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Courage to Lead

  • Lake Huron Retreat Center 8794 Lakeshore Road Burtchville, MI, 48059 United States (map)

Whenever you take an adversarial attitude toward something, you give it power. Instead of being fearful and resistant toward [what is breaking your heart and you feel you have no control over or someone is advocating for that which is against your core convictions, etc.], invoke the magical principle that knowing something’s name gives you power – not over it but with it, as the author Starhawk says.

~ Christiane Northrup

Entering into the Power of Paradox

May 15-17, 2020

Cultivate the ability to hold tension in life-giving ways.

(Habit of the Heart)

“Our lives are filled with contradictions - from the gap between our aspirations and our behavior to observations and insights we cannot abide because they run counter to our convictions. If we fail to hold them creatively, these contradictions will shut us down and take us out of the action. But when we allow their tensions to expand our hearts, they can open us to new understandings of ourselves and our world, enhancing our lives and allowing us to enhance the lives of others. …” ~ Parker J. Palmer

Have you ever held an expectation of yourself and/or others, and then found yourself facing change, grief, and transition without warning?

Have you turned inward, examined your core convictions and then when speaking your truth in community they have been challenged and discredited?

Have you thought that you would like to see humanity’s recognition of the relationships between human beings and the non-human world as interconnected but, people advocate for the superiority of humanity?

We live in a time of incredible public tension, dis-ease, personal uncertainty, and transition. We are bombarded by news, stories, and experiences which shake us to the very core at home, work, and in the community. And, we can be left feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, defeated, and demoralized.

We live in a gap between holding ourselves and neighbors with a sense of expectancy and needing to release expectations in order to draw fully into the present reality of our individual and collective lives. Yet, the realities of the circumstances and the hopes we hold for ourselves and neighbors frequently diverge.

We live in a gap, a place between the realities and brokenness of our lives and the potential we know exists for a way of living because we have seen and experienced glimpses of a new way of being in relationship with one another and with the non-human world. 


One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore. ~ André Gide

Let it go. Let it out. Let it all unravel. Let it free and it can be a path on which to travel. ~ Michael Leunig

Holding tension in life-giving ways demands we intentionally reflect upon our perception of ourselves as individuals and within community, pay attention to our perspective of the relationships which form our life, and actively participate in our families, workplaces, and communities. 

This 3-day retreat will offer you an opportunity to explore how you experience and hold the power of paradox, and energize us to live wholeheartedly amidst the complexities of your family, work place, and our common life. Through solitary reflection, small group connections, plenary conversation, creative process, and an opportunity to nurture your relationship with nature, you will reflect upon how your unique perception, perspective, and participation grow your capacity to hold tensions in life-giving ways. Clearness Committees, a Quaker discernment process is the capstone of the retreat.

When we can name the tragic gaps, tensions, and heartbreaks in our live, identify our responses, and intentionally grow from fully experiencing them, we are empowered to stand with them and not allow heartbreak to “overturn the order of [our] souls.” You are invited to join this Circle of Trust®.

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Please do not let cost keep you away. If a partial scholarship would make a difference, please contact Sarah Hescheles:

Continuing education credit may be available for this retreat.

Courage & Renewal® Retreat Leadership Sarah Hescheles

You are invited to the shores of Lake Huron for a time set apart to deepen your experience of:

My habits form my leadership.

Questions, please contact:

Sarah Hescheles |

Retreat Venue

Littleton Lodge & Ragland Lodge

Lake Huron Retreat Center

Burtchville, Michigan

(14 miles north of Port Huron, Michigan)

Courage & Renewal® in Michigan
Since 1995, thousands of leaders in varied fields have participated in Courage to Teach®, Courage to Lead®, and Circle of Trust® introductory retreats and retreat series. This internationally recognized work was developed over 25 years ago in Southwest Michigan with the support of The Fetzer Institute, Kalamazoo, MI. 

Earlier Event: March 20
Courage to Lead