Friday, December 30, 2011

The Other Side of the Coin

Sabotaging “the walk”

We do this too; every one of us, sabotage the very “walk” we proclaim ourselves to be taking with devotion. Nonetheless, when asked, we might, at first, even suggest that we are almost flawless as builders of peace and unity. After all, we have our pride.

Still I hear of the challenges on this path; the courage demanded in pursuing the way of clarity and integrity, in the testimony of study interviews. We do not travel this road without facing our flaws. We have not yet mastered the traversing of the peaks and valleys of our trek, but we are in there making the attempt.

So there is also the other side of the coin, for each and every one of us. Proclaiming our righteous intent, in the next little while, we step into our control games. Hiding, even from ourselves, we mask our manipulations, seductions, judgments and assumptions; labeling others as “other” (though we wish we had not), being impatient, self-righteous, arrogant and covert, hurrying up into the next non-urgent “urgency,” justifying resentments, limiting our compassion as if it were a commodity as pricey as gasoline.

We can put a man on the moon and, yet, not be completely; no holding back, builders of “zones of peace” in our bedrooms, living rooms and neighborhoods. Thus we are humbled by the lessons of our lives. Coming out from behind these maneuvers, being straightforward, transparent and accountable while maintaining diplomacy, as we demand of others, is no easy task. Not at all an endeavor for the faint hearted. Gandhi’s words below are significant here:

"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."- Mahatma Gandhi

We are discovering the truth of this statement as well as its pitfalls. To be quite honest it is a treacherous road we are traversing; this path of honesty, integrity and non-violence, being fully accountable.

Networking maven, Nancie Rosenberg, is truly a messenger bird for me, bringing me tidbits from sources I would not ordinarily find on my own. Recently, she patiently read me the following quote from Neale Donald Walsch’s book, The Storm Before The Calm” which I embraced with relish.

"How is it possible that 6.9 billion people can all claim to want the same thing (Peace, security, opportunity, prosperity, happiness, and love) and be singularly unable to get it"?

Beautifully stated; I quote it again and again, these days.

As we face the realities of ordinary, day-to-day life, we see the challenges of our journey. If you are wanting to grow your peace-building quotient and/or iron out any wrinkles in your repertoire, you can look forward to our 2012 Possible Society In Motion programs, designed exclusively for study participants (unless stated otherwise), as tentatively scheduled below:

  • Think Tank, Open Meeting (Space is limited, so reserve early): Where we drop our assumptions in the service of inspiring dialogue and clarity. Thursday, February 9, 1 to 3 p.m.;
  • Awe Game Study Group: Based on Anastasia’s “Random House Trilogy” manuscript material. We are now working our way through part one of 10 in the series. Current main topic, transforming societal and personal sabotages into opportunities for peace and unity. Thursdays, alternating with Think Tank Meetings , 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Abkhazian Dinner EventAn oft repeated special event for the Frederick Season For Non-Violence, details to be posted early in 2012. Sunday, March 25, 3 to 6 p.m. (Open to the public).
  • Stretching Your BestHalf day seminar for study participants, using concepts from Anastasia’s “Random House Trilogy” and dialogue on building “The Possible Society.” -- April, Date (TBA)
  • Using Your Dark Side In The Service of Peace  – Half day seminar for study participants, using concepts from Anastasia’s “Random House Trilogy” and dialogue on being a Possible Human in a Possible Society. May, Date (TBA)
Link here to make a tax-deductible donation to help support our Possible Human, Possible Society Study and our Possible Society In Motion programs and projects.

New Horizons Presents 2011, Volunteer of The Year Award

Board Members Holiday Luncheon
Beans and the Belfry Coffee House
Brunswick Maryland

New Horizons Now Proclaims


Lisa Boyer

Volunteer Of The Year, 2011

Presented With deepest gratitude

in recognition of outstanding volunteer service, astute guidance, creative elegance &
eleven years of patience and loyalty!


New Horizons Support Network, Inc.

By: M. Anastasia Rosen-Jones, Executive Director
      Susan deVeer, Secretary-Treasurer

Officially Proclaimed
December 30, 2011

Coming soon, 2011 Volunteer Of The Year Award letter of recognition for service. Why we are so grateful to Lisa Boyer and you might be too.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Study Hypothesis, December, 2008: Who Is Gonna Walk This Walk? Let’s Find Out.

Update: 2 new hypotheses added, December, 2011:

1. How are folks walking the walk?

2. How are they not?

It was three years ago, just about this time of the year, when I happened to find myself in South America, Ecuador to be exact. Our new president-elect, Barak Obama, was much in the news at the time, world-wide. Ecuadorians I chanced to meet were curious about what we, Americans, thought about this seemingly significant elected choice. They were a well-educated, high-minded group. So I heeded their inquiries, wondering myself what the “us” back home were thinking about this newly selected leader-to-be.

At the time, I was, personally, willing to be open minded about Mr. Obama’s potential for success; in spite of having become jaded through my own adventuring into the political foray of our nation’s capital. Nonetheless, though I thought Obama particularly na├»ve about Washington’s political games, I was up for giving him a chance. I had even voted for him, a straight Democrat ticket. The Republicans having nothing startlingly better to offer, I thought.

On the other hand, I wondered if Obama’s constituents would really be up to supporting the glowing platform of our new man. Intent as he appeared to be, I believed, in rekindling the spirit of our nation to raise itself up. Inspiring folks in the manner that had once brought young idealists like myself to the nation’s capital as Kennedy had. Though I had become cautious over the years, I was not without hopes to see a national renewal of spirit.

To date, Watergate had been the last straw for me and, I must admit, I had forfeited my right to vote several times after that. Having put that privilege aside and, once more having chosen to honor it, my mind was now focused on what we, Americans, might contribute in the coming four years to support our new president. Possibly blessed with a leader who might well be challenging us, again, to “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?”

The Possible Human, Possible Society Study was birthed of these musings. Almost as soon as my return plane from South America landed in Miami. Maybe even a step ahead of my rejoicing that I was able to, once more, use bathroom facilities on U.S. land, again. Without bringing my own paper, tissue paper, that is. We carried our own in Ecuador.

I soon put the idea for that study aside, however, and went on to other things. Until this past July when I could no longer turn aside from the polarization of the debt-ceiling debates and the ceaseless commentaries accompanying it all. Then I knew it was time to bring my plan for the Possible Human, Possible Society Study out of storage, thinking that it was one small thing I could do for my country.

If you have been keeping pace with the study, you probably can see that the project moving forward beyond what was expected; a sign of our times, of course.

You would have no way of knowing, however, one of the most startling discoveries, so far: The spirited involvement and support the study has garnered of the many people who have now become aware of what we are up to. (Yeah, I know, some of you might be thinking I am still only talking to the choir.)

Nonetheless, what I/we have discovered to date is presently that everyone interviewed is doing their utmost for this country. The very best they know how, to date. Thus "who" is walking the walk now needs to be expanded to add several corollaries to the original hypothesis. Now there are three.

1. Who is walking the walk (for peace and unity in this country)?

2. How are people (including the president) walking the walk?

3. How might they still not be (including the president) walking that walk?

Take a chance and see how your present activities fare.

More findings and further details to come.

Be sure to check out the stories on Anastasia The Storyteller from above, including the “We Came For Camelot," "Alignment With Our Principles," and "Society and Politics"  related labels. They are worthy, at least, of reflection and, perhaps, a chuckle or two.

More on the way. Keep pace with the study.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When I Am Without Words

Dissipating Structures In Action

When I am without words to bridge the chasm that separates me from you, I am unable to write my blog articles. My assignment, under the astute guidance of board member, Lisa Boyer, designer of these blogs and patient mentor on this project, is to write two blogs for each site, weekly; a total of four per week between them. Not infrequently enumerable obstacles arise that obstruct this responsibility of mine. I often fall short of the mark but I am always learning, hoping to do better.

This past month or two my best intentions fell short again. Yet, upon reflection, I found it hard to pin down what was interfering. I did not experience myself as being snared by that inevitable demon writers dread, writer’s block. My blinded right eye has not been the reason either. While my vision has not markedly improved, it has not worsened. Rather it seems to have stabilized enough to require only careful monitoring while its future takes time to announce what it needs next. Admittedly, I hurt my right hand this past month which did slow down my writing progress somewhat.

However, that did not adequately account for the lag either. Not satisfied with simply “writing” off my inability to produce that which was expected of me as evidence, once more, of my very human limitations, I continued to contemplate the obstacle I was unable to transcend.

Before too long, it seemed right for me to mindfully take my query into my daily meditations, asking the light within as well as beyond to please illuminate the path out of my somewhat disturbing circumstance. Thus I was called to turn my attentions to the intense process that is never far from my mind and, generally, my activities these days; doing interviews for our Possible Human, Possible Society Study. Here I found insight.

What were the study interviews revealing to my questing mind, drawn to probe the human processes of personal and societal evolution occurring, now, right before our eyes? Could I possibly find answers to my inability to write my blogs by viewing the data being gleaned from our study participants? If I paused to reflect on what I was learning from the study data, would I find the key to that which I needed in order to free up my words to write?

I already knew that that which was so generously being given by study participants through the interview process was remarkable to my eyes. Precious time given by each participant was opening my eyes to subtleties of day-to-day life in the U.S.A. that I had not considered. By participants contributing their precious time to the study I was being allowed into the hearing of cherished American dreams, Upon my request, participants of the study were enabling the study to proceed and sharing stories that would, when collected into a whole, provide insight into the wisdom of conscientious Americans in this era of now. My sacred task would be to preserve this data and share it with respect.

Reviewing study interviews, I dug into the data, still limited to date, then paused to reflect. In stillness I sought answers to my writing obstruction where logic had failed. This is what I saw.

In my mind’s eye I saw the beautiful people I have interviewed, not infrequently, sharing intimate dreams, through one-on-one telephone dialogues. (Now numbering over fifty participants in various stages of the study process with only Phase 1 underway, so far.) And I saw me as being privileged to hear the deep heartfelt brilliance of their questing for a higher consciousness; a quest that was a daily commitment to living in integrity with the truth of that consciousness. None of it easy!

Admittedly, the past ninety days of active interviewing have concentrated on interviewees in the first two sub-groups, most of whom have some sort of regular spiritual discipline. You might want to write off that finding as somewhat like “preaching to the choir.” I, however, do not.

(Launched, officially on August 1, 2011, the study was interrupted for close to sixty days to tend to the first public event of our Possible Society In Motion programs, emerging out of the study) (See link for details on study sub-groups.)

There is something much bigger here than any mere assumption of value, I believe. Of course, time will tell as we still have approximately 350 more participants to engage. And, those to come could be of significantly different varieties. (Again check out link for details on the sub-groups for our study.) Nonetheless, what I am observing that is almost magical is that people who might be assumed to be only ordinary parts of the silent majority or middle America, are choosing to respond to the stressors of our nation by reorganizing their priorities on a day-to-day basis.

This is not ordinary. Rather it is quite extraordinary as the price exacted for the sacrifices are immense. At the topmost, these priorities include living and modeling the highest of human principles, including honesty, straightforwardness and integrity; principles that are now being cried out for among our leaders.

Noting this realization to be evidence of the 1977 Nobel prize winning biological theory of dissipative structures in motion, by chemist, Ilya Prigogine, those interviewed to date appear to be responding to stressors in their lives by reorganizing their minds, their spirits and their day-to-day lives. This is conscious evolution in action; the Possible Human, “Possible Society In Motion.” All should take heed; many are walking the walk, generally without fanfare. Please note, these are not simply ordinary "church people but folks from all walks of life!

As for me, my conclusion is that I am doing the same, perpetually evolving my consciousness and my day-to-day, behind the scenes and quietly. Conclusion: sometimes the levels of expanding consciousness in me simply do not have the means to be readily put into words, even to write what might appear to simply be a study report.

Seeing this more clearly, perhaps, I can now, during these last days of the year, allow myself to simply relax into the great gratitude I feel for the generous participants in our study. Whether they can see it, yet, or not, I can see that we have taken the first steps on a wonderful shared journey, revolving, markedly, around sharing our stories and some of the most closely held dreams of our hearts. With my deepest regrets, I cannot always report on the happenings on clock or calendar time. I know you will understand.

To be continued.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What I Saw On Christmas Morning

Sunday, December 25, 2011

So much feels right this morning as I awaken to Christmas Day. Is it an illusion? Perhaps the concentration of love and light; the abundance of spirit that infuses itself into everyday life during the holiday season?

Of course, it is beyond my limited human capacities to truly determine that which is in the nature of wonder, much less readily find words that adequately describe it. It is mine only to revel in the mystery. On a very personal level the spirit of the season lifts up high for me in celebration of my son’s birthday. What a blessed babe, now grown into a man, was he; born on the first night of Chanukah which was also that year the Winter Solstice and a full moon, coming home from the hospital on Christmas Eve, incredibly profound for a baby born of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father.

This morning, beyond words, beyond the knowable, a sense of light and purity permeates my body, seems to fill the spaces surrounding me. It feels so ordinary, yet extraordinary that I am called to know it as awe. Is it Christmas? Is “it” me? Maybe the new moon, Christmas, Chanukah, the Winter Solstice all merge together?

Truly today I feel “that kind of hush all over the world” that speaks of peace on earth, goodwill to humankind. Stillness, sparkle, sunshine outside in the crisp, cold air of December.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Think Tank: Invitation To Study Interviewees

The Possible Society In Motion Project Moving Forward

Possible Society In Motion
Think Tank
A milieu in which human variables
move in peace with one another
for the good of the whole.

Think Tank Open Meeting

Participation Requirement:
Possible Human, Possible Society Study participant

Date: Thursday, February 9, 2012

Time: 1 pm to 3 pm
          Refreshments will follow

Location: Frederick Friends Meeting House
              Frederick, Maryland

RSVP: By Monday, February 6, 2011
Contact: Anastasia Cell: 240.409.5347
Email: zonesofpeacenh@aol.com

Anastasia’s Think Tank Vision

The vision I have for our think tank, at least for this coming 2012 election year, is that we will create a forum within which study participants feel free to discuss their personally-held principles and beliefs in a thought provoking and safe environment. In this way, I would hope that through non-destructive, though sometimes, temporarily polarizing discussions, we will assist one another in clarifying what we each can effectively do in order to help create a healthfully functioning U.S.A. in the coming years.

My hope is that through respectful discourse each participating think tank member will experience this group as a venue within which confidence in personal, possibly cutting edge, viewpoints will grow as we think out, speak out and clarify our personal perspectives. Thus each participant will, at least, be better informed on issues that affect, not only ourselves, but the rich diversity of others in our country. In this way, I would hope that this think tank, in its first fully operational year, will contribute to, even in a miniscule way, public opinion for the good of our citizenry as a whole for a healthful future of our society.

The vehicle for our think tank to serve as a contributer to public opionion may take the form of a radio talk show that I would host and to which Possible Society Think Tank members would also participate. This is one possibliity now being discussed that could grow out of the study, the think tank and the various other programs now on the drawing board that will support the study. Certainly, published reports will emerge from the study and incorporate our think tank process and development as we move forth. One certainty is that the think tank will serve, not only as a discussion forum, but also as a data resource for the study.

How will this group of people, the study interview participants, shape and develop their viewpoints in the coming four years as collective, community unity building agents in the U.S.A.? We are all participating in, while also observing, the conscious evolution in progress of a nation. What will we create, individually and collectively?

Keep pace with the study and our Possible Society In Motion Project.

Think Tank Mission Statement,
Members Draft, October 14, 2011

To create a growth enhancing environment for dialogue wherein participants, to the best of their abilities, will help one another refine their thinking, support one another’s personal, professional, civic and interfaith activities of a peace-building nature and offer the processes and output of their collective efforts for public consumption and publication related to the findings of the Possible Human, Possible Society Study without assumptions, expectations, judgments or ego-attachments.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celebrating Nancie Rosenberg: Happy Birthday, Nancie!

A Network Builder Of Peace Buddies Is Nancie Rosenberg. 

Happy Birthday, Nancie!
My best effort for your chocolat cake.
There are peace buddies and then there are Peace Buddies!. Allow me to define the term here so you will understand the reference.

A Peace Buddy is someone with whom you currently have an ongoing, conscious relationship that has as its intent a striving for the highest levels of integrity, clarity, mutuality and synergy.

Enter Nancie Rosenberg, celebrating her (present) lifetime of birth – days tomorrow, December 1. Nancie, one of the first to sign on for the Possible Human, Possible Society Study, is a Peace Buddy par excellence and a networking maven.

I am so grateful to be the beneficiary of her generous, personal support and attentiveness for this endeavor. Above and beyond the call of duty, she gives of herself and nourishes me just when I most need it, like the freshness of rain and the glow of the sunshine. My gratitude is beyond words to have, additionally, been graciously welcomed into her vast network of Peace Buddies. And, oh, the delight of the people I have now met through her.

Nancie carries her messages with
the joy and inspiration of the hummingbird.
Lucky me.
Malcolm Gladwell defines a maven (word origin – Yiddish, among the richest languages for single descriptive words that I know) as someone who accumulates knowledge and passes it on.

Mavens, according to Gladwell, are essential links to creating the success of any project that has an intention such as our’s; to invite participation and impact, as directly and as soon as possible. Who wouldn’t want an enthusiastic maven behind a project like New Horizons, or a study like the Possible Human, Possible Society Study?

Connectors, people who, among other characteristics, know lots of people are also critical to the success of an endeavor such as our’s. Connectors are resources for spreading the word on the “important” things that are happening, ideas and intents. Blessing of all blessings, sometimes, suggests Gladwell, author of the bestseller, The Tipping Point, maven and connector attributes show up in one and the same person. In other words, a networking maven. Here we have such as Nancie Rosenberg, hopefully, having the happiest of birthdays tomorrow.

Nancie is optimal in her unconditional acceptance and support of others, as well as being well-informed on spiritual and peace-building matters and superbly connected to a bazillion people, I am sure, loving them all. With an innate love of people and an enthusiasm for life, she carries her messages forth with joy and inspiration like the hummingbird.

Luckily for me and New Horizons and the objectives of our new Possible Human, Possible Society Study, we are fortunate to have Nancie Rosenberg’s support behind us, a gift that has been making an enormous difference since the onset of the study.

Happy birthday, Nancie!

From Anastasia (and Sue too)
With the deepest of gratitude for the treasures of your being and my having your support and insight to help me move our project out into the world.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Peace Buddies Project

Open question to Possible Human, Possible Society Study participants

Do you have one or more people in your life that you consciously and actively practice peace-building with on a regular basis? And, who do the same back to you?

Sue and I call these "Peace Buddies." Obviously, she and I have become Peace Buddies with one another. Here is a bit of an introduction to how we think about and do our conscious peace-building that we call the Peace Buddy Project.

There are a bazillion ways to sabotage peace; things, even ordinary people need to pay attention to not doing, like being abusive or lying, even a little bit. (See blog article on "subtle violence.") Perhaps there are an equal or greater number paths to attain it. I hope so.

In keeping with New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project’s mission; to do our best everyday, in everyway, to carry out the vision suggested by the following quote of Mahtma Gandhi --

  • “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.”
New Horizons came up with fourteen human attributes that Sue and I built into our Cultural Mediation Paradigm and the New Horizons Small “Zones Of Peace” model. There are tips galore about these attributes and how to practice them linked here for your your ease in accessing our suggestions.

Our original idea to build these attributes into all that New Horizons offers is based on Murat Yagan’s guidance for the building of exceptional communities. However, practice has added some pointers.

The fact is that the essential ingredients that build and sustain peace and well being and, therefore, create non-violence can be cultivated. The seeds of this potential already exist in everyone. If these seeds are nurtured in the proper manner, enduring relationships and community structures can be developed wherein, over an extended time, violence can become “obsolete.” Imagine that “violence can be obsolete.” And you have the wherewithal to help that objective along, right now. Only as far away as reaching out to another person with the intention of building a bond of peace, on purpose.

Having a Peace Buddy with whom you regularly, consciously and conscientiously practice your peace-building skills is one very profound way to nurture these seeds in yourself and others. Even if you are doing a great job as a peace-builder, a Peace Buddy gives you an extra edge and helps keep you on your toes.

When the blended ingredients of the best in human nature create synergy; a way of being with others that goes beyond cooperation and further than consensus, humanity can raise up its communities, large and small, to their highest potentials.

If you do not have one or more Peace Buddies, will you pledge to get one or more now?

The more you have, the better it is for yourself and everyone else. Although Sue is one of my Peace Buddies, I think I have at least fifty more. How about that? Can you identify that many and more for yourself? FYI, Peace Buddies are not about popularity, they are about authenticity and a sincere pledge to always do your best to resolve conflicts and overcome polarization.

Let us know. We are in the planning and development stages right now to make our Peace Buddy Project a part of our expanding efforts to build small “zones of peace” everywhere in the service of being possible humans in the possible society.

Study Report

Though we still be interviewing the "choir" these days of the study start up, almost all interviewees, so far, report making authenticity and overcoming conflict and, therefore, polarization to be priority values in their lives.

What do you think we will find when we start interviewing folks on Capitol Hill and around K Street?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is It Truly A Puzzlement?

Anastasia’s Commentary and Study Report

I can almost hear the words now from the “King and I.” T’is a puzzlement,” sings Yul Brynner as the King of Siam. In my image the king is reading today’s CNN reports. That’s his puzzlement.

On the other hand, from the aerial view I’ve got as the architect and prime interviewer for our Possible Human, Possible Society Study, the current predicament seems as if remedial efforts are really not all that out of reach. If our representatives would just be willing to take a good look; first at their process, then at the content. Be it economics or whatever else. Let's hope they are getting closer than we think.

But who am I to throw my hat in the ring in this battle? I have mastered only a very few things in my life. On the practical plane, beyond psychology and related "soft science" analysis, anyone who knows me recognizes I can barely change a light bulb. Let alone offer anything to fixing the economy. Here I am all follower. Not a leadership bone in my body.

Some of our study participants, however, though they be, perhaps, no more than arm chair coaches, have far more wisdom than I on such topics. And, the "knowing ones" all seem to agree on one factor that could change the whole game. There is a common overarching value system "of the people, by the people and for the people,” that is crying out for our representation.

Address the good of the whole of our collective citizenry. Ego and self-interest (actually the bedfellow of ego) are to be left at the door. Find that value system in the Bible in both the old and the new Testaments. I am certain the notion must be repeated again and again somewhere in the Quran (though I have never read it), the teachings of Buddha and almost every other system that has endured. The good of the whole; one for all and all for one. That makes complete sense on even the most basic stress management level; body, mind and spirit. 

Maybe the super committee, which might or might not be super, needs a good break for the holidays to help them remember about peace on earth, good will to man (woman and child). Meanwhile I am grateful as Thanksgiving approaches. The progress of the study seems almost magical thus far. Lots of peace and good will in each and every Possible Human, Possible Society interview. Perhaps that’s because I am still talking to the “choir.” 

Thank you to all who have contributed their time and the sharing of their highest ideals to the building dialogue of this study and the wisdom being garnered therein. I am truly grateful for the abundance of insight that your responses provide.

When we get closer into doing interviews around the White House and Capitol Hill, will we still find that consistency of intent? One would hope so. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Innocents until proven guilty. I am a die-hard, practical idealist who doesn't want to soon be shaking my head, joining the choir singing that tune of the “puzzlement.” 

Meanwhile, keep pace with our study. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

More to come. By the new year I hope to be sharing a bit of what our study is discovering.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In Search Of Someone Special

Efficiency Apartment, soon to be available at our beautiful mountainside property

C’mon, let’s all work together soooooo –

One lovely woman in need of housing and inspiration can have a beautiful, safe home and thrive as our non-profit organization grows and expands.
Definitely better than a tent

Rent -- Cash or work exchange (or combination)

Qualifications

  • Mature adult -- female, only;
  • Must have car and job;
  • Pets welcome (fenced in yard);
  • No drugs or alcohol.
Expected availability, December 1. Now in remodeling phase.

  • Material donations – Needed (tax deductible to our non-profit org.)
  • Volunteers needed for: drywall, gutter repair, tile floor laid (already donated), chimney repair, chimney sweep, strong man with chainsaw.
See details and stories about our Harpers Ferry Retreat Center Project.

Information: Anastasia, 240.409.5347 or zonesofpeacenh@aol.com


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Possible Society In Motion: Study Report

The fire in my soul has been ignited.

Interviewing participants started right off as an almost magical experience for me. Although I hold the values upon which this study builds its various hypotheses, enough to stake my life on them, I had not anticipated how close to the hearts and ethical practises of many others were they, also, being held. Then I started listening to personal stories about values and standards. Interviews soon became storytelling. In less the ninety days plus since August 1, when the study officially began, I have already been given, personally, more than I could have imagined.
 
Already in these early days of the study, I am being privileged to discover an enhanced viewpoint of both the head and the deepest yearnings of the heart. As well as the heart behind the distress people are experiencing under current political circumstances. The heart part, expressed in detail, in these one-on-one interviews, has been particularly profound. There is nothing like storytelling to expand one's consciousness and our human connectedness.

The internet cannot give us this sense of full-bodied personhood, person-to-person. No matter how advanced it becomes. There is something one receives in close proximity to another that high tech cannot replace; the flesh, the facial expression and the voice tone are parts of that “something.” But there is more, a subtle human vibration.

Right from the study’s start in early August, it prompted so much interest I wasn't sure we could manage it all. I believe, this was because many people are eager to speak the deepest truths of their hearts, as well as their mind, if there is hope that it can make a difference. For our parts, now, a few months into the study, we are beginning to accrue a decent enough flow. And, our every success with the project seems relatively assured, as much as anything can be predicted in these days of turbulence.

Note: This article is excerpted from another at Anastasia The Storyteller. "Alignment With Our Principles, Part II.

Keep pace with the process.

More to come.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Collaborators’ Celebration

Five Years of Ever-Increasing Synergy; like the fingers of one hand working together.

Five years ago today I had no idea that the blond haired woman with the healing touch would come to be like a sister to me and the collaborator of the next important, developing phases of the New Horizons Support Network, Inc..  She came simply offering to help lift some of the strain I was experiencing in my role as the chapter president of a national Jewish women’s social action group.

Disappointingly, the women’s social action group, unlike Sue, was to take no action whatsoever in responding to a local Jewish/Muslim upheaval, Nonetheless, out of that chaos what has come to be titled the “Cultural Mediation Paradigm,” came into being, publicly introduced at our recent Possible Society In Motion event, Now this approach to community development and the team behind it warrants a birthday celebration. Five years of ever-increasing synergy, community service and the development of a peace-building model with meritorious impact deserves commemoration.

To begin comprehending how momentous, in small, simple ways though with grand implications, has been our journey from there to here, first, picture one very challenged, dedicated, peace activist, Me, feeling unduly challenged in a highly charged and polarized situation. A state of local affairs that made a mockery of the Jewish ethic, tikkun olam, world repair, I still believe. Next, imagine my spirit sister, sometimes lovingly identified as Quaker Sue, raising her hand, saying “I’ll help,” as she has done more than once too often in the five years I have known her.

Prompted by true Quaker ethics to help counteract anti-Muslim backlash following the tragedy of “911, Sue had already pledged her support to neighboring Muslims when a mutual acquaintance brought she and I together. Initially we connected with the shared goal of offsetting the escalation of our local controversy. Since that beginning, however, auspicious only in retrospect, serendipity has guided us to become an almost magical collaborative team,  Synergy, like the graceful fingers of one hand working together, and the discovering of elegant solutions bear the signature of our fingerprints. 

So, today in honor of our five years together, as I have been promising to do for more than a year already, allow me to formally introduce “my Sue,” New Horizons’ most singularly active board member, chairperson of multiple committees and our esteemed Curriculum Development Director, Sue deVeer.

Sue deVeer is a career Quaker educator of more than forty years who knows that questions can be more important than answers. Strongly rooted in the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, equality and social justice, she has brought a unique perspective to recent developments in New Horizons’ various projects.  Her specialties as an educator are experiential education, environmental education, curriculum design and consensus decision making.
With all this and more to her credit, perhaps you, too, can see that “my Sue,” oftentimes raising her hand, enthusiastically stating, “I’ll do it,” says that phrase almost more than she should. 

Still isn’t she awesome, “my Sue”!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Synergy, Like The Fingers Of One Hand Working Together

Think Tank participant, Sandi
Lee, arranges seating for event
I have always been particularly attracted to the notion of “synergy” being like “the fingers of one hand working together.” As far as I know the idea originated with Murat Yagan. I love that depiction and how it creates a picture that moves in my mind. Moderator Jim French gave the image even more motion at Sunday’s panel-led discussion when he added his reflection of the thumb being able to touch all the fingers.

If the aspirations of a group or organization are to be truly “exceptional,” the attainment of “synergy” may be the most essential quality. You can read about my view of the “exceptional” community and how that notion contrasts with “ordinary” communities on my Anastasia The Storyteller blog. See the “The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard” link to view an excerpt from my mss in progress for that discussion.
My concept of exceptional community life blends the ancient teachings Murat has so generously provided of his native Abkhazia with the strategies of therapeutic community culture as I came to know it in my years as a therapist.

To begin your own exploration of the principles of community synergy as Murat’s recounts the teachings of his culture, you can purchase a copy of “Building Up A Kebzeh Community,” one of numerous publications from Murat’s teaching series. This monograph is a wonderful study group manual for building an exceptional community life. It was from this that New Horizons, in 1999, began to set its sights on the purposeful attainment of AWE through community development.  Of course, we were blessed with personal guidance from Murat and the advanced students that surround him, hungry for the teachings he imparts. Nonetheless, for devotees of transformation through community I believe it is a must for indepth study.

For an initial public presentation, I was delighted with how our event, offered by the members of our budding Possible Society Think Tank, drew together a group of attendees that so eagerly did their best to co-create a high minded discussion. The event, panel-led discussion along with potluck dinner, was a distinct stepping stone to the level of cooperation that, over time, becomes synergy and beyond that can reach that high peak, the attainment of AWE. The attendees were a wonderful group. Thank you for being with us in support of me, personally, and these early efforts of our new projects and programs.

With Jim as our moderator, our panel-led discussion and potluck dinner gave us a taste of peace action in motion. And, Jim was truly the thumb holding the fork. With deepest appreciation, I congratulate the Think Tank members, Sandi Lee, Sue deVeer and Skip Cross, and, Jim French, of course, for a job well-done, synergistically, at Sunday’s very first Possible Society In Motion public event.

More to come on our Possible Society In Motion programs and projects as they now begin to emerge out of our new Possible Human, Possible Society Study.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Taste Of Peace Action In Motion

“Zones of Peace” Builders We Especially Appreciate 

Jim French, Moderator
Possible Society In Motion Panel and Potluck Dinner


Jim in non-verbal communication
with a Chinese-only speaking student
UNESCO Center For Peace,
Model United Nations Camp, 2010

"The girls from Brazil loved him," reported Guy Djoken, Executive Director of the UNESCO Center For Peace, sponsors of a Model United Nations camp program. They, indeed, sent fan mail for Jim in 2009 and looked forward to his return in 2010, Jim’s third year co-facilitating “Conflict Resolution and Anger Management 101” with me for the project.

I think he’s priceless! And I feel more than a tad bit of remorse for taking so long to publicly acknowledge this loyal, dedicated-to-peace-building man. While Sue and I will be celebrating five years together of our collaboration this year, Jim French is not far behind with four years accompanying us, also, in November. I can’t imagine the successes these programs accomplished without him.


Jim French, facilitating community
dialogue at our
Abkhazian Dinner 2010
A veteran of community dialogue, Jim has been a facilitator for Great Decisions, the Baltimore Symphony in Frederick, and the Maryland Shakespeare Festival. He has, additionally, been an active program designer as well as a facilitator for two of our three recent Abkhazian Dinners, for our Centennial Memorial United Methodist program and our participation in the UNESCO Center for Peace sponsored Model UN Camps for three years. With a long career in association management for high-tech industries and now a part-time educator, Jim continues to be involved in community and world affairs.

With that said, I now best use this space to say “Join us on Sunday, October 23 for our Possible Society In Motion Panel-led Discussion and Potluck Dinner. Give yourself the opportunity to be guided into fruitful, community-building dialogue sans polarization, if all goes well, as it should, with Jim’s skillful moderating. Following the discussion, take time to “break bread” with us as we, more informally, take a few next steps to building community unity along with our potluck dinner.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Horizons' Announces Possible Society Study

PRESS RELEASE for immediate release

Non-Profit Launches Regional Possible Society Study

Frederick, Maryland -- Sue deVeer, a life-long Quaker, was born into peace-building and service. Anastasia Rosen-Jones, of Jewish heritage and the step-daughter of a Holocaust survivor, was raised on social justice and the quest for tikkun olam, a Hebrew phrase meaning “world repair.”

With these cultural roots upon which to build, it is little surprise that the meeting of these two women would grow into a harmonious collaboration, as well as a successful community development model. For the past five years, as various programs of the model were being shaped and offered on a limited basis, the two women have paid particular attention to creating a format for community action through conversations.

During these years, the duo collaborated to create the New Horizons’ Cultural Mediation model geared toward overcoming barriers in civic and interfaith disparity. Their unique approach has resulted in the successful bridging of differences for numerous local groups to date. Now, with the launching of a new, four year study, also sponsored by New Horizons, the organization and its leadership will expand these early, successful Cultural Mediation efforts.

The new project, titled the “Study of the Possible Human in the Possible Society Within A 100 Mile Radius Surrounding Washington, D.C.,” will move local efforts forth, first regionally and then nationally. Drawing upon data gathered by the study, immediate attention will be given to utilizing strategies of the Cultural Mediation paradigm as a prototype for overcoming the severe polarization presently contaminating our entire country.

Designed by Ms. Rosen-Jones, the study and its related projects and programs will move forward under the name the Possible Society In Motion. Data from the study will be used for published reports that highlight public opinion in certain, designated areas that are relevant to the philosophies and earlier efforts of New Horizons. Fruitful discussion formats, focused on developing community unity, will also be created to expand both data gathering and public awareness and education.

A bi-weekly Possible Society in Motion Think Tank, open only to study participants, has recently been established. A panel-led discussion and potluck dinner will be hosted by study participants for interviewees and potential interviewees on Sunday, October 23, 2011. Both Ms. deVeer, who heads various New Horizons Committees and is on the New Horizons Board of Directors, and Ms. Rosen-Jones, New Horizons Executive Director and Founder, will be on the panel.

For more information on New Horizons and the Possible Society Study, visit our blog site at zonesofpeacenh.blogspot.com. To participate in the study, volunteer to assist with projects and programs of the study or to make a tax-deductible contribution, contact Anastasia Rosen-Jones at 240.409.5347 or email: zonesofpeacenh@aol.com.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Event Announcement

The Possible Society In Motion


Are you a part of the current polarization
problems our nation is facing, even subtly?
Or a consistent, active part of the solution?
Panel-Led Discussion 

Date: Sunday, October 23

Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Potluck Dinner Follows Discussion

Location: Friends Meeting House
723 N. Market Street   
Frederick, Maryland
      
Moderator
  • Jim French  - BA Physics & Philosophy, Consultant & Educator, New Horizons Conversations Program Planner and Facilitator, Participating Member New Horizons Possible Society In Motion Think Tank
Panelists
  • Skip Cross -- Possible Society Study participant
  • Sue deVeer -- MA Environmental Education, New Horizons Board Member and Curriculum Development and Steering Committees Chairperson, Think Tank Participant
  • Anastasia Rosen-Jones --Retired Psychotherapist, Community Development Coach and Consultant, New Horizons Founder and Executive Director, Possible Society Study Designer 
Keep Pace With New Horizons’ Possible Society Study!
 
Details and Reservations
(Space is limited)

Anastasia: 240.409.5347 

Friday, September 30, 2011

We Are Running As Fast As We Can

We have a slight bit of a delay with posting our promised announcement for our first Possible Society event scheduled for Sunday, October 23, 2011.

Pushing forward, amidst flooding this past week at our Harpers Ferry retreat center, emergency family health problems in Sue's immediate family and the start of the Jewish New Year's "Ten Days of Awe" which began Wednesday night, a brilliant shift in our programming arrangements emerged out of the past week's challenges.

Major Program Change:

Jim French will replace Anastasia, New Horizons Executive Director and Founder, as program moderator.

What a treat this will be for both panelists and attendees!  Once the announcement is up we will be introducing you to Jim and keeping you informed, as best we can, as our event nears.

Once again New Horizons' blossoming team of peace builders has created elegant solutions; lemons out of lemonade. Keep posted for our event announcement over the week-end. And, look forward, if you can attend, to finding out more about how this change is one more in a long string of examples of how it is that we "walk our talk, creating  our own version of "awe" behind the scenes with whatever we attempt.

My best Jewish holiday wishes for Jews and non-Jews alike!

"Le' shana tova tikatevu ve' tikhatemu."
"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

From Anastasia who will be without water over the week-end till the plumber comes again on Monday for the fourth time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Next Steps

Michael, one of our
dedicated, hard working
volunteers 
Only six weeks into our new Possible Society Study and this project is already moving a whole lot faster than I anticipated. Oh my. Oh my. I told you there was a lot going on behind the scenes of our organization. It only looked like things were moving at a snail’s pace from the outside.

I already need a vacation and it is still only September. Or, at least a snooze like our summer volunteer helper, Michael, as pictured here. 

The activities listed below are the highlights of what we have planned for the coming months, until the end of 2011. As our Possible Society study moves into high gear and we do our best to achieve this with awe, we are going to be needing a lot of flexibility to roll with the shifts and not get ahead of ourselves here. That means we may need to make adjustments which we will do as necessary; first things first. Nonetheless, here is our planned menu.

1. Possible Society interviews (remember the intention of our study is do 400 interviews by December 31, 2014);

2. Training of interviewers and other volunteer staff for our expanding activities. (As of last week, we now have donated office space in Frederick, Maryland!)

3. Developing a viable Possible Society In Motion Think Tank, open exclusively to study participants. Now meeting Thursday afternoons in Frederick County, Maryland with intentions to expand as we proceed forward. (Space donated courtesy of Sue deVeer.);

4. Securing our organization’s infrastructure in order to support the expansion the Possible Society study is now bringing and ensure our growth and stability;

5. A Volunteer Appreciation Day luncheon, tentatively scheduled for November, 2011, to express our gratitude to our volunteers, leisurely hang out with one another and boost our already buoyant teamwork energies.

6. Fundraising Our price tag for the developing and growing of our study and the programs, projects and publishing efforts emerging from it for the remaining months of 2011 -- $50,000 (many times over for 2012).

And, to be announced on our next posting, our first Possible Society In Motion event, Sunday, October 23, 2011.

Make your tax deductible contribution to our efforts soon. Avoid the last minute rush.

Please support our Possible Society In Motion Project in any way you can!

We need:

Volunteers to assist and support the study;

Volunteers for the retreat center remodeling project. (We would like to be able to start doing retreat weekend trainings in 2012);

Gifts In Kind for our Habitat For Healing remodeling project (Contact Sue for these donations. She is also the chairperson of our retreat center remodeling project. Her cell number is 240.367.4403.)

Cash donations. Help us raise the dollars we need:

Price tag, 2011: $50,000.

You can also help support us by purchasing Pearl LED bulbs. Help us light a path to peace.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Gift As Wrapped Up For You

Meaning: Anastasia committed to presenting as visible a picture as possible of the whole of that which the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project is comprised to date; our gift to all who would receive it for the good of the whole.

All you have to do to receive our gift is be open to accepting it in your own unique way and then give away what you got. To "know about" our gift, read everything on this blog that you like, add some spice by checking out Anastasia The Storyteller, visit our “old” New Horizons web site and ask the “right” questions.

If all you do is read about us, you still won’t have taken all that is being offered, however, because the true gift is inside of you connecting with us and everyone else with the best of intentions.  The awe is the taking it all into action. Then you will have an experience backed up by some data. Will that be enough?

I said I’d complete my commitment to inform by September 15. I completed that task, officially, by reporting into my small but mighty board of directors, Lisa Boyer and Sue deVeer. My initial report was to Sue who is also our steering committee chairperson. Generally I meet with Sue two or more times per week and talk to her, even multiple times per day or text. Lucky me! Lucky New Horizons.

Lisa and Sue at our
Annual Board Meeting
July, 2011.
Next I "tried" to report in to eleven year board member veteran, Lisa Boyer who is under much pressure at her "day job." That report is still pending.  Hopefully my humble offering to her will be well received. Lisa is the one who pushes my ground level limits! I can't imagine where I would be without her. Sue, the one who climbs the more mystical path, is a bit easier on me.

As a working team we, three, always reach awe. And, what a team we make. So synergistic are we that we hesitate to enlarge our board though at this stage we probably must.

Sue, as I can count on, was happy with what I did. Even a bit impressed and certainly inspired. She is all about thinking global and acting local with me while we keep climbing. Lisa, how to describe Lisa, our Volunteer of The Year Award Winner? Lisa has and does keep us on track, after more than a decade of our ups and our downs.  How does one describe a blessing like Lisa? More to come on Lisa as we get closer to our Volunteer Appreciation Day.

Having done as I said in a most timely fashion (actually I was a day early), I now put that assignment and commitment aside and move us forward to what’s in motion for now and the future for New Horizons and its many facets. If there is more I/we can offer you so you can know and join our efforts, your requests, comments etc. will be most welcome. I hope that what I posted here was ample for you to get enough of the picture of our gift for now.

All that is behind is our foundation. Forward is now moving through the Possible Society Study and programs and projects to emerge from it. That is until further notice.

From Anastasia
Up in the mountains on a dreary day outside but a happy one inside.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Our Package: One Year Later

A year ago I wrote posts announcing the intention of the New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project of contributing to a resolution of the controversy then raging over the proposed mosque at Ground Zero. 

We knew then, as well as now, that what we had learned from guiding the resolution of the local “Middle East Crisis In Our Backyard” (See “Local Muslim Leader Talks Peace” Frederick News Post, August 18, editorials and comments – September, 2006) had brought us profound wisdom on how to successfully move through polarizations of this sort.

We had effectively guided our local controversy onto a, not insignificant, path of reconciliation (see Frederick News Post, December, 2006), as well as utilizing the lessons learned in this venue elsewhere.* We were, thus, eager to, once again, be called into service for a similarly, challenging project. Even if the “calling” was only that of our own minds and hearts. However, this one turned out to not need our assistance.

Reflecting back on our local Jewish/Muslim controversy of 2006, and contrasting it to how the Ground Zero mosque 2010 controversy was de-fused, I felt a degree of loss that we had been so lacking, locally, in outside support and intervention. It might have made a difference to where our local community stands today in terms of overcoming the polarization of diverse racial and faith-based groups.

Though there has been progress since, it has not been nearly enough. Unfortunately, deep wounds and scars still remain from the episode. What will these prompt in the future, one must, on occasion, contemplate. Hopefully, delayed healing and growth will emerge someday.

Nonetheless, as it turned out for New Horizons, other goals attracted our attention that, now in retrospect, appear to have made more appropriate use of that which the New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” has to contribute. Thus, we made our way from a consideration of how we could aid the mosque controversy back to our remodeling concerns for our Harpers Ferry Retreat Center, thinking globally, acting locally. With the retreat center as our revised focus, we re-grouped and moved forward, mostly behind the scenes.

Then in the early part of this year, based on to my growing distress over the national "mediocrity of the masses," my volunteer team agreed to support my desires to update the "old New Horizons' Game." As executive director of our organization, I could no longer sit on the sidelines. Nor could I allow this organization to be less involved than it could be. Since Labor Day, 1998 when I lost my eyesight, I had done a relatively miniscule amount of offering the best of what I have that could be used for the collective good.

Of course, I had been doing my best. Still, the knowledge and experience base I had accrued over my more than thirty-five years in working with groups and organizations to guide them to be exceptional, a far cry from mediocre, needed to be fully utilized and now!

Needless to say, I could not have imagined what would occur, if I pursued this course of outward expansion. My growing frustration and the impetus emerging out of it led to my coming out of the closet for both “old New Horizons” and for me. The result to-date is a monumental change in the complexion of New Horizons; a dramatic rebirth out of that which seemed dormant in my life. I am amazed at what it occurring. Seems a bit like Botox for an entire program, as well as for me. Just goes to show that timing is critical in both comedy and tragedy.

The endeavor to bring back and update the GAME put a spotlight on the need for my, still, unpublished “Random House Trilogy” manuscripts to be brought out of the mothballs. With all my expansiveness of vision, I had not seen the need, until it smacked me in the face, to share what I almost thought of as "history." How unseeing of me!

To make the best use of their own gifts, talents and experiences New Horizons’ volunteers and participants need an expansion of their understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of “old New Horizons.” I now see that these that I was holding back, until now, are needed in order to augment their knowledge base and wisdom and for us to move forward into a synergistic interweaving that would make the best use of us all. Without seeing it, I was robbing us of the opportunity to make optimum use of our collective best.

To make a long story short, we are now right sided up. With the generous contribution by Saba Direct, Inc. of a limited quantity of a portion of one of my unpublished manuscripts, it is now being used in our study groups. It is also beginning to be used, as well, as one of the basic texts for our new “Possible Society In Motion” think tank.

Only one month into our Possible Human, Possible Society Study, programs related to it, the think tank and the manuscript availability are now on the drawing board but not far off. The first one, a panel-led discussion and potluck dinner event, is already moving forward for Sunday, October 23. Details to be posted.

Thus, as we cross the threshold into Fall and Winter that Labor Day brings, our project has now transitioned into a mega-intentioned, three year study of the “Possible Human, Possible Society.” I, for one, though still challenged with my eye problems, am increasingly fulfilled by taking our efforts out from behind the scenes and countless returns to the drawing board into the "big" world.

The future for New Horizons bodes well in the area of serving our various communities, locally, regionally and nationally. Visible impact is expected in the coming year ahead for the very first time since I lost my eyesight Labor Day weekend, 1998! All this, of course, is baring the unforeseen, of which we have had plenty.

The entire package that is all New Horizons has ever been or will be; past, present and future, is New Horizons' gift to you as well as our celebration. Thank you for your support.

More to come.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Like A Fast Moving Hurricane

Possible Human, Possible Society Study Update.

As the interviews of our new Possible Human, Possible Society Study progress, only three weeks into the project, for me it almost seems as though I am witnessing the conscious evolution of unity in motion in our area of the U.S..

Not only is the study creating conversations every which way within the one hundred mile radius of the White House as intended, but it is also tying the threads of our magnificient package together, picking up speed quickly like a fast moving hurricane.

Keep stopping by for reports. We will keep you posted as much and as quickly as we can. Which may, given current weather conditions, seem like a snail's pace reporting of fast moving energies behind the scenes.

However, be assured that that which may seem invisible to your physical eyes is, truly visible, if you look high enough and far enough.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Other-ing


Report from the Possible Human, Possible Society Study 

Other-ing is already showing up as a dominant theme in our study.

"You are either like me or you are the “other.” If you are an “other” I don’t really have time for you.”

No wonder we have so much trouble overcoming the polarization of politics and other conflicts and controversies as well. Only three weeks into our study and enough interviews, both full and partial, have been done so far that I feel confident to pose this question to you:

How do you imagine the promise of our welcoming lady, the Statue of Liberty, can fulfill her pledge with the predominance of other-ing that dominates much of our day-to-day interacting?

Thomas Moore (Care of The Soul, 1992) writes:

“It is not easy to observe closely, to take the time and to make the subtle moves that … “ allow another being to reveal itself.

Taking time with one another is antithetical to our nation’s general lifestyle. The addict society, instead, derives its momentum from a high speed lifestyle. The instantaneous, reactionary assessment that the “other” is the enemy, if only of our insistence on hurrying up, adds to the dilemma.  No wonder "awe" is such a hard mountain to climb.

This item; the prevalence of other-ing, already emerging, in our study makes me doubly grateful for the pure presence of our interviewees. That they willingly are giving of their time is already making this study inordinately gratifying. I am having more fun that I have since I lost my eyesight, Labor Day, 1998. Imagine that!

More to come. We’ve only just begun. Three years plus to go (study officially ends December 31, 2014).

Help support our efforts!  Participate. Donate.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Such A Big Package!


I bought a very appropriately titled pack of post up notes the other day. The quote said “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”

I thought that quite fitting for how these blog articles must strike followers at times. But what could I have done better? Especially as I’ve been only a student this past year on how to do this blogging stuff?

I do seem to be catching on to it now though dontcha’ think?

Anyway, in case you’ve been confused about our story line here, truth be told the New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project is quite a HUGE PACKAGE in its entirety. And, to complicate things even more, I’ve been dealing with blindness issues since 1998 so be sure and cut me some slack for that. Being blind for an extended amount of time 1998 – 2003) is not something you just get over http://www.newhorizonssupport.org/littlebook.htm

Check out some of our history and background at the following links, however. Then what we are up to might begin to make a bit more sense. At least, I hope it will.:

  1. “Finding Light Inside The Darkness” http://anastasiastoryteller.blogspot.com/p/history.html
      (Frederick News Post, August 6, 2006, Story of Anastasia being blind and New   Horizons evolving from a relationship and personality addiction program (emphasis on power addictions) into the New Horizons’ Small “Zones Of Peace” Project;

    2. Anastasia, bio information: http://www.shecafe.org/nhs/nhfounder.html
   3. Press Release, August 18, 2000: “Spiritual leader of 26,000 year old culture to assist local non-profit with violence prevention effort” http://www.shecafe.org/nhs/muratsuportpr.html;

   4. Press releases, assorted: http://www.shecafe.org/nhs/event.html;

   5. Voice of New Horizons Newsletter http://www.newhorizonssupport.org/pdffile/news3.pdf

   6. The Adventure Of Awe: http://zonesofpeacenh.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Adventure%20Of%20Awe;

  7. New Horizons Habitat For Healing Retreat Center http://zonesofpeacenh.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-horizons-announces-habitat-for.html

More to come…