(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)
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.
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.
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.
As I begin my 48th turn around the bright and beautiful Sun, I am called to reflect. Come, reflect along with me if you care to join.
My 47th turn around the sun proved to be the most enlightening and wild to date. I knew in December 2016 that this was to be, for I had called this into my life. I was tired of having patterns from my past, happenings from when I was a child, teen, and young adult, and the thoughts in my own mind keeping me from sharing my essence with others, spreading unconditional love and compassion to all beings and nature, and what I came here to do. I was exhausted.
I knew it was NOT going to be fun. Yet, knew I needed to walk into the internal Hell that had held me captive for nearly all my life. I wanted this. I desired it. Nothing else was as important as walking into those flames, feeling them deeply, allowing them to burn away the anger, shame, guilt, and unworthiness; and allowing the Divine within to transmute those biting and burning flames into Pure Love.
My very FREEDOM relied on doing this once and for all. Nothing else was as important. Not earning money for rent, for food, nor for gas. NOTHING!
I began to receive messages here and there in December 2016 that the Theme of the Coming Year was to be “The Shift” with the two underlying themes of “Knowing” and “Allowing”. Below, is the 2017 theme board I prepared in January 2017. You can see at the bottom of the board two phrases “Secrets of the Heart” and “Adventure of My Life”.
Well, the “Adventure of My Life” wasn’t anything like I thought! I assumed I was in for some great fun!! HA! And, indeed, I learned the “Secrets of the Heart”. Powerful secrets that we all KNOW, yet have forgotten, or have buried underneath years of conditioning that caused us to forgot the knowing of our hearts.
So … I did it. In February I had the great fortune to receive 8 reflexology sessions at no cost; which was paired with Reiki and other energy healing modalities. This is what kicked it off. This was not merely about someone applying deep pressure to pressure points in my feet. These pressure points held the sparks of the very fires that were holding me back. During these two months of sessions, I literally had times I thought I would die from resisting feeling emotions which I dared not ever let myself feel as a child.
See, as a young child I became a master at not allowing myself to feel the weight of horrible happenings. I went into my mind and there I didn’t have to feel. There. Took care of that.
During these sessions I came to know when an old wound was resurfacing as I began to feel anxious. I would go to the bedroom to be alone, lie down, relax, and pray. I prayed that I wanted to remember whatever it was, feel it and that I was ready; that I knew I was never alone, and that whatever this was could no longer hurt me. I simply needed to let myself feel the feelings I had buried.
During these times I sobbed so heavily I thought I may suffocate and I silently screamed as loudly as I could as Thomas and Lillian were in the house too. I let myself get angry about these happenings of childhood. I let myself feel the anger in my guts, in my heart, in my throat. Then, I released into it with sobbing, sobbing, sobbing.
One evening I was deeply anxious and fearful during a connection. I really thought I would simply die from the fear of it. Yet, a peaceful calm overcame me and these words floated into my awareness … “You are not alone. Letting yourself remember this and feel it cannot hurt you. It no longer exists. It is not real. Be Still. And. Know. Be Still. And. Know”.
Those gentle and beautiful words allowed me to remember and feel things I had forgotten and some I did not even know happened for I had buried them so deep as they were tremendously painful occurrences.
Not too long after I finished the reflexology sessions, I began sessions with a Shaman Reiki healer friend. These sessions were such that I could pay what I had available to pay. These sessions continue to this day. Most of the deeply rooted happenings were connected with, felt, and released during the reflexology sessions.
The Shaman sessions seemed to be smoothing and balancing. Although there were a few more memories that bubbled to the surface. One incredibly horrific memory. I don’t think I can even describe the freedom of letting these memories and happenings come to the surface, allowing myself to feel the emotions associated with them, and to release them to the divine.
There is a quiet peace that I can only describe as the intersection of having received a deeply relaxing massage and the serene quiet of being outdoors after freshly fallen snow.
In 2017, I joined an online writer’s group that has been incredibly inspiring. I had joined a few writer’s groups in years past; yet, this one is different. It’s like a homecoming for my writer’s soul. Beautiful and amazing people all over the world. They have blessed me incredibly. So much so that the dew of their blessings drips from my eyes and rolls down my cheeks.
I wrote dozens of poems during 2017 and deeply soulful writings. Now, for goodness sake, I NEVER thought I would be writing poetry. Yet, one day they just started pouring out of me. Actually, the words don’t pour out of me. They flow though me so fast and furious at times that I have to type like the wind to catch them all as they flow through. I actually miss some of the words due to the speed at which they travel!
I have been journal writing for years now. Yet, in 2017, I began to ask a simple question after I was done with pouring my heart out. I ask, “What do I need to know?” The answer that comes forth is always soothing, clears blocks, and provides solutions. Some of these came out as poems, some I later turned into writings that were posted on this blog.
I FEEL different now. I FEEL FREE. FREEDOM. It was always with me. Yet, I simply could not be one with it until I journeyed this path.
I have reclaimed my Wild Woman archetype and actually, at times, totally feel like howling with the moon. Note – NOT, wild as in partying, drinking wild woman. Of course, I had those days, that’s a story for another day though. Simply perform a search for Wild Woman Archetype and you’ll see what I mean.
I do plan to write about the memories that came forth. I have healed from them. They are no longer buried. I have forgiven those involved. I deeply love some of the people involved and some I don’t even know; and I absolutely DO NOT BLAME anyone for happenings of the past. For I know that everyone was doing the best they could with where they were in their own journey of life. That’s a book in and of itself. So, another time for that.
I still have a chink I am addressing and forgiving. I just connected with a piece of it a couple of mornings ago and I feel that’s the last of the big ones! After that, wee little rascals may bubble to the surface; yet, I’ve had a year of practicing. I got this!
2017 and my year as a 47 year old. WOW! Dude! You knocked my socks off! YOU set me FREE!! I am thankful to so many people who have been there for me this past year. I LOVE you all incredibly much. My heart bursts forth with a confetti of love and gratitude for your part in helping me embrace FREEDOM.
2018 is the Year of “Jump” with the two underlying themes of “Listen” and “Trust”. That’s an upcoming blog post of how I came to know that this year I was to LEAP!
I embrace this 48th year with my entire being as a FREE Wild Woman!!
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.
“When we are with Nature, we are awake, and we discover many interesting things and reach many a mark we are not aiming at.” ~John Muir
For the past 17 years I have been going for walks. What started out as an activity simply to satisfy my desire to be active; turned into a ritual for healing, releasing, discovering my authentic self, and connecting with nature.
I offer to you unique one of a kind “Walk With Me” sessions. I am a trained coach, however, traditional coaching methods and styles are not my path. My sessions feel more like conversations with a friend, yet are conversations with a purpose. I am to be a mirror. I am to reflect back what I notice that you are not noticing.
If you feel in need of an internal shift, a change in perception, a loving, warm, “mirror” to reflect back what you are not noticing, let’s schedule a “Walk With Me” session.
Is a “Walk With Me” session right for you?
Take a few minutes to get to know me by going here and then perhaps reading some of my writings by going here. Do you get a resounding “Yes”?
Do you feel you are living life too much from your head and not enough from your heart?
Do you feel confused about what you are supposed to be DOing?
Do you question what your given talents are and how to express them?
Do you hesitate with trusting yourself?
Do you feel guilty for taking steps that are in tune with your intuition?
Do you feel there are habits, fears, beliefs, ideas, and thoughts that need to be released?
Do you wish to allow more of what brings you joy and release all else?
Do you want to maintain and sustain mindfulness?
Do you want to learn how to use emotional connection to release and shed what no longer serves?
Do you want to know how to introduce nature connection, mindfulness, and emotional connection to your kids?
If you answered, “yes”, then let’s go on walkabout! Go here to contact me with any questions.
Each persons session is tailored, therefore no two sessions will look the same. In addition, no two sessions will be alike for those partaking in multiple sessions.
These sessions are not guided hikes by any means. We simply go for a short walkabout in domestic nature with an attitude of open curiosity. We have so many parks and lakes with trails in this wonderful area.
This is about connecting you with nature. It’s about allowing the love and beauty of nature to guide you in healing, shifting, releasing, and discovering what you already know within. It’s also about allowing nature to reflect your beauty back to you.
I guide you in connecting with nature paired with mindfulness and emotional connection to open your awareness. Although our time spent talking before and after the walkabout will have a purpose; our time walking will be slow and seemingly with no purpose.
I also ask that you bring some sort of camera as we may take pictures for you to use in reflecting back to the experience. We also may stop for a few minutes to draw and write.
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”~John Muir
(Picture of me at Washoe Lake in Nevada – April 2016 … Wheee!)
“Nature is everywhere – in our backyards, schoolyards, city parks, and farmlands. Indeed, nature is quite literally everything, from stars and galaxies to planet Earth and the stuff in you. Simply being in the presence of natural landscapes tends to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Such experiences lower mental fatigue and boost mental clarity while enhancing both work performance and healing.” ~Scott D. Sampson
Sessions hosted at my location in the South Meadows/Damonte Ranch/Virginia Foothills area of Reno, Nevada are $58 – $118 and last between one to two hours. All other areas of Reno or Sparks are an additional flat $25.
If you don’t have questions and know you’re ready, go here to secure a “Walk With Me” session by placing a $58 deposit. Once received, we will be in contact to obtain further details and schedule your walkabout. Use this Paypal link to secure your session.
“It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such. It is the bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires that dream. I shall never find the wilds of Labrador any greater wildness than in some recess of Concord.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Camilla See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!
Thursday, April 27, 2016 was National Tell a Story Day! Perfect!!
Once upon a time there was a family who called themselves Team TLC to correspond with the first letter of each of their names. T for Thomas, L for Lillian and C for Camilla.
One night, which may have been right about last night, they sat down with one another after dinner and had discussions about a big dream Team Member C has for the family. They discussed if all family members were on board with this dream; including concerns of Team Member T and Team Member L.
They pretty much all agree and are enthusiastic about this dream. Team Member C needed to know whether or not to shelf this as a family adventure or to continue with the inspiration and planning. She now knows to continue researching and to let the fountain of creativity flow freely!
They also discussed how to peacefully co-exist as a team so as to work smoothly together as each person will have a part to play in this dream. As this simply will not work if there is arguing and unkindness between team members.
A little bit later, Team Member T came to Team Member C and said, “Can I tell you something? Lillian and I just had a conversation. One without her interrupting me and without her saying “Why should I care?” That was different.” I suggested that it could be like that more often too and told him, “Congratulations!”
And, they lived happily ever after …
The adventure continues …
Such an incredible, amazing, joyful experience to be discussing adventures together for exploring, discovering and learning as a family. Investing in getting everyone’s input about the dream that I have for us. Love, Love, Love ….
May you take the opportunity to “look” at the things you’ve always told yourself simply were not possible or were not even something you thought about as that’s not how it’s supposed to be done … and ask “Is that true?” ….
Sometimes we don’t even know we are telling ourselves this as it’s hiding so deeply. Once we begin to practice being quiet, mindful, connecting with emotions, and connecting with nature we are more easily able to catch these sneaky thoughts. We are able to allow a new way of thinking and doing. xoxo
Camilla See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!
“Listen to your heart. It knows everything.” ~Paul Coelho
I feel it’s important that we begin to listen to inner nudges, our gut, our heart, instincts, whatever word you use to describe that inner push. There is a reason we are being moved and listening can change our life for the better.
It may not seem that way initially. Yet, listening to our heart shines the light and leads us out of darkness. That infinite and ever present light is shined only after we greet, embrace, and connect with uncomfortable emotions.
I also feel it’s important that we openly talk with and teach our kids about mindfulness and emotions and what to do with them. Letting them know it’s okay to feel these emotions, yet we don’t want to let them soak into us and fester. We want to meet them with love and curiosity. We absolutely don’t want to resist them as they will grow in magnitude and intensity.
Some of us had parents who taught us these things without all the fancy names. Some of us didn’t. And some of us had parents who taught us and we simply forgot! I feel our children already know these things when they are infants and toddlers. When they go out into the world, many of the messages they receive are the opposite of or do not support emotional connection and BEing mindful.
So they begin to leave behind what they know in their heart. Or worded differently, they close it in their heart where it stays, ready to be let loose by those in their life who will share and mentor this way of life for them.
I had been having the urge to soak in an epsom salt infused tub of warm water for at least 4 days. I finally listened. My body was not moving any further until I did. I felt so heavy and dazed.
After dinner, I got everything ready .. Water running with loads of epsom salt, Himalayan salt votive, palo santo, just the right music wafting in from the living room, door cracked a bit, and darkness.
The minute my feet touched the water, my body exhaled a wave of thanks. I sat in pure bliss for about 30 minutes. It felt as if the weight had lifted and as the water drained so did whatever I had shed. As the water was draining, I instinctively rinsed myself with soothing hot water to ensure getting every bit of it rinsed.
This felt truly miraculous. I felt like a different person when I exited the bathroom. I was calm, focused, and centered …. and, within about 15 minutes …. my 10 year old son, Thomas, became emotionally distraught …
My very first thought was to thank myself for listening to the call to become calm and centered. I was in the exact perfect place to help Thomas through the emotions he was experiencing.
(Note: I have permission from Thomas and Lillian to share this.)
He and his 14 year old sister, Lillian, had been teasing and arguing with one other. He is struggling with harboring jealous emotions towards her. I’m sure this is nothing new with siblings of special needs children. At some point, they are bound to think the scales are tipped in their siblings favor way too much. And that the sibling gets let off the hook too often and receives different (and better) treatment at times.
He wasn’t understanding why Lillian has so many friends and friends of mine who think she is a wonderful, talented person. When behind the scenes, she can be so incredibly nasty to him and me, with the meltdowns she experiences.
For some reason he was feeling like people thought he was selfish and no one wanted to be his friend. He asked, “How come she has friends, with as unkind as she can be and I don’t?”
Without even realizing it, I handed this over to my heart as the words flowed calmly and lovingly from my mouth without the interference of my mind.
We spent an hour talking. I can’t remember all that was said. Here is what I do remember. I have added a bit more to my responses for clarification … as Thomas already knows where I’m coming from …..
Thomas: “What if I feel selfish?”
Me: If you feel you have wronged someone, apologize to them. Then, apologize to yourself. It’s very important that you apologize to yourself also. Do your best not to judge yourself. If you feel judgmental about yourself, accept this. Then, accept the feelings that it brings forth. Physically feel and accept these feelings with love and curiosity and they will eventually fade and so will judgment.
Thomas: What if they don’t accept my apology and tell me off?
Me: You cannot control what others do with kindness, gifts, or words you share with them. It is something of their own to work out if they do not accept.
Thomas: But, that doesn’t make it feel any better. I would still feel sad (or bad) about it.
Me: Yes, and that’s okay. You don’t want to push that away. Feel the sadness. Feel it in your body. Just don’t let it move in and stay. At some point it will lift, as long as you continue to not resist the feeling and continue to feel it in your body.
Thomas: What if I am selfish?
Me: The most important words that will ever come out of your mouth or be in your thoughts are “I AM” and what you choose to follow “I AM” with. For, whatever you add to this statement will be your reality.
Me: This is one reason I make it a point to say and feel, “I am Love,” so often. This is why we have a different word for every day to describe ourselves and our day. “I am awesome, I am incredible, I am extraordinary, I am fabulous.” We already say enough negative, judgmental words to ourself.
Thomas: Why does Lillian continue to have friends and people thinking she’s wonderful with how unkind she can be?
Me: What would you have them do? Throw her out? Throw her to the side? We must know that a person’s behavior is not their true self. Their true self is kindness and love. We see that part of Lillian too. It’s there.
I reminded him of our “Letting it Go” Burning Ceremony a while back and to remember what Lillian wrote on her pieces of paper. She wants to release it. That is the true Lillian.
Me: We do not stop loving someone because they are sharing unkind or rude behavior with us. One thing that I know for certain. Every single human being, every single one of us … wants the same underneath it all.
And this want is universal. We ALL want joy and love. That is our bond. Some of us are simply stuck. Some more so than others. I feel we should help those who are stuck. Help them to find their own way to happiness. The way where they harm no other, yet are true to their own self.
This does not mean that we excuse someone’s unkind behavior or that we continue to be around or with that person if they are completely disconnected from their true self.
Me: As long as you are being your true self, living a heart-centered life, not harming others, and sharing loving kindness in your own unique way; you will have happiness.
We don’t want to concern ourselves with what others think of what we do, say, or have. If they care for and are concerned about us however, we do want to listen with an open heart.
Me: There will be those who consider this selfish. It is not selfish to live a heart-centered life and share your unique and given talents with others. It benefits everyone when each of us chooses to live in this way.
Me: It can be a hard habit to break, letting ourselves become overwhelmed with worry, anxiety and fear of what others think of us. Yet, what they think of us, is their own “stuff” to deal with.
Me: There are really only two emotions. Love and fear. Jealousy stems from fear. Fear that someone else is getting or having more than you. Fear that someone else is having a happier experience than you.
Me: I am sharing all of this with you as a 46 year old woman who still works on releasing these unhealthy thoughts. I have come a long way. I am not perfect. No one is. Yet, I’m a lot better than I used to be!
Me: I don’t remember having any of the adults around me talk to me about these kinds of things. However, I do remember both of my grandmother’s attitudes of not being concerned with what others think. That has always stuck with me and I admired both of them for their attitude.
Me: Although I am grateful to have some of this attitude become a part of me, I am also grateful that I softened it with my own touch. They both grew up in hard times. Mammaw Downs was a sharecropper. She had to leave school in the 2nd grade to help her family as her mom had died.
Me: I still compare myself to others. I still let myself get fearful about what others think about what I do or say. I still judge myself for having not accomplished or achieved what others have in the same amount of time or less time.
Yet, the difference is that now I recognize when I’m doing this. And I use emotional connection, practicing mindfulness, and spirituality to greet and process these emotions.
Thomas: You say judgmental things to me sometimes and tell me I’m doing things wrong.
Me: I know I do. I am not perfect and I need your help. I want you to let me know when I have done this. Most times I try to reflect before I say things to you, yet that doesn’t always happen.
Afterwards we hugged and snuggled … and … moved forward.
Note: I know this can be a confusing topic to discuss with our kids. For that reason, I always give an example from my own experiences to help them understand what I’m talking about.
Camilla See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!
Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I recently received the honor of having one of my articles accepted for publication by Elephant Journal. I was inspired a couple of months ago by blog posts which are letters openly written to others. For example, Dear Person at the Grocery Store, Dear Lady in the Bookstore, Dear Stressed Out Mom, and the like.
Upon seeing these I knew I was to write something like this. At that same time, I also knew I wanted to share something meaningful about the meltdowns that Lillian is experiencing. The next thing I knew, I was writing a letter to her meltdown. I was pouring my heart out to that meltdown. This is the result and this is what Elephant Journal published …
Meltdown (per Merriam-Webster) – an accident in which the core of a nuclear reactor melts and releases radiation, a very fast collapse or failure, a very fast loss of emotional self-control. (emphasis mine)
Mindfulness – (per Merriam-Webster) – the quality or state of being mindful, the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also such a state of awareness.
Dear Meltdowns, Welcome and Meet My Friend Mindfulness
Sometimes I’m able to sense when you’re lurking in the shadows. Sometimes I’m not. And you sneak up like a cat stalking its prey.
You penetrate the peace of an otherwise tranquil day like an earthquake suddenly rocking and rolling in the middle of a quiet night’s sleep. You are the complete opposite of fun and joy.
You are loud, aggressive, physically harmful, and verbally malicious. You lack compassion, empathy, and kindness. You take all actions and words personally.
What I want you to know is that I welcome you. Not like I’d welcome my best friend coming over for coffee and chatting. I welcome you like one later appreciates a grumpy relative during the holidays knowing that being around this person can help us to learn more about our own triggers.
You are helping us to know what emotions and situations Lillian has resistance to fully experiencing. You are the red flag that goes up as a warning that THIS is where she feels vulnerable.
So, I welcome you. I meet you with love.
When I am in a peaceful, mindful state, going with the flow of life, I handle you just as easily as a leaf floating in the wind. I choose not to accept your meltdown hook.
When I’m resisting life, choosing grumpiness, and having an off day, I accept the hook you’ve thrown out and jump right in with both feet. These are the times I learn more about myself.
Either way, one thing I know for sure is that you are not the true Lillian. The true Lillian is there, and you are simply acting as a buffer so she doesn’t have to experience the rawness of life. It is my hope that as I meet you with kindness and compassion, you see that it’s okay to move aside.
Lillian can handle the unexpected, the discomfort of not getting her desires, and the “letting go” of learning to be flexible. It’s okay to release your grip.
I will continue to meet you with a calm voice and compassion as often as possible, until the day you realize it’s okay to become dormant, slip into an eternal sleep, and allow a miracle – the miracle of Lillian fully experiencing emotions and going with the flow of life.
Camilla (Mom to Lillian)
Lillian has a rare genetic condition called 18p-. This means that she is missing the short arm of chromosome number 18 and it affects about 1 in 50,000. The main way this manifests for her is that she is speech impaired, and has balance and motor skill issues. Also, for the past year and a half she has struggled with experiencing anxiety and difficult emotions.
**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 ….
In July 2015, Lillian had the worst explosive meltdown we’ve ever experienced. We made a quick stop at the grocery store to get a few items.
As I paid for our items, Lillian caught up with me, and once I was finished, I could sense her energy shift. Apparently, there was a miscommunication between us about looking at more gluten free desserts.
This quickly led to a volcanic explosion for Lillian. Fortunately, I was close to the exit doors, so I made my way out and headed to the car with Lillian melting down behind me. I quickly got into the car and invited Lillian to do the same if she was going with me. She was not open to doing any of the mindfulness techniques we’ve been learning.
I decided to start making our way home even though she had not calmed down – not the best choice in that moment. She was scratching, pinching, and pulling my hair from behind.
I pulled the car over, turned to Lillian and screamed some ridiculously outrageous comments. I quickly realized I must get out of the car. We needed space between us as I was bleeding and in a great deal of pain from the scratches and she was a big hot mess.
Once out, I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and asked to see the situation differently. Upon opening my eyes, I saw, shining up at me from the rock and dirt filled ground, a beautiful red jewel heart. There was my answer, a reminder to always respond with love.
At this point, Lillian was ready to do a calming, mindful technique and I requested that she do it on her own. She got out of the car, chose to pick up a couple of rocks and studied them. After a few minutes we got back into the car and drove home.
We’ve not had anything of that magnitude happen since and I am hopeful this was simply “one step backward” before more steps forward. When this happens, one of us must be fully present and mindful or things can escalate.
Lillian has been seeing a psychotherapist since April 2015. We are working on cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness training. Additionally, I work with her on physically feeling the emotions within her body.
She has made great progress. It’s slow going, yet I feel we are closer to the ultimate goal.
The miracle of Lillian truly experiencing negative emotions and the rawness of life without the buffer of a meltdown.
At some time or another it’s possible we’ve all experienced our own version of a meltdown. Mindfulness is a miraculous practice to bring into one’s life. Once we become practitioners of mindfulness, more often than not, we are able to remain calm and peaceful when we or our children experience the rawness of life.
With mindfulness we are able to tune into our body and notice the beginning signs of a meltdown; clenched jaw, increased heart rate, tight shoulders or neck, stomach pain.
At this point we can say or think to ourselves, “There is anger inside of me.” This is the opposite of thinking or saying, “I am angry.” These two statements have completely different meanings and will take one down different paths.
Once we acknowledge there is anger (or any other uncomfortable emotion) within us, we can then put our focus on how this physically feels in the body. Is it tight, rolling, moving from place to place?
Let’s be real here. This is absolutely not fun and can be extremely uncomfortable. Yet, if we stick with this practice, it will become more of a habit and eventually the uncomfortable emotion will release.
If we wish to help our children, special needs or not, in this area, we must first practice this for ourselves and model this to them. Why would they meet a meltdown in this way if they never see us do this?
Examples of mindfulness techniques used with Lillian and her sibling, Thomas:
Focusing attention on a favorite rock, gemstone, or crystal. Concentrating on how it feels, looks, smells, and sounds.
Breathe work. At times with no phrase and at times with different variations of phrases.
Focus on in and out breath.
Breathing in, I am calm. Breathing out, I am peaceful.
I am in control. I can handle this situation.
Guided 5 minute mindful exercises.
Relaxing each area of the body.
Focusing on different areas of the body.
Walks in nature to include focus on flowers, trees, birds, ducks, etc.
Thinking or saying a peace mantra, Om Shanti Om.
Taking turns describing in detail another family member (remembering to use non-judgmental words) and similar family exercises.
These techniques were learned by me during the past 18 years of reading, studying, and practicing the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Lao Tzu, Pema Chodron, Raphael Cushnir, and The Dalai Lama.
In between monitoring the debut of the article yesterday, there was a meltdown. Lately they are brought on by disagreements with her sibling .. Thomas. So, as I sat sharing, responding, and getting the word out; my hands were stinging with fresh scratches.
I have faith that with the mindfulness exercises we practice, discussions of recognizing emotions, and time spent in nature; eventually Lillian will succeed in going with the flow and simply letting things go ..
I must share with you that when I received the email from elephant journal Sunday night, I panicked. A wave of anxiety and fear swept over me and I felt as if I was drowning in sadness. Thoughts of what others would think of these words straight from my heart weighed heavy on me.
I went to bed Sunday night connecting with these feelings, focusing on how they physically felt in my body. The feeling had subsided some by the time I got up the next morning. After an hour of meditation and a solo walk in the fresh snow, it had completely lifted and I was free to allow and receive joy. I felt it was important to share this with you.
Would you like to help spread the word? Here are ways you can help:
Why should we let ourselves “feel the fear”? Why shouldn’t we just ignore it, and do “it” anyway. Yes, do it. Yet, since fear may be at the root of whatever is blocking you, if you do not let yourself physically feel in your body, this emotion called fear, then it will keep re-surfacing in your life …. until you get quiet and connect with it.
I think at this point we all get that we’ve got to release this fear in order to move forward. However, it’s not just a matter of saying, “I release you fear.” If you feel stuck with moving forward, try the emotional connection technique.
The negative feelings that arise along with thoughts of achieving your end goal will present also as discomfort, or at the least, a physical feeling within the body.
Connect With the Fear:
Commit to yourself to move forward.
Be quiet and still.
Focus on where you physically feel the negative feelings.
Stay with it.
The location may shift places. It may start out in the heart, then go to the stomach, then jump up to the shoulder.
Stay with it.
Release any thoughts of labeling the feeling or thinking about why you feel this way. Also release thoughts of and getting caught up in childhood stories should they arise.
If you continue to stay with it, the uncomfortable emotion and physical feeling will, at the least, decrease, and, at the most, release all together. This may happen with just one session or you may need several.
Once it has completely dissipated, release whatever it is you wish to move forward with …. Faithfully try this and you may just be surprised …..
Plus, what’s the opposite of fear? LOVE!!! We must connect with the fear to let in the love that’s there waiting for us! Love, sweet love … xoxo
(This is a topic that came forth in a client session. If you like my techniques and energy and feel you’d like guidance with connecting with and releasing uncomfortable emotions, please contact me. You can also visit this page to learn more.)
The below is a brief glimpse of a moment in time was inspired by Eckert Tolle’s book, Stillness Speaks(amazon affiliate link) and the author’s participation in an experential outdoor workshop centered on connecting with one self.
The day had finally arrived. Her day of respite; a day to herself to do with as she pleased. She looked forward to these days with the anticipation of a child as her birthday approaches.
On Saturday morning as they said their goodbyes and the van drove out of sight, she felt an emptiness engulf her like a dark stormy cloud darkens the brightest of days. With heavy legs and heart she slowly walked inside feeling lonely and sad.
Why was this? A day to herself was supposed to be a day to rejoice, enjoy freedom from responsibilities, and take pleasure in time alone. Could these feelings be arising because she is purging and packing? During this time of “purge and pack” she is re-discovering treasures of cards, drawings, and creations from her beloved children. And in the process she is reminded of the meaningful lessons and simple adventures she has enjoyed with them.
Perhaps she is mourning the death of each of those experiences and feeling the emptiness that envelops one when any life experience comes to an end. Perhaps she is also mourning the end of another chapter with her kids as they pack and prepare to move.
In moments of reflection and little messages received throughout the day, she realized that she had never let herself grieve over the cooling of friendships a couple of years ago. She had been reminded of those friendships the day before and the reminder scratched a wound that had never healed. Perhaps this was the exact moment to grieve for those friendships and that’s what she let herself do. For her, the lesson is to be with and accept the emptiness that feels so heavy.
For her, the way through the darkness is to feel it; really feel what it feels like in the body and breath it into her heart so that the darkness can be transformed into light, spaciousness, gratitude and joy for the experience having happened in the first place.
Now she understands. When feelings like this arise, she is to BE still, BE quiet, and experience it so that she can gift herself deep peace for she knows her true self is peace and love. Instead of resisting the feeling, she now chooses to welcome that dark stormy cloud for she knows that within the core of the stormy cloud is pure love and beauty.
BE still, BE quiet … and Let GO to LOVE … xoxo
Author’s Note: I was inspired to share this from a third person point of view. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, so hope you like it.
I decided to spend this day of respite at home watching movies as it would be a while before I would have “home” all to myself. I watched Miss Potter, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, and Magic of Belle Isle(amazon affiliate links) and ate hot buttered popcorn with raspberry lime sparkling water. It was heavenly!
During the triple feature a theme kept repeating of sharing information with others, writing, grieving, and friendship. The next morning, I still had the lonely, empty feeling. I picked up “Stillness Speaks” and said a little prayer that I turn to the exact page I needed at this moment. I opened to page 107; which states, “If you can learn to accept and even welcome the endings in your life, you may find that the feeling of emptiness that initially felt uncomfortable turns into a sense of inner spaciousness that is deeply peaceful.”
After reading the above passage, I realized that all 3 movies I had watched were about authors. Then on Sunday I attended a ConneXion workshop at which we did a writing exercise.
I began with these words – “Let go. Know that you don’t need to know the how before beginning. When self-confidence is lacking or you give in to fear, the consequences will be un-lovely. It is time to write more, share more, reveal more, reveal the real you, it matters not if what you write is fiction or non-fiction. And then I wrote the above.
I sat in a shaded area with a view of the mountain, closed my eyes, centered in my heart, and asked what to write ….