Tag Archives: optimism

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 ♥


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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 ♥

Wise Words: Being Bold

This week’s Wise Words post is a bit different. Recently, I was interviewed by the lovely Tess Marshall from The Bold Life, & it has just been published!

For anyone unfamiliar with The Bold Life, it’s an amazingly inspirational self-development blog that always provides wise insights & encourages everyone to live boldly & speak their truth. I was absolutely thrilled to be interviewed for such an awesome blog & am so excited to share this great news with you all!

The questions I was asked for the interview were so challenging, they really made me think a lot more about who I am & how I could still live a much bolder life. If you are feeling particularly bold yourself today, I encourage you to take a look at some of the questions I was asked & take some time to think about what your own answers might be. You might be surprised!

So, head over to The Bold Life & check out ‘A Bold Artist With A Smiling Heart‘ 🙂

Feel free to comment on it after, I’d love to know what you think!

In other news, I’ve been working on a few little goodies for you guys, hopefully to be posted over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out! 😀

Go smile at yourself,

Jen ♥

2011: A Virtual Vision Wall :)

“Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has.

Your future is whatever you make it.

So make it a good one.”

~ Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) in ‘Back To The Future Part III’.


To welcome 2011 & make sure it really is our best year yet, I’ve collected some of the most inspiring pictures from Tumblr & made a kind of virtual vision wall. These pictures represent what 2011 can be for all of us – this is 2011 in pictures.

This post will always be here – under the ‘Pure Awesomeness’ tab – for us all to come back to throughout the year, especially whenever we feel lost, confused, or ruined.

This virtual vision wall will point you in the direction towards what really matters.

So, save it, print it, bookmark it, & share it – let’s make 2011 AWESOME! 🙂

(For sources, click on the images)

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 ♥

A Quick Post To Remind You Of Your AWESOMENESS (Yes, YOU!) :)

This might be the caffeine talking, but I love my life right now 🙂 Everything is awesome. No, my life is not perfect, & I’ve had pretty tough times, especially recently, but I know that happiness is a choice.

I have chosen happiness every day, no matter what is going on in my life or in the outside world. And because of that one choice I make every day, my whole life is just Awesome. I’m Awesome. I appreciate the little things, I know everything happens for a reason, I learn from the not-so-good experiences & simply enjoy all the amazing experiences. But, most importantly, I think positive thoughts.

It is impossible to live a truly happy & fulfilling life while you are thinking negative thoughts. The only way to change your life & make it the life you are dreaming of is to take control of your thoughts, words & actions. After all, they are the only things we really can control in this world. Send positivity out to the rest of the world.

What you think about, you bring about.

Do what makes you happy. Listen to your favourite music, watch a funny movie that makes you really laugh out loud, go for a walk in nature, get cuddly with your pet… whatever makes you feel good.

List at least 5 things you are grateful for – whether it be your bed, your pet, or your favourite food. Think about the things & people that you love.

Help someone in need. One of the best ways to help you feel happier & get through hard times is to take the attention off of yourself & help a friend, family member or even stranger to feel better. Give your best friend a shoulder to cry on, hug a family member, or just leave a positive note on a bus for a stranger to find.

So, choose happiness. Think positively, even if you don’t really believe it at first, if you keep it up, one day you’ll reach a point where you are so happy that you won’t believe the negativity.

Remember, you are awesome. I don’t even know you, but I can see your awesomeness from here (& I’m in China so that says a lot!) Ignore anyone who ever says otherwise, even if it’s a voice in your head. You are beautiful, precious, & exactly where you need to be. And you are loved.

Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen xox

Day 7: Vision Wall!

It’s Day 7 of Art Every Day Week already! What a great week it’s been 🙂 Today I continued on with the theme from yesterday, creating pretty quote art to stick on my always-growing vision wall.

My vision wall displays pictures of my family, friends, things that remind of home, some artwork I have created, my favourite quotes, photos from some of my happiest moments – such as my first art gallery exhibit & the night Mike proposed to me – & some funny pictures that always put a smile on my face. Today I added quotes (see picture below) that I hope will motivate me to focus on study, as I am recommencing university studies later this month (My first two subjects are Philosophy & Art, so you will be seeing plenty of blog posts on those two topics soon!).

HOW TO MAKE A VISION WALL:

Vision walls are a great tool when it comes to achieving goals, leading a happier life, or even just brightening up a bare wall. Not only will a vision wall help to keep you focussed on what is important to you, but they are fun to make & you can add to it & change it as your goals, tastes, & desires change.

STEP 1: You can use anything as the canvas for your vision; a bare wall in your house; a pinboard; a scrapbook or journal… Even the refrigerator door or bedroom window! As long as you will be able to see it everyday, you can place your vision anywhere you like.

STEP 2: Collect photographs, magazine clippings, articles, sketches or other artwork that relate to your goals, desires or just things that make you smile & feel all warm & fuzzy inside. For example; if your goal is to go to Hawaii, you would collect photos & images of Hawaii, it’s beaches, destinations, hula dancers, & stick them on your vision wall. You could also add some articles about the islands, where to stay, even other peoples’ blog posts about their trip to Hawaii! To give it that extra ‘pop’, you could also add a Lei or a fake Hibiscus – one of the native flowers of Hawaii. To ensure that you stick to your goal, you could add some motivational quotes written on brightly coloured post-it notes & stick them randomly around the wall, such as:

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown

STEP 3: Spend at least 5 minutes every day admiring your creation. You can do this as you have your morning coffee or as you get ready for bed at night. As you do so, visualize yourself achieving your goal. Imagine how it feels, what it looks like, tastes like, smells like, to have achieved your goal. Continuing with the Hawaii example; visualize yourself lying on a beach in Hawaii, feel the warm sun on your skin (you’re wearing sunblock, of course!), admire the clear blue sea, the golden sand & the tall palm trees, smell the ocean breeze… feel how proud you are for achieving your goal, how relaxed you are, & how powerful you feel knowing that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

If you prefer, you could create a vision wall solely for happiness purposes, rather than for achieving goals. Collect photos of your loved ones, pets, role models, favourite celebrities, artwork, or things you have created yourself to stick onto your wall. Add lists of things/people that you are grateful for, inspiring quotes, funny photos… anything that makes you smile!

Maybe this can start you off:

If you have children, make creating a vision wall an arts & crafts activity for the whole family! It will be fun for them, plus it’s a great tool for helping them to set goals & focus on the things that make them happy. After all, it’s never too early for children to learn valuable life skills such as goal setting & positive thinking!

*If you create a vision wall – or already have one – please feel free to email me pictures of them (jenartist@live.com.au) I will include them in another post to help inspire others 🙂

Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen xo

 

Have A Beautiful Day!

Before I get started on my Day 6 creation for Art Every Day Month, I wanted to share this video with you all. It’s a song by the beautiful India Arie, & it can turn any day into a beautiful one!*

*Note: you know what else can turn any day into a beautiful one? YOU! You can choose the kind of day you want to have – so choose wisely.

Have a beautiful day, everyone! See you again later with another post.

Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen xo

‘This Too Shall Pass’, ‘Follow Your Bliss’, & Other Clichés That Happen To Be True.

Break Free. By Jen Saunders.

Being the Pollyanna that I pretty much have always been, I’ve often been told that my views on life aren’t realistic, or that my beliefs, such as everything happens for a reason are ‘such a cliché’. But still, I stuck with my clichés and happily trod along my own path in my own reality. Being told these things when I was younger taught me quickly that other people aren’t as open to positivity as I am. Yes, sayings like everything happens for a reason might well be a big fat cliché, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. In my experience, I have learned time and time again that everything really does happen for a reason, but I guess you have to be open enough to accept that. Anything that has ever happened in my life that I saw as ‘bad’ at the time, always lead to something better for me, either by pointing me in a completely new direction or teaching me a valuable life-lesson that has shaped who I am today.

As a hopeful teenager, I would try to help others to see things more positively, but I then began to learn that until they decide that they want something different than what they have, there’s nothing anyone or anything can do to change their mindset. Some people are just so terrified of any type of change or are so afraid to let go of the controls that they just stay stuck, sometimes for their whole lives. I know this, not only because I’ve seen it, but because I’ve been there. I’ve been paralysed with fear, stuck in a negative mindset, had times when everything looked so bad that I didn’t know what to do. Who hasn’t had those times? I always remember the Buddhist saying,‘This too shall pass.’ And, even if I don’t believe it at the time, there’s always a way through it. In my world, no type of change is as scary as being stuck in the same unhealthy mindset or environment for the rest of my life.

In my life, I want to always be moving forward, growing, learning, and evolving. If others choose not move forward with me, then that’s their business and I will let them go as I continue down the path that is right for me.

I don’t mean to sound self-righteous. I’m not saying that everything I’ve stated here is complete truth, it’s not, it’s just my opinion. It’s my own truth.

You Have To Follow Your Bliss

Image by Brandon Carpenter via Flickr

What I know for sure is that everyone has their own path. My path is not right for everyone (that’s for sure!) and the paths of others are not right for me. Over the years I’ve come to learn how to respect the paths that others choose to take, and I’ve also come to learn how to politely ignore others when they attempt to sway me from my own path or poke fun at me because of the way I view life and the world. There are always going to be people who don’t agree, don’t understand and don’t respect the paths we choose, but these people do us a great favour by teaching us how to be strong, to stick to our values & follow our hearts. They will challenge us, but their opposition tests our strength, courage & commitment, often causing us to move forward with our beliefs even more firm than before.

We will also come across people who follow a similar path to ours, people we will admire and want to learn from. Just by being in the company of these like-minded people, we can learn so much more about who we are and who we want to be.

Everyone who enters your life can teach you something about yourself. They don’t even have to be people you know, they can be fictional characters, politicians, movie stars, authors, even people you simply pass by on the street can change your life forever. Some people are meant to stay in your life so that you can always learn and grow with their help, and they can always learn and grow with your help. Others may only stay in your life for a few years at most, they will teach you what they need to and then you will go your separate ways. And that’s okay because everything happens for a reason.

People can teach you how to be strong by knocking you down. They can teach you to really explore who you are and what kind of life you want to live by poking holes in your beliefs, forcing you to rethink your ideals and either throw them away and start again or build on the beliefs even more, making them stronger than ever before. They can teach you more about who you want to be by showing you how they live, and they can also teach you more about who you don’t want to be by showing you how they live. It works both ways. But no matter what, as long as you remember that there is no wrong or right – there are only differences – you can learn something from everyone & everything that happens in life, if you just take a moment to open your eyes, your mind & your heart.

Keep Smiling 🙂

Jen xo