Tag Archives: peace

Enough.

 

“Enough already with the stuff that doesn’t enhance who you really are.”

~ Oprah Winfrey

 

Enough already!

Enough already with looking in the mirror and not loving what you see.

Enough already with living in excess, filling your house, life and body with things that won’t ever bring you happiness or give you the love that you can only find within yourself.

Enough already with the labeling, judging and hating of those who you choose to see as ‘different’.

Enough already with bringing others down because you are afraid that their success will make you feel inferior.

Enough already with blaming your weight, your age, your spouse, your friends, your children, your boss, your parents, the service at the supermarket, the line at the post office, the younger generation, the price of petrol, the state of the world. Do something about it.

Enough already with not seeing beauty in everything.

Enough already with not letting your intuition guide you.

Enough already with not laughing hysterically every single day.

Enough already with letting the media dictate how you feel about yourself.

Enough already with thinking that there’s nothing you can do.

Enough already with not following your heart and living the life that you deserve.

Enough already with lying to yourself, denying who you are, and ignoring the screams of your soul.

Enough already with feeling inferior.

Enough already with standing by and doing nothing as children starve, women are raped, men are killed, animals are tortured, and the earth is poisoned.

Enough already with thinking there is only one true path to God.

Enough already with believing that any God is worth killing for.

Enough already with letting one small thing ruin your whole day.

Enough already with being afraid.

Enough already with the hate.

Enough already with thinking that there is any living creature on this earth that doesn’t deserve to feel love.

Enough already with looking outside for all the answers that can only be found within you.

Enough already with the excuses.

Enough already with using the number on the scale as a measure of self-worth.

Enough already with taking our anger and insecurities out on others.

Enough already with thinking that you aren’t enough.

Enough already with trying to deny that we are all connected.

Enough already with thinking that you don’t deserve a life full of love, passion, purpose, and happiness.

Enough already with judging your worth by what others think of you.

Enough already with being ashamed of your imperfections.

Enough already with letting other people have power over you.

Enough already with hiding who you really are.

Enough already with not dancing like nobody’s watching.

Enough already with trying to fit in.

Enough already with seeing vulnerability as a weakness.

Enough already with dumbing yourself down or creating drama to get attention from others.

Enough already with the drama.

Enough already with thinking life’s not fair.

Enough already with focusing on the colour of the skin instead of on the heart within.

Enough already with staying in your comfort zone.

Enough already with the inequality.

Enough already with thinking your way is the only way.

Enough already with punishing yourself.

Enough already with the inaction.

Enough already with thinking that who you love is more important than the love itself.

Enough already with avoiding doing the things that scare you.

Enough already with giving up when it gets tough.

Enough already with not accepting others for who they are.

Enough already with seeing obstacles as failures.

Enough already with thinking that the past equals your future.

Enough already with needing to be right all the time.

Enough already with not learning from our past.

Enough already with the regrets.

Enough already with thinking it’s too late.

Enough already with the guilt.

Enough already with being a victim.

Enough already with the blame.

Enough already with the revenge.

Enough already with thinking you don’t have anything to be thankful for.

Enough already with condemning others for following their hearts.

Enough already with not showing kindness to everyone you meet.

Enough already with being anything but yourself.

Enough already with the denial.

Enough already with not taking care of yourself.

Enough already with waiting for somebody else to do it.

Enough already with not seeing how amazing you are.

Enough already with living with a closed mind and heart.

Enough already with resisting change.

Enough already with spending your time with people who bring you down.

Enough already with sending hate and negativity out into the world.

Enough already with forgetting that everyone in this world just wants to be happy.

Enough already with thinking you aren’t powerful.

Enough already with thinking that you don’t have anything to offer the world.

Enough already with settling for less than you deserve.

Enough already with letting your daughter learn how to hate herself by watching you hate yourself.

Enough already with letting your son think showing his emotions makes him weak and showing violence makes him tough.

Enough already with thinking that what’s popular is always right.

Enough already with thinking we can survive while the earth dies.

Enough already with believing everything we are told.

Enough already with thinking it’s not our problem.

Enough already with not using our lives to make this world a better place.

Enough already with thinking it can’t be done.

Enough already with thinking that you can’t change the world.

Enough already with thinking that you don’t have a beautiful smile.

Enough already with hiding that smile from the world.

Enough already with forgetting that everyone is doing the best that they can.

Enough already with denying that your thoughts create your world.

Enough already with not doing the things that make you happy.

Enough already with hiding the Goddess that you really are.

Enough already with spending your life worrying about things that never happen.

Enough already with associating ‘different’ with ‘wrong’.

Enough already with ignoring your divinity.

Enough already with the oppression.

Enough already with the ignorance.

Enough already with using fear to control others.

Enough already with not seeing that it’s always the children who suffer the most.

Enough already with wishing for world peace but not creating it within yourself.

Enough already with rejecting something just because you don’t understand it.

Enough already with thinking that you can’t choose happiness.

Enough already with forgetting that everyone is somebody’s son, daughter, brother, sister, father, mother or friend.

Enough already with not learning from your mistakes.

Enough already with trying to be perfect.

Enough already with forgetting how blessed you are.

Enough already with the excess.

Enough already with not smiling at yourself in the mirror.

Enough already with following the paths of others instead of creating your own.

Enough already with trying to do everything at once.

Enough already with not living in the moment.

Enough already with thinking you can truly love others without truly loving yourself.

Enough already with the ego.

Enough already with not seeing the lesson in every experience.

Enough already with not showing gratitude.

Enough already with not seeing your own awesomeness.

Enough.


You have everything you need within you. Take hold of your power and choose to live the life you deserve.

Enough already with everything else.

 

 

Jen ♥

Peace Wherever You Go ♥

Admiring the Summer Palace, Beijing

It’s amazing how much travelling can put personal growth and self-discovery into warp-speed mode.

Being in a new place, whether it’s around the corner from your home or on the other side of the world, heightens your senses and forces you to live in the moment, taking in everything you possibly can.

I learnt a lot about myself recently when Mike and I spent a week in Beijing. Even though we’ve been living in China for seven months, this was our first real back packing adventure with just the two of us, and something we had wanted to do for years.

Even though I had an amazing time there and will always look back on it as one of my best adventures yet, I wasn’t really looking forward to it beforehand.

We had organised to stay in a hostel, something I’d never done before, and even though we had booked a private room, I was a bit anxious about it. I’m a pretty shy and quiet person, an introvert, so being in a place that constantly has such a huge social atmosphere is a little overwhelming.

The overnight train rides to and from Beijing had also been making me a bit anxious, as it requires being in a cabin with total strangers for twelve hours, spending most of your time trying not to invade each others’ space while you attempt to navigate the bunks or move around the halls.

The fact that I had been worrying about these little things for the days leading up to our Beijing adventure obviously didn’t help anything either, so I eventually found myself losing all excitement for it.

But, as usual, I soon discovered that my worries were complete fiction, a waste of time, complete an utter bull.

I have learnt, during my years overcoming anxiety, the only way to stop being afraid of something, is to just do it.

The anxious mind is a trickster, a heckler, and a brilliant illusionist. And, as with any other form of unnecessary and unconstructive criticism, the best way to handle it is to not let it stop you from living the life you want to live, to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’

And that is just what I did.

The train rides were actually pretty fun, and not at all as bad as my mind had made me believe it would be. The hostel, well, that was just plain AWESOME. The people we so cool and friendly, the room was great, the food was freaking delicious, and we were encouraged to grab some textas and write on the walls. That is every artists’ dream!

The 365 Inn, where we stayed.

The message Mike wrote on wall

It ended up being one of the best weeks of my entire life, full of adventure, risk-taking, meeting new people, seeing amazing places, and coming home with a thousand awesome memories and a new sense of confidence, accomplishment and self-awareness.

In a traditional Chinese dress.

At the Summer Palace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A moment I know I will never forget occurred on Chinese New Year, Mike and I were standing on the rooftop of the hostel, counting down to midnight, and being completely surrounded by fireworks. Explosions of sound, colour, and cheers erupted again and again for almost an hour as families and friends throughout Beijing celebrated the new year.

I felt so blessed to be there to witness it, and I knew in that moment that I had come so, so far… too far to ever go back to the person I used to be. I felt a wave of relief as I realised then that my fears would never get in the way of me living my life ever again.

I was reminded of that rooftop moment just the other night. I was walking through the snow on my way to meet Mike for dinner, when fireworks started exploding right in front of me, continuing the 15 day celebrations for Spring Festival.

Fireworks in Daqing

As I looked up at the amazing colours falling from the sky, and felt the sweet kisses of snowflakes as they touched my skin, I realised I was, in that moment, proving to myself that I can do anything.

You see, a year ago, I was too afraid to open my front door when the doorbell rang. Too anxious to walk down our short driveway just to check the mail. I even avoided going into the backyard alone, in case I was seen by a neighbour and forced into a potentially uncomfortable or awkward conversation.

I would never have admitted it then, in fact I wouldn’t have admitted it even six months ago, but I was so trapped by my own fears that I just avoided them altogether, until I couldn’t leave the house unless I was with someone.

So, imagine my pride when I suddenly realise that I am walking through the streets of a foreign city, in a foreign country, at night, completely alone, and with a freaking huge smile on my face! Thousands of miles away from my comfort zone, and not a single worry or fear on my mind.

That’s what travel can do for you.

Not long after that amazing moment on a rooftop in Beijing, but before that amazing moment in the snow, I was walking through some markets and found a stall that sold rings. I noticed one with four Chinese characters on it, and asked the woman working there what it meant.

“It mean… Peace… When you leave and when come back. Peace wherever you go.”

Peace wherever you go.

I wrote that on the wall of the 365 Inn, so that others can be inspired by it just as I was.

I’m wearing that ring now, as I write this. And I will always wear it, as a reminder of how far I’ve come, and how much I’ve overcome, in order to find my own peace, peace within myself, peace with my fears, and peace within the world.

Take some time now to look back and notice how far you have come, and what you have overcome in the process. Be proud of everything you have achieved, and how much you’ve grown! And be grateful for all the lessons you have learnt in between.

Go smile at yourself,

Jen ♥

Written on the second floor staircase of the 365 Inn, Beijing.

* Are you on Facebook? So is My Smiling Heart! Come and join us for extra fun and daily doses of awesomeness!

Wise Words… Thursday?

[This Wise Words post is a day late because my awesome Dad & brother have been visiting so we’ve been travelling a bit, more on that soon 🙂 ]

“Everything you need is within you

right now.” ~ Unknown

It’s true.

You already have all the strength, courage & wisdom you need inside of you. It’s just that, sometimes, we need to overcome obstacles in order to find it.

It’s all there; the clarity to know which path to choose; the strength to change your life for the better; the confidence to be yourself no matter what; & the courage to start taking action on your dreams.

Sometimes, it’s all just buried so deep under our insecurities & doubts that it takes some digging to bring it up to the surface. The Universe, or God, or Higher Power, or whatever you prefer to call it, knows this, & so gives you opportunities & experiences that force you to find all these qualities & more within your own self.

It’s what we do with those experiences that make all the difference. We can do our absolute best to stay positive, & learn as much as possible from it. Or, we can play the victim & add it to our list of reasons why we can’t live the lives we want, & as a result stay stuck in a negative pattern.

If we take the first route; with every experience, we are moulded into better, stronger versions of ourselves. And even if we sometimes lose touch & let ourselves fall into the second category, that’s ok. It is always possible to build ourselves back up again. Always.

So, whatever you’re worrying about today, know that you can handle it.

You have everything you need within you, right now.

Keep Smiling!

Jen ♥

Wise Words Wednesday!

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds aremade under pressure.”

~ Peter Marshall

Force helps us to grow.

Just as the oak tree stands tall against the wind, & coal transforms under force, so does the salmon swim against the current, & the caterpillar evolve into a butterfly.

The lotus flower starts its life in the mud. It uses its natural strength to push through the sludge, & is then faced with the challenge to grow within the water, in order to reach the surface, where it is greeted by the warmth of the sun.

The beauty of a lotus flower has been mystifying people for thousands of years, & its strength & ability to elegantly rise above challenges is an inspiration to many, including myself.

Buddhism holds the lotus flower in a very high regard, in fact, the mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ means ‘the jewel is in the lotus’.

I first discovered the symbolism of the lotus when I was reading A Lotus Grows In The Mud, by Goldie Hawn – one of my heroes. And ever since, this magical flower has played a crucial part in my life, spiritually, mentally & artistically.

Lotus flowers often appear in my artwork, I always look to them for inspiration, & learning about its symbolism helped me realise that challenges are a part of the journey of life.

We can learn from the lotus flower – it can teach us how to live our lives.

And, maybe most importantly, we can see the lotus flower within ourselves.

We have all grown through hard times; the mud.

We have all risen above challenges; the water.

And, we all have the ability to reach the surface; the light.

I’ll finish with another quote:

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. “

~ Goldie Hawn, ‘A Lotus Grows In The Mud’

Keep Smiling 🙂

Jen ♥

P.S Thanks to My Smiling Heart reader, Renee, for sharing the Peter Marshall quote on Facebook, which inspired this post 🙂

Goldie Hawn quote from http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/193026

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 ♥

Exciting News: Likes For Learning!

Last week, I mentioned that I had been working on something awesome & top secret.

Well, today I can finally reveal it to you all!

I have been fortunate enough to be working with the amazing I Want Her Job, She’s The First & Starfish One By One teams on a campaign aimed at raising money for a group of girls in Guatemala to receive the education that they need in order to live their best lives.

My contribution involved designing the promo for the campaign, & I had SO much fun doing it!

If you want to know how you can help, too; it’s all here in the promo 🙂

 

Design: Jen Saunders

So, “like” IWHJ on Facebook, follow on Twitter, & remember to tell your friends! Let’s get these beautiful girls an education so that they can achieve their dreams & make this world a better place!

I absolutely LOVE I Want Her Job, I can always find a never-ending supply of inspiration there, & it’s such a great community for women. And She’s The First & Starfish One By One are such passionate & committed organizations, they really are making the world a better place.

For more information, visit IWHJ & read the latest post:

IWJH is Launching its First-Ever Nonprofit Campaign, and We Need Your Help!

And, check out the sponsors page to see little ol’ My Smiling Heart there! 😀

For many years now, it has been a major goal of mine to use my creative talents to help a non-profit that focusses on educating girls in developing countries, so this is an amazing dream come true!

Thanks everyone for all of your support!

 

You are all so AWESOME! 😀

 

Keep Smiling!

 

Jen ♥

 

♥ Gift of Acceptance ♥

India.Arie (i)

Image by volume12 via Flickr

Just a quick post to show you a new music video just released from the beautiful India.Arie & Idan Raichel, which is only online for 24 hours.

They just sang it at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, & I have to say, it is just so beautiful.

As I said in my last post, when it comes to music; positive, empowering & meaningful lyrics are a must for me. This song is the perfect example of amazing lyrics.

Here are a few lines from the song that India just posted on Twitter:

“Red, black, yellow, brown, or white, a man with a husband or a woman with a wife,

We can debate til the end of time, whose wrong and who is right, or I can honor your choices and you can honor mine,

Gandhi was a Hindu, Martin Luther King a Christian. Regardless of religion they knew love was the mission.

Give the world a present, give the gift of your acceptance. Give the world a present, give the gift of your acceptance.”

I’ve always loved India Arie; I listen to her music every single day. In my opinion, she is one of the most empowering & inspiring female musicians there is.

This is the real truth of the world. Imagine what we can all achieve if we just give up our needs to be right & instead give our acceptance.

Keep Smiling 🙂

Jen ♥

Day 24: Quotes, Self-Portraits & A Wolf

Today is Day 24 of Art Every Day Month, so I thought I’d should finally upload some of the creations I’ve made over the past couple of weeks.

I have stuck all these around our apartment, so that I can always see the bright, happy colours & read the quotes whenever I like. I even updated my Vision Wall.

Yesterday we went to the museum of natural history in our city of Daqing, I took a lot of photos! My favourite is of a wolf, the photograph actually looks more like a painting, thanks to the painted backdrop. I added some text & viola! My creation for the day was done 🙂

I have also been playing around with my camera & setting self-portraits. I will always look upon this time in China as an awesome adventure, a time of great learning & growth, & a year that changed my life for the better…

I wanted to capture who I am now, in these moments, so that I will always have these photos as a reminder of how amazing life is 🙂 I included some of my favourite things in the photos, my favourite scarf, books, crystals, candles, incense, jewellery, fairy cards & tarot cards.

In my last post, I wrote about Tumblr. I am so in love with it! So many photos, quotes, awesome people… it’s overflowing with inspiring things to share, I’ve even started adding my own creations to the mix 🙂

Check out my Tumblr page here!

Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen xo

The Cosmos & Other (AWESOME) News

 

By Jen Saunders 2010.

I have bee having some very interesting dreams lately. All my life I’ve had very odd, symbolic dreams, & I always look up their meaning the next day – if I can remember them, that is! Sometimes, I only remember a very tiny part of a dream, but then things happen during the day that help me to remember the rest of it, things like a conversation I have with someone in which they say a word or phrase that triggers my memory, or something I’m doing or watching on tv. It’s pretty cool 🙂

A few nights ago I had a dream in which I was in outer space, sitting on a planet, admiring the moon that was right in front of me, huge, glowing & so close that I could see all it’s craters. There was a greenish coloured planet in the distance, & countless stars twinkling at me. I felt so completely at peace, so still, & blissfully happy. Weirdly enough, I was singing Taylor Swift‘s song ‘Today Was A Fairytale’ to myself, haha!

As you can see from the above image, this dream inspired me so much I decided to paint it. It’s now another creation to put towards Art Every Day Month 🙂

The next night, I dreamt that dinosaurs were roaming the earth again, similar to Jurassic Park. I spent most of my dream running & hiding from the huge creatures, trying to stay alive. All of a sudden I saw a T-Rex heading my way, so I jumped on top of a building & saw this amazing view of the ocean. What I didn’t see was a huge tidal wave that was speeding into the city, & as I jumped off the building it swept me away. That’s it, I woke up straight after I was swept away by the wave.

So, I looked up the possible meanings to these two dreams, & here’s what I found (courtesy of DreamMoods.com):

Outer Space: To dream of outer space, represents your boundless creativity.

Space: To see or dream that you are in space, represents exploration and independent thinking. You are broadening your horizons and view.

Moon: To see the moon in your dream, represents some hidden, mysterious aspect of yourself. It is often associated with the feminine mystique and intuition. A full moon signifies completion and wholeness.

Galaxy: To see the galaxy in your dream, represents your creativity. It also means that you are looking at the broader picture and are more aware of your surroundings.

Singing: To sing in your dream, represents happiness, harmony and joy in some situation or relationship. You are uplifting others with your positive attitude and cheerful disposition. Singing is a way to celebrate, communicate, embrace and express your feelings. To hear someone sing in your dream, signifies emotional and spiritual fulfillment. Your mood is changing for the positive as your outlook in life is looking up.

Dinosaur: To see a dinosaur in your dream, symbolizes an outdated attitude. You may need to discard your old ways of thinking & habits.

Tidal Wave: Symbolizes the clearing away of old habits. If you are carried away by the tidal wave, then it means that you are ready to make a brand new start in a new place.

It looks like they were both very positive dreams, one symbolizing my creativity – which has been boundless lately! – as well as broadening my horizons & enhancing my life with positivity & celebration. The other symbolizing my need to discard old habits – negative thinking, perhaps? – & finishing with a tidal wave, meaning I have already started to clearing the negativity & make a new start. Yep, that definitely sounds like me & my life right now! 😀

In Other News:

Amazing news everyone! Something I wrote about my experiences in China & lessons I’ve learnt from it all is going to be published on Tiny Buddha! 😀 I’m so happy about this, it’s a great opportunity to inspire others & reach such a large audience with my thoughts, creations & inspirations. I’ve been following tinybuddha since it was just a little tweet, & I’ve watched it grow into this huge inspiring empire, with the website, blogs & now a book, so this is an absolute honor for me 😀

It will be published sometime within the next month, so watch this space for news of it’s release!

Also, I wanted to thank everyone for all the amazing comments I’ve received! When I started this blog, I wasn’t expecting any readers at all, let alone such kind, supportive & fantastic comments, so thanks! I hope you are getting inspiration to live your best life.

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