The Hidden Gift – Published in Reno Tahoe Tonight

**THROWBACK POST**

December 2013

I recently discovered that I failed to share an essay written by me in December 2013 and published in Reno Tahoe Tonight magazine!

So … The Hidden Gift ….. Thanks to Oliver X for sharing my thoughts with the Reno Tahoe Tonight readers ….. xoxo

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 arriving November 2017. 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:

 

Love and Hearts: A Clouded Heart

Heart Shaped Rock Clouded Heart 11.2017

And in the midst
Of a clouded heart
And soul,
Love may go
Unnoticed.
Yet, be still.
And. Know.
Love is patient
And gently
Persist, it will.
Love,
The Rock
xoxoxo
-2017 Lessons from Nature

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 arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Love and Hearts: Heed the Call of Love

Heart Shaped Rock Heed the Call of Love 2017

And sometimes love
Calls to be cradled
In the loving touch
Of another.

Listen to the call
Of love as all
Benefit when
The call of the
Heart is heeded.

Love,
The Rock
xoxoxo
2017, Lessons from Nature

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 arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Peace and Calm – Just for You

peace and calm … just for you ….

Reiki Openings November 2017

Contact me if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment! xoxo

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 arriving December 2017. 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:

I Am Supposed to Write

I am supposed to write. I know this. I receive signs and messages constantly.

I received another sign on Friday when I received an email from one of the largest eastern spiritual blogs in the world asking me to write for them.

They discovered the post I wrote for elephant journal in March 2016 and loved what I wrote. It was the post that I wrote to Lillian’s meltdowns titled, “Dear Meltdown: Meet My Friend Mindfulness”.

At times I feel pulled in so many directions with confusion and overwhelm; all the while knowing I am to write. For these words do not come from my brain, the words flow through me.

The pull of supporting a family of three, facilitating the maturation of two kids to their and societies highest and best interest, spending time in nature, living this life differently … Wrap this within the experiences and path of my pasts and it presents with financial blockage for me.

This has been the path for me. Knowing that I am worthy and unconditionally loved … No Matter What I have done or have not done.

And, this is the path I share through writing. As well as the path of parenting through this journey of coming to know what is known and lives in my heart and the heart of all.

Rumi Quote 2017

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 arriving December 2017. 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: A Drive Down Memory Lane

Fall Trees and Leaves Memory Lane Poem November 2017

A Drive Down Memory Lane

Why did the beautiful and fun
memories hurt so badly
Why did her chest feel
heavy and her stomach in knots

The place where she and
her children had spent
seven years of their lives.

The place where her son
spent his young life
from one year old
through eight years old.

Driving past the many sidewalks
and trail where she had taken
walks alone, walks with
just her son, and walks
together as a family.

Driving past the home
her parents had lived in,
the home she and her kids had lived in,
the second home her parents had lived.

Remembering neighbors she had
chatted with. Rememembering
the spread of holiday cheer.

Oh, the pain, the pain.
Why do such wonderful
memories hurt her heart.

Whey does she feel
a sense of loss
no longer living
in this neighborhood.
No longer having
her parents living
in the same neighborhood.

Why does she feel
like nothing turned
out as she had wanted
it to evolve.

Why does she feel
like she has failed
her children in
not providing them
with the same kind
of home that they
loved so much
in their early childhood?

Why does she feel
like she has given up?
Why do the tears flow
in mourning something
that never really was?

She keeps reminding
herself that nothing
is permanent. The
only thing that’s
permanent is change
itself.

She reminds herself
that home is truly
where the heart is.
Yet, what if the
heart is closed and
doesn’t want to hear
these things.

What if she reminds
herself that none of
it seems to have gone as
she wanted it to go,
the way she dreamed
for it turn out.

Seems as if she
has been but
a piece of sand
in a vast ocean
of life tossing
her here and there
into this experience
and that expeirence.

She thinks she should
not return to this
place if it is so
paintful …

but then she knows
she must keep returning
until she has felt
all the pain there
is to feel for in
feeling the pain and
being with the pain
loving the pain
embracing the pain
is she assured
of the joy and beauty
that awaits her
on the other side.

She may not have
fully let herself
feel the pain at the time
she and her children
had to leave their
home and neighborhood.

Brushed it under
the heart she did.
Believing she could not feel the pain.
She knows she let herself feel
some of the pain.
Yet, there is more there.

She makes a new
commitment to continue
to visit this neighborhood
until she has let herself
feel every single bit
of greif, guilt, and sadness
there is to feel.

She will feel it, feel the
aches in her chest, feel
the knots in her stomach
feel and taste the salty tears as
they stream down her face.

She reflects back on
these times as some of
the happiest of her
and her childens lives.

So carefree and joyful.
Doing many things together
as a family, many adventures,
every trip in the car an adventure.

It seems those times are no longer.
Where have they gone? The kids are
no longer kids. One a teenager and
one a pre-teen. Change.

Change is the nature
of life. This season
reminds us always that this
is how it flows. Change.

Why did she grip so tightly
to that time in her life,
in her kids life?

Why does she not want to
let it go? Wy does she
remember it with longing?

Why does she feel lost
in shifting to this
new normal for her
and her kids?

Interests have shifted.
What was fun and exciting
is no longer?

How does she go with the
flow, with the change,
without clinging to the
past?

She does it one breath
at a time. One blink at
at time. One step at a
time. One gratitude
thought at a time.
One act of kindness
at a time. One smile
at a time.

With kindness and
love directed to herself
and her heart.

She does it by observing
and not letting herself
get caught in the spiral
of emotions. Be with them,
feel them, and let them
release to reveal the new
normal. As it will only
be the new normal for a short
time. That is the nature
of life.

For life will support
in whatever stage of
life one finds oneself.

Nature is the Divine’s
Gift to allow one to
experiene change and
the cyclicle nature
of life outside of
oneself, yet still,
it is within as we are
one with nature.

Be still. Feel the emotions.
Let them pass through
like the wind passes
through the autumn leaves.
And know.
This is life.
And we are always
supported and loved.
-2017 Lessons from Nature

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 arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Trees Preach the Ancient Laws of Life

Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #1

This moved me to the core when I read it recently. My eyes were sweating droplets of love as it spoke to my soul.

I have never felt the way about trees, and Nature in general, that I feel now and the connection continues to deepen. Thank you Hermann Hesse … xoxo

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche.

In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree.

When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured.

And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

Eye of Tree Alamo with Poem March 2017

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent.

You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them.

But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
Hermann Hesse – Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

This writing is truly amazing. Trees have taught me so much and helped me learn about myself.

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 10.18.17 #3

Another one of the reasons this means so much to me ….

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”― William Blake

I do not (or try really hard not to) judge those who see only a “green thing that stands in the way” for I was once one of those that felt this way. Also, I know those who feel this way know not what they do …. xoxo

The beautiful and healthy tree in the pictures below is no more. We visited and shared with this tree for two full years. It and one if her sisters was cut down for the sake of a view. A view I feel was greatly enhanced by having the tree beauty be a part of it. There’s a picture of the lodge for the new apartments to show how the tree was directly in front of it. So sad ….

Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #1Cut Down Tree Vintage Lake 2017 #12 Cut Down Tree Vintage Lake 2017 #11Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake #13 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake #15Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #2 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #3 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #5 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #6 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #8 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #4Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #7Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #9Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #10

This is the other tree that was cut down …

Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake #14Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake #16

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 arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Short Story: The Three Ghosts

Black and White Three Ghosts #1
(Photo Credit Camilla Downs)

A Short Story (Inspired by the alchemy from the October 18, 2017 Alchemist Theatre show) Perhaps have your favorite, spooky Halloween music playing in the background …
The Three Ghosts

She opened her eyes and saw three ghost like figures covered in nearly translucent and tattered bed sheets.

Slowly and with thinly veiled fear she approached the first figure. She asked what it had to impart to her.

She intuitively knew she had to lift the sheet to learn the answer. The fear had welled to a point where she knew if something didn’t happen to halt it, the anxiety would overtake her mind.

With trembling hands she delicately and slowly lifted the sheet. With utter surprise and sheer awe she saw that the figure held the message of strength and was only patiently waiting for her to retrieve the gift of Strength.

The figure handed her a black cube which she instinctively knew was to be absorbed by her entire body. “For I will be your strength. It is I who move you to do the things you know not why you are moved to do them. This cube represents the Strength that has always been within your heart.”

Years of “me too” led her to believe she was not strong and should not stand up for what she believed in her heart. By absorbing the gifted cube, she would release all that she had boxed within.

She claimed this gift of Strength and knew it would never leave her.

With an air of conviction she approached the next figure. With much less timid hands she lifted the sheet. This figure revealed to her how deep judgments about life, other beings, and nature had been encoded in her DNA.

The figure lifted a nearly transparent hand to reveal a bronze colored pendant in the shape of a cross. She knew she was to absorb this within her being to melt the misguided judgments about life, other beings, and nature.

She claimed this gift of Enlightenment and knew it to be The Way.

With much more confidence she approached the last figure. She could already feel the weight of this message and the knowing it would impart.

She slowly lifted the sheet. What met her eyes was a history of angry peoples who fought one another with a mighty and violent force.

With two nearly transparent hands the figure reached into it’s chest and extracted a heart that was alive with nature. All of nature was contained within this heart.

She again knew she was to absorb the heart into her own. She would be the one who lived life differently. She would not live an angry life and would not fight with a mighty and violent hand.

She is to meet all of life with love, all that she called into her life with love, all that life presented so that she could move forward in life’s journey with love.

Not only that she is to be the protector of and soul fairy for trees and nature. She is to meet injustice done to trees and nature with love and peace knowing that those who cause harm know not what they do.

She claimed this gift of Love and knew the Oneness it contained.

She knew in her heart and soul that she had been given her life back. A life that began to be taken from her as a wee young one in this life.

Yet, much farther back in another life. It was time. She was ready to accept these gifts, ready to have the veil of illusion lifted once and for all.

And, so it was.

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 arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Open Your Doors and Windows

Vintage Lake 12.2015

“Openness is like the wind. If you open your doors and windows, it is bound to come in.” – Chogyam Trungpa
(Picture taken at The Vintage Lake, Reno, Nevada, December 2015)

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Why I Meditate and Journal Write

Meditating and Asking

This morning during meditation and prayer, I expressed that I was ready to release certain aspects of my life. As I was ready to face whatever needed to arise and be embraced.

During journal writing, I asked, “What am I to focus my attention on today?”

Basically, the answer that came forth was to focus on being present in each moment. That I am to give each person I am with my undivided attention. Also, that I am to fill my heart with love and send that to each person with whom I speak. And that the overall focus of the day was to listen, with the word of the day being … LISTEN.

Receiving

Not too long after the above, one unwanted action by Thomas towards Lillian, eventually erupted into full blown “disturbance of the peace”. The peace of our humble abode.

I felt my lower self hook into the unkindness being exchanged between Thomas and Lillian. Thoughts of, “Why does this have to happen? Why does this arise and ruin the quiet of the morning? Why …. ?”

There was much yelling, door slamming, and unkind words being thrown about. I remained to the side until I allowed that hook to pull me in and add my own string of profanities and demands into the mix.

Thomas chose to go for a walk; which was a wonderful choice to make in that moment. Shortly after that, something within switched and the thought, “Have you acknowledged how Lillian feels?” Did you LISTEN?

Ah, yes. Not just acknowledging with words, but with love and understanding. Did I listen? Well, crap! I did neither of those.

And, then … I did …..

And Lillian and I had a meaningful and healing conversation. One in which we talked about closed hearts, hearts turned cold and turned to stone, and the opening and thawing of said hearts.

When Thomas returned from his walk, Lillian had not fully released the hook of, “I need to get you back for what you did.” In other words, revenge. You did this to me and now I must do this to you.

This is a painful trigger for me. Not a trigger that causes anger or similar feelings to arise. A trigger of resisting, pushing against others need for this. I used to have this same need. I no longer do and it causes my whole being to wilt in the presence of it.

This is one of the reasons I teach and model for them to “let it go”, to not respond from the lower self, and that an argument cannot continue if one person refuses to engage in the argument.

I made it clear in the most peaceful way possible that I would not allow this “revenge” by way of hitting or scratching. After much going back and forth, the matter was resolved with the two of them throwing a pillow back and forth to one another.

This entire episode lasted about an hour and a half to two hours. After this, and after everyone was calm and back to themselves, I went for a walk in the drizzling rain.

As I approached a tree, I felt the need to look up. This is what I saw and the message I received:

Tree Cradling Sun Cloudy Day Vintage Walk 2.7.17

I’ve got you.

You are never alone.

I am always here supporting you.

Further, as I was walking, I remembered what I had asked for in meditation and prayer and the journal message.

Realizing You Have Received

Aha! I see now. Yes, yes. So I spent much time filling my heart with gratitude for having experienced what I asked to experience and face.

In order that I may continue on this path I have chosen to travel ….

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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