Game Plan: Connect with Others

July 7 2018:

(Photo credit: Me – Taken in 2014 of myself and students in the Success for Teens blogging class I was teaching at the time)

Do you have a game plan? On the four hour flight from Vegas to Baltimore I sat next to Mark Everest.

For nearly the entire flight we shared about his family – wife, daughter, son, grand daughter -, books he’s written, his company, his workshops and speaking, his hippie friend who lives above Santa Monica. And I shared about the conference, Chromosome 18, my family, Thomas and Lillian, our books, my path.

Then we talked about Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Charlie Tremendous Jones, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and some I’m forgetting.

I just read the first 50 pages of his first book which he gifted to me. Quote from the book, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” -Mahatma Gandhi

I shared with him I am most likely the most Woo Woo person at the conference; he said, “You are needed there.” This same comment was repeated to me by someone dear to me on the last night of the conference. Messages it did my heart good to hear!

It’s a wonderful feeling to truly connect with others. I feel we bless one another and are sharing a gift with one another when we do this. Now. That’s what I call a Game Plan!! And, that’s my GamePlan! xoxo

Game Plane Book Mark Everest Airplane to C18 Conference 7.7.18

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:

 

The Beauty of All Individual Personalities and Souls

**THROWBACK POST**

February 19 2014:

(Thomas on a walk in 2014)

When I picked up Thomas from school recently, he told me he has been asking all of his classmates whether or not they like LEGOS. Only one or two say they do and the others tell him they don’t and they like playing the Wii. He said it makes him feel bad that no one else likes them.

I explained to him that I’ve had a similar experience with feeling bad when others don’t like or feel the same way about something I like. BUT, I have learned that I am choosing to feel this way … And I can choose not to feel this way also.

He said, “That’s so hard, though”. I told him I completely understand and it takes lots and lots of practice to choose not to let it bother you. I said this may help …

People are all different. We like different things. Some like the same things. Some don’t like the same things. Instead of labeling it as good when someone likes the same “stuff” as you, just look at it as “It just is” and when someone doesn’t like what you do, look at that as “It just is”.

(Thomas put this together for my birthday in 2014)

What would the world be like if we all liked the SAME thing? Nothing would ever get done! If EVERYONE liked LEGOS and only building with LEGOS we’d having nothing but little plastic LEGO food, LEGO furniture and LEGO houses, LEGO cars. We’d be these big giant people trying to live in a little LEGO world! We all three got a laugh out of that one!

Thomas doesn’t even know what a Wii is … After he told me the above, he asked, “What’s a Wii?” … I don’t think these kids were being unkind. They were being truthful. I also want Thomas to know it’s okay to be truthful with others and not say things just to “fit” in or because it’s what others want to hear. I did not tell him one way or the other that either of these preferences was better than the other. That can be a conversation for another day.

He already knows how I feel about TV and video games. We don’t own either of them … Thomas is so into his LEGOs! He watches YouTube videos of LEGO tutorials and really wants to build his own creations. That’s BIG!!

The new LEGO sets come with detailed, numbered instructions and bags … one hardly has to think to put them together. YET, after you’ve put the designated item together, then you get to take it apart and think about making your own creation with ALL THOSE BRICKS!! We have a big bucket of over 600 random LEGO pieces on it’s way to us right now and he can hardly stand it!! (Something he got with Christmas money!)

(One of the photographs in Thomas’ book, Biggest Little Photographer, published 2016)

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

My 2018 thoughts …..

Four years later I still pretty much feel in tune with this conversation. I would add that when we feel sad or angry in these situations, it is a sign, an internal raised hand, for us to walk into that uncomfortable feeling so that it can be released.

The more we take the opportunity to do this, the more we release, the more our heart opens, and eventually our internal response to these situations will be completely different.

These situations will still continue to happen. Yet, our response will be from a place of love with the ability to see the uniqueness and beauty of all individual personalities and souls.

Regarding the bit from 2014 where I mention I want Thomas to know he can be truthful with others …. Well, I think that was successful; for the most part. At times, his truthfulness presents me with the opportunity to walk into and release uncomfortable feelings. Although it may not feel like it at the time, that is a true blessing.

(Thomas on one of our 2014 walks)

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:

 

Poetry and Photography: When Things Come Together

When Things Come Together

And she began the walk
The walk of only she,
breathing in, knowing she was breathing in
breathing out, knowing she was breathing out

She listened to the sounds of
the stillness
the song birds
the beeping construction equipment
the roar of an airplane overhead
the creak and pop of the plastic fence
the screech of the vulture as he took flight
the long distance cough of another echoing across the wetland
the jingle of her earrings in the breeze
the whir of the traffic in the distance

She felt the soft breeze
brush by her cheeks
lifting her hair ever so gently.

She focused
her eyes on the vibrant pink flower
and found her thoughts to be ….

I am the flower swaying in the breeze
The flower is me

She focused her eyes on the crisp green
blades of grass hosting plump round droplets
of water

I am the blade of grass hosting the water droplet
the blade of grass is me

I am the water droplet resting on the blade of grass
the water droplet is me

She focused her eyes on the majestic vulture

I am the vulture resting on a rock
The vulture is me

She focused her eyes on and lay her hands upon
the crooked and tall tree.

I am the tree standing crooked and tall
the tree is me

And she is,
and they are,
fulfilling life.

And she ended the walk
The walk of the One.
breathing in, knowing she was breathing in
breathing out, knowing she was breathing out.
©️2018, Camilla Downs

-Photo Credit: Me xoxo

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:

A Piece of Myself Back – A Heart Opening Memory

**THROWBACK TO DECEMBER 14 2013 with Memories of 1989**

(I’m doing housecleaning of my blog and came across this post that got buried before I had the chance to go back to it and add more. Seemed right to share it now.)

My eyes popped open at 1:10 am. My thoughts were flooded with memories of 1989 and my first Christmas in Washington state with my Mom and Frank after moving there from Mississippi.

I vividly remembered my excitement over spending my 1st Christmas with my step-sister, Heather. Like a child in a candy shoppe choosing that perfect piece of candy, I pondered and searched for the perfect gift for her. I finally decided on a beautiful ring with an aquamarine gemstone. I put it on layaway and remember my excitement in talking with the sales clerk about who this gift was for and sharing my enthusiasm.

The day finally came when I was able to pay in full for it. I had a magical excitement as I wrapped it and wrote the perfect message to go along with it. I think my eyes were shining more than hers on Christmas day while I anxiously waited for her to open it. I don’t remember the full details of the message. It was something about how happy I was to have her in my life and that I’d always wanted a sister.

Immediately after recalling this beautiful memory early this morning, I felt as though something was gently placed back into my heart that had been missing. I will try to describe it ….

The wonder of life as a child sees it. The purity of life. The love. I thought to myself these words, “Thank you. Thank you. I had lost that somewhere along the way, hadn’t I?” Tears pooled in my eyes. I was wide awake. I then knew I must get out of my nice warm bed and write about this experience.

Something wonderful had just happened. I just got a piece of myself back. Thank you …

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

My 2018 self looks back on this as a beautiful experience of my heart opening a bit when recalling this gracious memory. Although the gifts I presently give tend to be homemade and usually incorporate a poem or writing dedicated to the recipient, this was not my go to gift in 1989.

Much has shifted for me from that time. I place more value with a homemade gift than a store bought gift. I still buy store bought gifts for Thomas and Lillian. Yet, I also try to always make sure to hand make a wall hanger or card with a special message. I pour all my love and self into these home made gifts and receive incredible joy in creating them.

May you allow yourself to receive beautiful memories when they come calling and know that they have been recalled for a heart opening experience or or other love filled reason. I have also written about un-lovely memories (here and here). They each bear gifts to further our journey in this life.

(The photo of Lake Tahoe above is my idea of an incredible gem these days. I am deeply grateful to live within 30 minutes of her glory and beauty!)

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:

Poetry and Photography: Water Dance

Water Dance

As the suns reflection
Becomes a dancer
Of the water,
She takes by the hand
the one who walks.

She whispers sweet reminders,
To the walkers heart.

She dances elegantly.
She dances of love and grace.
She dances unknown
To many who see her
Only with the eyes.

For those that catch
Glimpses of her water dance
Life loses the illusions
of trickery.

She dances to
Guide them in
Remembering what
Their hearts continue
To know.

She reminds them
They are all different.
Yet, they are all the same.
We are they.
They are we.

The hand she
Took the walker by
Melts into the Sun.
The Sun swallows her
And she swallows the Sun.
They become One.

The one who walks
continues her
Walk of life
Having been reminded
Of what the brain had clouded.
Yet.
What the heart always knows.
And lo, free and lighter, she continues to Walk.
-©️2018, Camilla Downs

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:

Poetry: Ode to the Sock

Sock, Oh Sock!
What a strange
creature you are!

Your creation was
meant for good
I can see that.

Yet, most times you come
equipped with a built in
irritator to rub
these precious feet.

Rub, rub, rub in a way
that the mind latches onto.
Latches onto and will not
let go until we remove
the offending creature
from our feet.

That seam!
That seam
make us want
to scream!

Sock, Oh Sock!

We simply want our toes
and feet to be free.
Free from the
confines of your
Scratchy
Stringy
Strangling
materials.

We do enjoy the softness
and warmth you provide
when needed.

Yet, most times
we would rather
you Be anywhere else
but confining our feet.

Sock, Oh Sock!
We send you love.
Yet, send you on your way.

Here’s to Toe and Foot Freedom …
©2018, Camilla Downs, Lessons from Nature

This poem inspired by my 12 year old child, Thomas, who asks, “Am I the only one that does not like socks and wears them inside out?”

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.

Latest Articles:

 

What Do We Truly Mean When We Say I Love You

I Love You

What do we truly mean when we say we love and accept another?

Do we love and accept the idea of them?

Do we love and accept them for how they make us feel?

or

Do we love and accept them for who they know themselves to be?

What do we truly mean when we say we we love and accept another?

Do we mean no matter what you tell me about yourself, my love will ever be there.
Do we mean no matter what you tell me about yourself, I accept you.
Do we mean no matter what you tell me about yourself, you are worthy.

or

Do we mean as long as who you are does not draw unlovely attention towards ME; my love will ever be there.
Do we mean as long as who you are does not cause others to view ME in an unkind or harsh manner, I accept you.
Do we mean as long as being who you are does not cause ME extra effort and work, I view you as worthy.

This is not a writing to preach which of these is correct and perhaps this makes no sense to you. Many times I write to be set free from the hurtful ramblings of the mind; to process and walk through the lovely and unlovely thoughts that weave through my mind.

I am moved to share to encourage others to write, to experience connection with others, and with the knowing that the person who would benefit from reading what I’ve written, will see it. I know my writings are not everyone’s cup of tea. Thank goodness as that would be too huge a cup to fill! HA!

I’ve been in a twenty year process to shed who I had become and have walked into embracing the first of these scenarios. Life presented me with opportunity after opportunity to stand back from situations and ponder which of these I choose to make my core.

Recently I received news that gave me an opportunity to go even deeper with this learning. I found there was a part of me still clinging to the second of these scenarios. I did not know this to be the case. How could I have known until presented with the situation? How can anyone view another’s choices and way of life, judging that they are doing it wrong and making wrong choices, if they have not been presented by life with opportunities to question their own beliefs?

This is what I have learned in the past few weeks as my heart has opened further than I even knew possible. As I made my way deeper within and communed with the Divine to break wide open what was still closed to loving ALL no matter what. Opening the heart space that is closed for so many of us. The heart space of loving and accepting no matter what that means to my ego, what others will choose to think or say, nor how many will choose to turn their backs.

And this I Know. It has meant the entire world to the one who was and is in need of my trust, support, and love.

And this I know. This has added another layer of patience and empathy. Another layer of stepping back, releasing judgment of others, and BEing the Divine Love that we all are …. Peace and love …. xoxo –©️2018, Camilla Downs

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.

Latest Articles:

 

 

Inspired by Nature: Love and Acceptance

June 22 2018:

The most amazing and wonderful sunset walk last night. Nature is an incredible gift and blessing. She inspires us to ponder.

Do we love and accept others for who they know themselves to be or do we love and accept our idea of them and how we think they make us feel? I’ve got a writing bubbling forth. Love, love, love.

Sunset Walk Vintage Lake 6.22.18 #1 Sunset Walk Vintage Lake 6.22.18 #2 Sunset Walk Vintage Lake 6.22.18 #3 Sunset Walk Vintage Lake 6.22.18 #4 Sunset Walk Vintage Lake 6.22.18 #5 Sunset Walk Vintage Lake 6.22.18 #6 Sunset Walk Vintage Lake 6.22.18 #7

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.

Latest Articles:

 

Facing Fear – I Welcome You

Thomas Cole (American, 1801 - 1848), The Voyage of Life: Youth, 1842, oil on canvas, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1971.16.2

Thomas Cole (American, 1801 – 1848), The Voyage of Life: Youth, 1842, oil on canvas, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1971.16.2

The Best Version of Me

I expect and know I will see the possibilities and opportunities in this situation. I will Know when to take action. And, I will be the best version of me that I can possibly be. 

I welcome this fear and I take it’s hand as I walk through the foggy illusion fear creates. As I reach the other side I gently release the hand of fear and lovingly whisper, “Thank you.”

Thank you for helping me to see and know the walls as an illusion. The walls I have felt trapped within, no matter which path I chose. Thank you for allowing me to see that even though I may outwardly seem to conform; within I know the Truth. I hold that Truth close to my Heart, so that I may freely and openly share the Gift of my Heart as only I can do in the Way I came forth to share. 

Break Free of Illusions

I thank you for helping me to see the opportunities and possibilities in seemingly difficult situations. I thank you for teaching me to expect opportunities and possibilities so that I may break free of the illusions of these Worldly rules. I thank you for teaching me that being Good and doing things how they are expected is not a requirement. Thank you for teaching me that fitting in is not a requirement of BEing on this Earth. 

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Thank you for teaching me the Truth, my Truth. A Truth that at times, creates heaviness and an internal explosion so fierce I feel I may die from the physical discomfort it brings. A discomfort so unbearable I contemplate if leaving this Earthly body is the way to Freedom from these Worldly rules. Thank you for teaching me in the next second that these thoughts are a trick of the Ego. As are all thoughts that cause me to whither and hide the Light Within. 

Thank you for teaching me how to make a decision from a Knowing and Trusting place of Love. Thank you for teaching me the difference between this Knowing and being stuck in a sludgy tar filled pit of despair, anxiety, fear, and loneliness.

The Key to Freedom

Thank you to the Angels who have come into my life to Guide me in seeing the illusion of the sludgy tar filled pit. Thank you for showing me Where the Key to Freedom lay in wait. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for holding space for me to learn and process what has been necessary for grasping this Key and using it as was meant.

Thank you to those who have given up on me. Thank you to those who have turned away from me. Thank you to those who have lost patience with this path I travel. For you have been an integral piece of my Truth as well. 

I expect and know I will see and act upon the possibilities and opportunities in this situation. I am no longer stuck in the sludgy tar filled pit. I am ready to live my Truth. I am ready to receive the slings and arrows that come my way as I live this Truth. I am ready to Love myself, and to give and receive Love. I am FREE. Freedom. Hallelujah! -©2018, Camilla Downs

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.

Latest Articles:

 

Alchemy: A Haunting Memory Reveals the Truth

A Haunting Memory

Tree Roots Walking Through Tunnel Post 8.4.17

Why does this memory haunt her? Why does it keep returning? She does not remember the exact age of when this happened. She would have been 5, 6 or 7 years old. The past couple of years when this memory surfaced she has taken the time to feel emotions she buried from that time …. sadness and anger. Event though she remembers not who was involved, she has forgiven whoever it was.

She used to ignore it. Telling herself either she imagined it or if it happened then it lives in the past and does not matter. Which she does believe to be partly true. It is in the past and no longer exists. Yet, she left something of herself in that crawl space, behind a locked door. Something that begs to be retrieved.

She bears no anger towards the one or ones who thought it fun or a game or just plain unkind to lock her in that crawl space. She has been patient each time the memory surfaces. Recently she wrote about it in great detail in a “written quilt piece” in preparation for an upcoming memoir. Well, the details she can remember.

The Meditation Alchemy

Perhaps that writing was the catalyst to finally retrieving what she had left there. She traveled to that crawl space once again on May 30, 2018. Not by a conscious choice. She was divinely led there. With eyes closed, seated comfortably and relaxed; she was invited to imagine herself in a cocoon. Her heart and mind took her straight to that crawl space behind the locked door. She found herself alternating between difficulty breathing and her breath quickening as she felt paralyzing anxiety.

She was invited to imagine two layers to the cocoon and that she was about dissolve one layer. The first of these layers appeared to be the lock of the door. The door handle melted into a silken gold liquid with the embrace of pure, divine love. The second layer to be dissolved was the door. As she watched in her mind’s eye the wooden door magically rotted and dissolved into the dirt floor of the crawl space.

She was also invited to see a symbol or word held within the cocoon that she was to take with her. She was guided to know that this symbol holds meaning as to why she is here on this Earth and here at this time, and that this is the message she is to share with others. Surprising to her, she saw a beautiful symbol that had come into her life at about the age of twenty.

Real True Sincere Tattoo June 2018

A Japanese symbol she had chosen to have permanently etched onto her skin. At the age of twenty she did not know the depth of why she chose this symbol. Well, other than the fact that it only cost $20 and that’s about all she had to spend on permanent body art. This is that symbol and its meaning is real, true, and sincere. Floating underneath the symbol was the word “write”.

The Truth is Revealed

Clouds May 2018 #1

She absorbed the symbol and word into the loving embrace of her heart as she emerged from the crawl space with a knowing as to why she had to keep returning. It wasn’t to torture herself, nor to stay living in the past, nor to have sadness and anger; of which the latter was long gone.

She now knew that she had left parts of her Worth in that crawl space, mixed in with the well packed dirt floor. Pieces of it dislodged from her heart and scattered amongst the dust particles in the coolness of that dark place. She now retrieved the pieces of Worth and became aware that hanging around her neck from a golden silk cord was an aqua colored pen engraved with the word “Jump”. She flew peacefully from that crawl space on gypsy wings inscribed with authenticity, truth, sincerity and love.

Clouds May 2018 #2

She continues to write to this day. Her writing has evolved and shifted over the years and ever remains authentic, true, and sincere. Watch for it. One day one of her writings may sweep you away to travels that excite, delight, or may even bring an alchemical experience of your own.

Please be kind with yourself should you be experiencing recurring unlovely memories of the past. Know you are not doing it to torture yourself. Be patient and the truth shall be revealed when you are ready. And so it is.

**Special thanks to Jessica Levity Daylover and The Alchemist Theatre members. Jessica’s magical meditations and the entire show almost always spark an amazing “story” for me. That’s where this one was born!**

It was pretty wild! Like, “Oh, now I see why this has kept coming up. Got it. Worth retrieved! Let’s do this!!” Definitely some alchemy happening!!

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.

Latest Articles: