Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Forked Tongues and Authenticity

I grew up in a home where we were told one thing and yet witnessed something totally different by that individual.  It was commonplace for people to speak with forked tongue.

Often these same people that railed against doublespeak were the ones that did it the most.  There was no authenticity, even though they believed that they were authentic.  They felt that what they told others was what mattered, not what they practiced in their own life.

I see this playing out in almost every minute of our day.  Whether it is in politics, on the TV, or online, I hardly see "authenticity" showing up.  Yes, everyone thinks that it is the other person that does this, not them.  How foolish we are!

Like Judge Judy, I'm one of those people that can spot a liar a million miles away (or should I say someone that is not authentic.)  It takes me a split second.  Okay, maybe liar is a little too strong of a word here, but if your words don't match up with what I know about you or if they don't match up with your body language, I'm rolling my eyes.

The online inauthentic people...

Even when it comes to online, I can generally spot the "inauthentic" people quickly and I become wary of anything they say.  They often rail against certain things in life and those same things consume everything they share on social media.  Yet, they often do the very things they despise.

I quit watching the news years ago because it is nowhere near authentic.  I don't understand why anyone watches it these days and I mean "ANY" news.  Everyone goes to their corner of what they believe is true and the news media backs it up.  It isn't necessarily one side or the other on most issues.  It happens on both sides.  There is no authenticity in it whatsoever because it is so often for entertainment purposes.

Inauthentic Marketing...

Let's not forget the ones that equate marketing with spamming, trying to get you to buy their stuff even if it doesn't pass the sniff test.  Marketing these days has become a barrage of waste material constantly thrown at us.  It is not about what the person needs.  It is more about just shoving it down everyone's throat.  There is no authenticity in marketing these days.  It is cloaked in the forked tongue.

There are so many ways we speak with forked tongues but if you try to point that out, no one wants to truly listen.  If they listen, they don't always want to change.  We'd rather point the fingers at others than go in and do what we need to do to help make ourselves human.

I think that if you are authentic, it will show through.  You don't have to grandstand and prove to others you are authentic.  You just need to live your life through authenticity.  When you no longer speak with forked tongue, people will know they can trust what you say.  Whether that is online or in politics or the media and marketing, people will know it when they hear it.

I realize we live in a fake reality these days, but if we don't start turning the ship around and learning how to be human by being authentic, we're going to hit the iceberg and sink.  It isn't up to anyone else to do what needs to be done.  It is up to each one of us individually to take stock of our own life and make the changes necessary for the survival of this planet and our species.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Missing Big Chunks Of My Life

Trauma healing isn't fun, easy, or pretty.  Dealing with the memories that surface after having gone through childhood sexual abuse is like walking on land that has many mine fields.  You just never know when you're going to step on something that blows up in your face.

These days, I really feel like there are big chunks missing from my life.  I don't know what it is.  I can't explain it.  I just have that gut sense that there is more to it.

What I mean by missing big chunks of my life is that I've got a few memories scattered here and there, but there is like this big part that I can't recall or remember.  It is almost as if that part of my life didn't exist.

Then there's the emotion that I feel surrounding it, but it's not like I can explain in detail what that emotion is.  It is more of a feeling.  It is more of a confusion, trying to comprehend what is going on.

I know I've been at this point before many times and I did get through it.  It is important that I keep reminding myself of that.  Yet, it doesn't make it any easier.  I'm not about to let it stop me in my tracks either.

I wish I knew what the missing chunk was in my life.  I wish I could describe better the way it feels.  For now, I've got to be content in just knowing that at some point it will make itself known and I'll have an opportunity to go further and deeper into my own healing.

I thought it would be helpful to others if I just shared this part of my process.  Hopefully, it will help someone else know that they too are not alone, and that others have walked these same paths.

In the end, I recognize that it is part of my healing process - part of my ongoing healing process.  Healing from trauma is not a one time event or a level you reach.  It is an evolution that takes you further through the deep layers of the pain and into the more joy filled parts of who we truly are.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Diaries and Memories Both Good And Bad

(Written by Jeff Lemlich)

I did a very smart thing, back when I was 11 years old.   I also did something kind of stupid.   I started keeping a diary.

That was smart, because thousands of memories from my past are now at my fingertips.

That was stupid, for the same reason.

Just the other day I couldn’t remember the name of one of my teachers, and reached for my 1975 journal, hoping her name was on one of the pages.   Thankfully, it was, putting an end to something that was starting to drive me bonkers.  That’s when having my life story written in ancient Flair pens really made me happy… but at the same time, I glanced at some of the other things I had written in that journal.

Ugh – was that really me?   How could I have had so many prejudices?   Did I really think I was smarter than everyone else?  How could I have had so little empathy?

I struggle to forgive the child that I used to be, and those journal entries make me cringe even more.   Yet I realize where those prejudices and the lack of empathy stemmed from.    Years of being put down and bullied made me think my being “different” made me a freak, so it was natural that I’d try to see others as the freaks.  Sometimes I put my pain into words, and other times I just buried it deep, deep, deep down inside.  It’s the sort of thing that I’d love to forget, but again, there it is on paper… reminding me of the crap that I went through, and the crap that it put into my head.

That isn’t the only drawback to journaling.   If I’m angry at someone or something, I should put it in my journal, right?  Well, what will happen 10, 15, 20 years later, if someone I know comes across it and reads it?   Wouldn’t that just reopen old wounds that have healed eons ago?    Is it better to cross out the bad parts and just try to remember the good, or would doing so further skew the truth and present a warped and maybe even dangerous view of how things were?

Despite all this, I am grateful to have noted so many places, people, and events.   I have a linear memory, and can tell you the date when almost anything in my life happened.   The more I read my journals, the more I remember… but are things really supposed to be that way?   Aren’t we supposed to live and learn, and forgive and forget?
I don’t have the answer.  I just know that my old journals – despite the bad memories – are precious to me.   I hate forgetting things, even the things that would best be obliterated from my mind.    It beats racking my brain trying to remember things, such as the name of that long-forgotten teacher from my past.  

Memories are very important to me, and I love helping others remember names, dates, and songs (especially songs).   I can write a lot more about that if you liked this guest blog post.    Leave a comment if you’d like to read more, and if the response is good, I just might make it happen.

- Jeff (

Guest Blogger
Avid Vinyl Record Collector
Male Survivor of Child Abuse

Visit Jeff's website at


Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Experiences Made Me What I Am Today

But as I know, all things that I encounter and all the experiences I have had up to this point in my life, have made what I am today.  It is the sum of all the parts of myself with the good, the bad, and the pieces I would greatly like to discard.  Without any of these parts, I would not be who I am today or where I am.  Pg 177, Hope And Possibility Through Trauma

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Us Versus Them Thinking

Not everything has to be an 

"Us Vs. Them" 

"You're Wrong, I'm Right" 

kind of issue.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Your Healing Belief Is Wrong

Far too often these days, we go to our corner in the boxing ring and we come out fighting.  We don't read or listen or attempt to understand the other person's point of view.  This is especially true in the healing world.

For several years, I despised the medical establishment.  I wrote about it and filtered it through my own paradigms in what I shared with others.  I've since come to appreciate and understand the medical world much more than I once did.

From the moment they almost took my life from me in a medical procedure until now, I have had a distrust of them.  Fortunately I came back to life, but when someone messes with you breathing in your body and taking that away, you tend to see things differently. (Read about my Near Death Experience.)

When people say that "your healing belief is wrong", they are limiting all that is possible and kind of limiting all of life.  Yes, they may have a point, but if you come out of the ring swinging as if any other thought is wrong, then you're not interested in learning more about what is possible.

I've seen plenty of things in my life that are placebos.  I've seen many procedures that only show part of the picture, not the entire thing.  We tend to look at our medical conditions through the eyes of fear, not through awareness.  When we do this, we cloud our best judgment.

Why can't there be multiple paths to the same treatment?  In treatment, I don't mean covering up and numbing the body.

Why can't there be elements of truth in every medical or healing procedure that does work?  Do we have to melt everything down into "it works or it doesn't"?

Because of our own paradigms and beliefs, we often miss the bigger picture of what is doing the healing work.  I've been in enough classes and programs to see that people build a "procedure" or a "program" around one thing they can prove which often diminishes the pure essence of it.

I believe we have far much more power within ourselves to affect real change in our lives.  I've seen it personally in my own life and that of many others.  I believe we don't have all the answers, and that in each healing modality or truth out there, there is a core truth that makes a difference.  It is the core truths that I focus on, not what the masses are led to believe.

Sometimes you can use some healing modality without subscribing to the beliefs within it.  The best way to look at it in my opinion is to test it and if it works, see if you can reproduce it again.
Just like medical procedures that are elevated as the "cure-all" of the world, there are many healing modalities that don't fully measure up either.  It isn't going to get us anywhere if we dismiss everything that each teaches.

If we open up to the core truths within each one, we will get farther in our own lives.  If we see our knowledge of healing as being true to this moment, it helps us go and discover more than we knew was possible.  It is all up to us, but please don't put on blinders as to what heals.  You're just limiting your options if you do.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

One Square Inch Of Silence

I believe I've written about this subject before as it is near and dear to my heart.  I believe we live in a world of noise and that noise harms us.  It keeps our nervous systems elevated, our ears at attention, and our minds actively searching for the origin of the noise.

We've got a lot going on in our lives, and without silence, it is hard to find peace (as in peace and quiet).  I don't even think we're aware of just how much noise is around us.  We have become so accustomed to it, that it is just commonplace.  Very sad, but true!

We need that moment of silence where we can stop and quiet our soul and mind.  It is so needed for us to help find rest in our life, and repair the things that have hurt our physical body and mind.

Not long ago, I was trying to record a little brook of water.  The sound was beautiful.  So as I hooked my special little recorder up near it, I thought it was pretty silent around where we were at.  I wasn't consciously aware of noise.

When I got it back home and listened to the recording, I kept hearing sounds that I didn't hear while I was there.  Most of them were planes flying high above us that we did not even notice.  Some of the other noises were of cars on far off highways, and people playing hundreds of yards away.  I was shocked at just how much noise there was that I didn't hear.

When I went to the ocean and recorded my Ocean Sounds CD, it was a battle to find a quiet place.  I was in a remote area, almost a wilderness part here in Florida.  Yet distant sounds carried through the air and would interrupt what I was recording.

Nowadays we have to have music and noises, blips and sounds playing constantly. Our phones constantly alert us.  The noise of the traffic never seems to die down.  The hums from the houses and the computers that continuously run leave us hardly any silence.

I'm so happy someone is drawing attention to this through their work, One Square Inch Of Silence.  May we not let silence become extinct, because it may be too late to know what true silence is.  Our mind and body need silence badly.  We need that down time and without silence in our world, we will stay at an elevated vibration which is not helpful to our survival.

Read more about this story on CNN, One Square Inch Of Silence.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Journey with Kabbalah

Note:  Links have been removed from this post because payment by Emily Olsen of Perennial Relations was not made and emails requesting fulfillment of their obligations were not answered.  

If does respond and pay for this blog post as promised, I'll gladly restore the links and remove this notice.  I made this agreement with Emily in good faith and expected it to be honored.  It has not been honored. 

I did like the content of this blog post and have great respect for the Kabbalah Center even though I lost a tremendous amount of followers for posting it.

(Sponsored post by Kabbalah Center)

Kabbalah means different things to various students, but it has been nothing short of a total life transformation for me. I have practiced as an attorney in New York for more than a decade now, and I have been fortunate to have all the financial security that I need to provide a comfortable life for my two children.

However, it only took about three years of practicing law at a major law firm to find myself completely underwhelmed with my circumstances. Even though I had landed a prestigious career and had all of the comforts of an impressive salary, my life felt empty and almost meaningless. The birth of my children forever changed my life for the better, but outside of my interactions with them, I was a shell of a human.

In my neighborhood and surrounding community, there are actually a large number of people who study Kabbalah. I actually first learned about it from a friend who had been practicing Kabbalah for about seven years before introducing it to me.

Even though I felt overwhelmed at first with the magnitude of some of the initial teachings, I came to embrace the reality that this type of study would take years to fully immerse myself in. I approached it with serious vigor and a commitment to uncovering at least the broad scope of the hidden secrets of the universe.

Although I did not fully understand everything that I was reading and learning, I knew that this was only the beginning of opening my eyes, ears and brain to the spiritual knowledge that could fulfill my life in the way that I had been yearning for.

After just six months of study, I felt my body start to react to the spiritual knowledge it was receiving. I even started to stand taller because it felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. I was more present in all of my interactions with my children, and I found myself less stressed about my position at work. I even found the inner peace to rekindle some strained relationships with family members.

All of this would not have been possible for me without the sound teachings of the Kabbalah Centre. This wonderful center has been teaching Kabbalah to all kinds of students since 1965. I was concerned that my lack of knowledge about the Jewish religion and Hebrew would make the studies too advanced for me, but this was not the case at all. In fact, my lack of hardly any religious knowledge was not an impediment to my learning at the Kabbalah Centre. I found that I was embraced just as I was and received instruction that was specifically tailored to my circumstances.

One of the things that the Kabbalah Centre emphasizes in its teachings is that they are not incompatible with religion. Instead, these teachings are more of a supplement to religion and serve to help connect us with the unknown universe. The Kabbalah Centre allows students to explore all of the mysteries of the universe without having to arrive at a precise answer for all of the larger and incomprehensible things around us.

The universal principles taught at the Kabbalah Centre apply for all types of people throughout all walks of life. I have connected with a diverse and welcoming community of students, which has allowed me to pursue my studies at an even deeper level and appreciate the all-encompassing nature of the principles taught at the Kabbalah Centre. The openness of the students at the Kabbalah Centre to engage in meaningful discussions has certainly augmented my personal growth.

This has been a sponsored post by the Kabbalah Centre (click here).

Please visit their site for more information.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I Want To Be Held But I Keep People Away

Being a trauma survivor of child sexual abuse, I struggle hard with being touched.  Like every human, I do crave touch.  Yet for me, touch is not easy.  After you've been violated in ways beyond imagination, touch is just not safe.

I want to be held but I keep people away.  Unfortunately, I'm my own worst enemy.  I beg for touch.  I long for it.  I long to be held.  Yet, I'm like "keep the heck away from me.  Don't come near me.  Don't touch me.  Don't get close."

Seems odd, doesn't it, to want both things.  I mean they compete with one another.  There's no way for people to support you and touch you while keeping them away at the same time.  I'm not talking about unsafe people or bad people or ones you don't trust.  I'm talking about those close intimate and personal people in your life.

I go through periods of time where I'm okay with touch and then I go through horrible moments where the pain of the past still haunts me and I want nothing to do with it.  I feel like I make progress and then some other memory tries to surface and get my attention, and the next thing I know - I've got the "Don't Touch" sign posted for all to see.

When I first met the love of my life, I was so scared to be touched.  In fact, a hug could often make me puke even though I trusted this person and felt safe with him.  You talk about making yourself feel lonely in life - this will surely do it.  We had to have rules that we could say, STOP at any moment and we would just stop.  It was the only way I began to get past it.

Is A Hug A Good Thing?

Sometimes people just automatically assume a hug is a good thing and they should just come up and hug others without asking permission.  In my case if you do that, you'd better hope it is a good day because you might invoke an automatic response from me that will be less than good for you.  People need to consider this instead of thinking that hugs and touch are good to all people at all times.

I find myself feeling lonely and like an outcast during these times, struggling to endure life.  Yet, I realize much of it is my own making, but I struggle to get past it.  I struggle to be touched.  The thing I need the most is the thing I most hate and fear.

I know my body was violated in horrible ways and for so much of my life, but that knowledge does nothing to quench the fear that bubbles up inside of me.  I become angry that some days, I just have so much difficulty in getting past this.

Yes, I've made it a long way in my recovery and probably went through more healing than anyone could have ever expected of me.  I know I have walked through so much, but things like this still take me under at times.  They hurt from the deepest layers.

More than likely, I'm not alone.  There's a good chance others experience this, but it just doesn't seem to be discussed.  Please feel free to share and leave a comment below if you struggle with this.  I'd love to hear your story.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Memories Of Glory Days And Trauma

(by Survive, Thrive And Conquer, Matt)

If there is one point that has been driven home to me time after time, since I started my recovery journey as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it's this...

Everything goes back to when we were abused, it's all tied together and intertwined in our adult lives. To add to that point, trauma is cumulative. It continues to build on top of the original event(s).

The depression, the flashbacks, frustration about how our life turned out... anything that brings up feelings of distress can often be traced back to our trauma, any type of trauma. No matter how far removed we are in time or space, the memories are still present and can be triggered back to the forefront of our minds in a hot second.

Let's look at this in a different way.  A comparison of what it feels like to remember trauma vs. what it feels like to remember good times in our lives. Are they really connected in some way?


Actually yes, they can be.

Remembering the good times in our life, our Glory Days if you will... and then feeling sad, frustrated, and angry at why they had to end.

My glory days were when I was in high school. Specifically, my junior and senior year. I was able to turn my life around, and take my life back from the bullies, my abuser, my mother,  and live the life I was born to live. I was doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. I had cool friends, a fun job, a great little beater car, and awesome music to listen to.

Maybe for you, reliving your glory days means recalling your college years, or a time when you did a lot of traveling. Perhaps when you first met your spouse, became a parent, or found your calling in life. Whatever time you can look back on and feel like, "Damn, I was having a great time and nobody was bringing me down." Take a minute and recall those memories now.

Before we go any further, make sure that those memories are held in a safe place in your heart. Nobody should ever be able to take them away or be able to taint them in any way. They are yours and yours alone to fondly remember anytime you want.


Once you've done that... read on.

Now, if we think back to the feelings we had in our minds during the time of our abuse; what do those feelings look like for you?  Be kind to yourself here, friends...

For me that feels like: being scared and feeling all alone. It's a feeling of worthlessness, emptiness, and confusion. Helplessness, no self-esteem, and no ability to think for myself. do you feel remembering when your glory days started to come to an end?  Are there similarities?
  • Confused? Why did they have to end...what did I do or not do to cause this change?
  • Alone? You had everybody and everything, so to speak, and very few worries. Now all of the sudden you are all by yourself again and all of the worries of everyday life are coming back.
  • Empty? Everything that you lived for and did, that made you feel so good is now gone and you're left with only the memories.
  • Questioning your ability to make good decisions? Questioning yourself as an adult overall?

Just by those two examples alone, the way it felt when the good times ended and the way it felt during the times that we experienced abuse at the hands of someone who violated us, it affirms that as we continue to work on one part of our trauma, we also help heal many other aspects of our lives as well.

A greater understanding of ourselves helps us to feel at ease, and know that we are doing the right thing in putting in all the work needed to heal.

-Matt (

Matt is a regular columnist on Mind Body Thoughts.  He writes Survive, Thrive and Conquer monthly column.  This article is written by Matt.

To learn more about him and see all his other articles, go to Matt's Page, Survive, Thrive And Conquer.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly and Matt
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Autonomic Nervous System and Stress On Our Body

In this video, Dr. Paul Canali and Jim Fazio discuss the Autonomic Nervous System, stress, and how it impacts our physical well-being.

Key Points In The Video

  • The Autonomic Nervous System is responsible for our day to day function.
    • Controls things like heart rate, blood pressure, hot, cold, sexual intimacy.
    • Almost every function of the human body is under Autonomic Nervous System control.
    • We're not always aware of it until something goes wrong.
    • Negative impacts of stress are expressed through the Autonomic Nervous System.
  • Sympathetic Nervous System
    • One part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).
    • It increases and expends energy to meet the demand of the moment.
    • Increases
      • Blood Pressure
      • Heart Rate
    • The stress response
    • The survival response
    • Still in the "danger mode" so your body doesn't waste energy on digestion, sleep, rest, healing.  Even dangers that have long past gone away.
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System
    • Helps slow things down and bring things back into balance.
    • If the threat, real or perceived, is still there, this will not engage.
    • Parasympathetic helps in
      • Sleep
      • Digestion
      • Rest
      • Healing
    • The longer we stay in stress or survival, the longer these systems will stay shut down and lead to constipation, inflammatory disease, and illness of all types. 
  • Majority of doctor visits are due to stress or the maladaptation to stress.
    • Treatments will only do so much unless you deal with the stress.
    • If you don't correct your ways to adapt to stress, nature will take you out of the picture.
    • Re-regulate stress by dumping allostatic load, which is how the body adapts to a stressful stimulus.
    • Stress happens and it impacts the body, but in a short period of time, we should return back to a baseline called homeostasis.  Unfortunately, we don't always do this.
    • Stresses can accumulate and keep us out of balance which ends up in situations where we are in severe pain, physical illness, and conditions that impact the body.

For More Information

  1. Dr. Paul Canali, Evolutionary Healing Institute of Miami, Florida
  2. Jim Fazio, Integrative Bodywork

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How Can You Share Love With The World

The picture of the candle comes from the vigil at Lake Eola on June 19, 2016.  I will never forget that moment of that day.  After the horrendous attack on the Pulse nightclub, I saw people come together from all walks of life to honor the memories of these individuals.  No longer was the LGBT community an outcast in Orlando. I saw hearts and lives changed in spite of the evil and hatred that was inflicted upon the victims and the city.

This candle to me reminds me of just how much love that was present in that place.  It was so strong that you could just feel it and it brought tears to my eyes, it lifted my heart and it helped me see others in a different way.

Why can we not have that love in our hearts for one another, rather than the divisive hatred that is so readily displayed these days?  We will not make it if we stand with hatred in our hearts towards one another.  Only love will get us through those difficult times.

How can you share love with the world today? 

How can you inspire yourself to love more? 

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Friday, May 19, 2017

Surviving The Funeral

This is not a topic I write much about because even with the years that have gone by, there's a lot of pain in the walls of my heart when I try to share it.

It is hard to write about because while I miss my mom, I know she was part of the mess of trauma, torture, and child sexual abuse I went through.

No, she was not an active participant and I know she was beaten as well, but she was not able to protect me.  Before she suddenly died in a car accident, I had not gotten to speak to her in many years.  There are so many things left unsaid.

When the funeral happened, it was inside the hospital chapel because my father was still recovering from the car crash.  Somehow he, the monster in the family, was the one that survived.  The one that I wish would have made it, didn't survive.  I have great amounts of anger over that to this day that I struggle with, quite honestly.

They did everything to stop me...

It was more than difficult to get to the funeral.  In fact, the family seemed to do everything they could to keep me from going to it.  No details at all.  We had to dig for what was happening and when.  I had been unemployed and just had started a new job a couple of days before the car accident.  My anxiety about being back with the monsters in my family was overwhelming.

Fortunately some friends met me there and my partner went with me.  I remember pulling up to the hospital, and it was almost too much. I wanted to flee.  I wanted to run.  I took my Xanax to help give me a little calmness for the day but even it was not enough.

I wanted to be left alone...

We waited until the last minute to walk in.  My partner scoped things out.  Then, it was time to go in to the funeral knowing I was walking in among the wolves that hated me for daring to break the silence.  The minister came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder and back and I jumped.  I wanted none of these fake people to touch me.  I wanted to be left alone.

I went to the casket and saw my mom.  She had aged a little since the last time I saw her, which was about 11 years earlier.  I cried.  My younger brother at least came up and acknowledged me and gave me time alone with her.  I introduced her to Jeff and told her I wish she could have gotten to know him.  It was the last time I would see her.

Sitting through the long drawn out service was not easy.  I sat in front of my friends, next to Jeff.  Of course the minister started in preaching of how we should forgive one another and especially our family.  I know who put him up to that line of preaching and I know it was directed at me.

Forgiveness was screwed up...

You see, in our family, you had to forgive those that harmed you.  That was the way it worked.  You had to act as if it didn't happen.  Forgiveness was such a screwed up nightmare for me for a long time.  It didn't mean they ever had to own up to what they did or how much they hurt you.  It was "you" that had to make things right.  Nothing like treating a victim like a victim!

So as I was sitting there, my anger was growing within me.  The next thing I know I did was to flip the minister off.  I don't know if he saw me.  Maybe he did.  Maybe he didn't.  It just felt so good to tell these kinds of people where to take their holier than thou attitudes and put it.

After it was over, my friends hurriedly rushed me out the door and got me out of there.  They knew how difficult it was for me.  I know that my family was getting together at my Aunt's house, but I wasn't invited.  They were afraid I'd make a scene.  I said, screw you anyway!

I left feeling dejected...

I left there feeling dejected once again.  I left there feeling like I didn't belong in the family once again.  It would be many days and months before I would be able to stop crying.  It would be years before I would even get to the point of writing what I can write here today.

I don't know how I survived the funeral.  I miss my mom.  We had so much in common but I'm glad she doesn't have to put up with the monster anymore.  In the end, the monster was responsible for the car accident taking her life because he pulled out in front of an oncoming vehicle.  I'm not sure I can easily forgive him for that, and I honestly don't care what he or my family thinks of that.

Even this many years later, I'm reminded of losing my mom.  I'm reminded of the horrors the family faced and how it made my life a living hell every day of my existence.  At times, I still cry and mourn for her loss.

I know that not everyone had a good mom.  Some had good fathers instead.  For me, my mom meant the world to me.  I feel so lost and alone without her.  The process of grieving continues.  The process of healing continues.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Living With A Bully

I was recently reading some tweets by @Hope4Siblings on sibling abuse, and never stopped to give it a thought.  I'm guessing it is widespread or so it seems in my world.  Most of the things that I went through, I have often minimized as if they were just normal and I guess I've done the same here.

While I'm not one to embrace too many labels, I know I went through sibling abuse. My older brother made my life hell for me.  Every chance he got, he'd pound the crap out of me.  He loved to tackle me on the ground.  He was so overweight and he used that weight to hold my arms back and then jump up and down on my upper arms and shoulders with his knees.  It hurt like hell and to this day I struggle with deep pain sometimes in my shoulders.

   I was living with a bully...

Then in the second grade, there were these fourth graders in the Hampton, Iowa elementary school I went to that further made this difficult.  There were four (4) of them but I can't remember their faces or their names.  I'm not sure I knew their names.  They would each take one arm and leg and then start swinging me back and forth and let me go sailing in the air.  When I'd land on the ground, it hurt like all you can imagine it hurt.  No teachers, of course, would see it or listen to me when I told them what was going on.  I hated that school.  I hated the teachers.

   I was living with a bully... 

When we lived in one place as a kid, I was maybe in kindergarten or first grade.  We would ride the bus to school because we lived out in the country.  It is important to note that we were pretty poor and lived in a very cold rural house in Iowa.  Winter times meant being cold.  I barely had mittens or a hat to wear.  I was lucky if my boots had no holes in them.  The kids would try to grab and steal my mittens and hat every time I got on the bus.  They didn't care if I froze.  The bus driver would yell at me when I tried to get them back.  I hated the kids and the bus driver.

   I was living with a bully...

I grew up in a house where my father did unspeakable things to me.  You can learn more about that in my books, but it was not a pretty time.  I was more of a sensitive little boy.  I didn't enjoy hunting and killing things.  My little hands would get cold.  I wasn't as big of a "man" as I was supposed to be and that brought on a lot of hurt and pain for me.

   I was living with a bully... 

I worked in a job where a coworker was nothing but a bully.  He thought making fun of my sexuality and everything else about me was the norm.  People in authority in the company didn't seem to care.  They just turned a blind eye toward it.  In fact, I was told once that "I just needed to learn to work with others as adults."  It was as if what this person did was okay, but I was the one with a problem.  Emotionally, it took its toll on me and I finally quit.

   I was living with a bully...

Whether it is sibling abuse or being sexually abused by someone in your family, it is not easy and it is not fun.  When there are no people to turn to that can help, you feel all alone.  When the bully in the house threatens you and you know they are dead serious, you have no one to tell.

I see far too many bullies in this day and age and all of them trigger me.  I have no use for a bully.  If you can't respect others, then as some might say, "You are dead to me".  Sorry if that sounds harsh, but after a lifetime of bullies, I struggle to feel love toward them.  It is still part of my healing journey.

Living with a bully is difficult.  We need to get serious in this world about stopping the bully that exists in far too many places.  I still deal with the aftermath of what I experienced as I'm sure most people do as well.

If you're a bully - get help!  If you are being bullied - keep seeking help.  You should not have to endure this behavior.  The bully is the one with the problem, not you!   And if no one listens - scream a little louder until they do!  Find someone to help you.  You don't deserve to be bullied by anyone.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today, I Know

(Written by Marie Davino)

I have been in some kind of therapy or other since I was 18, due to a difficult and dysfunctional family life as a child. In addition, I was bullied at school and had an eating disorder that became a lifelong struggle.

It has, at times, been a rough and very rocky road to say the least.  I knew that I had experienced some kind of abuse, but the memories of it were incomplete or vague. That made it difficult  for me to know for sure if I actually was molested… and to let it go.

The questions were always, “what if”, “what really happened”, or “who was this person?”  These questions haunted me, and were always in the back of my mind. I tried to recover the memory in different ways with different therapies over the years to no avail. I finally decided I would have to be ok with not ever knowing…until recently.

I worked with my last therapist for ten years, and he was wonderful. I will always be grateful for the work we did together and for the time and effort he gave to help me heal my past wounds. I reached a point where I was very happy, had left it all behind me, and felt my life was quite fulfilling for many years…and then, the bottom dropped out. I felt myself spiraling into a depression that  I could not express or understand. I tried my best to manage it with all of the tools I had learned over the years. Nothing was working.

That was when I found Jim Fazio and Unified Therapy. I began to work with him, and reached a level of trust so quickly that I was able to explore the reasons for the depression I was experiencing in great depth.  It is difficult to describe how the sessions go, but I can say there is very little talking, no advice or judgment, and all mind-body work in a safe, relaxing environment.

The sessions were intense and powerful... after each session was over, when I allowed myself to let go, I felt an overwhelming peace and joy that I had not experienced for a very long time. It was progressing so quickly that after a few months the memory became clearer… until one session when the answer came… I knew it was real, where the existing memory was leading, and that it happened.

The next morning, this poem was written in my mind in a matter of minutes, and I had to write it down.

Today, I Know

(c) 2017 By Marie Davino

Today I see the world through different eyes
Yesterday it was maybe, probably.
Today I know
Yesterday it was how could someone do that to a child
Today it is how could someone do that to my child
Yesterday I wondered why? (I suffocate!)
Why? (I can't breathe!) why? (I can't speak!)
Why? (Did I make this up?)
Today I know
The Angels gentle message
Floating on an ocean full of tears
drowning out my screams
Buried in sand up to my nose, hide my face from horror.
Can't move, can't breathe, why? (No one hears me.)
Today I know.
Paul sings it was far away… but it was here all along
He sings it will stay forever, but now I know
I will fight till I can let it go
These words of a million wounded souls, spoken a million times
Nothing new here...I am just one more broken heart to heal.
Freezing cold. Burning up.
No more shadows. No more darkness. No more silence. Today I weep.
Today I bathe in the soft lightness of mourning
In the gentle hands that hold me
Because now, I know.
Tomorrow I will see the world through different eyes.

I am sharing my experience on Mind Body Thoughts because through my work with Jim Fazio I found Don, and we have become good friends. What he writes on his blog is courageous, open, and honest, and helps me find the courage I need to continue to heal through some very difficult times. Many thanks to Don, for sharing so much of his life with us so we can see there is always hope…and to Jim, for holding on tight and going through the darkness with me.

- Marie

Jim Fazio, LMT, CSI, UTP

Website:   Integrative Bodywork, Inc.

Activating the Brain-Body Connection for Healing.

Promote Health and Wellness, not disease and illness

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly and Marie
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I Did It My Way

I remember a song about the subject line of this post.  I Did It My Way!  Yep, that's so true.  Healing didn't come in a nice neatly packaged box.  It didn't have an instruction manual.  It didn't tell me to do it, or when to proceed or how to proceed.

I just had to figure out that I had to do it my way.  No one can tell you how to heal from trauma and child abuse.  Yes, there are things that may help and people that help guide you, but be wary of anyone that says, "this is how it is done."

What works for some, may not work for everyone.  Of course, we all probably nod our head with that, but then we go in and tell others that this is the way it is.  If you don't like it - leave!  I've seen that happen far too many times.

There are elements of healing that work across many life forms.  There are often elements that we turn a blind eye to, all the while demanding that we get better.  We sometimes are our own worst enemies, even if we can't acknowledge that.

When I was paralyzed from Conversion Disorder, the doctors were experimenting to find out what would work for me.  They used "elements" of what the current thinking was at the time, and even though it helped, it only took me so far.  It didn't take me deep into healing what was at the core.

Without healing the core and the root of what was happening, there was just so much progress that I could make.  It took me many years of searching and self discovery to find this part, but it was the part that gave me the most bang for my buck.

If I would have followed the advice of every well-meaning person out there, I would have never healed.  I would have missed the important parts while listening to all the so-called experts.  I went beyond what people told me to do and did it my way.

No matter what, I never gave up.  Yes, many times I felt like it and many times I worked hard to give up, but somehow I kept going.  Somehow I said, "I'm going to find my way through this."  Believe me, I could have just laid down and died, and most would have understood after what I had been through.  I chose to keep going and not give up.

I had one constant throughout my life in that I never accepted the physical condition that the doctors and experts said I would be in for the rest of my life.  The minute they told me this was the way things were and put a label on it, that was the minute I scoffed in their face.  I was like, there's nothing that is going to hold me back and hold me down.

I kept going.  I didn't give up.  I kept searching, I didn't stop my quest for the next step or what would help.  Don't tell me the label is who I am!  I'll prove you wrong a hundred times over.  Don't tell me that I won't be able to function fully in life and work and play and talk and walk.  I'll prove you wrong!

There are far many more questions out there in the healing world, and not everyone that thinks they have the answers has the complete truth.  Most likely that's where they are in their own journey.  While it can be helpful, just don't let it guide you as the sole lighthouse beacon of the entire planet.  Do it your way - and never give up doing it your way!

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Things To Remember About Psychic Readings

(by A Happy Medium, Amanda)

I recently read a column by a famous medium where she stated that before she came out of the closet and started practicing, she had a reading which made her fearful to date again after her marriage ended. Out of fear, she stayed out of the dating scene. I’ve heard this story before where people have had readings where the reader has foretold or predicted a less than desirable outcome.

I think it is sad that this person decided to hold back from living based on messaging delivered from a psychic reader. I don’t want you to fall into this trap, so I’m including some tips below for those instances where you may feel like you haven’t gotten the most out of your reading or you’ve heard something you don’t want to hear.

Here’s what I want you to remember:

  • Readings are for guidance only. While we do speak to the divine, especially when you see a medium, we are reading the energy around you at the time. Use this guidance as advice, but please do not let us make your decisions for you! We don’t want that burden, and it’s unethical for any reader to advise you to make any financial or medical decisions.  That being said, I don’t want to take away from the validity or comfort a good reading can provide, but walk in with an open mind and walk out the same way.

  • We can be wrong! Any reader that tells you they are 100% correct all the time is full of it and you should run for the hills. I am up front with my clients that at this point, you are getting the information you need to hear. I could read you today and read you tomorrow and get different messaging depending on where you are and the choices you have made. Take your reading with a grain of salt and as what it is – guidance based on the reader’s perception of the energy at this point in time. Use it to guide you but remember, nothing in a reading is written in stone.
  • Frequency - Readers who are willing to book sessions for you frequently are most likely reading for the wrong reasons. I advise my clients that I will not read them more frequently than every six months. I like enough time to pass to allow things to change and allow you to do the self work you need to do. I want you to maintain your independence and ability to make your own choices. I don’t want to disempower you from making your own choices and I certainly don’t have the energy to be your personal oracle.  That would be exhausting!

  • Gifts - Any reader who asks you to bring them money or gifts on a weekly   basis does not have your best interests at heart. Sadly, there are “lightworkers” out in the world who will tell you that you have bad energy attached to you and to release it you will have to visit them weekly or bring them items to pray over such as gift cards. This is an actual thing, believe it or not! I have heard a couple of clients who have told me stories about people who will remove dark energy or  curses from them as long as they visit and pay $150 per visit.

Remember  that you always have free will. You could walk out of your reading and decide to change the course of your life radically. If you hear something you don’t like in a reading and it doesn’t ring true for you, you can always use intention and your choices to alter the path in front of you. Trust that the universe allows things to unfold for the best possible outcome and that you are the co-creator of your life. I don’t think I would ever tell a client that they would never be happy again. There are always ways to come back to a positive outlook and work that can be done to change things around.

When you leave a session with me, I want you to feel empowered and perhaps have a different perspective on your life. Maybe it is a fresh outlook that you need.  It could just be that you need a conversation with someone who is unbiased to the situations in your life who will listen and has your best interest at heart.

Please don’t ever let a reading disempower you. Know at all times that you are in the driver’s seat of your life and you have the free will and intention needed to change the course of your life and move it in a better direction. Sometimes readings can be useful to open our eyes to the right path.

I’ve said it here a couple of times and I will say it again. You should feel comfortable with the person you choose to do your reading. Check their website, look at pictures and testimonials and ask for references. You should be able to ask any questions you may have prior to the reading. Go with your instincts when choosing a reader. Pick someone that you resonate with and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Take care until next time!

-    Amanda (Metaphysical

Amanda is a regular columnist on Mind Body Thoughts.  She writes A Happy Medium monthly column.  This article is written by Amanda.

To learn more about her and see all her other articles, go to Amanda's Page, A Happy Medium.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly and Amanda
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Saturday, May 13, 2017

As We Shed Who We Think We Are

Sometimes it is easy to get complacent and think we've progressed to the point where we fully know ourselves.  Yet, self awareness and growth are a continuous process because the more we get to know about ourselves, the more we are able to see and discover.

As we shed who we think we are, we discover what actually exists.

Don't stop discovering more about your life.  There's much more to you than you can currently see.

Become more conscious and aware.  

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Friday, May 12, 2017

I Was Featured In An Interview

The other day I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a site about my book.  I've actually written two books in the course of my life.

A Journey Through Words was more of a poetry book of some of the things that helped me through my own healing. 

Hope and Possibility Through Trauma was the second book.  It was born out of my blog writing.  It was one that I wanted to put together to help people have hope in their own healing.  I wanted others to know there was a possibility that they could heal.

So often in our life, it feels like we won't make it.  It feels like we are all alone.  It feels like no one understands the pain we have gone through.

In addition, it can often feel like there is no hope or possibility in healing the trauma in our lives.  We just feel like we're on a journey all by ourselves.  While this is not true, it is part of the healing journey and a difficult part.

I am working on a new book that will go into more detail about some of the things that were helpful in my own healing.  No, it isn't a recipe book of healing, but one where I'm sharing the struggles I went through and key points that I used to help myself.  Often though, I didn't know I was implementing these healing strategies until long after I did.

This interview that was done gives you further insight into my own life, and why I wrote the books that I have.  It is a good read, and hopefully you'll take a moment to check it out.  I think you'll like it.

For the Interview (click the image below)

Book - A Journey Through Words

Book - Hope And Possibility Through Trauma

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reminded To Play

Often, my days get very busy.  I am usually trying to accomplish so much and it is very easy for me to just forget to stop.  The funny thing is, I try to encourage people to stop in their day and sometimes I really screw it up too!

Hey, we're all human.  Living in a human body is not necessarily an easy thing or a 1-2-3 process.

Every day things change.  Every day we experience new things.  We deal with stress and joy and pain.  We deal with life and sometimes we jump up in the air to celebrate.

The only thing is when I get so busy that I forget to stop and have fun in life, it can be like a sword thrashing around in a small room.  More than likely at some point, the result is not going to be pretty.

Cats are good barometers...

I'm always amazed at my cats because they seem to know when I need to stop and play and get up from my desk.  I'm fortunate to work from home.  My cats are good barometers of things I miss sometimes in myself.

It is amazing to watch the cats because sometimes they both come up wanting attention.  If you don't give it to them, they increase their presence until you stop and pay attention to them.  If you don't give them enough, they just up the stakes and work harder to get your attention.

My cats don't really care if you're writing your masterpiece novel or replying to a tweet.  They just know, it is time for you and them to have some social interaction... and for me to stop - play - have fun!

I like that they help remind me to play.  I need that sometimes.  It is just far too easy for us to get hung up on all the tasks we do or the social media posts we have not read.

Cats (and most likely dogs too) are good barometers to help us stay connected to our self and our mind body.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pursuing Symptoms In Healing

One thing we do in healing that is misguided is trying to heal the wrong things.  I don't mean to make it sound like a mistake, even if it is.  I mean that we focus and pursue healing symptoms more than we do in healing the entire mind, body, and spirit.

Every licensing year in the massage world here in Florida, I see the "new" modalities and classes come through.  Everyone out there is promising relief from pain, relief from this situation or that situation.  Use this electrical stimulation device and get rid of the pain.  Use this technique and alleviate the pain.  Provide pain relief with this modality.

While there's some truth and benefit to all of those things, many of them are so misguided.  Sometimes they offer a placebo effect all the time proving to you that the system works.  They get so caught up in their own paradigms of what is going on that they miss the bigger picture.

It meant painful discoveries...

Take, for instance, if I would have focused only on the symptoms of Conversion Disorder that I was experiencing, I would have not made it very far.  No, I had no clue how to heal my life, but it was in that never ending questioning that I found ways to heal.  The symptoms of paralysis, seizures and a numbed body were not where I needed to focus to heal.  I had to go to the core of those issues and yes, it meant some painful discoveries.

Another instance of when this applies is when I had a full body rash.  I could have focused on the symptoms only but little progress would have been made.  While I was trying to find anything that helped alleviate the itching of the rash, I knew that something was kicking it up.  Through deep work into the mind and body, I soon discovered what was fueling the rash.  No, it wasn't easy to go into this space of healing, but without it, I would still be fighting the symptoms.

Stress to a Physical Stressor

One time I was working with a client, doing to their office and doing weekly chair massage.  One of the ladies would often complain how torqued her back felt and how painful it was.  I would work on the symptoms while I was there and often alleviate it.  However, the next week I went back, it would be as if I had done nothing.  I soon discovered that the way she had her computer positioned on her desk was twisting her back.  When you apply the stress of the day to a physical stressor such as this, you're going to get pain.  If I would have just focused on the symptoms of pain in her back and not observing what was behind it, I would have missed the healing part.

There are times of course that you have to focus on the symptoms because you or others need relief.  We need to know that we can get out of that pain.  Sometimes, it is just a moment of "please take the pain away".  Unfortunately, if we're just treating symptoms, we're going to miss the bigger picture of healing.

I kept asking the questions...

I would have never made it out of Conversion Disorder and paralysis if I would have not kept asking the questions that I needed or searching for what could help.  I looked for ways that would physically help me and make a difference, noticing that they helped me heal to my core.

Sometimes we just get caught up in the symptoms as we so badly want them to go away, but more often than not, this does very little for us.  It numbs us.  It helps us disconnect from it, but it doesn't go to the core issue of what is causing it.

Medications and medical procedures don't always do what we think they are doing.  I knew a lady that had 52 surgeries in 48 years.  No one stopped to think about the overall big picture.  They were treating the symptoms.  When she started on healing her core mind and body, it is then that her body started to heal and surgeries and medications were no longer needed.

I know this probably sounds too easy to be true.  I know some will read it and say, "but you don't understand my condition" and "you don't know what I have to live with".  To that, I can only say, no I don't.  I just know what I've seen in my own life and that of many others and I will urge and prod you to go deeper, dig further, and work toward healing the symptoms, not necessarily treating the symptoms.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How Much Do You Notice?

Often we go through our day not seeing what is around us.  It is there, but we just don't see and notice it.  We're too busy in our minds to stop and observe.

I see it every day with people.  The birds chirping outside.  The trees swaying from the breeze.  The sun shining down and giving us warmth.  The clouds forming different shapes in the sky.  All of these things are around us, but we're too busy to notice.

We get on our phones and we're walking down the street texting away, but oblivious to anything else going on.  Our thumbs and neck muscles work harder than our minds.

We get on social media and we comment, share, and like everything about the latest "news storm" of the day, yet we don't fully engage.  We don't notice the bigger picture of what is around us.  We are so microscopically focused on only the rants and raves of the day.

So darn disconnected from it all...

We get in our cars and we turn on the radio, but we never stop to truly notice things around us.  There may be someone that needs some help, or a homeless person that has lost their way.  There may be other things going on around us, but we're just so darn disconnected from it all.  We don't notice.

There is so much going on and if we don't take time to stop and observe it, we are really robbing ourselves of the human experience.  We're not meant to stare at our phones constantly or go from one busy task to another.

Meant to find balance...

We are meant to find balance in our lives as humans.  One of the ways to do this is by stopping and observing what is going on in the world around us.

Most of the latest news rants and political firestorms are nothing but ego, fear, and greed competing for dominance.  They are not as critical to life's sustenance as we think they are.

An experiment...

Try and experiment if you will.  Time yourself if it helps for you to do this little experiment.  Take one minute when you step out the door of your house to notice one thing.  Maybe what you will notice is a bird, a flower or a tree.  Maybe it is the blue sky or the clouds.  Maybe it is a sound.  Whatever it is, just take one minute to notice it.

Then on the way home from work, stop and take one minute to notice one thing before getting into your car.  See how it makes you feel.  See if you can breathe into it.

Just stop and ask, listen, and connect.

I've got a feeling one minute will go by very quickly.  More than likely it will change your view and perspective for the day.  More than likely, you'll let go of some of the stress of the day and refocus and center yourself.

You'll most likely find the balance that human body so badly needs, especially in these days of nonstop destruction of our time and attention.

So, go ahead.. try the experiment.  Comment below with what you found.  I'm anxious to hear it.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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