Today we’d like to introduce you to Khatija Dadabhoy.
Khatija, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a counselor and personal coach. I have a BA in Psychology, an MA in Counseling, a Pupil Personnel Credential in School Counseling, and I am a certified Reiki practitioner. I would say my story begins in childhood, as most of our stories do. I grew up in an immigrant family with a strict religious upbringing. The dysfunction and chaos in my home was great, but there was also a lot of community and a great sense of helping others. But it was an anxiety inducing environment and I was scared a lot. I learned to minimize myself in order to fly under the radar and stay out of the line of fire. I, along with my siblings, experienced a lot of trauma in our home. In school, I was always the one that everyone else came to for advice, for a shoulder to cry on, and for help. I knew early on that my path was counseling. As I grew older, I seemed to keep getting hit with more painful and traumatizing events.
In the midst of it all, I became a school counselor working with elementary school kids. I did that for 11 years, and it was very fulfilling and also frustrating trying to be a helper in a system that was very flawed in its outlook on what kids need. I left the world of education after having two kids and realizing that I wanted to be more available to them. I started an organic dessert company, making customized desserts and cakes for people with special diet needs and food allergies. I was really committed to giving people a healthier option that would taste just as amazing. I was successful and did some really great things in that business but ultimately it was not my true path in terms of career. I was also living a nightmare behind the scenes in a very unhealthy and abusive relationship for a very long time. When I came out of that I was starting at ground zero. I was alone and scared and wiped out emotionally, mentally, physically and financially. I had to rebuild my entire life for myself and for my kids. This was my dark night of the soul. Well, one of them anyway.
So, I dug in and did the work to heal what had gotten me to this place to begin with. I knew something had to change. I was in extreme amounts of pain and stress because everything in my life had fallen apart. I was going through the hell of custody court proceedings, bankruptcy, and a whole host of other things. I asked the question most people ask in those moments, which is why is this happening to me. I got a very clear answer that it was all happening because I was meant to help others move through the same. So I did what felt intuitively right which was to go back to my first love and my true purpose. I closed my business which by then was barely hanging on and I got a very flexible job as a social worker for a nonprofit in the foster care system. I still work there, which is important to say for anyone who is trying to build a business and care for children at the same time. I need a steady stream of income to provide for my kids so I found a way to do that and have the flexibility that has allowed me to build my work.
At that time, I worked my new job and dug deep into my inner work. It became my focus for about two years. During that time, I began to really understand that all I was moving myself through was giving me the experience and tools I needed to provide the guidance for others to do the same. So I began working with clients privately in 2012 or 2013. At first, it was mostly women who had been through the same life events I had, but now it has grown to include men and couples and sometimes kids as well. I am always learning and growing and doing my own inner work. I am still healing through my own traumas, and am using everything I learn through my own journey in my work serving others.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road for me. I have two kids that depend on me as their sole provider so I think my road would have looked quite different if that part of my story were different. It’s been slower for me to build my work and business than if I were alone. I’ve also had setbacks with so many personal transitions and changes and unforeseen challenges. There have been times where I’ve really had to take a step back from working to grow my business and focus instead on managing other aspects of my life. I think that’s normal and not always talked about when people are extolling the virtues of being an entrepreneur. Life has a way of throwing things at you that could take you off course or question if it is worth it. There have been times when I needed to really just hustle to pay the bills so I had to take on extra work that was outside of my regular job or the business I’m building. There have been times when I’ve wondered if I should just walk away and take a less flexible job that pays more. But, ultimately I stay true to my path, which is not a straight one by any means.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My work and my business are really about freeing the heart to be what it authentically wants to be when it is unencumbered and light. I work with clients individually in person or remotely. Probably my favorite thing is working one on one with clients and watching them blossom and change. I think what sets me apart from others is my ability to see the inherent truth and potential in the people I work with, and then gently guiding them to see it themselves. I am known for my ability to ask just the right questions in order for clients to connect the dots themselves and have the much-needed realizations and insights into themselves that can change everything. I’ve also done consulting work for organizations looking to train or provide their employees with support in emotional intelligence and conflict resolution. I also design and host workshops and support groups.
I’m always working to create and grow my offerings. I do a workshop series called Sweets and Stories which allows me to merge my two loves into one offering. I love creating a multisensory and multimodal experience for people in my workshops, and to leave people feeling nurtured and more connected to their own and others’ hearts. My work has really grown out of everything I’ve experienced and gone through and the tools (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) I’ve gained to work with it all in the healing, repairing and emerging process. My work has become more focused around understanding and growing through trauma (I have had a lot of experience!), taking a multi dimensional approach to healing, and serving as a guide for others as they navigate their internal work. I have been studying, researching, and training in an effort to heal myself, and my clients reap the benefit of someone who does her own work and who is bringing them the tools they don’t have the time to go learn about themselves.
At the center of everything for me is the open, supple, and vulnerable heart. To me, the heart is the philosopher’s stone. Everything brought to and through the heart’s energy field can be transformed into something greater, more pure, and beneficial for our growth. So, the work is ultimately how to come back to an open heart and healing everything that has gotten in the way of that. For me, that is the work of the individual that ultimately heals the collective.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans for the future include extending my outreach to help a wider net of people who need what I can offer. I’m looking forward to breaking out of my own shell more and allowing myself and my message to reach a wider audience. I’m also looking forward to partnering more with other healers and creating some special experiences. I’m definitely looking forward to the day when I can focus my full energy on this work and can fully transition out of a day job. I’ll be planning a next installment of my Sweets and Stories workshop. I started a series about love stories which people really resonated with, and they’ve been asking me about the next installment in that series. So I’m in the midst of planning that event, which will be in Los Angeles.
Sweets and Stories is a series dedicated to sharing our stories on a particular topic and doing some deep group work to heal and learn from those stories. We share in some experience around dessert that ties into the topic, have some really amazing discussion, and engage in processes that really open us and feed us. I also ran an intimate support and healing group for women for three years which ended at the end of 2018. I have seen how profoundly transforming it can be to do work in a group context, so I’m planning a drop in group that would be made more widely available to anyone in need and which would include men for the first time. I’m really excited to begin to open the door to invite men into the spaces women have usually been inhabiting for healing. I’m feeling a call for us to do the healing work together more and more.
- Private sessions beginning at $160 with packages available for a more discounted rate.
- Reiki sessions beginning at $80 with option to add on coaching/counseling services.
- Website: khatijadadabhoy.com
- Phone: 3103517870
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @khatija.dadabhoy
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/innerrev
- Twitter: @khatija.dadabhoy
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/khatija-dadabhoy-culver-city