In the throws of Hurricane Harvey, with catastrophic flooding causing many to lose their homes and their belongings, I observed the difficulties and challenges laid before so many.
Without their own space, running water, and just having what they brought with them, if anything, in the face of such a daunting storm, my heart broke for these folks.
So what does JOY have to do with such heart ache and loss? Is that even possible?
As I considered their circumstances and prayed for their recovery, I realize a-new the importance of seeing what I have Right in Front of Me with renewed gratitude and appreciation.
Like water in my kitchen sink.
My own restroom.
A comfortable bed.
All of my clothes dry and ready to wear.
Electricity where needed.
I began to see these Basic Necessities as Gifts. Because, in essence, that's what they are.
And as I looked at these basics and experienced this deep gratitude for what I have, JOY made its presence known.
When we see what we enJOY daily a-new, it can change how we see and experience life completely.
Just paying attention to that running water in whatever capacity we are using it for. Or those lights that illumine our space.
The comforts of home can bring us New JOY as we take a moment to appreciate what we have.
It's really about being mindful. That word Mindful has become so popular, as I read recent headlines on magazine covers.
But mindfulness can be a true source of JOY.
Just taking that moment to say Thank YOU to the Universe for giving what is needed.
Here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, Finding JOY Takes Center Stage.
And as the evacuees exited the Houston area as well as Floridians leaving in the face of Hurricane Irma, the Basics have taken center stage.
May we never see them in quite the same way again.
Take a moment in your journal to really pay attention to one thing you have that makes you really happy, realizing gratitude a-new. What would it be like if you lost that one thing? If it was no longer available to you? Detail how you feel in your journal.
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a spread that invokes gratitude for the simple things you use every day. You can use images of these simple things collage style to be focal points of appreciation.
Using a writing implement you truly value for its performance, color or comfort in your hand, create a doodle that initiates an attitude of Joy and Gratitude, keeping the design as simple as possible showing that just basic design can also be meaningful.
To get more JOY in your inbox, subscribe to The JOY Finder to stay abreast of happenings here at Refresh with Dawn Herring plus get quality content to help initiate more JOY in your daily experience.
Follow this link to listen to my first Refresh Daily podcast episode titled, Observation is a Key to JOY.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Header Art by Dawn Herring
Here at Refresh with Dawn Herring my goal is to give you as many ideas to initiate more JOY in your daily life, whether it's your personal or professional journey. In this video I share an encouraging word about Celebrating Your Wins in your personal or work life.
Record the last time you celebrated a win, whether personally or professionally. Has it been a while? If so, celebrate your last task fulfilled, no matter how small. How did you feel when you were finished? Relieved? Satisfied? Didn't pay attention? (Next time, do so, and feel more JOY.)
Art Journaling Prompt:
Create a spread to celebrate your latest win. Perhaps choose one that seems insignificant or small and make a Really Big Deal out of it.
Describe your latest win using your favorite font styles in your doodle practice. Really give it glory! Don't be shy. Bold colors galore!
If you'd like to also check out my new podcast, Refresh Daily, follow this link. This first episode is titled, Observation is a Key to JOY.
If you'd like to sign up for The JOY Finder, my email communication, you're welcome to follow this link, where you can read my offerings and watch my welcome message! Come be a JOY Finder today!
I am sitting across a restaurant table from my grandson. He is deeply in the midst of JOY with his meal which consists of white rice, chicken, and pico in a bowl. I watch him in between my own bites of JOY as he exercises coordination with his plastic black fork to grab another piece of chicken to enjoy. I notice how intent he is and how singular his focus on the meal in front of him. I almost let out a chuckle as I observe this Zen moment in a restaurant.
Isn't it lovely when you can Observe one you love and care about enjoying the simple things in life?
Or how about just taking in the present moment and realize how blessed you are?
Or savoring the morsels of your favorite meal, almost like a cat does when sipping real milk or salmon?
We can experience more JOY when we take the moments one at a time, ones that truly resonate, satiate our palette and just make us feel good because we appreciate all there is right in front of us.
Remember, these moments are just a moment...meaning they won't last forever.
So capture it...in your mind, in your heart, in your soul. And EnJOY.
In detail, recall a moment in your day that you would like to savor with all of your senses, one at a time, of course. Does it take you back right to where you first relished this experience?
Write a list of other moments you can detail that truly resonated with you, especially on an emotional level. Think FUN and JOY as you consider this opportunity.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Plan a spread that honors your favorite moment of the past week, one that made you laugh, appreciate, or just plain surprised you. You can use images or simply detail with fun fonts and embellishments using the colors that bring this memory to life!
Use your favorite writing implement and the word Observe and draw little simple pictures of subject matter that you encountered in your moments of JOY as a momento.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
As we start a new month, the month of August, I have a new acronym to share with you to help initiate more JOY in your life.
I share with you in the video what this essentially means to me: Knowing that the Universe has our back, when we start with gratitude, we can open ourselves to greater trust in what the days will hold.
How can you make gratitude a regular underlying vibe and mindset in your daily life? What does self trust and trust in the Universe look and feel like to you?
Art Journal Prompt:
Use your art journal spread as a gratitude initiator through image, color and make making to express your deepest thanks for what you have right now.
Use Trust as your doodle prompt and see what marks you can make that feel good to you right now.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Here is the audio version of the blog post, Self Care: Optional or Essential? I'm providing audio for those who prefer to listen rather than read. If you would like to read the blog post, just follow this link. Thanks for listening and you are welcome to leave a comment about how you're making self care a priority as well as give feedback for the audio! I'd love to hear from you. :)
Note: If you are interested in listening to the audio of Self Care: Optional or Essential, please click here.
Here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, Self Care is at the TOP of our Priority List every day. That means, you're engaging in something you love every day, initiating your spirit being lifted, leaving you feeling fabulous, full of energy and ready to roll with your daily life tasks because you're taken care of yourself.
But the question is, are you making self-care a priority? Do you still see time for yourself doing what you love as optional rather than essential, vital, and necessary for your well being?
I would like to share with you my Top Ten Reasons to Make Self-Care Daily (and without guilt!!)
1. Self Care Boosts Your Immune System. Yes! You will actually benefit from greater health on all levels as a result of making Self Care a Priority. I know that motivates me to keep it going!
2. Self Care Gives Energy. Obviously a healthier immune system will initiate more energy in your body. And the more energy you have, the better you enjoy life.
3. Self Care Aids in Appreciation of Self. Do you appreciate yourself for Who You Are? When you engage in any kind of self care, it gives you the impetus toward really seeing yourself and appreciating what you see (perhaps instead of beating yourself up, comparing yourself to others, etc.)
4. Self Care Helps you see your Value. This goes hand in hand with self-appreciation. It can be easy to overlook what you contribute to your immediate environment of family, friends and outwardly to your community. Taking this step can initiate prevention of undervaluing yourself and what you do every day.
5. Self Care Enhances your Physical Well Being. With your immune system boosted, and your energy lifted, you're enabled to boost your physical activity, doing what you enjoy to get your blood moving and those endorphins activated to make you feel fabulous! Not to mention the health benefits of being active!
6. Self Care Initiates Stress Relief. When you engage in what you love, often what is currently on your stress radar fades into the distance as you enter the "Zone." And the more often you engage in self care, the less stress you have. Motivating, isn't it?
7. Self Care Enables Self Expression. Being able to express yourself and use your "creative voice" in whatever way lifts your spirit can really give you new ways of enjoying how you see life and how you like to share that view. And your unique "take" is different from anyone else's. And that's what the world needs!
8. Self Care Opens your Creative Flow. As you make self care a daily priority, you will see an increase in your creative ideas which can really activate some fun, inspiring action! Who wouldn't want to tap into all of that? I know I do!
9. Self Care Makes a Way to Give to Yourself. When you care for yourself regularly, you are essentially giving to yourself what you deserve: Time, creative impetus, greater value of what you contribute. You really begin to see what you've been missing and can feel like you've hit the jackpot! And when you give to yourself, then you have more to give to others. See self care as oxygen to your life dimensions. You will see growth, positive change and all kinds of good things!
10. Self Care Helps you Learn to Love Yourself. You begin to see all the ways you benefit from putting yourself first as you're feeling good, you're looking good, you're experiencing more JOY, more Happiness, a greater sense of well being and value, and your soul feels nurtured and alive.
And here's a bonus one for ya!
11. Self Care Reduces Depletion. Instead of ending up exhausted, irritable, and even resentful and angry that you have nothing left to give since you haven't given to yourself, you make way for rejuvenation, which re-energizes you. Don't wait till your depleted. Make it a daily priority so you can experience all the goodness Self Care brings to your life table.
Journaling Prompt: What does Self Care mean to you? What is the first thing that comes to mind that really showcases self care from your point of view? Let your Intuition guide you as you make a list of at least 10 ways you can initiate self care in your every day life. Start today with your favorite one!
Art Journaling Prompt: Create a Spread using Self Care as your prompt and use the colors that inspire you toward loving and caring for yourself. You can use images as collage pieces that show specific self care actions to inspire you.
Doodle Prompt: Create a fun visual using Self Care as your starting point, making fun and spontaneous marks on the page and see where it takes you.
I want to leave you with this song, The Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston, that is kind of an anthem here at Refresh with Dawn Herring since it truly shows the value of Loving Yourself and why it's so important to take care of yourself. Truly, when you do, it leads to positive change and opens up your Personal Empowerment like never before. (See? Two more reasons right there!) Listen and Enjoy. And then go do something right now that makes you feel fabulous!
Copyright Text 2017 Dawn Herring
I always love it when I find a resource that just hits the spot for me as an artist and creative. And Danny Gregory's book, The Creative License, is just such an example. I discovered Danny Gregory through a Creative Living with Jamie Podcast on Jamie Ridler's website. I was so inspired and impressed with the interview, I decided to check out Danny's website and books.
I saw that he had several, one of which I wanted to read right away, a memoir called, Every Day Matters, but I decided to check out his book, The Creative License too. I'm so glad I did.
There are several reasons why I enjoyed and found myself inspired by this book. Danny has a way of presenting the act of drawing from a totally refreshed and relaxed approach, a way of observing your life and the many things and people around you, but in an almost Zen-like quality, totally focused, totally in the flow.
This approach really opened me up to the possibilities of where I could go with my Creative Practice, adding to it in a way I hadn't done before. I did contour and detail drawing in my youth, and did faces for a long time, but all basically from images. Danny's approach to drawing what you see from objects right in front of you intrigued me. I love his step by step narrative for those who have never drawn before or think they can't.
Another thing I loved about this book was Danny's voice: his attitude, his personality, his authenticity and his laugh-out-loud sense of humor. Even if you have never drawn anything before, just the read is worth it because Danny makes the whole explanation of why drawing can benefit you so much fun, entertaining and insightful.
This book is full of full color and black and white illustrations and Danny's no-nonsense attitude about getting a daily sketchbook practice going, with no concern for what it looks like, if it's any "good" artistically speaking, and seeing the whole experience as learning more about yourself and your world.
Danny inspired me so much through The Creative License, I decided to start a drawing practice in addition to my daily journaling, watercolor painting and doodling. I've presented several of these drawings just to give you an idea of how I've approached it, with no concern for how "artistic" it looks.
He does recommend starting with just black pen (no pencil, no erasing or correcting--just draw and don't worry about it!) so these drawings are just that.
As an artist, I've always had admiration for folks who keep a sketchbook full of pen and watercolor drawings, and Danny is one of those people. Thanks, Danny, for being a source of inspiration for me as an artist and observer of life.
Write down a way that you are an observer of your own life. Also, write down a way you would like to be an observer that you haven't tried before and what you can do to get started.
Using the word, Observe, create a spread that pays homage to how you view your world. How does your point of view enhance to the way you see life?
When you look at something in your immediate surroundings that you put there, what comes to mind? Does it just become a back ground visual or does it stir you in some way? Is there a reason why it's there?
It can be anything.
From a piece of clothing to your laptop or the car in your driveway. It could be paint supplies, a toolbox or a memento from a loved one.
It really doesn't matter what it is. It's a matter of what it means to you.
How does it benefit you?
I think when we take a closer look at what we have chosen to have around us, it can teach us something about ourselves. And perhaps having a new appreciation for what it is, what it does and why we chose it can activate a higher awareness of what matters to us.
And, in essence, it can invoke gratitude.
But what is the essence of gratitude? Is it just an attitude? An idea? Or just an expected reference to the Thanksgiving Holiday?
When we see something anew and ask ourselves, why do I have this? What does it do for me? And we answer those questions, we can discover a fresh vision of Who We Are right now.
Especially since what we say today may not have been true a year ago or even a month ago.
How we perceive what we own or what we choose for ourselves can speak volumes about what is inside our hearts. And when we get that fresh perspective on what we may not think about very often, we can find ourselves smiling and saying, Wow. I think I should consider how benefited I am more often.
We can lose sight of the 'why' of what we possess, which can sometimes cover the essence of what we value.
It can be as simple as appreciating the towel we dry our hands off with or the necklace we wear that was a gift from a loved one. Or even the calculator we use in the office.
Seeing anew what we value and saying, I am glad I have this, it makes life easier and more pleasurable, can instigate the essence of appreciation and gratitude that can especially carry us when we feel heavy with burden.
Carry that essence of what you appreciate with you every day. You may find yourself smiling when you least expect to.
Write a list of three things in your immediate environment. Detail where they came from, who gave them to you if applicable or why you purchased it. How does it benefit you most? Would you buy it again if given the chance? Capture the essence of your appreciation for these things.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Use images of some of your favorite things and doodle your appreciation for their value in your life, what they remind you of, and what meaning they have for you.
Isn't it fun to dress up in a costume and take on a persona for a day or evening? With Halloween coming up, I was thinking about folks who dress up in costume for either a party gathering or dressing up with the kids as we take them out into the neighborhood for some Trick or Treat activity.
I have many memories of my costumes over the years from my childhood and adolescence. From a China Girl to a monster to a rock star with microphone in hand. Fun times!
Pretending to be something other than what we are on this dress-up day can be interesting and lively.
But when we take that pretense into our everyday, that takes on more of a Trick vibe than a Treat.
We may have dreams and goals we aspire to fulfill, yet we find ourselves falling short simply because what we have in our imagination doesn't really align with what's in our heart.
We may get side tracked or distracted by what others are doing and want to align with their direction even when it doesn't quite feel right inside.
That's when we need to really get honest with ourselves and take a closer look at what we perceive is "missing" in our personality and in the roles we play in life and see what we are already doing that we may not be giving ourselves credit for.
We don't need to pretend to be something or someone we aren't in order to "fit in" or to make ourselves feel better about how we think we don't measure up. This is just a mean ole trick we play on ourselves that throws us out of our center and leaves us feeling less than.
Instead we need to FULLY EMBRACE EXACTLY WHO WE ARE. Relish the specifics of our personality, our preferences and our purpose in life. This is the greatest TREAT we can give ourselves, loving ourselves from the inside out, seeing ourselves honestly and with gratitude for what we have to offer the world.
It's okay to pretend once in a while...use your imagination and have some fun. But don't allow that to create discontentment with who you are and where you are right now.
Now, this doesn't mean you can't create positive change. It simply means you start from that honest, raw place of truth to get you started and then take one small step at a time toward what you know is right for you.
No tricks. Just joyful, deliciousness to treat yourself with that fills your heart to the full.
Write a letter to the self you may sometimes pretend to be and tell that persona why you are attracted to it. Then share why you love yourself just as you are. Then determine what one small step you can take toward loving yourself more and bring about essential positive change that you want to make in your heart of hearts.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using images of people in costume, create a spread honoring that persona you think is the most fun and doodle words around the spread sharing why you like it so much. Then Honor Who You Are right now in color, image or doodle.
Copyright 2016 Dawn Herring
Copryight 2016 Header Image by Dawn Herring
A Golden Buzzer Moment.
A Moment in Time when all seems to stand still as golden confetti cascades down over you after one of the judges on American's Got Talent determines that after your fabulous performance, you're ready to go to the live shows. Now.
That's pretty amazing...especially when you have no idea of how good you really are.
I've had the wonderful opportunity to be the hearing recipient of a very talented young girl's performance on AGT; her name is Grace VanderWaal. The thing that really struck me about Grace is her authenticity. She offered a self-penned song that has gotten a replay in my head on repeat for several days. Quite catchy and I must say, quite empowering. She's got my attention! See her performance below. (I've seen her follow up performances which are just as delightful and heart warming.)
After thinking about Grace's Golden Buzzer Moment, I realized what this can mean for us on a daily basis.
A Golden Buzzer is a validating and very surprising external action on someone else's part letting you know how good you really are.
Sometimes we get that kind of validation from someone who sees our potential or who appreciates us for Who We Are at the Heart of what we do every day.
But we can actually create our OWN Golden Buzzer Moments on the internal side.
How, you ask?
By paying close attention to our own Value, to what we are contributing every day to our immediate worlds: our selves, our families, our communities and our worlds.
An example of an Internal Golden Buzzer Moment:
when you're writing a journal entry and you experience clarity on something that's been puzzling you.
when you connect with someone on a deep level that is totally unexpected.
when you validate another person because you see their potential.
when you're working on a painting, drawing, collage, or sculpture and it works out exactly the way you want it to in that moment
when just the right word comes to you to complete a poem you've been working on
when you are aligned with Who You Are and you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be
when you hit that sweet spot in your creative practice and you wouldn't change it for the world right at that moment
You know your Golden Buzzer Moments when you feel them because they leave an impression. (And maybe even a life changing one.) But when you are LOOKING for them actively, you may find that they replicate, which only increases the Value of your every day experience.
So, go on. Validate Yourself. See Your Own Potential. Congratulate Yourself on a Job Well Done. Enjoy that Sweet Spot with Relish and Relive it in your journal!
The more you pay attention to those GB Moments, the more you will experience them. And it might just lead to some external ones too!
Record every Golden Buzzer Moment that comes to mind. Make a list. Don't be shy. What have you experienced that would qualify? Think Small too. It doesn't have to be huge. Look with expectation over the next several weeks for those moments when you simply hit your sweet spot.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Golden Buzzer, create an art journal spread that speaks of your potential, of a time when you hit your creative sweet spot. Relish with colors that showcase you at your heights. Really Celebrate!
Dawn engages in many roles, from Writer and Artist to Creative Visionary and Strategist as well as Social Media Director, basing her Strategies from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and Host of #JournalChat Live for all things journaling on social media, offering encouragement and information to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on journal keeping, artistic expression, positive change, and personal empowerment leading you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a watercolor and collage artist, daily doodler/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 Skip-Generation Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. Have a fab day and may joy find you in the most unexpected places.
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