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




 Deva Nandan


Day 6 of Continuing Recovery

Thank you, G-d, there is dance. And it is available to everyone. Even if all I can do is notice the movement of energy inside me, dance is there.

In 2007 was introduced to the 5Rhythms practice of dance through a weekend workshop at Kripalu in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I loved it, but I didn’t pursue it. Occasionally I would revisit it at home for a few minutes here or there.

My coaching training in 2010 through Newfield Network reinvigorated a passion for dance. I had great plans for staying in my body.

A few short days after graduating from Newfield, the January 2011 accident happened. For many months, my body was both absent and painfully close. As I began to recover I thought, well, I have lost my chance. No more dance for me.

Finally, the draw was too much. Last night I set out for a 5Rhythms dance practice with the intention to be with whatever was there for me. It turned out that there was a lot there. As I began to dance there was comparing — my body can do this now which it couldn’t do a year ago; what it could do two years ago that it can’t do now. There was sadness and pain and frustration. I felt so stuck in this identity as the terrible accident survivor, the one who is still in trauma.

As the waves of rhythm coursed over me and I danced to them, there was a shift. I began to pray to the rhythm and the element it met.

Flowing rhythm – Mother Earth – Creatress – this is your daughter Valerie. Please fill me with what I need.

Staccato rhythm – yes – no – fire – this is your daughter Valerie. Please fill me with what I need.

Chaos rhythm – G-d – Creator – water – this is your daughter Valerie. Please fill me with what I need.

Lyrical rhythm – air – lightness – this is your daughter Valerie. Please fill me with what I need.

Stillness rhythm – Spirit – ether – this is your daughter Valerie. Please fill me with what I need.

Gradually, over two hours, grief came to me; and also compassion for others. The more I danced, the more I was aware of beauty, gratitude, healing, inspiration, love, meditation, Nature, peace, and yoga… union of body, Spirit, and community. I understood that I was dancing as a prayer for liberation.

G-d was in the house.

On the way home, food craving came up… and quickly faded away. I knew I was going home to bed, not to eat. Thank you, G-d.

Love & Light,


Here is a 30 minute program about 5Rhythms and its teacher, Gabrielle Roth. In the video, you’ll see how a class works. The practice I attended last night was not a class. It was just practice.

Photo of Deva Nandan.

6 Comments to Dance

  1. Myra TAte's Gravatar Myra TAte
    September 22, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Wonderful to watch – it must have taken a great deal of courage and desire to get well that took you to 5 rhythms again. mom

  2. September 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    love you
    and am glad
    for you
    and dancing
    and reminding

  3. dana's Gravatar dana
    September 23, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink


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