Barbara Reid The Courage to Care: Towards an Ecosystem of Wellbeing

A Courage and  Renewal® Retreat

14-16 September 2018


“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

Parker J. Palmer


As humankind has come to possess the potential for destruction, more than ever we need a counterbalance. The capacity we have for care is innate in us, though often covered over by the pressures and violence of modern life. Care for the self, care in our relationships, and care in the organisational and societal communities of which we are part requires us to hold contradictions and stay true to our sense of deep conviction about what matters. Beyond the realm of the ego, we can reach out and find our place in the wider landscape of well-being, extending care not just towards the welfare of ourselves, but towards the whole eco-system.

Join us for this contemplative retreat to reflect, renew, and reconnect with the inner passion, courage and sense of purpose that gives meaning to our work and life in the world. As individuals in our various life and work roles, this is an opportunity to share our unique gifts, hopes, responsibilities and perspectives. In retreat, through conversation, creative process, and deep listening we hold space for each other to (re)discover the spirit of care and how this drives the sense of inner leadership that guides and sustains us in our life and work.


This retreat is based on the work of Parker Palmer and the U.S.-based Center for Courage & Renewal programmes. It is facilitated by Barbara Reid, who is a UK-based facilitator for the Center. This approach to ‘personal formation’ and professional development is founded on the belief that good leadership, in its very widest sense, – the ability to genuinely be of service in communities and workplaces, – flows from the identity and integrity of the individual. The retreat process invites participants to reclaim wholeness of self and clarity of vocation while making connections between the renewal of one’s spirit and the revitalisation of the communities and workplaces of which we are part.


Barbara Reid, PhD, is a facilitator and retreat leader specialising in professional and personal formation. She has been prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal in the U.S. to lead retreats based on the work of Parker J. Palmer, which she has been doing for the past 5 years. With a long-standing commitment to reflective practice, she works cross-professionally with people involved in change and transformation in organisations and communities. She is also a teacher of Mindfulness Based Approaches and taught part-time at the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice at Bangor University until the end of 2017. With a background in university teaching and research, Barbara led vocational degree programmes in the social and urban policy fields and managed social action research projects for a wide range of public services and third sector organisations. With a long-standing personal commitment to collaborative, contemplative and reflective practice, she is passionate about creating open and trustworthy spaces that support dialogue, learning, and community building.

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