For those of you who prefer to listen to my Joy Filled Content, I have created Refresh Daily Podcast. This is audio with visuals for those who like to watch as well. For this Episode Two, the topic is Present JOY, both for the holiday season and every day. I originally recorded to main audio from a video greeting I included in my Christmas Edition of The JOY Finder, my newsletter, but I wanted to make it available to all for your creative and joy-filled benefit. EnJOY!
You're welcome to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for future Episodes of Refresh Daily Podcast.
You're welcome to subscribe to The JOY Finder.
You're welcome to view 7 Steps to Creative Clarity to see if it might be the perfect Holiday Gift for YOU or someone you love.
You're welcome to view Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts and see if it might be the perfect Holiday Gift for YOU or someone you love.
Creativity is one of my favorite subjects. So when I heard a creative reflection, How has Creativity Changed Me?, offered by Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios, I decided to share this reflection with you, my dear readers.
I've always had a creative vibe since I was a child, drawing pictures of animals, people and faces over the years. Then I discovered watercolor (Yay!) about 6 years ago at the same time I started art journaling. I continue to enjoy daily doses of painting with watercolor as well as doodling in my personal journal each evening to summarize and honor my daily experiences.
My creative practice, which includes journaling, doodling, painting and writing as of right now, has given me a gift.
Do you know what that gift is? JOY.
Yes, JOY. Joy is a high vibration sensation and emotion that nothing else can trump. It comes from within. But I believe my creative practice elements give much greater space for JOY.
And JOY changes a person from the inside out. It lifts my spirit and makes me feel whole inside.
When I paint, the process of paintbrush to paper or canvas is an utter delight that exudes JOY. That's why I go back to it daily. Who wouldn't want to do that, some thing that enhances life so faithfully?
When I journal, I listen. I learn. I ask questions and get answers to how to create positive change where I need it most. And that positive change initiates JOY.
And sometimes just thinking about the JOY my creative practice brings gives me JOY!
You know what else gives me joy? Listening to the mocking bird sing. Listening to my grandson sing!
When I look at life through creative eyes, (which I find it difficult NOT to do), JOY is usually very close by ready to lift my spirit and leave me feeling fabulous.
Creativity is a GIFT that keeps on giving and bringing JOY that is full and lovely and oh-so-worth-it!
What brings you JOY? What thing can you do every day that will lift your spirit and make you feel whole? Make a list and then choose something to do right now that will enhance your day. YOU DESERVE IT.
Art Journal Prompt:
Use the word JOY as a prompt, choosing colors that bring you joy. You may want to doodle the definition of JOY and/or doodle what brings you JOY from your journal list. EnJOY!
Copyright 2016 Dawn Herring
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 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.
I'm excited to share with you an interesting story that took place right in my neighborhood. I was on my way back home on my walk, when I noticed several birds on the sidewalk and lots of bird noise. Note the use of the word NOISE. Mocking birds don't just sing; they also have a warning sound they use when they are defending their territory; and that's the kind of noise I heard. So I was thinking I was running into a bird fight of sorts. But as I approached the area very slowly and started taking the photos you see below, I realized this wasn't a bird fight at all. As I saw the birds up close, I noticed how TINY they were; they were BABIES! I was absolutely delighted to realize that what I had the honor, really, to see, was a Mama Mocking Bird teaching her babies to fly! What a thrill!
I've never seen baby bird flying lessons before and to see them up-close and in person was a sight to see. The babies were so adorable with their short, fluffy wings and their chirps as they answered their Mom who was flying about, restless, and yet purposeful, landing on one side of the house where they were located and then on the other side, as you can see in the photos above.
And you know what? That flying lesson was very short in duration, thus, when I took the video below, the babies were no longer visible and I just caught the Mama bird as she was flying above, perhaps looking for them to see where they went.
What I learned from this experience, dear readers, is that what you think might be a danger or trouble up ahead, like what I thought was a possible bird fight, may not be that at all; it may be disguised as a Life Opportunity to learn and grow right where you are so you can become Who You Are Meant To Be. Life can sometimes look intimidating, even a little scary, like stepping outside our comfort zone. And it does take courage to step into something that has, perhaps, a lot of variables you're not too sure about; but once you start, things will start falling into place as they are meant to. And you can learn so much about yourself when you enter new territory, being gentle with yourself as you go, not pushing so hard, that you become overwhelmed. Always remember to pace yourself. And as you do, you will be amazed as to how far you come and find the whole process rewarding.
I was so delighted to have seen these unexpected Flying Lessons as I learn a few of my own along the way.
Is there a circumstance or opportunity you are hesitant to step into because it looks too intimidating? Record what you are afraid of; it's important to know for sure whether it's an actual danger or if it's simply so new, that you're feeling unsure. See what intuitive nudges might present themselves and do a pro and con with it to see what shows up. If you feel better from this fresh perspective, perhaps it's a Flying Lesson you can really learn from as you grow creatively.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word prompt, Flying Lesson, express yourself visually to honor a time when you felt like you were flying after feeling unsure of something new you were delving into; or simply explore your feelings from the journaling prompt above. Perhaps use an image of your favorite bird as a starting off point.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Image Copyright 2015 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.