Wie zijn wij?
In the 1960s, the men had to work in the districts of Zuid Den-Haag. No work, no food. So, the fathers were always on the road and the mothers cared for the big families who lived close together in the flats for the labour workforce. The children in the neighbourhood soon realized that they better get together because parent-time was a scarce commodity. I was one of those boys that at the gym who was often picked among the first, even if I was not the best in the sport that the master wanted us to do. And I stood up, with curly head and spindle legs, hoping that I would make something of it.
I was one of those puberty boys who blended in in his environment, and the environment played football, smoked Drum shag, listened to bands in black clothing and was interested in the girls. I had limited talent in playing football, had very limited success with the girls, but I kept stubbornly doing what others did.
I was one of those scholars who did nothing and therefore under performed at school. The history teacher was a man with a wild look in his face that was largely hidden by abundant beard growth and thick glasses. ‘Your future is to get a simple job ASAP’, he said with his strange voice, and he looked at me in a triumphantly intellectually expression. Then I turned out to be a boy who, with all his insecurities, could have a firm opinion. That weird teacher provided a moment of clarity and I realized that I was doing things that others expected from me. And so, I decided to get to know the world and opened a book.
I was a sailor on a navy ship and noticed that with a college diploma some people with a lower degree education were labeling me as arrogant. Gazing over the sea, I mused why people like to stick labels to others. Did a negative labeling give a feeling of superiority over the self-created group, what is that with xenophobia? The amazement about the conformist structure of a service apparatus as the army also caused tension, especially with the tyrannical 1st officer.
I was in my twenties, I took just a job to make money what became a real job, and, in that job, I became boss with an ever-trembling phone and more and more responsibilities. I did some study aside and wondered more about how the world-system was designed and (didn’t) work.
I met a fantastic woman and there were 2 beautiful children and 2 jobs and life was lack of sleep, crèches, deadlines, running and getting lessons from 2 young people. The job became ‘bigger’, so did the car and so did I.
Suddenly I was fed up, the meritocracy, the race to the top, my career became horizontal and I learned to solve conflicts as a mediator, started a small business beside of my regular work. I went to a training and a lady said interesting things. Besides being a psychologist, she was also a Buddhist.
“Believe nothing of what I say unless it touches your heart” is one of the first teachings of the Buddha. That’s cool. Imagine the Pope saying that. The nonconformism in the teachings of Buddhism attracted me. Not the metaphysical learnings that were ‘conceived’ after his speeches.
I read everything about Siddhartha, Nietzsche, Thich Nhat Hanh, Schopenhauer, Kant, Berne, Offman. I went from mediation to coaching. More influence, less process. My job lingered on.
I was the guy who finally started for himself as a coach and Mindfulness trainer and became a man who cycled through the Sunday morning with weird pants and a big belly and that activity gave me a ‘normal’ posture again. Buddhism did not let me go and I read John Kabat-Zinn. The mindfulness training as a participant and as a follow up to become a trainer was found.
Applying Mindfulness is our vision. Apply mindfulness in daily life. Without a dogmatic raised finger. Mindfulness give a push in the right direction. What is that right direction? That only knows the person who is learning and practising the Mindfulness lessons. We will guide you. We are ‘passers-by’ with compassion. Whether this is in a MBC or a retreat in Italy with our Mandali partners.
My name is Ruud Geraedts and in my daily life I am a psychologist en physical trainer. The balance in physical en mental wellbeing is very important to me.
In my journey in finding this balance in physical, emotional and spiritual balance I came in contact with mindfulness and since 2014 I’m also a mindfulnessinstructor.
It’s helping me rebalancing in my life during my personal struggles.