A certified integrative coach shares how embracing all aspects of herself led to greater overall well-being in this debut memoir and self-improvement guide.
Mahaini, a Danish native now living with her husband and children in Dubai, was feeling ashamed about being an “angry bitch” while dealing with the demands of being a wife and mother. Such incidents finally led her to undergo training at the Ford Institute, which helped her to fully recognize and thus take responsibility for this pattern of behavior, which had been present throughout her life. She details how she had imposed a lot of pressure on herself while earning a Ph.D. in pharmacology at a university in Australia, for example, and had less-than-satisfactory relationships with men that “came partly from my biological father’s not having much contact with me when I was a child, which in a child’s interpretation meant that I was unworthy.” Mahaini notes that she is better at handling her life now, including making sure that she allots time for such activities as coaching work and writing this book. She believes this greater sense of happiness is due to her having “learned to absolutely love and adore my angry part, for showing me the way.” She now can also heal herself “so the anger doesn’t burst forth so frequently. I can listen to my needs much more carefully, so it doesn’t have to erupt to get my attention.” The author offers an engaging exploration of the “inner work,” as she terms it, required to transform one’s life. Many readers, particularly mothers, should connect to her challenges of being a caretaker of young children, particularly the difficulty yet also necessity of carving out personal time that will actually help alleviate these stresses. At times, however, Mahaini’s musings, such as her angst while at a “very nice beachside hotel in Oman,” come off like “first-world problems” rather than relatable crises. And more details on the tools of integrative coaching, which clearly benefited her, would have been welcome.
A highly personal narrative that nevertheless showcases the universal value of self-discovery.