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*!
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Observation: A Key to JOYRead Now
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
JournalChat Live FB Video: Why it is important to have relevance in your journaling practiceRead Now
Here is the video replay from my first #JournalChat Live Facebook Video in our private group. I share how my journaling practice is relevant for me in my intuitive watercolor painting practice as well as in discovering life patterns where I want to create positive change. Plus I share news about my website, my blog, and social media and the ongoing #JournalChat OPEN HOUSE which you can contribute to right now.
Here are some links in connection with what I shared in the video:
JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE
21 Day Refresh Intensive
My post on Dialogue called Making Conversation
Record any life patterns that are making you feel stuck and use dialogue to ask questions and get answers. Use alternating hands: dominant for the question and non dominant for the answer.
Art Journaling/ Doodle Prompt:
Use a page or spread in your art journal or create a doodle that emphasizes a life pattern you want to change and what you want it to look like in your re-alignment.
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!
So, here we are at Back to School Time. Where the school supplies are in abundance (Stocked up on those trusty composition notebooks of course!) and the kids are getting ready to start classes to get them one step closer to graduation, to meeting goals, to establishing what their direction will be and to figure out their purpose.
This time of year can also be a source of inspiration toward life-long learning and activating self-discovery as we choose to go deeper into Who We Are. As we watch the kids gets their school supplies, clothes and gear gathered, we can also be inspired by what motivates us and where our curiosities are bringing us. This can enable us to learn something new about ourselves, which can lead to more self-appreciation as well as motivation to initiate positive change.
As an artist, I am constantly looking for inspiration by taking photographs, looking through magazines, and watching videos, reading inspiring blog posts, articles and reading books and also listening to podcasts.
And I often find it!
And when I do, I get excited and motivated to look more closely at my own motivation, direction and purpose as a creator.
One thing I've already learned in my life-long pursuit of educating myself about Who I Am and What My Purpose Is is to always be willing to make a change when it's needed, with no apology, no second guessing.
When I see what is working, I look to expand on that. When I see what isn't working, I start journaling, connecting with Spirit and determining what my next step is.
Life is constantly changing, just like our kids and grandkids do as we see their growth and feel proud of their accomplishments as they learn about Who They Are, what talents they possess, and how they can leave their meaningful mark in the world.
And because of that flux of change, we need to always be looking for new opportunities to grow, to create, to discover, to go deeper.
That's why I love my creative practice so much. Each activity I choose to engage in, as often as I choose to engage in it, is another way of learning about myself, giving myself space to think, dream, love, discover, follow "rabbit holes" of curiosity, and learning to be more flexible with myself with what I choose to do, what supplies I choose to work with, and with what I choose to express myself.
It's easy to fall into a creative rut, doing the same thing over and over. That's when it's good to change things up, be open to new possibilities and try new things, things that excite your heart and make you want to do a happy dance.
And a happy dance in just the beginning. Who knows where our creative practice can lead us, what new places we have yet to explore and what new inspiration will come across our path and lead us into a new love?
See yourself as a student of your Creativity; see what it has to teach you; listen carefully and relish each moment. No, not everything we do has to be "just so." Stay open to making mistakes (If you perceive them that way) and not being completely satisfied with the job you did. That's okay. It's all a learning process.
I think one of the key issues is being True To Yourself.
Honor Your Preferences. Pay Close Attention to Your Intuitive Nudges. Follow Those Curiosities.
What Life Message can you glean from each creative experience, each creative act, each creative project, each creative journey?
Enjoy each creative moment, whether you're going solo or sharing it with your kids or grandkids. Let Life Teach You and Relish the Learning.
What does your creative practice teach you? What have you learned about yourself, your creative work, your world? What is the most recent creative experience you've had and what did it show you about yourself? What positive change can you initiate based on what you now know? Celebrate in your journal what you've learned!
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a Back to Your Creative Practice spread, using images of creative projects you've completed and what they have taught you about yourself. Or dream on the page about what you want to learn and try that is new for you.
And if you're wanting to go a bit deeper into Activating Your Intuition, Honoring Your Preferences and Listening to Your Life Messages, you're welcome to check out my 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course.
Copyright 2016 Dawn Herring
Refresh Daily: RevealedRead Now
I love noticing the changing elements in the landscape around me when I go on my walks. Nature always has something interesting and insightful to teach me if I keep my eyes and ears open to spirit. As autumn commenced, I found myself highly inspired by the beauty of the leaves around me and have taken many an image to commemorate these occasions, which I have shared right here at Refresh Daily.
On one of these occasions, I began to notice the bareness of the trees hailing winter and the change of the seasons as they ought. One thing that caught my eye was the evidence of bird activity in the trees left behind after the season of calling, singing, mating and teaching their young to fly.
I was absolutely fascinated with what I saw: remnants of the nests so intelligently and strategically built by our feathered friends, many of whom, I assume, could be mocking birds! What a thrill with this discovery of a season past with all of its purposeful activity.
It got me to thinking about seasons and what they can reveal to us about ourselves and the impact we have on our world every day. You may not give much thought to the affect your actions, words and thoughts have on others around you... and the positive impact your talents, gifts and love have had over time. It can be hard to see if what we are doing from day to day is making any difference at all.
It is often after seasons have passed, that we begin to see the evidence of our love, consistency, patience, kindness and care we have practiced day after day. And when we see it, we ought to celebrate with furver!
Never discount the VALUE of what you provide and the importance of your perspective, your point of view, your story and your mark that you are leaving in the world.
Perhaps the nature and nurture of the feathered lovelies I had the privilege of engaging with and observing in my neighborhood can be a touchstone of purpose and tangible proof that what we do really does matter. And as we go from season to season, we can look back with appreciation on who we were then and who we are now, ready to move in love and authenticity as we stay aligned and do our best each day.
What season of life are you in right now? Is it a positive time for you? A Challenge? When you look back on previous seasons, what do you see and what changes do you recognize in yourself from that season to this one? What positive change do you want to make and how can you show yourself appreciation for a job well done?
Using images of trees, birds or nests, create an art journal spread to honor the season of life that has great meaning to you. You can also use the word, Revealed, as a jumping point to consider what your current season of life is showing you about yourself. Appreciation for what you contribute can be a focus for an encouraging spread. Honor where you are and who you are and 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.
My youngest daughter, Hannah, recently had her 21st Birthday; so it gave me pause as to how I would celebrate with her creating a visual like I've done for the past 11 years. But I found that my circumstances had changed a bit since I did the last one (no color printer and not as much time to prepare).
Over the years as I've created these birthday collages (you can read more about The Birthday Wall here) the approach has morphed and changed to reflect their age, their interests and my approach to my presentation.
What started with a glorified birthday banner (which you can read about in my e-book, The Birthday Wall: Create a Collage to Celebrate Your Child), moved into a full 3 foot by 3 foot space on their bedroom wall to showcase their interests and their personality in full color; then I got a bit more creative. Last year I used a manila file folder, covered in gesso primer, and then created a layered collage that looked similar to my art journaling process for my eldest daughter, Sarah's 23rd birthday.
Then I decided to use a binder notebook for Hannah's birthday last year when she turned 20, which I share about here. Many pages with layered colored construction paper and images later, she had her Birthday Binder.
But this year, I decided I didn't want to use any past approaches, since I am also dabbling with some super FUN art forms, including doodling, which is essentially playing around with black pen, Winsor Newton Watercolor Markers and creating illustrated designs with words, phrases and objects. So after thinking on it a bit, I decided to create what I eventually called an Illustrated Birthday Doodle.
I used one sheet of acid-free card stock paper in a neutral color and a waterproof black Uniball pen and Winsor Newton Watercolor Markers. I decided on a layout that would work with her name, Hannah Joy, her new age of 21, plus various favorites from song lyrics to foods to hobbies. I also included important memberships to organizations, her college related info and her website, byhannahjoy.com, which is The Stressed Out College Student's Destination.
I must say that I had a lot of fun creating this gift for Hannah; I love drawing and creating illustrations without too much planning ahead of time; the entire process was intuitive and I just went with the flow. Hannah considers it a grown-up version of The Birthday Wall, so that's makes it the perfect gift for her right now.
And that leaves me content and satisfied as we celebrate Hannah's 21st birthday and her year ahead.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Birthday Images by Dawn Herring
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.