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.

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 Sunday.

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

Sunday, May 24, 2020

BID for a KISS When Feeling Overwhelmed, Stuck or Slow in this Pandemic- It Works!


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

As we move into having months, not weeks of living in the time of a pandemic under our belt, we can look back and start to see how it is affecting us.

I have found myself discover a new focus and clarity that was something I had always wished for, and was worked diligently towards. The current crisis seems to have put all my past efforts in a basket, and zapped them into a magic crystal. I carry that crystal of my stripped persona everywhere these days. It allows me to direct my attention and energies to what is most important to me. And it energizes me.

We will need such clarity to survive this serious threat to our lives, and our world. I believe it is not only possible to survive this time, but rise above the challenge of the pandemic, and thrive. And I intend to do my best to transform.

But I have found something that I never really experienced before in the way that I do these days.

I can be going about tacking complex and difficult problems, creatively making plans, and energetically executing them in order to move past the barriers that COVID 19 has strewn in my life. Things will be going swimmingly well. I feel alert and capable. But after a few hours of doing such productive work, I suddenly fall flat. It's like I am a balloon that just lost all its air.

I can't think. I sometimes can't even move. Forget about continuing to be in the zone. I feel depleted. I am overwhelmed. And I feel stuck.

It's as if I have become another person...

It took me a while, but I've found a way to move past this pandemic induced state. I share it here with you with the hope that it will be helpful to you too in such moments.



When I feel stuck, overwhelmed, slow or stressed, I now STOP.

I remember that I must be my own first responder.

I then go back to the basics of conscious breathing.
( I find Thay's guide "How Do I Love Myself?" a very helpful practice for this)

Once I feel deeply connected to my body and my mind, I BID for a KISS.

BID stands for Break It Down.
KISS stands for Keep It Super Simple.

I essentially break down what I am doing into small, bite size chunks. And I simplify my tasks. I reorganize my thoughts to accommodate this shift and resume my day.

And if I'm lucky enough to see my husband close by, I bid for his kiss as well. It always makes me feel better!

Be patient and kind with yourself. We are all facing enormous challenges, both physically and mentally. We are coping with the pressures of uncertainty and having to come up with new ways to live and work. That is daunting and is requiring a tremendous amount of energy. No wonder we feel stuck and overwhelmed. It's natural to feel that way under such circumstances. But there are ways to get unglued from that inertia. I hope you will consider a BID for a KISS at such times. It really works!

With my best to you for an unglued week,
Love,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst #stuck #breakitdown #keepitsupersimple #covid19tips #selfcare #selflove #gustavklimt #thekiss #vienna #austria


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Softness. Flexibility. Adaptability. Fluidity- A Prophetic Ask of Mine at The Start of 2020- Who Knew How Much We Would Need Them Today



Hello,
It's Sunita here.

When I wrote my first blog of the year on January 5th, 2020 I asked the universe to grace me with the state of being fluid so I could be more present in my life.

Little did I know how much flexibility would be needed just to survive in the new, scary and uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything has changed since I wrote that article just a few months ago..

We are now slowly grasping the reality of our new world, and what it will take to emerge physically, and mentally in good health from this dark time. A combination therapy like necessary approach of social distancing, screening for symptoms of COVID-19, wearing masks and frequent hand washing has us reeling.

Within weeks, how we work, play and live has undergone severe, and previously unimaginable changes. The new patterns are extremely restrictive, and socially isolating. Financial worries, additional responsibilities at home, and forced separation from our loved ones have added to the stress of the possibility of catching the virus, and getting sick. Even worse, we understand the ease with which we could unknowingly infect those whom we dearly love.

So how can one not only survive this turbulence, but thrive?

The answer lies in my wishes at the start of 2020. Looking back, they seem incredibly prophetic and critically essential for the times we face today. I firmly believe, they hold the key to helping us rise above the tyranny and heartlessness of COVID-19.

So I share them with you again, in the hopes, that they will spark in you a resilience that is marked by softness, flexibility, adaptability and fluidity.

There is hope and life beyond this virus. I intend to fight to be there to embrace it.

I hope you will too!
Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Well,
Love,
Sunita



Happy New Year to you and yours!

I have started the year on a note of great optimism and excitement. Like many of you, I relish this opportunity to re-imagine and reset my life. In my home and my work place, the last few weeks have been all about cleaning, organizing, discarding the unnecessary and simplifying my environment so I can focus on what is important to me in a more efficient way. This cleansing also helps me be more joyful as it is designed to facilitate my Heart Bliss's.

But when I think deeply about the coming year and the years still to come, I am left with a prayer for only one thing. And it has nothing to do with my passions, my purpose, my goals or even my intentions. But it is the source of what I now know is the key to Being. Without it, I am not present. Nor am I truly living.


Softness. Flexibility. Adaptability. Fluidity. 

I believe that we receive what we are searching for, when we seek it with all our heart and soul. In life, a Master appears when we are ready for the lesson. This poem is such a master.

HARDNESS

Living people
are soft and tender.
Corpses are hard and stiff.
The ten thousand things,
the living grass, the trees,
are soft, pliant.
Dead, they're dry and brittle.

So hardness and stiffness
go with death;
tenderness, softness,
go with life.

And the hard sword fails,
the stiff tree's felled.
The hard and great go under.
The soft and weak stay up.

These words from the Tao Te Ching are thought to be over 2500 years old. They are believed to be written by a man named Lao Tzu who may have been a contemporary of Confucius. This poem is from Ursula Le Guin's version of the Tao Te Ching and speaks to my searching soul. 

In a world of millions of choices and options, it soothes me and guides me to Just Be. I start to flow like a quiet brook in a leafy forest when I read it. It moves me to a place where I am able to sit still and wait for what the Universe has for me. And most importantly, it reminds me that I will be stronger if I go with what is given to me instead of fighting it. With this wisdom, I surrender. In this surrender, I find my strengthdiscover joy and achieve my goals.

I hope you do too.

With my very best wishes to you for 2020,
With my love,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst#poetry#taoteching#laotzu#ursulaleguin#wisdom#2020#happynewyear#softness #flexibility #adaptability #fluidity #resilience


Sunday, May 10, 2020

How Mother's Day in the Midst of a Pandemic is An Opportunity to Give Our Children Something Timeless and Invaluable


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

Happy Mother's Day!

Today's post is dedicated to our world's Front Line Mothers who are a shining example, on a daily basis, of how to live courageously, and selflessly serve humanity.Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

COVID-19 has changed our world but my advice to my daughters since I originally posted this blog on May 10, 2019 remains the same. 

There are however a few thoughts I felt the need to highlight for them this year in this re-post of that article.

If I choose to live with courage, it will take me through good times and bad.

COVID-19 had definitely challenged me but I am brave, resourceful and resilient. And that is how I am moving forward. 

With hope! 

I also feel it is very important for them to know that at times I am scared and sad. And, that is OK. 

Many times, I don't have answers when I get up. I accept that painful feeling and then, process the fear and paralysis that this uncertainty brings me by working through the problems that present themselves. I usually have a better idea of what to do by the end of the day. Or a little later.

May 10, 2019

I am grateful each and every day to have been chosen to be my daughters, Nina and Simrin's mother.

I believe my biggest job as their mother is to live my life in a manner that inspires them to be the best human beings possible.

It is my hope

- that my courage to be honest and open about my struggles will free them to live lives that are authentic and true to who they are, not to the unrealistic expectations of others.

- that my fight to overcome childhood trauma will encourage them to disallow  challenges to bully them into making a choice of leading a 'small life'.

- that my decision to publish Stripping : My Fight to Find Me , a collection of poems that journals my pain and suffering due to trauma, demonstrates to them how being open to being vulnerable led me to being  brave.

It is my deepest wish

- that their existence be not only free of suffering, but one of joy.

- to see them live lives of curiosity, their choice and in alignment with their truth

- that they not only live happy lives, but more importantly, of meaning and purpose.

- that they make a difference in this world.

The commitment that I have made to being compassionate and kind to myself,  Self Love Self Care First , is the legacy that I want to leave for them. 

Above all, I want them to experience and cherish the greatest gift of life- Love!
Because what else is there to talk about?

Wishing you all a very blessed Mother's Day!
May you be safe and healthy,
With my love,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst #resilience #pandemic #covid19 #resourcefulness #joy #vulnerability #trauma #healing #mother #daughters #courage #bravery #honesty #love #frontline #gratitude

Sunday, May 3, 2020

5 Things you Can Do to Feel Better Today


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

We are a bag of varied, and complex emotions these days. We all may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to a different degree, and in different ways, but it is impossible to remain unaffected by it's presence in our lives.

The order to 'stay home' to help limit the spread of the virus has come with a heavy price tag. But it has also brought us a rare opportunity to slow down.

Every day, the hours can be filled by continuously visiting various social media sites, and being glued to the 24/7 news about everything corona. There is no lack of opinions, forecasts and projections of what lies ahead.

"Staying informed" this way actually makes us feel helpless, sad and worried. It makes us feel like we have no control over anything that is unfolding. That is true to a large extent, but it neglects to highlight what is in our hands.

Here are 5 things you can do today to feel better.
  1. Stay away from social media and opinion makers. Filling your mind with what others are doing and saying is like giving away your prime real estate to others for free. News is designed to engage and enrage you. Keep your mind calm and relaxed for you to use as you work to figure out what your future could look like, and plan what you need to do to make things happen once the 'stay home' order is lifted. 
  2. Make a list of the 5-10 people who would miss you the most, and would be impacted the most severely if you were to die of COVID-19. Focus your efforts and energies on them. It will help you to have direction and control over your intentions and actions, as opposed to being stuck in a helpless OMG! What can I do mode?
  3. Clean out a closet or a cupboard. Throw away, or give away stuff that you have not used in the past 24 months. Critically evaluate what you really need and simplify that area of your home.
  4. Make a list of 3 things/people you are truly grateful for. Spend some time mindfully thinking about them. Let your body feel your gratitude. 
  5. Make a list of 3 things you have done to help others during this pandemic. Give yourself some credit. Pat yourself humbly on the back. Feel good about yourself. Hold on to that feeling and remind yourself that you can feel this way every time you are helpful in the future. Too often we minimize our kindness to others and negatively compare our efforts to those who may be in a better position than us to help.
Just imagine how happy, in control and empowered you will feel if you repeat these 5 things regularly during the "Stay Home" period. And, if you choose to continue this practice after that order is lifted as well...

Wishing you a week of simplicity, productivity, happiness and gratitude!
Stay safe, stay well,
Love,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst#COVID-19#feelbetter#simplicity#gratitude#happiness#wellness

Sunday, April 26, 2020

In the New World of COVID-19 We are Seeking This with a Desperate Sense of Urgency


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

There has been no let up of the tragic loss of life and devastation that COVID-19 has brought us. What's even more troubling is that we still do not have a clear picture of what life is going to look like in 1, 3, 6, 12 or more months from now. This uncertainty makes for dark times.

Dr. Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh in a recent article in The Guardian writes, "... there are huge gaps in what we know about this virus, including about immunity, about the possibility and timeline for a vaccine or antiviral therapy, about who exactly is vulnerable, and about long-term health implications. In this uncertainty, countries that are actively working to contain this virus and keep numbers as low as possible are buying time to build a more informed policy response while also protecting their economies and societies. Others, by letting the virus spread slowly through their populations (only flattening the curve instead of completely stopping the spread), are just gambling with people’s lives, and will be caught in cycles of lock down/release that will destroy the economy and cause social unrest, as well as increased Covid-19- and non-Covid-19-related deaths."

What can one take from all of this? Should we open up our businesses? Should we not? What is the best way to keep our families and ourselves safe? Will staying shut down and at home for another few months help, or not? How does that impact our economy? What about my job? Can we travel? How am I going to make it in the new economy that is unknown at this time? Will I need to retrain, switch jobs or even change professions? What about my mortgage/health insurance payments/car payment/utilities/kid's college tuition/school loan payment/etc., etc.? Can we afford that anymore?


There are infinite questions, but very few answers at this time. 
But there is certainty of one thing. 

There is a major change in our world, and our lives. 

We have been shaken to our core and now find ourselves totally displaced in our previously known scheme of things. Just like the roots of the uprooted tree laying transplanted in the water in the picture above...

We are responding in different ways to the fears that we all have in response to this sudden change and uncertainty. Despite our varying behaviors and responses, we are asking ourselves the same question.


What is my relevance in this unknown world? How will I fit in? 

It is terrifying to find ourselves on a make shift stage, in the middle of nowhere, without a script of any kind. Or a director. The performance we had rehearsed with a well known group of fellow actors, innumerable times, and together, presented with ease, delight and confidence is no longer on the playbill. On top of this confusion, incertitude and havoc, we are now joined on this stage by almost every other human being on this planet. That's about 7.5 billion people...

We are responding to this crisis in many ways. Usually we are having a mix of reactions and feelings at different times. They may come and go in waves. A few of them are being, and feeling
  • Worried
  • Helpful
  • Overwhelmed
  • Lonely
  • Contemplative
  • Reflective
  • Energized
  • Hopeless
  • Useful
  • Scared
  • Productive
  • Isolated 
  • Foggy
  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Helpless
  • Sad

There has been a burst of posts and articles on social media in this COVID-19 pandemic time. Many of them are not only useful and helpful, but down right necessary. Information about the virus, tracking it's effect, healthcare responses, related social issues, humor, inspiration and efforts to help those who need assistance are critically important in this unprecedented time. 




But we have also seen some amplified cries for attention in social media by people who may be reeling from the gravity of the question above. Their fear of now being irrelevant may be driving them to post things just to be noticed. In that, they may be finding some form of fabricated, self satisfying relevance.






There will be no short cut to finding relevance of any kind in the new order that is emerging from the chaos and destruction of this dark and difficult time. It will demand reflection, honesty and courage to see a new path going forward.


We must stop to pause, and go to the core of who we believe we are. Those beliefs about ourselves will be the driving force of the creation of our new reality. The word I want to stress here is New
It is a new beginning. It is a shift of our consciousness. It is a new era. I believe this time offers us a chance to rephrase the questions we are asking ourselves. (You can learn more about the process of rephrasing in this recent Blog of mine.) It is time to see the abundant and ubiquitous opportunities to transform and transcend in this time.


I leave you with this poem of mine from "Stripping : My Fight to Find Me"

DEBRIS

The storm
Has now passed.
But it’s fury,
Has taken its toll.

The debris,
Spreads for miles on end.

The beach
Lies in shocked silence.
Home now 
To the washed-up destruction.

The inky sky,
A witness,
To this ruination.
Grief stricken,
In its stillness

I plead with the dawn,
"Can you wait in the wings,
A little bit longer,
While I make peace
With this night?"

Call off,
Relief and assistance.
Clean up and rebuild
Can wait.

For now
Just let 
The fading darkness
Hold me.


For now just let the fading darkness hold you...
Be kind to yourself in this difficult time. 
But know that you have the capability to rise, and create a new relevance of yourself in the times to come.

With my love,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst#covid19#uncertainty#darkness#relevance#rephrasing#change#fear#transformation#transcendence#newbeginnings#reflection#introspection#devisridhar#TheGuardian