Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bye Bye 2017. Hello 2018!


Our New Year's Pledge To You -- 

To do our best to help overcome gender polarization.


Who would've thought --- that beginning the year 2017 , as we did, immersed in the polarization of politics, we would end the year, adding gender polarization to the growing list of issues that divide people from one another.When and how will unity ever find its rightful place in the affairs of men and women?

At New Horizons, we are still after that prize; person to person and community unity on the level of exceptional, so -- the New Horizons Small "Zones of Peace" Project now announces its next contribution to the overcoming of the polarization of all peoples -- 

“Beyond Gender Tyranny” 
The Study, Programs,  Storytelling Projects and More

For Men Only! Beyond Gender Tyranny 
The Study, Part 1 

Look for details -- Coming Soon!


Wishing you a joyful and liberating New Year, 2018!

From Anastasia and the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” 
Board of Directors

Anastasia, Lynn, Lisa, Steve, Sue and Terry 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

As The Year Ends, Considering “Forgiveness: The Gift We Give Ourselves”


This has been as Humpty Dumpty a year as I can remember, except for the year, 1998, I lost my eyesight. In the midst of one upheaval after another, few of them yet to show much in the way of a positive “we’re moving onward and upward” momentum, I was pleased an opportunity came my way to use one of my greatest strengths; adeptness at managing the process of forgiveness. By writing a semi-regular column on the topic for Frederick’s Child Magazine, I discovered I could put pen to paper, so to speak, to make good use, for others, from some of what I've gained in this area, both personally and professionally, in my close to forty-five years in the mental health field, as a psychotherapist and as an educator.

I hope you can take some inspiration from my words. There are so many upsets and troubles facing us from almost everywhere these days that it seems appropriate at this year’s ending to remind ourselves that no matter the loss, grievance or disappointment, in being our human best, we must make room in our hearts for compassion – and – forgiveness, if we are to wipe the slate clean as we head into a new year of possibilities to come. This is the heart of resilience, one of humanity’s greatest potentialities and our pathway to lifting the human spirit.

“Forgiveness: The Gift We Give Ourselves”
(Link from cover to "The Importance of Forgiveness" or go to page 18)

By Anastasia Rosen-Jones as published in …

Frederick’s Child Magazine (link from cover to "The Importance of Forgiveness" or go to page 18)
December/January 2018

Courtesy of Frederick’s Child Magazine 

The holiday season naturally turns the mind and heart to celebration. Along with this, there is sometimes poignancy; an unmet yearning dashed. We sense regret when we are reminded of losses of the year passing, opportunities unrealized. Disappointments, such as a career promotion that passed us by or a college admission to a choice university a graduating senior son or daughter may not have been granted. 

The holiday season brings a time of reflection. This is human nature, if we are attuned to our inner selves.

Big losses or disappointment and small ones come to mind, as we rev up for the joy and frivolity of the holiday season. By the time gifts and wrapping paper have been put away, overstuffed bellies and the pounds gained from sugar sprinkled cookies, rum fruited cakes and egg nog accumulated, we turn our thoughts to the coming new year. Hearts and minds, boosted by good intentions, we can’t help but take a glance or two back at what has been. 

As Christmas/Chanukah/the Haj and the Winter Solstice make way for the New Year, people consider how to better themselves. This too is human nature. The notion of forgiveness slips naturally into this contemplation. With these natural rhythms, the holiday season becomes an ideal time to introduce children to the notion of forgiveness, with its accompanying letting go of that which did not come to fruition. 

But what is forgiveness? And how does it operate?

I think of forgiveness as a gift each of us gives ourselves. In gifting ourselves, we also provide a caring gift to another; a gift that does not stop giving, as forgiveness opens the door to almost endless opportunities, unforeseen. The action of forgiving, not only enables us to acquire resilience, but allows us to accept what isn’t. Taking this route, we find ourselves, instead of mired in disappointments, resentments and depression, rising above these. 

Forgiveness can be thought of as an action; the act of coming to terms with a loss or disappointment, allowing us to place it in an appropriate perspective; a new positioning that brings unexpected rewards.  

As an action or series of actions, the work of forgiveness is akin to working through the cycles of grief. Thus forgiveness becomes a process not an event. We take responsibility to move through the denial or minimizing of our loss or disappointment, find ways to move through anger, resentment, despair or hopelessness, coming to a stage of accepting.

Working through emotions called up by a need for forgiving can be a lengthy process, depending upon the impact and significance of a disappointment, a loss or, in some cases a betrayal. 

One of the most touching acts of forgiveness I heard of recently had to do with the death of nine year old Cecilia Kathryn "Lily Kate" Powell of Lawrenceville, Georgia. 

Lily Kate, as she was called, passed away as the result of an auto accident. The driver, whose trailer plowed into Lily Kate’s mother, Jennifer’s vehicle, was charged with second degree vehicular homicide. In Love Like Lily: A Story Of Forgiveness, Lily’s family is described this way –
“Amid a family’s mourning, they learn how to forgive the man who caused their daughter’s unexpected and sudden death.”
In an equally dramatic story, the parents of Ashanti Billie whose dead body was found behind a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, have started the Ashanti Foundation with the goal of offering a scholarship to a deserving, graduating student.

These displays demonstrate heroism, demanding strength and determination, to reverse untenable circumstances. They exemplify that which parents can do best -- teach forgiveness, by example. Parental role modeling has to be number one; not only as a concept, but, more importantly, as a demonstration of what to do to move through disappointment, loss, resentment and anger. 

In contrast not forgiving brings with it broken relationships, aborted opportunities for healthy growth and development, blocked physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.  In addition to role modeling, other ways parents can assist children in developing healthy forgiveness skills are:
  • Guiding children to other role models such as faith leaders;
  • Talking to children about ethics;
  • If children feel/think they have been injured by others, helping them  find positive ways to discuss this and heal and/or problem solve;
  • Helping children to grow from such circumstances and find peace within themselves.
In these ways we foster the healthiest of growth and learning in our children. 

The first important step of the forgiveness process is to resolve to do it! Next, we can then learn the skills of the “how to.”

Anastasia Rosen-Jones, a retired psychotherapist, is the Executive Director of the New Horizons Support Network, Inc, a non-profit organization, sponsoring the Small “Zones Of Peace” Project. Ms. Rosen-Jones specializes in community development and violence prevention training. Read her bio here. 


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Beyond Gender Tyranny: Press Release

New Horizons Pledges Development Of County-Wide Gender Gap Bridge-Building Support Network

The New Horizons Small “Zones Of Peace” Project, known throughout Frederick County for its Coffee House Conversations bridge-building efforts in the areas of race and citizen-police relations, has announced plans to update its former, decidedly impactful, city-wide support network approach.


From the mid-1980s into the early 21st century, New Horizons sponsored a full-fledged, highly successful, city- wide support network, addressing male female relationship problems. With ongoing support groups in Montgomery, Prince Georges and Frederick Counties and Northern Virginia, boosted by day-long educational seminars and monthly training, weekend retreats, the project became a mainstay for both men and women facing the kinds of gender imbalance presently filling our daily news cycles, prompted by sexual harassment and abuse scandals from Hollywood to New York City and all points between and beyond.

In response to this outpouring, the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project, headed by Executive Director and Founder, Anastasia Rosen-Jones, is now pledging to revitalize its support network model for Frederick County.  To this end, the organization will now seek: 1. Collaboration with other organizations, groups, agencies and individuals to help develop a Frederick County Male-Female Support Network; 2. Develop a feasibility study to chart out strategies for the project; and 3. Bring together the many voices of our community that have gender-based, power imbalance concerns.

Ms. Rosen-Jones, a retired psychotherapist with more than forty years of experience in the mental health field, suggests that these sexual harassment and abuse scandals now offer our community an occasion to raise the bar for male-female relationships in Frederick.  “Whatever is now falling out, locally, from the national tsunami of scandals and #Metoo repercussions, can become an opportunity in Frederick County,” Ms. Rosen-Jones stated. 

Ms. Rosen-Jones, who is also a member of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) workgroup, a project of the Frederick County Health Department’s Local Health Improvement Plan (LHIP)—an effort including, too, Frederick County United Way, the Frederick County Mental Health Association, and other local agencies and organizations—states: Frederick United Way, the Mental Health Association and other local agencies and organizations, states, 
“There is a strong correlation between what we do as ACE activists and what New Horizons is proposing here.  From recent trends revealed in the reporting of sex and power related problems in the workplace as well as elsewhere, the main victims appear to be women and mothers.  

With secrets buried deep within, victims, who may have never thought, previously, to seek help, find themselves rearing children, with the added burden of carrying unhealed trauma wounds that can impact their young ones. As our ACE task is to assist children – and – families who experience adverse conditions, we may find our community benefiting, if we offer support and guidance to adult survivors, both male and female, in some new ways beyond current provisions, outside of immediate domestic violence crises. This is what our support network will be designed to accomplish. ” 

New Horizons Support Network, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers programs designed to teach interpersonal and community development skills and strategies through the model of its “Small Zones of Peace” Project initiative. 

Information about the organization can be found throughout this site. Also, read Ms. Rosen-Jones’ bio on her Women’s Studies research and the intersect between the co-dependent i.e. passive addict/co-dependent and the aggressive/power addict.  

For further details Ms. Rosen-Jones can be reached at: 240.409.5347 or SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com.

Friday, November 24, 2017

New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project Announces New Gender Gap Bridge-Building Support Network!

New Horizons is moving into action, intent on bridging the gender gap!

Over Thanksgiving we asked ourselves -

How Are The Harvey Weinstein/Hollywood Scandals And The #Metoo Movement Going To Effect Our Community? 

And what can we do to reach the high barre on this?

Here is how we answered (Because we know the ropes on this one, read on to give yourself a holiday lift if all this scandal chaos is intruding!) -- 

Our first steps will be on the local level, in Frederick County, Maryland.  Once we have some traction there, we will be open to coming to your community, as organizers and facilitators. 

Wherever you are, we are ready to assist with crisis management, moving through the cultural upheaval of women and men that we now have at hand.

This is crisis turned into opportunity! 

Please join us as we do our utmost to overcome gender polarization at this time!

Also see Anastasia The Storyteller’s posts on how Anastasia is addressing the fallout from the cultural tsunami fallout; the potential for male-female polarizing, out of the Harvey Weinstein/Hollywood sexual harassment and abuse scandals.

Here’s a rough draft of our plan, as it is to be announced in the coming weeks.

News Update! 
For release: December 10, 2017

How Are The Harvey Weinstein/Hollywood Scandals And The #Metoo Movement Going To Effect Our Community?

The New Horizons Support Network – and – our partnering organizations want to know!

None of us are far removed from these recent events, in Frederick County and everywhere else throughout this country (fill in the blank with your locale), as to not be impacted by them – in our work lives and in our personal lives. There are culture wide-challenges coming out of these events that New Horizons and its Small “Zones of Peace” Initiative are uniquely equipped to address. 

(We are presently awaiting copyright permission from one of Washington, D.C.’s major newspapers, on a feature article that showcases just how expert we are in this area, before we spill on our full qualifications in this area! When you find out more, you are likely to be impressed! And we won’t mind). 

Here’s our scoop. We are hoping you will contribute your perspectives and ideas for problem solving and referrals to help us develop a strategy to tend to these issues. 

And, of course, given that we are a non-profit organization, 501 C (3), we will always welcome your time, talent and treasures. (We now take gifts in kind, as donations, that can be resold on ebay.)

In the service of healing ACE Adverse Childhood Experiences in adult female, survivors (or more recent sex harassment/abuse traumas, not involving domestic violence or other crisis management such as individual therapy) needs, showing up, more intensely, at this time, our intentions are to provide the following 


Support, Education, Dialogue, Empowerment, Compassion and Consciousness Raising, Storytelling

In the service of bridging the gender gap, our intentions are to provide the following to women and men committed to growing towards one another (not a substitute for individual or couples counseling) --


Support, Education, Dialogue, Consciousness and Compassion Raising, Storytelling Exchanging

Here’s our back story

In 1987 (See Washington Times article, March 4, 1987) New Horizons, the non-profit organization, sponsoring the Small "Zones of Peace" initiative, launched a city-wide support network on relationship and personality addictions, with ongoing groups throughout the D.C. area and in Frederick County. 

This network provided support groups, individual and group therapy and monthly retreat weekends, focusing on treating relationship problems (i.e. co dependency, traditionally female addictions ) and personality addictions, especially addictions to power, money, status, lust, righteousness and control, traditionally male addictions).

(Again We are presently awaiting copyright permission from one of Washington, D.C.’s newspapers, The Washington Times, on a feature article that showcases our expertise in this area, before we spill on just how qualified we are in this area!). 

The program ran for close to twenty years, with ongoing support groups, educational programs and weekend training seminars and retreats. In doing this, we effected change in the lives of the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who participated in our various programs, or those who were impacted, peripherally, by our approach. Our unique methodology saved lives, healed relationships and transformed countless individuals, couples and families.

Toward the end of its run, the program diminished, as Anastasia Rosen-Jones, our Executive Director and Founder, lost her eyesight and needed a long-term sabbatical. (See Anastasia’s bio and additional background information.

Moving Forward

The New Horizons Support Network is pledged to now bring its innovative support network approach out of cold storage, prompted by the Harvey Weinstein/Hollywood sex harassment and abuse scandals and the societal tsunami it has brought about.

Here is how we intend to put this renewal plan into motion –

Information gathering - the design of a feasibility study on how best to proceed in our local community (our identified small “zone of peace”) is now underway. Interviewees needed. 

We will even assist you in telling and recording your stories, if appropriate for you – and archiving them in the StoryCorps Library of Congress/Official New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection,  on related topics to this present issue we are now addressing, if it will help your healing;

Updated support network approach  -- now being assessed, intending to meet present needs. Partnering individuals, groups and organizations are needed;

Timeline: We are hoping to have our new, upgraded support network structure ready for public participation sometime in March.


Please contribute to this effort! We need your support and help!

Contact Anastasia for details at: 

SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com or Cell: 240.409.5347

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Update: Storytelling Workshop Series.

The New Horizons Small "Zones of Peace" Storytelling Workshop Series 
In the service of affecting social change

November 11, and December 2, 2017 Workshops  
Rescheduled

Instead, arrangements are now underway to take our next storytelling workshop series events to Hood College, as well as to other project sites. See a list below of what we have in the works for this critically important, community development project, the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace Project Storytelling Workshop Series.

Look for details and read our many articles on our unfolding Storytelling Workshop Series

These are troubling times! Nonetheless, along with our rights to freedom of speech, a free press, to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances these, we have the right to tell our stories – and – to listen to the stories of others. From storytelling – and story “listening,” we gain insight, inspiration, connection, new found levels of wisdom and creative solutions to problems we are presently facing.


Participate in creating and supporting New Horizons StoryCorps/Small “Zones of Peace” Library of Congress collection.  

Your opportunity to have your personal story archived (and those of your friends, family and other associates). We'll show you how!  

What we have in the works 
  • Storytelling (along with an introductory Coffee House Conversation program) to be added to the list of coming activities at a seniors’ community;
  • A pending project to bring storytelling, as a unifying activity, possibly focusing on the gender divide, at Hood College and on other campus sites;
  • A storytelling project geared to drawing out stories of female, adult Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), specially designed to empower and support women with healing and integrating trauma, some long hidden, from situations such as the Harvey Weinstein/Hollywood scandal has unloosed. Study in progress for data gathering on this. Contact Anastasia;
  • A pending project for our local community to gather stories from our key leaders, political and ordinary citizens;
  • A project to arrange Storytelling Holiday Workshop Parties (2 slots still available)
A great start, dontcha think? We sure do!


New Horizons is a 501 C 3  non-profit educational organization 
Partnering with StoryCorps’ “Listening Is An Act Of Love” Project

Please support our project with your donations. We take cash and gifts in kind!

For Details, Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 240.409.5347

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Can Storytelling Be A Vehicle For Resolving Social Problems?


I have already written, some, about the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” newly refined agenda to shift our attentions away from community dialogue, as we had been doing for years with our Coffee House Conversations programs, to an intention to focus more on one-on-one dialogue.

Using our partnering with Storycorps, as a backdrop, we have, now, beginning with our Storytelling Workshop Series, live and online, launched this new plan over the past month. 

Our introductory pathway was about strengthening bonds, designed primarily for our local community. Following up on the countless things we learned in the process of teaching skills to attendees, in our live workshop, we moved our storytelling project forward with a mission of utilizing storytelling as a viable vehicle for resolving many and varied social problems beyond that. 
We all have lots to learn ---
from one another.


As a result an overview of programs we are currently developing includes these items –
  • Storytelling (along with an introductory Coffee House Conversation program) to soon be added to the list of activities at a seniors community;
On this item, ask yourselves –

Might we take up the gender gap with storytelling on college campuses?  We think we're gonna give it a try!

Might you, personally, like us to, also, bring this project to your college campus and help you begin setting up your own StoryCorps platform? 

Imagine what it might be like to have your college campus have its own StoryCorps archives, with your voices and stories, preserved for perpetuity!
  • A storytelling project geared to drawing out stories of female, adult Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), specially designed to empower and support women with healing and integrating sexual harassment and abuse trauma experiences, some long hidden, from situations such as the Harvey Weinstein/Hollywood scandal has unloosed;

  • A pending project for our local community to gather stories from our key leaders, political and otherwise;
  • A project, now in motion, for me, personally, to collect stories from neighbors, living in the magical locale we share up in the mountains above Harpers Ferry.  (A great way, possibly, to pass through the cold winter weather that sometimes makes driving difficult up here and, maybe, walking a little less so.)
  • A pending project to arrange one or two Storytelling Holiday Workshop Parties
Sounds like a great start, right?  

Especially for a building small “zones of peace” project officially, launched slightly only a month ago!  

We are on our way and thought you might like to know about our progress!

See how our storytelling approach can work? 

Each and every one of these projects has direct tie-ins to an intent to elevate some social difficulties out of the problem area into the possible. Such as bringing seniors, living in community with many new people they may never have known in their earlier years, to grow their new community bonds stronger.

Your family, friends, neighborhood, group or organization can do it too!

Keep in mind that "An enemy is someone whose story you haven't yet heard."

What turns the enemy situation around? Storytelling, of course!

We will be glad to guide your unique efforts.

For details, Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones

Email: SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com,  Cell: 240.409.5347



Monday, October 23, 2017

On The Magic Of Storytelling

There is wonder and magic in storytelling. Of that I am certain.

Well, at least, I can say there is all of that in story “listening,” if you are fortunate enough to be able to “interview” an individual with an intriguing story as I was able to do this afternoon.

Today I did my first “official” interview for New Horizons new StoryCorps/Official New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection.

The experience, which lasted for around ninety minutes, was awesome!

Our New Horizons Storytelling project might differ, even significantly, from what other groups or organizations, partnering with StoryCorps, might do. However, our approach, as it is developing,  will include our Storytelling Workshop Series and lots and lots of interviews with people who may or may not attend these events.

The scheme we have developed, in addition to the tools and skills our workshops are designed to offer, is to do one or two rehearsal-type interviews with an individual in preparation for a recorded interview for our StoryCorps/Official New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection.

In this way, we are hoping to contribute interesting, somewhat well-thought out and prepared, though unscripted stories that, at their best, can become gifts we are giving by storytelling and story “listening.” 

If our stories can make the cut and be broadcast on NPR as many StoryCorps stories are, so much the better.

In the case of today’s storytelling, the person I interviewed is unlikely to attend any of our workshops, particularly as they will interfere with his work schedule. Nonetheless, I, personally, am already getting enough out of our behind-the-scenes Storytelling Workshop Project Steering Committee Meetings and practice sessions our committee members are doing with one another, that I was well-prepared as an interviewer. 

Add to these activities the fact that I have a long-term background as a psychotherapist and you can well-imagine my interview skills of an individual’s personal stories are, by now, well-ingrained.

If you’ve ever been to a therapist, no doubt, you understand, right off, what I mean. Who else, other than a family member or best friend, could possibly care enough to focus on you, and only you, for almost an hour? And be totally wrapped up in the process?

Well, I absolutely loved this storytelling, story listening process.

Was it like doing therapy?

Not at all, as I did not need to be doing any problem solving of anybody or anything! 

So I had the leisure to just sit back and enjoy entering into another person’s adventure who needed nothing back from me, other than the receiving of my attention, interest and probably a good dose of caring and compassion. I’ll grant that.

My first storyteller has an incredibly interesting story, with a number of gifts he will be giving from his telling. In particular, a story that goes from a serious, life-threatening drug addiction from which he has recovered and into q new life in which he has now chosen to become a Monk. 

His story, which we have agreed might even have two or three offshoots, was so intriguing I can hardly wait to pick it up again when we do session number two.

However, this one, alone, had all the elements of magic I love; excitement, intrigue, adventure, challenge, a downtrodden person surmounting life-threatening obstacles and coming out the other end as a hero!  

I absolutely love this kind of hero!

So I know, for sure, I am going to totally love this new project of New Horizons!

Perhaps, once developed, I will enjoy it even more than any other!

I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, I hope you will be inspired to start down this storytelling, story “listening” path too and find yourself a bit of magic. 

We could definitely use it, these days.


For details on how you can join New Horizons and myself, contact: 
Anastasia Rosen-Jones

Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 240.409.5347


Be sure to join New Horizons in this endeavor. 

It is an important one!

Could Storytelling And Story "Listening" Bridge Even The Gender Gap?


Read Anastasia's commentary on --- Could Storytelling And Story "Listening" Bridge Even The Gender Gap?

The New Horizons Board of Directors began exploring this possibility over the past weekend, in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood -- and -- its fallout across the nation.

We would like to hear your views.

Do you think that storytelling and story "listening" workshops focusing on bridging the gender gap be helpful.

Let us know what you think.


Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones

Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 240.409.5347

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Developing The Art Of Sharing Stories In The Service Of Building (and Rebuilding) Our Communities


What if more and more people in the U.S.A. came to realize that “sustained” polarization was destructive to their well-being; not an answer to what ails us, in the long run?

What if more and more people recognized the validity of Ben Franklin’s words –
"We must all hang together or most assuredly we will all hang separately"?
Wikipedia suggests that the meaning of this phrase by Franklin,  at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, meant that signers of the Declaration, as well as colonists in general, had to help each other and support each other or they were doomed.

What if more and more people took heed of these words, reinforced, in recent days by the tragedies of our recent hurricane devastations and the mass shootings in Las Vegas – and realized that we need one another more than we need our divisions, regardless of the differences between us of race, religion or other creeds.

Bridge Building: One Person
At A Time

Polarization can be a necessary and good thing, as mostly we are different enough from one another to need to define ourselves with some intricacy. But, at a point, we must unite to find common ground in order to move forward. 

My hope is that we will come through these troubled times we are now facing to discover the importance of this, along with an awareness that we will need time in order to heal our divisions. One of the examples of a project I have long admired that has successfully helped heal deep and serious wounds that divide is the Compassionate Listening Project.

Recently I revisited the web site of that project to review their achievements for myself – and – draw hope and inspiration from the work they have accomplished in the twenty years or so they have been active in reconciling divisions of the most horrendous divides, particularly in the Middle East and between both Jewish and German Holocaust survivors. In becoming somewhat familiar with this project through a friend who was the daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, I discovered that storytelling was an intrinsic piece of the success of this project.

Their success reassures me that New Horizons and myself are on the right track.

Imagine healing wounds between Jewish and German Holocaust survivors with a respectable number of these people being either former Nazis or their children?

We do not need to bring ourselves to a bloody war of factions, with more causalities than we have already seen, in this Beloved country of ours, to start looking toward a brighter future than we have presently -- and beginning to build it now, even in the midst of our polarization. Small steps in leaning in to one another can be a beginning. Storytelling and story “listening,’ as we officially launched as a project last Saturday is a further step.

Please consider this an imperative next step for yourself, personally. 

We believe this is a critically important next step, if what you have now is not to your liking!

Developing the art of sharing personal stories, in the service of building community (and rebuilding) unity in our country will not come easily, even with the best of intentions. Yet the yearning to tell and  listen to stories is ingrained in humanity. This is a very special way we connect to one another.

We may be the only animals that do this. Yet given half an opportunity, the exchange of stories arises out of our depths as naturally as sunshine and fresh air. We saw this occurring at last Saturday’s workshop. We needed only to provide a minimum of guidance and structure to set the ball rolling. 

Once we did we were pressed to find an ending to the delicious exchanges that were then created.

The vehicle, storytelling and story listening, that circumstances have now led New Horizons to offer in order that we continue on with our exceptional community development mission, centrally focused on building small “zones of peace” throughout our local community and beyond, will grow from here forth, we anticipate. 

In our county, alone, there are pockets and pockets of individuals and groups who are, minimally, finding unity in churches, synagogues, special interest and support groups. Within these, people often find their way to one another, based on the likemindedness they share. We are after a stretch beyond this. 

We want to fortify the links that are relatively still intact, even if minimally, and also reach across the divides that are less than the ideal of like thinking!

Few people, as we saw on Saturday, have yet attained the level of artfulness needed to significantly overcome the hurdles we are currently facing in our nation and even in our local communities.  But we can learn. And, in that realization lies our hope!!

One thing is certain, once we get started telling our stories with the true potential for connectedness we all carry, more and more people will be wanting to continue on, almost non-stop. Our new “Zones of Peace” Storytelling Workshop Series is already showing us this.

Please plan on joining us for our next “Zones of Peace” Storytelling Workshop event on Saturday, November 11.

This is important! You won’t be sorry!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Storytelling Workshop Series Hopes and Dreams Coming True: We are on our way!

Yippee!

When the intention of a workshop, such as yesterday’s introduction to New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Storytelling Workshop Series, was to be -- and – you begin at two and are still going str0ng at 8:30, you have no doubt you have reached some kind of magic. 

At New Horizons we call that a climb to the peak of the Mountain of Awe. In this case, the outcome was built upon storytelling, lots of creative contributions and good will. 

What a fine example this was of the way we all might be able to use storytelling to build, or help re-build, old timey community where people treat one another with caring and respect. And take time to listen!

Yesterday we were already germinating that which we envision we can become through New Horizons new  storytelling community.  We weren’t anywhere near the level of The Moth or what we would like to see of ourselves for our submissions to our StoryCorps archives, under the heading of The Official New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection. 

Yet there could have been little doubt, as we spent long hours, during the workshop, which went way over time and continued over dinner at a nearby restaurant , that we were on our way to helping one another develop the “art of storytelling and the art of story “listening.”

This is the path, beyond polarization, we are seeking with this next New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” project, the Storytelling Workshop Series. A genuine storytelling community in embryonic form

We did not have a lot of people in attendance, but we did have the right people!

I, Anastasia, found myself searching for the proper words to start off the event. Unable to find them, myself, I found them in the words of another “storytelling to build community” organization that described our vision just right.

Here we had words that helped our defined mission take shape.

Our mission: to build small “zones of peace” wherever we go by assisting others to develop skills that enable them to move beyond all elements of human separation wherever they exist.
The workshop will demonstrate and train participants in how to design and hold intentional and strategic community storytelling events that help build relationships, create shared vision, heal some community wounds and celebrate community accomplishments and heroes.
During the workshop participants will learn how to plan a storytelling project utilizing storytelling circles, create community timelines, creative visioning and time capsule activities. Courtesy of David Hunt & Associates
These words, that beautifully represent the vision of the New Horizons Board of Directors, seemed to almost immediately resonate with our guests. It was wonderful. We were off and running, without stop, until we were almost too tired to continue.

More to come when we’ve had another day or two to assimilate – and – in my case digest the food I was shuffling down, almost mindlessly. 

Yippee!

Our Storytelling Workshop Series Hopes and Dreams Are Coming True: We are on our way!

Join us next for the next in the series on Saturday, November 11.

Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones for details and reservations.
Cell: 240.409.5347, emal: SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Small “Zones of Peace” Storytelling Workshops, Live and Online, Are Almost Here!


New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project Presents --

The Storytelling Workshop Series -- Live
A Vehicle For Overcoming Today’s Social and Political Polarization 

Saturday, October 14, 2017 (Details here)

Reserve early! Space is limited.

Also, read introductory comments on the Storytelling Workshop Series by New Horizons’ Executive Director, Anastasia Rosen-Jones here.

And – listen to Anastasia The Storyteller and New Horizons Board Member, Steve Lebherz, on –

The Storytelling Workshop Series -- Online

Topic: 

Story “Listening” And Storytelling: The Importance Of Weaving Them Together

Thursday, October 12, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Introducing the Small "Zones of Peace" Storytelling Workshop Series Online

The Storytelling Workshop Series Online!
Begins Sunday, September 24, 4:00 p.m. on the 
Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show

The surprises we come up with when we put ourselves and our voices out to others are never ending.  I’ve been getting requests to sign up for New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Storytelling Workshop Series from people around the world, as far as Uganda. What a wonderful surprise this has been!

Just when New Horizons and myself had gotten to thinking there was no way for us to be useful with our community bridge building programs, given the current social and political polarization, we came up with an alternative to our signature program, Coffee House Conversations -- our new Storytelling Workshop Series. 

We were just beginning to get used to our new normal of living with the notion that now might be the season to honor polarization, even with its downsides – and – let go of striving for unity, as a priority. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, out popped the idea of our partnering with StoryCorps and taking dialogue at New Horizons to a whole new level; setting up a program to tell and hear personal stories, in depth, especially those related to how people are feeling about and dealing with the “new normal” throughout our country and in our local communities. 

We had started to accept that the present time might be the season for people to stake out their territories insofar as values and needs that had not been given due attention, like the feisty pups we sometimes mimic, even the snappish ones. But, for a time, beginning with last November’s election fall out, that did not seem to leave us with a viable path for our version of community service -- community dialogue

What to do? What to do? We wondered and worried.

Then there was, also, the factor of my, Anastasia, needing to clearly separate my voice from the official voice of New Horizons. I, too, had reached a point where I needed to be more and more vocal about the values I hold to be important. The political had, indeed, become both the personal and professional for me that went beyond the scope of New Horizons and its small “zones of peace” building agenda. 

It wasn’t that unity had ceased to matter to me. It was more that I sometimes took a long range path to getting there. After all, I had invested the past forty plus years of my life developing a comprehensive understanding, personally and professionally, of how the Dark Side of humanity operates and how to transform it. As most of us know, transforming the Dark Side is no simple task. Thus my voice on the subject, timely as it is for today’s circumstances, needs to be aired in a manner, not always seemingly in harmony with New Horizons. 

We, New Horizons and I, do not truly have different destinations in mind, but sometimes we have divergent ways of reaching the objective; the greatest good for the greatest number of people in the most loving and compassionate ways possible.  Thus my approaches do not always appear to be copacetic with those of New Horizons. 

But ask yourself, how could New Horizons and myself genuinely be of different minds when I am the original architect of the project?

Still it seemed, for a time, as if New Horizons and myself might need to part company to keep our voices clear and defined, according to the strictures of non-profit regulations. Now it is looking more and more like we might just be needing to rearrange the playing pieces. That is if I can keep my thoughts on politics and other partisan affairs off this site, as in keep them limited to my Anastasia The Storyteller and Exploring Your Dark Side sites. 

So far, so good, nonetheless, if you think we are still needing to do more self-defining to keep ourselves in pure non-profit compliance, please let us know your viewpoint. We will get right on it to clear up any fuzziness. 

On my end, however, our policing board member, Lisa, seems to be satisfied with how I am speaking my “truth to power” messages and keeping New Horizons out of the fray; always a good sign for me.

For starters, this seems to be the simple way to go; keep politics etc. restricted to my Anastasia The Storyteller and Exploring Your Dark Side sites, especially as it become clearer and clearer that my personal/professional heart and soul has a great deal of political perspective at its core. 

This is what Watergate brought me; the political became the personal. And Donald Trump as president has now invited those lessons I learned through Nixon's White House into the fore, for a major revisiting.

But now, lo and behold, a new shape has appeared with New Horizons partnering with StoryCorps to bring about our new Storytelling Workshop Series. Much like the pieces of a kaleidoscope making a fresh picture. Without changing the pieces at all, we might just be shaking them up a bit and giving ourselves a new image for ourselves. 

You can hear my story of how that came about on my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show program titled Tranquility In The Era Of Trump: A Personal Story

New Horizons and myself, fellow travelers on the road to raising ourselves to our higher vibrations; may not always be perfectly in step, as in sometimes my stories might not be appropriate fare for non-profit dining. Still we seem, now, to be beginning a new chapter. And, not too be far off from one another as I, a bona fide online storyteller, now take up the leadership of the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Storytelling Workshop series, our next new project, focusing on community-bridge building, one person at a time.

So far so good, judging by the response we are getting. As I stated earlier, we have already heard from folks as far away as Uganda. And in this country, we have heard from people from coast to coast, as far East as Boston and as far West as California. Indicators suggest we are tapping into something, with our intention to bring storytelling in, front and center, to address the very human yearning to connect, striving for fulfillment, albeit somewhat hidden in staking out zones of importance, at times, these days, often only with like-minded others to increase one’s strength of conviction and entitlement.

New Horizons has now discovered that while many people in our country or communities may not be quite so eager to come together for group conversations, having to do with overcoming polarization, we are now beginning to see that one person by one person, listening to and telling our stories still remains a basic human need.

As one of the people who has, so far, reached out to us, regarding our new Storytelling Workshop Series and its great potential, stated –
I think it (the Storytelling Workshop Series) is such an important and desperately needed piece of the road forward right now! 
If you think so too, join Steve Lebherz, New Horizons Board Member, and myself, next Sunday, October 1 at 4 p.m. as we take next steps, with you, to make storytelling, one person at a time, an important endeavor in reaching for that pinnacle of what our heritage of being human, in the fullest sense, heart to heart, offers us. After all, we are all a part of the ONE!


Sunday, September 25
4:00 p.m. 

And -- person-to-person, live, if you are in our neighborhood (Frederick, Maryland, specifically, and the 100 mile radius of the Washington White House, more generally) – 


Storytelling Workshop Series: 
A Vehicle For Overcoming Today’s Social and Political Polarization 
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Frederick Friends Meeting House
723 N. Market Street               Frederick, Maryland 21701

For Details and Reservations, Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 240.409.5347