Interview with Steve Di Schiavi

Nice, no-nonsense interview from an open-minded skeptic. The key to finding the truth? Research.


Today I’m welcoming Steve Di Schiavi, co-host of The Travel Channel’s exciting show, The Dead Files. Thank you, Steve for stopping by!

Sheila ~ Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Steve ~ I was born & raised in Brooklyn, NY to 1st generation Italian parents…I served 3 years in the USMC after being asked to leave HS.. lol, honorably discharged and joined the NYPD, spent almost 22 years retiring from the Manhattan North Homicide Squad…

Sheila~ How did you get to become the co-host of the hit television series, The Dead Files?

Steve ~ ABC News filmed a documentary called NYPD 24/7 that was acclaimed and won an Emmy.. I was the featured detective in the 1st executive saw it and I was asked if I would be interested in doing television…

Sheila ~ What’s it like working with Amy Allan?

Steve ~ She amazes me every…

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Chocolate Shamanism


On a friend’s recommendation, I attended a spiritual ceremony performed by a shaman who offered attendees what I can only describe as seriously potent hot cocoa. You drink it with the intention of bringing love into your heart to help heal the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual bodies.

Cacao is the basis of chocolate and is not a psychotropic like peyote. In its pure form, it is quite bitter. This particular batch had been grown and prayed over for the purpose of ceremony.

Chocolate and shamanism? Let the healing begin!

If you know me at all, you know that no matter how enlightened I grow to be, I’m still a skeptic at heart. But I’m also big on discovery – trying things to find what works. I’ve attended a lot of functions on endorsed by people who raved about their experience only to have mine fall short, or even flat.

What did I know going in? I was going to drink ceremonial chocolate, and it may or may not be a healing experience. The shaman said that once we had consumed the full dosage, we’d feel all kinds of emotional love. Did I need love and healing? Well, doesn’t everyone? I have a chronic backache and a past that has taken a few chunks out of me. So, I’m open to some heart chakra mojo.

After drinking half the dose (four ounces) of cacao, the shaman led the group in a short meditation. I can’t say the cacao offered any assistance, as my shamanic journey was equal to any I’d had without cacao. My head began to feel like someone had wrapped a quilted turban around it. My own voice sounded altered to my ears. But I can’t say the meditation felt different than any I’d done on my own.

Round two, another four ounces, another journey. The earth didn’t move, and I didn’t have any sort of trip. I wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion, spouting “I love you, man” or weeping uncontrollably like a couple others. Perhaps I’m too jaded, or put a wall of skepticism up. I enjoyed the energy of like minds coming together to heal. A couple attendees had just walked away from the rat race, a couple others were recovering from grief, and some were just curious and sought a deeper experience. Everyone was seeking love or healing through inner journeying after conventional methodology had failed.

On the two-hour drive home, I felt relaxed and satisfied that I’d had an enjoyable afternoon, but I can’t say I embraced the medicine of Mama Cacao. I didn’t feel any more loving toward myself (or other drivers) or feel as if the world should be in perfect harmony.

Then I got up the next morning.

Immediately, I noticed that my back was only mildly sore. After a four- hour drive, and another four hours of sitting on the floor, I should have been much stiffer and far less mobile, even hanging onto furniture to move through the room. I’ve had chronic back pain since I was ten. I’ve seen chiropractors, massage therapists, orthopedic doctors who have offered traditional methods that only provided temporary relief. This healing, too, was temporary, but strong enough to notice in a short period.

I also felt more empathic to the feelings and emotions of others. I, myself, was not more emotional, just aware of everyone else’s, even if they were not opening expressing themselves. The ceremony seemed to have had a longer lasting effect as it continues more than a week later.

Even though I didn’t have a moving experience at the time, the aftereffects have been noticeably clear. Chocolate and shamanism do go well together. Don’t knock it, till you try it.