Poetry: The Dance of Lillian – Happy 16th Birthday

Team TLC Sunset Walk Damonte Ranch Trail 6.18.17 #15

I’m a month late posting this, yet I promised Lillian that I would write a post dedicated to her …. xoxo

The Dance of Lillian

She came into this world
with her own agenda.
She came missing the short
arm of chromosome number 18.

Never mind what they
thought about how
they would parent her.

They would quickly
learn no parenting
manual existed for
the lessons she was
to bring with her
through this incarnation.

She delivered the
gift of shattered
expectations early
in her Earth life
as Lillian.

She had chosen
as a mom someone
who had many uncomfortable
lessons to learn.

Patience was to
be another of the
lessons she brought
with the tiny little
body she inhabited.

She was not done yet.
The next gift delivered
flowed into their
lives as a pure
cold stream runs
through the land.

That message.
Acceptance.

Acceptance of what life
had delivered and would
deliver.

This little bundle
that grew into a bright
shining light had
many lessons bundled within.

The next was to be
release of judgments.
Oh. That one stung
worse than an unwanted
bee sting on a warm
sunny day. A sting
that lingered for
years, resurfacing
at just the right moment.

This little bundle
who could be anything
but a bundle of joy.
A bundle of anger,
anxiety, violence, and
all kinds of negativity.

With this bundle
came the lesson of
living in the present
moments of life.
Being mindful and
learning the art
of mindfulness.

Responding to this one
from the present moments
of life instead of hurts
from the past. Oh. This
was one of the hardest
lessons yet.

This had nothing to do
with this little bundle,
now a blossoming teen.
As she may have come
into this world in all
her nakedness.

Yet, she contained in
the fibers of her very
being, a Divinely pure
mirror that served to reflect
to the one called Mom
the lesson that it
was she who needed
to go within, to
confront her past,
to feel what she had
not wanted to feel,
And release it.

This would be the Mom’s
lesson of learning how to
live in the present moments
of life and to embrace the
art of mindfulness.

Four pounds and five
ounces of life changing,
life altering, life correcting
joy arrived on the evening
of September 14 2001.

Gratitude does not
even begin to describe
what the Mom feels about
the tiny bundle and she
deciding to have these
roles in this life.

The blossoming teen
was the catalyst
to teaching the mom that
she had it all wrong.
She and all children
are our awakeners.
They are not to
be pushed to the side,
put in the corner,
talked down to,
treated harshly,
abused, controlled,
barked at with commands
and “because I said so”
ridiculousness.

They are to be
respected and
treated as equals.
They may inhabit tiny
little bodies when they
first arrive.

Yet, the souls within
these tiny precious bodies
have much to teach us.
She came in missing
the short arm of her
chromosome number 18.

The lesson that encompasses
all of the other lessons
she brought forth.

Different.

She taught the mom
that she was going to be
the one who lives life
differently.

Mom learned how to live
life from the heart,
trusting the whisperings
of the heart.

She, who now enters
her sixteenth orbit
around the sun in this
Lillian body.

Happy, Happy Birthday
YOU beautiful being.
Thank you for blessing me
and being my awakener.

I Love You,
Camilla
Your Earth Mom

*******************************************

In addition to this, I thought it would be fun to link to her birthday posts over on the Team TLC blog and past birthday posts!

Happy 16th Birthday to Lillian Plus Camilla and Lillian September 2017 Date Day

She Spread Her Wings …. And Flew – Happy 15th Birthday Lillian

Happy 14th Birthday Lillian

Happy Birthday Lillian … Camilla

Blessings,

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

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

Latest Articles:

 

World Poetry Day 2017 – Wadsworth and Dickinson and Millay and cummings

In honor of World Poetry Day, I’m sharing some of my favorite poems. Beginning with a Renga poem that Team TLC wrote together in September 2015. We wrote the poem in TLC order.

Renga is a genre of Japanese collaborative poetry. Poets work in pairs or small groups, taking turns composing alternating three-line and two-line stanzas. To create a renga, one poet writes the first stanza, which is three lines long. The next poet add the second stanza of two lines.

You Are Here in Sand 2.13.13

Love is Magical

Cows are loud and can moo
sometimes they say,
I love you!

Cows have milk,
and cows eat grass.

You are surrounded by love
every breath you take is love
You are love

Guinea pigs wheek and guinea pigs meek,
lovey dovey guinea piggy moo!

Love is the butterfly
gracefully it flies
magical is it’s color

Love is magical
the alchemy of peace.

Airplanes flying
through the air
fun galare!

How beautiful the bird flies,
as the wind.

Love is the tree
Love is the flower
Love is the silence.

Flowers blossom
pollen falls.

Rainbow is the sky
Rainbow is the water
Rainbow is the colors of the earth.

Nature is love
Nature knows how to be.

Team tlc
always kind
always thinking.

Kindness is always there
Kindness is like friendship

A wise man
is kind to the kind
and kind to the unkind

A wise man
under a tree

Blue bird flies to Alaska
Red bird flies to Hawaii
White bird flies to Australia

The magical hummingbird
arrives on a warm summer day

Sushi
best food ever
try some

Pineapple
Most delicious food ever

Mindful eating
Mindful living
The way of peace and happiness

Eating is fun
and yummy

Apple trees grow with sunshine
Butterflies grow with food
Cake gets eaten fast or slow.

Beings, trees, and insects
We are all one love.

********************

Little Kindness

by William Wadsworth

Small service is true service while it lasts,

Of humblest friends, bright creature, scorn not one;

The daisy by the shadow which it casts

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun.

*******************************

Nature is What We See
by Emily Dickinson

“Nature is what we see –
The Hill – the Afternoon-
Squirrel-Eclipse-the Bumble bee-
Nay-Nature is Heaven-
Nature is what we hear-
The Bobolink-the Sea-
Thunder-The Cricket-
Nay-Nature is Harmony-
Nature is what we know-
Yet have no art to say-
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

*************************

Afternoon on a Hill
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

**********************

love is a place
by e.e. cummings

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds.

**********************

There are many more poets and poems I really love!! Yet, this post would have gone on way too long!!

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:

Movie Musings: Parents and Fireflies and Writers

**THROWBACK MOVIE NIGHT – 2012**

The Parent Trap Movie 2012

My choice: The Parent Trap – Loved by all of us – lots of laughter!

To see ALL of Team TLC Movie Suggestions go here to The Team TLC Book and Movie Guide.

Grave of the Fireflies Movie 1.15.17

Thomas’ choice: “Grave of the Fireflies”

Thomas says, “Not what I was expecting. It was sad.”

Lillian says, “Sad, yet had good parts and interesting songs.”

I say, “Quite emotional. A young boy trying his best to care for he and his younger sister. Causes one to think of and know what’s truly important in this life.”

Finding Forrester Movie 2017

Camilla’s choice – “Finding Forrester”

I say, “I love this story. ‘The first key to writing is just to write! Write from the heart. Review with the head.’ I love this story! Oh. Did I say, I love this story. I could have done with a lot less inappropriate language, yet, I understand it was representative of the characters.”

Thomas says, “Good movie. I liked it a lot. Funny in some parts, suspenseful, liked the characters. Really liked that Forrester wears his socks inside out due to the seams on the inside. I agree and wear my socks inside out. The people who make socks make them wrong.”

Lillian says, “Good, awesome, and my favorite part was near the end. I liked 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:

*Finding Forrester Movie Review, *Grave of the Fireflies Movie Review

Book Musings: Love and Rice and a Snail

a-course-of-love-book-2016

A Course of Love

This is my third time “reading” this book. It takes a LONG time as I only read a section or two every day …. in order to BE with what I’m reading.

Sort of a continuation of “The Course in Miracles” … The contents of this book are simply LOVE, JOY, and FREEDOM.

I would describe it as a guide book for the internal journey of coming to know oneself, freeing oneself from false walls one has built, and finally sharing the gifts and treasures within oneself with humanity …. with joy, peace, and love.

one-grain-of-rice-book-2016

One Grain of Rice

A mathematical folk tale about wisdom and fairness. A village girl in India teaches a raja what it truly means to be wise and fair. Reading this we learnt the surprising power of doubling one grain of rice every day for thirty days …. growing into more than one billion grains of rice.

We all LOVE books by DEMI. The illustrations are simply unmatched with content that’s bursting with wisdom!

legend-of-the-golden-snail-book-2016

The Legend of the Golden Snail

Amazing book about a young boy who travels to the Ends of the Earth ready to conquer! Along the way he discovers that what actually lies in his heart is kindness and compassion, rather than conquering, and he spreads it all along the way.

Absolutely LOVED this book! The illustrations are vibrant and captivating. Thomas and Lillian were glued to it right along with me!

I help to support my family with my writings. So … there are Amazon affiliate links in this post. This simply means that if you click through to Amazon for more information about a book, and you buy something, we get a few cents (and it doesn’t cost you anything more than usual). Oceans of gratitude … xoxo

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 Course of Love Book Review, One Grain of Rice Book Review, The Legend of the Golden Snail Book Review

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:

How to Celebrate an Eleventh Birthday

A wee bit late posting this ….. November 13 2016:

damonte-ranch-walk-9-13-16-6

 

“We’re the weirdest people I know.” ~Thomas Darnell (11.8.16) …. To which we both burst out laughing and let even more weirdness ensue. It’s true. I’m not your average person, nor the average mom. But, that’s another story for another time …. This one’s for Thomas ….

Happy Happy Happy 11th Birthday Thomas!!!!

Here’s to you! As you begin your 11th trip around the sun, may you live your life to the fullest. You have blessed me with countless gifts from the moment you joined us.

Your tender heart combined with your honesty, compassion, and empathy are indeed precious. Rounded out with your true confusion as to why age seems to be such a big deal in this world, by way if its limitations; have made for interesting, fun, and life shifting adventures and conversations. Your soul knows no age and you have not forgotten that.

“It’s like I’ve lived this life before, I have nostalgia almost every day, like I’ve experienced this all before.” said often by Thomas.

He wanted cheesecake for his cake. So that’s what I made for him with shaved dark chocolate on top. Oh my YUM!!!

He so loves and enjoys reading National Geographic so I got him a subscription for the print edition. Lillian made a handmade card and then a “mystery box” (which he renamed a “memory box”).

With help from me she collected items from around the house to put in the box and then she handmade a coupon for one stone or crystal from Stone Age with some of her own quotes on the back. Other goodies from The Romano Duo!!

Snapshot of Thomas: Some of his favorite topics are minecraft, LEGOS, coding, math, and learning about topics that interest him. He loves fibonacci numbers, bernoulli’s equation, and the law of infinite probability. Some of his most cherished things to do are reading, being outside, going on adventures, and swimming.

And as of about two weeks ago, has a PUBLISHED BOOK!!! Wahoooo!!!

He asks a billion questions, makes funny noises, teases his sister too much, has sensory processing issues, gets overwhelmed in crowds and noisy places, takes longer than the average person to process questions asked of him ….

He calls me out when I’m not “doing” as I say, he holds the biggest freakin mirror in front of me when I need it most, and he has a heart of gold.

Thomas, I love you throughout all of time and all dimensions and am blessed we chose to be mother and son in this life.

PEACE and LOVE …. PEACE and LOVE …. PEACE and LOVE ….

thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-1 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-2 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-3 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-4 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-5 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-6 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-7 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-8 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-9 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-10 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-11 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-12 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-13 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-14

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November 14 2016:

Birthday treat for the 11 year old this morning.

The most amazing vegan root beer float with coconut bliss ice cream and Oogave root beer. Plus a treat for me: Aztec D’oro, made with almond milk.

But first, a toast to Thomas’ 11th trip around the sun with this amazing and yummy water.

Thank you Great Full Gardens for the birthday discount … we are over the super moon thankful to you for that!!!

thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-1 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-2 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-3 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-4 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-5

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! Thomas, my 11 year old son’s book, Biggest Little Photographer, is now published. It’s here. Be inspired! Order one for yourself or as an inspirational gift! 

Latest Articles:

Movie Musings: Souls and Reason and Grace

dean-spanley-movie-november-2016

My choice – “Dean Spanley”

I say, “Wonderful. Reconciliation of a father and son by way of conversations of migrations of souls. A journey of a father who finds his heart again. Peter O’Toole is fabulous in this movie! Loved it!”

Lillian says, “Good, my favorite part was the dog scene, and liked the plot.”

Thomas says, “I didn’t understand some of it, my favorite part was the ending, I like how few actors were in it, and I liked the original plot.”
(We talked about it afterwards and watched the interviews with producers and actors ….. and now Thomas understands.)

To see ALL of Team TLC Movie Suggestions go here to The Team TLC Book and Movie Guide.

its-a-wonderful-life-movie-november-2016

Extra Team TLC movie night last night – My Choice: “It’s a Wonderful Life” ….

I say, “Absolutely adore this movie. It was Frank Capra’s favorite out of all he directed. One mans life touches the life of so many others. No man is born a failure. You are here for a reason.”

Lillian says, “Good, Christmasy, great, inspiring, heart warming, and my favorite parts are the dance in the gym and the end.”

Thomas says, “It was good. I like it every time we watch it. Inspiring and heart warming.”

grace-kelly-movie-november-2016

Lillian’s choice: “Grace Kelly”

Lillian says, “Good, musical, awesome, favorite part was the end, and Cheryl Ladd is beautiful as Grace Kelly.”

I say, “Really interesting to learn more about Grace Kelly. I very much enjoyed watching this with Thomas and Lillian.”

Thomas says, “Liked the flow of the movie, liked the story, and it was interesting.”

I help to support my family with my writings. So … there are Amazon affiliate links in this post. This simply means that if you click through to Amazon for more information about a book, and you buy something, we get a few cents (and it doesn’t cost you anything more than usual). Oceans of gratitude … xoxo

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son’s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Get one for yourself or as a gift and be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

*Dean Spanley Movie Review, It’s a Wonderful Life Movie Review, Grace Kelly Movie Review

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:

Book Musings: The World and a Cat and Lao Tzu

The World We Have Book

The World We Have

“Every step we make has the power to heal and transform. Not only can we heal ourselves by our steps, but we can help heal the Earth and the environment.

You transmit your love of beauty and nature to your children and to their children, in the way you walk, sit, look, and listen, even in the way you eat.”

I love every book I’ve read by Thich Nhat Hahn!!
I read this first and then read it to Thomas and Lillian over the course of two or three weeks. xoxo

The Cat Who Went to Heaven Book 2016

The Cat Who Went to Heaven

We so loved and enjoyed this beautiful book! Fable of a cat who changes the life of a poor Japanese artist …… a special Buddhist miracle.

Just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. We were all glued to it!

Legend of Lao Tzu Book 2015

The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching

I love books by Demi! The illustrations are so beautiful and we just love reading them. Thomas wanted me to read this one again. I so enjoy having Thomas and Lillian sit beside me and reading them a book ….. and I know they enjoy it too. xoxo

I help to support my family with my writings. So … there are Amazon affiliate links in this post. This simply means that if you click through to Amazon for more information about a book, and you buy something, we get a few cents (and it doesn’t cost you anything more than usual). 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.

Latest “Book and Movie Musings”:

The Power and Magic of Connected Parenting

Thomas and Camilla Date Day April 2016

This is a long post. So, I’m going to give you the take-away points right now:

Take Away Points:

  • Examine and question the way it’s always been done. Ask yourself, “Is that true? Do we have to do it that way?”
  • It’s okay to question others who have direct control over your child’s education or therapies
  • Observe and facilitate discovery for your child’s interest
  • Differences play a role in our given talent
  • Pay attention to your intuition
  • Trust and have faith in your feelings and ideas
  • “Teach” your child by modeling your beliefs and living your passions
  • It’s okay to do it differently
  • Have meaningful discussions with your child and ask for her input
  • Release guilt and self-judgment for not “doing” life like others
  • Share your passions with your child
  • Become a learner and discoverer with your child
  • Be inspired as your child shines as his unique self

(I originally wrote a version of “I Have a Dream” on the Different iz Good website in 2010. I was called to combine this with two other blog posts from 2011 into a new post with updated information. The updated information is in italicsThere is a bit of repetition. I wanted to leave the original articles mostly in tact and this is the reason for the repetition.)

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. These are simply my thoughts to share for those with whom it resonates. xoxo

I Have a Dream

“Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Goethe

I have a dream of a world where people like my daughter Lillian Darnell, who have intellectual disabilities, genetic differences, chromosome abnormalities, are not pigeonholed into jobs that don’t reveal and let shine their uniqueness. Jobs that do not give them the opportunity to share their unique and different view of the world.

I have a dream of a world where those closest to these magnificent people and those who are entrusted to educate them shift their perception. A world in which we become aware of not what they can’t do or what they are doing wrong or different. A world where educators don’t attempt to make them fit into a cookie cutter system that is so archaic even “typical” kids don’t fit in.

**Update: As an example of the above, during an IEP meeting when Lillian was in the 2nd or 3rd grade, I was told of their concern that Lillian was still not drawing proportionate stick people. The first thoughts that ran through my mind were, “Are you kidding me? Why on earth would we be focused on changing something that is unique about her?” I explained to them that this was something unique about Lillian and very well may be part of the gift she is to share with others.” I told them they could stop being concerned about that. 

Can you imagine what educators would have said to Picasso’s parents? “We are deeply concerned about the way he draws people? We cannot get him to draw proportionate stick people.” Please don’t misunderstand. I know these therapists and educators had Lillian’s best interest in their hearts. My perspective is simply different than their perspective.

**Update: A world where we question the way it’s supposed to be done as that’s the way it’s always been done. A world where we examine our own thoughts, ideas, and beliefs and ask, “Is that true? Does it have to be done that way”? A world where we let ourselves become learners and discoverers right along side our children.**

A world where we open our eyes and discover what they can do, what they are good at doing, and what they like to do. A world where we notice what excites them, what fuels their passions. A world where we take the initiative to mentor them to cultivate this, shape and mold it into a way for them to earn a living for themselves.

Whether that be working for someone else or . . . being an entrepreneur. A world in which we, and they, don’t feel guilty or wrong about using differences to their advantage in life. Our differences most likely play a role in our given talents.

**Update: I have since expanded this dream to include all children and people like my son, Thomas Darnell, who are high functioning, extremely bright, have a deep thirst for knowing “why” and are not okay with “because I said so” as an explanation, who are empathic, and greatly sensitive to the energies of others.**

“Each of us has a Different gift that lies within us. Some amongst us just need a little extra help in uncovering that gift so that we can share it for the benefit of the world. ” Camilla

Lillian and Camilla Walk 5.26.16 #4

(The following was written in 2011 as the last chapter in the “D iz for Different” book)

Z is for Zig Zag

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. That worked for us through fourth grade, but it doesn’t work now. **Update** – Lillian is now in tenth grade by traditional school standards.

I simply believe with all my being that this young 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 lack of faith. As these messages spring from our heart, we find that we have invited judgments of our own and others into our mind telling us we are crazy for thinking that way.

**Update: I also believe Thomas will not follow any conventional route in his education and life. In fact, we don’t follow a conventional route as a family. I single parent Thomas and Lillian and have for the past 9 years. We haven’t owned a television since 2008.

We live in an 800 square foot, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo. I haven’t used a microwave in 3 years. I hand wash our dishes. I value good quality food over the newest or designer clothing, shoes, cars, furniture, jewelry, or electronics; and I share that value with Thomas and Lillian. We go for many, many walks together. We talk about food, the differences in quality of food, and the ingredients in our food.

We read a lot. I thoughtfully choose the books we read aloud together and they choose their own books. We also have a movie night once per week using a projector and a Macbook Pro. These are also thoughtfully chosen and we have started taking turns choosing a movie from the selection I check out from the library. I share the books and movies as a reference for others in the Book and Movie Musings section.

Since Thomas was 1 year old we have been going to the library every 2 or 3 weeks. We live as a team rather than a dictatorship. Mostly, I am the team leader, yet I give them many opportunities to lead. We have letting go burning ceremonies every quarter. We continually talk about why we are here, what are our goals, how are we doing personally and as a family, we make gratitude lists, create yearly vision boards for each of us and one as a family, write “compliment” notes for each other, and we openly discuss and practice mindfulness and emotional connection. We are not typical … and we like it.**

I wrote this when Lillian was 10 years old. She is now 14 years old. I homeschooled her the year I originally wrote this. She re-entered school the following year and was there for two and a half years. Here’s a bit of the story on how that happened.

Lillian and Camilla Walk 5.26.16 #2

She has been “homeschooled” for the past year and a half. In January, without my having searched for it, the term unschooling and information about it kept coming across my awareness. After reading much about it, I realized I had been unschooling Lillian all along and just didn’t know it.

Lillian self leads her learning and discovery. I take the opportunity when it’s presented to facilitate that learning. She has always loved to write, draw, and paint. You can see that as far back as 2007 in the first blog we began titled, Pink Elephant Books. I knew even back then that she and I would author books.

Currently, she blogs on her own site at LillianDarnell.com. Her writing is becoming deeper and richer by the day. It has been magical to be a part of and watch her blossom. She is absolutely thriving by being allowed to focus on her passions and interest.

She loves tracking the weather and has loved it since probably about 2007 or 2008. When we need to know what to expect with the weather, we ask Lillian. If she doesn’t already know, she’ll look it up in less than 5 minutes. She says she has a weather sniffer nose and she can smell the rain coming and other weather conditions.

I share my enthusiasm and love of nature, photography, mindfulness, and emotional connection with Lillian and her brother, Thomas. And, Lillian has naturally become interested in these subjects also. Not because I sat her down and taught her the names of everything. But because she has witnessed me living it and my genuine love of these things. Thomas and Lillian love our walks and time spent outdoors. 

Thomas sporadically blogs on his website (ThomasADarnell.com), posts items for sale that he has created, and is about to become a published author. He completed a 365 photo a day project that he came up with and decided to do on his own. That is being made into a book that I will co-author with him. Tentatively titled, “Grand Adventures of the Biggest Little Photographer”.**

Thomas & Camilla Last Day of School 6.3.16 #1

(This next section was written in 2011 and a version of this later became the “O” Chapter in the, “D iz for Different” book.)

O is for Observe

“Most people see what is, and never see what can be.” -Albert Einstein

Observing, paying attention, being aware of the present moment. What’s happening, who you are with, are you having a conversation? Are you really being present for the conversation or are you thinking about all those bills that are due or what you’re making for dinner or what happened on the last episode of your favorite show.

How will we guide our kids, with special needs and “typically developing” kids, into a fruitful, joyful and peaceful future if we are not present for them? Observe their likes, dislikes, what are they good at doing, favorite hobbies and maybe they have topics or interests they seem obsessed with . . . the weather, the time, making lists, making a plan and sticking to it.

Observe these and then use these qualities to their advantage in life. They like these things for a reason. It’s not up to us to figure out why they like or don’t like something or why they are obsessed with a topic.

**Update: The very quality that we may find extremely annoying, could be the key to their joyful future. Let’s observe, be present and give them every single opportunity we can to blossom and use the special and unique gifts they have.

Stand back. Observe. Be inspired as their personality shines and they become their own person with the loving ingredients you have added along the way.

Power and Magic of Connected Parenting

**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

Dreaming, Zig Zagging, and Observing,

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

Library May 14 2016 #1

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