Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Year 2013: A Rewind

As I did last year, I wanted to do a bit of review of my year in 2013, to celebrate, share and consider what I've learned and accomplished, with the hope of making a meaningful mark in my world.

What I share in this post reflects my life as a journal keeper, an artist, host of #JournalChat Live, as writer, as a grandma, as a refreshment specialist, as a researcher, as an author, and as a newsletter creator.

As you can see, my life is very layered, multi-dimensional and rich! For that I am grateful.

So, without further ado, (drum roll, please! ;)) my life in 2013!

I shall begin with my life as a journal keeper:
I continue to enjoy engaging with my written journal, usually recording entries in the a.m. and p.m. and others when the situation calls for it. But starting in November, I began to take more breaks in my day and record in my journal three or four times per day, which has given me an even deeper clarity and insight into what I'm experiencing, thinking about, and determining needs to be done, especially with creating positive change--always vitally important! My journal gives me space to pay close attention to my intuition, my inner wisdom and to the divine spark given to me by the Creator.

I continue to use my dominant and non-dominant hand approach to my entries, activating both sides of the brain for a more holistic, logical and creative result. My journaling exercise, using Xs for negatives and * for positives, continues to give me visual clues for where I need more balance (key word here!). I also add a summary word that tells my day succinctly; that really gets me thinking in the big picture. Just a few months ago, I started using colored markers to write my entries, and I've written so much, that I need a new set already! Also, I even did a little of backwards writing as the suggestion of a friend (Thanks, Suzanna!) on #JournalChat. It takes a lot of concentration so I don't do that every day. It has also been fun to incorporate some other ideas I've gleaned from my reading and chatting on #JournalChat this year; that's always fun!

Now to my Authentic Refreshment with Art Journaling:
In January, it will be three years that I've kept an art journal; I am truly hooked!! I love using watercolors, oil pastels, crayon, tissue paper (for texture), colored paper (for collage), and rubber stamps to create messages as well as letters cut from magazines. In the latter half of this year, I've been experimenting with image transfers, getting the hang of working with gel mediums and creating layers on the page. Some of it has been a challenge, but I'm getting better and loving the process.

I always have so much fun going through magazines to pull images, text and color to work into my collages, my paintings and my pages. I love designing and combining different techniques to create fun works of art from the heart.

Also as a fine artist in watercolor, I did my first replicating rendering, using the stipple method, of a mocking bird, my adored bird you will find on my website, who delights my heart with his song and dance. It was such a delight to paint "In Your Element" considering my love for watercolor and for the mocking bird itself. I also continue to do intuitive paintings from my imagination and heart.

As an artist, I am absolutely delighted to have my Dawn Herring Collection Art Gallery available on my website, a long held dream of mine. It contains a page of my fine art paintings as well as my mixed media and watercolor bookmarks and message cards which are available for order! I love designing empowering message cards with favorite colors as reminders of who we really are and how we can make our meaningful mark in the world!

My whole website, Refresh with Dawn Herring, has been fully refreshed this year, featuring my empowering products and services, information about #JournalChat Live and Links Edition along with journaling prompts and resources for all things journaling that I've compiled from my reading and posting as host of #JournalChat Live on Twitter. There's a place to sign up for my now monthly Refresh Journal, which contains #JournalChat information, refreshing tips, music, and so much more, and to purchase my book, The Birthday Wall: Create a Collage to Celebrate Your Child, which had its one year anniversary of publication in March. My daughter, Sarah, shared her point of view on The Birthday Wall this year.

As Host of #JournalChat Live, I reached my two year anniversary in June with the structure of a weekly chat with new topic based on the journaling resource I choose for #JournalChat Pick of the Week. I even wrote a blog post covering all the resources and topics we covered for 2013 as a big THANK YOU for those who authored them and to those who participated. One big change that occurred back on October was the switch from Thursday afternoons to Sunday afternoons to hold the live chat on Twitter. And this month, another big change is being implemented in 2014, with #JournalChat Live being held the first Sunday of each month. Plus I've changed what was Pick of the Day to Dawn's #JournalChat Favorite and what was once Pick of the Week to Dawn's #JournalChat Choice to reflect those changes to once per month. I'm excited about these changes which I explain from the heart.

#JournalChat Live continues to be a source of fun, inspiration and ideas for journal keeping enthusiasts and we've had a lot of insightful conversation and support for our journaling community. Come join us the first Sunday of each month at 4 EST/1 PST on Twitter using the #JournalChat Hashtag in your tweet!

One of my good friends, Nathan Ohren of Write4Life, who has been a special guest on #JournalChat Live as well as an active contributor to our chats, interviewed me on his #JournalTalk podcast which was fun, interesting and fun! (When you listen, bear in mind that the time and day of #JournalChat Live is now on first Sunday of each month.) One of my favorite things about Nathan's approach to his podcast and his work in the world is his sense of humor (plus his heart). He has been a true supporter of my work with the live chat as well as my life as artist and refreshment enthusiast. It was a pleasure to work with him and to chat with him on #JournalChat Live. His podcasts with journaling experts are well worth listening to; I was glad to be a part of his series.

As a Refreshment Specialist, I've engaged in some refreshment research and have started a new blog called Your Authentic Refreshment, showcasing interviews with folks who engage in authentic refreshment which is something to help you appreciate yourself for who you are, validate your emotions and feelings and nurture your soul. Also new are my Refresh Sessions which I provide to work with people privately to help them discover what will refresh them and help them gain a fresh perspective in all of life's dimensions, thus loving themselves from the inside out and living empowered lives as a result!

As a writer, I have published several guests posts this year focused on journaling and refreshment on the websites/blogs of Kathleen Pooler, Karen Horneffer-Ginter, and in Outlet Magazine. I also continue to post on my Refresh with Dawn Herring blog (that you're reading now!) about once per month in addition to the content for Refresh Journal. I also have several longer works in progress, with one I hope to share in 2014.

As a grandma, I am deighted to say that my grandboy turned two! He is such a delight, always making Grandma smile and laugh with his chatter, his personality, and his love, always looking for hugs which I gladly give. We have so much fun together building with blocks, talking to his stuffed animals, doing sock puppets, and talking on the "phone." I just love to teach him all kinds of things, tell him stories, and just be plain silly to make him laugh. And Boy Does He Laugh! :D

When I look back on all of this good stuff, it really makes me want to do a happy dance; won't you dance with me?

My 2013 has been full, rich, insightful, and creative in many aspects and I look forward to what 2014 will hold.

My desire is to encourage folks to refresh themselves daily, keep a journal to record their special story for all posterity, and to love themselves heartily from the inside out.

I hope you will join me in this wild, wonderful journey; lets keep in touch in 2014!

© 2013 by Dawn Herring

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's About Time

You know how some folks pick a meaningful word at the start of a new year to create a specific focus?
Well, for 2013 my focus word was TIME.

Yes, time in all of its dimensions, meanings, uses, approaches and struggles.

I used time as a meaningful visual and textual dimension in my art journaling pages and journaled about time and its facets and how I wanted to make meaningful changes concerning time and its effects in my life.

When I think about time, often the issue that arises is not having enough time to do the things I love.
So I was determined to make more space for my artistic pursuits.

I moved my art studio from a bedroom with a door to the center of the house off the kitchen area. I knew this move would initiate more time at the creative table since it was more convenient and available to me. I could paint, create texture, stamp messages, collage, and paint some more in between making dinner in the kitchen, doing business on the computer and doing chores/housework.

I have spent more time pursuing my love of art journaling, mixed media and watercolor fine art. The samples of my work on my art gallery are evidence of the time I have set aside for it. Really, I have incorporated art into the fabric of my life which makes it more seamless, like it's simply what I do. It's priority--for my heart, my soul, my mind.

I also considered the time I spent on writing projects. I actually cut out several of them in late January since I felt I had written myself into a box and felt there was too much of it every day. So I stopped. I still kept my journals but I let go of those projects not concerning myself over if and when I'd get back to them. Sometimes it's just necessary to take a breather and regroup.

This time pause with writing projects lasted about two months. I was very much aware of what I was not doing in order to do less in my day, giving myself space. And I knew when it was time to get back to it. And it felt right, like I wanted to continue on with what I started. And I enjoyed the break I gave myself.

I also determined to change my approach and structure so it was more in the flow of who I am. It's amazing how we will create a structure that becomes binding when we don't have to or need to. Sometimes a small change can make all the difference in our energy and enthusiasm for what is important to us.

Another issue I addressed with time was thinking that very little time had passed when I started something new or was referencing an event or decision I made previously; it amazed me when I discovered that those time spans were much longer than I thought they were. (That's what makes journaling life experiences so wonderful for those of us who don't remember how long it's been!)

Something I chose to do three years ago only felt like 18 months to me.

When you realize the longer time span, you have to regroup and gain a fresh understanding of how that decision you made affected you with that longer distance separating you from that time long ago. It truly gave me pause, and I excused myself, in a sense, of not remembering. Although I do find it frustrating at times, like I'm totally out of the loop on when I started doing something, I realize it's okay not to remember.

Another issue of time I addressed was in relation to what I wanted to accomplish; there are some things that take longer to build or create; and it takes consistent action and persistence not to give up when things don't go in the timely way you desire.

For instance, it would take me several months to get a painting done instead of several days or weeks. Or I intended to post on my blog every few weeks and, instead, five or six would go by, and I wouldn't realize it. (I am now more mindful of this with my focus on Time.)

Then there's the issue of time passing and everyone getting older. Whether it's my parents in their 70s, my spouse in his 50s, my grandboy turning two (and not being so lap-interested like he once was) or having two grown daughters. My own age also comes to mind with keeping myself strong and healthy with a special focus on my spiritual, emotional and physical well being. (This I also address in my art and written journals.)

I want to be a good steward of my time, talents, gifts and roles I fill in my life; and knowing I won't be here forever keeps me motivated to stay true to who I am, to pursue what makes my heart grow, and to love fully.

This year, 2013, has been full of challenges, choices, decisions, determinations, boundaries, expansiveness and growth as I look at how my new perspectives and meaning of time has affected my roles as a wife, mother, grandma, journal keeper, artist, writer and host of #JournalChat Live. As a result, I now have an even stronger sense of purpose to help me make the most meaningful mark in the world that I can.

Ultimately, it really is about time.

&#169 2013 by Dawn Herring

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Only What Gives You Joy

I was writing in my journal recently in the a.m. and asked a question about using my energy to line up with Who I Really Am and what actions I can take toward that end.                                                              

Instead of conforming to what I think it might look like, or what I should be doing, or being similar to what others are doing, I need to go with that flow that comes from my core essence. 

As I dissected this further, a notation of what types of activities would get me nailing my bulls-eye, I got the instruction: do only what gives you joy

Wow. This felt like an epiphany to me. 

Yes, I know my focus often resides on refreshment and doing things that enliven you, so it really should come as no surprise to me.

But, yet, it really struck me when I saw the word: JOY. 

JOY is an indescribable feeling that comes from the core of your being, from within.

You feel it when you are actively engaged in something or with someone that is in true alignment with who you really are. 

When the purpose of what you are doing is simply because you want to; not because you have to or feel obligated to. 

After I wrote this entry, I went into my art studio and gazed at my current art journal two-page spread and I immediately felt JOY come up. Like I was looking forward to working/playing with it. 

So this JOY idea really gave me pause. 
I started to think about what really gives me JOY and what doesn't...

Now I realize that we can't practically only choose to do things that bring us joy. There are things we must do to keep living that aren't necessarily fun and joyful; but our attitude can make all the difference in that arena. 

But when I think about how I spend my time aside from those other duties, and even the choices I make as a writer, an artist, a host, a social media marketer, or simply as a woman, mom, wife, grandma, friend, then JOY brings a whole new dimension. 
JOY can teach me what is really true, authentic, interesting, a natural draw for me.

JOY can show me what life experiences open my heart, such as:

Talking about refreshment, positive change and what truly enlivens you.
Sharing inner wisdom that resonates and gives food for thought.
Watching someone share their vocal abilities when they don’t even know they have it and being told they do. (I get so inspired by the surprise element that comes with such a life experience.)

Recording something I observed about my grandboy’s learning, imagination and personality that is new and spending time talking to him and playing with him…JOY unbounded!

Trying a new technique in my art journal that turns out better than I thought it would and what I immediately learn multi-dimensionally from that hands-on experience. Creative JOY.

Enjoying quality time with hubby where we share from our hearts and laugh a lot because we always have so much fun together….yes, JOY indeed.

Watching my eldest daughter with her son as they play word games together and he responds with great interest and laughs out loud as she gets silly. JOY bubbling up.

Seeing my youngest daughter get excited over something that truly lights her creative fire. JOY resonating.

Yes, there are many sources of JOY in my life; and I love recording every one of them.

And to use JOY as my barometer for decision making and determining my course is an awesome understanding that I will delve into even further in the coming days.

What would you do, how would you choose your course, your activities if JOY was your barometer, your determining factor to your life experience? What would that look like for you?

The actual definition of JOY is a deep emotion of pleasure, gladness and a thing that causes delight.

Who doesn’t want more of that?

I’ve got the joy down in my heart.
How about you?

Monday, September 16, 2013


"It's all in the preparation!"

I think there's something to be said for that, especially when it comes to unexpected or self-initiated change.

No matter what kind of change you may be experiencing right now or what change that you are deliberately choosing, it helps to be ready for what that change might entail.

We never stay in one place for very long; otherwise we'd become stagnant, in an unhealthy mindset, which would prove to drag us down.

Instead, we are constantly evolving, learning, growing, and hopefully, through the best choices we can make, becoming more of who we really are.

But in that process of change, there are specific areas that can help make our "change transition" easier. We can move through the process with anticipation, expectation and confidence rather than fear, anxiety and trepidation.

Of course, our lives are full of many dimensions, but I think of a few that can really help make a difference in our experience with change, no matter where it comes from.

Relationships. The people in our lives can have a tremendous impact on how we respond to change; so it pays to pay attention to who we spend our time with, who we give our energy to, and who supports us in our life adventures. If we find ourselves depleted with certain relationships, we may need to look at where we're losing our personal power. We can do something to develop proper boundaries where we need to activate more self-respect when necessary. When we find that a relationship really boosts our energy and enhances our confidence, then we know we've hit on a gold-mine of relationship that is worth savoring and spending time with! In the process of determining where and how to invest our time with the people we care about and who enhances our life experience, we can see how that relationship benefits us in regards to the change we are experiencing.

Work. Work will either deplete us or give us purpose, depending on our perspective. What we do with our time will often determine how seamless a life change can be. When we look at the successes in our work lives and feel good about what we accomplish, then we will be better prepared to meet with the results that change brings. When we work from the heart, giving it our best, we will benefit from that diligence as we work through change more naturally.

Play. Hobbies, Authentic Refreshment, and taking time to do what you don't normally do come to mind with play. Play can help us have a broader, more comprehensive perspective when meeting with change. We may come up with better solutions to problems that arise; we may get a more flexible perspective on what direction to take so we don't feel stuck with the where of things. Play helps us bring our subconscious mind to the fore, whether we're painting, singing, dancing, spending time with our kids or grandkids, or simply enjoying nature or going for swim. Being in a more relaxed state of mind will do volumes for preparing us for the unexpected.

Spirit. Our connection to what is larger and vaster than we are can give us a true understanding of change. We can gain a stronger, more flexible position when we know we have the Creator of the Universe working for us in our process of change. Taking the time to tune in to our soul and listen carefully for that inner wisdom and intuition we are all gifted with will enable us to face change more seamlessly, with confidence and clearer vision of what it is we really want. Whether we pray/meditate, read spiritual text that livens and encourages, or simply tune in to what we already know, connection with Spirit can make all the difference in preparing us for what lies ahead.

Each dimension of life will affect to a great extent the way we experience change, whether unexpected or self-initiated. Change can be a great place to be when we know who we really are, when we know why we're here, and when we know what really matters to us in life. When we pay close attention to the decisions we are making with our relationships, with our work process, with our playful opportunities, and with our connection with Spirit, our experience with change can actually be a catalyst for fabulous opportunities, for forging deep and lasting friendships, and for giving us an even greater sense of purpose and love for our destiny and what we are called to.

It's best to be prepared for what change is on the horizon; we can meet that change with great expectation of good things to come and know we are headed in the right direction.

Are you prepared?

&#169 2013 by Dawn Herring

Monday, August 5, 2013

Your Element

The other day I was sitting in the front passenger seat of our car waiting to run some errands when an unassuming Texas-sized grasshopper landed on the front windshield all the way on the right side right in front of my view.

I was surprised by his appearance and said hello to him. I checked out his features, the stripes on his skinny, folded legs, his short green antennae, and the way his feet stuck solidly to the car's surface.

This was not exactly a grass-oriented place to be for such a creature.

Soon, we began to pull out of the driveway. I did wonder, even aloud, if he would promptly fall off and disappear from the car as we headed down the street. I kept watching him to see what he would do.

Well, he hung on for dear life! With the wind blowing his short antennae (yes, I laughed at such a sight), his feet still pretty firmly planted on the car's windshield, he remained, slightly askew as we headed to a 50 mph street ahead. For sure, I thought, he'll be gone.

He STILL HUNG ON even on that road for about a minute! I was really surprised he hung in there for so long. I was impressed with his tenacity and strength under such wind conditions.

Then He Was Gone. Just like that.

Then I missed him. I was thinking, what a fascinating creature to have run into on an ordinary weekend day. But he turned it extraordinary as I thought of his endurance while being out of his element.

I did wonder, why did he hang on so long? Was he fascinated by his surroundings? Confused? Curious?

I have no idea. But it got me to thinking (you know how that is, right?) what it might be like for us humans to be out of our element, out of our comfort zone.

When we meet with the unexpected, how do we respond? In fear? Curiosity? With adventure?

I'm all for spontaneity. Sometimes activities I do either by myself or with family that I've never done before or encountered recently can be fun and adventurous since I never know what great thing I'll run into.

But what about something that may feel a little uncomfortable? Use your imagination with this one.

Perhaps you're afraid of heights and you end up on an elevator with glass doors. (The grasshopper was way high up off of his grassy homeland.)

Or you're feeling a bit shaky in your shoes as you head to the podium to give your first speech. (I think the grasshopper wasn't used to that slippery slick situation on the surface of a car's exterior, but he hung on anyway.)

Or maybe you've decided to hold a workshop or share a long-held dream you think is crazy but super exciting with a close friend and you don't know quite what to expect. But you get a fabulous response from participants and your friend simply loves your idea and thinks it really suits you since they know you so well.

We get opportunities to step out of our element by trying something new or by simply meeting up with something unexpected.

When that happens to you, do you choose to hang on and see what great thing might happen, or do you want to simply slip away unnoticed?

Being outside our element can present challenges, no doubt. And it's often disconcerting if we feel unprepared to meet with anything that is unfamiliar to us.

But it can also be a way to stretch ourselves in ways we need in order to grow into all we are meant to be so we can make our effective and beneficial mark in the world.

Our usual element is the starting place, the foundation, the home base where we spend most of our time which is really just preparation for those outside-our-element moments when we are needed or wanted in a new place and time to share what we are good at and thus fulfilling our purpose in the process.

When was the last time you were out of your element?
You can prepare yourself as you look outside of home base and make plans for your future.

Then when you do take that initial step forward, outside your current life experience, you can move forward with confidence, a sense of adventure, and flexibility for making mistakes and loving the process anyway, despite them.

Your life can be full of creative, spontaneous adventure when you make room for those possibilities in your day-to-day living.

And take it from the grasshopper: You never know when you'll get the opportunity to fulfill that long held dream. (And feel the wind in your antennae.)

© 2013 by Dawn Herring

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Who I Really Am

It's in the core of your being.
You feel it when you're in the flow.
You experience it as that unmistakable Wow in your gut.

You often notice Who You Really Are when you're engaged in Your Authentic Refreshment.

I notice it most when I paint. When I create.
I am an Artist. I have been an Artist since I was 8 years old.

I started drawing with pencil and did that for many years, dabbling in animals for a time, but went to people soon after. I enjoyed looking through fashion magazines as a teen and tearing images I would later draw. I loved detail. I was never a sketcher. Just detailed drawing.

Then I went to Morris County Vocational School for their Commercial Art class when I was a Senior. I LOVED that class. Met a lot of cool artists. Learned some new mediums, like Acrylic (did not like the heavy bodied stuff) and Pen and Ink (took a liking to that MUCH better). We also learned the technical stuff of cutting mats and creating advertisements (it was commercial art, after all). I was very pleased to have taken part in most of what I learned there. Because I knew I was an Artist. Who I Really Am.

Once I moved from there, I continued with the human figure with fashion, but moved more closely to the Face.

Yes, where the eyes are the window to the soul.

Portraiture was where my heart was at at that time.

I recall doodling a LOT of eyes in high school. So drawing faces seemed the natural progression.
So I was always looking for the perfect image of folks I wanted to draw. At first it was just models from magazines. But then I started showing interest in movie actors and musicians. Like Michael Jackson. And Air Supply. I also recall Princess Diana and various TV actors from my favorite shows. (I'd scour the TV Guides Mom saved for great images.)

This was mostly in Black and White.

Then after I married, I figured out color. So I started to do full color portraits.
Oprah. Former President George W. Bush. Chuck Norris of Walker, Texas Ranger.

I also did portraiture of my immediate and extended family members.

Then I stopped drawing pictures of faces for a time. I took a break for several years, which for me, felt like a long time.

Then I discovered watercolor and the JOY of painting intuitively. Using my imagination and playing from the heart.

I've never been happier as an Artist.
I'm having SO MUCH FUN.

You may find when you discover Who You Really Are, that that's where the FUN and the JOY manifest, and in ways you may never have experienced before.

And once you do and keep showing up to whatever it is that enables you to be in the YOU place, you won't want to go back to where you came from.

Oh, you'll appreciate the journey you've trod and all you've learned in the process. Because you wouldn't be able to appreciate where you are now without that reflection and history.

But Now you're in a NEW place of Discovery. Experiment and have fun with All You Really Are. Don't be afraid to take risks with this new direction. You never know where that may lead.

So, Who Are You Really?
Enjoy your discovery. Enjoy the journey.

© 2013 by Dawn Herring

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

When It's Time

We outgrow things.

Whether clothing or hair styles, the way we decorate, the music we listen to.

Or, on a deeper level, our ways of expressing and communicating, where one way no longer suits us or works for us.

Sometimes a life circumstance, a work or family situation takes a turn in a direction we least expect, and yet it reveals to us the changes that are occurring at the core level that we may simply be unaware of.

But that doesn't make the situation any easier. In fact, that's what can make life most challenging.

We must reckon with our changing circumstances, discerning why this change has taken place.

Often our first response to these kinds of changes is resistance. Especially when we're dealing with some kind of loss that directly hits our core life experience. These can be the hardest to grapple with.

One thing to always remember when you've outgrown something but didn't know it is to be gentle with yourself in the process of this unexpected life change. Don't beat yourself up over what you didn't know, what you didn't do, or what you wish you didn't do.

As we outgrow, we learn more deeply about who we really are. These revelations can show us things that are essential to know and move with.

Sometimes it doesn't make sense, and it takes time to fully comprehend what has happened. Don't be upset with yourself if you don't understand this new life experience that has thrown you into a tail spin.

Just take a deep breath (or two or three) and see with new eyes what this change now means to you.
Who are you now with this change? How are you different than you were before the change? What have you  learned, what valuable lesson do you take from this change? What would you do differently had you known the change was coming?

Now accept the fact that this change has come because it was time. As hard as it is to reckon with that fact, sometimes we have to see the "writing on the wall" when it comes to some things, especially if we've been hanging onto something longer than we should have, than what would have been better for us in the long run.

Yes, our hearts may ache for that change we feel we weren't ready for. But we also must recognize when it's time, when we can now move forward toward who we really are and not who we were that we've outgrown.

When we choose to let go, to release ourselves from hanging on to what no longer serves our greater good, we will find peace, a new center that reflects our authenticity right this moment.

You will know it and feel it; it will sink into your soul. It may be bittersweet, but it will bring you to a richer, more centered place, a Place that has great meaning and significance to you. You may not see what that significance may be exactly for you right now, but it will come.

You will recognize its truth, and it will have great value.
As if you knew all along.

When it's time, it's the right time.

© 2013 by Dawn Herring

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Fresh Start

When you come to the end of something, like a larger project or work task you've recently completed, you don't just recognize the ending of this path you've trod.

You can also see it as a Fresh Start to something new.

But it can also take on a daunting dimension, especially if you're not sure of your new direction due to a lack of developed purpose.

There's also the issue of False Starts where the effort you put out doesn't flow because the energy is all wrong; then you end up working yourself into a frustrated corner, feeling frazzled and overwhelmed.

But there is a better approach; there is a way to work around that struggle and avoid wasted energy.

First, you need to Trust Yourself.

Yes, this is Paramount. If you constantly second-guess where you want or think you should go or what your purpose should be, you'll trip yourself up before you even begin.

You need to recognize your value and see yourself as capable and ready for the authentic path you will take.

Part of Trusting Yourself is being able to Tune In to your intuition, your inner wisdom and the Light that guides your every step.

When you're tuned in to the right authentic frequency of what really matters to you and listen to your heart's message, you'll be drawn to the right path and gain a fresh perspective in the process.

There's a melody in your heart's song that is yours alone to follow and pursue in a way that only you can do. That is what that path is for--directing you to your Authentic Purpose, which the world needs.

Once you begin to Trust Yourself, Tune In to your heart's song, and pick up the authentic vibe that will reveal your next step, you will be lead right to the Fresh Start you've been looking for.

Then it will be time to simply Go with the Flow.

Listen. Learn. Pay Attention. Make Space. Open the Energy and run with it, whether it's the first words of an essay, article, or novel, the first brush strokes of a new painting, musical notes to a new song, dance steps to a new choreography, or the first seeds to a new garden.

Give yourself space to make mistakes. Don't expect perfection. Yes, do your best--but even more importantly, Have Fun in the process! Get into your creative zone. Immerse yourself in this New Start. Revel in it. Be in the moment.

Then watch what happens as the song gains melody, as the chapter or article begins to take form, as those dance steps find their rhythm, as the colors of the painting begin to form a meaningful image or expression of the heart, as the new seed begins to take root.

Don't underestimate the Power of a Fresh Start. It is Full of Possibility.
It could change your life. It could make the world a better place.

What will you start today?

© 2013 by Dawn Herring

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Delight is what you experience when something greatly pleases you. When you are delighted, you feel great pleasure.

Now, doesn't that sound just lovely?

I am absolutely delighted when I have a butterfly cross my path in greeting as I venture to my local park on my walk. Seeing a mocking bird on a top-most tree branch, trilling in a way only he can do, delights me. I stop and smile, thrilled with the joy that erupts with his sweet sounds.

I am delighted when my grandboy says a new word or laughs heartily, needing to catch his breath or when he takes steps and knows he's a big boy when he does so.

Delight finds my heart when I am laughing with my family because someone says something unexpected. Those are the best moments.

I experience delight when I see something that is vibrant and colorful; and then I want to paint it.

My art journal delights me since it gives me the opportunity to put my soul on the page, choosing whatever color suits me at the moment, stamping a meaningful word/message, and designing to my heart's content. And it lifts my spirit all at once in a way nothing else does.

My written journal often delights me when I can describe something fabulous I experienced or a great idea I've just come up with that excites me.

My connection with Spirit is a great source of delight to me; I am often surprised by the sense of humor, the relaxing elixir God's presence and powerful energy becomes to me. I don't take that for granted; it is a gift to my soul.

What delights us speaks worlds about who we are and what really matters to us. What delights us can often trigger delight in another; and when that happens, a relationship/friendship is sometimes created due to the resonation of what we love and why.

When we focus on what delights us, either by being in the moment of that delight and relishing it fully, or telling a friend or loved one about that delightful experience we had, or by writing it down so we can relish it in the re-telling and even in the re-reading at a later time, that delight becomes something that we carry with us, that becomes a part of us deep in our hearts.

Which only sets the stage for more delight, for more deep understanding of our authenticity, our creativity, our purpose.

Pay close attention to what delights you.

As the Professor in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe once said to Peter and Susan, brother and sister in the story, when they came to speak with him about Lucy: "Why, I am absolutely Delighted to be interrupted. Otherwise, life would only be work and study, no FUN at all."

Don't forget that what Delights Refreshes.

© 2013 by Dawn Herring

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Your Golden Key

A Key is often viewed as a symbol of enabling that may unlock the door of new opportunity.

I know when I see a key, like an old fashioned one on an art journal page or rendered in a decorative item in a retail store, it catches my eye.

We use keys every day to lock or unlock the door of our homes, our cars, our businesses.

But what about our Golden Key, the one associated with our creativity, our inspiration and even our divine destinies?

I love the sound of a Golden Key. It holds such promise. It initiates mystery and intrigue. And adventure.
Like discovering a locked box that holds gold inside. And finding the Golden Key that will unlock it so we can have access to all of that richness.

But we already have one. Right Now. At our fingertips.

You know it when you engage in it. There is never a moment wasted. You find yourself revived, invigorated, with a new appreciation for your creativity and personal expression.

But most of the time, we feel compelled to do everything else but engage in that Golden Key.
We feel irresponsible taking time away from the obligations that call to us every single day.

But sometimes we just have to make up our minds to Make Space.

Even if that means to let go of something, at least for a little while, that you really want to accomplish.
Of course, a move like that can be scary, feel outside our comfort zone. We wonder what will happen to that project we started that led to frustration because deep inside, we knew what we really wanted to be doing.

But here's a secret that can give you instant motivation to engage in that Golden Key Right Now: when you take the time to unlock that door and explore and dive deep and delight in what enlivens you, it will ultimately enhance the very project you had to let go of in the first place. You will find more creative ideas coming to you, more inspiration and direction you didn't have before. While you are enjoying, experimenting and discovering, you will find an openness that gets activated that was previously closed to your understanding.

In other words, Your Golden Key will unlock the richness of what you need to make everything else Come Alive. 

When I discovered this more so than ever recently, I was elated, delighted, excited and thrilled. And then I wanted to engage in My Golden Key even more so. Knowing I was listening to my Authentic Self and giving honor to what really matters to me, what opens my heart.

Which can only enhance my life in all of its dimensions.

So, what is Your Golden Key? Have you found it yet? Listen carefully to what inspires you, what delights you, what intrigues you, and even what breaks you out of your comfort zone.

That's where you Inner Wisdom, your Light, your Inspiration, or even where your Life Purpose resides.
Now that's certainly something worth making time for.

Let Your Golden Key Unlock The Treasures Of Your Heart.
Then Watch Your World Come Into Full Bloom.

© 2013 by Dawn Herring

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Nourishing Source

nourish v. 1. to keep alive and well by means of food 2. to foster or cherish

source n. 1. the place from which something comes or is obtained 2. the starting point of a river 3. a person or book, etc, supplying information

Nourishment is a natural need and requirement of the human body, of plant life, of animal life, etc. No living thing can be without nourishment for very long.

When we don't have it, we whither, wear out, become depleted and even sick if the nourishment is withheld long enough. Or if we simply don't partake of it when we need it. Which we may do simply because we don't realize its necessity until we feel the consequence of what we don't have but should.

This can be the case when it comes to spiritual and emotional nourishment.

When we put ourselves out for the benefit of others but don't replenish what has been depleted, the quality of our life experience drops and we are left feeling out of sorts, exhausted and frustrated.

We need to replenish what has been lost. We need a source of nourishment in our lives that gives us energy, vitality, and a greater sense of well being.

But when do you know when you have discovered a nourishing source in your life? How do you know when something will refill your well, inspire you to creative tasks, give you the inner purpose of taking care of your responsibilities?

When you find a place, an activity, a pleasure--maybe even from childhood--that helps bring you back to center.

A nourishing source is going to provide you with light--the kind of light a plant depends upon, so much so, that it will grow toward the sun, pressing up against the window if need be to derive what it needs from that light.

When what you engage in provides you with light for your goals, for your activities, for your dreams, you know you have found nourishment, a place where you can feed yourself until you are fully centered and ready to walk in your purpose.

A nourishing source will provide nutrients--the kind of substance that enables a plant to grow and develop into a beautiful spreading bough with gorgeous leaves and bountiful blooms, drawing pleasure to the viewer.

When what you engage in provides you with nutrients for your creativity, problem solving and intuition, this can be an empowered place of peace--where you naturally move in flow with your gifts, talents, and calling.

A nourishing source is going to provide you with moisture--the kind of water source that can imbue a plant with what it needs so that it doesn't dehydrate and lose sustenance, keeping it lively and healthy, where it gives off the beauty and bounty it is meant to produce.

When what you engage in provides you with the Living Water of nourishment for your mind, body, and soul, you will feel lifted up, filled up to the brim with peace, joy, and purpose, the way you are meant to experience life at its fullest and best.

Yes, nourishment is vitally important to our well being in all of life's dimensions. Be sure to take the time for nourishing discovery, not leaving a intuitive stone unturned, always following your heart with what treasure lies within.

And when you find it, what gives you all you need for sustenance, energy, and personal empowerment, go to it often as if it were a beautiful plant just waiting to release its delicious scent for just your pleasure and delight. Because that is what your nourishing source is there for.

Take. Eat. Drink. Enjoy. Flourish.

© 2013 by Dawn Herring

Popular Posts

Dawn's #JournalChat Favorite (formerly Pick of the Day)

You can now view Dawn's #JournalChat Favorites on my website: http://www.dawnherring.net/journalchat-pick-of-the-day.html

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Tuesday's Pick (12/20) Journaling for Self-Discovery by Rosie Molinary

Friday's Pick (12/16) Journal Writing Prompt 31-Priorities by Dolly Garland

Monday's Pick (12/19) Keep a Dream Journal-Why Bother? by Patti Testerman

Today's #JournalChat Pick of the Day

Thursday's Pick (9/15) Journaling video by Will Steger

Thursday's Pick (9/1) A Challenge and Some Journalng Prompts by Amy Sorensen

Friday's Pick (8/19) Altars to Remember by Amanda

(6/14): Journaling Your Travel with Book Journals

(6/13) Last Seen....Journaling

(6/10) Joy of Journal Writing

(6/9) Using Your Journal to Clear Your Clutter

(6/7) Personal Journaling Sure Beats a Bad Day

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(6/3) "What Oprah Knows For Sure"-#1

(6/2) Sharing Your Thank You and Love through Personal Journaling

(6/1) Kid Quotes are the Best

(5/31) Journaling-The Art of Deep Communication with the Self

(5/30) Spiral-Bound and Spellbound

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(5/5) How to Combine Reflective Writing with Meditation and Yoga

(5/4) Journaling

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(4/28) Secrets Journaling Prompt

(4/27) The Miracle of Mindfulness

(4/26) Your Philosophy

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(4/21) Journal Writing Prompt 18: Busy Life/Stress/Responsibilities

(4/19) A Week's Worth of Journaling Prompts: Expanding Creativity

(4/15) Journal-Keeping: Tips and Ideas for Writers

(4/14) Mind Your P's and Q's: Part I

(4/13) Journal Writing Through Life's Passages: Moving

(4/12) Appreciate Journaling: Children Need to Write

(4/11) Journaling for Healing, Health, and Happiness
(4/7) Yellow Legal Pad

(4/6) Meet Brooke Snow! An Amazing Mom!

(3/30) Let the Left Brain Know What the Right Brain is Doing: An Interview with Dr. Lucia Capacchione

(3/28) Movies Journal Prompt

(3/25) The Power of Forgetting

(3/24) Ten Ways to Keep a Great Diary

(3/23) Journal to the Soul

(3/22) A Reflective Writing Honoring of Women's History Month

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(3/18) How Journaling Changed My Life: Receiving Journal Insight

(3/14) Let Them Play in the Backyard

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Three Steps Toward Accountability...to Yourself (as published in SFC Newsletter, Dec 08 edition)

Accountability: to give a reckoning or explanation for one’s actions, responsible.

When most people think of accountability, they often negatively associate it with answering to others, such as a spouse, a friend, a mentor, or, in most cases, a boss. As a writer, you are your own boss, which is one of the reasons that you need to be accountable to yourself. And it can be a positive experience rather than a negative one.

The first step in being accountable to yourself as a writer is setting goals for your writing and keeping track of projects you want to finish. Incurring a deadline for yourself can help
motivate you in this area. This step can also include daily writing goals. Some authors plan how many words or pages per day they will write.
I’ve set goals for myself as a writer by making them reachable and attainable. This year I have set a goal to write at least one scene for my novel per week and at least one other piece,
whether it be memoir or essay, per week. That can mean just making notes, writing a first draft, or revising a draft.
As long as your goals keep you moving forward and you’re making progress, then you know you’re headed in the right direction.

Once you have your goals set, the next step in accountability to yourself is writing down what you accomplish each day. You can use a daily calendar just for writing or keep track of your
daily accomplishments on your computer. I designed a custom monthly writing calendar. It helps me track what I write daily, whether or not I’ve met my goal for the week, and it has
space for ideas for future writing pieces. I also have a spot to keep track of books I’m reading for that month. I use abbreviations to keep the daily writing easier and to save space. As I review each completed month, I can go back to see what I’ve accomplished and keep track of when I wrote each piece.
Whether you use something pre-made or customize something for yourself, use whatever works for you and helps you stay accountable to yourself.

A third, and perhaps most important, aspect in accountability in your writing is taking care of yourself as a writer. Than can mean giving yourself space and not being hard on yourself if
you don’t reach your goals each day or each week.
Flexibility and refreshment are paramount to your health as a writer. It also frees up your creativity and can actually help you produce more quality writing in the long run.
I enjoy writing in my journal, reading fiction or memoir, and watching a good movie with my family. Taking a walk, listening to music, talking with your family members, and just taking time to sit and enjoy life are all ways you can be good to
yourself—and ultimately accountable—as a writer.

Learn to celebrate your accomplishments and your uniqueness as a writer. That’s one of the best ways to be accountable—to yourself!