• Daring to be vulnerable gives you power to be

      People are vulnerable as individuals and as a species. And fighting vulnerability is useless. No matter how hard you try. Simply because you can’t control everything and so your life can turn upside down at any moment of any day. You may be the King of the World, the Smartest Woman in the Universe or the Sexiest Man Alive; it won’t help. You can however hide from it. And most of us do. Behind a fancy job title, nice car or house. Interesting friends, a busy agenda, designer clothes or healthy hipster life style, but sooner or later vulnerability will find you. So what can you do? Well, it’s simple.

      Simply face it and embrace it. Because when you embrace it, you no longer need to fight it. You no longer need to run or hide from it, by keeping up appearances and putting energy in this hopeless attempt to avoid the discomfort of feeling it. You can now be as you are, vulnerable, instead of pretending not to be. The way I see it: vulnerability is indestructible. So by letting it in and become a part of you, in a way that makes you indestructible. Daring to be vulnerable gives you power to be.

      Vulnerability becomes a Strength

      Are you alive?

      From time to time it’s good to ask yourself: “Am I alive?” Because it’s not uncommon to just be busy doing what you’re always doing. To be caught up in a routine. And that routine may very well result in hours, days, weeks, months or even years of living, without actually being alive. Because there’s more to living, than just breathing. Imagine someone in a coma and it becomes clear… I recently attended a re-birthing workshop and I experienced the difference between A) normal breathing: a mostly shallow, kind of mechanic and unconscious way of getting the bare minimum of oxygen ‘shots’ and B) breathing with full awareness, in a rich flow, organic and fully open to receive life’s energy in all it’s splendor. It let me experience the meaning of the phrase: “Just because you breathe, doesn’t mean you’re alive”. And so I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to wonder: am I  really alive or mostly just busy breathing?

      Just because you breathe

      Who am I… or rather, what am I?

      I guess you’re familiar with this sensation: one moment you feel great, and the next… well not so great. I sometimes feel like I’m nothing and sometimes I feel as though I’m everything. It’s a really fine line, much like it is with being crazy or brilliant. John Lennon had a nice way of putting it. He said: “Part of me suspects I’m a loser. The other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty”. I wrote a post about that one too. Anyway. A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon the “I, a universe of atoms…” quote by the American physicist Richard P. Feynman (1918 – 1988). And it’s stuck in my head ever since. Because to me his words are both mind blowing and heart warming. The thought of “I” being a tiny, stand alone atom – and an infinite, whole universe at the same time, blows my ego off it’s socks. Because “I” isn’t (only) the ‘earthly me’. “I” is a single atom and an entire universe, completing one another. Think about that when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror. So yes, it’s a quote I gratefully meditate on. It’s so simple and yet so deeply profound. It makes me feel humble and larger than life at the same time – it’s liberating. Look at us humans. Look at you, look at me. We are both nothing and everything. Again. That’s just… wow.

      I, a universe of atoms

      focusNjoy #122: Stop searching, start finding

      Imagine you’re looking for something, but you can’t find it. Annoying. Yes. Very. But then, maybe you’re not supposed to find it. Or maybe you’re just looking in the wrong place. Or maybe… you already found it, but you don’t realize it yet. Whatever the reason is, you might want to stop searching. Why? Well think about it: as long as you’re busy searching – you’re not… finding!

      Stop searching, Start finding

      A fresh start for focusNjoy

      Dear friends, it’s been more than a year since my last post! Honestly, I needed the break but a lot of good things have happened to me in the meantime. Apart from a great time at Eyeworks Netherlands, where I worked as a Senior Creative with some great people at the Program Development Team, it were exciting times for me personally as well. Too much to tell you in one post. But I will share more in the coming months, because it’s been truly transformational.

      I’m planning on a brand new start of focusNjoy at the end of April. And this time, I intend to actually make some money haha – because running an ad-free blog is great, but from a financial point of view it wasn’t a success and one of the reasons for me to get back to television. Later in 2014 I intend to finally start with my workshops in Amsterdam. I’m super excited about that but let’s see how things develop. Anway – I’m back and I’m feeling fresh. Hoping to hear from you – always feel free to send me an email and say hi!

      Love, Stijn.

      focusNjoy back 2014
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  • Posts by focusNjoy

    Here can be a short biographical information
    What if happiness was a profession?

    As I was strolling through the city of Rome, I was thinking about happiness and how it always seems to come and go. I was imagining it to be a profession, and realized that if it were, it would be the hardest work. Even having a dozen degrees wouldn’t be enough for guaranteed success. Because just as with a dentist, regardless of the amount of diplomas on the wall; you could still be genius or a dud.

    What if happiness was a profession?
    Just like a Doctor of Medicine, you’d need to master the skill of improvisation, finding new cures against unexpected attacks by unfamiliar viruses of depression. Like a Lawyer, you’d need to be an excellent debater, always able to convince the jury that the things that cause sadness are in fact opulent gifts of life. Like an Engineer, you’d need the talent to create fantastic theorems for building happy pieces of reality starting from what already exists. And you’d need the courage of a Physicist and dig deep into the core of transformation to discover the atoms of which happiness is constructed.

    You’d also need to have patience, just like an Astronomer observing the evolution of stars. You’d need the generous mind of an Architect to conceive forms and shapes that enrich empty spaces with beauty. And like a Microscopist, you’d need to look beyond what you can see with the naked eye, because too often that’s just inadequate.

    To happiness

    If happiness was a profession, you’d need to be cool like a Poker Player, bluffing yourself through life’s challenges. Like a Saint you’d have to understand, love and forgive all that comes in the way of your work of happiness. Like a Poet you must create beautiful new objectivities, by reinterpreting poor realities. You’d have to play it like an Actor and digest and purify it like a Writer. You’d need to be accustomed to poison like an ancient King and be able to turn lead into gold, just like an Alchemist. And most of all… just like a Yogi, you must be able to ignore provocations, because provocations cause anger, and anger… is a reason to be expelled from the register of the happy-‘professionals’.

    So clearly, if happiness were a profession… it would be the craziest, most demanding job. Ridiculous even. And then I stopped walking and smiled. Because although it’s hard work at times, happiness is not a profession. It’s a force of energy, always there for us to tap into without any effort. And maybe that’s the hardest part of happiness: to not work for it at all, but to just let happiness… happen.


    Silvia Bilotti
    (This piece is an excerpt of Silvia’s upcoming novel, edited for focusNjoy by Stijn Ouwehand).

    Silvia BilottiSilvia Bilotti was born close to Naples but currently lives in Rome, Italy. She works as an actress in theatre and television productions, she’s a singer and writer. She writes poetry and “Il Canto della Dea” (The Song of the Goddess) is the title of her last anthology. Her first novel “Apnea” is going to be published and she is currently working on her next novel and a new anthology.

    More posts on happiness
    Happiness needs no cause
    Stop chasing happiness, start being happy

     

    May 1, 2014 door:
    Categorie: column
    I, a universe of atoms

    I guess you’re familiar with this sensation: one moment you feel great, and the next… well not so great. I sometimes feel like I’m nothing and sometimes I feel as though I’m everything. It’s a really fine line, much like it is with being crazy or brilliant. John Lennon had a nice way of putting it. He said: “Part of me suspects I’m a loser. The other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty”. I wrote a post about that one too. Anyway. A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon the “I, a universe of atoms…” quote by the American physicist Richard P. Feynman (1918 – 1988). And it’s stuck in my head ever since. Because to me his words are both mind blowing and heart warming. The thought of “I” being a tiny, stand alone atom – and an infinite, whole universe at the same time, blows my ego off it’s socks. Because “I” isn’t (only) the ‘earthly me’. “I” is a single atom and an entire universe, completing one another. Think about that when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror. So yes, it’s a quote I gratefully meditate on. It’s so simple and yet so deeply profound. It makes me feel humble and larger than life at the same time – it’s liberating. Look at us humans. Look at you, look at me. We are both nothing and everything. Again. That’s just… wow.

    April 23, 2014 door:
    Categorie: Daily Inspiration

    Being a Life Coach and Creative Consultant – how can I not love this video essay on creativity. You’re going to see the first of a two-part series on ‘our distorted view of creativity and success’. The filmmaker says: “Do you ever have that feeling that everyone else is more successful than you? If you think that’s bad – try being Leonardo Da Vinci”. Scroll down to see part 2. It’s worth your time!

    April 18, 2014 door:
    Categorie: Video

    Here’s part 2 of ‘The Long Game’. As I suggested earlier: take your time to achieve great things. And after seeing this video – I’m more convinced than ever: every phase is a chapter. And every chapter has meaning – even when it’s hard to see what it is at the moment you’re still in it. In the end it’s a bridge to the next chapter. So let’ not  be frustrated over things if they don’t work out as quickly as we’d like. Let’s be aware that A) it’s just a phase and it will pass and B) let’s wonder what it’s trying to tell us. This way we can learn from it and be more at peace while being in the process.

    April 18, 2014 door:
    Categorie: Video

    Ok, you gotta check out this cool guy. His name is Ray Barbee, he’s a legendary professional skateboarder from San Jose, California. This short film illustrates his passion for creativity, music and photography and shows how he passes those values on to his children. His view on life is refreshing and inspirational. Be playful, curious, creative, work hard, learn new things, do what you enjoy.

    April 3, 2014 door:
    Categorie: Video
    Stop searching, Start finding

    Imagine you’re looking for something, but you can’t find it. Annoying. Yes. Very. But then, maybe you’re not supposed to find it. Or maybe you’re just looking in the wrong place. Or maybe… you already found it, but you don’t realize it yet. Whatever the reason is, you might want to stop searching. Why? Well think about it: as long as you’re busy searching – you’re not… finding!

    March 31, 2014 door:
    Categorie: Daily Inspiration

    “Tiny Worlds” is a micro-short with a humorous take on reality. It shows a  tiny world, within our world. Something that is happening at the level of our feet and that is so small we don’t even notice it. But as tiny as it may be, it’s a universe of it’s own. I think everything is a universe of it’s own, simply because if you zoom in on something – anything – you’ll find that it never really ends. You can always zoom in further. There’s always a next dimension, a new layer that stems from the previous one. Try looking at your problems that way. Zooming in (or out) always creates space and new options.

    March 29, 2014 door:
    Categorie: Video
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