Circles of Trust ®
The circles of trust …are a rare form of community – one that supports rather than supplants the individual quest for integrity – that is rooted in two basic beliefs. First, we all have an inner teacher whose guidance is more reliable than anything we can get from a doctrine, ideology, collective belief system, institution, or leader. Second, we all need other people to invite, amplify, and help us discern the inner teacher’s voice.
Parker J. Palmer
Our renewal offerings are based upon the Circles of Trust ® programs and retreats developed by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. We create a safe, trustworthy space where individuals, in community, can explore and strengthen the connection between who they are and the work they do in the world. This model is fully described in Dr. Palmer’s book Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life.
Creation of these circles is dependent upon skilled facilitators who model and teach practices to participants that honor each individual and engage the mind, emotions and spirit of each person.
Touchstones help to create the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual space that encourages meaningful personal and professional renewal and are used in all offerings. They include the following:
- Extend and receive welcome.
- Be present as fully as possible.
- What is offered in the circle is by invitation, not demand.
- Speak your truth in ways that respect other people’s truth.
- No fixing, no saving, no advising, and no setting each other straight.
- Learn to respond to others with honest, open questions.
- When the going gets rough, turn to wonder.
- Attend to your own inner teacher.
- Trust and learn from the silence.
- Observe deep confidentiality.
- Know you can get what you need.