Thursday, March 31, 2016

Today I Am Celebrating The Person Most Responsible For ….

Me growing into “ME” just as I am!

Join Jack Slattery and myself this evening on our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show as we focus on the topic of “Leadership Role Models…” and “… A Personal Story” -- about the man who shaped me into the person I have become, especially "The Lean In Legacy Template" way, not always perfect but a good enough "legacy" anyway!

My father would have been one hundred and three yesterday. I miss him sorely but I am so grateful to have been his daughter. Hear my story. Then join Jack and I with some stories of your own on – 

Thursday, March 31
6:30 p.m.

Followed by --

Monday, March 14, 2016

To See Or Not To See Your Dark Side, Or What Makes Donny Run?

From a key quote on my Exploring Your Dark Side; The Adventure of A Lifetime blog site.
“….whoever is not aware of this force in his personality has lost control of it. He has not confronted himself and cannot know where he is headed.” What Do You Say After You Say Hello?  Eric Berne, M.D.
These are words I have come to hold as a baseline guide for determining positive mental health, the kind of well-being that breeds the optimum human success over the long haul.  

If I am relatively certain that my motives are based on a sincere caring and compassion for myself, others and the natural world around me I tend to rest securely in my actions. On the other hand if I have even a hint that I am being driven by an intent to control others in thought or deed, that I seek excesses in any area, I become suspicious of myself and pull back to pause.

Life is a challenging and sometimes tricky road to travel. Uncertainties can appear at almost any step of the way. I enjoy being sure-footed but accept with gratitude the frequent stumbling I do. I prefer unity and harmony, peace and serenity. Yet I honor the warrior in myself and in others. Where anger, outrage and volatile actions are concerned I want to respect both the message and the messenger though their methods might discomfort or even concern me.

Maturity and the wisdom it has brought me has shown me that there is almost always a more productive way than this. Yet I must also consider where I might be wrong, especially during an election campaign. The very intention of campaigning is based on controversy and even hostility. Certainly highlighting differences is the rule, not the seeking of common ground.

So today I am perplexed. I want to avoid biases. I want to respect the viewpoints of others and the choices they make. Still from every which way I try to approach the situation of this year’s election campaign, on the Republican side I keep coming back, again and again, that in my gut the whole of it seems rotten; more like Darth Vadar, the Dark Side of humanity, than anything of the Force I’ve ever known. So who might I choose as a leader here?

It is the Force and all it has come to symbolize to which I am drawn in others and strive for in myself.  I find that difficult to locate in the Republican party and think to myself, along with multitudes, that they have certainly made a mess of themselves. Could Donald Trump be their savior or their downfall?

My many years as a Certified Transactional Analyst brought me to explore, along with the incisive judgement of many of my colleagues, the Dark Side of humanity; the force in the personality that is out of control, the part of the personality not sincerely and thoroughly explored; its motives, frequently subconsciously or unconsciously, masked by guile.

This is how most have come to view Hitler, Jim Jones of the Jonestown Massacres, Charles Manson and his murderous gang. With this thinking as a backdrop I have been conscientiously trying to understand what makes “Donny run.” All that I find in my investigations spotlights a lifetime of his being of the Dark Side Warrior style not that of the Force. Compassion, sincerity, kindness, caring and the other attributes of an evolved humanity I see very little in him.

Though I want to do my best to reserve judgement and not get caught up in the political frenzy of this current presidential campaigning, I am fairly well-convinced that though I am now a registered Independent who is not particularly enamored of either Hillary or Bernie, it looks like I will, once again, vote Democrat. This brings me a measure of grief. I had pledged myself to take a non-partisan approach this time around whereas I had formerly always voted Democrat. 

After all I am Jewish and voting Democrat is our tradition. But I have recovered from that identity to be first and foremost an American. So I am disappointed that I am likely to take this route again. But seemingly this will be my choice come election day, if for no other reason than that the more Light I can see, the better I like it. And, what seems to make “Donny run” has, by far, more Dark than Light contrasted to the Democrat's side that, at least, merits my respect in many ways, if not all.

However, seeing Trump and his supporters as enemies goes against the grain for me too. So while I want to remember that complicity with darkness allowed Hitler to rise, I want to also be sure that I do not allow my fears to cast away the messengers and messages I am observing in the Trump camp. I need to not make them “the enemy” or “the other” but listen closely to what they are trying to say beneath their anger and seeming adoration of a man I deem a dangerous and crazy person. 

Still I need to “lean in,” not polarize. And, not allow myself to sink into an “us” and “them” position. After all, we are all breathing the same air so in a sense each of us is one another; there is a Donny in me and in you, a Donny supporter in each of us that takes the Trump side Trump in some respects.

The pain and/or sense of threat or injustice coming out of that camp must be great for supporters to fight so loud and so hard. I must remember that so that I can continue to hold theses followers of Trump with compassion in the deepest parts of myself. My pain is great too. I just manage it more quietly, most of the time.

That doesn't make my way the right one. So the best way for me seems to be to watch and listen -- and -- trust that our democracy can handle what might just simply be Divine chaos; a time to learn new ways of looking at things before I jump to conclusions.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Important News I Haven’t Been Sharing

Here is a bit of a back story, about to be told!  

My “The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard book is is now in progress, once again, after sitting on my office shelf for almost ten long years! 

Note: The full-length book will take some time; two years is my prediction, but is now on its way. However, an exerpt or, at least, a study guide for some of the most important messages of the book should be available by Labor Day. In the meantime, I offer you one of the critical messages from the book; strive to build Exceptional Community structures wherever you have opprotunity to do so. 

Behind the scenes at New Horizons – and – correspondingly in my own life something very BIG and wonderful has been happening this past month.

The significance is so BIG that it felt risky to share.

After all, especially beginning with the day I lost my eyesight (Labor Day weekend, 1998), I had come to feel as if I were living my life under a dark cloud; the one that Chicken Little might have mistaken for the falling sky when it started to rain on her.

Even now as I write this I feel a bit shaky bringing my “behind the scenes” upfront to share with you. At best the time since that day has seemed like a long, dreary, cold winter; the kind that seems as if it is telling us that spring will never come. Perhaps in the process I have grown superstitious. At the very least – cautious.

Still something wonderful did come into my life this past month; something as wonderful and as bright and cheerful as springtime and the many cardinals now feeding at the feeder outside my office window this sunshine-filled morning.

The news is this; kinda twofold seemingly at the moment but possibly BIGGER than that. 

Who can tell at this point? But we will keep you informed as the adventure unfolds.
  1. An old friend/client of “old” New Horizons has come back into my life. And with circumstances having changed in her life, she has come back to be in charge of fundraising – and – contract development (as in for profit contracts!!!) New Horizons and my single greatest need!  Wow!!
  2. And with this dear old friend who has decades of marketing and sales experience to boost her, almost the first thing she did was help me pull out of the moth balls a book I have had sitting on the shelf for almost ten years.
Such a BIG announcement!

“The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard: 
How Communities Come Apart And How They Heal” --

the book and multiple articles is now back in progress!

I hope it will be a best seller!

In the meantime, as I have kept that whole project a secret up until now, check out my Baltimore Jewish Times article, The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard, for a preview of some of the story that could not, would not be told until now.  

Wish me good luck, also, in the meantime!

Who could believe a person, ME, could sit blind and almost alone, except for two dogs and an occasional handy man, on a mountainside and come back – seeing – and more; to speak of what she has learned to see at ground level and beyond!

That be ME! G-d willing and the creek don’t rise!

Hallelujah, folks! Wish me luck, twice!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Love Behind The Message

Monday Morning On The Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show

Conversations With Anastasia 
On The Art of Dialogue

This Week Featuring

Monday, March 7
11:30 a.m.

(If you miss the broadcast, also on podcast)

About Monday Morning's program

Anastasia and her new "sidekick," Kim Beckett begin developing their series, "Conversations With Anastasia On The Art of Dialogue" with this show. A good introduction to the show, as well as the series, can be heard on their previous show, "Trading In The Costs of The Quiet For The Riches of Dialogue."

On that earlier show reference is made to what it was that prompted New Horizons’  Coffee House Conversations initiative (New Horizons is the sponsoring organization for The Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show). The back story for the initiative is heard at the end of the prior show. It will be used to introduce this present one as it provided the “love” behind the message of the Coffee House Conversations Project.

The Possible Society In Motion Radio Show titled “Leaning Into Conversations On Race Relations: A Love Story” is also recommended.  That particular program, recorded early last year, offers a broadened context for today’s show that listeners may find to be of benefit if interested in learning to apply the principles and practices of the new series, "Conversations With Anastasia on The Art of Dialogue."

Also see our Radio Show Study Guide for "Conversations With Anastasia On The Art of Dialogue. Bring yourself into the action and New Horizons' developing "Movement to Overcome Polarization In Our Society And Politics By Building Commujnity Bridges Through Dialogue." Our Radio Show Study Guide can help you make the leap!