Slay Your Dragon

I am excited to be back and to engage with my readers after a short blog break. The break was intentional as I decided to dedicate time to focus my attention on my start up. I have to admit that I have missed writing and hearing back from my readers.

In this post I have decided to tackle one of the most common but rarely mentioned and discussed issue of ‘Postnatal depression’. This past week I have had four new moms who approached me and shared their personal struggles and fight against this predator.The severity of this hit me when one of the moms mentioned she often fantasized about killing her baby and another stated how she shook her baby so hard in despair. This post is dedicated to my friends who have requested that I write as an effort to raise awareness and help reduce the stigma attached to this issue.

This subject is very close to my heart as I am one of those many million children who were caught in the whirlwind of maternal depression. My mother suffered severe postnatal depression after my birth and she has struggled with the effects of it since. I have not personally experienced the blues or depression with any of my pregnancies but I am well aware of the consequences that come along with the package.

Listening to the stories my friends had to share of their struggles in battling depression, I questioned why in the recent past this issue has become an increasingly common occurrence with new moms. I have realized that in our modern nuclear family setting with little or no help,the pressures of life added with balancing a home and getting used to a new baby can be one of the most stressful moments in the life of a woman. A combination of the above with the hormonal changes and many other changes to a new mothers lifestyle is a perfect recipe for depression. Many families suffer through this in silence as a result of lack of awareness or the stigma attached to mental illness. Through this post I attempt to tear down some social veils and offer facts on how common this phenomenon is.

Research states that 50 percent of new mothers suffer baby blues and one in every 10 new mothers suffer postpartum depression, which is a more serious condition.Postpartum depression results in intense feelings, and long lasting symptoms, which could occur anytime during the first year of birth. The symptoms could include intense sadness, anger, guilt, insomnia, fear of hurting you baby, lack of interest in things you enjoyed before etc. This requires support; counseling and early medical intervention. If you are reading this post and you are suffering through post partum depression you owe it to yourself and your children to get the help you need.

I have had many women address me as a ‘Super mom’ to which I have always responded I am no super mom. I have 3 boys aged 5 and under which is indeed a challenging age group to handle. I look at them as my most valued gift and source of investment. I try to give motherhood my best shot and to be there for my children. My honest confession is that there are many instances I have failed and made mistakes. As much as I enjoy home making and raising my kids, there are days with my boys around my home everything seems chaotic with broken sleep and an overwhelming sense of responsibility and a sense of inadequacy. A great learning that I have taken away is the understanding that there is no super mom or there will never ever be a perfect mother. Every mother needs the one and only super God and support from people around her to fulfill her call as a mother.

New moms i urge you not to come under pressure to be a super mom,to get everything right. My big advice is for you to relax your standards. It is more important to care for your wellness and for your baby than to get the home looking spotless or to prepare a fine dinner. Prioritize your sleep and eat healthy. Get out of your home and enjoy a walk in the park,coffee dates with friends ,shopping for yourself or indulge in any treat you would enjoy. There is nothing shameful about admitting that motherhood has taken a toll on you and you are finding it difficult to cope with the role.Seek help and delegate responsibilities. If you are suffering with symptoms leading to postnatal depression do not disregard your feelings and suffer in silence. Find courage to share with people you are comfortable with and count on your spouse. Learn to tune off the voices that says you are not getting this right. You are not a bad mother.You are finding your grounds and learning everyday as every mother does.

Your moment of breakthrough and healing is just around the corner. It will come with a combination of changing you’re thought patterns to reflect hope, caring for yourself and seeking a support group and medical help. There is a bright light and hope awaiting you. Never give up and never give in to this thick cloud. Choose to rise up, choose to be resilient, choose to slay your dragon.

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GUARD OUR TREASURE

This week I have dedicated my time with my kids to teach them about ‘STRANGER DANGER’. The city where we live is considered one of the most safest, yet we frequently hear about predators targeting children as young as a 3 year old. As parents, we often think our children are way too young to practice safety measures. I say ‘Better early than Sorry’. It is tricky to strike a balance between teaching children safety without having them to feel this great world is a dangerous place to be and most people they meet are scary. I am on a journey of creating some family rules for our boys to abide by. I have also thought of making this teaching a practical one by inculcating some role-play sessions with my kids. I urge Parents to make it a point to be intentional about bringing safety awareness into your family. Join me in this ‘GUARD OUR TREASURE ‘run. ‘I have attached an interesting video for preschoolers and young kids to watch as a first step towards learning about ‘STRANGER DANGER’

Have fun while you equip your children with the knowledge and strategy to protect themselves in a dangerous situation. The most important lesson as parents we need to bear in mind is that we are not taking our children through a journey where we instill fear,rather we empower them with confidence and assure them that help is a prayer and shout away.

 

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Event: C2B Coffee morning and Kids play-date on May 17

 

Cocoon to Butterfly Community  wishes to invite aspiring moms, moms-to be, yummy mommies and kids to a coffee morning and play date. This will be at Caboodle in Dubai mall on Saturday, May17th at 11am.

Come by and indulge in some healthy conversation and fun activities where you could enjoy prizes from our sponsors. The kids have an opportunity to play right next to where the moms are at. The play area is charged at 70 aed for an hour for crafts,cartoons,play and more. If you do not wish to send your children to the play area, they are more than welcome to hang out with the mommies.

Looking forward to catching up with you beautiful ladies,yummy mommies and fun kidos. Do not miss the fun!!

 

 

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Gloriously Fashionable

 

I just returned from a fabulous short holiday in my hometown. Whilst on this trip i had the opportunity to meet up with some young women. In conversation with them I was amused to learn that they follow my Facebook page to see how I am styling it. I am no fashionista or fashion guru. I am just another girl who loves all things pretty and suave. My first job was with Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology Banglore, as a Trainer in computer aided Design and Pattern making. This is my only claim to the fashion industry. I had moved on from there to pursue a career in aviation. They have both been fulfilling careers in their own way and good opportunity for growth. Through this column i aspire to share my style and passion for fashion with my audience.

Unfading fashion to me is something that cannot be bought. It is priceless! It stems from the heart and it consists of grace, poise and much more.  My number one tip on feminine fashion- The best accessory to adorn on a daily basis is a smile and a gentle spirit. This sense of style is classic, timeless and of great worth.

Forgive me if I step on a few toes as I burst a few bubbles on some fashion misconceptions. I speak from my personal experience of having lived this huge lie. A large number of women believe that only designer labels or a brand name indicates ‘Fashionable’. I have learned that this is painfully wrong. You do not have to buy every single designer piece dished out to you by the media at every changing season, to look fashionable. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely love a large number of designer labels and I own quite a few designer goods myself. I love them for their quality and their unique style. I say if you can afford them go get them. However do not be a slave to fashion where you are constantly giving in to your obsession of rocking all the latest trends and as a result you end up downhill on your financial road.

The biggest fashion misconception i have come across is ‘Dare to Bare or Go Nude’ to ooze appeal. I like to redefine this statement by saying ‘Modesty is the hottest trend’.

Another common misconception is that limited resources or budget living holds you back from looking fabulous. This is a plain white lie. You can look stylish and stunning even on a shoestring budget. The secret is to learn to be ingenious and smart. Dive into your closet and experiment with mixing and matching your clothes. Bring out those accessories that have been buried and hardly worn. Define and create your personal style and nail it. In my next segment I will be sharing some practical tips to look stunning and fashionable. Remember to shine gloriously fashionable from within.

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Beauty in your Identity

December last year and February this year I had the privilege of speaking at a career day event and a special event organized by two prominent schools in the city of Sharjah and Dubai. I was invited to speak on the topic of ‘Identity and discovering what you are called to do in Life’.  ‘

A sense of shame and self-loathing towards ones own body is a huge phenomenon prevalent especially among teenagers and young adults. This resonated with me to an extent because as a teenager I remember spending countless hours in front of the mirror trying to change my color or looking for ways to change my nose to be more appealing and beautiful. It stemmed from an urge to feel more admired and adored.  It lasted only for a very short span of time. Those thoughts have become a distant memory from the past and I can say boldly that today I stand as a confident woman who believes I am created beautifully. I come from a home where I was affirmed, appreciated and shown much love. This has also played a significant role in enabling me to think and see clearly beyond beauty that is skin deep. But this ‘Identity issue’ is a common culture and typical teenage angst that chokes and bottles up young minds. Today more than ever there is a prevalent cultural bias towards perfect bodies and perfect faces. This is as a result of social media, magazines and television promoting the same.  We cannot stop the media from objectifying women but we can stop ourselves from wanting to look like every top model and actress we see. I am not against cosmetics or beauty routines. On the contrary I love fashion and make up. . With the right technique and application of make-up you can enhance your beauty and express your unique style. What I do not agree with is the idea of living in a false world where women are afraid to age gracefully. A growing number of women are pressured to physically Photoshop themselves to feel accepted.  My message to you is do not let your self-esteem and your wellness be determined by the media or the cover pages. Striving and struggling to be like anyone else is a waste of time and a waste of the person you are.

Take a deep breath; learn to appreciate the beauty that is bestowed on you. You are uniquely beautiful just the way you are. You are original, a copyrighted edition and a masterpiece created by a master craftsman. You have a unique purpose for which you are created. Embark on a journey to discover this purpose and become the person you were created to be. When you learn to embrace your creator and your uniqueness, you have given yourself a chance to discover your purpose in life. Grow in love with the one who created you and grown in love with the BEAUTIFUL YOU!

sneha

 

 

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Win free tickets to Passion UAE

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The Passion team is stoked to have their first tour in the UAE. This amazing show will be on Thursday, 20th March 2014, 08:30pm onwards in Abu Dhabi at the Armed Forces Officers club. The show will be graced by performance from Grammy-winning artists like Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill and inspirational speaker Dr Louie Giglio. This is sure to be an epic live performance filled with outstanding music, talent and vocals.

Passion events take place every year (since 1997) in the USA where they host a million university students from over 130 countries. This is the first time they are coming to UAE. Tickets are in 3 price levels ranging from 100, 150 and 250 Aed. We are giving 20 readers a chance to see Passion live in concert! Sign up to win free tickets to The Passion concert. You do not want to miss this!!!

Watch the ‘Passion Bands’ entertaining promotional video.http://youtu.be/Ywo06kGvs-0

Name: *
E-mail: *
Phone: *
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City:

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Chronicles from C2B PotLuck Event, March 1st 2014.

A Potluck for future mom’s to be, mommies and children took place on March 1st 2014. A group of 12 women gathered around the table enjoying healthy snacks and indulgent treats contributed by the group. The women shared their real life stories and listened while others shared theirs, communicating with one another on a heart level. Our bunch of enthusiastic kids had a blast creating memorable experiences and making new friends. We look forward to welcoming new moms and children at our next event.

potluck eventchildren

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Diamonds in the Rough

Through my blog I want to be a voice to those individuals and organizations that are not ordinarily heard in mainstream media, but who are committed to being a voice to those who are the most marginalized in our society, those who have no power to change their circumstances. Ron and Joanna Domingo (who we have had the incredible privilege to befriend) is one such couple involved in an incredible work in a region called Tondo in the Philippines.

Ron and Joanna went to the Philippines with the intention of living there for a few months before they headed back home to Scotland. However life took a different turn! Today they along with their 2 babies and a team of volunteers serve a community in Tondo, well known for being one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Tondo is notorious for being the poorest and most underdeveloped district in the country. Many of the city’s slums are found in this area. However Ron and Joanna choose not to echo these words over the area, rather to speak hope and to see a future for the people in this area. They established the Kalayaan Community Ministries, which works among the people in the dumpsite to restore their dignity and to give them a future.

They serve in conditions where it is a regular sight to spot children salvage half eaten food from overflowing garbage bins. The stench from rotting, unsegregated and fermenting rubbish is what surrounds the air. The dumpsite is infested with toxic waste and contaminated water. For them it is not about making it to the list of the biggest charities or to attract media attention to their work, rather it is about being faithful to serve the people and community that their heart goes out to. They consider it an honor to have a chance to alleviate suffering and to touch and change lives for the better. It is their life’s mission to see justice established where injustice cripples through poverty. Their Dumpsite project works faithfully to improving living standards and providing access to basic needs such as food, shelter and basic health care.

KCM dumpsite kids

KCM has designed and implemented different programs with the objective of ameliorating social problems such as poverty, homelessness and hunger. They have developed a sustainable feeding program called  ‘Food For School/Packed Lunch Program’. This is a feeding program designed specifically for children and young people struggling to stay in school because their families cannot afford to buy them lunch. It involves providing 100 packed lunches on a daily basis.

KCM has also designed an effective program that works towards improving health, hygiene and well being of the people. This venture is called ‘Daily Wound care program’. Every day around the dumpsite area there are children who get wounds on their feet from walking on glass and other sharp objects hidden in the garbage. Their hands are at times wounded from working on glass or playing in it. They get wounds on their heads from cuts or insect bites that get infected from the dirt and intense heat. This program cares for the wounded and brings healing to their body and soul.

Today a significant number of individuals in Tondo area has benefited from all of the above-mentioned programs and many other programs they run. KCM has given the little hearts in this region an opportunity to grow up healthy, educated and prepared to succeed and contribute to society. They are constantly bombarded with a flock of hurting, hungry, homeless children. The harsh reality is that they cannot always meet the needs due to financial constraints.

Every child deserves a chance to survive and thrive. I believe each of us have in us the ability to create a positive influence that can change a person’s life. You can make a difference by spreading the word, volunteer participation, donating or by simply saying a word of prayer. Choose to make a difference in a child’s life. As you change their world, you change your’s in the process.

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KCM is a non-profit organization that functions solely through donations. The CEO does not take a salary and they work with minimal administrative cost. KCM is committed to being good stewards of the funds entrusted to them and they have set up an online transparency page where everyone who donates is added and can view incoming funds and what the purpose of these funds are for. If you are interested in learning more about what Klayaan community ministries are doing or you feel lead to donate, you could contact them at kalayaancommunityministries@hotmail.com. You could catch their updates through their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KalayaanMinistries?ref=br_rs

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Register for C2B PotLuck Get-together on March 01, 2014

Calling all moms to be and moms in Dubai with children (Babies to teenagers) who are interested in stepping out with your kids for some fun time. Here is an opportunity to socialize and make lifelong friendships for yourself and your children. We are a group of moms who get together  with our children once a month for a coffee morning, play-date or  just a casual hangout where we have some great conversations. This month we invite you to join us in a PotLuck Get-togethere, details of which are given below. Kindly register if interested. The best part..it is FREE!!

Looking forward to meeting all you Mommies and Kiddos!

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Here’s to the New Year!

Happy New Year! I wish all my readers a New Year filled with good health, new opportunities, much happiness and prosperity.  I just got back from an amazing vacation with my family. As I planned for this trip paying much attention to the smallest details, there was one thing that I kept reminding myself of and eventually tossed it to the back burner. This is about my decision to write a few posts in advance, which never happened due to my busy schedule. However after all the responses I got in my mail enquiring when to expect the next post and some asking if I abandoned the blog, I wish I were more organized with writing in advance. So here is a formal apology for not keeping up.

When I started writing I was not sure if I would have 10 readers to my credit. In an era where intelligent reading material is readily available, I asked myself if I was convinced beyond a shadow of doubt if this is something that I should be investing my precious time into. With much careful consideration I moved forward with conviction. I have been blogging for 4 months and in this short period I am so overwhelmed and encouraged to notice the incremental readers on my stat page. Days after the blogs inception, as the numbers hit the 1000 mark and constantly grew I was surprised more than I was excited, to learn that a community was waiting to exist. This blog was not initiated with a motive for monitory gain or for self-promotion. This was birthed out of a dream to inspire and influence women in all walks of  life.  I am no expert in counseling and i am no life coach; I share my learnings from my every day experiences and experiences of people close to my heart  with the hope to bless. My take on life is not just to exist but rather to be purposeful, to thrive and to influence.

It has been truly rewarding to see the ‘Cocoon to Butterfly Mother and Child Community’ grow along side the blog. One of the most memorable moments from last year has been when a reader showed up to one of the C2B coffee mornings and introduced herself to me and said she loves to read what i write, follows the blog and wishes to be part of the group. Ever since that day we have grown as friends and she continues to be one of my biggest supporters. Another highlight of the past year was when i was invited  by a prominent school in UAE to address students on making the right choices in deciding their careers. As I travel and receive positive feedback, meet new readers and read responses from people of how this blog has impacted their life, I am so humbled and left thinking that someone as special as this actually reads my blog. I do not own any of this to take any glory. This was a dream deposited by my Creator above, He is the owner and He is the driving force. This has been my first attempt at writing and i am constantly making mistakes and learning as i go along. As i begin my journey in this New Year I would like to thank each one of my readers for entrusting me with that bit of your time, in your life. I appreciate the encouragement you give me through every like and  comment you  put up on the blog, the calls you make, the mails you send and the kind words you shower as compliments. This platform has taught me valuable lessons, given me a new purpose and is blooming to become something much larger that I could have ever imagined. I will not disclose much but leave you with a promise that there is much to look forward to here, in this New Year. Cheers to a brighter 2014 and a fruitful year of new beginnings to one and all!

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