Thursday, January 21, 2016

Moving Beyond Rhetoric: The Challenge of Creating Sustainable Communities

If talking is just not enough, then what might be? 

Tune in tonight as Anastasia and Jack take up this issue on --

The Challenge of Creating Sustainable Communities

Thursday, January 21, 2016
6:30 p.m.

Also on podcast

7:00 p.m.
Call in: 712.432.0600, access code 640883

Anastasia has been addressing this question at some length, recently, on this blog site while both Jack and Anastasia began taking up the issue on their last radio show broadcast.

“There is no simple answer. So let’s break the complexities down into some of their parts,” suggests Anastasia. 

“From where I sit the goal seems to be how do we, personally and collectively, move ourselves forward from the extremes of independence, self-centeredness and separation, even polarization, into the kind of collaboration and creative problem solving that can help us build sustainable communities.

Join Anastasia and Jack for a lively broadcast discussion on this topic, followed by a conference call forum where listeners can offer their viewpoints and ideas. Conference Call forum follows on air broadcast. Call in: 712.432.0600, access code 640883, at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Question: If “Just” Talking Isn’t Enough, Then What Is?

Answer: There are no easy answers!  

However, as I (Anastasia) see it, there are certain fundamental principles that, if respected, have a better than average influence on “how to talk.” (For example, leaning in and dialogue rather than debate.) These can enhance your potential for positive outcomes, whenever, wherever and with whomever you talk (most of the time).

Let’s begin the discussion on this by reviewing a few bottom line points from a New Horizons perspective.  

Then, over time, we (at New Horizons) will provide guidance on these, by way of information, support and individual and group coaching to help you apply principles and related practices. 

Look for details on these on our three blog sites and on our two radio shows; the Possible Society In Motion Radio Show and Anastasia The Storyteller. (Current details below.)

Bottom Line, based on our Possible Human, Possible Society Study combined with our review (to date) of our Coffee House Conversations Project events of 2015: 

Community dialogue in our locale has made a promising first step, but only a first step. We’ve still a long way to go. 

Here is New Horizons assessment of where individuals and our community need to develop proficiency, if true “exceptional community” development is a goal.
  • Being able to truly enter into dialogue and move beyond debate with emotionally charged issues;
  • Risking getting into emotionally charged issues that will need to be addressed if genuine community health is desired;
  • Conflict resolution (at New Horizons we call this moving from “snags to synergy);”
  • Learning to truly “lean in” to people who are different or who hold markedly different viewpoints, especially where emotionally charged issues present and need to be addressed for the good of the whole;
  • Developing compassion and understanding regarding differences;
  • Developing endurance and patience with the process of systematic community change upon which we are only newly embarking.
Okay. So now what, if making a better world and/or local community is what I/we are after?

There are no simple answers and no easy routes. All pathways are challenging, even dangerous (at least to the ego), and require conscientious, diligent and taxing discipline and efforts.

Are you ready? 

If you are, be prepared for the immeasurable rewards that could be, if you will allow yourself to reach further than the comfort zones you are accustomed to. You may need to reach beyond this and even endure losses that may result on the way to the rewards.

Our New Horizons Board of Directors and volunteer supporters and staff are here to guide you. 

All you need do is ask for our assistance and/or respond to our invitations.

To make your adventure a bit easier, tune into the Possible Society In Motion Radio Show with Jack Slattery, my co-host, and myself for lively discussions to help you move from "here" to "there," wherever that is for you.  

Look for details here on how you can join our Possible Society In Motion forums.

And, now -- being added, a whole new series of broadcast programs, followed by conference call forums on –

"Conversations With Anastasia on The Art of Dialogue,” 

A radio show and discussion format to assist you, with Anastasia’s personal guidance, to learn the art of meaningful dialogue rather than all the other ways of talking that solve nothing much. Haven't you noticed?

Next on --

Monday, January 25 at 11”30 a.m.

Also accessible on podcast

Anastasia is calling you, dearie.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Talking Is Just Not Enough

The noise of the rhetoric that fills the airways almost hurts my ears sometimes. I love it and I hate it too.  I love the fullness of ideas, viewpoints, thoughts and emotions, genuinely reflecting the diversity and richness with which our global village, brought in close, abounds through the internet.

But I hate the mean-spiritedness to the point of viciousness that spews forth from the mouths of those who cannot seem to get enough of the opportunities afforded for self-expression for blame, batter and blasphemy. 

If you have been reading my Anastasia The Storyteller blog articles recently, you know that I am taking a bit of a time out these days, focusing my attention on healing from a recent cornea transplant surgery, reflecting and contemplating.  Along with my personal healing I am deeply immersed in examining, along with the New Horizons Board of Directors, what we have gained by last year's Coffee House Conversations programs.

Additionally, I am also now profoundly involved in regular, ongoing consultations, especially with people of the Frederick, Maryland local community, specifically key leaders. Gathering viewpoints, seeking options for surmounting obstacles observed, as New Horizons assesses last year’s gains and losses.

But talking is not enough. Somewhere, possibly not yet obvious, are clues and indicators of what this generally wonderful, extraordinary, yet in some ways quite ordinary community will require to grow beyond its ordinariness still is puzzling.  

Clearly we can see, thus far, that “events” are not enough, town meetings are not enough, small groups of like-minded individuals having coffee or the like or in committee meetings, so far, have shown themselves to have possibilities for initiating advancement, but are, also, still not enough.

As I write my Anastasia The Storyteller blog articles, many in support of the physical healing of my formerly diseased eye, what I am coming to “see” and believe is that it is those things that are not being spoken – and – possibly not even seen that hold the key to showing us where we must go next to move from “ordinary” to extraordinary” in our local community.

If we can find these hidden treasures and bring them into the light of day, we might have a fighting chance to lift ourselves, locally, and even spread our good news way beyond.

Possibly you can get a jump start on this search we are conducting by listening to the podcast of our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show titled “Talking Is Just Not Enough.”

Hopefully our discussion will inspire you to join Jack Slattery, my co-host, and myself on future shows, especially our relatively open-ended Coffee House Conversations by Conference Call forum.  Here we can truly begin to get into problem solving options where “Talking Is Just Not Enough,” but learning the art of meaningful dialogue might make a difference. 

One of the things New Horizons recent assessment is showing us is that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of developing the art of “Dialogue versus Debate” in our local community on essential issues.

New Horizons is still learning this art and we have been at it, systematically, for over forty years!  We hope you will join us as we strive to develop the art.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Horizons To Debut "Council of Elders" in 2016

Read further details about New Horizons unfolding endeavor, The Council of Elders, at Anastasia The Storyteller --

Stonehenge reminds us there is much to learn
from the ancients.