Pokémon made me do it


A confession

I’m writing a book that puts a lot of emphasis on dealing with distractions.
And… since a couple of days I’m addicted to Pokémon Go.

I’m not a total junkie but it’s bad enough.
Let me give you an idea:

  • I’m 38.
  • Where I live I haven’t yet seen anyone my age or older playing it.
  • When I go for a 10 minute bike ride, I come home an hour and a half later.
  • I talk incessantly about it to my daughters (now 8 and 6). The oldest one isn’t impressed.
  • I catch Pokémons while I pick up my kids from summer camp in the evening.
  • So far this week all my Instagrams are screenshots of the game.
  • I ask strangers with smartphones if they are playing it and if they have tips for me.
  • I started a local Pokémon Go Facebook group.

Yesterday I started wondering: “How can I turn this into meditation practice?”

The urge

This morning I decided not to give into the urge to play before 14:30. I turned off my phone and set an alarm to remind me when I could turn it on again (14:25).

All morning I noticed I was thinking of the game, resisting the urge to Go or browse forums and watch vlogs about it.

Even though I’m thrilled about my book project, the past hours I struggled to focus on it. It took more effort than usual to finish the draft of another chapter.

Just now (10:42) I took a pause to go for a walk.

I played with the idea to simply turn the game on without really playing, so this Pokémon egg that’s about to hatch would come out. I tried to convince myself that I would mute the sound and not look at the screen until I was back at work.

But I didn’t fall for it. I deliberately left my phone at my desk. It was just me, a juicy red apple and my (low-tech, off the grid) camera.

As for meditation practice…

I’ve set limits on when and how long I play.

While I’m out and about, I focus on my breath and observe what’s going on in mind and body. I keep coming back to that after (or sometimes even while) swiping at Pokéspots and training at “gyms”.

When I’m doing other stuff and suddenly catch myself (!) craving a Pokémon fix, I observe mind and body and inquire: “Who is it that wants to catch ‘em all?”

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the only way out is true v2

Last Friday I felt like making a short cheerful tune, and ended up with this. 🙂

Nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award!


Looky here! Omnipleasant has been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award. How cool is that? Thank you Moxie Luster! That ice cream flavored New Belgium beer has inspired you well. 😉

I’m going to play by the rules, but I don’t want people I nominate to feel any pressure to do the same.

The Versatile Blogger Award rules

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  2. Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  3. Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link back to the post on your site announcing their nomination.
  5. Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

15 WordPress blogs I’d like to nominate

  1. Moxie Luster
  2. All about being human
  3. Livia Lobo Yogini
  4. Unwind
  5. Muddletation
  6. Harsh Reality
  7. Aloha Dharma
  8. eatpraylove(mom)
  9. Hello from Sandy
  10. Field Notes From Fatherhood
  11. A holistic journey
  12. The healthy GP
  13. Urban Food Gardening
  14. e MORFES
  15. Baffled Baboon

7 Things About Me

  1. Recovering scatterbrain.
  2. Meditating daily since 2009.
  3. I love to make music. Usually electronic.
  4. Psychological tests say my Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ.
  5. Happily married with my high school sweetheart.
  6. We have 2 daughters (born in 2008 and 2010).
  7. It is NOT a good idea to wake me up at night.

Anything else you’d like to know?

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Make it easier

I’m back! It’s almost been a year! What’s new?

Yes, I’m making music again. (see youtube above)
No, I’m not drawing much anymore.
Yes, my family and I have lived abroad for a month in 2014.
No, I didn’t finish that work life balance project yet.
Yes, I’ve started to run again, wearing Xero shoes. (see youtube above)
No, my left foot pain isn’t fixed yet.
Yes, I’m still meditating daily.
No, I’m not enlightened yet.
Yes, you look great today.

These are some of the things I’ll be writing about:

what (action) how much (criteria) when (trigger)
1 sleep enough 7 hours 22:00 – 5:30
2 meditate 45 minutes 6:00 – 6:45
3 exercise 15 minutes 6:15 – 6:30
4 bcbq once a day kids
5 repeat mantra once a day wake, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bed
6 eat healthy two meals breakfast + lunch or dinner
7 write for blog 30 minutes 8:30
8 take breaks every 30 minutes MagicWorkCycle
9 boost teamwork 30 minutes 11:00
10 study 30 minutes train, lunchbreak, toilet
11 prioritize 30 minutes 16:00
12 simplify 30 minutes 16:30

I’ll explain “bcbq” soon. To be continued! (update: Here it is.)

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A better approach to Work-Life balance


I’m onto something here. It started off as a long article about Work-Life balance. Then it took the proportions of an e-book, and now … well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meanwhile it’s keeping me away from blogging. If you want know when it’s finished, drop me an e-mail and I’ll keep you posted.

Here are some teasers:

  1. 10 minute recipe for a successful day
  2. Should you always treat others like you want to be treated yourself?
  3. Taking breaks like a boss

Be a dear and mail me your feedback. Don’t hold back, I can take it!

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Allow me to get corny for a moment


What are the odds of us being alive at the same time? Homo Sapiens have been around for about 200.000 years. Suddenly you and me appear on stage. Where I live, average life expectancy is 80.5 years. So there’s hope for me to be around for another 44 years. How long have you got? In the small overlap of shared lifetime we have the privilege to connect, thanks to technology or proximity.

What are the odds of you reading this? There are 1.77 billion pages out there, next to the endless messages in your social media streams and inboxes. It’s been rumored that some people still read stuff on paper as well.

What are the odds of us agreeing? We’re born with our unique genetic makeup, into families with disparate backgrounds. Our cultures might be quite contrasting, with a different set of beliefs, habits and desires. Still, there you are: living, breathing, reading my blog. WordPress shows me you’re from Belgium, Canada, Greece, India, Malta, Netherlands, New-Zealand, Russia, UK,  Ukraine, USA, South-Africa …

If I were that kind of guy, I’d believe there’s greater meaning to be found in all of this. But being who I am, all I have to say is:

Thank you, come again!


PS: We have so much potential and information at our disposal, with approximately 16 waking hours in front of us every morning. It’s easy to get distracted or overwhelmed.  Are you clear on what you will do today? Don’t hesitate if you have something nice to share. Tomorrow we might no longer find each other.

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Where will you be in 1 year?

My 3 goals for 2014

Making a new year’s resolution is not my thing. I’ve never been a strong believer in goal setting. Meditation and life in general show me I’m not even in control anyway.

Yet I like to cultivate good habits. And as long as I’m not enlightened I’ll probably keep on having these recurring daydreams that I wouldn’t mind realizing. Who can spot the contradiction? Who cares?

Trying things differently tends to make me enthusiastic, so for 2014 I’ll challenge my assumptions and chase 3 outcomes for main areas in my life:

  1. MindBody: By 2015 I will have cured my left foot.
    (Bugging me for years now.)
  2. Family: We’ll have lived abroad for at least a month in a row in 2014.
    (Me, my wife and our 2 daughters.)
  3. Money: I’ll have created a steady source of extra monthly income.

The Rules

Before picking the outcomes above, I have brainstormed many more. But for focus’ sake I set some rules and only picked 3 goals.

The goals must be:

  1. Important
  2. Easy to remember
  3. Hard to accomplish but not impossible

The next days I’ll break these down into subgoals to populate Google calendar and Trello with concrete action steps for 2014.

And you? Do you set goals? Do you hold them lightly?

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