Joel sent me a message on LinkedIn, and said that he would like to stay informed on my activities. I looked into who was asking and his profile and was immediately interested in learning more from and about him. I proposed that we could also do that on camera, and here we are. Joel is an entrepreneur, a psychologist, and is the founder of Origins. He also founded OPEN Business Leaders when he was 29, and the World Consciousness Forum. He is the author of ‘The Journey to your Origin — Your Soul as USP in an AI world’. He is also a keynote speaker, an executive coach and an ambient techno DJ.
He sent me a message that he arranged a beautiful place, the gashouder building at the Westergasfabriek, a renovated 19th-century industrial complex set in modernly landscaped parkland a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam city centre. Oh yeah, a fantastic place indeed full of memories, I’ve have spent a lot of time there for PICNIC festival and that place will forever be connected to that. When I walked in front of the building looking for Joel, someone yelled at me. It was Chris, the manager of the site. He guessed I was the guy who was going to film inside and that I’d better come into his office because it was quite chilly. Chris turned out to be a genuinely nice guy. We spent some time chatting until Joel arrived. I learned a lot about the location, Chris, his future plans with his own camping and much more. After filming Joel, I returned to Chris for even more stories. When Joel arrived, we got acquainted and walked into this vast round space. Chris helped us set up the right colour of light. I asked Joel whether he needed a question or was just going to reflect on what we talked about. He didn’t need a question. Joel is space.
The essence of me is space
For me creating space is to create a deeper layer of what I am. I have a personality, my ego and all my thoughts, but I know that behind that personality is a deeper layer. A sort of emptiness, but it is a full emptiness, it has a presence behind it. For me, one of the most crucial things in life is to be in that presence. That doesn’t go by itself. Most of the time I have to do something for it. Because it is rather easy to get into my mind again. Especially when I have a full day with back to back meetings. Residing in that presence is a very joyful and it’s happy place to be in. It is also a place where I can connect to some sort of more profound wisdom, like the more creative insights, when I’m there. Probably not even half of the day I am there, but the moments that I can reside there are the best moments. Then I am the most effective, then reality is not something anymore that I want to force myself upon, but I then can feel I’m everything and I can just flow through my existence. Like a sort of undercurrent I’m surfing on. I think that the essence of me is space. I’m in the way most of the time. Or my ego is in the way most of the time. That is what I experience my life is about. Not only to create more space inside myself, which is a journey that is neverending, because you’re never there. You can always go more in-depth. I feel that my purpose is to create space for other people so they can find space in themselves.
I think that the essence of me is space. I’m in the way most of the time. Or my ego is in the way most of the time.
New joyful realities
I’m some sort of a mix of between an entrepreneur, a psychologist and an author. I wrote a book, ‘A journey to your origin’ which is about the journey to the deeper essence of yourself. The book is aimed at entrepreneurs, leaders and creator, so people who create something, like companies or whatever. I help them to get to the essence of themselves. Not really ‘helping’, I can not do it for them, but as a co-traveller, I can show a part of the road. I can show what I do. I don’t have the truth for everyone. But it feels that I really want to bring something to the world in this area.
I started a movement for entrepreneurs and creators. Co-creators and co-travellers that help each other to go deeper inside and from there manifest a more joyful reality. I think humanity has a couple of exciting years ahead of it, to make the next leap. To live and create from a deeper layer of ourselves. That is something that can make me really happy. I see it happening in lots of places with lots of people, that people are going to that next level. Out of their heads, into their hearts to a deeper level of consciousness.
When I’m really present, I just know where to go. When I’m in that flow, life is just a magical adventure.
Start the day creating space for flow and magic
It is always easy to talk about this kind of stuff. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. It is not about the concepts of being in a deeper level of presence, it has to be experiential. That always remains to be a challenge. It doesn’t go by itself. It is comfortable to get strapped upon thoughts or certain ambitions or ego stuff. There is nothing wrong with your ego. It’s a fantastic vehicle to create things. But it is easy to get lost in what happens every day. What I do for myself to create space is, every morning first thing I do after I went to the bathroom, the first thing I do when I come out of bed, is to create space. I create space by going into my body and out of my head by doing certain exercises or meditation. After creating space that first half hour, you feel already that you are in a different reality. After half an hour I feel like I’m someone else. I never like waking up in the morning. I always rather stay in bed. When I know I have a really packed day ahead of me, the first minute I’m always… But then it is: ‘Okay, let’s go.’ After that hour of creating space, it’s like: ‘Alright, bring it on!’ It feels joyful. I know I will have some challenges that day, but at that moment it feel more like: ‘Okay, I will serve those challenges. Life will show me the way. Or the day will show me the way.’ And I can just relax and pay attention to what happens. And don’t think about what I think should happen, or that I really want that happens. In me, when I’m really present, which is not always the case, but when that happens I just know where to go. It is not something I have to think about. It is a sort of deeper knowledge that resides in the spaciousness inside me. When I’m in that flow, life is just a magical adventure.
When I look back, six or seven years ago, the way I’m talking right now was not an option. I had a work hard, play hard lifestyle and it still feels that I’m working hard and playing hard, but it is like I went to the next level of doing that and I had to get out of the way. This thing, my body, had to get out of the way to reach a deeper level of myself. In which I can feel connectedness with everything that is and with everyone that is around me. But six or seven years ago it was not an option to listen to a guy who said something like I do now. I could hear it, but I would throw it away. That was not something for me. So I guess you have to be ready for it in a certain way. But once you are, it is a wonderful journey. I always think when I reach a next step of going deeper into myself, it is like: ‘Okay, now I get it.’ And a couple of weeks later you notice you didn’t really get it and that there is more. And that you can go deeper and deeper and it gets more magical every time. For me that is the essence of life itself. To create space by breaking down of who I think I am and to make space for the extended version of myself. Unconditioning myself all the time after decades of conditioning.
Of course I still have days where I don’t feel that light or I don’t feel that joyful. But that’s okay. I have learned to accept that that is part of the journey as well.
We need to be conditioned though. We need to get out of bed in the morning and you need to know how do to that. It is about being aware all the time of what is happening in my life with the things I want to create and what it says about me. And what is not true anymore; what yesterday might have been true to me might now be not true anymore for me. When I uncondition myself it gets lighter and lighter. Of course I still have days where I don’t feel that light or I don’t feel that joyful. But that’s okay. I have learned to accept that that is part of the journey as well. It never ends.
Challenges as a playground
The reality we live in, with all its challenges starts to feel like some sort of playground. At that playground, the only thing you have to do is follow your own purpose and follow what you want to create in life. There is nothing else. That is not egotistical, that’s just a thing you are made for in some kind of sense. I feel when I feel what is right for me, that I can give that to other people as well. Because my glass is full instead of half empty. And that full glass can overflow. So, the more that I take care of myself, the more I can give. And I think that is the case for everyone. No exceptions. It is like in an aeroplane: when you crash you should first take care of yourself and put on your oxygen mask and then take care of others. It is the same as residing in the deeper essence of you. Take care of yourself by learning how to get there and from there start giving. That is what I think is the next step of the evolution of mankind. We, on a grand scale, can take that step with each other. In a way you could argue that that is heaven on earth when everyone follows their heart and co-creates the things we want to co-create, we have a very good time ahead of us. I think that this transition has a more significant impact than anything else that is happening in the world. Technology and artificial intelligence are growing exponentially, but it will be in the end minor things compared to the deepening of consciousness that humanity is experiencing right now. And that is, I think, mindblowing.
The more that I take care of myself, the more I can give. And I think that is the case for everyone. No exceptions. It is like in an aeroplane: when you crash you should first take care of yourself and put on your oxygen mask and then take care of others.
Accelerate change from old to new
What I like about this space. This used to be a space where non-sustainable energy was being held, gas, a long time ago. But now it made room for events to happen where people can connect, be inspired, can dance or co-create. In a way, for me, this is the old world and the new world that we start living in. Get rid of the old energy and make the transition to the more joyful energy. That not just happens by itself. People have to stand up for this. And the more people stand up for this, also people at influential positions, the faster we can accelerate in creating that new reality, the inside out reality. Where we are not reacting anymore, but we take ourselves as the starting point. That’s why I love to work with people who are entrepreneurial, who are creative and who are at influential positions. Because when they take that leap and go inside, they bring along with them the organisations they lead and the movements they make. Then we will accelerate all together. That’s what I’m about. To create space in me as a first thing, it always starts with yourself. And from there, based on my experiences, share this with others. And then make it actionable. Asking questions like: ‘What does this mean? What can we do together? What can you create and co-create?’ Then business doesn’t have to be about profit alone anymore, but about purpose as well. Not just about purpose, but about purpose and profit. We can have it all. I think everyone can have it all. But it always starts with yourself, not the mind things, but the deeper essence of who you are.
May the force be within you
What is funny is that there are some moments when I feel really deeply connected with consciousness, or that thing that you are or everything that is, and in those moments you can feel the power in you. That is not power in a negative way. It is the colossal force that resides in you that really can create. The last year I have found out that when you reside there that I can really transform reality. That my impact is more significant. Not by doing more, but by doing less. And that the power of my intention increases. Then it is not the ‘little I’ that is creating, but the ‘big I’, or it is creating using me as a vehicle. It uses my personality and my ego as a vehicle to bring stuff into the world. When I am really connected, which of course is not constantly the case, that could just be a few moments a day, I feel this huge potential in myself to create worlds. That is an amazing feeling.
When I am really connected, which of course is not constantly the case, that could just be a few moments a day, I feel this huge potential in myself to create worlds.
I like to believe that, similar to that, the leap that humanity has to make right now becomes sort of ‘X-men’. Not X-men with wings or something you might know from the movies, but X-men who are really the next step in evolution. People who more effortless can create more impact, but only when it is good for humanity. When it is done with love, the right intentions. You are bigger than just your body. In a way you are everything. At those moments when I get those feelings, they always blow me away. They’re so powerful. And that gives a lot of trust as well. The trust that things will find a way.
Keeping shit out, staying connected
We have a lot of shit in the world, but it doesn’t help to focus on all the bullshit in the world. It helps to be aware of it and then do something about it, or leave it. So I learned to create space in my head as well by not reading newspapers anymore. I don’t follow the media anymore. A little social media, but I have learned that the mainstream media is full of crap that I can’t relate to. Because my time is limited, I can only do the thing I am focussed on and from there bring something to the world. And it really doesn’t help to let the negativity come in. I’m not saying that we should close our eyes, I’m not closing my eyes, but that amount of shit doesn’t have to get in. And I can just create a reality of which I feel is the right one. So to create space for me is — besides all my activities and my doings, and my 80-hour workweek which doesn’t really feel like work because it is a way of living is what has my focus — to create space in the more silent moments. The moments between the meetings. Or to create space, and I’m still learning how to do this, while I’m having a conversation. How can I remain to be connected? And the more I am in the now, the more life flows.