June 14, 2017 @ 9:00 am – June 16, 2017 @ 4:00 pm
Chalfonte Hotel
301 Howard Street
Cape May
NJ 08204
Valerie Brown

 June 14-16, 2017 (Wednesday to Friday)

Chalfonte Hotel, 301 Howard Street, Cape May, New Jersey 08204

with Valerie Brown, JD, MA, ACC


The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh


“After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.”

Pam Shaw


About this retreat by the sea….

Based on the work of the American writer, Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, this two-day-midweek retreat explores issues of transition, vocation, life passion, purpose, meaning, direction, relationships, and underlying life patterns, to live in alignment with one’s deepest values and the courage to act with integrity and authenticity.

FlowersIn a safe, quiet, nurturing, and confidential environment, this retreat promotes reflection, clarity and insight.

Guided by core principles and practices, which include the belief that everyone has an inner teacher, an inner source of truth, we will engage in contemplative practices to support personal and societal transformation. The retreat promotes self-awareness, understanding, inner resilience, and trust, and offers the supportive community, as well as time for quiet personal reflection.

During the retreat, we explore poetry, prose, music, gentle guided movement, video, journaling, stories from various wisdom traditions, periods of silence, and mindfulness meditation practices.  The retreat includes periods of silence and quiet self-reflection, large and small group discussions, deep listening through a version the Quaker process of the clearness committee.

Enjoy spacious time on the beach and at historic seaside inn in Cape May, New Jersey, as well as much laughter and lightness.

Each day-long retreat—one for each season of the year— includes light breakfast, hot and cold buffet lunch, coffee and tea, plus all materials. Register for one retreat or for all

What you will experience during this seaside retreat….

  • Circle of Trust® Touchstones and Approach
  • Rest and renewal at a historic seaside resort with spacious time at the ocean
  • Deep listening skills to build relational trust
  • How to ask honest, open questions to support understanding, especially in challenging times
  • An introduction to the Quaker clearness committee, a 16th century process of individual discernment in community
  • Sabbath rest and renewal
  • Journaling as a tool of discernment
  • Creative expression through art
  • Discernment in community
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Body movement/Body awareness

Our venue by the sea….

Established in 1876, the historic Chalfonte Hotel is recognized as the oldest continuously operating hotel in Cape May, America’s Original Seaside Resort. Situated just two blocks from the beach, The Chalfonte offers a unique seashore experience defined by warm, Southern-style hospitality and gracious traditions.

Cape May is an historic Victorian seaside gem and is the oldest resort and one of the most beautiful spots in the country. The entire city of Cape May is a National Historic District, with nearly 600 preserved Victorian buildings.

Culturally, the Chalfonte’s long-standing tradition of warm hospitality and nationally-acclaimed Southern style fare is an essential part of the experience.


Fees and costs include:

$750.00 per person/double occupancy includes:

  • Lodging and all taxes
  • Wednesday dinner, Thursday breakfast and dinner, Friday breakfast.   Thursday picnic lunch on the beach is an additional modest fee.
  • All retreat materials, including pre- and post-retreat materials
  • Expert retreat facilitation
  • Early morning self-care practices at the beach (gentle yoga, walking, or meditation)
  • Small group setting to enhance your personal experience; the retreat is limited to 15

Fee does NOT include:

  • Transportation to and from the retreat venue
  • Tips and drinks


How to Register:

There are two simple steps to register for this retreat:

  1. Click the ‘Retreats & Facilitation Services Pay Now’ Button and pay the $500.00 deposit to reserve your place.  (Paypal charges and fees are NOT included in the price.)  Alternatively, you may write a check for $750.00 made payable to Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, 95 Old York Rd., New Hope, PA 18938 and mail it to me. Please do NOT make the check payable to Valerie Brown.
  1.  Complete the registration form containing a confidential questionnaire and return it to me at valeriebrown95@gmail.com or by mail at the address above no later than June 1, 2017.



Retreats & Facilitation Services

Coaching & Consulting Services

Conflict Resolution & Mediation Services

Named one of the best courageous books of 2014 by the Center for Courage & Renewal, this book is for educational leaders who feel overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted, and offers explicit practices to help readers avoid burnout and become the mindful, poised, effective leaders they were meant to be. Loaded with real-time encouragement with portraits of educational leaders who are incorporating mindfulness practices, like attentive breathing, mindful walking about the school building, or calming pauses in the office throughout the school day, this book is a must-have guide.

Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson. Corwin, December 2014. 344 pages.

The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel.

Not your average travel guidebook, this book explores some of the world’s great pilgrimages, destinations, and the author’s reflections on the lessons she learned from them. Read this book to discover how travel can be transformational, how to be more mindful while traveling and every day, the adventures of traveling alone, the delights of encountering new people and places, ancient pilgrimage journeys and sacred travel worldwide.

Valerie Brown. QuakerBridge Media, 2012, 152 pages. Also available from QuakerBooks.

Heartfulness: Renewing Heart, Mind, and Spirit on Retreat and Beyond Valerie

Valerie Brown guides readers toward renewal of mind, heart, and spirit by encouraging them to take time away from the busyness of their lives through retreat. Drawing on her experience as a retreatant and retreat leader, she introduces readers to opportunities for personal restoration within a variety of focused retreats. She wonders how Friends experience of expectant waiting influences the retreat process and how retreats influence expectant waiting. She encourages the “big questions”—What has meaning and purpose in my life? What am I avoiding? What brings me most alive?—and offers specific practices for retreatants to cultivate in everyday life.

Valerie Brown. Pendle Hill Pamphlet #421.

Quakers are advised to begin worship by “centering down.” This is the first step in a Friend’s intention to wait in “holy expectancy,” to be drawn by the Light into communion with God. Centering prayer is also a practice used by Christian mystics to prepare for contemplation, and “centering” describes the meditation of a Buddhist in pursuit of that deep awareness called “mindfulness.” Valerie Brown is an explorer and teacher of centering practices, a Buddhist, and an active Friend. Drawing upon her own experiences and wide studies, she describes for Friends how these various traditions can offer us a better understanding and preparedness for our precious, elusive, mysterious, and simple practice of centering into worship. Discussion questions included.

Valerie Brown, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #407. 2014.