Sunday, December 27, 2009

Finding the Light in the Darkness

So here we are in the season of light...just newly passed through the winter solstice when we experienced the shortest day and the longest night and from here on the days will be getting longer ever so still feels quite dark to me...and cold and damp thanks to our recent heavy snowfall. In the midst of the holiday season and in many different celebrations of light one cannot ignore the impulse to go within to celebrate or even find the source of light. For me the source of light in the darkness is also the source of think of fire in any shape or form which brings warmth and usually the feeling of comfort. Perhaps the warmth also helps us to thaw out the cold places within us as well as helping us to be more pliable and flexible as opposed to being stiff and rigid. Being flexible obviously helps us in accomplishing our goals because it helps us to see outside the box. Being flexible is being open and able to grow and stretch our minds and hearts beyond our present state of status quo, quite possibly giving us the ability to change and let go of our preconceived thoughts and habits. It is exciting to embrace this time of year as we look back on the year and our accomplishments as well as looking ahead to plan and shape the year ahead simultaneuosly searching and finding the light within and the light without. Interesting and very compelling time of year.

My dear friend Nancy friend emailed me a forward about a week ago titled HANDBOOK 2010. I don't know the source or who to credit for it but I'm going to copy it here. It is broken down into 4 sections and I'm going to do a section at a time starting with the section on HEALTH. So here goes:

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the three E's--Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 min walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

For anyone still up for some holiday baking....I have a great recipe to share. This was given to me last year by one of my patients. It was copied from the cookbook The Peaceful Palate.
This recipe is like finding the light in the darkness. These cookies seem so rich and decadent yet they have only three ingredients, pecans, pitted dates and orange peel. No sugar, no butter and no flour!!!! and they are absolutely delicious.

Pecan Drops
makes 30 1-inch cookies

2 cups pecans
1 tsp finely grated orange peel
1 cup pitted moist dates
30 pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 325. F. Grind the pecans and orange peel in a food processor until the pecans are coarsely chopped. Add the dates and process until everything is uniformly mixed and a ball of dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet; they will not spread so they can be placed close together. Press a pecan half onto the top of each.

Place the baking sheet in the upper third of the oven to prevent the bottoms from burning. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned.

Enjoy the cookies and the rest of the holiday festivities!
Check in soon for the next installment of HANDBOOK 2010.

Click here for the printable version of this recipe!