Throwback Post: The Day Lightning Struck My Heart


(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. 

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.


F is for Flexibility

(Excerpt from my book, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” – published 2012)

Flexibility, fun and faith . . . that’s a trio I definitely want in my life!

There are times in our lives when fun does not fit in with what’s going on! It’s not possible to always have fun, or find the joy in every situation. However, it is possible to be at peace with the experiences life deals us. To be at peace is to be in a state of acceptance, and be present and attentive in the here and now. Once we have achieved the place of acceptance it is easier to see the joy, humor, and fun in the everyday happenings of life, and ultimately have faith.

With each passing day acceptance becomes easier. I am more attentive and present when Thomas and Lillian are talking to me. I am really listening to what they are saying. Sometimes, I must admit, it is just plain funny! One morning Thomas, Lillian and I had a conversation that each of them are actually aliens from Planet Mercury. They told me they are just here visiting and will have to go back home soon. We had a thirty minute conversation about their home planet. I told them I would miss them so very much when they go back home. They said they would miss me too. After breakfast they began packing for their return voyage back to Mercury. Not your typical Saturday morning breakfast, but we had tons of fun using our imaginations. I choose to stimulate their imaginations instead of discounting what they say. Being able to call upon their imagination is a skill I want them never to lose.

As often as possible, I attempt to create an adventure out of as many minutes, hours and days that I can. It may sound like a lot of work, but really, it doesn’t have to be. Adventure is what one makes it. If we remind ourselves to be flexible and think simplistically, it isn’t hard at all to create adventures. I find great fun in turning a simple task or event (something we are already doing), into an adventure.

Something as simple as going to the library can be made into an adventure by having a scavenger hunt for certain types of books. One day, I had Thomas and Lillian make a list of about five places or things they wanted to see, or find. We had a great time driving around all day to parks and stores finding the items on their lists. We didn’t buy anything, but I marked their success by taking a photo of them in front of the place, or with the item they found (you can see some in the photo gallery).

Being flexible decreases stress, and allows us opportunities to be creative. Flexibility also serves us in releasing our attachment to rigid expectations. When we choose to be flexible rather than rigid, it is much easier to accept change when situations do not turn out as we may have planned.

Flexibility is a characteristic that serves me well as a parent, definitely as a mom to a child with special needs, and in life in general. I am sorry to say that the old Camilla was not a very flexible person. Things had to be done my way, or someone was going to pay! I cringe when I think about how rigid, and inflexible I used to be.

The awakened Camilla has learned the wonderful quality of being flexible. To some, it may seem like indifference when I shrug my shoulders, or turn the other cheek, but through practice, I have learned to be okay with whatever happens.

F is for Fear

I could not let this chapter be complete without mentioning fear. Fear is something that every parent experiences. In fact, everyone has fears. Parents of children with special needs have an entirely different set of fears, and then some, compared to parents of kids who develop typically. Fear is one of the stages we move through when we first learn of our child’s diagnosis. These fears can get the better of us if we are not managing our thoughts in the present moment. For instance, we may take one little comment from a doctor, nurse, parent, or friend, and let our mind run away with it. We fabricate in our mind what the future would be like; what about the next time …next week…next year…from now to when our time here is over? I am not saying we shouldn’t make plans for our family’s future. Make those plans, get everything lined-up, and set in the best way for your child with special needs and their siblings. Just remember not to always play out future events (school, friends, sports, marriage etc.) in your mind.

Learning to have faith in myself, and the decisions I make has absolutely helped me along this journey. Even though I still experience moments, days, and even weeks, when my faith in myself gets weak, I never ever fully lose sight of it. Having a rock solid faith in ourselves, is the foundation for the journey we are traveling.

Tip for the Journey:

Learning to be flexible comes with patience and practice. Choose one situation a week to be flexible about. Then take it to one situation per day. Each morning when you wake up, say to yourself with love and joy, “I choose to be flexible today.”

Developing the habit of having consistent, strong faith in yourself and your choices will only come with time and practice. To battle being your own worst critic, put sticky notes on your mirror, in your purse, in your car, and wherever else you need them, with reminders that you are amazing, you are perfect the way you are, to have faith in yourself, trust your path and trust your intuition. Choose whatever phrases or quotes are meaningful to you and put those on the sticky notes also. It can be hard to keep faith in ourselves; but the more we practice being kind, the quicker we will pull ourselves out of those times when we lose the faith.

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

Latest “Mindful Living” Articles:
[catlist name=inspired-living]

Go here to subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive new posts delivered straight to your inbox! Right here!

The Year of the Present Moment

My Theme for 2012 . . .

It’s the time of year when many people make resolutions for the New Year. I can’t remember that I’ve ever made resolutions. It’s never been appealing to me. What I have done for the past few years is to have a theme for the year. I then use this theme to help with decision making and to have as a vision for the year. I create a vision board to go along with my theme and vision for the year. This gets framed and hung on my wall where I can see it every day. Last year Thomas and Lillian joined me in doing this also and we had fun as a family putting our boards together. Each of their boards is hanging on their wall also. This method has worked miraculously for me so I thought I’d share it with you. Maybe it’s time for a change from the “old style” of resolutions . . . Maybe it’s time to do it different!

Each year my theme and board have gotten more simple. In fact, everything in my life has gotten more simple over this past year. I find that I like and crave simplicity and life is so much easier to enjoy when I have simplicity. Usually I choose two words for my yearly theme. The 2011 theme has been Clarity and Faith. I had a vision of Team TLC being the foundation of 2011. If you’ve been following me, you know that Team TLC was born this year and has blossomed into something wonderful. I sensed how important it was for me to turn my focus and attention on my little family and that all things good would flow from my attention to our Team. I then had four quadrants that stemmed from our Team TLC Foundation. Two quadrants were health and weight. I have lost twenty six pounds and am more aware of the foods I and we eat. Still working on the other two quadrants. So for now, I’ll keep those to my little ole self! 😉

2012 is The Year of the Present Moment. The foundation will be to Focus on My Purpose in the Present Moment. To make more of an effort to be aware and really truly there for whoever I’m with, talking to, conducting business with or focusing completely on whatever I am doing or whatever event I am attending. I decided to choose three theme words for 2012 and they are Kindness, Knowing and Gratitude. Kindness as I enjoy spreading and sharing kindness and I believe it doesn’t stop with the person I share it with. I also believe we attract what we authentically put out there. Knowing as a reminder to listen to my intuition and gut. Even when I don’t know why I’m being pulled in a certain direction or how I am going to “do” whatever it is. Gratitude as life is less stressful and more joyful and peaceful when I am thankful for all that I have and thankful for all that I will have . . . grateful as if I already had it.

My four quadrants for 2012 are ME, Team TLC, Thomas and Lillian. In keeping with my simplistic theme, I have two words for each one of these. My quadrant is about creativity and patience. Team TLC is about a beach vacation. The Thomas quadrant is about coping and respect. The Lillian quadrant is about math and communication.

I have made many shifts this year. I wrote a book, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance, lost twenty six pounds, made a complete change in my career and purged and decluttered my house, garage and life. The book is in the final stages of being edited and cover design. I have three modules left in obtaining my certification as a Special Needs Life Coach. Here’s a little tidbit I learned about purging household/kitchen items . . . Be ready to explain when your Mom visits for Christmas and you got rid of some of the things she gave you!! Oops! No worries y’all, I didn’t get rid of anything of sentimental value . . . just a few odds and ends. I figure if I only use it once a year, I don’t want it taking up space in my life!

Here’s what my vision board will look like when I’ve got it completed. It’ll definitely be much prettier though! Now, what about it? Will you do it different in 2012?