Toil or Dream

Photo credit: Annie Zalezsak

I’m aware it’s nearly a year since my last post. I got caught up in the day job. In October, I was drawn back into reading spiritually uplifting books. Today, I read (the first stanza of) this poem, and it asked me to return to writing here.

The Cry of the Dreamer

by John Boyle O’Reilly

 I am tired of planning and toiling
 In the crowded hives of men;
 Heart-weary of building and spoiling,
 And spoiling and building again.
 And I long for the dear old river,
 Where I dreamed my youth away;
 For a dreamer lives forever,
 And a toiler dies in a day.

There’s this tendency I have to become so work-oriented, I forget that what truly nourishes my life and soul is creative activity. While I’m fortunate enough to enlist creativity in my job, I forget and neglect that my soul craves something deeper, someplace meaningful to linger on a regular basis, and give my personal reflections a safe place to flow.

This is where I planned to do (at least some of) that. I now acknowledge this is more than a frivolous past-time; it’s a downright need.

I welcome myself back.

Toil or Dream © December 6, 2017 | 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

Who I Am vs What I Do

Photo credit: Law Alan, 9720669,

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 |

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

Lucky Escape

Photo credit: Kushnirov Avraham, Dreamstime.comIn my previous post, I wrote about a job that arrived at virtually the same time that I was given the opportunity of free office space to test trial some new business ideas.

The old, fearful me, took the job with optimism, knowing that “in this economic climate” (yada, yada) I ought to have a secure stream of income. I shoved doubts to the back of my mind. I looked for only the bright side, and reminded myself constantly to focus on the essential money I’d be earning.

On my fourth day, after receiving a blatantly revealing (negative) email from my predecessor (about how the employer had not paid him for two months), I had severe doubts about the employer. It occurred to me that they may not pay me either. Since I did not have a contract, no letter of employment, not even a time sheet as evidence, I began to worry that this company was dodgy. It also began playing on my mind that I’d noticed the office girl bending the truth to people over the phone.

On my fifth day, I walk in, and sure enough, I’m told, “It’s not working out”.

The universe had presented me with two options: the old path of taking a job (that probably wasn’t really right for me), and support in starting a new venture (with the risk of the ‘unknown’ and all possibilities at my feet). I took the easy path as my priority.

Today, the universe just slapped me in the face and said: “Wrong choice. But we’re giving you another chance.” This time, I have to make it work. I have this office space. I have support. I have to do this.

I guess it really does matter that you do what’s really right for you. Because if it isn’t right for you, it isn’t right for them, either.

In mild desperation, I pulled one of Cheryl Richardson‘s grace cards. I got Patience: “Trust in Divine timing. Your future holds something far greater than your past.”

I’m considering this “job loss” a lucky escape. Watch now, as I leap into the unknown Abyss!

Highest Good for All Concerned

For about 4 months, I’ve been pounding the pavement daily, looking for an income opportunity. With few jobs in my area (much less any that relate to my field of expertise) I was pretty much open to anything. I’m not adverse to starting at the bottom to learn a new trade. I actually did 9 courses in this time, all relevant to the hospitality industry. I did a work trial at a popular coffee shop chain. I was especially keen to get into community work and applied for anything and everything I felt capable of doing.

Nothing. Nada. There were quite a few jobs, too, further afield, that my skills and experience completely fit. No go. This left me very confused. What do employers want?

Secretly, I did believe that the Universe knows best. That, in its own time, it would find the perfect role for me. No matter what it looked like, what the tasks were, where it was located, or what the job title was, I would trust that the Universe would orchestrate the right meeting at the right time, for all those involved.

A series of coincidences led to me find out about a job I may not otherwise have spotted, or even applied for if I had spotted it. It was one I thought, sounds okay, may as well apply. (This was in contrast to others where I thought: “Yah! I want this!”) I didn’t hear back for a while, and forgot about it. Some weeks passed. Got an email for an interview. Was very excited all of a sudden. By the day of the interview, though, I let go of any attachment to the outcome. I figured, what happens, happens. Instead of dressing to impress, I wore what reflected ‘me’. I went in thinking: I’m just meeting some new people, learning about their company, and what happens, well, I trust it will be for the best.

The interview flowed fantastically. I got really excited about the prospects. I left with my mind racing about all the wonderful things I could do at this company. I felt 99.9% certain that the job was mine. They said they’d call within the next few days. I was on pins and needles.

No call. Weeks passed. I was now certain I didn’t get the job, and perplexed why not. Every now and again, I’d have to air my confusion to people. “I just don’t get it?!”

Then, almost a month later, I was invited for a second interview, and straight away, offered the job. On reflection, I realize there were reasons for the delay, on both sides, but not ones that made clear sense at the time.

For example, several days before this, I was given the privilege of using an office space for the purpose of developing my own business ideas. Had I got the job sooner, I may not have pursued the office space. Now, I have both opportunities on a part-time basis!

This truly is for the highest good of all concerned. In the coming months (and in future posts), I will be writing more that is bound to confirm this!