Tag Archives: #reverb10

Hey, #reverb10! You rock! Last one :)

December 31 – Core Story What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Author: Molly O’Neill)

I think the story that is so central to who I am is my constant quest to find my own truth, see the positive in everything, live a life of happiness & purpose, & show others how AWESOME they really are.

I share my journey with the world on Twitter, Facebook, & Tumblr, as well as here on this blog, which has become so important to me.

Offline, I share all of this with my friends, family & the world by just being true to myself as much as possible.

I have to admit, though, I always found it a little difficult to talk about my feelings with people face to face, & sometimes I still do, especially when it comes to things I am truly passionate about – like positivity & empowerment.

People seem to think I’m being ‘unrealistic’ or that I have my ‘head in the clouds’ when I talk about the kinds of things I write about on here; like how we have the power to create our lives. They look at me like I’m insane; I remember a few years ago I was talking to a friend about how I was taking a course on Life Coaching, & she thought I had joined a cult.

It’s only recently that I’ve found more successful avenues for expressing my true self; painting, writing, & most importantly; living a life that aligns with my values & beliefs – deeds not words (which is also one of my personal commandments!).

And, it’s amazing how people, who once laughed at your optimism, will start to take you seriously when they see what you can achieve with a positive attitude & your ‘head in the clouds.’

I’ve found that, whilst talking to friends at a bar about positivity, self-development & empowerment makes you ‘insane’, communicating those same messages through art, writing, & the way you live your life, instantly transforms you into ‘eccentric’ or an ‘artist’.

And now, after everything I’ve achieved this year, I don’t care if people think I’m crazy.

Maybe I am! It doesn’t matter.

The only thing that does matter, is that I’m being myself, & living a life that I have created 🙂

Speaking of things I have created, thank you all so much for all the love I have received on this blog. I especially LOVE how many people are using the 2011 Virtual Vision Wall to make this year their best yet! 😀 And an even bigger thank you to everyone who has been sharing it with their friends & loved ones, you rock! So awesome!

I’m planning on making 2011 an extremely amazing year for all of us, so if there’s anything I can do to support you the way you have all been supporting me, please let me know! Feel free to add me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, or email me at jenartist@live.com.au.

And, as usual; Keep Smiling!

Jen ♥

“Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad.” ~ Norm Papernick

Last night, I was woken up by the sound of someone laughing. I was relieved to discover that it was me 🙂

I don’t know if that means I’ve gone mad or if I was just dreaming about something really funny, but either way, it was pretty cool.

Continuing on with #reverb10:

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I spent the whole day making something today. It’s awesome. I mean, really awesome. It’s for a really good cause, too! Also, it’s a secret.

I’ll post it sometime over the next week 🙂

In Other News…

I started university this week, studying two subjects; Philosophy, Morality & Society, & Art & Creation. I’m loving it all so far, & I wanted to share with you some of my Philosophy work. Last week, our tutor posed this question:

‘There are two ideas that will be central to the course: happiness and “the good.”

I wonder, how do you define “happiness”? And how do you think it relates to “goodness”‘?

Here’s the answer I gave:

‘To me, “happiness” is a combination of things, but at its core I believe it is always a choice. I think if we have enough strength & wisdom, we can always choose happiness – no matter what is going on in our lives or in the world around us.

I believe that true, fulfilling happiness cannot be found through money, material possessions or social status. We have to make the decision to be happy & keep up the internal maintenance to ensure it grows more every day.

“Goodness” is also a combination of things. It is being good to yourself, as well as being good to others. It is doing the activities that make you feel good, whether it is cooking, painting, reading, spending time with loved ones or watching a funny movie. It is seeing & appreciating the good in everything, everyone, & every moment, even if it is just enjoying a good meal.

I think ‘the good’ consists of the external things & qualities that contribute to happiness, whereas ‘happiness’ itself is an internal feeling, a perception of the world that always sees that goodness, & an internal choice that needs to be consciously made every day.’

I know there will be some people who disagree with my answer, but it is how I try to live my life every day. I’m not saying it’s perfect & that I’m always in a state of happiness – I’m not. There are times that I forget to choose it, & other times I decide not to choose it. But, most of the time, happiness is the path I choose to take.

Speaking of happiness, I want you to really laugh out loud today. Here’s a great video to get you started:

Keep Smiling!

Jen ♥

Moments, Wonder & Letting Go.

Before I continue with the #reverb10 prompts, I just want to point out the little snowflakes you’re seeing floating down the screen – aren’t they awesome?!

It’s been snowing here in Daqing – something I had never experienced before coming here – & I’m in love with it. It’s so peaceful & playful, not to mention gorgeous! So I thought I would share it with all of you, especially those people reading this back home in Australia, enjoying the summer 🙂

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

Two moments come to mind immediately.

#1: The night that Mike proposed to me.

It was on our four year anniversary, we spent the weekend in a beautiful cabin in Ocean Grove, a beachside town we love so much. We had dinner at a really cool Mexican restaurant. After dinner, we went to the beach. We sat on the sand for a while, looking out at the ocean & up at the cloudy night sky.

As we sat, Mike started this long speech about us, & how much he loves me. His words started to become a bit incoherent, like he wasn’t even concentrating on what he was saying, & I realized he was trying to distract me from the fact that he was fumbling around for something in his pocket. Next thing I knew, he was on one knee, holding open the engagement ring box & proposing.

I could hardly see the ring because it was so dark but I didn’t care, the love of my life & my best friend in the whole world was asking me to spend the rest of my life with him! It was awesome. I said yes (of course!) &, after Mike did a few victory laps along the beach, we spent some more time looking at the ocean & the stars, which had come out from behind the clouds to celebrate with us.

#2: Our first day in China.

This was both incredibly liberating & intensely terrifying.

The first thing I noticed was how hot it was, a surprising but nice change to the freezing Melbourne weather I was experiencing just the day before.

During the drive from the airport into Daqing, I remember thinking how beautiful it was; the sun was bright & the sky was a clear blue, & for most of the ride we only saw paddocks & lots of green empty land. But the closer we got to the city, the more daunting it all became.

I started to notice the hundreds of huge oilrigs all over the place, as well brick huts – falling apart but clearly still lived in – then they were replaced with huge buildings that looked completely abandoned. Out the window I saw a new Honda on one side of our van & a donkey pulling a cart on the other.

Then all of a sudden we were right in the middle of everything: surrounded by so many cars going in every direction; groups of men sitting shirtless on street corners; more donkey carts selling fruit; run-down shops & apartment buildings; & there were people everywhere! As the van pulled into a car park, I was praying that that wasn’t the neighbourhood we were going to be living in. (It was – & I grew to love it!)

Our first meal was in a dumpling restaurant, where I felt even more overwhelmed. Even more people, so much noise, people yelling over each other in a language I didn’t understand, the heat, men sitting at dinner tables with their shirts pulled half way up their chest to reveal their huge stomachs… And every single one of those people was staring at us. I remember sitting at our table, drinking the hugest bottle of beer I have ever seen, & being completely terrified. That night, I remember lying in bed, feeling exhausted, & wondering what the hell we had gotten ourselves into.

Of course, even though that was all just culture shock, most of you know that things didn’t really get better until they got much, much worse. But China isn’t scary to me anymore, you get used to all the differences & things that seem weird, gross, or scary, become quite normal. I love it here now!

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

This one is easy! Travel! Seeing places you’ve never seen (or even heard of!) before is an awesome way to bring a sense of wonder into our lives. Even if it’s just traveling to the other side of town for a day, or doing something you’ve never done before 🙂

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I’ve let go of a lot of fears this year. Particularly fear of failure.

The day that I was fired, all I could think about was what others would think of me. I thought about my family being disappointed, my friends feeling sorry for me, & those few people from my past who would take pleasure from my failings & use it to boost their own egos.

I was humiliated, & didn’t want anyone to know what had happened, how I had failed so massively.

But now, literally thousands of people from all over the world know my story, you all know about my ‘crushed dream’. Everyone in my family knows, my friends know, & if things like facebook & twitter haven’t informed those people, who I let go of years ago, of my imperfections, then gossip sure has.

And I couldn’t be more comfortable with that.

Yes, my family knows everything; & they have never been more proud of me. My friends know everything; & they have never been more supportive. And to anyone who takes pride in counting my flaws; go ahead! First to 100 wins a lollipop 🙂

Not only has sharing my story with the world helped others; it’s helped me. I’ve let go of caring about what others think of me. I’ve learnt that it’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes; it’s a part of being human. And I’m over all the phoniness & the quest for perfection. It’s getting old fast.

I’m here to be real. Now.

I’ve seen people trip over their own feet, fall flat on their face & get up quickly, denying their faults & blaming someone else for tripping them up.

This year, I’ve learnt not to care about who sees me fall.

If I fall, I know I’m falling for a reason. I’ll stay down for a little while, feel the pain, learn what I need to, then get back up & start again. Maybe even have a chuckle at myself for losing my balance like that.

So, this year I have let go of my fear of failure. After all, as the Simpson’s character Lenny says:

“Eh, everyone makes mistakes. That’s why they put erasers on pencils.”

Jen ♥

Words, Distractions & Love Bombs

 

Credit: moonlightbulb on flickr

I found a website today that I think is particularly cool. It’s called #reverb10, & for every day in this month of December, it’s awesome creators post a prompt for people to write about. The aim is to reflect on 2010, the year that is coming to an end, & manifest awesomeness for our next big adventure; 2011.

Obviously, I am starting a few days behind, so I will answer the first two in this post, & the next three tomorrow.

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

My word to encapsulate 2010 is ‘AWESOME’. If you haven’t noticed yet, I love that word. I think it a lot, I say it a lot, I definitely write it a lot, & if I ever had a band we would totally be called ‘The Awesomes’. I live in my own little Awesome Street.

I want to make it clear that I wouldn’t choose that to be my word for 2010 if, in fact, 2010 wasn’t AWESOME. But it was, & still is. 2010 has very easily been the best year of my life.

Yes, some of my worst fears have come true this year, but so have my biggest dreams. But more on that later in the month, when I write about what this year has brought me, & what I intend to leave here as we enter 2011.

A word for next year is a bit harder to decide. Coincidentally enough (note: I don’t really believe in coincidences) today’s post by Gretchen Rubin for The Happiness Project discusses choosing a theme word for next year. Gretchen chose the word ‘Bigger’ as her theme for 2011.

I have to say, I am very tempted to take the easy way out & just choose ‘AWESOMER’ as my theme word for 2011… but before I decide I might have to think about it a bit more. Next year is definitely going to be huge for me though, a lot of change is coming my way (good change, of course!) so maybe a word along those lines would be best. Any suggestions? 🙂

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

First of all, I must find out who this Leo Babauta is, as that is the third time I’ve seen his name today &, as I said, I don’t believe in coincidences.

Okay, I just Googled this Leo guy & he is living the life of my dreams. I’m guessing most people reading this already know who he is (I just discovered his blog is in the top 25 of the whole world!) but for those who are like me & had no idea who he is until now, I shall explain further.

Leo Babauta is the creator & writer of the blog Zen Habits, & according to the ‘About’ page on his blog he is an author, has 6 kids, lives in San Francisco, & is a vegan. Yep, that’s pretty much my dream life right there. Looks like I have a new hero to learn from! 🙂

Do you see what I just did there? I got completely distracted from what I was supposed to be writing about. I went on a virtual knowledge hunt to satisfy my ever-growing curiosity instead of answering the prompt question.

On the other hand, I guess I did answer the question: with an example. Yes, I get distracted easily, especially when it comes to the internet. I can definitely work on that. Upside? I do always end up with some pretty cool & useful information! After all, I now have a new addition to my list of people who inspire me.

Speaking of people who inspire me…

There’s someone I want you all to meet. Her name is Vee, & she is going through an incredibly tough time right now. I was introduced to her through something called the ‘Love Bomb’, which I started participating in a few weeks ago.

It’s a group of people online, who once a week, visit the blog of someone who is experiencing hardship & leave hundreds of supportive, positive, love-filled comments for them to read. Every week, anyone can nominate a person whose blog they want to be love-bombed.

This week, the blogger is Vee, a pregnant mother of two, who only two weeks ago, lost her husband unexpectedly in a hunting accident. I took some time to read her posts & was brought to tears by her story. One line in particular really stood out to me…

Most people don’t know what they have until they lose it. I knew what I had, and I loved every minute of it.”

This line breaks my heart, makes me appreciate what I have & terrifies me all at once. It has weaved its way into my soul & will stay with me for the rest of my life.

So, if you are reading this, I ask you to please visit Vees’ blog & show your support. Send her some love. Leave a comment, write a message, anything that you think might help even just a little bit.

Kind words never go to waste.

If you want to participate in the weekly Love Bomb too, sign up here.

See you tomorrow!

Jen ♥