The Walk of Alchemy

Pink Tree Blossoms The Vintage 4.20.18

I went for walk this morning.

Not unlike many mornings over the past 17 years. The meaning and depth of the walk has shifted throughout the years. What began as a way to exercise and get fresh air has shifted to be much deeper than that.

I have experienced many mindful walks. Walking slower than usual, listening, feeling, and smelling in silence.

Yet, this morning I knew it was time to experience a truly mindful walk. One in which one step is taken with each in breath, and one step for each out breath.

I did this for 5 minutes during the middle of my regular walk. Five minutes doesn’t sound like that long. I know. In a world where we are going, going, going and going fast; a 5 minute mindful walk felt like a good 30 minutes.

When I began I kept having thoughts of what others would think if they saw me. Would they be thinking, “What is that woman doing? She’s barely moving!” Yet, I repeatedly brought my thoughts back to the in and out breath and each step. At the same time I was feeling anxious, almost like I was going too damn slow for our modern life. Yet again, I repeatedly brought my thoughts back to the in and out breath and each step.

Alchemy Happens

And something magical happened. I could hear the bird song with much deeper clarity. I could feel the trees. A Divine peace floated through me like a soft breeze on a warm spring day. I actually almost lost my balance a few times. I guess the body wasn’t used to going this slow with each step. I found I had to consciously tell my feet to hold up. Not so fast there!

Time felt slowed, the world felt slower. Mother Nature and her helper animals ever so gently took the worry, the sadness, the heavy feelings and transformed them into peace.

I went for a walk this morning. After the walk, I had a simple day of clarity, knowing, and peace. Peace within is a true gift. Peace within is like a decadent favorite food slowly savored, held in the mouth with patience so as to taste every hint of flavor.

This type of mindful walking will now become a part of my walking routine. I am eternally grateful to and for Thich Nhat Hahn for the mindfulness, peace, love, and non-violence he shares and teaches the world.

I went for a walk this morning. It changed my life.

**I have been meditating and taking walks of silence for nearly 10 years. Your experience may not be the same as mine the first time you take a mindful walk like this.

Thich Nhat Hahn Quote April 2018

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

And my book published in 2012, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance; which reached #2 in the Self-Help Category and #1 in Special Needs Parenting on Amazon.

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Surrender to the Moment

“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly working for you rather than against you.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Thomas at Lake April 2016

One lesson I continue to get the opportunity to master is that of surrendering to the moment, to life circumstances. When I continue to say “no” to what’s happening and not want to be where I am or experiencing what I’m experiencing, it brings on the stress, the impatience, and un-lovely thoughts.

When I embrace where I am, I feel spaciousness and deep peace. By surrendering I do not mean resigning to the story through which I interpret the situation and the “why is this happening to me”.

I am extremely blessed and grateful to have learned the skills to shift this deep-seated mental habit. Skills such as mindfulness and emotional connection. By no means do I have this perfected, yet it gets easier and easier not to label situations as good or bad.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~Buddha

For anyone who needs this …. I send you much love and encouragement as you find the way to your own deep peace …

Let me know how I can help. There are many mindfulness and emotional connection articles on my blog with specific steps I have used. If you’d like to schedule a “Coffee Chat Connection” or “Walk With Me”, go here. xoxo

Camilla at Damonte Ranch Trail Fall 2015

Blessings,

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

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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Getting To The Bottom Of Grumpiness

“Go to Nature’s School – the one true university.” ~John Muir

(Here’s one to share my sense of humor with you. I may not share it much in my writings, yet I attempt to bring humor into every single day. For me, humor is the ointment that soothes the rawness of life …. )

One Sunday not too long ago, I was in a downright grumpy mood. Thomas and Lillian had joined in on the grumpiness. The tension and angst in the air was as thick as mud.

I completely disconnected from being mindful or even attempting to connect with this emotion. I ultimately decided to excuse myself and go for a much needed walk to connect with this grumpiness so as to release it.

A mere few minutes after heading out for the walk, I passed by this rock …

As I walked around the lake, my eyes kept catching glimpses of something – over and over again. It’s like I was going to keep seeing it until I truly noticed and the sight of it brought a smile to my face.

It not only brought a smile to my face; I laughed out loud. And, had to take pictures!

What broke the grip of this grumpiness?

Ducks and Their Bottoms. That’s right. Duck bottoms.

As I passed by ducks in the water, I kept thinking, something doesn’t look right. As I got closer I saw that the ducks had their head under the water. When a duck’s head is under water, their back end pops up. All you see is duck feet and duck bottom bobbing along!

I had noticed this in past walks, yet it didn’t move me like it did this time. Plus, it seemed like every single duck I passed had their head under water with their bottom just bopping along!

The picture is blurry as I had to zoom to get close enough. Yet, I think you get the idea.

By the time I walked in the door, I felt I had mostly shed whatever was causing the grumpiness. I entered with a much more joyful and peaceful heart ready to NOT bite any drama hooks dangled in front of me.

So, let’s get to the bottom of this post. 😉

When you know you’ve dug your heels in, you’ve bit into the grumpy (insert whatever negative emotion here) hook and are not going to let go easily; change your scenery, change the environment.

For me, that’s going for walk and being with nature. Being in nature may not have the same effect on you as it does with me. Find the sweet spot that helps you release the grip on that hook.

This is not to say that we push the negativity away. We still attempt to connect with how it feels so as to release it fully. Yet, sometimes this cannot be done in the moment or in the “space” we are within.

Now. Go find some duck bottoms and see if it doesn’t cause you to laugh … or at least smile … xoxo

This post is dedicated to Mother Nature, her beauty, her love, and her helpers!!

The picture of the stone honoring Mother Nature was taken at Rancho San Rafael Park and The Wilbur May Arboretum. Isn’t it interesting that it was donated and dedicated by someone with the initial “C”? And, it’s perfect for this post!

Blessings,

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

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.

Latest Articles:
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Go here to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered straight to your inbox! Right here!

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™,

Camilla
Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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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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I Am An Artist

As I completely lean into writing and blogging, I am tweaking the website a bit to bring more clarity to the type of content one can expect to find here.

“Be Mindful … Super-sized thoughts with a wee bit of photographs, recipes and tips.” (And, possibly soon, some other type of art. We shall see where my experimentation leads with this.)

This website and blog bring together all the pieces of my life, like a snapshot. I am a writer, author, blogger, photographer, an artist, and a life coach. I am Mom to 8 year old Thomas and 12 year old Lillian. (**Update: Lillian is 14 years old now and Thomas is 9 years old.)

Lillian has a chromosome abnormality simply called 18p-. This means she is missing a piece of the short arm of chromosome #18. Her younger brother, Thomas, is an amazing and loving helper!

I love taking pictures with my mobile devices. Currently an iPhone 3G and a Samsung Galaxy Tab (mine is a Model gt-p3113). I purposely shoot all photos with these devices as I don’t choose to invest in a fancy camera and/or deal with and learn all the details involved and to show others we can easily and economically capture the beauty and awe of nature anywhere and anytime. (**Update: Now using an iPhone 4G and I have an instagram account for posting pictures as time allows … @camilladowns …)

I love writing about mindful, inspired, simple living as it relates to the choices I make, daily living, being a parent, experiencing nature and …. food.

I am inspired by this place I have chosen as our home … Reno, Nevada. When he was 7 years old, my son, Thomas, summed it up with one beautifully crafted comment. “It’s like we are at an art show and nature keeps changing the art for us.”

I freely and openly share my journey as I sail through life. The ups, the downs, the loop the loops. I have good days, I have bad days. I share in the hopes that you will find at least one nugget to take away and apply to your own life. My wish is that you become inspired, your own passion to simplify life is ignited, or a path to mindful living is illuminated.

I am available for freelance writing opportunities and guest blogging. I’m a life coach too! Contact me here to inquire further.

**Disclosure: I am not an expert on how anyone should be or could be living their life; except for my own …. and that’s only sometimes! I attempt to be non-judgmental and to allow others to BE! Go forth and BE MINDFULLY YOU!

(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!)