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


Freedom to wander

Freedom to Wander


Thank you, Maria Wulf! I love her art and her blog. She inspired me with her post today at Full Moon Fiber Art. When you read her post, you will understand this potholder she made and the confluence of our perspectives.

As I was walking with Miranda-the-labradoodle this morning at 5am, my thoughts turned to freedom and safety and the way I choose to live.

I choose to live my life as a part of a 12 step fellowship for food addiction. There are no rules, only suggestions; but some of our fellows resent those suggestions. They question why they should “have to” go to three meetings a week, make three program phone calls a day, take 30 minutes of Quiet Time, speak honestly with a sponsor, write down their food, weigh and measure three meals a day, eat nothing in between meals, and avoid all flour and sugar.

For me, these suggestions are the fences that protect my way of life in a big beautiful pasture of transformation. By choosing to walk through these fences and close their gates behind me, I live on a land of rich and fertile soil that grows miracles, not the least of which are freedom from addiction, serenity, a right-size body and a clear mind.

Sometimes I open a gate and wander. It’s risky. I don’t recommend it. However, wandering has taught me the benefit of those fences. I have learned that by choosing to stay on my right land, I feel supported, protected and loved. Wandering in the wilderness, I lose touch with my best life and the source of all goodness. I am so grateful that, each time I’ve found my way back… so far.

Yes, I have the freedom to wander into the wilderness. Thank you G-d, I have the freedom to choose. By choosing to live within the fences my 12-step program, I live in freedom AND safety. How about that?

Thanks again, Maria.

Love & Light,


7 Comments to Freedom to wander

  1. Robin in Uganda's Gravatar Robin in Uganda
    April 24, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    This is such a beautiful way of putting it – you are a brilliant writer. Thank you for this.

  2. Sandra Michaels's Gravatar Sandra Michaels
    April 24, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Valerie – Thank you for your honesty and your willingness to be open about your walk with God. I, too, have a history with Spirit that includes times of incredible closeness, contrasted with times of distance and disconnection. The times of connection felt like grace. In the dark times, I’ve been filled with doubt, guilt, and a pervasive feeling of being somehow wrong, at the core of my being. The way back to God, for me, always includes the decision to nurture the desire to be creative and reconnect with the Creative Source.

    In the past, I’ve been blessed with the time and resources to pursue creative endeavors — pottery, poetry, painting, cooking, and gardening. This year, as the days grew warmer, the urge to sow and grow arose within me. I followed this leading and started the process of plant selection, bed preparation, and planting. While I thoroughly enjoy these activities, planting is always followed by mulching. I’ve always found this chore tedious and so physically demanding, I’ve often injured my back.

    This year, however, I experienced “mulching with gratitude.” As I looked despairingly at the large amount of mulch to be spread, I was overtaken by a view of the future in which I might not be able to undertake the task at all. I experienced, in all its fullness, the fact that my body was aging. And then grace entered my consciousness. I was filled with feelings of gratitude that I could still tend my garden, and yes, I could still move a bag of mulch.

    Wow! What a difference a spirit of gratitude makes. In that moment, I was able to reconnect with the Creative Source and, flooded with gratitude, was able to approach the chore with Mulching Delight. I experienced this shift in perspective as a state of grace, and I went forward with a Lighter Spirit. At the end of the day, the beds look beautiful, and I did not hurt my back. I consider that yet another opportunity for gratitude. As you say, the ability to choose offers us both freedom AND safety. Peace out.

  3. Terri Premo-Peaphon's Gravatar Terri Premo-Peaphon
    April 24, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    What a great insight into presonal boundries and how they can make us feel. Boundries can make us feel constrained and hopeless/angry or protected and helpful/safe. We really do have the ability, each one of us, to choose how things make us feel. The benefits of a positive attitude are so often misunderstood or disregarded. Being “happy” can also be a choice. Being satisfied and content with who we are and what we have is often a choice. Counting our blessings and always striving to be the best person we can be is a choice. I choose to believe I am right where I am meant to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to do.

    Thank you for your personal insight, your lead by example, your wonderful gift of friendship.

    • Sandra Michaels's Gravatar Sandra Michaels
      April 24, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Thanks Terri. Your comment made me smile. 🙂

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