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.

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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:

Poetry and Photography: Shining Star Bag

Heart Shaped Red Seed Pod Shining Star Bag of Love 11.17.17

You can take
All the hearts
Nature puts forth

And put them 
All in a bag
Made of stars
Wrapped in a
Bow of beautiful
Green grass.

But there’ll be
Days when no
Matter the beauty
No matter the love
No matter the
Depth of knowing
How the Light
Shines within.

There’ll be days
When a heaviness
Envelops and that
Shining star bag
Full of love means.

Absolutely nothing.

There’ll be days
When the sweetness
And beauty of
Every breath
Is not felt or seen.

Yet, these days
Shall pass.
These days
Shall pass.

Pass, they shall.
And waiting will
Be that shining star
Bag of hearts
And love.

For Nature is
Patient.
Nature is ever there
With love and light.

Love,
The Seed Pod
xoxo
-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 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Love and Hearts: A Clouded Heart

Heart Shaped Rock Clouded Heart 11.2017

And in the midst
Of a clouded heart
And soul,
Love may go
Unnoticed.
Yet, be still.
And. Know.
Love is patient
And gently
Persist, it will.
Love,
The Rock
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 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry: A Drive Down Memory Lane

Fall Trees and Leaves Memory Lane Poem November 2017

A Drive Down Memory Lane

Why did the beautiful and fun
memories hurt so badly
Why did her chest feel
heavy and her stomach in knots

The place where she and
her children had spent
seven years of their lives.

The place where her son
spent his young life
from one year old
through eight years old.

Driving past the many sidewalks
and trail where she had taken
walks alone, walks with
just her son, and walks
together as a family.

Driving past the home
her parents had lived in,
the home she and her kids had lived in,
the second home her parents had lived.

Remembering neighbors she had
chatted with. Rememembering
the spread of holiday cheer.

Oh, the pain, the pain.
Why do such wonderful
memories hurt her heart.

Whey does she feel
a sense of loss
no longer living
in this neighborhood.
No longer having
her parents living
in the same neighborhood.

Why does she feel
like nothing turned
out as she had wanted
it to evolve.

Why does she feel
like she has failed
her children in
not providing them
with the same kind
of home that they
loved so much
in their early childhood?

Why does she feel
like she has given up?
Why do the tears flow
in mourning something
that never really was?

She keeps reminding
herself that nothing
is permanent. The
only thing that’s
permanent is change
itself.

She reminds herself
that home is truly
where the heart is.
Yet, what if the
heart is closed and
doesn’t want to hear
these things.

What if she reminds
herself that none of
it seems to have gone as
she wanted it to go,
the way she dreamed
for it turn out.

Seems as if she
has been but
a piece of sand
in a vast ocean
of life tossing
her here and there
into this experience
and that expeirence.

She thinks she should
not return to this
place if it is so
paintful …

but then she knows
she must keep returning
until she has felt
all the pain there
is to feel for in
feeling the pain and
being with the pain
loving the pain
embracing the pain
is she assured
of the joy and beauty
that awaits her
on the other side.

She may not have
fully let herself
feel the pain at the time
she and her children
had to leave their
home and neighborhood.

Brushed it under
the heart she did.
Believing she could not feel the pain.
She knows she let herself feel
some of the pain.
Yet, there is more there.

She makes a new
commitment to continue
to visit this neighborhood
until she has let herself
feel every single bit
of greif, guilt, and sadness
there is to feel.

She will feel it, feel the
aches in her chest, feel
the knots in her stomach
feel and taste the salty tears as
they stream down her face.

She reflects back on
these times as some of
the happiest of her
and her childens lives.

So carefree and joyful.
Doing many things together
as a family, many adventures,
every trip in the car an adventure.

It seems those times are no longer.
Where have they gone? The kids are
no longer kids. One a teenager and
one a pre-teen. Change.

Change is the nature
of life. This season
reminds us always that this
is how it flows. Change.

Why did she grip so tightly
to that time in her life,
in her kids life?

Why does she not want to
let it go? Wy does she
remember it with longing?

Why does she feel lost
in shifting to this
new normal for her
and her kids?

Interests have shifted.
What was fun and exciting
is no longer?

How does she go with the
flow, with the change,
without clinging to the
past?

She does it one breath
at a time. One blink at
at time. One step at a
time. One gratitude
thought at a time.
One act of kindness
at a time. One smile
at a time.

With kindness and
love directed to herself
and her heart.

She does it by observing
and not letting herself
get caught in the spiral
of emotions. Be with them,
feel them, and let them
release to reveal the new
normal. As it will only
be the new normal for a short
time. That is the nature
of life.

For life will support
in whatever stage of
life one finds oneself.

Nature is the Divine’s
Gift to allow one to
experiene change and
the cyclicle nature
of life outside of
oneself, yet still,
it is within as we are
one with nature.

Be still. Feel the emotions.
Let them pass through
like the wind passes
through the autumn leaves.
And know.
This is life.
And we are always
supported and loved.
-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 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles: