Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Back to school I go

I am determined to learn to be successful with my new radio show, Anastasia The Storyteller (and the Possible Society In Motion Show too) though there is all kinds of innovative technology to become skilled at implementing besides simply being the show host/narrator.
So I am, now, back in school, a student of this new way of doing radio, just barely catching on to the ABCs, definitely not one of the star students in the class. These days I have so much “homework” to do I can barely find time to do much else. If I thought that my many years of public speaking and training, supervision and experience on how to speak, train and lecture, professionally, would see me through starting up a radio talk show and, thereby, allow me to bypass all this new tech stuff, what a surprise I am having.

Not only do these new-type radio shows need those speaking and training skills I’ve been building up since I was little, now I have to learn the tech stuff too and, in some ways, how to do all kinds of new ways of talking.
Nonetheless, as the days go on since New Horizons took on these new radio show projects, last month, day-by-day I find myself becoming more and more immersed in tackling the challenges. And, I really do love the course I am on. The pain is, for sure, worth the gain. And, hopefully, before too long I will even have the know-how on how to have you join me on the air.

Still the effort can be grueling sometimes, at least for me. Furthermore,  the tasks I am learning seem to be changing me, somehow, though I can’t quite put my finger on how.
So I am writing home, now, almost like a kid away at some kind of sports training camp, or that of art, music or ballet or what have you, to say I am a bit homesick for you all. And, I don’t have much time to write. But I’m not forgetting where I come from and how much you are a part of me, even if I’m not writing like I’d like to be doing.

I will write more, again, as soon as I am able.
In the meantime, please know that I think of you always and miss you a lot. And, I do hope that when I am done, or at least further along, in becoming whatever it is that  I am growing into, you will still have room in your life for me, as I know I will have for you.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Learning Curve and the Transcendent Life

I am really excited about my new radio show, Anastasia The Storyteller. Challenging as it is -- and I’ll certainly say that it is -- with all kinds of new technology kinds of things to learn besides simply being the show host/narrator, as I prefer to call myself, I do like it, a lot!
However, for the past six weeks, since we, the organizing team for the kickoff event, finally presented our Overcoming the Polarization of Politics event on December 12 (originally scheduled for the day Hurricane Sandy hit, canceled and then rescheduled), my days have been over the top busy.

In addition to all the demands of my radio show, added to my writing articles for these two blog sites, the pressures of my life were truly getting to be almost more than I could manage. Learning so many new things and still continuing to manage what had, until then, been my ordinary life, such as it is, was truly getting to be a bit much.

What's next?
Then, add in to that stew pot, the election campaign and the “excitement” of the elections themselves – and --  the upheaval of Hurricane Sandy – and --  notoriously the end of the world on December 21 which was not, what have you got?
A brave new world, if you ask me!

Then, of course, you’ve got to include the Newtown tragedy.
So, if you know where YOU are, for certain, with all this going on, please send me a postcard from wherever that is, if they still make them and the stamps to go with them. Or, if you have any old ones stashed some where in your drawer, send me a note.

As for me, I am trying to get back to my books, especially the ones written by Murat, so I can refresh my mind about all that the transcendent life requires of new things to learn, if one is intent on reaching that peak of the Mountain of Awe.
It sure isn’t too easy, if you ask me. But I do love it!

Now that I have my radio show, I can access added ways of expressing myself, such as voice tones and inflections, where I can actually speak my words out on the spot, without editing (But, of course, with more risk, wouldn’t you say?) and, hopefully, offer more clarity, about what I am trying to convey, to my visitors (readers or listeners) as I attempt to talk about the world of awe that I live in, my  transcendent way of life.
That is, of course, when I am not falling down and scraping my knees. Such is my learning curve and the transcendent life.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Art of Transcendent Living

I have, now, watched a YouTube four or five times since yesterday of the Newtown children’s chorus offering their “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” tribute to the tragic loss of their friends in December’s horrific tragedy. I keep being drawn to it and its stirring message.
The deep yearnings of these youngsters, so innocently touched by loss, for healing and peace, communicated through their arrangement of this song, spotlights for me just how uplifting words such as those of that song, offered almost as sacred tribute, can be.
Who shall we

Will generations from now, upon reviewing the legacies of our time, be able to find inspiration in words, such as these, left behind by those of us here now? Will they find, through the expressions of our era, be they through speaking or writing, through art, music or dance, seeds of wisdom to help future inhabitants light a path to higher human consciousness and activity?

I took the words and song of these youngsters to heart as I was attempting to make my way through some of my own challenges with my new radio show. I was so stirred by it all. Thus  I was prompted to  wonder; how in times, other than crisis, can my words and those of others who, now, fill the spaces of the media, airways and cyberspace do our share to lift, rather than to offend, rather than, even being mediocre?

It is official now. Last night’s Possible Society In Motion Show marked a certainty. I have, indeed, crossed over from being a halfway decent blog article writer to, truly, being on my way as a radio show host.

Long time coming; I have, not just one show but two; one for me, all on my own!
Anastasia The Storyteller. Alternate Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m.  (See radio show links on this site.)

This is all wonderful.  
Now, how can I learn from these children to be better than I am?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Announcing: Anastasia The Storyteller, On-Air

Blog Talk Radio: The Anastasia The Storyteller Show
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
11;30 a.m.

So, this is where Anastasia has been this time; working with devoted board member Lisa to move my storytelling commitment and the vision I have been carrying that is brought forth into action through New Horizons, now, out onto the air waves and beyond.
Up onto the next level of community service, a radio show all my own.  Imagine that!

I guess, with a lot of help from my friends, I am healing, more and more, day-by-day, from my challenges of being blind and recovering from the ordeal.
My profile states --

From the serenity of New Horizons' Retreat Center at Harpers Ferry, Executive Director, Anastasia Rosen-Jones, shares stories of the lessons life has taught her, especially her eight years of being and recovering from blindness.

Sounds easy, like just the most natural next steps for New Horizons and myself?
Not on your life!

I am broken out all over with hives; stress, the dry heat of wood burning and who knows what else.

Still, I am in the game, anyway, and will give it my best tomorrow, a.m., holding the vision in my mind of all the support, connectedness and personal and collective growth I have been blessed with in the past six, going on seven, years.

Years of extreme and difficult, sometimes, white knuckle challenging of reengaging with mainstream life, like a modern-day Rip Van Winkle; the proverbial hero of Joseph Campbell’s "Hero With A Thousand Faces", fighting the good battle to share the golden chalice of rewards from the adventure without the threat of being crucified in the telling.

And, here I am, now, anticipating that the many rewards that have come forth from my writing these two blog sites that I write will now multiply many times over, for us all, as Anastasia The Storyteller seeks, like a butterfly to lift herself out of her cocoon and fly free.
Thank you so much, my loyal reader/followers. (Yet, for all of this, I must admit that when I am sent messages of love and support from Murat and those Beloveds surrounding him, as I received yesterday through Joan McIntrye, Elder of Murat’s Vernon, B.C. community, it does give me an added boost.)

So, please hold me in your kind thoughts, tomorrow, for this opening show which is described as follows.
The Art of Transcendent Living  

In the opening segments of the Anastasia the Storyteller Show, Anastasia introduces her signature topic; the significance of clarity (i.e. the seeing versus not seeing, psychologically and spiritually) as it relates to everyday life and relationships, personal and communal.

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 that Anastasia calls the "Mountain of Awe"), a peak that brings healing, joy and peace -- a sense of being in the light.

Stories excerpted from Anastasia’s book in progress,"To Or Not To See and the Art of Transcendent Living: A True Story About Clarity."

So, from the serenity of New Horizons' Retreat Center at Harpers Ferry, tomorrow, I, Anastasia Rosen-Jones, Executive Director and Founder of New Horizons, will share stories of the lessons life has taught me, especially my eight years of being and recovering from blindness – with a lot of help from my friends.
Please be with me, at least in spirit. Thank you all. Link below for my show.

P.S. At last check-in on stats, New Horizons’ new show, The Possible Society In Motion Show, first introduced on Thursday, December 27 has already had close to 5,000 profile views and close to 500 listens in to either the broadcast show or recorded podcasts.
Imagine that!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When the rubber meets the road

Imagining -- and -- taking responsibility after election madness and planning for the end of the world.

The essence of New Horizons’ Possible Human, PossibleSociety Study is all about that theme; visioning the best possible of you and me, co-creating the best possible society within which for us to all live and grow.

So here “it” is. And, here we are and I am.
To my way of thinking and perceiving, if it’s not the end of the world, we must be on the threshold of the brave new world. To my mind, signs are everywhere. 

So what have we got?

Children, barely older than babies, lying dead in Newtown, movie-goers massacred in Aurora, Colorado, media reports of violence and murder, devastation of every imaginable sort in all corners of the world. 

And here we sit, the U.S. with a second-term, elected president who definitely does not walk his talk with consistency; a pretender as a unifier, usurping the Nobel Peace Prize for “extraordinary… efforts, internationally, who cannot even come close to that vision in his own county.
But about you, and I -- and the roles and responsibilities we take or do not take, particularly, in our neighborhoods and local communities?

New Horizons’ Possible Human, Possible Society Study has been revealing In this aspect; the difference that is made in living out our ideals and how we really treat one another, when push comes to shove. There is much to say on this point. However, for now I wish to just recount an incident that brought the negligence of one another home to me a few years back; thinking globally, acting locally.

The year was 2001, early in the year. The school shootings at Columbine were still fresh in the collective consciousness of our citizenry while “911” was  a relatively far off tragedy to come.
A local radio talk show host had, somehow, gotten word of my work in non-violence community development -- and -- had invited me to comment on a more recent school shooting that was having our country astir, especially the local county just outside of Frederick, Maryland where New Horizons is often involved.

This tragedy had been enacted at a San Diego middle school. What made it of particular interest to this local radio show was that the adolescent boy who had exacted the lives of a handful of his fellow students was a young man had grown up in the local county, before having recently moved to California. Further recollection reminds me that there was some kind of marital dissolution that may have prompted the move.
Nonetheless, the adolescent soon-to-be perpetrator of violence and death, had been well-known and, apparently, well regarded, here, locally, apparently, relatively stable youth before the move.

So where had this shocking potential for violence been hiding, only later to erupt, leaving young students lying in blood? The conclusion, as I recall, was that bullying of this student in his new school had been behind the tragedy.
Many of the gory details have faded in my mind, blurred, no doubt, by the countless school murders since. Still there is one point I will never forget. The radio show host asked me, point blank, what I thought this young man should have done differently.

I was stunned by the question. But not too much so as to not have a response.

What should he have done differently?” I responded, taken aback by the question.
“What should a youth, in crisis and under the extreme stress of adjustment, have done differently?
How about what we should have done differently? He was, nearby to Frederick, or far away, a child of our’s. He belonged to us all. So the real question is “What should we, the adults, have done differently?”

Now, of course, recent tragedies by mass murderers have spotlighted extreme mental health issues. And, so it seems, there is a limit to what might have been noticed to avoid these tragedies.  All we can do is learn from this for the next time.

Still, when I am reminded of this tragedy of youthful violence and death, I sometimes put it, in my own mind, next to more subtly violent situations I have known. Such as what occurred at our last year’s Abkhazian Dinner where and when mature adults, ostensibly strong advocates of peace, consciously chose to ignore the racial, verbal violence directed at one of our guests by another. To this day, the ignorers,  are still asking, without apparent comprehension or remorse –
"How is it possible that 6.9 billion people can all claim to want the same thing (peace, security, opportunity, prosperity, happiness, and love) and be singularly unable to get it"? 
Neale Donald Walsch

The answer is obvious to me, if not to you.
There is no room in our lives to busy ourselves, endlessly, as people do when caught in the online world, politics and other media forms, with what others are doing (i.e. the president, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, etc. etc.), unless and until we pay more attention to the fact that “it takes a village” to raise healthy children into effective citizens in our country and keep our adults functioning well.
If attention is not placed there, close up, first and foremost, why wonder how our country may be failing us when we are the country, each and every one of us.

So ask yourself, when was the last time you looked the other way?
This is what we’ve got!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Waking up to a brave new world

I woke up in the late afternoon, yesterday, after already having, busily, spent the day. From early on, I focused my mind and near-endless work activities, trying to sort out my priorities as a participant in this brave new world, encircling us all in the year 2013. The time was approximately five o’clock p.m., day one of back to work, again, after the New Year.
It was, of course, clear to me, at that moment, that the world had not really been slated to end on December 21, 2012, nor anytime in the immediate future, thereafter. I believed all along, for the most part, that the Mayan calendar prediction prophecy was likely to be false. For one thing my son’s birthday is December 22 and I seriously doubted that the celebration of that blessed event would be revoked.
Nonetheless, the emergence of dawn, yesterday, i.e. a sense of beginning to awaken, came upon me at just about the time the sun was setting. By that time, I was on overload, feeling as if I could not do one more thing required of me on this first day back to work after the New Year.
All day long I had been “trying very hard” to do whatever seemed to be the next right thing, reducing the mound of papers that had been building up in and around my home office since just after Labor Day, last year, being top priority.  But, what had that actually accomplished, I asked myself, still feeling perplexed?

In addition to feeling bewildered, I wondered, where had the days, weeks and months gone since Labor Day. Especially as I had no doubt I was feeling almost burned out from whatever efforts I had expended?
And how had it come to be that I was just waking up at the setting of the sun when I had, in fact, been busy all day long?
Today, however, brought me a bit of enlightenment on making my way in this brave new world; after election madness and the predicted end of the world. Certainly I must do the laundry I had put off doing, just in case I would no longer need clean clothes, or maybe any clothes at all. Next blessing of blessings, today brought me an almost ordinary Tuesday with Sue, my like-my-sister collaborator;  New Horizons steering committee stuff to do, lunch and hangin’ out, as is our usual Tuesday, and preparing for our next board meeting, scheduled for Sunday, January 20.
So now as the sun sets, again today, I am reminded of the ordinary and yet the extraordinary of things happening now.
For one thing, Sue reminded me that the last time I was as far down to the bottom of my piled up papers as I am right now, which was after our last board meeting, September, 2011, I followed that up by inviting readers of our blogs to imagine that –
New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project is like a bubble, lifting up … anyone who wishes to join us to the higher realms of human consciousness and collective unity, peace and harmony… Not pie in the sky, but "real deal" action ways?
Why not remind myself to imagine that too? And, not try so hard to figure out the next right thing.
So with Sue to converse with, I am, now, remembering that although I know the enigma that New Horizons can be and how challenging it can be to pin down what we are about;  no more easily than the proverbial blindfolded monkey knowing what an elephant looks like, why do I have to always be so certain, myself, of what has yet to unfold?  Why not simply allow myself to just imagine, one day at a time, and let the story unfold?
We have entered a brave new world, now, and I am, presently, uncertain how best to proceed next. Clarity about other than the most basic priorities, day-to-day, is, at least for today, beyond my ken.
Bewildering is how that is for me, today, waking up to a brave new world.
Question: How is it for you, today, in this brave new world?
My  solution:  I need, now, to give myself over to just imagining as John Lennon’s words suggest,  “…all the people living life in peace...”, focus on a bit of faith and, as “My (Quaker) Sue” would say, “More will be revealed.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

If You Love/Like Anastasia, check it out!

Darn it has been taking some time getting these radio shows operative.  That is where Anastasia has been these many weeks. As in the past, I would have liked having been to the Mountain of Awe. I might have even preferred the yukk of the after “Abkhazian Dinner” batch of challenges.
But, no, this time I have been learning the “this and that” of Blog Talk Radio with its accompanying successes, thus far, and its snags.  Again and, gratefully, under the coaching guidance of talented board member, Lisa B.

Well, it’s all about win or learn, right? If you want to do this brave new world right.

So I hope I am back now, steady, for a while at least.

And, here I am with some news I want to share that I want you to celebrate and share with me.
Pretty, pretty please, if you will!

Through all the mish mash, take a look at what diligence (and my loyal, longest term board member, Lisa) has wrought –
Yum! Yum!
Opening episode topic:  

The Art of Transcendent Living

Based on excerpts from Anastasia's book in progress,

"To See Or Not To See and the Art of Transcendent Living: A True Story About Clarity."

Come on, now, don’t you think that is totally cool! 
Check it out!

Opening show: Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 11:30 a.m.
(Baring Goddess knows what.)

From Anastasia,
Up here in the still snowy mountains, wishing you a beautiful 2013!