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April 25, 2016

Hi {!firstname_fix}

It has been an interesting week. In chat we had a conversation about grief and came on something called complicated bereavement. Complicated bereavement is a term used to describe deep mourning that kinda gets stuck. I read some of the science literature on it and learned that in bereavement, if we keep going back and back to what we lost, we keep pinging a dopamine place in our brains. And it is possible to be stuck with it, almost addicted to the ping.

Then I had an interesting experience at the Vet with 2 of the rescues who are sick. I was fretting about the complexity of decisions around euthanasia and the struggle to *know* when it is time to make the decision. I was describing my struggle to a friend and she said, "This sounds like PTSD talk." I think she meant a kind of over reactivity, or a disproportionate reaction to a situation.

I know that trauma decimates the serotonin system. And certainly loss of a dear pet is a trauma. I know that I had been drawn to carbs in the last few weeks...more than usual. I thought about low serotonin, and compromised dopamine, and I thought about feeling stuck and flat. I decided to take action. I know that novelty enhances dopamine. I decided to go back to the problem solving in my quest to get my well and pump working consistently. Scouted out a new guy who knows pumps, accepted the gift of an old pump that had been in service in the south valley and put my brain to work in learning about pumps and gravity and pressure and air gaps and check valves and sucking power and lift and such. I guess we would call it engagement. I think engagement is a code word for dopamine.

Something shifted. I feel better. I am eating veggies. Sure has been intriguing. And as an aside, I am now getting WATER from my own land.

I was recently interviewed for a Reboot Your Brain Summit that Leah Lund is putting on. You can check it out. My interview will air on May 5 and I really like some of the other people she is including. If you use this link to explore it, she will know that I sent you over.

The summit has no cost so will be fun to explore. We really had a great time and I will be interested in your feedback. A couple of people have suggested to me that it would be fun for us to conduct a summit as well. See what you think.

We are set for Ranch. We have 2 slots left if you want to make a last-minute decision to come.

And for those of you who are considering ranch, here is a nice reflection from Elaine about it:

Why do I go every year....
  • It is a chance to have great program food without having to work too hard at it. I like to eat out when I'm at Ranch and I treasure being served and not having to cook.
  • I love meeting people that I have been talking to online all year. When I go home and I see their posts online I have a face and a voice to go with the name.
  • I love to travel.
  • I love seeing my friends whom I see every year (and sometimes at other times and places). I feel like we've developed a special bond over the years, a type of bond that I don't have with people in my day to day life.
  • New Mexico is fun to explore.
  • I love hearing Kathleen speak. I love the review of the foundation of the program and I love the new topics.
  • Every year at Ranch I can mark my progress/changes from the last year.
  • I always come home from Ranch feeling renewed and filled up and recommitted to my recovery.
  • Something interesting is always happening at Ranch. But I can always choose to opt out and just go rest and be by myself. I get to choose whatever most fills me up!
  • I get to have several days away from home by myself.
  • Coming to Ranch is a way for me to tangibly demonstrate my commitment to my recovery. It's a symbol that I will do Whatever It Takes To Heal.

This class will begin Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

Using Radiant Resources

This class will teach you all the ins and outs of the resources in the community. You will learn to navigate the community forum, learn how to use the resource center, check out Radiant Ranch, and learn your way around the website. You will be on your way with an invaluable resource in your pocket! PLEASE NOTE: Selena started early last week because she got all excited, LOL. So we will be restarting the class on Wednesday.

This class will begin Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

Healing Grief

We will explore how to come to reconciliation about the loss of people or animals or places or things that are dear to us when we are choosing not to anesthetize ourselves. It will be about letting go, grieving deeply and letting pain wash through us without having to *do* or *take* something. Come learn about *complicated bereavement* and the things I have been learning as I work through the loss of Pepper and Ronan.

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**

Its clues may not be in words, but your body talks in a consistent and predictable way. You just have to learn its language.


**Testimonial of the Week**

Hi Friends!

Something wonderful is happening and I wanted to share it with you.

Last night I was lying in bed after a very tough, long day and I noticed that my chest felt light and my breathing felt ... well ... different. Like I was getting air all of the way in the to the bottom of my lungs without any effort. Rather hard to describe.

Today I'm at work and I feel physically **light** all over. I have no pain anywhere in my body, my head is not stuffed up, no headache. No pain in my neck or shoulders. I feel such a sense of well being in my body that I have NEVER felt before. I am almost afraid to tell you about it for fear I will jinx it and it will go away.

My body has physically hurt almost everyday for the last 13 years. I would have aches that feel like the flu that would vary in intensity from a dull ache to overwhelming pain. I always felt exhausted no matter how much sleep I got. I have hard painful bunches of muscles in my neck and shoulders. I would have frequent headaches and a stuffy nose. I learned to ignore it after a while and just keep on going. The downside is that I learned to ignore everything my body was telling me and I became very disconnected from it. It has been a real journey for me to reconnect with my body! The journal is SO worth the effort.

I hope this is the start of the miracle and I get to feel like this a lot of the time if not ALL of the time! It actually brings tears to my eyes - I have hurt SO long - this is such a miracle!!! There is just no other way to put it! And I am only on Step 3! Perhaps the more horrible you feel going into this the greater the change and the greater the miracle?!!!

Just had to tell you my wonderful news.



**Interesting Bits of Science**

Here is the article I found so interesting. I thought you might like to see it before we do the class:

Stuck in Bereavement Complicated Grief

By harvardsciencereview on January 23, 2014


**Radiant Ambassadors**

I've just received an email from my local library saying that as a result of my recommending PnP they have ordered 3 more copies and included my review on their website!!!

They went on to say that "Feedback of this kind helps us in our book selection and is always appreciated".

Yes, I would call that one a winner!!

Feel free to write to your own libraries, they might be able to help :)



**Radiant Recovery Store**

I just wanted to talk about our Prime membership service. I am glad you are liking it. If you glossed over it, come see what you are missing.

PRIME status means that you will receive a preferred price on many of the items we carry in our store. The store will offer many items at two prices, a regular price and a PRIME price (right below, in red). The PRIME price is close to 10% off a large number of the items we carry. Not all items have a PRIME price. If you have an "ACTIVE" subscription (not on hold or canceled), you will qualify for the PRIME prices at any time you make a purchase. You will also notice that we have lowered some subscription prices as well. If you select the PRIME price and are not an ACTIVE subscriber, you will be charged the regular price at the time your order is processed. The PRIME member will not need to remember a discount code or password to get the benefits of being a subscriber/PRIME member.

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


**Radiant Kitchen**

I added a whole number of recipes for Teens into the recipe blog. Here is one of them...something THEY can make when ravenous. And it keeps really well. And reheats well. Make it with Tinkyada brown rice pasta and it is a 10!

See what you think.

  • 16 oz spaghetti (brown rice, spelt, or whole wheat) cooked
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • cottage cheese
  • ground beef
  • unsweetened marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions and drain. At the same time, brown the ground beef, drain, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a 13"x 9" greased pan, place the cooked spaghetti. In a small bowl, beat together the milk and eggs and pour over the spaghetti. Layer the cottage cheese over the spaghetti and then layer the ground beef over the cottage cheese. Spread the marinara or spaghetti sauce over the ground beef and top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the oven until hot, about 30 minutes.
For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.


**Radiant Your Last Diet**

Wow, the YLD list is overflowing with wonderful joy dots this week. I wanted to share a few with you.

  • wanting to move
  • moving despite the weather
  • waking up one morning and realizing it's no longer a mental struggle to get your body on the bike, your heart/mind/body are actually wanting to do it!!!
  • feeling lighter in my mind as well as my body
  • walking down the hall with a normal stance instead of the walk of a very large person bobbing from leg to leg now that my legs muscles are stronger
Motivation to move is becoming rather infectious on YLD list, just like the joys!

Steph x

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


**Radiant Living**

Radiant Life asks questions that are about living a life of recovery - how do we take care of negative thoughts, how do we transform fear, what is equanimity, how does silence heal, and how can we grow our programs. Last week we all laughed a lot and really enjoyed the discussion.

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


**Going to Ranch**

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

Janice just started posting this reflection over on the forum. She has captured ranch so beautifully, I decided it would be really fun for you to share it as well. It is an experience that is hard to describe really. It is not glamorous, but it is rich and designed to meet you at whatever level you bring.

Hi Forum Friends,

I looked at the calendar today and in just 3 short weeks I will be in Albuquerque at Radiant Ranch. This will be my 10th time attending. Read about going to Ranch under the Learn More tab (attend a seminar).

I once read a children's author's autobiography where he told his story in relation to the dogs he'd had. (Gary Paulsen, My Life in Dog Years) It's hilarious, by the way, I was literally crying with laughter. But I digress.

In the same way, I can tell my story in Ranch Years. It's the story about how doing the food changed my life. I won't do it all in one post and may get details of specific years mixed up. If I do I hope someone will correct.

So first let me tell you what I was like before. Depressed most of the time. Angry at the world and god. Yelled a lot at home and threw things. Had a job that required no interaction with people and felt incapable of doing anything more. In a nutshell, hopeless, helpless and unhappy.

I'd always known sugar was a big problem, it was basically my main food group. I grazed and snacked mostly. I always had candy in my pocket. I used some money I'd gotten as a Christmas gift to buy The Sugar Addicts Total Recovery Program (SARP) in 2001. I read it and knew it was written about me. I started eating protein for breakfast although not enough and not within an hour.

A year later I got over my computer phobia and came to the RR website and the forum. Amazing all these people like me. And Allison especially, whose story was similar to my own (thin, depressed, inner voice telling what a loser I was). I read the Forum every day, every post, but I did not say anything. I learned how to do breakfast correctly. I started having a shake every day. Later that year I joined YLD and went to chats. I still did not say anything. I would try journaling but it never stuck. I couldn't got a handle on step 3.

I just did my shake and read the Forum. Every day. Until October 2003 when I took the leap and posted here on the Forum with a commitment to post every day until January 1. Someone else had done a 90/90 posting commitment and I was inspired to do the same to see if I could do Step 3. It was very scary to speak and share. But it worked. I did Step 3, and 4, 5 and then Step 6 in June 2004.

And boy howdy, did I start to get a life (Step 7). The things I learned being a part of the online community, like how to do things that scare me, translated into regular life when I got a job in customer service. I interacted with people and actually enjoyed it. I stopped yelling at my kids and stopped constantly brooding about every mistake I ever made and every wrong I felt had been done to me. My mood leveled out and I felt happy.

Then in May 2005 I went to my first Radiant Ranch. Going to Ranch is like putting your recovery in hyperdrive. The concepts become very real and you absorb all this healing energy from being with Kathleen and these amazing people who, like you, have dared to change their lives for the better. That is no small thing.

I had no idea what to expect when I went to Radiant Ranch for the first time in '05 so before I went I casually thought, "Ok, I'm going to be open to whatever happens."

This was my first experience going away to a seminar and being with a big group for an extended period. I'm quiet, shy and socially awkward. So the first thing that struck me was how welcoming everyone is and how it was possible to be in this inherently uncomfortable social situation and feel somewhat comfortable, if that makes sense. Knowing some folks from posting here and in the yahoo groups made things easier.

So Ranch started with dinner together the first night at the hotel. After dinner Kathleen gave an introduction to RR. She is so smart and calming and funny and real. Hearing her share the RR story makes it come alive. All the new ranchers got a buddy to be a go-to person for support or problems. Mine was wonderful.

Fab thing about going to Ranch #1: You get to meet Kathleen and put faces and personalities to the names you've been connecting with. Then when you read posts, you can see and hear who's posting. So when you read that post with the potato you hear Kathleen.

The next day is the sessions. We sit at round tables and learn about the topics Kathleen has prepared and we share with each other at the table or in small groups. Disclaimer: I don't remember any details about the topics or discussions and I don't have my notes from the early years. I don't think I had very many notes anyway as I was enthralled with just being in the moment soaking up what was happening. My memory is a sieve so maybe note-taking would have been good. On the other hand being in the moment was great, too.

Fab thing #2: You get to learn a lot, and in the connecting with each other, your recovery journey will get very real and become your own. (not just a set of instructions)

I made a conscious decision 1st Ranch that I would sit at a different table for each session even though it was way out of my comfort zone to do so. This was good in that I got to meet and share with many people - our stories are all different yet the same. Later Ranches my comfort zone changed and sharing with the same people in multiple sessions became the harder thing to do because you go deeper.

Fab thing #3: You can be brave at Ranch and move safely in and out of your comfort zones.

There were breaks throughout the day. Small groups would walk to Old Town or talk outside or folks would take time alone to decompress. My inclination was to hide in my room but see #3 above. I stayed out of my room as much as possible. After dinner some would go in the pool or hot tub to hang out. I think I was in there every night. It was these interactions that forged some deeper connections.

Fab thing #4: Hanging out with other Ranchers having deep conversations and so much laughter is what you'll remember and you'll carry that connection and healing home with you.

The one thing I do remember about that first Ranch is an exercise we did that ended with us writing down what we wanted out of life. I don't remember what I wrote down because I didn't know what I wanted (or maybe didn't want to know). Then we shared. One of my tablemates said she wanted "a life filled with passion and joy." And my heart went, "Yes, that's what we want." It was a powerful (scary) feeling to touch that so I immediately shut it down telling myself I couldn't take someone else's answer. And that's how I accidentally told the universe my heart's desire. The universe heard and my life started to very very slowly (because it knows I'm easily spooked) change.

Fab thing #5: If you go to Ranch with an open heart you will get whatever it is you need beyond information and friendship even if you don't know what that is or realize at the time that you got it.

So that's the deal. At Ranch you get information that you can use to grow your recovery and you make connections with people like you. That was why I went to my first Ranch and I was not disappointed. I also got deep inner-life answers that I only recognized later as I moved deeper into recovery and doing the food. It's not something that gets talked about much but I suspect I'm not the only one.


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

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Until next time!
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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.

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