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

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

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)

 

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.

Read more

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!”.

Read more

mensafari Tanzania

Receiving and relaxing are one

I am learning something lately. I learn really something that I’ve found incredibly difficult. I am learning that receiving and relaxation is one. This lesson is not new but the level goes deeper now. I learn to be on time to say: “listen this is not going to be solved. Here we are really quite different. We will not meet each other, I accept that”. And to my great enjoyment that nagging, sometimes sickening or even ripping feeling inside, what can stick around for hours, lets go of me and I can continue what I was doing before the argument started. Trying to solve everything, explain yourself, repeating the same arguments because you can not believe  someone does not get it, has been many times exhausting and sometimes like hell in my life. Honestly receiving what is truly happening creates relaxation and makes me free.

I learned receiving more how things are thanks to Tanzania. I experience how people leave each other alone in that country in a psychological way. And I experience that if I attempt to do some digging into somebody elses mind, soon I feel uncomfortable by their reactions, especially about myself and what I’m doing. In the beginning I missed it. I felt myself thrown back, even ignored sometimes. I felt alone as if something was missing in depth and connection with the people because I could not communicate my psychological insights with them. It felt like I could not be me at all. But after weeks in Tanzania, I feel a relaxation that results from leaving each other alone. And if there is a problem, then it is discussed. Arguments are not repeated in that conversation and if it is completed, it is finished. Attempts by me to reopen the discussion fail many times. “It was finished yesterday Alina”: they claim.

distance between people

by Paula French

My most pervasive experience with learning to let it be, happened in fact years ago between me and my mother. In 2011 I suddenly realized my mother had come to the end of her live. That touched me deeply. It hit me especially since the relationship with my mother had not been successful from the beginning. As long as I could remember we found ourselves at a great distance from each other. I realized how painful this was, much more painful than the death of someone whom you loved much. My mother was going to leave and I would have to live on with the realization that the relationship between us never worked out. I have cried terribly.

The next day I went to see her. I found her sitting at her table in front of the window in the nursing house, a lonely woman. After some chitchat we fell silent. And in that silence I hear myself say: “mom, you and me it just didn’t work out right? We have not been able to truly meet each other all these years. I feel the need to accept that together with you “. She began to cry. “This is awful”: she said. “I do not think so”: I said gently. “it is what it is”. She paused long. When I left half an hour later and was standing at the door, she looked straight in my eyes and said, “I’m going to try it Alne”.

From that moment on, something changed between us, something relaxed. I went every week to see her. The moments she was victimizing herself, I allowed her, If she was moaning dramatically, I held her hand (this gave me much resistance in the past), I drove her around in her wheelchair and it was no problem to me. Sometimes she could no longer hold her own head up. That struck me in my heart and I carried her head for her, one of my most intimate moments with her. Also my mother had changed to me. The caustic remarks began to stay away. The wary comments, distant looks, the puffings and continuous tension between us disappeared; the hatchet was buried. We were receiving each other finally in how it was and we relaxed.

Nine months later she died and I had found peace inside.

receiving

by Lindsey Parker

The moment we both accepted the truth of our relationship, we came to peace with it. Something relaxed. And out of that relaxation we were able to leave each other alone psychologically. Then things became possible for me that I had never been able to give her before; the right to feel a victim, complaining, puffing about me whenever she needed and hold her hand. I am very grateful for these moments.

 

 

de bijzondere relatie

The promise of perfection is to gain and keep “the other”

wachtenBy the time I came out of my childhood, I was broken. I ran around like an unfulfilled child, anxious and waiting for “the other” whom stayed extremely absent. From the beginning I experienced my relatively short life as a nightmare by the absence of at least one loving adult who cared for me and provided for me a protective safety. The moment came that I understood I was going down if I continued to wait any longer. I was 19 and from one day to another I made a radical switch of the needy, waiting child to a caring personality. In 20 years to come I developed into a top aid worker because I knew exactly what I had missed. I had crossed out my own needs and was thereby fully capable to receive the other inside me. As a result, I found the bridge to the world again. That saved my life but it didn’t change the fundamental tension that I was carrying inside me.

This fundamental tension rooted into the continuing belief that I needed “the other” to make it in life. And how can you relax when your inner camera is 24 hours a day obsessively focussed on the other because they are unconsciously seen as the primary lifeline? It doesn’t matter if you present yourself as someone who gives or takes in this battle to survive. What matters is what works for you. Because how can you relax if you believe, that you must be perfect to be seen and embraced by the “other”.

In the tireless effort to perfect my personality and become the perfect, wise adult for others, I lost the ability to be able to receive. But that did not matter because I needed nothing. I came a long way, I must say. And still I benefit from the skills that I have developed in that time. I assume you will have your own interpretation of your ideal self.

But how wrong I was!

drinkplaats AfrikaThe deep relaxation that I essentially was looking for, only came when I realized I didn’t need this “other” to be my lifeline. In fact the other has nothing to do with that. The deep relaxation that I actually was looking for, only came when I released the illusion of neediness, and started to see that my real lifeline was given by life itself. When I turned my attention to existence I saw this miraculous event in and around me, giving me oxygen every moment, providing me with food and drinks, regenerating me during my sleep, keeping me warm and giving me space any moment. A completely impersonal but completely loving and intelligent system that gives me everything what I essentially need.

I have been save in the womb of life all my life and so are you, but I did not know it.

And does it matter how perfect you are? Does it matter what you’re doing and how you do it, if it’s not the exclusive relationship with the other that keeps you safe? Do you get less oxygen when your lover dies?

The promise/illusion of perfection is to gain and keep the attention and care of “the other” as your lifeline. To see through this idea is the major liberation to give yourself and it will restore your natural line with existence. It will change everything and give you a new perspective on life. And what a joy that will bring. You are free at last. Please understand this. It is the key to your freedom.

And it is also for this reason that nature as the mirror of your true lifeline, has so much to offer you in your liberation of the deep-rooted idea that you can not survive without “the other”.

Main Photo by Lizanne Croonen for Mindful Adventure