Rainy Monday morning ramble☔️

Rainy Monday mornings, the perfect opportunity for rambling reflections☔️.

Outside, dull gray clouds drop rain from the sky, creating small pools of water on my patio. I’m snuggled inside, coffee in one hand, pen in the other and a fire warming my toes. My puppy Bo’ is also snuggled up, enjoying the calm a morning like this brings.

An array of birds are taking shelter in the hedge outside my window, popping out every so often to pluck a worm from the ground and take it back to the nest.

The wind and the chill provide the perfect opportunity to sink into a cozy ponder of thought. My first thought being; I am so blessed and grateful for this life.

The day also provides the opportunity to ask; “What did I learn or observed last week that will help me this week?” Hmm so many thoughts come to mind.

I observed a war that makes no sense. Young men, woman, fathers and mothers, fighting and dying for the deranged ego of a narcissistic leader. What if they all just put down their weapons and walked away, walked back to their homes and families? War is pointless. No one person should ever hold so much power over so many. War teaches us how fragile our lives, our way of life and our planet is. So this week I will live with a more grateful and compassionate heart.

Last week, I observed thousands, maybe millions of people around the world unite to support those in need and those who are hurting. These acts of humanity have reminded me that the human spirit has a huge capacity to care, to help and to love. We’re so much better when we work together. So, I will join others, when I can, to make our world a better place.

I observed the selfish and reckless behaviour of a few, bent on getting their way irregardless of the impact their actions had on others, cause disruption and chaos. Witnessing this type of behaviour reminds me that our actions, even when merely observed, can have a far reaching impact. Someone is always watching, observing and learning, including our children. Our actions can create positive ripples or waves of destruction, the choice is ours.

I observed how little it takes to make myself happy. A few stones collected from the seashore, a paint brush and my imagination, can clear my mind and keep me busy for hours. We don’t always need to have great expectations of ourselves. The best things are often simply things and simple moments, and the calm and contentment these moments bring.

As you start out this new week, I hope you reflect on what learning you will take with you, what type of ripple you create and what behaviours or expectations you will leave behind. Whatever you decide, I hope it brings you (and perhaps others) calm, contentment and peace ☮️.
Love Toni ~ 🌹❤️

Born Free? What?

Individual freedom would imply you are not tied or tethered to anyone or anything. You are free to go, do, say or be whatever you want.

But, that’s not exactly the reality of the world we coexist in. We are individual human threads, interwoven across the colourful patchwork we call humanity.

None of us are completely free, nor will we ever be (well, until, you know😇).
We are connected, whether we like it or not.

When the fabric at one end of the patchwork is torn, it affects us all and there is potential for ALL OF US to unravel.

It’s to our collective benefit ~ whether there’s a war, a pandemic or natural disaster~ to rally and support the piece of the patchwork that’s damaged or suffering. There’s a shared responsibility for “the whole”, to which we all benefit and to which we all have a responsibility. Bee’s get it🐝.

We spend a lot of time espousing our individual freedoms and rights, but not a lot of time teaching children (or ourselves) about our individual responsibilities and interdependence.

Despite what the song says, we are “NOT” Born Free. We are born into a hive that is completely interdependent and reliant on social cooperation. What happens to one of us, affects all of us.


“Bee” kind to each other and this beautiful, sort-of-happy, hive that is our shared home.

Love
Toni 🐝❤️🐝

Is it time for a social media break up?

By Toni O’KEEFFE

Is social media ruining our personal and romantic relationships?

Are we forgetting how to communicate?

Are adults spending too much time scrolling through pics of their ex, the cute girl or guy from the office or their latest obsession, when they should be spending time building and growing the important relationships in their lives?

Apparently, we are.

One third of all divorce cases since 2016 in the UK, cite “social media” in the proceedings as a cause for disharmony in the relationship. Another survey suggests one third of all relationship break ups “worldwide” are the results of social media behaviour and engagement. 😮

But let’s be clear, it’s not necessarily the fault of social media, it’s the temptation it breeds to be stealth, sneaky, and disengage from real relationships and engage in unfettered behaviour that’s causing the problem.

The ease in which people can scroll and get away with flirting, sexting, viewing, stalking and micro-cheating make it easy to engage online.

This environment also makes it easy for disinformation and conspiracy theory’s to be spread and wreak havoc on our family’s, and our personal and romantic relationships.
I’ll write more about that on another day.

Good communication is essential to good relationships. Our obsession with social media has destroyed communications between partners, parents and their children and caused breakups between friends.

A 2015 poll of adults found that 89 per cent admitted they took out a phone to view social media during their last social gathering. 82 per cent say the conversation they we’re having, deteriorated after they did.
71 percent also admitted to using social media in ways they knew their partner wouldn’t like, e.g stalking an ex, flirting, staying connected to a crush or viewing pics of a cutie from work.

A number of studies also point to a decline in our mental health from over exposer to social media.

Social networking sites are rampant with opportunities for self-promotion and ego-boosting. The number of narcissists feeding on likes, new followers, complementary comments and love emoji‘s from those willing to offer them up to feed their own desires and fantasies, is staggering.

Both the narcissist and those following them (and enabling them) are contributing partially to the downfall of real life communications and relationships.

A study led by mental health research Julia Brailovskaia, showed that narcissism is associated with high levels of Facebook and Instagram use. Her study also shows, the need for popularity and ego boosting can be dangerously addictive.

Of course social media is not all bad. It allows us to stay connected, reconnect and reach out. However, when it takes us away from our primary relationships, makes us mentally unwell, impacts our real world communications, erodes trust in our romantic relationships or is being used to spread misleading information or cause harm, then maybe it’s time for a break.

There is so much information on this topic, so, I’ve posted a few links below which relate to the studies and information I’ve referenced above for those who are interested in this topic.

So, on this happy day-after-Valentine’s-post, I think it’s time for me to take a break, turn off my social media platforms for a bit, and spend some time in the real world.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, real world, rest of the week.

Waiting

We spend our lives waiting.

Waiting in line, waiting for the right time, the right person, the right place.

Waiting for winter, for spring, for summer and then waiting for fall.

Waiting for days to be warmer, then to be colder.

Waiting for the sun to rise, for the sun to set.

Waiting until we loose weight.

Waiting for our children to arrive, to walk, to talk, to go to school, to leave and then, waiting and hoping they’ll come back home.

Waiting to find a job, waiting to find a better job, then counting the days to retirement.

Waiting until we have money, waiting until we have more money.

Waiting to do the things we’ve always wanted to do.

Waiting for somethings to begin and others to end.

Waiting to find “the one” then, to find the next “one”.
Waiting for the heartache and pain to go away.

Waiting to find ourselves and understand our purpose.

We barely remember the things we’ve been waiting for because the moment they arrive we start waiting for the next thing to show up.

As children we could hardly wait to grow up.
Then as we get older things change.
We want to slow it all down.
We want to hold on to the few precious moments we get with those we love.

We become aware of how fast it’s all gone by. We try so hard to slow it down, to be present, but it keeps moving, even faster now.

Stop waiting and just BE.
Appreciate where you’re at; even if it’s painful.
Be grateful for this moment, this time, this lesson, the joy, the sorrow, whatever it is, BE with it. Be in awe of it and the learning that comes with it.

The day will arrive when you miss where you’re at today. You will look back on the most difficult times of your life and realize these were the most important and transformational moments of your life. They set the stage for the good things that followed.

You will also look back on all those special small moments and wished you had lingered in them longer. So linger in them now.

Don’t wait it all away. BE present with it today.

Toni O’KEEFFE ~ 🌹❤️

Take time to look back to see how far you’ve come.

I love this girl.
She used to be shy, afraid of the world, and worried about what she might become.

I’d like to go back in time, give her a hug and whisper in her little ear;
“You’re perfect just as you are. There’s going to be some storms and you’ll face them. You’ll get lost now and then, but you’ll always find your way back.
Every once and awhile you’ll forget who you were meant to be, but then you’ll remember and you’ll be fine. Everything’s going to be okay.”
❤️
I’m grateful I got to be her when she grew up.
❤️
At times, life seems to inches along so slowly and you don’t realize how far you’ve come or how much you’ve grown. Then, you turn around and wow, it hasn’t inched along at all. Time has flown by. You’ve crossed oceans, navigated storms, trudged through some muck, fought some battles, have a few scars, climbed mountains, seen some breathtaking vistas, met amazing people and covered a lot of ground. And damn, you should celebrate all that.

Take time to look back, reflect and remind yourselves how far you’ve come.
You might be surprised to find, you’ve come a long, long amazing way baby.
So, Cheers to you!
🥂❤️

Stop worrying so much about do little ~

Beautiful friend.
Stop worrying so much about so little.

Don’t worry about the ones that left you behind, be grateful for the ones who are still by your side.

Don’t worry about promises not kept or plans that didn’t work out. They weren’t supposed to, they weren’t meant for you.

Don’t worry about the past or be angry, jealous or spiteful about days gone by. Be grateful for the lessons and move on.

What hurt you yesterday, has already begun to heal today. If yesterday didn’t go exactly as you hoped, today the slate is clean, you get to start over.

We’re all magical, messy, mixed up little souls painting lives that are constantly works in progress. So, my beautiful friend, stop being so hard on yourself and stop worrying so much, about so little.

Be gentle with yourself today and every day.
Just relax you messy little soul, just relax.
TO’K~ 🌹❤️

Pain can be a beautiful teacher~

We learn more during life’s painful moments and challenges, than we learn in our moments of glory.

Each stabbing ache, each crushing disappointment, each heartbreak, every loss or painful fall from grace, allows us an opportunity to grow and become stronger.

Whether it’s emotional or physical; pain forces us to slow down, rest and take the time we need to heal.

Getting knocked down isn’t always a bad thing. Pain can leave us humbled, wiser and more patient. It allows us to lower our veil, be vulnerable, more tolerant and compassionate towards the pain we see or even cause, in others.

Sometimes pain itself is the cure for the things in life that hurt us; as it slows us down long enough to evaluate what and who is important.

When pain knocks on your door, let it in, sit with it. Let it show you what it wants you to see, to learn or to grow into.

Pain always, ALWAYS, brings with it opportunities for transformation. Opportunities to wrap yourself in your cocoon, and when you’re ready, to emerge with greater clarity about who you are, what’s important, why you’re here and how you want to live, love, play and BE.

Pain can be a beautiful teacher. Don’t waste your pain on “the pain” use this opportunity as a stepping stone to chart the next chapter of your journey.

Your pain will hurt you, it will also help, heal and lead you.

TO’K ~ 🌹❤️

Doing nothing might be the most productive “something” you can do.

Sometimes doing nothing can be the most productive “something” you do for yourself.

I’ve learned more about myself and others when I bask in stillness and silence.

Filling our lives with busyness and noise is the least productive thing we can do for our minds, bodies and spirits.

It’s in calm and quietude, that we process the learning we’ve acquired on this wild ride called life, and make sense of the things we’ve gone through.

When we lay down our burdens and close our eyes, we see clearly and we allow healing to take place. It’s in a state of hush that the answers we seek arrive and the way forward is revealed.

Doing absolutely nothing, can sometimes be the perfect path towards an amazing and beautiful something.

Release everything that ails you, haunts you or weighs heavy on your “being” and, gift yourself with a little bit of nothing today.

Sending love and light to whomever needs it☀️❤️.

TO’K~🌹❤️

Unleash the power of “happy” into your life

Our entire lives we’re on a quest to feel whole and happy.

As we wait for happiness to arrive, some of us fill the empty spaces in our lives with distractions, temporary highs, busyness, unfulfilling relationships, toxic substances, material possessions and the debt that often comes with them, but still, the emptiness remains.

As children we knew how to laugh, how to play and what made us happy. It was being close to the ones we loved, exercising our curiosity, exploring our environment, creating adventures, making art, splashing in puddles, running barefoot in the rain, playing in a forest or a pond, taking risks and trusting we’d be okay, even if we fell; these are the things that filled us up.

Then, as we grew, life became cluttered with distractions, busyness, possessions, stress, too much information, self doubt and responsibility. Many of us parked our creativity, abandoned our curious nature, spent less time with those we loved and we stopped doing those wonderful things that made us happy when we we’re children.

It’s time to invite the child who lives in each of us to come out and play, to remember the happiness we felt when we set ourselves free from the clutter and distractions that bog us down.

Even amidst the frenzied noise and turmoil in the world, we can still CHOOSE to be happy.

Today is a good day;
~ To look up and see the world through the curious eyes of the child in you and reclaim your sense of wonder.
~ To seek out a new adventure and bask in the beauty around you.
~ To flip over a few rocks along the shoreline and see what scurries out.
~ To pull out a colouring book, make a kite, play in the sand, go to a park and get on a swing, hang off a monkey bar, make a mud pie or do some happy finger painting on your guest room wall.
~ To giggle, to play and melt back into your authentic happy little self.

Today’s a good day to be happy.
To let go and jump, skip, slide, soar, surf, run, ride, sail, paddle or swim, right past anything blocking your path to happiness.

You came into this world knowing where happiness resides, it’s still there waiting for you to unleash its power over your life.

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~🌹❤️