I was in the process of completing my master's degree when I landed an internship at a major player in the aerospace industry, which turned into a full-time job paying a substantial salary. Never in my life before did I see so much money in my bank account. I was able to cover my student loan covering three degrees in one shot. I was finally able to live comfortably and leave behind all the pain of my adolescence and young adulthood - I could finally be free. Life couldn't get any better.
You see, that was a big deal for me. At the age of 13, I left Romania and immigrated with my parents to Canada to build a new life from scratch, give two suitcases per person. It wasn't easy. Times were hard and money was never a luxury. On top of that, I was struggling with anxiety and depression, so the future didn't seem very rosy to someone like me who didn't know what self-esteem and confidence felt like, all while battling an inner sense of homelessness and lack of strong self-identity as a result of shifting from one culture to a completely different one.
I couldn't believe that it was possible for me to have so much career and financial success in my twenties. It really felt surreal.
Two years prior, I couldn't afford to buy myself a decent winter coat and pair of boots. I still remember coming home from school one cold, rainy winter night. I was really tired after working during the day and attending classes in the evening. It was late and I had missed the bus, so I had to walk for about an hour. In-between shivers, I was trying to cheer myself up by telling myself that this was temporary and that one day things will change for the better. By the time I got home, I was soaked all the way to the skin because my boots and coat weren't waterproof. I was freezing, crying, and feeling sorry for myself.
So there I was now, basking in this success without worrying anymore whether or not I could afford something for myself and my loved ones.
Sounds dreamy, doesn't it? Yet another career and financial success story, the "zero-to-hero" type...
I thought my life would be forever fulfilled when I got the money. I thought that my life-long anxiety and depression would by cured by this pile of bling that everyone so desperately seems to want. Yet each day that passed I felt more miserable, empty, and desperate to find true, long-term peace and happiness.
I'd look at people around me and get even more discouraged, believing that they had it all figured out...that whole happiness and fulfillment stuff.
I had spent most of my life feeling left behind. I felt it was unfair that while my friends seemed to have a strong sense of their place in the world, I was still healing wounds from the past and feeling confused and stuck.
As time passed, I was also getting scared. I'd hear people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s talk about how they wish they'd live another life just to follow their dreams. They felt stuck and believed it was too late for them to change. They felt hopeless. They felt unfulfilled and uninspired. They felt old and unenergized. They even felt unlucky. Just going by, day by day, paying bills and waiting for retirement to perhaps finally have a chance at feeling happy and free.
I dreaded dying with regrets so much that I was more afraid of not following my dreams than failing.
Since money wasn't bringing me the happiness and fulfillment that I thought it would, I figured that a different job environment would do the magic. So I quit and got myself another job. And I was happy...for a short while. It didn't take a long time to start feeling unfulfilled...again...like something was missing. A feeling of being incomplete. A feeling that I wasn't on purpose or fulfilling my mission.
I had no idea what that purpose or mission was supposed to be; all I knew was that I was NOT on it.
Until someone asked me one day...
Have you noticed that you keep searching for happiness and fulfillment, yet everywhere you go the anxiety and unhappiness follow you? Have you thought that perhaps it's not the new job, or the new things, but rather something within you that you need to look at in order to be at peace?
That was a life-changing turning point for me. I did a lot of deep soul searching.
You see, all my life before I was constantly told to "toughen up" and "fake it till I make it" if I am to survive in the real world. The real world? What's the real world? I was trying to live up to what I thought I was expected to do, think, and feel.
So I stopped living other people's realities and started living mine.
And I came to the realization that I was the only one capable to generate my own happiness, peace, and fulfillment - nothing or no one could do it for me.
And what was missing from all of this was my connection to my spirituality, that higher power that is in all of us.
I was looking for happiness, peace, and fulfillment outside of myself rather than within myself. I never stopped to ask myself what it was that my soul actually longed to do. What it was that I found meaningful. Who I wanted to be. Where I wanted to go. Which legacy I wanted to leave behind. Which types of experiences I wanted to have in this life and how I wanted to grow as a human being. How I wanted to contribute to this world.
When I allowed my heart to speak, I had all the answers that I needed, in the purest form of clarity that I have ever experienced.
And the most important answer I got was the following...
Purpose is meaning, and meaning is purpose.
In other words, when you allow yourself to engage in that which is meaningful to you, you are on purpose and feel fulfilled. Purpose isn't something you find out there, it is something you do as you follow your heart.
And I made the boldest move I ever made in my life.
I dropped everything to do something that I love with passion and that I am damn good at - coaching.
Even if most didn't believe I could do it...
Even if I felt scared and unprepared...
I did it.
I had no idea how I would do it; I just knew that I would figure it all out in perfect timing. For the first time in my life, I believed in myself.
And that's when I took my power back. That power that allows you to own YOUR life and live YOUR reality; that power that allows you to make YOUR decisions and create the life that reflects who you TRULY are. No masks. No excuses. Only your authentic self - unapologetically.
I no longer felt powerless. My whole life changed, not just my career path.
So I've made it my mission to share everything that I've learned (and continue to learn) and be the person that I wish I had around me while going through my challenges - to support, inspire, and empower me.
I don't cover wounds with plasters, hoping that they'd magically heal on their own. I believe in addressing limitations at the core and dissolving them for good.
And that is what I wish for you as well - to be done with your limitations once and for all and realize that you are, after all, a limitless being capable of manifesting anything you set your HEART to.
In my work, I merge the practicality of science with the wisdom of spirituality for a holistic approach to help you create an abundant, thrilling, and deeply satisfying life.
I want to help you see that you are more powerful than you think you are in creating the life that you want - a life that reflects who you truly are deep down in your heart.
Other Things You Might Like to Know About Me
At university, I once was the only one in a class of about 500 students who got a perfect grade on the exam - I didn't show up to class and missed a standing ovation.
It's pretty hard to B.S. me - I'm intuitive and am good at seeing beyond the masks that we wear.
My favourite colour is currently lavender.
I have a younger brother.
I was "diagnosed" with depression and anxiety several times and prescribed medication; never took a pill for that and instead found my own system of holistic healing.
My inner kid loves sparkly stuffed toys.
Andrada is my middle name. Daciana is my first name. I go by Andrada. My family calls me "Andra". How confusing!
I friggin' love Stargate.
My dad was a professional basketball player; I suck at basketball.
I speak a few languages; feel free to ask me which :)
I'm writing several books that I wish to publish in this lifetime.
I love getting involved with charity.
I've always had a thing for drawing and painting; I never committed to developing this talent and it is something I'd regret if I died tomorrow.
I'm a "plant lady"; I love plants and have as many as I can fit in my home.
My ultimate dream is to spread seeds of love so that we can all love and forgive ourselves and each other and make this world a happy, peaceful place that we can call heaven.
Here's how I looked at almost 2 years old :)