Niemand thuis

Nobody home

“When the modern, western human knocks on the door of his own house, he will find nobody home”
Noam Chomsky

straatpuppies TanzaniaTwo little dogs

On my way to the supermarket, I see them sniffling around with their little noses in a termite mound. Two very small street dogs looking restless for food, just below the gate of my house. Nearby I see a cheap plastic bag. Aiaiai I think, but I manage to continue my steps. Luckily they don’t look bad. Their skin looks healthy but it is clear to me they have been dumped. I manage to keep going, I realize surprised, it is quite something. But did I really?

When I come back with my groceries they are sleeping on the big plastic bag, in which they have most likely been transported. My mind is overwhelmed with all kind of thoughts to what is going to happen to them. And it is already settled. One moment later I walk through my gate with 2 puppies, one under every arm. They were scared up when I grabbed them in their neck, trying to bite, escape, with panic in their very young eyes, trembling of fear. “No Alina, take them back”, Rama tells me through the phone, trying to talk some sense to me, because I already heave 2 dogs and 2 cats, lack of time, and of course there are costs. He is right, but I can’t do it.

puppies tanzania

Five weeks later, Sando’s dogtraining is starting. He is the trainer I am looking for and I am very lucky to have met him in Tanzania. He understands the dog’s mind well and is full of creative solutions to turn the dogs into fine companions and “program” them into guard dogs. He works mainly with rewarding them. No beating and no emotional disapproving. A disapproval is only saying no or down in a powerful way, that’s all. After that I let go of it, knowing that the result will come by repeating and not by wanting them to obey directly. When people demand direct approval from a dog, they usually start using violence, mostly by beating them. It is beautiful to see how in contact with the little dogs, the fear in contact is disappearing and they are also not abusing me. With abuse I mean that they don’t care about me. I am the boss, that’s clear.

There is no difference with our own mind

Well, now it comes of course.
There is no difference with our own mind. In exactly the same way, until the day of today, we are being programmed by keeping on repeating. This is good, this is not good. This will cause approving little laughs, this will cause an unsatisfied look. This calls appreciation and pride and that will cause disapproval or ignoring. That what we identify with, and what we call our personality, will finally be determined by the repetition of successful strategies. That is who I am. And when we suddenly act differently, we feel uncomfortable and we directly shout out: “this is not who I am. I don’t know that came upon me”.

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Abuse in general

You have to fulfill my needs!

This video shows a common reality in Congo. But in Tanzania, it is the same. The abuse of women is based on the belief a woman is the possession of her husband. Please watch it. It is worthwhile to see.

Watching this video you probably will feel sad, bewildered and maybe angry because you are confronted with beliefs that you recognize as crazy. You probably will feel a distance also, because this is not about you and this is not about your culture. And you are happy you don’t live in such a situation. So you and your culture are much better.

Are we truly better?

When you are ready to look inside yourself and reflect on your own behavior in your marriage but also in your relationships with other people, you will find the shocking truth that consciously or unconsciously we expect other people to fulfill our needs. Many of our emotions are related to these expectations because we strongly believe that we depend on others to have our needs fulfilled. We are far from the experience that we are adults and can take care of our own needs. Therefore we developed many strategies to get what we want. We can cry hysterically, we shout or we use a fist. We talk smoothly or we show our arguments for hours or we refuse to talk to that other person for days. The moment somebody is saying no or tries to please us but is not successful enough, trouble starts. How many times did we lose respect and behaved manipulative or even (verbal) violent towards other people that were for some reason not able to meet our expectations? How many hours we have worked very hard to change that (special) person in the remake that can fulfill our wishes better? Read more

mannen natuur reis Tanzania

Mindfulness hiking

Hiking in nature

lopenIf I am confronted with an issue that triggers much resistance inside me, then I withdraw and start mindfulness hiking in nature. With resistance I mean I am getting ready for the battle.

I give space to all the stories that my mind wants to share with me and I try to discover the hidden worries and the fairy tales they want me to believe. They are all welcome and while hiking, I am in this inner dialogue, until everything is clear and I feel I reached the core of my resistance. Then I have a close look where I am buying the story and where it pulls me in a fantasy or fear. Many times there is an old memory underneath that blinds me for the overdone aspects of my resistance.

 

All resistance lets go

Mindfulness wandel reis TanzaniaAfter this structured research, I will focus on my senses to show myself what is really going on right here and now, instead of staying fascinated or dwelling in thoughts and feelings that are hardly useful any longer. Hiking in nature makes it easier to stay with my senses and listen to their information because there is less input and there are less triggers I have to deal with. So reality has a better chance to be noticed. To be with my senses, listening to what they tell me about reality and to stay with that is a joy and for me the path to more contentment and relaxation.

When the story has been seen through and recognized as not true, all resistance will let go by itself. However, if the issue is very painful, the same thoughts and feelings like to repeat themselves over and over again. Then maybe they need more determination, which means I have to walk for many days.  Read more

Connecting from the heart in Usambara Mountains

Happy-go-lucky lives in the heart

Energy will flow where you bring your attention. When your attention is pointed at your head, then your energy will go to your head. When you focus on your heart, then your energy will follow and enter your heart.  
If you are focussed on the qualities of your head for a longer time, you are creating a groove in your bio-computer. This will be the place more and more that you live from. It is like your home. It will determinate where most of your responses come from. 

het hart spreekt in Tanzania

 

If you succeed to bring your attention for a longer time to your heart, then you will make a new groove in your bio-computer. In your heart you can find qualities like love, happiness, humour, playfulness, connection, peace, wisdom, and happy-go-lucky. Everybody longs for these qualities but unfortunately, they are overwritten by the deeply rooted processes in the head and all the worries that come from our thoughts.

Why a fifteen day Christmas Safari with Mindful Adventure to Tanzania?

If you wish to live more from the heart, then we offer you the unique opportunity to create a groove in being with your heart. For 15 days you will walk, be, live, speak, shine from your heart. You will be supported to have your attention with the heart. You can experience what changes inside yourself and between you and other people will occur when you do this.

To create a new heart-groove and to overwrite the old head-groove is not a small thing. It means you make a conscious choice who you want to be en where you want your attention to be. It can be the beginning of a new life perspective and show you the way to more happiness and content.

I am not saying there is something wrong with responding from the head.  The head offers an overview, clear insights and analyses, the ability to relativize, to abstract and deduct. It offers a sort of control if needed. But if the balance is gone we will get miserable, cold, distant, without feelings, afraid, lonely and stressed, even when you hide it behind a socially accepted mask, because almost nobody wants to appear like cold and distant.

Het hart volgen in usambara Mountains

 

After this “of the beaten track” Safari in Tanzania with everything a true adventure should contain, you will know forever what is needed to find the way back to love and harmony in your heart.

https://mindfuladventure.nl/en/laugh-while-you-still-have-teeth/

Karibu (welcome)

 

personal leadership

Personal Leadership, can I?

Personal Leadership, Can I?

“Yes Alina”: says my friend and guide Rama. “If something uncomfortable happens to me, I am not concerned with the reasons why, looking back to the past, complaining about this or blaming others. I focus immediately on the solution. It has already happened”.

“Personal leadership in my opinion is the skill to lead my own brain and send it in the direction of my desired future. Just like you, I have a unique, creative, intelligent potential which, if addressed, can become a self-driving force in my personality. What was limiting me for a long time was the strange sensation, that it somehow wasn’t really allowed by me. Is it okay to think what I want to think? Is it okay to take the lead and tell myself: “Hee listen! It stops right here and right now. This path we have been walking long enough. Let’s take this direction for a change”. It was as if I was not entitled to take me by the hand and it was as if a powerful message inside directed me to be reactive in life and not active. And my God I waisted a lot of time doing so. I knew I was able to reflect on my thoughts and feelings but I never realized this reflective quality showed me there is a leader inside, who is able to direct and guide my mind.

There never has been a tire fixed by grumbling about it.

                                                                  Roel Meijvis

persoonlijk leiderschapToo often we follow beliefs and thoughts that don’t help us any further. If we observe them, we can notice that they tend to fight against how things are. This mindset creates a chronically dissatisfied mood. But what would happen if we stop to contradict reality? I’ve found that I can make new choices each time about things that happen to me. I can not allways avoid them to happen, but I can choose not to expect from others or life to bring the change that I want. For some reason I have become a brighter, friendlier, happy-go-lucky and more loving person

Being authentic
I have discovered it is essential for personal leadership to free myself from cultured passivity and an helpless dependency from perfect circumstances. If I let the idea go that I am depending on perfect lifeconditions to be happy and relaxed, the necessary inner space arises to live in an authentic and powerful way. Then I start leading myself, others and the direction my company is going in a positive way.

A hike into the bush, why?
To meet your own, mostly unconscious dependencies, it helps to step into the bush of Tanzania and let it shuffle the perfect life-conditions we were raised in. Tanzania is chaotic, unorganised (in our eyes), wild and unpredictable. Nature is still in charge and circumstances are challenging. In the bush are no distractions, no internet and no comfort. In short, it offers the perfect scenery for facing the moments you start fighting reality. But also to meet the tendency to outplace your own responsibility for your feelings and thoughts.

persoonlijk leiderschapBy freeing yourself from dependencies, you will discover how strong you are. It will connect you to your freedom and more laughs when you run into an unexpected bump (usually no mountain).  You recognize the adventurous situation you entered instead of shouting it should never have happened because it doesn’t meet your expectations.

I believe it is time to understand how our brain should be our servant and not the other way around any longer. But we need to show this programmed computer in our head the way out of the maze of limited thoughts and feelings that control our lives in a negative way.

Mindful Adventure is organizing many safaris to educate you in personal leadership and what is needed to retrain your brain. In the meantime, you are enjoying a real “off the beaten track” safari.

Karibu!

geniaal kind

All kids until four are genius

geniaal kindAll kids until four are genius. By the time they are ten years old, only 10% is genius. By the time they are 30 years old, we are talking about only 2%. This is the confronting, shocking outcome of a big long running American research.

It is true. Of course it is true. It is unbelievable what we learn in the first four years of our lives. We learn a language and sometimes two languages without books and drilling. And all of u scan do it. Every child can do it. Children that only seem able to remember 10 words at primary school, were also able to do this, without any problem.

In the following years there is a huge differentiation in levels. Suddenly there are children with learning disorders and that are in need of special attention to develop laborious in the direction we determined for them. Our teachers are busy with children with all kinds of behavioral and concentration disorders.

Why is that?

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reality or illusion

Reality or illusion, what do you choose?

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away”
Philip K. Dick

All day long your mind is talking to you, thousands of messages are passing by. It all works completely mechanical and automatic. They arise and disappear by itself. Regularly every day you get stuck to it because you believe in a certain thought that arises. Bam…. you’re being cought. For me there is no difference wether this is a positive or a negative thought. Both of them don’t nessecarily have anything to do with reality. For you it may mainly concern negative thoughts that you get stuck to, that are repeating itself, and are directly evoking annoying feelings and tend to make your life miserable.

If we feel unhappy too often, we quickly think of big events that are bothering us. It must be some trauma. Something terrible must have happened in our past. And yes, during therapy, a lot is coming up. We are not aware that much of what comes up is made up of distorted memories and even made up events and experiences. Bam… you’re being cought.

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ZIN met Maria Goos en Marcel Musters op mindfulness safari

Maria Goos on mindfulness safari

(Maria Goos is a well known writer in the Netherlands. Her travelstory can be read in the magazine ZIN (March 8-April 4, 2018 – in dutch)

Maria Goos in Tanzania

Maria Goos in Tanzania

Surrender versus sane criticism
“Marcel tells me again “to start to surrender to what may come”, and not to be so critical. He emphasizes that we are experiencing things that people in touring cars would only dream of! That is true, and I also like that. But I also think: how for heaven’s sake are we going to solve this?”

In the summer of 2017 Maria Goos (wellknown scriptwriter of a.o. Old Money and Cloaca) and Marcel Musters (wellknown actor and one of the founders of Theatregroup Mosquitowiththegoldentooth) are coming with us on a mindful road trip in North West Tanzania.

Even though at the end of the article Maria wholeheartedly says she had an amazing trip, and would choose again for the “chaos” instead of choosing for a streamlined safari in a touringcar, she also struggled. Many things went different then she had expected.
During the trip I sometimes had to smile. My whole life went different then I had expected. To be followed immediately by “thankgod”. But also: “what did it hurt for such a long time!”.

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Vrouwen rechten Tanzania

Maasai women right’s in Tanzania

International women’s day
Masaï vrouw met kindThe emancipation of Maasai women in Tanzania still has a long way to go. In the cities is some movement. Especially young women are becoming aware of the sex differences because of the internet and sometimes in their contact with Western people.
In modern Tanzania having one woman and monogamy has become the standard under the influence of Christianity. Although men regularly reveal to me that the first African man who does not “cheat” on his wife more then once, still has to be born. The women seem to tolerate that and keep silent. More important in this third world country is that they have his children. Those children give her a certain guarantee to be first in his life and this way they ensure a house and enough to eat. The modern women work outdoors but are generallyexpected at home.  For example, it is allways a man who will join me on a trip. If I ask a woman to come, many times she refuses.

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Jacaranda tree in Tanzania

The tree and the prudish flowers

An ode to my best and wise friend in Tanzania

When I finish a phonecall with Rama, we useually end with a time-consuming goodbye ritual, which I complete with joy out of respect for him. I see it as a Tanzanian tradition, but to my surprise I catch Rama more then once not even saying goodbye to people after ending a phonecall. So it occurs to my mind lately, it is very possible he thinks also it is a dutch ritual to perform.
Most of the time the ritual is like this:

R: Lala salama (goodnight) Alina
A: Lala salama pia (goodnight to you too) Rama
R: Asante (thanks) Alina
A: Asante pia (jij ook bedankt) Rama
R: Don’t think too much any longer okay?
A: I will try Rama, Thank you.
R: Bye, byebye, byeeeee, bye Alina, bye
A: Bye, byeeee Rama, take care, bye, byebye. Oh don’t forget to call D tomorrow okay?
R: I can do that. Bye
And so on……Sometimes when we allready finished the ritual, something spontaneously comes up. Yesterday it went like this:
R: Njozi njema (sweet dreams)
A: Njozi Njema……… ehh Rama do you ever have nice dreams?
R: Yes Alina sometimes I have, very nice dreams. But when I have malaria ohh then they are very bad.
A: I never have nice dreams. I wonder therefore about the dreams of other people.
R: Yes Alina I think it will get better when you say sorry to your father.

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