Time to Connect?

Posted on: April 28th, 2012 by Kawika Holbrook

Illustration of people holding hands

In April, 1440 Foundation spent a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook sharing articles, asking questions, and looking for answers — deeper meanings — in all this news about technology and the skills needed to cultivate deeper, richer relationships with ourselves, each other, and the world. It’s been a learning experience, for sure. Some of these efforts are working well. We’re gaining followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook. They’ve been good for sharing interesting articles (many of which are referenced above) and gleaning interesting perspectives from others. They have not, thus far, been a source of rich conversations.

Obviously, it takes time to build a community and trust. And people—even those who we support with grants or who will be judging our 1440 Challenge—are extraordinarily busy. So, to ensure meaningful conversation continues, we’re taking a few new steps, starting now:

  1. Look for our comments on articles and blog entries. Sometimes we’ll express our point of view, other times, we may just pose a question. But because conversations are happening far and wide, we’ll be stretching ourselves to dive in where they’ve started.
  2. We’ve started a real blog. This is the first post. It’s tough to express everything in the few sentences Facebook allots for posts before being truncated. It’s nearly impossible to share more than a single quip in Twitter’s 140 characters. Previously, we were sharing some quotations we found valuable here, but the page didn’t see a lot of traffic. So now we’re kicking into second gear with more long-form sharing. Obviously, we’d love to see some conversations around these posts, but for now it’s important just to get the words out.
  3. We’re preparing a few more videos that include interviews with the people whose programs we support. And we’ll make sure they’re available to share and embed on other sites, because what they’re doing is important and should be shared.

As always, if you have something you’d like to share, let us know. Pinned to the left of each page of our website are the social networking sites we use. And we have the 1440 Challenge going on right now, which is the best way to both share your big idea for teaching people about these relationship skills and get funding to develop it further.

3 Responses

  1. funnynac says:

    As the Midnight deadline for the 1440 Challenge approaches, I take a seat at my desk, hands to keyboard, posture straight, facing the screen.  A Mindful breath in… my brain is filled with Pema Chödrön’s simple, profound words (The Wisdom of No Escape), and now the exhale… the soft voice of Master Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Picture the pink stream of smoke exiting the top of your head…”  Then another Mindful breath in… my body sinks heavily into my chair, with a vision of my Sunim from Sri Lanka and I sense the integration of 18 years of Vipassanā practice… and with another exhale… I am comforted by 10 years of personal work and clinical study in the Humanistic-Experiential-Somatic modalities.  Wait a minute… What’s this???  I notice a wave of energetic discharge followed by a gentle stream tears on my cheeks.  But why?

    This is not a seemingly superficial display, as in grade-school, when my hysterical tears flowed often and uncontrolably.  At age five, I was officious, and I made awkward attempts to win friends by politely pulling out their chairs.  Constantly new traumatic memories were emblazoned on my young psyche – the pain of a basketball thrown at my face, smashing my glasses to pieces, belittled and embarassed, snot smeared across my face.  At least the kids on the playground could have the decency to laugh behind my back. No, today’s tears were not an indicator of hurt feelings, thank goodness.

    Just out of college, I read a Self Help book on relationship addiction.  I decided to overturn a long-standing family taboo against psychotherapy, and made an appointment to see the local LCSW who was mentioned in the book.  She was the first woman and the first adult to listen, really listen, to me.  Carl Rogers himself would have been proud.  With laser-accuracy she assessed my needs and handed me a single sheet of paper with the title: CoDependents Anonymous (CoDA Twelve Steps).

    The very next Saturday morning, I cautiously entered a women’s CoDA meeting, and instantly felt at home.  A middle-aged lady cleared her throat and introduced herself, “I’m Elena and I’m a recovering Co-Dependent.”  There’s a good chance that Elena and I never would have met outside these walls – I was intrigued by the three tiny tears tattooed next to her eye in blue… She was a stranger, and yet a shiver of goose-pimples raced down my forearms – I wanted what she had.

    With a steady, confident ease Elena read the Promises: “I know a new love and acceptance of myself and others.  I feel genuinely lovable, loving and loved.  I learn to see myself as equal to others.  My new and renewed relationships are all with equal partners.”  WHOA!  HOW?  I have a Self?  It was 1997, so there wasn’t a proper name yet, but it was Scott Kriens has now named “The 4th ‘R’  – Teachable  Life Skills.

    I steadily worked the Steps with my Sponsor, attended the women’s meeting weekly, and proudly recovered My Voice.  My Truth had been stuffed down, in order to survive in my childhood home.  It was time to make peace with my family, starting with my father…

    Dad and I quietly slid into the booth at the local breakfast joint.  I peeked over my menu and saw him gazing down with a furrowed brow of indecision.  My heart raced… A thought rushed through my mind, “This is NOT going to be EASY!”  Then a breath… Though it wasn’t conscious, it led to a Shift, “COURAGE is feeling the FEAR, but DOING IT ANYWAY…”

    With the determination of a Medieval Knight, I wielded my sword, adjusted my armor and stepped forward to do battle.  My Inner-Child was my Fair Maiden, and it was time to defend her Honor.   My quivering voice emerged, “Dad, a lot of times you are very stern and cold…” His furrowed brow was now redirected at me, but I continued, “…and you give me advice, when all I really need is a great big hug to let me know I’m going to be okay.”

    His expression softened and delicate pools filled his eyes.  With a crackle in his voice he replied, “Yes…yes…I can do that.  I didn’t know that was what you needed from me.   I’m glad you said something.”  Because of this exchange, I gave my dad the chance to show his compassionate Self.  Also, I saw that men can be caring, and perhaps most importantly, I reignited my Belief that Humanity, in general, was Good.

    So why ARE my tears falling today?  Am I sad that the 1440 Challenge is coming to a close?  Yes.  It has been AMAZING to see such diverse, creative entries from my colleagues!  But these are tears are of joy for the “window” that is about to open  – the Igniting of the 1440 Community!  If you are reading this, then you have synchronistically been led to the 1440 Foundation, as I have.  Let’s work together… I can’t wait!

    Nicole Crouch, MA, P.P.S.
    CA Credentialed School Counselor & Mindfulness Educator
    Ventura County, Southern CA

  2. kawika says:

    Thanks for sharing, Nicole. Good luck!

  3. Jennifer Bodi says:

    It does take time to build a good following . I remember MySpace days. I was a mobile DJ and I did much of my marketing presents there. It wasn’t until a year and a half and a “campaign for people to show love to one another” when the people began pouring out comments and responding in round discussions. My inspiration was the hardship of my divorce and trying to find positive in all of the emotional feeling. I found out that season that people respond to pisitivity and love. My business boomed and so did the energy at every show! Just takes time:) I feel what you promote is so positive without a doubt it shall take off!