ABR, 2009 Lunar New Year Message, Part 1
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ABR, 2009 New Year Message -- Reviewing the past, looking forwards into the future

I must admit it took me a really long time to join the blogging crowd.  On the one hand, I realized that I needed a blog as an avenue allowing to address not just the technicalities of ABR but the surrounding “larger questions” as well -- for which we don’t have time during the assessments; on the other hand, there is so much to discuss that I wasn’t sure what was the best way to approach it.

I am aware that I tend to be rather long-winded :-),  hence the laconic style of the blog posts did not seem to fit the purpose of “ABR and beyond…”, so I decided in favor of the videos as the best mode of communication. Doing videos sounded logical and appeared great in theory, so I enthusiastically gave it a first try back in Aug 2008 recording a series of footage titled “Special wellness for special children.” It turned out long – more than 10 hours [that’s not a surprise, I guess:-) ] and I felt I packed a lot of useful information there– but after showing those videos to the ABR Centers around the world-- I was told in no uncertain terms that it turned out really lousy…

 The Ladies who run the ABR centers around the world happen to have razor sharp tongues – they made it clear that my presentation was extremely poor  and was doing a real disservice to the quality of the content and couldn’t be released. So I had to go back to practicing ….

Probably this is an appropriate place for another confession – it’s the blog and it has to be revealing, right? – For years I was absolutely unable to speak whilst looking at the eye of a videocamera. I just couldn’t do the thinking, talking and looking straight at that darn thing at the same time :-) That might surprise anyone who knows that many 1000s of my assessment s were filmed and I never appeared camera shy. True, -- I never had any problem talking to a family and being filmed – but looking into the eye of the camera and presenting to an abstract audience, thinking  on the fly... that’s a completely different story! This challenge haunted me for years making the production of videos and extremely protracted and painful process… so I put the entire blog idea to rest…

However, as the year 2009 began -- I was, well... cured --for lack of a better word.. Don’t ask me how -- it just happened! Right after New Year Eve 2009 I felt that I owed an extended explanation to the ABR families on the current situation and about the plans for the future… So I forced myself in front of the camera dreading the entire idea of looking it into the eye – and then I realized that I was able to talk and look at it at the same time – sheer miracle :-) Result? I indulged myself on a long and multifaceted explanation – the ‘Message’ stretched to 2.5 hours – that’s why you’ll find it posted here in 5 parts. I titled it somewhat plainly “ABR New Year message 2009” Recording was done in the early days of January 2009 hence the name was quite appropriate. But then it required some editing to put it together for a coherent presentation and by the time that was done I went on a super-long trip through Europe and then to Australia. Meanwhile I asked the ABR centers worldwide for some feedback –and this time I received a much more welcoming feedback. However, assessment schedules were packed everywhere and I must admit I wasn’t in a shape to put this thing together for well over a month. That’s why the name changed to “ABR Lunar New Year message 2009” – but apparently even that is quite far behind as well.

Anyway, I am positive that the content is still as relevant as it was couple of months ago – I hope it’s going to be interesting and informative to watch and I am welcoming your comments and feedback as well as the suggestions on the issues that you want me to address in the near future. Now, that I am capable of looking straight at the eye of the camera that becomes realistic and I hope that once this blog is up and running the gap between the intent and implementation will shorten to a respectable interval. Each video should play with a single click on it. If you experience any problems – please let me know.