Lady GaGa gave an interview recently in which she said: “(…) I really encourage people to look into the darkness and look into places that you would not normally look to find uniqueness and specialness because that’s where the diamonds are hiding”. Beautiful words, worth to look into: standing in the light is associated with being good, talented and living according valuable virtues. Shadows on the other hand are defined as the dark side of things (for example our personality). We try hard to be known for our qualities and try even harder to hide our weaknesses. Understandable maybe, but in doing so we forget that no one is all good or all bad. Nobody’s perfect, light and shadow go together. To emphasize this, I often use this phrase: “If you don’t have a shadow, you’re not standing in the light”. In other words: stop stressing trying to be perfect, embrace your shadows, for they complete you. This film offers you a playful view on shadows, portraying them not as your frightening ‘dark side’, but as a cute, colorful, fun loving part of you, following every move you make.

May 22, 2012 by: | Category: Video |
Where and when is the here and now!?

Often described a the place to be, living in the ‘here and now’ is a much talked about thing. And it sure sounds nice, but where the hell is it!? How do you live ‘in’ it? Did you ever find yourself more or less asking that question? Well, I did many times and I still do every now and then, usually in a moment of frustration. But the harder I search for it, the more difficult it is to find it. Until of course I realize the ‘here and now’ can’t be searched for. Simply because it is not there and then, it’s already: here, now. So then I stop biting the steel. I take a deep breath, stop searching and… start finding.

May 17, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |

This film is beautiful! It brings to life what I talk about often on focusNjoy.com and in my practice: something only has meaning in the presence of something else. Like night and day, young and old or for example cops and robbers etc.. Sit back and enjoy the visual poetry, touching the essence of life.

May 15, 2012 by: | Category: Video |
Take it easy

Everybody has ups and downs in life, it’s a common experience. Yet you experience the ups and downs in your own life rarely as ‘just’ ups and downs. They are: The Incredible Ups & Downs in the Great Life of You! After all they concern you, they matter, they mean something, they make an impact. But no matter how big or small the deal is, no matter how good or bad they make you feel, ultimately all ups and downs have one and the same characteristic: they all pass. So take it easy. As the director of your life, you can always choose a different camera angle or cut to the next scene.

May 15, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |

I love sports and I love athletes with the ability to inspire you with their passion. Following 55-year old David Patterson, a personal trainer and competitive regional bodybuilder, this documentary delves into the sport of bodybuilding. We are guided into the world where only the strongest survive and only the committed make it. With many, many wins under his belt, David discusses how building a body with weight training is both an art and a sport. It will certainly give you a life’s lesson or two. Enjoy!

May 14, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,
Dear sun, I know you are out there. Now stop hiding.

Some time ago a friend of mine posted a lovely self-made phrase on her Facebook wall. She said: “Dear Sun, I know you are there. Now stop hiding”. I loved it. It reminded me of this feeling of searching for something but not finding it. You know it’s there, but you just don’t see it. Quite frustrating right? And so you start searching for it even harder, but as a result of that you create a tunnel vision making it only harder to find it while making you feel worse. So instead of doing that, step back for a moment and simply ask kindly: “Dear Sun (or whatever it is you’re looking for) I know you are there, now stop hiding”. You will move from a tunnel vision to a 360 vision and as you open up you become more peaceful, creating a space to sooner or later find what you’re looking for.

May 14, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |

Tomorrow, Sunday May 13th is Mothers Day. Though it’s easy to see this day as a commercially exploited tradition (and maybe it is), it really has a deep meaning. Wikipedia defines Mother’s Day as: a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. Now I’m not the perfect son, honoring his mom with a hand written letter elaborating on my love and appreciation for her. Nor will I overload her with flowers, cookies and presents. But, like the people in this film, I will definitely say to her: thank you mom! To make this film, the filmmaker went around New York City asking real people on the street to say thank you to their mothers and what he came back with are some terrific responses, some unexpected, some adorable, and as he put it: “(…) they all brought a huge smile to my face”. And it made me smile too.

May 12, 2012 by: | Category: Video |
    • 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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