Your Authentic Refreshment with Refreshment Specialist, Dawn Herring

Welcome to Your Authentic Refreshment, A Revealing Place showcasing folks who have discovered and benefit from engaging in refreshment that is authentic to their personality, preferences, and purpose in life, the kind that enables them to appreciate themselves, validate their emotions, and nurture their soul. I am Dawn Herring, Your Refreshment Specialist, Host of #JournalChat Live for all things journaling on Twitter and publisher of my monthly Refresh Journal. I am eager to share the stories of how others how found authentic refreshment that increases the quality of their life experience. Perhaps someones's story will resonate with you and initiate a discover for your own authentic refreshment. If you would like to share your authentic refreshment story, contact me at

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Your Authentic Refreshment: Lynda Monk, Journal Writer, Author, Speaker

Journaling is a huge passion of mine and of many others. My very good friend and fellow journal keeper, Lynda Monk, Writing for Wellness Coach, Speaker and Author, facilitates journaling workshops and is one who finds great benefit with the process of journaling and expressive writing for her Authentic Refreshment, which she so eloquently shares in her following essay. She shares her process of asking the right questions and combining journaling with other refreshing activities that are true to her authentic process of knowing who she is.

When I think about my own unique Authentic Refreshment – what’s true is that it is never just one thing that refreshes me, which I imagine is true for most of us.  Different times in my life have called for different ways to refresh and replenish myself. 

What I needed for replenishment…
·  in the early years of my social work career while working in the deep end of stress and trauma, 
·  during the many sleepless nights with two babes under 2 years old,   
·  as I grieve the loss of my father to Alzheimer’s disease, 
·  during the push of a deadline 
·  in the midst of an exciting new work contract 
·  or in the everyday balancing (juggling) of marriage, motherhood, my business/career
…is ever changing.   The context of my life is always shaping what I need for Authentic Refreshment – day by day, moment to moment.  I often pause and ask myself, “What do I need to feel refreshed or replenished in this moment?” 

Then I listen within for the answer.  I might need to go on what I call a “spirit walk”; a solitary walk in nature, a blend of walking meditation and quiet.  Nature is my church.  I might take a night away for a mini-retreat where I stay in a hotel, take my journal, bubble bath, a candle, an inspirational book (I recently did this and took Natalie Goldberg’s new book called The True Secret of Writing).  Stepping away from the ordinary, entering into solitude and time in my own company refreshes me from deep places within. 

As a creative, sensitive, heart-centered care “giver” by nature, (I am an ENFJ on the Meyers’Briggs J), having solitary time where I can come home to myself and my own self-care is really essential to filling my emotional cup.  While I am fed and stimulated and even refreshed by inspiring and dynamic interactions with others, I also need Solitary Authentic Refreshment to support the ebb and flow of self-care and other-care. 
Journaling and writing are my absolute favourite ways to refresh.  When I meet the blank page, pen in hand, my heart opens, mind settles, body breathes and my spirit is nourished through reflection, story, dreaming, exploring, remembering and forgetting on the page.  Journaling is like meditating with a pen in my hand.  It stills me, drops me into my desires, connects me with my self – is always authentic – real, true, deep rooted.  It grounds me.  My journaling writing practice shapes who I am - it is more than just something I do.  Journaling feeds my soul, the deepest essence of who I am.

I discovered journaling as a young girl.  I can still remember an early diary, pink with a lock and key.  It was all very top secret – although I have no memory of what I was printing about at 8 years-old - perhaps I was writing about the fun I had with my best friends, Carrie and Darlene.  Now, my journal is an 8. 5 by  11 inch spiral bound sketch book, with my .05 mm pilot pen held in its spine.   I journal on my own and with others – in my Writing Alone Together circle with two other women, in my journaling workshops, with my husband from time to time.   This practice of journaling with others has led to me  co-authoring a book called Writing Alone Together:  Journaling within a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection (will be published in 2014).  You never know where writing leads!

My passion for journaling and writing for self-care, self-discovery, growth, healing, and joy…has also, in the past few years, deeply shaped my work in the world.  My coaching and speaking business, Creative Wellness, is focused on all things writing to heal, writing to grow.  Now, I regularly speak and teach about the healing and transformational power of journaling and expressive writing as practices for self-care, personal growth, and inspired living.  Writing for myself, and others too, feels like a portal for accessing Source energy, a way of opening to all that is through words, ideas, thoughts and feelings – an awakening and authentic refreshment that is born with a pen in hand.

Lynda Monk shares a video clip from one of her journaling workshops.
She is also one of the upcoming speakers for the annual Journaling Expo coming January 12, 2014. 

Lynda Monk is a passionate journal writer, founder of Creative Wellness and author of Life Source Writing™:  A Reflective Journaling Practice for Self-Discovery, Self-Care, Wellness and Creativity.  You can access her FREE Writing for Wellness Getting Started Guide which is filled with over 30 journaling prompts to discover and nourish YOU.