You don’t have to fit in

Let’s stop telling each other to “fit in”.
We either fit or we don’t.
If we don’t, we’re not supposed to.

If I tried to force my body into a size 0 pair of jeans, the experience would be painful. I’d look awful, I’d be uncomfortable, feel horrible and I wouldn’t be able to move or share my gifts.

So why do we try and make souls fit where they’re not supposed to? or, be things they’re not meant to be?

Our “have to fit in” culture has caused generations of beautiful, creative, intelligent, loving souls to feel less than they are and has stifle their contribution to the world.

The world needs your kind of magic.
Don’t hide the colourful, quirky, woo-woo in you.
If you do, how will your tribe ever find you?

Toni O’K ~🌹❤️

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 When we change our mind, shed old thinking and outdated perspectives, it means we’re thinking, pondering and working our brain muscles.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~🌹❤️

Doing nothing might be the most productive “something” you can do.

Sometimes doing nothing can be the most productive “something” you do for yourself.

I’ve learned more about myself and others when I bask in stillness and silence.

Filling our lives with busyness and noise is the least productive thing we can do for our minds, bodies and spirits.

It’s in calm and quietude, that we process the learning we’ve acquired on this wild ride called life, and make sense of the things we’ve gone through.

When we lay down our burdens and close our eyes, we see clearly and we allow healing to take place. It’s in a state of hush that the answers we seek arrive and the way forward is revealed.

Doing absolutely nothing, can sometimes be the perfect path towards an amazing and beautiful something.

Release everything that ails you, haunts you or weighs heavy on your “being” and, gift yourself with a little bit of nothing today.

Sending love and light to whomever needs it☀️❤️.

TO’K~🌹❤️

Follow your joy.

If what you’re doing, what you have, where you’re at or who you spend your time with, doesn’t bring you joy ~ give yourself permission to let it go.

If finding joy seems hard because you have a mortgage to pay, a family to support, educational goals you want to achieve or you’re caring for someone, change your perspective and find joy in these things and where these things and people will lead you.

If you can’t change your current circumstances you can still;

  • Make self care a priority. There is no one who is more important and worthy of self care than you, no one.
  • Stop worrying and overthinking, it serves no purpose. It takes as much energy to focus on what’s right in your life, as it takes to focus on what’s wrong. However, the affect of focusing on what’s right can have a huge positive benefit on your physical, spiritual and mental well being.
  • Nurture yourself in nature. Learn to be still beside the ocean, in a forest, or sitting on top of a rocky bluff. Listen to the peacefulness and bring calm into your life.
  • Avoid being drawn into other peoples drama/conflict.
  • Manage the internal dialogue in your head. We tell ourselves stories about ourselves that are just not true. Stories such as “I’ll always be alone.” “I’m going to be in pain my entire life.” “I’ll never get fit.” “I’ll always be poor.” “I won’t be happy until this situation changes.” Change the story you tell yourself about yourself.
  • Make plans to do something you’ve always wanted to do, even if that something is still off in the future.
  • Try spending less $ on “stuff” and spend more time making memories and having experiences.
  • Interact with positive uplifting people.
  • Take a break from media and tune into a comedy channel instead.
  • Purge stuff; sell, donate or get rid of things that no longer serve you and your life.
  • Say goodbye to toxic people and relationships.
  • Stop being offended by every little damn thing. You’re not responsible for how others behave or why they do the things they do. So stop being judgmental or worrying that others may judge you. We’re not all on the same path, we’re not supposed to be.
  • Get moving. Physical activity to the degree you’re able, can; improve your memory and brain function, help manage chronic pain, assist in weight management, lower blood pressure and improve heart health, improve your quality of sleep, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and, reduce “life fatigue”.
  • Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Focus on the things in your life that do bring you joy; the ones you love, your pets, your garden, a sunset, creating art, the first sip of coffee as you start your day, a ride along a stretch of open highway, your cozy pillow ( I love my pillow), kissing the lips of someone you love.

Life can feel like a “whack-a-mole game” with crazy, unpleasant circumstances popping up in unexpected places. You can still be happy, and you can still whack those things with a big smile on your face😁.

If where you’re at now is hard, find joy in knowing these challenging days will be behind you one day. You’ll look back on your struggle and be proud that you were strong and got through it.

When I look back over my life, its not the stuff or the pay cheques that brought me joy, it’s simple pleasures and precious moments that have always lifted me up.

You have more power over your current situation than perhaps you realize. Use this power to grow into the best version of yourself by following your joy.

Wishing you a happy, zenny, joyful, sunshine and lollipops kind of day☀️🍭 🤗

Love Toni ~ 🌹❤️

Unleash the power of “happy” into your life

Our entire lives we’re on a quest to feel whole and happy.

As we wait for happiness to arrive, some of us fill the empty spaces in our lives with distractions, temporary highs, busyness, unfulfilling relationships, toxic substances, material possessions and the debt that often comes with them, but still, the emptiness remains.

As children we knew how to laugh, how to play and what made us happy. It was being close to the ones we loved, exercising our curiosity, exploring our environment, creating adventures, making art, splashing in puddles, running barefoot in the rain, playing in a forest or a pond, taking risks and trusting we’d be okay, even if we fell; these are the things that filled us up.

Then, as we grew, life became cluttered with distractions, busyness, possessions, stress, too much information, self doubt and responsibility. Many of us parked our creativity, abandoned our curious nature, spent less time with those we loved and we stopped doing those wonderful things that made us happy when we we’re children.

It’s time to invite the child who lives in each of us to come out and play, to remember the happiness we felt when we set ourselves free from the clutter and distractions that bog us down.

Even amidst the frenzied noise and turmoil in the world, we can still CHOOSE to be happy.

Today is a good day;
~ To look up and see the world through the curious eyes of the child in you and reclaim your sense of wonder.
~ To seek out a new adventure and bask in the beauty around you.
~ To flip over a few rocks along the shoreline and see what scurries out.
~ To pull out a colouring book, make a kite, play in the sand, go to a park and get on a swing, hang off a monkey bar, make a mud pie or do some happy finger painting on your guest room wall.
~ To giggle, to play and melt back into your authentic happy little self.

Today’s a good day to be happy.
To let go and jump, skip, slide, soar, surf, run, ride, sail, paddle or swim, right past anything blocking your path to happiness.

You came into this world knowing where happiness resides, it’s still there waiting for you to unleash its power over your life.

It’s not you. It’s the world around you.

We’re not meant or designed to live and work in noisy, densely populated, concrete communities, consuming artificial foods and breathing air filled with pollutants.

We’re design to live in colourful, wide open spaces, inhaling fresh air, surrounded by trees, flora, fauna, rivers, lakes, oceans and amazing vistas.

Our bodies were built to be active, to roam, explore and discover. Our minds are naturally curious. We’re meant to question, wonder and uncover the truth about who we are, not be criticized or shamed for it. We’re not meant to be the same. Our differences should excite us, not provoke us into violence.

As children, we’re meant to run wild, to learn by “doing” not learn by being caged up all day. We’re meant to fall down, get hurt, heal, taste a bit of mud, so our bodies learn how to fight disease, then dust ourselves off and run free again. We’re here to use our minds to create and inspire one another.

It’s so simple, yet, the programming pumped into us from the day we’re born, points us away from our authentic selves. Then, for the rest of our lives, we’re on a quest back to find out whom we’re meant to be and what we’re here to do.

We’ve created a world not built for our authentic selves, but built to manage, control and organize our human population.

Our little spirits are assaulted every day, with words, instructions, commands, rules and fear based decrees contrary to our deepest inner “knowing” but, we go along with it, because it’s what we’ve been trained to do. It’s no wonder there’s a global mental health crisis😔.

Then one day you break free from it all and run so far away you can finally look back and see the brokenness, not in you, but in the world, and it’s in this moment you begin the journey back to yourself.

Your tired, beautiful, spirit is trying to cope in an upside down world. Give yourself a pat on the back and a huge hug for making it this far. You really are quite amazing!❤️

Set yourself free, if only for a little while and allow your spirit to run wild and unencumbered. Disconnect, unplug and breath. Seek out what’s beautiful and feast upon it. You’ve earned it.

Really, its not you.

It’s the world around you❤️

Toni O’K ~🌹❤️

Be still. Listen with your eyes and your heart.

Be silent and listen,

The human mind has keen observational ability. However, our busy, modern lives are filled with chaotic, dizzy, conflicting thoughts, ideas, desires, opinions, images and demands; making it almost impossible to focus on just one thing and observe it deeply, so, most often we don’t.

The majority of us don’t listen to understand. We listen to react. Or, we listen to find the space to jump in and prove we’re right. I’ve found this to be the case in both my personal and professional relationships (and yes, I’ve played my dysfunctional part in both 😊)

It’s when we listen with our eyes and our hearts wide open that we observe the emotions, reactions, over-reactions (even our own), the body language and non-verbal cues, along with words and tone of voice, that we’re able to understand the state of a fellow human being and more importantly our own state and intentions.

When I was in a concert band years ago, I recall our conductor bringing stillness to the band before every performance or competition. One at a time, each musician tuned up, and the others were silent. Then, the conductor would tune us by section, flutes, clarinets, trumpets, saxophones, etc until we were “in tune” with each other. Then, our collective focus became the piece we were performing. We each had to thoughtfully listen and observe the conductor and the rest of the musicians to determine when it was time to play our part. We didn’t listen to react, we listened to create harmony.

When I was involved in community theater, before each production, the cast and crew would take a moment to rally and focus in on the performance ahead of us and the audience we were performing to. During a performance we had to listen, watch for our entry points and work together to guide each other through the performance, sometimes improvising when lines were forgotten or stage cues missed.

Many athletic teams do something similar before a game. They rally, get focused and tune in to their team members. During play, they have to be keen observers of what’s going on around them. They must listen with their eyes.

I know some of my healthcare colleagues do the same thing before they begin a surgery. They stop, become still and assemble their collective focus on the needs of the patient. During the procedure they must observe, listen and cooperate as a team.

As a community of 7.3 billion people, we can no longer pretend we are on different teams. We have to live, listen and play as if we are a part of the same symphony, the same stage production, the same athletic or surgical team.

We don’t have to look the same, sound the same, act the same, or BE the same. In fact, it’s our differences that create the harmony, the success, the wins, the applause, and our mutual respect and compassion for one another.

When we’re busy making noise, trying to be heard, being angry or offended or trying to be right, we’re not learning or growing or getting closer to solutions. When we’re loud, we can’t hear the exhausted whispers of truth flowing from each other’s tired souls, desperately trying to play our parts and create the harmony we all seek.

The most powerful messages are received when we’re silent and listen with our eyes and, our hearts wide open.

Toni O’Keeffe ~🌹❤️

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~ 🌹❤️

You are more than your worries,

You are so much more
than your worries
and your fears.

You are the music you compose, the poetry you write, the art you create, the wisdom you share, the songs you sing, the garden you grow and the magic you put into the world.

You are your laughter, your caring spirit and, your ability to heal, to teach, to inspire, to be kind and to love.

Worry and fear will never bring you comfort or joy. Sharing your gifts will.

Toni O’K ~🌹❤️

Our actions flow to where our minds go.

When our minds dwell in darkness and focus on negativity and despair, we find negativity and despair.

When our minds are focused on light, positivity and love, we find light, positivity and love.

When we choose to see what’s good in people and the world, that’s what we’ll see. Likewise, if we choose to see the evil and brokenness in people and the world, that’s what we’ll see.

My little life journey has taught me that my perspective directly impacts my sense of well-being and joy and, my sense of sorrow and despair.

So, I choose to set my perspective towards the light. There are times life challenges me and I fall. I dust myself off, reset my perspective towards optimism, positivity and joy and, I heal.

Be mindful of where you set your perspective, because the mind always finds what its looking for.

Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️