All Things Have Value

As the people of Fort McMurray fled wildfires, individuals across Canada asked themselves, “How can I help?”

Donating money was the easiest option for those who had it. Volunteer time seemed most precious and challenging to offer, especially for those who lived outside a reasonable distance from where all hands-on-deck were needed.

Most people (myself included) found they had plenty in their homes that was not being used: clothing, linens, utensils. A desire to help motivated us to pack all of those gifts and give from the heart, to those who had lost so much.

I am pleased when effort is made to organize things, and a list is put out to detail what is required. I find it disturbing when ‘experts’ decide these items have no value, because they are difficult to sort through. If it’s too much work for charitable organizations to deal with, then leave out the middle man and let the people in need pick through it themselves. Only they know what they can or cannot use.

There have been times in my life when I had nothing; when used clothes or even an old lawn chair would have been so graciously received. People who are used to owning many things have no idea how the offer of one humble item can give hope and brighten the world of an individual who can make worthwhile use of it.

All things have value to someone.

I donated clothes with the labels still on, shoes I never wore, blankets I never used – I hate to think they may have been destroyed. I keep reminding myself to trust they will make their way to those who will value them.

We should not let the blindness of those that get in the way by judging things unusable, to stop us from giving.

Meanwhile, let’s vow to be more discerning in what we acquire and accumulate; to ensure that all things we have, we value; and going forward, that the value is preserved for others to enjoy after us.

All Things Have Value © May 14, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak

Advertisements

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

Becoming a Modern Nomad

I am a restless soul. Every moment of every day of my life must count for something, mean something, or I get very restless. I need to be where I am needed most; where I am nourished most. It’s a great big world out there. Why settle in one spot, decay and rot, in the name of putting down roots? We’re not trees. Humans have legs that are made for walking.

It took me many, many years to accept my nomadic self. The excuse to move has always been for work experience, a career move, more affordable cost of living. The truth is, my feet itch, my spirit yearns for renewal of Self, of fresh eyes, new perspectives, greater awareness, expanded possibilities. The traditional: own a home, have a family, get the latest devices everyone else has, while ‘nice’, has never been a motivation for me. In fact, once I acquire a certain amount of material possessions, there is a point at which it feels so burdensome, I need to get rid of it entirely. This is true to some degree of places I live, and even people (if they are stagnant in their own lives).

I used to be hard on myself about this. Like, it’s wrong. Like, I should be settled and own a home at my age. I should stick with my job because who’s going to give me another when fresh blood is so bountiful? But, this is my life, and I’m going to do it my way, and the consequences may not actually be so bad from my point of view. To some, the worst thing in the world may be to have nothing. But imagine the freedom!

The tribal way was nomadic. If a place no longer served, the community got up and shifted elsewhere. At a time when there were no borders, where instincts and intuition were followed, when shamans led and the people trusted, this is the innate natural behaviour of the human being on earth. Modern society is so fixated on ownership, on insurance, on legal boundaries – all oppressive fear-inducing tactics – resulting in depression, stuckness, and suicide (of spirit, if not body). For me, this kind of life is something I no longer accept.

It wasn’t until I fully accepted the possibility that I could become homeless, penniless, jobless and wind up with nothing – that I could begin to let go of all my possessions to free myself entirely of their responsibility, so I could be true to the wandering spirit that I am and live as a modern nomad. It is getting to a place of Fearlessness of the Unknown.

As I shed the excess baggage I’ve accumulated, I remain open to any and all possibilities that come my way. Open to learning, being, becoming, evolving.

Is there any other way to live? For me, this is the best way to live!

Becoming a Modern Nomad © March 16, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak

Abundance of Beingness

When we focus on abundance, we tend to think about how much money we have, or what possessions we own. If our monetary and material assets are few, we believe that we are lacking in abundance. We can have millions of dollars, and we can lose it or give it away and be left with poverty. These things are transient and uncertain.

What if we reframed the reference of abundance to a meaning of what we ARE, rather than what we have? If I am at peace, it may be said I have an abundance of peace. If I am cheerful, I have an abundance of cheer. If I am loving, I have an abundance of love. If I am abundant in these things, I can give it all away, and I still have a never-ending flow. This makes us truly abundant!

True abundance has nothing to do with anything that I am having, and everything to do with what I am being. And that when I share my abundance of beingness abundantly with all those whose lives I touch, everything I sought to have came to me automatically, without my even trying to have them.

— Neale Donald Walsch

Experiment with the idea of BE-ing abundant, and focus on it rather than on ‘having’ abundance. When you do this, you may discover that ‘stuff’ matters comparatively little when you are being abundant. Notice how your life enriches!

Abundance of Beingness © February 21, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak

Attachment to Things

For years I’ve wondered why I struggle and keep changing my mind about whether to continue living in the UK or return to my homeland of Canada. The thought dawns that I have a great attachment to my things, and because my things are here in the UK, it feels more like ‘home’.

This attachment is completely unconscious. I didn’t think I was so attached to possessions, having relinquished so much through so many moves. And yet, earlier today, in a meditation, this came up as the hurdle, the wall, the thing blocking me from moving forward in my future. Somehow, I’ve invested my Self, my personality, my emotions, my Identity, into these mere ‘things’.

So now that I am aware of this, what is the best way to Detach from ‘things’?

Attachment to Things © February 16, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak