.

Even until the late 1960s owning a car was regarded as a luxury. If a family owned two cars it was considered extremely wealthy. It wasn’t until the  mid 1970s that most households started owning a TV. I grew up in South Africa which only introduced nationwide television in 1976. Travelling abroad for a holiday was likewise considered a privilege for the very few.

When I tell the youth of today that we always carried a pocket full of coins for the phone booth around the corner, they look at me in disbelief.  My grandparents were self-sustainable farmers. My grandfather was regarded as progressive because he produced his own electricity from a water wheel. Few people owned cars and most traveled with a horse cart or ox-wagon.

Technologically mankind has made a huge stride forward but it has come at huge personal and environmental cost. Our lives are extremely high-paced and stressed-out. We have more time than any other generation at the same time it has become our most precious commodity.

rawpixel-611119-unsplash (1)

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Most people live in crowded cities, resulting in a disconnect with the natural rhythm of nature. Modern man is constantly in a hurry, anxious and fearful. It is the perfect breeding ground for frustration and radicalism.

We can’t go back a generation. We are rather at the threshold of another technological revolution that will create and destroy jobs.  Much of the social frustration we encounter probably stems from the cultural gap in absorbing the changes of the past decade – Donald Trump`s most ardent supporters are from the rust belt and coal mining areas.

The technological revolution confronts us with the age-old question: What makes me a contented and happy person? The fascination with a shiny new object at most lasts a few days.

Every extreme carries the seeds of a new beginning. The technological revolution rides the wave of left-brain analytical, “excel-sheet” thinking while the right side of the mind lies neglected. It is the intuitive side of our human nature that needs more attention.  As human beings we have a “juvenile” playful, creative, spiritual and artistic side. Bringing both sides of the brain into balance is the challenge.

I only need to look at my dog’s joyful playing with a simple stick to appreciate that frustration, happiness or contentment is all in the mind. Appreciating that moment of deep gratitude of what we already have is the first step. Happy Thanksgiving!

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

1 Comment

Filed under contentment, gratitude, happiness, humanity, life vision, lifestyle management, spirituality, stress, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Gratitude

There is a saying that if you aren’t grateful for the things you have now, you will never be grateful for the things you are wishing for.

Being grateful for what you already have is a key aspect of happiness.

IMG_1025

It is not about mumbling off five daily gratitudes like a “must-do-happiness-ritual” but really feeling into that which you are truly grateful for.

“I’m so grateful that I have been given this opportunity, that I’m healthy, and that I have been given the time and the financial means.”

You feel that gratitude energy flow like a wave through every cell of your body in one big exhaling breath, while you move your lips into a gentle smile.

The advanced spiritual teachers even give thanks for the unfortunate events that come into their lives, because they view this is an opportunity for the soul to grow.

Most prayer emphasizes the wanting of something: better health, finding a job, a marriage partner, getting out of debt, having more money, or a new home.

It often comes out of a feeling of privation and deficiency.

Expressing in a prayer gratitude comes with an entirely different mindset of abundance, empowerment, and the wisdom that all is grace and interwoven within the bigger matrix of higher meaning.

Gratitude comes from within and it is entirely different from the consumer-orientated mindset, that is insatiable and never satisfied.

Being grateful puts things into perspective, and gives true meaning to being grateful for every day where we are healthy, breathing and alive.

I met several people on my Camino walks who really put my own difficulties, rather than problems into perspective and gave me a new sense of meaning when they told me of their own battles.

On my first Camino, I met a cheerful, lanky guy from Scotland in his early 60s. Only later did I find out that he had walked all the way through England, France and Spain. It was his way of dealing with the grief of losing his beloved wife of many years to cancer.

There are always things to be grateful for, especially those things we just take for granted. Nothing is permanent.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

Leave a comment

Filed under gratitude, happiness, happiness research, meditation, Uncategorized

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.

william-farlow-319616-unsplash (1)

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

     

 

Leave a comment

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

Is facebook really the problem?

Facebook has rightly come in the firing line for its shoddy handling of personal data but I have a problem with the hysteria around the issue which seems to miss the point.

Social media sites are abusing our data because we allow them to do so. The contract is that services like facebook are free and we give them our data in return. Its up to the user to practise personal media responsibility, and very little of that seems to be happening in the fast digital world that demands immediate reaction.

dreamstime_xxl_109902089We unfortunately live in a time where we are constantly being bombarded with toxic emotions such as anger and fear. These are emotions that appeal to our primitive mind. Negativity gets our attention first. We are programmed that way as humans to avoid possible danger.

Social media and the technical means of spreading hate mail or fake media around the globe within seconds is something we have never experienced before in the history of mankind. Whether we jump for the bait is a personal choice, however.

The downside of social media is the complete lack of a fact-checking system, allowing every stupid and dim-witted user to spread his hate-mail. A case in point was this weekend when a deranged German crashed his van into a crowd, killing two people and injuring 20 others. Authorities were quick to point out that there was no evidence of an Islamic background.  But a leader of Germany’s rightwing AfD party, Beatrix von Storch, only minutes after the incident implied in a tweet that a migrant was the perpetrator. The objective was clear: Stir up us much anger and hatred against migrants even if the facts aren’t clear.

Hatred and fear are emotions that easily spiral out of control. They are the biggest hindrance to living a healthy life of happiness and abundance. Emotions of fear and anger are so powerful that they will lock you into a negative mode, pulling you into a continuous negative spiral. You are no longer in control of your thoughts and open yourself to manipulation by demagogues and rogue politicians. Worse they are detrimental to your health.

Using social media responsibly would be to keep on posting positive messages that make us laugh, that lift our energies and open our hearts to love and compassion. Those are the energies that indeed change our world and have the potential to lift humankind to a higher consciousness. The Internet is a wonderful invention of our time – if we use it in a responsible way.

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.

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

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under gratitude, happiness research, lifestyle management, social media, Uncategorized

Creating a better version of yourself

I had a really inspiring meeting last week in Hamburg and Vienna with the best-selling author and founder of Nerium International, Jeff Olson. He embodies all the philosophies on health and self-development that inspired me to establish my own consultancy business PowerBodyMind some eight years ago.

Jeff’s book “The Slight Edge” , on turning simple daily disciplines into massive success and happiness, is a philosophy on which he built a very successful health product company, that has now just entered the European markets. It is not about only selling products, he says, but at the same time helping people becoming a better version of themselves.

Olson

With Jeff Olson (left) in Hamburg

I’m convinced that in coming years we are going to see a lot more companies like Nerium coming to the fore, led by charismatic and holistic-thinking leaders who want to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place.

Most people want to do good and feel good when they have the feeling that they are doing something right, even if it is just supporting a product they know has high ethical standards.

At the forefront are companies in the health and beauty industry after we have seen generations of companies putting products on the market that were having terrible effects on consumers, the environment and other living beings. (tests on animals).

Most importantly, we need not become victims of circumstance. We do have the power and awareness to choose what products we want to buy and support. How healthy and happy we are and how long we live is determined largely by lifestyle and not by genes. Scientists have pinpointed several so-called “blue zones” located in places like Okinawa, Japan, and Sardinia in Italy where people continue to live active, healthy lives well into their 90s.

One of the key ingredients of a long life the scientists found is a diet rich in fresh vegetable, Omega 3 fatty acids and fruit with a low consumption of meat. At the same time these old people are all highly respected and honored in their communities. Attitude, sense of purpose and mindset seem just as much an important aspect as diet and exercise.

pexels-photo-156731.jpeg

Interestingly many of these old folk have survived their children and grandchildren who became ill and died from typical modern diseases such as heart problems and diabetes II after adopting a sedentary lifestyle rich in processed foods and sugar.

It is indeed all a matter of choice, as Jeff Olson, writes in his book. Turning your life around and making a better version of yourself is simply a matter of choice, adjusting your current lifestyle with simple steps that make that slight edge of a difference from living a life of the mundane to living a life of abundance and happiness.

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.

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

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under exercise mental health, gratitude, happiness, happiness research, humanity, nutrition, obesity, Uncategorized

Count your blessings – our peaceful era

Mass media influences us in a negative sense more than we think. The emphasis is mostly on deviant behavior of the “rich and famous” or some catastrophic event , mostly in a far-off place that does not directly affect us or where we have never been.

Leaf_forestHow would you answer when asked to estimate between 40 and 80 per cent how many people in the world cannot read or write? Most people put the figure at below 60 per cent. The truth is that some 87 per cent of people in the world today can read and write. What an astounding achievement!

You would, also not know it from the headlines that we’re currently living through one of the most peaceful times in human history. This chart by Max Roser from Oxford University shows the global death rate from war over the past 600-plus years.

ourworldindata_wars-long-run-military-civilian-fatalities-from-brecke1.0

Most people view the European Union as a bureaucratic monster.  This fake-news emphasis was largely responsible for the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the E.U. The truth is that the EU with its consensus-building policy and inter-dependent structures between nations has largely been responsible for the longest period of peace and prosperity in central Europe ever. Whatever its faults this for me is the one major reason to keep preserving the concept of a European unity between nations.

Negative or fake news is designed to appeal to our lower instincts. It does more than that. Fear-mongering and negative thoughts directly affect our immune system. Stress hormones that induce flight or fight symptoms in the body are steered by the reptilian or instinctive part of the brain. It does not react rationally or with logic. The reptilian brain’s only job is to decide whether the information is threatening, edible or sexually attractive. Does that ring a bell next time you open the pages of your gossip rag?

We need to guard our mind against all the negativity thrown at us from all sides because whatever information we feed our brain is that what we become, consciously or subconsciously.

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

http://www.reinogevers.com

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

 

Leave a comment

Filed under exercise mental health, gratitude, happiness, humanity, Job satisfaction, lifestyle management, mass media, meditation, psychology, stress hormones, Uncategorized