My book of poetry, "Stripping- My fight to find Me" is a story of the triumph of the human spirit. It is a story of our deep need for connection and the infinite power of love to heal.

Hello,
It’s Sunita here.

I am a poet, an author, a wife, a mother, a clinician and a childhood trauma survivor. I healed when I understood that I was broken,
not a victim. I learnt that everything I needed was within me. And that my mental health and my inner life was the essence and driving force of my existence.

I now want to challenge and inspire you to move beyond your old stories so you can embrace possibility and fulfill your potential. So, if that is where you are in your life, I invite you to come visit with me every Friday.

The conversation is honest, the topics are varied, the perspectives are from many angles, but the bottom line is always
Self Love Self Care First. I hope you will join me in a journey of discovery, wonder, growth and a celebration of our truth.

And love

Because what else is there to talk about?

Be well, Do well, Live well,
Warmly,
Sunita

Friday, December 21, 2018

My #1 tip for you as I sign off and unplug in preparation for the new year

Love


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

Last night as I was finishing up with my last patient of the year, I felt all the fatigue and wear that I had stubbornly refused to acknowledge, as I kept a super busy schedule for the past several weeks. December is always a busy month at work and things are no different at home. School recitals, holiday entertaining, shopping, sending out Christmas cards (Sending out holiday cards- A source of stress for you or an act of Self Love? 11/30/2018 blog)  and the other many end of the year tasks clog the calendar and take up any free time that may normally be available to me.

As much as all of these commitments and activities are blessings, they take a toll on my body and mind. Rushing from one project to another taxes my patience. The multiple decisions that need to be made all day long makes me constantly feel charged. And that results in a crash.

In all of this, let me be honest about the increased amount of sugar intake I have in December. I can't even blame anyone else for that. I bake for the holidays and I eat what I bake. The sweets don't help in the way I feel physically.

I wouldn't change much of anything but I do know what I will be doing to recharge as I head into some time off before 2019 starts.

I will practice more self love self care first.
I will spend more time with myself and my family .
I will unplug from all social media.
I will write.
I will think about my year and it's blessings.
I will read.

I will love.

But most importantly, I will sleep more.

Sleep is the best investment we can make in our lives to be able to not only avoid disease but to also maximize and leverage all our natural abilities and talents.

So my #1 tip for you as you end the year and prepare for 2019 is to
focus on regulating your bedtime and awake time to be consistent. 

Even if you are on vacation, it is best to stick to this routine. There are many temptations that can take you away from that but try to stay true to this commitment the best you can. It will pay off many fold- physically, mentally and in your relational life. You can learn more by visiting
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/sleep/healthy_sleep.pdf

It has been an incredible year for me and I am excited to continue to share with you what I have learnt in my journey as a trauma survivor and to promote self love self care first. Thank you for tuning in and supporting my blog. Please subscribe to it if you enjoy it and share it with others that may as well.

Having intimately known incredible dark and lonely places, I celebrate every sunny day and moments of connection with myself and others. 

And I celebrate love!

I share my poem Nightfall from my book Stripping, My Fight to Find Me in closing this year.

NIGHTFALL

At the end of the day,
All I get to keep
Is
The love
I gave away

# 61 in the collection


Be well, Do well, Live well
Sunita

#selloveselfcarefirst  #jointhemovement






Friday, December 14, 2018

Our Presence is the best Present we have to offer


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

I was chatting with my patient Jazmyn as I was treating her this week. I asked her how her holiday preparations were going. She told me that she was stressed out because she still had to buy a gift for her sister, which was tough as she was in the middle of finals.

Now having known Jazmyn for a while , I have learnt how caring, thoughtful and creative she is. She is a ambitious college student who also works part time. She comes to her appointments with such positive energy that it's always a pleasure to take care of her.

I reassured Jazmyn that her sister would not want her to be worrying about buying a gift for her during her exams and that she would most likely be happiest spending time with her during the holidays.

I reminded her that our presence is the best and most valuable present that we have to offer anyone.

I can't deny that there was a time that I too stressed about buying gifts during the holiday's. It really took away the joy of the season. And it created a time burden that was impossible to remain calm under.

It was only after I received the gift of someone's entire presence that I truly understood how valuable it was. Fully focusing our attention on someone is saying to them- I have nothing else in this world right now that is more important than you. I want to hear what you have to say and I am thoroughly enjoying being in your company.

Being present with another person requires that we genuinely be interested in them and not allow distractions to interrupt us. It's the conversation, the activity, the shared experience that creates a memory that is imprinted on our mind and soul.

That memory is the gift! Both to us, and the other person.

Of course, it's practically impossible to be with all our friends and family members during the holidays. So for those that are far away, I try to be present with them when I buy a gift for them. The thought that goes into their gift is actually my gift to them. The item is just a token of that process.

Reassuring Jazmyn this week became an opportunity for me to remind myself of the value of our presence as a present. So thank you for our conversation Jazmyn. And thank you for giving me your permission to share this story. I hope you have a wonderful time at Christmas with your family.

Keeping things simple keeps the stress down at this hectic time of the year.
Keeping the focus on the most important things in life keeps the spirit of the holidays alive.
Keeping our awareness of our essence and sharing our presence with our loved ones helps us keep our connection with them.
And since we are wired for connection, that is an act of supreme self love and self care.

Wishing you many presents of presence this holiday season,
Be well Do well Live well,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst  #jointhemovement


Friday, December 7, 2018

Celebrating our Heart Bliss is not optional if we want to choose to live with joy

 Celebrating our Heart Bliss must be a Practice 
Hello,
It's Sunita here.

If you've read even a few poems from my book Stripping, My Fight to Find Me, you know how depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness can take over the reality of life.

Having had a long history of living with the darkness of trauma, I know that joy can become not only elusive, but absent.

Further more, anyone who has suffered from mental illness or is caring for a loved one who is mentally ill may feel extreme guilt when feelings of happiness and joy knock at their mind's doorstep. So they do not open the door and remain sequestered with despair and loneliness.

What is bliss?
Well, it's a noun that means perfect happiness ; great joy.
Some synonyms for bliss are joy; happiness; pleasure; delight; ecstasy; elation; rapture; euphoria
Bliss is also a verb; to reach a state of perfect happiness so as to be oblivious of everything else

What brings you to a state of bliss? That is a very important question because it can help you counteract the hold that depression may have on you in addition to increasing the joy in your life.

What lights up the pleasure zones of your brain and brings you to a state of ecstasy where everything else around you and inside you becomes irrelevant at that moment of time?

I am a firm believer of writing things down as they come to you. So I actually have a running Bliss List on my phone. This way I remember what made me feel happy. And then, I plan to reproduce that feeling of pleasure and joy by doing what's on my list.

The operative word here is plan!

Especially if I am feeling blue. So instead of staying put on the quicksand of anxiety, I refer to my Bliss List and pick something that appeals to me and is readily available at that moment. And this changes the direction of the tide flow of my mood.

It is a conscious decision that is made with emotional precision. Because I have practiced making this choice thousands of times, and continue to practice choosing joy. At times, it is neither easy nor convenient. Going back to deeply embedded patterns of helplessness is still, despite my healing, never an option that is unavailable to me but suffering from the pain of that world has become unacceptable to me.

(Here I would like to clearly state that for some, major depression and mental illness could make it very hard, if not impossible to make such choices for a while. At that time, medical attention from a caring, competent and qualified professional/medication or both may very well be indicated. Please seek that care for yourself or a loved one and don't go at it alone)

The picture above is the inspiration for today's blog.

I took it to attach it with a note of  thanks to a dear friend who had sent me these flowers and this beautiful card. When I looked at this photograph, I felt my heart expanding in a special way, which I recognized to be Heart Bliss. So I stopped to think about what caused me to feel that joy.

Well, the picture has 3 things from the Top 10 of my Heart Bliss List.

Books- I'm always reading at least 3-5 books and can't imagine a life without books
Flowers- I'm in love with every flower I've ever seen
Friendship card- I couldn't live without the deep connection I feel for those I love


So there it is!

I hope you will consider keeping a Bliss List tab.
I hope you will choose joy and hope over despair.
I hope you will remember the most important point of this blog.
That we must PRACTICE choosing bliss.

Every day, every hour and every moment...

Wishing you a blissful week,
Be well Do well Live well,
Sunita

#selloveselfcarefirst  #jointhemovement