The Inside Outside Retreat Centre logo, a trail marker blaze within a circle.
Logotype for the Inside Outside Retreat Centre.

Our approach: Courage & Renewal®

Time and space for you to hear your own truth.

It seems that everyone in the marketing world is trying to “help” us solve problems. Stains on your kid’s clothes? We have a solution for that! Need a car that will take you to the top of a mountain or down a gully? We have just the ride for you! Have bad breath, an unsightly rash, a smelly sofa? Buy this!!

Marketing a solution implies there must be a problem or an unmet need. It could be seen as a very paternalistic stance – out there fixing and saving and advising and correcting folks. Offering solutions to problems we didn’t even know we had.

Which is not to say people don’t face challenges and dilemmas, or that we don’t from time to time need a little advice or would benefit from some expertise. Not at all. But does there have to be a problem in order for marketing to succeed?

One thing that has always been very clear – that is not what the Inside Outside Retreat Centre is about. We are not the experts in solving other people’s challenges. 

The Courage & Renewal® Approach 

Our work is informed by the Courage & Renewal® approach, which was developed by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage  & Renewal, and what we believe is this: every one of us is our own best authority – our own best teacher. That somewhere inside us we have the answers, the ideas and solutions for the challenges we face/chase.

While a bunch of things may stand in our way of hearing or trusting that inner voice, what we’ve learned to do is create the space for you to hear your own truth.

We won’t ask you to set aside your doubts or fears – nope – bring them. We welcome you just as you are and we invite you to do the same – welcome yourself just as you would a dear old friend.

Come with a problem, or don’t. You’ll find a calm, open space where you can set aside the noisy world and your busy thoughts and engage with whatever matters most to you a question, a dilemma, a next step. Or, maybe, a simple moment of peace. 

We’ll follow gentle guidelines that create a different way of being together, nurturing trustworthy spaces for reflection, contemplation and dialogue. You’ll participate to the extent that’s comfortable for you.


What does this have to do with marketing?

Over the past couple of years we have sought out marketing experts for ideas on how to get the word out about our work and the Circle of Trust® programs we offer. What we realized is this: if we’re not in the business of solving problems we can’t use those typical solution-focused marketing techniques; we need to offer different ways to be clear about what our approach offers participants.

So – in our next  blogs we’re going to offer some “case studies”: stories, insights and reflections from past participants in our retreats. And we’ll share a deeper dive into our own work personally and as Courage & Renewal® Facilitators. We want you to know more about why we do this, what we do, the way we do it.


You Could Join Us

Transition & Change: A Spring Circle of Trust®

We’ll gather in a bright, sunny room at the Centre for Social Innovation and reflect on nature’s transition from the cold, dormant winter months to the warmer, active days of spring. This seasonal change provides a rich opportunity and inspiration to explore the transitions and changes happening within and around us: a fertile time to discern your choices and renew your spirit. 

Saturday, April 13, 9:30 – 11:30 am EDT

In Person

Centre for Social Innovation

Toronto, Ontario

$40 (subscribe to our newsletter & save $20)

Contact Us

We are settlers on Treaty 13 Land, the traditional territories of many Indigenous Nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are committed to honouring the history this land bears witness to, responding to the 94 Calls to Action of the  Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and walking lightly on the Earth. A portion of proceeds from all our offerings are sent to:  The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and The Nii’kinaaganaa Foundation.

The Inside Outside Retreat Centre, Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), 720 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON, M5S2R4