Good News for Recovery + Life (June 2015) Your Way IS the "Right Way" For so so so SO many years, I kept looking for the "right way." I wanted to k

Shannon Cutts Web Header

Good News for Recovery + Life (June 2015)


Your Way IS the "Right Way"


My 1 year-old tortoise, Malti, is the most stubborn and determined being I know. "Her way" is to not stop pursuing what she wants - ever. I respect that.

For so so so SO many years, I kept looking for the "right way."

I wanted to know the precise "how to guide" to achieve whatever goal I was pursuing at that moment.

I wanted "the" steps - the ones that actual successful folks followed (an important distinction since at the time I didn't include myself in that particular group).

I never found that how to guide or those steps.

No matter how wide I cast my questioning net, or how long and loudly I asked, no one ever walked up to me and handed me the secret manual to successful living - the one I was sure everyone but me had already received.

Today, I know this is because there is no secret manual - at least not one that applies to everyone.

There is only my secret manual - my way.

My way is the way that is unique to me and my life. It is "secret" because it will only work for me - no one else can use it.

It works for me because it is the way I need to do things to learn, to grow, to evolve, to unfold, to love, to live successfully as "me."

It is "my way".....the "way of me."

I now know beyond any shadow of doubt that my way IS the right way for me.

I also know it is the ONLY way for me.

Knowing this keeps me humble and reluctant to give advice - unsolicited or otherwise - to others....or myself.

Knowing this keeps me open and receptive to learn, and eager to stay a student for as long as I can.

Feeling the power of "my way" at work in my life, I no longer wish I was someone else, living someone else's life, doing things someone else's way.

Instead, I seek out my own unique way, allowing it to guide and unfold me from within, revealing myself to me in a way I never thought possible.

As this seeking continues, I realize that just as I have a right way for me, you have a right way for you.

Your way IS the right way....truly, it IS.

With great respect and love,



This month in Good News:

Inspiration for Recovery & Life from "Beating Ana"
Love & Feathers: "When You're Pretty"
Mentoring & Recovery Blog: "Why I May Really Be as Old as I Feel"
Animal Mentors: The Specific Scent of Snakes"
3 Great Speaking Events I Offer!
About Me, Pearl & Malti
Take Good News & Pass it On
Free Mentoring for Eating Disorders Recovery
Reprints & Reposts


Beating Ana: Inspiration for Recovery + Life

Today, I run to affirmations of self-worth when I am stressed....I have found that this is the healthiest of all “addictions”—affirming positive statements for myself, my present and future, my own self-confidence and esteem, and the valued relationships in my life.


When You're Pretty


Oh! Well! Hello there! And thanks – you look quite pretty yourself!

When you’re pretty, it is hard to go anywhere.

This is because everyone who sees you wants to meet you.

Often they also want to have long conversations about how you get (and stay) so pretty.

While this is fine when it is just you and them, where it can get challenging is when a line starts to form.

==> To read the full post click HERE

==> To follow Love & Feathers click HERE

GN PreorderBanner

Why I May Really Be as Old as I Feel


If there is one being most likely to stay young forever, it is my avian, Pearl. Whatever he is doing, he throws himself into it with total enthusiasm!

Okay - here's something weird.

Recently I read an article - a series of articles, really - about aging.

Specifically, the series was focused on all the ways, available and emerging, we can stop or even reverse the aging process.

Many articles focused on learning techniques to promote restoration or longevity for our physical body - as such, these read much like a short course for auto enthusiasts striving to better preserving paint or battery life in a favorite antique car.

The article that captured my complete attention was called "Get Your Head in the Game: cutting-edge research is showing that your outlook can change how you age-at a cellular level."

Its premise was simple - so simple it sounds like a cliche I was tempted to ignore ("You're only as old as you feel" - well, what if some days I feel five and other days I feel 80? Divided by 2, that places me well within range of my actual age - 44).

So I stayed focused on facts - aka what we already do know is possible when body and mind are linked.

Here is what we know.....

==> To read the full blog post, click HERE

==> To follow Mentoring & Recovery click HERE


Animal Mentors: "The Specific Scent of Snakes"


by Laura Lyster-Mensh

I have a friend named Laura who is very afraid of snakes.

She has a husband, two kids, and a Masters degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management.

Laura has been bitten by monkeys and rabbits and has faced down a whole room of Congresspeople without quailing. But she becomes literally paralyzed with fear at the sight….or even the scent….of snakes.

Her full name is Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, and I know about her fear of snakes not because she is my longtime friend, colleague, and mentor, but because I recently read her memoir, titled (wait for it) “The Specific Scent of Snakes.”

While reading her memoir, I also learned about her life in rural Virginia, where she and her family lived in a house with (her words) “fallible electricity” and a party phone line, as well as a fairly eclectic assortment of animals including goats, rabbits, chickens, foxes, and, well, snakes.

I learned about her three heart-wrenching miscarriages – each losses that occurred long before she and I met, but which affected me perhaps even more deeply because of this.

I also learned how she began to make and sell her own soap and how, in the course of her healing process post-miscarriages, she came to adopt a baby son.

And I learned how amazingly good she became at denying the undeniable presence of snakes in her country home…until one day when she finally met one of the household’s scalier residents face to face.

I finished “The Specific Scent of Snakes” in two evenings, but I suspect I will be pondering its effect on me for far longer.

You see, I have fears like this – fears that seem out of context with everything else about me. I have certain fears that run so deep I frankly avoid even acknowledging them – it just feels easier, and safer, that way.

And I have fears that I have confronted, but the confrontation hasn’t helped. In other words, I have been willing to do the work to let them go, and yet, work completed, the fears continue to remain.

Beyond this, I have to say that reading anyone’s memoir is a challenge for me, but reading a dear friend’s memoir is much more so.

Reason being – it feels like being invited to take a guided tour of their underwear drawer or to rifle at will through their medicine cabinet.

The “memoir” as a writing style is just so personal, so raw, so gutsy, so anything-goes, and I never know what will happen next when I sign on for the ride.

What shines through so clearly for me after reading Laura’s memoir is that she didn’t know either – and she chose to take the ride anyway.

In other words, she chose to live….there is just no standing on the sidelines of life for this gal.

Truly, I can’t think of any quality I admire more – in anyone.

==> To learn more about Laura's journey and her book: CLICK HERE


3 Great Speaking Events I Offer!

BU logo color320

About Me, Pearl & Malti

PearlHatPurple Trans

Me. Pearl.

Hi! Thanks for reading "Good News" - I hope you enjoyed this month's edition. :-)

If you want to learn more about my recovery story, I invite you to read "Beating Ana: how to outsmart your eating disorder and take your life back." In this book I share all the things I did to recover from my eating disorder.

While writing "Beating Ana," I also founded MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders nonprofit mentoring community and a companion to readers of the book.

My newest book, "Love & Feathers" (Fall 2015), is all about how my parrot has taught me to love myself and my life and live each day to the fullest!

==> To connect with me:
==> To connect with Pearl:
==> To connect with Malti:


Take Good News & Pass It On!

GoodNews crop

Good News is meant to be shared.

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

Is your group looking for a powerful speaker who can empower audiences to get excited about tackling life's challenges as priceless opportunities for growth?

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


FREE Mentoring for Eating Disorders Recovery

MC NewBanner crop

MentorCONNECT Thanks Our Legacy Sponsor!


MentorCONNECT Thanks Our Circle of Hope Sponsors!

Center for Change

Timberline Knolls

Oliver-Pyatt Centers


Rosewood Ranch


Reprints & Reposts

REPRINTS: Would you like to use any portion of Good News in your newsletter, blog or website? You may do so as long as you also include this copyright information:

©2015 Shannon Cutts


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

email facebook goodreads instagram itunes linkedin twitter youtube