To answer this question, I need to share my initial epiphany and the events directly after that brought me to where I am today: coaching and consulting entrepreneurs to help them become truly free and elevate the purpose, peace, and profit in their business.
In 2010, my life took a dramatic turn. It started with an epiphany I had while I was volunteering at the Hay House I CAN DO IT conference in Toronto. I was assigned to the room where Denise Linn was leading a past life regression. I didn’t intend to participate in the meditation but something drew me in.
Denise’s voice guided me into a deep meditation and I experienced past life regression for the first time. In this past life, I saw myself as a brave warrior who was fighting hard in a battle. When the battle was over, everyone around me — including everyone I cared about — was dead. I lived a long, lonely, and sad life and eventually died alone. The message I received from that experience was “if I fight, I will end up alone”. Then another message came to me:
my name Irina means “PEACE” in Greek and my current life needs to be about peace.
From warrior to peace seeker
Up until my epiphany, I had lived my life as a warrior fighting hard to survive. Having been emotionally, physically, and sexually abused as a child, having been told that as a woman I was not as good as a man, and having lined up to get food while living under communism, I had adopted a survivor mindset. Despite these discouraging circumstances, I had blazed a path for myself, getting accepted into university, coming to Canada, and building an impressive career in nuclear engineering. I had done more than just survive and I was proud. I thought I was thriving — but I wasn’t.
I was accomplished in my nuclear engineering career, managing large teams and complex projects of about $7 million. But by that time, I felt more drained than happy. I was probably close to burnout.
That day, at the I CAN DO IT conference, I came to understand the reason for the way I was feeling: I was doing it all wrong. I was not being authentic! I had become a skilled warrior in order to overcome the big hurdles in my life, but this was not the real me. It was quite the opposite.
A few months after the conference, my father died, and shortly after that, a long and unpleasant conflict at work left me feeling disheartened. I wondered if there was a better way to live life.
It was through grieving my loss and the damage to my top-performer identity that I realized that the only person in the world that could destroy me was me. No one else had that power! I vowed to stand by me, and I immersed myself in absolutely everything I could to restore my well-being and discover my purpose.
A leap of faith
With my upbringing, personal development was always something that interested me. I took all the leadership courses available as I climbed the corporate ladder to Senior Manager and Acting Director. In 2009, I obtained a Coach Practitioner status from the Certified Coaches Federation; and, as if in preparation for the events to come, in early 2010 I enrolled in a strategic intervention coaching and family therapy certification with Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes. Because of my vow to myself, I poured everything I had into this training and learned a great deal about myself and human needs psychology.
My empathic nature and the past life regression experience inspired me to also pursue spiritual development. I devoured books, attended events, took courses, and certified as an Angel Communication, Angel Card Reading, and Rainbow Energy Healing Practitioner. I worked extensively with several intuitive energy healers in my desire to grow and evolve. In fact, I received over one thousand hours of such sessions.
As a result, I achieved a new level of clarity, awareness, and enhanced competence. I wanted to keep evolving. I wanted to share what I had learned with others, so they could also find their purpose, achieve inner peace, and create a profitable business.
After 18 successful and accomplished years in a corporate nuclear engineering career, I left that life to follow my soul path.
As I became connected with large entrepreneur communities, I discovered that our subconscious mind holds onto self-sabotaging patterns learned in childhood. To be truly successful in business, we need to identify, resolve, and release those habits and become truly free from the past.
I noticed that kind-hearted people have difficulty growing a profitable business while still maintaining their well-being.
Purpose-driven entrepreneurs have an important mission: to make the world more peaceful and loving. I’ve committed the rest of my professional life to helping them do so.
A new discovery
I moved away from the city, acquiring 84 acres of vacant land in the country, and built an off-grid solar passive house with my then husband. Concurrently, I started my coaching practice and also managed his brick-and-mortar herbal medicine clinic and dispensary.
While the time and effort I invested in personal and spiritual development helped me find my purpose, it was during the growing stages of our businesses that I was able to witness and deeply comprehend how personal growth is directly linked with business success.
With this in mind, I created the Entrepreneur Enlightenment Academy, where through curriculum, coaching, and community, entrepreneurs are supported in all aspects of their journey to success.
Through working with my clients over the years, I have developed my own Entrepreneur Enlightenment philosophy, concepts I share on my Radio Show and TV Show, and in my first published book about establishing a purpose-driven business.
The future of Entrepreneur Enlightenment
As I progressed in my business, drawing on my extensive corporate skills such as business management, strategic planning, project management, team building, and business efficiency, I began consulting with businesses with 5 to 50 employees. Quickly, I saw that my impact multiplied: I was not only helping the business owner but I was also enhancing the lives of their employees and subsequently their families. This excites me greatly!
To continue this support for business owners with employees and leadership teams, I am now writing the next book in the Entrepreneur Enlightenment series about purpose-driven business relationships.
Speaking about purpose, as I became more visible teaching and hosting retreats and as my dreams expanded, my marriage became strained. It occurred to me that our paths were diverging, so in 2019 I made the hard call to end the marriage for the benefit of us both.
Again, I was led by my purpose into the unknown. Although leaving my marriage was unsettling, it promised much growth and excitement.
I have moved twice since, but I make sure every place I reside has nature that nurtures my clients and is a space where they can come for masterminds and retreats.
Quickly, I saw that my impact multiplied: I was not only helping the business owner but I was also enhancing the lives of their employees and subsequently their families. This excites me greatly!
I’m now in search of the next place with hills, a river, and white fences, where my coaching and consulting clients can come and where I can start my Foundation to provide horse healing to abused children.
This will make my mission complete, and one day I will be publishing my already written memoir “Becoming Truly Free – A Journey from Abuse to Healing and Purpose.” to give all kiddos hope that when they follow their purpose, anything is possible.