Wednesday, November 30, 2016

YouTube Video of Christmas Piano Songs

This is one of my all time favorite videos that I have created.  I sat down and played some of my Christmas songs on the piano for a small concert audience.

The video is simple.  I uploaded a portion of the concert to share on YouTube.

This was recorded at my house.

I love Christmas music of all kinds.  Those Christmas songs on the piano are just wonderful reflections for me from my childhood.

No matter what was happening, the magic of Christmas made it hard for me to sleep in the days leading up to Christmas.

So, enjoy this Christmas Piano Music video on YouTube.  It is simple and beautiful, just the way I like to play the music. 

Feel free to share it and pass it along so others can experience it as well.  You'll notice my beautiful Christmas tree in the background.

Yes, I wish the audio would have been a little better on this video, but it is still quite beautiful.

For more information on my Christmas Piano CD, check out  There is information and lyrics up there on each of the Christmas songs on this CD.

The CD is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and most major online digital music stores.

Songs Played In This Video:

1) Angels From The Realms Of Glory
2) Away In A Manger
3) The First Noel (Nowell)

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Some Days It Is Hard To Be Silent

Let's get ready to rumble!   Yep, person "x" is in their corner and now person "y" is in their corner.  In moments, these two hot and heavy breathing individuals will come out of their rings fighting.

Oh wait, they started before the bell went off.  Well folks, we're off to one heavy and heated fight.  Stay tuned... 

Some days, it is hard to be silent.  We are all that individual in the corner of the fighting ring it seems.  It is almost as if each person has their boxing gloves on and no matter what, everyone else in the ring are the enemies.

There is no stopping to embrace the other person or listening to the other person.  It is every man, woman, and child for themselves.  This is how humanity appears these days.  Our days are the fighting ring of life.

We speak how much we hate others...

We go to social media or we go to our friends and speak how much we hate and abhor the others that don't think like us.  We go on TV or to the political pulpits and we exclaim how horrible those other people are.  We sit in our church pews and listen to the minster puff our egos up while proclaiming those that don't believe like us, are to be avoided and shunned and talked down to.  We make sure we post it on social media so everyone gets the message!

Often we are just adding to the hatred that is being said, rather than showing that true love and compassion exists in this world.  When we get down in the mud pit, we can't expect to stand up clean.  We will have mud all over our body too.

Don't engage in the hate.  Instead show love and compassion.  Show understanding without judgment.  If you despise all that is said and yet you engage in it, what are you profiting from that?  Are you any different than the ones you judge?

Yes, sometimes it is extremely difficult to stay silent and not engage with the loudmouths of our society.  It just does little good and if you engage, you become that which you hate and despise the most.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Are We Too Busy To Acknolwedge Pain?

I see this play out every day.  It is sad really.  Are we really too busy to acknowledge the pain of others?  Is it really that tough and hard on us?

The pain is clearly evident in the world today.  People are reaching out for someone to just hear their pain and acknowledge it.  Yet, more often than not, their cries go unheard.  Their cries get pushed aside.  Their cries get laughed at with shameful humiliation.

All people want to know is, does someone care!  All they want to know is that someone is listening and someone understands the pain that they are going through.  It is as simple as that.

Yet, far too many times, someone offers them a happy thought or a positive thought or a platitude as if this is the placebo they need.  Far too many times, they just ignore someone as if they are bothering them.  Far too many times, there is a mockery of anyone that cries out in pain.

Inflicting more pain upon them...

Yes, seeing someone hurting and in pain is difficult.  Just telling people to not be negative or only be positive is inflicting more pain upon them.  It is like someone having a cut on their finger and you take a hammer and whack their finger over and over.

Are we failing that miserably in compassion and care and love?  Are we just going around with a puffed up chest and proclaiming how much we love other and how much we care, only to not even attempt to show this to anyone? We are pretty good at saying one thing but when push comes to shove, we're running as quickly away as we can.

Are we truly human?

If you can't be there for someone when they just need to know that you care, are you human?  Are you truly human?  If we can't sit with those in pain and offer a listening ear or a arm that extends with support, I'm not sure we even know what human means.

You can't say one minute that I care and I love others and I have all this love in my heart, then go on in the next minute and let your actions prove otherwise.  When people are in pain, they just need someone to acknowledge the pain.  They need to know someone cares.

It doesn't have to be a grandiose display of solving and healing their pain.  It just requires that you be there with them, holding the space for them as they find their way through that difficult moment of pain.

It is called being human to acknowledge someone's pain and right now I don't see it being practiced anywhere in our world.  It is if we just hate and despise one another while claiming we don't.

I think it is time we truly wake up and either get out of the way for others, or begin to truly learn what it means to be human.  We'll never solve the issues in the world if we only stand opposed, spouting rhetoric that is not backed up by action, real love and compassion.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bully In The House

This was my life.  I grew up in a home where the bully was in charge.  The one that said, you must believe what I say or get out.  The one that thought their way was all that mattered or it was the highway.

There was no dissent.  There was no thought about dissent.  There were many threats if you even thought about telling anyone the secrets taking place in the house.

If the threats were not enough, you watched as your pets were killed and your body was whacked with beatings and pain.  You hunkered down as the violence happened and the yelling intensified.

I grew up in this home where you either believed and thought and talked like the bully of the house wanted or you were nothing in their eyes.  If you didn't do as they wanted, you were outcast.  You were shunned.  You were given the silent treatment.

There wasn't just one bully either.  There were two.  The second felt as if I was the physical punching bag he needed.  He was bigger than me and weighed almost twice as much.  I still remember his knees jumping up and down on my shoulder as he pinned me to the ground.

Both bullies molested me and raped me and made me hate myself.  It was the house I grew up in.  I despise bullies.  I despise child molesters and rapists.

The bullies used their church and the bible and their God to torment me, and keep me in line.  It kept me silent.  They used the teachings of Jesus to proclaim to me that they did these things to show God's love to me.  They were bullies.

They brainwashed me to think that everyone else was wrong and should be despised and talked about and shunned.  I grew up learning this and seeing it in action, even as they took time out to pray to God, read their bibles and preach love.

It is easy to say not all people are like that, but when you've been through what I have, you see that those words fall short.  For you see what truly lies in a person's actions and words.  You see evidence of it every day with grandstanding, but no matter what, the bullies are still alive and kicking.

I grew up in a house where I didn't know who I was and love was something that was proclaimed, but I knew very little about it from the example I was shown.  You wouldn't have been able to convince the bullies of this.  For they thought they were self-righteous and honorable and the best loving human of all times.  They were the greatest in their own eyes and they made sure everyone knew it.

Little do they realize as they continue to practice their hatred of those who don't bow down and worship at their feet, that I no longer participate in their bullying practices.  I no longer wish to allow them to rule over me.

Yes, it means that I no longer live in that house or talk with the bullies.  It means that I am blazing my own path.  Yet, I see time and time again, evidence throughout our land that the bullies I grew up with are present everywhere I go.

It takes more than words and actions.  That's all a bully has to defy human existence and love.  A bully will convince you they are not a bully, but if you believe that, you will sacrifice your own soul in the quest for life and for your soul's existence.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

What We Think Holds Us Back

I've seen this so much lately that it makes my head spin around fifty times.  Okay, by the time this is posted, some of what I'm triggered by will have passed.

What we think can truly hold us back in life.  Instead of evaluating something that may be beneficial, we just put the wall up.  We don't even give ourselves a moment to look at it or see it.

Not everything that we believe to be true and put our trust in is true.  We may think it is.  We may fully believe it is.  We may be convinced that it is.  It just doesn't always make it true.

Holding ourselves back in life from experiencing something that could help us or further our lives is not doing anyone any good.  We're too eager these days to believe things others tell us are true, but something that is standing right before us that may help us, we shun it like a hot potato.

It defies logic and common sense...

So much of what we think and believe is not grounded in science or fact that can be proved.  It is in the falsifying of what defies logic and common sense that we stand on as if we know all the answers.

If we continue to only see what it is that we think and believe, are we truly exercising our ability to be human?  A human should advance and grow, not stay stagnant in what someone has convinced them to believe.

Each one of us needs to evaluate what we hold on to and what we think and believe.  If we don't continually challenge it, we're staying stuck in one place.  This is not good for us or human civilization.

I think back to the story about the town down in Southwest Florida where Thomas Edison wanted to install his new electric lighting.  It was his gift to the town.  However, the townspeople were so afraid of it at the time.  It went against their beliefs of how lighting should be that they stopped him from doing this.

Just think, if each one of us does the same thing that the townspeople did, where will that get our civilization?  If you don't think you do this, guess what - we all do it.  There is not a one of us that doesn't hold on to something we think or believe without fully evaluating and challenging it to its core.

We will grow and become more if we allow what we believe to be challenged to its core.  It is then that we will see whether it is something solid for our life or if it needs to be let go and replaced by something that is. Maybe I'm just an odd-ball in life but I always keep pushing myself to be more than I am today.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Showing We Care

Sometimes it is the little things we do that matter most.  All too often, we say we care but we fail to show it.  Many times, there is someone that just needs that small and tiny moment to know that someone cares.  Often, it is enough to help lift them up from the sinkhole they find themselves in.

For some reason, we as humans think we need to solve others problems and pains and situations.  Most of the time we can't, but we think we must.  So instead of offering a little bit to someone else, we just hold back because we feel like we're not enough.

Many times, someone just needs to know that there is someone else that cares and knows how to let them know this.  Often, it is in the smallest of acts of caring that someone else will get it.  They will find hope as a result to keep going.  Their day will become lighter because of one single moment that someone showed they care.

We do not need some grandiose moment of proving that we can solve the problem of another.  We do not need to feel like we need to solve someone's life problems.  All we need to do more times than not, is be there for that person in the smallest of ways.

It needs to be authentic...

Sometimes a phone call or heartfelt text can mean so much.  Sometimes a tweet or a note to just let them know they aren't alone.  It needs to be authentic.  It can't be just a run-of-the-mill response where it feels fake and insincere.

It needs to come from the deep recesses of the heart filled with love, and kindness and compassion.  It needs to be authentic and heart-felt.

Sometimes the smallest things you do can mean the whole world to a person that needs it in that moment.  You may never know just how much impact it has on their life, but they will know without a doubt.

Let us do more than saying we care.  Let us show others how much we care.  We do it not because it gives us another gold star, but because we have love and compassion for others.  Caring matters.  Showing we care in an authentic way matters greatly.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Can You Be Thankful

It is easy to be thankful when things are going well and times are good.  When moments are sailing by in smooth winds and calm waters, it is one things.  However, can you be thankful in the moments that are anything but easy and calm and smooth?

In those moments where it appears all hope is loss and there is no way to go on, how do we react?   There are many moments in life which will test us and try us and push us to our limits. When the storms of life blow hard against our days, can we be thankful?

There are moments where we look at the world around us and we see all the horror and killing and cheating and stealing.  We see the moments where it looks like all is collapsing in this world.  We see moments where we can hardly believe our eyes.  Can you be thankful in these times?

It may sound strange to be thankful in times of misery, despair and horrors.  Yet, if we are only thankful when things go well, aren't we missing out?  Even in the worst of situations and the most trying of times, there is always something to be thankful for.

You may have to look hard...

Yes, you may have to look hard and carefully for those thankful moments.  They may be nothing more than a little spec you see.  If you don't see them or attempt to see them, they may float by and you may likely miss all that is there.

Being thankful in the difficult times is the tough part.  It is the part that asks us to stretch ourselves beyond the moment we are in and look towards a future where there is hope and possibility.  It is a moment where we attempt to see much more than we realize is there.

Don't just be thankful in the good moments and bountiful times!  Find a way to be thankful in the days that attempt to pull you under and take you down.  Your thankfulness will be an energy that may help propel you forward.

Look for the thankful moments.  Look for all that you have going for you, because in current moments, we don't always see everything that lies before us.  It is through a thankful heart, that we become more than we are at and journey into more than we can see.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Taking First Steps In Asking For Help

By Matt Pappas.  You know something is going on in your life but you just aren't sure where to turn. You've heard that term, Mental Health, but maybe it always made you cringe.

I couldn't possibly have some type of mental health disorder, or suffer from some type of mental illness, right?

I've managed pretty decently in my life so far; I can survive daily and hold down a job. I have a family that loves me and friends to hang out with.

Or perhaps you are just the opposite...

You are alone, don't have many friends, your family relationships are strained at best, and you can't seem to find a career or steady job that you can hold onto.

I was mostly in the former category when I first realized I needed to seek some professional help. My life just wasn't going as I planned; which isn't necessarily a reason to seek help per say. In my case though, after 2 failed marriages and a realization that it was high time I start trying to understand myself better, I took the plunge.

I reached out through a program at my job that can put employees in contact with professionals for counseling, legal questions, medical concerns, family therapy, grieving, etc.

I was apprehensive to say the least and very nervous about trying this whole therapy thing again. My last experience with a therapist did not end well, as she divulged personal information about our sessions, to others.

The damage was done and the bridge was burned. For any "good" that those sessions did, the trust issues that I had were immediately increased 10 fold moving forward.

After a couple of days I was paired up with a local therapist and I scheduled an appointment.

At that point something strange happened, something I didn't expect. I began to feel a peace come over me, calmness. It was like; I'm finally doing something good for myself so let's see what happens and where this takes me.

I fully expected to be scared to death...

Looking back I was surprised by this feeling because I fully expected to be scared to death, to clam up, and end up sitting there in an office just wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into.

After decades of focusing on everyone and everything other than myself, it was as if my mind was saying... Finally, Thank You!

Having said that I was still nervous that first session. I mean when you start telling your story to a stranger, while sitting on a couch in an office, you get this feeling that you've seen this scenario before.

How many times on TV shows or movies has someone been sitting on a couch talking to a therapist about their "feelings"? How many times did you maybe think:

"Well that's just not going to do any good!"
"Why can't they just figure it out on their own?" 
"They must really be screwed up to have to talk to a therapist!"

When you are in that situation though, it becomes almost surreal. It suddenly hits home that you are now what you judged people for before. You are now THAT person who can't get their life together and has to resort to talking about their feelings to a therapist.

Shame and guilt can easily take over here if you aren't careful. You begin to wonder what's really wrong with you, and what you are going to uncover if you truly let your guard down. "Just how screwed up am I after all?"

Do I even want to go down this path...

Then you begin to rationalize why you maybe don't need to be doing this after all...

"Do I even want to go down this path, my life wasn't really all THAT bad now that I think about it?"

Rather than questioning yourself, try celebrating your decision to put yourself first for a change. Give yourself a High Five for taking the initiative to understand yourself and your mind better.

Know that you are doing something good for you that will benefit not only you but also those you are close to.

Reaching out to seek professional help can be so unbelievably nerve racking, intimidating, and scary. You really do get a better appreciation of yourself and what others go through when you are sitting there, one on one, being open and vulnerable.

You are now on the path to healing, understanding, positive self esteem, more self-confidence, and the realization that your mental health does matter.

Guest Blogger Note:

Matt writes for his website and blog, Surviving My .  He is an excellent writer and friend, sharing his struggles as he learns to heal from his past of child sexual abuse.  This blog post was written by Matt and I'm sharing it exclusively on the Mind Body Thoughts Blog.  Please make sure you visit Matt at .  He has some excellent wisdom and advice he shares that I am sure you will find helpful.

Also Check Out:

You may also want to check out a previous
blog I wrote about Matt's website and blog.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Images courtesy of Surviving My Past with permission.
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Social Media Drive- By

Most likely we've all seen this happen and more than likely we've done the same thing ourselves at some point.  I call it the social media drive-by.  It happens far too often by far too many that claim that all others do this, but not them.

It is when someone responds to a social media post without reading the whole thing and begins preaching to you about what you need to do.  It is when someone shares something, but has no idea what was in the social media post they share.  It is when someone shares something that is sensational but doesn't fully check it out to make sure it is true.  Since others share it, they might as well too.

No one uses an ounce of common sense it seems or stops to think about something.  They just willy nilly share the darn thing because it might be the most vital piece of information the world will ever know.  Unfortunately, most of the time with about 5 seconds of a google search, you can see how untrue the "greatest information piece" actually is.

When you can barely wait to tell the person how they should live their life and what they should do and who they should base their life beliefs upon, there's something a little off here.  After all, do you really know that person in one small little tweet or Facebook post? Do you really know them?

I honestly don't understand because I do try hard not to share stuff unless I've read it.  I try to make sure it is balanced and fair and as factual as it can be.  I try to make sure it adds value to the overall conversation of the day, rather than just inflame and sensationalize a topic.

Too many of the drive-by social media postings are so one sided and off balance that it is just sad.  They don't try to see the whole thing as they just click that mouse and go on to the next social media posting.  In many ways, it forms a picture of ignorance.  We are what we say and share to the world whether we realize it or not.

What if for one moment, you took a brief second and thought more about a response to someone on one of their social media postings?  What if for one moment, you considered what you were posting and asked yourself, "will this really enhance the world or just be more noise in a day?"

There is so much noise in a day and the social media drive-by adds to that.  We've already got enough of this on every TV news channel, radio station, and internet video.  Do we really need to add more to that?  Do we really need to be more of the problem than the solution?

A social media drive-by does very little in my view to help advance humanity.  It just continues the spreading of stuff that has no nutritional value for the mind or body.  It is just more of the same noise that has become a nuisance.

We need to engage our brain cells more.  We need to engage our hearts more.  Spewing words for the sake of spewing words, does very little to help one another.  In fact, I think it not only hurts the mind and body, but I think it hurts the heart and essence of our souls.

Find a way to be balanced.  Find a way to be real.  Make your life count for something good, not succumb to the meaningless information that flows at a constant rate on the internet.  The world will thank you for it and if they don't, I will definitely thank you for it.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
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Monday, November 21, 2016

The Truth About Sugar and Heart Disease

Article by Jeff Lemlich
By Jeff Lemlich. There they sit on my living room shelf:   Emmy awards, won during my time as a special projects producer for CBS Miami.  Seeing these statues should be a source of pride -- after all, everyone wants to feel appreciated.

But as I gaze upon two, in particular -- for "Heart Disease:  Beating the Odds" and "Cholesterol Counts" -- the realization hits me that maybe I'm not all that proud.  The realization hits me that we, and our viewing audience, may have been duped.

It wasn't our fault.  After all, it was a quarter of a century ago, and back then the things we reported were things that were accepted as fact.  High cholesterol leads to heart disease!  High fat diets also increase our risk!  Odds are your doctor will still tell you that these things are true.

I am not a doctor and have conducted no research, but I know what has worked for me, and I know the tricks that big business uses to advance their own agendas.  Now we are learning how, and why we have come to accept certain things as fact, when in some cases it's very possible (and likely) that exactly the opposite could be true.

Case in point:  a recent report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggesting that the sugar industry paid tens of thousands of dollars back in 1967 for a favorable report in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.  That report minimized the link between sugar and heart health, and laid much of the blame on saturated fat.

It came at a time when there were competing studies: one looking at the relationship between high-sugar diets and the heart disease epidemic, and another that pointed to saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.   Guess which theory won out?

According to internal sugar industry documents, a top industry executive cooked up a plan to shift public opinion through "our research and information and legislative programs." (see source #1 below).   The industry then (according to the documents) paid big bucks to be able to hand-pick what was published in that study, which in turn influenced the government's dietary recommendations.

To this day, doctors still warn their patients about saturated fat, while believing that sugar promotes... umm... tooth decay.  (Then again, we still believe that fluoride in our water supply is the answer to tooth decay.   Google "the truth about fluoride" for a real eye opener.)

It was recently revealed that Coca-Cola and Pepsi sponsored 96 national health organizations, pouring lots of money into their coffers while opposing measures such as cigarette-style labels on junk food. (see source #3 below).

According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, soda companies have recently been funding scientific "research" about sugary beverages.   

Is that a conflict of interest?   It sure sounds like one to me.

Studies are now pointing to inflammation -- not cholesterol, not saturated fats -- as the leading cause of heart disease.   As Harvard Medical School's Dr. David Ludwig points out, replacing fat in food products with starch and sugar corresponded with the rise in obesity and diabetes. (see source #2 below).  Ludwig points out how some of the most calorie dense foods -- nuts, olive oil, and dark chocolate, among them -- are associated with less weight gain than processed grains, potato products, and other high carb foods that are part of the government's recommendations.

In other words, we were less obese, and heart healthier, when our diets included whole milk, full-fat salad dressings, and fatty meats.  I'm not saying those things are necessarily good for you, just that they're not necessarily the boogie men we were taught to think they are.

In the '60s we were told that "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down".   We were inundated with songs in which sugar was something great -- the sweetest treat for the sweetest guys and gals.

What we didn't know was how sugar manufacturers were pulling the strings, making us much sicker as the decades wore on.   It's something that everyone needs to hear, if we have any hope of reversing this epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Yes, it  would have been nice to have had this information 25 years ago, when we researched, wrote, and produced our news reports.   We did a good job of telling the story (or what we believed to be the story) and production-wise, we probably earned the awards we received.

The news series helped my own awareness...

To be fair, there was some great information in there that's still relevant, such as how to read nutrition labels, and identifying some of the bad things to avoid (partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, among them).   Working on those two news series increased my own awareness, and led to a commitment to always read the label before purchasing anything. 

Yet reading a label can only go so far when there's so much confusion about what's good for you, and what's not.  I'm a firm believer in food healing, but the opposite side of the coin is also true.   Replacing highly-processed party treats with whole foods is a good place to begin.

Cholesterol counts?  Maybe... or maybe not.    Heart disease:  beating the odds?   You still can... by keeping an open mind, and not just blindly accepting what special interests want you to believe.

Guest Blogger Note:

Jeff Lemlich is an ex-news producer for Channel 4 (and at one time, Channel 6) in Miami.  He is the music historian for Florida when it comes to Garage Bands of the 1960's.  Jeff is also the author of the book, Savage Lost, and you can learn more about him on his website, .  Health, well-being, and Mind Body fitness are very important to Jeff Lemlich. This blog post was written by Jeff Lemlich and I'm sharing it exclusively on the Mind Body Thoughts Blog.


  1. "Heart Disease:  Beating The Odds" aired in 1990 on WCIX-TV in Miami.   Dr. Steve Greenberg and John Roberts (now with Fox) were the reporters.
  2. "Cholesterol Counts" aired both as a news series and on an installment of the WCIX public affairs show "Insight" in 1992.  Dr. Steve Greenberg and Ken Matz were the reporters , with Cheryl Stopnick providing valuable assistance.


  1. How The Sugar Industry Shifted Blame To Fat
    New York Times, September 12, 2016
  2. Doctor:  Low Fat Diets Stuffed With Misconceptions
    CNN, October 13, 2016 
  3. Big Soda May Be Messing with Our Most Trusted Health Organizations
    Huffington Post, October 2016


This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.  Please consult your medical provider for any health decisions regarding this information.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Mind Body Thoughts and Jeff Lemlich
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Change Is More Than Just Your Thoughts

I read things online that make my head spin around a few times.  Great sounding statements that are put out there as something of life-changing universal value, but are lacking in the completely thought-out department.

Yes, I know we can choose to change our thoughts.  I know that what we think creates us.  I know that thoughts are very powerful in how we move forward or we don't.  My life has experienced this firsthand in some pretty difficult moments.

The only thing is, the thought I keep seeing online suggest that you can just wake up, change the thought and poof it is all 100% magically better.  Maybe they don't mean it to come across that way, but it does.  Maybe they think that "thought" alone is the key to everything, but is that the whole story?

You see, we are so unconscious in our days.  We think we are aware, but that's the story that unconsciousness tells.  It is what convinces us that we are truly more awakened then we are.  The ego loves that.  The self likes to proclaim this.

Unfortunately, we are unconscious.  We are numb and disconnected.  We are not aware of what is truly going on in our mind and body.  There are so many tapes playing over and over in our head as if we're just taking a breath without thinking about it.

So, when we say we can choose our thoughts to change our life, I would not disagree.  However, that's only part of the story.  We've chosen to disregard the rest of the story.

The only way to unearth that unconscious tapes that play in our head (the thoughts we don't see or account for), is to go in deep within the mind and the body.  No, it isn't the mind only.  This is a deep mind and body centered moment.  It has been written and taught about since the ancient times of our planet, but few dare to travel into these worlds.

Instead we focus on stating happy thoughts.  We focus on telling others what they should know so they move on.  We look at the world through simplistic eyes, rather than seeing the big picture.  That is what unconsciousness does.  It is a silly and insidious voice.  It is a trickster.

There is more to life, than just being part of the status quo of regurgitated content and happy thought practices.  There is more to life than boiling it down into one size fits all.  It is complex.  We are complex.

Because we are complex, we often hide from knowing our conscious thought.  It often involves some hard work to go into those deep dark closets and clean them out.  It is often easier for us to just numb and disconnect and avoid them.  It takes courage to truly know thyself.

At the end of the day, let your thoughts be filled with consciousness.  It is an ongoing process that the world needs, not a one-size fits all approach.  It is a moment where we realize we aren't all we need to be, but if we step forward, we will discover much more than we knew existed.

Thoughts can and do change our lives, but thoughts connected with consciousness and love are a million times more powerful.  These thoughts truly get the essence of life and when the essence of life is understood, there is no stopping personal growth and change.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Saturday, November 19, 2016

I Refuse

I'm writing this long before it is published, but it will most likely be relevant at any time it is posted.  In today's age, we have become hatemongers with one another.

We don't care about another point of view or belief.  We just demand that ours is the correct one and all others are wrong.

So today, I state the following.

Join with me if you plan to do the same.

I Refuse!

  • I refuse to partake in the hate-mongering that is thriving online.  If I cannot say something nice about someone, I will be silent.
  • I refuse to partake in the sensationalized drama that is spread through ridiculous social media postings with its only intent is to get you to click on something.
  • I refuse to partake in one-sided arguments where facts are omitted, but belief and opinion are the only arguments.
  • I refuse to propagate pictures and images and social media posts that demean any group or political ideology or persons that are different than me.
  • I refuse to spread false lies and innuendo just because someone on social media claims it is true.  I will check the facts out and if I cannot verify it, I will not spread it forward.
  • I refuse to pass claims along that appear to be valid, but have no basis in fact or ones that have been proven to be untrue.  I will take a minute to think before I forward and like a social media posting.
  • I refuse to add more screaming and yelling to the mix of social media, especially when no one is listening to anyone but themselves.
  • I refuse to live my life on social media because even though I may have connections, I know that it is the true friends you can see and talk to in life that make a big difference.
  • I refuse to get worked up about every social media posting just because the crowd has their pitchforks raised in the air and chanting in unison.

Social media is a good way to help advance things in the world, but lately all I have seen is a place that is degrading to humanity.  The only way we can rise above all of this is if we don't propagate on that which we despise and hate.

If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.

You can expect my social media posts to be respectful, compassionate and hopefully ones that help others heal and advance their lives.  If I fail in this regard, please private message me and show me where I failed.  I will try to correct it immediately. 

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Friday, November 18, 2016

Masking Pain In Life

This is a discussion that I think we all need to have in this world.  Pain is a big topic and the addiction to pain killers is growing at astonishing rates with little to show for its existence.

I've dealt with so much pain in my life; emotional, physical and chronic.  It has not been easy at times, but I've learned some shortcuts through it that help me greatly.

Often pain takes us into a moment of not feeling and not wanting to feel.  It takes us into self-protection.  It brings out the best numbing skills we have.

We try to avoid it and do just about anything we can to act as if it doesn't exist.  We try to use beliefs in all kinds of thoughts and philosophies and religions to make it appear that pain will disappear or has vanished.

Pain is there for a reason...

Pain is there for a reason.  It is a messenger to our body that something is not right or that something needs our attention.  Pain is the wake up call if we've avoided the earlier messages from our body and most people never hear those messages.  We are too asleep to hear the trains go by.

Pain medication and methods often mask the pain.  They make it seem as if it is not there.  While these medications and treatments may make us believe that the pain is gone or reduced, it is an illusion.  It may help us temporarily, but if we're not careful, the brain quickly embraces anything that reduces or takes the pain away.   Most of the time, we're not strong enough to counteract that and this is evidenced by the amount of prescriptions that are being consumed in our world.

It's a never-ending cycle...

Sometimes we have to do what we need to do in order to reduce the pain so we can catch our breath.  However, if you don't watch out, that's like a never-ending cycle that just reinforces an outside substance rather than embracing the healing power you have inside of you.

When we are young and we fall down or something happens, our parent is generally there for us to help us feel better.  However, the hidden message being taught is that we need someone else (or something else) to take our pain away and to make us better.  Yes, it might be innocent, but without the right tools, it enforces that part of the brain that looks to outside forces and diminishes the part of our brain that looks within.  It begins the process of setting ourselves up later for a life where pain engulfs our life, especially if we're not able to advance and learn.

I know pain is a much more complex entity than it may appear to anyone reading this.  Pain is insidious with how it gets us to respond.  It is crafty and cunning.  It is smarter than most of us and in fact, most research struggles to fully understand how pain works.  Researchers know parts of it, but they have not fully figured this one out.

Yet, I didn't think I could...

In my own life, I have seen times where I could take on the pain and yet, I didn't think I could.  I have been confronted with horrible physical realities and while feeling like I was powerless, I have found a power within me to heal and conquer.  The things that most would tell me are impossible to change are the things that I have began to understand that I could.

Believe me, it takes a heck of a lot to do what I am suggesting here.  It is not easy, but I know that deep down within me, there is a way out.  There is more than we currently know and understand today.  It is embracing the power we hold within, while not numbing and disconnecting in life that gives us much more than we can see.

Masking pain is one way of dealing with pain.  We all know how to do that, but as I'm seeing in this world, masking is not working.  The pain is still there.  People are still struggling to deal with pain.  So, our ways of masking pain are failing us.

Isn't it time that we begin to look outside the box in treating pain?  For if we continue to only see the tree, rather than the forest in front of us, we may likely miss the discoveries that can propel humanity into a new future.  Masking and numbing the pain will not get us where we need to go.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Belief and Being Authentic

You cannot hide behind belief and be authentic.  You can only come to terms with what is absolute truth in your life, but never failing to re-evaluate to see if that still holds true.  For belief hides us from seeing all that is lying before us and cloaking us in a layer of ignorance.

By Don Shetterly, 11/2/16

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dealing With Pain In Life

One of those subjects that we all experience whether we admit it or not, is most likely one we all want to be gone.  I'm talking about pain.  Pain is part of the human experience.  Pain is a part of life whether we want to believe it or not.

There are different kinds of pain from emotional to physical to chronic and then some that are the result of a physical accident or injury.  Each one takes its toll on us and drains our energy.  Sometimes the pain gets so unbearable that we do everything we can to avoid it, disconnect from it or believe that it doesn't exist.

As humans, we are pretty good at numbing ourselves from pain.  It is easy to do if we stay busy so we don't have to think about it or we have beliefs that help us hide from the pain.  It is easy to do if we just have gotten to a point where we ignore it because it is too much for us to deal with.  Numbing is a powerful human skill that we all possess and it is practiced routinely.

Chronic pain...

If you suffer from chronic pain, it seems like there is no end in sight.  It seems like there is nothing that will help.  There is no option but to deal with it in whatever form works for you.

Emotional pain...

If you suffer from emotional pain, tears will not always be enough to wipe it away.  Love is sometimes hard to let in to soothe it.  It is a loneliness that is felt clear to the bone when you suffer from emotional pain.

Physical pain...

Physical pain sends us running for help before we can blink an eye.  It is pain that we want to stop and have it stop quickly.  It is pain that is often hard to endure depending upon the severity of it.

Just hoping the pain will end...

Through all of this, our brain tells us something is wrong and either we know what that is, or sometimes it is just too complex for us to understand.  The more complex it is, the more we tend to suffer in silence apart from the world, just hoping that the pain will end.

Our bodies know how to numb us and try to protect us, but some days, that is not even enough.  Often we turn to all kinds of products, substances, and beverages.  Sometimes we turn to belief systems and medication all in an attempt to ease the pain.  Believe me, when the pain gets tough, I start looking for anything that will help, even if it isn't the best thing for me in the long term.

Pain is part of the human experience...

Pain is part of life.  It is part of the human experience.  Although I'm sure this isn't what most people want to hear, I know it to have truth from my own life and experiences I've been through.  I know it to be truth from what I have seen in others.

If you're experiencing pain, keep in mind, "this too shall pass".  If you're dealing with chronic pain, it isn't as simple as that thought.  If you're dealing with emotional pain, know that it isn't the end of the world.  Things will get better and they can get better.

I'm a firm believer in that whatever experience we are going through, things can change.  It may not change in the way we expect it to or in how we believe it should, but things can change.  I have overcome the odds of physical situations when the doctors told me I would never make it.  It is hard for me to accept that things cannot change.  I've seen a different world.
Whatever you do, try not to hide and disconnect or numb from the pain.  Try to keep yourself grounded with what you feel, but look for ways that physically take you out of the pain, not just mask it or hide it or make you believe it doesn't exist.

We all have far more potential within us to heal and deal with pain than we realize.  Yes, it gets hard to do.  Yes, it gets hard to endure.  I'm not saying it is easy or quick.  I am just saying, we have far more potential than we realize.  We have strength we know not of and I fully believe that for every inhabitant of this planet.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Are We Too Busy For Others?

I see example after example of this every day in our society.  Is the busyness of our lives so important that we are too busy for others?  Can we not take a moment of our day and reach out to someone that maybe a brief word would pick up their day?

I know, we've all got our things to do.  The task and project list grows with every minute.  The kids have this activity.  The group we are evolved with needs our help and assistance.  The job demands our time and this is before we get any of the much needed "me" time.

Yet, I wonder if we are we keeping ourselves so busy that it becomes a distraction to life.  It is easy to do because when things are happening one after another, you truly don't have to feel the things you may want to try to avoid.  It is easier to function when there is no feelings and emotions that you have to struggle to want to invite into your daily life.

The only thing is if we are keeping ourselves so busy that we fail to live our own life, there is a good chance we are too busy for others.  If we are putting the needs of others ahead of our own, then this is not healthy either.  There needs to be a balance.

We need each other in this life and this world to make it through the rough times and to celebrate the glorious times.  Without others and being too busy for others in this regards, we are limping through our days on one leg, not both.

We may want to stop and evaluate where our life is and what is important.  Are we truly too busy for others, or are we just not using our time in the best way that we should.  Resting and stopping and playing is so needed in these days.  If we neglect those, we are only watching life pass us by.

Let us learn to not be too busy for others and our self.  There is great joy and comfort in enjoying life's beauty that is all around us.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, November 14, 2016

We Know What Is Best For Others

This topic is so evident online and in the news and on discussion boards.  Without anyone truly knowing what a person has gone through, others are so quick to make it clear that they know what is best for you.  They may cloak the words and thoughts, but you can be darn sure that the words are not innocent.

Do we really know what is best for others?  I mean, have you walked a mile in their shoes?  Have you experienced the pains and horrors and the questions that hey have?

Most likely, even if you've had similar experiences in life, until you have walked in their shoes, you just don't know what they have been through.  It is a mistake to think you do.  It is condescending to believe you do. 

Yes, you may think the thoughts that you spread to social media and the messages you put out are what everyone needs to hear.  Unfortunately I believe the words are more for each person that writes or shares them, then they are often for others.  Yes, others may benefit, but don't confuse who the recipient is.

Learn to share your experiences...

Learn to share your experiences and how that has impacted your life.  Let it shine through what you've done to pick up and carry on in life when circumstances, situations, and experiences fought hard to keep you on the ground.

Learn to have compassion...

Learn to have complete compassion for others which may mean sometimes what you think they should hear, is not helpful in the least bit to them.  Sometimes the best and most powerful thing you can do is to just hold the space for them, devoid of judgment.

Judgment is not what others need...

Judgment is often in the things that are shared and written, but to be honest, it is far from what this world needs.  We've got too many people pointing the fingers at one another and not enough people listening with compassion and understanding.

Help make the world be a better place.  Help make the world into something that reflects back your passions by cleaning your own mirror.  If your mirror is dirty, it will be difficult to reflect back accurately that which you think you are doing.

Even when we think we know what is best for others, the audience is usually limited to one.  The audience we speak to and share our messages is often more for our self, than everyone else.

We may think we are above reproach on this, but if you stand back and observe your actions, there is a good chance you will see things differently.

Hopefully I'm not doing the same thing here that I am speaking out against.  If I am, then I failed in what I wrote.  My attempt is to get each one of us to think more clearly and openly of what we throw out into the world every day.  That is my intent and hopefully it shows through in the words I write.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dealing With Skin Rashes And Itching

This situation seems to affect more people than I once realized.  I know when I had my skin rash and the itching that resulted, it was anything I could do make it through that.  Dealing with it was difficult.

Someone I know had a situation where they were asking me how I dealt with skin rashes and itching because they have a son that is dealing with it.  Another friend of mine was also discussing this issue with me the other day.

Since I've been through this, I wanted to write a blog post detailing more of it as a summary.  I have written other things in the past which you can find here in regards to itching and skin rashes.

Often with skin rashes and itching, there is some trigger or emotional stressor that is coming up.  It could be anything from past experiences and trauma to something related to food or other current situations.  The stressor brings it on, regardless of what it is.

Attack it on all fronts...

You need to attack a skin rash and itching on all fronts for the best relief.  Don't discount the build up of daily stress or triggers to past situations you don't even think of as being a cause of something showing up.  It may seem like it is totally unrelated or you may not even put the puzzle pieces together.  Sometimes when it has shown up in me, I can go to the root cause and story and other times, it is just one of those things I don't understand.

I learned that most over-the-counter products for skin soothing and irritations did not work for me.  They made it much worse.  I'm sorry to all the corporations that think they have the cure-all, but when I tried various products, I could not wait to get that stuff off of me fast enough.  Most of it made things worse!

Caffeine, warm drinks, and sugar often aggravate my situation.  Using too much hot water in a shower or bath can sometimes make it worse by bringing on the itching after you've dried off.  Drying off too vigorously can also cause ongoing irritation.  Clothing can be horrible to have to deal with especially if you live in a colder climate.  The lighter nonrestrictive clothing that you can wear, the easier it is.  Clothing didn't feel god when the itching was at its full strength.

Oatmeal baths...

I used oatmeal baths when things got so bad that I could just not take it.  It would help soothe it and keep me from scratching my skin completely off.  Go to the following link, if you would like to know how to create the oatmeal bath like I did.  It was a lifesaver.  It got me through some pretty horrific moments.

At times when the pain would get too much, I used ice water and tried to put my foot or whatever the body part was in the ice water.  This is no fun of course and it was not easy to do this.  After a few minutes using an ice bath, you're begging for mercy.  However, it does work.  The cold was not easy but it got to where I had no choice.  I needed relief from the itching, swelling and pain.  An ice pack might also help, but I'm not sure in my case if I could have applied it to the affected area.

Silver Gel...

Another item I found helpful was a product called, "Silver Gel".  This stuff helped me so much and I don't know how I would have made it without it.  It seems to start giving some soothing relief within minutes of being applied.  Yes, I know that I said most over-the-counter products didn't work, but this is the exception.  There is also a silver bath soap that I have used to help my own situation.

I also learned to take showers and baths that didn't use water that was as HOT as I normally would have taken it.  I've seen conflicting information on this, but from what I understand, the very hot water tends to open the skin pores up and draws out the moisturizing part of it.  I love my hot water showers, but I learned to turn it down just a little bit.  Then I would try to end the shower with cooler water and that seemed to help my skin from losing moisturizing. 

The other thing I had to deal with when this showed up was the "FEAR" of it.  Just seeing my skin the way it was would change, freaked me out.  The ongoing battle left me feeling drained and so I had to deal with the emotional turmoil that it would create.  Trying to keep in mind that "this too shall pass" was sometimes a comfort to me.

One thing that I find helpful when the itching picks up is if I can lightly caress an area of my body, then sometimes I get soothing relief relatively quickly from the anxiety.  If I woke up in the middle of the night with the itching, I found slightly caressing my leg would help bring a calmness to me and I could fall back to sleep.  The lightest touch and slow gentle movements in the way a mother would calm her child seems to help.  You have to experiment around and play with the concept to find out how this works best for you.  I know this idea may sound silly, but it does work.  I'm not sure if it helps the brain release some endorphins or what, but if you can experiment and find the right spot and right way to do this for yourself, it might bring some temporary relief. 

The best thing you can do is try to attack the situation on all fronts.  Soothing relief is a must because if you're suffering from skin rashes and irritations, you know fully how difficult it gets.  Working to identify and release the stressors in life is the key.  Learning to get to the root of what is causing will help.  However, I know firsthand that this is not easy to do.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Growing Up Hungry

If you grow up with a stomach that is hungry, how will you ever come to understand that there is plenty.  For if the stomach does not have enough which is a basic component of human existence, then how can there be enough abundance in the world.

Hunger confuses the small mind and carries its power into adulthood.  Even when the adult has plenty to eat, the memory of the past says, "but it is not always certain there will be enough to eat."

We need to stop gorging ourselves and begin caring more about those that do not have enough to eat.  Not all of them are in another part of the world, but many are.  Some are in your own neighborhood, schools, and churches.  It doesn't take much to find them.

Thanksgiving is this month where instead of seeing how much we can stuff down our throats, why not try helping someone that maybe would enjoy just a regular and normal meal.

Children International is a place that I support.  Please check them out as I know they are legit and trustworthy.  If you have something in your local area, see what you can do to help them as well.  When we are down and out, sometimes a helping hand is what gives us hope!

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Friday, November 11, 2016

Some Days I Struggle

I know with all that I've been through in the past that life is not necessarily easy.  I have my good days and bad days.  Sometimes the struggles of the past come up to haunt me and work hard at pulling me under.

Sometimes people try to make it look like all they have are great days, but I know that this is anything but the truth.  I get irked when people try to paint happy thoughts while you're in the midst of the mud and muck making your way to dry ground.

We need more people who are honest and real, instead of those that try to gloss over the moments of difficulty and pain.  The pain has to come out and the more we hold it in, the more we harm our mind, body, emotions, and spirit.  

Below is a list of things I struggle with in no particular order.  I know, we all have our list of things.  I'm just verbalizing mine.  They appear in no special order.

My hope is that by verbalizing mine, it will start a conversation to help others share their lists and give them some measure of healing.  We need one another to lean on, not to chastise and brush off.

I struggle to:

  • Accept the quietness of friends who barely speak to me at times wondering if I've done something wrong or they are just lost in their own moments of life.
  • Find a way to make it in this world on a consistent basis even though I know I have many talents and skills.
  • Do the things I want, not necessarily the things that I have to do.
  • Feel the disappointment of those I look up to who don't feel I measure up.
  • Accept the pain of a past that is so horrifying that it is difficult to even think about or view some days.
  • Deal with those that desire to take advantage of my niceness because they can't balance their needs and desires and honesty in being human.
  • Know that my biological family thinks I'm the worst person around because I dared to spill their secrets by trying to heal my own life.
  • Grasp everything that I've experienced in life because often it is so overwhelming and too difficult to understand or comprehend.
  • Try and hide all the triggers that possess me while trying to heal and remove the power they hold over me.
  • Understand why people who claim to have been my friend in the past desire to walk all over me as if I'm nothing more than a doormat for their life.
  • Realize that anyone loves me and that I truly matter even if I know I they do and even if there are some that show they love and care about me.
  • Find answers in the many questions that my mind does not seem to solve or my life seems to demand to know.
  • Understand why I hear, sense, feel and see so much but yet it all seems all like a confusing mass of information that I can barely process.
  • Comprehend how people can be so mean to one another and not even realize it while they shout insults with such force and velocity and exclamation.
  • Make sense of a world that honors religious beliefs but yet those same religious beliefs are hurled as arrows against others, while harboring their own faults in a safe harbor as if they don't exist.
  • Understand how to forgive all the pain that was inflicted upon me when the ones who did it act as if it was okay, they are righteous, and I'm the one that caused the problem - not them.
  • Not fully understand why others cannot see what I can see and understand what it is that I understand.  It all seems so simple, but to others, it is not.
  • Write the words that will help the most because it feels like my words are never enough in a world of turmoil, torture, pain, and disrespect.
I continue to work on these things each day because as I know, I'm a work in progress.  I know that we aren't on this earth to just wait out our days until we die.  We are here with a purpose, but sometimes that purpose is so clouded by what we've endured in life.

I'm not one that settles for what is or for the easy meme and saying that will magically make everything seem like it has disappeared and is better.  Instead, I'm one that keeps questioning and going deep within myself to learn more, grow more, and understand more.

Yes, some days I struggle, but it in that struggle that I remind myself - I'm becoming more than I am today.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Helpful Tips For Writing

I was asked the other day if I had any helpful tips for writing for a new author.  As I shared this privately, I thought it might be something that helps others.  So, I am sharing helpful hints for writing.  It is how I view my writing in both my blog and my books.

This is not an exhaustive list of tips by any means.  It was what sort of came off of the top of my head as I was trying to answer the question.  Of course, there is so much more that goes into writing than these few tips.  I'm sure for every author it is a little different.

I personally write about things from my experience and what I have been through.  My life has had to deal with horrific abuse, trauma and torture, and so I write from those aspects.  Through my own healing, I've learned so much that is often not discussed in our day.  I use this knowledge to write my books and blog posts. 

I try to be authentic and I also work at allowing my own vulnerability to show through because I think that is what people connect with in the words I write.  It is something they can identify with and accept.

So, I would say - write about what speaks to you and what your heart knows or longs to share.  Write from the heart in anything you do because you will connect with others.

I read a lot of books, both fiction and nonfiction and try to learn as much as I can.  I study what others do and learn from that.  My writings and books are my way of helping myself to continue my own healing process in this life.  In many ways, I think books of all types are that for the author.  They allow the author to explore areas that they might not otherwise get to do.

Most days, I just write.  I allow myself to write.  I give myself the time and space to do it.  When I do the initial writing, I do not worry about punctuation and spelling and grammar.  I just want to get my thoughts down.

Then I go back through it and start working the concepts to be more clear and I begin working on the editing.  When I think I've got it, I give it another run through.  Fortunately I have a friend that helps me with the final editing and grammar part, trying to pick up things I missed.

In the end, what I write is something I want that will connect with others and communicate the points I'm trying to make.  I want it to challenge and move people in a direction where they discover a little more about themselves than they knew existed.  I want it to be full of compassion and respect, because without those things, it is merely words on a page.

So what tips do you have for new writers? 

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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