Ego Driven or Awakened?

Ego Driven or Awakened?

In 2019 I decided to re-enter the world of background acting and office temp work. I had previously worked in both industries for many years in my late teens and early twenties.

Upon making the decision I contacted my old background agent and my old office temp agency and was pleasantly surprised to find them both happy to have me back. Not that I expected them not to be. But, being that it had been many years, there was the fear of being forgotten.

It wasn’t until re-entering these worlds that I realized how important building my perfect personal reputation was to me. How I had toiled away, taking last minute gigs and always being early, to become the go to personal for my contacts.

I have been very proud that my reputation has continued in my favour after being sick for so many years and I thought this should be the whole goal to my professional life.

However, I’ve even been afraid to put myself out there more in my business life in fear of finding failure somewhere along the way.

I knew the fear part was wrong but until now I thought that guarding my reputation was exactly what I should be doing.

Happiness is the Way

I recently took out a pile of books from my bookshelf, took a picture and asked a friend which one I should read first.

She said: “the happiness one”.

So, I put the rest away and brought Happiness is the Way by Dr Wayne W. Dyer to my bedroom for morning reading.

While I’m only in the beginning of chapter 2, I’ve already gotten a few gems to reflect upon from this book, but today’s consideration has been on whether or not my approach to my life has been ego-driven or not.

On page 24 Dr Dyer writes:
“Ego-dominated people view failure as something that immobilizes them, whereas awakened people – that is, those who aren’t driven by their ego – allow failure to mobilize them.”

This statement caused me to pause and ask myself if I really understood what ego meant. So I looked on

Ego: the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.

Egotism; conceit; self-importance.

An Exploration of Ego

Interestingly enough this is something I had heard in a different way many times yet it never resonated with me.

If you have a business or have listened to business trainings, you may have heard the idea that it’s all about your clients. A successful business is all about serving others.

Right?! Did you have the same knee jerk reaction I usually do?

That snarl that says, I’m not a servant. What if I’m not happy?

I think that saying it that way does make people think that they shouldn’t have healthy boundaries and that they should sacrifice a lot for their client’s success.

The way Dr Dyer has said it gives it a new perspective that makes it feel more controllable.

Another way to read what he wrote is that an ego-driven person is more worried about their reputation than they are about the needs of the people they set out to help.

What Does This Even Mean?!

Now, I’m not saying that as a reputation focused person you are only thinking of self-serving ways to accomplish goals. I haven’t. I wouldn’t.

What I am saying is that if you’re only worried about your reputation and afraid of making mistakes or having failures, are you really reaching the people you can help the most?

This is the question that is now on my mind after reading that quote from Happiness is the Way.

After all these years I have also realized that my perfect reputation in background acting also contributed to some of my ongoing health struggles and habits.

Have you considered what the cost to your perfect reputation may be for you?

The Quarantine Rollercoaster

The Quarantine Rollercoaster

I am the first to admit that when a lockdown was first discussed my thoughts were not about the virus.

My concerns were for people living alone, like myself, who battle with mental illness. For the children and people stuck at home with abusers or in neglect.

And of course, as a business owner, my worries were with mine and my client’s businesses.

Let’s Get Real

I have battled with mental illness myself and although my chronic depression has shifted to situational depression and my anxiety has evolved on its own, this unprecedented situation can bring up all manner of demons.

So, when I envisioned people with mental illness stuck in quarantine, I thought about the depression that they might have gone out to find help for. I considered the anxieties that would build from the panic.

That’s not to say that I just considered them. I could see them. I can remember what it felt like to be so depressed that I wouldn’t leave my apartment or talk to anyone for a week at a time. I remember the darkness that lurked in the depths of my mind even in the happiest of times. I knew the hopelessness that people would experience when forced to isolate.

I tried to warn my friends, there would be more suicides if we were forced to lockdown. Sadly, few of those will be reported in relation.

Don’t Make Me Panic!

As I worried and watched the panic grow, I knew this would hurt people with anxiety and chronic fear at an extreme level.

Last year my anxieties shifted from being afraid to go out to being afraid of losing all that I owned (with good reason) but when the panic over the virus started it shifted again.

I stated many times that I was more afraid of the panicking people than I was the virus, and that hasn’t changed.

I even had an incident with people making up their own rules which caused a bunch of people to start yelling at me in a grocery store. This triggered me and I struggled to sleep without waking up in a panic and the afternoon it happened I cried for hours.

For those of us that have experienced traumas in our lives, the panic, ignorance and selfishness of people is only adding to our struggles. Ones we didn’t even realize we had.

Just Relax

So many people were seeing this quarantine as a staycation. But for a business owner it was a time to reconsider how we do business.

I had my own fears, in fact, I was terrified of what this would do to the economy.

But, I was focused on offering my knowledge and support to my clients.

Inside I struggled. I wanted to have more spare time like some people, but that’s not the way I built my life. I fought with myself. How do I see this strange event? Do I change how I work? Do I find some deep gem of change in my life?

However, my whole goal was a laptop lifestyle so being technically geared means that my business can withstand this.

In the first few days I had calls and emails with panicked and totally in control clients. I watched some get shoved into decisions that could kill their business and others prepared to weather the storm.

There was no room for my anxiety.

Others won’t be so lucky.

It’s Not Over Yet

Despite trying to convince myself that it’s my second winter (hibernation time!) the warm and sunny weather teases at my restlessness, as I’m sure it does you.

While some people are still living life (living alone and working from home anyone?) as normal, others are trying to see it as a staycation and others as a time to improve themselves, or some combination of all three.

I do see the light at the end of this quarantine tunnel but let’s not be mistaken. The cleanup will take years.

The people will be mentally and emotionally damaged and the economy will take a long time to recover, particularly the small bricks and mortar businesses.

There have been many memes and quotes about trying not to go back to normal but the truth is, we will try. We have to.

If there’s no sense of normalcy to grasp for we will fight a deeper well of depression.

The evolution of normal will happen over time, whether we will it to or not. It’s hard to unsee what has now been shown.

And, let’s not forget, the virus won’t really be gone and we may need to be prepared for a resurgence.

Goodbye 2019

Goodbye 2019

As I sat watching the flame rise higher and higher with the dying wick of my red pillar candle, I wondered what my life could be like.

While I wait for the flame to extinguish itself, I find myself pensively waiting. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. As I sat watching the flame rise higher and higher with the dying wick of my red pillar candle, I wondered what my life could be like.

While I wait for the flame to extinguish itself, I find myself pensively waiting. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I feel as if I’m expecting my life to change.

Waiting for my whole world to right itself with the death of the candle’s flame.

But the only thing that can change with the end of the red pillar candle is my mindset, my expectations, my yearning for someone to rescue me.

An ache in my heart reminds me of the loneliness that sometimes seeps in when I’m trying to convince myself that I’m ok being alone.

Logically alone I have so much more freedom, but then why do I ache for a deep, connected companionship of trust and love?

While I ran to the bathroom, I hoped the candle would wait for me. I had this deep sense that the dying of the flame meant something deep to me.

I just don’t know what.

It’s probably just a way to flip a switch for myself in my brain.

I feel as though I’m starting to not just see what my life could be but feel it. I see a vision and I feel it, hear it, smell it, see the way the light shines in that moment, envision the people around me and the way the energy plays around me.

The candle burns steady now. Like it’s hanging on, refusing the end. I don’t mind. It’s calming to watch.

As the flame dances, changing shape, I feel my mind clearing, just enjoying the movement.

What happens when the last flame of my Yule and 2019 celebrations meets the end of the wick?
Do I mentally close that door and bring myself fully into 2020 and the next decade of my life?

I wonder why we liken the human spirit to a flame.
I see that the flame is bright, but it can be extinguished and naturally goes out.

Perhaps the idea is simply to have it as a metaphor for death but I would much rather think of the human spirit as something stronger that can’t be blown out.

Sure, we can start a fire or light a candle, but we can’t control it while it burns and we can simply put it out with water, blowing it out, or suffocating it.
I know we are considered fragile in a similar sense, but I feel like we are stronger than that.

I don’t like the idea that my spirit can be extinguished or manipulated.
I suppose whether I like it or not, with emotions, death, and trauma it’s not unlikely and it can be relit.

Maybe it’s the lack of personal control I don’t like the thought of.

I love the way the glow of the candle casts it’s light on the things around it. The flame highlights the softness of the stuff owl near by and the tin on which it sits. It brightens the blue of the painted cork board against the wall and lights the black metal leaves on a nearby candle holder.

I will be sad when the flame meets the end of the wick and goes out in a puff of smoke.

As I sit watching the flame dance in its last breaths of life, I want nothing to interrupt the final moments I share with its beautiful light.

I didn’t think the flame would last long tonight, but it stubbornly keeps on burning.

The wax that was piled up around the flame has slowly melted away. Small bubbles of wax remain melting slowly with the dying flame.

Now the flame dances, getting bigger and licking the air in a desperate reach then splitting into two and re-emerging as one thick flame fighting against the end. The long flickers scream out for more time, reaching to find more to burn, just to settle back down and reach out to try again, refusing to accept the end. Down to almost nothing, the flame is brighter than ever.

Reaching, dancing, desperately fighting.

The flickering and tiny sparks worsen, and black smoke rises from the angry, hopeful flame. The flickering hurts my eyes like a strobe light but the emotion the motion creates is grasping at my heart. The flame is slowly losing it’s battle, getting smaller, reaching lower.

Running out of the energy to fight.

The last of the red wax pools in the corners of the tilted candle base and a black ring has formed around the wick and remaining flame. The flame slowly gets smaller and looses more of its brightness.

The flame makes another ditch effort by reaching brightly before begrudgingly accepting its fate.

And with a putter and a spark and a final puff of gray smoke the flame has reached the end of its wick. With the last wisps of gray smoke, I felt my expectations float away.

I now bid 2019 an official goodbye and prepare my mind, heart and soul for a life changing, world altering 2020.

The Colour of Joy

The Colour of Joy

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I talked about learning more of what I want in my life back in January when I posted a goodbye to my dog Bo.

Since then I have been doing a lot of searching. But I don’t mean searching in an external sense.
I mean internal exploration of my deepest desires.

I started writing from an early age. I was the kind of kid that would be asked to write a short story and would hand you the first chapter to a novel, when I was prompted for being late.

I can’t say that I’ve stopped writing but I certainly haven’t been consistent with it.
And, I’ve let fear rule what I post.
I dreamed of a day when I could post more exploratory, journal like posts.
But I don’t know when that day was supposed to be, so how about today?!

While working through Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map I’ve been enjoying the writing prompts in the back workbook section.
Some of those prompts have been about the colour, sound, and smell of joy.
I loved thinking about this so much that I decided to write more on it and would love to know your answers too!

The Colour of Joy

Beautiful, golden yellows, like the sun.
Not mustard or neon.
But pure, bright, sunshine yellow.
Fresh greens and flowery pinks and purples.

Joy smells like the morning after a light rain.
Like summer heat, without the body odor.
The scent of wild flowers and lavender.
The early morning, when the birds start to sing and the rest of the world is still asleep.

The sounds of child-like, unbridled laughter make up joy.
Silence, but not with tension, with ease, contentment.
A sigh, humming, the sounds of bees and crickets buzzing.
Birds chirping their morning hellos and singing to their hearts content.

Butterflies landing on flowers, flitting around a garden.
Bees collecting pollen to build their winter store.
Worms squiggling and squirming out of the dark soil after a rain.

Fresh new green growth and lush older plants.
Blossoming buds searching for the light.
Elegant, soft, pink cherry blossoms.

The soft sounds of water moving.
The breeze rustling through the trees.
The sounds, smells, sights, and colours of joy are all around me.

I really enjoyed writing this piece and am excited to do this exercise for all the emotions, yes, including not so happy ones.
Emotions are there for us to explore, understand and intimately know. Not for us to run from.
So let me know in the comments:

What are the colours, smells, sights, and sounds of joy for you?

I really enjoyed writing this piece and am excited to do this exercise for all the emotions, yes, including not so happy ones.
Emotions are there for us to explore, understand and intimately know. Not for us to run from.
So let me know in the comments:

What are the colours, smells, sights, and sounds of joy for you?

Image credits: Header image is from DepositPhotos (affiliate link) and edited by me in Adobe Photoshop CC (affiliate link). Flower images beside the poem are copyright Amanda Lynne Murtagh.

New Year, New You, Has all new meaning to me for 2019.

New Year, New You, Has all new meaning to me for 2019.

Every year, just like other entrepreneurs, I set my goals and figure out how I will accomplish them.

This year, again, I set my goals, but this year things are very different.

After 9.5 years my best friend, Bo, has passed on at the age of 13.5.

Now, Bo was an awesome dog. He knew when someone was sad, and he comforted them. He would give paw for yes and no paw for no. He would raise his eyebrow at me when I was laughing at myself.

But along with his awesomeness were challenges.

He went for 3 walks a day and was allergic to a lot of food (including all meats) so I had to cook his food for him. He ate 3 times a day and demanded a snack at noon.

I was out there with him no matter the weather, rain, snow, high humidity, we were out there.

There was also stress.

Bo was afraid of other dogs as he’d been bitten and bullied a few times.

Bo was also a half American Pit Bull Terrier which led to some ignorant experiences.

We had a machete pulled, death threats yelled, warnings given unnecessarily, a bike and a cane used at weapons against him for simply walking by.

My loving, friendly dog was discriminated against for the way he looked.

I only ever wanted everyone to see the love that made him who he was. It ran so deep through all of his being.

But now….now, he’s gone.

He got old and after years of keeping him safe and working on keeping him healthy, I couldn’t stop time.

9.5 years ago.

When I was given Bo, he was named Jimbo and we walked home an hour in pouring rain.

I had never had a dog before, sure I had walked a neighbour’s dog and seen my father and grandfather’s dogs but having my own was entirely different.

I felt awkward.

But soon we grew a bond that everyone could see as we walked.

While I got sicker and sicker, he gave me a reason to get out of bed.

While I was staying in my grandma’s spare bedroom, he gave me the strength to keep going.

Bo was the one who got me out talking to people despite my anxiety and depression.

He got me through a lot.

But over time I figured out my symptoms bit by bit, and even though I’m not entirely healthy yet, I’m in a very different place mentally and emotionally than I was 9.5 years ago.

So New Year, New Me has a whole new meaning coming into 2019.

This means finding a whole new normal for me.

I don’t have 3 walks a day, extra meals to cook, added stress, or that friend to laugh with or talk to.

I used to think that I was good alone, but it turns out that thanks to Bo, I was just good without people.

Now my world is entirely different.

I have less distractions from my work and myself.

I am now on a journey to find what is normal for me and really look at where I’m going and what I want.

I used to want a house because I wanted a yard for Bo. I sometimes thought of getting my license, so I could take Bo for car rides. And I used to say that if a guy didn’t greet Bo first, he wasn’t for me.

The question now is;

What do I want for me?
The answer to this is, I don’t know.

I have not experienced life enough to know what I want.

    I know what I don’t want.

  • I don’t want to be sick any more.
  • I don’t want to bend or break my boundaries any more.
  • I don’t want to keep playing small any more.
  • I don’t want to use others as my reasons any more.

So, I guess you can say, I want experiences.
I want to live big and true to me.
I want to find the magick of truly living and share that with others.
2019 Here I come!

Full of wonder and excitement while remaining humble with the loss of my best friend and thinking of him every step of the way.

9 Things I Learned in My 31st Year of Life

9 Things I Learned in My 31st Year of Life

I was going to write a full journal piece for my birthday as I have past years but this time I was drawn to a list of everything I had learned and experienced. So it turned in to something more that took me a bit longer to complete.

For me, my birthday is my new year so this will have some interesting lessons and be a bit personal.

1. Anxiety sucks but if you go to the right places problems are less likely to happen.

Social anxiety can be really hard to deal with. You want human interaction and connection but once you are gripped by fear your body will do things to stop you.

For example I will get fevers and nausea. Then I will cancel because I am sick. I also get motion sickness on the TTC which is another great excuse not to go out.

This past year though I was determined to start seriously working on my business and began pushing myself out the door to business events.

I have since come to the realization that there is less likely to be drama, scary weirdness or uncomfortable issues at business events. This doesn’t eliminate my anxiety but it does make it easier to push through the fear and get out to those events.

2. “It’s not about eliminating the fear but doing it despite the fear.”

I love seeing a counselor!! Some people think this means weakness or some bad stigma but honestly, who doesn’t need a neutral person to talk to from time to time?!

My awesome counselor, Marsha, has been a great comfort in getting to process my challenges over the past year and gave me the great line I quoted above. It may not be exactly what she said but you get the idea.

I was talking about getting rid of my fear in order to be able to get out there and move forward and she threw that line at me which caused deep thinking on my part.

How else do we eliminate fear if we don’t get out there and do it anyways to see that it isn’t that scary after all?

3. No one will ever love and devote themselves to your dreams (or business) as much as you will.

Some of you know that I tried to take on a business partner over the past year. I can honestly say that I learned sooooooo much from that experience! I can’t share all of it in this manner but I can say that as much as we want our ideas and dreams to be contagious to others it never will be on the same level.

We are the only ones that can wholeheartedly and truly see the future of our thoughts and actions and the purpose behind them.

We can put those in to words but we can’t share the feelings and images in our heads. We have to realize that it is our treasure to hold and cherish.

4. Ask lots of questions!!

This one covers so many areas of business and life.

From being an employee to talking to potential clients and of course mentors.

If you don’t know every thing you need to don’t wait for it to come to you, ask!

Don’t do something without knowing why, ask!

Don’t assume, ask!

I think you get the gist 😉

5. It’s not about selling, it’s about building relationships.

In the old days of hard core car and door to door sales selling was all the rage. The hard sell, the soft sell, just sell!

Now we have moved on to a relationship economy.

At first this was hard for me to swallow. I had been taking my cats and Bo to the vet often as all were sick and I was constantly pushing him to move forward with his online presence. I was frustrated each time he said not yet.

Finally when the time came I realized that over all the time I had been going there I had built up a relationship with him and his team. Which makes my work that much more rewarding and important to me.

I hadn’t really looked at it like relationship building though until I was parting ways with a client I wasn’t enjoying. Their new marketing director had taken to mentoring me and had pointed out this gem of a concept.

Now I realize that I won’t be happy with just any old job, it’s all about the relationship that comes with it.

Interestingly enough this was what I wanted from the time I seriously restarted my business. I just lost site of that.

6. Not having boundaries can be exhausting.

When you do jobs like social media management the world expects you to be available 24/7 for any client interactions.

This as you can imagine is exhausting.

It finally started to wear me down at the end of 2015 and the marketing director mentioned above pointed it out.

He advised me to create a schedule but I rejected that idea. I still do to a degree but I now take Saturdays off and turn the sound off on my phone. I also set project deadlines.

After just 4 Saturdays off I already feel much more rested and in control again. I highly recommend setting boundaries, even if you are just starting out!

7. “Everything is figureoutable” credit Marie Forleo.

I was only reminded of this one again last month but I am already planning on putting it up on my wall.

How many times do we hit a stressful situation and have the panic set in??

Yeah, too often!

It’s great to sit back and remember that there is a solution to everything. I wish I had this pasted to my forehead….ok maybe not, but it would have been helpful to remember throughout my life, not just this past year.

8. We are our greatest obstacle.

We hear this many times but how much do you actually let it sink in?

This past year I found it to be very, very true!!!

Are you afraid of success? Do you see money as evil? Do you have high expectations of others and even higher expectations of yourself?

How we feel about things like money, relationships, business and ourselves can really get in our way. We will build up subconscious barriers to moving forward and find anything to blame but ourselves.

This past year I have been working on getting out of my own way.

I have a long way to go but I would say I’ve come a great distance in the marathon!

9. Education is the best remedy to curiosity, ignorance, fear and more.

It can be so hard to make time to keep learning when we are starting a new business or rushing through life like we have a stop watch hanging around our necks.

As a pit bull advocate I have learned that education really can help so many problems. Not just breed ignorance but fear based aggression, hatred and blocks towards other challenging human issues.

Working in social media being on top of new trends, platform updates and customer interactions can be challenging but it’s a must if you are going to do your job well.

Education is also important to learning something new. We get bored with life if it’s always the same. So take the time to learn something new. Practice, try and even fail. Nothing will help you grow better than the experience of the learning curve!


I am certain I have learned a lot more over the past year and some of it will be saved for other posts.

What have you learned over the past year (2015?). Did you learn new things about business, life or your self?

I would love to hear what lessons you have learned that I can learn from also!!