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Eight Lessons I Want To Teach My Daughter

Dear Sahana,

These are eight lessons I want to teach you. I have learned these through many mistakes and periods of introspection and learning in my life. My hope for you is to live your life authentically, passionately and gracefully. So here goes…

1) If someone hurts you, don’t take it personally

Chances are, they have been hurt themselves. In fact, never take anything personally. Don’t let compliments get to your head and don’t let criticism get you down. It is a known fact that most people can only give others what they have received themselves.

I want to fill your childhood with so much happiness that all your actions and all the words that you speak come from a place of love. But not everyone will be loving back. And that is okay. Because when you do not take anything personally, you are in a place of liberation. You can interact with the world through the lens of an open heart, not having to worry about what others will say.


2) Keep a portion of what you earn for saving and another for giving back

Learn to see money as a tool. It is a tool with which you can achieve your greatest dreams and also a tool that you can use to do tremendous good in the world. If you are blessed with a lot of money, do not waste this opportunity. Use it to change a social condition, to uplift a community and to inspire others.

Someone once gave me some great advice about money that I want to share with you:

With every dollar that you earn, keep one third to spend, one third to save, and one third to give back to the world.

3) Live every day as if it was a Friday

Speaking of money, do not trade money for meaning in your life. Hopefully you will find a career that gives you meaning and all the money that you need. Finding meaning is the only way to live every day as if it was a Friday.

You cannot live your life just waiting for the weekend. Find something that excites you. As Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, ‘do not die with your music still inside of you‘. Your job in this life is to find your music and go about the business of sharing it with the world.

If you have not found your music yet, that’s okay. Keep searching. Do one thing everyday that makes you happy. Make it a Friday, every single day.


4) You do not need anyone’s approval

Including mine. You may have to remind me that I actually said this. The need for approval is like an addiction. If you base all your actions on the approval of others, ultimately you will sacrifice your own happiness. Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket. Learn how to say no to people and obligations that do not add value to your life.

Your time on this earth is precious. You must invest your time like you invest money. Invest in people and activities that uplift you. As the saying goes, ‘What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it’.

5) In every tough situation, try kindness first

People may make ugly comments. The airline may lose your bags. Another driver may cut you off. These situations will happen everyday. How are you going to respond?

Although your first response like many others will be to get angry…why not try a different approach? Anger in these situations rarely solves problems. People are more likely to respond to kindness. And you can be kind and be firm.

Get your point across without sacrificing your integrity. It is the only response that you will not regret later. No matter how upset you are, always treat others with respect. You will be surprised at how much can be accomplished with kindness.


6) Do not complain unless you can suggest a solution

Do not be a constant complainer. No one likes that person. If you do not like your current situation, work towards changing it. But don’t sit and complain about it. Complaining will get you nowhere. In fact, it will only make others not want to be around you. Be someone that looks for the positive in every situation. And if you do find a problem, be someone that can suggest a solution.

You will never get to where you want to be by complaining about where you are now. Each step in your life is preparing you for the one that comes after it.

7) Learn to be present

By the time you grow up, there will be much more technology than we have now. While technology can be life changing in many great ways, there is an aspect to technology that interferes with our relationships. Do not be so addicted to a screen that you miss enjoying real life happening in front of you. Learn to disconnect everyday.

The world is quickly becoming more fast paced. Learn to slow down. Give people your full and un-divided attention. Do not seek mindless stimulation on a screen and learn to make real human connections.


8) Don’t let the world make you bitter

The world can be a difficult place. As much as I try and protect you, you may experience suffering, heartbreak or the loss of a loved one. All of these things can take a toll on your soul. But do not lose hope my beloved.

Think about the Yin and Yang in Chinese philosophy, which states that opposite forces are often interconnected. In suffering, you can find great strength, in heartbreak you can find resilience and in loss you can find a renewed appreciation for life.

Life comes with Yin and Yang. The two opposites are interdependent and interconnected. And I do not want you to be afraid. In every difficult situation, you are being tested. If you become bitter and angry, you have lost.

You must learn to find the beauty in every situation. This is why, even at your young age, I stop to show you each flower, each weed that is breaking through the cement to find the sun, and each butterfly that has found it’s wings. I want you to learn to notice the beauty around you.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote:

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard.

Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness.

Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,

you still know it to be a beautiful place.”

Keep your sweetness. Be soft. And know that the world is a beautiful place. Always.




April 17, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Pooja - This is so sweet I’m gunna cry!! <3

Manhattan Beach Maternity Photography – Nisha and Mitul

It has been almost four months since my daughter was born and it still amazes me that my body was able to make a human being! Whenever I see another pregnant woman, I think back to when I could feel every move of my little one inside of me. It’s a feeling unlike anything else. It’s a beautiful bond that women have…to understand how you can love a person so much before you have even seen or held them.

There is a beautiful poem about motherhood that I really love:

Your Mother is always with you,

She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.

She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and
perfume that she wore.

She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well.

She’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day.

She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a

Your Mother lives inside your laughter,
She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s
the map you follow with every step you take.

She’s your first love; your first friend, even your first enemy, but
nothing on earth can separate you.

Not time, not space…not even death.


Being a mother is a privilege, an honor and a part of my life that I will always cherish.

And I love to photograph those who are embarking on that journey soon!

Mitul and Nisha came all the way to LA from San Francisco for their maternity session and a baby moon. It was the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s day that brought them together, but it is their love for one another that makes this baby incredibly blessed to have two amazing parents!







Reading a book about San Francisco in SoCal:)






If it were up to me, I would have had you a long time ago. But I had to learn a lesson before receiving my gift.

A lesson in patience. It was a tough one for me to learn, but now as I look at your sweet face, I know that this moment is our moment.

The nights leading up to your arrival were filled with anticipation. I wanted you to be here already. I wanted to see your face, to hold you and tell you that I loved you. But I had to be patient.

When the doctor pulled you out, I heard the sweetest cries I had ever heard. And when we saw you, we knew that we had picked the right name for you….Sahana, meaning patience.

It is patience that will get you through this journey called life.

In the good times, have the patience to stop and savor all the little things. Ultimately, you will realize that they were big things.

Have the patience to sit down and be grateful at the end of every day. It is because of this, that you will stay away from self pity or doubt.

When life gets tough as it sometimes will, have the patience to endure…all the while having faith that there is a light at the end of every tunnel.

You see patience is a precious and rare virtue. It makes us slow down and enjoy the small things and it helps us to keep our faith through the difficult times.

During your moments of joy and times of tribulation, I want you to remember the name you have been given.

It has been one of the greatest lessons of my life.

And because of this lesson dear Sahana, you have been my greatest gift.


Sahana’s first arrival into the world..

Taken with instagram

Taken with instagram

In the hospital

Taken with instagram

Taken with instagram

The day Sahana went home from the hospital. Besos from the princess!


Rupee adjusted very well to Sahana! This is him comforting her while she feeds. Don’t give up on your pets when you bring a baby home. Help them to adjust and soon they will be your child’s most loyal companion:)

Taken with instagram

Taken with instagram

With grandpa…















With grandma…






December 29, 2013 - 2:40 am

Jaya - Hari OM, God bless u all . Lovely blog and most endearing fotos. Heartiest congratulations from us all. love u Jaya p.s. Poonam i like surprises. let them keep coming

December 29, 2013 - 8:11 am

Anonymous - Lovely & Charming Photos.May God Bless this ‘Nunhi Parri’ with long & healthy life. Congratulations to all of you. Surinder & Veena

December 29, 2013 - 8:41 am

Pratibha& Anand Gupta - Beautiful words & beautiful pictures!

Thanks for sharing.

Congratulations & Best wishes to the whole family!

Happy New Year.

Anand ,Pratibha,Prateek & Anjali:):):)

December 29, 2013 - 8:46 am

Smita - Thank you so much! :)

December 29, 2013 - 8:46 am

Smita - Thank you!

December 29, 2013 - 8:46 am

Smita - Thank you!

December 29, 2013 - 9:35 am

Madhu - Beautiful ! Beautiful ! Beautiful !

3 beautifuls for 3 reasons —

1. A beautiful massage from a mother to her daughter !

2. A very beautiful family !

3. Beautiful pictures !

Smita & Gill, congratulations and enjoy this little angle !

Love– Madhu & naresh

December 29, 2013 - 6:16 pm

Anonymous - Absolutely a beautiful baby. Smita & Gill, Congratulations to you both on the arrival of newest family member.

Love and Blessing from all of us in the Arora family.

January 3, 2014 - 2:38 pm

Safina - OMG- what a beautiful message from a mother to her daughter- amazing! Sahana was well worth the wait! I am SO happy for you all and so blessed to be Sahana’s Auntie! I will always be there for her! Love you all! XOXO

January 8, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Smita - Thanks Safina! I can’t wait for Sahana to meet her auntie! XOXO

January 8, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Smita - Thank you so much!

January 8, 2014 - 2:33 pm

Smita - Thank you!

Loved Before You Were Born

If there is one thing that I want you to know through all the trials and tribulations of your life, it is that you are so incredibly loved.

More than a year ago, before I was pregnant with you, I saw the most beautiful dress for a little girl. I did not know that I would have a girl, much less even know that I would get pregnant. But I wanted you so much. So I decided to ask the universe for you. I bought the dress.

This dress sat in my closet for months. Sometimes I would take it out and daydream about you playing in it with your friends, or you and me attending a beautiful garden party. After two minutes, I would make myself stop and put the dress back in my closet where it belonged.

One month ago, I moved your dress from my closet to yours, where it will eagerly await for your arrival.

This made me think of a quote by Paulo Coelho…”And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

When you want something and you are sincere in your heart and your efforts…all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.

Taken with instagram

Taken with instagram

As your entrance into this world quickly approaches, we spent a weekend at a beautiful house in Malibu celebrating your upcoming arrival. We gathered those who had been a part of your entire journey inside the womb. Those who made sure all your milestones were met…who supported me as I carried you.

You will learn in life baby girl, that no person is an island.

We are all here because someone helped us along the way. They carried us through the difficult times and celebrated the happy moments.

All of these wonderful people whispered messages to you in my ear. Your father said that he knows you will be a change in this world…after all, you have already changed our family.

There, above the clouds, next to the ocean, we whispered blessings to you. We laughed. We danced. We celebrated our joy that is you.

You will see that the greatest gift you can give to someone is your love and the greatest gift you can receive is to be loved.

If there is one thing I want you to know in this life and all the lifetimes to come…is that you are so incredibly loved.

You were loved before you were born.



Your grandparents…






Thank you to my wonderful friend/sister Pooja for being my photographer in training and taking some of these pictures!

And thank you to Megan Malhotra, Safina Kureshi and Meena Kumar for doing so much planning!



Aunt and Uncle brought so much for you!










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December 6, 2013 - 10:04 pm

Shamim - What colorful and happy pictures!! You look blissfully gorgeous! Congratulations again on your bundle of joy in the waiting! Take care.

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