Holly Stoppit
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Mindful Play Weekend Workshops

Do you want more play in your life?  Do you want to find what’s stopping your playfulness from flowing freely? Are you already a playful person in need of new ways to access and inspire play?  Whatever your play story, Holly’s got something for you!

Holly is delighted to present a new series of three Mindful Play Weekend Workshops, exploring the themes of play, flow and spontaneity:

  • Play (May 18th and 19th)
  • Flow (June 22nd and 23rd) 
  • Spontaneity (July 20th and 21st)

The content will be different for each workshop. You are welcome to come to one, two or all three workshops.

What will happen?

Each weekend, a group of up to 12 adults from all walks of life will gather together in a lovely spacious room with access to private outdoor space. You’ll be invited you into series of meditations, movement explorations, vocal play exercises, non-competitive group games and creative and embodied investigations, all designed to help you explore and improve your relationship with play, flow and spontaneity.

The meditations will give you opportunities to connect with your body, heart and mind, helping you to ground yourself in presence. From here, we’ll flow into structured play, with the invitation to meet each activity with your curiosity and authenticity. You’ll get to connect with your body, voice and imagination in novel and surprising ways, untapping limitless, effortless creative expression and discovering different ways of connecting with other humans. 

Holly will weave in tasty nuggets of play theory, psychology and philosophy, to offer context and inspiration for your investigations. The whole weekend will be sprinkled with opportunities for creative reflection; chances to explore what’s happening for you in your play and connection with others. We’ll savour the pleasure and gently explore any blocks, using spontaneous artwork, embodied Internal Family Systems (IFS), creative writing and structured dialogue. You’ll come out of the weekend with your own unique recipe for how to bring more play, flow, spontaneity and connection into your life and into the lives of others.

What will NOT happen?

This is NOT a performance course, however, performers will undoubtedly benefit from finding more freedom, flow and spontaniety in their play.

You will NOT be put on the spot and made to do anything. The whole weekend is a series of invitations, to which you can say yes, no or maybe. You can adapt everything to suit your energy, physicality and emotional needs and sit out and watch whenever you like. 

You will NOT be forced to have fun! Holly’s work is rooted in authenticity, she believes that play is possible however you are. This is a space where you can bring your shyness, your sadness, your depth and your delight and discover a quality of play that shines with the essence of you.

Who are these weekends for?

These weekends are for anyone aged 18+ who would like to explore and improve their relationship with play.  This work is especially useful for anyone who wants to find more depth and ease in the quality of their connection. Skills learned on this course could be very useful to group leaders, therapists, coaches, facilitators, managers, directors, teachers, parents and performers.

Holly’s workshops are always welcoming and accessible spaces for people with mild-moderate mental and physical health issues and people who are neuro-diverse. Please let us know any access requirements you have on the booking form.

These workshops will be an ideal way for newbies to dip their toes into the world of Holly Stoppit and will replace Holly’s Introduction To Clowning Weekend as a gateway to her longer courses. If you are a returner in need a Holly top-up, some of the material may be familiar, but you are always welcome!

Where is this work coming from?

This is a new series of weekend workshops drawing on Holly’s extensive training, research and experience in clowning, physical, vocal and verbal improvisation, dramatherapy (MA), meditation and Internal Family Systems (IFS).

After facilitating clowning workshops for 18 years, Holly decided to take a break from teaching and went off to live and volunteer at The Barn meditation retreat centre in Devon from summer 2022 - summer 2023. That year had a profound impact on Holly, leaving her with a desire to slow down and leave more space for The Unknown in her life and in her work.  

Following the thread of The Unknown led Holly to training in Internal Family Systems (IFS), which equipped her with a wonderful new shiny toolkit to help people explore their inner worlds. If you’d like to know about what IFS is, or how Holly has been integrating it into her work, check out this blog.

Meanwhile Holly has been receiving numerous emails from people asking “When are you going to bring back your Introduction To Clowning Weekend?” 

After her year in Devon, Holly couldn’t imagine teaching at the pelt required to get through all the content she used to cram into her Intro To Clown Weekend. So she focussed instead on creating new courses (Creative Clarity, Creative Clarity Online and Creative Resourcing) and re-opened her online Creative Clinic for all kinds of people all over the world to explore themselves and their creativity. This body of work has allowed Holly to offer slower, deeper, more spacious experiences to participants, which has felt deeply satisfying and more sustainable than her old way of working!

And still the emails come: “When are you going to bring back your Introduction To Clowning Weekend?” 

Holly’s love of play never diminished! Her clown is never far away; she popped up relentlessly during that year at The Barn, dancing wildly in the woods, turning the weekly washing up demo into a performance and wearing fancy dress and belting out 80’s classics on her ukulele at the Friday night bonfire. Since leaving The Barn, Holly has been exploring ways to bring her love of play together with Internal Family Systems. You can read about some of her discoveries here.

The Mindful Play Weekends are an opportunity for Holly to come back to the playful side of her work, whilst allowing space and depth for more self-discovery and integration. 

The details

Timings: Each course is two full days, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5.30pm

Dates: 

  • Play - May 18th and 19th 2024
  • Flow - June 22nd and 23rd 2024
  • Spontaneity - July 20th and 21st 2024

Venue: St Werburghs, Bristol (full venue details on booking)

Cost per weekend: £200 (standard) / £160 (low waged) / £100 (in education / on benefits) plus booking fee.

These courses are booking on a first come, first served basis.

Covid Care

There are still people who are vulnerable to it and Holly wants the space to feel as safe as possible for everyone. If you have any covid like symptoms, please take a test and please don't come if you have tested positive for covid. All exercises can work with social distancing, if that is what you need and you are welcome to wear a mask if that makes you feel safer. Holly will not be asking people to wear masks. Please make sure that physical proximity is consensual. We will be working with windows open for ventilation, so please bring extra warm layers. 

Cancellation Policy

> If you need to cancel your place before the course begins, full refunds can only be given up until two weeks before the course starts.

> Should you need to cancel your place after this date, 50% of your payment will be retained, unless your place can be suitably filled.

> For drop-outs within 72 hours (3 days) of the start of the course, your full fee will be retained

> In the event of you needing to self isolate because of suspected or actual covid, you will be able to get your money back

> If Holly needs to cancel this course for any reason, you will be offered alternative dates. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled dates, then we will offer a refund.

BOOK A PLACE ON Mindful Play Weekend Workshops

Mindful Play Weekend 1: Play

18 May 2024 - 19 May 2024

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Mindful Play Weekend 2: Flow

22 June 2024 - 23 June 2024

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Mindful Play Weekend 3: Spontaneity

20 July 2024 - 21 July 2024

Apply now

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