Dream Chasing (aka Goal Setting)

With January almost over and the working calendar about to step up a notch for many of us, it can be easy to let the new year’s resolutions that were made just a few short weeks ago with the best of intentions slip off our radar. My thoughts today are swirling around how we can set ourselves up for the best possible chance of success when it comes to achieving our dreams, and this is where goal setting comes in.

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The following are a few notes to myself to refer back to when it comes to chasing dreams, when I am feeling swamped by the everyday. Perhaps they may be of help to you too:

  1. Write down all goals..large, small, funny or serious, it doesn’t matter. Keep the list somewhere you can revisit it often, whether that be on your phone, in a diary or pinned to a noticeboard/fridge.
  2. Ponder hard about what is currently preventing you from achieving your goals and approach from this direction. This can be really helpful for those larger goals that seem so far off and unattainable, yet by breaking down the barriers into smaller hurdles, we can maximise our chances of success through digestible challenges.
  3. Reward yourself each time you make progress, whether that be hitting a certain target, acquiring a new set of skills or getting through another semester of study. Choose what feels right for you and enjoy some time away from the goal path once in a while. Coming back refreshed can help with moving forward with a fresh outlook and new inspiration. The goals/dreams will still be there tomorrow.
  4. Surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you. Limit time with people who do not stretch you in ways of new thinking, developing ideas or who are content with their unchanging routine/aspirations. Seek out people who may have skills similar to what you are striving for and focus your energies here.
  5. Don’t be afraid to help others along the way. What you put out comes back and if your energy is being shared from the heart, it will be returned to you in unexpected and abundant ways.
  6. Be thankful. Embrace gratitude and take a moment to honor all that is good in your life. Write these thoughts down and add to the list as it grows over time. Revisit often.
  7. Self care. If you are not looking after yourself then how will you work on your goals which are like fuel stops on the road to success? Take time out of each day, whether 10 mins, an hour or longer to focus on you and only You. Do something that brings you pleasure, relaxation or joy (or all three!). Eat well, stay hydrated, get enough sleep and connect with nature. Move your body in ways that feel right and fit in with your day.
  8. Record achievements to keep track of progress. Revisit and add to the list as it grows. Congratulate yourself on working hard and achieving the smaller goals that comprise the larger ones.

Do you have any strategies for achieving your goals? I would love to hear in the comments section.

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Have a great day out there dream-chasers!

Luna xo

 

Midsumma 2019: Dogz and Drag

One thing I love about summer in Melbourne is Midsumma festival. Midsumma is the queer festival on the calendar for Melbournians. It runs over 23 days and offers over 165 unique and diverse events that support the LGBTQI+ community. Two highlights of the Midsumma festival are Carnival day, a fantastic day out for the whole family in the Alexandra Gardens, set along the south bank of the Yarra river and the city’s annual Pride March. Carnival day would be my favourite, as it is such a great atmosphere with all ages catered for, including under 18’s. Many people choose to bring a picnic and meet friends under the shady trees, enjoying the wide range of performances on the stages throughout the day. I really love seeing all the dogs come out with their owners and I take great joy in watching the dog show, which includes such categories as Best Bitch, Sexiest Stud, Best Dressed and Best in Show. Below are a selection of this years contestants..with a little bit of drag sprinkled in because who doesn’t love a bit of glam..?

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I was also so happy to see such a spectacularly dressed roving supporter from RMIT University. It made me feel so proud to be studying somewhere that celebrates diversity in all of its glorious colour and excitement!

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Best Dressed: Rocket Dog

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If you happen to be reading this and get a chance to see CAZELEON, I strongly suggest you do – I found their performance to be completely soulful and moving!

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More information on Midsumma can be found here.

Looking forward to the Pride March in a couple of weeks!

Luna xo

Potential Benefits of Bullet Journaling

Hello and happy new year!

As the new year is laid out full of hope and possibility, my mind shifts towards how I would like to shape the coming months. I really love the phrase: “Our thoughts create our reality, so choose your thoughts wisely.” It really seems to be the case that when we focus our attention on aspects of our lives, we create thought patterns or ‘grooves’ that allow us to revisit these thoughts again and again. By planning and mapping the coming months, I find it frees up my mind to allow fresh, new thoughts and ideas in. There seems to be something about mapping out time on paper that soothes my sometimes over-fretful mind. This has to be a good thing!

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The journal is fully customisable, providing unlimited possibilities

I have always used a planner of some sort, be it a wall calendar, a week-by-week diary and more recently, the calendar on my phone. Not long ago I came across a new method of documenting the ‘to-do’ lists which drew me in. The bullet journal is basically a book full of dotted pages that are otherwise completely blank. I now, hard to believe, right? It is completely up to the user to customise how they would like the journal to work for them. Just searching up #bulletjournal or #bujo (for short) on instagram or youtube yields a tonne of results! There is no end to the creativity that some people pour into their bullet journals. Whilst drooling over the glorious artworks on people’s ‘weekly spreads’ (weekly planner pages), I was concerned that this new method would require more time than I had to give it. However! I found myself continuing to be drawn in to this alternative way of planning.

From my fresh-eyed perspective of a newbie ‘bujo’ user, what appeals to me is the approach of mindfully sitting down at regular intervals, be it daily, weekly or monthly (or any other interval of choice) and consciously planning out my time, jotting down goals, which leads to thinking about goals, which leads to thoughts about how to achieve these goals. By carrying over tasks from one period to the next I am consciously revisiting them and forming an intentional focus to my days. I really am a great believer in the power of thought and writing down thoughts seems to consolidate the swirling mess that sometimes occupies my mind. This is particularly appealing as my previous way of planning was to use my planner as a ‘brain dump’ with the greatest focus on the ‘what dates would work when’ approach. The other aspect that appeals to me with the bullet journal is that it can be a creative outlet. Not because I am a talented artist that loves to hone my skill. Rather, I love the follow on effects of allowing creativity to flow – the sense of calm that washes over me, the release of background brain ‘noise’ and the time away from the screen. More of that for me, please! I am also interested if this new method of planning/journaling/creativity will enhance my sleeping rhythms. Stay tuned!

If you bullet journal please feel free to share your experiences and any tips you have, I would love to hear what works or doesn’t work for you…

Luna x

Self care in times of stress

It feels so good to rise to the surface and breathe once again after an all-consuming month of assignments and exams which mark the end of my first year of uni as a non-school leaver. Whilst I absolutely LOVE studying, I have found the pressure involved with end of semester requirements quite overwhelming at times. Being a more ‘vintage’ individual, there are increased demands to navigate through – home/study balance, raising teenagers and work issues to start. This is a gentle reminder to take time out in times of heightened pressure to just.. Be. Breathe a little. Give thanks for all that is good in life. Just an hour a day has been my aim, yet sometimes even this has been unachievable. In which case, even ten minutes will work wonders.

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Take that extra long shower. Download a new playlist to zone out to. Enjoy the superior chai in the ‘Cafe of good vibes’. Walk alone in nature without earphones. Message your loved one with silly banter. Pull out 3.5 weeds from the garden and be proud with this effort. Grounding is brilliant. Even just sitting on the grass with a cup of tea for 10 minutes can recharge oneself for the next intensive session of fact absorbing/essay creation.

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Take time to just be and tune out. Fuel your body with healthy foods that will bring the rewards of increased energy and focus for learning. It will soon all be over, and there IS life after exams. Actually, that is exactly what life IS. Exams are just a stepping stone to move from this chapter to the next and are not in fact ‘life’. Remember who is important and take time out of the study schedule to maintain contact. Connections are what count. Connections are what keep us going most of all in times of high stress.

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Be well,

Luna xx

Queer Lady Culture (online links)

Starting this blog I knew that it would be a place to share places I have been visiting online. Finding one’s tribe when they have taken the courageous steps of finding themselves is crucial for any kind of sanity.

There are loads of sites out there, with seemingly endless amounts of content, which can be quite overwhelming at times. Finding people and places that consolidate the knowledge you have about yourself can be so empowering, and a little fun too (if not a little daunting at times).

I can feel I’m about to delve deeper and peel back the layers, dissecting the concepts of space and place, which is not what I intended to do! So without anymore rambles, the following are indeed places I am enjoying on the net at the moment.. from the perspective of a lady loving lady in her fourth decade with a young heart…

Enjoy,

Luna xo

(I hope to add to this list as time goes by, so be sure to pop by again sometime).

Youtube:

Rose and Rosie: Two outrageously funny Brits share relationship antics and advice to a huge following. It can be a bit squeamish with the detail at times but there are always laugh out loud moments as they take digs at each other – something which never gets old.

Lillian and Alexis: A German-Candian long distance relationship. The couple started their channel to keep them going through their times apart and to share aspects of their lives. If you are in a long distance relationship and pine for your loved one, this one’s for you (Relatable? Much..*sigh*). **Good news,**The couple are now both together in Berlin, where they are continuing their vlogging adventures.. (‘Perfeckt’ for those learning German on the side!)

Instagram:

Once Upon a Journey: Two girls shed the notion of 9-5 for global adventures. Stunning photography and exotic locations..this is the place to go for whimsical daydreams of summer warmth and loving..

nancy_dsantos: Lesbian page that advocates equal rights and visibility for the LGBT community. Clips from films, music and memes to bring you a smile, or encourage you to think a little deeper on current issues people are experiencing. This page always has quality content and is one of my faves.

imsteph: Travelling LGBTQ+ photographer Steph shares images of weddings and ceremonies. Blissful escapism and good vibes as you see couples express their love on their most precious of days. Beautiful photography in remarkable locations, capturing the essence of couple’s connections..

alysf: Alys Fowler, the British horticulturalist who came out in her 2017 book “Hidden Nature”. Here you’ll find nature posts with sprinklings of queer. Do read the book, it won’t disappoint. The interwoven story of her self discovery set against the backdrop of the Birmingham canals from an inflatable rubber dinghy is earthy and pure. Thank you for sharing your heart Alys. I loved your earlier books and truly learned the art of repurposing and growing from them.

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Birth of a Feminist

Travelling back from an event last night, my friend behind the wheel, the conversation veered to more personal matters. Feeling the need to share I started telling her about an assignment I had been working on for an introductory sociology class I am taking.

Through this task I have unraveled and peeled back the layers of my life through a theoretical lens, finding where certain twists and turns fit. It has caused me to go deep. Really deep. As in….”where would I be now had I not led such a sheltered childhood? Were the influences from my family and community so strong that they shaped a good chunk of my life? And most noteworthy..the slow realization that my movements through certain times in my life were made from choices, yet the external factors those choices were made in were not of my choosing.” Those external factors were largely embedded in the dominant masculine discourse that is our society.

I likened my thoughts to a pinball machine, designed to allow passage for only certain sized or shaped balls, through to achievement/success. Depending on the size of one’s ball (themselves) they may be granted or denied passage through no other reason than their ethnicity, gender, social class, sexuality, age or disability. Intersectionality. The word at the moment. I admitted I was disheartened to fully understand the impact this had on vulnerable people (I had previously ‘known’ but had not really fully appreciated the deeper meaning and implications it held for people situated within multiple sources of oppression). This coming from a lady loving lady who had fallen down a few rungs on the social class ladder through claiming her identity. How could this be? Yet there are others facing much greater oppression than I. It all seems so unjust.

She very calmly turned to me and said; “It’s ok. You’re having a consciousness-raising.”

Why yes! Yes I am. And it feels empowering, nauseating and motivating all at the same time.

So from this baby feminist on this sunny Sunday: ‘Happy first Birthday to Me.’

Many happy returns (in the form of free passage for all?).

Luna xo

An introduction to intersectionality can be found here

(sweet peas: sweet peace)