Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Meaning Of Things And Why New Horizons And Anastasia Need To Separate

If you are a person of high ideals, at the base of everything you are and do, certain principles uphold the structures of your life, allowing you to build, sustain it and make it flourish. I am grateful that my personal heritage, rooted in the Judaism of the generations that preceded me, gave me a set of values and ethics I can rely upon to know how to live well, the “being” and the “doing.” I strive, relentlessly, to live by these ideologies and the ones I have added to that foundation, as do the people with whom I associate most closely.

Thus it is not surprising, given that the New Horizons Board of Directors is comprised of a group of people of this ilk, that a serious upheaval brought about by the outcome of our recent presidential election, now permeating almost all areas of American life -- from how we are, each and every one of us, to maintain good health, able to enjoy our natural resources, including our national parks and our availability to the arts -- has also entered into the discussions, operations and objectives of our non-profit organization, the New Horizons Support Network, Inc.

Personal ethics and values, under such circumstances, are often called up for review. As an almost natural outcome of these challenges, it came to pass that certain steps I was taking, on behalf of New Horizons, began to run into a bit of conflict, especially when long-term board member, Lisa Boyer, who we most rely upon to recognize injudiciousness, offsetting our prime agenda; the building (and sustaining) of small “zones of peace,” recognized we were in danger of getting off course. 

This might have come about, if we were to pursue my plan to develop and publicize future programs and projects under the heading of “draining the swamp” or even “instead of the swamp.”

It wasn’t that my idea was not creative or clever. Rather that it had the potentiality of making it “seem” as if New Horizons was leaning into politics, instead of “leaning” into people, all people, to foster the unity that is at the foundation of our mission. This potential was not necessarily a given outcome. But the line between what politics often breeds, polarization, conflict, special interest and a host of other nefarious outcomes that are the antithesis of coming together, might rise up.

In other words, my idea could have eventually taken us down a wrong path. Fortunately, we have Lisa, along with a now increasing (we have just gone from three on our board to six), board of dedicated people, to intercept such things. And our long held principles and practices to see us through. Dialogue rather than debate is at the top of the list of these.

Non-profit organizations such as ours, a 501 C 3, approved by IRS, must avoid even a hint of being involved in political campaigning. While such organizations may lobby in support of constituents or ideals they represent, such as the environment, homelessness and, yes, even human relationships, in some fashion or form, they must be extra cautious that political partisanship not infiltrate operations. 

With my personal/professional stance, as represented by my two other blog sites, Anastasia The Storyteller and Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure Of A Lifetime, jam packed with articles that come right up close to the conflicts that occur in individuals, including family, friends and communities and in both society and politics, in general, my “swamp draining” idea, while not actually crossing any lines, could, potentially, take New Horizons enough away from its clear cut agenda of building small “zones of peace” to muddy up the presentation and forward movement of our overall mission.

Unlike "certain others" (ha ha – here I go, getting our discussion into the danger zone of today’s politics), we are thoroughly committed to not only not corrupting our mission, but also doing our very best to not even allow any hint of it to look askance!

So in order that New Horizons continue to do its best to maintain clear-cut boundaries, distinct from politics, in every shape and form, it is best now that we begin the process of what will likely result in my eventually, when the time is right, removing myself from being Executive Director of New Horizons, sometime in the future. At this point, it is unclear how we will carry out this differentiation. But it is likely to come in this day and age of the political now having become so much the personal. Given that conflict resolution is so intrinsically woven into building “zones of peace,” you can count on us, however, to do this separating in a timely, thorough and harmonious manner. 

While both the social and the political upheaval, facing all of us now on a daily basis, is likely to continue to offer singularly profound examples of “what not to do” which I/we are likely to want to note as we go along, advocating for leaning in, the “what to do,” of our immediate challenge is well laid out for us now.

This is “Why New Horizons And Anastasia Need To Separate.” 

We want you to get clear cut messages from us. And we want to model how we, personally and collectively, handle ourselves in a fashion that will inspire you to trust what we do as having something to offer for how you manage your life and relationships.

So, now, watch us grow, stronger together with plenty of room for me to define myself, personally and professionally, through my two other blog sites, but not this one!


You can contact Anastasia,
The Super Sleuth at:
SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Horizons Announces Anastasia’s Next Steps

PRESS RELEASE for immediate release

Finding Light In The Darkness, A Goddess Returns To D.C.

Frederick, Maryland -- The best kept secret of the New Horizons Support Network, Inc., a non-profit organization, is about to be brought into public view. As an organization, specializing in community development and violence prevention training, the secret New Horizons has been holding has to do, now, with WHO is behind this intriguing community education approach and what SHE brings to it.

To begin to uncover the secret, rewind back to 1966 when Anastasia Rosen-Jones (formerly Marcia E. Rosen) took the heart of Washington by storm with her U.S. “Male” Service reminder and gift shopping service and Special Delivery Messenger Service. Identified as being the first business of its kind in the world for executives, primarily male, Anastasia’s services made front page news in the Wall Street Journal – and – were featured, often in Washington newspapers, including one article headlined, “Burgeoning Business Pays Off,” as well as in the broadcast media, back in the day. 

With a fleet of motorcycles and hot pants and high boots attired models to man the delivery fleet, Anastasia and her staff, not only brought practical assistance to D.C. executives but also a sparkling bit of eye candy. Thus a twenty-six year old earned her way, almost overnight, into a full suite of offices at 18th and K Streets, N.W., the center of the lobbying community.

From that grand opening, fast forward to the words of former Frederick News Post reporter, G.M. Corrigan, who described Anastasia as an “Entrepreneur-turned-peace- educator, spotlighting the ‘dark side’ in non-violence training” in that publication. With such apparently diverse accolades of Ms. Rosen-Jones undertakings, one might wonder how she got from there; a glitzy, celebrity businesswoman at 18th and K Streets to her present position as Executive Director of a non-profit focused on peace and social justice training, based in Harpers Ferry and Frederick, Maryland.

No longer imaging Aphrodite, the goddess of charm and pleasure, as her branding, decades after those early days, Anastasia, now a more subdued goddess-type, still carries with her the charisma and creativity that once drew the attention of multitudes in D.C.

The tale is an intriguing one that has much of its grounding in the Watergate scandal, eventually ousting Richard Nixon, follows a trail into Ms. Rosen-Jones’ twenty-five years as a psychotherapist in Montgomery County, marriage and motherhood, a move to Harpers Ferry with the intention of building a training and retreat center and an eight year ordeal of blindness. 

Now Anastasia is setting her sights on returning to the D.C. fast track she left behind more than forty years ago at the time of the Watergate break in. In doing this she expects to bring Light into some of the dark corners of the nation’s capital in ways that have become uniquely her own. You will want to hear her story; the tale behind her leaving and the one about her return. And the adventures she has had between then and now. 

As far as New Horizons goes, Anastasia’s shift signals an expanding and redefining moment for both her and New Horizons. How this will shape the future is yet to be discovered. Nonetheless, Anastasia can be counted on to find the Light in the darkness of whatever lies ahead.

Information on New Horizons Support Network, Inc. can be found here:  Additional bio information about Anastasia Rosen-Jones can be found here. For interviews with Ms. Rosen-Jones, contact Lynn Cullather-Popkin at: 301.775.1432 or zonesofpeacenh@aol.com.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

When The Political Becomes The Personal

Well New Horizons’ Annual Board Meeting has now come and gone. Thank goodness we’ve had the prayers behind us we’ve had (see Comment from Lorenzo York "Open Letter To Our Loyal Followers"). We sure needed them for yesterday’s meeting. It was like almost no other, except for a rare few, I’ve ever known; stormy weather is what we got to, polarization for a time! 

Nonetheless, as usual the principles of New Horizons got us through the Dark into the Light. The very same ones I/we strive to share with you through our various programs and projects, including this blog site, hoping that our collective wisdom, accumulated over the more than forty years that New Horizons has existed, will uplift you.
Stormy Weather


Dialogue versus debate got us through, as indeed it should. Still we had some heated polarization on our way to the common ground we ultimately negotiated. And surprise of surprises that I would not quite have anticipated, the outcome was that the complexion of New Horizons is now about to change, markedly. 

The open letter to my board members  I shared with you certainly did predict that “the times they are a changing” at New Horizons, as well as elsewhere throughout our country!

I had also foreseen that a shift had been brewing for a while at New Horizons, somewhat independent of those brought about by Trump and Team. Yet I had not realized how very much of what I was sensing had to do with the fact that the political has now become, more and more, the personal and was intruding itself on our organization. Personally this had brought about an intersecting of what is personal and professional in me into a bit of a collision with long time board member, Lisa Boyer. All of this heightened by our present political climate and about to bring us right up onto major changes about to occur at New Horizons.

The bottom line which I will hope to be able to clarify and articulate, over time, is that I am about to be phased out of New Horizons and go off somewhat on my own!!

Imagine that!!

Yesterday’s board meeting brought that which had been brewing to a head!! 

Turns out that living out what my Higher Self was visioning, even though I had predicted it in my open letter, had a few bumpy spots when discussed at our board meeting, with more rocky roads to come before we get to the smooth sailing

So now what??  Well we don’t know yet.

What we do know is that the political has now become so very personal that a differentiating must now occur between me, New Horizons’ Founder and Executive Director, and New Horizons as a non-profit entity.

Isn’t that interesting?  But is it surprising?

Turns out now that New Horizons and I have out grown each other.  For more than forty years New Horizons and I have been able to grow together, harmoniously.  As far as I was concerned, as well as others, we were so symbiotically connected, like mother and child, that it was natural for others as well as “us” to almost always see us as one.  But wouldn’t that naturally be the way, as I am the Mother of New Horizons!

But politics has now become personal, especially these past months since Trump’s election and Hillary’s downfall (which I didn’t mind much at all except for the consequences of Trump being Trump) that New Horizons was kind of getting to be like too many cooks in the kitchen. Very much like when a mother and a daughter need more space for each of them to flourish. So they finally need separate kitchens.

The symptom showed itself around my strategy of bringing an outrageous plan, “swamp draining” or alternately “instead of swamp draining,” into the fold of New Horizons programs and projects. As you may recall, Lisa Board Member wasn’t having that at all!!

When that episode finally got clarified and articulated it turned out that my self-definition was definitively about getting to the root causes of the Dark Side, now being especially embodied in Trump and Team, shaking up that mess or mass, whichever you choose to call it, articulating how I have come to know and understand it – and – then setting out ways to transform it to its higher good.

Well that’s one way of addressing current political and societal circumstances. But, I was reminded in no uncertain terms that New Horizons is about unity! My personal/professional agenda, however, gets to unity, as an end goal.  But my approach relies on doing that -- after a long, arduous heated battle with the Dark Side that may, in fact, not ever pan out on the side of the Light.

So you see New Horizons and I have come to a parting of ways, at least in some fashion.

I will stay on, at least for the time, as Executive Director. But now I am to also go off on my own, more and more separating myself, as mischief-maker-in-residence while New Horizons moves forward with its every intention of building small “zones of peace.”

So you see, the turbulence of our political “climate change” has now become so very personal that it’s not quite certain what a clearing from the stormy weather of present day U.S.A. will look like when it clears. But we have our dreams and our intentions, translated into actions, and we will get to the other side, sooner or later.

No one and nothing can take this from us. That’s who we are, the collective of New Horizons, and each and every one of us individually.

Stay tuned in. More on the way!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

An Open Letter To Our Loyal Followers

The letter that follows is being shared with you, in advance of New Horizons Annual Board Meeting, being held this coming Saturday. The intention of it being put forward, publicly, is to allow you to see how New Horizons and myself are presently struggling through these challenging times and some of the measures we are taking, collectively, to move through the darkness into the Light.

We invite your good wishes and prayers.

Dear Board Members and those about to become board members,

New Horizons is at a turning point like never before. My immediate observation of the situation is that this pending shift has been brought about by the recent election of Donald Trump to the presidency. Never before has our country faced circumstances such as this.  And we are very much a part of it.

My Higher Self sees a broader vista; a sense that it was only a matter of time until the shift that is about to occur for New Horizons and myself would have taken place anyway. For the past forty years plus I have, in a manner of speaking, been hiding out at New Horizons, protecting myself from an onslaught of pressure that high visibility in the public sector could bring about.

In short I can explain this by saying that at the inception of New Horizons, in 1974, I was,  personally, needing to keep my life very private and more or less subdued. This was in contrast to the high profile, highly charged life I had been leading as Executive Director of the U.S. "Male" Service. 

To understand what all of this has meant for me and been like is a long and complex story. Yet it was always part of my plan, my hopes and dreams that somehow I would find a way to blend what I left behind of me, exiting my D.C. life, with that which I next created to make a return. 

There is, I believe, something in all of us that yearns to go home to our roots. And much of me is, and always has been grounded in Washington. I could not leave it behind and never come back.

The time for my return is now!

Up until this time, I have purposely guided New Horizons in such a way as for programs and projects to take center stage. My role was to stand behind this in second place, in terms of what was being publicly promoted. The change about to occur will reverse that priority, from here forth, with me being lifted into visible priority and New Horizons coming up behind me.

I don't know how to do this. But one thing I have known all along is that I could only take this HUGE step if I were part of a loving, caring, supportive community that I would do my best to represent. That perspective came to me very distinctly in the visions that, I believe, you are now aware are a part of the way I SEE things. You are that community for me, large or small.

So please, when we meet this coming Saturday, open your hearts and minds; your hopes and dreams, your highest visioning capabilities -- and – join, with me, at our annual board meeting to begin envisioning a new kind of future for New Horizons; not only for New Horizons, but for each one of us, personally; a developing direction that can help our world, at least our country, to come through our present crises in our society and politics, better than we have ever been before.

These are treacherous times. Let us help one another through them.

I give you my promise that I will do my best to represent us, in this coming phase, in ways that will reassure and make you proud.

Please help me do this, for all of us (and not last or least for my children and the legacy I/you will leave behind someday).

Please let us make a difference together.  That is my wish and my prayer.

With deepest gratitude and affection,

Anastasia
Executive Director
New Horizons Support Network, Inc.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

When The Force Is Disturbed: Six Months Later

I hit a hard spot on my recent road of always traveling to that Mountain of Awe I hold as an ideal for living my life at its best. I tried hard, as is my wont to get myself out of the pit which this hard spot soon brought me down into.

For several days I scoured my surrounding scenes to see if I could find how I had gotten myself into this predicament, at first unable to make any sense of it. My difficulty was especially noticeable to me as it is now my birthday month. And princess of my father and extended family I was raised up to be, I always look forward to July --- and – even halfway into August, weather usually accommodating, as a time for celebration. The fact that my daughter and husband also share July with me as a birthday month heightens the time.

But try as I might I could not find joy and celebration inside of me. And outside didn’t seem much better. So I thought and I thought. I meditated and contemplated. I added extra exercise and improved nutrition to my daily practices. Still the darkness lingered on.

What could account for this malaise I asked myself – and – my best friend, Sue who is, like myself also a teacher/healer.  Getting odds and ends off my chest with her, I finally came to a bit more clarity.  I was, emotionally, back where I had been struggling not to be last December. And, oddly enough, especially for me, I experienced myself as doing less well than I had been. Had I been riding on my natural optimism and idealism? Or was it that the brunt of reality, in our new order of living in the United States, was just taking time to impact me.

What to do? What to do?


I went back to my writings; blog articles and book stuff, revisited podcasts of radio shows from the end of last year, eventually finding one, When The Force Is Disturbed: What Do I/We Do?, that showed me the source of my distress. It seemed to be that six months into Donald Trump in the Oval Office, has not brought any discernable evidence of progress, as far as I can see. 

All I am seeing right now is a lessening of upward movement in this country that I am reminded, particularly on the fourth of July, I love so much. Maybe we are just simply in a transition and things will improve. But today the land of hopes and dreams my grandparents chose as the place for building a future for themselves and their future generations seems pretty much without hope and without much room for dreams.

I wish Donald Trump and all of us the very best success possible. And, now I know that many others in this country had been feeling ignored; their many concerns and plights disregarded. I don’t want that for anyone, including myself, my family and friends or nearby community.

With these thoughts in mind, my thinking turned, once again, to what I, and possibly others, had been suggesting as a metaphor for these troubled times, which indeed they are throughout our nation, the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars --
 “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror….. I fear something terrible has happened.” 
Do these words not reflect how millions of United States citizens are responding to Donald Trump winning the 2016 presidential campaign? Six months after I first took up this image, I am finding it harder, at least for the moment, to hold on to my optimism about positive outcomes with Trump in office.

Nonetheless to help pull me out of this pit, I listened carefully to the radio show broadcast, When The Force Is Disturbed: What Do I/We Do?  I did right before New Year’s Eve with my honorary daughter Terry. And found myself reminded and uplifted by my words of advice to her – and – her conscientious insights, as she is struggling so hard to do the “right” thing for herself, her family, her clients (Terry is now a social worker) and her community in these challenging times.

In the discussion Terry and I are having in this program, she is stressing that what helps her most in times like these are –
  • Connection with others;
  • Validation of her emotions as a means for helping her sort out her thinking and feeling and gain clarity; and 
  • Self care.
I think Terry's formula for living through these hard times fits what I think probably helps me most too.

I invite you to listen to that program, now on podcast, to remind yourself of the right path to walk in these troubled times. The podcast lifted me. I hope it might do the same for you, along with its helpful hints on how to live through a time when the Force is disturbed and not promising to quiet down any time soon.