Can you see it?
The thing about beauty is that it’s only there if you see it. Aesthetically speaking, there are a number of ‘rules’ or ‘criteria’ to define beauty. This suggests that in order to recognize beauty, you must know these rules. Not true! Beauty is a personal appreciation of something for some reason or no reason at all. And you can find it in everything. Even in something ugly for without ugliness, beauty wouldn’t even exist. To unlock and see the beauty in everything, live in a state of wonder. It’s important not to judge, for judging kills beauty. But even in judging, and the death of beauty, beauty can be found.
December 14, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Schermafbeelding 2012-12-04 om 13.04.45

What can I say, this bench offers some really good advice for us all. Isn’t it lovely? Located in San Diego, USA, but it would be much appreciated in Amsterdam too and I’m sure all over the world.

December 4, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Today or not today

We have yesterday. Yesterday is gone. We have tomorrow. Tomorrow isn’t here yet. And we have today. Today is all we’ve got. But are we going today or not today? That’s the question.

November 22, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Time is always on your side

If you would stare at a clock and observe for five minutes how the seconds pass by, it appears to be an awful long time. And yet an entire year can pass by, leaving us wondering how on earth time can go that fast! The difference lies in your experience. Your experience of time is based on A) your awareness of it and B) the meaning you give to it. When you are unaware of time, time flies. When you are aware of time, time is eternal. Give it a positive meaning and it becomes pleasurable. Give it a negative meaning and it becomes dreadful. If you manage to be aware of time and give it a positive meaning, happiness will follow. In essence, you create time – it’s not the other way around. Your very existence, creates time for without you there wouldn’t be a time. At least not for you, in this life you live. So regardless of how you experience time; never forget that time is always on your side.

November 20, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
I object to violence

As a boy growing up in the 80’s, large sections of the daily news talked about the violent relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians. Now at the end of 2012, my kids grow up hearing about the same situation, the same parties, still fighting, both claiming their right to fight. I’m only a bystander. As I read the news I realize there’s nothing new about this news. I try to understand it, but I don’t. And I try to imagine what it must be like growing up as an Israeli or Palestinian kid, experiencing every day the horror that I only read about. I try to imagine what it must be like growing up in a world of violence, in a culture of retribution. I guess they too try to understand it, but that they too don’t. And the violence continues. This post is to express my profound wish that one day the Israelis and Palestinians will object to violence. That they not claim their right to fight, but their right for peace.

November 19, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |

Take it easy. Don’t worry. Relax. At least try. Go out. And play. Or stay in. And play. At least try. Have fun. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy the moment. Every moment. Because it’s over before you know it.

November 14, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Get busy living

CELEBRATION: this is the 100th focusNjoy insight! In little over one and a half year I’ve created and shared 100 visuals and stories, and I will continue to do so with great pleasure. This insight speaks for itself: we can live with restraint, in prisoned by fear thinking death is the worst case scenario. Or we live free from that fear and fully embrace the great adventure called life. Let’s choose for the latter because without a doubt our life will end, but before that happens let’s make sure that our life has begun! In the magnificent film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, about a man who spends a great deal of his life in prison, one of the characters at some point says: “You either get busy dying or you get busy living”. To me that’s an inspirational quote because in a way it’s a choice we all have to make.

November 13, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
    • 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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