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,
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.

Sunita

Monday, July 5, 2021

Don't Read My Blog If You Are Looking For a 'How To' For Any Aspect of Your Life


Hello,

It's Sunita here.

The concept of primordial knowledge has been systematically banished by the  anointed and elite members of a massive, inescapable network that exists today. They are the loudspeakers of a ‘how to’ society that hypes, and promotes a step by step march to ensnarement, and then death by mediocrity. 

Going against the instructions and 'expert' knowledge of this socially sanctioned and self congratulatory group takes a tremendous amount of self reflection, introspection, and tapping into one’s inner voice. That act in itself has become nearly impossible with what social media, print media, and our cultural norms not only broadcasts, but accepts, and celebrates as the best ways of successfully living.

Mindlessness is the subversive culture of our times. Our attention is relentlessly seduced by the mainstream majority with neither our permission, nor our awareness.

So where does one go to find oneself when one is surrounded by this web of deceit?

How can one deprogram oneself from the layers and layers of manipulation, and lies told to us from as early as the time we are born?

Is there ever a chance to find freedom from the bondage we were born into?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Only you can make that choice for yourself.

Until next time,
Sunita


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

When You Dance Just For Yourself


Hello,

It's Sunita here.

This water lily was picked for me as an offering of love this weekend. It was quietly lighting the world on fire with it’s magnificent beauty, hidden, and tucked away in a corner of a lake, where one could only spot it through their seeing eyes.

If it had not been transported for me to delight in its perfection, it would have been just as beautiful in its anonymity, and unknown existence, in its natural habitat, away from human eyes.

Such an existence is what I work towards.

To live in my beauty. In my glory. In my uniqueness. In immersion with all that is divine within me. Tucked away. Happy in the simplicity of the knowledge that I see myself with love, admiration, and appreciation for all the magnificence I possess. No need for validation. No desire for approval. No want for any external confirmation of my gifts.

I want solid ground to stand on, and want to stand up straight, with my full presence!

Anything less is an affront to my maker.

Only when we befriend the so called harshness of our circumstances and environment do we rise above them.

They were put there to challenge us.

Will we break? Will we fall? Of course! We will be close to being annihilated. We will think we can no longer fight. We will constantly be obsessed with giving up.

But if we do, the game is over.

At this point, only if we surrender to our magnificent selves and say, 

I finally accept you, I will fight for you, I will revere you. 

do we get a shot at truly living, and being present.

When we are able to sing our song full blast on the stage that is within us, without caring for, or wanting an audience beyond ourselves, we liberate ourselves.

It is only then that we begin to pursue what we are here for. We accept our assignment in this special space, and then spend the rest of our lives toiling in service of it.

I hope you see your uniqueness, and decide to dance for yourself! 

Until next time,
With love,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst #self love #self care #do your dance


Monday, June 14, 2021

'The Radiance That Lies in My Dispossession'- Carl Gustav Jung and My Muse- My Unconscious.


 

Hello,

It's Sunita here.

Carl Gustav Jung, (born July 26, 1875, Kesswil, Switzerland—died June 6, 1961, Küsnacht), Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who founded analytic psychology famously stated,

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

My recovery from attachment and childhood trauma involved access to the history of my trauma buried deep in my unconscious. It was Davanloo's Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy that helped me gain this access, and heal from the effects of my trauma. 

In the uncovering of my unconscious, I also got reconnected to my creative self. As I continually unmask the drive and motivations of my unconscious, I get more and more connected to my mystic muse in the universe. That is how I 'receive' my poetry. I am very slowly starting to comprehend the creative process by which I write my poetry. 

Today, I would like to share this poem with you. It is from my recently started 5th collection called, "The Radiance That Lies in My Dispossession'. The title came to me in a dream vision, and I feel it to be prophetic and a promise of the discoveries to come in the poems that will emerge.

 'Laden Sky" is #5 in the collection. The picture above is from the spot where I sat by my muse, a lake, as these emotions and words came to me. They were accompanied by an intense feeling of being connected to someone who was in pain. I don't know who that was. But I trust my feelings and intuition enough now to confidently know there was someone reaching out to me. 

This poem is for you. This poem is actually for all of us. We are all connected. Always. In our struggles. In our pain. In our joys. And in our triumphs.


LADEN SKY

Do you ever feel the sky dipping down to weep with you in remembrance of all your sorrows and heartache?

I do.

Especially when it is pregnant with celestial moisture.

That is when I am embraced by its cool and wet arms, as my tears lie unshed just beneath my lashes.

Sometimes when I have nothing obvious to be sad about, but am surrounded by silent, grief stricken whispers.

I wonder who is sighing.

I can feel you.

I am sending you much love.

The sky will comfort us both.

Sunita Merriman
June 11, 2021
5:30 pm


Until next time,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst #carljung #unconscious #muse #universe #poetry # radiance #sky #connection #love #grief #childhood trauma #attachment #attachment trauma #davanloo #ISTDP #recovery #healing #wellness #thrive #consciousness #connection


Friday, June 11, 2021

A Year From Now...


Hello,

It's Sunita here.

A year from now what will you wish you had done today?

If only we stop and ask ourselves this question every day,

We often hesitate to pull the trigger on an action that in our heart we know we must take for us to succeed and be happy. We are stuck in situations that are just not healthy. 

We are in relationships that have been consistently sapping our spirit with their drama of destructiveness. We allow other people to bring their negativity into our lives. We keep going back to a job that is way below our intellectual capabilities and so far out of the realm of our interests. We promise ourselves we will stop binging on sugar/alcohol/____/____/ (fill in the blanks here) tomorrow, but that tomorrow never really comes. We sit on the couch instead of going for a walk. 

We keep accepting way less than we should for ourselves. 

Why? It could be a variety of reasons we tell ourselves, or very possibly believe to be the truth.

I don't have the time right now.

I will get to it _____________.

If I leave her now, this will happen _____________.

I will sign up for the gym membership in January when it goes on sale (it could be March right now, so that's almost a year away...)

Therapy is so expensive. I'll save up first.

Therapy doesn't work for people with problems like mine.

I need to do everything I can to have my __________ feel better before I can focus on myself.

He's not so bad to live with on most days.

I'm no peach either. (Yes, sadly, I've heard someone who was in a horribly abusive relationship say this)

This job pays the bills. I can live out my dream later.

I will start saving when I make more money.

But it tastes so good going down.

I'll exercise tomorrow.

I'll start visiting museums/painting/dancing/_______ when my kids are older

It's not the right time.

I don't have the time right now.


The excuses or reasons we give ourselves to continue our state of inertia usually have some truth to them. That is why they are so persuasive. But, in those truths also lie our dysfunctional belief systems. 

It is our fear of failure and not knowing for sure if we will succeed, by making changes, that gets in our way of taking the actions that we must,  in order to succeed. It's a negative loopy loop.


In addition, we make the mistake of thinking we must accomplish our goals in one day. That overwhelms us. It effectively cripples us from moving forward to take the first step of our journey. This paralysis then gets covered up in the junk we tell ourselves to cover up the hurt, disappointment, and shame we feel, when we betray our highest being by staying in situations that are so far inferior and less than what we deserve.




I think of this wise saying as pushing us to get rid of anything that is bothersome in our life, and causing us harm. Anything that is undermining us, as opposed to serving us, must be dropped. And all the good things that we have put off must be brought into our life.

We must start somewhere and at some time. And that some time is today!

It’s hard to find the courage to make difficult decisions since nothing is ever black and white. But we must find the wisdom to see need for change and growth. And many a times, it will take severe, and drastic changes to be respectful of ourselves, and our journey.

So, when in doubt, ask yourself,

‘A year from now what will you have wished you had done today?’

Regrets are hard to reconcile with so this wise question certainly illuminates the path for me. I hope it does for you as well!

Until next time,

With my love,

Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst #self love #self care #action #getting unstuck #first step #do something #start small #start today

Thursday, May 27, 2021

How are you doing?

Hello,

It's Sunita here.

Our transformations require serious, demanding, and solitary work from us. It is lonely work most of the time. Painful, too. And, to top off the torturous nature of finding clarity and our truth, our efforts and hard work is not visible to others. Growth is not going to happen when we are 'out there'. It is all happening internally- invisible and unknown to others. And at times, frustratingly so to ourselves as well. The insights and peace that we are longing for do not appear instantly.

How are you doing? 

What does one say in response to that question when one is riddled with this internal process?

To be on your hero’s journey, and then emerge to start the artist’s journey means that you are on it alone. So one must befriend this solitary work early on. So, I suggest you just shrug and say whatever comes to your mind when someone asks you how you are. Because this journey is sacredly private, until you grasp your truth. 

Very few people will know what you are talking about if you choose to explain your turmoil to them. But the ones that do grasp what you are going through, and care enough for you to be a part of your messiness are worth their weight in gold. Hang on to them for your dear life because they are rare and special. They are your chosen tribe!

If you haven’t read Steven Pressfield’s book ‘The Artist’s Journey, I urge you to get it now. You will most likely read it over and over again, and find yourself in it, at different stages, and on many pages. Incredible insights on a process that is common to every creative persons journey!

Until next time,

Sunita


#Joseph Campbell #Steven Pressfield #the hero’s journey #the artist’s journey #creative #search #meaning

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Rabindernath Tagore on How to Get Unstuck and Clean Up



Hello,

It's Sunita here.

It feels very difficult, and at times even impossible to move past situations that we are stuck in.

We find ourselves in awful places, relationships, careers, mindsets, or just about any state we can imagine. When we feel we can no longer bear the prison we are in, it’s easy to become immobile. I find myself retreating into a state of inertia. 

But instead of panicking that I’ll remain there, I have spent time understanding this space to be one of strength. It is a break from the onslaught of my frustration and anger over not being where I envision myself to be. So my ‘I am Stuck Party’ is not condemned, but is certainly curtailed, and kept brief.

Then Rabindernath Tagore’s words come flooding through me and I GET UP AND MAKE MY WAY THROUGH THE UNACCEPTABLE CONDITIONS OF MY LIFE.



I hope you will take action and rise too.

Love,

Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst #rabindernathtagore #poet #poetry #get up #take action #stuck #small steps #keep moving #you got this #persevere #resilience

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mother's Day- Once Again a Celebration of Transgenerational Strength, Resilience, and Wellness


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

It is my biggest joy and privilege to be Nina and Simrin’s mommy. I had hoped to be a mom from a very young age. So, I am very grateful that I was blessed to be one. 

Becoming the mother my daughters deserved was the biggest motivation for me to heal. I thank them for being. Because my healing from ACEs and complex childhood trauma helped my family heal. And, we continue to heal and grow.

Health, wellness, and happiness in our family no longer means trying to be perfect. Nor do we expect everything to go smoothly all the time. I have strived to teach my girls that they possess the wisdom within them to know that tough times won't stay forever, and have worked hard to give them the confidence to believe that they can weather such storms. But first, I had to find the courage to truly believe that myself. 

I shared what I believe my job as a mother is in previous blogs. Now that Nina and Simrin are stepping into their own lives as young adults, and I see how they move forward in this world, I feel even stronger about what I have previously said about what I consider to be my biggest responsibility as their mom. 



I am in awe of every woman on Mother's Day, today, and every day, for all the feminine energy, and wisdom they pass on to our children.

I wish you all a day of love.

❤️Happy Mother’s Day!!

With my admiration for you,
Sunita

#Mother's Day #Transgenerational health #wellness #daughters #selfloveselfcarefirst #self love #self care #self discovery #resilience #courage #joy #gratitude


 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Princeton's Public Library's Local Author Day 2021: Dr. Sunita Merriman reading "Stripping: My Fight to Find Me"


Hello,
It's Sunita here.

I am very grateful to Princeton Public Library for selecting my book, "Stripping- My Fight to Find Me" as part of their 2021 Local Author Day. 

A special shout out goes to Nora Walsh, Adult Services Librarian at PPL who was instrumental in coordinating this event.

Please enjoy this reading of poems from "Stripping". I hope you will visit this virtual event and support other local authors.

Until next time,
Sunita

#poetry #princeton public library #local author day

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Vulnerability is Non- Negotiable if We Want to Be Loved


 Hello,
It is Sunita here.

Last year was a sad year in my family's pet companion arena. Our dog Thor had been aging and showing signs of decline for some months. In the spring and summer of the COVID stay at home orders, despite us all being around to care for him, he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, leaving us heartbroken. He had been the first pet my children ever had in their life, and to say he was an exceptionally gentle and loving big dog is not giving him enough credit for who he was. 

I used to joke that Thor was a dog who really needed to be introduced to all babies so they could have a positive introduction to a dog. We were so used to being stopped by children of our neighborhood who had to pet him and talk to him while we walked him that we would schedule an extra few minutes when we would take him out. He would greet his friends with an enthusiastic wave of his tail and a smile of such joy that it was infectious!

So losing him, however prepared we thought we were was hard. But, as we started to make peace with his absence, we found out that our cat Loki was ill. I wish I could tell you that he ended up healthy and healed after being admitted to the Animal Hospital, and undergoing treatment for his condition. Unfortunately, he also crossed the Rainbow Bridge just a mere three months after Thor did. These big, successive losses were devastating to us and left us grief stricken, but I think even more to our sole remaining pet, our cat Runa, who was buddies with both Thor and Loki. 

In our sadness, we had to find the focus to make sure we were taking care of her emotional needs and giving her the special attention that she needed to be able to find the resilience to get through this rough patch. Being a Siberian Forest Cat, Runa is a very affectionate, intelligent, and social animal who thrives on being an active and integral part of the family. So, having another kitten for her to bond with, play with, and be a companion to was important. We also realized that we all would do well eventually with a new furry addition to our family. 

After a reasonable waiting period, we are now delighted to welcome baby Cara to our home.

The photograph above shows us introducing Runa to Cara through a glass partition. They will be learning about each other from a distance, and through a graded level of separation until they can tolerate each other’s presence with the end goal of becoming loving friends and companions. We follow the professional guidelines of how to introduce a new cat to your resident cat to the last detail With the help of those suggestions, Baby Cara, who is an energetic and enthusiastic kitten has shown an amazing ability to adapt to her new environment.
We humans are also social animals and we thrive when we are connected to others. But we are now deluged with loneliness, and disconnected from each other, which has led to the rise of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, physical illnesses, and mental illnesses.
Our souls are hurting.
We must reconnect to our vulnerability. Only then will we be able to open the glass partitions we have between ourselves and others. We are so afraid of being hurt...
Sometimes, our inability to ask for, and work towards emotional closeness with someone who we like is due to defenses we may have (they are usually unconscious) because of trauma or mental illness. In that case, the barriers we face to connecting with others must be dealt with the assistance of professionals because we are not capable of treating ourselves- just like you would not do surgery on yourself!

Vulnerability is Strength.
Vulnerability is Confidence.
Vulnerability is Sexy.
Vulnerability is Attractive.
Vulnerability is Courage.
Vulnerability is Scary.

But, Vulnerability is our Superpower!

Feeling loved, secure, hopeful, and thriving is all the end result of being open to connection.

I’ll continue to keep you posted on how Runa and Cara are moving towards each other.

In the meantime, I hope you move towards someone you have wanted to, but have hesitated.

The payoffs of pushing past the sheer terror of being vulnerable are huge- ❤️❤️❤️

Until next time, 
With a hope that you will consider being vulnerable, however much that scares you,
Sunita




Saturday, April 17, 2021

I Have Stopped Going Everywhere Yet Being Nowhere


 Hello,

It's Sunita here.

After I was treated for the symptoms and the results of my ACEs and complex childhood trauma, my mind was available to me.

I found my inherent, and innate spiritual and emotional spaciousness.

That gave me a freedom that I had been incapable of experiencing, but unconsciously always knew that I possessed. A calmness set in and guided me towards an awareness that is often called meditation. That decreased my anxious and adaptive habit of being in many places in my mind, just to avoid the pain, aloneness, shame, darkness, and despair of my childhood.

I used to feel the urge to go to these many places just so I could escape what was going on inside my mind, brain, heart, and soul. I would feel so fragmented and distracted by this survival tactic.

With an unwavering commitment to the practice of focusing on developing an awareness of my now liberated mind, giving it an intentional direction, and having control, I am able to stay in my chosen places in a deep and meaningful way.

And when I can’t, ( which is often- the mind is not something that likes to be tamed. And our habitual patterns of thinking help it to remain elusive to us) it is looked at by me as part of the process. I just continue focusing on observing my intrusive or incidental thoughts, and eventually they pass, leaving me to come back to my meditative state.

It is from this place of peaceful solitude that I am able to Just Be.

It is from this stationary, but hugely dynamic place that I now love, experience, learn, dream, imagine, and create.

If you have suffered from ACEs, trauma, depression, anxiety, mental illness or mental injury, there is treatment for you.

If you are overwhelmed and stressed, there is a better way to live.

But the desire to be better and live as a whole you must come from deep within you.

I hope you will say YES to YOU! 
❤️🦋💕

Until next time,
With my love,
Sunita

*I hope you will share this article and follow my blog if it is of value to you.*

#selfloveselfcarefirst #ACEs #aces #mind #mentalhealth #davanloo #ISTDP #intensive short term dynamic therapy  #childhoodtrauma #depression #anxiety #hope #meditation #mindfulness #peace #calm #creative #poetry #poet #love #selflove #selflovejourney #self-compassion



Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Be Gentle with Yourself- A Gentle Reminder to Myself


 Hello,

It's Sunita here.

Waking up and being grateful for the miracle of my body sometimes takes a little work. It is so easy for me to focus on all that I perceive as ‘not good’, ‘needs to be better’, ‘will be better when I ...’ instead of celebrating the fact that I am served so well and earnestly by this amazing home to my soul and mind as it is, right now.

If you fight the same battle, I encourage you to find acceptance of your body exactly the way it is right now. That is the only way I have found the love and healthy motivation to work on things that can enhance its efficiency and form.

Being grateful and gracefully accepting where we are right now does not mean that we must not strive for improvement. It is just a different mindset from wanting to change things because we cannot stand who we are right now. I discuss the way I planned to lose the Quarantine 15 last year. I have stuck to the plan I outlined in that article. 

The times when I took a break from following this plan were not occasions for me to berate myself, nor did I look at those times as failures. Rather than my old way of processing events, such occasions were seen by me as opportunities to enjoy life in a way that was free from guilt. 

Setting unachievable, unrealistic, and inflexible goals are one more way of punishing ourselves. I refuse to play that game anymore.
If I eat well, move, and sleep enough, I am happy with myself. And in my opinion, what is life without a few indulgences thrown in? Such breaks from my daily routine actually fuel me to work out with more enthusiasm the next day. 
Self Love Self Care First® flows best when it’s not another ‘chore’ in our long list of to do’s. It must be a labor of love and devotion in celebration of the miracle that we all are.

I hope you will be gentle with yourself too. 

After all, you is all you got. And you are a divine miracle!

With my love,

Sunita

*If you have enjoyed this post, please do not forget to share it, and follow www.selfloveselfcarefirst.com- Thank you! *

#selfloveselfcarefirst #morning thoughts #love your body #love yourself #be gentle with you #acceptance #divine you


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Renew- Rejoice- Family


Hello,

It's Sunita here.

As we all delight in the various forms of Spring celebrations around the world, and amongst many cultures, my very best to you, and whoever you call your ‘family’!

We are all feeling the burden of COVID in so many shared, and individual ways, so can use this time of season change towards more light, and hope at this moment.

But eventually, every season can bring us hope if we use our mind to help us navigate the dark times. It is our mind's eye that gives us perspective and direction in tough times.

The external world, in it’s glory does help us, as do our families. 
So let’s rejoice!

Until next time,
Warmly,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst #refresh #family #rejoice #hope #happy Easter #spring #celebrate #passover #baisakhi #all spring celebrations #we are one #mind’seye #innerworld

*If you have enjoyed this post, please do not forget to share it with another person who may also find value in it, and do follow www.selfloveselfcarefirst.com- Thank you! *

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Open Road Beckons You


 Hello,

It's Sunita here.

For the past 25 years, I have driven by this tree at least once a week. I have seen it so many times that it became invisible to me. 

Until this morning. 

The sight of it, bent and broken, wrapped around the pole, and fearlessly intertwined with the surging electric wires brought me to tears. Such an act of courage, vulnerability, and faith! 

It's as if this tree said to the pole,


I trust you will not hurt me, so I will wrap around you, and give you everything I have in this world. Even though I am now bare and naked, having lost all my leaves and supple branches to this winter, I will offer you what I have left. I love you and will not shy away from telling you that. I am all in with you.

 

I kept wondering why this sight had moved me so much. What did it bring to the surface of my consciousness? Why did I feel such intense emotions?

What do you see in this picture?

A wide open road that is waiting to take you anywhere you want to go? Or a dried up tree, broken and bent, wrapped around a wire surging with electricity, that can destroy it at any time?

The sun rising, and inviting you to stop dreaming, and make your dreams come true? Or a dreary day again, amongst many others in this pandemic, that have limited you from doing what you think you should have or could have done?

A famous Henry Ford quote, 


“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right.”


What you see in this early morning picture is a direct manifestation of your attitude. What is it going to be?

I see myself becoming someone better than I am right now by the end of this day. I see a few laughs coming my way. I see connecting with people I care about. I see perhaps meeting someone new to me. I see a few problems to be solved. I see a few surprises popping up. I see learning some new things. I see some frustrations over things I will have no control over.

But overall, I see possibilities.

I realize that I had a surge of emotions when I 'saw' the tree this morning because it reminded me that for so long, I was a broken, bent, and denuded tree that was too scared to be vulnerable, and take a chance on  life.

 

But now, I am like the tree that boldly wraps itself around electric poles, offering myself to fate. I am no longer limited by my fear of rejection, or failure. I boldly follow my dreams, and do everything I possibly can to turn them into realities. 

I love seeing my efforts bring me success. But I do not make that a condition of my happiness. I have learnt that to be happy is a choice. And more importantly, to be happy is not the end goal anyway. 

My victory is in getting up every time I am beaten down by my circumstances. My prize is finding the courage to get back on the open road once again. 

So I always look for the rising sun to guide me there. I am all in. Just like my friend, the inspiring tree.

I hope you will be too.

Until next time,

With my love,

Sunita


#selfloveselfcarefirst #possibility #ideas #opportunities #attitude #henryford #openroad #sunrise #gratitude #mindset #happiness #choice #keepmovingforward #hope#create #mindset #inspiration