How to surrender: lessons from nature

Jul 29 2021

Hello dear reader, well, have I got some stories for you?! I'm fresh from a soothing and enlivening wild women woodland retreat on the lush green hilly Sharpham Estate in Devon. I've been meandering, river swimming, meditating, moving, singing, chatting, laughing, crying, eating and howling with a pack of incredible women with astonishing stories, under the gentle and powerful guidance of Nina Jankelson and Shoshana Moskowitz.

This blog tells the tale of my solo day and what it taught me about surrender. 

After three days of developing a toolkit of mindfulness techniques, sensory exploration, nature reflection and ritual, each of us were given a packed lunch (yay!) and invited to cross a flowery threshold onto the vibrant, undulating beckoning land, solo, guided by our chosen intention.

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10 Top Facilitation Tips

Jul 27 2021

Haaaaaaahhhhh! What a breath of fresh air to be project-hopping again! Before COVID, my life used to be travelling around the country by train with a suitcase full of red noses, colourful feathers and rubber chickens, as a clown consultant.

As someone who thrives on variety, connection and adventure, you can imagine how delighted I've been for the last 6 weeks, getting to facilitate six different groups, both online and in real life.

I'm now in the process of designing a new three-month creative facilitation training course, called The Well-Held Space. As part of this process, I've been reflecting on my role as facilitator through these six projects. I'd like to share some the things I've learned / remembered about facilitation with you, dear reader, in the hope that it's useful to you.

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Surrendering to creativity, grief and beauty

Apr 20 2021

Trigger warning: miscarriage, grief, swearing

Clear blue sky, warm sun, cool breeze and a cacophony of birdsong. I'm sitting on the balcony of my tiny Holly-sized converted garage apartment on the south coast of Cornwall in the midday sun (I might regret this decision later when I'm lobster red). I rode three trains, a bus and a ferry to get here, to walk and breathe and BE for a week. As I gaze out at the frenzy of blossom, the cornucopia of plump rhododendrons and the swarms of frantic dancing bees, I think, “Oh Fuck Off!”

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Why the red noses?

Mar 15 2021

In the circus I grew up in, we hardly ever used red noses. Our shows were character-driven theatrical performances which integrated circus skills into the narrative. On leaving the circus in my 20's, I carried on performing non-nosed stealth clowning on streets and stages for another decade. I resisted the title of clown, referring to myself instead as a 'character comedienne'. I'd only ever worn a red nose when I was safe behind the closed doors of a clown workshop.

Then in 2009 / 2010, I got a job touring with The Honk Project, a non-verbal, ensemble, red nosed, musical-theatre show. Spending extended periods of time wearing a red nose and not speaking English seemed to give me permission to drop deeper into the state of clown, to trust my clown's logic and let her make the choices

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Mindful Play Reflections and Poems

Mar 01 2021

For the last four weeks, I've been running The Mindful Play Sessions on Zoom, for a carefully selected group of wonder-beings as part of my process of writing a Handbook of Mindful Play for group leaders. This blog offers some of my reflections on the past 4 weeks and a collection of poems capturing the essence of Mindful Play written by the group during the sessions.

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How's the writing going?

Jan 17 2021

Ever since I received the email telling me I'd been successful for an Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice Award to work on my Mindful Play Handbook, my Inner Critic has had me in a strangle hold: "Who the hell do you think you are, calling yourself a "writer"? How could YOU be a writer? You have no brain and nobody wants to hear what you've got to say anyway."

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Discoveries in Self Care 2020

Dec 30 2020

There's a statement that's been doing the rounds on facebook; “We are not all in the same boat, but we are all on the same sea.” This blog is an offer from my boat to yours. It's far from my intention to make self-care into a stick for you to bash yourself over the head with! Take whatever is useful to you and throw the rest in the sea.

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My 2020 Projects

Dec 29 2020

Here's a look back on my 2020 projects, charting my journey through this most peculiar of years. This blog describes how my in-person clowning and fooling workshops and guest facilitation gradually morphed into online workshops, performances and creative consultancy. 

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Winter Solstice Ceremony

Dec 17 2020

It's coming up to the winter Solstice on December 21st, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In the days around the Solstice, I'll be hunkering down and journeying inwards, contemplating life as it is and dreaming into my desired future. If this sounds like something you might want to do, here's a reflective solstice ceremony you can do at some point over the festive period.

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How to talk to someone who has lost a baby

Oct 14 2020

Trigger warning: contains references to miscarriage and shame

It's baby loss awareness week, which happens to coincide with a few days of full body flashbacks to my last miscarriage which happened back in June, just after the last Beyond The Ridiculous show...

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