Tag Archives: Online Communities


Another big ‘Hello!‘ from snow-covered Daqing! 🙂

I was just introduced to the brillaint phrase ‘awesome sauce’ by @DPWAssociation on Twitter, and just had to make it the title of this post!

I hope your day has been covered in AWESOME SAUCE!

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to My Smiling Heart lately, making it as awesome as possible and doing my best to make it everything it can be. It’s still early days but I have big plans for this little love of mine and I hope you will all be there to experience all the exciting things that are coming our way!

A new segment will be coming to MSH soon, as I plan to interview one inspiring and AWESOME person every month. I’m also working on more printable awesomeness, just like this one, for you to keep.

The latest development in the world of My Smiling Heart is the creation of an official Facebook fan page! Yes, My Smiling Heart is now on Facebook! *happydance*

I will be using the My Smiling Heart fan page to build more of a community for all of us, as well as posting quotes, links to inspiring videos, blogs, and music, and anything else that reeks of awesomeness!

So c’mon over and give us a ‘Like’! 😀

It’s my 24th birthday in 11 days (woohoo!) and I would love to have at least 50 fans by then (22nd Feb), so please go ahead and share it with anyone who you think would love being a part of our little community of smiling hearts 🙂 ♥

Speaking of community, I love to hear what you think of MSH, and if you have any feedback, ideas, or suggestions of what you would like me to feature here, please feel free to leave me a comment, tweet me, email me (jenartist@live.com.au), or write on our Facebook wall.

And if you’re a blogger and want to collaborate somehow, send me an email anytime. Let’s change the world!

I’m so happy I could dance, so I will! Will you dance with me? You will! 😀 Awesome sauce!


Jen ♥

#reverb10 Catch Up!

I’ve finally started to catch up on all the #reverb10 prompts, so I will be posting 6 answers every day for the next four days.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a few different communities this year, both online & otherwise.

Online, I’ve met some amazing women. Amazing. I’m proud to be a apart of communities started by strong, empowering & inspiring women who I can learn from, communities such as Tiny Buddha, I Want Her Job, The Happiness Project, She’s The First & Starfish One By One. Not to mention all the cool women I follow online, whether it be through blogs, twitter, or even just facebook friends.

Also online, I love my community of readers. All of your comments, tweets & emails make me love writing this blog even more than I did before. You made me realize I can make a difference. Thank you.

Offline, I was introduced to a very different community than what I was used to – the Chinese community. As much of a shock it was when we first arrived, I love it here now. Sure, we get stared at all the time, people spit everywhere & use the sidewalk as a toilet, but it’s all a part of the experience. I’m only here for a year of my life, so I may as well enjoy it while it lasts.

Another community I am a part of as a result of being an extreme minority in a foreign land, is the Western community. We estimate that there are only about 50 westerners, in a population of over 2 million, here in Daqing. It’s an awesome little community to be a part of though, all of us from different parts of the world, traveling together & experiencing the highs & lows of living in China.

In 2011, I want to continue to be apart of all of these communities, as well as build on them & create new communities. When I go home to Australia, I will be much more appreciative of the communities I am a part of there, & I won’t be taking anything for granted.

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

My optimism, & the belief that we can do anything we want with our lives, has always been a big part of what makes me different. People have always thrown statements like ‘That’s not realistic’ & ‘Get your head out of the clouds’ at me, but I didn’t listen to them, & I will never listen to them, because the voice that tells me ‘I can’ is louder than any outside voices telling me that I ‘can’t’.

I think that I started being beautifully different in high school, when I realized that it’s my differences that make me who I am, & I started to show them instead of hide them. That’s also when I started to love myself just the way I am, & I made being authentic & honest my one of my highest values.

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

This year, the Melbourne Mind, Body, Spirit Festival was awesome. I love the people, the events & the different stalls that are always displaying unique & interesting things. The energy there is always so brilliant, & I always feel like I leave with a more open mind than I had when I entered.

This year though, I had an amazing experience at the MBS Festival, one which really changed my life & the lives of the people I’m closest to. I won’t go into too much detail here, because it’s very personal & I’m not sure I want to make it public it yet, but even if I do decide to write about it, it deserves an entire post dedicated to it.

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

My decision to view my experiences as gifts instead of curses, & to make the best out of what I was given, will always be one of the wisest decisions I have ever made.

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

As you know, I prefer to focus on the positive, so instead of listing 11 things I don’t want in my life, I’ve decided to write about 11 things that I do want in 2011.

I’m still pointing out what I don’t need, for example; number 1 says I want to have a vegan diet, meaning I want to eliminate dairy (I have already eliminated meat), but I’m doing it in a more pro-active way.

1. A vegan diet. This will have to wait until we are back in Australia, but it’s something I really want to do.

2. Free my mind more in regards to creativity, imagination & taking action.

3. Take more action in my life

4. Trust myself & my instincts more

5. Focus even more on the positives

6. Pay more attention to family, friends & myself & less attention on media & useless noise

7. Remember that most things aren’t personal

8. To be even more authentic & really express myself more

9. Speak my mind more

10. Count my blessings more

11. Enjoy the present moment more

By achieving these things my life will be more aligned with my true self & I will feel more of a sense of purpose, not to mention I will be even healthier & happier than I am now.

December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

After being so sick a few months ago, staying healthy has become so important to me. The moment I started to feel completely healed in all aspects of my life & I started to follow my heart; everything else fell into place for me; mind, body & soul.

I’ll throw in prompt #13 too, just because it’s so short:

December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

At the moment the ideas I’m working on require a lot of brainstorming, research, & organizing & planning with the people who I want to be involved. Still early stages, but I know 2011 has a lot of awesomeness in store for us 🙂

See you tomorrow for more reverbs!

Keep Smiling 🙂

Jen ♥

Wow… !

Photo & text by Jen Saunders

Let me tell you about my day today.

I woke up early, turned on my laptop & made myself some breakfast.

As I sat down to my computer, I was surprised to see that I had over 100 new emails, & I don’t know how unusual that is for some people, but for me it’s way out of the ordinary!

Most of them were telling me about new subscribers to this blog, so a big ‘Hello!’ to all my new readers 🙂 You rock! The other emails were informing me of new twitter & tumblr followers, as well as facebook messages & friend requests.

It took me a second to figure out why I was so popular all of a sudden, then I remembered that my Tiny Buddha post was published today. Needless to say, I did my *happy dance* while eating my peanut butter on toast this morning!

I must say I definitely was not expecting so many people to read my post, not to mention all the re-blogs, tweets, likes, & follows! Not to mention over 1,000 blog views! Awesomeness! 😀

The best surprises of today, however, are all the super encouraging, supportive & kind comments from my readers. So many people can relate to my story, to being lost, & to feeling like a failure. And even more people can relate to finding themselves, their true path, & turning failure into success.

So, to all the people who took the time to read my post & to those who left me such amazing comments: thank you.

Thank you so much.

A lot of your words really inspired me today, & you have all made everything that has happened here in China just that much more worth it.

My passion for writing, creating & sharing my positive vibes with others has grown so much because of all your support, & I intend to make the most of it.

My whole day today has been a complete whirlwind of AWESOMENESS! It has taught me that I really can inspire & help others, that people like my writing, & that what I have to say is worth sharing with the world.

New opportunities have revealed themselves to me as a result of my Tiny Buddha post, & I can’t wait to see what amazing things are heading my way!

But for now, all this excitement has exhausted me. So Mike & I are going to order pizza & watch ‘Home Alone’ to bring in the holiday season, awesome-style 🙂

Thanks again, & Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen ♥