Influencer Farah Ayoubi: inspiring and enthusiastic
Interview December 2021
Making a Difference
Could you share with us some information about your family life?
I was born in Curaçao and I have only one brother who is 8 years older than me, so I was a late addition to the family. I am a divorced mother of two wonderful young adults. Both are very creative and expressive. Calm and empathic Farijn is 22 years old and in the final month of her Arts and Culture Studies at Radboud in Nijmegen, and she already started a coaching study in late August. Shine is 19 years old and has incredible artistic talent, a unique soprano voice, and aspirations in the entertainment sector.
Talking about my origins is always fun everywhere this topic is raised, as my grandfather came from Lebanon and married a native indigenous Indian descendant, and my mother is from Curaçao, a descendant of a melting pot of Jewish, Dutch, negro descent. My father was very strict and this shaped me as a person in the early beginnings. While many of my peers were allowed to explore all kinds of things as we grew up —and in a material sense I wasn’t missing anything when I grew up— I was very restricted by my father. So I can say that my personal development, that is getting to know myself better, started at a much later age.
Because of, or despite my restricted upbringing, I was instilled with values that shaped the way I look at life. My parents loved us very much, but the relationship between my mother and father was very strained, which also shaped me in becoming the intuitive coach that I am today, as I became very sensitive in sensing moods as I was growing up, picking up on the tiniest verbal and non-verbal cues that I then used to try to mold the atmosphere at home, out of love for my parents. As an adult, I came to appreciate the gifts and skills that this challenge has brought me. I have changed a lot during my life and I am very mindful of this.
“As an adult, I came to appreciate the gifts and skills that this challenge has brought me.”Farah Ayoubi
Could you share something about your educational background and your experience?
Well I have studied ‘Bestuurlijke Informatiekunde’ (Administrative Information Analytics) and I am a system analyst, but the way technology evolved, this study has become obsolete. For 11 years I had my own Communication Advisory Company called F.ixt, making newsletters, developing content for websites, helping to set up conferences, and handling the communication around that. But after a while, I felt that doing this work, I wasn’t expressing what I have within me. I felt this urge to make a difference and I was not making much of a difference. I stopped acutely with the writing after a burnout and as I was recovering from this burnout I studied to become a coach. It became clear to me that if I wanted to make a difference that it was time to do something different. It felt like it was now or never. I changed from working for years in the communication branch, sitting in board rooms of many organizations, all dress up in corporate attire and high heels so to say, to now as a life coach, working with inspired clients, in the niches I choose. Living the lifestyle I want: I can wear jeans, work at home One-on-One in my gypsy clothes where I feel more comfortable. I have come a long way.
We know you to be a Life Coach and in energy shifting, right? Your presentation on energy attracted a lot of interest from the Sister Power foundation. Can you expand a little on your specialty and why it is important?
People often use their brains to solve emotional issues, while the brain is not equipped for this. To get my clients to tap into other intelligent systems in the body that are more linked to their souls, I use the energy leadership system. It is a great way of moving people away from their logic into the spiritual/energetic intelligence.
The system I offer is a proven system backed by science. Once they become aware of the different energy levels and how they show up in their lives, they can choose to shift by applying different energy levels. For example, people can be in a situation where they feel, that there is nowhere to move to and they feel stuck. With the energy level of creation, the answers on what to do quickly become apparent and easier to apply. The method I offer even has an assessment, that btw I didn’t present at the Sister Power presentation.
Do you experience a shift in the interest in these needs in coachees?
I have noticed that more people are becoming aware that they can benefit from coaching, but they often come to me at a very late stage. I also do relationship counseling and when a couple comes in after many years of struggle, there can be so many deep wounds, that it takes a long time and this can be hard on the couple to iron these wounds out.
I can also notice a shift in coachees themselves as they are becoming more knowledgeable in this area, they have often read a book on the subject matter. But the challenge here is that knowing is not the same as applying. This is one of the reasons people come in late. Having the insights don’t necessarily mean you can help yourself transform. Transformation happens in the interactions with others and by being consistent in creating new habitual pathways in the body.
I have scrolled on your Facebook page and seen that you started a parents support group for LGBTQ which I find is very innovative within the context of Curaçao. Could you expand a little on that subject matter?
No, people think that it takes a lot of courage, but seriously it doesn’t take any courage at all. It takes love, compassion, and gratitude. My journey with my two queer and inspiring kids has brought me so much understanding and growth, that I want to share with other parents.
Shine is all out there and the way Shine expresses being gay, is an inspiration to me. He is on a mission to continue to flaunt and express until this becomes a new normal, which will make it easier for every youngster coming out of the closet. Living in hiding, untrue to themselves, affects them dearly.
My daughter Farijn is also from the LGBTQ-spectrum, but is more reserved and chooses not to be all out in the open. However, she is the one to communicate the needs and issues arising for LGTBQ+ from an academic perspective. My transformation started the moment Shine came out at 13. For all parents, this is new for us, but I was blessed to be guided by my two children on how to parent them. As Shine shocked the community he also helped make a difference for many teens. As the issues and complex moments arrived, Farijn explained ‘their world’, what mattered and why. I could base my parenting moves from a place of love thanks to her way of helping me see a different perspective. I made my manual about this subject matter, where they would feedback to me on things I should consider and how they felt. This led to friends of my children visiting me and I could see their struggles and feel their pains. As I experienced how unfair they were treated, I decided to become an advocate for their cause. During an online event created by Fresku Daily where the idea for a parent support group was born, with two other parents with LGBTQ-children I realized how blessed I was, compared to many other parents. Many children within this spectrum are not guided or supported by their parents. I feel guided, it feels that this is the thing to do as I could always count on my children. This knowledge I gained, I am using in my coaching. The first time I invited people to come to the Parent Support Group Meeting, one parent came. The second time I had 10 parents, now for the 3rd session we’ll probably need to have a venue that is large enough. People stop me at Supermarkets asking to talk about this, LGBTQ children send their parents to the meetings and it fills me with gratitude and I feel that this was the intention. When you are in the Flow, things go quick and fast.
“I want to make a difference, I want to matter. I want to help make a change where I can.“
What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be who you are right now?
I want to make a difference, I want to matter. I want to help make a change where I can.
I want to be different, not part of the herd, so I can help people align with who they truly are. It is not about following the rest, but about embracing your uniqueness.
What are your plans for the coming years and when do you consider that you have been successful in your personal and business/professional life, let us say 5 years from now?
There are so many things rapidly changing in my surroundings and the world and I firmly believe that “things find me”. Like the LGBTQ+ parent support group, which just happened and popped up big. I believe that new opportunities will continue to present themselves. During the Covid-pandemic area, because I was helping clients improve their relationships, a zoom meeting didn’t guarantee enough privacy for the clients. So I needed to adjust, which wasn’t easy.
I ended up back into communication and I am now helping Fundashon Prevenshon promote screening and prevention. Playing a part in helping people stay healthy and cancer-free is very fulfilling.
When I was involved as a communication expert in the transition from Sehos to CMC and being part of that communication team of the HNO Transition program, that opportunity just presented itself. And that has been the common denominator these past years; things find me to do things bigger than myself, like working for the communication team HNO. This was not an everyday project. It was so complex and it required working for the love of it and the greater good of all. It gave me so much satisfaction and I learned and grew so much.
So, to sum up, I will be letting life find me, I will be working with freedom not tied to an outcome. Things in my flow will find me. I would also love to travel more and still be changing lives and making a difference.
What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
If I commit to something, I go for it wholeheartedly. My recent focus on coaching children/youth on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and their parents poses some financial challenges though. Young adults are mostly still in school, and often lack their parents’ support, so they don’t have the means to pay for their sessions. As a small company not being able to charge all the sessions can quickly become a challenge. Currently, my communications projects allow me to keep helping them. As long as I can, and I have the freedom to go and be who I am I know that I’ll be able to handle whatever comes my way. And when the timing is right then things will flow easily.
“I also use my brain, but the inner voice is the thing.”Farah Ayoubi
Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemmas show up? How does that work for you?
My inner voice is divine to me, I also use my brain, but the inner voice is the thing. Being different is the thing. I am moving away from the need to have a plan, but now I embrace what belongs with me in this phase. When I don’t listen to it, things will not work out well. So I have learned my lesson and now I always listen to my inner voice.
How? In my dreams, during my daydreaming (which I do a lot, maybe too much), my meditations, journaling, in interactions with other people. People will comment and insight will hit me all of a sudden.
How are you trying also to keep up with your knowledge and skills levels?
I am constantly doing online extra courses related to cases I am dealing with. One of my last courses was on: Trauma healing after Infidelity. Relationships are changing rapidly and we need to reassess what it is that we want and re-define what we truly need.
I also still have a very strong network of peers. I studied coaching in the USA. They are a large pool of knowledge and wisdom.
What are your strengths?
My ability to light up people’s day. My uncle says that my name means ‘light’.
Or people will say “I feel so great after I have talked to you. “
I am a leader.
Trustworthiness, people trust me.
My ability to embrace walking on the deepened path, not being like everybody, not following what everybody wants you to do, and doing what I am guided to do, thus walking the road less traveled.
Do you have hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
I love writing, I journal a lot. I am planning to publish what I write in due time.
I love woodworking, but these days I lack sufficient time for that.
If you as Farah would meet a stranger on the bus (let say in New York or Bogota Columbia) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
Farah: a spark and enthusiastic.
Who are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
Life inspires me, but if we want to use names, I would say:
Oprah Winfrey; not that I want to become just like her, but the way she successfully raised awareness for and started so many conversations on topics that the world was not ready to talk about yet at that point. From her early beginnings, she inspired me until today. Her passionate dedication inspired me to start a platform for parents of LGBTQ+ children. As I was raising my two queer children in Curaçao, I realized that this is a conversation we need to be having in Curaçao among parents to open doors for others to be able to express themselves.
Manny Pacquiao, a former Philipinian boxer, because of the symbols he stands for, peaceful and warrior. I grew up being a warrior and peacefulness was missing. He helped me understand that I needed to make this shift.
What is a trait that is still a work in progress?
Patience. A spiritual coach who can look beyond the dimensions once told me that when she sees me, she sees a small red FIAT, driving faster than everybody else and I am like three traffic lights faster than the rest, but then I still have to wait for the rest to arrive to catch up with me, ha, ha, ha. I struggle with that at times.
What was a defining moment in your life?
Well, I have experienced a lot of defining moments, but to choose one that stands out, would be when I was transferred from the second grade to the fourth grade skipping the third year. What appeared to be a good thing to do, became for me a very traumatic experience, that had never been talked about for the rest of my life. From one day to another, I lost all my school friends, and it seemed that everybody ostracised me. When I was 13 years old I was in the 3rd grade of secondary school and my classmates were girls around 16 and 17 years old. On top of that my father was strict and didn’t approve of many of the things the other girls in my class were doing or attending. I felt that I was following facts, my power was hampered and my strength was weakened, I didn’t develop as a normal girl would develop but I was a warrior, and if needed I would get in a fight.
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends, and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
“She made a difference for me, doing whatever she was doing”.
You know, I always love it when people tell me: “You told me this or said that on that day, making a difference for me”, and I am like “Oh gosh, I can’t even recall that moment”. Because I hope to inspire just by being who I am.
It doesn’t matter how, just by being somewhere and doing something I mattered, I made something great happen for someone.
What makes you stay optimistic about the future of Curaçao as we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, recession, and in the middle of growing environmental challenges because of the global warming consequences?
I am not a person that is into the economy. So I am optimistic because I am noticing that more people are taking their own decisions on the path they are choosing to follow compared with the past. This makes me feel ok. In my humble opinion, we are moving away from the survival mode and moving more in the inspired actions mode, like more people starting their own business, or changing careers, believing in their inner core and the Covid pandemic triggered this in a big way. It makes me happy as a coach that this is happening more and more as what is inside of us is a good place ad nothing else will be sustainable. I believe we were lacking this and we were not acting from an inspired place. This gives me hope. We are creating things that will sustain us over time.
Writer, Speaker, Creative Brainer and In-Powerment Coach.
One of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao
Farah Ayoubi is an inspiring, sparking, enthusiastic, always smiling, energetic, curious, self-employed entrepreneur mother of two, who has through resilience learned some hard lessons during her life. Lessons she has turned around to now use them in her coaching of others as a graduate from “the school of the Hard Knox (hard life lessons school)” which she combines with doing energy work. There is little that her clients are experiencing, that she hasn’t experienced herself and if she hasn’t, she will seek how to gain knowledge and a better understanding of the subject matter as a diligent student of life, to better be able to cater to her clients. Based on these life experiences, Farah has evolved and now “allows things to find her” and she is trusting her inner voice for the full 100 %. She is now discovering, staying, and following the Flow as it manifests itself in her life. As a former communication expert, she is now helping “Fundashon Prevenshon” in their communication strategies, but apart from the sparks she creates among her coachees, she is now also using her unique talents and experience based on lessons she learned from her own two children to become one of the spokespersons and representative of “Parents of the LGBTQ+”- platform. This role also “just found her” as the thing to do partially, in this phase of her life. For all this, we deeply love and respect Farah, and we consider her one of the 250 influencers of the islands representing the business, coaching, and healing sector. Look at the list of the Influencers we have interviewed or reported on, up to now.