Friday, February 24, 2012


Lately I've been fascinated with the ego. I've picked up Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth, for the second time (the first time I couldn't understand anything I was reading) and read about a page every night (it's all my brain can hold!). I think the reason why the ego interests me so much is because anything that helps me understand myself and others, I generally find interesting. It's probably behind my quest to be a life coach, and my interest in DISC assessment at work and my love for Oprah. Like the Tolle's book, it's another tool that is helping me understand why I think or react to situations the way I do, and why other's behave they way they do.

This is what I have learned so far:

1. If you think you are superior or inferior to others, that is ego.

2. It is the ego that wants to be recognized and feel appreciated.

3. If you are shy by nature (like me), the ego is in fact at work. The difference is, your fear of negative judgement from others is greater than your desire to be noticed and appreciated and that is what makes you fear things like public speaking.

4. If you find yourself saying or thinking things like, "how could they do this to me?" "this is so unfair," etc., that is usually ego.

5. People who talk about how great they are carry within them the fear of the possibility of not being so great.

6. Ego is not us. This is the deep part. Being aware of the ego at work and seeing it separate from us is living consciously. Who you really are is in fact, apart from ego.

I know I still have lots to learn about ego, and something Oprah said has come back to me time and again - be careful what you wish for. As part of my New Year's resolutions, I committed to learning more about creativity and ego. And when you ask the universe (or God) to teach you, it often means going through some crap to learn it best. Although I have used many tools to learn about ego, the best tool has been life. It hasn't always been fun, but I have been learning.

Bring on creativity!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Finding Inspiration

Last week was one of the hardest at work. And this week, things aren't much better, but in spite of it all, I am feeling pretty good. Once the dust had settled somewhat, what I discovered was that immersing myself in some areas where I find inspiration helped me to feel better. And although it didn't change my circumstances right away, it was a good first step. Here's what helped me.

Finding my inspiration.

A big source of inspiration for me is always my daughter. She is so happy and full of energy; I can't help but be drawn in. This past weekend we visited the Ontario Science Centre and I did my best to put my work issues aside for the afternoon and enjoy discovering with her. A film on Jane Goodall and her work in Africa with the chimpanzees didn't hurt either. Seeing what others are doing in the world to make a positive difference has a way of putting everything into a new perspective. My girl and I had an amazing weekend together, filled with much laughter and a few cool memories to look back on.

Another place I found inspiration during my quiet times alone was on Pinterest, a newish social site that's kind of a bulletin board of sorts, where images of fabulousness can be "pinned" onto your own personal boards. Once I got into the site and started looking around, it wasn't long before I was hooked. I found outfits, jewellery, recipes, home decor ideas and projects, travel images - many things I love, and just looking at these images stirred something within me and made me feel good.

Going for long walks is also a way to clear the cobwebs of the mind, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the benefits of exercise. I went for a couple of long walks in the cold winter sunshine, bundled up warm and listening to tunes on my ipod. I enjoyed passing by cats (and the odd dog) sleeping on window sills in the sun, the colour of the sky and the refreshing, cool, winter air.

My final place of inspiration is of course, Mexico, when the time permits (no, I didn't go this weekend!). I have spent much time in the Riviera Maya over the past few years, and it always has a way of bringing me back to who I am at my best. You can read my stories here. From the moment I exit the Cancun airport and breathe in that familiar, ocean air, to the time I'm checking my bag at the airport on my way home, I am in a good place.

What inspires you? What are the things that bring a smile to your face or make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? When are you at your best? Next time you are in need of a little inspiration, remember what those things are, and reach for them. They may not cure your problem or change your situation right away, but they will help you feel a little better. And changing what's going on outside begins with changing what is going on inside.