Our Creative Energy can be a power house for expression and leaving our meaningful mark in the world, but sometimes we may find ourselves using that energy in too many places at once. We may want to go after this project and that activity and end up feeling pulled into too many directions. When that happens, we can lack direction which is a good time to get back to center.
I find that when I look at all the different things I'm doing, it's helpful to ask the question: What is Bringing Me the Most JOY? Once I determine what that is, that's where I choose to put my energy. Yes! (Of course I continue to fulfill needed responsibilities.)
When we spread ourselves too thin, it can actually be a deterrent to our creative growth and to expanding on the very thing that brings us the most JOY.
When we engage with too many things in our creative space, it can sometimes be disorienting, leaving us feeling misaligned, not in our creative flow. When we feel that way, we can take a closer look at where we might be putting our energy that may be making us feel like we're just spinning our wheels and not really getting anywhere.
I want to give you Permission today for releasing your Self from working on something that just isn't working right now, especially if you feel like your energy is being wasted. It's okay to let it go for a time or for all time, if that's what it takes to get you back to center.
When we align and center ourselves with what brings us the most JOY, we create a shift in our energy, getting back to Who We Are creatively.
Looking at the contrast of feeling not as happy, too heavy, overwhelmed and disheartened and feeling like maybe we shouldn't even bother, it pays to give ourselves space so we can regroup and figure out what exactly we want to accomplish, where we want to go from here, how we want to grow as a creative being.
It can help to dissect how we are feeling and where we are putting our energies as we detail our current place in our journal, helping us determine where the JOY resides in our creative path.
Trust yourself as you look a little closer and make some choices that will lead you into a better place. Pay attention to your intuitive voice, especially if it's telling you to let go of something, if it's leading you in a different direction or showing you to expand on something you're already tapping into and it just needs a fresh approach to get where you want to go. It may just leads you to a place that lights you up, lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous!
Find that place that feels expansive, fun and vibrant and aligns you with Who You Are Creatively.**
Make a list of all the activities you are currently engaged with. Note each one singly and see how your body responds as you read it out loud. Record your discoveries and nudges in those JOYful Directions. Then pick your favorite and go do it!
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using JOY as your starting place, use visuals and your favorite colors to showcase how you feel right now in your creative space, giving honor to what is bringing you the most JOY right now.
Create the word SHIFT in doodle form and see how your lettering can look shifty as you use your favorite pens, markers and colors to honor your creative experience. Note any associations that come to mind in your journal.
**If you would like to schedule The JOY Appointment: The One Appointment You'll Want to Keep! in get some guidance on where you want to go creatively, click here.
If you'd like to have a connection call with me, click here.
If you'd like to check out my course, 7 Steps to Creative Clarity, click here.
If you'd like to subscribe to The JOY Finder and receive 3 Secret Keys to a More JOY-filled Life mini course, click here.
Copyright 2018 Dawn Herring
For those of you who prefer to listen to my Joy Filled Content, I have created Refresh Daily Podcast. This is audio with visuals for those who like to watch as well. For this Episode Two, the topic is Present JOY, both for the holiday season and every day. I originally recorded to main audio from a video greeting I included in my Christmas Edition of The JOY Finder, my newsletter, but I wanted to make it available to all for your creative and joy-filled benefit. EnJOY!
You're welcome to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for future Episodes of Refresh Daily Podcast.
You're welcome to subscribe to The JOY Finder.
You're welcome to view 7 Steps to Creative Clarity to see if it might be the perfect Holiday Gift for YOU or someone you love.
You're welcome to view Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts and see if it might be the perfect Holiday Gift for YOU or someone you love.
I can't believe it's that time again: My year in review with 2017! Where did this year go?? I have no idea. Time stands still for no one, as my Mom used to say. Now I clearly see why she said that. And then some.
Of course when you have responsibilities and others to care for and connect with plus staying busy with creating and finding joy, time sure does fly by!
And this year has been eventful, and I have lots to share. So I Shall. Ready?
Where shall I begin? Usually, Journaling comes to mind first. So I'll start there.
I am an avid written journal keeper and have been for many a year (30? I'm not sure; I think I lost count, as well as with how many filled journals I have. *wink*)
This year I continued my daily written journal entries. Up until September, I was doing a.m. and p.m. entries. Once the new school year started up and I had an earlier wake up time, I found myself forgetting to write in my journal since my a.m. responsibilities side tracked me. I was shocked I had let it slip! So I took a closer look at my practice, and after engaging with a live journaling event hosted by another avid journal keeper, I determined to ONLY JOURNAL in the a.m. if I really want to, like if I have something I want to say.
One thing I learned in taking a closer look at my a.m. journaling practice was my redundancy (which I spoke about during our JournalChat Live in November). I found myself repeating things from the night before that weren't necessary. Why do this? I asked myself. So I gave myself permission to let go of the a.m. entry unless I felt drawn to write. And so far, I've only indulged once or twice in the a.m. and most times, it's been on the weekend, when I'm relaxed and not in a hurry. Lesson: let go of what is extraneous or what isn't working. No need to feel obligated! (This is HUGE for me as a journal keeper.)
I do continue to create evening doodles every day to honor my day's experience and still find it engaging, fun, and relaxing, giving myself space to play with design, color and texture with my watercolor markers and artist pens. You can view many of my doodles on my Instagram account and here.
Also, I created my own designed Planner Pages to change things up with my journaling practice, but I found that printing them out, hole punching them and using them became more of a chore rather than a JOY. OY. So, I continue to write in my blank journals as always and plan to get more. My goal is to always have a quality white blank paper to create my doodles on; that's one of my reasons for loyalty to the empty sketchbook as my primary journaling tool for entries.
As for JournalChat Live for all things journaling of which I host on Social Media, I decided to change things up and go LIVE ON VIDEO in our JournalChat Live Facebook Group which went from Public to Private this year! Yes! We had a delightful time in November as we talked about How to Keep Things Fresh with our Journaling Practice; I also provided special prompts for us to play with during our time together, which made it even more special and fun! I plan to host JournalChat Live in this group in the coming year of 2018! Do join us if you haven't already!
Speaking of going LIVE on social media, Next up I will share with you something New I started on Facebook called JOYFest, where we gather together to share our JOYS with one another, thus making the World a Better Place. We had our Christmas Edition on 12/7 and had a blast sharing our Greatest JOYS of 2017! You can catch the replay here.
Our next JOYFest will take place in our new Private JOYFest Facebook Group! I decided it would be fun and organized to hold and host LIVE VIDEO events in private Group Settings to create a comfortable and affirming place to share our JOYS together! I so look forward to having YOU join us to share Your Joys in 2018!
To backtrack just a bit, I wanted to share with you the new focus I created with my website and message here at Refresh with Dawn Herring. I realized that most of the engagement I experience that refreshes me brings me JOY as I get refreshed. So...in January, I went live with a completely new website with JOY as my focus, and I have had so much fun since! So now my brand reads, Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Finding JOY Takes Center Stage! I do hope you enjoy perusing all the JOY focused content and navigation as I share my JOY with you. And you can create your Own Path to JOY, which is my greatest aim for you!
Which leads me right into some new offerings here at Refresh with Dawn Herring...ready?
First up, Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts! YAY!
Since I am an avid doodler and have so much fun creating doodles and coloring them in, I thought it would be fun to Create Doodles for YOU to color in! Using the tenants that I hold to and look to live by, such as Appreciate Your Self for Who You Are, Recognize Your Value and other self care initiating directives, I created Coloring Pages, with a word from me about each tenant and prompts for your journaling, art journaling and doodle practices...and if you don't already practice, this is a perfect place to start! :)
And if you're looking for even more prompts with a self care focus, plus some video and audio from me along the way, then my new course, 7 Steps to Creative Clarity, is perfect for you! If you ever feel blocked, bored or uninspired or maybe you don't know where to start in building a thriving, fun Creative Practice, this is why I created this course, so you can find the JOY of creating!
So this year of 2017 has been an important year for me as Creative Visionary and Guide for those who need some encouragement and feel they could use a little bit of permission to create!
And for those who like to LISTEN and be inspired, I launched my Refresh Daily with Dawn Herring Podcast! Yay! So far I've created one episode that you can listen to or watch, whatever your preference, both here on my website and on YouTube. I plan to create more episodes next year (including some interviews with others who share about their creative practice!) My purpose in creating a podcast is for those who are looking for tips and inspiration toward building an authentic Creative Practice that brings them great JOY.
Also, this year, I launched my new newsletter called The JOY Finder! I share tips and inspiring stories about how I am Finding More JOY so you can too, plus I keep you up to date on what's happening here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, including when I'll be hosting Live Events you don't want to miss. You can subscribe here and receive a gift from me, 10 Steps into JOY!
To conclude this 2017 Year in Review, I thought I would share a bit of what I've been doing in my art studio. I did take some time off this past summer, breaking the creative mold I had been in with painting with watercolor every day for three years. Once I got back into studio space, I decided to try some new things (with more new stuff planned for 2018...). I did my first fashion gouache and pen rendering of a gorgeous faux fur jacket which you can view here. Plus I did some drawings in a sketchbook of some of my jewelry. (There is one post on my Instagram in the early part of 2017 you can view.) I plan to indulge a bit more in this type of art since I enJOY it so much. I continue to paint with watercolor, working on watercolor paper at this time. Plus playing with designers gouache as well.
So there you have it! It's been a busy and exciting year for me at Refresh with Dawn Herring, and of course, it would not have been the same without YOU, my dear readers and friends. Thanks so much for joining me during my Live events and sharing your journaling and creative lives with me. It brings me true JOY in sharing with you.
I wish you the greatest and most JOY-Filled New Year of 2018; and I look forward to having Fun and Engaging with YOU in all of our creative energy together in community, thus making the World a Better Place!
May Joy Find YOU in the Most Unexpected Places!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring for Art Header
As an artist and creative, I’m always looking to stretch myself and try new things, sort of change things up to keep me on my creative toes but not so much that I feel strained or burdened.
JOY is what drives me to pursue different paths. My curiosity gets initiated and then I eventually just MUST make space to try out what’s been in my heart and desire to do.
One of the issues I face as a artist is putting myself in a creative box, one I invent for myself, sometimes, without even realizing it. Then I begin to feel the confinement of that box, like something doesn’t feel quite right. Like my creative freedom is being minimized somehow.
We all put ourselves in boxes of one sort or another, don’t we? And often, we have no idea that we have done so.
We just start to feel restless, like something has to change, or we might just get a little annoyed!
As a painter, for the past several years, I’m delved into intuitive transparent watercolor, both on canvas and on watercolor paper.
I built myself a portfolio, both for public viewing as well as some personal paintings I have tucked away.
But, alas, I have still felt other artistic urgings begging for attention, and I think they were starting to feel forlorn that I hadn’t done something about it already!
Well, it was just a matter of time before I broke out of my transparent watercolor box and decided to try some mixed media, often a combination of transparent watercolor and gouache paint (which is more opaque in nature), as well as adding pen work with india ink.
Plus the subject matter that has been pining after me has been fashion focused whether garments, jewelry, or handbags and shoes, etc.
In the past year, I did do several pen renderings of my own jewelry and then I added a bit of watercolor marker for a colorful flair.
But recently, I decided to make space for a fashion rendering of a colorful fur jacket that I’ve had pinned to my inspiration wall for some time now.
Out came my gouache paints and my sketchbook, and I finally went to town with a paintbrush. I didn’t do any sketching ahead of time for structure or for figure work. I just started applying paint and ran with it.
After the initial gouache groundwork, the next day I used my Winsor Newton watercolor markers and Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pens for added depth and texture.
So this is basically my first attempt at rendering a fashion piece with paint and pen after many years of sketching/drawing fashions with pencil in my youth.
I was quite delighted with the result.
No, it isn’t perfect and I see my flaws. But it was a complicated piece and I’m satisfied with how it came together.
I’m sharing this with you, dear reader and friend, to show you the importance of making space for what is calling to you. Whatever it may be.
I know we all have busy lives. And we all fall into our ruts of sorts that we just naturally follow, until we feel that pining inside and finally decide to do something about it.
I’m glad I did. Yes, it took me a while from the time I pinned that image. But timing is everything.
And I did this rendering on the heels of another painting I just completed, that is a combination of transparent watercolor, gouache, and collage with card stock, which is another creative goal I have met.
Yes, in a sense, I feel like I'm on a roll with breaking out of the boxes I was in for a long time and really making space for the new.
It doesn’t mean I’m going to donate all of my time to those new ventures. I like dabbling. And I still have my go-to stippled watercolor painting I so love to do and have from the beginning of my watercolor journey that started almost 7 years ago.
My aim is to follow my intuitive heart wherever it may lead and indulge in what brings me the most creative JOY for my path.
What will your Creative Path pine for next?
Make a list of 10 ideas you want to follow. Which one is pining most for your attention right now? Start making plans to open up space for one or two ideas that you feel the most drawn to. Remember to keep it simple so it’s do-able and brings the most JOY.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Break out of your art journaling “box” and try a new approach to a spread that you’ve been wanting to try but simply haven’t made time for. See what this new approach opens up for you!
Draw a box and items in the box that that have been your go-tos, things you’ve been doing for a long time or using that you want to put aside for now.
Draw another box with the items that you are pining for or that are pining for your attention!
Subscribe to The JOY Finder here!
Get Creative with Dawn's Directives and Life Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts here!
Copyright 2017 Art Rendering by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Blog Text by Dawn Herring
Note: The image to the left is from Elle magazine and is copyright to them. Thanks for the inspiration, Elle!
In this video I host what I am now calling my JOYFest on Facebook Live, where we can share our JOY together in community and creative conversation. I share some news here at Refresh with Dawn Herring as well as what is currently giving me JOY. I share samples of my new Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts, as well as a peek into a new painting I'm working on with watercolor, gouache and collage. Plus more.
You are welcome to leave a comment below about what is bringing YOU JOY. I'd love to hear from you, dear creative person.
Subscribe to the JOY Finder here.
Listen to my Podcast, Refresh Daily, on SoundCloud here.
Purchase Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts here.
It's time for more Acronym fun, isn't it? I shared my September Acronym late in the month (better late than never, right?) so I'm back at it (albeit, late again...sometimes it take me over a week to remember we're in a new month!) with October's rendition, all with the purpose of initiating more JOY and Creativity in our daily lives.
Here is the acronym for October:
Make a list of the "creative" activities you have engaged in recently, wether in the last few days, weeks, or month. Note which activity you recall most clearly and the positive impact it had on your well being, bringing "restoration." Record it in detail.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Create a spread that shows what restoration or "rest" means to you and honor your creative space to reflect that essence.
Using your favorite doodle pen or other implement, create a doodle that focuses on the word "Restoration." and reflect on what that means to you. You may want to put the doodle in a frame to remind you of how your creativity enhances your well being.
I am so excited to share with you my new Podcast, Refresh Daily with Dawn Herring, and the first episode is titled, Observation is a Key to JOY. I'm sharing it in full video mode on my YouTube Channel so you can see the slideshow I created for it. Of course, it's not completely perfect, but I'm very excited to share with you what I've created so you can share in my JOY! I trust you will get inspired by listening. I've included an introduction, a jingle I wrote and sang, the topic content with prompts, and my concluding invitation.
If you'd like to read the text in addition to listening to the podcast episode, you can check it out here.
If you're interested in signing up for The JOY Finder, check that out here.
And you're welcome to leave a comment below letting me know how you liked it. :)
Thanks so much for being a part of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Finding JOY Takes Center Stage.
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 have a lot of fun with Acronyms! I created one for the Month of May in an earlier post, and now I've created a new one for July. Above you will see the video I posted on IG to share my acronym, plus I've included it below in text format so you can use it as a journaling prompt or simply a reminder to initiate more JOY.
Here's my Acronym for JULY:
See what you can do with this acronym! You can get creative in your journal, art journal, or sketchbook and/or create a doodle for it! Just have fun reminding yourself to initiate more JOY on a daily basis.
How can you unearth more JOY today? This Month? All summer?
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
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.
All 2016 2017 2018 5 Minute Refresh Acid Free Card Stock Acronym Appreciation Artists Art Journaling Art Journal Prompt Authenticity Awareness Back To School Birds Birthday Body Language Brayer Change Clothing Collage Color Contentment Costume Creative Conversations Creative Expectation Creativity Creativity Is A Gift Decision Making Design Doodle Dynamics Emotions Fabrics Facebook Live Video Family Fashion Filling Your Creative Well Food For Thought Fresh Perspective FUN Generosity Gift Giving Gretchen Rubin Halloween Handbag How Curiosity Can Enhance Our Creativity How To Gain Clarity In Challenging Situations How To Recognize Illusion When You See It How To Recognize New Growth Illustrated Birthday Doodle Illustration Intuition Jewelry Jill Winski JournalChat Live #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE Journaling Journal Prompt Joy JOYFest Layering Layering With Watercolor Listen To Your Intuition Memoir Merry Christmas Mindset Mix And Match Mocking Bird Modeling Paste Music Nurture October Oil Pastel Periscope Broadcast Physical Well Being Place Refresh Daily Audio Refresh Daily Book Review Refresh Daily Interview Refresh Daily Podcast Refresh Daily Rewind Refresh Daily Video Refresh Intensive Refreshment Refresh With Dawn Herring Self Care Sketchbook Sleeveless Blouse Staying Present The Birthday Wall Video Watercolor Why Documenting Your Life Is Important And Beneficial Winsor Newton Watercolor Markers Work Habits Your Authentic Path Your Creative Center Your Creative Practice