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Finding What You Didn’t Lose: A Circle of Trust® Retreat for Women at Mid-Life Who Seek to Let their Lives Speak with Integrity and Intention

Monday, September 24, 2018 - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center - Bangor, PA

September 24-26, 2018
Mon. 4:30 pm to Wed. 2 pm

Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center
Bangor, Pennsylvania

$585 (details below)

Click to register now

I am too old for x and too young for y – where does this leave me?

Circle of Trust® facilitators, Dr. Sally Z. Hare and Sarah Hescheles, invite you join them on this unique retreat for women. Parker J. Palmer‘s Circle of Trust® approach, Sally’s work in adult learning and lifelong learning and the importance of our stories in understanding the meaning of our lives, and Sarah’s work in architecture, ministry, and non-profit leadership, her passion for co-creating sacred space and weaving community, and love of nature provide the foundation for this retreat.

Of course, we haven’t really lost anything…  Not our hearts, our true selves, nor our sense of passion for our life and work.  But, pressures, expectations, questions seem to be rising from within, and a shift, gradual or seismic underway.

Questions often begin to emerge around and through a woman’s 40’s that may be some of the hardest we will face. They are persistent and disordering.

  • How does everything I’ve worked for matter?
  • Who will I be now?
  • Is this all there is?
  • What happened to my dreams?
  • Does my life have meaning?
  • What will I leave behind?

The same questions may re-appear for decades – as our lives try to speak to us over the noises of our inner and outer worlds. Frequently, this outer noise creates a sense of dis-orientation as the shifting of who we are masks as a loss of hope – a place of despair. Yet, from these places of deep uncertainty and questioning, with a willingness to embrace doubt with a deep and abiding faith that you are enough, this place of restlessness transforms into a cauldron of possibility to continue creating and telling the story of your life. This place of swirling light and darkness holds the capacity for you to claim your voice hidden deep within.

The time to let your life speak is not in the future, the time is now!

Your voice has not been lost. Rather, surrounded by the world’s noise and vitriolic exchanges, our pursuit of what we thought we wanted (or, what others wanted for us), how we have been silenced to fit into the work place so we can pay our bills, and through many other experiences which beckon us to hide our true selves, our voices withdraw to a place deep within. Survival comes first. Yet, at this time in your life, you are old enough to understand a few things about the world, work place, and society you inhabit and yet, you are also young enough to know the future is waiting for the gifts and strengths you possess.

So you may be wondering, is this for me? Am I at mid-life?  Of course, we don’t really know the answer to that until we die. If we die at 70, mid-life would have been 35 – and if we die at 110, mid-life is at 55!  But, as you ponder whether this retreat is right for you, think about mid-life not so much as an age – but rather as a stepping stone on the journey of life.  If you find yourself in a place where you are thinking about transitions, questioning your life, and struggling to find your voice, then this retreat is for you!

Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.
~ Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Life’s questions emerge differently depending on our individual experiences. Perhaps, you may be at a place where:

  • A gentle, lingering nudging welling up from some place deep within you – a sense emerging that life as you understand it today is changing – you are not quite sure where to, why, or how, but you know you are on the threshold of something different.
  • You are experiencing a consistent restlessness in life. Perhaps, after spending years discovering your voice, you are no longer quite sure where or how to use it.
  • You may be burned out, challenged daily by the life you have built and are seeking something different – something which is life-giving and fills you with purpose and passion – gives a renewed meaning to your presence in this world.
  • A constant ache is your companion as you journey through a life-transition which was not of your choosing.
  • Life unfolded exactly how you planned and, you are now searching for how to continue growing on this path. Or, recognizing this path no longer fills you with the joy you once knew, you’re wondering where do I go from here?

If you feel stuck and have the sense that it’s time for a change; if you are feeling divided between what you do and who you are; if you’re seeking your voice and how to speak at this time in your life, then consider joining us at Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center.

This retreat is a creative endeavor that asks us to reclaim our own story, to rediscover our voice, and let our lives speak!  Our lives are not our experiences, but how we make meaning from our experiences. Researchers in leadership and adult development today are affirming that successful adults remember, reflect, and recreate their stories.

Those of us engaged in organizational leadership, teaching, psychology, pastoral care, medicine, and other service professions, in community service and social change, know the challenge of sustaining ourselves and our commitment to deeply held values and beliefs. The more passionate we are about our work and our lives, the more vital it is that we take time to renew our own spirits – to reconnect with the wellsprings of our work in the world, our service to others.

The safe space of this retreat offers you the opportunity to glimpse your own hidden wholeness, to rejoin soul and role, to reconnect who you are with what you do. In this retreat the skilled facilitators will help create a quiet, focused, respectful space, in which the noise within us and around us can subside, and we can meet stillness. In large group, small group, and solitary settings, we will explore the intersection of our personal and professional lives, making use of stories from our own journeys, as well as insights from poets, storytellers, various wisdom traditions – and inviting our own writing and poetry to emerge.



Meet Your Facilitators

Sally Z HareSally Z. Hare, Ph. D., is a teacher and a learner and a student of community. She earned her doctorate at the University of South Carolina and has completed post-doctoral work in settings as diverse as the Harvard University Leadership Institute, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and the Institute of Noetic Science’s Healing Arts of Bali. She is president of still learning, inc, and Singleton Distinguished Professor Emerita at Coastal Carolina University. She has worked for two decades with the national Center for Courage & Renewal and facilitates the Courage to Teach and the Courage to Lead programs as well as Circles of Trust retreats across the United States and in Canada and Australia. She is the story gatherer for the new book, Thin Places: Seeking the Courage to Live in a Divided World. Now at age 70, she loves to echo the words of Gloria Steinem: “I am not passing the torch, thank you very much!  I am using my torch to light those of others!”

Sarah Hescheles, S.T.M., M.Div., enjoys reading in front of a roaring fire, continually learning and growing, and co-creating sacred space to nurture individual wholeness and weave life-giving community. She earned her Master of Sacred Theology from Yale Divinity School and Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Master of Divinity from Duke University, and Bachelor of Science in Architecture from University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She is principal and owner of Restoring Waters Consulting, llc and was prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal to facilitate Circles of Trust. When not working, she delights in spending time hiking, snowshoeing, gardening, skiing, photographing landscapes and wildlife, writing and spending time with family and friends. At age 42, Sarah’s a pilgrim traveling with these questions and a deep hunger to share her gifts with the world. She strives each day to let her life speak with increasing integrity and wholeness.

About Our Venue

Kirkridge Retreat Center is located in the Pocono Mountains on the Appalachian Trail.





Registration and Fees

Click to register now



Space is limited to 20 participants. Early registration is encouraged.

Cost: $585.00 includes program, materials, room, and meals.

Financial Aid: We do not want the cost to keep anyone away. If a partial scholarship would make a difference, please contact Sally Hare or Sarah Hescheles.

Questions about this retreat? Contact….

Facility and/or registration questions: Janet Lewis at or 610-588-1793.

Program questions: Sally Z. Hare at or Sarah Hescheles at

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