Thursday, December 31, 2009

Military_Mom, Craig Dobkin and Miracles

I'm reading: Military_Mom, Craig Dobkin and MiraclesTweet this!

If you follow events in the momosphere you've likely heard that Shellie, known on Twitter as @Military_Mom lost her two-year-old boy recently. He drown in the family's pool, which she announced shortly after the fact. It didn't take long before haters on Twitter started criticizing her for tweeting such raw, personal news and, worse, blaming her for her son's death.

My heart goes out to Shellie and her family. I completely understand and support her impulse to tweet during a crisis. And I don't blame her for her son's death. All Moms Are Fallible as Jessica Gottlieb wrote on her blog; go read it.

Lately, I've been thinking about of moments of inattention. We all have them. And in a busy world where 15 minutes of fame seems to have been reduced to 15 seconds and there are so many things completely or our attention, it's increasingly difficult to pay attention to any one thing.

Or is that just how I feel?

I didn't think I was alone in this and my thoughts were confirmed during a recent meeting of my bat mitzvah class when we talked about our intentions for the coming year. So many of us talked about 2010 as being a time for strive for focus or kavanah, a Hebrew term meaning conscious thought, intention, concentration.

A moment of inattention is what landed a former colleague, Craig Dobkin, in a wheelchair. He was an experienced rock climber who forgot to check his safety ropes before setting off on a 80-foot descent well over a decade ago. In the late 1990s, I attended a workshop on miracles he led at a local conference for experiential educators. Most of the sessions focused on how to be a better facilitator or new team-building games or techniques, but knowing Craig's dynamic personality, I choose to attend his program, even though the topic seemed a bit touchy-feely.

Craig set the tone by talking about the moment of inattention that led to his falling from a high cliff, but recounted all the events that followed as a series miracles, miracles that brought him to lead that session for us.

As I was doing an end-of-the-year office cleaning, I came across my old notes from that session. Ten or twelve years later they reduce the whole thing to series of soundbites, but I think these soundbites are worth pondering as we face a new year.

The world according to Craig Dobkin (circa 1997?).

We can create personal and professional miracles by:

* noting that all behavior is purposeful
* recognizing that miracles are possible and noticing them when they occur
* taking risks
* keeping love present
* understanding that every person in our lives is a potential teacher.

Busy-ness is violent, it destroys relationships and makes it impossible to focus. (Yeah, that's in bold for a reason.)

A person's comfort zone is safe and routine; the learning zone may be uncomfortable and anxiety-provoking, but ultimately leads to growth.

One never has enough information to be pessimistic.

All feedback is positive.

What are your thoughts for the new year?

I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2010!


Amy M. said...

excellent post, kim. i completely understand too. she was calling out to her "community" to be there for her and those of us who understand, are definitely there for her.

Heather said...

After that happened, I deleted tweetie and FB from my iPhone. Yes, it was just a minute here and a minute there,but in less than two weeks there is a palpable difference in my attention and sense of purpose as a mom. For me, I don't think my daily life needs the more constant interruption of social media.

Jessica Gottlieb said...

I hope you have a very happy new year. Thanks for the nod Kim, having your approval means a lot to me.

Shari said...

I like the comment about not having enough information to be pessimistic. Too many people like is an ongoing state of "woe is me." If they truly connected the dots, they would realize how lucky they are just to be here.

Houseonahillorg said...

What an incredible post.

I instinctively did not make a judgment and simply thought powerful healing thoughts. Your post brings up things for us all to consider.

Thank you for sharing kavanah and concept of "inattention" VERY powerful.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

What a horrible tragedy for that family. I am sure that the outpouring of support helped but the outpouring of criticism is horrendous!

I am so glad (for once) that I cannot afford a phone with internet connections. I am online only when I'm on the computer.

2KoP said...

I had a moment of inattention this morning, and it scared me to death. I dropped the kids a school, stopped at a red light on a busy street and for some reason treated it like a stop sign. While I had come to a complete stop and looked both ways, I proceeded then to drive right through the red light. I was so shaken up when I realized what I had done, that I had to pull over and calm down. And all that happened with no other distractions going on in my car.

Inattention happens, sometimes followed by a tragedy, sometimes by the miracle of escaping a tragedy.

Rock and Roll Mama said...

In Sanskrit, it's called "Abyasa" and "Viragya"- Abyasa is choosing the poing- Viragya is returning to the point without judgement when we stray from it.

Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield describes the resetting of attention as training a puppy- "You don't hit the puppy and say, 'You Stupid dog!' No, you lead him back to the paper."

I loved this reminder, and needed it tonight. Sometimes I confuse being Busy with being 'important' or fulfilled. Thank you for the centering words.

See you soon!

Mommy Niri said...

This is so true. SInce I started blogging tweeting countless dinners etc have been ruined, and that is not all. Truth is it is easy for us to get carried away and sad that anyone thinks they have a right to judge.

I intend to slow it down a little but pick up the pace for going after things I am passionate about. More importantly I am cutting out negative and toxic feelings and people.

Happy New Year my dear friend Kim!

Christie-The ChatterBox said...

OMG, Kim! This post was so magical for me for a plethora of reasons so I am so glad I decided to weed through my reader today! that word and it's meaning...I'm definitely going to be using that one! And the point you chose to bold...that one is getting printed and put in a certain person's briefcase!