Friday, April 30, 2010

Ragged Cuticles - Symptoms Of Stress, Part 3

This is Part 3 of 9 Part Series - Ragged Cuticles

I’ve got to admit that when I read this on , I had never considered ragged cuticles as a symptom of stress. However, reading that nervous habits of nail biting as being channels of our stress, it makes sense. We all have nervous habits. People do all kinds of things in a day that just about bug the daylights out of others. Often times, the people doing these things don’t even realize they are doing them and people around them are afraid to bring it up for fear of angering these people. It sometimes is not an easy condition if you are easily annoyed by nervous habits of others. Here’s an interesting web page about the nervous habits that people have.

Nervous habits can be defined as a constantly repeated gesture, mannerism or body motion which is either unconscious or compulsive. In “Measurement Of Nervous Habits” by Willard C. Olson, there are many nervous habits. These include nail biting, shrugging the shoulders, raising eyebrows, biting lips, nodding, shaking your head, clenching fists, scratching, yawning, swallowing, clearing your throat, hiccuping, coughing and sighing. Willard Olson al found that nervous habits are aggravated by poor general health, inadequate nutrition, emotional tantrums, nervous fatigue, stress and too much exercise.

If our nervous system is overloaded, than the excess energy has to find somewhere to go. Unless we find a way to discharge that energy, it will show up in various ways with our body. Of course recognizing that you have nervous habits is a good first step but then when you see the nervous habit show up, try to connect that to what is going on in your life. Most likely you will find something happening in your life that is major and is a connection to this. When you look for that and connect the two things together, you will find relief and a greater awareness of yourself.

Symptoms Of Stress: (9 Part Series)

Part 1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
Part 2. Eye Twitching
Part 3. Ragged Cuticles
Part 4. Cavities
Part 5. Rashes & Itching
Part 6. Nausea
Part 7. Sleep
Part 8. Forgetfulness
Part 9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eye Twitching - Symptoms Of Stress, Part 2

This is Part 2 of 9 Part Series - Eye Twitching

Debbie Mandel, MA, author of “Addicted To Stress” is quoted in the article and calls the condition of eye twitching, blepharospasm. Blepharospam is the technical term for involuntary eye spasms. Some doctors may refer to this condition as a blinking disorder which may sound serious when in reality it is not. Some patients with Tourette’s Syndrome may experience more serious eye blinking disorders that require evaluation and treatment. Of course frequent uncontrollable blinking can result in vision disturbances and most of the time it is just plain annoying.

There are other causes of eye twitching beside stress but stress is one of the major ones. Corneal irritation or injury, fatigure, lack of sleep, eye strain or other neurological disorders can also cause eye twitching. For more information on this, please visit .

I find it amazing though in the work that I do with Unified Therapy ™ and what I’ve learned from Dr. Paul Canali of Evolutionay Healing Institute is that when a person is deep into conscious healing on the table, there is a rapid movement in the eyes. It is almost like it indicates the level of deep processing a person is doing in their mind when in this state.

In sleep, one of the levels that we all try to obtain at night is REM sleep (or rapid eye movement). Again, this indicates that we are deep into the slower brain waves and processing so much. It is where all the most restful, rejuvenating and restoring sleep we can get.

So eye twitching in itself may be a message that our body is sending to us that it is time to stop, rest and go within ourselves. Of course we can fail to listen to our bodies and seek out all types of medical conditions but ultimately, there is a high chance that it is going to come back to something that we have the power to influence. Just by stopping in our busy life and focusing on what we are feeling or experiencing in the body and noticing any emotions that may come up with that, we could be really offering some deep healing to ourselves. Of course, we have to allow ourselves to go there.

Symptoms Of Stress: (9 Part Series)

Part 1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
Part 2. Eye Twitching
Part 3. Ragged Cuticles
Part 4. Cavities
Part 5. Rashes & Rashes
Part 6. Nausea
Part 7. Sleep
Part 8. Forgetfulness
Part 9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tense Muscles - Symptoms Of Stress, Part 1

This is Part 1 of 9 Part Series - Tweaked Or Tense Muscles

Have you ever had one of those muscle spasms that about sends you through the roof or muscles that are so tense and painful. Hello – welcome to stressville! Tense and tight muscles are messages from your body. Your body is trying to get your attention about something. According to the Yahoo Health article, the person quoted on this suggests that this is just a part of the fight or flight response which is really not needed in our lives anymore. I would suggest that this is a very narrow view and is missing relevant pieces of information.

The fight or flight situation is our response to stress. If our nervous system is so overload and overworked where we cannot process stress coming at us, then we will go into the fight or flight response. Fight or flight is part of our nervous system and our biology. It is there to warn us when we are in danger but when the danger passes, we should be able to move beyond this and let go of it.

When the danger (or stress or trauma) is so intense that we it overloads our circuits, the excess energy has to go somewhere. It finds a home within us and within our muscles, our cells and our overall biology. Until we go deep into these danger points, we will continue to live with this pain and the tight or tweaked muscles. While we can find moments of peaceful relaxation doing all kinds of movements and exercises, we do not truly discharge these things until we go in and release them from ourselves. The good news is that it is possible to release and discharge this stuff from our bodies.

By consciously connecting and allowing ourselves to go into the fears that are locked up within these painful areas of our body, we can choose to let go of all of it. When we do that, we free ourselves from this and it recaptures so much stored energy (potentiation). As we go into these things, we not only get immediate changes in our body, but it sets us up to go further into ourselves and become more connected with ourselves. We are much greater than we believe and we have much more power over our biology than many of us think.

Symptoms Of Stress: (9 Part Series)

Part 1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
Part 2. Eye Twitching
Part 3. Ragged Cuticles
Part 4. Cavities
Part 5. Rashes & Itching
Part 6. Nausea
Part 7. Sleep
Part 8. Forgetfulness
Part 9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Labyrinth Experience

I know that my friend Trish loves the Labyrinth Experiences that she has done but to be honest, I wasn't fully sure what they were. So I asked her to write about what they are. The following article was written by Trish Kalhagen and you can learn more about the work she does through the link at the end of the article.

What Is A Labyrinth?

They are usually a rounded path that can be created in different patterns. There is one way in and one way out, unlike a maze. They can be walked outside and inside. There is mystery that surrounds this experience. Each person brings their own individual, personal story with them that is unlike any other as they walk this journey. It is a way to feel the present moment, feel your breath and each footstep. It is an invitation to slow down our fast paced lives and just breathe, just walk, one moment at a time. Some people speak silently from the heart what they are trying to figure out ~~ what is my main question at this time that I would like an answer to? Some people speak a mantra, a repeated phrase as they walk. Others speak just one word that has meaning for them as they move along this path.

The labyrinth has three stages ~~ Releasing: From the first step to the middle is an invitation to let go of worries and concerns. The second stage is Receiving: This is within the center of the labyrinth where there could be an answer, some clarity, creative idea, maybe some focus, or just a wonderful sense of peace. The third stage is Integrating: As you walk back out the way you have come, you may feel grounded and begin to embrace any ideas or answers you have received.

Giving your labyrinth experience a voice with someone is important if you are able to do this. Journaling about it may be extremely helpful as well.

Each person is moving toward the same destination in the center. All will have different and individual labyrinth journey experiences. Opening your heart is the key.

Trish Kalhagen
Reiki Practitioner/Spiritual Director
Sacred Moments
Edgerton, WI 53534

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Monday, April 26, 2010

Symptoms Of Stress

On, there was a very good article on 9 Surprising Symptoms of Stress. Please feel free to read the article and I’m going to take each of these points on different days and discuss it further than they have. This will be a 9 part series on the Mind Body Thoughts Blog so keep checking back for all parts of the series.

Article Link:

Symptoms Of Stress:
Part 1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
Part 2. Eye Twitching
Part 3. Ragged Cuticles
Part 4. Cavities
Part 5. Rashes & Itching
Part 6. Nausea
Part 7. Sleep
Part 8. Forgetfulness
Part 9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hands Of Angels

Last night as I went to bed, I was filled so many ordeals that I had been through in the past week. Situations that were very stressful, painful at times and overall exhausting. I felt as if the universe had give me too much and comfort was extremely difficult to come by. My mind was racing and I knew that somehow, I needed a rest from this. I needed comfort and safety and just knowing I wasn't alone.

It was at that moment, that I sensed the angels around me. I could feel them, many in numbers. Startled by what felt like hands laying firmly on my back as I laid in bed, I jumped to look around and noticed that no one was touching me. The hands laying on my back were not oppressive but calming, reassuring and gentle. As I tried to just relax and let go, I felt more hands, too numerous to count on my back. Again, I jumped up to see who was touching me and there was no one.

While I knew deep down that there were many angels around me all with their hands on my back as if to say, we are all here for you - you are not alone. I noticed the warmth and the heat generated where the hands were touching and it felt so supportive and so filled with love. It gave me a great sense of relief knowing that there was something watching over me. Their hands of love gave me assurance that I am not alone but all this that has been given to me will pass.

So in thankful adoration to the angels who were there for me, I lovingly accept your hands of encouragement, support and a calming reassurance to me. Thank you for being there for me. I will hold this in my thoughts and in my heart for when I feel the burdens are too great.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Piano Meditation Music

Meditation - the moments you spend in solitude and silence with reflection and a listening ear. Yet, these moments sometimes seem to me to be one of the hardest things to embrace in any given day. Between everything that is going on and all that I need to get done, the minutes fly by.

Today as I was sitting there playing my piano, I thought back to all the days that this has been a constant in my life. No matter how difficult the days or the events got in my life, there was always the piano. In fact, between the piano and my pets, I can always find life's center with these things. When nothing else in life gives me a moment of peace or stillness, I always have my piano.

When I was a child, my house was never dull and quiet. There were constant times of screaming, yelling and criticizing. In addition to that, love, touch and companionship, were shown to us in ways that were abusive, harmful and full of evil. It was in those moments, that the only thing I could do was to find a way to escape. For I could not deal with what was taking place at that time and it was not like I could just run away from the situation. There was no place to run to and no place to hide.

During these times, I would turn to my piano and play the songs that I so loved. Most of these were church hymns and choruses because that is all I knew and about all I was ever allowed to work with. Their easy melodies and harmonies along with the gentle and peaceful words found in the verses of the songs, made for some beautiful moments of connectedness for my life.

Today as I was playing some of these songs, I noticed that the pain and turmoil of the past are brought up within the notes. For the pain and turmoil was as much a connection for me to these songs as the peaceful moments were. And while the pain and turmoil is sometimes still overwhelming to me, there is a side of these songs that takes me into a space unlike any other. It is a place of deepness, far removed from this world.

One could say it is a place of meditation or spirituality but to me it goes much deeper than that. It is very hard to describe. I know I have read that Yanni talks about going into a black space when he creates. I'm sure what he is talking about and what I'm talking about are our own similar experiences with this. I'm sure each artist knows first hand what this space is.

It is a beautiful place to be and travel into. It does give me the opportunity to be deep in meditation. To me, meditation is not only about sitting cross legged in silence. It is much more that that. Meditation is a deep connection to what is not readily seen or heard. I'm always amazed at just how much insight, awareness and communication I receive when I'm deep in the meditative moments of playing my piano and creating.

May you find those deep moments within yourself that give you reset, renewal and a different outlook. May your own meditation bring you deeper within yourself.

While I don't record most of what I play in these moments, some of the music has made it on to my CD's of relaxing piano music from the heart. This music often comes out of those times and sound clips can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify.

For More Information on Don Shetterly, Visit his website at

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Friday, April 23, 2010

Keeping It In Perspective

Sometimes life can throw them at you hard and fast and if you don't duck quickly enough, you get slammed in the face! Really, it can! I know - many of you probably already know that. Sometimes though, it just feels like a tidal wave or a hurricane has slammed ashore in your life.

In the past week, I've been hit several times with some major stressors and each one stung a lot. All of the situations were out of my control but yet they impacted me directly and with gusto! Different people, different frameworks and different situations lined up and attacked at once it seemed. Believe me, at one point I was ready to run for cover, yet there was no place to run to.

I tried to deal with each situation as best as I could but the accumulation affect began to make the little things grow into much bigger things. One event hit me so hard that it really made me extremely angry. The minute I felt the anger, I was feeling the need to literally vomit my guts out. A headache raged on and my abdomen was so bloated that moving around or sitting was excruciating. For the rest of the night and into much of the next day, I physically didn't think I was going to make it. And of all days, I had a task to perform that went almost 15 hours from beginning to end. So now, I'm not only dealing with the anger and physical ills but I'm feeling exhausted, stressed, tired, etc.

Yet, I am listening to my body and hearing it say to me that I need to stop, regroup and hit that reset button. So here's what I'm doing.

1) The things that I can take care of and do what I need to do, I'm working on. If it is beyond my control, I'm just trying to say, it isn't my concern for now and I have to trust the system in place.

2) The things that needed immediate attention for me to stand up and be accounted, I had conversations with the person stating to them that their way of doing business was a very bad practice. After all, I lost a serious amount of business income because of a decision they made that strongly impacted me. While they didn't like me confronting them and it may impact further income, I had no choice really because they would have just walked all over me in the future.

3) The things that were just too consuming and toxic at the moment had to be put off. After all, I can only do and deal adequately with so many things at one time. I've learned that I don't have to solve everything with others at one moment. Sometimes we need to regroup and reassemble in order to move forward. That's what I'm doing.

4) I'm trying to take time off and just rest and give myself some downtime. While I can't just run off and get away from phones, email and other responsibilities, I can limit myself for a day or two. My body is screaming for the rest and is hitting the reset button whether I like it or not. So I've got to follow what my body wants or there will be hell to pay!

5) I plan on getting the creative side of me out and just allowing myself to bask into the calmness and groundedness and centeredness of it all. Allow myself to go in to that place that is peaceful, calming and soothing and to connect with the higher side of myself.

Sometimes perspective on stresses and issues in life is very difficult to keep. Sometimes we get bombarded like in a game of dodge-ball that we have to find a corner to hide in or catch the balls coming at us. Whatever we do, there are times when we really just need to stop and find a way to catch our breath, regroup and hit the reset button.

If you're stressed and feeling bomarded, it is time to take a moment and do a reset in life. Don't keep trudging through everything because you think you have to. If you stop and rest a little, you'll fuel your body back up to take on everything coming at you. If you exhaust yourself, you will be taken out by the dodge balls!

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Deep Dark Black Space Of Implicit Memory

There I was - lying on the table - shrouded in complete fear. I could barely feel my left arm and what I could feel was pain that was so intense, I wanted to run and hide and flee. I wanted to crawl under the table, hide in the corner, not do anything that would connect me to the pain I was feeling.

The fears were intense. The questions were strong. Could I do this? Do I really want to do this? This is too hard! All these things were attacking me as if I had come up against an army 100 million times my army of one!

Yet, I had been here before. I had been through these moments in my healing. I knew the process. I was familiar with the feelings, the thoughts, the fears and emotions. Still, my mind seemed like a blank slate. It seemed like all that I knew was not within my grasp. It seemed that reality and pain and being disconnected from my body had all played Russian Roulette, and so the outcome seemed to be impossible to predict.

The more I wanted to flee the pain and hide, the more I felt so alone and lost. My arm at first would barely move, and felt as if the muscles were going to tear apart inside. My body felt as if it was being smashed head first into a wall like a cop frisking a suspect. As the moments wore on, the stiffness invaded my entire body. My body failed to move. It was as if the cells could not turn the ignition on to start their engines. The fears were great. The fears increased. It felt like time had stopped.

Nothing felt safe in that moment. Having someone close to me did not seem to matter. I felt so alone and lost out in space. I felt so engulfed into this deep dark black space that had once again introduced itself to me. While I wanted to flee and run, the stiffness in my body, the pain that ran from my shoulder, led to feeling like I was being stabbed in the neck. It paralyzed me in fear. It seemed like I was getting the crap pounded out of me. It seemed like I had no choice. It seemed like I was destined to live with this.

Yet, I knew I was entering that dark tunnel with the immense darkness of space and time. It was a horrifying and lonely deep black space within me. It was one that I was afraid that if I traveled into, would I be able to find my way back out?

The emotions of sadness intensified, and the tears of feeling all alone and hopeless, void of possibility, swirled around me like a hurricane coming on shore. Emotions of every shape, flavor and color attacked me by a hundred fold as if there was no other moment. The moment of their advance on me, it seemed was now. Thoughts continued to arise, can I do this? Do I want to do this? Can I not go back to where I came from? Can this just be a bad nightmare that will end very soon?

Of course, I knew the answers to these and I knew the struggle. I knew the fight. There was peace beyond this that I had been shown before, but that peace seemed like an impossible dream. Being reminded that I had tools and that this was part of the process was reassuring but the fears laughed in their faces.

And one final last push of going deep into the pain, brought me front and center with the deep dark place I had traveled into. It brought me to a point where I knew I had the strength, the tools and the support to get through this moment. For to stop and turn around now, would only feed the fears and increase the black space. To go head first and take the fears and black space on, I would find something greater than I knew. That one final last push of going deep into the fear and into that which I so badly wanted to escape, gave me the peace I so longed for.

So one last final push into the deepness that engulfed me, while holding on to the fact that there was a way through this - the pain intensified, the fears increased, the sadness overwhelmed me. I stayed connected with my body and kept my eyes on the goal and all at once, my breathing came back to me, the stiffness in my muscles left me, and the pain escaped. My body transformed through all these things into moments of deep peace and insight, showing me all that I could do and had the power to do.

It wasn't magic. It wasn't about the emotions that came up. It was about me connecting to that deep place within myself. It was about connecting with the deep dark black space called implicit memory. The implicit memory has no story, but it holds all the emotions of a lifetime. Its weapon is fear and its strength is feeding from the pain it inflicts upon the body. The only defense is to take it on and say, enough is enough - you're no longer going to rule my life. I have your number! I am in control. I have the power to do this and to continue taking back my life.

I'm once again reminded of just how much power and strength we have within us. We are much more than we often believe, and give ourself credit for. Yet, when the fear looks like a giant before us, we run for cover. In the end, we will soon realize that the giant is filled with nothing more than hot air, and if you poke a needle into it, the giant of fear will deflate.

This is the essence of healing. It is the moment of reclaiming the body. It is about becoming more aware of one's self and finding the insight that we need. Within the body is held vast amounts of information and even though we may feel disconnected to it or afraid of it, looking within is the way to give ourselves life, freedom and hope.

May I remember this each day, for the next time I come up against Implicit Memory disguised as the deep dark black space in my body.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Unneeded, riskier spinal fusion surgery on rise

As reported on, A study of Medicare patients showed that more complex spinal fusion surgeries have increased 15 times between 2002 and 2007. Although simple fusion surgery declined during this time, hospital charges grew by 40%. In the article, it is suggested that aggressive marketing of devices used in the fusion surgeries is playing a role in this increase. There have been allegations of financial kickbacks to doctors using the spine surgery products.

Conditions that spinal fusion surgery is used for includes common lower back conditions caused by aging and arthritis. The findings suggest that these more challenging operations are riskier and they lead to complications and deaths.

About 5% of patients who had simple or complex fusion surgery, suffered major complications such as stroke. This is compared to decompression surgery patients that stroke was a complication because of the surgery, 2% of the time. The risk of death 30 days after the surgery was .6% for complex fusion surgery compared to .5% in simple fusion surger and .3% for decompression surgery.

When you read articles like this, does it make you stop and think a little? Does it just make you question why one surgery over another is more dangerous? Maybe it makes you wonder why people resort to surgery in the first place? Hopefully, at least you are asking one of those questions.

Our body gives us warning signals that something isn't right and usually this is through pains in our body. All too often, we ignore those pains and we deaden them through all types of pain relievers, hoping that they will just go away. Pain is one of the ways that body says - hey, I'm trying to get your attention. Often, there are things we need to change in our lives and yet, we fail to heed the call of the body.

So after some time has gone by, where we have ignored our body, we then seek medical care as the answer to all our problems. We fail to look inside of ourselves and look at what may be causing the condition. We just want someone to take the pain away which is usually nothing more than masking the pain so we don't feel it. If drugs and medications don't work, than surely surgery must or so we think. And for the new age, alternative therapy people - we think that if we put electrical stimulus in our muscles or we do this or that form of bodywork, nutritional supplements and or some type of flavored drink mix, than we will be cured! And alternative therapy people are a little more smug about it because they are doing it naturally they think. Please don't get me wrong. There are many alternative therapies out there that are very beneficial but don't be blind sided by them. Don't mask the pain in exchange for another therapy.

At the end of the day, we are still ignoring our body and what is sending the signal up through our body. We've learned all our lives that pain is not good and so we do things to "avoid" the pain, not fix the pain. Its easier that way, we tell ourselves. Again, at the end of the day, we are still ignoring what the body is trying to tell us.

Looking to others, whether it is alternative therapies or medications and surgeries, for the answers is only going to keep us searching, and wanting relief. It is only when we look deep inside that we will find the answers that we need. Yes, there are people who can help us get there but until we look within, the body will not fully heal itself. At the minimum, there will be residue of the pain lying in a dormant state within our body.

All too often, we fool ourselves into believing that we need to get rid of the pain. If we just spent the time going into the pain and becoming consciously aware of what was causing the pain, it would go away. It would not just go away temporarily either. If we shined the light of truth on it, we would find the pain running for the hills trying to get away from us as fast as it could.

It bothers me so much when I turn the TV on and see the constant barrage of ads on medications. While they do claim this medication does something positive for us, they also enjoy listing all the harmful side effects that each one has. Yet, in alarming numbers, we continue to purchase and consume these medications as if they are giving us life. In reality, they are taking life away from us. I do not want to state that all medications are bad and should never be used. That is a decision you need to make with your doctor but make the decision in an informed way. If you do not go searching deep within yourself and just turn to the surgeries or the medications as your salvation, than you are truly robbing yourself of being human.

There is a concept called the "placebo effect" that has extreme healing power for us. In fact, when many of these studies for medications and surgeries are done, the placebo affect often does just as well, if not better than the medication or surgery. However, these things are often just not written about because they would take millions and billions away from the medical establishment. What company would really want you to know that you could basically heal yourself, if your mind was convinced that it could? That would take a lot of money from the drug companies and surgeons and hospitals. Think about it. Don't take my word for it. Try to prove to yourself if this is true or not.

Health care is not about taking drugs, doing surgery or finding someone to tell you that if you do their therapy or take this supplement, you will be healed. There is just so much of that thinking out there and if it truly worked, these people would work themselves out of a job. The way you become healthy is to get in touch with yourself and to truly travel deep into your mind and body, through the fear and controls you put in place in your life. Anything less than that and you are robbing yourself of truly being human.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Audacity

While this blog is about much more than child molestation, it is very hard for me to sit by and not say something. I was abused by two people in my life, who to this day have never acknowledged it and in fact have done almost everything in their power to silence me. I'm still standing! They have not silenced me and they will never silence me.

When I just read the story of the Catholic Bishop in Connecticut on, I became furious with the Catholic organization. The Bishop is quoted in a letter to parishioners stating the following:

The "legislation would undermine the mission of the Catholic Church in Connecticut, threatening our parishes, our schools, and our Catholic Charities," the letter says.

So let me ask anyone who is reading this: Is the church not there to bring love, peace and goodwill to all men? Are they not there to protect our children, as Jesus stated in the bible? Are these Church officials nothing more than a bunch of crime thugs trying to skirt the laws and protections of our land at our expense?

You may say I'm being too harsh and this has no place on this blog, but I know a countless number of survivors who it does matter to, and who have had to deal with a nightmare all their life. It has kept far too many from finding joy and peace in their lives, because of the living hell they go through on a daily basis. It has claimed the lives of too many because they were too afraid to fight and to stand up and break the silence. That is why I'm angry. That is why I'm furious with the Catholic Church.

Yes, I know it doesn't stop with the Catholic Church. There are other religious organizations just as bad, but so far, they've gotten away with what they have done. In time, it will come out. And anyone who supports the atrocities taking place in the Catholic church is beyond my comprehension. I understand you have your faith and your commitment. I respect that. However, if money is continued to be given to these organizations that support child abuse, then is it just the leadership of the church that is guilty?

I'm really bewildered that a Bishop would put out such a letter and I can only hope that the legislators in Connecticut do the right thing and stand up for what they believe. If there ever is a time for people to stand up and be accounted for, this is it. I hope that all people in Connecticut contact their legislators, and beg them to support the legislation. The victims of child abuse need this and deserve this. There have been far too many wounds inflicted upon the human mind, body, spirit, and our society to let this be swept under the rug again.

This is why I continue to speak out. This is why I stand up with others who have been abused to break the silence. It is hard enough for victims of child abuse to learn how to function on a daily basis, and the last thing they need is for the church to have their way in silencing them. It is a sad testament to this religious organization, and it must stop.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rules, Religion and Control

If you've been following the news lately, you will most likely have seen the series done on Anderson Cooper AC360 with respect to Scientology as well as all the coverage of the Catholic church cover up on child molestation. It is all over the news and of course when the "words" come out from those victimized by these organizations, the first thing that is done is to silence the victims.

The Scientology group of course brings out people to claim that what these victims are saying, just never happened. If you watch closely, you'll see that each person speaking on behalf of Scientology is almost reciting some memorized series of statements cloaked as fact, to basically say the same thing. It makes them appear to be speaking in unison against a rebellious few. Coincidence in the way this is done - not in my mind!

Then if you go to the Catholic Church and see the coverage of the victims that is coming out and how much it has been hidden all the way to the top of the Church organization, you see the top officials making the victims out to be nothing more than spreading gossip and hate against the church. You see the church officials do everything they can to discredit the people who are bringing these accusations out. Of course when that does not work, you invoke people's sense of shame and guilt by making statements connected to beliefs of the church so as to make it almost a sin to speak out.

These organizations are very clever in how they stomp down on those that speak out about people in the organizations . Yet, the Bible is very clear in the case of children that children are not to be harmed. Maybe that is one part of the Bible that these people don't feel they need to follow. Who knows? I would offer an explanation that it has nothing to do with following the bible. My premise is that it has more to do with power and ego than anything else.

The ego loves to be fed and you feed the ego through power, money, possession, fear and control of others, abuse, molestation, jealousy, hatred, bigotry, racism and on and on and on. The ego is the one that causes us to do things that we would otherwise not do. Ok, maybe that statement is a little overly simplified but in many ways, the ego is at the root of everything. So the power that these organizations have is simply a way to feed the ego of the people running them as well as all the people under them.

That is why the Scientology Church and the Catholic Church all try to find ways to silence the victim. For if the victims are allowed to expose the "sins" of the organization, than they would lose their control, power and money. I'm sure there is someone reading this thinking that I'm being too harsh on these places. And it isn't just the Scientology Church or the Catholic Church that does this. It is churches of all denominations and governments and groups. Where there is control, power and money - you'll find the ego is alive and well.

What I'm more amazed at is how people allow themselves to be controlled and manipulated as members of these organizations. They give money out of the sense of duty and obligation as a passage way to greater rewards and gifts for their own life. And even when all of these facts pour out about the abuse and atrocities that are a result of the inner workings of the church, they still give money to these organizations. Why is that? What part of this is hard for them to see?

It all comes down to these people who from little babies on up have been fed a set of beliefs. In the beginning, nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the way these things were taught to them or if it did, the desire to belong to these organizations over powered the need to be consciously aware of what was being taught. And so as the family units within the rules of society were developed, these beliefs became equal to taking a breath of air. The consciousness of the mind and brain of these peoples had been diminished to follow blindly the will, control and power of those who were in charge. It was a snowball affect of epic proportions that ran so quickly out of control, no one could notice. Of course, each of these people were mindless and following along as if they were being fed the last morsel of food while those in charge were counting on and manipulating the same people to do this. It was a viscous cycle cloaked in the concept of love, forgiveness and purpose both for now in this life time and in the future.

When we give our power away to those in charge or with more authority, we lose a little piece of ourselves. Each time we do this, we lose a little more. We become less than human as we hand over that which is so valuable to ourselves. We don't think anymore of what seems normal and reasonable. We just allow ourselves to be led blindly and mindlessly. Yes, most of these organizations do not want you to be consciously aware because if you are, you might not go along with the rest of the people in what is considered belief and fact.

And if you don't think that this applies to you, than I've got some bad news for you - it does! If you are not constantly evaluating through an objective view point, all that you hold dear to you, than you are following the status quo. It doesn't mean that what you believe is wrong but you must be willing to challenge it in an objective way in the absence of fear and control to find out if it truly is something that should be in the fabric of your life. Accepting norms and standards and beliefs because that is what society and religious organizations push us to do is not only feeding the ego of those in control but it is aiding you in becoming a mindless person without consciousness.

Consciousness is the way we evolve and become more human. It is becoming more aware of ourselves and all that we are. It is letting go and discarding all that we find to be less than in our lives and embracing that which is helping us discover more of ourselves. Giving our power away to others, no matter how noble the cause, is giving up the basics parts of our humanity. We are not meant to be mindless people in search of truth. We are meant to be conscious people in search of awareness and the evolution of our souls. For when we give up ourselves and when we give up the fear and control in our lives, only then will we truly find ourselves.

Note: Photo by NASA/courtesy of

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Interview With Fear Podcast

Podcast Version on iTunes: Interview With Fear

The following interview was written in 1998 as an article for the Chorus, a newsletter of Voices In Action. Voices In Action is no longer in operation but for over 25 years, it was the voice for survivors of child abuse.

Don was struggling hard with fear at this time in many aspects of his life so this article reflects much of that. It was a humorous attempt to acknowledge the fear that he felt like so many others do and to really put it in perspective. In this interview, the part of fear is being played by Don Shetterly and the reporter is played by Jeff Lemlich.


I had forgotten that I had already published this some time ago.  To read the entire post, please go to the following link.

You can also listen to the podcast version discussed at the beginning of this post.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Monday, April 5, 2010

Throw The Garbage Out The Window

Until you clean out the closets - you cannot add anything to them.

Many schools of thought in spiritual circles and abundant living all talk about clearing out the old to make way for the new. Consider that springtime is a time of cleaning and clearing out that which is old and no longer needed from the winter months. There is something to clearing out the old that just gives life and your surroundings a fresh start.

When I was young, my mother told me that a minister was talking about "throwing the garbage out the window" in a church service we attended. They thought it was cute that when I got home from church, I went around the house exclaiming, "throw the garbage out the window".

In our own lives, we need to do the same. It is nice to think positive thoughts, repeat affirmations and make ourselves feel warm and fuzzy with all kinds of meditations each day. There is no harm in doing that and it can help us reframe our mindset for the day. However, if we truly want to have those things, we must first get rid of the old. Without clearing the closet of our life out, there is no room for the new thoughts, the new affirmations or the new positive concepts of abundance that we so badly desire.

Much like our physical bodies as well, we need to get rid of the old to let the new in. Often we try to mask the pain through various medications or even various types of bodywork. How many advertisements do you see for "pain management" out there? Take a look if you aren't aware of this and you will see a lot. Pain management only masks the pain. However, if you go into the pain and find its source (the emotional, biological and mental connections), than you not only manage the pain but more than likely you can let it go. By clearing out the pains of your life, you are clearing out the closets in your life. The more you clear out, the more you give your life, your mind and your physical body; room for greater awareness, peace and a capacity to deal with the stresses of life.

Try to take note of the things you have in your closets. Those things that you've shoved away in the closet and maybe don't even recall that they are in there. Just how much of your life is consumed by this and is just taking up space? Take a close look. See all that is there.

Than work on cleaning out the closets in your life including that of your physical body. For the more you do that, the more the closet will hold. This will reward you with so much more in life and will give you a greater capacity to feel peace, calmness and joy like you have never felt before. Yes, some of the things we find in our closets may be spoiled or ruined from the years of neglect but thankfully we can "throw the garbage out the window".

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why Is My Pulse High?

While I cannot say for certain, I have a feeling that my pulse has been too high for most of my life. I remember when going into doctor's offices, they would check the vital signs. My pulse was high, but it would be attributed to the anxiety I faced just seeing a doctor. My anxiety levels were always very high. The high pulse rate would be brushed aside as something normal when in fact, it was anything but normal.

Back in October at a session I had with Dr. Canali, he checked my pulse with the Finger Pulse Oximeter and noticed that my pulse was running around 99 beats per minute (bpm). It was a shock to both of us because up until that point we had not checked it, and I did not realize it was high. If you want to have a big scare in your life that indicates there is something wrong in your heart and circulatory system, this will do it. It scared the daylights out of me and I'm glad it did. I was most likely a walking poster boy for serious potential heart problems.

One of the first things that I did when I got home was purchase the exact same Finger Pulse Oximeter that Dr. Canali was using sold by Clinical Guard.  However, I have found one that seems to be just as good and for much less on Amazon (check out this Finger Pulse Oximeter). When I started to check myself on a daily basis, I noticed that my pulse was all over the place. There were times I was up to 125 and 130, but most of the time, I was around 99. These were resting pulse rates! I would take my pulse meter to the fitness center when I worked out, and noticed that while my pulse would go up a little when I exercised vigorously, it was not necessarily into the optimal range according to the exercise equipment. I took it in with me when I did Yoga and while sometimes it would come down slightly from the 99 range, many times my pulse continued to be high. For a long time, it seemed like no matter what I did, my pulse would stay high.

The reason I use this pulse meter is that it tells me in real time what my pulse is, and how the wave forms of my pulse appear. It gives me some very good and helpful information.  Hope And Possibility Through Trauma - Don Shetterly

How High Should My Pulse Be?
According to Wikipedia, Tachycardia is when the heart rate exceeds the normal range for a resting heart rate. Resting heart rate is the heart rate in an inactive or sleeping individual. When the heart beats rapidly, the heart pumps less efficiently and provides less blood flow to the rest of the body, including the heart itself. The increased heart rate also leads to increased work and oxygen demand for the heart, which can cause a heart attack if it persists. This occurs because decreased flow of necessary oxygen to the heart causes myocardial cells to begin to die off. Acutely, this leads to angina, and chronically to ischemic heart disease.

A normal resting heart rate in beats per minute is normally stated between 60 and 100 and of course tachycardia is around 100 bpm for an adult according to the Mayo Clinic Website. In comparison, a well trained athlete can have a pulse rate of 40-60 bpm.

Also keep in mind that the pulse rate can be influenced by the following:

  • Activity level
  • Fitness level
  • Air temperature
  • Body position (standing up or lying down, for example)
  • Emotions
  • Body size
  • Medication use

How Did I Lower My Pulse Level?
While I could have taken medications, and had all kinds of test and procedures, I chose not to take this route. For you see, my belief is that when you introduce medications to the body, you might give the appearance that you are helping the situation when in fact, you are just masking a much bigger problem. Any time you try to suppress one system of the body, you impact another system. I'm not saying that there is never a need for medication, and that is something that you need to decide on with your doctor. I'm just trying to propose another way to look at how to treat the body.

My route that I took to deal with this involved getting work done by Dr. Canali. If our bodies are overloaded with stress, trauma, and other influences, it will have a biological impact upon us. This influences how the body takes care of itself and how it works to keep us in balance. So any major impact will throw our entire body system off, including our autonomic nervous system. It prevents the master healing system within us to take over and make corrections within our body. In my case though, I was not even aware for most of my life that my pulse was high. The pains we face, the high pulse rates, or other health measurements we check are an indication of what is going on within the body and often times, it is the way the body is trying to get our attention. The body sends us messages all the time but all too often, we do not pay attention to them.

The work I did with Dr. Canali involves going deep into one's self and becoming aware of all that is there. As you become aware of it and allow your body to release all of the long held trauma, stress, anxiety, and fears, the body then has a capacity to begin regulating entire systems in a much healthier way. It is healing that comes from within, not necessarily from other sources that are introduced to the body. Sometimes the change is immediate and other times it takes some work to get there.

In my last session with Dr. Canali in March, we saw that my pulse was down in the mid 70's. The best part of this is that it was staying more steady and not jumping and spiking like it once did. I'm sure I still reach some moments where I spike up to the 99 or 100 bpm, range but I've been checking it, and it is staying around the 74 bpm range. No longer am I living each day in the tachycardia range, which is a major change in me physically and biologically. My days can still be stressful but I'm finding I have much more capacity to deal with the stress, and not hold all of it in. That is a big shift in me.

Other things that I did to help myself with this was that I continued my Yoga at the fitness center, did a lot of deep breathing exercises in myself, and tried to spend time frequently allowing myself to relax. Through the work of Dr. Canali, I've learned how to go in and discharge and release some of the emotions and fear that are coming up within myself. Listening to relaxing music (by Don Shetterly) or music by Steven Cravis, has helped me greatly to just let go of the stress and relax.

The Finger Pulse Oximeter
At one time I was recommending the Clinical Guard product, but since they have stopped working with me without explanation, you can find other products on Amazon for much less money.  Here is one that I see that looks similar in comparison.  I have not tested it so I cannot fully state how good it is.

I became an affiliate for Clinical Guard (where you can purchase the Finger Pulse Oximeter) and earn a commission on sales, because this pulse meter helped save my life. Without having the pulse meter available to me and without being able to monitor myself, I would have continued through life not knowing that this was a problem until most likely it would have been too late. The best part about this particular Pulse Meter is that you can see the pulse, the oxygen level of your blood, and the wave forms of your pulse. It truly gives you a lot of information in a very quick way. The beginning point though is to give yourself information, and through the use of the pulse meter, you will be learning so much about yourself. It will help you begin to take corrective action that will truly make a difference in your life.

I'm not a medical doctor, of course, so any information I've presented here is from my own experience and what I can find searching the internet. You need to always check things out, and do your own research as well as make informed decisions with appropriate medical providers.

Closing Thought
While all of us are conditioned to seek out drugs and tests first, our bodies are very good at healing themselves, if we allow that to happen. However, many of us have gone through life dragging our baggage from the past with us. We may feel like we have dealt with it only to truly find that we are just suppressing it. Suppression is not dealing with things. Going into the fears and the pains that we have, and giving them a safe way to release is where the healing begins. It is like Dr. Canali has often said to me, "If you have a closet that is full and you want to put more stuff into it, you cannot do this until you first take something out". It is the same in the body. If you have so much stuff within you (including emotional, mental, toxic substances), than there is no way to give yourself deep peace or to bring in that which is good for yourself. Yes, you can have peaceful moments to some degree, but to truly find that deep peace and source of strength within yourself, you must remove all that is cluttering the way of its expression.

Further Information:
1) Finger Pulse Oximeter
2) Wikipedia - Article on Tachycardia
3) - Heart Rate: What's Normal?
4) Dr. Paul Canali at Evolutionary Healing Institute
5) Ansar Group - Heart Rate Variability
5) Don Shetterly - Relaxing Piano Music
6) Steven Cravis - Healing Meditation Music

Other Blog Posts

1) My Pulse Is Too High Follow Up
2) My Pulse Is Too High
3) Finger Pulse Oximeter

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog


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