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A Spring Circle of Trust®

A Saturday Circle

We are really looking forward to our next in person offering: A Spring Circle of Trust®: Transition & Change, It’ll be two hours on Saturday morning, April 13, in Toronto. It’s inspired by a Saturday circle we attended five years ago.

Our Inspiration

At the time, a Saturday Circle of Trust was new to us. We were pretty familiar with weekly or monthly retreat series and had even attended a few 3-day residential retreats. We really appreciated what these extended Courage & Renewal® experiences offered: putting aside regular routines, extended time reflecting on a particular theme and most of all the quiet, protected space to reconnect with purpose and inner wisdom. We loved that Courage & Renewal sessions weren’t aligned with a particular method or belief system and that no one was trying to sell us anything, fix our problems or tell us how to live. The facilitators were always firmly committed to holding space to ponder where we find courage and integrity.

As beneficial as these retreats are, they’re rare. And when you find one, it requires a considerable commitment of time, and often, travel and expense. Sustaining the insights and shifts in perspective that arise is challenging once the retreat is over. So when we heard about a regular, bi-monthly Circle of Trust®, here in Toronto, we were all in.

We were welcomed into a sunny, spacious room on the University of Toronto campus, by Courage & Renewal facilitators Mike Saver and Mardi Tindal. Although we felt a little shy we settled into the circle of chairs arranged in the centre.

As others arrived they joined us in the circle. The facilitators began a pattern that was familiar to us: a welcome, reviewing the touchstones (guidelines), a reading, private personal reflection, small group sharing, and a closing circle.

Courage & Renewal Touchstones: Aligning soul and role

The Courage & Renewal Touchstones for Creating Trustworthy Space are key to creating the time and space for participants to sink into deep reflection and to hear one another. Touchstones that valued silence as much speaking and reminded us that everything offered was simply an invitation, meant there was no pressure to speak unless we wanted to. There was no expectation to respond to the reading in a particular way. Sharing in a small group was straightforward because we knew our only job was to listen openly to each other as well as the words we ourselves spoke. No one was there to judge, advise, or fix anyone else.

It’s hard to explain, but having generous time to reflect quietly and privately, followed by moments of sharing in community, really did lead to deeper personal revelations.

Restoring the Saturday Circle of Trust

The Saturday circle continued bi-monthly for a few more years, moving online during the pandemic. Two years ago Mike and Mardi invited others to step in and revive the in person circles. We made an attempt but very few people seemed ready to attend face-to-face events and so we put the practice aside.

And then, a few months ago, someone mentioned to us how she longed for in person meetings again and we realized we missed them too. So here we are, taking the chance to open the circle once more. We’re reaching out to those who attended in the past as well as others who are looking for some protected time and space to focus on what matters most in their lives, whether it is resolving a dilemma, considering what comes next, or pondering how to align the life they lead with their purpose and values. Or, as Parker Palmer would say, seeking to align soul and role.

What to expect

We’ll do our best to be as welcoming as Mike and Mardi, we’ll offer the touchstones to ensure the space is welcoming and invitational. There’ll be coffee, tea, a circle of chairs and folks with listening ears and truthful voices. We’d love you to join us. If you register by April 1, we’ll have a little journal and pen waiting for you.

And by the way, if this sounds interesting to you, but Toronto is too far away, check the website for the Center for Courage & Renewal. You’ll find similar events offered by Courage & Renewal facilitators in many parts of the world.

A Spring Circle of Trust®: Transition & Change

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

Centre for Social Innovation

720 Bathurst St



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Please register here

Coming up in May:

Wonder: an online Circle of Trust®


It’s a way to come to life that reveals possibilities.

It opens us to beauty and wisdom in everyday objects and encounters.

It helps us find fresh perspective and understanding in troubling situations.

Wonder can renew the spirit.

During this online micro retreat we’ll ponder:

  • How can we access and sustain wonder in our lives?
  • What can wonder give us?

Sunday, May 5, 10:30 am – 11:45 am EDT


Pay What You Can

Register here

Paths Through Time & Nature

Rooted in the Courage & Renewal® approach, this four-part series invites us to contemplate the mystery and wonder of time, expressed through our connection with nature. Inviting fresh perspectives into our daily lives, we’ll explore the stories that trees, paths, rocks and the stars have to tell us about being present in our own one precious life.

Tuesdays, May 7 – May 28, 7:00 – 9:00 pm EDT


subscribers to our newsletter pay $80 with code: subscriber

Register here

You Could Join Us

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