The Shift and Miracles

Lillian at Wilbur May Arboretum May 2016 Date Day

I feel that any time we experience a shift of perspective, it is a miracle. Also, the things most of us simply do automatically just as we’ve done a million times before ….. I feel those are miracles ….

Recently, Lillian and I decided to reduce her twice per month craniosacral appointments to once per month visits. April marks one year since we began. She started out with once a week, then in August 2015 went down to every other week. She’s making GREAT progress.

Plus, she had a great day at physical therapy on that same day. She said, “Yes” to getting on the ladder and went up one step … FOUR times! YAY!! She has quite the fear of stairs (among other things) and this was a HUGE movement forward for her.

She also told me that she is going to use the stairs at least one time at the Chromosome 18 conference in San Antonio. We’ve been to this hotel before and she already knows what it’s like. There are stairs from the lobby to the 2nd floor meeting rooms and 4 years ago we had to take the elevator every time.

On Sunday she told me that in May or June she will start crossing the foot bridge (on the trail around the lake) without holding onto my arm so that she can practice for doing it along the riverwalk in San Antonio.

Also, she wants to walk the entire Damonte Ranch Loop (about 4 or 5 miles) a few more times before going to San Antonio so that she can be prepared to walk as much as we’d like while there.

Purple Flower at Wilbur May Arboretum May 2016 date Day with Lillian

And there’s more!! She is finally in a place where is ready to think about ways to confront her fear of animals – ALL animals. We have such a hard time on our walks as it doesn’t matter if dogs are leashed or not, she still panics .. and sometimes people just don’t understand that it doesn’t matter how friendly the dog is; she has an overwhelming fear. I always pet and talk to the dog so she can observe; yet she still panics and has anxiety.

One reason she is ready to face these fears is the impact it has on where and how and when we go places and do things.

Just BEing here is a miracle …. As I am on my daily walk, I say, “I am walking on the path that goes around the lake, and this is a miracle.” … Perhaps you may want to find a way to notice the miracles abundant in every single day … xoxo

Trail at Wilbur May Arboretum May 2016 Date Day with Lillian

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.

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17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself

I know I’m not alone in having those times (far too many) when my shoulders and neck have made themselves at home nestled right under my ears. Now, although my shoulders may be happy there, the tension this creates is not happy news for me and my brain!!

I also know I’m not alone in having zero to very low funds to invest in rejuvenating activities so I’ve put together this easy and free list in the hopes that you find a thing or two that works for you.

    1. Laugh!
    2. SMILE … even when you don’t feel like it … smile especially at those you love.
    3. Feeling overwhelmed, angry or sad? Take deep breaths and drink a big glass of water.
    4. Step outside for a few minutes of fresh air.
    5. Turn on your favorite music and DANCE for a few minutes … or more!
    6. Go outside and gaze at the moon and stars.
    7. Clean for a few minutes … this ONLY works if you clear your mind and solely think about your task at hand.
    8. Keep a Happiness and/or Gratitude Log … Whenever you have a few minutes write in it …
    9. If you have a flower garden, step outside and SMELL THE FLOWERS!! Smell them, touch them and admire them. Think about ONLY the flowers.
    10. Spend a lot of time in your car? Listen to inspirational audio recordings. Better yet … make your own, recorded in your own voice.
    11. Stop and stretch for a few minutes. Stretch your arms to the sky, bend over and touch the floor. Open your arms wide and stretch.
    12. In the thick of an unpleasant situation, say to yourself, “I am forever undisturbed.” This helps to create a buffer between you and whatever is happening.
    13. After everyone’s in bed, instead of escaping with television drama, try this instead … read 10 or more pages in an inspirational, self-help or humorous book.
    14. When a friend or family member gives you a break to run errands or go to appointments for yourself, build in an extra 10 minutes. Go for a quiet walk with those 10 minutes. Sometimes a 10 minute walk is all you need to recharge.
    15. While waiting in lines, try not to read the tabloid headlines. Take deep belly breaths. Release all worries, thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow … completely empty your mind with each exhale. Do this at least 3 times. Next, breathe in peace and joy. Think of yourself as a sponge soaking it in.
    16. While waiting for your child at appointments, try not to sit in the lobby. Go sit in your car or outside somewhere. Use all of your senses. Just sit and listen to the sounds of nature. Feel the breeze or the rain or the grass. Look around you and think about only what you see. Do you see flowers or trees? Think about the shape and color of the flower and/or tree and whether it’s smooth or rough, etc.
    17. Print this list and keep it in your purse and your car …

If you find this content helpful and/or inspiring, and it feels the thing to do, I invite you to buy me a coffee … Thank you!

Buy Me A Coffee

Now that you have a starter list, add your own ideas and personalize this list. Be creative and have fun with it. What do you think? See some on this list you plan on trying right away? Please share your thoughts for easy and free ideas for rejuvenation!!

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

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Shooting for near the end of July 2019 for publication date.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

I Wish I Wasn’t An 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two


I’m pretty sure Lillian has said something like this at least once in the past. I’m not sure exactly why, but this time it felt like a punch to the gut.

Lillian falls frequently due to depth perception and balance issues. She fell pretty hard on the tile floor tonight, and this is what prompted her to make the, “I wish I wasn’t an 18p- girl” statement. She’s okay. Got one heck of a bruise on her elbow. I told her it was okay to feel like that and to wish she didn’t have 18p-. I also told her that 18p- is not who she is. I told her she is Lillian, and 18p- is just a special quality she has. She smiled and said, “I know.” Twenty minutes later she was fine and had forgotten all about her comment.

I didn’t though . . . Guess you could say this is my Moment of Defeat – Take Two.

The moment after she was in bed, I had that “time standing still” feeling and the tears began flowing. I began to question everything I’m doing, my belief system, my thought processes. I had the “Who do you think you are?” and “What are you doing?” thoughts in the mix too. The last time something like this hit so hard was in May 2010. I wrote about it here: A Moment of Defeat.

Why? Why did this statement, on this particular night, this particular week have this impact on me? Maybe partly due to the book I’m about to release in which I share about myself, my past, my thought processes and my belief system. I’m on the edge, facing some fears and taking hold of that vein of courage within me. Then, I’m sucker punched by one little statement from the little girl who inspired me to “be” where I’m at and to write this book.

Maybe partly due to needing a break from this beautiful young lady. Maybe partly due to feeling a bit guilty as I’ve not shown patience lately in understanding what Lillian is trying to say to me. Guilty because there are times when I cringe when I hear her begin to speak to me. I know I will not understand half of the words she speaks and I will have to focus 100% on what she’s trying to say and it will take double or triple the amount of time to understand one little sentence . . .

**LOVE OFFERING** If you find this content helpful, I invite you to toss a tip in the love offering bowl. With oceans of gratitude … Camilla ….

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

Yep, this one hit hard. Only for a moment though (well, okay, maybe a few hours!). I remind myself that I DO exhibit patience more times than not, I DO choose to have a sense of humor and laugh about it with Lillian. I remind myself I KNOW why I wrote this book. I KNOW that my belief system and thought processes are right for me as this is what brought me to the acceptance and happiness that has always been right here within me. I remind myself that I am sharing it with others in the hopes that something I’ve written will give someone hope, encouragement and inspiration. I remind myself that just a few hours earlier a little girl with wisdom filled eyes looked in mine and said “I know.”

 

Different iz Good . . . Spread the Word

It’s time to begin unveiling The Turning Views Foundation and the Different iz Good™ movement.  Those of you who know me know that I’m Mom to Lillian Darnell, 9 yrs old, and Thomas Darnell, 4 yrs old.  Lillian has a Chromosome 18 abnormality called 18p-.  The  main way in which this manifests is that Lillian is speech impaired (she’s about 90% unintelligible). Lillian uses an iPhone with an AAC Application called Proloquo2Go to speak.

Turning Views Mission is To Empower Those With Genetic Differences by giving them a voice, helping them to be a part of the conversation like NEVER before! Turning Views Slogan is Different iz Good . . . Spread the Word!

Our main goal is to provide nonverbal or speech impaired children with an iPod Touch or iPad with the Proloquo2Go AAC Application (or similar) installed and all needed accessories.  In addition, to train caregiver and/or the child how to use the device.  Another goal is to hold workshops in conjunction with schools and speech therapist to educate regarding this technology.

This device and application are life changing in an unbelievably good way for the nonverbal and speech impaired.  Insurance companies and Medicaid do not cover these.  The alternative up to this point have been heavy, bulky devices that cost anywhere from $7,000 – $10,000.  One can have an iPhone or iPod Touch with the Proloquo2Go application installed and all needed accessories for around $600 – $1,000.

One additional major aspect of the Turning Views Foundation is to educate how technology combined with Social Networking sites improves quality of life for special needs children ~ especially nonverbal and speech impaired children. The way in which we communicate and conduct business has fundamentally shifted and changed forever.  It is my opinion that the World has shifted in such a way to include the speech impaired like they have NEVER been included before.  We are no longer solely communicating with our mouths and voices.  A large portion of the population is communicating using technology and social networking sites.  The speech impaired are now able to be a part of the conversation like NEVER before.  Their community and those they can engage with, socialize with and conduct business with has grown exponentially.  A second phase to our mission is to facilitate the making of entrepreneurs of those special needs children, teens and young adults who choose to pursue this exciting venture.

Different iz Good . . .  Spread the Word ~ we will be rolling out tons of DIFFERENT and fun ways for y’all to help spread the word.  I invite anyone who knows a special needs child, teenager or young adult (and even they themselves) to post a video reply on the Different iz Good YouTube channel telling us why Different iz Good, Different is Beautiful and Different is OKAY or what it means to you.

I believe Lillian is different for many reasons.  She is a special young lady who shines like no other and has a beautiful inspiring energy about her.  She is here to teach me and the rest of us some lessons.  One of which is to embrace technology and the shift in the way we communicate or at least approach with an open mind to how life changing this is for some of those amongst us.

Spread the Word Y’all ~ Different iz Good!

I want to steal a  bit of space here and thank a ton of special wonderful motivating and inspiring people for encouraging me and being a part of the creation and birthing of the Turning Views Foundation and the Different iz Good movement.  First, and foremost, Susan, a fellow 18p- Mom.  When I came across the phrase “different is good” in something she had written about a year and half ago, I asked her at the time if I could use that phrase on t shirts.  {Thanks Susan ~ you are a beautiful, smart and amazing Mom to IM.} It has since grown into the slogan for this 501(c)3, Turning Views Foundation.  My wonderful and supportive family who at times, I’m sure, wonder if I’ve lost my mind!! My Chromosome 18 Family ~ having y’all there means more than could ever be expressed in writing.  My eWomenNetwork Family ~ Love y’all to pieces – many times y’all are my glue and facilitate my Glow!  My friends from Oaklawn Junior High (Houma, LA – way down in da bayou) ~ I’m blessed to have y’all in my life!  Friends from my past and my newest friends and supporters.  Thanks a million to all of you!

A Moment of Defeat

On Wednesday, I watched my daughter, Lillian, as she got off the school bus, struggling with her backpack and walking to her destination in the back of the school.  My heart sank as I stood watching all the other kids bouncing around running and walking normally with their backpacks with not a struggle in sight.  Tears welled in my eyes; it was just one of those days.  She absolutely refuses to wear a backpack on her back and thus ends up carrying it by the little loop on the top.  It’s almost as big as she is.

As I drove home, it seemed as if time stopped for about 15 seconds and I felt so completely and utterly alone.  I chose to feel sorry for myself for a minute and welcome a wave of defeat ~ sorry that I was not blessed with a “typical” little girl.  A little girl that a mother can share life’s little moments with, talk with, have an actual verbal conversation with, hug and snuggle with, watch grow and blossom like most other girls.

I and moms like me have a different life with our daughters.  We watch them struggle with something as simple as carrying a backpack to class, struggle to speak and talk in a way that can be understood with mounting frustration because their little mind is overflowing with all the right words and phrases; but, the mouth, tongue and lips do not work as they should so we can understand.  We watch them struggle to dress themselves, struggle to open things, cut things, play on the playground.  We must listen to their complaints of tummy aches, this and that aches and not know why and add that to our list to try and figure out.  We don’t have the typical “How’d your day go and what’dya do with your friends today honey” conversations?  Ours are “How was your day today?”  And we get a thumbs up or thumbs down. Conversation over.

Only a minute though . . . .

I have a beautiful daughter who shines like no other.  She has a warm loving heart.  AND she is one stubborn hard headed little lady.  I am blessed beyond blessing that she is stubborn and hard headed.  This means she keeps on trying and keeps on trying and doesn’t give up as quickly on whatever she is trying to accomplish.  I have had moments with her that made my heart feel as if it would burst with happiness and joy.  When a speech impaired child tells you for the first time “I Love You” and says “Momma” for the first time, it is a feeling like no other.

**LOVE OFFERING** If you find this content helpful, I invite you to toss a tip in the love offering bowl. With oceans of gratitude … Camilla ….

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

This beautiful little lady, who is a self proclaimed fairy, will and does touch the lives of whomever she encounters in such a beautiful way that cannot even be described.  I am her mother for a reason and she my daughter for a reason.  Lillian has a beautiful soul and had some lessons to teach me and will continue to teach me.  She does at times help me to stay grounded.  I find myself wanting and feeling I should be doing more for Lillian; but know that whatever I need to do will happen as it should and I should not force anything.

It is my belief that I need these 15 minutes of feeling sorry for myself and moments of defeat to enable me to come out on the other side stronger and more focused on the path I am on and headed towards.  What about you? Do you feel moments such as these (for whatever reason) are needed and helpful?

Go here to read “A Moment of Defeat – Take Two”

I Wish I Wasn’t An 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two

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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