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.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Trauma Leads to Treason

It's Sunita here.

Treason is defined as the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family.

In law, treason is criminal disloyalty, typically to the state.

Why are we talking about Treason today? Let me explain.

Abuse, neglect, constant dismissal and disapproval of infants and children by primary caregivers are only a few of the now recognized, and currently studied trauma injuries in our society. The impact of genocide, war, refugee status and forced migration is heavy on families. It aggressively and completely destroys a child's sense of security. The burdens of parents who are mentally ill and/or have suffered from ACE's themselves are impossible to not actively be transmitted to their children. Many a times the consequences of such trans-generational trauma does not become apparent until years later.

Attachment Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experience's, ACE's affect every cell in our bodies. The impact of such trauma destroys our sense of self that must be developed, nurtured, encouraged and be present in healthy amounts in order to be motivated to practice Self Love. 

When we are struggling with depression, anxiety and the many other mental and physical manifestations of  trauma, we are unable to develop the necessary Self Care skills. Not only are we unable to practice Self Love Self Care First, but we engage in treason against our being. 

Treason as defined above! We sabotage our selves in many ways. Sometimes we adopt aggressive tactics against ourselves by turning to addictive behaviors like alcoholism, overeating, cutting ourselves, etc. Other times we turn to guerrilla warfare. Sabotaging our most important relationships, procrastinating on critical tasks that must be done to keep us out of trouble, performing at levels that are sub par of our intellect and potential are just a few of such acts.

We create an internal system of self sabotage, self punishment and self betrayal that we feed incessantly. Some of this sabotage is conscious to us, but most of it maybe unknown to us and driven by our unconscious. Even when we wake up to this tyranny against our mind, body and soul, we remain unable to change our path due to the practiced destructive patterns that our brain has stored as commands.

Trauma leads us to commit treason against our being. We betray ourselves, over and over again. We march up to The Traitor's Gate and present ourselves for gruesome torture and a most certain execution. Self Love Self Care First is only a concept, and not a reality for us- until our brain heals. And that requires treatment that is effective. And a relationship to develop that models a healthy attachment pattern. In other words, it will require Love.

As hard as the process of healing sounds, I know that it is possible. That is why I share my experience of healing through my poetry in Stripping : My Fight to Find Me. My poems are by no means easy to read. They were almost impossible to write. But I had to find the courage within to write about the inhumane imprisonment of my childhood trauma. Ultimately, I found liberation from my traitorous self thanks to what science had to offer me in terms of treatment (Davanloo's Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, ISTDP) and, what humanity had to offer me in terms of unconditional love.

I now practice Self Love Self Care First. I hope you do too. And if you are stuck at the door of The Traitor's Gate and beyond, I hope you will find the courage to fight to heal.

Wishing you Hope for your Healing,
Be well Do well Live well


Sunday, December 15, 2019

What a Cat, a Dog and Bob Marley Can Teach us About Overcoming Fears, Choosing Vulnerability and Giving Love a Chance

Runa (age 20 months old) and Thor (12 years old) as they are today

It's Sunita here.

Things were not always harmonious for Thor and Runa. Thor is our 12 year old Collie and Runa is our almost 2 year old Siberian Forest Cat.

Runa joined our family as a 8 week old kitten. At that time, she was a frightened little baby, separated from her mother and the only environment she had ever known. It was obvious from her responses that she was terrified of everything in our home. The new room she was sequestered in, the sounds outside her room, and most of all, she was frightened of our 'Big Dog' Thor. Little did she know that he was a gentle giant who was anxious to make friends with her and impatiently waiting to shower her with his love. His temperament has always been one of a care giver with a soft soul.

As we followed the instructions that Runa's breeder had given us to help her ease into our home, she began to become bolder and show signs of curiosity about the sounds and smells outside of her room. It was weeks before we actually introduced Thor directly to Runa. And that too, was done under close supervision and, for only short periods of time.
Baby Runa at age 12 weeks

The first time she met him, she cowered under the bed and did not come out for many hours. But as we continued to expose both of them to each other, the barriers between them started to break down. Runa saw how Thor was not aggressive with her and allowed her to lead the way to a possible friendship.

Now, almost a year and a half later, they cuddle up together and sleep on the same bed. Runa enjoys bossing Thor to no end, even though she is a fraction of his size and weight.

There is a lot to be learnt by us all in how they reached this point of trust, connection and love from a place of fear and suspicion.

Runa had to let go of her fears and learn more about this big, new stranger she had met. Thor had to be patient with her and continuously reassure her on how gentle and safe he was.

We can find ourselves feeling guarded in situations with someone new for many different reasons.

  1. We may feel uncomfortable, or even scared if they appear different from us in any way. 
  2. An initial negative experience with a person may also turn us off from proceeding to get to know them better. 
  3. Our unconscious biases, personal insecurities, inherent shyness, and limitations in social skills also have a role to play in how far we extend ourselves to others. Especially when we don't have a natural and immediate affinity with them. 
  4. If we carry the baggage of trauma and past abandonment's, then we are prone and practiced to avoid pursuing and initiating intimate relationships. 
  5. Lastly, we fear rejection. "What if they don't like me?" This fear and possible projection is so real that many a time, we just don't bother to make an effort to extend ourselves.

After all, why take the chance to get our hearts broken again and be left with nothing but pain and shame. It's understandable. But entirely self defeating. Not taking a chance on love is a guaranteed path to us being alone, disconnected and isolated. Because, without being vulnerable and opening our heart up to another human being, we will never find the pleasure and sense of connection that only an intimate and deep relationship can give us. Only when we risk getting our heart broken can we get close enough to someone to feel the rush of such love.

And that's what Runa and Thor can teach us to do. Despite Thor looking like a big ogre to Runa, she slowly took the opportunity to learn more about him as she grew older and more confident of her surroundings and herself. In that self awareness, she found the strength and will to take a chance. So can we!

I hope you will feel vulnerable enough to put your heart out there. Just think of all the love that can come your way! There is no higher plane of existence than the one we inhabit when we feel seen, heard, understood and loved by another human being. And that is the same cocoon of belonging that we feel in all it's magnificent intensity when we extend such love to them. But to get there, we must put our barriers away and take our guard down so we may venture forward with courage.

Wishing you a week of glorious vulnerability and courage,


Sunday, December 8, 2019

If You Have a Dream, See a Vision, and Pursue Lofty Goals, then Arthur Ashe's Words are for You

It's Sunita here.

Lewis Caroll said, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."

The perils of not having any direction in life are many. However, there are also dangers in clearly knowing what you want to accomplish. If you have a vision, then you are familiar with the impatience for results that accompanies your ambition. There seems to never be enough resources, or time to complete what you want to in a day.

For many of us, this can start to become oppressive and depressing. The path to succeeding at a lofty goal can easily turn into one of frustration. I have found these words of wisdom of Arthur Ashe to be incredibly helpful and grounding at times when my plan to move forward does not match the reality of my capabilities.

Arthur Ashe's advice is not only inspiring, but practical for such times. And it is essentially a message of Self Love Self Care First for those who demand and expect a lot from themselves. Sometimes, too much. Instead of surveying the progress made by the end of a day, it is easy to focus on all that remains to be done. And what 'should' have gotten done. Your goals can become overwhelming instead of energizing.

When you fall into that trap, remember what Arthur said.

Start Where You Are.
Use What You Have.
Do What You Can.

And then get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow will bring another opportunity to do more.

Wishing you a week of inspiration,
Be well, Do well, Live well