How to Be Peaceful

August Date Day with Thomas 9.6.16 #9

My life experience has taught the following for being peaceful:

  1. Meditation
  2. Intention to be peaceful
  3. Mindfully responding
  4. Nature

Meditation is at the core of being peaceful. I meditate between three to six days a week. My meditation practice is a mixture of different methods; which became much deeper and became more meaningful after I read, studied, and implemented the practices in the book, “Meditation for the Love of It” by Sally Kempton.

On November 9, 2016 I spoke on a parent panel at UNR to students in the medical field. The class is titled Serving Individuals with Disabilities and their Families.

I may falter at times, yet I will continue to do this. I will continue to live from my heart. Living from my heart means sharing my experience and point of view. Additionally, it means I will continue to meet anything that is the opposite of love with love and peace.

I will continue to spread love, compassion, and non-judgment as that’s the only way I know how to BE anymore. I may not always succeed at remaining peaceful, yet I know I did not come here to have an aggressive, hateful, and negative experience.

Even when I encounter others who have everything but kindness to share with me, I will leave my ego and mind and be in my heart. I will see past that person’s ego and see who they truly are. I will not argue. I will not go there.

I have two kids who watch how I react and how I show up in the world. I know that my words are meaningless without the living of those words.

The Monday before I spoke on the panel, I presented a “Peace Lesson” to a group of 4th-6th grade students. The first question I asked them after we defined peace was this: “Where do you think we find peace?” …

Only two students offered to answer. One said, “In a sanctuary”. I agreed with him that a sanctuary could certainly be a peaceful place. The other. The other. She knew. Her answer … “In our heart.” That wonderful girl read my heart …

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 11.14.16 #4

So … How to Be Peaceful:

I shared with the students that peace does not begin with “the other”. “BE the change we wish to see in this world” is not an empty meaningless quote for me. BEing the change does not start only after another person changes. We cannot force others to be peaceful.

One other suggestion I shared with the kids: When someone wraps a beautiful package and offers to give it to you as a gift, and you decline to accept that gift; who is the owner of that gift? The gift remains with the person who tried to give it to you.

What if you considered unkind comments from others as a gift they were attempting to give you? And you decided not to accept that gift? The gift would remain with that person.

I have taught Thomas and Lillian to respond to unkind comments with silence, or “Is that so?”, or “Okay” and to walk away. It truly, truly does not matter if that person thinks they are right. What matters is what you know in your heart and how you live and BE.

I gave an example from my own life. A couple of years ago, I was sitting next to someone who had been an everyday part of my life for ten years, someone I trusted and loved. That person chose to say over and over many unkind comments to me.

I finally turned to the person and said, “You know what? You are right about that. And you know what else? I have nothing but love to share with others and I will not argue. And, I am deeply sorry that you feel so unloved.”

Obviously, I didn’t and don’t agree that this person was right. I simply let him relax into the feeling that his ego so desperately needed. After that the “conversation” ended.

I do not mean to say that we ignore when we feel worry, anxiety, and fear. Absolutely NOT. FEEL those feelings, physically feel them. This does mean to dwell on the reason for the feelings. That will not have the desired affect. Focus on how it physically feels. Sit with them. No matter how painful. Cry a river of tears if that’s needed.

For when we let ourselves physically feel these emotions, we then, and only then, will release them. Go stand barefoot in the grass, dirt, sand, or rocks and let Nature help you uncover the peace that is within you.

It is truly magical. Oceans of love and hugs to everyone … xoxoxo

*This does indeed take practice. I have been practicing for years .. and I still falter at times. Most of us are going against how it is ingrained in us to respond. Additionally, this is the way I have chosen to be peaceful. It may not be the way you choose to do it. 

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:

10 Most Popular Posts for 2016

thomas-and-camilla-at-odabe-round-dance-9-25-16-5

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled only from 2016 blog posts)

  1. Dear Meltdown, Meet My Friend Mindfulness
  2. Biggest Little Photographer Arrives – We Did It
  3. Living in a Tiny Home Adventures – Four Months
  4. Photo a Day for 365 Days – Thomas’ One Year Anniversary
  5. The Power and Magic of Connected Parenting
  6. 2016 Chromosome 18 Conference – San Antonio
  7. A Rapturous Dance With Life
  8. The Biggest Little Photographer by Thomas Darnell
  9. The Tao of Letting GoLetting Go Burning Ceremony, and There is More Than One Way (These 3 blog posts had the same amount of views)
  10. A State of Pure Awareness

**LOVE OFFERING** If you find this content helpful, I invite you to toss a tip in the love offering bowl. With oceans of gratitude … Camilla ….

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views for 2016 (Culled from all blog posts)

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  3. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  4. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  5. Taste the Wind
  6. Dear Meltdown: Meet My Friend Mindfulness
  7. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  8. Living in a Tiny Home Adventures
  9. Biggest Little Photographer Arrives – We Did It
  10. Recipe: Chia Seed Pudding

Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time With the Most Views

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  3. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  4. Help Team TLC With A Christmas Miracle
  5. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  6. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  7. I Wish I Wasn’t an 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two
  8. A Moment of Defeat
  9. Lillian and Being Different Presentation
  10. Creativity and Resourcefulness

Here’s to a 2017 in which we all go within to BE the change we wish to see in the world. BE Love, BE Peace, BE Compassion … We must BE this within in order to experience it without.

hearts-rock-sparks-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:

A Rapturous Dance With Life

Lake Mead July 2016 #15

I did it. I did it. I did it.

I drove Team TLC 3,400 miles. Thursday, July 7, 2016 through Saturday, July 16, 2016 I drove 3,400 miles roundtrip to attend the Chromosome 18 Conference – Reno, Nevada to San Antonio, Texas .. 1,700 miles each way. A conference Thomas and Lillian have their hearts set on attending every year. We began attending the C18 Conference in 2009 when it was in Las Vegas and have gone every year since then.

We arrived home at midnight on Saturday, July 16th. I was kind of it out of all day Sunday. Then Monday, I woke up ready to go! By Monday afternoon, every muscle in my body ached and I felt weighted down. I was completely out of it for 4 full days. It took about 7 days before I felt like myself again.

Yet, I DID IT!! … xoxoxo

The plan was to leave at 5:00 am on Thursday, the 7th, so that I could drive as far as possible before darkness fell upon us. I am completely out of my comfort zone driving in the dark in unfamiliar places. I could not get to sleep the night before. I was worried and having anxiety about this trip due to finances, honestly, not even having enough to cover the trip.

Yet, I know how deeply important this conference is to Thomas and Lillian. Each for their own reasons. Thomas is the sibling to a sister who has a chromosome deletion. He has, and is, developing deep friendships with the other siblings his age and being mentored by the older siblings.

Lillian’s friends are her peers that she has connected with through this conference. She communicates with some of them all throughout the year. When one texts, blogs, post on Facebook and Instagram, emails, chats on Facebook, or uses skype; the spoken word is not needed.

In our world of verbal communication difficulties, social media has helped create a world that would not exist for Lillian and one where she has true friends. She has no local friends, yet she has friends all over the United States and the world … As far away as Tasmania, Australia.

C18 Trip July 2016 #17

After having about 3 hours sleep, I could not seem to get ready as I was overwhelmed with the enormity of this trip. I had an adult meltdown which delayed our departure. We were finally on our way at 7:00 am; two hours later than I had planned.

There was much excitement as we began the road trip. Lots of talking, observing the landscape, and silliness. About two hours into the morning, we lost cell phone service due to the rural area we traveled. We were without cell service for the next five or six hours until we reached Las Vegas. During this time, Thomas and Lillian became absorbed in reading books, magazines, or using their computers or phones.

Which left my mind much time to mess with me. I had stepped way out of my comfort zone with this trip. I had never driven this far, much less driven this far being the only one in charge of packing, driving, and navigating. Plus, we had never driven this far as a family. Our max road trip travel time was to the 2015 conference in Salt Lake City; which was about an 8 hour drive from Reno.

Thoughts of us being stranded due to car problems kept entering my mind like a dark storm cloud encroaching on the brightest of days. Thoughts of the lack of finances for this trip took their turn in the dance also. Not to be left out of the dance, thoughts of my insanity at attempting this cut into the dance too. All of this dance to be completed with the veil of anxiety and worry weaving in and out like a breeze blowing through the trees.

Thankfully, I am a student of mindfulness and emotional connection. And, since there was nothing else to do but sit and drive, I took this opportunity to put these practices to work. It was a rapturous dance between being mindful, connecting with emotions, and embracing the fear wanting to dance with me.

This trip proved to be challenging. I had not anticipated this dance with life in all of its flavors and colors in such a way to cause the suffering brought on by my thoughts. It was my goal to have this trip be a learning experience for me of not knowing, not planning, and just going. That’s certainly not for everyone.

Yet, I felt this was important for me. It’s a huge step out of my comfort zone. One step closer to trusting myself, trusting internal messages, and letting go of how it’s supposed to be done. As mentioned earlier, I’ve never driven this far alone … Much less alone with Thomas and Lillian. In addition to driving this far in Rosey, our 15 year old car, with dancing through this trip on less than a shoe string budget and letting go of worry that the string will hold tight.

I had moments where I was so extremely hot and exhausted I had visions of taking an ice bath and moments when I was so tired I was shaking and wondering what in the heck I was doing ….. Yet, I know. I may not know on the surface right now; but deep down, I know why I do what I do.

This was also a dance full of wonderful, bright moments. We shared inspiring comments and tons of love that furthered each one of us. Definitely some amazing growth for all of us happened! WOW!

**LOVE OFFERING** If you find this content helpful, I invite you to toss a tip in the love offering bowl. With oceans of gratitude … Camilla ….

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

We had a ball and laughed tons and enjoyed the beautiful landscape as we drove by it. Lillian was being so helpful and encouraging Thursday morning before we left.

Thomas was awesome and inspiring with his comments as we drove the two lane highways in the middle of nowhere in Nevada and Arizona. We saw a huge sign that read, “Nothing” and had a great laugh about that! Just after driving through Boulder City and Hoover dam, Thomas said, “I love it here.” He was so impressed with Lake Mead and said he wanted to live there.

Thomas went on to say that he always has deja vu and he has lived this life before. He said it all seems so familiar. He was incredibly inspired by the beauty that passed before our eyes. He also commented that he wants to buy land and simply let kids play on the land.

On the first day of driving, Lillian got sick to her stomach. We ended up spending about 30 minutes at a gas station bathroom and Thomas was extremely helpful. When we were looking for a place to stay and it kept getting darker and darker, I apologized to them as I had planned on stopping sooner. He said, “When you get a rock in your shoe, just shake it out.”

Rosey did a pretty good job. She had a wee bit of problems getting overheated but that was resolved with turning the air conditioner off while traveling up and down the mountainous areas. I had to give her some oil and coolant on the way there and some oil on the way back home. It’s scorching hot checking oil and fluids in over 100 degree weather!

With an hour and a half to go before we arrived in San Antonio, the epoxy glue I use for the driver side mirror had enough of the heat and was simply melting away! A couple of years ago I bumped the mirror backing out of a covered parking spot. So, for about 20 minutes I was holding the mirror until I could pull over. Bungee cord to the rescue!! Before we headed back home, the hotel gave me duct tape and that worked great for the ride back home.

I feel strongly guided to be establishing a new relationship with myself and the world and to model this for my kids, have them actively participate, and to help them know that there’s more to life and living than traditionally meets the eye.

I want them to never lose touch with their true self and to grow into adults knowing their given talents and having a solid and clear courage and conviction in sharing that talent with the world!

I continue to learn so much daily … About me, Thomas and Lillian, others and simply just living and dancing with life! xoxo

C18 Trip July 8 2016 #1

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

Wonderfully exciting news! We’ve completed the first book trailer for my 10 year old son’s, Thomas Darnell, upcoming book, Biggest Little Photographer. You can learn more and pre-order here.

Latest Articles:

Why I Write

Bench at Vintage Lake February 2016

I feel it is my purpose to openly share my own life experiences with others. I freely explain and share lessons I’ve learned and practices I use that work for me and my family. If needed, I listen with love and compassion and intuitively share thoughts and examples from my own life.

I write about connecting with nature, parenting, mindful livingsimplicitygratitude, and emotions. Plus, I like to write and share poetry too!

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I feel if we practice the following we will heal ourself and the world’s children will continue to have the self-love they are born with, to feel secure, to feel loved, to feel successful, and free to be who they are ……. LOVE.

  • truly love ourself and model that love
  • practice mindfulness in our own realm and lovingly share mindfulness with our kids
  • learn emotional connection and model and teach it to our kids
  • spend time connecting with nature and model this for our kids
  • practice gratitude and model and teach it to our kids

There is something inside of me that won’t let me not write. Something that gently nudges and says, “You’ve just got to share that.”

My instinct, my gut, whatever you want to call it – that’s what I’m talking about. I fought this feeling for a while. I didn’t think I had anything meaningful to contribute and wondered why anyone would care what I thought or had to say.

I feel my journey is supposed to be shared with others to inspire, give hope and to help create a shift. Another reason I feel compelled is to share the message that one’s view of life is what creates the life one experiences.

Writing and sharing snippets through social media is also healing and a way of shedding what no longer serves. When I write I can hardly contain the emotions I feel inside. The emotions are as hot as lava and as sweet as honeysuckle – from the pit of my belly all the way up to my throat. I am, indeed, compelled to share my experiences.

Each time that “little voice” inside me says “What are you doing? Why are you wasting time on this? This will not make you money!”; I begin to get discouraged. Then I receive confirmation from those around me that what I’m doing and the path I have chosen is inspiring and helpful.

Why Does It Matter?

I get feedback from others verbally, through email and facebook that I encourage and motivate them. I feel it is the World saying to me, “You see, this is why you are to share your life.”

I would continue this sharing journey even if I didn’t receive these messages. For, I know it is what I am to supposed to do. This is my unique way of sharing my given talents. When we share, in the way that only we can, we bless humanity.

I no longer question when I get a flash of inspiration or a gut feeling to share something. I have reached complete acceptance and have full faith in this little adventure I’m on with Team TLC.

As long as one person or one family has been positively influenced by my writing and sharing, I have accomplished what I feel I was meant to do. The reason I say this is because I believe it doesn’t end with that one person. It creates a positive ripple effect that spreads like the ripple created from a rock thrown in water … it keeps on keepin on spreading loving-kindness!

My hope is that you connect with, physically feel, and release worry, fear and guilt. Trust your intuition when you are being pulled in a certain direction …. EVEN if you don’t know the why or how …. and begin your own Journey to Acceptance …

I help to support my family with my writings. I share my writings for free for the benefit of others. If you benefited from this writing, would you like to toss a tip in the love offering “bucket”? Oceans of gratitude … xoxo

Blessings,

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

Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

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Go here to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered straight to your inbox! Right here!

Walk With Me – A New Offering

“When we are with Nature, we are awake, and we discover many interesting things and reach many a mark we are not aiming at.” ~John Muir

Vintage Lake Path April 2016

For the past 17 years I have been going for walks. What started out as an activity simply to satisfy my desire to be active; turned into a ritual for healing, releasing, discovering my authentic self, and connecting with nature.

I offer to you unique one of a kind “Walk With Me” sessions. I am a trained coach, however, traditional coaching methods and styles are not my path. My sessions feel more like conversations with a friend, yet are conversations with a purpose. I am to be a mirror. I am to reflect back what I notice that you are not noticing.

If you feel in need of an internal shift, a change in perception, a loving, warm, “mirror” to reflect back what you are not noticing, let’s schedule a “Walk With Me” session.

Is a “Walk With Me” session right for you?

  • Take a few minutes to get to know me by going here and then perhaps reading some of my writings by going here. Do you get a resounding “Yes”?
  • Do you feel you are living life too much from your head and not enough from your heart?
  • Do you feel confused about what you are supposed to be DOing?
  • Do you question what your given talents are and how to express them?
  • Do you hesitate with trusting yourself?
  • Do you feel guilty for taking steps that are in tune with your intuition?
  • Do you feel there are habits, fears, beliefs, ideas, and thoughts that need to be released?
  • Do you wish to allow more of what brings you joy and release all else?
  • Do you want to maintain and sustain mindfulness?
  • Do you want to learn how to use emotional connection to release and shed what no longer serves?
  • Do you want to know how to introduce nature connection, mindfulness, and emotional connection to your kids?

If you answered, “yes”, then let’s go on walkabout! Go here to contact me with any questions.

Each persons session is tailored, therefore no two sessions will look the same. In addition, no two sessions will be alike for those partaking in multiple sessions.

These sessions are not guided hikes by any means. We simply go for a short walkabout in domestic nature with an attitude of open curiosity. We have so many parks and lakes with trails in this wonderful area.

This is about connecting you with nature. It’s about allowing the love and beauty of nature to guide you in healing, shifting, releasing, and discovering what you already know within. It’s also about allowing nature to reflect your beauty back to you.

I guide you in connecting with nature paired with mindfulness and emotional connection to open your awareness. Although our time spent talking before and after the walkabout will have a purpose; our time walking will be slow and seemingly with no purpose.

I also ask that you bring some sort of camera as we may take pictures for you to use in reflecting back to the experience. We also may stop for a few minutes to draw and write.

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”~John Muir

Camilla Jumping Washoe Lake April 2016

(Picture of me at Washoe Lake in Nevada – April 2016 … Wheee!)

“Nature is everywhere – in our backyards, schoolyards, city parks, and farmlands. Indeed, nature is quite literally everything, from stars and galaxies to planet Earth and the stuff in you. Simply being in the presence of natural landscapes tends to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Such experiences lower mental fatigue and boost mental clarity while enhancing both work performance and healing.” ~Scott D. Sampson

Sessions hosted at my location in the South Meadows/Damonte Ranch/Virginia Foothills area of Reno, Nevada are $58 – $118 and last between one to two hours. All other areas of Reno or Sparks are an additional flat $25.

If you don’t have questions and know you’re ready, go here to secure a “Walk With Me” session by placing a $58 deposit. Once received, we will be in contact to obtain further details and schedule your walkabout. Use this Paypal link to secure your session.

“It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such. It is the bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires that dream. I shall never find the wilds of Labrador any greater wildness than in some recess of Concord.” ~Henry David Thoreau

 Damonte Ranch Trail April 2016

Blessings,

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

Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

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Go here to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered straight to your inbox! Right here!

Surrender to the Moment

“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly working for you rather than against you.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Thomas at Lake April 2016

One lesson I continue to get the opportunity to master is that of surrendering to the moment, to life circumstances. When I continue to say “no” to what’s happening and not want to be where I am or experiencing what I’m experiencing, it brings on the stress, the impatience, and un-lovely thoughts.

When I embrace where I am, I feel spaciousness and deep peace. By surrendering I do not mean resigning to the story through which I interpret the situation and the “why is this happening to me”.

I am extremely blessed and grateful to have learned the skills to shift this deep-seated mental habit. Skills such as mindfulness and emotional connection. By no means do I have this perfected, yet it gets easier and easier not to label situations as good or bad.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~Buddha

For anyone who needs this …. I send you much love and encouragement as you find the way to your own deep peace …

Let me know how I can help. There are many mindfulness and emotional connection articles on my blog with specific steps I have used. If you’d like to schedule a “Coffee Chat Connection” or “Walk With Me”, go here. xoxo

Camilla at Damonte Ranch Trail Fall 2015

Blessings,

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

Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

Latest Articles:

Go here to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered straight to your inbox! Right here!

Listen to Your Heart

“Listen to your heart. It knows everything.” ~Paul Coelho

Heart Shaped Leaf

I feel it’s important that we begin to listen to inner nudges, our gut, our heart, instincts, whatever word you use to describe that inner push. There is a reason we are being moved and listening can change our life for the better.

It may not seem that way initially. Yet, listening to our heart shines the light and leads us out of darkness. That infinite and ever present light is shined only after we greet, embrace, and connect with uncomfortable emotions.

I also feel it’s important that we openly talk with and teach our kids about mindfulness and emotions and what to do with them. Letting them know it’s okay to feel these emotions, yet we don’t want to let them soak into us and fester. We want to meet them with love and curiosity. We absolutely don’t want to resist them as they will grow in magnitude and intensity.

Some of us had parents who taught us these things without all the fancy names. Some of us didn’t. And some of us had parents who taught us and we simply forgot! I feel our children already know these things when they are infants and toddlers. When they go out into the world, many of the messages they receive are the opposite of or do not support emotional connection and BEing mindful.

So they begin to leave behind what they know in their heart. Or worded differently, they close it in their heart where it stays, ready to be let loose by those in their life who will share and mentor this way of life for them.

___________________________________________________________________________

What if I’m Selfish?

I had been having the urge to soak in an epsom salt infused tub of warm water for at least 4 days. I finally listened. My body was not moving any further until I did. I felt so heavy and dazed.

After dinner, I got everything ready .. Water running with loads of epsom salt, Himalayan salt votive, palo santo, just the right music wafting in from the living room, door cracked a bit, and darkness.

The minute my feet touched the water, my body exhaled a wave of thanks. I sat in pure bliss for about 30 minutes. It felt as if the weight had lifted and as the water drained so did whatever I had shed. As the water was draining, I instinctively rinsed myself with soothing hot water to ensure getting every bit of it rinsed.

This felt truly miraculous. I felt like a different person when I exited the bathroom. I was calm, focused, and centered …. and, within about 15 minutes …. my 10 year old son, Thomas, became emotionally distraught …

My very first thought was to thank myself for listening to the call to become calm and centered. I was in the exact perfect place to help Thomas through the emotions he was experiencing.

(Note: I have permission from Thomas and Lillian to share this.)

He and his 14 year old sister, Lillian, had been teasing and arguing with one other. He is struggling with harboring jealous emotions towards her. I’m sure this is nothing new with siblings of special needs children. At some point, they are bound to think the scales are tipped in their siblings favor way too much. And that the sibling gets let off the hook too often and receives different (and better) treatment at times.

He wasn’t understanding why Lillian has so many friends and friends of mine who think she is a wonderful, talented person. When behind the scenes, she can be so incredibly nasty to him and me, with the meltdowns she experiences.

For some reason he was feeling like people thought he was selfish and no one wanted to be his friend. He asked, “How come she has friends, with as unkind as she can be and I don’t?”

Without even realizing it, I handed this over to my heart as the words flowed calmly and lovingly from my mouth without the interference of my mind.

We spent an hour talking. I can’t remember all that was said. Here is what I do remember. I have added a bit more to my responses for clarification … as Thomas already knows where I’m coming from …..

Thomas: “What if I feel selfish?”

Me: If you feel you have wronged someone, apologize to them. Then, apologize to yourself. It’s very important that you apologize to yourself also. Do your best not to judge yourself. If you feel judgmental about yourself, accept this. Then, accept the feelings that it brings forth. Physically feel and accept these feelings with love and curiosity and they will eventually fade and so will judgment.

Thomas: What if they don’t accept my apology and tell me off?

Me: You cannot control what others do with kindness, gifts, or words you share with them. It is something of their own to work out if they do not accept.

Thomas: But, that doesn’t make it feel any better. I would still feel sad (or bad) about it.

Me: Yes, and that’s okay. You don’t want to push that away. Feel the sadness. Feel it in your body. Just don’t let it move in and stay. At some point it will lift, as long as you continue to not resist the feeling and continue to feel it in your body.

Thomas: What if I am selfish?

Me: The most important words that will ever come out of your mouth or be in your thoughts are “I AM” and what you choose to follow “I AM” with. For, whatever you add to this statement will be your reality.

Me: This is one reason I make it a point to say and feel, “I am Love,” so often. This is why we have a different word for every day to describe ourselves and our day. “I am awesome, I am incredible, I am extraordinary, I am fabulous.” We already say enough negative, judgmental words to ourself.

Thomas: Why does Lillian continue to have friends and people thinking she’s wonderful with how unkind she can be?

Me: What would you have them do? Throw her out? Throw her to the side? We must know that a person’s behavior is not their true self. Their true self is kindness and love. We see that part of Lillian too. It’s there.

I reminded him of our “Letting it Go” Burning Ceremony a while back and to remember what Lillian wrote on her pieces of paper. She wants to release it. That is the true Lillian.

Me: We do not stop loving someone because they are sharing unkind or rude behavior with us. One thing that I know for certain. Every single human being, every single one of us … wants the same underneath it all.

And this want is universal. We ALL want joy and love. That is our bond. Some of us are simply stuck. Some more so than others. I feel we should help those who are stuck. Help them to find their own way to happiness. The way where they harm no other, yet are true to their own self.

This does not mean that we excuse someone’s unkind behavior or that we continue to be around or with that person if they are completely disconnected from their true self.

Me: As long as you are being your true self, living a heart-centered life, not harming others, and sharing loving kindness in your own unique way; you will have happiness.

We don’t want to concern ourselves with what others think of what we do, say, or have. If they care for and are concerned about us however, we do want to listen with an open heart.

Me: There will be those who consider this selfish. It is not selfish to live a heart-centered life and share your unique and given talents with others. It benefits everyone when each of us chooses to live in this way.

Me: It can be a hard habit to break, letting ourselves become overwhelmed with worry, anxiety and fear of what others think of us. Yet, what they think of us, is their own “stuff” to deal with.

Me: There are really only two emotions. Love and fear. Jealousy stems from fear. Fear that someone else is getting or having more than you. Fear that someone else is having a happier experience than you.

Me: I am sharing all of this with you as a 46 year old woman who still works on releasing these unhealthy thoughts. I have come a long way. I am not perfect. No one is. Yet, I’m a lot better than I used to be!

Me: I don’t remember having any of the adults around me talk to me about these kinds of things. However, I do remember both of my grandmother’s attitudes of not being concerned with what others think. That has always stuck with me and I admired both of them for their attitude.

Me: Although I am grateful to have some of this attitude become a part of me, I am also grateful that I softened it with my own touch. They both grew up in hard times. Mammaw Downs was a sharecropper. She had to leave school in the 2nd grade to help her family as her mom had died.

Me: I still compare myself to others. I still let myself get fearful about what others think about what I do or say. I still judge myself for having not accomplished or achieved what others have in the same amount of time or less time.

Yet, the difference is that now I recognize when I’m doing this. And I use emotional connection, practicing mindfulness, and spirituality to greet and process these emotions.

Thomas: You say judgmental things to me sometimes and tell me I’m doing things wrong.

Me: I know I do. I am not perfect and I need your help. I want you to let me know when I have done this. Most times I try to reflect before I say things to you, yet that doesn’t always happen.

Afterwards we hugged and snuggled … and … moved forward.

Note: I know this can be a confusing topic to discuss with our kids. For that reason, I always give an example from my own experiences to help them understand what I’m talking about.

Blessings,

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

Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

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Getting To The Bottom Of Grumpiness

“Go to Nature’s School – the one true university.” ~John Muir

(Here’s one to share my sense of humor with you. I may not share it much in my writings, yet I attempt to bring humor into every single day. For me, humor is the ointment that soothes the rawness of life …. )

One Sunday not too long ago, I was in a downright grumpy mood. Thomas and Lillian had joined in on the grumpiness. The tension and angst in the air was as thick as mud.

I completely disconnected from being mindful or even attempting to connect with this emotion. I ultimately decided to excuse myself and go for a much needed walk to connect with this grumpiness so as to release it.

A mere few minutes after heading out for the walk, I passed by this rock …

As I walked around the lake, my eyes kept catching glimpses of something – over and over again. It’s like I was going to keep seeing it until I truly noticed and the sight of it brought a smile to my face.

It not only brought a smile to my face; I laughed out loud. And, had to take pictures!

What broke the grip of this grumpiness?

Ducks and Their Bottoms. That’s right. Duck bottoms.

As I passed by ducks in the water, I kept thinking, something doesn’t look right. As I got closer I saw that the ducks had their head under the water. When a duck’s head is under water, their back end pops up. All you see is duck feet and duck bottom bobbing along!

I had noticed this in past walks, yet it didn’t move me like it did this time. Plus, it seemed like every single duck I passed had their head under water with their bottom just bopping along!

The picture is blurry as I had to zoom to get close enough. Yet, I think you get the idea.

By the time I walked in the door, I felt I had mostly shed whatever was causing the grumpiness. I entered with a much more joyful and peaceful heart ready to NOT bite any drama hooks dangled in front of me.

So, let’s get to the bottom of this post. 😉

When you know you’ve dug your heels in, you’ve bit into the grumpy (insert whatever negative emotion here) hook and are not going to let go easily; change your scenery, change the environment.

For me, that’s going for walk and being with nature. Being in nature may not have the same effect on you as it does with me. Find the sweet spot that helps you release the grip on that hook.

This is not to say that we push the negativity away. We still attempt to connect with how it feels so as to release it fully. Yet, sometimes this cannot be done in the moment or in the “space” we are within.

Now. Go find some duck bottoms and see if it doesn’t cause you to laugh … or at least smile … xoxo

This post is dedicated to Mother Nature, her beauty, her love, and her helpers!!

The picture of the stone honoring Mother Nature was taken at Rancho San Rafael Park and The Wilbur May Arboretum. Isn’t it interesting that it was donated and dedicated by someone with the initial “C”? And, it’s perfect for this post!

Blessings,

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

Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

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Dear Meltdown: Meet My Friend Mindfulness

Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I recently received the honor of having one of my articles accepted for publication by Elephant Journal. I was inspired a couple of months ago by blog posts which are letters openly written to others. For example, Dear Person at the Grocery Store, Dear Lady in the Bookstore, Dear Stressed Out Mom, and the like.

Upon seeing these I knew I was to write something like this. At that same time, I also knew I wanted to share something meaningful about the meltdowns that Lillian is experiencing. The next thing I knew, I was writing a letter to her meltdown. I was pouring my heart out to that meltdown. This is the result and this is what Elephant Journal published …

Meltdown (per Merriam-Webster) – an accident in which the core of a nuclear reactor melts and releases radiation, a very fast collapse or failure, a very fast loss of emotional self-control. (emphasis mine)

Mindfulness – (per Merriam-Webster) – the quality or state of being mindful, the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also such a state of awareness.

Letter written to the meltdowns that my 14 year old special needs daughter experiences:

Dear Meltdowns, Welcome and Meet My Friend Mindfulness

Sometimes I’m able to sense when you’re lurking in the shadows. Sometimes I’m not. And you sneak up like a cat stalking its prey.

You penetrate the peace of an otherwise tranquil day like an earthquake suddenly rocking and rolling in the middle of a quiet night’s sleep. You are the complete opposite of fun and joy.

You are loud, aggressive, physically harmful, and verbally malicious. You lack compassion, empathy, and kindness. You take all actions and words personally.

What I want you to know is that I welcome you. Not like I’d welcome my best friend coming over for coffee and chatting. I welcome you like one later appreciates a grumpy relative during the holidays knowing that being around this person can help us to learn more about our own triggers.

You are helping us to know what emotions and situations Lillian has resistance to fully experiencing. You are the red flag that goes up as a warning that THIS is where she feels vulnerable.

So, I welcome you. I meet you with love.

When I am in a peaceful, mindful state, going with the flow of life, I handle you just as easily as a leaf floating in the wind. I choose not to accept your meltdown hook.

When I’m resisting life, choosing grumpiness, and having an off day, I accept the hook you’ve thrown out and jump right in with both feet. These are the times I learn more about myself.

Either way, one thing I know for sure is that you are not the true Lillian. The true Lillian is there, and you are simply acting as a buffer so she doesn’t have to experience the rawness of life. It is my hope that as I meet you with kindness and compassion, you see that it’s okay to move aside.

Lillian can handle the unexpected, the discomfort of not getting her desires, and the “letting go” of learning to be flexible. It’s okay to release your grip.

I will continue to meet you with a calm voice and compassion as often as possible, until the day you realize it’s okay to become dormant, slip into an eternal sleep, and allow a miracle – the miracle of Lillian fully experiencing emotions and going with the flow of life.

Love,
Camilla (Mom to Lillian)

Lillian has a rare genetic condition called 18p-. This means that she is missing the short arm of chromosome number 18 and it affects about 1 in 50,000. The main way this manifests for her is that she is speech impaired, and has balance and motor skill issues. Also, for the past year and a half she has struggled with experiencing anxiety and difficult emotions.

**LOVE OFFERING** If you find this content helpful, I invite you to toss a tip in the love offering bowl. With oceans of gratitude … Camilla ….

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

Situations that can cause Lillian to meltdown:

  • Events not unfolding as anticipated
  • Schedules being adjusted
  • Communication difficulties
  • Being reprimanded
  • Teasing from her sibling

In July 2015, Lillian had the worst explosive meltdown we’ve ever experienced. We made a quick stop at the grocery store to get a few items.

As I paid for our items, Lillian caught up with me, and once I was finished, I could sense her energy shift. Apparently, there was a miscommunication between us about looking at more gluten free desserts.

This quickly led to a volcanic explosion for Lillian. Fortunately, I was close to the exit doors, so I made my way out and headed to the car with Lillian melting down behind me. I quickly got into the car and invited Lillian to do the same if she was going with me. She was not open to doing any of the mindfulness techniques we’ve been learning.

I decided to start making our way home even though she had not calmed down – not the best choice in that moment. She was scratching, pinching, and pulling my hair from behind.

I pulled the car over, turned to Lillian and screamed some ridiculously outrageous comments. I quickly realized I must get out of the car. We needed space between us as I was bleeding and in a great deal of pain from the scratches and she was a big hot mess.

Once out, I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and asked to see the situation differently. Upon opening my eyes, I saw, shining up at me from the rock and dirt filled ground, a beautiful red jewel heart. There was my answer, a reminder to always respond with love.

At this point, Lillian was ready to do a calming, mindful technique and I requested that she do it on her own. She got out of the car, chose to pick up a couple of rocks and studied them. After a few minutes we got back into the car and drove home.

We’ve not had anything of that magnitude happen since and I am hopeful this was simply “one step backward” before more steps forward. When this happens, one of us must be fully present and mindful or things can escalate.

Lillian has been seeing a psychotherapist since April 2015. We are working on cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness training. Additionally, I work with her on physically feeling the emotions within her body.

She has made great progress. It’s slow going, yet I feel we are closer to the ultimate goal.
The miracle of Lillian truly experiencing negative emotions and the rawness of life without the buffer of a meltdown.

At some time or another it’s possible we’ve all experienced our own version of a meltdown. Mindfulness is a miraculous practice to bring into one’s life. Once we become practitioners of mindfulness, more often than not, we are able to remain calm and peaceful when we or our children experience the rawness of life.

With mindfulness we are able to tune into our body and notice the beginning signs of a meltdown; clenched jaw, increased heart rate, tight shoulders or neck, stomach pain.

At this point we can say or think to ourselves, “There is anger inside of me.” This is the opposite of thinking or saying, “I am angry.” These two statements have completely different meanings and will take one down different paths.

Once we acknowledge there is anger (or any other uncomfortable emotion) within us, we can then put our focus on how this physically feels in the body. Is it tight, rolling, moving from place to place?

Let’s be real here. This is absolutely not fun and can be extremely uncomfortable. Yet, if we stick with this practice, it will become more of a habit and eventually the uncomfortable emotion will release.

If we wish to help our children, special needs or not, in this area, we must first practice this for ourselves and model this to them. Why would they meet a meltdown in this way if they never see us do this?

Examples of mindfulness techniques used with Lillian and her sibling, Thomas:

  • Focusing attention on a favorite rock, gemstone, or crystal. Concentrating on how it feels, looks, smells, and sounds.
  • Breathe work. At times with no phrase and at times with different variations of phrases.
  • Focus on in and out breath.
  • Breathing in, I am calm. Breathing out, I am peaceful.
  • I am in control. I can handle this situation.
  • Guided 5 minute mindful exercises.
  • Relaxing each area of the body.
  • Focusing on different areas of the body.
  • Walks in nature to include focus on flowers, trees, birds, ducks, etc.
  • Thinking or saying a peace mantra, Om Shanti Om.
  • Taking turns describing in detail another family member (remembering to use non-judgmental words) and similar family exercises.

These techniques were learned by me during the past 18 years of reading, studying, and practicing the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Lao Tzu, Pema Chodron, Raphael Cushnir, and The Dalai Lama.

In between monitoring the debut of the article yesterday, there was a meltdown. Lately they are brought on by disagreements with her sibling .. Thomas. So, as I sat sharing, responding, and getting the word out; my hands were stinging with fresh scratches.

I have faith that with the mindfulness exercises we practice, discussions of recognizing emotions, and time spent in nature; eventually Lillian will succeed in going with the flow and simply letting things go ..

I must share with you that when I received the email from elephant journal Sunday night, I panicked. A wave of anxiety and fear swept over me and I felt as if I was drowning in sadness. Thoughts of what others would think of these words straight from my heart weighed heavy on me.

I went to bed Sunday night connecting with these feelings, focusing on how they physically felt in my body. The feeling had subsided some by the time I got up the next morning. After an hour of meditation and a solo walk in the fresh snow, it had completely lifted and I was free to allow and receive joy. I felt it was important to share this with you.

Would you like to help spread the word? Here are ways you can help:

  • Have me speak to your group about mindfulness and emotional connection
  • View the article on Elephant Journal’s website
  • Leave a comment on their website by scrolling to the bottom of the article
  • Share the article using the share buttons near the bottom of the article (feel free to tag me if you share on facebook)
  • Blog about the article on your own blog (like Tania Marie did on her blog)
  • Leave a comment here
  • Share this article using the share buttons
  • email the article to others
  • Share with parenting groups, including special needs parenting groups

Blessings,

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

Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

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What is Emotional Connection

“Let the power of your emotions open you up … Take your seat in the middle of your home ground and rouse your confidence – your innate capacity to open to your experience.” – Pema Chodron’s “Living Beautifully

The precursor to defining emotional connection is to reach acceptance that negative emotions and discomfort are a part of us. Then, begin the practice of not running from the uncomfortable emotions, or squashing them with positivity, or feeling a failure for having them.

Emotional connection is:

  • Bring your attention to the physical feeling the negative emotion creates within the body
  • Release thoughts analyzing the feeling
  • Release thoughts of why you feel this way
  • Release the “story” connected with the feeling
  • What does it feel like? Tight, knotted, poking, sharp, heavy, etc.
  • Welcome the feeling with a sense of curiosity
  • Follow it with your attention if the feeling moves
  • Let go of thoughts when they arise
  • Flow with the feeling as it shifts and changes
  • If possible, enter emotional connection with complete and total empathy and compassion for yourself

Eventually it will decrease in intensity or release all together. It may take several sessions of doing this exercise for the negative emotion to fully release.

I was first introduced to this concept when I read Raphael Cushnir’s book, “The One Thing Holding You Back(amazon affiliate link). Cushnir has a great overview of emotional connection on his website. Go here to learn more. And if he sees this … Thank you Raphael Cushnir! I send you oceans of gratitude and blessings for writing this book. Learning about this was one of the key catalysts for a major shift in my life.

About the same time or shortly after reading Cushnir’s book, I read Pema Chodron’s, “When Things Fall Apart(amazon affiliate link). Although, Chodron does not use the term emotional connection, I found that this content reinforced and expanded the idea of emotional connection.

Then I re-read Marianne Williamson’s, “A Return to Love(amazon affiliate link), which further expanded this idea without using the phrase “emotional connection”. It is my belief that these books alined in synchronicity to ensure that I GOT it and that I practiced what I was reading about. Which I did. And it created a major positive shift for me.

Also, I recently read to Lillian and Thomas an amazing children’s book about feelings. Perfect for kids with a useful parent section too! “Visiting Feelings(amazon affiliate link): “If you listen to what your body can say, you’ll find that your feelings are really okay. With a bit of attention, a little more care, they might even tell you why they are there. Some feelings are tough, and some are more fun …. So whenever a feeling comes by to play, welcome it in, and let it stay for as long as it likes, …. Treat your feelings like friends, talking to you.”

Here’s a personal example:

One morning I found myself getting more and more irritated between running behind, Thomas‘ teasing of Lillian and general mouthiness, Lillian’s non-stop complaining of aches and pains, and their arguing. By the time we left the house I was yelling at them.

After I got Lillian to physical therapy, I sat down in the car, checked email and had just received an e-card from a friend. It was the “snap” I needed to remind myself to connect with this irritation. I closed my eyes and focused on the physical sensations.

My teeth were clenched, my jaws tight, neck and shoulders were tight. As I focused on those, they gently released and I felt two pangs of pain in my heart. I placed my attention on that and it released as well. Then it jumped back into my jaws and neck. I focused in that area once again and it released. I exhaled a big sigh and fully relaxed.

This took about 5 – 10 minutes. Sometimes it’s quicker. Sometimes longer. And sometimes it takes several sessions. It has been an interesting journey breaking the habit of wanting to analyze the emotion instead of feeling it. I’m extremely grateful and blessed to have learned this technique.

In times like this, I also ask to see things differently and ask for signs or clues to help me do this. I always receive exactly what was needed. If we don’t ask, how will we receive? I received the e-card, an email with the title, “Flying Off the Handle”, and the section of the book I was reading spoke to this. I sent a “Thank you for thanking me” message to the sender of the e-card. She sent back a reply with another perfect message.

For you, that this post speaks to, I’m sending oceans of love, hugs, and support.

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

Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

Latest “Mindful Living” Articles:

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