Integral Life Coaching

Story ….. Story….. Story…… We All Love Stories!

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(983 words – Less than 5 min read)

“One thousand and one Arabian Nights”

Yes, we all love stories. Throughout history humans have used stories to live and to survive. One good example is “One thousand and one Arabian Nights”. Have you read it? Do you know how the legendary Persian queen, “Scheherazade” survived the deadly marriage? With becoming a storyteller and creating this legendary book! I have read them on and off but watching this Iranian TV Show “Shahrzad” made me curious to know more about these stories. I downloaded the book on my phone to read all of them. The stories reflect challenges that people dealt with in their life. There is a great amount of wisdom in each story.

The TV show we have been watching this past two weeks called “Shahrzad” is strongly written and played. It covers a few years in the 50s in Iran when the coup happened to overthrow the democratically elected Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mosadegh. In truth it represents the present status of the society too. The protagonist “Shahrzad” is a wise woman who faces so many challenges in her life living under autocracy.

Shahrzad knows so many of the “One thousand and one Arabian Nights” stories and uses the wisdom of the stories in her life. She tries to get the best out of life even in the worst situation when she is forced to an arrange marriage or when her baby is taken away from her. I am sure a lot of people deeply relate to the characters of this show specially her. It helped me to see my past more clearly and enabled me to see the causes and effects of what happened in my life under autocracy.

Watching the show has been helping me to picture the life style I used to live not long ago. It has been helping me to identify the fears that were created by that life style and that social structure; fears that I still carry with me. It is all about the impact of dictatorship on one’s personal life!

Neither the open-minded nor the conservatives could survive the dictatorship’s selfish decisions. The decisions flow down all the way to the most private parts of personal lives and limit people from thinking freely and even imagining their dream life. It kills dreams overtime!

In that life style you have to fit in or you are singled out and put under a lot of pressure. Not many choices are on the table. People have to repress all their desires and disappointments and even die with it.

The dust of the dictatorship covers every piece of the individual’s life. Everyone lives in fear and that creates a demon inside them. A lot of people become selfish and aggressive to survive. It creates a dictator in each person. People even family members are scared of each other but they have to pretend they enjoy their relationships.

The population of open-minded who can smell democracy and are after human’s right is very small.  They are all under watch and face extreme danger in their lives. It is very hard to follow and respect human’s rights. Human rights are a luxury in most cases. For a lot of people, aggressiveness becomes the way to claim their rights. Emotional violence in all different types become normal and creates a lot of inner-conflicts and social conflicts. Is there any way to change this? I left the country. America became home for me. I enjoy the taste of freedom in my life but I constantly deal with survivors guilt too. What about the millions and millions still living there? They deserve a better life style with liberty and inner peace. I don’t have any answer yet but I am very hopeful for a good change.

NAMW Group Coaching Take Away

This past week, I attended in June NAMW group coaching. Listening to people’s conversations took me back to how I started my writing process. I thought I should share it here. When I was turning 40, I started creating a chronological list of my life milestones. This practice helped me to create the outline of the story later when I started writing my memoir. I also created a list of people who came to my life. As it was suggested in the group coaching session, it will help me if I write a few words about characteristic of each person in their relationship with me. I believe each person can show different sets of characteristics in different relationship. We build different relationships to fulfill different needs. One relationship can fulfill the family love we need to receive and the other one to have our intellectual conversations to feed that part of our soul. Self-reflection and looking back at my past and current relationships give me the opportunity to see my lessons learned more clearly. We also structure our relationships by bringing the best or the worst out of each other. That is why we get good vibes from some, stay neutral with others, and cannot stand some people.


This past week I listened to the rest of the Coursera course “Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description” provided by Amity Gaige. I have two take-aways from this week lessons.

In order to feel the scene that I need to describe, I need to mediate on it, read about it, look at the related pictures and if possible go to that place again or simply live in it for a while. To start, I mediate and focus on nature on my walks and try to describe what I see as a practice.

The second takeaway was how to get inspired right before we start writing. Amity suggested reading poems can be inspiring and I found out I did the inspiring part naturally by listening to some writing courses before I start. I will try the poem as well.


Celebrate life!


Editing Credit: Holly M

Photo Credit:

Author: Shabnam

Shabnam Curtis was born and raised in Tehran, experiencing the Iranian Revolution of 1979 firsthand. In 2004 she immigrated to the United States, where she now works as a passionate life coach and a writer. Shabnam is a certified Integral Coach with New Ventures West and International Coaching Federation. She offers one-on-one coaching sessions as well as workshops for groups. Since September of 2021, she also has been the life coach in residence for Dimension Science Bridges Non-profit organization.

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