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, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving Dinner, Penn Station, Self Love and Self Care


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had planned to go into Manhattan to see family who were visiting from Texas. The weather decided to turn on the 'Monsoon' station and put a wrench in those plans. It was dark, cold, windy and raining cats and dogs. Meeting up with my brother-in-law and his wife, despite both being favorites of mine, suddenly lost its excitement . Walking long city blocks in that weather after a work day and a train and subway ride to get there did not appeal to me. However, some creative thinking solved the problem. We decided to meet up at Penn Station. This way, we could all travel underground and no one would have to brave the elements, so we could still catch up and visit as we had wanted to.

If you have ever been in Penn Station you know that it is one of the world's best place to people watch. As we sat at one of the many restaurants that make up this underground world, I noticed that almost everyone (if not everyone) that was by them self was on their cell phone or some another device. Heads down, intent on texting, reacting to scrolls of pictures popping up on their screens, playing a game or listening to music. Daily commuting is draining, boring and unpredictable with schedule changes and train issues that pop up so I understand the want to escape from the craziness that can set in.

But what was really disturbing to me that evening was observing what unfolded at the table next to us.

A young couple sat across from each other after greeting each other with a quick kiss. They both looked like they were possibly in their mid to late 20's. She had a sparkling diamond ring on her engagement finger that suggested that they were engaged to each other. They both had a rolling suitcase with them so maybe they were on their way out of town. They sat there for a period of about half an hour eating pizza and sipping on a soda.

During this entire time they were on their phones. They only occasional communication they had with each other was when they stopped to share an Instagram photo with the other and maybe say a few words at that time. I watched them as they both lifted their pizza slices to their mouths without even looking at their food. Their eyes remained glued to their screens. They mindlessly chewed and then sipped their drinks through their straws, again without detaching from their engagement with their devices. When I looked carefully at them, they looked stressed, were overweight, and had the appearance of being overwhelmed.

Now you could make a strong argument of me not knowing what is going on in their lives and jumping to conclusions about them being in a place that is less than optimal living. And you would be absolutely right. You could tell me that it is none of my business to judge them. And again, you would be right. You may even suggest that I should have been engrossed enough in my own company to not have time to make to these observations. And once again, you may be right.

The fact, though, is that we as a society have adopted behaviors and habits that are detrimental to our mental health and well being. We are wired for connection, so every time we neglect to nurture that need, we suffer. We get disconnected with those we love and need to feel connected to in order to live vitally and vibrantly.

And worst of all, we get disconnected from our self. That causes us to feel depressed and despondent. It may just start out as sadness and feeling 'blue'.

But it is a hole that is endlessly deep and dangerous.

So I am choosing to speak out about the harm of behaviors that are now embedded in our ways of life. Not from a place of judgement but a place of grave concern and with the hope that it will spark an honest conversation.

The unconscious habit of grabbing our devices and feeling like we are 'connected' to our Facebook "friends" or are part of a celebrity's life is deceptive and an escape from the realities of our own lives.

How is it that the person right in front of us does not get our attention and presence but a fantasy friend does? How does broadcasting a 'connecting moment' happening in real life on one's social media, in real time help us to connect to the emotion of that moment?

It doesn't...

And we are seeing the ravages of this disconnect all around us. The anxiety, depression and uncertainty felt by millions is no longer a secret.

We cannot ignore it any longer.

We publicly make  a big fuss of Thanksgiving Day being an occasion for us to get together with those whom we love and to be thankful for all our blessings. I wonder if the scene at that table in Penn Station was a theme that repeated itself in any shape or form in homes across the country yesterday, even on the smallest of scales.

I hope not.

Thanksgiving is a beautiful day when friends, family, food and traditions come together to create lasting memories of love and connection in our brains. It is such occasions that create a history of positive emotions and memories in our brains that help us build the resilience that is critical for us to survive harsh events and challenges in our life.

So I hope your device was tucked away yesterday - somewhere you were not responding to every notification, but you could periodically check it, on your terms, for loving messages of those that could not join you but wanted to reach out and let you know that they were thinking of you, and are grateful that you are a part of their life. That way you could be present for them while not neglecting your guests and being distracted all day. It would be a win-win situation.

I hope your day was spent cooking, laughing, eating, watching the Macy's Day Parade and the countless (or so it seemed to me...) football games on TV, going for a walk with someone you enjoy, napping on the couch after feeling a food coma come upon you, visiting the never ending dessert table or indulging in any other family traditions of the day.

Most of all, I hope you truly connected with your company by being present.

We are blessed if we did.

Because our families, in whichever way you choose to define "family'" are our true wealth. They have the power to make us feel loved, safe and valuable. And that results in us feeling strong. And that helps build resilience in us. And that adds infinitely and consistently to our health, happiness and well being.

So you see, loving others IS an act of Self Love Self Care First.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,
Be well Do well Live well,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst  #jointhemovement



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