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Showing posts from 2018

Is it live or is it Memorex?

(Faking it till you make it and the cure for hypochondria) If you’re old enough, you might remember the iconic Memorex television commercials from the 1970s in which jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald shatters a wine glass with her voice. Then, the playback of a recording of Fitzgerald on Memorex tape shatters another. The announcer asks: “Is it live or is it Memorex?” More on Memorex in a moment. But first, a brief trip… Continue Reading→

Stuck? Find the bottleneck.

A few months ago, I took a business bootcamp course from Mirasee, an organization that helps build and scale businesses using a combination of audience-building strategies and online courses. The intention of the course designer and company founder, Danny Iny, was to teach participants how to jump start a business. I’m not sure, yet, whether the course will help me do that, but it’s already made a difference in how I approach problems… Continue Reading→

The Reluctant Carnivore

Last week, I happened upon a Facebook video that gave me pause. Until a few years ago, I'd always eaten meat. I love a good hamburger, a steak, turkey breast, salmon, grilled chicken. And I'd always been aware that I was indirectly killing a sentient creature. But, I thought, I'm also an animal, and other animals eat animals. I could hunt for my food if I had to. In April, 2014, a rogue… Continue Reading→

Dive Deep to Live Creatively

Creative activities—and the creative approach to life that often accompanies them—can help us better withstand the huffing and puffing of life's Big Bad Wolf. Creative activities are rewarding outlets for self-expression. They give us a sense of accomplishment, often have a centering effect, and they’re usually fun to do. But besides these obvious benefits, creative activities can also enhance how we approach our lives. When we work creatively, we dive deep into ourselves.… Continue Reading→

Clean Up Your Cat Hairs!

Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay is desperate ground. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War Stress is one of the most insidious challenges to building resilience. It can be a constant strain on our natural balancing mechanism, gradually wearing down its efficacy and slowing its response time. Basic ways to reduce stress that therapists often recommend include changing your emotional relationship to the stressor… Continue Reading→

Stories Within Stories

A Story Within a Story or The Story of a Story Eugene K. Garber's Eroica Trilogy is a sustained exploration of the powerful impulse to tell stories and the impediments all storytellers face—an exploration that climaxes in The House of Nordquist, a fascinating blend of detective story, gothic novel, epistolary tale, and social critique. Gene briefly comments on one of the novel's central issues below: In The House of Nordquist Alice, misfortunate wife of… Continue Reading→

The View from 30K

I recently flew from Boston to the West Coast to see my oldest and closest friend. I don't fly often, but when I do, I try to get a a window seat. Yes, there's less legroom, and yes, I have to step over people if I want to use the restroom, but there's no other way to get the view from 30K, and the view from 30K is important to me. On this… Continue Reading→

A Change of Pace: The Eroica Trilogy

Something Different This Way Comes   Transformations Press (i.e., David) is extraordinarily pleased to announce the resurrection of two iconoclastic novels by Eugene K. Garber, as well as the imminent birth of his latest novel, The House of Nordquist. Gene was my mentor in fiction writing when I was a graduate student in the early '90s. We've maintained a friendship ever since. With his first two Eroica books now out of print and the… Continue Reading→

Stay Sane with the Personal Craziness Index

NOTE: This post is adapted from my new book The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World. I’m posting it here because it’s the key to staying balanced when the road gets rocky.   To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War To stay sane in an insane world, we need more than new tools and techniques. We also have to keep doing… Continue Reading→

Follow Your Yellow Brick Road

In the film The Wizard of Oz, after a tornado has lifted her house into the air and set it down again, Dorothy steps outside to survey the damage. As she observes the rolling hills, the fantastic buildings, the yellow brick road, the munchkins, she begins to realize that something has changed. She tells her little dog, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore. We must be over the rainbow!” As a child, watching this… Continue Reading→

Artists for Artists (Part I)

NOTE: If you live in the Boston area, please join me on Friday, July 6th, at Cabot Street Books & Cards in Beverly for a reception for an exhibition of my Flower Mandalas. Time: 6pm – 8pm. Place: 272 Cabot St, Beverly, MA 01915 While I was waiting for my flight home in the vast Hong Kong International airport, I reflected on the many things that had been stirred in me by the experience… Continue Reading→

Intense!

I returned from a trip to Hong Kong a week or so ago, and naturally people asked me how it was. My answer: Intense! I went to Hong Kong to do workshops on The Art of Balance and Cultivating Creativity with participants in the 2018 Asia Yoga Conference. I came back with vivid mental – and literal – snapshots of this fascinating city. And I also now have sense of family connection with… Continue Reading→

The Easiest Way to Meditate

Many people think meditation is complicated or difficult, but it it’s not. It’s literally as simple as breathing, and a good place to begin meditating is with a one-minute meditation repeated throughout the day. At a retreat I attended years ago, I was introduced to the one-minute meditation through the tolling of the Mindfulness Bell. At random times throughout each day, when someone sounded a bell, we all had to stop what we… Continue Reading→

A Mini-Lesson on Mini Self-Care

This post is a reprise of one of the most popular posts from last year. It’s about how to take care of yourself when you’re too pressed for time for normal self-care. It’s one of many self-care practices in my new book The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World, which will be on sale for a “Countdown Deal” for four days, starting Friday.  In the summer of 1979, after two… Continue Reading→

Merch!

As many of you know, I’ve been making Flower Mandala images for a very long time. What you may not know – because I’ve never really promoted them – is that I’ve also created a wide variety of Flower Mandala products that are available on various websites. These include T-shirts, prints on paper or canvas, greeting cards, journals, posters, mugs, decorative tiles, calendars, tote bags, and more. They’re available on Amazon.com, FineArtAmerica.com, CafePress.com,… Continue Reading→

Ken Ring is Still Waiting to Die….

Waiting to Die – Part II Kenneth Ring I might have been a tad too glib when in the first installment of what clearly will be a terminal series having to do with my personal terminus, I observed that at least for me waiting to die was rather boring. After this winter, I have had cause to change my mind. For a while there, I thought it might be more of a matter… Continue Reading→

Justice: Attorneys, samurai, and Old Testament Jews

In the late ’50s, psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg observed that as we mature, we progress through three basic levels of moral development. At the pre-conventional levels, our sense of what’s fair and just is self-centered; we are concerned mainly with satisfying our own needs and avoiding punishment. Most of us move on to the conventional levels, where our sense of justice is based mainly on societal expectations; we make moral decisions based on rules,… Continue Reading→

How (and why) I became a therapist

Recently, I was in touch with a woman who is transitioning from being an engineer to becoming a therapist, and we’ve been exchanging emails on our respective paths. I thought I’d share a bit of mine, here. My path to becoming a therapist was a slow, trial-and-error process. I’m 67 now and was 51 when I enrolled in Cambridge College’s program to become a mental health counselor. I grew up a sort of… Continue Reading→

Hong Kong or Bust!

My Flower Mandala images – which I created as a form of meditation to help me through a difficult time – have had the unexpected result of carrying me, metaphorically, to widely dispersed parts of the world. Via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media, they’ve found their way onto the screens, and sometimes into the homes, of people on all the continents of the globe except (as far as I know) Antarctica.… Continue Reading→

25th Anniversary Celebration

NOTE: Today is the 25th year anniversary of my near-death experience, an event that ended one phase of my life and began another, like the period at the end of this sentence ends it. And then a new sentence begins. This post from my book Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas describes that experience and its aftermath. GRACE: CONTINUATIONS On February 21, 1993, at about 7:45pm, I was granted a form of grace… Continue Reading→

The Art of Balance Cheat Sheet

To more widely distribute the ideas and practices in The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World, I’ve started to create supplements to the book. As I create them, I’m making them available to new subscribers, and I wanted to make sure that you get them, too. The first is The Art of Balance Cheat Sheet. This little booklet introduces the characters in The Art of Balance and walks the reader through how… Continue Reading→

Launched! 🚀 (and a $0.99 sale)

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A legion of UnBalancers has been unleashed upon the Earth –Along with the means to send them scurrying!Or, to put it another way, my new self-help book – The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World – is now out, just in time to battle stress, anxiety, winter doldrums, and whatever the evening news delivers next.I’ve boiled down everything I’ve discovered about staying sane in this insane world in my 15 years as a therapist and life coach into one power-packed volume, and so far the response among early reviewers has been very positive:“I cannot say enough about The Art of Balance. It’s an amazing manual for re-balancing one’s life!”“If you want to avoid a long-winded and theory-based self-help book, then this is the book for you. David provides practical exercises that are easy to follow and they really do work. Even if you have a hectic lifestyle David gives you quick exercises to perform wherever and whenever you can fit them in.”“In an age of anxiety this book provides a re…

Coming Attractions: The Art of Balance

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I’m doing the final tweaks on the book, ebook, and website for The Art of Balance. Here’s what some early reviewers are already saying about it:“I found it empowering and self-motivating. It truly was difficult to stop reading once I began.”“A self-help book that actually helps!”“If you want to avoid a long-winded and theory-based self-help book, then this is the book for you. David provides practical exercises that are easy to follow and they really do work.”“This book is very motivating and extremely validating!”“Comes at the subject in a simple, easily understood approach. I found myself not wanting to put it down.”“This book is a must have for artists and creative people.”“Whether you’re in a recovery program or just feel lost, the principles, exercises, and examples in this book can help regain a feeling of purpose and direction. It did for me.”“Definitely a must read.”“I would recommend Bookbinder’s newest effort to anyone struggling with issues in recovery that relate to mainta…

How to Stay Sane in an Insane World

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Don’t let your heart be colonized by fear.
– Jack KornfieldWhat I Learned About Practicing What I PreachThe Battle for Balance is a life and death struggle. Stay balanced, and we enjoy life to the fullest. Lose balance, and life gets hard.I’ve learned this lesson many times, over many years, and I’m sure most of you have, too. But a couple of years ago, I discovered that even a therapist with a toolbox full of self-help tools can get unbalanced if he doesn’t practice what he preaches.A big part of my job is to help people deal with difficulties and uncertainties. Because I’m an empath, while I’m working with them, I’m also feeling what they feel. Usually, I can process those feelings in the moment, so that by the time the next client walks through my door, I’m ready to freshly take in who they are and what they may need.My work feels like a calling, and that’s a good thing. But there have been two extended periods when too much of a good thing was… too much, and it was in these periods…

Guest Post: “Waiting to Die”

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NOTE: This is a guest post by Kenneth Ring, PhD. Dr. Ring is an internationally recognized authority on near-death experiences. His writings on this phenomenon include five books and nearly 100 articles about near-death experiences. He is the co-founder of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) and is the founding editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies. Dr. Ring’s book Heading Toward Omega, the Journal of Near-Death Studies, and IANDS were all very important to me following my own NDE in 1993, and I’m honored to have him as a guest.Waiting to Die
© 2017, Kenneth RingThe bright realization that must come before death will be worth all the boredom of living.
– Ned Rorem
What’s it like, waiting to die? Of course, it’s different for everyone. I can only say what it’s like for me. On the whole, it’s rather boring.Don’t get me wrong. I still have many pleasures in life and – knock on silicon – I’m lucky not to be suffering from any fatal illness, though if I were, th…

Countdown!

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The launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik when I was 7 years old drew me to science, and especially to space science. In my bedroom, I hung posters of all the Soviet and American rockets and satellites. When I grew up, I wanted to be a rocket scientist and, perhaps, also an astronaut. I was 10 when President Kennedy announced the goal of getting a man to the moon and back by the end of the decade – a goal NASA achieved in 1969, the year I graduated from high school and started at Cornell University’s engineering school, still intent on becoming a NASA engineer.As a kid scientist, one of the most exciting times for me was watching the countdown to launches at Cape Canaveral. The shots of the giant rockets, the interviews with Mercury 7 and Apollo astronauts and NASA support personnel (including the engineers whose ranks I hoped to join), and the excitement of the countdown itself were among my most thrilling moments.Although I ultimately became a writer and therapist instead of a rock…