Tag Archives: mental-health

A life dedicated to service

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

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

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

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

The projection of hopes and dreams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spiritual leaders made the ultimate sacrifice

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

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

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

An antidote to depression?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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One step forward, five steps backward

Recent events create the impression that humanity is moving five steps backward to a dark era dominated by tribal allegiances, superstition, xenophobia, and intolerance. But are things really so bad and what lessons can we learn from history?

Russia invades a sovereign country triggering the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. There is the mindless bombing of civilian targets, and wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages.

At the same time, nearly every country in the world is feeling the impact of human-induced climate change with unprecedented heat waves, floods, and other extreme weather conditions.

 A sizeable minority of people have retreated into tribal bubbles, affirming each other in the most outlandish conspiracy theories, lies, and pseudo-scientific postulations.

We’ve been there before

It’s small comfort but humanity has been there before. Evolution takes place in cyclical seasons and we have much to learn from history and past response to unforseen external events.

Individuals respond to a crisis that they cannot control in different ways, often seeking simple explanations to complex problems. When humanity had to deal with the black death, or bubonic plague, in the Middle Ages, there followed a wave of pogroms against Jews and the burning of thousands of innocent people at the stake. External catastrophes were interpreted as a punishment from God for “sins” committed mainly in their view by minorities and those who dared to differ from the mainstream.

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Humanity currently finds itself at a similar inflection point where the environmental crisis, economic hardships, and mental health challenges are painful to process. But we are a long way from burning people at the stake.

The resurgence of 18th and 19th-century nationalism in many countries is merely the last desperate battle of a macho culture that has long outlived its purpose. The new humanity has a softer, feminine side that emphasizes restoration rather than exploitation, resolution of conflict through peaceful dialogue instead of autocratic dominance, and diversity of race, color, and gender. The new spring already sees a growing movement of experiential spirituality liberated from institutional religion that tells people what to believe and how to behave.

Major external and internal changes always go hand-in-hand with pain linked to the difficulty of releasing that which once was and is no more. If you want to really grow and expand your life on all levels you have to release that which is holding you back.

The hurt that comes with change is short-lived compared to a life not lived, and years spent suffering in quiet misery of escapism that includes addiction,  procrastination, and external distraction.

At some point, the pain gets too much. That is when you take the five steps backward to gather the momentum that catapults you forward. A relationship has reached a stage when only separation is a solution. A safe and secure job has become so stressful that different and more fulfilling alternatives are sought to earn a living.

The body and mind send early signals when something is not in synchronicity with soul destiny. A tightness, pain, or hollow feeling in the gut is often the first indication “that something does not feel right.”

You will have lost control when you are on the treadmill of external distractions or in the fight or flight response of the brain’s limbic system.

Seizing back control  

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” The words of William Ernest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” is a rallying cry when times are rough and seemingly insurmountable adversity looms.

Practicing awareness sharpens the mind’s toolkit. You will be getting much better at differentiating between what is truth and authenticity and what is manipulation, and deception.   

  More than ever you need to stand guard at the doorway of mind and body:

  • What foods nourish and boost my immune system?
  • Which friends positively uplift, support and affirm?
  • What information that I hear, see and read is helping me grow spiritually into a better human being?

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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When brokenness leads to healing

One of the common causes of pain and suffering in the human mind is the inability to accept the impermanence and unpredictability of life’s seasons.

The world is constantly changing around us and we are changing with it, but often the greatest fear is the fear of the unknown and the desire to keep things “just as they are.” Adapting to new circumstances may require the hard work of letting go of external things, friends, associations, and especially old habits and beliefs.

Searching for purpose can sometimes be a trap

Life happens with “up-and-down” cycles and hardly ever along one clear trajectory. “I just can’t find my purpose,” a young woman said to me. “It just stresses me out completely when I just think of it.”

The misconception is that destiny has chosen for us one clear purpose in life that just has to be found like a hidden treasure. The reality is that one purpose often leads to another. One experience in life creates the foundation for the next step or elevation of consciousness. A job that we once carried out with much passion, energy, and creativity becomes routinely mundane where the days just become a hard chore.

You realize that the person you once fell in love with and shared the same interests, hobbies, and ideas with is now very different. You no longer agree about anything whether it’s the food you eat, political affiliation, or the friends you are going to meet for dinner in the evening.

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The dream house you bought some years ago is showing cracks. The new neighbors are noisy, your favorite restaurant around the corner has closed and the garden is too small for your children to play.

In this week’s podcast “Living to BE” I interviewed Kevin Palmieri who was living the typical American dream with a six-figure income, a beautiful girlfriend, and a nice car. And yet he was deeply unhappy and contemplating suicide. It is in those moments of brokenness that you are forced into introspection. And so began Kevin’s journey into self-development and awareness. He founded Next Level University and a podcast that reaches over half a million people in 125 countries.

Another hill to climb

You will be on a journey climbing a hill and when you reach the hill you find that there is yet another hill to climb. Many accomplished artists, writers, and entrepreneurs describe the feeling of emptiness and even sadness after reaching their goal, realizing that being on the journey was in reality the destination. The process of writing the book created greater fulfillment than actually finishing it. Building the company into a million-dollar enterprise was more energizing than running it. Painting the picture more fulfilling than having it completed.

Nature’s path is constant evolution on a never-ending spiral of change, adaptation, withdrawal, and momentum. If you are going through a difficult time at the moment, one of Abraham Lincoln’s favourite sayings might be comforting to you:

“This too shall pass.”

It is an ancient Persian adage reflecting the temporary nature of all things and the transitory nature of human existance.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Whatever happened to the good debate

A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial and uninformed.

Nelson Mandela

In ancient Greece, the exchange of different ideas in lively debate and argument was seen as crucial to education and growth. The key to personal growth and self-development is how we master the art of conversation and active listening.

Yet increasingly the narrative in our digital age has become a slamming match between opposing views. Dialogue with persons who don’t share our opinions, beliefs, and habits appears increasingly difficult if not impossible.

Free democratic societies are based on the acceptance and tolerance of different cultures, ideas, and beliefs. If we retreat back to tribal silos of talking only to those people who share our opinions conflict and authoritarian thought control are only one small step away.

Good conversation and dialogue are only possible through active listening and asking questions. Through active listening, we might just gain another insight or a new perspective on a topic that we would otherwise not have become aware of.

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Belief and opinion

If an opinion becomes a belief and part of self-identity the mind will inevitably wall itself off to a different opinion or belief. It will never adapt, change or amend a perspective because such a mindset is ego-driven. You will see every different angle or opinion as a personal threat no matter how good or scientifically based the opposing argument is.

Rational level-headed thought falls prey to toxic emotion, fanatacism, and intolerance.

Civil discourse in the democratically organized community of ancient Greece sowed the seeds of philosophy, science, medicine, and all that we have achieved in successful modern societies. There was a consensus on the parameters on settling differences and dealing with different opinion.

Giving people the freedom to express themselves with their individual unique qualities and giving them an environment where they can freely develop an innovative mindset and utilize their creative abilities to the full is the backbone of every successfull democracy.

In my home country South Africa the lights are literally going out in a collapsing economy and failing infra-structure because a ruling party has for the past decades replaced experienced and competent employees in key state industries and local governments with loyal party hacks or “cadres” who share the same ideology and party loyalty. The result: corruption, maladministration, and nepotism.

Autocratic or authoritarian systems stifle free speech. Those opposing the mainstream are villified, persecuted, and often killed. But on the long-term nothing can suffocate the human spirit and desire for free expression. Autocratic systems inevitably are doomed because nobody has the courage to tell the “emperor” the truth about what is happening on the battlefield or on the street. At some point all that has been suppressed boils over in an uprising or revolution.

The foundation of the democratic state is built on how we communicate with each other

The art of active listening is indeed becoming a rare art. How often have you caught yourself already formulating what you are going to say before the other person has even finished speaking? How often do we interrupt the other person before he or she has finished speaking? (A common trait by the way among marriage partners). How often are you drifting away from a conversation by breaking off eye contact and looking at “important” messages” on your cell phone?

At some educational institutions, it has become acceptable to shout down people expressing opposing viewpoints with so-called “political correctness” stifling healthy debate. On social media, there is little evidence of an exchange of ideas on controversial topics. It often evolves into slamming matches, bullying, and the exchange of personal insults.

On the one hand, we have become more connected than ever in human society but at the same time more disconnected.

Ancient Greece was abuzz with different ideas in energetic debate and conversation. Hundreds of people engaged and listened to different arguments in the marketplace and in the courts. People could cast their vote for what they perceived to be the best argument. In symposia and the theatre, there was a long debate and probing inquiry on fundamental questions of human existence.

Philosophers such as Socrates believed that through dialogue opinions could be tested and held accountable in the search for truth based on a rational mindset. Socratic dialogue is different from a discussion where two or more parties are trying to “win” an argument. Participants are engaged in active listening and effort in trying to understand each other’s different perspectives.

On a spiritual level universal intelligence, or God, has created diversity as a principle of creation. It is no coincidence that dynamic, and diverse cultures have also been most creative in the arts, music, technology, and medical breakthroughs.

But we seem to be at a crossroads where we have the choice of either falling back into stifling autocratic conformity or choosing a free, democratic society abuzz in creative discourse and creativity.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Are you living someone else’s life?

Are you living through a life of a celebrity and forgetting to live your own life? Millions of people around the globe were glued for hours each day to the live coverage of the recent court drama between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

The business model of certain mass media is to elevate normal people like you and me to “God-like status” for the particular field they are successful at and then relish in their fall from grace with every detail of their shortcomings and failings.

The dynamics of the Depp and Amber relationship not only seems to have stirred a dark underside of their respective characters but resonated with something in the shadow of the collective consciousness.

We have the perfect Hollywood couple falling in love. It’s a paradise world where they have everything going for them – youthful beauty, fame, beautiful homes, and travelling to the most exotic places of the world in private jets. Then the curtain falls revealing a world of brutal accusations and counter accusations – a couple literally creating their own version of hell.

External success is no guarantee for happiness

What does that tell us? No matter what status, wealth and fame you have, it is no guarantee for happiness. “Both heaven and hell lie in your own mind. As heaven is your good memories and hell is your bad memories. Whether you want to enter into heaven or hell. It’s not at someone else hands. It’s your own choice,” according to Lord Robin.

Preoccupation with the lives of others is something we observe in village gossip, family drama and on the global stage. You can become so immersed with the life of another that you forget to live your own life. Celebrity worship syndrome (CWS) can become an obsessive addictive disorder. In extreme cases it results in stalking and in relatively mild cases regularly following a certain celebrity on social media.

Researchers in the United Kingdom have linked celebrity worship with higher levels of depression, anxiety and negative stress. Significant relationships were found between attitudes toward celebrities and body image among female adolescents.

We all have the same struggles, fears and anxieties

A big part of the problem is comparing one’s own unhappy and unfulfilled life with that of the celebrity who seemingly has everything that life has to offer. Such comparisons are based on illusion. On the material level certain individuals might live in completely different worlds. But on the consciousness level we are all humans with the same fears, anxieties, and emotional struggles.

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The journey of life is ultimately a journey in growth of consciousness. It is practise of presence and in becoming aware of what the Holy Oneness, the Universe, or God whispers to the soul.

You have been given the power of choice. What you feed your mind with, what programs you watch on television, what books you read and the people you choose to spend most of your time determine who you become. What daily habits you practise have a major outcome on the quality of your life. It is a life with a limited timeline that you won’t want to squander.

As a wise sage once said: “You have all the time in the world and yet you have no time to lose.”

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Improve your life with this daily habit

What the ancient spiritual teachers and sages knew all along is being confirmed by modern research. Meditation and mindfulness training has a major positive impact on brain health in helping to lower stress hormones and reducing fear and anxiety.

Tragic events in the external world are magnified by mass media which in turn amplifies a general atmosphere of fear and anxiety. We can easily have the feeling that we are losing control. Whole societies and nations can fall into fear and flight mode.

In contrast, a calm mind remains focused, putting events into realistic perspective. It is solution orientated rather than being tugged into all directions by the emotions of fear, hate, and anxiety.

Harvard researcher Gaelle Desbordes has performed functional magnetic resonance imaging scans on persons before and after an eight-week course in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Desbordes’ interest in the topic stems from her personal experience when she began meditating in seeking respite from stress. Her experience convinced her that something real was happening and prompted her to study the subject more closely, in the hope of shedding enough light to underpin therapy that might help others.

Other researchers, including Sara Lazar, in 2012 used MRI to show that the brains of subjects thickened after an eight-week meditation course.

Especially those meditation techniques incorporating breathing, prayer and the humming of mantras measurably reduce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

I interviewed for my Podcast Kara Goodwin, who has made the transition from the stressful corporate IT world, into becoming a meditation teacher. She says that we cannot hope to find solutions to the problems in the external world if we don’t do the work within at the same time.

You can check out her work and courses at http://www.karagoodwin.com

Buddhist teacher Thich Nath Hanh said: “Meditation is not evasion. It is serene encounter with reality.”

And, according to Amit Ray: “Suffering is due to our disconnection with the inner soul. Meditation is establishing that connection.”

Every person obviously has different needs and expectations from practicing meditation. Mostly people starting off with the practice give-up in frustration because their expectations are too high.

We can do the traditional sitting meditation, slow movement meditation in yoga and qi gong or deep walking in nature. However, the big changes don’t come overnight, It’s the small little steps practiced as a daily habit that have the compound effect that brings the change long-term.

Jim Rohn once said: “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”

Check out also the following Podcasts on the power of meditation:

Kara Goodwin: Healing the inner and outer world

Cassandra Bodzak: Designing your life with meditation

Breathing into health and wellbeing

Power meditating into your day with this guided meditation

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Why are we so lazy?

While much of our attention during the past two years has focused on the pandemic when it comes to public health, there is a big elephant in the room when it comes to the global public health crisis that is stretching health budgets and affecting economic productivity in nearly every country.

Most of the common diseases such as obesity, diabetes 2, and several cancer forms are preventable and caused by lifestyle choices made on a daily basis. But why are we not addressing the obvious?

Just because a close family member has died from a terminal illness does not mean that you will at some point in your life suffer from the same condition. There is overwhelming evidence that lifestyle choices have a far greater impact on your overall health and longevity than genetics.

In the United States, the adult obesity rate for the first time in 2020 surpassed the 40 percent mark – an increase of 26 percent since 2008.

Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). About 13 percent of the world’s adult population was listed as obese in 2016, and the tragedy is that it’s affecting more and more children from an early age.

It is just not talked about, but Covid-19 was particularly lethal in persons suffering from obesity and diabetes 2. The risk factor was significantly higher, even in persons who were moderately overweight.

In Obesity Reviews, an international team of researchers pooled data from scores of peer-reviewed papers capturing 399,000 patients. They found that people with obesity who contracted SARS-CoV-2 were 113% more likely than people of healthy weight to land in the hospital, 74% more likely to be admitted to an ICU, and 48% more likely to die.

Do you want to live to see your grandchildren grow up?

Our modern-day lifestyle choices are reducing the quality of life on multiple levels and will determine whether you can still see your grandchildren growing up. The economic costs of unhealthy diets and lack of exercise are astronomical, and we are all paying for it in some way. In the United States, medical costs for diabetes alone were put at 176 billion dollars in 2012, with productivity loss estimated at 69 billion dollars.

Poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle choices are mainly responsible for obesity and other metabolic diseases. This is increasing absenteeism at the workplace and forcing people into early retirement, mostly with much lower pensions had they been able to work to full retirement age. Expertise is lost and productivity is affected.

You simply won’t be enjoying life as much as you could be by neglecting your health. You won’t be having the energy to fulfill your purpose and your dreams.

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos- the trees, the clouds, everything,” according to the great Buddhist teacher Thich Nath Hanh.

The three main triggers of poor health are diet, lack of exercise, and a high-stress factor. If you eat mainly low nutrient processed foods with high sugar content you will feel fatigued and have a low motivation to exercise. This in turn affects the biochemistry in the body that influences your emotions and mental health. The bottom line: When you eat the right foods and exercise moderately you will have a higher resilience in dealing with the daily stresses of life.

How you feel affects your emotions and your emotions or thoughts determine the quality of your life.

But why do most of us not do the things that would make the quality of our lives so much better?

A study by the University of British Columbia appears to show that humans are intrinsically lazy because our brains are simply wired in such a way that we make choices on the basis of what is most comfortable.

The brain is innately attracted to sedentary behavior because “conserving energy has been essential for humans’ survival, as it allowed us to be more efficient in searching for food and shelter, competing for sexual partners, and avoiding predators,” according to Matthieu Boisgontier, a postdoctoral researcher at UBC and senior author of the study.

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The challenge, therefore, is to trick the brain away from behavior that has been programmed for generations by reframing the mindset.

You can tell yourself that the pain of suffering from a debilitating disease and poor health is greater than going out each day for a moderate walk in the woods. My body will feel and perform much better if I avoid that soda or so-called “energy drink”.

The nutrients from fresh produce and organic foods keep the biochemistry in my body at a level that makes me feel so much better – both physically and emotionally.

We need to apply more pressure on our governments to pass legislation, forcing the big food corporations to be transparent about what ingredients they put in our foods. A sugar tax could force companies to look for healthier alternatives.

However, first and foremost you have an individual responsibility not only to yourself and your destiny but also to your loved ones. They want you to be around as long as possible.

Few things in life come free of charge. What you invest in time, effort, action, and choice determine the outcome.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

P.S. You can still join our 42-day walking challenge. Walk 8,000 steps a day and keep a gratitude journal

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The spark within

“Stones are mute teachers; they silence the observer, and the most valuable lesson we learn from them we cannot communicate.” Wolfgang von Goethe

One of the big illusions of our time is the constant messaging from false gurus promising salvation and a life of bliss that can only be found externally. Letting yourself be true to your inner voice and reawakening that ancient sense of rhythm and instinct is a real challenge.

The shadow world feeds on sowing confusion and triggering the toxic emotions of fear, hate, and rage that can easily be manipulated for ulterior motives. One of the greatest gifts we have is the power of choice.

Standing Guard

The lower vibrational field remains unaware, stuck in a fundamentalist worldview that leaves no room for nuance, diversity, individual growth, and interpretation. It finds expression in fanatical nationalism that inevitably dehumanizes everyone who is not of the same tribe and belief.

We have seen the phenomenon throughout history in the pogroms against Jews, Huguenots, Armenians, and the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. Mass psychosis gripped an entire population in Germany during the Nazi era. Currently, we are experiencing a dangerous resurgence of 19th-century nationalism in several countries.

Taming the wolf within is one of the greatest stories of St. Francis of Assisi. Feeding the wolf with peace, kindness, and love is moving into the higher vibrational field.

The great 14-century Mystic Meister Eckart said: “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”  Like Eckhart, most of the early medieval Mystics saw God in all creation, only to find themselves being persecuted and tried for heresy by the religious leaders bent on imposing an external belief based on fear and control.

Nature and landscape thrive in solitude

Self-estrangement could only be overcome by going into solitude and inner silence. God, he taught, could only be discovered in the total presence of the here-and-now. It is why the green and blue spaces of nature have such healing powers. Nature and landscape thrive on silence. Modern man is literally terrified of silence because of his disconnect from nature and soul. He has to constantly surround himself with the drumbeat of electronics to banish natural silence.

Meister Eckhart defined the spark within as authentic soul nature, the core essence of one’s being. The story of Jesus casting out the merchants and traders from the Temple of Jerusalem with the words: “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves,” is a parable to stand guard at the doorway of one’s soul. Eckart defines the inner Temple as a divine space.

Training the mind and the intellect to be discerning is the antidote during a time when the truth is veiled by a public narrative intent on fueling the negative.

When humanity is entering the season of winter it is also an opportunity for reflection and realignment. It is an opportunity to strengthen your inner resolve and resilience. I’m inviting you to join our 42-Day Walking Challenge starting tomorrow. Register today for the Challenge in our Mastermind Group.

Starting on 11th May we will be walking at least 8,000 steps per day, practicing a daily gratitude journal, and choosing a personal challenge. It is a great opportunity to reframe and reset!

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing...If you have found this article interesting you might want to read more in my books that can be ordered at all places that sell good books in both paperback and kindle.

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Building resilience during tough times

You might be one of the many people currently feeling overwhelmed by the war images from Ukraine or the fears associated with the pandemic. It’s a general feeling of helplessness when external circumstances out of your control impact the quality of your life.

Stress always starts with a thought. During these times it’s more important than ever to build a bubble of resilience against the pull of negative distractions from the external world. We cannot individually change external events but we can control how we react to them.

Byron Katie has a wonderful method of how we discern between our business and someone else’s business. She writes:

“Whose business is it if an earthquake happens? God’s business.

Whose business is it if your neighbor down the street has an ugly lawn? Your neighbor’s business.

Whose business is it if you are angry at your neighbor down the street because he has an ugly lawn? Your business.”

What if your neighbour is abusing a child? It’s your business because you know about an injustice. You have the responsibility by calling the police. If Russia invades a sovereign country and committing war crimes we should rightly be outraged. We can support governments imposing sanctions against Moscow.

You should not be unaware of what is happening in the external world. You must care and do something, like donating or volunteering for a charity helping the Ukrainian refugees. It is what humanity is all about. At the same time, you should be aware of what is happening to your emotional state when the dosage of negative news media is taking up a large portion of your day or your thoughts.

A person said to me the other day, that he couldn’t with a good conscience go to a music concert while aware that people are suffering in a war. Should I enjoy myself while other people are suffering? Am I allowed to create a “feel good” bubble around myself?

Yes, you certainly should and must. If you want to help others and help change the world, you can and should look after yourself and do things that improve your vibrational energy. If you have a strong and resilient mind and body, you will have the strength to be proactive.

You can change the world

On a collective level we can change the world if we can get more individuals to elevate themselves to higher consciousness. These are the individuals who see their time on earth as a valuable serving contribution.

How you respond emotionally to external circumstances depends on how well you are aligned on a mental and physical level. Are you being pulled out of your space by an incident that then ruins your day? Are you feeling constantly fatigued and in need of recuperation?

Setting healthy boundaries and building a bubble are crucial in boosting your resilience. But it takes practice. Research has shown that once you get started on building positive habits and keep at it for at least six weeks, the chance of success is very much higher.

As you are a regular subscriber to my weekly Blog I’m inviting you to participate in a 42-day challenge, starting on 11th May to 21st June.

  • Walking at least 8000 steps or six kilometers each day.
  • Writing down at least three positive things for which you are truly grateful during the past 24 hours
  • Choose one more positive habit of personal choice. (This can be anything from a ten-minute meditation each day, abstaining from alcohol or processed foods, or reading at least three good self-help books)

Why walk each day?

Just taking a walk is one of the easiest ways of boosting your mental and physical health. You don’t need an instructor or have to go to the gym. Moderate exercise of at least 8,000 steps per day reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, you will lose body fat and increase your muscle strength and overall vitality. You might find yourself also feeling better emotionally and finding creative solutions to problem-solving. Some of the world’s greatest artists, musicians, and writers got their best inspiration while walking. You can read how I got addicted to walking and the many positive lessons learned while walking in my latest book: Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

Practising a gratitude ritual

Reframing your mind from a negative to a positive emotional state mostly starts in the morning soon after getting up. If you have had a bad dream or have slept badly it’s important to remember what good things are happening to you at the same time. Life is never only black and white. Sometimes you simply don’t see the good things happening in your life because you have been programmed with negativity and find yourself in a spiral of negative self-talk. Keeping a gratitude journal by writing down the three most positive things that happened to you during the past 24 hours does wonders.

There are not many people who are willing to commit and hold themselves accountable. If you are one of these special individuals, and I believe that you are, then I invite you to participate in this Challenge. It costs nothing except your willingness to commit.

All you have to do is apply to join my special private Mastermind Facebook Group: Living to Be.

You will be doing your training in your own time but all of us motivating each other to do this practice every day, will make this Challenge so much easier.

One more thing: At the end of this challenge we will be choosing five winners from all participants. They will be granted full FREE access to all my online courses on Mastermind.com worth over 1000 dollars (950 € or 795 pounds).

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

P.S. If you have a friend or family member who might find this challenge interesting, please feel free to share this Challenge with them. By practicing self-care you are helping to heal not only yourself but others and the world around you.

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Happiness is building strong relationships

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”
— Joseph F. Newton Men

Nature is our greatest healer and our greatest teacher. When immersing in the natural world the senses awaken and go into synchronicity. From observing a bee pollinating a flower to mushrooms growing in the special moisture of soil in a shady forest, every living thing is interconnected.

God or the universe find expression in nature and we are one part and inextricably bound to its structure and underlying order. Ancient cultures were well aware of the divine within, seeing the sacred in landscape features, plants, and animals. Modern man’s disconnect from the soul nature and the spiritual has come with rapid urbanization and the disconnect from nature.

The mental health crisis that modern culture is currently experiencing can in part be attributed to the broken relationship with the self, estrangement from the community, and a “relational” crisis on all levels.

Narcissism contradicts the essence of human nature

Our culture of narcissism contradicts the very essence of human need. It over-emphasizes the needs of the individual over the collective. When we are born, we are completely helpless beings, totally dependent on a nurturing family environment. Our primary family shapes and determines how we think and behave.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Our beliefs, habits, and actions are shaped by our closest associations and the relationship we have with our immediate surroundings. It is foundational.

The resurgence of nationalism and tribalism, the emphasis on one’s own culture and belonging, while denouncing that of the other is just a perverted expression of the loss of belonging and the disconnect from the higher self that is universal in its humanity.

Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-apartheid activist, explained the African “relational” concept of Ubuntu as the essence of being human.

We are made for complementarity

“It speaks of how my humanity is caught up and bound up inextricably with yours. It says, not as Descartes did, “I think, therefore I am” but rather, “I am because I belong.” I need other human beings in order to be human. The completely self-sufficient human being is subhuman. I can be me only if you are fully you. I am because we are, for we are made for togetherness, for family. We are made for complementarity. We are created for a delicate network of relationships, of interdependence with our fellow human beings, with the rest of creation.”

Bonding with your fellow human being and building your relationships ultimately means that you will live a life of bliss and happiness. The more you adopt the mindset of serving your fellow human being rather than what my friend, parent, employer, government, business association, and marriage partner can give to me the more connected you will begin to feel.

It is a recipe for building resilience against mental and physical exhaustion that we find in job burnout. Typical symptoms of the burnout patient are the complete withdrawal from connection to family members, interaction with colleagues, and participation in community events.

We become stronger and more resilient the more we build the bonds of our associations with those people that give us positive feedback, that nurture us with positive energy, and who care with kindness and love.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing...If you have found this article interesting you might want to read more in my books that can be ordered at all places that sell good books in both paperback and kindle.

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