Monday, June 30, 2014

OMG! It’s Almost July – My Birthday Month!

Not being one to miss out on celebrating (even if it be by myself), I need to turn my mind to this.

Birthdays and anniversaries in my family have always been a time to take note of one’s progress in life, or lack thereof.  A slight bit like the Jewish High Holy Days in terms of the need to self-assess, but without the holy part.

Last year at this time, as usual, New Horizons was readying itself for our annual board meeting.  We typically hold it on the weekend closest to my birthday. Not because I’m so extra special but because my birthday just happens to be almost right smack dab in the middle of the year.

Also, it is particularly nice out here on the mountain at this time of year. So people don’t mind, in fact rather enjoy, the trek up here.

In case I might be inclined to forget, luck has it that my birthday is exactly two weeks after the fourth of July, July 18 to be exact.  Fourth of July, easy to remember the “4,” then add two weeks, 14 days, and, voila, there it is July 18!

My own special day, along with Red Skeleton, John Glenn, the astronaut – and – Nelson Mandela as well as countless other beings!

Google tells me that among my strengths is emotional sensitivity for myself and others, unfaltering optimism, diplomacy (because of the sensitivity and optimism, I guess) -- and – imagination. No wonder I was always so much at home at Disneyland!

Having judiciously contemplated these few points, relevant especially to me, I called up a few friends – and –my ever loyal board members.  They supported my heart’s desire to celebrate my birth-day and re-birth day along with a next New Horizons’ community-building day (like more of what we began to do last year).

Yup! There it is another New Horizons's community-unity day on the way. And, me to be the   guest of honor for my special day!  How very lovely.

In July, celebration comes easy.

(Any excuse will do.)

By invitation, only, and for women only, Saturday, July 19.

Friday, June 27, 2014

I Know Where I’m Going – And – I Know Who’s Going With Me

How beautiful it is to have even a modicum of certainty – these days – of where one is headed – and -- to know who’s going with. Amazing Grace, how sweet it is!

Listening to the podcast of last night’s Possible Society In Motion Radio Show, titled “When Worlds Collide” is what affirms these feelings in me today.

Jack and I took up a highly charged topic on last night’s show; religion.  And, with Jack’s astute clarity of mind to guide our progression I think we made some inroads for the mission of our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show.  Our intention of creating, conjointly, a teaching series and a discussion forum on the art of overcoming polarization was actually in motion as we spoke on-air and on the conference call that followed.

Bravo. I was lost and now I’m found. The people in my life with whom I am traveling now are the "IT" of it.

On the other hand, when I first commenced my return to post-911, mainstream life, after my eight year sabbatical (1998—2006) due to losing my eyesight (but never my vision), it seemed that only Rip Van Winkle could be a likely comrade for the sharing of the challenges I was encountering.  What an experience of separateness that was!

Not exactly polarized but truly without connection.

If you know anything about Rip Van Winkle, you know he slept away for more than twenty years. Among the experiences he had upon awakening was that he found the world around him changed significantly (as in America after 9/11).  And, while he slept he more or less lost his place in that world (Me too!). Along with that, Rip  discovered that his clothes were antiquated (double ditto!). And,of course, the relationships he left behind all those many years before had also fallen by the wayside.  (Mine too!)

Along with that there was another complication for me. Though any one would have their certain unique circumstances if somehow or another one simply checked out of life for a term. No matter the reason.

Parallel, but obviously not quite the same as Rip Van Winkle,  the situation of blindness and recovery from blindness, such as I experienced, has its share of quirks. For example, better than a third of those of us who have regained their eyesight after extended blindness walk with their eyes closed and/or sit in the darkness.  This being one of the peculiarities of my adventure.

So it should come as no surprise if I say that I had a mighty difficult time returning to mainstream life. Friendships and collegial relationships not the least of it. Recovering from being blind was actually harder for me than being blind.

Now eight years later, having paid my renewal dues, big time, “I was blind and now I see.”

And, do you know what I see?

I see growing numbers of people walking the walk of “leaning in” to do what one might to move beyond the polarization of society and politics in the U.S.A.

Up against the disheartening phenomenon of polarization to see this antithesis, bravo!

We’ve come a long way since the aftermath of 9/11 had us united one day and even more divided the next.

Joy and hope for me is in the finding, almost daily now, of ordinary people, just like you and I, walking this path. For me that’s an especial benefit of conducting New Horizons’ Possible Human, Possible Society Study. What a precious opportunity for me, coming out of a Rip Van Winkle kind of adventure in some respects.

And, our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show takes the magic of the study (and the gifts of it to me, personally) to the next level, on-air, interactively.

Find out for yourself how we are doing it; the lean in legacy in motion.
We keep getting better at it, week by week. You can too!

So, please join Jack Slattery, my co-host, and I as we do our part to ensure that the lean in path builds strong and sturdy, with others like yourselves, through this radio show forum.

With Anastasia and Jack
Bi-weekly, Thursday evenings, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Anastasia's Love Letter

June 20, 2014

This letter was originally intended, of all things, to be "snail mailed" to 
participants of the Possible Human, Possible Society Study in June, 2014. Most of the personal letters have, thus, been mailed out while some are still in progress with my personal notes of appreciation added.

The study was officially launched on January 1, 2012. Originally projected to be a four year study, concluding data collection on December 31, 2015, the wrap-up date has now been extended to December 31, 2016.

For further details, inquiries and participation,, please contact me, Anastasia, at:

In brief this love letter of mine tells some of the most important background stories and related philosophies of the study from my personal perspective.

Among the most rewarding of things in posting it – online – is the opportunity this venue provides of enabling me to help you, my visitors, to connect the dots of the bigger story behind the stories that have been, formerly, posted on this site. As you are aware, no doubt, much of what is behind New Horizons’ story is my story.

I hope you will enjoy this love letter of mine. And, take the opportunity it affords you to visit, or re-visit, the many stories I have previously written about my “love affair” with Washington. And, the troubles of the heart such a love brings.

Anastasia's Love Letter To Possible Human, Possible Society Study Participants

Dear Possible Human, Possible Society Study Participant,

Shortly after Barack Obama’s 2008 election to our presidency I made an extended trip to South America. For the better part of two months I lived among Ecuadorians, sometimes challenged as I did not speak Spanish.

The majority of people I encountered, personally, were of the intelligentsia: psychologists, artists, economists and so forth. Each, in his/her own time, would eventually come around to inquiring about what it might mean to us, Americans, to have elected this particular man, decidedly of African/American heritage.

These questions spurred my own contemplations on the subject. Because I was in a distant and foreign land, I reflected on this point with the added spice of the views these people offered back to me.

At the time, I was aware of only one or two personal perspectives on this state of affairs. The first was that after close to thirty-five years away from Washington, I had only returned one time with joy and hope. I had ventured into D.C. a few days after Obama’s election. I wanted to feel the upsurge of spirit, wishing that the Washington I had loved might rise again.

Although I had been very much engaged in high profile Washington (1965 – 1974), the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated I watched the Washington I loved “burn” from my high rise apartment near the Pentagon. That day was truly the beginning of the end of my active love affair with our nation’s capitol. The Watergate scandal finished it off.

Still, one cannot end a serious love affair and just simply walk away. Thus in 1974, I began what was to develop into a life-long passion to understand the Dark Side of Washington and its affairs. And, to do, with this understanding as a base, what I could to aid the transformation of it. At least, as best as a single, yet devoted and heartbroken idealist can. My first husband and I had, originally,come, after his college graduation, to Washington for JFK’s “Camelot.” Both of us, also, remained nearby these many decades later.

While I was not, particularly, enamored or impressed by Obama, I was somewhat intrigued by his platform that seemed rooted in an expansion of a national grassroots’ effort. With these in mind I returned, in late December, 2008, to Maryland with Obama’s inauguration near.

previously discovered the pitfalls of inaugural balls and other related revelries, I observed the happenings from a distance. Yet the spirit of celebration did not pass me by. And, given that I was a lifelong Democrat, I was satisfied for the moment. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder at the seeming naiveté of our new president, especially in his perspectives regarding the Washington political game. After all, I had been a player in it, having served clients in the White House, on Capital Hill and throughout the lobbying community.

Oh, well, thought I, let’s just wait and see. But social activist that I had become, by then, waiting and seeing was not quite enough for me. That’s when I, first, designed the Possible Human, Possible Society Study. I imagined that from my own grassroots position, as Executive Director of New Horizons Support Network, Inc., my organization and myself, personally, might help further Obama’s grassroots’ agenda.

Somehow, though, this idea of mine did not take root very deeply. So I shelved the study for a time and went on to other things. Then, in July, 2011, with the debt ceiling debates grabbing daily attention with outrageous partisan blaming, hostility and polarization, I came to believe that our country was in an irreconcilable mess. And, that no one, on either side of the aisle, could or would, competently – and – graciously, lead us out of it any time soon.

At that point, I turned my attentions away, as much as possible, from Washington, once again, taking to the hills (one of which, calling itself a mountain, I live upon) to initiate and develop the Possible Society In Motion Project. Of which the Possible Human, Possible Society Study is the focal point.

From that time on, officially beginning January 1, 2012, I began a new love affair; a love affair with you and others such as you; the various and sundry people who make up the regional community, residing within the one-hundred mile radius of the Washington, D.C. White House. You, the soon-to-be participants of the Possible Human, Possible Society Study!

From then on, I began asking each and every one of you that seemed interested and appropriate about your hopes and dreams for this country’s healthy future; your perspectives on how we might find our way out of the painful polarization that has overtaken our country. I asked for your personal opinions on how we can grow together and move beyond our differences.

How we could, again, be that one nation, under God, we set out to be. (Given that I come from a small town in Ohio this is the view with which I grew up.)

Maybe the Camelot that, originally, brought me to Washington will forever remain the myth it has always been. Nonetheless, each and every day I spend engaged with participants, such as yourself, in the study I designed after leaving this country for a time, I am heartened by all of you.

Nonetheless, I have one regret in the carrying forth of this project. I have been unable to adequately communicate on a regular basis with,you, as a study participant. You see in doing the interviews I came to know how very important are the bonds of community-unity that we build with one another. These connections are precious and require care. Our busy world does not offer us much opportunity for this.

Initially I attempted to call or write participants to keep you updated on study progress, developments and projects. But soon there were so many enthusiastic participants I could not manage this. Next I tried to post blogs to keep you informed. This format, as it turned out, seemed to be both too impersonal and difficult to manage in terms of detailing, even the bare minimum of unfolding and, frequently, inspirational perspectives and personal stories.

After all, who would want to miss out on the “good news” in these trying times?

Thus, secondarily to my expressing my gratitude to you, I am writing this letter by way of pledging to keep you better informed, from here forth, on developments of New Horizons most “awesome” Possible Society In Motion Project and its related study. (Dare I say so myself?) My intention is to do this by snail mail, if possible, believing the old-fashioned way to be so very much more personal and, thus, more appropriate for the very special ways in which this study has been evolving.

While we, at New Horizons, strive to improve our communication with you, our treasured study participants, please know the immensity of my gratitude for your participation to date.

From the bottom of my heart, as well as the top of my intellectual, research-oriented mind, I humbly thank you for the hope and inspiration your contribution to the Possible Human, Possible Society Study has brought me.

The generosity of your transparency, time and support have shown me the stronger stuff, beyond polarization that we, Americans, are made of, regardless of who it is that sleeps in the White House!

We, the people, shall overcome!

With boundless appreciation for your participation in the study I designed,

Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Executive Director, New Horizons Support Network, Inc.
Lead Researcher, Possible Human, Possible Society Study

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Anastasia In Wonderland

Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street: Updated And A Prophecy Revealed

I am lost. I am found. Both sides of the coin are me, tightly tied to a prophecy. I was blessed with it, as if it was a light to guide the pathway of my destiny. In August I will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the gift.

Now, perhaps prompted by this coming date, the manifesting of the prophecy seems to have moved into high gear. “G-d willing and the creek don’t rise,” so it will be.

The prophecy, it appears, is to play a pivotal role in my Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street writing project. I didn’t know that. But now I do. So I feel good, uplifted, expansive, ready to move forward.

Insight that the prophecy will be a focal point of my story brought this surge about. Apparently it is time. I might be ready, all systems go, maybe not. Yet, now, I feel a compelling instinct to want to push my way through any resistances ahead. I hope you will be out there wishing me well.

The prophecy came to me just as I was awakening from the anesthesia of my fourth corneal transplant in 1974. So it is supremely entwined with my vision problems and achievements.  It came as a voice from some great beyond I cannot define, along with an image sensed. It spoke distinctly to me, making a statement I will remember until I die, and then it was gone.

The writing and publishing of my Hot Pants,  Motorcycles and K Street book, slowly, but surely in progress, is an aspect of the prophecy’s manifestation foretold.  Yesterday I knew this and actively returned to my work on the book.  

It has not been a writer’s block that has kept me away. (Always the book is growing inside of me. So much is it a part of the prophecy’s directive. Seemingly an essential aspect of whatever it is that I am doing here in this life -- if you believe.)

The brutal winter, following on the heels of a severe eye infection crisis, seemed to halt my day-to-day book writing progress. But there has been so much more; the publishing of Murat’s last book, his unexpected illness and passing.  Marked transitions at New Horizons have, also, been in motion. All of this, separate or a part of the great mystery of life that we will understand better later.  

So yesterday became the day of my return.

I have a deadline to meet, albeit one of my own choosing. Or so it would seem on the surface. Truth be told I am guided by the pacing of the prophecy’s agenda. I have, for the past forty years, since the day of the prophecy, been consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously shaped by what was predicted that day.

I have forgotten the message, sometimes for as long as a decade to have it re-surface when least expected. Then, like a sighted whale dive back down into the depths of my psyche for a long time after.

Now the prophecy has reappeared. In point of fact, in the recent past two decades, it has never been far off. Indeed, in many ways it gave me hope and courage throughout my term of blindness and recovery.

But what can one say, even to oneself, of prophecy?

Even more confusing, what can one say to others, especially if one shapes a life plan based on said prophecy?

And who can predict when a prognostication is ready to manifest unless that is a part of the prediction which, in this case, it is not.

Am I a dummie or what? Who makes business plans and shapes a life off of a prophecy?

Call me naïve, or maybe brilliant, if all turns out well.

A dictionary definition suggests that prophecy is a foretelling of something that will happen in the future. I am not particularly clairvoyant.  Thus I am lost and found. Still I am, also, always able to find the light in the darkness, eventually.

So, here I am, today, risking the telling that I have a dream. In it the realizing of the prophecy is my “Jerusalem.”

if I follow instructions from some great unknown Divine, I expect to have more and more to share as mid-August draws near. Please be with me.