Dr. Aya Akkari is one of the coaches that we found this month and we did a little interview with her. She impressed us with her dedication and experience.
She experienced a devastating encounter with the so called “glass ceiling” when she was twenty. As a woman and as an ethnic minority, she was limited by society. Her growth and success were in question. That experience opened her eyes to the harsh reality of life, but also, it pushed her to transform into the woman she is today.
She has been on her path, following her soul mission for a long time. She is empowering ambitious executives, professionals, and change leaders to go from existing to living.
Her mission is focused on helping leaders lead from their soul through conscious awareness. Here is what she said.
Meet Life Coach Dr. Aya Akkari:
Name: Dr. Aya Akkari DDS, MSOL, ACC (ICF)
Pillar: The Spirit, The Mind
Who is this coach for: Executives and professionals who want to beat burnout, enhance their performance, increase their productivity, and navigate work and family life from a state of well being.
How they can help: By using various skills and techniques, as well as a 3 step client breakthrough system.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these Pandemic times?
The Pandemic was a challenge for everyone.
I have watched my children stare at the screen during virtual classes and the days grew long and lonely.
My then seven year old could not sleep at night, his mind racing with anxiety.
Like all other children in our state, my children did all their learning online.
And there were days when we all struggled to find the inner peace and human interaction, we so badly craved.
We tried to mitigate the effect of isolation through family playtime, stories, and cooking together.
We even avoided watching the news of the alarming infection and hospitalization rates.
I am grateful we are doing better now that the lockdowns have been lifted.
It has been two years since pandemic hit, my children joined a local community program where they get to learn, meet and interact with other children.
Two weeks into the program and the transformation was evident.
Immersion into a sentient community strengthened their sense of belonging and mattering, while the shared experiences helped them find grounding and cultivate growth.
From the human development perspective, it became clear that delivering the same educational material in a one on one virtual learning environment would not have had the same impact.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your clients? Did it affect you at all?
I witnessed the effect of the isolation pandemic during the pandemic quarantine.
Remote learning, lockdowns, and tragic news of record level cases were taxing on people’s mental and emotional well being.
My biggest impact was missing my parents and siblings, who live in the UK.
What are the biggest lessons that you learned in this pandemic?
I learned to be grateful for everything that we have.
To cherish our loved ones and be fully present to enjoy every moment of every day.
I also learned the importance of human interaction connection on our mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.
I experienced first hand the feeling that comes with the shared experience as a source for love, enrichment, and growth.
Tell us about you, your career, how you started with your coaching career?
Let me introduce myself.
I am just a young lady, an adventurer, a wayfarer crossing continents and cultures, only to discover the truth that unites us all is our interconnection with each other and the universe.
My story is one of these intense transitions.
I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spent the first half of my childhood in Tripoli, North Africa, and the second half in Dublin, Ireland.
You do not have to be a cross cultural specialist to imagine that it is like living between worlds.
I am a certified leadership coach credentialed by the International Coaching Federation.
In addition, I am an organizational leadership specialist, a certified emotional resilience mentor, and an author.
My goal is to transform the conception of leadership into one of inner peace, wisdom, and creation based thinking.
Likewise, I empower ambitious executives, professionals, and change leaders to go from existing to living.
My mission is to empower leaders to lead from their souls through conscious awareness via coaching and mentoring.
I help her clients take charge of their businesses, career, health, and relationships, and lead life from a state of mental and emotional well being.
Coaching is more than a career to me, it is my life’s journey inspired by much turmoil and upheaval.
I want to tell you a story.
My story, When I was twenty, I experienced a devastating encounter with the ‘glass ceiling.’
It was gut wrenching.
The term ‘glass ceiling’ is used in leadership literature to describe the intangible barrier to professional advancement that prevents women and minorities from obtaining upper level positions.
You see, the ‘glass ceiling’ for me was double glazed.
People labeled me as female and an ethnic minority.
I was shocked and confused and then realized I had to let go of the labels to uncover the leader within.
It was not easy, but I decided to return to school and specialize in organizational leadership.
In my dissertation, I researched the opportunities and challenges facing minority female leaders.
I also completed an emotional resilience training program to become a certified emotional resilience coach and mentor.
From this I learned that limitation is an illusion.
I wanted to master the art and science of evoking awareness to awaken people to the realization of their latent potential.
Hence, I completed my professional coach training and credentialing with the International Coaching Federation.
Now I am able to enjoy helping people master the art of leading from a state of clarity and peace.
What was your biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in your life that made you who you are today?
See, when I was in my early twenties, I hit rock bottom.
My health crashed to the point where I was unable to walk.
My life as I knew it was over.
Who I thought I was, I was not anymore.
Do you know what that is like?
I felt like I was drowning in my own sense of despair as I bore the brunt of a full blown burnout.
And was never the same, but then I found my mentor, guide, and coach.
Who reminded me never to take life too seriously.
I was inspired to reawaken my innate well being.
See when you are ready to rise to the occasion and embrace the leader within.
You will have to welcome your guide into your life with an open mind and heart and do whatever it takes to reclaim you!
Because the moral of the story is that you are your greatest asset, acknowledge that asset, develop it, and be grateful for it.
The Coaching Style:
How do you innovate with coaching your clients?
I use the inner peace technique, engage in deep breathing and role play.
I try to stay in tune with my client’s energy and focus on helping them cultivate a good feeling.
What’s unique about your coaching approach?
My coaching focuses on the following:
1. A Holistic approach acknowledges that we know that we are not two separate individuals at home and work.
It empowers us to share our passions and interests in all aspects of our lives.
2. From the Inside Out. Most approaches to resilience aim to instill resilience from the outside using techniques such as positive affirmations, positive behavioral support, and mindfulness based interventions.
While beneficial, they seem to fall short of recognizing our built in resilience system.
The nature of experience based understanding affirms our innate resilience, the essence of a balanced healthy state of mind.
3. It is based on the understanding that human beings are creative, resourceful, and whole.
No one is broken, and there is nothing to be fixed.
You are whole. You always have been and always will be you just can’t see it sometimes.
And my job is to help you see it.
And once you see it, you cannot unsee it.
Hence, a mindset shift is initiated by assisting individuals in transforming their relationship with their thinking.
What benefits do your clients get after working with you?
1. Beat burnout and overcome overwhelm better sleep, healthier, clarity, calm, and confidence.
2. Enhance their performance and increase their productivity and energy.
3. Navigate their family and work life from a place of well-being.
4. Attract abundance (increased wealth in all its forms mental, spiritual, psychological, physical, financial, and relationships)
5. Create effortless success that is meaningful to them.
6. Transform their lives (Their lives become happier, more creative, more peaceful, and more prosperous).
Do you use any specific tools to be efficient with your clients?
The 3 step client breakthrough system:
1. Clarify their vision and direction.
2. Master their minds and emotions, build a foundation of emotional wellness
3. Develop a leadership roadmap specific to their needs.
Strategize their actions.
Upgrade their skills.
Optimize their environment.
If you had a super megaphone that, when you speak into, the whole world will hear your message, what would you say?
I would say, “Your emotional well being is only a thought away!”
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your life?
The greatest lesson I learned in life is to have a mentor, a coach, and a guide.
The reason is that you need a guide to help you map out your path toward achieving your dreams and help you co create whatever you want to create in life.
The reason is that no one can climb Mount Everest alone.
Every climber needs a Sherpa.
Therefore, leadership must have a guide.
Your final thoughts?
Happiness is your default setting.
Never look outside yourself for happiness because happiness lies within.
The only thing worse than death is a life of unrealized potential.
Where Can You Find Dr. Aya Akkari?
If you liked this interview and if you’d love to start leading from your soul, go to www.drayaakkari.com and see how Dr. Aya can help you achieve that.
To find your personal why, we strongly suggest to watch her video:
If you like to see more of her coaching, follow her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
If you like to connect with her more directly, you can do that through LinkedIn or by sending her a message on her email [email protected]. It was an honor having this interview with her.