#ThursdayPhotoThoughts #Haiku ‘Infinite Rituals’ #January2021 @Pixabay

An apple a day

A simple, delicious treat

The taste of childhood.

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There was an apple tree in my garden when I lived in Harrow, over forty years ago, so apples were a staple part of my diet. My mother made apple crumble, apple pie, baked apples with cream or custard, and countless other types of cooked apple recipes. We also ate plenty of raw apples. I have no idea how my mother managed to keep them, but we ate apples from our tree all year round!

I still enjoy eating apples and usually eat an apple a day. In fact, apples are the most constant thing in my life. I ate them as a child and still do so, even though I now live in Spain, where oranges are the queen of all fruits. I also have oranges every day, usually as juice, but apples have always been there and I can’t imagine not eating apples for the rest of my life. It’s not about the taste, smell, texture, vitamins or fibre. Every time I eat an apple, my past present and future merge into a timeless and boundless ritual. So simple and so real.

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Image by ejausburg on Pixabay

I’ve noticed I get an email from Pixabay on Thursdays with an image. Pixabay is a wonderful site where many generous amateur and professional photographers offer their photos at no cost (there are also photos you have to pay for).

Thursday is a good day for thinking. In fact, it’s the exact middle of the week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday have flown by, probably full of work, obligations and general business, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday are days we anticipate with joy, because they hold the promise of some free time for relaxation, friendship, family and hobbies. Thursday is an ideal day to stop and reflect on the past three days and prepare for the three days to come, or write about anything the image suggests. I’m not planning on stream-of-consciousness, because although it’s an unplanned post based on a random picture, I’ll edit my thoughts and words.

I don’t need a reason to write, in fact I have to force myself to stop writing at regular intervals, just to move my limbs, and interact with the rest of the world! But I do need a reason to stop and reflect for a few minutes, so the middle of the week and a random Pixabay photo are the ideal combination.

Feel free to join in! Grab the hashtag, photo and share your post in the comments. I’d love to read your thoughts.

What do apples mean to you? Which childhood food do you still love and eat regularly?

Harvest Moon in Cobalt Sky #Haiku

Slowly, Silently,

Moon glides across cobalt sky,

Bursting with my dreams.

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You all know how I love the moon because it energises and inspires me. In fact, my most popular all-time post is The Moon in Jane Eyre, and I have many poems inspired by this extraordinary planet. Check out yesterday’s blogpost if you missed it all about Full Moon Rituals and goal setting.

This is my view right now from my study. I’m literally blown away, writing poems, jotting ideas, preparing affirmations and setting goals for the month ahead. (I’ll be posting tomorrow morning)

How does the full moon make you feel?

Please add any moon related posts in the comments, I’d love to check them out!

Full Moon Rituals and #Tanka #WednesdayThoughts #WWWBlogs

The moon shone last night

Like a beacon in the sky,

I watched, mesmerised,

As she glided serenely,

Granting my dreams and  wishes.

I took these photos last night, from the window of my study, as I was editing one of my almost finished novels. It’s not full yet, the Harvest Moon will be tomorrow, 1st of October, but it was so mesmerising that I started on my monthly full moon ritual, which I’d like to share with you today.

Firstly, I’d like to say that although I haven’t copied it from anyone, I can’t say I’ve invented a ritual to the full moon, which is something that has been happening, in one way or another, probably since the first human looked up and saw this beautiful planet (I know some experts say it isn’t a planet, but others do, and I’m not going to get into a semantic or scientific argument here, I’ll just go ahead and call it a planet, because I want to endow it with all the majesty it deserves).

I usually feel energised and optimistic around a full moon, especially as I’m able to watch it shrink and grow every night, as I live in the south of Spain, where the sky is often clear. So, I seize this welcome enthusiasm to boost my creativity and I also reflect on the past month and plan my goals for the month ahead.

I’m going to share my own 3-step ritual, which I’ve developed over some years. It works for me, and maybe it will work for you, as it is, or with some adaptations to your lifestyle and preferences.

I use the words goals and wishes interchangeably, depending on my mood, but I think we’re all aware that a wish is a goal without a plan and a wish really needs to have a plan to happen.

I open a notebook I keep for this sole purpose and follow this simple but empowering process.

Step one: Major Goals / Wishes

I think carefully about what I want to accomplish in the coming months and write down three goals or wishes with three main words only (articles, prepositions etc. don’t count).

It’s really important to be specific and clear. This step usually takes the longest because often we’re not really sure of what it is we want exactly, and that may be why we never achieve it!

Here are three examples:

  • Balance Mind and Body
  • Finsh my Ongoing novels
  • Improve my relationship with my sister

This first step is the most general, but it’s important think carefully about what you want to achieve and be specific.

Step Two

Take each goal and set three sub goals. That means three things you must do to achieve the major goal.

So for example for goal number 1: Balance Mind and Body, your three sub-goals might be:

  • Take a 30 minute walk
  • Eat a healthy diet, and
  • Challenge your mind to grow

Step Three

The next step is to take each sub goal and write three more sub goals for each one.

So the whole thing would look like this:

1.     Balance Mind and Body

1.1 Take a 30 minute walk 1.2 Eat a healthy Diet 1.3 Challenge your Mind to Grow
1.1.1 Buy suitable shoes and clothes

1.1.2 Set a time for walking

1.1.2 Prepare a playlist or audiobook

1.2.1 Find out about sensible diets

1.2.2 Buy specific book/s

1.2.3 Plan a weekly diet

 

1.3.1 Listen to a Ted Talk and comment

1.3.2 Read a self-help book

1.3.3 Learn a new language/hobby

2.     Finish my ongoing novel

2.1 Set a time to write 2.2 Activate my creativity 2.3 Read a variety of genres
2.1.1 Collect notes and outlines

2.1.2 Reread everything I’ve written

2.1.3 Plan my next steps

2.2.1 Start writing morning pages

2.2.2 Interview my characters about novel

2.2.3 Journal with questions before sleeping

2.3.1 Read similar books to my own

2.3.2 Read latest bestseller

2.3.3 Read a completely different genre

3.     Improve my relationship with my sister

3.1.Make Contact regularly 3.2 Set up a monthly meeting 

 

3.3 Understand my negative emotions

 

3.1.1 Send weekly text-message

3.1.2 Phone every 8-10 days

3.1.3. Remember significant dates

3.2.1 Invite her to a family lunch

3.2.2 Ask her to go shopping with you

3.2.3 Visit a common relative together

 

3.3.1 Investigate about sibling relationships

3.3.2 Write an imaginary dialogue with sister

3.3.3 Learn about meditation and relaxation

All in all you have 39 general and specific goals, which will help you achieve your dreams/wishes/goals.

I don’t usually prepare a chart like this one, I did that for your benefit, so it would look clearer, but I’m actually thinking of using it myself!

What I do is write each goal and sub goal on a new page and include notes as I revise, which I do regularly, including new ideas and acievements.

At least once a month when there is a new full moon, I revise my goals, reset or modify and do the same process all over again.

It does take time, I usually take a couple of evenings at least. You’ll find that most of the time is devoted to thinking and writing goals with clarity, there is a great power to writing it all down and holding yourself accountable for what you do to fulfill your dreams, because it’s not enough to just look at the moon and wish, you really have to do something about achieving it, too!

Finally, I’ve learnt never to be hard on myself, sometimes things don’t work out as planned, life happens, there are hold-ups and changes of plan, that’s why I revise and go ahead. Life is a journey, not a destination.