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


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

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”
      (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:
   3. Press Release, August 18, 2000: “Spiritual leader of 26,000 year old culture to assist local non-profit with violence prevention effort”;

   4. Press releases, assorted:;

   5. Voice of New Horizons Newsletter

   6. The Adventure Of Awe:;

  7. New Horizons Habitat For Healing Retreat Center

More to come…

Monday, August 15, 2011

Awe Can Be Such A Hard Climb

Our Possible Human, Possible Society Study is now underway. I am truly enjoying the opportunity. We only need 100 new people per year to achieve our goal of 300 in three years and achieve what we are after; offering what we can to help overcome the polarization in our country.

We told you last year at this time that we were intent on doing this. And, here we are, having been thorough in our preparation!

Already the study is showing us that it will bring just reward at the destination as well as all along the way. The evidence we have says we are truly on a treasure hunt with bounty a certainty, provided we are reading our maps properly.

Even though the pieces of the study hung together fairly well at the outset, our goals still looked to me almost like a mountain too high to climb. I am like that though when I take on a new climb, a mountain previously uncharted for me. For one thing, one full interview with one person, will generally take as long as two-three hours. However, even with that, it looks like we may exceed our goals.

Two weeks into our study and we are almost up to twenty interviewees (plus we also have some accumulated past data that is also worth reflecting upon). People are beginning to talk about the study and offer, not only their own precious time and perspectives, but are referring us to other potential interviewees who are seemingly eager to participate.

As the designer of the project, with it still being in the blueprint stage (and my right arm, Sue, unavailable as she is out of the country on vacation), it is almost completely in my lap to stay on top of analyzing what we are learning and how to guide the project forth on its next steps. Lorrie, another of our dedicated volunteers is doing her best to keep pace with me, providing support and valuable input. However, her interviewer’s role is not an easy one to just simply pick up and do.

Some enlightening viewpoints from our interviewees about our country’s polarization problems and what they see as necessary to fix it are coming forth in some truly heartfelt, thought-full ways, as opposed to solely political and economic opinions. Though those are there too. Perspectives such as these; both thought-full and heart-felt, are bringing me to being “so glad I asked.”

The conversations that have ensued for me resulted in my speaking out more boldly than I felt comfortable doing but I think I am glad I took the risk. However, today I hope to talk to almost no one and just relax, integrate and celebrate what already seems to be surfacing from our study. And, enjoy the day in every other way possible. Maybe even go off to play.

(My inner word bank is almost depleted today so lots of "r and r" are what I need after having done several productive, but very intense interviews over the weekend when I should have been playing.)

One thing is already “perfectly clear,” as if you didn’t already know this; awe is a hard mountain to climb. Even in concert with seemingly like-minded others. Let alone with those of different views. 

Building and sustaining harmony are artful and tricky things to come by. We can seem so alike, yet we are truly all so different. And, those differences can easily trigger us into our own, even very, very subtle snakiness. Even if only briefly.

So what is it going to take for us to climb that mountain and get to the awe place?

The most frequent answers emerging from our interviewees so far are:

* Commitment to the process of talking things through to the elegant solutions (win-win and outside the box),

* Skill at communicating and resolving conflict,

* Self-discipline and

* Vision.

All our interviewees, so far, to the person -- express determination and commitment to playing the "awe game" (in our format or elsewhere) and taking personal responsibility to do all of the above themselves.

We will keep you posted on what else we find as we go on our adventure of discovery through our Possible Human, Possible Society Study.

With gratitude to all who have with forthrightness already given so generously of their time to this project.

Up in the mountains on a glorious, almost humid-free day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Package: Tying It All Together

I can’t say for certain that the latest piece of New Horizons’ multi-faceted community development and violence prevention project, our Possible Human, Possible Society Study, is the part of the package that will tie it all together for you.

For my sake, if for no other, I am surely hoping so. I am a person who strives for unity. And, it has been a very long thirteen years of back and forth between chaos and order for both me and New Horizons since I lost my eyesight, Labor Day, 1998.

Holding onto that unity within myself, let alone conveying the sky high blueprint of what’s on tap her at New Horizons to all of you who follow our work in progress, is another whole deal, believe me.

Oi, veh. Is about all I can succinctly say about it that you might even begin to understand.

However, since I am given to taking personal and professional inventories, I’ve been thinking that it’s about time to provide you with an inventory of just what is going on with our project.

So, as of today, I am pledging to tell you in bits and pieces, entwined with other stories to come, the story behind the scenes to the best of my capabilities between now and September 15. Look for these “behind the scenes” stories which I will label as “Our Package” from here until then; chaos a factor in delays.

Now, back I go to outdoors, weed whacking my task today, to contribute to our remodeling efforts out here in the mountains where we hope we can open our doors to retreat weekends, once again, by next year at this time.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

From The Wise Old Owl

Hooty, hooty, hoo!
Whatever are we to do?
Just read a CNN article that made my blood boil.
Everywhere the U.S.A is a-roil!

I was just about catching my stride to say a few words about what I think about our country’s polarization; there don’t seem to be any real, live grown-ups around here running this country. And, what do I find? An article that suggests the young’uns here should be the ones in charge.

Well, I guess that just goes to show two things, in particular, to my mind:

1. The Elders of this country are, somehow, not earning the respect they should, due to the fact that they act like children as if they are still on a playground; and

2. The young’uns haven’t much skill at treating the Elders with the respect they do deserve. That’s what I get, so far, from the way many of those young'uns act (not all, by a wing span, to be sure.)

(I am still smartin' some from two college student volunteers last year that convinced me “I’d better do it myself.” Truth be told, I could not. So, of course, because what we needed was teamwork, we had a no-win outcome in some certain areas. And, much undue aggravation.)

Well, it sure is challenging round here these days! Even for a wise old owl.

I have high hopes, though, that our Possible Human, Possible Society Study will help us disclose, as a group, who it is that is really walking the walk. So, for now, I will reserve judging in error until I have more facts.

Sure would like to know myself, though, before I need to cast my votes again.

You think you are really walking that walk, how about being a Possible Human, Possible Society interviewee?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

For The Birds

I am so grateful that a wise old owl is presently inhabiting the woods surrounding my home. He/she/it keeps reminding me almost nightly that I am gifted to be able to find light in the darkness.

Being able to discern where there is darkness in myself and others and knowing how to transform the dark into light is an art form I acquired out of my need to survive my adventures in Camelot.

As a human, however, one can not always readily know whether or not certain things are of the light or the dark. Whether or not a thing is, simply put, the great, ongoing game played back and forth of the dark and the light? Or, is it truly an end of all ends.

For example, last year at this time the grandest of life-threatening crises was about the controversy surrounding the mosque slated to be built near Ground Zero. Was that a gift of the light or an omen of dark and evil sure to be lethal?

And, if it was truly a learning opportunity rather than a mortal crisis, certain to attract an increase in terrorist attacks, how could that situation ever be turned to the good? Who could imagine any elegant solutions here, or some kind of win-win outcome?

And, yet to date the plan continues onward in some kind of re-formed mode, controversy seeming to simmer now rather than set us on fire as it was once predicted to do.

This year it’s the debt ceiling. Not to minimize the severity of potential consequences facing us, but that, too, has been touted as a sign that our end is almost near.

It’s always something chaotic! It’s always URGENT and it’s always mortal. And, it’s always about the ENEMY that is always THEM. Not me, right?

As it has turned out, apparently, the Muslims, in spite of that crisis, are getting on quite well in America. A recent Gallup poll reported that Muslim Americans "… have generally optimistic and positive views about government, its agencies and the future of America…” This in spite of the fact that “they report a significant level of prejudice and discrimination,"

Can whatever wrought the ugly polarization among our various representatives in congress in the debt ceiling debate somehow show up next year in a study with a similar message from the bluebird of happiness?

Maybe, even from our New Horizons Possible Human, Possible Society Study? I can’t say I would mind. I hope for a more positively spirited American outlook next year at this time rather than all this drama.

I found it a bit of a challenge these past few weeks to keep an eye on the day-by-day, play-by-play and not get caught up in the urgency and the enemy mentality of it all. What has been going on has truly been for the birds!

I think that wise old owl nearby kept me relatively calm in this sea of contention and crisis. Like the goddess Athena of ancient mythology who had an owl on her shoulder, he/she/it must have helped me see through the darkness and into the light. That includes the dark in me that could prompt me to join in with the crisis mentality that I call my “Chicken Little” disorder.

Most of the time I was able to hold onto my perception (but not always without a bit of stretch) that this was, as usual in Washington, one more day in the GAME.

Shall I consider that a gift of having been blind and having the courage and endurance to face it now once again? Being blind, for better or for worse, made a shaman out of me; one who is able to live on ground level yet see the intrigue that goes on here with a bit of lightness and humor.