Life Adventures – An Update from Camilla

It’s been over a month since I’ve written or published anything on my blog, with my postings being much less frequent on facebook and instagram. I felt moved to share an update.

I have been busy with finishing tasks to get my upcoming book released by the end of Summer. Here’s a peek at the cover. Almost there with the cover!

I was wrapped in details of ensuring Lillian graduated on June 1st. She was homeschooled so I was in charge of her transcript, announcements, diploma, tassel, and photo session! In addition, I attended a book signing with her at Barnes & Noble on June 1st.

I had also been in preparation for attending the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We have been attending this every year since 2008 as it is the group that researches differences with chromosome number 18 and connects families world wide. We left for the conference on July 19th and returned home on July 27th.


(Group Photo from the 2018 Conference in Baltimore)

Now I switch gears to preparing for our move around September 9th. In addition, I must focus on many details and tasks that need to be completed with Lillian turning 18 years old on September 14th. YaY for Lillian! Whew for me!

I will also be focused on getting Thomas squared away for this school year as we homeschool (unschool). He and I will be doing that soon.

And …. the venture I began at the end of May is still going strong and taking much of my time. If you’re interested, check it out … Meeting the Authors.

Lastly, I’ve been keeping up with posts on The Team TLC website as that is our digital journal.

More updates to follow on some of these; especially the upcoming book. I simply wanted to check in with you on why I have not been around! Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Much love to all of 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” is arriving 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.

Poetry: Un Doing


(Photo courtesy of Pexels.com)

Un Doing

Speak your truth dear one
with a golden tongue

let it be known
your true self

ride the times of the wind
listen to the longing of your heart

slow down the drum beat
of the must be doing

listen to the melody
of relaxation as it
plays ever more
in your bones

when this is allowed
when this is welcomed
what is truly of your
concern will rise to the surface

do as you must
do as you are compelled
be concerned not
with what others
think of you and your actions

be free and relax
into the knowing
of your heart and soul
into the truth of your cells and bones

speak your truth dear one
with a golden tongue
and free yourself.

©2019 Camilla Downs

If it feels the thing to do, you are inspired by this writing, and inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” …

Buy Me A Coffee

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Shooting for near the end of July 2019 for publication date.

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

Peaceful Summer by Lillian Darnell – Poetry for Fundraising

Peaceful Summer by Lillian Darnell …. There’s still time to participate in Lillian’s fundraiser and get a custom poem created especially for you .. This one was created for a lovely supporter in Tasmania.

Here’s the beautiful comment from Patricia once she received her custom poem …

Dear Camilla and Lillian

Thank you! The poem is everything I hoped for and more, and paints a brilliant word-picture. I look forward v. much to seeing the image, and know it, too, will be special.

As we approach Winter Solstice here in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s particularly lovely to be reminded of the pleasures and promise of summer.

Peace.
Patricia

The donation amount is completely up to you. Go here to read why Lillian is fundraising and also if you’d like a custom poem of your own.

http://lilliandarnell.com/2019/03/27/fundraising-for-the-2019-chromosome-18-family-conference-poem-creativity/

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Shooting for near the end of July 2019 for publication date.

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: Sun Wishes

Sun Wishes

Went for a walk
Made a wish
Drew in a breath
Pursed my lips
Blew the wish
On waves of wind
To the loving
Embrace of the sun.
©️2019 Camilla Downs

April 29 2019

It was the long walk today. What a beautiful walk it was. Light, free, joyful. Listened to the birdsong. Felt the warmth of the sun and the lovely breeze. Smelled lilacs. Tasted my true self. Sensed newness in my bones. What a beautiful walk it was.

More dandelion photos … I find them incredibly beautiful ….

Latest News: Meeting the Authors

I have fun and wonderful news to share!

About three works ago I launched a website titled, Meeting the Authors, with the main purpose of the site being to interview authors. I have sent interview questions to somewhere around 100 authors in about a 3 week time frame! This is a ton of work! Yet, also fun and enlightening! I am meeting so many wonderful people around the globe!

This website was born from a love of writing combined with a love of reading what others have written. The site hosts fun, quirky, different than the norm, and interesting author interviews and short book reviews.

Being in this arena since 2012, I noticed the need for seasoned and newly published authors (whether traditional or indie) to have online outlets to receive more exposure. There are many, many incredible writers in our world and this is my small way of helping others who love the written word to know about them.

Authors have worked incredibly hard creating these books. Writing the book is only a piece of the process. The book must be edited and designed and formatted for printing as a book. There’s no relaxing once the book is ready to be birthed to the reading world! Marketing the book and keeping the momentum must be stepped into vigorously. Again, this is my small way of helping.

The site features interviews with authors and book love reviews. The book love reviews are short posts to let you know about books I’ve read and loved. I do not have the time to write full reviews. However, if I’ve read a book I enjoyed, I’ll give a brief reason why and a description of the book.

The plan is to eventually have either a podcast featuring author interviews and/or live interviews open for reader questions. You can use the “search” feature on the website to search for books in your chosen genre.

It is my hope that you discover a new author or book that inspires you, helps you to heal, teaches you something about history you never knew, ignites your imagination, delights from head to toe with romantic tales, or helps you tap into your inner detective and sleuth to solve mysteries. And everything in between!!

If you are an author or blog tour organizer, please visit the Contact page to see further details and get yourself on the list to be featured. The interviews are currently booked through November 2019 (can you believe that? after only THREE weeks). However, I have left room to accommodate book launches and am happy to continue scheduling interviews.

If you’d like to support this endeavor, click on over and check it out. Go here for Meet the Author interviews and here for Book Love. And for further support you can “like” the facebook page, follow on instagram, and sign up to receive new posts through email or through WordPress Reader (right hand side bar of website).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, fingers, and toes for your love and support!

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

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: Healing with Nature

Breathe it in
Breathe it out

Look up
Look around

Keep walking
Keep writing

Keep knowing
Keep loving

Hold space
For them
For you

This is the Way
This is the unfolding
Nature of life.
©️2019 Camilla Downs

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

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

Breathe In and Breath Out and Feel It

I had a decision to make. I could continue to be stuck in a place of self pity, of feeling like I’m not one of the chosen who gets to have a peaceful, abundant, and joyful life. By no means was this an easy decision to make. I struggled on and off for more than 20 years with a core belief that people like me do not get to have an easy, peaceful life.

A charmed and privileged life of knowing what one wants, how one wants to contribute to society, and for this to effortlessly flow into one’s experience. No, as much as I tried to affirm the opposite of that belief into my consciousness; I found the “people like me don’t get to have it that way” belief still lurked in the dark hidden crevices of my mind.

I’m not one of those who knew as a child what she liked to do and stuck to it, no matter what. In fact, I have no memories of any interests or leanings during my childhood. In my mind’s eye all that I see or remember are like snapshot photos, like a polaroid instant photo. I don’t remember my childhood as if it were a movie with the scenes replaying in my mind. The things I do remember are frozen in time.

Having a gratitude practice has been the shining light during times when it seemed there was only darkness. Many times it appears as if I have nothing for which to be grateful. With practice, I have learned to dig a bit deeper than what seems to be happening.

On the days in which my mind is swirling with the heaviness of circumstances; I can bring my will power to the table, allow myself to feel the heaviness, and then move into that for which I have to be grateful. There can be a seemingly never ending stretch of time between moving from feeling the heaviness to a gratitude practice. Yet, it’s worth the wait for me to do it in this way.

I can look around me and find dozens of things for which to be grateful. The clothes I’m wearing, the furniture in the room, the laptop I use to pour out my heart, the food in the kitchen, indoor plumbing, toilet paper, a comfortable bed.

Then I can shift my gaze to the window. I am grateful for the window itself so that I may see and have nature within eyesight. Gratitude continues for the trees, and grass, the fresh air, the warmth of the sun, the shade of the clouds, and the delightful bird song.

This is just the beginning. I then close my eyes and bring to mind more images for which I am grateful. My two kids come to mind. I see each of their faces, their smiles, and my heart swells with love and overflows with gratitude. These two wonderful beings have brought deep lessons and incredible joy as they were the catalyst for my arriving at a different destination than I had imagined and shifting my entire view of this thing called life. You bet I’m grateful for these two.

When my daughter, Lillian Darnell, was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare chromosome condition called 18p-; which affects 1 in 56,000 people. Was I grateful for this diagnosis at the time? Absolutely not. I cursed the harshness of it, I cursed life, I was angry and I felt betrayed. Do I feel the same way 14 years later, with a 17 year old Lillian? Absolutely not. …….. Well, let’s be honest. Yes, I do at times. That’s where feeling the emotions and then the gratitude practice shine their amazing light and lend a hand.

In the past I did, in fact, bypass allowing myself to feel the cruddy stuff that called for my attention. I went straight to the gratitude practice without first acknowledging and embracing the unloveliness that had risen to the surface. These days I only bypass when I can’t possibly focus on what needs to be released or I just don’t have the energy or will power. Otherwise, I dive into the abyss and hope I come up for air some time soon!

This gratitude practice and connecting with emotions works best for me when I pour my feelings and emotions into my digital journal. First, I get it all out. Feel what I need to feel as I’m writing, from numbness, to anger, hopelessness, and despair. While at the same time either sobbing or laughing at the ridiculousness of it. For me, this is a critical first step before even entering the gratitude practice. If I did not take this first step, I’d simply be stuffing the unlovely feelings to resurface later.

In all honesty, I forget many times to come back around to gratitude. I am in a hurry, I don’t have time to sit reminding myself of all for which I have to be grateful. By allowing myself to first feel what I need to feel, I can then experience a pivotal shift by acknowledging that for which I am grateful.

At 13 years old, Lillian’s younger brother, Thomas Darnell, is in the throes of puberty and has his own set of challenges. This single parenting journey of raising two kids who each have challenges has been a wild ride. I turn to writing in my digital journal and following with the gratitude practice.

I am not meaning this to sound as if my challenges are any more important or deeper than another’s challenges. At this point I have come to realize each one of us has shadows and struggles. Some of us have perfected bypassing all this jazz, living life seemingly to the fullest. Some of us have perfected diving into it and living life to the fullest. And, some of us are patiently making our way through the diving in part and doing the darn best we can at living life to the fullest. We’re all in this together. Just in a different way.

Having a gratitude practice has been an integral part of this journey for me. I am blessed to remember to appreciate life’s delights, nature’s art and beauty, the kindness and compassion of others; balanced with diving deep into the unlovely feelings and emotions that rise to the surface, ready to be embraced, loved, felt and released.

Breathe in, Breathe out, Feel it …. One breath at a time.

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

Are you an author who would like to be interviewed or a book lover who wants to discover new and interesting books? Head over to Meeting the Authors … I think you will love it!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

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

 

Holding Space …… with Love

As I swiftly walked by the fountain one cold and frosty morning this past March, I was stopped in my tracks. Nature is the most incredible artist. The beauty of these leaves suspended and frozen for a moment in time, captured my heart.

And … I did spot a heart shaped leaf. Beautiful!!

I mean. Just had to give the heart shaped leaf it’s own post. The lil frozen bubbles, the green leaf down below, the frozen ripples, sections partially free from the frozen water. Ahhhhh ….

Seeing these beautiful frozen leaves helped bring clarity to something I was in the midst of …

When it’s my own internal struggles and turbulence I have learned to lean into it, be with it, and try to remember to keep love at the forefront of whatever it is.

What I have not learned is how to do this when someone I love dearly is struggling and I don’t have clarity about how to help them and feel deeply inadequate for the task. Especially when there are two someones struggling. And, sometimes, struggling at the same time.

This is what lies at the forefront of the current journey. It’s definitely not a pleasant place to be. Yet, offers much opportunity to continue to move through one’s own journey while at the same time holding space for those closest to you as they travel their own journey.

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

As I am posting this near the end of May, I have moved somewhat beyond this. I say somewhat, as when in a close relationship with others, this seems to be an inevitable place to be at some point. The place of not knowing how to help and holding space for oneself, as well as others.

Aren’t these frozen leaves absolutely magical and gorgeous??

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

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

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: The Lure of Words


(Image from Pexels – Photo by Janko Ferlic)

The Lure of Words

A love of reading
A love of books
A love of the written word
She has always had.

Devouring one
book after another
after another.

Books here.
Books there.
Books everywhere.
Oh, the sight, the feel,
the sound, the smell.
Intoxicating to even imagine.

Deliberately walking the aisle
of the library,
of the book store,
she feels at home.

Perusing the titles,
gently taking hold of a book
by the spine,
sliding it from the shelf,
slowly running her
fingertips across
the book’s title,
opening the book,
lifting the opened book
to her nose and
inhaling the unique
scent only a book can radiate.

Simply holding, feeling, and
smelling a book
sends here straight away
to other worlds, lands,
and journeys.

When finally opening
the book to begin
the adventure,
a palpable,
stomach tingling
Excitement lures her
to the pages.

This has been the way.
A beautiful way.
A way that led her
to know she was to
write, she was to let
black words flow forth
and fill the white pages,
one after another
after another.

She laughs words
She exhales words
She cries words
She bleeds words
She dances words.

She swallows the words
of life to be mixed and
meshed with her essence.

Magically, as if under a spell,
she releases the words
from her mind’s eye
fast as lightning through
her fingertips onto the screen.

Books, books, books.
Words, words, words.

Words are oxygen
Words are food
Words are water
Words are shelter
Words are life.

Her teacher
Her friend
Her lover
Her mentor
Books are these,
and more,
to she.

A love of reading
A love of books
A love of the written word
She has always had.

Devouring one
book after another
after another.

All the while
the words,
the books,
devoured she.
©2018 Camilla Downs (adapted from The Book Life)

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”.

Poetry and Photography: The Fragrance of Love

The Fragrance of Love

The fragrance you release is light, colorful, and full of joy.
I stand next to you
I lean in closer
I gently wrap my hand around you
I pull you close
I breathe in and am transported to the heavens within us both.
I smile.
I slowly release you and pull away.
And I saunter away remembering and knowing.
Your fragrance, my fragrance.
We are both One Love.

©2019 Camilla Downs
(This above version slightly altered from 2016 version titled, “The Fragrance of Lilacs”)

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 still available. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo