27 Nov

Before the Creative Process


Does it exist inside or outside  ourselves?
Can we choose it or does it simply overtake us?
Is it in things, experiences, relationships?
Like a good mystery, the answers are there for each of us.
It is the clues we must uncover.

When do we experience joy?

In real laughter?
In breathtaking moments of nature revealed?
The beauty of birth or the experience of true love?
It is, no doubt, unique to each of us.

Who experiences joy?

The youngster or the oldster?
The academically educated or the one educated by life?
The rich and powerful or the poor and powerless?
Or all of the stages between  the aforesaid?
It would appear that anyone can
under almost any circumstance…
Victor Frankl,  survivor of the Nazi death camps, spoke of finding joy in the oddest of things—as in hearing the news that the particular camp he had come to was small and therefore had no gas ovens.

How do we experience joy?

Can we arrange for it to happen?
Can it be timed or measured?
Is there a little joy as compared to a big joy or is there simply JOY?
It would appear that weighing joy is right up there with weighing thoughts—no scale has been created for it—It’s small enough to fit inside us and yet too big to measure.

What is joy?

An open ended eternity as opposed to a limited life
It is
the expression of life
It is
the veil removed
It is  LIFE seen through brand new vision
Beholding all the enormity, all the possibilities, all the word defying amazingness that this thing we refer to as life …IS.
Dig deep into your soul
Harvest the seed planted there
For each of us were given a measure

To be that one

Whose living

Brings JOY


without measure


To light
The JOY of love
The JOY of hope
The JOY of peace
The JOY of beauty
The JOY of giving
The JOY of receiving
The JOY of laughter

The JOY of JOY

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
Scatter joy!
 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now, go do your thing.
“Morning Glow in the Village”


Dana Burton
Congrats Dana!   Click here to email me with your snail mail address:)

Just so you know, all winners are selected using Random.org services—there is no way I could ever pick just one from all the wonderful gratitude comments being posted each day!!

Only 3 Days Left!!
And yes, I have a plan for what we are going to do once we have reached the end of November….stay tuned:)))
If you missed it–there are some especially nice things I’m giving away this week:
The Gratitude Giveaway for November 29 is a 
Kindle Reader.
The Gratitude Giveaway for November 30 is a 
$450  Gift Certificate
(To be used on either one of my original paintings or one of my 2014 workshops in Kentucky)
The Gratitude Giveaway for Everyone is a FREE digital download of my newest book containing all the paintings and my writings for the Gratitude Adventure. 
(Virtual Hug Included;)

Here’s tomorrow’s Gratitude Giveaway

Let There Be Love, my book of paintings and writings.
To get your name in the hat for this and for the big drawings at the end of this month, leave your comment and report back tomorrow to see A) if you’ve won and B)  to leave another comment:)
Sharing is good….please share the JOY and the Gratitude  with one special person today:))
To do so, simply forward it and/or click the Facebook like button on my blog.
(To leave a comment , scroll to bottom of today’s post and click on COMMENTS.
Please note, if you received this blog post in your inbox, click here to go to my blog, THEN scroll to bottom of today’s post and click on COMMENTS.
Need more help on how to comment? Click here:)



Just Out–My November Newsletter with An Inspiring Video! Click Here:))
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  1. sharon g

    Your paintings inspire!!! I have registered for a workshop in August and am SO excited to learn from you. Have a wonderful, blessed holiday season.

  2. Anonymous

    Thankful for friends that do not disappoint, and grateful for peace of mind& the colors YOU bring into our lives!!

  3. Anonymous

    As always I am grateful that I found you and that you prompted each one of us to search within our hearts and realize how much we have to be thankful for! It was a wonderful thing for you to do. Bless your beautiful mind! Pat Steedle

  4. I’m grateful, after years of teaching, to have many former teacher friends who are joyous, energetic, and possessed of all sorts of kills they continue to be willing to share.

  5. Anonymous

    I am headed to a service for my artist friend who passed away on Tuesday. I am so grateful that I knew her. She had such a positive,kind,creative soul. Her beautiful paintings will live on…RIP my dear friend Mare….Diane Howard

  6. Grateful for all the many opportunities for fun and sharing during the holiday season.

  7. Katherine Baker

    I am grateful for the wonderful posts all month. What food for thought. We are as full from these words of wisdom as we are after our Thanksgiving meal. Thank you, Dreama!

  8. I am grateful for all the wonderful truths you have shared with us this month, esp. the one by Michael Beckwith:
    ..take the brakes off, throw away the rearview mirror that only sees the past, and live the life you were destined for. You are here to become free and live a life of excellence at all levels. And the world will be better for this because one man, one woman, said “yes” to their soul-character and dared to reach for the unreachable star, to live in the impossible dream.
    ~Michael Beckwith

  9. Susan Williams

    I am thankful that my good friend Margaret received good news from her doctor. They were afraid she would have to have heart surgery, but instead it was just a chemical imbalance. She has been through so much and still manages to enjoy life. Such an inspriation.

  10. I’m grateful for all the artists I met in the wonderful little community of Bluffton SC. What kind, sharing people. Can’t wait to go back.

  11. I’m going to really miss reading your writings Dreama and all the comments every day. This has been a wonderful adventure. Thanks so much for doing it!

    Joyce Howard

  12. Today I am grateful for freshly home-made baked bread and soup -on a cold and frosty day with a snow storm looming…

  13. Grateful that you give us a second chance for this email that wasn’t received timely. But really, grateful for the JOY of all the hugs and kisses from my grandkids this afternoon when I stopped by. They are always full of joy and happy to see Grandma!
    Myra Patin
    Colorado Springs, CO

  14. Anonymous

    You’ve got me all confused as to where I’ve posted and where not. I don’t think I received this blog so I will post some gratitude here as well. Today I’m grateful for my laptop and the internet. I don’t think I could be as free or live such a frugal life without these amazing tools. I’t hard to believe it’s only a few short years since I gave in and got an email address. Now my whole life is lived online. What an amazing gift. Sea Dean

  15. Anonymous

    Grateful just to be able to participate in this wonderful month of gratitude. Merry Lund

  16. Anonymous

    Joyfulness! How lucky we are to live in this country where we have freedom, and no wars on our soil. We have Christmas and Thanksgiving, two holidays to express gratitude. Living in American is very special and I am grateful for this. Thank You! and have an awesome day dear friend.
    Merry Lund

  17. Anonymous

    I misssed this one yesterday- what a lovely thought – joy in the morning – favorite time of day.
    Cathy J

  18. Gretchen Stoudt

    Grateful for the assurance from my eye doctor at today’s appointment that my vision is holding its own.

  19. Cindy

    Today, I am so grateful to have time and materials to paint. I’ve waited a long time to express myself visually and am so thankful to actually be able to do it.

    Thanks, Dreama, for the lovely messages.

  20. DLPBR

    Grateful for the joy of painting!

  21. Anonymous

    Grateful to be able to be retired.

  22. I’m English, so my fellow Brits and I miss out on this wonderful time of Thanks-Giving! I so wish we had similar over here! But still, I’m thankful that because of this wonderful land of Blog, I get to share a little of it with all of my Arty friends from across the pond :0)

  23. oh my goodness, that painting is just incredible! grateful for the mercy of God and that my joy is based on something that is eternal & unchanging.

  24. Joy! I love finding it in the littlest things…like playing with cotton bolls on Christmas wreaths to give away…I think it is about giving and getting those smiles. Grateful for the little joys each day that all add up to make for a pretty good day!

  25. Karla

    Today I am grateful for Joyce Meyer who has helped me find the balance in my faith and the joy that God intended.

  26. Anonymous

    I am grateful for all the beauty of nature, for family and friendships, for good health, for all that I am able to do; for the sheer joy of living and laughing.

    Alma Marshall

  27. Anonymous

    Today I’m would have to say joy is that special thing/things that bring happiness to our hearts. Whatever that may be. My dogs bring me much joy each day. My husband brings me much joy each day. Today I most grateful for the pain medicine finally working on my hurt back. I also love today’s painting by Dreama and her words of wisdom Amen. Nancy Piros

  28. Anonymous

    Grateful to be getting over a cold. Yuk!
    Ginger jepson

  29. I am grateful for a wonderful day spent with a great friend!

  30. Anonymous

    Grateful for the quiet evening and a warm
    Monica Dahl

  31. I am so thankful for the joy playing my french horn in our church orchestra brings me. No matter how tired or discouraged I may be before a rehearsal, I am full of joy and energy by the time I leave!

  32. I am grateful for the joy my children and bonus children bring me. They are all unique and special in their own way.

  33. grateful for the joy of peace and quiet. Have had 2 fab days with my 4 year old grandson, no drama, no fussing, no crying. don’t know what’s going on with him, but grateful, nonetheless.

  34. Anonymous

    I am grateful for a working car.
    Dana Burton

  35. I am grateful for the time I have to paint everyday and for all the friends I’ve made through art.

  36. I’m thankful for the dance instruction I had tonight and the ability to move and find joy in dance. Life is good!

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  38. Anonymous

    I am grateful for all the things I was able to accomplish today from painting furniture and gardening to writing on my blog. Mary Moran

  39. Today I am thankful for another down day, to rest and recuperate from a small but painful injury. It was a good day for reflection.

  40. I love the colors you use in your paintings. Thanks for sharing Dreama!!!

  41. Your posts are so inspiring Dreama, thank you so much for this month long of good things in my inbox. I am thankful for the innocence and joy of my small kids at this Christmas season. I know one day they’ll grow too old for this magic, but for now it’s in full force!

  42. Ellen A.

    Thank you Dreama for making us all aware of what a beautiful & colorful world we live in. Very Grateful. It makes us all feel great when we see and experience life’s true colors.

  43. Anonymous

    I am grateful for life.
    Brenda Gibbs

  44. grateful for the joy of hiking 3 miles in the Indian Reservation in Palm Springs…so beautiful!

  45. Anonymous

    Thankful for my first Christmas card today from an old friend. vicki morgan

  46. Today I am grateful for my family and a positive outlook. Thanks again Dreama!

  47. Sharon

    Today I am grateful for the wonderful blue sky we are all enjoying her in WA. No rain just glorious sunshine.

  48. Marcia Fox

    Today I’m grateful to have just gotten through another day at work, now home, going to watch, “The Voice”!

  49. I am so grateful for the positive energy from certain people in my life!

  50. Anonymous

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  52. Ginny Good

    I am so thankful for this gratitude adventure with Dreama and other artists this month! It gives me Joy! I have truly been blessed with wonderful days of joy this month and want to continue on living this way! I wish we could do this for an entire year! A support group for JOY and GRATITUDE! Thanks!

  53. Anonymous

    I am grateful for Dreama’s gratitude journal and the new focus I have on the everyday things in my world. I have joy in my heart that my nephew is most of the way through his tour in Afganistan in good health. Joy and gratitude are my new friends, and I find that when I look for joy and things to be grateful for, they multiply (at least in my consciousness).
    Karen Gifford

    • Anonymous

      Good grief, I can’t even spell Afghanistan properly; but I am still grateful I can add a correction.
      Karen Gifford

  54. Anonymous

    I am thankful for inspirational words – they can heal, inspire, open the doors to creativity, and sooth the soul.
    Sue van T.

  55. It’s been a long time since I thought about what gives me joy. I am grateful for the vignettes in life. Those little moments that suddenly make my eyes twinkle and that I keep in my heart. Today it was watching a red tail hawk’s grace and confidence.
    Joan Terrell

  56. Gaylynn

    I am thankful for my mother-in-law wh is an inspiration and wonderful role model to me and my daughters.

  57. Anonymous

    I am grateful for the skilled surgeon and staff for helping “let the light” back in my eyes…..2nd eye today. I’m also thankful for my artist/friend who cheerfully gave up her day to drive me there and back.
    Charlotte Stewart

  58. Today I’m thankful for my sense of humor.

  59. June

    This is such a beautiful painting, Dreama. I love the way it makes me feel. I picturee myself there. I find peace and serenity there. I find joy there.

    I find so much joy in so many things, people, places and experiences, and for that, I am most grateful – for being able to not only find it, but experience those joys when they greet me. My cats fill me with joy (and laughter) every day. My beloved husband fills my heart and my spirit with joy each day…each hour…each moment that we are together. Hearing from and connecting with friends brings me so much joy. Nature fills my spirit with joy and wonderment and humbled amazement at how it all ‘works’.

    Art – so many incredibly beautiful expressions of creative intentions from so many artists in this world – which is all of us, come to that. We are all artists, and we all have something unique to express creatively. Art brings me and my little world so much incredible fulfillment and joy.

    And music! Music fills my life, my spirit, my heart, my soul and my very being with so much joy and so much pleasure. I cannot imagine my world without the gift and the exquisite pleasure that music offers all of us.

    So many things to be grateful for and thankful for, but what they all come under the umbrella is what they bring and what they offer – joy.

    Thanks for these beautiful thoughts and words, Dreama. And that glorious painting.

  60. Toni

    Today I am grateful for the joy of hearing the laughter of children and for the joyous way that my dogs greet me when I come home.

  61. Today I shall open my heart and let the joy in! Thank you, again..

  62. Anonymous

    The sun is gorgeous today. Cold, but beautiful. Gayle

  63. Wow… beautiful post today! I am grateful to know joy in my life in what sometimes is just a small blessing that could easily go un-noticed.
    Dreama, thank you.

  64. I am grateful to you, Dreama, for scattering joy with the wave of your pen and the flick of your brush.

  65. Anonymous

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  66. Today I am grateful for the first snow of the year…lovely soft snow flakes this morning….

  67. I am thankful that I am able to be home for my girls when they are sick.

  68. Anonymous

    Rejoice, again I say rejoice. Phil 4:4
    Etta Hermann

  69. I am grateful for all the little things that bring me joy each day.

  70. Anonymous

    I am thankful for the scattered JOY all around me.
    Carol Hickerson

  71. Linda

    Grateful that I get to paint ALL day!!! It’s ART DAY…YaHoo!
    Linda, Nevada

  72. Anonymous

    Oh JOY!! How wonderful to find joy in small things! Thank you Dreama!

    Susan Johnson

  73. Anonymous

    I get to paint with my good artist friends today for which I am very thankful and joyful.

  74. btw – I have not received the last two days in my inbox, but am subscribed. glitches?

  75. I am grateful for finding joy in the process of painting and hope it comes through for others to enjoy. Thank you

  76. I love your joyful painting Dreama! It’s so beautiful! Today I am so grateful to know that I CAN make things happen!

  77. Anonymous

    The Joy of finishing a painting that may have taken me on a journey in it’s self to recreate something wonderful and unexpected. In the end something I love and can’t wait to frame it and put it on the wall! Joy of going to church each Sunday and hearing a terrific sermon and singing beautiful hymns what a way to start a week!!! The first morning glow in Yosemite National Park really gets my juices going to paint and be one with nature.I’m grateful for my warm wonderful home today as it is cold and rainy outside. Inside my pain in my injured back doesn’t feel as bad as outside. Blessings to all, Nancy Piros

  78. Anonymous

    I find joy in my painting, in my love of nature, my family and friends, listening now to music that reminds me of God’s gift to us all.

    Judith B

  79. Grateful today will be MUCH warmer than yesterday’s frozen damp weather 😀

  80. Anonymous

    I am thankful for scientist, who work so hard to find things out like…Brie chesse is really good for you since it adds friendly bacteria to you gut…how great is that?

  81. Anonymous

    I’m wearing pink shoes and am going to paint a wall the colour of the carribean sea on Thursday. I am thankful for joy.
    Barb Krell

  82. Today I am grateful for your blog post about joy.
    I am reminded to feel and seek joy in the common everday things we surround ourselves with and the people we encounter each day.

  83. I am grateful for your encouraging words at your workshop. I play them over in my head when having a bad day. Thank you Dreama! Your workshop brought me great joy and continues to when I think back to the fun we all had.

  84. Today I’m grateful for peace. The peace I have in my heartand from that peace I have joy. Joy and happiness that I can share with others. My prayer today is that God will bless everyone.

  85. I am grateful for your encouraging words at your workshop. I play them over in my head when having a bad day. Thank you Dreama! Your workshop brought me great joy and continues to when I think back to the fun we all had.

  86. I loved this at hello. It brings me great joy and hope that I will someday stand before this cottage paint brush in hand attending your class in France. I am very grateful for inspiration and hope.

  87. One of my favorite songs is “Joy to the World”. I am grateful for the Joy the Father gave us though his beloved Son coming to earth. My heart receives this Joy.

  88. Today I go visit my friend who is dying. It will be the last time I see him so I’m grateful for that chance that sometimes we don’t get when someone dies without warning. I’m grateful I get to tell him how much joy he brought to the lives of so many, and I’m glad I read this blog before I left so I can keep in mind all the ways he brought joy to my life and hopefully it will keep me from losing it altogether.

    • June

      God bless you for being so loving and so giving, for being there for your friend, who will feel and receive so much comfort and love from you and your visiting him. With much love to you, and a prayer for your friend.

  89. C-Rae

    Joy to the World and Joy to the Fishes in the Deep Blue Sea…Grateful for our beautiful world…

  90. Irma

    I am grateful for good health and my family.

  91. Thankful for all those times to celebrate life – mine and others.

  92. Deb LaRocque

    Joy is such a small word but it encompasses so much. It has different meanings to many. I find joy in the simple things…a quiet night with the snow falling, a glorious sunset, a beautiful flower, time with a friend, a hug from my son(s), that perfect brush stroke that happened by accident and of course that perfect color that makes everything sing…So today I am grateful for all the joy in my life and hope that everyone is as luck as I am.

  93. I am grateful for those moments when I realize joy has snuck in! Love it!

  94. JOY!!! I experience joy many days but I really experienced it yesterday when in the mail came by gratitude gift, Dreama’s book, Let There Be Love…. Beautiful!
    I am grateful!

  95. Anonymous

    Today I am grateful that we have our Christmas tree up early. Linda Will

  96. Good morning, Dreama! I choose joy because, as it says in Nehemiah, the joy of the Lord is my strength. I often don’t feel joyful, but that’s okay. I’m grateful for the hope I have in God.

  97. Happy and thankful today that I go to see a friend of mine

  98. Anonymous

    Thanks for giving me joy this morning, Dreama! I will do my best to spread it around!
    M.B. Harrison

  99. Anonymous

    Dreama today I am really grateful that i shared some of your writings with my son who is in hospital and he has shared them with his fellow patients and they have given joy and peace to them but most importantly as he told me this morning HOPE. They are to laminate some of your words and put them up on the walls in the Quiet Room for others now and in the future. Thank you xx
    Frances, St Benoit du Sault

  100. Today is my mother’s 75th birthday … I am grateful for the loving, encouraging, supportive, JOYFUL way she raised me. Thanks, Mom!

  101. FCP

    #27…inviting joy in by noticing, recording, savoring the minutiae.
    faye christian phillips

  102. I’m very grateful for having learned some key acupressure points & I ‘m always amazed at how quickly they work ~ Sweet Movie Dreams ~

  103. Anonymous

    I am thankful that the joy of the Lord is my strength. In His presence is fullness of joy. I am grateful to Dreama for reminding us of some of the sources of joy in this life.

  104. Anonymous

    I am grateful for Christmas! It’s such a warm time of year!
    Sue Taylor

  105. Anonymous

    I am grateful I can feel real joy in everyday living and give real joy to my loved ones.
    Marilyn Troutman

  106. I am grateful for all of my artist friends and their amazing and inspirational creativity. God has truly blessed me.

  107. Lyn

    thankful today for a day of tennis and art!

  108. I am grateful as I watch another day unfold. It is so joyful to watch the sun peek through the clouds, and darkness turns to light. I love the mornings!

  109. Bon

    Somehow I am missing a day here…but I think I’ve successfully sleuthed out the comment field for today. I received my tote bag last night; and YES that is my thankful post for the day. It is lovely and I’m thrilled to have found this blog and to be a part of the fun.

  110. I have a plaque in my bedroom that says “Love the moment,and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.” I think that’s how joy happens in my life. We choose joy-it’s not happiness which is dependent on circumstances-joy comes from attitude and from our heart. I am thankful for the gift of joy and the fact that EVERY day can be a joyful day no matter what.

  111. I am grateful for the healing power of sleep.

  112. Joy is… to dance like nobody is watching, to write when the words flood the page, to paint like you’ve never painted before, to immerse yourself in the process, to create a unique piece of work – which right up until that moment did not exist in the world, but does now. Best Wishes

  113. Anonymous

    I want to be outrageous and paint like I have never painted before. It is my birthday and it is time for me to do this. I feel like having the brush in my hand and the brush will create the painting as my inner being will push the brush in the right direction, and the painting will pop with excitement and be just the way it should be… Outrageously creative and a joy to the eye. Have fun, I am so grateful for having fun with my painting. Merry Lund

    • FCP

      Happy Birthday Merry! Hope it is “outrageously creative” – and what a joyful name you have!

  114. Steven Mathew Smallwood

    I am grateful for the ability I was given to express emotions and ideals through art, music, and writing. This ability that I believe everyone has brings joy to me and I can see the love and passion it gives you! Really nice work!

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