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This is You - The Podcast

May 2019

Auroosa Kazmi-Ishaq and The Myth of the Linear Path

Episode 5: It's time for another solo episode!  For those who listened to Diary of 2 Middle Children (episodes 4, part 1 and part 2), you may remember that Sania and I talked about the myth of the linear path briefly.   

What is the linear path?

"The Linear Path is a worldview in which mastering perfectionism, progress and ever-exceeding improvement lead to success, security and happiness." - Daniëlle van de Kemenade⠀

Many of us have been brought up with this idea.  For me, I believed that if I followed all the steps "correctly", (went to school, got good grades, got a job, got married, etc.) then I would find happiness and success.  I believed that life proceeds in an orderly, linear fashion and I just need to find the magic formula and follow it to find success...and perhaps more importantly, avoid failure.  But in reality, this idea is a myth.  Careers are progressively more and more non-linear and happiness is not a final destination that we reach once we've surpassed enough milestones.  Have you ever felt that every time you reached a milestone, instead of celebrating it, you lamented that you hadn't reached the next milestone yet?  That used to be me.⠀
A few years ago, I realized that that 1) the linear path is a myth, success and happiness is not a straight line but a squiggly one that goes in every which direction, 2) there is no such thing as doing things "right", everyone follows a different path and what works for one person, doesn't work for another person, 3) every step we take is just a data point in our journey which will help us to make future decisions and learn from our failures and mistakes, it's not the end of the world and 4) no matter what you do, there is no way to avoid the risk of failure, making a mistake or defeat. What's important is to be in the arena: striving, risking and daring greatly.  Brené Brown talks more about being in the arena in her book Daring Greatly.
May 2019

Sania Khan and Auroosa Kazmi Ishaq, Diary of 2 Middle Children, Part 2

Episode 4, Part 2: Have you ever gotten caught up in what concepts like "good", "honour" and "respect" mean?  We have and what's been most puzzling is that it seems like everyone knows but us!

Today's episode is Part 2 of Diary of 2 Middle Children where Sania and I pick up our conversation from last week and talk about being judged, pivotal moments in our life that changed how we view ourselves, giving ourselves permission to make our own choices, people-pleasing and our tendency to think that at some point, things would make sense.  Spoiler alert: this never happens!  We talk about loving and accepting who we are and what it means to be a good person.  Further, how do we instill good values in our kids?

We conclude with a question to the audience: are we just the sum of our actions or is there inherent goodness in all of us?

Lastly, there's a call to action, if anything in this episode resonated with you, please comment on Instagram, Facebook, or send me an email at, I'd love to hear from you.

May 2019

Sania Khan and Auroosa Kazmi Ishaq, Diary of 2 Middle Children, Part 1

Episode 4, Part 1: Does birth order influence our personalities?  Both my guest, Sania Khan, and I are middle children and feel that being a middle child plays a fundamental role in how we experience and view the world.  In this episode, we discuss middle child syndrome and how being a middle child has led to certain tendencies such as people pleasing, wanting to be peacemakers, feeling neglected and trying to figure out our role in our families. 

In particular, I think I equated being a middle child with being less loved or less worthy and it took me a long time to realize that that wasn't the case. But where did this feeling come from to begin with? Listen in to this episode to learn where some of these ideas came from, how they were perpetuated and how I began to see things differently as I became a parent.

People pleasing is another aspect of our personalities that can affect so many of our everyday choices, how do you break free of the desire to please everyone else and live life on your own terms?  Sania and I discuss our journey and what we still struggle with today.

We also tackle topics such as why the process of arranged marriage can be difficult as a middle child, choosing a different path from the ones our siblings paved for us, embracing ourselves with self-love, and how it influences us going forward. 

This is part one of a really funny, insightful and interesting conversation.  You won't want to miss this one!

May 2019

Thamicha Isaac, H.I.V. and Abuse

Episode 3: How does abuse become normalized?  Hear Thamicha's gripping story where she discusses the various levels of abuse she has experienced including domestic and sexual abuse as well as being diagnosed as H.I.V. positive at the age of 19.  She describes the impact of her H.I.V. diagnosis, how she received the news, how it made her feel and the feelings of anger, guilt and shame that she experienced.  She also explains how she made it out from rock bottom, her process of healing and how she became the CEO and Founder of Openly Positive, an organization that strives to end the stigma around H.I.V. and provide support for those with H.I.V. and their families.  

Thamicha Isaac is an activist, advocate, motivational speaker, coach, author and momtrepreneur.  Be inspired and moved by her story which reminds us that no matter how dire things may seem, or the trauma that you may have experienced, there is hope on the other side.  The tunnel does have a light.

To learn more about openly positive for resources related to H.I.V. and Thamicha's speaking engagements, please visit:  You can also follow her on Instagram and on

For resources on H.I.V. for those living in Ontario, please visit:

For resources on domestic violence and abuse, please visit: and

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May 2019

Terri Taiyab and Religion

Episode 2: Has religion played a role in shaping your identity?  It has for our guest Terri Taiyab.  Terri grew up in Pakistan with her dad's side of the family who was very conservative and would often use religion as a tool to control her and her actions.  On the flip side, her mom's side of the family was also very religious but practiced religion in a much more accepting and open manner, consistent with how Terri feels Islam should be practiced. 

Terri discusses several examples of how her extended family used religion as a tool, her chaotic upbringing, how it's affected how she views religion today and how it's shaped her in unexpected ways.  She also discusses how she and her husband, who is Christian, are raising her two young boys with both Christianity and Islam and what that means to them.  

Terri is the founder of the Mom Like That Podcast where she interviews moms and dads about their experiences related to parenting, starting a side hustle and the challenges they have faced.  She is also the co-creator of the instagram community @therealmamasofinsta.  I have been a guest on Terri's podcast in the following episodes, so if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out the following as well: Episode 4: Motherhood I Wasn't Prepared for This!Episode 26: The Whole Brain Child Review and Episode 30: Interfaith Relationship: Past and Present.

To hear personal narratives from others surrounding religion and their identity, check out this interesting excerpt from