Take a Trip to YOU

Monday, July 18th
1:15pm – 5:00pm
Four Seasons Downtown Denver
Pre-Rendezvous Workshop Facilitated by Stephanie West Allen, JD

Cost: $395 PPI Members; $495 Non-Members (contact us for the member promo code). Enrollment is limited.
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With enthusiasm as your fuel, adventurousness as your incitement, and curiosity as your propellant, join Stephanie West Allen, JD (PPI Dean of Neuroscience, Artistry, and Contemplative Practices) as we go on explorations inside ourselves, expeditions outside our routines, and excursions alongside each other.  

Workshop Description

People who consistently and significantly contribute to friends, family, community, colleagues, and clients typically are enriched and strengthened by certain behaviors and traits. They

  • Act with awareness
  • Exhibit and practice humility
  • Observe internal and external experiences
  • Value integrity and wisdom
  • Know themselves
  • Imagine, create and improvise
  • Seek knowledge

While this list is not exhaustive, nor do contributing people necessarily practice all items on the list, it’s a good enough list for our workshop focus.

This workshop is first and foremost about and for you. But by focusing on some methods for increasing the actions and practices on the above list (or a self-development list of items of your choice), the workshop also will have a positive impact on those in your personal and professional world.

In order to increase our ability to effectively and continually develop ourselves, we will explore several themes including:


Playfulness is an attitude. Being playful is not frivolous, silly, or nonproductive. Instead this attitude can be valuable in many of life’s endeavors. It can also contribute to good mental and physical health. We will look at several attributes of play and their benefits.

Playfulness is not one size fits all. We will consider several play personalities and reasons for resisting play. In addition to identifying your own play personality (or personalities), you will be invited to look at your play history and discover how that context might affect your current thoughts about play. Then you can design a play plan that is individualized.


When we experience awe, our self may be transcended. Our day-to-day frame of reference may be challenged and therefore our worldview may be updated. Our experiential and intellectual boundaries may be expanded.

An occasion or incident of awe can produce value not only for the person experiencing awe but also for people in the experiencer’s world. The personal benefits include conceptualizing in new ways, reassessing the size and difficulty of challenges, and experiencing the virtue of humility. Awe researcher Dr. Dacher Keltner has found that awe can not only reduce stress and increase creativity, but also boost and broaden prosocial emotions such as compassion and altruism thus benefiting others. He said, “It’s hard to think of a single thing that you can do for your mind and body that’s better than a little dose of awe.” We will look at ways to open yourself to more awe experiences.


The late writer Nan Shepherd said, “place and a mind may interpenetrate until the nature of both is altered.” Becoming attentively aware of place, whether it be the the body, room, or city in which you find yourself, is a skill that can bring surprises, wisdom, and flexibility.

Not only will we increase our place consciousness but workshop attendees will leave with directions for guided walks near the conference site that will point out landmarks and provide some facts about them, while at the same reaffirming workshop practices. During Rendezvous breaks or free time, people may amble and meander along these guided routes alone or with others.

A few of the other themes to be included:

  • Improvisation (bringing forth something that did not exist before),
  • Uncertainty, Ambiguity, Chaos (harnessing the power and reaping the treasures of muddling and not knowing),
  • Expressiveness of Objects (gaining strength, stories, receptiveness, legacy awareness, and problem solving from even the most mundane of items,
  • Shimmering Moments (looking at what makes a moment meaningful and memorable and how to create more of these moments for yourself and those in your life).

Please bring a standard size three-ring binder with ten unlabeled dividers. When you leave, you’ll have inside your binder the foundation for a rich and productive notebooking practice.

Meet Your Instructor

Stephanie West Allen’s career history includes lawyer, candy maker, high school teacher, cocktail waitress, juvenile probation officer, and college instructor. Her diverse background allows her to bring a multidisciplinary approach to the workshops she presents (and has presented for several decades) on topics such as the neuroscience of conflict resolution, improvisation, writing, and the benefits of play. She is a member of several organizations including Association for Psychological Science and a number of writing organizations.

Pre-Rendezvous Workshop


Cost: $395 PPI Members; 495 Non-Members