10 Most Popular Posts for 2016

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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 ….

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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.

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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.

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What is Emotional Connection

“Let the power of your emotions open you up … Take your seat in the middle of your home ground and rouse your confidence – your innate capacity to open to your experience.” – Pema Chodron’s “Living Beautifully

The precursor to defining emotional connection is to reach acceptance that negative emotions and discomfort are a part of us. Then, begin the practice of not running from the uncomfortable emotions, or squashing them with positivity, or feeling a failure for having them.

Emotional connection is:

  • Bring your attention to the physical feeling the negative emotion creates within the body
  • Release thoughts analyzing the feeling
  • Release thoughts of why you feel this way
  • Release the “story” connected with the feeling
  • What does it feel like? Tight, knotted, poking, sharp, heavy, etc.
  • Welcome the feeling with a sense of curiosity
  • Follow it with your attention if the feeling moves
  • Let go of thoughts when they arise
  • Flow with the feeling as it shifts and changes
  • If possible, enter emotional connection with complete and total empathy and compassion for yourself

Eventually it will decrease in intensity or release all together. It may take several sessions of doing this exercise for the negative emotion to fully release.

I was first introduced to this concept when I read Raphael Cushnir’s book, “The One Thing Holding You Back(amazon affiliate link). Cushnir has a great overview of emotional connection on his website. Go here to learn more. And if he sees this … Thank you Raphael Cushnir! I send you oceans of gratitude and blessings for writing this book. Learning about this was one of the key catalysts for a major shift in my life.

About the same time or shortly after reading Cushnir’s book, I read Pema Chodron’s, “When Things Fall Apart(amazon affiliate link). Although, Chodron does not use the term emotional connection, I found that this content reinforced and expanded the idea of emotional connection.

Then I re-read Marianne Williamson’s, “A Return to Love(amazon affiliate link), which further expanded this idea without using the phrase “emotional connection”. It is my belief that these books alined in synchronicity to ensure that I GOT it and that I practiced what I was reading about. Which I did. And it created a major positive shift for me.

Also, I recently read to Lillian and Thomas an amazing children’s book about feelings. Perfect for kids with a useful parent section too! “Visiting Feelings(amazon affiliate link): “If you listen to what your body can say, you’ll find that your feelings are really okay. With a bit of attention, a little more care, they might even tell you why they are there. Some feelings are tough, and some are more fun …. So whenever a feeling comes by to play, welcome it in, and let it stay for as long as it likes, …. Treat your feelings like friends, talking to you.”

Here’s a personal example:

One morning I found myself getting more and more irritated between running behind, Thomas‘ teasing of Lillian and general mouthiness, Lillian’s non-stop complaining of aches and pains, and their arguing. By the time we left the house I was yelling at them.

After I got Lillian to physical therapy, I sat down in the car, checked email and had just received an e-card from a friend. It was the “snap” I needed to remind myself to connect with this irritation. I closed my eyes and focused on the physical sensations.

My teeth were clenched, my jaws tight, neck and shoulders were tight. As I focused on those, they gently released and I felt two pangs of pain in my heart. I placed my attention on that and it released as well. Then it jumped back into my jaws and neck. I focused in that area once again and it released. I exhaled a big sigh and fully relaxed.

This took about 5 – 10 minutes. Sometimes it’s quicker. Sometimes longer. And sometimes it takes several sessions. It has been an interesting journey breaking the habit of wanting to analyze the emotion instead of feeling it. I’m extremely grateful and blessed to have learned this technique.

In times like this, I also ask to see things differently and ask for signs or clues to help me do this. I always receive exactly what was needed. If we don’t ask, how will we receive? I received the e-card, an email with the title, “Flying Off the Handle”, and the section of the book I was reading spoke to this. I sent a “Thank you for thanking me” message to the sender of the e-card. She sent back a reply with another perfect message.

For you, that this post speaks to, I’m sending oceans of love, hugs, and support.

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

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

Latest “Mindful Living” Articles:

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I Help You Love Your Self

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

Why do I write on this blog?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do I “do”?

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

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

Topics discussed when speaking are:

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

I freely explain and share lessons I’ve learned and practices I use that work for me and my family. If needed, I listen with love and compassion and intuitively share thoughts and examples from my own life.

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

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

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

Divorce – A Life Changing Experience

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share a “respond with love and love is the answer” philosophy in a recent Huffington Post article. It served as a great reminder for me at the perfect moment. It seems that almost always the messages I share come about with perfect timing for me. 6 Lessons Learned Through Divorce and Marriage. My quote is the very last one – #6.

Wedding Day 10.24.98 ... With The Romano Duo (My Mom & Step-Father)

Here is the original “quote” that I shared with Michelle Colon-Johnson, the author of the article. This has not been edited and is in it’s raw form. I told Michelle I knew that it was quite wordy and that I had simply opened my heart and let the words flow. We’ve known one another since January 2012 so she’s familiar with my philosophy. With that knowledge, she did an amazing job at condensing my long “quote” to one beautiful sentence! Michelle’s question was, “What did you learn through divorce?”

I learned that love is the necessary magical ingredient for living a peaceful and joyous life. I could choose to be full of despair and sadness because my ex and I did not have a healthy relationship after divorce, full of despair and sadness because I am raising two children alone and with one having special needs. I chose instead for the divorce that happened in 2007 to open the door to my own enlightenment. I learned how to connect with my emotions, to face my own darkness, and to shed what no longer serves me. I learned to not take what others say to or about me personally. I learned to see my ex-husband as one of my greatest teachers and to know that when I find fault in another, it really has to do with me and not that person. I learned to respond to situations with love and to know that when a person is delivering unkindness to me, that it’s most likely due to that person not feeling loved. I learned how judgmental I was about single moms and those that chose divorce. Fortunately, these parts of me longer exist and I am full of compassion, empathy, and love for others. I am human and judgments still creep into my thoughts. However I recognize and release those thoughts. What did I learn from experiencing divorce? I learned about peace, joy, being non-judgmental, how to see the gift in uncomfortable situations, how to be me …. and that love is always the answer.

Me at The Great Salt Lake July 2015

This learning and philosophy is not something that happened over night. I got divorced in September 2007 and it took a great deal of time, patience, practice, and love of self to reach this point. An older post titled, One Magical Ingredient, goes into more detail about this. Having said that, I am human, and at times I forget what I have learned and revert to old habits and old ways of thinking.

I am grateful now that I can recognize when I have slipped back, be kind to myself in noticing how I’m thinking, and then begin to release it. I have chosen to share what I have learned over these past 18 years with others through coaching, my book, this blog, and facebook. I would love to hear from you if you feel moved. xoxo

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

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

Mindful Living: A Love Letter

My 8 year old son, Thomas, just aches to receive his very own mail. I remember being young and the thrill of receiving a letter or card from a friend. It’s one of the best feelings in the world!

He asked me the other day if he could mail a letter to himself. I told him that sounds like a GREAT idea. So, he wrote himself a letter and included a Hal sticker from Live Gracefully.

He didn’t just write himself a letter. He sent love to himself. I’ve mirrored to him and taught him that self love is the most important aspect to loving others. Once we truly know that we are self love, life becomes what it is meant to be. And that will be different for each person.

We must “know” this in our heart, not just our mind. Speaking as a recovering “living from the mind” person, I can with authority say that there is a difference. Ever since my childhood I have been an analytical thinker, solving almost all life issues with my mind. Now, in my 40’s I have awakened to a different way.

Thomas received his love letter this weekend! He opened it as if he’d never seen it before. He quickly tore a piece of the paper and wrote a note back to himself. He’d like to mail that too!

What an amazing inspiration this young man is to myself and others?!

Just think, what if I had told him he couldn’t mail a letter to himself? He wouldn’t have received a love letter in the mail, I wouldn’t have gotten joy sharing the love with others on facebook, and you would not be reading this “love letter” from me.

How about you? Would you like to receive a smile, a hug, or even a “how do you do” in the mail? I’ll be the first to raise my hand!! I would!

Latest “Mindful Living” Articles:

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

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

Have you ordered your copy of my book, “D iz for Different”? It’s available in paperback and Kindle (Kindle device not necessary). Go here to learn more.

Inspired Living: Believe in You

In June of 2012 my daughter, Lillian, recorded herself singing a song of her own making titled “You Can Believe in Yourself.”

Today seemed like the perfect time to share it with all of YOU! I think you can understand it enough to get the message! May it bring sunshine to your day … xoxo

*Lillian has a chromosome abnormality simply called 18p-; which means she is missing a piece of her short arm of chromosome #18. The main way it manifests for her is that she is speech impaired. 

30 Day Journey of Life: Self-Love

“Self-love is the source of all other loves.” -Pierre Corneille

And so it is … I accept and realize that to become enlightened and enrich my own life I must stop searching, trying so hard, and waiting for some “thing” to happen. I must be that which I seek and that which I seek lies within me. On October 15, 2012 I embarked on a Journey of Life. For at least the next year, I plan to dedicate myself to a different 30 Day Journey of Life at the beginning of every new 30 days.

The first 30 Day Journey of Life was Giving. The second 30 Day Journey was Non-Judgment. The third 30 Day Journey of Life was Silence. This month’s 30 Day Journey of Life is Self-Love.

I got a little behind so this 30 Days runs from January 26, 2012 through February 26, 2012. During this 30 days my plan was to treat myself kindly with my thoughts. And, also to take more time to not DO so that I can accomplish more. And, lastly to be conscious of what I eat and drink during this period.

Since I’m posting this so late, I can say that I didn’t do such a good job with this 30 Day Journey of Self-Love. Up until yesterday morning, February 20, 2013, that is. It took me that long to move through and accept a few things. I reached out to a friend yesterday morning, I started my day with 20 minutes of meditation on a specific prayer/mantra, ended my day with another 20 minutes of meditation and began my day today the same way. During this entire 30 days I have cut down on sugar intake and alcohol consumption. I actually don’t imbibe that much. I just wanted to do this for myself. Why? Because I Can! In addition, I increased the amount/length of my daily walk.

I feel wonderful and am truly INspired y’all!

Onward! Next 30 Day Journey of Life begins on February 27, 2013 … The day after my birthday!

30 Day Journey of Life: Silence

Silence

“See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” -Mother Teresa

And so it is … I accept and realize that to become enlightened and enrich my own life I must stop searching, trying so hard, and waiting for some “thing” to happen. I must be that which I seek and that which I seek lies within me. On October 15, 2012 I embarked on a Journey of Life. For at least the next year, I plan to dedicate myself to a different 30 Day Journey of Life at the beginning of every new 30 days.

The first 30 Day Journey of Life was Giving. The second 30 Day Journey was Non-Judgment. This month’s 30 Day Journey of Life is Silence.

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Every day during this 30 days I will give myself at least 15 minutes, if not more, of silence. During this time I will not read, write or use the computer. So far I’ve incorporated this into my walk or having a nice hot soak in the tub. I will focus on being in the present moment when my thoughts begin to wander, dwell on an issue, or think about the past or future; I will gently release those thoughts and return to whatever I’m doing. My plan is to make this a habit and continue having some moments of silence every day. This will actually lead perfectly into the next 30 Day Journey of Life which is meditation.

Onward y’all!

“Silence is a source of great strength.” -Lao Tzu

 

You …

(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.)

You make me HAPPY …

You make me smile …

You make me laugh …

You make me cry with joy and pride because you have realized your worth …

You make me wanna dance …

You make me inspired …

You make me proud with your strength and courage …

You give me goosebumps over the wisdom you share with Thomas and Lillian …

You take my breath away with your persistence …

YOU are AMAZING Camilla ….

Did I really just write a post dedicated to myself? YES … I DID! I DARE each one of  you to write a similar note to yourself … show yourself some self-love. Use your imagination … Pretend like we’re two 11-year-olds sitting cross legged facing one another and I just looked you in the eye and triple dog dared YOU! I DARE you to not only do this, but to BELIEVE the things you write. Write about the qualities you already have and write about the qualities you wished you had as if you ALREADY have them! Maybe the World would have much more happiness if we all made it a priority to love and be kind to ourselves … Because when we do, it spreads beyond us … to those we love and even to complete strangers. Self-love has NOTHING to do with buying things for yourself, taking yourself on vacations or treating yourself to pampering … although, these are absolutely good to treat ourselves to every once in a while!! Self-love has EVERYTHING to do with what we “say” or think about ourselves in our mind …

I DARE YOU!!

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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.

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