Don’t let life’s storms rain on your peace-of-mind

By Toni OKeeffe

November 18,2020

As we begin the slow descent out of the dark clouds of 2020, and prepare to launch a new year, things are still not right with the world.

Covid continues to wreak havoc across the planet and is now way to close to home. Election chaos continues to play out for our friends in the south. There is civil unrest breaking out in several countries around the world. Wind and rainstorms are keeping people hunkered. Christmas is pretty much cancelled and there will be no fancy festivities to ring in 2021.

People are out of work, many businesses have shut down, we can’t travel, and we miss our families and friends. Add to that, many of us haven’t touched another human in months, haven’t gone to a concert, a play, a restaurant or a celebration, wedding, birthday or graduation for almost a year.

However, amidst all the chaos, I’m still happy, really happy. My spirit is light, my heart is settled and my mind is peaceful. I find multiple reasons to smile or laugh out loud every day. My inner child is as goofy and playful as she has ever been. I’m truly grateful for this life despite what’s going on around me and the rest of the world.

This feeling of contentment is proof (for me) that happiness comes from the inside.
No matter what is going on around us, we still have the capacity to feel joy and be grateful.
What happens inside us, not outside us, is what regulates our happiness meter.
In my case, having hobbies, exercising daily, eating right, meditating, spending time in nature and engaging in creative activities, all fuel my sense of positivity and well-being.

This sense of happiness and well-being doesn’t mean I’m not affected by what’s happening around me and the people I love and the world, of course I am. It means I won’t let it unravel me or get me down, because that serves no purpose.

When the weather outside is turbulent, we generally seek shelter from the wind, rain and the cold by coming inside and creating a cozy internal retreat. When the world around you is turbulent, seek shelter from the chaos by creating a cozy, peaceful place in your mind.
You can do this by engaging in positive and creative activities, practicing gratitude, staying physically active, being kind and carrying out random acts of kindness, celebrating small successes, eliminating toxic people, toxic media content and toxic substances from your life. Read uplifting information and listen to uplifting music.
Make your mental wellness your first priority.

Life’s storms can not rain on your peace of mind, unless you let them.
Don’t let them.

Toni O’K~ 🌹❤️

A Walk in the woods

For Jackie K

By Toni O’Keeffe

October 19, 2020

When I seek answers, I retreat into the sanctuary of my thoughts. The route I take is often along a soft earthy path that leads me into the woods.

Once I enter the sanctum and stillness of the forest, the smell of autumn rain upon fallen leaves and moss-covered logs, fill my entire being with peace. My breathing slows and my steps soften.

Tall cedar and fir defenders having stood for hundreds of years, blanket me from the wind and shield me from the noise of the outside world.

Now I’m free to dream, to let my inner child loose and allow her to run free with the magic of her imagination.

Mushroom caps become hovels to small gnome like creatures, dragonflies and other winged insects transform to become fairies and elves dancing on tree branches, sprinkling dew drops on to the tips of the forest foliage below.

Rays of light stream in between lush fern, foxgloves and trillium petals creating the highway pixies, brownies and imps tiptoe upon as they move through the woodlands.

The hidden faces within giant boulders protecting the river bank, emerge and keep watch over all living things that come to sit and heal by the water’s edge.

As my inner child explores the forest and creates her own magic, my mind rests, my body heals and my spirit connects to her highest self and then, the answers come.

Most of our lives we’re busy moving fast and making noise. Allow yourself to stop, to walk quietly on the earth and trust the voice rising out of the stillness. This is the voice of your soul gifting you with the wisdom you seek.

If you’re struggling, seeking answers or want to spend time with your “real” self, go to forest, exhale and take a walk in the woods.

Toni O’Keeffe

You’re not broken, you’re healing.

You know you’re evolving when you stop believing you’re broken, and believe you’re healing and growing.
And, you know your growing when;
~ You can comfortably walk away from anything or anyone that does not bring you joy.
~ You can look back on your journey and own your part in the things that didn’t go according to plan.
~ You feel genuine remorse for the things you did that caused others pain.
~ You forgive and feel compassion for those that caused you pain.
~ You no longer seek revenge, or have a need to tell “your side” of the story.
~ You no longer feel like you are competing with anyone, because you realize each of us is walking our own path.
~ You recognize you still have lessons to learn.
~ You value your health, your learning and personal growth over material possessions.
~ You’re grateful for your journey and those that have joined you along the way.

Toni O’K~🌹❤️

Don’t make them ask

By Toni O’Keeffe

Walk quietly beside her so she can feel your presence.
Hold his hand for a little while until he asks you to let go.
Wrap your arms around her while she weeps.
Be their Peace.
Leave the light on and stay with him until he falls asleep.
Sit with them in silence, so they don’t have to feel the emptiness that surrounds them.
Don’t ask her what’s wrong, because she’s not sure.
Stop talking and listen, not only to their words, but their actions, their silence and their tears.
People in pain, suffering grief, depression or anxiety don’t always know how to ask for what they need.
Don’t make them ask.
Toni O’K~🌹❤️

You’re allowed to stop

By Toni O’Keeffe

You’re allowed to stop,
to rest,
to reflect,
and catch your breath.
Go find your sanctuary amongst the trees, under the stars, next to the lull of moving water or in a field of wild flowers or tall soft grass.
Somewhere tranquil, uncluttered, and away from the noise, where you can surrender to the sound of your soul whispering all that she wants you to know.
You’re allowed to step away from everything that ails you and everything and everyone that demands something from you. You don’t have to explain why, you may not even know why.
Give yourself permission to take a break from all of it and drown yourself in peace.
It’s in this peacefulness that the answers will come.

Toni O’K~ 🌹❤️

Why did we step into each other’s lives?

By Toni O’Keeffe

I’ve often wondered why certain people have come into my life, or why I stepped into theirs.
Some have turned my world upset down leaving me to clean up the rubble and put the piece of my shattered self back together.
Others made my think, made me laugh, made me shake my head, inspired me or loved me just enough and then they were gone.
I have come to understand and appreciate that sometimes we’re meant to step into someone’s life for barely a moment.
Just long enough to leave a small imprint and change each other in ways we might never know.
We walk together from one place and time to another, and then, head to separate shores, knowing with great clarity that we’re profoundly different, although not quite sure how.
Be grateful for everyone that comes in and out of your life. Wish them peace, happiness and love.
Each of these beautiful souls brought you something magnificent, even if it was painful. They helped shape you into who you are.
And who you are, is wonderful.

Thank you for stepping into my world, if only for a moment.

TO’K~🌹❤️