Nature is a Wonderful Guide

**THROWBACK POST** (Still housecleaning the blog. At least I’ve reached 2016 now!)


(Photos of us – Team TLC – 2016)

February 11 2016

“I think.
Lillian worries.
Camilla just is.”

Thomas wisdom shared last night as we were reading in my bed before going to sleep …

He had a rough day yesterday. He made a choice at school that caused an unlovely consequence.

On the ride home I let him know he could not use his digital time as he overused it in the morning. By the time we got home he was in much distress. He had a full blown meltdown when he got home and I knew we needed to go for a walk.

I shared how unhealthy it is to not let oneself feel and experience anger and other negative emotions. That we must find that place where we can let ourself feel it physically, being with it, and without hooking into the story of the negative emotion; which can cause us to be harsh with others.

Nature is a wonderful guide during times like these, times when we resist feeling the rawness of life. About an hour after our walk Thomas had settled into acceptance and we had a great night. May you take advantage of the gift of nature when needed. xoxo

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

I needed this reminder today. I’ve been having a rough past two weeks.

I’m exhausted. My body aches. My back aches. My shoulders ache. My neck aches. My hips ache. I’m sad and I’ve been sobbing on and off all day. I’m deeply tired. 

And, I’d just really like someone else to take care of me and everything else for a week or two …

I know that this too shall pass … However, in the midst of this crud, is definitely an unlovely place to be. I’m glad I’m still housecleaning on my blog and that I came across this one.

Here’s to feeling all the feels … May they move on through …

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

 

Poetry and Photography: Appreciation

Appreciation

Stop the madness.
Time to remember.
These thoughts are not
one’s true essence.

These thoughts are of the mind.
Stories of the past,
Patched together with
the glue of unlovely memories.

They are not true in the now.
They are but illusions,
sparkles and dust of the past.

Recognize the
True You as the
one in observation
of these thoughts.

Take a deep
cleansing breath,
purse the lips,
blow
and
clear them
from one’s heart.

Acknowledge them,
Embrace them,
Love them.

Release these mind stories
of the past.
It is time.
Release the torture.

I deserve this.
You deserve this.
We deserve this.
And we are free.
©️2019, Camilla Downs

February 2019

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

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

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

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

 

The Magic She Carries in Her Heart – Book Review of Where Would You Fly

Lillian and I are deeply grateful for this wonderful, heartfelt and thorough review … So lovely that my eyes pooled with liquid gratitude when I read it last night. Thank you Katie!! 💜💜💜


(Lillian at the Barnes & Noble book signing in November 2018)

Excerpt from the review ….

” …. I also loved the beautiful drawing and photos of Lillian and her family. This really made the book feel even more special. I also think reading about how special Lillian is can only make you feel blessed to be able to see the magic she carries in her mind and heart …. ”

Please visit the below link to read more and if you feel moved, we would be incredibly grateful for you to “like” the post and/or comment.

My Review of Where Would You Fly?: and Other Magical Stories Author Lillian Darnell

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

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

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

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Latest News: Words of Alchemy – Coming Soon

Celebration time! I finally finished Round 1 of filtering through writings for the next book! Many more rounds to go. Yet, getting that first one completed is nearly the hardest!

“Words of Alchemy” is under way and is a collection of poetry written from 2013 to current – the words that alchemized my life experiences over these past 6 years. I have the book cover designed in my mind. Hope to get an actual digital image soon.

I cannot believe I wrote that first poem in May 2013 – birthed by visiting Fallen Leaf Lake and Mount Tallac. I still remember how wild it felt having these words populate my mind and how compelled I felt to set them free. It was the beginning of the alchemy.

I never would have dreamed I would write a poem. Much less, having kept at writing them for 6 years. I’m sure mine aren’t considered traditional or classic poetry; but I’m also sure everyone knows what I think about labels. That’s right. Screw em.

I spent 2 hours researching what is considered poetry vs verse vs prose. It caused my head to spin and wonder what the heck. People spend valuable time and space arguing about what is a proper poem. Yet, if that makes them joyful … GO FOR IT!

I woke up the morning of April 25th with the feeling … perhaps knowing … that a huge cycle has completed for me. It is a most interesting feeling. Like I’m coming back around to interests I had as a child, remembering what excited me, what I loved doing. It’s not all there yet. All I know is … something pivotal has completed.

Writing and sharing snippets through social media is also healing and a way of shedding what no longer serves. When I write I can hardly contain the emotions I feel inside. The emotions are as hot as lava and as sweet as honeysuckle – from the pit of my belly all the way up to my throat. I am, indeed, compelled to share my experiences.

An excerpt from a previous post titled “The Alchemy of Writing” ….

” ….. Everything I write has been experienced and lived by me. When I sit to write, at times I listen to music, and at others I write in silence. I lay my fingers to rest on the keyboard of my well worn laptop. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and type a few words.

Camilla's laptop 7.14.18

Once the first few words appear on the screen, something within takes over. My heart begins to race with the excitement of opening a meticulously wrapped gift. I become lost in another dimension. My fingers and hands become warm, the veins in my hands rising like miniature mountains. Interestingly, forming a large H on my left hand and a large Y on my right hand. (Which happened as I was writing this passage ….. !!)

Left hand Typing 7.14.18 Right hand Typing 7.14.18

The words begin to flow as fast and smooth as water running from a faucet. I type as fast as my fingers and hands will allow. For which I am thankful for having had typing class in high school.

At times, I notice I have forgotten to take a breath for fear of missing the words that are streaming forth. Yet, I know the words I miss will return at some point or they will land with another to share in their own way. In the past I fretted over the words that go away. Now I know that it matters not. All comes forth in perfect timing.

The Alchemy

Writing is my witness, my alchemy, my soul song. Writing is my therapist, my medicine, my best friend, my parent, my sibling, and my lover.

It is the way I connect with life so that I can release it and to also receive advice, solutions, and be consoled. Writing alchemizes what I experience; guiding me to the lesson I am to learn, memories I am to remember and release, and to the Knowing of why I am experiencing whatever it is.

This is not to say that writing replaces any of these roles, it simply enhances them.

The Vow

I vow to write.

I vow to listen for what to write. I vow to write even if no one reads what is written. I vow to write even if it turns some away. I vow to write for the writing is the food that feeds my soul. I vow to write until the day I am no longer inhabiting this beautiful Earth.

I vow to write. And, I vow to let myself not write when the time calls for it; not feeling guilty or a failure for doing so.”

And, an excerpt from a previous post about why I write

” ….. My laptop became the couch I rest upon; while writing of my experiences became the therapist. This also serves as a tool for me to sync with life and for giving myself feedback for those experiences. Writing became an avenue to connect with and release the myriad of emotions and experiences of parenting.

The writing becomes an observer of my experiences. One that allows me to step away from the situation by pouring my heart onto the digital pages. I feel we all know in our heart the solution to tough parenting situations; or at the least, what would be the better of available options …… ” Go here to read further.

This is me in one of the pictures I love most … showcasing joy, peace and freedom … 2016 – taken by Thomas ..

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!**

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

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

 

Always Hear the Children

**THROWBACK POST**

July 30 2018:

Found while walking Yonce, the french bulldog, this morning. To be followed by passing a bouncy young girl of about 7 years old walking with her grandma.

As I walked by the young girl, I smiled, made eye contact, and said “hello”. To which she quickly said to her grandma, “Grandma, I want that lady to be my mom.” Grandma swiftly replies no and they continue walking.

Sweet girl, I wrap you and your family in oceans of love and pray for grace, courage, and strength for whatever is going on in your lives; whether it be a small or big issue or whether you were even just playing a game. And I pray that your voice is always heard. xoxo …

May each of us always be open to seeing and hearing children as they need us to see and hear them. Their precious hearts need us to see and hear their truth.

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

 

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

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

Here’s a wee bit from the article:

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

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

Visit the below link to read further …

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

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

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

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

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Photography and Poetry: The Circle of Life

**THROWBACK TO JULY 2018**

The Circle of Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali,
Are you here yet?

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

-2018 Camilla Downs

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

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

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

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

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


(Group Photo from the 2018 Conference in Baltimore)

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

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

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

Fundraising for the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference – Poem Creativity

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

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

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

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Happy Birthday to Me – Reuniting With Someone Special

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With lots of love on your birthday and always,
Lalita

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

Photos of the 2019 birthday celebrations!!

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

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

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

Ahhhhhh …. Good stuff!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Poetry & Photography: Sunset Walk Today

Sunset Walk Today

Hand them over to me
Let them all go

I am the healer
Who is ever here

Open the door
Step into my embrace.

The unlovely
The uncomfortable

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

To further the
Opening of the heart.

It will bring sadness
It will bring discomfort

Yet as we breathe
Through it
Walk through it
With love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo