Throwback Post: The Day Lightning Struck My Heart

**THROWBACK POST**


(Cloud Angel – Taken by me during a 2016 or 2017 walk)

August 25 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017, was the day “lightning” struck my heart. It was intense and was the culmination of a month long journey of confusion, worry, discombobulation, frustrations, and dead ends.

Tempered with moments of knowing that this was the work of my psyche and being an observer to the pure madness it was stirring up. (Just to be clear, I am not speaking literally of lightning striking my heart. It’s simply a metaphor for the culmination of a series of events which opened my heart and lightened it.)

The day began by waking with mild anger within me that intensified as the morning progressed. I made my way to the grocery story early. I could feel the anger growing within me.

Next, I made my way to the used book store to pick up a book they had on hold for me. Turns out they re-shelved it two days earlier as I didn’t show up to get it and now it was on hold for someone else. Somewhere along the way I lost a day or two. That was the straw that broke me and made way for the lightning strike.

As I drove away I began sobbing and I felt an urge to scream as loud as I could. I could hold this baggage in no longer. So, I did. I screamed so loud and for so long, “Why, Why, Why”, over and over.

For a split second, I feared I may bust my ear drums with the sheer volume of the screaming. I’m quite sure I have never yelled that loud before. My face felt like it would explode! Then there was a lot of cussing at everyone and everything that came to mind. Sealed with lots of sobbing, sobbing, sobbing.

I felt like I had let myself finally feel some past and current emotions and released them. There was still some releasing to process and it climaxed around lunch time with a full blown potty mouth smack down of the food I was using to make lunch. I felt more of the anger release after that.

Then I sat down and saw I had a new email titled, “Starting, Over and Over Again.” The content of that email guided the release of the remaining anger. A sweet wave of Pure peace and relief embraced me at that point. I had finally connected with and let myself feel and process old and new emotions.

Next, This Happened

One, beautiful, kind, loving gesture. If you have the opportunity to share loving kindness with someone, I beg of you to do it.

You never know what they carry on their shoulders and your act could be the one thing that offers them much needed relief; before they explode or implode. And also restores their faith and knowing in themselves and others.

Someone saying, “yes” to you when it’s been a month of “No” and negative events. That just happened this afternoon. It landed on this heart with such gratitude and relief.

And, from all places, an employee at the Reno Social Security office. I had requested a waiver of an amount owed to Social Security due to an error (having to do with Lillian’s SSI). I felt the two items required to be met for the approval of the waiver, were met.

I had received a letter denying it, and a conference was automatically set for today so that an uninvolved third party could review with me. He agreed with me, and with a few strokes of the keyboard, waived the amount.

That landed on a heart that is parched and thirsted for relief. I hope I didn’t embarrass him. I blessed him and left in tears. Relief, Dear God, Relief from one issue. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! Thank you to Happy, my Guardian Angel. And, thank you to Ram Dass as I sat reading one of his books while waiting. And, And, Thank You to my Mammaw, Elnor Downs, whose presence I felt with me while waiting.

I Let Myself Connect and Feel

This is what happened the day lightning struck my heart. I let myself connect and feel, the new and the old. The shell around my heart was split wide open and warm Divine love poured into me. Deep relief and peace were with me the rest of the day … and still are.

I acknowledged the yearnings of my heart and soul. I let them know that we will have that which we all desire. Just not yet. And I asked for patience while I fully unearth, connect, feel, release and transform into that which is needed for the light I am to fully shine in this life.

The Beginning of the Month Long Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

This actually began back in mid-June when I applied for a Library Assistant position with Washoe County Library System. My deep love of the written word and the mission of library systems is what led me to this and with encouragement from the Librarian at our local library. I also knew that I needed some relief from the pressure of financial obligations. Yet, I feel strongly that whatever I do must be aligned with my heart.

My application was accepted, I was scheduled for and took the test in mid July. I learned while at the Chromosome 18 conference that I passed the test within the needed percentage to be called in for an interview. I interviewed in mid July and felt sure I’d get offered a position as there were four openings. I received the results of the interview on August 2nd.

Wait, Let’s Back Up

The lease for our apartment was up on August 19th and the renewal lease came wrapped with a pretty significant rent increase. If we were going to move, I needed to give a 30 Day Notice to Move; which would land on July 19th. I had calculated that we would not be able to stay here if I did not have some type of part time income flowing our way.

I had to decide, without knowing whether I would get offered the Library Assistant position, whether or not to give the notice. I asked the management if I could back out of the Notice if it turned out I was offered the job and they said, “Absolutely!” So with that, I took a leap of faith and turned in the notice on July 19th.

On August 2nd, while on the Thomas and Camilla August Date Day, I received the email from Washoe County letting me know I was not offered an assistant position. I thought I had been doing a good job at staying detached from the outcome.

Yet, when I received that message, it felt like my entire world came crashing down around me. I kept thinking, “What the heck just happened?” And, of course, my psyche was full of commentary on what I had done wrong during the interview.

Fortunately, Thomas and I were at Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe when I received the news. Her precious waters soothed me and absorbed some of the disappointment. I was in a foggy, confused, mess of a state for the next couple of days.

Once the fog cleared, I began simultaneously packing more, looking and applying for part time work, and looking for a less expensive place to live. In addition, to exploring ideas that didn’t involve signing a year long lease; such as a motor home or a temporary place for a month or two.

And This Was Also Happening During The Month

I was notified that a small percentage of our current income was to be reduced.

Lillian’s craniosacral therapist left a message that we needed to cancel Lillian’s next appointment as Anthem Blue Cross has decided they will not pay for more sessions.

I received a few “no thanks” responses to jobs for which I had applied or interviewed.

We were denied for a place that would have been perfect! The population has increased so much in Reno that there are thirty or more people trying to get one place. The rental prices have increased beyond a typical increase. When already existing apartments had a vacancy, it was snapped up quickly. New construction apartments have waiting lists; for apartments that won’t even be finished for a year or more.

I had difficulties finding a storage unit that would be large enough that wasn’t overpriced. Those were also being snapped up quickly. Any size of U-Haul truck was not available between August 24 and September 3rd due to Burning Man.

All of these things happening within close proximity were extremely overwhelming.

**February 2021 Update**

It’s pretty wild having stumbled across this while housecleaning on my blog. I remember all of this like it was yesterday, with deep compassion for the 2017 Camilla. I’m shedding tears now for her, and the path she traveled. I did indeed keep the patience, and continue moving forward.

November 2019 brought much relief in the form of a new, affordable place to live. And, February 2020 brought relief by way of a steady income. I am deeply grateful to the friends who stood by me, during those years, and for The Romano Duo and my dad for all that they did to help us.

What a heavy load I was carrying. I’m grateful to be on the other side of it. 

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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Throwback Post: Walk With Me – Nature is a Knowing Mirror

**THROWBACK POST**

May 13 2016:

Today’s Walk With Me theme: Anything is possible if the intention is there. If grass can grow on a rock, then your dreams, your creations are possible.

Confirmation that nature is indeed a mirror reflecting your beauty and whatever it is that will benefit you in the moment.

In the stillness, there is clarity. At times there may be ripples, yet, clarity always returns. xoxo

May 16 2016:

Nature had amazing and beautiful gifts this morning. How did she know I was in need of such beauty and gifts? She knows. She always knows. xoxo

 

Friday, May 20, 2016: Today’s Walk With Me theme was: Let those emotions and feelings blow right on through you; rather than letting them settle within and make themselves at home. Let them stay just long enough to connect with, be curious with, and physically feel. After this, they will leave on their own … If it helps, go stand in the wind!

December 2020 Update: These are from a time I was processing deep healing. Nature was a constant source of comfort, helping me to view events in the most helpful light. My views have changed a bit regarding emotions and feelings. I feel it is imperative that we allow ourselves to physically feel emotions and feelings, so that when they do “blow right through”, we have processed what needed to be processed. If not, these emotions will keep reappearing.

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 15 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: 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: This is Life With All the Feels

(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 almost a year ago!)

**THROWBACK POST**

May 9 2019:

This is life. This is feeling all the feels. For anyone else in the midst of feeling all the feels. Sending love ….

I’m exhausted. My body aches. My back aches. My shoulders ache. My neck aches. My hips ache. I’m sad and I’ve been sobbing on and off all day. I’m deeply tired.

And, I’d just really like someone else to take care of me and everything else for a week or two …

I know that this too shall pass … However, in the midst of this crud, is definitely an unlovely place to be. Here’s to feeling all the feels … May they move on through … And, so it is … (PS … This is definitely not how I look today … I took a photo but not brave enough to post it … HA!)

**Editing to add the morning after thoughts … Thank you so much everyone for your love, hugs, and beautiful comments … You are all a blessing … I am feeling much better this morning.

Having been reminded before falling asleep to embrace what I have been resisting. (Well, that and having a lovely dream in which a lovely person held my hand, held me, touched me gently in all the right places … and other steamy, beautiful things!!) If I’m not meant to have a romantic relationship in the flesh, I can certainly do it in my dreams!

I have a mind that ruminates at times about situations … over and over and over. I forget to breathe into these situations and live through them … They seem to pile on top of me like a stack of wooden blocks … the car needs a new radiator and windshield, money owed for dental work, Lillian’s graduation tassel, diploma, and announcements that need to be ordered, the life insurance bill that is due, vitamins and oils we are out of, this body of mine needs a massage and other body work, getting Lillian’s craniosacral therapy going again as the place that took her disabled medicaid no longer offers it, getting my book finished and ready by the 1st of July, Lillian’s issues, Thomas’ issues, and I truly just need a good, long, relaxing break as I haven’t had one in 13 years …… When all of these begin to swirl and need attention at the same time …. I lose my footing in the knowing.

Thanks to your lovely attention, embracing these things rather than resisting them; and breathing into where I’m at; I feel much much better this morning and have regained my footing. Much love to all of YOU!! 💜💜💜

May 10 2019:

To follow the post I made last night …. After delicious Sumatra coffee and breakfast this morning, I went for the first swim of the season in our community pool.

I am Pisces and I’m pretty sure partially mermaid (as well as partial gypsy) so being in the water is pure heaven for me. It washes things away, it resets and recharges me, it soothes me and energizes me. Then I soaked this aching body in the hot tub for a bit, letting the jets massage my back. I floated back home and had a lovely shower. Ahhhhh … it was perfectly perfect!

Spent most of the day creating a new website that I am incredibly excited to launch! Here’s a wee hint … It has to do with books and authors. Can’t wait to share!

After dinner, I visited Mittens & Jack (two cats I care for when their human is gone) and then enjoyed a peaceful walk around the little lake.

Plus, if you read the post yesterday, I mentioned trying to get craniosacral visits going again for Lillian. I received a text from Lillian’s previous CS therapist that Lillian can come for once a month, 30 minute visits for gratis. I am so relieved as craniosacral therapy was deeply beneficial for Lillian. And a friend is going to gift us the oils we’re out of at the moment. Thank you friends and the powers that be! Hallelujah!

**Update – May 2, 2020: I remember this with love and compassion in my heart for the experiences I moved through, sat with, and let shape and empower the me of 2020. What a beautiful thing to let ourselves experience the shit of life, without trying to sweep it under the rug. For if we do that, things are sure to get messy and stinky for some time to come. Best to sit with it, clean it up, and be on the other side of it. Here’s to living life, with all the feels. xoxo

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! 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.

Breathe In and Breathe Out and Feel It

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, no matter what. 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 14 years later, with a 17 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 13 years old, Lillian’s younger brother, Thomas Darnell, is 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 and 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.

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

Are you an author who would like to be interviewed or a book lover who wants to discover new and interesting books? Head over to Meeting the Authors … I think you will love it!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release 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

 

Nature is a Wonderful Guide

**THROWBACK POST** (Still housecleaning the blog. At least I’ve reached 2016 now!)


(Photos of us – Team TLC – 2016)

February 11 2016

“I think.
Lillian worries.
Camilla just is.”

Thomas wisdom shared last night as we were reading in my bed before going to sleep …

He had a rough day yesterday. He made a choice at school that caused an unlovely consequence.

On the ride home I let him know he could not use his digital time as he overused it in the morning. By the time we got home he was in much distress. He had a full blown meltdown when he got home and I knew we needed to go for a walk.

I shared how unhealthy it is to not let oneself feel and experience anger and other negative emotions. That we must find that place where we can let ourself feel it physically, being with it, and without hooking into the story of the negative emotion; which can cause us to be harsh with others.

Nature is a wonderful guide during times like these, times when we resist feeling the rawness of life. About an hour after our walk Thomas had settled into acceptance and we had a great night. May you take advantage of the gift of nature when needed. xoxo

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

I needed this reminder today. I’ve been having a rough past two weeks.

I’m exhausted. My body aches. My back aches. My shoulders ache. My neck aches. My hips ache. I’m sad and I’ve been sobbing on and off all day. I’m deeply tired. 

And, I’d just really like someone else to take care of me and everything else for a week or two …

I know that this too shall pass … However, in the midst of this crud, is definitely an unlovely place to be. I’m glad I’m still housecleaning on my blog and that I came across this one.

Here’s to feeling all the feels … May they move on through …

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

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 still available. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Reflections – I Am Called to Reflect as I Begin this 48th year

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #3

Reflections.

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.

Camilla's 2017 Vision Board 1.14.17

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.

In the beginning of 2017 I concluded marketing Thomas’ book, “Biggest Little Photographer“. I took a few months break and spent the last half of 2017 bringing together Lillian’s book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories”. It’s official debut is tomorrow, February 27, 2018 and Lillian and I will be on KOLO 8 News at 4:30 with Sarah Johns.

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!!

Damonte Ranch Walk 9.13.16 #5

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.

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]

How to Be Peaceful

August Date Day with Thomas 9.6.16 #9

My life experience has taught the following for being peaceful:

  1. Meditation
  2. Intention to be peaceful
  3. Mindfully responding
  4. Nature

Meditation is at the core of being peaceful. I meditate between three to six days a week. My meditation practice is a mixture of different methods; which became much deeper and became more meaningful after I read, studied, and implemented the practices in the book, “Meditation for the Love of It” by Sally Kempton.

On November 9, 2016 I spoke on a parent panel at UNR to students in the medical field. The class is titled Serving Individuals with Disabilities and their Families.

I may falter at times, yet I will continue to do this. I will continue to live from my heart. Living from my heart means sharing my experience and point of view. Additionally, it means I will continue to meet anything that is the opposite of love with love and peace.

I will continue to spread love, compassion, and non-judgment as that’s the only way I know how to BE anymore. I may not always succeed at remaining peaceful, yet I know I did not come here to have an aggressive, hateful, and negative experience.

Even when I encounter others who have everything but kindness to share with me, I will leave my ego and mind and be in my heart. I will see past that person’s ego and see who they truly are. I will not argue. I will not go there.

I have two kids who watch how I react and how I show up in the world. I know that my words are meaningless without the living of those words.

The Monday before I spoke on the panel, I presented a “Peace Lesson” to a group of 4th-6th grade students. The first question I asked them after we defined peace was this: “Where do you think we find peace?” …

Only two students offered to answer. One said, “In a sanctuary”. I agreed with him that a sanctuary could certainly be a peaceful place. The other. The other. She knew. Her answer … “In our heart.” That wonderful girl read my heart …

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 11.14.16 #4

So … How to Be Peaceful:

I shared with the students that peace does not begin with “the other”. “BE the change we wish to see in this world” is not an empty meaningless quote for me. BEing the change does not start only after another person changes. We cannot force others to be peaceful.

One other suggestion I shared with the kids: When someone wraps a beautiful package and offers to give it to you as a gift, and you decline to accept that gift; who is the owner of that gift? The gift remains with the person who tried to give it to you.

What if you considered unkind comments from others as a gift they were attempting to give you? And you decided not to accept that gift? The gift would remain with that person.

I have taught Thomas and Lillian to respond to unkind comments with silence, or “Is that so?”, or “Okay” and to walk away. It truly, truly does not matter if that person thinks they are right. What matters is what you know in your heart and how you live and BE.

I gave an example from my own life. A couple of years ago, I was sitting next to someone who had been an everyday part of my life for ten years, someone I trusted and loved. That person chose to say over and over many unkind comments to me.

I finally turned to the person and said, “You know what? You are right about that. And you know what else? I have nothing but love to share with others and I will not argue. And, I am deeply sorry that you feel so unloved.”

Obviously, I didn’t and don’t agree that this person was right. I simply let him relax into the feeling that his ego so desperately needed. After that the “conversation” ended.

I do not mean to say that we ignore when we feel worry, anxiety, and fear. Absolutely NOT. FEEL those feelings, physically feel them. This does mean to dwell on the reason for the feelings. That will not have the desired affect. Focus on how it physically feels. Sit with them. No matter how painful. Cry a river of tears if that’s needed.

For when we let ourselves physically feel these emotions, we then, and only then, will release them. Go stand barefoot in the grass, dirt, sand, or rocks and let Nature help you uncover the peace that is within you.

It is truly magical. Oceans of love and hugs to everyone … xoxoxo

*This does indeed take practice. I have been practicing for years .. and I still falter at times. Most of us are going against how it is ingrained in us to respond. Additionally, this is the way I have chosen to be peaceful. It may not be the way you choose to do it. 

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]