In August 2019 I had the opportunity with my husband Rich, to lead two Courage to Teach retreats in China, with Chinese teachers. It was incredible. The atmosphere in the room and the reactions of the teachers were just as I have come to expect when leading ‘Courage’ retreats here in Australia – deeply connected and authentic. I honour Parker J. Palmer and the insights and process his work of courage building has brought to the world. Courage to explore the inner landscape of one’s life and to bring the inspiration of authenticity to connection with others.
I already knew this to be transformational work. Now I also know that it is transcultural. It is simply, deeply, human.
I loved the time I was with the Chinese. It was wonderful. All beauty and openness and privilege.
So in the midst of the marvel, and the immense enjoyment of this empowering activity with the heartful Chinese teachers, I was surprised to notice that as the richness of connection with the Chinese teachers grew, a note of background sorrow was increasing within me.
Over three days on retreat in China I gradually understood where this thread of sorrow was springing from.
I have not yet brought this work, as richly as I yearn to do, specifically to the teachers of my own community. Yet that’s what I always intended to do. That’s why it all began. I first came to Courage work through Parker’s work with teachers in his classic book The Courage to Teach.
I’ve had plenty of fantastic things going on in recent years. But this courage work ought not to be left un-done amongst those who nurture the futures of our children and who themselves need nurture. So it will commence.
The best way to get started is to get started…
I’m hosting a Courage to Teach ‘taster’ retreat for teachers on the weekend of 16/17 November 2019.
It’s very short notice and a very spontaneous decision, but two recent conversations with teachers made me feel their yearning for shared time to reflect on the complexity and beauty of their work and its importance within their lives and the lives of those they influence.
Because I want it to be cost-accessible, I’m holding the retreat (non-accommodation) at my home in Kingston, Tasmania. I have a space out the back which will lend itself just perfectly. It’s still a bit knocked around by the flood of 2018 (we’ve been holding-off on repairs until we finalise plans for a complete remodelling of the house) so if you join us, you’ll need to be comfy to look past some pre-renovation imperfections.
What to Expect:
Together with a small group of others you will experience safe, enabling reflective process by which to explore the question of authentic self. Parker has written:
We ask what we teach, how we teach, why we teach – “but seldom, if ever, do we ask… who is the self that teaches?”
The evening and day together will create warm and supportive intentional opportunity for personal and professional development that invites your own insights upon this unique and personal question of who is the you that teaches – giving rise to courage and inspiration.
Day 1: Saturday 16th November
Start: 4.30pm for 5.00pm sharp
Finish: 9.00pm – back to yours to sleep
Day 2: Sunday 17th November
Start: 8.30am for 9.00am sharp
Finish: After dinner
$66 + potluck catering contribution