Live Your Life as a Fairy Tale – Guest Post by Lillian Darnell

On April 1, 2019, Lillian and I were a guest on the lovely Katrina Marie Hart’s blog to share a bit about Lillian and her debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories”. If it feels right, we would be grateful for you to visit Katrina’s site to read the article in it’s entirety, and like or comment with your thoughts.

Here’s a wee bit from the article:

” …… My inspirations for writing are nature, coloring, drawing, reading, something I catch myself saying, food, and holidays. Most times my writing flows through me like a river.

Some of my favorite foods are French Fries, cheese (dairy and vegan – dairy bothers my stomach), dark chocolate, snickerdoodle cookies, chocolate cake, gluten free powdered donuts, and strawberries. I really enjoy volunteering at our local library one day a week and my family and I …. ”

Visit the below link to read further …

Live Your Life as a Fairy Tale by Author Lillian Darnell.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Photography and Poetry: The Circle of Life

**THROWBACK TO JULY 2018**

The Circle of Life

On a bed of lentils,
surrounded by yellow flowers,
in cycles of three
she rotated through life.

What has she done wrong,
What did she do for all
the right reasons?
Haunted her it has,
ever since.

Hold the faith in I AM,
she will.
Knowing her inner beauty,
using the dark spaces to glow.

Pulling old roots,
Planting new roots.
Never forgetting how
lovely she is.
Don’t forget the tomatoes!

She lost her voice,
building a shield
to protect herself.

The time is now to
gently lower the shield.
To release her Voice.
Knowing her self-worth,
Knowing her value,
Loving her Self.

Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali,
Are you here yet?

Here comes the Gust
of Cheer!
How’s the lipstick?
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

-2018 Camilla Downs

INspired by a session in mid-July 2018 with my friend Lalita Simon. These were messages from my angels, guides, and my grandparents! HA! …This is like a poetry soup of our conversation.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

**Become a Patron and Support my creations of photography, poetry, books, writings, and mentoring. Click on the below photo and support with an amount that feels right for you. If you’d like this to be a monthly gift, please note so in the comments. Much Gratitude to you!**

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**Current Work In Progress as of Spring 2019: A Collection of Poetry. Tentatively titled, “Liberation – Words of Alchemy”.

 

Latest News: Help Spread the Word for Lillian Darnell’s Fundraiser

Want to help spread the word for my special needs daughter, Lillian? She is fundraising to help pay for our attendance at the annual Chromosome 18 conference this July in Colorado Springs.

Who wouldn’t love a custom poem created just for them? That’s exactly what Lillian is offering for her fundraising efforts. Lillian is a natural poet and loves writing poetry.

For anyone new here, Lillian Darnell is my 17 year old special needs daughter. Her condition is called 18p- as she is missing the short arm of Chromosome #18. We attend a yearly conference every summer specific to her condition. She is adamant every year that she help raise money for us to attend as it’s darn expensive for a family of 3.


(Group Photo from the 2018 Conference in Baltimore)

The poems will be nature themed, fairy themed, mermaid themed, or unicorn themed. Every poem created will be different and uniquely yours!

Please feel free to share this post with others who appreciate poetry and love supporting artists and fundraisers!

Sample poem above … Oceans of gratitude and LOVE! Visit the link below to learn more about this from Lillian …

Fundraising for the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference – Poem Creativity

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Happy Birthday to Me – Reuniting With Someone Special

**I wrote this on February 27, 2019 … One day after my 49th birthday.

Just when I thought the really deep, tough stuff was all done ….

Around the 1st of February 2019, I began to feel anxious and restless. A knowing was woken within me that I had forgotten. Many, many, many years ago I had turned my back on someone who needed me. I broke loose from this relationship and built a strong, heavy door between the two of us. I wanted nothing to do with the sadness, envy, and jealousy she held within. I was sick and tired of being around this heavy, dark energy. So. I left without even an explanation.

In the midst of coming to this knowing, I experienced a series of three events in a one week period that caused me to view myself as a failure. A failure as a parent, a failure as a friend, and a failure at a work project. I sat with the emotions this brought forth and when I remembered, I invited it all with open arms and when I remembered, I loved myself during these harsh thoughts.

A pattern surfaced. I took notes, looking back at past events to round up as many events as possible that came back to this same pattern. Then, I had one of the most amazing aha moments.

I came to know that the feelings and emotions that were felt during and after these three events, were from within the one I had abandoned. These were her actions and her emotions.

Who is this one I turned my back on years ago? She is my inner child, little Camilla. I had not realized when I brushed aside all of the harshness experienced in my youth and younger years; that I had turned my back on her and how she viewed life.

What I came to know near the beginning of this month is that I am needed by her. We need each other. She knows things about my childhood. I know a few things about this journey I’ve traveled and kinda sort of, a few things about being an adult. I realized she could give me back my childhood, help me to remember what my dreams were, what my interests were, what I loved to do as a child.

I also realized that I could help her to not view life the way in which she does. Not to her fault. She views life in the way it was modeled to her when she was a youngster and by way of just assuming things on her own. She was unintentionally neglected then and has been neglected by me ever since the day I left and built the door between us.

Once I realized this, I began the work of tearing down that door. I lovingly let her know how sorry I was for abandoning her. I let her know I would ever more be here for her, that I trust her, I believe in her, I see her, and I hear her. I let her know that even if she never trusts me and never reveals her secrets to me; I will be here, unconditionally loving her and acknowledging how she feels.

As often as I can remember, I will place my hand on my heart, and send the message to her that she is loved, she is seen, she is heard, that I believe in her. I will share the message that life does not have to be as she assumed or witnessed. Life can be as I have learned it can be, as I have lived it, as I have envisioned and as I know it to be. Once the two of us reunite, and join, we will know this as one and it can become our united path.

Such peace is with me knowing that I am reuniting with little Camilla. Knowing when I am triggered and these same emotions, thoughts, and feelings surface, that they are coming from her, the sweet child within. Now that I know this, I am able to comfort her and let her know this is not how it has to be. There is another way.

What a beautiful miracle it is to recognize from where these feelings of being left out, feelings of doing it wrong, feelings of only getting the scraps of life, what’s left over, and feelings of unworthiness, envy, sadness, and jealousy originate. I say again, what a beautiful miracle.

**************************

Being more than a month out from this experience, I have moved through it and am in a place of peace, beauty and joy. I accept these moments when they arise and move through them. For my own benefit and for the benefit of humanity. For I do believe every single bit of healing we do for ourself, goes towards global healing as well. Much love to all of YOU!!

Now, to share the birthday celebrations with you ……..

Just had to show off this lovely creation by my sweet friend Jessica Araus!! Sweet and perfect!!

And, my mantra for the day from sweet friend, Cat Murray …. “I am shiny” … Heeheehee!!

And, and this beautiful birthday blessing from my beautiful friend Lalita Simon-Creasey …

Happy Birthday to you dearest Camilla
I wish to ye with that most beautiful of smiles
Fall deeper and deeper in love with who you are
Seeing grace and beauty everywhere as you travel through the miles.

May today be the beginning of everything true
May you be fulfilled, cherished and joyfully happy
May you see always truest beauty inside you
May you smile as you read these words of prosperity.

With lots of love on your birthday and always,
Lalita

**********************

Photos of the 2019 birthday celebrations!!

We enjoyed a special birthday dinner at The Romano Duo’s place the night before my birthday.

It was a nasty drive from Reno to Dayton with extremely strong winds, gusting 80-90 miles per hour with the added bonus of big fat wet snow drops; which froze as soon as landing on the windshield! Took my time, driving as slow as I needed to feel comfortable, taking the least busy route so as not to worry about other drivers who may be in a hurry.

Frank had a virgin Bloody Mary waiting for me with a beautiful roasted, pickled asparagus spear and lemon stuffed olives! We enjoyed an amazing salad to go with our main dish. They made me my very own pot of vegan spaghetti sauce using Beyond Meat crumbles. And a lovely vegan Baklava for my birthday dessert treat.

Ahhhhhh …. Good stuff!!

On my birthday, 2.26.19, we had birthday cake for lunch!! Thank you to Thomas for catching the moment of my wish making. ❤️❤️❤️

*************************************

Birthday celebrations with a plot twist! Sparkling pink lemonade birthday toast in the dark!!! Power went out just as we were sitting for dinner. Stayed out for three hours. That wind packed a powerful message.

Thank you to my sweet friend and neighbor, Kendra Johnson for buying a package of C batteries for our flashlight! I just happened to text her asking if she had any while she was at the store!!

And, thank you to another sweet neighbor for whom I’m cat sitting. I borrowed a couple of votive candles from her place. Cats were kinda freaked out from the wind and their music had shut off!

Lillian used coding on scratch to make me a digital card. Isn’t it beautiful??? I was going to have a birthday movie night. Hmmmm … Will see if I make it to it now.

This 49th year blew in with 60 and 70 mile gusts, eventually taking the power out just as we sat to eat dinner and have our sparkling pink lemonade toast last night. It was three hours later when power was restored. There’s an interesting message in there somewhere. Ha!!!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Poetry & Photography: Sunset Walk Today

Sunset Walk Today

Hand them over to me
Let them all go

I am the healer
Who is ever here

Open the door
Step into my embrace.

The unlovely
The uncomfortable

Bring it to me
And we shall
Breathe with
It in togetherness.

To further the
Opening of the heart.

It will bring sadness
It will bring discomfort

Yet as we breathe
Through it
Walk through it
With love

On the other side
It shall be known,
A heart opening
Experience this was.

Releasing what
Does not serve
While gathering
Compassion, empathy
And non-judgment to
Take its place.

I am here for you always,
Mother Nature
©️2019 Camilla Downs

I only intended to post these photos on instagram. Yet a poem wanted to be birthed.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Latest News: Become a Patron

**Become a Patron and Support my creations of photography, poetry, books, writings, and mentoring. Click on the below photo and support with an amount that feels right for you. If you’d like this to be a monthly gift, please note so in the comments. Much Gratitude to you!**

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

**Current Work In Progress as of Spring 2019: A Collection of Poetry. Tentatively titled, “Words of Alchemy”.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Photography and Poetry: Love Arrives

Love Arrives

Love gives,
Love receives,
Love is wet,
Love is dry,
Love is within,
Love is without,
Love is above,
Love is below,
Love is warm,
Love is cold,
Love is stardust,
Love is sand,
Love is water,
Love is ice,
Love is dark,
Love is light,
Love is all there is.

All which appears
Not to be love,
Is simply love going in
The opposite direction.

-©2017 Camilla Downs

**Become a Patron and Support my creations of photography, poetry, books, and writings. Go here and support with an amount that feels right for you. Much Gratitude to you!** 

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

This 11 Year Old is Published

**THROWBACK POST**

April 7 2017:

I just realized that I never shared this …. xoxo

Thomas’ segment on KOLO 8 on Friday, 4.7.17, talking about Biggest Little Photographer. It’s about 2 minutes. xoxo

“Thomas is so cool! If you didn’t get a chance to see his interview Friday, please watch it here. This 11 year old is published!!!” – Sarah Johns, KOLO 8

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

A Philosophy of Walking

And she walked.
And she walked.
She walked until
Arriving at
The home of
Peace and Joy.
Discovering once there,
She had been
Here all along.

I went for an hour long walk this morning. My body and mind did not want to go. I went anyway.

Just as a cool glass of water slakes my thirst on a scorching hot day, going for walks quenches the thirst of my soul and heart to know my true self, to heal, to release, to allow joy, and to be at peace. Walking guides me in the loving way to process life, to fulfill life, and to let life be.

For the past 18 years I have been going for walks. The meaning and depth of the walks have shifted throughout the years. What started as an activity simply to satisfy my desire to be active, bloomed into a walking practice. A practice to process healing, to release, to discover my authentic self, and to connect with nature.

Going for a walk at least three times a week has literally kept me going when I felt I could not carry on, and propelled me into bliss in times of joy. Each time I walk I have a different experience. At times, the walk overflows with peace and bliss and at other times, I’m ready to be done the second I begin. Those times are when I can’t seem to get out of my head. Worried about this, that, or the other; or lost in the past or distant future. Turning the worry over and over like one would a compost pile. Hoping a resolution will bloom from the compost pile of worry.

Most days the walking, along with nature as a helper, snaps me awake from tending the worry compost pile. My entire being melds with nature during these walks and reminds me what I already know. That the worrying only buries solutions deeper in the compost pile.

Going for walks and being amongst the trees, sun, clouds, grass, rocks, flowers, bushes, birds, wind, and weather nourish my heart and soul. Just as fruits and vegetables provide this body the nourishment it needs to continue; walking does this, and much more, for my heart and soul.

Going for walks is like being at an outdoor art gallery where nature changes the artwork every day, in fact every minute at times. Walking teaches the art of letting go of that which you find beautiful and meaningful. Walking teaches to quiet the mind, seize the moment, breathe and let soak in every morsel of beauty nature shares.

For the beauty nature displays while on a walk, is ever changing dependent upon the time of day, the season, whether clouds obstruct the sun, and whether it is near sunrise, midday, or sunset. Walking teaches the art of experiencing the continual changes of life as nature experiences the changing seasons.

Going for a walk opens the writer’s spigot and helps to flow the words of my heart and soul. I know it may seem I’m assigning much responsibility for these walks. In truth, my walking practice works in concert with a meditation and mindfulness practice, along with a writing practice. All of these practices to be held grounded by the practice of allowing myself to physically feel the emotions of life. This quintet of practices guides me in walking into the unlovely aspects of life and welcoming uncomfortable emotions.

I’ve been walking with my kids since they were infants. I cherish every single walk taken with them. They are 17 years old and 13 years old now. Once they were old enough for one to stay at home, I began going with each one of them for a walk once or twice per week and a walk as a family once or twice per week. I continued to have walks alone, one to three times per week. Now that they’ve gotten older, the walks with each of them has slowed a bit. Yet, it is my hope that I opened their eyes to the beauty and philosophy of walking.

When my daughter was seven years old and my son three years old; I discontinued paying for cable and eventually donated our television. Walking is one activity that took the place of time spent in front of the television. I was moved to incorporate picture making into the walks as well. I have thousands of photographs of our walks throughout the years.

Whenever my son or daughter had a tough day, I would be sure to have a walk with him or her after dinner. The three of us had many deep and meaningful conversations during these walks. Mixed with periods of silence to simply enjoy the beauty. Not to be left out, mixed with much fun and silliness also. Rolling down hills, playing with our shadows, catching leaves as they blow from the tree, hitting pine cones with sticks, running through sprinklers, playing in the mud, feeding the ducks, helping worms cross the sidewalk, and making nature photographs.

I was not only moved to photograph our family during these walks; I was moved to photograph nature herself. There are only a few occasions I’ve gone for a walk and not taken at least one photograph. These photographs helped to inspire poetry to flow forth from my heart. I had never read or written poetry up until about four years ago. This seemed to be an extension of the walking and other practices.

I fought myself on going for the walk this morning. It was 32 degrees outside and I was already cold. I wanted to get warm and cozy, sit and write this story. My heart knew the moment I stepped foot on the trail, I’d be grateful I listened to the call of the walk. May you be inspired to explore how walking could create a shift in your life; whether that be ever so small or ever so big.

©2019 Camilla Downs
(Photo made by me – 2016 – Geiger Way Lookout)

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Poetry and Photography: This is Us

**THROWBACK POST**

September 23 2016:

To bend and bow,
to be flexible,
to be strong
to be resilient,
This is me,
and this is you.
©2016 Camilla Downs

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo