Begins Sunday, September 24, 4:00 p.m. on the
Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show.
The surprises we come up with when we put ourselves and our voices out to others are never ending. I’ve been getting requests to sign up for New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Storytelling Workshop Series from people around the world, as far as Uganda. What a wonderful surprise this has been!
Just when New Horizons and myself had gotten to thinking there was no way for us to be useful with our community bridge building programs, given the current social and political polarization, we came up with an alternative to our signature program, Coffee House Conversations -- our new Storytelling Workshop Series.
We were just beginning to get used to our new normal of living with the notion that now might be the season to honor polarization, even with its downsides – and – let go of striving for unity, as a priority. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, out popped the idea of our partnering with StoryCorps and taking dialogue at New Horizons to a whole new level; setting up a program to tell and hear personal stories, in depth, especially those related to how people are feeling about and dealing with the “new normal” throughout our country and in our communities.
We had started to accept that the present time might be the season for people to stake out their territories insofar as values and needs that had not been given due attention, like the feisty pups we sometimes mimic, even the snappish ones. But, for a time, beginning with last November’s election fall out, that did not seem to leave us with a viable path for our version of community service -- community dialogue.
What to do? What to do? We wondered and worried.
Then there was, also, the factor of my, Anastasia, needing to clearly separate my voice from the official voice of New Horizons. I, too, had reached a point where I needed to be more and more vocal about the values I hold to be important. The political had, indeed, become both the personal and professional for me that went beyond the scope of New Horizons and its small “zones of peace” building agenda.
It wasn’t that unity had ceased to matter to me. It was more that I sometimes took a long range path to getting there. After all, I had invested the past forty plus years of my life developing a comprehensive understanding, personally and professionally, of how the Dark Side of humanity operates and how to transform it. As most of us know, transforming the Dark Side is no simple task. Thus my voice on the subject, timely as it is for today’s circumstances, needs to be aired in a manner, not always seemingly in harmony with New Horizons.
We, New Horizons and I, do not truly have different destinations in mind, but sometimes we have divergent ways of reaching the objective; the greatest good for the greatest number of people in the most loving and compassionate ways possible. Thus my approaches do not always appear to be copacetic with those of New Horizons.
But ask yourself, how could New Horizons and myself genuinely be of different minds when I am the original architect of the project?
Still it seemed, for a time, as if New Horizons and myself might need to part company to keep our voices clear and defined, according to the strictures of non-profit regulations. Now it is looking more and more like we might just be needing to rearrange the playing pieces. That is if I can keep my thoughts on politics and other partisan affairs off this site, as in keep them limited to my Anastasia The Storyteller and Exploring Your Dark Side sites.
So far, so good, if you think we are still needing to do more self-defining to keep ourselves in pure non-profit compliance, please let us know your viewpoint. We will get right on it to clear up any fuzziness.
On my end, however, our policing board member, Lisa, seems to be satisfied with how I am speaking my “truth to power” messages and keeping New Horizons out of the fray; always a good sign for me.
For starters, this seems to be the simple way to go; keep politics etc. restricted to my Anastasia The Storyteller and Exploring Your Dark Side sites, especially as it become clearer and clearer that my personal/professional heart and soul has a great deal of political perspective at its core.
This is what Watergate has brought me; the political became the personal.
But now, lo and behold, a new shape has appeared with New Horizons partnering with StoryCorps to bring about our new Storytelling Workshop Series; much like the pieces of a kaleidoscope making a fresh picture. Without changing the pieces at all, we might just be shaking them up a bit and thus creating a new image for ourselves.
You can hear my story of how that came about on my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show program titled Tranquility In The Era Of Trump: A Personal Story.
New Horizons and myself, fellow travelers on the road to raising ourselves to our higher vibrations; may not always be perfectly in step, as in sometimes my stories might not be appropriate fare for non-profit dining, still we seem, now, to be beginning a new chapter. And, not too be far off from one another as I, a bona fide online storyteller, now take up the leadership of the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Storytelling Workshop series, our next new project, focusing on community-bridge building, one person at a time.
So far so good, judging by the response we are getting. As I stated earlier, we have already heard from folks as far away as Uganda. And in this country, we have heard from people from coast to coast, as far East as Boston and as far West as California. Indicators suggest we are tapping into something, with our intention to bring storytelling in, front and center, to address the very human yearning to connect, striving for fulfillment, albeit somewhat hidden in staking out zones of importance, at times, these days, often only with like-minded others to increase one’s strength of conviction and entitlement.
New Horizons has now discovered that while many people in our country or communities may not be quite so eager to come together for group conversations, having to do with overcoming polarization, we are now beginning to see that one person by one person, listening to and telling our stories still remains a basic human need.
As one of the people who has, so far, reached out to us, regarding our new Storytelling Workshop Series and its great potential, stated –
I think it (the Storytelling Workshop Series) is such an important and desperately needed piece of the road forward right now!If you think so too, join Steve Lebherz, New Horizons Board Member, and myself, next Sunday, October 1 at 4 p.m. as we take next steps, with you, to make storytelling, one person at a time, an important endeavor in reaching for that pinnacle of what our heritage of being human, in the fullest sense, heart to heart, offers us. After all, we are all a part of the ONE!
Sunday, September 25
And -- person-to-person, live, if you are in the neighborhood (Frederick, Maryland, specifically, and the 100 mile radius of the Washington White House, more generally) –
Storytelling Workshop Series:
A Vehicle For Overcoming Today’s Social and Political Polarization
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Frederick Friends Meeting House
723 N. Market Street Frederick, Maryland 21701
For Details and Reservations, Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 240.409.5347