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: ,
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:
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:
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 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
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 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags:
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 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
getting lost is a great way to find yourself

Imagine yourself waking up in a maze. After hours of searching but not finding the exit, you come to the conclusion that you’re completely lost. Bummer maybe, but an opportunity for sure. Because with everything and everyone gone – there’s only one person that you can turn to. And that person is… you. You will find yourself, because being lost means there’s nothing else to focus on except yourself. I always tell people: “You are the only person that’s with you 24/7. From the second you were born until your last breath, nobody spends more time with you, than you. For that reason, starting a really loving friendship with yourself is a really good idea”. Yet, in life we don’t always connect that well with ourselves. We are so focussed on the outside world, that it becomes the compass we live by. Until the moment we get lost and the outside world is no longer the beacon that we can hold on to. Then we can only hold on to ourselves. That’s what I mean with getting lost is a great way to find yourself.

October 4, 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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