mindfulness solo retreat Tanzania

Where do you want to be this coming winter?

Spending the winter in Tanzania: something for you?

The amount of contaminations with Covid 10 has again increased this week in the Netherlands. Belgium has launched several measures for the same reason. In Barcelona, in overwinter-country Spain, the Dutch government has called out code orange (only necessary travel allowed) and vacationers have been advised to come back home. To be short, a second wave is probably already started.

I follow the developments around Covid 19 like a cat follows a mouse. Both the official vision as the counter stories and independent voices have my attention. But in every way of looking at Covid 19, the policy is clear with on the first place the measures of keeping distance and this is something you just have to deal with.

solo retreatForseeing the future

Looking at the current developments, I expect circumstances that are more difficult and challenging for elder people and other vulnerable groups. Despite the fact that there are more and more measures a soon as hospitalizations and IC’s rise, I don’t think the society will be locked again, like in March. Because of the fact only 248 people (of working age) died, it would surprise me if young people would allow to be restricted again and the economy being harmed to protect older en vulnerable people. This means, that older and vulnerable people will be more at risk in a more crowded society, they will be more alone and more likely more restricted.

So where do you want to be this coming winter?

It will be a long fall and winter, because the distance rule will stay, all cultural events will suffer from all restrictions. Festivals, events and other entertainment will stay risky. Gathering of over … people will be restricted and if you want to make a big trip to leave the long winter behind you, people won’t like you because you might help the virus to spread. Where do you want to be this coming winter?

winter in AfricaTanzania is the country to visit this coming winter for a break or a longer period of time

The sun is shining in the early morning, a great diversity of birds is singing out loud. From my verande I look at the paradise of my garden, the dogs are running around, an eagle is building it’s nest, the tree full of mandarins wants to be picked and an orange rose is finding its way to the roof of my romantic, wooden bungalow. The spacious park is fenced, so Corona proof.

My house in Mwanza is available for you. From here you can make many excursions: the famous Serengeti is only 2 hours away, Rubondo Island can be visited for a 3-day adventure, boat trips, beautiful walks, and just wandering around in this unique, build on rocks city, a large swimming pool around the corner and more. You can do a lot if you like nature. And most of the time you will spend your time outdoors, living in a warm climate.

loopbaancoachingHealth

The usual medical care is well developed in Tanzania and not expensive, you even don’t need an insurance for that. Only for larger diseases you will need to be treated in Europe. We have a large hospital, several good private clinics and physiotherapy. Try to find out which insurance covers your expenses here in Tanzania. If you don’t find one, you can also open an insurance here in Tanzania.

Corona

And in case you get contaminated with Covid 19, you can stay in quarantine in my place. If you choose to stay in the lodge, we will inform a special team. After that you can stay in quarantine in the lodge or, if needed be hospitalized. The medical care has a lot to offer (also oxygen), except for ventilators. They have two in Mwanza. In Dar Es Salaam they have more and you could be transported by Mindful Adventure. The chance of contamination is very small if you take good care of yourself by keeping distance and away for busy places.

NB: the medical care in Tanzania has done well. Most hospitals and clinics have been able to treat everyone and the amount of casualties has remained small.

Mindful Adventure is your contact person

Before, during and after your stay, Mindful Adventure is your contact person. Africa is a new, different world. It will be good to be able to come to me and Rama. We know the country and the people well and will support you when you need it.

Alina and RamaBoosting your immune system

During your stay it is possible to participate (by yourself or in a group) in a program to improve your physical condition and immune system. Alina is a qualified naturopath and coach, therapist, breathing therapist and meditation teacher. She teaches yin yoga, moving exercises and mixed meditations like breathing sessions. The costs depend on the size of the group.

Nutrition

Food in Tanzania is very cheap. You will have a kitchen to use and you can also sign in for a meal. There is a market and a supermarket nearby.

If you ask me

I am happy to be in Tanzania and not in the Netherlands. I wouldn’t want to spend a long winter inside in the Netherlands. To be honest, I also find it risky. With a house like mine, you will have a big part of your safety in your own hands. Because of the natural circumstances, the risks in Mwanza are rather smaller then bigger. But of course I have to say, just like in Europe, there are nog guarantees. I assume always something could happen.

Are you interested?

Read more here

facing your fear - covid

Facing your fear and letting go of it

When I arrive after three months at Mwanza airport I am picked up by Rama who looks as fit and relaxed as ever. Driving to my house, I marvel at the busy street life. Everything is as lively as it was before I left. The Tanzanians have largely stopped all additional measures. According to the government, there are only 66 active Covid 19 patients left. But even more so, the people didn’t see much Covid 19 disasters around them all this time. So they continue the small measures but take it more and more easy. The Tanzanian died as always more from known diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, H.I.V. and malnutrition than Covid 19. But in fact they die mostly of poverty (no money for medication).

President Magufuli is more and more likely to become the hero of Africa. Where neighbouring countries such as Kenya and Uganda are extremely into lock downs, he refused to damage the economy, which would mean the death of many people who depend on the daily “hand to mouth” economy. Interesting enough this decision hasn’t led to the death of great numbers of people.

Tanzania, a place of peace and tranquillity

While in Kenya and Uganda despair, violence and death from hunger continue to increase, Tanzania is a place of peace and tranquillity. People here are even preparing to fill the food shortages in the damaged neighbouring countries as soon as they reopen borders.

Soon I am drawn into the general atmosphere of cheerful efficacy. But I stay awake. I don’t go in anywhere where there’s a lack of ventilation and ask people to keep enough distance, which everyone does benevolently. In the official offices, I wear a mask. The virus seems like a misguided big joke in Tanzania, but I’m not ready to let go of all caution. I want to take full responsibility for my own well-being the best to my knowledge.

To follow my heart

A lot has happened to me in the last few months. Mindful Adventure just made a breakthrough in 2019. 2020 started better than ever before. From one moment to the next it went silent like happened to so many companies. In the Netherlands I experienced the events remarkably calm, willing to move with fate. I took time to rest and accept the new situation. All I did was successfully set up an action for the Mindful Adventure team in Tanzania called Waja Siriamali, from which four small businesses came to existence. All four meet a basic need in people: chicken farm, food delivery, animal husbandry (goats) and gas. It works. Should I also retrain and start harvesting eggs or vegetables in greenhouses? It sometimes seems attractive to me.

riding the tiger

overcoming your fear

Riding the tiger

Here in Tanzania I have moments when it overwhelms me. The success as an independent entrepreneur is the result of years passionately following my heart and express it creatively in countless different ways. I rode the tiger with a certain ease, though it was extremely hard work and the product is niche niche. I feel the tension and uncertainty towards my own mission and I know the importance of it. After all, this new perspective I found, I grant everyone:

from
-battle to surrender
-safety to adventure
-consumer need gratification to living experiences
-dreaming away in thoughts to presence in the moment
-fear for life to trust more that life tends to support you.
-suppression to sincere, vulnerable recognition of what is truly inside you
-thinking to perceiving
-a closed to an open heart
It is needed to achieve more than ever, given the condition of the planet.

Do you still believe that life is a battle to survive?

As long as we believe that life is a struggle for survival and we have to emerge victorious from that struggle, capitalist, consumerist thinking will not be seen through and we will not dare to change, no matter how much the planet is burdened by that abusive system.
Covid 19 is not going to change that either. It was scary for a while, but for the majority it soon turned out to be no big deal, right? The measures were a big deal for many but Covid itself didn’t turn out to be the killer they thought it could be.

clean himalaya after covidA clean planet

For only a few the Himalayas, which after 33 years looming out of the fog of pollution and became visible to neighbouring villages, or the dolphins that swam through the canals of Venice touched a deep longing for a clean, fresh, clear nest. Nowadays it is only the economics en returning to how it was that matters to most people. The point is that scary, shocking, disruptive and painful experiences seldom motivate to real change. Positive motivation is going much deeper. When we experience love, togetherness, bedding in society, cleanness, a basic income, support, freedom, and inner peace, we are more likely to make other decisions towards more love and more trust and less consuming behaviour.

But we need to face for sure the underlying fear and emptiness that feeds our consumer needs to see through these so called needs and to be more free of them. Then we can make the change to a cleaner, more caring world instead of being forced by negative confrontations which will activate only our defensive strategies, like Covid 19 is doing.

No I better not start farming.

Dealing with fear

There is a need to learn people to deal with fear. Fear is such a nasty emotion. It needs guidance to be able not to run away for it. There is need for a life coach who faced his own fears and is able not to believe them but calm them, because otherwise panic will hit you hard.

Flying is safe
My home in Mwanza is very safe
Tanzania is safe
A nature safari with coaching is safe

As long as we take good care of ourselves and protect ourselves

WE HAVE COME TO KNOW THE MANY WEAK POINTS OF COVID 19.
SO GET OUT OF YOUR SHELTERS AND START BEING THE CHANGE YOU NEED TO SEE IN THE WORLD.

Karibu Tanzania!

forced into a retreat by corona

Forced into a retreat

Surrender

Do you feel it too?
The relief there is nothing left to want
That it’s all been decided for you and you can only follow.
Can you feel what burden is falling away from you?

Forced into a retreat

As a side effect of Corona, in one go the normal patterns of your “normal” life have been broken. Suddenly everything is different. It may feel as if you have ended up at a retreat, a retreat you didn’t sign up for. The constant stream of entertainment, the attachment for luxury and comfort, the workload and the high expectations of partners, children, family and friends have cut you off from doing nothing under a tree, the ability to enjoy being by yourself, staring satisfied at the clouds in the air. In short: feeling connected with the real life, that is offering every moment something new in a subtle way. Read more

de laatste bosjesmannen

Mindfulness and stress

Statement: we are full of expectations (illusions) about how it should be

Stress is the tension between “what is”
and the expectation we cherish about how it should be.
We experience happiness when life unfolds according to our expectations
and we experience misfortune if life (or the other) is not behaving according to our expectations.

Thinking in coming short

Growing up in a world full of wrong assumptions and 1001 illusions, we get desperately stuck. Instead of looking at our expectations, we project a world around us that is coming short all the time. No one and nothing meets our often invisible desires and like little infants, we are looking for super pleasers. The moment you start to see this clearly, you will find yourself upset. That is continuing to happen to me every now and then: “Did I really step in the same pitfall again?”. Yes Alina, again.

out of controlWrong expectations

Tanzania is such a good example. For months I have been wrestling with this new reality after my emigration. The differences in culture are enormous. Looking back I was plainly unhappy. Nothing was what it had looked like. I got nuts of spending time for all practical things that were asked of me. I got aghast of the overdose of insincere, financial, emotional painful and sometimes cruel experiences. I was shaking on my foundations and being confused I didn’t know anymore who to trust and who not. I felt no control over my own life and it caused a continues feeling of panic (read stress) in me as if I was hanging in the mouth of a cheetah. “I am too honest and sensitive for this country and I don’t know if I can manage”: I desperately shared with Rama, who obviously started to doubt the same more and more.

One day my ex-partner and best friend Ivar, who was getting more and more concerned in the Netherlands and trying to support me, said: “Tanzania is Tanzania and it will continue to do what it always does. How are you going to deal with yourself?”

With other words: how was I going to deal with my wrong expectations? That did the job. In the next few weeks, I started to adjust all expectations, that were causing nothing else then misery. Every day I felt a little bit better. It is mindblowing how fast this can happen.

Control is an illusion

It is clear the Tanzanian doesn’t get upset by their own society. That is what they are passing on to their children. It is admirable how relaxed they are able to deal with misfortune, corruption and deliberately caused fraud and deception. With humor, they are able to accept life like some absurdist theatre show. Control is an illusion, so Alina, how come do you take everything so serious? … they are asking me.
My guide and smart ass Innocent (28) saw me losing 4 kg of weight some months ago, and he told me then: “Tanzania is going to teach you to really relax”. He was right. It doesn’t mean anything to be in bliss in the Walhalla of the Netherlands. This is the real mindfulness work. It’s do or die.

Despite changing circumstances (recently again someone that seemed a potential friend exposed himself), I caught myself walking around with more inner peace. My head is clear again and with a heart full of love, I again found peace with a world that seemed to be so shortcoming.

“For most of us, it takes 6 to 8 months” my friend H told me yesterday, just coming back from a 2 months visit to her homeland Belgium. Exhausted of all the dishwashing, trying to escape from the endless narcissistic talk of family, friends, and acquaintances, clearly a few kgs lighter, she is overjoyed to be back.

I understand what she means.

Photo’s: Marlon du Toit and Hans Charltz (Sukuma Theatre)

Niemand thuis

Nobody home – the nature of the mind

“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

The fear is disappearing

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. Sando 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. His work is mainly 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 the nature of our own mind

Well, now it comes of course.
There is no difference with the nature of our mind. In exactly the same way, until the day of today, we are being programmed by keeping on repeating. This is good, that is not good, this will cause approving little laughs, that will cause an unsatisfied look, this calls appreciation and pride and that will cause disapproval or ignoring. 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”.

Read more

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 a shocking truth. 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://retreatstanzania.com/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?

Read more