Author Archives: Valerie Brown, JD, MA, ACC

Retreat: A World Within Our Reach

“….Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale…..”   

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes, from A Letter to a Young Activist in Troubled Times

Take a moment to pause and to reflect:

·      What does it mean for you ‘to mend the part of the world that is within your reach’?

·      What ‘small, calm thing’ can you do to bring ‘justice and peace’ to our beautiful, needful world?

·      What are you ‘determined’ to risk?

How do you create space and the time to invite big questions like these into your life, and then to lean into action?

Consider joining a retreat, a time away, to experience rest, renewal, and reflection.  In the retreat, it’s not about fixing the whole world, but instead about considering questions of life meaning, purpose, and direction:

Retreat offers an opportunity to slow down, to take a long, loving look at what is and what could be. Though retreat may be relaxing, it is not a recreational holiday. Retreat is not a planning conference, though planning is essential. Good planning by the retreat leader helps to create a retreat environment that is often filled with paradox: a retreat that is both restful and engaging, offers time in community and in solitude, is challenging and is comforting. For the retreat participant, consider your personal preferences and needs, the timing of the retreat, the location of the retreat center, and the type of retreat. Although retreat offers time away, it is not about avoiding life’s conflicts or struggles, but rather about shaping  new perspectives, new insights.

Discover your ‘enduring good’ in retreat. Register now for a Lead Smart Coaching retreat. 

Because of Them, We Can

“Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On their shoulders, we stand. We step forward because of the vision, the life, and the legacy, of people like, Rev.Dr. Martin…Continue Reading

The Mindful, Reflective School Leader

The effectiveness of mindfulness practices on students and teachers is supported by hundreds of empirical studies and many organizations specialize in helping teachers and students bring mindfulness into the classroom and other learning environments. However, my experience in co-writing The Mindful School Leader: Practices for Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014) is that school leaders…Continue Reading