Homeless Woman Turned Life Around In 2020 To Become Life Coach
While many people might describe 2020 as being one of their worst years, Soumaya Ettouji has said it has been her best yet, and has completely turned her life around over the past 12 months.
Previously located in Kenya working as a regional sales and marketing manager for a luxury architecture and decoration company, the country’s market ended up in a financial crisis, which led to Soumaya losing her job in December 2019.
The incident left Soumaya, a single mother of one, unable to afford her rent in Kenya, and with no family in the country she was completely stuck as to what to do next.
Eventually, Soumaya came to England and, with nowhere to live, had to find a home through social media. Prior to coming to the UK, she had lived with family in Morocco after leaving Kenya.
She explained to UNILAD:
I didn’t know what to do professionally, I didn’t have good relationships with my family… I was a mess! Then the first lockdown happened. In the past I would go out a lot to forget my problems. Socializing and traveling had become like a distraction from my sad reality, on top of drinking and smoking.
At first it was horribly uncomfortable to be at home and alone with my thoughts. I had to face everything that was holding me back: past traumas, abandonment wound, anger and resentment for the men in my life.
At the time of losing her job, Soumaya, who’s currently based in Coventry, was going through a divorce with her now ex-husband.
Eventually, Soumaya, 27, found that she couldn’t look at herself in the mirror and grew tired of frequently coming home drunk and ‘waking up with regrets’. With this in mind, she decided to turn her life around and make some personal improvements, starting with her diet and her general health. COVID actually turned out to be the reason Soumaya quit smoking; after she heard the virus was linked to respiratory problems, the 27-year-old decided to go cold turkey.
Speaking about why she suddenly decided to turn her life around, the mother-of-one explained, ‘The panic caused by the virus also gave me that “end of the world” feeling that made me question everything about my lifestyle. I knew this wasn’t the real me. I had completely neglected my spirituality as well and the pandemic made me get back to it and pushed me to treat my body, soul and mind better. I started praying and meditating again, which I had struggled to do consistently for years’.
After successfully working on herself for months, Soumaya began to coach her friends through their problems too, and found that they began recommending her to others. Seeing her services rise in popularity, she decided to get certified as an official life coach and created her own business online, called Soulty Sister.
Soumaya told UNILAD:
I had no source of income at all so I dug out an online course I took four years ago about starting a profitable business online. The first module was about finding what I was good at, was passionate about and could make money from. That’s when I realised what I did for myself these past few months, I could help others do too! I had always been a great listener, people would come to me for advice and a non-judgmental opinion.
Looking at the past eight months in particular, Soumaya says she can’t believe how far she’s come and describes herself as feeling like a completely different person now, for the better. She said, ‘Today I feel like not only I’m the person I was before my depression but I’m also a better version of myself because of those struggles. I’ve learnt to always have a positive outlook on things’.
Soumaya continued, ‘I don’t have anger or resentment anymore towards the whole world for misunderstanding me or not helping me the way I needed it. I take responsibility for what happens to me. I feel grateful for what I have even if it is not perfection, it’s perfect for now’.
In regards to Soulty Sister, Soumaya wants to continue to help and empower people as well as coaching people to coach others, in the hopes of creating a ‘new generation of proactive self-healers’. Soumaya dreams of one day opening spiritual retreat centre in Morocco, too.
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