Things I Love Today :)

Hello beautiful!

Are you having an AWESOME day? I hope so!

This past week has been full of inspiration for me, so I wanted to share my favourites with you, because you know how much I like to share the love!

This post by Sarah Wilson talks about Steve Jobs and connecting the dots in life. Super inspirational.

Inspiration from the Universe: NASA released new photos of space, and they are so absolutely magical! I especially adore the image of the Unicorn constellation!

Still in space, an awesome astronaut posted a photo on twitter of the Earth as he saw it from above, all the way up in beautiful outer space! Technology is so freakin cool.

Speaking of cool; I’m in love. It’s name is Pinterest, and it’s so pretty and creative and inspiring and wonderful that I just want to look at it all day every day forever and ever and ever. I literally spent all day on it yesterday. No joke. All day. It was awesome. Here’s my Pinterest profile.

The image at the top of this post was found on Pinterest, and here’s one of my favourites:

Don’t you just want to live there?

Ok, I can’t resist. There’s just one more picture I found on Pinterest that I simply must show you:

Adorable much?

You know what else is adorable? These videos of super amazing, super smart little girls:

Via Your Joyologist.

I don’t know about you, but after watching that I’m inspired to dance in front of the mirror and sing about how AWESOME my life is!

“I can do anything gooooood!”

Double rainbows and cherry blossoms,

Jen ♥

*Pssst! My ebook, The My Smiling Heart Vision Kit, is almost ready! I’m so excited to show it to you! If you want to be one of the first to know when it’s released, send an email to jenartist@live.com.au with “ebook list” in the subject line 🙂

30 Days Of Beauty: Week 2

“I pull you from your tower, take away your pain. Show you all the beauty you possess, if you only let yourself believe.”

~ Sarah McLachlan

Week 2 of 30 Days Of Beauty has been much easier than Week 1. Not only is it getting easier for me to list reasons why I’m beautiful, but now I look for beauty in myself in every situation, every experience, every thought I have.

My mind has been opened up to beauty, and now I see it everywhere.

It really is true; what you think about, you bring about. You get more of what you focus on. And the more I focus on the things that make me beautiful, the more beautiful I become.

I can’t believe I didn’t realise this until now, but each #imbeautifulbecause tweet is an affirmation. An affirmation of our own beauty, our own self-worth, and each affirmation opens us up to the magical, powerful, wonderful women that we really are.

I know there are women out there who have been following 30 Days Of Beauty, but haven’t been sharing their own beauty with the world. Maybe you’re one of these precious women, unsure of your beauty, unsure of your worth, unsure of yourself.

Maybe you’re worried that you won’t find any beauty in yourself, or that you will run out of reasons to feel beautiful before the 30 Days is up. I can tell you that your fears and worries are unfounded, just as mine were.

Give yourself a chance to see your own beauty.

Let your light shine.

My tweets for this week were:

April 9th: #imbeautifulbecause I am courageous. #LoveIsLouder than my fears.

April 10th: #Imbeautifulbecause I never stop believing in my dreams.

April 11th: #imbeautifulbecause I’m learning to let my light shine. I won’t hide in the shadows anymore.

April 12th: #imbeautifulbecause I count blessings, not burdens.

April 13th: #imbeautifulbecause I’m working hard to make my soul purpose my sole focus.

April 14th: I embrace my imperfections with love, and see them as a part of my own AWESOMENESS #imbeautifulbecause

April 15th: #imbeautifulbecause I am getting SO good at remembering that how others act is their choice, and how I act/react is completely up to me 🙂

My favourite #imbeautifulbecause tweets for this week were:

@amandakloeppel  #imbeautifulbecause I am learning that its not what I wear that defines me, but who I am on the inside.

@decodingdress #imbeautifulbecause I know I’m beautiful — I don’t need any external standard to tell me so.

@ClaireLaraine #imbeautifulbecause choices are mine and the answers lie within me.

@SparklinTraci #imbeautifulbecause I see the beauty around me and in me… ♡

@frangepanni #imbeautifulbecause – just because. No reason needed, no reason given. We are all beautiful because we are 😀

@MollyyyAnnn #imbeautifulbecause i can find the good in others, accept and not judge, and love imperfections

@ChelseaKouns #imbeautifulbecause I’m unique. I want to stand out, not fit in. And I won’t let anything change that. I’m petite and I rock it out. ;]

@sherryahovey #imbeautifulbecause God made me beautiful and my scars make me unique.

@kay_ruth #imbeautifulbecause I’m not perfect…and, have no desire to be…:)

@marisalehmann #imbeautifulbecause I have so many people cheering for me and encouraging me on, telling me that I will get through this. #yourebeautiful

Thank you for sharing your beauty with the world,

Jen ♥

Wise Words: Because I Am A Queen

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ll know that I adore India Arie and her positive, self-loving, soulful music and lyrics. Her songs never fail to lift me up and make me feel as magical and wonderful as a fairy riding a unicorn over a double rainbow 🙂

In the spirit of 30 Days Of Beauty, I would like to share with you one of my favourite songs in the history of the Universe; ‘Video’ (also known as ‘Because I Am A Queen’), by India Arie.

Enjoy the tunes, feel the love and use the lyrics below to sing your heart out!

To watch the music video for this song (which won’t play here), click here.

“Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don’t
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won’t
Depend on how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul

I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
I’m not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
The india arie

When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where it’s supposed to be
And I know my creator didn’t make no mistakes on me
My feet my thighs my lips my eyes I’m loving what I see

I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen (yeah)
I’m not the average girl from your video (woo)
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes (whoa)
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
The india arie

Am I less of a lady if I don’t wear pantyhose
My mama said a lady ain’t what she wears but what she knows
But I’ve drawn the conclusion
It’s all an illusion
Confusion’s the name of the game
A misconception a vast deception,
Something’s got to change

Don’t be offended this is all my opinion
Ain’t nothing that I’m saying law
This is a true confession
Of a life-learned lesson
I was sent here to share with y’all
So get in when you fit in
Go on and shine
Clear your mind
Now’s the time
Put your salt on the shelf
Go on and love yourself (love yourself)
‘Cause everything’s gonna be alright (love yourself)

I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen (yeah)
I’m not the average girl from your video (woo)
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes (whoa)
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
The india arie

Keep your fancy drink and your expensive minks
I don’t need that to have a good time
Keep your expensive cars
And your caviar
All’s I need is my guitar
Keep your cristal and your pistol
I’d rather have a pretty piece of crystal
Don’t need your silicone
I prefer my own
What god gave me is just fine
(Oh hah hah hah)

I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen (yeah)
I’m not the average girl from your video (woo)
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes (whoa)
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
The india arie”


Stay beaYOUtiful,

Jen ♥

Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/i/india_arie/#share

Shine Your Light On The World.

You are so amazing.

You have everything you need to live the life you dream of, to accomplish those goals and overcome those fears.

You have the strength, courage and wisdom needed to follow your heart.

You have the creativity, passion and self-belief needed to create your own path.

You have the compassion, purpose and determination needed to make this world a better place.

You have the power. You are the power.

There are people who may read this and roll their eyes. They are afraid of their own power, so they convince themselves that they have none, and make fun of anything or anyone that suggests otherwise. It’s safer that way.

They will even try to convince you that you have no power, to ensure that they will have company in their safe little box of doubts and fears.

Don’t listen to anyone who speaks from fear.

Listen to yourself. Listen to your heart. That inner whisper that knows your truth.

The more you listen to your heart, the louder it will become, until it is so loud and true and clear that it drowns out all the outside voices of fear and hate.

Please. Please! Don’t dim your light for anyone. Don’t hide in the shadows.

Shine your light on the world. Shine it so bright that it touches every living creature on this Earth.

Shine it so bright that it sends sparks of rainbows into the ocean like shooting stars.

You are an amazing, marvellous, incredible, wonderful, beautiful, inspiring, powerful, magical, miracle of the Universe!

Dance amongst the sparkles of your soul, and be gloriously, irrevocably, YOU.

 

Jen ♥

30 Days Of Beauty: Week 1

“We are all fascinated by beauty and many of us devote much of our lives to its pursuit. But physical beauty can only ever be held fleetingly. Real beauty is far greater – It’s a life force, an energy, which radiates from within and transcends the physical. It’s a vibe – you feel it in those who truly know they have it. Real beauty is not beauty generated purely for others’ consumption. Real beauty is beauty in action, not beauty that sits on the sidelines of life, worried it will run or get messed up. Real beauty may not always be visible at first glance, but it lasts forever.”

~ Anthea Paul

Hello beautiful!

Well, the 30 Days Of Beauty Challenge has been spreading self-love for a week now, and I am absolutely amazed at the response!

In less than a week, $90 has been raised for To Write Love On Her Arms. To everyone who has donated, thank you. So, so much. You have helped an amazing cause, and you are a force of good in this world.

To everyone who has shared this campaign on their blogs, twitter, facebook, and told their friends about what we are doing, thank you! Your support means more to us than you will ever know.

The first week of 30 Days Of Beauty has been more challenging than I expected. As Jen Fromal said in her post on The Smashed Planet;

“This was one of those times when I didn’t really know what I was getting into. Well, I kind of did, but I didn’t know it would actually be hard and I didn’t know it would make me uncomfortable.”

The planning part of this challenge was fun, exciting and kept me so busy that I didn’t think about the fact that every day, for 30 days, I have to see something beautiful about myself, and then tell the whole world about it.

Of course, when the idea for this challenge first came about, I was excited at the thought of digging deeper, seeing myself in a new light and promoting self-love. But when, on the 2nd of April, I was struggling to find something beautiful about myself already, I knew this was going to take work.

I sat at my laptop for a good 20 minutes, trying to come up with something. This is when I realised just how important this cause is – it shouldn’t be so hard to find one thing about myself that is beautiful.

Every single little girl and woman on this planet deserves to see how beautiful they are. Including me. That’s why I’m doing this. So that one day, without hesitation, or 20 minutes staring at a blank screen, I will be able to list at least 30 things about myself that are amazingly beautiful and wonderful, and then go on to list 30 more.

I eventually saw something beautiful in myself that day. Not a physical quality, but more related to how I live my life. I was feeling proud of myself because the night before I had done something that had been making me anxious for days; I went out to dinner and dancing with a group of the other expats here.

I know, to most people that’s not even something they would think about, it’s so easy. Most people don’t see how that could possibly scare someone, let alone keep them feeling panicked and anxious for days before hand. But the thought of being out in a club with a group of people, especially people that I haven’t known very long, used to paralyse me with fear so much that I never went out at all.

So, the fact that I had faced that fear, and had the courage to go out and live my life despite the sick feeling in my stomach and anxious worries in my head, is a big accomplishment for me.

It’s like someone who is afraid of heights jumping out of a plane every single day. I know that the more I jump, the less fear I will feel next time.

So, my tweet for that day, April 2nd, was this:

I face my fears every day, and no longer let my anxieties rule my life. #imbeautifulbecause

And I had never felt more beautiful.

Here are all of my other #imbeautifulbecause tweets for this week:

April 1st: Today, #imbeautifulbecause I am learning to see my own power, & how to use it to create my life.

April 3rd: I take the time to nurture and express my inner creative Goddess every day. #imbeautifulbecause

April 4th: When I smile, I can feel my body and soul smiling, too. #imbeautifulbecause

April 5th: Today, I’m taking the time to put myself first, and be still instead of wired in. #imbeautifulbecause

April 6th: I have big eyes, that really are the windows to my soul 🙂 #imbeautifulbecause

April 7th: I smile at myself in the mirror #imbeautifulbecause

April 8th: #imbeautifulbecause I can always find a reason to smile 🙂

I have been reading all of the #imbeautifulbecause tweets from women all over the world, and I am so inspired. I feel so blessed to be in the company of such amazing, beautiful women.

Here are some of my favourite tweets from you:

@Zanthi: #imbeautifulbecause I let my inner light shine through, even on my dark days.

@NJRae: Today, #imbeautifulbecause I have faith in me and achieving my dreams.

@ClaireLaraine: #imbeautifulbecause I have learned to bloom after I have broken.

@IncaMaia: #imbeautifulbecause I feel grateful every step of the way. For friends, running, yoga, magic, rainbows, being alive… so much more.

@karenmead: #imbeautifulbecause I make the choice to focus on the sunshine!

@frangepanni: #imbeautifulbecause I take time to indulge my passions even when my mind tries to tell me I could be doing something easier and more fun : )

@decodingdress: #imbeautifulbecause I don’t look like a supermodel. #imbeautifulbecause I look like ME.

@LaurRains: #imbeautifulbecause I believe in the hopes and dreams of myself and every single person I’ve met and haven’t met. : )

Thank you so much for sharing your beauty with the world.

If you are new to the 30 Days Of Beauty Challenge, find out more about it and how you can join the movement here.

If you don’t tweet, share what puts the YOU in beaYOUtiful in the comments or on the Facebook page, or show your support by donating whatever you can to To Write Love On Her Arms here.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.

You don’t need to be accepted by others.

You need to accept yourself.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Go smile at yourself,

Jen ♥

Wise Words: Life Lessons In Fight Club

I love movies. One of my favourite things to do is go to the movies, or even just stay home and watch an old favourite. As a result, I ace Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon, quote movies way more than I need to, and often figure out how a movie is going play out about five minutes in – much to the annoyance of my fiance.

So, because movies are such a big part of my everyday life, it makes sense to somehow incorporate them into this blog. Every now and then, I will dedicate a Wise Words Wednesday post to a movie that is both awesome and inspiring, and writing about what life lessons we can learn from these films.

Today, it’s Fight Club. I know, awesome first choice, right? 😀

“I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives.”

~ Tyler Durden

We have so much choice, so much freedom, so much potential, and more opportunities than ever, yet so many of us are going through the same routine, every day, every year, for our whole lives. As Tyler says, we work jobs we hate, to buy things we don’t need. And none of it makes us happy.

But lately I’ve been seeing sparks of hope. People risking it all to follow their passion, and turning what they love into successful businesses that not only make them happy but create a ripple effect of positivity throughout the world.

I’m one of those people. I’ve decided to follow my passion, and turn it into my job. I won’t waste my potential anymore. And I especially won’t listen to the media’s (or anyone else’s) definition of success or failure.

“You are not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis.”

~ Tyler Durden

I have a few things to add to that. You are not your house. You are not your dress size. You are not your Jimmy Choos. You are not how many facebook friends or twitter followers you have.

You are highly underestimating yourself (and others) if you think those things make you who you are.

You are how much you express love and kindness to others. You are what you share with the world. You are how you treat yourself and others. You are your thoughts.

“Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

~ Tyler Durden

This is an awesome way of saying ‘Be Yourself.’

Be your beautiful, authentic self, instead of acting the way others act, or doing things because you think that’s what is expected of you. Staying true to yourself is so important for happiness.

“Only after disaster can we be resurrected.”

~ Tyler Durden

Man, I so relate to this. Although I wouldn’t really call my experiences ‘disasters’, it was enough to make me feel as though I had no choice but to rebuild myself. And now I’m better than ever – Jen 2.0, haha! But I would never have been able to resurrect myself, if I hadn’t crumbled first.

Through challenges and disaster, we learn and grow. Things collapse, and we rebuild it all, making sure it’s stronger than it was before.

“Fuck off with your sofa units and string green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let… let’s evolve, let the chips fall where they may.”

~ Tyler Durden

More and more people are starting to let go of material possessions as a route to happiness, and even more are starting to embrace their imperfections, rather than run from them. We are evolving. Everything that doesn’t really matter is starting to slowly fall away.

“This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.”

~ Narrator

Why spend it stewing over what they said about you? Why spend it frowning at yourself in the mirror? Why spend it sending negativity out into the Universe? Why waste another minute of this one life doing anything that doesn’t make you heart smile?

Life is short and precious. Cherish every minute, smile every chance you get, and be a force of good in this world.

Love,

Jen ♥

*What puts the YOU in beaYOUtiful? Share it on twitter, using the hashtag #imbeautifulbecause, and join the 30 Days Of Beauty Challenge! We’ve already raised almost 1/3 of our fundraising goal for To Write Love On Her Arms! 😀 Yay!


Rainbows & Miracles & Gratitude, Oh My!

Hello beautiful! Happy Sunday!

I’ve been doing some creative journaling lately, and man, is it AWESOME!

I don’t know how I lived 24 years without it. It’s such a creative, colourful, and sparkling way to heal and release my thoughts and emotions. I’m officially in love with it.

Here are some photos of what I’ve been creating:

Oh, and did you know that today (April 3rd) is Find A Rainbow Day?! How freakin’ AWESOME is that? A day to spread rainbow love and happiness and bubbles and sparkles and joy everywhere you go! 😀

You can read more about Find A Rainbow Day here, and read about rainbows (and a totally wonderful rainbow making machine!) here. I think this is my new favourite day!

If you don’t see any rainbows today, here’s one I prepared earlier:

Speaking of nature’s miracles, have you acknowledged the miracle of YOU today? Karen Mead from A Peaceful Path shared this video in her newsletter today, and it’s just so amazing. We really are all miracles!

In other news, I’ve been busy creating the My Smiling Heart ebook! Here’s a sneak peak of some of the awesomeness:

And, last but certainly not least, a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been participating in 30 Days Of Beauty!

We are only on Day 3 and there are already heaps of #imbeautifulbecause tweets that have been inspiring me so, so, so much! I feel so blessed to be in the company of such amazingly wonderful women.

And, we have already raised $10 for To Write Love On Her Arms! We are definitely off to an amazing start!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! You really are BEAUTIFUL!

Sending you so much LOVE,

Jen ♥

30 Days Of Beauty – Day 1!

Hey there, beautiful!

Well, it’s today! 😀

It’s the 1st of April, and the beginning of 30 Days Of Beauty!

Every day for the next 30 days, myself and Jen Fromal from The Smashed Planet, will be tweeting about one thing that make us truly beautiful, and we would LOVE for you to join us!

Follow us on Twitter (@smiling_heart and @jenfromal), and whenever you tweet about something that makes you beautiful, use the hashtag #imbeautifulbecause, so that we can see it!

Every Friday, we will each be writing a post on our blogs, writing about our 30 days experiences, and selecting our favourite #imbeautifulbecause tweets from others.

Every Friday during April, Link Love Friday on the My Smiling Heart Facebook page will be replaced with ‘I Am Beautiful Friday’, where you can share your beauty with the world.

So, if you don’t tweet, or if you want to tweet and share on facebook, head on over to the MSH page and tell us what puts the YOU in beaYOUtiful!

Here’s the best part; we are doing this to raise money for To Write Love On Her Arms, a cause that is dedicated to helping those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

So by joining in on the 30 Days Of Beauty Challenge, you will not only be discovering the many things that make you so damn beautiful, you will also be promoting a good cause! Everybody wins! 😀

Here’s my tweet for 1st April:

Today, #imbeautifulbecause I am learning to see my own power, and how to use it to create my life.

If you want to donate to this cause, here is the link to the fundraising page – feel free to include this link at the end of your #imbeautifulbecause tweets!

Donate here!

 

Promote this cause with this tinyurl link at the end of your tweets:

http://tinyurl.com/4y6gomj


Wear Your Beauty!

If you just love this project so much that you want the whole world to know you are a part of it,

I made this badge especially for you!

Wear this badge on your blog, and let your beauty shine!

Link to: http://www.crowdrise.com/30DaysOfBeauty

Badge HTML Code: <a href=”http://www.crowdrise.com/30DaysOfBeauty”><img border=”0″ src=”https://jensmilingheart.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/30daysbeautybadge.jpg?w=125&amp;h=125″></a>

 

Let the AWESOMENESS begin! 😀

Stay beaYOUtiful!

Jen ♥

Note: The Two Jens are not official representatives of TWLOHA, only dedicated supporters of the cause.

Wise Words: Interview With A Goddess

Our March interview is with the beautiful, gorgeous, double rainbow of a woman – Goddess Leonie!

This wonderful Goddess is an artist, writer, mama, unicorn lover and the creator of the popular creativity and spirituality blog GoddessGuidebook.com and the online Goddess Circle.

What encouraged you to start the Goddess Guidebook?


 

There was this angel inside my heart that wanted to let loose wonders into the world.

I wanted to spill rainbows everywhere.

There were so many blessings and miracles and enlightenments happening in my life. I wanted to share my journey.

Deeply.

Authentically.

Joyfully.

 

Do you know what things you need to do on a regular basis in order to maintain your joy and Goddess-ness? What are they?


 

I utterly know what I need now, thanks to times when I was utterly deprived from them. I unequivocally need time each day on my own. To create. To sit. To breathe.

This was a hard won lesson – I’m a mama to my amazing one-year-old daughter, Ostara. And I went for many moons without any physical space or head space or creating space of my own. It did not make me happy or full or thriving.

So now, every day after I’ve put her down for a nap, my love takes over and I go to my office.

 

Want to know where my office is?

It’s at the top of an ancient fig tree.

I’m not even kidding. I climb up there with journal and laptop and spend two hours creating and writing and swinging my legs and doing my work. It is utterly blissful. I absoloooodely need to create. To make magic happen. And to be outside in trees.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is going through a challenging time?


Everything is going to be okay.

And that you may not feel it at all right now, The Worst Thing in the World Could Be The Best Thing.

 

What has creating your own path in life taught you most?


There is no one else I need to be in this world but me.

I need not be more like anyone else. I need not be the perfect mama,

artist, writer – anything like that…

I just need to be the best Leonie I can be.

Holy and true.

 

 

What wise words do you live by?


Joy is an option.

 

What is something you are really proud of?

 

I am over the moon proud that my lil goddess business is not only my job, but my love’s too.

That we both get to be at home with our daughter.

That we have been able to move across the country to live in tropical paradise because of it.

It’s just so over-the-mountain amazing… the story of it makes me light up and glow.

 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? Who gave it to you?


 

My grandmother.

When I ask her how she is, she always responds:

“Well! I woke up this morning, and I was still breathing and I thought: OH! It’s a gooooood day today!”

I want to be as groovy and grateful as my grandmother.

 

What are you most grateful for?


 

Being alive. I’ve been saying this since I was a teenager.

To be here? Doing this magical thing called life? Getting to be Leonie?

Pretty much the BEST THING EVER.

 

 

Also grateful for:

Baby goddess daughter * hunky love * two fluffy doggies * a sweet old

cottage in tropical paradise * a job being a goddess that is pretty

much my wildest dreams come true * a sister who owns a cupcake

business = constant cupcakery in my life. Oh the JOY!

 

How do you want to inspire people?




I want every woman to know she is a goddess, through and through.

And that her life can be SO joyful and SO good and SUCH a delight.

 

What makes your heart smile?


Photographing women as goddesses.

 

 

Blue ocean eyes.

 

 

Hanging out by waterfalls with the ones I adore the most.

 

 

Check out Leonie’s blog, follow her on twitter, or add her on facebook 🙂

 

So much LOVE,

Jen ♥

 

A Letter To My Younger Self

Not long ago, I read a post by Jamie Ridler on Roots Of She, about the kind of advice she would give to her younger self. I think I recall writing a bit about it during #reverb10 as well, but I never allowed myself to get too far into it, because I was scared of what might come out.

But the other day, Jess at So Uprightly Burning did a post on her letter to her 10-years-ago self, and it inspired me to finish mine.

So here it is:

A Letter To My Younger Self.

 

 

Me at around 14, and me today, 10 years later.

 

Dear beautiful Jen,

Well, you’re 14 years old. And I can tell you that this year is going to be the hardest year of your young life so far. And the next couple of years after won’t be much easier.

Your anxieties at school will get worse, you won’t feel safe in your own home, your self-esteem will be virtually non-existent, and people you love will die.

You will feel so ignored at school that when your favourite art teacher reaches out to you, you will be so surprised that you won’t know how to respond. Don’t assume she’s just doing her job; she really does care. I know this because even today, ten years later, she still remembers you.

I’m telling you all of this because I want you to know that, no matter how unbearable it all seems, and how lost you feel, you will get through it, you will find your way.

It’s all going to be okay.

The next few years will be dark, but there is so much light, so much good, waiting for you on the other side. Everything you are going through will be worth it, and everything these tough times teach you, about yourself, about others, and about life, will one day serve to make you very strong.

Just remember, everything happens for a reason, and things will get better, a lot better. I promise.

Please know that those people who hurt you, they do it because they, too, are suffering. It’s not your fault. They hurt others because they are hurting. You don’t have to put up with that in your life. Speak up.

It will take a long time for you to fully trust others, but someone will come along who will show how to love.

While you are running around chasing boys and looking for someone to love you, your soulmate will be right under your nose, and he will have already fallen for you before you even know his name.

It’s okay; you can trust this one. This boy won’t hurt you. So don’t get suspicious every time he gives you a compliment; he really does think you’re beautiful. He really does love you. And he really will marry you one day.

He will heal your closed heart, help you see how amazing you are, and show you what it’s like to have a real home, one where you feel safe, loved, and free to be who you really are. You can tell him your secrets, your fears and your dreams, and he will love you even more in return.

He will love you completely, every part of you, the good and the not-so-good. And you will feel the same about him. You will be a blessing to him just as much as he will be a blessing to you.

He makes everything you are going through now so, so worth it.

In regards to friends… well, don’t go the extra mile for anyone who wouldn’t do the same for you. And remember, anyone who gossips to you, will gossip about you. Even the ones who you think you can trust with your life.

Some friends you have now you will still have in ten years. Others will try to take advantage of you, and as soon as you are strong enough to stand up for yourself, you will realise you don’t want them, or their never-ending dramas, in your life anymore. It will be a hard choice to make, but I promise you won’t regret it.

In fact, by cutting them out, you will see just how much negativity they brought into your life in the first place, and you will have so much more room to grow into the positive woman you are meant to be.

Also, don’t get caught up in the aftermath of that ended friendship. The more drama they create about it, and the more lies they spread, the more they prove to you that you don’t need them in your life. Send them love and move on to the more awesome things that are coming your way.

Keep drawing, painting, creating, writing, and expressing yourself through art. You have no idea how much you need it to heal, grow, and be happy.

And never stop dreaming. That life-long dream you have of living overseas? You accomplish it at 23. I know, pretty awesome huh? You will also have your first art exhibit at age 22. And all those other things you dream of? You can do all of it. You really can.

Don’t avoid the things, places or people that make you anxious. You know those freak-outs you have before school, that you think are normal? Those are panic attacks. One day you will be so ruled by them that you never leave the house alone. Not even to get the mail.

Don’t worry; you need to live through that. That’s what causes you to do something drastic, like moving to China for a year. That will help you to overcome the anxiety pretty quickly. You will learn that your fears aren’t real, and that every time you face the things that scare you, the stronger and happier you become.

Then you will realise how brave you are, to do things that terrify you every single day.

Also, it’s okay to change your mind about what you want to do. Keep trying new things until you find what fits. A lot of those people who put you down for changing your mind will end up feeling stuck, doing jobs that they hate, and having no idea what they want to do with their lives. So don’t listen to their opinions.

Only listen to those people who are already living the kind of life you want to live – everyone else is just guessing.

I know right now you don’t know much about positive thinking, but you are always trying to see the bright side. Don’t listen to those people who call you unrealistic. What they don’t know is that it is optimism that will get you through the next few years, and start you on an amazing journey that will lead you to living such a happy and amazing life.

So, there will be a lot of tough moments in your life over the next ten years. But there will be even more amazing, happy and love-filled moments. So just keep going.

Most of all: Be kind to yourself. You are so worthy of love and respect, but it starts with you. Love yourself first, and everything else will fall into place. Make loving yourself your number one priority.

I Love You.

Jen ♥