Here’s a fun and interesting film about deception. For most of us the word deception has a negative connotation. To deceive someone or to be deceived is considered wrong, for it is dishonest. But that is not necessarily so. The magician Karl Germain (1878-1959) once said: “Magic is the only honest profession. A magician promises to deceive you and he does”. In this film you’ll see Swiss magician Marco Tempest using 3 iPods to deceive you or better: to create magic.

October 21, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,
What do you want?

Imagine you’re searching for a key, but you don’t know what a key looks like or even what it is. How will this affect your search? Where will you begin? What do you look for? And what will you think when you see the key or even hold it in your hands? You probably wonder what it is… and continue searching. My point is, in life we’re searching for all kinds of things of which we often don’t really know what it is or what it looks like. I mean: true love, passion, happiness, the perfect job etc.. We want all that, but we don’t always have a clear visual of what that looks like. And so we become restless, constantly questioning ourselves and the things we do or don’t do to find it. Therefore, try to picture what it is that you want, for it will help you searching. Imagining things can be confronting, for it may show you a life that you are far from. It may show you an emptiness, that needs to be filled in. But even then, it is without a doubt the start of getting to where you want to be. So feel free and rest assured, if you picture life how you want it to be, bit by bit, one day you’ll find yourself living that life.

October 20, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: ,

Yes, I love road trips. Because of the freedom, when mind meets matter without pressure. No history, no future, just now. This short film makes you feel like you’re a part of a road trip. In Vermont, USA. With it’s 12 minutes you can argue it’s too long for an online video. But it’s not for a road trip! So, relax. Give yourself the joy of feeling free. This means you don’t worry and there is no hurry. Just enjoy. If you like, check out the tag cloud on the home page for more road trips.

October 18, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,
Is a wall really a wall?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Every wall, is a door”. I can relate to that from an experience I had yesterday when I ran the Amsterdam Marathon. It was my 3rd marathon, the weather was perfect and until the point of 38 kilometers, everything went really well. But then – out of the blue – a huge wall of intense muscle fatigue blocked the way between me and the finish line, just 4 kilometers ahead. Afraid that cramp would knock me out, I started slowing down, almost walking. As if someone was pointing a gun against the back of my head. This was my focus and Where focus goes, energy flows: I suffered 2 kilometers. Fortunately, the Emerson quote popped up in my mind: “Every wall, is a door” 0r in my own words: “Every obstacle is an opportunity. This changed my focus drastically. I started thinking about what I wanted, instead of what I didn’t want. What I wanted, was to start running again. And so I did. I took the chance, switched from small steps to big steps. It hurt, at first, but it gave me confidence. I was running again! I was not going to be stopped, this wall of fatigue was actually a door! This obstacle was actually an opportunity, to proof I am not my thoughts, that I could beat my fatigue. Ultimately I was able to sprint the last 500 meters to finish in 03 hrs. 49 min. 32 sec. Not my best time ever, but still 2 minutes and 36 seconds faster than last year. I felt euphoric!

October 17, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags:

Here’s a short poetic film about the sea. It’s made on the marine vessel “Portland Senator” on it’s route from Los Angeles to Shanghai, in December 2008. It took 17 days to get from A to B and during that time, apart from doing a many other things, the filmmaker stared at the sea countless hours. He wrote down 10 things he learned from his experience and one by one they appear in the film. I’ll give you 1 in advance: “The sea is like a mirror. If I’m happy, it will be happy. If I’m sad, it will be sad”. Since I’ve been wanting to travel on a vessel like this, to experience the vastness of the sea among others, I loved watching it. It made me feel like I was actually on the vessel. Watch full screen.

October 15, 2011 by: | Category: Video |

I love lullabies. Yesterday I stumbled upon this one, by My Brightest Diamond. It’s a wonderful song and video, filmed during a music festival in Berlin, august 2011. The filmmaker: “After the concert I finally dared to ask her what I wanted to ask her that morning, to sing us this lullaby that struck me down. It’s Sunday morning, a morning of hangovers. The whole hotel seems suspended in the air. We ask her to get to the bar, to make it sing for her, to sing for her son (for whom she had written this song). We erase ourselves. She, she doesn’t. After we’re done filming, I cry. She cries too.”

October 13, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,
The soup is ok

There are many food metaphors explaining life. A popular one is: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”. Yes, true and I love the movie too. Besides chocolates we have Apples (that do not fall far from the tree), Omelets (that you can’t make without breaking eggs) and Cookies (that you have today, but will be crumbs tomorrow). And of course we have Soup (that you shouldn’t eat as hot as they serve it). Slightly different from the English expression, is the Dutch proverb: “The soup is never eaten as hot as it was served”. It means that what seems intimidating at first, will proof to be far less intimidating in reality. Whether it’s something you heard in the news, an important presentation you have to do, a blind date that waits just around the corner or the thought of life without cigarettes: reality often is much kinder than our thinking.

October 12, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags:
    • 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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