Stay Worthy Through the Hustle // Meditation Practice

Meditation: I will stay worthy thru the hustle.

If you meditate you know how hard it is. Not to master, but even to begin.

I’ve been actively meditating for about four years now. It ebbs and flows as all things. As you learn in yoga (or breathing exercises or meditation practice), the idea is that the techniques you learn on the mat are then built upon and become habits you apply to life off of the mat. Concepts like observing, letting go, learning to deal with adversity, overcoming challenges, and seeking your own truth.

The main stress of meditation practice is to empty your brain of all thought. If a thought comes up, you are to observe it and release it. Let go. Do not get attached. It’s much easier said than done. In the beginning it is actually more helpful to pick one word or idea to focus on to help train yourself. I have a word I chose very early on in practice that I still use when find myself wandering a bit. I should say a word that chose me. To do so, be still, concentrate on your breathing, feel the energy from a chakra of your choice (heart, third eye, crown), & let the word emerge, then focus on it. Use it as a grounding force when other thoughts try to get in.

I practice yoga & meditation at lunch time which is a nice way to reset my day, but can also be challenging to release the dreaded to do list. Sometimes in meditation I will find a thought like “remember to send that email” creeping in. Sometimes if there is not a lack of focus (which is better than a focus in meditation) an internal dialogue starts of “release the thought, why did I ruin my meditation with my to do list”, which can tailspin into the I am not good enough camp.

Today when my thoughts disrupted my practice and I tried to observe & release, before the internal chatter started, I felt a mantra emerge from deep within “I will stay worthy through the hustle.” And just like that the peace returned and a new charge inspired me. The description of what happened in these last few sentences literally all happens in a matter of two seconds. For this, I am so thankful for my practice and what it has taught me. It can be so revealing. Everyone has rotten days but there are not many I can think of where I do not leave my mat feeling better off. More accurately, a majority of the time it leads to greater energy, more inspiration and a strong sense of worthiness.

So that thought to stay worthy through the hustle? I interpret it to mean, yes we have our to do lists and our unending amount of tasks left to get to, but that does not make us any less worthy. We are our own worst critics, we think about what we are not doing and what we could be doing better.  We can stay in the hustle, continue chasing our goals, or checking off our lists, and still be considered whole. Still be present. Still be worthy of all the goodness life has to offer us. Even through the challenges.

I think recently with the new year and the expectations that brings, as well as the current turmoil in the political environment, it’s easy to become extremely self critical and almost feel guilty. I know I experience those moments and have to rely on my teachings, what I know of myself, & work through to manage the emotions.


I am recording this here as I would like to add this to my 2017 traveler’s notebook, but also to help anyone else with their meditation practice.


Scrapbooking // Midori Traveler’s Notebook Style

2017 traveler's notebook

I started using this Midori Traveler’s Notebook Refill (012) for 2017. It’s only 48 pages, but the paper is a thicker quality and the overall notebook is thicker/heavier/more sturdy than other inserts. The pages are also perforated in case you are interested in tearing out, which could be a way to add this style to other memory keeping albums.

This traveler’s notebook has started as a memory keeping project for the year. I’m adding photos and journaling. I am hoping to incorporate more of an art journal style to it, including doodles, hand lettering, and collage. While I like my current memory keeping process of using the 8.5×11 album with divided page protectors and full-page layouts, I also like the idea of something a bit more personal. The fact that it is small and can travel is a plus. Especially now that I have my Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 printer! (will share more on that soon.)

Here are a few of my beginning pages:

2017 traveler's notebook

The opening page had this printed block on it, so I just added some number stickers for the year. These are from Amy Tangerine.

2017 traveler's notebook

My Mom had given me some old photos and I have been wanting to scrap this one for a while. Just sorta cracks me up, my precocious little self. Stamp is from Pinkfresh Studio Dear Self.

I have a few traditions I seem to do every new year, so I wanted to record those. For one, our New Year’s Day breakfast buffet. After I took this photo I added a donut stamp in the corner. I included a photo of my leather bracelets from Laurel Denise, which include my word for the year (“express yourself”). Up top I screenshot the cover of Susannah Conway‘s Unravel book/project. I’ve been filling out this notebook for a few years now and I always wait to look at last year’s book until I finish this year, so as not to influence my results! This is an exercise Susannah offers up for free every year on her blog, and it keeps getting better each time, check it out here. And at the start of each year I always read Nicholas Spark’s latest book release (usually a Christmas gift from Mom). I know all of his stories have a certain hum to them, but I like his deep characterizations and can always find something relative. Two by Two was no different.

The alpha stamps are by Kelly Purkey GreenPoint, a favorite. I read somewhere (I think on Big Picture Classes) that it’s better to use chalk ink for less bleed in TNs, so I used a VersaMagic chalk ink.

My approach is to keep this easy and not too fussy, so a little washi, a little stamping, trying to keep the bulk down as much as possible.

2017 traveler's notebook

A few more small photos, printing on my Canon Pixma printer onto 4×6 Photo Paper plus Glossy II. I use PicTapGo app to edit photos on my iPhone 6, then use Pic Stitch to get more photos onto one page. I then use the Canon Print app to send directly to my printer from phone. You can learn more about my process here. I primarily use my phone for my photo printing and digital scrapbook needs, unless I need to use Photoshop Elements or Silhouette. Unfortunately, I am running on a 2010 Dell laptop, so in desperate need of an upgrade. The phone is just faster. Dropbox is also helpful to move things around.

On the right hand side I included this envelope to house the letters my Aunt sent me with a package. Preserving handwriting and handwritten notes is important in my memory keeping process.

Most embellishments from Fancy Pants Designs Timber Grove. I don’t think it is readily available anymore, but you may be able to find it at an expo. The scratch and sniff pizza stickers were purchased at World Market. And mostly I just needed to find an excuse to use them!

2017 traveler's notebook

For the full moon I stamped the back of a round stamp in a gray chalk ink, then added some circles with a silver pencil.

2017 traveler's notebook

Thank for stopping by and checking it out.

Are you using traveler’s notebooks or other small notebooks in your memory keeping process? Do you like it?

I tried to link to as many things as possible up there, but if I missed something, please ask.

Happy 2017.

January 2017 // Field Notes



It’s been a slow start to the new year for me, which is mostly intentional and certainly welcome. As I’ve stated before, I don’t do resolutions or the craziness that sometimes accompanies the new year for some. I like to practice silence a bit (took a few weeks off of social media) and reflect on the last year.

Returning to the format of categorically making my notes:

Scrapbooking // Admittedly, I’ve been in a transition with how I traditionally scrapbook. There wasn’t much activity here for the latter part of 2016. I am getting a bit re-acclimated to it now. I attended a beloved crop which always helps get me inspired again. I did a massive cleaning and sorting in the studio, and was able to assess where projects are at.  I continue to keep a list of layout ideas in my bullet journal.

I was finding even though I like traditional scrapping of events and daily life, I wasm’t getting enough of my thoughts into my album as I wanted. I want something a little more flexible and personal, so I started a traveler’s notebook style for 2017. I’ve used this style for trips and like it. This way I can incorporate almost an art journaling style to my memory keeping and storytelling adventure.

Bullet Journal // Yes I am still using the bullet journal, but have modified it a bit. I am happy to have utilized this system in 2016 and was able to start in a new notebook for 2017. This time I am able to lay it out a little more beneficially after having experienced it for a year. I will share more on that set up soon, and also try to post a flip thru of 2016, to share how it has evolved. I can’t emphasize enough how customizing my own “planner”, versus buying into someone else’s shell, makes listing much easier. I am not a big rule follower, so the freedom of bullet journaling is priceless to me.

Ancestry // I am so excited that the DNA test was one of my Christmas presents this year. (Thanks Mom!) I am eagerly awaiting results. I had a few breakthroughs in 2016, which is huge to me since I have had very little help from relatives. I have great stories and perspectives from them, which will go into a book (still working out those ideas). But I finally found the name of a Great Great Grandfather in census records on a side I know very little about. I have a notebook designated to keep a written record. My online tree is orderly, but I tend to write things in too many different places. Assembling these notes will help. I have learned about some resources I can check out and am hoping to get to that this year. Along with visiting a cemetery to try to find the grave of my Great Grandmother, who little is very known.

Yoga // Asana practice has also waned for me a bit. In some ways, the revelation is that I need more exploration into the other limbs. At different times I’ve focused on different parts, but a true yoga experience requires attention to all eight limbs. I’ve been reading Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates as a guide. My teacher often discussed karma yoga which I’ve practiced more intensely at times. I think the current state of affairs in the external world (for me) are a calling to devote to this practice.

Right action, or right living, is really the core of my spiritual practice. I’m not overly concerned with my salvation. I think everyone is entitled to feel respected, and included, and like they matter here on earth. I take the common sense approach to most things. All of those personality assessments always result in my strong sense of logic. On my quest for what matters, I prefer to consult a variety of divine sources and literary legends. So much always comes back to the golden rule, which I learned at a very young age. In the past, I’ve shied away from being particularly political in social media and on this platform, mostly because I am not. I consider myself educated, I read a lot, but I certainly do not want a seat at the so-called table, if you know what I mean. At the same time, being informed means not being ignorant and I would like to think I am capable, maybe sometimes moreso than others, of being a positive voice in a sea of noise. So maybe this will come out a bit this year? Which leads me to…

My One Little Word // Expression, or Express yourself. This has a few meanings for me (as most words I choose usually do). For one I tend to be introverted. I will probably stay this way, but I want to be an introvert who isn’t afraid to speak or express my opinion. Not only my opinion, but my feelings. My feelings towards others. Lack of communication is the center point to a lot of anguish. I want people to know that I love them. Expression is also the word that correlates with the energy in the throat chakra, or vishuddha, which I need to work on opening. I’m continuing my study of the chakras this year, and want to incorporate this more into my asana practice as well. Also continuing the same sub-words as last year: focus & be light. The light part comes easier to me than the focus! 😉

So these are just a few things swirling in my mind on a chilly Friday in January. Looking forward to sharing more here as I get back into it.