I spent the morning watching my daughter entertain herself with tissue paper. Sometimes it is a piece of cardboard, a ripped bag, or an old cookie sheet. We are at her grandmother’s house and despite the large wooden trunk full of colorful toys and noisemakers, she finds the greatest delight in the simplest things. Often times, it is an item that is even on its way to the trash or recycling bin.
Her joy in simplicity makes me think of the abundance of less. She helps me focus and keep perspective on what is necessary. How many dish sets do I really need? Or blankets and books? How many black pairs of boots do I actually wear? It makes me think of all the things we carry, the weight of the idea of necessity, and what I already have in my life.
The other day my husband asked me if I had ever seen a crying tree before. I didn’t even know what he meant. So he walked me over to his favorite tulip tree in from of his childhood house. It was a naked tree crowned with spring buds waiting to open. At its base, was a darkened area that looked like a trail of tears. Even though it was about to bear flowers again, he explained that when a tree knows its dying, it empties itself of its sap because it no longer has space to hold it.
Perhaps we all should not wait until the end of living to make space for our life.
Ana Zaldarriaga, Director of Special Initiatives, works with new project development and service implementation in NYC, as well as in breaking new frontiers outside of NYC. With almost 15 years of service at The Leadership Program, she has influenced and taken part of every aspect of the organization: from curriculum design to implementation, training and internal initiatives, consulting and conference expansion, sustainability initiatives, and culture building within the community.
Ana’s background in sociology and healing arts inspires her to use a holistic approach to organizational and personal change using transformative and servant leadership styles. Ana is a truth-seeker and advocate of change, believing that a better world begins with each individual. As a keen observer, empathic listener, and creative visionary, she synthesizes the needs and goals of those she works with to help discover and unfold their path and purpose.
Ana lives in Brooklyn with her family and is currently getting her Masters in Motherhood from an expert professor, her 3-year old-daughter Raya.