Imagine you’re on a day hike in the forest, it’s getting dark and you wander off the path.
Your lost. You don’t know which way to go. You don’t have provisions to get through the night, you’re feeling stressed, hopeless, anxious and mad at yourself for not being better prepared.
Then, as you’re stumbling in the dark, exhausted and disoriented, you see a light in the darkness. A spark of hope surges within you and you make your way towards the light.
Your anxiousness turns to excitement. Your hopelessness turns to optimism. All because you saw a small comforting glow in the distance.
You’re overcome with joy when you come upon another hiker sitting next to a cozy fire. This person is a stranger, yet, in this moment they’re the most important person in your life.
They offer you shelter, warmth, food and water. You graciously accept. You’re relieved and you feel safe.
In the morning this stranger guides you out of the forest to safety. You hug, shed a tear and say goodbye. Your grateful, humbled and alive. ~~~~~~~ We all stumble. At times, we feel lost, alone, anxious, stressed or hopeless. Pride or self doubt might stop us from seeking help.
You sweet soul, when you’re lost, do what you’d do in the forest, look for the ones with the light and let them guide you. Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️
Nothing hurts more than the lack of affection we give ourselves.
It’s not arrogant, big-headed or egotistical to like or even love yourself, in fact, it’s necessary.
If you seek love, look in the mirror, learn to appreciate, accept and love that reflection.
Treat yourself kindly, talk to yourself kindly. Nurture your body, mind and spirit with kindness, gratitude and acceptance.
We place far too many expectations on others to love us and make us happy. Your happiness is your job. My happiness is my job. When we learn to love ourselves, we have fewer expectations of others, and that’s liberating. Amongst 7 billion people on this planet, there’s no one like you. You’re a magnificent, unique, beautiful and mysterious masterpiece. Treat yourself like one. Love yourself like one.
Once upon a time there was a boy named Woo. Woo pondered the concept of “light.” He had heard terms such as: “He lit the way for others.” “She was a beckon of light.” “He lit up the room.” “She was glowing.”
Woo did not understand these terms. He only knew light as the warmth and glow radiating from the sun or the light from a candle.
He was perplexed has he contemplated how a person could be “light.” So, Woo asked his mother; “Mother, how does a man light the way for others.” “You will know when someone lights your path and leads you out of the darkness,” she replied.
He asked his grandfather; “Grandfather, how does a woman become a beckon of light?” “You will know when your mind is awakened and inspired by the wisdom and knowledge of your teachers,” replied his grandfather.
He asked the village healer; “How can a person glow or radiate light? The healer replied, “You will know when you observe a mother holding her child for the very first time.
All the replies Woo received were different. He still did not understand, so he wandered to the river to sit and contemplate what he’d been told.
Woo saw a disheveled, homeless man sitting next to the River. “Why do you live like this, alone and without a home?” Woo asked the man?
“What makes you think I’m alone and without a home?” ask the man. “The earth is my home. I’m surrounded by the beauty and light of the world, I’m not alone at all.
The response from the man surprised Woo. “What is the light of the world?” Woo asked.
The man replied “You will know when you witness the smallest act of kindness and your heart is touched. You will know when you no longer judge others for the way they look, think or live, but rather seek to accept and love those who share your path, because you understand we are all apart of a greater light.
“I don’t understand,” said Woo.
“Close your eyes and tell me what you hear?” asked the man. Woo closed his eyes and listened. “I hear the powerful rush of the river,” said Woo. “What created the river?” asked the man. “Many drops of rain falling from the sky.” Woo replied. “That’s correct,” said the man. “One raindrop can not force a river downstream but together the droplets are powerful.”
The man then asked Woo to look into the sky. Woo did as he was asked. “What do you see?” asked the man. “I see stars lighting up the sky,” said Woo. “That’s correct, said the man. “One star alone cannot light the sky, but many stars together with the moon can create a path that guides ships and weary sailors home.
“Now, touch the ground.” Woo placed his hands on the ground. “What do you feel? asked the man. “Many blades of grass,” said Woo. “That’s right,” said the man. “The ground is solid. It holds back the river and helps the river stay it’s course. All those tiny blades of grass with their roots intertwined, are a part of the solid foundation which guides the river to the sea where it meets other rivers and together they fill the Ocean.”
At that moment, “a light” went on in Woo’s head. “I think I understand!” Woo exclaimed. “Everything is connected. Each of us is like one small star, one droplet of rain or one blade of grass.“
“Yes,” said the man. “Each star, each rain drop, each blade of grass and each one of us shine, grow or flow in different directions. However, when we work together we create something stronger, brighter, better, and more powerful. We shine our light when we share our courage, strength, wisdom, acts kindness or love with others. We don’t all shine the same. But, we all shine.”
Woo now understood. “Thank you,” said Woo, for shining your light on my path.” “And, yours onto mine,” replied the man.
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❤️”
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.
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☀️.
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.