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
Hello folks! I was thinking about sharing some things that you, my dear readers, creatives, journal keepers and friends, may not already know about me that might surprise you.
Are you ready? Okay, here goes.
1. I was an early reader at the age of 4. Mom used to tell me that I was reading out of encyclopedias at that age even though I don't remember that part. I am an avid reader to this day.
2. When they did a scoliosis screening at my school when I was 12, they discovered that I had "uneven" shoulders. Later, when I went to a chiropractor for an exam at 16, Dr. Cantor (now deceased, but so kind and generous when he was present in this world) determined I had double curved scoliosis with an upper curve between my shoulder blades and a curve in my lower back which causes my hips area to be uneven. I am highly functional but I'm not one to go hiking or for long walks. And, of course, it would go without saying that I'm not athletic either (my sister fills that role as previous cheerleader in high school) although I have enjoyed games of badminton, ping pong and miniature hockey in game rooms!
3. I had the dream from the time I was 12 years old to be a recording artist, song writer and guitar player. I wanted to be in a live band as lead singer. I did go on to sing in two different worship teams and even played tambourine in one of them. And I also wrote enough songs for an album. And now I'm back to my music roots once again, singing and enjoying myself. I don't think I have a big voice by any stretch, but it does bring me JOY. (And I'm still waiting for a guitar player to offer to play my songs for me since I never did master the guitar myself. *wink*)
4. I used to copy my sister's homework when I was in elementary school and wanted "homework" like she had. I guess you could say I started "writing" at a young age. And of course, I still take notes on books I read and write reviews on ones that really hit the spot for me. And yes, I am one of those writers who has a novel written but not revised tucked away in a magazine box.
5. When I was in high school and early twenties, I sang solos and duets with my sister and another friend in a church setting (before my worship team experience). Whenever I would finish my one song, I was always raring to go to do a full concert of all my favorite songs.
6. My favorite color is orange red. I also love turquoise, lime green and mustard (or what I refer to as gold). I think my first favorite color was purple, then on to gray, and then khaki green. Now I love vibrant colors (as you may notice in my wardrobe pieces on Instagram!)
7. I absolutely LOVE Miniature Schnauzer dogs. Every time I see one, I get animated and point it out if I'm with others. I think they are so adorable with their cute furry faces! No, I would never want one of my own. I just admire them from afar.
8. I remember meeting an artist one day when I was a youth as I was taking a walk around the block where I grew up. She was drawing a female on sketch paper and the detail was intense and I loved it. I watched her draw a little bit of it as we both sat on a sidewalk bench. She saw how much I adored it and she gave it to me! I was so excited. I took it home and copied it as best as I could. I still have that treasure in my artist portfolio.
9. I was a member at Terrace Lake, a place I grew up at during the summers. They had three different slides, one in the kiddie area, one in the deeper section and one next to the diving boards where it was very deep. The highest slide was 25 feet. After being too frightened to go down that slide at 15 and 16, with the help of two friends (who I still care about deeply), I went down that slide when I was 17! I was elated! (and I enjoyed it on repeat all that summer.)
10. I do NOT like roller coasters, haunted houses or horror movies.
And here's an extra one that applies to my eating habits and my physical well being:
11. I went Gluten Free about 10 years ago due to an issue with iron absorption. I'm always pleased with new gluten free products when they become available for me to try, like mac and cheese, spaghetti, crackers, chips, and cereal. Most of them are either rice based or corn based with either flour or sprouted grain options. I have found the gluten free foods to be easier to digest and I love the taste of the corn and brown rice products.
So, there you go! Now you know a bit more about me! You're welcome to leave a comment below about things I may not know about you! Have fun with it.
And if you'd like to subscribe to get more blog posts in your email, simply sign up! And you will receive 3 Secret Keys to a More JOY-filled Life*!
*you will also receive The JOY Finder and 10 Steps into JOY.
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.
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. :)
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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