These retreats are designed to rest, renew, restore, and reconnect the body, mind and spirit.  They are extraordinary personal growth and learning opportunities, and cultivate societal transformation.

Contact Valerie to design and lead a retreat for your organization.

Register today; retreats fill quickly. Space is limited.

Journey Toward Wholeness: A Courage & Renewal® Retreat Series at Pendle Hill
Nov 9 2018 – May 5 2019 all-day

Journey Toward Wholeness:  A Courage & Renewal® Retreat Series at Pendle Hill, beginning November 9-11, 2018

November 9-11, 2018 – Seeds of the True Self

January 11-13, 2019 – Dwelling in Darkness

March 8-10, 2019 – Embracing the Power of Paradox

May 3 -5, 2019 – Living with Abundance & Gratitude


Based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal®, this retreat combines both an opportunity within community to explore what matters most to you and to savor rest and renewal. 

Reflect on issues of transition, vocation, life passion, purpose, meaning, direction, aging, relationships, and underlying life patterns, to live in alignment with your deepest values and the courage to act with integrity and authenticity.


This retreat is designed for you:

  • Are you seeking rest and renewal, a time set-aside just for you from the busyness of daily stress to focus on what matters most to you?
  • Are you in transition and asking yourself: ‘What’s next?’ And, do you want the space to reflect and to listen to your own inner wisdom?
  • Are you seeking support to build ongoing practices and a community to help you integrate your deepest intentions into your life and work?
  • Have you been deeply moved by the writing of Parker J. Palmer and the Circle of Trust® and want to know more?

What people are saying….

  •  “…profoundly moved to a deeper level of “getting it””.
  • “It is an amazing spiritual journey where you can learn more about yourself and experience the capacity of love of humanity.  It’s life changing and uplifting.”
  • “The program helped me go beyond what I thought I was seeking and give clarity to my questions.”
  • “It was marvelous!  You must do this for yourself.”

Read more here.

Register here. Space is limited to 23 persons.

Leap of Faith: Creating the Life You Want and the Work You Love, A Courage & Renewal® Retreat @ Cranaleith Spiritual Center
Dec 8 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Leap of Faith Creating the Life You Want and the Work You Love, A Courage & Renewal ® Retreat

About this retreat

Become the best version of you. Transform your thinking about life purpose and meaning, about your work. In this deep dive, you’ll explore how your values align with your work, your soul, and role.

What You’ll Learn in this Retreat….

  • Envision a self-sustaining career that resonates with your deepest levels of integrity, passion, and purpose
  • Imagine how your life would change if you honored your life’s calling rather than settling for yet another job?
  • Explore vocational transition through a lens of fullness and abundance


Our Venue

Cranaleith Spiritual Retreat Center, an oasis of natural beauty, a ‘Sanctuary of Trees’, a place to ‘get-away-from-it-all’, is located in Philadelphia, and is easily accessible by mass transit.  Focused on promoting health and well being, Cranaleith serves nutritionally balanced meals with a sense of joy and good taste.



Includes a light breakfast, gourmet lunch, refreshments, retreat materials, facilitation, and day use of Cranaleith Spiritual Center grounds.

Register Here

Click here for the flyer

Open Heart, Peaceful Mind: A Courage & Renewal® Retreat for Rest & Reflection @ Pendle Hill
Dec 28 2019 @ 9:00 am – Jan 1 2020 @ 4:00 pm

Open Heart, Peaceful Mind:  A Courage & Renewal® Retreat for Rest & Reflection

at Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA (near Philadelphia)  December 28 to January 1, 2019 

Reflect on what matters most.  Using the Courage & Renewal Approach, you’ll explore issues most deeply meaningful to you and the courage to take action.

Exhale deeply.  Savor space and time to reflect on your life.   Rest and renew; make new connections.  Start the new year grounded in body, mind, and spirit.  This annual retreat includes a New Year’s Eve Celebration of the senses, delicious and inspired local and organic meals, a live concert, ice cream social, candlelight meeting for worship, and much more.

Our Venue

Pendle Hill is Quaker, retreat and educational conference center, and community, situated on 24-bucolic acres just outside Philadelphia.   Dedicated to fostering peace and social justice through transforming lives, Pendle Hill is well known for caring and professional staff, delicious, local and organic meals, beautiful grounds, and proximity to major transit hubs.

What People Are Saying….

  • “I loved the schedule, the way all the facets were integrated thoroughly and thoughtfully with spontaneous combustions of positivity.”
  • “Outstanding opportunity to grow in ways you cannot imagine.”
  • “I had no idea what to expect and I am leaving with more than I could ever imagine.  I have a toolbox filled with tools to live fully and to know joy.”

 Registration details available in Spring 2018.  Space is limited.

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.