Irene Abbou is an ICF, ACC certified Life Coach.
Her focus is women’s empowerment and relationships. She is the founder of Happiness Within Reach, which helps professional women and super moms claim their relational, emotional and spiritual power through self-awareness and action. Irene is a graduate of Coach U, one of the oldest and largest life coach training schools in the world. She is also a member of the International Coach Federation and National Association of Professional Women. “I help Women identify what makes them come alive and find the courage to trade in the seemingly secure for a life lived with passion and intention.”
On a more personal note…
Ever since I can remember, my dream was to help women who battled with depression and unhealthy attachments to relationships. I personally struggled with both and became obsessed with researching and educating myself on these topics.
My idea was, if I could figure out a way to transform my own suffering to self-love I could support and guide others to do the same.
In my early 20’s I moved to France where I spent 5 years in a relationship with a kind and nurturing man. At the end of our time together, I learned that all the love in the world could not make me happy, if I didn’t independently prioritize my personal growth, first. I was taught the hard way that every relationship I have is a reflection of my relationship with myself. At 26, two months after signing a record deal with BMG Europe as a singer/song writer, I decided to go home to the States and begin a new chapter.
At 28 I was blessed with meeting, and soon after marrying the love of my life. That same year I launched Yanuk, my denim collection, and business prospered quickly. Life was going by so fast, I never took the necessary time for self-reflection, self-development or self-care.
Close to a decade later the denim industry crashed. I closed my company and worked for other denim brands as their director of sales. My heart was dis-engaged from my work and I lost my enthusiasm. It was clear to me then, I needed to make big changes in order to feel fulfilled again. I wanted more than anything to make a real difference in women’s lives but had no idea how. Each year that passed I felt more and more like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, spiraling downwards in the tornado scene. It was like the light of my soul had been turned off. Most days my mind was on autopilot, ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. I didn’t know how to embrace or appreciate the present moment. This resulted in my marriage suffering, my children not receiving the amount of attention they deserved, and depression.
My Turning Point
2 years before my 40th birthday life’s wake-up call hit me like a ton of bricks. My body had a hard time going through the motions of daily routines and I often experienced anxiety attacks driving to work. I took the initiative of seeking out a life coach. With his support I identified my vision, set goals and took daily action towards them. Several months later I made the decision of becoming a certified life coach and enrolled in a vigorous training program. I took my classes in the evenings and eventually saved enough money to leave the fashion industry and concentrate on my new venture. I cannot say the transition was easy but I can say that every obstacle and challenge was worth it. I am happier, more grateful and present to my life now than I could have ever imagined. Finding the courage to step out of our comfort zone, to a passionate life lived on purpose is the greatest gift women can give themselves. This is my wish for you.