Today we’d like to introduce you to Lahronda Little.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Lahronda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a mystic, healer, teacher, and minister. I draw my practices from my rich cultural and spiritual heritage to nurture and guide others [back] to wellness and wholeness. Many of the lessons I have learned are from the gardens of my Grandparents; there is much to learn about life in God’s creation. From the garden to my Grandmother’s kitchen, I attained an understanding of how what we ingest directly affects how we feel. We can treat a cold, a minor cut, burn or bruise, and even indigestion from items harvested from the garden or the plants that graced the front porch. Even now, I am amazed by the profound lessons learned just by watching nature – these lessons continue to stimulate and carry me through life.
It is in the church that I became an influencer in women’s health and well-being. Deeply concerned by the intersectional challenges of socioeconomics, race, gender, politics, and the environment, I began to explore how one’s faith affected their health.
For almost 20 years, I worked in the field of industrial science and manufacturing as a chemist, and then I moved into management. In 2013, I became a certified health partner through the Predictive Health Institute of Emory and Georgia Institute of Technology. This program focused on health from 3 perspectives – physical, spiritual and mental. During this time, I began seriously thinking about changing careers. Life in the laboratory no longer fit. I became more of a counselor than a lab manager to my colleagues, and consequently, felt the urge to formally make the shift by going back to school.
I ended up going back to school to Candler School of Theology at Emory and obtained a Master of Divinity, where I concentrated in spiritual formation, women’s ministry, and health in church and community. Presently, I am a minister in the United Methodist Church and a PhD student studying Spiritual Care and Pastoral Theology at the Emory.
Holistic Gathering began to take shape as I turned my attention to what it means to provide spiritual care, especially in community. I believe that it is in spaces that facilitate personhood and wellness that one is able to better gain a sense of freedom, consciousness, strength, and self-actualization. Intentional communities inspire hope and peace.
Prior to COVID-19, we (Holistic Gathering) organized in-person spiritual retreats at various venues around the city. Now, we are hosting online meditation and reflection sessions. We also just started a weekly program called “Be Well, Be Whole,” in which we talk about issues of spiritual health and wellbeing. We post these sessions on YouTube, FB, IG, and Twitter. I live in the suburbs of Atlanta with my spouse, and we are the proud parents of 2 handsome, teenage boys.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has been a very interesting terrain – smooth, rough, unclear, and washed out in some places. The struggles have been the condition of imposter syndrome. Every step of the way, I have questioned myself and my worthiness of such important work. I also struggled with whether I should quit a perfectly good job with a decent income for a life of uncertainty. Honestly, this has been the best decision I’ve ever made. In spite of the bumpiness, I am more fulfilled now than I’ve ever been.
Holistic Gathering – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Holistic Gathering is just that – holistic gatherings. We host events in which people are allowed to take a few moments to meditate, breathe, move, question, testify, or lament. We are known for deep discussions on spirituality and holistic wellness. Our wellness sessions are always different; this is intentional. We endeavor to provide spaces and events in which people may feel a sense of peace. I teach meditation and lead meditation sessions. I also lead workshops on spirituality and organize spiritual retreats. The last retreat we hosted was an overnight session at Ignatius House in Atlanta.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Taking the leap of faith to move from one career to the next. That move is not one moment, but it’s a series of events that continue to unfold.
- Website: https://www.holisticgathering.com/
- Phone: 678-632-4858
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rahqwan Major, Orlando Evans