Tag Archives: fear

A mental health challenge

The other day I observed a heavily-masked woman in a supermarket in no uncertain terms telling off a customer to keep his distance. A passenger on the plane refused to take his window seat when he found another person sitting next to him. Many people are currently feeling anxious, afraid and even paranoid.

The pandemic is having a huge effect on mental health, according to a report released recently by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety,” the WHO said.

During these times when we are constantly being bombarded with “Covid news” on all channels it is more important than ever to guard your mind against the indoctrination with negativity. These are challenging times where it has become more important than ever to protect your mental health and to guard your mind against fear and anxiety. We cannot ignore this dangerous virus and have to take precautions but we do have it in our power to reduce the consumption of negative news.

Learning the lessons from a crisis

Every crisis teaches us something.  We need to look beyond the surface. As a humanity we need to go into deep introspection on what we are doing to our earth and our fellow living beings.  Nature is teaching us that we need to move away from an exploitative to a more sustainable economic model.  Short-term external gratification cannot replace the soul’s yearning for spiritual growth and meaning. Because humanity is in this together in fighting a common enemy, it is a huge opportunity in bringing communities and nations together. The mere fact that a vaccine could be made available in such a short time is a result of an unprecedented level of international cooperation between scientists and governments.

Practicing awareness of thoughts and emotions

Being locked down in our homes gives us time for reflection on what truly matters. If we stay calm, centered and in alignment with the higher self we can be of much more support to those loved ones around us, especially those facing a mental health challenge.  

Here are some of the things you could do to remain centered:

  • When you feel a negative emotion such as fear accept that fact first. “Yes, I am afraid and anxious.” You can then go to the next step by replacing that emotion with a good thought or happy moment. What image or memory comes to mind that will expand your energy or makes you laugh?
  • Practice a gratitude ritual. What am I truly grateful for? Thank the universe for all the good things in your life. Do it first thing in the morning and last thing before you fall asleep. It makes a huge difference to your feeling of well-being!
  • Breathing meditation. Focus your mind on your breathing. At the count of one I inhale and at the count of one I exhale – counting until 21.  Check out my immune-boosting meditation on my Podcast.
  • Take a walk in nature. Meditative deep walking in natural surroundings cleanses body and mind on many levels. Do it however without the distraction of electronic gadgets. Focus on the moment. Feel the wind stroking your face. Hear the birds singing in the trees. Inhale the aroma of the wild flowers.
  • Our environment, our associations and our thoughts have a major impact on our mental well-being.  Radically reduce associations with people who bombard you with negativity, abusing you in dumping their rubbish onto you. Reduce the consumption of negative media to a minimum. What you feed your mind with is who you are and who you become.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor, and Consultant

One more thing…

I have a special New Year offer on my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. If you buy my new video Deep Walking with the key lessons from the book in my store, I will send you the paperback edition of the book for FREE.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is applepodcast.png

Leave a comment

Filed under mental health, mental-health

Are you in a spiral of negativity?

As our world rapidly changes on multiple levels the divide between those who adapt and go into elevation of consciousness and those left behind will grow.

When major shifts like the one we are going through occur, the divide between the extremes also becomes more pronounced. The one side sees opportunity for adaptation, learning, progress and awareness while the other falls ever more into the negativity spiral, and lamenting the “good times” of the past.

Falling into the negativity trap will deplete you on all levels

The emotional fallout from those in the shadow can be seen in uncontrolled anger, fear, and anxiety. Falling into the negativity trap will deplete your energy, make you grumpy and harm your immune system. During this disruptive time of distraction it is important to remain conscious and aware.

The first stage when hit by a catastrophic event out of our control like an accident, life-threatening medical diagnosis, mental breakdown, job loss or the current pandemic will be shock, fear or flight. The process of transmuting such a flat-on-the-ground moment starts with the realistic acceptance of the situation. The Mystics call it “turning the soul around into the light.”

Within suffering is the seed of transmutation

As the soul gradually moves out of the negativity spiral it becomes the greatest agent for spiritual renewal, growth and creativity.

“In the midst of conscious suffering, there is already the transmutation. The fire of suffering becomes the light of consciousness,” Eckart Tolle writes in his book “A New Earth”

In “primitive” consciousness a natural catastrophe, and all forms of suffering were seen as acts of the Gods punishing humans for their “sins.” During the bubonic plague and famines of the Middle Ages the clergy reacted by punishing with the Inquisition the “heretics” and “witches” whom they blamed for angering God with their “sins.”

Why do good people have to suffer and the evil are rewarded?

In contrast the 4th century philosopher St. Augustine answers the age-old question why “good people” so often suffer a calamity while “the wicked” seem to be rewarded for their actions. In the “City of God” he writes that though both suffer alike “the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked. And thus it is that in the same affliction the wicked detest God and blaspheme, while the good pray and praise.”

Though suffering may be triggered by an external event or person, we have been given by God the power of choice, according to Augustine: “In the first place, suffering is the action of another person, not of the sufferer.”

External image is a root cause of suffering

Suffering is often related to identity. This is especially the case when material possessions, job positions, political office, fame are lost or threatened or when identity fused with physical appearance fades. Tolle describes the root of insanity as the complete identification with negative thought and emotion.

A general stressed out impatience, irritability and “fed-up” attitude seems to be the predominant inner mindset of much of the world around us. Negativity and gossip becomes an addiction and the general topic of office small-talk. You are suffering and creating suffering without realizing it.

The point is however, that we don’t need to suffer to be awakened. Conscious living begins with presence of mind in building a healthy boundary to the onslaught of negativity that comes in over dosage of negative media. A healthy body getting enough sleep, nutrition and exercise is less irritable.

Much of our ego-driven society is caught in the shadow of self-aggrandizement and immediate gratification. When you are unclear and disconnected from your core values, you will always get caught up in the tentacles of the shadow. The question that needs to be asked with everything that comes your way is:

  • Is this serving my higher purpose or destiny?
  • Is this information or meeting enhancing or depleting my energy?

When you embrace yourself with loving care you are embracing the diving within you and will no longer be in need of suffering.

When you liberate yourself from the thought that external form brings happiness you can finally enjoy the continuous ebb-and flow of creation and the dance of life. Spiritual consciousness alone can bring true meaning and happiness. The more you deviate from your true purpose and inner core values the more discontent you will be.

External purpose can be infused with spiritual meaning if it is in alignment with the higher evolutionary path of the universe or God.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

My choice of the ten best spiritual books can be found here.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bookcovers_sideview.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is applepodcast.png

Leave a comment

Filed under spirituality, Uncategorized

The power within

Early in the last century the Italian town of Gubbio was terrorized by a wolf. It waited outside the city gates waiting to feast on anyone foolish enough to venture outside. Saint Francis, who had lived in the city at the time, then announced that he himself would visit the wolf in its lair to bring peace to the village.

St. Francis was followed by some townsfolk from a distance when he approached the lair. With the wolf charging at Francis he made the sign of the Cross and commanded the wolf to cease its attacks in the name of God, at which point the wolf trotted up to him docilely and lay at his feet, putting its head in his hands.

Which wolf are you feeding?

St. Francis had elicited a pledge from the wolf that he would no longer attack the villagers if they kept on feeding the hungry wolf. The deeper meaning of this story is that human nature is constantly at war between the spirit and the temptations of the flesh and the lures of toxic emotions.

Preoccupation with the “outward” as opposed to the “inward” soul calling is a constant theme in the writings of the ancient mystics and their wisdom is more topical than ever in a world where political narrative is a reflection of an ego-centered culture where image takes precedence over truth and minds are captured in an alternative reality.

The pull between the good spirit, in what the 13th century Dominican monk Meister Eckhart calls the emphasis on what is “virtuous and eternal” and the evil spirit in what is “temporal and transient” , is embedded in human nature from the time of birth.

The inward and the outward pull

Modern culture is pounding away at the human mind 24-7 with the emphasis on gratification from the external which in turn leads to a spiritual void of the internal. The Greek philosophers Cicero and Seneca speak of the “inward spirit” within which lies the “seed of God” while the outward mind is constantly challenged by the temptations of immediate gratification.

Eckhart defines “evil” as the direct opposite of the internal. While the “inward” mind is focused on following “God” or the universal truth on the path of life the “external” mind prefers to walk in front of God. It is the ego-mind at work, refusing to acknowledge failure or mistake. Its sole concern is “to gain honors, wealth and pleasure.” Eckhart calls them the wicked people who have no concern to what is good or evil. “They are devils, in fact they are the Devil himself…”

Defining evil

But what do I do when one person’s “good” is another person’s “evil.” The lines often become blurred in the public discourse. Eckhart describes evil as by nature a “withdrawal of the soul from God.” While creation is aimed at perfecting, realigning with higher common purpose, evil is seeking to destruct, divide and exclude. In its worst form it is the void where there is complete absence of God.

In times of crisis strong emotions dominate. The fear of the unknown and the sadness over that which was and is no more occupy the mind. This soon becomes the breeding ground of anger that is projected against what is perceived as “the Other” responsible for ones predicament.

This is a dangerous time where we are walking the thin line of having to choose every minute of every day which of the two wolves we are feeding.

Who is making you into the person you are?

Irrespective of your political persuasions and beliefs, your associations define who you are. These are not only your immediate friends and family but also what you are feeding your mind with on social media, radio, literature and television. You might want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the person I’m dealing with emanate from his/her innermost Being? Is it compassion, love, empathy or hate, anger, vanity or egotistical self-interest?
  • What language is being used? There is language that will expand your heart energy and there is language that will make my body tense-up and fire-up my toxic emotions.
  • Is the person or the information elevating my consciousness or making me choose the angry wolf?

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

My choice of the ten best spiritual books can be found here.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bookcovers_sideview.jpg

2 Comments

Filed under spirituality

The pandemic: A blessing?

For the first time in our lifetime humanity is faced on a global level by a life-threatening virus. Some people have lost loved ones or all their material resources. So how can a crisis be a blessing?

Any type of personal tragedy is always followed by a period of grief, sorrow, procrastination and despair. Ignoring or suppressing such feelings will inevitably have long-term harmful effects.

Acknowledging anxiety and fear

The first step is thus always in acknowledging such feelings of grief or sorrow as part of a process you are currently going through in dealing with a situation that was caused by external events outside your control.

The flat-on-the-ground moments or the “dark moments of the soul times” however always herald at the same time the start of a new beginning in finding meaning or purpose in any type of challenge you are dealing with.

The gratitude mantra

An excellent way of dealing with a brokenness of the soul is love and acceptance of the self. From that energy can emanate the next step in finding gratitude for even the smallest of things in your life right now.

“I am so thankful for the food in front of me at the moment right now, to all the people and other living beings who have provided their energy to give me nourishment…”

Most unhappiness is caused by thoughts

Most unhappy mood situations are caused by lack of thought control. From thoughts spring words and images that have either a positive or negative effect on your vibrational energy. Neurotically inclined people for instance disproportionately use the phrase “sick of” or “depressed”, according to research conducted by the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash

The average person has between 50,000 and 70,000 different thoughts per day, which translates to between 35 and 48 thoughts per minute. Stress and a negative mindset always starts with a thought.

Finding a quiet space for introspection

The good news is that you can radically transform you life by focusing on good thoughts. The bad news. Its easier said than done. It takes practice for instance by taking a time out every day for a quiet space – best time first thing in the morning after getting up – and the last thing you do before you close your eyes in bed.

Find a form of meditation best suited for your needs: It could be a prayer, a mantra or deep walking in nature.

Amid the constant din of negative news information on the pandemic we are finding a growing number of people appreciating the value of friendships, the physical contact in hugging, community and sharing a common predicament. So many people are telling me that they are so much enjoying going a pace slower, working from home office, or simply having time to do the things they couldn’t do in years.

Running away from fear

When we become more aware we realize that the rat-race is really a constant running away from fear. It is the fear of losing everything and becoming nothing, especially becoming nothing when we die.

The external world is focused on the illusion that happiness only comes in the accumulation of things at some time in the future. At the same time there is constant fear of losing the people around us that we love, the things that we have already go or the job we currently have.

The Mystic traditions teach about the discovery of the pure land, or the Kingdom of God, the discovery of the preciousness of the present moment, connecting to the inner self and opening the senses to the subtle whispers from the universe.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bookcovers_sideview.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under mental-health, spirituality, Uncategorized

The power of alignment versus distraction

A few days ago our daughter came home from school telling me this strange story: A Romanian gang was abducting innocent young children. In one incident a blonde young girl had been abducted in a shopping centre, had her hair cut in the toilet, drugged and then dressed-up as a gypsy. She was only saved at the last minute when a warning was given on the intercom and all the doors to the shopping centre had been closed. Police, so the story, have asked the public to look out for a white van with eastern European occupants driving around the vicinity of shopping malls.

Had I not heard exactly the same story in a South African version some years back, I would probably have taken the story seriously. Fact is police in Germany had to issue a warning that the story was an absolute hoax after it made its rounds over countless “Whats-App” and “SMS” messages, causing near panic among schoolchildren and parents.

It is just one example of the power of distraction in today’s world of social media. Whoever started this urban myth either thought it a joke or deliberately planned sowing fear and panic. But that this urban myth could make its way to Germany after I had heard it for the first time about ten years ago had me stupefied. Without the Internet such urban myths were checked and double-checked by news desks and seldom, if ever made their way into the public domain.

This brings me to my point. Never before have we been confronted by such a plethora of electronic media and other distractions. We humans are especially prone to visual stimulation that has us fixated to a screen, depending what it is. Our two teenagers have a really hard time when we put our foot down in limiting X-Box, TV or smart phone chatting.

But seriously, how often do we catch ourselves checking our emails and facebook accounts per day? We are gradually forgetting to experience the wonders of life in the here-and-now. We are becoming prey to the sway of whatever emotion is being put out there.

 

Image

A recent edition of the “Shambhala Sun” ran a cover story on the “modern obsession” of distraction. It provides for some interesting reading. Buddhist teacher Judy Lief recommends that letting go of all our distractions and entertainments is the path to awakening. There seems to be a deeper truth we’re distracting ourselves from, says the famous Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

Here are some tips on how you can avoid the power of distraction and to stay in alignment:

  • Concentrate on your breathing. Is it coming in short bursts from your throat or chest (fear and anxiety) or is it centred in your lower stomach (relaxation, ease of mind)

  • How is your body posture? By imagining the centre of your head connected with an invisible string to your higher self and the centre of your feet grounded to a point deep in the earth, you will feel a wave of energy flowing through your body. It is a complete contrast to being slumped over a desk or in a chair, and make you really feel your body.

  • Resolve to listen more rather than talking and giving an immediate response

  • Take time out from all those distractions such as iPhones and iPods

  • Take a walk in nature. Listen to the huge variety of birds, insects or other animals, sense the smell of fresh blossoms, feel the wind on your skin. Feel alive. Experience the here-and-now. What a wonderful experience to be living!

 

Image

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized