Monday, February 29, 2016

Seeing, Saying and Listening: Earth Level And Beyond

It would be hard for me to tell you where I’ve been since last I wrote here. But it goes something like this: I’ve been traveling, inside myself into the Great Beyond and at home with close friends as I rested and relaxed, taking things a bit easy since my cornea transplant surgery in mid-December. Then I traveled some other places on the earth plane, back and forth into a few nearby states. Still taking it easy. 

I’ve talked to more people than usual  in conversations of such richness and depth I sometimes felt full enough to not need to eat for days.

Along with this I’ve  kept, always, the year-long physical healing agenda of my blessed new cornea at the forefront of my “vision.” Nonetheless, realizing that today is the last day of February – and – a leap day to boot, I wanted to just say a few words before March comes in as a lamb tomorrow as she is scheduled to do, at least in my neck of the woods. And, before I gear up to a more engaged schedule of activities, projects and plans, beginning sometime in mid-March.

The celebration of spring seems to be in the air up here in the mountains where I live though today is a bit windy and chillier than yesterday.  Tomorrow, again, is predicted to be warmer like yesterday.  And, oh what a day that was – yesterday!

I’ve been practicing a new spiritual discipline these past few months, listening for the voice of G-d. Limited as I’ve been with the monster snowstorm in January and the need I had to take things easy while the wound in my right eye healed some, this seemed a likely endeavor. Then came yesterday’s near seventy degree weather and off I was walking up and down my dear mountain road to drink in the ambiance.

My new discipline had me listening carefully, as I walked to hear G-d's voice, as some might describe it, or as I have done in the past, calling this focus “catching the voice of the wind.” So I walked a good long hour and one-half hearing that voice of Mother Nature or Father G-d or whomever beams it into me; carefully and much more fully aware than formerly.

I heard small mountain streams burbling, leaves rustling, birds twittering and singing.  I smelled the fresh fragrance of rich earth coming back out and alive after the winter freeze. And, possibly, most delicious of all, was putting my hand up to cover my left eye, the good one, and realizing, with my heart bursting with joy, that I could see the cracks in the blacktop of our road and the yellow line that marked the middle of the road with my “new’ right eye! It was a wonderful treat.

It had been a long time ago since I could do that!

I felt – joy so HUGE inside of me that it was as if I had left the earth while still standing right on it; so all right with the world as if my own personal springtime was meeting up with that of the whole earth. 

Certainly now I was truly home in ways I had not been for months.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Today I Am Dreaming Of What I/We Could Become!

There is nothing like doing a radio show, designed to be, in part, a rite of passage to inspire my grandest dreams.  In summary that is the effect my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show had on me today!

It is still too early for me to say much more about it other than that it was all I had hoped for and more. But after all it is just a little more than three hours since the program titled,  Trading In The Costs Of The Quiet For The Riches Of Dialogue, aired.
I am dreaming.

Nonetheless, already it has prompted me to write up and post a “Study Guide” to complement the program and the series planned to follow, “Conversations With Anastasia On The Art of Dialogue.”

Check out the radio show and the “Study Guide”!  See if they inspire you, even a little.

I am so high I can almost fly! But then I'm the mom.

Flying, well not exactly, for real.  But in my mind, why not!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Trading In The Costs Of The Quiet For The Riches Of Dialogue

New Radio Show Series Begins Tomorrow!
"Conversations With Anastasia on The Art of Dialogue."

After a lengthy hiatus from my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show I am returning, beginning tomorrow morning, with a whole new series of programs.

"Conversations With Anastasia on The Art of Dialogue."

It seems it took me a year of co-designing (always with my dear collaborator, Sue deVeer), organizing, presenting and learning from New Horizons’ Coffee House Conversations, a cornea transplant, the outrageousness of Bill Cosby’s serial sex abuses being disclosed – and – a lifetime of personal and professional work to get me back on the air with this show.

Now here I come!

What I’ve got has helped me fight for my own freedom and dignity – and – WIN to get me to where I am now –

With all of this as background, expertise and skill development, here I come, now, ready to tell all that I know -- through storytelling, guidance and support on my new series of programs titled "Conversations With Anastasia on The Art of Dialogue." 

In the service of enhancing the collective conversation through storytelling, sharing -- and -- teaching a pointer or two or three on how to move from debate to dialogue, uprooting the resistance to doing so as we go -- let’s do it!

Join me tomorrow morning – or listen in on podcast—as I introduce this new series "Conversations With Anastasia on The Art of Dialogue" on --

Monday, February 8
11:30 a.m.

Joining me for this show – and – likely to be my new radio show sidekick – will be Kim Beckett, wife and mother, horse lover and wise woman in her own right. Kim will assist me in developing tomorrow’s topic, “Trading In The Costs Of The Quiet For The Riches Of Dialogue” and introducing our new, forthcoming series, "Conversations With Anastasia on The Art of Dialogue" 

Look for future programs to have invited guests as well as a Coffee House Conversation by Conference Call portion, following the on-air broadcast, where guests can hang out, informally, for "Conversations with Anastasia On The Art Of Dialogue."

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Seeing (and Saying): Essentials for ME (YOU) Being ME (YOU) In The World

I’ve had a hard week. There were times during it when I wished I could just leave my body and go elsewhere. 

I’ve done that OOBE (Out of Body Experience) shtick in days past so I know what it’s like. But it wasn’t so much that I wanted to find myself up on the ceiling looking down on my body, lying prone in my bed, as it was with my first OOBE. No this time I was more deliberately conscious that I just wished I could lift myself out of the stress and distress I was feeling. 

Not that I wanted to end up all the way on my ceiling! 

What started that whole stress cycle for me was that I ventured out this past week for one of my first outings into mainstream life since my cornea transplant

I’ve been so far removed from ordinary life this past month or so. When folks at a meeting I attended were planning their next get together date as being in March, I piped up to ask why they were going to be missing February.

Actually we were, right then and there, having the February meet up. That, of course, prompted people to tell me that I was the one who had missed a month (and more) from the calendar.

Well, for sure calendar and clock time have not been “my time” of late.

Oh well. At that meeting it hadn’t really mattered much.  Our agenda was about making a better world; thinking global, acting local. That’s a fairly timeless, boundary-less issue, especially in this day and age.

Once I had, at last, removed myself from the foray, after a day “in town” at meetings and doing errands, however, I was so overwhelmed with future shock, data overload contamination I didn’t know what to do. It seemed as if my generally serene, well-centered balance had left me, buried under by mainstream debris. Realistically, compared to the norm for most others, I had had a rather leisurely day, especially as it was comprised of fresh, healthy mountain air in the beginning, the middle and the end of it.

Apparently that hadn’t been enough for me. My norm is mountain living all day long!

But it wasn’t always that way. 

Before blindness I spent three or four days per week in my psychotherapy office in suburban Washington, D.C. and did just fine with it. But I have been purposefully leaving city life behind for a good part of the week now for close to thirty years.  And have found it to be so much more my nature to be constantly immersed in country ways.

My eight year sojourn into blindness and recovery from blindness (1998 – 2006) definitely tipped the scales for me to be as far away from “in town” and/or urban life as one can be in this day and time.

Now mountain living is so much a part of me that I have actually been known to take plastic baggies of the earth and leaves and other greenery surrounding my house with me to smell when I am away from home. 

Weird, you say? Home connected is my take!

My saving grace these day, however, or so it seems – is that I am beginning to be more vocal in publicly defining myself as a mountain woman -- and otherwise -- who comes to town only intermittently. 

I love being in my neighboring town, Frederick, Maryland, once I am there. But “it” isn’t quite ME – this “in town” life!

I love connecting and interacting with the many friends and associates I have made over the years; the community activities, restaurants and relaxed dining and cultural activities. And, the activities of New Horizons and myself, personally and professionally, that link me to this wonderful community.  

Still I am not an urbanite who visits the mountains (or oceans) now and then.  I am a true, 24/7 mountain woman; in monster snow, ice and rain storms, cutting wood with my own chain saw sometimes, without electricity or running water on occasion.

But it has been a long time coming, it seems, that I have grown more fully into being a true mountain woman, known here and there as the Wise Woman of Elk Mountain where I live on the border between Maryland and West Virginia. 

Take me home, Shenandoah!

Little by little now, my public voice is becoming stronger and more able to clearly and authentically define who I am;  a mountain woman who loves my “in town” community but yearns, always, for my home in the hills.  

(I find it curious on occasion to continue calling West Virginia “the mountain state” given that erosion and other ecological changes have reduced much in our mountain ranges to little more than hills. But no, no one is ever going to call West Virginia “the hill state,” you best believe!)

Today, having regained my serenity and balance once again, I leave you with the following thought --

Sometimes it seems that the motion of moving from chaos to community can be as much within oneself as it is without.  

And the learning to “see” (and say) whatever is true for oneself is a challenge that must be surmounted in order that one openly define oneself, as well as be truly connected to others.

This, it seems to me, is essential for ME (and YOU) being ME (and YOU) in the world; a rich and wonderful national treasure wherever you are!

Lessons and lessons and still more to learn.