Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How We Play “The Games On You,” Mr. President


See Anastasia The Storyteller’s “The Game’s On You, Mr. President.” Saturday, August 13, 2011

It’s hard to believe I have been writing about the Dark Side of presidents and politics for going on six years on this blog. Back then I thought we had a hand full with the mediocrity of Barak Obama and the sludge in Washington. But we hadn’t seen anything yet until we got Trump.  However, maybe Trump is just what we need at this stage of the game, if betterment of our country is what we are truly after.

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, definitely makes the case, many surmised long ago; Hillary wasn’t a “choice” choice either. 

What else did we have but Trump? Are the Gods crazy or what? But maybe death and destruction are not what lie ahead for it. I see hopeful evidence of something else.

The way I see it, we have now gone from the passive and more subtle manipulations of Obama (and the Democratic party) to the blatant, bullying aggressiveness of Trump and team. That suggests to me that maybe out and out street fighting is what we need now, if the swamp in Washington, D.C. is to ever be drained, for real. Bad as this seems, sometimes I get to thinking this might just be the case nowadays. 

Seeking enlightenment, I recall the 1977 Nobel Prize winning work in chemistry of Illya Prigogine on dissipative structures. In this notable perspective, Prigogine tells us that if you overload an organism with stimuli it will fragment and reorganize at a higher level. Now isn’t this a good way to look at our current political and social crises? 

Perhaps the death and destruction of our democracy is not imminent; cultural evolution is what’s really happening here on a grand planetary level! Perhaps we are simply being overloaded with Trump’s data via Twitter and our daily barrage of every other chaos out of and around Trump’s White House as well as the upheavals running throughout our society so we can evolve to our better selves

Conclusion: We and the lives we are accustomed to are simply being fractured so we can transform.

Dontcha just love it? 

 I began writing, intermittently, about New Horizons’ Truth or Dare Game on the occasion of the 2012 election campaign of Mr. Obama. I was then watching and “seeing” the Dark Side of American politics from a perspective few others can claim. 

Because I had witnessed – and – studied Washington politics for close to forty years from a vantage place few others could, having been party to it, escaping from it, standing by the sidelines, watching it move forward, from Watergate on, I was intent on trying to analyze and remedy its manipulations and power plays. 

But the time had not yet been right to tackle Washington head on. In the meantime I put my efforts and attention into dealing with that same Dark Side into individuals, relationships and small group dynamics.  That was "old" New Horizons.

With a mighty impact, I am proud to say, earning me the reputation that “If she (Anastasia a.k.a Marcia E. Rosen) can’t cure ‘em, nobody can!”

Nonetheless, all along, I believed I would someday return to the Washington fast track and, indeed, have my small part in, not only addressing Dark Side dealings on the micro level but destined to, someday, assist in doing so on the macro. 

I’d take my Truth or Dare Game all the way to Capital Hill, I vowed in 1985! That was the day after I had spent the evening before with an old friend of mine; a dear friend whose Watergate office in the Democratic National Committee appears to have been the target for the break in (But who knows for sure?).

That bit of clairvoyance, gifted me thanks to my prophecy, has all along guided me in this direction. Now, I’m ready with my team to back me up! Washington here we come! It’s time for the Goddess in me to make my stand!

However, New Horizons Truth or Dare Game, of which I speak repeatedly, is only one vehicle, among many, that can assist people in getting to the fullest truths possible, consciously and purposefully and helping that truth to set us free! I am bound and determined to launch Truth or Dare in this direction, at its best, as soon as I can to truly be one of many helping to drain that swamp completely!

With Donald Trump in office and MILLIONS of people intent on not allowing him, or any others to slide by, with less than full accountability and transparency is another whole approach. Whether it is by taking to the streets to protest, calling your representatives in Congress, writing as essayists and journalists, broadcasters speaking out, comedians helping us find the Light side of the Dark through humor and folks meeting in town halls, we are now playing the Truth or Dare Game every day!

This is glorious!

This is how we play the “Games On You,” Mr. President. And, we can’t help but win, unless you, Mr. President, put your itchy fingers on that notorious hot button or take down innocent people by destroying things like health care, abortion as an option for those who choose it, cutting back funds for Meals on Wheels and National Public Radio.

I believe together we are stronger than you, Mr. Trump! And, quite possibly we have G-d on our side!

Of course, we can’t know but until we do, the “Games On You,” Mr. President!  And, those of us who don’t like you or your mean, nasty, manipulative and lying ways are going to fight you to the end!

From my end, personally, this what I have to do as my legacy, coming from being the stepdaughter of a Holocaust survivor, if for no other reason. “Survivor” is my key word here!

And “Winner Survivor” is how we play our GAME!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

On Why Presidents Lie And Some People Believe Them


Because I had just recently removed myself from the D.C. fast track; or the swamp as it is being called today. Because I still had friends in key places in Washington who were deeply connected to the center of Washington society and politics, including Watergate.

Because the Watergate break-in had occurred and Richard Nixon was being investigated by the Watergate Commission as he appeared culpable. Because the hearings were being televised and people, including me were drawn to watching. Because I was a captive audience lying in a hospital bed waiting for a cornea transplant and had nothing to do other than watch these trials. And, because I saw people around me seeming to believe Richard Nixon while my unsophisticated gut told me not to.

This is why I took on my very first super sleuthing adventure. Because I was in my first year of clinical training as a Transactional Analyst, I could analyze the transactions going on in this drama with my newly developing analytical skills. It was an intriguing exercise for a budding clinician. 

I needed to know how the president of the United States of America could lie to the American people – and -- how so many of his constituents could seem to believe him. 

(Many decades later I would discover that this pass timing activity of mine had much deeper roots in my own personal history. But that came later.)

So I dug in and I dug in further and further until I developed a passion for searching out truth and developed a great deal of understanding and expertise in handling these issues -- 
  • How the president of the United States of America can lie to the American people;
  • How so many of his constituents can seem to believe him;
  • What to do when the Dark Side of society and politics gets really bad, beyond the Pale.
These days I feel a particular imperative to share what I learned and what I have come to know out of my decades of investigating the Dark Side of society and politics in the U.S.A.. I want you to hear the stories I have to tell about my adventures having to do with this and on the subject above itself. 

I want you to tell me back your stories of Dark Side encounters and how you may have transcended or transformed them to a higher good. We absolutely must do this kind of coming together. Storytelling is one of the best ways possible to pass forward the wisdom of the ages on such things!

Let us join together, now, in telling our stories!

When I saw Alec Baldwin last Saturday, again impersonating Donald Trump – and – his play-acting devotees on Saturday Night Live, depicting believers of what many of us see as the dangerous manipulations of innocent people by Trump and team, my heart hurt and my gut wrenched. The faces of those actors called up memories for me of the disbelief and confusion people felt when Nixon’s behavior negated the esteem and trust people had placed in him. I felt sick.

Today, this anguish comes out of me in the form of my wanting to urge you to use me now! 

More than ever, after my forty plus years of building my life’s work and my life’s passion for sorting out the ills of Watergate -- and -- doing my best to deter their being repeated, I have discovered how to move past such transgressions, or at least cope with them. 

Whether these ills have to do with the Dark Side of politics, corporate manipulations, street violence, domestic violence or child abuse, let us to talk to one another and learn from one another, NOW!

Right now, coping may be the best we can do. That and activism. Other than these there seems little else to do these days to set things right in our nation.

So please do use me! I am one of your national treasures.  Perhaps we are all that for one another.

You might be asking “What the hell is going on here?” and “What are we supposed to do with this?”

I don’t have all the answers. But I do have quite a few where these particular questions are concerned. 

At the top of my list of answers is that we must hang together, now, more than ever to pull ourselves together as one nation, looking out each for each other.

Storytelling can get us started!

With love for humanity in all its frailty,

Anastasia The Storyteller

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

“Today I Saw People Finding The Light In The Darkness”


It is Saturday morning, 9:30 a.m. and my Spirit Sister Sue, Beloved board member and program development collaborator, and I are walking ourselves into the Clarion Inn Conference Center in Frederick, Maryland. Our arms are loaded with fliers to hand out in the coming hours and tri-fold displays to set on our exhibit table. 

The Volunteer Fair, hosted by FrederickCares.org has arranged this event. With the assistance of the hotel, the conference room sure looks scrumptious! White clothed tables, coffee, tea, donuts and so forth stand ready for a morning into early afternoon event. With every intention of creating an occasion to bring peace and social justice oriented non-profit organizations, like ours, together with anguished citizens. These are people, identified with heartfelt compassion by Andrew Duck and his volunteer team, who are pained by the state of our society and politics, hungering to put their angst into meaningful action.

With this as an agenda, our day ahead promises to be noteworthy. None of us have been called before for such as this. 

To officially launch the day Congressman Jamie Raskin addresses the audience. When he does, I know I am in the midst of kindred spirits. His words reach my heart,  my mind and my soul. And, I, like the others in attendance, am further rewarded when Congressman Raskin takes the time with event organizer, Andrew, to visit each of our display tables for a personable one-on-one. With representatives like this, a person can feel that someone in Congress is looking out for them.

Yet this is only the start of a wonderfully, inspiring day of connecting that lies ahead.

Throughout the hours ahead, Sue and I have ample opportunity for meaningful talks with attendees. I am struck by the anguish, the shock and confusion I see on faces around me; the hurt coming through their words. Still I am immensely grateful for our connections; many with substance. Attendees here seem to have moved beyond the superficial, often seen at gatherings such as this. But these are times like no other.

I am a bit disappointed that my three scheduled mini Coffee House Conversations never get off the ground. Perhaps next time organizers can arrange for a loud speaker to call people to gather for these. No matter. I make use of my time not presenting by moving throughout the convention hall, beginning new friendships with kindred spirits that may take root over time.  We are, after all, in this time of crisis together. And, it looks like we are all going to need to hang tightly together in the coming weeks, months and even years, as we are truly facing a time like never before in the U.S.A.

The Volunteer Fair comes to its end with Sue and I packing up to depart. I look at her for a moment, catching a look on her face I have rarely seen. Her eyes sparkling, she leans into me with a sense of wonder, telling me, from a heart I know to be frightened and wounded, saying these words, 

“Today I saw people “Finding Light in the Darkness.” 

OMG! Had the day not already been full and inspiring I could not have asked for more, but there it is; the icing on the top of the cake! My best friend’s heart and soul are soothed by what we had just experienced in a few short hours. I can tell that her takeaway is that she is encouraged, as I try often to tell her to be these days. 

WE, the American people, are going to be okay – by connecting and holding together with one another. 

Devastated, heartbroken with much unhealed grief, my best friend, Spirit Sister, is soothed down deep into her soul, standing next to me at the Volunteer Fair. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

What To Do When Chaos Reigns Supreme


OMG! Life in these United States could not be crazier! Still every day I am heeding my own council and doing pretty okay given surrounding circumstances. But a person can certainly feel like life is totally out of control and scary these days. For that I refuse! Politics is NOT going to derail my life and hold me hostage! Forget that option!

Given this attitude, I took an important step this morning, trying to bring an enhanced level of order to the chaos in my office; papers mounting up on my desk and everywhere. And, yes, I admit it, they were all over the floor too. Well, I’ve never boasted of having any proficiency in maintaining my filing systems. I have learned, instead, to include the top of my, often messy, desk and the floor as legitimate places for that system, uniquely my own. 

Don’t anyone dare touch it!!!

Over the years I have refined my filing system to the point that I, if no one else, do know, more or less, what lies atop these seemingly chaotic paper-laden platforms. I have also learned to recognize what it is in me that encourages greater order out of this chaos versus what it is that incites more chaos. 

These reflections bring me, now, to surveying the mess on both desk and floor of my office, contemplating how to deal with my latest accumulation. And, what is behind it, just when I thought I had gotten it under control a few weeks back.

My Truth, Here and Now Is This, Blame Game or Not:  It’s the presidential presence that is now bringing chaos into the otherwise generally serene life I live!

While the presidential campaigns went on much too long, in my opinion, it definitely kept me feeling off center. Talk about chaos! Even with the meritorious and often successful centeredness I was able to sustain most of the time, I fought hard to maintain it, day-to-day. I pinpoint the beginning of the chaos as far back as June, 2015. Much, much too long!!

OMG!

But nothing compares to the chaos I find myself trying to deal with, now, with Trump in office; everyone around him in one fight or another; for and against and on and on. Tough work, these days, trying to stay balanced, centered and relatively serene! 

The day after the day Trump won the election I did my utmost to find the center of my gravity.  It’s been a struggle ever since. OMG!  Every day it’s something. You probably feel it too, no matter who you voted for. Who doesn’t?

To achieve the optimum, I find myself constantly striving to reach for the heavens; the world of spirit far off; too much chaos on ground level. Let me out of here! When the world is in chaos and our hopes and dreams seem to be tumbling down, where else can we turn?  

I, of course, often get to heaven by way of writing. It is my pursuit of that pathway that is now lying all over my office. Filing, I have discovered, can be an integration process; a way of pulling together scattered pieces of myself and gathering them into some kind of cohesive order. I like the process when I am in the mood for it, even if necessity prompts me to do it. Today the filing of my office papers has become that necessary.

I think I am grateful for it; a nice way to distance from the news and such and the cold and rainy day outside.

Tomorrow New Horizons will begin our next phase of Coffee House Conversations on “Coping With A Changing America.” I will be obligated, there, to teach, guide and lead others to find their own high road, who are similarly stressed with our current political and societal environment. So today I must strengthen my personal methodology in order to carry this out tomorrow. 

This is not easy; the chaos of the world around no longer provides a stable environment within which one can get their own act together and maintain it. Was it ever?

Probably not! As the election outcome demonstrated, any semblance of order was only that; a superficial appearance born of not knowing more of the story of life in these United States of America and how it was being played out for untold numbers of others.

Well, the election results definitely brought me up short in terms of bringing me a broader consciousness of the world around me. For one thing, it showed me that I didn’t need to always be so concerned about “Thinking global, acting local.” There is plenty for me to know and do about “thinking national, acting local” that is quite enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life.  

Tomorrow New Horizons will do just that as a part of a Volunteer Fair where we will present three mini Coffee House Conversations on Coping With A Changing America. Seems like the right way to go. And I am grateful for the opportunity.

I guess when you come right down to it, life is always about winning sometimes and being open to learning the rest of the time
  
And, doing your best to help your community!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Where Does Truth Fit In With Democracy?


I made a good case yesterday for revering truth telling and truth knowing, i.e. clarity, on my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show. You can listen to the podcast here at ---


the podcast

I was truly uplifted by having presented the topic of this program. And doing it with my honorary daughter Terry was a blessing for me beyond words. 

You’d have to know Terry and I and the story of our relationship to really understand how enormous was the whole of what we did yesterday; our back story is truly beautiful and wonderful. But what did I accomplish?

Having created this gratifying product, our The Truth Will Set Us Free, I was brought up short about its content when I shared it with another dear friend/kinda sister. This friend had traveled and shared some of the path Terry and I have covered for close to thirty years. Her take on the subject of the show was quite a different story, however, than the one Terry and I had.  

So much so that I will be doing a brief follow up show later today (unless otherwise scheduled, check here for program time). The issue at hand is this --



I had no idea yesterday when Terry and I presented this program I had intended to be inspiring that it would stir so much discussion and dissent on whether or not lying is ok.  

So I will do my best to be back on the air again today, save unforeseen happenings, to take up the issue.

Join me for discussion on the subject later today. And prepare yourself by listening to the podcast, linked above, to air your own views.  I will do my best to open up the lines in my studio to take callers.  The guest call in number is 646.787.8624.

Let’s get to the essence of the topic!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Finding Joy In The Era of Trump


People don't, often enough, celebrate the profound potency of simply, but not so simply at all, speaking truth to power. But today the joy of it must not be passed over. All of this wordiness on my part comes of my struggle from the inside out to share how very much today feels like springtime, at last.  And springtime for me is very much tied to the many ways truth can set us free!

Last week’s snow is melted and yesterday I had a joyous sunshiny day out and about in my beloved spanking clean red car, just fixed after months in and out of repair garages. So I was all set for happiness this morning when I woke up.

It was just one of those, “It’s the first day of the rest of my life,” all is right with the world days. Then I checked in with the morning news. NBC’s Comey Disclosures Leave Trump Alone on Island of Conspiracy Theories article told me everything and more I needed to know that springtime is really here, at last!

What a long cold winter season it has been! I think it lasted from the summer of 2015 until now. That whole time of the American public being held hostage to the worst presidential election campaign I remember, culminating in the devastating election of Donald Trump to our presidency. That was the winter of the U.S. A.!

Now don’t mistake this bold revelation to tell you where I might stand on politics. I am a registered Independent. I was ready, willing and able to vote for either major party or none. And, none is what I would have chosen if I thought it might be the right and just way to go.

But no, not voting wasn’t an option! So I metaphorically flipped a coin and picked Hillary though I sure wasn’t crazy about her – and – totally did not want to see Bill Clinton, again, anywhere near the Oval Office he had besmirched with Monica Lewinsky. No, for me it was about character in this election Maybe it generally is, now that I put words to inner process on it.  Anyway that’s how I voted.

So I was devastated like many others to see Donald Trump win the election. But liking Trump or not liking Trump is not necessarily a political call.

And, it sure has been scary ever since. OMG!! What this man has intended for America!

But, bad as it’s been I have kept having faith in our constitutional democracy and the millions of people in this country who unstintingly believe, like me, in speaking truth to power. And, now look what we get! Our system works! Yesterday’s hearings with Comey testifying say it all, for me. The truth will set you free. And darkness cannot survive the Light.

The Games On You, Mr. President!!! Meticulous fact finding and truth telling is about to topple your sloppy, shyster’s ways!

Thank you, Mr. Comey. Those of us who believe in truth and integrity and basic human decency, above all, needed what you gave us yesterday! A sure sign that our constitutional government is not easily corrupted.

Welcome springtime in the U.S.A.!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Finding My Peace With Election 2016


It is Saturday and I am conducting a discussion seminar on “Overcoming The Polarization Of ….. Everything.” Most of the regular participants of New Horizons Counterculture Community Development Experiment are present with me. 

After close to one year with some of these dedicated people – and – of course more than ten  with my Beloved collaborator, Sue deVeer, we are beginning to welcome newcomers to our fold with ease; synergy would best describe how well we work together to present a discussion forum such as this. The sense of community unity we have, in and of itself, is a fine start to our event, held, once again, at the Frederick Friends Meeting House.

For starters, after a few opening comments from me, we get to know one another and the wishes attendees have for joining us on this chilly Saturday afternoon.

To the person, introducing themselves, people express distress about the current state of political and social conditions, on the heels of our 2016 presidential election. Yet, overall, we will spend our time skirting politics. Instead we will focus on personal reactions to what has occurred. And the effect the election fallout is having on close relationships.

To the person, each expresses a lack of ease with current circumstances, especially a disconnect with close family and friends. One woman poignantly voices the main thrust of hopes and desires; finding peace with the situation as it presently stands. After a few more introductory comments from me, suggesting the direction our program will take, attendees are willing to settle for improving communication skills with the hope that these may be able to increase their comfort, if only……, if only they can find ways to reach across current barriers.

So we begin. Dialogue versus debate as a practice takes center stage with people barely able to truly grasp the full significance of the exercise. But we make a start and everyone makes a respectable effort. By the end of our forum we have found an ease with one another that we may not readily find outside our meeting room, especially as most people say that these days it is even hard to acknowledge for whom you voted in the election without fear of stirring an upset.

I get high marks for content and presentation and feel gratified that New Horizons and myself have made a start going in the best post-election direction we can find; teaching the art of leaning in and, apparently, creating a safe, caring space within which others can make a beginning in that noble, often challenging, direction – leaning in.

I return home that night, get a good night’s sleep, waking to the joy of a sunshiny morning in the fresh mountain air. For my efforts of yesterday and all the pre-planning it took, I find myself, at last, feeling at peace with the election outcome and as at ease as I can be with the new administration under a president that I firmly believe "acts crazy" in my estimation regardless of what the psych tests might reveal.

I don’t like so many things now going on in our society and politics. I know I will remain cautious and vigilant for the coming term. And I don’t like that either.

I am tired of the shenanigans of both Republicans and Democrats but I’ll be darned if I will give up my faith in the Constitution of the United States and the American people and how these have successfully, until now, guided us to set our country aright in times it gets off. Barbra Streisand’s approach of blaming Donald Trump for her weight gain is far and away distasteful to me as an option for how to live my life under Trump or anyone else for that matter. 

As one of my old friends once said, "I am not about to allow politics to hijack my serenity!"

I voted for Hillary but sure didn’t want Bill back in the White House. I wasn’t too crazy about her either. They were just familiar and might not have been better at all to help get this country where it needs to go.

Next month New Horizons and myself will put on another Overcoming The Polarization of ….. Everything seminar, on April 1st. Our topic will be “Making Friends With The Enemy.”

I hope folks will join us as we get better and better, ourselves, and teach others the art of  “leaning in” in times of peace and in times of crisis in the U.S.A.

I think the magic lies in if we just keep talking as our friend Pastor George Earle, Jr. told us to do when we "saved Centennial."  

After all, just think about it; our First Amendment grants  us the freedom of speech. So if we are protesting, writing, teaching, lecturing as I am doing, meeting with others for dialogue as we did on Saturday, investigating and reporting as the media is doing, even arguing as lots of folks are now doing over social and poltical issues, we are exercising this freedom. This simple, yet not so easy track has brought us to where we are now, without too much bloodshed. 

Let's keep it up!