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

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.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project





Where did my limp go? It’s gone! This is astonishing to me! It’s something I’ve wished for, but never expected it would actually happen.

For the last 3 years, with the help of excellent practitioners, I’ve been re-learning how to walk. Everything I’ve tried has helped, including prayer, physical therapy, yoga, massage, body-mind centering, zero balancing, cranio-sacral, indigenous healing, shamanic healing, acupuncture, fitness training, weight lifting, aqua fitness, swimming, dance, and a good cobbler who builds up my right shoe.

I’ve gained strength, stability and balance… and felt tremendous gratitude for progress. And yet… everyone who’s worked with me has heard me say, “I wish I could walk smoothly without a limp.”

In April, I began to work with my movement therapist Ellen Barlow using the Gyrotonic Method. She’d been recommending it for a long time. I finally felt ready to try it.

At the end of the first session, as I left the building, I got very quiet inside and very curious. What was happening?

My walking was fluid. It was graceful. I was walking more quickly. I couldn’t discern the significant limp that had gotten me in the door. I wasn’t concentrating on every step, thinking…  firm belly, engage butt, lift right knee, heel-toe, engage left hip, activate left hamstring, heel-toe. I was just walking. My differently abled legs were now doing the same thing. Just walking. And what used to feel like a terrible gripping in my low back and right leg, now felt like the hand of G-d supporting me.

Each session of Gyrotonic has settled me further into this new natural. There have been discoveries of weaknesses and strengths I hadn’t understood before. It’s fun! The movements are spiral, circular, and undulating. There is pattern, rhythm, and wave. It feels like flying and like I’m at home again in my body.

Strangely enough, at the same time my walk is changing, I’ve noticed that the way I see myself in the mirror is changing. I’m pleased rather than distressed. I have a sense of well-being.

Now, I’m wondering. Is it OK to hope for more?

Faith and hope have never come easily to me. At least not consciously. I might wish for something or fantasize about it, but not have faith that I would receive such a gift. I always fantasized about losing weight, but I never had the faith that it could really happen. Coming into a right size body through my 12 step program for food addiction was a tremendous gift that continues to amaze me.

I may have an underlying belief that I’ve received such gifts of healing, it would be greedy to want more. There’s a list of my traumatic injuries on this page and I’m so very grateful to have recovered this much.

I’m going to take a leap of faith here and declare two hopes. I’d love to be able to decrease the medication I’m on for neuropathy. I’d love to be able to walk up and down stairs without needing a bannister.

Is it possible? A friend told me that healing is infinite. I can hope.

Here’s a video of the Gyrotonic Method from the Elements Fitness and Wellness Center. The first person you see in the video doing Gyrotonic is my wonderful movement therapist Ellen Barlow.

Love & Light,


25 Comments to Astonished!

  1. June 16, 2014 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    This is wonderful news. I did gyro too for a month and then my friend/therapist moved and I haven’t since.

  2. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    June 17, 2014 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    wonderful! ma

  3. Luanne Paynick's Gravatar Luanne Paynick
    June 17, 2014 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    So happy for you. A very big hug.

  4. June 17, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    so very happy to hear this!

  5. Terri Peaphon's Gravatar Terri Peaphon
    June 17, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Such a positive, uplifting message. I’m very happy for you and your continued healing.

  6. Roy's Gravatar Roy
    June 17, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Miracles abound my sweet Valerie. How much can you accept/hold? Please, take welcome more…

  7. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    June 17, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    just checking – as usual the responses to your Cup are fascinating reading. your ma

  8. June 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Wow … that’s fantastic Valerie. In the short time that I’ve known you I have seen you grow into your beautiful self. Confident and radiant.

    Keep going, don’t look back. Look forward and enjoy!!

  9. Em's Gravatar Em
    June 18, 2014 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Healing is infinite. I love that thought … thank you!

  10. dana's Gravatar dana
    June 23, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Fabulous! Love you, dear one.

  11. Kit's Gravatar Kit
    June 23, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    This is wonderful news! On to the next hope-fulfillment!

  12. June 23, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    So happy for you Valerie 🙂

    Let’s do something soon


  13. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    June 26, 2014 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Hooray hooray, wonderful news, hard work and much faith rewarded. Keep the faith rolling, a wise woman once said “healing is infinite.” much love to you, dear V!! <3

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