Meet Camilla

Team TLC Lillian's 14th Birthday Party Virginia Foothills Park 9.13.15

Hey! I’m Camilla Downs (pronounced like Pamela, but with a “C”). I was named after Camilla Sparv, a Swedish actress in the 1960’s and 70’s. I’m the great great grand-daughter of a full blooded Chickasaw Indian and Irish immigrants. When my great great grand-father left the Chickasaw tribe he took the name of Robert Downs.

I love walking. I am out for walks anywhere from three to six days a week. Nature is partly the inspiration for my writings and poetry. The other part is a desire to process my own life experiences; to give them an outlet through writing. Writing in this way allows me to feel and release experiences and to receive comfort and answers via these writings. Writing holds my heart and guides me to confront the unlovely and harsh thoughts that litter my mind at times. Yet, also to fully experience the joyful and peaceful moments of this life.

In the past when I sat to write a poem, I would first look through nature photographs I have taken. I’ll feel an internal nudge to use one as inspiration for whatever I am about to write. The writing flows so fast, I can barely keep up with “grabbing” it all before it’s gone!

I also write narratives of my own life experiences and how I’ve processed the experiences; sharing these on my blog and in my books.

I enjoy being connected with and in the company of others who are inspiring, authentic, mindful, and who spread loving-kindness. I’m kind of a shy person, yet, when I and another engage in deep, meaningful conversation; the shyness simply melts.

I’m deeply spiritual and this exudes from my blog posts and poetry. Every artistic creation I undertake has loving-kindness, peace, and oneness at its core. It is my goal to have anything I create come forth directly from the heart. I know when I begin to struggle for words or the “how” of the creation that I have left my heart and entered my mind.

I single parent thirteen year old Thomas and seventeen year old Lillian and parenthood is my work and art. Something within was awakened when these two joined me. Thomas and Lillian were the catalyst to opening my heart and sharing the message of love.

My first self-help memoir, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance, touches on my nearly ten year marriage, becoming parent to one with special needs, and ultimately becoming a single parent to both kids when Thomas was one year old.

I began writing the book in June 2011 and the book was published in less than a year in May 2012. “D iz for Different” went on to become a best-selling book on Amazon in the categories of special needs parenting and self-help.

In the fall of 2016, I focused on creating and marketing Thomas’ book, “Biggest Little Photographer“; which was published in October 2016.

In January of 2018 Lillian’s debut book, titled “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published.

The writings in my book, on this blog, The Team TLC blog, facebook, and instagram have been and are culled directly from my life experiences. I openly share the ups and downs of my personal and family life.

In mid 2016 I began to write poetry inspired by the nature photographs I make. I share these first on instagram, then on facebook, and ultimately on this blog.

Lillian has a chromosome abnormality simply called 18p-. This means she is missing the short arm of chromosome #18. Fortunately, the evening the diagnosis was delivered in December 2004, I found an organization by the name of Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society. This group and all members are amazing.

We call ourselves Team TLC to correspond with the first letters of each of our names and we are 4 years into a living-in-a-tiny-home adventure. In addition, we are an unschooling family. Thomas and Lillian focus on what interests each of them and learn about that topic. I act as a facilitator and provide assistance when asked or needed.

I am inspired by this place I chose as home in 2006 … Reno, Nevada. When he was seven years old Thomas summed it up with one beautifully inspired comment.

“It’s like we are at an art show and nature keeps changing the art for us.”

Camilla's Grandparents, an old picture
My Great Great Grandparents (Downs)