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.


Friday, May 6, 2022

Courage and What it Has to Do With Moving Forward


It's Sunita here.

Moving Forwards.
Looking Ahead.

To look ahead with clarity and hope,
We must have already looked back,
With honesty and courage.

Many a times, this honesty is hard to muster.
That's why courage comes in handy.

But I found that courage did not grow on trees.
Nor could I purchase it from anywhere.

I also discovered that courage is not transferrable.

I had to find it within me.

But here’s the good news!

Every time I did something that took a teeny bit of courage, I grew stronger.

And eventually, after taking many, many, many such steps, I was able to become more honest with myself, and others.

So, I kept on taking little steps of courage till I became courageous.

And I then became friends with my reality.

(Plus I had professional help. I could not have done it alone, or by myself)

I hope you do.

Because you are worth it!

Until next time,

Moving forwards,


#SLSCF #self love self care first #self love #self care #courage #honesty #small steps #living free #moving forwards #get help #wellness #you are worth it # do the work

Friday, April 29, 2022

Our Kitchens are Temples


It's Sunita here.

Food is Medicine. We are what we eat.

So, what will you create in your kitchen this weekend?

Healing happens in many ways. Our food has the capacity to heal us when we choose it carefully and thoughtfully. 

Our kitchens are temples of joy, creativity, togetherness, harmony, delight, sensuality, hospitality, and so much more. It’s never too late to learn how to cook! If you know how to cook, teach someone else how to cook. You may change their life!

Food is Medicine.
Food is Love.


Until next time,

Moving Forwards,


 #SLSCF #self love self care first #self love #self care #love #cooking #joy #kitchen #temple #health #wellness #intimacy #cooking #we are what we eat #thriving 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022



It's Sunita here.

I was woefully unprepared for the most important love of my life.

As I ventured into the underground world of my unconscious, I encountered locked doors, secret passages, and hidden rooms.

Until my poems started to come to me, I believed I did not have the keys to the mysterious secrets that lay deep inside me.

My poetry has proven to be the lighthouse to the workings of my inner world and has guided me to my innate knowingness. My poems are my expression of the human experience.

Sometimes the words would come to me in a torrent.  Other times they would make me anxiously wait for them to reveal themselves.

But whenever they appeared, they brought me my truth.

My poems have taught me that there is no truth without honesty. 

And that honesty does not exist where there is no courage.

And that for me to be courageous, I have to turn my back on shame.

And strip… 

There is no other way to our truth. And without knowing our truth, we cannot live whole and free. It is never too late to start our journey. Take the first step by reaching out and asking for help. Help is there. But you must take the first step. After all, it's your life. 

If someone else is taking the first step towards you to help, walk towards them. Surrender to your reality and start the work of Stripping. It is a process. But it works. I know that.

I Create New Realities, and Expand Consciousness Through Poetry.

Until next time,

Moving Forwards,


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Dinner For Two


It's Sunita here.

Having both our girls on their own adventures in life, outside of our home, Tim and I have been settling into a brand new life.

I am slowly, (and not completely) letting go of my ritual of bulk food shopping and cooking for a family, and rediscovering the joy in cooking for 2. 

There is intimacy in such preparation. And a tenderness that has a private quality to it…

Last night, on the menu was fresh caught cod from Iceland., (Wegmans fish department🙌🏻) and a Greek salad.

I pan seared the fish on this cast iron skillet with a TBS of EVOO, fresh rosemary, and 3 whole cloves of garlic. Then I finished it in a pre heated oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

The Greek salad had romaine lettuce, a yellow heirloom tomato, red onions, and red grape onions. The feta cheese was Israeli. The Greek dressing was home made from a recipe my friend Anna’s mom gave me in Ottawa in the 90’s. I have used it regularly and frequently since. I actually always have a good amount made and ready in my fridge and use it to dress salads, and to marinate fish, meat, and vegetables. Thank you, Mrs. A😘

Change- our ability to look at change as a positive thing that brings us opportunities to become something, and someone new, and find new joys, is an essential attribute to living well.

The transition to dinner for 2 did not come easy for me, but I’m glad I put in the work to feel all my sense of loss and the accompanying sadness on suddenly not having either one of our daughters living with us anymore. I was only then able to let go of the myth of the ‘good old days’ and usher in the ‘new good times’.

One thing however remains the same.

Tim is still my awesome sous chef, clean up crew, and happy to be my food appreciator.

Some things don’t change.
They just get better.

Until next time,
Moving forwards,

#SLSCF #selfloveselfcarefirst #selflove #selfcare #dinnerfor2 #change #adaptability #embrace change #empty nesters #fresh fish #greek salad #brain  food #intimacy #wellness #thrive #heart bliss #cooking #kitchen #togetherness

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Why Knowing Your CRP Can Be a Gamechanger For You


It's Sunita here.

‘It isn't really known why flamingos tend to stand on one foot, but it has been hypothesized that keeping one of their feet out of the cold water helps them to conserve body heat. It also seems to be a comfortable resting position for them’. - LiveScience

CRP. Comfortable Resting Position

Finding our CRP in a world that signals productivity, activity, efficiency, and idolizes our efforts to ‘maximize our potential’ borders on being an act of defiance.

But without the time to ‘do nothing’ I argue, we ‘are nothing’. 
Just bags of atoms rushing to actualize ourselves in some misguided, haphazard, and randomly useless fashion.

Finding our CRP is not only sacred on Sunday, but every day. It is the place and space where we discover what we want our efforts to be in service of.

That is far grander, and more important than any of our work.

CRP- it’s everything!

Until next time,
Moving forward,

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Trauma to Transcendence?


It's Sunita here.

Trauma and Transcendence may not seem like two words that belong in the same sentence, but they do.

The human mind and heart have an enormous capacity to heal, and find their way to a path that leads to a luminous existence.

But we must do the work to get on to that path.

Once we are on that path, it further requires a different kind of work to stay true to this path towards enlightenment.

There are many distractions and traps along the way. In addition to the external factors that can easily derail our efforts to transcend, we have to deal with our inherent biology of being, which is not usually in line with our highest being.

So, what is one to do?

Go inward.

There is no other way. There is no ‘hack to transcendence’. There is no short cut. And, it is a life long process to get there, and stay there.

But, it is the ultimate, iron man/woman jam of living as a human.

The Mind-Body connection is a powerful aid to calm our inner world. Once still, we discover our true selves, the source of our unique creativity, gifts, and talents, and create meaning out of our life experiences.

Trauma is now being understood in ways that have never been understood before. This is helping scientists, medical and mental health professionals, individuals with lived experiences of trauma, policy makers, and their friends and families to consider new options of treating trauma. This will lead to easing the burden of the suffering that trauma causes, and ultimately a better society.

We are also in the midst of exciting developments in the fields of biology, neuroscience, and psychology (among other interconnected fields of study) which are uncovering the path to human transcendence.

Trauma to Transcendence?
A resounding yes!

But, you have to Do The Work.


Consider picking up Scott Barry Kaufman's book ‘Transcendence’ and checking out his work.

Until next time,


#SLSCF #selfloveselfcarefirst #scott barry kaufman #transcendence #trauma #neuroscience #healing #wellness #self-discovery #inner world #do the work #hacks

Photo- Sunita Merriman

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Omari Porter- 'I Love You'

"At what point are we going to come together as a society and remove the stigma around mental health? Innocent lives are lost everyday leaving thousands of loved ones negatively affected. We must learn to prioritize our mental health and physical well-being. Text someone you love
Tell them you love them. Many of our family members and friends struggle day in and day out, but are afraid to speak up because of how they might be viewed after the fact. IT DOES NOT MATTER! If you need to cry…then cry. If you need to scream, then scream.
I don’t care how tough you think you are, but it’s time to put down the façade and let someone know you aren’t okay. If you’re doing okay, well help someone. It’s time for us to let go of the negative judgement towards and make sure the people in our lives are okay.
If you think you have no one..well… I LOVE YOU. I’m here for anyone who needs to talk or needs somebody to listen. As a society we gotta do better!"

Scholar Athlete
Stanford University

It's Sunita here.


At what point will we wake up as a society and unveil our common suffering? We are failing our youth. We are suffering ourselves. We are not leading the way.

It will take many more courageous people with big hearts, like Omari, to speak up. We must all do something, until mental illness, emotional anguish, and the debilitating effects it has on us, often for a life time, if undisclosed, and untreated, is looked at, as the human experience that it is.

I applaud this young man. I pray for him. And all those who are trying their hardest to bring about the change, this is so desperately needed in our society.

Love. Understanding. Compassion. Grace.


And we must start by doing better for ourselves. Because that is the only way we can be there for others in a way that is full of love, understanding, and strength.

I love you!

Until next time,

#SLSCF #Omari Porter #Stanford University #scholar athlete #football #stanford football #selfloveselfcarefirst #mental health #depression #anxiety #facades #mental illness #speak up #tell someone #ask for help #i love you

Saturday, February 26, 2022

When Will We Wake Up?

It's Sunita here.

SLSCF. Self Love Self Care First. Counterintuitive in our culture.

Anything other than a deep motivation, that comes from inside us, nurtured with unending love, patience, compassion, and a humble acceptance of our limitations, is not going to allow us to be our truthful selves.

External validation, and conventional success, while having a place in our development and enjoyment of life, can, and will, arrest our progress, by covertly forcing us to become a label, a title, a position, a kind of person, a mold of the expectation of others.

Unbeknownst to ourselves, giddy with a stroke to our ego, and our genuine need to belong, we accept this imprisonment. Not wanting to disappoint others who have placed their expectations or needs on us, we might keep trudging along in a direction that is not truly of our choosing. Or, we may accept the terms of such success by willingly offering our wrists to the handcuffs that accompany it.

If we want to live as free and whole as we possibly can, this
 a heavy price to pay. Great creativity, authenticity, and original work will not come from a place of such bondage.

Random, and regular check ins through the day can help keep our mind set stay positive and keep us centered to our inner self. Carving out our own path has not been easy in any time. But now,
in the age of digital sharing, it’s just a bit more tough, .

So, we must put our blinders on. 
Plan our day. 
And go to work on chiseling away to reveal that Masterpiece that we are.

Truth. Our Truth. The Truth. 
It is beautiful. It is ugly. It is savage. It is kind. It is brilliant. 
It is reclusive. It is quiet. It is boisterous. It is bold. It is gentle.

Our truth can only be found in our life experiences. No one else can hand it to us. So, be wary of following a path that someone else has carved out for you. Although that path may look easy and inviting, if it is not one chosen by you, it will come with strings attached, and most likely, with a price tag that will reveal itself to be unbearably high down the road. By that time, you will have given it your most precious and unrenewable resource- your time.

Someone else's experience can offer insight, for sure. And, no doubt, many a times, another persons story can help us avoid making colossal and unnecessary mistakes. But our truth can be experienced by us, alone. Because it lies in the lessons we learn from our unique suffering and individual struggles. Our truth is created by us when we are flailing and drowning in the sea of our life's challenges. We encounter our true self when we find a way out of these challenges.

If we look for outward signs (unconsciously seeking forms of permission granted by someone else, an extraordinary religious experience, or external circumstances) to move forward on the grand plan of our life, we are certain to miss the boat.

And our calling.
Until next time,

#SLSCF #selfloveselfcarefirst #truth #your truth #you are unique #you are worth it #overcome #journey #empowered #time is fleeting #mindset #positive affirmations #you are worth it #masterpiece #you are a masterpiece #calling

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Sydney Carter-"I'm Unapologetically Myself Every Day"

A&M coach Sydney Carter- Photo: Instagram


It's Sunita here.

From where I see this, it's a slam dunk. 

I see no controversy. I feel no need to write a long article about the unfairness and fake power of social media trolls. I don't even think mentioning the latest headlines about Sydney Carter is worth the time it would take.

What I do want to highlight are her words. 

I'm unapologetically myself every day. And I could care less if anybody thinks that I'm being extra," she continues. "I'm not gonna turn up turn my light off because somebody else is offended or intimidated by the fact that I embrace myself.

I wasn't trying to kick down any barriers. At the end of the day, I wasn't trying to set a trend. I just wanted to be myself.

Self Love Self Care First® is about Self  Discovery. Only when we get to know ourselves, do we find the courage to unapologetically celebrate ourselves. 

Great job, Sydney!

Until next time,

With my hope that you will choose to be EXTRA!


#SLSCF #selfloveselfcarefirst #sydney carter #A&M Texas #WNBA #self love #self care #self confidence #extra #own it #embrace yourself # be yourself #choose you #be extra #unapologetic

Monday, February 14, 2022

Hello, Beautiful!

Hello, Beautiful.

I love myself. 
I love you. 

I love myself, and you. 
I love you. 

I love you, and myself.
I love myself. 

I see me.
I see you.

I see myself in you. 
I see you in myself.

I love you. 
I love myself. 

Hello, beautiful!

-Sunita Merriman

Until next time,
With my love,

#SLSCF #selfloveselfcarefirst #Valentine's Day #Poetry #Simple #Love #self love #self care #mantra #hello #hello beautiful #love you #beautiful #truth #self care #connection #we are connected

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

In Thay's honor- "The Only Thing Worthy of You is Compassion"- A Reminder and "Recommendation" from Thich Nhat Hanh in These Troubled Times


It's Sunita here.

Thich Naht Hanh, at the age of 95 years transitioned onwards from his bodily journey on January 22, 2022.

As millions of others, I have been deeply touched, comforted, and lifted by Thay's writings and teachings. Whenever in turmoil and having turned to him for guidance, I have always experienced an immediate calming of my body and soul. His voice conveys the inner work he did over the duration of his entire life, and his words bring me the wisdom I search for, when lost. 

Even though I have discovered many absolute truths through my lived experiences, and by tapping into my inner voice, and intuition, I have a need to be reminded of them frequently. That's when I know I can rely on Thay's writings, poetry, discourses, and answers. They always ground me and reassure me that by staying connected to myself, all my battles will be won. 

His kindness, wisdom, and many years of practiced mindfulness led him to a state of grace so deep and illuminating, that it was impossible for me to hang on to my fears and anxiousness when I listened to him. 

One of my favorite ways of practicing the basic tenant of Self Love Self Care First is to hear Thay explain it in this video, How Do I Love Myself? His answer is a great example of how he could take immensely complex and complicated ideas and conceptualize them for us in simple ways. 

"I am a continuation, like the rain is a continuation of the cloud."
                                                  Thich Nhat Hahn 

I end by reposting my blog of June 20, 2020 in honor of Thay. 

With love, and an awareness that we are all one,

Until next time,



 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.


Promise me,
promise me this day,
promise now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
promise me:
Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence:
even as they step on you and crush you
remember brother, remember.
man is not our enemy.
The only thing worthy of you is compassion-
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.
One day, when you face this beast alone with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.
Alone again,
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road
the sun and moon will continue to shine.

Wishing you a week full of invincible, limitless and unconditional compassion,

#selfloveselfcarefirst #poetry #thichnhathanh #thay #recommendation #alone again #compassion #love #mercy #courage #selflove #selfcare #mindfulness #meditation #eternal #smile #eternal #connected #we are one #interconnected

Photograph credit- "Thay Walking" by Paul Davis