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.
It’s Sunita here.
It’s Sunita here.
I am a poet, an author, a wife, a mother, a sleep doctor, 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 when I write. 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®.
Where did SLSCF® come from? I realized that I needed to find meaning in my suffering. I kept thinking, “What did I come out of this journey with? How can I convey what I now know other than what is in my poetry? What is the simplest, most fundamental, basic understanding of human nature that I discovered? And that is where Self Love Self Care First® comes from. I discovered that If we do not love ourselves, we do not care for ourselves. The pain of our lives and the messages we receive go deep to cause us at times to not pay attention to ourselves, and at times even hate ourselves. It is a difficult journey. And these feelings and beliefs come from the deepest parts of our unconscious. Self Love Self Care First® is a journey of learning we are all on. This is The Journey. To find compassion for ourselves. To find acceptance for ourselves. To find love for ourselves.
Find your light. Because we are not moving towards any light. There is no light out there. It is inside. We must move inwards- not outward to look for the light. The light is inside you.
And when you find yours, you light up the world!
I hope you will join me in a journey of discovery, wonder, growth, and a celebration of our truth.
Because what else is there to talk about?
Be well, Do well, Live well,
Friday, May 31, 2019
Being a Butter Biscuit, listening to Celeste Headlee's advice and putting Self Love Self Care First!
It's Sunita here.
I believe everyone who walks in and out of our life does so for a reason.
I met Jada Rice last week when she came to my practice to work with us for the day. We never know who will show up at times when we request a temp from a service on days that we need extra help. Some days it's a relief to have an extra pair of hands to do tasks and other days it's like a burst of sunshine comes into the office. It all depends on the energy of the person who shows up.
Well, last week, it was sunny the day Jada showed up. There was a natural ease about her and a spunkiness that was evident from the get go. It was fun hanging out with her.
Jada and I were chatting about life and relationships as I worked on a patient .We do that often in my practice. When it came to her personal life she shared that at the moment she was working on herself, while still open to love and a 'forever relationship'.
I told Jada , " That's what our journey is about and why we are in this world. To discover ourselves and become the best version of ourselves possible. Everything else is gravy". To which she replied, "I'd rather be a Butter Biscuit on my own and just wait for my gravy rather than be with someone not deserving of my solitude, my peace and my presence."
A Butter Biscuit on my own.
How appetizing! How delicious! How filling!
A butter biscuit is satisfying all by itself.
A Butter Biscuit is not wanting of flavor and can actually be easily ruined with a gravy that is lumpy and flavorless.
A Butter Biscuit has its own richness so does not rely on gravy to give it any oomph.
But the right gravy can add to a Butter Biscuit.
Until we are happy being with ourselves and until we make our happiness and growth our priority, it is unrealistic to expect someone else to 'make us' happy.
Many a times, in our desperation to find happiness outside of us, we will seek, accept and even tolerate relationships that are wrong for us. Even damaging or abusive. It's like putting a band aid on a hole in our heart. It just covers up that wound in a way that is deceiving us. A band aid doesn't a fill the hole in ways that would heal us.
So I ask you-
Are you a Butter Biscuit ?
Are you with someone deserving of your solitude, your peace and your presence?
Are you practicing Self Love Self Care First with joy and dedication to yourself?
I hope so.
Because that is the well that must be constantly refilled. Only then do we attract great love, give freely and honestly of ourselves and still have more left to give.
Celeste Headlee says it beautifully in her TED talk,
"Be prepared to talk to people, Be prepared to Listen to people but most importantly, Be prepared to be Amazed!"
So Cheers to Jada who amazed me and taught me about Butter Biscuits!
Wishing you a week of amazing conversations,
Be well Do well Live well!
With my best,
Friday, May 24, 2019
It's Sunita here.
The past few weeks have been full of celebration of my daughter Nina's college graduation. My visit with you today is to talk about the commencement speech that Dr. Mary C. Daly gave to the students, faculty and families at Syracuse University on May 9, 2019.
Dr. Daly has an impressive resume. At just 54 years old, she has achieved more than most people will in their lifetime. She has broken many glass ceilings and blazed a trail that will allow many people opportunities that they may not have had without her success. I had read up on her before we headed up to Syracuse that weekend so I could have an idea of what she may talk about at commencement.
Everything that I could have imagined Mary touching upon in her speech did not materialize. Instead of a highly successful bureaucrat, a human being showed up. Instead of advice on how to become successful in a cut throat world she talked about what it took to become a person who felt comfortable inhabiting the life she had built. Instead of proclaiming how important she was, Mary shared how others recognized how important she was before she even had an inkling of her worth.
The Mary that showed up that morning in Syracuse brought her humanity with her. Not her resume...
Mary shared with us that at age 15, she had dropped out of school due to the turmoil that had invaded her home and family, she had nowhere to go, no future to look forward to and had pretty much given up on herself. A school counsellor suggested she meet a woman named Betsy who might be able to guide her.
Mary describes how she went to meet Betsy at a local McDonalds in her hometown of Ballwin, Missouri. Looking back, Mary remembers the advice Betsy gave her as the turning point of her life.
YOU HAVE TO BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED.
Betsy compassionately acknowledged that Mary had a tough situation but she reminded her that life was not fair.
Good people do not always get a good start. There maybe many people that have advantages that they did not earn or work for. Or even deserve. But that's life. And as long as we fight our circumstances, we will never rise above them. So much time is wasted on lamenting about the challenges we are facing. Some of us may have more than our fair share of unfortunate and tragic events occur in our life. Poverty, death, mental illness, abuse, incarceration, racial and social discrimination, violence and neglect only cover some of the more common road blocks that we face as human beings.
The point is that our reality will not change with compassion on the part of another human being. Compassion with sage advice that leads us to understand and accept our current situation is the only way for us to make changes.
Betsy that day went above being a compassionate friend to Mary. She acknowledged her hardships but empowered Mary by telling her that she could bloom even under the harsh circumstances she faced. She didn't sugar coat her reality. She also didn't allow her to believe she was a victim though. She was honest with her when she said that to get unstuck, it would take a lot of effort on Mary's part. But she gave her hope by saying it was possible with a good plan and perseverance.
But first Mary would have to come to terms with her current lot in life and accept that she would have to build her life from that starting point. That takes immense effort and strength because then one cannot blame others, feel sorry for oneself, be angry at the world, find escape routes to numb the pain of one's difficult situation (drinking, drugs, promiscuity, etc, etc,).
Basically, it means saying, "This is what I have to work with. Now I must get to work"
Dr. Daly put in the work, and continues to. That morning at Syracuse she credited Betsy and the many other mentors, friends and supporters who have guided her throughout her career and life with creating a life that at age 15 was "completely improbable and wildly unrealistic"
Here are my favorite pieces of advice from Dr. Daly's speech that morning. I hope you find them as inspiring and useful as I did.
- You have to bloom where you are planted- courtesy Betsy
- Books show you a way out that you could never have imagined.
- True confidence comes when we accept ourselves, our experiences and our stories
- Be vulnerable and ask for help. It will make your life richer.
- Be brave enough to accept help.
- Be open to opportunities that you have not yet conceived.
- Don't worry if your journey wanders. It will help you figure out what's next for you.
I end our visit today by sharing this poem of mine as it is essence what we have talked about.
To love myself,
I must know who I am.
To know who I am,
I must go back in time.
To find my own voice,
I must silence what you said.
To find my own truth,
I must leave the lies behind.
To live in my light,
I must make peace
With the darkness.
PERMISSION is #38 in the collection of poems in my book 'Stripping : My Fight to Find Me".
Wishing you a 'Betsy" in your life,
Be well Do well Live well
Friday, May 10, 2019
It's Sunita here.
Happy Mother's Day!
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!
With my love,
Friday, May 3, 2019
It's Sunita here.
We have become accustomed to receiving information in the way of bullet points on a list. Usually a short list. Condensed, simplified and designed to keep our attention focussed just long enough for us to be able to process bite-size information.
You can find a 'Top 3 list' for just about anything you can imagine. You want to find your purpose? There's a list for you. Do you want to learn how to become successful in 28 days? Just look up the list on how to do that. And yes, there's probably a list on how to lose 100 pounds in 3 months. Did I hear you say you needed a list on how to triple your income in 2 weeks? Well, you're in luck because there's a list for that too.
Does it sound too good to be true?
There's a problem with the 'dumbing down of life'. It oversimplifies the process of creating a meaningful life. It contains a false promise that it will be simple and pain free if you just follow these rules.
We as human beings are inherently complex, complicated and unique. There is no shortcut to achieving success that is meaningful. There is no formula to living well.
We were born to do great things. For that, we must be a student of life.
There are so many factors that come into play in our life that we have no control over. So to think that we can just follow the bullet points of a list and predictably find nirvana is simply delusional.
But maybe you want to be fooled into thinking you can...
What I know is that it takes a lifetime to build a good life that is full of meaning, impact and purpose.
So don't cheat yourself by living through bullet points. Take the long way home. Take the scenic route. Your destination is guaranteed to be worth your journey.
Wishing you a wonderful week of leisurely musings,