• 13 Jan - 09 Mar 2024
  • online

Journey Toward Wholeness: A Circle of Trust® Retreat

This is a five-session Circle of Trust®, culminating in Clearness Committees, on Zoom with screen-free breaks and movement. We will embark on a journey, guided by the Courage & Renewal® approach, and together create a trustworthy, confidential space in which to do our own inner work in solitude and community.

Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.

– Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

 The times are urgent; let’s slow down.

 —  Bayo Okomolafe at https://bayoakomolafe.net/

As we live in deep winter or summer, depending on the hemisphere in which you live, how are you faring both inwardly and outwardly? How do you embrace brokenness to move toward the reality of wholeness as challenges deepen in very 21st century ways? How are you staying connected to self, family, friends, community, and the living, radically changing Earth as we insist on thriving with the ebbs and flows of a global pandemic; the relentless brutality of racism – head-on for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color – and other forms of hatred and othering; uncertainty in its many shapes and sizes; and global climate derangement, causing suffering for many on our yet resilient planet. How do we resist turning away from it all, and with what frame of heart do we turn towards it? How do we find the courage to live with awe, joy, and delight, compassionate and well rested in this transformational time?

More questions dance within and around. Who am I at this point in my life? What is Earth asking of me? What are my gifts to offer? How can what breaks our hearts steer us toward wholeheartedly serving the world as we also care for ourselves and our families? How can my identity and integrity align, so I can serve in the way I am meant to, right now, for these times and the future we know is possible? How do I stay hopeful and realistic, neither falling into fantasy or cynicism, both detours on the journey toward a new way of living within myself and together on this planet, toward the beloved community of all beings?

We can’t do this work alone; I know I can’t. I invite you to join me on Zoom for five sessions with screen-free breaks and movement. We will embark on a journey, guided by the Courage & Renewal® approach, and together create a sacred, confidential space in which to do our own inner work in solitude and community. In all five sessions, we will have the opportunity to listen generously to our inner teacher (soul, spirit, still small voice, inner voice, identity and integrity) and to one another in small groups and the whole group, speaking from the heart. Since a Circle of Trust is enriched by metaphors, we will reflect on “third things”: poetry, prose, images, video, and song. The quality of the space is shaped by our touchstones, practices that include: everything we do is invitational, and we agree to let go of the need to fix, advise, save, or correct. Instead we listen deeply and learn to ask open, honest questions, which open new doors in our relationships with self and others as we journey toward wholeness.

In the culminating session, we will experience Clearness Committees, a powerful 1.5-hour discernment process from the Quaker tradition, adapted for Circle of Trust retreats on Zoom. One person who wishes to think more deeply about an issue – transitional, vocational, relational, or spiritual – has an opportunity to be the “focus person” while a “committee” of four to six others listen and ask open, honest questions for an hour and a half. Both focus person and committee members share a profound experience in this unique way of supporting another human being together in community.

This retreat is based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. The Courage & Renewal approach, described in Palmer’s book A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life, focuses on cultivating our inner capacity to live a more authentic, meaningful, and engaged life. As it should be, retreats on Zoom are necessarily different to being together in the same place. Yet my experience has been that, informed by Courage & Renewal principles, practices, and touchstones, we can create a trustworthy, brave space with our attention, imagination, and confidential conversations. Over the course of four sessions, we are able to create a Circle of Trust.

Saturday, January 13th, 2024 from 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST

Saturday, January 27th from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST

Saturday, February 10th from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST

Saturday, February 24th from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST

Saturday, March 9th from 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm EST

Check here for your time: www.thetimezoneconverter.com 

The week before March 9th, to prepare for Clearness Committees, I will meet with the focus people for 30 minutes (time TBD) and with the timekeepers for 30 minutes (time TBD).

Saturday, March 9th  Schedule with Clearness Committees

12:00 pm – 12:30 EST: Welcome, Settling in, Touchstones, and Open-honest Questions

12:30 pm – 1:20 EST: Clearness Committee Preparation


1:30 pm – 3:00 pm EST: Clearness Committees

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm EST: Break

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm EST: Debrief Clearness Committees

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EST: Harvesting Festival and Closing

Zoom and confidential space of your choosing.

Registration Information

Since there is no down payment for this retreat, when you register, you say “yes” to a group of us committing to attend at least four out of five sessions, including Session 1, on the days and times scheduled. Thank you!


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