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, January 26, 2020

I May, I Might, I Must- And Once you Decide- Adopt The Art of Wearing Blinders


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

The poet Marianne Moore used very few words when she wrote 'I May, I Might, I Must'. 

I MAY, I MIGHT, I MUST

If you tell me why the fen
appears impassable, I then
will tell you why I think that I
can get across if I try.

                                                                    -Marianne Moore

She is not accepting of another's opinion as the truth. 

She has confidence in herself and challenges an accepted belief.

She is sure of herself and of her capability to be successful. But she reserves her decision to go ahead and actually take on the task.

How many times have you committed to something for reasons that had nothing to do with what you truly wanted?

That could be due to a plethora of reasons. You may have awareness of some of these reasons, yet some maybe driven by your unconscious.

Pausing before making any decision is a sure way to be able to think through your actions.

Asking yourself which one of these responses informs you of how you feel about the project, person, job, opportunity or anything that you need to make a decision about.
I May
I Might
I Must

Whatever elicits a I Must is where you want to focus your energies. That is something that nourishes you.

Don't ignore the pangs of hunger. Don't downplay your needs. Don't talk yourself out from accomplishing your goals, and going after your dreams. Don't be led by others in what you commit to. Put away your fears. Get professional help if you are in an abusive relationship that diminishes you. Get help if you have a hard time standing up for yourself. Do whatever it takes to find what you are meant to do. And then go for it.

The struggle and challenges do not end once you decide what your path is.

That is the part of the story that gets missed in many of the quotes, blogs and memes that you see floating around.

Let me tell you about the reality of what happens after you find the truth of your existence and commit to it. There is a peace that comes over you because you are now aligned with your highest self. But the work remains hard and the obstacles don't go away. There will also be the hurdle of those who will attempt to dissuade you, discourage you, mock you, scare you and even sabotage you as you go about your journey.

And that is why you will need to perfect the art of wearing blinders.

Wishing you a week of powerful and truthful choices,
With love,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst#poetry#mariannemoore#choices#imayimightimust#blinders#thoroughbread






Sunday, January 19, 2020

Why Prioritizing Your Sleep is the Key to Self Care and Success


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

There's an obvious, sharp increase in the number of new faces that show up to exercise at my gym these days. I hear an advertisement for a fitness center or diet plan every time I turn on the TV or radio, or glance through a newspaper or magazine.

It was no different last January. Or the year before that.

The start of a new year is a great opportunity to reset our life and being physically active is an essential part of a wellness and longevity program. But what gets left out is the fact that without getting restful and adequate amounts of sleep on a regular basis, we are unable to maximize the benefits of exercise. Or, stick to our program. Why?

Because sleep has a powerful effect on our ability to make decisions. 

Our wellness depends on many dimensions of Self Care. But the common denominator for all of these dimensions is the same- the need for mindfulness. And 'mindfulness' is really just another word for 'healthy/smart decision making'.

A chronic lack of sleep prompts us to make decisions that are not in our best interest.

Determination alone is not enough to be able to change unhealthy habits to healthy ones. Science proves that. And the yearly whittling away of crowds at my gym by March is evidence of that fact.

Another powerful example demonstrating this fact are our eating habits. Those who are don't get quality, restorative sleep are shown to eat an extra 350 calories every day, without any increase in demands for energy. So when we are not sleeping well, we are gaining weight. 3500 calories that are not required add 1 pound of body fat. So, if you are chronically sleep deprived, you are gaining weight, which in turn causes you to sleep poorly. This cycle continues with disastrous results.

So if you are serious about living your best life, then start with prioritizing your sleep.

There is a slow, but steady change in our culture related to our beliefs about sleep. Sleeping your way to the top now means literally 'sleeping' your way to success. The average amount of sleep that we need to function optimally as adults has been determined to be 7-8 hours every night.

To see if you are getting enough sleep, ask yourself these simple questions;

Do you wake up refreshed? (No)
Do you experience excessive daytime sleepiness/fatigue? (Yes)
Do you experience mental fogginess or have difficulty making decisions? (Yes)
How much sleep are you getting every night? (less than 7 hours)

If you have answered any of the questions as shown above, then here are some follow up questions for you to ask yourself.

Do you routinely give yourself an opportunity to sleep for 8 hours a night?
Do you plan/schedule your day around your sleep requirement?
Would you leave a party or an activity earlier than others there, to come back home so you could sleep at your regular bedtime?
Do you have a consistency to your bed time and awakening time?
Do you feel that you are unable to make consistent healthy food choices and/or have difficulty sticking to an exercise regimen?




Like anything else that is important to us, sleep requires prioritization. Getting enough sleep requires planning like any important event does. Only a deliberate emphasis on maintaining a consistency of our bed time and sleep time will allow us the opportunity to get the required 7-8 hours of sleep.

That will allow you to make the decisions that will help you live the life you dream of. So, go ahead and make sleep your number one priority. And 'sleep' your way to success!

Wishing you a week of healthy decisions!
Sleep well, Be well, Do well, Live well
Warmly,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst#sleep#exercise#healthychoices#health#mindfulness#success

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Determine What you Want in 2020 and Know That Your Success Will Depend on This One Factor




Hello,
It's Sunita here.

By now, most of you have probably gone back to work after the holidays. Starting a new year gives you an opportunity to look at your business or work place with fresh eyes.  Planning for the year involves reviewing the many defined dimensions of success and financial outcomes of your business. Goals need to be set, and existing systems reviewed to make sure that the resources and processes necessary for achieving those goals are in place. 

This year we started with a different focus altogether at our practice. 

We asked ourselves these questions.
  1. What do I want more of?
  2. What do I want to do more of?
  3. What do I want less of?
  4. What do I want to do less of?
  5. What do I want to let go of?
  6. What do I want to hang on to?
We each went into our personal space to reflect, and spent time thinking about our wants. After we wrote the answers to these questions down, we shared them with each other.

A level of trust had to be created in order to feel safe enough to reveal our desires and needs at work. And we all had to bring our vulnerability to the table to do that.


Once we did however, we were unstoppable. The conversation was intense, truthful, emotional and brave. Each of us took the risk of revealing much more than our goals for work.  At times, tears flowed. Other times, there was a soft and comfortable pause. But the constant in the room was the support we felt for each other. We held each other in a sacred space and truly listened.

After sharing our answers, it was clear that despite the fact that many of our work goals varied, there was a common thread that ran through our wants for 2020. We all wanted a deeper connection with each other.

 'Relationships' was the # 1 priority on all of our lists. 

I am not surprised. I am a firm believer that our lives are driven by our relationships. We thrive when we feel loved, supported and understood. Conversely, when we are in unresolved conflict with others, we suffer tremendously and feel the stress of that discord. Working together and achieving goals is impossible under such circumstances.

Trauma, especially childhood trauma lends an added layer of complexity to relationship building by making 'reaching out' a shameful or uncomfortable experience. A history of abandonment, neglect and dismissal can teach you to look at cooperation and collaboration with distrust. It's hard to act in ways that were never modeled for you. Aggression or withdrawal can become a tool that you use to mask your inability to cope with being part of a close group. In such cases, your work behavior may be the sign that you need professional help.

My experience of leading teams for over 20 years informs me that we are incapable of leaving parts of our personalities and our emotions outside the door when we enter our work places. This is a biological fact. We are wired for connection and seek that connection. How could it be any different at work? 

We do not possess a switch that we can turn off and become robots at work. No matter how fervently we believe that we 'don't bring our personal life to work', we all do. We are just not aware of it. We are all guilty of not connecting how our behavior and actions impact our colleagues and our work place. 

The best and fastest way to do well at work is to forge relationships of trust and connection with your colleagues. Take the time to learn more about what trust is and how it can be built. An excellent resource is Brene Brown explaining BRAVING in this video. Brene's books and TED talks are loaded with information, inspiration and examples of how being vulnerable is a necessary risk we must take in order to build authentic relationships and authentic lives. It requires courage to be vulnerable. And being vulnerable makes you brave.

It is at that place of connection with ourselves and others that we do our best work. We collaborate better, we think better and we work better when we are in harmony with our team. And in that flow, we achieve success.

At our planning session, once we discussed our emotional and relational wants for 2020, we were able to quickly establish goals for our practice and patient care. Making plans for successful growth became a fun activity and the confidence that we felt in ourselves was a direct reflection of the trust we had in each other. We felt understood and wanted to understand in return.

The entire work week following our planning session has gone flawlessly and was full of all the things we had declared that we wanted for ourselves. We are not naive to think that there will be no challenges or conflicts ahead, but we are confident that we will be able to address them bravely and honestly because of the strong relationships that we have with each other. We are committed to being accountable to each other.

The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships. And the word 'relationship' really means love. What we want is more love!

I hope you start 2020 by taking stock of what you want, and then plan to have the best year you've ever had by working through great relationships with others.

With my best,
And love,
Be well, Do well, Live well
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst#2020#newyear#relationships#vulnerability#brave#courage#connection#brenebrown#workplace#goals#love#business#workplace#success

Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020- An Ask That Has Nothing to Do With Resolutions, Goals or Measured Outcomes. The Tao Te Ching and Ursula Le Guin Illuminate

Sunrise at a place in this world

Hello,
It's Sunita here.

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 strength, discover 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

Photography- Courtesy T. Carlsen