You’re Intuition Knows What To Write

“You’re intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” – Ray Bradbury

I was given the wonderful opportunity to guest post on 2 Dream Productions’ blog about why I write and what led to the writing of my first book, “D iz for Different”.

Here’s an excerpt:

How Purging the Garage Led to Writing a Book

Call it intuition. Call it my gut. Whatever it’s called, there is something inside of me compelling me to write. Sometimes gently, other times strongly, it nudges me saying, “You’ve just got to share that.” I fought this feeling for a long time, thinking I had nothing meaningful to contribute. At this point in my life, I know that the treasure lying within me, the one I am to share with humanity, is my view of everyday life. I most often share this through writing.

Sometimes I question myself with thoughts of, “What are you doing? Why are you wasting time on this? Who cares what you think? Who cares what happened with you today?” These thoughts can be very discouraging and cause me to doubt myself. However, time and time again, I magically and miraculously receive confirmation that what I’m doing and the path I have chosen is inspiring and helpful to others. These powerful, undeniable moments cause my fears and hesitation to disappear.

My writing journey started …. ” (Go here to read more.)

Head on over and check out 2 Dream Productions if you are an author or aspiring author!

2 Dream Productions, Inc. is a book publicist company that specializes in working with authors and publishers to get more publicity for their books, brands and products. 


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Movie Musings: Friendship and Mermaids and Hot Chocolate

“When Marnie Was There” (amazon affiliate link) …. Oh my gosh!!!! So awesome!!! Friendship, mystery, and discovery! Thomas says, “Really good, fun, nice, good music, good animation, and good everything.” Lillian says, “Good, suspenceful, mysterious, surprising, amazing, good and pretty scenery, feel good, and wonderful.”

“Ponyo” (amazon affiliate link) … Thomas says, “Super good, funny, hilarious, awesome, amazing.” Lillian says, “Good, hilarious, amazing, exciting, awesome, and suspenseful.” I say, “A fun and magical tale.”

“The Polar Express” (amazon affiliate link) ….  I really enjoy watching this with Thomas and Lillian as it reinforces the message I share with them … That the spirit of Christmas lies in the heart. Plus …. I love the hot chocolate scene. FUN!! Lillian says, “Good, Christmasy, adventurous, suspenseful, musical, awesome, nice theme, good moral, good effects, and hilarious.” Thomas says, “Good, amazing, magical, favorite Christmas movie, awesome, spectacular, and everything good!”

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Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

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Happy Birthday to Me 2016

“Sometimes we need someone to simply be there. Not to fix anything, or to do anything in particular, but just to let us feel we are cared for and supported.” – Unknown

It’s my birthday month! February 26th will mark the beginning of my 46th year of living, learning, and loving in our beautiful paradise of a world.

I feel moved to celebrate in a different way this month. I am moved to share, give, and to allow myself to receive. Although I’m not in a position to give financially; I do want to honor this inner urge. I can give my time. I can spread loving-kindness and I can show my gratitude for BEing alive!

First, I’m giving away four 30 minute sessions with me. The sessions need to be scheduled during the month of February 2016. To learn more about the sessions, read “Work with Camilla“. You can contact me via the email address or contact link from there.

Second, I also have books! During the month of February, I’m offering 2 for the price of 1 for “D iz for Different”. You can email to CamillaDowns (@) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested.

“Sometimes we don’t need advice. Sometimes we don’t even need to talk. Sometimes we just need an authentic and loving hug.” -Me

Third, I’m also planning to give free hugs on Friday, February 26th. I’m not sure of the location or exact time yet. I’ll be accepting hugs too! If you don’t need a hug, you can stop by and give me one! Stay tuned to facebook. I’ll post the time and location as it gets closer. If you don’t use facebook, you can email at the address above.

Lastly, I open my arms wide and face the big, beautiful sky. I say, “I welcome the blessings and answered prayers being sent ……. And, I allow myself to receive with grateful wholeheartedness.”

Happy Birthday to ME!


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I Help You Love Your Self

“The meaningful question is never what we did yesterday, but what we have learned from it and are doing today ….. No one can help with anything like someone who has been through the pain themselves.” – A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Why do I write on this blog?

I feel it is my purpose to help others by openly sharing my own life experiences. Specifically, how to heal oneself and how we relate to the children of the world and the effects of this relation from an adult perspective.

I know if I am urged to write something, what I share will help others either not go through the un-lovely experiences I’ve had or will help others through un-lovely experiences. I write about mindful living, simplicity, gratitude, and emotions. Additional topics are self-love, emotional connection, compassion, self-awareness, loving-kindness, self-actualization, special needs parenting, living in a tiny home, and resiliency. I also share book and movie musings, nature photography, and recipes.

So many children have an early and teenage life full of emotional neglect and harsh self-talk. I know. Because I was one of those children. I’m not speaking of purposeful emotional neglect. I’m speaking of not being taught what to do with my feelings and having those around me not know what to do with their own feelings.

My parents loved me. I was fed, clothed, and pretty much got my heart’s desire. Yet, I morphed into a people pleaser, and bearer of negative thoughts to myself.

I was not taught to love myself or to value who or what I am. Emotions and living in the present moment were never discussed. There was a great deal of arguing amongst the adults in my life …. sometimes violent arguing. I never wanted to upset others and only wanted those around me to be happy. I walked around anxious that I say the right thing, in the right way so that others liked me.

I’m absolutely not saying that my parents were wrong. I dearly love them and I know they were doing the best they knew how to do. For whatever reason, I was the way I was.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My mind was constantly analyzing things and processing according to how I was viewed in the eyes of others. In some instances, I did not speak up for fear of drawing negative attention to myself or how it would make others feel. And in other instances I hooked into the drama of the situation, big time! As I became an adult my response to life was a mixture of both of these. I didn’t let my unique essence shine through.

I feel if we practice the following we will heal ourself and the world’s children will continue to have the self-love they are born with, to feel secure, to feel loved, to feel successful, and free to be who they are ……. LOVE.

  • truly love ourself and model that love
  • practice mindfulness in our own realm and lovingly share mindfulness with our kids
  • learn emotional connection and model and teach it to our kids
  • practice gratitude and model and teach it to our kids

It’s not in my nature to tell people they are doing something right or wrong, or to teach them how they should or shouldn’t be doing something. Nor, do I dish out tough love. That has never been in sync with my heart. If it works for you, then wonderful!!

What do I “do”?

Short Version: I help you love your SELF and be at PEACE ….. and that spreads to your family, friends, neighbors, and all beings.

I am to let my life be an example. One for which others can apply what is in sync with their heart and simply ignore what’s not in sync. I share through this blog, facebook, my first book, “D iz for Different”, and speaking to groups.

Topics discussed when speaking are:

  • mindfulness
  • self-love
  • gratitude
  • emotional connection
  • compassion
  • self-awareness
  • loving-kindness
  • self-actualization
  • resiliency
  • special needs parenting
  • how to decrease stress and worry
  • how to notice when you get “hooked” by drama
  • how to increase self-confidence

I freely explain and share lessons I’ve learned and practices I use that work for me and my family. If needed, I listen with love and compassion and intuitively share thoughts and examples from my own life.

I do not claim to know the One Way, or One Size fits all approach to living a joyful, peaceful life. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I am to work with and help those whose heart urges them to connect with me and to learn more. I am to hold a nurturing space for those who feel moved by what I share so they can discover what it means to love oneself and to awaken who they truly are within …… magnificence and LOVE.

Please go here if you are interested in working with me or having me speak at your event or gathering.

“Until we understand what is within, we can’t understand what is without.” – Anita Moorjani

F is for Flexibility

(Excerpt from my book, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” - published 2012)

Flexibility, fun and faith . . . that’s a trio I definitely want in my life!

There are times in our lives when fun does not fit in with what’s going on! It’s not possible to always have fun, or find the joy in every situation. However, it is possible to be at peace with the experiences life deals us. To be at peace is to be in a state of acceptance, and be present and attentive in the here and now. Once we have achieved the place of acceptance it is easier to see the joy, humor, and fun in the everyday happenings of life, and ultimately have faith.

With each passing day acceptance becomes easier. I am more attentive and present when Thomas and Lillian are talking to me. I am really listening to what they are saying. Sometimes, I must admit, it is just plain funny! One morning Thomas, Lillian and I had a conversation that each of them are actually aliens from Planet Mercury. They told me they are just here visiting and will have to go back home soon. We had a thirty minute conversation about their home planet. I told them I would miss them so very much when they go back home. They said they would miss me too. After breakfast they began packing for their return voyage back to Mercury. Not your typical Saturday morning breakfast, but we had tons of fun using our imaginations. I choose to stimulate their imaginations instead of discounting what they say. Being able to call upon their imagination is a skill I want them never to lose.

As often as possible, I attempt to create an adventure out of as many minutes, hours and days that I can. It may sound like a lot of work, but really, it doesn’t have to be. Adventure is what one makes it. If we remind ourselves to be flexible and think simplistically, it isn’t hard at all to create adventures. I find great fun in turning a simple task or event (something we are already doing), into an adventure.

Something as simple as going to the library can be made into an adventure by having a scavenger hunt for certain types of books. One day, I had Thomas and Lillian make a list of about five places or things they wanted to see, or find. We had a great time driving around all day to parks and stores finding the items on their lists. We didn’t buy anything, but I marked their success by taking a photo of them in front of the place, or with the item they found (you can see some in the photo gallery).

Being flexible decreases stress, and allows us opportunities to be creative. Flexibility also serves us in releasing our attachment to rigid expectations. When we choose to be flexible rather than rigid, it is much easier to accept change when situations do not turn out as we may have planned.

Flexibility is a characteristic that serves me well as a parent, definitely as a mom to a child with special needs, and in life in general. I am sorry to say that the old Camilla was not a very flexible person. Things had to be done my way, or someone was going to pay! I cringe when I think about how rigid, and inflexible I used to be.

The awakened Camilla has learned the wonderful quality of being flexible. To some, it may seem like indifference when I shrug my shoulders, or turn the other cheek, but through practice, I have learned to be okay with whatever happens.

F is for Fear

I could not let this chapter be complete without mentioning fear. Fear is something that every parent experiences. In fact, everyone has fears. Parents of children with special needs have an entirely different set of fears, and then some, compared to parents of kids who develop typically. Fear is one of the stages we move through when we first learn of our child’s diagnosis. These fears can get the better of us if we are not managing our thoughts in the present moment. For instance, we may take one little comment from a doctor, nurse, parent, or friend, and let our mind run away with it. We fabricate in our mind what the future would be like; what about the next time …next week…next year…from now to when our time here is over? I am not saying we shouldn’t make plans for our family’s future. Make those plans, get everything lined-up, and set in the best way for your child with special needs and their siblings. Just remember not to always play out future events (school, friends, sports, marriage etc.) in your mind.

Learning to have faith in myself, and the decisions I make has absolutely helped me along this journey. Even though I still experience moments, days, and even weeks, when my faith in myself gets weak, I never ever fully lose sight of it. Having a rock solid faith in ourselves, is the foundation for the journey we are traveling.

Tip for the Journey:

Learning to be flexible comes with patience and practice. Choose one situation a week to be flexible about. Then take it to one situation per day. Each morning when you wake up, say to yourself with love and joy, “I choose to be flexible today.”

Developing the habit of having consistent, strong faith in yourself and your choices will only come with time and practice. To battle being your own worst critic, put sticky notes on your mirror, in your purse, in your car, and wherever else you need them, with reminders that you are amazing, you are perfect the way you are, to have faith in yourself, trust your path and trust your intuition. Choose whatever phrases or quotes are meaningful to you and put those on the sticky notes also. It can be hard to keep faith in ourselves; but the more we practice being kind, the quicker we will pull ourselves out of those times when we lose the faith.

Heartfuly Inspired,
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Book Musings: Sacred Circle and Super Genes and Ink Gardens

Dance of the Sacred Circle (amazon affiliate link) – A tale of bravery and magic based on a Blackfeet legend …. “The old ones spoke of the Great Chief in the Sky, whose breath gave life all the world. They said he lived in a wonderful land far above the stars …. ” Another one we really enjoyed …

Super Genes (amazon affiliate link) - I first read about epigenetics several years ago in Bruce Lipton’s, “Biology of Belief”  (amazon affiliate link). This takes it even further with great information about the microbiome and inflammation. GREAT book. I’ll be buying this one!

Another book we really enjoyed … “The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane(amazon affiliate link)

A wonderful fiction based on the monks of the Middle Ages from Ireland who established monasteries throughout much of Europe and parts of the Middle East. The monasteries were the place where books were made. The monks carefully translated and copied the great written works of antiquity.

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Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

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Living in Tiny Home Adventures – Four Months

In late August 2015 I moved Team TLC into a 1 bedroom, 1 bath 810 square foot condo. If you are new to this blog or the tiny-home-adventures blog series, go here to read the first post titled, Living in a Tiny Home Adventures. It’s been a couple of months since the last update.

I’ve been busy with writing, subbing, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Another of my articles got published during this time also. It’s titled “The Gift of One” and was published by the Australian Institute On Intellectual Disability. Go here if you’d like to read it.

(The lake is frozen!!)

We’ve made so much progress since I last wrote. We got rid of the hide-a-bed couch that was in Thomas‘ “room”. I had Salvation Army scheduled to pick it up; but before that could happen someone bought it! I mentioned on facebook that I’d scheduled them to pick it up and that led to a friend of a facebook friend (who happens to live in the same condo complex as us) buying it. Wahoo!

Just this past Monday I removed the last of the items from the storage unit. Such a relief. There was a desk, an office chair, a filing cabinet, and a child’s recliner. I gifted my desk to a friend and moved the other items into The Romano Duo’s unit.

The plan is to bring the office chair here as soon as I make room for it. Not sure what I’ll do yet with the filing cabinet. I do plan on going through it to see what I can purge. And, Lillian wants to sit in the chair one more time to see if she’s ready to pass it on. There are a few more keepsake boxes in The Romano Duo’s unit. I’ll be going through those soon. Once all this is done, we will have everything we own right here with us!

The Romano Duo came up here for Christmas and we had a warm and cozy celebration in our tiny home. We opted for a small 2 foot artificial tree as there simply wasn’t room for much else. Plus, we already owned this one and I wasn’t in a position to buy another artificial tree or a live tree (which is what I had planned on doing).

It took some time, but eventually, Lillian and Thomas were okay with this and LOVED our tiny tree. We decorated our little tree with what would fit and then hung the rest in the window. It was really cool!

We’ve had an interesting and financially positive side to being in such a tiny place, sandwiched between other condo units. We’ve hardly had to use the heat. And, it was in the single digits some nights! We’re at the tail end of January and we’ve used it maybe 4 or 5 times. It’s staying anywhere between 67 to 73 degrees and we’ve actually had to open the windows to cool it down!

In a couple of the last posts I mentioned the street noise from South Meadows. Guess what The Romano Duo got me for Christmas? A silk eye mask and earplugs (amazon affiliate links)! I was so grateful and excited to receive these. And …. I LOVE them! Thomas got a silk eye mask from Santa and he loves his too! It has made a huge difference with falling asleep. Ahhhhhh!  I also use them for meditating .. so odd to hear your own heart beating sometimes!

The porch light stays on and our bedroom window is directly underneath it. It’s on my list to unscrew the bulbs and replace with dimmer lights or something else. Just haven’t gotten to it.

One night after dinner and dishes, I cleared the table. Thomas and I then played a “homemade” version of ping pong using what we had. Brought so much deep belly laughter … From Lillian too as she watched us. I think the ball had fun too.

I am still actively donating things to Goodwill. After Halloween I donated many of the decorations I was ready to pass on. I started with 3 storage tubs and took it down to 2 storage tubs. I donated Christmas decorations as we were unpacking them and also donated lights and other decorations after Christmas. I began with 6 storage tubs and am down to 3 tubs.

I just asked Thomas and Lillian if they enjoy living here. I got a loud “Yes, we love it” from both of them!

In the next update I’ll include more pictures of the inside as we’ve re-arranged some things and are still in the process of re-arranging. Stay tuned ….

That’s all for now … The adventure continues …. Thanks for being a part of it!

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Photography Musings: Gratitude

(Lake Lahontan – Nevada 2012) 

Expressing and feeling gratitude is one of the BEST natural stimulants ever invented!! 

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Fearless Choices – The Mindful Way

Choices and decisions.

There’s not a day that goes by that we aren’t faced with choices from which to make decisions. Small ones, big ones, scary ones, fun ones, happy ones, bitter ones. Choices and decisions are an integral part of life. We invite a more peaceful and joyful life when we approach choices and decisions mindfully.

Are we acting and making decisions from a place of love, or from a place of fear? This sounds simple on the surface. Upon stopping, being quiet and still when faced with choices and decisions, it’s easier to see that we do make some decisions from a place of fear or avoidance.

The decision made may even be the same whether it’s made from a place of fear or love. However, the internal and external results can be drastic.

Let’s look at the anatomy of a decision by dissecting a couple of examples.

I have a choice as to what kind of foods to feed myself and my family. I have made the choice for myself and my kids, Thomas and Lillian, to eat organic, non-gmo foods without artificial ingredients and low to no processed sugar. When looking at my choice between this type of food and this food’s opposite, I am presented with a deluge of research and opinions. Much of this claims that organic, non-gmo foods minus artificial ingredients are the healthy choice and will help prevent being overweight and many diseases.

With knowing this information, have I made my choice due to my fear of illness, disease, and weight issues. Or, have I made this choice because I love myself and my family and because I want to nourish this body and be in relationship with it for a long time? The root of how this decision is made matters. It matters tremendously.

The success of a decision hinges on whether or not it is made from a place of love or fear. When I took the time to dissect the decision I had made, I discovered I had made the choice from a place of fear. With a slight shift in my thoughts, my decision is still the same. Yet, I can now make this decision from a place of love. I have thoughts of love for myself and my family and choose healthy foods based on this love.

Let’s look at another example.

Am I accepting this job or this work because I fear having no money or am I accepting it because I am passionate about it and I know it’s my purpose to do this? Again, the ultimate decision may be the same. Yet, the possibility of this being a successful decision will hinge on whether it is made from love or fear. This can be applied in relationship decisions also.

Thoughts for making decisions:

  • Make sure you’re not hungry or thirsty
  • Try to be rested before making the actual decision
  • Be somewhere quiet (use earplugs if you need too – I use these wax earplugs (amazon affiliate link) for falling asleep and meditating. I LOVE my earplugs!! The foam earplugs did not block the street noise.)
  • Be still
  • Move your awareness to your heart
  • Lightly release any thoughts that arise
  • Connect with your emotions about this decision

Are you feeling fear (or any emotions related to it) OR are you feeling love (or any emotions related to it)? Don’t analyze the emotions. Just be with whatever it is. It will be up to you if you can shift to seeing a love-based way to make the same choice, or if it’s only fear driving the choice.

This is not to say that one suddenly make the shift to making all decisions from a place of love and not fear. It’s enough to simply stop and note the root of the decision. And if you feel moved to make this shift for yourself, start small. Make it easy so that you can successfully shift to making all decisions from a place of love.

I am not meaning to imply that there are wrong and right decisions or bad and good decisions. I feel we can make whichever decision we choose into the “right” decision for us. This post is speaking more to what happens internally, not the choice itself. xoxo

(This is a topic that came forth in a client session. If you like my techniques and energy and feel you’d like guidance with living mindfully, please contact me. You can also visit this page to learn more.)

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Movie Musings: Bamboo Princess, Gandhi, and Angels

“The Tale of Princess Kaguya” (amazon affiliate link) … Lillian says, “Emotional, good, musical, great, amazing, good animation, pretty scenery, and awesome!” Thomas says, “Super-duper good, good story, good animation, great, really liked it, emotional near the end, and I really liked it.” Tale of the bamboo girl. This one was good, yet my favorites of the Studio Ghibili so far are: “As the Wind Rises” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service”.

“Gandhi” (amazon affiliate link) …. “The way of truth and love has always won.” Thomas says, “Really good, spiritual, inspiring, good feeling, amazing.” Lillian says, “Good, amazing, emotional, cool, and shocking.” “Wonderful,” I say.

“The Bishop’s Wife” (amazon affiliate link) .. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this! Loved it! “Loving-kindness and warm hearts bring peace on earth.” Thomas says, “Amazing, cool, funny, hilarious, miraculous, and really liked it!” Lillian says, “Good, romantic, Christmasy, good miracles, awesome, fabulous, funny, good theme, amazing, and good moral.”

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