It has been a tradition of sorts for me to take a look back on my year and see what has changed, what has stayed the same and how I've grown in different dimensions of my life.
So, with 2015 almost gone, I thought I'd continue the tradition here at Refresh Daily to share my thoughts, my perspective and my anticipation for the future.
I wanted to start by talking about this blog, Refresh Daily. I have had an interesting, fun and adventuresome time as a blogger since 2007. (Yes, I've been around in the blog sphere for 8 years now.) A little background: I started on Blogger with my personal blog, JournalWriter Freelance. I then changed it up with Refresh with Dawn Herring: For a Fresh Perspective. I also added the blog with a focus on #JournalChat and journaling related info. Then I added Your Authentic Refreshment with interviews about folks who have found what refreshes them.
Since then, I started creating a blog here at www.dawnherring.net and decided to call it Refresh Daily. But as of this year, I've made Refresh Daily my primary creativity-focused blog where I share my artistic point of view concerning all of my adventures, and I have had SUCH a BLAST sharing with you my art journal spreads, my Doodle Dynamics, my book reviews, Creative Conversations, plus other great stuff like what inspires me, my wardrobe finds and my Refresh Daily YouTube Videos!
With so much to share, Refresh Daily has become my favorite place to reveal my artistic process, my life insights and some inspiration for you, my dear readers, to keep a journal and to activate Your Creative Center.
This Refresh Daily place has truly refreshed me! So it's a win-win.
I have also launched Refresh Daily Video, where I share creativity tips, including journaling and art journaling prompts, to encourage the simplicity of being creative without feeling overwhelmed or guilty. I also include refreshing clips from my creative walks, from birds and nature-based visuals. I've had so much fun with that!
I also joined a new Social Media Platform called Periscope, an app-based live video broadcast you use from your phone or other devise to record anything you like! Of course, my focus is on creativity and giving you an inside view of my creative practice. (Follow me at @DawnHerring)
Plus, I've joined Instagram, sharing my visual art and photos I take on my walks.
I still continue hosting #JournalChat Live for all things journaling on Social Media, posting links on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook where we have a thriving membership of journal and art journal keepers, as well as launching the new format of the OPEN HOUSE, where journal keeping enthusiasts write blog posts to a specific topic which I share on Social Media and on my website, bringing you more great journaling content for your journaling inspiration! You can read my Thank You Post for this past year of 2015 for those who have been a part of our #JournalChat Live activities!
Refresh Journal was my newsletter that I published for 4 years, and I chose to Retire it back in the spring. You can read my post about my decision here. I so appreciate those who were regular readers of Refresh Journal and I appreciate your interest in Refresh Daily, where I post all of my content now. :)
On the personal side of things, I continue my creative practice with keeping a personal written journal, which I record in twice per day, sometimes more, which also includes my evening doodle, where I look back on my day, create a word or phrase that describes it best, and doodle with black Uniball pen and Winsor Newton Watercolor markers, which is such a refreshing, relaxing creative practice. I've had so much FUN with this!
I also continue to keep an art journal, as Refresh Daily attests, which combines watercolor, mixed media, collage, text, stamping, stenciling, image, and experimentation, that brings the subconscious to the fore. Art journaling continues to be a very powerful practice for me.
I continue strong with my commitment to paint with watercolor daily, a decision I made back in the summer of 2014. I enjoy putting dots of paint on the canvas, watercolor paper, etc, using an intuitive approach so I can express myself from the heart. I never regret the time invested in my watercolor practice; it truly refreshes me.
I would be remiss not to mention my spiritual practice which directly inspires my creative practice as I study spiritual texts, keep spiritual journals, and pray/meditate and stay connected to Spirit to keep the Light On.
I am looking forward sharing new content here at Refresh Daily in 2016, including my Periscope broadcasts and Refresh Daily Video, my newest additions to my creative content. I simply love connecting with many journal and art journal keepers, writers, artists, and other creatives on social media and look forward to connecting with YOU in 2016.
I plan more OPEN HOUSES for #JournalChat Live in 2016, so I am looking forward to YOUR Contribution as journal keeping enthusiasts so we can share with the world the great benefits of keeping a journal and what a powerful tool it is in every day life!
I want to especially thank YOU, my dear Refresh Daily readers, for making my time on Social Media and on my blog such a rewarding experience. I have received such fabulous feedback on the insight and care I put into what I share and how many have been inspired to get more creative and keep a journal, initiating self care and positive change that leads to personal empowerment.
Here at Refresh with Dawn Herring my goal is to show you how the Creative Spirit can come to LIFE in your every day experience as well as in your business. Through finding what your creative practice can look like, which can give you fantastic benefits in every dimension of your life, as well as how to infuse your business with your creativity, and showcasing that creativity on Social Media, your creative practice can help you stand out in your areas of expertise. My programs, Your Business Refreshed! and Your Life Refreshed!, can help you do that, with my creative experience and my social media marketing direction. I look forward to working with you as your Creative and Social Media Consultant both personally and professionally in 2016!
So, that's my review of 2015.
Thanks so much for your interest at Refresh with Dawn Herring, at my Refresh Daily blog, and connecting with me on Social Media. I look forward to continuing our creative conversation in 2016.
Of course, I won't forget to remind you to refresh yourself in 2016. And I mean that! <3
Take time to look back on your year of 2015. Be sure to recognize your accomplishments no matter how small, what you let go of, and what you made more time for. Assess if there's is anything you should release as you head into 2016.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using 2015 as your prompt, express your emotions and recognize how far you've come in your journey toward aligning with Who You Are and honor that process visually, with images, text, or simply color. Relish the moment.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header by Dawn Herring
As I decided to write a blog post for this week of Christmas, the first thing that came to mind was something we may not necessarily see as a gift, since it doesn't come in a box.
No, it resides in the heart. It's called...(drum roll...) Creativity!
And I'm not just talking about art-focused stuff like painting, etc. I'm talking about anything you do that inspires you in some way.
Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes and approaches...and the fun part is discovering what parts you like the most and doing them as much as possible.
You know, when creativity isn't seen as a gift, we sort of either take it for granted or don't bother paying attention to it at all.
And that is so very, very sad.
Why do we ignore it? Because we're too busy. Or we think we are. And I'm not saying we don't all have loads of responsibilities. I know we all do.
But we do have, say, 5 minutes? Take five minutes to do something you've been creatively craving.
So, how about it? Are you going to open up that GIFT of Creativity now that it's been brought to your attention?
Creativity really loves attention, because when you give Creativity its rightful place, it has lots of fun. And it wants YOU to HAVE LOTS OF FUN.
When was the last time you had lots of FUN?
Yea, that's what I thought.
So, five minutes.
GO do something you really love to do. Get lost in it. Forget all sense of time. (That's what happens when you take creativity for a spin.)
Then write about it in your journal. Or tell a friend. Or both. Or write a blog post about it. Or simply relish the moment, again and again.
Oh, and then take it out for another spin...and another. (It really is addicting once you get started; but that's a good thing.)
Now, doesn't that feel better? Now Creativity doesn't feel neglected anymore. And neither do you.
Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.
Record the last time you did something creative, anything at all that made you happy, inspired, lost all sense of time. How did you feel afterwards? Guilty? Refreshed? Wanted to do it again? Reflect on Creativity as Your Inner Gift.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using a Gift with a bow on it as a visual, give honor to Your Creativity and show using your favorite creative colors why your Creativity means so much to you. Enjoy.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header by Dawn Herring
I wanted to share with you, my dear readers and friends, about an experience I had on my walk recently. I go on almost daily walks, weather permitting, for fresh air, exercise and for any adventures that may come my way, which I am always on the look out for.
During this particular morning, I was seeing evidences of the deluge of a rainstorm from the previous night--very windy with downpours. Typical Texas weather, of course.
So as I was journeying down the sidewalk, then crossed over for my way back to my place, I noticed the sidewalk plastered with leaves in a particular area. Apparently the tree on the nearby property took a bit of a beating and lost a bunch of its glory onto the sidewalk.
At first, I just glanced, noticed the textured and layering and then kept walking. But then I realized I could be missing out on something by not taking more careful note of what I was seeing. I believe this was an intuitive impulse I was feeling.
I am a huge proponent of listening to your intuition; it will often guide you into some unexpected places that you would otherwise miss, enriching your daily life experience. And I certainly didn't want to ignore this impulse--I didn't want to miss out on anything I may not be aware of.
So I took a U-turn on foot and retraced my steps. It's not often that I do this, but this time I felt compelled.
So I got my camera ready and started taking up-close shots of various areas where the leaves were congregating. I really enjoyed this process, being careful to really pay close attention to the color, the shapes, the layered effects of the leaves, and the mixed texture of leaves against grass and sidewalk with the colored stones mixed in.
In reality, for me, this was a fun filling-of-my-creative-well since, as an artist, I am always looking for images, textures, color and design for future reference in my creative work, especially with my watercolor paintings. You can never know where that infilling will lead. I really do need to trust this process, so I divulged myself and seized the moment. And I'm so glad I did.
I really saw this as an important lesson of recognizing those important nudges and not ever overlooking the smallest of creative impulses or opportunities to see what something could mean for me in any way possible. I followed my curiosity and enjoyed the process of absorbing the moment of unexpected creativity.
And honestly, I think maybe the leaves were happier because they gave me such pleasure which gave them even more value, off the tree and in places they might not particularly enjoy very much. (Most times I'm sure they just get stepped on and not noticed, especially in such an environment.)
I know it may seem odd to give what would be perceived as dead leaves with no life in them whatsoever personality and good thoughts. But when it comes to appreciating the beauty all around me and what it has to offer my creative expression, I think it's worth the good energy-based thoughts to what I come across to induce gratitude for the unexpected.
What we think really can make a difference in how we feel. And when we act on those intuitive impulses, we can more greatly experience the JOY of Being Alive. And that can give us the fuel to more readily and effectively leave our meaningful mark in the world.
Have you had an experience where your intuition gave you an impulse to do something you might not otherwise do? Did you follow it? If so, you were glad you did? What difference did it make for you? Would you do it again?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Intuitive Impulse, showcase visually a time when you enjoyed something special because you listened to the Voice within and followed your curiosity. Honor that process and the fact that you listened.
I read the book, Eat, Pray, Love, several years ago, and I've watched Elizabeth Gilbert speak several times. I find her sense of humor, her forthrightness and her honesty refreshing, so when I found out she came out with a new book, AND it was about CREATIVITY, which is one of my favorite subjects--well, you know I just had to get my hands on it and see what all the hubbub was about!
Her new title,BIG MAGIC: Creative Living Beyond Fear, is a BIG PERMISSION SLIP to have Fun, Follow Your Curiosity (which I talk about here in my video, Creative Curiosity), not to take yourself so seriously (martyr syndrome) but to go about pursuing creativity from the perspective of PLAY, taking it light, and why not dress up for the occasion to keep inspiration fresh? Showing up because you want to because you like it.
Elizabeth sprinkles stories, anecdotes, and relevant words of wisdom, sometimes on the humorous side, to prove her specific points on being brave (because being creative takes guts, folks!), on the amazing experience of when inspiration comes at you and even through you like a creative force, and the issue of not giving up and learning to trust yourself and the process of letting your creative expression flow.
I laughed aloud several times during this insightful and interesting read. I think one of my favorite parts is when she describes dressing up for a refreshed inspiration session. I also enjoyed her inside track on writing several of her other books (it helps to see what others experience in the writing process). And I appreciation her revelations about her parent's influence on her while growing up and how those values have stayed with her over time.
Inspiration, laughter, permission and going about your play with curiosity just because you like it.
That's BIG MAGIC.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header image by Dawn Herring
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Here is my latest Periscope Refresh with Dawn Herring Broadcast where I talk about the elements of My Creative Practice, which includes journaling, art journaling, doodling, watercolor painting, and walks. And I talk about the importance of doing something you love every single day.
The thing about Life is we are always growing. (Well, not physically once we reach the age of maturity...) We never stay the same. Even from day to day.
Our life experiences change us based on how we react to what happens and the decisions we make based on what we experience.
Growth can be a measuring stick of how we are changing for the better.
I have a certain path I often walk in the mornings for my time of exercise and getting a bit of fresh air. As I walk, I pass a certain floral bush (not sure if it's a rose bush or not) that I have observed in various stages of bloom.
There was a time in the spring, when it was full of floral delight. After it began to lose its petals, I noticed the change in the color as it decidedly turned brown with a bit of green leaves.
But recently, as I walked past it, I noted a few new flowers appear in a section on the bush. This came as a surprise to me, since it's wasn't all over the bush, just in one area. And it was New Growth in what appeared to me an unlikely place. After all, its autumn, not a time to grow, but lose.
This got me thinking about unlikely areas in our lives that may sprout new changes, like ideas you've never had before, a new color you're attracted to, or perhaps, an experience that changes you on a deeper level that you know you won't forget.
It's important to recognize that new growth; it may be easily overlooked since you're not expecting it.
But when you see it, it's a pleasant surprise.
Life is full of surprises; when we take the time to really pay attention to areas in our lives where we sense change, we can gain a clearer vision of actual Growth in our lives and celebrate it!
It's important to Honor these changes and areas of growth so we can recognize who we were and Who We Are Now.
And even still, we can actually look for ways to grow: perhaps breaking out of our comfort zones to try something new or do something we haven't done in a while but would really like to make time for. When we step out in this manner, we may see new growth, like rose buds, popping up and showing itself in all of its beauty.
Grow and Enjoy!
Note an area in your life where you have recognized new growth, whether in your relationships, in your emotions, in your work life, or in your spirit. Why do you suppose this new growth has appeared; what is it telling you about yourself and who you have become as a result?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Use an image of something that is showing areas of growth or use the words New Growth as a prompt for a visual, honoring an area of your life where you are growing and becoming more of Who You Are on a deeper level.
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.