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


Structure and freedom


Valerie Inertie


Thanks to good friends Jenny and her young daughter Simona, we shared a yoga practice this morning. It was lovely.

My attention was gently focused on my body. My thinking mind was taking a break. What was left — awareness of feelings coming and going, and insights arising and fading.

So, the activity was a physical structure. Some mental attention was required to follow a pattern. Within the structure and the pattern there was freedom to just experience… to be what is… G-d improvising.

Now I’m thinking, what is it about sitting meditation that I avoid? Sitting meditation has a physical structure — the stillness of the body is a structure. Paying attention to the breath at the nostrils requires some mental attention to following a pattern. Perhaps, I am avoiding the challenge of watching felt sensations and watching the mind move and not taking action, not moving.

Here is a beautiful example of structure and the freedom of improvisation with focus and gentle attention.

More shall be revealed. That’s my hope.

Love & Light,


10 Comments to Structure and freedom

  1. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    January 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    so interesting that these thoughts expressed above are brought about by the “dance” by Valerie Inertie! I can imagine how her mind and body are so bound that she must be in another dimension!

    • nicola's Gravatar nicola
      January 22, 2014 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your link to Valerie’s and Stephan’s artful presentation.
      Leave it to you to send a link with all the info. I had seen it before – without a mention of the artist and musician.
      Here is to another realm we know little about: In the fall when the many praying mantisses I had in my garden this year built their cocoons, they announced a heavy winter by building them unusually high off the ground. Then I wondered- now I know they knew an am utterly in awe.
      love nicola

  2. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    January 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps that is one path to meditation – moving to another dimension?

  3. Em's Gravatar Em
    January 26, 2014 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Hi Valeri –

    Just wondering … have you ever practiced kinhin?


  4. Em's Gravatar Em
    January 27, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Hi Valerie –

    I thought you might know about it. I like it because the slowness of the walking (heel-toe, heel-toe) brings me into a very settled space while still moving. I tend to only do it as part of group sittings, but you’re right – there’s no reason for me not to do it on my own.

    No, I’m not affiliated with Zenspace, just thought it had a nice explanation of Kinhin. It is a nice site though, yes?

    Which brings me to your last question: I live in California, and we’ve never met that I know of. However, I suspect we share the same 12-step food addiction program, so who knows when we may run into each other?! In the meantime, I feel a special sense of connectedness to you through your blog. So many issues we all face, so gracefully written. I’ve shared it with several of my fellows.

    Thank you for your service!

    – Em

  5. Em's Gravatar Em
    January 28, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I too feel a connectedness, and just really appreciate your perspective.

    I don’t get back East often, but if you’re ever in Northern California … !

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