Z is for Zigzag

(Excerpt from my book, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance”)

Conventional wisdom says “do it this way, this is the way it’s always been done.” I am the type of person who questions conventional wisdom. I pause to think about whether the way it’s always been done is really the right way for me and my family.

Conventional wisdom says that the best path for Lillian is to attend traditional public school to benefit from what she’s entitled to according to federal laws and what’s established in her IEP. Well, that worked for us through fourth grade, but it doesn’t work now. You see, I simply believe with all my being that this little lady will not follow any conventional route in her life, or in her career. I believe she will be self-employed, and I don’t believe she will reach her full potential staying in a traditional public school. Of course, I will accept whatever career path she chooses, but for now, I choose us to zag instead of zig.

I’m not saying that we should always zag when others zig. But, that we pay attention when something inside us is saying, “not so fast there, find a different way,” or “don’t keep doing that.” We may hear these messages, but dismiss them due to doubt, fear, or laziness. As these messages bounce around in our mind, we find that we have invited another person’s voice telling us we are crazy for thinking that way.

Happy and successful people didn’t get where they are today by making the same choices as the masses. If you take time to study them, you will find there’s something different in the way they think, their attitude, and how they make choices.

One of my kids made a statement once that we are poor. I explained that I don’t agree and here’s why. We may be broke at the moment, but we are not poor. I consider us to be rich because of our relationships with one another, our adventures, and the joy we experience. I believe there’s a fundamental difference between being poor and being broke. Poor vs. rich is all in how you look at it. Being broke is temporarily having no money. Being rich depends on how our attitude and thoughts perceive our reality. How do we measure “rich”?

It is most important to me that I try to not take myself so darn seriously. I fully understand that we have some serious situations to deal with, especially as parents of children with special needs. I’m not advocating that we ignore serious medical conditions. I’m only suggesting that we become aware of our attitudes and thoughts concerning serious matters. Do your best not to dwell in the past, or get stuck in the “why” questions. Accept the present moment for what it is. Really and truly listen to your gut. Listen even if you don’t understand why it’s pushing you in a certain direction.

The bold overriding theme of this entire book is the ability to accept ourselves, listen to our intuition, and live in the present moment. That’s why it is repeated throughout this book. I know I need to be continually reminded of this. I forget. Acceptance, courage, flexibility, and our view of life all comes back to how we think. Our emotions are an expression of our thoughts. Take it slow and have patience with yourself.

Tip for the Journey:

Awake each morning and realize with awe that you have been given a very special, unique gift. You have been given a precious gift of another full twenty four hours to make your own. Twenty-four hours to do with as you choose, to experience joy and happiness, and to share with those around you. I truly believe the more we share joy and happiness, the more it will spread. Every day you get another twenty four hours to work toward your dreams and goals, and another day to enjoy the heck out of while you’re on your journey. I like to refer to this as a Sunrise Gift and no two Sunrise Gifts are the same. You choose the nature of the gift and what you will do with it. Make the most of your Sunrise Gifts.

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

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Your Intuition Knows What To Write

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” – Ray Bradbury

I was given the wonderful opportunity to guest post on 2 Dream Productions’ blog about why I write and what led to the writing of my first book, “D iz for Different”.

Here’s an excerpt:

How Purging the Garage Led to Writing a Book

Call it intuition. Call it my gut. Whatever it’s called, there is something inside of me compelling me to write. Sometimes gently, other times strongly, it nudges me saying, “You’ve just got to share that.” I fought this feeling for a long time, thinking I had nothing meaningful to contribute. At this point in my life, I know that the treasure lying within me, the one I am to share with humanity, is my view of everyday life. I most often share this through writing.

Sometimes I question myself with thoughts of, “What are you doing? Why are you wasting time on this? Who cares what you think? Who cares what happened with you today?” These thoughts can be very discouraging and cause me to doubt myself. However, time and time again, I magically and miraculously receive confirmation that what I’m doing and the path I have chosen is inspiring and helpful to others. These powerful, undeniable moments cause my fears and hesitation to disappear.

My writing journey started …. ” (Go here to read more.)

Head on over and check out 2 Dream Productions if you are an author or aspiring author!

2 Dream Productions, Inc. is a book publicist company that specializes in working with authors and publishers to get more publicity for their books, brands and products. 

Blessings,

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

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F is for Flexibility

(Excerpt from my book, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” – published 2012)

Flexibility, fun and faith . . . that’s a trio I definitely want in my life!

There are times in our lives when fun does not fit in with what’s going on! It’s not possible to always have fun, or find the joy in every situation. However, it is possible to be at peace with the experiences life deals us. To be at peace is to be in a state of acceptance, and be present and attentive in the here and now. Once we have achieved the place of acceptance it is easier to see the joy, humor, and fun in the everyday happenings of life, and ultimately have faith.

With each passing day acceptance becomes easier. I am more attentive and present when Thomas and Lillian are talking to me. I am really listening to what they are saying. Sometimes, I must admit, it is just plain funny! One morning Thomas, Lillian and I had a conversation that each of them are actually aliens from Planet Mercury. They told me they are just here visiting and will have to go back home soon. We had a thirty minute conversation about their home planet. I told them I would miss them so very much when they go back home. They said they would miss me too. After breakfast they began packing for their return voyage back to Mercury. Not your typical Saturday morning breakfast, but we had tons of fun using our imaginations. I choose to stimulate their imaginations instead of discounting what they say. Being able to call upon their imagination is a skill I want them never to lose.

As often as possible, I attempt to create an adventure out of as many minutes, hours and days that I can. It may sound like a lot of work, but really, it doesn’t have to be. Adventure is what one makes it. If we remind ourselves to be flexible and think simplistically, it isn’t hard at all to create adventures. I find great fun in turning a simple task or event (something we are already doing), into an adventure.

Something as simple as going to the library can be made into an adventure by having a scavenger hunt for certain types of books. One day, I had Thomas and Lillian make a list of about five places or things they wanted to see, or find. We had a great time driving around all day to parks and stores finding the items on their lists. We didn’t buy anything, but I marked their success by taking a photo of them in front of the place, or with the item they found (you can see some in the photo gallery).

Being flexible decreases stress, and allows us opportunities to be creative. Flexibility also serves us in releasing our attachment to rigid expectations. When we choose to be flexible rather than rigid, it is much easier to accept change when situations do not turn out as we may have planned.

Flexibility is a characteristic that serves me well as a parent, definitely as a mom to a child with special needs, and in life in general. I am sorry to say that the old Camilla was not a very flexible person. Things had to be done my way, or someone was going to pay! I cringe when I think about how rigid, and inflexible I used to be.

The awakened Camilla has learned the wonderful quality of being flexible. To some, it may seem like indifference when I shrug my shoulders, or turn the other cheek, but through practice, I have learned to be okay with whatever happens.

F is for Fear

I could not let this chapter be complete without mentioning fear. Fear is something that every parent experiences. In fact, everyone has fears. Parents of children with special needs have an entirely different set of fears, and then some, compared to parents of kids who develop typically. Fear is one of the stages we move through when we first learn of our child’s diagnosis. These fears can get the better of us if we are not managing our thoughts in the present moment. For instance, we may take one little comment from a doctor, nurse, parent, or friend, and let our mind run away with it. We fabricate in our mind what the future would be like; what about the next time …next week…next year…from now to when our time here is over? I am not saying we shouldn’t make plans for our family’s future. Make those plans, get everything lined-up, and set in the best way for your child with special needs and their siblings. Just remember not to always play out future events (school, friends, sports, marriage etc.) in your mind.

Learning to have faith in myself, and the decisions I make has absolutely helped me along this journey. Even though I still experience moments, days, and even weeks, when my faith in myself gets weak, I never ever fully lose sight of it. Having a rock solid faith in ourselves, is the foundation for the journey we are traveling.

Tip for the Journey:

Learning to be flexible comes with patience and practice. Choose one situation a week to be flexible about. Then take it to one situation per day. Each morning when you wake up, say to yourself with love and joy, “I choose to be flexible today.”

Developing the habit of having consistent, strong faith in yourself and your choices will only come with time and practice. To battle being your own worst critic, put sticky notes on your mirror, in your purse, in your car, and wherever else you need them, with reminders that you are amazing, you are perfect the way you are, to have faith in yourself, trust your path and trust your intuition. Choose whatever phrases or quotes are meaningful to you and put those on the sticky notes also. It can be hard to keep faith in ourselves; but the more we practice being kind, the quicker we will pull ourselves out of those times when we lose the faith.

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

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Inspiring and Positive: D iz for Different Amazon Review

★★★★★ D Iz For Different is a wonderful book. The story is informative as real life trials and triumphs are discussed. Positive solutions are always put forth and the reader is left with an uplifting experience. The book inspires the reader to think about things in a positive new light and to think outside the box we so often find ourselves in. I highly recommend this book. Blessings! Cheryl

If you would like to write an Amazon review of D iz for Different go here (amazon affiliate link). It’s not necessary to have purchased the book through Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, you can write a review.

Grace – D iz for Different Amazon Review

(Tele at her Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed 50th birthday party with Noreen Leary on the far left – May 2012)

★★★★★”Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer …. This is the premise for Camilla Down’s message in her book “D Iz for Different.”

Taking sets of circumstances that could be seen as devastating and looking for the good and building on that for her strength. These lessons can be applied to everyday life and everyday challenges shared in heartwarming words of wisdom from years of getting back up, dusting herself off and moving forward with Grace. You owe it to yourself to read this book. – Tele Raack – March 25, 2013

If you would like to write an Amazon review of D iz for Different go here (amazon affiliate link). It’s not necessary to have purchased the book through Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, you can write a review.

Bravo – D iz for Different Amazon Review

★★★★★ This personal journey is full of courage and encouragement. I am challenging myself to live a life of acceptance and joy with the help of this wonderful resource. How brave of Camilla to put herself out there with the hopes of improving the lives of others. Bravo! – Ian and Susan Moran – June 16, 2012

If you would like to write an Amazon review of D iz for Different go here (amazon affiliate link). It’s not necessary to have purchased the book through Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, you can write a review.

 

D iz for Different Kindle Release

 

FREE for the next three (3) days! 12:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 28, 2013 through midnight, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Help me out y’all! Even if you never plan on reading “D iz for Different“, please take a minute to download it while it’s free! The more downloads the book receives the more exposure it will receive. Go here for the kindle version of “D iz for Different”.

Feel free to leave a comment here when you download or tag me on facebook! Also, feel free to share this post or the facebook event with your friends. If you comment here, tag me or post on my timeline that you downloaded the book during this 3 days, I’ll draw one person to receive an autographed paperback version of “D iz for Different“!

I’ll owe you a big hug when next we see one another!

(iPhone, iPad and Android users can get the ebook for free also by downloading the free Kindle app!)

Special Needs Book Review Interview: Hope and Guidance

Hope and Guidance to Parents of Children with Special Needs: Interview with Camilla Downs

Since her book’s publication, Camilla Downs has undergone her own professional transformation with a career change from social media consultant to special needs parent coach and mentor, offering hope and guidance to others parenting kids with special needs. Congratulations Camilla on all your achievements! Thank you so much for introducing your book, D iz for Different: One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance in a guest post you can find here. I am looking forward to learning more about Camilla Downs and her next book in this post for our Author Interview Series.

Lorna: When asked what is your book, D iz for Different: One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance about? What do you answer?

>> Camilla Downs >> In general this is a self-help book for anyone looking to reach acceptance of themselves, those needing to dig down deep for the courage within themselves, or someone looking for guidance on finding the gift in a situation or event. Specifically, this is a book for parents of children with special needs to reassure them that they are not alone and to encourage and inspire them. Each chapter is a letter of the alphabet and each chapter concludes with a Tip for the Journey. Read the entire interview by clicking here.

Thanks Lorna d’Entremont for the pleasure of having you interview me!!

I Love the Smell of Fresh Honeysuckle

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Tweet Just some random personal stuff about me … I smile at myself in the mirror. I use organic extra virgin olive oil to remove my make-up and also use it as my facial moisturizer. When I choose to feel … Continue reading

KOLO 8 Daybreak News Segment – January 4 2013

On Friday, 1.4.13, I was on KOLO 8 Daybreak News with Annie Goni-Stewart, eWomenNetwork managing director. Had to be there at 6:00 am … How exciting to be dressed and outta the house at such an early hour! We talked about eWomenNetwork Reno/Carson/Tahoe/Vegas/Sierra Nevadas Chapter and my book, ‘D iz for Different’.

Walking into my very first eWomenNetwork event in July 2007 was one of the most positive life enhancing decisions I had made up to that point in my life. I am blessed with such amazing friends and support. I have a very long list of how I’ve been blessed by being a member. The car I own came through an eWomenNetwork connection. The teaching I did at UNR Extended Studies came through an eWomenNetwork Connection. Seriously, down to some of the clothes I wear and food in my fridge! And what I didn’t get a chance to say in the interview is that the two BIG endorsements I received for my book came through eWomenNetwork. I was fortunate to meet the Ziglar family at the 2010 International Conference in Dallas. I stayed connected with Julie (Zig Ziglar’s daughter) and DeDe Galindo(his granddaughter) and that friendship let to Julie Norman endorsing my book. Another eWn Member, Debe Fennell, connected me with Jim Stovall, author of the book and movie, The Ultimate Gift. That led to his endorsement of the book! When we bring our authentic selves to this amazing group of women and come with a give first, share always philosophy ….. Wishes and Dreams Come True!!!

View the segment here … http://www.kolotv.com/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8132638

Susan Hill facilitated all of this, so the three of us went our for coffee afterwards. Cheers!!