Self Love. Self Care. Inspiration

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.

I am energy. I am infinity. But I am also a poet, author, artist. wife, mother, sleep doctor, and attachment and complex childhood trauma survivor. I healed only when I understood I was broken, not a victim. I learnt that everything I needed was within me. And that my inner life was the essence and driving force of my existence.

Where did Self Love Self Care First® come from?

I needed to find meaning in my suffering so I kept thinking, “What truth did I come out of this journey with? How can I share what I know in forms other than what I receive through my poetry? What is the most foundational and fundamental truth about human existence that I discovered to be true in my suffering? That is where SLSCF® comes from.

I discovered that if we do not know our truth, we cannot love ourselves. The pain and suffering of our lives, the false external messages about life, success and achievement that we receive, and the projections and imposed expectations of others we are subjected to, mangle our truth, distract us from our destined path, and cut deep into our body, mind, and soul. They cause us to not pay attention to ourselves, and to how we live our lives. These feelings and beliefs descend into our unconscious and become habitual patterns that hijack our lives.

SelfLoveSelfCareFirst® is the journey of truthful self-examination and acceptance of our truth. Only when we are ready to find value, love, and compassion for our true selves do we begin to live free.

This blog is a celebration of love, stillness, growth, joy, discovery, and the truth. The conversation is honest, the topics are varied, the perspectives are from many angles, but the common thread weaving the discussions together is Self Love Self Care First®.

You are not moving towards any light. There is no light out there. It is inside you. You must move inwards- not outwards to look for it. No one can guide you there. Only you can give yourself the permission to embark on this journey. Only you can reclaim yourself.

Your freedom is in your hands.


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Silently Suffering Men- Are you One of Them?


It's Sunita here.

There are many studies that convincingly demonstrate that the impact of ACEs (childhood trauma) has definite gender differences but my blog is not about statistics or studies. 

It's about what I know and me sharing that with you. 

It is about what I have discovered through the filter of who I have become, as I continue to learn from my lived experiences of attachment trauma, ACEs, struggle, treatment, healing and my commitment to stay on the road to recovery. 

I ask,

  • Are men silently suffering from the impact of childhood trauma/trauma on them?
  • Is the societal expectation for them to be strong and successful in emotionally damaging ways taking its toll?
  • Are we allowing men to be vulnerable enough to ask for help?


I don't think so.

I say this based on the many conversations I have had with men over the past few years.
We have a considerable amount of work to do before there is an culture shift that encourages men to let their guard down and admit they are at the brink of a break down.

Men and women often manifest the impact of their trauma in different ways that are gender expectation based as well as manifestations of actual gender differences. ACEs (by age 5) are related to psychological distress differently for boys and girls, with ACEs being related to both internalized and externalized psychological distress for boys, while ACEs were mainly related to externalized distress for girls.

Childhood trauma has been linked to higher rates of addiction and incarceration in both men and women. 

But according to Addiction Center, men typically are more likely to abuse illicit drugs and alcohol – 11.5% of boys and men over 12 have a substance use disorder, compared to 6.4% of women and girls. However, women are more likely to go to the emergency room or fatally overdose due to substance abuse. 

Also, according to the most recent numbers published by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), 93.2 percent of the approximately 185,500 federal inmates are men, and only 6.8 percent are women. 

Men may also over achieve, over exercise, and even over earn to fit into the masculine image they feel is asked of them by society. They may adopt self sabotage and self punishing behaviors that have high social validation. This creates a loop of desperation and imprisonment, all in the effort to distance themselves from their emotional pain and suffering.

Males who have a history of ACEs commonly shy away from being in intimate relationships and seeking attachment with others, find exaggerated self worth in their accomplishments, and may be addicted to activities that are sanctioned by society like overworking. High rates of completed death by suicide is merely the tip of the emptiness iceberg of men's long standing and silent suffering.
In November 2019, in the blog 'We Must Give Men and Boys a License to be Emotional Because it's a Matter of Life or Death' I wrote,

"Our culture does not allow boys the opportunity of deeply engaging in openly emotional relationships with each other. There is a strong stereotype of boys being less emotional than girls. That is not true. It is almost impossible for young boys to express tenderness and vulnerability with each other without being labelled gay, girly or weak. This cultural taboo has resulted in a social isolation in boys that persists throughout their life as an edict of what it takes to be a man." 

The consequences of disallowing or discouraging openly emotional relationships between boys are serious and oftentimes deadly.

In a recent article, Most young men are single. Most young women are notPulitzer Prize–winning writer and journalist Daniel de Visé  shares an alarming statistic. 

"More than 60 percent of young men are single, nearly twice the rate of unattached young women, signaling a larger breakdown in the social, romantic and sexual life of the American male."

When we consider how important good relationships are to having a happy, healthy and meaningful life, this does not bode well for men.

Are we allowing men to be vulnerable enough to ask for help?

We can start by asking that question to the men we love. 

Even better, we can teach our sons, nephews, brothers and friends early on in life that being vulnerable is an act of courage, not cowardice. And we can help make our society be more empathetic and compassionate by encouraging and facilitating them to freely Acknowledge and Accept our Yearning for Love.

Every one wins when we are all free to seek love and a rich emotional life of openness with our friends and family.

If you are not feeling well, I urge you to ask for help.

Help is Available. 
Speak with someone today.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours.
Languages: English, Spanish
Learn More 988

Take great care of yourselves!
Moving forwards,
Until next time,

#TWBH #the way back home #men's health #trauma #depression #men's health #mental health #help me #SLSCF #self love self care first #you are worth it #addiction #addiction recovery #ISTDP #davanloo #dynamic therapy #recovery

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

There is Only One Way Back Home


It's Sunita here.

There is only one way back home.

On Valentine's Day and every other day.

Moving forwards,

Until next time,


#Love #TWBH #the way back home #SLSCF #thrive #heal #mental health #wellness #life

Sunday, February 5, 2023

What Harsh Conditions Gift Us

February Snow Moon- Photo courtesy TJC


It's Sunita here.

It often takes harsh conditions for us to wake up and see our reality.

Only when cover ups are removed do the deceptions reveal themselves.

A February Snow Moon does just that.


Blunt force.
Sharp edges.
Fallen leaves.
Frozen streams.
Silent nights.
Cold air.

Wake up.

Waking up.

To the truth.

However painful it may be- it is not as painful as living a lie.

The toll of denying our reality haunts us in ways we cannot even count or know. All we know is that it doesn’t feel right.

Of course, walking towards our truth means we must take faith in one hand and risk in the other while we tread on a frozen lake, praying for the ice to hold our weight while we make our way to shore.

A February Snow Moon guides me to the other end.

Take a chance- it might guide you too!

Moving forwards,

Until next time,


#TWBH #SLSCF #snowy nights #self discovery #beauty #risk #chance #courage

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Are You Hard on Yourself When You Struggle or Fail? Then This One's for You!


It's Sunita here.

Are you one of those people who have little patience for themselves when they fail at something?

You are not alone. 

In our culture of 'good vibes only' we are led to believe that if we work hard enough we will succeed. Our societal focus on success being a manifestation and sum result of our efforts is not only wrong, but harmful for us. It leads to disillusionment and self doubt when we fail.

Instead of seeing failure as the path to success and a source of motivation to learn from, we view it as a personal defect. It is a hard blow to our sense of self worth. There are many institutions, systems, and individuals out there who will amplify our failures to such an extent that we start to believe we are doomed for a sad life way out there on the fringes of civilization.

Nothing is further than the truth.

I learnt this truth the hard way. Now I am driven to share it with you with the hopes that you will not suffer as much as I did to understand how the universe works.

Things may seem impossible to you at this moment.

But they will not remain this way. To win it, you must be in it. Just stay in the game of life.

Know that any challenges you are facing, desperate and full of despair as you may feel right now, are temporary.

I am a firm believer of asking for help when things get rough. Get professional help. Don't be shy or embarrassed to seek assistance. None of us have all the answers or ability to see the 360 of our lives.

Above all, never give up your sense of self worth to anyone. Be kind and compassionate to yourself when you struggle. Life is hard. It's a grind. But that's not new.

The unrealistic portrayal of life these days of being a breezy meadow of flow and blooming flowers is a big fat lie that misleads us to view our challenges as unfair, unacceptable and cruel. That is just not true. It's just life being life. So, be kind to yourself when you hit a hurdle and then kick some ass. You will succeed.


Give yourself a big hug, rest, (always) get some great sleep, a good cry, a rant on your best friend's shoulder, a short pity party, a run in the woods, a boxing class- or whatever else it will take to get you up again.

Moving forwards,

Until next time,


#TWBH #the way back home #SLSCF #self love self care first #self belief #self love #self care #self compassion #life #get up #do the work #life is tough #it's okay #you got this

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

A New Year SLSCF Practice That Stretches Time and Facilitates Self Renewal


It's Sunita Here.

Happy New Year!

Self renewal is an essential SLSCF practice.

But instead of making new year resolutions and adding on new routines and roles I have found simplifying things in my life allows me to function in ways that are more powerful, productive and effective.

Cleaning out my work sanctuary, minimizing and streamlining my practices and systems, organizing my work space to have everything I need in a specific spot, and having every resource I need to work efficiently, joyfully, productively while surrounded by beauty is my priority right now.

I find tasks that aid me in my simplification process to be devotional in nature. They calm my mind and body. They boost my confidence and sense of optimism. They reduce my doubts and confusion.

The practice of SLSCF provides a path to self renewal.

Organizing our physical environment in ways that encourages and supports our growth is a way to get there.

Simplicity allows us to keep our focus and attention on all the right things. Decluttering stretches time for us. It also gives us the clarity to make decisions about what we want to do with our time. That will be the key to what we experience, create and achieve in 2023.

I'm excited to carry on my work with the Anthology, The Way Back Home, of my poetry and continue conceptualization of the practice of SLSCF into 2023. Even more importantly, I look forward to continue to invest in my relationships with those who see me, support me and love me for who I am. I am equally excited to forge new relationships with friends I have not yet met. 

The universe is open to us but we must be open to it's rich opportunities and beauty. Simplifying our life reveals hidden doors that we may never notice if we are bogged down in clutter, dead end relationships and inefficient systems. So, purge, organize and clean away. Your best self awaits you!

Until next time,
Moving forwards,

Saturday, December 10, 2022

John W. Gardner and The Flight of The Accomplished Fugitive


It's Sunita here.

Whenever I encounter someone new who excites me, I feel a bittersweet pang.

On one hand there is the thrill of experiencing resonance, validation, or a brand new discovery in their work. (I hope that feeling never goes away for me.) But on the other hand, there is a profound sadness that comes with realizing I spent so many years not learning from their work.

John W. Gardner is one such person. 

How I came about his book, 'Self Renewal- The Individual and The Innovative Society' is a story for another time, but for now, I would like to introduce you to him by sharing the following passage from his book with you.

 "We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so many diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve ourselves with so many people and cover so much ground that we never have time to probe the fearful and wonderful world within. More often than not we don't want to live with ourselves. By middle life most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves."

This book is a wise companion for anyone who is on a journey of self discovery, self renewal, and self actualization.

Keep questioning.

Keep thinking.

Keep figuring out your inner world.

Relate what you learn about, and from your inner world to your outer world and your relationships.

Know that your relationships are your outer and inner world.

Making sense of the chaos we live in, internally and externally, and being in a position to be able to create some meaning, and something meaningful in our lives in my experience does not happen any other way.


The  place we must go to to do all this figuring out.

Are you an accomplished fugitive from yourself? 

If so, then you have some housekeeping to do before you get to solitude.

Until next time,
Moving forwards,

#TWBH #SLSCF #selfloveselfcarefirst #self renewal #John W Gardner #George Herbert #Poet #writer #Thinker #Stanford University #Mentorship #Mentors #Psychology #Self Actualization #Progress #Solitude #Inner World

Friday, November 18, 2022

Suffered a Loss Lately? Practicing SLSCF can Help You Regain Your Confidence


It's Sunita here.

Have you had a loss or failure recently?

None of us enjoy the pain of loss, defeat, rejection, or failure. Nor should we aim to.

But we can learn to reframe what they mean to us by appreciating the opportunities they bring.

SLSCF (Self Love Self Care First) is a practice that helps us do just that.

So, if we are hurting from a loss, we should know that is perfectly natural. But, there is a golden opportunity for us in that pain.

SLSCF brings us to a space that is compassionate to us while we breakdown a situation that did not turn out the way we had hoped for. 

It is not a weak stance, but a wise one.

Until next time,

Moving forwards,


#SLSCF #selfloveselfcarefirst #self compassion #self love #self care #growth #insights #reframing #resilience #learning #growing #practice #do the work #reflection #equanimity #opportunity #loving kindness #patience #humility #wisdom