Meet Dre! I first met Dre in 2018 at a Nike event in Toronto, where she was DJing. Dre has a magnetic, mystical, electric energy that leaves you wanting to know more. She's extremely multi-dimensional - Dre is a DJ, Producer, Artist, registered Acupuncturist and a Shiatsu therapist. I had the honour of catching up with Dre and learned all about her personal development journey. Enjoy!
What might people already know about who you are (the extrinsic you)?
What people know about me is dependent on how long they've known me. I've had several iterations of myself! But, in the past few years, most people know me as primarily a DJ. I'm also a registered Acupuncturist and Shiatsu therapist, but a lot people are yet aware... if you don't know, now, you know.
What is something that people might not know about you (the intrinsic you)?
That I'm actually quite shy and introverted. Most people see me out performing, dancing, and talking passionately, but I often have to work through waves of anxiety leading up to those moments. I struggled with social anxiety for a very long time. It was the reason why (and still is sometimes) I don't really go out, unless I'm working or to support a close friend. As I got older, I realized that I am a highly sensitive individual. I have always been extremely sensitive to people's energies, both in intimate and public settings. I think it's one of the reasons why I became a body and energy worker. So, when I'm out in social sessions, it's an energy overload and can become overwhelming at times. It's like I can hear everyone's secrets behind their masks (that everyone puts on), so it becomes really distracting and very exhausting. I love one on one interactions because I can really hone in on the other person's vibrations and go to a deeper place. I strongly dislike surface interactions... like I just don't have the time lol.
What does personal development mean to you?
I have literally always said, if you are not working on yourself what are you doing?! But, I think it's important that self-awareness and personal development happen simultaneously. The journey of self-awareness to me means, really interrogating all parts of yourself - facing them, dismantling them, filtering them. It can be a really challenging and frightening endeavour at times, but I believe you are bound to come out on top. I've seen so many people ignore the fundamental aspects of themselves in both of my professions. Often through distraction with the hustle and grind of life, partying, relationship dramas. No judgement - but I've seen it bite people in their behind later on, or manifest negatively in their health. Your life is a by-product of your internal frequencies.
Again, all of this can be addressed in different ways. Journaling, meditation, talk therapy, bodywork, exercise, engaging in inspiring literature and art, or spiritual practices that push your current limitations.
Maybe self-awareness is a branch of personal development?
What has your personal development journey looked like?
From an early age, I have always known what I enjoyed doing, whether I was amazing at it or not. That was the arts, in whatever medium I was into at that time, and transformational healing. I was playing classical piano, dancing, practicing visual arts, and singing etc from birth. I began studying Buddhism, meditation and esoteric healing in high school. All of those practices are so deeply intertwined with my development and have always been a symbiotic relationship.
At the core, it has always been a back and forth between fear of failure and courage to try. The biggest risks I've taken have led to some of my greatest accomplishments. I had no real plan, only desire and lots of faith.
A specific example is when I decided to become a full-time artist in 2017 and refused to do a "day job". It was honestly one of the best years that I had ever had - financially, professionally and socially. When you put yourself in a situation that is scary and ambivalent, you are forced into survival mode. You'll find a way back to the shore somehow.
What are some of the most impactful tools you've found?
Creating. Even if you're not an "artist" per se, I always recommend self-expression as a way to release emotions. Dance around in your room, making music, painting, writing, crafting ...whatever.. but transmute the energy outwardly if you can.
One that I reference often is my 24-hour meditation session at a Korean temple in Mimico, that I attended when I was studying shiatsu. It's a no sleep, sitting and walking meditation for 24-hours (not including the hours you were awake before the session!). I walked out of there with so much energy and a feeling of utter bliss. I had never experienced anything like that before. I realized how exhausting thinking was in our daily lives. Quieting the mind is so powerful and transformative! It's an experience I think everyone should have.
Experiences that have helped you along the way?
Finding people or things that inspire you. Lack of motivation and self-doubt are definitely some personal blockers for me. What helps me is finding people or things that inspire me, that are doing the things I dream of doing, then studying their movements. Also, having people close to me that are continuously encouraging and supporting me. Validation is a really great motivator if you're prone to self-doubt.
Burning sage, lighting a couple of candles, pulling out my yoga mat with my acuBall and just rolling on it until tears come out, followed by a short meditation and Goddess card reading.
Breathe deeply and know that it has to get better at some point.
Words to live by?
Change can be challenging. But, complacency is trash.