Category Archives: mental-health

The “boiling frog” syndrome

A well-known fable tells us that if a frog is put into boiling water it will immediately jump out. But if the water is only gradually heated the frog will not perceive the danger and be boiled to death. The story is a warning of how a creeping normality of crisis situations delude us into a feeling of false complacency. We fail to act until it is too late.

Our daily habits, thoughts, beliefs and actions play a major part in determining our future. The compound effect of bad or good habits over a period of years and even decades are hugely underestimated.

The compound effect of good and bad habits

Eating for lunch a burger with French fries and a soda drink will affect your body but not harm you in a big way if you eat healthy foods most of the time and you metabolize sugars and carbohydrates with plenty of exercise. But eating mainly processed foods over years and decades will have a devastating impact on your mental and physical health in the long term.

In the same way if your self-talk is mainly negative about yourself or if you incessantly blame others for everything that is going wrong in your life you will most probably be a grumpy, unhappy and miserable person during old age looking back on a life not lived and opportunities missed.

How often have you been buying things you don’t really need because you said: “Its only a few pennies.” But added up over years and decades you could have put aside a small fortune in savings.

Complacency is our biggest enemy

Social and political developments in the recent past should be shaking us out of our sense of complacency and nonchalance. It appears that the general social consensus on values and norms that has prevailed for most of the past decades is seriously being eroded. An independent press, non-partisan judiciary and democratic voting procedures are seriously under threat in countries such as Hungary, Poland, Turkey and first and foremost in the United States. If the United States is no longer the world’s best example of a working democracy authoritarian rule as we see it today in China and Russia will entrench itself in many countries.

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Like a physical body gradually weakening from the effects of bad nutrition, you don’t perceive the spiral downward immediately. In my home country South Africa the seeds of maladministration and corruption were sown with the election of a populist demagogue Jacob Zuma as president in May 2009. For a while things, like the national airline, appeared on the surface to still be functioning perfectly. But after nine years the rot was there for everyone to see. Most parastatal institutions are bankrupted, leaving numerous towns and cities in dire lack of basic services such as electricity and water supply. It will most likely take generations to get South Africa back on its feet economically.

We tend to forget that political parties, governments and institutions have been created by bodies of individuals. They are a reflection of who we are. When a social pendulum of change swings into a new direction it is at first always led by a minority that eventually become the majority view.

A crisis is a way marker

Crisis situations, whether on a personal or collective level, always tell us that the status quo is no longer workable and that things need to change. The art is to perceive the small, telling signs that something is moving into the wrong direction and to adapt accordingly. It is the frog sensing when the water temperature is rising to a dangerous temperature and when it’s time to get out.

This is why some companies thrive by adapting to changing market conditions while others procrastinate. It is why some species adapt and others become extinct. Some marriage relationships adapt to changing needs and circumstances while others end in divorce. It is why the enlightened leader picks himself up during a crisis, using it as a tool of change in valuable lessons learned while the other stays in the shadow of self-pity and recrimination.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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A tribute to Father’s Day

My father died last year only three months prior to his 90th birthday. His last years in a retirement village in South Africa were spent in quiet solitude reading and reminiscing on the lessons of a long life lived.

Especially during my teenager years we had a difficult relationship. I perceived him as weak with our mother making all the decisions pertaining to important family and other matters. It was embarrassing when he would at times interrupt a conversation with a completely unrelated topic.

I could not understand why he was the complete opposite to his five opiniated and charismatic younger brothers who each in their way had been very successful. They ran profitable businesses, and farms and the youngest was the headmaster of a school.

The veil of silence

It seemed as if my father lived a life separate from the world around him behind a thick veil of silence. Unsurprisingly my two brothers and myself tried numerous methods, especially provocation to break through that veil. In his frustration he would try to discipline us by referring to the all powerful family figurehead. “What do you think grandfather would say?” That worked. We did not want to get in grandpa’s bad books.

We spent most  of our school vacations and weekends on the grandparents farm. Some of those happiest of childhood memories were the swims in the crystal clear waters of the Pongola river in rural South Africa, milking cows by hand, listening to the stories of the Zulus around a fireplace  and riding through the African veld on horseback.

A family secret revealed

Only much later in life my uncle and godfather, his life slowly ebbing away from cancer, took me aside with the words: “I think you need to know a few things about your father to understand why he is the way he is.”

The family secret was finally revealed. I was a toddler when my father had, what they called at the time “a nervous breakdown.” My father had been unable to fulfill grandfather’s high expectations. I can only imagine what the next weeks in a mental institution must have been like. Treatment of mental illness with controversial electroshock or electroconvulsive therapy was common in the early 1960s. From what my uncle confided to me that day a once proud, handsome man was reduced to a shadow of his former self. At that time the therapy was only known to me from the movie “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” starring Jack Nicholson.

My parents at their engagement in 1956

It took years of family constellation work for me to only begin to understand the deeper underlying structure of the “absent father syndrome”.  My great grandfather died when my grandfather could barely walk. Lacking a real father role model he projected many of his own insecurities onto my father, confusing  authority  with authoritarian control.

Absent father syndrome

Families in countries devastated from the effects of the terrible 20th century wars were affected for generations by the “absent father syndrome”. Those fathers who survived the war seldom if ever spoke about their trauma, leaving sons and daughters grappling with traumatized men unable to fully engage as fathers and role models. Mothers more often than not were overburdened with the task of emotionally handling the affairs of the family while the father was reduced to the role of the “breadwinner”.

Many a single mother knows all about absent fathers unable or unwilling to fully participate because of the chronic lack of role models. There is an African saying that it “takes a village to raise a child”.  Mothers, aunts, grandmothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and godfathers were all part of elaborate initiation rituals during the important stages of life.

It is impossible to return to that world where village life remained largely intact, and few villagers left their familiar surroundings but the importance of ritual and the definitive roles of the father and the mother in these rituals appears to be a key factor in determining a child’s mental and physical health.

Reframing the father figure

Especially during the difficult phase of puberty where the child is grappling in finding its own identity separate from that of the parent. Society needs to reframe the role of the father and father’s need to explore role models beyond the dysfunctional family unit. Expression of vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but of strength, and creates real space for intimate relationship. Humility is a powerful antidote to a false image of pride.

Jesus is quoted as saying in John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

The power within is that which opens the way to a new beginning from the path of pain. It is that innate feeling of trust that all has meaning and purpose in the greater cycle of things.

The twilight years

Today I can look at pride at what my father accomplished. He remained a humble man with  a stoic steadfastness during several family tragedies, earning quiet respect  from several people who had ridiculed and looked down on him in younger years.

During our last conversations he was simply grateful for the grace of a long life lived. I would not have been what I am today without him. Despite his reservations he allowed his sons to make their own choices and to live lives on their own terms free of judgment and parental control.  I will forever be grateful for that.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. Check out also the latest online courses for you to download and our special Retreat on the island of Majorca in October this year.

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Lets talk about money

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.

–Seneca

There is hardly a topic loaded with such emotion as money, seemingly at the root of all trouble including family fallouts, divorces and the end of longtime friendships.

Dave Ramsey once said that “you must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”

There are numerous life lessons to learn over the issue of money. Self-esteem or the lack of  it is closely intertwined with what we earn or what we perceive we are entitled to. Society especially measures the success of a person in terms of how money assets that person appears to have. Almost the entire spectrum of human emotions can be linked to money issues.

Money is an exchange of energy

The bottom line is that money is basically an exchange of energy. The nature of energy however is that it fluctuates and is impermanent. It can be extremely fickle. Fame and fortune can be accumulated and then lost overnight. Being wealthy does not necessarily mean that you have less fear and anxiety than anyone else.

A study by Boston College reported in The Atlantic revealed a surprising litany of fears and anxieties in persons with fortunes in excess of 25 million U.S. dollars.

According to the study the persons turned out to be “a generally dissatisfied lot, whose money has contributed to deep anxieties involving love, work, and family. Indeed, they are frequently dissatisfied even with their sizable fortunes. Most of them still do not consider themselves financially secure; for that, they say, they would require on average one-quarter more wealth than they currently possess.”

And this appears to be at the core of the problem that does not only affect the super-rich. In a scarcity mindset we are never satisfied with what we’ve got. We think all our problems will be resolved when we earn that first million. But then we are surprised when the anxieties and the fears are still there and we want another million.

Scarcity mindset versus abundance mindset

The sudden accumulation of money through an inheritance or a lottery win will merely amplify basic character traits. For some individuals such a windfall can be a curse. Others see blessings of wealth as a special responsibility. Some individuals, I know personally, are principally giving away regularly a good percentage of whatever they earn and doing most of it anonymously. They see possession of wealth as coming with the responsibility of giving back to society. Using money energy in the right way opens up enormous possibilities, coming from the heart of an abundance mindset.

But our consumerist culture is indoctrinating us with a scarcity mindset that inevitably leads to a “never enough” mentality. It is a culture based on the satisfaction of external needs at the neglect of internal needs.

Numerous psychological studies reveal that the pleasure resulting from such a consumerist mindset soon wear off depending on the frame of reference the individual has. There is a saying that money can’t buy you happiness but that is true only to a certain extent. How much you earn determines the safety and security of the neighborhood you live in, what education your children get, whether you can buy healthy foods and your longevity.

Money is only one factor in creating satisfaction

The craving for money, especially if you don’t have it,  can thus become so obsessive that it can destroy all the simple joys in life. What we do know from most psychological research is that we will remain unhappy if we make our happiness totally dependent on how much money we earn.

Happiness is the ability of dealing with the fluctuations of life’s up-and-down cycles. An interplay of numerous factors make us happy and satisfied human beings. Money is an essential part of it, giving us the means of exploring many new possibilities.

But human beings also have a deep need to be an essential part of a loving and caring community. Every person wants to be loved, seen and validated.

It comes from the foundation of such things as nurturing good relationships, job satisfaction, health, and the ability of finding joy and gratitude in the small things of life. It is why practicing a gratitude ritual or keeping a gratitude journal is so important. It is the stepping stone to an abundance mindset.

Time well spent is one of the most precious assets you will ever have. A higher frequency of vibrational energy flows from a passion that ignites your inner truth and fills your life with purpose and meaning.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. Check out also the latest online courses for you to download and our special Retreat on the island of Majorca in October this year.

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Have you found your calling?

Are you having difficulty in finding your life calling? Well, you are not alone with many people stressing out on finding that one silver arrow pointing to meaning and purpose in life.

As a young person you are in a very different place than later in life. But you are confronted with the major decision on whether to take out a massive student loan to train for a particular career path. Finally you follow through with the predominant view of family and peer groups.

During midlife you find yourself in a very unhappy place, realizing that all those years you had placed the ladder against the wrong wall.

Photo by Xin on Unsplash

Are you flying or scratching with the chickens?

Friends and family are sometimes the worst people to ask when it comes to pursuing your dreams and passions. The reason is that they don’t want a member of the tribe to change so much that they leave and seek a new tribe that is a better fit for new ideas, philosophies and visions.

Instead of learning to fly and soar with the eagles you remain on the ground scratching with the chickens, living out a life of quiet misery. All the time there is that inner voice calling on you to plant that seed destined to make you grow into who you are really meant to be.

It is sometimes necessary to leave a relationship that has long outlived its purpose, an unfulfilling but well paid job or even the country you are living in when it comes to living your destiny. Our biggest fear is often the fear that the future might turn out worse than the current situation, so you settle for the status quo because you feel safe in your “comfort zone.”

Life is not a trajectory of predictability

The journey of life seldom takes you on a trajectory of predictability. The ship you are sailing on sometimes has to change course because a hurricane is coming your way. Political systems, institutions, economic sectors and careers are undergoing huge changes.

A choice might be the right decision now in learning certain skills, mindsets and networking you with a particular circle of people. Other times you are getting huge shout outs from the universe in the form of constant obstacles that are telling you to move on and try something different.

Every choice you make whether it is to fall in love with a certain partner, to choose certain friends, a career or the suburb or country you live in is based on your state of consciousness at the time. There is therefore no need to be too hard on yourself or put yourself under pressure.

A calling can change many times during a lifetime

A calling can change many times over during a lifetime. What you are doing now may only set the stage in preparing and giving you the skillset for the next chapter in your life. You need only to take a step back to have a conversation with your 16-year-old self in realizing how much life has sculptured you into who you are today.

It is the trauma from a pain, the effort in finding the answer to an underlying question, a time-out during an illness, an unexpected event that pulls the rug from underneath your feet that catapults you into a new chapter and a new beginning.

But it need not be that way either. Sometimes one event, one chapter just leads into another like a wave washing to the shore. In a 1903 letter to his protégé, the 19-year-old cadet and budding poet Franz Xaver Kappus, Rainer Maria Rilke writes:

“I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Rilke pointedly reminds us that what has broken, destroyed or ripped us apart emotionally are the building blocks of what elevates us to a new level of consciousness and spiritual growth. When all is in flow, the moment arrives when you hear with clarity that inner song, that tune that merges personality with soul purpose.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. Check out the latest online courses for you to download and our special Retreat on the island of Majorca in October this year.

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Unbecoming who you think you are

We all need a purpose closely aligned with our personal philosophy and value system but can easily lose track of that purpose if we feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges and go into automatic mode.

When we let powerful emotions such as anxiety and fear take over we tend to seek gratification in external gods that keep us feeling empty and small. We seek set patterns of predictability, giving us the illusion of security. We function within a framework of the same road to work, the same friends and colleagues, and the same pattern of thought and thinking.

When the comfort zone of familiarity crumbles

It is when we are jolted out of this comfort zone by a crisis, when things go horribly wrong, and when the map of familiarity crumbles that we are freed from robotic habits, and seek new purpose and meaning. We need to unbecome who we think we are.

Every now and then it is necessary to seek out those quiet spaces in meditation, walks in nature, and alone time to recalibrate on whether the road I’m travelling on is in alignment with my personal value system and philosophy.

Our predominant thoughts and emotions determine the outcome of all our actions. If you believe that every person out there is an unfriendly cheat you will inevitably run into just these persons. If you on the other hand question your labelling of people every time and fundamentally believe in the goodness and kindness of human beings you will be mainly surrounded by such people because you emanate what you think and feel to your surroundings.

Taking time out to realign in nature

Mindsetting into a positive framework of opportunity

If you program yourself with a mindset of scarcity and that money is the root of all evil, you will never have enough. If you turn this thinking into an abundance mindset and really believe that the universe always provides at the right time, things will turn out this way.

Walking in new surroundings and going into uncharted territory is a huge challenge for humanity at this moment in time but also a huge opportunity.

Institutions including the big corporations, government, politics, religion and mass media have become dysfunctional. A crisis such as the pandemic has only brought to the open what has been simmering under the surface for some time. These institutions are made up of individuals often in automatic mode in their boxes, losing sight of the bigger picture because these jobs provide ever less opportunity for individual creativity.

Our mind becomes less anxious if we let go of the attachment to things we believe to be set in stone. Life is unpredictable and always in a cycle of change. One door closes and another opens. Those “flat-on-the-ground” moments are an opportunity to heal the wounds of the past, and to rediscover soul purpose and meaning.

Stepping out of the treadmill

It is vital to step out of the treadmill of routine, predictability and habit every once in a while. If you are marking the calendar and counting the months and years to retirement, or to the next vacation, you need to realign and restore meaning.

We have to sometimes carry out unpleasant tasks but the more we go into resistance when we carry out these tasks the more energy-depleting they will be. We can compensate such routines with fun activity that renew and refresh. It is when we do not count the minutes, when we lose the sense of time in tasks of creative imagination and aligned with our own values and soul purpose that we are in flow with the rhythm of the universe.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. Check out the latest online courses for you to download and our special Retreat on the island of Majorca in October this year.

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Are you a “do-one-day” person?

I remember a family friend from my childhood who had spent most of his life working and saving every penny for “a rainy day”. Only months prior to his planned retirement he died in his sleep with the heirs showing little appreciation for what had been saved with such sacrifice.

Almost on a daily basis people are telling me about all the things they “will do one day” with the bucket list staying in the bucket as the miracle of life and the beauty of the moment passes by unnoticed. Employees stay in jobs that they find unsatisfying, focusing all their energy on the next vacation and that “one day” when they can go into retirement and they can finally start living.

Regretting opportunities missed

When retirement comes they continue spending their days in quiet misery out of regret for all the opportunities lost and in the sadness over that which was and is no more. If a mindset is locked in procrastinating on the past and the future, this will not change when external circumstances change. The myth of retirement is that we can then fall into the armchair and have a nice rest. The problem is that when body and mind are inactive, they feel no longer needed and say goodbye.

But an even more pressing issue is the pain and suffering caused by the disconnect between internal and external needs. The external mindset feeds on fear. The illusion of immortality is created that emphasizes accumulation of material assets.

If we are lucky we have a lifetime of between eight and nine decades with physical and mental capacity generally declining as we grow older. An internal mindset is aware of the clock ticking and that we have a limited time available to live our purpose and our dreams.

All the time and no time to lose

We have in a sense all the time in the world and at the same time no time to lose. The beauty of life is in the here and now. Planning for the future is important but life inevitably is full of twists and turns. Life purpose is not set in stone. Priorities, dreams and wishes can change over time.

Reflect on your real needs and motives. Behind the wish of having a certain amount of money might be the real desire to feel secure and safe. Having the wish to wear the latest designer clothing or owning a sports car could be disguising the real need to work on self-confidence and self-worth.

A positive abundance and prosperity mindset includes all aspects of life such as health, relationships, fulfillment of material needs and spiritual development. Giving back to the universe what the universe has provided comes from an abundance mindset. The big changes in life come from setting small daily goals, and turning bad habits into good habits. Eating the right foods and doing a daily exercise routine is a good way to start building the vitality needed to fulfill your dreams.

Gratitude

One of the most important antidotes to the “one day I will be happy and rich” attitude is a daily gratitude ritual. What are the three things that I am really grateful for today? What experience during the past 24 hours was a key lesson for my spiritual development? Who are the teachers, friends, relationships I am truly grateful for in making me into the person I am today?

Opening the senses to nature

One of the most underrated and important ways of staying mentally and physically fit is taking a walk in nature. It is when you are alone in nature that you can attune the senses to the sights, sounds and smells of the universe. You will instantly start feeling alive and appreciate the beauty of the moment when you turn all your attention to the bird circling in the sky, inhale the aroma of fresh morning dew or hear the sound of water in a creek.

Life is full of beauty, abundance and small miracles that we fail to see if we procrastinate in the past and in a future that will always be different than what you had feared or envisioned.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

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Mental health and the food you eat

“You are what you eat” – Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Our distant ancestors once roamed the plains of Africa spending most of their days looking for food in hunting antelope or scouring the earth for berries, roots and leaves. Food rich in nutrients helped develop our brains to become very innovative so that we could migrate and survive in the harshest of conditions.

The problem really began when we started settling in villages and towns with the need to feed ever more mouths. Metaphorically speaking food is literally falling into our mouths from the supermarket shelves. Choosing food that is keeping us both physically and mentally healthy is becoming increasingly difficult.

The way food is produced today is not only destroying the planet’s ecosystems but has a major impact on how you feel and how long you will live. Our ancestors knew very well from past experience which poisonous plants they needed to avoid and which roots or leaves were good to cure an illness. Over the centuries our lifespan has steadily increased but longevity does not equal quality of life. By mid‐century, the number of Americans age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia may grow to 13.8 million. 

Toxic foods are being sold as healthy foods

It has become almost a science to unravel the true meaning of the ingredients listed on a package, many of which are not only harmful to your body but have a major impact on your mental health. The food production industry has become so powerful that what is marketed as “healthy” is in reality ruining your health.

So-called “energy drinks” are sold as boosting your energy and vitality. Their high sugar and caffeine content however can seriously affect cognitive function, especially in combination with alcohol. Some countries have even banned them after studies on rats revealed bizarre behavior, including anxiety and self-mutilation.

Many cereals and packaged foods are laced with countless hidden sugars called fructose, sucrose, dextrose all of which are major contributors to metabolic diseases such as diabetes, heart circulatory problems and cancer.

Foods can call themselves “trans-fat free” even if they contain up to half a gram of trans fats per serving. These trans fats are being increasingly linked to mental illnesses such as depression. Consumption of these trans-fats found in most processed foods also affect cognitive and memory functions and harm the central nervous system.

So what should I eat?

Countless books and diet experts will tell you what to eat. Some people will religiously lecture you to adhere to a vegan, vegetarian, Atkins, Keto or other diet. A good guideline is to avoid processed foods and soda drinks. If you eat mostly what is locally grown and raised without pesticides you are doing pretty well.

Scientists, who have studied communities in the world’s five “blue zones” who are happiest and live the longest, however point out that a combination of exercise, good food and solid community bonding help us live healthy and long lives.

A typical Mediterranean “blue zone” diet emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, beans, fruit, moderate amounts of alcohol and low quantities of meat and dairy products.

Food grown from organic farming is infinitely healthier than food grown from fertilized monocultures. Animals raised in industrial factory farms where they are kept in restrictive spaces and cages are often given antibiotics to make them grow faster. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria then threatens human health. The foods needed to feed such livestock is destroying natural ecosystems in many parts of the world and is the largest contributor to the warming of the earth’s climate.

By eating the right foods you will have a high probability of living a longer, happier, and healthier life. At the same time what you buy in the supermarket and put on your plate is directly affecting the health of our planet.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

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Facing your biggest fear

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt

In our age of information overload a subtle message has been crafted that we are immortal beings. At the root of most fear is the fear of death. We are awakened to this truth when a loved one dies or when confronted with a terminal illness.

There is a lovely story from Indian folklore about a mouse constantly in fear that a cat would catch and kill her. The mouse was so fearful that it seldom left its burrow.

“How I wish I were a cat. I would then have nothing to fear,” the mouse thought.

A genie nearby took pity on the mouse. In an instant the mouse was turned into a cat. But then as a cat, she saw a dog and became afraid again, wishing she were a dog. The genie heard her again and her wish was granted. She turned into a dog.

Then she saw a lion and she was terrified by his power and strength and wished she could become a lion so that she would not have to be terrified ever again. Her wish was again granted and she became lion. At this stage, she saw a man who was about to shoot her with a gun. Naturally, she wished she could become a human and she did. But then, when she was sitting in her house, she saw a mouse. She started shouting for she was scared of the mouse!

Fear is an illusion

Most fear is an illusion of the mind. It distorts, perverts and falsifies the reality of the moment. Fear often breeds anger and anger turns to hate. It is the fuel of the professional deceivers whose messaging is amplified to millions on social media. We fall prey to our deepest fears if we don’t recognize and confront them.

A typical reaction to fear is distraction and addiction. It could be anything from substance abuse to digital entertainment. The distraction is only momentary and will not remove the underlying fears that grow ever bigger as we lose control of our thoughts.

Looking fear into the eye

The first step in transmuting fear is acceptance. “Yes, I am afraid that I won’t have enough money to pay the rent. Yes, I’m afraid of losing my job. I’m afraid of falling ill…” In imagining the worst-case scenario you will soon realize that your fears are only thoughts. Replace those fears with what would be the opposite of fear such as courage and self-confidence. Some personal mantras could be the following:

  • I have full trust in the creative power of the universe to provide an answer.
  • A am a magnet of health, prosperity and abundance.
  • I have faith and trust.
  • I love and accept myself the way I am

Structure and planning

Winston Churchill once said that plans are of little importance but planning is essential. We like to structure and control our lives. But life is never like that. Unexpected external circumstances like a global pandemic are especially challenging for people who like to be in control of things. At times we simply have to accept things as they are and let go. The falsity of things to which we become too attached are revealed during times of crisis.

Recognizing fear

Typical physical reaction to fear is a shortness of breath, an increased heartbeat, sweating, or chest pain. You might wake up at night having bad dreams or finding yourself in the rollercoaster of a thousand different thoughts and scenarios. There are numerous methods of practicing mindfulness and meditation. One of the most effective ways of practicing alignment and thought discipline is the way you breathe. You might want to check out my downloadable online course here.

Time for introspection

Especially during times of crisis it is crucial to take a time out for introspection and reflection. Toxic emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, chronic negativity and hate will turn you into a stranger to your true self. Below the surface of the darkness lie hidden the seeds for renewal and change. Accepting and loving the self with all the shadow and the light is finding the inner truth and the path to soul purpose.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

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The broken modern workplace

The more a job inherently resembles a game – with variety, appropriate and flexible challenges, clear goals, and immediate feedback – the more enjoyable it will be regardless of the worker’s level of development.

– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi –

Roughly two-thirds of employees hate their jobs, according to a global Gallup poll conducted two years ago. Clinical burnout, depression and suicide are only some of the effects of the broken workplace. Many people simply find no meaning or purpose in what they are doing for most of their lives.

The modern workplace has not only alienated many people from their inner being and purpose but is having a huge toll on productivity and long-term prosperity. The complexity of the individual becomes reduced to a role within an institution which is seldom congruent with core values and soul elevation.

People want to be seen and to be validated

Basic human emotional needs are to be seen, to be heard and to be validated. If these needs are met from an early age the child will thrive, and feel protected by the parents leading by example.

Especially if there has been a pattern of emotional neglect in childhood with parents giving recognition and validation only with achievement, the “inner child” will desperately seek validation through career achievement. The tragedy is that many a modern workplace implies that the employee is a “family member” but ruthlessly discards that member when it no longer performs or when times get tough.

With the person’s identity becoming closely intertwined with the corporate identity there comes a disconnect to soul purpose, as individual talent and the need for elevation of consciousness find no room for growth and expression.

Photo by Ian on Unsplash

The modern workplace stifles creativity

Clockwork performance parameters, the rapidity and the bland similarity of job descriptions stifle imagination and creativity that is so much the food for the soul.

Over the past decade I have conducted countless workshops in the corporate environment on topics such as “stress resilience” burnout-prevention, reintegration of absentees after long-term illness and the creation of a healthy work environment.

My key take-aways are that much of the problem can be found in lack of leadership or failed leadership. Most companies still have a top-down approach to management. Supervisors and managers are often chosen on the basis of job performance skills rather than people skills. They are then not even trained in the basic skills of coaching, mentoring and guidance of people.

The other, not to be neglected aspect, is how we spend our leisure time. Over-consumption of negative mass media absorb a huge amount of psychic energy, leaving little time for inner reflection, recuperation and alignment.

The need for new leaders

The good news is that the pandemic is changing the way we work in more ways than we could ever have imagined. Working flexible hours mainly from home not only reduces the stress of commuting, and looking after family but is visibly illustrating that people work more effectively in their own time and space if they are not micro-managed in a big office.

While the baby-boomer generation looked at work primarily as “a job” with clear boundaries between work and life, the millennial generation places far more emphasis on a company culture of personal growth, and self-development. The new managers are mentors and coaches with a social skill set that takes cognizance of individual expression and visibility within the company matrix.

Are you selling your soul?

If you currently find yourself mired in a structure that is making you feel unhappy, unfulfilled and constantly fatigued and tired then hard questions need to be asked. You could well be in an environment or a company that has outlived its purpose for you. It is a tragedy to see people selling their soul. They wither away in a life of misery and ultimately fall seriously ill because they are deeply unhappy in the environment where they spend much of their most valuable productive years. The remaining energy is drawn primarily on focusing on the next vacation and counting the years to retirement in the illusion that life begins after a career is over.

On the long term you cannot suppress the presence and inner needs of the soul, crying out for imagination, creativity and growth. It is in those moments when we feel energized, empowered and in flow with our inner truth and our being that we are on the right track.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

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Is anger controlling you?

Fred was a successful professional sportsman in his younger days. His life began to fall apart some years ago with his anger tantrums leading to an acrimonious divorce and financial disaster. Later his children and remaining friends refused to deal with him any longer. He lives today in a shelter for the homeless in melancholy sadness over the life that was and is no more.

I could go on and on about stories of people whose lives have been torn apart by anger issues.

Negative emotions such as anger have become pervasive with a poll taken just prior to the recent American elections showing that nearly 80 percent of people felt particularly angry about the pandemic and the economic situation.

We are all susceptible to an occasional outburst of anger but when you or a family member fall into a temper tantrum over seemingly small matters by throwing things, and becoming physically abusive professional help should be sought for what is described as “intermittent explosive disorder. The root cause could be anything from a childhood trauma to substance abuse.

The more common anger is an undercurrent of irritability and negativity that will rapidly reduce your vibrational energy, and inevitably turn you into a person people don’t like to be around with. You will lose friends, relationships and risk your job and business ventures.

Negative and compassionate anger

The Dalai Lama points out the difference between uncontrolled and compassionate anger which he describes as anger that “helps us repel forces that are detrimental to our survival and well-being.”

“In some situations strong compassion may give rise to an equally strong sense of outrage—that is anger about an injustice.  Again, feeling angry can, in the short term, make our minds more focused and give us an extra burst of energy and determination.”

This is the “holy anger” that Jesus demonstrated in turning over the tables of the money-changers in the temple of Jerusalem with the words: “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” It is not relevant whether the incident happened historically.

The message Jesus communicated was the importance of standing guard at the doorway to your soul. What books, newscasts and social media are you feeding your mind with? What associations are making you or have made you into the person you are?

Negative feelings only become destructive when the “intensity is disproportionate to the situation in which they arise.” according to the Dalai Lama.

Are you or your emotions in control?

The problem arises particularly when emotions such as anger start controlling your life. “No one intentionally creates problems, but we tend to be slaves to powerful emotions like anger, hatred and attachment that are based on misconceived projections about people and things,” the Dalai Lama teaches.

We probably have the least understanding of ourselves. When we have uncomfortable feelings and emotions we turn to blaming external circumstances and others. It is the reason why so many relationships go sour. If we expect a partner to fill an inner void, it will inevitably result in disappointment because no other person should be given the responsibility of “making us happy.” Likewise we should not have the expectation that politicians or other professional deceivers are responsible for our happiness.

Beyond the anger lies fear

You don’t have control over unexpected external events such as a pandemic but you can choose how you react. In going deeper into anger there are the emotions of fear and anxiety. When analyzing any situation there are always different perspectives. In the bigger picture all has meaning. If you are experiencing a difficult situation tell yourself: “This too shall pass.” Impermanence is a fact of life. Sometimes we just have to surrender to a given situation and ride out the storm.

Shifting into a positive mindset

If you are having feelings of fear and anxiety it helps to name those feelings. Be truthful to yourself. Write down the feelings in a journal. Before you can transmute the demons you have to name them. Replace the word “Fear” with the word “Trust”. Replace the word “Anger” with the word “Compassion”.

In studying yourself you will become more aware of typical emotional reactions that stand in your way. Anger directed at a stranger is often anger toward the self and the hurt inner child. Emotional shifting is a powerful tool in moving from a negative into a positive mindset. Be mindful and caring of your inner child that is in need of attention.

A negative mindset might be programed by over-consumption of negative news media. Flip the channel to a comedy or a funny video. For me one of the most powerful shifters is taking time out walking. Nature is one of the most powerful healers. When you open the senses to the sights, sounds and smells of nature, your body and mind will start relaxing and falling into alignment. A solution to your problem will come almost naturally as you open yourself to the whispers of the universe.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

Leave a comment

Filed under mental health, mental-health