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


The Key

Ito Jakuchu, Edo Era Japan painting - red maple leaves


“We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.”

How many times have I heard this read? Nearly a thousand times. And yet, as I read it aloud yesterday during a morning 12-step meeting for food addiction, I was so startled I had to stop to catch my breath.

Immediately, I thought of my walk with Miranda-the-labradoodle earlier that same morning.

Gregory was in North Carolina, so when I was getting ready to leave the house at 5:00am to walk Miss M, I pulled out our spare key on its pink scrunchy bracelet. locked the front door, and put the bracelet on my wrist.

By 5:30 we were almost home and I realized the bracelet was gone. It was still dark. My neighbors were still asleep. My house was locked. No one else was home. My sponsees would start calling at 6:00. I had no key.

Miranda and I began to retrace our steps. I was scanning the ground, admittedly finding myself looking more thoroughly in the lit places under street-lamps than in the darkest spots.

We arrived at the very darkest area. I could not see a thing, but this was Miranda’s favorite poop spot. It felt like our last chance. I looked and looked. Nothing.

Finally, I prayed. “Dear G-d, please help me.”

Suddenly I felt something under my right foot. My numb right foot. My foot that barely understands that it’s standing on the ground. I thought, “That’s not a twig.”

It was the key!

Glory Hallelujah!

I said, “Thank you, G-d,” all the way home.

We arrived at the house. I opened the door, took off my coat, put away Miranda’s leash, looked at the clock and it was exactly 6:00am. The phone rang for my first sponsee call of the morning.

I love these little miracles. They are part of what’s delightful about my experience in my 12-step program. It’s delightful to be in a right size body. It’s delightful to be in a fellowship of wonderful people. It’s delightful to watch others as the weight drops off and they become happy and free. There are so many small miracles every day that are delightful.

And then there are epiphanies.

“We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.”

I asked for help. For myself. From a Higher Power. With complete abandon. I was not asking for someone else. I was not minimizing my need or justifying it. I was not bargaining or making promises. It was simple. I kept it simple. “Dear G-d, please help me.”

I was looking for the key. And I found the key. To ask for help… with complete abandon.

Love & Light,


Image: Ito Jakuchu, Edo Era Japan painting – red maple leaves

10 Comments to The Key

  1. Sissy's Gravatar Sissy
    October 19, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    And to find things that were there all along…


  2. October 19, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Grace happens

  3. Myra TAte's Gravatar Myra TAte
    October 19, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    This morning my oatmeal ran over the pot and left a huge black spot on one of the burners. I was angry with myself for not watching the oatmeal cooking. I was busy running hither and yon to get all the things I needed for breakfast, including the book I am reading. I tossed both tops of the burner into the soapy water I had prepared. After breakfast I began to wash my dishes, and I couldn’t find the part of the burner that had the enormous black spot on it. My housekeeper had cleaned the house yesterday evening and as I searched for the top of the burner, I began to blame Reina for it’s loss. I was sure she had tossed it away by mistake. Since I had been a bit cross with her because a few things had been chipped, I was about to call it quits, when I lifted up a potholder and there was the top of the burner. It made me realize how much Reina does for me, and what a loss it would be if I didn’t have her help. And how easy it is to blame others for one’s own mistakes. I almost lost something that makes my life easier. A few tiny chips that no one sees, I can live with. But I couldn’t do without Reina.

  4. Em's Gravatar Em
    October 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Valerie –

    Just came across your site, and am inspired!

    Am enjoying reading some of your back posts, getting caught up with your story and gleaning insights into my own 12 step food addiction program (which I suspect may be the same as yours). This post in particular spoke to me as someone who still struggles with the concept of a Higher Power.

    Looking forward to reading more, learning more, sharing more. Sent the link around to several fellows already: “Check this out!”

    So … thank you for your service!

  5. Myra TAte's Gravatar Myra TAte
    October 26, 2013 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    New friends are wonderful!

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