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 ~🌹❤️

The wisdom you seeks, is in you.

Once upon a time, there was a woman sitting on a large moss covered rock next to the ocean.

She sat quietly looking out across the water, feeling the sun on her face, the wind blow through her hair, inhaling the fresh sea air and taking in the beauty before her. She could sense an angel was near, and she feared it was “her time.”

The angel approached and sat beside her.
“I felt you were close,” said the woman.
“Were you afraid of my presence?” asked the angel.
“No,” the woman replied. “But I have so many regrets”.

“What are those regrets?” the angel asked.

“I regret I didn’t love myself enough to be who I was meant to be. I lived in fear of judgment, so I didn’t express my love, my creativity or my passions and missed what could have been the best parts of my life.

I realize now all I had to do was love myself, love and accept others as they are, and love this beautiful planet we’ve been given. It’s so simple yet, I made it so hard and, I’ve wasted so much time.”

The angel looked at the woman and said,
“Hmmm, if you had more time, tell me what you’d do?

The woman’s eyes lit up and her posture straightened.

“I’d live my life as a peaceful warrior, promoting kindness. I’d love without fear and without expectations. I’d sing more often, build more sand castles and dance in the rain. I’d explore this amazing planet and I’d express my creativity in ways that felt right for me.

I would set myself free by forgiving anyone who’s ever hurt me. I’d strip hatred, jealousy and judgment from my heart, as these things bring NO joy to me or others.

I’d live in a state of acceptance and embrace the beautiful differences I see in all of us.

I’d spend less time away from the people I loved. I would be less busy, less stressed, less concerned with what others thought, I’d consume less, worry less and be less impatient and less critical. I’d be less offended and make fewer assumptions.

I would BE fully awake, so I could see the world as the magnificent masterpiece she is, and, I would look into the world with grateful eyes and a compassionate heart.”

“That’s beautiful and perfect,”replied the angel. Now, go do those things.”

“What?” replied the woman. Aren’t you here to take me away?”

“No” replied the angel. I’m your angel of wisdom and light. I’ve always been with you. It’s only now that you’re beginning to see me and awaken to the wisdom that’s always been inside of you.”

The woman wept tears of gratitude. “How much time do I have?” she asked excitedly.

“I don’t know. None of us know. You might have an hour, a day, a week, months or many years. But, it will end. It’s the impermanence of life that makes this journey so precious.

No matter what you did yesterday, if you wake up tomorrow, see this new day as a gift. BE present on that day and BE fully awake. And if you wake up the day after that, live the same way.

None of us are getting out of this alive. But, we do get to decide how we live, how we love and what we learn along the way.

The well of wisdom and light you’ve been seeking, its in you. It always has been❤️”

The End
Toni O’K~🌹❤️

Curious minds have more fun

I’ve always been curious. Asking too many questions in school and during business meetings, looking things up, turning over too many stones and exploring abandoned roads and pathways.

At one point I came to believe this was a negative trait because people were always telling me to “shut up” or to stop asking so many questions.

I know now that curiosity is a gift we’re all born with. It’s is an extension of our internal wisdom. Curiosity leads to new discoveries, new advances in technology, medicine and science.

Curiosity exercises all of our senses, awakens our minds and provides the neurons in our brains an excellent workout. Curiosity expands the imagination and takes us to places beyond the realm of every day doldrums. I feel “lit” and alive when acting on my curiosity.

Curiosity did not kill the cat, ignorance killed the cat. The more we know and the more we explore and imagine, the better off we all are.

When we ask questions we understand each other better, we begin to appreciate different points of view, we’re more peaceful, we cooperate and we’re kinder to one another.

Don’t be afraid to water your inquisitive nature and exercise your curiosity muscle. And, encourage the young people in your life to do the same.

We’ve got big challenges across this little blue plant of ours. It’s those active, creative, curious minds who are questioning, seeking and discovering, that will lead us to the solutions we need to heal the world.

And besides, curious minds have more fun. It’s your curious nature that will lead you towards new adventures, new people, new vistas, and yes maybe a bit of trouble, but that in itself is an adventure.

Wishing you a curious kind of day😊🤗

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~🌹❤️

Don’t chase the things that don’t want to be caught

Toni O’Keeffe

January, 2021

Don’t chase the things
or people who don’t
want to be caught.

Not everything you’ve lost
is meant to be found.
Not everyone you’ve loved
is meant to be held forever.

When things and people leave our lives,
they create the space for new experiences, adventures and emotions to arrive.

Sometimes, when you take
things out of your life,
you add more into your life.

Trust that what’s meant for you,
will stay, what’s not, will go.

Happy Friday🤗

Toni O’K~🌹❤️

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 ~🌹❤️

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~ 🌹 ❤️