For Immediate Release, July, 10, 2016
Beloved Naples Ob-Gyn returned today following another visit to Mission Esperanza in Colombia, South America. This is the third annual trip for the 68 year old and his wife, Kathleen Ketterhagen
–Ima Freeman, Naples Daily News
Ima Freeman: Tell us, Dr. Ketterhagen, when did you decide to visit the mission?
Ketterhagen: Well, you know, about four years ago we were going through a tough spell in our lives and I just decided that I needed to make some changes in how I thought about different things and how I reacted to others. One of those was to be thankful for the blessings in my life and to share them without conditions. We had found a church near our home in Estero, and related to a lot that our pastor had put in front of us. His church had welcomed us on the first trip that next summer, to the Dominican Republic. We worked along side many wonderful people and were inspired to do more and more each year.
Ima Freeman: How did you change your approach to life and people?
Ketterhagen: It was gradual, at first. There were some things that kept coming up that distracted me in a negative way. Habits from the past that I destroyed by working with principles that I’d heard of before, but had never really embraced. Kind of like fishing, in that I nibbled at books by Napoleon Hill, Charles Haanel, and Og Mandino. But I never really took the bait, so to speak. However, this time I had a coach who knew what he was teaching and I went all in and my life has never been better.
Ima Freeman: How did that happen?
Ketterhagen: Well, five short years ago we pretty much had hit a financial bottom and yet we survived the tumultuous fall. What we had left were some folks that encouraged us and family. Additionally, I still had a tenuous relationship with a Success Coach in Kauai, Hawaii. I had signed up for a course that he runs every year , Go90grow and I still had my lifetime membership. So, I started relearning what I was doing and began the slow but steady road back. Mark J, the coach, offered an opportunity to travel to a weekend retreat in Kauai, in Spring 2013. So, we attended and regained the confidence we had lost, made some commitments to each other and to our Dreams, and then we took the next thing he offered to those of us who went to Kauai. That was the Master Key Master Mind Alliance workshop. This twenty-six week course is what sealed our future.
Ima Freeman: What did you learn from that?
Ketterhagen: The first and most important thing for me was to learn what my real inner needs were. They’re called the personal pivotal needs (PPNs). Once I had that figured out, it became easier to put the other principles into place that revolved around those two: liberty and legacy. I developed a plan of action and worked on my inner self that Hannel and others call the “I” Next I began to sit quietly for longer and longer periods of time focusing on what I wanted in my life. Some people call this meditation. I released feelings that were not helping me to achieve my liberty. That was hard because for most of my life I believe that I must have harbored subconscious feelings of anger, frustration, prejudice, envy, passion and fear. I learned to put them out of my mind through mental exercise and things began to happen.
Ima Freeman: For instance?
Ketterhagen: Although, we pretty much started all over, now our summer home in the mountains of North Carolina is a source of pride and peace. We’ll be there tomorrow. It sits high atop a peak overlooking the Sapphire Valley and at night the starry skies serve to remind us of the Universal Mind that created all that we share with everyone else. I love to get up early and put a couple of logs in the fire pit on the deck and light them. By the time the embers are warm the coffee scent is wafting across the crisp quiet morning air and the sun beams are just curving around the peaks. This is the best time. The kids and grandkids drove up last week and are asleep on the second level. There is a boys bunk room just like in the movies with log furniture bunk beds and red wool blankets. Each of the sons has their own guest suite. Once the first grandson is up, the computer games will probably begin to play out in the recreation room on the 60 inch 3D screen and the quiet will be over. And that will last until we all pack into our gear and head up to the Nantahala river where we’ve reserved the whole river just for us on Wednesday.
Ima Freeman: I thought you lived in Bonita Springs?
Ketterhagen: We do. That is when we aren’t in North Carolina or in the Pacific Ocean home in Costa Rica. By the way, we re-built that home in Bonita in 1998 so it’s not new to us. We just “loaned” it out for a few years until we bought it back in 2014. I’m not one to get into houses, but that was a home. The two story home on the east end has the red bougainvillea climbing up the columns supporting the patio with the hammocks. The swimming pool in between that and the one story home on the other end of the deck. A walled family compound. Love that home.
Ima Freeman: Alright, alright. So tell me the secret of this rags to riches story and I want to hear more about your trip.
Ketterhagen: First, the mission. Our love for Colombia began back in 1995 when we were in Amway. We built a nice business in Colombia and one of the things that we loved so much was to visit an orphanage, outside of Bogota. We contributed a portion of our income monthly to the children and loved to visit whenever we could. This time we connected with another religious organization and that led us back to the mission we call Esperanza, which means Hope. And that is what we try and bring. Hope. Hope for a better tomorrow. We also bring a message of better health and a realization that they are not alone in the their country. They are part of the Universal that I spoke of earlier.
The secret to our success is in no small part due to the realization that we are all in this together and what ever happens to the least of us happens to all of us. So we try to give of our selves physically and of our financial gifts monthly. We are remembered in Colombia. That is my legacy.
Ima Freeman: So there has to be more to it. Come on, what is the secret?
Ketterhagen: Well, the secret is inside of you. You just have to replace bad habits with good habits. Embrace the law of giving and receiving, be mentored by someone who has been where you have been and is where you want to be. Be humble. Accept that there are things you can change by having an intense desire for them. Not that it happens instantly. But the I creates an attraction along with the Universe and that’s what gets it started. You attract the people and things to fulfill those PPNs.
Ima Freman: I notice that pretty woman at your side seems like she has something to add. Would you mind if I ask her a few questions?
Ketterhagen: Sure, go ahead. Kathy Ketterhagen has great insight.