MAISON 10 is more than a physical space – it's a community of gorgeous, wildly talented, super-smart, fun individuals. You're all incredible. And every now and then, we like to share what's so amazing about you. Today, meet Naureen Dharani, a beautiful human with a huge heart, who is helping make the world a healthier, happier place.
A first generation Pakistani American, Naureen was born in LA and raised in Dallas. But she moved to New York nearly 10 years ago and found her spiritual home - every year on the anniversary of moving here, she takes herself out to explore a new aspect of the city she hadn’t before.
She's been a therapist for more than 7 years, working in substance abuse counseling, and with people coming out of incarceration. Now with her own private practice, she’s a certified clinical trauma professional and a grief educator. And, as a Shia Ismaili Muslim, she’s working to de-stigmatize mental health treatment in her community.
Which all makes her sound very serious. So when she’s not engrossed in mental health, she winds down at comedy shows, karaoke (Lauryn Hill's Killing Me Softly - "it showcases my range lol") and, of course, coming to MAISON 10!
What motivates me …
I think about the limitations my parents had in raising me and my siblings. I love them, but they were never given the emotional support that I so badly needed growing up. Recognizing how I was stuck in a generational cycle motivated me to find a way to break out of it. When my clients have these revelations of how they too can break out of generational cycles, it motivates me to keep going and validates the importance of healing.
The day I discovered MAISON 10
I, like many others, was lured in by intrigue and Tom from the street. The tale is as old as time. I was at the Ace Hotel grabbing a drink with one of my dear friends during the fall/winter of 2016 and on the way back, we saw this cool place that still had the lights on in an otherwise dark and dim street. Tom saw us from the street and kindly stepped out to say: “Hi, would you like to come in? I have some mulled wine.” And the rest is history. The energy there is unique and it is my little grounding oasis when my life or my mind seem flustered. Tom often says I am an artist of the mind. I love that anyone can come in and suddenly feel like they are someone important. This place is welcoming in that way.
My most treasured purchases …
One of my favorite artists from MAISON 10 is Natale Adgnot and I have long admired her work, but was not able to afford one of her pieces. A couple years ago, though, I was in the store and I was thinking about something that brought me joy and I stumbled on her smaller pieces. I would buy all of them if I could, but the one that caught my eye that day was titled ‘The Tree of Life’ and I bought it for my home office. Some of my other purchases that I love a lot are my Jacto cuff and a pair of clear Hexagon earrings with a pop of red inside – I always get compliments when I wear either of them out.
If I wasn't living in New York …
I would probably live somewhere in Europe. I think there is less glorification of workaholism and a better healthcare system there.
The book that changed my life …
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents by Lindsey Gibson. When I was growing up, I didn’t understand why my parents couldn’t show up for me the way I needed them to and I harbored a lot of anger and resentment as a result. It was not until my therapist at the time mentioned this book to me and I read it cover to cover that I realized I was stuck in what the book called a “healing fantasy” which is when children of emotionally immature parents come up with a fantasy about how they will eventually get what they need if they change those around them. It helped me to humanize my parents and appreciate where they are. It also made me realize how much credit I was not giving myself because I was constantly feeling inadequate. I have learned to accept and love myself a lot more since then.
The things I’m most proud of
I am so proud of the life I have built for myself in New York - it was hard to build a support system from scratch. Moving to New York started the journey of how I learned to love myself. I don’t think I felt self-acceptance before moving here. This is a place where you can show up however you want and the only opinion that matters is yours. I don’t have it all together and I don’t pretend to - and I think as a therapist that is one of my best traits.
Coming from an immigrant home, it's also important to recognize that the biggest gift my parents gave me is something they didn’t get themselves, which is the power of choice. It has certainly taken some time for me to appreciate it, but I am proud of that too.
The quality I most appreciate in people
Honesty. I would take the brutal truth over a candy-coated lie any day.
If there was an Olympics for everyday activities, I'd win gold for …
Everyday chitchat - I'm the undisputed champion of verbal gymnastics.
My favorite part about NY summer
I don't like humidity or dry heat, but what I do love is being able to wear clothes without multiple layers. I enjoy fall more especially in NYC, when the foliage looks great and there’s a crispness that fills the air.
My advice to young Naureen …
Most people are projecting their own insecurities and it's not personal, even if it feels like it. People’s projections of their own insecurities and are not an invitation to fix them or accommodate them more. You don’t need their permission or approval to love yourself.