Daily Archives: December 3, 2010

The New American Spirituality Book Review

First–I don’t know why yesterday’s post on candy canes was not posted…but you can read it below today.  Sorry about that!  Now, back to business…

I do not consider myself a religious person.  I have a religion, but my religion does not define who I am.  I like to think of myself as a spiritual person, someone who is on a soul-driven journey to learn all I can about life and death, love and loss, and growing and healing.  I have tried for years to find this through my religion…to find answers and guidance through the wisdom of the stories passed down to me from my ancestors…but there seems to be something standing in my way.  I cannot connect to Judaism the way others can, the way my family can.  It feels like I’m hearing the words, but not listening…I’m looking at the answer, but not seeing it.  This has been my own personal battle for years…and one I was finally able to come to terms with last week.

The New American Spirituality:  A Seeker’s Guide, by Elizabeth Lesser, is a book for those who need spiritual guidance.  It presented me with a path to help lead me back to myself, my core, my heart.

Through personal anecdotes and meditations, Lesser leads the reader on a journey through the soul, starting from the outside and working inward.  She teaches the reader how to love oneself, how to let go of anger and resentment, and how to heal and cope when life gets you (or a loved one) down.

If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss, at a crossroad, or at a point in your life where you felt confused emotionally or spiritually, this is the book for you.  Lesser mixes lessons she’s learned from countless religions and teachers to help lead the reader on a journey of the spirit.  As a reader I found comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only one who was experiencing this separation from my core, this disconnection between my soul and my heart.

As the New Year begins, let this book be a guide to helping you find yourself or reconnect with what is important to you.  As Lesser says, “May you remember who you are.  May you awaken.  May we all awaken.”

NEXT WEEK:  Four people, four stories, four souls on a journey…

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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7 Clever Uses for Candy Canes

Nothing quite says “Christmas is coming so you better get a frickin large head start on your baking” like seeing boxes upon boxes of candy canes everywhere you shop.  Granted they look beautiful on the tree, but then what do you do with them once the tree comes down?  I will give you fair warning now that storing them with your other Christmas decor is not the best idea.  I did this once and opened my box of decorations only to find that the candy had melted everywhere (but my decorations smelled amazing!)  😉  So don’t save them or toss them…put them to use!  Here are some great ideas for your candy cane dilemma.

Use them as gift trim.  Tie them on the package or give someone all they need to make your famous peppermint hot cocoa, peppermint scones, or peppermint bark.

Crush them up to top ice cream, chocolate covered marshmallows, cakes, and much more.

On that note, there are hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of recipes involving candy canes.  If you can’t pawn them off in candy form, perhaps baking them into a treat will help you get rid of them.

If you’re looking to get rid of your peppermint sticks, bring an old artificial tree to work and hang the candy canes from the tree.  Give a shout out to your employees that they’re free for the taking and watch them disappear.

Use an old coffee can and hot glue candy canes, curved side out, around the can.  The curve can be on the top or bottom, your choice.  Each variation will give you a very different look.  Fill with red flowers and you can leave it out all the way until Valentine’s Day.

Keep mini candy canes in your purse.  They will help suppress hunger and can calm a sour tummy (so, wait…does that mean I can eat all the peppermint bark I want and I won’t get sick?  WIN!).

Peppermint Martini?  You’ll need one after watching this video.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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