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…

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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…

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The Reluctant Carnivore

Last week, I happened upon a Facebook video that gave me pause. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=Sx-CxuAeVPo 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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Stay Sane with the Personal Craziness Index

  To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War 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 stay sane in an insane world, we need to keep doing the things that keep us balanced. But if…

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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…

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Artists for Artists (Part I)

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 of being in Hong Kong. Chief among them was a vague sense of fraudulence. Although I’d just run a vital, stimulating workshop on cultivating creativity at the Asia Yoga Conference, my own artistic creative output had been sadly lacking for nearly a year.…

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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…

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The Easiest Way to Meditate

Many people think meditation is complicated or difficult, but 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 were…

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A Mini-Lesson on Mini Self-Care

NOTE: This post is a one of many self-care practices in my new book The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World.  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 time…

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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,…

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Guest Post: 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…

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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,…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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