09 September 2010

September 2010 Newsletter

September 9th is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. A time for renewal, Rosh Hashanah is also a time for reflection, for making amends, paying our debts, and changing our behavior in an on-going effort to become a better human being. The holiday is celebrated with apples and honey – with wishes for a sweet year ahead. Its observation also includes Tashlich – the casting of one’s sins upon the waters. (Usually this is done by emptying the lint or bread crumbs from one’s pockets into a body of running water.)

While the obvious theme for September would be “back to school,” I just couldn’t bring myself to write about anything quite so predictable. I admit to being tempted when I saw “chickens” listed as a September theme on a themes-by-the-month web site, but not everyone loves chickens as much as I do. Besides, how would I tie chickens into organizing advice? But renewal, that’s an easy fit.

Anyone who knows me knows that I encourage clients to live a conscious, examined life, and that I believe the greatest advantage to being organized is that it allows us to share our gifts toward making the world a bit more lovely and whole. Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to look at ourselves – our behavior, beliefs, and belongings – and to make changes. If a behavior, belief, or belonging is bringing you down – if it does not support your highest good – let it go like bread crumbs cast upon the water.

And then make amends to yourself. The saying goes that “amends is changed behavior.” Take a look at what you’ve chosen to release. How did it come into your life in the first place? What was your part in bringing it in? What can you do differently the next time you’re in a similar situation? And how will acting differently improve you and/or your life?

I was reflecting the other day on the cycle of life. Walking along, seeing the bushes lining the trail laden with blackberries, I started thinking about the sequence of the seasons, how the blackberries will be gone soon, followed by barren trees and winter rains, and then the plum blossoms will arrive, then asparagus, then… And the plants and foods cycle through each year, but why? Why do they, and we, continue on year after year after year? To live. Perhaps there’s more to it than that – I’d like to think so – but from a purely biological perspective, life perpetuates for the sake of living.

And so, our lives come full circle. Here’s my favorite honey-and-apples recipe, with wishes to all of you for a sweet new year!

Lukshen Kugel

Boil 8 ounces of wide egg noodles until just tender. Drain, butter, and set aside.

2 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (fresh)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Add in
1/2 cup raisins
2 to 3 peeled, cored, and chopped apples

Mix noodles in with the cheese/fruit.

Add the whole kit and caboodle to a well-buttered 9 x 13 pyrex.

Crumble about 1 cup’s worth of (organic!) Corn Flakes over the top.

Bake at 375 for 35 to 45 minutes.

Tip of the Month:
Designate one day of the week as a money-free day, a day when you don’t spend any money. Not only can this help reduce your expenses, it can minimize the stuff you bring into your life. Also, having one day each week on which you spend no money encourages you to be more aware (and creative) about how you are spending your time. (Thanks to my sister Jessica for this idea!)

Quotes of the Month
"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go out and do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
– Howard Thurman

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the "atomic age" -- as in being able to remake ourselves."
– Mahatma Gandhi

"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave."
– Dakota proverb

"May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being."
– Apache Blessing

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