Sunday, May 28, 2017

Instead Of Draining The Swamp, I Need A Dog

I woke up this morning feeling as much discouragement and hopelessness as I can ever remember. It was easy for me to go that way. I am alone for another holiday weekend which I hate. In spite of the fact that I had other options, I am responsible for choosing to take off another weekend for working on my book and getting caught up on blog articles. Still it is hard for me that my children are now grown, married with families of their own that are far away.

Solitude can turn into too much aloneness, especially on a holiday weekend, I have come to discover of late. 

While these circumstances can drag one down, my inner reflections showed me something else at the core of my darkness; I had spent yesterday immersing myself in the whys and wherefores of swamp draining, trying to accommodate the demands of my board to not take up this theme for New Horizons next agenda. 

This led me to explore, with board members and on my own, what exactly it means to drain the swamp. And why that phrase had taken hold so powerfully of the American public in the midst of the 2016 election campaign cycle.

My task, of course, was to discover the antithesis to this theme on behalf of developing an updated language for branding the good works of New Horizons to better our world. In doing this exploring, somehow I had gotten myself “bogged down” in swampiness inside myself.

Should I, would I, could I just allow myself to sink into this, I wondered as a dense fog covered the morning sunlight outside my bedroom window?

For a time I seemed to be lost in the fog moving through my mind. Exploring this mind set for a time, before long I felt myself saying “no” to this way of thinking. It was then that I realized that I was, as is all too easy these days, drifting into the prison barriers I had just been describing on my last Anastasia The Storyteller blog, “Beyond YOUR Prison Walls.”

Mr. Trump has brought with him into his administration a pall of negativity that has become almost epidemic. That negativity, very much intertwined with a mentality that sees enemies everywhere, is what is singularly most toxic about the way we are presently living in our U.S.A. 

To not embrace this perspective is one of the major ways to live beyond prison walls.

It was at this point that the strong, inner self in me, steeped in ideals I learned as a child and still hold today, bounced out of my own darkness, remembering that my “life is with people,” all people. It is in support of that principle that New Horizons carries forth its overarching mission, building small “zones of peace” everywhere we can.

It seems it was not long after that I noticed the sun shining and decided to get on with my day, knowing in my heart and soul that no matter how grey things often seem these days, we, the people of the United States of America, must not allow ourselves to be divided.

We must rise above the efforts that threaten to envelop us and suck us into believing we are surrounded by enemies and, thus, live in a state of constant reactivity, defensively and always on guard against the “other.”

We must not allow ourselves to succumb to this way of the Dark Side!

Our country was not founded on ground that was toxic as the wetlands of Washington D.C. are often described. Our country was founded on ideals, values and principles that above and beyond all, sought to ensure basic human rights, freedoms and justice for all. This is what is most important for us to remember!

Wetlands are often called swamp. But swampland serves an ecologically sound function that while certainly, at times, might be improved, is legitimate in and of itself too. Transformation of swamp areas, not ridding ourselves of them entirely, should be our aim. Upholding our founding principles is a way of generating transformation too. This way comes closer to my ideals of what to do with swamps; transform, if necessary, so that they flourish and nurture surrounding environs.

Washington as it stands today, geographically physically, politically and socially must always strive for transforming itself to its highest potential, as it seeks to do for its residents, generally, as a place to live and work. I should know. I have lived in or near Washington, D.C. my entire adult life!

Right now we have a president in office who seems to be cut off from love, compassion, truth and beauty; from the simplest, most basic expressions of humanity.  This way of being, a Dark Side way of being, can translate, if allowed can even mushroom, into widespread negativity that is based on a “get rid of” mentality; a weakening of humanity and its resources, rather than a “work with,” strengthening approach.

This morning I slipped into that dark side. Fortunately, I know all kinds of tactics and tricks for “finding Light in the Darkness.” But I was tempted. This I must not allow. We must not allow!

This is part of what it means to move in the direction of “instead of draining the swamp.” 

And why I need a dog!

More to come on “instead of draining the swamp.”

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Instead Of Draining The Swamp: New Horizons Next Peace Action Campaign

The search for three to four power hit words is on at New Horizons!

Our aim is to take what I mean by “swamp draining” as a metaphor to a higher level; a level that does not mean getting rid of anyone or anything -- that is not unless they are certifiably dangerous. And then what do we do?

Sue, our resident environmentalist has all kinds of “swamp” info to help us understand the true and scientifically sound ecological. That is her training and her expertise.

But what is our mission here?

So far, we are able to sum it up with the following. But there is still more. How do we make the whole of our message get folks to take next steps and get actively involved?

This we can state -- 
  • We want people, in small groups, businesses and organizations to talk to one another like never before. 
  • We want people to learn better and better ways to cross any and all divides and move into some kind of common ground.
  • We want to help people resolve petty, day to day conflicts that separate us by learning the art of leaning in.
To achieve our end in this quest, we need your help!

And, you know what? I don’t yet know myself how to articulate what we are after in words that pop and grab attention.

But we do know that we want people to pay attention to the powerhouse package we have to help better our society.

So what do we do when our time is now and we don’t yet know how to deliver our message?

At New Horizons, behind the scenes and upfront, we do our best to guide others (and ourselves) to bridge gaps; overcome polarization, make violence obsolete and talk, talk, talk as we do at our Coffee House Conversations. We just keep talking, along with doing our best to stay clear and centered on each person’s unique perspective on things and respectful!  

That’s how we go about our business of building small “zones of peace” wherever we go.

Now, like never before, we need your help in the form of input, brainstorming and creative problem solving ideas to help us develop a branding of ourselves in new ways. To carry our message and what we have to offer the various communities within which we place ourselves. 

We won’t brand ourselves as “draining the swamp” as our next initiative, but what then? 

What can we say to explain our mission -- and our vision -- instead of “draining the swamp?”  

Indeed, we are after transforming the undeveloped landscapes within ourselves and our surrounding environs into sustainable “zones of peace.” 

But how can we speak of this in three or four sparkling words?

Right now we realize we are taking up an enormous task that is about not only learning to converse well, country-wide, with one and all but, in doing that, to make significant social changes, over time. So while the whole of this new discussion is still pretty vague, if you have any thoughts or ideas -- 

Please either post your opinions on this issue on this blog site or email me, directly with your thoughts at

Meanwhile, I will be back again soon to share some of the thoughts and ideas the New Horizons Board of Directors is considering for this effort behind the scenes. Once I got started, as I did this morning, talking to my board members about how stuck I’ve been for the past month, I got myself ready to keep talking to get unstuck.

Try it, you’ll like it, if you don’t already know the magic of “just keep talking” and soul searching.

It works!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Draining The Swamp: How We Do It At New Horizons

Wondering how New Horizons is going to carry out its mission?

See this post for an update on this project.

(The magic of our approach is that it is multi-tiered, meaning that it is a bottom up rather than top down method that aims to impact all levels of systemic functioning. This means we pay attention to the “swamp” closest in to us as well that way beyond our capacity to affect it directlyHow this systemic tactic can carry influence on all levels requires close examination. We will be taking this exploration on as we develop and expand our mission.)

Our basic formula is simple; commit to doing more and more of the good things to do and less and less of the not so good. How to apply it, in real time, is hard; so hard that only the truly committed and resilient person can even attempt it.

Here are a few of the personal character attributes needed -- 
  1. Commitment to living by high-minded human principles;
  2. Character traits of integrity, straightforwardness, being without hidden agendas, honesty, an unrelenting openness to learning and more;
  3. A belief in the great potential for human advancement;
Here is a sample of what our formula entails.
  1. Commitment to a “what to do” program (See this link. Also see this link for a whole, wide-range of articles on the "what to do" track.).  Each and every day, doing the best you can to develop these human attributes to their capacity that are typically undeveloped;
  2. Commitment to a “what not to do” program (see this link) Each and every day, taking a daily inventory of how you have done that day for #1 and #2;
  3. Meeting, preferably weekly, or at least monthly, with a group of similarly committed individuals in a group setting for the purposes of supporting one another. (This step includes giving honest, sometimes uncomfortable feedback on each person’s progress while maintaining a caring, safe environment.);
  4. Commitment to personally ascending as high as you are capable of doing. (See Murat’s Ahmsta Kebzeh: The Universal Science of Awe, Books I and II for an in depth discussion and guidance on this topic.)
Number three, immediately above, is almost going in the direction of New Horizons “Draining The Swamp GAME” which takes much preparation and practices to gain eligibility into. Will you be ready?

More on this later.

Since yesterday’s announcement of our GAME, we have already started taking applications for our "Draining The Swamp GAME" which you will, most likely, want to play. And we will tell you how and where as this new project unfolds and develops. Will you be ready?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Draining The Swamp – In Your Own Backyard: An Interactive GAME

Coming Soon!!

See this post for an update on this project.

Whatever is wrong in Washington, you/we don’t need to keep it going! 

“Draining The Swamp” Is One Of New Horizons Unique Interactive Games
Based on “old” New Horizons "signature" program --
(originally the “Discount Derby” as created by Martin G. Groder, M.D.)

“Draining The Swamp” is an interactive game based on more than fifty years of New Horizons evolving community development principles and practices to create the most up-to-date group dynamic  strategies.

Do you believe that our Congressional representatives ought to --
  • Learn how to work cooperatively with one another, at least to some degree;
  • Learn how to establish some degree of win-win intention on behalf of American citizens;
  • Find elegant solutions to the collective challenges facing our nation?
If these ideals make sense to you, are you willing to develop the necessary skills, to practice, in your own life, what you preach?

If you believe as we do, that greater unity is a way to a healthier future -- then New Horizons “Draining The Swamp” interactive game is a great place for you to start taking some next steps!

The objective of New Horizons “Draining The Swamp” GAME is to help participants clear away personal cobwebs that obscure the clarity needed for people to solve small and large social problems. “Draining The Swamp” aids players in developing enhanced communication and conflict resolving skills to help move beyond power struggles and abuses. It also facilitates participant’s development of strengthened community bonds.  

Our “Draining The Swamp GAME” might even assist some folks in developing artfulness in helping to reweave the fabric of our society and politics?

Date: TBA Next Day Long Program 
(Also available, specially designed, for your group or organization.)

New Horizons Harpers Ferry Retreat Center

Bring snacks and a bag lunch. Stay for potluck dinner and campfire storytelling.

Space will be limited! 
Register early!

Fee: Donations encouraged. $100 suggested or --

Pledge time, talent or treasures to ---
New Horizons Coffee House Conversations Project

Contact: Anastasia 240.409.5347
Email: SuperSleuthDSW

Thursday, April 13, 2017

On Why Presidents Lie And Some People Believe Them

Originally posted on Anastasia The Storyteller

Because I had just recently removed myself from the D.C. fast track; or the swamp as it is being called today. Because I still had friends in key places in Washington who were deeply connected to the center of Washington society and politics, including Watergate.

Because the Watergate break-in had occurred and Richard Nixon was being investigated by the Watergate Commission as he appeared culpable. Because the hearings were being televised and people, including me were drawn to watching. Because I was a captive audience lying in a hospital bed waiting for a cornea transplant and had nothing to do other than watch these trials. And, because I saw people around me seeming to believe Richard Nixon while my unsophisticated gut told me not to.

This is why I took on my very first super sleuthing adventure. Because I was in my first year of clinical training as a Transactional Analyst, I could analyze the transactions going on in this drama with my newly developing analytical skills. It was an intriguing exercise for a budding clinician. 

I needed to know how the president of the United States of America could lie to the American people – and -- how so many of his constituents could seem to believe him. 

(Many decades later I would discover that this pass timing activity of mine had much deeper roots in my own personal history. But that came later.)

So I dug in and I dug in further and further until I developed a passion for searching out truth and developed a great deal of understanding and expertise in handling these issues -- 

These days I feel a particular imperative to share what I learned and what I have come to know out of my decades of investigating the Dark Side of society and politics in the U.S.A.. I want you to hear the stories I have to tell about my adventures having to do with this and on the subject above itself. 

I want you to tell me back your stories of Dark Side encounters and how you may have transcended or transformed them to a higher good. We absolutely must do this kind of coming together. Storytelling is one of the best ways possible to pass forward the wisdom of the ages on such things!

Let us join together, now, in telling our stories!

When I saw Alec Baldwin last Saturday, again impersonating Donald Trump – and – his play-acting devotees on Saturday Night Live, depicting believers of what many of us see as the dangerous manipulations of innocent people by Trump and team, my heart hurt and my gut wrenched. The faces of those actors called up memories for me of the disbelief and confusion people felt when Nixon’s behavior negated the esteem and trust people had placed in him. I felt sick.

Today, this anguish comes out of me in the form of my wanting to urge you to use me now! 

More than ever, after my forty plus years of building my life’s work and my life’s passion for sorting out the ills of Watergate -- and -- doing my best to deter their being repeated, I have discovered how to move past such transgressions, or at least cope with them. 

Whether these ills have to do with the Dark Side of politics, corporate manipulations, street violence, domestic violence or child abuse, let us to talk to one another and learn from one another, NOW!

Right now, coping may be the best we can do. That and activism. Other than these there seems little else to do these days to set things right in our nation.

So please do use me! I am one of your national treasures.  Perhaps we are all that for one another.

You might be asking “What the hell is going on here?” and “What are we supposed to do with this?”

I don’t have all the answers. But I do have quite a few where these particular questions are concerned. 

At the top of my list of answers is that we must hang together, now, more than ever to pull ourselves together as one nation, looking out each for each other.

Storytelling can get us started!

With love for humanity in all its frailty,

Anastasia The Storyteller

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

“Coping With A Changing America:” Part 2

An ongoing series of monthly seminar/workshop/training programs, specially designed to help citizens of the U.S.A. overcome the polarization of our society and politics.

Do you feel out of sync and at “sixes and sevens” these days, even with close friends and family?  You are not alone, even if it feels that way sometimes. 

These are troubling times! 

Join us for our next Coffee House Conversations event that will–

  • Help you begin to develop conversation skills to be a community bridge-builder (also with your family, friends and work associates);
  • Teach you to speak truth to power in ways that have impact and a reliable success potential
  • Provide you with a non-partisan, supportive environment within which to discuss and sort out some of the stress our current social and political climate may be causing you.

Coffee House Conversations Workshop
“Coping With A Changing America”

Saturday, April 8, 2017 
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Frederick Friends Meeting House
723 N. Market Street

Reserve early, space is limited!

For Details and Reservations, Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Email: Cell: 240.409.5347

Donations are encouraged.

Be sure to read our many articles on “Overcoming Polarization” 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Are You Thinking About The Place Of Truth In Your Life, These Days?

Also see a version of this article on the Peace and Collaborative Development Network.

I, Anastasia, sure am. Now that might be that I care a lot about it, even more than most folks. If you have been reading my stories on Anastasia The Storyteller, under the label Telling The Truth, you might have thought that. Maybe not, if you are kind of like me.

But strange as it might seem, I don’t think I really understood even half of why the issue is so critically important to me until I began preparation for my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show program, The Truth Will Set Us Free, with honorary daughter Terry, presented yesterday.

I learned so much from doing that show with Terry. I hope you will want to listen to it. I learned so much that I had to come back, again, today to do a follow up broadcast. In the meantime I wrote a blog article on the subject, posted today, also.

Here are the links you can follow that can get you into a conversation with me on the subject, if you are inspired to do so. I hope you are. Given my background, you will be hearing a lot more from me on truth telling from here forth. Especially if Donald Trump is able to keep himself in office with all the truth bending he is doing. So that we will have, at least, four more years of truth telling, or not, being a hot topic.

Two radio shows
One new blog article on truth telling
And a collection of Anastasia The Storyteller blog articles on truth telling.

Join in the conversation on truth telling. This is one way you can help you can help move our country forward.

From my perspective “The Truth Will Set Us Free” means that truth telling is one of the major steps you take for climbing the Mountain of Awe to reach its peak!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Coping With A Changing America

Looking for a way to get involved in "Overcoming The Polarization Of ..... Everything"?

Join New Horizons for ---

“Coping With A Changing America”

Mini Coffee House Conversation
Three 20 minute sessions

Saturday, April 1, 2017
10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

at the 

Details at:

Showcasing Frederick Maryland’s Diverse Non-Profit and Civic Community 

April 1, 2017
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center
5400 Holiday Drive Frederick, Maryland 21703

With special guest: Congressman Jamie Raskin

Details at:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Finding Joy In The Era of Trump

Also on Anastasia The Storyteller with lots of links to interesting related stories.

People don't, often enough, celebrate the profound potency of simply, but not so simply at all, speaking truth to power. But today the joy of it must not be passed over. All of this wordiness on my part comes of my struggle from the inside out to share how very much today feels like springtime, at last. 

Last week’s snow is melted and yesterday I had a joyous sunshiny day out and about in my beloved spanky clean red car, just fixed after months in and out of repair garages. So I was all set for happiness this morning when I work up.

It was just one of those, “It’s the first day of the rest of my life,” all is right with the world days. Then I checked in with the morning news. NBC’s Comey Disclosures Leave Trump Alone on Island of Conspiracy Theories, told me everything and more than I needed to know that springtime is really here, at last!

What a long cold winter season it has been! The whole time of the American public being held hostage to the worst presidential election campaign I remember, culminating in the devastating election of Donald Trump. Now don’t mistake this bold revelation to tell you where I might stand on politics. I am a registered Independent. I was ready, willing and able to vote for either major party or none. And, none is what I would have chosen if I thought it might be the right and just way to go.

But no, not voting wasn’t an option! So I metaphorically flipped a coin and picked Hillary though I sure wasn’t crazy about her – and – totally did not want to see Bill Clinton, again, anywhere near the Oval Office he had besmirched with Monica Lewinsky. No, for me it was about character in this election (Maybe it generally is, now that I put words to inner process on it.)  Anyway that’s how I voted.

So I was devastated like many others to see Donald Trump win the election.

And, it sure has been scary ever since. OMG!! What this man has intended for America!

But, bad as it’s been I have kept having faith in our constitutional democracy and all the millions of people in this country who unstintingly believe, like me, in speaking truth to power. And, now look what we get! Our system works! Yesterday’s hearings with Comey testifying say it all, for me. The truth will set you free. And darkness cannot survive the Light.

The Games On You, Mr. President!!! Meticulous fact finding and truth telling is about to topple your sloppy, shyster’s ways!

Thank you, Mr. Comey. Those of us who believe in truth and integrity and basic human decency, above all, needed what you gave us yesterday!

Welcome springtime in the U.S.A.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Coffee House Conversations And The Joy Of Words That Connect Rather Than Divide

I am preparing to attend another “civil conversation” tomorrow evening. Having had the richly rewarding pleasure of such a conversation several weeks ago, hosted by my friend, Mike Corrigan, and more of the same at New Horizons Coffee House Conversation on “Overcoming The Polarization Of……Everything” last Saturday, I am feeling all about having more, more, more of people talking civilly to one another!  Can’t quite get my fill!
What a refreshing change from the daily fare of our society and politics, at war with itself from every angle. I can barely wait for this next, upcoming dinner event where people will readily conduct themselves in a manner that creates enriching discussion, almost totally devoid of polarization. So enticing that a person can truly digest both spoken words as well as the food.

I left New Horizons Coffee House Conversation of last week happily reminded of the kind of joy and inspiration that flows freely and builds to a higher elevation of consciousness when people truly are of a mind to dialogue, rather than debate.

We had a bit of a discussion at New Horizons’ event on the merits of dialogue up against those of debate. What emerged, as eye opening for me from that discussion, was that, inadvertently I was presenting myself as one who does not approve of debate at all! This is not so about me! 

So I was appreciative that our discussion environment was not judgmental of me in that  apparent inflexible position. Thus allowing me the space to self-correct and acknowledge that I enjoy being a listener to debate but not much in the way of being a participant.

I also got to clarify, as well as join in discussing, the merits of weighing different viewpoints and positions up against one another. Interestingly, but not surprising, the discussion participant most dedicated to debate was a lawyer. Figures, eh? And as she pointed out I am, by choice, training and experience -- as a psychotherapist --- a connector. That figures too, doesn’t it?

A beautiful passage I recently read by Natalie Goldberg in her book “Long Quiet Highway,” aptly described the joy and the wonder these recent non-divisive conversations held for me. It’s well worth the reflection, especially in this day and age where words and how they are being used are so often unrecognized for the gifts they are to humanity. Thus well worth respecting when they are used.
"What I adored….was the opportunity to talk, not just myself, but as a whole class, to have a discussion. Someone said something, another person disagreed or elaborated, and all our minds were free, thoughts were free and equal… You had a mind and you thought. You had a right to form the nebulous energy racing through you into words, to form those words with tongue, jaws, lips…..and suddenly sprung to life.... mind and feelings had a voice and ... spoke words into the empty space…” Long Quiet Highway by Natalie Goldberg
Yum. Love those words and love loving them!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Coffee House Conversation and The Finding Of Peace With Election 2016

It is Saturday and the New Horizons Coffee House Conversations Project is presenting i a discussion seminar on “Overcoming The Polarization Of ….. Everything.” Most of the regular participants of New Horizons Counterculture Community Development Experiment are present with me. 

After close to one year of being, working and growing together these dedicated people –are beginning to be able to welcome newcomers to our fold with ease; 
synergy would best describe how well we work together to present a discussion forum such as this. The sense of community unity we have is what we are after to achieve and that presence, in and of itself, is a fine start to our event.
Potomac River At Harpers Ferry
at Sunset

For starters, after a few opening comments from me, the group of already active participants and newcomers begins to get to know one another and the wishes attendees have for coming together on this chilly Saturday afternoon.

Introducing themselves, people express distress about the current state of political and social conditions, on the heels of our 2016 presidential election. Yet, overall, we will spend our time skirting politics. Instead we will focus on personal reactions to what has occurred. And the effect the election fallout is having on close relationships.

To the person, each expresses a lack of ease with current circumstances, especially a disconnect with close family and friends over the election results. One woman poignantly voices the main thrust of hopes and desires; finding peace with the situation as it presently stands. After a few more introductory comments from me, suggesting the direction our program will take, attendees are willing to settle for improving communication skills with the hope that these may be able to increase their comfort, if only……, if only they can find ways to reach across current barriers.

So we begin. 
Dialogue versus debate as a practice takes center stage with people barely able to truly grasp the full significance of the exercise. But we make a start and everyone manages a respectable effort. By the end of our forum we have found an ease with one another that we may not readily find outside our meeting room, especially as most people say that these days it is even hard to acknowledge for whom you voted in the election without fear of stirring an upset.

I get high marks for content and presentation and feel gratified that New Horizons and myself have made a start going in the best post-election direction we can find; teaching the art of 
leaning in and, apparently, creating a safe, caring space within which others can make a beginning in that noble, often challenging, direction – leaning in.

I return home that night, get a good night’s sleep, waking to the joy of a sunshiny morning in the fresh mountain air. For my efforts of yesterday and all the pre-planning it took, I find myself, at last, feeling at peace with the election outcome and as at ease as I can be with the new administration under a president that I firmly believe "acts crazy" in my estimation regardless of what the psych tests might reveal.

I don’t like so many things now going on in our society and politics. I know I will remain cautious and vigilant for the coming term. And I don’t like that either.

I am tired of the shenanigans of both Republicans and Democrats but I’ll be darned if I will give up my faith in the Constitution of the United States and the American people and how these have successfully, until now, guided us to set our country aright in times it gets off. Barbra Streisand’s approach of blaming Donald Trump for her weight gain is far and away distasteful to me as an option for how to live my life under Trump or anyone else for that matter.

As one of my old friends once said, "I am not about to allow politics to hijack my serenity!"

I voted for Hillary but sure didn’t want Bill back in the White House. I wasn’t too crazy about her either. They were just familiar and might not have been better at all to help get this country where it needs to go.

Next month New Horizons and myself will put on another ‘Overcoming The Polarization of ….. Everything’ seminar, on April 1st. Our topic will be “Making Friends With The Enemy.”

I hope folks will join us as we get better and better, ourselves, and teach others the art of  “leaning in” in times of peace and in times of crisis in the U.S.A.

I think the magic lies in if we 
just keep talking as our friend Pastor George Earle, Jr. told us to do when we "saved Centennial."

After all, think about it; our First Amendment grants  us the freedom of speech. So if we are protesting, writing, teaching, lecturing as I am doing, meeting with others for dialogue as we did on Saturday, investigating and reporting as the media is doing, even arguing as lots of folks are now doing over social and poltical issues, we are exercising this freedom. This simple, yet not so easy track has brought us to where we are now, without too much bloodshed. That in itself is the stuff of miracles.

Let's keep it up!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How To Carry Out Your Civic Duty To Help Make Telling The Truth The American Way

As I said in a recent blog, it is your civic duty to stop the flagrant disregard for truth running rampant throughout our society, especially if you are an American citizen!

Next the question arises of how to do that.

Is It Truth Or Not? on my Anastasia The Storyteller blog site has one suggestion for starters.

Why Telling The Truth Is So Hard has other ideas for your perusal and Watching A President Lie might motivate you with its sensitivity about the theme. 

And this link lead will lead you to a whole cache of selected articles.Dig into them, again and again. They are filled with nuggets of wisdom on truth telling!

Then, if you are duly inspired, join New Horizons and its developing following to take up the task of Making Violence Obsolete by making your pledge to learn, if you don't already know how, to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And, make that everyday fare in all your relationships!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Beyond Polarization: What Does It Take?

Does it matter to you that we are a nation of polarized people?

It sure does me! 

In fact, not only does Donald Trump and his divisiveness upset and scare me, what is now going on with people who voted different ways from one another breaks my heart.

I grew up being kept separate from other kids because I had a bigoted mother who would not allow me to play with kids who were different than me in terms of religious beliefs. 

And we were the minority! 

Isn’t that strange?

The only thing good that came of that was that it showed me how awful it is to be separated from neighbors!

I hate being separated from others. This is the main reason the efforts of the New Horizons Small ‘Zones of Peace” Project are what they are today; a full blown set of programs and projects to help all varieties of people come together.

This is now my life’s work. And, I won’t ever stop doing my part as long as I live!

I hope and pray you want all people to be united as much as I do – and – will therefore join me in the steep climb we now have in front of us to reach the destination of “awe.”

We can feel that awe when we come together in times of tragedy such as 9/11. We can feel that awe at a Super Bowl game, the Fourth of July, at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Why not each and every day of the year?

But what does it take to go beyond polarization?

Here are two essential beginning strategies --

Leaning In
Dialogue versus debate

If your heart is aching like mine these days over the state of our nation. And, you want something to do about it, keep following my blogs, on all three sites (here, Anastasia The Storyteller and Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure Of A Lifetime)  and the programs and projects New Horizons is offering.

I will be writing posts from here forth that will help you, your family, friends, neighbors and community tackle this challenge, polarization, and move beyond it. And New Horizons wonderful volunteer team, growing day-by-day, will be joining me through our many outreach and training programs and projects.

As a reminder, here are details about our next event ---

More to come.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Immigration To Be Next Coffee House Conversations Topic


Are we in Nazi Germany, circa 1940?

But then again, I don’t want people in my country who are here illegally or are criminals!

My heart is lurching. There are no easy answers!

And, I am after all is said and done, only one person, with meager resources to contribute to such a HUGE, way-beyond-my-capacities issue. 

What can I do to help this nightmare situation?

What to do? What to do?

Next step: I called Sue!

We agreed with the lesson we learned from our dear Pastor George Earle, Jr. when we successfully aided Centennial United Methodist Church in keeping its doors open and beginning to build a bright new future –

Just keep talking! 

If you do that with enough people who share common concerns, solutions will emerge!

Now I am cleared to take our next Coffee House Conversation series where it needs to go. 

We did it at Centennial, help to build a bright, new future when great loss was at hand. Let's do it again now when humane treatment for all is at stake!

Here it is!! A day to be filled with "dialogue rather than debate" and the search for common ground --

“Learning How To Discuss Immigration 
(And Other Social/Political Issues) With Empathy For All Views”

A New Horizons Coffee House Conversation