“Don’t take it seriously, dad,” my eldest son said to me, when we were playing Monopoly along with my girlfriend a while ago. Every time my sons make remarks like that, I become alert. Sure, I knew he meant it literally, he was telling me not to be absorbed by the game. Still, this remark had a deeper meaning to it, and a few days later it dawned on me what he really meant. Whether or not he was aware of this, he meant that I could simply enjoy the game and our get-together.
You can achieve anything you wish to achieve. It starts with an idea and ends with results. You will have to deal with everything in between, so, you might as well enjoy it. – Richard Lawrence
Where there’s a will, there’s friction
From a very early age, I have been very sensitive. Yet, it’s only been in the last couple of years that I really started to listen to what I felt and really started to follow up on that. Before that, it usually came down to willpower and determination. This changed when I began practicing aikido in 2000. Especially what one of my teachers said, woke me up. “Where there’s a will, there’s friction,” he said. I didn’t grasp what he meant until later on. When you act goal-oriented, you will increase the chances of achieving your goals, but if you don’t take into account what’s going on around you and only follow your will, you will experience friction, sooner or later. Also, you will miss the opportunities, discoveries and surprises that the Universe lays at your feet – the ‘serendipities’.
I have an intention
Nowadays I have more and more faith in what I feel, and I act upon what comes to me. That doesn’t mean I don’t focus on anything or that I don’t have desires. I most certainly have an intention when I do something and I’m constantly creating the life of my dreams, however, I’m no longer goal-oriented. I’m highly conscious, I sense clearly and I act upon what I feel. When, for instance, I’m playing Rummikub with my girlfriend and her mother every Wednesday, I intend to place of all my tiles. Once I have this intention, I enjoy the game and the company. Then, the rest will be effortless, will happen almost by itself.
Flow like flowing water
This works like a charm. As that aikido teacher also said: “Be like flowing water.” I can only be like this by merely having a positive intention. I feel and visualize my desires, and leave it all to the Universe. While the Universe is working on it for me, I do whatever comes to mind – given to me by the Universe – and take joy in doing that. The Universe gives more of what I pay attention to. Especially that what causes me to feel intensely, both negative and positive. So, when I feel resistance, I will experience more resistance. When I feel joy and pleasure, I will experience more joy and pleasure. I am aware of this when I wake up in the morning, and, more and more often, I will be aware of it throughout the day.
Morning (Peer Gynt) – Grieg
The Eleventh Commandment
Well, how come, in society today, we have great difficulty enjoying ourselves and only feel fulfilled when we accomplish things through hard work? I believe the Protestant work ethic and the Church in general played a big part in this. For example, when I look at the Ten Commandments in the Bible, I figure that they’re more like restrictions than commandments. They make me feel unhappy. Now, I’m not a Christian, but I do believe Jesus existed and that he, among other things, possessed great creative powers, with which he created things that he took enjoyment from. That’s why I can’t imagine him disapproving of enjoyment. We’re living in a material world. A world that we have created together. I believe we’re supposed to enjoy life, that we may eat the fruits of our labour. I believe in the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt enjoy.
There are a number of pubs in the Netherlands called ‘Het Elfde Gebod’ (The Eleventh Commandment), and a beer brand as well. Talking about beer, a country where they drink a lot of beer and enjoy life to the full is Australia. Its society is often referred to as being hedonistic – viewing pleasure as the greatest good. I feel it’s not as bad as they say and view this from another perspective. I know its history, I know the circumstances under which this society arose and see how enjoyment contrasts with the hard life in the Outback with its many adversities and the unpredictable weather conditions. Because of this, the people in the country have a fatalistic outlook on life. There is little that will shake these people. They take life as it comes and endure all hardships with a healthy dose of self-mockery.
Surfline Exclusive – Tavarua Dreaming Part 2
Every cloud has a silver lining
A smile on my face
I grew up in this country with its huge differences, in between the idolization of pleasure and fatalism. A country with its flash floods, terrible drought, cyclones and innumerable dangerous animals, but also with its barbecues on the beach, surfing, beautiful natural scenery and a rich cultural diversity. It reflects my experience of life there. I felt at home there and enjoyed living there, and at the same time, I moved house frequently, which meant constantly saying goodbye to friends. I felt happy most of the time, but also sad, lonely and guilty at times. That feeling of guilt troubled me for a long time. Fortunately, I focussed on things that made me happy, and that would put a smile on my face again. I was enjoying life once more.
B.J. Thomas – Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head
Pharrel Williams – Happy
Your joy is your unmasked sadness. The source from which a smile arises is the same one that is all too often filled with your tears. How else could it be? The deeper sadness carves your being, the more joy you can hold within. – Kahlil Gibran
The small things in life
When I take a good look at it, I realize enjoying is an easy thing for me to do. I enjoy the small things in life; they fill me with sheer happiness. For example: sunrise and clamping my fingers around a nice, hot cup of tea early in the morning at breakfast. The big things too, like my children and my girlfriend, and all my other loved ones bring me great joy.
U2 – Beautiful Day
What else do I enjoy?
I enjoy: my work, writing, meeting new people, travelling, nature, walking in nature, beautiful scenery, reading, cooking and good food, red wine, chocolate, pizza, cheesecake, the Provence, flowers, giving my girlfriend pink roses, being with family and friends, jogging, beautiful music and singing, looking at (and buying) beautiful clothes, swimming, looking forward to surfing lessons, driving our car, looking at other beautiful cars, hugging and cuddling, hugging and cuddling my girlfriend, hugging my sons, cuddling the cat.
Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight
Maserati Quattroporte 2013 Road Test
What do you enjoy?
Talking about the cat, her name is Flo (For Love Only), and she thoroughly enjoys sleeping on her own or playing with a ball of paper. The latter makes her go pleasantly berserk. She shows me how simple it is to enjoy when you don’t have expectations towards a result. It’s in animals’ and children’s nature to enjoy easily. They are pure in there experiences, they are unconditional and receptive, and they live here and now. Flo is my big example and from her example I learn. Well, I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but this year I’m making an exception: I am enjoying my life. So, what about you? What do you enjoy?
Kool & The Gang – Celebration
‘Australian Beach’ by Damien King on Freeimages.com
‘Pink Roses’ by Bekah Richards on Feeimages.com
‘Frost Leaves’ by Jixue Yang on Freeimages.com
‘Sun By The Trees’ by Peter Hol on Freeimages.com
‘Flow’ by Jan Zajc on Freeimages.com
‘Floating Home’ by Ryan Thomas on Freeimages.com
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