This past weekend, Rachel and I attended our fourth (her fifth) consecutive "Winter Escape," a retreat for like minded Unitarian Universalists in their 20s and 30s around the metropolitan DC area held annually. For the first time, I presented workshops myself. This year, I presented two workshops: one on creativity, and the other on improvisational theatre.
While my improv workshop had a much higher number of participants, I was extremely proud of the creativity work we did. We were housed in a large lodge on the banks of the Potomac, along Virginia's Eastern shore. I began the workshop by bringing my class outside, where we stared at a single object. After staring for a full two minutes, I asked them to close their eyes, and envision the scene, remembering every sense they'd used. We repeated this twice more.
We then came inside, and engaged in a meditation session, accompanied by guided imagery. I've used these strategies, which I learned as an actor, myself, but never with other writers. I then asked them to free-write in response to three prompts:
1. What is joy?
2. Who is joy?
3. Where is joy?
I didn't ask for their writings, but the participants told me they had a wonderful time, and left the session feeling invigorated, and that their creativity had been rekindled. Such compliments made me very happy.