The last time I published on this blog, I wrote My Personal Algorithm as I expounded on how there is sometimes a necessity to make positive change in order to align with self care. Today I would like to share with you my experience in the past few weeks concerning how I've been choosing to spend my time and what that has been like for me.
I have discovered a new approach to waking up in the morning and starting my day. Dream journaling, of course, is an immediate part of my morning routine (and has been for many years). From there, I check the weather and then I proceed to plan what I will wear (#WardrobeJOY!) and get myself prepared and dressed for the day.
The difference in my morning approach is that I focus on myself and what I plan for the day before I check any information about my online sphere.
Sometimes I just sit and pay attention to how I'm feeling or I chat with hubby about what his day entails.
One thing I'm noticing with this change of routine is that I am more Present. I'm more mindful about my next step. I'm loving how I more deliberately choose what I will do with my time and how I will invest in my energy. I'm even more intentional about my choices than I've ever been.
I don't check my emails until I've been up for an hour or two. I also get into some household tasks that I would often put off until I had time later, in between office work and meals.
I'm also slowing down enough to relish my meals even more than I was before. I try to really pay attention to the bites I am taking so I can appreciate the food I am consuming and be present with my self care as I nourish my body.
Of course, recording my Food JOY in my journal is a fun activity, especially when I'm trying something new or when I'm just grateful for what I relish in my food choices. (Click on either image below to get The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book and Toolbox, filled with prompts, questions, image suggestions and approaches to journaling to keep it fresh, fun and fabulous!)
When you're ready to make changes in your routine, to shake things up to break out of a rut or to focus more on self care, trust your gut and those intuitive nudges that tell you it's time. Remember to be gentle with yourself because any change is going to feel a bit odd, awkward and disorienting. But if you're paying attention to where you are investing your energy and time, you will see and feel the difference, and you may be surprised as to how much more energy you have.
It's okay to pull back from what you've been doing (especially when it's been a long time since you made any changes in your routine) to create a new Algorithm for yourself. Then deliberately choose to relish that slowing down you will experience, that greater peace of mind, that awareness of your choices. Then congratulate yourself for being willing to step out courageously and do what is best for you in the long run.
You will never regret making more time for you, for what brings you joy, and for giving yourself space to be quiet, to rest, and to relish the moments that inevitably become even more meaningful because you are present, and paying attention like never before.
Record your current routine step by step. Now take a close look at what you would like to eliminate or reduce. Take note of how you may rearrange your schedule to allow for more self care and less of what is extraneous.
Use clocks, watches with an emphasis about time or images of activity you consider self care for you and record what comes to mind about these things. Ask yourself, what do I want to spend more time doing? Create a collage or draw an object to remind you of your new priorities.
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
With all that we hear about algorithms, whether it's with social media, email, investing, or any other sector of the market place, timing seems to be everything. There always seems to be something that needs to be kept a close eye on in order for us to gain traction, make progress or make us feel like we're getting somewhere, otherwise, we can just feel like a hamster on a wheel, going around in circles.
This often occurs because we're not centered, grounded or aligned with Who We Are, but instead, we're focused on everything else around us, which can be confusing, disorienting and downright frustrating, especially when we feel like we've missed the mark somewhere and haven't cracked the proverbial nut.
It's time to get out of the "rat race" of expectation, obligation and frustration and come back to ourselves. Paying attention to our own creative rhythms, to our intuitive nudges, to those signals and signs that tell us to slow down or even STOP when necessary.
That's why it's so important to get QUIET so we can hear what our inner wisdom is telling us instead of just listening to the Noise that never stops.
When we choose to Deliberately Tune In to that Inner Guidance, our GPS of the soul, we will see and feel a very different picture, one that is calm, orderly, creative, fun, restful, relaxing, healing and just Right.
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to Tune In and really find clarity on what needs to be let go of so I can Make Space for more of what brings me JOY and what Energizes me. That's how I create my own Personal Algorithm rather than allowing outside influences to dictate how I spend my time and energy. As I do this, I begin to see more clearly what direction to take so that I don't become overwhelmed and depleted.
(Click on either image below to get The ART of Journaling Toolbox and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book and find out more of what you'll receive. Take your journaling practice to the next level and never be bored again!)
Recently I did some investigating in my journal (in connection with a card pull I did for clarity on abundance--see this link to find out more about my card decks) and followed up with two specific lists I wrote, one for what brings me JOY and one for what Energizes me. I have shared this list below to give you an idea of what really matters to me. Perhaps you'll want to journal your own lists. (One of my power tools in my Toolbox!)
My List of What Brings Me JOY
Connecting with another who focuses on JOY
Connecting with another who also keeps a journal
Hearing affirming words from my spouse
Delicious food I cook for myself
Jewelry that enhances my attire
An Empowering and/or amusing message I relate to
Design ideas that light me up
Having Creative Conversation when we get to the Heart of it
Positive feedback on my offerings
Song Writing and playing my tambourine
In the above video I share my JOY with wearing white and some thoughts about intuitively dressing.
Wardrobe JOY is another to add to my list!
My List of What Energizes Me
Resonating Engagement with folks on Social Media
Watching Bird Flight
doodling which is also relaxing
Laughing with my spouse
When someone shares my content
Listening to inspiring music that empowers
When I gain traction from action
Looking at art that inspires me
So, there you have it. These lists Inform where my energy should go and in what form they should take. I must take this list deeply to heart and really listen to what it tells me. I must be honest with myself about what needs to be changed in order to make Space for what is on these lists.
That means letting go of my own expectations and perhaps, the expectations of others. Sometimes when we say no to something, someone ends up disappointed. But self-care is of primary importance and should not be relegated below what could appear to be an obligation.
Instead, I take action to create the proper shift in my energy, my mindset, my emotions, and in my soul and spirit, to align more fully with Who I Am in all of my life dimensions. And that includes asking myself what I have been neglecting so I can tend to what matters most.
Make your own list today and see what it is telling you. Listen carefully. And then take action to make whatever change is necessary to align with your own personal algorithm. And let go of the one that is no longer serving you, even if you created it for yourself. I give you permission to make these changes without guilt. I know how hard it can be to say no when you've been saying less for too long. Release yourself and be personally empowered.
And May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
I'm excited to share with you another episode (11) of Refresh Daily Podcast titled, Heart and Home, with special guest, Annie Morgan Preece, Artist, Vocalist, and creative in the home, with a special emphasis on the heart when it comes to creative expression. Annie shares her full artistic and musical history, as well as her cooking dynamic, journaling and mothering. I trust whether you choose to listen (on the left) or watch (on the right), that you will come away inspired to Find Your Creative Voice as Artist of Your Life. Annie was funny, informative and shares from her heart in a way that is sure to touch yours. EnJOY.
Annie Morgan Preece is an oil painter. She grew up watching Bob Ross rather than cartoons on Saturday mornings and spent a lot of time drawing as a kid. She took art classes in school and played with various mediums. As she grew older she became more involved in music and eventually set art aside completely at the beginning of high school to focus on singing. After pursuing music and family through college and her twenties, she finally rediscovered art in her early thirties, giving oil paints a try for the first time, and fell in love with their buttery richness. Annie spends her time caring for her children, making a home, and creating art. She believes art influences the family dynamic in unique ways and creates art that helps families feel connected to each other and their home. She resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and four children.
You can find her on Instragram at @AnnieMorganPreece
You can find Dawn on Instagram at @RefreshwithDawnHerring
If you're looking for some inspiration and fun ways to write your next journal entry, just click on either image above and get The Art of Journaling Toolbox and The Art of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, filled with 7 Power Tools to keep your journaling fun, fresh and fabulous, along with 31 prompts, questions and image suggests so you can PLAY!
If you'd like to read previous blog posts:
What's Worth Celebrating
Your Journaling "Why" (1st part of a series, The Art of Journaling)
As I look back on the previous week, I began to see a thread that connected much of my activity and experience with my reading, watching, conversing, connecting and launching. It was a week full of excitement, preparation, anticipation, and sharing good news with family and the world!
On my book shelf, I've been diving deeply into research on autism, looking to understand more comprehensively the mind of my grandson. As I determined what to start with, I managed to find several titles, one from a husband's point of view, one from a child's point of view and one from a mother's point of view. The first title is The Journal of Best Practices written by David Finch, husband and father looking to improve his relationships despite the challenges he faces with autism after being diagnosed after he got married. As I read through his transformation, I could see how life and relationships are worth celebrating especially when there were struggles initially. I appreciated his humor and point of view especially when being very specific about the way he thinks. Quite the detailed picture.
The next title was The Reason I Jump by Naomi Higashida, a 13 year old boy with autism. This young man does a Q&A so he can share what it's like to have an autistic mind and how it effects his communication, his body, and his emotions. This was quite the revealing read, especially coming from a child's point of view, which I appreciated.
The third title, called, The Spark, is written by a Mother, Kristine Barnett, who's first born son has autism and what she does to enable her son to function on a higher level so he can communicate and thrive in his gifts. This mother's heart is so BIG, not just for her own kids but for many others, both with autism and without. Her story is courageous and heroic, incredibly moving (got the handkerchief handy!), inspiring and enlightening.
I celebrate the efforts of each person to express the struggles and the triumphs of either living with someone with autism or having it themselves. It also have given me a deeper look into the mind of my grandson and what his struggles must be like, whether in communicating or behaving. The "Why" behind it all is enlightening, and eye opening.
Here is the episode, The ART of JOY with Dawn Herring, where Andrea Lewis Interviews me.
Another thread of Celebration came when I conversed with my parents recently, and when Mom answered the phone, the first thing she wanted to express was the fact that I was a guest on a live radio show, being interviewed by Andrea Lewis, host of Heal Past Wounds and Bring JOY Back. Mom was so excited to hear my interview and Dad commented on my becoming a Celebrity! This made me laugh, feeling affirmed and loved by my parents and celebrating with me with this new experience I had. I did have such a great time talking to Andrea and knowing Mom listened and enJOYed it made me feel deep JOY.
Along with Finding Your Creative Voice in your journal, Just click on the images for The ART of Journaling Toolbox and Prompt PLAY Book, perfect places to find inspiration for your next journal entry, especially if you're just starting out. (You can also read, Your Journaling "Why".)
This week has given me many reasons to celebrate.
So, what is worth celebrating in Your Life? YOU. Your personality. Your gifts. Your Creativity. Your Voice.
As I choose to express, learn and share what I have to offer to the world, I hope you will do the same.
Learn more about Who You Are and why you love the things you do. Dive deep. Express yourself. And enJOY connecting with those who celebrate you too.
And May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart!
Detail something that you want to Celebrate in your journal, something unsung or what might be perceived as insignificant, but you deem marvelous.
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a Spread of Celebration tying in several experiences that you want to focus on, whether just personally or with others who were a part of what you want to detail.
Using "Celebration" or "Celebrate" as you word prompt, really have fun embellishing this doodle like you're having a party!!
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, small business owners and those looking to Find Their Creative Voice. Today I would like to share some tips on Journaling, especially for those who are just starting or want to start a journaling practice. What I share here is intended to help you build a strong, empowering foundation from the very beginning so that you'll want to come back to your journal again and again because you enJOY it so much!
This post, Your Journaling "Why" is the first in a series I plan to share here at Refresh Daily, with the aim and goal of giving you a step by step guide toward personal empowerment with journal keeping.
Today I would like to ask the question: Why do you want to keep a journal?
There can be a myriad of reasons:
1. You have heard that journaling can be beneficial for well being, for personal and emotional expression on the page.
2. You have seen others keep journals, whether through text, image or a mix of both, and you are curious about starting one of your own.
3. You enJOY writing and thought journaling would give you a similar benefit.
4. You've had other friends encourage you to try journal writing even though you have no idea where to start.
5. You think it might be fun.
Now all of these reasons can be completely legitimate and true. It can be truly inspiring to see others using their journals, to hear about the benefits of journaling and to use writing as a way to express yourself.
My goal and aim is to encourage you to reflect on the deeper "why" of this desire to record your thoughts in a book for safe keeping. When we determine what we hope to derive from such a practice, it can help us determine how to go about it so we can experience more longevity.
To help you get started and inspired, you are more than welcome to click on either image below and receive my 2 resources, The Art of Journaling Toolbox that contains 7 Power Tools for journal writing and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, which contains 31 prompts, questions and image suggestions to bring more PLAY into your day!
Let me share with you my "Whys" for Journaling.
Journaling, for me, gives a place to express my Creative Voice, to record my intuitive hits (for a written track record when my intuition hits the bulls eye!), to hash out what is working for me creatively, to express my angst when boundaries are necessary for my well being, and to have a written record of my life insights and happenings, which are extremely important to me. Other reasons are for Clarity, Fun, Connection with Spirit, and a place to practice my doodling/hand lettering fun each evening. (Purchase the current journal/sketchbook that I'm using right now.)
So, what do You have in mind for the reason you would like to start one? How about recognizing patterns, especially ones that are no longer serving you, so you can create new ones that will enhance your well being and self-care? This ultimately initiates positive change that leads to personal empowerment.
Are you looking for something specific? Do you just want to have fun and see how it goes? Do you want to dive deeper into Who You Are and take a listen to The Higher Voice inside you that can tell you what you want to know?
I encourage you to give journaling a try. Use the resources, The ART of Journaling Tool Box and Prompt PLAY Book, that I have for you so you can get a jumpstart and not lose momentum. The 7 Power Tools keep things fresh so you don't have to do the same thing on repeat (unless you want to). Sometimes, folks get bored just writing down the same thoughts every day. These power tools will help you keep it fresh, fun and fabulous. Just click on either image above.
My aim and desire for you is to find your perfect sweet spot when it comes to journaling, and determining Why is a great first step toward getting a strong start that can make all the difference between journaling regularly with JOY and getting stuck and bored and forgetting about it altogether.
Start this entry by writing down three reasons you want to keep a journal. Be completely honest even if you think your reason is silly or outside the box. Determine which reason most resonates with you and go deeper with it in your journal, beyond Scratching the Surface.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word WHY in your spread, cut out letters or words to express your biggest reason to keep a visual journal.
"Why" can be a starting point word plus using Question Marks to highlight your reason.
Read these blog posts for more inspiration:
Scratching the Surface with Sketchbooks
Book Review on Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Copyright Text 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright Header 2019 Dawn Herring
Hello friends, journal keepers, creatives, artists and small business owners. I am excited to share with you the replay of The ART of JOY with Dawn Herring interview hosted by Andrea Lewis, from her live Radio Show, Heal Past Wounds and Bring JOY Back, which took place on March 7. We chatted about how journaling is a power tool for personal empowerment, my artistic and journaling practices and how JOY can be simple to incorporate into day to day life.
I thoroughly enJOYed our conversation and trust that you will be inspired and get motivated to start your journaling practice or to take it to the next level, as well as have impetus to Find Your Creative Voice. EnJOY and do leave a comment below with your feedback. We'd love to hear from you!
Hello friends, artists, creatives, journal keepers and small business owners. This post I'm sharing is focused on art supplies and specifically on sketchbooks. But before I get into the specifics with my recent experience, I wanted to share with you my sketchbook story.
I've been hearing for years that every artist should have a sketchbook. And I have often seen sketches as examples from those given where I have run into this subject matter. I have never done much sketching, the type of drawing that is rough, with no erasing, etc. That approach, to me, has always felt awkward and pointless, like, what am I going to do with this now that I've sketched it?
Of course, as I have grown as an Artist and have seen work over the years, I understand that sketching is like studying for the Artist. It helps the artist become familiar with the subject matter they are working with. Going from finding the subject, to experimenting with different compositions, and then planning the colors, medium and approach for a final work of art.
This has not been my experience until recently. Up to that point, I always replicated from images with my pencil, colored pencil and other mediums I've learned and worked with. Then, once I discovered watercolor, my approach has always been intuitive, rather than planning the composition ahead of time. This intuitive process requires a lot of trust in my own instincts and being willing to take risks when feeling uncertain.
In my recent Artistic work, I have had several focal points and mediums I've tapped into: fashion illustration, hand lettering and illustration, and creating designs based on subject matter important to me.
So, I have come to appreciate the essence and purpose of a sketchbook as I tap into different possibilities with fashion sketching, determining the subject matter in a new design that I'm now sketching to see where the different parts will fit together, as well as making decisions about what type of lettering to use when crafting a header for my blog or creating a new design for a new series in my art store.
Sketching has become a more primary focal point for me as an Artist and Designer to help me work out the essence of what I want to create as well as the specifics of how I want my design to look aesthetically.
In my recent Artistic journey, I completed a previous sketchbook that I've used for a couple of years, filled with headers and hand lettered artwork that I have used and continue to use on my website/blog, in my marketing on social media representing my products and services plus the JOY Design Series that are now available in my Art Store. (I now offer that same service to small business owners with Dawn's Dynamic Designs: Hand Lettering and Illustration.)
Since I completed the sketchbook recently (see image on the right below), I decided to pull out the next sketchbook that I had stocked in my studio. I sketched out my 2nd design in my Lyric Line Series and began to fill it with color. But unfortunately, the quality of the paper in this other sketchbook was thinner and did not produce the smooth look once the color was applied. Of course, since this design would be scanned, I tested it out and I wasn't pleased with the result. So, what to do?
Should I look for another sketchbook that would match the quality of the previous one or try something totally different? I decided to look for the UPC code on the sketchbook I had filled and found it on Amazon. Yay! I ordered another one right away. But I also ventured out to an art supply store and picked up a set of marker paper from Strathmore (my favorite brand for creating watercolor paintings), since it was markers I've been working with to create my Hand Lettering and Illustration.
This past week, after getting the marker paper and ordering a new sketchbook identical to the one I just filled, I decided to start with the marker paper for my next Lyric Line design (a series of art I'm creating based on lyrics I've written over the past few months).
I'm excited to try this new product of marker paper to see what the difference is with the medium I use to create Hand Lettering and Illustration, whether the color is more vibrant, how smooth the application is, and if I'm pleased with the final result, as much if not more so, than previously. (I also decided that the other sketchbook will work great for writing and pencil work.)
It sometimes takes experimentation to determine what works for us as Artists of our Lives. When something doesn't work, we can appreciate even more what does work and relish the qualities of what we love as we determine our next steps, our steps toward creativity and JOY.
Have you experienced using one product, switching to something else and then deciding to get the original product again since you liked it so much? Detail this experience, comparing the two, and relish your appreciation for what does work for you.
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a spread showcasing the aesthetic of something you really love that you use all the time. Try to get below the surface and tap into how it makes you feel.
Using your favorite writing implement, doodle the words that describe why you love this item so much and why you keep using it.
If you would like to read previous blog posts:
Catch the replay of Andrea Lewis interviewing me for Heal Past Wounds and Get JOY Back
Book Review on JOYFul by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Copyright 2019 text and header by Dawn Herring
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.