Throwback Post: Golden Opportunity – Unexpected Hysterical Enlightenment

**THROWBACK POST**

November 9 2016:

I wrote this message after taking these pictures. We just got back from Lillian’s OT appointment and I was drawn to these two trees. Lillian and I laughed, and smiled, and took wonderful, inspiring pictures. A message inspired by nature …

Wednesday, November 9, 2016, was so incredibly strange as I was going through an internal shift all day and it was simply overflowed into my presentation. This afternoon from 1-3:45 I spoke on a parent panel at UNR (with 6 other Moms) to students getting a degree serving individuals with disabilities in one capacity or another. The class is titled Serving Individuals with Disabilities and their Families.

In the past I would have been bothered for at least 2 weeks by the way I presented myself. I feel it’s time to retire the facade and BE who we are … vulnerable, real people whose only true want is love, joy, and kindness … And it’s only a “want” because we haven’t realized we already have all that within us.

It was not my best “speaking”. My voice wavered, I was on the verge of tears, and wept at times. I’ve spoken so many times over the years about this topic and not presented in the same way as today. I’m usually firm and confident. Yet, I do not judge myself thinking I have done poorly. I was authentic.

When these students graduate, get their first job, and they have a parent(s) sitting across from them, there will be days when that parent will not be their best. They may be experiencing illness in the family, a marriage that’s crumbling, had a negative experience in the grocery store before the meeting, or experienced something world shifting that has caused them to know who they truly are at a deeper level.

Today I was authentic in a huge room full of people I do not know. On the drive home I cried so hard and deep I could hardly get my breath. A strange mixture of tears of sadness and joy all at the same time. Knowing a chasm had just opened in my heart to an even deeper level to let love flow in and out. A chasm of connection with all.

I was crying hysterically and singing at the top of my lungs to this ….

Followed by this one …

Since then everything seems so clear and pure. When I listen to songs, I’m hearing them like I’ve never heard them before. I’m singing and dancing and the love is overflowing within me.

I realized that I have an opportunity here. A golden opportunity to confront shadows still lurking within and have this be the catalyst to walk the talk and BE LOVE, to do what I came here to do .. And that is to share love in my own unique way ….

It was beautiful and authentic. Good thing the hysterical enlightenment and awakening waited until I was in the car and didn’t happen in front of those students. They only got a little taste of it!

May we all let ourselves know who we truly are .. not what the mind or ego would have us believe. What we truly are ….. LOVE …. xoxo

***October 23 2020 Update*** …. I absolutely took hold of that golden opportunity and proceeded to dive deep into remembering, healing, connecting, feeling, releasing, and doing it all over again … for 4 years.

At times, I literally felt like I would die during the midst of deep diving. I’m thankful and blessed to be sitting here, typing this on the other side of that intense time. It was completely and totally worth every moment. Thank you to the friends and family who patiently and lovingly supported and loved me during this time. I love you … xoxo

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Throwback Post: I Vow to Learn

**THROWBACK POST**

I’m not sure when I originally wrote this. Perhaps in 2016 or 2017.

Our Children, Our Awakeners

In my illusion I thought I was going to raise you
To be whole, complete, and worthy,
To be educated, kind, and wise,
To be a leader, empowered, and free.

I was deluded to think I knew it all,
fooled by my age and might.
I thought I had it all together,
Ready to teach, inspire, and change you.

Only now, after so many moments
With you
Do I realize how foolish these ideas were,
How baseless and grandiose.

I now understand …
That it is you who is here to teach me,
To guide, lead, shift, and elevate,
To transform, awaken, and inspire
Me.

I now realize how I had it wrong,
Upside down and outside in,
It is you who are this perfectly designed clarion
To wake me up to my true self. -Excerpt from the book, “The Awakened Family – A Revolution in Parenting” by Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D.


(Thomas and Lillian at 2 years old and 6 years old)

I have made many facebook posts with the comment, “They are my greatest teachers”, referring to Thomas and Lillian. I have written several blog posts that connect with this concept also.

Yet, only recently did I know I was simply scratching the surface of just how much and how deep Thomas and Lillian teach me … if I am open and conscious to receiving it. Little did I know that I was only skimming the top layers of conscious parenting.

And on the flip side laying the foundation for some of the same erroneous lessons, stories, and blocks that were unconsciously taught to me as a child.

In my heart I knew that these two, in fact all children, can be our greatest teachers if we are ready to live consciously in the present moments of life, release blocks, and create our future from the here and now and not in reaction to our past. I simply was not ready to know the depth of what Thomas and Lillian had to teach me.

These teachings are by no means fun and full of glitter scattered joyful moments. They are tough. They hurt, physically and emotionally. They suck big time. Yet, these moments are the doorway to our own freedom. This doorway serves two purposes.

One is the freedom to live our lives in the present moment; not being held back by our past. The other is freedom for our children of not being led down a similar path with similar thorns and blocks.

This doorway can be difficult to enter. We try and try to enter it, yet it seems stuck. There is no handle and we push with all our might to open the door to freedom. At last, we can take the looping patterns of our past no longer. During this darkness we awaken to the idea that the doorway opens within. All we need do is allow it to open by being in the darkness, feeling it, and release it.

Again, NOT an easy thing to do. It is extremely uncomfortable as memories surface and we allow ourselves to feel what we dared not feel as a child.

Further thoughts, on a different day, still in 2016 or 2017 …

What if? What if all of the suffering of this world, all the fighting, all of the destruction to our Mother Earth; comes down to this one global wound? This wound that was inflicted so long ago no one even remembers where or how it happened. What if we let this wound heal? What if we nursed this wound? What if we sat with the wound, drained the poison from it, and nurtured it? What if we learn to unconditionally love our self?

I raise my hand now and say, “I’m in.” I consider our kids to be mirrors to reflect back to us our own thorns and darkness. I’m blessed to have two such mirrors in my life. And sometimes blessings are not comfortable or fun. Over the past six months these beautiful and amazing mirrors have shown me in a hugely uncomfortable way that I have never loved myself unconditionally and so therefore, I have never loved another unconditionally. And, yes, that includes my own two kids.


(Thomas and Lillian at 14 years old and 18 years old)

This has been a perfectly timed mirror message as I needed to get to a place where I would not let myself be overcome with guilt and sorrow with this knowing. Had I been shown this earlier, I would have sank down deeper into the black hole pit of despair, judging and becoming the victim.

What if all the times of disrespect, disregard, arguing, back talk, “laziness”, unkindness, excessive use of digital devices was not about that at all? What if it’s about our relationship with our kids? What if it’s about how we only conditionally loved them when they were wee little ones and on into their young life? What if all they are truly saying is “Love me. All of me. Love me as I am; not as you wish me to be. Don’t shame me. Don’t manipulate me.” What if excessive use of anything is only an attempt to escape from the pain of not feeling loved for who one truly is?

What if we took this same scenario out onto the streets and into the world? What if that person having a meltdown in the grocery store is truly saying, “I am so unloved. I don’t love myself. I’m horrible. No one has ever loved me.” What if people committing crimes are simply saying the same thing? What if people in power are saying the same thing with decisions or comments they make? What if “natural disasters” and any negative seeming environmental issues are Mother Earth saying, “I need your unconditional love. Love me when you perceive beauty and love me when you don’t perceive beauty.”

None of this to excuse unkind behavior or to give anyone a free pass to wreaking havoc. Yet, when we can not let ourselves be affected by unkindness directed towards us, we will know that we have learned how to unconditionally love our self … And, can now unconditionally love the one directing unkindness our way. No matter what they say or do; our love never waivers. We can look them in the eye and say, “I love you brother, or sister.” And, what if, when the other is unconditionally loved, the unkind behavior and the “escapism” simply melt away? What if?

My take: It’s not about the unkind behavior or the object used to escape. It’s about our relationships. It’s about unconditional love. It’s about unconditional love not received as a child. It’s about being raised with and taught conditional love.

It’s absolutely and definitely not about blaming our own parents as they could not love in a way they had not been loved or taught. It’s about how most of us learned to love one self only conditionally. It’s about sharing that conditional love with others and only conditionally loving Mother Earth. It’s about passing that conditional love to our kids and so the cycle repeats.

I don’t claim to know whether this is “correct” or to know the solution. I’m also not implying with these words that we simply let kids rule their own life, making their own decisions without our guidance. There is a drastic distinction between conscious and unconscious parenting.

I do feel that the more people who are unconditionally loved, the more peaceful and joyful world we will create. So I’m starting where I can. With me.

I vow to unconditionally love my self. I vow to clear my own cobwebs so that I can be a mirror for my kids without my past interfering. I vow to unconditionally love my kids. I will release all expectations and agendas I have for each of them. I will engage with them. I will not manipulate. I will not cause them to feel guilt or shame when they are sharing of their true self. I vow to try. I may fail at times. Yet, I vow to notice when I have failed and to let them know when I have failed. I vow.

**October 8 2020 Update** – What a powerful message to have written at the time, and to take in again. For the most part I agree with all I wrote and concluded back then. I do want to say that when I speak of unconditional love I am not suggesting we stay in harmful situations, or continue to communicate with abusive people. One can love another, and never be in their company. And, we do not have to unconditionally love every human we encounter.

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Throwback Post: Bring Your Light to the Fire

**THROWBACK POST**

February 20 2017:

“Live in the present. That’s in the past. Let it go.” –Lillian Darnell

We teach what we most need to learn. Thank you Lillian for sometimes being the student and sometimes being the teacher.


(Photo from a walk around Spooner Lake – July 2020)

I stand at the beginning of my third week of confronting some deeply buried crud. I feel this week will be the climax and I’m grateful for all that I’ve shared and modeled for Thomas and Lillian as they hold space for me when I need it most.

This year’s theme for me is “The Shift” and I don’t seem to be wasting any time! xoxo –

May this resonate with whoever it resonates with … xoxo

“It’s time to step into the flames of the fire. The time is now to connect with that which you fear from your past. The past no longer exists and cannot cause you harm. However, when it is avoided and sidestepped; it does indeed cause you harm.

This avoidance and sidestepping keeps you a prisoner of the past and held captive to a perceived smallness. As the flame grows, be still and know that you are not alone. Be still and know it cannot hurt you. It cannot consume you.

By bringing your light to the flames of the fire, it will be extinguished and transformed into the light of freedom.

The freedom to claim your power. The freedom to know who you are. The freedom to shine your light with others.

Be still. And Know.” – Camilla

**September 2020 Update** – 2017 was absolutely a year of shifting for me. I walked into and processed much deep, painful healing. Nearing the end of 2020, it’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around all that I processed and healed. Life is such a wild adventure!! I sit on the other side of all of this, and let out a deep, peaceful, and comforting sigh. You did it, Camilla. You did it!

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)

Blessings,
Camilla

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Poetry: Sunset Walks of the Soul

August 11 2020

Sunset walk with Lillian.

Sometimes parenting is a bed of roses.
Sometimes parenting is a bed of thorns.
Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going.
Sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.
Yet, the walks I take, the scenes my eyes frame, the photos I take, being in nature, always brings peace and comfort.

PS:This parenting gig, especially single parenting, is not for the faint of heart.

Blessings,
Camilla

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: You’re Doing it Wrong

**THROWBACK POST**

*Written sometime in mid to late 2017*


(from a June 2020 Walk – Taken by me)

The overriding theme of my childhood was that I was doing it wrong and not to trust myself. Therefore, I have struggled all my life with low self-esteem and incredibly low self-worth. Believing I am not worthy of having a beautiful and peaceful life, full of unconditional love is something I have always thought was not something I deserved.

I have spent the last 20 years learning to like and love my self, learning who I truly am, and for 2016 and 2017 walking into, connecting with, and releasing this darkness.

Indeed the children of our world and the future of our world strongly depends on not conforming children to the way it’s “supposed” to be done and always has been done. They come into this world (and we did too) knowing who we are, knowing the gift we brought with us, and trusting our self, our intuition. I feel each and every one of us came here to share Divine Love in our own unique way … to share loving kindness and compassion for one another, Nature, and animals.

August 2020 Update: This was originally written to add to another post that was published about the same time. It’s a letter written to my son, Thomas. Go here to read the original post and why I felt moved to add this additional note.

Dear Thoughts: I Want To Be Happy With Myself

I am in a much better place these days. I feel this is mainly due to the courage of walking into what I needed to do to heal myself. I still have days where I feel I’m doing things wrong, making wrong decisions, days full of guilt and shame. However, I’ve learned how to process and feel these emotions. They don’t ever truly go away. I’ve learned how to go to the core of the issue, let myself feel what needs to be felt, with the knowing that it is okay to trust myself.

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)

Blessings,
Camilla

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: What Will I Be When I Grow Up?

**THROWBACK – JANUARY 2018**

Lillian Shadow on Hill 2014 or 2015(Photo of Lillian taken by Camilla in 2014)

She asked, “What will I be when I grow up?”

Dear One,

You will Be what you already Are. That is constant and never changes. You do not have to be anything other than what is aligned with your heart. You do not have to strive for labels and titles … unless these are aligned with one’s heart.

You’ve been asked many times over the years by well meaning adults, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You have stayed true with your response to this even when the questioner did not understand your answer, even though the questioner thought that you didn’t understand their question, and pressed you for a different answer.

You Will BE what you already Are. Uniquely You. Sharing what only you can share in the unique way only you can share it. What is “it”, you may ask. It has many names. Love, kindness, compassion, unconditional love, divine love … Whatever it is called, matters not.

For when you share the gift of yourself with another, this gift will guide them in the knowing that they are loved and the knowing of their true gifts. When you share your gift with others, it in turn inspires others to tap into their unique gifts. This sharing arouses the courage in another to share their unique gifts with others.

This creates a ripple effect that can eventually travel the world over. Just your one act of sharing your true self has the power to create a shift in the world. A shift that would awaken many to the compassion, kindness, oneness, and unconditional love which is the core of each and every one of us.

You will BE what you already Are. Stay true to your heart. Follow the compass of the heart. The heart is one’s true compass.

Love,
The Fairy Princess Helper
xoxoxo

Update July 18 2020: I had completely forgotten about this! I remember being inspired to write this by the sheer volume of times that Lillian had been asked this throughout the years, probably reignited by something I had seen in social media. Her answer had always been that she wanted to be a fairy princess helper, she wanted to help people. Many did not understand her answer, or pressed her to make the answer fit into an “real” profession or career.

When Lillian was in kindergarten or first grade, she was working on a project about herself. One of the questions was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I remember as if it was yesterday … We were in the car, Lillian in the backseat, I asked her what her answer to this question would be. She said she wanted to be a tooth fairy. The “old” Camilla was still a huge presence in me, and I almost told her that being a tooth fairy, or fairy, was not a real job.

However, the awakened me took over and told Lillian that there were many types of fairies. Book fairies, nature fairies, flower fairies, etc. I also told her she could call whatever she does, any name she likes. The name does not matter. At that time, she said she wanted to be a book fairy. Soon after, she shifted to a fairy princess helper and has stuck with that.

I feel this question should be rephrased. I think it has the tendency to cause children to feel “less than” if they don’t have an answer, or an answer the adult does not understand. I feel they aren’t given enough messages that they are worthy and loved for simply being themselves. (A message partly coming to you from the child within me, who always felt less than and grew up to feel she was not worthy.) xoxo

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Being a Sibling to One With Special Needs

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)


(Thomas and Lillian – 2010 – Geiger Way Lookout)

**THROWBACK TO 2014**

After a huge Lillian meltdown this morning which caused him to be a wee bit late for school.

I am trying to help him notice when it’s not a good idea to push Lillian. He does try so hard, but just wants to not have to try sometimes. Lillian is making huge progress, yet, we still have those moments. Thomas’ teacher shares often with me how she enjoys his presence in the classroom as he’s so empathetic and compassionate.

I have recently pulled back from intervening when they decide to be unkind with one another. I’ve explained that I have taught them methods to use and I model those methods. It is up to them whether they use them or not.

This morning it escalated, I remained calm and not involved. It escalated and escalated and escalated. There was screaming and door slamming. I remained calm and not involved. I got scratched and pinched, I remained calm. I kept emphasizing that I’d be happy to help her get calm and to let me know when she was ready. And. Finally, Lillian asked for help in calming down. I walked her through a meditative breathing exercise and we moved on …. I don’t always remain calm. I did this morning and it makes such a huge, huge, huge difference when I do. Mindfulness is an amazing way to live …

Yes, this. I am blessed and grateful that we are a team. I am having the time of my life on this journey with them. The joy, suffering, happiness, peace, love, and all … xoxo

**June 2020 Update** – Six years later. I’d love to say that Thomas and Lillian get along fabulously now. They don’t. Lillian is 18 and Thomas is 14.

Thomas has much anger and unsettled feelings about being Lillian’s sibling. The years of horrific meltdowns. I mean we just had one at 1:30am this morning. I’ve told him as often as I could remember that it was okay to be angry, okay to have whatever feelings he has about the situation.

Much of my time being spent with Lillian. Not having a typical sibling, with a typical sibling relationship, doing typical activities as a family. These all became too much at some point, with him internalizing much. This is something we will be addressing at some point this year.

Lillian has much jealousy towards Thomas, for all the things he can do that she can’t do. Jealous of my time spent with him, jealous even when he and I speak to one another. Jealous may not be the word to use here, it’s quite possibly stems from something else. She may have internalized some trauma from her childhood. All issues to be addressed when she is ready to do so.

I do not share to receive comfort or sympathy. I share as that’s what I know I am to do. I share so other siblings and parents know they are not alone. As I know that in the past I have felt guilt and shame when observing a sibling with their special needs sibling getting along fabulously, with compassion and love. Wondering what I had done wrong. I now know I have done nothing wrong. People are just different.

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: No Plans and Connecting With Emotions

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping. Here’s a throwback to nearly four years ago!)


(Photo taken by me at Scripts Wildlife Preserve – Reno, Nevada, USA)

**THROWBACK POST**

June 2016: My words from this time last year (below) …. May the words inspire and encourage those whom it is meant for … xoxoxo

words from June 2015: “Team TLC has come to the end of a chapter in our adventures and we embark on a new chapter. This chapter will be a living-in-the-moment adventure, with intentions of it being FUN and memorable.

I don’t have plans, I don’t know where we’ll live after the summer with the Romano Duo, I don’t know exactly what will happen. I am not always okay with this, but mostly I am. I feel the desire to know exactly how things will happen and the worry that accompanies this are just fears.

In the past I’ve spent a great deal of time confronting and connecting with these and other fears and they no longer have power within me. I know these fears are not the true me and as long as I live from the heart with love as the foundation of all actions, I, and the rest of Team TLC, will be blessed and affluent.

I DO know where I want to live and have much clarity about the role I am to play in being of service. That is all I need to know for now. Connecting with emotions, specifically fear, has been one of the most empowering “non-actions” I have ever taken …. May you choose to connect with any emotion that holds you back.

I know everything will be okay and worry has no hold on me. That’s not to say that worry is no longer present in my life. I am now able to recognize worries, fears, anger, complaining, the desire to be right and have someone else be wrong, as simply the ego throwing a tantrum because I am stepping into my power.

The world is a beautiful love-filled place and none of us were meant to suffer. Our suffering is self imposed with the thoughts that we consciously and unconsciously choose to think. I have chosen to go deep, clear out all the crud and live at a deeper level. xoxo”

June 2016: Still so meaningful to me as we are about to embark on our longest road trip so far in Team TLC history, still not knowing with certainty how we will pay for it all, and when we get back, we’ll be deciding by the end of July on the course of a new adventure …

The need to know when, how, where, and what next; can at times, be the very block that keeps us from fully experiencing life and experiencing it as our true selves … minus the ideas and beliefs of others.

**May 2020: WOW! When I look back at the experiences I had, the way I handled them, I almost find it hard to believe that I wrote this, and that I experienced this! HA! I have moved away from the belief that we 100% cause our own suffering.

That’s pretty harsh, discounting the horrors that some have experienced. Yet, I think I needed to feel and believe this to get to the place where I am now, having more compassion for my own past experiences and those of my fellow humans. Here’s to learning, growing, not being afraid of being authentic, and making it known when you no longer hold certain beliefs.

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

The Decision to Feel – Syllables of Swathi

I was recently a guest of Priya on the beautiful book blog, Syllables of Swathi. I shared my thoughts on the choice to allow myself to feel emotions and feelings.

The Decision to Feel

I had a decision to make. I could continue to be stuck in a place of self pity, of feeling like I’m not one of the chosen who gets to have a peaceful, abundant, and joyful life. By no means was this an easy decision to make. I struggled on and off for more than 20 years with a core belief that people like me do not get to have an easy, peaceful life.

A charmed and privileged life of knowing what one wants, how one wants to contribute to society, and for this to effortlessly flow into one’s experience. No, as much as I tried to affirm the opposite of that belief into my consciousness; I found the “people like me don’t get to have it that way” belief still lurked in the dark hidden crevices of my mind.

I’m not one of those who knew as a child what she liked to do and stuck to it. In fact, I have no memories of any interests or leanings during my childhood. In my mind’s eye all that I see or remember are like snapshot photos, like a polaroid instant photo. I don’t remember my childhood as if it were a movie with the scenes replaying in my mind. The things I do remember are frozen in time.

Having a gratitude practice has been the shining light during times when it seemed there was only darkness. Many times it appears as if I have nothing for which to be grateful. With practice, I have learned to dig a bit deeper than what seems to be happening.

On the days in which my mind is swirling with the heaviness of circumstances; I can bring my will power to the table, allow myself to feel the heaviness, and then move into that for which I have to be grateful. There can be a seemingly never ending stretch of time between moving from feeling the heaviness to a gratitude practice. Yet, it’s worth the wait for me to do it in this way.

I can look around me and find dozens of things for which to be grateful. The clothes I’m wearing, the furniture in the room, the laptop I use to pour out my heart, the food in the kitchen, indoor plumbing, toilet paper, a comfortable bed.

Then I can shift my gaze to the window. I am grateful for the window itself so that I may see and have nature within eyesight. Gratitude continues for the trees, and grass, the fresh air, the warmth of the sun, the shade of the clouds, and the delightful bird song.

This is just the beginning. I then close my eyes and bring to mind more images for which I am grateful. My two kids come to mind. I see each of their faces, their smiles, and my heart swells with love and overflows with gratitude. These two wonderful beings have brought deep lessons and incredible joy as they were the catalyst for my arriving at a different destination than I had imagined and shifting my entire view of this thing called life. You bet I’m grateful for these two.

When my daughter, Lillian Darnell, was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare chromosome condition called 18p-; which affects 1 in 56,000 people. Was I grateful for this diagnosis at the time? Absolutely not. I cursed the harshness of it, I cursed life, I was angry and I felt betrayed. Do I feel the same way 15 years later, with an 18 year old Lillian? Absolutely not. …….. Well, let’s be honest. Yes, I do at times. That’s where feeling the emotions and then the gratitude practice shine their amazing light and lend a hand.

In the past I did, in fact, bypass allowing myself to feel the cruddy stuff that called for my attention. I went straight to the gratitude practice without first acknowledging and embracing the unloveliness that had risen to the surface. These days I only bypass when I can’t possibly focus on what needs to be released or I just don’t have the energy or will power. Otherwise, I dive into the abyss and hope I come up for air some time soon!

This gratitude practice and connecting with emotions works best for me when I pour my feelings and emotions into my digital journal. First, I get it all out. Feel what I need to feel as I’m writing, from numbness, to anger, hopelessness, and despair. While at the same time either sobbing or laughing at the ridiculousness of it. For me, this is a critical first step before even entering the gratitude practice. If I did not take this first step, I’d simply be stuffing the unlovely feelings to resurface later.

In all honesty, I forget many times to come back around to gratitude. I am in a hurry, I don’t have time to sit reminding myself of all for which I have to be grateful. By allowing myself to first feel what I need to feel, I can then experience a pivotal shift by acknowledging that for which I am grateful.

At 14 years old, Lillian’s younger brother, Thomas Darnell, has gone through a year or so of being in the throes of puberty and has his own set of challenges. This single parenting journey of raising two kids who each have challenges has been a wild ride. I turn to writing in my digital journal, following with the gratitude practice.

I am not meaning this to sound as if my challenges are any more important or deeper than another’s challenges. At this point I have come to realize each one of us has shadows and struggles. Some of us have perfected bypassing all this jazz, living life seemingly to the fullest. Some of us have perfected diving into it and living life to the fullest. And, some of us are patiently making our way through the diving in part and doing the darn best we can at living life to the fullest. We’re all in this together. Just in a different way.

Having a gratitude practice has been an integral part of this journey for me. I am blessed to remember to appreciate life’s delights, nature’s art and beauty, the kindness and compassion of others; balanced with diving deep into the unlovely feelings and emotions that rise to the surface, ready to be embraced, loved, felt and released.

Breathe in, Breathe out, Feel it …. One breath at a time.

Follow the link to see the post on Priya’s blog …

Guest: Camilla Downs on ‘The Decision to Feel’

 

Throwback Post: Our Purpose and Path

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping. Here’s a throwback to nearly four years ago!)

**THROWBACK POST**

July 1 2016:

Last night we gathered around and had discussions about where each of us is regarding our purpose and path, about each of our personal visions, how we plan to get there, how far we’ve gotten, what’s holding each of us back, current challenges and where we are as a family.

Then Lillian and I had a beautiful sunset walk.

I came back to an email from Thomas (only a little snippet to follow, per Thomas):

“…… And why? I want to be a role model to others.

Really this is the only time I have wanted to be the leader of something but it is something that I believe is my vision, and my purpose.

You said to do what you like doing and I do know I would like it …..”

Made my eyes pool with sweat … xoxo …

This morning I had a magical early morning walk. Just now looked at the pictures .. the two reflection photos …. and they leave me in awe … May you have a day full of letting go and of being in awe of nature … xoxo

**Update – May 2 2020: There were no photos with the draft post. I was able to locate one of them (above). We no longer gather around and have these types of discussions (which I do miss). With Thomas being 14 years old and Lillian 18 years old, they’ve moved on from doing many of the rituals and conversations we had during their youth. I hope that some of what we discussed and did, is somewhere within each of them, waiting the time when the wisdom is needed.