Thursday, July 13, 2017

An Open Letter To Our Loyal Followers


Also posted to New Horizons Small "Zones of Peace" Project blog site.

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

We invite your good wishes and prayers.

Dear Board Members and those about to become board members,

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

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

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

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

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

The time for my return is now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With deepest gratitude and affection,

Anastasia
Executive Director
New Horizons Support Network, Inc.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Telling The Truth And Knowing The Truth Are So Important: Part I


In my active years as a therapist, researcher and writer of psychologically and sociologically oriented books, I wrote one piece I have treasured ever since. And returned to, both for reflection and assorted teaching modules.

The piece was titled simply as “Telling The Truth."

It began like this – 
“Most of us like to think we are fairly honest. In fact, most of us believe, wholeheartedly, that we are committed to our personal integrity.
If and when someone questions our honesty or truthfulness, we are usually offended or angry.  Oh no!  Not I! What do you mean I am lying!
One truth I have come to realize over my many years as a psychotherapist and researcher is that the majority of people in our contemporary society are rather careless about telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 
How about you?
Realistically, the whole truth or the full reality of any given circumstance is pretty much beyond the grasp of ordinary folks. So the best we can do is tell the best possible truth as we know it, using that as our working truth until further notice. Overall, that is generally enough for most situations."
Carl Bernstein, noted investigative journalist, who along with his partner, Bob Woodward, exposed the Watergate break in cover up have, as one of their main principles about truth knowing (and I imagine truth gathering) that I rather like – 
“The best attainable version of the truth.”
According to Bernstein these words define the working premise he and Woodward use for their definition of the “truth.” It works for me.

We are caught in a political mess these days that is threatening every aspect of our lives. Based on the now accepted reality or “truth” that we cannot rely on the highest leader of our land to be truthful with us, it is more important than ever that we stand back and personally reflect on the role that truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth, plays in our lives, personally, professionally and POLITICALLY!

The challenge for us all is that, typical of all survivor types (And who isn’t?), is an inclination to be somewhat careless about telling whole truths. There are many reasons for this. In a series of forthcoming blog articles I will be addressing this issue with the added benefit of my excerpting them from the “Telling The Truth” article I wrote more than thirty years ago that has turned out to be more timeless than any other single written piece of mine.

More to come.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Why "Finding Light In The Darkness" Is So Important, Especially Now!


Dedicated to G.M. “Mike” Corrigan who tracked me down and pressured me for an interview and then became my friend. In honor of his wonderful contribution to our local community with his Friday night, non-partisan supper club.

My friend Mike Corrigan and our local Frederick News Post gave me a priceless gift a few years back. As a gift that just keeps giving, it means more to me today than it did ten years ago when I first received it. The bestowal came in the form of a newspaper headline and a magnificent graphic accompanying an article Mike wrote about me.

The headline read “Finding Light In The Darkness” while the subtitle stated, “Entrepreneur-turned-peace educator spotlights the “dark side” in non-violence training.” It is the graphic presentation of the piece, more than anything that truly wins the day in my mind, tying the words of the entire article together in a stunningly impactful way. When you see the visual appearance you are almost immediately reminded that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

I am not one to seek publicity, especially of me, personally. You can write and publicize my organization and its many wonderful programs and projects as much as you like, but about me? 

That’s another whole story and a long and complex one at that, having much to do with what I learned from Watergate plus more. The plus is grounded in how, during my eight years on the Washington fast track, I acted out my own dark side until love pulled me out of it!  

The more shows up with what I did with what both the D.C. fast track, in general, and Watergate, in particular, taught me about the Dark Side so I could always be on top of its sabotages rather than allowing it to control me.

Interestingly I am not in a position yet -- regarding this article, published August 6, 2006, to tell you about the many gifts this article gave me. This is also the case presently about my knowing precisely what Watergate taught me. However, none of this has one bit to do with what anyone else thought of that article, then or since. 

I can, at least, share one point, derived from my personal relationship with the article; the visual presentation mirrors back to me a critically important message for me, showing me how I managed to survive eight years of blindness and recovery.  

In a way, that article is, today, almost a living, breathing entity helping me “see” who I truly am at my fullest, publicly announcing that “Anastasia is a woman who finds Light in the darkness.” In a nutshell this is what blindness brought me, as a result of how I chose to manage it.

What a wonderful way to be known! 

(Unfortunately, I do not presently have permission from the Frederick News Post to display the graphic. However, one of my volunteers will soon be working to obtain it.)

Nonetheless, there is, at least, one message of the article for me to pass on to you: transcend the challenges facing you on the earth plane and lift them up to that higher place above, the spiritual, if you want to move through an ordeal, optimally. 

Apply that notion to today's political chaos and what do you get? Some peace of mind in the midst of it all!

That message, in and of itself, becomes a reminder to myself that I carry that capability, “finding Light in the darkness,” as one of my personal attributes. 

You have it too! We all do if we exercise it. In times of crisis we must draw upon it, our spiritual capability, to help us with our physical plane challenges such as are facing our nation today.

For added emphasis here, a New Horizons promotional page for one of my three books in progress, To See Or Not To See And The Art of Transcendent Living: A True Story of Clarity, from an old, outdated web site of ours, spotlights the message I take from the article with slightly different words.
”Anastasia’s story is about seeking clarity with eyes wide open – welcoming “what is” even when it is painful. Scaling one’s personal mountain of darkness and reaching clarity (the summit) brings healing, joy and peace—the Light.”  
Lately, I have begun a serious in depth endeavor to seek a more comprehensive understanding of myself, regarding my ability to “find Light in darkness.” Donald Trump’s election to the White House has prompted this, I believe. And yet the prophecy I had at the time of Watergate also strongly influences this thrust in me. 

How these threads come together at the present moment seems to be that I believe that now is my soul-designed time to give back what I have learned through the journeys of my life, especially in this time of social and political crisis facing American citizens now.  

What it means to “find Light in the darkness – and – guide others to effectively do so seems to be an assignment of mine. “Finding Light in the darkness” is, to my mind, one of the most essential tools an individual can employ to manage today’s circumstances. A heightened perspective, beyond the internet and the daily barrage of media hype of what’s happening now can enable each and every one of us to lift ourselves up and out of the, sometimes frightening, distress of our daily lives.

Noted author, teacher and healer, Carolyn Myss, calls it the "helicopter view" of life. For me that is another way of urging “find the Light” in the darkness every step of your way.

All of this is why "Finding Light In The Darkness Is So Important, Especially Now! 

You can hear a bit more of my story of how I brought myself to learn to do this on my podcast titled, “The Art of Transcendent Living.”

You can do it too.  If you need guidance, I can also be available to assist you.

Contact me at: SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What Did I Learn From Watergate?


I’ve been trying to articulate what I learned from Watergate as far back as when I first introduced my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show in 2013. (You can hear that show at this link.) Back when I began that show my every intent was to create a platform for myself from which I could begin to tell the many stories and lessons I had learned from my eight years in Washington and my connections to the fast track world I lived in there. 

I began that series, first with sharing my belief,  in The Art Of Transcendent Living, that we can all rise above the political trappings that seek to ensnare us as is presently going on. In my second show I shared the "Prophecy" that occurred the day before Nixon resigned and has guided my life ever since. At the time a wonderful group of my friends actively supported this endeavor of mine. As a result some of them, especially my long term friend, Gloria, participated on the shows with me as guests and my honorary daughter, Terry. (Terry still does this with me now, on occasion.)

One of the most fun times of that period was the online birthday party show I had. It didn’t turn out to be much in the way of a high quality radio show program. And, it certainly didn’t go much of anywhere in furthering my effort to share what I had learned from Watergate. But we sure had a lot of laughs doing it, particularly as all kinds of tech problems were plaguing me that day. They definitely put a spotlight on how un-savvy tech-wise I was at the time and still am, more or less. 

Still the show did go on. We made it through and now, to boot, we have a podcast to hold in perpetuity, at least as long as the internet and the world survives. 

You can hear some of my early stumbling around on the issue (this show has been renamed "Storytelling As A Vehicle For Change) and a handful of abortive answers to the question if you visit the web site of Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show and listen in to any of the podcasts from 2013 – 2014. They aren’t very elegant but you might learn a thing or two, or have a laugh or so, especially if you listen to my online birthday party, July 18, 2013.

At the time of these early shows I was focusing on writing my Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street memoir. I thought at the time that my broadcasting of these programs could readily combine with my book writing project to help me reach my goal of sharing “what I learned from Watergate.”

(I have since put that piece down, replacing it with The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard memoir for the time being.)

Also at the time, I spent a good bit of time considering where Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street needed to go if it was to have the impact I wanted it to have. In particular I wanted it to  reflect the power games of Washington and their effect, as I lived it. These game continue on today and they can be deadly, especially for the innocent (Think Chandra Levy). They especially affect the many thousands of young people who flock to Washington to work on the Hill, in the White House and in the many surrounding government agencies and non-profit organizations. 

I know that world well. And I know its dangers. (Think that old timey book/movie “Looking For Mr. Goodbar” and you will know why I thought it important to reflect on the suicide of L. Wren Scott on several of my online radio shows. Been there, done that!

Yet at the time of my investment in that book, I was still in a wait and see mode, depending on how the 2016 presidential election campaign would turn out. If Hillary was to win, the book would have incorporated how I had become involved in the women’s movement at the tail end of my days in Washington. Certainly I could not imagine where life would head if Trump were elected. Unfortunately life these days now remains a toss-up about any future plans as a result of his win, at least as I see it in our society and politics.

The home front life, for now, remains pretty much the same, give or take.

In the early days of my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show I kept asking myself this question, “What did I learn from Watergate? and trying to articulate my answer for my listeners. But I never did nail it down. Now I am asking myself again in this season of my serious annual July Birthday Month reflections.  That’s just how I am.

I do not yet have THE ANSWER of what I learned from Watergate. But here are a few of the things that stand out for me now.
  • How to identify a power/aggressive addict;
  • What to do about power/aggressive addicts when they show up in my life and/or those close to me, personally and/or professionally;
  • How co-dependent personalities intertwine their passive addictions with the power/aggressive addict to foster a whole multitude of problems;
  • What the dynamic exchange of power as a currency looks like between these two types: power/aggressive addicts and passive/codependent addicts;
  • How to break up this dysfunctional system;
  • How to transform the toxic energy of that toxic system into something life-affirming and wonderful;
  • The role lying plays in the GAME between the power/aggressive addict and the codependent/passive addict;
  • How swamp draining in Washington can be accomplished, for real, one person at a time.
and probably a bunch more.  But I will stop here for now as I think I am beginning to see, for myself some, succinctly, of what I learned from Watergate.

I think I’ll now take time to chew on what I’ve learned while I consider what to do next with my bounty.

If you don’t have these lessons down pat for yourself as I absolutely know I do for myself and anywhere I am asked to serve on these issues, just ask Anastasia The Super Sleuth

She/I will be more than happy to share what we know, intellectually, and guide you to know the answers for yourself, experientially.

Anastasia The Storyteller/Super Sleuth can be reached at: 
SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com.



Friday, June 23, 2017

The Squeeze


A nightmare brought me into the morning today. In it I saw an army intent on squeezing the life out of each and every person it could find.

This army sought to destroy life. At a more benign level they had no regard for the living; the people, the plants, the animals, the sun, the rain or the clouds. 

I wondered what they thought of their own lives. Then realized that they had little in the way of true human thought; the thoughts of a developed humanity.

Something was lacking in this army, something we equate with a true humankind at its higher levels; caring and compassion, developed to the level of beauty and love.

In my dream I saw myself running, trying to flee from this army that would squeeze the very life out if me, if they could take me over. I did not want this!

I was just one more obstacle in the way of their master plan to eradicate life; one more target to be done away with in their effort to lay low the landscape of a once fertile earth.

From where did this vivid nightmare dream come?

Dream theory has it that our dreams are often created out of the residue of happenings of the prior day.

Was it that headlines of last evening stated Trump was seeking a health care plan with heart and our Republican congress had disappointed him with that? Don't they know that nobody wins unless everybody wins?

Or was it the fact that yesterday I came face to face with the realization that someone I had trusted to be my friend had betrayed me?

Or, was it, as dream theory also suggests that every element in our dreams reflects an unconscious part of oneself. Consequently the Dark Side of me was bent on the destruction of those I experience as obstructionist to my life and well being?

Any way I look at it, it's not a pretty picture.

The potential for darkness exists in each and every one of us. But always we have choices about how to manage it.

I pray I will always make the best ones. I haven't always known to do that.

I hope in my maturing I am doing better.

How about you?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Draining The Swamp:" Now Beginning To Look Like An Interactive Game In The Nation’s Capital


Check this out for starters:

The GAME Is On! A Modified New Horizons’ Truth Or Dare Game Seems To Be Coming To Capital Hill

When I started thinking of “Swamp Draining” as an updated name and theme for New Horizons’ “old” Truth Or Dare Game, I was developing a concept for application, for New Horizons, from all the hype being  spread throughout the media and various other places.    As I wrote, previously, on my Dark Side Warrior blog titled “Swamp Draining As A Metaphor For Social Change,” my plan did not quite fly when it came up against my trusty, devoted, long-term and sometimes laser-beam Communications Chairperson and board member, Lisa, who took issue with it.

So back to the drawing board I was sent by both her and myself; the former because she wasn’t “having it” as a way to tag New Horizons and its ultra-fine community development and reconciliation programs and projects. The latter because I, according to New Horizons principles and practices, couldn’t move forward without board synergy,  

But what about me, I wailed? What about what “I” want (all about ME).

This saga, as it is now unfolding  is a lesson in and of itself for those of you who regularly follow my/our blogs. 

You see at New Horizons we are certain that among the principles we must heed to be in alignment with our mission, both synergy and win-win have critically high priorities.

Take a look at our Climbing The Mountain of Awe page on the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project site to get a brief overview of some of our overarching principles.

Bottom Line: New Horizons and myself, the esteemed leader of our pack, were, thus, stuck for awhile. This is why there there were so few posts on our sites in May, I couldn’t figue out what to write while we were in that quandary.

Look for me to make up for lost time, now, from here forward, as we begin to untie the knots of our tangle. 

Today, the unsnarling is beginning to allow me to highlight some of these critically important points as they unfold and begin to illuminate themselves in the process. 

This will be how for me, Anastasia, to talk to you about what "instead of draining the swamp," as the politicians speak of it, while not allowing that drama to taint the message of New Horizons Small "Zones of Peace" Project. Fun ahead!

So if moving “Beyond Political Craziness” is something you’d like, not only for yourself but also for our entire nation, keep reading. 

My platform starts off with the following notions. 
  • As an agenda, as promoted by Donald Trump, as well as his predecessors who chose to use the metaphor, “draining the swamp” as an image for cleaning up corruption in Washington, the phrase has always  set up a no-win GAME.
  • So allow me, here and now, to suggest there is a developing possibility that this agenda is now to my EYE beginning to show evidence of containing within itself the seeds of an “everybody wins” potential. Inadvertently, without a doubt!
  • How this potenting "everybody wins" outcome might be germinating right smack in front of the eyes of the American public, is now being played out in the political arena, and is quite complex. However as it develops I will guide you to: 1. Recognize it; 2. Analyze it; 3. Comprehend/Understand it; and 4. Take some relief from what you SEE.
I  will do my best to guide you in this attainment, as almost everyone I know of or hear of, would truly like some relief from our current political craziness.’

For the rest of my story, continue over to my Exploring Your Dark Side Warrior blog site for some of the theoretical underpinnings I will be attempting to share with you. (“I” the Wise Woman of Elk Mountain.)

My input on these perspectives will require that you read back and forth from this site, Anastasia The Storyteller, for back stories to Exploring Your Dark Side, to get the gist of my platform and my introduction to relevant theoretical underpinnings. Now in progress. Keep checking in as postings begin to be offered. (To obtain a deeper grasp of these, one must seek more than I can post in a blog. Contact me, if you wish access to this at: SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com.)

I intend to make the effort worthwhile for my devoted readers, as herein will lie something to think about – and sometimes – do rather than feel endlessly stressed about our troubled times. 

May the Force be with us all!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

What About The Music And The Dance?


What about the sun and the sky, the moon and the stars, the birds and the trees, the plants and the flowers?

In tapping into daily human life in these turbulent times, it often seems we have forgotten the basics that support our lives; the oxygen and heartbeat of our lives that sustains us; the music and dancing that celebrate life.

We need these to replenish what the hard times demand of us.

Remember this.