blog Alina de Vilder - Thoughs as a virus

The thoughts in your brain are like a virus in your body cell

When a virus infects a cell, the so called host cell is forced to rapidly produce thousands of identical copies of the original virus.
Wikipedia

the belief in a thoughtThe belief in a thought

Believing a certain thought can make you unhappy a long life long. The source of a thought can be a traumatic experience or a clumsy message from your mother or father when you were a kid and everything in between.

An example of a message that may come in deep is that the child may be ugly or too fat. The deep belief of a child in the truth of such a message, may cause a life long pain, misfortune, eating disorders or other misery. The child took over the perspective of the messenger and started producing thousands of thoughts, confirming the first message, ruining the original carefree state. There is your virus. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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!