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.
I am a poet, an author, a wife, a mother, a sleep 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.
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.
Because what else is there to talk about?
Be well, Do well, Live well,
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Sunday, July 5, 2020
It's Sunita here.
If you have walked over to your liquor cabinet and poured yourself a nightcap during this pandemic, consumer reports suggest you are not alone.
Sunday, June 28, 2020
It's Sunita here.
How are you all doing?
It's now been over 3 months since COVID19 took over our lives. From the initial shock, horror and disbelief, we have gone through different stages of emotional reactions to the pandemic, and how it is impacting us. These reactions and responses have had physical consequences. One of which, for many of us, has been weight gain.
There are many compelling, and valid reasons for this weight gain. The stress of work pattern changes and employment loss, closure of gyms, stocking and consumption of high calorie/low nutritional value non perishable foods, home schooling and being confined to our homes almost 24/7 has taken a toll on our waistlines as well as our mental health.
Having the opportunity to have an afternoon cocktail (or two), and turning to alcohol for stress and boredom relief (alcohol actually doesn't help for that purpose. It is a depressant, and disrupts our sleep pattern, so we end up being more depressed and making poor choices, which makes matters worse) has added pounds to our frames.
Lastly, because we have had more time at home, we have baked our hearts out. Sweets taste good, and baking is a soothing activity that has a calming effect. So it's no surprise that we huddled in our kitchens and instinctively channeled Betty Crocker in the first couple of months of this pandemic.
We are seeing and feeling the consequences of all this now. Jokes are flying all over the internet about the COVID 15.
But Quarantine weight gain is not a joke.
It's time. It's high time now. It's time for Self Love Self Care First to kick in and take over. Someone recently asked me what my favorite act of self care was. I told her, it depends.Well, today I say, it's getting back to a healthy weight.
We will talk about what we can do to achieve that goal in the coming weeks, but here are 3 things that I have committed to this week.
#1- Being kind to myself and looking at my weight gain through the prism of self love, self compassion, and understanding only. There is no place for harsh criticism of myself. It was, and remains a trying time. Coping with the realities of a deadly pandemic have been truly challenging. Many of my unavoidable short term coping methods resulted in my weight gain.
Negative feelings and distorted beliefs about myself do not motivate me to do better. They have historically done the opposite by fuelling my self doubts, allowing my tendencies for self sabotage to emerge, and permitting my unconscious desire to punish myself to take over. But no longer does this occur. The work done in effective therapy (Davanloo's ISTDP) took care of healing my brain, and helped me move past this damaged state by creating lasting changes in me.
Saturday, June 20, 2020
"The Only Thing Worthy of You is Compassion"- A Reminder and "Recommendation" from Thich Nhat Hanh in These Troubled Times
It's Sunita here.
We are travelling in times of great difficulty and pain. I once again, turn to poetry for comfort and guidance. Since there is so much original content out there right now by incredibly talented and compassionate people, I feel there is no need for me to add to it.
So, instead today, I share with you a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh that takes me to a place of mercy as I try to move away from anger, frustration and feelings of helplessness in the face of the gigantic problems we face in our world.
Sunday, June 14, 2020
It's Sunita here.
The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our life. But in particular, it has wreaked havoc with our work lives. My own professional life has been turned upside down since I was mandated by our State Governor to close my dental practice and sleep center in mid March. Practicing dentistry will never be the same again, and getting ready to reopen in a few weeks has taken every ounce of my energy and thinking power. Contemplating the complex and ever evolving protocols that need to be put into place to make my office COVID 19 safe for my team, patients and myself took a toll on me that I had never felt before.
I would be tackling tasks with enthusiasm and energy for a couple of hours, making headway, and feeling very optimistic when suddenly I would hit a wall. Not just any wall, but a brick wall of great density. There would be no going around, or through this wall. I would feel unusually exhausted and depleted and become unable to put two simple, coherent sentences together. Nothing but stopping and taking a long break would help me. It would be hours before I would feel capable of mentally and physically regrouping. It seemed like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, or as if I was treading water.
Of course, in hindsight, I see I was dealing with, and adjusting to the unknowns and uncertainty of COVID19 early on in my experience of the pandemic. My fatigue after short periods of work was disproportionate to the amount of efforts I was putting in. I quickly realized that I was going to need to find a way out of the sticky molasses that I would descend into with regularity.
I focused on the usual suspects. Doubling down on good nutrition, getting adequate sleep and aerobic exercise, minimizing time spent watching the news or scrolling on social media, and making sure I stayed connected with my loved ones was a big help. But as I started to spend more time at work, I found a new ally.
My work space!
Sometimes we can't see what is right in front of us. We focus on everything but the obvious. I realized that even though I had no control over the virus, or what was required to be done at work, I had absolute control over the space I was working in. So I made some strategic additions and subtractions to it based on how I wanted to feel, and it became a totally different experience.
These changes were not expensive and did not require much effort. But they were strategic and targeted with the goal of getting more done in my day with less mental, emotional and physical wear. I went even further and determined that I wanted to enjoy my day and feel confident, excited and powerful about reopening my office, and life in general. I share with you what I did to accomplish my goals.
The 3 things you can amplify in your space to heal, boost productivity, inspire creativity and bring you hope.
Beauty has a healing role in our lives. It softens the harshness of our existence and reminds us of what is possible. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what works for me may not excite you. But the important thing is to bring into your personal space what ignites your aesthetic senses. It will tend to you in your weary moments and be a balm to salve your worried mind. Don't just stop at your visual sense. Play the music that soothes your soul. Bring in scents that calm and relax you. They all work in unison to uplift you and bring you joy. That results in higher engagement and productivity in your work.
Friday, June 5, 2020
Sunday, May 31, 2020
|How many more times must we hear these words before we say "Enough"?|
It's Sunita here.
I love words. I look up to words. I use words. I play with words. Basically, I worship words.
But words are not, and never, enough to right a wrong.
It is only actions that will change what we are a part of. All of us. This social unrest is not about a ‘segment of our society’.
It is about us as a society.
Not "them", Not "others", Not "someone else."
There are many ways we can all become part of the solution. Today, there are many who are incredibly gifted at mobilizing change in big, powerful, and meaningful ways. I admire them, and am so grateful for their efforts, and abilities to organize the change that must occur so that everyone feels safe and seen in our society. But community organizing may not be what you and I can do. Does that mean we have no way to participate in this change? No. Does that mean we are powerless and voiceless? No.
We can be significant and influential agents of justice in ways that will add up. Like the drops in an ocean. We can look at our sphere of influence and choose to speak up and actively make decisions that swiftly move the cause of racial equality forward. Every act and word counts. Something as simple as calling up a friend and saying, “I stand with you. You are not alone.”
And it’s a good idea to let go of the notion that you understand what they go through on a daily basis. That’s insulting and patronizing. How we hire, how we mentor and promote people, how we reach out and encourage someone to aspire to be their best version. How we believe in someone. How we look to understand someone and their journey is a start.
Asking questions, and then truly listening. All of this matters.
Start somewhere. Start small. Do whatever you can do.
But don’t just sit there doing nothing!
It's a matter of our survival. Not only theirs.
#icantbreathe #socialunrest #racial #MLK #martinlutherkingjunior #dosomething #speakup #love #justice #listen #understand #blacklivesmatter #istandwothyou #blacksisters #blackbrothers
Sunday, May 24, 2020
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.
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,
#selfloveselfcarefirst #stuck #breakitdown #keepitsupersimple #covid19tips #selfcare #selflove #gustavklimt #thekiss #vienna #austria