Tag Archives: mind

Beyond control

In one of my recent leadership workshops it soon became apparent that several participants were highly stressed out by external matters in their institution beyond their control.

The result is a general feeling of helplessness, that, if not addressed, can lead to a life of silent misery and frustration that is the root cause of most depression.

During a stress situation we fall into tunnel vision, unable to see or perceive things from a different perspective.

Stress starts with a thought as much as opening the gate to a hallway of bliss starts with a positive emotional shift.

rawpixel-611119-unsplash (1)

Emotional shifting is replacing the negative thought with an inner memory, image, or event where we recall a deeply positive feeling.

Negative thought attracts negative people and situations. Becoming a magnet of higher energy frequency get to be a challenge when we are bombarded with a “ghetto blaster” of negative media.

Training the mind with thought discipline is like training the body for a marathon run. You start with small baby steps and take it from there. Awareness is the first step.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

Leave a comment

Filed under happiness, Job satisfaction, lifestyle management, psychology, self-development, stress, Uncategorized

Walls again?

I was one of the fortunate people to have witnessed the fall of the iron curtain when the wall came down between East and West Germany in 1989 and some months later saw the abolishing of apartheid in South Africa and the release of Nelson Mandela.

It was an epic and optimistic time in history when the “isms” of ideology seemed history. We seemed on the verge of creating a new world order of peace and a common humanity sharing the values of tolerance beyond ethnic and national boundaries.

patrick-tomasso-208114-unsplash

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

The current political narrative however seems a gigantic step backward with nations walling themselves off and politicians running a rhetoric that reminds dangerously of the 1930s when minorities like the Jews were blamed for all the economic ills. And, we only know too well where that led to.

For too long have we been complacent, enjoying one of the most prosperous and peaceful periods in human history.  There have been wars and there are still wars going on but its nothing compared to the two world wars, and the civil wars and religious conflicts of the dark Middle Ages that wrought havoc in Europe.

What transpires in the outer world is very much a reflection of the collective unconscious mind. We are at the moment at the crossroads where on the one side we have the future-orientated globally thinking, broad-minded part of society espousing  mutual tolerance of diverse races, cultures and religions.

On the other side is the backward orientated “me-and-my-nation first” culture of bigots and nationalists, who have not understood that the very basis of our current prosperity is rooted in close trade and cooperation between nations. The losers of globalization are told their jobs have been taken by immigrants.  The truth is that robotics and technology has been responsible for job losses. There is a perceived feeling of loss of culture and identity, interestingly enough often in areas that hardly have any foreigners.

Culture and identity is never static and always in flux . We pick up food, music, and clothing habits from many cultures. Even the major religions have integrated a mix of different beliefs and traditions.

Building walls is not the answer. The real challenge is to confront the inner walls built with the bricks of fear, the very distorted and colored perspective of the past and underlying prejudice.
Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

      Yield_and_Overcome_Cover_for_Kindle (2)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under environment, lifestyle management, psychology, self-development, Uncategorized

Leaving the comfort zone

A few days into the New Year it appears that we are on the threshold of some major economic and political changes.  A downturn is long overdue given a cycle of uninterrupted growth for almost a decade. A continued trajectory upward defies the law of nature but most of us continue to believe that there are exceptions.

In making contingency plans, you won’t be caught by surprise. Those who choose the path of safety and comfort will fail to see the thunder storms of change on the horizon and take action only when its too late. It is the unwritten code of all life form.

An organism has the flexibility to adapt to changes in its habitat, changing its response or moving to a different environment. The species that fails to adapt to the continuous changes of the wheel of life will inevitably be doomed.

maik-fischer-522657-unsplash

Photo by Maik Fischer on Unsplash

The natural response of most humans in an economic environment of major change is to go into blaming mode: Its always the fault of the management, the government, foreigners or other external factors, surrendering themselves to a life of misery of what was and could have been.

But it’s the fear of the unknown that prevents most people from taking action when the writing is all over the wall.

Life appears easy in the comfort zone but a comfort zone can get very uncomfortable. Expectations are in line with what is expected. You are on automatic mode. You have the skill set on what needs to be done. But there is no magic left in the air. Staying in the treadmill of the routine is the reason why so many people lose their drive and enthusiasm.

We humans are creatures of habit and we need to train ourselves to remain adaptable to the cues of change that the universe is constantly sending us. We learn when we encounter new experience and that’s part of the magic in becoming our true self.

Be brave and adventurous. Try some New Year resolutions:

Take a path you’ve never walked before or go to places you’ve never been to. Learn a new craft, language or hobby. Meet new people that help move you out of the comfort zone. Try a different restaurant and a different dish. Wear clothing and colors that are different from your standard repertoire.

In becoming more flexible you will have less difficulty adapting to external changes that are out of your control.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

      Yield_and_Overcome_Cover_for_Kindle (2)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under happiness, lifestyle management, meditation, personal choice and happiness, Uncategorized, work environment, work purpose

Abundance and gratitude

The rise of extremism in much of the western world comes at a time where there has never before in the history of mankind been so much material abundance which bodes the question why many people remain frustrated and angry.

Obviously the comforts of the modern world are not providing the contentment and inner peace that is desired.

Even until the late 1960s owning a car was regarded as a luxury. If a family owned two cars it was considered extremely wealthy. It wasn’t until the  mid 1970s that most households started owning a TV. I grew up in South Africa which only introduced nationwide television in 1976. Travelling abroad for a holiday was likewise considered a privilege for the very few.

When I tell the youth of today that we always carried a pocket full of coins for the phone booth around the corner, they look at me in disbelief.  My grandparents were self-sustainable farmers. My grandfather was regarded as progressive because he produced his own electricity from a water wheel. Few people owned cars and most traveled with a horse cart or ox-wagon.

Technologically mankind has made a huge stride forward but it has come at huge personal and environmental cost. Our lives are extremely high-paced and stressed-out. We have more time than any other generation at the same time it has become our most precious commodity.

rawpixel-611119-unsplash (1)

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Most people live in crowded cities, resulting in a disconnect with the natural rhythm of nature. Modern man is constantly in a hurry, anxious and fearful. It is the perfect breeding ground for frustration and radicalism.

We can’t go back a generation. We are rather at the threshold of another technological revolution that will create and destroy jobs.  Much of the social frustration we encounter probably stems from the cultural gap in absorbing the changes of the past decade – Donald Trump`s most ardent supporters are from the rust belt and coal mining areas.

The technological revolution confronts us with the age-old question: What makes me a contented and happy person? The fascination with a shiny new object at most lasts a few days.

Every extreme carries the seeds of a new beginning. The technological revolution rides the wave of left-brain analytical, “excel-sheet” thinking while the right side of the mind lies neglected. It is the intuitive side of our human nature that needs more attention.  As human beings we have a “juvenile” playful, creative, spiritual and artistic side. Bringing both sides of the brain into balance is the challenge.

I only need to look at my dog’s joyful playing with a simple stick to appreciate that frustration, happiness or contentment is all in the mind. Appreciating that moment of deep gratitude of what we already have is the first step. Happy Thanksgiving!

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

1 Comment

Filed under contentment, gratitude, happiness, humanity, life vision, lifestyle management, spirituality, stress, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Mastering the Mundane

Sometimes political events starkly reveal the current nature of the collective mind.

What is playing out in the current midterm elections in the United States is much related to a deeply suppressed shadow. The nation appears at the edge between two opposites of a raging river cutting through the heart of America.

The tendency to extremist positions is often rooted in deep uncertainties and fears, in the U.S. probably stemming from the times of the civil war. On the fringes of society you will then see the triggering of the pent-up fury of disturbed personalities – dispatching pipe bombs or going on a killing spree in a synagogue

The challenge in the law of opposites is finding the middle ground−that difficult territory where the truth has many shades of grey.

The Chinese masters placed great emphasis on this aspect−not only as crucial in the martial arts but as a life philosophy.

Without solid foundation in dealing with the everyday mundane any type of self-development will come to naught.

The ancient Jewish sages went further in teaching that if we failed to master the normal daily activities such as looking after our health, nutrition, relationships and livelihood−we couldn’t hope to advance to higher spiritual experience.

Thus, a good portion of life in the monastery is spent in cleaning, gardening and other menial chores. It is not only a practice in humility but stems from the knowledge that mastering the mundane is the gateway to loftier spheres.

eduardo-prim-377962-unsplash

Photo by Eduardo Prim on Unsplash

Physical exercise and the mindful carrying out of mundane chores are excellent for grounding. If your work is mostly in a sitting position in an office it is crucial to use breaks for walking or other exercises.

The “Yoga  tree routine” is especially effective as a grounding morning exercise.

  • Fold your hands with the forefingers touching each other.
  • Ground yourself with your right foot, imagining roots like those of a tree growing from the center of your foot deep into the earth.
  • Place your left foot at the height of your right knee and then lift your hands with forefingers pointed to the sky above the focal point of your skull.
  • Imgine that you are mentally connected by a stream of energy to the sky above your head and the earth below your foot.
  • Repeat the exercise with the left foot.
  • You can close the exercise with a powerful mantra or prayer aligning all your activities of the day with what God, the universe or any other deity has planned for you that day.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

Leave a comment

Filed under demagogues, extremism, lifestyle management, mental-health, raised consciousness, Uncategorized

Who are you?

Emotional and physical exhaustion is one of the scourges of the modern era. Depression is reaching almost epidemic proportions. You could very well say that the Western mind has lost its soul that has been entrapped by the temptations of immediate gratification.

We are bombarded constantly with subliminal messages that tell you: Buy this and you will be happy. Do this and you will get rich. Do this to live like a super star. Dress like this and act like that to be loved and validated by the crowd.

Along the way one of our most valuable assets – the time to be fully aware of the  moment – is getting lost. The mind is constantly occupied with either the past or the fears of the future.  In the process you forget soul purpose and who you are!

IMG_1429

I have found that walking alone in nature is a magnificent way of detoxing and training the mind by re-calibrating the senses to the world around us.  I truly believe that nature is a manifestation of God. The whisper of creation can be sensed by a bird song, the rustling of leaves in an ancient tree, or the clouds enveloping a mountain top.

Most people in today’s world however are forced to live in crowded cities that are dehumanizing in their detachment from nature. They cloud the senses with a high level of noise, pollution and bombardment of the senses. The modern human being has become so detached from his natural environment, that its causing havoc to emotional stability.

I think this is one of the reasons for the great attraction of the ancient pilgrimage route in Spain.  More and more people are becoming spiritually conscious and seeking answers. Spending weeks alone by simply walking in nature without distraction is like a detox in peeling away the layers to the heart of the true self. But it doesn’t only have to be walking.  New retreats and centers of meditation are opening everywhere as human consciousness is rising to a new level.

Old school religion has taught us to believe and to follow a certain doctrine and behavior. The new consciousness is very much an experiental spirituality in a “becoming” of the real self.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Camino de Santiago, exercise mental health, happiness, healing nature, lifestyle management, spirituality, Uncategorized

Go Slow To Go Far

One of the  many lessons learned walking the Camino in Spain is that you have to go slow to get far.  I must admit that I too get infected at times by the “bug” that bites many hikers on the Camino: Getting up in the early hours of the morning and racing ahead to the next town to avoid the hassle of finding no accommodation.

IMG_1014

In some of the remote towns albergues or hostels for pilgrims are rare. But on all my ten walks on the Camino, I have always found a place to stay for the night. The Spanish people are incredibly hospitable and friendly toward pilgrims walking the Camino. If worse comes to worse a sports hall or school classrooms is opened with mattresses on the floor. Villagers in the towns have even been seen offering their private bedrooms to tired pilgrims.

But the Camino is in many ways an analogy of life and you inevitably take yourself with you on a journey.  Many pilgrims take a time out from their stressed-out lives at home, and have difficulty switching to a calm, slowed-down rhythm.

And, under stress or in a hurry, you make mistakes. You go into tunnel vision and start missing way markers, making your walk that much longer than planned. You miss out seeing many of the small miracles or the messages sent by the universe on your way. You fail to pace your energy, ending up with blisters on your feet, hurt knees and back problems.

Sometimes a small talk with a villager or a word from a fellow pilgrim along the way can be an immense eye opener and blessing. I have walked several of the Camino routes more than twice and have been amazed at how much I didn’t see the first time around, and how different each Camino walk was.

Staying in the moment is one of the most difficult exercises in the hurried life of the Western mind which is preoccupied with all the fears of tomorrow and the events of the past. Will I have to sleep under the bridge? Will I be safe?  I have seen pilgrims literally fall into panic upon hearing that there was no accommodation left in the town. It is an innate fear to be in a foreign place and having no place to stay.  Others stay completely calm, trusting in the universe that a solution will always be found, laughing it off as part of the Camino experience.

I have taken this Camino experience to heart. A day can be ruined by a stressed-out, hurried mindset where one little catastrophe follows the next.  Or, you can just take one step back, concentrating on the breathing, deliberately slowing your walk by a pace or two, and then just taking it as it comes.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Camino de Santiago, life vision, lifestyle management, Pilgrimage, spirituality, Uncategorized