Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Your month ahead (January 2014)

Happy new year! Wishing you all the best for 2014!

2013-12-31 12.00.11

Aries

The Emperor – fathering – protecting and defending, bringing security and comfort; emphasising structure – creating order out of chaos, being organised; exercising authority – taking a leadership role, representing the establishment; regulating – establishing law and order, setting standards of behaviour

Taurus

8 of Pentacles – showing diligence – making an effort, plugging away, producing steady results; increasing knowledge – taking a course, researching, increasing expertise; paying attention to detail – being painstaking, checking and re-checking, noticing the fine points

Gemini

Princess of Swords – using your mind – analysing the problem, using logic and reason; being truthful – acting honestly, exposing what is hidden; being just – acting ethically, righting a wrong; having fortitude – facing problems squarely, keeping a firm resolve

2013-12-31 12.00.31

Cancer

The Moon – feeling fear – lacking courage, being overcome by anxieties, feeling a nameless apprehension; believing illusions – deceiving yourself, experiencing distortions, chasing after a fantasy; stimulating the imagination – opening to fantasy, having vivid dreams or visions, plumbing the unconscious; feeling bewildered – losing direction and purpose, being easily distracted, feeling disoriented

Leo

The Tower – going through sudden change – experiencing upheaval, being in chaos; releasing – exploding, erupting in anger; falling down – suffering a blow to the ego, experiencing a crash; having a revelation – exposing what was hidden, seeing everything in a flash

Virgo

5 of Pentacles – experiencing hard times – running into material troubles, feeling insecure, struggling to make ends meet; suffering ill health – feeling run down and tired, getting medical attention, neglecting your body and its needs; being rejected – having the door slammed in your face, feeling excluded, lacking support

2013-12-31 12.00.44

Libra

The Hanged Man – letting go – accepting what is, ending the struggle, giving up control; reversing – turning the world around, seeing from a new angle, overturning old priorities; suspending action – giving up urgency, living in the moment, pausing to reflect; sacrificing – putting self-interest aside, putting others first, giving up for a higher cause

Scorpio

The Star – regaining hope – having faith in the future, thinking positively; being inspired – realising an inner strength, regaining motivation; being generous – wanting to give or share, offering with no reservations; feeling serene – experiencing peace of mind, being tranquil amid trouble

Sagittarius

Ace of Cups – using emotional force – getting in touch with your feelings, expressing deep feelings, empathising with others; developing intuition – going with your gut reaction, enhancing your psychic awareness, trusting your inner voice; experiencing intimacy – falling in love, getting close to someone, going to a deeper level; proceeding with love – expressing affection, giving to those in need, getting rid of negativity

2013-12-31 12.00.57

Capricorn

10 of Swords – bottoming out – having nowhere to go but up, knowing it’s darkest before dawn, being at the lowest point; feeling like a victim – bemoaning your fate, seeing life as hostile, suffering from an attack; being a martyr – putting your own interests last, being self-deprecating, feeling like a doormat

Aquarius

The Alchemist – taking action – doing what needs to be done, producing magical results; acting consciously – acknowledging your motivations, examining the known situation; concentrating – feeling centred, being totally committed; experiencing power – having vitality, feeling vigorous, being creative

Pisces

The Empress – mothering – giving birth, nourishing life, expressing tenderness; welcoming abundance – luxuriating in plenty, having more than enough, feeling rich; experiencing the senses – giving and receiving pleasure, focusing on the body, doing physical activity; responding to Nature – embracing the natural, feeling connected to the Earth, going outdoors

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Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

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Your week ahead (29 December – 4 January)

As 2013 draws to a close (about bloody time, if you ask me), here’s wishing you all the best for 2014!

2013-12-28 12.36.05

Aries

The Emperor – fathering – protecting and defending, bringing security and comfort; emphasising structure – creating order out of chaos, being organised; exercising authority – taking a leadership role, representing the establishment; regulating – establishing law and order, setting standards of behaviour

Taurus

10 of Wands – over-extending – trying to do too much, refusing to say ‘no’, having to work overtime; feeling burdened – assuming responsibility, being left holding the bag, never having time to relax; struggling – doing everything the hard way, pushing against the current, having to work for every gain

Gemini

8 of Cups – seeking deeper meaning – leaving the rat race, finding out the facts, concentrating on what is important; moving on – abandoning a hopeless situation, starting on a trip of unknown length, finishing up and walking away; growing weary – dragging through the day, lacking energy, getting weighed down by worries

2013-12-28 12.36.28

Cancer

Death – ending – closing one door to open another, putting the past behind you; going through transition – changing status, being in the middle; eliminating excess – concentrating on essentials, shedding old attitudes; experiencing inexorable forces – going through what cannot be avoided, riding your fate

Leo

The World – integrating – experiencing wholeness, combining, working in unison; accomplishing – realising your goals, seeing dreams come true, finding a beautiful solution; becoming involved – rendering a service, using a gift or talent, sharing what you have; feeling fulfilled – savouring the present, taking pleasure in life, enjoying peace of mind, counting your blessings

Virgo

2 of Swords – blocking emotions – denying true feelings, hiding distress, maintaining your cool; avoiding the truth – refusing to look at facts, choosing not to know, ignoring the warning signs; being at a stalemate – staying stuck, refusing to decide, being unwilling to rock the boat

2013-12-28 12.36.48

Libra

The Hierophant – getting an education – pursuing knowledge, seeking a deeper meaning; having a belief system – identifying a world view, knowing where to put your faith; conforming – fitting in, doing what’s expected; identifying with a group – devoting energy to a group, feeling loyal to others

Scorpio

8 of Swords – feeling restricted – feeling trapped by circumstances, experiencing few options, being fenced in by obstacles; feeling confused – being unsure which way to turn, not understanding what is happening, needing guidance and clarity; feeling powerless – doubting anything you do will help, looking for a white knight, avoiding responsibility

Sagittarius

The Fool – beginning – entering a new phase, expanding horizons, beginning an adventure, heading into the unknown; being spontaneous – letting go of expectations, acting on impulse, surprising someone; having faith – staying open, feeling protected and loved, recapturing innocence; embracing folly – taking the ‘foolish’ path, being true to yourself, trusting your heart’s desire

2013-12-28 12.37.09

Capricorn

The Devil – experiencing bondage – being obsessed, being addicted and enslaved, losing independence; focusing on the material – forgetting the spiritual, getting and spending, being caught up in appearances; staying in ignorance – being unaware, choosing to stay in the dark, fearing the unknown; feeling hopeless – believing the worst, lacking faith, thinking negatively

Aquarius

4 of Cups – being self-absorbed – concentrating on your own feelings, seeing only your point of view, ignoring gifts and blessings; feeling apathetic – losing interest, finding life stale and flat, lacking motivation; going within – meditating, dreaming, withdrawing from involvement

Pisces

King of Swords – being intellectual – ably carrying out research, using thought creatively; being analytical – applying reason and logic, understanding a problem quickly; being articulate – being a lucid writer and speaker, being a stimulating conversationalist; being just – being impartial and objective, being concerned with truth and fairness; being ethical – encouraging high standards, living by your highest principles

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The final few

I started the week with good intentions. Our yoga teacher seems to have ‘fired’ us so I asked Randy if he could do three sessions in the week instead of two – for the time being at least. In November I had to cancel a two or three yoga sessions as either I or my cousin couldn’t make the class. A couple of weeks ago, I texted the teacher to see if we were on for Tuesday at 9am and he replied saying he couldn’t make that time any more but could do Wednesday. I replied saying I couldn’t do Wednesday and haven’t heard from him since. Charming. If he was going to give our slot to someone else he could have at least told us. Anyway, perhaps it’s time for a change – I’d felt for a while that the classes were all the same after a while so perhaps this is for the best.

I had my usual session with Randy on Sunday morning. After my 5 minutes on the cross-trainer I did the following circuit three times:

  • TRX knee-ins x 15
  • Combined dead lift/shoulder press (3-kg weights) x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Single-leg extensions x 15 on each side

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and had a break.

The next circuit consisted of:

  • Treadmill jog x 300 m
  • Sit-ups x 15
  • Chest press x 12/15/15

I started the chest press with 15-lb weights but had to reduce that to 10-lb weights as they were too heavy for my wrists.

After that circuit I was done and Randy stretched me out.

I had my second session with Randy on Tuesday morning. After my 5 minutes on the cross-trainer we went outside for the first circuit. It consisted of:

  • TRX squats x 15
  • TRX fly press x 15
  • Sit-ups with a twist (with a 10-lb weight) x 15
  • Sideways running x 6 lengths

I did that three times and then we went back inside. I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and had a short break.

The next circuit was:

  • Push-ups combined with alternating knee-ins x 8
  • Single-leg press x 10 on each side
  • Lateral side raises (3-kg weights) x 15

And then I was done and Randy stretched me.

I was supposed to have my third session of the week on Thursday morning but felt a bit queasy during the night and hadn’t slept well at all. I ended up cancelling and not doing anything else in the week.

Low point of the week? I’m still quite unmotivated – no idea what’s going on with me. I’ve also been eating out a lot – usually combined with a few drinks. Not good.

High point of the week? I’m not sure there was one!

Weight loss? None! I manage to get down to 73 kg for a day or two and then it goes back up to 74 kg (and sometimes higher) – scary.

Booty

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Silent Sunday

2013-12-18 13.32.31

Silent Sunday

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Your week ahead (22-28 December)

Have a great week!

2013-12-21 12.00.23

Aries

5 of Pentacles – experiencing hard times – running into material troubles, feeling insecure, struggling to make ends meet; suffering ill health – feeling run down and tired, getting medical attention, neglecting your body and its needs; being rejected – having the door slammed in your face, feeling excluded, lacking support

Taurus

7 of Cups – indulging in wishful thinking – creating fantasies, building castles in the air, lacking focus and commitment; having many options – looking at a wide open field, getting to pick and choose, being offered many alternatives; falling into dissipation – letting everything go, being lazy, procrastinating, eating/drinking/partying to excess

Gemini

The Moon – feeling fear – lacking courage, being overcome by anxieties, feeling a nameless apprehension; believing illusions – deceiving yourself, experiencing distortions, chasing after a fantasy; stimulating the imagination – opening to fantasy, having vivid dreams or visions, plumbing the unconscious; feeling bewildered – losing direction and purpose, being easily distracted, feeling disoriented

2013-12-21 12.00.46

Cancer

Prince of Swords – finding a balance between being direct/blunt – being frank and outspoken/tactless and rude; being authoritative/overbearing – commanding with attention/forcing a position on others; being incisive/cutting – being sharp and alert/having a barbed wit; being knowledgeable/opinionated – having well-reasoned opinions/being arrogant; being logical/unfeeling – reasoning clearly/undervaluing intuition

Leo

The Wheel – feeling a sense of destiny – using what chance offers, finding opportunity in accident, altering the present course; being at a turning point – reversing, having a change in fortune, being surprised at a turn of events; feeling movement – being swept up in new developments, getting involved, experiencing change; having a personal vision – seeing how everything connects, becoming more aware, expanding your outlook

Virgo

4 of Pentacles – wanting to possess – acquiring material goods, keeping what you have, hanging on to someone; maintaining control – wanting to be in charge, insisting on your own way, setting limits and rules; blocking change – wanting everything to stay the same, stagnating, holding on to the present

2013-12-21 12.01.09

Libra

The Emperor – fathering – protecting and defending, bringing security and comfort; emphasising structure – creating order out of chaos, being organised; exercising authority – taking a leadership role, representing the establishment; regulating – establishing law and order, setting standards of behaviour

Scorpio

The Alchemist – taking action – doing what needs to be done, producing magical results; acting consciously – acknowledging your motivations, examining the known situation; concentrating – feeling centred, being totally committed; experiencing power – having vitality, feeling vigorous, being creative

Sagittarius

The Hierophant – getting an education – pursuing knowledge, seeking a deeper meaning; having a belief system – identifying a world view, knowing where to put your faith; conforming – fitting in, doing what’s expected; identifying with a group – devoting energy to a group, feeling loyal to others

2013-12-21 12.01.31

Capricorn

King of Cups – being wise – giving good advice, understanding many levels of experience; being calm – keeping your head in a crisis, never seeming nervous or tense; being diplomatic – balancing the needs of many people, being able to diffuse a tense situation; being caring – feeling compassion for the less fortunate, doing volunteer and charity work; being tolerant – allowing others their freedom, being patient in trying circumstances

Aquarius

The Chariot – achieving victory – reaching your goal, winning, beating the competition; using your will – rising above temptation, focusing your intent, concentrating your energies; asserting yourself – knowing who you are, feeling self-confident, having faith in yourself; achieving hard control – getting your way, maintaining discipline, curbing impulses

Pisces

5 of Wands – disagreeing – quibbling over details, quarreling, arguing and bickering; experiencing competition – rising to the challenge, trying to outdo yourself, looking for a fight; experiencing hassles – getting annoyed by demands, needing to take care of details, being bothered by trivialities

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The final few

Randy couldn’t make my Sunday morning session and asked if we could train on Monday instead. I was relieved – partly because I was so tired from the weekend and partly because it would give me a chance to do my own cardio on Sunday morning.

I was up early on Sunday and after three cups of tea and a banana I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer. I went to the gym and told myself I’d do 30 minutes on the treadmill, alternating running and walking. I got to 3.45 km in 30 minutes which was much better than my last attempt a couple of weeks ago – but to be fair I walked that entire time. I did some lower body exercises and then decided to sit outside for a bit while I finished my water.

I had my Monday session with Randy after my Arabic class. I did my 5 minutes on the cross-trainer and then did the following circuit:

  • Single leg press x 15 on each side
  • Ladder (stepping in/out one way, jumping in/out on the way back) x 6 lengths
  • Push-ups x 12

Funnily enough, when I was at the gym on Sunday I thought that it had been a while since I’d done push-ups – and there they were, back on the menu! I did that circuit three times and then did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

The second circuit consisted of:

  • Alternating knee-ins x 15 on each side
  • Crunches combined with alternating leg lifts x 15 on each side
  • Side plank x 30 seconds on each side
  • V-sit x 30 seconds

I did that circuit three times and then Randy stretched me. I knew my abs would ache for days after that.

I had my second session with Randy on Thursday morning. The weather was fantastic so we did the entire session outdoors (apart from my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer). The first circuit consisted of:

  • Suicide run
  • Burpees x 10
  • Plank x 45 seconds

I did that three times and then did the following abs circuit:

  • Sit-ups x 15
  • Combined abdominal leg raises/scissors x 15
  • Toe touches x 15

I did that circuit twice and had a short break before starting the final circuit:

  • Ladder (cross country skier at 2:35) x 4 lengths
  • Opposite arm and leg lift x 10 on each side
  • Walking lunges x 6 on each side

Randy was really impressed with how easily I did that ladder exercise! I did that circuit three times and then Randy stretched me. It was nice to have the whole session outdoors but it was a tough one.

Low point of the week? Not getting to the gym at the weekend – it was so hectic and I was just too tired.

High point of the week? I suppose getting to the gym on my own on Sunday was a good thing!

Weight loss? None! It’s still going up.

Give up

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Silent Sunday

2013-12-13 19.40.17

Silent Sunday

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Your week ahead (15-21 December)

Have a great week!

2013-12-14 16.42.40

Aries

Judgement – making a judgement – having a day of reckoning, taking a stand, getting off the fence; feeling reborn – awakening to possibilities, making a fresh start, discovering joy; hearing a call – feeling drawn to a new direction, answering a need, recognising your true vocation; finding absolution – feeling cleansed and refreshed, atoning for past mistakes, feeling sins washed away

Taurus

Princess of Wands – being creative – taking a novel approach, finding a new area of self-expression; being enthusiastic – getting excited, being passionate; being confident – stretching your envelope, moving beyond doubts; being courageous – taking assertive action, overcoming a fear

Gemini

Ace of Wands – using creative force – inventing a better way, expressing yourself, allowing a talent to unfold; showing enthusiasm – feeling fired up and eager, creating an aura of excitement, giving 110%; having confidence – believing in yourself, having high self-esteem, knowing things will work out; proceeding with courage – being true to your beliefs, daring to take a stand, facing your fears

2013-12-14 16.43.00

Cancer

10 of Wands – over-extending – trying to do too much, refusing to say ‘no’, having to work overtime; feeling burdened – assuming responsibility, being left holding the bag, never having time to relax; struggling – doing everything the hard way, pushing against the current, having to work for every gain

Leo

King of Swords – being intellectual – ably carrying out research, using thought creatively; being analytical – applying reason and logic, understanding a problem quickly; being articulate – being a lucid writer and speaker, being a stimulating conversationalist; being just – being impartial and objective, being concerned with truth and fairness; being ethical – encouraging high standards, living by your highest principles

Virgo

2 of Swords – blocking emotions – denying true feelings, hiding distress, maintaining your cool; avoiding the truth – refusing to look at facts, choosing not to know, ignoring the warning signs; being at a stalemate – staying stuck, refusing to decide, being unwilling to rock the boat

2013-12-14 16.43.24

Libra

9 of Swords – worrying – doubting all will go well, going over and over an issue, getting worked up; feeling guilty – wanting to turn back the clock, being hard on yourself, getting overwhelmed by remorse; suffering anguish – feeling you’ve reached your limits, having sleepless nights, wanting to cry

Scorpio

10 of Swords – bottoming out – having nowhere to go but up, knowing it’s darkest before dawn, being at the lowest point; feeling like a victim – bemoaning your fate, seeing life as hostile, suffering from an attack; being a martyr – putting your own interests last, being self-deprecating, feeling like a doormat

Sagittarius

3 of Pentacles – working as a team – finding all the needed elements, functioning as a team, cooperating; planning – organising resources, reviewing beforehand, being prepared; being competent – getting the job done, meeting your goals, being up to the job

2013-12-14 16.43.48

Capricorn

The Hanged Man – letting go – accepting what is, ending the struggle, giving up control; reversing – turning the world around, seeing from a new angle, overturning old priorities; suspending action – giving up urgency, living in the moment, pausing to reflect; sacrificing – putting self-interest aside, putting others first, giving up for a higher cause

Aquarius

9 of Cups – having your wish fulfilled – obtaining your goal, having your dream come true; feeling satisfied – feeling pleased as punch, indulging in a little smugness; enjoying sensual pleasure – relaxing, making love, appreciating the arts

Pisces

The Hierophant – getting an education – pursuing knowledge, seeking a deeper meaning; having a belief system – identifying a world view, knowing where to put your faith; conforming – fitting in, doing what’s expected; identifying with a group – devoting energy to a group, feeling loyal to others

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The final few

After the most alcohol-fuelled weekend ever, I had a session with Randy on Sunday morning. It was a long weekend here in Dubai and I was out Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Luckily Randy said he could do 11:15 on Sunday morning instead of our usual 10am slot.

I got to the gym and found one of the treadmills still running (there was nobody there) and all the air-conditioners on. What a complete waste of energy! And it was freezing! I stopped the treadmill and started with 5 minutes on the cross-trainer as usual. We then went outside by the pool. Randy set up the suicide run and I did the following circuit:

  • Suicide run
  • Combined dead lift/upright row (3-kg weight) x 15
  • Jumping jacks x 30 seconds
  • Wall squat x 30 seconds

I wasn’t sure whether it was the jumping jacks or the suicide run but my left knee started to ache a bit. I suspect it could have been when I was turning during the suicide run. Let’s hope it’s just temporary. We went back into the gym for another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then went back outside for the rest of my session. The second circuit consisted of:

  • T plank x 10 on each side
  • Sit-ups x 20
  • Ladder (stepping in/out) x 6 lengths
  • Shoulder press (3-kg weights) x 10 (first set only)

After the first set I sat down. I don’t know whether I was totally exhausted or dehydrated (or both), but I thought I might throw up or pass out (or both). Randy looked at me and asked if I was OK. ‘No, I don’t think so,’ I replied. I rested for a bit and then did the second set, but Randy told me not to do the shoulder press at the end of the circuit. At the end of the second set he told me to lie down with my legs up against the wall for a few minutes. And then I did the third set, again without the shoulder press at the end.
Randy stretched me at the end of it and I went home.

Again, I did nothing until my next session with Randy on Thursday. By then, the pain in my knee had subsided as well. I did the usual warm-up on the cross-trainer and then did this circuit:

  • Chest fly press (3-kg weights) x 10
  • Chest press (3-kg weights) x 10
  • Combined dead lift/shoulder lateral raise (3-kg weights) x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Run on the treadmill x 300 m

I did that three times. The runs killed me as I hadn’t done any running in ages.

The second circuit focused on my core:

  • Plank x 50 seconds
  • Sit-ups x 50 seconds
  • Toe reaches x 50 seconds
  • V-sit x 50 seconds

I did that circuit three times and then Randy stretched me. My abs ached for two days after that. I had planned to do some cardio on Saturday but was so unexpectedly hungover and I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Low point of the week? Still feeling unmotivated and unable to find my mojo.

High point of the week? Running on the treadmill after ages – even if it was for just a short time.

Weight loss? None!

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