ALLOW yourself to be

A moment will arrive when you realize it’s time to tread beyond your comfort zone.

In this moment you will know with great clarity, it’s time to allow the things that have been calling you from beyond the veil of fear, doubt and judgment, to be born.

This will be your moment of grace, your moment to shine and shatter the obstacles that have been blocking your path.

The fear may appear larger than it ever has because its standing right in front of you. Still, you will face it, naked in your authenticity, showing the world who you really are and not who they have forced you to be.

The demons will retreat, the fog will lift and you will clearly see the path towards the things you’ve always wanted to do, see, say, and become.

Be brave, muster your courage and set out to do all thats been calling you for so long.

We never know exactly when our journey here will end, but we know it will end. Let this year be the year you leap into the life that’s meant for you.

It’s time to ALLOW yourself to be.
To stop fighting the voices of criticism and finally be comfortable just ~ being ~ you.

Toni O’Keeffe ~🌹❤️

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~ 🌹 ❤️

All you have to do, is SHINE

Toni O’KEEFFE

December 13, 2020

You wake up every day and decide what you will show the world.

Never revealing the secrets, the sadness, the longing and the struggles you hide.

Afraid to shine, you put on your mask,
(rather poignant at this moment in time),
and hide your gifts, your words,
your hopes, your beauty, your light,
from the judgement you fear.

You muster your courage, inhale and into the world you go, walking ever so carefully,
so you don’t disturb or offend anyone along your path.

It’s exhausting.
Is it time?
to stop hiding,
to show yourself,
to share your light,
to share your gifts,
to share your words and your beauty,
with the world?

There will be those who judge you because they don’t understand, don’t worry about them, you don’t need them to shine,
you don’t need them to be yourself.

Then, there will be those who love you as you are.
These are your people.
They will wrap you in gratitude, kindness and lift you up so you can shine.

Healing begins when we accept ourselves,
as we are,
love ourselves,
as we are,
step into the world,
as we are.

We shine brightest when we’re doing, being or become who we’re meant to be.
All you have to do is SHINE.

Toni O’K~🌹❤️

Don’t Just Count your Blessings, Live them.

By Toni O’Keeffe

December 8, 2020

I woke this morning with a warm puppy snuggled into the nape of my neck. This tiny bundle of caramel coloured fur always makes me smile. As I scratched his belly, I heard the click of my coffee maker come on and smiled again, proud I had remembered to set the timer.

I wandered to the kitchen, poured a cup, turned on the fireplace, settle into my favourite chair with puppy in my lap, took that first bless’ed sip, and listened to the silence fall around me.

Most mornings start this way, calm, peaceful and reflective.

There was a time when my life was busy and noisy. I didn’t always appreciate the colours of the day, or have the time to slowly sip my coffee and gaze out the window.

Decades were spent on the move, hustling my boys to and from day-care, school, sports, and other activities. Bouncing between work, community services and my own educational pursuits, always busy, always rushing, always something to do, somewhere to go or someone waiting for something.

The “busy stuff” is the means needed to build our lives, but, the busy stuff doesn’t define our lives. It’s the simple beautiful moments that bring us joy and give meaning to the journeys we’re on.

Moments watching a child fall asleep in your lap because that’s where they feel safe, moments making messes and allowing pumpkin guts to fall on the floors and get stuck in your hair because they’re having fun, moments spent with two little guys on a skip-out day appreciating the wonder and silence of the forest or sitting in an open field, feeling content watching birds glide on the wind.

Then, there’s the quiet morning moments, when all the busy is behind you, those two little guys are grown and now its a puppy falling a sleep in your lap.

We need a balance of busy days and days when we’re able to just “be”. Days when we don’t just count our blessings, we live them, being fully present, taking in all the magic and meaning they bring. Because these are the days we will remember, these are the moments that will warm our hearts for ALL THE DAYS of our lives.

Holding Light

There is light within this messy, tangled, unconditioned 2020 tunnel we’re passing through.

You’ll find this light shining in the words, the wisdom, the hands, the acts of kindness and the hearts that capture your attention and hold you. Surrender, and let them hold you.

If you need to let your tears fall, let them fall. Let your tears take the the pain, fatigue, confusion and disappointment with them.

We will emerge from this year kinder, wiser and into better brighter days. Until then, find and hold on to the light that comforts you and provides you with shelter from the heaviness of this downpour,

The light and the warmth it brings always, without fail, returns☀️.

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~🌹❤️

This dream is for you

I know you feel weak and can not muster the strength to dream.
So, this dream is for you.
In this dream, you are loved.
You do not judge yourself or measure your life or success against the lives of others.
You have let go of behaviours, material possessions, substances and people that do not bring you joy.
You are kind, compassionate and loving to yourself and others.
You feel whole in who you are.
You realize that “IT” all happened for a reason, even if “IT” was painful, it had purpose.
You are able to forgive.
You are healing.
You are happy, healthy, loved, and creative.
Your mind, body and spirit are peaceful and your journey now makes sense.

I dream of you enjoying warm sunny days and star lite nights, away from the glow of civilized chaos, melting into the stillness and healing embrace of the natural world.

If you’ve lost your way and can’t see the road ahead, my beautiful, amazing, soul friend, this dream is for you.

Love Toni ~ 🌹❤️

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~🌹❤️