Our redemption comes from another direction. The first step is to look within, to recognize our own interior "Grinch thoughts" that act as a thief in the night. These self-critical, self-doubting beliefs end up robbing us of our birthright to live freely as we are.
Whether it's tea or anything else you can find to wake up, I believe that we need all the weapons available to fight distraction. Distraction keeps us from living fully and making a real difference in the world.
The fall, when the long hard labor of the growing and reaping seasons is finally finished and when the storehouses are as full as they will ever be, is an especially appropriate time to begin the year.
Those who seek power have understood the political punch of myth and ritual. They have always manipulated these central components of social life to further their interests -- and none of this changes during the Holidays.
President Obama has become our national scapegoat. Americans are good at exorcising demons, in order to affirm our inherent goodness, but we find it terribly difficult to look directly at ourselves in the mirror.