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


Claiming My Gratitude


My 12-step sponsor suggested that this would be a good time season my Recovery with writing about the good things in my life. Then I heard from a 12-step fellow that she learned how to season her own Recovery by focusing her communication on the positive. So, today I’m claiming my gratitude.

I am grateful to be alive and learning how to love and be loved. Love is it. Marriage, family, friendship, community, therapy, 12-step fellowship, work, Nature, relationships with humans and other animals (especially dogs!)… these are all my generously-given opportunities to experience and learn about love. Thank you, Higher Power, that which I call G-d.



I am grateful for the crucible of the accident on January 18, 2011; that I was in a right-size body and a healthy frame of mind; that I was conscious and able to give the necessary information to Jared, the Good Samaritan who took action to find the people who would save my life.



I am grateful that, when I had to surrender and let others take over control of my body, including my breathing, I finally remembered the Serenity Prayer. I am grateful that the Serenity Prayer gave me an understanding of my predicament. My understanding was that my friends and family would be touched by this event; and that they would raise up love and prayer in the world. More love and prayer in the world could only be for the good.

I am grateful that my mind never imagined I would die or be paralyzed. I always understood my terrible anxiety to be rooted in some imbalance that was eventually treatable with medications. I was always hopeful that the next day would be better.

I am grateful to all those who took care of me and helped me to get back my abilities to take care of myself. I am grateful to those practitioners who continue to support my physical, mental and spiritual Recovery from trauma.



I am grateful for my intelligence, heart, and even my food addiction. Because of my food addiction, I encountered the 12 steps which hold the promise of liberation, freedom, appreciation for the true nature of food, service to others, honesty, fellowship, courage, certainty, security, next-right-steps, and purpose.

I am grateful for this 12-step program which is helping me to grow as a person, and which provides a fellowship of individuals who I love and who love me and who support my Abstinence. I am grateful to our program’s focus on Honesty and its suggestion for 30 minutes of Daily Quiet Time. I am grateful for three weighed and measured meals a day, no flour or sugar, and nothing in between.

I am grateful that I can take a nap in the middle of the day.

I am grateful for all the love that was shared at the Sandy Spring Friends Meeting House on May 19, 2012 at our wedding!

I am grateful to be turning my attention from the past, so that soon my story will more about what I’m grateful for in the present moment. I know that I will need to surrender my identity as the “survivor of a terrible accident”… to some unknown new me.



I am grateful to my family, friends and fellows for your sparks of Divinity. You are lighting and leading the way to love.

Love & Light,



See sources of images on my Pinterest site at http://pinterest.com/acupofkindness.

3 Comments to Claiming My Gratitude

  1. Theolyn's Gravatar Theolyn
    June 18, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Valerie, I am so thankful to read your blog tonight and realize that you are thinking in a very positive way. I would say this is a very good thing. It was good to read all of the things that you can think of now that you can be and are thankful for. I think it is necessary for us to sometimes write down all of the things that we can think of that we have to be thankful for – all of our blessings. We have to actually think about it, as we write, and that is important.
    I am thankful for your love and friendship. I keep you in my daily prayers.


    • June 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Dear Theolyn,

      I really appreciate this positive reinforcement! You are a dear friend.

      Love & Light,


  2. Myra TAte's Gravatar Myra TAte
    June 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    A very beautiful list of gratitudes – makes me very grateful for all that you are. mom

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