How a simple tone, a single chord or a solid sound, can hit you like magic, is just incredible. It can give you a feeling of homesickness to a time and place where you’ve never been. I just came across a band called ‘Snowmine’. I never heard of them before, but man, they seem really cool. In the sense that they seem truly aligned with each other as people (in the first place), as musicians with different talents (second) and with creating multiple layered sounds (third). That not only sounds really nice, it also looks very nice. And that’s what congruency is all about. Congruency, in human behavior, means that what you say, corresponds with what you show (or do). It means you’re aligned. And it’s actually quite hard to be congruent yourself, let alone being in a band. Yet these guys, have a band. They are a band. I sure do like to hear more of them. If you like, download their song ‘Curfews’ (it’s what you hear in the beginning of the video) for free. I did, and I hope you enjoy it as much I do.

November 18, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Worldwide there were many wonderful initiatives on 11.11.2011. In a way, it was a day like any other and yet many special things happened. I guess it was that many people were aware. Aware of each other, the world we live in and the need for openness, kindness and love. This short video is a part of that flow. It was shot and edited in Cape Town, South Africa in 11 hours on 11.11.2011. Wonderful images, with a powerful poem from Spanish poet Pedro Salinas (1891-1951). Enjoy.

November 13, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

This is a short inspirational documentary: you’ll meet writer turned knife maker Joel Bukiewicz of ‘Cut Brooklyn’. It opens with Joel talking about how his dream to become a writer didn’t work out. How afraid he was to lose his passion for writing and how that ultimately transformed into his life’s work: making knives. He talks about the human element of craft and the potential for a skill to mature into an art. And in sharing his story, he alights on the real meaning of handmade – a movement whose riches are measured in people, not cash. Anyway, step into the life of somebody with a passion.

November 11, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

I had to watch this film a couple of times to fully understand the depth of it. It’s… kind of profound. The information combined with the images that are thrown at you are impressive and, at least to me, very interesting from a philosophical point of view. The film is, in part, inspired by the ideas explored in David Deutsch’s new book: ‘The beginning of infinity’ and tells the story of how humanity is reinventing the earth and potentially the universe as a whole. The example given concerns the island of Manhattan. To be precise: the topographical shape and the material constitution of the upper surface of Manhattan, as it exists today. It is considered to be much less a matter of geology than it is of culture, science, economics, politics and human psychology. The effects of shaping the earth geological forces were trumped (you might say) by these other forces. Forces that proved themselves, in the fullness of time, physically stronger. Deutsch thinks the same thing must in the long run be true of the universe as a whole. Stuff like gravitation and dark energy are the sorts of things that determine the shape of the cosmos only in its earliest, and most parochial stages. The rest is going to be a matter of our own intentional doing. Wow. More info about the film? Click here.

November 9, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Here’s a beautiful and inspirational film called ‘The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering)’. Watching it had a soothing effect on me. As if it was a gateway to a higher state of consciousness, where the mind becomes calm and the body relaxed. I hope it has the same effect on you. Enjoy.

November 6, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Finding love is like a journey. A journey of two people, traveling to a certain place in time where they first lay eyes on each other. But to get to that place, can be a bumpy ride. In daily life, the things we do, the places we go, the moves we make: they appear to be so very different from what everybody else does. Especially when you’re single, it’s easy to see yourself as a ‘stand alone’, since all the people around you sooner or later move in a different direction. This film tells the story of a boy in Paris and a girl in New York. For sure, they are worlds apart, yet also completely synchronized when it comes to the things they things they do, the places they go and the moves they make. They may be alone, but in being alone, they are most certainly not the only one. And that in itself creates a connection between them. Will they find each other? Watch and find out. A little note on the creative aspect of this film: it was entirely shot using a Nokia N8 mobile phone. Wonderfully done. Enjoy.

November 4, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , , ,

As kids, having fun is our main concern. As adults however, not having any concern seems like fun. Now that’s a shift in focus: along the line, instead of focussing on having fun, we somehow start to focus on avoiding having concerns. So I thought it would be nice to show you a film about toys. Especially for those who were born somewhere between 1970 and 1980, watching these toys will bring back some joyous moments from the past. So here’s to having fun, here’s to toys. Enjoy.

November 2, 2011 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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