Your words have weight. Exercise them carefully.~

I dislike and rarely use, the term “The truth hurts.” because, it doesn’t always have to.

Even when we convey disappointing or unpleasant information, we can still use words to reassure, comfort, support, show empathy, motivate, inspire, educate or encourage optimism.

In a world where it’s easy to use multiple mediums to fire off messages filled with emotional backlash and sometimes dire consequences, we need to choose our words carefully.

It’s not always “the truth” that hurts, it can be the mis-truths, the half truth, the lies, the mean spirited intent behind the words or how a message is delivered, that hurts.

Your words can break a spirit or save it, bring light to someones day or shroud it in darkness, can lift someone up or tear them down, can soften a heart or make it cold, deliver tears of joy or tears of sorrow, can influence opinion and evoke emotion.

Our words are little bullets. On average, most of us fire off approximately 7000 of them every single day. (OK some of us may use a few more than that😊)

When eloquently strung together those 26 little letters (if you speak English) can make up words that move us to create, laugh, cry and touch one another in the most profound ways.

Before you speak or send a message ask yourself; have I been kind? have I been sensitive? is the information true? is the information even necessary?

Then ask yourself “Will my words cause pain or discomfort?” If they will, ask yourself how you can be supportive, inspire or encourage optimism, healing and growth?

It’s equally important to be cautious with your silence. Our words when left unspoken, can be just as powerful. The things we do not say or do not ask or do not explore, can send messages indicating we do not care, we’re not interested or we’ve given up. Words left unspoken sometimes create a void others fill with assumptions. Most often, incorrect assumptions.

Other times your silence is exactly what the situation calls for. It says I’m not going to engage in what might be an emotionally charged setting. So rather than using your words, it might be best to listen compassionately to the words of others.

Your words both spoken and unspoken belong to you. Before you fire them off or keep them locked in your holster, consider the impact and the consequences of each powerful bullet.

No work-out routine, diet program, steroid, or sizeable muscle mass will give you more power than the weight your words.
Exercise them carefully.

Toni O’Keeffe~🌹❤️

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 ~🌹❤️

Today, I will love you as you are.

“Today, I will love you as you are.
Tomorrow, I will do the same.”
What if we made this pledge to each other every single day?

What if we decided to stop judging each other based on race, gender, looks, wealth, lifestyle, belief system and trusted that each of us is on the path designed specifically for our individual soul?

What if we were kind, embraced our differences and lifted each other up when we witnessed one another struggling, rather than strike each other down?

What if we acted from a place of love, rather than a place of fear?

What if…we stopped making it so hard for each other?

Today, I will love you as you are.
Tomorrow, I will do the same.

Toni O’KEEFFE ~ 🌹❤️

Oh what a mess we’ve made.

We’ve grown into a species of 7 billion people living on one small planet, bumping into each other (literally), sharing the air we breathe, sharing public spaces, leaving our DNA, germs and garbage everywhere.

We are the messiest, most destructive species on earth. We dump our garbage and effluent into the land and oceans providing our food, pump tons of toxins into the air, and then, we wonder why we’re all getting sick and how we got into this pandemic situation.

Our desire to travel globally, consume and purchase goods and services from around the world, and our desires to expand our business, recreational and investment interests into the global marketplace, have changed the way people, products, AND disease travel.

Blaming other countries, other races, even other animals, for this current pandemic is misplaced. With a few exceptions, we all own this mess.

I know I’m part of the problem. I’m part of a generation that consumes too much. I travel and I want to travel again. So, I will have to make decisions that keep myself and those I come into contact with, safe. I don’t see this as an infringement of my rights, I see this as a responsibility that comes with my right to live my life a certain way.

Unless we’re all prepared to stay in our boxes, stop traveling, start growing our own food, start buying local etc., another pandemic is in our future. Not because any one person is going to do one thing wrong, but because 7 billion people move around one little blue planet spreading germs, garbage and disease. 7 billion people who as a species, have not learned how to coexist with other life on earth.

Oh what a mess we’ve made.
If we spent as much time owning our responsibilities to care for the planet and each other, as we do declaring “our rights” hmm, we might stand a chance.

Until we learn how to treat the planet and each other in ways that are gentle, respectful, loving and kind, we will continue down our garbage laden road, leaving a wake of destruction that ends with our extinction.

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 ~🌹❤️

Open heart ~ Open mind

Life became easier when I surrendered my own tenacity and began to live with an open heart and an open mind.

There are things I’ve discovered and learned along the way, which I might never have unearthed if I had remained locked in my own stubbornness.

Our struggles often result from our inability to see the possibilities beyond our own thinking and the doctrines imposed on us.

Living with an open heart and mind means considering alternatives, actively listening to opinions different from our own, being kind before jumping to judgment and being aware of signs along the way pointing you in new directions.

Open minds and open hearts, have created more music, magic, poetry, peace, love and light in the world, then closed minds and cold hearts.

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 ~ 🌹❤️

You were born to be a curious warrior

Toni O’Keeffe

January, 2021

You were born to be a curious warrior,
to explore, question and unearth the mystery’s of your life.

You’re here to get tangled into the magic and energy of other souls. To share experiences, make each other feel things, both good things and painful things, to take the lessons from those experiences and move on to whatever comes next.

Don’t sit idle waiting for life to happen.
Exercise your curiosity. Get bumped and bruised. Feel the warmth of falling in love and the chill of heartache. Light some fires, put others out. And, face your storms, knowing they will pass.

You are not meant to be a bystander in your life. You’re meant to live in a state of passionate wonder, to gaze into the sky with a humble heart, an inquisitive mind, and question why you, we, or any of this beautiful magic exists at all.
Toni O’K~🌹❤️

You can only grow into who you’re meant to be.

By Toni O’Keeffe

Once upon a time there were three little bulbs planted side-by-side in a magnificent garden.

Slowly they began to wake. Their shoots began to break through the earth. Two of the bulbs were tulips, the other, a daffodil.

As they began to grow, the tulips turned to the daffodil and said “Your stem is too thin you must make it thicker to look like ours.”

The little daffodil tried to make her stem the same thickness as the tulips. She couldn’t and she became sad.

As the petals begin to develop on each of the flowers the tulips looked to the daffodil again and said, “No, your petals must be red.”

The little yellow daffodil tried to make her petals red, but she couldn’t, and she felt even worse about herself. She didn’t understand why she was different.

The tulips demanded that her petals be wider and turn upward like theirs but the little daffodils petals reached outward and resembled the sun, beautiful and yellow.

As the three bulbs grew the tulips ignored the little daffodil because she was not like them.

One warm spring day a little girl wearing a Santa hat came up to smell the daffodil.
“Why am I different,” the daffodil asked the little girl, “Why can’t I be like them?”

“You’re not supposed to be like them.
You’re supposed to be like you. The garden would be boring and plain if all the flowers looked the same. I think you’re beautiful as you are, that’s why I choose to come over and gaze at you.”

This made the little daffodil smile. She now felt proud and happy that she was different.

You, me, each of us, can only grow into whom we’re meant to be. Love the bits of yourself that resemble nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Yes, even your weird beautiful bits.

Toni O’K~ 🌹 ❤️