Love Our Mother Earth

2016-09-28-flight-to-edmonton-30-annie-zalezsak-wp

Our Mother Earth cradles us,
upholds life,
provides our every need.
Her boundless love
contains us,
sustains us,
despite our growing greed.

Like rebellious children
her boundaries we test;
yet by her unconditional love
and providence, we are blessed.

Please stop poking and prodding her.
Give back her dignity.
Surrender to HER rights.
Let her rest.
Let her heal.
Let her BE.

Love Our Mother Earth © November 26, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak
(Inspired by the Pray for Standing Rock worldwide synchronized events, specifically the meditation held at the Pandosy Peace Centre in Kelowna.)

Going Minimalist

Having relocated many times over the years, I tend toward a minimalist philosophy. With each move, I determine what possessions I value most, and let go of the rest.

I have rare moments of “whatever happened to that…?” but I don’t yearn to repossess anything I gave away. Life is so much easier with less.

When I stay in one place awhile, I accumulate again. (I come from a long line of pack rats!) I get to a point when clearing the excess feels necessary for my sense of peace.

Here’s how I assess what stays…

1. I LOVE it! It’s ‘me’. It resonates with my soul and the person I want to be in this world.

2. It brings me JOY! I want everything I own to make me happy. No point in keeping things that don’t.

3. It’s MEANINGFUL. Association with a happy memory is good. A gift I don’t like or use, and keep out of guilt, evokes discomfort. Not good.

3. I USE it. It’s practical and makes my life easier.

Here’s how I determine what goes…

1. It’s served its PURPOSE with me. If the reason I got it has long since passed or my situation has changed, it can move on to live a new, fulfilling life with someone else.

2. I won’t MISS it. If I haven’t thought about the item for the last few months, I don’t need to continue paying for the space to store it.

2016.05.10 Stuff for Fort McMurray (4) WP3. Someone else NEEDS it. There are people in dire need of stuff that is sitting here doing nothing in my life.

For me, the Fort McMurray wildfire motivated me to haul out brand new (still tagged) clothes I bought on sale over the years (but didn’t quite fit into, yet!). Six bins full.

The things we redundantly hoard can make a world of difference to someone else.

Going minimalist is not about living without stuff. It’s about consciously choosing to surround ourselves with the best of what we love. And that is what make us feel rich.


Going Minimalist © May 11, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up

Over three years ago, I had the most astounding experience of my life.

Facing my own mortality, I knew that if I could tell just one story, this was the book I had to write. I self-published We Are One Blood: Honouring the Body’s Right to Heal Itself.

And then, I went back to my day job.

Last week, I saw Anita Moorjani, author of Dying to Be Me,  give a talk in Kelowna, BC. In her book, she details her healing from stage four cancer following an extraordinary near death experience.

I related to Anita’s description of the aftermath. How does one go back to ‘normal life’ after such an experience? She, too, had fears of judgment and while she wanted to share her magnificent story of the truths she’d experienced firsthand, she was a bit shy about revealing her full identity. No one wants to be mocked, called ‘delirious’, or disappoint people in respected circles.

She laughs about it now, as she stands on the stage in utter, admirable confidence, firmly voicing what she knows for a fact, because she lived it.

Anita isn’t out to convince anyone, and neither am I. But people are clearly curious, and comforted to learn about what lies beyond death.

During my near death experience, the veil to the spirit world was lifted. Communication with the other side became easier for me. Facilitating conversations with spirit for others came naturally. I felt completely and utterly called to help people in this way.

While physically and emotionally recovering (and in need of rent money), I focused my energy on my reliable profession, an arena that requires certain boundaries that don’t include woo-woo.

Anita’s recent talk has given me fresh courage to come out of that professionally-suppressed closet, and proclaim “I see dead people”.

I’m now peeling off those thin layers of fear that have accrued over the last three years. Dear public, I am ready.

Thank you, Anita Moorjani, for demonstrating your courage, expressing your voice, and reminding me why it’s so vital I stand up now and present the real me to this world.

2016.04.24 Anita Moorjani & Annie Zalezsak at Kelowna Community Theatre

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up © April 29, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak

Surprises on February 29

Woodpecker determinedly
pecking at the grass,
insistently, consistently,
not bothered as I pass.

Snow still covers mountains,
but sunshine heats my face;
spring is surely dawning,
I’m in my happy place.

Pot belly pig pet
with landlord on the lead
sniffling, snorting, shuffling
on a downtown street.

Collard-coloured classic car
rumbling rudely by
with a skeleton passenger
that challenges my eye.

Yellow crocus breaking through
ground frozen just before.
Life looks much brighter now.
I expect to see some more.

Surprises of a leap year day
charm me to deny
the dust of snow on first of March.
It’s nothing but a lie.

Surprises on February 29 © March 1, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak

Who I Am vs What I Do

Photo credit: Law Alan, 9720669, 123rf.com

It seems that the busier I get with work, the more I lose touch with who I am. Even when I really enjoy my job and identify with a shared corporate mission, I feel like my true self is taking a back seat.

I fall into bad habits: laziness and food addiction. I give so much of myself to the company all week, I want to be pampered as compensation. On weekends, I nap during back-to-back movies. I munch on chips and chocolate, and have dinner delivered.

Then I feel guilty, because I’m not really DOing anything with my time off. I beat myself up for making unhealthy choices.

And that’s not who I am.

In current society, it’s acceptable to gauge what we DO with a higher value than who we ARE. We’re expected to do things that have a (sometimes arbitrary) financial figure attached to it. This further translates into possessions we own as a marker of our value in society.

What we contribute through doing, is greatly impacted by who we are being.

Who I am, is more about the qualities inherent in my soul. Despite my physical or mental capacities, or what I choose to do moment-by-moment, these traits remain everlasting.

So today onward, “I am” is my mantra for hitting the reset button when I get lost in the forest of DOing. I am convinced that by continuously asking myself, “Who am I?”, I can ensure I am consciously realigning with my life purpose as I veer and stray off the path of the intentional life I desire to live.

Who I Am vs What I Do © February 21, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak

Be or Do

Photo: rdonar | 123rf.com

The ‘spiritual path’ seems to focus on being. Some take that to mean the absence of doing; others view it as meditation, or being mindful (present-moment awareness) in the midst of any action.

“I am a human being, not a human doing. …
If you are what you do, then when you don’t… you aren’t.”
— Dr. Wayne Dyer

While I understand this well, there are things that I can experience as a human being, that involves doing. All kinds of doing. And there’s so much I want to do.

In fact, sometimes I’m overwhelmed by all the doing that I want to fit in. The fun kind of doing. I want to travel, paint, dance, write, swim, and go to qi gong classes.

Then there’s the doing that I have to do, in order that I may be. Work, bathe, eat. Sometimes, all I want to do is the bare bones basics.

… you will never get it done.  — Abraham-Hicks

Ain’t that the truth. Even if you tick off every item on your bucket list, there are endless options to add on.

For me, life is not a choice between being or doing. It’s not even about balance between the two.

My spiritual path feels more like I’m ‘accepting’. Relaxing into each moment, whatever is happening (or not), and making the best of it.

Be or Do © November 20, 2015 | Annie Zalezsak

Beliefs and Behaviour

Sometimes, I don’t know what I believe until I have to voice it.

But louder than my voice, are my actions. Before I am even consciously aware of what I believe deep down, the obvious is stated in my day-to-day behaviours. Observers may see more clearly, what I barely acknowledge in myself.

Beliefs are often unconscious. I’m especially disconnected from beliefs underlying my worst habits. I succumb to unpredictable behaviours that contradict my conscious intentions.

Identifying and changing my core beliefs (in order to change my outcomes) seems like a lot of hard, deep-digging work.

So, for now, if I catch myself sabotaging:

  • I accept it, forgive myself, and move on;
  • I’m honest with myself about the benefits I got from this; and
  • I reflect on what I can do better next time.

Beliefs shift slowly. Human behaviour takes time to evolve.

Patience.

Beliefs and Behaviour © November 18, 2015 | Annie Zalezsak