Salima and Shirin on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 26: Failure Redefined: Processing Shame, Self-Blame + Worth

Guest: Shirin Ariff 

Shirin’s untold story is mostly a told story at this point; however, she connects deeper to share vulnerable aspects that light is not often shed on. She speaks about two dysfunctional marriages she experienced and how it all started when she became a single mother. She moved to Canada to start her second marriage and quickly learned that this is not the life that was promised to her, while enduring a struggle with facial palsy and battling cancer. She spoke about a core theme of how being a woman is wrong, and how this message showed up intensely in both marriages. The message was so deeply embedded, that she felt there was something wrong with her, that she was the dysfunctional one, so it led her to put up with physical and emotional turmoil as she experienced what she felt was failure to thrive and shame for inabilities that were a constant message she repeatedly had to stomach. Shirin spoke about feeling torn to have been divorced in the first place as this went against her beliefs. There came a point where she recognized she needed to live a different life and walk a different path, which required her to take extreme risks. She describes impacts to her mental health, having post-partum depression, contemplating suicide, not having control of any finances or access to money, and being deprived of the truth. Her key message to the listeners is that: verbal, emotional and mental abuse is devastating, and no kind of abuse is okay; if you are experiencing any type of abuse, reach out to someone; you deserve help, you don’t deserve abuse; you don’t need to do it alone; it can get better; take control and know that you matter.


Guest Bio: Shirin is an inspirational international speaker, an award winning 5x international best-selling author, a resiliency coach for women and a proud single mother of four beautiful children. Her life’s work emphasizes how individuals can be true to themselves; how people can find their own inner North Star both in their professional and personal lives; and learn to break free from a ‘stuck’ mindset. Shirin is on a mission to empower and transform women who are victims of any kind of abuse.

Shirin is a founding member and the president of Immigrant Women in Business — an organization aimed at helping immigrant women from diverse backgrounds succeed as independent women and entrepreneurs. Shirin’s life-story of resilience has been translated into a film as part of the ‘Dream Big’ docuseries by Ethnic Channel Group. She has documented a great deal of her work with her viral videos with over 3 million views and has received multiple awards along the way.


Passionate about: Finds a great deal of value in the ‘Landmark’ programs.

Salima and Carys on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 25: The ‘Dis-ease’ of Trauma, Murder & Death

Guest: Carys Cragg

Carys straight away delves into the sharing of her story, where she describes the gruesome night at age 11 where her father was murdered by a stranger who broke into their home, the impact it had on the family dynamics, surviving loss and re-stabilization. She shares that there was an almost immediate dis-ease that entered her body, telling her that she could never be safe or have fun and will need to plan out all parts of her life as she spent a great deal of time worrying. Twenty years later, she pursued the crime aspect of this loss and started to correspond with her father’s murder who was in jail — she describes that this changed her to the very core, and it was a path back to her own wellness, peace and moving forward. Through this journey, she adopted full steam perfectionism as a means for coping with life, prioritizing her education, and describes that she was a silent sufferer succeeding at life. Depression came about in a unique way for Carys accompanied with multiple subtleties that did not make it easy for her or mental health experts to put a finger on it until much later. Carys intimately shares after she met her father’s murderer, with two years of correspondence, that the dis-ease she had been plagued with, had finally left her body and she never felt it again. Her key message to the listeners is that: listen to that loving, gentle, safe, kind voice inside you — not the voice that is telling you what to do; tap into your inner voice; be open; access your voice through writing or meditation or another way; that inner voice that’s respecting you is the one to pay attention to; and if you listen to this voice, you could feel just a little bit better with good intentions.


Guest Bio: Carys’s first book, titled — ‘Dead Reckoning: How I Came to Meet the Man Who Murdered My Father’, tells the story of her correspondence and meeting with the incarcerated man who murdered her father when she was 11 years old. It was a Globe & Mail Best 100 Book of 2017, finalist for the 2018 Hubert Evans BC Book Prize, and finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award. Carys is faculty and coordinator in the Child & Youth Care degree program at Douglas College in Metro Vancouver, BC, and is currently completing her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. She lives with her young son and loves to check out the rivers surrounding Port Coquitlam, BC. She can often be found brainstorming her next home design project, binge-watching crime tv, or waiting for the pandemic to end so she can go sit at coffee shops to read and write for much too long periods of time. 


Passionate about: Transformational/Restorative Justice and the folks at the Community Justice Initiatives in Langley, BC.


Salima and Dr. Shemine on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 24: The Beauty of Movement Unleashed her True Potential

Guest: Dr. Shemine Gulamhusein

Dr. Shemine Gulamhusein shares that as a young person she struggled to understand the value of reading, writing, along with finding her sense of belonging. It was only after she started to play sports actively in her pre-teen years that she began noticing an increased sense of self-worth and belonging and saw a significant improvement in her academics. She delved right in to share the difficulties that were brought on by expectations to meet certain developmental milestones — she explains the nuances of differences in development occurs differently, for any individual. She unveils how joy and passion were ignited within her as she continued with sport. Dr. Shemine has learned how her muscles twitch, and values how particular sensations help her to stay connected. She shares about the innate capacity her body acquires to signal to herself that she is safe or not in any given encounter. Dr. Shemine claims a much deeper underlying theme of ‘shame’ and how she felt misunderstood. She expresses after commencing with sport, her body twitches were rewarded, the movements started to make sense, and this sense of belonging was everything she required, and it brought herself to a place where she could feel that the people around her understood the world from her perspective. Her key message to the listeners is that: spend time learning your movements — take the space to create, develop, and express; to parents and caregivers, recognize and build awareness of the movements of others and get curious about them; power flow through those movements; there are multiple ways to move, so express yourself in different ways.


Guest Bio: Dr. Shemine Gulamhusein, Ph.D. in Child and Youth Care, believes in the power of movement and how each muscle within the body tells its own story. During the day, Dr. Shemine is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Care at MacEwan University, focusing on global perspectives, mental health, and family care.
Dr. Shemine’s research focuses on the intersection of recreation, development, race, culture, spirituality, and pre- and post- migration trauma. By night, if Dr. Shemine is not spending time with clients in her private practice at ‘Engaged Care and Counselling’, she allows her muscle twitches to guide her art creations, drive her physical activity, and enter and embrace unknown spaces. In her free time, she enjoys golfing and weaving.


Passionate about: Free Play For Kids. She is passionate about all organizations that offer accessible opportunities for BIPOC and immigrant youth!


Salima and Rishma on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 23: Grieving in Gratitude + Sitting with the Discomfort

Guest: Rishma Govani

Rishma unveils a heart-wrenching story about losing her husband to cancer and the journey through being his caregiver and knowing that their time together was limited. She described and detailed her husband’s character viewed by many — he was a magnet towards all people. She portrays that her personal grief journey is like that of peeling and unravelling of an onion, with each grief layer looking unalike, and therefore she embraces ‘grieving with gratitude’. She speaks about what it is like to grieve during the global pandemic, there were no traditional rites and rituals performed or known gatherings of family, friends, not being able to receive hugs from her heart connections, and how she had to run a completely different course than what was familiar to her. She takes time to open up her story to share aspects of the grief journey which she has not openly shared before and made some poignant connections with grief literacy. Rishma converses about the multi-roles that she played beyond being a wife and mother, she jumped into advocacy and detective hats to ensure that there was no compromise to her husband’s wellbeing and quality of life. She has learned the importance of soft skills and connecting with empathy. Her key message to the listeners is that: lots of people go through this alone — you don’t have to; be sure to reach out to someone; “reach out to me”; find resources, there are many in the community; each person has their own story filled with their own pain and loss — you are not alone.


Guest Bio: Change agent, Rishma Govani, is a seasoned strategic communications professional with 20+ years of experience in media relations and public affairs in environments with high profile issues and complex stakeholder relations. She is currently the Head of Communications for Global News and Corus Radio, a robust portfolio that includes 55 leading media brands across Canada. As a dynamic, empowered and passionate professional, she is committed to creating real positive change especially in areas of diversity, inclusion and acceptance.

In September 2020, she lost her beloved husband and partner, Aly, to cancer. He is her true north guiding her in the afterlife. She is passionate about normalizing grief, enhancing grief literacy and allowing people to feel comfortable (and even find humour) around topics that are not easy. She is the proud mama of Khalil, Mila and her new fur- baby, Hero, aptly named after his dad. She dares to believe.


Passionate about: Hope House HospicePrincess Margaret Hospital 


Salima and Asante on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 22: Even Adversity could NOT Hold Him Back…‘He Chose’ to be the Controller of his Narrative

Guest: Asante Haughton

Asante opens up about a childhood that is filled with instability, lack of response, lack of support, and coping in survival mode. He shares his learnings about how life is not linear, it is unpredictable, filled with disappointment and triumphs. He talks about his story through the lens of race, equity, understanding problems and looking for solutions. Asante describes the hope he represented to his family as he had many gifts and talents, how it fell apart when there was no one there to pay attention to his needs and parent him, and how he used his determination to persevere through tremendously difficult odds, including working through serious mental health challenges, caretaking for his mother who had mental health challenges and even other difficulties that she tried to hide from her children. He let his guard all the way down as he spoke with vulnerability to share the emotional turbulent world he lived through, what it was like to feel all alone, confused, nowhere to turn, feeling that anyone he could talk to wouldn’t have any semblance of what he felt. He turned to writing hip-hop lyrics and basketball as a way to process anger and regulate other emotions, he later found courage to talk to friends about what was going on, and much later in adult years he was able to reach out and trust the supports provided by professionals. His key message to the listeners is that: never give up; all pain is temporary — whether it is for a minute, one week, one year, or ten years, it does end; go to therapy and you can launch your rocket.


Guest Bio: Asante is a mental health advocate devoted to changing the world. He is focused on amplifying the stories of everyday people to illuminate gaps in the system while working to build bridges between community members and policy makers in order to find solutions to challenges together. Asante is the co-founder of the Reach Out Response Network, an organization advocating for non-police led mobile crisis emergency response. Asante is also a 2x TEDx speaker and a CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) Difference Maker, awarded with the distinction of being one of the top 150 mental health influencers in Canada.

When Asante is not speaking and advocating, he is designing, managing and facilitating peer support training programs at Stella’s Place, a youth mental health service agency in Toronto and hosting the web show, Cypher, which turns peer support stories into original songs by Juno nominated musicians. Young at heart, silly, self-deprecating and able to find a sports analogy for virtually anything, Asante tries not to take himself too seriously despite being engaged in the serious work of change-making!


Passionate about: Pathways to EducationStella’s PlaceThe Community Healing Project/City of Toronto