Category: spirituality

Focusing on LORR for the Cancer New Moon: Learning, Oracle Cards, Reading & Research

So the moon will be transitioning through the Cancer constellation tonight—marking the seventh new moon of the year…and we’re slowly entering the second half of 2024. I have no idea how the rest of this year is going to go…there is the presidential election coming up in the US (in Nov), the ongoing genocide in Gaza, and numerous other conflicts going on around the world…it’s just a matter of time before something blows into a regional (and then possibly a global) conflict.

I still need to kinda reflect back on the past six months…I did my June reflections earlier this week…but haven’t really sat down to reflect on the first half of the year…I know that I’m behind on a few ‘yearly’ goals…so either I need to modify those goals…or just punt them down the road to the 2025 BINGO card.

But, back to the Cancer New Moon—if one looks to the book ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland, there are various things that one can focus on during the Cancer new moon. They include:

  1. Family time (checking in with relatives)
  2. Banishing insecurity
  3. Get in touch with your caring nurturing side
  4. Review your goals
  5. Take a hot bath

Three out of the five things seem straightforward (family time, reviewing goals, and taking a hot bath). Since the family medical issue is over…I haven’t really been in touch with many family members via social media…I should probably reach out and chat (via messenger), since our paths really don’t cross that much and travel is still currently not in the cards (at least until the cat passes). I have plenty of family time with my immediate family (since I still live at home and we see my younger brother quite frequently now that he is back in town).

I actually don’t take that many hot bathes anymore…and probably wouldn’t be doing any currently—since we’re in the middle of a heat dome/pocket/high humidity—I just want cooler weather period. The other two items (banishing insecurity and getting in touch with your caring and nurturing side) may not seem so straightforward, and may actually require more work to begin with.

How I picture these two areas:

In terms of getting in touch with your caring and nurturing side—basically this means that you’re going to try a little harder this month in terms of self-care. You’re going to try to rephrase negative self-talk into more positive self-talk, you’re going to take time to focus on your breath, and you are going to be more gentle and understanding with yourself.

In terms of trying to banish insecurity—this means being honest with yourself in terms of different areas of your life. Do you feel insecure in an area? Fearful? Or are you being overly possessive of things? The best work is to try to identify and work at getting rid of barriers in different areas of life (if possible).

If one also looks to see what house the moon is moving through, it will give you a few other things to also take into perspective. For me, the moon is moving through my ninth house (or my big picture zone). This is all about adventure, travel, and personal development.

Currently travel is still on hold. Why? Well, in part due to my cat’s age & the fact that she requires two different liquid meds (and one you have to make up—dissolving the antibiotic in water), and it isn’t fun for one person to try to give her the meds (did that—didn’t enjoy it, & neither did she). I’d love to ‘travel’—but I need to get the debt down, and I’d like for the world not to be a raging shit-show…so I’ll stick to ‘virtual’ travels currently (google meet-ups/zoom meet-ups, and the likes). As I mentioned a couple of years ago: we live in a digital world, so there are others ways of ‘traveling’—reading, communicating with others (email, online meetings, phone calls), and writing (creative, poetry, and journaling). So what are some of the things that one can do in regards to their ninth house?

Items include:

  1. Find a way to explore the world
  2. Read those books you know you should be reading
  3. Do a personal growth (development) course
  4. Manifest a new spiritual teacher
  5. Think about what you have faith in–and what you don’t
  6. Make a cyber pal on the other side of the world

Personal growth…an area that I can both excel in and suck at all at the same time. My biggest ‘hurdle’ is trying to get too much done during the day/week—aka throwing everything on the calendar & not spreading things out like I really should…another reason why I find it difficult at times trying to develop a personal/professional growth plan.

So what goals can I set during the Cancer new moon that will allow me to fit various aspects from above onto the calendar?

  1. Research the following countries: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Finland, Tunisia, Romania & Uruguay. At least have some basic research done, and find a couple of interesting facts to possibly ‘intwine’ into a story idea I’ve been slowly expanding
  2. Reading—finish at least two of the many nonfiction/historical fiction books I’ve started over the past several weeks/months.
  3. In terms of learning—work through at least one e-course on either Udemy, or watch at least two short e-courses on SkillShare
  4. In terms of spirituality—continue doing a daily oracle card drawing & sharing them on the oracle card instagram channel I created

I could probably try to set a goal for networking/making a cyber pal; or having something I write published…and I should make those goals—but I’m not going to this time around. I think that four goals (in addition to all the things on the plate & various other to-do lists) is enough for this new moon period…also keeping it at these four, will also hopefully keep the anxiety in check. Though trying to do research on seven countries in just a few weeks could also be pushing it…but I did note—that the bare minimum is to find a few interesting facts that could be intertwined with a story that I’m mind-mapping/outlining currently.

I’m still in the slow process of developing plans…that include personal/professional growth (have to figure out the milestones), launching a couple of online businesses, plus continue healing my relationship with food & movement…while trying to stay sane in a world that has leaders that really don’t give a damn about the average everyday citizen…either here (unless it’s to court one’s vote) or elsewhere in the world (again unless it’s to court one’s vote).

Therefore…I’m also promising myself that I’m going to quit trying to fit a mold…I quit trying to fit the mold of higher ed research/support years ago (got tired of long hours for poor pay), now I’m going to embrace who I am…and give a middle finger to the ‘mold’ that society thinks I should fit into, while focusing on progress…and possibly trying to ‘torch’ perfectionism in the process.

What is one of your Cancer goals?

Namaste

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Improving in terms of time & project management

Introduction and Gemini Goals:

So, the moon is going to be transitioning through the Cancer constellation tomorrow…marking the seventh new moon of the year. Somehow we’ve made it through the first half of 2024 without things totally blowing up into a global conflict…I wonder how long that luck will last. But that is a topic for a totally different post. Before looking ahead to the Cancer new moon, I need to look back at the goals I set for the Gemini new moon & see how I did with each of them.

Gemini Goals:

  1. Continue to fine-tune my personal/professional growth plan (focusing on career [writing], health/wellness, finances [fine tune that plan], spirituality, hobbies/crafts, and personal space)
  2. Update the personal/professional growth game (remove a few items and/or expand others—micropaleontology is on hold currently)
  3. Continue to clean/organize/declutter the bedroom & house…in order to get the storage unit cleared out by early fall
  4. Continue with my daily intentional movements and nightly meditations/sitting quietly moments
  5. And…read, read, and read some more. I’m actually nine nonfiction/historical fiction books away from my goal of reading 44 nonfiction/historical fiction before my birthday. So—try to read three more during the month of June

So, how did I do with each of them?

Fine-tune my personal/professional growth plan (~40%):

I’m still in the process of fine-tuning this plan—the reason, I’m still trying to throw everything onto the calendar…I need to narrow the focus for awhile on certain aspects, knowing that they’d be touching other aspects of things I also want to be working on.

Update the personal/professional growth game (100% completed):

I updated the game, to where I removed one board and condensed things down within the other game board. I also ‘rolled’ the dice last month & will be giving an update on that first play on the game towards the end of July—as each ‘turn’/‘play’ lasts six weeks, and covers at least three ‘topics’ (e-courses, reading, research, or whatever).

The newly ‘updated’ personal/professional growth board game.

Continue to clean/organize/declutter the bedroom & house (~70%):

This is an ongoing project. While I have my storage unit about halfway cleared out—I need to spend a little more time cleaning/organizing/decluttering the bedroom. I’ve realized that I may need to donate or sell an afghan or two—because do I really need half a dozen? Probably not..but I think that’s how many I have currently…I’ll be putting quite a few of them under the bed in a storage bag.

I also need to go through my business casual/professional clothes and decide which tops I really want to keep, and which ones can be donated. Probably wouldn’t hurt to donate the business suit that I’ve ‘outgrown’…though I like the color…but I can always buy another one if needed.

Daily intentional movements & nightly meditations (probably somewhere around 50%):

I’ve been trying to sit quietly at night prior to journalling…but with how hot its been lately…usually I just journal quickly to be able to turn off the lights & hopefully cool the room off a little to be able to sleep. The daily intentional movement is still hit & miss…I’m ‘moving’ around daily, but for the most part it’s doing things around the house throughout the day—there hasn’t been many ‘concentrated’ blocks of movement (to really get the heart rate going)…and this is something that I’m still trying to ‘correct’.

Read, read, & read (100% complete):

I actually finished five books during the month of June (which covered not only the new moon phase, but the full moon phase as well). The books I finished reading during June were:

  1. Ocean Life in the Times of Dinosaurs by Nathalia Bardet, Alexandra Houssaye, Stephane Jouve, & Peggy Vincent
  2. The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of Our World by Riley Black
  3. The Quest & the Qalandar: Experiences of Sufism by Waqar Faiz
  4. Patrice Lumumba, Ahead of His Time (Political Leadership in Africa #1) by Didier Mumbata
  5. Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We can Help Dismantle it by Jessie Daniels

I’m now six books away from the goal of reading 44 non-fiction/historical fiction books before my birthday. I can now technically state I’m going to try to just read two books during July, August, & Sept…but I’ll probably keep to the current goal of trying to read at least three non-fiction/historical fiction books a month.

Conclusions/Final Thoughts on the Gemini New Moon Goals:

Five goals for the Gemini new moon…two were more on the planning side of things (updating the personal/professional game & fine-tuning a personal/professional growth plan)—and I manage to get at least one completely done. One goal was reading—which I usually always manage to complete. The cleaning/organizing/decluttering—is always ongoing, because I didn’t realize exactly how bad of a packrat I was turning into, nor how much random stuff I’d brought to and from Boston—nor did I realize how much random stuff we had around the house that needs to be donated/recycled/discarded.

The intentional movement goal is a rough one to hit—especially when its hot & humid constantly, which zaps one’s energy/motivation (at least it does that to me). While I’m working on improving my relationship with food & movement (in other words working at getting healthy, but not necessarily ‘shrinking’ my body), I may put a new battery into the scale & just see what that number is currently at…because while ‘healing’ the relationship with food & movement is something to strive for…at times it helps to see a ‘number’ from time to time.

Progress…baby steps forward, sometimes a step or two backwards. But—progress isn’t suppose to be perfect, nor is it always a linear path. At times it spirals and while you feel like you’re back at the beginning…you’re actually further along on your journey that you realize, you’ve ‘circled’ back to something to hopefully learn a little more of the ‘lesson’ that the universe has set before you…and once you’ve gotten the message/lesson…you move even further forward in this journey of life.

How did you do with your Gemini new moon goals?

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Morning routines–check…Now time to fine-tune the afternoon schedules

Introduction/recap:

Okay…once I get this month’s review posted…I’ll have managed three months this year—and will have covered the second quarter of 2024 (I totally lagged behind in trying to do it for the first three months this year). As I’d mentioned in the ‘intro’ to May in Review—I basically ignored most of 2023 (I think I did January), and it took awhile for me to decide to restart the series. 

Doing these monthly posts is one of the ways I’m trying to keep myself accountable towards different goals, in addition to doing a weekly series in a Facebook group. As I mentioned—I probably won’t be hitting anywhere close to 100% on all the goals…in part due to the fact that I usually set out to try to achieve like 10-12 different ‘large’ tasks…and I’m still in the process of developing a fluid schedule for the day. I’ve gotten a decent fluid schedule down for part of the morning…now it’s time to fine tune that and start developing the fluid afternoon schedule. 

I almost have a morning schedule that ‘sticks’: getting on Mondly for say 20-30 minutes to learn a foreign language, then do my morning update on Gaza (post to my instagram channel), then do an oracle card drawing (posting to the oracle card channel), then do a science news brief for LinkedIn. Its after getting those four things done, that my schedule starts to semi-fall apart.

I’m going to be keeping to a list of about twelve goals for the next few months…only because I’ve only been getting about 2/3 of them done (at least fifty percent) at a time. I’m hoping that keeping things ‘similar’ month to month—they’ll become habits, and then I can start adding/stacking other goals in.

Goals that I’d set for June:

  1. Reading at least three non-fiction books
  2. Reading at least four fiction books
  3. Completing at least one (if not two) 30-day challenges
  4. Making time & making use of the intentional movement board game
  5. Launch the YouTube channel (outline & intro video)
  6. Aim for two blurbs on science, health, or medical papers
  7. Watch/work through at least three e-courses
  8. 30-minutes at least 4x/week on Mondly
  9. Posting consistently to the oracle card channel
  10. Post to each blog at least twice
  11. Finish the outlines for the three big creative research projects
    • Interviews with dinosaurs & other extinct animals
    • Interviews with toxic & venomous animals
    • Interviews with various ancient civilizations (this could be upwards of three to five different mini proejcts)
  12. Work on the needlepoint project
  13. Check in with this list at least every other day to ensure that I’m making progress

So how did I do with each of those main goals?

Reading at least three non-fiction books (100% completed):

I finished the following nonfiction books:

  1. Ocean Life in the Times of Dinosaurs by Nathalia Bardet, Alexandra Houssave, Stephane Jouve, & Peggy Vincent
  2. The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of Our World by Riley Black
  3. The Quest & the Qalandar: Experiences of Sufism by Waqar Faiz
  4. Patrice Lumumba, Ahead of His Time (Political Leadership in Africa #1) by Didier Mumbata
  5. Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We can Help Dismantle it by Jessie Daniels

Five books that spanned a diversity of topics: the Mesozoic era, religion, politics, and culture. I’d mentioned previously that I’m working at becoming a better global citizen–which includes reading books on people that I’d never heard of before (I didn’t realize that the US gave ‘aid’ in getting rid of the first prime minister of the Congo–Patrice Lumumba), and topics that are ‘difficult’ to read on (aka white supremacy & women’s (specifically white woman’s) both intentional & unintentional parts in upholding those ‘aspects’ of society.

Currently I’m six books away from my goal of reading 44 nonfiction (or historical fiction) books before my 44th birthday (which is in September). Something tells me that I’ll finish ‘above’ the goal of 44 books…and that means I should totally ‘reach’ and finish ‘above’ the goal of 100 books by June 18, 2026.

Reading at least four fiction books (100%+ completed):

I probably spent a little too much time reading fiction books this month. I read well over four fiction books during June. The books I read included:

  1. Forbidden King (Magnolia Falls #3) by Laura Pavlov
  2. California Waves (The Davenports #2) by Bella Andre & Nicky Arden
  3. Fragile Sanctuary (Sparrow Falls #1) by Catherine Cowles
  4. Forbidden Hearts (Whitlock Family #1) by Corinne Michaels
  5. Broken Dreams (Whitlock Family #2) by Corinne Michaels
  6. Tempting Promises (Whitlock Family #3) by Corinne Michaels
  7. Forgotten Desires (Whitlock Family #4) by Corinne Michaels
  8. Come Back for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #1) by Corinne Michaels
  9. Fight for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #2) by Corinne Michaels
  10. The One for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #3) by Corinne Michaels
  11. Stay for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #4) by Corinne Michaels
  12. Return to Us (Willow Creek Valley #1) by Corinne Michaels
  13. Could Have Been Us (Willow Creek Valley #2) by Corinne Michaels
  14. A Chance for Us (Willow Creek Valley #4) by Corinne Michaels
  15. Destined for Me (Come Back to Me/Say You’ll Stay Crossover) by Corinne Michaels
  16. The Sweet Spot (Playing to Win #4) by Bella Matthews
  17. Dragon of Her Dreams (Dragon Knights #20) by Bianca D’Arc

Needless to say…I was reading a lot this past month…which could possibly explain why I didn’t get as much e-courses completed…also I binged read a couple of series by Corinne Michaels that were semi intertwined. 

Complete at least one 30-day challenge (100%)

Well…I’ve completed a 30-day challenge…it was another Sudoku challenge. Maybe next month I’ll remember that I’d stated it would be a jumping jack/squat challenge, along with possibly watching a different TedTalk each day.

Make time for intentional movement (possibly somewhere between 5-10%)

Still gotta get better at setting aside time for intentional movement. The only days where time is ‘set aside’ are on Wednesdays…and those are my ‘chore’ days. So—I need to actually try to ‘schedule’ in time during the other days of the week for some type of intentional movement.

YouTube Channel (outline & intro video) (still somewhere around 5%):

I still have the mind map of topics…that I need to chose from, then mind-map from that topic to determine the ‘subtopics’ that I’d be researching/talking about. One thing I realized—I don’t necessarily have to be ‘on screen’ (since currently my niche is science/health/med education—I’d be doing ‘voice over’ explaining the slides). This might go a little faster since I don’t have to try to ‘record’ myself (other than a possible introduction video to the entire channel)

Blurbs on science, health, medical papers (still around 5%)

Currently this is still sitting at roughly five percent…basically, I still have the extreme rough draft of the blurb on the sea dragon genome paper that I need to edit down to a decent length. I don’t know why I haven’t sat down to edit it yet…other than allowing the inner critic & imposter syndrome to ‘grab the reins’ on this writing project series. When I drew my yearly BINGO card, I’d decided that I was going to try to get back into a habit of reading at least one ‘research’ paper a week on different topics, & then write a blurb/review on it & post it…that was suppose to be 52 writing projects this year (because I also stated within my 101 goals—I have the goal to write a minimum of 100 blurbs/reviews by June 18 2026)…needless to say—I’m behind on this ‘project’. 

Watch/work through at least another three e-courses (about 50% completed):

I mentioned above that I read a lot of fiction books this month…and a lot of the time spent reading could have been spent working through e-courses.

Currently I’ve finished an introduction to statistics course on Udemy. This was a decent intro course on stats…there were a few problems within the course & of course ‘quizzes’ at the end of different sections. I rated it four out of five stars—mainly because one of the videos was actually a ‘repeat’, and it had been mentioned like two years ago, and the creator hadn’t gotten around to ‘correcting’ it yet.

I’m about half way through another ‘stats’ course (Statistics and data literacy for non-statisticians). Currently I’ve rated the course at a three out of five stars…mainly because there haven’t been ‘problems’ to work through…there didn’t seem to be an ‘intro’ video (introducing the content creator & content)…and I’m not sure how much I’m actually getting out of the course. I’m not sure if I’ll be finishing this one up this afternoon or not…if I don’t finish it today, I’ll have it finished by tomorrow (July 1st) afternoon.

30 minutes at least four times a week on Mondly (90%):

I started using Mondly again on the 3rd of the month; and other than the first two days of the month & the 16th, I’ve been on the site, somewhere between 20-40 minutes a day learning Arabic.

I went back and did the daily lesson for the 16th (along then with that weekly quiz) today after I finished today’s daily lesson. With ‘missing’ three days this month—I managed to start learning a foreign language & logged in to the site 90% of the time this month. 

Posting consistently to the oracle card channel (90%):

Again, I started posting to the oracle card channel ‘consistently’ on the 3rd. So, in an similar answer to the above foreign language—other than the first two days of the month & the 16th, I’ve been posting oracle cards & their messages to the oracle card channel daily (usually shortly after I do the Gaza morning update on my other instagram channel).

For June I used the Guides of the Hidden Realm oracle deck by Colette Baron-Reid. Next month I’ll be choosing a different deck (possibly The Ancient Stones Oracle deck by Rebecca Campbell that also came out last month). Each month will be a ‘different’ deck, and I think I have at least twelve different oracle decks (along with five different tarot card decks) that I’ll just ‘cycle’ through them.

Post to each blog at least twice (100%):

I did manage to post to each blog at least twice. In terms of the science/health/medical blog—I posted twice earlier this month on two different science related ‘random’ holidays (World Environment & World Oceans days). I’m still posting more often on the creative blog (at least weekly with the weekly summary of the hellish events happening within Gaza & the West Bank).  I really need to decide if I want to ‘pause’ the medical series and start a different one (one that might actually see me posting to the blog on a more consistent basis).

Finish the outlines for the various creative research projects (~5% completed):

This is sitting around 5% completed. I have the ‘basic’ outline for the different dinosaur interviews…but didn’t modify it for other extinct animals; nor did I modify it for toxic & venomous animals.

In terms of the different ancient civilizations—I need to decide how may ‘different’ people I’m going to interview—is it going to be ‘gods & goddesses’, leaders, craftsmen, or everyday people? Hopefully I’ll get more of this project completed over the next few months. I’d really like to have some of these ‘short stories’ published on different sites by mid-September.

Work on the needlepoint project (100%)

Yes. I’ve been consistently working on the needlepoint project & hopefully will have it finished sometime in July. Will it be in time for the 300-day checkin of my 101 goals? Or the 5th checkin for my 44 goals before turning 44? Maybe…but I should have it done by the end of July (or extremely early August) at the latest.

I usually take weekly update pictures on the needlepoint project to share with a friend. But I think the monthly one really shows the progress…I’m even impressed with how much I managed to get done last month. This is working at least twenty minutes (upward of two hours) a day on the project.

“Checking in on the list” (Not really a goal):

I mean there are only a few goals that I haven’t really progressed far on (the science/health/medical paper blurbs, the YouTube channel, intentional movement & getting more of the different creative projects written). Then there are others that I had no trouble completing (reading & working on the needlepoint project). I think what I need to do is have the afternoons structured a little better than what I’ve been doing…possibly try to focus on research/writing from say 2:30 to 4 three to four times a week—instead of waiting until then to try to do a e-course or something.

Conclusions for June:

So I technically set twelve goals for June (the last one was really just a reminder to myself to check the list every so often). I managed to get at least fifty percent (upwards of stating 100% progress) on two-thirds of the goals…so I did well with eight of the twelve goals. The four that I fell behind on—have been the four that I’ve been ‘stalled’ on since I restarted this monthly accountability series.

I think the only one of those four that will be ‘modified’ will be the one for the YouTube channel—I need to finish fine-tuning the outline & decide the format that I’m going to be working with (videos with voice-over, or will I be ‘on screen’ in the videos). The other three I just need to actually ‘fit’ into the daily schedule (whether at a particular time, or just pick a project for the week).

Goals for July:

  1. Read at least three nonfiction books
  2. Read at least four fiction books
  3. Complete at least one more 30-day challenge (and not just a Sudoku challenge)
  4. Set up the intentional movement plan
  5. Polish the outline for the YouTube channel & decide on the format
  6. At least one blurb on a science, health, or medical paper
  7. Work through at least three e-courses
  8. At least 25 minutes each morning on Mondly
  9. Post to each blog at least twice
  10. Post consistently to the oracle card channel
  11. Finish the mindmaps/outlines for different projects
  12. Continue working on the needlepoint project (possibly finish?)

Final Thoughts/Reflections:

Twelve goals…and basically the same (more or less) goals that I had set for June. I’ve ‘modified’ the YouTube channel goal & intentional movement goals, as well as stating I’m aiming for writing a single blurb on a science/health/medical paper for the other blog. The other goals are more or less what I’ve done for the past few months. Will I remember to do an additional challenge (along with the Sudoku)? Hopefully…I do have in the daily schedule to doodle in the early afternoon before attempting to do any learning/virtual chats.

Instead of ‘rewriting/rewording’ things—this is what I wrote at the end of May/beginning of June in terms of the goals I’m probably going to be ‘repeating’ for awhile:

The rest of the things…will require that I work on silencing the inner critic/imposter syndrome on a daily basis. I know what I want to do with my life—not only help improve how various topics are communicated to the public…but education overall…in addition to finding a way to make a partial living as an crafter/artist—as I’m starting to think about branching out and teaching myself other crafts—crochet (I knew how to do this years ago), making jewelry (I’ve got enough beads & charms), resin, mosaics, and wood-burning. I don’t need to make millions…I just need to make enough to ensure that my bills are paid, I have a roof over my head, and food on my table. Travel really isn’t even that big of a necessity currently (mainly due to the state of the world).

I want to become a better global citizen…which means decolonizing my mind and ‘relearning’ things about various parts of the world. It means learning an language (or two)—as English isn’t spoken everywhere. It means figuring out how to live with less…so to help cut back on the demand/need for vital elements that are fueling genocides and conflicts throughout the African continent. 

Progress…good, and done is better than ‘perfect, and never published’…because perfectionism is a myth…a myth of white supremacy that I’m going to jump up and down on until it’s grounded back into dust. What is one thing you’ll do to help break down the barriers around the world? 

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Energy & focus…I guess I may be a morning person after all

So the moon will be transitioning through the Capricorn constellation tomorrow…marking the sixth full moon of the year…we’re a little over two-thirds of the way through June, and have just pasted the longest day of the year…so we’re now heading towards the shortest day of the year. While I like the longer days…I like the cooler temps of fall & winter over the hot temps of summer. So..before looking ahead to the Capricorn full moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Sagittarius full moon and see how I did with each of them. 

What were the goals for the Sagittarius full moon? Well, they included:

  1. Plan for June…content editorial calendar—pick different colored pens/markers for the different projects/channels that I’ll have going. June BINGO card; June brain dump.
  2. Develop a ‘fluid’ schedule…blocks of 40-75 minutes of work followed by blocks of 30 minutes for ‘breaks’ (which could include getting some intentional movement in).
  3. Continuing with my content creation challenge (including tracking)
  4. Update my personal/professional growth game and then roll the dice to see what the next set of adventures are.

So how did I do with each of them?

Planning for June (I’ll say about 98% done):

I got my June BINGO card made, did my June brain dump, and drew the basic calendar. While I had picked colors out for different ‘channels’ (creative blog, science blog, and various social media channels)—I’ve found that I don’t necessarily grab the correct color when I’m trying to do my weekly to-do lists. So..that is something that I need to work on. 

Developing a ‘fluid’ schedule (~95% completed):

Well…I’ve developed a schedule that seems to work in the morning—for the most part. I’ve decided to put things I’d been doing fairly well (morning updates on Gaza & trying to post a science/health news blurb) between tasks that always seem to have fallen off the to-do list. 

This is working well in the mornings—I’m now doing about 20-30 minutes of Mondly (learning Arabic) before doing my morning Gaza update; then I do an oracle card reading (and share that on the oracle card Instagram channel I started), then I do the morning science/health news blurb.

I’m still working on developing an ‘fluid’ schedule for the afternoon (research, chores, fitness, and so forth), as I usually end up scrolling through various social media channels while attempting to do research on the side for different projects.

Content creation & tracking (~95% completed):

So instead of having a list of different content I want to ‘create’, I decided that I would see how much content I could create from June to December this year. I have a spreadsheet created, and every day I go in and log what type of content I’ve created & where said content is published. 

I’ve been diligent in doing daily updates on Gaza & the West Bank on Instagram (especially since I was restricted from posting to LinkedIn for about six weeks), and have been working on my latest large needlepoint project as well. 

I know I need to start creating more science/health/medical related content..as that blog/website is a little ‘sparse’ in terms of content getting published.

One major goal of this challenge is to see what my ‘go-to’ content creation is (currently it’s mainly writing and ‘publishing’ to Instagram daily), and branching out to other types of content (infographics, posters, slide decks, ‘articles’, short stories, and such).

Updating the personal/professional growth game & starting another round (100% complete):

Okay—I redrew the game. I decided to remove one of the boards & condensed down everything else to fit in on the first board. Earlier this week—I posted my update to the game & the fact that I was starting another round.

My personal/professional growth board game. Approximately 80 odd squares of ideas/topics to learn about & content to create & share

The top three things I’ll be focusing on (along with everything else on my to-do lists) are reading (aiming to finish at least three nonfiction books and/or four fiction books), working through an e-course (or three; as I stated I was going to try to do at least three e-courses [giving myself about two weeks per course]), getting the next two blog posts up on the science/health/medical blog (dealing with exocrine & endocrine glands & the cancers that can develop within each of them). The fourth item was a tie between unplugging for the night & content creation.

Conclusions:

Four items…that were focusing on planning, content creation, and time/project management. I did fairly well with all of them (minus the inability currently to use different colored pens for writing on the calendars; and having a ‘fluid’ schedule for the afternoon).  Currently I seem to have more ‘energy’/focus in the mornings for certain projects (mainly learning, sharing news, and doing my oracle card drawing/sharing), and the afternoons find me allowing my mind to wander & I start to procrastinate & put projects off.

So…

I know that I need to develop a fluid schedule for the afternoon, possibly have different colored pens out for the to-be accomplished lists (or at least have master lists written in different colors), & realize that I don’t have to be pushing full throttle everyday. I’m working at acknowledging the phrase that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be…I also know that while the phrase is ‘true’…one also needs to put in the work in order to build the future that they want. Therefore, I need to ‘fine-tune’ the daily fluid schedules—in order to ensure that projects are actually moving forward & I’m not just focusing on ‘fluff’ items (the small things that allow me to check more things off the to-be accomplished lists).

Progress is being made…it may not be quick…it may not be totally linear—but that is the path of the universe…non-linear, spiral, folding back on itself to show that while one may not have totally learned the ‘lesson’—you’re further along in your journey than you were when you first came upon the ‘lesson’.

How did you do with your Sagittarius goals? What was one key takeaway message you found?

Namaste…

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Check-in time on the 44 goals before 44…take four

4th check-in on my ’44 goals before turning 44’ project; & realizing that I’m four months away from my 44th birthday. It’s been a seesaw in terms of productivity…some days I’m productive…other days I’m sitting in procrastination corner. If it were a perfect world & I was totally on top of my game—I’d be two-thirds of the way through the list (having 29 or 30 goals checked off).

It isn’t a perfect world though…I have gotten several goals accomplished, and there are others that are either halfway done or I consider on-going goals (so can’t consider them ‘completed’ until my birthday).

So what goals are completed? Halfway? On-going, or just not started yet? Images for the drawings, paintings, and needlepoint projects are after the list.

Well here are the 44 goals that I wrote out on the evening of my 43rd birthday last year:

  1. Starting my freelance science, health, medical communications business. In progress–I have the website, and I’m slowly getting blog posts up. I’m still in the progress of creating a portfolio to have on the site as well to highlight the types of communication pieces I would enjoy creating for customers. The site: jessicamatts(dot)com
  2. Transition into a remote science/health/medical comms position. Need to have a portfolio (possibly) and need to start looking to see what companies are hiring remote comms workers. I really don’t want to have an hybrid or in-person job.
  3. Launching a YouTube channel. I have a YouTube channel…I just need to ‘rename/rebrand’ it, and figure out what the hell I’m going to talk about on it (whether it’s a mix of science and things or strictly a science/health/medical channel).
  4. Launch a podcast. Need to launch the YouTube channel first…so I’m not sure if this will happen before my birthday or not.
  5. Complete at least ten different Udemy courses: I’ve watched three; a minimum of seven more
    • Gods and Kings: The Art History of Mesopotamia & Arabia
    • Beginners guide to SEO for medical writers
    • Writing an Effective & Successful Business Plan
  6. Complete at least twelve different Skillshare courses: I’ve watched seven; a minimum of five more to go
    • Creating Your Dream Career: Uncovering & Apply Your Creative Strengths
    • Productivity Habits that Stick, Using Time Theming
    • Goal Setting for Creatives: play to your strengths & tap into flow
    • The Art of Setting Goals: Create Your Roadmap to Success
    • Creative business plan for artists: creative a thriving business
    • Creative journaling: getting started
    • Growing your creativity
  7. Read at least 44 non-fiction/historical fiction books: I’m a little over 2/3 of the way done with this one. I’ve read 30 & only have 14 more to go.
    • Monarchs of the Sea (The extraordinary 500-million year history of cephalopods) by Danna Staaf
    • Conquering your burnout: an actionable guide to overcome burnout by Veronica Llorca-Smith
    • Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to being happy, confident and you in a looks-obsessed world by Anuschka Rees
    • Unfuck your brain: Using science to get over anxiety, depression, anger, freakouts, & triggers by Faith Harper
    • Things no one will tell fat girls: A handbook for unapologetic living by Jes Baker
    • Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • Body Positive Power: Because life is already happening and you don’t need flat abs to live it by Megan Jayne Crabbe
    • Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws: and other classical myths, historical oddities, and scientific curiosities by Adrienne Mayor
    • Letters to a Starseed by Rebecca Campbell
    • White Women: everything you already know about your own racism & how to be better by Regina Jackson & Saira Rao
    • Healthy at Every Size: The surprising truth about your weight by Linda Bacon, PhD
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive approach to living a good life by Mark Manson
    • I’m Not Yelling: A Black Woman’s Guide to Navigating the Workplace by Elizabeth Leiba
    • Pantesdrunk by Misha Rantanen
    • Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World by Eve Rodsky
    • Bust Your Fears (Rebel Diva #4): Three tools to help conquer fear by Tikiri Herath
    • Top 10 Most Interesting Dinosaurs by Daniel Boszo
    • What if it does work out: How a side hustle can change your life by Susie Moore
    • 50 Dinosaur Tales: And 108 More Discoveries from the Golden Age of Dinos by Sabrina Ricci with Garret Kruger
    • Waking up in the Winter: In Search of What Really matters at midlife by Cheryl Richardson
    • Becoming What you are: A concise guide to awakening the light within by Two Workers
    • B*tch don’t kill my vibe: How to stop worrying, end negative thinking, cultivate positive thoughts, & start living your best life (self help with a little sass) by Reese Owens
    • Pagan Portals: Sekhmet: Lady of Flame, Eye of Ra by Olivia Church
    • Pagan Portals: Isis: Great of Magic, She of 10,000 Names by Olivia Church
    • Things You Might Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza by Mosab Abu Toha
    • Just Tell Me What I Want: How to Find Your Purpose When You Have No Idea What it is by Sara Kravitz
    • Headstrong: 52 women who changed science & the world by Rachel Swaby
    • Just do the damn thing: how to sit your @ss down long enough to exert willpower, develop self discipline, stop procrastination, increase productivity…sh!t done (Self help with a little sass) by Reese Owens
    • Authentic: How to be yourself & Why it Matters by Stephen Joseph
  8. Become fluent in Spanish. I need to stick with a daily time to get onto Mondly to work on this and #9 as well
  9. Become proficient in Arabic. See above
  10. Learn to say hello in ten different languages. See #8
  11. Learn to say thank you in ten different languages. See #8
  12. Complete a 365-day photography challenge. Nope. Need to create a ‘schedule’/outline and add this to my 45 things before 45 list
  13. Monthly editorial calendars, weekly/daily to-do lists. This is an ongoing goal, and one I’ve been improving with over the past two or three months compared to the first few months last year.
  14. What is my definition of success? Finished:
    • Being curious, constantly learning, creative, present, productive & aware that not everyday is going to be rainbows & unicorns…sometimes they’re going to be thunderstorms & disasters.
    • Success is more than money, influence & power. It’s being a member of the global community, helping to improve society in whatever small way(s) I’m able to.
    • It’s being comfortable with what I have, doing what I can with what I have, while striving to be a little better tomorrow than I was today. I’m only in “competition” with the me I was yesterday.
  15. Create a vision board based on that definition. Still collecting ‘images/words/phrases’ to place on the vision board.
  16. Learn basic sign language. I think I bought an e-course on this topic.
  17. Get debt down by a quarter to half (based on where it is now). Not sure how well I’m doing..since I’m still in the planning stages of my businesses
  18. Continue getting into the best shape of my life. I do need to figure out what some metrics will be to aim for (heavy lifting or something…because currently its a little too vague still)
  19. Learning about body confidence. Ongoing–have read several book on the subject (see above)
  20. Create a happiness plan. Need to set this up during the next two months
  21. Daily mediation on-going
  22. Stretch daily on-going
  23. Hold a 90-second plank. Need to get on this one
  24. Develop & stick with a consistent exercise schedule. On the agenda for the week.
  25. Make some mosaic art
  26. Make some resin art. Semi-completed. I made a small ‘container’
  27. Draw/doodle, color & frame an original drawing. Completed. See below for the pictures
  28. Draw/doodle, paint & frame original drawings. Completed. Again, see below for the pictures
  29. Start making jewelry. Semi-started. Attempted to make an resin pendant
  30. Complete at least another six cross-stitch projects. In progress-I have one finished, and am currently working on a second large one. Not sure if I’ll get four smaller ones done or not before my birthday.
  31. Create my own calendar using my nature photographs. Debating on whether to do a 2025 or try to make a planner for 2026 with my own photographs
  32. Create at least one piece of wood-burnt art. Haven’t tried yet. I have the kit…just haven’t worked up the nerve to try yet.
  33. Monthly full & new moon goals. I’ve only missed Oct 2023 full moon posting. This is on-going
  34. Daily oracle card drawings. This is on-going. I need to determine the best time to actually also post them to the oracel card channel that I started on instagram
  35. Learn to make sushi. I have a sushi making ‘kit’ and cookbook in my amazon cart to order.
  36. Get a haircut. Since there is starting to be a spike in SARS-CoV2 cases again…not sure if this will happen before my birthday or not.
  37. Create a coloring book from various (uncolored) doodles/drawings. I just need to retake a bunch of photographs (to ensure that that pictures are ‘centered’) so kinda in progress
  38. Complete a Sudoku or crossword puzzle daily (a minimum of 60-day challenge). Currently about two-thirds of the way through the 60-day Sudoku challenge…may have also hit that mark (not sure if I started that on March 20 or not). Almost finished
  39. Complete at least five 30-day challenges. So far have completed at least 30 days of the Sudoku challenge. on-going.
  40. Read at least two ‘new’ (to me) banned books. Halfway done:
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  41. Read at least two ‘new’ (to me) classics
  42. Read at least one ‘new’ trilogy (or longer) series. Finished. Have read at least five to seven this year.
    • Lost & Found series by Catherine Cowles (five books–series is done)
    • Cottonwood Cove series by Laura Pavlov (five books–series is done)
    • Lakeshore U by L.A. Cotton (four books, not sure if there are more yet)
    • Kincaid Brothers by Kaylee Ryan (six books, plus another two to finish)
    • Playing to Win by Bella Matthews (three books, plus one more to finish)
    • The Defiant Kings by Bella Matthews (five books–series is done)
    • The Kings of Kroydon Hills by Bella Matthews (four books–series is done)
  43. Finish creating an inspiring work/crafts area
  44. Write a letter to my future self (again). Wrote one for me to read/open on either 12/31/2025 or 01/01/2026

The three pictures that I drew and colored with either colored pencils or markers.

Two of the four paintings that I’ve done. I did two watercolors & two acrylics (one of each for two different sizes–the 9×12 seen here & then 8×10).

The finished needlepoint project on the left & the progress of the other large one on the right.

But, since it isn’t a perfect world—I’ve ‘completed’ a few goals: doodling/drawing, coloring & framing at least one original drawing (I did three); doodling/drawing, painting & framing at least one original piece of art (I’ve done four); reading at least one ‘new’ trilogy (I’ve read at least two—truthfully probably closer to five now), determining what my definition of success is (still need to make the vision board), and writing a letter to my future self.

That’s five goals finished…and technically there are three others that are halfway finished (reading at least two banned books, doing at least a two-month challenge of attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle each morning & creating some resin art). This means I’ve accomplished almost 11.5% of my goals (and if I add in the three halfway completed goals—I’m a little over 18.2% of the way). 

Several of the goals are ongoing goals—meaning I won’t consider them ‘finished’ until I hit my birthday (there are seven which accounts for almost 16% of the goals). So—that means there are 30 to 31 goals that I should still aim at trying to finish over the next four months). Though in all honesty I probably won’t become fluent in Spanish or proficient in Arabic in four months…these goals will possibly also be added to my 45 goals before 45 list, along with the new 365-day photography challenge.

In terms of reading goals: I’ve finished one (reading at least one ‘new’ trilogy or longer series; I think I have like five to seven actually listed above), I’m halfway done with another (reading at least two ‘new’ banned books), and I’m almost two-thirds of the way through the nonfiction/historical fiction challenge (I’ve read 30 books, which means only 14 more to go). I still need to read another ‘new’ banned book & two ‘new’ classics.

In terms of the continuously learning (aka e-courses), I increased the total number of courses for both Udemy & Skillshare—I’m now stating I will finish at least ten Udemy courses (I’ve done three—so I’m also a third of the way there); and I will finish at least twelve Skillshare courses (I’ve done seven—so I’m a little over halfway done ‘watching’ these courses).

Progress is measured in the baby-steps forward, the tasks being checked off the list—and an new goal list is being brainstormed to come into being on the eve of my 44th birthday. I’ll check in later (possibly next week) with the goal list that I’m aiming to accomplish before July 20.

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Taurus Goals: Focusing (mostly) on the finances and debt

So the moon is going to be transitioning through the Taurus constellation either tonight or possibly last night—depending on where one is in the world. This marks the fifth new moon of the year…and May is not quite a third of the way over. 

Things aren’t settling down anytime soon in regards to various global conflicts…I just hope that there are enough civilians screaming for a ceasefire that the problem in Gaza doesn’t turn into world war three….though thanks to the occupiers—there is that slim possibility, since they’re trying to ‘renegotiate’ a ceasefire agreement (they didn’t like the one that Hamas agreed to).

Anyway…when it comes to trying to set goals via the moon cycles, or even just ‘monthly’ goals—it’s been a work in progress. I didn’t do the months in review last year (after January or possibly Feb), and I didn’t do most of the new or full moon goals for a good six or seven months. One goal this year is to try to get back into doing different types of accountability posts—whether it’s making goals and reviewing them prior to the next phase of the moon, or reviewing them on a monthly basis (just restarted that series last week, when I ‘reviewed’ things for April).

Two years ago I asked if things were starting to turn around? In part there was still the pandemic raging…we do have vaccines & booster shots for that now…but thanks to greed ass corporations and such—sometime those that need them the most can’t afford them (as not every insurance plan will cover them). Besides that—there are numerous global conflicts going on—the Russia-Ukraine conflict is in it’s third year, there is the ongoing genocide in Gaza, genocides in the Congo, Sudan, and numerous other places around the world…so I don’t think things are turning around quickly enough.

Looking to the book ‘Moonology’, there are several things that one can focus on during the Taurus new moon, and they include:

  1. Make a financial plan
  2. Love yourself
    • Make a list of your values and ask yourself if you’re living your life in a way that allows you to honor those values. If the answer is no—figure out a new plan to allow yourself to honor those values.
  3. Be sensual. Ask yourself “What would make my life better?”
  4. Character check. Ask yourself “Am I being too stubborn or too lazy?”
  5. Persevere—remember that there is more to life than racing head, there is also the journey that should be enjoyed as well (or as much as possible). Slow and steady will win the day.

In addition, the new moon in Taurus is also moving through my seventh house, or my “love zone”. This zone can also be referred to as the relationship zone as well. So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the seventh house? They include:

  1. Go through old love letters and get rid of at least some of them.
  2. If you’re single and feeling brave, try online dating.
  3. Ask your parents about their ideas on how to make love (aka a relationship) work.
  4. Recommit to your partner.
  5. If you hurt a past lover, admit you were wrong & apologize to them.
  6. Make a list of the qualities you look for in a partner.
  7. If you’re already attached, play matchmaker for a friend.

Well…I’ll probably be skipping all things related to my seventh house this year. I’m not in the mood to try online (or even in person) dating. I don’t have any love letters to sort through. My mother is dead…and my father isn’t really one to offer ‘relationship’ advice. I may make a list of qualities that I’d like in a partner—top being they’re against genocides.

Three years ago I wrote this in terms of how I felt about ‘dating’: Yes—there is online dating, but that isn’t something I want to be focusing on right now, instead I’m going to focus on improving myself and then worry about possible dating issues. Also, I don’t have the time or energy to put into the dating scene and finding someone. In terms of relationships and being with someone—I seem to be one of the odd ones that doesn’t mind being alone and unattached. I also know that I still have other things to work out on my own before even attempting to stick my toes into the dating pool.

So, if I’m going to more or less ignore my seventh house, what are some of the goals I could set for the Taurus new moon? Well, they’ll include:

  1. Making a financial plan. The savings account has more or less dwindled down to nothing, and I need to get quite a bit of shit paid off still…and I’d like to be able to start building my savings (and possibly even retirement) accounts back up again if possible. 
  2. Work on improving the rough draft of my personal/professional growth plan (which would incorporate the above financial plan)—in addition to ensure that goals within that plan are aligned with my values (see above about ‘loving yourself’ aka making sure you’re living in line with your values).
  3. Get a several mind-maps/outlines and such finished over the next few weeks and setting up different ‘editorial’ calendars for the two different blogs and various social media channels.
  4. Continue to clean out my closet so that I can make room for various things as I continue to also try to clean out my storage unit.

Three goals that are focusing on brainstorming/mind-mapping/planning and one that is focused on working towards my vision/version of minimalism. 

Sometimes I get bogged down with the planning stage of things (I try to put too much on the calendar for a particular day or week)—that’s why I’m also adding in the brainstorming/mind-mapping and notes. Hopefully it will help ‘break’ down the planning stage to where I actually only put the bare minimum of things on the calendar—and then have a list of things I can ‘add in’ once other things are checked off and finished.

Baby-steps. Spiral paths. Two steps forward, and one step back. Progress—it is never perfect, it is never linear…and it is often more messy than one thinks. With the current status of the world—I’m aiming for messy progress…I’m aiming to continue to unlearn (and relearn), to become a better global citizen, and to do my part in trying to dismantle various toxic parts of society.

With that said—what is one of your Taurus goals? 

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New moon, solar eclipse & time to ‘look’ to the future

So the Aries new moon is today, and it also marks a total solar eclipse that can actually be seen in parts of the US.  Stillwater, unfortunately is suppose to be totally cloudy during those few hours this afternoon…but who knows the cloud cover could burn off a little bit at some point & I can grab my solar viewing glasses and go out back to see if I can ‘see’ anything. 

Last year I didn’t write anything about the Aries new moon…I actually didn’t write much of anything for like a good six or seven months (while 2020 wasn’t the greatest year; 2021-to [almost the present] has sucked), and getting back into a writing routine and both ‘niching’ (in terms of the science, health & medical blog) and semi-niching here has been at times a struggle. But it is a struggle I’m willing to work with—as I’m focused on getting these two freelance/creative businesses up and running.

Okay…now back to the Aries new moon. There are numerous things that one can do during this period. One ‘series’ of things reflects on the Aries new moon itself, and those things include:

  1. Take actions on dreams & plans
  2. Make a 12-month plan
  3. Be courageous in moving towards achieving your goals
  4. Have some fun
  5. Focus on you

You might be asking why one would think of making a 12-month plan in April? Well, that’s because Aries is the start of a new ‘astrological’ year/calendar—especially in terms of the ‘new’ moon. So, this is a time of reflection and planning…figuring out what goals one really wants to achieve (that match up to ones’ inner values) and figuring out how to go about and achieving them.

The second thing is to look to see what ‘house’ the Aries new moon is passing through (there are twelve houses, and the particular house for each new & full moon differs for everyone based on your astrological signs. Mine are Vigo (star), Scorpio (rising), and Pisces (moon). I usually make use of my rising sign (Scorpio) to determine which house the different moons are moving through. So for me—this Aries new moon is passing through my 6th house, or my daily work & health zone.  This means—figuring out the fluid daily/weekly schedule that will allow me to focus on the things I want: personal/professional growth, launching a freelance career, health/wellness, crafts/hobbies, and so forth.

One thing I’ve been doing the past few weeks is combining time ‘theming’ (trying to give each day a particular theme—or each morning/afternoon different themes: such as communications, administrative work, research, writing/editing, and so forth) with time blocking (setting aside say 90 minutes to do research/write/edit or do some personal/professional growth work [e-courses, Mondly, or listening to a podcast or TedTalk]). While also making use of apps that block access to social media sites (so I don’t give into the temptation of ‘doom scrolling’ when I should be doing something else).

So what are some of the things that one can do during this time to improve things in their sixth house?

  1. Recommit to some type of exercise program
  2. Think about (correct if need be) your eating habits
  3. Help someone out this month
  4. Talk to your boss about any work concerns you might have
  5. Read a book on positive thinking
  6. Eat healthy lunches or dinners for a month–no exceptions
  7. Learn to meditate

So I always find it a little uncanny at times how accurate the moons transition is through the houses (especially when I know there are certain things I should be focusing on). While there are things that listed that are ‘mainstream’ (such as correcting eating habits or eating healthier)—I’m working on developing a better relationship with food, and am starting to listen to my body more. I’m also going to be moving to a more intentional movement ‘calendar’—to where I’m doing something daily for at least five to fifteen minutes each day.

So which things am I going to try to focus on over the next few weeks?

  1. Make a 12-month (or possibly longer) plan. This will be a mix of different goal setting methods (value-driven goals, OKR [objectives & key results], and using the new & full moon phases of the moon) but written as a ‘personal/professional growth development plan’.
  2. Start using the intentional movement board game I drew out last month. I just need to write the rules, draw up some tracking sheets & figure out what my ‘rewards’ will be as well
  3. Read one of the books I have on positive thinking/mindset
  4. Continue to meditate nightly

Three years ago, I ended my Aries New Moon goals with the assumption that world’s insanity levels were going to hopefully start ‘decreasing’ and things would mellow. Oh, how I miss those rose-tinted glasses that I was metaphorically wearing. The world is going to hell in a hand-basket at an alarming clip..and I think there is a clock somewhere counting down until someone decides to launch an damn nuclear weapon at someone else.

Can various governments please wake up and start sanctioning the occupiers? Like yesterday? Because—again, if they aren’t brought under control, this will spiral into a regional (and then possibly a global) conflict—and do you really want to fight someone else’s war of hate & greed (or have your children or grandchildren fight it)?

Happy, safe, loving, thoughts, vibes and prayers sent to everyone in the world that needs them—particularly within Ukraine, Gaza, the Congo, Sudan, and other sites of war and genocide.

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerHealthmoney saving challengesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspirituality

First quarter is done…onwards into the second quarter of 2024

So, the moon is going to be heading into it’s latest new moon phase this coming Monday, April 8—also marking a solar eclipse at the same time. There is a chance that Stillwater will at least have a partial eclipse during the early afternoon—so I’ve ordered some eclipse glasses to hopefully observe the eclipse this year (if I remember to head outside around the correct time—and it isn’t overcast—which it is currently forecasted as). But before looking ahead to the Aries new moon, it’s time to look back at the goals that I’d set for the Pisces new moon and see how I did with each of the goals.

The goals that I included for the Pisces new moon included:

  1. Continuing to work on the afghan
  2. Determine which ‘goals’ from the 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days will be added to the second quarter BINGO card and/or just listed out in the journal
  3. Brainstorm ideas for an intentional movement board game (include resistance training, yoga, cardio, dancing, walking and so forth).
  4. Start brainstorming different ideas (creative writing projects & science/health/med topics) to then expand via mind-mapping.
  5. Work on setting up an ‘dedicated’ Wiccan/pagan altar that doesn’t become a catchall for craft supplies (namely threads for needlepoint projects).

So how did I do with each of these goals?

Working on the afghan:

Well I’m a little over 60% done with the afghan. Last week I had to knit a small piece to finish up the third large column (somehow it was a little too short—not sure how that happened), and last night I started working on the first of the four border pieces. I’m hoping to have the afghan totally finished by the end of the month…though it could be possibly mid-May before I’m totally done with it. The below pictures highlight the afghan…once it’s totally complete, I’ll place it on a larger bed to be able to get a good picture of it.

The ‘main’ portion of my latest afghan, which is a flame motif (which is extremely difficult to currently see). Once finished this afghan will probably fit nicely on a queen size bed.

Selecting ‘goals’ from the combined ’44 things to do before turning 44’ and 101 goals in 1001-days to work on during this second quarter of 2024:

Below are the selected goals that I’m focusing on during the second quarter of 2024, along with possibly other goals once some of these have been completed:

  1. Create a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launch a YouTube channel
  3. Complete at least two (or more) 30-day challenges
  4. Read at least another eight-to-twelve nonfiction books
  5. Read another ‘banned’ book and at least one ‘classic’
  6. Finish the afghan
  7. Finish at least one small needlepoint project
  8. Draw/doodle & paint an original piece of art
  9. Create a workout plan
  10. Write a letter to my future self
  11. Finish at least another four-to-six Udemy courses
  12. Finish at least another five-to-seven Skillshare courses

Plus there are other things I can attempt to work into my schedule—like figuring out how to create a calendar (then figure out do I offer it just online or what); crafts, and then there is a bunch of other things that I just need to become better disciplined at doing (like creating and publishing all the different bird pages) things.

Brainstorming ideas for an intentional movement board game:

I have a rough draft of a basic board game drawn out (see below):

Rough draft of an intentional movement board game
First draft of my intentional movement board game

What I need to do now is develop the ‘rules’ for the game, making tracking sheets (mainly for the weights), and finally just start ‘playing’ with the game. Reminder to self: put on tennis shoes & socks…most of these ‘intentional movement’ shouldn’t be done while wearing slippers.  

Brainstorm ideas for different projects (creative writing projects & science/health/med topics): 

I have several different ideas for creative writing projects. There is going to be an ‘dinosaur and other ‘ancient’ creatures’ piece. ‘Interviews’ with various goddesses & gods; and several other ideas. The only one that is semi-fleshed out (in terms of a rough draft of an outline is part of the dinosaur portion of that project)—all other ideas are just the ‘broad’ ideas currently.

I have at least three ‘large’ blog project ideas down on paper for the science, health, medical blog: oncology (which I’ve already started), a cell biology series, and then possibly going into metabolism & why certain supplements aren’t worth one’s time or money.

Setting up an ‘dedicated’ Wiccan/pagan altar

This is still a semi-work in progress goal. I have an area where I have several goddess statues and other crystals, but currently it’s a little ‘crowded’. A goal is to get a shelf near by that can hold the ‘overflow’ from the altar—basically have an ‘Wiccan/pagan’ corner of the room, where I can read oracle cards (either in the morning or the evening).

Conclusions:

So I’d set five goals for the Pisces new moon—two I’d considered to be ‘finish-able’ projects: working on the afghan & setting up the Wiccan/pagan altar, in addition to making the list of goals from the combined 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001-days. In terms of these three projects I’d say I managed about 75% (the goals are listed; the ‘dedicated’ Wiccan/pagan corner is coming along; and I should be finished with the afghan by the end of April or mid-May at the latest).

The brainstorming goals I wasn’t sure if I’d “finish” (aka get anything down onto paper) or not. The intentional movement game has been ‘brainstormed’—I just need to make the rules, tracking sheets & just start up a routine. The various writing projects have been brainstormed (kinda, more or less—at least in part for the science, health, medical blog). So I’d say I was 85% productive with the brainstorming sessions (I’m not making a total 100% since I didn’t really mind map that many of the projects further).

So—basically managed about 80% of the goals listed for the Pisces new moon. Do I know what ‘side-tracked’ some of the progress. Yes—in terms of the afghan, I was ‘dog-sitting’ for several nights, and had to switch up my craft project for those few nights—which put me behind schedule. But, I started working on the border pieces last night, and should possibly be done with the first border piece by the upcoming weekend.

Setting up the Wiccan/pagan corner is taking time—because I need to clean/purge at the same time—it’s not fun/easy when you’re trying to have a bedroom be multiple things: sleep space, work space, craft space, meditation/spiritual, and if possible workout/fitness space as well. 

I’ll take the 80% success rate for the Pisces new moon..and aim to hit at least 85-to-90% of the goals for the upcoming Aries New Moon (and total solar eclipse).  The other thing I’m going to keep reminding myself of: progress over perfection—since perfection is a myth, and everyone has a different idea of what it looks like.

What did you manage to get done during the Pisces new moon?

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Brain-dumps & goals lists (check)–now on to the long-term objectives

So the moon will be going through it’s next full moon stage at the beginning of next week-which means it’s time to look at the goals I’d set for the Virgo full moon, before planning for the Libra full moon.

So what were the goals that I’d set for the Virgo full moon? Well, they included:

  1. Get back into the practice of doing ‘monthly brain dumps’ and using things from the list as ideas for blog posts, infographics and so forth. 
  2. Working on that two-to-five year plan. Brainstorming (hopefully) reasonable milestones to aim for
  3. Make a list (from both my 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days) that I want to accomplish during the second quarter of 2024.
  4. Develop a rough draft of a fluid weekly schedule…leading to hopefully a workable fluid schedule by May.

So how did I do with each of them?

Monthly brain dump:

Well–I’m getting back into the habit. I made a brain-dump for March and actually managed to get a decent number of things checked off/accomplished, including:

  1. I posted the review to Last First Kiss on Amazon on the fourth…and they accepted it rather quickly (which was a nice surprise for a Monday).
  2. I’ve been keeping up with running the ‘accountability’ series within a Facebook group (posting the initial one on a Monday & then check-ins on Wed & Fri)
  3. I’ve been doing daily updates on Gaza on my Instagram channel (still debating on whether to start a ‘separate’ channel or not on this)
  4. I’ve found two new recipes to try this month
  5. I’ve done two e-courses
  6. I’m slowly getting back into getting on Mondly for learning a foreign language
  7. I’ve sent off two boxes of used DVDs & books…managed to hit about a quarter of my goal of earning a minimum of $100 this month selling stuff back.
  8. I finished two non-fiction books by the 20th (which meant I’d read/finished six books between 1/20 & 3/20)
  9. I set up the BINGO cards for both the second quarter of 2024 & for April
  10. Did my 3rd check-in on my 44 things to accomplish before turning 44
  11. I did my new & full moon goals this month
  12. I should hopefully have the third panel of the afghan completed by the end of the upcoming week

Working on the two-to-five year plan:

This currently is one of those ‘constantly’ in progress goals. I’m currently in the process of brainstorming ideas for not only objectives (short term goals) but ‘milestones’ as well. As I’d mentioned within my rough draft of a two-to-five year plan—I usually freak out trying to figure out how to break down the big ‘vision’ goal into smaller ‘sub-vision’ goals. It’s a work in progress, and maybe having watched the one course on how to write an business plan—I can at least get the big ‘vision’ goal down into smaller/yearly ‘sub-vision’ goals.

List of things from both the 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days to put on the second quarter BINGO card:

I’ve gotten this accomplished. What’s being added to the second quarter BINGO card (and partially to the April BINGO card) includes:

  1. Creating a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launching a YouTube channel
  3. Completing three 30-day challenges
  4. Reading at least another 8-12 nonfiction books
  5. Reading another ‘banned’ book and at least one ‘new’ classic book
  6. Finishing at least one small needlepoint project
  7. Finishing the afghan project
  8. Drawing/doodling & painting an original piece of art
  9. Creating a workout plan
  10. Writing a letter to my future self (again)
  11. Completing at least 4 more Udemy courses & at least 5 more Skillshare courses
  12. At least 30 minutes 3x/week on Mondly learning a foreign language
  13. Start at least one new Instagram channel (possibly for the oracle cards)
  14. A minimum of 12 mini book reviews (for the creative blog)
  15. A minimum of 10 ‘blurbs/reviews’ of different science papers (for the science/health/medical blog)

These are in addition to the ‘normal’ goals that I have on it:

  1. Daily oracle card drawings
  2. Water before coffee
  3. Daily craft time
  4. Daily gratitude journal entries
  5. Daily intentional movements
  6. Daily mediation
  7. No spend challenges
  8. Time & project management
  9. Read at least nine fiction books (breaks down to at least three a month)

Develop a ‘rough’ fluid weekly schedule:

I’ve realized that at times my biggest distractions are getting back onto social media and semi-doom scrolling…so I need to ‘block’ myself from at least Facebook majority of the day. I’m not going to ‘block’ myself from Instagram…as I haven’t bookmarked the ‘help’ page yet for LI ticket submissions.

This week I’ve tried the idea of time theming…where I put a particular ‘theme’ to a day. The theme is suppose to help me ‘focus’ by the fact that most tasks for the day should be around the ‘theme’. What I’ve learned—I need to do more of a morning & afternoon theme than a particular full day theme. Especially since I’m still not fully certain of when I have the most focused attention/energy. 

I know that most people (and there is research to back this) state that we’re most focused the first couple of hours in the morning…and I’m semi-focused during the morning. I think that I’m the most focused at night when I’m working on crafts…which means that I possibly should be thinking of trying to get more ‘crafts’ made so I can launch a online craft store (via Etsy or some other site).

Next week I’m going to try to blend ‘theming’ in with time blocks. I’ve also realized that I kinda like semi-spontaneous during the day/week—and by that I mean moving projects around to days when I think I’ll actually make some progress towards getting them started/finished. Also next week will show me how well I can manage my day when I’m in charge of the animals for more than just ten or twelve hours.

Four goals. Two were ‘one-and-done’ (monthly brain dump & list from the combo 44 things/101 goals), and both were finished. The other two were more ‘fluid’ and semi-continuous goals. The weekly schedule needs to have decent breaks scattered throughout (not to mention a time for intentional movement). The two-to-five year plan…well I still need to fine-tune the goals & objective statements, not to mention figuring out what milestones to have for each sub-objective. But I made some progress on both of those goals…so it was a win for the Virgo full moon period.

As I mentioned in last month’s post—I want to try to combine different methods of goal setting and see if a blend of methods works better than a ‘single’ method. I’ve picked the following methods to try to blend: Value-based goal setting (are the goals I’m setting matching my values?), OKR (objective & key results), WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan) & goals based on the phase/constellation of the moon. Four methods, and truthfully the biggest ‘obstacles’ are going to be trying to determine the key results/outcomes that I can actually achieve within a set time frame (not too long or short of time).

Since we’re also entering the last week of March—it is also time to reflect back on the first quarter of the year—did you get everything accomplished that you wanted? Or are there still big goals that will now be stretching into the second quarter of the year?

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Progress on the 44 things to do before turning 44 project

Okay…I realized last night as I was working on the latest update to this ‘project’–I never got around to posting the original 44 things to do before turning 44, nor either of the previous two updates. The original post, and both previous updates I think I posted to Instagram, and I think LinkedIn.

I’ve posted the third update to Instagram this morning, and until LinkedIn allows me back onto my account–obviously I can’t post it there. So I’m posting it here, and will probably post it over to Facebook this afternoon sometime. So, this ’44 things to do before turning 44′ is an update/continuation to the previous ‘birthday’ challenge (43 things to do before turning 43) and the ‘goals’ have been taken from the new 101 goals in 1001-days challenge that I’d also started back the day after my 43rd birthday.

Today marks the third update (March 20), and the half-way point between my birthdays. Now, if it was a perfect world–I’d be halfway done with the goals (in theory knocking out 22 goals in six months)…but it isn’t a perfect world, and I’ll admit that I’d fallen into procrastination canyon for awhile last fall. I’m slowly getting better at getting things done, and who knows I may actually get a decent number of the goals totally completed by my birthday in six months.

So what is on the 44 things to do before turning 44?

Well these goals include:

The daily oracle/tarot card readings are an ‘365-day’ challenge…so obviously I’m not going to be checking this one off until basically my birthday in six months. I have been consistent at doing an oracle card drawing daily, and am even thinking of starting an new Instagram account for sharing those ‘readings’.

I’m learning about body confidence (I’ve read several books on the subject–so check out the list a little further down the challenge list). I’ve got an idea for creating a consistent exercise routine (hopefully by the next check-in, I can say that I’ve managed at least 30-days of consistent intentional movement).

The daily mediation goal is another one that I won’t be ‘checking’ off until basically my birthday in six months. I have been sitting ‘quietly’ for a few minutes every evening, and am still working on trying to introducing some ‘quiet’ (aka meditative) time in the morning. Getting into the best shape of my life will slowly start happening once I’ve developed that intentional movement plan that I will (hopefully) be able to stick with.

I have an idea for the name of a YouTube channel, and ideas for what I would be wanting to talk about…I just need to ‘record’ a practice video and see how it looks/sounds before actually ‘launching’ the channel. Then hopefully by the end of the summer I will have ‘launched’ it as a podcast as well–or at least have a outline/schedule for launching it as a podcast.

Working on the happiness plan, and slowly working on getting the debt down (starting to keep track [more or less] of purchases and such).

Again, the stretching daily won’t be ‘checked’ off until my birthday–and I’ve been stretching in the morning & before bed. The monthly editorial calendars have been getting made (and more or less followed). The others are still works in progress.

Okay…something checked off: My definition of success.

I’m defining success as any of the following:

I have my credit card debt paid off…and have canceled a credit card…and the others are paid off monthly

I have started saving money again, and adding to my retirement account

My yearly earnings are in the upper five figure to low six figures

My stress levels have ‘leveled’ out

I’m committed to a fitness routine that I’ve tailored to my likes and dislikes…I’m in the progress of getting into the best shape of my life

I’m meditating twice a day

I’m spending time out in nature

I’m writing and researching things of interest

I have two successful blogs….two successful freelance businesses

I have a podcast…a YouTube channel…that I do for fun…and to educate and entertain others…earning money from them is secondary…

I have an online store for selling my crafts…

I’ve developed an “working relationship” with my ‘imposter syndrome/inner critic’…

I have developed and embraced my vision of minimalism…

I am staying up-to date on world events…

I have created numerous online courses that not only cover science topics, but history, social sciences, and current events.

Basically…Success to me is being curious, constantly learning, creative, present, productive, and aware that not every day is going to be rainbows and unicorns…sometimes they’re thunderstorms and disasters…Success is more than money, influence, and power…it’s being a member of the global community, helping to improve society in whatever small way(s) I’m able to. It’s being comfortable with what I have, doing what I can with what I have, while striving to be a little better tomorrow than I was today. I’m only in ‘competition’ with the me I was yesterday.

The next step is to create a vision board based on the above statements.

I’m making progress on the non-fiction reading:

I’ve been averaging about five books every two months (so roughly two and a half books a month). While I’ve read more non-fiction books this time around compared to the list for the 43 before 43 challenge–I’m hoping to still ‘finish’ this challenge. That means I need to try to read at least one non-fiction book a week for the next six months. One thing I need to do–is to go back and write at least four to five mini-book reviews over various books that I’ve finished.

Okay two more things have been totally checked off, and I’m halfway done with the challenge of reading two banned books.

Both of the above series are romance series that are based around a group of siblings. The ‘Lost & Found’ series has aspects of suspense woven throughout all the books, while the ‘Cottonwood Cove’ series has various other ‘tropes’ (such as brother’s best-friend [though so does the ‘Lost & Found’], enemy-to-friends, and friends-to-lovers). I give both series five out of five stars, and am planning on going back and writing reviews for each of the series (haven’t decided if it will be five individual reviews or a combo-five reviews over the entire series).

The other goal checked off that page: Doodling/drawing, coloring & framing at least two original drawings. I decided that for this goal I was going to do large drawings/doodles instead of the smaller ones I’d been doing last spring/summer and early fall.

Here are the three that I’d completed last fall:

In addition last fall, I also finished up the first really large needlepoint project:

I’m currently working on a needlepoint project that is even larger than this one. Though I should possibly do a couple of small ones as well–just to make sure that I hit the goal of completing at least three needlepoint projects. I’m also thinking of launching an etsy store to sell abstract needlepoint projects, digital coloring books, downloadable prints of my colored doodles, and other crafts–so stay tuned to hear about when I decide to launch that project.

I may get several of the above goals finished over the next few days/weeks. I have numerous black and white doodles that I can use to create a coloring book. I just need to have really good pictures of them to upload into a program to then print off (or upload) as a pdf booklet. I’m thinking of possibly trying to complete the draw/doodle & paint goal this upcoming weekend along with starting to possibly play with some resin or make some charm bracelets & necklaces.

Okay. In terms of the photography challenge–I need to try to develop a plan–am I going to do various 30-day challenges, random times with the cell-phone camera or what. The last time I did a photography challenge was back in 2018/2019 and I managed about six to seven months before I called quits (mainly because I felt like I was constantly ‘repeating’ the subject matter).

In terms of new & full moon goals–I’ve only missed one so far, and that was setting full moon goals in Oct 2023. I wasn’t dealing with Oct very well (as that was the start of the ongoing genocide in Gaza), and the one thing that really fell by the wayside was the full moon goals at the end of the month.

I’ve finished three Udemy courses and two Skillshare courses so far:

I now have a couple of ideas of sites to use when trying to do SEO research for writing (both on this blog & the science, health, medical blog), and I have a better idea of what goes into a business plan.

I’ll be doing one of those exercises again that allows me to figure out my values at this stage of life, and then figure out how to combine those with my strengths to determine how to create my ‘dream career’. Time theming is something I’m attempting this week…and I’ve realized so far that I need to pair the ‘theming’ with other productivity ‘tools’ such as using a timer, logging out of social media sites, and so forth to ensure that I’m not getting overly distracted from what I’m wanting to get accomplished.

The final two goals:

The sudoku & crossword puzzle challenge is an way of keeping the brain active. I use to do the sudoku puzzle almost daily, but when things really started to go south late 2022…I quit doing them–now I’m going to try to get back into doing them. The crossword puzzles are just for fun, actually they both are. I don’t expect to ‘win’ at the sudoku puzzle every day–especially the harder levels towards the end of the week, and I’m pretty sure that I won’t be finishing every crossword puzzle either.

Learning basic sign language is another ‘refresher’ in a way. When I was younger I could sign the entire alphabet using sign language, but as with many things–since it wasn’t ‘related’ to school…I quit practicing and have forgotten most of what I’d learned. It similar with wanting to become fluent in Spanish–I took a year of Spanish in high school (my freshman year) before switching to German. I didn’t take any foreign languages in college–though, I did take a class that had a class trip to Honduras (so I brushed up on my Spanish a little). I want to become fluent in Spanish to where I could travel to Spain and hopefully not have to rely on a guidebook. I’m hoping to become proficient in Arabic…because why not?

But there you have it. If you’ve read this far (or scrolled) I’ve managed to complete 3 out of the 44 goals currently–that’s not quite 7% (it’s actually 6.8%) of the goals met. Some of the goals are just a matter of deciding that the evening craft time will be spent drawing, painting, playing with beads/charms, threads, or resin instead of knitting (which has been my major project for the past couple of weeks–trying to finish my latest afghan).

So what am I going to try to accomplish over the next two months?

I’m going to work on accomplishing the following:

  1. Create a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launch a YouTube channel
  3. Complete at least two 30-day challenges
  4. Read at least another eight non-fiction books
  5. Read another ‘banned’ book & at least one ‘classic’
  6. Finish at least one small needlepoint project
  7. Draw/doodle & paint an original piece of art
  8. Create a workout plan
  9. Write a letter to my future self
  10. Complete another four Udemy courses
  11. Complete another five Skillshare courses

Have you ever made a list of goals based on how old you’re going to be the next year? If so–were you able to accomplish all the goals, or were there some goals that were left unaccomplished?

I’m hoping to put a little progress into all the goals–regardless of whether or not I land a remote position (I want to have at least applied to say half a dozen remote science/health/medical communications positions), as some goals are on-going (getting debt down, getting into the best shape of my life), while others can be marked as ‘done’ once the birthday rolls around (since they’re ‘on-going’ but only for this particular birthday year–currently).

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerCraftsfinancesfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesodds and endsoracle cardsPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentspiritualitytarot cardsUpdates