Courage & Renewal Workshops and Retreats
Many of us are inundated by the complexity and pressures of life, taking our attention away from what is important to us. In our lives and work, we may find ourselves well down a path we have not chosen, a bit lost, or even on a path we desired, but now feeling “burned out.” But if we are to maintain our personal well-being, social commitment and professional integrity, we need to find a place that allows us to reignite the fire that first brought us to our work, to gain a sense of purpose in our lives. Thanks to the writings and work of Parker Palmer, we now have a place and a process that enables us to reunite our role and our soul, to create outer and inner lives that are congruent. That place is called Courage & Renewal.
Courage & Renewal offers individuals time away from daily pressures to reflect and grow. Rather than focus on specific techniques or staff development activities, we focus on renewing an individual’s heart, mind, and spirit. We see meaningful change as one that honors the professional and comes from within. We do this through creating a quiet, focused, and disciplined space—a circle of trust—in which the noise within us and around us can subside and we can begin to hear our own inner voice. In large group, small group, and solitary settings, we explore the intersection of our personal and professional lives, making use of stories from our own journeys, insights from poets, storytellers, and various wisdom traditions. These sessions are shaped to help individuals reconnect identity and integrity, renewing careers and lives from the inside out. The program is based on several principles, including:
- Everyone has an inner teacher
- A “hidden wholeness” underlies our lives
- Inner work requires solitude and community
- Our lives move in cycles like the seasons
- An appreciation of how paradox enriches our lives
- The need to hold important questions without needing to find “the answer”
You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.
--Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Italian physicist and astronomer
Central to Courage & Renewal efforts is the rejoining of soul and role, of reconnecting who we are with what we do. These retreats are for anyone seeking a sense of renewal. Retreats and workshops have also been designed for specific groups, including:
Clergy and Congregations
Full and half day workshops
Weekend Retreats (1-3 days)
Seasonal Retreats (1-3 days)
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
Healing our Democracy: Discussions and Workshops
“For those of us who want democracy to survive and thrive, the heart is where the work begins—that grounded place in each of us where we can overcome fear, rediscover that we are members of one another, and embrace the conflicts that threaten our unity as openings to new life for us and for our nation.”
In his newest book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit, Parker J. Palmer examines the personal and social infrastructure of American politics. Palmer offers citizens a path to heal our divided nation, to rebuild the compassion and creativity still found among "We the People."
Healing the Heart of Democracy workshops focus on citizens, and explore the “five habits of the heart,” habits that offer a framework for rebuilding a compassionate and effective democracy. These habits help citizens to hold tensions even when strong disagreements arise, to honor others who even as they hold different views, and to work to build national community in difficult times. We will explore practical and hopeful methods to restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."
We work with all civic and religious groups in developing these habits of the heart.