Born Free? What?

Individual freedom would imply you are not tied or tethered to anyone or anything. You are free to go, do, say or be whatever you want.

But, that’s not exactly the reality of the world we coexist in. We are individual human threads, interwoven across the colourful patchwork we call humanity.

None of us are completely free, nor will we ever be (well, until, you know😇).
We are connected, whether we like it or not.

When the fabric at one end of the patchwork is torn, it affects us all and there is potential for ALL OF US to unravel.

It’s to our collective benefit ~ whether there’s a war, a pandemic or natural disaster~ to rally and support the piece of the patchwork that’s damaged or suffering. There’s a shared responsibility for “the whole”, to which we all benefit and to which we all have a responsibility. Bee’s get it🐝.

We spend a lot of time espousing our individual freedoms and rights, but not a lot of time teaching children (or ourselves) about our individual responsibilities and interdependence.

Despite what the song says, we are “NOT” Born Free. We are born into a hive that is completely interdependent and reliant on social cooperation. What happens to one of us, affects all of us.


“Bee” kind to each other and this beautiful, sort-of-happy, hive that is our shared home.

Love
Toni 🐝❤️🐝

If I could sit under a tree with my younger self I’d tell her;

You and every soul who shares this journey with you, is beautiful, unique and amazing. You’re all supposed to be different. So be yourself, love yourself, express yourself and let others do the same. It’s okay to wear two different coloured socks (and I know you want to.)

You’ve got a-lot of ground to cover, don’t waste time staying stuck, overthinking your next move, going back to old boyfriends or reliving the past. Move forward.

You’ll learn more when you listen and observe, rather than being busy making noise. My dear, you don’t know it all.

You’re going hurt some people, not on purpose, still, always apologies.
Some people will hurt you, not always on purpose, still, always forgive them.

There’s a million right ways to do something. It doesn’t have to be your way.

Your happiness is your job, nobody else’s. (However coffee, chocolate and puppies will help)

No matter what, be kind. Your kind heart and positive attitude are the most beautiful things you’ll ever wear.

When you feel stuck, go to the forest, walk around a lake, look up at the stars or sit quietly next to the ocean and, the answers will come.

You’re going to make some big mistakes. Yup, some really big ones. Be grateful, for ALL of them, even the most painful, ugly, messed up ones. Then forgive yourself, take the lessons and move on.

There’s a little bit of whimsey in you, don’t be afraid or forget, to let her out to play.

Enjoy this adventure, it won’t last long. Be curious, explore, have lots of fun and help others do the same.

When this journey is over, make sure you’ve left all your love, your words, your music, your magic, your wisdom and your gratitude out on the field for others to grow on.🌹❤️

Let’s not wait till we die, to love, appreciate and honour each other.

As I get older, the frequency in which I receive news that a friend, acquaintance, colleague, neighbour or family member has passed away, increases.

When we, or someone we know, loses a loved one, the realization that our time here is temporary comes sharply into focus.

Each loss moves us to scour the cracks that separate our days, making sure we didn’t miss an opportunity to say;
“I love you”,
“I miss you”,
“I’m sorry.”
“Can I help.”

We look back on that last conversation and our last moments together and replay what we wish we had said or done.

Then, we “what if” ourselves, asking questions like;
“What if I had been there?”
“What if I hadn’t been so angry during our last conversation?”
“What if I had reached out?”
“What if we had spent more time together?” …….would things have turned out differently?

We waste so much time and energy, being “busy”, angry, negative, stubborn, dismissive, judgmental, stuck or offended.

“What If” we set our egos aside and let kindness, compassion, gratitude and love be our guides? Then perhaps when it’s time to say goodbye, we will not lament, but celebrate and give thanks for the pleasure of sharing time with the ones we loved and lost.

It’s the impermanence of life that should make every waking breath a cherished event. We should savour every beautiful, simple, pleasure and every ordinary moment shared with those we love.
Every child’s laugh and every story retold by our elders for the umpteenth time, should fill us with warmth and delight.

Let’s spend more time holding the ones we love as we marvel at the explosion of colour created as the sun rises and sets. Let our hearts be moved by the power in every stormy sky or the magic in each twinkling star and rainbow above.

Lets hold each other in reverence every day for being the amazing, unique, miracles we all are.

Let’s not wait until we die, to love, appreciate and honour each other.
Let’s do it while we’re still here.

Allowing yourself and others to change and grow

I was listening (okay I was ease dropping) on a conversation the other day.

Two women were chatting about a common “friend”who is constantly changing.

“She can’t stay in one place,” one of them said. “She has changed jobs four or five times since I’ve known her,” the other one commented in that rolling her eyes tone of voice.

I heard phrases like;

“Get her act together,”

“Stick with one relationship,”.

“Her bohemian phase,” and

“She needs to decided if she’s Buddhist, an atheist or something different.”

Hmm, their “friend” sounds a bit like me in my late 30’s.

It appeared they believed those who are constantly changing are somehow broken.

I have a completely different perspective.

I believe we should be constantly changing.

You’re allowed to change your mind or shift your perspective. Especially when it comes to the big stuff. That’s how we grow.

The knowledge, experience and insights we acquire over the course of our lives SHOULD shape and change us.

My God, if I was still living my life based on the insights and experience of my 12 year old self, I’d be a hot mess of jellybeans, acne and mood swings, guided by my crush on Bobby Sherman and a desire to grow boobs.

Like everything on the planet, we’re supposed to change. Those little seeds we come from are supposed to take root, grow, blossom and then we shed our leaves (aka Feng~shui your life) rest, and start all over again and again and maybe again.

You don’t have to stay in a particular mind set, job, relationship or community if it no longer feels right. When we change our mind, shed old thinking and outdated perspectives, it means we’re thinking, pondering and working our brain muscles. It means we’re growing and creating the space for new adventures, new relationships and new opportunities.

I hope you allow yourself to constantly change and grow. And, along the way you let go of the attitudes, beliefs and people that no longer give you life. If you can’t, at least don’t judge the ones that are.

Toni O’K~🌹❤️

Quiet Spaces

A tranquil pathway and quiet shoreline stretching towards infinite beauty, lead me to a peaceful retreat, a hidden refuge of cozy spaces and burrows nestled between the sand, the sky, the ocean and fallen logs.

Unencumbered by humanity, I see the world as it should be. Peaceful.
I’m the only intruder, but I’m not alone.

Burrows along the trail to the beach are home to dozens of rabbits hopping between logs, rose-hip and hawthorn shrubs growing along the edge of the shoreline trail.

I move slowly, so I don’t disturb a mother seal and her pup resting in the tall seagrass near the water.

Eagles circling above, the calls of seagulls, sandpipers and other birds, echo across the sky and add to the magic of this place and fill me with light.

I find my spot and rest on the sand with my back supported against a well weathered log.
With my little companion Bo’ nestled in my lap, I close my eyes, release all worries, surrender to this space, and melt into a state of stillness.
Then, I listen.

It’s in silence and stillness that wisdom is received and peace is born. It’s in this state that the answers come. They always do.

I’m grateful for these quiet spaces and the peace, serenity, wisdom and healing they bring.

If you feel overwhelmed, challenged to meet the struggles in your life, or just exhausted from the noise in your head. Stop everything, step outside and find your quiet space.

Toni O’K~ 🌹❤️

Fixating on what you want, might cost you what you need.

My life looks nothing like I thought it would when I started making plans and cultivating my big dreams decades ago. How could it?

When we’re young, there’s no way to fully anticipate the changes we will go and grow through. Changes in the world, changes in our priorities, our attitudes and beliefs, or, how our life experiences and learning will shape us.

I shouldn’t be the person my 20-year-old self thought I would become. There is no way 20-year-old me could comprehend the needs and priorities of 60-year-old me, especially when every decade I seem to emerge as something different than I was.

Yet, I always seem to land where I need to be. Over the years, I’ve learned to surrender control over what I thought I wanted, to make space for what I needed when it arrived, to remain focused on outcomes such as good health, happiness, wisdom, wealth, and love, and not get tangled up in which path I should take towards these things, but instead take the path that presents itself.

When we fixate on what we think we want or where we should be, we might fail to see what we need when it shows up.

Continue to cultivate your big dreams, recognizing the route to those dreams, may NOT be down the roads you expected.

We all get to where we’re supposed to be. How we get there, is not as important as how we live, learn and grow along the way.

Toni O’Keeffe ~🌹❤️

The Mirror

Toni O’Keeffe

My whimsey heart and childlike spirit are oh so playful, inquisitive, excited about life, full of energy, hope and believe anything is possible.

But the lady that looks back at me from the mirror tells another story. She possesses the calm and wisdom of her age, a sense of gratitude for making it this far, a few regrets and a curiosity for what might come next. She knows time is passing, so she embraces the gifts that arrive with each day.

The gray in her hair, folds in her skin and lines on her face are the well-worn roadmap pointing to the places she’s been. Her scars are the badges that honour her life and the lives she has brought into the world.

There is still much she wants to do, to see, to create and love.

As she continues on her path, she will allow her inner child to remain playful, believing she can still be more than she is. Her heart will continue to love and believe in the goodness that resides in everyone. She will remain curious and her gypsy soul will continue to dance. And, her body, well, I will love her as she is.

I hope you live your days, being fully present, grateful and in a state of awe for the adventure that is your life.

TO’K ~ 🌹❤️

ALLOW yourself to be

A moment will arrive when you realize it’s time to tread beyond your comfort zone.

In this moment you will know with great clarity, it’s time to allow the things that have been calling you from beyond the veil of fear, doubt and judgment, to be born.

This will be your moment of grace, your moment to shine and shatter the obstacles that have been blocking your path.

The fear may appear larger than it ever has because its standing right in front of you. Still, you will face it, naked in your authenticity, showing the world who you really are and not who they have forced you to be.

The demons will retreat, the fog will lift and you will clearly see the path towards the things you’ve always wanted to do, see, say, and become.

Be brave, muster your courage and set out to do all thats been calling you for so long.

We never know exactly when our journey here will end, but we know it will end. Let this year be the year you leap into the life that’s meant for you.

It’s time to ALLOW yourself to be.
To stop fighting the voices of criticism and finally be comfortable just ~ being ~ you.

Toni O’Keeffe ~🌹❤️

All you have to do, is SHINE

Toni O’KEEFFE

December 13, 2020

You wake up every day and decide what you will show the world.

Never revealing the secrets, the sadness, the longing and the struggles you hide.

Afraid to shine, you put on your mask,
(rather poignant at this moment in time),
and hide your gifts, your words,
your hopes, your beauty, your light,
from the judgement you fear.

You muster your courage, inhale and into the world you go, walking ever so carefully,
so you don’t disturb or offend anyone along your path.

It’s exhausting.
Is it time?
to stop hiding,
to show yourself,
to share your light,
to share your gifts,
to share your words and your beauty,
with the world?

There will be those who judge you because they don’t understand, don’t worry about them, you don’t need them to shine,
you don’t need them to be yourself.

Then, there will be those who love you as you are.
These are your people.
They will wrap you in gratitude, kindness and lift you up so you can shine.

Healing begins when we accept ourselves,
as we are,
love ourselves,
as we are,
step into the world,
as we are.

We shine brightest when we’re doing, being or become who we’re meant to be.
All you have to do is SHINE.

Toni O’K~🌹❤️

Surround yourself with light

By Toni O’KEEFFE

Nov, 30, 2020

Surround yourself with light ~
When we focus on the dark, negative aspects of life, this darkness begins to poison our minds, body’s and souls, making us sick, discouraged and depressed.

When we focus on the light, positive, beautiful aspects of life, we feel “light”, calm, peaceful and we’re able to heal our minds, body’s and souls.

You know toxic substances harm your internal well-being, likewise toxic thoughts, information, ideas and toxic people can alter your perspective, poison your life and make you ill.

Surround yourself with people and things, that bring you light, peace, healing and encourage you to shine.
Toni O’K~ 🌹 ❤️