November Good News: You are Living Proof that Gratitude Heals I used to dread the month of November. And not just because of all the scary F.O.O.D.

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November Good News: You are Living Proof that Gratitude Heals

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One of my many mentors and "gratitude teachers."

I used to dread the month of November.

And not just because of all the scary F.O.O.D.

I dreaded it because November is the "month of gratitude."

I so wanted to be grateful - to feel grateful - to feel genuinely grateful (as opposed to "faking it until you make it" grateful).

I wanted to be that kind of good person who could feel totally, deeply grateful for life's blessings....without simultaneously wishing for so much more than what I had.

For instance - I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to have friends (besides my eating disorder, that is!).

I wanted to be able to sit down and enjoy a festive meal with loved ones free from fear.

I wanted to like what I saw in the mirror.

I wanted to love and be loved - to fall in love - to have romance and peace and joy and fulfillment in my life.

So I would start listing out the things I was grateful for, only to be confronted by this other list of all the things I felt I desperately wanted and needed that would never be mine.

In a word....PAIN.

But I kept at it. And other people - people who were strong and healthy enough to both feel gratitude and act on it - helped me keep going.

My mentor, who worked at all times out of gratitude for her own mentor's love and guidance - steadied me and reminded me that even small "gratefuls" added up in time.

She encouraged me to keep a daily gratitude journal (which I did for years) until gratitude became as natural as breathing.

Today, it mostly has.

Today I know that my ability to see the genuine gratitude at work in my mentor and others is what has awakened my own.

Today I know that gratitude healed me - literally - and now helps me pay it forward to support others in turn.

This holiday season, recognize that you are gratitude's work-in-progress (as am I).

Understand that longing to feel gratitude and feeling it yield the same blessings and benefits.

Know your life is living proof that gratitude is alive and well inside you - and even now at work to heal the world, one life at a time.

Happy holidays!

With great respect and love,



This month in Good News:

Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia, and Ed)
Invite Me to Speak to Your Group!
RSVP for a Free Holiday Teleconference with Jenni Schaefer
Mentors with Feathers & Fur: "Wild Connection"
Love & Feathers: "'Green' Friendly Style"
Reserve your copy of Pearl's new BOOK!
Meet Malti!
Mentoring & Recovery Blog: "Beauty Sickness - Do You Have It?"
Participate in Vital Eating Disorders Research
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.

From "Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back"


Invite Me to Speak to Your Group!

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"Beauty Undressed" is the kind of campus program you encounter once in a lifetime.

Shannon Cutts survived anorexia, bulimia, debilitating anxiety, and deep depression.

The worst of her battles happened while she was in high school and college.

Like most students, she knew how to study and get good grades.

But it was what she didn't know - how to fix the pain inside - that nearly killed her.

Spend an evening with Shannon and "Beauty Undressed."

Find out what you need to succeed during life's darkest moments - in college and beyond.



MentorCONNECT Presents: A Special Holiday Teleconference with Jenni Schaefer

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Jenni Schaefer

Date: Wed, December 3, 2014
Event: MentorCONNECT Teleconference
Title: Jenni's Tips to Keep Anxiety and Eating Issues from Stealing Your Holiday Joy
Open to: all - general audience
Cost: free*
Presenter: Jenni Schaefer
Time: 8-9pm central time

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Once again we end a wonderful year of teleconferences with an event featuring one of MentorCONNECT's all-time favorite presenters, Jenni Schaefer!

For this very special holiday teleconference, Jenni meets you where you are as she shares her personal recovery tips for keeping anxiety and eating issues from stealing your holiday joy.

Even though Jenni has been recovered for more than a decade, she knows that life always has new challenges and opportunities in store. Every day, she experiences how the skills she learned during her recovery from an eating disorder continue to support her as she moves ahead in life. Newly married and hard at work on more than a few new exciting projects, Jenni credits what she learned in recovery for keeping her strong, brave, and open to the many wonderful new experiences life is now offering her.

In this inspiring teleconference, Jenni wants you to know that recovery - as impossible as it feels sometimes - is a gift that will keep supporting you throughout your whole life! She wants you to know that the hard work you are doing now IS WORTH IT. Most of all, Jenni wants to remind you that anxiety and battles with eating issues are common during the holidays, but they do not have to define you or drag you down!

If you are struggling with your eating disorder and the anxiety that often accompanies it - or you are supporting a loved one who may be feeling particularly anxious or hopeless right now - this event is intended just for YOU.

PRESENTER BIO: Chair of the Ambassadors’ Council of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Jenni Schaefer is a singer/songwriter, speaker, and author of Life Without Ed and Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life (McGraw-Hill). Her latest book, co-authored with Jennifer J. Thomas, Ph.D. of Harvard Medical School, is Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One's) Relationship with Food a Problem? (Hazelden). From university auditoriums to corporate boardrooms, Jenni speaks regularly about eating disorders and recovery across the country. As a highly respected, national resource, Jenni appears on radio and television, including shows like “Today” and "Dr. Phil." (


*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


Mentors with Feathers & Fur: "Wild Connection"


A few months ago, I was browsing around on Amazon and a new book image caught my eye.

This is what I saw ====>

So I don’t need to explain why I added it to my cart immediately. :-)

When it arrived, I then proceeded to carry the book around with me for some time (this is what I often do with new books I’m really, really looking forward to reading).

Eventually, it made it on to the plane with me as I left for my annual Cape Cod family vacation.

Three weeks later, I am still reading it (to be more specific, I am now on my second reading).

Finally, I know for sure there is someone else like me in this world – someone who looks to animals as much as (perhaps more often than) her own species for mentoring, insight, guidance, and company.

Finally, I have proof that people tend to choose pets who are most like themselves (yup, I got “cockatiel” when I took Dr. Verdolin’s awesome love quiz).

Finally, I know I am not alone when I say – unequivocally – that human dating and mating is even harder than math. Any kind of math. Even math with a calculator.

Finally, I know my longtime sense that I have lots in common with the many fascinating non-human beings living their lives all around me is not just a fantasy. It is a biological fact.

Simply put, this is the best "dating and mating" book I have ever read.

It is also one of the best books about relationships I’ve ever read.

In fact, I readily recommend “Wild Connection” to anyone who struggles to make sense of human relationships and romance.

I also recommend it to anyone who wants to become a better, more articulate, more informed advocate for animal rights and human responsibilities where animals are concerned.

For me, “Wild Connection” takes animal love, dating, mating, connection, behavior, and lifestyle out of the non-human species shadows and brings it into the light of our shared space and life together on this planet.

I am so very grateful.

To learn more about Dr. Verdolin & "Wild Connection:"

p.s. This post first appeared HERE

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"Green" Friendly Style


The high fashion trendsetter proudly launches his new cosmetic line, “Green Beak!”

Green things are delicious.

They are also very nourishing and nutritious.

But best of all, they make the perfect style accent for those who wish to make a lasting fashion impression.

And for beings who already have a world-famous, smash-success couture style line, evolution is more about adding the right accents than revamping the line itself.

Often, those accents come in the form of, well, cosmetics.

Love & Feathers is proud to introduce “Green Beak,” the new organic, eco-correct yet edgy, gender-friendly cosmetic for all!

==> To read the full post click HERE

==> To follow Love & Feathers click HERE

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Meet Malti! (Pearl's little sister)

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Beauty Sickness - Do You Have It?

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Renee Engeln speaks on “Beauty Sickness” for TEDx.

A colleague recently sent me a YouTube video called “An Epidemic of Beauty Sickness.”

To be honest, my first thought was, “Ugh. Another useless rant about our cultural addiction to thinness.”

But, given that this is the year I decided to embark on a full-scale about-face in how I accept (or don’t) my own body shape and size, I kept her email to watch….later.

“Later” came today.

For the record, I am so glad I saved the link – so glad my colleague thought to send it my way – so grateful to the researcher (Renee Engeln) who braved the disdain of her own colleagues to pursue her research in this area.

I have discovered in Renee a kindred spirit – a no talk, all action, balls-to-the-wall, let’s call it like we see it kinda gal.

In 15 minutes (courtesy of TEDx), Renee outlines the issue, how it harms us, the choices we have, practical steps to make those choices, and the potential (positive) outcome if we do.

She does touch on the underlying influence of biology (for more on this, I highly recommend Jennifer Verdolin’s amazing book, "Wild Connection") but doesn’t let it weigh her (or us) down.

She acknowledges the influence of our current culture – the fixation we (meaning “the media”) seem to have on all things “thin” – but doesn’t let any of us off the hook because of it.

She even admits that beauty can be a form of power – a currency of sorts to get real or perceived needs met – but confronts the ephemeral nature of such power head-on.

What I learned from watching “Beauty Sickness” is that I do have it......

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

==> To follow Mentoring & Recovery click HERE

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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


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 group 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!


FREE Mentoring from Eating Disorder Survivors

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MentorCONNECT Thanks Our Legacy Sponsor!


MentorCONNECT Thanks Our Circle of Hope Sponsors!

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About Me

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Me. Pearl.

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

If you want to learn more about my story of recovery, I invite you to check out "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.

As part of writing "Beating Ana," I also founded MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders nonprofit mentoring community. We offer individual and group mentoring eating disorders recovery support.

My newest book-in-progress focuses on how wonderfully our pets can mentor us! This new book is full of feathers, fur, shells, fins, and more!

==> To connect with me:

==> To connect with my beautiful and loud sidekick, Pearl:

==> To connect with Pearl's (much quieter) little sister, Malti:

See you next month with more Good News!

With all my best,


p.s. There is always a reason to have hope! If I could beat my eating disorder and build a beautiful, happy, love-filled life for myself, YOU CAN TOO.


Boring Legal Stuff

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:

*©2014 Shannon Cutts & MentorCONNECT

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 andMentorCONNECT cannot be held liable for any activities undertaken as a part or result of receiving or participating in these online communities.

ABOUT YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: Good News is sent by invitation and subscription only - if for any reason you believe that you have received this e-newsletter in error, or you no longer wish to receive it, please use the link provided below to let us know. Peace.


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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