Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How About Allies Rather Than Enemies?

Read my new posting today, titled "Allies And Adversaries" on coming together folks. 

Enough already with enemy thinking

It is not helping us get on with the business of managing our lives!


As an example of this idiocy, I just now read an article that I totally resonate with on the National Review, online. Titled "Addicted To The Apocalypse," it matches my thinking about the political craziness now in motion, especially as (non-chemical) addiction treatment is my specialty.

But, hey, wait a minute, I'm Jewish. That means I'm supposed to be a Democrat while the National Review is a totally Conservative Republican publication.

What gives here. OMG!

I was always a registered Democrat up until this last election.

Am I betraying the people of my tribe? I'm not a Republican but no longer am I a Democrat!

What gives?

I quit! Now I am happily an Independent. So what?

I remain and always have been a "people." What next!

I ask my Spirit Sister, Quaker Sue, how she thinks I might feel at ease with my reading this totally non-kosher fare, or so I think of it up until now.  

Quaker Sue says she learned in Sunday School to find and honor truth wherever she finds it.

I like that! I'm trying it on for size.

How about you? Are you open to looking at views that differ from your home base? I hope so. That's where the art of dialogue comes in to raise us all up.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Intersect Between Society and Politics

Upon reflection I can easily see how my board member, Lisa, and I might have gotten into the tangle we did about my wanting to use “draining the swamp as a metaphor for social change." She was absolutely opposed to the idea; unquestionably too political!

I have, for as long as I can remember, had a passion for the psychological/sociological side of politics. Lisa’s devotion, at least insofar as New Horizons goes, has consistently been focused on how we get our message out to the public in a clean and clear way.

G-d bless her!
Are we in "this" together,
or not?

From my angle of seeing things, my idea still looked good. For me, personally, it went like this…. 

I have, for many years, merged society and politics in my mind. Yet I have never been a political activist nor do I ever wish to be. Peace and social justice activist, yes, political activist, no. 

So it seemed to me, when I introduced the idea of “draining the swamp” for New Horizons’ next social action theme, that this branding would appear as totally equivalent to others, as it was for me. Alongside other initiatives/movement actions New Horizons has taken up, this label seemed no different to me.  

Take “swamp draining” out of politics and there is still plenty of swamp draining to do, in you and me.  Psychological toxins are no different than political, if you look up close. The differences are often only a matter of degree and context. Same games, different faces.

For example, I thought that “draining the swamp,” if viewed from a psychological/sociological perspective, could be seen as similar, in its message, to the Small Zones Of Peace Project, our overarching initiative and to the Study of The Possible Human in the Possible Society, our study to help us discover how citizens of our country might be viewing how we could work together at optimum levels. 

Making Violence Obsolete, is our initiative to stringently focus on the role both extreme violence and subtle violence play in obstructing our higher values and Overcoming Polarization, our best effort to try to heal the breach our politics and racism, fell right in line. Finally, Coffee House Conversations, our penultimate series, specially designed to promote the methodology and skills to make our other initiatives succeed, was also simpatico.  

These designations for what New Horizons offers had all been acceptable to my board of directors. And they did well enough with those who would likely be attracted to participating in our projects and programs. 

The branding had all come from me. I had, almost always, had my suggestions supported and been given the stamp of approval by my board, until now. 

(There had been a brief few instances of short-lived disagreement. Like the time I suggested the label for the Kids and Kops In Conversations project be called the “Kids and Kops In Konversation” project. Lisa got all riled up that time, too. But I could easily see that the “KKK” connection would not necessarily be seen as clever or appropriate.)

Still, overall, the descriptive labels I had suggested had been used as branding for our concerted efforts in a particular area; a highlighting of what we have seen as needing attention. Our overarching mission; building small “Zones Of Peace” wherever we can, would make some kind of headway, small or large, under these labels to help better our society.

One way, I saw for carrying out this intent, under current conditions, was by branding New Horizons’ next initiative as the “draining the swamp” initiative, or at least an instead of draining the swamp” initiative.  My idea was that New Horizons would highlight this as an alternative pathway to the political upheaval now going on. With this we would spotlight the effort of trying to get people to “point fingers” back at themselves and issues close in to their lives; a way to focus on the close up, where impact might take hold, and away from the "craziness of politics” where an individual’s impact is nil.

However, as you can see my idea did not fly. 

The rub was that it was “my angle” that was not in alignment with Lisa’s. Beyond that, it then turned into this branding idea of mine not being “our” shared perspective.

What to do? What to do?

The solution, on the board level, was what comes naturally to a board such as mine; we practiced what we preach; dialogue was our high road. Seeking synergy, elegant solutions, and hopefully some place beyond that, “Climbing ‘The Mountain of Awe;” always for the good of whole, pushing us forward to find common ground.

We haven’t yet found our sparkling new way to tag what we are up to these days. And, the effort is, indeed, a challenging one; how to gather people together and focus on the highest road attainable in these days of so much social and political turmoil.

So, now, instead of "my idea" for a possible tag line, I am writing here and on my other blogs the ins and outs of New Horizons adventure to find our organization’s common ground and how best to use carefully crafted language to send out our message of intent.

 Hopefully we can engage your interest and support in working with us on it. 

Still our new initiative which will incorporate all previous, remains without a name that clarifies the apolitical nature of New Horizons while keeping us in the intersect of society and politics.

One thing particularly occurs to me, as I ponder the snag we presently have at New Horizons on this topic; if I take the “helicopter view” of how I see society and politics now intersecting, certainly in my life, as never before – and – possibly in yours, it occurs to me that where the juxtaposition shows up may have more to do with many people now being at a crossroads on a variety of issues, not simply how society and politics are intersecting in their lives.

Thus we are in a time of crisis where finding common ground is quite a challenge. 

How do you think we can brand New Horizons efforts to do that anyway, build bridges and find common ground with as many people as possible?

Please offer your suggestions to help us resolving our quandary in this area; how best to now carry our message of peace and social justice out into our communities, in this era where politics has become so much the personal.

We will be gathering ideas up until our annual board meeting on July 15.  And keep you posted on updates of our adventure where dialogue can get us to awe.

You can do that by posting your comments on this site. 

Or by writing me at:

Monday, June 12, 2017

“A House Divided Cannot Stand”

Today: See “Updates” of New Horizons Possible Human, Possible Society Study.

An article this morning on CNN online, In Midwest, Some Concern About Russia, but Worries at Home Win Out, showed me the power of innate human wisdom. I particularly liked this piece as it did not: 1. Bash Donald Trump;, 2. Did not sound reactive in opposition to the more moderate, even left leaning views; 3 Seemed to pay more attention to policies and principles rather than personalities.

What a relief!

We’d like to know your thoughts on people either striving to actively overcome polarization as we are attempting to do at New Horizons, or at least not being all caught up in divisiveness, as the present Russia controversy seems to be fostering.

Wouldn’t it be nice, if we could just get back to the business of living without undue drama? And our politicians could simply take up the real business we elected them to do; running our country efficiently?

Let us hear from you on this. New Horizons is all about “Overcoming Polarization,” Dialoguing versus Debating,” and “Making Violence Obsolete, even “Subtle Violence” which actually, generally, turns out to not be subtle at all, especially when you are the target.

Please join us in these multiple efforts, so entwined.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Beyond Political Craziness

I have long admired the organizational underpinnings of Alcoholic Anonymous. This is so as my twenty-five years of doing private practice psychotherapy centered on treating relationship and personality addictions. While these are addictions of the non-ingested variety, as opposed to the ingested  (i.e. drugs and alcohol), full recovery from these addictions follows along most of the same lines.  A particular focus in treating both is on the individual giving up ego-driven control.

The workings of the alternatives are complex to understand. In my three books, collected under the title "Anastasia’s Random House Trilogy," I have done a fairly decent job, especially in the first of the three, Surviving Addictions, to explicate the dynamics of the non-ingested chemical addictions in the relatively easy to understand language of Transactional Analysis, my home base theory for my professional psychological work.

One of the areas lacking somewhat in that book, or at least insofar as I have been able to present it, as a result of my losing eyesight, is the topic of the collusion between the aggressive addict and the passive addict.

Herein lies the essence of codependency.  And herein lies a major piece of the phenomenon that is Donald Trump in office; the collusion of the aggressive (power addicted) addict (i.e. Trump) and his adoring public (i.e. the passive addict).

Ask any long-term Al Anon member and they will, likely, understand the notion of collusion with the addict in a heartbeat. It is the center of personal derangement.

On the other hand, those who are highly reactive and fighting against Trump’s brand of chaos (i.e. the media, depending on attitude, certainly often those addicted to the media/internet), may not be functioning as much in a problem solving vein as they might like to think. 

Without doubt,  we are in a major crisis these days with Donald Trump in office as head of state. Yet the path to probable solutions may need more practical thinking through than many on the anti-Trump are recognizing. 

Noting the words of Charles Krauthammer, referencing “Trump Derangement Syndrome” in his article, “The President Can’t Govern By Id,”Krauthammer comes right up on the dilemma running rampant throughout our country. He offers --
“What distinguishes Trump Derangement Syndrome is not just general hysteria about the subject, but additionally the inability to distinguish between legitimate policy differences on the one hand and signs of psychic pathology on the other.”
Ask yourself, can you distinguish between these two that Krauthammer points out? If not, you may not be allowing yourself to support Trump where he most needs you. This can be as destructive as pushing back against him, aggressively or passively.

To understand one simple trouble going on with Trump; his inability to get his policies operative, needs to be viewed, I strongly hold, by paying heed to a philosophy that has built the, almost incomprehensible success of Alcoholics Anonymous, a success founded on “principles before personalities. Trump supporters see this strength in him. Don't push them away, if you are on the opposing side with anger and reactivity. 

Rather lean in and learn from others who may think differently than you. Be part of the team where warranted! I spoke on this topic, at length on my most recent show on The Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show. Soon, again, I will be discussing more on this theme.  Take heed!

The American public, to weather the storm, we are now living in needs, needs more than any one thing I can see, to adopt this AA tenet. The goal, as in the Twelve Steps, is “recovery” of the United States of America, at its best, demanding that “we the people” stop colluding with Trump.  But also stop fighting him, just because you may not like him or his acting out ways.

It is important to note here that passivity, reactivity and anger are all corresponding roles responding to the aggressive/power addicted addict. Each is based on some form of “discounting.”

So be sure, whatever you choose to do minimizes passivity, anger and reactivity as much practicality as possible. In other words, do your best to stay calm, under the stress. Of course easier said than done in these times!

The three blog sites for which I write are designed to be linked with one another. Here is how to use them in this way.
All three of these sites have the principles of non-ingested chemical addiction recovery at their base, as developed originally by Martin G. Groder, M.D. and expanded by Marty and myself, as well as others that Marty mentored.

Also, listen to the discussions on my two radio shows for inspiring and informative conversations on society and politics from a variety of angles, both personal and professional.

Anastasia The Storyteller; and 
The Possible Society In Motion Radio Show
  • Please read/listen carefully what is posted here and on my other blog sites from here forth, if moving beyond the craziness of our current political crisis is your intent. 
  • Remember, pointing your finger at Donald Trump will only get you so far in handling these crazy times. 
  • You need, also, to get yourself out of the chaos, out of the reactivity and find ways in which to hold to your own center of values and ethics and think practically. From a New Horizons perspective, we hold that “life is with people.”
  • That means "lean in" to others who are different, ethnically, from yourself or merely think differently than you.
  • This means active grassroots involvement as much as you can manage, not just talk. And, also not fighting just to fight.
This is what we are offering here to help us all move “Beyond Political Craziness” and be able to survive – as well as we possibly can --- this challenging time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I Am Soooo Sorry: Another “Instead of Swamp Draining” Post

Looking for a way out of the daily political crazies “swamping” and sweeping our country right now?

Open your mind and your heart to the formula I am offering. 
Hear the path I, personally, am pursuing – 

Now on podcast!!


Suggestion: To get to the heart of my message, begin your podcast listening at around thirteen (13) minutes. This bypasses some of the introductory discussion that you might find tedious.

Enjoy. Be inspired. Have your heart warmed a bit, if you dare --  at a time when it is often hard to find inspiration.

And, let me hear your comments by: 1. Posting a comment on this site; or 2. Writing me at: