Saturday, April 30, 2016

What Chaos and Crisis Teach Us

I have had enough chaos, crisis and tragedy in my life to write a book about it. That’s why I am currently trying to finish up three books; To See Or Not To See: The Art of Transcendent Living, The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard: How Communities Come Apart and How They Heal, based on the story at this link, and Hot Pants, Motorcycles and K Street. 

Each of these books and all of them are tales, somewhat in the form of memoir, that tell of chaos, crisis and tragedy in my life, as well as enormous successes in my life, born of crisis, chaos and tragedy; personal transformation, in other words, that has been the product of personal challenge. Additionally I am also trying my best to put excerpts from my first three books as posts on my Dark Side Warrior blog site as these books have been on hold for longer than I care to remember due to my losing my eyesight.

Pushing our way through obstacles is the sterner stuff we humans, particularly Americans are made of; challenge turned into opportunity. Or as Murat,  New Horizons Beloved community development mentor and my personal spiritual teacher, might say how we humans carry out the alchemy of our personhoods naturally, transmuting the lead within to the potential for the gold within.

I know this pathway of transformation well. In fact, periodically I feel inclined to remind readers that I am available for you as a guide for this treacherous terrain called personal (and collective) transformation. I know it well having chosen to traverse it for decades, if for no other reason than personal survival.

I don’t like crisis or chaos, least of all do I like tragedy. You probably don’t either. But what can you do, other than sink or swim, win or learn from what seems to be loss?

Ihese are a part of life that almost no one ever escapes unless you divorce yourself  entirely from what is going on around you.

When I was a little girl, up until I was about eight, I lived a near idyllic life. Nothing severe had ever touched me, at least as I recall. Then, overnight my life was turned upside down. After three miscarriages my mother birthed a full term baby girl, named Sharon Iris. What joy! What a miracle! What exhilaration for my parents and for me who would no longer be an only child. 

Just like I had wished for on a star!

But --- whoa – tiny Sharon Iris lived less than two days.

What devastation; the end of paradise for me! And the beginning of a world that seemed never to right itself; one crisis, chaos and tragedy after another!  

Bottom line: I discovered I had to learn to manage, work with, even transform upheaval or die! For me it was that urgent!

Right now the state of affairs surrounding our current society and politics feels like chaos and crisis, of tragedy, I am not so certain. But things sure are challenging.

What are you going to do about it, personally? 

What are we going to do about it, collectively? 

Especially those of us, like myself, who see Donald Trump as dangerous and even mentally off balance and abhor the thought of his taking over the White House.

I despise what I see happening around us in this current presidential campaign cycle, especially coming from the Republican side. But I “looked” at 9/11 as a time of Divine Chaos as that was all I could “see” of it. And I am glad I saw it this way; a painfully important message designed on the level of Divine mystery that had much to teach us Americans. Much that we apparently needed to learn, and perhaps still do.

I don’t know what the message or grander, greater implications of Election 2016 hold, for now and for the long term.

But one thing I do know about circumstances such as we are faced with today – I am a part of a greater whole. And, to be at my best I must align with this whole synergistically or I will be lost! Even if this means adapting my views to support our next elected president whomever that is! Therefore I must lean in to others who are also a part of that whole to work our way through what is presently facing us in America today in our society and politics.

David Brooks of the New York Times in an article titled “If Not Trump, What?” expressed my intent completely when he said –

I don’t know what the new national story will be, but maybe it will be less individualistic and more redemptive. Maybe it will be a story about communities that heal those who suffer from addiction, broken homes, trauma, prison and loss, a story of those who triumph over the isolation, social instability and dislocation so common today.
….. Trump will have his gruesome moment. The time is best spent (for the rest of us) elsewhere, meeting the neighbors who have become strangers, and listening to what they have to say.
Mr. Brooks suggests what I have learned well, but not always easily – 

I know that surviving by transforming within myself to manage what is outside of me has taught me this—

When I lean in to others and give up any isolation (isolation being different than solitude) to actively be a part of the whole, somehow, almost magically, I am stronger and wiser about how to manage challenge than I am alone!
That’s why building small “zones of peace” matters to me!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Saying What I See, Having So Much Fun!

As April nears its end and I push myself to write and publish my intended monthly quota of four articles, I hardly know where to begin to end the month. So much is happening almost daily now, momentum building, as New Horizons and myself expand our boundaries. This is what saying what I see is bringing me -- so much fun!

One way you might be able to get caught up on some of what’s happening around here is to be sure to read the two main blog sites I am writing semi-regularly; the New Horizons Small Zones of Peace Project site and this one. And listen in to the podcasts of my two radio shows, The Possible Society In Motion Radio Show and Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show.  

Both of which are brimming with discussions, New Horizons-type philosophies and guidance for readers and listeners you might like of our brand of social and political activism; leaning in and developing your artfulness in dialogue.

For example, the one Jack and I did last Thursday evening titled “What It Means To Have A Voice”

on podcast

-- is an inspiring back and forth between Jack and myself on the topic, very much tied into our current presidential campaign chaos.

And to boost my series on “Conversations with Anastasia on the art of dialogue/conversation,” I think my most recent –

-- isn’t half bad though we are still challenged with technical difficulties on both shows.

Well with this one posting I am putting work to bed now for the day and will return tomorrow for one more something or another just to keep you a bit updated and share the fun I am having saying what I see!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This Is "No Way To Elect A President"

I read a wonderful commentary this morning by Frank Bruni of the New York Times, "No Way To Elect A President". It expressed some of my core perspectives about this 2016 presidential election campaign. I was so enthused by his perspectives that I’m going to be incorporating them into my next Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show – 

Gifts Of Collaboration Versus The Costs Of Opposition In Conversation/Dialogue
Thursday, April 21, 11:30 a.m.

I hope you will join me for this discussion – and – many more to follow, having to do with what really makes an exceptional leader; the kind that can head and guide a country like ours to maintain the greatness it embodies that has brought us this far – and – keep it out of the Hell hole some people seem intent on pulling us into.

Enough said by me for now. More to come here on values of Society and Politics, the New Horizons way!  So tune in to my Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show tomorrow during broadcast time at 11:30 a.m.. Or listen afterwards on podcast! 

I have a lot to say on this subject, The Current Presidential Election Campaign Crisis, well worth listening to as is Frank Bruni's article something to read to help us all through these troubled times that we can move through best when we keep our priorities high and well-aligned.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Light Is So Bright It Hurts My Eyes!

I made an emergency visit last week to see my local ophthalmologist. For days beforehand my “new” eye felt irritated, the vision diminishing. Worst of all were mornings. Upon awakening each day the bright light of morning flooding my room was blinding me and painful, prompting me to hide out under covers for as long as two or three hours until I could, without undue discomfort, face the day.

Needless to say I was alarmed!

I had experienced this effect previously with all, or most all, of my earlier six corneal transplants (this one had been number seven). And I had eventually come through the healing process successfully. Was I, this time around, becoming more conscious of the healing phases as they progressed, I wondered?

Still the situation was not to be dismissed. So off I went into town; never an easy trek for me as I am totally devoted to my mountain life. But I was glad I went.

According to my doctor, while there was a bit of inflammation present, the greater issue was that now more Light was entering my visual field than previously. I was growing more SIGHTED! 

Imagine that!  Truly seeing more, not less!  What a joy! What a blessing!

Without my being fully conscious, or at least not aware at this level, of what was opening up before me; metaphorically, physically, in reality, theoretically and practically, my eyes were beginning to reveal new levels of seeing!

On the heels of my surgery, I had pledged myself to a spiritual, emotional healing journey to parallel the physical I was undergoing. Apparently the rewards of my intent were surfacing and – possibly – the Light was so Bright, amazement, even disbelief, was my response. 

Could my eye challenge last week and my need to see my doctor with an emergency visit, simply and not simply at all, be that I was facing into, once again, Divine Chaos; the chaos so Exquisite I had been able to see only the downside. 

Maybe, at almost four months after my corneal transplant, I need to begin considering that my whole being is somehow being transplanted, or at least refined. Or, perhaps, more aptly the freedom I allowed myself on the heels of that surgery seems to have elevated my consciousness. If that is possible for real, along with the actual, physical visual clearing, perhaps I am now beginning to see the world around me as being so filled with joy and love, so inordinately peopled by an abundance of good will and camaraderie, that I think I must have been asleep until now.

Sharing my amazement with my Spirit Sister Sue, the feedback she gives me suggests I might just be entering the Promised Land. Ah, “Next year in Jerusalem,” as goes the traditional Jewish greeting and good bye has arrived for me now; I have reached the promised land! Or perhaps I am entering the world of Alice In Wonderland where all kinds of unexpected and magical experiences arise.

Or as Murat might describe it, discovering the cosmic Jamboree that comes of doing the “work” of conscious evolution. From Sue’s vantage point of witnessing my journey I can even “see” and define the influence of the choices I’ve made lately that brought me here!

Wow! Whatever it is in real time language, I think I may have truly entered, with my eyes wide open, the next level of living in a dimension of deliberately creating a purposeful path to “Finding Light In The Darkness.”  

With its many rewards, the main one now being that I can SEE me SEEING! That istruly gorgeous and amazing!