Good News for Recovery + Life (May 2016) When Your Body is Weak Your Spirit is STRONG Trust me. I wouldn't say something like this if I didn't reall

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Good News for Recovery + Life (May 2016)


When Your Body is Weak Your Spirit is STRONG


Spirit loves me....body loves me not....

Trust me. I wouldn't say something like this if I didn't really mean it.

And when I say "mean it," I'm not talking about a belief - something I say with my mouth and believe in my head.

I mean I have experienced it first-hand with my body, mind, heart and spirit all expressing their willingness to go public to corroborate my story.

Allow me to share a recent experience:

One very early morning last month, my lower back woke me out of a sound sleep with two sharp, stabbing pains. Suddenly, I could barely move my legs.

Not too many hours later, I bit down on my breakfast only to feel more stabbing pain issuing up through my jaw and across the right side of my skull.

The only word I can think of to adequately describe that entire next week is "excruciating." My chiropractor did what she could for my back. I found an oral surgeon who introduced me to the dubious pleasures of "laughing gas" while she excised the offending root.

In this way, most of my month was consumed by alternating bouts of upper and lower body pain, combined with regularly scheduled doses of antibiotics and pain medications and a startlingly high daily "nap count."

As the days wore on and began to wear on me, I remembered something a mentor of mine had once shared - "when the body is weak, the spirit becomes really strong."

Since I had nothing but time at this point, I decided to investigate her statement more fully.

I started by becoming more deliberate about making daily time for meditation (versus snoring) and also taking more care to remember my dreams. As I did so, one "aha moment" after another began to emerge. Some of these aha moments unlocked repetitive dream-series I have been dreaming for years without any clue about what they mean.

As this continued, I found myself wondering if physical weakness could be considered a divine gift of empathy, of sincere kindness, of unconditional love, because when we are living our conscious, physical-plane day-to-day lives, we are simply too present in the sheer "realness" of concrete daily life to even hear our spirit if it tries to reach us.

Here is a very simple example of this that happens to me quite often:

So let's say maybe one day I am feeling physically well and healthy. I also want a coffee quite badly. But I am already cutting it very close to make it to an appointment on time. I come to an intersection and my mind assures me that the Starbucks is to the left. At this point, my spirit might be trying its hardest to get my attention to lobby for "right," but my head has spoken, and so "left" it is. As it turns out, the Starbucks is not on the left. I am late for my appointment AND coffee-less when I arrive.

So now let's say this same exact scenario unfolds, but I'm not feeling very well physically at all. So instead of automatically consulting my mind, I feel a gentle inner nudge to consult my phone's GPS system instead. I comply, and it promptly tells me the Starbucks is to the right. I turn right, get my coffee and am only about a minute late to my appointment. Go me.

Or....more precisely, go spirit.

I guess what I am saying is, when my body is feeling weak, my mind also usually feels pretty crappy, since it is very connected to and continually monitoring what is going on in my body.

In other words, when my body/mind are otherwise engaged in whatever the physical injury/illness of the moment is, the rest of me (heart/spirit) is free to seek and accept help from other less frequently consulted sources. And I am more humble and don't buy in right away when my mind tells me it knows it all and has everything covered.

When my body is weak, I also do less and focus more, often (oddly) achieving better results, if less of them.

When my body is weak, I also pray more, because I just don't feel up to it - whatever that day's "it" might be. When I pray, I tap heart and spirit on the shoulder and say "Hey, what's up? Long time no talk to." At that point, it's not surprising they pour out all their news, now that I finally have the time and I am interested in listening.

I am not trying to claim this "body is weak/spirit is strong" phenomenon works for everyone, or works the same for everyone as it seems to work for me.

But I am sharing this idea with you in hopes it may yield some interesting insights, helpful guidance, timely encouragement and/or a much-needed pick-me-up.

(P.S. I am also more-than-a-little-bit hoping I'm not the only one, and might hear from you if you've also experienced anything similar in your own life!)

With great respect and love,



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About Me & My Sidekicks, Pearl & Malti

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Me. Pearl.

Hi! It is so good to meet you here each month!

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.

While writing "Beating Ana," I also founded MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders nonprofit mentoring community.

My newest book, "Love & Feathers: what a palm-sized parrot has taught me about life, love, and healthy self-esteem," is co-authored with my parrot, Pearl. The book focuses on the power of animal mentors in our lives.

Malti is my baby red-foot tortoise - she is a born adventurer and bonafide foodie and you can visit her online at her website (below)!

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©2016 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

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