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.

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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.

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10 Most Popular Posts for 2016

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Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled only from 2016 blog posts)

  1. Dear Meltdown, Meet My Friend Mindfulness
  2. Biggest Little Photographer Arrives – We Did It
  3. Living in a Tiny Home Adventures – Four Months
  4. Photo a Day for 365 Days – Thomas’ One Year Anniversary
  5. The Power and Magic of Connected Parenting
  6. 2016 Chromosome 18 Conference – San Antonio
  7. A Rapturous Dance With Life
  8. The Biggest Little Photographer by Thomas Darnell
  9. The Tao of Letting GoLetting Go Burning Ceremony, and There is More Than One Way (These 3 blog posts had the same amount of views)
  10. A State of Pure Awareness

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

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

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views for 2016 (Culled from all blog posts)

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  3. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  4. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  5. Taste the Wind
  6. Dear Meltdown: Meet My Friend Mindfulness
  7. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  8. Living in a Tiny Home Adventures
  9. Biggest Little Photographer Arrives – We Did It
  10. Recipe: Chia Seed Pudding

Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time With the Most Views

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  3. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  4. Help Team TLC With A Christmas Miracle
  5. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  6. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  7. I Wish I Wasn’t an 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two
  8. A Moment of Defeat
  9. Lillian and Being Different Presentation
  10. Creativity and Resourcefulness

Here’s to a 2017 in which we all go within to BE the change we wish to see in the world. BE Love, BE Peace, BE Compassion … We must BE this within in order to experience it without.

hearts-rock-sparks-2015

Blessings,

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

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

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A Rapturous Dance With Life

Lake Mead July 2016 #15

I did it. I did it. I did it.

I drove Team TLC 3,400 miles. Thursday, July 7, 2016 through Saturday, July 16, 2016 I drove 3,400 miles roundtrip to attend the Chromosome 18 Conference – Reno, Nevada to San Antonio, Texas .. 1,700 miles each way. A conference Thomas and Lillian have their hearts set on attending every year. We began attending the C18 Conference in 2009 when it was in Las Vegas and have gone every year since then.

We arrived home at midnight on Saturday, July 16th. I was kind of it out of all day Sunday. Then Monday, I woke up ready to go! By Monday afternoon, every muscle in my body ached and I felt weighted down. I was completely out of it for 4 full days. It took about 7 days before I felt like myself again.

Yet, I DID IT!! … xoxoxo

The plan was to leave at 5:00 am on Thursday, the 7th, so that I could drive as far as possible before darkness fell upon us. I am completely out of my comfort zone driving in the dark in unfamiliar places. I could not get to sleep the night before. I was worried and having anxiety about this trip due to finances, honestly, not even having enough to cover the trip.

Yet, I know how deeply important this conference is to Thomas and Lillian. Each for their own reasons. Thomas is the sibling to a sister who has a chromosome deletion. He has, and is, developing deep friendships with the other siblings his age and being mentored by the older siblings.

Lillian’s friends are her peers that she has connected with through this conference. She communicates with some of them all throughout the year. When one texts, blogs, post on Facebook and Instagram, emails, chats on Facebook, or uses skype; the spoken word is not needed.

In our world of verbal communication difficulties, social media has helped create a world that would not exist for Lillian and one where she has true friends. She has no local friends, yet she has friends all over the United States and the world … As far away as Tasmania, Australia.

C18 Trip July 2016 #17

After having about 3 hours sleep, I could not seem to get ready as I was overwhelmed with the enormity of this trip. I had an adult meltdown which delayed our departure. We were finally on our way at 7:00 am; two hours later than I had planned.

There was much excitement as we began the road trip. Lots of talking, observing the landscape, and silliness. About two hours into the morning, we lost cell phone service due to the rural area we traveled. We were without cell service for the next five or six hours until we reached Las Vegas. During this time, Thomas and Lillian became absorbed in reading books, magazines, or using their computers or phones.

Which left my mind much time to mess with me. I had stepped way out of my comfort zone with this trip. I had never driven this far, much less driven this far being the only one in charge of packing, driving, and navigating. Plus, we had never driven this far as a family. Our max road trip travel time was to the 2015 conference in Salt Lake City; which was about an 8 hour drive from Reno.

Thoughts of us being stranded due to car problems kept entering my mind like a dark storm cloud encroaching on the brightest of days. Thoughts of the lack of finances for this trip took their turn in the dance also. Not to be left out of the dance, thoughts of my insanity at attempting this cut into the dance too. All of this dance to be completed with the veil of anxiety and worry weaving in and out like a breeze blowing through the trees.

Thankfully, I am a student of mindfulness and emotional connection. And, since there was nothing else to do but sit and drive, I took this opportunity to put these practices to work. It was a rapturous dance between being mindful, connecting with emotions, and embracing the fear wanting to dance with me.

This trip proved to be challenging. I had not anticipated this dance with life in all of its flavors and colors in such a way to cause the suffering brought on by my thoughts. It was my goal to have this trip be a learning experience for me of not knowing, not planning, and just going. That’s certainly not for everyone.

Yet, I felt this was important for me. It’s a huge step out of my comfort zone. One step closer to trusting myself, trusting internal messages, and letting go of how it’s supposed to be done. As mentioned earlier, I’ve never driven this far alone … Much less alone with Thomas and Lillian. In addition to driving this far in Rosey, our 15 year old car, with dancing through this trip on less than a shoe string budget and letting go of worry that the string will hold tight.

I had moments where I was so extremely hot and exhausted I had visions of taking an ice bath and moments when I was so tired I was shaking and wondering what in the heck I was doing ….. Yet, I know. I may not know on the surface right now; but deep down, I know why I do what I do.

This was also a dance full of wonderful, bright moments. We shared inspiring comments and tons of love that furthered each one of us. Definitely some amazing growth for all of us happened! WOW!

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

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We had a ball and laughed tons and enjoyed the beautiful landscape as we drove by it. Lillian was being so helpful and encouraging Thursday morning before we left.

Thomas was awesome and inspiring with his comments as we drove the two lane highways in the middle of nowhere in Nevada and Arizona. We saw a huge sign that read, “Nothing” and had a great laugh about that! Just after driving through Boulder City and Hoover dam, Thomas said, “I love it here.” He was so impressed with Lake Mead and said he wanted to live there.

Thomas went on to say that he always has deja vu and he has lived this life before. He said it all seems so familiar. He was incredibly inspired by the beauty that passed before our eyes. He also commented that he wants to buy land and simply let kids play on the land.

On the first day of driving, Lillian got sick to her stomach. We ended up spending about 30 minutes at a gas station bathroom and Thomas was extremely helpful. When we were looking for a place to stay and it kept getting darker and darker, I apologized to them as I had planned on stopping sooner. He said, “When you get a rock in your shoe, just shake it out.”

Rosey did a pretty good job. She had a wee bit of problems getting overheated but that was resolved with turning the air conditioner off while traveling up and down the mountainous areas. I had to give her some oil and coolant on the way there and some oil on the way back home. It’s scorching hot checking oil and fluids in over 100 degree weather!

With an hour and a half to go before we arrived in San Antonio, the epoxy glue I use for the driver side mirror had enough of the heat and was simply melting away! A couple of years ago I bumped the mirror backing out of a covered parking spot. So, for about 20 minutes I was holding the mirror until I could pull over. Bungee cord to the rescue!! Before we headed back home, the hotel gave me duct tape and that worked great for the ride back home.

I feel strongly guided to be establishing a new relationship with myself and the world and to model this for my kids, have them actively participate, and to help them know that there’s more to life and living than traditionally meets the eye.

I want them to never lose touch with their true self and to grow into adults knowing their given talents and having a solid and clear courage and conviction in sharing that talent with the world!

I continue to learn so much daily … About me, Thomas and Lillian, others and simply just living and dancing with life! xoxo

C18 Trip July 8 2016 #1

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

Wonderfully exciting news! We’ve completed the first book trailer for my 10 year old son’s, Thomas Darnell, upcoming book, Biggest Little Photographer. You can learn more and pre-order here.

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Why I Write

Bench at Vintage Lake February 2016

I feel it is my purpose to openly share my own life experiences with others. I freely explain and share lessons I’ve learned and practices I use that work for me and my family. If needed, I listen with love and compassion and intuitively share thoughts and examples from my own life.

I write about connecting with nature, parenting, mindful livingsimplicitygratitude, and emotions. Plus, I like to write and share poetry too!

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

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

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

There is something inside of me that won’t let me not write. Something that gently nudges and says, “You’ve just got to share that.”

My instinct, my gut, whatever you want to call it – that’s what I’m talking about. I fought this feeling for a while. I didn’t think I had anything meaningful to contribute and wondered why anyone would care what I thought or had to say.

I feel my journey is supposed to be shared with others to inspire, give hope and to help create a shift. Another reason I feel compelled is to share the message that one’s view of life is what creates the life one experiences.

Writing and sharing snippets through social media is also healing and a way of shedding what no longer serves. When I write I can hardly contain the emotions I feel inside. The emotions are as hot as lava and as sweet as honeysuckle – from the pit of my belly all the way up to my throat. I am, indeed, compelled to share my experiences.

Each time that “little voice” inside me says “What are you doing? Why are you wasting time on this? This will not make you money!”; I begin to get discouraged. Then I receive confirmation from those around me that what I’m doing and the path I have chosen is inspiring and helpful.

Why Does It Matter?

I get feedback from others verbally, through email and facebook that I encourage and motivate them. I feel it is the World saying to me, “You see, this is why you are to share your life.”

I would continue this sharing journey even if I didn’t receive these messages. For, I know it is what I am to supposed to do. This is my unique way of sharing my given talents. When we share, in the way that only we can, we bless humanity.

I no longer question when I get a flash of inspiration or a gut feeling to share something. I have reached complete acceptance and have full faith in this little adventure I’m on with Team TLC.

As long as one person or one family has been positively influenced by my writing and sharing, I have accomplished what I feel I was meant to do. The reason I say this is because I believe it doesn’t end with that one person. It creates a positive ripple effect that spreads like the ripple created from a rock thrown in water … it keeps on keepin on spreading loving-kindness!

My hope is that you connect with, physically feel, and release worry, fear and guilt. Trust your intuition when you are being pulled in a certain direction …. EVEN if you don’t know the why or how …. and begin your own Journey to Acceptance …

I help to support my family with my writings. I share my writings for free for the benefit of others. If you benefited from this writing, would you like to toss a tip in the love offering “bucket”? Oceans of gratitude … xoxo

Blessings,

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

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

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