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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Pieces of my heart

I want to keep growing and becoming a happier more loving person.

Recently I was spiraling down into a place where I was feeling very badly about my self as a person. I was even criticizing my Inner Critic.

It’s begun to dawn on me that I could be in a better relationship to pieces of my heart that I’ve rejected, criticized, suppressed, and tried to control, due to my fear, doubt, insecurity, delusion, denial, resentment, and ignorance.

Roses have thorns and so do I.

I want to welcome all my thorns to the party. I want offer them unconditional love. I want to be in relationship with them in a mature way. I want to see them for what they are, listen to them for what they have to say, validate their existence and points of view, affirm their right to exist, and empathize with their pain. I want to request forgiveness.

So here are the aspects of my self that I will begin praying to restore with integrity to my whole self.

The aspects of my self that I want to welcome and love unconditionally include:

• The one who criticizes my self
• The one who has an addictive relationship to food
• The one who wears masks
• The one who sometimes lies, is thoughtless, and hurtful
• The one who says I’m not good enough, I’m flawed, I’m too sensitive, I have poor discernment for the character of other people
• The one who says I put myself in harm’s way, I’ve left myself unprotected, I haven’t paid attention to warning signals.
• The one who is all about fixing systems, situations, and people
• The one who says I deprive myself of emotional security and peace of mind
• The one whose heart hurts when I’m corrected
• The one who is distressed over situations and people that I can’t do anything about

I’m going to go for the goodness, for healing and compassion – towards my self first.

And when I find that I’m in fear, doubt, insecurity, delusion, denial, resentment, and/or ignorance, I hope I will remember to love those aspects of my self.

As a practice, I will develop an energy field at a depth of two feet all around me. I will pat it into place and fill it with rainbow glitter. I’ll root to the center of the earth through my belly button. And I’ll choose to be in situations where kindness is more likely to persist.

Love and Light,

Valerie

Radical Consistency

I received a message during Quaker Meeting for Worship today. About 20 minutes into the Meeting, a door opened and someone walked in late and, in my mind, I heard “Radical consistency.” I sat with that phrase for another 10 minutes and then thought, “That’s what I’m moving towards.”

It’s not about white knuckling. It’s about noticing a door open and surrendering to what Deeper Wisdom, Inner Light, Creative Force really wants for me. Radical consistency is about when and how I wake up, walk the dog, meditate, cook, sit for meals, and how I am in relationship to my self, others, and Basic Goodness. 

After the Meeting, a Friend approached me and said that her Bhuddist teacher would call “radical consistency” Nibbana (Nirvana in Sanskrit). My understanding of Nibbana is freedom. Yes! For me, radical consistency is freedom.

This evening, my sponsor said to me, “I was trying to think how that might translate into other traditions, and found it interesting that your Buddhist friend so readily saw the transcendental meaning in it. A door opens … who knows what it brings. Maybe the prophet is coming to sit at the table, since you laid a place for him… I am considering the concept of order in our Recovery life. Not just weighing and measuring our food, but allowing ourselves to be aligned with the benign order that weighing and measuring represents. Maybe it is a matter of alignment – surrender, if you will – just removing resistance. In tai chi class, we learn to just let go and find our balance with every movement. No exertion, just ‘going with the flow.’ As a martial art, it means letting the other forces coming at you do their thing as you effortlessly let them lose their balance. Well, something like that.”

Yes, something like that.

Love & Light,

Valerie

Photo: From a visit today to Schleppinghurst, a Japanese Zen garden in Lincolnville, Maine.

The Ineffable

 

 

 

Names for the Ineffable… some from me and many found in Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill.

Adonai

All

All Forgiving One

Allah

Almighty One

Avalokiteśvara

Awakened One

Awakener

Basic Goodness

Beauty of my Beloved

Beloved

Beloved Friend

Blessed One

Buddha

Comforter

Companioning Presence

Compassionate One

Consciousness

Consoler

Counselor

Creation

Creator

Dance of Life

Dhamma

Divine

Divine Guest

Divine Healer

Divine Plan

Divine Spark

Elohim

Everything

Faithful One

Fire

Fire of Divine Mercy

First and Last

Friend to All

Gaia

Giver of Life

Grace

Gracious Mender of Souls

Gracious One

Guanyin

Guiding Spirit

HaShem

Healer

Heart

Heart of Love

Heart of My Heart

Holy City

Holy Name

Holy One

Holy Surrender

Holy Temple

Home

House of Prayer

Indwelling Presence

Infinite Love

Inner Wisdom

Ishtar

Itself

Just One

Kali the Destroyer

Life

Light

Listening Heart

Living Presence

Living Water

Love

Love and Light

Love and Peace

Love Consciousness

Love Divine

Love’s Companioning Presence

Love’s Heart

Love’s Name

Love’s Plan

Love’s Way

Loving One

Loving Presence

Mary

Merciful One

Mind

Most High

My Soul’s Cry

My Self

Mystery

Name

Name of Love

Nourisher

O Mighty One

One

One in Love

One with All

Oneness of all Creation

Oneness of Being

Oneness of Light

Peace

Peace and Glory

Plan

Power

Presence

Provider

Psalms

Queen of Heaven

Reality

Realm of Heaven here on Earth

Rock

Rock of Ages

Shakti

Silence

Silent One

Spirit of Love

Spirit of Truth

Star of the Sea

Sustainer

Teacher

The Call

The Most Gracious

The Most Merciful

Timeless One

Treasure

Truth

Unconditional Love

Unity

Unknowable

Vastness

Voice

Voice of Silence

Voice of the Almighty

Will

Wisdom

Wisdom’s Counsel

Wondrous One

Word

Work of Love

You

Your Will

YHWH

 

Thanks to Kristen B for an inspiring hour of conversation this morning, which led directly to this post. What a gal!

The Road Taken

 

Walking up and down this Maine road, when I’m just breathing, occasionally saying the word “Grace” when I find my self caught in thoughts, now and then kicking the ball for Miranda-the-labradoodle, who jumps at it for joy, I notice Nature.

I disappear into Nature. I Am That. Just a small part, currently alive, and my job is to be Love.

Then I see a mosquito at my wrist, darting under my sleeve, and I know I’ve been bit. I am no longer Nature. I’m against it! I’m not Love. I’m mad… and afraid. It’s all about the itch.

I make a choice to turn my attention back to Nature and The Grand Scheme of Things, starting with the dog.

Something outside of my self returns.

Grace.

Love & Light,

Valerie