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Turning to Wonder: Hidden Truths Below the Surface

Dear Readers, This week Terry is taking a well-deserved break to spend time with his family. In his place, I volunteered to write a reflection for the Words of Encouragement. This is also my last week with Center for Courage & Renewal after two and a half amazing years on staff, so I offer this  Continue Reading »

What Happens When You Really Listen: Practicing Empathy for Leaders

“Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing.  It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us.  When we listen we offer sanctuary for the homeless parts within the  Continue Reading »

Courageously Speaking and Listening In Schools

photo via Valery Kenski on flickr Have you ever felt the fingernails of words scraping on your skin? Have words ever maligned or ridiculed you? Many of us have felt that type of abuse. It seems to be rampant throughout our digital spaces. Our playgrounds are hurting. That’s one issue to address. A second is  Continue Reading »

Speak Your Truth, Respect Other People’s Truth

Do you find it hard to talk to someone you disagree with? When divisive topics are full of emotion, it’s hard to keep calm and genuinely listen when your mind is busy crafting a comeback. How often do you pause to fully uncover the story behind somebody’s opinion? Or wish someone would truly listen to  Continue Reading »

Self and the City: Finding Meaning in Our Work Depends on the Communities Around Us

Ideas become reality only when we experience them — in our bodies, our selves, our daily lives. So when a great bunch of Philadelphians gathered recently in the Great Hall of Neighborhood House, at Christ Church, for the WHYY event “City and Self: Bringing Humanity to Work,” that’s where we started — and I hope  Continue Reading »

Holistic Decision-Making – It’s Not Just for Doctors

“Decision-making is something that you can do with either your limited mind and ego, or by letting the choices percolate through your body, emotions, mind, heart, creative self-expression, intuition, spirituality, as well as through the dimensions of context and time – until a decision becomes clear with input from your total Self. Decisions made this  Continue Reading »

Why We Must Also Listen to Our Inner Shadows

“If we do not understand that the enemy is within, we will find a thousand ways of making someone ‘out there’ into the enemy, becoming leaders who oppress rather than liberate others,” writes Parker Palmer in Let Your Life Speak. What does it mean to confront our inner enemy, knowing we can never truly be  Continue Reading »

Learning to Speak from My Soul

A non-incarcerated student from the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program shares from a semester-end speech about how Parker J. Palmer’s book A Hidden Wholeness turned her life around. I am what the program calls an “outside” student. It is a rare opportunity, to be able to enter into a prison and engage with the individuals behind  Continue Reading »

Habits of the Heart for Church Leaders

I begin this year with gratitude – gratitude deeper than I would have predicted. It was a privilege to serve as Moderator of The United Church of Canada from August 2009 to August 2012, but there were times when I felt I’d be lucky to survive. Thankfully, I completed my term feeling whole, even if  Continue Reading »

Words of EnCOURAGEment #21 March 2013

Dear Friends, We’re aiming in 2013 to bring you Words of EnCOURAGEment in a shorter format delivered monthly that we hope inspires you to listen, live and lead with more integrity. We welcome your feedback! And we invite you to visit our blog for more stories and event news. At Courage & Renewal, we believe  Continue Reading »