Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Storytelling Workshop Series To Focus On Community Bridge Building, One Person At A Time


What if instead of turning your back on someone who looks or sounds different than you, you decide to lean into that person?  

With one idea or another, in your mind and heart you, move toward that person instead of away.  You consider making a new acquaintance or friend out of someone you might otherwise consider to even be an enemy. 

Instead of seeing that person as someone who could or would bring danger into your life, you open to learning about their view of the world as being a gift for you, in some ways that might surprise you.

After all, it's been said that -
"An enemy is one whose story you haven’t yet heard." Gene Knudsen Hoffman, Quaker Peace Activist
So it makes sense that, if you share stories with those you would not ordinarily, you take a different route, possibly an opposite direction -- and -- create some kind of bond. 

Perhaps you might even have the beginning of a friendship, or possibly someone with whom you might endeavor to solve a neighborhood or community problem.  At the minimum, you will have brought some new thing – you -- to a stranger. And that is gift enough!

Eric Berne M.D., the psychiatrist who developed Transactional Analysis, my psychology home base, answered the question he posed in the title of his last book, What Do You Say After You Say Hello this way – 
“To say Hello rightly is to see the other person, to be aware of him as a phenomenon, to happen to him and to be ready for him to happen to you."
If you took the initiative to approach another person, even five or ten times in a year, in your neighborhood or community, imagine how different that place might be for you and those someone elses.

Storytelling is something you can do as your next step after “Hello.”

We, at the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project hope you will be inspired to learn the art of storytelling and story listening we are getting ready to offer at our – 



Saturday, October 14, November 4, and December 2, 2017 
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Reserve early, space is limited!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Up To My Ears In Stories


Storytelling, as a respectable, almost ordinary activity is beginning to infiltrate my daily life these days, like never before. I barely know how to make sense of it and what is happening for me because of it.

For example, this morning I had occasion to talk, at length, to a senior colleague of mine  I have known for close to forty-five years. Something -- I don’t quite remember what it was at the moment -- got us talking yesterday in such a way that, unexpectedly, brought me to share a few important pieces of who I am with her that were a total surprise to her.
Stories Everywhere!


Well, one thing led to another. And before you know it, yesterday’s sharing between us led to our having a follow up conversation this morning for three and one-half hours, exchanging stories back and forth!


Would you believe that!!!


Storytelling, spontaneously, brought she and I to cross a bridge to one another we were not even aware we needed to cross.


OMG!!


And somehow I am changed by this. 


You are, too, when storytelling enters your life, filling a role for human connectedness you probably had no idea needed gratifying. 


But there it is, as close as the very next person you encournter! 


A “yearning for an unknown something better,” fulfilled, is how our Beloved Murat might describe it; a heretofore unrealized need for human bonding, coming about in a most unexpected way.


The potential is there always “where two or more are gathered in His name.”


Isn’t that awesome; almost like bringing magic into your life, available all around you, almost everywhere, if you will just stop a moment and “smell the roses,” so to speak.


I love it!!  


Stories, everywhere; yours, mine and ours.


Makes me think of Anne Frank's thought -- 

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Today can be that day of yours to "starting to improve the world." Storytelling can be your vehicle. Poor, dear Anne Frank gave us hers through her diary and did not live to know what a difference her stories made to people around the world. 

We can make a difference too through our storytelling -- and -- listening through the support of New Horizons, partnering with StoryCorps. Your stories, too, can be held in perpetuity and shared with others, as were Anne's. And stored at the Library of Congress through StoryCorps.


How incredibly awesome!


We will be glad to show you how to make a beginning at our coming -- 



First session, October 14, 2017. Details here.

As for me, I think I will go off and contemplate this for a while, now, and see what happens next in this magical day of mine!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

We Want "You" -- And -- Your Stories

New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project Wants You --And --Your Stories -

Participate in helping us build an archives of Frederick County’s citizen stories – and beyond to the entire 100 mile radius from the Washington White House through –

The “Official” New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection

Partnering with StoryCorps’ “Listening Is An Act Of Love” Project

FAQ: Why Frederick County? 

Answer: Because we have chosen Frederick County, Maryland as our model small “zone of peace.” But a “zone of peace can be anywhere!

How you can participate –

1. Find yourself a storytelling peace buddy. 

 (The deal here is that you partner with someone who: 1. Has the StoryCorps app; 2. Will listen to your story and record it for our archives, connected to the StoryCorps archives at the Library of Congress.)

2. Attend one or more of the New Horizons Storytelling Workshops Series.  (See details on our separate “Storytelling Workshop Series” information sheet.)

3. Invite us to present one or more of the segments of our Storytelling Workshop Series to your family, friends, community, group or organization. (With this option you can become your own StoryCorps Community. We will show you how.)

About the New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” --

Storytelling Workshop Series: 
A Vehicle For Overcoming Today’s Social and Political Polarization 

Join us at our storytelling, story “listening” workshops! We will–
  • Help you learn to be an interesting storyteller;
  • Help you learn to be an eager and curious listener of the stories of others;
  • Help you develop the skill of using your storytelling – and – “listening” skills to go beyond polarization to be a community bridge-builder (also with your family, friends and work associates);
  • Teach you how and why “leaning in” and dialogue rather than debate work to build healthier communities; 
  • Provide you with a non-partisan, supportive environment within which to discuss and sort out some of the stress our current social and political climate may be causing you.
Be sure to read our many articles on the theme of storytelling at:


For Details and Reservations, Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 240.409.5347

Reserve early! Our calendar is filling up quickly! 
Donations are encouraged

Your opportunity to have your personal story archived, for infinity, in the StoryCorps/Small “Zones of Peace” Library of Congress collection.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Announcing New Horizons' Storytelling Workshop Series

New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project Presents --

The Storytelling Workshop Series: 
A Vehicle For Overcoming Today’s Social and Political Polarization 

Partnering with StoryCorps’Listening Is An Act Of Love” Project

Join us at our storytelling, story “listening” workshops! We will–
  • Help you learn to be an interesting storyteller;
  • Help you learn to be an eager and curious listener of the stories of others;
  • Help you develop the skill of using your storytelling – and – “listening” skills to go beyond polarization to be a community bridge-builder (also with your family, friends and work associates);
  • Teach you how and why “leaning in” and dialogue rather than debate work to build healthier communities
  • Provide you with a non-partisan, supportive environment within which to discuss and sort out some of the stress our current social and political climate may be causing you.
These are troubling times!

Having done our best to select our elected officials, our next steps are to help ensure that our citizen wishes are linked to our First Amendment rights, including our rights to freedom of speech, a free press, to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Along with these freedoms, we have the right to tell our stories – and – to listen to the stories of others. From storytelling – and story “listening,” we gain insight, inspiration, connection, new found levels of wisdom and creative solutions to problems we are presently facing.

That’s the “Zones of Peace” way, the exceptional way, the life as art way.

To help you cope with a changing America, New Horizons now sets off on its next “zones of peace” building project: showing you how to develop your storytelling and story "listening"skills in the service of creating a better tomorrow, today!

Saturday, October 14, November 4, and December 2, 2017 
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Frederick Friends Meeting House
723 N. Market Street
Frederick, Maryland


Reserve early, space is limited!

Donations are encouraged, suggested amount: $20. 

For Details and Reservations, Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 240.409.5347

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Getting Started With Our Storytelling Collection

"Saving Centennial"
was our most, singularly rewarding
Coffee House Conversations Series, to date.
Read about out awesome experience here.

Here is one of our very favorite stories, the one about "Saving Centennial". In fact, our experience, working with this project, is the one Sue and I still hold, today, to be the single most uplifting and inspiring Coffee House Conversations series we have ever done.

Check it out for a Sunday afternoon lift that depicts just how awesome we can be, when we put our heads, our hearts and our actions toward the intention to unify.

Friday, August 25, 2017

We Are Now An Official StoryCorps Community!

By no later than October 15, 2017, we expect to up and running with our StoryCorps project, once more striving to assist the members of our nearby Frederick County to build bridges, rather than walls.  (Amazing! It's only one month today when we thought New Horizons was on idle. And look where we are. Who would have thought that tranquility could have brought us to this!)

Through storytelling and endless other forms of meaningful conversation!

We are developing our format as I write this now. 

Look to join us for our monthly storytelling events, as well as the many other activities this new project will encompass. And, once we are actually collecting our stories, listen to the rich tales to come of these happenings. 

Look for details as we gear up. 

Find out how you can be involved!

Join and support us in any way you can, that is appropriate for you.

Together, let us learn how to listen – and – speak without malice. And make our accounts of this turbulent time in American history, mean something more than divisiveness. Leaning in, dialogue rather than debate -- and -- storytelling will see us through, we trust!

Here’s how you will find us:

Our StoryCorps Community title is: The Small “Zones of Peace” Project

Our tag line is: 

“The Official New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection”

Interested in getting on board as a volunteer or storytelling participant, contact me, Anastasia at: SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com.

I want to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Overcoming The Polarization Of Politics: One Person-By-One Person


We will be using storytelling as a vehicle for “healing the wounds that divide us.” Our method will be derived from partnering with StoryCorps and possibly developed further with the Frederick County Maryland Public Library (details pending on this one).

Here’s some about our developing new project, yet to be officially named.

What I have loved most, now that I think about it, in doing both the Possible Human, Possible Society Study and our Coffee House Conversations, even as far back as when we were doing our “Almost” Annual Abkhazian Dinners, was the storytelling. These projects had connected me to people in my community, in ways that were richer and more meaningful than almost anything else I have ever done, except for my years as a psychotherapist with “old” New Horizons.

Storytelling lay at the center, for me, of the lushness. Yum! Listening to people’s stories; their hopes, dreams and concerns, along with some of their personal history, was more wonderful for me than anything, other than being a psychotherapist and all that entailed.

Now, it looks like I am about to be able to return to the richness of that experience with the new track New Horizons will be taking in partnering with StoryCorps for our next, upcoming community development campaign, about to be launched soon after Labor Day.

Our board members have much to sort out to develop this new track. However, some things are beginning to already become clear. Here are a few items of what we know so far:
  • I, Anastasia, will be able to pursue my goals of returning to D.C. and “coming out” of my New Horizons hidey hole by telling my stories to, then, become a part of the StoryCorps archives, along with other stories New Horizons will collect. In other words, New Horizons with this new project will become one of the platforms to interview me and pass on my story.
  • New Horizons will update its Coffee House Conversations format to incorporate the StoryCorps strategy of having two people, at a time, pairing up to interview one another. This will replace our former group discussions. At least for the time being;
  • Our paired conversation discussions will, now, also have the option to be recorded and stored as part of New Horizons next Overcoming Polarization community dialogue initiative in the Library of Congress StoryCorps archives;
  • We will, soon, sometime after our first interview questions are in place, seek to train additional volunteers, beyond our already established core group, to work with us to expand our storytelling conversations collection throughout Frederick County;
  • A good possibility exists that the Frederick County Public Library will, also, partner with us so as to incorporate our data with that of the Library, in some form, also yet to be determined. This item is still pending and we will keep you informed and updated as we have further details.
Isn’t this fun and inspiring? Just when we weren’t sure where we could best be used, look what the “tranquility diet” brought forth. Yum!!

Please let us know what you are thinking about it. Again, you can post your comments onto this site. Or, contact me directly at SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com.