Book Musings: Touching Peace

Touching Peace – practicing the art of mindful living

Transforming our Compost – one of the chapter titles in the book. Sums it up! Specific, practical instructions ar given for extending our meditation practice into our daily lives.

I’ve not read a Thich Nhat Hanh book I didn’t love. Good stuff.

My Entire Life Dissolved by Camilla Downs

December 11 2018:

Last Tuesday my entire life dissolved. It simply disappeared like sugar in boiling water. Who I am, who I thought myself to be disintegrated. In my mind’s eye, I could see creations and events literally crumbling. Have you ever had that happen?

Being me, I view this as the only way I know how … As a deeply spiritual experience. And I am grateful to be traveling this path … uncomfortable experiences, and all.

It left this one saturated with confusion and pain. I had been 

My Entire Life Dissolved

 

Making Decisions from a Place of Love

**THROWBACK POST**

December 18 2015:

This morning’s theme from a client session had to do with acting and making decisions from a place of love, rather than a place of fear. This sounds simple on the surface. Upon stopping and accessing decisions and choices made, it’s easier to see that we do make some decisions from a place of fear. It’s actually a slight shift, the decision made may even be the same whether it’s made from a place of fear or love. However, the effects internally can be drastic.

I’ll use myself as an example. I have made the choice for myself and family to eat organic, non-gmo foods without artificial ingredients and low to no processed sugar. Have I made this choice due to my fear of illness, disease, and weight issues or have I made this choice because I love and enjoy this body and want to nourish it in the best way possible? The root of how this decision is made matters. It matters tremendously. The success of a decision hinges on whether or not it is made from a place of love or fear.

Another example: Am I accepting this job or this work because I fear having no money or am I accepting it because I am passionate about it and I know it’s my purpose to do this? This can be applied in relationship decisions also. This is not to say that one suddenly make the shift to making all decisions from a place of love and not fear. It’s enough to simply stop and note the root of the decision. And if you feel moved to make this shift for yourself, start small. Make it easy so that you can successfully shift to making all decisions from a place of love. xoxo

So grateful I get to share of myself in this way. When I meet with a client, I set the intention that the session will unfold organically and what needs to be said and shared will come forth. We message ahead of the meeting to know 1 – 3 areas to be discussed. During the session I ask questions and offer thoughts and techniques relating to mindfulness and emotional connection. Good stuff!!!

Sharing My Journey with Reno Sunrise Kiwanis

**THROWBACK POST**

December 28 2012:

WOW!!! What an amazing group of people!! Just got the privilege of sharing my journey and path to happYness with the Reno Sunrise Kiwanis. GOOD stuff y’all!

Camilla Presenting at Kiwanis 12.28.12

Thank you Skip Benton for your kind words … I just saw this! Had a GREAT time meeting all y’all!

“One of the interesting things about Facebook is I ended up “meeting” people I would have never met in any other medium. I have been reading about Camilla Downs for a long time. I’m thrilled I finally get a chance to meet and hear her speak. I’m so impressed with people – especially woman – who end up coping with a really bad situation and then turn it into a positive ….” -Skip Benton

Where Did Mindfulness Originate

**THROWBACK POST**

October 8 2014:

I had fun researching for this blog post! What is the meaning of mindfulness? Does it make your eyes roll even thinking about it? Or, does it bring feelings of peace just thinking about it?

I was curious just where the word originated, where the practice of “mindfulness” originated and what does it mean in the current Western civilization. I researched what it means to be mindful, the skills of mindfulness, and a few mindfulness exercises. I also found a great mindfulness quiz and share my results with you! Have fun!

“Mindfulness has its origin in ancient meditation practices. According to Dictionary.com the term mindful originated in in late Middle English around 1375 and is defined as being attentive or aware. Before that, in 1200, was a now obsolete term of mindiness. It’s not clear from researching … ” Go here to read more …

Inspired Living: What Does Mindfulness Mean

 

One Way We Use The Gift of Nature

**THROWBACK POST**

February 9 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 un-lovely 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

Walk with Thomas Vintage Lake 2.19.16

Movie Review: The Shift

January 29 2017:

Extra movie night … “The Shift” – Third or fourth time and still as meaningful as the first. The theme of 2017 for me is “The Shift” so it seemed fitting to watch again. This movie is one big, gigantic, meaningful, love bubble … xoxoxo

“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” ― C.G. Jung

Thomas says, “It makes more sense every time we watch it. It’s good and I like it.”

Lillian says, “It’s amazing and good. I agree with Thomas that it makes more sense each time we watch it.”

The Shift Movie 1.29.17

Why I Involve My Kids in Practicing Mindfulness

**THROWBACK POST**

February 3 2016:

Dear Thomas,

I know how sometimes you long to have a “typical” sibling and “typical” sibling relationship …

https://themighty.com/2014/07/letter-to-the-siblings-of-a-brother-or-sister-with-a-disability/

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

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

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

This morning it escalated, I remained calm and not involved. It escalated and escalated and escalated. There was screaming and door slamming. I remained calm and not involved. I got scratched and pinched, I remained calm. I kept emphasizing that I’d be happy to help her get calm and to let me know when she was ready.

And. Finally, Lillian asked for help in calming down. I walked her through a meditative breathing exercise and we moved on …. I don’t always remain calm. I did this morning and it makes such a huge, huge, huge difference when I do. Mindfulness is an amazing way to live …

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

Camilla and Thomas 2.3.16 - Picture from a Dried Up Washoe Lake in Fall 2015

How to Mindfully Dance with Life

January 9 2017:

Top 10 Countdown Continues! The Number SEVEN 2016 CamillaDowns.com blog post with the most views: “A Rapturous Dance With Life” ……. xoxoxoxoxo …….

A Rapturous Dance With Life

…. “Thoughts of us being stranded due to car problems kept entering my mind like a dark storm cloud encroaching on the brightest of days. 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 …..

…. 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 … ”

 

How a Family of Three Lives in a Tiny Home

January 5 2017:

Top 10 Countdown Continues! The Number THREE 2016 CamillaDowns.com blog post with the most views: “Living in a Tiny Home Adventures – Four Months” … Hoping to write an update post on this! It’s been a while!

“One night after dinner and dishes, I cleared the table. Thomas and I then played a “homemade” version of ping pong using what we had. Brought so much deep belly laughter … From Lillian too as she watched us. I think the ball had fun too …..

Living in Tiny Home Adventures – Four Months