June Good News: You Can - and WILL - Figure It Out I will admit it. To this day, I still get flustered by the unknown, the unexpected, and pretty mu

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June Good News: You Can - and WILL - Figure It Out


We can't. But we can. And we ARE. Sometimes all that is needed is to recognize how our process works and trust THAT to lead us through.

I will admit it.

To this day, I still get flustered by the unknown, the unexpected, and pretty much anything else with an "un" attached to the front of it.

You'd think by now I would have figured out that what the card I carry in my wallet says is actually true -

Everything really is alright.

But clearly I haven't. So instead I follow the routine:

Freak. Run. Cower. Hide. Repeat if the scary thing is still there.

And yet I am doing it. I AM.

You ARE.

We have loads - I mean TONS - of evidence in even our most recent past that we can, will, and do eventually figure it out....whatever "it" is. It may take the time it takes, and we may have to follow our own unique (and, frankly, sometimes unpleasant) routine to get there, but it will get done. We DO get it done.

Our choices are also surprisingly and reliably simple. We can accept the situation as-is. We can accept the situation conditionally and take action to make some adjustments. We can hang back and wait and see. We can actively walk away.

When we really stop to think about it, we get through everything life presents us with in one of these four ways. And we DO get through it.

Every. Single. Bit. Of. It.

I should know. I've been doing it this way - shockingly - successfully - for 41 years now.

I still have trouble sensing the presence of success hidden in there sometimes, and even more trouble believing it is real, but I am also aware enough these days to realize that the trouble exists solely in my survival-focused (and thus necessarily judgment-laden) mind.

In my LIFE, I have all the evidence I need that I am okay. It really is okay.

It really IS okay. You can - and WILL - and ARE - figuring it out.

Even as you are reading this now.

With great respect, love, and a great big virtual HUG of support,



This month in Good News:

Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia, and Ed)
Meet Shannon this Fall!
Bring "Beauty Undressed" to Your Campus
Book Must-Read of the Month: "Animals in Translation"
RSVP now for a FREE teleconference with Walter Kaye, MD
Q&A with Shannon: YOUR recovery questions answered!
Love & Feathers: "Now You See Me...."
Mentoring & Recovery Blog: "Happy People Stuff"
Participate in Vital Eating Disorders Research
Shop for Support in the Key to Life Store
Take Good News & Pass it On


Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia and Ed)

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I trust myself to stay the course, leaning on my growing ability to accept each ever-evolving phase of life without resistance or struggle, always focused on the valuable lessons each phase brings.

I trust and lean on the stories of others who have emerged from times like these—victorious, joyful, and grateful.

I trust. I survive. I believe.

QUOTE from Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back

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Meet Shannon in the Fall!

Fall Tour Dates to be announced soon!

*To inquire about scheduling Shannon's visit to your group, please click HERE


Bring "Beauty Undressed" to Your Campus!

"Beauty Undressed" is not your ordinary eating disorders event.

In fact, it is not really about eating disorders at all, but about how we as individuals and as a culture view and express beauty in the course of our everyday lives.

Eating disorders are serious bio-psycho-social illnesses that are estimated to affect up to 10% of the population. However, nearly 100% of the population (that is, us) struggles with unhealthy eating habits, body shame, and insecurity whenever we look in a mirror.

This is why "Beauty Undressed" is a program for all of us.

With "Beauty Undressed", teens and adults, women and men, students and staff come together around one of the centralizing issues of our culture today:

Beauty. What is it? Who has it? Who decides?

To learn more about "Beauty Undressed" and Shannon's other campus programs, click HERE

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Book Must-Read of the Month: "Animals in Translation"

There is no other way to say it - I have been transfixed of late with Temple Grandin, her life, her writings, and her amazing story of overcoming autism in a way few others can claim.

Even better, Dr. Grandin has dedicated her life to drawing what I believe are very necessary and often long-overdue parallels between the lives and minds of animals and our own.

It is also safe (and quite interesting!) to report that I am learning as much about my own brain from reading Temple's books as I am learning about the animal brains she is studying.

"Animals in Translation" was a best-seller when it first came out, and for reasons that will become increasingly obvious as you read. Dr. Grandin's ideas, theories and conclusions are quite simply extraordinary - so "out of the box" that only a scientist with equal parts sophisticated clinical detachment and fully developed inner intuition could pull them off.

All that to say - if you love animals, or even have the faintest curiosity about all these other beings we share the planet with; if you have a pet animal and you have often felt like they have more to tell you than what you can easily absorb, or if you simply want to marvel at one scientist's quest to free us all from the labels and divisions that keep us from fully enjoying the wealth of companionship that is all around us, pick up a copy "Animals in Translation".

Be prepared, though. If you do pick this book up, it may be awhile before you put it down again!

To learn more about "Animals in Translation" and Dr. Temple Grandin click HERE


RSVP Now for MentorCONNECT's* "New Research Discoveries to Improve Treatment" with Dr. Walter Kaye

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Date: Wed, July 11, 2012
Event: MentorCONNECT Teleconference
Topic: "New Research Discoveries to Improve Treatment"
Open to: all - general audience
Cost: free*
Presenter: Walter Kaye, MD
Time: 8-9:15pm central time

Event Description: Dr. Walter Kaye is one of the country's leading researcher on the neurobiology of eating disorders. He has made many contributions to the field with his primary focus on studying the relationship between the brain and behavior and determining how we can better understand the symptoms of eating disorders. Dr. Kaye has focused his extensive career on developing innovative research practices to bring help, hope, and healing to recovering persons and their loved ones. In this teleconference, Dr. Kaye will share breaking results from his ongoing research studies that have the potential to improve treatment outcomes for people recovering from eating disorders.

PRESENTER BIO: Walter H. Kaye, M.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and Director of the Eating Disorder Research and Treatment Program. Dr. Kaye attended Ohio State Medical School, trained in neurology at the University of Southern California, and trained in psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Kaye was then a fellow and research physician at the National Institute of Mental Health for 7 years where he conducted research on appetite regulation, behavior, and treatment for disorders. Dr. Kaye was on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh for 20 years until joining UCSD. His current research is focused on exploring the relationship between brain and behavior using brain imaging and investigating new treatments in anorexia and bulimia nervosa. He is also the principal investigator for an international, multi site collaboration on the genetics of anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Dr. Kaye has an international reputation in the field of eating disorders and is the author of more than 250 articles and publications.

To learn more about Dr. Kaye and his research, visit him at: http://eatingdisorders.ucsd.edu/faculty/psych_faculty.shtml


*MentorCONNECT is a non-profit organization and all programs and services are offered on a no-fee basis. To make a tax-deductible donation to support great free events like these, click HERE


Upcoming 2012 MentorCONNECT Teleconference Series Events Include:

August 8: Vic Avon shares his personal eating disorder recovery story, "My Monster Within: My Story"
Sept 12: Jeanette Henriques shares "Courage is the Antidote to Ed (Eating Disorder)"
Oct 10: Alison Smela shares her recovery story from alcoholism and an eating disorder
Nov 7: Sunny Sea Gold shares her recovery story from binge eating disorder
Dec 5: Jenni Schaefer joins us for a special holiday treat!


*MentorCONNECT is a registered 501c-3 nonprofit corporation and DONATIONS ARE WELCOME


Your Questions....Shannon's Answers


This month's questions include:

* How can I find help to deal with compulsive overeating?

* How can I tell if I have an eating disorder?

* How can I find a mentor who has recovered from anorexia?

* Is it normal to overeat in anorexia recovery or will it trigger bulimia?

* Will I ever relate to food as a "normal" person does?

....and more!

CLICK HERE for Shannon's responses

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And another rousing game of avian-style Hide N' Seek begins!

Now You See Me....

Most kiddos like to play a good, rousing game of hide n’ seek from time to time.

Feathered kids are no exception, it would seem.

Only feathered kiddos never seem to grow out of their enthusiasm for the game.

At 10 years old, Pearl still enjoys this game as much as she did when she was newly hatched.

However, I suspect that in her birdie head, the real name of the game is “now you see me, now you don’t see me – I’ll come out when I want to – deal with it.”

This first bit of dialogue gets her attention and signals the start of the game .... to read the full post click HERE

==> To follow Love & Feathers click HERE


This (I thought) would be "me on happy". Not so much, as it turned out....

Happy People Stuff

You knew it was coming (or at least you did if you read my last post).

Recently a Facebook peep reposted an interesting article called “15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently“.

I saw the title and immediately thought, “O yeah. This time it’s mine. Here comes HAPPY.”

Of course this is me we’re talking about, so all of my anything-but-happy hangers-on insisted on coming along to practice such “happy people habits” as replacing fear with love, cultivating acceptance versus resistance, and of course offering an immediate and unconditional forgiveness towards the noisiest people on the planet (all of whom happen to live conveniently situated in homes right next to mine).

All the better to find and forgive them more expeditiously, of course.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far down the “Powerful Things” list before I realized something.

My pensive, melancholy, and at times outright sad personality LIKES its fear, its resistance, its unforgiveness. Like a songwriter (which I also happen to be) who thinks she can’t write good lyrics unless she is FEELING SOMETHING DEEPLY, my personality was unsure how much of me might be left if resistance was traded for acceptance or doubt suddenly replaced with trust.

It is a valid question ..... to read the full blog post, click HERE

==> To follow Mentoring & Recovery click HERE


No-Fee Mentoring from Eating Disorder Survivors

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Help Others Heal by Participating in Life Saving Eating Disorders Research!

MentorCONNECT is proud to be collaborating with one of the world's pre-eminent eating disorder researchers, Dr. Walter Kaye, and his research team at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD).

Dr. Kaye and his team are interested in studying the positive traits of eating disorder recovery and learning from recovered persons how eating disorders develop and what recovering people need in order to heal!

Do You Want to Help Others Heal? Then Read This!

p.s. all expenses are paid and additional compensation is provided for accepted research participants


Shop for Support in the Key to Life Store

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The Key to Life Store is Designed with YOU in Mind

From "Beating Ana", the first book about connecting and mentoring for recovery, to the "Circle of Hope" pendant that is a constant reminder that none of us have to face hard times all alone, the Key to Life shop has something for all of us. Enjoy beautiful original music written by Shannon, write down your thoughts in the "Beating Ana Journal", and much more!

*Browse the Key to Life Shop now*


Take Good News & Pass It On!

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Good News is meant to be shared.

Do you know someone who could benefit from an ezine like Good News or a recovery community like MentorCONNECT?

Is your organization looking for a powerful speaker who can empower whole audiences to get excited about tackling personal limitations as opportunities for growth?

Then take one helping of Good News...and pass it on!




About Shannon


Shannon. Pearl.

Shannon Cutts is the author of Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back the first book to address the importance of adding a recovered person, or mentor, to the treatment team. She writes extensively for Bulimia.com, Psych Central, the Huffington Post, and others. Her work has most recently been profiled in Glamour and Woman's Day.

She is also a college circuit speaker who has traveled the country presenting her popular campus program, Beauty Undressed.

Currently Shannon serves as Executive Director for MentorCONNECT: Where Relationships Replace Eating Disorders. MentorCONNECT is the first global eating disorders mentoring community and a registered 501 c-3 nonprofit organization: www.mentorconnect-ed.org. She is widely recognized as the leading national advocate for the value peer mentoring adds to the eating disorders recovery process.

In her free time, Shannon continues to rewrite her own recovery story by enjoying all of the gifts recovery brings, including spending time with family and friends, taking chirping lessons from her pet bird Pearl, soaking up the beauty of nature, listening to STING (and trying to find a way to meet him), and taking extra-special care of her body, mind, heart, and spirit.

For more information about Shannon, please visit her at www.key-to-life.com

For more information about Pearl, please visit her at loveandfeathers.wordpress.com


Until next time...remember this:

There is always a reason to have hope! If I could beat my eating disorder, then YOU CAN TOO.

See you next month with more Good News!




Credits, Reprints & Subscriptions

REPRINTS: Would you like to use any portion of Good News in your newsletter, blog or website? You’re welcome to share, but when you do, you must include full copyright permission as stated below:

©2012 Shannon Cutts & Key to Life

Thank you! :-)

ABOUT GOOD NEWS: Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery is a free subscription-only support service of MentorCONNECT, the first global nonprofit eating disorders mentoring community.

NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: Information contained in Good News is NOT meant to replace the supervision and care of a qualified medical professional, and should never be construed as such. Shannon Cutts, the MentorCONNECT Leadership Team and Key to Life can NOT be held liable for any activities undertaken as a part or result of receiving or participating in these online communities.

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The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else. -E.E. Cummings

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