To the artists, dancers, singers, musicians, composers, poets, writers and creators~ who were told “you’re not good enough” and told to give up your creative dream and get a real job…….. THANK YOU for NOT giving up! You add the colour, the music, the passion, the words, the fun and the inspiration our world so desperately needs right now.
Your creative gifts are the tether we cling to as our world dangles in peril.
Some of the most creative minds including; Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, JK Rowling, Elvis Presley, Fred Astaire, Walt Disney, and many more, were told to give up their creative dreams ~ thankfully they didn’t listen.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” ~ Albert Einstein
In the end, nothing will hurt more than; ~ the paths not taken, ~ words not spoken, ~ wounds that didn’t heal, ~ moments lost, ~ joy never found, ~ a life not lived.
We’re here to take a few chances, have a colourful adventure or two, learn about ourselves, the planet and everything around us. To fully feel the highs and lows of this unique human journey. Don’t waste it. Be brave, bold, and curious as you own this thing called life!!
Yup you’ll make mistakes, you’re supposed to. You’ll get hurt, don’t let that stop you. You’ll get knocked down, eventually you’ll get back up and, you’ll get messy, oh well 🤷🏻♀️.
Be fearless, have fun and laugh till it hurts. Everyone of us is a student of life, and everyone of us will mess up, so, forgive those who hurt you, forgive yourself for the times you’ve been less then perfect. Face your fears with all the courage you can muster.
When you exit this ride, I hope your hair is a mess, your knees are wobbly, you’ve lost your hat, the wind has kissed your face so many times your cheeks are raw and, your final thought is “wow, that was amazing, absolutely frickin’ amazing, let’s do it again.”
The day may come when the people, things and habits you’re used to, no longer fit or feel like you. Embrace the calling to let these things go and move on.
We’re not meant to stay stuck in the same place or the same mindset.
When water stops flowing it can become stagnate, foul, murky and toxic. If we stay stuck in the same place or mind set for too long, we can also become stagnant, foul, murky and toxic.
Our minds are meant to be exercised and fed. When we’re not grazing on new knowledge, new vistas, new opportunities or new adventures, we can get stuck.
We’re meant to flow, to move forward, to have new experiences, learn new things, challenge our own thinking, and grow.
Change can feel overwhelming and it might feel easier to stay in the box we know. Human beings do this all the time. We stay in uncomfortable relationships, uncomfortable situations, uncomfortable jobs, uncomfortable communities, uncomfortable shoes and uncomfortable behaviours and habits that add little joy to ours lives, because it’s familiar, it’s what, or sometimes “ALL”, we know.
But, once you rise, step out of your comfort zone, stretch your enthusiasm, move beyond your fear and shake off the old, you’re ready to take on the new.
Don’t waste your one beautiful life and your curious and hungry mind, remaining stuck in one place. The place that feels familiar may not be the place you belong. Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️
***If you need help getting unstuck, reach out for support🙏🤗
Stop believing anyone who tells you you’re broken. You’re not, you’re absolutely beautiful.
You might hurt and have scars, but the pain you feel is growth, not brokenness.
Our life experiences aren’t supposed to feel, look or be the same as everyone else. So lets stop judging ourselves against the lives we see others live.
Your life journey might be painful because it’s about falling down and learning to get back up.
My journey might be filled with grief and heartache so I can understand loss and then comfort and have compassion for others when they experience it.
My neighbours journey might be about tolerance, acceptance and compassion, so they can become advocates for diversity and understanding.
We’re all going to fall and get hurt along the way, it’s part of the journey. Our hearts might get heavy and our spirits might crumble but, these are the experiences and emotions we’re meant to “grow” through.
Each stabbing ache, each crushing disappointment, every loss or painful fall from grace, provides us and those who bear witness to our lives, the opportunities to learn and transform. This pain shouldn’t break us, it should makes us stronger and wiser.
If you perceive your life as broken because you’ve been knocked down a few times, then you’ll feel broken. However, if you perceive your life as an amazing classroom, where you’re constantly learning and growing, then, you’ll greet each day with curiosity and excitement. You’ll become stronger and better equipped to deal with the tough stuff when it comes along. Let your scars be a reminder of how far you’ve come.
So relax, inhale the lessons, exhale and live the learning. No matter what people tell you or what you see in the mirror, you’re not broken. You’re both a beautiful student and teacher in this insanely wild and wonderful classroom called life. And, you’re right where you’re supposed to be, bumps, bruises, dents, scrapes, scars and all.
My wish for each of you is LOVE. Real LOVE. A Love that is kind, respectful, comforting, brings you joy and extends beyond a single day, a box of chocolates and some roses each year.
I wish you a LOVE that allows you to feel safe and secure in who you are and inspires you to grow into the best version of yourself. A LOVE built on soul-to-soul connections, with no expectations, only an enduring appreciation, acceptance, respect and admiration for the beautiful, perfect and unique soul YOU are.
But more than that, I wish YOU a LOVE of self, where YOU see yourself as worthy and deserving of all that is beautiful and good. A self-LOVE that allows YOU to be kind and gentle with your heart as you surrender to and inhale, this epic journey called life. A self-LOVE that offers you the absolute knowing you are a beautiful work in progress, a perfect heart under construction and an amazing, magical, being destine to do great things, even if they’re small things. And with this perfect LOVE flowing around you, I hope you reach into the world, sharing all that you know and make the world a better, softer, gentler and more loving place to be.
Yes, that’s the kind of LOVE I wish for you – not just on Valentines day, but every-single-day.
From time-to-time many of us feel an emptiness, a lacking or void we think we need to fill in order to be happy.
We exhaust ourselves chasing happiness, chasing love, searching for meaning, chasing more of this or more of that, buying stuff to try and fill the emptiness or the sense of “lacking” in our lives.
Trying to fill this emptiness with material possessions, temporary companionship, drugs, alcohol, and busyness, almost never works. These things might mask what’s going on beneath the surface for a short period of time, but, they rarely lead to sustained fulfillment.
Perhaps this sense of emptiness is not something that needs to be filled, but something that needs to be FELT.
Perhaps this space within the ether of our chaotic human mind, is actually a waiting room that’s meant to be left wide-open, allowing old feelings, attitudes and pain to leave, and new feelings, thoughts and peace to arrive. A space we visit to lance our wounds, release our tears and the stifled ache of pent-up grief, pain, loneliness, remorse or sadness until we understand “it” and find the lesson in “it”. A space to purge the ugliness of what’s hurt us in the past and let “it” go – creating space for new things, new purpose, new meaning, to arrive. A space where we push the darkness out, and let the light in.
When the ache of emptiness or lacking creeps in, rather than trying to fill it, try to feel it. Take a walk, exercise, journal, open up and start talking to someone, go into nature, sit quietly and meditate. It doesn’t matter which path you take to get to this space, what matters is that you arrive, and when you do, you ask your pain what it’s trying to teach you. Then listen, feel, and release the things that no longer serve you or bring you peace. The answer(s) may not come right away. You may need to visit this space several times. When the answers begin to arrive, thank your pain for the lessons, then let it go. As it leaves, visualize new energy, new purpose, new feelings of wellness and hopefulness arrive. Then go out and live this one beautiful life you’ve been given.
This concept may sound abstract, however, if you’ve been feeling the ache of emptiness within, and what you’ve been doing to fill the void has not been working, what have you got to lose? other than the ache of the emptiness that haunts you.
Perhaps not all empty spaces are meant to be filled, perhaps they’re meant to be felt.
Millions of single people (and people in unhappy relationships) are consumed with finding the perfect partner.
They scour dating sites and social media profiles, look across crowded rooms, join singles clubs or go to bars looking for “the one”.
In reality, I don’t believe this perfect partner exists. They “become”.
When two perfectly flawed, quirky people come together, they can BECOME perfect for each other if they accept each other as they are, trusting that together they can grow into better versions of themselves.
Human beings have a tendency to be judgmental and look at the messy flaws in each other before we look at the endearing and beautiful qualities we all possess. If you do this (assess the flaws) you’ll never find “the one” because we’re all messy little humans filled with flaws and cracks.
When we plant a seed or a bulb in the ground, it’s messy, it doesn’t grow over night. When planted in the right conditions and when it’s taken care of, the seed grows into exactly what it’s supposed to be. Relationships are the same, they don’t just happen. When planted in the right conditions and with the right care, they can flourish and grow.
*The right conditions implies there are no abuse, infidelity, addiction, moral differences or other serious issues that have to be addressed.
Everything ever created (even YOU) was messy in the beginning. An oak tree, a symphony, a work-of-art, a relationship, all require time to germinate and grow before they BECOME the masterpiece they’re destined to be.
So try looking for the one who is not perfect, but is authentic and possesses qualities such as kindness, respect, a sense of humour, someone who’s supportive, caring, playful and shares similar values.
Then cheer each other on, comfort each other when things don’t go according to plan. When you disagree don’t argue, communicate.
There is some irony in me writing this piece, as I’ve had, hmm a few relationships. They all provided me with insights about myself and human relationships. In particular;
When was kind, loving, supportive and understanding with my partners, we both grew into better versions of ourselves.
When I expected a partner to change a behaviour or change things about themselves (or they had these expectations of me) the relationship went sideways quickly.
When one partner tries to stop the other from growing, the relationship also sours quickly.
Relationships work when both partners commit to growing together and, support one another in growing as individuals.
She may not have the perfect body, he may not be perfectly groomed, you may not see eye-to-eye on a-lot of things and, you probably both have flaws, annoying little habits and imperfections. Don’t let that stop you. If the core building blocks of kindness, respect, honesty and trust are there, and you’re both committed to becoming better versions of yourself, together you can BECOME a masterpiece.
Treat your partner like the partner of your dreams, and, they just might BECOME exactly that.
Mr Rogers said; “look for the helpers”. This is wise advise for both children and adults.
When you’re struggling, be aware of who comes into your life unexpectedly. These helpers may be different than the people you generally welcome into your tribe, all the more reason to welcome them in.
If you’re in pain, lost, drowning in your own messy life circumstances, grief or chaos, you might not recognize these helpers when they show up, you might even push them away.
Put your ego, pride, judgment and stubbornness aside and accept that they are here to help and guide you through the storms in your life. If you don’t have the strength to reach out, accept the help when others reach in.￼
No matter how strong, brave, smart or tough we think we are, none of us can do this alone. We all need a village.
There are people you haven’t met yet, (and some you have) who will bring peace, comfort, laughter, wisdom, light, healing and help into your life. Let them.