Friday, December 26, 2014

A Comforting Awareness

Some of My Comforts: My favorite chair to journal in, my current artsy journal sketchbook and my favorite mug for tea.
One of the Comfort and Joy Prompts from Jani Franck's Ecourse was What Comforts You using the sense of Touch. I really had to give some thought to this. But as I wrote some things down, like my warm tea mug in the a.m. and p.m.,  and ways in which I care for myself with skin care and other things I do that involve a sense of touch, I realized that my perspective on each item had not been initially sensed this way...with comfort. Many of them were seen and experienced like more of a task, something that needs to be done, part of my routine. 

So, as I considered this disparage, I realized I needed a fresh perspective on how I viewed these things so I could better experience them as they could be if I go about thinking about them differently. This activated a new Awareness of what Could Comfort me that I hadn't considered before. 

Once I had this epiphany, the next time I engaged in any of these previously experienced "tasks" but with looking at them as something I could enjoy, relish and find comfort in, I found myself feeling more grateful, more present, more appreciative of what I have and how I can take care of myself and find comfort in these things at the same time. 

I believe that when we slow down long enough to understand and appreciate each task or thing we do for ourselves, instead of running on rote thinking and not really noticing each engagement, we can transform much of what we do into something loving, nurturing and meaningful. 

It becomes a Comforting Awareness when we take the time to see them and experience them that way. 
I have become much more aware of my mug of tea, my journal, my watercolors, and many other things that are a source of comfort to me as I relish them in the moment

What are you rushing through that could become something you thoroughly enjoy and even find a sense of Comfort in? Jot these things down and then, the next time you engage with them, Be Very Present. Relish the Moment. See what a difference it makes for you. 

Life can truly be filled with many good things when we take the time to enJOY them as only we can. 
How will you Comfort yourself today? 

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Herring 

Note: This post was originally posted on my Refresh Daily Blog. I've shared it with you, my readers, so you wouldn't miss a thing. You're welcome to subscribe on my website! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014: My Year in Review

I am absolutely amazed how quickly this year of 2014 has gone by! It's such a surprise to me that it's time for my year-end review. This year has truly been a year of transition, re-prioritizing, and launching of many good things.

As I jotted down a list of things to share with you in my journal, I was amazed as to how much I had almost forgotten about, you know? It's like, when I think about things, sometimes it just doesn't feel that long ago or when it was months ago, I'm so focused on the present moment, that I sometimes forget all the good stuff!

Since I often talk about my Life Dimensions, I thought I would share with you my year based on the areas of life they are suited to, whether it's me as writer, artist, host, consultant, refreshment initiator, journal keeper or art journal keeper.

I'll begin with one of my favorite areas of Life as an Artist...I continue to greatly enjoy the Wonderful World of Watercolor. It's my favorite medium hands down in comparison to other mediums I've used, whether pencil, colored pencil, charcoal or pen and ink (and acrylics that I worked with early on in high school and beyond). Watercolor is fun to work and experiment with. I always get excited when I meet another watercolor artist, which is where I often derive inspiration when I see what others are doing with their paints. This year I started using Winsor Newton watercolor trays and tubes, which I now use exclusively for my watercolor canvas and paper paintings. I still use my Prang watercolors for my art journaling fun...which I've been doing for almost 5 years! I started my first art journal back in January of 2010 and I've never looked back. Art journaling is so much fun but it's also a powerful tool of understanding and personal expression that goes beyond words. I recommend it for anyone! You can check out my Dawn Herring Collection Art Gallery on my website to see all the paintings I've posted there. I did a total of 5 paintings this year: Tapestry in Translation, Tree of Heart, Dive, Potential, and one work is in progress! There are others from 2013 posted there as well. I have set some cool goals for my artsy side of life for 2015, and I also have a new space for my Art Studio/Gallery which I'm excited about.

Now I'll switch to another dimension as a Writer...first up in this category is my newly artistically -focused blog, Refresh Daily, on my website, which you can now subscribe to! I post my usual Fresh Perspective insights, but I also post about what inspires me and the inside details of my life as an Artist, which is my Authentic Refreshment revealed! I am having lots of fun sharing from my artsy point of view and would love for you to join me. We can all have a refreshed state of mind when we engage in something that Honors Who We Are, and one of my goals for Refresh Daily is to encourage you to find Yours!

I also continue to publish my monthly Refresh Journal  where I share insights from my life experience and share the best of what I find on the web in the journaling department as well as refreshing tips for your life dimensions. You're welcome to sign up for your personal copy!

I did two interviews this was written for Marianne Rossi's Blog, Journaling for Your Life, where I shared about my journaling and art journaling practices. It was such fun detailing what I love engaging in so much.

The other interview was audio and was hosted by Linda Joy Myers of International Association of Memoir Writers; I presented Journaling for the Empowering Discovery of Who You Are. It was an honor to be interviewed by Linda and to share from my personal journalng experience as well as discuss being host of #JournalChat Live.

Which leads me to another Dimension of my Life: Journaling! As host of #JournalChat Live on Twitter and now Facebook as well, I having a joyous, refreshing time sharing and learning from other journal keepers. This year, I switched to using sketchbooks instead of lined books for my personal journaling. And boy, am I having a blast! I've added daily doodling to my evening routine, summarizing my days with words and phrases and having fun with Winsor Newton watercolor markers to brighten things up a bit! Didn't realize what a difference a sketchbook would make for me, especially for me as an artist. I find doodling and coloring so relaxing as I wrap up my day. You should try it! I continue to write a.m. and p.m. most days and sometimes a mid day entry depending on my work schedule. I love doing the dominant and non dominant writing and other techniques that have become mainstays in my daily journaling.

This year was the launch of my 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course; It was fun and insightful to engage with those who took the course and learned more about themselves in an Honoring and Intuitive Manner. I now offer the Course in PDF format so you can be refreshed anytime!

As Host of #JournalChat Live,  it's been a fun and insightful year and I am so appreciative of the Special Guests and contributors of our #JournalChat Live Events on both Twitter and Facebook. You can read the full list of what we engaged in with our #JournalChat Live friends! I so enjoy connecting with other journal keepers and those who encourage others to keep a journal for all the myriad benefits we can experience when we journal our lives.

New on the Dawn Herring Front is my newly re-launched website, Refresh with Dawn Herring, where I have added two new consulting services, Your Life Refreshed!, which is focused on Activating Your Creative Center for Daily Refreshment Authentic to Your Personality, Preferences and Purpose in Life, and Your Business Refreshed!, which is a combination of Creative Infusion and Social Media Marketing for greater visibility on the web. I'm excited to work with folks in these areas of development for their refreshment and success in their lives and businesses.

Wow. What a year it has been. My life is FULL, thanks to the many journaling, art journaling and writing and artist and many other friends I've connected with. It's been an insightful and fun journey as we learn and grow and care for each other.

I want to thank YOU, my readers and subscribers to this blog, For A Fresh Perspective and my newest blog, Refresh Daily. I appreciate your interest in what I do and who I Am. It's been fab sharing my life with you in 2014!

I look forward to what 2015 has in store for us; let's continue to enjoy this journey together---Refreshed! :)

© 2014 By Dawn Herring

Thursday, December 4, 2014

JOY: A Seasonal Prompt

Excited to be a part of Jani Franck's Creative Community called the Bubbling Well. We're in the midst of a 21 Day Comfort and Joy journey in our creative journals, so I thought I'd share my stuff with you all. 

Having a sketch book for me has transformed my  journaling experience and has injected JOY into my every day journaling habit. Do you know why? Well, without lines, I feel free to express myself more creatively rather than just writing. So I Doodle! Doodling is so much fun because anything goes. In addition to my Uniball Micro waterproof black pen that I write with, I have also recently added Winsor Newton Watercolor markers. Fun, Fun, FUN! 

I am seriously having such a BLAST making colorful doodles; most of them I choose a word or phrase to summarize my day. Well, this particular JOY Doodle was initiated by my first prompt from Jani's Comfort and Joy journey, so here it is. :) (In case you're wondering about the shadow, I covered the writing above the doodle with paper, thus a shadow is cast.)

As I was JOYFULLY creating this, I thought of a candy cane for the first letter so I did Burnt Sienna for a reddish hue. The middle letter, O, I just did swirls around and then colored them in abstractly with Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna. Had Super Fun with this one. Then the Y letter reminds me of a layer cake, or perhaps layers of refreshment you add to your day. 

I used the brush end of my markers since I prefer that side; it has a smoother application. So it's a bit hard to stay in the lines so to speak. But who says I have to do that anyway, right? I love to do art spontaneously. That works for me. But it's also nice to have something fresh to work with, thus this JOY prompt. 

I also followed this doodle with a list of what gives me JOY. Maybe I'll add more later. 

So, what gives YOU joy? 
Something refreshing,  uplifting, fun? 
You know what item really surprised me that I wrote down?
We live in such a noisy world. So I really appreciate the Quiet when I experience it; very joyful, in a quiet sort of way. 

Try doodling your refreshment. I know I have fun and enJOYment when I do. No Rules. Just Spontaneous Fun. 

EnJOY your Holiday Season. Especially for YOU. 

P. S. This is a blog post I wrote on my Refresh Daily blog. I'm posting it here so you can see it on this blog, For a Fresh Perspective, as well. I value my subscribers/readers. If you would like to get all of my blog posts from Refresh  Daily, please subscribe there as well. I'm having so much fun, and I certainly wouldn't want you to miss out on any of it! 

Copyright 2014 Dawn Herring 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A False Start

Have you ever experienced a False Start? 
Maybe you know the kind...where you have an idea of something you want to accomplish. It sounds really good. But then when you actually start working on it, it's not at all what you envisioned. 

It can be really upsetting when this happens, and you wonder where you went wrong. You feel a bit thrown, perhaps off your center a bit, disappointed. You might even let out an Argh or Dang It as I sometimes like to say when I'm frustrated. ;) 

See the palette below? This is one I use for my watercolor painting. Actually, I have two, just in case I decide to do more than one painting at a time (which I haven't done as of yet, just with my art journal). 

Do you notice the residue from the Winsor Blue paint in the upper right corner and in one of the small round areas? Yep, that's where I had my paint placed for a new painting I was about to start. 

But it's not there anymore, is it? Not. Nope. I took it out within 5 to 10 minutes after I put it in. The consistency of the paint was not to my liking (straight of the tube with water), like my other colors were from my previous painting that I just completed. So I decided to just remove it. Just like that. (And I cleaned it out a bit better so now there's just a blue stain, not paint.) 

I put it on my blotter paper so that I could at least use it in collage at a later time; no waste then. 
But you know what was really interesting? 

The Winsor Blue wasn't the only color I had laid out. I also had Winsor Orange and Yellow Ochre, which I had used in my previous painting. But the colors didn't mix well (it's true that when you mix complementary colors, it looks like mud). Nothing mixed well. It just looked uninspiring, to say the least. 

But as I was removing the Winsor Blue, I had a glimpse of the Winsor Orange and Yellow Ochre, and thought, maybe I could work with those two colors and work with a couple of others besides and see how it goes.

In other words, as I was removing myself from this creative False Start, I had another idea for the Start that I actually decided to run with. It's often when we are exiting from something that disappoints, and might even tick us off that we can reveal our truer path of creativity. 

That might just actually work out! 

I did start a new painting, using the Yellow Ochre as a start. So far, so good. 

Have you had a False Start recently? Did you find another truer path in the withdrawal process? 
If so, I'd love to hear about it! 

In the meanwhile, I'm happily applying my paint, with ideas in my mind of where I want it to go. 
And you know what? I'm okay with whatever happens. 

I'm listening and painting step by step; I'm honoring Who I Am as an Artist as I do. 
When you take the time daily to Honor Who You Are in whatever Life Dimension calls out to you, you are nurturing the core of your being and saying YES. 

You Deserve That. 

P.S. To my readers of A Fresh Perspective: I am now posting from my Artistic Point of View on my website blog, Refresh Daily. You are welcome to subscribe to that one as well. I am posting content that is not being posted here on A Fresh Perspective. Here's a link to A False Start

© 2014 by Dawn Herring

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Refreshment or Rejection?

Refreshment is a key component to my daily life. I know the deepest benefits and that's why I always remind folks to refresh themselves daily.

However, it's easy to let a day or two or many more slip by without re-invigorating ourselves in some way; but unfortunately we may experience the "side effects" of not doing so and, maybe, not even realize it.

Such was the case for me recently...

I was having a challenging morning, feeling a bit discouraged, a bit out of alignment and un-grounded. You know how I could tell?

I was feeling doubtful about some things. I was impatient, lacking faith in areas of great importance to me.

(Yes, this is an honest confession.)

I was really wondering what was going on with me; I don't like feeling or acting this way. It's very disconcerting, perplexing and distressing.

So I certainly did NOT want to stay there.

So I got my journal out and wrote my a.m. entry. After detailing my distress of those minutes I just described, I then switched to my non dominant hand and began to ask what went wrong.

What I wrote came as a complete but revelatory surprise to me.

I had not painted in about three days.

That was it.

You wouldn't think that putting pigment on a paint brush and applying it to watercolor paper or canvas would make that much of a difference, right?

But, here's the truth in a nutshell: I am an artist. It's a huge part of the core of my being. (I continued to journal just this truth when what was next came out in all of its profoundness...)

When I go one day without creating in some way, especially painting, which helps me activate my creative center and stay aligned with Who I Am, I am essentially Rejecting that Core Part of Myself.

Self Rejection!

This really woke me up.

It's easy to point a finger at another and say, this person has rejected me, and put the blame elsewhere.

But in reality, rejection from another is often a reflection of how we are rejecting ourselves and not even know it!

I realized with this revelation of self rejection when not taking the time DAILY to honor Who I Am as an artist, I also came to the conclusion that Daily Authentic Refreshment is even more Vitally Important than I initially realized, for as much as I remind folks to refresh daily.

I understood on an even deeper level what it looks like and feels like to not refresh yourself to nourish the core of your being.

Instead of simply saying to get your guilt free refreshment daily, now I'm saying, Don't reject that Core of Who You Are by letting a day go by without that essential nourishment that is so vitally important to your well being. That cannot be overstated.

I realize that now more than ever before.

So, guess what?
I have painted daily since then, whether in my art journal or on canvas/paper. I finished one painting and started another.

Yes, when I paint daily, not only do I nourish myself, I also get more artistic work accomplished, and have a splendid time doing it.

And it does make a major difference in how I feel: more aligned with Who I Am. I can hear that Intuitive Voice speaking ever so clearly: Go Paint. And I say, Okay, I will!

My painting gives me space to express what's in my heart; it gives me deeper understanding of what I'm feeling, thinking, saying and doing.

And you know what else I realized?

My journaling practice is a super powerful tool that gives me space to express how I feel and listen to my Intuitive Heart; but it's NOT ENOUGH to keep me nourished in the Core of my being.

Once you find what nourishes the Core of your being, do it daily. Whatever it takes. Even if it's just 5 minutes!

And if you don't know what that nourishing activity is just yet, you're welcome to check out my Your Life Refreshed! Creative Strategy Sessions so we can get on board with helping you find out just what that is!

No Rejection. Just Love, Care and Nourishment...ultimately so you can make a positive mark in your world.

© 2014 by Dawn Herring

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lighten UP!


That was one of the words I wrote making a list of words I love and hate.
Of course there was a reason for doing this. I was doing a journaling exercise provided by my good friend, Jill Winski.

When I wrote the list of words I love, Lighten showed up the first time.
And again the next day.
And a third time a few days later.

So Lighten got my attention, needless to say.

I journaled about this word and what it meant to me right now.
It awakened me to any possible heaviness I was experiencing and my need for lightness in my day.

You know, when life starts to feel to heavy and hard--when you're in transition with a lot of unknowns, or when life feels risky because of choices you've made with work or other important dimensions of life. Or when life feels uncertain in connection with relationships, especially ones that are out of your control.

You know the issues, you know the feelings.

Heaviness is no fun, is it?

So, Lighten UP!

I know it may be easier said than done.

So we have to start thinking about what would lighten things up for us.

Hmmmm. Let's see what comes up.

I love seeing other artist's dress like they I do sometimes in what I call my "crazy wear" including colorful socks and t-shirts and sometimes shoes too! I notice when I wear this kind of stuff, I feel lighter and more vibrant!

Talking with my grandboy when he says something new--that always lightens things up and makes me celebrate!

Having a good laugh with a family member, especially when the source of the humor is spontaneous, totally unexpected.

Painting in my art journal often lightens things up a bit. Or working in a painting in progress, especially when it comes together the way I want it to!

Spending time with hubby chatting about what matters most to us.

Reading my daily comics, Baldo, For Better or For Worse, Luann, One Big Happy and Rose is Rose along with Zits. I usually got a good laugh from the irony or a resonating topic covered.

My journal writing lightens me since I have a place to release my angst and focus on the good stuff too.

I feel lighter when I listen to or watch a live vocal audition--I enjoy seeing someone succeed in their efforts with sounds of applause following. I find that inspiring!

I also feel lighter when I learn of someone's creative process, whether in music, art, photography, or other forms of artistic expression. Thus interviews are of interest to me regularly.

So, it's your turn! What lightens you in your day to day experience, especially when you feel the growing heaviness of life's responsibilities and relationships?

Write a Lighten UP list in your journal and see what shows up.
And if you haven't experienced what's on your list in a while, make it a priority!
Make plans to get some Lighten UP type stuff going in your life.
Seek it out. Be deliberate about how you spend your time to keep your day light.

It's interesting how one list leads to another list, isn't it?
That's one of the things I love about journal writing--you never know how one idea can lead to another and then life takes a positive shift for the better, and that really is often the point, right?

So get your journal on--and feel lighter in the process!
Enjoy and have some fun!

(You're welcome to share how it went in the comments below or email me direct at

© 2014 by Dawn Herring

Thursday, August 14, 2014


When we are in transition, change is inevitable. I suppose that's why transition can often create challenge and difficulty for us; so we don't like change necessarily. Change means we have to do things differently than before when we've gotten so used to the way things were.

But that can also mean that we're in a rut. Sometimes it's good to change things up.

But what kind of transition are we talking about?

There can be the kind that we don't necessarily choose. The kind that blindsides you, like when you lose your job or your house goes into foreclosure because of financial difficulties or a relationship comes unraveled and you simply don't know how to put it all back together.

These kinds of transitions can throw us off our center, even for long periods of time. That's why it's so important to listen carefully to our inner wisdom so we can move through these transitions as authentically as possible, paying close attention to Who We Are and Who We Are Becoming.

Because with transitional change comes inner change as well.
But are we resisting that inner change?
Is it triggering questions about Who We Thought We Were?
Are we finding ourselves reckoning with possible Illusions about Who We Thought We Were?

That can make a transition painful, but if we choose to be honest and gentle with ourselves as we face these changes, we can slow down and take a closer look and really listen to our hearts and determine what is our most authentic path.

Perhaps these changes are a gift and we just don't see the ribbons or bows just yet.
Not all packages come in fancy attire. Sometimes they're just plain and we don't realize the gift that is inside, that is showing us Who We Really Are and it's the most beautiful thing we've ever seen in ourselves.

That can truly take us by surprise. But what a lovely surprise it is.

That can make that transition transform into one we now Choose for ourselves, knowing we are now following more readily our authentic path that we had found ourselves lost without. But we have found it once again, and now we know where we want to go and maybe, just maybe, we have the courage to follow that path into a place we thought we'd never reach. But it's just right there. We just have to go a little further.
We just need to hang on and not give up.

The world we live in needs to see us not give up and to follow our authentic path so others can be encouraged to follow their's, just in the nick of time because they almost turned away too.

You can never know how you can help make the world a more courageous, authentic place by choosing your authentic path, whether or not you feel afraid or doubtful or discouraged or wonder if you're simply crazy for wanting to go in this new direction you've never been on before but you know it's totally right for you and so you will go there.

But you know you need to have Faith that the Universe will be with you every step of the way so you are not alone. No, we are NOT alone. All is well.

So, be strong. Don't be afraid.
Listen to Your Heart.
When you're in transition, see it as a gift given to you from the Universe as your way of getting back on your authentic path, and as you walk it, look out for all the good stuff that's coming your way and don't give up when you meet up with resistance, because it will come. It's only part of the process.

But don't give up. Stay on the path. Be strong and full of courage.
Then you will see the sun rise and you will see good things come to pass.
Just believe and be strong.
You won't regret your authentic path; it is a winning way.
The only way that will truly satisfy.

© 2014 By Dawn Herring

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Love: Life's Sweetest Reward

Love. Life's Sweetest Reward.
Recognize the opening line to The Love Boat?
It's an Open Smile on a Friendly Shore.

Open is the key word here.
You can't love unless you're open--to give and to receive.

But being open also makes you vulnerable--to hurt, pain, disappointment, and the frightening unknown.

It's hard to love someone when they do the same things over and over, and it's usually the opposite of what you want to see them do--for their own sake.

It's hard to love when you've seen the track record of disappointments, illusions and that merry-go-round that you just want to get off of.

It's hard to love when you think there might be another circumstance that will just hurt your heart, especially when your heart is already hurting from previous circumstances that haven't fully healed.

BUT. (Yes, there is a BUT.)

If you don't love, what will you do? Become indifferent? Callous? Numb? Apathetic?
That's certainly no way to live.

If we stay closed in order to protect ourselves, it will only create a space in our hearts just big enough for resentment, bitterness, anger and grieve to grow and lodge there. That's a very heavy place to be.

Certainly NOT Refreshing.


So what do you do when you're afraid to love?

Love Yourself First. A LOT.
Do everything that you love.
Fill your days with activities that lift you up, that open you to Who You Are in the fullest sense of the word.
Be with those who LOVE you truly, those you trust who have a proven track record of having your best interests at heart.
Connect with the LOVE of the Universe; let it seep into your veins like life blood; let it pulse through right to the core of your being and Keep It There.
As that Love of the Universe makes it home in your heart, you will then be able to open up and love even when that love may be rejected or dishonored or ignored.
Then go back and do more of What You LOVE. Keep yourself filled with those things that continue to lift you up.

Some of my favorite things that I LOVE to do:
Paint. Yes, I would say painting is one of the my favorite things to do. It opens my heart in a way that amazes me. It lifts me up and gives me opportunity to listen to the Voice Within and Really Pay Attention.

Journal. My journal and I are best friends; we meet often and share much. It's where I Listen to my Higher Self tell me things I need to know. (I also journal about my art too; they go hand in hand.)

Spend time with HUBBY who LOVES me truly (after 25 years, it just keeps getting better.)

Spend time with Grandboy. He never ceases to make me smile and laugh; and he's just getting started.

Listen to my Mocking bird; every time I hear him, I smile; sometimes I laugh. Especially if there's more than one.

Make a list of what you LOVE to do and do them often. Daily. Even hourly if necessary.
Loving yourself is a healing activity that is essential to your vitality and growth as a person in this Universe.
You can't love anyone else til you love yourself.

So that's the Perfect Place to Start.
Love is the Sweetest Reward...Give It To Yourself Often.
Then Go Make the World a Better Place.

© 2014 by Dawn Herring

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Making Space

Do you have something in your life that you want to make room for?

We all have dreams or even small ideas that niggle at the back of our minds just waiting for space to be expressed, don't we?

So, what is holding us back?

Probably doubt.

But another issue that may be a tougher nut to crack is looking at how we are spending our time and determine activities that are the most time consuming, even if we happily engage in those activities. We have to determine if those activities can either be cut back on or eliminated all together to make space for what we really want.

My main "something" that I've been longing to spend more time on has been my ART. Over the past few years, as I've discovered the wonders of watercolor, I've wanted to engage with it all the more.

But so many responsibilities and activities have prevented me from doing so.
So recently, in my journal, I asked the question, what is holding me back from engaging in art more so, since this is the Heart of Who I Am. No second guessing that.

I touched on a few issues concerning doubts about my direction and other smaller things related to certain projects I have in mind. But I knew that wasn't the Core Issue. My main problem was where I was spending too much of my time.

So I got serious about looking more closely at my time-sucks.
Obviously my increasing duties where my skills are greatly needed in our Bill's Quality Electric, LLC electrical contracting company are of primary importance, which I already knew. So that wasn't the issue.

Soon I discovered what was the most time consuming, and why it was. So I decided that I needed to create more boundaries, determine what mattered most and greatly reduce what wasn't necessary. Of course, it hasn't been easy. Old habits die hard.

But every extra moment I've had in my studio as a result has been a great reward for reducing the other activity.

So, how do you reckon with making more space for your desired activity, perhaps an Authentic Refreshment?

You have to look honestly at what is sapping your time and energy and really determine what matters most.
What will you lose if you either limit the other activities or eliminate them altogether? Be totally honest here. Reckon with any illusions that may be causing you to think something negative could happen when, really, you  know it won't. You just think it will.

Once you have that figured out, set a do-able goal on how to make that change in time spent on that activity that isn't deserving as much time if any at all. Don't be afraid to let go of something if you think you'll really miss it. (Like emails that are begging to be deleted but you're hanging on to them just in case. I'm always surprised by the relief I feel when I hit that delete button; and I've never missed even one of those emails!)

There is a time and a season for everything; and sometimes what we used to spend vast amounts of time doing no longer feeds us like it used to. If it feels like it's sapping you instead of adding to you, you know it's time to make a change.

Once you start implementing the change, be gentle with yourself if you fall back to doing that activity too much again; just get back to the greatly desired activity that you really want to do, and you'll get into flow of Who You Are.

Remember, we are constantly changing. What worked for us before may not work for us now. The more we really listen to those changes and embrace what really keeps us centered and aligned with Who We Are, the happier, more peaceful and more energetic we'll be.

You have that idea or activity in mind for a reason; don't neglect what your soul really wants. Give it space to express itself. That positive change just might change your life!

© 2014 by Dawn Herring

Monday, April 14, 2014


illusion (n) something that a person wrongly supposes to exist. A false belief about the nature of something.
pretend (v) to create a false appearance of something either in play or so as to deceive others.

We all remember what it was like when we were a child and had a desire to imitate life around us. Like pretending to cook in the kitchen or pretending you're superman with a cape on. Or writing in your diary thinking you'll be a grown-up writer someday.

What did you pretend to be when you were a child? Was it fun? Adventurous?
One of my favorite pretend activities was with my Barbie dolls; I would come up with all kinds of scenarios of what they would do and be. I also pretended to feed my doll bottled milk (you know the kind that disappeared when it was horizontal.) It was all so fun and felt grown up to do something I hoped to do one day. (Of course I had two daughters, so that did eventually happen!)

Pretending is a huge part of a child's imagination and an essential part of growing up. It's all good.

On the flip side of that whole typical picture is illusion.
I don't mean the kind that magicians carry out to make something look real when it isn't. That's all in good fun.

No, I mean the kind that speaks of things that we worry about. The kind of content that runs around in our brains when we're trying something new or when we're figuring something out or when we're determining what comes next in a relationship or conflict we are facing.

We don't often return to the childhood activity of play, even though we should; that's often where imagination takes on a decidedly authentic turn, showing us how to solve problems and determine which path to take when we are perplexed.

It comes naturally to kids to problem solve; they don't give up easily, especially if it's helping them do something they really want to do. Child's play is nothing to laugh at when it comes to it's effectiveness in helping us learn our way in the world.

So why do we resort to that worrying narrative that runs around in our heads, undermining our imagination and twisting it into anxious and fearful thoughts that are just that...anxious and fearful thoughts?

Where do they come from?

My guess is our subconscious minds are trying to solve our perplexities but it's not getting past the noise to the voice within. This happens when we don't choose to be deliberately mindful, choosing better thoughts as we recognize something we think about that isn't really true because it hasn't happened yet. I call those thoughts Illusion. Those thoughts, most of the time, cause anxiety. And when we give our energy to them, without even realizing that's what we're doing, it creates a sense of un-ease that is so unnecessary. It steals our peace and produces an unhealthy energy that saps us dry.

Let's get mindful! Let's get deliberate about the thoughts we choose to think. Let's record in our journals the thoughts that are troubling us so we can determine if they are based in truth (what we know for sure) or in Illusion (what hasn't happened). Let's use our imaginations to create a life that is authentic to Who We Are.

Just like children who do eventually grow up and become who they wanted to be. Maybe they really did become that artist, that writer, that astronaut, that Mom or Dad with their child in their arms.

And maybe you can be Who You Want To Be even now. Knowing Who You Are is the First Step toward directing your thoughts authentically and in a direction that is true and lovely and good.

We'll keep Illusion for the magicians who like to make things look real when they are not.
Know Your Truth and Live In It and Become Who You Want To Be. For Real.

© 2014 by Dawn Herring

Friday, February 7, 2014


Did you have fun today?
I mean the kind where you laughed hysterically or experienced something that left you feeling refreshed and invigorated?

What do you think about when you hear the word: FUN?
Perhaps something you don't think you have time for?

Ah, that obligation dilemma always rears its undesirable head just when you're thinking about something FUN you want to do.

So, what is the definition of FUN?
How about this: Light Hearted Amusement. I like the sound of that. Light gives me the impression of not feeling the heaviness of things. Hearted means it brings delight to your heart so you feel good afterwards. And then there's the Amusement...that's where the laughing hysterically part comes in.

Have you ever noticed how good you feel after a thorough-from-the-belly-laugh? What makes YOU laugh like that? You need to inject some more into your daily existence. I know I do.

One of the things I've been doing on a daily basis to add more FUN to my day is a daily doodle (See Jani Frank's Unearth Ecourse at The Bubbling Well. In my opinion, I think Jani is hilarious and FUN; I often laugh out loud watching her videos.) Yes, Jani encourages a daily doodle for 7 days or as long as you decide to go with it. It really loosens up the expectations as an artist. You're just having FUN on the page instead of worrying about perfection.

So I thought about how I could incorporate this idea and decided that my daily Summary Word would be a great way to do so since it's every day. I have a journaling visual practice I use in the evening where I list all of the main events in my daily experience, and next to each one I put an X for something upsetting or annoying or a * for stuff that made me happy, excited or refreshed. And after doing this visual review, I determine what ONE WORD would appropriately summarize my day. Now instead of just writing it, I DOODLE it. And I am having FUN! It makes the whole expression so much more creative, intuitive and gives me an excuse to illustrate what that word really means to me. I look forward to this exercise even more now with my Daily Doodle. (Thanks, Jani, for the idea.)

Another way I have FUN in my day is, of course, with my art journal; I don't do this on a daily basis, but at least several times per week. (Maybe even 4 or 5 at this point.) I always enjoy my time in my art studio Playing and Exploring and Experimenting on the page. I love using watercolors, images (using image transfer technique sometimes), text either from newspaper or magazine or stamped text, and texture from using different items that create an interesting result on the page. I never have to ask myself if I'm having fun because I just DO.

Another area of life that injects FUN into my day is spending time with grandboy. His laughter, his smile, his adorable sense of humor, and his growing cognitive skills just make for a hilarious and interesting time. I especially enjoy looking at small plastic books with him. I usually end up singing a song to him or exaggerating words and sounds that always gets him giggling and laughing.

Another way I experience FUN in my life is through spontaneous time with my hubby. Whether it's shopping at the grocery store, going to book stores, taking a drive just because, or simply having terrific conversation, we have FUN together. (And we're celebrating 25 years of this.)

There are other activities I also enjoy, such a watching a funny movie, listening to musical auditions, perusing art journaling or collage related books and magazines, or watching something hilarious a friend posts on Facebook (this happens a LOT-Can you hear me laughing from here??).

One thing I would recommend you do to get more FUN vibes in your life is to write down one moment in your day where you laughed. You didn't have one? Well, then this Moment calls for Something that will.
Go! Do It! Then Laugh. Then you'll have something to write down. *Wink*

I give you permission to always include a FUN FACTOR in your day. Every. Single. Day.
You may notice you become more Aware of what makes you laugh and start pursuing it.
That's the idea! Yay! Go for it!

Then let me know. I'd love to hear about it. (And if you want to share how you have refreshed yourself with something FUN that helps you appreciate yourself for who you are, validates your emotions and feelings and nurtures your soul, please email me direct at

Did you have FUN reading this? I hope so. (I know I had FUN writing it!)
Now Go Make Some Fun Right Now. Really.  

Be refreshed!
© 2014 by Dawn Herring

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A New Paradigm

We all have our routines filled with to dos, tasks, conversation, decision making, choices, relationships and expectations, either initiated by our own desires or someone else's. This all sounds like a pretty typical life. So we don't often make much change since we get used to the way things are.

But that's not necessarily a good thing.
Especially if we're feeling the stress of unmet expectations no matter the source, if we find ourselves tired and worn out from not pacing ourselves and if we find less joy and more discouragement in our overall emotional life experience.

We need to heed the warning signs of doing too much, saying too much, and not taking enough time to do what will invigorate, inspire and re-energize.

Thus we need a new paradigm. A new approach. A New Way of Doing Life.

How do we know what changes to make?

We have to base them on our values, what really matters to us most, what is priority over everything else.
That means saying no to things that we may see as valuable or at least reducing the amount of time we spend on them with no major consequence and at the same time, increase the amount of time of what we know is essential to our well being.

First of all, one of the best things I've ever done is choose to SLOW DOWN. Take it easy. Take Breaks. Don't push yourself too hard. And forgive yourself when you make mistakes. Life is full of them; we cannot expect perfection, just our best.

I have found that when I PACE myself, doing certain tasks at certain times, and then taking a break to relax, journal and do something that energizes me makes all the difference in the world for my over all well being. Don't let your life circumstances become so overwhelming that it's what you have to do. Pace yourself now so you're body will thank you later.

Another issue I've addressed: when I feel stress in a situation, I exit, going somewhere where I can regroup, center myself, and give myself space to release stress and relax, doing something I love to do, even if it's just being quiet for a time.

Speaking of Quiet, reducing your amount of conversation can actually enhance your well being. The less we say, sometimes, the better. Much of what we say, whether just in daily existence or in conversation with another, is full of unnecessary noise. How often do we find ourselves saying, "Why did I say that? I should have just kept my mouth shut." Exactly.

If you institute less talking (try writing down everything you want to say and you'll find yourself saying less automatically just because writing it down is such a pain), you will find more energy for doing things you want to do. It's also quieting for the soul. Less talk produces more quiet contemplation.

It can also help to keep a journal when you institute less talking so you can record what you're thinking and still feel "heard" in a way. At least your point of view still matters on paper. The point is that when you talk less, what you do say will have more power. They say your words carry energy; so when you use that energy to speak, really think about what you say before you say it. Be choosier with your speech. It may just change the way you think about everything.

These changes will take some getting used to since we're so used to being in a rush, talking too much, and doing too much every single day.

Make space for Quiet Contemplation. Connect with your Source Energy and find yourself more aligned with who you really are. With Quiet, Slowing Down, Pacing Yourself and Taking Time to do what you love, you will enter a whole new Paradigm and Way of Life that will increase the quality of your life experience and give you a greater sense of purpose in all you do, say, and think.

Do you need to Slow Down? Be More Quiet? Say Less and Do More of what you Love?
Start now before your body starts speaking for you in ways that are uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Listen carefully to your Higher Self, that place of Inner Wisdom and Intuition that will tell you what changes you can make to enter a New Paradigm for Living Authentic to Who You Really Are.

In the process, you'll also make the world a better place.
Have a Happy New Year and Happy New Life.

&#169 2014 by Dawn Herring

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(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

(3/21) A Week's Worth of Journaling Prompts: Vulnerability

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

(3/14) Let Them Play in the Backyard

(3/11) How to Keep a Journal When You Don't Ever Have Any Time

(3/10) Memories

(3/9) Journal Writing through Emotions: Disappointment

(3/8) Revolutionary Act 3: Reclaim Your Mornings

(3/7) 7 Reasons to Start a Journal

(3/4) "I Wish.."

Three Steps Toward 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!