One of the things I often note with the issue of keeping a consistent journaling practice is the lack of relevance with what we write. Many folks start up keeping a journal but never find their particular groove of what really matters to them. They often find it depressing to write down how they're feeling or it just gets down right boring since they don't see their life as very interesting, maybe even not worth recording.
Of course, as host of #JournalChat Live for over 6 years, I beg to differ. Every life is worth recording because it's from your point of view, like no other, and your JOURNALING VOICE MATTERS. That's one of the reasons I determined to give folks a chance to share their journaling stories on their blogs and in social media statuses by offering to share their posts where #JournalChat is visible both here on my website (with reciprocating link) and here---> (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn).
Of course you are welcome to share how your journaling has had the greatest relevance to your life this year. Just follow the guidelines here.
With today's post, I wanted to share with you how my journaling practice has had the greatest relevance for me in 2016...
Although I keep a journal daily, with both am and pm entries, and with evening doodles to make it visually fun as well, there is one technique and purpose that has shown up in my journal pages this year that I think might be helpful to you as well.
One of my favorite techniques is making conversation, or what most call Dialogue. With who?, you may ask. Well, with just about anything or yourself (all parts of you). My aim with dialogue is focused on my personal well being on all levels. So when something isn't right on any of those personal levels, I will head to my journal to figure out what went wrong and what I can do to get re-aligned.
And you know what? I always get an answer to my dilemma. It amazes me what I learn just from asking the questions I want answers to. Of course, it's imperative that I actually do what I'm directed to with the answers I receive (within reason, of course). That's one of the reasons why I know keeping a journal can be a powerful tool to promote and initiate positive change that leads to personal empowerment.
You might think it odd to ask a question of yourself and actually get an answer. And maybe at first it feels a bit strange. But if you're serious about getting what you need, that's often a good prerequisite toward success. You may need to do it more than once if you haven't done it before. But, don't be shy. After all, it's your journal. And it's there for you to help you figure stuff out. And dialogue can be the perfect way to get you there.
When you actually do dialigue in your journal, just use the names to suit your situation, whether it's an emotion, a body part, a situation, a relationship or anything else you need clarity on.
Here's some dialogue to make you smile:
Me: Do you understand the value of talking to yourself (Your Higher Self) in your journal?
You: I'm not sure. I guess it's worth a try.
You betcha! (Enjoy the conversation and create positive change in your life!)
Is there a particular situation or pain you are experiencing that you need answers to? Record this situation in detail in your journal. Now begin a dialogue with the part of it that frustrates you or pains you the most and start asking questions. Pause for the answers, listening intuitively for what you need.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word Dialogue as your prompt, doodle conversation that has great meaning for you. Use images that validate how you feel about this conversation and what result you would like to see from the situation this conversation stems from to help you gain clarity.
I just love that word. It's something you feel on the inside that makes you want to do a happy dance, but only if you make space for it.
It's easy to allow the distractions of this life to fill up the space where joy can be felt and experienced.
What kind of distractions?
Well, let's see.
"Obligations" that aren't really the obligations that you think they are.
Conversations that are completely irrelevant to you.
Getting stuck in a rut that you've created for yourself.
Feeling boxed in by responsibility that you think you have to attend to at a certain time when you really don't have to. (This can feel heavy which is the opposite of JOY.)
Unnecessary activity that doesn't add to you or enhance your daily life experience.
So, what do you do with all this distraction?
I think the first step is recognizing what is a distraction in your life and how much space it's taking up. You may be surprised with how much room you can make in your life for the JOY you really want just by eliminating what isn't necessary and just focusing on what really matters to you.
You know what question I often ask myself when I want more JOY?
"What do you really want to do right now?"
You see, we often think we want things that we don't want when we really stop to think about it. If we're truly honest with ourselves, life can be much simpler and satisfying when we listen to our hearts.
And that makes sense since it's our heart that feels the JOY when we create it or when it happens spontaneously. Keeping our "ears" open for what is distracting us and taking action to remove or greatly reduce it can help us be more open to the JOY that awaits us with greater awareness and mindfulness of how we are spending our days.
I love it when I experience JOY in my heart when I choose to eliminate what is unnecessary and focus on what really matters. Then I know I'm truly aligned with Who I Am and I'm more able to leave my meaningful mark in the world.
List any and all distractions you currently have going on in your life. Determine the first one you will look to eliminate or greatly reduce to make more space for JOY. Take note of how you feel once that distraction has been dealt with and the space it makes for you to feel more JOY.
Art Journal Prompt:
Use the word JOY as an art journal prompt, showing and telling what brings you JOY. You can also create a spread expressing how you feel when you reduce the distractions in your life, honoring this positive change you have chosen for yourself.
I've been wanting to share with you something I've been experiencing in my creative practice that has given me some serious food for thought.
My Creative Practice consists of journaling, art journaling, doodling, intuitive watercolor painting, walks, and reading inspiring books as well as a deep spiritual practice that directly impacts all the other elements.
I've been keeping an art journal for five years (since 2011). I started with collage elements and watercolor, moved into stamping and a bit of stenciling, a dabble in transfers, then mostly just layering with watercolor and bit of collage to create fun, vibrant pages that speak directly to my heart.
In January of 2014, I started doodling a word or phrase that summarized my day in my evening journal entry and in November of that year, I started filling my doodles with watercolor markers.
I'm still trying to determine a shift I have felt in the frequency of my art journal time versus my daily doodling. I've tried to figure out if the energy I put in to my night doodles is "taking away" from my time at my art journal table.
I have noticed that my art journal spreads have been taking a lot longer to come together. Sometimes I'm simply not sure what the next step is or I don't have the energy/time to sit and do. I do still love to art journal, but I have noted this change in the frequency of my spreads. But another thought also occurred to me that the change I'm noticing in my art journal practice may simply be a reflection of how I am Processing what I am learning As I Create and that's why I'm not doing it as quickly. Some of my spreads have taken 3-6 weeks to complete, which has really surprised me. I still find my art journaling practice enjoyable and a great way to listen to my heart, so that's not the issue. But why the spread in time frames and lack of frequency?
So that's why I started looking at my daily doodle in the evening and how I've been making that a priority rather than my art journal practice being in its usual prominent space.
I have wondered and pondered about this for the past several months, have journaled about my thoughts on this matter, and thought I would share was seems like an apparent shift taking place in my creative practice.
So, it has given me some food for thought about the possible Shifts that can take place in our creative practice without our even realizing it at first. And how we might respond to such changes. Do we question it? Do we wonder, is this not working for me as well as it used to? Am I overloading myself? Expecting too much of myself? What's the deal?
Yes, I have asked all of these questions. And I think I've determined that it doesn't really matter how frequently I do any of my creative practices. (Although I did create a goal to paint with watercolor daily.) As long as I'm honoring Who I Am creatively every day, I'd doing good. As long as I'm listening to my heart, I'm on the right track.
These shifts may even reflect changes deep down on the inside of us, in the core of our being, showing us how we are growing and what is working for us. And that IT'S OKAY to let something we've been doing for a while not be as prominent as it once was while something else we are enjoying takes more center stage.
It's funny: I actually thought about my art journaling and my doodling competing with each other and vying for my attention. So, I suppose that's why it was sort of bothering me once I saw the change taking place. But, again, I realized, IT'S OKAY.
Our creative practice will have shifts that we create simply by following what interests us the most and what is speaking to our heart Right Now. And as we go deeper with what we are experiencing as we activate our creative center, we will notice growth and change naturally.
So, if you experience a shift in how you choose to be creative, simply see it as a reflection of Who You Are right now and just enjoy every minute of creating.
Have you ever experienced a creative shift and saw yourself doing less of one thing and more of another? How did that shift feel to you? Did it disturb or were you simply delighted with how you were spending your time? Why do you think this change took place, and were you happy with the shift?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Creative Shift, create a visual that shows any changes you have experienced in your creative practice and honor those stages to show what they have meant to you over time. You can also make a spread that showcases your favorite creative practice element right now and why you love it so much.
Copyright 2016 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2016 Header by Dawn Herring
I am excited to share with you my contribution to our January/February #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE (see link for details!) with our focused topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Investment.
I will share with you why journaling and art journaling have been 2 of the greatest investments in my life and what these practices have led me to as one of the Greatest Investments in my life, especially in the past five years.
As an avid written journal keeper, I have found numerous benefits in my daily entries as I've discovered more about myself, my life, my world.
But one of the biggest Investments my journaling practice has been for me is in direct connection with my creativity: It has been directly influential in giving me creative clarity and direction (combined with prayer/meditation) toward building my creative practice, which is essentially regularly engaging in journaling, art journaling, doodling, intuitive watercolor painting and other creativity-based activities that keep me connected with my creative flow and light.
Journaling has enabled me to hash out what works for me creatively and what doesn't. I can be honest with myself and determine what I love and what doesn't float my boat.
One of the Greatest Investments I have discovered as a RESULT of my journaling practice has been my Intuitive Watercolor Painting. I decided to start using watercolor 5 years ago when I first began working in a sketchbook/mixed media book to create visuals with paint, image and text, what I now call my Art Journaling practice.
Watercolor and Art Journaling came into my life at the same time and both of those practices have become essential in my creative life. With both activities, I can listen carefully to my intuition and to my heart, which enables me to understand myself better, on a deeper subconscious level, which is incredibly powerful. I have been amazed with what comes out sometimes.
My watercolor painting that I do daily has become a way to play with color and apply it in my own artistic approach, both using the stippling method (essentially, dots of color in layers) as well as other paintbrush applications. This process for me is relaxing, refreshing, revitalizing and FUN. I have found my artistic style using the watercolor medium and that makes me very happy.
Journaling, both written and visual, have been conduits of wisdom, deep understanding, insight, and help with making decisions, including investing time in myself every day, even if it's just 5 minutes.
I highly recommend a written journal keeping practice as well as a visual one to invest time in yourself this year. But one of my greatest wishes is for you to discover what makes you happy and practice it every day. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.
How has your journaling practice been a wise and beneficial investment in your life? Detail how your life has changed for the better as a result of keeping a written journal.
Also, detail how your journaling practice has led you to the greatest benefit of your life. How did you discover it and how often do you engage in it? How do you feel about it afterwards?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using the Greatest Investment as a prompt, create an authentic visual that honors what you love about art journaling or another activity that lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous. What do you love about it so much? Relish the process!
Here is my recent Refresh Daily Periscope Broadcast where I share 2 Reasons to Invest Time in Yourself in 2016, plus I discuss the #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE invite and then I give a Close Up View of my Intuitive Watercolor Painting, Flourish. Due to the video being based in Periscope, there are spots throughout where what I'm saying is cut out and it skips, but the message is still there! Enjoy.
As you can see by the title to this post, I'm starting a new series of doodle/art related posts in association with an Art Journal Challenge I signed up for called Color Me Positive. :) They post a new challenge each week, and our first one had the theme, Gratitude.
As I have already noted, this is an art journal challenge. But I did not choose to use my current art journal as my substrate of choice. No, instead I decided to go the Doodle route and use a page in my art sketchbook where I take notes, make headers for my blog and experiment.
With the challenge having a focus on gratitude, I decided right away that I didn't want to use the word, Gratitude, in my visual. Instead, I came up with a way of expressing gratitude using different terms, so I decided to use: Thank You Very Much.
Once I determined what words I would start with, I then considered what I would include for the items I am thankful for. The three (good number!) I considered and used are: Creativity (but, of course, right?), Love, and Connection with Spirit.
Of course, creativity includes all of my Creative Practice Elements: Art Journaling, Journaling, Doodling, Watercolor Painting, Collage, Walking, Reading, etc. My creative practice has had such a positive impact on my life that I want to encourage every person to build one of their own. It can be simply life-changing. Why? Because it gives you a way to express yourself, go deeper with yourself and understand yourself better. Plus, it's FUN. It's a way to Play. And we ALL need more PLAY in our lives!
The second one is focused on Love, which includes my relationship with my husband, my daughters, and my grandson, as well as others who are dear to me, both relationally and based in quality friendships. Love makes everything more meaningful and purposeful. Love never fails.
The third, yet most important, in my list is my Connection with Spirit. I wouldn't have anything at all without it. And it is the basis for everything I do. It's where my Intuition and Inner Wisdom come from, it's where my creativity finds its greatest strength, and how I keep the LIGHT ON in my life so I can see the next step on my journey.
As far as process goes, I determined I would use wavy lines as my framework, and then I drew in letters for my message, determining spacing and design as I worked my way through. Then I determined what sort of embellishments I would use to create visual interest as well as what colors I would incorporate to help express what I was feeling the most authentic way possible.
I really enjoyed the idea of bright sunshine where my Connection with Spirit was located since this is the Light that shows me the way with every step. The rest of the embellishments are focused on geometrics, with squares and diamonds and circles, molding to the shapes around them. I had a lot of fun with this design creation.
What would be your focus with the words: Thank You Very Much? What top three dimensions of your life would you include if you made such a visual? Why would you choose those elements over others? What do these choices say about what's most important to you?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Thank You, create a visual spread that incorporates what you valued the most in the past year and why it was priority in your life. Use images and text that show the most heartfelt message that comes to you in this creation to honor your heart and process as you play in your journal.
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
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
I am an avid nature observer, and my walks are the perfect place for nature-based adventure. I recently went on a walk, and as I trod the sidewalk, I noticed a vast amount of bird song; it was as if the whole neighborhood had gathered to talk about the delightful weather. It was such a pleasure to notice all the beautiful sound (it was like surround sound at its best!) that practically enveloped me and drew me in.
But it wasn't just the birds I heard that made that day such a delight. I also saw several butterflies along my path. You know, sometimes I honestly feel as if these butterflies come flitting about me to say hello, and that they don't just happen to be there when I arrive. And of course, I always return the greeting with great admiration, thus the photo above in the first image.
And I was lucky enough to get a good shot of my beloved mocking bird amidst all that delightful and joyful bird song, which you can see in the second image.
As I walked about listening and enjoying my surrounds, slowing down to take it all in, I managed to capture one of those birds in flight. As I considered my experience of walking in my neighborhood that day, it literally felt as if I was being invited into this intense energy of Rejoicing, like they simply could not contain themselves for their JOY of this beautiful day.
And dare I say, it felt Sacred to me. I do so love the birds and squirrels and butterflies and all the nature-based delight around me. It's so full of LIFE. And, really, there's nothing better than Life, is there? PURE, GROWING, LIVELY ENERGY that just fills the heart to overflowing with gratitude and appreciation for THIS DAY.
Yes, I found Myself Rejoicing right along with those wonderful birds; and I think that made them happy too somehow.
I also captured some of this delightful sound on video which you can listen to below. So, now, you can rejoice with us!
Have you ever found yourself being drawn into something delightful that just lifted your spirit and brought joy to your heart? If so, detail it in your journal, including the when, where, and who you were with if you weren't alone. Share how that made a difference in your day afterwards. Did it change your perspective?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word prompt, Rejoicing, create a visual to honor a time when something delightfully surprising crossed your path, using colors that rekindle that delight visually. Use photos/images if you have them to commemorate such an occasion.
The purpose of this video, Creative Curiosity, is to encourage the pursuit of curiosity paths to enhance your creative practice. I include journaling and art journaling prompts. I'm coming from my Dawn Herring Collection Art Studio where I sit to paint with watercolor to share with you my thoughts on curiosity and where it can lead to help us build a Creative Practice worth keeping.
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.
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