Sunday, August 27, 2017

Getting Started With Our Storytelling Collection

"Saving Centennial"
was our most, singularly rewarding
Coffee House Conversations Series, to date.
Read about out awesome experience here.

Here is one of our very favorite stories, the one about "Saving Centennial". In fact, our experience, working with this project, is the one Sue and I still hold, today, to be the single most uplifting and inspiring Coffee House Conversations series we have ever done.

Check it out for a Sunday afternoon lift that depicts just how awesome we can be, when we put our heads, our hearts and our actions toward the intention to unify.

Friday, August 25, 2017

We Are Now An Official StoryCorps Community!

By no later than October 15, 2017, we expect to up and running with our StoryCorps project, once more striving to assist the members of our nearby Frederick County to build bridges, rather than walls.  (Amazing! It's only one month today when we thought New Horizons was on idle. And look where we are. Who would have thought that tranquility could have brought us to this!)

Through storytelling and endless other forms of meaningful conversation!

We are developing our format as I write this now. 

Look to join us for our monthly storytelling events, as well as the many other activities this new project will encompass. And, once we are actually collecting our stories, listen to the rich tales to come of these happenings. 

Look for details as we gear up. 

Find out how you can be involved!

Join and support us in any way you can, that is appropriate for you.

Together, let us learn how to listen – and – speak without malice. And make our accounts of this turbulent time in American history, mean something more than divisiveness. Leaning in, dialogue rather than debate -- and -- storytelling will see us through, we trust!

Here’s how you will find us:

Our StoryCorps Community title is: The Small “Zones of Peace” Project

Our tag line is: 

“The Official New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection”

Interested in getting on board as a volunteer or storytelling participant, contact me, Anastasia at:

I want to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Overcoming The Polarization Of Politics: One Person-By-One Person

We will be using storytelling as a vehicle for “healing the wounds that divide us.” Our method will be derived from partnering with StoryCorps and possibly developed further with the Frederick County Maryland Public Library (details pending on this one).

Here’s some about our developing new project, yet to be officially named.

What I have loved most, now that I think about it, in doing both the Possible Human, Possible Society Study and our Coffee House Conversations, even as far back as when we were doing our “Almost” Annual Abkhazian Dinners, was the storytelling. These projects had connected me to people in my community, in ways that were richer and more meaningful than almost anything else I have ever done, except for my years as a psychotherapist with “old” New Horizons.

Storytelling lay at the center, for me, of the lushness. Yum! Listening to people’s stories; their hopes, dreams and concerns, along with some of their personal history, was more wonderful for me than anything, other than being a psychotherapist and all that entailed.

Now, it looks like I am about to be able to return to the richness of that experience with the new track New Horizons will be taking in partnering with StoryCorps for our next, upcoming community development campaign, about to be launched soon after Labor Day.

Our board members have much to sort out to develop this new track. However, some things are beginning to already become clear. Here are a few items of what we know so far:
  • I, Anastasia, will be able to pursue my goals of returning to D.C. and “coming out” of my New Horizons hidey hole by telling my stories to, then, become a part of the StoryCorps archives, along with other stories New Horizons will collect. In other words, New Horizons with this new project will become one of the platforms to interview me and pass on my story.
  • New Horizons will update its Coffee House Conversations format to incorporate the StoryCorps strategy of having two people, at a time, pairing up to interview one another. This will replace our former group discussions. At least for the time being;
  • Our paired conversation discussions will, now, also have the option to be recorded and stored as part of New Horizons next Overcoming Polarization community dialogue initiative in the Library of Congress StoryCorps archives;
  • We will, soon, sometime after our first interview questions are in place, seek to train additional volunteers, beyond our already established core group, to work with us to expand our storytelling conversations collection throughout Frederick County;
  • A good possibility exists that the Frederick County Public Library will, also, partner with us so as to incorporate our data with that of the Library, in some form, also yet to be determined. This item is still pending and we will keep you informed and updated as we have further details.
Isn’t this fun and inspiring? Just when we weren’t sure where we could best be used, look what the “tranquility diet” brought forth. Yum!!

Please let us know what you are thinking about it. Again, you can post your comments onto this site. Or, contact me directly at

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Horizons News Update!

Would you believe --- simply focusing on my "tranquility diet" has now gotten New Horizons to being in the planning stages with some awesome “coming attractions,” not by the urgency, trying hard and workaholism that often dominated my earlier days. Rather by creating day-to-day tranquility! I am getting to love it!

So, beginning yesterday, under the power of the Eclipse, New Horizons commenced to create a "storytelling" project to help our overall community building mission, via New Horizons-type programs, for next year. StoryCorps and possibly the Frederick County Public Library will be our initial partners (the latter item is still being discussed); this, in spite of the fact that I got stung by a hornet the hour leading up to the time to focus on that fast moving Eclipse. 

Oh my, was I ever in pain all through that time and well beyond until morning. 

Still, that Eclipse seems to have brought us, New Horizons and myself, new beginnings of a marvelous type. 

Why not? 

Yesterday was also the day of the New Moon!

In the meantime, as our more extended project develops, we are now amping up to develop an updated storytelling track, correlating with our Coffee House Conversations and Possible Society, Possible Human Study, our Counterculture Community Development and Making Violence Obsolete projects, all rolled into one, new updated effort.

So, we are feeling confident, thinking we are, now, beginning to find our new path, while trying to stay sane in this insane world. 

Although we don’t yet know quite how we will proceed, we do know that storytelling as a pathway to peace and the ideals of leaning in and dialogue rather than debate will be central tenets of whatever it is we are about to create. Collecting stories of people’s lives as they are, now, living through these turbulent times, in this momentous time in history, will also be a dominant theme.

If you would like to contribute your ideas to help us shape this project, please let us hear from you. Either by posting a comment here or by writing me, directly, at 

Thanks so much for your continued support that helps keep us strong and hopeful during these turbulent times.

Please send prayers and other good wishes while we Imagine what we can become.

With gratitude from
Anastasia and the New Horizons Support Network, Inc. Board of Directors

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What Is The Power Of One?

My colleague, Valerie, followed up my publishing of my article on The Power of One by asking me to explain what I meant by it. As a lifestyle philosophy, deeply embedded in me, I believed the concept of the "power of one" would be evident to all.

Silly me. Sometimes we are so blessed in certain ways, we overlook that what is natural in to us may even be foreign to others. On this one, I hope you have, minimally, some experience with knowing, for yourself, the power of one.

For Valerie, who is a well respected, accomplished psychotherapist to not be, immediately, getting my drift on this one sent me back to the drawing board; actually began to pen and paper. 

In the service of clarifying my terms, I now take up this critically important topic of the "power of one" by shedding a bit more light on the meaning I am attributing to the phrase. In attempting to do this, of course, I turned to the internet to Google the phrase. 

I quickly discovered an entire treasure trove of quotes, derived from both a book and a movie titled The Power Of One  by Bryce Courtney. If you truly want to "feel" the essence of what I am meaning here, the trailer for the movie brings it right up, front and center. Here is a link for the trailer as it appears on YouTube, along with the following quote by the author.
The power of one is above all things the power to believe in yourself, often well beyond any latent ability you may have previously demonstrated. The mind is the athlete, the body is simply the means it uses to run faster or longer, jump higher, shoot straighter, kick better, swim harder, hit further, or box better.  
Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One (The Power of One, #1)
There is also, I discovered, a song by the same title. Here are the lyrics from the movie Pokemon.

I think these two ought to be more than enough to get you started with what New Horizons is now going to be focusing on, more and more, from here forth.

Good luck!!!  The Power of One is in your hands!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Power Of One

A new series by Anastasia, begins today, collected under the label “Overcoming Polarization"  and a new label, The Power Of One, added to reflect the importance of this series -- and -- its relevance to today's challenges in this era of social and political upheaval.

With this developing series, offered as one contribution I can make, in my newly, developing role as a more outspoken voice, aiding in the collective effort to keep moving forward in these challenging times, with every intention of being a "Possible Human in "Our"  Possible Society," please be sure to help the discussion I will be initiating by commenting on my articles, posting your thoughts, in response to my own, directly on to this site, or by sending your comments to me at:

To get us started, I offer you some of the background history of how New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project came into being. In this way, the principles – and – the rationale behind our project and what is presented on this site can take on a deeper and richer significance for you, our loyal readers.

One place to begin, seemingly apt, for my purposes here, is to share with you how the Small “Zones of Peace” Project has been developing, behind the scenes, corresponding to what we have been doing in our local community of Frederick, Maryland -- and how these efforts have been reflected on this site.

(FYI: Our program is designed to be offered on regional, national and international levels. We have chosen, however, in our initial phases to focus on the local, holding with a philosophy congruent with our small "zones of peace" mission, to think global and act local.)

I began writing articles for this site in late 2009, somewhat under pressure of New Horizons’ Communications Chairperson, Lisa. Here is the first one posted, which was actually done by her as I did not yet know how to write blogs.

At the time I had barely begun applying what I had learned as a psychotherapist, running a therapeutic community, as a treatment approach, and as a researcher of psycho-sociological principles, beyond the small group, clinical setting. So what I had to say about transferring this knowledge and experience base to civic affairs was still very much in its infancy, at the time of our first postings --- and correspondingly the programs we were doing then.

Nonetheless, one particular, very dramatic experience that would be my initiation by fire, so to speak, set me on a course to move beyond my earlier professional venue, the clinical psychological arena. It was the episode I have come to name “The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard;” an incident so life changing for me, as well as a hand full of others, that it has become the baseline for all professional endeavors of mine since, especially New Horizons Coffee House Conversations initiative.

You can read an early piece I wrote about the episode in this article, The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard, here. In it, you will see the seeds of what was later to grow into New Horizons Coffee House Conversations Project.

One very interesting piece of the back story of this article, looking back on it, was not what I was saying, in that article, but what I was not! The fact was that in writing that article I was actually hiding essential parts of myself while, simultaneously, placing myself in a visible position by authoring an article for publication. 

Hiding important parts of myself, including my thoughts and feelings about things, had become my habit over many years. This began with my needing to protect myself from a mentally ill mother who was emotionally torturing me throughout childhood and into my early adulthood.  I was finally able to extricate myself  from her and the treacheries she brought into my life when I was twenty-five.

If you look closely at this history of mine, you will see how it came to be that I developed hiding as a habit. And you will, also, likely see how I might have become a late bloomer in catching up with myself, with my normal childhood development tasks, and how that came to be.

The most important fact, related to this article, to get us started on this new series I am introducing today, is that I was hiding that I was, at the time of the Jewish Muslim controversy incident, president of the local chapter of a national Jewish women’s social action group. And I was incensed that this group whose designated mission touted it as “the most potent, most effective, most satisfying place where you can take … action and become a positive force for change” was being almost totally remiss in handling a situation of serious, local significance, especially for the Jews of that locale. 

In the process some of the women, key leaders in the local organization, were playing “dirty tricks” as harmful to community well being, in certain ways, as if they had been Nixon’s White House.  Super Sleuth that I became in the process, I found them out and am, now, in the process of writing out my complete tale in a full length book titled, surprise, surprise, The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard.

In writing my original article on the issue I wanted to expose the contradictions and the consequences of people NOT coming together and talking to one another in times of dissonance to overcome polarization and, consequently, divisiveness that serves no one, in the end.

See, now, how this led to the formation of New Horizons Coffee House Conversations?

I think I did a decent job in making my point in that article. But ---- what I was not saying was: 1. I was the local president, at the time, of a national Jewish women’s social action group that, ideally, could have (and should have, in my opinion) stepped up their "social action" in this instance; but 2. Who elected, by default, meaning a lack of responsibility to, instead, allow some in their group to revert to “dirty tricks; and 3. I was watching this happen and being rather passive, in my own role by not speaking up more assertively.

I learned a lot of lessons from this "failure of nerve" of mine. Hopefully, someday, when the time is right I will be able to remedy my failings through my writing and discussing the messages of my book.

Nonetheless, there have been almost as many lessons for me, already put to good use in coming through this episode, as the countless ones I learned from Watergate. I am intending to share some of these with you, here, on this site in the coming days, weeks and months. 

The ones I hope to share, for our purposes here, will have one commonality; demonstrating the power of “one” and its relationship to the many.

As a caveat I must put, up front, however, one limitation I foresee. Whenever, I set my mind to writing a “series” of articles on a particular topic, life being what it is in these fast moving times that the internet has brought us, I often interrupt one theme in order to take up another one that seems more pressing at the moment.  So please, if you are interested in this theme, “The Power of One,” check the “ labels” for this site to find the continuation of articles on this theme. They will be gathered under the label, “Overcoming Polarization” and our new label, added today to support your ease in following our message, The Power Of One.

For now, I leave you with this thought I discovered from reading about Helen Keller, one of my great teachers, as you may well imagine, from my being and recovering from blindness for eight years. Helen Keller, apparently heard it, originally from one of her dear friends.
I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. Everett Edward Hale
Remember these words, now, in this time of challenge! And, make it your business to do “something” each and every day that exemplifies your being a Possible Human In this Possible Society.

More to come.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Stretch Your Limits: Check Out Your Winner Profile

Challenging times like these can bring out the best in people.

Pressed to take the high road in order to surmount difficulties, winning ways, even if you don't quite feel them inside yourself, help us develop resilience. 

Resilience can be defined as the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune. We all need resilience. 

Make/keep yourself a winner by raising yourself up to your highest capabilities and potential; strengthen your resilience!

Check Out Your Winner Profile!

Winning is getting through tough times by growing healthier and stronger. 

Check out Anastasia's "Winners and Losers Paradigm" categories. 

Look for new additions to the list, today.

Use the list as an inventory for developing your winner potential. 

See how you measure up. 

Then push your limits to the next higher level!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Today, Read Anastasia's Commentary

Come Together Folks! Even Is Congress Is Considering It!

These are what leaning in, dialogue rather than debate and exceptional leadership essentials are about.

While I, Anastasia, am now in the planning stages of stepping down, over time (even three years or so), as Executive Director of New Horizons, as circumstances dictate), I am never going to be far off. And, always, as long as politics and boundaries do not conflict, I will be doing my best as a spokesperson for the objectives of the New Horizons Small "Zones of Peace" Project.

With these aims in mind, check out my recent comments on Anastasia The Storyteller, titled Come Together Folks! Even Is Considering It!

And, have a happy day! The sun is shining brightly.

"One nation, under God.
Indivisible with liberty and
justice'for all."