What will we do in the Retreat?
The Serious Play Retreat & Creative City Retreat are designed to be an oasis away from the ordinary demands of daily life, where we can get ourselves into a state of openminded playfulness, the "flow" state where creativity can happen, and then have some fun and see what possibilities arise. You can bring your own problem to solve, your own creative work that you would like to spend some time on, or an aspect of life that feels stuck. This can be from your personal life, work life, or a project yet to be realized or even begun, and you don't publicly have to state it or share it if you don't want to. You can also simply show up out of curiosity and the desire to learn more about what triggers your own creativity. After each "getting into flow" exercise, you will have time to either work on your own project or follow a directed activity or improvise. Thereafter there will be time for reflection and note taking on your own observations. We go through this cycle several times during the workshop with different materials, empowering participants to make their own discoveries of what works for them, and carry them further after the workshop is over. As needed there will be exercises to deal with negative inner voices or blocks. There will be the opportunity to have individual attention throughout the process, and some free time for yourself.
During the workshop you will have the opportunity to try out numerous exercises including physical play (we will move!), verbal/word play (we will write!), object play (we will play with things!), plus games, construction play, deliberate cognitive dissonance, active relaxation exercises. We also play with sensory perception (sound, touch, taste, smell, sight) and problem solving modalities. Some exercises are adapted from known creativity experts, such as Betty Edwards (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Drawing on the Artist Within), and writer and teacher Lance Olsen (Architectures of Possibility) and Dharma Art practices. There may guests such as a tea tasting expert, or a sports and neuro psychologist, or another creative practitioner. You will also experience a variety of process oriented play strategies, some involving the body in motion, which specifically linked with text, stimulate integration of "left and right" brain. This is where my own personal creative work originates, linked to sound. For these workshops I've adapted the exercises so that anyone can use them. For example, we will start with combining physical movement and language to loosen up and start firing the synapses. These are my own specially designed exercises (see Background for more on this). We will experiment with what I call "slow start" and "fast start" exercises; you can learn how to read your mood and see what kinds of activities you might most need in the moment. Many activities are individual, but some are group oriented. Participants have some choice in the direction content takes. For example, part of the group may do a construction exercise, while others do a writing exercise or individual imagination play with a found object. While most sessions will take place in the studio, some activities can take us outdoors.
There will be action. It's like a brain gym for the whole brain, using whole body integration, not just talk, lecture or theory. Different people find the flow state through different types of creative engagement.
Supplementary materials to use after the workshop are available in the client portal. Participants also have the chance to network with other like-minded participants.