The world according to Stephen

 

The world according to Stephen

 

A book about life – from birth to death and just about everything in between

 

www.stephenvanbasten.co.za

 

Foreword

 

This book is the culmination of almost 50 years of searching.

 

It is everything I have.

 

I trust that you will glean some personal benefit from it.

 

 

 

I know that what I have to share with you is meaningful because of the response I get from my work. I have numerous requests for my transcripts.

 

I have had people tell me that they have decided not to commit suicide after a funeral service I delivered. I have had atheists, agnostics and the religiously indifferent thanking me for changing their perceptions and I have had 100’s of thank you letters from grateful clients.

 

 

 

At heart, I am a Truth Seeker and a sharer of knowledge.

 

When I am asked to introduce myself, this is what I say:

 

“Hi, my name is Stephen van Basten. I work for myself and talk for a living. I am a Chameleon. Sometimes a minister performing Spiritual rites, other times a counsellor assisting others. But ALWAYS a Teacher”

 

 

 

I am the prodigal eternal student and eager teacher.

 

A human behavior specialist.

 

I long to know the meaning of life.

 

The meaning of the universe.

 

The meaning of marriage, of parenthood, of family.

 

The meaning of eternity. The nature of God.

 

Who am I? What am I? Where am I going?

 

Do I have a death date? Can I lengthen my life?

 

How much is pre-destined and how much can I create myself?

 

 

 

Someone once said, “Ask and you shall receive”.

 

I have consistently asked questions and I have consistently received answers.

 

Some of the answers have been surprising indeed!

 

What I share here is the culmination of a lifetime of searching, and yet it will not even scrape the brim of truth.

 

As we all know, truth is elusive, perceived differently by everyone, ever changing and yet always the same.

 

And to be honest, it’s really only MY truth.

 

 

 

Like the Buddha, I have seen poverty, disease, old age, suffering and death.

 

And like the Buddha,

 

I wish to make some sense of it all.

 

And like most of you,

 

I wish to find a way to make it all more fulfilling.

 

For myself, for my family,

 

for my friends, for my fellow human beings.

 

 

 

I sometimes look at the world I have been born into, and wonder if we are just hamsters on the economic treadmill called Capitalism.

 

Was Morpheus correct in “The Matrix”?

 

Are we all just batteries for the computers who took over the world many years ago?

 

And discarded after our shelf life expires? Or is there actually more to it all?

 

 

 

If you take a cold hard look at it:

 

We are born. Get educated. Find the first of many jobs. Find a spouse or a series of partners.

 

Probably become parents. Most likely become grandparents. Possibly become great grandparents. Definitely Die.

 

 

 

Hopefully, “The World According to Stephen” will assist you in making some sense of it all and to ultimately “Become More”.

 

 

 

INDEX:

 

Chapter 1 – The Meaning of Life

 

Chapter 2 – What happens when we die?

 

Chapter 3 – Are you addicted to perfection?

 

Chapter 4 – The curse of Expectations

 

Chapter 5 – The blessing of values

 

Chapter 6 – How to live a better life by avoiding the top regrets of the dying

 

Chapter 7 – How to live a better life by avoiding the regrets of the bereaved

 

 Chapter 8 – Relationships (based on my talk titled, “The Relationship Experience”)

 

Chapter 9: Stephen van Basten’s 10 Life Lessons

 

Chapter 10: If you were God

 

Chapter 11: The model that will answer so many of your questions

 

Chapter 12:  I do (Based on my favorite wedding ceremony)

 

Chapter 13: Stephen van Basten’s 15 tips for a successful marriage

 

Chapter 14: Sage advice from the movie “Hitched”

 

Chapter 14: Greener pastures (Based on my funeral service)

 

Chapter 15: Religion

 

Chapter 16: Introducing The Church of Higher Universalism

 

Chapter 17: Sex and sexuality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1 – The Meaning of Life

 

 

 

The first question I love asking anyone or any audience is, “What is the meaning of life?

 

It is so interesting to see how different people answer that. What is more interesting to me is how few people have even contemplated it. No matter able to elaborate on it.

 

 

 

To me this is the quintessential question. The question of questions. How can you plan to pass this great exam if you have no clue as to what the questions are?

 

 

 

I caused a stir once by suggesting that in order to attain Heaven (or it’s equivalent) in the hereafter, possibly we need to conquer life right here on earth.

 

 

 

Despite the many different answers I get, to me the meaning of life is growth.

 

Personal Growth, Spiritual growth, Soul Unfoldment. Indeed the top segment of Maslows’ hierarchy of needs – Self Actualisation.

 

 

 

So then, what is the meaning of life?

 

I like to depict it as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

The meaning of life is slow but steady growth over time

 

 

 

 

 

Someone once said that there are two things you cannot change; Death and Taxes.

 

Well I would say there are four: Death, taxes, change and growth.

 

 

 

The universe actually supports this theory.

 

Scientists tell us that the universe has continued to expand since the big bang 17 billion years ago. In fact, it is growing at 17 miles per second.

 

Man. If the universe (EVERYTHING) is growing, and if God is EVERYTHING, then one could assert that God is growing. And if God is growing, so are we!!

 

 

 

Is it not also true that in life there are:

 

  • Ups and downs?
  • Easy times and difficult times?
  • Good time and bad?
  • Happy and sad?
  • Flowing and restricted?

 

 

 

 

 

So life looks a bit like this then:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now let me ask you the next question: When do we grow the most?

 

 

 

During the easy, flowing, good times OR the difficult, restricted, sad, down times?

 

Correct. The difficult times.

 

We could thus assert that in fact the DIFICULT TIMES are the MEANING of LIFE as they bring us the greatest growth!

 

 

 

We can therefore update our model to look like this:

 

 

 

 

 

The meaning of life is slow but steady growth through difficult and easy times over time

 

 

 

As we expand the model one step further, is it not also true, that every cloud has a silver lining?

 

I have researched this over and over again and I am now 100% certain that every benefit has a drawback and every drawback has a benefit.

 

That in fact your blessing is also a curse.

 

And your curse is a blessing.

 

 

 

Ask the rhino which his horn is!!!!

 

A blessing or a curse…….

 

 

 

Did you know that most lotto winners are bankrupt after 7 years?

 

That most popstars cannot pop down to the café for fresh cream for the Irish Coffees without being swamped with fans?

 

That most billionaires fear kidnapping of their kids for the ransom?

 

There is indeed a price to pay for the reality of every fantasy.

 

 

 

And on the other side,

 

How many people do you know who have been retrenched or divorced only to be infinitely happier just 2 years later?

 

 

 

I have a friend who genuinely states that she has been BLESSED with cancer. There ARE countless blessings in knowing you are dying.

 

 

 

I have another friend who divorced his wife for being unfaithful, which cleared the way for him to find the partner he deems to be his soul mate.

 

 

 

Isaak Newton expressed it in 1642 when he stated his 3rd law of motion, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” and Dr John Demartini asserts that, “There is no event, situation, person, occurrence or human personality trait that is either 100% positive or 100% negative. In fact, they are always equally positive and negative. In other words, 100% balanced”

 

 

 

Would you then at least consider that the meaning of life is to experience slow but steady, BALANCED support and challenge over time, which together bring us the experiences we require to grow?

 

 

 

And update our model to look like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The meaning of life is to experience slow but steady, BALANCED support and challenge over time, which together bring us the experiences we require to grow.

 

 

 

I am quite certain that as humans we will all experience most of the same things at some stage during our lifetime. That we indeed go through the same trials and tribulations no matter our so called ‘station’ in life.

 

 

 

We will fall in love with someone.

 

We will make an enemy (and hate them).

 

We will feel euphoria and depression.

 

We will leave school with lofty expectations and feel like failures when we don’t achieve them.

 

We will lose someone we love and we will part ways with someone we dislike.

 

We will have our hearts broken and break some too.

 

We will have someone cheat on us (we may never find out) and have a faithful follower stick with us.

 

We will lie to someone we love and be lied to by someone we trust.

 

Our parents will annoy us and we will annoy our kids.

 

We will feel the injustice of some authority and mis-treat someone who looks up to us.

 

 

 

Dr. Demartini asserts that there is a conservation of challenge and support no matter where you go or who you partner with.

 

 

 

So the next time life sends you lemons. Call for the tequila & salt and celebrate the lesson.

 

Chapter 2 – What happens when we die?

 

 

 

Linked to the “meaning of life” question of course, is, “What happens when we die” which I particularly love asking the couples on my Relationship course. What intrigues me is that they want to get married and live happily ever after but don’t even know what their partners Spiritual beliefs are.

 

 

 

Actually death is an incredibly interesting Phenomena.

 

I think it was Peter Tosh (or Bob Marley) who once sang “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die”.

 

 

 

Interestingly enough, there are religions that celebrate when a person dies and cries when a baby is born for they know the trials and tribulations the new soul will have to endure on earth.

 

 

 

There are religions that remember their dead on an annual holiday where they symbolically raise the dead and spend time with them.

 

 

 

Others believe that EVERYONE goes to heaven. The more disciplined ones are closer to God and the naughtier ones are further from God.

 

 

 

There are those who believe in heaven and hell

 

Others who believe in a series of lifetimes until the soul is perfected,

 

That in fact heaven and hell are states of consciousness.

 

 

 

Others that believe there is just nothing when we die. Like going to sleep forever.

 

The fact is, I have had the most interesting conversations with Atheists and Agnostics. The difference is they have truly thought about and contemplated this topic.

 

 

 

To be honest, we really do not know who is right do we?

 

We all just have our own personal beliefs.

 

 

 

At funerals, the truth seeker in me is envious of the deceased, because they know the answer to the question that has been asked a million times, “What happens when we die?”

 

 

 

While I cannot claim to know what happens after we pass into the next world, other than that Re-Incarnation makes most sense to me, I do have strong thoughts on why we are here.

 

 

 

I was once accused of being a know-it-all and I responded wisely J; ”I have an opinion on everything but in reality I know nothing!” Argue that one …..

 

 

 

I have a belief that if one properly explores religion one has to conclude that there is no evidence that any religion really has the truth. I am a Universalist by faith but ultimately I have to confess that I am closest to Agnostic.

 

 

 

A Universalist believes that all religion leads to the same God. That God sent different teachers at different times to lead humanity. Universalists recognise a ‘golden thread’ that moves through all religion. Let’s face it. You know what’s right and wrong. You know that murder is wrong. You know that stealing is wrong. You don’t need a church to tell you that shagging your neighbours spouse is wrong.

 

 

 

Of course, I sometimes assert that being a Universalist is rather clever because no matter which religion turns out to be correct, we can always claim to have been a partial believer! It’s kind of like hedging ones religious bets.

 

 

 

An Agnostic believes there is something out there, something awesome, which created all that is (GOD/The Universe/Infinite Intelligence). The Agnostic does not attempt to define this God. The Agnostic finds it ludicrous to define God as a male with a white beard writing down everyone’s sins in a big black book.

 

 

 

An Atheist believes that there is nothing when we die.

 

Just like going to sleep forever. Of course, Atheism is a Non Prophet Organisation.

 

 

 

I love this concept from the ancient Chinese texts:

 

 

 

People change endlessly in all kinds of ways

 

You wear out, then are renewed

 

You dream you are a bird and fly through the sky

 

You dream you are a fish and plunge into the depths

 

While you are dreaming you do not know it is a dream

 

After you wake up you realize you were dreaming

 

There will be a great awakening

 

after which you will know that this present life was but a dream

 

When we were as yet unborn

 

How could we know the pleasures of life

 

As long as we have not died

 

How can we know that death is not pleasant?

 

 

 

What happens when we die?

 

Nobody knows!!!

 

 

 

I don’t think that even the sum of all religion would be the entire truth.

 

There is more to divinity and eternity than we could ever perceive while on earth.

 

But while here, I follow the Theosophists in proclaiming that, “there is no religion greater than TRUTH” and the scientific proof that, “energy is indestructible”.

 

 

 

In fact you really want, A physicist at your funeral

 

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the un…iverse, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.

-Aaron Freeman.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3 – Are you addicted to perfection?

 

 

 

According to the World Health Organisation, 121 million people worldwide are clinically depressed.

 

And a staggering 850 000 people commit suicide each year due to depression.

 

 

 

In contrast, I love Maslow’s Hierarchy of need’s model and I am especially enamored by the highest segment of the pyramid; Self Actualisation.

 

Unfortunately you can google self actualization stats and get no answers. No one knows how many people are deemed to be self actualized.

 

 

 

According to Nation Master, however, only 54% of the world considers themselves to be “Happy”.

 

It would seem then that Maslow’s Self Actualisation goal is far from manifesting.

 

Lets conduct a quick test.

 

Have you ever felt despondent?  Yes?

 

Have you ever felt disappointed? Yes?

 

Have you ever felt depressed? Yes?

 

Well frankly , so have I.

 

 

 

So what in heaven’s name do we do to change this?

 

I believe the issue lies in the section’s below Self Actualisation in Maslows model:

 

Esteem (Self Esteem, Self Image, Self Confidence) and Belonging (our need to be accepted and loved). In other words, how we see ourselves and how people see us.

 

I was recently introduced to someone who had a very different look at disappointment and depression and I would love to share his thoughts with you.

 

 

 

Firstly Dr John Demartini defines depression as:

 

“When you compare REALITY (what happened) to your fantasy or expectation of how you think it should have happened”.

 

 

 

Dr Demartini further teaches us that there are 4628 human traits?

 

The interesting thing is that they come in pairs complimentary of opposites.

 

Love and Hate

 

War and Peace

 

Generous and Stingy

 

Hero and Villain

 

Saint and Sinner

 

Honest and Dishonest

 

Happy and Sad

 

Ecstatic and Depressed

 

Fair and Unfair

 

Clever and stupid

 

Genius and Dunce

 

Eloquent and stuttering

 

 

 

Here is the scary truth:

 

We all own all 4628 of them.

 

Allow me to prove this to you.

 

Can you think of a time you were:

 

Loving |Hateful

 

At peace | At War

 

Generous | Stingy

 

A Hero | A Villain

 

A Saint | A Sinner

 

Healthy | Sick

 

Honest | Dishonest

 

Happy | Sad

 

Optimistic | Cynical

 

Upbeat | Grumpy

 

A Leader | A Follower

 

Ecstatic | Devastated

 

 

 

The problem is we all believe that we should only be one side of the opposite.

 

Always:  Loving, honest, generous, healthy, peaceful, saintly

 

I call this being addicted to perfection or having an unrealistic expectation of yourself to be perfect. When you compare that to reality the outcome is DEPRESSION!!

 

 

 

 

 

The truth is that we are very 2 sided.

 

 

 

If you have a goal of always being happy, when you are sad you are failing.

 

If you have a goal of always been positive, when you are not you are failing.

 

 

 

If on the other hand you have a goal of accepting yourself for who you really are, both happy and sad, good and bad, you are always passing.

 

 

 

For me the beauty of owning the 4628 human traits is that you can call me anything you like and you would be right.

 

Stupid: Yes

 

I once stepped off my motorcycle without putting the stand down first. That cost me a couple of grand.

 

Selfish: Yes

 

I don’t give my entire salary to charity. I have 2 empty bedroom in my house that would house 10 homeless people. I have unused jerseys in my cupboard that would keep someone alive tonight.

 

Egotistical: Yes

 

Say no more………… I am a Leo.

 

Intelligent: Yes

 

Funny: Yes

 

At least I think so.

 

Humble: Yes

 

At times when it’s necessary.

 

Self Centred: Yes

 

Hateful: Yes

 

I suffer from road rage and feel hatred toward bad drivers.

 

Loving: Yes

 

I certainly believe that I love my family.

 

 

 

I am thus closer to fulfilling the Esteem section of Maslow’s model (he said egotistically).

 

 

 

Once you realize that everyone owns all 4628 human traits you stop worrying about what others think of you. You realize that you fit right in. You love and accept yourself and soon find others doing the same.

 

 

 

You also stop being so damn critical of others.

 

You recognise that you own the traits you dislike in them and realise that you are no better and no worse. In fact, I am more and more convinced with every passing breath, that the things you hate in others, are a reflection of what you hate about yourself.

 

 

 

You also get one step closer to the Theosophical Society’s premise, “Recognise your oneness with the whole of humanity.

 

 

 

Chapter 4 – The curse of expectations

 

 

 

Dr Demartini has a stunning new definition of Depression.

 

 

 

“When you compare REALITY with your expectation of what you believe should have happened”.

 

 

 

If you think about it, the only time you can ever be depressed is when something turns out differently to what you wanted or expected.

 

 

 

Lets test that.

 

  • If you are married, you have an expectation that your spouse will be faithful right? Right! If he or she is not, you would get upset.
  • If you sent your kid to an expensive school, you would expect them to apply themselves and get good marks right? If they did not, it would cause you stress.
  • If you employed a new Sales Manager and had an expectation that they would increase sales by 30% in the next quarter and did not, you would get challenged right?
  • When you get a drivers licence you may have an expectation that all road users will obey the rules of the road. When they don’t, you may get annoyed or even a spontaneous bout of road rage.

 

 

 

Now go back to the year you finished school. What did you plan for your life? How did you expect your life to turn out? Has it worked out that way? No! Isn’t that annoying in some ways?

 

 

 

Now I am not suggesting that you should have no expectations. That would be a stupid expectation on my part. What I am suggesting is that you BE AWARE of your expectations. For every expectation you have, you run the risk of heartbreak or hurt.

 

 

 

I for example have an unrealistic expectation that when I open the door and allow a woman to proceed before me, that she will acknowledge me with a smile and even a thank you.

 

Many a time I have pulled a face at a fast disappearing back and felt resentment that I was “gentlemanly”.

 

 

 

The greatest gift we can gives ourselves and others is to come to terms with REALITY (that which happened or is happening) instead of being a lifelong victim of our petty expectations and our knee-jerk reactions to them.

 

 

 

I have done some amazing work with Dr Demartini on this for myself and then with others.

 

Check out: “The Demartini Method” on his website – www.drdemartini.com

 

 

 

Byron Katie also shared a beautiful gift with humanity in her book, “Loving what is”.

 

She really hits home the truth that we have 2 options.

 

  1. Lament the fact that something happened and wonder if there is a conspiracy against you
  2. Accept that it happened (because it did), take responsibility for your life and your thoughts, move on.

 

 

 

I love her hypothesis that there are 3 businesses to be involved in:

 

  1. Your business
  2. Someone else’s business
  3. God/the Universe’s business

 

And that when you are in either God or someone else’s business you are in chaos.

 

 

 

Here is a set of exercises that will change your life. Write down:

 

  1. 10 expectations you have of yourself
  2. 10 expectations you have of your parents
  3. 10 expectations you have of your wife
  4. 10 expectations you have of your marriage
  5. 10 expectations you have of your kids
  6. 10 expectations you have of your friends
  7. 10 expectations you have of your boss
  8. 10 expectations you have of your company
  9. 10 expectations you have of your life
  10. 10 expectations you have of society
  11. 10 expectations you have of GOD/the Universe

 

 

 

Do you have an expectation that your opinion is the only correct one?

 

Do you have a belief that your way of driving is the best way of driving?

 

Do you have an expectation that your spouse should obey you?

 

Do you have a belief that you are the only one that can do something properly?

 

Do you have an expectation that your car will never break down or get a puncture?

 

Do you have a belief that the universe somehow owes you something?

 

Do you have an expectation that your partner should make you happy?

 

Do you have an expectation that your boss should do it your way?

 

Do you have an expectation that your kids are so marvellous that they will never get into any trouble?

 

 

 

 

 

Now recognise how those expectations have either caused you pain or have the propensity to cause you pain.

 

 

 

The beauty is that your thoughts are exactly that. YOUR THOUGHTS.

 

You can change them. If they do not serve you, get rid of them.

 

You are also in control of how you react to them. You can change how you react.

 

 

 

The million dollar question is, “Do you want to be a victim of your past or the master of your destiny?”

 

 

 

Chapter 5 – The blessing of values

 

 

 

We have often been shown the wheel of life and told that to find happiness we need to live a balanced life. What a load of crap.

 

The wheel of life comprises of 7 spokes or areas of life:

 

  1. Physical – health, fitness, beauty, home, car (Brad Pitt and Angelina Joli ?)
  2. Mental – learning and teaching (Einstein, Plato, Jesus)
  3. Spiritual – your belief system (Ghandi, Mohammed, the Dalai Lhama)
  4. Familial – your parents, siblings, spouse, children) (Obama and Michelle ?)
  5. Social – societal, charity, Networking, social change (Oprah, Madiba, Obama)
  6. Vocational – your passion, ideally how you make your money (St Theresa, Bill Gates)
  7. Financial –  building wealth (Donald Trump, Warren Buffet)

 

The truth is that:

 

  • one of those areas will be your most important area (#1)
  • one will be your least important (#7)
  • and the others will rank #2 to #6 between them

 

 

 

Here is the kicker: You will make your decisions based on this hierarchy of YOUR needs.

 

 

 

If you love your vocation (#1) and hate working out at the gym (#7) and you have the choice to do either on a Sunday morning, I guarantee you will have your laptop open on your lap.

 

 

 

If you love your family (#1) and dislike religion (#7) we will find you having breakfast at your parents with your kids in tow 50 Sunday mornings a year.

 

 

 

Would you love to know what really makes you tick?

 

Rank the 7 areas above from 1 to 7.

 

Now rank your spouse. And PLEASE, don’t expect them to be the same as you!

 

Can you rank your kids?

 

 

 

When people ask me why they are not rich, and we do this exercise we usually find Finance as # 5, 6, or 7.

 

When people ask me why they are fat, and we do this exercise we usually find Physical as # 5, 6, or 7.

 

When people ask me why they are not popular, and we do this exercise we usually find Social as # 5, 6, or 7.

 

 

 

I have found the following to be true:

 

Anything you say after the word “SHOULD” is usually a lie.

 

I should go to the gym more often. Reality: you don’t.

 

I should go to church more often. Reality: you don’t.

 

I should eat more healthy meals. Reality: you don’t.

 

I should be a millionaire. Reality: you are not.

 

I should be the MD of the company. Reality: you are not.

 

 

 

There are ways to change your values and make one area more important than the rest, but I believe it is healthier to accept yourself for who you are.

 

I believe it is wiser accepting yourself as you are rather than spend a lifetime of frustration lamenting who you are not.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6 – How to live a better life by avoiding the top regrets of the dying (Based on my talk with the same title)

 

 

 

I have marveled at the death process.

 

I watched my dad die, then my granny and then my mom.

 

While others lamented at their pain and suffering and wondered what they were hanging on for,

 

I wondered what the soul was experiencing in those last moments.

 

While others found God cruel for allowing such a thing,

 

I was wondering what He was blessing them, and us, with.

 

What does the soul experience in those last moments that euthanasia would rob us of?

 

 

 

Personally I imagine that there is a Soul Review.

 

A quiet time to review your life.

 

We are so used to monthly reviews, quarterly reviews, and annual reviews. Surely a life review would be appropriate too?

 

I imagine it would be a time to ask ourselves the tough questions:

 

  • What did I do with my life?
  • What did I get right?
  • How did my marriage turn out?
  • How did my kids turn out?
  • How did my “students” turn out?
  • What did I leave the world?
  • What did I get wrong?
  • Who did I harm?
  • What petty family feud brought more pain than was necessary?
  • What did I continuously blame God for as an excuse for not growing?
  • What did I continuously blame my parents, siblings and childhood for?
  • What fears stopped me from achieving more?
  • When did I give myself permission to fail?
  • What would I do differently next time?
  • What do I regret?
  • What would I change?

 

 

 

How about asking those questions now? Before you die?

 

How about making some of those changes today, tomorrow, this week

 

or this month while you still have time?

 

Are you brave enough to symbolically die today and be reborn?

 

Not in a religious way but in a Soul way?

 

To go through the Life Review (without dying of course).

 

 

 

Now I want to change things around a bit.

 

What do you think God (the Grand Organized Designer) will be interested in if the Life Review were to take place after you died?

 

 

 

Because I am sure that one day when we face God (irrespective of your religion)

 

His first question will not be, “Did you go to church every Sunday?”

 

But that He will judge us more on these criteria:

 

 

 

  • Did you do all you could with all you were given?
  • Did you fully explore all of the opportunities I sent to bless you?
  • Did you rise to the challenges I sent to grow you?
  • Did you work at the relationships I sent to temper you?
  • Did you resist the temptations I sent to test and strengthen you?
  • Did you sacrifice willingly for the betterment of someone else?
  • Did you risk sporadically to get out of your comfort zone?
  • Did you honor the beautiful bodily temple I created for your soul to inhabit?
  • Did you test the boundaries of the incredible mind I engineered to guide you?
  • Did you make part of everyday Holy in your own special way?
  • Where you true to the Christ within? The God within?
  • Did you see beyond the surface and recognize Me in all you met?
  • Did you dedicate your life to something greater than yourself?
  • Did you Love generously?   Did you forgive quickly?
  • Did you laugh often?   Did you apologize graciously?
  • Where you true to the essence of YOU despite social and religious pressure?
  • Most importantly, did you become more YOU every day?

 

 

 

 

 

With those thoughts in mind let us look at the 7 top regrets of the terminally ill.

 

 

 

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
  6. 6.      “I don’t want to be a bother to anyone.”
  7. 7.      I wish I had risked more, loved more, played more, done more , experienced more.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 1.      I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

 

 

 

In other words: “Did you become more YOU every day?”

 

I believe that God is more interested in your original thought

 

than anything you learnt from school, parents, religion or society.

 

I think He will be more interested to see how many times you said,

 

“I know what I am doing” as opposed to,

 

“Oh my goodness, you are right; I will do it your way in future”.

 

The most successful people in the world have one thing in common:

 

They have a vision and they do not allow anyone to sway them.

 

YES. They listen to advice.

 

Yes. They research other successful people.

 

YES. They have mentors.

 

YES. They sporadically adjust their mission and vision –

 

but it’s based on an inner knowing.

 

Not an external source.

 

 

 

For so many years I tried to live other people’s dreams.

 

Finally, I have found a place where I don’t feel like an imposter every day.

 

 

 

One of the worst things you can do is ask someone else what they would do if they were you.

 

Or to heed the advice that starts with the same words, “If I were you ……”.

 

When someone says that to me, I reply by saying,

 

“Thank you, but I’m not you. Feel free to heed your own advice”.

 

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

 

 

 

It’s not working hard that’s the issue. It’s been stuck in a job you hate.

 

Year after self-defeating year.

 

It’s been so sucked in by work that you neglect your family and friends.

 

That you neglect your health.

 

That you need a vacation every year to recover.

 

It’s loving Fridays and hating Mondays.

 

 

 

When you love what you do,

 

when you make your vocation your vacation;

 

you never work a day in your life.

 

You don’t notice the day of the week because every day is awesome.

 

You then automatically become a better spouse, parent and friend.

 

You still work hard but you are fulfilled. You are healthier and more authentic.

 

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

 

 

 

Please don’t die, or allow your family and friends to die,

 

without telling them that you love them.

 

This is the biggest regret of the Bereaved!!!!!!

 

 

 

I believe in expression.

 

I believe we have become too diplomatic.

 

Too politically correct. Too socially correct.

 

Too fearful of what people will think of us,

 

that we actually lie to them instead.

 

And you know what?

 

The worst is that most often they know you are not being authentic.

 

 

 

How many times have you kept quite?

 

Suppressed your feelings and your opinion and been worse off for it?

 

How many times did you want to compliment someone and didn’t?

 

How many times did you like someone but were too scared to say, “Hi”?

 

 

 

I challenge you today.

 

The next time your wife asks if the jeans make her bum look fat.

 

Tell her it’s not the jeans. Her bum is bigger than it used to be.

 

But you still love it.

 

 

 

The next time your husband asks if you still find him sexy.

 

Tell him yes, but he would look much nicer without the beer belly.

 

 

 

The next time you resign,

 

tell your boss that he is incredibly difficult to work for

 

and you feel sorry for your replacement.

 

 

 

I learnt this lesson too late in life.

 

Passing it onto you may save you hours of heartache.

 

I used to be more concerned with what people thought about me

 

than what I was trying to achieve.

 

 

 

So I tried to be a nice guy. Polite and selfless.

 

I vowed to be the best spouse in the world

 

The best father in the world

 

The best minister in the world

 

The best friend in the world

 

The best employee in the world

 

 

 

The truth is people perceived me as weak and walked all over me.

 

I was just a doormat.

 

A Percentage of people loved me.

 

A percentage of people hated me.

 

And the majority was indifferent.

 

 

 

Now, I know what I want. Who I am. Where I am going.

 

My friends and family are welcome to join me. Or not.

 

 

 

And interestingly enough,

 

A Percentage of people love me.

 

A percentage of people hate me.

 

And the majority is still indifferent.

 

Same percentages. Different people.

 

 

 

The truth is that you can never please all of the people all of the time

 

You can’t even please some of the people all of the time

 

You can only please some of the people some of the time

 

And you never know who they will be.

 

 

 

So now I live my dream. Reach for my vision. Express my feelings.

 

And I love those who join me on the path.

 

And am grateful for those who don’t.

 

At least I know those with me are genuine.

 

 

 

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

 

 

 

True friendship is actually rare.

 

I believe we have a handful of real friends,

 

and a warehouse full of good acquaintances.

 

At the end of the day,

 

it’s your immediate family

 

and your real friends that are the gold of your lifetime.

 

 

 

I have 4 quick questions for you, each one progressively more important than the last.

 

  1. If you had 1 month to live what would you want to do and who would you want around you?
  2. If you had 1 week to live what would you want to do and who would you want around you and what would you want to say to them?
  3. If you had one day to live what would you want to do and who would you want around you and what would you want to say to them?
  4. Can we all commit to spending more time with those people and doing those things that we know are important and meaningful?

 

 

 

From experience I know that in your last hours all you will want to say to your family and friends is:

 

“Thank you I forgive you. Thank You I love you.”

 

Here is the lesson.

 

The people you would want with you at the end

 

are the important ones.

 

 

 

And remember; only someone you care for can hurt you.

 

So if you are fighting with someone over some petty issue,

 

be the one to offer the olive branch.

 

 

 

If you have a hands free kit, you may want to call some people on the way home and tell them how you feel about them.

 

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

 

I believe that our addiction to happiness and perfection

 

Actually makes us sad and depressed.

 

We are so addicted to always being happy,

 

always upbeat, always giving, always healthy,

 

always selfless, always polite, always kind,

 

always winning, always in love,

 

always being loved

 

that when we fail to be one sided,

 

we believe there is something wrong with us

 

and our relationships with others.

 

 

 

We forget life is beautifully balanced.

 

That we are meant to feel pain, heartache, suffering, loss.

 

Indeed all of the emotions that got gave us capacity to feel.

 

That we grow in the bad times and recover in the good.

 

 

 

Happiness is also a choice.

 

We can choose to see the glass half empty or half full.

 

Believe it or not, every cloud genuinely does have a silver lining.

 

 

 

Let me give you an example.

 

We generally deem death to be bad.

 

But whenever someone dies they open a space for someone else to grow.

 

When my father died, my mother blossomed.

 

She became a very well-known and successful astrologer

 

which she was not allowed to be while married to my Catholic father.

 

And when my dad died,

 

my elder brother became the patriarch of the family.

 

 

 

And I was not without a father figure in my life.

 

I clearly remember every man who played that role for me.

 

And now that my mom is gone, I have other mother figures in my life.

 

 

 

One of the greatest discoveries you will ever realize is that nothing is ever missing.

 

I will prove it to you in a minute.

 

 

 

Let me give you an opposite example:

 

Winning R10m on the lotto would be deemed positive right?

 

Did you know that 7 years later many Lotto winners are bankrupt and worse off financially than before?

 

If you won R10m, do you know how you would be hounded by?:

 

  • Charities wanting donations
  • Investors wanting your business
  • Friends and family wanting a cut
  • Everyone giving you advise
  • Everyone expecting you to pay for dinner
  • And always feeling that you made your money by LUCK

 

 

 

Please don’t get me wrong. If I won R10m I would take it and make the best of it but I would be aware of the balance of blessing and curse.

 

 

 

Another quick example would be the fame of a pop star or movie star.

 

A blessing and a curse at the same time.

 

 

 

You hold the key to your own happiness. Nothing is missing.

 

Your life is perfect.

 

And happiness is actually a mental and emotional acceptance that life is both happy and sad. Challenge and support.

 

Once you grasp that, you can manage anything life throws at you.

 

 

 

  1. 6.      “I don’t want to be a bother to anyone.”

 

I cannot tell you how often I hear this.

 

“When I die, just put me in a tomato box and bury me in the veld.”

 

“When I die, I don’t want a funeral service, just go to the pub and have a drink”

 

 

 

Here is my advise:

 

Get a decent financial planner.

 

Get a funeral policy. Get life insurance. Get onto medical aid.

 

Do everything you can to not land up in your children’s granny flat feeling like you are a bother to them.

 

 

 

If you are a married, don’t delegate this to your spouse.

 

Make sure that if/when he/she dies you are not left stranded.

 

Make sure they have a good insurance policy (and then suppress the temptation to knock them off !!!! Especially when they annoy you).

 

 

 

One of the cleverest things you can do is buy into an old age home that allows you to rent until you need it.

 

There are some that you actually buy and own and can then leave to your kids.

 

Wouldn’t you prefer them to get R10 to R15 k per month passive income once you are gone rather than them paying back a loan they had to take to keep you alive?

 

 

 

If there is time afterwards, remind me to tell you about Dr Demartini’s method of becoming a millionaire in 8 years.

 

  1. 7.      I wish I had risked more, loved more, played more, done more , experienced more.

 

I don’t think I need to labor this point too much. It is kind of self explanatory.

 

But what is it that holds us back?

 

Fear of failure? Fear of ridicule? Fear of loss? Fear of looking the fool?

 

Scared that family would disapprove?

 

Fear that God would be angry?

 

Fear of doing something socially unacceptable?

 

Fear that once you spend the money its gone?

 

A belief that your company couldn’t do without you for a week?

 

That your family couldn’t do without you for a long weekend?

 

 

 

Well aren’t you more the fool for lying on your death bed and wishing you had done more?

 

 

 

Who remembers “The Bucket List”?

 

A movie about 2 old guys who write a list in hospital on what they wish they could do before kicking the bucket.

 

They then escape from hospital and try to achieve them.

 

 

 

So what should be on your bucket list?

 

What would you love to do before you kick the bucket?

 

What will you regret one day if you don’t do it?

 

What is the most fulfilling thing you would like to do?

 

Can I give you a minute to write at least 5 down right now?

 

Now will you highlight once of them and make a commitment to yourself to actually do it.

 

Come hell or high water?

 

Will you commit to enduring pleasure and pain to achieve it?

 

And here is a thought if your goal would challenge your spouse or boss:

 

Would you prefer to be resentful of them forever for stopping you or manage a week of them been angry with you?

 

[John]Just saying!!!!!

 

 

 

Dr Demartini calls this the law of lesser pissers.

 

On decision and others are pissed off at you.

 

Another decision and you are pissed off at you and them.

 

You live with you forever – rather piss them off.

 

 

 

Chapter 7 – The Top 5 regrets of the Bereaved (Based on my talk with the same title)

 

 

 

  1. 1.      I wish I had told them how much I love them
  2. 2.      I wish we had made up before they died
  3. 3.      I wish we had talked more about death and dying
  4. 4.      I wish we had been better prepared financially
  5. 5.      I wish I had seen them (visited) once more before they died

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 1.      I wish I had told them how much I love them

 

 

 

I cannot tell you how many eulogies I have witnessed where the children say, “Dad, although you never said so, we know you love us. I just wish we had told each other more.”

 

 

 

If you have this relationship with either your parents, your spouse or your children, please make an effort to overcome this trait.

 

And men seem worst with this.

 

 

 

You may also want to go to the 5 Love Languages website

 

and do the online assessment as a family.

 

Then share what your love language is.

 

And assist them to see how you have been saying “I LOVE YOU” in your own special way.

 

If you want the website, please drop me an email and I will forward it to you.

 

If you are interested enough, this is one of the modules of my course, The Relationship Experience.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 2.      I wish we had made up before they died

 

 

 

I cannot tell you how many family feuds have caused untold grief at the time of the death of a loved one.

 

I have watched grown men cry at the realization that it was now too late to mend the relationship.

 

I have seen so many people nod and cry during the funeral service when I say that this is a time to forgive yourself and the deceased for things said, not said, done and not done.

 

 

 

I fully understand this.

 

Every family has its issues. Every relationship has its ups and downs.

 

I had this with my parents.

 

Unfortunately my father died when I was rather young

 

and fortunately my mom passed later, after we had got to sort things out

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 3.      I wish we had talked more about death and dying

 

 

 

A Zen monk was once asked “What is most amazing to you”

 

Answered, “That a man, seeing others dying around him

 

believes he will never die and is thus unprepared when he does”

 

So I appeal to all of you today,

 

To ensure that you have a will and that your insurance is up to date.

 

And please, if you are a couple,

 

put an hour aside and tell each other what you want when you pass.

 

If you have terminal friends or family,

 

be courageous enough to broach the subject with them.

 

Ask them what they genuinely want.  Assure them that they are no bother. That you love them and will do anything for them. They will be so grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My best friend died of cancer 5 years ago.

 

Unfortunately he would not allow us to talk about the possibility of death.

 

We were all unprepared.

 

His wife did not know if he was joking when he had once said that he wanted his ashes to be thrown out of an aeroplane when the Parabats do a practice jump.

 

We did it, but we never knew if that’s what he really wanted.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 4.      I wish we had been better prepared financially

 

 

 

You won’t believe how many people stop their medical aid, insurance and even funeral policies just before they pass, BECAUSE THAY CANNOT AFFORD THEM.

 

 

 

I cannot stress this point enough.

 

Get a decent financial planner.

 

Get a funeral policy. They are like R50 a month.

 

Get life insurance. Get onto a medical aid and put your parents on yours when they stop working. I promise you, you pay either way.

 

 

 

If you need an amazing financial planner please ask me, mine is excellent.

 

If you need a funeral policy, email me for the details.

 

 

 

  1. 5.      I wish I had seen them (visited) once more before they died

 

 

 

This one usually comes from people who have moved to different cities and different countries.

 

But also people who live around the corner.

 

 

 

So if your parents or kids live in a different city you need to budget for emergency airfares.

 

And it’s not just a flight or two.

 

You will be amazed at how long dying people can hold on.

 

It could be days, weeks, months and even years.

 

 

 

And you will be faced with horrible decisions.

 

When to visit? For how long? How often?

 

Do you take the whole family or just yourself?

 

 

 

And then you will be tempted to not attend the funeral because you saw them just before they passed.

 

 

 

Believe me, if you budget and plan for this, it will be so much easier to make these decisions.

 

 

 

You know your parents are going to pass at some stage.

 

Be prepared.

 

And when they are sick. Go and visit them.

 

 

 

So to wrap up:

 

We have covered 7 of the top regrets of the dying:

 

  1. 1.      I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. 2.      I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  3. 3.      I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. 4.      I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. 5.      I wish that I had let myself be happier.
  6. 6.      “I don’t want to be a bother to anyone.”
  7. 7.      I wish I had risked more, loved more, played more, done more , experienced more.

 

 

 

5 top regrets of the bereaved:

 

  1. 1.      I wish I had told them how much I love them
  2. 2.      I wish we had made up before they died
  3. 3.      I wish we had talked more about death and dying
  4. 4.      I wish we had been better prepared financially
  5. 5.      I wish I had seen them (visited) once more before they died

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 8 – Relationships (based on my talk titled, “The Relationship Experience”.

 

 

 

I have some interesting news for you.

 

Marriage is like life. It is designed to grow us.

 

Through good AND bad times.

 

My late mother often said that getting old is not for sissies.

 

Well I believe marriage is not for sissies. And neither is parenthood.

 

 

 

Marriage isn’t designed to make us happy (sorry all)

 

Its designed to make us grow.

 

So let’s debunk the “and they lived happily ever after” myth right away!

 

 

 

Anyone who has been married for a realistic period of time will confirm,

 

“There is no happily ever after”

 

Reality and history shows us that marriage is actually a balanced series of ups and downs

 

A balance of support and challenge

 

Marriage like anything else worthwhile is hard work.

 

Getting married is like taking out a gym membership,

 

If you want a six pack you need to work out regularly

 

You need to put in the hours

 

And like a gym membership your marriage can expire if you don’t attend and work out often enough

 

If you want a six pack marriage you are going to have to put in a lot of situps and crunchies – and not only in the bedroom.

 

Unfortunately we are often sold a fairy tale by Parents, Society and Hollywood

 

That one day you will find your soul mate and live happily ever after

 

That there is a perfect lid for you pot, a knight in Shining Armour

 

The perfect mate

 

no arguments, no disagreements,

 

Same needs at the same time,

 

same vision, same future plans, same values,

 

That you will want to do the same things

 

Have the same hobies

 

That you will always compromise and meet each other half way

 

That you will want to spend THE money on the same things

 

That you will always want to spend your time together and on the same things

 

That you will agree on politics and religion and how to raise the kids

 

That LOVE conquers all…………………

 

 

 

Seriously, I know thousands of divorced couples who love each other dearly, they just cant stand living together!!

 

Please: Love is not enough. It sure helps, and it sure gets us together and its lovely and necessary. But it does not conquer all.

 

 

 

Can any of you with 100% honesty tell me you know LOTS if ANY of these 100% perfect couples mentioned above?????

 

I don’t think so.

 

(actually all couples are perfect because the challenge and support each other but more of that later)

 

 

 

So when you throw that illusion out with Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy you finally get real.

 

You finally get the opportunity to LOVE properly and for a long time.

 

 

 

Interestingly enough, Scott Peck defined Love as, “One’s willingness to expend energy for another’s Spiritual growth”

 

Did you notice anything about chemistry, lust, passion? NO

 

And a radical thought: Did he mention it lasting forever?

 

 

 

Dr Demartini defines true love and real growth as occurring at the balance or cusp of Support and Challenge.

 

Did you notice anything about chemistry, lust, passion? NO

 

And a radical thought: Did he mention it lasting forever?

 

 

 

Today I want to highlight 2 types of love:

 

  • Unconditional love – Supportive
  • Tough Love – Challenging

 

 

 

If someone only gives Support they become a doormat and the other party gets bored and leaves or has an affair.

 

If someone only gives Challenge they become intensely disliked and the other party leaves.

 

 

 

It’s the same with kids.

 

Overloved and overprotected kids become addicted to support

 

overprotected kids become and attract bullies into their lives to keep them balanced.

 

They unplug from their parents into a boss or controlling spouse.

 

They always need an authority to tell them what to do, what to think, how to behave

 

 

 

Overly challenged kids get into drugs and suicide.

 

Or they wait it out and then move as far away from their parents as possible

 

 

 

What you want is a beautiful balance of Challenge and Support.

 

Marriage is no different.

 

Managing staff is no different.

 

Managing friends is no different.

 

Managing your boss is no different.

 

Managing parents is no different.

 

Kids who have this balance of Support and Challenge become entrepeneurs and leaders, hiring other people.

 

They also love being with their parents at Chrismas dinner!!!

 

Spouses who have it remain together longer.

 

 

 

Tonight I also want to coin the phrase,  “Perfection Addiction”.

 

Seriously, if you want to know why marriages don’t last here are two reasons in my not so humble opinion (of many):

 

  1. When couples hit the Friendship Stage and the chemistry settles they feel they have fallen out of love.

 

They misinterpret  Lust and Passion for Love.

 

And so they find someone to fall in lust with until that fades and they start the cycle over again.

 

Anyone here had a previous relationship??? Don’t worry, me too.

 

Don’t answer this but have any of you flitted from one relationship to the next…..looking for that magic that seems to have vanished?

 

  1. Many humans also have what I call Perfection Addiction.

 

They are addicted to the Hollywood fairy tale of “Living Happily ever after”.

 

Despite the blaring reality that 50% of marriages fail,

 

and despite the fact that EVERY relationship they have been in before

 

and every marriage they observe has ups and downs,

 

they believe theirs will always be perfect.

 

John Demartini calls this, “Being addicted to one sidedness”

 

 

 

Lets take a look at that:

 

  • Did you know there are 4628 human traits
  • 2314 that we deem positive (Peace, Love, Generous, Honest, Giving, Happy, Healthy, Considerate, hero)
  • 2314 that we deem negative (War, Hate, Selfish, Lying, Stingy, unhappy, Grumpy, Sick, Inconsiderate, villain)
  • In other words for every so called positive there is a corresponding so called negative
  • The truth is we all own all 4628

 

 

 

Let’s do a quick check:

 

Can you think of a time when you were:

 

 

 

Peace Love Generous Happy good mood Healthy sexual Giving Considerate
War Hate Selfish unhappy Grumpy Sick non sexual Stingy Inconsiderate

 

 

 

 

 

In your current relationship (or a past one if you are single):

 

  • Can you remember being happy, sad, loving, not loving,  in the mood, not in the mood, affirming, degrading, honest, lying,  selfish, giving, a saint, sinner,  hero, villain, elated, grumpy??????? YYYYYY

 

 

 

If you could grasp just this concept, you would transform all of your relationships

 

And you will never be critical of another again

 

Which of course is just terrible if you are addicted to skinnering and nagging!

 

 

 

As I stand here today, I can honestly say that I love Jacqui more today than when we got married.

 

It took some time but eventually the smoke from the Testosterone and Estrogen chemical reaction subsided

 

and we were faced with each other.

 

 

 

I call the courtship period, the time of lies.

 

Essentially when we show each other how Marvelous we can be when we are really trying.

 

We move from that into the HONEYMOON stage where the other person is JUST PERFECT.

 

Anyone there now? I promise you, despite what your chemistry is telling you, it will change.

 

Scott Peck defines this stage as when the is in chemical rapport with another body in order to ensure that you both get naked, make love and propagate the human race.

 

I often say that its just as well, because if God had not made it pleasurable, humans would be too lazy to do it and we would be extinct.

 

 

 

Only time can bring you into the true love stage.

 

Where you see each other as you truly are.

 

Warts and ALL. And decide to stay.

 

The True Love stage is what I sub-title The Friendship Phase.

 

 

 

To me love is about friendship.

 

And my definition of friendship is,

 

“Knowing someone so well, including all their deepest darkest secrets,

 

that you shouldn’t be friends with them, but still are”

 

 

 

Can I ask you something?

 

Why is it that we can forgive our friends for things that we cannot forgive our spouses for?

 

When your best friend does something dastardly, you ttu tut them, slap their wrists gently and tell them you love them.

 

But we divorce our spouse for the same thing.

 

 

 

So my sage advice is,

 

“Marry your best friend, because after the years have sucked the life out of you, friendship is about all that is left over….”

 

 

 

 

 

At this point please allow me to share some of my keys to a successful marriage:

 

  1. 1.       Make it your mission to be the best spouse in the world
    1. a.       when you both have that attitude your marriage becomes more resilient
    2. 2.       Become each other’s best friend
      1. a.       Make sure you take time to chat and keep updated on what’s happening in each other’s lives.
      2. b.      Share your thoughts and opinions
      3. c.       Share your dreams and fantasies

 

                                                              i.      Side note:

 

                                                            ii.      Only act out on about 20% of your fantasies.

 

                                                          iii.      Some things are best kept in the realms of the mind

 

                                                           iv.      But be brave enough to share them

 

                                                             v.      And mature enough to receive them…..

 

  1. 3.       Allow your partner to be who they really are.
    1. a.       Don’t try to make them more like you.

 

                                                              i.      Sexist Joke – ex husbands lament.

 

  1. 1.       After 20 years of trying to change me, she divorced me because I am not the man she married!!!!
  2. b.      At the end of the day, don’t we all just want to be loved and respected for who we are?
  3. c.       And while we may change for those we love, over time, don’t we always default back to who we really are?
  4. 4.       Facilitate growth in each other.
    1. a.       Personal,
    2. b.      Spiritual,
    3. c.       Emotional.
    4. d.      Intellectual.
    5. e.      Recognise that marriage is one HUGE growth experience
    6. 5.       Find new ways to please each other
      1. a.       Don’t get complacent
      2. b.      Don’t rest on your laurels
      3. c.       Keep things spicy not only in the kitchen.
      4. 6.       Learn to communicate:
        1. a.       Learn and respect each other’s values
        2. b.      Recognise how your differences make you a team
        3. c.       Learn and talk in each other’s love language
        4. d.      Learn and talk in each other’s apology language
        5. e.      And then actually express your love
        6. f.        And actually apologise when you are wrong
        7. 7.       And forgive graciously and quickly
          1. a.       we are all human and we will make mistakes
          2. 8.       Resist temptation
            1. a.       Temptation is real and we are all susceptible
            2. b.      Temptation is not only sexual
            3. c.       Could also be Financial (overspending an agreed budget)
            4. d.      or being overly Controlling or Selfish
            5. e.      Usurping each others authority
            6. f.        And this gets even harder when the kids arrive
            7. 9.       Trust each other
              1. a.       Trust until you are given reason not to
              2. b.      Rather than assert that trust must be earned
              3. c.       You are going into this marriage with trust, so always expect the best of each other

 

                                                              i.      Always give each other the benefit of the doubt

 

  1. 10.   Manage change over time
    1. a.       20 years later I am not the man Jacqui married
    2. b.      And she is not the women I married
    3. c.       You will both change
    4. d.      Right now you are attracted to the things that make you the same
    5. e.      As you move through time you will not only grow & change but you will get to see each other’s full personality
    6. f.        The good and the bad will emerge
    7. 11.   Power struggles
      1. a.       Another joke

 

                                                              i.      When I met Mrs. Right, I didn’t know her first name was “Always”

 

  1. b.      To be honest, I don’t know how to address this topic properly
  2. c.       It has proven to be the most difficult area of my marriage

 

                                                              i.      Who is the head of the family , when?

 

                                                            ii.      Managing different parenting styles

 

                                                          iii.      How do we spend the money?

 

                                                           iv.      Apologising

 

                                                             v.      Pouting/Cold Shoulder

 

                                                           vi.      Withholding  time/ favors/ words

 

  1. 12.   Be realistic  in your expectations of
    1. a.       yourself,
    2. b.      your spouse,
    3. c.       your relationship
    4. d.      and your marriage
    5. 13.   Recognize that you are responsible for your own happiness
      1. a.       It is not your partners duty to make you happy
      2. b.      Only you can achieve that
      3. c.       You are choosing to find happiness together
      4. d.      But not abdicating responsibility to the other
      5. 14.   Keep the traditions alive
        1. a.       Buy flowers for Valentines day and spring day – both of you
        2. b.      Buy gifts on birthdays, Christmas, fathers and mothers day
        3. c.       Take EVERY opportunity to affirm and re-affirm your love

 

 

 

Any of you who know Dr. Demartini (a human behavior specialist) will know that he spends a lot of time discussing values. Axiology.

 

We all have a totally unique set of values.

 

No one person is the same.

 

We are driven by our unique values and make ALL of our decisions based on our values,

 

our unique hierarchy of values and our unique hierarchy of needs.

 

Essentially what’s really important to us.

 

 

 

In my humble opinion,

 

human beings greatest sin is our need to make those around us – MORE LIKE US.

 

Religions greatest fault is trying to create a framework of do’s & donts/ should and shoulnts and forcing people to conform.

 

 

 

Whenever I do marriage counselling it usually about the same thing.

 

Managing differences.

 

Differing wants, differing needs, differing expectations.

 

I wish he wouldn’t do this or

 

I wish she would just do it the way I said she should.

 

 

 

The classic is:

 

Wife to Husband, “you are always at work and spend no time with the kids”.

 

Husband to Wife, “All you do is stay at home and spend all the money I make”

 

Reality: If both were high powered business people, there would be no kids

 

If both were dedicated only to children, there would be no money

 

Their values actually SUPPORT each other

 

 

 

The greatest gift we can receive

 

And the greatest gift I can give you all tonight

 

is to realize that your differences make you a team.

 

(Another phrase I’d like to coin: You are blessed by your curse.)

 

 

 

 

 

There are two sayings that seem to contradict each other:

 

  • Birds of a feather flock together
  • Opposites attract

 

Actually – both are correct

 

We look for someone like us (culturally, religiously, same class)

 

But we attract someone that completes us

 

Usually, your partner has the traits you lack and you have the traits your partner lacks.

 

By trying to make them like you, you adulterate the traits that complete you!!!

 

The real reason for you being together.

 

 

 

Analogy of successful company:

 

Have any of you seen a successful company with the following structure?

 

MD MD MD MD MD

 

 

 

NO

 

 

 

Most companies have a similar structure:  MD, HR, Mktg, Sales, PR, Ops, Finance,

 

They all have totally different roles – albeit with the same vision.

 

 

 

The truth is: Your differences complete you. Your differences make you a team.

 

 

 

I suggest that you and your spouse do

 

a High Value Determination Exercise together

 

to firstly get a feel for who you are

 

and then to share and learn about each other.

 

It’s the first exercise I do in The Relationship Experience.

 

There are 12 questions with 3 answers each which give you great insights into what’s important to you.

 

It’s also the first module of my Life Skills course,

 

life coaching sessions and the basis of career counselling.

 

 

 

Seriously, how can you do what you love

 

if you are not 100% certain and clear on what it is you actually love.

 

How can someone love and know you if you don’t even know you?

 

And YES it is possible to do what you love

 

and earn a handsome income doing it.

 

Dr Demartini asserts that

 

“The quality of your life is dependent on the quality of the questions you ask yourself.

 

The High Value Development Exercise is available on Dr Demartini’s website or email me and I’ll send it to you.

 

Some thoughts on marriage and managing relationships relating to values:

 

  • When you give someone feedback or constructive criticism what you are essentially saying is,

 

“My sweetheart, snookies, love bug, You did it this way, I would have done it that way and I think my way is better!!”

 

  • When you pout or give the cold shoulder/withhold favours –  in essence you are saying,

 

“I am now punishing you for what you did/didn’t do/said and I am now trying to control your future behavior so that you don’t do it again”

 

 

 

I want to share something that rocked my world, I think you will argue with me the first time you are exposed to it:

 

Everything you apologise for, you will do again

 

Everything you forgive someone for, they will do again.

 

 

 

We have a unigue set of values. A hierarchy of needs.

 

And we spend our lives attempting to satisfy those needs.

 

And you will endure pain and pleasure to attain them.

 

Anything we do, we do because we want to do it.

 

Because it does something for us.

 

Because it supports our values.

 

And thus, we will do it over and over again.

 

Let me give you an example:

 

I have a high value on Learning and Teaching, especially philosophy and personal development. So when I go to see Dr Demartini Talk and get home I say to Jax, “Jaxie, you are gonna be cross with me!” “I bought another Dr Demartini CD”

 

And she says, “Stephen, that’s naughty. Why didn’t you discuss it with me. Its not budgeted for”. And I’ll say, “Aish. I saw it there and it’s a topic I’m really interested in right now and before I knew it I had my credit card out. I am sorry” But I’m thinking, “Hah. You think Im stupid, If we discussed it you would have said no and then I wouldn’t have it!!”

 

You see. I will endure the pain to achieve what’s important to me. And although I apologised. I will surely do it again.

 

 

 

Now. You can judge me on that, and say, “Phew, I’m happy I am not married to HIM” or you can accept the lesson that you actually cannot control your mate forever and that they are going to do things that annoy the shit out of you.

 

 

 

For the record, if you were married to me we would have some fabulous and some disastrous times together.

 

Another thought: Marriages in India arranged using Astrology have a higher success rate than “chemically” arranged marriages in the West.

 

Yet another thought: A master (define that as you will) could enter an arranged  marriage with any person on earth and make it work. So how masterly are you?

 

 

 

Another example of values:

 

I recently turned 48. My wife asked me what I want for my birthday.

 

I answered, “R2000 to upgrade my website”

 

How you spend your money and what you spend your money on is a dead giveaway as to what is important and of value to you.

 

 

 

 

 

Which lead me to the following realization:

 

“It is much easier and wiser to change how you react to your partners traits

 

than spend a lifetime of frustration

 

trying to change them into what you believe they should be”.

 

Read: More like you!

 

 

 

Isnt it true,  that at the end of the day,we really just want to be loved,  respected and accepted for who we are?

 

Yes? But we try to change others. Now that’s what I call two faced!!!!

 

 

 

Lets test that: Can you think of a time you were stunningly authentic? And two faced?

 

Honest and a liar?

 

OK. So we all lie right?

 

Do you know why?

 

Because we believe the person we lie to cannot accept us for who we really are!

 

So we spare them from the truth and hurt by lying to them.

 

Hansie and Bill Clinton we huge blessings to humanity:

 

They taught us that just because we are celebrities, does not make us inhuman and that we all own all the traits.

 

Hansie had a HV on money.

 

Bill on sex. Do you really think Monika was his first (or last)?

 

Let’s not even start on Tiger Woods!!!

 

 

 

They also prove another Demartinism:

 

Anyone you put on a pedestal you will eventually put in the pit to balance out your infatuation.

 

 

 

So please – don’t try to make each other happy

 

Rather try to be a balancing energy, a growing energy:

 

Challenging when necessary                       (too much challenge = tension and divorce)

 

Supporting when needed                                            (too much support = boredom and divorce)

 

Unfortunately as humans we are programmed to try to be one sided,

 

seeking only the traits in ourselves and others that we deem positive,

 

and actually expecting those around us to be able to express only the positive

 

I encourage you to research Dr Demartini’s work on the 15 fantasies and delusions that lead to the ABCD’s of negativity and depression. His website is www.drdemartini.co.za

 

Then ask yourself:

 

  • Where do you have unrealistic expectations of yourself?
  • Where do you have unrealistic expectations of your spouse?
  • Where do you have unrealistic expectations of your marriage?
  • How can you change these unrealistic expectations (self/others/spouse/marriage)?

 

 

 

Here is my relationship advice:

 

Firstly, Learn what is important to you.

 

Then learn what is important to your spouse.

 

 

 

Then spend hours working on recognizing how your spouse’s values support your values.

 

In other words what value your spouse represents to you.

 

 

 

Then spend days working on recognizing how your values support your spouse’s values. In other words what value you represent to your spouse.

 

 

 

Then spend years ensuring that you always add unsurpassed and unrivalled value to your spouse.

 

If your spouse does the same, your marriage will be almost infallible.

 

 

 

The reality of who your partner is, is much more magnificent than any fantasy of how you believe they should be.

 

 

 

My wish for all of you:

 

May your lives be a beautifully choreographed,

 

synchronous balance of support and challenge.

 

May you realize that life is a perfect balance of good and bad.

 

That you are both saint and sinner.

 

May you come to LOVE the parts of yourself

 

that you have suppressed for years.

 

May you go deep within and find the core of YOU

 

and accept that YOU

 

despite religious, societal and familial expectations.

 

May you come to TRULY love yourself for who and what you are.

 

And then, only then,

 

may you love your neighbour as yourself.

 

 

 

Chapter 9: Stephen van Basten’s Life Lessons

 

I am that I am that I am

 

Always strive to be yourself. Live your dreams and not anyone else’s.

 

Realize that you are unique. Don’t try to be like anyone else on earth.

 

I am authentic

 

Strive to tell the truth. Especially when it is easier to lie.

 

Your word is all you have. Be true to it.

 

Life sucks

 

Life is NOT meant to be easy. It’s designed to challenge and reward you.

 

Challenge and reward come in different seasons. Be at peace with the season you are in.

 

True Friends are hard to come by

 

Most of the people who befriend you do so because you add some value to their lives.

 

Take away that value and they leave.

 

Don’t allow this to make you despise your friends, just recognize that they will come and go and be at peace with that.

 

The universe owes you nothing

 

You are not entitled to anything. Go out and earn it.

 

You are responsible for your own life and your own happiness.

 

Life is a game of trial and error

 

Go out and PLAY!!!!!! Experiment. Reach for more.

 

Fail often. Fail again. Fail until you succeed.

 

There is no shame in failure. Only in giving up.

 

The meaning of life is to GROW

 

Personal development, Soul Unfoldment, Self Actualization

 

We grow more in the hard times. Relish the lessons.

 

Accept that you are fully human

 

There are 4628 human traits ranging from love, generosity, energetic, honest through hate, selfish, lethargic, liar.

 

You own all of the traits. So do your parents, so does your spouse, so do your kids, so does your boss.

 

Accept them when they are lovely and understand them when they are ugly.

 

Don’t be a doormat:

 

There was a time in my life when I had goals to be:

 

  • The best spouse in the world
  • The best dad in the world
  • The best friend in the world
  • The best employee in the world
  • The best minister in the world

 

The outcome was that I became a doormat for everyone. I was a walkover AND a pushover!

 

I now know that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

 

I can’t even please my wife all of the time and I LOVE her!

 

The best I can ever do is aim to please some of the people some of the time.

 

I also understand duality, order and balance. If someone is hating me, someone else is loving me.

 

If someone is bored during one of my services, I look around for the person who I have eating out of my hand. They are always there.

 

Understanding this gives one the ability to firstly cope with those that don’t like you.

 

And secondly to focus and DECIDE who you chose to please and of course displease.

 

 

 

Chapter 10: If you were God

 

If you were God
And you noticed that whenever there was a war
The churches were full

 

That whenever there was a major catastrophe
Like 9/11 or devastating earthquakes and Tsunamis
That hero’s emerged
That humans gave up their differences and united to assist each other
That people flew from their home countries to do rescue work
That strangers donated money and clothes to complete strangers

 

That around a terminal illness
Families got together
Sometimes after years of separation and fighting
To rally behind their ailing relative
Often forgiving and forgetting past differences and wrongdoings in the process
And caring and loving and PRAYING

 

That around death
Family and friends suddenly have the ability to forget the wrongs
And remember only the positives
Often putting the deceased high upon a pedestal of love and understanding
If you were God
And you noticed the prayer levels increase
And human consciousness reach upward to the divine
During times of drought
Times of flood
Times of political unrest
Times of plague and global diseases
Times of suffering, disease and death

 

If YOU were God
Would you change it?

 

 

 

Chapter 11: The model that will answer so many of your questions

 

 

 

The wheel of life comprises of 7 spokes or areas of life:

 

  1. Physical – health, fitness, beauty, home, car (Brad Pitt and Angelina Joli ?)
  2. Mental – learning and teaching (Einstein, Plato, Jesus)
  3. Spiritual – your belief system (Ghandi, Mohammed, the Dalai Lhama)
  4. Familial – your parents, siblings, spouse, children) (Obama and Michelle ?)
  5. Social – societal, charity, Networking, social change (Oprah, Madiba, Obama)
  6. Vocational – your passion, ideally how you make your money (St Theresa, Bill Gates)
  7. Financial –  building wealth (Donald Trump, Warren Buffet)

 

 

 

One of those areas will be your most important area (#1), one will be your least important (#7), and the others will rank #2 to #6 between them.

 

 

 

  1. When people ask me why they are not rich, and we do this exercise we usually find Finance ranking # 5, 6, or 7.
  2. When people ask me why they are fat, and we do this exercise we usually find Physical ranking # 5, 6, or 7.
  3. When people ask me why they are not popular, and we do this exercise we usually find Social ranking # 5, 6, or 7.
  4. When people ask me why they are not married, and we do this exercise we usually find Family ranking # 5, 6, or 7.
  5. When people ask me why they are not more Spiritual or Religious, and we do this exercise we usually find Spiritual ranking # 5, 6, or 7.
  6. When people ask me why they are not as clever as other people , and we do this exercise we usually find Mental ranking # 5, 6, or 7.
  7. When people ask me why they hate their job, and we do this exercise we usually find Vocation ranking # 5, 6, or 7.

 

 

 

People who are rich, eat drink and sleep MONEY. Not spending money but creating wealth.

 

They are SAVERS not SPENDERS. Investors not consumers. They own companies, create wealth on the stock market, sit on boards, know the FTSE, the DOW, JSE, Wall Street. Funnily enough, they will often seem stingy despite their millions. Short arms and looooong pockets. It’s because they VALUE MONEY. Someone once said, “If you are in the habit of spending more than you earn, earning more money is not the solution”.

 

 

 

People who genuinely 100% love Family, generally have 9 to 5 jobs (if they work at all). They don’t work overtime, they don’t work weekends. They sit down for dinner and have Sunday lunch with their parents, children and spouse.

 

 

 

You know the ones who love Physical. They have the gym memberships AND actually GO. The drink protein shakes and, well, have six-packs. Have you noticed there are very few overweight people at the gym? They generally dress well too and given the choice, drive a good looking car and live in a good looking house (the house is not an investment, it’s an extension of them).

 

 

 

People with a high value on Social are often networkers. They will probably have 500 friends on facebook, twitter, linked in, snapchat and other social networks. They care about society. These are the people you contact when you need a good dentist. They know. Or when you need a good tailor or restaurant. Often they will be politicians or talk show hosts (Oprah) or even policemen. Possibly doctors and dentists.

 

 

 

You make ALL of your decisions based on this hierarchy.

 

You will endure pain and pleasure for the top 3 areas and only pleasure in the bottom 3.

 

In the bottom 3, you will give up at the first sign of challenge and obstacle and will be like a bull terrier on a rope for the top 3.

 

 

 

I think you get the point.

 

Thus, if you are not a millionaire, the news is it’s probably because you are a consumer and not a saver/investor.

 

 

 

If you suck at relationships then you value other things more and will focus on them, leaving a partner feeling unloved.

 

 

 

The key here is to use this to come to terms with who you are.

 

Then come to terms with those in your life.

 

You are all 100% unique and individual.

 

 

 

Tell me honestly:

 

If EVERYONE in the world was EXACTLY like you.

 

Would it really be a better place?

 

 

 

Chapter 12:  I do (Based on my favorite wedding ceremony)

 

 

 

Yet our love extends beyond sea, wind, earth and flame;

 

It is greater than who we are and meaningless without us;

 

It is more powerful than our past, yet the foundation for our future.

 

It has brought us here today to become one in the eyes of our family and friends,

 

for all the days to come.

 

Our love is the essence of our lives.

 

 

 

Marriage is special

 

In marriage two very individual people choose to officially join their lives

 

They choose to join their resources and create a future together

 

A future that they plan but also know is ambiguous

 

A future that will take them on a great adventure

 

The adventure of marriage and probably parenthood

 

 

 

What is marriage all about?

 

Firstly, marriage is different to everyone

 

It is a deeply personal agreement between two people

 

There really are no two identical marriages

 

There really are no rights and wrongs

 

All we have is a sometimes nebulous common set of societal guidelines

 

My first strong suggestion to you both today is:

 

While positive role models are important

 

Often it’s the failures that know the pitfalls

 

So listen intently to everyone’s story

 

But don’t try to be like any other couple on earth

 

 

 

To me the miracle of today is that of the 7 billion people in the world

 

You two found each other.

 

And of the potential partners you have had the opportunity of considering

 

You CHOSE each other

 

That is very special

 

 

 

The Universe has brought both of you to this point in time and space

 

From this point onwards

 

This is who you are

 

Married. Committed. Monogamous.

 

 

 

To be married,

 

you give up certain rights (for example, your right to hold someone else’s hand at the movies)

 

And you gain certain rights (the promise that your partner will also not hold someone else’s hand at the moves)

 

But please take one piece of advice from me today

 

I assure you with 100% conviction

 

You are both different

 

as well as the same

 

You have things you will agree on

 

And things you will not

 

You both have wonderful as well has horrible traits

 

There are and will be differing values

 

Differing wants and needs,

 

Differing expectations of yourselves and each other

 

And you will generally see things from your own paradigm

 

 

 

I have been married for 20 years and have an 18 year old daughter.

 

When people ask me if marriage is wonderful, I always say, “NO! it’s isn’t…. But it CAN be”

 

People often ask me what the key to my 20 year marriage is:

 

I flippantly answer, “Luck”. Probably because I don’t know the exact key and I do feel grateful.

 

But when they ask me how we managed to make 20 years I tell them it’s simple.  Just don’t get divorced and it kinda creeps up on you. J

 

But the reality is that for a marriage to last you have to successfully navigate some stages:

 

  • The Courtship Stage – I also call this the lying stage because it’s when we show each other how wonderful we can be when we are trying our best 100% of the time.
  • The Honeymoon Stage – When everything is congruent and working perfectly.
  • The Getting to know you Properly Stage – This is the dangerous phase when most relationships fail. It’s when you fall out of fantasy, into reality and see each other as you actually are. Warts and all.
  • Then the True Love Stage – I also call this the friendship phase.
  • And finally Growing Old Together

 

 

 

I want to elaborate on the True Love Stage.

 

Scott Peck defines Love as, “one’s willingness to expend energy for another’s Spiritual growth”.

 

Dr Demartini defines love as occurring at the cusp of challenge and support – you see we need both unconditional as well as tough love in any relationship.

 

I define friendship as when you know someone fully, both their light and dark side, and are still able to accept them for who they are

 

The True Love Stage can only come with time

 

Its when you fall out of infatuation into reality

 

When you see each other for what you really are, warts and all

 

And still remain friends through thick and thin

 

 

 

SO my second piece of advice is:

 

Accept yourself for who you are

 

Then accept each other for who they are

 

AND THEN DON’T TRY TO CHANGE EACH OTHER!!!

 

Become and remain best friends always

 

Don’t take each other for granted

 

Don’t rest on your laurels

 

Marriage is a beginning not an end

 

Recognise that as with ANY relationship you have ever had in your life

 

This one will also have serious ups and downs

 

 

 

To me, marriage is about

 

taking someone you love with you on this incredible journey called life

 

pooling financial, emotional, physical, mental resources

 

and reaching out to create a MORE fulfilling existence

 

having a constant companion,

 

a friend to talk to

 

Someone to use as a sounding board

 

Someone to share your stresses with

 

A best friend to grow old with

 

 

 

I love this poem by Bob Marley on marriage:

 

“He’s not perfect.

 

You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect.

 

But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice,

 

and if he admits to being human and making mistakes,

 

hold onto him and give him the most you can.

 

He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment,

 

but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break.

 

Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give.

 

Don’t analyze.

 

Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad,

 

and miss him when he’s not there.

 

Love hard when there is love to be had.

 

Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”

 

― Bob Marley

 

 

 

When I saw it was BM I wondered if maybe we should also sporadically smoke some of the green stuff, it seems to have made him quite wise…… J

 

 

 

Marriage Blessing:

 

O God, bless [Bride and Groom] as they begin their journey down the road of life together.

 

We don’t know what lies ahead for the road turns and bends, but help them to make the best of whatever comes their way.

 

Help them to hold each other often, talk and laugh a lot.

 

Help them to continue to enjoy each other as they did when they first met.

 

Help them to realize that nothing and no one is perfect and to look for the good in all things and all people including themselves.

 

Help them to respect each other’s likes and dislikes, opinion and beliefs, hopes and dreams and fears.

 

Help them to learn from each other and to help each other to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

Help them to realize that there is design and purpose in their lives as in the world, and if they will hold onto each other, they will know that things have a way of working out for the good.

 

Help them to create for their children a peaceful, stable home of love as a foundation on which they can build their lives.

 

But most of all, dear God, help them to keep lit the torch of love’ that they now share in their hearts so that by their loving example they may pass on the light of love to their children and to their children’s children forever.

 

 

 

Chapter 13: Stephen van Basten’s 15 tips for a successful marriage

 

  1. 1.       Make it your mission to be the best spouse in the world
    1. a.       when you both have that attitude your marriage becomes more resilient
    2. 2.       Become each other’s best friend
      1. a.       Make sure you take time to chat and keep updated on what’s happening in each other’s lives.
      2. b.      Share your thoughts and opinions
      3. c.       Share your dreams and fantasies

 

                                                              i.      Side note:

 

                                                            ii.      Only act out on about 20% of your fantasies.

 

                                                          iii.      Some things are best kept in the realms of the mind

 

                                                           iv.      But be brave enough to share them

 

                                                             v.      And mature enough to receive them…..

 

  1. 3.       Allow your partner to be who they really are.
    1. a.       Don’t try to make them more like you.

 

                                                              i.      Sexist Joke – ex husbands lament.

 

  1. 1.       After 20 years of trying to change me, she divorced me because I am not the man she married!!!!
  2. b.      At the end of the day, don’t we all just want to be loved and respected for who we are?
  3. c.       And while we may change for those we love, over time, don’t we always default back to who we really are?
  4. 4.       Facilitate growth in each other.
    1. a.       Personal,
    2. b.      Spiritual,
    3. c.       Emotional.
    4. d.      Intellectual.
    5. e.      Recognise that marriage is one HUGE growth experience
    6. 5.       Find new ways to please each other
      1. a.       Don’t get complacent
      2. b.      Don’t rest on your laurels
      3. c.       Keep things spicy not only in the kitchen.
      4. 6.       Learn to communicate:
        1. a.       Learn and respect each other’s values
        2. b.      Recognise how your differences make you a team
        3. c.       Learn and talk in each other’s love language
        4. d.      Learn and talk in each other’s apology language
        5. e.      And then actually express your love
        6. f.        And actually apologise when you are wrong
        7. 7.       And forgive graciously and quickly
          1. a.       we are all human and we will make mistakes
          2. 8.       Resist temptation
            1. a.       Temptation is real and we are all susceptible
            2. b.      Temptation is not only sexual
            3. c.       Could also be Financial (overspending an agreed budget)
            4. d.      or being overly Controlling or Selfish
            5. e.      Usurping each others authority
            6. f.        And this gets even harder when the kids arrive
            7. 9.       Trust each other
              1. a.       Trust until you are given reason not to
              2. b.      Rather than assert that trust must be earned
              3. c.       You are going into this marriage with trust, so always expect the best of each other

 

                                                              i.      Always give each other the benefit of the doubt

 

  1. 10.    Manage change over time
    1. a.       20 years later I am not the man Jacqui married
    2. b.      And she is not the women I married
    3. c.       You will both change
    4. d.      Right now you are attracted to the things that make you the same
    5. e.      As you move through time you will not only grow & change but you will get to see each other’s full personality
    6. f.        The good and the bad will emerge
    7. 11.    Power struggles
      1. a.       Another joke

 

                                                              i.      When I met Mrs. Right, I didn’t know her first name was “Always”

 

  1. b.      To be honest, I don’t know how to address this topic properly
  2. c.       It has proven to be the most difficult area of my marriage

 

                                                              i.      Who is the head of the family , when?

 

                                                            ii.      Managing different parenting styles

 

                                                          iii.      How do we spend the money?

 

                                                           iv.      Apologising

 

                                                             v.      Pouting/Cold Shoulder

 

                                                           vi.      Withholding  time/ favors/ words

 

  1. 12.    Be realistic  in your expectations of
    1. a.       yourself,
    2. b.      your spouse,
    3. c.       your relationship
    4. d.      and your marriage
    5. 13.    Recognize that you are responsible for your own happiness
      1. a.       It is not your partners duty to make you happy
      2. b.      Only you can achieve that
      3. c.       You are choosing to find happiness together
      4. d.      But not abdicating responsibility to the other
      5. 14.    Celebrate occasions
        1. a.       Buy each other cards and gifts on:

 

                                                              i.      Wedding anniversary

 

                                                            ii.      Valentine’s day

 

                                                          iii.      Christmas

 

                                                           iv.      New Year

 

                                                             v.      Birthdays

 

                                                           vi.      Mother’s day

 

                                                         vii.      Father’s day

 

Take every opportunity to affirm your love for each other.

 

  1. 15.    Have a common Vision
    1. a.       Agree on:

 

                                                              i.      short, mid and long term goals in all 7 areas of life

 

  1. 1.       Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Social, Familial, Vocational, Financial

 

                                                            ii.      How many children you will have

 

                                                          iii.      Where you want them to go to school

 

                                                           iv.      How you will discipline them

 

  1. 1.       To spank or not to spank

 

                                                             v.      How you will spend the money (remember, most marriages fail due to financial differences so consider getting a great financial advisor)

 

                                                           vi.      How much you will save and invest

 

                                                         vii.      Where you would like to end up living (and retiring)

 

 

 

Chapter 14: Sage advice from the movie “Hitched”

 

Never lie, steal, cheat, or drink.

 

But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love.

 

If you must steal, steal away from bad company.

 

If you must cheat, cheat death.

 

And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away.

 

Chapter 14: Greener pastures (Based on my funeral service)

 

 

At no time are humans more authentic and vulnerable than around the time of the death of a loved one. For someone like me who values authenticity, performing funeral services is thus an interestingly fulfilling vocation.

 

 

 

People ask me how I do it and I always tell them that I believe I am able to assist people through a very tough time. Interestingly enough, like with weddings, the main request I get is, “Stephen, please don’t preach too much. Please don’t try to convert everyone. We don’t want brimstone and fire. Just a dignified send off”.

 

 

 

Funerals are intense. Deep and meaningful. Just like me J.

 

I get to teach, I get to listen to awesome speeches. I get to listen to wonderful music. And I get to help people.

 

There is also the added benefit of practicing my speaking skills and getting exposure.

 

Speaking to a bunch of mourning people has to be the hardest task a public speaker can perform.

 

The truth is, nobody wants to be there. They really wish they did not have to hear you speaking. They arrive prejudiced, expecting a boring sermon. It is lovely to push through all of that and receive their praise afterward and of course the tongue-in-cheek farewell, “I hope we never see you again”.

 

 

 

Death and Funerals ARE sad.

 

 

 

What is interesting to me though is that if I were to ask every one of you what you would want at your funeral, You would probably all say almost the same thing. The same thing that most people in the world would say.

 

And probably what “JOHN” would say if ‘he’ were able to address you directly today.

 

 

 

“Please don’t be sad for me

 

Please don’t cry too much at my funeral

 

I had a great life,    I lived and loved,    Laughed and cried,   Won and lost

 

I saw so many things, learnt so many things, saw so many places, met so many people

 

I had an awesome family,   And magnificent friends

 

I marched to the beat of my own drum,

 

Sometimes confusing those that loved me

 

I tried to be

 

A good child a good spouse a good sibling a good parent and grandparent

 

a good provider and good supporter

 

God knows I succeeded and I failed

 

YET, I have few regrets and would not change much

 

So CELEBRATE that at my funeral.

 

Celebrate and remember my successes

 

Remember me in my prime

 

I know you are sad today

 

And I know it makes no sense right now

 

I also know that in time it will all make sense

 

So please don’t get into too much doom and gloom

 

Life goes on, So Celebrate mine

 

And then do the best you can to get on with yours!”

 

 

 

Death is an incredibly interesting Phenomena.

 

Peter Tosh once sang “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die”

 

 

 

There are religions that celebrate when a person dies and cries when a baby is born for they know the trials and tribulations the new soul will have to endure on earth.

 

 

 

There are religions that remember their dead on an annual holiday where they symbolically raise the dead and spend time with them.

 

 

 

Others believe that EVERYONE goes to heaven. The more disciplined ones are closer to God and the naughtier ones are further from God.

 

 

 

There are those who believe in heaven and hell

 

Others who believe in a series of lifetimes until the soul is perfected,

 

That in fact heaven and hell are states of consciousness.

 

 

 

Others that believe there is just nothing when we die. Like going to sleep forever.

 

In fact, I have had the most interesting conversations with Atheists and Agnostics.

 

 

 

To be honest, we really do not know who is right do we.

 

We all just have our own personal beliefs.

 

One thing most religions agree on though, is that there is some form of life after death.

 

 

 

Part of me is envious of “JOHN” because “he” now knows.

 

He has the answer to the question that has been asked a million times,

 

“What happens when we die?”

 

 

 

There are of course many ways to die. Some die young, others later on in life.

 

Some of natural causes, some of disease and others in tragic ways.

 

In my opinion there is no right or wrong way to die,

 

And unfortunately we cant all pass at 110 in our sleep,

 

snuggled in the arms of our beloved.

 

 

 

To me:

 

Death is a time of introspection.

 

A time of remembering our departed loved one.

 

A time of reminiscing

 

Smiling about the good times

 

Shrugging about the bad times

 

Possibly feeling remorse about some of the times

 

“JOHN”   would want you to just accept and be at peace with ALL of the times

 

 

 

This is a time of forgiveness

 

Forgiving yourself for things you thought,

 

Things you said, things you did and thing did not do

 

And a time to forgive “JOHN”

 

For all the things ‘he’ said, did and did not do.

 

Every family has its issues.

 

Every relationship has its ups and downs

 

The greatest gift you can do for yourself and “JOHN”         today

 

is to accept that your relationship was totally normal

 

and to just forgive and forget

 

A time to say Thank You I forgive you

 

I know ‘he’ will be doing the same too

 

 

 

This is a time to say Thank You

 

Thank you for spending your life with us

 

Thank you for your friendship

 

Thank you for being you

 

Thank you for how our relationship made us  feel

 

Thank you for always being there for us

 

Thank you we love you

 

 

 

It is a time of realization

 

Realizing that we are all different

 

That we all have different paths to walk

 

Different Soul experiences to endure

 

And realizing that we are indeed mortal

 

And spending some time considering our relationship to life, death, God , the universe and eternity.

 

A time to remember those who have passed before us

 

And spend a moment in remembrance of them too

 

 

 

And at this time I would like us to specifically remember those who have passed before “JOHN”  and are there to meet ‘him’  in the spirit world

 

 

 

Isn’t it ironic that our loss is their gain?

 

And isn’t it beautiful to know that they now pave the way for us one day?

 

And will be waiting to welcome us one day when we pass?

 

 

 

It is also a wonderful time of gathering

 

Family and friends joining together in their grief

 

Often traveling from afar

 

Often getting together for the first time in years

 

A time of crying together

 

Hugging, holding and consoling

 

A time of rekindling old friendships

 

Old family ties

 

And just being with each other

 

and being there for each other

 

 

 

It is also a beautiful time of empathy

 

When we support those left behind.

 

We have all lost someone or something

 

And so we reach out in friendship and understanding

 

We call to send condolences, send emails, flowers and cards and even make frozen dinners

 

We offer our support and assistance

 

We are really so lovely and caring at this time

 

 

 

[If the deceased died young]

I am even willing to bet that there is at least one person here who would gladly swop places with ………[John] given the chance. That is how lovely we can be.

 

 

 

 

In fact, If there is anything I ask of you all today

 

It’s to PLEASE continue supporting the family for the next weeks, months and even years

 

You may think that they do not want to be reminded

 

But what they want is not to be forgotten!!

 

 

 

Call them on “JOHN” ‘s birthday and on relevant anniversaries

 

Call …………. [live spouse] on their wedding anniversary

 

 

 

Call them this time next year on “JOHN”  ’s death anniversary

 

Remember that tomorrow you all go back to your normal lives.

 

But their lives will never be the same again.

 

 

 

If there is anything we should take from “JOHN”   ’s Death, it should be to live our lives more fully:

 

I have 4 quick questions for you, each one progressively more important than the last.

 

  1. If you had 1 month to live what would you want to do and who would you want around you?
  2. If you had 1 week to live what would you want to do and who would you want around you and what would you want to say to them?
  3. If you had one day to live what would you want to do and who would you want around you and what would you want to say to them?
  4. Can we all commit to spending more time with those people and doing those things that we know are important and meaningful? Because those are the people who are truly important in your life

 

 

 

In your last sacred hours, I am certain that most of you would want to simply say, “Thank you I forgive you. Thank You I love you”.

 

 

 

A Zen monk was once asked “What is most amazing to you”

Answered, “That a man, seeing others dying around him

believes he will never die and is thus unprepared when he does”

I appeal to all of you today

to ensure that you have a will and that your insurance is up to date.

And please, if you are a couple,

put an hour aside and tell each other what you want when you pass.

It’s bad enough mourning the death of your loved one

without stressing about what he or she would or would not want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man once asked a rabbi

 

“How does one know when one’s mission in life is complete or not?”

 

The rabbi answered simply, “if you are alive it isn’t”

 

We thus have to consider that “JOHN”   may just have completed what ‘his’  soul came to experience.

 

 

 

If less religious:

The ancient Chinese texts spoke thus on death:

People change endlessly in all kinds of ways

You wear out, then are renewed

You dream you are a bird and fly through the sky

You dream you are a fish and plunge into the depths

While you are dreaming you do not know it is a dream

After you wake up you realize you were dreaming

There will be a great awakening

after which you will know that this present life was but a dream

When we were as yet unborn

How could we know the pleasures of life

As long as we have not died

How can we know that death is not pleasant?

 

 

 

 

 

This is also a time when we come to terms with the fact that we are not in control of everything

 

And that there is a divine order in the universe

 

Every day thousands of people pass and every day thousands of people are born

 

Can you imagine the chaos if there was no death?

 

Everything in the universe points to cycles

 

Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

 

Day follows night

 

Month follows month

 

The moon waxes and wanes, the tides come in and go out,

 

People, animals and vegetation are born, live and eventually die.

 

We have to conclude that the universe is in order

 

The only other option is that ———– God made a mistake……..?????????

 

And I think we all know that that is not possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is also therefore a time of acceptance

 

Accepting that God is in charge

 

Accepting that God knows what He is doing

 

Accepting that we all have different life experiences

 

And most importantly

 

Accepting that ………………[John] experienced what was necessary for ‘his’ soul unfoldment!

 

 

 

If died young, or murdered, or suicide etc:

My advice to you all is not to question this too much.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

Sometimes accidents happen.

From a human perspective, it is impossible to understand how this could have happened.

We have no clue what [John]’s soul came to experience and we have no clue what God has in store for each one of us.

Unfortunately, not everyone can die peacefully in their sleep of old age.

Death is one of the few things in life that is 100% final.

We are called today to accept this.

To accept that THIS is the way …[John] died.

 

 

 

 

 

This is also a time of deep grieving

 

A time of feeling so alone

 

A time of feeling so vulnerable

 

A time of confusion and frustration

 

A time of intense Questioning

 

A time of feeling angry with the universe

 

Being angry with God and possibly even shouting at Him

 

 

 

Grieving is normal

 

Your emotions now are fully understandable, acceptable and expected

 

Even Jesus cried when he heard Lazarus was dead

 

 

 

 

 

Take your time to grieve

 

It is a rite of passage

 

Don’t let anyone tell you how you should grieve or for how long

 

“JOHN”    would not want you to grieve for one second longer than you need to.

 

 

 

Please understand that ……………… is also in shock.

 

In a totally new environment.

 

But he still loves you and is also affected by your emotions.

 

I am convinced that one day when pass,

 

we will want our family and friends to be at peace as soon as possible.

 

 

 

It is also a time of selfishness.

 

We all believe that “JOHN”   has gone to a better place

 

A place that we know as heaven

 

So if “JOHN”   is in Heaven

 

What then is our grieving???

 

We are not as sorry for ‘him’  as much as we are sorry for ourselves

 

For our loss of ‘him’  and  ‘his’ influence directly in our lives.

 

 

 

This is a time when we are so real

A rare time of being 100% authentic

Stripped off our airs and graces

Stripped of our fancy titles at work

Our station in life

Our achievements seem so small when we come face to face with the fact that

Our loved one is dead and gone, never to return.

 

 

 

 

This is also a time for FAITH

 

Believing in God and his love for us

 

Believing in Jesus and his message to us

 

Believing in what the prophets told us

 

And what has been recorded for us in the scriptures:

 

 

 

Let us not forget Romans 14:7-9
None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.

 

If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord;

 

so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

 

 

 

John 6:47

 

Verily, verily, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.. ~

 

 

 

Matthew 18v20

 

Where two or more of you gather in my name, there too shall I be

 

 

 

Romans 10v9:

 

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

 

 

If very religious:

 In John  14:1-4 Jesus Comforts His Disciples

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a];

believe also in me.

2 My Father’s house has many rooms;

if that were not so,

would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, this is also a time when we are tempted to judge

 

To judge “JOHN”      ‘his’ Life, ‘his’   Spirituality,

 

was ‘he’ a success, what did ‘he’ make of ‘his’ life??

 

And we tend to measure Religious worth by attendance at church

 

Rather than how the life was lived

 

But I ask you

 

How does one judge another’s life

 

For is one man’s meat, not another man’s poison?

 

One man’s success another man’s failure?

 

 

 

If deceased was challenging to the family

In fact I believe we could take a lot from  the ancient Egyptian belief

when they worshipped the sun as God.

Their main belief was that God, like the sun, shone his light on saint and sinner alike.

That God indeed expresses unconditional love.

Today I encourage you to be more Godlike in your love of “JOHN”

To recognise that ‘he’ had her personal path to walk

That she did the best ‘he’ could

And that ‘her ’best was actually enough

   

 

 

 

There is also an old Red Indian saying,

“Oh Great White Spirit, let me not judge another man

Until I have walked a mile in his moccasins”

   

 

 

 

As I take you through the following thought process,

 

Take a quick look at your life as well as “JOHN”       ’s,

 

and your memory of ‘him’

 

because  I am sure that one day when we face God

 

His first question will not be, “Did you go to church every Sunday?”

 

But that He will judge us more on these criteria:

 

 

 

Did you do all you could with all you were given?

 

Did you fully explore all of the opportunities I sent to bless you?

 

Did you rise to the challenges I sent to grow you?

 

Did you work at the relationships I sent to temper you?

 

Did you resist the temptations I sent to test and strengthen you?

 

Did you sacrifice willingly for the betterment of someone else?

 

Did you risk sporadically to get out of your comfort zone?

 

Did you inspire others to become more?

 

Did you honor the beautiful bodily temple I created for your soul to inhabit?

 

Did you test the boundaries of the incredible mind I engineered to guide you?

 

Did you make part of everyday Holy in your own special way?

 

Where you true to the Christ within? The God within?

 

Did you see beyond the surface and recognize Me in all you met?

 

Did you dedicate your life to something greater than yourself?

 

Did you Love generously?   Did you forgive quickly?

 

Did you laugh often?   Did you apologize graciously?

 

Where you true to the essence of you despite social and religious programming?

 

Most importantly, did you become more YOU every day?”

 

 

 

During the following Eulogies and Tributes you will all see that “JOHN”     was indeed true to “him’  self,

 

That ‘he’ fully rose to the challenges of ‘his’  life,

 

That ‘he’ willingly and continuously sacrificed for the betterment of others,

 

That ‘he’ indeed made part of everyday holy

 

That ‘he’ dedicated his life to ‘him’  family

 

That ‘he’ lived and loved and experienced what ‘he’ needed to

 

and that ‘he’ certainly was ‘him’  self despite societal and religious pressure.

 

WE ALL KNOW THAT ‘he’ FOLLOWED ‘his’  TRUE PATH AND IN SO DOING FULFILLED ‘his’  Soul MISSION on earth.

 

 

 

Closing thoughts:

 

Parents:

 

There is a saying that one should ever have to bury a child. Today you are called to do so. I so wish it could be different or that I could change it. Unfortunately I cannot.

 

Remember that a great leader would never ask you to do anything that he or she would not do and remember too that God send his Son to die and had to stand by and allow that to occur.

 

Please know that our prayers are with you and “JOHN”       at this time.

 

 

 

 

 

Siblings:

 

Your brother/sister loves you today as ‘he’ did yesterday , and as ‘he’ will forever more. ‘he’ will always be with you and there for you. Real love never dies and it certainly is not limited by physicality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children:

 

As the sun sets on one generation it rises on another.

 

The greatest gift we can give “JOHN”   is to keep the families together and raise the grandchildren and GGC (present and future) in a manner that will make everyone proud.

 

Know that your mom is always with you and continues to look over you and guide you from above. Real love never dies and it certainly is not limited by physicality

 

 

 

……………………… (Eldest Child) …………[John] (Deceased) would want you to look after ……[John] your mother. You now become the head of the family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandchildren:

 

Grandparents are incredibly special.

 

Unlike parents they don’t need to discipline us and tell us what to do.

 

They can just love us and spoil us and let us do whatever we want to and then send us back to mom and dad.

 

Always remember that you were all very very special to your grandpa / grandma.

 

He was able to love you and enjoy you and was blessed to have spent the time with you that he did. He will always love you and is really like a guardian angel in heaven now.

 

 

 

 

 

Spouse:

 

 

 

Firstly……………

 

Congratulations on your ………. Year marriage to ………….

 

That is such an accomplishment in this day and age.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, Your life changes the most after today

 

You have lost your love, your friend, your companion, your rock

 

Indeed your other half

 

We all wish it were not so. We all wish we could change it for you.

 

But we cannot. You are called on today to bid your LOVE adieu

 

Not “goodbye”, but “Until we meet again.

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with you

 

I hope you can feel the love and support of everyone here today

 

and I know I am unanimous in offering you all of our support at any time u may   need it.

 

 

 

 

 

If Died Young:

I also wanted to close with a thought.

How many of us believe that we have a death date?

And that date is caste in stone?

Most of us in our culture do.

We thus have to consider that all is as it should be

That “JOHN”      actually died on the day she was meant to

And that “JOHN”       is now free of the physical

And enjoying a new adventure in Spirit

 

 

 

 

If had a Hard Life:

I understand that ……………………… had a hard life.

That is indeed sad.

But I have a question for you all today.

What is the meaning of life?

Why are we on earth?

I believe the meaning of life is GROWTH.

Soul Unfoldment. Self Actualisation. Life Experiences.

And let me ask you another question?

Do we grow more in the hard times or the easy times?

Yes. The hard times.

I think we all know that the people who have endured the most,

Have grown the most. And have thus had more meaningful lives.

 

Think of how Jesus suffered.

Indeed how the saints and martyrs suffered.

 

Isn’t it strange that,

In the end, our curses become our blessings.

That indeed, the hard times become the good times.

 

 

 

 

Close:

 

 

 

“JOHN” now moves into the next phase of a very carefully and perfectly choreographed eternal experience.

 

All he really needs is your love and support.

 

“JOHN” is not gone. He has merely changed states.

 

Like water in its steam state; still water but not as physical.

 

“JOHN” would want you to think about him, talk about him, and remember them by somehow including him in your functions and get togethers.

 

 

 

“JOHN” would want you to mourn for a while,

 

But not for too long

 

‘He’ would want you to remember ‘him’ fondly,

 

But not pine for ‘him’

 

‘He’ would want you to think of ‘him’ over birthdays, Easter,

 

Christmas, New Year and other special times.

 

Possibly light a candle or write in a card or drink a toast

 

But not dwell on the past too much.

 

“JOHN”  would want you to get on with your lives

 

And think of ‘him’ often

 

As ‘he’ will be doing the same from where ‘he’ is now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 15: Religion

 

One of the great taboo topics.

 

To me, religion is a somewhat arcaic mixture of folklore and superstition. An attempt to reach out to understand who we are, what we are and where we are going.

 

Fortunately, science and progress have assisted us to weed out much of the junk. Isn’t it mind boggling, learning that it was once commonly accepted that the earth was flat, that the sun circled the earth and that the universe was only 5000 years old. ……………. got excommunicated from the Catholic Church for saying differently and poor old Bruno, burnt at the stake.

 

Centuries ago, lightening signified God’s anger and virgins were sacrificed to appease Him and a bad harvest was punishment from some vengeful God.

 

In the crusades, Christians believed that any of them who got killed would go directly to heaven. That God revelled in the killing of Muslims.

 

Strangely enough, the Muslims believed something similar.

 

Can you really imagine God celebrating and rewarding murder?

 

 

 

I have to smile when I think of the fact that Jesus was not a Christian. He was a Jew. Christianity only started 600 years after his untimely death. And of course if he had decided to come to South Africa before 1994, he would have had to use the non-white toilets. He was middle eastern, not white!

 

 

 

I must say I was shocked by a bumper sticker in Cape Town which stated, “Jesus has a criminal record”. It is an interesting perspective though, isn’t it?

 

 

 

This is my observation.

 

Generally, if you were born into a Christian family, you will be brought up Christian and will venture Christian precepts when asked about religion. Ditto if you were born into any other culture and/or religion.

 

Then that religion believes that their religion is the only way and everyone else goes to hell.

 

 

 

This must mean that God sits sifting through souls before they get born on earth and decides who gets a Christian family and passport back to heaven and who gets another family and is effectively sentenced to hell and damnation.

 

 

 

If this is correct, then only a small percentage of humans (the correct religion) stand the chance of getting to heaven. Then of course, only a small percentage of them were actually good enough on earth to be allowed in.

 

Not great odds!!!

 

Does this then mean that God is failing!?!?!?

 

Personally I believe the universe is in order.

 

That God (the universe/infinite intelligence) is perfect.

 

That God is indeed clever enough and emotionally mature enough to accept everyone and all religions. That God brings us the experiences we require, in perfect balance, to grow our consciousness.

 

 

 

If anything, I think God sometimes looks down at the religious masses, nudges Jesus and says, “Aish. That’s not quite what I meant…..”

 

 

 

And I DON’T buy the God-gave-us-personal-choice argument either. If God is Omnipresent, all powerful, all knowing then HE would know EXACTLY what choices we would make.

 

 

 

I am an Agnostic, Universalist who believes in some type of re-incarnation.

 

That is the only thing that makes sense to me. The more I learn, experience and ponder, the more I realize that there is more out there than we could ever define while in a flesh and blood existence. To try to define GOD is pure ignorance.

 

I don’t even believe that the sum total of all religion comes close to the full truth.

 

 

 

Chapter 16: Introducing The Church of Higher Universalism

 

 

 

The Church of Higher Universalism (TCoHU) is an international, non-denominational, inter-denominational, inter-faith, non-dogmatic, non-discriminatory organization that focuses on ministering to those who have Spiritual needs that are not met by mainstream religion. It attempts to facilitate Spiritual growth in its members and those who it ministers to in a gentle non-intrusive manner. Its international presence is virtual, utilizing social media and technology to deliver its message. In cities where it has an ordained Minister, it will have a physical presence and physical activities as needed by that community.

 

 

 

I founded The Church of Higher Universalism to offer the following thoughts to anyone interested:

 

 

 

Firstly, If there are 7 billion people on earth, then there are 7 billion:

 

  • Individual human beings
  • Religions
  • Acceptable ways back to God
  • Sexes
  • Skin colours
  • Sexual preferences

 

 

 

  1. God is not definable
    1. Neither male nor female
    2. Not an image of a human
    3. Not an emotion (like love)
    4. Not a personality
    5. Not a personal God who knows us individually
    6. And certainly not vengeful
  2. No one or no one religion has all the truth
  3. Not even the sum total of all religion equals the whole truth
  4. The Universe is in order
  5. The Universe is constantly growing
  6. (Therefore) God is constantly growing
  7. Civilization is constantly progressing
  8. Science and progress are constantly discovering and revealing new truths
  9. Change is constant and inevitable
  10. The meaning of life is; Growth
    1. Personal Growth
    2. Personal Development
    3. Soul Unfoldment
    4. Self Actualization
    5. Spiritual Enlightenment
  11. This growth is constant and eternal
  12. We are like God in that we are constantly growing and ever creating
  13. All human beings will face the full gambit of earthly experiences and emotions as part of their Soul Unfoldment and journey to enlightenment.
  14. The human condition is normal, the earth is a wonderful testing and training ground and God has not erred in any way
  15. The Universe owes us nothing
  16. We are personally responsible for our own progress, happiness and unhappiness
  17. A belief that life should be easy and our lives should just flow and that God will look after us more than anyone else because of our belief system is erroneous
  18. The Universe is perfectly balanced and ensures perfect balance
  19. There is no event, situation, person, circumstance or trait that is 100% good or 100% bad
    1. Every cloud has a silver lining
    2. Every blessing has a balancing curse
    3. Every curse has a balancing blessing
  20. No race is necessarily superiority to another
  21. No gender is necessarily superior to another
  22. No sexual preference is necessarily superior  to another
  23. No continent, country or city is necessarily superior to another
  24. No political system is necessarily superior to another
  25. The general practice of universalism
    1. All religion leads to the same God
    2. All religions have their place for as long as they serve their members
    3. All religions have a basic thread of truth
    4. Religious tolerance
  26. The general practice of Higher Universalism
    1. If there are 7 billion people on earth then there are:

 

  1.                                                               i.       7 billion authentic religions
  2.                                                             ii.       7 billion ways back to God
  3.                                                           iii.       7 billion skin colours
  4.                                                            iv.       7 billion sexual preferences
  5.                                                              v.       7 billion 100% unique individuals

 

    1. That the error of conventional  religion has been to attempt to force humanity into a set of beliefs and principles instead of allowing people to become who they are.
  1. (an in-principle) Freedom of:
    1. Religion
    2. Speech
    3. Association
    4. Expression
    5. Choice
    6. Congregation
    7. The right to be wrong
    8. The right to disagree
  2. Heaven and Hell are states of consciousness (as opposed to actual places)
  3. The basic precept of reincarnation
    1. The soul is ancient
    2. We are a soul having a temporary physical experience
    3. We create our own future based on our choices
  4. The internal battle of good and evil is reflected externally in the world and is normal
  5. You don’t have to give up your membership in any other church or organization to belong to TCoHU. You may be Atheist, Agnostic. Pagan, Wiccan, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or just generally confused.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.stephenvanbasten.co.za/tcohu/

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 17: How to improve your relationship using advanced sexual techniques The Tantric Sex Experience – public talk

 

 

 

Have any of you read 50 shades of grey?

 

Could I have a show of hands how many of you would willingly be Anastasia?

 

Is that for the kinky sex or the Audi R8?????

 

 

 

I think most of us men would gladly be Christian Grey.

 

Rich, handsome and wanted by a beautiful woman.

 

 

 

I am fully aware that I have a very mixed audience reading this book.

 

I know that some of you are married.

 

That some of you are single.

 

Others of you single wishing you were married.

 

Some of you are married wishing you were single.

 

And of course, those of you who are married and acting single.

 

 

 

Ladies.

 

Is there anyone here who is single and just waiting for that perfect partner? Well I have excellent news for you.

 

I have a foolproof piece of advice for you.

 

If all else fails, LOWER your standards.

 

 

 

 

 

And guys, finally someone wrote a user manual for women.

 

I assume that most of you are familiar with them. Fifty shades of grey, Fifty shades deeper and fifty shades freed.

 

 

 

Yes. I read them all. My wife read the first one and passed it onto me when she started the 2nd.

 

I must say that we had a lot more sex during the reading of those 3 books.

 

 

 

Sex is one of my most favorite subjects and I seriously hope that we will have a marvelous time this evening as we explore this rather delicate subject.

 

 

 

 

 

I have a simple plan for the this chapter

 

  1. Let’s talk about sex
  2. Men and women’s sexuality and how we differ
  3. Sexual tips and techniques – basic to advanced

 

So – Lets talk about sex:

 

Firstly sex is NATURAL.

 

We all want to try it out and we all want to be fulfilled.

 

We ideally want to do it with someone else but failing that we sort ourselves out.

 

And if we have a choice and are 100% honest, we prefer to have an orgasm or two.

 

Secondly sex is NORMAL.

 

Don’t let anyone tell you how your body should react.

 

We are all sexual beings but with differing sex drives and needs.

 

Sex is HEALTHY

 

I am sure I don’t need to tell you the health benefits of sex.

 

I have sex 3 times a day and you have to admit I look good for 69 ………. Years old!

 

I am actually waiting for the day when Discovery Vitality give me an orgasmatron instead of a pedometer to measure the amount and size of my orgasms and give me money back based on that!!!

 

 

 

Everyone is DIFFERENT:

 

I believe that if there are 7 billion people on earth, There are:

 

  • 7 Billion individuals
  • 7 Billion paths to God
  • 7 Billion religions
  • 7 Billion skin colours
  • AND 7 Billion sexual preferences

 

Don’t let ANYONE tell you what is right and wrong in this area.

 

Or how often YOU should make love, or for how long or with what number of people (simultaneously or in series).

 

What feels good to you is OK.

 

You may struggle to find a partner who agrees and is willing to accommodate you, but that is a totally different subject!!

 

 

 

Definition of an slut? Alcoholic?

 

Sex is COMMUNICATION

 

Sex can be the highest form of communication or the lowest form of hatred.

 

Sex is actually quite like having an itch and asking someone to scratch your back.

 

Firstly you have a need.

 

Secondly you communicate that need and what you want.

 

Thirdly, you give directions, “lower, to the left, aaaaah yes, that’s it. No you moved off. To the left.A little harder. Not that hard. Yes, yes, yes. That’s it. Don’t stop ooooooooh…..

 

So girls, if you can direct us to the itchy spot on your back, surely you can direct us to your sexual spots too?

 

Sex can be Spiritual

 

I love the concepts of Tantric Sex.

 

To me, Tantric Sex is simply the practice of prolonged sex for pleasure and includes a very spiritual aspect.

 

It’s almost enlightened sex,  sex without guilt.

 

It’s the exploration and the surrendering of one to absolute pleasure.

 

It can be one of the highest forms of intimacy and communication between two human beings.

 

Let’s face it, you can’t get much closer to someone as when they are deep inside you.

 

 

 

I am of the belief that it is one of the paths to Enlightenment.

 

And there are cultures that perform tantric group sex as a form of praise and prayer.

 

Jong!!!! Right now I am wondering why I pulled the short straw and landed in South Africa!!

 

 

 

Of course, the best way to learn TS is to have a great TS lover to teach you.

 

If you are Already in a relationship, this may be tricky….

 

You can then get some good explicit DVD’s and watch them together. Then try the stuff out.

 

Get a book on sexual positions and take turns on choosing a new position to try.

 

Or take turns in randomly opening the book on any page and attempting to do that.

 

Just remember you may need to clear some of the positions with your doctor or do yoga for 27 years to get into some of them!!

 

 

 

I am of the belief that courage and communication are the two main ingredients of great sex.

 

  • Courage to try new things and experience something different.
  • Communication is paramount for obvious reasons.

 

Funnily enough, sometimes it takes A LOT of courage to simply communicate what we want sexually.

 

A quick look at Love and lust

 

Consider this:

 

If 50% of marriages fail, then 90% of love relationships fail.

 

Because we don’t marry every person we date.

 

 

 

One of the biggest issues with SEX is that so many people confuse it with LOVE.

 

So let’s break the first myth: Love and Lust are two different things.

 

Due to our conservative, Calvinistic, Christian Western upbringing we are taught (and especially girls) that sex is something only to be done with someone you love.

 

That you will find someone you love and then progress to sexuality.

 

Or that you should save it for someone special that you love.

 

Maybe that’s true in an ideal world but the reality is more like the hypothesis Scott Peck the famous Psychiatrist advanced.

 

 

 

Scott Peck defines LOVE as,

 

“One’s willingness to expend energy for another’s spiritual growth”.

 

I love this definition as it excludes sex and chemistry totally.

 

It points to LOVE been a caring friendship thing rather than a chemical reaction with someone.

 

Scott Peck further defines the phenomenon of “falling in love” as a very powerful and pleasurable chemical reaction between two people.

 

Essentially a short lived trick the universe plays on two people in order for them to lower their inhibitions, get naked, have sex and ensure the longevity of the human race.

 

 

 

Lets face it, if GOD (whoever and whatever GOD may be) didn’t make sex incredibly pleasurable, the human race would be too lazy to do it and we would be extinct right now!!

 

A quick look at relationships and why they fail

 

 

 

Firstly, when the lust subsides, we think we are falling out of Love!!

 

When actually this is when we have the true opportunity to demonstrate true love.

 

 

 

Secondly, Have you noticed that in any sexual relationship, there is usually one person who would like more sex than they are getting and the other could do with a bit less?

 

I don’t know of any couple that is 100% compatible sexually.

 

One will generally be more adventurous and the other more conservative.

 

Generally it’s the former in both cases that’s susceptible to an affair or finding someone else.

 

 

 

Thirdly, We all have a different set of values. What is important to us.

 

When we speak to our partners in our values they get bored.

 

When we speak to them in THEIR values, they stay interested.

 

 

 

Some sexual differences between girls and boys

 

One classic thought to introduce this section:

 

When girls are undressing for sex with someone new they are thinking, “Will he notice my left boob is smaller than the right one, will he think my bum is big, would he like bigger boobs, will he notice my hail damage, I am so pleased I put on the matching bra, panties, earings and eyeliner!!”

 

He is thinking, “OMG!!!! I’m gonna see her naked!!! Is she really gonna let me shag her. I wonder if she is into oral sex. Surely I am the luckiest man alive.

 

 

 

Like everything in life, we just have to come to terms with the fact that men and women are different.

 

The world would be a disaster if we were all the same.

 

Imagine there were only men??? It would be one huge orgy!!

 

 

 

And if we were all women, we would all end up best friends or arch rivals

 

– neither of whom you really want to have sex with.

 

 

 

So, here is the low down:

 

Men are like microwaves and women are like ovens.

 

To cook a roast in an oven you have to pre-heat it, cook and then the oven cools down.

 

Microwaves are on and off. They just cook. And then stop cooking.

 

 

 

Don’t you sometimes think that God has a strange sense of humour?

 

Sometimes I think that He was bored up in heaven.

 

SO he made earth and put males and females on it.

 

He made them sexually attracted but emotionally and mentally different.

 

And if that is not enough, he made men peak sexually between 18 – 25 and women peak around 40 – 45…….

 

Then he sat back and He has never been bored again!!

 

It’s been centuries of DRAMA. He doesn’t need 200 channels on DSTV.

 

He simply watches EARTH.

 

 

 

Who of you went to see, “Defending the caveman?”

 

If you haven’t, its relationship therapy. Jax and I have seen it at least 10 times.

 

From a sexual perspective Defending the Caveman got it right.

 

Men: You have to go to Johannesburg via Durban with a stop off in Bloem, Kimberly, Nelspruit, Maseru and Beitbridge before you even think of going near the ………basket.

 

 

 

Women: Go straight for the arrow.

 

Even worse. For women, foreplay starts days before sex. BBm’s, watsapps, flowers, compliments, dinner, movies and talking!!!!

 

And it gets worse. Us guys can work for days and mess it up with one stupid comment just 10 min before the big moment.

 

Have you noticed that men can pause an argument, have a quick shag, and continue the argument?

 

NOOOOT women…

 

 

 

The major point is that men and women are wired differently.

 

Women have 100’s of erogenous zones.

 

It’s like a roadmap to ecstasy, but you have to follow the map.

 

Hands, feet, knee’s, shoulders, thighs, inside of elbow, neck, ears, lips, bum cheeks, garden path, breasts. Basically anywhere that there is skin!!!!!

 

And it just so happens that God wired men, to intensely dislike maps!!

 

 

 

 

 

Girls we really are so easy

 

  1. Just grab us by the crotch and say, “I’m not wearing any underwear” and we are all yours.
  2. Remember we are not like you. We are boys. Our penis is the man! Its our main and biggest and nicest and most grateful erogenous zone.
  3. Most of us have a name for it.
  4. When you rub our backs we are thinking, “She’s on the wrong side of my body”
  5. When you rub our chest, we like it, but we are thinking, “She’s half a meter too high”
  6. When you suck our big toe we think, “Oh I wish that was my cock”
  7. When you grab our asses when we hug we like it coz it pushes our penis closer and harder into you.

 

 

 

Let’s talk about orgasms.

 

  1. Generally Men cum quickly and women take longer
  2. Men generally come once and its OVER, while woman are able to have many orgasms in any given session and if that’s not unfair enough, they can have different types of orgasms too!!

 

 

 

Yes. Women got multiple orgasms and men got to pee standing up and to be FULLY fulfilled after sex.

 

 

 

There is a hypothesis that centuries ago, men had to essentially rape and cum quickly before a wild animal or angry husband happened along.

 

This ensured the longevity of the human race by impregnating women quickly.

 

So sex was pleasurable for men and a nightmare for women.

 

It’s taken a long time for women to feel OK with sex and sexuality and actually having and even demanding orgasms.

 

Let’s face it, there is still a stigma attached to a woman who expresses her sexuality with many partners while it’s still considered cool for men to do it.

 

 

 

Now us men have the ADDED pressure of actually giving our partners an orgasm or two.

 

Men are also very goal oriented. They hunt their own and their partners orgasm.

 

 

 

Women enjoy the entire time, the closeness, the kissing, feeling wanted, being close to the one they love, pleasuring the one they love and are more forgiving of themselves and partners if they don’t cum every single time.

 

And so they may sporadically fake an orgasm to appease the hunter in their spouse and avoid the cross-questioning afterwards.

 

 

 

Before we move on let’s just be sure we know where to locate the clitoris, G-spot, and who has heard of the A-Spot?

 

At this time, could I ask for one of the women to come forward, and take her clothes off? Joking joking!!!!

 

  1. Clitoris at top of vagina just inside the outer lips

 

 

 

  1. G- spot just inside and on top/roof (The perfect Cremora – It is inside AND on top)

 

To find:  insert finger half way and perform the ‘come here’ gesture.

 

 

 

  1. A-Spot fully inside all the way in at beginning of cervix

 

 

 

  1. And there are some serious nerves just inside the vagina even before the G-Spot. Gentle stroking probing movements are very appreciated. Especially during foreplay.

 

 

 

 

 

The male G-Spot

 

Yes girls. We ALSO have one. Not as lekker as yours but we have one.

 

The prostate.

 

Rule number one with anuses – approach with care. Many men associate the bum with being gay.

 

I am just going to say this straight out – a finger in the bum, massaging the prostate can heighten the male pleasure dramatically.

 

Massaging the prostate during sex also prolongs orgasm because we cant multitask and the finger in the bum is hard to ignore…..

 

 

 

Some men struggle to cum:

 

Find out what they like but if all else fails try a hand job with oil.

 

Increase the speed slowly until he finishes. It’s really about pressure and friction.

 

 

 

Other men struggle not to cum:

 

You can use a condom to desensitize the penis

 

There are also creams that do this. I used to enjoy Pi Yong Tong.

 

Sometimes you can get into a really deep penetrating position, touching the A-Spot with the tip of the penis and then just do very short strokes that please her and just keep you erect.

 

But the best is probably the cockring with a little vibrator.

 

Get on your back, put it on, get her on top and inside with her clitoris on the vibrator.

 

She will make little moves while the ring inhibits your orgasm.

 

R100 at all leading sex stores.

 

 

 

 

 

Some men struggle to get an erection:

 

Find out what he likes. I cannot stress communication and trust enough.

 

Please ladies, I have heard a woman tell the entire dinner table that her husband can’t get it up. Man o man, that sure ain’tgonna help the cause.

 

He may like some roll play. Let him pretend he’s an insurance salesman if it works…

 

Put on the crotchless panties if it helps.

 

Tie him up and spank him if it does not offend you too much.

 

Remember its essentially blood that make him erect. So warm him and it up.

 

A warming oil is great.

 

Personally I find oral sex works a treat.

 

If all else fails, consider watching a porn movie together.

 

 

 

A quick note on porn:

 

Men are into variety. Sorry. I could lie to you but I’m not going to.

 

A 70 year old man who has sex 3 times a year will shag 4 prostitutes in one afternoon given the chance.

 

Its just the way we are wired. We are hunters and enjoy the game.

 

We enjoy variety.

 

Porn gives us the chance to be with someone new every now and again without being physically unfaithful.

 

Girls, your main rival is the internet, Not his secretary.

 

Porn requires no foreplay or afterplay. Its quick and fulfilling.

 

 

 

Lets talk about breasts:

 

Some women like a bit of pain. Others don’t.

 

Some love them squeezed hard, others softly and others medium pressure.

 

TIP: the ENTIRE breast is an erogenous zone. Don’t focus on the nipples.

 

Massage the entire breast.

 

Another tip: Women’s breasts are a bit like our testicles in that they love to be released from their underwear and then adjusted. It’s a kind of a lifting movement.

 

Score brownie points by doing that sporadically.

 

 

 

Some women like their nipples licked gently. Others sucked reasonably hard.

 

Others like gentle nibbles. Others like them bitten hard (don’t try this one at home without express requests).

 

Another tip: Even if you don’t like breasts, they are the key to the front gate.

 

Girls like them been played with.

 

Always show your manners by introducing yourself to the girls appropriately.

 

 

 

Lets have a quick quiet quiz:

 

How many of you who have female partners know EXACTLY what level of pressure she likes????

 

And the rest of you? Have you thought to ask?

 

Ladies: would any of you mind your partner asking you how hard they should squeeze or suck?

 

 

 

Let’s talk about bums:

 

Guys. The bum cheeks are very erogenous. A nice butt massage is awesome.

 

In fact, your greatest seduction technique is not ROOFIES or a stun gun but a lovely oily neck, back, bum and leg massage.

 

Add candles and some incense and it’s a winner!!!!

 

TIP 1: Monitor her breathing for falling asleep, there is a fine line between relaxation and arousal. Don’t let her cross that line!!!

 

TIP 2. While the chocolate starfish (anus) is extremely sensitive, sensual and sexy, don’t even think of touching it during pre-foreplay (unless you are in a relationship and both into that already).

 

Don’t even think of it in the first couple of months unless you get the go ahead.

 

The rules of bedroom golf say it well, “Don’t play the back 9 unless you have express permission from the course owner”

 

 

 

Anal sex and the anus are the Taboo within the Taboo.

 

So much so that there is a joke about it.

 

Dolphin Sex position. AAA

 

 

 

ANAL Sex statistics:

 

Tips and Techniques

 

Men can have multiple orgasms and women can ejaculate.

 

Lets define both terms:

 

An orgasm is a set of pleasurable spasms.

 

Ejaculation is the emission of fluid – squirting.

 

 

 

The essence of TS is to make sex a beautiful spiritual experience.

 

It’s to sometimes be the giver and sometimes be the receiver of incredible pleasure.

 

It’s to honor the God and Goddess within your partner.

 

Its to totally embroil yourself in the spiritual healing aspects of sex

 

Its to allow yourself to enter an altered state/a higher state/a meditative state through sex

 

Its finding absolute and exquisite pleasure using sex

 

It is an opportunity to trust, to allow yourself and your partner to be, to experience, to let go, to allow in a non-judgmental way.

 

Lets face it, to a martian, sex would probably look very strange. We are naked and exposed, exposed, sometimes grunting, screaming and gyrating and pulling the most awful faces.

 

 

 

This state is essentially achieved by the man holding back his ejaculation having lots of pleasurable spasms (multiple orgasms) and the woman having lots and lots of orgasms and ejaculations. Very much like extended foreplay.

 

 

 

Part of the theory, is that women are receivers of energy (semen) and men are givers. This is why a woman is re-energized after sex and a man needs a little snooze.

 

If the man can control his ejaculation, he can go on all day.

 

There is also a belief that if the man saves his ejaculation the semen re-circulates into him body and is very healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits for girls: lots of pleasure, lots of foreplay, lots of orgasms and maybe even a good old squirt!

 

Shall I even bother asking if any of you are brave enough to admit to squirting?

 

There is a scientific method to achieve squirting. I will share if there is time…. And interest!!

 

 

 

Benefits for guys: You get to last longer, you get to play longer, you get to have lots of peaks (without ejaculation) and you have a fully satisfied partner who adores you in bed and wants more because its fantastic!!

 

You get to reduce your woman to a heaving senseless wreck and hear her say, “WOW, no-one ever did THAT to me!!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the idea of Tantric Sex is for the man to control his ejaculation and experiencing orgasmic spasms while he takes the woman through the various stages of arousal, orgasm, possibly ejaculation and even move into full body orgasm.

 

The man may or may not ejaculate at all.

 

 

 

This is where communication and teamwork come in.

 

You cannot achieve this without both knowing what you are trying to achieve.

 

You need to have a common objective.

 

You have to both know some tricks and have the same objective in mind.

 

How many household activities can boast the same togetherness???

 

 

 

More advanced tantric techniques

 

More about the male orgasm:

 

When a man cums, there are a few things that occur:

 

  1. His breathing gets faster and quicker
  2. His testicles move closer to his body – contract
  3. Semen shoots out of penis– ejaculation
  4. And of course urban legend tell us that his toes curl up – there is no conclusive evidence of this yet!!

 

 

 

So there are 3 ways to help the man to last longer, and let’s face it, thinking of cool grass, puppy dogs noses and his mother in law to take your mind off how nice it feels is no fun at all….

 

So when you feel you are starting to approach the point of no return,

 

basically when your Horny level rises above your IQ level…..

 

 

 

  1. you start breathing deeply and slowly – like this [SvB demonstrates] and the opposite is true if you are struggling to end – then you need to pant, like this [SvB demonstrates]
  2. and/or One of you pulls the scrotum and testicles away from the body and/or
  3. and/orOne of you grabs the base of the penis and squeezes VERY tightly – you can use a cock-ring for this too.
  4. Of course, pulling out and straightening his toes manually will definitely stop him cumming!!!!

 

 

 

You can continue this for as long as it works but eventually the man will want to cum.

 

This is where the fun and communication start.

 

Male – Before you get to the point of no return, say “STOP” and then both of you STOP.

 

 

 

Now girls. Stop means stop. Not just another stroke or suck. It means stop.

 

Even if you are mid stroke. You will know it’s imminent by his breathing and the stupid look on his face. Stop and grab the base of the penis and squeeze HARD.

 

You have so much power now.

 

2 strokes and he is done and snoring next to you. FULLY content with a silly grin on HIS face.

 

Stop and allow him to recover and you get to play for another while and YOU end up with the grin on YOUR face.

 

 

 

This will take some time to get used to. You will have a mishap or two. Just laugh, go to sleep, wake up and try again.

 

 

 

Another exercise, especially during sex, is to stop and pull out.

 

Go make a cuppa tea for both of you. Drink it and then start again.

 

Or go to dinner or movies and start again when you get home.

 

 

 

A lovely exercise is to have the guy sitting cross legged with the woman on top.

 

When the man is about to shoot, STOP and have a chat with him still inside.

 

Talk about your day or your plans for tomorrow and when he is ready, start again.

 

 

 

The interesting thing here is that when you get it right during sex, the male reaches a point when his penis goes a bit numb and he could actually carry on for ages. The down side is that he may struggle to cum when you want to end.

 

At this point you may need to use the position that makes him cum easiest and pant like a dog.

 

[girls – getting up and curling his toes manually would not be appreciated at this juncture]

 

Appreciative gyrations and low moaning noises would be much more appropriate.

 

 

 

If you don’t cum, as a man, you retain that energy and can go all night.

 

10 times a day.

 

The belief is that the semen gets re-absorbed into your body and is actually very healthy.

 

The ideal here is to recognize that the spasms (orgasms) just before ejaculation & having to stop; are the pleasure. The longer time in her hand, mouth and vagina etcetc are the pleasure.

 

 

 

A note to the ladies:

 

This can be frustrating. There will be times when you are about to cum when he needs to stop.

 

It will take extreme effort on both your parts to stop.

 

Don’t get angry with him. He will be doing this for you.

 

 

 

Do you have any idea what a turn on it is to see your naked partner riding your penis,

 

a look of ecstasy on her face,

 

her breathing getting deeper, louder, faster, her moaning getting more guttural,

 

her thrusting more insistent and meaningful

 

and her vagina contracting and tightening around you.

 

Enough to push any man right over the edge!!

 

 

 

So you are just going to have to delay gratification, smile sweetly, pull his balls and squeeze that base hard. I promise you, when you build again, it will be even more intense.

 

 

 

  1. Stroking tips and techniques for penises:
    1. Start off slowly
    2. You can manage our orgasm by speed.

 

i.      Faster and we get there faster

 

ii.      Slower and we recover

 

iii.      Dead slow and we perculate

 

iv.      Too fast and its painful

 

v.      Add oil and go fast for long enough and we cum

 

vi.      Add oil and use two hands ultra slowly like this [SvB demonstrate] and we are literally writhing in pleasure.

 

vii.      Add some sexy twisty movements for show

 

viii.      Watch our eyes and pupils for tell tale signs of orgasm and STOP when necessary.

 

  1. Blow job tips and techniques
    1. Rule number one – mind the teeth
    2. The penis head and spot just below the head on the underside are most sensitive
    3. We do so appreciate it if you are able to get it all in, there is something so special about being sucked around the base (I’ve never felt that of course….]
    4. Use your hand to create the illusion that you’re getting it all in
    5. Hand and mouth working together is a beauty to behold
    6. None of us expect you to swallow but are always grateful as it does not break the rhythm at the most intense moment
    7. Personally I love oral sex but only as foreplay
    8. I suppose this is the place to mention rimming. Some will, most wont but a tongue in the bum is exceptionally sensitive and erotic.

 

 

 

For guys/girls doing girls:

 

  1. Remember she is a girl and different to you. Don’t go straight for the basket.
  2. Be very aware of pressure, her sensitive spots are…. Well … sensitive.
    1. Ask her how hard she likes it
    2. Ask her if you are hitting the spot
    3. Ask her if it’s nice
    4. Ask her to show you how!!!!!
    5. Take your time, the best thing about a massage is that it hits all her erogenous spots. Just think of her entire skin as one huge erogenous zone.
      1. Take note of when she moans or squirms or gyrates and go back there. OFTEN
      2. Listen. She will moan when its nice
      3. Watch. She will react when its nice.
      4. Feel. She will react when its working.
      5. Remember the body, the neck, the legs, the breasts and then the clitoris and the g-spot and then back to the breasts. She won’t mind.
      6. Don’t forget to kiss her. Not like a washing machine but with skill. Girls love been kissed. I wish I could teach this but kissing is an art…
      7. Tip:
        1. Remember she can cum often and it they will build in intensity
        2. Don’t be scared to allow her to cum a few times during foreplay
        3. 6.     Here is the tip of tips:
          1. When she is about to cum, don’t change anything
          2. Don’t go faster
          3. Don’t go harder
          4. Don’t change direction
          5. If its your finger or tongue, DON’T stop and think you have to shove your penis into her!!!!!

 

i.      You will just spoil the moment, chase the orgasm away and disappoint her.

 

  1. JUST keep on keeping on, let her cum, then try something new……

 

 

 

Sexy things to try:

 

Blindfold him/her. Then use yogurt, ice, vibrator, oils, fruits, vegetables, a spoon to drive her wild. The blindfold intensifies his/her sensitivity as the sight is taken away.

 

 

 

Tie him/her up.

 

This gives you carte blanche to explore and tease.

 

There is a clear cut line of who is dominant and who is submissive.

 

Both roles are scrumptious and require huge amounts of trust.

 

 

 

You may even try blindfold and tied up. Who knows???

 

 

 

How to make a woman ejaculate? Search “How to make a woman ejaculate” on www.redtube.co.za. It’s a great video even though its on a porn site.

 

I have tried it and it works.

 

If that fails, my number is 083 ……………….

 

I wish you many hours of delicious sexy pleasure.

 

May most of your fantasies come true.

 

And may you be and find, the perfect sexual partner.

 

 

 

 

About Stephen

 

 

 

After almost 25 years of leading Spiritual meetings both locally and internationally, officiating at hundreds of Weddings and Funerals and decades of presenting at corporate level in his sales and marketing capacity, Stephen has many hours of public speaking experience. He is well known and appreciated for his incredibly candid and thought provoking messages. For cleverly making one re-evaluate ones beliefs and paradigms in a humorous, gentle questioning manner. Stephen is respected by many as a Philosopher, Teacher, Minister, Life Coach, Human Behavior Specialist and Expert on Relationships, Life Skills, concepts of Life & Death and the Meaning of Life.

 

Annually, Stephen conducts around 200 funerals, 75 weddings and spends about 200 hours coaching, teaching and counselling.

 

He also performs church services and talks at various Universalist and Spiritualist Churches. This translates into an annual live audience of over 15 000 per year and a reach of over 20 000 people

 

Stephen is a member of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA), Toastmasters International, The Wedding Professionals Association of SA (WPASA) and is a Trained Demartini Method Facilitator.

 

 

 

www.stephenvanbasten.co.za

 

About Stephen van Basten - The Marriage Expert

When you meet Stephen van Basten you instantly realize that there is more to him than meets the eye. This is not a moment to judge a book by its cover. Stephen boasts a list of achievements: He met his wife, Jacqui, 27 years ago, married her 21 years ago and is the proud father of a 'very together' 18 year old daughter. Stephen will immediately tell you with a twinkle in his eye, that Life, Work, Marriage and Parenthood are not for sissies. That while they are all hard work, they can be, and should be, incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Stephen is a past Karate World Champion, a yoga enthusiast and recovering golfer. If you opened Trip Advisor on his facebook page you will see that he has visited 81 cities in 52 countries including the USA, Alaska, Japan, Europe, Australia and China. Stephen has owned his own company, worked in his family's business, being employed by small and large businesses like Shell SA and the BTG Group. His titles include Brand Manager, Sales Manager, Account Manager, Sales Representative and Business Owner. He now sees himself as an Author, Speaker, Trainer and Coach. Stephen published his first book, "So you're engaged, now what? The journey from engaged to married" in December 2013. His ingenious marketing strategy put this book into over 2000 hands in its first 6 months. His second book "So you're alive, now what? The journey from birth to death" is available online and he is working on 5 more books in the series including "So you're married, now what?". Stephen's obvious passion and first love is Human Behavior and specifically Human Behavior as it manifests in RELATIONSHIPS. He is quick to point out that we have many differing relationships: employer, employees, customers, suppliers, colleagues, friendships, marriage, parents, siblings, children, our maker, other drivers on the roads and we generally have issues in most if not all of them. Stephen is a student of the well-known human behavior specialist, Dr. John Demartini and is constantly researching and honing his understanding of this incredibly complex subject. In 2013 he completed over 175 hours of intense training on T. Harv Eker's signature courses.
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One Response to The world according to Stephen

  1. jacquesdv says:

    Hey Stephen,

    I enjoy your take on the meaning of life. Keep on writing – the world needs to hear you.

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