Friday, September 22, 2017

Avoidance Is Not Helpful

Written By Don Shetterly

This subject is one I still haven't fully learned.  Maybe it is because it is a human condition that we employ when things get a little too tough.  Avoidance is one of my go-to-coping skills, but when I avoid things, I tend to make them worse.  It was my survival tactic growing up in a world full of trauma and abuse.

Take for example the recent tooth pain that I kept trying to mask and ignore.  I found ways to compensate for it that kept me disconnected from it.  I'm amazed at just how far I went so I didn't have to deal with it.  I avoided it instead, and by doing this, I've probably caused myself a lot more expense.

Avoidance is being employed by almost everyone at record setting paces these days.  Times are tough in life right now.  We are going through horrible moments as a civilization on this planet.  The atmosphere and energy all around are divisive and toxic.  Everywhere you look there is something that is upsetting.  Even if you try to distance yourself from all of it, the feeling of that toxic energy is still prevalent.

We Turn To Things That Distract Us...

To deal with it, we do as I did on the tooth pain.  We turn to things that distract us and keep us from dealing with reality.  We consume things to help give us comfort.  We act all happy and smiles when we're crumbling inside.  We put our attention on anything but the moment that is happening before us because it is just too difficult.

Avoidance can be good in the short term.  It may help you get from one moment to the next so you can deal with the issue.  However, when we continue to avoid the issues that are troubling, we only do harm to our body, mind, and spirit.  We take in the toxic poison as if it is our sustenance, thereby hurting us for years to come.

Avoidance brings us out of consciousness and awareness.  It puts us in the passenger seat instead of being in control of our life.  When we are out of control, the fear and panic and despair set in causing us further long term effects.

During these times of immense stress and toxic poisoning, we owe it to ourselves to reverse the course.  There are things we can do to help alleviate it and take care of ourselves, rather than just giving in to what is happening.

Here are some things that help in moments like this.

  • Try spending some time outdoors listening to the birds and feeling the rays of the sun upon your face.  Try feeling the wind or breeze on your skin and just feel every bit of it that you can.  

  • Trying focusing on your breathing for 30 seconds or a minute at various times during your day.  Connect and feel your breath.  This does not need to be elaborate and can be very simple. The act of stopping and noticing your breath can be very centering and be grounding in your body.

  • Learn to disengage from the toxic conversations occurring online for they are not as helpful as they may seem.  They get the body and mind all revved up as if you are going into battle.  Online conversations do little but fuel the fire and hatred that is so prevalent in our society these days.  If you disengage, you are stating to yourself that you are valuable and worth more.

  • Learn to shut off the TV because the news is not enlightening as you may think.  The videos and sounds and opinions stated are meant to engage you into an emotional reaction.  The more you keep your emotions wound up to the max, the less you are connected to your body.  In time, it leads to avoidance of your mind and body.

We all have choices we make.  We may or may not be conscious and aware of them, but we make these decisions every day.  Either we employ avoidance, or we stand up and choose differently what we engage with in a day and all that we take in with each moment we are alive.

You don't' have to hide your head in the sand to what is going on, but a fraction of the toxic poisoning these days is more than enough.  It may help to picture yourself drinking a glass of toxic poisoning each time you engage with what is going on in the world.  However, before long the effects of the poisoning would be felt.

If we want to change the world, we need to stop avoiding life and learn how to give our mind and body a choice of rest and peace, comfort, and love.  We need to choose wisely because if we don't, we will pass the point of no return, and then it will be difficult to find our balance.

What are some ways you avoid difficult things in life?  What do you do to deal with them?  Share your thoughts in a comment below.

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Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pausing With A Thankful Heart

Written By Don Shetterly

I've been through some challenging moments lately.  In fact, it was getting to the point where I was beginning to question my own existence and if I wanted to continue in that arena.  I can take many things, but after a while when layers build upon layers, the weight gets to be almost too much.

In the past few months, I've had body memories of past abuse surface and cause me terrible physical pain, including a rash that would not go away for months.  I struggled to figure out how to let go of it and heal.  Normal methods that once worked were no longer working, and I was left feeling helpless and lost.

The next thing I knew, some healing work started to shift the rash and my life, just as dental pain came front and center.  I had been neglecting it, but then it got so bad that the pain got my attention.  I'm addressing these situations now, but as a result, I can see that it has been holding me back.  Here I have been asking the universe for help while ignoring it at the same time.

It Leaves Me Standing In Awe...

This brings me to why I'm pausing with a thankful heart.  I had a couple of things gifted to me out of the blue, and the timing of them could not be more perfect or more complex.  Even if I tried to tell the story, I would not know how to weave it together.  It all came together in a way that leaves me standing in awe with a thankful heart.

Both of these gifts feel a little suspicious to me (in a good way).  They feel suspicious because I'm not sure why they are entering my life at the time they are and in the way that they are.  All I know is that the universe has my attention.  No need to put any more flashing neon lights up.  I see what is behind it.

In fact, an angel card that I pulled yesterday and today signaled that there is more to this than just something being gifted to me.  I'm so thankful for what the universe has done, and I'm not going to squander it in any way.  I'm not going to discount it.  I will embrace the possibility of these things to help me see further than I can see.

I had to be reminded once again that sometimes we ask for things in a certain way, but they often show up differently.  I am pausing today with a thankful heart full of possibility and awe.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mind Body Thoughts and My Creativity

Written by Don Shetterly

If you've been around the blog long enough, you probably know that I'm an author and music artist.  If not, let me take a moment to just introduce myself and what I create.

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse.  At age 26, I suffered from Conversion Disorder and dealt with paralysis, suicide attempts, depression, and anxiety.  I was a workaholic and perfectionist.  I could not let anyone down, even if it meant total destruction of myself.  As much as I thought I knew how to deal with stress, I honestly had no clue!

For years I fooled myself until it caught up with me, and my world came crashing down.  The two books I have written are part of my healing journey through the torture and trauma I experienced.  I am currently finalizing a new book with an expected publishing date of early 2018.

If you found this page through a tweet I posted, it most likely corresponds to one of the books below that is idenitifed by the picture in the tweet.  

Hope And Possibility Through Trauma

Hope And Possibility Through Trauma is my full-length book helping those who have been through so much in life.  If you've experienced childhood sexual abuse or trauma or other horrific moments in your life, this book will speak to you and help give you hope and possibility that you too can heal.  Available on Amazon.

A Journey Through Words

A Journey Through Words is a full-color spiral bound book of poetry and other writings.  It is filled with many poems and thoughts, created as I was struggling to find my way through the difficult moments of healing.  It includes raw thoughts and emotions from where I was at in those moments.  Available on LuLu Press

Relaxing Piano Music

I create relaxing piano music that can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, CDBaby and many other digital download sites.  It is piano music without any lyrics, from my heart.  Connect with the feeling and emotions of what you hear in the songs I have created.

From My Heart With Love

These things I have created are part of the way I help support my life and my purpose of working to help others.  I know how difficult it is to deal with pain, and through my creativity, words, and music, I want to be there for others.  I want to help shine the light for them to find footing on their own path.

Many have asked me to allow donations, and if you want, you can always do that at .  However, I would like to ask that you help support me through the creative works I have available.  Click the images and links above for ways you can do this.

I continue to do the things I do out of love in my heart, and I just put these options as a way for others to join this cause.  I know many are hurting and I work hard to be a voice of support and help through the painful moments of healing in life.

Stay tuned, because there is another exciting project coming very soon!

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pain Opened My Eyes
Written By Don Shetterly

Here are my observations about my experiences right now, and I'm recording them to help myself not to forget as well as hopefully help others by sharing what I've been through.  This is not an easy experience dealing with dental pain, but I am trying to learn as much as I can as I go through it on my open.  The pain is opening my eyes.

While I know that pain will get your attention and will increase until it does, sometimes I know we (and this includes myself) numb and disconnect from it so much that it takes a baseball bat to wake us up.  I know that, and I'm sure most people do, but somehow we still numb and disconnect from the pain.

I've realized that the dental pain I'm dealing with is something I've been living with for some time now.  I've altered so many things unconsciously just to deal with the pain and numb it.  In fact, I didn't realize I had even done this.

For example, when eating, I have learned to eat on the side of my mouth to avoid the pain.  Another example is we have learned to eat things I can eat, so I didn't have to experience the pain.  I've learned to just live with it because the fear of dealing with the pain was so great that I just numbed my conscious thought to it.

That's the thing we humans do.  We numb and disconnect our conscious thought and awareness to the pain.  We do it without realizing that we do.  We do it automatically.  As much healing work as I've done on my mind and body with respect to trauma, I still do this.  It is an unconscious behavior.

Pain is there, and even if we feel some pain in our body, our unconscious behavior can minimize it or alter how we see it.  It can keep us from truly seeing all aspects of it.  More importantly, it prevents us from seeing beyond it and framing our mindset and perspective about the bigger picture in life in a way that opens up to possibility not restricts us from being more than we are.

As I write this, I feel like
  • Pain is exhausting.
  • Pain takes over my life. 
  • It feels heavy.
  • It prevents me from seeing things in clearness and reality.
  • Often I don't completely know it is there.
  • Often I disconnect from it.
  • Pain increased to the point of getting my attention.
  • I sometimes close my eyes to the pain.
  • I numb myself to the pain without being aware of it
  • I find ways to disconnect from the pain automatically.

One thing the dentist said that was like a big ah-ha moment for me was that "I deserved to live a life without this pain." While that may be one of those statements that sound so simple, it was anything but that to me.  I sometimes see the wounded part of my life that doesn't deserve to live a life differently than the trauma and abuse that was done to me.

I record these things as part of my own processing of the events that are unfolding.  It is my way of making sense of all that is happening in my life at this moment.

As I go through this process and learn more about my life, I realize that all this time I've been trying to numb and disconnect from it, that it was taking far more energy than if I would have just got it treated.

Yes, I know it is easier to write those words than to put them into practice, but I can't help but think, "I should have taken care of this a couple of years ago because it might not have been as bad."  Hopefully I've learned from this and my intent is to not let myself forget the ways that pain has opened my eyes.

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Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Setting Effective Boundaries In Spirit Communication

(Written by A Happy Medium, Amanda)

Communication with Spirit is not something to take lightly. Unfortunately, the lure of Hollywood Spirit work through horror movies, which fans are devouring at break neck speed, has increased the popularity of certain “spiritual” tools. The main one I’m thinking of is the Ouija board. The thing that most bothers me about the Ouija board, besides it being marketed as a game, is that parents are purchasing this for their children.

Here is my issue with Ouija boards. Most people pull them out on Halloween or at parties. No prayers are said, no intention is set and the gateway is open for anything to come in. Maybe you grab the board to communicate with spirits you know, but if you don’t set that intention, you may get more than you bargained for. Kids are high vibrational beings. Given that they are so high vibrational, they are likely to draw in pretty much anything, and you may end up having to have someone clear your house of something that’s been inadvertently brought in.

Boundaries are important in life and in Spirit work. They define who and what you will accept. Consider your sacred spiritual space as your home. You wouldn’t let just anyone have access to your home, right? That’s why you have locks on the doors and only the people you allow have access. The same should apply to your spiritual practice.

As I’ve said before, spirit communication takes a lot of self-development. There’s constant learning and growth. As you are working on that and opening yourself up for communication it’s a good idea to get boundaries set on your home as to what you will and will not allow. My mentor suggested that I get the  Qabalah Solid Copper Jupiter House talisman. If you follow the link, you’ll get more information. This talisman is referred to as a great protector and bringer of abundance. It keeps your house protected and keeps anyone with negative or ill will away. If you purchase one, make sure that you replace the batteries in your smoke alarms. Mine hangs over my front door and I found within about a couple of weeks of hanging it, we had to replace our smoke detectors. I think this is because the energy in the house changed.  This happened to my mentor as well as a couple of other people she knows that have picked up the talisman.

In hanging this talisman, you are setting a boundary that only good intentioned people and energies approach and enter your home.  Look at that! Boundary set.

When creating my sacred space for readings, I burn white sage and walk around the perimeter of the room where I am doing my readings, including specific focus around the doors and windows.  I ask that only high vibrational energies for the highest good of my client (insert name here). Here’s another boundary I’m setting. I’m only looking for energies related to the particular client I’m reading at this time, not a free for all of any spirit that happens by to come in and chatter.

I invoke the Archangels that I feel are important to my readings (I prefer Azrael and Gabriel) and ask them to help me be an effective channel between this world and the next. I pray that my client get exactly what he or she needs from the reading, and that they leave feeling empowered, inspired and uplifted, perhaps with a different perspective than they came in with. Then I open up.

Opening up to Spirit

Lots of people ask me if I get information all the time, like when I am at the grocery store or walking down the street. I explain that I usually only get information when I’m open to receiving. Typically before I start a reading I will create my sacred space, call in the Archangels and then call in all the guides, Guardians, Ascended Masters, Master Teacher and deceased loved ones who wish to communicate for the highest good of my client (insert name here). I state my name and that I invite them to come in and speak to me and through me with any information required at this time. Then I state that I am opening the channel.

It’s kind of hard to explain, but my channel looks like a tube that comes out of the top of my head (crown chakra) and goes up into the universe. When it’s closed, it has a piece of wood through it, so nothing can come in or go out. Picture a piece of wood on the end of a hollow tube. Why wood? I don’t know. It’s just what I visualize.  Maybe the connection to earth and nature, keeping me on the physical plane. Anyway, I slide that piece of wood off the tube in my mind and I always slide it to the right. Then the channel is open and spirit is welcome to come in.

I do the reading, and then I close the channel.

Closing the Channel

Once the reading has ended and the client leaves, I thank all spirits that came through for their participation in the reading. I release the client and the spirits with love. I sage the room again around the perimeter, with a prayer of gratitude for the spirit participation as well as the gift of mediumship. Once the room is saged and the prayers said, I close the channel to spirit since I am finished receiving.  I picture that piece of wood sliding left, back over the top of the “tube” and state out loud that the channel is now closed. Bada bing! I clean up and my session with spirit is over. That’s why I don’t get information in the grocery store.

Although…. Sometimes I can get information when I’m not “tuned in”, but I mentally ask for it. I think as I have developed my communication, I am able to turn it on and off quickly without going through my whole ritual. For example, if I am looking for information about someone I see, or if someone asks me a question, I might quickly ask, but I try not to make a habit of it. I wouldn’t just go walking into your house, so I wouldn’t just intuitively barge into your life. Privacy is important.

Being Clear on What Comes In

A lot of people tell me they are afraid to channel because they are worried something scary or negative will come in. If you set specific intentions on only allowing high vibrational energies or the specific person you are looking for, that should help with what comes in. You could also state that any negative or low vibrational energies are not welcome and must leave now.

In closing, be careful before embarking on communication with spirit. Get the self work done and the boundaries set first.  Be choosy on what you allow.  Boundaries are a great thing to have in life and in your spirit work. You are the only one who can determine what you will and will not allow. Stick to your guns and choose wisely.

Until the next time!

 - Amanda (A Happy Medium)

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Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly and Amanda
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Friday, September 15, 2017

When Pain Gets Your Attention

Written By Don Shetterly

Sometimes,  I don't always listen or heed what I write sometimes.  I'm no different than anyone else after all.  I'm merely human too.  Yes, I'm admitting it.  Yes, we humans don't always practice fully what we preach, but it doesn't stop any of us from preaching it!

For some time now I've been having extreme pain in my teeth.  In fact, I had gotten to the point where I didn't really notice most of it.  That is until it got so bad.  We can go for a time ignoring and numbing pain in our life, but when it gets too bad, that is when the pain gets your attention.

It Is A Paralyzing Fear...

I have written about my dental anxiety and fear many times on this blog.  Regardless, each time I go into a dentist office or attempt to make an appointment, it is the same intense fear that I encounter.  It is a paralyzing fear.  It is the point where I convince myself that I can put this off.  When the pain finally gets my attention, I realize I cannot ignore it any longer.

For some time, I've used some homeopathy remedies to help, and while they helped, they didn't solve the issue.  I needed to go get things taken care of, but I used the remedies to further disconnect myself from it and let the fear win.  I still remember the nasty dude on social media that instead of being helpful, he came at me with a vengeance because of how I was dealing with the teeth issues.  I still marvel at how people who think they have the answers will bash someone in the head if they don't agree.  That's another story for another time.

Pain Over Powered The Anxiety...

Anyway, when the pain got so intense, it over powered the fear and anxiety I had.  There was no going back.  There was no second guessing it.  The pain was far more intense and challenging than the anxiety, and that's a big statement!

Fortunately, I've found a dentist that cares and is kind and gentle.  I explained that my difficulty is because of the torture and child sexual abuse I went through as a kid.  Making an appointment to see the dentist invokes intense anxiety in me.  Walking in the door is monumental.  Getting an x-ray feels like I'm being tortured and abused leaving me in a state of panic where I can hardly breathe.

I know a ton of stuff about relaxation and staying connected.  I know and practice many things including breathing, but there is nothing that prepares me for dental experiences.  I hate taking medications of any type, but in this case, I will take the happy little pill that takes the edge off of the anxiety and fear.  It is the only way I can get in the door for dental procedures.

With the intense pain that was getting my attention, I saw just how physically exhausting it is.  It almost consumes and takes over my body at times.  It alters how I view myself and the world around me.  Sometimes though, it feels like this is normal to my body and even with all the work I've been through, at times I forget it isn't.

The dentist told me before I left her office that I deserve to be pain-free.  You know, I had not thought about that until that moment.  I've learned to live with the pain of being tortured and abused and sometimes it is easy to forget, that I don't have to live with it.  I can choose differently.

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Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Reflections On My Birthday

Written By Don Shetterly

As I approach the day I entered this world, I'm drawn to the bigger view and purpose of my life.  If I live to the expected length of life, I'm well past half way through my life.  It makes me stop and pause to contemplate what this means.

I don't care how much I get ahead in this world to make someone else wealthy.  I've already been down that road and I saw how many employers (contract work and regular corporations) only care about their bottom line.  Their employees and contractors are human chum that can be replaced at any time.  I have no desire to be a part of that world any longer.

I don't care how many things I have in life.  In fact, I keep trying to de-clutter and reduce what I already have.  Things are not important to me.  They are temporary.  They are not the human experience to me.  I don't need the latest and greatest phone or electronics or the most beautiful and expensive house and car.  There is far much more important to me than material possessions.

It doesn't matter what the latest gossip of the day is or what celebrity has done what lately.  It doesn't matter if I'm up-to-date on the most recent news headline of the day, for most of it is just fear replicated over and over to the masses.

I see things more clearly now than I ever have in my life.  I see that friends and loved ones are what matters.  Losing people close to me makes all those that come into my life that much more special.

Experiences Are Far More Valuable...

I see memories and experiences being far more valuable than any possession I could buy.  They give me a richness and fullness in life that nothing in a store could ever do.

I see that purpose and personal growth far outweigh anything the masses push as being important.  I know there is more in life and I want to partake of every morsel I can get.

Life is much more about finding myself and growing and learning and loving every facet of life I can discover.  It is about awakening to so much more, not succumbing to the latest water-cooler talk that happens in our day.

I want to make a difference in this world and although I have friends who tell me that I have, I feel that there is so much more to accomplish.  I feel like I have a life that craves much more and sees more.  I feel more, and so things that others may discount become monumental to me.  I cannot hold a blind eye to them.  I cannot shut them off as if they do not exist.

As my life and years proceed, I'm learning to let go and realize that in letting go, I gain so much.  In the letting go of past pain, my life is healing and opening up in ways that I never even could believe were possibilities.

Twenty-six years ago today, my life came to a standstill.  I was paralyzed and on my last breaths of air as I tried to travel toward the bright white light.  I heard then, "it is not your time, " and now I understand more and more what those words meant so many years ago.

I have no clue what tomorrow holds for me, but I am content in knowing that today I allow my life to connect with others, hoping that I help them lift their own lives up from pain and despair.  I hope that by learning how to love myself, I can offer and show love to the world, healing it of the pain and distress it is experiencing.

May my life in the next year to come be more than it is today.  May I get to that year marker and look back in awe of possibilities I could not even fathom at this very moment today.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Growing Up With Hate Disguised As Love

Written By Don Shetterly

As a kid, we went to church, every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and any other day there were activities.  Church services and prayer meetings were the norms for our lives.  Days and meals were planned around it.  No one was exempt from going, and you were expected to be there.

In each prayer meeting or church service, the participants (our family included) talked about loving one another.  We talked about how we were somehow different from all the rest of the population.  We talked about how we were holier than all the rest of the people living on the planet.

We tried to be good people and do the right thing most of the time.  We sought to be honest, upstanding, loving, kind and generous when we could We put our offering in the collection plate and sometimes I saw my dad give their entire life's savings while we starved, but we were doing it in the name of all that was holy.

Not Gossip - It Was Prayer Requests...

We didn't mind the gossip that went on in the church because we didn't call it that.  Instead, we referred to it as prayer requests.  We'd offer up prayers in the circle while many would raise eyebrows at hearing the news of various participants.  That was okay though because we were praying about it of course.

We would get back in the car to leave the church service or prayer meeting and boy that is when the discussion of the prayer requests (a.k.a gossip) would start up with intensity.  It was as if there were only a few minutes to discuss it.  I would listen as my parents talked without a pause.

It would bother me, but you didn't dare stand up and say anything for fear of being beat.  You couldn't expose the error in what family was doing because you got it when you got home.  I just had to sit there and listen to it while it made my stomach turn.  Yet, we were a loving family who was special and went to church.  Gossip was something others did.

With the same breaths of love and kindness, we would turn our attention to all those that we disagreed with from our neighbors to other members of the church.  The minister, of course, was not exempt with this, but because it was in the secrecy of our car and home, no harm was done.  After all, we proved that we had love for one another.

Didn't Know Our Actions Were Hate Filled...

If people thought differently than what the ruler in our family proclaimed as the law, we despised them and distanced ourselves from them.  You could say that we hated them, but then no one would have admitted that in this moment or at any time.  For we were Christians.  We were called by God so we could not have hate.  We didn't know that our actions were hate filled.

Never mind the domestic violence and child sexual abuse that was going on in the family.  Never mind that the thought of sparing the rod and spoiling the child was enacted to the extreme.  These were regular parts of our family while we acted as if we loved everyone and hated no one.

I escaped from that life, and it was not easy to leave it behind.  Because of other situations in my life with healing from Conversion Disorder, I had to walk away from my entire family to save my life.  I was cast out as a son that was brainwashed by psychiatrists who didn't know that his family loved him.  I was shoved aside until I came to my senses.  All the loyalty that had been demanded of me throughout my life was now cut off because I no longer lived by the family code I grew up with as a kid.

My Family Still Practices Hate...

To this day, I see those in my family who still practice the hate.  They disguise it as love, but the hate has blinded their hearts.  They no longer can tell a difference.  It is sad observing it from outside the family.  Some days, I can barely believe this is the family I grew up in.

I see things happening in the world and our country which reminds me of those years I have longed to forget.  The one-way loyalty and the hate disguised as love.  The superiority of some as they lift themselves up over the ones they have trampled.  I see a disdain for what is really the truth, hidden by everything under the sun that is not.

If you tried to confront anyone about this, they would laugh and spit in your face.  Yet, the same people puff themselves up as the arbitrators of truth, justice, and love.  Instead, the judgment shown by most people towards others, even the ones that cloak it with some love, is one of the most hurtful things you can do towards another.

I grew up in the church and the family that judged everyone while we smiled, hugged them, and told them, "I Love You!"  We thought we were the best that life had to offer.  We thought we were right and everyone else was wrong.  As I've put distance in my healing from my family, I realized just how wrong we were.  We were not only part of the problem, but we were the problem.

No one wants to look hard into their own life and see the garbage then need to throw out the window.  No one wants to acknowledge their actions and thoughts and words as being not only part of the problem but the problem facing this world.  Everyone is quick to judge everyone but themselves, and I weep at the sadness of this behavior.

Living life in this world is not always easy but the more we hide our heads in the sand, duck behind the knowledge of truth, the more we make it an arduous journey.  We're not as great as we proclaim because a great life is seen through actions, not words.  We can speak the words, but if we do not live the life that we preach, we are nothing more than a clanging gong.

What is in our heart and mind and body is what we display to the world.  We can mask our hate and project it on to everyone else, but until we go in and search our own heart and mind, we will be part of the problem.  Let us open our eyes and become aware of what we truly do, not what we say to convince the world.

I work each day to de-program my mind from the brainwashing I endured as a kid.  I work each day to love others through my heart and actions, not just the words I write or say.  Every day, I strive to release all the toxicity and poison that was pumped into me as I was taught the truths of life.  I am the only one that can change how I live my life now.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Be A Positive Force In This World

Written By Don Shetterly

My heart is sad when it comes to the events going on across our country and the world.  This is not about politics, and if you think it is, you're sorely mistaken.  If you know me at all, you know that I do not subscribe to what the masses say on any level.

I see people that are so angry and so hurt.  I see people that are asleep and numb and disconnected.  I see individuals who view others as the enemy, not as humans walking this same planet.  It pains me.  It hurts me.  I weep, and yet my tears do no good.

There is far too much hate and too little love.  There is far too much judgment and too little understanding.  We stand opposed, rather than united to journey through our lives to discover more about who we are.

I'm perplexed because everyone points the fingers at each other.  We exclaim that we know what is best and all others are stupid, dumb, or irrelevant.  We fail to listen to each other while we scream how worthless all others are.

We hold out to the world just how enlightened we are and righteous and good.  We hold out to the world that we are superior and we know all.  We hold out to the world we are peace loving and conscious.  Yet, our actions contradict our every word.

If We Do Not Find Peace Within...

If we do not find peace within ourselves, we will not find it throughout the world.  If we do not learn to accept ourselves, the world will never accept us.  If we see others as stupid or idiotic or misguided and wrong, the rest of the world will see us in that way.

It does not matter what the world proclaims.  It matters more what you feel and think and believe on the inside.  If you want peace, it must first begin within you.  If you want love throughout the world, it must first begin within you.  If you want others to accept you as a valid human, you must first accept others in the same way.

We're at a crossroads I believe in humanity and either we keep heading down into the darkness of the world where there is no peace, or we rise above it all.  It is solely up to each one of us, but it isn't just words.  It is action that backs up our words.  It is action that shows what truly is in our mind, body, soul, and heart.

Let us be a force for positive change by changing our lives in a way that shows what love and peace are to the world.  This blog post is about taking a hard look at who we are as individuals and seeing what role we truly play in the world.

I implore you.  I beg you as the reader to help make a positive difference through taking stock of your own life.  I'm attempting to do the same.  Together we will make it further in this harsh world, rather than divided where we will not stand.

Let's stop pointing the fingers.  Let's cease to be part of the cycle of hate.  Instead, let our lives show love so brightly that it will take over the darkness.

I love this video because I believe it says so much.  It is Matisyahu singing and performing "One Day."  The words speak volumes.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Healing From Grief

When I realized the date my column was scheduled to be posted, I must admit I felt some discomfort at the thought. I was quite nervous about what to write. With a little advice from some good friends, I told myself to sleep on it and make a decision about it in the morning.

I woke up this morning thinking about the process of healing from grief.

As most of us do, I remember this day 16 years ago, where I was and how I felt. Unlike the many who were at ground zero, I was safe in the comfort of my home watching it unfold on TV and feeling the fear grow that my husband was at work and we were not together. I remember thinking that this could be a terror attack or the beginning of a war, and the fear of not knowing if he was safe, even though he was an hour away from New York City. He was a school teacher, and I could not reach him right away.

I am grateful that I do not know anyone who passed away there, but I do know some who were there and survived. I know some who have lost friends there. I have watched and read many of the stories of survival, heroism, courage, and pain.

I also think of those who have lost loved ones unrelated to 9/11.

Most people who know me, know that I smile and laugh a lot, and like to enjoy the moment I am in as much as possible. I have been told I smile too much and it makes them think I am not authentic. Once I was  asked, “Do you feel you are overcompensating?” I have been called some nasty words when I stopped smiling. I have had days where I inadvertently expressed emotions that were not consistent with my normal, happy, public self, and those around me were noticeably surprised.

I remember when I was in school seeing a sign that said “if you see someone without a smile, give them yours, so” and it always rang true for me, so I try to greet people with a smile as much as I can.

Yes, I like to smile and enjoy what I am doing in the moment. Yes, there have been times that there is a range of emotion behind the smile that I do not wish to share in public but I have learned that to be able to feel joy, pure joy, it is important to allow ourselves to feel the whole range of emotions we have as human beings. That includes the sadness, pain, grief, disappointment and yes, even anger. I have learned that if we suppress these “negative” emotions with a forced smile, we suppress our real joy as well.

Yes, at times, the smile I wear has been a front for some of these emotions, because I feel that out in public we should put our best face forward, and it is not helpful to take our emotions out on others. Like the Sheryl Crowe song expresses: “I have a face I cannot show…” maybe it is a face I should not show at times, especially not at the expense of others. However, it is also not helpful or healthy to suppress what we feel. What I learned is that when I have a safe place to express and embrace my so-called “negative emotions,” the joy that follows is real. The smile and happiness are real, true, full and bursting at the seams.

Healing from the loss of a loved one is not like flipping a switch, it is a process; so if you know someone who is grieving, please do not tell them to “get over it,” or that it is time to “move on.” It is not helpful or supportive. What IS supportive is to give others as much time as they need, to be understanding, to listen (as difficult as that may be) and to know that everyone grieves in their way, at their own time and their own pace. Sometimes they need assistance, sometimes it takes years, and that may be their “normal.”

Embracing our sadness, grief, and pain, is not fun. It sucks. It can be downright awful. Most of us did not grow up knowing how to deal with our emotions healthily.

I know full well what it is like.  I have also experienced what it is like to suppress these negative emotions for too long a period and to me, that is much, much worse. Suppressing them recently took me to a very deep and difficult depression that I had to work my way out of. I am grateful to have found a safe place to allow myself to feel these emotions through Unified Therapy, Jim Fazio, and Dr. Paul Canali. It is there, in this last year, that I have found tremendous healing and peace, and can feel joy and happiness again, truly and authentically.

So when you see me out in the world with a smile on my face, you can be sure it is real. I hope to share a smile with you someday.

See next month’s post for solutions to keeping bugs off our skin!

 - Marie (Natural Healing Gal)

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Please note that this blog post and these remedies are for information purposes only.  Please consult with your own medical providers should you have medical questions and see the Medical Disclaimer here.

Also make sure that you read and follow any label directions for products listed in these blog posts.  This is the opinion and practice of Marie, but make sure you are being safe in how you use the products.

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

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Energy Medicine With Donna Eden

Hopefully, you saw the blog post from Sunday, 9/3/17 for this event.  In case you have not, there is a free masterclass on Energy Medicine, and I think it only runs for a few more days.  Yes, it is free.  When I saw it, I thought it was pretty good.  Of course, I'm always open to seeing things like this.

There is something about Donna Eden that I really love.  I had never heard of the Energy Medicine she does until now.  Yes, in massage school we did learn about energy, and I know it exists.  I know it is healing because I've seen the effects on other people.  This class is different though, and some of it is so darn simple that anyone can do it.

In fact, I'm amazed at just how simple it is.  A part of me wants to say, but it can't be that simple.  Surely this can't work this way.  Yet, it does.  I've tried some of the stuff out I have learned in her course, and yeah - it is easy, and it works.  I'm just now starting the course, and so I wish I could share more specifics, but as I encounter them, I will share them.

One of the things that Donna Eden talked about in the Energy Medicine Masterclass was some of her story.  She had Tuberculosis at a little girl, Multiple Sclerosis at 16 years old and a heart attack by the time she was 27.  The specialists told her that there was nothing they could do and most likely she was going to die.

I'm going to figure this out...

I mention her history because I went through some things back in 1991 which they first diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis and I nearly did not make it.  So, in her history, she has my attention.  The doctors weren't sure if I could make it through what I experienced and most don't.  So when she said, "I'm going to figure this out and get myself well," that's exactly what I was thinking back then.

Some of the trauma healing work I've been doing over the past several years is based upon moving stuck energy of the trauma that resides in the body.  We can do so much healing in our mind, but if we don't move that stuck energy out that is stored in the body, we'll only perpetuate the reactions it causes.

Our energy knows how to heal us...

I'm going to be continuing through her course, but I know the little effects I've seen already, it is worth it.  After all, our energy and our consciousness already know how to heal us.  We just have to connect with those things, and that is often the most difficult part.  I know from experience, and at one time, not that long ago, I would have scoffed at the statement I just made.

If you so desire, I would urge you to check out the Free Masterclass on Energy Medicine with Donna Eden and check out more of the information.  The one thing I've learned in my healing through some of the experiences I have had to deal with is that there is much more out there than we realize.

For More Info:

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Taking Away Their Pain

Written by Don Shetterly

Many of us who are extremely sensitive truly struggle when we see others hurting.  We want to take their pain away, but more often than not, we don't have the power to do this.  I wish I could heal and take away the pain of so many, but that's just not how life happens.

While I realize we can be there with others in their pain, there is a big difference between that and taking away their pain.  Pain is there for a reason.  I wish I understood why it is for everyone, and why it is in my own life.  I'm not that smart and I doubt very few people can truly say with one hundred percent certainty.

I see many things come through my mail promising to alleviate pain.  After all, who wants pain in their lives?  Unfortunately, most of these things are a band-aid applied to a gushing wound.  Now before you say, oh but it did take away my pain, let me explain the misconception here.

If pain and suffering are in our lives for a reason, then if someone takes it away we lose the full impact of why it was there.  If we look to others to take away our pain, we give our own personal power up to them.  If we look to outside forces to fix us and heal us, then we've neglected what our own mind and body are capable of doing.

Keep in mind that these so-called pain relief treatments, models, and remedies do not often heal the pain.  They only mask it for a short time.  I say this because if they truly healed the pain or situation in your life, then one treatment would be all you would ever need.

If someone helps you...

Instead, if someone helps you find your way from pain, then you've got the possibility of being empowered with your own mind and body to take that healing further than you ever thought was possible.  If someone helps you find the way to healing your pain, you now learn new tools that will assist you in the future.  It isn't just a one time fix.  It is like teaching someone to fish, rather than only giving them the fish.

I personally believe that pain and suffering are there in our lives to help bring us further into our own awareness of who we are.  The more we go through moments of suffering, the more we wake up and discover all that we are.  Does that make suffering easier to swallow?  Not in my view.  I still struggle with this concept even though I've come to see how true it is in my own life.

It is in understanding what that pain means to our lives and to the world, that we discover so much more about life and consciousness and all that is possible.  Without the pain, we would miss some of those things.  Without learning how to heal the pain, we would miss the lesson.

I am often reminded of the song that Garth Brooks sings, "The Dance".  The line that really stands out to me in this song is, "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance."

If our focus in helping others is just to take away their pain, then we're doing them a disservice.  Sure, we don't want to see them suffer, but we need to help them learn whatever it is that they need to learn.  We need to walk beside them and hold them and be there for them while they make the discovery.  We need to walk through the fire with them, not merely dump water on the embers.

Our greatest gift we can give someone else in helping take away their pain is that we enable them to connect not only with their mind, but with their body. That connection is where the healing forces are found.  When we lift someone up to that moment and we're there walking through the fire with them, the hope and possibility they will have for their life will be multiplied many times.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

We Have Answers Within

Written By Don Shetterly

It is so easy to go through difficult moments and cry out, begging for answers.  I know, I've done it many times.  I believe it is part of human nature and the cycle of suffering.  We forget, though, in these times that we have answers within our mind, body, and spirit.

While the answers may be there and we may acknowledge to some level that they are, we often don't believe it.  We feel isolated and trapped.  We feel discouragement and despair.  It often appears that there is no hope and no way forward.

At times we reach those moments of so much despair and agony, that nothing can convince us there is more beyond our current moment.  It almost becomes like we have reached our point of no return and so we spiral down further into the dark hole of our existence.

That flicker of hope...

Having answers within us is like saying you can be warm sitting outside in a blizzard.  It just doesn't compute at that moment.  Deep down, there may be that flicker of hope, but it grows harder to access with each waking minute.

I still remember staring up at the ceiling of my hospital room when I was 26 years old and dealing with Conversion Disorder.  Doctors told me my brain was shutting down as evidenced by not being able to walk, barely being able to move and struggling to verbally communicate.  At that point, I could barely remember my name or even feel a needle being pricked into the bottom of my foot.

I felt hopeless in those moments.  I felt like there was no way out.  In fact, at that moment, I was not sure if I wanted a way out.  Believing that I held the answers within was almost like watching a comedy routine.  Yet, I asked myself the question, "Is this all I can expect for my life?"

As significant moments came through one by one, I started to realize that if I was going to make it, I had to find the answers within myself.  No, there was no road map to discovery.  There was no one to ask.  There was no book to read, and the internet was not in existence like it is now.

I had to find my answers...

I had to go full throttle into the darkness of the unknown, believing that if I could not give up, I would find the answers to the situation I was in.  It was not easy.  Many told me their versions of beliefs and opinions that I should try, but more often than not, those things were of little help.

I had to find out what was my own truth.  I had to see what the answers were that I held within my mind, body, and spirit.  No one could tell me those things for no one was walking in my shoes.

More importantly, though, I did not give up.  I did not let deterrents like learning to walk again or bringing my memory back stop me.  I did not let obstacles like anxiety, depression, and normal life functions stop me.  I did not give up.

In a new book I am working on, I have detailed more of the things I used to help me find the answers within and heal my body.  It is not a recipe that everyone should follow step-by-step.  It is more of the concepts that I learned along the way in my own healing.  These are the life-changing moments, not my beliefs or opinions as to what heals.

All too often, we face life's challenges, and we neglect the wealth of knowledge and insight we hold within our mind, body, and spirit.  It is in this recognition that we will make it through from the lowest moments to the points where we have hope and possibility.  When we discover that all of our experiences have led us to this moment, it is then that we find those answers within ourselves.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Your Personal Power Of Communication

Written By Don Shetterly

One of the things I keep noticing on social media is how we fail to communicate.  For platforms that are designed to communicate, we're failing big time!  It is sad because I believe communication is one of the things that help us become so much more.

There are so many times I read responses, and I literally have no idea what I am reading.  It is like a bunch of words and cryptic letters compiled together to form a thought which I cannot read.  I feel like it is a foreign language known only to the person that created it.

In news articles, some headlines are packed full of words but mean little.  It is almost as though the author is trying to cram all the possible discussions into one short title or article.  I read articles that afterwards, I have no idea what I just read.  Nothing in them makes sense, but it fills page after page on my screen.

Another thing I have seen is how people make up words that kind of sound like something that is logical, but again you have no definition for the word.  Instead of explaining the meaning of the made-up word, it is just treated as if all know what it means.

Be clear to get the result you want...

Communication is difficult at best when we are trying to get our point across, but when we purposely do it lazily, it becomes almost impossible.  If you expect someone to understand what you are saying in a millisecond, yet you are nowhere close to being clear in how it is stated, your result will not be favorable.

We spend far too much time these days on communicating in a world like we've not known until this point.  If we keep communicating so no one can understand, we will soon become a civilization that has no connection.

I realize that sometimes I miss the mark in what I write, but it isn't for lack of effort.  Sometimes, I just cannot get my point across.  I understand it in my head but writing it, so others understand it, is difficult.  I cannot imagine using special characters, abbreviated words, and lack of coherent thoughts to communicate.  I would fail miserably.

Maybe while embracing this new technology, we need to not diminish communication but use it to enhance what we say.  Maybe we need to think another second or two before we respond or write something online.

The more we learn to communicate more effectively, the more personal power we have when it comes to getting others to understand what it is we are saying.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I Was Never Good Enough For My Dad

Written By Don Shetterly

I used to hate having to go get tools for my dad.  My older brother would treat me the same way as my dad treated me.  They were too freaking lazy to go get the tools themselves and so I’d have to trek all the way to the barn where we had them.

Of course, the tools were never where they said they were.  Of course, they didn’t know how to properly identify them.  So, I would have to guess and hope I brought the right one back.

Most of the time I failed.  I would be berated with the following statements:

"You don’t have any common sense." 
"If the tool would have been a snake, it would have bit you." 
"Can’t you do anything right?" 

Those and many more statements filled the void around me.  They made me nervous.  They caused so much anxiety in me.

If my dad got real mad, he’d pick up a shovel, a garden hoe, a board or anything else within his reach and beat me with it.  Minor infractions meant that he would just kick you, and I mean physically kick you. 

Afterwards, I would get blamed for not putting the tools away in the correct spots.  There were no “spots” for the tools, only general locations.  My dad would never return things back to where he found them, but it was always our fault.  Then we’d have to clean up the barn all over again, only for the scenario to repeat.

I remember one time in college, I had come home and changed the oil in my car.  I put things back where they were supposed to go.  Days later I get this letter from my dad.  Now, my dad could barely put words together to form a sentence on paper and hardly ever sent a letter to anyone.  This letter was blasting me for how irresponsible and immature I was because I left his “garage” a mess.  It wasn’t me that did that.  It was someone else, but of course I got blamed.

Fault in the smallest of things...

Nothing I ever did was good enough for my dad.  He would find fault in the smallest of things.  Even in the music that I created, I can still remember him criticizing me because it had mistakes in it.  His anger fumed at me when I replied to him, “but how can it have mistakes – I’m just creating it?”

When I bought my first pickup, it wasn’t good enough because I didn’t ask his permission, even though I was out of college, working a good job, and paid for it on my own.  He thought I should get his approval first.  It did not matter that I got the best deal I most likely ever got on buying a vehicle.

When I got tired of waiting on him to help me build a hay feeding bunk for my sheep, I finally just did it on my own.  The sheep needed it badly and day after day, he kept telling me he was too busy to help me.  No, it wasn’t perfect, but it worked.  He could only criticize me and it for every little flaw that he magnified in his own eyes.  Nothing was ever good enough for my dad.

When I would play the piano in high school choir events, he would gloat that I was his son.  It wasn’t that I played beautifully.  It was about how I was related to him and he made sure that he was the focus of the event to everyone that knew us.  His responses to me in private though were nitpicking how much he hated the music I was given to play.  This was from a man that had no concept of music, but he sure was a critic.

When I tried to go to college, he was all for it if I got a good paying job and it was more of a hands-on trade.  Yet, my dad resented the money I was offered for my first job.  While in college and for years after, I would hear that I was nothing more than an over educated college idiot.  No matter how humble and true I was with people, my father resented that I was doing better than he was.

Jealous of me...

I dealt with my older brother and my dad being completely jealous of me in everything I did.  They expected someone to walk up and hand them what they needed.  I, on the other hand, worked my butt off to get what I needed.  I was well known and successful for my hard work in the area where we grew up.  I never had to look for work.  It always found me.  Regardless, though, I had to deal with the never-ending jealously by my dad and older brother.  Anything I had, they thought they should have, even if they did nothing to get it.

I’ve been called so many names.  I’ve been hit and beaten so hard.  I am not sure how I made it this far in life.

I always try to stay humble and be who I am.  However, that was never enough for them and it made my life hell for many years. 

In recent years, I’ve started to really come to terms with that, but I would be lying if I said that none of what I had been through with my dad and older brother did not impact everything I do to this day.

It is my goal to keep reminding myself that they were the bullies in my life and because of their own shortcomings, they felt threatened by me.  However, that is their circus.  It is their dysfunctional issues.  I no longer desire to own them.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, September 4, 2017

Genetic Link with Adoptees and Suicide?

Children are placed for adoption for a variety of reasons. It is true that many are born to mothers whose choice was based on reasons of selflessness and love, but the harsh reality is that some adopted children were abandoned, unwanted, abused, neglected, and even made victims of sex trafficking or other crimes.

Sometimes adoptive parents and adoption agencies are aware of the circumstances surrounding the placement; sometimes they are not, yet, if adopted children are loved and cherished and raised in wonderful, stable homes, why are they more likely to commit suicide?

Studies have found that the odds of a reported suicide attempt were 4 times greater in adoptees compared with those who were not. There could be a few reasons behind this elevated number, one being the fact that adoption, or the separation from one’s mother, is in itself a trauma; Another reason is that adoptees often lack any type of family history or medical background, which could include mental illness or even suicide, which in itself could induce anxiety in the adoptee.

As an adoptee, there is almost an invisible line dividing one from the adoptive family, simply because things like looks and even personality characteristics are different from the rest of the family. Anxiety and depression can also occur because, even though an adoptee may have only known love and family security,  many may also grapple with the idea that if they were chosen, then it is possible for them to be “un-chosen”

This idea can occur even if the child has only ever been shown unconditional love and acceptance. I had a foster sister for nearly two years when I was around five to seven, and when she went back to foster care, was the day I knew I was expendable. After all, if she could be returned, surely so could I.

Adoptive families must recognize that their child may have feelings of depression, anxiety, abandonment, and loss, even if their adoption occurred during infancy and especially if the circumstances surrounding the placement are unknown. Doctors and other professionals encourage adoptive parents to help their child learn as much as they can about their biological heritage if the child has a desire to know.

Parents who have frequent and open conversations with their child about their adoption are more likely to be aware of the concerns and feelings of their child and will be able to help their child navigate through the fears that naturally occur. Adoptive parents need to be extremely aware that even though they have loved their child from the start, their adoptive child may need more than love.

However, perhaps there are more than just external circumstances that lead to suicidal behaviors and thoughts. A new study from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, is suggesting that there is evidence that a specific gene, which is involved in the development of the nervous system may be linked to suicidal behavior. CAMH scientists have found that among people with a psychiatric diagnosis, those who had a specific variation of the gene were at higher risk of suicidal behavior.

The mutated version of the gene may cause a chemical imbalance in the brain, which in turn may lead to suicidal ideations and actions, and may also provide a link to a genetic trait. Some scientists suggest that genetic factors seem to play a role in 30%-50% of cases with suicidal behavior, independent of other psychological disorders or environmental stressors. The hope being that the beginnings of this discovery could eventually lead to the development of genetic tests which could help to identify those at risk.

I am adopted. My birth mother, who I never met, had five suicide attempts before succeeding on the sixth. My half-sister (same mother) has survived two attempts, and I have survived three. Three related people, three different environments and one commonality…suicide, perhaps supporting the theory that being suicidal is not completely environmental and possibly there is some genetic base that further complicates the situation.

It's very possible there is a genetic link according to research.

- Jody (Jody's Blog)

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