Category Archives: mental health

You are a magnet for …

Anger is a hot coal that you hold in your hand while waiting to throw it at someone else.” —Buddhist teaching

Life is seasonal and when times get rough you might just be one of those rare individuals who discover inner strengths beyond measure while the crowd sinks into the shadow world of grievance culture. Minorities, the weakest, and all those in society who don’t fit the norm are targeted.

When toxic emotions and fear rule the mind, there is a disconnect from authentic soul nature. The demons of hate, xenophobia, and intolerance take hold.

Within the soul is embedded all knowledge

According to Plato and spiritual teachers such as St. Augustine, your soul has within her all knowledge and wisdom. What you practice outwardly acts like a magnet to your innermost being.

What you emanate you attract. If you are surrounded by negative and angry people ask yourself: „What is it in me that attracts such people? What do I need to change within to attract kindness, empathy, thoughtfulness, generosity, and gratitude?

Blaise Pascal said: „All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

It is stopping to reflect: Where do  I come from and where am I going? A walk in nature, meditating in stillness, and finding solace in solitude are those precious moments of reconnection to the wisdom of the soul.

The 13th-century Dominican Mystic Meister Eckhart quotes a sage with the words: „Unless you transcend world and time, you will not see God. “

According to these ancient Mystics, God is embedded in the heart of the soul. God is unseparated from all things.

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Evolution and consciousness

The purpose of all creation and soul nature is evolution of consciousness. It happens in the adaptation and interplay between the outward and the inward. How this works is best understood in studying nature that constantly moves in the polarity between the Yin and Yang, yet ultimately in a spiral of completion and change. God finds expression in nature.

On another level. The evil that we see and experience in the world exists at the same time that there is goodness, innocence, and purity. We have been given the power of choice, choosing at every junction one or the other. Meister Eckart writes that the soul must return to God by „means of good and divine works“, in service of peace, justice, and wisdom.“

Especially during these times when we witness unimaginable atrocities of war and terror in Ukraine, we ask ourselves why an omnipotent God is not intervening. Why does he allow this to happen?

Evil in its harshest form also means complete disconnect and absence from God.  Its only purpose is to serve as a clarion call into action of what is the opposite of destruction and hate.

It is a small yet comforting thought that in terms of nature’s law of the seasons the flowers of spring inevitably come, even after the harshest and coldest of winters.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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What my elderly dog is teaching me

In human terms, my elderly Dalmatian is well over the age of 80 teaching me many lessons on the passing of form and inevitability that comes with life‘s seasons.

Since Klara first raced into my arms at the age of four months I‘ve known her as my best motivating coach for long walks where she would race ahead tail wagging with joy as she utilized all senses of sound, smell, and touch in complete situational awareness.

From my earliest childhood, I‘ve had dogs around me, and believe they are creatures sent by the Creator to help us become better humans. I was devastated when at the age of three we had to leave our Ridgeback mix „Pajatz“ at the farm in South Africa when the family moved to town.

One of the distant memories is Pajatz constantly standing guard around me. I would gently stroke him behind his ears as he nudged his cold nose into my face. On one occasion he instantly killed an approaching poisonous snake. Dogs are loyal and love unconditionally like few humans can. They will not hesitate one moment to sacrifice their lives in order to save yours.

They will be the first to greet you when you come home. My fox terrier „Stompie“ would be heading for the garden gate some minutes before I came home from school in boundless joy as if we had been separated for weeks as soon as I arrived.

Dogs are emotional shifters

All stressful thoughts and experiences of the day would be instantly removed as „Stompie“ demanded his pat and bring me a ball for him to chase. Later in life during my job at a news agency in Hamburg, Germany I would sometimes bring my dog Akim along. He was a great shifter of toxic emotions. 

Very often colleagues coming to me with an issue would forget the problem after „conversing“ with Akim who even featured in a widely publicized article on the positive effects of well-behaved dogs on office staff.

Klara was my constant companion and sounding board when I dealt with separation, a very stressful divorce, and giving up a home of more than 20 years. Strapped in the passenger seat of my car we took a two-day journey to our new home in Majorca, Spain. She was the star of the show every time we stopped at a petrol station traveling through France.

In contrast to rainy, foggy northern Germany the Mediterranean island of Majorca in our first month on the island offered beautiful blue sky and comfortable walking temperatures in the low 20 degrees Celsius.

With Dalmatians relatively rare in Spain, I every so often hear enthusiastic children running toward us with shouts of „Dalmata“. Klara would stand with stoic calm as an entire school class would converge on her with each child wanting to touch her.

Like dogs, we are social beings

Being rather an introvert my dogs have helped me converse with total strangers and taught me much about happiness and relationships. We have such an affinity to dogs and they to us because we are social beings who thrive when interacting with others. We need our tribe, our herd, our pack, community, friends, and neighbors to stay mentally healthy. Dogs tied to a leash or kept in a pen all day become aggressive and neurotic. Humans living in reclusive isolation become depressed. Solitary confinement over an extended period is one of the worst forms of torture.

During our five years on the island, we have explored mystical paths in the Tramuntana mountains, climbed several 1000-meter peaks, and walked many of the most beautiful beaches, coves, and forests.

Yet, gradually as age takes its inevitable toll I‘ve noticed stiffness in her legs and body. She needs more rest and sleep. Recent health issues included removing two infected teeth and a lump on her leg. But Klara will still follow me with determined loyalty wherever I go and it‘s now my responsibility to choose trails where she is still comfortable and will not over-exert herself.

Wisdom comes with age

While younger dogs throw a yapping tantrum, Klara will stand with calm presence as if saying: „Not important. Seen it all. Heard it all. Let‘s now attend to other matters.“

It’s an important life lesson that I have transferred into my return-to-work programs for staff coming back into the workplace after a long-term illness. Unforeseen accidents, life-threatening diseases, and symptoms of age are external circumstances out of your control that will force you into surrender. 

A dog will never mull over that which was and is no more. It is all about what is possible in the here and now. What is still good? What is possible? What can I be grateful for?

We will be making the best of Klara‘s remaining time before she departs for doggy heaven. Life passes us by in rapid succession. What do you do with the remaining days you have left? What relationships need nurturing? What thoughts, beliefs, illusions, and regrets need to be given up? 

As form declines and dissolves awareness grows that spirit in its essence never perishes As the great 13th century Mystic Meister Eckhart is quoted as saying: „In eternity all things are present.“ Or as best-selling author and spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra says: “You are a conscious agent or a soul that’s having a human experience.”

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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What fills the soul?

„It is veils that wrap past, present, and future time from your view. When the veils are withdrawn one can see all.“

—  Abu al-Hassan al-Kharaqani 963 – 1033

The birth of a newborn entering the world is of pure and bare innocence. But as the sages of old teach us the child grows older with layer upon layer in the form of conformity, unworthiness, fears, and insecurities covering the true self. The journey of life then proceeds in another process of unwinding and uncovering the layers of what is true soul nature.

Choosing a spiritual path, which comes often after an epiphany or a wake-up call, then becomes a process of peeling back the layers of programming, trauma, and limitations that have been holding you back from living your truth.

The 19th-century American teacher and philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott said “there are truths that shield themselves behind veils, and are best spoken by implication. Even the sun veils himself in his own rays to blind the gaze of the too curious starer.”

Unveiling the soul is a journey that cannot be fast-tracked. Each uncovering of a veil is preceded by a chapter that has to be lived into maturity.

The shifting of old paradigms

As consciousness expands the veils start thinning and you enter a higher vibrational energy. Old paradigms of self start shifting, and rigid belief systems start falling by the wayside. It is the necessary precondition to make room for the new.

Institutionalized religion most often wraps individuals into a cocoon of what to believe, and how to behave. The purpose of life is to discover your individual true soul path. The journey of life is a journey into BEING.

While religion constitutes a set of externally induced worship practices, beliefs, and ways of conduct, spirituality is experiential. It is a deep connectedness to the moment, opening the cracks to the soul and to something much higher than the self. The spiritual seeker is on a “pathless path” of self-discovery. There are no external rules. The seeker follows an inner call to spirit.

Your voice matters. The world needs you with all your unique abilities and creativity. You are a beautiful person. You have the choice and you are the captain of your soul.

It requires at times a stock-taking of what fills and nurtures your soul. What makes you happy and live a life of bliss?

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Your relationships are key

One of the biggest tests is to let go of people who are not good for you. They are your secret enemies who are actually preventing you from peeling away the next layer. But you are afraid to lose them or are afraid that you will no longer be loved. Surround yourself with people who emanate positivity, who encourage, nurture, and feed your soul.

Your relationships are key. From the day you were born, you have been surrounded by parents, siblings, carers, and teachers who have molded you into who you are. As a child, you had no other choice but to conform to the norms and behaviors of those around you. But as you grew into puberty and adulthood you will have begun questioning and seeking your own identity.

  • Who am I?
  • Where do I come from and where am I going?
  • What is my soul’s purpose?

What fills and nurtures your soul is a very unique and individual process. But here are some guidelines.

  • It will be serving and in service of something higher than the self.
  • It is unconditional and liberated from the transactional.
  • It triggers within you unlimited creativity and joy.

Do you remember when you were a child before you were conditioned by external expectations? At a time when you were closely aligned to your true soul nature, you might vaguely recall what activity, relationship, and state of BEING elevated you into a high state of bliss and happiness. All these are clues that you can pursue in creating the matrix of the path to purpose and meaning.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Inner stock-taking

As we near the end of another year it’s time for inner stock-taking: Was it worth doing what I was doing so far this year? Is it worth devoting my life to it? Where do I need to realign with my inner calling?

Daily habits can either lure you into a state of slumber or elevate you into utilizing all your talents and creativity. Setting aside time each day to practice positive habits is one of the most powerful tools in self-development.

The compound effect of daily habits has a huge impact on how your life is today. A daily routine to keep body, mind, and spirit healthy is key. An exercise routine coupled with meditation is extremely powerful.

A morning ritual sets the anchor for the day. What do I need to concentrate on doing today? What do I need to be aware of? What lower vibration, emotion, or energy from the night do I need to release. What is my positive mantra for the day?

But finding a good closure in the evening is just as important. What were my happy moments of the day? What can I truly be grateful for? What was the primary lesson that I need to record in my journal?

A more in-depth stock-taking of accomplishments, failures or even disappointments is recommended at least every quarter. A reflection with a mentor, guide, or coach can provide much clarity. A mentor is a sounding board and will help you refocus on what is truly important and help you remove the clutter that is no longer serving you.

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The biggest obstacles

There can be many obstacles coming your way that easily detract from the bigger picture and the goal-setting that you envisioned at the beginning of the year. Here are my biggest three.


Are your surroundings in harmony with your calling? Is your room, apartment, or office cluttered with old things or stale energy from the past? The landscape of the house, village, town, city, or country you live in influences you in many subtle ways. The community, associations, and social conditions around you determine the vibrational field.


Jim Rohn once said: “You‘re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Are those people you are around with having a positive, energizing influence on you, or are they pulling you down into a lower vibrational field with their negativity or narcissistic self-absorption. Who are the people that you would like in close proximity? Who are those that you need to limit contact with and those that you need to be keeping far away?


The pull of external distractions is probably the biggest obstacle of the three. Are social media, your mobile phone, Netflix, and all those things screaming for immediate gratification pulling you away from your mission in life, your most important objective, your dreams, your convictions, and your philosophy? Distractions can pull you into numerous directions where your thoughts are constantly dancing around in the past or the future.

Be kind to yourself

Even if you have failed to accomplish the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year and are in sadness and regret over missed opportunities or failures, it is important to remain in a loving and cherishing mindset to your inner self. Sabotaging yourself with negative self-talk can in extreme cases even pull you into a depression.

Be aware of the human condition that remains imperfect. You will have failures and disappointments. You will fall back into the trap of old habits. Life is happening all the time with its daily challenges and ups and downs. But the obstacles in the shape of people, events out of your control, unforeseen loss, and tragedy have shaped you into the person you are today and elevated you on a soul level.

You are on a journey of reconnecting to soul. You are much more than your physical body and its needs. As you walk the path of life you might deviate, and choose the wrong direction but ultimately set yourself onto the true path based on the learning experience you have had so far.

In a relaxed state of mind, in a space of solitude and contemplation, you will see things from a different perspective and be open to opportunity and growth.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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The Lord of Evil

Since the beginning of time humanity has been in a constant struggle between good and evil. We discover who we are in confronting evil and at the same time the darkness and the light within. The external is a reflection of that which is within. Evil manifests itself where there is a complete absence of what is good and pure.

In Greek mythology, the evil Goddess Eris has the only purpose of sowing discord. She causes a conflict among the Goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite by throwing a golden apple among them with the words: “to the fairest”.

No other God wanted to be put on the receiving end of the wrath of the three Goddesses by choosing one of them as the fairest. The Goddesses then ask the mortal prince of Troy Paris to do it for them. Each tries to bribe him by pledging great gifts, and Paris then gives the apple to Aphrodite who had promised to make the most beautiful woman on earth fall in love with him.

The woman chosen was Helen, the queen of Sparta and wife to Menelaus. When Paris eloped off with her, Menelaus declared war on Troy, rallying all the Greek kings, and triggering the Trojan War.

Another Greek Goddess, Enyo, delighted in war and destruction, bloodshed, and the sacking of cities.

The fallen angel and the lure of power

Christianity describes the devil, Satan, as a fallen angel and the very personification of evil. He was expelled from Heaven at the beginning of time after attempting to become equal to God.

The archetypal motif of the fallen angel or Lucifer is found in Summerian folklore, Roman mythology, Germanic tribes, and the Vedas.

In popular culture, we find Darth Vader, a fictional character in the Star Wars series. He is the dark father and the personification of evil in popular culture, serving the empire as its chief enforcer.

The windows to the soul

Eyes are said to be the windows to the soul with the bible quoting several passages in this vein. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,” (Matthew 6:22). “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23).

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I remember very well when my elderly German neighbor, who had experienced the horrors of World War II, remarked on Vladimir Putin’s ascension to power in 1999. “You can’t trust him. His eyes are cold like those of a wolf.”

U.S. President Joe Biden told Putin during a closed-door meeting in 2011: “I looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul,’ and [he] looked back at me, he said, ‘We understand each other.'”

Often evil disguises its real intentions behind a smokescreen of lies, disinformation, and false flag operations. It is the playbook of such Lords of Evil as Adolf Hitler, Slobodan Milosevic, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong. In our lifetime we have to face the truth. We have another Lord of Evil in Vladimir Putin. Over decades he has not only duped western politicians but much of the rest of the world. Let’s connect the dots just to illustrate how much this Lord of Evil has sown destruction and discord.

  • Under Putin, Soviet-era repression has given way to a marriage between kleptocracy and organized crime, turning Russia into a “Mafia state”.. Organized crime has become an outgrowth of the political machine. Mafia cells have undertaken assassinations, facilitated coercion, and extortion. Outspoken Putin critics such as Garry Kasparov have all the while warned and revealed the true nature of the monster.
  • During a closed-door meeting in the year 2000, Putin is said to have offered the wealthiest Russian oligarchs a deal: Surrender to my authority, and you can keep your mansions, and multibillion-dollar corporations. Those oligarchs who reneged on this deal and undermined Putin were thrown into prison or died under mysterious circumstances. Putin’s wealth is a secret but it can be safely assumed that he has used the oligarchs as a major source of his hidden assets.
  • Turning Russia into a Mafia-type state has given Putin huge resources to weaken Western democracies. Putin has repeatedly voiced his disgust for the multi-culturalism, sexual diversity, and free speech which he sees as a direct threat to his authoritarian and 19th-century imperialist dreams. Over the years he has funneled huge resources to rightwing and extremist groups in western countries, spreading lies and disinformation on social media through Russian state-funded bots.
  • And then in February this year, the Lord of Evil decides to invade Ukraine, the world’s breadbasket, triggering the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II and possibly the deaths of millions of people in Third World countries due to famine. Meanwhile, we have become almost emotionally immune to the daily bombardment of playgrounds, hospitals, and residential buildings in Ukraine as Putin wages a war against innocent civilians.

What does humanity have to learn from all this?

We need the enemy, and the opposite perspective to gain clarity on our own core values and choices. Often the question is asked: “If there is a God, why does he allow evil?”

But we have been given the power of choice. We cannot blame dysfunctional human actions on the Creator. God has often been seen as a strict father figure punishing his flock for sinful or bad behavior. The Mystics in contrast view God, the universal creator or the divine as “a state of Being” – the connection to pure love, kindness, and compassion. The manifestation of evil would therefore be the opposite condition – the state of complete absence of God.

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.

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

The tragedy is that the character once held by the stranglehold of the shadow demons finds himself incapable of self-reflection.

Most suffering that we experience in our personal lives or that we witness in the external world is a result of bad human choices and actions carried out from a low level of spiritual disconnect.

The word “evil” is often used in a confusing context to blame, vilify or distract.

The wisdom of the ancient Mystics can be a good guideline. Basic human nature has not changed much over the centuries. There will always be a segment of people who don’t give any regard to the outcome of their actions. Meister Eckhart, the great Dominican friar of the early fourteenth century, warned against those whose “sole concern is how to gain honors, wealth, and pleasure.”

These people, according to Eckart, are those who lack all sense of humility by “running in front of God.” Inevitably their lives will be haunted by what they call bad luck or a bad hand. They will be blaming God, fate, people different from themselves, and basically everyone for what has gone wrong in their lives. They are filled with hate, resentment, and anger. They are the malignant narcissists of our age who seek only personal validation and glory.

As the Lord of Evil and his followers spin the narrative of hate, division, and destruction some comfort can be taken from the fact that evil ultimately destroys itself because it is out of sync with the laws of the universe. The thoughts, actions, and energy you send out inevitably come back to you.

In the same way, the path of light which is that of kindness, unconditional love, compassion, unity, tolerance, gratitude, and acceptance will bless you in a multitude of ways. You will be living a happy and blissful life if you make yourself an instrument of divine purpose.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Beware: Toxic emotions are a health risk

Are you getting caught in the maelstrom of grievance culture permeating the public narrative? Beware you are not only risking your health but also blocking the path to your inner voice and soul destiny.

The medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher Maimonides devoted a considerable time of his teachings on a holistic approach to health including physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being, pinpointing chronic anger as being particularly harmful.

What the sages of old knew from observation and intuition is being confirmed by research. If you don’t have your emotions under control and are constantly triggered into negativity by external circumstances you are weakening your immune system.

At the same time, you are lowering your energy vibration. If your mindset is focused on the negative you will only be seeing the negative and attracting the same.

Your brain stem, also known as the animal or reptilian brain, is programmed to survive. When your thoughts are focused on a perceived danger your survival brain prioritizes survival functions such as an increased heartbeat and higher blood pressure. You are in fight or flight mode.

When you are in an emotional state of intense anger, pain, or fear you are no longer in control. Your prefrontal cortex part of the brain that is crucial for creative thinking, and problem-solving is basically switched off.

A short-lived stressful situation can have a positive effect in helping you slam on the brakes in a traffic situation. But it is the severe and long-term stress with the body permanently being flooded by stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that is the killer. Your vital organs such as the heart, kidney, and liver are working overtime. Your digestive system is affected, ultimately causing inflammatory disease, according to a study

A poll of 14-to 24-year-olds showed that the frequent use of social media such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter increased feelings of anxiety and inadequacy because they facilitated negative comments about self-image and appearance. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a strong correlation between the use of negative language on Twitter and heart disease mortality.

You have the power of choice

The good news is that you have the power of choice. A proper diet based on foods with a high nutritional value, regular physical exercise, attractive surroundings, walks in nature, a regular spiritual practice such as meditation will immensely boost your capacity to deal with momentary difficulties and challenges of daily life.

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You might want to listen to my podcast interview with best-selling author Liam Naden on harnessing the infinite power of the brain.

Emotional shifting is a practice where you first of all accept the situation you are in. Accept that you are angry, fearful, or sad. It is better to surrender to those feelings than to fight them. You are in survival mode with the monkeys dancing in your head painting horrible scenarios of the worst possible outcome of a situation. You are in survival mode.

Now take a step back, inhaling and exhaling through your nose. Focus your thoughts on your breath counting to ten. You might now be in the position to emotionally shift. Replace fear with trust, sadness with a happy moment, and anger with calmness of mind.

As the echo chambers of the external world continue their negative drumbeat it is more important than ever to stand guard at the doorway of your mind. Surround yourself with upbeat, positive-minded people. Be grateful for the small blessings in life by practicing a daily gratitude ritual. What was my best moment during the past 24 hours? There will be such a moment and relish it.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Are we really having such a bad time?

We are on the edge of a nuclear war. The stock market is heading for its biggest-ever crash. By the end of the century, the planet will become uninhabitable. If you believe this doomsday messaging from mass media you might think we are living in apocalyptic times. But are times really so bad?

If you go back only two centuries humanity was in a completely different place. Our ancestors in their wildest dreams could never have imagined that you could fly from one end of the world to another in an airplane. Even a simple thing like turning on a tap to get fresh water was out of reach for most people.

Clean clothes, refrigerated food, and a comfortable bed to sleep on were unheard of for most people. Even the most wealthy nobility did not have the luxuries enjoyed by the middle-class today.

Humanity has never had it so good.

Undeniably the recent events such as the catastrophic war in Ukraine and environmental disasters in several parts of the world are a wake-up call that we have still much to learn. But from a historical perspective humanity has never had it so good.

Until 1900 human knowledge doubled about every century. Today human knowledge is doubling almost every day, thanks to the technology of the digital era. It is having a phenomenal effect on the development of new technologies in almost every sector of life such as health, education, and business.

With such a rapid advance in innovation, we will be in a good position to solve some of the most pressing problems confronting mankind such as climate change.

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As humanity evolves to a higher consciousness we will be seeing the pendulum sometimes sway in the opposite direction, creating the impression that humanity is moving backward. Pundits are arguing that we have learned nothing from the fanaticism and extremism in the 1920s that led to the growth of fascism and World War II and are heading for another dark age in history. And of course, it is necessary to be wary and alert. Nothing is a given.

Part of the raised consciousness is the empowerment of the citizen beyond the vote once every four or five years for a government that inevitably backtracks on its promises. But centralized governments have long ceased to be the major agent of change. The world is influenced by countless other factors.

The science of a changing world

An Oxford University researcher Max Roser has collected a wealth of data on our changing world, proving with hard facts that our world is in fact getting to be a better place.  Since 1900 the global average life expectancy has more than doubled and is now approaching 70 years. No country in the world today has a lower life expectancy than the countries with the highest life expectancy in 1800.

But in our focus and emphasis on the negative, we ourselves become negative and this paradoxically results in less positive change.

Your life and your happiness are defined by what perspective you take on the world. And, your perception does not necessarily conform to reality. Move your position and ask yourself:

  • Is this really true?
  • What is my imagination and what is reality?

When the demons of fear and anxiety are triggered your body is flooded by stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. You go into the tunnel vision of fight or flight mode. Breathe, take a step back and relax.

When you emotionally shift into the higher vibration of trust, compassion, empathy, and love you are in a much better position to guard against that which distracts and pulls you from the center of your creativity and life purpose.

In spiritual literature, we find numerous encouraging verses to trust in the flow of things. In Jeremiah 17, 7-8 of the Bible we find the words:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The Buddha said: “Everything happens for a reason. Don’t question it, trust it.”

In the Bhagavad Gita, we find the words: “Meet this impermanent world with neither attachment nor fear. Trust the unfolding of life and you will attain true serenity.”

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing...If you have found this article interesting you might want to subscribe with the “follow” button above or recommend my FREE weekly Blog to friends and family. My books can be ordered at all places that sell good books in both paperback and kindle.

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You are not alone

Our culture is dominated by the emphasis on the individual hero’s journey to fulfillment, self-expression, and success. It comes at a huge price, leading to social alienation, spiritual disconnect, and mental illness. For we humans are in essence a species whose survival can be attributed to successful group interaction and relationships with each other.

The seeds of this disconnect can be found in the philosophies and theologies underpinning the mindset that led to the industrial revolution in the mid-18th century. Individualism became the core ideology in the United States in the late 19th century heavily influenced by the “survival of the fittest” doctrine of Charles Darwin.

The “lone wolf” hero

The philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Nietzsche, and others had a huge influence on modern economic, political and educational thought. The “lone wolf hero” coming out victorious against all odds remains a central theme in the sports arena, movies, books, and plays.

What is not taken into account is that the hero in real life will almost always have relied on a network of support from others.

It belies the fact that from the day you were born you were fed, clothed, educated, and shaped into the person you are today by your closest associations. In his meditations, the 16th-century English scholar and poet John Donne emphasizes this point with the famous poem: “No man is an island.”

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The “relationship crisis” has led to the exploitation of the environment but in essence has its roots in the disconnect to the spiritual self. We cannot solve the environmental crisis without looking within.

Prior to the industrial revolution most of mankind was in sync with the natural world. Even today the still existing hunter and gatherer societies see themselves as an integral part of nature. The natural world is seen as a manifestation of the Creator of which mankind is one part.

Buber: I and Thou

German philosopher Martin Buber in his book Ich und Du (translated as I and Thou) finds that human life essentially finds meaning and purpose in relationships.

In this view, all our relationships ultimately bring us into a relationship with God or our Creator.

In the Christian mystic tradition, it is about finding God within. We are part of the creation matrix and not separate from it.

In the Gospel of St. Thomas, discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945, Jesus is quoted as saying:

“See, the kingdom is in the sky, then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father (Saying 3, p. 654.9-21).

This is closely related to the words of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras:

“Man, know thyself: then thou shalt know the Universe and God.”

When you know yourself and especially your shadow you create the foundation for going into an authentic relationship. Most relationships fail because the shadow of the subconscious is triggered by the “other”. This is when ego takes over with typical self-talk such as “my needs aren’t being met”, or “I don’t have space for myself”, and all the other sentences that start with “I need…”

Buber describes the “I and though” authentic relationship as going far beyond two people interacting. It is based on mutuality, directness, and intensity where an “in-between” becomes manifest. The relationship has a greater dimension than the individual contributions of those involved.

When one meets the other as Thou, the unique and separate qualities of the other are acknowledged within the framework of the commonality of humanness.

Buber saw human development within a relational context as social beings who need love and care from others to survive from infancy and throughout a lifetime. Human isolation and the absence of these relationional needs inevitably impact mental health.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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A life dedicated to service

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has been mourned by millions of people, many feeling the same grief as if a close family member had died. Even anti-Royalists would have to concede that the Queen triggers something deep in the collective consciousness.

The death of a famous person sends a stark reminder of our own mortality. A collective outpouring of grief on a global level has a cathartic, healing effect. We are reminded over the loss of our own loved ones who are no more. The queen herself said in a message after the 9/11 terror attacks on September 11, 2001: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

The public image of the rich, powerful and famous is carefully crafted by teams of professional public relations experts and seldom bears resemblance to the real lives of the persons portrayed.

Individual needs, hopes, dreams, and aspirations are projected onto persons in the public limelight. It is part of the marketing strategy to remain a talking point, with tidbits of information on the private lives being fed to the yellow press at timed intervals.

The projection of hopes and dreams

The result is that the addictive consumer of gossip press knows more about some distant movie star or royal family member than about their immediate family or friends.  Sadly, they become so engrossed with the life of a complete stranger that they forget to live their own life.

There seems to be almost a masochistic indulgence in the rise and fall of some famous rock legend, movie, or sports star. Nothing seems to provide the yellow press with so much “Schadenfreude” as to elevate a superstar to a “God” and then to do everything possible to oust them from the throne.

There are indeed rare historical examples of leaders who never set a foot wrong and through their life of service become a game-changer for generations afterward. Queen Elizabeth’s vow to serve was made in a famous speech in Cape Town on her 21st birthday.

Nelson Mandela committed his life to the struggle for a non-racial democratic  South Africa. Just prior to being sentenced to life imprisonment by the apartheid government in 1961, he said:

“The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.”

Eleanor Roosevelt,  working tirelessly in the background of her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, campaigned for the rights of women in the workplace and the civil rights of African Americans.

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give,” she said in one of her most famous quotes.

Spiritual leaders made the ultimate sacrifice

Many of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders gave the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus was crucified on the cross. During the Middle Ages the Mystics and religious leaders Giordano Bruno, Jan Hus, Joan of Arc, and Marguerite Porete were burned at the stake for heresy like tens of thousands of others.

In an age where personal material gratification and narcissism have become the norm, a “life dedicated to service” has become an almost archaic term from bygone times.

It is no coincidence that a culture of narcissism is interlinked to the epidemic rise in depression. Disappointment, grievance, and loss of self-esteem are inevitable when the drumbeat of the cultural message is all external. Meaning and value are defined according to “fame parameters” such as the number of social media followers, material possessions, and particular definitions of physical beauty.

An antidote to depression?

A life of service is one of the best antidotes to depression. Studies reveal that people doing volunteer work in their community and who have a life philosophy based on serving something that far outweighes their individual needs are more successful, happier, and contented human beings.

It is why some of the world’s wealthiest people have become the world’s greatest philanthropists, using their wealth as their tool of destiny for the betterment of society.

Analysis of three waves of data from the Americans’ Changing Lives data set (1986, 1989, 1994) reveals that volunteering lower depression levels, especially for those over the age of 65. An Irish study concluded that volunteer work and as a result social connectedness improved mental health. Helping others gives a sense of meaning and purpose.

Even the Royal Family has been skillful in crafting its public image to counter growing sentiment questioning the meaning of having a monarchy. Yet, it is obvious that like Lady Diana, the Queen has touched the hearts of millions of people with small, simple gestures of kindness and compassion.

The simple things and their compound effect ultimately make all the difference in building a better world, something the Queen had obviously understood and is the message that has resounded with so many during these past days.

In a Christmas broadcast in 2002 the Queen said: “Our modern world places such heavy demands on our time and attention that the need to remember our responsibilities to others is greater than ever.” 

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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To be seen and to be heard

The other day I observed a couple in a hotel with a baby in a pram crying incessantly while the parents were seemingly unconcerned and tapping away on their smartphones. A basic human need to be seen and to be heard was not being met.

A cuddle and some comforting words by one of the parents would in my mind have soon stopped the child from crying. While babies can only make their needs felt in one way it doesn’t get more complicated when we get to be adults.

It’s not a big surprise that restaurants and other businesses in the hospitality industry are having great difficulty finding staff. Customers are all too often downright rude. It has become so bad that some establishments have had to put up signs appealing to customers to treat their staff with respect.

The grievance culture

We have a grievance culture fanned by political demagogues, certain media outlets, and social media. At the receiving end are often the people who least deserve it. I have enormous admiration for staff in hotels, airlines, and restaurant businesses who remain friendly and courteous in jobs that are badly paid and receive little to no recognition from customers and management.

Lack of recognition and validation from supervisors is also one of the main reasons why highly-skilled and trained staff are quitting their jobs or going into early retirement. Leaders often lack basic soft skills. It doesn’t take much to publicly praise a staff member for work well done. A kind word or compliment will instantly make a person light up and smile.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

Most employees are demotivated

It’s hardly a surprise that only 15 percent of the global workforce feel motivated in their jobs, according to a Gallup poll. This means that a staggering 85 percent of the workforce is unhappy in their job. Most employees suffer in silent misery counting the months and years when they can finally go into retirement and start living.

When an employee isn’t in agreement with a company’s mission and vision or is stifled in his creativity by micro-management the result is obvious. There will be a higher percentage of absenteeism, engagement, and work performance. It is estimated that in the United States alone over 450 billion dollars in losses are recorded annually due to unmotivated employees.

Leading by example

It doesn’t have to stay that way. Choosing the right leaders for key positions in a company can make a huge difference. Some of the key qualities of a good leader are:

  • Leading by example
  • Empathy
  • Accountability
  • The ability to express appreciation and gratitude

All too often however we have the typical narcissist chosen for leadership positions and even being elected to lead a country. With their self-centeredness, arrogance, and lack of empathy they can cause immense damage. They are simply incapable of expressing gratitude or giving recognition because they feel this might diminish their own glory.

But responsibility also starts with the individual taking responsibility. If you keep on blaming the government, your employer, your spouse, or your family for everything that has gone wrong in your life, you are not confronting the fear that is blocking you from making the necessary changes.

As Harvard professor and economist Clayton Christensen is quoted as saying: “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation.”

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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