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.
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
The thing about Life is we are always growing. (Well, not physically once we reach the age of maturity...) We never stay the same. Even from day to day.
Our life experiences change us based on how we react to what happens and the decisions we make based on what we experience.
Growth can be a measuring stick of how we are changing for the better.
I have a certain path I often walk in the mornings for my time of exercise and getting a bit of fresh air. As I walk, I pass a certain floral bush (not sure if it's a rose bush or not) that I have observed in various stages of bloom.
There was a time in the spring, when it was full of floral delight. After it began to lose its petals, I noticed the change in the color as it decidedly turned brown with a bit of green leaves.
But recently, as I walked past it, I noted a few new flowers appear in a section on the bush. This came as a surprise to me, since it's wasn't all over the bush, just in one area. And it was New Growth in what appeared to me an unlikely place. After all, its autumn, not a time to grow, but lose.
This got me thinking about unlikely areas in our lives that may sprout new changes, like ideas you've never had before, a new color you're attracted to, or perhaps, an experience that changes you on a deeper level that you know you won't forget.
It's important to recognize that new growth; it may be easily overlooked since you're not expecting it.
But when you see it, it's a pleasant surprise.
Life is full of surprises; when we take the time to really pay attention to areas in our lives where we sense change, we can gain a clearer vision of actual Growth in our lives and celebrate it!
It's important to Honor these changes and areas of growth so we can recognize who we were and Who We Are Now.
And even still, we can actually look for ways to grow: perhaps breaking out of our comfort zones to try something new or do something we haven't done in a while but would really like to make time for. When we step out in this manner, we may see new growth, like rose buds, popping up and showing itself in all of its beauty.
Grow and Enjoy!
Note an area in your life where you have recognized new growth, whether in your relationships, in your emotions, in your work life, or in your spirit. Why do you suppose this new growth has appeared; what is it telling you about yourself and who you have become as a result?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Use an image of something that is showing areas of growth or use the words New Growth as a prompt for a visual, honoring an area of your life where you are growing and becoming more of Who You Are on a deeper level.
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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