Ep 93 - Author, Spirituality - Liz Lewinson, Calling for Athena

• July 31st, 2020

Liz Lewinson is an author, speaker, teacher, feminist advocate for meditation from California. Michael and to start by asking her how she defines feminism, which leads to a discussion of feminine power in change and fluidity. Meditation enters as she describes how to create balance in your own energies. Michael brings the talk back down to discussions of women in history and role models for women.

 

We also delve into psychic phenomena and how it impacts relationships, especially sexual ones.

 

What the two leave on is a call for change; we need more respect and appreciation for what makes us powerful; we need benevolence and wisdom.

 

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Ep 92 - Musician - Does the Music Own You? Billy Ray Rock

• July 28th, 2020

Billy Ray Rock is an artist of many styles and genres, so Michael had to ask him about his influences. That question turns autobiographical as shares stories about living in a one radio station town to how he builds playlists when he’s driving with his kids.

 

When it comes to connecting with an audience he shares two secrets; first is that it only takes one song to connect - and second, it only has to connect with the coolest person in a peer-group.

 

Beyond that, the two discuss the cycles of racial divides in the music industry, RNB dance going on the wane and the nature of telling the truth.

 

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Ep 91 - PR Expert - Building Bridges with Daniel Torchia

• July 21st, 2020

Daniel Torchia is professionally, a communicator and personally, a man of faith. Right now he’s trying to maintain his sense of optimism as economies and people are suffering deeply. He shares with Michael what he’s been doing with his time at home; working to be a witness, to work within providence, and letting go of his illusions.

 

Beyond the pandemic, he also shares how to be a good citizen and speaker when social upheavals occur. Avoid knee-jerk reactions before endorsing any group, even though you might think their cause is in the right place. Find or build bridges for people to share.

 

They also delve into social media sins, the failings of some capitalisms, consumerism, and learning to appreciate words by spending time mute.

 

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Ep 90 - Financial Advisor - Be Kind, Be Good with Money, Robert Farrington

• July 10th, 2020

While he advises young people, the fundamentals of money management is a lesson everyone seems to need. Robert Farrington is the founder and CEO of The College Investor and he joined Michael to talk about the two entangled crises of paying for an education: runaway costs at for-profit institutions, and the debt people are willing to carry an education they're ‘supposed’ to have.

 

This episode delves into a number of ideas about how to approach training, setting realistic goals, non-education alternatives, and the tangential benefits of going out of town for school.

 

They move beyond paying for education, and into bigger ideas about how debt can function like an addiction, the way we write and speak about millennials, the monthly payment mentality, and using your taxes like a report card.

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Ep 89 - Author - Framing Letters, Paz Ellis

• June 19th, 2020

Paz Ellis and her family have lived a life and a half. She and Michael spoke about her journey toward writing, rediscovering her family through letters, how to honour three cultures as a 2nd generation American, and growing up under a cloud of depression. In terms of her writing career, she shares her process, her issues editors, and how to read bad reviews. Our conversation had to end early, but I hope we can do another one after her next book is out.

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Ep 88 - Musician - Recording Authenticity, Izzie’s Caravan

• June 9th, 2020

Izzie paused his caravan to chat about the blues, his inspiration, how to tell stories and how to record imperfectly as he comes close to releasing his new record. He and Michael also talked about his career as a philosopher, and a teacher.

Discussing favourite authors and how bad education can be. Jumping back into music, they consider musical lineages, copyright reforms, and how social media for musicians pushes fame more than creativity.

This one travels pretty far, but it’s a good journey.

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Ep 87 - The Wrong Apology

• May 28th, 2020

The Mayor took action on his own over the weekend, and then had to apologize for botching it. Our thoughts on this and other COVID events in the area.

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Ep 86 - Lies from Satan

• May 26th, 2020

Michael took some time to reflect, and emerged with some thoughts on masks, leadership, evil and current times.

He asked Greg from Get a Grip on Lighting to expand on all this.

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Ep 85 - Author - Current Problems and Speculative Stories, JR Harber

• May 15th, 2020

JR Harber is an author of dystopian fiction, and like many in that genre looked at the world and wrote to his concerns about current events.

Joining Michael for a chat leads to more talk about society than the actual book, running through the tradeoffs in how we live, reacting to modern leadership, moral solutions to social science problems, paranoia, carrot and stick legislation and culture as narrative.

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Ep 84 - Author, Counselor - Touching is a Touchy Subject, Jed Jurchenko

• April 24th, 2020

Jed Jurchenko is an author, and family and marriage counselor. He joined Michael for a chat about stress, conflicts between couples and how to reconnect after a spat. Their discussion ranges from types of communication, emotional needs as physical needs, addiction, finding perspective in the middle of an argument, the demon of procrastination, the ambiguity of intentions, the nature of forgiveness, and anger as a check engine light.

Whether it’s writing habits or communication habits there’s something to learn here.

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Ep 83 - Author, Fitness Expert, Entrepreneur - Building Bodies, Business, and Worlds; Vincent Bowe

• April 16th, 2020

Vincent Bowe is an entrepreneur, author, and fitness expert. Michael dives into his background as a young athlete and the culture and attitudes in competitive athleticism, before discussing building good gym habits and Vincent’s mindset as a trainer.

As an author, the two discuss the trip to the circus inspiration behind his fantasy series The Elite Way and how he was encouraged to start with a simple novel, over trying to sell a screenplay or launch a web series. Vincent really believes in the message and ideas that motivated his story and it carries through across the web conference.

Beyond trying to self-publish the novel, he’s working to take what he’s learned in the process and creating a business that helps others navigate publishing as well, this leads to a conversation about entrepreneurship and building businesses as its own reward. This a dynamic and varied conversation, thanks to Vincent for joining us.

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Ep 82 - Professional Organizer - Organizing the Organization, Kathleen O’Brien

• April 9th, 2020

Kathleen O'Brien joins us to explain her techniques in stress reduction through stuff reduction. She tells Michael about her SPACE System of sorting, purging, assigning a home, containerizing and then equalizing the physical, digital, and emotional piles in your workspace.

Kathleen is unique in the field of organizers in that she works with corporate clients, rather than individuals. She explains how bad habits tend to form from the top down and can be hard to break until there’s enough pain, struggle, and financial loss to force a drastic change. Growing enterprises may need organization officers as well as planners and operations managers.

The pair also get into how Kathleen became a Professional Organizer, how she deals with clients' feelings of shame and guilt, and needs to keep secrets as part of her job.

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Ep 081 - Conspiracy - Replace the Beams with Rotten Timber

• April 1st, 2020

While most of China's aggressions against its own people have been shows of dominance and suppressions of any non-state authority, would they be willing to harm their own people as a show of cultural superiority?

Michael hops on a call with Greg and Scott to lay out a little what if scenario.

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Ep 080 - Episode 80 - Health - Toronto Had the COVID in December?

• March 27th, 2020

Michael has been doing some reading, a little research and is checking that against his recollections from December and has a few questions and concerns about Toronto's COVID-19 Situation.

He invited Greg for Get a Grip on Lighting to share some ideas.

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Ep 79 - Entrepreneur - Heather M Petersen on Honouring Female Spaces

• March 17th, 2020

Guest, Heather Petersen says she’s ditched heels, but after speaking with her it’s more like she’s always kept one foot in a work boot, while the other was in something flashier. She’s started up a women-only mentoring and workshop facility on a working farm in rural Minnesota.

Before Michael can even get to that, he and Heather talk about the need to balance your own energies and spaces, they don’t have to be equal, but they need to be in sync somehow. They do pause to contemplate how some of these things may sound to the skeptical ear, but the truth is that it works. Corporate life is a rough space for us all, and when unbalanced, unsupported people walk into leadership roles it’s just chaos feeding chaos.

I am Not Alone podcast series https://iamnotalone.ca/stories/topics/i-am-not-alone-podcasts/

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Ep 78 - Darren Boyd; Auditioning for Social Media Validation

• March 13th, 2020

Darren Boyd has been using work on his latest album as means of recovering from a car crash, literally Lifting the Curse he’s been under.

In his chat with Michael he explores ideas about the end of the rock scene, movements and counter-movements in the arts, showing off talent as opposed to exercising creativity and other social media woes for musicians. They also discuss performing as operating a music business, producers as creative directors and performers as employees, and how to create personal material that’s open for the audience to interpret.

Albums still matter because they’re slices of time for the creator and the world they’re creating for, check out Darren’s.

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Ep 077 - Thoughts on Splaining

• March 2nd, 2020

Michael took an interesting trip to his local community centre / library the other day, which led to a confrontation on policy with a librarian. This conversation between two people that don’t encounter quotidian sexism much, gets into the phenomena of ‘mansplaining’, and the unified jerk theory of human interaction.

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Ep 76 - IP and Patent Lawyer - Black Magic and Blank Cheques with Devin Miller

• February 21st, 2020

Michael has a patent and a few trademarks hanging in the office, but they may have been more trouble than they were worth. Devin Miller, IP lawyer for the small business world helps him out by explaining when and how you should seek out patents, why he prefers to work with small and medium firms, as well as the ins and outs of licensing and enforcement action.

They also diverge into changes in fee structuring that may be coming down, the fun parts of law, and elder entrepreneurs as mentor investors.

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Ep 75 - Professional Organizer - Kim Diamond on the Metamorphosis of Decluttering

• February 5th, 2020

Kim Diamond is a certified professional organizer, specialized in chronic disorganization. In this episode of the show she explains the difference between chronic clutter and hoarding behaviours; as well as how both can act as a symptom for a deeper condition.

Over the course of her conversation with Michael, she gets into her principal that clutter is always clutter, regardless of how organized it might be; as well as how she confronts the fear of junking objects, coordinates with therapists, navigates family dynamics, the troubles with books and the key points between breaking a habit and shifting a behaviour.

The two also unpack how hard it is to admit to being disorganized, how attachment doesn’t always mean value, and whether or disorganization in the digital realm is a real problem. The chat closes out with some banter about professional training and associations as career and education pathways. 

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Ep 74 - Coach, Author - Acknowledge, Accept, and Overcome with Brooke Write

• January 22nd, 2020

Brooke Write takes a holistic approach to coaching young entrepreneurs, focusing on spiritual, mental and physical well being as much strategy. In her conversation with Michael she explains her understanding of entrepreneurship, and from there they talk about sole proprietors getting trapped in working all the time in every department, the nature of ownership, and building systems instead of support teams. The pair get into the particular risks of being an entrepreneur and the sheer number of bad actors there are out there.

Brooke’s methods start with healing. To manage your own business you have to manage your own life. Acknowledge the harms that have been done to you as objectively as you can, accept them, and overcome them; leave all your baggage, shame, and guilt behind. This is real work, and you have to want to go through the process of healing, not merely having been healed. Mental health and motivation also comes up as Michael gets into how you have to balance how your ego drives you to build, without letting it drive you to destruction. Turning to physical health, good habits are great to cultivate, but you may be better off eliminating your bad habits first - change your relationship with your vices.

When it comes to working with millennials, the most labelled and diminished age demographic since Boomers circa the late 60s, Brooke started coaching with them in mind as a form of niche marketing, but there’s something to how this work and life balancing method that resonates more with young people.

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