When somebody first asked me if I wanted to attend a Leadership Exchange, I said I didn’t consider myself a leader - despite feeling compelled to be there. I was given gentle encouragement to follow my heart and to be open to whatever I might learn from the conversations and personal refection that day. I finally decided to give it a shot.
On the cusp of fall, circles of community gathered at the Richmond Free Library in Richmond Vermont for a WholeHeart Friend & Fund Raiser Concert and day long retreat. Sara Thomsen and Paula Pederson came all the way from the Lake Superior Region to invite reflection and inspiration through song, voice, and naming what we stand for.
On June 30th, 40 "Couragers" (people who have been a part of Courage & Renewal Circles of Trust) celebrated 18 years of Courage work in Vermont. We reflected, connected and rekindled our own and our collective courage. The day was spent in retreat and the evening was spent in celebration ~ bringing together the heart of this work: deep listening and connecting in community.
On June 30th, we will be holding our first day-long Courage Reunion Retreat at Bishop Booth Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont, inviting back everyone who has been in a Circle of Trust retreat over the past 18 years in Vermont. The day will include reflection, small group sharing, time on the land and in community, inviting us to pause and align our inner voices with our outer lives. In the spirit of this gathering, we share three voices of participants over the years as they reflect on the impact of their Circle of Trust experiences:
Each day is a series of exchanges - as the dawn enters the window, animals ask to be fed, messages arrive in your inbox and greetings happen as you step into your day - with family, in community, with people ahead of you in the check out line or simply pass by...
There are named relationships - co-workers, care-givers, teachers, public officials - as well as random relationships as we come together by chance. The quality of the exchange, interaction or shared story create the fabric of our lives.