Walk With Me – Journey to the Center of My Soul

Recently, I had the experience of one of my 40 minute meditation sessions feeling like it was only 5 minutes. I am always in awe when that happens. I find it incredibly magical … xoxo

Afterwards I wrote this; which will be the opening for my next book (Go here for information about my first book). Sharing this sneak peak with all of you … It’s still in rough draft status; yet, I was moved to share. Perhaps someone needs to see a word or two from this …

Walk with Me
Journey to the Center of My Soul

I had a choice to make.

I could choose not to even go near or open the door that would lead to the awakening of my true self. I could continue living life as I had been, seemingly happy and seemingly enjoying life.

Or I could choose to open that golden, larger than life door. The magical door that would lead the way to truly living life. A life of feeling all there is to feel – every single bit of it. A life of strapping into the gigantic see-saw of this path and riding my way through pain, despair, sadness, unhappiness, joy, peace, love, and bliss.

I did it. And I did it ever so gently. There was no transcendental moment with angels singing and everyone welcoming me. Well, maybe not in this dimension anyway.

I made the choice of the magical, golden door. So began the journey to the Center of my Soul.

Little did I know that once I entered through the door’s archway, and closed it behind me; that there would be no turning back. No matter how many times and how deeply I thought I wanted to turn back during this journey; I could not un-know what I was beginning to Know.

I strolled through that doorway thinking it would be easy and that I could control this the way I thought I controlled the rest of my life. Eventually, I learned that life is not something to be controlled. Living life is to let go and let it happen. Let go; yet take action when intuitively and heart inspired. Take action minus the need for controlling and minus attachment to the outcome.

This has been, and continues to be, a journey of opening my heart. A heart that closed as a very young child; perhaps even a heart that had been closed for many lifetimes. Every book I’ve read, movie I’ve watched, date day taken with my kids, every healer that I’ve worked with, and every walk taken has been in perfect timing to lead me to the next step of opening my heart.

I ultimately arrived at the place of knowing I was to love whatever comes into my experience. I haven’t always known what that meant. I thought I did. I did not understand how one is to “love” whatever is happening, or whatever one is feeling.

I now get that life is not here to fulfill me. I am here to fulfill life. There are absolutely days when I forget all of this. I’m still traveling this path. I fall back into old habits. Yet, the more I remember to love whatever is happening, the more my heart opens and the more I am able to share the One Love with all.

This also entailed letting go of my need to be bothered and to be upset by others and situations. Letting it go, by loving it as it came into my experience. This meant loving the un-lovely feelings that bubble forth during these times.

Loving the feelings absolutely does not mean to pour positivity over them and squish them back down to the place from which they came forth. It means simply, telling yourself over and over, “I love you”, to your own heart. And it means letting yourself physically feel these un-lovely feelings. It is truly amazing and life shifting to do this for oneself.

As a young girl my favorite and most loved fairy tale was the one where the down trodden princess was finally seen and loved for who she is by a dashing prince. And then this dashing prince whisks her away to her hearts delight wherein she lives life the way she chooses, forever in joy and peace and fun. I carried this with me into adulthood.

Now as I look back on this, I can see I was waiting for life to fulfill me. I see I was waiting for some “other” to see me, love me, tell me I am worthy, tell me they believe in me, and tell me they are sorry for wrongs done to me. And then for this other to place me in the perfect situation wherein I could control life and have experiences that would not take me out of my comfort zone.

Traveling this path of opening my heart, I have learned that we all need these words spoken to us by those closest to us and those not close to us alike. Yet, as importantly, we also need to speak these words to our self. Especially when we did not hear them as a child; or heard them very little during our young and tender years.

And, most especially when we are having unlovely experiences and feelings. That’s when we need it most. The more we do this for our self, the more our heart opens. And, the more our heart opens the more we come to realize that life’s journey is not about life fulfilling us. It is about us fulfilling life and sharing love in the way we came forth to share.

I invite you to walk with me through these pages. Walking, being in nature, and writing have been the magical ingredients for alchemizing experiences as I travel this path. Let’s go.

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

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

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

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Headed Home

And She Walked 5.28.18

And she walked.
And she walked.
She walked until
Arriving at
The home of 
Peace and Joy.
Only to discover
This is where she had
Been all along.
©️2018 Camilla Downs

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

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

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

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

Latest Articles:

Nature’s Messages: Reflect and Let it Go and Time Travel and Knowing

May 2018:

…. from a walk this morning …… Reflections. Cloudy and clear at the same time? Ahhhh. Such is it.

Solo Walk Vintage Lake Reflections 5.14.18

Solo Walk Vintage Lake Reflections 5.17.18

Don’t hold onto it. Let it roll right off your back.

Nature always has a perfect message for us when we stop, be quiet, and listen. I mean, look at those cute little water droplets. How could I not stop, take it in, and capture the moment? ….

Walk Vintage Water Droplets 5.14.18

This found me on a walk yesterday morning. Lots of goose quills around, yet have never seen two like this before.

I just had the chance to research online a bit and found that the quill of a goose has long been a preferred writing instrument. Apparently it awakens the imagination and intuition flows. The writer travels through time capturing stories of past, future and present.

I’ll take it! Time to write more. I’ll imagine my fingers are goose quills and that I’m writing like the wind as I type. My fingers and hand begin to hurt after about 5 minutes of handwriting so I just can’t do it.

Solo Walk Vintage Lake Goose Feathers 5.15.18

….. from a walk this morning …. Nature. Magnified. Take pause. Zoom out and See the Whole. Simply beautiful. xoxo

Goose Feather with Water Droplets Poem 5.23.18Water Droplets Goose Feather Vintage Lake 5.21.18 #2

There’s really not much I truly know. Yet. This. I do know. Nature awakens the Knowing of my Heart. xoxo

Not much I truly know Sunset Photo Vintage Lake 5.20.18

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

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

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

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

Latest Articles:

End it With the Period

Life is Not the Stories We Tell Ourselves

“Do not expect others to follow your way. When things always go your way, it is easy to become arrogant.” -The Treatise on the King of Treasures Samadhi

Sunday, May 13, 2018 was Mother’s Day in the United States. It was the worst Mother’s Day I can remember experiencing.

Mother's Day May 8 2016 #6

I’m writing this, I’m sharing this, for those amongst us whose hearts were covered and weighted with sadness. As I know not everyone had a great and blessed day being showered and pampered with love by themselves or loved ones.

Thomas had just returned to Reno from his visit with The Romano Duo (grandparents) in Arizona. He had much blunt and forthright thoughts to share about how unhappy he is with our situation and with Lillian’s inflexibilities and anxieties. I grabbed that hook and sank into a deep sadness of telling myself how much of a failure I am at providing for my kids, how much of a failure I am at being their parent.

(Let me add here that I do not blame Thomas. I have raised him to be honest and to openly share his thoughts and opinions with others. Usually he is thoughtful with his word choice when doing so.)

I awoke to no cards, no hugs, no smiles at any time during the day. I am not one to expect store bought gifts; yet, I have always loved the handmade notes, cards and art Thomas and Lillian have given me. I’m sure a wee bit has to do with them getting older and moving out of this stage of their lives. Mostly this stung so badly due to the deeply sad state in which I had sunk. I maneuvered through the day with a heavy and painful body shrouded by a fog of sadness and confusion.

“As we experience adversity in our lives, we mature and become more understanding. Just remember that the person who has made your life difficult today could be an undercover teacher sent from above, tasked with your spiritual growth.” -The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim

Throughout the week Thomas and I talked about the things he shared. And, Monday and Tuesday followed with incredibly healing walks and messages from nature.

I also had a deep realization and reminder that life is NOT the stories we tell ourselves. Things happen. Period. Words are spoken. Period. Seasons change. Period. Life continues. Period. All grow older. Period.

If we can remember to end each of these at the period and not ruminate with stories beyond the period; we deflect much suffering for ourselves.

Nature’s Messages

…. from a walk this Monday morning …… Reflections. Cloudy and clear at the same time? Ahhhh. Such is it.

Solo Walk Vintage Lake Reflections 5.14.18

Don’t hold onto it. Let it roll right off your back.

Nature always has a perfect message for us when we stop, be quiet, and listen. I mean, look at those cute little water droplets. How could I not stop, take it in, and capture the moment? …. from a walk this morning …

Walk Vintage Water Droplets 5.14.18

This found me on a walk. Lots of goose quills around, yet have never seen two like this before.

I just had the chance to research online a bit and found that the quill of a goose has long been a preferred writing instrument. Apparently it awakens the imagination and intuition flows. The writer travels through time capturing stories of past, future and present.

I’ll take it! Time to write more. I’ll imagine my fingers are goose quills and that I’m writing like the wind as I type. My fingers and hand begin to hurt after about 5 minutes of handwriting so I just can’t do it.

Solo Walk Vintage Lake Goose Feathers 5.15.18

Alchemy Happens

By the end of the week the sadness had fully lifted and Thursday evening brought a tremendously huge aha moment bringing even more clarity (blog post to follow about this – if it feels right, sign up to receive blog posts via email should you not want to miss new blog posts).

Friday was a beautiful, light, and joyful day. Thomas and I had a great time on our May 2018 date day going out for lunch and then to Little Washoe Lake for digging in the sand and playing with a huge piece of driftwood.

After all of this and after writing this, I am able to come back around and say, “2018 was an uneventful Mother’s Day. I did not receive homemade gifts from my kids.” Period. No stories or harsh self talk to follow. No stories of “worst Mother’s Day ever”. 

I do not share this to cause others to feel badly. It is my hope that your heart overflows with gratitude that these are not lessons you need to learn and to have compassion for others. I share because sharing is what I do. And, I know the person who needs to receive this message will receive it.

Everything is going to be okay.

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

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

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

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

Latest Articles:

The Walk of Alchemy

Pink Tree Blossoms The Vintage 4.20.18

I went for walk this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

Alchemy Happens

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thich Nhat Hahn Quote April 2018

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

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

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

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

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Feel the Joy

Sunset Vintage Lake Joy Poem 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Listen Trust Jump

Kings Beach Lake Tahoe Listen Trust Jump 1.27.18

Listen, Trust, Jump

And she listened,
And listened,
And listened.

And she heard,
Write.
Write.
Write.

And she knew,
The time was
Approaching
For her to jump.

The time was
Nearing for her
To leap into
Her souls purpose.

And so she
Remained still.

And she listened,
And listened,
And listened.

Almost time.
Dear One,
BE ready.

2018 – Lessons from Nature, Camilla Downs

(Photo made at Kings Beach – Lake Tahoe)

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

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

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

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Shine Bright

Tree Sunbeams and Blue Sky with Shine Bright Poem 2017

Shine

Shine bright dear one.
What your brothers
and sisters think
of your shine
matters not.

You see others shine,
and shrink even further
into the smallness of
not shining your light.
Each soul is meant to shine
in their own way
And no two ways will
be exactly the same.

Your shine is dulled by
years and years
of ignoring that …..

Go here to read more ….

Shine by Camilla Downs

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

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

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

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: One Breath at a Time

One Breath at a Time Poem 2017

One breath at a time, dear one

You find yourself in a vast ocean of your own creation.
An ocean full of the humanness of life.

Joy, love, peace,
laughter, happiness, abundance,
beauty, compassion, kindness.
Fear, sadness, greed,
competition, judgements, shame,
guilt, jealousy, loneliness.

At times you feel as if you
are on the verge of drowning.

One’s arms and legs have become
heavy with the struggle of this
ocean swirling with humanness.

What is one to do?
There is no place to return.

You jumped in knowing
there was only One Way to survive
in this vast ocean of humanness.
One breath at a time.

For as you breathe each breath
it is another opportunity
to feel the humanness of life.

Feel all of it,
the comforting and
the unlovely,
and then release it into
the vast ocean to be
cleansed by Mother Earth.

For one day you will feel
the heavy burden begin to
lift from your arms and legs.

You will know only the
unconditional love of this
ocean of humanness.

All the rest is still there.
Yes, it is.
Still swim in it, you do.

Yet, it just brushes by you
as you are drenched in the
unconditional love of all that is.

Rather than struggle
You move in harmony
with the humanness.

One breath at a time,
See, there it is ..
You just took another breath and another
and another …

Keep breathing, Keep swimming
in this vast ocean and know
you are not alone.

You are surrounded and uplifted
by the One Love and breathe
it in with each breath.

You cannot escape the One Love.
It is always with you.

One breath at a time.
2017 Lessons from Nature, Camilla Downs

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

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

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

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Love Floats

Love Floats Heart Shaped Leaf November 2017

Love floats
On the wind.
Love brushes
By when one
Least expects it.

Divine love
Surrounds all.
Divine love
Is within all.
All is Divine Love.

At times it
May feel as
If love landed
With thorns that
Penetrate deep
And painfully.

Bring oneself
Into the stillness
One must.
So as to separate
From the pain.

The stillness.
The silence.
Is the doorway
To knowing the
Pain as the portal.

The portal to
freedom of
experiencing
And knowing the
One love.

Love,
The Leaf
xoxoxo
– 2017 Lessons from Nature

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

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

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

Latest Articles: