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’m a bit mental today

mind - brain

We say that Recovery from food addiction is three-fold — physical, mental and spiritual.

My mind is on the mental part today.

For me, thinking makes it so. I have at various times been imprisoned by my own thinking and, at other times, been liberated by my thinking.

I’ve found that thinking of certain stories — that I am a food addict… that part of me must die in order for the rest of me to thrive… that part of me must be filled or healed before I can be well — has sometimes helped me to make progress and sometimes not.

This is the story that helps me today. This is the story that I learned as a child from my father. As he used to remark, “When the Buddha said that life was suffering, he wasn’t whistling Dixie.”

What I have come to learn since then is that there is a way out of suffering.

The Four Noble Truths

  1. There is suffering — sometimes translated as dissatisfaction.
  2. The cause of suffering is craving and clinging to what is pleasurable; and aversion to and avoiding discomfort.
  3. The way out of suffering comes about when we put an end to craving and clinging and aversion and avoiding.
  4. The way to put an end to craving and clinging and aversion and avoiding, is to follow the Noble Eightfold Path.

Full disclosure. 1) I’m a comfort seeking missile! 2) Not only that, but, once the pleasure it over, I tend to steep myself in suffering longer than necessary. 3) I want things to be different. A triple whammy. All human. All universal. Just not necessary.

Here’s the Path that the Buddha offered as the Way out of clinging to pleasure, avoiding discomfort, wanting things to be different, and living with suffering.

The Eightfold Path

1. Right view – What view will put an end to craving, clinging and avoidance?
2. Right intention – What intention will liberate me from suffering?
3. Right speech – What can I say to myself and others?
4. Right action – What action shall I take?
5. Right livelihood – What way do I want to live?
6. Right effort – What effort do I need to make today?
7. Right mindfulness – What can I do to keep mindful?
8. Right concentration – What can I do to concentrate on the path of liberation from suffering?

The Way, the Path to Liberation — also known as Recovery, is step by step. It requires practice, wisdom, honesty, concentration and knowledge.

Hmmmm… Four Noble Truths plus the Eightfold Path equals Twelve! For me, the Twelve Steps could answer every question 1 – 8!

I’m grateful know about the solution and to be working the Steps.

Love & Light,


4 Comments to I’m a bit mental today

  1. Gloria Beatty's Gravatar Gloria Beatty
    September 30, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Dear Valerie,

    First, you have such a gift with words. I love reading your blog.

    Second, this particular blog was just what I needed to read today. Going to print it out and read it every day until memorized. Very useful!

    Warm regards,

  2. Em's Gravatar Em
    October 8, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Quite an “enlightening” post! Heh.

    Yes, I really think of the avoidance of discomfort is a major source, if not the major source, of the suffering of addictive behavior. For me anyway.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>