Monday, May 29, 2017

Instead Of Draining The Swamp: Why Not Go High As An Alternative?

Think about this ---

(And strive to do it with a non-partisan attitude. (We, the people, do not need to divide because our politicians do.)

Broadcast Today
Details below.
Michelle Obama, at the Democratic Convention that elected Hillary Clinton as presidential candidate, offered a catch phrase that, for a time, got as much buzz as Donald Trump’s “draining the swamp.” Her words, “When they go low, we go high” resonated for weeks after.

Why was that?  Ask yourself about this.

It is important that you do!

Question for the day --
If you and I working together, as American citizens for the next four years, are going to build our futures along lines that will foster the attainment of our hopes and dreams, doesn’t it make sense that  -- “When they go low, we go high” is a far better motto for us to shape into our thinking and how we live our day-to-day lives than focusing on “swamp draining?”
I will be broadcasting a discussion on this topic this afternoon, 
May 29, 2017 – Memorial Day
4:30 p.m.

My line will be open for call ins throughout the show

The call in number is: (646) 787-8624

Please join me! 

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 and 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!