Tag: Meditation

Time to reflect & plan for 2024 and beyond…Cancer Full Moon Goals

Tonight marks the last full moon of 2023, as the moon makes it’s way through the Cancer constellation…last year—it marked the first full moon; this year, it’s marking the last. It’s also considered the Cold Full Moon…which is extremely fitting—not only is it December…but considering current global events…it’s fitting.

We’re probably heading into 2024 being a less then an centimeter away from a regional conflict that may explode to a global conflict. I’m talking about the issues in West Asia (Gaza, the occupied West Bank, and the genocide that Israel is carrying out). I’ve been posting consistently on this over on LinkedIn and Facebook, and will probably start doing a weekly recap on the situation here starting next week…

But…that isn’t what this particular post is about. This post is about the Cancer Full Moon….

So, what are some questions that one can reflect on during this time? If one looks at the book: ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland, there are several questions, and they are:

Have I been insecure, clingy, and no fun this month?

Have I been coming at what I want sideways, instead of tackling it head-on?

Have I been sulky, moody, brooding, or manipulative? Hmmm?

Have I been secretive and possibly even a tad paranoid?

Have I had enough family time, or time with people who feel like family?

Since the full moon falls towards the end of the month…I can answer based off of how I felt the month had gone. If I were to number the above questions one to five, I think that this year my answers would be:

  1. Well…there is a genocide being carried out in real time over in Gaza & the West Bank…so yeah, I probably haven’t been that ‘fun’ this month. Clingy—nope..I’ve never really been a clingy person in general. Do I feel insecure…yeah…and I know that it is due to my inner critic/imposter syndrome trying to derail me from fully launching a freelance science/health/medical comms business in addition to full time blogging on crafts/hobbies, and personal/professional growth.
  2. Probably…yeah…I have been coming at things sideways—especially in terms of setting up the freelance business(es).
  3. I don’t think I’ve been manipulative this year/month…have I been a little sulky—possibly, but again—there is a genocide being carried out in real time. Moody or brooding—again, genocide being carried out in real time, and I’m getting tired of how various politicians are listening more to their donors than to the population that they’re suppose to be serving…so yeah…I’ve been slightly sulky, moody, and brooding this past month.
  4. No I haven’t been paranoid…nor really secretive…I shared links to both blogs sometime last fall to my LinkedIn profile…though I haven’t been totally consistent to posting to the science one (I think there are two blog posts and I haven’t done one since October). I just need to develop some type of daily schedule that I can actually stick with in terms of content development and posting to various sites.
  5. There has been ample family time this year…and several get-together with various friends. While the pandemic has been down-graded to epidemic status..I’ll probably start wearing a mask when going into really inclosed spaces.

The main takeaway for the month–I need to work on my imposter syndrome/inner critic when it comes to my science/health/med writing. I’ve been able to more or less ‘silence’ it when it comes to writing about what is going on in Gaza and the West Bank…

The Cancer full moon is also passing through my 9th house (or my ‘Big Picture’ zone). This is the time to deal with issues relating to travel, study, and so forth. There are two questions that you can ask yourself in regards to the 9th house and the Cancer full moon, and they are:

Have you been fussing too much over the details of your latest problems or tasks?

Is your life and mind expanding or narrowing?

If I were to number the above questions one and two, my answers would be as followed:

  1. Yes, I have a gold medal in over-thinking and analysis-paralysis. Last year…it was overthinking things in regards to looking at job ads for remote work…this year it was dealing with grief, and then the world lost it’s mind in October (I’m talking the on-going genocide in Gaza)…therefore I haven’t been as ‘productive’ as I could have been this past month/year. 
  2. I’m working on making sure that my life and mind are expanding. I’ve bought several (probably closer to a dozen plus) books on the history of the Palestinian conflict, white supremacy (within the US) & various historical US incidents that weren’t taught when I was in school (the Tulsa race massacre, the Osage murders, and others),  and how the west has royally fucked up Africa (haven’t gotten to these books yet). I’m slowly working on stretching my comfort, bounce (I added this zone in), and stretch zones while shrinking my risk and die zones.

I’m getting back into history, social sciences, and current events…especially in terms of Gaza & Palestine…will be also expanding to include Yemen, Syria, Sudan, and the Congo as we move into the new year. Evenings are spent on crafts—currently working on a new afghan (this time as panels to stitch together and not a huge ass afghan that will bend the knitting needles). 

Since this full moon falls so close to the end of the year (we’re five days away from New Years Eve)…the goals are going to revolve around getting setup for 2024, so I can hopefully hit the ground running and be fairly productive (compared to 2023)…

The goals for this full moon period are going to include:

  1. Determining the top four goals for 2024…and coming up with a good tracking system..
  2. Determining my words/phrase for 2024
  3. Nightly oracle card drawings and meditation
  4. Draft a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/bi-weekly goals)
  5. Finish at least one more non-fiction book
  6. Working through part (at least one module) of a personal/professional development course.

Half a dozen goals….but several are fairly ‘quick and easy’–such as determining my words/phrase for 2024…others are on-going goals–nightly oracle card drawings and meditation. Planning for next year, plus two-to-four years past–that will probably take the most time (in regards to breaking them down and coming up with a tracking system).

This year did not go anywhere close to what I thought it would…there has been deaths (my mother, plus three pets)…a chunk of the world loosing it’s collective mind and morals (I’m talking the ongoing genocide in Gaza)…and just general craziness…I hope that 2024 goes better…because I know it can also go a hell of a lot worse…

So…as we bask under the glow of the Cold Full Moon…I wish nothing but peace and prosperity to everyone…especially those going through hard times…and those suffering and struggling to just make it to tomorrow.

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Acknowledging where growth is need: Review of Cancer Goals

So the moon is transitioning into its second full moon phase of 2023 tomorrow—moving into Leo, and that means before looking ahead to the Leo full moon and hopefully setting a set of reasonable goals—it’s time to look back at the goals I set for the Cancer full moon and see how I did with them.

What were the goals that I set for the Leo full moon? They included:

  1. Continuing with my nightly meditations and oracle card drawings, and trying to work in at least one morning meditation sesssion
  2. Draft a three-to-five year plan (with breakdowns-yearly/quarterly/monthly/biweekly/daily)
  3. Finish at least one more non-fiction book
  4. Start working through (or watch) at least part of another personal/professional development e-course

So how did I do with each of them?

In terms of meditation:

I’ve been fairly consistent with meditating at least a few minutes every night—and usually would finish listening to the meditation while doing an oracle card drawing. 

I haven’t been that good at trying to do morning meditation sessions—something to work on this year—cause I need all the little moments of zen I can grab.

In terms of non-fiction reading this year:

I’ve finished ‘Creativity: A Short & Cheerful Guide’ by John Cleese, and am probably about halfway through ‘Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman’ by Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson.

It’s been one of those years so far (and we’re only on February 3rd) where I’m falling back on favorite series to read or playing mindless games on the kindle (somewhat bad habits for avoiding various tasks that I need to be doing).

In terms of personal/professional e-courses:

I did watch a couple of short courses on skillshare during the full moon period and they were:

The Art of Planning, Master Time Management, and Increase Productivity

Planning a life you love: Creating, organizing, and utilizing a agenda

I just need to actually start utilizing information from both short courses—and that ties in with the next goal:

Drafting a three-to-five year plan:

Well—right now my main goal is to get through each day without having a breakdown. I haven’t been nearly as productive as I need to be…I avoid being on the computer most of the day for the past week or so—enjoying the digital detox—but at the same time feeling a little ‘guilty’ that I wasn’t doing any work.

So—this goal wasn’t accomplished, and will be worked into future new/full moon goals. In addition—I really need to try to figure out where I would like to settle within a few years (I’m willing to do possibly one more big move)—cause, I’m getting tired of being in this particular state.

So there it is: sixty percent of the Leo full moon goals accomplished: nightly meditation & oracle card drawings; working through an e-course, and continuing to read a non-fiction book. 

Fleshing out long-term goals has always fallen slightly short of being completed—mainly because I either throw everything down on to paper for every category of life—or I’m not realistic in the time frame for accomplishing said goal. Something to work on this year.

But progress is being made–especially when I can acknowledge where some of my time ‘wasters’ are….

Therefore I know that I need to remove the games from the phone and kindle..find a good time management app to download onto the computer (to help keep me off social media)–and also to be totally realistic in the timeframes that I initially come up with for the three-to-five year plan. Some goals may be accomplished quicker than others…and there may be some major setbacks as well…just have to remember to breath in and breath out.

How did the Leo full moon treat you?

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Virgo Season: Time to start planning the goals

So, we’re going to be heading into another ‘new moon’ phase this weekend (and I’m probably going to be a day late in posting).

We’re entering Virgo season…I should be counting down the days until my birthday—but I’m not (and that’s another story for another day)…

So what are some of the things that one can do during the Virgo new moon?

  1. Take an inventory of your life. Figure out what is working and what isn’t and then figure out what needs to change for the things that aren’t working.
  2. Be of service—help out more at work (if able), do the little things that can help make someone else’s day a little more bearable.
  3. Be healthy—see what is and isn’t working in your health and fitness routines and then figure out what to fix—what new habits to start working on.
  4. Avoid nitpicking—this is where the motto “progress over perfection” really comes into play
  5. Get organized—pay bills, figure out the monthly schedule (workout, eating, so forth)—things that can make life a little more bearable going forward

While most would think that the new moon would be moving through my first house (since my star sign is Virgo), it actually moving through my 11th house (or friends’ zone), since I’ve been going with my rising sign (which is Scorpio).

Looking back at what I wrote over the past two years—my ‘new normal’ is still social distancing (with a some exceptions), wearing a mask, and really just being considerate of others…

Some of the things one can do in regards to their 11th house include:

  1. Sign up for an evening class in something you’ve always wanted to do
  2. Ask your friends to introduce to friends of theirs you’ve never met
  3. Wish on a star every night for a month
  4. Introduce a childhood pal to a friend from your life now
  5. Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see nearly every day but never talk to
  6. Thank your best friend for being there for you

Well, besides the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic/epidemic—I’m not getting out that much still. Therefore, there are still several things that I probably won’t be doing in regards to my 11th house.

I’d say that there are probably only two things that I could do in regards to my 11th house: wish on a star every night for a month, or thank my best friend for being around still. I am starting to do more virtual ‘coffee/water’ chats as well.

I had lunch with a college classmate a few weeks ago, and may try to get together again sometime in September (but it depends on a whole slew of other things).

So, since I’m still in semi self-isolation, my goals for the Virgo New Moon period will include:

  1. Take inventory of various aspects of life (research/writing/editing, crafts/hobbies, fitness, and mental health/spirituality) and try to develop a working schedule that will allow me be both productive, but at the same time enjoying time outside as well.
  2. Continue with daily workouts (alternate between weight lifting and shadow-boxing).
  3. In combination with #1—organize the schedule, and block out periods of time (or set certain days to certain tasks) and see if that helps improve my productivity
  4. Work on the outlines/drafts for the following items:
    •  My LinkedIn oncology post series
    • The follow-up(s) to my LinkedIn molecular cloning series: Introduction to biofuels, Introduction to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and Introduction to vaccine development
    • Digestion, absorption of nutrients, and the nucleic acid biosynthesis pathways
    • Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells: Similarities and Differences
    • Antibiotics and the rise of Antibiotic Resistant Microbes
  5. Continue with the evening meditations

Since the next few months are going to be extremely crazy (and that’s putting things nicely)…my motto is going to be ‘progress over perfection’…which means I need to spend a little time each week working on my other blog, doing research and starting to write on various topics (see fourth goal above).  I also am not going to let the opinions of others deter me from the path that I’m starting on, as I know it will be a windy and bumpy road.

How do you handle things when everything seems to be going to hell?

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Not the greatest, but meditation goal has been reached

So the moon will be entering the Aquarius constellation tomorrow (or possibly tonight depending on where you are in the world), but before I can make goals for the Aquarius full moon, I need to see how I did with the goals for the Capricorn full moon.

So what were the goals that I’d set for the Capricorn full moon? They included:

  1. Getting back into some type of intentional movement (weights, yoga, dancing)….just something…
  2. Working on creating a new long-term goal list
  3. Continue my personal/professional development journey by starting/finishing teh following:
    • Continue working on the molecular cloning writing project
    • Reading ‘Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology’ by Michale J. Benton; ‘INNERCISE’ by John Assaraf; and ‘HUSH MONEY’ by Jacquie Abram
    • Finish the podcast course and starting a writing (or possibly business) course
    • Evening meditations
    • Start another small needlepoint project
    • Restarting the 90-day content research/development project

So how did I do with each of them?

  1. Still working on the intentional movement..I move around–just not on a ‘set’ schedule
  2. Goal list…is still a to-do project
  3. Personal/Professional Development journey:
    • Working on the molecular cloning series. I have several posts written for LinkedIn (almost done explaining step two)
    • I finished reading: ‘Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology ‘ by Michael J Benton and ‘HUSH MONEY’ by Jacquie Abrams
    • Did not finish the podcast course (need to download a microphone app on the computer first), and therefore I haven’t started a writing (or a business) course yet
    • Have been doing evening meditations
    • Haven’t finished any needlepoint projects yet
    • Haven’t restarted the 90-day content challenge yet either

Possibly accomplished maybe a quarter of the goals, but considering how the past month has been…that has been a huge accomplishment.

The past week has been rough, and numerous things have fallen to the sides…my top concern is my health (specifically my mental health) while dealing with an ongoing family medical issue.

I’ve found peace, self-acceptance, and kindness when I’ve reminded myself that posting just once a day to LinkedIn is perfectly fine (and is more than quite a few people), and the two-to-three times that I’ve been doing—I’ll get back to when things settle down…

I’m actually slowly getting another site up and running as the main science/medical/health communications/education site…I’ll still post some on this site—but the majority will be on the other site once I have it up and running (hopefully by the end of the month).

Even getting this posted tonight counts as a win….

So how did you do with your Capricorn goals?

Namaste…

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July in Review: Reading, meditation, & spirituality goals on track

So, we’re in August—which means we’re now over halfway through 2022. When we think about how much ‘time’ is left in the year, we can look at it as: five months; or 153 days; roughly 21.9 weeks; or 3,672 hours.

I’d like to ask again–whoever is playing with the voodoo doll for the year—please put it down…

While the year isn’t totally mellowing, I think things are ‘slowing down’…though to be truthful, I’ve been staying away from the news for the most part this past month.

I’m still pissed about the supreme court overturning Roe v Wade towards the end of June…stating that the states should be allowed to dictate a women’s health…FYI: there is the separation of church and state (not to mention freedom of religion) within the Constitution for a damn reason.

While the anxiety has been acting up—I’ve been getting better at meditating at night (soothing pod meditations help), and am working on catching the imposter syndrome/inner critic as it pops its head out to yell…

I will mention again, that it is time to end the filibuster, expand the Supreme Court, enact term limits for both the Supreme Court and Congress, and finally codify women’s health care and gun control into law.

It also seems that the US ha fallen into yet another recession—which is going to make finding a job a little more difficult (but I need to find something so that I can start really paying down the damn credit cards that I’ve overused the past eight months).

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘June in Review’ on July 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 89.3 million cases and now as of August 1st —we have reached just a little under 93.1 million cases (an increase of a about 3.8 million cases). Numbers are going back up—in part to the different variants of the omicron sub-strain of the SARS-CoV2 virus.

So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.

I will probably getting my booster shot within a couple of weeks—only because I plan on possibly trying to find something on campus (in terms of potential part-work).

As I alluded to last month, I’m going to focus on my strengths and values moving forward this summer: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).

So before setting goals for August (and possibly the rest of the year), its time to look back at the goals I set for July and see how I did with each of them. The goals for July included:

  1. 135-155,000 steps
  2. At least one walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books (having at least one mini book review written and published)
  5. Recommit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least sixteen days)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  9. Writing, writing, and more writing

So how did I do with each of them?

135-155,000 steps:

I missed the minimum goal by about 5,000 steps. I only managed to get in 130,460 steps during July. It was an extremely hot month, and I only managed to do a single partial walk up at Boomer Lake.

While there were weekly walks up to the corner store to get the weekend newspaper–majority of the week I was only averaging about 3,000 steps per day.

One walk at Boomer Lake, and five to ten minutes of intentional movement:

I managed a partial walk up at Boomer Lake last week. The temperatures were usually in the upper 70s/low 80s by the time I’d normally be walking on the weekends. When you add in the humidity and total sun—I decided not to risk heat stroke/illness by walking.

Finishing at least one non-fiction book:

I finished the following:

  1. Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology by Michael J Benton
  2. HUSH MONEY: How one woman proved systemic racism in her workplace and kept her job by Jacquie Abram, Deborah Harris, and Delilah Harris
  3. Locked in Time: Animal Behavior unearthed in 50 extraordinary fossils by Dean R. Lomax and Robert Nicholls

Which brings my non-fiction reading to ten books so far for 2022. If I want meet the ‘original’ goal I set of 24 books read in 2022, that means I need to basically read three non-fiction books a month for the rest of the year.

Read at least two-to-four fiction books (having at least one mini book review written and published):

I finished:

  1. Along Came You (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #3) by Claudia Buroga
  2. Grace Under Fire (Buchanan/Renard/MacKeena #14) by Julie Garwood
  3. Resilience After Dark (Gansett Island #25) by Marie Force (Book review written)
  4. Love Under Two Architects (Lusty, Texas #46) by Cara Covington

I think I was also rereading various books by Julie Garwood and Marie Force to get ready for the latest in both of their series.

Which brings me to 67 total new fiction books read this year so far…and considering how many I’ve bought hut haven’t read yet.I could probably triple this number if I didn’t have various other things to also be doing during the day.

Recommit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (goal is at least 16 days)

I’m getting better at this…managed to do not quite two-thirds of the month with no spending (managed 20 days)…There were several large purchases this past month (including numerous e-books). The goal for August—is a single purchase from Amazon (in addition to any books pre-ordered).

Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings:

Well, the time outdoors for the most part was only in the evenings when I took the dogs out. We were in the triple digits for most of July, and when its like 81F feeling like 87F at 7am—I just didn’t feel like dealing with humidity for any long walks.

I managed all three of the other goals: evening meditations (I’ve started using soothing pod meditations and can usually keep the eyes close for half if not all the practice); I did a daily oracle card drawing and wrote one thing I was grateful for each night in my journal.

I think it helped that I had all three down on my July BINGO card.

Craft time:

I managed to do a little photography and spend some time on Canva, plus doing some color-by-number on the kindle.

I should get back to the needlepoint and/or jewelry creation (would be a good use of time, when I ‘unplug’ at 8pm).

Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course:

I finished the last module for the medical writers organization (just need to do the assignments and post those within the Facebook group to possibly get the certificate of completion).

I also started watching the course on podcasting (its about seven hours), but decided its on hold until I either get the microphone and other equipment needed or download an voice recording app on the computer to play with (macs don’t come with that app preinstalled).

In addition I also started watching the course on infoprenuer: create information products and online courses on Udemy.

Writing, writing, and more writing:

In terms of writing—I’d managed to get a good amount done (there were the weekly assignments for medical news bulletin); I’m continuing with a weekly ‘post’ series on LinkedIn (molecular cloning step-by-step), and I’m starting a thoughtful Thursday post series as well.

There were only a handful of posts written for the blog though (something I’m working on changing).

I realize that with pivoting the blog to be more multi-facet (including science/medical/health topics in addition to the normal creative/reflective/hobby posts)—I may be both gaining followers and possibly losing followers (via wordpress) as well.

But that is what happens when you start trying to really figure out who you are, who your ideal ‘client’ base is, and the types of posts you’re going to be putting out.

So I did manage to get a BINGO for July…just not sure what the reward for that BINGO is going to be yet.

July BINGO Card

It was almost two BINGOS–but I haven’t changed the url of the blog, and the editorial calendar is still a work in progress.

In addition I set up a BINGO card for August as well…I’m finding it a little easier to work towards goals, if I have a way of checking them off that’s fun.

August BINGO card

You might notice that I ‘messed’ up a square–I accidentally put meditation down twice on my list of items for the August BINGO card, which meant I accidentally put it down twice on the card….

The website addy/url will probably be changed at the end of the week. I’d made a rookie mistake last month—I’d come up with several ideas for new urls, but totally forgot to see if any were already in use/claimed.

I ran a poll on LinkedIn to get some feedback, and when I decided yesterday to check on the status of the winner (plus some runner-ups), I found they were all in use. Which meant back the drawing board in terms of ideas, and another poll on LinkedIn.

Though, the ‘winner’ seems pretty obvious even this early in the duration of the poll (one week), that I will probably be updating it on Friday (August 5th).

I have it as a goal (on the August BINGO card) to create a editorial calendar for both the blog and then LinkedIn as well. This means I’ll have an idea of how often I’m posting and what posts require more ‘research’ than others (for both the blog & LinkedIn).

If I try to have a similar posting schedule of original content—I’d be driving myself crazy.

LinkedIn is going to have three ‘long’ post series (Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays), plus I do a reintroduction post on Mondays; which leaves Wednesday and the weekends.

The weekends are networking time (Saturday is the big day via different social Saturday threads), and self-care time.

Wednesday may be a random type of post (I’d been thinking Wednesday wisdoms, but it may vary).

The blog on the other hand, is where I need to be careful…

People have signed up to be notified when I post a new blog post…I’m pretty sure they don’t want to be getting a daily email stating that there is something new. Therefore I’m going to try to have most weeks be just one or two posts; though there will be some weeks when there are more (depending on books I read and write reviews over, new/full moon goals and review, month in review and so forth).

Currently I’m thinking of starting a Tuesday science blog series, working with molecular cloning and then come September work in the Friday medical topic blog series.

Some weeks may have numerous posts, other weeks only two. Plus I’m going to be working on getting the various birds’ pages up and published (so there will be a blog post here and there covering the various bird pages that are getting published).

With all that said, what are my goals for August? They will include:

  1. 125-155K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books (having at least one mini book review written and published)
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least 20 days; goal is 30)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  9. Writing, writing and more writing

These are goals that align with various strengths/values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, and evolution/growth.

In addition—they all give me great practice at time and project management as I’m aiming for at least 85% overall completion (I’m fully acknowledging that I may not hit the step goal, and that I may also not have that much time outside—but I can work towards all the other ones).

In that regard—I will probably ‘unplug’ from the computer around 8pm or so in order to just read or possibly work on a craft project (or even brainstorm/mind-map an outline for a science topic).

So—how has your summer been progressing, and which goals are you finding it easier to keep?

Namaste….

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Progress made in reading, & meditation/spirituality: Cancer Goals Reviewed

So the moon will be transitioning through the Leo constellation later this week, which means that I should look back at the goals I had set for the Cancer new moon and see how I did with each of them.

So what were the goals that I had set for the Cancer new moon? They included:

  1. ‘Exploring the world’—by researching various countries that I had listed within my initial 90-day content creation/research challenge.
  2. Reading—finishing the following books: ‘UNLIKE A BOSS: Positive Leadership Skills You Wish Your Manager Had’ by Alexander Andrews; ‘A Short History of Humanity: A New History of Old Europe’ by Johannes Krause and Thomas Trappe; and ‘Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology’ by Michael J. Benton.
  3. Starting and finishing (hopefully) at least two e-courses
  4. Doing an evening oracle card drawing and getting back into a meditation routine
  5. Being a little more active on LinkedIn (setting up virtual coffee/water chats).

So how did I do with each of them?

‘Exploring the world’:

Well in terms of ‘exploring the world’—I’ve initially only done research on one country (Azerbaijan). I’d ‘paused’ the content creation/research challenge as time was getting away from me…and I started to feel overwhelmed.

I’m still continuing with the project—but I’m going to try to be a little ‘clearer’ on what I’m researching in terms of each topic/subject.

Reading:

I finished two of the three books:

  1. UNLIKE A BOSS: Positive Leadership Skills You Wish Your Manager Had by Alexander Andrews
  2. Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology by Michael J. Benton

In terms of e-courses:

I’ve worked through all the modules for the Medical Writers Organization, but still need to finish up the writing and editing assignments (so I’m basically about 80% done with the program).

I did watch a short course on Skill Share in regards to Instagram and how to build a community/following there.

It was a decent short course (I think it was only forty minutes), and touched on different things (such as shout-outs, posting consistently, and building a community).

I’m not as active on Instagram as I would like, and realized that I need to develop an editorial calendar or at least a list of things that I’d like to post about on the site—especially since we can post from the computer and not just the cell phone.

I also started two other courses, one on podcasting—which finishing it up is currently on hold only because I need to try to download a voice-recording app on the laptop to start playing around with; and the second course is on creating an online course and other materials.

That is something that I’d like to really do—but I also need to look into all the legalities of using published figures from research papers in the courses. Basically—I need to have a list of papers that I’d want to use, email the publisher of the journal(s) and inquire if I could use the figures in online courses. They’ll either say no, or possibly require a percentage of the sales (only way to find out is to draft a proposal and see what happens).

In terms of spirituality:

I have managed to do a evening oracle drawing (helps when I’ve put it on the monthly BINGO card), and have managed to meditate nightly for the past month. Besides using a guided visual meditation that I was sent, I also found Soothing Pod meditations, which I’ve been using for the past two weeks or so.

In terms of LinkedIn:

During the month of July, I managed to set up at least one coffee/water chat each week with someone ‘new’, and have also set up a biweekly accountability chat with a friend. It’s been through that accountability chat, that I’ve realized that I’ve been letting my inner critic/imposter syndrome take the wheel from time to time (or a lot more often than I realize). I have also made it a goal to try to schedule at least ten virtual water/coffee chats for the month of August—and so far I’ve schedule two…that means I have a couple more days to try to get the other eight (if not more) scheduled.

So, I made some decent progress—especially in terms of nonfiction reading. The content creation has fallen to the side a little—but only because I was overthinking things (as usual). While the one course I had watched wasn’t on the initial list of courses—it was one that I had saved, so it still counts.

I’ve realized that my ‘roadblocks’ again are coming from myself…I’m letting my inner critic/imposter syndrome pull me away from things that I need to be focused on to move everything forward.

It’s time to figure out what the ‘scary’ weekly/daily goals are—and get those done first. It may be writing/research (finding the three or four reviews on the particular oncology topic), or it could be posting on LinkedIn that I’ve set up a calendly account to make it easier to schedule 30-45 minute virtual chats.

Whatever the ‘top’ one or two scary items are—those are the ones that I need to get done first.

So, I’m curious—how do you decide which of your ‘scary’ goals to tackle each week?

Namaste

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Content Development and an anxiety attack: Scorpio Full Moon Goals in Review

So we’re a day away from June’s full moon, which means it’s time for me to look at the goals I set for the May Scorpio full moon and see how I did with each of them.

One thing I can say—I need to get back into the habit of writing these goals out on paper as well…since I may (or may not) look at back at either this document or the blog post. I noticed that I’ve gotten into the mindset of just checking things off a list—not really stopping to either contemplate what I did/or need to continue doing, or celebrating small wins.

Also—the last half of May was rough—the full moon was roughly a week or so before we lost Rolex (who suffered a relapse of her hemolytic anemia), and I’ve had more off days since…

Anyway, what were the goals that I set for the Scorpio full moon? They included:

  1. Continuing working on my 90-day content challenge plan (goal is to do some type of research/writing daily in addition to hopefully working on a craft project as well)
  2. Finish setting up my 12-month plan, and start a rough draft for my personal/professional development plan
  3. Continue to try to mediate daily/nightly

So how did I do with each of them?

90-Day Content Challenge:

I’m doing pretty well…I think I may have only missed a day or two over the past two weeks.

The biggest win though: I’m not just sitting around and playing on the kindle all afternoon…I’m actually either researching something of interest or trying to be more activ eon LinkedIn (but that’s another post entirely).

I’m reenergizing my interest in diverse topics: geography, anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, history, and various sciences…in addition to trying to come up with different ways of sharing what I’ve learned.

I’m talking about possibly coming up with lectures (such as dominant/recessive/semi-dominant trait inheritance–genetics based off the research for the snow goose), infographics and other graphics (molecular cloning series), posters (geography and various other subjects), and so forth…

The best part of it–is that I’m embracing my learner, intellection, creativity, and curiosity strengths and values…

Working on the 12-month plan and rough draft of a personal/professional development plan

Can we say anxiety attack….

I mean I shouldn’t freak out over trying to ‘breakdown’ a handful of goals into ‘smaller’ steps…but I did (and regularly do) freak out…

The heart starts racing, my stomach becomes extremely upset, and my pulse races…

I simply put the notebook up, grabbed my needlepoint project and finished it…

Needlepoint tapestry of a flower (red petals, orange center, green stem and leaves)
First attempt at needlepoint with cotton fabric

While I was working on the project, I realized what my problems were with trying to work on the 12-month plan and personal/professional development plan: imposter syndrmoe, fear of failure, and that pesky little pest–perfection.

Why am I freaking out over a 12-month plan that is combined with a personal/professional development plan?? The simple reason: with the current state of global affairs—nothing is guaranteed. Everyone wants things that are ‘safe’ and ‘reliable’—and that spikes the imposter syndrome and fear of failure.

So, needless to say—I’m still tackling the 12-month plan and development of a personal/professional development plan.

Daily/Nightly Meditation:

Currently I’m referring to it as ‘sitting quietly’ and can usually manage a couple of minutes at night.

I still need to reorganize the area of the bedroom that I want to use as my ‘mediation’ spot—and remember to pick up the pillows/blankets or whatever I’m sitting on so there are no ‘pet accidents’ on them.

So I can say I probably accomplished fifty percent of the tasks—I’m working on the content creation challenge, and managing a few minutes of sitting quietly…true it should be closer to two-thirds (since I only set three goals)—but the ‘sitting quietly’ doesn’t totally ‘quiet’ my mind…though I’ve found that if I skip it—my sleep suffers…so there is that to look into…

I told myself at the beginning of the year—aim for continual progress. It’s a bumpy and windy road—some days (hell, if I’m totally honest—weeks or months) that I don’t feel like I’m progress and my inner critic/imposter syndrome is running the show…but there are the days when I feel like I’ve managed to make decent strides on moving forwards…its all in how you view things…

So how are you viewing your progress??

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Planning, planning, and more planning: Libra Full Moon Goals

Nothing like realizing your computer is acting up several hours too late. While I ‘saved’ the draft of this post—it didn’t actually ‘save’. So, lets see if I can remember what I had wrote last night…or, the post could be slightly better (or slightly worse) than I’d originally planned.

So the moon will be transitioning through the Libra constellation today—marking the fourth full moon of the year.

Currently it is hard to tell which direction we’re moving in with regards to the SARS-CoV2 virus. Yes, there are vaccines for everyone over the age of five (and boosters for those over the age of 12—though Pfizer has put in for emergency filing for boosters for children), and hopefully soon there will be the boosters for six months to four-year olds. But, there is the second omicron variant starting to make its way to the ‘top’—so we’ll have to see how things go.

Nothing is heading in the right direction in terms of the world (and I’m going to leave it at that for now). I’d mentioned for the past few years that I’ve wanted to try to get a good picture of the full moon using the longer lens and tripod. Well, I think the tripod is a little too short—since I have to sit behind it (instead of just leaning over slightly), so there probably won’t be any pictures of a full moon for a while.

So looking to the book ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland here are the top five questions that one may meditate/think on during this time are:

Have I been too concerned with appearances in general?

Have I been thinking too much about others and neglecting my own needs?

Have I been too easily influenced, gullible, or unable to decide for myself?

Have I been living my life through someone else?

Have I spent enough time beautifying my life?

If I were to number the above questions one-to-five, my answers would be as followed:

  1. I’ve never been one to be overly concerned with appearances even before the pandemic struck. I know that certain situations require you to dress a certain way (job interviews, career fairs, and so forth)—but I’m not going to stress and worry if people like how I’m dressed. I’d prefer to be comfortable in my clothes and appearance.
  2. I would say that I’m not thinking too much about others to the point I’m neglecting my own needs. Though, I would say that I’m perhaps being a little too hyper-focused on certain areas that I’m neglecting other areas.
  3. So, last year I talked about how I felt I’d just been ‘floating’ along with no clear ‘map/direction’ in my career. I don’t think this was due to being ‘easily influenced, gullible, or being unable to decide for myself’. I think it was due to not knowing what other options there were and not knowing how to position myself for those roles. I know have an idea of the direction I want to go in, and I’m starting to draw the map as I move forward.
  4. Well—do fictional characters count? Okay, seriously I don’t think I’ve been living my life through other people. True, I haven’t been traveling much (so I’ve been looking at pictures of different places that other people post)—but we’re still dealing with the pandemic, and therefore I don’t plan on traveling too much for the foreseeable future. We may follow the paths of others, and we either add our own unique stamp to the path, or realize we’re on the wrong path and forage a new one. I’ve jumped off the academic path, and am now foraging a path towards industry or freelance work.
  5. While I don’t put much thought into what others think of my life, I am trying to make changes—changes that will help improve my mental health. It has been shown that having too much clutter can be distracting and lead to anxiety and stress—and I’ll admit that from time to time I can become a ‘pack-rat’. So this is something I’m working on changing, and also working on developing my own definition of ‘minimalism’ (figuring out what I don’t need a lot of, and what I like having a lot of). Right now I’m thinking more of working outside in the yards and trying to improve on the flower gardens (or at least what use to be the flower gardens).

One can also look to see what house the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Libra full moon is moving through my 12th house, or my secrets zone. This is the time to actually take some time for one self—meditate, practice yoga, and just work to find some balance.

So the 12th house this year is coming at a time when the world is slowly going to hell in a hand basket. There is still the pandemic raging, and the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Russia issues ‘warnings’ to various other countries, and probably numerous other travesties that aren’t being covered by the news. I no longer try to keep up with the numbers (except monthly), since people can do in-home testing and they may (or may not) report themselves to the local health department if they test positive. Since booster shots are now available for the three main vaccines, I will be making an appointment over the next few weeks to go and get mine (a little added protection against the two omicron strains).

For me, the Libra full moon and the twelfth house means a time to focus on my plans for the future, and my self in the present.

So my list of goals for the Libra full moon will include:

  1. Finish ‘fleshing’ out my twelve-month plan that I started under the Aries new moon (focusing on career/professional development, health/wellness, personal development/finances/spirituality, and hobbies/crafts). Will be a continuation of expanding my focal points from last year (the main idea from the book ‘The Renaissance Soul: How to make your passions your life—a creative and practical guide’ by Margaret Lobensteine).
  2. Create the ‘May brain-dump’ page; basically try to get all ideas and thoughts for the month of May onto paper. This will allow me to see pages/posts that I would like to create and give some direction to the month (possibly also convert it into the start of an editorial calendar).
  3. Develop a rough draft of a personal/professional development plan (ties in with the finishing of my ‘twelve-month plan’).
  4. Get back into my evening meditations, and possibly start doing some light yoga as well.
  5. Start working through my to-do list for ensuring the transition to a remote writing position and/or starting my own freelance business.

While remembering: ‘Progress over Perfection’ and ‘you can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last chapter’.

What are your plans for the Libra full moon?

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Some craft time and planning–now on to creating the various calendars: Leo Full Moon in Review

So, we’re going to be heading into the third full moon of the year either tonight or tomorrow night (depending on where you are in the world). That means we’re a little over two and a half months into 2022. But, before I look ahead to the Virgo full moon, I should look back at the goals that I set for the Leo full moon, and see how I did with each of them.

So what were my Leo full moon goals?

They included:

  1. Develop an intentional movement calendar (weight lifting, cardio, yoga, and walking). Remembering that this is my health journey and no one else’s—therefore the intentional movement should be things that I enjoy doing.
  2. Develop a schedule for working through various courses and assignments to move forward with the goal of transitioning to a remote writing/data analysis position and hopefully setting up a freelance writing/blogging business.
  3. Spend time working on crafts (start a new cross-stitch project, doodle, color, make jewelry, and when the weather warms up—photography time up at Boomer Lake)
  4. Evening oracle card reading, straighten up my meditation altar, and designing a new meditation ‘area’ (one that can be easily setup and dismantled each evening).

So how did I do with each of them?

In terms of the intentional movement calendar—I’m breaking it down into steps:

  1. Creating a table to keep track of the weights I’m lifting and see how I’m progressing (based off the weight tracking sheets for LIIFT4)
  2. Determining what type of exercises to put together for HIIT workouts (possibly taking moves from various workout programs)
  3. Debating on whether to order yoga and/or Pilates workouts or finding decent YouTube workouts
  4. Then working in shadow-boxing and other cardio-based exercises as well (in addition to walking, and possibly biking)

Then my weekly workouts will be ‘planned’ around the weather, since as it gets nice out I may want to try to do a walk or two at Boomer Lake. Though even on the days that I do weight lifting (or other workouts), I may still take my dog for a walk through the neighborhood (depending on the temps).

In terms of the ‘educational’ schedule—this really hasn’t happened yet. It isn’t so much not wanting to learn, but my currently ‘unchecked’ need to be checking on the news every hour or so to keep up to date with what is happening with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

I’m slowly starting to spend some more time on crafts. I’m starting a new cross-stitch project, will probably finish the other (it will become more doodle inspired and abstract), and managed to get some photography time in up at Boomer Lake.

I’m continuing with my evening oracle card reading (have only missed one or two nights over the past month), have straightened up my meditation altar, and am still working on designing the meditation area.

I know that I can fold blankets and use those as the ‘mat’ for meditating (I just will need to pick them up afterwards), but I’m also want an area for candles (and the current candle area is across the room from where I’d be meditating)—so I’m thinking of ‘creating’ a small table to house the candles near the meditation area as well.

So, I could say that I met possibly a quarter of my goals—possibly up to a third. The online learning has become slightly stagnant again because of the need to keep up to date on the issues of the world (even though my blood pressure and mental health would probably thank me if I stayed away from the news/social media more than what I’ve been doing).

I’ve also realized that at times I’m trying to fit the ‘wrong’ goals into the month. While the ‘house/zone’ is only present for a few days (since the moon does rotate at a good pace)—I should have one or two for that ‘house/zone’ and another one or two that are more ‘general’.

Going forward this year—I’m going to try to embrace and my sisu or inner grit/determination (I’m looking into my cultural heritage more for ideas/inspiration for improving my mental, emotional, and spiritual health).

How do you try to improve/strengthen your inner strength/determination?

Finally, I’d like to send happy vibes, thoughts and prayers to the citizens of Ukraine who are still fighting to keep their country free.

Namaste.

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Mind-mapping & creating board games: Pisces New Moon Goals

The moon will be making its third new moon transition either tonight, or last night and will be moving through the Pisces constellation. One goal that I set was to be more productive, and post more consistently on the blog—well, that hasn’t happened so far this year (hopefully will be ‘breaking’ the non-consistent habit this month). Trying to get back into the habit of writing out a ‘to-be-accomplished’ list and doing monthly brain dumps.

One thing that I really need to get back into the habit of trying to do—unplug for the day/afternoon or night; I need to just turn off the computer at a certain time, hide the phone and either read, write things out by hand, or work on some crafts.

So turning back to the new moon, what are some things that one can do during the Pisces New Moon? They include:

  1. Dream
  2. Face your fears
  3. Following your hunches/intuition
  4. Heal–focus on working through emotional or spiritual issues
  5. “Surrender”–practice yoga, meditation–and open yourself to the possibilities of the universe

Lets see—with having to self-isolate for the past two years (and counting), I’ve realized that most of my ‘fears’ are more ‘anxiety’ issues. I mentioned last year, my ‘speaking’ anxiety/phobia, but it also a fact that I’m more of a ‘behind the scenes’, observe, and then maybe interact after contemplating my options. I also realized that other ‘problems’ include not speaking up when I get bored (on the job), not sticking up for myself (I really don’t care for confrontations), and so forth. I’m thinking that to ‘face’ the ‘speaking’ phobia/fear/anxiety issue—I may start my own podcast this summer. Or at least, start recording myself talking about different topics/issues, as a way of learning to ‘not hate how I sound/talk’.

I’m working on healing (focusing on mental/spiritual health) as well. I’m starting to try to delve deeper in the wiccan/pagan spirituality of things (conventional religion doesn’t work for me). I’ve been doing my evening oracle drawings and sometimes dreaming about what I wrote.

I’m trying to get better at meditation and should probably think of starting some light yoga again as well.

In addition, Pisces is also moving through my 5th house—or my fun zone. So this is the area that is triggered by creativity, children, and romance. Now I’m good with the creativity portion—I don’t have kids (and I’m not around them all that much), and truthfully right now I’m not in the market for romance (especially since I’m still trying to figure out my life and where I want to be working/living within the next year).

So there are several different things that one can do, that sums up the 5th house (or fun zone):

  1. Take up belly dancing
  2. Make a toy for a child
  3. Start to date
  4. Go on a trip with your significant other
  5. Do something creative (writing, painting, so forth)
  6. Do something that typifies your idea of fun

So there are few things on the list that I can basically scratch off as not doing—starting to date, going on a trip with your significant other, making a toy for a child, and throwing a party. These are only crossed off the list because 1) I’m again not looking for a relationship, 2) I’d rather meet up with people for lunch or an afternoon walk than throw a party, 3) I don’t have the accessories to make a toy for a child (as I would be leaning towards making stuff animals for children); and 4) we’re still in the middle of the pandemic and while everyone should be vaccinated—I’d still rather not risk catching the omicron variant (or whatever other variant comes next).

I’ve tried to belly dance in the past (had actually bought some workout DVDs), and I may actually try to find a free program to follow on-line. I found it fun and challenging (especially since I currently don’t have the coordination for it—not that I had the coordination in the past either).

So if I were to make goals for the next few weeks, they would be the following:

  1. Work on indulging in more creative work during the day
  2. Spend at least part of the weekend (or a couple of days throughout the week) mind-mapping different ideas (creative writing projects, plus expanding the writing portfolio)
  3. Create a intentional movement board game (include weight lifting, yoga, Pilates, cardio, dancing, walking and so forth)
  4. Continue with the evening meditation routine and also try to mediate in the morning

While remembering: Progress over Perfection

I’ll end my new moon goals with sending healing/happy/strong vibes/prayers to the citizens of Ukraine, whose strength and tenacity are awe-inspiring.

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