• 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

    You’re about to see a 5 second film. Only 5 seconds? Yes, only 5 seconds but don’t worry, it’s a complete story. It’s about a woman looking at herself in the mirror, smiling and thinking: “I can change the world with this smile”. The next moment she walks out the door, smiles and waves to a stranger in the street, who in return gives her ‘the finger’ saying: “Fuck off…”. My first thought: “Ouch”, but then the woman says: “It worked…”. The End. Hmm, pretty intense… I looked for some information and this is what the filmmaker says: “Flip that frown upside down. You’ll never know what’ll get flipped back at you”. Now, it’s a fictional story, I don’t wanna get all psychological about it, but the fact is that any facial expression evokes some sort of a response. And whether you flip your frown or not, you never know what you’ll get back. What I do know is that whatever the response is, it tells more about that other person than about you. I once read: When someone answers your smile with negativity, look at that as if it were a present: you don’t have to accept it. By not accepting it, you don’t absorb that other persons negative energy and you can continue being you in good harmony.

    October 11, 2011 door:
    Categorie: Video
    In tune

    You probably know the photograph above, it’s called ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’. It displays New York construction workers and was taken by Charles C. Ebbets on September 29, 1932. The eleven men you see are having lunch sitting on a crossbeam hanging at the 69th(!) floor of the RCA Building. Imagine sitting there. No, imagine walking up there first, then sitting down and then having your sandwich for lunch, smoking a cigarette or reading the news paper. No safety line, but still, they make it look like they are sitting on a bench in the park. The only explanation for it is that these men are completely in tune with their surroundings. Are you in tune with yours? And how do you know?

    October 10, 2011 door:
    Categorie: Daily Inspiration

    Wonder around in Los Angeles at night and be amazed by all the city lights and movement. Although there’s no person in it, thousands of people pass by in cars and airplanes, helicopters, moving from left to right, people going up and down, in and out of buildings etc.. The effect of time lapse cinematography makes everything appear to move really fast: city life looks like a colony of ants. But the images, melancholic music and the subtle montage, create such a peaceful atmosphere that it makes you reflect on life. It made me very much aware of the time, space and peace that is all around us, even in the city traffic, but is so hard to see when you’re in the middle of it all.

    October 8, 2011 door:
    Categorie: Video
    Yes, play!

    As kids we are care free, as adults we are (or try to be) responsible. So far so good. But many adults think that in order to be responsible, you must be serious. And so, in an attempt to be responsible all the time, they are serious all the time. Simply playing without trying to achieve anything, or laughing until your stomach hurts – such a common thing among kids – becomes a rarity. That’s too bad because playing is like meditation and laughter is a great stress relief. So I thought of a little ‘play’ exercise that will make you smile – and hopefully laugh out loud. All you need is a pen. You can ask someone to play with you but even when you’re alone, this will give you a fun moment. Alright here’s what you do: draw a little face on your finger and give the finger face a name, like Fred, Enrico, Isabella or Trudy. You can add titles like: Uncle or Miss or doctor etc.. Obviously your finger face can’t speak out loud, so you’ll have to do that for him/her. Preferably with a silly voice. And a French, Spanish or Russian accent alway works. Yes, don’t be shy – be silly. Like me, when I started a fight with my finger face, for he gave me a big mouth. Anyway, here’s some inspiration for drawing your perfect finger face. Go play, have fun and don’t worry, it’s a very responsible thing to do.

    October 7, 2011 door:
    Categorie: Daily Inspiration

    I always thought The Beatles song ‘Help!’ was a love song. You know: “Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody…” and then I stopped listening to the lyrics, believing I got the message. Until I came across this video. It’s a beautifully made animation, kind of adorable actually and it made me understand and appreciate the song better. It’s really about getting older, changing times and things becoming more complicated. For instance the line: “When I was younger, so much younger than today… I never needed anybody’s help in any way”, reminded me of my childhood when life was clear and problems didn’t seem to exist. But then of course times change, as they do in the song.

    October 6, 2011 door:
    Categorie: Video
    keep track of your life, keep a journal

    Keeping a journal may seem old fashion, but it offers you great benefits. 1) Writing down what you’ve experienced and what you hope for in the future, is an introspective process. You go inwards instead of outwards. That’s good because seeking inner peace in the outside world is not gonna work. 2) You focus on what really matters. You will only write down stuff that is important to you. It’s your journal, what anybody else thinks of that, is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that you pay attention to your priorities in life. 3) Keeping a journal keeps you on the ground, like an anchor. Instead of running wild from one thing to another, you now take some time to mark your moves and be aware of where you are and how you feel. 4) You automatically write your autobiography. You keep track of your hopes and fears, your dreams and reality, your successes and failures. Anytime later, you can see where you came from. 5) You transform your non-manifest thoughts and feelings to the outside or manifest world. You can lay your thinking to rest, because it’s become manifest in the words you chose. And… there’s more to it, but I will reveal that when I’ll start my first focusNjoy Mind Gym sessions, in early 2012. Keeping a journal will proof to be used as an effective tool to get a grip on yourself, your life and all that matters to you most. In the meantime, if you weren’t already doing it: keep a journal.

    October 5, 2011 door:
    Categorie: Daily Inspiration

    Yesterday I watched this short film. It’s called ‘Move’ and tells the story of a guy traveling. He’s in a different situation, in a different part of the world almost every second of the film. A roller coaster ride? Yes, but great direction and editing makes it look tranquil nonetheless. Intrigued by the film I read some information about it and learnt the film was made by 3 guys, in 44 days and 11 countries. It took them 18 flights and they flew an astonishing 38 thousand miles… No wonder they called the film ‘Move’, I thought to myself and remembered a nice Albert Einstein quote about moving: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. If you enjoyed watching this film, I recommend you watch the other two parts as well. See them here (‘Eat’) and here (‘Learn’).

    October 5, 2011 door:
    Categorie: Video
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