Monday, October 17, 2016

Ups and Downs of This Year's Herbal Conference

I was excited about this year's herbal conference, I was unable to attend last year and really missed that boost of herbal mojo.  And this year did not disappoint.  It was such a beautiful weekend up in the mountains, the speakers were engaging.  I learned a little about herbs, and a little about myself.  I came away with that boost I had been missing and I can't wait for next year.

Let me start with the down, for me anyway.  The very first session of the entire conference started out with us yelling out our names, OK so that let me know what kind of a session this was going to be.  And the last 30 minutes or so was "SMALL GROUP INTERACTION".  Yes those dreaded words, break up into groups of three and.....  I  hate hearing that, "break up into small groups".  And we each took turns, in our groups of three, talking about ourselves (yes there was a specific topic) to two strangers.  That isn't really my thing.  So I spoke for a minute, volunteered to go first to get it over with.  And yeah, no I didn't take up all my "allotted time", and no I had nothing else to say.  I know many people find it easy to share their souls to strangers, more so than to friends.  I am not one of those people, for me it is harder with strangers.  That feeling of judgment maybe, I don't know.  Luckily for me that was the ONLY session of the conference that had any "group activity".

I did bring my knitting along, and that provided a couple of benefits this time around.  The one benefit, that I recognize and why I bring it, is that I have something to do, so I don't feel like I am just sitting there staring.  I have something to do, to take my mind off of things.  Also this time I had a couple of people come up to talk to me about knitting, an easy topic for me to talk about and connect with people.

A real positive for me this year, happened during lunch on Saturday.  There were a few food trucks at the conference and a few picnic tables, lots of space to spread out on the grass if you want and have lunch and just relax and process or socialize if you like.  In years past I generally get my lunch and then go spread out on the grass somewhere, knit, eat and relax.  This year I decided I was going to sit with a few other women if there was space at a table, and there was.  I think that space was waiting just for me.  So I went up and asked if the spot was free, introduced myself and sat there.  The other women were so nice, we chatted about the conference, about our lives, where we were from etc.  Just general chit chat.  It was nice, it was out of my comfort zone, and I enjoyed it.  I need to do more of this. ....Maybe next year.  One year I hope to fully embrace the social experience of the conference, and not just the information side, baby steps.

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