My Life in the Balance

NOTE: This is a guest post by Barrie Levine. If you are interested in doing a guest post on Balance or a related topic, please email me at david@davidbookbinder.com. During the two tough years of my husband’s illness, I lost my balance. Every consideration in my life was laser-focused on his well-being. I never doubted the vital importance of my full-time role as a caregiver; in fact, I considered it a gift to accompany…

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Hanging in the Balance

There once was a Zen monk who, while walking across a field, encountered a ferocious tiger. The tiger chased the monk across the field until he reached the edge of a high cliff. The monk’s only chance was to grab a vine that grew at the cliff’s edge and lower himself out of the tiger’s reach. As the monk hung from the vine, he saw that below him, another tiger was waiting. He…

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The Balancer/ReBalancer Tag Team

Last week, I wrote about the UnBalancer. As powerful as UnBalancer is, and as insidious as it can be, each of us has two powerful allies to help us counteract it. One of them is Balancer. Like UnBalancer, Balancer has been difficult to define. I’m only beginning to understand its totality. It’s not only Awareness, though Awareness is certainly one of its components. It’s not just Mindfulness, either, though Mindfulness can be a…

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The Under Toad and the UnBalancer

‘The Under Toad,’ Walt said. ‘I’m trying to see it. How big is it? And Garp and Helen and Duncan held their breath; they realized that all these years Walt had been dreading a giant toad, lurking offshore, waiting to suck him under and drag him out to sea. The terrible Under Toad. Garp tried to imagine it with him. Would it ever surface? Did it ever float? Or was it always down…

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Gyroscopes and Personal Flywheels

My first counseling psychology supervisor once remarked that every psychologist begins as a child psychologist – as a boy or girl who, to survive childhood, develops the basic skills for psychotherapy. I’ve been interested in becoming a therapist since my first year in college, but until my 50s, I didn’t know how I could handle the emotions of 20 or 30 people a week. Carrying people’s feelings has always been an issue for…

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A Mini-Lesson on Mini Self-Care

NOTE: This post is about how to take care of yourself when you’re too pressed for time for normal self-care. But first, some back story. In the summer of 1979, after two of my roommates were mugged and I narrowly escaped the knife myself, I left Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant for parts unknown. I’d arrived in New York five years earlier with two books, two cameras, and a knapsack full of clothes, but by the…

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Publishing and Self-Publishing: Next Steps

Publishing and Self-Publishing: Next Steps NOTE: This is the second in a series of occasional posts on my ongoing adventures and misadventures in self-publishing. Had I known what I’m posting here and will post in occasional future pieces on publishing, this journey would have been a far less rocky road! (Our regular programming will resume shortly.) Regardless of whether you are planning to self-publish or are getting published by a traditional publisher, these are…

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Balancing the Books

From late spring to early autumn, 1971, I hitchhiked across the United States, following a meandering loop west from Buffalo to Berkeley, south past L.A., up the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, and back east through Canada. I was on a mission not only to see the country, but also to find out who I was. I hitchhiked to force myself to connect, if only for a lift to the next town…

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Adventures/Misadventures in the Book Trade (and a price promotion)

Adventures/Misadventures in the Book Trade (and a price promotion) Thanks to your recent survey responses, I’m starting to work on an expanded piece on Balance and will be rolling it out, post by post, soon. I would be happy to include stories from you on how you maintain balance. Email me, or post your story as a comment to the blog version of this and subsequent posts, here: http://davidbookbinder.com/photoblog Meanwhile, I’d like to…

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Action: Louder than words

At times I feel like a Sherlock Holmes of the mind, each of my clients the faithful and resourceful Watson of his or her own unsolved mystery. A Holmes-like insight is the province of traditional psychotherapy, and it is often a helpful tool. Insight can clarify the causes of anxiety or depression, relieve guilt and shame, explicate the roots of trauma, and point the way to new and better lives. But insight alone…

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Portrait of an Artist

Cameron Byron Roberts, Painter About three years ago, Cameron Byron Roberts (a.k.a. Cam) and I cooked up an idea for a process-oriented group for late-blooming artist types like us. The inspiration came from an article Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers, Blink, etc.) wrote for The New Yorker in which he differentiated between people who, early on, know what they want to do and are recognized for it at a young age (think Mozart and Picasso)…

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Acceptance: It’s all part of it, man

My path to acceptance has been mainly through loss: lost career opportunities, relationships, health and, nearly, the loss of my life. Acceptance has come with the recognition that each loss has also been an opening. A major turning point occurred several years ago. At that time I was bleeding internally and before I noticed any symptoms, I had already lost about 25% of my blood supply. Though less drastic than a brush with…

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Mary O’Malley: An Introduction

Mary O’Malley: An Introduction One of the things I most like doing is introducing interesting artists to readers and telling, or letting them tell, their story. Because I love her work, and because of our recent collaboration on our coloring book for adults, 52 (more) Flower Mandalas, I’d like to start with Mary O’Malley. Mary and I met about a year ago. I had just released the coloring book 52 Flower Mandalas and…

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Two new books! And a new imprint!

Two new books! And a new imprint! I’m back. Really. Moving forward, you’ll be hearing from me on a regular basis, with new images and new writing about art, healing, and transformation, as well as excerpts from books and announcements of publications and events. But meanwhile… After months of looking for a traditional publisher for my Kickstarted book of essays and Flower Mandalas, and after a mixed experience with a traditional publisher for an…

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Mandalas, healing … and coloring!

On May 22, from 6:30-7:30 pm, I’ll be reading from my book Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas: A Meditation and also talking about using mandalas for meditation, healing… and coloring! The presentation will be at Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest urban wildlife sanctuary in New England, with five miles of trails for folks of all abilities to enjoy. Click here to sign up for the presentation. Copies of…

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Flower Mandalas: the opera, country music, wildlife sanctuary, and the airwaves

Flower Mandalas: the opera, country music, and wildlife sanctuaries Just a quick update on what’s happening with the Flower Mandalas. Opera: The “Pink Peony I” Flower Mandala is being used by the Old Opera House in Frankfurt, Germany, on the cover of their 2016-2017 program, on their website, and on 500 large posters hung throughout the city. Music: The Brazilian band Nemphis Belle, singing in a Country Western style in English, has released an album…

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The Garbage and the Flowers (Wabi-Sabi)

Share 52 Flower Mandalas on Facebook and Share 52 Flower Mandalas on Twitter For the last several years, I’ve found myself attracted to the dead leaves I see on the ground as I walk, particularly those in late fall and winter. I’ve taken hundreds, maybe thousands, of pictures of them. A friend’s mentioning to me the concept of wabi-sabi helped me understand why. Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese term for finding the beauty in imperfection, and accepting…

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Transmigration of Flower Mandala essence

Share 52 Flower Mandalas on Facebook and Share 52 Flower Mandalas on Twitter More soon on the topic of transforming the essence of one type of art into another, but both the therapist and the artist in me wanted to convey a personal example by showing how my Flower Mandalas were transformed by artist Emily Sper into line art for our coloring book, 52 Flower Mandalas. Below is part of a table I created of all 52…

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Raffles, reviews, and samples! Oh my!

Share 52 Flower Mandalas on Facebook and Share 52 Flower Mandalas on Twitter Breaking news! I’ve been finding out more from clients and colorists about coloring and it’s meditative qualities and will write another post on that soon, but some time-sensitive events are happening with 52 Flower Mandalas. Before I get to those events, though, here are two more completed illustrations from colorist C.G. Lynee, which she entitled “Arbor” and “Naos”: And now, the news.…

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Can I pick your brains?

Share 52 Flower Mandalas with your friends! Art Bars, Coloring Parties, other audiences Now that our coloring book 52 Flower Mandalas is completed, I’d like to find more ways to get it out into the world. Marketing and promotion, alas, have never been my strengths, so I’d appreciate some advice and some help. A friend suggested that because coloring is a relaxing, meditative, but also a creative activity, 52 Flower Mandalas would be an asset to HR…

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