Pre-COVID, NSP staff took advantage of daily opportunities to emotionally connect with one another. Weekly lab meetings, like the one above, allowed the staff to to reflect, strategize and connect in-person.

Times of crisis, as challenging and devastating as they are, can also reveal what truly matters. For most of us, 2020 was an incredibly difficult year, filled with fear, stress, and grief, but it also marked the first time many of us told our loved ones how much we value and love them; in their absence, we realized how vital human connection is to our health and well-being.  

At the Nurture Science Program, while we have mourned the losses of friends and colleagues, we have also felt the physical absence of our living colleagues and thought partners; it has been so long since we could stop to chat in the office or lab, or strategize around a conference table. We miss the many daily opportunities we used to have to emotionally connect with each other. 

In light of how much we value and miss our incredible team, we wanted to take this opportunity to recognize and appreciate our colleagues and partners at Einhorn Collaborative, who have long championed our work, and helped us immeasurably in spreading the message, lens, and practices of nurture science. 

Einhorn Collaborative’s strategy to address America’s crisis of connection begins with advancing the science and practice of empathy, mutual understanding, and relationship-building. This past year, amidst the tumult of world events, Einhorn Collaborative regrouped and rebranded. Formerly the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, they wanted their new name to encapsulate their spirit and practice of collaboration, and their design to reflect the way they see humanity: as multi-dimensional and full of prismatic color. As distrust and division have gripped our nation, they have redoubled their efforts, sustaining more partnerships with organizations dedicated to listening, learning, and healing. 

Because of the critical role that early emotional connection within families plays in community health, Einhorn Collaborative has made the Nurture Science Program’s work a cornerstone of their strategy. And their unyielding support has enabled us to complete more comprehensive research and achieve more dissemination than we could have dreamed. But it is their personal investment in the daily practice of autonomic emotional connection that makes them such incredible collaborators. 

In one of his contributions to Einhorn’s blog series, strategy lead Ira Hillman writes:

“Every day, I experience periods of disconnection from my family (even if we are cooped up in the same house!). Being in the same space is not the same as being connected. After hours of Zoom calls, I need to kiss my husband and embrace my kids – and they need it, too! This reconnection calms my heartbeat, and I feel myself exhale. There’s nothing like their co-regulation. This is the mutuality of emotional connection. And it models a world in which we understand that when someone has needs, other members of our circle and broader society can help meet those needs, and we can calm one another. This emotional connection in the early years of life conditions us to relate to others with empathy, mutuality, and reciprocity.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And we look forward to continuing to work together to spread the lens and practices of autonomic emotional connection. 

You can check out Einhorn Collaborative’s “Reflections” Blog here, where Ira regularly posts along with other members of the Einhorn Collaborative team, and sign up for their monthly newsletter to learn more about their approach.

We treasure the collaborative support form our partners at Einhorn Collaborative (left to right: Ira Hillman, Dr. Martha Welch, Jenn Rothberg, and Dr. Michael Myers).