Radiant Recovery Logo

February 15, 2016

Hi {!firstname_fix}

It has been a week of doing regular life as a way of going through a grief process. I have been operating in an altered state I think. I don’t remember things at all. It is like having a *blank* brain. I know this is temporary so I am not alarmed. And I know that my dreamer is working overtime to put things back in place. I saw a show on NOVA last week on memory. It was mind boggling and showed how the neurons form memory. The consolidation of the memory after it is formed is carried out in the amygdala - the emotional center of the brain. Under shock or trauma, I think the amygdala shuts down for a bit as a natural reaction to holding grief.

The hardest has been to keep up with eating. My default under pain is to not eat, to *forget*...so I have been kind with myself and simply said, *Pick up your journal and write, girlfriend*. That helped. The record is a reminder.

I got in touch with a woman whose art on t-shirts is based mostly on doggie things. I sent her a photo of Pepper and Ronan swimming with a stick. So she did a painting. It has not arrived, but she sent me the image. The dogs are yellow and not true to the photo, LOL, but to me they look like two dog angels coming to help me. Here is the portrait of the two angel dogs swimming to me. Don’t pray for things unless prepared to receive them.

Last week, I told them that I was so sad, I needed a *puppy*...on Sunday, a rescue dog arrived. I had only seen his shelter picture so I figured he was maybe 35 pounds and perhaps a cousin the to the rock eater I had a couple of months ago. He had a nice face and we had a slot so I agreed for them to send him. Turns out he is a BIG boy and big puppy. He is maybe 9 months and totally an affection puppy. I named him Charlie.

David came in the other night because Lulu went and got him while I was sleeping. She wanted to get on my bed but had a cone of shame on and couldn’t manage the leap. He put her on the bed and then Charlie figured that was permission so he leapt his full, goofy adolescent self on the bed and plopped down next to me. David was laughing, really laughing at this. *David!* I said, *make him get off, he is huge.* David says, *Ronan sent him,* and walks out.

These classes will begin Wednesday, February 17, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

What Else is Embedded in the Steps

This is a special class for all you newcomers who want to move on ahead quickly or for those of you who came to the program *already doing everything.* Find out what else is in the steps besides the food. You do not have to second guess anymore!! This particular class is one of our more special classes. Come and find the real treasure of the steps.

Brain Chemistry: Serotonin

Learn all about the “just say no” chemical. Learn how your depression may be affected by your diet. Learn how to manipulate serotonin levels safely and with tenderness. A real hands-on lesson in feeling better.

These classes will begin Wednesday, February 24, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

Step 3

You may have thought this was the easiest one and then stumbled some. This class will give you small steps to success. Learn what the most successful members have done to work their way to solid meals, on time, with good foods. This class will provide detailed suggestions to guide you.


I recently was reading a professional report on antidepressants and I thought, *I think this would be good information for people,* so I thought I would update the depression class to include it. This class will be an opportunity to learn about the medications you are taking, what they do and how they operate in your brain. I will look at whatever drugs you bring so it doesn’t have to be just ADs...we can tailor the exploration to your interests.

Check the class list page for more information on how the classes work. See the the Class Schedule here.

Be sure to visit our Radiant Recovery website and Community Forum regularly.



**Quote From Kathleen**

Learning to recognize the subtlety of what your body has to say may take some time.


**Testimonial of the Week**

I have always been an 'off the ground' person who was neither anchored very deeply nor centered emotionally. I am grateful for recovery because I feel that this is really much more of who I am. A wonderful maturity begins to emerge.

I go to pow-wows a lot in the summer in Minnesota. There is a dance that a lot of the women do (you have to choose one style and can only dance that way and your regalia must match the style) called 'traditional.' The women, many of whom are elders, come out with beautifully, intricately beaded moccasins, oftentimes a feather fan made out of a hawk wing, a beautiful dress with ribbon fringes, and beadwork barrettes and hairclips.

The dance itself is very very slow. The women stand straight upright and walk/march slowly to the beat of the drum in a large circle with the rest of the dancers. They never move quickly. They are a sea of slow, powerful energy as the younger, more active dancers flit by doing fancy, shawl, jingle, grass, etc. dancing.

These women are radiant, but like deep radiant -- Where there is this very quiet, deep power that radiates from them. They are unflappable, anchored. Nothing can push them - a wonderful, wise certainty. This is what I imagine the deepening that occurs with step 7 brings. Not high zingy energy, but a slowburning vitality that is grounded, deep and very very wise.

I am so early in this process - just new at moving; not yet meditating, and knowing that there is even more depth to the food groove.

It's a beautiful thing,



**Interesting Bits of Science**

If you get a chance to watch the NOVA PBS special on Hacking the Brain/Memory, watch it. Some of the information is just mind boggling. I want to design a class to share some of the information after I grab the original research so I can read it. It was absolutely fascinating.


**Notes from the Ranch **

Euro Ranch is less than a month away. Typically, we spend the first day working with people who are new to the program so they can get a handle on what sugar sensitivity means, how the brain chemistry works and how steps 1-2-3 make such a difference. We spend the rest of the time working with people who have been doing the program for a while and want to learn where the process is weaving these days. I had thought we would talk about Fat Terror and its impact on a sense of body, but then I saw that show on NOVA and I realized I absolutely have to share about how memory is constructed and why our amygdala work has such an impact on our recovery. It will be totally new material - nothing about it in the books or online yet, LOL. I think this is the joy of ranch - you get to experience the *cutting edge* as it is forming - sort of like how the neurons are making new memories.

Remember that Ranch is geared to the introvert mind. Here is an excerpt from the recent class I have been doing on introversion.

  • like quiet for concentration
  • may have trouble communicating quickly or on short notice
  • may know more than they reveal
  • may seem quiet and aloof
  • need to be asked for their opinions and ideas
  • like to work on long and complex problems and have good attention to detail
  • need to understand exactly why they are doing something
  • dislike intrusions and interruptions
  • need to think and reflect before speaking and acting
  • work alone contentedly
  • do not like to draw attention to themselves
  • work well with little supervision
What this means is that introverts do not do well in jam-packed, fast-paced information-dump type seminars. The rhythm needs to have time for reflection, time for integration and assimilation. The breaks and walks over to Costa for tea or coffee are critical to the learning. The Saturday evening social when we knit, draw, do puzzles, create theater or sing allow our brains to *consolidate* the learning of the day. And the quiet ones can be present without pressure and the rowdies can play without judgment.

If you have been thinking about attending, sign up. I know that Brits often leave *committing* right up till the last minute, LOL, but be kind and let me plan for who is coming. (smile)


**Radiant Recovery® Store**

I have been thinking about some of the work I see Kathleen doing with people all across the world. Sometimes I find it a little mind boggling. I have no idea how she manages to hone in on things so precisely and so quickly for people. I know I listen to her at Ranch and am always amazed at her ability to sense what is happening with people in the room, but the individual work is such a unique opportunity. I thought I would go ahead and feature it for you in case you haven’t read the material on the web.

Many people find that scheduling a private consultation with Kathleen helps them get their program on track. Personal time allows you to pinpoint your specific needs and concerns. There are 3 options:
  • A short email request
  • A telephone (or Skype) consultation
  • A 90-day intensive consultation series.
The first option is to do an ASK KATHLEEN email.

Let's say you have some quick questions you want to run by Kathleen. You know the program, maybe have taken classes, have a sense of what to do but would like, or are looking at, changes in meds and want some input on talking with your doctor.

These would be questions that are a little more involved or more personal than the input she can give you on a list.

You can request a TELEPHONE or SKYPE CONSULTATION for 15, 30 or 60 minutes.

You can do a SIGNATURE CONSULTATION which involves a 90-day commitment from you and intensive interaction with me. We have found that this option can turbocharge your program. The plan includes: 2 one-hour assessments, a weekly 30-minute check in via phone or Skype, an online interactive food journal and regular email comments from me.

1 introductory session of 1 hour
1 finishing up session of 1 hour
10 1/2 hour sessions in between. For a total of 7 hours. This would be 12 weeks (or 90 days)

Here are some of the ways people have used the Signature Plan:
  • If you are having a hard time getting traction. We discovered that the interactive journal is a really, really exciting tool.
  • If you are dealing with a number of other addictions in trying to sort out what to do when and how.
  • If you are struggling with weight loss and you feel ready to climb out of your skin, this can be a unique option to learn an entirely different approach.
  • If you want intensive support, if you have special needs that would benefit from ongoing guidance or you would like to make a serious commitment to your program, this is the way to go.

You can click here to sign up or read more.

Please send questions and suggestions. I love hearing from you and truly want to help you do your program better.


**Radiant Kitchen**

Here is a recipe that Gretel loved.

Awesome Pea Soup

  • 16 ounces dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place dried split peas, ham, potatoes, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth. Stir in bay leaf and parsley. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (or on high for 4 to 5 hours). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

(I doubled the amount of ham to add more protein.)
For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.


**Radiant Your Last Diet**

Since we started offering the Your Last Diet Program online, I have been developing it, expanding it and getting clearer on what we need as our *package* in order to lose weight. Last week we were talking about it in chat. I was laughing because the process is not complicated, what is hard is the embedded shame, pain and history. That takes way more attention and work. If you want to work on your weight program, there is NOTHING better than this program to guide you through it.

If you would like to join us in YLD, come find us here


**Radiant Living**

If you have wondered what we talk about in Radiant Living, it is a little hard to explain. In the Euro chat after Ronan’s death, we started with just checking in on how I was doing, then we talked about *comfort food.* In the evening, we talked about chickens, yes chickens. I am going to post part of the chat for you to read. It is actually about Radiant Living...how we support someone in pain. Here is part of the conversation:
  • the chickens have a social order. It's neat to watch them. They have routines and "jobs"
  • kewl
  • what would a *job* be
  • our rooster always announces when treats are delivered. He waits while the hens eat and then eats last
  • yes, does your boss chook call others over to peck a particularly tasty grub she has found? Mine does, currying status by giving favours
  • ah, Yes!!
  • We have look out hens too and scouts
  • I have one who is always the last to roost at night, she checks their yard is all organised before going into their cottage
  • fascinating
  • :)
  • I had no idea
  • and she sleeps at the doorway, her name is Hilda the guard
  • :)
  • when we have teenagers, they are the last to bed
  • how long do they live, what would be a teenager?
  • between 10 weeks and when they begin laying about 20 weeks I guess.
  • but life span? I have heard of 5 to 8 years
  • yup, that is what I think too Kath
  • We just lost our oldest. She was 6.
  • ok eagles become adult at about 5 years and can live 20 or more, I just wondered by comparison
  • my ladies are between 2 and 4 years old, all rescued from batteries, they would have been culled at about 14 months except that I got to give them an earthly glimpse of how good life can be (grin)
  • :)
  • we free range, so we lose some to predators
  • mine get to roam in the back yard, but that is behind fences high enough to keep them in and predators out
  • you need a chicken dog
  • LOL
  • and the cat is definitely lower on the pecking order than the chooks...she is the rat catcher and has her job but she is wary of the chooks
  • oh those dogs are remarkable!
  • are there really chicken dogs?
  • yes
  • I do need a chicken dog, but I am not home enough for a dog. The chickens are in when we are gone but we let them out when we are home.
  • I don't know the name of the breed
  • could find out.
  • yah
  • good thinking
  • fascinating what we learn here :)
  • LOL, no kidding!
  • yes
  • Great pyranees?
  • wow!
  • Akbash?
  • anatolian shepherd
  • LOLOL Shelby
  • I had one of those as a rescue
  • *could be stubborn sometimes and may decide not to obey instructions* LOL sorry but it made me laugh
  • sacrifice some chickens, Alison
  • that's my pit
  • I just googled and that's exactly the description
  • yah personality!!
  • :-)
  • I could have sent you Shelby
  • Sunny was good with the hens, but we had to teach her that they were not like squirrels
  • she learned quickly though
  • I think this is radiant living
  • yah
  • yes, I agree
  • what we learned about chicken is amazing
  • good info
  • what we learn about grieving and about live continuing amazes me!
  • now I have to friend you all on facebook so I can see these beauties
  • :)
  • :)
  • Have you looked at the Radiant Recovery facebook page?
  • yes
  • :)
  • thank you all for being patient with me tonight
  • sure
  • of course
  • That is what family is about
  • You're welcome.
  • we want to be here for you
  • yes!
  • presently loving my first ever pet, eight years in. this has been precious.
  • thank you for being open enough to let us!
  • yes
  • (a friend tells me: our favourite commercial poultry farm here has guardian Maremma dogs. The photo looks like a golden retriever face with short woolly fur)
  • I will look it up
  • does sort of look like a white goody
  • goldie
  • ok, I think we are all set, yes?
  • yes, thank you for stopping by, hope you have a nice rest of your evening
  • Take care, goodnight all.
  • night
  • so nice to touch noses. goodnight
  • night
  • goodnight all
  • g'night.
  • night
  • sleep well

If you would like to join us in Radiant Living, come find us here


**A State Not A Destination**

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

Many people ask me how they *know* that they are on step 7. Is it a date, hit detox, and then wham, there you are? Is it having a perfect program, every step clean and organized and sorted? How can someone on Step 7 muck around or be sloppy with the food journal? Do they have to revert? If they wobble, do they *lose* their status?

Now, what I am going to say here may surprise you. But step 7 is really about a state of being rather than a destination. Step 7 is affectionately called the *getting a life* step, but really, that hardly defines it. It is about how you meet the world and it is radically different from how the world was before you started the program. Let me walk you through the transformation.

I know from lots and lots of experience that the hallmarks of untreated sugar sensitivity are what I call entitlement and blame. We feel done unto. My husband, my boss, my mother, my children, my life, my stress, my health *made me*. You feel victimized by circumstance. It made you be this way. If he hadn't....I wouldn't be this way. You do not take responsibility for what happens around you because you do not feel empowered. You feel helpless in the face of things happening. And you blame the outside world for things not working.

At the same time, because you feel victimized you feel you are entitled to things. Well, I deserve to be...because..they owe me. Often this is the company owes me because I am poor and work hard and they make lots of money. I hear this as I deserve to not have to pay for the program because I am poor and am entitled to it for free.

These feelings, are biochemically induced. Now, that sounds pretty outrageous doesn't it? However, these are the very feelings that change with the program. Working with your journals helps you to see connections, and something called consequence. If I eat this, this happens. No one does it to me. There is a connection between what I do and what happens. You start making little connections..and over time they grow. As you get more steady, you can make more powerful connections.

Yes, my husband is abusive, but I stay here. Things like that. You start seeing yourselves as players rather than victims. And even more striking, when people critique you, you have this remarkable detachment. You take what is real, own it and are even grateful for the feedback rather than being devastated by it. For example, early in the program, if I offer a suggestion, not even a critique, but a simple reflection that perhaps eating a potato the size of a football might not be the best option, the person who started the program 3 days ago is either brushed or outraged that I do not understand their special situation and they go off in a huff or unsubscribe from the program for a year. If I say that to a person in balance, they say *Oh my, whatever was I thinking about. Thank you.*

I listen for this change. Sometimes it comes early. But most often it is the change that tells me most about Step 7 consciousness. One of my leadership people makes a mistake. We have a code for mistakes called the FANTASTIC! code. They say, *Oh fantastic, let me go clean that one up*. We laugh and it is no bigger than an error to be corrected. Or someone wobbles, and I say, *Hey, how about a sabbatical while you steady up there?* and they say...*yah, yah, let me go catch my breath and tighten up my plan. My timing is off, I am eating out too much.* And they do. Now let me tell you, working and playing with people in this energy is beyond comparison.

You all feel it drifting through. Those of you on the more senior lists drink from the well. Those of you just starting know this is what you want. This is part of radiance, this humor, this joy, this resilience. It is way more than no longer yelling at your kids. It is getting a life. No more blame, lots of taking responsibility. No more entitlement, just humble willingness to work, show up and participate. Pretty nice from where I sit.


Thanks for reading! If you know someone who could benefit from this, feel free to forward it to them.

Not a subscriber yet? Like what you have read? Sign up to get future issues delivered straight to you:


Until next time!
Facebook Logo You Tube Logo Twitter Logo
Here are the folks who are helping put the newsletter together:

Gretel, our webmaster, puts it all together.
David runs the Radiant Recovery® Store.
Mosaic contributes to the Notes from the Forum column.

©2016 Kathleen DesMaisons. All rights reserved. You are free to use or transmit this article to your ezine or website as long as you leave the content unaltered, use this attribution: "By Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. of Radiant Recovery®", and notify kathleen@radiantrecovery.com of the location. Please visit the Radiant Recovery® website at http://www.radiantrecovery.com for additional resources on sugar sensitivity and healing addiction.

You are getting the weekly newsletter from Radiant Recovery® in response to your signup. A copy of this newsletter may also be found posted on the web at http://radiantrecovery.com/learn/newsletter/