#BEYOUROWN MEETS SONIA ELHAJ
Sonia Elhaj, your certified modern womanhood coach will guide you into becoming the strong, happy, peaceful and loving, modern woman you truly are. Sonia guides you, today’s modern woman in freeing yourself from the daily poison of your internal & external conversations that keep you from happiness in love, marriage, and your personal relationships.
With a mission to support you, her aim is to specifically help women who feel lonely in their marriage, who are suffering from disconnection in their families, who have been or are going through a divorce, who are lost in a pattern of non-committed, abusive or unhappy relationships and who are simply stuck in the abyss of victimhood (my Pupa Archetype©) or in the storm of burnout (my Caterpillar Archetype©).
Sonia help’s these women use divorce, break-up, separation and their general disconnection from men, attraction and love to re-build confidence, strength, and power in their personal and professional lives. These women also use this growth to manifest a committed, high-value relationship or restore happiness, intimacy, and attraction in their existing relationships.
You ask yourself “how… would we create these beautiful things in our lives from such pain, failures and bad relationships?”
Sonia goes on to explain “first, let me get something out of the way: There are no failures, bad relationships, failed relationships or marriages. There are only fantastic growth opportunities!”
“Why?” Many of us ask….
“It is because your relationships provide you with an ultimate laboratory for healing. It is because opening up to connect to someone in your life allows you to get triggered, really learn about your inner-world and transform! It is because experiencing care, support, peaceful communication, confident vulnerability, love and intimacy with another human being gives you the most amazing channel towards your highest state of connectedness, clarity, creativity, consciousness, power, and womanhood.”
Sonia continues, “It is because your relationship with your man is your ultimate mirror through which you will fully embody your queenly Butterfly Essence© It is because your life’s ultimate, most natural and highest purpose is to connect, heal, love and impact other human beings along your journey.”
Hey Sonia, can you introduce yourself to us?
I originally come from Tunisia, a small country with massive human potential and a deep-rooted 200,000-year history formed at the crossroads of dozens of civilisations dating back to the stone age. I thrive on honouring my history and ancestors while creating an expansive future for myself and the people I serve. The rich heritage of my native culture is reflected in my personal and professional journey; I speak 5 languages and boast over 2 decades of diverse living, travel, learning and work experiences on 4 different continents.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
After a successful career in higher-education, curriculum-design, academic research, team-leading, professional communications training, career empowerment, and wellness consultancy, I switched gears to follow my true calling: life coaching. I have always been passionate about self-empowerment and have explored areas of movement, healing, theatre and various approaches to coaching. Before I even started training as a coach, friends and colleagues would turn to me for mentorship, encouragement and for a dose of humour and positivity. For years, I had taken initiative to create personal and professional development as well as community service opportunities for both students and staff in the organisations where I worked.
Having empowered thousands of young professionals to move forward with their lives and careers for over 15 years, I was ready to impact larger audiences beyond the confines of the classroom. Today, I am an intensely-trained coach who is not only supporting individuals during life and career transitions, but I am also often called on by fellow coaches wanting mentorship and inspiration at various stages of their business development.
I also collaborate with leading coaches and educators, facilitate courses, events, and workshops using the most powerful coaching models and the most cutting-edge training tools.
I have been through many challenging life transitions which I now use to teach people to welcome, celebrate and create from failure. I use every setback to bounce back; higher each time. My private-coaching clients love that I “press their activator buttons”, that “I have intimate knowledge of both Middle-Eastern and Western cultures” and that I “have been through their same struggles and model confident-vulnerability with them”; all the while holding a loving, zero-judgement space for them to transform while bridging the gap between the being and the doing.
Some of the paradoxes that I embody in my life and coaching practice are: transforming failure into success, finding power in vulnerability, harmonising stillness and movement, leading with femininity, working less to accomplish more; to name a few. It comes as no surprise that two of my top strengths are: Strategic and Relator; this secret recipe helps me deliver the most powerful coaching possible. I love to infuse everything I create with joy, colour, flavour, and movement, whether it is cooking for loved ones, making crafts, planning events or pursuing my hobbies in dancing and drama. I bring my love of comedy, the stage, and the performing arts into my leadership style; this makes public speaking even more natural for me. In addition to individual and group coaching, I love engaging audiences whether it is through content-writing, teaching, training, vocal empowerment or volunteering. I no longer consider what does ‘work’, but rather, daily expression of my true life purpose.
How much prior research did you do on the market and what were your findings?
Even without much research, we all know this fact: the entire world is going through a transitional leap to a new level of consciousness and we, life coaches, light-workers, healers and change-agents are needed more than ever to facilitate and enhance this transition. For me personally, I see lots of imbalance between the masculine and the feminine or yin and yang evident through personal crises, such as increasing rates of divorce, disconnection, violence, stress, disease, and burnout. I see this as the loudest call to action for all of us! We are all responsible as human beings for this collective purpose; each one in their own way.
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos of your business?
- My business is my struggle and my success.
- My brand is me and my journey.
The DNA of my business is my own spiritual and energetic DNA. It is the ultimate expression, flow and constant evolution of my own growth as a woman. My coaching practice is the bridge through which I support my private clients and thousands of followers in starting their own search for meaning in their own lives and relationships.
As a CTI-trained and certified coach, I follow the ethical guidelines of ICF, the International Coach Federation together with my own intuition and internal compass.
Where do you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Through a hybrid model of coaching, speaking and teaching, I will be the globally-recognised modern womanhood coach impacting millions of women especially in the Arab world and guiding them in reconnecting to and embodying their innate, natural feminine creativity and power both at home and at work. Through that process, I know that these women will be the catalysts for changing Arab marriage, men-women relationships, family, parenting and society on a cellular level – not through big sweeping political policy, but through individual action and awareness. This vision of mine is led by 4 basic and simple principles:
Empowering one woman will change and impact an entire community!
We, Arab and Middle-Eastern people need to start adopting what serves us from Western cultures! Real female leadership is most powerful when anchored in feminine values and principles of creativity, dialogue, and sisterhood!
We cannot create peace from a place of war: It is necessary to also 1. embrace, understand, honour, and co-create with healthy masculine energy, and 2. Learn how to raise our boys to become respectful, empowered and loved men!
Can you highlight 3 common misconceptions about coaching and how you are using your platform to educate us?
Great question! Below are the top 3 myths that keep coming up in my interactions with different audiences along with my posts setting the record straight. The main and most powerful way I educate is that I practice what I preach; let me explain. I am myself in constant evolution and my learning never stops. As I up-level, I create channels for other women around me to up-level as well. Here is how I educate my audience about coaching:
- I share my own life experiences with confident vulnerability.
- I connect with my tribe and teach regularly.
- I allow my followers to experience my coaching tools and teachings.
- I regularly share written and video content and support the coaching industry.
- I co-create with other leaders, both male and female, and model abundance mindsets, synergy, and sisterhood.
- Myth 1: I don’t believe in coaching.
- Myth 2: If a coach’s main purpose is to help people, then s/he shouldn’t be getting paid for it.
- Myth 3: A coach has to be a ‘perfect’ person.
I bust those myths here, here, here and here.
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
The main overarching model of coaching I use is the powerful CTI Co-Active model which seeks as its foundational principle to create the magic balance between the Being, (or the Feminine) and the Doing (or the Masculine). I also have fundamentals training in ORSC relationship coaching which is co-active in nature. Additionally, I am influenced by feminine-energy modalities which are co-active in nature. I am currently coached and mentored by the amazing Lenka Lutonska who helps me every single day anchor the balance of ‘mechanics’ and ‘energetics’ in my life, business, and coaching practice, which guarantees me rapid success and happiness and is contagious to my clients!
Last but not least, I recruit my own feminine intuition, empathy, personal strengths, innate values and draw on the wisdom of over 4 decades of life experience. The real power in feminine-style coaching is intuiting, engaging emotion, body wisdom and combining these with teaching my clients how to trust again: trust in the laws of the universe, the law of attraction and the process of manifestation, which takes off so much learned pressure to work hard, constantly push, act, pretend and perform all the while eradicating the “illusion of perfection” that we, women, have suffered from so much and that we need to ‘unlearn’ and ‘unteach’ our children!
What outlets do you use to market the Online Ultimate Freedom Summit?
I use Facebook which is the largest forum for coaches and change-makers, LinkedIn and Instagram.
What or who inspires and motivates you?
First, a handful of very close friends and family who do not necessarily understand the work I do but they have 100% trust in me and support me during challenging times.
Second, the coaches and healers whom I have interacted with over the last several years.
Last, but not least, the little Sonia in me whom I came to forgive and love unconditionally! I know she has been through a lot and prevailed. I am extremely proud of her!
What is the number 1 critical business lesson you have learned so far?
Applying the new feminine paradigm to work, business and entrepreneurship. We, female entrepreneurs, cannot continue pretending that we can do business, work and succeed as men. I have learned that I have an unbelievable source of creativity, intuition and fire which comes from my feminine energy – if we truly tap into this infinite, flowing well of wisdom for our business and learn how to balance our internal masculine and feminine energies, we are able to really create a different world, and this is already happening! I do not mean that we have to hate men or reject masculine energy; no. We have to understand the importance of balance and be aware of the fact that lack of balance inevitably leads to toxicity. We also must understand that, despite seemingly-good intentions, feminism in many of its forms has been quite damaging to many generations of women. I start discussing this in my article here
A seminal point in your career so far?
Here are a few seminal points in my career preceding my coaching practice; these were some of the most pivotal moments and signs from the Universe that propelled me to move on from the conventional workplace, honour my values and mission and embrace my purpose fully:
- The day I ‘refused’ to rat on a colleague for a manager at work (I was asked to do this as a way to ‘get ahead’)
- The day I received a ‘warning’ at work for providing wellness-training to my students.
- The day I was unlawfully terminated from a ‘bridge job.’
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Every time I witness that one moment when a client of mine makes a new choice that changes the course of their life-journey and impacts the quality of life that their families and children will have as a result! It is priceless. You can find several examples of written, audio and video client testimonials here.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
Obviously, there are the usual challenges that everyone faces such as how to establish your credibility in the market, what your niche is, how you achieve work-life balance, how to transition from a secure full-time job etc., but these are no longer my challenges. The real game-changer for me now is truly becoming global – and this is happening!
In business and life in general, the real challenge is unpacking your own limiting beliefs, understanding the underlying fears and completely revolutionising your own mindset – by this I mean: reprogramming our small, reptilian mind with success rather than survival! THAT is the real and only challenge for each one of us whether in business or any area of our lives.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I love content and teachings from my business mentor, Lenka Lutonska; join our academy here is you are a coach or change-agent: Her latest article is here for you to read.
How do you define your own success?
Success to me is about reaching that place of abundance and bliss where I do not worry about where love or money comes from. It is about radical acceptance of every single thing that happens as part of my manifestation, including the failures, the surprises and the unexpected outcomes on the way. Success is 20% about taking aligned action and 80% about full belief in the order of the universe, full trust in the process and allowing life to unfold.
To me, it is about letting go of the idea that success is difficult, limited to certain people or something hard to achieve. It is never about working hard; it is about letting go and freeing myself of old beliefs, expectations, and attachment! The ultimate success for us as female leaders is about self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and being unapologetically aware of our worth. It is about not needing competitiveness or comparison – about eradicating obligation, guilt, sacrifice, ‘servanthood’ and co-dependency from our relationships.
In other words, a woman’s success is about recruiting our ‘healthy’ structured masculine activator energy to take action and make things happen within the creative and chaotic flow, freedom and trust of the powerful feminine.
Finally, what are you creating on throughout the rest of the year?
- Developing focused coaching programs and events that will reach more and more women.
- Starting to create content for my beloved Arabic-speaking community.
- Co-creating forums and conversations with fellow coaches and change-catalysts.
- Establishing a program for my wonderful women to teach them how to coach so that they can apply a leadership approach to their parenting, work, and communities.
- Creating my own, ultimate life-work balance.
- Continuing to inspire universal synergy and peace between the masculine and the feminine.
Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFreeButterflyTribe/
Coaching for Educators: https://www.coaching-for-educators.com/sonia-elhaj.html