• 19 - 21 Oct 2023
  • Belle Plaine, MN, USA

Thresholds: Living In, and Beyond, the In-Between

Join us for this life-giving Courage & Renewal Circle of Trust® retreat to attend to the liminal spaces of our lives – including what it means to embrace the disorientation that change brings, as an opportunity to discern what’s yet to come. Our time together will include exploring our own “living hinges” – what lies behind us and what may be calling us forward.

Sometimes the thresholds, or in-between times, of our lives are thrust on us and sometimes they are of our own making. On this retreat we will attend to the liminal spaces of our lives – including what it means to embrace the disorientation that change brings, as an opportunity to discern what’s yet to come. Our time together will include exploring our own “living hinges” – the turnings of our lives as we pivot from what lies behind us to what may be calling us forward. We will “mind the gap” between what has been and what might be, between the way things are and what we yearn for, listening for our own wayfinding in these turbulent times and in next season of our lives.

Prairie Oaks Institute invites you to join us for this life-giving retreat, a rare opportunity to explore your own questions of identity, purpose, and calling, and to renew your capacity to live, work, and lead from a place that’s truly “grounded” – in the earth, in the evolving contours of your life, and in your most authentic self.

Led by experienced Courage & Renewal® facilitator Dr. Chris Johnson and educator and thought leader Karin Trail-Johnson, this Courage & Renewal® gathering will help us to:

  • Deepen our understanding of the turnings and transitions and in-betweens of our lives.
  • Explore our sense of identity, purpose, and calling in light of the changing contours of our lives, and with an eye toward what might want to emerge in the next steps of the journey.
  • Cultivate our capacities for expansive imagination, generativity, and risk-taking.
  • Ask open and honest questions that can reveal new depths of insight and wisdom.
  • Be held by a remarkable community of support, inspiration, and positive relationship.

Knowing the importance of human connection, we’ll gather at the spaciously restful, rural campus of Prairie Oaks Institute, near Belle Plaine, Minnesota from the evening of Thursday, October 19 through early afternoon Saturday, October 21. The retreat will include a nourishing mix of solitude and silence, conversation, and opportunity for reflective practice (writing, creative expression, time on the land).  It will be grounded in your own experience and fueled with insights from poets, scholars, artists, naturalists, musicians, and various wisdom traditions.  Strictly confidential practices of deep listening, discernment, and mutual support will be a key component.

The retreat will be led by Dr. Chris Johnson, Courage & Renewal Facilitator and Karin Trail-Johnson who hosts retreats as a spiritual practice of hospitality and deep listening. Her training at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation reinforced the power and beauty of listening and sharing life stories with others. She has spent most of her career in higher education, which combines her love of learning with inviting others into bigger questions, toward creating a purposeful life of contribution. Karin is the founder and former director of a nationally recognized civic engagement program and is the Principal/Owner of Trail Blaze Consulting, supporting nonprofits, places of worship and higher education in mission driven strategy.

Top Photo: Andre Frueh on Unsplash

Prairie Oaks Institute is a nonprofit educational retreat center located on a 115-year-old farm campus on the edge of Belle Plaine, Minnesota on the southwest outskirts of the Twin Cities.  POI’s mission is to be a catalyst of rejuvenation for people and the planet, and its work is to nourish expansive imagination, bold thinking, wise action, and cross-sector solutions to the unprecedented environmental and social challenges of our time.  Please visit www.prairieoaksinstitute.org for more information.

Optional overnight lodging at Prairie Oaks Institute is available for a modest additional charge of $50 per night, or $30 per night for tent camping.

Early-Bird (by August 15) = $230; after August 15, choose-your-own pricing: regular registration $295, supported registration $245, “We’re All in This Together” registration $345


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