What Does it Mean to Love

I’ve had a huge, important realization in the past two weeks. One that’s taking quite a bit of courage to put out there … Yet, I feel the need to ask my fellow humans, or at least the three or four of you who read this, for assistance.

What does healthy love, in a relationship with a partner, look like for you?

Do you have an example from your life you’d be willing to share? Whether it’s a few words, a story, a poem, whatever you’ve got that defines a healthy, unconditional love. Let me add that I believe that Love is Love. Period. So, if you have something to share from your partnership that helps to define healthy, unconditional love; please share.

The reason I ask …

I recently had a situation arise with someone I love dearly. I suddenly and clearly realized that, of all the behaviors and values I have modeled throughout the past 18 years, there has been one key area missing. I’ve been divorced since 2007, and have not had a relationship with another since then. I am quite clear on what an unhealthy relationship is and can share from experience regarding that. Prior to my divorce, I had 20 years of experience with unhealthy relationships, so, I’ve got that area covered.

The one I am asking this for, is on the verge of exploring relationships, that aren’t familial or friends … And, I find myself struggling to help that one understand what true love is … (as opposed to what one sees in movies and reads in many books). In this age of role playing games, with avatars and made up worlds, I am experiencing first hand how one can be lead down a path that is anything but true love, when they’ve nothing to compare it with.

I can also share what I’ve read about true, unconditional love, and what I’ve witnessed amongst other couples. Yet, I do not have first hand experience of what it means to have a partner who unconditionally loves you, and whom you unconditionally love. Therefore, I turn to all of you, those amongst you who have and do experience this … What does that look and feel like?


(“Love is Magical” Renga Poem written by me and my two kids)

The time is now, the time is ripe for me to help this one whom I love to know about this. Both of us are avid readers, so I have given this one three books that I have read that do a very good job of giving real life examples, defining a true and unconditional love. Those books are, “all about love” by bell hooks (which, synchronistically, I happened to be reading when this realization smashed into my consciousness), “The Path to Love” by Deepak Chopra, and “Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson.

“To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients – care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.” … from “all about love” by bell hooks

I am in tune with this way of defining it, and have experienced dimensions of this, care and affection, being two of those.

All those years ago, I suppose I had hoped that I would have experienced a true and unconditional love with a partner. Yet, that was not to be the path I traveled. I reckon I was not ready to love and to be loved. I had been laser focused on healing and learning how to unconditionally love myself and my children. The beginning of 2020 marked a tipping point for the healing journey. Now begins the journey of heart opening. Hallelujah!

I invite you to share this with those you know who would be willing to share their thoughts. In this case, I do not feel there could be too much information. If you would like to reply privately, you can email to Camilla Downs @ gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to share. A couple of photos of me and my loves, Thomas and Lillian.

PS: I do not welcome responses that are homophobic, patriarchic, or that support sexist-defined gender roles. 

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

The End of Being Exhausted

With Lillian turning 18 and the stressful move, I got behind on posting things here. For a while, you’ll be getting some older posts as I get caught up … Much love!

January 16 2020

They don’t look worn out, do they? I had a fingerprint live scan this morning. The tech had issues with a few of my fingers, commenting that my fingerprints were worn out. I didn’t know that was possible. Ha!

Kinda matches the rest of me, though. 2020 is the year, the beginning of a decade, of pressing the reset button, with focus on becoming un-worn out. I feel the relief in my bones, my cells, every breath I take. Here’s to unwornoutness!! 🎉❤️❤️❤️🎉

**March 2020 Update: The mission to be unwornout is going good! For my birthday, I had plans on treating myself to a massage and a soak in one of our amazing Nevada hot springs. Alas, I put it off too long and now we have this pandemic. I’ll get on that as soon as we’ve made our way through this madness. 

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Emerge – Words of Alchemy

💚💚💚

Emerge

And out of the darkness
We shall emerge.
A darkness that
Has been necessary.

A vital and pivotal point
Of confronting the
Shadows within.

For to have more
Than brief glimpses
Of the light,
This acceptance, forgiveness,
And dissolution of shadows
Must be met.

As what awaits is
The eternity of light and love,
Ever there, ever lovingly
And patiently waiting
To welcome us home. -©️Camilla Downs

💚💚💚

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

The Attraction of Poetry – An Interview on Shaz’s Book Blog

What attracted me to writing poetry and where do I get inspiration … One of the topics covered in this lovely interview on Sharon’s beautiful blog.

“Today it’s my pleasure to welcome author Camilla Downs to the blog to talk about her book of poetry Words of Alchemy.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how your writing journey started?

Hi Sharon! Thank you for having me on your lovely blog. I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and Houma, Louisiana, moving to the Seattle, Washington area when I was 19-years-old. The next move in 2006 took me and my two kids to Reno, in Northern Nevada, where we currently live. We absolutely love living here. I enjoy going for walks, writing, reading, and taking photographs of nature. 

I’ve been single parenting Thomas and Lillian since they were one year old and five years old. They are now 14 and 18. I have homeschooled them for the past …..

https://shazsbookblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/author-interview-camilla-downs.html

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Steadfast and Courage With a Theme of Meeting My Edge

With Lillian turning 18 and the stressful move, I got behind on posting things here. For a while, you’ll be getting some older posts as I get caught up … Much love!

December 31 2019:

We celebrate on east coast time. Sparkling pink lemonade …. YUM!

I wrote this poem December 31, 2018, which also led to the two words for 2019: Steadfast and Courage, with a theme of Meeting My Edge.

How wild it is to sit here one full year later, reflecting on just how much and how often I met my edge. Especially these last six months.

Years ago I chose the path less traveled, a path shrouded in darkness, discoveries, deep healing; buffered with joy, peace, and coming to know my true self. I surrendered and untethered myself.

I’ve lost many I thought were friends. I suppose they came to dislike me and my life choices. I’m sure it was best for all involved, yet, this does not lesson the pain. It’s surely been no picnic. I simply could not choose otherwise.

For, what the hell am I doing here if I’m not going to live life from my heart?

Meeting my edge, indeed. As strong as the urge was at times to check out, I stayed with the experiences. It nearly killed me, I nearly killed it. I danced with the edge, cursed it, fought it, loved it, and now I shall walk into 2020 with inner peace, with authenticity and head held high. ♥️✌🏼✌🏼✌🏼♥️

**March 25 2020: Editing to add – 2020 is the year of Rejuvenation. It’s about nurturing myself. So, for now … no more meeting my edge! HA! The past 13 years have been intense, culminating with all that happened last year. I reached a tipping point. A good tipping point. The tipping point of my healing journey. Intense, but worth it!

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

What Do I Miss About Being a Kid – Interview on Meeting the Authors

I was recently interviewed on Meeting the Authors.

Learn what I miss about being a kid, which cartoon I’d love to be trapped in, and what happens when a giraffe in a bowler hat knocks on my door …..

Today we travel to Reno, Nevada, USA to chat with Camilla Downs about how a Swedish actress, going for walks, chromosome deletions, tiny house living, a construction company, being a paralegal, nature photography, and tenacity come together to form the ingredients for the alchemy of Camilla’s life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey! I’m Camilla Downs (pronounced like Pamela, but with a “C”). I was named after Camilla Sparv, a Swedish actress in the 1960’s and 70’s. I’ve been told that I’m the great great grand-daughter of ….

Meet the Author: Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

One of Those Extra Sensitive Days

With Lillian turning 18 and the stressful move, I got behind on posting things here. For a while, you’ll be getting some older posts as I get caught up … Much love!

December 15 2019:


(Photo of me during a 2013 Date Day with Thomas – seemed fitting)

Feeling extra sensitive today, hormonal, grumpy, pouty, sad, and sleep deprived due to being up to the early morning hours with Lillian. Had I been on the receiving end of the following unsolicited “suggestions” when not in this state, I would have (probably) easily laughed it off. (Sharing for anyone else who is going through some really weird times!)

“You should write about your life, things that happened during your youth, up through your divorce, up through the current time. That would be very interesting. That stuff you’re writing now is too girly and boring. You should write something that appeals to middle aged white males, possibly divorced (the person making the suggestion is also very conservative). A book that details all the raw details (the not nice stuff) and the ripple effect of what you did when you decided to divorce. You could have a section in there from my (the one making this suggestion) point of view, too. Saying no less than five times, “of what happened when you decided to divorce”.

I was so stunned, I remained silent and just responded with Hmmmm … Coming from someone I’ve spoken to a handful of times in the past 6 years. I absolutely welcome input from well meaning friends. All of the previous and a few other things were said in a nice, seemingly helpful tone, with the underlying energy of shaming. I may be extra sensitive today, but I’m no fool. (In case it’s not clear, these suggestions came from my ex-husband.)

I don’t write to an audience. I write what wants to be written and doubt I’ll ever write something that appeals to his demographic … as that’s not ME. What a weird, un-fun, and unlovely past few months this has been. And, yes, I think this will be included in the memoir that has been brewing for years. It just wasn’t ready to be born yet. It may even be born as a fiction, based on true events. We shall see … Here’s to taking deep breaths, being kind to myself, and most of all, loving myself through times like this. And, when needed for release, saying bunches of swear words, bunches …

March 18 2020 Update – Although I was in a sensitive state when this conversation happened, it still would have triggered me. However, I moved through it, letting myself feel what I needed to feel, not trying to push it away. Sending love to anyone who has experienced a similar situation.

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

When Life Became Heavy with Struggling and Norwich Nights

What did I do when life became heavy with struggles? And, where did that lead? Find out in this guest post on Tony Riches’s great blog ….

https://tonyriches.blogspot.com/2020/02/special-guest-post-by-camilla-downs.html

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

Thank you to Melissa at Norwich Nights Magazine for the book spotlight! 

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

It’s a Wild Ride At Times

With Lillian turning 18 and the stressful move, I got behind on posting things here. For a while, you’ll be getting some older posts as I get caught up … Much love!

November 9 2019:

Entering packing mode and mastering the art of uncertainty (sort of … ). After months of construction delays we are finally moving either on 11.15, 11.18, or 11.19. HA! And even then it will only be temporary until our unit is ready on 12.2.

It is and has been a wild ride of having triggers ignited, meeting all sorts of emotions … sadness, joy, anger, frustration, irritation, shame, and guilt; testing my faith that all will work out eventually. My 2019 theme has been “Meeting My Edge”. Good grief, have I been meeting my edge!

At times, I’ve been holding on to the edge by my fingernails. My method is to allow myself to be with these emotions, walk into them, embrace them, FEEL them, so that I can process and release. All while trying to remember to be kind to myself and love myself through the depths of the shadows I have been traveling.

All of this happened at the same time as Lillian turning 18, with the changes that has brought for her, having to sign documents, take more responsibility for her self care, and we still aren’t passed this. It remains fresh. She is struggling with the change of this, the change of moving, and changes to her schedule.

I share this not for sympathy. I share as that’s my nature. I feel it is important to share the raw and authentic life happenings. The fun, lovely, and joyful. The unlovely and sad. I don’t share everything as I tend to withdraw, turning into the moments. Once I’ve processed, I come back around and share as I feel it’s important for others who may need to hear or see that they are not alone. Being reminded that I’m not alone has been incredibly meaningful for me. Oceans of love to anyone who may need to hear this message … 💜💜💜

So …. let the remainder of the packing and purging begin …

March 7 2020 Update – We are in our new place, settling in nicely. I’m almost finished with paperwork having to do with Lillian turning 18. And as soon as they finish construction on the clubhouse here, I’ll have an official launch party of Words of Alchemy. Whew!

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Personalizing and Signing and Off to The Library of Congress – Words of Alchemy

With Lillian turning 18 and the stressful move, I got behind on posting things here. For a while, you’ll be getting some older posts as I get caught up … Much love!

January 7 2020:

The FUN part!! Personalizing and signing in preparation for mailing. Each one has a special message hidden within the book, too. My heart overflows with sweetness for the love, support, and encouragement.

January 8 2020:

Always one of the first to get mailed. Wahooo!! Also mailed two handfuls of the preordered books. More to mail later this week or beginning of next week. Love this part! I’ve included a short, sweet message hidden within each book. Enjoy when you receive yours!

January 11 2020:

I’m having much fun with creating the short and sweet messages hidden within each book to be mailed. Completely driven by creativity, imagination, and listening to the heart. Another round of books being mailed on Monday to those who’ve preordered and those just now ordering. Please let me know if you’d like your own copy of a personalised, signed book ….. 🌺💚💚💚🌺