Monday, October 28, 2013

Ms Success by day, suicidal by night…

…and the underbelly of the beast

Another tale excerpted from “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street”

“Why the extremes Anastasia?” you might be asking, if you read my last blog.

“Why so attentive to tragedies and catastrophes?”

Having “lived” the extremes (past tense that is) with decades since, pledged to my emotional and psychological health and serenity, I’ve learned a few things I want to pass on, to the youngins, particularly.  

That’s why!

I want to share with you how it was that I got from there to here to have, an almost wonderful, though far from easy life. I want you to draw inspiration, strength and wisdom from my experiences. And, heed, if you are inclined, the lessons from what I am selectively revealing. This -- for the sake of my healing, wholeness and liberation. The latter in line with my intention that “Anastasia The Storyteller,” the blog site and the radio show, could be, a venue for me to, at last, remove those 1000 masks I wear; all of them -- me.

How very fitting to take another serious stab at this unmasking, just in time for Halloween.

If I have nothing more to offer, I, at least, have my authenticity and from this I leave you my stories; stories, of course, being some of the richest treasures of a life.

For my well-researched, well-documented solutions to the problems addressed in this article, find out more in Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure of A Lifetime and at the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project.

Now about those extremes, which are a significant part of the underbelly of the beast of success, ala Anthony Weiner.

If my meaning is not immediately clear, in time it will be so. Patience will be your virtue here. But don’t hesitate to ask for the more you would like.

(You can contact me, directly, at:

In the meantime, walk your way through my stories on “We came for Camelot,”  “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street” and beyond in other stories, fraught with clues that meander here and there on this blog site. (Also check out “The Man Who Believed In Evil.”)

Allow me to, now, discuss my book-in-progress project and its related intent of getting out from under whatever masks I still wear.

The cost, is, was and always had been, at the expense of – “whatever?” 

So, herewith, I advance the story of my book-writing adventure, revealing a few notes on  beginning the next, immediate leg of research a month ago.

The commencement, officially, was launched by my attending several meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous in Washington, D.C.  How about that!

No, I am not a “real deal” alcoholic. However, suffice it to say that it was, here, in our nation’s capital that I learned the art of “work hard, party hard” as the choicest path to success in the American dream package. Thus, these particular meetings, held in the very heart of the beast, the central business, power- laden home to the offices of untold lobbyists etc., K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., are smack in the midst of what became for me, the fire pit of my adult awakening.

Oh, I would have been a great candidate for AA back then; disease or not.

My tales, readily, emerge from there -- “work hard, party hard.” The underbelly, also, including the repulsion I felt, being relentlessly stalked by a Senator, endeavoring to set me up as his mistress, no doubt, to be funded by his congressional pay.

Scarey. What does an innocent, twenty something do up against this kind of power and prestige?

Dummie me, I was too naïve to understand the episode until decades later. But I sure was intimidated and scared.

(If you care to do the research, now in the archives at the Smithsonian, “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street” most directly ties to “Burgeoning Business Brims Over: Twenty-seven year old starts runaway personal shopping service” – Washington Sunday Star newspaper, September 24, 1967. Check it out. That, of course, be me and the basis for “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street.” However, we will hold off on that celebrity entrepreneur part for a bit. So please bear with me. You will not be disappointed, I assure you.)

Question: How do women of today, eager to break the glass ceiling world, dominated by the male power sector, bypass these temptations and dangers?

Answer 1: Emily Yoffe addresses the “work hard, party hard” aspect of the topic eloquently in College Women: Stop Getting Drunk, underscoring the main reason I chose to visit AA meetings as my first research step for “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street.”
Answer 2: PG – Parental guidance, also, suggested.

The real deal for me is that I could never be bought! I hope you cannot either.

So I offer my stories that you and your’s will be just a little bit stronger and wiser than some of our sisters who did not make out as well.

Or, who might still be inclined to think and re-think the price they are willing to pay to break through that glass ceiling.

I’m so glad instinct protected me from the underbelly of the beast where parents did/could not.

Now, how about asking me, how I, now, see transforming the Dark Side of society and politics.

You can begin by exploring all kinds of dark side transforming strategies on the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project blog site.

More to come.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

There by the grace of G-d go I

Lessons I learned in my era of “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street”

As in my last blog, reporting on the most recent episode of my radio show, Anastasia The Storyteller, we had a juicy discussion.
Listen to it, if you are becoming, at all, intrigued by the unfolding adventure we are having.

(Communications Director, Lisa, blog and radio show coach, liked the one before much better. Oh, well, I still like this one.)

To my mind, in this episode, my honorary daughter, Terry, asked several “pregnant with possibilities” questions; many a long night’s stories to be told.

One question, noted below, got me thinking about some of the near misses of my days on and around K Street.
Terry’s question --

How is the Washington political scene different today from the past?
I gave my answers, based on what I experienced and learned, back in the day -- and see today. You can read my points, as presented, on that earlier blog.
In summary, the main points are:

  •  Same game in Washington as the late ‘60s with some important variations that have the potential to make a difference, over time, if we last that long. 
  • Moral: The “Washington Power Game” is dangerous for the innocent. So give up your innocence, your self-centeredness and laziness. And, get real and, personally, responsible (if you are not yet on it)!
Read my blog on “Bypassing Washington.” It contains my best advice.
Below, I offer some hints as to some of the specifics of the worst dark side pitfalls, as I came to know them.  Awful as some are, they are still alive and well, potentially, in the nation’s capital.
Are you a part of the solution? Or, part of the problems?
Clue: When you rely on Washington… Well, you figure it out!
If you want details and my input on how we might turn things to the better, they will emerge as dialogue continues, specifically on-air on the topic of this mss in progress.
From Anastasia’s near misses experiences, the consequences she managed to escape, at least sooner or later,  and the lessons these taught her –“There by the grace of G-d go I."

Tragic, near tragic or tragicomedy nears misses, exemplified by those who did not miss.  And, cautions to heed.

(Links below are primarily about the survivor/addict, down side of Washington's power games. These are relevant to near misses, as I lived them.

The upside, as I also know it, can be a celebration! However, the upside is a team game; a win-win game that we are currently having a hard time learning to play. My stories are offered in the hopes we can look forward to many of these! Storytelling is such a rich path to peace.)

·         Chandra LevyMr. Goodbar is always only a step away for the innocent in D.C., if one is young and lovely and not careful enough;
·         Janis Joplin – Fame and fortune, not quite cracked up to be the best path to follow, especially if love is what you’re after. The Rose with Better Midler touched me deeply as a depiction of this deadly aspect of the power game; the celebs’ co-dependency game at its worst.

Chemical Addictions, accompanied by wild acting out (but a whole lot tamer in my era):
·         Janis Joplin
·         Lindsay Lohan

Domestic Violence
·         Charlotte FeddersLooking good on the arm of a powerful man but not so good behind closed doors.

 Dominance and oppression via the dark side agendas of elders, combined with youthful rebellion
·         Pinocchio

Sexuality as image ahead of intelligence
·         Melissa Mayer

Leaning in, meaning single-minded focus on breaking through the glass ceiling of corporate America
·         Sheryl Sandburg

Stupidity, combined with lack of experience, value development and people who get a kick out of your sexuality. Make lots of money, but not always the cleanest way to go for your real talents. Survival-driven.

·         Miley Cyrus

You can see from my list some of these examples have more lethal consequences than others. And, some have mixed blessings; the light and the dark sides of power, money and status. It might all be in the choices and the protection behind one.

The good news is that, today, we have the opportunity for more and better informed choices – and – strong sisterhood supports.  These make a whole lot of difference.

Listen in to my next Anastasia The Storyteller episode when we take up this issue. We will be talking about “Feminism to the rescue,” in the era before Watergate.

 More to come.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Making “it” relevant

Anastasia’ excerpted stories of Washington in the era before Watergate
“Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street”
 “H Mom” is short for Honorary Mom. That be me!

The role was already mine for decades before Terry’s biological mom, Mary Jane, officially, bestowed it on me. Shortly before she passed away, December, 2003, she asked me to proxy for her (as if anyone really could).  
Now almost twenty-five years, total, that I’ve had this position. I take it quite seriously. Terry does too.
With my new book in progress, “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street,” dedicated to my own biological daughter, Elisa, (who will choose, perhaps, forever, to be a non-participant in the unfolding), it makes sense to me that it is Terry who is, now, walking through the process with me; the surrogate daughter, asking the questions a youngin’ might want to know, as the baton passes on to the next generation.
Having conceived, this, presently gestating, child of my body, mind and soul, “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street,” out of the first show Terry and I did together, of the same title, this youngin’ of mine has been prompting me to take a good, hard look at what I have done with my days, thus far; the what and the why.

The question, Terry asked, that kick started this, now unfolding book writing adventure, went something like this –
How (OMG, no!!) – Terry’s emphasis) on earth did you get from there to here?

Well, I guess this book is the answer to that (in 300 words or more); a very long, detailed answer!
(You might be wondering the same, with your own OMG, once we start posting some of the memorabilia.)

In the meantime, listen to that show to begin drawing your own impressions.
I’m sure you will enjoy the peek in, if you are becoming intrigued.

Anyway, my main point here is that in this week’s show, Hot Pants, Motorcycles & K Street; Making it relevant”, Terry asked several other questions, pregnant with possibilities.
Here are the main ones that got us started on what came next --       

Terry, reflecting on what’s going on now in our society, relevant to the political scene (paraphrased):  
·         How is the Washington political scene different today from the past?

·         How has what you, Anastasia, learned back then influenced the decisions you have made since?
As you can imagine, these questions opened the door to a long night’s tales.
Anastasia’s answers: Short version, key points.
·         Same game in Washington as the late ‘60s with some important variations that have the potential to make a difference, over time.

(Look for these to be discussed in forthcoming show episodes.

Next: “A Feminist Spirituality to the rescue

·         One same – the young people who are drawn by their youthful ideals to work in the Washington fast track will, often, end up being shark bait for the predators;

·         I (Anastasia) had many near misses.  And, sadly, have often reflected on Chandra Levy’s tragic death with the thought -- “There by the grace of G-d, go I.”

·         “Mr. Goodbar” was lurking everywhere in the “shark suits” of Washington’s power game players/leaders;

·         Moral: The Washington Power Game is dangerous for the innocent.
Stories like these give strength to the fact that a “girl needs her mother.”
More to come on –

Making Anastasia’s stories of “Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street,” relevant to today!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Making gifts relevant

“Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street,” mss in project and other stuff

I hope you’ve missed me of late. I’ve been a bit unsociable, at least as far as posting articles; not clear on my priorities, unable to find my center and readily identify my daily number one, two and three top “do” items. Too much going on, or so it has seemed.
Opportunities abounding, everywhere I turn, is most of the challenge right now, but not only. There have been a few lemons but the lemonade seems to be easier to make these days. I don’t know why.

Anyway, here’s some of what’s been going on behind the scenes while I’ve been kinda quiet for you.

Sue, sitting on the boat dock,
reading Murat's new book. 
When Sue and I left for Canada in early August I was feeling right on the money in terms of daily priorities.  The need for a vacation, however, was long overdue. So I opted to let go of focus in exchange for some “go with the flow” time, rest and relaxation.  By the time we returned, several weeks later, I was, indeed, improved in the manner time-outs intend; renewal had, definitely, been attained.
However, I felt so “new,” in some very basic ways, I could not figure out how to rejoin with the “old.”
In terms of getting caught up with you, I do not know, yet, how.  So much has happened since we left for Canada. More on the invisible/inner level, as far as you might see.

I am, nonetheless, as it turns out, vastly, unable, these days to even get caught up with me.
Hoping to connect some of the dots, allow me to offer these few items to aid the clarifying. Maybe, making a start, I will be better able to articulate later.

1.      Our Beloved community development mentor, Murat Yagan, published his new book in July;

2.      As enriching  as was our vacation, the fact that Sue and I each received complimentary copies of the book just before we left so we had them to take with us was BIG;

3.      The fact that we contributed an article to the book might, also, turn out to be BIG, too, at some point (I/we have no perspective on this as yet. However, you can read our final draft of that article, here, and, perhaps, you might let us know);

4.      Murat’s new book seems, in some unfathomable way, to have been of even greater import than that marvelous trip we took. Thus we arrived at Sue’s family’s summer home with, not only all else we had packed, but that profound tome to highlight it all;

5.      Somehow having this book with us seems, also in some unknowable way, to have prompted my own new book to just about pop out of me, like an overdue baby I’d been pregnant with for a very long time. (Draft outline completed in just one sunny afternoon on that dock in the picture above!)
See how vague I am. So sorry but I am at a loss to say more, coherently, right now.
      Except for one thing: 

Today, my honorary daughter, Terry, my long-time friend, Gloria, and I presented a wonderful radio show.
If nothing else, I think that show did enable me, somewhat, to speak of the vastness (of what might still be invisible to you), a tad bit more relevantly; kind of earth plane though I am at a loss as to how.

More to come when I can piece more things together.

In the meantime, be sure to listen to that show. It was definitely going in the right direction of relevance.

And, thanks, so much, for continuing to read my blogs, especially when I have had so little to say. This consciousness transformation business is really something!

Also, do read what I have posted, so far, about Murat’s new book that has, as its subtitle, “The Universal Science of Awe,” which seems to be about where I am living right now.