Category Archives: humanity

Dragon from the underground

While much of North America is experiencing Arctic temperatures we here on the island of Majorca are seeing the valleys below the Tramuntana mountains covered in the “snow”  of blooming almond trees that signal the  first signs of spring.

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Chinese mythology compares spring to a gigantic dragon rising from the depths of the underground. It is symbolic of the powerful earth energy that rises from deep below, expanding and finding space to express its true beauty and power.

The Majorcan legend tells us that a king brought his beloved to the island from a snowy country. Problem was that the poor lady got very homesick, missing the snow this time of the year.  So the king went about planting almond trees all over the island that indeed look like the valleys are covered in snow when they start blooming in February.

We can learn so much from nature if we really observe and hear her whisper.  The Chinese teaching of the Five Elements, deeply rooted in Daoist philosophy, is all about the yielding to nature, and finding the right time and place for every action.

Spring is the time of year when energies are expanding, and action is called for. Any vision or dream will remain a dream if we don’t take concrete action. If we want a harvest we need to prepare the soil and plant the seeds.

In the cycle of the elements, Spring is associated with the element of wood, like a tree sucking up the juices from the roots deep below, expanding and feeding the sprouting blossoms and leaves.

If we want to become what we are destined to become, we need to have that room and space to expand. All too often the voices of parents, friends, teachers and family members want to push us into a direction that might fulfill society’s image of what success is, but not what intuition and heart desire are yearning for.

Spring is therefore a good time of the year to do check list on whether you are being true to yourself.  Look into the mirror and ask yourself:

  • Am I taking daily action, even  with small things to pursue my dream?
  • Do I have a support group of friends and family positively empowering me?
  • Am I being distracted by other things such as a job that is taking so much energy from my life that I don’t have any energy left for anything else?

Taming the dragon is about harnessing its power in moving forward in the expression of our true and unique individuality.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under happiness, humanity, lifestyle management, 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.

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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

     

 

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Climate: No time to lose

Two weeks ago the northeastern part of the Mediterranean island of Majorca was hit by a freak storm. Within a matter of hours the area was hit by so much rainfall that dry streams were soon flooded and a five-meter high wave swept away cars, bridges and buildings. Twelve people died.

Such a catastrophe hits the world headlines for a day or two and then is forgotten. In this case it happened only a 40-minute drive from my home on the island.  It was a stark reminder that climate change is real. It is happening and it is affecting all of us.

Behind the news of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing civil wars in Latin America and the Middle East is the story of agricultural devastation as a result of unprecedented drought.

Unfortunately the debate on climate change has become so partisan and emotional that even sound science is losing the argument.

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Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

When I was working as a journalist for an international news agency, I attended the first series of conferences of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) nearly two decades ago. In one of the workshops climate scientists were showing slides of predicted extreme weather patterns by the year 2030. Freak storms, floods and massive hurricanes would become the norm, they argued. The sad truth is that they were wrong.  These weather patterns are already happening twelve years ahead of time.

Nobody in the year 1996 could predict that the fast growing-economies of China and India and the unprecedented destruction of rain forests would fast-track carbon dioxide emissions. In the year 2013 they surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere for the first time.  Now get this: For ten thousands of years the level was stable at around 280 ppm. The level only started increasing at the turn of the last century as the industrial revolution gained pace. This is not a natural cycle. What we are seeing is human-induced climate change. It is part of the bigger picture of our human impact on the planet.

I was born in Paulpietersburg, South Africa . This is how much the temperature has risen in the small town during my lifetime: img_1143-e1540994626687.png

Humanity seems to move to the edge at the brink of a new evolutionary cycle. We were there before during the Cold War when the superpowers were very close to annihilating most of humanity in a nuclear war. It is my firm belief that on at least three occasions missiles were not launched because of divine intervention. The crisis had to happen to make us aware of the madness of the ideological walls in our minds.

If the world had not come together in signing the Montreal Protocol in 1987 banning substances that deplete the world’s protective ozone layer, we would be in a dire state today.

Hope springs that we will manage it this time around as well.  It is a close call. We have no time to lose.  It is up to our generation to preserve our planet for the generations ahead.  On a deeper level environmental consciousness is all about self-awareness and self-love – without the shadow of ego and narcissism.

We are treating our bodies in the same way that we are treating our planet. Mindfulness to self is how we exercise, cope with stress, and the choice of foods we eat. It magnifies to the world around.  We seem to know very little about ourselves. Its time for a real game changer.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

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Reconnecting with ancestral roots

Our ancestors from centuries ago might be influencing our lives in more ways than we might be aware of.

Cultures steeped in tradition and ritual, place great value on their history and ancestral roots. Much of this has been lost in the modern materialist world−which then finds an unhealthy avenue in extreme nationalism.

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There is a long tradition on the Camino in Spain that reminded me a lot of the Zulu culture in South Africa.

The Zulu greeting “sawbona” means “I see you” to which the fellow being greeted responds with “yebo”, or yes and I see you too.

In the rural Zululand of my childhood the conversation would then continue with strangers exchanging their names and asking each other the names of their parents and grandparents and from what village they came from so that the ancestral tree to the tribe or clan could be recognized.

The Zulus journeyed mostly on foot, and would pile stone cairns at key junctions as a mark of respect to the ancestors and asking them for a safe journey. In the Umfolozi Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal there is a massive stone cairn that dates back to the stone ages.

I was surprised to find this tradition also on the Camino and learned that similar rituals also exist in other cultures such as the Inuit, American Indians and Celts from which the practice probably came in Spain.

In medieval times it was common for one member of a family to walk the Camino to atone for the sins of the entire clan. The family would in return collect funds to finance the pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage began after crossing the threshold of his front door, and after being granted permission to leave by his local religious authorities. Before leaving he had attended mass where his staff and scrip were blessed by the priest.

It would be months, sometimes more than a year before he returned−if he was lucky. Many pilgrims did not survive the journey, making the ultimate sacrifice.

Along the Camino, the pilgrim would add a rock to the cairns at the wayside, saying a prayer for a member of the family going down the line of the family tree, starting with the parents, siblings, grandparents, great-grandparents, and all the other members of the clan.

Today the tradition continues and many of the cairns have rocks with prayer inscriptions for a deceased loved one, someone going through a serious illness or a special wish.

Genetic research is still a young science but some scientists believe that some of our habits, traumas, memories and survival instincts are imprinted in our genes from our ancestors. An ancestor born centuries ago could still be impacting your life. Ancestral memories could be passed on for 14 generations, according to one body of research.

We are who we are not only because of the influences from our immediate friends and the environment in which we live but it also appears, that some of our habits, fears and talents are inherited from our ancestors.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

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Truth recognizes Truth

We all fall for the same trap. You are conversing with someone when you realize that you might as well be talking to a wall. The other person and you are locked in separate belief systems. Communication is impossible when one person believes he is talking about a teapot while the other person tells you it’s a spoon.

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Photo by Kawtar CHERKAOUI 

Much of this phenomenon is currently visible in today’s polarized political world. We are incapable and unwilling to listen to each other.  You make up your mind that the moon landing was a fake and a Google search will inevitably validate that opinion. You don’t even bother to check the sourcing or the scientific facts.

I very much do believe that humanity is on the brink of a raised consciousness. As more and more people follow the stream of this new holistic energy, a lot of people are also being left behind and will even fall back into the old traps of rabid xenophobia and narrow-minded nationalism – fed by reptilian-mind toxic emotions such as fear and hate.

The holistic minded person sees diversity as a principle of creation, creativity and constant transition.  Having an open-minded free spirit requires grounding and self-awareness. What is my self-identity?  What is personality, and what is my true higher self?

That is when truth recognizes truth in the meeting of minds.

You will sense instinctively what is true and what is false. You will sense the nuances behind what someone is trying to say and find out a new perspective. In deep listening when soul meets soul there is recognition of the common thread in humanity and creation.

The new and the old energies currently very much manifest themselves in the events of the external world. For those on the path it sometimes needs much steadfastness and courage to remain true to the higher purpose and destiny. It is a time where we need to conserve energy and avoid the web of negative distraction.

An example in point is the heated debate on whether the French national football team is really French because of the many black players in the team. A national football star of Turkish descent in Germany, Mesut Ozil, resigns from the team  amid an emotional discourse on whether he is Turkish or German. So what! Those black players in the French team are both African and French. Mesut Ozil is both Turkish and German. Why force someone who comes from different background to choose just one identity.  And if it comes down to it we are all a mixture of many cultures and influences – what a blessing!

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

http://www.reinogevers.com

     

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States of transition

The public discourse in much of social media currently seems to alternate between two extremes with a fall-back to the nationalist hysteria of the 1930s to views expounding a free-for all liberalism. It is typical of a collective consciousness in transition and lacking direction and grounding.

Much of the western world appears to have lost its soul to the hungry ghosts seeking immediate gratification. At the same time we are seeing the outlines of an emerging Renaissance in human consciousness. Every crisis carries within it the seeds of transition and change to a new order.

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A growing number of people are unhappy with the current state of things, and seekers of a new truth transmuting the dogmatism that has been imposed by rigid philosophies and religion during past generations.

Theologian and writer Richard Rohr pointedly describes religion has having brought forth the worst and the best in mankind.  Organised religion has the power of fueling the flames of fanaticism, hate and war or it can open hearts in collective prayer and ritual for the betterment of humankind.

When extreme opposites face each other off, as we are currently seeing along party political lines in the United States, each side becomes blind to the shades of grey and the humanness in the other. We stamp off people along party lines and belief systems preventing a real discourse. In a way it has become “a religious war” between opposites.

In the heated exchange between the opposites the voices of the silent masses go unheard. I do believe that most people are by nature tolerant and can intuitively distinguish between the lie and the truth – a reason  why a growing number of people are refusing to vote and are becoming alienated from organized politics and religion.

Some of the outlines of change can be seen in the fast-growing self-development industry with individual change gradually becoming collective change on a global scale.

In recent years I have met hundreds of people from all walks of life and many different countries on the Camino pilgrimage route in Spain.  About 200,000 people are now walking this ancient medieval pilgrimage route each year. I would describe many of them as spiritual seekers asking the age-old questions: Where do I come from and where am I going?

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

http://www.reinogevers.com

    

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On the treshold of a Renaissance

Despite the general despondency over the rise of nationalism, xenophobia and fundamentalism in many countries, we are on the threshold of another Renaissance in raised human consciousness.

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A new chapter in the evolution of mankind is often preceded by an era where the shadow side of humanity comes to the fore. We saw this in the dark ages of religious intolerance and suspension of Greco-Roman classical culture of the Middle Ages prior to the Renaissance of the 14th century.

Evolution happens with pauses and setbacks. It is in the tension and confrontation with the opposite that change occurs – the law of yin and yang. The silver lining we see is that science and technology is giving us many more clues into the functioning of the human mind and why we are who we are.

Currently we see two extremes: A rigid belief system and fundamentalism on the one hand versus a Bohemian, free-for-all nihilism on the other. Without the grounding in a personal philosophy and value system, people easily fall prey to demagogues. In a fast-changing world the instinctive impulse is to protect the world we know with inner and outer walls.

In order to move forward into the era of our new Renaissance there are several challenges:

  • We need a real reconciliation between the races and the sexes.
  • Religious dogmatism and intolerance needs to be transmuted by the spirituality of choice, inner growth and tolerance.
  • A new spirituality comes with the realization of a deep inter-connection with the universe and the world we live in.

How far are we down the road and when will we have our Renaissance? Will we see the change during our lifetime or that of our children?  Such a change cannot be measured in years or decades. It could however, come faster than we realize. On average human knowledge is currently doubling every 13 months and the pace is increasing rapidly.

It is phenomenal when we put it into context. In 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every 100 years. By the end of 1945, the rate was every 25 years.

The digital age is changing our world very fast – technologically, economically and on a mind-thought level – whether we like it or not.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 
http://www.reinogevers.space

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As within so without

That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above…

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Art in the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, Majorca

This excerpt from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, a text shrouded in mystery and believed to be several thousand years old, illustrate to some extent how much the ancient teachers emphasized the discipline of thought.

In simple terms you could also translate the text into: What you think, you will attract.

That is why nearly all the great masters recommend and practise themselves  meditation, reflection and alone-time to realign with what is the core essence, and transmuting the daily impulses that come in reaction to dealing with life’s challenges and distractions.

Subconsciously we pick up emotions from people around us and especially from the exposure to mass media. The word “media” has its origins from the Latin word “medius” – the middle – or the medium communicating with the spirit world and passing the message on to the rest of us folk.

What we are seeing and hearing is only one window of reality and that window is often a message of fear and negativity. I would dare to say that the agenda of most of our daily thoughts is set by the first news report or “bad dream” we are exposed to in the morning.

The message from the Emerald Tablet is that we are co-creators of our universe, built in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). You need to build a wall around the temple of your soul so that you can be a creator of your own reality. Surround yourself with a protective imaginary wall that protects you from impulses that trigger stress, fear and other toxic emotions.

Reino Gevers – Mentor and Author – 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

 

 

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Emotions and politics

Globally humanity currently seems to be shifting towards fanatical extremes aimed at building walls rather than dialogue for the greater good.  Rogue politicians are feasting on toxic emotions and making our world a more dangerous place.

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Extremism feeds on basic fears, greed, hatred, xenophobia and narcissism. Currently we are seeing plenty of that in the calls for protectionist trade barriers, blaming refugees and minorities for economic woes and a ruling party in South Africa opening a poison chalice by demanding the confiscation of land without compensation to redress “economic inequality.” The end result is always that everyone loses.

Learning to guard the doorway to your emotions has been a hallmark of all great spiritual teachers. For once toxic emotions capture the “tribal” mind, rational thought, logic and holistic thinking go down the drain.  Facts, truth and proven science lose out to “emotional belief.”

Extremist politicians from Warsaw to Washington would not be having such a field day if there was not a global underlying trend visible in much of the social media fueling the fires of polarization.  Humanity has been at a worse place. In central Europe at least, we have had the longest period of peace in human history built on a foundation of mutual dependency and cooperation. We tend to forget where we have come from and what we stand to lose during times of conflict and war.

It is part of human nature to focus on the negative before seeing the positive. It is a survival instinct going back to prehistoric times in being watchful of the dangers lurking in the wilds. This is why negative news, negative social media feeds, hate speech and hate mail receive far more attention than positive news.

The challenge of our times is to separate ourselves from such “negative feeds” and to stay in alignment with our higher purpose in serving the well-being of humanity as a whole. It starts with a self-love and a self-caring outlook on life that leads us into dialogue with our fellow man.

In dialogue as opposed to confrontation with an “alien” we become aware of our own true identity. We become aligned and grounded. A courageous heart discerns between truth and delusion.

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

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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