JIM BALLARD, A SHORT BIOGRAPHY
NOTES ON SRF MAGAZINE ARTICLES
"The Hero's journey of Spirit"
Applies stages of the Hero myth to daily life.
"Life Is But A Dream" Spring
About the dream nature of the world, and how to live it as a dream.
"Why Is This So Difficult?" Summer
How to use life's troubles to grow on the path.
Books Co-Authored / Ghost-written with Ken Blanchard:
Training Program Design:
Jim is currently at work on a Broadway musical called "Milo's Beam," about a man who invents a mechanism that causes people's brains to temporarily lose the capacity to criticize and find fault with others.
123 Maplewood Circle, Amherst, MA 01002
NOTES ON THREE LATEST BOOKS
WHAT'S THE RUSH? (Broadway Books,
1999) is in part a commentary on the speedup of life over almost 7 decades I
had observed it, and a sort of survival handbook for approaching the 21st century.
It was the result of twenty years of using distance running as a form of contemplation
and movement-meditation, and translates some 40 "recipes for the sole"
(strategies I discovered that enable a runner to enter the experience of "being
run") into principles for making life and work more balanced, healthy,
Running had been instrumental in my coming on the SRF path. (I wrote about that in the article "Life Is But A Dream" that appeared in the Spring 1997 issue of SELF-REALIZATION magazine. As a matter of fact, it was the interest shown by readers of that article that spurred me to finish the writing of the running book.) The book uses many ideas and quotes of Paramahansa Yogananda.
WHALE DONE! (Simon and Schuster, 2001) was a collaboration with Ken Blanchard, my co-author of several previous books, as well as Thad Lacinak and Chuck Tompkins, the two men in charge of training the killer whales at Sea World. It uses a story to help people (primarily leaders such as parents and business managers) value the strategy of "catching people doing things right." The fable tells of a man who has troubled relationships, finds out how they get the Sea World animals to perform through trust, praise and positive relationships, and applies those principals in his job and family.
MIND LIKE WATER (Wiley & Sons, 2002), as noted above, began as a series of Balance Beam issues. The 24 strategies in the book are for building a "mind like water"-or the ability, as Master says, to be "calmly active, actively calm." Like WHAT'S THE RUSH?, it is spiritually based and quotes the guru frequently.
NOTES ON NEWSLETTER
After WHAT'S THE RUSH? was published in 1999, I began emailing out a bi-weekly online newsletter called THE BALANCE BEAM. The purpose of the Beam has been to supply overbusy, harried working people with tools and strategies for maintaining balance in their lives and work. It began with friends and associates; soon there were entire companies whose 300-or more employees were receiving the letter. In 2002 my second non-co-authored book in the current decade, MIND LIKE WATER--which had been expanded from a collection of 24 Balance Beam issues--was published,. Below are collected some of the emails I have received over the years from Balance Beam readers.
Feedback from Balance Beam readers
I just had to let you know how much I am continuing to enjoy your newsletter. The wisdom you share is phenomenal, and so often right in line with Ken and his daily messages. The two of you really compliment one another. How privileged we are at this organization to have such opportunities. Thank you. This message was so timely for me as I am preparing to present a process for a new initiative at Blanchard. The group is a tough one and includes one individual who I perceive struggles with change and "letting go." I won't go in with the need to be "right" but I will go in with prior reflection and respond to this difficult person with silence followed by intent to discover some truth in her objections. Thank you again.
Leigh P. Strohn, Director of Marketing
Ken Blanchard Companies
That was just what I needed to hear today. Have an awesome, wonderful day! You just made mine so.
I needed that today! I've been fighting the flow rather than going with it
and I'm exhausted. I took my first step by taking the time to read this, and
I'm so glad I did. Thank you :-)
This is by far my favorite of your newsletters so far. Though I didn't "really" have time to read anything tonight, I read this anyway, and am I glad I did! So thank you Jim, for providing perfect words to help me through this evening. And most of all, thank you so much for becoming such a wonderful presence in Ryan's life. I have no doubt that the time you spend with him will have a profound influence on him. Thank you for your multitude of kindnesses.
This is my final day at the NCAA. As of today I would like to personally thank you for sending me your encouraging newsletters (The Balance Beam). I also would love to keep receiving them on a regular basis .
This is beautiful - and so apt for me this week! Thanks again for sending your inspiring writing as well. I sincerely enjoyed the reading and the places that it led me to muse on.
Take care, Love, Ben Houk
What a fabulous piece! Thank you! I have a Buddhist meditation group which meets in our home every Sunday night. We have been meeting for over 4 years. This was our topic last night. I will share this with them. Thanks! Cathy
Thanks so much for another uplifting and thought provoking Balance Beam! I just wanted to let you know that this issue was a great rein-forcer of what I and many others believe is so key to living more aware. I can only attain moments of true meditation but keep working on it!
Nice one, Jim. I always like hearing about the benefits of meditation. I hope your newsletter helps a lot of people realize those benefits!
Thank you for this; it is exactly what I needed to think about. I have immersed
myself so fully into my massage career that I have not even taken a moment to
think about myself :) !!! My well is running dry already, giving to everyone
but myself !! Thanks for your words of wisdom, I appreciate them. I would really
like to buy your book.
Keep in touch. Thanks.
NOTE: BB #61: "A World Turned Upside Down" was written after the 9/11 attacks
Thanks, Jim. I've been thinking similar thoughts about the tragedy since last
night. I have been wondering why we as a country are hated and what we need
to do now to turn that around to prevent future acts of violence and hatred.
As always, I enjoyed reading your article. You put words to my unorganized thoughts
and feelings. Take care,
Thank you for putting words and organization to the feelings I am
experiencing. It all seems unreal, yet so real here in Annapolis where many people are involved in either the government or the military. The airports are closed, yet planes often fly overhead and I know that they are military planes. I wonder where they are going, what they are doing, turn on the radio again, just in case there is something more to know. There is so much "not knowing" right now.
How precious the words, ideas, and information are that you share in your newsletters. Thank-You for adding me to your mailing list. Your words have come to life in my mind and have helped heal, inspire, and guide me. Thank-you for sharing your hands through the heart of your words. It is greatly appreciated.
I read your most recent excerpt -- it's amazing how on target it was for me this week. It's been a very emotional week, which started off with exactly the kind of "what did she mean by that?" kind of thing with my sister, with whom I have an intensely close, but sometimes volatile relationship. We got through it, but it was very good, a couple days after the fact, to read your balance beam and appreciate being able to get back to equilibrium (or some semblence of it). As always, thank you. I'm so glad you are my son's big brother!
I received your newsletter Balance Beam #52 this summer, from a friend and was greatly impressed. Do you have a web-site, or place where I can get signed up on your distribution list for each newsletter?
Have you sent out a Balance Beam item since #52? I would enjoy receiving that version also. As an ever-questing student of how to balance spirit, art and basic living in this world, I really appreciated the wisdom and perspective you shared in that newsletter.
We loved today's Balance Beam. In fact Rex is forwarding it to two of his clients who are in need of "self-righting." Thanks for your insights.
I am still enjoying each and every Balance Beam. What a blessing you
continue to give to us. Thank you Jim and Merry Christmas to you. Cathy
Jim: Your Balance Beam Issues continue to have such an effect on me-how poetically,
appropriately, you are able to touch the issues that are so important to all
of us. You are a master, no doubt. My sincere thanks to you again for the work
that you do. I hope that we are able to work together more closely in the future.
With very best regards, Paul Sanders
P.S. I do hope you are collecting the Balance Beam articles into a book. I know I would buy several copies.
Thank you Jim for your 'words of freedom'. So, so true. I'm sharing your message
with my daughters. When I saw that this message was from you, it provided an
'oh yeah' moment because I see you pointed in the direction of harmony and joy.
Long time no see. Hope life is well for you.
--Ruth Anne Randolph
Jim -- What a great "Balance Beam" essay! You threaded a large number of ideas into a lovely theme. --Fred Finch
Jim - What a great writer you are! You are truly an inspirational writer and
I am proud to have worked with you. Your friendship has added to quality of
my life - Sincerely -Thank you.
Thanks for the Balance Beams. I haven't read them as much in the past, but I've started to do it again, because I've come on rough times in school. This latest issue helped me remember to focus on what I'm doing right, and that even though I will work hard, and try my best, I'll still make mistakes and goof up. I'm gonna start making some copies of this and giving it to some friends. Maybe even my business school teacher. ~Jesse
Thanks so much for this enlightening email. What a treat to actually open an email first thing in the morning and be inspired by your words and actions. It was truly a pleasure meeting you and chatting with you and quite frankly, I can't wait for my very own copy of Whale Done. I know when we spoke in the interview I didn't want to provide my name. Go ahead and use what you need to for you are truly a gift in the making. Take care and I'd love to keep in touch! :o)
Hi What's the rush,
Really enjoy reading the regular newsletters ....Thank you. They certainly help me keep the journey on track so I can enjoy the moment.
Thanks again for the always welcome newsletters.
Regards Maree Nei
Jim, again you do such a wonderful job writing this newlsetter. Esp. this month,
you have challenged some deeply held beliefs, how courageous. Thank you so much.
I'm wondering if you might be interested in an organization that has just started.
it's for coaches in western mass. coaches of all flavors and trainings or not.
I csn send you the info if you are interested; so far it's a great group of
Thankyou for your continuing 'Balance Beam.' At a time of 'bigger' changes in my life I often remember some of the golden words that come from your emails. Flush & Fill is a great term. I often find myself over doing the flushing eg running, biking, swimming, dog walking but then I have also noticed that it's often proportionate to the 'filling'. A lot of one requires a lot of the other to balance it all. The values exercise you sent me went well on the team building day, thank you.
Life is an exciting journey.
best wishes as you support the growth of the willing individual.