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Successful Sunday, Aprill 28th 2024

3 Pokemon cards.  Trumbeak, a soaring woodpecker.  Grumpig, a maniacal purple dancing pig.  Lampent, and anthropomorphic lamp post.

Hello, Subscribers. One of my former leaders told us it's not worth doing if it isn’t fun. This forms the core philosophy of my weekly writings and will help you prepare for the week through the power of play to set yourself up for success. I glean insights from my inner child about behaviors and patterns and can help you do the same. Let’s get set up for success. You can support my work by joining my Patreon.

It’s time for an accountability check-in. Last week, I managed one decompression session. My SMART Goal was slightly miscalculated in terms of the date range. I measured five days. Creating a fun game for work tasks was a sixty-percent success rate, and my personal tasks were eighty-percent successful. My favorite games were the green light game, complete with singing John Legend and ‘The Keyboard is Lava’ to ensure I got in and out of a forgotten task. I walked more and noticed a red-bellied woodpecker in my neighborhood. How cool is that? Being more intentional about play also had a significant positive impact on my mood this week, and I'm sure it can do the same for you.

My birthday was Friday, and aside from the excellent reflection questions that Future Cain gave me, I also have a favorite reflection tool called Stop/Start/Continue. Let’s test it out to prepare for the upcoming week. I am returning to my beloved Pokémon cards courtesy of The Pokémon Company. I will work out my intuition muscle and only use the card imagery in my musings.

We begin with a goal or target. I am amending my goal slightly to create art at least three times a week. My accountability will be to post a picture of whatever I draw.

Although it’s called Stop/Start/Continue, it’s best to Continue/Stop/Start. What worked for me last week, and how can I build on that this week? Trumbeak, illustrated by Kouki Saitou, reminds me of a woodpecker. It is a blue-grey bird with a long orange beak with a black tip and a white neck, chest, and under feathers. It’s flying amidst trees against a blue sky that has fluffy clouds. The card notes, "By bending its beak, it can produce a variety of calls,” reminding me to keep a testing mindset or use various materials to make art. I also want to keep a big-picture perspective since Trumbeak has a higher vantage point. According to Eli Rigatuso, his people create art when happy, and being out in nature brings me joy. Many of my paintings are inspired by what I see outside. I must continue to have a playful mindset and enjoy the process of making art, art for art’s sake. What do you want to continue from the week prior?

Next, we consider what is not working and what we want to stop doing. Sayo Tsuruta's illustration of Grumpig shows a purple pig with grey limbs, two black pearls on its head, and one on its belly button. The pig is dancing on the water against green shrubs and a blue sky with either a visible moon or lens flares. The creature has a menacing smile and can control others with its psychic abilities. I want to stop trying to control everything, and instead of creating “perfect” pieces, I want to enjoy creating what brings me joy. I like that Grumpig can’t be confused and should stop doubting my abilities. When I am concerned with something not looking pretty, I am taken out of the creative zone. The sky in the background is very expansive, so I am reminded not to limit myself because of worrying about what people think. Finally, I need to stop overriding my intuition. I have noticed that I am aware of the moments when I have a choice and continue to ignore my gut feelings, which results in disappointment. What is not working for you, and how will you stop?

When you stop and release what no longer serves you, it opens up space for new experiences and creativity. What should we start doing next week? Lampent, a fire-type creature, is our inspiration. It looks like the lamp from the top of a lamppost came to life and floated away. The top seems like the hat farmers on rice paddies wear, and the metal lattice serves as arms. It appears to be bounding through a forest and has flames for its eyes and nose. This Pokémon is a bit creepy since it notes, “the spirits it absorbs fuel is baleful fire,” but the fluidity of its movement is captivating. The card also has an orange background with holographic flames around the text, bringing creativity and sensuality to mind. Just as Lampent is exploring the forest, I will explore some guided projects in my set. Grumpig was wild and carefree, while I could benefit from the discipline of boundaries. What will you do differently to help you achieve your goals? Embrace the freedom and excitement of exploration.

As my friend Ekua Cant says, keep a testing mindset. After you reflect on what you want to continue, stop, and start at the end of the week, reflect on how your implemented changes worked for you. Namaste

If you wish to incorporate play into your day to spark creative ideas and get unstuck, please join me for my upcoming Clarity Playshop on April 29th. Sales will end soon, so get your ticket today.