Welcome
This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

Invitation
You are invited to keep coming back to A Cup of Kindness to share your experience, strength and hope; fears, doubts and insecurities; and to pick up information, inspiration … and have a little fun!

My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

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Staying sane… relatively

Here’s my little chart for what I am doing on a daily basis, as best I can, to stay relatively sane, to cultivate connection and peace. It’s going well. Not perfectly. It is progress though.

I wake up and look for a sense of gratitude.

I choose one word as my intention for the day saying, “I want to feel… “ Today my word was “connected.”

I read from Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill and Meditations with Teresa of Avila: A Journey Into the Sacred by Megan Don.

I sit quietly for 20 – 30 minutes, returning to my word as often as need be.

I prepare and enjoy healthy food.

I look for opportunities to help others and I ask for help when I need it. Asking for help can be a gift to someone.

I do some art now and then. I’m hoping to get a daily art practice going.

I walk Miranda-the-labradoodle, often with a friend; and join friends for yoga and Gyrokinesis via Zoom.

I listen to music and sometimes play the flute or sing.

I pray and hold the world in the Light.

I get in bed and my husband and I each read a psalm aloud.

I find something about my day that makes me smile.

I go to sleep.

The more I practice, the more moments arise of profound peace, even in the midst of the crisis we are facing. I notice that my heart is eased.  I look out and see beauty. I see people being kind. I see stars in the sky, Miranda-the-labradoodle, and my good husband. I feel grateful.

May we all be well, happy and peaceful.

Love and Light,

Valerie

Spiritual Evolution

It is March 24, 2020. Last night it snowed 3 inches. I love snow. I love winter. My morning readings were particularly wise. Or perhaps I especially needed wisdom and just received what is always there. I took what I read and it percolated in me on our walk.

The reading was the following from “Meditations with Teresa of Avila: A Journey Into the Sacred” by Megan Don. I hope it’s okay to share it with you here.

“By experiencing separation from our divine source, we also come to see ourselves as separate from one another, whether it be through difference in culture, religion, or species. Our spiritual history is and has been a slow process of evolution. It is bringing us back into a place of unity – with our divine source, with ourselves and with others. An acutely dire but seemingly necessary experience for our spiritual growth entails coming into complete consciousness of the separation. By doing so, we open the way for the unity to occur. This dynamic is found among most mystics and is known as the “dark night of the soul.” Many people today are living in a state of separation without conscious awareness of doing so. They are also unaware of the light of unity that awaits them. Conversely, those entering the final purification know that there is always light after loss…

The dark night of the soul can be a time when people become lost and return to their old ways of living, forgetting the love that previously shone in their hearts. Or it can be a time of moving into a more mature spirituality. Love for the Beloved is no longer only about joyful emotions but is a true surrender of self. A sense of selflessness, and an ability to love for love’s sake alone, is born.

Let us join with the mystics in learning that we all come from the same divine source and that we can all actively participate in bringing a message of peace to our world through our daily living.”

May we all be well, happy and peaceful.

Love & Light,

Valerie

Just a frog

Flour + sugar + quantities + alcohol = very bad boyfriend.

Always expecting love and happiness and instead feeling like an idiot over and over again.

It wasn’t love. It was infatuation and intoxication with a side of remorse and weight gain.

It’s hard to quit a cute guy, but this prince is really just a frog in disguise.

Going back would mean a lifetime of fear, doubt and insecurity.

Thanks for your service, old buddy. Time for me to grow up and move on.

Love & Light,

Valerie

Just for today

Just for today I will happily agree to being comfortable with being somewhat uncomfortable. And I’ll know that my resilience is growing stronger.

Love & Light,

Valerie