Sunday, July 30, 2017

Weaving And “The Art Of The …….” Return (i.e. How Anastasia Is Rising Again)

For starters recall that my name “Anastasia,” means “She who rises again.”  Thus returning to foundation parts of myself; one of which is the Washington, D.C. fast track,  seems to be deeply-rooted in me, a calling, so to speak. So “returning,” as I am now intent on doing, is something I cannot refuse.

Anastasia is a name of Greek origin, meaning "resurrection" or “One who will be reborn.” With this as my designation, this morning, as I entered the day, I  was reflecting on the meaning my “return” has for me. Two parallel images came to mind; the first, I identified as  feminine, the second, undoubtedly, male. 

The first took on a vision, like the graphic above, designed for this article. The second was of a football player, carrying the ball, heading for the end zone for a touchdown. I, too, want to carry the ball into the end zone. I, too, want to make a touchdown; many, in fact, that can lead to a win. 

But, perhaps, I need to reach that end by picking flowers along the way. That might mean I need to place myself elsewhere than a football field; possibly a meadow or a river stream such as the one I live above on the Potomac River. Or, maybe, mostly, right here on this mountainside property that is home to New Horizons and myself.

I don't know, exactly, how to do this,

Joan, my Kebzeh mentor and “big sister,” says she is concerned and worried for me. That the path I am taking is dangerous and precarious. 
“Who in their right mind (not Joan's words exactly), especially a very spiritually-based person, would want to “return to the D.C. fast track, especially in this horrendous climate within which we are now, in America, finding ourselves.”
Sue, board member, New Horizons collaborator  and my Beloved “Spirit Sister,” knows, on the other hand, that I have been planning this return, almost since the day I left in the midst of the Watergate scandal. She is the one who pointed out that I could make my return by weaving together all the many threads the picture above suggests. She knows I am well-equipped to manage whatever will present itself. 

Most importantly, Sue knows I am not going ahead with my “return” project alone. I have many skills and tools – and – wise support people to back me up.

This view feels right to me. From this perspective I came to  imagining my returning by weaving. Weaving, according to Wikipedia, is "a method of textile production in which distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced to form a fabric or cloth." I like this image. It suggests that, if I am to be a weaver, as I return, I will create some kind of fabric out of this adventure. 

How it might look when complete I have no idea. Only a few of the strands are visible to me now. With this vision in mind, I still don’t know how to do this. 

Nonetheless, already I can see I haven’t yet figured out how to return without playing the Washington GAME

How does one have impact in our nation’s capital with a system built, purely, on a male model? This is the one I took up, in my early adult days, from my father's example. How does one move into the "swamp" and still maintain the more inclusive ways of women, the less competitive, even cut throat ways of men?

The male way was troublesome, some, back in the day, I remember, as I reflect. It, certainly, didn’t make room for my emotions, the demands of motherhood, as motherhood was lived in that era. The time had not yet started when the feminine would be dignified with all its many facets of beauty -- and -- power. Women were, instead, pressed to uphold the traditional. I know I sure payed a price, on occasion, for bucking this system. It didn't take long, however, before I began to appreciate that I already had a strong sense of how to be uniquely my own, as well as generically female.

I don’t yet know how to do what I am setting out to do, in a high impact, strong woman, yet feminine way. It’s a new path I am embarking upon. Many women I respect and admire, such as Madeline Albright and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, have been leading the way forth onto tracks that make room for a woman’s “different voice,” as Carol Gilligan began researching it in the early ‘80s. Today I am particularly admiring the woman’s voices of Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) as they placed their “no” votes on the floor of the Senate this past week.

Their courageous stance, in the face of opposition, and even threat, as it was doled out to Senator Murkowski, reminds me of the unique way of perceiving and behaving that is a woman’s heritage, as well as her challenge.

With the strength demonstrations of integrity and courage such as this offer, I close my eyes, off and on today, feeling vibrant energies rising from the soles of my feet to the soul level I feel beyond my physical being. With my eyes closed, allowing me to concentrate more fully on this flow, I feel myself  reaching out to unite to the whole of all living things that ever were. 

In this I feel the Oneness I am constantly seeking. And know, if only for a moment, that I do know how to do this endeavor, upon which I am embarking, provided I look inside the silence within me and allow it to speak.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Beyond The Darkness

I definitely did write, in my article titled “Coming Out” Can Be Scary – Even If You Aren’t Gay!, about the whoosh of emotions, far from positive, that came of my “coming out.”

Yuk, they were awful. Had me in a puddle of tears!

You could certainly equate that with my being in the darkness!

I knew it at the time, for sure.  I felt awful!!

I knew, also, that this reaction was only about “feelings,” not necessarily about reality, or so I told my intellect. 

But damn if they didn’t seem real enough at the time!

Fortunately I have a great support network. So talking out my negativity began to move it. You do know, don’t you, that emotions are transitory; moving energies if you let them be, which I did. I’m so smart that way.

Then, magic of all magic, I woke up this morning, put my feet on the ground, and, guess what happened next?

I had another “completely unprepared for whoosh of ….. human emotions… (come)… forth out of me!

This time a whoosh of POSITIVE ONES!!! I had, indeed, once more found the Light in the Darkness.  Today I am like a genie out of a bottle. Yippee!

Do you know how to do this, on purpose? 

I do. Well almost purposelessly, with a little help from my friends. So that I now live a life of conscientious alchemy; intent, day in and day out, of turning lead into gold.

Want to know how I do it, again and again? 

I am about to start teaching you how I do it, more and more systematically. So that you can do it too!

I’ve been walking around the edges of how to do this alchemy that I learned from my mentor, Murat Yagan, for years in various ways with all three of my blogs. 

But from here forth, with my new path unfolding, I am about to show you the details, as best I can on a blog. Follow my “yellow brick road” (i.e. my three blog sites) for details. Below is the map I follow. I will interpret it, again as best I can on a blog, so that you can follow it too, in your own special way.

Today’s tip is this: 
  • Notice the red arrow on the diagram below called "Anastasia's Chart of Ascension." an interpretation of the original, "Murat Yagan's Chart of Ascension;"
  • The red arrow is pointing into what our Beloved Community Development Mentor, Murat Yagan, called the “lower triangle;”
  • Notice, on the left side of the “lower triangle,” the words “Survival Consciousness”
  • Survival Consciousness needs to be transcended/transformed if you want to find Light in Darkness
  • Two tools I have already posted to help you with this are: the Survivor/Addict Inventory and the Catalogue of Survival Driven Behaviors;
  • Check these out;
  • Study them carefully;
  • Begin, if you haven’t already, to leave all of the negative indicators out of your life (I hope you will be able to tell the negative, the “what not to do,” from the positive, “what to do.”
  • In other words, free that beautiful "Essence" of your's from being stuck in the "lower triangle (i.e. Dark Side living, Survivor/Addict and Survival Driven Behavior functioning).
If your efforts fail, contact me, Anastasia, at

I will be your personal guide.

Good luck, getting beyond the darkness.

P.S. I will help you understand the levels of consciousness beyond "survival consciousness, once you begin understanding it. Those levels are "beyond darkness." The lower triangle is "in darkness."

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Identity Crisis In The Midst Of Chaos

Life is filled with unanswered questions. From wondering how the universe was actually formed to trying to figure out the healthiest menu for the day, to which exercise routine will suit one’s schedule, our lives are complex and filled with wondering about this and that, from small things to big.

Now we add the daily chaos and uncertainties that Donald Trump and Company are bringing into our lives.

In our old world order, before the November election, we had taken many things for granted. Yet our election campaign cycle, added to the crises many groups such as the African American, Muslim and LGTBQ communities were experiencing, showed us that all was not well throughout our country, beyond those issues that seemed to constantly make the daily news.

And as we know now, there were many voices that had no voice. Out of this reality, Donald Trump, a man who seemed, at face value, to have what it takes to represent the unheard words, won our presidency. But, as many who opposed Trump, warned, this was not truly a man who had the heart and the back of the constituency he appeared to be representing.

Rather Trump had a history, to boot, of betraying people, especially the smaller folks such as contractors and his students at Trump University.

Betrayal experiences wreak havoc on people, from the more minor inconveniences of a no-show date to the loss of jobs, as transgender military personnel are now about to face, based on Trump’s new ban on them, to the threat of lost health care, now being battled over in congress.

With each of these upheavals, each and every one of us, depending on our personal circumstances, must, almost daily, revise our view of the world we are presently living in and the place we hold in it.

As I have written in the past few weeks, New Horizons and myself, as a reflection of what is now transpiring throughout our country, are, also, going through major changes.  Some of these, hold exciting promise such as my “coming out” of a kind of hiding I had been doing for decades, side-by-side, no less, with my living a totally transparent life (Odd isn’t that?).  But even that soon moved from eager anticipation to fear, then to uncertainty. 

That these are challenging times is almost an understatement!

This morning when I awoke I felt almost rudderless; the moorings of my life felt shaky and undeterminable, unreliable. How should I proceed through this day ahead, I asked myself?

Now, at almost ten o’clock I still don’t know the answer to that question. But a poem, by anonymous, I remember picking up somewhere, reminded me that meditation, contemplation, close friendships and a good dose of common sense seem to have carried me this far. 

So it seems these will need to suffice for me today. Until I can come to a place of feeling more ordered and grounded in this crazy life in what once seemed to be “united states” that we are now all sharing in some chaotic form or another.

Who I am and what I am supposed to do here will, no doubt, be in the back of mind, whatever I do in this moment of a personal identity crisis in the midst of national chaos.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

“Coming Out” Can Be Scary – Even If You Aren’t Gay!

Darn, if I hadn’t deluded myself that my “coming out,” after all these many years, was not to be an event. Instead, while I had, conscientiously, set my blueprint-oriented mind on preparing for New Horizons’ Annual Board Meeting agenda, which would include a press release -- about me -- that was likely to be its center fold, I had minimized the impact the overall plan would bring about.

At the onset, it seemed to be an ordinary, forthcoming event, to my minimally detail-focused mind. I would preside over the meeting.  Three new board members would be added to our long-term three, bringing us to six. All would agree New Horizons' small “zones of peace” projects was now going to need to take less of our attention than it had been for the past decade. 

Trump and Team in office and the overall polarized conditions in our country meant that building “zones of peace” everywhere you go needed to temporarily go to the sidelines. Genuine survival was demanding our attention be elsewhere these days!

It wasn’t as if I hadn’t been mentally preparing for that “annual event,” our board meeting, where my forthcoming “press release” was to be the main business. Of course, I had. I am a competent administrator. I know how to do my job!

The turn-around, however, was that, now, Plan B, “Anastasia and her message and back story,” were to become our main focus. This meant that “Anastasia’s Coming Out” would become our daily business.

It wasn’t as if I hadn’t been planning my “return” to D.C. for decades that the press release was announcing. I had been -- and -- rehearsing various scenarios of what that would be like, off and on. However, I couldn’t quite fill in the details. Who could know how these would be when  “coming out.” was going, by nature, to be an interactive process?

Then the actual day came of publicly announcing my “return,” the day we would take the press release I had been drafting in my head for years, refined by my board, and set it on the path of its first steps, sending it out into the BIG world; the realm that goes way beyond my computer, where I had been languishing, living a half-life more or less, for the past decade or so.

Writing and posting blog articles is one way of putting oneself out into the public domain. And it is an activity that does have a degree of human interaction. This becomes especially apparent when one sees these are being read, as Google’s Analytics will tell you they are. Still if connection is what you are after, this method is not quite fully human. 

As it turned out, moving on from those preliminaries, the day, actually being yesterday, came. 

And I was completely unprepared for the whoosh of baseline human emotions the presenting of it brought forth out of me!

The press release had been written and approved by my board, which had actually not exactly been a shoe in either, but a process, not an event.

So I did it! I sent out the first press release to a well-chosen talk show host, selected because: 1. She is spectacular in her field; 2. I had already had the privilege, some thirty years ago, of being on her show; and 3. Still today, I am a great fan of hers. I thought she, the talk show host, and I could be a good match, once again, for an interesting and lively show.

Having taken this long awaited step, I then found myself shaking like a leaf inside!

OMG!!  What did I do, next? 

I texted a handful of people that I am totally sure love and respect me. This loyal group of friends and supporters sent me back all kinds of wonderful “Go girl” messages. These I followed up on by being: 1. incredibly grateful; 2. Heart-warmed; and 3. Collapsing into a puddle of tears for which I had no idea of the source.

At this point, I thought I was in need of something more than texting could provide. So I picked up my little Smart Phone and called someone who I thought would be caring and compassionate of my coming apart just as I was “coming out.” Thank goodness for my astute intuition. My instinct led me to call a lesbian friend of mine. 

She knew all about “coming out”!

Definitely I had made a good choice. With tears puddling down more fully now, she and I spoke for a while on my behalf. Soon , wise woman that she is responded to my telling her I was “coming out” of hiding after decades and decades of concealing parts of myself by asking --
“What happened all those many years ago that set you into going off hiding?” 
Smart woman!  She knew "coming out" was a process, not an event, with many back stories behind it.

But, you know, I didn’t actually have an answer to that question. I had to think about it for a few minutes.  Then memories began to flood into my consciousness, along with a torrent of tears. 

Why – and – how had it come about that I left a seemingly successful career on the Washington, D.C. fast track?

I don't exactly know the answer, at least not the full story. I have been burying the details for so very long. However, it didn’t take long for me, after that conversation, to realize that the answer is not a simple one. 

That’s for sure!

I will need to take time to even answer this question for myself. Nonetheless, already I can see, as I begin diving down into my psyche, that the process of answering the question and finding the answers is seeming as if I am raising up a sunken ship, weather beaten, water logged, old and rusty, but, glory of all glories, a ship full of treasures; the bounty being a retrieval of lost parts of myself.

The way I am going to about this taking back of me is that I am going to allow my “return” to truly be the unfolding journey it will be, not an event. 

I will set my mind to going as softly as I can into the memories and related emotions and luxuriate in the findings. 

I will honor the rebirth, reverencing that this just might be one of the penultimate moments of my life, respecting that it may exemplify the true meaning of my name, Anastasia, “She Who Rises Again.”

With this all in mind, I can now truly see that “Coming Out” Can Be Scary – Even If You Aren’t Gay!” And, that learning from my LGTB friends might just become one of my treasured gifts from the adventure.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

An Open Letter To Our Loyal Followers

Also posted to New Horizons Small "Zones of Peace" Project blog site.

The letter that follows is being shared with you, in advance of New Horizons Annual Board Meeting, being held this coming Saturday. The intention of it being put forward, publicly, is to allow you to see how New Horizons and myself are presently struggling through these challenging times and some of the measures we are taking, collectively, to move through the darkness into the Light.

We invite your good wishes and prayers.

Dear Board Members and those about to become board members,

New Horizons is at a turning point like never before. My immediate observation of the situation is that this pending shift has been brought about by the recent election of Donald Trump to the presidency. Never before has our country faced circumstances such as this.  And we are very much a part of it.

My Higher Self sees a broader vista; a sense that it was only a matter of time until the shift that is about to occur for New Horizons and myself would have taken place anyway. For the past forty years plus I have, in a manner of speaking, been hiding out at New Horizons, protecting myself from an onslaught of pressure that high visibility in the public sector could bring about.

In short I can explain this by saying that at the inception of New Horizons, in 1974, I was,  personally, needing to keep my life very private and more or less subdued. This was in contrast to the high profile, highly charged life I had been leading as Executive Director of the U.S. "Male" Service. 

To understand what all of this has meant for me and been like is a long and complex story. Yet it was always part of my plan, my hopes and dreams that somehow I would find a way to blend what I left behind of me, exiting my D.C. life, with that which I next created to make a return. 

There is, I believe, something in all of us that yearns to go home to our roots. And much of me is, and always has been grounded in Washington. I could not leave it behind and never come back.

The time for my return is now!

Up until this time, I have purposely guided New Horizons in such a way as for programs and projects to take center stage. My role was to stand behind this in second place, in terms of what was being publicly promoted. The change about to occur will reverse that priority, from here forth, with me being lifted into visible priority and New Horizons coming up behind me.

I don't know how to do this. But one thing I have known all along is that I could only take this HUGE step if I were part of a loving, caring, supportive community that I would do my best to represent. That perspective came to me very distinctly in the visions that, I believe, you are now aware are a part of the way I SEE things. You are that community for me, large or small.

So please, when we meet this coming Saturday, open your hearts and minds; your hopes and dreams, your highest visioning capabilities -- and – join, with me, at our annual board meeting to begin envisioning a new kind of future for New Horizons; not only for New Horizons, but for each one of us, personally; a developing direction that can help our world, at least our country, to come through our present crises in our society and politics, better than we have ever been before.

These are treacherous times. Let us help one another through them.

I give you my promise that I will do my best to represent us, in this coming phase, in ways that will reassure and make you proud.

Please help me do this, for all of us (and not last or least for my children and the legacy I/you will leave behind someday).

Please let us make a difference together.  That is my wish and my prayer.

With deepest gratitude and affection,

Executive Director
New Horizons Support Network, Inc.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Telling The Truth And Knowing The Truth Are So Important: Part I

In my active years as a therapist, researcher and writer of psychologically and sociologically oriented books, I wrote one piece I have treasured ever since. And returned to, both for reflection and assorted teaching modules.

The piece was titled simply as “Telling The Truth."

It began like this – 
“Most of us like to think we are fairly honest. In fact, most of us believe, wholeheartedly, that we are committed to our personal integrity.
If and when someone questions our honesty or truthfulness, we are usually offended or angry.  Oh no!  Not I! What do you mean I am lying!
One truth I have come to realize over my many years as a psychotherapist and researcher is that the majority of people in our contemporary society are rather careless about telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 
How about you?
Realistically, the whole truth or the full reality of any given circumstance is pretty much beyond the grasp of ordinary folks. So the best we can do is tell the best possible truth as we know it, using that as our working truth until further notice. Overall, that is generally enough for most situations."
Carl Bernstein, noted investigative journalist, who along with his partner, Bob Woodward, exposed the Watergate break in cover up have, as one of their main principles about truth knowing (and I imagine truth gathering) that I rather like – 
“The best attainable version of the truth.”
According to Bernstein these words define the working premise he and Woodward use for their definition of the “truth.” It works for me.

We are caught in a political mess these days that is threatening every aspect of our lives. Based on the now accepted reality or “truth” that we cannot rely on the highest leader of our land to be truthful with us, it is more important than ever that we stand back and personally reflect on the role that truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth, plays in our lives, personally, professionally and POLITICALLY!

The challenge for us all is that, typical of all survivor types (And who isn’t?), is an inclination to be somewhat careless about telling whole truths. There are many reasons for this. In a series of forthcoming blog articles I will be addressing this issue with the added benefit of my excerpting them from the “Telling The Truth” article I wrote more than thirty years ago that has turned out to be more timeless than any other single written piece of mine.

More to come.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Why "Finding Light In The Darkness" Is So Important, Especially Now!

Dedicated to G.M. “Mike” Corrigan who tracked me down and pressured me for an interview and then became my friend. In honor of his wonderful contribution to our local community with his Friday night, non-partisan supper club.

My friend Mike Corrigan and our local Frederick News Post gave me a priceless gift a few years back. As a gift that just keeps giving, it means more to me today than it did ten years ago when I first received it. The bestowal came in the form of a newspaper headline and a magnificent graphic accompanying an article Mike wrote about me.

The headline read “Finding Light In The Darkness” while the subtitle stated, “Entrepreneur-turned-peace educator spotlights the “dark side” in non-violence training.” It is the graphic presentation of the piece, more than anything that truly wins the day in my mind, tying the words of the entire article together in a stunningly impactful way. When you see the visual appearance you are almost immediately reminded that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

I am not one to seek publicity, especially of me, personally. You can write and publicize my organization and its many wonderful programs and projects as much as you like, but about me? 

That’s another whole story and a long and complex one at that, having much to do with what I learned from Watergate plus more. The plus is grounded in how, during my eight years on the Washington fast track, I acted out my own dark side until love pulled me out of it!  

The more shows up with what I did with what both the D.C. fast track, in general, and Watergate, in particular, taught me about the Dark Side so I could always be on top of its sabotages rather than allowing it to control me.

Interestingly I am not in a position yet -- regarding this article, published August 6, 2006, to tell you about the many gifts this article gave me. This is also the case presently about my knowing precisely what Watergate taught me. However, none of this has one bit to do with what anyone else thought of that article, then or since. 

I can, at least, share one point, derived from my personal relationship with the article; the visual presentation mirrors back to me a critically important message for me, showing me how I managed to survive eight years of blindness and recovery.  

In a way, that article is, today, almost a living, breathing entity helping me “see” who I truly am at my fullest, publicly announcing that “Anastasia is a woman who finds Light in the darkness.” In a nutshell this is what blindness brought me, as a result of how I chose to manage it.

What a wonderful way to be known! 

(Unfortunately, I do not presently have permission from the Frederick News Post to display the graphic. However, one of my volunteers will soon be working to obtain it.)

Nonetheless, there is, at least, one message of the article for me to pass on to you: transcend the challenges facing you on the earth plane and lift them up to that higher place above, the spiritual, if you want to move through an ordeal, optimally. 

Apply that notion to today's political chaos and what do you get? Some peace of mind in the midst of it all!

That message, in and of itself, becomes a reminder to myself that I carry that capability, “finding Light in the darkness,” as one of my personal attributes. 

You have it too! We all do if we exercise it. In times of crisis we must draw upon it, our spiritual capability, to help us with our physical plane challenges such as are facing our nation today.

For added emphasis here, a New Horizons promotional page for one of my three books in progress, To See Or Not To See And The Art of Transcendent Living: A True Story of Clarity, from an old, outdated web site of ours, spotlights the message I take from the article with slightly different words.
”Anastasia’s story is about seeking clarity with eyes wide open – welcoming “what is” even when it is painful. Scaling one’s personal mountain of darkness and reaching clarity (the summit) brings healing, joy and peace—the Light.”  
Lately, I have begun a serious in depth endeavor to seek a more comprehensive understanding of myself, regarding my ability to “find Light in darkness.” Donald Trump’s election to the White House has prompted this, I believe. And yet the prophecy I had at the time of Watergate also strongly influences this thrust in me. 

How these threads come together at the present moment seems to be that I believe that now is my soul-designed time to give back what I have learned through the journeys of my life, especially in this time of social and political crisis facing American citizens now.  

What it means to “find Light in the darkness – and – guide others to effectively do so seems to be an assignment of mine. “Finding Light in the darkness” is, to my mind, one of the most essential tools an individual can employ to manage today’s circumstances. A heightened perspective, beyond the internet and the daily barrage of media hype of what’s happening now can enable each and every one of us to lift ourselves up and out of the, sometimes frightening, distress of our daily lives.

Noted author, teacher and healer, Carolyn Myss, calls it the "helicopter view" of life. For me that is another way of urging “find the Light” in the darkness every step of your way.

All of this is why "Finding Light In The Darkness Is So Important, Especially Now! 

You can hear a bit more of my story of how I brought myself to learn to do this on my podcast titled, “The Art of Transcendent Living.”

You can do it too.  If you need guidance, I can also be available to assist you.

Contact me at: