I've been having some fun coming up with acronyms for the months of the year. I find them to be insightful into what really matters to me. Today I'm excited to share with you my new Acronym for September here at Refresh Daily.
The more often we take moments to be really Present, the more rest we will create for ourselves (instead of worry and fear playing games with our thoughts!), and perhaps, activate more daily JOY in our lives.
What does the word Rest mean to you right now? What does it look like? What are three things you can do to implement being more present and restful in your days.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Create a spread that really shows REST both with color, image, text or whatever feels the most restful to you. Be very aware of the moments as you create this spread, honoring where you need rest in your body, mind, heart, soul.
Create a doodle with the word Rest or Present and incorporate what they mean to you in the way you draw your letters.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
I wanted to share with you, my dear readers and friends, about an experience I had on my walk recently. I go on almost daily walks, weather permitting, for fresh air, exercise and for any adventures that may come my way, which I am always on the look out for.
During this particular morning, I was seeing evidences of the deluge of a rainstorm from the previous night--very windy with downpours. Typical Texas weather, of course.
So as I was journeying down the sidewalk, then crossed over for my way back to my place, I noticed the sidewalk plastered with leaves in a particular area. Apparently the tree on the nearby property took a bit of a beating and lost a bunch of its glory onto the sidewalk.
At first, I just glanced, noticed the textured and layering and then kept walking. But then I realized I could be missing out on something by not taking more careful note of what I was seeing. I believe this was an intuitive impulse I was feeling.
I am a huge proponent of listening to your intuition; it will often guide you into some unexpected places that you would otherwise miss, enriching your daily life experience. And I certainly didn't want to ignore this impulse--I didn't want to miss out on anything I may not be aware of.
So I took a U-turn on foot and retraced my steps. It's not often that I do this, but this time I felt compelled.
So I got my camera ready and started taking up-close shots of various areas where the leaves were congregating. I really enjoyed this process, being careful to really pay close attention to the color, the shapes, the layered effects of the leaves, and the mixed texture of leaves against grass and sidewalk with the colored stones mixed in.
In reality, for me, this was a fun filling-of-my-creative-well since, as an artist, I am always looking for images, textures, color and design for future reference in my creative work, especially with my watercolor paintings. You can never know where that infilling will lead. I really do need to trust this process, so I divulged myself and seized the moment. And I'm so glad I did.
I really saw this as an important lesson of recognizing those important nudges and not ever overlooking the smallest of creative impulses or opportunities to see what something could mean for me in any way possible. I followed my curiosity and enjoyed the process of absorbing the moment of unexpected creativity.
And honestly, I think maybe the leaves were happier because they gave me such pleasure which gave them even more value, off the tree and in places they might not particularly enjoy very much. (Most times I'm sure they just get stepped on and not noticed, especially in such an environment.)
I know it may seem odd to give what would be perceived as dead leaves with no life in them whatsoever personality and good thoughts. But when it comes to appreciating the beauty all around me and what it has to offer my creative expression, I think it's worth the good energy-based thoughts to what I come across to induce gratitude for the unexpected.
What we think really can make a difference in how we feel. And when we act on those intuitive impulses, we can more greatly experience the JOY of Being Alive. And that can give us the fuel to more readily and effectively leave our meaningful mark in the world.
Have you had an experience where your intuition gave you an impulse to do something you might not otherwise do? Did you follow it? If so, you were glad you did? What difference did it make for you? Would you do it again?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Intuitive Impulse, showcase visually a time when you enjoyed something special because you listened to the Voice within and followed your curiosity. Honor that process and the fact that you listened.
I love going for walks in my neighborhood. Although, right now, it is the middle of summer (in Texas), so I do try to get out earlier so I'm not dealing too much with the summer heat. BUT my walks are very important to me for several reasons. For one, it IS exercise! Yay! I enjoy being active, even if it's just a short time to get my legs moving. I also know it's important to get out into nature; it's a refreshment that I know I truly enjoy. But one of the most recent reasons I've wanted to go on my walk is to practice Staying Present.
When I first started walking in this neighborhood (which was just last year after a major move), I was so taken with the tree-lined streets, that I was fully absorbed whenever I would go out. And any nature-based action was just icing on the cake. Such as listening to and recording my local mocking birds with their delightful song, sometimes several of them going at the same time!
I would also be taken with the appearance of any mocking birds, whether directly on homes, on fences, on mailboxes or anywhere else they might be perched. Plus squirrels would often end up in the mix, especially when one would check me out and pose for pictures! Yes, all of these fun nature friends would keep me occupied while getting my footsteps in.
But in the past couple of weeks, I have noticed myself getting lost in thought, staying in my head, instead of being fully present with what was going on around me. So I decided to really pay attention to why I might be getting distracted from my surroundings. I suppose I could just be getting used to where I go, so I'm not paying as much attention.
I often find myself thinking too hard about whatever project I might be working on, or maybe a conversation I had with someone, or what my next blog post would be about! Ha! (In other words, I'm sometimes thinking about YOU, Dear Reader!)
What is one to do about Staying Present?
I'm making it a point to notice when I drift off into my head and Get back to center after I've clarified whatever point I was trying to make or problem I was trying to solve and move on to my surroundings once more.
I think it's all about awareness. Most of us don't even realize when we are lost in thought or when we're not really paying attention to what's going on around us. It's as if we're on auto-pilot. Not exactly fun and certainly not Present!
It also helps to Look Up...into the trees, listening for bird song and being very deliberate about where I put my attention. I also sometimes think about my feet and the process of walking itself (something else we usually do on auto-pilot).
Where we focus can make all the difference in helping us Stay Present.
Describe the last activity you did on auto-pilot. How did you feel about that task afterwards?
Now describe the last activity you did when you were fully present? What do you remember about what you did and how you felt as you engaged in this activity? Would you do it again? Did you find it more enjoyable than the task you did on auto-pilot? Why do you think you focused more on the latter activity as opposed to the first activity? How best do you Stay Present?
Art Journaling Prompt:
What color is helping you stay present right now? Use it in an art journal spread and listen to what that color says to you. What image is helping you stay present right now? Use that image as a focal point in this art journal spread and determine what that image is saying to you right now. Use that message and either cut out letters to spell it out or stamp with with alpha stamps. Or doodle it with markers and pens.
You can also use the words, Stay Present or Staying Present, and use that as your focal point.
Stay Focused and Pay Close Attention to what helps you Stay Present. And Honor it in your life in whatever way keeps you centered and aligned with Who You Are.
@Copyright 2015 By Dawn Herring
@Copyright 2015 Photo Images By Dawn Herring
@Copyright 2015 Doodle Header Image by Dawn Herring
Dawn engages in many roles, from Writer and Artist to Creative Visionary and Strategist as well as Social Media Director, basing her Strategies from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and Host of #JournalChat Live for all things journaling on social media, offering encouragement and information to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on journal keeping, artistic expression, positive change, and personal empowerment leading you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a watercolor and collage artist, daily doodler/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 Skip-Generation Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. Have a fab day and may joy find you in the most unexpected places.
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