Video: What to Do When Things Fall Apart

You’ve met the “characters” in the Art of Balance system – your internal Balancer and ReBalancer. Now here’s how they work together when your life balance starts to tip in the wrong direction. For a quick guide to using the Art of Balance system to regain your equilibrium, click here or on the thumbnail below. See you in the next video – David Copyright 2021, David J. Bookbinder  Books: The Art of Balance: Staying…

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Video: The Cast of Characters, Part II

If UnBalancer is your nemesis, it is matched by two allies I call Balancer and ReBalancer. Balancer operates in the background and is the part of you that deals with ordinary and routine stress. It includes the skills you’ve learned and the habits you practice that keep your psychological and emotional immune systems running smoothly. Balancer keeps us sane and balanced most of the time, and for the most part holds UnBalancer at…

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Video: The Cast of Characters, Part I

The Art of Balance courses teach you how to manage stress, build resilience, and to restore and maintain life balance. But they also tell a story. You are the protagonist of this tale, an epic battle not only for balance but literally for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The villain in this story is the nefarious UnBalancer. UnBalancer is all the forces that can throw us off track, get us down,…

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Video: We’re Whole, But Also the Sum of Our Parts

This brief video introduces one of the two fundamental concepts of the Art of Balance System: the idea of “parts.” I’m sure that at some point in your life you’ve said something like, “A part of me feels this way, but another part feels that way.” That’s not just a figure of speech. Although we are all whole, integrated beings, we are also a collection of parts, and at any given time one part,…

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Video: A Three-Breath, One-Minute Meditation

Here’s a “Quick Win” from the upcoming course Art of Balance Basic Training A “Quick Win,” in online course lingo, is a self-contained bit of learning you can immediately benefit from, independent of the rest of the course. The Art of Balance courses intersperse related Quick Wins with the theory and strategies of the Art of Balance System. In this four-minute video lecture, you can learn to do a one-minute meditation I first…

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An Apology… and a Gift

Okay, first the apology. It’s been months since I last posted here, and I’m sorry about that. I thought I could juggle working as a therapist, posting regularly, and completing a large project (more on that in a minute), but I was wrong. As with physical juggling — where even the experts have been unable to teach me to keep three balls in the air — I can juggle only two major activities…

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Stay Loose

Seven months into the State of Emergency, and the virus has not changed. The ways it spreads have not changed. It’s degree of fatality has changed only slightly for all but the richest and most privileged. And the patterns of government and behavior that have escalated the spread of the virus have also not changed. “How do we cope with all this?” is the question I often hear from clients and friends, and…

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Pandemicide [Full text]

David J. Bookbinder, LMHC david@transformationspress.org First, they came for the Mexicans and the Muslims. Then, they came for the refugees and the immigrants. Then, they came for the Blacks, the Latinxs, the Native Americans. Then, they came for the old, the sick, the poor. Now, they come for us all. Pandemicide. Therapist as Analyst I’m a psychotherapist. It may seem unusual for someone with a background in psychology to analyze national public health…

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URGENT: Pandemicide

I hope you’re doing well during this difficult time.  For the past couple of years, I’ve been focusing on balance – in these posts, in my book The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World, in a forthcoming online course, and in my own life. The greatest unbalancer most of us have experienced in our lifetimes is happening right now, so I thought I’d better directly address it. I began with…

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The Art of Balance in a Global Crisis – Step 2, Assess

I typically see people for psychotherapy after they’ve broken through denial but before they reach a state of true acceptance. Often, they come to my office wanting something to change but wanting to change nothing in themselves. Once we get to the radical acceptance phase, they’re able to stop vacillating between one strong emotion and its opposite and take a realistic look at their situations, the obstacles to their recovery, and also at…

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The Art of Balance in a Global Crisis – Step 1, Detect

Among my clients, friends, and family, those who are doing well in the pandemic have accepted that this is the way the world is now. They’ve arrived at a modified way of life that feels safe, and from that base of safety they’re looking for opportunities during this crisis and beyond. But they didn’t start out doing well, and neither did I. Shifting from the breakdown of denial to full detection of imbalance…

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The Art of Balance in a Global Crisis – Step 0, Denial

I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and my work for the past 17 years has been to help people overcome psychological and situational problems that cause them emotional distress. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many people back into counseling – I’m now seeing, through telemedicine, almost twice as many clients as I was seeing in person before the pandemic. It has also led many who never worked with a therapist into counseling for…

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TL;DR: Do’s and Don’ts for Navigating a Global Crisis

I’ve been working on a detailed article about how the Art of Balance system applies to the current global crisis, and how to use it to navigate your way back to balance. In the meantime, I’ve also been keeping track of what’s been helping my clients, neighbors, friends, and family members — and also what hasn’t been so helpful. So, without further ado, I bring you this list of Pandemic Do’s and Don’ts.…

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White and Orange Daffodil I

How do Buddhists deal with the pandemic?

Much of what I’ve learned — and teach — about life balance comes from what I’ve gleaned from Buddhist teachers. In one of the magazines I subscribe to, Lion’s Roar, I  came upon this collection of recent teachings on dealing with the pandemic. If you’re already familiar with Buddhism, much of this will be familiar, too. If not, I hope you’ll find it helpful, both for its immediate content and as an introduction to…

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The Art of Balance in a Global Crisis: Part I, Origins

The scenario: UnBalancer sweeps the globe. It begins in the wild, unbalancing a tiny creature that’s captured, taken to a live market in China, and slaughtered. From one vendor’s cart, it scurries around the market, dividing rapidly, like tiny UnBalancer rats and fleas. Buyers, unaware, take it home and UnBalancer enslaves them to its will. Swiftly and relentlessly, UnBalancer spreads. Throughout the world it appears, emulating scenes from scary movies and silly pop…

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The Cast of Characters: UnBalancer

What makes things go out of balance? Things get unbalanced when there’s a design flaw, when something breaks, or when unequal forces press on an object. Imbalance usually gets worse over time, gradually compromising the whole structure. An unbalanced tire rattles the car. A leak in a roof leads to a ceiling falling in. When winds vibrated the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, the whole structure danced briefly and then catastrophically collapsed.…

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The Chemist

“Find Your Fire” at new journaling site

I’m a big fan of experimenting, and this month I’m doing an experiment of my own that some of you might enjoy. The experiment, for me, is to see whether the worlds of journaling and The Art of Balance can synergistically (I’ve always wanted to use that word) combine. I’ll keep you posted. The new(ish) journaling website, Journaling.com, has a new members-only feature they are calling “Find Your Fire,” located inside their Gift…

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Balanced, UnBalanced, and the World’s Shortest Play

We’re whole people, but we’re also a collection of parts. When we say, “A part of me feels this way, and another part feels that way,” it’s not just a metaphor. Here’s another free installment from my forthcoming course, Mastering the Art of Balance: Stay Sane in an Insane World.  In this video, you’ll see how the three parts that are at the heart of the Art of Balance system – Balancer, UnBalancer, and…

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Learn to meditate in 5 minutes, 31 seconds

I’ve just posted the next free installment from my forthcoming course, Mastering the Art of Balance: Stay Sane in an Insane World.  By the end of this 5-minute, 31-second video, you’ll master the simplest and most effective meditation technique I know. It’s benefitted many of my clients, and now you can learn it, too! This is the second installment of an ongoing course. The beta period of the course is now complete, and…

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Free mindfulness/meditation course

Confession. Some months ago, in the midst of creating the Art of Balance course and a lot of travel, I fell off the meditation wagon. To get back on, I’ve started this free mindfulness/meditation course by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach at Sounds True: Free Mindfulness Daily Class by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach It’s a 40-day program that covers the basics of mindfulness practices and, at the same time, re-acclimates (or acclimates)…

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