Lindsey Gaye Walker
is a British/Canadian singer, songwriter
and transformational life coach.
Lindsey Gay Walker is a British citizen, born and raised in England, UK. She obtained Canadian citizenship when she immigrated with her husband and family to Montreal, Canada in 1989.From the age of 11 years, she trained in musical theatre at the Arts Educational School in London, UK. She performed professionally for a few years and then decided to leave the theatre to teach.
At age 20, she married her Syrian boyfriend and went to live in Damascus, Syria. She later had four children with him. During this time she taught musical theatre to children at the American School of Damascus, dance to adults in the local community, and learned spoken Arabic and French. She also resided in Dubai for many years. Feeling the need to reconnect with herself, she decided to go back to school to study Psychology and in the year 2000 she received a BA[hons] in Psychology with the Open University of England, UK. Her chosen degree also allowed her to become a member of the British Psychological Society.
After getting divorced in 2004, she completed a training called, ‘The Dance of Life’ with German dance therapist, Petra Klein, as well as training in Spontaneous Painting with human relations coach, Cynthia Gonzalez. Upon moving to Vienna, Austria to start a new life, she also trained in Transpersonal Psychology with Dr. Stanislav Grof and his team, certifying as a Holotrpic Breathwork practitioner in 2011. She further certified as a Transformational Life Coach with the International Coaching Academy that same year. Additionally, in 2012, she completed a training in Motivational Speaking with the Authentic Speaker Academy for leadership led by Dov Baron. On moving back to Canada in 2013, settling in Guelph, Ontario, she became certified as an NLP Practitioner with Dr. Steve G. Jones.
Most recently she has combined her love for the performing arts with her love for psychology and life coaching, and joined Sean Michael Paddison as self-development focused music duo called, ‘Unleashed Dreams.’ Together they are creating epic songs to empower people to transform their lives and live their dreams. The lyrics of the songs aim to help people have greater self-awareness, optimism, happiness and peace. Their vision is to be part of the global movement helping to raise human consciousness for a better world.
Additional professional experience:
Creating and directing a musical for special needs children and young adults in an Indian school in Dubai; facilitating spontaneous dance with cancer patients and helping to support the local female workers in an Arabian hospital in the United Arab Emirates; being part of a 3 person team leading a support program for street children from the slums of Bangalore, India; founding and directing her own Self Development Centre called ‘Life Beat’ in Vienna, Austria from 2007‑2010.
Do you remember when you were a kid and thought about what you wanted to be when you grew up? Perhaps you lay awake at night thinking about it or daydreamed during class picturing how everything would be. I dreamt of singing and dancing on the stage, performing something magical where the audience was captivated, the lights were shining brightly, and the excitement was tangible for everyone present. I set out to fulfil that dream by training at a Performing Arts school in England, UK. The same school that Julie Andrews and Sarah Brightman, among other well known artists,had gone to. I worked hard over many years towards my goal but when the opportunity came for me to at last audition for the big shows in London and ‘live the dream’, I found myself facing something I had never expected and no one had ever warned me about.
It all began after I auditioned for a musical in London’s West End, which is similar to New York’s Broadway. It was 1980 and I was just 18, still living at home and quite naive to the world having been in an all girls boarding school most of my life. I had taken quite some time to prepare for the audition but the song I chose had been too low for my voice and I felt I didn’t give my best performance. I left feeling very disappointed after the director said, ‘Thank you — Next!’ Clearly I hadn’t got the job.
A couple of hours after arriving home however, my mother called me excitedly saying that the director of the musical was on the phone. My heart started beating fast. Could I have been mistaken? Did I do better than I thought? Perhaps he’d changed his mind and I’d got the role after all. I quickly took the phone from my mother’s hand and trying to calm my nerves said, ‘’Hello, this is Lindsey’’. In a friendly and relaxed manner the British director said, ‘’Hello Lindsey, I was very impressed with you today and was wondering if you would like to meet up with me this evening?” I immediately said, ‘Oh yes, of course.’ He then added, ‘You know meeting up with me doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the job’. I said, ‘I understand’, not sure exactly what he meant by that but brushing it aside as I felt so excited that he was actually calling me. He then suggested a place and time to meet up in London that evening, said goodbye and hung up.
When the phone call ended, while I was really excited, I still felt somewhat confused about what he had meant when he’d said meeting him would not guarantee I’d get the job. I started to wonder why he wanted to meet up with me and why he didn’t just speak to me about the job on the phone. I then pushed those thoughts away, just as I did my mother’s questions about the phone call, and assured myself that this might be my big chance to be in a West End show and my little girl dream coming true.I wanted to look my very best and was happy that it was a warm summer evening as I could wear my favourite yellow dress with white open toed shoes. I curled my long hair to look just right, and put on a little make-up. While I felt nervous at how the evening would go, I also felt really happy and set of excitedly for the train into central London.
He must have been in his late 40s, was casually dressed in a dark jacket, white shirt and jeans. When he met me at the train station he looked me up and down and said, ‘You look really beautiful’. He then went onto say, ‘My car broke down so we’re going to the hotel in a taxi’.
As we got into the taxi a huge wave of uneasiness flooded my whole body and I felt my intuition suddenly scream at me, ’Get out of here – This isn’t about getting the job, he is taking you to a hotel because he’s planning to have sex with you!’. Trying to think quickly how I could get away I acted as if I didn’t know his intentions and quickly said, ‘Oh my fiancé’s car broke down the other day too’. With a surprised look on his face he then said, ‘Fiancé? – and what does he think about you coming out with me tonight?’ I said, ‘ Oh he knows we’re only going to talk about the job’. ‘Is that what you think?’ he answered. I said, ‘Of course’. His previous smile left his face and with a sigh he told the taxi driver to turn around and take us back to the train station, where I was promptly dropped off and told to get safely home. No explanation was given and I didn’t ask for one. I was just relieved to get out of that taxi. Of course I never heard from him again, and I didn’t get the job. I didn’t tell anyone about it until years later.
So often we keep unsettling events locked up in the corners of our mind, sometimes even forgetting about them, until something happens that pushes them back to consciousness for healing. For me that wasn’t until many years later. Perhaps you can relate to what I’m saying.
While it wasn’t with every case, exploitation of young women entering the theatre happened often. It happened to me again in a different context, and I heard other girls talking about it while waiting for an audition. I soon lost faith in my little girl dream, the dream that I’d dreamt of for as long as I could remember, and after just two years in the business I decided to leave the theatre and marry my boyfriend who was the one man I felt truly honoured and respected me. As he was Syrian and we were going to live in the Middle East, getting married felt the right thing to do. I decided to teach singing and dancing in an after school program at the American School of Damascus. Some of those children became my bridesmaids walking behind me in the Church and dancing on the grand outdoor stage of the Sheraton Hotel at the reception. Being married at 20 and living far from home was a whole new life for me.
When two beautiful daughters came along, while I loved being a mom, I missed the performing arts and felt I was loosing myself especially as my husband didn’t share that same love for the arts as I did. I used to sing my children to sleep and my mother-in-law always said that she loved my voice and I should record it but in my mind that dream was over. My husband encouraged me to go back to school but that was a scary thought as I had struggled with dyslexia and failed miserably with academics at school. As I sank into a depression my husband kept encouraging me saying anyone who could learn to speak Arabic in one year with no lessons was clearly intelligent. So I plucked up the courage and decided to give going back to school a try. Over a period of seven years of hard work, with a few stops and starts as I also gave birth to two sons, I eventually reached the peak of my Mount Everest and got a BA Honours in Psychology. Even though it was different to dancing and singing, I felt I had found myself again.
Clearly we all have earth angels on our path, even if we don’t always recognize them as such. Having someone believe in you and offer words of encouragement can often be that small push you need to take flight. I will always be grateful to my husband during that time for believing in me and giving me that well needed ‘push’.
After completing my degree I became more interested in spirituality and felt a strong spiritual calling to connect more this this core part of myself. Unfortunately, for reasons that are personal to him, my husband rejected anything to do with spirituality which meant that we couldn’t connect on this level. We started to walk separate paths and while I loved my husband very much, over the years we grew apart. After 25yrs together and four amazing children he asked me for a divorce. It was another re-birth and with that a heart wrenching time for the whole family as we adapted to our new lives.
During the next decade I moved to live in Vienna, Austria with my two teenage boys while my daughters studied overseas at university. I continued my education in psychology and also trained to be a life coach. Part of that training involved me being coached, and during one of the coaching sessions I was asked if I had fully lived my dreams. I suddenly found myself in floods of tears remembering my long forgotten dream of being on the stage, a dream that felt so far away, a dream that now felt way too late to achieve, a dream that clearly still resonated in my heart and soul.
That played a major part in me reconnecting to my dream and to fully understanding why I had abandoned it. Through therapy I remembered how I’d been inappropriately touched by a piano teacher at the age of six and realized that the inappropriate behaviour from authority figures in the theatre when I was 18 had clearly triggered that wound. I went on a deep inner journey over a good many years doing all kinds of therapeutic work to heal. It was a time of greater self awareness, reclaiming my personal power, and clearing the way for my authentic core self to really come forth.
While I had to face that I was now 50 and had no training in the performing arts since I was 18, I also realized that I had developed other skills, other parts of myself over the years that had brought me a wealth of experience and knowledge. I saw that while my dream might not look the same, a newer version that brought in all my gifts might actually be better and satisfy me more.
Maybe you too have a long forgotten dream that still resonates in your heart. If so, perhaps sharing my story will awaken a part of you that is still calling to be expressed and lived.
During the time I lived in Vienna, I saw the film ‘The Secret’ and decided to do a morning and night visualization about what I wished for to activate The Law of Attraction. Based on its teachings, I knew that if I really wanted to make my vision a reality, I would have to see it and feel it as real. I put on headphones to be able to really enter into the moment and played Katy Perry’s song ‘Firework’ singing full out with her as I visualized my dream. I did this visualization three times a day, much to the amusement of my teenage sons who clearly thought their mum was loosing it! I put out to the universe my wish to be on stage again, this time doing a combination of singing and motivational speaking to inspire people to reconnect to their own dreams, just as I was setting out to do. I also visualized being in a new relationship where we both shared a love for the performing arts as well as personal development and saw us working together.
I started to sing again with a very dear Austrian friend who was a talented guitar player. We sang together in my apartment along with another friend of his. Singing was my happy time and I was so very grateful for his support and the beautiful friendship that we shared. I started to write songs about my life journey and he helped me pull them together and we recorded one of them. I wasn’t sure how the dream in my mind would come to reality or how I’d later meet the man I was visualizing but I trusted that when the time was right it would happen.
When my youngest son finished high school in Vienna, I moved to Toronto, Canada as he was to attend university there, and two of my other children also lived there. One month before I moved, I joined an online singer-songwriter Meetup group based in Toronto so I could meet people when I arrived. The head of the Meetup welcomed me online. His is name was Sean Michael Paddison. The day after I arrived to live in Toronto, Canada, we met up and I handed him my iPod with the first song I had recorded on it for him to listen to. He loved the sound of my voice and we both felt a strong spiritual connection. After meeting a couple more times we started dating.
I truly believe that focusing on what I wanted brought us together and that the Law of Attraction really does work. However, I have also learned that the vision we hold in our mind don’t always fall in line with how we wish it to be. That would be far too simplistic. Life is always calling us to grow, to heal from old wounds and stay connected to our authentic path. When we are able to recognize that everything that comes on our path is for a reason, and that our deepest spiritual self is always supporting us in realizing our dreams, then we can surrender the ‘how’ and learn to trust the spiritual choreography that guides us forward. This is something that I continue to work on – trusting the process!
Initially I thought I was to help people like myself who had gone through divorce but after Sean unexpectedly had a stroke due to an undefined blood condition, I realized that my deepest calling was to create songs with him.
Today Sean and I are working together as a self-development focused music duo and call ourselves ‘Unleashed Dreams’. He is a seasoned music producer and since 2015 we have been creating epic songs to empower people to transform their lives and live their dreams. It is our wish that the lyrics of the songs help people have greater self-awareness, optimism, happiness and peace. Our vision is to be part of the global movement that is helping to raise human consciousness for a better world.
If you resonate with our vision and music then I’d like to invite you to join us in sharing this sacred space together. While we may not know each other or ever meet, on a spiritual level I trust our connection is ‘meant to be’, whether it be for a short while or a lifetime.
I would like to leave you with two quotes by Rumi that continue to support me on my path and hopefully will do the same for you –
‘The wound is the place where the Light enters you’.
‘Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray’.
Love and blessings to you on your life journey,
Sean Michael Paddison
is a Canadian composer, songwriter,
music producer and pianist.
Sean Michael Paddison was born in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada.
His first connection to music was through his mother who was a professional singer/pianist.
His foray into songwriting began around the age of 10, when he re-arranged popular songs he’d learned into medleys. By the age of 14 he had started to write his own songs, and by 16 he had created his own multi-track home recording studio in the basement of his family home and was recording his and other people’s music. One of his songs, which was an R&B Hip Hop song called ‘We’re Through,’ was played on a Toronto university radio station.
As he couldn’t afford to go to a recording arts college, he continued to teach himself via rented equipment and paying for it by being a DJ and doing part and full time jobs.
At the age of 22, he got a contract in North Carolina, USA producing music at Ultimix Records, the worlds most prolific remixing label at that time. He worked on songs by: Michael Jackson, Vanilla Ice, Black Box, 2 Unlimited, Digital Underground, Suzanne Vega/DNA and more.
He then went on to work as part of a production team at Sigma Sound [DK Studios] in New York City.
At the age of 26 he returned to Canada and worked with Robert Michaels on two of his albums, one of which (Allegro) later won the Juno award (Canada’s Grammys) in the Best Instrumental Artist category.
A year later he got married and had two children. During this time he released a solo piano album called ‘Music for Dreams.’ Unfortunately the marriage didn’t work out and he got divorced eleven years later.
Following his divorce, he launched a radio station called listeneasy.com which made it to number one on live365.com, the world’s largest collection of online radio stations. He also launched a second station Celtica, which made it to number 2 for celtic stations. In that same year he released his second solo CD called ‘Journeys and Discoveries.’
After tragically losing his new fiancée to cancer, Sean picked up his life again and launched his own home recording company called ‘Home Recording Pro’ which supported over 100 home recording studios across Ontario. He also got a contract to create music training programs for VTC.com, which is an online music training company.
A year later he took over and restructured a fledging singer/songwriter network in Toronto of just 17 members. With the support of additional organizers, it has since grown to over 1000 members. In 2013, he met Lindsay Gay Walker through this network and together they created Unleashed Dreams, a self development focused singer/songwriter duo drawing on epic, new age, neo-classical and world genres. Lindsey is the singer and Sean is the music composer/producer.
Together they create epic songs to empower people to transform their lives and live their dreams.The lyrics of the songs aim to initiate greater self-awareness, optimism, happiness and peace. Their vision is to be part of the global movement creating change for a better world.
In addition to creating music together, Sean also certified as a NLP practitioner in 2016.
I was always very close to music as my mom was always singing and playing the piano even while being pregnant with me. No doubt I was hearing the strong tones of the piano and her singing in the womb. Around that time she was in the early stages of her professional music career. She eventually toured the Holiday Inn circuit as a singer/ pianist and was one of the first women to tour with her own professional sound system in Canada.
I used to sit and play with my toys by the piano as she learned new songs for her performances. When I was around three, she got stuck trying to locate a particular note for a song she was learning. While trying out different notes on the piano, a tiny hand came up and played the note she was looking for. It was at that moment my mom realized that I had an ear for music!
Thus began my early tutoring on the piano. My mom played music primarily by ear and so consequently that was the way I was taught. She taught me enough to understand what notes make up a chord and how to play with two hands. I used to stand beside her and watch her play, analyzing intensely in my childhood mind how each part worked. When my mom had finished practicing, the instrument became my infinite tool for fun! By the time I was five I had already learned small passages of music by Mozart, Bach and current pop composers that I repeatedly heard my mom working on. By the age of six she no longer taught me as I was determined to teach myself.
While I loved listening to my mom prepare for her performances, around the age of four my life changed dramatically when my parents got divorced. My mom’s world became that of a single mom trying to support four kids on her own as a solo musician, a very tall task! Within two years she remarried. However, that marriage only lasted around six years, which actually was a blessing as her new husband was extremely abusive to everyone and especially liked to pick on me as I was the only child of my dad.
I soon discovered that if I was playing the piano or outside playing street hockey, he would leave me alone so those two things became my safe zones. In some strange way this contributed to me learning more musically, especially when it wasn’t hockey season!|
Due to my mother’s work and her eventually marrying three times, we moved a lot which also meant that I was constantly changing schools. Luckily, I could always take my two favourite things with me, music and hockey. I was not a big kid and we didn’t have a lot of money so while I enjoyed hockey it was not something I pursued seriously but I did get pretty good at it. I was always a small kid and often picked on as the new kid in school but being good at hockey helped me make friends. Music however was always my central focus.
I did take some piano lessons while moving from place to place but they were few and far between. Unfortunately every time I arrived at a new school the teachers typically handed me ‘book one’ which was primary stuff that I’d been playing since the age of three or four. Being a grade school kid with a sophisticated music palette I quickly got bored with what I considered to be baby songs! I would often tear into some Mozart or Bach piece to let the others know I was no slouch! This usually shocked the other kids and upset the teacher as I wasn’t following ‘the lesson plan’. Lessons typically wouldn’t last long as both the teacher and I found the whole exercise pointless or there simply wasn’t enough money to continue.
In grade seven I graduated to senior public school (Canada’s version of middle school). It was then that I was allowed to play another instrument. I initially thought I would choose the flute as I had loved many flute parts in classical pieces, and violin was not an option. However, I ended up falling in love with the power and grace of the trumpet.
After the first class we were allowed to sign out our chosen instrument for a few days to practice the simple scales we had just been taught. I raced home and pulled the trumpet out the second I got to my room. I practiced the assigned scales and learned them really quickly, mostly using my ear as a guide. Becoming bored, I decided to put on a Chuck Mangione LP. I had found it in the garbage, thrown out by my neighbours a few weeks before, and so started to sort out the notes for the song “Rise”.
During our next music class the teacher asked if anyone would like to demonstrate what they had learned on their instrument. I volunteered and broke into a highly practiced chorus of Rise. After I was done the shocked teacher said, “Wow, Sean, I didn’t know you already knew how to play trumpet. How long of you been taking lessons?”. My answer was, “One day!”.
That year I was chosen among a few gifted music students across Canada to participate in a clinic with The Toronto Symphony at Old Massey Hall in downtown Toronto. I continued to play the trumpet for a few years in different school orchestras. However, being a great trumpet player was not my true passion. What I became more interested in and over time serious about was writing songs.
It was around this time I received Alan Parson’s album ‘The Turn Of A Friendly Card’ as a gift from my mom. I couldn’t stop listening to it. It combined two of my greatest loves, pop music along with classical orchestration. I was hooked. From that point on, I not only wanted to write music but also PRODUCE IT!
My mom would ask me, “Why on earth do you keep playing the same 8 bar segment from that CD over and over? You’re driving me nuts!”. I responded by saying that I was learning how the instruments were being stitched together and how that stitching, plus the tactical hook, was creating the appealing nature of the song making it more commercial. I was taking everything in!
I also set out to learn everything I could about synthesizers, mixers, multi-track recordings and anything else that could create amazing recordings! That included reading the album credits and liner notes on cassettes, and eventually CDs, to find out who played on what.
One pastime I had was to play this game where I would put on a CD and then try to name the producer and performers on the track based on the sound of the instruments, the style of play and the way it was mixed. I could play that game for hours and it clearly supported my producer ear training!
I was still young and didn’t have much money to buy anything but I soon discovered that I could rent equipment for short periods for a lot less money. I would get money by doing paper routes, shovelling snow off people’s driveways or doing other odd jobs. When I turned sixteen I got part time jobs in restaurants, worked at the local convenience store and was a DJ for multiple dance clubs, weddings, new year and house parties.
Step by step, through trail and error, I trained myself in my own home recording studio. My basement looked like Bruno’s basement from the movie Fame, with keyboards stacked up and rented mixers, and other outboard gear. When my friends were saving for cars or flying on trips, I was buried in my basement drenching myself in great recorded works. I called my studio “The Cave” and created my own learning experience. Going to an expensive music college was never an option for me as it was financially impossible and my mom would never agree to student loans, but over time I honed my song writing and production skills and eventually started recording my own music and other artists as well.
One of the artists I worked with was Robert Michaels, who would eventually become a Juno (Canada’s Grammys) winning music artist. I worked with him for a number of years on various songs. Working with Rob was a great fit because he was highly organized and just as serious as myself about getting the best sound possible with the equipment available to us. It was also great because he had gone to music college and was very generous in sharing his knowledge with me while we worked together.
I still am good friends with Rob and I give him credit for helping me to be more picky about what tracks I deemed as acceptable for radio. This experience with Rob helped bring my music up to a much higher level which would be essential for the next stage of my career.
I eventually moved out on my own and traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina where I was joined by my girlfriend who later became my finance. A couple of months after I arrived I called a talent agency via the local phone book and a man working there suggested that I check out a recording studio in town. I decided to take one of my cassette demo tapes with me. I didn’t know at the time but the man who referred me was the brother of one of the studio owners. I had no idea who they were and how that would impact my music career.
The company was called Ultimix and at that time they were producing music and remixes, releasing them worldwide for many of the big artists as well as for their own label. Talk about making my own good luck! This was where I really latched on to the idea “You’ll never know unless you try!”. Now when people tell me something can’t be done, I immediately respond with those motivating words!
After hearing my tape and how I was able to replicate the sound of current pop charting songs with my little home setup, Ultimix hired me on the spot to become their new studio keyboard producer! I was gob smacked but even more so when they asked me if I’d like to see the studio. When they opened the door and we walked into their CD distribution centre and then through two large doors that lead into the live room of the studio, I thought to myself “holy s%*t this is soooo frigging cool!”. But when we walked into the control room, I just about lost it! It looked similar to the control rooms I’d been reading about in MIX and KEYBOARD magazines. It was massive and gorgeous! I was now standing in the epicentre of the dance remix centre of America, no joke!
I gotta give them credit, it must have been odd to have this very young looking 21 year old from Canada (I looked more like I was 16 because I was so skinny) walk in with a demo tape, purple shorts and a neon Andre Agassi tennis shirt. Thankfully the owners of Ultimix, who were famous dance music producer/remixers, were able to recognize my potential and hired me. While they were my bosses, we also became great friends. To this day I look fondly back at the sessions in that studio, even the day I recorded with a broken hand set in a cast. We were working on a remix of one of Michael Jackson’s songs at the time and there was no way in hell I was going to miss that opportunity!
Sadly, after some great time working there I made a life altering ‘learning mistake’ in my music career. While I worked with Ultimix on hit after hit of billboard charting material by artists such as: Michael Jackson, Vanilla Ice, 2 Unlimited, Black Box, Indeep, DNA/Suzanne vega and more, my fiancé became extremely upset about me continually coming home at 3–4am, even though I started around noon and such hours were considered normal in the pop recording industry. While she supported me doing music, we continually sparred over this issue and I struggled to try and fix the situation. Thinking it might solve the problem, I asked for more money from Ultimix I which didn’t go down well and they ended up hiring someone else. I worked part time for them for a while but it was for much less pay so I eventually left. My fiancé moved out to reassess our relationship and went to Philadelphia.
I decided to send out some demo tapes and eventually landed a gig in New York as a digital music producer. This was on broadway at the famous Sigma Sound Studios (also known as DK Studios). There I got to work with some world class talent who had worked on songs by Whitney Houston, Sade, Kiss and many other big acts. I felt honoured to be chosen to work on such contracts. When my fiancé visited me and said she wanted to continue our relationship and return to North Carolina, I was left with a dilemma, stay in New York working on great projects or continue my relationship with her. I decided to finish the contract in New York and joined her North Carolina. However, the relationship failed anyway.
Eventually I returned to Canada and decided to start again with my recent USA pop credits in hand. However, before I even got my feet wet in the Canadian music industry I got engaged again to someone who would soon become my wife. (Do I hear you say relationship rebound? Definitely! When do Aries use there sense of logic in matters of the heart anyways?).
I worked on music at the beginning of our marriage with my old friend Robert Michaels who was making significant inroads in the Canadian music scene. It was great to be back in Canada and working with him. Unfortunately, my wife did not have as much faith in my musical ability and how much money I could earn from it as the people who wanted to hire me, especially after our two children were born. This led to many fights and unfortunately, once again, I allowed my music career to get derailed. This time it was even replaced by what was deemed more important, that being a “DAY JOB” working in IT.
Unfortunately I never received any support for my music from her and eventually most of my producing gear was sold off to pay for bills etc. My home recording studio setup ended up being a small cubby in the basement beside the pool table [The 16 year old Sean would have been livid!). Whenever I would try to work on my music, I would hear my wife stomping around upstairs, slamming doors and throwing things around. This would always result in a fight of some sort. So the driven young successful music producer became the free entertainment guitar player for the kids at his wife’s corporate Christmas party. I had made the choice to de-prioritize myself to keep the peace at home, something I did a few years before in North Carolina with my prior fiancé. Clearly I was running an old pattern. I did however manage to release a solo piano album during this time.
Eventually though I lost the IT job due to corporate layoffs and ended up taking a course for self employment, which illuminated the fact that I should be in the music industry. In that course I decided to try once again to reignite my music career, much to the dismay of my wife. I investigated going to university to get a degree in music composition and the dean said he would love to have me join based on my prior music success in the US. I also launched my own online internet radio station which led me to finding an investor interested in opening up a recording/video studio with me. Unfortunately none of these ideas were accepted by my wife and she asked for a divorce. I had had enough so I agreed that was best.
In retrospect, my wife and I were simply not compatible. I also later realized that in order to hold the peace and appease another persons fears, I often handed over my power and lost my voice. I could have stood up for myself years before but I had learned as a child to take care of others needs before my own. This alongside moving so much, where I needed to make friends over and over, left me with a pattern of doing almost anything to get people to like or love me, even sacrificing my music.
Needless to say I was now finally free to follow my own path. This was both a relief and extremely tough as I was very committed to my children and loved them dearly. Now I was a weekend dad but knew I needed to set an example for my children about the importance of standing up for what you believe in and protecting your dreams.
Within a few months my radio station listeneasy.com made it to number one on live 365, the world’s largest collection of online radio stations. My second station Celtica made it to number 2 for celtic stations. I also released my second solo CD “Journeys and Discoveries” in that year.
Life wasn’t always great though, I was also mired in the final stages of the divorce and along with that I felt unwell much of the time. I put it down to working three jobs to pay the bills and thought my unusual car sickness and memory issues were due to sleep deprivation. The real reason why I felt so unwell was not to be discovered until later.
Around that time I did meet a wonderful woman who was very supportive of my music and once again got engaged. We were about to move into a new farm with a massive barn that I was planning to convert into a nice recording studio when she found out she had stage 4 cancer. She died eight months later, the same weekend we had penciled in to get married on. I was devastated.
All of this was a massive whirlwind that just became too much to handle and took me way off track for doing any sort of serious recording. After my fiancé died I did some serious soul searching and realized time is shorter than one thinks. Putting all my efforts into my music, slowly my production skills came back and I launched a company called ‘The Home Recording Pro’ which over its time supported over 100 home recording studios across Ontario. I also got a contract to create music training programs for VTC.com, which is an online music training company. However, my own songwriting was not given much time as paying the bills took precedence.
Since the break down of my marriage I made sure I always chose friends and girlfriends who supported my music, and I can finally say that I have had success in that part of my life… thankfully. I have made some great friends who have supported me fully in my pursuing this dream and they have made a massive difference in my life to which I am truly grateful.
It was in March 2013 that I first connected with Lindsey. I was running a music meetup in Toronto at the time and she had joined the group and Facebook page while still living in Vienna, Austria, as she was preparing to move to Toronto that June. While we chatted a bit online, our real connection began when we met a few days after she arrived in Canada. We began dating shortly after and have become pretty much inseparable since. Two music forces who had previously put our dreams to the side in favour of other priorities were now ready to relaunch ourselves and our talent internationally.
We started writing songs together but then I ran into a major setback. While working in the studio on a song Lindsey and I had written, I started having difficulty with a piece of music software which was really stressing me out. Lindsey went upstairs while I tried to solve the issue but as I sat there snacking on almonds, I suddenly started to feel very unwell and began drooling down the side of my face. At first I thought I was just being a sloppy eater but then I realized I was also biting the side of my mouth while eating. I also felt very nauseous and tired so I pushed myself to go upstairs to lie down and let Lindsey know. However, when I tried to tell her I wasn’t feeling well she couldn’t understand what I was saying. Recognizing there was a serious problem, she immediately helped me to bed and called 911, telling them that she thought I was having a stroke.
She was right!
Within a few minutes the paramedics had arrived and took me off to hospital. This was a huge surprise to me as I was on a mostly organic diet, walked regularly, and didn’t smoke or drink. After having various tests, I learned that I not only had a stroke but had also had two previous strokes on both sides of my brain that I didn’t know about. I realized then that the times in the past when I’d felt particularly unwell were most probably due to this.
Luckily I recovered well from not being able to talk clearly and having my face droop on one side. Needless to say this was a massive eye opening experience for me in regards to my earlier realization that TIME IS SHORT!
Eventually I was able to regain all of my speech (although not to it’s original speed or proficiency) and my face went back to normal, mostly. From the outside I appear normal but for me I knew inside a lot had changed.
My body was slower to process complex tasks and now gets sleepier a lot faster, especially under times of stress.
Since that time, the doctors and myself have tried to figure out the reason for the strokes. I was told it was an undefined blood condition and have been put on meds. The possibility that my condition could result in a debilitating stroke at any time was unnerving for a while. However, I now see it as a gift, ‘my stroke of good luck’, as it has reinforced my belief that the time to put my music out into the world is RIGHT NOW.
I see meeting Lindsey and creating music with her is another stage in reclaiming myself and my creative identity, while also pursuing a larger purpose. Together, with a strong message, her voice and my music, it is our goal to inspire people to follow their own dreams, just as we are doing. I believe we have found the ultimate way to do that with Unleashed Dreams!