Touching the Truth

At the beginning of 2011, Jacqui Cullen and Annie Zed went to Portugal for a holiday. Being completely in the moment, guided by signs and following intuition, they experienced greater life clarity than it is possible to articulate.

The year since has brought deeper connection and alignment with that which we truly are. Now, Jacqui and Annie are offering a nurturing space in which others can also experience this astounding shift into clarity.

Touching the Truth is about total acceptance of the moment:
who, where and what you are NOW in the context of the Universe.

Spend 7 days as a member of our Clarity Tribe in Praia da Rocha on the Algarve in Portugal.

There is no itinerary, there is no map. Together, we will flow harmoniously with nature’s signals as ancient tribes have always done.

We will reconnect with the True Essence of our BEing. There is no work, and nothing that must be done. It is staying present to the moment and authentically sitting with what feels most right.

Stay in a 4 star hotel with indoor spa and pool.

Walk with us on pristine beaches and feel the freedom shine.

Join us, Annie Zed and Jacqui Cullen.

Annie Zalezsak and Jacqui Cullen

The cost is £525 per person for 7 nights at a 4 star hotel a short distance from the beach and main strip. There will be 2 people sharing a twin bed room, and for this reason, this trip is open to women only. The hotel provides breakfast. Flights from London Stansted to Faro, 1 standard hold and 1 carry on baggage, and transfers to Praia da Rocha are also included. We depart Saturday the 3rd of March 2012 and return Saturday the 10th. Lunch and dinner are not included, so you will need additional spending money for this and any other purchases you may choose to make.

Although you may spend your time as you wish (on your own or with the group), we do feel you would get a much better experience in a group situation. 

There are 6 places available. (We are keeping the group to a total of 8 including ourselves.) Contact Jacqui on 0208 502 3169 to book your place as soon as possible. Full payment is required by Sunday the 8th of January.

Early bird special. Book now and pay by 11th of December to receive a £100 discount. Pay only £425.

For more details or to book online, visit our website at touchingthetruth.com.

Stepping Stones

Photo credit: Mindy Chung Wai Meng, Dreamstime.com

We try to control our lives. With every choice we make, we agonize over what will be the best. We’ll imagine entire scenarios well into the future, filled with hazards and mistakes. Likewise, we may picture unreasonably fantastic success. Either way, the likelihood is, it won’t pan out anything like you fear or hope for.

So, we straddle the stepping stones. We keep one foot here, as we step there, and don’t commit to either. Just in case. We can’t let go of the past, for fear of the unknown future. Yet we bounce between the two, back and forth, and forget to live in the Now.

There are so many influencing factors that we simply don’t have to hand right now, and therefore we can’t calculate into the equation. Try as we might, there is no right or wrong about any of it. We have to take the next step. Trust that the next bit of information we need to take the following step will be presented to us. And then we can take the next step after that.

Planning, setting goals, and making the ‘right’ choices in advance is like trying to predict the lottery. Imagine trying to select the winning numbers as if your life depended on it. How stressful would that be? It’s an impossible task. Similarly, trying to predict our future, or what is the best decision, is pretty much futile. We actually don’t know how it will turn out.

We just have to decide. Take action. And build life step-by-step, trusting that each stepping stone will ultimately take us to a good place. And enjoy every stepping stone along the way!

Stepping Stones © September 14, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak

Two Suitcases

Photo credit: Les Palenik, Dreamstime.com

If my life had to fit into two suitcases — what would I take?

People who have to leave a place in a hurry due to some tragic event (war, fire, earthquake) don’t get to choose how to fill two suitcases. They take themselves and loved ones. All possessions in that moment have no value whatsoever. In that split second they realize who they are is all they’ve got, and anything else is either replaceable, or can in fact be survived without.

Imagine having plenty of time to decide, but just two suitcases to fill. What would you choose?

My biggest dilemmas include:

  • my mother’s brown and gold striped glassware set
  • 300 CDs I hardly ever play
  • heavy boxes full of photos I have not looked at since I got my first digital camera
  • books I love and think I might read again
  • Christmas ornaments that make a brief appearance in December
  • childhood toys I have stored for decades.

Perhaps all I really need are practical clothes for this season.

Do I have to get rid of any of it?

Maybe not today; but eventually — yes. Possessions drag us down. Any memory associated with an object, lingers. If the item triggers bad memories of people or times we want to move on from, it’s highly advisable to let it go.

Denise Linn (space clearing and feng shui author) says that when considering whether to keep or let go of an item, ask yourself:

“Does this pick my energy up? Does it take it down? Or is it neutral?”

“Does this fit who I am? Does this fit who I desire to be in the future?”

“Will the freedom I gain by getting rid of this object outweigh any possible regrets I may have about parting with it?”

Things we think we are keeping for a very good reason, are actually blocking us from the life we most want.

Happiest With Next to Nothing

In 1991, I packed two suitcases and got on a bus from Toronto, Ontario with the intention of staying the summer in Regina, Saskatchewan. The freedom I found in big sky country made me stay. I used to think it was because of the friendly easy-going people, and the slower pace.

But maybe it was because I went there with only 2 suitcases of stuff. I had the freedom to move easily. My slate was clean and fresh. Nothing I owned defined me. I could be and become whom and whatever I wanted.

Like Denise Linn points out, we have to ask ourselves:

“Do you own these things, or do they own you?”

If, somewhere along the line, the role is reversed and possessions prevent us from being who we are and doing what we want, when we want, then we are enslaved by them. In order to be free, we must release all possessions that imprison us with mental attention, with burden on the body, or with heaviness of spirit.

If objects are not useful or uplifting, release them. Enable them to fulfill that purpose elsewhere.

Two Suitcases © September 6, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak

Keep or Throw?

Photo credit: Evgenia82, Dreamstime.comThe best room in the house has this habit of being the catch-all for clutter. Things that are in transition — perhaps used occasionally, but not particularly valued enough to have its own dedicated place – go here. Why the best room? It’s the most convenient one, just as you come in the front door. It gets the best sunlight. It has the nicest carpet and soothing coloured walls. Originally, it was meant to be my peaceful, retreat-from-the-world room. It all went wrong. And ever since it did, it’s been extremely challenging to re-harness control.

When it’s time, it’s time. I forced myself to tackle it. I managed to relinquish four huge bagfuls to charity. I set aside a few items my friends might want, and a pile for the boot sale.

The most important process was choosing things I definitely want to keep for the longterm. Those things I will take far and wide, and pay good money to ship, wherever I roam.

The challenge here was differentiating these from the items that I don’t really want or have a use for, but somehow feel I should keep. Reasons range from: “it was a gift and reminds me of that person”, to: “it cost a lot of money and no one will value it for the price I paid”.

Addressing these issues is quite a mental-versus-emotional battle. On the one hand, my relationships are with people, not the items they give me. Does the object really represent the relationship? If I don’t use it, if it actually becomes something of a burden to house, move, carry, does it truly honour the relationship? Mock it? Resent it?

And if it was an object I paid a lot of money for, but no longer value or appreciate, does it matter really if anyone else does? Am I not just continuing to pay dearly, over and over, for that same no-longer-cherished item?

Reframe the mind to see that holding on to things that are no longer absolutely loved (just in case they may prove useful at some later stage) energetically bogs us down. By releasing the object into the big wide world, we are allowing it to live out its own potential and destiny to be loved and utilized by someone else. True enough, it could wind up in a rubbish tip. But once out of our hands, we must fully let go on all levels. Imagine and trust that wherever it winds up, it will ultimatly be the best possible place for it and whomever comes into contact with it!

Keep or Throw? © September 2, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak

When It’s Time to Move

Photo credit: Simon Krzic, Dreamstime.com

We move for many reasons. Sometimes, we’re running away from something we don’t want. Other times, we’re running towards something we do want. Either way, the impulse to move is a call for change. It’s the closing of one chapter and the starting fresh of a new sentence. We may not have a clue where it will lead, but we know when we know, that it’s time to move on.

And move on, we must, because:

“Why, why are people all balls of bitter dust? Because they won’t fall off the tree when they’re ripe. They hang on to their old positions when the position is over-past, till they become infested with little worms and dry-rot.”
— D.H. Lawrence (Women in Love)

Muscles that are not used in taking action will atrophy. If we have reached a degree of fulfillment of our potential in a certain environment, and there’s not much space left or room to grow (in the way that our desires imagine it), then it’s imperative we seek out a place where we can thrive, expand, and stretch.

When the impulse to move hits, try as we might to suppress it, we’ll feel unsettled until finally, finally, we admit that this is what we wanted all along. The fear of an unknown outcome, the comfortable clinging to the safety zone, eventually becomes like the suffocating cocoon. Break out, or die. We realize that if we don’t go forward, we’re going backward.

“If not now, when?”
— Hillel the Elder

Sometimes, getting ‘ready’ for The Move can take decades. Like a fledgling, it may take a push from the nest before the courage to fly is summoned.

“… the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Once we decide — really decide — and fully commit ourselves to a move (whatever that move may be), then the universe orchestrates itself to support that decision. Circumstances show up. If we waffle, so will the universe. If we focus steadfastly, then we will achieve our desired outcome. It may not be in the same timescale or packaging that we expect; but it will be undoubtedly the best ‘big picture’ outcome.

When It’s Time to Move © August 13, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak

Gratitude

I used to work with the notion of gratitude… feeling that if I focused on this, things would somehow be better. What I then realised was that being grateful for both good and bad experiences wasn’t necessary. It’s a bit like being positive when all around is falling apart!

I have taught Positive Thinking for about ten years now and I still see its worth today. But like gratitude, sometimes we just have to put up our hands and acknowledge that we feel c**p… because we do. And most times, even if we try to be positive or grateful we end up suppressing the truth of our feelings.

When we are being grateful, we are making a judgement that something is either good or bad. If we could let go of the judgement and see it as just ‘experience’, then we will know freedom from suffering.

Human Defrag

Photo credit: Thorsten, Dreamstime.comLife immersed in modern society reaches a tipping point of overwhelm. Holidays, retreats and “time outs” serve briefly; but on return to the rat race, the mind scatters, the body feels battered and the soul just about shatters.

Suppose (like computers) we ran “defrag” programs on ourselves. This would delete all superfluous preoccupation. It would prioritize vital information. It would clear blocks of space. We’d operate efficiently.

This is my third day of feeling like I’m going through a human “defrag”. Here’s what it’s been like so far:

Day One

Mentally, I’m exhausted. There’s this dull headache I can’t get rid of. I’m not thinking of anything much. My head is in a blur. I feel annoyed about pretty much everything, and unable to focus. I want to escape. I lie in bed most of the day. Not sleeping; just avoiding any encounter of any person, thing, or thought.

Day Two

Feeling more alert, but still not interested in interacting with anyone or going anywhere. Seeking meaningful inspiration. Wanting to watch any and every old fairytale-type film and dig for the lessons and meanings behind these repeating stories. Come to the realization that every story is the same: triumph over struggle. Noticing repeating patterns and messages about choices, forks in the road, regrets, going back and putting it right. Wondering how it all relates to my life, but not really connecting the dots.

Day Three

Muzzy head is back, along with a dicky tummy. Pushing myself to do stuff, but not altogether “with it”. Feels like major stuff is continuing to process on all levels, but still no absolute clue what it’s all about. I don’t think I could be trusted to do anything important today, or complete it well. Lacking in patience. Just want to sit and do nothing, and if you know me, you’ll know how inconceivable that is.

Overall

Tomorrow (and the rest of the week) are busy, planned days. I’m certain I’ll cope okay. I just don’t feel fully integrated, transformed, or evolved, yet. I feel like I’m still in a chrysalis stage. I wonder: during the chrysalis stage, does the butterfly know it’s going to become a butterfly? It feels like that next thing is that Big. I don’t yet know what it’s all about. The Universe tends to operate on a “need to know basis”. I guess “time will tell”!

Human Defrag © August 1, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak

Pay Attention to Intuition

Photo credit: Freeze, Dreamstime.comWe get so caught up in the influences of our friends, family and community, we often ignore our gut instincts. Humans have intuition for a reason. It’s our “early warning system” there to guide us to safety and that which is for our highest good. When the facts stack up one way, and intuition blares the opposite, always go with intuition.

Many people will agree in theory; but how often do we practice following intution? Modern society has taught us to invest in logic over instinct; much to our detriment, in many cases. The more we act predictably and logically, the more we find ourselves in a hamster wheel. It’s safe. It may even be fun. But it goes nowhere, fast.

We have to stop. Sit silently. Tune in to the heart. Hear it speak. Sure enough, it has words for us; or at the very least, a feeling. A hunch. If we stay loyal to it, all is as it should be.

If we don’t, we will perpetuate a pattern, again and again; a habit that is challenging to break. We’ll repeat responses, create the same outcomes over and over, and learn nothing.

If we pay full attention to our intuition, chances are we will be, act or do differently. This will instigate a new outcome. Perhaps it’s what our higher self was calling us to become all along.

Pay Attention to Intuition © July 14, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak

Shifting

Photo credit: FlexFlex, Dreamstime.comI sit in a place of in between. No longer attached to the past; not yet ready for the new. Patiently waiting for what, I do not know. All the old structures have crumbled, no longer able to sustain themselves. Everything I thought I was, revealed as illusion. Where do I go to next?  I feel like I am in a state of life between lives. That place after death: the waiting room; waiting to take on the next role.

A strange situation it is, too. I am here, but at the same time not here. Part of this place, but also strangely removed from it. Family and friends gone, disappeared as though they never existed. It’s as though I have been picked up and placed in another setting, another play. A play not yet revealed. It’s not a scary place, but a strange place; like I’m in a foreign world observing the natives, trying to grasp their language, their rules for life, even. I feel like an intruder, as if I don’t belong; which I no longer do.

I’m not who I was, but as yet not who I am.

Equality and Inequality

Photo credit: Rossco, Dreamstime.comA lottery winner, despite sharing some of his winnings with friends and family, rapidly becomes excluded and even abused by his community. The winnings feel like a curse. He has to leave the life he’s always known, due to his ‘good fortune’.

It’s not as uncommon as story as you might think. In fact, I’ve often wondered why acquiring success, sudden fame or fortune, leaves a person outcast, begrudged, or even excluded from the community that previously loved and supported him.

I have been in environments where people were genuinely very happy for those who did well. I’ve also experienced environments where I felt people had to ‘play small’ in order to be accepted and survive among peers.

I thought this was a cultural attitude. Then it dawned on me that there is one vital distinction between the two reactions. It’s the economic inequality of individuals. To put it simply, the experience of a wide difference between the “haves and have nots” breeds mistrust, resentment, and alienation.

Until my early thirties, I lived where everyone I encountered pretty much had their basic needs met. Food, shelter, clothing, were affordable and readily available in large quantities. If someone had a bit more, that was no concern, as we all had enough.

Then, I moved to a place where it was dog-eat-dog to locate a glorified ‘shed’ the average person could not afford to live in, and fight tooth and nail to be good enough to win the privilege to live in it. Never mind living paycheque to paycheque; if you didn’t have to use credit cards to pay essential bills, you were considered well off. And that was in the ‘good area’. Now, I live in an area considered by the government as ‘deprived’. Here, people have far less. Oddly enough, they seem to happily get by on less. However, there is still the raised eyebrow if someone has something new, or something that looks like it came from somewhere other than a cheap shop or a boot sale. When this happens, people retreat. They question behind your back. It’s uncomfortable for all.

There are countries where everyone has very little materially. Yet people are happy, live a peaceful existence, and there is low crime. In countries where there are luxuriously rich and dreadfully poor, where economic inequality is rife, so is there a high crime rate.

There is no doubt about it. Distribute the world’s wealth equally, and we’d all be at peace. The question is: how do we make this happen? It seems to me that politics and government is not the answer. Ideals such as communism and socialism didn’t really work. There appears to be corruption in democracy, too. But each individual has a choice. And each individual can act with social conscience. What if, instead of buying a holiday home and a second car, we all made sure that those in need of shelter and transport had those needs supplied before we indulge in excess?

I wonder what an Equal world would be like.

Equality and Inequality © June 27, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak