Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This Is "No Way To Elect A President"

I read a wonderful commentary this morning by Frank Bruni of the New York Times, "No Way To Elect A President". It expressed some of my core perspectives about this 2016 presidential election campaign. I was so enthused by his perspectives that I’m going to be incorporating them into my next Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show – 

Gifts Of Collaboration Versus The Costs Of Opposition In Conversation/Dialogue
Thursday, April 21, 11:30 a.m.

I hope you will join me for this discussion – and – many more to follow, having to do with what really makes an exceptional leader; the kind that can head and guide a country like ours to maintain the greatness it embodies that has brought us this far – and – keep it out of the Hell hole some people seem intent on pulling us into.

Enough said by me for now. More to come here on values of Society and Politics, the New Horizons way!  So tune in to my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show tomorrow during broadcast time at 11:30 a.m.. Or listen afterwards on podcast! 

I have a lot to say on this subject, The Current Presidential Election Campaign Crisis, well worth listening to as is Frank Bruni's article something to read to help us all through these troubled times that we can move through best when we keep our priorities high and well-aligned.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Light Is So Bright It Hurts My Eyes!

I made an emergency visit last week to see my local ophthalmologist. For days beforehand my “new” eye felt irritated, the vision diminishing. Worst of all were mornings. Upon awakening each day the bright light of morning flooding my room was blinding me and painful, prompting me to hide out under covers for as long as two or three hours until I could, without undue discomfort, face the day.

Needless to say I was alarmed!

I had experienced this effect previously with all, or most all, of my earlier six corneal transplants (this one had been number seven). And I had eventually come through the healing process successfully. Was I, this time around, becoming more conscious of the healing phases as they progressed, I wondered?

Still the situation was not to be dismissed. So off I went into town; never an easy trek for me as I am totally devoted to my mountain life. But I was glad I went.

According to my doctor, while there was a bit of inflammation present, the greater issue was that now more Light was entering my visual field than previously. I was growing more SIGHTED! 

Imagine that!  Truly seeing more, not less!  What a joy! What a blessing!

Without my being fully conscious, or at least not aware at this level, of what was opening up before me; metaphorically, physically, in reality, theoretically and practically, my eyes were beginning to reveal new levels of seeing!

On the heels of my surgery, I had pledged myself to a spiritual, emotional healing journey to parallel the physical I was undergoing. Apparently the rewards of my intent were surfacing and – possibly – the Light was so Bright, amazement, even disbelief, was my response. 

Could my eye challenge last week and my need to see my doctor with an emergency visit, simply and not simply at all, be that I was facing into, once again, Divine Chaos; the chaos so Exquisite I had been able to see only the downside. 

Maybe, at almost four months after my corneal transplant, I need to begin considering that my whole being is somehow being transplanted, or at least refined. Or, perhaps, more aptly the freedom I allowed myself on the heels of that surgery seems to have elevated my consciousness. If that is possible for real, along with the actual, physical visual clearing, perhaps I am now beginning to see the world around me as being so filled with joy and love, so inordinately peopled by an abundance of good will and camaraderie, that I think I must have been asleep until now.

Sharing my amazement with my Spirit Sister Sue, the feedback she gives me suggests I might just be entering the Promised Land. Ah, “Next year in Jerusalem,” as goes the traditional Jewish greeting and good bye has arrived for me now; I have reached the promised land! Or perhaps I am entering the world of Alice In Wonderland where all kinds of unexpected and magical experiences arise.

Or as Murat might describe it, discovering the cosmic Jamboree that comes of doing the “work” of conscious evolution. From Sue’s vantage point of witnessing my journey I can even “see” and define the influence of the choices I’ve made lately that brought me here!

Wow! Whatever it is in real time language, I think I may have truly entered, with my eyes wide open, the next level of living in a dimension of deliberately creating a purposeful path to “Finding Light In The Darkness.”  

With its many rewards, the main one now being that I can SEE me SEEING! That istruly gorgeous and amazing! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Today I Am Celebrating The Person Most Responsible For ….

Me growing into “ME” just as I am!

Join Jack Slattery and myself this evening on our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show as we focus on the topic of “Leadership Role Models…” and “… A Personal Story” -- about the man who shaped me into the person I have become, especially "The Lean In Legacy Template" way, not always perfect but a good enough "legacy" anyway!

My father would have been one hundred and three yesterday. I miss him sorely but I am so grateful to have been his daughter. Hear my story. Then join Jack and I with some stories of your own on – 

Thursday, March 31
6:30 p.m.

Followed by --

Monday, March 14, 2016

To See Or Not To See Your Dark Side, Or What Makes Donny Run?

From a key quote on my Exploring Your Dark Side; The Adventure of A Lifetime blog site.
“….whoever is not aware of this force in his personality has lost control of it. He has not confronted himself and cannot know where he is headed.” What Do You Say After You Say Hello?  Eric Berne, M.D.
These are words I have come to hold as a baseline guide for determining positive mental health, the kind of well-being that breeds the optimum human success over the long haul.  

If I am relatively certain that my motives are based on a sincere caring and compassion for myself, others and the natural world around me I tend to rest securely in my actions. On the other hand if I have even a hint that I am being driven by an intent to control others in thought or deed, that I seek excesses in any area, I become suspicious of myself and pull back to pause.

Life is a challenging and sometimes tricky road to travel. Uncertainties can appear at almost any step of the way. I enjoy being sure-footed but accept with gratitude the frequent stumbling I do. I prefer unity and harmony, peace and serenity. Yet I honor the warrior in myself and in others. Where anger, outrage and volatile actions are concerned I want to respect both the message and the messenger though their methods might discomfort or even concern me.

Maturity and the wisdom it has brought me has shown me that there is almost always a more productive way than this. Yet I must also consider where I might be wrong, especially during an election campaign. The very intention of campaigning is based on controversy and even hostility. Certainly highlighting differences is the rule, not the seeking of common ground.

So today I am perplexed. I want to avoid biases. I want to respect the viewpoints of others and the choices they make. Still from every which way I try to approach the situation of this year’s election campaign, on the Republican side I keep coming back, again and again, that in my gut the whole of it seems rotten; more like Darth Vadar, the Dark Side of humanity, than anything of the Force I’ve ever known. So who might I choose as a leader here?

It is the Force and all it has come to symbolize to which I am drawn in others and strive for in myself.  I find that difficult to locate in the Republican party and think to myself, along with multitudes, that they have certainly made a mess of themselves. Could Donald Trump be their savior or their downfall?

My many years as a Certified Transactional Analyst brought me to explore, along with the incisive judgement of many of my colleagues, the Dark Side of humanity; the force in the personality that is out of control, the part of the personality not sincerely and thoroughly explored; its motives, frequently subconsciously or unconsciously, masked by guile.

This is how most have come to view Hitler, Jim Jones of the Jonestown Massacres, Charles Manson and his murderous gang. With this thinking as a backdrop I have been conscientiously trying to understand what makes “Donny run.” All that I find in my investigations spotlights a lifetime of his being of the Dark Side Warrior style not that of the Force. Compassion, sincerity, kindness, caring and the other attributes of an evolved humanity I see very little in him.

Though I want to do my best to reserve judgement and not get caught up in the political frenzy of this current presidential campaigning, I am fairly well-convinced that though I am now a registered Independent who is not particularly enamored of either Hillary or Bernie, it looks like I will, once again, vote Democrat. This brings me a measure of grief. I had pledged myself to take a non-partisan approach this time around whereas I had formerly always voted Democrat. 

After all I am Jewish and voting Democrat is our tradition. But I have recovered from that identity to be first and foremost an American. So I am disappointed that I am likely to take this route again. But seemingly this will be my choice come election day, if for no other reason than that the more Light I can see, the better I like it. And, what seems to make “Donny run” has, by far, more Dark than Light contrasted to the Democrat's side that, at least, merits my respect in many ways, if not all.

However, seeing Trump and his supporters as enemies goes against the grain for me too. So while I want to remember that complicity with darkness allowed Hitler to rise, I want to also be sure that I do not allow my fears to cast away the messengers and messages I am observing in the Trump camp. I need to not make them “the enemy” or “the other” but listen closely to what they are trying to say beneath their anger and seeming adoration of a man I deem a dangerous and crazy person. 

Still I need to “lean in,” not polarize. And, not allow myself to sink into an “us” and “them” position. After all, we are all breathing the same air so in a sense each of us is one another; there is a Donny in me and in you, a Donny supporter in each of us that takes the Trump side Trump in some respects.

The pain and/or sense of threat or injustice coming out of that camp must be great for supporters to fight so loud and so hard. I must remember that so that I can continue to hold theses followers of Trump with compassion in the deepest parts of myself. My pain is great too. I just manage it more quietly, most of the time.

That doesn't make my way the right one. So the best way for me seems to be to watch and listen -- and -- trust that our democracy can handle what might just simply be Divine chaos; a time to learn new ways of looking at things before I jump to conclusions.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Important News I Haven’t Been Sharing

Here is a bit of a back story, about to be told!  

My “The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard book is is now in progress, once again, after sitting on my office shelf for almost ten long years! 

Note: The full-length book will take some time; two years is my prediction, but is now on its way. However, an exerpt or, at least, a study guide for some of the most important messages of the book should be available by Labor Day. In the meantime, I offer you one of the critical messages from the book; strive to build Exceptional Community structures wherever you have opprotunity to do so. 

Behind the scenes at New Horizons – and – correspondingly in my own life something very BIG and wonderful has been happening this past month.

The significance is so BIG that it felt risky to share.

After all, especially beginning with the day I lost my eyesight (Labor Day weekend, 1998), I had come to feel as if I were living my life under a dark cloud; the one that Chicken Little might have mistaken for the falling sky when it started to rain on her.

Even now as I write this I feel a bit shaky bringing my “behind the scenes” upfront to share with you. At best the time since that day has seemed like a long, dreary, cold winter; the kind that seems as if it is telling us that spring will never come. Perhaps in the process I have grown superstitious. At the very least – cautious.

Still something wonderful did come into my life this past month; something as wonderful and as bright and cheerful as springtime and the many cardinals now feeding at the feeder outside my office window this sunshine-filled morning.

The news is this; kinda twofold seemingly at the moment but possibly BIGGER than that. 

Who can tell at this point? But we will keep you informed as the adventure unfolds.
  1. An old friend/client of “old” New Horizons has come back into my life. And with circumstances having changed in her life, she has come back to be in charge of fundraising – and – contract development (as in for profit contracts!!!) New Horizons and my single greatest need!  Wow!!
  2. And with this dear old friend who has decades of marketing and sales experience to boost her, almost the first thing she did was help me pull out of the moth balls a book I have had sitting on the shelf for almost ten years.
Such a BIG announcement!

“The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard: 
How Communities Come Apart And How They Heal” --

the book and multiple articles is now back in progress!

I hope it will be a best seller!

In the meantime, as I have kept that whole project a secret up until now, check out my Baltimore Jewish Times article, The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard, for a preview of some of the story that could not, would not be told until now.  

Wish me good luck, also, in the meantime!

Who could believe a person, ME, could sit blind and almost alone, except for two dogs and an occasional handy man, on a mountainside and come back – seeing – and more; to speak of what she has learned to see at ground level and beyond!

That be ME! G-d willing and the creek don’t rise!

Hallelujah, folks! Wish me luck, twice!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Love Behind The Message

Monday Morning On The Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show

Conversations With Anastasia 
On The Art of Dialogue

This Week Featuring

Monday, March 7
11:30 a.m.

(If you miss the broadcast, also on podcast)

About Monday Morning's program

Anastasia and her new "sidekick," Kim Beckett begin developing their series, "Conversations With Anastasia On The Art of Dialogue" with this show. A good introduction to the show, as well as the series, can be heard on their previous show, "Trading In The Costs of The Quiet For The Riches of Dialogue."

On that earlier show reference is made to what it was that prompted New Horizons’  Coffee House Conversations initiative (New Horizons is the sponsoring organization for The Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show). The back story for the initiative is heard at the end of the prior show. It will be used to introduce this present one as it provided the “love” behind the message of the Coffee House Conversations Project.

The Possible Society In Motion Radio Show titled “Leaning Into Conversations On Race Relations: A Love Story” is also recommended.  That particular program, recorded early last year, offers a broadened context for today’s show that listeners may find to be of benefit if interested in learning to apply the principles and practices of the new series, "Conversations With Anastasia on The Art of Dialogue."

Also see our Radio Show Study Guide for "Conversations With Anastasia On The Art of Dialogue. Bring yourself into the action and New Horizons' developing "Movement to Overcome Polarization In Our Society And Politics By Building Commujnity Bridges Through Dialogue." Our Radio Show Study Guide can help you make the leap!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Seeing, Saying and Listening: Earth Level And Beyond

It would be hard for me to tell you where I’ve been since last I wrote here. But it goes something like this: I’ve been traveling, inside myself into the Great Beyond and at home with close friends as I rested and relaxed, taking things a bit easy since my cornea transplant surgery in mid-December. Then I traveled some other places on the earth plane, back and forth into a few nearby states. Still taking it easy. 

I’ve talked to more people than usual  in conversations of such richness and depth I sometimes felt full enough to not need to eat for days.

Along with this I’ve  kept, always, the year-long physical healing agenda of my blessed new cornea at the forefront of my “vision.” Nonetheless, realizing that today is the last day of February – and – a leap day to boot, I wanted to just say a few words before March comes in as a lamb tomorrow as she is scheduled to do, at least in my neck of the woods. And, before I gear up to a more engaged schedule of activities, projects and plans, beginning sometime in mid-March.

The celebration of spring seems to be in the air up here in the mountains where I live though today is a bit windy and chillier than yesterday.  Tomorrow, again, is predicted to be warmer like yesterday.  And, oh what a day that was – yesterday!

I’ve been practicing a new spiritual discipline these past few months, listening for the voice of G-d. Limited as I’ve been with the monster snowstorm in January and the need I had to take things easy while the wound in my right eye healed some, this seemed a likely endeavor. Then came yesterday’s near seventy degree weather and off I was walking up and down my dear mountain road to drink in the ambiance.

My new discipline had me listening carefully, as I walked to hear G-d's voice, as some might describe it, or as I have done in the past, calling this focus “catching the voice of the wind.” So I walked a good long hour and one-half hearing that voice of Mother Nature or Father G-d or whomever beams it into me; carefully and much more fully aware than formerly.

I heard small mountain streams burbling, leaves rustling, birds twittering and singing.  I smelled the fresh fragrance of rich earth coming back out and alive after the winter freeze. And, possibly, most delicious of all, was putting my hand up to cover my left eye, the good one, and realizing, with my heart bursting with joy, that I could see the cracks in the blacktop of our road and the yellow line that marked the middle of the road with my “new’ right eye! It was a wonderful treat.

It had been a long time ago since I could do that!

I felt – joy so HUGE inside of me that it was as if I had left the earth while still standing right on it; so all right with the world as if my own personal springtime was meeting up with that of the whole earth. 

Certainly now I was truly home in ways I had not been for months.