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Vocational Clarity in a Circle of Trust

At 9am on a Sunday morning, in front of a group of new acquaintances, I was shedding quiet tears. From a bluetoothed ipad, Cat Stevens sang ‘Morning has Broken’ as I regarded a carpet of tree collages on the floor of the meeting room – the product of a workshop exercise the previous day. Let  Continue Reading »

Re-calibrating Your Teacher’s Heart

I’m not a big fan of going back to school. After months away from kids, I sometimes forget the gifts of my vocation and start to think that napping on the couch would be a really good way to spend the fall. But, today it happened. I clicked into gear. This kid (who was a  Continue Reading »

A Weekend, a Mountain, and a Circle of Trust

The surgical fellow just two weeks shy of completing his nine-years of medical training sat across from me. His eyes vacant and looking down, he spoke in a detached way, as if describing someone other than himself: “My body feels like rubber… I feel nothing but dread… I can’t imagine ever feeling joy again.” Educari  Continue Reading »

Creating Safe Space for Connecting Over Stories of Loss

Lennon Flowers had a lot on her plate. She is co-founder and Executive Director of The Dinner Party. It’s a new national organization forging community for people in their 20s and 30s to share their experiences of loss and vulnerability – by sharing their stories over a potluck dinner. Lennon felt the burden of heavy  Continue Reading »

Asking Honest, Open Questions, Resisting the Need to Fix, & Letting the Light In

This past weekend, 22 Dinner Party hosts came together for our first-ever host retreat in Point Reyes Station, CA: a tiny town on the coast just north of San Francisco, replete with Douglas firs, foggy mornings, and clear-skied afternoons. One part wellness retreat, one part skill-building fest, one part The Real World for adults (sans  Continue Reading »

From Mess to Meaning: A Leader’s Journey

It was all “just too much!” There was too much overwhelm, too much grind, too much meaninglessness, depression, isolation and too much uncertainty that anything would ever change. In hindsight, it was not surprising that my overly stressed and under nurtured life came to a full stop, shutting down my health  — physical and mental,  Continue Reading »

Times of Transition and Letting Go

I am a high school Biology teacher at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, and I have completed three full Courage to Teach series, which have been invaluable to me personally and professionally. When I first started this adventure, I was teaching part-time. My son was in elementary school. I was running marathons, and  Continue Reading »

Turning to Wonder

Turning to wonder is one of the touchstones used to create safe space in our Circle of Trust® approach. The touchstone suggests that if you feel judgmental, or defensive, ask yourself, “I wonder what brought her to this belief?” “I wonder what he’s feeling right now?” “I wonder what my reaction teaches me about myself?”  Continue Reading »

Cultivating blossoms of soul growth

Much of the Center’s work revolves around seasonal metaphors, and we have chosen retreat centers to reflect the best that a season has to offer. For the longer, lighter summer days, we have space available at at our signature retreats: July in Minnesota and August near Seattle. If crisper days and changing leaves are more  Continue Reading »

We Built a House Together

In Rebecca del Rio’s beautiful poem, “The Comfort of Questions,” she writes: We built a house together, one without a roof, All night it opened to dark, abundant emptiness– the questions without answers. I can think of no better way of describing what took place when we gathered this last weekend for our first ever  Continue Reading »