Playing With Not Knowing

Nov 06 2023

I’m still buzzing and recovering from the Clown Congress 2023 where 50+ clowns spent three incredible days at Bristol University; talking, listening, workshopping, eating, singing, playing, dreaming, planning and scheming; exploring the theme of identity in clowning. 

I was invited to deliver Creative Clarity sessions at the end of each of the days, offering participants opportunities to “process the day’s learning through play and reflection, accessing [their] inner wisdom, through movement, meditation, embodiment, writing, artwork and structured dialogue.” (my programme description).

This blog charts what happened during my first Creative Clarity session, which I have retrospectively titled, “Playing With Not Knowing.’ The blog includes a Not Knowing Meditation / Sensory Exploration which you can do wherever you are, and a poem from Bee Golding capturing some of the participants’ insights from the session.

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How To Stay In The Unknown Part 2

Oct 17 2023

It’s now four months since I left the Barn Retreat Centre in Devon. After a year of being immersed in meditation retreat land, I had no idea where I wanted to live or what I wanted to do when I left, so I made a commitment to stay with the not knowing until it became clear.

This blog charts the last four months of my adventures into the unknown, exploring what I’ve been doing and why I’ve been doing it, examining the responses I’ve been receiving from other people, through the lens of The Fool and investigating the responses of my inner parts, using techniques gained from my recent Internal Family Systems (IFS) training. I’ve included an IFS exercise to help you quieten your inner parts if that feels helpful to you.

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The Gift Of Rejection

Aug 23 2023

There’s nothing like a bit of rejection for helping us get clear about what we really want! Here is a story about how I recently received a rejection and a rundown of the OW to WOW process I put myself though (I should totally trade mark that!), which has helped me get clear about what I really want. 

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How to Stay In The Unknown

Jul 11 2023

As a clowning, fooling and improvisation teacher, my work is helping people to get comfortable with hanging out in the unknown. But learning to rest in the unknown as a lifestyle choice is Next Level Stuff! This blog charts my journey with the unknown, through the past year, from terror to excitement. It’s really a guide for me as I continue to move out into the world without A Plan, but hopefully it’s useful for you too, dear reader. 

In this blog we’ll be exploring:

  • How do you behave when you enter into the unknown?
  • If you listen to the voice behind your behaviour, what does it say?
  • What emotions do you feel when you enter the unknown? 
  • How can you sit with those feelings?
  • How do thoughts block access to the unknown?
  • How can you work with those thoughts?
  • How might setting an intention be a guide into the unknown?
  • How do you set an intention?

It’s peppered with advice from wise teachers and exercises that you can do if you want to play with embracing the unknown too. 

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Holly Has Left The Barn

Jun 17 2023

After 11 months of being planted in the idyllic, vibrant Devonshire countryside, nestled within a team of devoted and dedicated big-hearted Buddhists, running back-to-back meditation retreats, whilst learning to live with grief, I find myself spat out into the Big Wide World again.

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How To Make Less Effort

Apr 03 2023

This one goes out to all of us who try too hard, hold on too tight and stretch ourselves too thin. 

In this blog, I’ll be exploring how over-efforting causes suffering and pondering on why so many of us fall into this pattern. I’ll be exploring how over-efforting creates tension in the body, heart and mind and how that can influence our behaviour. I’ll shine a light on the tension that has been taking over my meditation practice and share some tasty theory and exercises for you to try, from a range of practitioners who have been teaching me how to effort less this year.

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Grief Rituals

Nov 03 2022

Trigger Warning: grief, miscarriage

This blog explores how ritual, nature and creativity can support grief. It offers three grief rituals for you to try wherever you are.

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Public Shedding: Do it, don’t do it!

Mar 20 2022

Hello. I am Holly and I am a Public Shedder. “Shedding” is a term I got from Amy Turn Sharp (I've posted her writing below), for me Shedding means letting go of a reality that used to define me, it can be a painful process, full of grief and vulnerability. Usually considered a highly private activity, I have shed in public, on purpose, many times as a performer, public speaker and writer. I have also helped other artists to shed in my capacity as a facilitator of self-exploratory workshops and a director of comic autobiographical theatre.

This blog charts my Public Shedding journey, from novice, impulsive, not-very-aware-of-why-I-was-doing-it Shedder to professional Shedder and holder of fellow Sheddies. There are guest spots from writers Amy Turn Sharp and Jeff Foster and a couple of cameos from a friend on facebook and my Clinical Supervisor. Plus two useful lists (who doesn’t love a list?): Why Have I Been Shedding In Public? and Questions To Ask Yourself Before you Shed In Public. Enjoy!

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Letting Go, Letting Be

Jan 15 2022

To mark the turning of the years, I started 2022 on my meditation cushion in the company of over a hundred people, scattered across the globe. I’d signed up for an online meditation retreat, led by one of my favourite teachers, Martin Aylward and assisted by Milla Gregory. For four days, we gathered on Zoom to explore presence, letting go and opening up, through guided meditations, dharma talks, breakout discussions and invitations for solo investigations.

I had a number of lightbulb moments about how to let go which I’d like to share with you, as well as some meditations for you to try. But first I’d like to give you a little context to help you accompany me on my journey towards understanding more about the power of surrender.

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Meditations For Chaotic Times - a mini workshop

May 14 2021

Ahead of the Clowning Out Of Chaos Conference (21-23 May), I offered a wee workshop exploring meditations for chaotic times via Facebook Live.

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