Courage & Renewal - Listening & Leading From Wtihin®

Courage & Renewal® is inspired by the work of Parker J. Palmer (Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, Healing the Heart of Democracy) and the International Network of Courage & Renewal Faciitators prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal


Courage & Renewal in Colorado offers a wide variety of programs. retreats and supports Clearness Committees.  In my own practice, Listening & Leading From Within®, I also provide private coaching, leadership development, Courage inspired professional development, samplers of Circle of Trust® and Engaging & healing Differences - 5 habits of the heart action circles.  Susan is also a member of the Tucson Courage & Renewal Collaborative.


Please learn more about Circle of Trust® Retreats and Healing the Heart of Democracy Action Circles® (and the Denver Metro Initiative) by visiting my web page on Courage & Renewal


Continuing Education Credits and Professional Development are available for Social Workers, Teachers, School Counselors, and Early Childhood Professionals.


The following presentations will be given at the Montessori in the Mountains Conference, September 25th - 26th at YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park:

  • Leading From Within - A Sampler Circle of Trust to Renew your sense of spirit & purpose
  • Five Habits of the Heart - Engaging & Healing Differences for 5th graders


Upcoming Fall Retreat:


Walking with Loss:  Finding Light Amongst the Shattered Pieces

A Courage & Renewal® & Nonviolent Communciation®  Fall Retreat in the Mountains

Cathedral Ridge, 1364 County Road 75, Woodland Park, CO 80863                                       

Friday, November 13th afternoon to Sunday, Nov 15th at 4:00 pm


More Information and Registration:



"In my personal journey of walking with grief, I found that my listening practices of Courage & Renewal Touchstones, Open & Honest Questions, and deep self-compassion enabled me to find sparks of light and hope among shattered pieces of darkness.


During the sudden loss of my beloved husband and later my brother's accident, these life-enriching practices created a way of living through loss. In any change or transition that is challenging, it is easy to become distracted with the many things that pull us apart.  These listening practices help to weave a steadiness in whatever you are experiencing."                          ~ Susan Kaplan 


  • As trees let go of their leaves, so are seeds being scattered. What seeds are you scattering for your evolving self?
  • How is our brokenness part of our wholeness?

  • In what ways can we hold the tensions of loss in life-giving ways?


To live and love is to also to experience loss and a shattering of dreams. Loss of personal identity. Loss of meaningful work. Loss of financial security. Loss due to physical conditions. Loss of a loved one. Parker Palmer writes that our hearts are broken by the world in two different ways: shattered and scattered or broken open to wonder and a new capacity to live fully while mourning loss.


During this retreat we will invite participants to consider both the pain and gifts of loss in our personal and professional life. Through poetry, quiet time, journaling, art, small group sharing, clearness committees, and optional gentle & restorative yoga we will delve into the experience of loss, the process of making meaning from loss, and setting out cairns along the trail to healing as we walk arm and arm with loss. In times of change - expected or unexpected, gradual or sudden - we can become lost between our “old” self and “evolving” self.


This retreat is open to anyone who has experienced directly or indirectly loss in their life and seeks new ways of living more fully into their grief while seeking the gifts of grief as well. Our time together will be less about therapy and more about discovering the therapeutic nature of being community. Come join us for a contemplative & interactive experience.

Using Courage & Renewal Principles & Practices® (based on Parker Palmer’s work), you'll experience a safe and disciplined space in which we will “hear each other into speech” and be a “solitude within community”.


This reflective listening process recognizes the tensions that naturally arise in our lives in a more life-giving manner and how to hold important questions without having to find “the answer”.


Compassionate Communication is a practice of connecting to the dynamic flow of life and helps us lean into a life of engaged compassion.  We will the “tragic gap” in our life by exploring the natural complexities of our precious longings.   These seemingly conflicting needs or tension points in both inner and outer life, are not opposed.  Find more choice, healing and clarity by holding yourself with love & compassion.


You will be invited to reconnect to the power of your inner life to create authentic capacity in your personal and professional roles.


This retreat includes:  Clearness Committees, time for solitude and rest, and optional restorative yoga & yoga nidra.


Discover your Hidden Wholeness.



Susan Kaplan, Courage & Renewal Facilitator & Candidate for Certified Trainer, Center for Nonviolent Communication


Paul Michalec, Courage & Renewal Facilitator