Posted August 20, 2012
The soul isn't just serious. It can be silly, irreverent, and laugh-out-loud funny. Grateful for the life of one of the first women comedians who gave us her authentic laughter. Phyllis Diller died today at 95.
Did you know that Phyllis Diller was also an author and a poet? Here is a poem once posted online by a fan, which now seems like a fond farewell from her soul to ours:
On this happy day
We are thankful
For our blessings
And we pray
For renewed belief
And each other
This bond of love
The entire universe.
by Shelly Francis, Marketing and Communications Director
Posted August 9, 2012
It’s almost Back to School time, almost time to launch my son off to college. Wil is my one and only, and I really like him. He’s going to Boston and I’m moving from Denver to Seattle to join the staff at the Center for Courage & Renewal.
As I launch myself into this new semester -- knowing my inner teacher enrolled me, including the when and where of it -- I deeply appreciate that my new work is about affirming the power of paradox. Empty nest & feathering new nests. Happy & sad. Exciting & daunting. Grateful & grieving. Shadow & light. Endings & beginnings.
Posted August 1, 2012
Our board meeting last week included a beautiful conversation on the Center's continued commitment to deep diversity, led by fellow board members Estrus Tucker and Bonnie Allen. Our circles got me thinking about a lot of my own experiences around privilege, power, and all the various -isms. Here are nine learnings I've had that I share in the spirit of continuing the dialogue about these issues with the larger CCR community:
Posted July 20, 2012
"We found ourselves drawn to each other's love for this country and a conviction about the importance to its future of trying to change the polarizing, attack-oriented political cultural that has become all too common in recent years and, instead, to bring civility back as the staple of American politics and life."
- Lanny Davis and Mark DeMoss, Op.Ed., The Washington Times, January 18, 2009
With this statement, on the eve of President Obama's inauguration, the Civility Project was born. Mark DeMoss, an evangelical conservative and Lanny Davis, a liberal of the Jewish faith, while agreeing on almost nothing, did agree that solutions to the most pressing problems facing our nation would be found only through a more civil exchange of ideas. Together they reached out to every sitting governor and member of Congress to sign a pledge that said:
- I will be civil in my public discourse and behavior.
- I will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them.
- I will stand against incivility when I see it.
By Courage & Renewal facilitator Carol Kortsch
Posted July 15, 2012
My husband Uli and I have very international roots and are naturalized US citizens. When Parker Palmer challenged facilitators to consider facilitating Healing Democracy Action Circles, I couldn't imagine myself forging ahead into the quicksand of American political conversation until I listened carefully and read his remarkable book, Healing the Heart of Democracy. I am pleased to report that we have hosted three action circle conversations in our home here at Stonehaven. We have quickly recognized the hunger for thoughtful conversation in community around our democracy. The social networking site Meet-Up offered an extraordinary pool of new friends who jumped courageously into our action circle.
Have you added Courage in Schools to your bookmarks yet? Passing on this heart-warming blog post, Snakes are Born This Way...and Strong Students Too by Courage & Renewal Facilitator Sharlene Voogd Cochrane, to your friends and colleagues helps spread the word about the Courage in Schools Blog and Courage to Teach(R) and Courage to Lead(R) programs around the country. Thanks!
Posted July 1, 2012
Waking up in the morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment. And to look at all beings with the eyes of compassion.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
In May, the Center for Courage & Renewal moved its "headquarters" from the sleepy little town of Winslow located on Bainbridge Island, to downtown Seattle. Now instead of a ten-minute drive to work, my commute involves a 35-minute ferry ride and a 15-minute walk through the city.
By Courage & Renewal Facilitator Kathleen Glaser
Posted June 24, 2012
How do I as a citizen practice the habits of heart needed in a democracy and how do I invite fellow citizens in my community to explore those habits with me in a safe space?
I am grateful for Healing the Heart of Democracy, Parker J. Palmer's latest book, and the Center's Healing Democracy Action Guide for inspiring a colleague/dialogue teacher and I to team up and experiment with local conversations about our democracy. We invited community members to join us in a series of six 2-hour evening sessions beginning with Parker's webcast last October and concluding in June.
By Laura Paskell-Brown
Yesterday morning a student of mine called with some tragic news: her boyfriend had killed himself. She said that she urgently needed a circle of women, and asked if I could arrange one. How blessed I feel that in her moment of grieving, she knew that she could turn to me to provide a space for her.
This semester, for the first time in my teaching career, I gave up on the pretence that I wasn't spiritual. Thus, in addition to presenting myself as the one who knew a lot about developmental psychology, I brought some other parts of myself into the classroom: the recovering addict, the woman who is trying to begin her first adult relationship with a man, the little girl who sometimes cries, and the person who can't seem to get it together to clean her own bathroom sink. Watching me bring my whole self to the classroom allowed my students to bring their whole selves too. It also changed our relationship: today I am not only their psychology professor, I am their friend and spiritual mentor.
Educators! We have an exciting opportunity for you. You're invited to submit a piece of writing for a book tentatively titled: Teaching from the Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach. The book will be an anthology of poems identified by educators as having a meaningful impact on how they think, feel about, and do their work. Each poem will be introduced by a short personal commentary that describes how the teacher has been touched by that particular poem. The concept of the project hinges on the idea that reading poetry stirs up an inner conversation about questions, emotions, and things that matter. Because poetry slows us down and focuses our attention—it can yield poignant insights into what is most significant and enduring in our work as educators.
This book is modeled on our award-winning and best-selling book: Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach (2003). Click here for more information, including how to submit a piece of writing.
By Erin Lane, Communications Associate
When we met our host on a narrow street in Dublin, Kevin Downey was askew on one side, an evergreen pale hanging off of his right shoulder. "Where have you come from?" we asked curiously. "The hidden garden," he confessed. After we unloaded the mushroom-colored hatchback we'd been driving around Ireland for ten days, Kevin welcomed us inside his town home, converted into a bed and breakfast, and sat down with us to share a sacred story of turnips and transformation.
by Courtney Martin
A new study out in the journal, Psychological Science, stopped me in my tracks this week. It's called "The Path to Glory Is Paved With Hierarchy" and it reports that "built-in hierarchy helps a team work effectively on collaborative tasks." The lead authors on the study--academics all--found that groups of college students with increased inequality were more effective at completing designated tasks, while those with flattened hierarchies where no one voice was privileged, no one leader appointed, were less quick to obliterate their do lists--as defined by the study's architects.
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