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:

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.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Beyond Political Craziness

I have long admired the organizational underpinnings of Alcoholic Anonymous. This is so as my twenty-five years of doing private practice psychotherapy centered on treating relationship and personality addictions. While these are addictions of the non-ingested variety, as opposed to the ingested  (i.e. drugs and alcohol), full recovery from these addictions follows along most of the same lines.  A particular focus in treating both is on the individual giving up ego-driven control.

The workings of the alternatives are complex to understand. In my three books, collected under the title "Anastasia’s Random House Trilogy," I have done a fairly decent job, especially in the first of the three, Surviving Addictions, to explicate the dynamics of the non-ingested chemical addictions in the relatively easy to understand language of Transactional Analysis, my home base theory for my professional psychological work.

One of the areas lacking somewhat in that book, or at least insofar as I have been able to present it, as a result of my losing eyesight, is the topic of the collusion between the aggressive addict and the passive addict.

Herein lies the essence of codependency.  And herein lies a major piece of the phenomenon that is Donald Trump in office; the collusion of the aggressive (power addicted) addict (i.e. Trump) and his adoring public (i.e. the passive addict); the ones that are sheep; adoring is the keyword here, implying the reactive, non-thinking element.

Ask any long-term Al Anon member and they will, likely, understand the notion of collusion with the addict in a heartbeat. It is the center of personal derangement.

On the other hand, those who are highly reactive and "fighting" either for or against Trump, without due civility  (i.e. the media, depending on attitude, certainly often those addicted to the media/internet), may not be functioning as much in a problem solving vein as they might like to think. 

Without doubt,  we are in a major crisis these days with Donald Trump in office as head of state. Yet the path to probable solutions may need more practical thinking through than many on the either side of the extremes regarding Trump are recognizing. And, far less reactivity about our problems.  If you had an acting out alcoholic or drug addict in your midst, do you think many of the things being done to handle the problem would suffice? Would endless late night comedy or personal bashing do the trick? Or, would totally ignoring trouble spots that others see as so blatant.

Noting the words of Charles Krauthammer, referencing “Trump Derangement Syndrome” in his article, “The President Can’t Govern By Id,”Krauthammer comes right up on the dilemma running rampant throughout our country. He offers --
“What distinguishes Trump Derangement Syndrome is not just general hysteria about the subject, but additionally the inability to distinguish between legitimate policy differences on the one hand and signs of psychic pathology on the other.”
Ask yourself, can you distinguish between these two that Krauthammer points out? If not, you may not be allowing yourself to support Trump where he most needs you, or, at the other extreme "enabling," simply by accepting conduct on his part that functions "beyond the pale" or emotional health and stability. The latter can be as destructive as pushing back against him, aggressively or passively.

To understand one simple trouble going on with Trump; his inability to get his policies operative, needs to be viewed, I strongly hold, by paying heed to a philosophy that has built the, almost incomprehensible success of Alcoholics Anonymous, a success founded on “principles before personalities. Trump supporters see this strength in him. Don't push them away, if you are on the opposing side with anger and reactivity. 

Rather lean in and learn from others who may think differently than you. This is the path to genuine problem solving which we are in dire need of now! 

Be part of the team where warranted! Not necessarily on the Trump Team, but especially be a team with your family, friends, neighbors and local community and strive to find the healthy places for yourself, as your baseline. 

A president is not supposed to be akin to the Messiah. That means, use your own personal power to join with others in taking practical, united stands, without reactivity, to better our society in ways that matter most to you.

This is how you can make a difference, almost every day!  I have been practicing this lean in strategy since the election and have found amazing results, as I learn from people who voted for Trump while I did not. (I was not a Hillary supporter but did not know who else to choose so voted for her.)

I spoke on this topic, somewhat on my most recent show on The Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show. Soon, again, I will be discussing more on this theme.  Take heed!

The American public, to weather the storm, we are now living in needs more than any one thing I can see, to adopt this AA tenet. The goal, as in the Twelve Steps, is “recovery” of the United States of America, at its best, is demanding that “we the people” stop colluding with Trump.  But also stop fighting him, just because you may not like him or his acting out ways.

It is important to note here that passivity, reactivity and anger are all corresponding roles of responding to the aggressive/power addicted addict. Each is based on some form of “discounting” the solvability of problems. Reach beyond this for yourself. To something higher.

So be sure, that whatever you choose to do minimizes passivity, anger and reactivity with as much practicality as possible. In other words, do your best to stay calm, under the stress. Of course easier said than done in these times!

The three blog sites for which I write are designed to be linked with one another. Here is how to use them in this way.
All three of these sites have the principles of non-ingested chemical addiction recovery at their base, as developed originally by Martin G. Groder, M.D. and expanded by Marty and myself, as well as others that Marty mentored.

Also, listen to the discussions on my two radio shows for inspiring and informative conversations on society and politics from a variety of angles, both personal and professional.

Anastasia The Storyteller; and 
The Possible Society In Motion Radio Show
  • Please read/listen carefully what is posted here and on my other blog sites from here forth, if moving beyond the craziness of our current political crisis is your intent. 
  • Remember, pointing your finger at Donald Trump will only get you so far in handling these crazy times. 
  • You need, also, to get yourself out of the chaos, out of the reactivity and find ways in which to hold to your own center of values and ethics and think practically

  • From a New Horizons perspective, we hold that “life is with people. That means "lean in" to others who are different, ethnically, from yourself or merely think differently than you.
  • This means active grassroots involvement as much as you can manage, not just talk. And, also not fighting just to fight.
This is what we are offering here to help us all move “Beyond Political Craziness” and be able to survive – as well as we possibly can --- this challenging time.

Monday, June 5, 2017

I Apologize

  1. Hear more details on this story, Tuesday, June 6 on The Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio --

Why I Am Soooo Very Sorry –And – So Grateful!

Join the discussion by calling in at: 646.787.8624. 
Tuesday, June 6 at 2:00 p.m. Also on podcast.

I was horrified, heart sick yesterday when, after trying to reach my Beloved cousin, Sallie, I found out she had been avoiding me. The political toxicity of our nation, spreading in epidemic proportions, had infiltrated our relationship.


It was an awful experience to find out this had happened, in spite of my every effort – and – possibly hers -- to not allow this to occur with us.

From the little girl
sitting on the
 basement steps!
Now if I am to turn this ordeal into a “teachable moment” here, I must allow it to actually become a series of teachable moments, shared on this site. This has its drawbacks as I have discovered in the past that when I see that a topic I wish to present here begins to take shape in my mind, as a series, I often don’t get far in to developing the theme before something else attracts my interest and I go on to that.

Hopefully, the archives/labels on this site help you, my devoted readers, follow some of these threads over time. I certainly hope so.

Nonetheless, here I go with another thread for I don’t know how long.  I could actually do a whole series on my cousin Sallie. She and what she means to me would be well worth the time and effort. Nonetheless, for now I will simply try and stick to this one UPSET!!

Oh dear! Oh dear!

Well here goes my story about this awful upset.  I sincerely hope that sharing my tale of woe might help enlighten your thinking, if nothing else.

To set the stage:
  1. I am a registered Independent, formerly, as the majority of Jewish people would be, a registered Democrat. And, now for, as far as I can see ahead, a registered Democrat no more.
For all my former allegiance, I feel totally betrayed by the Democratic party, at least as I thought it was. I think, as a group, Democrats are not paving the way, at all, for the vision I hold of a healthy U.S.A.!

I hope if you are a registered Democrat, you will, at least, give me the respect and courtesy of not disparaging me for this!  And I truly mean this in more ways than I can say right here and now; Number One being, however, that I think enough is enough of the American public polarizing like most politicians are doing, more so these days than ever before, at least as I recall. But then, perhaps, I was only operating with some kind of childlike fantasy of what the world was like or could be like, thinking that Democrats, possibly, held the key to it.

How totally naive!

More, much more on this in my series ahead, if I ever get it all out!

2. Cousin Sallie is now a registered Republican; also a formerly registered Democrat, coming from much the same stock as me.

3. Cousin Sallie is totally Pro-Trump;

4. Right now I am not pro anything, or anybody. 

5. I just want people to come together and stop polarizing!!

Remember I am the little girl sitting on the basement steps! I don’t like it when people argue.

Over the years, as I have grown and matured, I have come to accept, even appreciate the need for conflict, debate and, at times, even marked polarization. However, I have also come to see that there is always a way through points of separation, if only as a temporary détente. 

If a higher good and peace and reconciliation are valued enough, people can stop fighting and bashing one another!

It’s an attitude thing, as far as I’m concerned!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

“Thin Places: Where We Are Jolted Out Of Old Ways of Seeing The World”

“Thin Places: Where We Are Jolted Out Of Old Ways of Seeing The World” was the title of a New York Times article on March 9, 2012. I had been searching under the key words of “thin places” when I came across it. I had just finished a first draft of “Chapter Two: Controversy” for my current book in progress, The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard: How Communities Come Apart and How They Heal. The chapter was to be critiqued this coming Sunday at the Frederick Writer’s Salon, the group that is a central support for me as I make my way through the, often arduous, writing of the book I now am devoted to completing asap.

Working on this book is a true labor of love with “love” being the keyword here.

I have never before written a full-length memoir although I have started two others; Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street and To See Or Not To See: The Art of Transcendent Living. Doing so, now, is demanding all that I’ve got inside of me, it seems. Nonetheless, I feel that I must tackle it though sometimes I literally hate it! 

There are some parts, however, that I like, a few I even hold with fondness though they are still in first draft form.  One of these is the section I finished last night. In that piece I am describing my drive home into the mountains where I live at New Horizons Harper’s Ferry Retreat Center. I offer it below.
Potomac Gap At
Harpers Ferry

The peaks of green I saw ahead, beckoned me as if welcoming me home. Soon I would drive through them and into them to actually be home, again. Nestled in the place I love most in the world, my private sanctuary awaited my return, abundant in lush beauty and serenity. Here, “away from the madding crowd” of town, I would sink into the richness and just let go; birds and trees, critters too small to see, deer roaming freely; sometimes too much, as they come close to my private dwelling for an early evening dinner feast, black bear hovering, I hope, beyond the boundaries I call home. 

Driving through the valleys on my route, the combination of mountains and valleys felt every bit as if they were the slim places of Celtic lore, where heaven and earth embraced, with little distance between them. Blessed was I, to be able to meander my way through such splendor, famously known by the words of Thomas Jefferson as being -- 
“perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature.” 
New Horizons and myself live just above what is known as the Potomac Gap of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The location rightly earns praise such as that of Thomas Jefferson. Truly it is one of the precious “thin places” that draw heaven and earth together.

As I write my book, based on a local Jewish/Muslim controversy in which I played a central role in its resolve, I write of my travels back and forth from my mountain sanctuary into the nearby town, seat of the conflict. In the telling of my tale, I find myself intrigued by the sparkling reality that, apparently, my life in these mountains, likely played a not insignificant role in helping me, no matter what, “Finding Light In The Darkness," that surrounded during the time of that episode.

I wish everyone would be as fortunate as I am, to have a “thin place” to call home. However, many people would probably not even enjoy what I consider to be luxurious living; quite a step down from a five star Hyatt accommodation.  Aside from the type of option I hold dear, I wish, minimally, all could, at least, visit sacred places such as this, routinely. I think if would help so much, especially in the era of Trump where so much turmoil abounds.

That New York Times article concluded with the writer’s assessment of the inclination for this neglect in people for personal care of body, mind and spirit with these words --
Maybe thin places offer glimpses not of heaven but of earth as it really is, unencumbered. Unmasked. 
Eric Weiner, New York Times, March 9, 2012.
Could it be that the avoidance of places in which to experience the coming together of heaven and earth, the “thin places," is, in great measure, how many, if not most, people, these days, keep themselves excessively caught up in the day-to-day upsets of Trump and Company pitted against the Democratic party and other anti-Trump factions?

I can’t help but see a connection here. The “thin places” are about coming together; heaven and earth especially, not separation. 

Think about it!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Beyond YOUR Prison Walls: A Tribute To Ken Windes

I have a dear neighbor who gives me her cast off copies of the New York Review of Books. The other day, after not having received this bounty from her for quite some time, she bequeathed me with a good six months plus supply. Leaving me a note explaining her absense with her gift, I discovered she had just faced the illness and passing of her father.

How honored and precious it was to me that when she began to see Light in her tunnel of loss and grief, she thought of me, once again. So there they were, a whole stack of NYRBs for my personal indulgence.
To my friend and guide
in truth telling,
Ken Windes

I can’t tell you how very grateful and happy I was!

Immediately I organized these journals in chronological order, deciding to carefully peruse each and every one of them, from cover to cover, in luxuriant leisure, beginning with the most recent. 

That one happened to be dated for March 23, 2017. As the contents of the NYRB are almost timeless, it was no surprise that what was written and published, more than two months ago, would then be discussing Donald Trump and his near ceaseless, chaos creating. This is now our daily fare much to the dismay of many, including myself.

The article I dove into voraciously, I admit, was titled “What He Could Do” by Mark Danner.

Well, of course, this same topic abounds ad nauseam these days. However, as the piece filled a good number of HUGE pages in the NYRB, it did have the added attraction of getting into a bit more substance than one can usually find in the print or online dailies, even in typical weekly columns.  I liked that.

Right away, when Mr. Danner spoke of how our national citizenship is now being held as Trump’s prisoners, he aroused a kinship feeling in me. Certainly that perspective is not far from my own daily distresses of which I go in and out these days. 

I thought this a well-substantiated piece, “What He Could Do.” Yet it evoked an uprising of resistance in me, bringing to mind my old and dear friend and mentor, Ken Windes, now deceased. I don’t want to write much of Ken here other than to state a few things in brief.

Ken was a former convict – and – protégé of my former mentor, Martin G. Groder, M.D.. This was during the time that Groder was the prison psychiatrist at the federal corrections facility at Marion, Illinois, built to replace Alcatraz. 

During that period of incarceration, Ken thought, wrote and practiced principles that were, in part, to become a portion of his personal signature as well as his legacy. He wrote of these in his piece "Walking Through The Walls." 

His main point, as I heard it many times over from him in the days I trained with him, developing skill at running what became New Horizons Truth or Dare Game, was –
We can walk through the prisons of our minds and not let them hold us hostage. Ken Windes
What I am getting at here is to state my own principle --
Donald J. Trump need not control your mind, your heart or your spirit!
Make up your mind to make this notion your reality, as Ken taught me and countless others to do similarly in his lifetime. Be determined to make this way of thinking a top priority for your healthy living under sway of Trump and his adminstration, at least for the next four years. Even though it might be a daily challenge to walk through those prison walls Trump is trying to instill in our minds, hearts and spirits.

Your survival depends on it. This is the way of the Compassionate Warrior, choose it!

(Compassionate Warriors carry within themselves a gentle strength combined with a determination to fight for peace and social justice. This gentle strength is based on a love of self along with a love for life and humanity in all its frailities. Compassionate Warriors, thus, fight on the side of right ahead of brute might/the Dark Side. i.e. on the side of the Force.)

This is some of what I have been practicing in recent days and weeks while I have been having trouble actually writing. I must do this and so must you.

I am back again now, I think, with more to come.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Signed A Mental Health Group Petition Declaring Donald Trump Unfit For Office

Today I am remembering some of the days of my life following my mother’s mental breakdown, after my little sister died. I was almost eight and had never known adversity at that age. I was very fortunate I realize now. I had had an almost idyllic childhood, embraced as an adored little princess in a huge extended family of loving grown-ups, nested, too, in the midst of a tight-knit Jewish community. My father, a young businessman was recognized as an up and coming leader of that community and the greater, civic community as well. 

Then all was dark and threatening; my mother’s mental illness looming over everything in my young life. The almost daily threats replaced what once had been, after she had thrown my father out of our luxurious home he had so prided himself on purchasing. 

From that time on, my mother’s beatings and ceaseless ravings that I should have died instead of my sister because…….; the reasons being numerous, became my daily bill of fare. My main fault being that I was alive and baby Sharon Iris was not, second that I was somehow “Just like your father.”

I have, long ago, with the help of psychotherapy, the sheer grit of determination and a devoted father who stayed as close to me as he could, overcome most of the debilitation these years of my childhood brought me.

But this morning I woke up feeling myself in the pit of despair like those years had held me in. Gone was my mentally ill mother. Gone were the years during which I had fought off almost daily bouts of feeling as if I wanted to die though my days might have been filled with almost undreamt of successes. So from where had this bout of fear come?

Trying to reach my mind beyond the darkness, seeking its promptings, my consciousness landed on a single source; Donald Trump as president of the United States of America!

Waking up to another day with Donald Trump in the White House sometimes feels like my mentally ill mother in charge of my little girl life; ceaseless chaos, lies and distortions of reality, fear for those less powerful (mainly me back in the days under rule of my mother.) Finding a way through the darkness to the Light sometimes feels daunting and exhausting these days. 

The single thing that makes it a whole lot easier, however, is that I know this time I am not alone in the craziness, as I was as an only child during my mother’s siege, holding me captive in her war with my father. 

There are almost endless checks and balances in our great country and the Constitution of our Founding Fathers. There were none of these for me when my mother held the reigns over my young life.

Last night I signed a petition asserting that “Donald Trump is mentally ill and must be removed.” The petition, originated with a psychologist, John Gartner Phd., who has been willing to break the Goldwater Rule and ask other professionals to join him. The rule states that mental health professionals cannot offer open assessments of the mental health of public figures. 

These professionals, of which I am now one, are willing to be rule breakers in the service of protecting our country. I totally agree! We, as mental health professionals, must take action and speak out that Donald Trump is dangerous, by virtue of being mentally unhinged; our collective professional opinion.

I am so grateful to not be alone in coping with craziness. And, so grateful to be a mental health professional, myself, with all the training and skills I have accrued, also applied to myself, and to know that I have a wonderful grounding in truth and reality that can help me through dark times such as these.  

How I wish such a petition could have protected my young life. But better late than never to make this world a better place.  Like Anne Frank said – 
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Horizons Announces Draining The Swamp Initiative

See this post for an update on this project.

I am sooooo excited! All the way from the tip of my toes on up, as high as I can imagine, from the top of my head into the great beyond.

After months, since the November presidential election until now, I have been off and then back on my center; my serenity all askew. I could not find my inner balance point and hold it for long. Trump and Company kept throwing out hard balls each and every day that kept getting me off. 

But I have a whole tool box full of strategies, accumulated for the past forty years or so, with a side pocket of good old Goddess medicine. I count on that tool box, “The Wise Woman’s Tool Box,” to get me through hard times.  So, relying on that equipage, I think now, especially after yesterday’s announcement of New Horizons "Draining The Swamp GAME," I’m strong enough to assert that I am getting my usual balanced, grounded togetherness back from here forth! 

Now I am ready and have gotten New Horizons ready with me for some fun and happiness. With the exception of other life shattering events, I am planning on holding on to this new state, better and better in the days ahead.

(In the case of earth shattering events, personal and/or collective, we will take that that issue up, if and when it comes.)

There is so much I could say on the subject of New Horizons new “Draining The Swamp GAME,” which is the crème de la crème of New Horizons overarching, new “Draining The Swamp Initiative,”based on our old Truth or Dare Game plus the entire cache of old New Horizons evolved into new New Horizons!

Whoopee! This may be the culminating moment of my prophecy.  I think. I think. I think it just might be!  If not, I’ll just need to keep climbing the ascension of my life, have more hard work ahead and celebrate bigger later.

For now, however, the top of my desk is a mess and my various other piles of “to do” stuff are lying all around. So I will just have to wait to get more of my good news out to you and see where it takes us. But it’s coming, now wrapped up in New Horizons “Draining The Swamp Initiative.”

Keep watching as we unfold New Horizons “Draining The Swamp Initiative” and make it work!

Next I am bound now for a good mountain road hike in the sunshine outside my office window and a bit of toning and stretching plus a good, but delayed breakfast before I go.

See ya! More later. 

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 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.