The Walk of Alchemy

Pink Tree Blossoms The Vintage 4.20.18

I went for walk this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

Alchemy Happens

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thich Nhat Hahn Quote April 2018

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

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

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

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

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The Path to Love is the Path to Oneself – The Urban Howl

April 11 2018:

Thank you The Urban Howl for sharing the love …. Incredibly grateful!!! xoxo

The Longest And Shortest Path Ever Traveled

The path to love
the path to oneself
strewn with broken pieces
covered in darkness
showered with light
pieces put back together
discarding what no longer fits
like a sculptor releasing
the masterpiece buried in the rock.

Chisel, buff, shine
until …. Visit the below link to read further …

The Path To Love Is The Path To Oneself

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.

Latest Articles:

 

Poetry and Photography: Feel the Joy

Sunset Vintage Lake Joy Poem 2017

Joy, Oh What a Feeling
You effortlessly glide my way
Gently wrapping your wings of love
around me as I become dizzy with
your tingling embrace.

Joy says, “Write about me too!”
I am as important to feel
and be with as are the
unlovely feelings and emotions.

Feel me, physically feel me
Let yourself know that
you are worthy of the lovely
feelings too.

Feel me. Try not to cling
to me. I shall always return
when you allow youreslf to be
in the flow.

As a mighty wave
calms and comes to rest
in the vast ocean;
you can allow
yourself to relax into
the majestic ocean of
the Divine.

You can practice relaxing
into the vast ocean of
all that is … and know
your oneness with all of
life, with the range of
emotions and feelings.
The lovely and the unlovely.

Yes. Let yourself Know
that you are Worthy and Feel
The Joy …. Come and Relax
into the Divine Ocean.
-2018, 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 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.

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The Birds Sing a Love Song

Winter Wonderland Walk Vintage Lake 1.24.17 #1

There’s something magical about being the first to step into fresh snow. It just warms my heart and brings a smile to my lips.

The birds sing a love song about deserving and celebrating.

Sparkles danced on the water like champagne bubbles.

Fresh untouched snow beckoned to be touched.

And my heart danced with gratitude and joy as it breathed in the sparkling water and untouched snow.

Thank you nature.

May you step outside to hear your own love song. 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 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.

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Poetry: Ode to the Sock

In honor of World Poetry Day 2018 and in complete contrast to my usual writings … And to follow up with an oh so fun sock thread on facebook courtesy of my 12 year old son, Thomas … Hope it makes you giggle!

I give you …

Ode to Socks Poem March 2018

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, 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 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: Nature’s Abundance

Frosty Embrace - Nature's Abundance 3.9.18

Nature’s Abundance

I feel the frosty cold
embrace as You brush
across this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I touch and hug
the beautiful,
scarred and knotted
trees that sprout
and grow from Your soil.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I delight in the sparkling
and unique snow flakes
as they drift from
the brooding clouds
above and lightly fall
upon this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

Lo, even as I dodge
and walk through
the nuggets of
geese waste left
behind by these
majestic and
interesting creatures,
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

Yes, I feel Your abundance
I Know it now.

It’s been a long road
getting to this
glorious and bountiful place.
Yet, I have arrived.

I have arrived
to the freedom
of Knowing this …

I am made of bits
and pieces of You.
You are made of
bits and pieces of me.
This body and ether
mix with Your essence
as we collide.

I see it now.
All that is made
of You is Good.
ALL, I say, ALL!

Even as your form is
changed and no longer
resembles Your essence.
It is of You.
And,it is Good.

Humans take and borrow
from you to create,
grow, and make
the things we must
have to survive,
yet also the things
we think we need,
and the things we
simply want so
as to fill a void.
Grateful for your
abundance and gifts
I am.

We take your trees
and metals and we
make this mysterious
and sometimes elusive
thing called money.

We make it into
something it is not.
It is only of
You and we use it
for good, for bad,
for our benefit,
and for the benefit
of others.

One slight shift
in awareness of
what money truly is ..

That is True Freedom.
Freedom to respect
and love that money
stuff of which
contains Your essence.

Knowing, absorbing
and feeling
Your abundance
has brought on
this shift from
lack to abundance.

Thank You
Mother Earth.
Thank You
Nature.

I feel and Know
your Abundance.
You are Abundance.
I Am Abundance.
And so it is.
I Am. – 2018 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 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.

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Poetry and Photography: The Space Within

“The Space Within”

The Space Within Poem February 2018

There is a space within
A space occupied, it was.

Occupied with judgment
Occupied with harshness
Occupied with unkind thoughts
towards others.

There is a space within
where the darkness
of judgment used to live.

Judgment lives
here no more.
Evicted.
It has been.

There is a space within.

A soft space of love
of compassion
of empathy
of understanding.

For a journey
of a thousand miles has
been lived with
the understanding
that each one of us
has traveled a similar journey.

To be sure,
not the same journey.
No, not the same.
That matters not.

Each has traveled a journey
of a thousand miles.

And each viewed not
according to their journey,
yet viewed with eyes
that flow from the heart.

A heart that knows the two
are connected,
viewed with eyes flowing
from the heart that only
knows unconditional love.

Eyes wide open to
the Truth of each one’s journey.

The Truth that judgment of another is
simply a reflection of judgment
held within one towards oneself.

There is a space within,
a space that was once filled with
the darkness of judgment.

A space that is now
available for compassion
and love for one self and others.

Space to breath easier
Space to live easier
space to live peacefully
Space to allow all to BE
and travel the paths chosen.

There’s a space within.
A Beautiful Space.

May we all release
and expose this space within
for the Beauty it reveals.
-2018, Lessons from Nature
xoxo

This poem flowed forth from the below words I had written at a different time regarding judgments and compassion. For some reason I saved them. Now, I know why.

” ……. The space within me that held the weight of so many judgments …

Judgments against people who thought and felt differently, judgments against single moms, judgments against parents whose kids act out and the kids too.

Every single time one of those judgments was released, a cushion of compassion took its place. There are still some wee judgments hiding in there.

Some that stay hidden and some that peek out to see if its safe. Within me is not a safe zone for judgments … You are released and a warm, soft, loving cushion of compassion takes your place.”

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.

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Why I Make Nature Photographs

Amazing solo walk on February 14th. Just WOW!!

I love the mystery of going for a walk and listening for that strong urge that whispers,

“Take a picture now. Squat for this one. Kneel for this one. Lie down on the ground for this.”

It’s so fun to see where it leads and the photos that are made. xoxo

Solo Walk Vintage Lake 2.14.18 #1 Solo Walk Vintage Lake 2.14.18 #2 Solo Walk Vintage Lake 2.14.18 #3 Solo Walk Vintage Lake 2.14.18 #4

I feel like this Ted Talk should be included with these photos.

“Celebrate What’s Right With the World” ….

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.

Latest Articles:

Short Story: What Does Freedom Mean to You

Camilla Feet in the Sand 2017

Do you ever feel like running barefoot and free and howling with the moon?  … Sent with howls of love … xoxo

It is her intent to release the discomfort. She is ready to release it and be free. She is ready to live this life from love instead of fear. She is ready to be free. Free to follow her heart. Free to live in peace and bliss. Free to trust herself. Free to live as much as possible from her true Self. Free to listen.

Free to jump. Free to leap when it speaks to her. Free to write what she’s supposed to write and share. Free to dance. Free to go barefoot in the moonlight. Free to leave footprints in the sand of life’s beach and free to watch them disappear as if they were never there.

Free to experience fully each moment of life with no thoughts of what just happened, what happened yesterday or last week; or thoughts of what comes next or what will happen tomorrow or next week. Free to BE exclusively committed to that which she is immersed in the moment.

Free to sway with the wind. Free to kiss and hug a tree. Free to run her fingers along the tip tops of the grass. Free to take a nap in the sand with toes wiggling and giggling as each piece of sand makes its way through the cracks and crevices of her toes. Some getting stuck to stay for a while and some gliding on through.

Free to smile at all whose eyes hers meet. Free to hug freely and receive hugs freely. Free to let another soul know how much she cares for them without fear of rejection and abandonment. Free to receive unconditional love. Free to give unconditional love. Free to BE unconditional love.

Free to write for hours on end should her soul desire it. Free to learn the art of the making music. Free to let Love’s music flow from her heart through a magical instrument into the peaceful air that surrounds. Free to let the music surround her body and caress it with each note as it climbs to the heavens to caress the cosmos.

Free to love all beings and all animals. Free to love the grass, the bushes, the trees, the dirt, the rocks, the sand, the sky, the clouds, the soil, the water, the hills, the mountains, the snow, the wind, the rain, the thunder, the lightening …. Free to love the the wolves, the giraffes, the zebras, the horses, dogs, the cats, the pigs, the cows, the sheep, the butterflies, the birds, the fish, the frogs, the bugs, the snakes, the spiders … All BEings.

Free to scream from the bowels of her soul … F R E E D O M …. She wishes to be contained no longer. She is compelled to break free of this shell, this shield placed around her ages and moons ago. Like the baby chick breaking free from its shell, like the butterfly breaking free from its cocoon … with intense passion she patiently chips away at the shellshield built by others and by her lower self.

Like a prisoner who has no tools with which to escape, She uses bare hands and nails to scratch and tear her Self free from this shellshield. With its hundreds of gnarly scars, rough and broken with welts of pain healed over. The time has come to be released. The time has to come to have more than a peephole of an opening. Break the f*** free, saunter out, and howl with the moon. And, BE FREE …. Hallelujah …. And, so it is …

-2018, Lessons from Nature – 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.

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Reflections – I Am Called to Reflect as I Begin this 48th year

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #3

Reflections.

As I begin my 48th turn around the bright and beautiful Sun, I am called to reflect. Come, reflect along with me if you care to join.

My 47th turn around the sun proved to be the most enlightening and wild to date. I knew in December 2016 that this was to be, for I had called this into my life. I was tired of having patterns from my past, happenings from when I was a child, teen, and young adult, and the thoughts in my own mind keeping me from sharing my essence with others, spreading unconditional love and compassion to all beings and nature, and what I came here to do. I was exhausted.

I knew it was NOT going to be fun. Yet, knew I needed to walk into the internal Hell that had held me captive for nearly all my life. I wanted this. I desired it. Nothing else was as important as walking into those flames, feeling them deeply, allowing them to burn away the anger, shame, guilt, and unworthiness; and allowing the Divine within to transmute those biting and burning flames into Pure Love.

My very FREEDOM relied on doing this once and for all. Nothing else was as important. Not earning money for rent, for food, nor for gas. NOTHING!

I began to receive messages here and there in December 2016 that the Theme of the Coming Year was to be “The Shift” with the two underlying themes of “Knowing” and “Allowing”. Below, is the 2017 theme board I prepared in January 2017. You can see at the bottom of the board two phrases “Secrets of the Heart” and “Adventure of My Life”.

Well, the “Adventure of My Life” wasn’t anything like I thought! I assumed I was in for some great fun!! HA! And, indeed, I learned the “Secrets of the Heart”. Powerful secrets that we all KNOW, yet have forgotten, or have buried underneath years of conditioning that caused us to forgot the knowing of our hearts.

Camilla's 2017 Vision Board 1.14.17

So … I did it. In February I had the great fortune to receive 8 reflexology sessions at no cost; which was paired with Reiki and other energy healing modalities. This is what kicked it off. This was not merely about someone applying deep pressure to pressure points in my feet. These pressure points held the sparks of the very fires that were holding me back. During these two months of sessions, I literally had times I thought I would die from resisting feeling emotions which I dared not ever let myself feel as a child.

See, as a young child I became a master at not allowing myself to feel the weight of horrible happenings. I went into my mind and there I didn’t have to feel. There. Took care of that.

During these sessions I came to know when an old wound was resurfacing as I began to feel anxious. I would go to the bedroom to be alone, lie down, relax, and pray. I prayed that I wanted to remember whatever it was, feel it and that I was ready; that I knew I was never alone, and that whatever this was could no longer hurt me. I simply needed to let myself feel the feelings I had buried.

During these times I sobbed so heavily I thought I may suffocate and I silently screamed as loudly as I could as Thomas and Lillian were in the house too. I let myself get angry about these happenings of childhood. I let myself feel the anger in my guts, in my heart, in my throat. Then, I released into it with sobbing, sobbing, sobbing.

One evening I was deeply anxious and fearful during a connection. I really thought I would simply die from the fear of it. Yet, a peaceful calm overcame me and these words floated into my awareness … “You are not alone. Letting yourself remember this and feel it cannot hurt you. It no longer exists. It is not real. Be Still. And. Know. Be Still. And. Know”.

Those gentle and beautiful words allowed me to remember and feel things I had forgotten and some I did not even know happened for I had buried them so deep as they were tremendously painful occurrences.

Not too long after I finished the reflexology sessions, I began sessions with a Shaman Reiki healer friend. These sessions were such that I could pay what I had available to pay. These sessions continue to this day. Most of the deeply rooted happenings were connected with, felt, and released during the reflexology sessions.

The Shaman sessions seemed to be smoothing and balancing. Although there were a few more memories that bubbled to the surface. One incredibly horrific memory. I don’t think I can even describe the freedom of letting these memories and happenings come to the surface, allowing myself to feel the emotions associated with them, and to release them to the divine.

There is a quiet peace that I can only describe as the intersection of having received a deeply relaxing massage and the serene quiet of being outdoors after freshly fallen snow.

In 2017, I joined an online writer’s group that has been incredibly inspiring. I had joined a few writer’s groups in years past; yet, this one is different. It’s like a homecoming for my writer’s soul. Beautiful and amazing people all over the world. They have blessed me incredibly. So much so that the dew of their blessings drips from my eyes and rolls down my cheeks.

In the beginning of 2017 I concluded marketing Thomas’ book, “Biggest Little Photographer“. I took a few months break and spent the last half of 2017 bringing together Lillian’s book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories”. It’s official debut is tomorrow, February 27, 2018 and Lillian and I will be on KOLO 8 News at 4:30 with Sarah Johns.

I wrote dozens of poems during 2017 and deeply soulful writings. Now, for goodness sake, I NEVER thought I would be writing poetry. Yet, one day they just started pouring out of me. Actually, the words don’t pour out of me. They flow though me so fast and furious at times that I have to type like the wind to catch them all as they flow through. I actually miss some of the words due to the speed at which they travel!

I have been journal writing for years now. Yet, in 2017, I began to ask a simple question after I was done with pouring my heart out. I ask, “What do I need to know?” The answer that comes forth is always soothing, clears blocks, and provides solutions. Some of these came out as poems, some I later turned into writings that were posted on this blog.

I FEEL different now. I FEEL FREE. FREEDOM. It was always with me. Yet, I simply could not be one with it until I journeyed this path.

I have reclaimed my Wild Woman archetype and actually, at times, totally feel like howling with the moon. Note – NOT, wild as in partying, drinking wild woman. Of course, I had those days, that’s a story for another day though. Simply perform a search for Wild Woman Archetype and you’ll see what I mean.

I do plan to write about the memories that came forth. I have healed from them. They are no longer buried. I have forgiven those involved. I deeply love some of the people involved and some I don’t even know; and I absolutely DO NOT BLAME anyone for happenings of the past. For I know that everyone was doing the best they could with where they were in their own journey of life. That’s a book in and of itself. So, another time for that.

I still have a chink I am addressing and forgiving. I just connected with a piece of it a couple of mornings ago and I feel that’s the last of the big ones! After that, wee little rascals may bubble to the surface; yet, I’ve had a year of practicing. I got this!

2017 and my year as a 47 year old. WOW! Dude! You knocked my socks off! YOU set me FREE!! I am thankful to so many people who have been there for me this past year. I LOVE you all incredibly much. My heart bursts forth with a confetti of love and gratitude for your part in helping me embrace FREEDOM.

2018 is the Year of “Jump” with the two underlying themes of “Listen” and “Trust”. That’s an upcoming blog post of how I came to know that this year I was to LEAP!

I embrace this 48th year with my entire being as a FREE Wild Woman!!

Damonte Ranch Walk 9.13.16 #5

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.

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