We stand at a critical threshold, facing multiple crises, what many are calling the polycrisis. As a species and a society, we have lost our bearings. At such times, we need to draw on the best qualities of the human spirit: courage, compassion and wisdom.

We offer Circle of Trust® retreats, counter-cultural spaces, where you have time to pause, find your still point in this fast-turning world and reconnect to your inner compass. Circles of Trust are a rare space where you can show up whole, with your full humanity – your joys and your strengths, your fears and your failings, your consistency and your contradictions – without the need for pretence, performance or reaching for a quick fix.

What’s special about a Circle of Trust?

The retreat is centred on a distinctive set of principles and practices, pioneered by Dr Parker J. Palmer and developed through the Center for Courage & Renewal, practices that create a trustworthy space. As well as being the foundation of our retreat you will find that these practices can be of great value in your everyday life and work.

We weave together a tapestry of colourful threads using poetry, silence, sharing of stories, nature immersion, simple meditative practices such as labyrinth walking and other creative activities. Everything we do is by invitation, based on the understanding that you know best what you need. We alternate time for individual reflection and journaling with opportunities for time in small groups and the larger circle to share and listen.

On longer retreats you will experience a powerful discernment process adapted from the Quaker tradition for Courage & Renewal programmes. A number of people will be invited to be a “Focus Person’. Each focus person will have the opportunity to explore in depth a dilemma, an important question they are facing or a personal challenge with four to six other participants, who will be members of their “Clearness Committee’. The members of the Clearness Committee will listen attentively and ask honest, open questions. The practices underpinning Clearness Committees date back to the 1660s and are unique, gentle and powerful, and above all trustworthy, enabling the focus person to access a new depth of self-awareness and insight about the questions they are holding.

finding joy and aliveness in chaotic times weekend retreat in sussex uk

Finding Joy and Aliveness in Chaotic Times
- a Circle of Trust® Weekend Retreat

Friday 29 September – Sunday 1 October 2023
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, UK

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Howard Thurman

We are living in chaotic times facing multiple, urgent, complex challenges. We have lost trust in many of our institutions and leaders. We have forgotten our deeper connection to who we are and our place in the living world. It’s understandable to sometimes feel discouraged and disheartened, perhaps even overwhelmed.

Yet if we give ourselves the space to listen deeply, beneath the din of clamorous voices, we may hear that we are being quietly called to a radical (meaning root) response. Sensing the roots of who we are, requires us to pause, soften our focus and allow our attention to be drawn in new directions. We connect anew with the source and the ground of what brings us life. It’s then that joy and aliveness naturally arise.

Join us on this weekend retreat as we take a radical step to pause and renew our sense of joy and aliveness.

Participant feedback from our previous retreats

What I loved about it was the meticulous care with which all aspects of the weekend were carried out, which enabled a great sense of safety to develop, and so the possibility of deep and meaningful work.

What a gift. Beautifully held in a magical place with a balance of thoughtful provocation and silent reflection. I came away feeling deeply content and restored.

I felt safely held, supported and free to roam with my inquiry and sense into my own rhythms and rhyme. This is powerful and heart-full work.

More information and booking

© Living Leadership