Monthly Archives: May 2011

An Important Message For My Subscribers

Hello beautiful!

I’m sending you this special message to let you know that My Smiling Heart has moved!

If you love My Smiling Heart as much as I do, and would like to continue receiving blog posts directly into your email inbox, or through RSS, you need to subscribe to the new blog here.

I look forward to continuing this amazing journey with you at our new home! 😀

Stay AWESOME!

Jen

New Beginnings: MySmilingHeart.org

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Hello beautiful!

It’s a very AWESOME day for My Smiling Heart! We are officially a website!

Look up there, at the top… Do you see it? Yes! We are now www.mysmilingheart.org! Yay!

I have big plans for this space. It will be here for a long time, always ready to spread the love and see your light.

This is our space. I want you to know that you can be your authentic, wonderful, amazing, magical, awesome self here. You don’t need to hide any part of yourself; you are safe here in our little community of smiling hearts.

So get comfortable, and make yourself at home.

Let me give you the grand tour…

To the left you will see a few buttons. About Me will obviously take you to the about me page. Then there is the Vision Kit button, which will take you to a page with more information about the ekit (which is set to be released sooooo soon!).

The Art button leads to a mini-gallery featuring some of my artwork, which I will update regularly. (Once I’m back in Australia I plan to paint a lot, so if you would love for me to paint your portrait or commission a piece, head to the art page and use the contact form to express your interest.)

The China button is a gallery of all my photos from my travels in China, including Daqing, Harbin, Beijing and Inner Mongolia.

To get all my future posts sent directly to your email inbox, or through RSS, use the subscription options to the right of the page (where it says Email Subscribe). To all those subscribers who are subscribed to the old My Smiling Heart WordPress blog, you will need to re-subscribe here.

On the top menu you will see Press, which lists all the guest posts, interviews, and other contributions I have made to other websites.

Chronicles allows you to explore the archives and find all the headlines, My Smiling Heart interviews and other posts.

The Store is coming soon. We’re still doing some behind-the-scenes work on that one!

The Sponsor page features our wonderful sponsors, and has information about sponsoring My Smiling Heart.

The Contact page is pretty self-explanatory. Come say hi! 😀

Inspiration is an AWESOME new addition to My Smiling Heart. There you will find lists of inspirational quotes, websites, movies, books and music. I’m always looking for more things to add to these lists, so feel free to add a comment on the relevant pages leaving your recommendations!

I want the Inspiration section to be an amazing resource for all of us to come to when we feel low and need a boost. In fact, I want all of My Smiling Heart to be a resource of positivity, inspiration, empowerment, and just plain AWESOMENESS!

So that’s the tour, I hope you like it! In the words of the Artful Dodger, “Consider yourself at home!”

My Smiling Heart is as much yours as it is mine.

You make this a community.

You make this a safe place for us to be ourselves and let our lights shine.

You make My Smiling Heart sparkle.

You make my heart smile.

Thank you.

So make yourself a coffee, relax and explore the new My Smiling Heart.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Happy dances and double rainbows,

Jen ♥

To receive each new My Smiling Heart post in your inbox, click here. Or, subscribe by RSS. You can also become a fan on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

Share What Makes Your Heart Smile

Hello beautiful!

I hope you are having a magical day!

As I write this I can see thousands of young dragonflies zooming around the freshly green leaves of the trees. Birds are singing, grass is growing, and the lakes have melted into beautiful, flowing water again.

This is me, celebrating the return of the flowing water in the lake.


After the longest, coldest winter I have ever experienced, nature is alive again. And after spending five months surrounded by ice and snow, I feel like I am witnessing spring for the first time.

Not too long ago, the ground was frozen, trees were bare, and everything was still, silent.

Now, the earth is alive, trees are flourishing, and everything has been reborn. Buzzing, blooming, shining, spring has sprung and the time for new beginnings is here.

Spending time in nature makes me realise that miracles occur everyday. It’s mesmerizing, isn’t it?

One of my favourite parts about spring here in Daqing, is the amazing flowers that have been popping up everywhere.

Realising that most of the trees I’ve been walking past during the past ten months are actually cherry blossoms has been a magnificent surprise! I had no idea they grew here, but they are absolutely gorgeous!

I can even see some in the garden under neath my window, so I will definitely be having the window open more now that the sweet smell of cherry blossom will be flowing around.

Here are a few photos I took (there are more on the Facebook page):


Cherry blossoms definitely make my heart smile!

Which brings us to today’s Link Love Friday theme! Yep, now that 30 Days Of Beauty has finished, Link Love Friday is back!

This week, head over to the My Smiling Heart Facebook page, and share a photo of something that makes your heart smile. It can be anything! Nature, books, food, people, artwork, – anything that makes your heart smile!

If everyone shares a photo or two, then there will be a super-mega-happy-awesome album on the My Smiling Heart Facebook page made up of everything that makes our hearts smile! What a great resource it will be for those times when we aren’t feeling that great.

I look forward to seeing your photos!

So much LOVE!

Jen ♥

How Osama Bin Laden’s Death Taught Me More About Myself

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“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”

~ Paulo Coelho

I wrote this after hearing the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, and seeing the subsequent celebrations:

“I just don’t understand.

Three days ago, I saw people on facebook saying that they refuse to celebrate the royal wedding, that there were better things to be doing with their time. And today, I see those exact same people rejoicing over a death? Celebrating murder? Making jokes about it, too?

Is it just me, or is that just so completely backwards? Refusing to celebrate love, but celebrating the violent end of a life?

To be clear, I am in no way a sympathiser of Osama Bin Laden, and like everyone, I think he was one of the most vile people to have ever lived, but I will not rejoice in a death, no matter whose it is.

What are we celebrating exactly? Justice? Revenge? Murder? Triumph? Violence?

It was all those things that Osama claimed he was celebrating 10 years ago. I remember seeing footage of Osama’s supporters, they were cheering and dancing in the street on 9/11. I felt disgusted, horrified, and angered that they thought violence was something to celebrate.

Now I see us doing the same thing. 10 years later, so much pain, so many lives lost, and this is what it has come down to? An eye for an eye? Well, as Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Yes, they were celebrating the mass murder of thousands of innocent people, and today people are celebrating the death of their enemy, the one responsible for so much loss and pain, but it’s still the celebration of violence.

Celebrating violence is not the path to peace. It’s the path to more violence.

This killing doesn’t mean the war is won, it doesn’t even mean the war is over. After all, there are never really any winners in war, or in violence. 

Osama’s death was inevitable and necessary. But even writing that made me feel uneasy, as it well should. The day I find it easy to say that someone needed to die, is the day my humanity is lost. Which is why I am so disturbed to see people cheering and partying and even joking about this. Are we that desensitised that war and murder and violence are now considered funny? Are we that disconnected?

Maybe we are. And maybe we can learn from this. I’ve seen many others who feel the same way I do, who just can’t bring themselves to celebrate this. Maybe this is another moment in which we must choose, and our choice determines whether or not we move forward in love or in fear. I’m choosing love. And love doesn’t grow in violence or revenge.

I will celebrate the end of war, not the end of life.”

I was very angry when I wrote that. Seeing so many news articles, tweets, status updates and facebook pages all rejoicing over violence, joking about it, sharing footage and photos of the violence, made me feel sick to the stomach. For a moment, I completely lost faith in humanity.

Sitting at the computer and being continuously bombarded with so many things that were clashing with my soul (including one very graphic image on the homepage of a news site), I realised that the only way to clear my head and calm down was to get as far away from media as possible. And that’s exactly what I did.

I sat with it for a while, that feeling of anger, trying to figure out how anyone could think violence should be celebrated. I tried to put myself in their shoes, thinking maybe if someone I loved was in those towers…. Would I then be dancing in the street? If I had come face to face with Bin Laden in that room, and if I had been the one to take his life, would I then feel the need to celebrate?

I can’t answer those questions. All I know is, it just doesn’t feel right to be joyful about this. Relieved maybe, and sad that such acts are sometimes necessary in our world, mournful for all the lives that have been lost because of this war and because of that man, and also a feeling of closure, that at least some part of the past can now be let go of for a lot of people, but no joy.

Spending some time away from the media gave me time to reflect on my anger. I realised that I was being unfair to judge others reactions just because they were different to my own. As much as I don’t understand it, I have no right to condemn the behaviour of others. We all deal with things differently, because we are all different.

If I want to live in a world where people are treated equally, and accepted no matter their differences, then I first need to make those qualities a part of who I am. I can’t preach acceptance and then condemn others for doing things differently.

And although I believe that we can’t say we want peace and then cheer at the news of violence, I will accept those whose first reaction is to cheer. They need to do what feels right for them, and I need to do what feels right for me. I respect them for doing what feels right for them, and I love them for living their truth.

The moment I realised this, all my anger dissolved. Letting go of judgement meant I stopped trying to control the actions of others, and it allowed me to feel calm and peaceful again.

Even if I don’t understand it, I can accept it, and I can let them express what they need to without judging them. And I hope that those who don’t understand my reactions and beliefs can give me the same acceptance, and the same freedom to express myself without fear of judgement.

Judgement fuels hate, it separates people, turns simple differences into right and wrong, good and evil, and all of that leads to violence, to war.

Acceptance fuels kindness, kindness brings people together, turns simple similarities into understanding and connection, friendship and love, all of that leads to a united world, to peace.

A lot has happened in the world over the last few days, some big ups and downs, and as you can see, I was affected greatly by it all. The death of a man that I only knew as the face of fear, led me to have a very personal realisation, and as a result, gain a new perspective on life.

We really can learn from every experience.

The beautiful Liv at Choosing Beauty wrote this amazing piece that gave me another new perspective on all of this: What Happened To Osama Bin Laden’s Heart?

With a more open mind and heart,

Jen ♥

Be A Force Of Good

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“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

~ Wayne Dyer

Every now and then I come across a nasty comment on a website, see a woe-is-me status update on facebook, a hate-filled tweet, or self-loathing posts on tumblr. Usually I don’t let any of it bother me, but I’ve seen so many the last few days that I just need to say something about it.

If I could get just one message to every single human being on this planet, it would be this:

What you give, comes back to you.

What people don’t realise is, that phrase doesn’t just refer to physical things you give to others, or how you act. It’s everything. Every thought you think, every word you say, and now, every tweet, comment or status update you send out.

What you choose to write online and send out into the world for others to read and absorb, whether it’s positive or negative, that’s your gift to the world. That is the message you are sending to the world. And that’s exactly what you will get back in return.

Everything you put out there matters. Everything you put out there affects your life, as well as the lives of others who see it.

Whether you believe it or not, you have a voice, you have power. You have the power to spread good, to share love, and to make others smile with the click of a mouse, so why would you use it to spread negativity, to share hate, and to make others frown?

One status update, one tweet, one comment, has such a huge ripple effect on the world and the people in it. It’s up to you whether or not your ripple effect spreads love or hate. Think about that every time you’re about to hit send.

I think people forget that there are real human beings with real feelings on the other side of the screen. I’ve seen, and even been the recipient of, online nastiness. People that would never say certain things in real life somehow think it’s okay to say them online. They feel safe and tough behind their keyboards. I’ve seen people join in on cyber bashing me in status updates, only to cower in fear when we crossed paths in real life.

If you wouldn’t say it to a person’s face, don’t write it online. It’s that simple.

In order for this message to spread far and wide, I made these printables and buttons:

Put a button on your blog and link it back to this post, so that everyone will know that you support good vibes, and are committed to inspiring and empowering others instead of beating them down.

Print out the images, stick them above your computer, around the office… anywhere you think this message is needed most.

Ignore those who use their voices to discourage and bring down others. As Wayne Dyer said; that’s their karma. They are the ones filled with hate, fear, and insecurity. Rise above it.

Be a force of good,
Jen ♥