Saturday, June 30, 2012

Clean Elections Campaigns: A Treasure Trove of Inspiration

I am really excited now about the beautiful gift New Horizons is packaging as our small contribution to the enormous challenges of our day. A new jewel seems to have been discovered to add to our already bountiful offering. Here is the latest in a series of developments that began taking shape out of our recent Abkhazian Dinner event.

Several days ago I came across a wonderfully uplifting blog article titled “Clean Elections Campaign.” The story told of an initiative in Kenya to help bring about peaceful elections. In the words of the article’s author, Deborah Drew, the goals of the effort were described as:

…educating the public on election processes, civic education, sensitizing the public, creating a culture of honesty, and bringing accountability to both the voters and the candidates themselves. CEC is necessary because there is a need for good leaders, encouragement to people to head to the polls, and encourage issue/value based campaigns rather than tribal affiliation…
The report evoked an almost instantaneous response on my part; a rich, new treasure had been found, emerging out of successes of others that we could follow upon. Not the least of which just might connect to and heighten the value of New Horizons’ Possible Human, Possible Society Study. The following morning, thus, had me searching online for more information on the project.

Now several days later I am digging into the information I have been gathering on Clean Election Campaigns in the U.S.A. And, in particular, what I am discovering about programs presently going on in Kenya and, apparently, in various other parts of Africa.

If the map I seem to have discovered continues to un-earth more of what appears to have already come to light, New Horizons may have found a rich treasure trove of fresh ideas that could enhance how we are to use the findings of our Possible Human, Possible Society Study and its new-found convergence with our Small “Zones of Peace” initiative. Still, of course, always intent on heading toward awe.

Our Small “Zones of Peace” Project seeks, primarily, to offer community bridge-building conversations. The main goal of the project is guiding participants in developing enhanced perspectives and skills specially designed to move beyond obstacles that often separate well-intentioned “others” from one another.

Insight: Our Abkhazian Dinner event revealed how limited even well-intentioned individuals might just be, in spite of their best efforts, in doing the very things that that are necessary to truly build peace and unity in this country of our’s. More on this soon.

I am really excited about what I have found and how this development may help tie New Horizons’ two main initiatives; the Small “Zones of Peace” Project and the Possible Human, Possible Society Study together in ways that can truly contribute to helping our supporters and study participants move through and beyond some of our national polarization challenges. Even small steps in this direction could mean a lot, if the timing and the objectives are properly aligned with our times.

More to come.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Snags to Synergy

Bus Ride Story Adventure Comment

I am in love. Not in “that” way. I am in love in a more love the world way; the kind of feeling one gets when you have a certain fine experience with people coming together, getting through a snag or two, then coming out the other end intact and a bit more for having moved through the snag. Brief though the snag might be, we are lifted by the happening, individually and collectively; a tad more human for showing our shadowy selves and moving beyond them.

I am, of course, referring to our gathering for our second Bus Ride Story Adventure rehearsal yesterday. Sue and I were definitely not at a flawless performance level yet as tour guides. However, in spite of a few metaphorical leaks in the roof, our audience of interactive co-creators, across the board, was generous in their receptivity to our gifts, engaged and engaging, responsive and accountable in how they conducted themselves. Yum.

Given the magic of our beautiful, mystery location and the ideal weather which allowed us to meet below a gracious shade tree next to a gently rippling stream, we had a wonderful Bus Ride Story Adventure rehearsal #2. Next month on Sunday, July 29 we will present ourselves, again, at our mystery location in the country, as we continue to rehearse and polish up our act for our anticipated taking of our show on the road when the days grow shorter and cooler.

A delightful group of people came together at our mystery location. And, if we did not make it all the way to the peak of the Mountain of Awe, we, at least, got off the ground. Each and everyone did their wiining-est best, conducting themselves in ways guaranteed to build exceptional communities, providing a healthy majority that will lean into the process and keep coming back.

Not a one of us was flawless. However, we co-created a beautiful Bus Ride Story Adventure day. Thank you, thank you to everyone who attended. We are on our way, traveling with you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Show and Tell

Bus Ride Story Adventure: Advance Preparation

One day in first grade, my son, now a grown man, took his grandmother to school for “Show and Tell.” I can still see them now in my mind’s eye; Mom, a Berlin born Holocaust survivor, with a still thick German accent, toddling in her high heels alongside my six year old on their way to school.

I don’t recall the details of that day’s schoolroom visit by Grandma. But whatever it was, I am certain it was lovely, especially as my mom was a natural-born storyteller with a huge loving and compassionate way with all people.

Storytelling is a gift and, sometimes, an art. And, it is, along with the data being collected, one of the things that is making our Possible Human, Possible Society Study so rich and, at least for me, so rewarding. In these days, however, words like dialogue, conversation and narrative; that almost meaningless, superficial word that is getting to me these days, are often used to indicate that what is being said has substance, as does “real” storytelling.

Sometimes, given the over usage of these words, I could almost scream when I hear them repeated again and again, offering the incessant musings of the mind without the presence of the heart.

“Real” storytelling has the head and the heart, experiences and, above all, teachable moments. Storytelling as a gift and an art is not the stuff of online commentary or chat. Real storytelling does not come in sound bytes. Do you know the difference? I hope so.

If not, perhaps, you never had a grandmother, or the equivalent, to pass onto you that which can only be known by standing next to an elder; a wise woman or man, who can guide your sometimes halting steps through this maze called life. Like Grandma provided that day for my son, Eric, at school for “Show and Tell.”

I am thinking about “real” storytelling today as I prepare my piece of Sunday’s introduction to our Bus Ride Story Adventure rehearsal. To make the impact Sue and I are after, storytelling is an essential ingredient. Nothing less will give just due to our Beloved Murat Yagan and his intent for creating this imaginary journey.

Our Bus Ride Story Adventure, written by Murat, is offered as a “social game.” The game is used as a means of introducing those who are open to learning the intricacies, involved in the art of personal and community transformation, as lived through the ancient traditions of Murat’s people of the Caucasus Mountains.

Here is the challenge: We are after creating an informal discussion with a purpose on Sunday.

Both the purpose and the informal dialogue must be entwined with “real” stories. And, in order for the impact we are after to be experienced, it must be attained through discipline. The ongoing practice of taking the lessons offered up through twists and turns, harrowing challenges and many levels of higher consciousness. This is a process and with our particular offering, a process that is both personal and communal. No single event will accomplish it.

How will we, with our humble limitations, be able to even introduce the importance of reaching this goal and all that our beautiful package has to offer to assist it? I do not know. It is after all the adventure of a lifetime.

In the more than one dozen books and articles Murat has written. he offers guidance to the highest levels of consciousness, as he knows them to be and has learned it at the hands of his teachers. In his monograph “Transformation And The Seven Ways To Knowledge,” he identifies the levels of personal and community transformative development, the first two of which might be identified as “show and tell.” (The other five to be introduced at another time.) They are the essentials of a a very steep mountain to climb.

Here’s hoping that the “show and tell” Sue and I will attempt this coming Sunday, at our next Bus Ride Story Adventure rehearsal, will “tell” enough and “show” enough for our participants to take the next steps with us on that path to transformation.

What we have to offer, as our humble gift is truly beautiful. And, if it can attract the support and feedback we are needing in order to have our gift (and Murat’s, as well as all of those who have already discovered the “awe” of it) used to its fullest, we would be so incredibly grateful to all those who are willing to travel on this ride with us.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Read The Fine Print

Taking a bus tour without first reading the fine print could lead to disappointment. Not that we anticipate that in the least. Still reading the literature offered could enhance your experience and keep you from having some missed opportunities.

If you seek, you shall find that we have quite a package for you that includes, not only our Bus Ride Story Adventure, the happenings of our Possible Human, Possible Society Study and a whole lot more. If you are interested in joining our adventure, you might find yourself better able to maximize the experience by reading more of what we have previously offered on this site.

Check it out. Read the labels section on this site. Or just explore the panorama of what we have already offered.

Word to the wise: New Horizons’ Bus Ride Story Adventure is much more a process than an event.

Registration is still open for next Sunday’s experience at our mystery location in the country.  Join us if you can.

For details and reservations, contact Anastasia at: zonesofpeacenh@aol.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Traveling With You

Sue and I spent a good deal of our precious “New Horizons’ Tuesday Workday" yesterday reviewing and re-assessing plans for our summer ahead of Bus Ride Story Adventures in motion (i.e. rehearsals). We both agreed that our word crafting is presently a bit challenging for us. Conveying what is to occur from an essentially experiential process is generally like that, we realize.

We, also, agreed that although we have a beautiful gift to give others through this adventure, coming through us, of course, from Murat, the support we are seeking from others by participating in this summer of rehearsals will certainly help us be able to be better at our wordsmith-ing.

Over the years that Sue and I have been working together (since 2006), we have, as collaborating teams often do, begun to develop our own shorthand language for understanding one another. In this we are an example of synergy, like the fingers of one hand working together. We keep encouraging others to also notice, more consciously, their own day-to-day working relationships for signs of this; collaboration at it almost highest. In other words, “elegance.”

Given that Sue and I are both more at home with abstract thinking rather than nuts and bolts conceptual articulation, we are still going through some challenges to bring our descriptive language for this Bus Ride Story Adventure up to the level of precision we will need. That is, if we are to carry this project to the peak of our intent; high impact and success with it. Until we reach that peak, please peruse our collection of Bus Ride Story Adventure stories at this link for additional points and discussions on it. (You can, of course, read them anyway for the insights and fun (??) they might provide, if you are up for a browse.)

If you are on our invitation list for this adventure (or would like to be in the future), please know that though we be the tour guides, this series depends on our co-creation with participants to make the adventure worthy of its claims. Our adventure is truly a “We” thing, not a “Me” thing. .

So, if you are to join us when we next rehearse on Sunday, June 24, at our secret adventure hideaway, please know that we are asking you to, not only receive our beautiful gift but we need back what you will do with it to help it sparkle as only people working in synergy can do. That is, then, what can become awe.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

We Want To Travel With You!

Coming soon!
Details on our next Bus Ride Story Adventure (rehearsal)!

Join us as we rehearse for our Bus Ride Story Adventure rode show, scheduled departure,
Fall-Winter, 2011-2012.

 with tour guides, Anastasia and Sue.

Find out where our tour bus will take you, if you want to come along for the ride.

Next rehearsal date --
Sunday, June 24, 2012.

Location --
A surprise country getaway spot.

By invitation only.
Space is limited

For details on how you can obtain your invitation, or be included in future events, contact us at:

zonesofpeacenh@aol.com

Let the adventure begin!



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Behind The Scenes At New Horizons

To See Or Not To See

A story about Anastasia living by her wits, or the end of them, as the case may be.

The cost of the quiet.  
Check out what's happening behind the scenes at New Horizons in the midst of its turning points

Or the tale of how a bus ride can be a labryinth.

Our Bus Ride Story Adventure is truly now about real community-unity buidling in motion (i.e. the secrets of systemic change versus stagnation).