Tag: Meditation

Slow progress is better than no progress, time to look for productivity trackers

So we’re going to be heading into May’s full moon within the next twenty-four hours, and hopefully the weather will improve. This full moon is also suppose to be lunar eclipse as well–but we’ve been having rainy/cloudy weather for the past few weeks, so there is a chance that I won’t be able to see the eclipse in the morning due to possible overcast conditions.

Therefore, before looking Sagittarius full moon, I should look back at the goals that I set for the Scorpio full moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for the Scorpio full moon included:

  1. Finish 21-Day Fix Real Time and then start 21-Day Fix Extreme Real Time
  2. Spend more time reflecting and set at least one ‘long-term’ goal (personal or professional) that is at least 5-10 years down the road
  3. Finish setting up my 12-month plan (based semi off the ‘long-term goal’; bonus–this would be finishing up a past Aries New moon goal as well)
  4. Continue with daily evening meditations

So how did I do with each of them?

  1. In terms of the two fitness programs–I decided to concentrate more on ‘intentional movement’ and then started LIIFT4 for the third time. It isn’t that I didn’t like 21-Day Fix & 21-Day Fix Extreme Real Time, but I just wasn’t in the mood to listen to the ‘lectures’ on ‘proper nutrition and eating’ as I’m still trying to improve my relationship with food. I will do these programs, but once I feel like my relationship with food has improved enough that I’m not worried about falling back into the mindset of restriction.
  2. In terms of goals 2 & 3–I’m still in reflection mode and contemplating ‘long-term’ goals, and still trying to flesh out the ’12-month’ plan as well. Though I did create a personal/professional board game over the past few weeks that could be tied to both of the goals. I’ve realized over the past few weeks that in terms of trying to set ‘long-term’ goals I keep hearing conflicting viewpoints. The viewpoints go from ‘yes, everyone should have at least one long-term goal to strive for’, and to ‘if you’re focused on a specific goal, you might miss an opportunity because it doesn’t align with your goal’.
    • These conflicting opinions, made me realize that I’m ‘afraid now’ of setting long-term goals for several reasons: 1) I tried that with grad school/post-docs (had thought of trying to obtain a professor position) and it didn’t happen; 2) I’m having ‘troubles’ seeing myself ’15+’ years down the road doing something (since I’m worried about possibly being on the ‘wrong track’ again); and 3) I’m striving to still find that ‘balance’ between different areas of life (since I know I have the habit of becoming laser focused on one thing to the determent of everything else).
    • But I’m working my way slowly away from the ‘fear’ by creating and playing my own personal/professional development board game. It is giving me the power to decide what I’m doing, what I’m studying/reviewing, how far in-depth I’m going, and how I’m going to showcase what I’ve learned.
  3. Meditation at night is going more or less smoothly–the only time I ‘skip’ it is if I’m either not feeling well, or something has totally messed up my evening routine (say a water heater spewing 20-30 gallons of water into the room). It hasn’t quite become a fully ingrained habit yet, but I’m making progress towards that end goal. It does help improve my sleep, and I think I’m going to also try morning meditation as well this summer.

So I may not have been totally on target with the Scorpio goals, but I also didn’t fall totally off target either. I’m slowly embracing the fact that productivity/health/life is all cyclic, everyone has good days/weeks and then bad days/weeks. The mark of improvement and progress is making sure that you strive towards getting back towards the good days/weeks instead of wallowing in the bad days/weeks. Also noticing what your productivity ‘cycles’ are can also help, in terms of wondering where you might need to have ‘fewer’ goals or when you can possibly add ‘more’ goals to your list.

I’m slowly starting to figure out my productivity cycle (it looking like peaks are beginning and mid-fall, slow climb/fall, ‘bottoming-out’ twice a year [April/May and possibly Oct/Nov]), but will continue to tract to be sure. A new ‘goal’ will be to try to limit the ‘fall’ and start the ‘climb’ quicker (only two months bottoming-out instead of the possible four).

So question: What are some of your favorite productivity trackers?

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsLifestyle ChallengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

‘CIZED IT UP’: Looking back at the Pisces New Moon Goals

So we’ve entered April, and will soon be having the fourth new moon of the year (either tonight or tomorrow). Having a competent administration to deal with the ‘fires’ from the last administration, seem to be making the days and months go by faster this year.

So before I look ahead to the next new moon (Aries), it is time to look back at the goals that I set for the Pisces new moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for the Pisces New Moon included:

  1. Continue with CIZE–while it isn’t belly dancing, it is a dance program. It may teach me how to use my two ‘left’ feet before I try to find a free belly dancing program.
  2. Doodle sketch a cross-stitch pattern and work on cross-stitching this month.
  3. Finish patching the one afghan and start making a patch (or patches) for the second afghan.
  4. Continue with an evening meditation routine and try to meditate in the morning as well.
  5. Dream ‘big’ on where I would like to be in say 3-5 years and start making plans/goals for getting there.

So how did I do with each of them?

  1. I stuck with CIZE and actually am ‘finished’ with my first round. I say ‘finished’ because I didn’t totally follow the schedule for the program, but tried each routine at least once, include additional dance routines that were added to the program as ‘bonus’ workouts.
  2. I totally forgot that I was going to try to start working on a cross-stitch project this month.
  3. While I have a patch on the one afghan–I still need to finish stitching around the hole, and I haven’t started making the other patches for the larger afghan.
  4. For the most part I’ve been good with doing evening meditations before bed, though I haven’t really been able to get into the habit of meditating in the mornings yet.
  5. The ‘dream big’ goal–yeah, it hasn’t happened yet. The reason–good ole’ inner critic/imposter syndrome; while I’ve acknowledge my inner critic/imposter syndrome and am figuring out ways to work with it instead of against it–it does manage to drag me back into the comfort zone frequently (and this pass week that was where I was sitting).

So I managed to meet (more or less) three out of the five goals (so had a success rate of roughly 60 percent) this past month. Not perfect, but not the worse I’ve done either. I realize that part of the issue (at least for the past two weeks) was the anxiety over getting the vaccine for the SARS-CoV2 virus (I didn’t realize how anxious I was until I got in and out), the other part is still working on giving myself grace, acceptance, and realization that I’m not going to be perfect, probably will fall more than once moving forward and that’s fine–as long as I get back up and continue trying.

So I realized that I managed to keep one of the sayings for 2021 front and center this past month: ‘Progress over Perfection’. I’m making progress and it isn’t perfect–it’s messy, but that is life–messy if you’re trying to improve and live; it only seems ‘perfect’ if you’re willing to stay stagnant–and that isn’t something that I’m willing to do anymore.

I’m going to continue making 2021 a year of growth–and it doesn’t matter how microscopically small that progress looks to others as long as I keep moving forward.

No Comments AstrologyfitnessNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Pisces New Moon: Dream, Reflect, and Plan

So the moon will be making its third new moon transition today through the Pisces constellation.

One of the things I’m trying to focus on this year is productivity, while I was productive last year I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be (in part due to the pandemic, self-isolation, and just general irritation at the world). I have yet to find a planning method for a calendar that I like, so I usually just stick with pen and paper. Currently the monthly brain dumps and picking topics from that seems to be working–though I still pick way more topics weekly than I can actually work through (or I still need to get better at time management).

Anyway, I’ve also decided that my once weekly ‘unplugging’ will bounce between Saturday and Sunday, depending on the workout schedule that I’m following and if there are group calls or other things that I need to get done and requires the use of the computer.

Currently, my ‘unplugging’ day will be Sunday (at least for the next three weeks), and may also change to a partial-unplugging day (if I’m doing a workout program that is actually daily).

So back to the Pisces new moon–what are some things that one can do during this time?

You can:

Dream

Face your fears

Follow your intuition/hunches

Heal-focus on working through emotional or spiritual issues

“surrender”-practice yoga or meditation

In terms of the above list–I’ve been trying to ‘face certain fears’ for the past year or so (and the pandemic really didn’t help matters). Truthfully I’d really say they’re more either anxiety issues or issues with my inner critic/imposter syndrome and not really fears.

There is my dislike of talking in specific circumstances: one-on-one with someone new (say at a newtowrking event) or in front of large crowds (say giving a talk). The reason: childhood ‘trauma’ of having teachers correct my speech (I hada ‘Boston’ accent when we moved to OK and I didn’t pronounce the letter ‘R’) and being stuck in speech therapy for 5 years to ‘correct’ the ‘problem’. While I’ve gotten better about talking with people–the anxiety still pops up every so often, and will probably more now that there are vaccines available for the SARS-CoV2 virus and travel will slowly start opening up again.

There is my ‘writer’s block’–which is my inner critic/imposter syndrome popping up every so often and pulling me back into my ‘comfort zone’. Though I’ve mentioned before that I’ve acknowledged this issue, and that the best way of working through it is to write, publish, and realize that I will slowly be figuring out and finding my tribe and that not everyone will like what I have to write about or the style in which I write it.

I’ve been working a little more on the intuition by doing oracle card readings nightly, though I haven’t been writing down the cards like I had previously. Currently my main question centers around ‘what can I focus on today’, and I then draw one to three cards. I also realize that with asking that particular question, I should really be doing the card readings in the morning–so I still need to work on developing a flowing schedule that works.

I’ve also been drafting a list of ideas of things to do to help focus on improving my emotional and spiritual health (possible topic for another blog post).

In addition, Pisces is also moving through my 5th house–or my fun zone. This is the area that is triggered by creativity, children, and romance. Now I’m currently good with the creativity portion (creativity is both a strength and one of my chosen words for 2021), but will probably be ‘ignoring’ the other two. I don’t have children (at least the two-legged kind; I do have furry children), and I’m still not in the market for romance (since I’m still trying to figure out my life & where I would possibly like to be within the next two years–plus there is still the pandemic).

So there are several things that one can do during this time that coincides with the fun zone:

Learn belly dancing

Make a toy for a child

Start dating

Go on a trip with your significant other

Do something creative (write, paint, so forth)

Do something that typifies your idea of fun

Throw a party

Since we’re still dealing with the pandemic, and while there are vaccines available–one should still wear a mask and social distance even after they receive the vaccine, I can cross three things off that list: dating, throwing a party, and traveling. Also will cross off making a toy for a child.

So my list of goals for the Pisces new moon will include:

Continuing with CIZE, while it isn’t a belly-dancing program, it is a dance program. It may teach me how to use my two ‘left’ feet before I try to find a free belly-dancing program online.

Doodle sketch a cross-stitch pattern and work on cross-stitching this month.

Finish patching the one afghan and start making a patch (or patches) for the second afghan.

Continue with a evening meditation routine and also try to start meditating in the morning as well

Dream ‘big’ on where I would like to be in say 3-5 years and start making plans/goals on getting there

While remembering: ‘Progress over Perfection’ and that I’ve stated that 2021 will be a year of growth, creativity, and curiosity leading to increased happiness and prosperity.

What are you doing for the Pisces new moon?

No Comments AstrologyCraftsfitnessHealthNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Cancer New Moon Goals

So we’re going to be entering another new moon this week—Cancer, and will actually be a partial lunar eclipse (that very few people will actually get to see); but that means that there will also be solar eclipse at the end of the month (that sadly I won’t be able to view as it won’t be visible from the US).

But going back to the Cancer New Moon—this movement through the cosmos has moved the moon into my 9th house, or the “Big Picture Zone”. So this zone is one that is focused on adventure, travel, and personal development. This is the time where you need to be honest with yourself in terms of any type of insecurity, or fears that you might be having. In addition it’s a time to review your goals, get in touch with family, and just take a little bit of time to nurture yourself.

Getting in touch with family isn’t that difficult, since I live at home and see my parents on a daily basis. I see my younger brother frequently, and keep in touch with my older brother via social media or texting. While it would be nice to see my niece—they’re on the west coast, and while I want to visit, the visits are more geared towards the national parks than LA.

I can say that I’m trying to keep up on the personal development aspect—I’ve got plenty of different books to read (though I will admit that I’ve been on a romance genera feast for awhile now); and I’ve bought several different little e-courses on different things to help with both personal and professional development. I just need to start 1) reading the books and 2) find the time to go through all the different courses that I’ve bought.

The books cover a variety of topics from spirituality to entrepreneurship to almost basic self-help for introverts. At the beginning of the year I’d posted within my 101+ goal list that I’d read fifty personal/professional development books over the course of 1001 days—well that list has now grown to 142 books (and probably will continue to grow)—though I’ve finished 12 of the books so far (and reviewed six of those); so I’m down to trying to finish 130 books in basically 809 days. As far as the personal development courses go—I’ve got a nice long list of ones that I’ve purchased or “saved” that I need to start working through—some are short only a single video, while others are a little more in-depth and will take more time to work through.

If I’m totally honest with myself—the one major area of insecurity or fear is trying to transition into an industry position. The fear or insecurity is coming from the unknown—will I like the new position/company? Will I be challenged in the position and allowed to grow? Or will it be a repeat of my first postdoc experience?

I’m moving slow on trying to transition into an industry position—mainly because I don’t want to make a mistake and windup broke, in debt, and having to move back in with my parents. The one leap after grad school for the post-doc position taught me well that at times its better to be unemployed for a while than take the first job offer you get. But I’m still working on my transition plan—I’m thinking of either slightly switching research sectors (move away from things that are heavily cell culture based), going for a more managerial position, or transitioning out of research entirely.

I am trying to get better at meditating every night—some nights I’m able to meditate for five or more minutes, other nights I can maybe get in two or three minutes before my eyes pop open and that’s the end of it. I know that meditating isn’t for everyone, but I’ve actually found that it has been helping me at time sleep better (though some nights when I have an awful night sleep I’d managed to meditate for a good amount of time before bed), and also to try to clear my thoughts so that my mind isn’t racing in circles when trying to work on my transition plan.

So my goals for the next two weeks are to:

  • Mediate nightly (even if it is only for two or three minutes).
  • Try to read at least one more personal/professional development book (two would be great).
  • Get through at least one more mini personal development course and at least another third of the way through the web development course.
No Comments AstrologyNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development