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





I used to think that I would feel more confident if I was thin, married, financially secure, dressed correctly, and especially if I was successful at work.

And yet, the only way I’ve ever really felt more confident is by doing the next right thing, one step at a time.

The only way I’ve ever been able to do the next right thing, one step at a time, is to greet my fear with compassion and to ask for help.

I greet you fear. You are my friend, trying to keep me safe. You have helped me in the past. This time, you can take a rest. This time, my help will come from a different place.

Today, I find help in my Higher Power, my husband, my family and friends, my healers, my teachers, my 12 step food addict fellows, and my dog.

I’m very grateful to the many people (and animals) who are helping others to see their own Divine spark.

A special thank you to my photographer friend Tamzin Smith who helps women to see their inner Light; and to my stylist friend Naina Singla who helps women to adorn themselves as a reflection of their own unique Spirit.

Tamzin and I went out to lunch yesterday and she took this picture of me. I had shopped my closet, with Naina’s advice in my mind. She has said, “You can wear brown and black together. Elevate your look with a belt, jewelry, and a scarf. Enhance your outfit with a third color, or a print, or texture. Add interest by layering with a jeans jacket, a blazer or cardigan. Less is more. Go for quality.”

While I may have missed the mark on the “less is more,” the outfit doesn’t matter as much as the confidence it gave me to take the next right step. I asked for help and I took the risk. I got creative. I had fun!

Today I’m happy, grateful and confident.

Love & Light,


16 Comments to Confidence

  1. Em's Gravatar Em
    May 2, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Valerie –

    What a wonderful spring outfit! You look like you are having a lot of fun with this project, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the series of pics over at FB.

    You can wear brown with black?! Wow, I worry about wearing anything but brown shoes with my (blue) jeans … not a risk taker, I know. But there you are, looking all confident and stylish in your complementary colors. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I also like how you’ve thought about this experience in the context of your larger life journey. I want to remember your greeting next time fear drops by for a visit.

    Happy May,


  2. Rachel Stein's Gravatar Rachel Stein
    May 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


    You are beautiful inside and out, whether you are accessorized or not!!!! I love that I consider you my friend!!!

    Shine on my dear friend, shine on!!!



  3. May 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Wow you look so stylish! Valerie-this outfit looks simply stunning on you and what a gorgeous photo Tamzin took of you. I love this write up and my goal with all the women I work with is to help them find their signature style and truly be the best version of themselves. I believe women should feel confident and be stylish everyday! It has been a pleasure working with you and seeing you evolve and experiment with your style. {over just a few short weeks} -Naina

  4. May 2, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Hello Valerie!

    You are so right about fear — it showed up for a long time for me, in different ways and at different times. And until I could honor the message it had for me, I couldn’t work with it and through it. Now I can seek the help I need from people I trust.

    It is great to see you stepping out “in style.” For me, it is really about uncovering your beauty and allowing others to see it, and then owning it yourself! I love Tamzin’s picture of you, and the confidence you are embodying. It’s not the clothes per se, it’s the person who is confident enough to wear them!

    Can’t wait to see more from that closet you are shopping!

    And thanks for sharing.


  5. Sissy's Gravatar Sissy
    May 3, 2014 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    love it all!

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