Grounded in Spirit, the Sessions Pre-retreat Makes a Difference – Updated

Annual Sessions

Flowers to welcome all

When Friends reflect on Annual Sessions last year you can always tell if they attended the pre-sessions retreat. They say things like  “I felt so grounded.” Or, “That was the best way to begin.” Or, “every Quaker gathering should begin that way.”

So, it was obvious that PYM would want to offer the retreat a second year in a row, and just as clear that it would be well attended. It drew more than 30 Friends, as many as last year. Slightly more than half the attendees were first-time participants.

Friends Charlie, Valerie, and Grant gather for the pre-retreat

This time it was organized by volunteers.

Valerie Brown presented the following session:

Centering in Trust & Love:  A Workshop at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) Spiritual Pre-Sessions Retreat

The workshop was based on Valerie Brown’s Pendle Hill pamphlet, Living from the Center (2010) and was designed to create a safe and supportive space to re-awaken spiritually and to re-center in Spirit, to listen deeply, and to enter PYM’s Annual Sessions with heart and mind centered in trust and love.

Valerie transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale, heart-centered work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy, compassionate, and authentic connections.  She is an accredited leadership coach, international retreat leader, writer, and Chief Mindfulness Officer of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership, and is a Co-Director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership.

She holds the following degrees:  Juris Doctorate, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts.

She leads an annual transformational pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain, to celebrate the power of sacred places.