Category Archives: longevity

Tales from a pilgrims’ hostel

An 85-year old Dutch guy arrived here at the pilgrims’ hostel in Najera, northwestern Spain, pulling a 100-kilogram cart. While all the other arriving pilgrims were walking toward Santiago, Johannes van der Pas was going the other direction back home.

Johannes celebrated his 100th day on the Camino and has become quite a celebrity. Passing motorists have been seen waving to him. Strangers are inviting him to stay overnight after he was featured on Portuguese television while on his way to the famous pilgrimage town of Fatima.

He started walking from Eindhoven, Netherlands, then stopped in Lourdes and from there walked via Santiago to Fatima.

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Johannes van der Pas with his credential or pilgrim’s pass displaying all the stamps from the towns he has visited along the way.

It’s a remarkable achievement for any person, but this guy is not letting the old man in and is in better physical shape than most men half his age. He has according to my calculation, so far walked 3,340 kilometers, averaging 33.4 kilometers a day.

On occasions, he has walked all night in the rain in the remote areas of France where, in contrast to Spain, there are hardly any pilgrims hostels.

Johannes is living proof that it’s possible to remain mentally and physically active up to a high age. His recipe is simply doing a good walk every day, and shakes his head at the many people starting their walk on the Camino with little training and then complaining about sore knees and feet.

It’s my fourth day serving as a voluntary hospitalero in this town. The hostel is run by the local municipality and pilgrims are just asked to provide a donation to offset electricity and water costs. Locals living along the Camino have for centuries been generous hosts to pilgrims walking to Santiago de Compostela. The marker stones with yellow arrows on the path are almost entirely put up by local volunteers, paying for them with their own money. It is therefore sad to see that some of these markers are defaced by “Killroy was bere”  ego-minded “bypassing tourists.”

We voluntary hospitaleros are being greeted here with exceptional kindness. Restaurants have refused taking money for meals. Entry to the local museum and monastery is free of charge.

On the third day, we registered 58 pilgrims including seven from South Korea, one from Taiwan, two from South Africa, two from Bulgaria, one from Hungary, one from Venezuela, three from Japan and six from the United States and Canada. Most people are from Spain, Italy, and France as this is the main vacation period in these countries.

And, just as I’m finishing the Blog for the day two women from Greenland arrive at the door, saying that they will stay for the night as they are not used to the warm temperatures.
Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor, and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

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Your very authentic body mind

Imagine your body as a recorder of all the events in your life. It is the most authentic barometer of your emotional state of being and the reason why we still dream of when we stole cookies from grandma’s closet as a seven-year-old.

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Photo by Andrei Lazarev 

What hasn’t been dealt with emotionally will be stored away in your body consciousness.  Its the difference between head-mind and heart-mind. The mind is capable of construing all sorts of reasons why taking those cookies was in order while your sub-conscious heart mind knows very well that what you did was stealing.

Training you “heart-mind” to be emotionally mature is one of the reasons why we are here  on earth. We humans are imperfect beings and we have incarnated as souls to use our bodies as instruments of learning.

The heart is not merely an organ of the cardiovascular system that transports nutrients, oxygen and hormones throughout the body and removes metabolic waste.  In the spiritual sense the heart is described as the “seat of the soul.”  It is the first organ that develops in the fetus and the connection between our physical and non-physical (soul) self.

First impulses or thoughts flow first from the heart and then to the brain. The brain dissects, rationalizes and analyzes. The “heart-mind” is authentic and closest to the true-self or soul purpose. Knowing the difference between “head-mind” and “heart-mind” is the spiritual learning part.

Our body is constantly sending us signals of what we need to hear and work on. The problem is that we are so caught up in the world of distraction that we mostly fail to listen until the body gets really angry and calls a time-out with some illness or malady. It is no surprise that cardio-vascular diseases top the list in most western countries. We have in a way lost our soul and lost direction.

Regaining that connection to the “heart-mind” comes mostly during times of solitude, during meditation, prayer and mindful walking. That is when we become aware of our emotional state of being. Some of the “emotional memories” stored in the body could lie back many years or even decades.

These energies can be transmuted very well with the ancient body arts of tai chi, qi gong and yoga that were all developed and refined by spiritual masters over generations. It is why also more and more people are experiencing a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago as very healing.

Animals, especially dogs, are very much in alignment with their true self. They have an amazing way of dealing with stress by just running it off.  See for yourself by watching this video.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

http://www.reinogevers.com

     

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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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Our greatest fear

When a close family member dies unexpectedly we are inevitably confronted with our own greatest fear: The fear of death. It is the nature of existence that at some point in our life we will cease to exist in the physical form – something we like to banish from our minds in the daily rat race.

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Those souls that leave before us remind us that life, as we know it, does at some point end.  Most people will quietly fade away at a ripe old age. It is when a younger person is suddenly pulled from life that we become thoughtful – something I have just had to deal with when my younger brother died unexpectedly in his sleep from a heart attack.

When Lady Diana Spencer died in a car accident in Paris in August 1997 it had a global ripple effect. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the London streets mourning her death as if a close family member had died.  Lady Di was a mover and a shaker on many levels.

Being intensely involved in personal health consultancy business, someone recently remarked to me: “What’s the deal? Enjoy life while you can.”

What he really meant: Why go through the “pain” of observing a diet of healthy food and regular exercise  if you are going to die anyway? When your time is up, your time is up.

But that is just the point. We don’t know when our time is up. Living a mindful and healthy life will on average extend your life by at best a few years. But that should not be the primary motive. Who wants to be a centenarian if all your best friends have died?

Research on the blue zones – those places in the world with on average the highest number of centenarians – shows that we are missing the point when we aim for a long life. We should aim instead for a higher quality of life in the here and now that might or might not extend your life.

In the final analysis it is what the great spiritual teachers have been teaching throughout the centuries.

Life is about raising your soul consciousness.

Fear of death is a necessary survival instinct, stemming from the reptilian brain. Transmuting that fear into a raised consciousness of your individual true soul purpose is the real challenge during what is basically a short lifespan.

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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Sprint and recovery

We live in a time where countless forces are demanding our attention. They are in reality pulling us away from our true destiny and our heart wishes. Most TV shows, the tabloids and social media feed our mind with false images and mind junk. And what you feed your mind with you become.

We so easily lose focus and sense of purpose when these external forces distract us. Moreover it depletes your mental and physical energy to the point where you are constantly exhausted. Don’t let it come to that.

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In my previous blog I discussed some of the reasons why most New Year Resolutions fail. The major reason is procrastination and procrastination comes from the lack of drive caused by exhaustion and over-exposure of the mind to distracting clutter.

There is a Chinese saying that the empty space between the spokes of a wheel are more important than the spokes themselves. The recovery time after a sprint is more important than the sprint itself.

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If you are currently engaged in a project or trying to sustain your New Year Resolution then you need to set aside time each day for uninterrupted focus on what you are doing. Make sure you have a space where no one will disturb you and you won’t be distracted by  electronic media for a 90-minute sprint session. After that take a break. Do something completely different, like going for a walk, doing an exercise sequence or taking a power nap.

Its a common illusion that sitting at an office desk for eight hours a day or longer is productive. I would guess that at the most a third of the time is actually used for effective work. The same applies to meetings. Most meetings are completely useless and energy sapping.

Remember: We have all the time in the world and yet no time to lose!

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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Guarding the temple of your soul

A few days ago I saw a front page headline in our local newspaper: “Trump opposes gun control.” It got me thinking: If I was living in the United States, it would maybe have been of interest to me. In this case it was just another example of the media setting the agenda for the day’s mood.

Motivational Quote That Will Inspire You to Be Successful. Words that inspire your heart, motivate your mind in life, creating success, achieving your goals, and overcoming your fears.Don’t get me wrong. The mass shooting in Las Vegas was a terrible tragedy. But the event has absolutely no impact on the daily lives of people living some 9,000 kilometers away and doesn’t belong on the front page of  my local newspaper. The media is feeding us constantly with blood and gore and the shadow side of humanity, knowing that its human nature to look first at the negative before seeing the positive.

Its part of our reptilian brain, our instinctive behavior and survival instinct to stay alert in case a tiger comes crashing through the woods. But in today’s globalized world of mass media, the constant feeding of the subconscious mind with negativity has an extremely detrimental effect on our health.

Stress, triggered by negative news, negative emotions and toxic thoughts, affects your immune system. When you read negative news and your mind is occupied with negativity, you release a stress hormone called cortisol. Prolonged exposure to cortisol leads to damage to the hippocampus part of the brain, causing in extreme cases anxiety attacks, depression or other mental illness.

This is why its so important to stand guard at the gateway to your subconscious mind. What do you feed your mind with before you go to bed? The worst thing you can do is to watch a horror movie or the evening news. It will program the way you dream and in what mood you wake up the next morning. Reading a spiritual text or listening to soothing music will have the opposite effect.

It takes constant training to shield the mind from negativity. But the more aware you become through mindfulness training the more effective you will become in empowering that guard at your doorway. I’m practising all the time.  Its not easy. Being a former newsman myself, I have to be more circumspect than most others not to fall prey to the tentacles of the mass media.

You create your reality with your thoughts!

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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And, see no evil …

The great Napoleon Hill once said that every evil carries within it the flames of self-destruction. It was a warning by the famous mentor to his students, political and business leaders to reflect carefully on their actions and goals. When they are not in sync with the universe and designed for the benefit of all , those flames will come back to burn you.

Business person afraid of a big monster claw shadow concept

Sometimes those flames can come in the form of such deep disgust and regret with the “Self” that it manifests itself in self-destructive behavior such as addiction or serious illness.

I am watching with sadness how the drama in my home country South Africa unfolds. The political elite, that once had the moral high ground in fighting apartheid, has mutated into a criminal clique, that is on the brink of destroying itself and taking an entire country with it. Currently the knives are out as a leadership battle ensues – evil starting to self-implode. But you can take any totalitarian regime or corrupt government in the world. The end result will be the same. Karma, the sum of a personal or group action,  is ruthless in its final consequence.

So, how do we define evil, you may ask?  This is my take on it:

  • The actions are always designed for the benefit of an individual or those few around him/her to the detriment of others.
  • It is most often a conscious deliberate act of cruelty or destruction
  • Some form of manipulative power is always involved

The other side of the equation is the disciple of good, the servant of the universe,  selfless and holistic in mind and action, reflective, and aware of all participants involved, very much capable of empathy and feeling. They are first and foremost forgiving to self and others. Not many of those people around, I’m afraid. The few exceptional leaders are those who have transmuted the shadow sides of their personality on the  hard training of the school of life.

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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