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


Recognizing my foot


This week my meditation teacher, Susan Piver, said that we can’t cultivate wisdom because we already possess it fully. “It would be like heading out in the morning on a hike to search for your feet–they’re already right there and in fact your ability to hike at all would be non-existent without them… The kind of wisdom we are talking about here is not related to knowledge or even insight, particularly, but to the ground that gives rise to both.”

This resonated for me on all three levels —  physical, mental and spiritual.

One. I have two feet. However, due to a spinal cord injury, one leg — hip to toes — doesn’t know where it is in space and its foot can’t feel the ground. The other leg — mostly hip — is weak. But both legs are there, the feet are there, and the ground is there. In order to keep my balance and to walk evenly without falling, I must recognize the awareness I have of my differently abled hips, legs and feet and the ground. So, I practice yoga, swimming, walking and gyrotonic exercise. I am making my best effort… and there is room for improvement.

Two. I have the capacity for Recovery  — the Promises of my 12-step program for food addiction. I don’t need to wait for the “click” or for inspiration to go on a diet. I am constitutionally able to be honest with myself. I have the capacity to calmly abide in awareness and recognize that I am a food addict who needs to be abstinent in order to be happy, joyous and free. I abide in that recognition by the daily, rhythmic practice of tools — meetings, phone calls, reading, writing, sponsorship, service, and especially weighing and measuring my food and abstaining completely from all flour and sugar. I am making my best effort… and there is room for improvement.

Three. I have wisdom — the recognition of awareness. Awareness exists. It neither increases nor decreases. It is there in everyone. However, my foggy thinking mind clouds recognition and I forget that I am aware. When I recognize that I am aware, insight arises and knowledge grows. For me, recognition of awareness develops with a daily practice of prayer and meditation. I am making my best effort… and there is room for improvement.

I am not perfect by any means. I’m not half-way through. Still, I’m amazed and grateful at the progress we are all making together!

Thanks to Craig Hankin for this marvelous sketch by Jenny Saville.

Love & Light,


7 Comments to Recognizing my foot

  1. Liz Thorson's Gravatar Liz Thorson
    January 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I so admire your hard work and determination to keep on working on improving your life Every. Single. Day! Wow!! You know your support system is at your finger tips and you reach out and connect because you know they all love you and have your back! What courage and belief in hope for continued improved physical, mental and emotional health! My gat is off to you, Valerie!
    Cheers and Happy New Year!


  2. Liz Thorson's Gravatar Liz Thorson
    January 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Whoops! My hat is off to you! Giggle

  3. Em's Gravatar Em
    January 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    An inspiring post, Valerie. Thank you.

    Yes, we are all making our best effort. I love that thought!

  4. Ann louise's Gravatar Ann louise
    February 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your inspiring and human stories Valerie. Taking care on a 93 y/o mother with Alzheimer’s in my home is challenging. As I give of myself for her I have to balance giving to myself and issue of food addiction. Self soothing with food and no exercise are demons I give into too often. Easier to martyr myself as a caregiver and not deal with my own issues. Strength and insight I pray for to balance and love myself more to help myself.

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