Military_Mom, Craig Dobkin and Miracles

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!
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