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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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.

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I Help You Love Your Self

“The meaningful question is never what we did yesterday, but what we have learned from it and are doing today ….. No one can help with anything like someone who has been through the pain themselves.” – A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Why do I write on this blog?

I feel it is my purpose to help others by openly sharing my own life experiences. Specifically, how to heal oneself and how we relate to the children of the world and the effects of this relation from an adult perspective.

I know if I am urged to write something, what I share will help others either not go through the un-lovely experiences I’ve had or will help others through un-lovely experiences. I write about mindful living, simplicity, gratitude, and emotions. Additional topics are self-love, emotional connection, compassion, self-awareness, loving-kindness, self-actualization, special needs parenting, living in a tiny home, and resiliency. I also share book and movie musings, nature photography, and recipes.

So many children have an early and teenage life full of emotional neglect and harsh self-talk. I know. Because I was one of those children. I’m not speaking of purposeful emotional neglect. I’m speaking of not being taught what to do with my feelings and having those around me not know what to do with their own feelings.

My parents loved me. I was fed, clothed, and pretty much got my heart’s desire. Yet, I morphed into a people pleaser, and bearer of negative thoughts to myself.

I was not taught to love myself or to value who or what I am. Emotions and living in the present moment were never discussed. There was a great deal of arguing amongst the adults in my life …. sometimes violent arguing. I never wanted to upset others and only wanted those around me to be happy. I walked around anxious that I say the right thing, in the right way so that others liked me.

I’m absolutely not saying that my parents were wrong. I dearly love them and I know they were doing the best they knew how to do. For whatever reason, I was the way I was.

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

My mind was constantly analyzing things and processing according to how I was viewed in the eyes of others. In some instances, I did not speak up for fear of drawing negative attention to myself or how it would make others feel. And in other instances I hooked into the drama of the situation, big time! As I became an adult my response to life was a mixture of both of these. I didn’t let my unique essence shine through.

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
  • practice gratitude and model and teach it to our kids

It’s not in my nature to tell people they are doing something right or wrong, or to teach them how they should or shouldn’t be doing something. Nor, do I dish out tough love. That has never been in sync with my heart. If it works for you, then wonderful!!

What do I “do”?

Short Version: I help you love your SELF and be at PEACE ….. and that spreads to your family, friends, neighbors, and all beings.

I am to let my life be an example. One for which others can apply what is in sync with their heart and simply ignore what’s not in sync. I share through this blog, facebook, my first book, “D iz for Different”, and speaking to groups.

Topics discussed when speaking are:

  • mindfulness
  • self-love
  • gratitude
  • emotional connection
  • compassion
  • self-awareness
  • loving-kindness
  • self-actualization
  • resiliency
  • special needs parenting
  • how to decrease stress and worry
  • how to notice when you get “hooked” by drama
  • how to increase self-confidence

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 do not claim to know the One Way, or One Size fits all approach to living a joyful, peaceful life. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I am to work with and help those whose heart urges them to connect with me and to learn more. I am to hold a nurturing space for those who feel moved by what I share so they can discover what it means to love oneself and to awaken who they truly are within …… magnificence and LOVE.

Please go here if you are interested in having me speak at your event or gathering.

“Until we understand what is within, we can’t understand what is without.” – Anita Moorjani

Emotions: Feel It

Ever had haunting thoughts that you missed something; that you had all these clues and didn’t put them together? Those thoughts that sweep over you and wrap around you like a dark storm cloud? I share this for anyone who needs it.

These words are like landmarks on a map. Landmarks that lead to a deep peace. The words are doing their work if they bring peace to anyone whose eyes and heart they touch.

Recently I had thoughts that I let something slip through the cracks back in 2006 concerning my daughter*, Lillian. In the midst of some huge life changes** I simply “forgot” something. As I began researching, a heavy feeling came over me. Heavy, dark, and sad, with the feeling I had done something wrong.

Thomas, my son, and Lillian could both sense something was wrong so I went to my room to change clothes. While there I burst into tears and cried with thoughts of how with this one piece of the Lillian puzzle I was right back where I was in 2006. I began to feel guilty and then like a victim and then angry ….. And …..

Then I chose to connect with these feelings. I breathed them in. I didn’t think about why I felt this way. I focused on the way it felt in my body. Heavy and tight. Within minutes the feeling lifted and I was in a peaceful, quiet state.

I realized that for whatever reason, the timing was not right for this path in 2006. I chose not to dwell on why or what if questions. This is now and that doesn’t exist any longer. Something that I would have let carry on for days or weeks in the past (or buried and ignored) was now learned from, felt and processed in half an hour.

Now, I embrace all emotions. They are me. They are us. My thoughts had changed. My perception had changed. I saw it differently. I had just experienced a miracle.

May you let yourself feel what you need to feel, connect with it and have your own miracle today! If you need guidance let me know. So much love to y’all!

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

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*Lillian is 13 years old and has a chromosome abnormality called 18p-; which means that she is missing a part of the short arm of chromosome #18. Learn more here.

**I separated from my husband in December 2006 and we were divorced in 2007.

You can learn more about this and my journey up through 2010 in the book, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance.”

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