Professional women’s guide to true fulfillment

By: Irene Abbou

Have you ever experienced an a-ha moment that transformed your entire perception of what was important? About six months ago on my 6am jog/walk in Hancock Park, while hugging Edward my favorite cherry blossom tree, something hit me like a ton of bricks. It was as if a mish mashed message I have always known existed at the deepest center of my gut put on newly prescribed superhero glasses.

What if the secret to modern day success is living our lives with a more holistic feminine approach?

You know how we were taught that if we just reached these mile stones like graduate college, accomplish more, compete more, and prove our value more; we would finally have earned the right to happiness in all aspects of our lives?

The holistic feminine approach says the opposite…its foundation being, create space for happiness and schedule what feeds our body (exercise, rest, healthy nutrients), heart (genuine relationships) and soul (play, spiritual practices, quiet, nature) first. Second, be 100% clear on how we want to feel and who we want to be more of. Thirdly, start everyday with the intention of embodying this new version of you. Productivity and results will flow naturally when we give our divine feminine energies a voice to collaborate with our masculine strengths.

For example lets say you recognize that you are a control chaser but you desire to feel more flexible and be more vulnerable; instead of succumbing to the autopilot version of you that gets triggered at certain weekly meetings,

Ask yourself:

Is the stress I am inflicting on myself via my thoughts getting me closer to being more flexible and vulnerable?

Why was being more flexible and vulnerable important to me?

Is this current thought useful?

What do I need to let go of to embody this new version of myself?

How can I integrate a 5 min rest and repair ritual when I become emotionally charged?

The holistic feminine approach is being committed to how we want to be as women, growing the whole self while being intentional about how we desire to feel while reaching our professional goals.

Shift from:

  • Getting Ahead to Feeling Alive
  • Competitive to Collaborative
  • Looks Good to Feels Good
  • Results to Experience

Although this idea of embracing our feminine superpowers goes against our cultures, get ahead at all costs path to the American success story, it’s the key to fulfillment! Imagine a culture that encourages real human connections, collaboration and a sense of safety in and out of our workplace. We can create this for ourselves, everyday.

This is modern feminine success.

This is what I know is possible for all of us.

Irene is the creator of the 90 DAYS TO HAPPY program which coaches success driven women to open their hearts to self-love while forming deep and vulnerable relationships with others. She is and ICF Certified Life coach, trained in the Gottman Method for couples therapy and is also certified by University of Pennsylvania in Positive Psychology Applications & Interventions.

Do You Need to Grow a Non-Judgmental Attitude?



Do you ever find yourself knee-deep in a shit show of regret after being overly judgmental with someone? Each day we subconsciously make small critical judgements that can have some very big effects on our overall happiness and our relationships with others. We scrutinize Instagram clothing choices or lack thereof-, the car they drive, how quickly they accomplish a job, their intellect and whether or not they’re worthy of dating.

Even though we genuinely want to respond graciously, personal opinions can quickly veer into the territory of exploding brain matter, boiling blood and hurling slurs. This could permanently damage a relationship. The ego is conditioned to fight with word daggers since it keeps us safe, but it also prevents us from connecting. It prevents us growing.

Below are some ways you could be blocking healthy communication.

  • Looking down on a friend for their choices in (fill in the blank)
  • Criticizing your partner for not perfectly placing the dishes in the dishwasher
  • Second guessing a close friendship due to political differences

These reactions all come from impulses (responding without thought of consequences) rather than responsiveness. Vince Gowmon author of Let the Fire Burn, has a brilliant way of looking at it: “Instead of trying to stop ourselves from thinking judgmental thoughts, an easier way is to look through the eyes of wisdom and compassion”.

It only takes a nano-second pause for awareness to be acknowledged

Leo Babauta in his simple 4-step method to avoid being judgmental, uses DUAL

(and no, that doesn’t mean hand your sparring partner a sword):

  • Don’t pass judgment. We can’t assume what’s best for anyone but ourselves (and maybe our children–and even that’s debatable, just ask a teenager)
  • Understand. What’s their backstory? We can never know what unseen trauma someone has endured.
  • Accept (try to). We’re all doing the best we can. Yes, even your self-centered little brother and or emotionally numb mother
  • Love them…and yourself. This is not a “love is blind” type of thing where you stuff it down with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Loving someone despite the differences changes lives. It diffuses turmoil and leads to a brighter existence without unnecessary frustration. We’re all here to evolve our way back to our true nature–Love.

Here are some common impulsive reactions we’ve all been guilty of, and some response substitutions that are much more helpful:

❌ You aren’t doing this right

✔️This is different from what I expected

❌ If only you would stop…

✔️ It seems as though __X__ might be getting in our way

❌ Why did you do that?

✔️ What motivated you to do that?

❌ You’re wrong

✔️ My experience has been…

✔️ I see this differently…

❌ You’re lying. I don’t believe that.

✔️ I’m confused about…

❌ That’s ridiculous

✔️ I hadn’t considered that. How will that work for both of us?

❌ You make me mad

❌ You’re making me feel…

✔️ I get upset when…

✔️ I feel…

It takes effort to build a communication bridge between two humans especially when we haven’t dug deep enough to find commonality. The antidote is curiosity about the other person and where they’re coming from.

I challenge you

👉🏻👉🏽👉🏿 Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to observe your thoughts and triggers today. Notice when you want to spontaneously punch someone (call them names, push them into traffic) you catch my drift. Then…you have a very small window between your desired reaction and your actual one. PAUSE and take two deep breaths. Only then give yourself permission to respond with compassion or tell them you need to excuse yourself and take a ten-minute break. Release the constriction in your body so you can return to the conversation with poise.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Irene Abbou

Im very interested in your thoughts and any ideas on new topics 🙂

You can always reach me on Instagram