As I reflect back on this past year, I feel deeply grateful for the various opportunities I’ve had for professional growth and collaboration. After a year marked by great loss in 2022, I was back on the road in 2023 with new energy and excitement to explore treatment and educational options.

ERU was busy organizing local networking events in New Haven, facilitating opportunities for colleagues to connect and foster new relationships. I also partnered with School Connections to host our second Neurodivergent School Connections event in Connecticut. As always, ERU remains committed to prioritizing collaboration, with a dedication to providing future opportunities for colleagues to establish meaningful connections. Stay tuned for our upcoming networking breakfast in April 2024.

How did I step out of my comfort zone last year? I co-presented (Josh White, Red Mountain) at Northeast NATSAP about grief and how to show up professionally during these times. Our intention was to openly talk about grief and its universal impact on all of us. The presentation was well-attended and I was struck by the candidness and vulnerability expressed by colleagues. I look forward to continued conversations around this much-needed topic.

Throughout 2023, I visited more than 40 programs and schools, building and growing relationships while deepening my knowledge and understanding of supportive alternatives for my clients. I intend to continue engaging in thought-provoking discussions with colleagues, exploring ways to collaborate more effectively, especially in providing innovative and “out-of-the-box” approaches when it comes to serving our clients.

Balancing self-care, parenting, and work is an ongoing challenge that I personally grapple with every single day. I’m always reminded that this process is dynamic, and embracing self-compassion is crucial for overall well-being. As a mother, navigating the delicate balance of being present despite distractions is a constant journey. Ensuring that my son feels truly seen adds another layer to this experience. I hold dear those fleeting moments with him and try to keep a beginner’s mind as I navigate this path, staying curious and fostering awe in every moment when I can. Laugher and joy are at the top of my list of priorities for 2024!

Warmly, Lauren

Touching the present moment, we realize that the present is made of the past and is creating the future.