A modern day story about the search for happiness, and one girl's discovery that even in the face of failure, peace can be found.
Why this book is important:
For the past three years I’ve been writing, illustrating and producing the children’s series “Lyle and Leela”; a series designed to help kids navigate the complex world of today.
The first story, “Happiness Doesn't Come From Headstands,” is a book about one girl's rise from failure. It's a book about acceptance, resilience and self-compassion. It's about letting go of comparison and learning that our achievements do not dictate our self-worth. It's about the process being equally important as the goal. And the recognition that happiness is often closer than it seems.
I have always been a questioner, seeking answers to help navigate this rollercoaster of a world that we live in. I am incredibly passionate about sharing the tools, techniques, and teachings that have assisted and continue to assist me along own path in life.
If you also feel passionate about supporting children by deepening their self-awareness, self-acceptance and resilience, please support this series.
Growing up, I learned that "try" was a bad word - that there was either success or failure. And my fear of failure was so strong, at times, I simply wouldn't try. Later in life, those instances became regrets. So now, I do my best to approach "trying" with enthusiasm even when faced with fear. And if I fail, I strive to congratulate myself on my efforts - a difficult thing to do in a world that rewards us for our victories alone.
Just because we may have a failure, it does not mean that we are a failure. In a culture that equates achievement with self worth, in most of us, failure often evokes emotions such as anger and shame. Instead of being a source of lessons learned for the future, a lost match, or project gone wrong can bring about hopelessness and despair. As an artist and entrepreneur I’ve experienced my share of defeat, and one disabling experience in particular inspired me to write this story.
My sense has always been that if I had known some of what I know now, at a younger age, life could have been easier. Perhaps I would have been a little less afraid to fail, and a little more resilient when I did. Our thought patterns strengthen as we age, so why not support our children to create a healthy framework from the start? My goal with this series is to do just that. Additionally I’ll be offering support to parents so they can dialogue with their children about the themes within this series.
These stories were written as reminders to myself in times of challenge. They address universal themes I wish I had a deeper understanding of growing up. It’s a series I want my nieces and nephews to know; one that I want your kids and grandkids and your friends kids to know. My hope is to inspire you as you inspire the children in your life.
Why I’m seeking support
I’ve discovered that making a kids book is tricky business. It’s far more involved and costly than I'd anticipated but I’m determined to bring this labor of love to fruition. The funds I require far exceed my ask. $12,500 will cover a portion. $16,000 will cover the short run print, design and color costs of the first book. On top of that, there will be many additional costs such as the e-book, the companion website to support parents and educators, and an app just to name a few... I’m every so grateful for your support in helping me bring this series to life.
I believe in Independent projects and support them myself. I also intend to Kick it forward. It’s incredibly exciting to see that with Kickstarter, people are coming together to support each other, and give birth to amazing ideas. ;)
Enough about me. Here’s what a few people had to say about “Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands”.
"First I read this to my son and then our 3 yr. old neighbor. Laughing, we came to the last page and it was I who needed to hear the lesson. Through simple dialogue and stellar line drawings, Tamara Levitt has created an exceptional read that returns us to our basic sanity while letting go of impossible fantasies, most especially, thinking happiness comes from outside of our own lives. If you are 3 or 93, you need the lesson this book artfully conveys." - Michael Stone, Buddhist teacher, psychotherapist and author of Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga and Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life.
“Brilliant! In a whimsical tale of two friends facing childhood challenges, Tamara Levitt examines the hidden assumptions in the adage, “practice makes perfect”--that anything and everything is attainable, and doing so with perfection is the ideal. Lyle and Leela tells a different story that every child should hear--of self-acceptance and resilience--and it does so with dazzling simplicity.” - Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, The University of Massachusetts Boston, Licensed Psychologist
“In Happiness Doesn't Come From Headstands, Tamara Levitt has artfully crafted an inspiring tale. I wish this charming book had been around when I was younger. Simply told and illustrated with inspired whimsy, Tamara’s story has ring of truth to it that will appeal to readers young and old. I look forward to Leela’s next journey…” - Andrew Larsen, Author of The Imaginary Garden
Questions and contact info
If you have any questions about this project, about how the funds will be spent or Begin Within Productions, please get in touch. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please say hello on twitter @beginwithin, and please join my Facebook group!
If you are experiencing any issues with amazon payments please contact me directly at email@example.com to arrange an alternative payment method.
Some sample images from the book:
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
KINDNESS: A PDF or ebook version of Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands, PLUS You'll have access to all project updates, and my sincerest gratitude for your pledge!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
COMPASSION: A PDF or ebook version of Happiness Doesn’t Come from Happiness, PLUS an autographed postcard featuring an interior illustration, PLUS a social media based thank you.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $26 or moreYou selected
KARMA KICK: Now that I’ve reached my minimum goal, in gratitude, I’ve added a NEW category to offer a copy of the physical book (shown in the Joy category below) at a lower price. (*For Canadian & U.S. orders please add $5.00 for shipping, for international please add $10.00) [Note: Additionally, everyone who is pledging in the “Joy” level will also receive a postcard featuring an interior illustration.]Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
JOY: A copy of the physical book – Written and illustrated by Tamara Levitt and colored by local artist Jose Gascon. This full colour 38 page book is sure to delight. (For Canadian & U.S. orders please add $5.00 for shipping, for international please add $10.00)Estimated delivery:
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GRATITUDE: A copy of the physical book with a personalized inscription, PLUS four beautiful limited edition postcards featuring interior illustrations with inspiring messages to frame or share with the people you love, PLUS of course, a social media based thank you. (For Canadian & U.S. orders please add $5.00 for shipping, for international please add $10.00)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
HAPPINESS: A copy of the physical book with a personalized inscription PLUS two postcards featuring interior illustrations, PLUS A limited edition art print, PLUS a social media based thank you,(For Canadian & U.S. orders please add $5.00 for shipping, for international please add $10.00)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
GENEROSITY: A second copy of the book to give to your favorite niece, nephew, or anyone who could use a slice of happiness (both with personalized inscriptions from the author,) PLUS four postcards featuring interior illustrations, PLUS A limited edition art print, and a social media based thank you.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
MINDFULNESS: Everything received in the rewards for "GENEROUSITY", PLUS two limited edition art prints, a social media TY, PLUS a bonus PDF of the book entitled “The Secret to Clara’s Calm” when published in 2013: A fantastical tale of a girl who learns to deal with her anger by trading butter tarts for wisdom.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
ENLIGHTENMENT: Three copies of the book, four postcards, a limited edition art print, a social media TY, PLUS a free coaching session with Timothy Barlow of MadtoGlad. (http://www.madtoglad.com) He is a perspective/life coach, facilitator and writer who has been helping people create happiness and self-mastery in their lives for over ten years. (Myself included!) Available for an in person session if local, otherwise, via skype.Estimated delivery:
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BLISS: Everything received in the rewards for "ENLIGHTENMENT", PLUS a private session with Michael Apollo, founder of Modern Meditation (http://www.modernmeditation.ca) and certified mindfulness meditation professional. With personal inquiry he will discover your personal development goals and offer instructions around meditation, mindfulness and emotional intelligence and leave you feeling blissful. Available for an in person session if local, otherwise, via skype.Estimated delivery:
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PEACE: Three copies of the book, PLUS four postcards featuring interior illustrations, PLUS A limited edition art print, PLUS a social media based thank you, PLUS a coaching session with both Timothy Barlow PLUS a session with Michael Apollo, PLUS a framed or plaque interior art illustration with a personalized poem for the child of your choice!!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
EQUANIMITY: Everything received in the rewards for "BLISS," PLUS an opportunity to meet the writer! I will speak at your event, convention or organization (for Adults or children) about The Value of Failure, How to find Calm Within Chaos, Social Media and Crowd funding, or… Happiness! Delivered in person, via Skype, or will travel if flight, accommodation and per diem costs are covered. You will additionally have my eternal gratitude.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)