Interview with Shirin Ariff from @kleffnotes

I had the chance to chat with Shirin Ariff, the author of The Second Wife: Seduced Into Slavery. Her book focuses on her own experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse. By taking her love for her children she was able to transition that into love for herself, which has led her to this book and a career helping others work through their own experiences. Thank you to Shirin Ariff for answering all of my questions.

Could you tell our readers a little about yourself? 

I am an inspirational speaker, international best-selling author, and women’s empowerment coach committed to helping women find their strength. After braving immigration to Canada and surviving thyroid cancer, I understand adversity. Despite the lemons that life handed me, I dug deep and found resilience. Today, I empower other women to become their own North Stars. Through my three mediums- speaking, writing, and coaching- I relate to women who are feeling defeated. I am able to motivate women to cultivate their inner strength and believe in themselves. My mission is to foster a culture that supports compassion, diversity, equality and generosity. I am committed to helping women experience freedom from their past, freedom of self-expression and the freedom to create the life that they love.

Your memoir, The Second Wife, is a heart wrenching read, how would you describe your book? 

My book is meant to give people hope. Even though there are parts that are heart-breaking, the ending is powerful and liberating. This book contains some truths and solutions that would serve anyone. It showcases the strength of choosing a comeback over any setback.

What inspired you to create this work? 

My children are my inspiration. They had witnessed me as weak and waning in power and dignity. I would live in fear that my children would become complacent about abuse and see it as a normal way of life. In sharing my story, I found my voice back. I wanted to leave a legacy behind for my children. They now see me as someone who flipped the narrative of her story and took charge of her life. They know that it is not okay not only to abuse but to be abused or even silently witness someone else being abused.

What was the process of writing the book like for you? 

It was cathartic and therapeutic. I feel that my voice matters. I was able to live some of the darkest phases of my life. But in writing the book, I have set myself free. I am no longer a victim but a witness. I am able to process certain very powerful emotions like anger, jealousy and grief that I experienced in my past. I was able to gracefully embrace my past.

How do you hope The Second Wife impacts readers? 

I wish for the readers to not just be touched, moved and inspired. My intention is that they may be able to practice some of the tools provided to empower themselves and transform their lives.

You are also a speaker and women’s empowerment coach, could you describe this work and what you are focusing on accomplishing through it? 

Not very many South Asian women feel comfortable about sharing their story. As an inspirational speaker and story teller, by sharing my story open heartedly, I intend to create a safe and nonjudgmental space for my audience. I want to create the understanding that they are not alone; That breakdowns can be turned around into breakthroughs in life; That there is no shame in dealing with adversity or abuse. As a women’s empowerment coach, my intention is to be able to empower women to access their own inner guidance and learn to live their lives by design. I want to work with them so that they are able to shift their inner narrative of excuses and self sabotage to a narrative of possibilities and results.

Could you share some of your advice for women who are struggling with unexpected adversity? 

You are not alone. It is okay to reach out and ask for help.

Where can our readers find out more about your work and keep up with you online?

Linked In: Shirin Ariff

Facebook: Shirin Ariff

Instagram: @ShirinAriff

Twitter: @ShirinAriff

Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog,, and on my kleffnotes YouTube channel.

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