Everyone you meet is a teacher.

Some people come into our lives not because they need us, but because we need them.

Everyone we meet is a teacher.
They may guide us through the storms in our lives, they may be the mirror reflecting the unhealthy attitudes and behaviours we need to let go of, they may shine their light on answers we’ve been looking for, or, they may bring us comfort when we need it most.

When we start to see each other this way (as teachers), perhaps we’ll hold more reverence for the roles we play in each other’s lives, and tread more softly on each other’s hearts.

Watch for the earth angels who arrive to help and guide you. You may not see their wings, but you’ll feel the compassion radiate from their hearts.

Toni O’KEEFFE~🌹❤️
*artwork Ekkawat Ritnetikul

Woo and the river of enlightenment

Toni O’KEEFFE
April, 2022

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.

The End
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~🌹❤️

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 ~🌹❤️

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 ~ 🌹❤️

You’re allowed to stop

By Toni O’Keeffe

You’re allowed to stop,
to rest,
to reflect,
and catch your breath.
Go find your sanctuary amongst the trees, under the stars, next to the lull of moving water or in a field of wild flowers or tall soft grass.
Somewhere tranquil, uncluttered, and away from the noise, where you can surrender to the sound of your soul whispering all that she wants you to know.
You’re allowed to step away from everything that ails you and everything and everyone that demands something from you. You don’t have to explain why, you may not even know why.
Give yourself permission to take a break from all of it and drown yourself in peace.
It’s in this peacefulness that the answers will come.

Toni O’K~ 🌹❤️

Why did we step into each other’s lives?

By Toni O’Keeffe

I’ve often wondered why certain people have come into my life, or why I stepped into theirs.
Some have turned my world upset down leaving me to clean up the rubble and put the piece of my shattered self back together.
Others made my think, made me laugh, made me shake my head, inspired me or loved me just enough and then they were gone.
I have come to understand and appreciate that sometimes we’re meant to step into someone’s life for barely a moment.
Just long enough to leave a small imprint and change each other in ways we might never know.
We walk together from one place and time to another, and then, head to separate shores, knowing with great clarity that we’re profoundly different, although not quite sure how.
Be grateful for everyone that comes in and out of your life. Wish them peace, happiness and love.
Each of these beautiful souls brought you something magnificent, even if it was painful. They helped shape you into who you are.
And who you are, is wonderful.

Thank you for stepping into my world, if only for a moment.

TO’K~🌹❤️