Liquid Gratitude Spilled from My Eyes

I made fresh pico de gallo on the 5th of January 2019 to go with our tradition of every other Saturday nacho dinner.

Thomas had finished eating, Lillian was in the bathtub. I was alone chewing my nachos. A wave of emotions hit me like I imagine a tsunami wave hits land.

My eyes began to sweat with liquid gratitude for the miracle occurring in my mouth. I was chewing the nachos on BOTH sides of my mouth. I have not been able to do that in about two years. I’ve had to chew crunchy foods on the right side only.

I’m aware this sounds silly to some. Yet, there are others with which this will resonate. This is for anyone who has been stricken with gratitude, bliss, and joy over seemingly small things.

I alternated between laughter and eyes sweating the entire meal. I realized I had been given back something more than being able to chew certain foods using ALL of my teeth.

This had nothing to do with sadness. This was pure joy, gratitude, bliss, peace, reassurance, and LOVE. And that pico de gallo was damn good! ❤️❤️

To read more about the back story of getting one of my teeth fixed, go here and here.

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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Reaching the Solutions Within Your Own Self

Want a mentor who has deepened into and expanded her heart, who has plunged into the depths of darkness, and soared to the heights of joy and peace? And one who authentically and openly shares this journey? I work with no more than two clients at a time. Reach out to me if this speaks to you …

“Camilla is a wonderful mentor. I took four sessions with her. She taught me simple techniques to connect with my inner self, and enjoy the present moment. She also helped me cultivate more self-trust, self-love, and peace of mind. What I loved the most about her mentoring sessions was that the answers I was seeking for, came from the heart! I also loved the writing and breathing exercises she shared with me. Thank you Camilla!” Jessica Araus, Netherlands

Visit this page to learn more … The Alchemy of You Mentoring Sessions

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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Poetry: The Long Weekend

On January 17 2019, Lillian Darnell left for another long weekend with The Romano Duo (grandparents) ….

I look forward to these days of respite.
She looks forward to them.
Yet, every time she leaves to spend days away,
My heart is surrounded by a tingling sadness.

It’s such an interesting feeling.
When tingling sadness dances with peaceful contentment.
They pair well.
Sharing wisdom and shedding Light.

I take the hand of tingling sadness and peaceful contentment.
We embrace and dance to the tune of an old and worn knowing.

And the small, barely there rain drops fall
to slowly make disappear her foot prints,
as she joyfully leaves me.

Loving this dance with life
Living this dance with life
What a Life!
Hey, come and get it
Keep it coming,
Get your dance card and let’s dance.
-©2019 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” 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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Poetry and Photography: A Walk in February

Graceful trees
Bright blue sky
Soft fluffy snow
Gratitude blossoms

February 5 2019: Walk around the lake. Beauty abounds.

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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Photography and Poetry: Wisdom Walk

Wisdom Walk

You wake me up
You shake me up
You see through me.

The colors you pair
for these eyes to see.
Reflect my true colors
back to me.

With each step
of these feet
onto your graceful
and ever receiving surface,
My love I impart to you.

I focus on a tree,
I focus on a cloud,
I focus on a flower,
My love I give
to you each time.

Your love message travels
through these eyes
to my heart and soul.

The message of love
and appreciation travels to you
through my essence.

Walks underneath the glow
of your beauty,
The shine of your
magnificence,

Is the Way of loving myself,
Is the Way of appreciating,
Is the Way of Knowing
that which I receive
are love messages
for thine own self.
©2019 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” 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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Manjushri Empowerment Ceremony and Vajravidarana Healing Ceremony with the Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse

On January 19, 2019, I took part in a Manjushri Empowerment Ceremony with the Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse. During the ceremony the mantra and powerful energy of Manjushri are transmitted to the attendees. It was an amazing and beautiful experience.

I barely moved for the entire hour long ceremony. It was like a deep, interactive meditation as we were called upon to visualize certain aspects of the ceremony. Manjushri is a wisdom deity of Tibetan Buddhism, or a Bodhisattva (Great Being) who wields a powerful sword used to cut through ignorance.

Mostly, I already fall asleep and sleep pretty good; yet, last night I felt light as air as I got into bed and drifted to sleep. And, had a peaceful and restful full night’s sleep.

We also got to view the progress of the Manjushri Sand Mandala. Simply amazing – built one grain of sand at a time. The Manjushri mandala, symbolizes the need to sever ignorance and attachment in oneself.

I was honored to get to bring home one of the “cakes” used in the ceremony as there were only 3 of them. This was used to touch the top of each attendees head at which time thousands of Manjushri rushed into each person touched.

I also bought more of the beautiful incense the monks make (only have one stick left from last year’s batch) and the perfect size Padmasambhava statue for my wee altar. They ended the ceremony by gifting to and lovingly knotting around each attendee’s neck, a golden chord blessed by all 1,500 monks AND the Dalai Lama. My heart is tingling just writing about it.

There are more events this weekend and next week in South Lake Tahoe if anyone is interested in attending. Thomas and I plan on attending the Vajravadaran Healing Ceremony next Wednesday night. Additional information from their website for anyone interested:

Manjushri (Buddha of Wisdom)

Manjushri is the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas. Wisdom is crucial for enlightenment, in that it is both the antidote of ignorance, and at the same time is itself the true meaning of selflessness/ emptiness. Performing the practice of the deity Manjushri accelerates the attainment of the knowledge that eliminates suffering. By “sipping the nectar” of the profound teachings delivered by Lord Manjushrl, one has access to the heart of liberating wisdom. This empowerment will include the transmission of the mantra OM AH RA PA TSA NADHI.

The Vajra Sword of Discriminating Insight

Manjushri’s most dynamic attribute is his sword, the vajra sword of discriminating wisdom or insight. The sword cuts through ignorance and the entanglements of conceptual views. It cuts away ego and self-created obstacles. Sometimes the sword is in flames, which can represent light or transformation. It can cut things in two, but it can also cut into one, by cutting the self/other dualism. It is said that the sword can both give and take life.

On January 24 2019, Thomas and I drove to South Lake Tahoe last night to see the Gaden Shartse Monks one more time before their tour ends in this area. This was a Vajravidarana Healing Ceremony. Incredibly powerful.

These peaceful and beautiful humans are Tibetan refugees living at the Gaden Shartse Monastery in Southern India. They’ve been in the United States with temporary visas on a two year tour. A description of the ceremony and more about Shartse is included below.

I pray they are able to get new visas at some point. The peace and healing they spread is much needed in my opinion. And I know in my soul it reverberates way beyond the room in which it is shared and that it is carried through those who attend to be shared with others.

The ceremony was beautiful and magical. We were to first envision the lama transformed into Vajravidarana and to envision many different actions by the lama. One of which was Vajravidarana shooting multi-colored lights down our chakra throughout our body addressing any areas of concern for healing. We were each given a piece of dough to hold in one hand. Then hold to areas that need healing and to visualize any pain or negativity flowing as black smoke into the dough.

Last, we were to squeeze the dough in a certain way; which was passed back to the lama for clearing and purification. Much more healing light and blessings were sent throughout the ceremony. Once again, I barely moved the entire ceremony. My body lightened to a point that I could barely feel it. I felt bodiless and simply one with the environment. Deeply wild, moving and magical.

The ceremony ended with each attendee being gifted with a shining, deep green cord blessed by all 1,500 monks and The Dalai Lama. I was zinging inside with beautiful, peaceful energy last night. It took me a while to get to sleep.

Lobsang Wangchuk, the monk who is facilitator and translator, says they welcome visitors and have guest quarters specifically for those who visit. He also says that they are adding a Quantum Physics building to the college as Buddhism and Quantum Physics are nearly identical.

Got to meet Melanie Tiffin. What a sweet and kind human! Afterwards Thomas took a picture of Melanie and I as we’ve been connected for a year now on Facebook since the monks visited last year.

Thomas wanted to receive blessings from the lama so I took pictures of that as it happened. Took more beautiful pictures of their props and beautiful handmade items for sale. And then Melanie took a photo of Thomas and I with the lama. I’m so glad she suggested that as I didn’t get one last year of both of us with him.

Here’s more information about the ceremony and the monks (from their website):

Vajravidarana Healing Ritual

The Tantric ritual of Vajravidarana is a ritual of purification and has three stages: purification and removing of negativities; removing subtle negative imprints; and offering protection. Vajravidarana purifies sickness, mental disturbances, infectious diseases, disputes, enmities, defilements, misfortunes, bad omens, victimization by others, premature death, negative influences of the stars, harm from rulers and thieves, influence of demons, the agents of death, obstacles, misguidance, and factors against congenial life.

About Gaden Shartse

Gaden Shartse Monastic College is situated amid lush green hills and jungle in the remote countryside of southern India. It was founded in 1969 as an effort to re-establish one of the great monastic traditions of Tibet. A small group of elder monks and fifteen young boys, all of whom had managed to escape the destruction in Tibet, settled on land given to them by the Indian government in Mundgod, Karnataka. Today the college is at the forefront of the revival of Tibetan Monastic education, with more than 1600 resident students, teachers, scholars, and spiritual practitioners. More than 70% of the members are between the ages of 10 and 25 and 80% of these were born in Tibet. To this day, young monks arrive at the Monastery weekly from Tibet, seeking shelter and education. Due to the success of the academic program and the quality of the teachers at the monastery, Gaden Shartse has established a reputation as being the leader in the field of Buddhist and Tibetan studies.

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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

The Top Six Lessons Learned from Tiny Home Living …. As a Family of Three

The last update I wrote about our tiny home living was at four months. Here we are going into our fourth year! I feel we are long overdue for an update. It’s been so long in coming partly due to the fact that I truly thought we would only be here one year, two years at the most and partly due to procrastination.

Lillian is in her senior year of high school (as a homeschooler). We’ve published two books. Thomas reached the teenage years. I embraced, processed and released a TON of old wounds and deep shadow work. Mom and Frank (The Romano Duo) moved away for 3 years and ultimately moved back this past summer (2018). I’ve gone on over 50 dates with Thomas and Lillian combined (as I have a date with each of them once per month). This just touches the surface of all that we’ve experienced.

The Top SIX Lessons Learned from Tiny Home Living …. As a Family of Three

  1. Living in a tiny home gets tricky as siblings reach into the teen years (and not as fun as when they were younger) 
  2. Having only one bathroom to three people is a literal pain in the butt
  3. Be okay with being cramped or be okay getting rid of stuff
  4. Be prepared with ideas of activities to do outside of the home
  5. The grocery store becomes a weekly trip as there is no room to store loads of food
  6. Always try to see the beauty in the situation

One more that is the root of successful tiny home living … 

Purge, Purge, Purge

I will expand on each of these below weaved within the living in a tiny home update.

A great deal has happened since the four month update and more than a few factors that have us still living in this tiny home – an 810 square foot 1 bedroom/1 bath condo (for anyone new here: “us” is myself and my two kids, 17 year old Lillian and 13 year old Thomas. We call ourselves Team TLC to correspond to the first letter of each of our names).

Moving Out

In July and August 2017 I packed our things thinking we would be moving. I reserved a moving truck, a storage unit in case we needed it, and gave our 30 day notice. However, shortly after we moved here in August 2015, Reno began to experience a population boom. Rents began to increase and affordable living space disappeared as more and more people moved to the area. 

Back to August 2017:

As hard as I tried, I could not find another place, that at least had a 2nd bedroom, and that was also not a significant increase in what I am paying here. The management had already told me that they would allow me to back out of the 30 day notice as I had been telling them I could not find another place.

Just a few days before we were to move, I found the perfect place for us. It was a 2 bedroom/2 bath and just a tad bigger than this place. Fortunately, I was the FIRST person to call on the place and to see it. We went to look at it and the property manager said he had over 50 messages and I just happened to be the first to call. Well, my income is not easy peasy, here’s a copy of my pay stub, and my credit score is still trashed from the divorce and bankruptcy. So, it was pretty easy to turn me down with more than 50 others waiting in line. 

Wait. We Are Staying

The day before we were to move, I had to decide if we were going to move out with no where to go or if we would stay here. I discussed it with Thomas and Lillian and we all decided we wanted to stay here. Thomas was devastated that we did not get the other place. He strongly desired to have a room of his own where he could have privacy (and escape when Lillian fell into a meltdown). 

I was disappointed also as I know these two would like their own space (with a door!!) and having a second toilet would be absolute heaven with 3 people in the house; with one having special needs and NO flexibility when she is using the toilet and others are waiting! I LOVE the size of this place. However, I STILL do NOT like the near constant traffic noise and it saddens me that being here is causing unhappiness for Thomas and Lillian.

Lillian and I had been sharing the bedroom. It’s a rather large bedroom and both of our beds (a full size and a queen) and our dressers fit into the room. You can find picture of our tiny place in the previous posts. Thomas had decided long before that he wanted to have a Japanese style floor bed so at some point later in that first year (2015-2016) he began to sleep on his floor bed in the bedroom with us. (If we are connected on facebook or instagram you’ve seen many, many photos of our walks around the lake. Beautiful!)

When it was clear we would be staying here in August 2017, I was determined to give Thomas and Lillian their own space in the best way I could, even though we only have one room (the bedroom) that has a door. Well, other than the bathroom! 

I decided to move Thomas’ furniture out of the dining area into the bedroom and I moved my bed into the dining area. That was no easy task as I have a queen size tempurpedic bed. Those things are like moving a 500 pound slab of jello!! Thomas and I had a heck of a time getting that sucker moved. I called upon my inner Incredible Hulk with deep grunts and screams to get that damn thing moved. I had already sold my dresser and the bed frame. So, we only had to move the bed and nightstand out of the bedroom. 

After getting my bed out, we moved Thomas’ furniture in and had to rearrange some of Lillian’s furniture. We have a 3 or 4 person tent so I put that up for Thomas on his side of the room. It took up more room than I had anticipated so after a few months I chose a different solution. 

After taking the tent down, I made a “wall” dividing the room by using 2 bookshelves, packed boxes, and curtains. I chose not to unpack some things in anticipation that we would move into another unit. This is still how we’ve got it arranged to this day.

It’s a bit more cramped than previously as I still have things in boxes. Partly due to stubbornness as I want to move us and partly due to not wanting to pack things again when we do move! 

Moving Out … And Staying ….. Again

This past August 2018, we repeated nearly the same scenario as the summer before. I began packing and searching for another place. It was even worse this time around. I searched right up until the day before we were to move. We sat down and discussed our options; which were to either stay here or move our things into storage and then find a place to live. Thomas and Lillian absolutely did not want to do the latter. The choice was made to stay here. 

Near the end of 2016, I began deep personal and internal work on myself. This lasted throughout 2017 and 2018; culminating in December 2018 when I reached my tipping point and had an intense spiritual experience. I won’t go into details in this post; yet, if you take a walk through the blog posts for 2017 and 2018, you’ll get an idea of how intense.

What the Future Holds

I am renewed. I am reborn. I am healed (or as a friend commented in a recent performance, “You are healed, baby-child. You are healed.”) I am ready to begin again. While I feel there will always be little pockets of healing to address; I also feel I addressed the deepest of the deep past wounds. 

I am and will be steadfast at moving us from this unit or this condo complex by the time our lease expires in August 2019. Steadfast is my 2019 word and I will apply it to many things that have not been addressed and focused on since 2016 and beyond even that. This is also to include writing (being paid for writing, that is, as I will always write), mentoring others, unconditionally loving myself, Thomas, and Lillian, and working towards bringing to life the experiences each of us would like to have.

Bringing it back around and recapping:

What began as a fun adventure has reached it’s ending point. Thomas doesn’t mind the size of the place. He simply has a strong desire to have his own room with a door, no matter the size. Lillian would like a larger place and she has a strong desire the same as Thomas … for her own space. I LOVE the size of this place. I have no strong desire to have my own room. If I have one, that’s fine. If I don’t, that’s fine too. All three of us would be grateful for a second bathroom, at least a second toilet, anyway. 

The Lessons Learned

Tiny home living as a family is not for the faint of heart. I can see how it would be a breeze for a single person, a close knit couple, or a single parent with one child. Maybe even a couple with one child. But, two kids with only one bedroom, gets tricky as they get older. Much easier when they are young and still having fun together. 

I asked Lillian if she had any thoughts to share:

I still like it here, but still don’t like the traffic noise. Although, I have gotten used to it. Living here has helped me with a lot of my fears, like the stairs and smoke alarm. I am tired of having one bathroom and one bedroom. (She’s referring to the outside stairs leading to other units.) 

I also asked Thomas for any thoughts to share:

I still like it here and have gotten used to the traffic noise. It’s kind of like background noise now. I also want another bathroom and at least one more bedroom.

I would absolutely make this choice again. With one slight adjustment of holding firm to NO street noise. It will take me years to recover and to lose the constant ringing in my ears; from the noise and from wearing ear plugs to be able to sleep. I am very done with the street noise. 

Once More, The Top SIX Lessons Learned from Tiny Home Living …. As a Family of Three

  1. Living in a tiny home gets tricky as siblings reach into the teen years (and not as fun as when they were younger) 
  2. Having only one bathroom to three people is a literal pain in the butt
  3. Be okay with being cramped or be okay getting rid of stuff
  4. Be prepared with ideas of activities to do outside of the home
  5. The grocery store becomes a weekly trip as there is no room to store loads of food
  6. Always try to see the beauty in the situation

One more that is the root of successful tiny home living … 

Purge, Purge, Purge

What can I say? We moved in August 2015. We were incredibly happy to have a place located where we wanted to live. We were (and are) deeply grateful and blessed to live in such a beautiful place, with amazing amenities, along with the gorgeous lil lake and walking trail. I blinked. Now it’s January 2019 and this adventure has reached its end.

Stay tuned as the adventure begins to shift … Steadfast!!

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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

The Ride of Life

Sparkling pink lemonade … My new favorite celebratory beverage! Yum!!!

Ended 2018 with my favorites. A long walk followed by hanging in our comfy little home with two of my favorite people.

Counted down on New York Time. Then listened to two of my favorite songs … “Watching the Wheels” and “Imagine”.

The Ride of Life

No longer riding on the merry go round, 
She celebrates whenever she wants, 
She laughs when it’s funny,
And sometimes when it’s not funny,
She cries when the tears want to flow,
She eats breakfast for dinner,
She dances in the aisles,
She hands out hugs 
Like Halloween candy,
She hugs the trees,
She meets her edge,
She stays with the experiences of life,
She lives. 
And so it is. 
xoxo
🎉🎉🎉

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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Top 10 Digital Diary Entries for 2018 – The Team TLC

Top 10 Digital Dairy Entries for with the most views for 2018 from The Team TLC online journal

Visit the link below to should you wish to read any of the top 10 entries. xoxo

1. The 2018 Chromosome 18 Conference – Baltimore, Maryland
2. Decisions As We Approach Lillian Darnell Reaching 18 Years of Age – Nevada
3. 2018 Chromosome 18 Conference – Baltimore Maryland – Ladies Night
4. The Daughter Knew She Could by Camilla Downs
5. Camilla and Lillian Update for Chromosome 18 Conference in Baltimore and the Fundraiser
6. The Books Are Arriving and Chromosome 18 Facebook Page Live Event
7. Happy Happy 17th Birthday to Lillian Darnell and Lillian and Camilla September 2018 Date Day
8. Deventer The Netherlands Meets Reno Nevada USA
9. She Did It! The 2018 Chromosome Conference – Baltimore Maryland
10. What Do We Truly Mean When We Say I Love You by 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” 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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Featured on The Writer’s Corner

 I am so incredibly grateful to Tania Marie for featuring me in her “Writer’s Corner” series.

Her words sang a beautiful love song to my heart and soul … xoxo

Excerpt from the feature: ” …. The connection the three of them have together is one of balancing teaching and leading, with learning and guidance. It has taken them to dark depths and soaring heights together. It is through their devotion and commitment to each other and themselves that they support the blossoming of one another and are spreading love to the world.

I admire Camilla so much and find her to be a true inspiration, amazingly brave mother, woman, and soul, and a living embodiment of what it means to keep deepening into and expanding the heart as an example of unconditional love at work …. ” Visit the link to read more … xoxo

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.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo