Friday, October 30, 2009

What Is A Trager Session

I am not a certified Trager Practitioner but I have taken the first two levels. It is a wonderful form of bodywork that while it looks like little is going on, there is so much that is happening. For more information or to find a Practitioner near you, go to http://www.trager-us.org/

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Release From The Chains Of My Past


If I just allow myself to be in that place, just long enough to listen, to receive, and be with what is going on without the fear, I will find transformation and release from the chains of my past.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reactive Responses

Without consciously bringing these mental models [concepts from our past] to our attention, we can become “stuck in reactive responses based upon our past experience...Our automatic adaptations to these earlier experiences then become “who we are” and our life story becomes written for us, not by us...We are no longer making thoughtful choices...but rather are reacting on the basis of experiences from our past.”

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finger Pulse Oximeter OctiveTech 300PRO

Please note:  I had been using the Finger Pulse Oximeter from Clinical Guard, but due to their insufficiency in customer service, I have since found a different Finger Pulse Oximeter that I believe is comparable and works just as well.  It is on Amazon and at a much lower price.  Check it out on Amazon.




I am leaving the following part of this original post up so that the information is still available.

I just ordered one of these today. This is the pulse meter that Dr. Paul Canali has introduced me and many others to in order to help give real time information as to what is going on with the nervous system. It is very revealing and tells exactly what is happened especially if the nervous system is in dysregulation.

For me, I've recently found out that my resting pulse rate is at 99 which is very high. Most likely it has been this way for much of my life or so I am assuming. I have ordered this so I can help monitor my pulse rate and begin to work on getting it lowered. I also intend on using it with my clients to help not only myself but my clients understand what is going on. When fear is kicking up, it can make us think biological things are happening within our body when in fact, it may not be the case. The good news is that even though my pulse rate was at 99, I saw through some work on the table that Dr. Canali was able to drop mine to the high 60's. So, I know it is possible to do this and just have to work with my body to accomplish this.

I'm anxious to get this in the mail so I can begin understanding more of what is going on inside my body and realizing that there are many things that can be done through the nervous system to change them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Consciousness Or Numbing?

I continue to be amazed at just how powerful and protective the mind is. It is full of deep layers of consciousness that if we open up one layer, we begin to see the the unveiling of another layer. Not until we are ready nor open to seeing the deeper layers, will they become viewable to us.

Over the years, I've had many people suggest many things to me from in their words "just moving forward" to "praying about the situation" and "to not focus on all those things". I've had people suggest that they have moved on while I see evidence of some very numbing and unconscious behaviors that they exhibit.

We all have our way of dealing with things in our life and even though we may appear positive on the outside, thinking happy thoughts, it does not mean we are any more conscious or we have truly taken the power back from these things. We may have tricked ourselves into believing this because it has always been our method of survival, but let us not fool ourselves for the future. We as humans are biologically designed to become more conscious of ourselves and more aware of all that we are. To do anything less than this is to not be human.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do We Really Know?


I'm wondering - what would our lives be if we looked at how we are currently operating our life and tried just the opposite. What if we took everything we had been taught, been told and thought we knew - put this in a blender and the absorbed it however it came out? What would that do for our lives? Would we be courageous enough to do this and find out if all that we held on to was strong enough to pass the test of time?

Time and time I am reminded that all which I thought I knew really was just a stepping stone to some newly discovered piece of information. And that information will most likely be a stepping stone into greater awareness of things unseen at this moment.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fearing The Process, We Lose The Experience


"Fearing the process, we lose the experience of the journey."

When I was paralyzed in the hospital, they took me to physical therapy. While I still firmly believe and see the connection between taking the first step and beginning to talk about the things in my past, there was more than this. Even though I knew how to walk and I had been doing it every day for 26 years of my life, the last memory before entering the hospital was that to stand and attempt to walk, meant my body was going to fall down to the floor in pain. Imagine this for a moment if you can that even though there is nothing wrong with the muscles in your legs and even though you know how to walk, the fears of the experience were greater.

In many ways, my life has mimicked the paralysis because for me, the paralysis was the fear of moving forward in my own process and journey. Even if we know or do not know what the next steps are or what things we will encounter, all we have to do is show up and offer ourselves to the process. It is not about knowing and having everything we need in that moment but giving ourselves to the creation and progression of what lies ahead. Knowing the process before we begin robs us of all that the process involves.

Just as it was difficult in the hospital to walk again, sometimes our journey and process are difficult as well. For when I was in physical therapy trying to walk again, I did not walk ten feet or even a foot. At first, it began with very small movements with my legs and some exercise. Then it progressed to where they put me on the walking bars and with every ounce of limited strength I had, I dragged myself along trying to get my feet to walk and move as they were designed. Yes, it was frustrating and yes, I was angered that I could not do something which seemed to obvious to most people. With each day, I would take one little step, than another. As days progressed, I began to walk from my hospital bed to the bathroom so I could sit down and take a shower. Soon I was walking to the hallway in the hospital from my hospital bed and finally down the hallway. There were many difficult moments through all of this and the little things we all take for granted were mountains that I had to climb. It was all part of my process and my journey.

Today, I was reading Ellen Langer's book, On Becoming An Artist - Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity and on page 153 she writes,
"Our problem is that we think we should know without that which only firsthand experience can teach us. And this negative expectation leads us to shun activities that we would find satisfying if only we gave them a fair try.

Just think - what if I had said "I'm too afraid to walk because I might fall again and it might hurt when my body hits the ground"? For that message had been clearly conveyed to me or if I may say, that fear had been ingrained into me. At that moment in my life, I had no clue how I was ever going to walk again or if I ever would. It seemed like something impossible and if I would have not tried, I would still be laying in a hospital bed or being pushed around in a wheel chair. It was my desire to not accept my circumstances and look beyond my fears that help get me to walk once again.

Once again in my life, I am confronted with the fears that hold me back. While I completely understand the concepts I just wrote about, the fears attempt to over take me. In fact, they have done a pretty good job of controlling my life and robbing me of experiences. I'm not content with where my life is at this moment nor am I willing to go through the continued conflict that haunts me every day. With that in mind, here is what I wrote in my morning time of meditation that spoke to me. My hope is that it will speak to whoever is reading this and it will help lift you into the fears instead of being pushed down by them.

Can I show up? - Yes, I can!
Can I bring myself (to the task I am trying to do)? - Yes, I can!
Can I bring my experiences? - Yes, I can!
Can I bring my heart (to the task I am trying to do)? - Yes, I can!
Can I offer myself to others? - Yes, I can!

Then:

I offer myself with all my fears, insecurities and my heart. If I show up shaking and trembling in fear, let that be my experience. If I show up not shaking and trembling in fear, than let that be my experience. For both are part of my process, my journey as I step out in a leap of faith.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Innate Intelligence


There is an innate intelligence that you can trust. If you learn how to support and encourage this innate system, it will always engage. (from the Unified Therapy Seminar, Oct 17 & 18, 2009)

Innate intelligence is the knowledge that every human is born with that allows it to adapt to its environment and evolve into a higher level of awareness. It is expressed through the nervous system and if we restrict its operation through stress and other influences upon our mind and body, than our autonomic nervous system will become dysregulated. The innate intelligence of the body is the part that does the healing. We are much more powerful than we often recognize and this innate intelligence within us knows what is perfect for us, if we just allow it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Pulse Is Too High

The past couple of weeks that I’ve been finally going to the fitness center, I noticed that when I got on the treadmill, it checked my pulse and it said 99 or 100 or somewhere around there (sometimes higher). I would exercise and it would go up to maybe 115. Of course, I’ve never had problems with my pulse rate or heart rate/blood pressure that I know of. To be honest, I wasn’t even aware of what the normal pulse rate should be although I’ve most likely learned this in school a few times. I had a sense that something was off in me but could not tell what that was. I did not give it any more thought.

We went to Dr. Canali for a session and I had a big release and a lot going on. It was a very difficult session including my legs going completely out on me and my voice was to the point where I could barely utter a word. The fears get pretty strong for me just to be in this state and even though I know there is some mind/body connection to the nervous system, it is still difficult to go through.

On Saturday (day 1 of the weekend seminar), I again went into a very deep place with so much going on. In fact, I felt as if I was in a dark tunnel during the session hardly recognizing that anyone else was in the room. I wanted to jump up and run away from the table, the room and everyone there. I did not want to connect with the implicit memory. Implicit memory is remembering something without being aware that you are remembering it. I had the support of a few people trying to help me but I was so frightened and so afraid that it was all they could do to keep me in my body. Finally the only word I could get out was “Paul” because deep within me, I knew that I trusted him to bring me back from where I was. When I told him “I Can Not Speak”, which was hard to get out, he responded, “you feel like you cannot speak”. It shifted my thinking from being hopeless to the possibility that I had the power to change this. That along with the next statement where he reminded that what I was experiencing at this moment was not happening now. Although it felt very scary, I was ok. Those two things shifted everything in me and I came back from the deep dark place I was.

The tears were plentiful after that and I felt almost disoriented in the room as I tried to come back. That night, I felt like I wanted to cry the entire night and there was an overwhelming sadness that permeated every cell of my body. I felt like I wanted to hide, withdraw and just find a cave to hide in. Sleep was not easy that night and arriving at the seminar on Sunday, I just felt like if someone looked at me wrong, I was going to cry forever. Fortunately, I started hearing others talk about how rough they were feeling and so I did not feel as alone. I realized through the sharing of others, that this was part of the process that was unfolding. As I realized this, I knew that I did not have to fear this part of the process.

Back to the pulse rate for a moment. We took my pulse rate with the Finger Pulse Oximeter Dr. Canali has and it was around the 99 rate again. Even with all the release and stuff that I had gone through, it was still high and had not come down to a resting state. There was still to much charge in my autonomic nervous system that needed to be released. It was frightening to me, to see that my pulse was not coming down but Dr. Canali told me that we would get it down.

Sunday, was a time we did more work and Dr. Canali used me to demonstrate things on others. This time, he would take me just a little ways into something and then back off because my nervous system did not need to be overloaded at that point. This was done multiple times and in very short time spans. We got to the point of working on the Enteric brain and that’s where things changed. Up until that point, my back and shoulders had been pretty painful. Dr. Canali put the pulse meter on me and sure enough the pulse was high. He demonstrated and took me through the enteric brain stuff where it released a little. The pulse rate was still somewhat high and I was still feeling a lot of discomfort there. So again, he worked with that spot with the help of others in the room. There was a much bigger release at this point which then allowed my body to go into a deeper state of peace and healing. I could feel it in my body because the pain in my back and shoulders dissipated and my breathing seemed to be more relaxed than it had been for some time. He checked the pulse meter and indeed, it had dropped to a more normal resting state.

I’m not sure how long my pulse had been high but I know it had been up there for at least two weeks, if not longer. Something in me just helped urge me that something was off. Now I know where the pulse should be. More importantly, I know that if it gets high, it means my autonomic nervous system is in dysregulation but that through the work I’m learning, there is a way to reregulate the nervous system. This is not something that is pie in the sky voo doo magic but it is real and a very natural innate part of our human bodies.

When the autonomic nervous system is out of balance, it often shows up through chronic pain, health and mental conditions among many other things. The good news is that it can be reregulated without drugs and many of the things that we consider as health care today. The problem is, that no one has been taught about these things and the collective consciousness of our country does not really allow us to be aware of these things. If I had not experienced these things first hand and seen the same things happen in others, I might not believe it either. However, these things have been demonstrated to me in my own life and that is something I cannot deny.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

You Are Not Your Thoughts


You are not what happens; you are the space in which it happens. You are not your thoughts; they come and go. You are the vastness in which these thoughts appear and disappear because underneath all your thinking there is the stillness of pure being,... pure consciousness, the timeless dimension of yourself. - Eckhart Tolle

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Slightest Movement



Sometimes the slightest movement in a connected way can be more powerful than the all the energy and strength one musters up in a week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Male Survivor 2010 Conference

MaleSurvivor
National Organization against Male Sexual Victimization
2010 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE


Date: March 18 – 21, 2010
Place: John Jay College of Criminal Justice • New York City
More Info: http://malesurvivor.org/

Plan on attending our next, even more groundbreaking conference in 2010. It promises to be, as it always has been, a transformative experience. Here’s just a sampling…

All-day Institutes with:
• Mike Lew
• Steve LePore and Rick Goodwin
• Ken Followell and Daniel Blausey
• Mikele Rauch
• Tony Rodriguez and Mari Lee
• Denise Hien
• Richard Gartner and Ernesto Mujica


Featured Speakers:
• Dominic Carter: Prominent New York City newscaster, author of No Momma’s Boy
• Robert Oxnam: China scholar and former president of the Asia Society, author of the memoir A Fractured Mind
• Victor Vieth: Executive Director of National Child Protection Training Center
• Ken Adams: Author of Silently Seduced and When He’s Married to Mom
• Howard Fradkin: Director of MaleSurvivor’s Weekends of Recovery program
• Larry Lessig: Renowned law professor, author and advocate for accountability

Special themes:
• Advocacy
• Abuse within Institutions (religious, educational, military, and correctional)
• Addictions
• Treatment

CEs are being administered by IVAT
Watch your e-mail for more Conference information
Since 1995 MaleSurvivor has been providing multiple services to male survivors of sexual abuse, their family/friends and the therapeutic community. MaleSurvivor is a volunteer run 501(c)3 organization and all donations are recognized as deductible on US tax returns. You may contribute at our website http://www.malesurvivor.org or through Network for Good at https://www.networkforgood.org/donate/process/expressDonation.aspx?ORGID2=411831829. Please consider making a donation today.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm A Screw Up!


How many times, have we thought silently or out loud, that we are screw ups? You are free to raise your hand and don't worry, no one will snicker or say anything because if they do, they will answer to me. So, go ahead and raise your hand! Yep, and if you look around the room, there are more hands raised than not. That should tell you a little bit about your own self. Of course I know if your own self would listen, you would not be here raising your hand, right? Ahhh, but I'm being fictitious of course in a way and in a way, I'm hoping to enlighten our own thinking a bit.

Growing up, I had to be on top of my game 24x7 and if I let up for one minute, the results could be frightening and horrifying to say the least. No mistakes were allowed or tolerated in my house. Of course, it might be important to note that what you may understand about the definition of "mistake" is much different than mine. A mistake was something that was when you deviated from what my father deemed to be appropriate in that moment. For example, if you walked a certain way on one day, it might be fine. The next day, it might be totally inappropriate and invoke the almighty wrath of God himself. There were many instances of this each and every day.

Of course, I also learned to strive for love, support and recognition from my father by trying to be perfect in everything that I did. There was no substitute as I was taught for not being perfect and the church backed this up by urging us to be perfect as Christ was. I tried my hardest in everything that I did to out think, out smart and make sure that I did not committed the bad sin of mistakes.

However as life has gone on, I'm beginning to understand how these things I grew up with and hold as self evidence for my life, are based upon false truths of control and manipulation. What my mind thinks is true as a result of what I was taught, is not truth at all. It is someone's attempt to control, manipulate and dominate me into their own securities and lack of self control. I'm sorry if that bursts your own bubble, but it was surely true in my case.

As I continue to evaluate these things, I see just how much this robs me in life of fulfillment, joy and adventure. It holds me back from all that can be in my life and it makes life a miserable experience. One boss I had, told me that I was much harder on myself than they would ever be on me. That is an eye opening statement to say the least! And yet, to this day, I still struggle with this issue. It haunts me and it controls me as if it were my king.

When I'm playing the piano and recording a song, I hear the "mistakes" in what I create when no one around me ever hears that. They hear a beautiful piece of music while I'm picking it apart as the world's greatest music critic. Others hear the beauty while I miss the beauty. Perfection is something I continue to strive for even though I know that it is virtually impossible.

One of the books I have been reading lately talks about mindfulness and with it, I'm trying to step outside of my little box and shell that I have so beautifully crafted, to experience something different. I'm learning that the more I live in a state of mindfulness, the more I experience the true beauty of all that I create in a day. Yes, there are most likely mistakes or things that we would rather not happen but through living in a mindful way, we give ourselves the option of seeing mistakes as opportunities. This leads to joy and empowerment and so much more for our lives.

I will admit that it isn't easy to live in a mindful way but I'm working on it. Sooner or later, I hope that the mindfulness will replace those pesky chattering voices in my head.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Shoes Of Another


No one understands what it is like to walk in the shoes of another fellow traveler until we have actually walked in their shoes. Even through the compassion we may have for others, we will not fully understand. Each of us are unique and each of us walk different paths. We should keep this in mind the next time we feel that we know what is best for the other person. For we may be missing something that is so obvious to them but so insignificant to ourselves.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Confronted With Something New

We often see things around us, through our own eyes and the filters of life that we have experienced. Who can blame us though because these are our tools, our paint brushes and our frames of reference to view everything as a comprehensible piece of information. For without these things, we would miss out on that which we see because it would not compute in our minds and through our eyes.

The challenge we face as humans though is to understand that which we cannot truly see and that which is not clear to us. Whether it is a new concept we have not learned, a spark of an idea that does not have defining edges or someone else going through difficult times, each of these things are an opportunity for us to learn, to grow and to really understand who we are as individuals and how we fit in with the things that are fuzzy.

When we are confronted with something new, let us see if we can define the edges of it so that we have a better understanding of what it is that we are looking at. Let us not be afraid, but welcome the newness with an open mind, an analytical heart and the curiosity of a child.

*Photo by NASA/courtesy of nasaimages.org

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fragments Of Awarness

This is my second painting called "Fragments Of Awareness". Please click on the picture to enlarge it to full size. (c) 10/04/2009 by Don Shetterly (all rights reserved).


When I started to paint this, I had a different image in my mind, but of course staying with the moment, I allowed the painting to go where it needed to go. It turned into something much different than I expected, but it still has the intricate layers interwoven within the brush strokes on the cavass.

The background color actually turned out to be a different shade of red than I initially had chosen, but I love it and I almost didn’t want to add anything to it. However, the background is full of dimensions itself and many layers. There is so much depth and texture that it could very likely write its own story.

Of course the central part of this painting is the face in the center. It is the generic face of a person with one eye that is partially open to one dimension, and the other eye that is partially opened to another dimension. They are not balanced and that was done on purpose because we never see things fully as they are. All things that come into our view are filtered by our experiences, what we have been taught, and what we have learned as well as where we are currently at in our lives. The face was meant to resemble a person’s face, but yet stay mysterious as to all that was going on. Each person, who sees this painting will come away with a different view, and I’m not going to impose my view upon anyone. I want everyone to see what they see in it, not what I see in it.

This painting was done over a period of several days, and images were added at different times by color, as to how I felt at that given moment. There are some images that resemble birds and animals, while others are just marks and shapes without much thought as to what they were supposed to be. There are angels in the painting as there are in everything that I paint. You may need to look closely to find them. Again, I’m sure each person looking at this will see different things in each of the shapes, based upon their life and what those shapes or objects represent to them. I did try to strike a balance between color and placement, but leaving the pattern of the shapes and objects on the canvass to be random and in a placed format. I wanted them to have a life all to their own, but to be separate while being part of the entire painting.

Fragments of Awareness is the name I got as the painting came to completion. In our lives, what we know and see today or are aware of, will most likely be different tomorrow. We may not even see the objects fully until they are very close to us and even if we think we see them, what we see compared to what we truly see, may be two different concepts. Often our awareness brings with it familiar objects as thoughts, words, and music, among other things. It also brings with it little pieces that begin at first by being mysterious, and then growing to full recognition within ourselves. We are more than what we see, and what we see is a part of us, as we are a part of it. The possibilities are endless and the experiences many, but with each new moment of each new day, what we are aware of is much more than the day before. This is what makes us human; to become more aware of ourselves, what is around us, and how we impact all that we touch through our lives. Of course, this is my view behind the painting, but each person who views it will see it through their own awareness, and it will take on a life of its own which is ever changing.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine - Educate Before You Vaccinate

Just so everyone here doesn't think I am being to one sided, here's a medical doctor (Dr. Kent Holtorf) that was on FoxNews and he was basically saying, I would not give this H1N1 Vaccine (Swine Flu Vaccine) to his own children. That is a very powerful statement coming from a medical doctor especially on FoxNews.

On the following site, there were some tidbits of information about the H1N1 vaccine that are very informative and people need to be fully informed before taking this vaccine. The source for this information is http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs001/1101240076659/archive/1102743507000.html

Since I do not know if this information will remain up there or how hard it will be to find, I am sharing some of it on this blog as it is too important to let it go unseen. Please read my previous blog post Swine Flu Paranoia if you want to know where I stand on these things.

Here is the YouTube video of the Fox News Program with Dr. Kent Holtorf (Please note, I am not endorsing Fox News or these medical doctors, only sharing with you what I found online. Please evaluate all facts necessary and seek appropriate advice before making any medical decisions about your own life). I am not familiar with these medical professionals that are being intereviewed and quoted in this blog post so please do your own research to determine who they are and any conflicts of interest they may have. See the video below:



Dr. Mayer Eisenstein's Comments (from the website referenced above)

Here Is the Core of My Concern:

There is no convincing scientific evidence that mass inoculations can be credited with eliminating any childhood disease. . . .

It is commonly believed that the Salk vaccine was responsible for halting the polio epidemics that plagued American children in the 1940's and 1950's. If so, why did the epidemics also end in Europe, where polio vaccine was not so extensively used? . . . .

1. There are significant risks associated with every vaccination and numerous contraindications that may make it dangerous for the shots to be given to your child. . . .

2. While the myriad short-term hazards of most vaccinations are known (but rarely explained), no one knows the long-term consequences of injecting foreign proteins into the body of your child. Even more shocking is the fact that no one is making any structured effort to find out.

3. There is a growing suspicion that vaccination against relatively harmless childhood diseases may be responsible for the dramatic increase in autoimmune diseases since the introduction of mass inoculations. These are life altering diseases such as cancer, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, autism.

4. Vaccines contain many ingredients of which the public is not aware. These are just some of the ingredients used in production of vaccines:
* Ethylene glycol - antifreeze
* Phenol - also known as carbolic acid. This is used as a disinfectant, dye.
* Formaldehyde - a known cancer causing agent
*Aluminum - is associated with Alzheimer's disease and seizures, also cancer producing in laboratory mice. It is used as an additive to promote antibody response.
* Thimerosal - a mercury disinfectant/ preservative. It can result in brain injury and autoimmune disease.
* Neomycin, Streptomycin - antibiotics which have caused allergic reactions in some people.

5. These vaccines are also grown on and strained thru animal or human tissue such as monkey kidney tissue, chicken embryo, embryonic guinea pig cells, calf serum, human diploid cells (the dissected organs of aborted fetuses as in the case of rubella, hepatitis A, and chicken pox vaccines).

6. The problem with using animal cells is that during serial passage of the virus thru the animal cells, animal RNA and DNA can be transferred from one host to another. Undetected animal viruses may slip past quality control testing procedures, as happened during the years 1955 thru 1961. The polio vaccine, which was grown on the kidney of the African Green monkey (simian), was contaminated with SV40 (simian virus #40 - the 40th discovered) which differs from the prior 39 because it has oncogenic (cancer causing) properties. What other viruses could be slipping by from animal tissue, administered through vaccinations, that we don't know of?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Charting The Course Of Life


When you are met with resistance at every turn in your life and in many of life's daily events, than one must scratch their head, evaluate and see if a new course needs to be charted. - Don Shetterly

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mistakes

Mistakes are something that I've always been pretty hard on myself throughout my entire life. There are plenty of reasons as I'm sure many others out there would attest to as well. I could delve into the details of all of these, but it most likely would not further this particular discussion. Of course, it is important to note that I am not saying you should not travel into these areas of your life. On the contrary, I feel it is important to go in and reclaim these misfires of communication in your mind that distort mistakes. Once you do, you offer your brain a different path to travel when these circumstances come up.

I am very creative but as I create, I get very critical of myself. This is especially true when it comes to creating music. Most of the music I play is songs that I create in the moment. They are not repeated from anyone or anything but totally what happens at the moment my hands rest on the keyboard. If you had the opportunity to be around me when I am creating, you would more than likely hear me say at some point as I was listening to a playback of the song, "there was a mistake". To the average person or even the talented musician, they would not hear the mistake. That is because what I call a mistake is how what I am hearing playback to me is not how my mind heard the music come together. And yet, I am realizing now that those little moments that I call mistakes have led to some wonderful moments in the songs I have created. It has given them a depth and dimension all to their own that without these "mistakes", they would not be all that they are.

One of my favorite authors, Ellen Langer in the book "On Becoming An Artist" writes about mistakes in the following quote on page 81

If we know just where we are going we can’t go anywhere new. Mistakes not only set the stage for a mindful approach to the work at hand but also reveal our individuality. When we all act according to the same plan, our final products are likely to look the same, just as machine-made rugs do. Our “errors,” by contrast, stand a chance to be both unique and interesting. The difference between a line drawn with a ruler and one drawn by hand is that, in the latter, the individual shines through.


So if we feel we really have to embrace that we make mistakes in life, why not try turning the tables on the thought process for a moment. If we see mistakes as an opportunity towards greater awareness or insight, than the person who makes many mistakes, has so many opportunities in life. Just imagine having all those opportunities.

Of course if we take the mindful approach to what we consider mistakes, than all that you are and all the potential you have, has the opportunity to shine as bright as the brightest star.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Swine Flu Paranoia

I received this picture in an email the other day and I have no idea who created it. Whoever they are, you did a wonderful job depicting the paranoia surrounding the swine flu. If the creator of this picture sees this post, please let me know who you are so I can give proper credit to you.

While I know the general population feels that health care is about taking shots, vaccines, medications and having all types of medical procedures done, there are other ways. If we continue to subscribe to this paradigm, we are not making ourselves more healthy. We are avoiding the inevitable. I know there are many out there that feel this is the only way, and I know that many would not listen to much outside of that but I'm asking that you do not accept the status quo as the only route. Step away for a moment, from all that society, the news and those you have always listened to are telling you and seek out that which is a powerful force of healing and health within our bodies. You need not go any further in discovery than looking within yourself.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Discover New Lands

I can only forge ahead into the seas,
Knowing that my ship will sail on,
Looking to the stars and moon
As I move to new worlds beyond. -
(c) 2000 by Don Shetterly



Taken from the poem, New Worlds by Don Shetterly from his book, "A Journey Through Words"
.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shine The Light Of Truth


If you sweep the dirt under the rug, it doesn't mean you've swept the floor.


One of the things that I am passionate about in life is exposing the secrets that we learned growing up, and the secrets that we harbor as we get older. We all do it for one reason or another. Part of it is human nature and part of it is our coping mechanism in life. If you are reading this and don't think you push things under the rug, please begin watching this in yourself from the observer viewpoint instead of through your own eyes.

Of course, I know that many of us have been through many experiences in our lives. Sometimes we wish to remember them and often times we want to forget them. It gives us a temporary high, a temporary feel good type of feeling if we just forget them and try to put them outside of our view. However, if we attempt to do this, it does not get rid of that which we don't want to see. It only puts it out of our immediate view.

Why humans continue to do this, I don't completely understand. Of course, I did it for many years. Hoping that with time and thinking positive thoughts and just trying to avoid it all, things would just all be zippidy doo dah happy go lucky! I tried for years to just avoid it through various ways and means. And for many years, I successfully just blocked it out, but that doesn't mean it was gone! No sir! It was still there just like it was before. It wasn't until life almost came to a final farewell for me that I had to make a choice. The only choice I had in those last few moments was either to continue hiding from all the shit in my life or to open my eyes and begin to deal with it.

Granted, it is easier to just hide from it and shove it down under the rug far from view -- or so we THINK it is. In all reality though, the energy that it takes to do this robs us from so much in our lives that we cannot even see in the moment we make that choice. It robs us of fully being human and being all that we can be. If we allow it to hide from our view, it will eventually come to terms with us. We cannot escape it forever because it will catch up with us in one way or another. Mark my words!

I'm not making this up because I know first hand what it does to your physical body. Many walk around with these things each and every day of their lives, oblivious to the fact. There is freedom from it but it requires courage to face it, not fear to run away.

One of the things that I have been confronted with all my life is when I know something is true and I try to share it, write about it, or say it, there are people who feel I need to stay silent. Of course it is not stated that way. They are well intentioned people, but the effect of their words and actions is not positive. And yet, it continues to take place, time and time again. If I earned a dollar for every time, I was pushed to stay silent, I'd be a billionaire by now.

How do people request me to be silent? This happens by making sure that they tell me to think happy, positive thoughts and just move on with life. They want me to think about all the good in life, and none of that which I've been through. They want me to focus on pretty, happy things while ignoring what is currently going on. I even see people write about this on a daily basis claiming that you can just change your thoughts and outlook and poof, all of this will be magically better. I agree that positive thinking and changing your thoughts does go a long ways, but there are much deeper things at play than this.

Of course, I know that if I write, or talk about those things that have caused intense pain from my past, that it is going to make people reading it that connect with the words, feel uneasy. They would rather not be reunited with those thoughts, because there is still a strong source of pain from those experiences. There is so much fear locked up within these events that by shedding any lights whatsoever on them, the monsters appear in attack form. I can understand all of this, but continuing to hide from that which is able to help someone grow and release these things, seems to be like a terroristic activity on one’s self.

I've seen with my own eyes in my own physical body, just how much the body and the subconscious mind holds. It is through the fear that is locked within those events that we try to stay disconnected from them. I've witnessed this in others more times than I can even begin to remember. And yet, the energy that is driven by the fears of these events is forever robbing us of being as human as we can be, and it is robbing us of our complete and perfect health, physically in our body, our mind, and our spirit. There is so much more that so many of us do not realize is possible in this world and yet, when we let the fear consume us (even if we don't realize we're doing this) we are not being all that we are intended to be.

When I was lying in the hospital bed at 25 years of age wondering if I would ever walk again, talk again, sit up in a bed or be able to function as a normal human being, it changed my life completely. Neither myself nor the doctors understood how to treat this, and it was many weeks before I even knew the name they put on the condition, which was called a conversion disorder or hysterical paralysis. I wondered how I would ever overcome this, and all I knew was that in order to do it, I had to have the desire to do this. The path ahead for me was unclear, and I learned then that I could only take it one step at a time, literally. I had no clue how to talk better, walk more than two steps or even sit up in bed. I had no clue how to get my memory back past knowing my first name. I had no clue how to get beyond where I was at in life. It seemed as if I was trying to climb the highest wall in my life.

The thing I did know was that as I began talking about things, life began to change and I began to walk, taking my first steps once again. As I began to go deeper and uncover more, I gained more of my physical body back. Sure, there were tough times and times that I almost wanted to give up, but I knew that if I did not keep going, my life would most likely come to an end as it almost did. I had been given another chance at life and believe me, I was not going to throw this one away.

For much of my life, I have had to stand on my own against all odds and without anyone being my support and backing. There were times that I knew things, but no one could corroborate or help prove that which I knew. There were times that I learned things that no one I knew could even begin to understand. Fortunately, I met some people along my own path, that have helped give credibility to what I know and what I've learned. As hard as it may get, sometimes I know that I do have to stand alone and apart from most of the world. What I know to be true is not something I read in a book or what someone told me. It is what I have experienced first hand. It is what guides me further into my own healing and discovery. For that, I will never apologize if my passion runs high. I do not wish to run and hide from that which I am or all I am trying to become. All my experiences, even the rough ones are part of who I am. To deny those, I deny myself.

So when I write, it is often that I write out of discovery and from my own processing of events current and past. It is my way of learning that I share with the world, hoping that someone out there begins to connect and understand what it is that I'm trying to share. When I write from my heart and experiences, it isn't that I want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, because I usually try to write from what I have personally experienced. If someone finds what I write to be in disagreement with what they believe or feel, my only request is that you will question it within yourself until you either find a home for some part of it, or you dismiss it because it has no place. However, if what I write invokes a strong reaction in you, please don't dismiss that but look at it through the observer’s viewpoint and see what you may learn from what I am writing. I try to do the same and learn all I can from these interactions.

We are all more than we currently are and the fears of the old often hold us back. More times than not, we cannot even clearly see and identify the fears, but they are there. Let each one of us have the courage to go in and face the fears with the knowing that as we do this, we will be reclaiming so much more of ourselves and offering ourselves much more freedom and choice in the days ahead. That is my hope for everyone that reads anything I write or hears anything I say. There is nothing higher in life than the true discovery of ourselves, as we shine the light of truth into every nook and cranny of our lives.

Images used courtesy of NASA/courtesy of nasaimages.org