Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tribal Mindsets: The Light and The Dark Sides

When volatile, violence-threatening incidents occur such as this past week in Ferguson, Missouri, many feel prompted to give voice to the problems and concerns such events mark, as they see them.

A Real Deal
Peace Buddy i
s..
.
For me, when I stand back from the mayhem, most significantly I see it in terms of the Dark and the Light sides of the happenings.

What is the good of it? What is the corrupt, the merciless; the Light and the Dark sides of it all.

And what does my taking a position on it, should I choose to, represent of me?

Given the recent launching of New Horizons newest blog site, Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure of A Lifetime, I feel particularly compelled to think of the Ferguson situation in terms of how it reflects the responsibilities of the individual, myself included.

For  each of  us,  according  to  my  own personal values  and those  of  New Horizons,  a facet of  our potential  for adventuring through life is to be an  active participant  in it. Rather than a  bystander to, at least, pay attention to  situations  such  as this. Even  if all that we contribute  is the simplest  of  positions;  to be that of an observer with a viewpoint,  contemplating for  a  brief  moment the  potential for learning from  went right or wrong here,  embracing both with compassion and understanding.

Thus a grave  situation  in this present instance  might  pave  the  way  to a better outcome  another  time  in  a similar  situation –and – hopefully what pains  now,  might in time be healed.

As Viktor Frankl, noted psychiatrist and  survivor of  the Nazi concentration camps, enjoined, we always  have the freedom  to decide  how  to  think  about  things.

Whereas  we  may  not  affect  what  has  happened  now  in  Ferguson – and – are  too far away,  geographically, to reasonably contribute  to the  immediate  healing so badly  needed  there,  what  can we learn  from  this episode  to bring about something  better?   And,  how  might  our being like that infamous butterfly  in  New  York ,  affecting what may  be happening  in far off Japan,  be a contributer,  in some  small way,  to  what Ferguson  will need over time?

Is  it  not a truth we can trust that  if  one  is not a part of the solution than one  is a part of  the problem?

Today,  as I look outside my office  window  at  the  falling snow on  this  day before Thanksgiving,  I am reminded of a  New Horizons’ Abkhazian Dinner event  that has  left  still  unhealed  scars and  breaches behind  it. These grew  out of  an  incident  of  verbal abuse at the event, without reconciliation to date.,  almost  three  years later.

And, while the divisiveness that grew of this episode was subtle, it remains as a wound that still separates.

It  didn’t have  to  be this way; it still does not! 

What can we learn from  this experience? And  what can  we do with what we  might learn?

I believe, to date,  that  I  have  done  what I could  regarding  the  incident.   

But maybe  not.  I must  look again at my part  in this.  Ferguson, Missouri reminds  me of this.

So,  today,  Anastasia The Super Sleuth  offers  you this –
If  you cannot  be wholly  thankful  tomorrow, on Thanksgiving Day, for  all  that  has  come  your  way  (or  the  way of our collective) this  day,  at  least,  be  thankful  for the  lessons  brought.  In the  sum  total  of  your life,  the lessons you take  from whatever falls before  you, near and far,  are  as much  a  part  of  the  bounty of your life’s adventure  as  the  gold.

This is the summing up of the Light and the Dark Sides for each of us. Use it well for your adventure, especially for exploring whatever might be of the Dark in you, even if only from your seat as an armchair judge.

In other words, keep pointing that finger back on yourself. And, especially remember -- don’t sacrifice the Light of your inidividual responsibility for joining in with the tribal mindset on the Ferguson incident (or any others) that would have you polarizing on this Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

On The Re-Humanizing Of America

I do not focus on the Light and the Dark Sides of humanity to simply be clever. And, I do not offer my perspectives on the subject without an enormous amount of substance from within, behind what I share. 

Quite the contrary!

What I know about the Light and the Dark, I know not only from diligent study but, also, firsthand; personally and professionally.
De-humanized
America
Art, copyright Marcia E. Rosen
1990

I have been through the fire, so to speak. And, I am very much better for it. Thus everything on this site and the others for which I write has been influenced by these adventures and grows out of that wisdom, born of challenge, pain and personal evolution.

I am, after all, both the Founder and Executive Director of New Horizons, its head chef, bottle washer and window cleaner. I am, as well, sometimes the voice of Anastasia The Super Sleuth, New Horizons’ mascot. Lessons learned in the heat of the fire are how I got and keep these most honorable jobs.

And, please believe me, this is not a one-time effort. Trial by fire is an ongoing experience.

I wish you, no less, if you are up to the task.

So do, please visit New Horizons new blog site, ExploringYour Dark Side: The Adventure Of A Lifetime for the professional angle – and – Anastasia The Storyteller to bring yourself closer and closer to these truths I bring back from my adventures and to keep abreast of the bounty.

My personal prophecy, as I have begun to narrate its place and meaning in my life is now in the beginning stages of being recounted as I live out its manifestation in real time on the latter, Anastasia The Storyteller. 

The abundance I bring you can only grow fuller and richer. That is, “G-d willing and the creek don’t rise.”

Here, on the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project site I/we will continue to do our best through “Anastasia The Super Sleuth Says” stories, reports on the data collection of our Possible Human, Possible Society Study, suggestions on our ever-emerging programs, projects and perspectives on building small zones of peace in our personal lives and communities.

Community development related articles derived from principles and perspectives we have learned through our Beloved community development mentor, recently deceased, Murat Yagan, will also continue to be presented on this site. These focus on action projects such as our Bus Ride Story Adventure, written by Murat.

New Horizons is going through enormous changes right now. How we will implement these and continue to use this site to bring these developments to you, as well as the lessons derived from them, is very much in the formative stages.

We have never been satisfied that our mission could not be readily translated into concrete, readily articulated terms. Others have also been dismayed at this failing in us.

I/we can’t assure you, even now, this is going to change, at least not any time soon. We are about experiential learning. How specific can that be made?

We will do our best. But how can we know that which is still unformed?

Nonetheless, if you look closely you will ascertain this much about us; we firmly believe that how people treat one another on a day-by-day basis has an enormous impact on, not only our personal lives and relationships, but also affects our society and politics.

So do please keep coming back and drinking from our sweet fount of wisdom and experience insofar as the re-humanizing of America is concerned.

That, in a nutshell, is what we are about; the re-humanizing of America!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Adventure Begins

I (Anastasia, New Horizons Executive Director and sometimes mascot, Anastasia The Super Sleuth) have been posting articles off and on having to do with New Horizons’ “Adventure of a Lifetime.” We know our message seems vague and abstract.  Such are the limitations of that which can only be truly known through experiential learning.

To more specifically nail down that which can really be known only through experience, I have occasionally made mention of this adventure suggesting that it might be the climb to the top of the Mountain of Awe. Other times I have suggested our very exciting process might take place on our Bus Ride Story Adventure. And, on still other junctures I have spoken of the onset beginning by entering a labyrinth.

Each of these has been but a symbolic means of attempting, where language so often fails to capture the whole of the story, to describe a process of personal transformation that especially focuses on transforming the Dark sides of oneself into the Light.

Now with our new Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure Of  A Lifetime blog site, launched this past week, New Horizons has added one more vehicle through which we hope to more closely lead those who are interested in our very unique community development model to our defined destination; AWE.

Our new site is fully dedicated to educating and guiding listeners of our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show and blog site followers on how exactly, from a New Horizons perspective, to go about understanding and transforming the Dark Side into the Light in oneself, personal relationships, society and politics.

The Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure Of  A Lifetime blog site can be accessed at darksidewarrior.blogspot.com.

Please join Jack Slattery, my Possible Society In Motion Radio Show co-host and myself, tonight as we take one more step toward shining a light on darkness and transforming it to a higher good. You just come away from the experience able to make, at least, a modicum of difference by doing so in your life and that of others. Just by listening to tonight’s Possible Society In Motion Radio Show.





Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:30 p.m.


As usual the on-air, broadcast portion of the show is followed by a conference call forum discussion. 

Guests are welcome to join in at: 712.432.0600, access code 640883 (also recorded).

If you miss the original conference call discussion, please contact New Horizons, the show's sponsoring organization, at: zonesofpeacenh@aol.com for access code for the conference call recording.

Hear The Podcast If You Miss The Broadcast

Saturday, November 8, 2014

“Enemies are people...

... who's story you haven't heard, or who's face you haven't seen.*
Storytelling as a way of passing on wisdom and culture is as old as the spoken word. However, oftentimes the internet seems to have rendered it obsolete. 

When we stop taking the time to tell our stories to one another, especially face-to-face, we intercept the flow of our humanity.

That realization came home to me when Jack, my Possible Society In Motion Radio Show co-host, and I hit a road block in our program planning efforts this past week.

That is – until a well-timed story initiated by Jack broke the deadlock!

I have recounted my story about Jack’s story in Post Mid-Term Election Reflections And The Wind In My Sails. Both of these are stories I hope I will long remember. Their poignancy to me is so great.

I took a lesson from Jack’s telling of his story, offering it back in the story I later told about the importance I attached to both. I told my side of it, after the fact, on my blog site as well as on our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show.

Now several days later I have gotten to pondering the significance, once again, of the role storytelling, generally, plays in my life. Additionally, this contemplation has brought me back to wanting to draw attention to the important role storytelling plays in the data gathering for our Possible Human, Possible Society Study.

Sometimes one can become so accustomed to even the most supreme riches of one’s life that you can forget to honor the Divine gifts they bring.

I may be guilty of this neglect where the importance of storytelling is concerned; the wondrous rewards I receive by telling my stories and having others listen to them. And the priceless gifts I receive when others share their stories with me.

Truly the most rewarding benefit I have, to date, accrued in doing interviews for our Possible Human, Possible Society Study is the experience of participants telling me the stories that are personally relevant for them as they relate to the objectives of the study.

I have previously written of the awe I have known in this process of human heart and mind to human heart. But I have become so accustomed to the magic of it that I have neglected, for a time, to hold it far enough out in front of me so as to admire its luminescence.

Right now I am making up it for that here.

It was storytelling, both Jack’s and mine, that enabled me to come up with a script plan for our last program that I could feel good about.  I had been so mired in the ruminations of last Tuesday’s elections that I had lost my way in getting to the heart of the matter, if “heart” can be seen anywhere near our political election process.

Storytelling turned me around.

So, now, as New Horizons gets itself ready to embark on the next phase of our study; polarization as it may or may not be playing itself out in campus life, I am re-setting my intentions so as to not lose sight of the singular importance storytelling plays in our study.

Anastasia, The Super Sleuth Says – 

Remember this --
Enemies are people who's story you haven't heard, or who's face you haven't seen.*
So if you want to really be a genuine peace builder take time to tell and hear the stories of others.

P.S. Once I heard the quote above, attributed to Irene Butter, a Holocaust survivor and the subject of the film "Never a Bystander," I could never forget it. I hope you won’t either.

*Whether or not Dr. Butter is the true originator of these words is a relatively small matter compared to the impact this message has had on many others, as well as myself.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Finding The Light In The Dark Sides Of American Life

I am looking forward to Jack Slattery, my Possible Society In Motion Radio Show co-host, and I doing an inspiring post mid-term elections program this coming evening. Our pre-program planning meeting last evening brought me a certain clarity of mind as to how best for me to hold this most current emblem of American life, mid-term elections.

Finding myself caught up in ruminations about the significance of this recent, collective foray into the Republican and Democratic parties “who struck John,” why and so forth so that no real winners for the long haul could truly emerge, I didn’t like the feel of it.

Out of my reflecting on that fact; not liking the ruminations of that ilk, a theme for this next show was birthed, titled –


This show is offered in honor of our dear friend and supporter, G.M. (Mike) Corrigan. Jack and I dedicate this show to Mike who first introduced me to the notion that there is, indeed a “Secret Civil War” that needs exposing. (I also, personally, thank Mike for his beautiful -- and my favorite -- feature interview/article about me, titled "Finding Light In The Darkness.")

Shining a light on that darkness makes, at least, a modicum of difference, better than ignoring it!

Please join Jack and I, offering you a hand up to by-pass the negative vibes of one more god-awful political shenanigan-ing, by listening to tonight’s Possible Society In Motion Radio Show




Thursday, November 6, 2014 6:30 p.m.

As usual the on-air, broadcast portion of the show is followed by a conference call forum discussion. 

Guests are welcome to join in at: 712.432.0600, access code 640883 (also recorded).

If you miss the original conference call discussion, please contact New Horizons, the show's sponsoring organization, at: zonesofpeacenh@aol.com for access code for the conference call recording.

Friday, October 31, 2014

An Interesting Discovery

We’ve said it before and we will say it again. Our Possible Human, Possible Society Study has shown us that  –

Better than 70% (raised to 90% as of June, 2014) of those interviewed in our study believe they are powerless or lack the skills or other resources to impact our national social and political crises.

Anastasia The Super Sleuth says,
“There is nothing to be ashamed of in believing you are powerless in all the many areas in which this is verifiably true. The problem is when you do not do what you can with what you have.”
In this vein, Anastasia recognizes the value of a quote favored by Helen Keller that speaks to the full utilization of one’s personal resources.
I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. 
Edward Everett Hale
Anastasia The Super Sleuth asks you to ask yourself,

“Where did I fall short today of giving this day my very best?”

Bravo if you would give yourself an A+! 

Now that's an interesting discovery!

On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Jack Slattery, my Possible Society In Motion Radio Show co-host, and myself have given significant attention the past few weeks to the Dark and the Light sides of human nature.

"The sun doesn’t shine on us,
it shines within us."
John Muir

Our aim with this track is to raise consciousness and educate our followers and supporters on how to accept both of these sides in oneself; the Dark and the Light, in ways that can help to elevate the functioning of our society and politics.

Imagine Anthony Weiner or some other yukky acting politician of your choice telling folks he is really a dark and devious person with enough understanding and appreciation to genuinely change his ways all the way down deep.

This is the kind of substance, not surface, we are after! It's an endeavor that can knock your socks off!

We are only at the very beginning of this undertaking New Horizons calls the adventure of a lifetime, i.e. exploring your Dark Side and, thus, transforming it to its highest good, the Light Side.  

And, we have only offered a miniscule drop in the bucket of our larger mission, thus far. But this effort is part and parcel of New Horizons’ greater commitment to accomplishing several hoped for outcomes.  

Our Possible Human, Possible Society Study and this blog site are central to Plan A --

Discovering that Mahatma Gandhi’s words, as below, are actively embodied by the majority of the citizens of the U.S.A. --

“We do best to begin by carving out territories or zones of peace in our personal relations where violence and deceit won’t be used.”

Ha! Since this aim is shooting rather high, we have also set Plan B in motion --

New Horizons contributing guidance and skills to further the realization of Plan A. 

Behind the scenes, we are actively involved, daily, striving to accomplish both of these outcomes. However, we know the achievement can be only a WE thing! That means you and me.

Still three Possible Society In Motion Radio Shows have, to date, taken up the exploration of the Dark and Light side theme. That's how we know we are on our way. But we have only just begun.

My favorite of the three, so far, was program number 2, “Living In The Light, Dancing In The Dark.” Jack and I hope you will want to listen in to all of our shows in this series and find out more about how “Exploring Your Dark Side” can become your adventure of a lifetime.

I’ve been traveling this adventure road, now, for close to forty years and it just keeps getting better and better and more and more fun as others join with me.

I hope you will do it too!

It may seem idealistic to think that if folks could just learn to love and accept the Dark Side in themselves they could start having more fun, health, joy and peace.  But I know it to be true! Still it is an art form and you have to really strive and discipline yourself to make it real!

Nonetheless, a few words I caught from an advertiser reminds us that today’s impossible may well be tomorrow’s possible. I know this to be true when it comes to one’s relationship with his/her own Dark Side and its benefits. (The message went by so fast I forgot who said it but not what was the point of it.)

As it turns out – the Dark Side transformed is the key to one’s personal power but once you begin to know it – you can’t help but LOVE it and appreciate it!

This is a real, true turning lead into gold endeavor!

New Horizons and I are committed to showing you how. 

So we think you will want to check out and follow our new–

Exploring Your Dark Side: 
The Adventure of A Lifetime blog site

with specially designed interactive activities for transforming your life and our society and politics.

Coming in November!