inner peace outer peace

At the end of the day, inner peace is what we all seek. It’s the motivation behind all our actions, although sometimes hidden or disguised. On Wikipedia, inner peace is explained as follows: (…) Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being “at peace” is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious. Peace of mind is generally associated with bliss, happiness and contentment (…). Now who doesn’t want that, right? And so we all go out and about to do things that hopefully will give us this sense of inner peace. This makes me wonder. Why do we go out, to find inner peace? In my desire for inner peace I often find myself running after things, people and circumstances, all of which are outside myself. I then remind myself that inner peace can only be found within. Otherwise it’d be called outer peace. I immediately feel this sense of light, calm and warmth. I no longer need to run, I can relax in knowing that all I desire lies within me. It’s already there, patiently waiting for me to be discovered.

October 2, 2015 by: | Category: column | Tags: , ,
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 by: | Category: column |
The widom of simplicity

The following story is classic, probably told in many cultures. I found it thanks to a friend of mine, on Paulo Coelho’s Blog. Here it goes: There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small village. As he sat, he saw a fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish. The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.” “Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said. The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?” The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies for a drink – we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

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November 13, 2011 by: | Category: column | Tags: , , ,
The journey is the destination

In western society we seem to be obsessed with getting results. Now, the word ‘result’ is defined as: the conclusion or end, to which any course or condition of things leads. So when it comes to the course of the things we’re doing, I guess it’s fair to say we are very much focussed on concluding them in order to have the result. Halfway the work week, we want it to be friday. For example, halfway a marathon you dream about reaching the finish line, setting a personal record. And of course it would be great if that were to happen, but with that kind of focus, we also lose something very valuable…

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September 7, 2011 by: | Category: column | Tags:

Don’t worry…
Earlier today I came across a quote about worrying. It’s from the movie Van Wilder. The main character, a high school hero, at one point says: “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere”. It made me think, because worrying is all about focus. I don’t know about you, but I often find myself worrying quite a while before changing my focus and move foreward. So why does it take me so long to snap out of this worrying state of mind?

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August 9, 2011 by: | Category: column |
Schermafbeelding 2011-07-22 om 10.26.11

Knowing where you’re going…
In our world, ‘certainty’ is very much considered worth pursuing. ‘Knowing were you’re going’, is what that game is called. Whereas ‘uncertainty’ or ‘not knowing where you’re going’, means danger. At least, this is what we’ve been told from a very early age. For example, let’s take a look at the classic Andersen tale of Hansel and Gretel. Hansel and Gretel are left alone in a remote forest.

That’s fine, because Hans is very good at the game of knowing where you’re going. So he came well prepared and left a trail of bread crumbs to find the way home. But, oh no! A bird ate all the bread crumbs! Now they are thrown in utter uncertainty and, having no other option, they start walking – not knowing where they’re going…
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July 6, 2011 by: | Category: column |

Alles verandert. Continu, zonder uitzondering. Jij verandert, je lichaam, je gedachten, emoties en gevoelens, je directe omgeving, de hele wereld en alles en iedereen daarin. En niets kan het stoppen. Dat is de overeenkomstige natuur in alles: het verandert, constant.

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April 8, 2011 by: | Category: column |
    • 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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