How do we resist turning away from the suffering, and with what frame of heart do we turn towards it? Who are we called to be to live fully and courageously at this transformational time?
“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 summer or winter begins, depending on the hemisphere in which you live, how are you faring both inwardly and outwardly? What is emerging from the future? What is growing or dying? What is abundant? What is scarce? 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 larger earth community as we live with all that is: the relentless brutality of racism and casteism – head-on for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color – as well as other forms and expressions of hatred and othering; the sometimes confusing morphing of the Covid-19 pandemic; uncertainty in many shapes and sizes; and global climate derangement, causing suffering for many on our yet resilient planet. How do we resist turning away from the suffering, and with what frame of heart do we turn towards it? Who are we called to be to live fully and courageously at this transformational time? Where do we find wholeness and courage?
More questions want to be spoken and considered. Who am I? What is the earth asking of me? What are my gifts to offer? How can what breaks our hearts open 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 serve…now? 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 four sessions with screen-free breaks and movement. We will embark on a journey, guided by the Circle of Trust® approach, and together create a sacred, confidential space in which to do our own inner work in solitude and community. In all four 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 Courage & Renewal circles are enriched by metaphors, we will reflect on “third things”: poetry, prose, images, video, and song. The quality of the space is shaped by the practices that everything we do is invitational, and there is no fixing, changing, advising, saving, or correcting. Instead listening generously and learning to ask open, honest questions open new doors in our relationships with self and others as we journey toward wholeness.
In the one-day session, we will experience clearness committees, a powerful discernment process from the Quaker tradition, adapted for Courage & Renewal 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 three to six others listens and asks open, honest questions for an hour and a half. Both focus person and committee members alike have 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 Circle of Trust approach, described in Palmer’s book A Hidden Wholeness, 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 person. Yet my experience has been that, informed by Courage & Renewal principles, practices, and touchstones, we can wholeheartedly 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.
June 25th, 2022 from 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm EDT
July 9th from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
July 23rd from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
August 6th with Clearness Committee from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Zoom and sacred place of your choosing, a comfortable place where you can maintain confidentiality.
This offering is my gift; your presence is yours. As an extension of your gift, I invite you to support my work, as you are able, out of a spirit of gratitude, generosity, and reciprocity by paying through Venmo @Cat-Greenstreet or PayPal at email@example.com, or by sending a check to Cat Greenstreet, P.O. Box 927, Millbrook, NY 12545. I thank you in advance. Every amount, no matter how small or large, is valued.
When you say “yes” to this retreat, you say “yes” to a group of us committing to attend the whole retreat series, all four sessions on the days and times scheduled, unless something significant and unforeseen occurs that no one can control.
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