With all that we hear about algorithms, whether it's with social media, email, investing, or any other sector of the market place, timing seems to be everything. There always seems to be something that needs to be kept a close eye on in order for us to gain traction, make progress or make us feel like we're getting somewhere, otherwise, we can just feel like a hamster on a wheel, going around in circles.
This often occurs because we're not centered, grounded or aligned with Who We Are, but instead, we're focused on everything else around us, which can be confusing, disorienting and downright frustrating, especially when we feel like we've missed the mark somewhere and haven't cracked the proverbial nut.
It's time to get out of the "rat race" of expectation, obligation and frustration and come back to ourselves. Paying attention to our own creative rhythms, to our intuitive nudges, to those signals and signs that tell us to slow down or even STOP when necessary.
That's why it's so important to get QUIET so we can hear what our inner wisdom is telling us instead of just listening to the Noise that never stops.
When we choose to Deliberately Tune In to that Inner Guidance, our GPS of the soul, we will see and feel a very different picture, one that is calm, orderly, creative, fun, restful, relaxing, healing and just Right.
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to Tune In and really find clarity on what needs to be let go of so I can Make Space for more of what brings me JOY and what Energizes me. That's how I create my own Personal Algorithm rather than allowing outside influences to dictate how I spend my time and energy. As I do this, I begin to see more clearly what direction to take so that I don't become overwhelmed and depleted.
(Click on either image below to get The ART of Journaling Toolbox and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book and find out more of what you'll receive. Take your journaling practice to the next level and never be bored again!)
Recently I did some investigating in my journal (in connection with a card pull I did for clarity on abundance--see this link to find out more about my card decks) and followed up with two specific lists I wrote, one for what brings me JOY and one for what Energizes me. I have shared this list below to give you an idea of what really matters to me. Perhaps you'll want to journal your own lists. (One of my power tools in my Toolbox!)
My List of What Brings Me JOY
Connecting with another who focuses on JOY
Connecting with another who also keeps a journal
Hearing affirming words from my spouse
Delicious food I cook for myself
Jewelry that enhances my attire
An Empowering and/or amusing message I relate to
Design ideas that light me up
Having Creative Conversation when we get to the Heart of it
Positive feedback on my offerings
Song Writing and playing my tambourine
In the above video I share my JOY with wearing white and some thoughts about intuitively dressing.
Wardrobe JOY is another to add to my list!
My List of What Energizes Me
Resonating Engagement with folks on Social Media
Watching Bird Flight
doodling which is also relaxing
Laughing with my spouse
When someone shares my content
Listening to inspiring music that empowers
When I gain traction from action
Looking at art that inspires me
So, there you have it. These lists Inform where my energy should go and in what form they should take. I must take this list deeply to heart and really listen to what it tells me. I must be honest with myself about what needs to be changed in order to make Space for what is on these lists.
That means letting go of my own expectations and perhaps, the expectations of others. Sometimes when we say no to something, someone ends up disappointed. But self-care is of primary importance and should not be relegated below what could appear to be an obligation.
Instead, I take action to create the proper shift in my energy, my mindset, my emotions, and in my soul and spirit, to align more fully with Who I Am in all of my life dimensions. And that includes asking myself what I have been neglecting so I can tend to what matters most.
Make your own list today and see what it is telling you. Listen carefully. And then take action to make whatever change is necessary to align with your own personal algorithm. And let go of the one that is no longer serving you, even if you created it for yourself. I give you permission to make these changes without guilt. I know how hard it can be to say no when you've been saying less for too long. Release yourself and be personally empowered.
And May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
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.
Copyright 2018 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. :)
Note: If you are interested in listening to the audio of Self Care: Optional or Essential, please click here.
Here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, Self Care is at the TOP of our Priority List every day. That means, you're engaging in something you love every day, initiating your spirit being lifted, leaving you feeling fabulous, full of energy and ready to roll with your daily life tasks because you're taken care of yourself.
But the question is, are you making self-care a priority? Do you still see time for yourself doing what you love as optional rather than essential, vital, and necessary for your well being?
I would like to share with you my Top Ten Reasons to Make Self-Care Daily (and without guilt!!)
1. Self Care Boosts Your Immune System. Yes! You will actually benefit from greater health on all levels as a result of making Self Care a Priority. I know that motivates me to keep it going!
2. Self Care Gives Energy. Obviously a healthier immune system will initiate more energy in your body. And the more energy you have, the better you enjoy life.
3. Self Care Aids in Appreciation of Self. Do you appreciate yourself for Who You Are? When you engage in any kind of self care, it gives you the impetus toward really seeing yourself and appreciating what you see (perhaps instead of beating yourself up, comparing yourself to others, etc.)
4. Self Care Helps you see your Value. This goes hand in hand with self-appreciation. It can be easy to overlook what you contribute to your immediate environment of family, friends and outwardly to your community. Taking this step can initiate prevention of undervaluing yourself and what you do every day.
5. Self Care Enhances your Physical Well Being. With your immune system boosted, and your energy lifted, you're enabled to boost your physical activity, doing what you enjoy to get your blood moving and those endorphins activated to make you feel fabulous! Not to mention the health benefits of being active!
6. Self Care Initiates Stress Relief. When you engage in what you love, often what is currently on your stress radar fades into the distance as you enter the "Zone." And the more often you engage in self care, the less stress you have. Motivating, isn't it?
7. Self Care Enables Self Expression. Being able to express yourself and use your "creative voice" in whatever way lifts your spirit can really give you new ways of enjoying how you see life and how you like to share that view. And your unique "take" is different from anyone else's. And that's what the world needs!
8. Self Care Opens your Creative Flow. As you make self care a daily priority, you will see an increase in your creative ideas which can really activate some fun, inspiring action! Who wouldn't want to tap into all of that? I know I do!
9. Self Care Makes a Way to Give to Yourself. When you care for yourself regularly, you are essentially giving to yourself what you deserve: Time, creative impetus, greater value of what you contribute. You really begin to see what you've been missing and can feel like you've hit the jackpot! And when you give to yourself, then you have more to give to others. See self care as oxygen to your life dimensions. You will see growth, positive change and all kinds of good things!
10. Self Care Helps you Learn to Love Yourself. You begin to see all the ways you benefit from putting yourself first as you're feeling good, you're looking good, you're experiencing more JOY, more Happiness, a greater sense of well being and value, and your soul feels nurtured and alive.
And here's a bonus one for ya!
11. Self Care Reduces Depletion. Instead of ending up exhausted, irritable, and even resentful and angry that you have nothing left to give since you haven't given to yourself, you make way for rejuvenation, which re-energizes you. Don't wait till your depleted. Make it a daily priority so you can experience all the goodness Self Care brings to your life table.
Journaling Prompt: What does Self Care mean to you? What is the first thing that comes to mind that really showcases self care from your point of view? Let your Intuition guide you as you make a list of at least 10 ways you can initiate self care in your every day life. Start today with your favorite one!
Art Journaling Prompt: Create a Spread using Self Care as your prompt and use the colors that inspire you toward loving and caring for yourself. You can use images as collage pieces that show specific self care actions to inspire you.
Doodle Prompt: Create a fun visual using Self Care as your starting point, making fun and spontaneous marks on the page and see where it takes you.
I want to leave you with this song, The Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston, that is kind of an anthem here at Refresh with Dawn Herring since it truly shows the value of Loving Yourself and why it's so important to take care of yourself. Truly, when you do, it leads to positive change and opens up your Personal Empowerment like never before. (See? Two more reasons right there!) Listen and Enjoy. And then go do something right now that makes you feel fabulous!
Copyright Text 2017 Dawn Herring
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.
Here is the audio version of my book review for Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley.
Dawn's Great Reads: Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley
I discovered Flora Bowley through her first book, Brave Intuitive Painting, which I adored. Being an intuitive watercolor painter, I was immediately drawn to Flora's approach to painting and also to life.
So, when I heard that she had a new book out, Creative Revolution, I decided to check it out and see what else she had to share about this intuitive painting process and intuitive life in general.
And I am so glad I did!
Flora's zest for an authentic creative life is very inspiring to begin with. And her intuitive painting process really resonates with me as an artist. So I thought I would share my thoughts with you concerning her book, Creative Revolution, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading and digesting.
Flora breaks the book down into three parts reflecting the dimensions of life concerning mind, body, and spirit and how each of those dimensions directly impacts the creative process and the creative life.
She shares insightful parts of her own creative story, and she generously shows her painting process from start to finish.
She has provided many insightful and eye opening exercises to help you get in a better frame of mind as you ready yourself for the creative process.
She addresses the mind, the body and the spirit and shows how they complement each other and how they influence each other in a very positive way. And she also explains the importance of paying attention to each of those dimensions and addresses issues that you may find yourself facing that create challenges for your creative process.
I find her unique approach to the actual painting of the canvas to be interesting, fun, and eye-opening. Her primary medium is acrylic paint which makes the layering process very spontaneous and has ease of use. It's amazing to see how complex and dynamic her paintings develop through this many layered process.
I also like the fact that she turns the painting in order to provide a fresh perspective on what's already there on the canvas. It can help with the problem of painting yourself into a box!
As an intuitive watercolor painter, I am more deeply experiencing a new approach with gouache, and since it has a more opaque application versus transparent watercolor, it would be interesting and fun to try this layering process with gouache and see where it might lead!
I highly recommend this book due to Flora's deep insight into the creative process with mind, body and spirit.
I'm sure that it will encourage you, inspire you, and give you some new ideas to run with in your creative process. Flora also includes many images from her live workshops and from her personal painting practice, which is beautifully done.
What brave step are you eager to take in your creative practice to enhance your every day life? What does that look like for you? Detail this in a journal entry and determine what small step you can take that will open up new pathways for you.
Art journaling/Doodle prompt:
Using images that inspire your creative mind and heart or/and using brave as a word prompt, create an journal spread or doodle that showcases your dreams in your creative life.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Book review Header by Dawn Herring
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My Acronym for May!
I originally posted this on Instagram but decided to share it with you here at Refresh Daily so you wouldn't miss this great JOY tip!
I have created an acronym for the month of May:
Ask yourself what?
What brings you joy!?
And you can begin asking yourself that question by starting with your personal preferences.
This can be applied anytime you choose what you will eat, wear, read, watch, listen to, etc.
And as you choose joy each time you engage in something in your day, you're training yourself to choose joy and to attract more joy into your every day life! ☀️❤️☺️
This will help you build more confidence in your decision making skills when it comes to things that have more gravity to them, such as relationships, your work, and other areas of your life where you have to make choices that will impact other people too. ❤️👍☺️
So, don't forget to ask yourself what brings you joy!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
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.
As the creator of a 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course, I wanted to get a Fresh Perspective on the course content and decided to engage with it once again. One of the things I appreciate about Refresh Intensive is the fact that it's evergreen, so it never grows old. We change every day, so each time we engage with questions we can answer or an activity that can show us something about ourselves, we can learn something new and profound.
I wasn't disappointed! I was quite amazed with the discoveries I made throughout the course; it really did reveal things to me I was unaware of and it also clarified and affirmed some things I've experienced before.
I don't mean to make this post an info-mercial for my course. My purpose is to simply share with you how I benefited from the journaling and other activities I engaged in and why I think it was a good investment of my time.
First, I determined to do each day's Journaling either before or after my usual personal journaling since it seemed to fit and resonate with that time the best. I was fresh and ready to dig in at that time, so I could get the most out of it.
One of the things I really love about each day's content/engagement are the options for further reflection and activity, such as art journal prompts, poetry ideas and more, and I felt like I could just run with something that really resonated and not feel obligated to do something that didn't interest me.
I think the use of COLOR was the most FUN element in whatever context it was contained in. I found the music topic to be revealing and even profound as I worked through the questions.
I think really focusing on my preferences and why I loved what I was drawn to so much helped me appreciate my own personality on a deeper level because of what I learned about myself in the process.
I've shared an image of items I found during two of my "Field Trips" I did for those portions of the course.
I had a great time following the directions and questions about my Field Trip experiences and what they had to teach me on a deeper level. I was surprised by how much I learned from these activities.
Journaling is a powerful tool that I use daily, and yet, engaging in the journaling exercises in this course showed me things I might not have otherwise discovered if I hadn't worked through those specific processes. I answered the questions as honestly as I could and I think that really initiated a more profound and enlightening "opening up" to Who I Am in the process.
Each activity truly gave me food for thought. And as I looked back on each one during my Wrap Up time, I was freshly appreciative of what I learned and look forward to going even deeper in the days ahead.
There are suggested ways to extend each activity, if it especially resonated with you. I found this especially helpful in the EMOTION days and the DECISION MAKING activities.
Of course, COLOR is a part of my daily life as a watercolor painter, so using it in a fresh context really made it fun and insightful and revealing into deeper dimensions of Who I Am.
I really look forward to more insights, reveals and fun fabulousness as I engage once again with a Refresh Intensive, with the purpose of always Activating My Intuition, Honoring My Preferences and Listening to my Life Messages. I always want to know what my Life has to say to me!
Creating Awareness and Appreciating Myself For Who I Am are key elements to Refresh Intensive, not to mention being personally empowered by recognizing things that I didn't realize before where positive change can be initiated toward a more refreshed life.
What specific choice can you make for yourself right now that will create more awareness of your preferences? How can you celebrate specific elements of your personality? What there something you did today especially that you can celebrate as a direct result of a choice you made today to honor your preferences?
Art Journal Prompt:
Create an art journal spread to show appreciate for a specific aspect of your personality that you don't normally like to pay attention to and give it homage. Do this from the heart without hesitation.
You're welcome to check out my 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course to see how it might benefit you.
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
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.