Mindful Living: Embrace It And Feel So Alive

(I created this doodle drawing back in March 2014 after watching the movie Deja Vu
with Vanessa Redgrave. Hope y’all enjoy it!)

What gives you the greatest joy? What makes your entire body buzz with an aliveness when you are doing it? What fills your mind and moves your imagination to dance with creativity?

Whatever it is, embrace it. What does that mean? The best way to explain that is to explain what not to do. Don’t push against what you don’t want. When you stop pushing against what you don’t want, the way will be cleared for what you DO want.

  • Feeling tired? Don’t focus your thoughts on NOT wanting to be tired. Instead accept your tiredness, relax into it, be kind to it. This is your body speaking to you. Listen. Don’t argue. Before you know it, your energy will have returned.
  • Feeling confused? Same process. Accept that you are confused. Relax into it. Perhaps you are confused due to pushing against and focusing on something you don’t want. Once the confusion is accepted, clarity will return shortly thereafter.
  • Stuck in a state of lack? Once again, follow the same process. Don’t push against the lack. Instead see it as just is. See it as where you are supposed to be in this moment in time. Accept it. When we push against something, we focus on that “something” and bring more of it into our life. As we choose to accept these “somethings” just as we accept that the wind blows sometimes, these “somethings” dissolve.

Is there something that you would like to embrace that your aren’t? Is there something you’re pushing against that perhaps should be accepted to make way for what you DO want?

**Note: WOW! I opened this “new post” to share with y’all a new development in my life and the above is what came flying out of me and my fingers! So …. I’ll click the ole “new post” button again and share about my love of landscape photography and being Heartfuly Inspired in a future post!

Heartfuly Inspired™,
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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Have you ordered your copy of my book, “D iz for Different”? It’s available in paperback and Kindle (Kindle device not necessary). Go here to learn more.

(To help support my blogging I will include an Amazon link to items I use or you will see google ads from time to time. I LOVE sharing my journey and choices with you and this just helps to keep me going!) 

Mindful Living: Friendship Is Magic

Friendship is Magic

I do not judge for decisions you make
I have lived through similar experiences as you
I made different choices than you
I do not understand choices made by you, that is not for me to understand
I do not judge as I do not walk in your shoes
I am your friend

I see you openly peeling back layers of your outer self to reveal your inner self
I see you take steps forward, shining your beautiful light and love for all
I see you take steps backward, withdrawing into the comfortable habits and ways of thinking
I see you trying to understand the silence of friendships that are no longer, that is not for you to understand
I am your friend

Yes, I am your friend
I love you
I support and encourage you
You are YOU and on your OWN journey
You choose to do it different
You choose not to do it the way others would do it
You are YOU and I am your friend

I am your friend
I see YOU, not the concept of you
I love you unconditionally.
©2014 CamillaDowns.com

Do you have a friend you would like to share this with? Please share with all my love and all your love. I would love to hear about friendship poems or quotes that move you! Go here to share your comments.

Heartfuly Inspired™,
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Go here to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered right to your inbox! Right here!

Have you ordered your copy of my book, “D iz for Different”? It’s available in paperback and Kindle (Kindle device not necessary). Go here to learn more.

Mindful Living: Sparrow and Dove

Team TLC read this poem before bed a few nights ago. When I was done, Thomas said he really liked it. I agree with Thomas. I liked it so much, my eyes almost sweated! Sharing with y’all, because if we liked it that much, I’m sure some of you may enjoy it too. I take great joy in mindful living so I can catch and savor these beautiful moments when they arrive.

Answer to A Child’s Question

Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove, The Linnet and Thrush say, “I love and I love!” In the winter they’re silent—the wind is so strong; What it says, I don’t know, but it sings a loud song. But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather, And singing, and loving—all come back together. But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love, The green fields below him, the blue sky above, That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings he— “I love my Love, and my Love loves me!” - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This poem is included in a book of animal poems titled, Birds, Beasts and Fishes. There are many other amazing poems in the book with beautiful illustrations.

While reading the poem that night I was flooded with warm feelings of love for myself, for nature and simply being alive.

Thomas said the poem made him feel happy and made him want to hug and kiss Lillian and me.

What feelings or thoughts does it bring forth in you? Please share. We would love to hear about it! Go here to share your comments.

Heartfuly Inspired™,
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Go here to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered right to your inbox! Right here!

Have you ordered your copy of my book, “D iz for Different”? It’s available in paperback and Kindle (Kindle device not necessary). Go here to learn more.

(To help support my blogging I will include an Amazon link to items I use or you will see google ads from time to time. I LOVE sharing my journey and choices with you and this just helps to keep me going!) 

Mindful Living: Meaningful Music – An Interview with CRVSH

“You cannot help but be happy” …. from the CRVSH song titled “Happy”.

A friend invited me to a Valentine’s celebration on February 15, 2014 at Midtown Wine Bar here in Reno, Nevada. A local band, CRVSH, would be playing live music. This is not normally my cup of tea; but my internal voice urged me to go.

I’m so glad I did! It was an amazing evening full of good, warm, loving energy. CRVSH has three band members, Jimmy Dunn, Aaron Sion, and Daniel Sion. The three write their own music. The songs are full of meaning, have a great beat, and there’s an incredible “so-alive” energy that exudes from these guys!

They not only perform by singing the song and creating a great beat with their instruments, before each song they say a little something to help the listener connect with the song. For instance, for the song “Rain”, Jimmy Dunn, said something like …. “think about when you were young and playing in the rain and how good the rain felt when it landed on your face.” This isn’t exactly what he said, but it was something like this. Adding this statement before the song pulled me into experiencing the song even further and added another fun layer to listening to it!

After the show, I asked Jimmy if I could interview the band. I explained that my blog is centered around mindful, inspired living with an underlying message to spread love everywhere we go. I feel their music embodies exactly this.

Here we go …

Camilla: What is the meaning behind the name CRVSH?

CRVSH: It represents both extremes of the emotional spectrum. The word “crush” describes the feeling of infatuation, and can have a feminine energy to it. It also has a masculine meaning that is destruction, transformation, and overcoming obstacles. Our sound is essentially love songs with extremely powerful electronic beats that smash the speakers.

Camilla: What was the hardest part about getting started as a band?

CRVSH: Finding the right line up: it took a very long time to find out who was motivated in the long run and who was in it for drugs and girls.

Camilla: Why are you choosing this as a career?

CRVSH: We want to enjoy our lives and do something we feel good about, not just something that sounds logical. To the three of us there is no risk involved because we genuinely know that it is working.

Camilla: What are common misconceptions about professional musicians?

CRVSH: People think that musicians have an easy life because many people who are big right now have been born into their opportunities. However, when you are not born into it, this is a much more difficult path than most conventional careers. It is entirely self-motivated, which is why so many people fail at it. Also, people do not realize that it is a full-time job. Many of our friends wish that we had more time to spend with them on the weekends, but these are sacrifices one must make.

Camilla: What message are you trying to send to listeners with your music?

CRVSH: We push the truth that a lot of societal norms are actually imprisoning human potential and that it is okay to be different and intellectual. We also want to bring out people’s emotions and nurture that side of them.

Camilla: How does your music make listeners feel? 

CRVSH: We have gotten tremendously positive feedback on our music from listeners. It has even changed a lot of our fans’ life significantly. They get a sense of connection and liberation at our shows. This is possibly because we are not a manufactured act, but we are completely D.I.Y.

Camilla: What is your guys’s game plan for the next year?

CRVSH: For 2014 we will be releasing music videos from our album until summer, going on a tour to Los Angeles and back, and then making more music and more music videos! We are also pushing our product to as many other avenues as possible.

Camilla: Why is being creative important to you?

CRVSH: Humans have forgotten their power. We recognize that we are extremely powerful beings that need to show our awesome songs to the world!

Camilla: What do your families think?

CRVSH: In the beginning our parents were a little worried that we were in need of a back up plan, but over the years as we have gotten better and made our dream more and more of a reality, we have gained the fully relentless and enthusiastic support of all the parents. As far as many of our relatives go, we have both those that support and those that will be supporting us very soon.

Camilla: For people looking to start their own creative careers, what advice would you offer?

CRVSH: Do something that is different than anyone else! Dig deep into what you are feeling good about. If you make something straight from the heart that has the boldness and uniqueness that is you, it will prevail!

Thank you Jimmy, Aaron, and Daniel. I’m so blessed to have met the three of YOU!

Head on over to CRVSH’s website and have a listen to some of their songs. Follow this link … http://crvshmusic.com/music/. My favorite is track #15 Happy. I also like track #1 Rain, track #2 Crazy, track #3 No Sleep Tonight and track #4 Fall in Love.

Heartfuly Inspired™,
Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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Latest News: Happy Birthday to ME Plus A Happy Gift for YOU

Happy Happy Happy Birthday to ME (February 26th)! I’m only a week late with my birthday post y’all! Teaching this class at High Desert Montessori has kept my hands full to overflowing.

I’m starting off my 44th year spreading love, happiness and kindness … with an intention to do this every day either in a small itty bitty way or a big ole huge way … ALWAYS for myself first so that I can overflow with the ooey gooey stuff to share with others!

My new motto is Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

I invite you to join me in spreading love, happiness and kindness. Who wants to choose to see the good that surrounds us? Who wants to choose to see the good in others? Who wants to choose to see the abundance that surrounds us? Let’s do it!

My son, Thomas, set up a LEGO birthday party for me too. So much fun! Sweet boy!

And, then I treated myself to this …. a Salted Caramel Mousse Cake with yummy fresh raspberries! Why not celebrate life EVERY DAY?!

Next up was dinner with the two favoritest people in my life …. my two kids, Thomas and Lillian! Thanks to my wonderful Oaklawn Junior HIgh friend, Lois, for the gift card. Crispy potatoes, Cheese Plate (cow, sheep, goat) …. SO YUMMY, Warm Golden Beet salad (I will be back for this … made my tummy HappyY), Margherita pizza, and Caramel Budino (Oh My Heavens!! …That was delicious)!!!! Check out how the bill is delivered! Comes tucked inside an awesome quote book. Love the quote that was marked with my bill.

After our early dinner, we had time for a brief walk along the river. Such a special time!

Next up was the HDMS Science Fair …

Lastly, here’s another treat I gave myself on my birthday and my gift to you also. I listened to this wonderful song titled “Happy” by the local Reno band, CRVSH. I was fortunate enough to hear and see these amazing guys live a couple of weeks ago!

This song gives me goose bumps all the way to my soul! I hope all y’all take four minutes out of your day and give this one a listen. Turn it way up and DANCE! Then spread the happiness and share it with somebody else!

Go here …http://crvshmusic.com/music/ .. It’s #15 on the playlist. So much love to all y’all … xoxo (I also love #1, #2, #3, #4)

P.S. – Stay tuned for a beautiful interview right here on my blog with CRVSH! Can’t wait to share it with y’all!

Heartfuly Inspired™,

Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Be sure to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered right to your inbox! Go here!

Mindful Living: Inspired By A Slice of Bread

(Picture of our Reno Sunset … I’m hugely inspired by nature … So full of love)

One never knows when messages just right for us and answers to our questions will surface in our life. It’s much more common than we think. It’s happening continually on a daily basis. One of the secrets to receiving the messages and answers is to know they are there and to be mindful in the present moments of life.

For lunch yesterday I made Thomas a grilled cheese sandwich. He and I were commenting on how yummy the bread tasted. I’m always on the look out for bread without corn syrup, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and bread that has low to no sugar per slice. I read the ingredients out loud to him and noticed there was a brief description about the owner and how the bread company came to be; which nearly brought my eyes to sweatin’!

The bread is “Dave’s Killer Bread“. Although it has 3 grams of sugar per slice, thought I’d give it a try as the ingredient list seemed so good, yummy and healthy. I prefer 1 or 0 grams of sugar per slice. Here are the ingredients:

Organic whole wheat flour, organic cracked whole wheat, water, powerseed mix (organic flaxseeds, organic ground whole flaxseeds, organic sunflower seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, organic un-hulled brown sesame seeds, organic un-hulled black sesame seeds), organic fruit juices (pear, pineapple, peach), organic oat fiber, organic vital wheat gluten, organic rolled oats, sea salt, organic cultured wheat, yeast.

Here’s the story from the back of the package which I didn’t even notice when buying it:

I was a four-time loser before I realized I was in the wrong game. 15 years in prison is a pretty tough way to find oneself, but I have no regrets. This time around, I took advantage of all those long and lonely days by practicing my guitar, exercising, and getting to know myself – without drugs. To my utter amazement, I started liking what I was seeing. It’s been said adversity introduces a man to himself and I found this to be true. If I had not suffered, I can safely assure you that you would not be reading the label on a loaf of my killer bread. A whole lot of suffering has transformed an ex-con into an honest man who is doing his best to make the world a better place … one loaf of bread at a time.

This really spoke to me. I began thinking, “Look! Wake up! If a man who has spent 15 years in prison can finally decide to BE himself and know his passion, YOU sure as heck can do it!”

Reading his story on the back of that loaf of bread inspired me. It flipped a switch inside of me. There’s nothing holding me back but staying stuck in old stories of who I am, who I’ve been told I am, and how I erroneously think life has to be. These things are all illusions. I can choose to release them and let the true me rise to the surface instead of being buried underneath all this sludge.

That’s what I plan on doing. Like an acorn that discards it’s outer shell to reveal the oak tree within, I choose to release those old layers and discard them. Even if it takes 15 years or longer. That’s the purpose. That’s the journey.

I am so grateful and appreciative of moments like this. This moment inspired me. Plus it got the whole Team TLC discussing usually-not-discussed topics in a natural “organic” way …. the discussion simply flowed from … a …. tasty … slice ….. of … BREAD!

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Inspired Living: Success Photo A Day

“Sitting down for dinner with my little family ….. Success!”

Mission: Take one photo a day of an image representing success from your own perspective. The mission ends on March 4 2014.

Should you choose to accept this mission, post your daily photo to facebook, instagram, twitter or your blog. I’ll be sharing my daily photo on instagram … @camilladowns. At the conclusion of our success photo a day mission, I’ll post an article on my blog containing all of my success photos. I’d rather not post a daily photo on the blog which is why I’m using instagram.

I assigned this to the students I’m teaching right now and thought it’d be fun to play along with them and invite y’all to play along also!

Take ONE photo a day of something or someone that represents success in your opinion and your point of view. This DOES NOT have to be a person or a business. It could be a tree or flower you’ve watched grow from a seedling. It could be a pet that you’ve watched grow.

Think outside of the box. Smash that box and open your eyes to the little successes that surround you every single day. It could be something as simple as finishing a book you’ve been reading or completing a project you’ve been working on.

Give each photo a hashtag of #SuccessPhotoADay so you can see what others are sharing also!

Should you choose not to accept this mission, you can press delete or wait 5 minutes and the post will self destruct into a big ray of sunshine! Hahaha!!

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Inspired Living: Grief and Healing – An Interview


This gallery contains 1 photo.

Tweet Welcome everyone to a very special interview with Benjamin Scott Allen, author of Out of the Ashes. Here’s a bit about the book: “Out of the Ashes” chronicles my journey through what I call “The AfterLoss”– a world of … Continue reading

Latest News: Update On Team TLC Christmas Miracle

It’s been just over a month since posting and sharing “Help Team TLC With a Christmas Miracle”. It has been overwhelming to keep up with friends wanting to know how things are going so I thought I’d share an update.

In just two weeks $8,400 was raised! Your sharing and donations came from and traveled the world. Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Illinois, Hawaii, California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, Utah, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Missouri, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, Wyoming, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand.

I thank you from the depths of my soul and cannot wait until I have the opportunity to pay your acts of kindness forward! Thank you to my Jr High School friends, my Mississippi friends, my Chromosome 18 family, my Mississippi family, Nevada friends, facebook friends and people I don’t even know … Oceans of love and hugs to all y’all!!

This house was supposed to be sold on December 26th and we found out a few days later that it got postponed for two weeks. The sale did happen on January 7th. That gave me more time to get the house packed and to search for a new place for us. The plan is to move the second weekend in February.

I have no idea why the sale of this house got postponed for two weeks but it has allowed for perfect timing with another factor. We have been gifted a few raffle tickets for a “Dream Home” that’s being raffled by Builder’s Association of Northern Nevada on February 6th.

Starting on January 6th I began teaching a class at High Desert Montessori Charter School. It’s a creative expressions class which is an elective for 7th and 8th graders. I’ll be teaching it through March 14th and I’m there every day from 12:30-2:30. The class I’m teaching is titled “Success for Teens” combined with learning how to blog. The students are blogging about the class and I’ve created a blog for the class titled “Their View”. I was supposed to teach it last quarter, from October – December 2013. It got postponed to this quarter. I appreciate this amazing opportunity more than words could express.

I continue to have faith and continue to be in awe of the timing of these two events and so many other interesting synchronistic occurrences. Whether we make our new home in the raffle “Dream Home” or another home, the outcome will be perfect. I will see and believe that either outcome is in answer to my prayers. I will be grateful and appreciative and will make whatever address is to be ours in February, our “Dream Home”.

The plan is to continue packing only what we feel we need and releasing attachment to things we don’t need. I’ve created an absolutely get rid of “pile” and, depending on where we move, we’ll take less furniture or almost all furniture. On February 7, 2014 we will know which direction we’re headed!

The past month has been an emotional roller coaster. I shared with a friend the other day that I hear silence where there was not silence previously. I absolutely knew that would happen and am making my way to being okay with that. She said, “That’s alright. Go where the noise is.” That’s my own advice being shared with me, when I can’t see it fully! Right on!!

I continue to be open to and research income generating opportunities in line with my own happiness and desire and commitment to devoting most of my time to being a full time Mom to Thomas and Lillian. I had a meeting last week with an organization and have one this week with a local business.

When I was nudged by my inner voice to openly ask for help and share my situation, I almost didn’t move forward. I had fears and thoughts of unworthiness. Yet, at the same time, my inner voice urged me onward as my asking for help was going to benefit others as well.

Sharing my situation and asking for help was and did help others by letting them know that it’s okay to ask for help and by letting others see the goodness and kindness in our world. I have received many messages from others sharing with me how this has helped them, inspired them, and re-ignited their faith.

I continue to have faith and be aware of the direction my inner voice nudges me to take. Thank you to everyone for your support, love, prayers, and positive thoughts.

Latest News: Success for Teens and Blogging

I’m thrilled that I am getting the opportunity to teach 7th and 8th graders how to blog at High Desert Montessori Charter School! From January 6, 2014 through March 14, 2014, I’m facilitating a program based on the “Success for Teens” book. Students are blogging about the class and at the same time learning what a blog is and why one would want to have a blog. This is an elective class as part of the school’s creative expressions elective choices.

Class Description:

Start pursuing your dreams now! We will learn the true definition of success. It’s not about smarts, looks, or luck. As we read and discuss “Success for Teens” students will think about their own goals, learn how to and begin taking little steps to achieve goals. In addition, we will have guest speakers who are business owners/entrepreneurs and students will create a goals/vision board.

I’ve created a blog titled, Their View, that is a portal for the students of the class to access resources discussed in class and for ME to share class happenings and to share some of the students’ thoughts.