What a whirlwind few weeks it’s been! We closed out last month with hosting our Level 2 EFL Certification and our EFP Relational HERD™ workshops. This was followed by a quick trip to St. Louis to present at the Opening Panel of the PATH International Annual Conference, attend my first Board of Trustees meeting, meet and greet our Share in The HERD Scholarship recipients, and reconnect with folks at PATH for the first time in-person since 2018.
After a few days back in Orlando, I flew to the UK and spent a day with some of our HERD members there, before meeting up with some friends, and then headed south to visit family for a few days. I landed back in Orlando feeling exhausted and exhilarated in equal measure, simultaneously happy to be back “home” on the farm and “homesick” for my connections to the land and people in England. I’m also eternally grateful for my community Stateside for holding down the fort through the second hurricane of the season. While I returned to flooding and some minor storm damage, I am hugely relieved that we were once again spared anything more devastating.
As we head into the holiday season, I’m always pulled to reflect on what my growing edges and learning have been throughout the year. Themes of community, belonging, and inclusion are always present as part of the work that we do at The HERD, but what has been highlighted for me over the past month is the importance of in-person connections. The past couple of years has shown us that the world can adapt to digital and virtual connections when needed, and it has certainly been more convenient to do so in some contexts.
I’ve been a huge advocate of virtual connections over the years – social media was a lifesaver when we first moved to the States, without which it would’ve been so much more isolating and difficult to stay in touch with friends and family back home. After the heartwarming connections I’ve had over the past few weeks though, even the introvert in me is recognizing that I need the embodied impact of in-person connections, and much as it exhausts me, it can also be invigorating. As with all things, it’s not all or nothing, but both/and. With that said, watch this space as we work behind the scenes to make these in-person connections more of a priority for 2023!
Meanwhile, for HERD members, we hosted our 3rd Annual Virtual Homecoming event this past Monday, November 21st. We started this during the pandemic when we couldn’t host in-person events and Sarah Morehouse and I were missing our HERD community members. So, we got dressed up as cheerleaders (because I grew up watching US movies about Homecoming and always wanted to be a cheerleader), and we hosted a virtual homecoming where we shared recipes and traditions leading up to the holiday season as our way of reconnecting with folks. Thanks to those of you who joined us in community this year to share your dreams and successes. I attended with a heart full of gratitude for all of you.
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