Words of EnCOURAGEment #2
From Co-Directors Rick & Marcy Jackson
You can listen with a sharp focus and understand what it is you're relating to on a very specific basis. But there's also a soft focus, where you're actually able to hear the melody that's created by all the parts coming together. A lot of times we don't listen for that, and a lot of times we don't know it's there, and a lot of times we get stunned by the fact that we hear it, and then everything stops.
-Ysaye Barnwell (Vocalist with Sweet Honey in the Rock)
It's been a busy and fulfilling summer at the Center for Courage & Renewal-a summer, maybe like yours, when the melody of work and life has been strengthened and made more beautiful by being attentive to what is happening all around. Before summer's end we encourage you to accept Paul Michalec's invitation (immediately below) to pause briefly and "go on an individual retreat" to reflect on summer's abundance in your life and work.
This fall we'll begin celebrating the release of four new books: the 10th Anniversary Edition of Parker Palmer's classic The Courage to Teach (with audio CD); the revised and expanded Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection & Renewal (with DVD); the paperback edition of Sam Intrator's Stories of the Courage to Teach; and a new collection of poems and essays, Leading from Within: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Lead. All of these books, published in partnership with Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, represent wonderful new resources for supporting Courage & Renewal work. Parker will be participating in celebration events across the country: Seattle in Sept; Boston in Oct; Dallas/Fort Worth in Dec; Indianapolis in Jan; San Francisco and Kalamazoo in Feb; the Carolinas in Mar; and the Twin Cities in Apr. Each site will offer multiple opportunities to hear Parker speak, so please check our home page for details about events near you.
by Courage & Renewal Facilitator and education professor, Paul Michelac
I love going “on retreat” and doing the work of reflection whenever I need the space to reconnect with my professional heart. But I also need to make a living and that requires plenty of “off retreat” time doing a different form of work. To live within this tension I look for ways of being on and off retreat while going through my professional day. This article is an invitation to go “on-retreat” while being mostly “off-retreat.” I invite you to explore, along with me, the theme of summer’s abundance in your personal and professional life. I’ll begin with a brief reflection on the theme of summer, followed with an illustrative poem “From Blossoms” by Li-Young Lee. Then I’ll invite you into a time of reflection with a few guiding questions to consider. Finally, I’ll conclude our “retreat” with my reflections on “From Blossoms” and welcome your insights, wanderings, and wonderings into the circle of this E-journal.
A Commencement Address by Parker Palmer
California Institute of Integral Studies Commencement Address delivered in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts on May 27, 2007
(Author’s Note: This commencement address, delivered when I received an honorary doctorate from the CIIS, has been shortened by nearly half to fit the CC&R newsletter. Unfortunately, this has required me to remove all the parts that contained wit, grace, intelligence and insight.)
The education you have received at the California Institute of Integral Studies is nearly unique in the world of higher education. It is also revolutionary. I urge you to carry what you know out into the world with a depth of commitment, knowledge, skill and passion that will help this revolution flourish.
A Heartening Evaluation
I have recently completed a rich and rewarding time of sabbatical in the Pacific Northwest, where I attended a series of conferences, retreats and workshops, and conducted research with several organizations. The focus of my sabbatical was on educational conversations about teacher professional development and renewal in schools and higher education, and on developing pedagogy of the soul. During this time, I was fortunate to spend some of my time working with the Center for Courage & Renewal.
The Inner Life of Educational Leaders
by Courage & Renewal Facilitators David Henderson and Chris Love
Over the past year, David Henderson, Courage & Renewal facilitator and co-founder of Montana Courage To Teach, completed his dissertation at The University of Montana by conducting a qualitative case study of the perspectives of fifteen Seattle area educational leaders who experienced a Courage To Lead (CTL) retreat series together in 2002-2004.
The intent of the study was not to evaluate the CTL program per se, but rather, to ascertain what impact the inner life of these school leaders had on their leadership practice. In-depth individual interviews and a focus group discussion explored the intersection of characteristics such as identity, integrity, authenticity, heart and courage within participants. The rich collection of data and stories that emerged were empirically analyzed and interpreted, revealing that the inner domain has a critical influence on the outer domain of these educational leaders.
Accessing the Best We Have to Offer
a profile of Courage & Renewal Facilitator Caryl Hurtig Casbon
Caryl Hurtig Casbon has been affiliated with the Center for Courage & Renewal since l998, setting up retreat programs in Oregon and nationally. Caryl taught in and directed the CORE program at Lewis & Clark College for 13 years, and is currently working for the Sacred Art of Living Center, in Bend, OR, with their Anamcara Project. She facilitates Courage to Lead retreats for clergy and congregational leaders, school leaders, as well as facilitating cross-professional circles of trust. She sat down with us to talk about her many years of facilitation.
Starting from Center: Work with Drug Court Professionals
The group of Judges, Court administrators, Probation Officers and others – all generous folks who work in Drug Treatment Court Programs in Michigan and elsewhere – sat quietly in the circle of trust. Near the close of retreat they found themselves in a very different place than when they entered retreat three days earlier. It was a new experience to feel rested, safe, and quietly reflective around their lives and common work. It was March 2006 at Seasons Center for Renewal of the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo.
A series of introductory Circle of Trust retreats was titled "Starting from the Center: Courage and Renewal Retreats for Criminal Justice Professionals," named after a phrase used by Karen Tse.