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, July 19, 2019

Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken and the Pioneers Need for Self Love and Self Care First


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

The year was 1916. The poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost was published in the collection Mountain Interval.



...
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Who cannot be moved by these words of the famous poet?  Like with any poem, its interpretation is personal. I understand these words to be a call to create a life that is of our choice and not common . These words inspire the reader to take a path that leads to an unknown destination. Implied in following that advice is a promise that it will be a journey worth taking. 

What did Frost mean by "And that made all the difference?" What is the 'difference' that he refers to?

I believe the path that he wrote about to be the journey that we say yes to when we follow our truth. It is lit by the brightness of our intuition and is guided by our inner voice. We become pioneers of our destiny.
pi·o·neer
/ˌpīəˈnir/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.
    synonyms:settlercolonistcolonizer, frontiersman/frontierswoman, explorertrailblazerdiscoverer
    "the pioneers of the Wild West"

The year is 2019. The blog Ahead of the Curve by Seth Godin gives you an idea of what a journey that most others have not yet taken looks like. He paints a picture of turbulence, uncertainty, challenges and danger.

Ahead of the Curve
When you’re traveling ahead of the curve, it’s silly to imagine that the road will be straight and flat. It’s actually more like a cliff. With bumps.
That’s all part of the deal. That’s why it’s not called the curve. You’re in the void, uncharted, ahead of what’s behind.
In fact, ahead of the curve, the weather is pretty lousy too. Often with catastrophic lightning storms.

So why would anyone in their right mind choose to be ahead of the curve, on a road less travelled ? Because, as Seth explains, "you get the thrill of finding a new path instead of merely following the old one."

There are countless examples in history of individuals who spent their lives honoring their truth in the life choices they made. Many a times they changed the course of history. Mahatma Gandhi made a stand and chose non violent civil disobedience over the raging fire, violence and mayhem of political and religious conflict that existed at the end of the British Colonial rule of India. It may seem like an easy choice today, but at that time, he was going against the grain of his countrymen and considered a traitor by many. But he wasn't deterred by what others thought of him and was steadfast in his message of non-violence in the pursuit of India's independence and to this day, is held as an inspiring example of moral leadership.

Gandhi took the road less travelled and was certainly ahead of the curve.

If you want to design your life around your truth, it will be worth it. But it will not be easy. Because 'worth it' does not equate to 'simple, safe and pain free.' So Self Love Self Care First becomes even more urgent and necessary when you are a pioneer of your life. 

Here are some fundamental SLSCF tips for you if you are a Pioneer.

  1. Pioneers are incredible human beings so treat yourself like precious cargo. 
  2. Pioneers have doubters so make sure you surround yourself with those who believe in you, cheer you on and support you.
  3. Pioneers confuse many with their ahead of the curve vision. These people respond to the discomfort of their inability to comprehend and see your vision by shooting it down and discrediting it. Let them. Don't stop to try to bring them along.
  4. Pioneers are often lonely because of the bigness of the nature of the task they have taken on. Make friends with yourself.
I leave you with good advice from Ellen, who I admire greatly, as an exception to the rule that Robert Frost alludes to.

"Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that."

Until next time,
With my best for you and your unique journey,
Love,
Sunita
#selfloveselfcarefirst#RobertFrost#poetry#theroadnottaken#sethgodin#mahatmagandhi#ellendegeneres#pioneer




Friday, July 12, 2019

Self Love is Not What You May Think it is - Let me Explain


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

I am often amazed at how indulgent the concept of Self Love seems to have become. The images and posts I see depicting Self Love are usually more about self gratification than what I have learnt about Self Love. 

We are living in an age of instant visual stimuli which elicits our immediate response. Many people dream of their 'bit' going viral to capture fame and notoriety. Hence, some outlandish and sometimes outrageous presentations of a concept or idea are easily found floating around the web. In this, there is an inherent risk of simplifying and diluting a complicated issue.

Self love is the biggest challenge we face as human beings. Thinkers, philosophers, poets, saints and mere mortals have been struggling with this for centuries. Its pursuit demands that we dig deep and look at the 360 of us as a dynamic human being. And observe ourselves as far as we can see. If we are unable to see ourselves fully, we must seek the help of those who can objectively and lovingly (as much as humanly possible) give us feedback about our blind spots.

It means that we must sit in stillness and reflect on all that we will never become. It signifies that we know that we will continuously and constantly fail as an individual and will have to get up and try again. It means that we have discovered the painful truths of our character. It indicates that we have grappled with the concept of our inherent limitations. And most of all, it requires us carefully sifting through what we carry that others have projected upon us. And reject it...

Self Love without these painful realizations and reckonings is not self love. It is a poorly drawn caricature of Self Love. It is a tepid rendering of something infinitely complex and deep.

Self Love is about loving ourselves in spite of our shortcomings as a human being. It's about finding compassion for our imperfect selves. It's about recognizing our shadow and acknowledging  it's presence and accepting it as a part of who we are.

Self Love is about accepting the reality of who we are, not who we wish we were. And then, loving that version of ourselves fully. 

Embracing our true selves is the most powerful staring point to become who we wish to be. Because it's a place of authenticity and truth. 

It is also a place from where we find compassion for others.

Helen Keller, one of the people I admire very much said, "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." I don't know what the context is that she said these words but I would have to say that such advice will not get you to a place of Self Love. 

Only facing and examining your shadow will get you there.

Once you have done that, you are welcomed into a world of Infinite Love. I know, because I have done it and now share this truth with you.

I also share my poem Permission, which is # 38 in the collection of poems in my book Stripping : My Fight to Find Me.



You can hear me recite it by clicking on this link PERMISSION and listening till 1:50 of the video.

Wishing you a week of discovery and Self Love,
As always,
With my love,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst#selflove#examine#unveil#shadows#accept




Wednesday, July 3, 2019

July 4th, Yellow Balloons, Sober Bars, Healthy Fun and Self Love

Hello,
It's Sunita here.

Let's get right into this Friday's Self Love Self Care First topic as we celebrate July 4th across the country. A holiday where there will be countless home and community barbecues to celebrate our Independence and this long weekend.

Sunny skies, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato salad... And a cold beer! This time of the year brings to mind the numerous memories we all have of such events. And also, of the alcohol that was served.

Unfortunately for many, it's not just 'a beer' or just 'one day'. Do you know the definition of a binge drinker? I did not until I read Jayne O'Donnell and Laura Ungar's article Fun without alcohol? Sober bars offer social connections without peer pressure to drink in USA Today this week.

Jayne was interviewed on CBS This Morning and along with Dr.Tara Narula, gave startling statistics on how alcohol is a socially permissive addiction. Not only does peer permissiveness prevail in encouraging alcohol consumption at social occasions, but it is challenging for those who wish to abstain to do so.CBS : This Morning- What's behind the trend of booze free bars.




What leads someone to binge drink to a point of health concerns, violence and aggression towards others, black outs and depression ? What causes alcoholism? Why would someone put their life in such disarray and harm? Not to mention them taking their family and loved one's down a path of misery, destruction and pain. This is a very complex question that science is now slowly revealing answers to include  one's environment and biology to be a part of the answer. Addiction ruins lives and is passed on to our next generations. So the tragedy doesn't just end with the person who is addicted to alcohol.

What about our culture? What role does it play in the promotion of alcohol as a harmless social lubricant? How many times do we hear comments like , "Let's have fun" with the invitation to have a drink- or drinks. The list of such casual comments that are a part of our everyday conversation is endless! Sadly and especially, among our youth.

Alcohol consumption is far from 'harmless social fun'. According to the CDC, last year there were 88,000 alcohol related deaths in the US compared to 70,000 deaths from deaths from all drugs, combined.
                                 
You can learn more about the facts about alcohol use by visiting this link Fact Sheets - Alcohol Use and Your Health

So what can one do to avoid alcohol. Or better still, find places where sobriety is supported and alcohol is not part of the fun equation? Looking for sober friends at a concert? Find the Deadheads with a yellow balloon gives you a snapshot view of a way that music festivals have started a trend of the 'yellow balloon'. The balloon signifies that this area is an alcohol free zone and supports those in recovery. Alcohol free 'Sober bars' and other events are now gaining popularity and growing in number. Many of them are run by people who have successfully navigated addiction and want to give back by helping others by offering them a choice of socializing in a alcohol free environment.

And it is not only those who have a problem with alcohol consumption who are flocking to these places. It's anyone who desires to have a healthy and good time while being fully in the conscious moment.

So this weekend, why not try tying a yellow balloon at your front door when entertaining and see how it feels!

Wishing you a week of safe fun!
Love,
Sunita
#selfloveselfcarefirst#yellowballoon#alcoholfree#jayneodonnell#usatoday#taranarula#cbsthismorning#gayleking#soberbars