I wish you Love

By Toni O’Keeffe

February 13, 2020

Valentines day brings with it warm thoughts of romantic love, candy hearts, bouquets of roses tied up with lace, softly lite restaurants filled with couples sipping champagne and nibbling chocolate dipped strawberries off the tips of each other’s fingers.

While this might describe the Hallmark ideal of a perfect valentine’s day, most of us will not experience it this way – at all.

Some will dart to the drug store on the way home from the office in hopes of finding a card with something that “adequately” describes how they feel about their beloved partner. They might also pick up a couple scratch and win tickets and a bag of liquorice(because all the chocolate is gone) to add weight to their claim that some thought went in to expressing their feelings on this, “the day of love”

Some will spend all day preparing oysters and braised Lamb Shanks from “the Seduction Cookbook”, set their table with the best china, red linen and light the cinnamon candles they got last Christmas in hopes of re-igniting a spark that will lead to a romantic tryst with the one they love.

Others, okay moi, will sit at home, curled up with our favorite pets, watching hallmark movies and eating frozen pizza or tuna out of a can. And, I’m okay with that.

Regardless of how you spend your Valentine’s Day, my wish for you is that you do reflect on love. Not just romantic love, but a love for all things and all people, a love that is kind, authentic, brings you joy and extends beyond a single day 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 that celebrates soul-to-soul connections with no expectations only an enduring appreciation, acceptance, respect and admiration for the beautiful, perfect and unique soul that you are.

If you have found the one that sets your heart on fire, makes butterflies dance in your chest and stars shine in your eyes, hold them close and give thanks for the gift of this love every single day.

For those still in search of an epic love, I hope you find the kindred flame, the one that will settle your soul, captivate your mind, make your body tingle and your heart sing.

Most of all, I wish you a love of self, where you see yourself as worthy and deserving of all that is beautiful and good. A love that allows you to be kind and gentle with your heart and spirit as you fully surrender to this amazing journey of life that you are on. Yes, that’s the kind of love I wish you – not just today or on Valentines day, but every day.

Alright I’ve got big decisions to make.

Tuna? Pizza? Hmm, Pizza with tuna?

Happy Valentines Day

Love

Toni ~🌹❤️

What if it was a blessing?

What if, that horrible thing you went through

was a blessing, a lesson designed to give you,

strength and an awareness of that type of pain?

So you’re prepared to hold up others when they meet this pain on their path. Just as others met you.

🌹❤️

You were born with a gift.

You were born with a gift. One thing (or maybe two)meant to inspire, teach or bring joy to others. A gift that only you can share.

It might be found in the art, music, writing or things you create.

It could be in your ability to be compassionate, kind, to heal or make others smile or laugh.

Perhaps you are meant to be a life teacher, a guide, a builder, a person that serves or helps others by listening, understanding or caring.

It’s in you. Even if you have not found it yet, IT IS IN YOU.

That amazing gift that is yours alone, find it, and unleash your magic into the world. And that my beautiful soul friend, is when you will shine your brightest.

(c) February 3, 2020

Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️

The imprints we leave.

By Toni O’Keeffe

We leave an imprint on the world every single day.

It might be;

~ a smile left on a face,

~ a warm feeling left on a soul,

~ thoughts and images created in a curious mind,

~ bruises to an ego or,

~ aches in a heart.

Our words, our acts and deeds leave others with impressions that can imprint feelings, wisdom, emotions or pain that can last a lifetime and remain long after we’re gone.

Let the sum of all your days, paint a masterpiece that awakens beautiful memories and smiles in the hearts and minds of every life you have touched.

Toni O’Keeffe

(c) February 1, 2020

Spend time ALONE and love the ONE you’re with.

by Toni O’Keeffe

The past five years of my life has been a period of reflection. I’m grateful for the gift of this reflection and for the blessing of the alone time that came with it.

Growing up in a large Irish/French-Canadian family full of happy noise and our own brand of chaos, which included; 14 hands rummaging through the sock box looking for a match, one bathroom where it was not uncommon to have three in the tub, one on the pot, Dad shaving over the sink while one of us brushed our teeth as mom hollered “you’re going to be late.” (I sometimes felt those words were her default cry, as chances were, “someone was always going to be late.” I became use to the familiar buzz of family noise and it was comforting. It was what I knew and it was a constant companion for most of my life.

When I left home I moved exactly half-a-block away into my aunt Jeanne’s house. My 6 year old brother Chris pulled most of my belongings in his wagon as I dragged my dresser up the street and my two little sisters Jacquie and Jeanette lugged the rest of my stuff up the road to where I would now reside.

My new residence was always buzzing with the movement of aunts, uncles, cousins, people, pets, my younger siblings and friends constantly coming and going.

From there I moved into an apartment with the man who became my husband and the father of my two sons. Life continued to be a chaotic swirl as I grew my own family, worked full time, went back to school, moved several times and still stayed closely anchored to the roots and busyness of my immediate family.

As my boys grew, and my first marriage ended, life continued to be a beautiful hectic blend of community service, career responsibilities, cubs and scouts, baseball, soccer games, swimming lessons, ski trips, camping adventures, birthday parties, sleep overs, trips to the emergency room for stitches, ear infections, broken bones, things stuck up little noses, strains and enlarged tonsils. Never a quiet or lonely moment. And, I loved it.

When the boys left home my new partner and I still led a busy life with our jobs, trips, entertaining, my sons coming and going and attending events related to the various community organizations I was involved in.

Then it all changed. The happy noise of my life became quiet. My son Ryan passed away at the age of 30. My partner of 16 years decided he was “done” and we parted ways. My youngest son was settling into his adult life and I retired from a long and successful career, leaving behind the social structure, community service and workplace friendships that were tied to my identity and a big part of my life.

A deafening silence settled over my world.

What the hell had just happened. 55 years had just zipped by.

Now alone in my new home with my grief, two little dogs as my primary companions, and no outside commitments, I began to assess, question and ponder my life. What was the purpose of any of it? I looked in the mirror and saw an older version of a person I thought I knew. Yet I didn’t know her at all.

A loneliness I had never experienced began to creep in. I had always been an upbeat positive optimistic person despite the painful parts of my journey. So, how did I land here, feeling lonely, lost and pushed off my perch?

I knew I had to fill the void. I considered part time work, joining clubs or volunteering as I had lots of experience and talent to offer. However, something held me back.

I missed the noise, my children, being a mom, a wife, a leader, I missed the busyness, the commitments, the responsibilities and the community service, or, did I?

I was lost.

After years of being many things and wearing many hats, here I sat not knowing who I was at all.

I started taking long walks to figure myself out. I thought about the son I had lost and played “what if” scenarios over and over in my head.

I found myself wandering into the forest or along the ocean. Retreating into the lap of nature brought me great comfort. I analyzed my relationships, all of them, to try and figure out what was wrong “with me” and understand how I had arrived at this place.

I also began to journal which was something I had done off and on over the years. I wrote down everything and began to pose questions to myself. And to my surprise, the answers came.

I began to realize that this aloneness was a gift of time, time to take a break, take a breath and pause before I stepped into the next phase of my life. This alone time was my chance to forgive and heal myself, to course correct, to reflect on and own my past behaviour, challenge my beliefs and chart a new path forward. A time to walk in nature and listen to my inner voice, the gentle voice I had not listened to for years. I had shut her out, listening instead to external voices, opinions, beliefs and the noise of others.

I recall hearing this inner voice when I was a child. “She” had provided me with inspiration, encouragement and wisdom. She had always been with me when I was playing or creating. Then, somewhere in my teenage years I stopped listening to her comforting, wise and loving words. “She” is my spirit, my soul, always childlike, ready to play, kind, compassionate and true to herself and always there to guide me.

It was in silence and in my aloneness that I met her again and I started to remember who I was and what this life journey is about.

This kind and loving voice kept me from jumping back into busy, noisy things because she knew exactly where she was guiding me. And, her timing was perfect.

She reminded me to be thoughtful in how I engage with the rest of the world, to make time to exercise my gifts. She helped me understand that we have to forgive, heal and love ourselves before we can forgive, heal and love others. In this alone time I committed to being careful with who I give my heart to and to embrace the magic, the starlight, the forest, the rainy days and each moment of the life I have been given.

I will continue to listen to the voice of that sweet spirit that continues to whisper in my ear. I don’t know exactly where she will guide me next. But I am going to trust that whatever comes, is meant for me and is meant to be.

Listen to the voice that calls you from within. It will guide you. No matter where your road leads, take time to listen, to forgive, to heal and to spend time alone and love the one you’re with❤️

(c) January 30, 2020

Toni O’Keeffe 🌹❤️

The power is in YOu

By Toni O’Keeffe

The power is in

YOU !

Not in an idol

Not in an invisible entity

Not in another person.

It’s In

YOU!

If it’s going to happen,

you’re the one

that will make it happen.

You are the most powerful being

in YOUR universe.

You always have been.

Toni O’K~🌹❤️

Stillness, is necessary.

Stillness, is necessary.

More solutions are found upon calm, still waters, than upon turbulent, chaotic seas.

It is in stillness that we are fully awake and can see, hear and think more clearly.

Allow yourself to be still.

Especially during life‘s greatest storms, allow yourself to be still.

Toni O’K~🌹❤️

The Path

~ On day everything appeared to be different, brighter, better.

The gentle whisper of her own voice greeted her with love, replacing the harsh voice of criticism that had been by her side for so long.

Her heart softened.

Her soul wept tears of peaceful release.

Finally, she knew who she was and what she was here to do.

And so, in that moment, she began to live that life.

The life that was intended for her. The life she had been waiting for, but had been too afraid to live.

The noise of other’s would no longer guide her.

She would be guided by her deepest wisdom and an inner peace that had been calling her for years.

Finally, she realized that the path she had been on, was the path that led back to herself.

She smiled, let down all her walls and let her light shine.

~ this is the happy ending I wish for every soul that is hurting, confused or lost.

We are all on a path back to ourselves.

It’s along this path that you will find the light you seek🌟.

Toni O’K~🌹❤️

PAUSE

Pause.

Close your eyes.

Take in three slow, deep breaths.

As you breath in, inhale the belief that you are worthy of love, happiness, healing and all good things.

Accept that your hopes and dreams will come true.

Allow the essence of this belief to seep into every fibre, every thought and every corner of your mind, body and soul.

As you release your breath, exhale all doubt, regret, shame or judgement that has found its way into your psyche.

Let go of the words, opinions and lack of confidence others might have planted in you.

You are a beautiful masterpiece under construction. You have barely begun to tap into your potential.

Every once and awhile, PAUSE and remember what an absolute miracle you are.

Now, go out and have exactly the kind of day, week, month, year, life you want to live.

Toni O’K~🌹❤️