The night my life changed completely

It was November 21, 2001 when I returned home from a long day of work at IBM’s Toronto Software Development Lab. I was a software developer specializing in usability (making software user friendly). On the outside, things were going well. I had a dynamic first year at IBM, and I even received a plaque for being nominated Rookie of the Year.

But on the inside… it was a different story. And on November 21st, that inner reality broke through.

I put a chicken breast into the toaster oven to bake and put some rice on the stove to cook. I had picked up a video from the library, and popped it into the VCR to play while my dinner was cooking. The Horse Whisperer, starring Robert Redford.

It had a pretty typical beginning. Then things went tragically wrong. The main character , a girl named Grace, and her horse, Pilgrim, got hit by a semi truck. Grace was rushed to hospital and had to have part of her leg amputated. The next day a group went out searching in the woods for Pilgrim. They eventually found him standing in a stream flowing under a bridge. He was badly injured and deeply traumatized – to the point that they thought he should be put down.

I felt hit by a tidal wave. I stood up, walked over to the VCR, and clicked stop. Went into the kitchen, turned off the oven and turned off the stove. Went into my bedroom and collapsed.

I didn’t know what was wrong with me. But the next day I knew I could not go into work. I called my doctor and got an appointment to see him. I told him what had happened, and he said it was a depression. He took me off work for 2 weeks, so I could “feel more like myself.”

Well, by the end of two weeks, I knew I needed way more time. I went on short-term and then long-term disability and dove into my own deep and profound healing journey.

That image of Pilgrim was how I felt on the inside. I was literally working my guts out at IBM. I was brought up Tibetan Buddhist, and my main value is to relieve suffering in this world. I am not a good fit for a large computer corporation! Working there, I was slowly and quietly bleeding my life blood away.

It was a healing gift to see Pilgrim that fateful night. It propelled a dramatic life shift. A shift towards healing, and more importantly, a shift towards following my true path.

After doing loads and LOADS of therapy and energy healing, I started to explore career options. And I’ll put a little plug in here for Times Change Women’s Employment Service, because connecting with them was pivotal in my career journey. Times Change gives women a caring environment to explore themselves and what they have to offer the world through employed work.

I emerged from the Times Change Career Planning course with a clear decision to become a therapist. I went on to do a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (part of the University of Toronto).

While studying I finally watched the whole Horse Whisperer movie. I was blown away by what the horse whisperer did to save Pilgrim. This man was a shaman. He was powerful, deeply compassionate, and he was able to read Pilgrim and steady the horse’s spirit. He reached Pilgrim and healed him.

I went on to watch other movies about horse whisperers, and they became my favourite movies. I admired their skill. I was so attracted to horse whisperers, that I wanted to be like them – I wanted to be able to work that way with people. So I put that intention into my studies and focused each class on how to develop skill in working with people who have been through trauma. I honed expertise in trauma healing.

After graduating I opened a private psychotherapy practice for three years. I brought the rubber to the road by running therapy groups and doing 1-on-1 therapy. And I learned a lot!

But my spirit is bigger than this. And my desire to relieve suffering in the world is bigger than this. I was drawn to a method called Soul Art. I started learning it and doing it on myself over three years ago. It majorly opened doors in my mind and heart!

I realized I could bring more to working with people. I have long-term deep spiritual experience through my Buddhist practice, and frankly I am ambitious. I started doing coaching with Investment Advisors in the financial industry. We worked on relational issues and business development. Within 6 months my clients rocketed to success through the sessions I was giving them. Their income dramatically increased and they got a BIG promotion.

I was no longer doing psychotherapy and I needed to come up with a name for what I was doing. If there’s one thing I learned from working with my clients, it is this: People are afraid to dream of what they want. They are afraid to face their core desires in life. And those brave souls who sometimes peek their eyes open to glimpse their dream, they are afraid to take the first step towards making their dream a reality. Solid strength and support are needed to take the practical steps to bring any dream into reality, and most people don’t have that kind of support in their life.

After a lot of soul searching I came up with my new title: The Dream Whisperer. I had become an expert in helping people open to their dreams, to hunger for them. I had also become an expert in helping people overcome fear. I developed the skills to guide people taking the steps needed to birth their dreams. It takes a bit of magic and rock solid support. And I bring that on FULL FORCE!

So that’s how the night of November 21, 2001 completely changed my life. Today I am not a software developer. Today I am living the most amazing career… as a Dream Whisperer! And the interesting thing is that all my computer expertise has proven invaluable for creating this Dream Whisperer service. Many of you have experienced the life-changing free programs I give via the internet. And truly… this is only the beginning.

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1 Response to The night my life changed completely

  1. Andrea,

    It’s amazing that we both had our AHA moments while working at IBM!

    Mine was March 1980 in Quebec City while I was at the coveted “100% Club” – where you went, if you were in sales and make your quota.

    I thought ‘there has to be more to life than this! as it turned into an unruly drunken bash with way too many sloshed guys making passes at the few women. Yuck.

    Is this what I worked so hard for? Is this all I had to look forward to?

    Nah….. I waited a week and resigned to travel to Europe for a year and ended up staying and working for 9 years. Never looked back BUT am grateful that IBM did teach me how to sell! And I”m now teaching others.

    Like my marriage, I had to be there to learn what I had to learn, but not for the rest of my life. Thanks Andrea for helping me in my journey.

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