Thoughts

BLOCK IT

Did you ever think how much the daily words and thoughts affect your happiness?

Bad news starting in the morning. Later in the day you hear people complaining.
In between you give attention to your thoughts of worry.
On the way home you hear somebody telling a bad story.
At home you watch a movie about people killing other people and you end the day with some more bad news.

Now let's imagine another routine.
You get up, read some inspiring quotes. Be grateful for what you have.
Later you meet people complaining. You smile and ask them "what good did you experience today?". "For what are you grateful today?".
Worries come and you smile. I will win this game! And come to the next level.
Somebody you know, tells you a bad story. You ask: What is the good in the bad story? "How can you benefit? Also, tell me something good you experienced today!"

Everywhere there is negativity waiting to enter our system. People do not notice!
Be on guard, be aware. Once you are aware you can block it.

"What you pay attention to grows"

HAPPY

Music makes happy! You, scientists - we all know that!

But did you know it helps to ease pain and depression?
Very powerful!
When you listen to music the brain releases dopamine.
Music also helps to perform better at the gym and sports. Legal, natural doping!
It has the power to release in us different kind of emotions and even goose bumps!

Other benefits:

- Reduce anxiety as much as a massage
- Improves visual & verbal skills
- Keeps an aging brain healthy
- Improves sleep quality
- Boosts your immune system
- Music helps Alzheimer's patients remember
- Music raises IQ and academic performance

WOW - Thank you for the music!

BEAUTY

What is beauty and who defines it?

A famous woman on a cover magazine with a lot of make up, professional lighting / photographer and A LOT of photoshop - this is beauty?
Maybe I need glasses or something is wrong with me. I don't like any of the famous female models.
They are all plastic to me - mannequins.

For me beauty is a mix of personality, smile, a big heart, humor and the way of thinking. And also how a woman treats me. That is beauty!

Sometimes it happened to me, that you see a pretty woman (walking down the street). Pretty by worldly standards.
And then she opens her mouth and she loses all the beauty she had before.

On the covers there should be women with attractive personalities and not mannequins with tons of makeup.

And I am sure that those famous models can be beautiful, too! Stop putting tons of make up on, put away the arrogance, the empty stare, eat some more food and show your real you!
Yes, show your fears and weakness - that is attractive!

ANGRY

Anger and sadness go hand in hand. Being angry is a sign that someone is not happy.

Imagine the situation: You drive home to work and somebody cuts you off in traffic: you take it personal and you get angry.
Next morning you wake up and realize you won the lottery. Now you drive to the bank to get the money.
On the way to the bank, again somebody cuts you off. Do you feel angry? Do you think how unfair the world is and how people are ignorant?
Do you take it personal?

No way! You don't care! You are happy! You see! People and circumstances are not causing your anger - You are!

If someone is angry, they are not happy. Make them happy! Say a compliment or show them understanding.
Don't let the anger go over to you. Stop it immediately by showing compassion.

And if you are angry? What causes you unhappiness right now in your life? How can you fix it?

Be happy!

CRITICAL VOICE

Don't argue with your critical voice in your head. Don't tell it "shut up".

That doesn't help. It makes it worse.
Not giving attention is the best to shut up that voice.

Psychology:
Like with kids, workers, partners and dogs:
"Ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior."
Don't give attention to bad thoughts or bad behavior.
Reinforce the good thoughts and good behavior.

For example:
You have a girlfriend who causes drama.
Don't get emotional. She will know that she can get your attention and a reaction out of you.
Bad. You will reinforce bad behavior. The drama will increase.
Better ask: "Do you want to fight or resolve this like adults?".
If she doesn't cooperate, walk away - every time.
When there is a fight and you apologize, give more attention, more affection and good make up sex -
you just reinforced her bad behavior and she will repeat it even more. And soon you will live in a soap opera.
No, better give a lot of attention and affection when she is doing good things for you.
What ever you reward (and put attention to) good or bad - it will grow.

Ignore bad behavior and only reward good behavior.

That applies to any aspect of human (or animal) connections.
And also to thoughts. Ignore the critical voice, don't argue and don't get emotional about it.

PRESENCE

Something attracted me to take the picture of the gentleman in the restaurant.

I didn't know first what it was. Later I looked at the photo and realized what fascinated me in that moment:
Everybody was doing something, having headphones in their ears, reading a newspaper, talking or being on the phone.
He was just being present. People always need some distraction.
Can you imagine waiting somewhere and just "being" instead of "doing" (distraction).
Being "in the moment" gives you "presence", which gets you attention from other people.
His presence caught my attention!

Is technology really helping us to make better connections?
I don't think so.

Next time when you are waiting and public: don't pull out your phone.
AND.
Look how many people are not taking part of life.
It's crazy how many! I am guilty of it, too.
That's not being present!
I make a promise to myself:
Only to use the phone to respond to important messages.
No more browsing the internet in public.
You are in line in a coffee shop?
Observe the people - Smile, make connections!

LOVE SYMBOL

In Leon there is a bridge where couples who are "in love" or should I rather say: "on love", like they are "on drugs"? (Which they indeed are - technically).

They put a lock as a symbol of love on the bridge.
Really? That's the correct symbol?
Locks represents: you want to keep something secure. Or you want to lock somebody away (prison). Locks are about CONTROL.

People think when they are "in love" that is love.
No, those are chemicals. Beautiful ones, for sure!
But, love is not a feeling. It is an ACTION.
If you really love someone, you let them be free and not try to change or control them. The person you "love" is not your property.

What happens if you grab a soap tight in the shower?
It will slip away.

For me the symbol of love is: a soap.

Grab it to hard, it will slip away.
Try to change its form (demands), it won't be beautiful anymore.

If you love someone, let them go, let them be free, let them BE and accept them as they are.

If you try to control someone, try to change them or put them in a prison:
It is selfish and not love.

"I love you when....."
This is not love. This is manipulation.

What symbol do you think represents best "love" ?

PRESENT

Some surreal moments from a party at the countryside.

Good conversations.
One topic stayed in my mind.
We were talking how fast time goes by.....
It's true!

"It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts."

We are wasting time by worrying, being nostalgic and planning.
"I'll be happy when.."
No!
NOW is the time to be happy and to live.
The past and the future doesn't exist.
If we are living in the past or in the future, were are missing the PRESENT!

It's called present because it is a present.

Don't waste this moment with thinking too much about yesterday or tomorrow.

WATER

We all know how amazing and essential water is for life. There are many interesting facts!

But did you know that water has kind of a consciousness?

Scientist did an experiment, exposing different kinds of music to water. After it they froze the water and observed it under a microscope.
Classical, happy music produced beautiful crystals. Heavy metal, aggressive and sad music resulted in deformed crystals.

The same results were found with words. Words were spoken regulary to the water. Same results like with the music. Positive words: symmetrical, beautiful crystals.
Negative words: deformed crystals.

The average human body is about 60% water. Think about that!

Our words and thoughts have power. It effects water! How much of an impact do they then have on us and others?

Massive!

So take care what you think and say.

HIGH HEELS

Women look and walk super sexy with high heels.

The only disadvantge is: as a man you have to slow down (a lot) if you accompany a woman with high heels.
But it's totally worth it!
Did you know that the first high heels were worn by men?
Yes, the French royals long time ago wore them, then women.
Am I jealous? No at all! I prefer women wear them.
I could not imagine walking slow, taking care of my balance, having to watch my every step and having pain in the of the day.

Ladies, thank you for sacrificing yourself to look pretty for us!

MYSTERY

"Anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown"

Of course, if someone wants a portrait, they want to be seen!
But why not have some "mystery" shots as well?
I can't explain why I am so attracted to this type of photos.
Maybe because it lets you more room for imagination? To build a story in your head?

Anyway, it's stimulation for the brain (at least for mine).

FINGER

The moment you point the finger at someone criticizing or judging them:

Look how many fingers point at you!
Humans have problems with communication. You, me and everyone else.
Unfortunately we don't learn that in school. And some people never learn to communicate.
It is a life long journey. We have to switch from "me" to "you".
A conflict is not about being right. It is trying to really understand the other one.
And please try to understand and be understood.
We all are not perfect. We see and experience things differently.
If we fight, criticize each other and trying to be right and make the other one feel wrong, we will not find a solution. This is one reason why relationships fall apart.
LACK OF GOOD COMMUNICATION.
LISTEN, DON'T POINT YOUR FINGER, TRY TO UNDERSTAND AND BE UNDERSTOOD.
It's not about who is right or wrong. It's about how can we fix this as a team.

HOW can I be a better communicator?
Education! There is a lot of good imformation online.

But for starters, what worked best for me:
Let the other one finish their thoughts, without interruption. Let the person speak so long until they have nothing to say.
Then take a pause, think about what has been said.
Now it's your turn. Ask the other person to return the favor, to talk without being interrupted.

That's the first step. Being a good communicator and problem solver takes a life time of learning.

So let's start NOW!

PERSISTANCE

A party at the countryside is refreshing for the soul.
BUT.
It's nature! So many flies wanting to get some free food and drinks.
Impressive, how persistent they are!
You can move your hand as much you want, they come back to the exact same spot.
Probably laughing at you!
They have their goal in mind and nothing can stop them (except a newspaper).
At some point I just gave up and shared my drink with the fly.
Inspirational!
A little thing with a small brain has more willpower than a human.
Imagine, what would be possible if we would be persistent like the little fly!

:)

Do you see a face?
It's a very common phenomenon to see faces in ordinary objects.
Our brain is on overdrive interpreting things around us.
Babies process faces long before they recognize other objects.
Incredible moving images of unborn infants before their birth,
show that they turn their heads towards shapes which resemble faces. But when they see a random shape, they ignore it.

We all have this ability built in to see faces where there are none.

Fortunately, all the faces looking at me are friendly ones.

PERVERT!

That's what someone could have thought, seeing me there for many minutes taking pictures of the sexy mannequins.

Yes, I love this kind of underwear.
BUT.
Also, I am fascinated of mannequins, shop windows and reflections.
How many people walking by noticed the broken boobies from the mannequins?
The camera makes me feel that I see more than people without the camera!
Why? Because I stay longer with an object, I look closer and from different angles.
That all taught me photography.
Also I learned that there is not only ONE version of what we think or see.
There are many! We have to have the courage to question what we see or believe.
Otherwise we are only robots. Everything is dimensional and not only objects but also humans and situations.
Dare to see the things from different angles!

WHAT KIND OF PHOTOS..

.. do you take? - People have been asking me in my journey as a photographer.

Even though I know that it is a popular question, I don't have an answer.
"A photo says more than 1000 words" - And I show them my photos.
Really, what can I say? What do you see? Surreal? Abstract? Mysterious?

How would you describe it?

F... YOU - THANK YOU

Shop windows, mannequins, sexy underwear & someone doing something next to the mannequins: I love that setup!

I was taking pictures of the mannequins when a young girl (working there) showed me the middle finger with an angry face.

I was laughing so hard, that the following pictures were all blurry.
While laughing I checked, if a got that beautiful moment.
Yes, I got it!
I showed the girl the finger as well, but the thumb: (y) and said: THANK YOU!

Afterwards I got inspired:
In future, if people want to provoke me, criticize me, play games, try to make me jealous or start to fight with me:
I will smile and inside myself I will say: Thank you, I don't want your negative energy in my system.

And I'll keep on walking.

SURREAL PORTRAITS.

Surrealism. What is that? And why do people call something surreal?

Liz and I were talking about it at an surreal art exhibition.
"That's strange" people say about things which are not ordinary.

But in fact they are not strange. Imagine if there would be more of those strange things, then the ordinary objects would become strange.
All over the world, we have more or less the same style of things.
But imagine a country which almost has nothing from "our world".
People from that country visiting our "ordinary" country, would be totally perplexed about the amount of surrealism.

I'm attraced to surrealism. It is refreshing & stimulating for the mind.

A new project is born: SURREAL PORTRAITS.

NUMBER ONE

I have been thinking a lot: what is the number one ingredient which makes a portrait great?

There are many ingredients: light, shadows, location, background, camera settings, the right lens, creativity and a good connection to the model.
All of them are important.

BUT.

Which is the number ONE?

For me the number one ingredient for a great portrait is:
AUTHENTICITY! The moment where the wall is down, being "lost in thought", not thinking about the camera, having a raw emotion.
That's why I don't like portraits where you smile. A smile is like a wall. One exception: if the smile is natural, then it's ok.
Do you know what I mean?

We all walk around with a walls. I hear somebody screaming: "No, not me". Ok, there are exceptions. But I believe we all walk around with walls, some bigger - some smaller.

For my taste, you can sacrifice all other ingredients, as long as you get an authentic, raw moment with the model.
There are so many beautiful portrait photos out there. Everything is perfect, but the one ingredient is missing: authenticity.
And I have been guilty of it, too. Most of my portraits have this missing ingredient. Because I was not aware of it.

This is what I want to focus on more. Catch the authentic moment.

NONCONFORMIST

Dictionary: "a person who refuses to conform, as to established customs, attitudes, or ideas."

The SYSTEM wants people not to stand out. Followers are not a danger and easier to control.
The programming works. People keep a low profile, follow trends, don't give contra and COPY to be part of it.
What happenes to those who go against trends and who think their own thoughts? Exactly!

Look at the pictures! Where did your focus go? To the "followers" or the nonconformist?

There is beauty going against the flow.

Writing this article I just realized, that the one doesn't exist with the other.
So in order for the noconformist to shine, we NEED followers.

But a few more noncoformists wouldn't hurt, no?