Saturday, April 22, 2017

Where it all begins....

    March 23, 2017
I am embarking on a journey of sorts. Yes...this is another blog. My third  as it so happens.
I have a dinosaur of a blog, (my original) which I created to showcase my creative side and invite customers (I am a Close to My Heart consultant.)
 It had, when I posted. several followers, most were people like myself using the internet and blogging to expand on their business.
 I have not added to this blog in some time, so I will not reference it further.

My second blog, continues to grow. I have been active in continuing to updated on the regular now for nearly 4 years. It is my trip log. I was inspired by all of the lovely bloggers out there who travel full or part time in their rv's.

Then there is this blog.....The Scrappy Owl.
 While I was searching for the RV of my dreams....I came across MaryJane.

She has inspired many women with  her designs, creativity and what really got me excited was her farmgirl connection, The connection is a site where women share ideas, stories and a love for life. They also have badges.
The badges are symbols of one's personal achievements as they complete defined tasks. I simply loved the idea and just had to become a sister myself.

I am sister 7349!
While exploring the Farmgirl sisterhood site, I came across a badge I could begin with, Blogging,,,

As I had already created a blog, I was excited to create a new one that offers my more creative and sassy side. I am hoping to learn as I go, 
So this new blog is a journey in creative knowledge.  

 As my first step in this creation is The Farmgirl Sisterhood Blogging badge: (below is what I submitted for badge consideration.) Then I had an interesting thought, what if the scrappy owl blog was inspired by the Farmgirl sisterhood badges? I have also considered adding any growth I have made in meeting with some of my personal goals. The badges and the topics within the badges seem like a great springboard to areas in my life I want to work on personally. Maybe I will have some inspiration for others, maybe I'll get some feedback as well. 
I recognize that this will be a work in I welcome you to join me in The Scrappy Owl journey.

The Scrappy Owls first badge: 

The blogging badge comes from the area of Each Other:

Each Other:

Badge# 19 Blogging. So here it is. My Blog. (beginner) 

 The first step is to read Robin Houghtons Blogging For Creatives. I happened upon two of her additional blog books and reviewed these as well. 
I found several helpful tips. For the most part however, I have already taken active steps in creating a blog. There were some suggestions that I had not considered, such as the audience.

My trip log for example is a blog that I have created simply for myself. Following a format with a content flow, just never was a consideration. Quite honestly I'm not sure if I really want all the pressure and responsibility.  

Managing a blog that has the expectations that lurk in a blog that  a. has dedicated readers, b. includes links and or promotions and c. has the potential to make $ is actually kind of scary.
With a, b, and c, there is an expectation, commitment, proper grammar, spelling, discretion, fancy videos, promotions, time, pre-thinking and planning, Overall a hole lot of  WORK!!!   
I find that I blog simply for the enjoyment. 
I use my blogs as a journal that I envision only myself reading. 

My own train of thought and interests change so frequently, I can't promise myself that I still be focused on one particular topic at any given time. Add the pressure to commit to an audience, is simply not my thing. I've committed to my trip blog simply because I blog about my daily adventures. Its easy to commit. It is my life! 

If I get honest here, I'm really NOT that interesting,  I haven't even worked on promotion for the blog because I really don't want people seeking it out.
 My friends are aware I have a blog, and often they are pictured in it, but I haven't offered or even referenced where they could find it should they be so inclined.  

As I start my  new blog, I am hoping to expand on my commitment to both followers as well as myself. I plan to welcome viewers and work on taking the next steps in becoming a blogger expert. 

My scrappy owl blog will be dedicated to a journey in creative knowledge. This may be a little broad and perhaps I will find myself tailoring the focus a little more, but for now this is where the blog begins. 

Bagde #15 of Make it Easy.
The merit badge is from the Make it Easy section tittle Mindful Meditation.( Beginner )

 I began with researching the benefits of meditation. I guess I have always been aware of the reduction of stress associated with meditation, but after reading " Benefits of Meditation- 76 Things You Might Be missing" from I found that there are multiple benefits to meditation that go beyond simply stress reduction. The Author identified studies found from all over the world and the benefits. The brain is affected reducing depression, anxiety and stress. The article even goes as far as to report that Meditation has been shown to be as effective as antidepressant drugs. Additionally MRI scans have shown after an 8 week mindfulness course in meditation the 18 subjects found to have an increase in brain matter. This result indicates increase in learning and memory, revaluation of ones emotions and perceptions. 
Other benefits included reduction in the abuse of alcohol and substances, mind performance such as decision making, ability to focus and work better under stressful situations. 
Studies have also found evidence to support that Meditation relieves pain and helps with the management of ADD symptoms. 
There are clearly some great emotional  benefits through meditation, but also some added perks such as awaking the unconscious mind, and increasing creativity.
There are some medical benefits to meditation as well. Meditation was found to improve immunity and reduce blood pressure. One study showed that meditation decrease inflammatory disorder enabling faster recovery from illness. Medical News today indicated that studies showed Mindfulness Mediation helped to prevent Asthma, arthritis and IBS. The relief of premenstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms were also shown to be reduced. The studies continue to identify Meditation as helping with fibromyalgia, reduced heart and respiratory rates as well as potentially reducing the change in the T cells found in individuals with HIV. Overall it appears that incorporating meditation onto ones life appears to result in a longer, more creative, and a less stressful life. WOW!!!

 Types of Meditation-An overview on 23 Meditation Techniques:
 I was surprised by all the different types/techniques of meditation. Although they are similar the generally differ is in the focus during the meditation, 
For example; 
Guided imaginary is a focused meditation while listening to verbal direction as one meditates. They generally start with a focus on one's breathing and lead the listener into a state of relaxation. The intent is to focus on what the verbal cues are leading you to. I found that this style of meditation worked best for me. 
An example of  Open minded meditation is Mindfulness. In this style of meditation the focus is to stay within the moment. The use of deep breathing, mantra's, visualization or fixating on cues from one's body. I personally struggled with this. Either my mind would race to other things or I would fall asleep. Although a Mindful meditation would include and even welcome the raceful mind as part of the process, recognizing with practice these interruptions would be lessened.  
The author of An overview of 23 Meditation Techniques. 
also identified Effortless Presence which  includes no focus at all. 
The article offered multiple names for these techniques as well. When addressing my challenge I generally went with guided imaginary, 

The challenge presented to earn the badge is putting Meditation into practice for 7 days for a least 5 minutes. I started my Meditation journey just a day after having had one very stressful day at work. March 14th 2017. The husband had also had a stressful 24 hours the previous day. (He works an overnight shift on Mondays.) I offered to provide some guided meditation music located on youtube.
I was about 10 minutes in and feeling quite relaxed when my puppy started barking. That ended Day 1 of my challenge.
The next few days were not interrupted. I found it best to locate myself in areas dog free, children free and husband free as well. These were all guided meditations. Generally, I found myself taking trips away from focusing on the message and had to pull myself back. My mind often would go to the things I had to get done, stuff that was coming up and mostly anything that was not focusing on my breathing or taking that trip into the peaceful garden as instructed.
I tended to do best when there was much more focus on breathing and less on the guided imagery. Breathing in and and out. I stayed away from using a mantra.
If my head wasn't searching for other things to distract myself, I would be so relaxed I fell asleep.
I did all of my meditation laying down. I think I may have to explore sitting up in the future.
I fell asleep while listening to soothing music and lacking an instructor to guide me.
 These 5-15 minute attempts at meditation although questioned to their success did seem to help me be less stress. I think in expanding into the second piece of the merit badge I should spend more time in the meditation and actually work hard at focusing on the message. I certainly plan to continue.  

Thanks for visiting my post! TTFN


  1. Hi Wendy, just happened to scroll the blog list on MJF page this morning & was drawn to your blog title. What a great project idea to start the focus on badges! It is fun, I've only earned a few & did consider the meditation one, but yet to start it. I do enjoy a good guided meditation though, its neat where my mind takes me. I look forward to checking back to see what you are up to!

  2. Hi Wendy, just happened to scroll the blog list on MJF page this morning & was drawn to your blog title. What a great project idea to start the focus on badges! It is fun, I've only earned a few & did consider the meditation one, but yet to start it. I do enjoy a good guided meditation though, its neat where my mind takes me. I look forward to checking back to see what you are up to!

  3. hello Diana- I am so excited to be a MJF member! Thanks for the view, I am enjoying working on my blog and simply love the idea of earning badges. :)