Circle of Trust®
"I want my inner truth to be the plumb line for the choices I make about my life —about the work that I do and how I do it, about the relationships I enter into and how I conduct them." - Parker J. Palmer
Over the past two decades, the Center for Courage & Renewal has developed the Circle of Trust approach, used in our retreats and workshops with teachers, school leaders, clergy, business leaders, health care professionals, and anyone else who seeks to become constructive and inclusive forces for positive change in their workplaces, professions, and communities. This approach is distinguished by principles and practices intended to create a process of shared exploration where people can find a disciplined, safe, hospitable space to nurture personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it. Here are some examples of the Principles and Practices. See them all at www.couragerenewal.org:
- Everything is invitational. There is no share or die!
- Our lives move in cycles like the seasons, so we use metaphors drawn from the seasons. That may be through poetry, stories, movement, art, film clips, and music for us to reflect on.
- Appreciating paradox enriches our lives and helps us hold greater complexity.
- A hidden wholeness underlies our lives.
- We commit to no fixing, “saving,” advising, or correcting one another. Instead we ask open-honest questions “to hear each other into speech.
- Honor confidentiality.
In this quiet, focused space, participants explore their inner lives and share voluntarily with others, who are practicing open-hearted listening. Retreat practices often translate directly into an individual’s everyday life, promoting reflection, relationship, and renewal. Over time this approach has the power to transform individuals, families, workplaces, and communities.
Participants leave retreats more in touch with their “inner teacher” – that quiet inner voice, the true self, the soul. Participants gain greater clarity about what they value in their lives and work, what they must change, and how to go about it. They have become part of a trustworthy community and have an experience of holding tension, of standing in “the tragic gap” between how things are and how they want things to be.
A Circle of Trust can be delivered as a half-day workshop, or full-day or two-day retreat. A two-day retreat includes clearness committees. See “Clearness Committee.”