Tag Archives: world

Be A Force Of Good

via

“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 ♥


30 Days Of Beauty

Hello beautiful!

Welcome to this very special edition of My Smiling Heart! 😀

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a new awesome project with a twitter friend, Jen Fromal. Today, we are finally able to share it with the world! And, because we are an amazing little community, we have designed it so that there are many ways for YOU to be a part of the fun! Let the AWESOMENESS begin! 😀

30DaysOfBeauty

 

 

30DaysOfBeauty is a lifestyle experiment designed to boost self-esteem and encourage women (and men!) to see how truly beautiful they are – and raise money for a good cause in the process! Everybody wins!

Created by the two Jens, one the writer of The Smashed Planet and the other the writer of My Smiling Heart, 30DaysOfBeauty will use tweeting and blogging to spread a message of self-love and self-worth.

For 30 days, starting on the 1st of April 2011, the two Jens will take to their twitter accounts (@jenfromal and @smiling_heart) dedicating one tweet per day to a reason why they are beautiful.

Each 30DaysOfBeauty tweet will finish with the hashtag #imbeautifulbecause, encouraging others to join in on the fun and tweet about why they are beautiful, too!

Every week, the two Jens will each write a post about their progress on the 30DaysOfBeauty challenge, list their #imbeautifulbecause tweets from the previous week, and also include some of their favourite #imbeautifulbecause tweets from others.

Now, here’s the most important part.

Through Crowdrise, the two Jens will be using this 30 day challenge to raise money for To Write Love On Her Arms, a cause that is dedicated to helping those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

We are dedicating these 30 days to raise at least $300 for To Write Love On Her Arms.

So get ready to tweet up a storm in April! Follow the two Jens as they uncover the many reasons why they are beautiful, and raise money for an amazing cause in the process. Join in on the 30DaysOfBeauty challenge!

 

It’s time to put the YOU in beaYOUtiful!

 

I will also be posting my #imbeautifulbecause statements on the My Smiling Heart facebook page, and I would love you to share your #imbeautifulbecuase statements on there too! 🙂

*For more information on our thirty days projects and how it started, check out the 30Days tab at the top of the page.

*We have also added an option on our Crowdrise page to donate to the RedCross in order to help all those affected by the Japan earthquakes and tsunami.

You are AWESOME!

Jen ♥

Note: The Two Jens are not official representatives of TWLOHA, only dedicated supporters of the cause.



A Love Letter To My Smiling Heart (YOU)

This was difficult and emotional for me to write, but it so needed to be said. It needed to be said, and it needs to be heard. This isn’t just a love letter to My Smiling Heart, this is a love letter to you.

You, who reads, supports and loves this blog as much as I do, you are My Smiling Heart. We are a community of smiling hearts. It wouldn’t be here without you, and neither would I.

Dear My Smiling Heart (You),

Thank you so much.

There are no words to describe what you have done for me. You appeared during one of the darkest times of my life, a time when I felt alone, meaningless, beaten down, and so, so sad. I was filled with hate, anger, and pain. I lived in fear, and let anxiety rule my life.

But, since the night you were created, you have been the light that shines my path. You have shown me my own truth, my own beauty, and my own power. You have reignited my creativity, my passion, and my self-belief.

Because of you, new doors have opened, leading me to meet some of the most amazing, inspirational women I have ever known. Women who have forever changed my life, women who support me, challenge me, and encourage me to live an extraordinary life.

You have made me see that I can change the world. And you have helped me do it.

You have given me meaning, joy, connection, and a reason to jump out of bed at 8am every single day with a smile on my face and love in my heart.

You have introduced me to my real passion. I thought my passions were art and writing, but really, it’s much deeper than that.

My passion, my life purpose, is to inspire others and help them to live their best lives. I am here to empower others, especially women. Art and writing is the vessel in which I can and will do that, I promise.

And now, as you continue to propel me forwards into new and exciting ventures, I know I have to trust the path that I am on, instead of trying to predict which way it will turn and where it will lead me.

As you continue to grow and become not only my passion but my full-time job, a way to earn a living while baring my soul, creating, and inspiring others, I promise I will stay focussed on my truth, my purpose, the community you have built and remember everything that has lead me to this point.

You are my passion, my light, my connection to the world and my connection to my true self.

My heart will always be full of gratitude for everything you bring me, and I promise to always honour you and continue to make you something that inspires anyone who comes into contact with you.

I want you to change lives, just as you have changed mine.

Even though I am scared and vulnerable right now, and feeling anxious about what’s to come, I know you will always be there, keeping me focussed and shining your light onto my soul.

You saved my life.

Thank you.

Jen ♥

Wise Words: International Women’s Day – We Can Do Anything

 

“My motto is, if a person can do it, I can do it.”

~ Geena Davis

 

It’s International Women’s Day, and how better to celebrate it than with a quote from one of the most dedicated and passionate advocates for women empowerment, the amazing Geena Davis – an actress, activist, mother, and founder of The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

I remember watching an episode of Oprah interviewing Geena when I was a teenager. I don’t remember much about the episode, except for this one vivid moment, when she said, “My motto is, if a person can do it, I can do it.”

The truth of that one simple statement hit me like a tidal wave, imbedding itself in my soul and forever changing my perspective.

I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I remember thinking, ‘I’m a person… that means I can do anything, too!’ I was shocked and excited at this realisation.

I can do anything.

We can do anything.

Here’s another inspirational quote from Geena Davis:

“If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.”

We can do anything. Enough already with risking it all by doing nothing.

To further celebrate International Women’s Day, here are three very important videos:

Miss Representation Trailer:


Geena Davis, Gloria Steinem and Jennifer Newsom: Miss Representation Sundance Panel:


Bond – EQUALS, featuring Daniel Craig:


 

 

Go be empowered,

Jen ♥

*My Smiling Heart is looking for Sponsors! Click here for more info 😀

*I love this – check out the amazingly empowering ROAR! Facebook page, and watch the ROAR! web series for some serious inspiration 🙂

For sources, click on the image.

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: Long Way Round

Hello beautiful people!

Are you AWESOME today? I certainly hope so 🙂

Well, I’m back from a seriously amazing week in Beijing, which I will write about soon, but for now here is another edition of Wise Words. Enjoy!

“We’ve come this far, & people’s faces have changed & people’s houses have changed, & people’s beliefs may have changed, but ultimately we’re not any different from one another, you know? We all love our kids, we all need somewhere to sleep, we all need some food… We’re not all that different.”

~ Ewan McGregor


The very handsome & charming Ewan McGregor (whose name is so fun to say in a Scottish accent. Go on.. say it 🙂 ) said these wise words during an episode of his awesome series ‘Long Way Round’, which is my latest obsession.

In the show (which is also now a book & another series), Ewan & his best mate, Charley, ride their motorbikes from London to New York, travelling through countries such as France, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, & Russia.

I have to admit, at first I was really only watching it because I have a tiny crush on Mr McGregor (who doesn’t?) & I love seeing actors being so raw & discovering what they’re like without a script. But I’ve completely fallen in love with everything about the show, from learning about places like Kazakhstan & Russia to the hilarity & complete honesty of Ewan & Charley’s friendship.

One of my favourite funny moments includes the guys fixing one of their bikes on the side of a road, a car stops to see what’s going on & Ewan (aka Obi Wan) says ‘These are not the bikes you’re looking for’. Love it! 😀

It is so awesome to see two mates leaving everything behind for a few months & embarking on such an amazing adventure. The challenges they face are overwhelming, yet they never once give up or lose sight of their goal of getting to New York.

Their positive attitudes throughout the whole experience, & the awareness they have of themselves & how their mindsets affect their experiences, is an inspiration. Ewan in particular is very thoughtful in his reflections of the experiences they have, recognising the challenges as ‘tests’ that will make them stronger & make their memories of their travels that much sweeter.

Even though I’ve only travelled to a few places, mostly in Australia, then the USA when I was 17, & more recently, China, I can still really relate to this quote.

With all of the differences that set me apart from the 1.3 billion people in this country, at our core, we are all the same. We all need to eat, we all need somewhere to sleep at night, & we all need to feel love, & we all just want to be healthy & happy.

Being here for exactly seven months now, I’ve become quite accustomed to all the differences, the oddities, & the things that I once found so frustrating.

Now, I can recognise myself in everyone that I see, in the tired eyes of the workers on the street, the curiosity of the taxi drivers & the smiling faces of the children. In fact, what I’ve noticed most recently since being here in China, isn’t the spitting or the pushing or anything negative, it’s the smiling.

It started because we get stared at a lot here, & my natural reaction to anyone staring at me is to smile, & straight away they smile back. From the ancient & hunchbacked old man that lives in our building to people in the shopping malls & all the children we see every day, they all smile back.

It doesn’t matter that my skin is lighter than theirs, that I speak a different language or that I do things differently, when we smile at each other, there are no differences.

A smile is all it takes to know we are all the same.

And people are almost always willing to help us. Being in a foreign country, we often get confused or a bit lost, but there has always been someone there who has gone out of their way to try to talk to us & help us find our way again. And as I watched Ewan & Charley travel through 12 different countries, my heart smiled to see that there are people like that all over the world.

So, the moral of this story is one that seems to pop up a lot on this blog: smiling can change the world.

Smile at yourself, & you have a happy heart; smile at a stranger, & you have given someone else a happy heart.

Who have you smiled at today?

While we are on the subject of Ewan McGregor, here’s another quote of his that I love:

“I fight cynicism. It’s too easy. It’s really boring. It’s much harder to be positive and see the wonder of everything. Cynicism is a bunch of people who aren’t as talented as other people, knocking them because they make them feel even more untalented.”

Awesome!

Keep Smiling!

Jen ♥

10 Things I Miss About Australia

 

Me at the beach in early 2010

To celebrate Australia Day, I decided to write a list of all the things I have missed the most about Australia while I’ve been living here in China.

I don’t mean to give a negative impression of China, because I love living here & there are many great things about this country, but I couldn’t write this list without pointing out some of the main differences between China & the country I grew up in, Australia.

I don’t mind these differences at all; they have taught me more about the world & made me more appreciative of where I’ve come from.

10 Things I Miss About Australia:

10. Cleanliness.

Streets that aren’t covered in spit, poo, wee, & rubbish. And the people, who don’t spit everywhere, cough or sneeze on you, use the footpath as a toilet, or throw their trash onto the street.

9. Manners.

Being able to stand in the line at the supermarket without someone pushing in front of you, or moving your groceries off the counter & putting their’s there instead. Being around people who don’t steal your seat on the train, push you, poke you or stare at you everywhere you go.

8. Western Toilets.

Public toilets that are more than just holes in the ground, & that already provide toilet paper so that you don’t have to carry it around with you every time you go out. Plumbing that is strong enough to handle flushing toilet paper, instead of having to put it in a bin.

7. Tight Arse Tuesday.

Tight arse Tuesday is cheap cinema ticket day back home. I miss the whole experience of going to the movies; deciding what to see, dinner beforehand, waiting in line for the tickets, getting popcorn, watching the previews… I miss not being able to do that whenever I like.

6. BBQs.

Hanging around the BBQ, chatting with friends, & enjoying the sunshine. Good food, good music, & good people.

5. Family & Friends.

I couldn’t write a list of what I miss about home without including my family & friends. They are the people that make life worth living & miss me just as much as I miss them.

4. Food.

Tim Tams. Twisties. Salt & vinegar chips. Potato cakes from the fish & chip shop. Vegetarian options pretty much everywhere you go. Luckily, we still have some vegemite left over from our last package from home 🙂

3. The Beaches.

All my life, I’ve always been only a short drive or a long tram ride away from the beach. Here, the closest beach is an overnight train away. I feel almost claustrophobic being so far away from the ocean. One of the first things I’m doing when I get home is heading to the beach to sit on the sand & watch the waves.

2. The Aussie Accent.

As I sit here listening to the Triple J Hottest 100, I’m enjoying listening to the hosts voices more than the music. I miss the accent, the slang, & the laid back ‘yeah nah yeah’s.

1. The Aussie Attitude.

The chilled out, laid back, & ‘she’ll be right, mate’ attitude that makes Australia such a relaxing place to live. Being always ready to have a laugh or help someone out, & the focus on the important things, like family, friends & enjoying life.

Happy Australia Day!

Check back tomorrow for a special Wise Words post!

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 ♥

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011! :D

“Cheers to a new year and another chance

for us to get it right.”

~ Oprah Winfrey

At the beginning of 2010, I had two major goals; sell one of my paintings; & travel overseas.

In April, I achieved & my first goal. In fact, not only did I sell a painting, ten of my original pieces were featured in my first ever art exhibit.

That whole experience was so much fun, from creating a theme that promoted women empowerment & self-love, & spending the first few months of the year doing nothing but painting every day, to sending out the invites & the excitement of opening day.

It was AWESOME & it felt so right that I know I will be doing it again in the future.

At my first art exhibit

Next to one of my paintings

Three months later, I achieved my second goal of 2010, when I moved overseas for a year. This goal wasn’t just a 2010 goal; it was a goal I had dreamt of achieving for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I’ve actually done it!

On our way to China!

Arriving at Beijing Airport

Exploring Daqing

Outside of a Buddhist temple in Hailar, Inner Mongolia

I’ve crossed off a few other things from my life goals list this year too; getting engaged; using my artistic skills to help raise money for charity; & experiencing a white Christmas.

Just after Mike proposed ♥

Nonprofit campaign promo I designed

My first 'snowing' experience!

White Christmas!

Then there’s just the bonus experiences & moments that were completely unplanned but will always be great achievements in themselves. Things like white water rafting in the mountains of far north China, walking through the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, where I also explored underground Japanese tunnels from before WWII, & most recently, starting this blog & being published on Tiny Buddha.

Rafting

Inner Mongolian Grasslands

Underground Japanese tunnels

My Tiny Buddha Guest Post!

I am so grateful for everything I have accomplished, experienced, seen & learned this year. I know I have come a long way, & traveled on a path with many highs & lows & even some u-turns, but I couldn’t be happier with where it has all lead me.

So, I wave goodbye to 2010, with a big, cheesy smile & a heart full gratitude for everything it brought me.

Now, it’s time to say ‘Hello!’ to 2011, I welcome this new year with open arms & another big, cheesy smile.

My major goals for 2011 are:

  • Walk along the Great Wall of China
  • Go to the Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Return home to Melbourne
  • Marry the love of my life

Mike & I at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens

♥ Mikey & Me ♥

I have a few other goals that I’m already working on, such as finding more ways to use my blog & art to inspire others, collaborate with amazing women to make something awesome, & learn Mandarin.

Another goal of mine is to post to this blog at least once a week in 2011, so I signed up to do the WordPress Post Challenge. Part of signing up means I have to mention it in a blog, so:

‘I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.’

Most of all, I just want to take a lot of action in 2011. I’ve been trying to decide whether ACTION should be my word for 2011 (I mentioned this to someone who commented here recently), it’s either going to be ACTION or INSPIRE. Then there’s always the option of combining them to make INSPIRED ACTION. Yes, I think that’s it.

2011 is my year to take inspired action.

By the end of 2011, I want to be a better version of myself. I want to be stronger, wiser, much more confident & independent, & I want to have achieved a lot & have really made a positive impact on the world.

So, my goals are set, my hopes are high & I’m ready for the AWESOMENESS of 2011! 😀

As you say goodbye to 2010 & welcome 2011, think of how far you’ve come over the past twelve months.

Remember the good times & how much happiness you felt, & consider the not-so-good-times & the lessons they brought you.

Think of all those special moments that you will always treasure, & take note of all the things & people you are grateful for from 2010.

Now, imagine how amazing 2011 is going to be. Think of all those positive things & people that made 2010 so great, & imagine all of that & more being a part of 2011.

Last week I wrote a post about how we have the power to choose the kind of day we have; imagine the possibilities if we apply that knowledge & power to an entire year! As long as we remember to enjoy the great times & learn from the challenges we face, there’s no stopping us!

Let’s make this our best year yet!

Here’s to 2011! 😀

Jen ♥