I want to ask you a question now that we're already in the month of February in this delightful year of 2016. Are you investing at least 5 minutes of time in yourself? How is that going?
I've been doing Live Periscope broadcasts and one of the issues I've been addressing is taking just 5 minutes daily to invest in yourself and do something that lifts your spirit and makes you feel fabulous!
Then someone said to me, but you can't really get anything done in five minutes. That can sound like a true fact. But, I am on a mission to show YOU that you can refresh yourself in five minutes. And, what I've recognized, is that, some activities don't require physical exertion on your part. We're talking relaxation and enjoyment on tap.
Are you puzzled? Wonder, what is this all about? Well, here are a few ideas!
I thought about different ways I refresh myself that don't take very much time but really refresh and inspire me. So, here is my list (and I'm sure I'll be adding more as I continue to experience refreshment and may not even be actively looking for it! That can happen, you know. What you focus on grows!).
Call these my Five Minute Refresh ideas.
My ways to refresh:
bird watching and listening (one of my favorites!)
squirrel watching right outside my window (super cute!)
watching a vocal audition (I see these linked on Yahoo or in YouTube emails or in my FB feed) (totally inspiring most of the time)
listening to a great song on my Spotify list
talking to my grandson
watching some Periscope broadcasts (some are short enough) (inspiring or informative or both)
reading a magazine article
doodling (although most of my doodles take longer than five minutes but you can doodle something in five minutes, right?)
adding one element to an art journal spread
adding another watercolor layer to an area of a watercolor painting
choosing an outfit that makes me feel fabulous
Quite the list, huh? I'm sure if you really give it some thought, you could come up with things you love you can do in five minutes and you might not even realize what you are already doing (and what you want more of!).
Of course, the goal is the find something simple that refreshes you that is easy to incorporate into your daily experience and expand on it...in whatever way suits you.
Once you get started, you'll be amazed how to how easy it is to get refreshed and no longer have any excuse not to...or have any guilt with it whatsoever. And It's all good!!
Take five minutes and enjoy...to the full!
PS. I am looking for 5 Minute Refresh Ideas from you, my dear readers! You can either leave a comment below with what you do to refresh in 5 minutes or email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. I plan to share these ideas on a Live Periscope broadcast in the near future, giving YOU a shout out! Do join me at @DawnHerring on Periscope and be a part of the refreshing fun!
Write a list of things you already do or that you want to do that only takes five minutes. You can choose to categorize them to get even more ideas. You can also do a mind map to expand your ideas and see what comes up naturally. Then go do one! :)
Art Journal Prompt:
Take one or two 5 minute refresh ideas and create a visual to showcases how they refresh you and why you enjoy these activities so much. Honor your value and your desire to refresh yourself and love yourself from the inside out.
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
I am excited to share with you my contribution to our January/February #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE (see link for details!) with our focused topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Investment.
I will share with you why journaling and art journaling have been 2 of the greatest investments in my life and what these practices have led me to as one of the Greatest Investments in my life, especially in the past five years.
As an avid written journal keeper, I have found numerous benefits in my daily entries as I've discovered more about myself, my life, my world.
But one of the biggest Investments my journaling practice has been for me is in direct connection with my creativity: It has been directly influential in giving me creative clarity and direction (combined with prayer/meditation) toward building my creative practice, which is essentially regularly engaging in journaling, art journaling, doodling, intuitive watercolor painting and other creativity-based activities that keep me connected with my creative flow and light.
Journaling has enabled me to hash out what works for me creatively and what doesn't. I can be honest with myself and determine what I love and what doesn't float my boat.
One of the Greatest Investments I have discovered as a RESULT of my journaling practice has been my Intuitive Watercolor Painting. I decided to start using watercolor 5 years ago when I first began working in a sketchbook/mixed media book to create visuals with paint, image and text, what I now call my Art Journaling practice.
Watercolor and Art Journaling came into my life at the same time and both of those practices have become essential in my creative life. With both activities, I can listen carefully to my intuition and to my heart, which enables me to understand myself better, on a deeper subconscious level, which is incredibly powerful. I have been amazed with what comes out sometimes.
My watercolor painting that I do daily has become a way to play with color and apply it in my own artistic approach, both using the stippling method (essentially, dots of color in layers) as well as other paintbrush applications. This process for me is relaxing, refreshing, revitalizing and FUN. I have found my artistic style using the watercolor medium and that makes me very happy.
Journaling, both written and visual, have been conduits of wisdom, deep understanding, insight, and help with making decisions, including investing time in myself every day, even if it's just 5 minutes.
I highly recommend a written journal keeping practice as well as a visual one to invest time in yourself this year. But one of my greatest wishes is for you to discover what makes you happy and practice it every day. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.
How has your journaling practice been a wise and beneficial investment in your life? Detail how your life has changed for the better as a result of keeping a written journal.
Also, detail how your journaling practice has led you to the greatest benefit of your life. How did you discover it and how often do you engage in it? How do you feel about it afterwards?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using the Greatest Investment as a prompt, create an authentic visual that honors what you love about art journaling or another activity that lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous. What do you love about it so much? Relish the process!
Here is my recent Refresh Daily Periscope Broadcast where I share 2 Reasons to Invest Time in Yourself in 2016, plus I discuss the #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE invite and then I give a Close Up View of my Intuitive Watercolor Painting, Flourish. Due to the video being based in Periscope, there are spots throughout where what I'm saying is cut out and it skips, but the message is still there! Enjoy.
At the tail-end of autumn, I was out for a walk on my usual block in my neighborhood. It was bright sunshine with lots of wind, blowing the leaves from one end of the sidewalk to the other.
As I began my cross over, a thought occurred to me that as the wind drives the leaves away, they will never be seen again in their beauty in the exact same spot. Once they're gone, that's it.
So I became compelled to capture the beauty of leaves exactly as they were At That Moment in Time. I was totally in the moment as a result. I must have taken over 30 pictures in the space of 10 minutes. I felt blown away by the beauty and yet felt the overt transience of the moment, the position of my subject matter, and the great realization that I would not be the same after this moment.
LIFE is Transient. In all of its dimensions. From one moment to another. In our way of life, our day to day existence, our relationships, our routines, our work, our health. Everything changes from one moment to the next, and you can never know quite what to expect.
So I must make the best of each moment. Seize the moment while you have it. Slow down long enough to take it all in. Like I did on this day.
This moment and time really spoke to me. Sometimes it surprises me what comes to me during these times on my walk when I'm truly open to what nature has to share.
As I took one snapshot after another, I became mesmerized by the variety of shapes, the varying colors, the brilliance of sunshine on the leaves in contrast to the sidewalk colors, stone-looks, and background nuances that caused the leaves to really pop out at me. I felt as if I didn't want to pass any up since they all seemed frozen in time just for my camera!
Leaves have truly been a fascinating subject matter for me visually, both as an image taker and as an artist, and that day just put them even more in the spotlight. And when I was finished and satisfied with my time, my adventure, and the gift those leaves gave me, I returned home to view my images and was amazed as to the color and variety of treasure I now contained and planned for future enjoyment.
I would say that Autumn 2015 truly left its mark on me; it had a lot to say and my heart is full.
Have you ever had an experience that truly made you realize how transient life is? How did this experience alert you to this? What impact did it have on you? Did you feel changed by this realization, and if you did, did you change anything about the way you do life as a result?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word, Transience, create a visual that shows your understanding of how being in the moment can change the way you experience life. Use images that are transient in subject matter. Use colors that remind you of the changeability of every day life.
As you can see by the title to this post, I'm starting a new series of doodle/art related posts in association with an Art Journal Challenge I signed up for called Color Me Positive. :) They post a new challenge each week, and our first one had the theme, Gratitude.
As I have already noted, this is an art journal challenge. But I did not choose to use my current art journal as my substrate of choice. No, instead I decided to go the Doodle route and use a page in my art sketchbook where I take notes, make headers for my blog and experiment.
With the challenge having a focus on gratitude, I decided right away that I didn't want to use the word, Gratitude, in my visual. Instead, I came up with a way of expressing gratitude using different terms, so I decided to use: Thank You Very Much.
Once I determined what words I would start with, I then considered what I would include for the items I am thankful for. The three (good number!) I considered and used are: Creativity (but, of course, right?), Love, and Connection with Spirit.
Of course, creativity includes all of my Creative Practice Elements: Art Journaling, Journaling, Doodling, Watercolor Painting, Collage, Walking, Reading, etc. My creative practice has had such a positive impact on my life that I want to encourage every person to build one of their own. It can be simply life-changing. Why? Because it gives you a way to express yourself, go deeper with yourself and understand yourself better. Plus, it's FUN. It's a way to Play. And we ALL need more PLAY in our lives!
The second one is focused on Love, which includes my relationship with my husband, my daughters, and my grandson, as well as others who are dear to me, both relationally and based in quality friendships. Love makes everything more meaningful and purposeful. Love never fails.
The third, yet most important, in my list is my Connection with Spirit. I wouldn't have anything at all without it. And it is the basis for everything I do. It's where my Intuition and Inner Wisdom come from, it's where my creativity finds its greatest strength, and how I keep the LIGHT ON in my life so I can see the next step on my journey.
As far as process goes, I determined I would use wavy lines as my framework, and then I drew in letters for my message, determining spacing and design as I worked my way through. Then I determined what sort of embellishments I would use to create visual interest as well as what colors I would incorporate to help express what I was feeling the most authentic way possible.
I really enjoyed the idea of bright sunshine where my Connection with Spirit was located since this is the Light that shows me the way with every step. The rest of the embellishments are focused on geometrics, with squares and diamonds and circles, molding to the shapes around them. I had a lot of fun with this design creation.
What would be your focus with the words: Thank You Very Much? What top three dimensions of your life would you include if you made such a visual? Why would you choose those elements over others? What do these choices say about what's most important to you?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Thank You, create a visual spread that incorporates what you valued the most in the past year and why it was priority in your life. Use images and text that show the most heartfelt message that comes to you in this creation to honor your heart and process as you play in your journal.
In this Refresh with Dawn Herring Periscope Broadcast, I discuss the importance of documenting your life, as well as sharing some recent creative tidbits. This was recorded during the holiday season so many wishes are included. Happy New Year!!
As I decided to write a blog post for this week of Christmas, the first thing that came to mind was something we may not necessarily see as a gift, since it doesn't come in a box.
No, it resides in the heart. It's called...(drum roll...) Creativity!
And I'm not just talking about art-focused stuff like painting, etc. I'm talking about anything you do that inspires you in some way.
Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes and approaches...and the fun part is discovering what parts you like the most and doing them as much as possible.
You know, when creativity isn't seen as a gift, we sort of either take it for granted or don't bother paying attention to it at all.
And that is so very, very sad.
Why do we ignore it? Because we're too busy. Or we think we are. And I'm not saying we don't all have loads of responsibilities. I know we all do.
But we do have, say, 5 minutes? Take five minutes to do something you've been creatively craving.
So, how about it? Are you going to open up that GIFT of Creativity now that it's been brought to your attention?
Creativity really loves attention, because when you give Creativity its rightful place, it has lots of fun. And it wants YOU to HAVE LOTS OF FUN.
When was the last time you had lots of FUN?
Yea, that's what I thought.
So, five minutes.
GO do something you really love to do. Get lost in it. Forget all sense of time. (That's what happens when you take creativity for a spin.)
Then write about it in your journal. Or tell a friend. Or both. Or write a blog post about it. Or simply relish the moment, again and again.
Oh, and then take it out for another spin...and another. (It really is addicting once you get started; but that's a good thing.)
Now, doesn't that feel better? Now Creativity doesn't feel neglected anymore. And neither do you.
Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.
Record the last time you did something creative, anything at all that made you happy, inspired, lost all sense of time. How did you feel afterwards? Guilty? Refreshed? Wanted to do it again? Reflect on Creativity as Your Inner Gift.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using a Gift with a bow on it as a visual, give honor to Your Creativity and show using your favorite creative colors why your Creativity means so much to you. Enjoy.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header by 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 read the book, Eat, Pray, Love, several years ago, and I've watched Elizabeth Gilbert speak several times. I find her sense of humor, her forthrightness and her honesty refreshing, so when I found out she came out with a new book, AND it was about CREATIVITY, which is one of my favorite subjects--well, you know I just had to get my hands on it and see what all the hubbub was about!
Her new title,BIG MAGIC: Creative Living Beyond Fear, is a BIG PERMISSION SLIP to have Fun, Follow Your Curiosity (which I talk about here in my video, Creative Curiosity), not to take yourself so seriously (martyr syndrome) but to go about pursuing creativity from the perspective of PLAY, taking it light, and why not dress up for the occasion to keep inspiration fresh? Showing up because you want to because you like it.
Elizabeth sprinkles stories, anecdotes, and relevant words of wisdom, sometimes on the humorous side, to prove her specific points on being brave (because being creative takes guts, folks!), on the amazing experience of when inspiration comes at you and even through you like a creative force, and the issue of not giving up and learning to trust yourself and the process of letting your creative expression flow.
I laughed aloud several times during this insightful and interesting read. I think one of my favorite parts is when she describes dressing up for a refreshed inspiration session. I also enjoyed her inside track on writing several of her other books (it helps to see what others experience in the writing process). And I appreciation her revelations about her parent's influence on her while growing up and how those values have stayed with her over time.
Inspiration, laughter, permission and going about your play with curiosity just because you like it.
That's BIG MAGIC.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header image by Dawn Herring
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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.