Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Traumatic Effects

The book by Peter Levine, Ph.D. called Waking The Tiger has so much to share on how trauma affects us.  All too often we go through life oblivious to it.  All too often we think trauma is some horrific one-time incident, failing to see how the little moments can be just as traumatic as one big moment.

In the following quote, he sums up so much of what happens in traumatic effects.

Traumatic effects are not always apparent immediately following the incidents that caused them.  Symptoms remain dormant, accumulating over years or even decades.  Then, during a stressful period, or as the result of another incident, they can show up without warning.  There may also be no indication of the original cause.  Thus, a seemingly minor event can give rise to a sudden breakdown, similar to the one that might be caused by a single catastrophic event."  (Waking The Tiger by Dr. Peter Levine)

In my own life, I've had those moments that connected from the current moment I'm living into something that happened in my past.  I was not aware of it. It led me to the Conversion Disorder.  It took me years to put those pieces together to understand what happened.

The series of events didn't affect most people.  They didn't end up with back and neck pain.  They didn't end up being paralyzed and almost dying.  But, I did...  See my book for more about what I went through.

The thing is, we all have those connections, and they impact us differently.  They can add to anxiety, depression, back pain, neck pain and other physical issues in our body.

What happens to us does impact our body, and so often we don't stop to look at that connection.  Even if we do, we barely open the closet door to see what is inside.  We do everything we can to avoid it and delay it and act as if it doesn't exist.

You might not be able to put one thing with the other in a connection, but it doesn't mean that it is not there.  Sometimes we just cannot see the connection.  Our brain is protecting us from things that are just too difficult to deal with in our life.

However, you can be sure that if something physical is showing up in the body, that you need to look beyond your usual paradigms and beliefs.  There is more to it.  There is a mind body connection that means so much more than the buzzword we use every day.

Just the awareness that there can be the connection present may help you heal and move through what is showing up.  Sometimes, that is the hardest part of the journey, but it is often the most important part.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Inhuman Online Activities on Twitter

These days I wonder about the long-term survivability of the human race.  Maybe that's not the best word to use, but I really wonder if we can sustain the human race in the era of inhuman online activity.

We're hit with auto messages of every type and flavor on Twitter.  I gave up on Facebook because I got tired of it trying to run my life with likes, shares, and the latest rants of the day.  At least on Twitter, I can mute words and boy do I have words muted!

However, everyone thinks that automated bots and replies are good.  Even Twitter does it.  Have you ever tried to contact Twitter help and support?  Good luck if you reach anything but their automated bots that give you canned responses.

I try to play by the rules on Twitter.  I try to genuinely make a difference on what I share on Twitter.  Yet, for some reason in the past two weeks, I've been locked out of Twitter.  In the first instance, I wasn't able to get it unlocked until late into the following day.  This more recent time, I was able to get it unlocked because they ACTUALLY called my phone (unlike the last time).

I just wish there were humans you could talk to that would explain why things happen.  Twitter so hates the automated bots, but yet they do exactly that which they despise.  They don't have any controls in place for stopping the porn and hate like they should,  yet they will slap you for some unknown infraction or mistake by locking your account.

Some days, it really gets old dealing with everything being automated.  I'm tired of my direct message inbox filling up on Twitter with all the "against the rule" spam messages that get sent to me, including TrueTwit spam messages.

No one seems to care.  No one wants to be human.  Everyone just wants to blast everything to everyone all day long.  That is not human.  That is inhuman.

Many times, I've tried to respond back to the automated messages, but I never get a response.  I scratch my head and wonder - then why send it to me?  You're nothing more than annoying when you do this.

I think we have to pull our heads out of our collective backsides and start to figure out how to at least be human.  Right now, we're failing ourselves and the world in the behaviors and activities we do.

If we keep going down the path like we are, places like Twitter and the users that spam people will degrade us to a point where inhuman will be the norm.  Surely we've got to be better than that.  Surely we've got to engage our mind, body, and heart together as one.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, July 24, 2017

Self Care Changes With Our Journey

(Written by Survive - Thrive - Conquer, Matt)

Self Care Changes With Our Journey

As human beings, we are creatures of habit. We do things on a daily or routine basis because "that's what we've always" done. I know I've said that very phrase countless times in my life whenever someone questions me, or I question myself as to why I do something.

Why do we go to the same grocery store, by the same brands of food, or stop at the same gas station? Because at one time we tried something and since the experience was positive and gratifying in some way, we just stuck with it. Over time, even with a myriad of other options, we often default back to what works for us. We are familiar with it, and we know the result of engaging in that behavior generally yields a positive result.

For example, there are two convenience stores within a block of each other, or right across the street from each other, how often do you find yourself gravitating towards one more than the other? I know for me, there are two gas stations that are on the way home from work, but I almost always stop at one instead of the other, regardless of which direction I'm headed.

Why?  Habit, Familiarity, Just Because...?

We also might be forming habits in our healing journey, in particularly with self-care. We continue to do what works for us because it's worked in the past, and while there's nothing wrong with that, it would also behoove us to keep an open mind to new experiences that might also be beneficial.

For me, self-care has always involved several Go-To options:
  • Listening to Music
  • Playing my bass.
  • Going for a walk.
  • Catching up on shows that I've recorded and allowing myself to be carried away in the story.
  • Reading my Kindle.

Those things usually always work, or if one doesn't work as well as expected, I can try another and often find some emotional peace and relaxation. After all, self-care is about doing things that we enjoy, things that make us feel good, or take us away from the reality of what's troubling our minds for awhile.

But, self-care can evolve too, if we let it. As we age, our likes and dislikes can change. What we did as teenagers, we probably don't do anymore, or at least not as often or as rigorously. What happens though, since we are creatures of habit, we sometimes ignore new opportunities or brush them aside in favor of what works for us.

Case in point, I had a bit of an epiphany not long ago. Each year I go to a music festival not too far from where I live. It's always a very good time, two days of reliving the glory days and singing along to iconic anthems from a cherished time of my life. That festival has been a rock solid form of self-care for me up until this year.

On the drive home, I was pondering this and wondering to myself, "what is happening to me"? Am I just getting too old for this or is there something more profound happening in my healing journey or just my life in general?

It caused me a good deal of stress for awhile, not so much from the "getting old" thought but more from the, "why doesn't this work for me anymore like it used too" perspective.  As it turns out, after much debate in my head and talking to a couple of close friends, I concluded that my self-care routine is simply evolving.

Maybe I don't need to go to this every year anymore. Perhaps every other year would be fine, or maybe just going down for 1 of the days instead of both would do the trick. Only time will tell, but the point is, that it's okay to be open to change in self-care. Just because something always worked before, doesn't mean that we can't ever deviate or find something different, should that time ever arise.

Back to this whole creature of habit topic that we started with - do you find yourself doing the same self-care just because it's always worked or because it's become a habit?  Have you begun to feel twinges that maybe something isn't working quite the way it used too?

If you have, I encourage you to sit with that feeling, explore it, and understand that there's nothing wrong with you. There's nothing to fear, and you aren't suddenly going backward in your healing. It just simply means that your needs are changing as you grow throughout this journey.

What's done the trick and been your go-to method of self-care might just be evolving into something new and exciting, or maybe just slightly different. Either way, what matters is that we do what's best for us and be open to whatever that change may be.

Rock Your Survivor Journey!

 - Matt (

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Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly and Matt
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