The Number 18: Happy Birthday to Lillian Darnell

The Number 18

Today is your 18th Birthday.
Lillian Paige Darnell is 18 years old today.

I can still see you in my mind’s eye
as a wee lil 4 pound sweetheart
as I wondered and dreamed
about your journey to adulthood.

Wow! Did we take giant
twist and turns,
paths less traveled.

Little did I know as I snuggled
you close, sang to you (sorry about that),
and read, read, read to you;
that the number 18 would come
to be a powerful number for you,
for us, in more ways than we could imagine.

When you were 3 years old,
As we sat eating dinner,
As the phone rang,
As the pediatrician delivered
news – 18p- she said,
missing the short arm of
chromosome 18, she said –
that rendered me speechless,
with tears sliding down my face
into a dinner I could no longer eat.

Little did I know at the time
that this was not the horrible
news I assumed it to be.

Oh yes. Life changing, for sure.
Yet, not in the way my mind
led me to believe in those first few weeks.

There is no way on this Earth
I could have foreseen how
life changing this would be for me.

Life changing for me so as to
let you be who you came here to be.
For that to happen unconditionally
and organically, I had much learning to do.

Not just learning about genetics,
chromosomes, DNA,
and the effects of deletions of genes.
That was the small stuff compared to
the enormity of the path that lie ahead.

As you step into adulthood on this day
It is my deepest hope that
I have made more decisions for
the highest good, than not.

It is my deepest hope that the times when I have
remembered to share and be unconditional love
stand out and far outweigh the times when
I have not been at my best.

May the wishes you wish come true.
May the dreams you dream become reality.
May the sunshine light your way ever more.
May the moon teach you it’s secrets.
May the birdsong always sing sweet melodies to your heart.

May you step into adulthood
with iridescent rose gold fairy
wings of the highest and brightest
as you take flight on the next
greatest adventure of your life.

I love you
I honor you
I respect you
I am grateful for all that you
have taught and continue to teach me.

You are You
And You Are Perfect!

Love,
Camilla
Mom

Lillian put together 18 wishes for her 18th birthday; which she shared in the live facebook celebration.

Here they are ….

1. I wish Macy, Lauren, Kaitlin Baker, and Rebecca could come to Reno, NV.
2. I wish to be able to drink out of a cup/glass without a straw.
3. I wish to be fearless.
4. I wish for infinity art and crafts supplies.
5. I wish for infinity clothing.
6. I wish to be able to travel around the world with my friends and/or by myself.
7. I wish for the Earth to be healthy again.
8. I wish for the Earth not to die.
9. I wish to be less picky.
10. I wish to live with my friends.
11. I wish to be less vulnerable to spicy hot stuff.
12. I wish to have a dream home.
13. I wish to have a dream vehicle.
14. I wish to see Hawaii.
15. I wish to go to Florida.
16. I wish to have infinity photography supplies.
17. I wish to have more friends.
18. I wish to have two beds.

We celebrated all week as Lillian had a long list of things she wanted to do. It was a full week of shopping for new fairy wings, going for walks in her favorite places, going swimming, eating fries and desert at her favorite place, having dinner with The Romano Duo (grandparents), and ending with a live facebook celebration.

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Coming Fall 2019.

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.

Life Adventures – An Update from Camilla

It’s been over a month since I’ve written or published anything on my blog, with my postings being much less frequent on facebook and instagram. I felt moved to share an update.

I have been busy with finishing tasks to get my upcoming book released by the end of Summer. Here’s a peek at the cover. Almost there with the cover!

I was wrapped in details of ensuring Lillian graduated on June 1st. She was homeschooled so I was in charge of her transcript, announcements, diploma, tassel, and photo session! In addition, I attended a book signing with her at Barnes & Noble on June 1st.

I had also been in preparation for attending the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We have been attending this every year since 2008 as it is the group that researches differences with chromosome number 18 and connects families world wide. We left for the conference on July 19th and returned home on July 27th.


(Group Photo from the 2018 Conference in Baltimore)

Now I switch gears to preparing for our move around September 9th. In addition, I must focus on many details and tasks that need to be completed with Lillian turning 18 years old on September 14th. YaY for Lillian! Whew for me!

I will also be focused on getting Thomas squared away for this school year as we homeschool (unschool). He and I will be doing that soon.

And …. the venture I began at the end of May is still going strong and taking much of my time. If you’re interested, check it out … Meeting the Authors.

Lastly, I’ve been keeping up with posts on The Team TLC website as that is our digital journal.

More updates to follow on some of these; especially the upcoming book. I simply wanted to check in with you on why I have not been around! Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Much love to all of you!

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” is arriving 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.

Poetry: Un Doing


(Photo courtesy of Pexels.com)

Un Doing

Speak your truth dear one
with a golden tongue

let it be known
your true self

ride the times of the wind
listen to the longing of your heart

slow down the drum beat
of the must be doing

listen to the melody
of relaxation as it
plays ever more
in your bones

when this is allowed
when this is welcomed
what is truly of your
concern will rise to the surface

do as you must
do as you are compelled
be concerned not
with what others
think of you and your actions

be free and relax
into the knowing
of your heart and soul
into the truth of your cells and bones

speak your truth dear one
with a golden tongue
and free yourself.

©2019 Camilla Downs

If it feels the thing to do, you are inspired by this writing, and inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” …

Buy Me A Coffee

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Shooting for near the end of July 2019 for publication date.

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 and Photography: Sun Wishes

Sun Wishes

Went for a walk
Made a wish
Drew in a breath
Pursed my lips
Blew the wish
On waves of wind
To the loving
Embrace of the sun.
©️2019 Camilla Downs

April 29 2019

It was the long walk today. What a beautiful walk it was. Light, free, joyful. Listened to the birdsong. Felt the warmth of the sun and the lovely breeze. Smelled lilacs. Tasted my true self. Sensed newness in my bones. What a beautiful walk it was.

More dandelion photos … I find them incredibly beautiful ….

Latest News: Meeting the Authors

I have fun and wonderful news to share!

About three works ago I launched a website titled, Meeting the Authors, with the main purpose of the site being to interview authors. I have sent interview questions to somewhere around 100 authors in about a 3 week time frame! This is a ton of work! Yet, also fun and enlightening! I am meeting so many wonderful people around the globe!

This website was born from a love of writing combined with a love of reading what others have written. The site hosts fun, quirky, different than the norm, and interesting author interviews and short book reviews.

Being in this arena since 2012, I noticed the need for seasoned and newly published authors (whether traditional or indie) to have online outlets to receive more exposure. There are many, many incredible writers in our world and this is my small way of helping others who love the written word to know about them.

Authors have worked incredibly hard creating these books. Writing the book is only a piece of the process. The book must be edited and designed and formatted for printing as a book. There’s no relaxing once the book is ready to be birthed to the reading world! Marketing the book and keeping the momentum must be stepped into vigorously. Again, this is my small way of helping.

The site features interviews with authors and book love reviews. The book love reviews are short posts to let you know about books I’ve read and loved. I do not have the time to write full reviews. However, if I’ve read a book I enjoyed, I’ll give a brief reason why and a description of the book.

The plan is to eventually have either a podcast featuring author interviews and/or live interviews open for reader questions. You can use the “search” feature on the website to search for books in your chosen genre.

It is my hope that you discover a new author or book that inspires you, helps you to heal, teaches you something about history you never knew, ignites your imagination, delights from head to toe with romantic tales, or helps you tap into your inner detective and sleuth to solve mysteries. And everything in between!!

If you are an author or blog tour organizer, please visit the Contact page to see further details and get yourself on the list to be featured. The interviews are currently booked through November 2019 (can you believe that? after only THREE weeks). However, I have left room to accommodate book launches and am happy to continue scheduling interviews.

If you’d like to support this endeavor, click on over and check it out. Go here for Meet the Author interviews and here for Book Love. And for further support you can “like” the facebook page, follow on instagram, and sign up to receive new posts through email or through WordPress Reader (right hand side bar of website).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, fingers, and toes for your love and support!

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

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: Healing with Nature

Breathe it in
Breathe it out

Look up
Look around

Keep walking
Keep writing

Keep knowing
Keep loving

Hold space
For them
For you

This is the Way
This is the unfolding
Nature of life.
©️2019 Camilla Downs

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

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

Holding Space …… with Love

As I swiftly walked by the fountain one cold and frosty morning this past March, I was stopped in my tracks. Nature is the most incredible artist. The beauty of these leaves suspended and frozen for a moment in time, captured my heart.

And … I did spot a heart shaped leaf. Beautiful!!

I mean. Just had to give the heart shaped leaf it’s own post. The lil frozen bubbles, the green leaf down below, the frozen ripples, sections partially free from the frozen water. Ahhhhh ….

Seeing these beautiful frozen leaves helped bring clarity to something I was in the midst of …

When it’s my own internal struggles and turbulence I have learned to lean into it, be with it, and try to remember to keep love at the forefront of whatever it is.

What I have not learned is how to do this when someone I love dearly is struggling and I don’t have clarity about how to help them and feel deeply inadequate for the task. Especially when there are two someones struggling. And, sometimes, struggling at the same time.

This is what lies at the forefront of the current journey. It’s definitely not a pleasant place to be. Yet, offers much opportunity to continue to move through one’s own journey while at the same time holding space for those closest to you as they travel their own journey.

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

As I am posting this near the end of May, I have moved somewhat beyond this. I say somewhat, as when in a close relationship with others, this seems to be an inevitable place to be at some point. The place of not knowing how to help and holding space for oneself, as well as others.

Aren’t these frozen leaves absolutely magical and gorgeous??

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

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

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: The Lure of Words


(Image from Pexels – Photo by Janko Ferlic)

The Lure of Words

A love of reading
A love of books
A love of the written word
She has always had.

Devouring one
book after another
after another.

Books here.
Books there.
Books everywhere.
Oh, the sight, the feel,
the sound, the smell.
Intoxicating to even imagine.

Deliberately walking the aisle
of the library,
of the book store,
she feels at home.

Perusing the titles,
gently taking hold of a book
by the spine,
sliding it from the shelf,
slowly running her
fingertips across
the book’s title,
opening the book,
lifting the opened book
to her nose and
inhaling the unique
scent only a book can radiate.

Simply holding, feeling, and
smelling a book
sends here straight away
to other worlds, lands,
and journeys.

When finally opening
the book to begin
the adventure,
a palpable,
stomach tingling
Excitement lures her
to the pages.

This has been the way.
A beautiful way.
A way that led her
to know she was to
write, she was to let
black words flow forth
and fill the white pages,
one after another
after another.

She laughs words
She exhales words
She cries words
She bleeds words
She dances words.

She swallows the words
of life to be mixed and
meshed with her essence.

Magically, as if under a spell,
she releases the words
from her mind’s eye
fast as lightning through
her fingertips onto the screen.

Books, books, books.
Words, words, words.

Words are oxygen
Words are food
Words are water
Words are shelter
Words are life.

Her teacher
Her friend
Her lover
Her mentor
Books are these,
and more,
to she.

A love of reading
A love of books
A love of the written word
She has always had.

Devouring one
book after another
after another.

All the while
the words,
the books,
devoured she.
©2018 Camilla Downs (adapted from The Book Life)

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!**

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

Don’t Let the How Stop you from the Why

I’m housecleaning on my blog! Cleaning the 20 pages of “draft” status posts. Most I’m trashing or adding to my digital journal. Yet, I’ve come across some that I feel moved to share.

**THROWBACK TO SEPTEMBER 2 2014**

Last week a student asked if a woman in a video I shared with them was me. Student T said, “No, that’s not her. She doesn’t have the money to film something like that.” I said, “Do you think I would let that stop me from moving forward with a project I knew needed to be brought to the public?”

Student T asked how I would do it without money. I said, “You don’t focus on that. You focus on doing it, begin it, take that first step, share it and the help you need to make it happen will come .. as long as it’s something that benefits others. And as long as you don’t lose your focus on whatever it is. You don’t want to let the how stop you from doing it for the why …”

I also shared the story of how my book came to be … If I had not taken that first step and began writing it, there would be no book. I had no idea how I would pay for the expenses in publishing a book ….

I posted the above on facebook and had also saved my response to the beautiful comments that were received …

Honestly y’all, when the students make some of these comments this stuff just flies out of my mouth … before I can even think about it. Next thing I know my heart is racing, my face is warm and I’ve shared some really cool words with them.

However, sometimes I forget to take my own advice. I have just come to the understanding of precisely why I am teaching this class. I have been questioning this for weeks and have been telling myself there is a reason I am doing it and the reason will become clear eventually.

I get it now. It’s not only for the students. It’s for ME and Team TLC too. What I share with Thomas and Lillian, what I share with the students, the books I’m reading during this time, the conversations I’m having with others is all perfectly synchronized like waves rolling up to shore … back and forth, back and forth …

I GET IT. I ACCEPT IT. I EMBRACE IT.

There’s no better feeling than listening to your inner voice, having faith in it and your choices and the moment you understand it all … So much love and hugs and smiles to all y’all!!!

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

October 2018 Additional Information:

In September 2014 I taught a blogging class at High Desert Montessori. The above is a conversation from that class.

I cannot remember which of two videos I had them watch. Yet, I know it had something to do with one of the “Success for Teens” modules we were covering on that day.

It was either this one ….

or this one …

If you’re interested in the story of how “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” came to be, go here …

Can a Book Be Published With Little to No Money – Part Three

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” 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.

Latest Articles:
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Walk With Me – Journey to the Center of My Soul

Recently, I had the experience of one of my 40 minute meditation sessions feeling like it was only 5 minutes. I am always in awe when that happens. I find it incredibly magical … xoxo

Afterwards I wrote this; which will be the opening for my next book (Go here for information about my first book). Sharing this sneak peak with all of you … It’s still in rough draft status; yet, I was moved to share. Perhaps someone needs to see a word or two from this …

Walk with Me
Journey to the Center of My Soul

I had a choice to make.

I could choose not to even go near or open the door that would lead to the awakening of my true self. I could continue living life as I had been, seemingly happy and seemingly enjoying life.

Or I could choose to open that golden, larger than life door. The magical door that would lead the way to truly living life. A life of feeling all there is to feel – every single bit of it. A life of strapping into the gigantic see-saw of this path and riding my way through pain, despair, sadness, unhappiness, joy, peace, love, and bliss.

I did it. And I did it ever so gently. There was no transcendental moment with angels singing and everyone welcoming me. Well, maybe not in this dimension anyway.

I made the choice of the magical, golden door. So began the journey to the Center of my Soul.

Little did I know that once I entered through the door’s archway, and closed it behind me; that there would be no turning back. No matter how many times and how deeply I thought I wanted to turn back during this journey; I could not un-know what I was beginning to Know.

I strolled through that doorway thinking it would be easy and that I could control this the way I thought I controlled the rest of my life. Eventually, I learned that life is not something to be controlled. Living life is to let go and let it happen. Let go; yet take action when intuitively and heart inspired. Take action minus the need for controlling and minus attachment to the outcome.

This has been, and continues to be, a journey of opening my heart. A heart that closed as a very young child; perhaps even a heart that had been closed for many lifetimes. Every book I’ve read, movie I’ve watched, date day taken with my kids, every healer that I’ve worked with, and every walk taken has been in perfect timing to lead me to the next step of opening my heart.

I ultimately arrived at the place of knowing I was to love whatever comes into my experience. I haven’t always known what that meant. I thought I did. I did not understand how one is to “love” whatever is happening, or whatever one is feeling.

I now get that life is not here to fulfill me. I am here to fulfill life. There are absolutely days when I forget all of this. I’m still traveling this path. I fall back into old habits. Yet, the more I remember to love whatever is happening, the more my heart opens and the more I am able to share the One Love with all.

This also entailed letting go of my need to be bothered and to be upset by others and situations. Letting it go, by loving it as it came into my experience. This meant loving the un-lovely feelings that bubble forth during these times.

Loving the feelings absolutely does not mean to pour positivity over them and squish them back down to the place from which they came forth. It means simply, telling yourself over and over, “I love you”, to your own heart. And it means letting yourself physically feel these un-lovely feelings. It is truly amazing and life shifting to do this for oneself.

As a young girl my favorite and most loved fairy tale was the one where the down trodden princess was finally seen and loved for who she is by a dashing prince. And then this dashing prince whisks her away to her hearts delight wherein she lives life the way she chooses, forever in joy and peace and fun. I carried this with me into adulthood.

Now as I look back on this, I can see I was waiting for life to fulfill me. I see I was waiting for some “other” to see me, love me, tell me I am worthy, tell me they believe in me, and tell me they are sorry for wrongs done to me. And then for this other to place me in the perfect situation wherein I could control life and have experiences that would not take me out of my comfort zone.

Traveling this path of opening my heart, I have learned that we all need these words spoken to us by those closest to us and those not close to us alike. Yet, as importantly, we also need to speak these words to our self. Especially when we did not hear them as a child; or heard them very little during our young and tender years.

And, most especially when we are having unlovely experiences and feelings. That’s when we need it most. The more we do this for our self, the more our heart opens. And, the more our heart opens the more we come to realize that life’s journey is not about life fulfilling us. It is about us fulfilling life and sharing love in the way we came forth to share.

I invite you to walk with me through these pages. Walking, being in nature, and writing have been the magical ingredients for alchemizing experiences as I travel this path. Let’s go.

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” 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.

Latest Articles:
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