My heart is filled with gratitude for the generous opportunity I received that allowed me to participate in the 2017 Centers Gathering. The location – both Hawaii and the host center, Hawaii Island Retreat – provided the foundation for a warm and inviting container.
Although I arrived hours late due to plane delays, I was greeted and welcomed into what immediately felt like my tribe. After just the first few hours, it was clear that I didn’t just meet new friends, but in a way it felt as if I was reconnecting with life-long friends. Those of us who are drawn to this type of work and also drawn to connect with others at this type of gathering have a natural bond.
It’s not to minimize the value in meeting with one’s peers to share best practices in topics like programming, marketing, analytics/trends, and HR. That alone is worth the trip. Likewise, the opportunity to ask folks from other centers specific questions about how they do this and how they do that was also extremely valuable (and in a spirit of cooperation as opposed to seeing each other as competitors). However, my biggest takeaway was the lifelong connections I made and sense of being part of something bigger than just my own center.
Christine and the planning team masterfully wove in a perfect mix of content topics, group exercises (onsite and offsite), and local culture. We were nourished by incredible cuisine and had plenty of opportunity for connections and self reflection.
If you are thinking about attending a Centers Gathering, do yourself and your center a favor…make it to the next gathering!
By Rusty Shores
EarthRise Assistant Director
Enjoy the slideshow from the 2017 Centers Gathering!