Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, artists, and small business owners! It's good to be with you again to share my insights on the past week as a Creative, Artist, Journal Keeper, Grandma, wife and friend.
The thread that really showed itself this week was on communication and how important communicating clearly is, to meet goals, to enhance the family dynamic, to recognize the value of my perspective as woman and creative.
One way that communication really stood out to me was through affirmations in my personal journal and really taking the time to verbalize what I desire and record it at the same time. This is something new I'm delving into during my spiritual practice (it continues to amaze me how important my Connection with Spirit really is--every day!). It has helped to define my goals, see the importance of family, and affirming Who I Am as Artist and Creative and how all the elements of my life intertwine and influence each other. From food choices to time to create to spending time with my husband. So, this was an invaluable beginning, not something I've done before. So, communicating with my Self and with Spirit as I verbalized was the focal point here.
Being able to speak my mind and set boundaries for self-care was another way of communication that was important to me. Recognizing stress points and choosing how to discern what needs to be done to keep myself on track, with the aim and goal to create a relaxing, restful, quiet environment where I can thrive.
Another path of communication has been through chatting behind the scenes with those who support me, cheer me on, and are interested in my message and in my purpose here at Refresh with Dawn Herring. Being understood and appreciated is invaluable to me and hearing from those who are paying attention and reflecting the value of what I provide back to me has been super inspiring!
One of my paths of communication with you is through my complimentary resources, The ART of Journaling Toolbox and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book. If you haven't already received these two downloads, you're welcome to click on either image below and get ready to either start journaling for the first time or get fresh inspiration to take your journaling practice to the next level! Prompts and Power Tools are ready and waiting for you to tap into the positive change you can initiate on the pages of your journal. Get ready to PLAY!
I find it so important to communicate first with My Self and with Spirit. That's where I find the most clarity and direction for my day, especially on issues that either split hairs or directly impact my well being based on how I choose to act.
When I get clear on my own direction, what I hear others tell me either resonates or feels false, so it's easier for me to turn off the video, put down the book, or file away something I no longer need or simply hit delete. (There is something liberating about eliminating what could feel like clutter!)
Where are the communication lines most open in your space, in your heart, in your mind, in your spirit? Are you listening carefully to the truths ready to be shown to you?
I recognize the necessity to be honest with my Self, whether I'm writing in my journal or reckoning with a situation that requires careful action. This enhances Communication so it's clear and resonant.
And the best communication is sincere and comes from the heart. Thank you for reading this blog post; I want to communicate clearly that you are valued and appreciated. And if you want to stay in communication outside of this blog and social media, you are welcome to subscribe. I'd love to have you in my Refresh with Dawn Herring Community where I share what is inspiring me with the aim of helping you Find Your Creative Voice. I look forward to connecting with you!
How do you communicate with your Self? Do you use affirmations, answer questions? What is the best form of communication for you: is it visual (collage or doodling), text (like quotes or blog posts) or video (watching an interview or inspiring directives). Listen carefully and record what resonates and what feels false.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using images of communication, create a spread that showcases what you see and hear communicated to you about yourself. What is it telling you right now?
Either draw an old fashioned telephone or words coming out of a mouth; you can also use the word communicate as your focal point.
Read these previous posts:
Joyful Book Review
My Meditative Mind
Patterns and Poignant Moments
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images by Dawn Herring
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, artists and small business owners!
I'm excited to share with you a book review for Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee. I originally found this title visually on Pinterest (follow me at Refresh with Dawn Herring); and I'm sure if you've known me for any length of time, that you would know that anything with JOY in the title is sure to get my attention!
So I knew I had to get my hands on a copy, and I'm so glad I did. Ingrid is detailed, comprehensive and fun in her study on JOY as she dives deep into what initiates JOY from our Surroundings and WHY that happens.
Through many interviews with architects, artists, designers and others who incorporate deliberate JOY into what they do, she showcases the initiators of JOY. Examples are color, shape, dynamic, energy, inspiration and a myriad of approaches to what can bring us JOY and Why.
I love how she categorizes her 10 topical chapters (energy, abundance, freedom, harmony, play, surprise, transcendence, magic, celebration, renewal) and her comprehensive approach to sharing what each one represents, both seamlessly and with great detail.
I enjoyed my reading of Joyful; it gave me new appreciation for my surroundings and even some ideas that I can incorporate into my space. I really loved her focus on abundance, giving examples of confetti, a ton of balloons, bubbles, and repeating wall paper as examples of what can bring us JOY visually and why it has such an impact on us. Yes, there is a science to it all!
Somehow, this title, Joyful, really affirmed what I have already discovered and experienced as a JOY focused creative, and it just made me smile knowing that I've got this whole JOY thing right! We can have more JOY in our lives by deliberately choosing what is in our surroundings, how we decorate, how we dress, and how we connect with others in community.
Love this quote from the book: "At the Heart of Celebration is a kind of mathematical paradox: the more we share joy, the more it grows."
Ingrid does such a splendid job on this title, Joyful, that I wholly recommend it. Plus she offers several resources to help you figure how best to approach your choices in creating more JOY in your life every day.
Thank you so much, Ingrid, for writing this book; it was a true blessing to read it and I'm delighted to share it with my readers.
P.S. I've included Ingrid's TED Talk below, Where JOY Hides and How to Find it.
As an avid journal keeper, I know it can be helpful to have more than one approach to journaling to keep it relevant, revealing and renewing, as well as a prompt or question to keep things fun, fresh and fabulous. You can now receive all this journal keeping support with The ART of Journaling Tool Box, filled with 7 Power Tools for your journaling as well as The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, filled with 31 prompts, questions and image suggestions to PLAY with in your journaling practice. Whether you're just getting started or looking for some fresh starting points, the resources are simply Perfect for Powerful Playing that leads to personal empowerment. Just click on either image and get started! And let me know which ones are working for YOU right now.
Look at your surroundings and do an analysis in your journal about what you like the most about areas in your home and what you would like to change to make it more JOYful and aligned with Who You Are as Artist of Your Life.
Art Journal Prompt:
Have fun with some JOYful images that encapsulate how you want to feel with more JOY in your life.
Using JOY or JOYful as a starting point, draw circles, confetti and/or bubbles to highlight and accentuate JOY visually.
You can read previous book reviews:
Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley
The Creative License by Danny Gregory
I Just Like to Make Things by Lilla Rogers
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Watercolor from the Heart by Barbara Nechis
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Copyright 2019 Review by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Art by Dawn Herring
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, artists, and small business owners! This week I wanted to share with you a practice deep in my heart in conjunction with my spiritual practice, which includes singing with my tambourine, prayer, study, journaling, quiet, song writing. Of course, my spiritual practice didn't start out with all those components.
Early in my spiritual practice, it mostly pertained to study, writing my own devotionals, prayer. Then, about 5 years ago, I found Martha Beck's book, The JOY Diet, and the first "ingredient" on her menu was Quiet. Doing absolutely nothing for a minimum of 15 minutes. Now, in this fast paced society, being still and quiet for 15 felt like a feat for me. And that timing didn't stick when I first discovered it, but it was a seed planted...
Just like the seed of a journaling power tool or a journaling prompt, both of which are available just by clicking on the images below. The ART of Journaling Tool Box and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book are both resources to take your journaling to a whole new level.
Then, in addition to study, journaling and prayer, about two years ago I began to delve into the possibility of music, specifically using the tambourine, with the idea of writing songs as a result of my study. To me, this practice has been meditative in and of itself. Those lyrics and using my tambourine have brought great JOY to my spiritual practice, heightening my experience and my connection with Spirit.
Since then, I have added time for Quiet, where I just sit in a chair or in my bed. I often focus on a word that has deep spiritual meaning for me, both visualizing and verbalizing for greater focus.
Often you hear, when it comes to meditation, to focus on the breath. Every time I've tried to do that, it is only a distraction for me, thus contributing to my struggle to stick with it. So, instead, I decided to use my senses, specifically Hearing, to tune in more deeply and to focus when I'm not using my focal word.
My Hearing sense is so helpful since I can focus on the sounds of what are nearby without necessarily thinking thoughts...like hearing the wind chime from the neighbors yard (with hopefully no complaining thoughts about the South winds blowing in allergens!), vehicle sounds driving by, rain falling, birds chirping, etc. (I choose not to do my Quiet when grandson is home due to noise making!)
When I first started keeping this Quiet practice, I determined to do the 15 minutes recommended. It truly slows things down. Being very deliberate about the restful quality of lack of activity is amazing, very much in contrast with always doing, which I can Always Be Doing!
Then during the month of January, I decided to take my Quiet up a notch and increase it to 30 minutes. Of course, this doesn't happen every day, just on those days when I have the time to actually donate to this practice, when all is completely quiet, which is most weekdays.
I noticed with the 30 minutes, it intensifies the experience. I hear more clearly, ideas are more succinct, the energy is more alive. More restful. More rejuvenating.
So, now I try to Start my Spiritual Practice with Quiet, then song, then prayer, journaling/study and poem/song writing and more singing. When I can get a full practice in, I feel deeply Connected with Spirit, with Truth, with JOY.
Recognizing what works for me based on my senses instead of the breath, along with writing, singing, studying and taking time to really Listen, makes my Meditation all the more impactful, more energizing, more clarifying, more faith building.
Listen to your heart and where it might lead you in your spiritual practice. Don't be afraid to try what works for you instead of trying to fit into a pre-conceived box that doesn't fit right.
Honor who you are in Spirit and see what opens up for you--in your heart. It's always listening.
Record previous meditative experiences in your spiritual practice. What worked for you and why? What didn't resonate? What did you start and quit? What did you start and stay with? What works for you now? Detail your journey, connecting with Spirit in a whole new way.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using images that truly resonate with your spirit, create a spread to honor your Spiritual Practice showing all it entails.
Using the word, Spirit or Meditate, draw the word in colors that speak to your soul. Or Sketch an object that you keep in your spiritual practice that holds great meaning for you.
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images by Dawn Herring
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, artists and small business owners! I've got some fun insights to share with you from this past week. I so enJOY sharing what inspires me, what fills my creative well and what I'm thinking about and working on behind the scenes as Artist, Designer, Creative and journal keeper.
This past week, I watched a movie titled, A Brilliant Young Mind, which is a story about a young man in school who is Mathematically a genius, the mentors/teachers that helped him and his parental story, his pain and his connection with others in the process.
One of the things that fascinates me with these stories of autistic children is how they think, how they process their world, and how they use their gifts to excel and make a life for themselves.
In this particular story, the young man's way of thinking is in Patterns. Thus the mathematical interest and genius in his application and focus. This gave me food for thought concerning patterns and how they influence me as an Artist.
Whether it's a pattern in wall paper, in a rug, with tiles on the wall, and even from questions on a standardized test (remember those?), patterns are everywhere. In interior contexts, I have patterned preferences, ones that are loose and more abstract, rather than repeated, ongoing. You know, the kind that keeps your eye too busy when your'e trying to concentrate or have a conversation and it's distracting you...
I prefer focal points that inspire versus an ongoing continuum.
I once had a rug that had different sized squares with many of my favorite colors. That rug was really cool, and I loved looking at it. It was restful yet colorful. No repeating patterns. Yep.
This movie actually inspired me to think more deeply on what I prefer as designer, artist and resident of my abode.
Of course, I recorded all these observations and considerations in my journal because of its relevance, it being a great way to keep track of my Artistic Mind and where it might lead with future designs that I create.
Want to keep your journaling practice more relevant, revealing and renewing? Check out The ART of Journaling Tool Box filled with 7 Power Tools I use to keep journaling fresh, fun and fabulous. Just click on the image to sign up and get your free PDF!
Ready to P-L-A-Y with your next journal entry with prompts, questions and image suggestions for journaling, art journaling, doodling/drawing? Check out The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, perfect companion to The ART of Journaling Tool Box. Just click on either image to sign up and get your complimentary download today!
In continuing with the movie's story (spoiler alert if you haven't seen it yet!), the young man has a horrifying experience in the car with his Dad driving, where someone runs a red light and there's a head-on collision, killing his Dad on impact. Traffic lights are featured frequently in the movie as a reminder of what he saw in patterns at the time of his Dad's death. He had a very close relationship with his dad, despite his autism, since his dad understood him deeply and often used humor to connect with him. This created many poignant memories throughout the movie at times in the young man's life that were deeply significant.
As a Grandmother of a grandson with autism, I deeply appreciated the father's connection with his son and his desire to enable his son to feel secure, loved and appreciated for who he was.
I pay close attention to my grandson's development (since his birth!) and when he struggles or when he's thrilled, I try to understand him on the deepest of levels, both in connection with how I felt as a child as well as wanting to feel what he is feeling, which can be challenging when he's in his own "world." Not only do I connect with him emotionally but also through humor, just by the way I say things to him. I have had the privilege of hearing him say to me, "Grandma, you crack me up!"
Sometimes I'll ask him what was so funny, and he will reiterate what I said. It's always nice when he understands my humor and appreciates my communication with him on that level. It brings me great JOY.
As I continued to reflect on A Brilliant Young Mind, I realized that life is full of repeating patterns, some of which we deeply enJOY and others we would prefer to change in order to grow.
Whatever patterns suit you, pay closer attention. They may give you deeper insight into why you like what you do. Whatever life patterns you realize in your own reflections, remember that you always have the power to change in order to grow, if necessary. And those patterns you've developed to make self care a priority, appreciate them afresh as you relish the poignant moments that you experience from the heart.
Recall a pattern you remember from childhood and detail what it looked like. Why did it leave such an impression, and was it positive or negative? Compare that pattern with ones you have in your current environment. Any similarities? What are the differences? Which do you prefer?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Find a pattern you really love in a magazine and use it to frame your next art journal spread, using colors and words to show your appreciation for such resonating visuals.
Create a Pattern in your sketch book using colors and motives that are your favorites.
If you are a small business owner, and you desire to feel empowered and confident with the visuals you use to market your products and services, and you would like a more customized approach to how you present yourself in the marketplace, check out my service, Dawn's Dynamic Designs: Hand Lettering and Illustration. My great desire is to create art for your business brand, products and services, so you can approach the market knowing you can attract the right client with the right visual. Plus with 10 years of experience in Social Media Marketing, I can take the overwhelm out of the navigation. I look forward to hearing from you!
Copyright 2019 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images 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.