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,

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: