Hello dear friends, subscribers, journal keepers, creatives, artists, small business owners! It's great to be with you again here in this New Year of 2019!! Happy New Year to you all!
With this new year having begun and moving at a quick pace (always, right?), I have managed to determine a focal word, which I have done for 6 or 7 years now, most of the time it having a positive impact on my focus for the year.
For this year of 2019, My Word is SPACE. I shared briefly about this word choice with my subscribers to The ART of JOY. Click the image to sign up if you're not already! (Then you'll also get The ART of Journaling Tool box, filled with 7 Power Tools for your journaling practice to help keep it relevant, revealing and renewing!)
I wanted to go more in depth into what the word Space means for me and why I chose it.
Space can connote making space for something--such as creative time in my studio, or time to write and sing with my tambourine, or watching a movie if I want to.
Space can also suggest room for Quiet: the space where I sit in stillness, meditate and relax. To me, this is imperative. I began this practice more regularly last year in connection with my spiritual practice of prayer/meditation/singing/study and songwriting. This time is stillness has been profound, so SPACE is a huge initiator for that time of Quiet. In this fast paced world, Quiet seems so foreign, doesn't it? That's why we have to choose to make space for it. And when in meditation, that space can infiltrate into our thought process, leaving room for peace and JOY.
Space can also suggest to me the area around me literally; whether in my office, my studio, or in my private space in my bedroom. It can mean honoring my preferences with what I see, hear and feel around me. Color, texture, books I love, and even my small clock that sits on my desk so I can see what time it is at a glance.
When I think of my bedroom, the word Comfort comes to mind. Soft blankets, fluffy pillows, comfortable bed linens, and a place for all my essentials, such as my journal, my markers and pens, my lap desk, and my PJs. What feels good to me is important; I have found myself asking myself, what brings you comfort? And I really pay attention to that. My throw that I use in my bed looks like a leopard print and it feels as soft as a cat's fur! (I don't currently have a cat so it's a nice side effect.) So I really enJOY using it.
Did you know that writing in my journal actually comforts me? Especially when I want to express angst, disappointment, or struggle that I'm dealing with currently. I feel better afterwards, because I feel heard, even though it's just me speaking in my personal journal; or it may just seem that way since, for me, it's also my sharing with my Higher Self as well, which is important to me.
Perhaps you would derive more comfort through a journaling practice, if you don't already have one.
Just click on the image for The ART of Journaling Tool box to help you get started or to get a boost when you need it most! Those 7 Power Tools are my go-to to keep things fresh, fabulous and fun!
Choosing the word SPACE can also suggest making room for Curiosity--giving myself "permission" to follow something that interests me, whether watching a video, searching for a book title I'd like to check out, or looking at art that inspires me. There are so many ways I can honor Who I Am as an Artist, and making Space for my Curiosity is important to me. Especially when it comes to stuff others around me have no interest in. What really matters is that I have interest.
I love viewing other's journal page spreads and how they create their own planners, or sketch with pen and fill with watercolor. What inspires me as an Artist, Designer and Creative is important enough to me in which to Make Space.
So whether, I'm looking for Quiet, Comfort or want to follow my Curiosity, Making Space, being Mindful of my Choices with how and where I spend my time and its impact on my well being, is a way to give me clarity about Who I am and my Purpose which is a peaceful and JOYFul place to be.
And when I experience the positive effects of these essences of Space, I can then share them with YOU, dear friend!
Have you chosen your word for the year? If so, why did you choose it and what do you hope this word focus will help you accomplish? Always remember that the word choice purpose is to create awareness so you can be mindful of what's important to you. Let this be a nourishing time to help get your New Year Started right.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using the word, Space, or your own Word Choice, as a prompt, use colors and textures that speak to that word choice, stamping out its meaning with alpha stamps or cut out letters from magazines. You're welcome to use an image of yourself to focus on what this word means to you.
I love doodling a word or phrase at the end of my day to encapsulate its meaning for me. You can use your Word for 2019 and really give it some pizzazz with your favorite markers, pens, pencils, paints...whatever suits your fancy. Really have fun with this one.
Copyright 2019 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images by Dawn Herring
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
Refresh Daily: A Leaf LessonRead Now
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.
Refresh Daily: Staying PresentRead Now
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: 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.