The Post Office Gift – An Inspiring Short Story

be-love-love-is-the-answer-heart-in-sand-2013

As Paige entered the post office she was greeted with a line extending nearly to the door. Internally she breathed a sigh of relief knowing she would be using the self-serve kiosk. With only one person waiting ahead of her, she contentedly stepped in line behind him.

He turned to face Paige and with contempt said, “It may be awhile. This lady is having problems. She’s been up there for ten minutes.” He was referring to the customer using the kiosk. Paige spent a few seconds taking in the situation.

The woman at the kiosk seemed to be looking for something and holding her arms up in confusion. Paige could sense the woman’s overwhelmed feelings penetrating the already flat energy within the foyer.

Without hesitation, Paige approached the woman and asked, “Can I help you?” With a slight hint of desperation the woman said, “I can’t find my postage.” Having used the self-serve kiosk an absurd number of times over the years, Paige had become intimately familiar with it.

She knew exactly where the postage was dispensed. If you’ve never used the kiosk before, you wouldn’t know that you cannot visually see the postage once dispensed. One must bend down, placing one’s hand inside the dispenser box to pull the postage from the dispenser. It does not release and drop on its own.

The woman was quit relieved and delightedly thankful. She moved on and the long waiting, irritated man moved forward to take his turn. His frustrations mounted so that he could not get his credit card to work in the card slot.

Paige gently approached and asked, “Can I help you?” He pushed his card towards her and said, “Sure, give it a try.” The card once again did not work, yet, most likely due to having been tried repetitively. Paige felt he simply needed to go back one step and come around again to the payment screen, yet, his frustrations had grown too large for his patience.

After confusingly hesitating a couple of times to thank Paige for her help, the man decided to leave. He seemed to be torn as to whether to throw in the towel, expressing his thanks, and giving it another try.

Paige felt a wave of peace and compassion flow into her entire being as she knew in another time, another place, she had stood in both the man’s and the woman’s shoes. She was also aware of times in the past when she had been deeply lost in her own thoughts and worries; times when she didn’t even notice that another being was in need of help.

After getting her packages posted, she departed with a joyful, peaceful heart with the hopes that anyone watching was inspired to spread loving kindness in their own way and their own time.

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

How long had everyone been watching the woman at the self-serve kiosk have problems and confusion? Was it five minutes? Ten minutes? That’s an eternity when one waits in line.

The author of this story is not asking to create judgments. She is asking simply to provoke thought. There have been times when she was lost in her own thoughts and worries to even notice that someone was in need of help. She gets that.

For the last 7 years the author has been meditating on living from the heart and spreading loving kindness to everyone she encounters. This day just happened to be one of the days that she got the chance to do just that … and what a blessing it was to her.

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:

*Inspiring short story, short story about compassion

Why I Write

Bench at Vintage Lake February 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Does It Matter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

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

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

Latest Articles:

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

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

Inspired Living: Success Photo A Day

“Sitting down for dinner with my little family ….. Success!”

Mission: Take one photo a day of an image representing success from your own perspective. The mission ends on March 4 2014.

Should you choose to accept this mission, post your daily photo to facebook, instagram, twitter or your blog. I’ll be sharing my daily photo on instagram … @camilladowns. At the conclusion of our success photo a day mission, I’ll post an article on my blog containing all of my success photos. I’d rather not post a daily photo on the blog which is why I’m using instagram.

I assigned this to the students I’m teaching right now and thought it’d be fun to play along with them and invite y’all to play along also!

Take ONE photo a day of something or someone that represents success in your opinion and your point of view. This DOES NOT have to be a person or a business. It could be a tree or flower you’ve watched grow from a seedling. It could be a pet that you’ve watched grow.

Think outside of the box. Smash that box and open your eyes to the little successes that surround you every single day. It could be something as simple as finishing a book you’ve been reading or completing a project you’ve been working on.

Give each photo a hashtag of #SuccessPhotoADay so you can see what others are sharing also!

Should you choose not to accept this mission, you can press delete or wait 5 minutes and the post will self destruct into a big ray of sunshine! Hahaha!!

Latest “Mindful Living” Articles:

Be sure to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered right to your inbox! Go here!

Special Needs: Lilac’s Angel Visit

Lillian’s class participated in NaNoWriMo and she chose to write a collection of short stories. Reading her notebook brought my eyes to sweating … xoxo

Here’s one of them:

Lilac’s Angel Visit
Written: Lillian

Once upon a time, Lilac’s prince had died and Lilac was a poor queen but one night, Lilac had been visited by Lilac’s prince angel. He had said, “Respect all other angels like you do with me.” And so her father, stepmother, stepsisters, and their princes’ angels came along with Lilac’s prince angel and they had said, “Keep your confidence and hopefully you will strengthen your courage.” Then one night they stopped visiting and left Lilac alone because she had enough courage to be super-duper happy. To this day, she’ll tell you to keep confidence and you will soon build up courage to be super-duper happy.

I Am An Artist

As I completely lean into writing and blogging, I am tweaking the website a bit to bring more clarity to the type of content one can expect to find here.

“Be Mindful … Super-sized thoughts with a wee bit of photographs, recipes and tips.” (And, possibly soon, some other type of art. We shall see where my experimentation leads with this.)

This website and blog bring together all the pieces of my life, like a snapshot. I am a writer, author, blogger, photographer, an artist, and a life coach. I am Mom to 8 year old Thomas and 12 year old Lillian. (**Update: Lillian is 14 years old now and Thomas is 9 years old.)

Lillian has a chromosome abnormality simply called 18p-. This means she is missing a piece of the short arm of chromosome #18. Her younger brother, Thomas, is an amazing and loving helper!

I love taking pictures with my mobile devices. Currently an iPhone 3G and a Samsung Galaxy Tab (mine is a Model gt-p3113). I purposely shoot all photos with these devices as I don’t choose to invest in a fancy camera and/or deal with and learn all the details involved and to show others we can easily and economically capture the beauty and awe of nature anywhere and anytime. (**Update: Now using an iPhone 4G and I have an instagram account for posting pictures as time allows … @camilladowns …)

I love writing about mindful, inspired, simple living as it relates to the choices I make, daily living, being a parent, experiencing nature and …. food.

I am inspired by this place I have chosen as our home … Reno, Nevada. When he was 7 years old, my son, Thomas, summed it up with one beautifully crafted comment. “It’s like we are at an art show and nature keeps changing the art for us.”

I freely and openly share my journey as I sail through life. The ups, the downs, the loop the loops. I have good days, I have bad days. I share in the hopes that you will find at least one nugget to take away and apply to your own life. My wish is that you become inspired, your own passion to simplify life is ignited, or a path to mindful living is illuminated.

I am available for freelance writing opportunities and guest blogging. I’m a life coach too! Contact me here to inquire further.

**Disclosure: I am not an expert on how anyone should be or could be living their life; except for my own …. and that’s only sometimes! I attempt to be non-judgmental and to allow others to BE! Go forth and BE MINDFULLY YOU!

(To help support my blogging I will include an Amazon link to items I use or you will see google ads from time to time. I LOVE sharing my journey and choices with you and this just helps to keep me going!) 

In Gratitude … November 2013

I decided to do it different this year for our November month of gratitude.

Team TLC planted our very own Gratitude Garden! We each added to the tree every day. We added so much love to our tree that it became blooming full! Lillian planted the yellow flower and Thomas the purple flower. Thomas cut out most of the fruits and leaves for the tree too!

Here’s our Gratitude Garden and Tree all grown! Next year, we will make our tree larger to better allow for growth of all the leaves and fruits!

I chose to grow our garden freestyle so we didn’t date our fruit and leaves. We just added a word or two of what we are thankful and grateful for, added our name, decorated and then “planted it”!

Here is each of ours in no particular order:

Thomas:

  • School
  • Food
  • Sun
  • Books
  • Cows
  • My birthday
  • Thanksgiving
  • Color
  • Love
  • Ducks
  • Leaf
  • Happy
  • Lemon Book
  • Legos
  • Shrimp
  • Friday
  • Paper

Lillian:

  • Christmas
  • Weather & Seasons
  • Life
  • Ham
  • Kindness
  • Legos
  • Living
  • Library
  • Waffles
  • Color blue
  • Family
  • Junie B. Jones Books
  • Clothes
  • Snow
  • Building
  • Beauty

Camilla:

  • Clothes
  • Love
  • Strength & Courage
  • Goodness & Kindness
  • Imagination
  • Quiet Time & Meditation
  • Shelter – Our Home
  • Water
  • Compassion
  • Excitement
  • Abundance
  • Food
  • Thomas & Lillian – Getting to be their Mom
  • Generosity
  • Books
  • Nature

That’s it! We had a great time creating and planting our Gratitude Garden! May this inspire you to begin planting your own garden of gratitude!

Thomas and Lillian chose to make their own version too! Here they are:

She Flew Into the World on September 14 2001

……. And she Blew out all 12 birthday candles on September 14 2013 …

Lillian literally came flying into this world on September 14 2001. She wasn’t supposed to arrive here until sometime in October 2001, but I was induced a month early as “they” were worried that she had stopped growing and assumed my placenta had quit nourishing her. If we had known then what we discovered three years later (that she has a chromosome difference called 18p- or 18p deletion), we would have known why she was so small and not growing much.

I had planned on having a natural birth in the gigantic jacuzzi style tub at the Birthing Center attached to my Ob-Gyn’s office. I had my room all picked out and had attended all of the birthing classes leading up to the big event. I was the type that when I decided I was going to do something I put my all into it. I studied everything I could find and get my hands on about natural birthing. I practiced meditating and visualizing what would be happening in my body as the birthing process began and progressed. I read about and studied Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition (amazon affiliate link) and was on my way to having this baby girl the exact way in which I wanted.

Then, one month before her due date at my regular check up, they were worried that she had not grown. I was sent to a specialist who put me on bed rest for two weeks to see if that helped her grow. I used to be a full blown Type A personality and this was devastating to me. I had planned on working right up until she was born so I would have more time off. I had planned on birthing her in the birthing center. My plans were getting all screwed up and I didn’t like it! (I DID get to have Thomas at the awesome birthing center and DID get to experience a water birth for him!! I arrived at about 9:00 pm on November 13, 2005 and went home a few hours later around midnight!)

After two weeks of bed rest, she was checked again for growth. There had been no growth so it was advised that I be induced right away. We agreed and I gave instructions that I did not want any medications as I still wanted to experience natural child birth, even if I wasn’t getting to experience it in the way I originally wanted.

I kept reading my books and studying right up until we checked into the hospital on the morning of September 14, 2001. I even took some of them with me! After we got settled, the pill was inserted that would induce contractions. Later that afternoon I began having contractions. The contractions didn’t have a pattern really .. coming and going with no consistency at all.

I was doing pretty good at not giving in to the pain, instead focusing on what was happening in my body and with that precious little body  and soul inside of me about to make it’s way out into this World. At times when I began to lose focus, Lillian’s dad did a really good job at bringing my focus back to what was physically happening instead of my mind focusing on the pain.

Of all things, I worked through each contraction by chanting the vowels. I know. Crazy! I had read about the chanting and just skipped over it as I knew that was just something I would not be doing! I went with it. It was working in keeping me relaxed and letting the contraction happen instead of tensing up. I also visualized what was actually happening inside of me. That helped a great deal also.

My Ob-Gyn visited one more time before leaving and told me I would most likely be there through the night and would birth in the morning. When she left, I looked at Lillian’s dad and told him there was no way in heck I was doing this for that long. I was going to relax and have that baby NOW!

The hospital did not allow water births. However, they did allow you to sit in the tub during contractions and up to the birthing moment. I got into the tub and it felt sooooooo good. The contractions sped up rapidly as I was able to relax more and relax into the contractions. We could see Lilian moving down the birth canal headed towards the exit! I had already decided that for me and my baby and our birthing experience, a water birth was the right thing for us. I am a rule follower too, mostly. So I stayed in the tub until I knew she was about to make her exit.

When I felt her head very close to emerging, we notified the nurse that Lillian was about to be joining us. They said they’d be right down and I will never forget the look on that nurse’s face when she entered the bathroom! She said, “Oh my goodness. You’ve got to get out of the bathtub!” My immediate response was “No” as I was about to have a contraction. She reminded me that I couldn’t birth in the water and I said I’d get out after the next contraction.

I didn’t even get a chance to get my gown back on before lying down, having one or two more contractions and that little girl flew out! Literally! My Ob-Gyn didn’t make it back in time and the attending doctor had just come into the room. He said, “Don’t push yet” and I said, “Are you freaking crazy? My body says to push!” So I did and out she flew still in the safety and warmth of her amniotic sac. He had to catch her. Nature did not care if they were not ready!

I felt absolutely amazing after that .. euphoric! I kept thinking, “Oh my good golly! I just had a baby. And I did it naturally!” I felt so strong and full of energy … Like I could do anything! It’s a feeling like no other and one I have not felt since then. I have come close but nothing can match that feeling.

I was ready to go home shortly after that and they would have released me after 24 hours but Lillian needed to get her temperature and blood sugar regulated. We still didn’t know at the time that she had 18p-. I was walking down the hall a few hours after delivery and one of the nurses said, “Who are you? You are something else!”

We stayed in the hospital for 4 days waiting for Lillian’s temperature and blood sugar to normalize. We were finally released and headed home with a beautiful little 4 pound 5 ounce fairy angel!

Now as I watch her dance around the room, singing words that only she understands, talking with her imaginary friends, I think back to the night that she flew into the World.

Lilian is 12 years old now and for the first time ever at her birthday party she blew out her candles on the first try .. ALL 12 candles! This may not seem like much, but because of the shape of her mouth and lips she has not been able to blow like you and I can … Until NOW!

Lillian’s brother, Thomas, was so excited for her! You can see him about to jump with excitement in this picture. He gave her a big hug afterwards. He couldn’t help himself! Lillian does not like hugs but I think she understood and was a little embarrassed with all the fuss that he and I were making in front of her friends! I kind of like that it’s blurry because I thought for sure I’d be taking more than one and didn’t steady my hand before taking this one. I didn’t get a chance to take another … She blew them candles out!!

Here’s a video of her trying to blow out a candle from January 2011. You can see how far she’s come with this skill!

A fairy angel FLEW into the World at 11:27 pm on September 14, 2001 and twelve years later she BLEW out 12 birthday candles. On. The. FIRST. Attempt! You Go Lillian Paige Darnell, You Go!! I love you unconditionally, forever and ever, to eternity, and to the moon and back!

Give a Soulful Hug Today

She said, “Thank you! I needed that!” … Recently I had coffee with a local Reno facebook friend. We had never met in person and she is also the mom of a special needs child (teenager). I do what I always do when greeting someone … I gave her one of my hugs … Anyone who has received one of my hugs knows they are filled with love, caring, and warmth … I lavishly share my hugs with anyone I can … This one was extra special because many of us moms don’t get these types of hugs from our special needs children. They just simply have sensory issues and warm hardy hugs don’t mix well with that.

Why do I share this? Just simply to encourage YOU to share more hugs. We are human and we like to be touched, especially when it’s filled with love and caring. Go hug somebody today!! May I suggest that it’s a soulful hug, not one of those half leaned into hugs, where you pat the person on the back. Be STILL … Be QUIET … And give a Hug full of caring for the person receiving it. They just may say, “Thank YOU! I needed that!”

This article is now part of my inventory in Inspired Living.  

I enjoy taking the time to share information with y’all that I think is helpful and give you ideas to live an Inspired Life. So, if you feel this helped you in any way, toss a tip into the tip bowl on the way out of Inspired Living.

PayPal Tip Bowl

If you can’t afford to donate, please feel free to pass this article along to others who might get some help from it. Thank y’all to everyone who has donated and shared in the past. I don’t always get a chance to respond, and the donations, shares and comments are my indicators that what I share is helpful. Thank YOU!


Taste the Wind

(This post is part of an “I Dare You” series. Go here to see the “Dare” post that began the series and here for the most recent “Dare” post.)

Have you ever tasted the wind? I did for the first time this afternoon, Thursday, April 18, 2013! My 7 year old son, Thomas, and I went for a walk today. He’s doing this and I ask him what he’s doing. “I’m tasting the wind. Try it Mom. What’s it taste like to you?” Tasted like ….. Not gonna tell ya! I dare YOU to go outside and taste the wind!! Hopefully Thomas has started a wind tasting adventure y’all!!!

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

Blessings,

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

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

Latest Articles:

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

This article is now part of my inventory in Inspired Living.  

I enjoy taking the time to share information with y’all that I think is helpful and give you ideas to live an Inspired Life. So, if you feel this helped you in any way, toss a tip into the tip bowl on the way out of Inspired Living.

PayPal Tip Bowl

If you can’t afford to donate, please feel free to pass this article along to others who might get some help from it. Thank y’all to everyone who has donated and shared in the past. I don’t always get a chance to respond, and the donations, shares and comments are my indicators that what I share is helpful. Thank YOU!