Renew your spirit and sense of purpose. Move from a divided, fragmented life towards your Hidden Wholeness and a sense of integrity. This work has different formats and focus:
Please see upcoming Courage & Renewal Programs & Retreats, listed under Upcoming Events
Creating time for reflection, silence and renewal.
Personal & Communal Renewal
We can lose sight of our sense of our self within our role, regardless of the type of role(s) we hold. Burn out, a sense of dividedness and fragmentation and growing sense of incongruence can distract us from the life we want to lead.
Often we experience a challenge of sustaining our committment to deeply held values and beliefs when the demands and challenges of our life work distracts us. The more passionate we are about what we do, the more vital it is to take time to renew our own spirits.
This renewal process allows us to explore the fragmented and divided self and support a search for our hidden wholeness - that place of our conviction, joys and successes as well as our fears, doubts and failures.
This hidden wholeness is within each of us as individuals and can be within our communal life as well. We benefit from listening to and exploring the life questions we hold - without having to find the answer. We explore the tensions and polarities that normally arise in our daily personal and/or professional lives and learn to hold these paradoxes - truly recognizing the complexity within our lives.
Healig the Heart of Democracy - Action Circles
Fresh & Meaningful Conversations about the work before the work
Based on Parker J. Palmer's newest book - Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit
“At the deepest levels of human life, we do not need techniques. We need insights into ourselves
and our world that can help us understand how to learn and grow from our
experiences of diversity, tension, and conflict.” Parker Palmer
Reflection Action Circles – Exploring Five Habits of the Heart
These Circles are guided by important principles and practices that create a safe and disciplined atmosphere. You will be invited and challenged to think more deeply about your own role as a citizen and your shared vision for a better world – what it means to “hold tension in a life-giving way” or what it means to “have personal voice and agency”. We will deepen our relationships within our community and re-humanize our experience of democracy as we learn to speak about difficult or challenging issues.
Reflection Action Circles are intended to be a space apart from the daily debate in our workplaces and our 24-7 media; instead, we hope it enliven everyone involved through provocative questions, fun experiments in citizenry, and renewed communities of people who may disagree about any number of things, but all want our politics to reflect the true dignity of the human spirit.
Five Habits of the Heart:
"When all that we understand of self and world comes together in the center place called the heart, we are more likely to find the courage to act humanly on what we know.” Parker Palmer
Currently there is an initiative in the Denver Metro Area of over 40 congregations holding Healing the Heart of Democracy Action Circles. Join in!
Hands Across the Table - Holding Communal Tensions of DifferencesJust as we can learn to hold tensions in our personal and professional lives, we can also learn to hold the tensions and polarities that arise from our perceived differences in our communal lives.
Based on the Five Habits of the Heart, we explore how to work with diversity in new ways, i.e. how to expand our capacity to hold the complexities of holding different "truths", and deepen our capacity for conversations of meaning.
Principles and Practices of Courage & Renewal® to support fresh and meaningful conversations around diversity, racial equity and other important issues of building our communities, i.e. Honest & Open Questions, Touchstones for respectful conversations and practice ways to explore our differences and similarities in new ways.
Circles of Trust® is a discernment process, which uses principles and practices that enable us to explore the tensions of living an engaged life. These practices create a disciplined and safe environement to be a solitude within community. Using the paradoxes and metaphors from the natural world, poems, songs, inspiational writings and within your own stories, we explore a variety of themes to support your personal or communal renewal process. You will leave more refreshed than you thought possible.
This work is inspired by the works of Parker J. Palmer (Coruage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, Let your Life Speak, and Healing the Heart of Democracy) and the extensive network of Facilitators connected to the Center for Courage & Renewal. Circles of Trust®, Courage to Lead®, and Courage to Teach® are connected with the Center for Courage & Renewal
Susan is a Courage & Renewal Facilitator®, offering a wide vareity of options:
The Circles of Trust® Approach is used in a variety of formats, such as:
*Recommended books by Dr. Parker Palmer:
A Hidden Wholeness - The Journey Toward An Undivided Life,
Circles of Trust - the work of Parker J. Palmer,
Courage to Teach,
Let Your LIfe Speak,
Healing the Heart of Democracy,
Courage & Light with Jim Brandenburg & Parker)
Principles and Practices
Attending to the creation of a quiet, focused and disciplined space for this work is essentai - a space in which the noise within us and around us can subside, and we can begin to hear our own inner voice. The practices of reflection, journaling, silence, solitude and Clearness Committees are part of the fabric of this approach. Being together in community contributes to a deep listening to self and others. This non-content process invites:
Seasonal Metaphors in nature - fall, winter, spring and summer - help us to recognize the experiences within our personal and professional life and invite us to explore the paradoxes we hold within our life. We draw upon a variety of sources (writings, music, art, etc.) to explore a wide variety of themes pertinent to focus of your work and role.
Principles help guide and sustain the practices:
“We assume that every person has access to an inner source of truth, named in various wisdom traditions as soul, spirit, or heart-a source of strength and guidance that is the place of truth telling within us where we know the difference between reality and illusion. Our work recognizes this source of truth, honors the identity and integrity of the individual and affirms the vital relationship between the inner life and one’s work in the world.
Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness