Tag: Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each of them?

90-Day Content Challenge:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can we say anxiety attack….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily/Nightly Meditation:

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

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

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

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

So how are you viewing your progress??

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have I been too concerned with appearances in general?

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

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

Have I been living my life through someone else?

Have I spent enough time beautifying my life?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your plans for the Libra full moon?

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

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

So what were my Leo full moon goals?

They included:

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

So how did I do with each of them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While remembering: Progress over Perfection

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

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Slow start to 2022 Full Moon Goals: reading, & planning

So, we’re going to be entering the second full moon of the year, probably tonight (or last night, or Thursday night depending on where you are in the world). That means, 2022 is officially off and running. That means we are six and a half weeks into 2022—and truthfully I’m not sure how I feel about that…

Before looking ahead to the next full moon, I need to look back at the goals that I set for the Cancer full moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals that I wrote out for the Cancer full moon included:

  1. Nightly oracle card drawings and meditation
  2. Draft a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/weekly goals)
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Work through at least another three-to-five videos (possibly one or two modules) of a personal/professional development course)

How did I do with each of them?

In terms of the nightly oracle card drawings—I’ve been fairly consistent, there have only been a day or two (at least in Feb) that I didn’t do it in the evenings. I’ve been considering January to be my ‘tester’ month for most goals.

I’m still working on trying to get back into a meditation routine—especially after ‘losing’ both meditation mat and yoga/fitness mat to animal accidents. I think the meditation mat might be salvageable, but the yoga/fitness mat was a total loss. Basically—I’m trying to find something comfortable to sit on, and hope that the animals won’t ‘wreck’ it like they did with the yoga/fitness mat.

The three-to-five year plan… This has been a ‘stumbling block’ for quite awhile. Then I finished reading ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson last week (or possibly the week before). Anyway, my biggest takeaway from the book was on goals/habits/plans—and that was have a plan to get started and goals to meet—but don’t try to set up this intricate multi-year plan, as things have a habit of changing, and we need to be able to go with the flow. With that being said, I’m in the process of writing out one-to-three ‘big’ goals for different areas of life, and figuring out what the one thing I can do today (and everyday) that will bring me closer to that goal.

So far this year, I have managed to read (and finish) three non-fiction books:

  1. Work Quilting by Vicki Walton
  2. Girl: Take Back Your Career by Solange Lopes
  3. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

I’m also bouncing between probably another three-to-five non-fiction books (aim is to have at least one more finished before the end of February).

Working through another module (or possibly two) of a personal/professional development course…Well, I did manage to watch two short courses on Skill Share:

  1. Productivity Basics: How to become more productive in 4 steps
  2. Personal and Lifestyle Branding; Build Your Story

Plus I’m trying to work through the following two courses:

  1. Write Your Way to Freedom (course on becoming a freelance copywriter)
  2. Work For Yourself (course from Udemy on self-employment/freelancing)

Though all of the work was done towards the end of January—I just can’t get into the mindset (so far) this month.

So, I would say that I’d managed to meet about 80% of the goals—figuring out the ‘alternative’ to a massive three-to-five year plan gave a small ‘check’ on that goal. My problem this year (so far) seems to be getting into the mindset to do the work. I’ve realized that since the one time management app isn’t currently working on the computer—I’m going to be having to log out of various social pages, and then probably ‘un-bookmark’ others. I also need to ‘create’ a mediation area that is easy to set up and take down (to try to minimize the number of possible pet accidents in the area).

Therefore, 2022 is off to a slow walk…Life isn’t suppose to be just about the end point, but the journey as well—and that is something I’m trying to enjoy as I still work on finding the ‘career’ endpoint.

How is your 2022 going so far?

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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?

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‘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.

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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?

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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.
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