Tag Archives: Holidays

Goals & Gifts – #reverb10 :)

December 28 – Achieve What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Mohr)

Today, when I looked at all my goals, hopes & dreams for the next year, I noticed a pattern begin to form. They all involve personal growth, inspiring others, & experiencing all that life & the world has to offer.

As I connected them even further, I realized that my most desired goal for 2011 is to end it with even more love, happiness, health, & purpose than I am ending 2010 with.

If, a year from now, I can look back on 2011 feeling like the best version of myself I have ever been & knowing that I gave it 100%, I will be satisfied & proud.

I’ve decided to go with the ‘10 thoughts’ option in order to experience those feelings of confidence, accomplishment, joy, love, purpose, satisfaction & pride today, because what you think about, you bring about.

(While these aren’t really ‘new’ thoughts, they are definitely ones I could think more often!)

1. Take action.

“When you don’t know what to do, do the thing in front of you.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot. Another good quote for this thought is: “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~ Will Rogers

2. Yes, I can.

“My motto is; If a person can do it, I can do it.” ~ Geena Davis

3. Live with purpose.

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

4. Anything is possible.

“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

~ Napoleon Hill

5. Stay focused.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”  ~ Henry Ford

6. Dream big.

“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” ~ Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) in ‘Back to the Future’.

Another good quote for this thought is: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~ Les Brown

7. Be wild.

“Why sit in the bleachers, timid & afraid? When you could be the whole parade!” ~ Hairspray – Big, Blonde, & Beautiful

8. Think, do, be, positive.

“I crossed the street to walk in the sunshine.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’

9. Share the love.

“Freedom lies at the heart of my willingness to love everything.” ~ Alanis Morissette

10. Follow your bliss.

“If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.” ~ Joseph Campbell

December 29 – Defining Moment Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

The defining moment for me this year would have to be the moment we decided to move to China.

As I described in my Tiny Buddha guest post, there have been so many ups & downs & lessons learned through a whole series of events that all lead back to that one decisive moment.

I am so grateful for that moment & everything I have experienced since, & I am 100% certain that I would not be who I am today without it.

December 30 – Gift Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Author: Holly Root)

The two most memorable gifts I have received this year, aren’t special to me because of their monetary value, one of them didn’t even cost a thing. These gifts are special to me because of their meaning, & what they symbolize in my life.

The first, I received back in April; an engagement ring from my soulmate. And while I do think it’s totally romantic & awesome that it boasts diamonds, my birth stone, & was designed by Mike especially for me, I get the most joy out of what it symbolizes.

It’s not just a ring, it’s a symbol of Mike’s love for me, & his commitment & desire to spend the rest of his life with me. It represents our friendship, our love, our past & our wonderful future together.

The second gift I received only last week; a link to a YouTube video from my brother.

It may not seem like much, but it is one of the sweetest, most meaningful & comforting gifts I have ever received.

The video is of British comedian Tim Minchin, singing a song he wrote about Christmas called ‘White Wine in the Sun.’

For most of it, I just thought it was really cool that this guy had summed up all my feelings about Christmas in a song, from consumerism to family.

In fact, the chorus could be about my family at Christmas:

“I’ll be seeing my dad

My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum

They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

I’ll be seeing my dad

My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum

They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun”

Towards the end of the song, he sings to his daughter:

“And if, my baby girl

When you’re twenty-one or thirty-one

And Christmas comes around

And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home

You’ll know what ever comes

Your brother and sisters and me and your Mum

Will be waiting for you in the sun

Whenever you come

Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles

Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum

We’ll be waiting for you in the sun

Drinking white wine in the sun

Darling, when Christmas comes

We’ll be waiting for you in the sun

Drinking white wine in the sun

Waiting for you in the sun

Waiting for you…

Waiting…”

This is when I started to cry like a baby.

This is when I realized that my brother wasn’t just sending me a video about Christmas, he was sending me a message. He was letting me know that he misses me.

He was letting me know that, even though I’m ‘nine thousand miles from home’, my family – Mum, Dad, him, my other brother & sister, my aunts, uncles, cousins & my Nana, were spending their Australian Christmas in the sun, & missing me, thinking of me, & waiting for me.

It makes me tear up even writing about it. But I love it so much, & it means more to me than almost any other gift I’ve ever received. I’ll never forget it.

(More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/tim_minchin/#share)

Stay tuned for a couple more posts over the next day or so, one of which I made especially for all of you! 🙂

Keep Smiling!

Jen ♥

Merry Christmas! :)

As I sit here, listening to John Lennon’s ‘Happy Christmas’, enjoying vegemite on toast (& feeling just a little bit homesick), I am hoping that you are all having a very merry Christmas 🙂

I had a couple of presents to open this morning, with carols playing in the background, Christmas movies to watch, a few little decorations around the apartment & even snow outside my window. But…

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without family & friends.

It’s not about the presents, it’s about seeing my Dad dressed up as Santa & giving out presents to all my cousins – something that my Papa used to do every year too. It’s not about the food, it’s about the laughter my brothers & I share when we throw peas at each other at the table. It’s not about the new Christmas CD, it’s about hearing my Mum singing a long to it as she does things around the house.

As with everything, it’s the love we feel, the laughter we share, & the moments we have with our loved ones that really makes Christmas time so special.

So, share the love, spread the laughter & recognize those moments that will later be fond memories, & enjoy this special day with the people you love most.

To finish, here’s an Elf Yourself video I made, of me & Mike 🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Jen ♥

Attitude of Gratitude


Photo taken by Jen Saunders.

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;

and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

~ G.K. Chesterton

Thanksgiving is nearly here, & even though I grew up in Australia & so have never celebrated a real Thanksgiving, I’ve always been fascinated by it. I’m a big believer that the more thankful you are, the more abundant life becomes, so I’m going to celebrate my own Thanksgiving by listing the things I am most grateful for.

Making a gratitude list helps you to realise just how blessed you truly are & is a big step towards living a happier & more fulfilling life. You can either write them down or just list them mentally while you’re on the way to work, doing the dishes or waiting to fall asleep in bed at the end of the day.

After doing it regularly, you will begin to see a pattern. The things that pop up on your list every time are the things that are most important to you in life. By noticing what matters to you, you can become more familiar with where your priorities lie, & possibly what things you want to spend more time doing or which people you need to spend more time with.

Continuing on my journey of self-discovery, & following my 9th Commandment*, here is my list of ten things I’m grateful for:

1. Health.

For a body that is healthy, does what I want it to do & can heal itself.

2. Love.

For being loved, feeling love & giving love.

3. Possibilities.

The knowledge that I create my life with my thoughts, feelings & actions.

4. Mike.

For having a partner, a soulmate, a best friend & lover who knows me better than anyone & is always there for me & encourages me to live my best life.

5. Family.

People who love me no matter what happens.

6. Friends.

People to have fun with, laugh with, learn with & talk with.

7. Role models.

People who inspire me to live my best life, lead by example, make the world a better place & take action, all while staying true to themselves.

8. Education.

Not just school or university, but the education of life itself. Neverending opportunities to learn, grow & gain wisdom.

9. Trees.

By far the best spiritual teachers to have ever lived. They know how to be still, stay grounded, connected & play in the wind all at the same time.

10. Me.

For the person that I am, the experiences I’ve had, the memories I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned & the person who I’m becoming.

I want to make this a regular activity, so to remind me & motivate me I have stuck notes around my apartment that say ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. I have stuck them next to my bed, on the fridge & even in the bathroom. Whenever I see a note, I think of at least two things that I am grateful for today, even if it’s just ‘For having a good night’s sleep’ or ‘For having pizza for dinner tonight’. There’s always something to be thankful for 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Need more inspiration?

A fellow blogger, Grey Matter Life, wrote a great post a few days ago titled ‘The 30 Day Gratitude Challenge’. Check it out 🙂

*Note: After giving it some thought, I have decided to change my 5th Commandment ‘Show interest, ask questions, open up’ to ‘Nourish your spirituality’. I decided that showing interest, asking questions & opening up could be better utilized as more of a resolution, rather than a commandment. Also, I realised that I didn’t have any commandments relating to my spirituality, something that is very important to me… even if I haven’t completely figured out what it is yet. ‘Nourish you spirituality’ serves as a reminder to just be still, get in touch with the Universe, my higher self, God, whatever you want to call it. I do this through meditation, lighting candles & incense & just relaxing, reading my favourite spiritual books (all of which will be covered in later posts), listening to music, or being creative.

 

Keep Smiling 🙂

Jen xo