Brian Dowd is known as the person who helps people get their lives back on track, but more recently he has been dubbed ‘The People Mechanic’. He helps people “lift the hood on their broken lives”, then provides the tools to help them get both their spirit and physical selves back in balance.
This Aboriginal man has learnt the hard way to triumph over trauma, drugs and alcohol. Now he is delivering workshops that assist people to ‘put their lives back together’, drawing on his motivational work over the past decade.
The People Mechanic tag came as a result of a suggestion at one of his workshops in Queensland.
“I’ve been travelling the country and sharing tools that I’ve developed that helped me through my own journey. I was working in Queensland when one young bloke said you’re the people mechanic. You lift the hoods on our broken lives and give us the tools to go on with our lives,” he says.
“I thought, I am a bit like that. I pull up at a location, set up my makeshift ‘garage’ and expose the damaged areas in people’s lives. I’ve developed a process around what I do. I run gatherings that are safe, friendly and allow people to cleanse and heal from past negative hurts. I un-program negative energy and reprogram positive energy.
“It’s an amazing thing to be trusted to do this and help people on their life’s journey.”
The negativity often comes from trauma that has either been adopted or introduced by other people, from loss to grief and separation from family at a young age. According to Brian, that energy takes hold and prevents a person from achieving their full potential and the “basic requirements of living a full life”.
Raised in the small town of Coonabarabran, in western NSW, Brian failed Year 12 and repeated it before getting a job as a hospital liaison officer. He left Coonabarabran at age 23 because he got a trial with the Newcastle Knights in 1996 as a rugby league player.
“But I brought a lot of problems with me. I was cut from the squad in 1997 due to my drinking and fighting and drug taking. I was too ashamed to go back to Coona so I stayed in Newcastle and became homeless. I slept in a car for a few months and suffered three years of destruction.
“My spirit was broken. I was bankrupt, homeless, alcoholic and I gambled to try and get out of debt. I was also on my way to jail,” he says.
“All of these things were too heavy in my backpack of life, so after a three-day drinking binge in Newcastle I decided to end it. It was the low point of my life, but my ancestors gave me a lifeline that day. They got in contact with my mum spiritually and she called me at that moment. My parents then spent eight weeks with me supporting me emotionally.”
Brian believes the best healing outcomes are when the right structures, balance and routines are restored in a person’s life.
“Balancing the spirit and the physical body is so important. Finding answers so that you are comfortable in your own skin, for example,” he says.
“When your physical journey isn’t connecting with your spiritual journey, a disconnect happens. For me, I wanted a job that I loved doing, one that didn’t feel like work to me. Once I found what I’m doing now my physical self came good. I also became more connected with my ancestors, country and to mother earth.”
Reconnecting the spirit, getting off the alcohol and drugs and removing the anger helped Brian. He says that when we are born the spirit and the physical is connected but adopting negative energies disconnects that. “We’ve got to find ourselves again,” he says.
Getting the structures right is another part of the equation. Brian calls this the ‘House of Hope’. Building strong foundations and “making sure your life is yours” is critical for self development and fulfilling your potential.
“Accept the weaknesses and do what you can to get rid of them. Build the walls of your house [the structures] through your choices and make them your own. The last thing is the roof, which is your ownership of your journey. Then put the people in the house and only those who deserve to be there. Establish the routines because positive repetition will turn things into second nature and give you the confidence to walk through the door of your house.”
Brian delivers his workshops for both private enterprise and government. In 2011, Brian won a Deadly Award for his employment-based program Black on Track. He has just returned from running pre-employment programs in Mt Druitt.
“People think that our people don’t want to work, but they are disconnected from their spirit and that doesn’t allow them to fulfil their potential. When you remove the weight on their spirit and give them the tools, they can then get on with their life’s journey and fulfil that potential,” he says.
“I would encourage people to book a place and come along to experience a People Mechanic gathering for themselves.”
To connect with Brian, head to his website.