Category: Personal Development

Virgo Goals: Focusing on time & project management skills

So the moon hit its full stage last night as it enters the Virgo constellation, and I’m a day late in posting my reflections & goals. But that’s the beauty of the moon—it stays ‘full’ or ‘new’ for a day or so past the ‘peak’. There are only four days left in Feb—as this year is a leap year. As I mentioned in yesterday’s update on the Leo full moon goals—the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and at times I fall short on hitting goals (due to sitting firmly within procrastination corner).

Looking back at things—I never set goals last year for the Virgo full moon…but that was because we were still in the middle of dealing with the family medical crisis, and I let a lot of things slide (like posting consistently to the blog). That is one thing I’m aiming on improving this year—posting to at least this blog at least four times a month (covering the new & full moon goals).

If you’re one who tries to understand how your mood changes or is affected by the moon—the Virgo full moon usually has people feeling finicky and anxious. Personally—I don’t need any extra anxiety in my life; I manifest plenty on my own. Though no matter what sign I go with (star, rising, or moon)—all three are able to handle the Virgo energy. 

Feeling even more finicky and anxious currently probably isn’t helping world matters, but I’m going to try to focus on what I can control (how I perceive and react to various things).

So what are some questions that one can ask during this full moon? If one looks to ‘Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland—these are the questions:

Have I been too picky, pedantic, or critical of myself or anyone else?

Have I been humble to the point of underrating myself?

Have I been of service to others enough this month?

Have I been worrying and complaining too much, and thus attracting negativity?

Have I paid enough attention to the details that I need to this month?

So if I were to number the above questions 1 to 5, my answers would look like this:

  1. Since I haven’t really been around other people daily since 2019…I don’t think that I’ve been picky, pedantic, or critical of others. Unless, one wants to consider my daily updates on the situation within Gaza—then yes, I have been critical of A LOT OF PEOPLE..all strangers…all politicians…all individuals that are doing LITERALLY NOTHING TO STOP A GENOCIDE. So…I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be harboring critical (and at times disparaging) thoughts on various world leaders—look at the state of the world. In terms of how I see myself? Possibly, I do at times have the bad habit of letting my inner critic/imposter syndrome get the better of me quite frequently lately—and by allowing that, I’ve realized that I’m sitting firmly within procrastination corner, and need to move out into productivity central.
  2. This is a maybe, leaning towards a hard-yes. I’ve realized over the past few years, several ‘problems/issues’ I need to work on addressing. The first—stop being a people pleaser, start having firmer boundaries, learning to say no to things, and not be ‘agreeable’ just to avoid confrontations/conflicts. The second—speaking up for myself—this can be in terms of advocating for projects/work (not wanting to work on the same thing day-in and day-out), or standing up for my right to express my opinions on different platforms. The third—work on ‘speaking’ up on camera/video. I’d realized recently that I’m still letting a particular childhood ‘phobia/trauma’ dictate certain things…that ‘phobia/trauma’—being concerned/scared of others trying to ‘correct’  my speech (and how I say pronounce things). How do these ‘problems/issues’ equate to humbleness—I prefer being in the background and not center stage, and not ‘claiming’ the spotlight when one of my ideas or something I worked on gets spotlighted (letting others take the ‘fame’). Moving forward (either working for myself or into industry)—I need to start tooting my own horn and showing/highlighting my own worth.
  3. I’ve taken over majority of the household chores & half the cooking chores at home. Up until recently—I’d also been sharing a daily update on the situation in Gaza & the West Bank on different social media platforms—giving a voice to those that are being targeted for genocide, and helping to (hopefully) educate more people on what is happening. I say ‘up until recently’—because currently I’ve been restricted from my LinkedIn account, but am still posting those updates to Instagram & my personal Facebook page.  I’m working on my transition plan to either remote writing and/or freelance writing. I’ve discovered that two of my ‘whys’ for this change include wanting to help improve both science communication between the general public and scientists, and to help improve science education (possibly through the creation of online courses that can serve as supplemental study aids for students).
  4. Umm…the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. There is still the Russian invasion of Ukraine (entering like year two?), the genocide going on in Gaza, genocides happening within various African countries (the Congo & Sudan to name two), and other areas of the world. The SARS-CoV2 virus is still floating around as well…so have I been complaining—I’d say I’ve been more sharing news (with my opinions interspersed), and if that accounts for complaining—then yes. Has it attracted negativity? Yes…but there are always going to be people that don’t like things being pointed out to them—and I refuse to moderate what I write/share/post just to appease the emotions of total strangers. Therefore—I’m trying to focus on what is actually within my control (how I react to things), and am working on trying to catch and ‘rewrite’ the negative self-thoughts throughout the day. 
  5. Well, this month is almost over…and I’d say I’ve accomplished possibly a third of what I was aiming for—while making note of where I can strive to improve things. The biggest area that I need to work on: time & project management (aka getting out of procrastination corner and into productivity central). While I managed to watch an e-course this month, I have yet to watch any TedTalks or listen to many podcasts—two things I’m going work on improving moving forward. Creating an fluid weekly schedule, editorial calendar, and having access to all my social media channels—I will hopefully move slowly out of procrastination corner. 

 So one other thing people should look at is what house the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Virgo full moon also correlates to my 11th house or my friend zone. Therefore, the period of the Virgo full moon is a time to try to focus on the other people in your life, plus build up your personal and professional networks as well.

I’d been doing decently at networking on LinkedIn over the past few months—especially since I’d started speaking up on behalf of Gaza & Palestinians. Though, now (since my account has been restricted)—I need to figure out how to build that type of network off of LinkedIn, in other words—really start building out both blogs/websites, setting up an ‘craft’ store, creating newsletters and so forth.  

I’ve realized over the past few months—that while remote work would be nice (steady paycheck), it may not come to be—because of the fact that I’ve been speaking out on behalf of Gaza & Palestinians. Therefore—I do need to start focusing a little more on getting the freelance business(es) up and going by the summer. That also means figuring out how to reach-out/network with other freelancers (and just people in general) off of social media channels (since once your accounts are ‘restricted’—you do lose access to things).

So what can I work on during the next full moon period? Well, I can:

  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.

Four goals for the Virgo full moon. Two could be considered ‘one-and-done’ goals—doing a monthly brain dump, and making a list of things I want to accomplish during the second quarter of the year. Though technically—the second goal could be a ‘one-and-done’, if I make the time to sit and contemplate what those milestones would be. One thing that I’ve realized over the past year or two—I’m old fashion in terms of keeping track of things—meaning, I like writing things down on paper and referencing back to them..though I also know that once various aspects of either getting a freelance business launched or landing a remote job, I will have to also make use of digital tracking systems.

The rough draft weekly schedule has more to do with setting a ‘timer’ for say sixty to ninety minutes for working on a project (or doing research), then taking a ten to fifteen minute break before starting the next block of time. If I get a ‘task’ done quicker, I’ll stop the initial timer (make note in the planner how long task ‘x’ actually took), and set the break timer. In addition I need to find a productivity app that allows me to block access to social media for set periods of time as well (not sure if the self control app works on this laptop).

I’d mentioned two years ago that I’d been trying to work on an mind-map for a post/article where I was going to try to combine different methods of goal setting (SMART goals, the 12-week method, & setting goals by the phase of the moon)…and then something else caught my attention and I never got that particular project off the ground…this year will be the year that I get that article written and published (after coming up with a good tracking method and testing it out).

So..yeah–I’ll be spending most of the Virgo full moon trying to figure out the best ways of being more productive so that I can move out of procrastination corner and further into productivity central. Hopefully by focusing on what I can control, will also help in controlling the anxiety, stress, and to a point the mild depression that I fall into every so often.

I want to end by asking: what is one of your favorite ways of setting goals? Is it using the SMART method, the 12-week method, or by the phase of the moon? Also—how are you handling the extra anxiety of the Virgo moon this week?

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Time to work on getting out of procrastination corner

So, we’re going to be seeing the second full moon of 2024 this weekend. Which means before looking ahead to the Virgo full moon, I need to reflect back on the goals that I’d set for the Leo full moon—and that I’m going to be a day (or two) late in posting both of them. 

I know that I have probably only managed to achieve about half the goals that I’d set at the end of January. The reason…well, I’m currently sitting nice and semi-comfortable within ‘procrastination corner’. Where is procrastination corner, you ask. Well—it’s wherever you’re feeling extremely comfortable, and knowingly putting off tasks. The tasks that I’ve been pushing off…have centered lately on looking to the future. The world is still going to hell in a hand basket (with the ongoing & live-streaming genocide in Gaza; genocides in the Congo & Sudan; and elsewhere). So…yeah, it’s a little difficult right now to try to look to the future, when one isn’t sure if world is going to survive past May.

The world is going down the drain…the country isn’t in much better shape—this is going to be a hellish election year…and also the first one where I vote third-party. I refuse to support a president that is backing a genocide, and I refuse to vote for the orange anus. We’re 55 days into 2024…and there is 111 left…but can we fast-forward to 2028 please…and thank you.

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

  1. Develop not only an calendar for intentional movement (such as weight lifting, cardio & other stuff), but also a weekly schedule for working on different projects (such as morning updates on Gaza & the West Bank; my microbe series I want to get started; and other ‘random’ projects), as well as continuous learning (working through e-courses and listening to podcasts). 
  2. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan…with mini-goals/objectives
  3. Spend time in the evenings working on crafts (continue the afghan, or also work on the needlepoint project, doodle/draw, maybe try to make some jewelry).
  4. Evening oracle card reading and meditation time. 

So how did I do with each of them?

Developing a calendar & weekly schedule, (I’d say I managed about 10% of this goal):

I draw out a calendar monthly…as I’ve yet to find a physical planner that has an layout that I like. I’ve also realized—I’m “old-fashion”—I do better when I write things out by hand (hence drawing the calendar, making to-do lists, and so forth). I just haven’t created a calendar for doing intentional movement—the best I’ve managed is trying to get out into the backyard for about an hour or so & throwing the ball for the younger dog. I’m still working on developing a fluid weekly schedule. Also, I decided that instead of starting with my microbe series—I’m ‘relaunching’ the oncology series—it will be on the science, health/medical blog, possibly on Instagram, Facebook (have to decide if it will be on my personal page, or what), and then on LinkedIn (once I hopefully have been given access to my account again). I may try to start listening to podcasts at night when I’m working on craft projects.

Continuing to work on my two-to-five year plan, (I’d say that I managed maybe 5% of this goal):

Do I know what I would like to have accomplished within the next two-to-five years? Kinda…do I have those goals broken down into more manageable steps & milestones…nope, not yet. Again, I have fallen into procrastination corner—where I’ve been putting off things…and allowing my anxiety, stress, and depression to kinda dictate what I do during the day…something I’m trying to work on improving—it’s small steps each day, sometimes sliding backwards, sometimes crawling forward.

Evening Craft time, (I managed 100% of this goal):

I’ve been diligent with this goal. I’m not quite two-thirds of the way done with the current afghan project. I should be finished with the second large panel by next week, and by the end of next weekend, have it attached to the other portion of the afghan. The final panel, plus the two border pieces will be hopefully finished by sometime in April—with a completed afghan by early May (at the latest). I’m thinking of using it then as a ‘example’ of the type of afghan I can create & possibly sell (have color selections—like warm colors (red, orange, yellow, and variations of those two), cool colors (blue, greens, purples), and possibly ‘mixed’.

Prior to focusing on the afghan, I’d been working on my second large needlepoint project—which is currently on ‘hold’ until I get the afghan finished. Though I’m thinking of creating a few smaller ‘abstract’ pieces to use as ‘examples’ or possibly to sell (see what type of engagement I get with them).

Evening oracle card time & meditation time (check–100%, though I’m trying to ‘extend’ the meditation time):

I’ve been diligent with reading oracle cards in the evenings..though at times I look back to see if I’ve pulled the cards and then just reference back to those pages…so I should still sit with the cards and see if I feel like I’m getting a ‘different’ answer. 

Meditation time is usually a few minutes and tied in with pulling the oracle cards. 

Overall thoughts on the Leo full moon goals:

I wrote at the end of last month that life wasn’t so much about finding balance—but equilibrium between areas of life. Right now I feel like I have to spend more time doing things to replenish my inner cup due to the massive amount of negative news in the world. It seems that it takes more and more energy every day to read what is happening in Gaza & write something about it for LI and then put it into graphics for Instagram. I didn’t realize how deep the void of compassion & empathy was in the west until the genocide started in Gaza.

So…I managed a little over fifty percent in terms of completing the goals. I fully acknowledge that I’m sitting (quite comfortably) within procrastination corner currently and it is going to take a good amount of energy (and accountability) to move from that corner to being on the outskirts of productivity central. The two areas I need to work on—being more organized & productive during the day (getting back to writing out to-do lists, using a planner, and so forth), and being a little more optimistic about things (especially in regards to long-term goals).

I also acknowledge my privilege in terms of life right now…I’m a white, heterosexual female living within the US…technically I only have to ‘worry’ about: sexual assault and low pay (compared to white male counterparts) in comparison to women of color, and individuals with visible handicaps/disabilities. One of the things I’m working on this year is decolonizing my mind, and relearning (or learning for the first time) the history of places & people that might have been ‘polished’ (shall we say) when they were talked about within history books in the west.

I’m hoping therefore to also have more nonfiction book reviews up this year over topics that might make people uncomfortable–because they point out the hypocrisy of the west & at time our willingness to turn ‘blind eyes’ and ‘deaf ears’ to various problems, because they don’t affect us personally.

But to end on a lighter note–what is one goal that you accomplished during the Leo full moon?

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Focusing on improving time/project management skills during the Aquarius new moon

So the moon should be moving through the Aquarius constellation tonight & tomorrow…marking the second new moon of 2024. Whoever has the voodoo doll for this decade—can you PLEASE leave it alone…like seriously, enough…

I asked last year if 2023 was going to be better than the previous few years…and it wasn’t…I almost want to ask the same of 2024…but until more political leaders start finding their backbones..this year is probably going to be even worse than 2020 (the start of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic…and I didn’t think that would be possible).

Looking at “Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are again several things that one can do during this period:

  1. Detach ourselves from things that are no longer serving us
  2. Be true to ourselves
  3. Be inventive
  4. Be charitable
  5. Be social

Well…I’ve never really been a ‘social butterfly’. While I don’t mind getting together with friends every so often…you’ll find me at home in the evenings working on crafts or reading. So…I’m not going to try to become ‘more social’…it doesn’t fit me or my personality…I’m not anti-social, I’m just selectively social.

As I mentioned last year—I’m still working on detaching myself from things that are harmful—such as the negative self-talk (that is so ‘unconscious’—I don’t realize it majority of the time), diet culture & mentality, and other things as well. I’m also unlearning & relearning the ‘true’ history of different areas & people (working on decolonizing my mind). 

I’m also still working on being true to myself…since I came to the realization last year that I’d spent way too many years burying parts of myself in order to blend in and not call attention to myself. 

Being true to myself means—working on improving my spiritual health (I’m more Wicca/pagan than following a monotheistic religion; aka more ‘spiritual’ than ‘religious’); my career direction (freelance writing mixed with a healthy dose of crafts), mental health (dealing with burnout, anxiety, depression, stress, & an touch of PTSD), and then personal/professional growth path(s).

I’m ‘foraging’ my own paths in those areas..trying to be ‘inventive’ in how I deal with things…because I’m unique and different…I should ensure that my coping mechanisms fit my personality and aren’t just ‘cookie-cutter’ copies of what others are doing.

Then one should turn to see what zone (or house) the moon is moving through in regards to other aspects of life. Remember there are basically three ways to determine which house/zone the moon is in for any new/full moon: your star sign, your rising sign, and your moon sign. I usually go with my rising sign, which is Scorpio; while my star sign is Virgo, and my moon sign is Pieces. Depending on which ‘sign’ you go with—the zone/house will be different.

So this means that the moon is entering into my fourth house, or the home and family zone. So this can also be a time when one can spend cleaning (getting rid of things), possibly moving, and spending more time with family. So there are several suggestions from “Moonology” on what one can do during this time:

  1. Have a garage sale
  2. Hug your parents
  3. Sort out your photo albums/digital photo files
  4. Invite friends over
  5. Renovate or redecorate, so you’re more comfortable at home
  6. Sell your home and/or change locations, or even countries
  7. Ask your grandparents about your family’s history

As usual, there are several things from the above list that won’t be happening:

Asking my grandparents about my family history…only because all my grandparents are dead. My paternal grandfather made a notebook on part of the history of the family…basically from the time his grandparents came over from Finland…I’d have to try to do more research if I wanted to trace things back further than the late 1800s on my father’s side. If I want to know more on my mom’s side…I just need to email one of her sisters that is into figuring out the family tree.

We’re not a big family on hugging…but if I want to I can give my father a hug…can’t hug my mom as she passed last year.

Hmm…not really inviting people over (again—not big on having a social life)…there are two dogs to also take into consideration..not to mention an elderly cat with bathroom issues.

While we’ve been putting money into the house in terms of updates (new windows & a walk-in tub/shower)…I don’t think we’re selling anytime soon, and I currently don’t have plans for trying to relocate somewhere else.

What may happen this year (BUT NOT during the new moon):

Possibly a garage sale…we’ve got enough stuff around the house that we could try to get rid of some of it, while possibly earning a little money. Or I’ll just start trying to sell things on-line.

I’ve rearranged my room…just need to put things back into some semblance of order, since I had to move things around when we had the windows installed last week.

I really do need to sort through the digital pictures. Currently they’re all back up on the external hard drive (because they’d zap my cloud storage if I had them all on the computer). One goal this year is to try to get at least another 15-20 bird pages up onto the blog. Trying to sort the digital pictures has been something on one of my many lists throughout the years…I try to sort & get rid of the really blurry pictures, or the pictures where I can’t identify the bird…but that only puts a small dent in the total number of pictures. 

One big goal for 2024 is to figure out what my ‘vision/version’ of minimalism is—and embrace it. I know that I have way too much stuff both within the house and then up in my storage unit…and it’s time to figure out how to get things pared down enough in the house that I can get things out of the storage unit & into the house (and save money in the long run).

Therefore the list of goals for the Aquarius new moon will include:

  1. Continue working on my ‘long-term’ vision/plan (and brainstorm what the milestones will be)
  2. Continue trying to organize the files on the computer (and see what is actually worth keeping & what can be deleted), and also look at the backup external hard drive as well.
  3. Finish ‘reorganzing’ the bedroom (again)…

Three goals…two could almost be considered ‘on-going’…because let’s face it—the bedroom is going to get disorganized/cluttered throughout the year…I’ll start working on some project (creating a file, folder, and so forth)—to just forget about until I stumble upon everything in six months (or longer). Also…I’m still working on trying to develop my ‘new normal’…I’d thought that part of that would be actually working at a desk for several hours a day (but that was before adopting #apepthepuppy and yeah…desk work right now is possibly being regulated to the evening hours) . But I’m slowly making progress in that direction…and that is all that is needed—some type of forward movement.

What are you hoping to achieve during the Aquarius New Moon?

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Where is the focus needed: Time & Project Management

So…the moon will be entering the Aquarius constellation over the day or so…marking the second new moon of 2024. But, before looking ahead to the Aquarius new moon, I need to look back at the goals I set for the Capricorn new moon…and see how I did with each of them.

So what were the goals for the Capricorn new moon? They included:

  1. Work on developing my vision of where I would like to be in 3-5 years in regards to remote/contract/online freelance writing/blogging. In the same note, write out very specific goals/milestones that will help me achieve the said vision.
  2. Read at least one non-fiction book that I’ve started
  3. Finish at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  4. Start refreshing my Spanish again (or start learning Arabic) using the app Mondly

So how did I do with the above goals?

Developing a vision of where I want to be in three-to-five years:

This vision ties in with my new ‘definition’ of success. In three-to-five years, I have my debt paid off, a credit card (or two) canceled, and all other debt being paid off monthly.

I have two successful freelance businesses—which includes having a podcast & YouTube channel (that I do for fun), an online store to sell crafts, and several e-courses (covering a broad range of not only science topics, but history & social sciences as well).

Plus getting into the best shape of my life, creating & embracing my vision/version of minimalism, mediating more, and having my mental/emotional/spiritual health on an even keel as well. 

Have I figured out the monthly/quarterly/yearly goals to get there? Nope…not yet—but I have the vision…so I’m actually a little over halfway there—compared to the past.

Finish reading at least one non-fiction book:

I’ve actually finished the following:

  1. Letters to a Starseed by Rebecca Campbell
  2. White Women: Everything You Already Know about Your Racism & How to do Better by Regina Jackson & Saira Rao
  3. Healthy at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight by Linda Bacon, PhD

These are three of the five non-fiction books that I’ve finished so far this year. The other two–I finished roughly right before the Capricorn new moon started…so they couldn’t count towards this list.

Finish at least part of a personal/professional development course:

Nope…while I did finish a very short e-course last month–it was before the start of the Capricorn new moon & can’t count towards the goal.

Start refreshing Spanish (or learning Arabic) on Mondly:

Nope…haven’t gotten into an consistent habit of doing this currently.

Four goals for the Capricorn new moon, and I managed to complete about half of them (reading & having a rough idea of where I would like to be in three-to-five years). The other two goals…all I can say is that I allowed doom scrolling and reading the news sidetrack me from these goals. Also the fact that I have yet to design/create/figure out the best ‘fluid’ schedule for the day/week/month.

I know the REALLY BIG PROBLEM…I try to put EVERYTHING on the calendar…I try to BLOCK OUT ALL TIME…make use of ALL TIME…be SUPER-PRODUCTIVE…and then I end up doing nothing—due to analysis-paralysis & that pesky imposter syndrome/inner critic. One of the goals for this month—create at least two really detailed outlines for topics related to the science/health/medical blog & at least one really detailed outline for a ‘blog’ series for this blog (I’m thinking of comparing different goals setting methods, time management, project management and so forth). These outlines will be the ‘framework’ for blog posts, infographics, posters and so forth. Plus–I can block time for just them in the weekly schedule.

My top strength is love of learning…but if I don’t develop a WORKING schedule that is tailored for ME…my top strength also becomes my top weakness. I also know that for certain projects—I need to write, pause, and then come back and edit. This is a problem mainly when I do my morning updates on Gaza for LinkedIn—I almost always overshoot the character limitation (which is 2974 characters—including spaces).

So, after I get this update posted…I’ll be reflecting back on how I’m (more or less) spending my days…to figure out where I’m wasting time (doom scrolling), and whether or no I need to try to download yet another productivity app that will allow me to ‘block’ access to certain sites during the day (so I don’t ‘doom scroll). This HAS to happen…because I really don’t want to try to do an 9-5 in-person job. I don’t think that will work anymore. I’ve grown a little too accustomed to doing what I want, when I want.

So…2024 will be the year that I continue in the direction of freelance work (with the extremely small possibility of a remote job—as the steady paycheck for awhile would be nice), becoming better at both time & project management. It will also be a year that I develop a “working” relationship with my inner critic/imposter syndrome (that I’m going to name ‘Carla’).

In addition—this is the year of authenticity, growth, creativity/curiosity, & prosperity.

How did your Capricorn goals go? Successes or near misses? And what is your go-to word for 2024?

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Harnessing time & project management to focus on personal & professional growth

So Thursday night marked the first full moon of 2024. We’re now twenty-seven days into the new year, and I’m ready for it be over. I know I should give it ‘more time’…but there is the ongoing genocide in Gaza (yes, the ICJ ruled…their ruling amounted to a ceasefire [stop any & all genocidal activities]…but Israel is ignoring it [as expected])…and I have a bad feeling things are going spiral out of control soon…and this is going to explode into the third world war.

Plus…there is that new variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus floating around as well…

Last year, I didn’t post any new or full moon goals for the first half of the year (depression and so forth)..and I’ve made it a goal to try to be better this year…even if I’m a day or more late in posting the goals (or reviews). 

What are some questions to reflect on during the first few days of the full moon? According to “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland:

Have I been too self-centered, egotistical, or proud?

Have I been treating the people around me like minions?

Have I been arrogant, vain, pushy, or pompous?

Have I been expressing myself creatively enough?

Have I shown myself enough self-love?

If I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would be as followed:

  1. Let’s see…there is still the SARS-CoV2 virus running around (technically we’re in the ‘epidemic’ stage and not pandemic stage)…there is a genocide being carried out live in Gaza…and we’re heading into possibly the most heated/volatile presidential campaign season (even worse than either 2016 or 2020). Since I’m still working on building a freelance business, I don’t think I’ve been self-centered or egotistical about things. I’m proud that I haven’t totally lost my sanity or have had any type of major mental breakdowns. I won’t say that it has been a walk in the park—I’m still struggling with a few things, but I’m surviving.
  2. Nope, I haven’t been treating the people around me like minions. I live at home with my father currently—there are no minions here. Though the animals would say that I’m their minion.
  3. Again, nope I haven’t been arrogant, vain, pushy, or pompous. This is also because again—I haven’t really been out of the house for quite a while. Last year, I just started meeting a friend for lunch monthly again. Though I’m sure that those I’ve blocked on various social media sites might argue this. 
  4. Well, this is something I’m working on. Currently I’m working on a afghan and I’m about a little over a third done with it. I also have a needlepoint project I could pick back up, doodling, drawing, coloring, painting, and numerous other craft projects to do in my evening spare time. I would like to get up to Boomer with my camera at some point…but since I’m really a fair weather girl..that will still be a couple of weeks before that happens (and then will probably be the first time in over a year since I took my camera up there).
  5. The answer to this is almost me shrugging my shoulders…as in I’m not sure. From fall of 2021 though this year has been a goddamn rollercoaster…and I’ve never been a fan of them. So, I probably am not showing myself enough self-love and/or self-care. It is something I’m going to be trying to get better at as I navigate 2024 (with fingers and toes crossed that a world war isn’t going to suddenly erupt). So, yeah—I still need to work on improving my health: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social. 

With focusing on self-care/love, this will include doing intentional movements (anything from lifting weights, to walking, to cardio and yoga), meditating at night, doing a oracle/tarot card reading, starting to listening to podcasts again, reading, and just trying to figure out what works for me.

Looking at my chart—the Leo full moon is going through my 10th house, which is also my career zone. So, with it going through my career zone—the past couple of years have been spent trying to figure out what it is I want to do with the second half of my life…both personally and professionally.

I’ve decided that I’m going to be focusing on freelance (and possibly remote work) with science/health/medical communications/education, in addition to also adding in some history/social sciences and current events. As well as figuring out how to monetize the creative/hobby blog (link to a different site for selling crafts? Go to craft fairs and/or farmer markets? The possibilities are possibly endless.

The combination of the two—will allow me to combine my core values: learning/knowledge, imagination/originality, growth/evolution, communication & community, simplicity & insightful; with my strengths: learner, intellection, input, achiever, deliberative, creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking. In addition the combination of these paths (freelance work in different fields and creative craft work) will also allow me to embrace my multipotentialite personality.

So what are my goals for the Leo Full Moon? They include:

  1. Develop not only an calendar for intentional movement (such as weight lifting, cardio & other stuff), but also a weekly schedule for working on different projects (such as morning updates on Gaza & the West Bank; my microbe series I want to get started; and other ‘random’ projects), as well as continuous learning (working through e-courses and listening to podcasts). 
  2. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan…with mini-goals/objectives
  3. Spend time in the evenings working on crafts (continue the afghan, or also work on the needlepoint project, doodle/draw, maybe try to make some jewelry).
  4. Evening oracle card reading and meditation time. 

Life isn’t so much about finding balance…but finding equilibrium between areas of life—sometimes we do need to push a little harder in the career…but then we need to fall back and spend more time doing things that replenish us and allows us to ‘refill’ our internal cup. This has actually been one of my biggest stumbling blocks—finding the equilibrium between things…as well as finally admitting that I was on the wrong career path.

Will I get all goals accomplished? Well, I am starting a couple of days late (because, as usually I’m running behind schedule on things)…and technically half the goals are continuous (three and four), while the first two goals are more fluid…so I’ll aim to get them accomplished…and I’ll check back in next month (with the update) and we shall see…

What are some of your Leo goals?

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Reading..goal-setting..choosing my words: Review of Cancer Full Moon

Okay…we’re going to be heading into the first full moon of 2024 tonight (and I’m behind schedule as usual)…which means that before looking ahead to the Leo Full Moon, I need to look back at the goals I had set for the Cancer full moon. 

It’s 2024…and we’re sliding down a slope towards a regional conflict that could morph into a global conflict. The issues are within West Asia (Gaza, the occupied West Bank and the genocide Israel is carrying out). I’ve managed one update here on the blog…hoping to do it at least twice a month, and once I start doing more research on other conflicts, having a weekly update.

But this post is to look at the goals I’d set for the Cancer Full Moon last month and how I did with each of them. The goals that I’d set included:

  1. Determine the four top goals for 2024 and come up wiht a good tracking system
  2. Determine my words (or phrase) for 2024
  3. Nightly oracle card drawings and mediation
  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. Work through part of a personal/professional growth course.

So how did I do with the goals?

Determine the four top goals for 2024…and come up wiht a good tracking system

The four TOP goals for 2024 are:

  1. Getting the freelance business(es) launched. This will also include a YouTube chnnel, possible podcast (by the end of the year), figuring out how to monetize the creative blog, and possibly an Etsy store (or other site) for selling crafts.
  2. Getting the debt down
  3. Continuing to heal my relationship with food and movement
  4. Continuing working on hitting goals from my 44 things before 44 goal list, and 1001 goals in 1001 days.

I’m still working on developing a good tracking system for the goals.

Determining my words (or phrase) for 2024:

The words: growth, challenge, compassion, curiosity, and creativity.

Why these words? Well 2024 is going to be a challenging year (in more than one way)—which will mean I will be growing, I’m naturally creative and curious—so they will help me navigate the challenging year and determine the best ways to ‘grow’, and compassion is needed to help heal the world.

I haven’t thought of a phrase yet…though it may just be the hashtags: #WTF and #WTH considering the state of the world.

Nightly oracle card drawings and meditation:

Yes, I’ve been doing nightly oracle card drawings (they’re daily on Thursday—as they’re part of my Thoughtful Thursday series on LinkedIn), and I usually am able to manage a couple minutes mediating.

Drafting a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/bi-weekly goals)

This is still a work in progress. Why? Well…we’re still watching a genocide being live-streamed. The occupying force that is committing the genocide is looking to go after other neighbors, and I’m seriously concerned that this is going to spiral into WWIII…so as I continue to work on drafting my ‘long-term’ plan…I may cut the time down to two-to-three years…which could very well be how long humanity has left…

Finish at least one more non-fiction book:

I’d actually finished three non-fiction books during the past month:

  1. Body Positive Power: Because Life is Already Happening & You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It by Megan Jayne Crabbe
  2. Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws: and other classical myths, historical oddities, and scientific curiousities by Adrienne Mayor
  3. Letters to a Starseed by Rebecca Campbell

Currently I’m bouncing back and forth between the following non-fiction books:

  1. Healthy at Every Size by Linda Bacon, PhD (53% done)
  2. The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017 by Rashid Khalidi (26% done)
  3. Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution by Cat Bohannon (basically just started ~3% done)
  4. American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodward (basically just started ~4% done)
  5. They Call Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl’s Fight for Freedom by Ahed Tamini & Dean Takruri (~10% read)
  6. Gaza in Crisis: A Reflection on the US-Israeli War on the Palestinians by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe (55% done)
  7. White Women: Everything you already know about your own racism and how to be better by Regina Jackson & Saira Rao (72% done)

There are about another 500 that are waiting to be started…I have a habit of buying books before finish about a third of the ones I already own.

Working through part of a personal/professional growth course

Earlier this month I watched an short art history course on Udemy: Gods and Kings: The Art History of Mesopotamia and Arabia.

It was a very short course—only about an hour long; which is one of two things I had against the course. I felt like the instructor could have done more on each of the topics; in addition—there should have been some type of ‘discalimer’ stating that you should take her prehistory art history course before taking this one. I found it slightly distracting that she kept referring back to ‘previous’ lectures—which in actuality would be a ‘previous course’.

But other than those two things—it was a good course for being only about an hour long, and trying to cram thousands of years of art history into that period (especially for the two regions covered). I’d like to see an more extensive course offered for the art history of the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain).

In conclusion:

So…I think I managed to meet most of the goals (long-term planning is always an ongoing process…especially when witnessing an genocide & the lack of compassion that majority of the world is showing). I also know that I’m running behind by about a day or so in posting things to this blog…and I’m woefully behind on posting to the science/health/medical blog…

One e-course was completed…I have a goal of trying to complete at least eighteen different e-courses before June of 2026; and I’d technically like to complete about a third of those before my birthday in September. One of the things I’m going to be doing is (especially since I’ve bought SO many e-courses over the past few years on different sites) to focus on courses that will help me launch my businesses this year.

I also have a goal of reading at least 100 non-fiction books by June of 2026–and I also have the goal of trying to read 44 of those before my birthday. I’ve managed to read ten (between Sept of 2023 and today)…so to reach the goal by my birthday–only 33 more books; and I’m pretty certain I’ll make the 100 books by June 2026–since I’m a tenth of the way there already.

I’m pretty certain I’ve closed the career chapter(s)/section on working in higher education, and actually have ‘written’ a short story within my life story on reasons why I don’t think I’d be a good fit within industry…so I am slowly working on writing that next section of my life.

What goal from the December Cancer Full Moon are you proud to have accomplished?

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Start of a new year–planning, planning, and more planning

So the moon entered the Capricorn constellation some time over the past day or two…it’s only January 13, and I’m already slightly behind schedule. In terms of setting goals last year based on the new and full moons—I missed quite a few months, as 2023 was not a good year…at all…for anyone.

One of the goals this year is to set goals for both the new and full moon each month, and try to accomplish at least half of them…or at least have ‘started’ half of them, as I usually have some ‘on-going’ goals (such as working through e-courses, reading, or trying to listen to podcasts).

So, back to the first new moon of the year, which is moving through the Capricorn constellation, and according to “Moonlogy: Working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are several things that one can do during this time:

  1. Plan for the next year
  2. Be ambitious with your plans for the next year (or few years)
  3. Be kind (to both yourself and others)
  4. Cede control (don’t micromanage or manipulate others)
  5. Establish traditions (also working on your reputation [both personal & professional])

What is nice about life under the Capricorn constellation—all items listed above can be accomplished without having to be in ‘crowds’—since there are variants of COVID that are popping up again, it’s winter, and I’m not much for large gatherings currently.

There is another aspect of the moon cycles—and that is the zone (which is associated with your signs [there are your star, rising, and moon signs]). I usually do all my predictions using my rising sign: Scorpio, though I could do it with my star sign (which is Virgo), or even my moon sign (which is Pisces). Just like the constellations, we pass through each zone twice each year (once for the new moon and once for the full moon).

So this new moon in Capricorn is entering my third house, or my communication zone. This is the time to concentrate on communication, and spending time with friends and siblings. So there are several things that one can do during this time (again I’m taking this from “Moonology”):

  1. Take a public speaking course
  2. Read the books you’ve got stacked up
  3. Take a short trip
  4. Hang out with your siblings
  5. Study a foreign language
  6. Really listen to others
  7. Write those letters you’ve been putting off

Well…while we technically aren’t in the middle of a pandemic (we’re in the ‘endemic’ stage)…money is tight, so there are still a few things that probably won’t be happening:

  1. Hanging with siblings…though this deals more with the older sibling who lives out of state..I see my younger sibling a litte more frequently, since he lives in town
  2. Taking a short trip. While I’ve gotten my vaccine & one booster shot–money is an issue, and truthfully, while there are plaecs I’d like to visit..they can wait until I can afford to travel and it’s warmer.
  3. Taking a public speaking course…this is on this list due to money, and the new COVID strain running around.

Therefore, if I were to combine the two lists and create goals from them, my goals will include:

  1. Developing my vision of where I want to be in 3-to-5 years in regards to my freelance/blogging & crafts businessses. In addition start drawing out the ‘road-map’ to get there.
  2. Finish reading at least one of the non-fiction books I’ve started
  3. Finish at least one module of a e-course
  4. Start refreshing my Spanish again (or start learning Arabic) using Mondly

I know what I want to do with my future—a combination of freelance science/health/medical communications/education along with the crafts/hobby/personal/professional growth blogging and potential monetizing of selling crafts. Last year had so many stumbling blocks that I only got certain ‘pages’ up and live towards the year. I have numerous ideas—I just need to get them all down on paper, mindmap/brainstorm, and then pick different projects that I can move between (say blog posts, creating infographics, posters/slide-decks and so forth). 

That also means I need to develop (and stick) with a good posting schedule for the blogs, and different social media sites…plus start writing on other sites (such as Medium). Currently, one hurdle I’d dealing with—is trying to edit as I write. While I logically know I need to write, take a break and then come back and edit…I’ve fallen back into the semi-bad habit of trying to edit as I write…which makes things go three times as long.

2024…a new year…but continuing in the direction of freelance work, possibly remote (a steady paycheck would be nice for awhile), and becoming better at time & project management. Things I’m going to try to ‘shed’ this year—-the negative self talk, the self-doubt/comparing myself to others, and working at ‘taming’ my inner critic/imposter syndrome (‘Carla’)…

I forget what words I’d chose for 2023…they could have been similar to the words I’d chose for 2021 and 2022. While I’m keeping a few of those words, I’m adding a new word for 2024: authenticity; the other words are growth, creativity/curiosity, and prosperity.

What word (or words) have you chosen for 2024?

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Major goals for 2024 determined…still need to flesh out other goals and content ideas

Alright…the moon should be heading into it’s next new moon phase tonight, and I’m slightly behind schedule already..it’s 2024, and the world is still going to hell at a decent clip…but that’s the topic for a weekend blog post. Before looking ahead to the Capricorn new moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Sagittarius new moon and see how I did with each of them.

So goals did I set for the Sagittarius new moon? Well, they included:

  1. Determining the goals for 2024 (possibly further?); Setting up the yearly BINGO card, the first quarter BINGO card, & January BINGO card. Possibly also reflect back on 2023 (so two [maybe three] goals in one?)
  2. Develop fluid plan(s) for: (1) getting the freelance science/health/med comms/edu business up and going; (2) determining how to monetize the craft/hobby/reflective blog; (3) getting debt down [and savings up]; and (4) transitioning to a more minimalistic lifestyle
  3. Content, content, and more content creation (or at least brain dumps, mind-maps, and brainstorming session)

So…basically brainstorming and some reflection and a little planning…how did I do?

Goals for 2024 and the first three BINGO cards:

This goal was accomplished–though I really didn’t reflect back on 2023; but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to or not (at least not that during the month of December)…

The big goals for 2024 will include:

  1. Getting the different freelance businesses up and running (both the science/health/med comms/edu plus figure out how to monetize the creative)
  2. Launch a podcast and/or YouTube channel (related to both freelance businesses)
  3. Getting the debt down
  4. Continue healing my relationship with food & movement (aka getting into the best shape of my life)
  5. Determine my definition of not only success but minimalism as well–and start living/embodying them.

I didn’t stretch any of them past this year…because the year is going to be a shit show in so many different ways. But I did get the three BINGO cards drawn.

Develop the fluid plans for different things:

Nope…I had four areas I wanted to develop at least a rough outline for in terms of hitting said ‘goal’ (launching freelance businesses, monetizing them, getting debt down, and transitioning to a more minimalistic lifestyle). But I didn’t get to them…because it took quite a bit of effort to make it through the month without giving into a screaming fit and throwing things around the house…This is something to work on during the first quarter this year.

Content, content, and more content creation:

Okay…I have ideas for things I want to do…but didn’t exactly create a whole lot of content over the past few weeks. In part—just trying to survive the holidays. While mom wasn’t home last year—she was at least still alive…this past year, she was dead and her urn is sitting on the mantle. Also, this past holiday season—there is an on-going genocide (streaming live from Gaza), and numerous other world conflicts…so, I was just focused with getting through the day without again having screaming fits and throwing things.

The way 2023 unfolded wasn’t even close to how I thought it would go…I wasn’t expecting my mother to pass, to lose two pets in a span of four days, adopt a puppy, lose another pet (on my birthday), and for the world to lose it’s collective mind.

Will 2024 go the way I want? Doubtful…somehow we’ve let the greedy, pushy, bullying, egocentric individuals get power and be in charge. I know that this fall the election is going to be extremely volatile….but if Trump is allowed on the ballot…that just means our judiciary system has failed us…neither ‘major’ candidate is actually a good choice..both are huge problems—both at home and abroad.

What we need—two more constitutional amendments—one that states term limits for Congress & the Supreme Court; and the second—an age ‘cap’—to where once you hit a certain age, you’re not allowed to run for any office…it’s time to get the dinosaurs out of the government (and I’m talking all three branches).

Then there is the matter of the genocide that is currently happening in Gaza (not to mention in the Congo, Sudan, and other places)…there are so many issues we need to address in relation to these genocides (white supremacy/colonization; need for various electronics—why do we let them come out with new ones constantly?; and just how we need to come together as a global society).

But those are topics for other posts…In regards to the goals I set back in December…I managed a third of them. Not great—but considering the month…it’s a win that I’ll take. Each new and full moon period is a time to aim at being a little better than the previous period. Sometime that happens, other times I stay the same, or slightly slide backwards. Progress is made though when I acknowledge that things didn’t go great—and continue on the path forward, regardless of how slow I may be progressing.

Progress…that is what we need…progress towards a better future…an healthier planet, and healthier global society.

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Looking back at the dumpster fire that was 2023

Okay…It’s Monday…and January…and 2024…I didn’t opened the letter last night that I wrote to myself the previous year…because I knew that nothing within that letter was able to happen last year…2023 was a shit-show…but life seems to be shit-show after shit-show..especially since the SARS-CoV2 virus showed up in 2020…

While I’ve gravitated towards the career pivot—building a freelance career that encompasses not science, health, and medical literacy/education—but crafts/hobbies and various aspects of personal/professional growth (health/wellness, finances, spirituality, and developing my own vision of not only minimalism but success)…a good portion of the world seems to have lost its damn mind…

2020 was when the SARS-CoV2 virus made it around the world…and created a pandemic that lasted for a few years. If we had competent leaders in 2020…I don’t think it would have swelled into such a problem…and was the initial spark for pivoting towards science/health/med comms.

I wanted to improve how findings/results and such were relied to the public…because public health should NEVER be politicized…when it becomes a ‘political’ issue…it means lives are lost…and it started the spiral. Everyone either lost a family member or friend, or knows of someone who lost someone to the pandemic…

Fall 2021…when we took our young boxer mix in for another allergy shot…and shortly thereafter found out she developed a rare side effect—hemolytic anemia. Jump forward to spring 2022—she’d been getting weaned from the immunosuppressant meds, her allergies kicked in…and we lost her to a relapse of the anemia…

Fall 2022…mom went into the hospital. She’d finally scared herself enough that she was finally willing to get an medical evaluation…what we thought was only going to be a few days—stretched into nine months…then two and half weeks in a skilled nursing facility getting a little more rehab; being home for less than a day before heading back into the hospital…only for her to pass in emergency surgery the following week (May 2023)…

June 2023…saw the loss of two animals (Pye and Boozer), and the adoption of Apep, our black-mouth cur mix dog. He’s somewhere between 60 and 75 pounds, way too smart for our own good, and lovable goof. He gets along with Chaos, and harasses the hell out of the cats.

September 2023…I’ve had better birthdays…we lost Waffles (our Russian Blue cat) on my birthday last year…which meant we’re currently down to one (Pancakes—my black cat), whose health is bouncing around okay and not great.

Then we come to October 2023…the month when the world lost it’s mind. Yes…whatever the hell happened on Oct 7th was horrible. BUT what has happened since has been nothing but GENOCIDE. Israel is systemically trying to wipe out (or drive out) the Palestinian people from both Gaza and the West Bank. As of today (Jan 1 2024) over 30,000 Palestinians are either dead or missing in Gaza, and over 57,000 are wounded. Hundreds have been killed in the West Bank, thousands injured, and thousands more ‘detained’ for questioning. 

While majority of the world has been demanding a ceasefire for the past two months…thanks to the US’s blind backing of Israel—the US ambassadors to the UN have vetoed any resolution within the Security Council that calls for an outright ceasefire. They abstained from voting on a extremely watered down humanitarian aid resolution last month.

We’re entering 2024 with numerous genocides being carried out around the world—and one being documented daily, but not stopped or condemned..and I wonder if it’s because the genocide isn’t happening on European soils this time??

When did ‘Never Again’ become ‘Everyday’, and ‘Never Again’ BUT only for ‘selected’ groups of individuals?

Since late October…I’ve realized that there are aspects of history that have been left out of books..whether they’re world history books (such as the Nakba of 1948), or state history books (such as the Tulsa Race Massacre or the Osage murders)…and now I have a goal of becoming a better informed global citizen. Which means I will probably be doing more current event posts within this blog–possibly a weekly recap of the news that I’m sharing daily on LinkedIn and Facebook.

One thing I had quit doing early last year—was my monthly reviews of the previous months. This was in part due to dealing with various things related to my mom being in the hospital, trying to keep my mental health on an even-keel and dealing with a thousand and one other things as well. I’m hoping to get back into do those reviews this year, as I managed to get back into do the new moon & full moon goals towards the end of the year. 

So what are some of the things I managed to get accomplish last year (even with everyone else losing their damn minds)? Well…I managed to read a good number of both fiction and non-fiction books:

Non-fiction:

  1. Madly, Deeply the diaries of Alan Rickman by Alan Rickman
  2. Creativity: A short & cheerful guide by John Cleese
  3. Innercise: The new science to unlock your brain’s hidden power by John Assaraf
  4. It’s okay that you’re not okay by Megan Devine
  5. Oracle Cards 101 by Sunny Johnson
  6. Survivors: The Animals & Plants that time left behind by Richard Foley
  7. Unfuck your brain: using science to get over anxiety, depression, anger, freakouts, and triggers by Faith Harper
  8. Monarchs of the Sea (The Extraordinary 500-million year history of cephalopods) by Danna Staaf
  9. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  10. How to GRASP Confidence and own your power by Tara LaFon Gooch
  11. Conquering your burnout-an actionable guide to overcome burnout by Veronica Llorca-Smith
  12. Beyond Beautiful: A practical guide to being happy, confidence, and you in a looks-obsessed world by Anuschka Rees
  13. Things No One will tell Fat Girls: an handbook for unapologetic living by Jes Baker
  14. Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundation of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis

Fiction:

  1. State of Bliss (First Family #6) by Marie Force
  2. Offside Hearts by Nikki Lawson
  3. Born to be Badger (Honey Badger Chronicles #5) by Shelly Laurenston
  4. Iced Out (Heston U #1) by Veronica Eden
  5. The Enforcer (Lakeside University Hockey #1) by Avery Keenan
  6. Jackson (Mercy Ring #1) by Nyssa Kathryn
  7. Declan (Mercy Ring #2) by Nyssa Kathryn
  8. Cole (Mercy Ring #3) by Nyssa Kathryn
  9. Ryker (Mercy Ring #4) by Nyssa Kathryn
  10. The Devil You Know by Veronica Eden
  11. Chase: and the girl who came back by Amber Davis
  12. Mine to Have (Southern Wedding #1) by Natasha Madison
  13. Mine to Hold (Southern Wedding #2) by Natasha Madison
  14. Mine to Cherish (Southern Wedding #3) by Natasha Madison
  15. Mine to Love (Southern Wedding #4) by Natasha Madison 
  16. Mine to Take (Southern Wedding #5) by Natasha Madison
  17. Mine to Promise (Southern Wedding #6) by Natasha Madison
  18. Mine to Honor (Southern Wedding #7) by Natasha Madison
  19. Someone to Love (Wild Widows #3) by Marie Force
  20. Spymaster (Dragon Knights #18) by Bianca D’Arc
  21. Too Close to Home by Abbie Zanders
  22. Where We Belong (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #8) by Claudia Burgoa
  23. The Comeback Pact (Warner University Bullldogs #1) by E.M. Moore
  24. Varsity Series Box Set by Ginger Scott
  25. The Broken Vows by Catharina Maura
  26. Rules of the Game (Rule Breakers #2) by J. Wilder
  27. Rule Number Five (Rule Breakers #1) by J. Wilder
  28. The Temporary Wife by Catharina Maura
  29. The Wrong Bride by Catharina Maura
  30. The Unwanted Marriage by Catharina Maura
  31. Rule Breaker (Wild Card #1) by Nikki Hall
  32. State of Denial (First Family #5) by Marie Force
  33. Wicked Hearts (The Hearts of Swayers Bend #5) by Ivy Layne
  34. Billionaire Unreachable—Wyatt (California Billionaires #5) by J.S. Scott
  35. Finally Found You (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #7) by Claudia Burgoa
  36. One Too Many (Truth in Lies #1) by Melody Anne & John Henley
  37. Two Secrets Kept (Truth in Lies #2) by Melody Anne & John Henley
  38. Three Outs (Truth in Lies #3) by Melody Anne & John Henley
  39. Four Seconds Gone (Truth in Lies #4) by Melody Anne & John Henley
  40. Five Goodbyes (Truth in Lies #5) by Melody Anne & John Henley
  41. Jasmine’s Homecoming (Anderson Heirs #3) by Melody Anne
  42. Forever Goals: Rixon High Epilogue by L.A. Cotton
  43. Hurricane After Dark (Gansett Island #26) by Marie Force
  44. Meant for Me (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #6) by Claudia Burgoa
  45. How Much I Need (Miami Nights #5) by Marie Force
  46. Jacob’s Challenge (Anderson Heirs #2) by Melody Anne
  47. The Way of Us (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #5) by Claudia Burgoa
  48. The Long & Winding Road (Butler VT #9) by Marie Force
  49. Truly You (Luna Harbor #4) by Claudia Burgoa
  50. Finding the Road to Us (Wilder Brothers #6) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  51. Best Friend Temptation (Montgomery Ink Legacy #4) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  52. Stay Here with Me (Wilder Brothers #5) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  53. Longtime Crush (Montgomery Ink Legacy #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  54. Love Under Two Rebels (Lusty, Texas #47) by Cara Covington
  55. Coming Home to Us (Wilder Brothers #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  56. Happily Ever Never (Montgomery Ink Legacy Novella) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  57. At First Meet (Montgomery Ink Legacy #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  58. Sweet Noel (Anderson Heirs #1) by Melody Anne

Yes…all fifty-eight of these books are romance (of some sub-genera)…but these are my go-to genera when I’m in a off mood, feeling blue, down, or whatever…and 2023 had more of the ‘negative’ emotions than it did of the ‘happy/positive’ emotions.

Fifty-eight fiction books read…and that number is a very small percent of the number of books that I bought last year, in addition to the number I downloaded on the ‘load your kindle with free books’ days…also fourteen non-fiction book read…also a very small percentage of my non-fiction book list (which grew by probably by a hundred books or so last year). A goal for 2024—not to add any books to the non-fiction list, and to read at least 24 of them; and not to randomly buy fiction books…work my way through the ones I have (plus the pre-orders). I know that there are a handful of authors that I’ll buy books from when they announce publication dates.

I know I worked through possibly a half a dozen e-courses (between Jan-March & then again in September)…I just didn’t really write down that those courses were (I think I downloaded a certificate or two of completion)…

I worked on crafts….finished several—including drawing/doodling, coloring and framing several large drawings:

Large colored & framed doodle…under the sea…my vision

Under the sea…version #2

Mix of dragon eyes and abstract faces

A large needlepoint:

Currently the largest abstract needlepoint project that I’ve finished.

Plus numerous doodles. I’ve also started working on a new afghan–and am hoping to have that project finished by summer.

Going into 2024 I have one REALLY BIG & SCARY GOAL:

Launching the freelance businesses (science/health/med comms/education; and the craft/hobby), and possibly setting up an Etsy store (or other online store) for selling crafts. 

It’s time to start getting serious on the writing for science/health/med comms & health, and figuring out how to earn money via freelance, crafts, and who knows what other side hustle.

Other goals for 2024 include:

  1. Reading at least 24 non-fiction books and reading at least 60 fiction books (with writing at least twenty mini-book reviews)
  2. Continue working on mending my relationship with food & movement; and continue working on improving/healing my mental/emotional/spiritual health as well.
  3. Pick a ‘non-science’ topic and develop ‘niche’ knowledge on it
  4. Write/research/post to each blog at least twice a month…it will probably be more on the creative/hobby/reflective blog—but for the science/health/med one I’m starting ‘slow’.
  5. Write 52 mini-reviews/blurbs on different research papers/topics (basically review one science/health/medical paper a week).
  6. Plus other goals from my 101 goals in 1001 days challenge.

2024 is going to be an extremely scary year…between the powder-keg that West Asia has become and the fact that it is election year here in the states…while I can’t control everything–I’m going pave my path…writing more science, health, medical pieces. Writing more personal/professional growth pieces, creative/hobby pieces, more time on crafts & hobbies..and work at also becoming a better global citizen.

What is your BIG & SCARY goal for 2024?

No Comments 101 GoalsBookscareerCraftsfinancesHealthno spend challengesodds and endsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdatesYear in Review

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.

No Comments AstrologycareerFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections