Tag Archives: mental health

How are you starting your day?

Integrating positive habits into your daily life very much determines the difference between managing your life or letting others take control. Calibrating yourself positively just after getting up in the morning can keep you on a higher energy frequency for most of the day.

We have those days when we wake up with a certain emotion such as melancholy sadness, fear, anger or anxiety, often triggered by a dream. A toxic emotion can also be triggered by reading a news item on your smartphone or watching the news while still half asleep. It then sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Humans are naturally attracted to negativity

It is easy to become subsumed by negativity because it is all around us. Mass media feeds on the notion of humans who are naturally attracted to negative news. It is part of our survival instinct. By heeding the information from a lonely wanderer that he had seen robbers in the woods we were able to avoid danger by taking a different route. Access to certain information could decide between life and death.

Reasserting control

How do you reassert control in an age where we are literally drowning in information while the mind is starving from lack of wisdom?

Calibrating the start of your day with a positive habit such as meditation, prayer, or gratitude ritual makes a huge difference to how your day will be. Think of three positive things for which you can be truly grateful before you go to bed at night and after waking up in the morning. I also like reading a positive quote or spiritual text that can act as an anchor if things start getting a bit overwhelming later in the day.

A body routine such as a few basic yoga, qi gong, or pilates exercise will vastly improve your energy level. I personally like to start with the tree posture aligning with heaven and earth before doing some stretchings and going through my tai chi form – which is an excellent slow-moving meditation.

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Emotional shifting

Emotional shifting is a method whereby you lift yourself from a negative emotional state to a positive emotion. If you are angry the first step is just accepting that you are angry. The next step is then to replace that angry feeling with the opposite feeling which would be love and acceptance.

Think of anything in your life where you have felt that deep fulfilling complete joy of unconditional love. You will immediately feel a different energy. You can also use the tapping method to transmute a negative emotion into a positive emotion.

How about fear and anxiety? The opposite energy is courage, faith, and trust. Focus on conscious breathing, inhaling, and exhaling through the nose. Inhaling I feel that fear and anxiety. Exhaling I have faith and trust.

You can find out more here on my walking, breathing and other online training exercises.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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The absent father and male mental health crisis

The latest mass shooting in the United States by a young male suspect in Buffalo, New York, again throws the spotlight on hate crime, and fanaticism. It is necessary to talk about how children, especially boys, grow up and what needs to be done to give them more emotional, psychological, and spiritual stability.

Criminologists Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi, found the absence of fathers to be one of the most powerful predictors of crimes. The lack of social bonds and the absence of the “father figure” as a role model for sons, providing structure, authority, and discipline are attributed as some of the key attributes lacking in violent youth.

Researchers Dr. Warren Farrell and John Gray, authors of “The Boy Crisis”, postulate that boys who grow up with an absent father or who don’t have a healthy relationship with their fathers lack a role model for healthy masculinity.

The “purpose void” and ultramasculine role models

Boys’ old senses of purpose, being a warrior, a leader, or a sole breadwinner, are fading. Many bright boys are experiencing a “purpose void”, feeling alienated, withdrawn, and addicted to immediate gratification. Compounding this issue are addicting video games that lead to distraction and ADHD, according to Farrell and Gray.

As boys become young men, their suicide rates go from equal to girls to six times that of young women! Girls seem to outperform boys at every level from education to job performance.

In some cases, these boys then seek ultramasculine role models, feeling empowered by arming themselves with weapons and joining almost exclusively male extremist groups.

These young men appear to be especially drawn to demagogic macho role models offering simple solutions to their own feelings of inadequacy and discontent. Religious minorities, immigrants, or different race groups are targeted. An idealized, orderly state of the past is recalled. A dystopian future lies waiting, ruled by a “fatherly” figurehead in a reborn patriarchy.

How do we confront this poisoning of the mind?

It has to be said that many single mothers bravely and with much personal sacrifice manage to raise healthy, successful, and caring sons. But we do need to look at why most violent crime is committed by men. In the United States, more than nine times as many men (5,037,000) as women (581,000) had ever at one time been incarcerated in a prison. Men also experienced higher victimization rates than females for all types of violent crime.

It takes a village …

The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”, highlights the role of family and community in shaping the life of a child. A Swahili proverb takes a similar vein:  “Whomsoever is not taught by the mother will be taught with the world.”

It has always been one of the most challenging tasks to raise a child. It is why in traditional African culture this was always seen as a communal responsibility. In our modern cultures the single mother is left without a support structure, having to deal with the double burden of raising a child and earning a living. Apart from the Nordic and some European nations little to no support is provided by the state in terms of pre-school child care and education. Governments fail to realize that the long-term social costs are much higher than providing adequate child support in the first place.

Stress resilience and mental health are built in those strong communities where children are not only bonded to the primary family but to an extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and close friends. It’s where children learn social skills and values from role models who find sense of purpose in serving something greater than short-term self-gratification.

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Individual needs versus social and community needs

Our culture has lost its way in over-emphasizing individual needs over the needs of the community and society at large. It’s part of the spiritual disconnect where pseudo-religious groups are replacing institutional religion in the form of extremist political tribes.

From the perspective of the tribal bubble, anyone who looks, believes, and dresses differently is perceived as a threat. Dehumanizing all those who are different is a hallmark of all extremist, religious, and nationalist groupings. The threshold to taking a gun and shooting those who are different becomes very thin, because empathy is felt only to members of one’s own tribe.

Where there is a spiritual connection there is an understanding of purpose. Love is experienced as unconditional and the basis of all life. God is life and God finds expression in nature.

Nobel peace prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu is quoted as saying: “Instead of separation and division, all distinctions make for a rich diversity to be celebrated for the sake of the unity that underlies them. We are different so that we can know our need of one another.”

God’s garden has never been homogeneous stagnation. It is one of beauty inhabited by diverse species, cultures, colors, religions, and beliefs in constant interaction, and interdependence with each other. We define and grow our values, heritage, and culture in a dynamic exchange between opposites. You just need to study nature in order to understand your higher calling.

Experiential spirituality is learning to understand the deeper meaning of self and how your life and purpose is inextricably intertwined with that of the larger whole. True happiness and contentment is found within, undestanding who you are, and emanating that core authenticity outwardly in kindness, love and tolerance.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Our so “easily offended” society

During recent travels with long hours spent at airports and in planes, I witnessed several people ranting over the smallest things not going their way. My impresson: We seem to have become a society infected with the “easily offended” bug.

It is not only my subjective impression. The United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has reported that last year was the worst on record for unruly passenger behavior. Admittedly much of it was mask-related but I have seen passengers insulting air hostesses, punching the backs of seats, or verbally abusing fellow passengers.

There appears to be a real decline in basic politeness and respect for the public space with the pandemic-related restrictions only highlighting what has become an increasing problem: The “right” to throw a tantrum and utter verbal abuse no matter what the consequences.

Unfulfilled expectations: The cause of much unhappiness?

We as a society appear to have become less resilient in dealing with unforeseen external circumstances out of our control. Western culture has become so accustomed to its comfortable lifestyle that a minor discomfort is perceived as a massive problem. Compared to previous generations and life in poorer countries we live in unparalleled abundance and luxury. However, the more we have the less appreciative we seem to be.

When we are confronted with a “painful” or uncomfortable situation it can mean one of several things. Person A steps back and says to herself/himself. “I can’t change the situation now. Let’s see how we can go from here.” Person B has had a certain expectation that has been disappointed. He is unable to reflect like person A, and loses control. Unfulfilled expectations from a parent, an employer or a partner could be at the root of the problem.

Ego getting in the way

The person losing control has a certain ego-based image of himself, feeling entitled to a “privileged” treatment based on an illusory image of the self. Person A might have gone through a previous painful experience but dealt with it differently. What did I need to learn from this experience? What event in the past made me feel the same way hurt, embarrassed, helpless, and angry? By momentarily removing himself from the situation, Person A could realign with the wiser higher self.

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What does the Will Smith incident tell us?

The media frenzy unleashed by the actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage says much about our collective unconsciousness. Smith felt offended because the comedian allegedly insulted his wife in public. In retrospect, it appears Smith’s uncontrolled angry outburst could be related to his childhood trauma when he often witnessed his father insulting and abusing his mother.

But do we have to find excuses for inappropriate behavior? Where do we go as a society if we tolerate and accept abusive, impolite, violent, and disrespectful behavior, even from famous people? If they can do it why can’t I?

Smith’s action was that of an entitled badly-behaved Hollywood megastar, feeling entitled to walk onto a stage, slapping another person, returning to his seat, cursing and shouting, and refusing to leave when asked.

In our media-based world, we take much of our moral cues from what we see and hear on the screen. It is not just two Hollywood celebrities misbehaving whose world is far removed from the average person in the street. What happens in the coming weeks and what consequences and conclusions are drawn from the incident reverberate into society at large.

Feeling offended is so different from having to express”outrage” at what is obviously wrong. While Hollywood was dining and celebrating, Russia continues to bombard, and massacre civilians in Ukraine. Millions of ordinary people’s lives have been completely disrupted because Vladimir Putin felt “offended” by a democratic and sovereign nation on his borders.

If we are incapable of expressing our collective outrage about what Russia is doing to Ukraine and try to intellectualize it like some commentators still do with “the Russian perspective” or with the “neutrality” cop-out, we lose our moral compass. On some issues there just cannot be grey areas. Minor discomforts fade into insignificance if we reflect on the suffering of those millions of people.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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When things start falling apart

Things seldom fall apart suddenly. A leak in the roof of a house will drip by drip gradually weaken the structural walls. A country’s slide into authoritarian rule comes with many small repressive laws. A divorce is preceded by many hurts, insults, and betrayals. A company’s bankruptcy comes after years of poor management and missed opportunities.

Traveling through my home country South Africa during the past few days, I have been wondering how the ruling African National Congress (ANC) government could so utterly lose its moral compass and ruin every major state-run enterprise through corruption and mismanagement.

When Nelson Mandela steered the country to democracy in 1994, South Africa was hailed as an example to the world. A race war was averted. A new “rainbow nation” of diverse cultures was born. Mandela and his compatriots sacrificed their best years in prison for this ideal. I covered the elections of 1994 as a journalist for a major news agency and visited the country again in 1997 and 1998. There was a sense of optimism and euphoria among all race groups. Foreign investment and tourism flourished.

A serving culture is turned upside down

It wasn’t to last. The ANC always had a dark underbelly of hardened ideologues and self-serving opportunists. During the presidency of Jakob Zuma (2009-2018) the ANC elites turned from serving a country to looting a country. Literally, every municipality, hospital, school, postal service, energy supply company, and public transport system run by the ruling party today is malfunctioning, or not working at all.

The rot can be seen in derelict railway lines, potholed roads, collapsing bridges, and lack of basic services in once-pristine rural towns. I was aghast to learn from old friends in my hometown Dundee in the eastern KwaZulu Natal province that the water supply is switched off for most of the day because pumps have not been maintained for years. Electricity outages are almost a daily occurrence.

A culture of entitlement

What is happening in South Africa has its roots in a culture of entitlement that is a growing global phenomenon. Mankind has experienced an exceptional period of material upliftment, luxury, and comfort that previous generations could never have dreamed of. It has, unfortunately, come with a huge cost to the environment, physical and mental health. When a society is indoctrinated with a “happiness recipe” of material gain and immediate gratification, the hangover comes with addiction, depression, and fanaticism in the form of extremist political movements.

Instead of being grateful for what we have, we are constantly comparing ourselves with the happier, wealthier, younger, and more beautiful people we see in the tabloids. Instead of cherishing the present moment the mind constantly wanders to some distant future when we will be happily enjoying life with the million dollars we are earning annually.

A fertile field for dictators and demagogues

The entitlement culture is a fertile field for demagogues of all persuasions. In South Africa, influential politicians are demanding the seizure of private property and farms for redistribution to the poor – in effect meaning redistribution to themselves. Demagogues always find an external enemy to deflect from their own failures. As a result the ANC still enjoys massive support.

In Russia, a majority of people continue to support President Vladimir Putin’s horrific invasion of a sovereign nation. They seem to believe in the prosperity dream of a new Russian empire. In the United States a populist demagogue, calling Putin “smart” and “savvy”, is filling his war chest with donations from millions of supporters still believing that a democratic election was rigged. His chances of again winning the next U.S. presidential election are not unrealistic.

Tunnel vision: the hallmark of an entitlement culture

A hallmark of an entitlement culture is tunnel vision of the ego-mind. When in tunnel vision there is no evolution or progress of mind and spirit. The head-mind or “ego-mind” is caught in a belief. Its mind is made up of what is right and wrong in the world.

Head-Mind is incapable of listening to the alternative argument and will interrupt you before you have finished your sentence. They will tell you that 1+1 = 4. Nothing will persuade them otherwise. Their lives have been taken over by an alternate reality and they will be reaffirming their belief daily with similar believers in social media bubbles. Once entrenched in a tunnel-vision bubble it is virtually impossible to break down the walls the person has surrounded himself with.

What is the solution?

The worst thing you can do is try to convince a person that he or she is wrong. The ego-mind will never admit a mistake. Realization and humility mostly come after a painful process of catharsis. This is a path that only an individual will have to walk. Addiction to an ideology is comparable to the alcohol addict who will only seek help when everything has fallen apart.

The realization might come that a life of bliss is a perception. Material comforts and the satisfaction of basic needs are important elements but will never be a replacement for good health, a sense of purpose and meaning, friendships, and community. We, humans, are innately social beings and spiritual in nature. Where we feel a connection to something larger than the self, nationality, gender, and race, the journey to joy begins.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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One journey ends

The journey is never-ending

This weekend we finally managed to hold the memorial service for my father in South Africa two years after he had passed away in a retirement home at the age of 89. Even after such a time, it felt right to have a ritualized formal closure to remember a life and its final destination.

Dad’s journey through life was at times shaken with the pain of losing loved ones, confronting his own mental winters of depression, and financial challenges. The relationship between fathers and sons has a special dynamic and my relationship with him can be described as difficult at times.

As a young man, I had a problem understanding why Dad’s brothers were dynamic, outspoken, and self-confident men who had built successful businesses and careers while he in contrast preferred to take a backseat role unable to really make decisions, often faraway in thought and not really present during conversations.  He could withdraw for weeks into a moody silence.

It was only in his twilight years that he opened up and it began to dawn that the seeds of depression and nervous breakdown had already been sown in the regimental and bullying educational culture of the 1940s in South Africa, coupled with overly high expectations from his own father.

Having emigrated from South Africa to Europe in 1981, I could only come for sporadic family visits, surprised at his gradual transition to a stoic reflection and meditation on the multitude of lessons that life has to offer. He retained a sharp mental focus until his dying hours that we could witness only by remote with Covid travel bans having taken effect a few days earlier.

The pilgrimage: An analogy of life

Sifting through a few memorabilia and fading photographs my thoughts turned to the Camino. The ancient pilgrimage in northwestern Spain has become a popular modern-day path of self-discovery and spiritual renewal because it is in so many respects an analogy of life.

The pilgrim faces “winter days” of emotional and physical pain. A route and day are carefully planned but inevitably turn out with pleasant and also nasty surprises.

Lesson: Take each day as it comes. It’s necessary to plan but assume that you will have to adapt and change your plan. Accept external circumstances out of your control but control how you react to them.

On the path, you will meet and bond with people in a way as if they were old friends and family. You will share deep experiences and feelings. Some will become lifelong friends, even partners. Others you will never see again and not even know their surnames.

Lesson: The impermanence of life. Some people and family will walk with you for a lifetime. Others only share with you a short chapter but will most likely have left a lasting impression, precious memory, or lesson in self-awareness.

Life is a roller-coaster of spring, summer, autumn, and winter – sometimes even in one day. But when reaching the destination, walking into the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela you experience the immense joy of having accomplished your journey. The cathedral and all its artwork, sculptures, and lighting are an expression of ultimate joy and rebirth. It is not only the joy of the pilgrim having accomplished the journey.

Life is a spiritual journey of meaning and purpose. It is a journey of grace and faith in the truth of an ultimate journey where one day the walls of the physical fall away, leaving just space for the soul that is eternity.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Authenticity versus narcissism

Chances are if you are following the crowd, you’re following the wrong path.

– Bob Proctor

Narcissism is defined as an excessive interest and or admiration of the self. The basic human need to be validated and to be heard however seems to have fallen prey to the stranglehold of the ego-mind in a society obsessed with the glitter of immediate gratification.

The need to conform to societal parameters of success, beauty, or fame comes with the high price of disconnect from soul nature and authenticity with all the resulting consequences in the form of stress and mental illness.

Teenagers moving from childhood to adulthood in the struggle of finding their identity are particularly vulnerable to the dictates of the fashion, norms, and cultural beacons of their peer group. Those not following the crowd are bullied into isolation and will feel particularly suicidal if they do not have a safety net to fall back on.

Unsurprisingly we are seeing an exponential rise in mental illness and suicides among teenagers. Suicides among adolescents and young adults aged 10-24 have increased in the United States by nearly 60 percent in the period 2007-2018. Researchers pinpoint multiple causes but the negative effects of excessive use of social media are undisputed.

Creating a brand on social media has become in vogue. The lifestyle and “happy images” posted on social platforms have become the perfect platform for what has ballooned into a collective narcissistic culture.

Seldom do we see portrayed the authentic circumstances of a person’s struggles, pains, and up-and-down cycles triggered by life’s circumstances. It becomes a major mental stress factor to conform to an artificial image that bears little resemblance to what is real and authentic. The echo chambers of the media industry are ruthless when the cracks to authenticity begin to show. Here are some of the differences between narcissism and authenticity:

  • While narcissism is directed toward external validation and acceptance, authenticity turns inward to galvanise the forces of unconditional service to a bigger cause.
  • Narcisissism is immune to self-development and will defend with all means available the right to be right and the image it has created. Authenticity is open to constant adaptation, evaluation, growth and elevation of consciousness. It will admit to mistakes and failure.
  • Narcisissm is anchored within imagined thought and personality while authenticity is rooted within soul and heart.

Much of the mental exhaustion we are seeing around us stems from the lack of authenticity and disconnect from soul nature. The pain will at some point become unbearable when all the energy is focused on creating an external image that is incongruent with soul destiny.

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Children still connected to their true nature will sometimes tear down the facade of image and conformity, much to the embarrassment of the adults around. It is why Jesus once said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

It is a call to reconnect to the innocent authenticity of the child. When you do what you are destined to become you will connect to the inner child and feel an expansion of energy, vitality, and connection. Can you recall an incident from your childhood when you last felt unconditional love and joy? Those are the clues to follow when it comes to connecting the dots that lead you from the head mind into the heart-mind of authenticity.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Family and Christmas: Joy or challenge?

If you think you are enlightened go spend a week with your family

– Ram Dass-

As we approach the festive season you might be feeling a little trepidation as expectations run high and family dynamics inevitably come into play. It’s a time where also the shadows from the past can come to a head.

Expectation and reality

Especially for those on the path of self-development the quote from Ram Dass is so revealing because it is easy to fall into the trap of the spiritual ego that is telling you: “I’m done with that. I’ve got it now. I’ve learned my lesson. Everyone else in the family has just not got it yet.”

Relationship with parents is challenging because it inevitably defines all future relationships on a subliminal level. A strong emotional bond can swing on the pendulum from love and affection to anger, aggression, disappointment, and melancholy sadness.

The major disappointment stems from the societal indoctrination of the perfect Christmas show. The reality is that families go through break-ups, separation, loss, and all the dynamics that come with multiple patchwork constellations.

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Avoiding the booby traps

Families are a reflection of society and we are seeing increasing divisiveness fanned by the information silos of social media. Children are severing all ties with parents and vice versa over even such issues as political and religious affiliation, vaccinations, or climate change. It is even more difficult to accept a differing opinion from somebody who is a cherished family member. Moreover, these topical issues are often a smokescreen of much deeper underlying conflicts, stemming from childhood hurts or trauma. It explains much of the heated exchanges and arguments over “an issue”.

Mindful acceptance

It is in most cases wasted energy to engage in an argument with a family member, or anyone else for that matter if an opinion becomes a belief. This is sometimes the best approach: “I hear you. I see you. I love and respect you but I beg to differ on that matter and we should just leave it at that.”

The spiritual lesson

There is much to be said about the Buddhist teachings on the Karmic bonds between family members where we enter “into soul contractual” agreements prior to birth in order to elevate our spiritual consciousness.

Family constellation therapy can reveal those defining behavior patterns and traits that often go back many generations in the family lineage. How we relate to our parents, the primordial relationship pinpoints at the same time the greatest lessons we need to learn.

Family: The blessing and the curse

If you come from a family where traumatic emotional and physical abuse was the norm a strong separation boundary is often the only solution. Even, what we term as a “normal family” would in most cases realistically be defined as dysfunctional. Often what is seen as “harmonious” from the outside is a shrewd strategy to conform to societal expectations – a particularly common trait during the 1950s – and we all know how that turned out.

We, humans, are complex multi-faceted beings. Family is more often than not constant crisis-management in juggling different needs and expectations. It is the same challenge we face in all our relationships in communicating these different perspectives. We need more humble acceptance that we are incomplete beings.

The point of life is that it was never meant to be an easy ride in a comfort zone. Every crisis is merely putting the finger in the wound of where the seeds of opportunity lie waiting for further growth, change, and evolution of consciousness.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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A lifetime wasted on the treadmill?

With only a few weeks left to the end of another year you might once again have thoughts of how “time flies” and feel a little melancholy sadness about the things you had on your to-do-list and have had to postpone.

Our culture is obsessed with time as we rush from one appointment to another or try to squash as much activity as possible into leisure hours.

During this week I did a workshop with participants from diverse establishments ranging from public service to production with some of the companies registering absenteeism due to illness of up to twenty per cent. Our hurried and just-in-time economies are not only unsustainable but are having a major impact on physical and mental health.

A life spent in haste is a wasted life

In Germany alone the number of mental illnesses, mainly job-burnout, has doubled in the past decade. In the United States a study revealed that a frighteningly high number of employees are experiencing symptoms of fatigue and burn-out. It is seldom talked about but many victims of the pandemic have been people with an already weakened immune system caused by work stress and other factors.

When your body is flooded with stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline you will have difficulty slowing down, relaxing and spending time alone in solitude.  Moreover if stress hormones remain at a constantly high level over months and even years your body’s natural defense systems and key body organs are being steadily weakened.

I know people who feel extremely uneasy if they don’t have the television in the house switched on 24-7 or don’t have loud music playing in the background. On a subliminal level the body senses never have time to recuperate.

Time for the soul to catch up

You think you might just google a quick question and already you have been hooked and sidetracked into  spending hours of precious “lifetime” on social media.

During my childhood my grandfather, a farmer in South Africa, loved to tell the story when he gave a lift  to an elderly Zulu man. After sitting quietly next to my grandfather in the pickup truck the Zulu man asked my grandfather to stop for a minute to help his soul catch up as it had been left behind by the speed at which they had been travelling.

The Zulu people at the time lived with their senses closely attuned to the laws of nature, getting up at sunrise and retiring for sleep soon after sunset. They often joked about the ways of the white man and why he always seemed  to be in a hurry and living life according to the clock.

Hurried people make mistakes

It’s an old wisdom. When we are in a hurry we are more likely to make mistakes. We miss important way markers along the road when we go into a stressed-out tunnel vision. We fail to hear the whispers from the universe telling us that we have placed our ladder against the wrong wall.

It brings to mind that in the pre-industrial era the main mode of transport for most people was walking from A to B with the body finding its natural rhythm during walking. The advances of technology have given mankind the possibility of flying from one continent to another within hours. We can cover a journey by car that took our ancestors weeks or months on horseback or carriage. The downside is that our mode of travel is contributing to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere and that the speed at which we are travelling is giving us less time to reflect and internalize the experience of the immediate surroundings.

Eternity lies in the full experience of the here-and now

The great spiritual masters throughout the ages teach us that eternity lies in the experience of the “here-and-now.” It is when we are aligned completely with the activity we are doing and time somehow seems to have become irrelevant. It is when we find peace in meditation and feel the immediacy of each in and out breath. Or, when we feel at one and in synchronicity with a natural sound of nature.

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One of the blessings of the pandemic lockdowns is that it has forced millions of people to slow down and reflect. What do I want to do with the rest of the days of my life that I have left? Do I really want to spend a good portion of my day stressing in a commute to an unfulfilling job while I’m not  seeing my children growing up? What contribution can I make to make a positive impact on the world?  What is depleting my mental and physical energy  and what is boosting my energy on all levels?

Life is too short to be wasted with things unimportant on the journey that is life.  More and more people are realizing the importance of slowing down, realigning and just enjoying the beauty of autumn colors reflected in a stream or the sound of migrating geese flying above.  Priorities are starting to shift and it’s a good thing.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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What is your unique thumbprint?

„The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

-Pablo Picasso-

There is an ancient story that tells us of the wanderer, who after a long journey arrives in a town. First he comes across a crippled and blind beggar, then he sees an old woman being beaten, and a funeral procession. Witnessing all this suffering in succession, the wanderer runs out into the desert in desperation, screaming at God: “Why, if you are so powerful do you allow all this suffering and pain? Why don’t you do something?”

After a long silence, the wanderer finally hears the words of the Divine: “I did do something. I created you.”

The story is revealing in that what we see and what we hear is often determined by our current state of .consciousness. In our world of polarity with the constant pull between yin and yang, light and shadow, beauty and ugliness, violence and peace it is easy to make judgmental statements that are seldom congruent with the true facts.

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You have been born with a unique gift

It is part of human nature to make the Divine or any other entity responsible for all the misery of one’s own state of affairs or that of the world. According to the ancient Mystics we have each been born with a divine purpose, and been handed the gift of a free will.

Surrendering control to external forces for one’s circumstances is one of the big fallacies of our time. We are to a great extent shaped by the culture and place where we are born. But at the same time we must take responsibility for our thoughts and actions.

The true calling often lies in the wounds of the past that have sculptured us into the human beings that we are destined to become. When reflecting on the past it often becomes obvious how the pain, and the obstacles that we have had to overcome gave us the skillset needed to fulfill divine purpose.

The Hero’s Journey is riddled with obstacles

The Hero’s journey through life is riddled by failures, making the wrong decisions and losing the way on the wrong path.  At the point of complete surrender, when we are completely empty, when we choose to give up everything that once defined identity, we become open to the whispers from the Divine.

It is at this juncture that we can forgive those people that have wronged us or inflicted great pain onto us. When we transmute our “enemies” into positive agents that have catapulted us toward major transformational change and elevation of consciousness, it is much easier to forgive.

Getting stuck in the grievances and the sorrow over that which once was and is no more, is the root cause of much of the collective anger we see currently being played out on the political stage. It is also symbolic of the disconnect between external and internal needs. External gratification is never fulfilling when it is out of line with soul purpose.

What is your unique song?

How we share our unique talents and abilities with the world, is as diverse as creation itself. We each carry the seed pf a divine song within that is awaiting to play its part in the concert hall of creation.

It is what moves and inspires you, to which you are magically drawn and where you fell in rhythm with the heartbeat of the universe. It is what Rumi describes as surrendering to that “deeper pull of what you truly love.”

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Is social media controlling your life?

The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.” – Irene C. Kassorla

You might think that you are in control of what you think, believe and purchase each day but our hurried modern lives are being manipulated in a big way and it’s time to seize back control.

The latest facebook-scandal, with former employee Frances Haugen testifying before a U.S. Senate Committee, has revealed the irresponsibility with which social media is using algorithms to spread misinformation and incite political violence.

Social media can be a wonderful tool to connect with old friends, and family living in faraway places of the world. But what we are hearing in the testimony is that these big tech companies know more about human nature and about your individual life, your needs, wishes and desires than you probably know yourself.

If something is for free like the use of social media then there is a price attached. These companies are there to make a profit and they need your personal data to sell to advertisers. The more clicks and shares, the more revenue for the advertiser on the same page.

This means that the loud, angry voices of outlandish lies and misinformation are getting the most attention. They have occupied the big stage while the majority of calm and reasonable voices are being drowned out. It creates a distortion of reality and what our world really looks like. While printed media bears responsibility and is liable for the content it disseminates, social media has been left off the hook by legislation. That really needs to change.

Multiple studies are in fact showing that too much time spent on social media affects mental health, especially those of young adolescents. It can exacerbate feelings of inadequacy of appearance, loneliness, depression and anxiety.

What you feed your mind with you become

Divisive hate speech, and bullying has always been a dark side of humanity. Social media however is amplifying such dysfunctional behavior on a global level. Scientists have found a correlation between heart disease and negative emotions expressed in language on Twitter, according to a major study.

What friends you choose, what social media feeds you look at and what you read gradually shape you into the person who you are today. You might think that you are in control but you are not. Countless digital media companies are competing for your attention. They have some of the world’s best social scientists and psychologists in their employment and know how to prey on human needs and weaknesses.

We all have the need to be seen, to be heard and to be understood. And, we especially want to belong to a tribe that thinks, feels and talks the same language.

If you happen to come across scientific data or information that might contradict what you think you believe in, you might become confused and then angry. Computer algorithms inevitably lead to opinions becoming cemented in separate information silos. People who see each other from different reality perspectives cannot talk or listen to each other anymore.

Time to seize back control

I have for some time blocked those “friends” on social media that have a tendency to always post negative news or are spreading misinformation. Be careful who you invite into your living room and who leaves big footprints of dirt on your lovely white carpet.

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

You need to stand guard at the doorway of your mind.

I would like to make a proposal for this week. Why not exclusively post just positive and uplifting information on social media for the next seven days? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can this information uplift, heal and boost the energy level of a fellow human being?
  • Is the information of a quality that it can elevate human consciousness in a positive way?
  • Will it make you laugh and enjoy the moment?

Lets make our voices heard in a positive way and let the world know that the majority of humanity is not divisive, angry and violent but kind, empathic, calm and reasonable.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing...If you have found this article interesting you might want to check out our courses, retreats and books and ask others to also subscribe to this Blog.

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