Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day, A time to Lean In


Dave Goldberg, Mo Merriman, Tim Carlsen and millions of men have something in common...

This Father’s Day, I pay tribute to Dave Goldberg...

Dave tragically passed away recently at the young age of 47. A brilliant man in his own right, Dave was proud of being the husband of Sheryl Sandberg, the author of  'Lean In'.  For those of you who have read this book, you already know the eloquence with which Sheryl describes her husband’s partnership. She credits his encouragement and active support in creating a lifestyle which enabled her to pursue her career with the comfort of knowing that he ‘had it covered’ at home with their children when she was at work. He was not patronizing her but truly believed in her talent and wanted her to take advantage of all the opportunities that came her way so she could fulfill her potential. He set an example for their children to see how two people that loved each other fully could work together to bring out the best in each other. He also recognized the fact that despite all the advancements of the cause of equal rights for women, it still is not a fair fight out there. So he did something that only a man who is evolved, supremely confident and truly in love with his wife can do- he encouraged his wife to go into the spotlight while he stood strongly in the wings taking no credit for her success. How do you think this impacted their children? I can only imagine the amazingly powerful ripple effect of such selfless love and gift of empowerment. Alas, they do not have him in their lives the way every child deserves to have their father but they have a legacy of his goodness, leadership, innovative partnership with his wife and his definition of what he considered a strong and well balanced family that made a difference in this world.

This Father’s Day I pay tribute to my dad, Mo Merriman...
I hold his love in my heart. I move forward in my life with a deep appreciation of the qualities that defined him. His intelligence, his warmth and his kindness are embedded in my mind. His curiosity about people and this world is something that I have proudly inherited. The safety and security I felt when he held me are still imprinted on my psyche. His calm voice relaxed me and although I cannot remember the stories that he told me, I am still comforted by the memory of him reading to me at bedtime. All of this has shaped who I am and guides me as I make my way in this world and work towards the legacy that I want to leave behind. I am amazed at the scope of his influence on my development and on how I view myself .
The everlasting and profound depth of his impact on me is truly amazing considering the fact that he died when I was only 6 years old…

This father’s Day I pay tribute to my husband, Tim Carlsen...
Tim, Simrin and Nina
Tim and I are raising 2 daughters, Nina and Simrin. Both girls are smart, strong and may I truthfully add, a bit sassy. I have no doubt that having a father that is there for them at all times and under all circumstances has had a positive effect on their self-confidence and self-image. In this day and age, it is a challenge to raise good kids and our family is no different than most in sometimes struggling to find a way to reach our children with the message that we want them to hear. Today I celebrate Tim as a dad who influences his daughters by living a life of integrity, hard work and devotion to his family. Sometimes the only language that is effective is that of silent but active support. Tim speaks that language well. He does it by encouraging our girls to push through when they are failing, he does it by cheering them on when they are winning, he does it by enforcing the rules even though he really wants to make them happy by giving in, he does it by being available to them at all times, he does it by accommodating late night trips to craft stores so they can finish a project that they forgot to tell him about, he does it by telling them how beautiful they are when they complain to him about their acne, he does it when he teaches them how to use power tools, he does it when he tells them silly, punny jokes and then enjoys their ‘eye rolls’, he does it when he comforts them when their hearts are broken, he does it infinite ways, day in, day out.

As I shared today, I know the importance of a father’s love, involvement and commitment. It is far reaching and trans generational. The Dave Goldberg’s and Mo Merriman’s of the world may not be with us any longer, but their legacy lives on.

This Father’s Day I pay tribute to all those fathers that make their children feel loved and special...
Thank you!
Be well, Do well, Live well,
Until next time,
Sunita Merriman, DDS

Monday, June 8, 2015

The bigger picture

We bring who we are to what we do in this world. 

It leaves a mark on every interaction we have with others, every decision we make and every thought that drives us.

At this stage of my life, after much time and effort spent on self-reflection and growth, I have a better understanding of who I am. I no longer spend countless hours second guessing my instincts and judgment. It is a joy to fully and successfully integrate my inner values into my personal life and my professional life. I operate with the same goals, objectives and game plan in every arena of my life.  

You would think that by becoming more certain of who I am and what I stand for I would miss out on becoming more open and vulnerable to people and life situations. The opposite has occurred. The consistency and merge of my inner and outer life has given me the freedom to follow my natural curiosity with confidence and excitement and allows me to learn and grow from the experience, wisdom and knowledge of others. It has also increased my patience and desire to understand another person's point of view

I recently led a team exercise at my practice. The question asked around the table was,


We all got only 10 minutes to answer this question and had a maximum of 15 words that we could use to describe ourselves. Here is what I wrote,

I am a powerful, insightful, brilliant, beautiful, positive and ambitious human being who cares deeply about growing and helping others grow.

At our dental practice in Westfield, NJ, my passion and commitment to help others grow manifests itself in many ways that makes being a member of the 229 Charles Street family a very special thing.

For my patients- Nothing less than your optimal health and wellness is an acceptable result for us

For my team- Nothing less than providing the best environment and opportunity for you to continue to grow as compassionate and competent professionals is an acceptable goal for me

For myself- Nothing less than a daily effort to live by my values, philosophy and mission to the best of my abilities is acceptable to me

At the end of the day, I take comfort and counsel in George Orwell's words-

The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.

At 229 Charles Street, it is our endeavor to be the best of who we can be.

That is the big picture...

Be well, Do well, Live well,
Until next time,
Sunita Merriman, DDS