Laughing Mindfulness Session

**THROWBACK POST**

December 7 2015:

Last night before I read to Lillian and Thomas we did a “laughing” mindfulness session together. This one is really easy. Everyone stands ….. and …. just starts laughing. At first the laughs are forced, yet it’s magical how the laughs become genuine belly laughs that you cannot stop once started.

I mentioned something about this activity distracting one from non-stop thoughts. We sat down to read a chapter in “Stillness Speaks” and just so happens to have been about how we spend most of our time “distracted” by our thoughts. After I had read a page, Thomas asked if I had read this before deciding to have the “laughing” session. I told him that I had not and that usually what we need to hear or see comes into our life when we are open to it. As there was also a section on boredom and Thomas had repeated several times during the day that he was bored.

I was moved to share two sections from the chapter we read with you. I just happened to be in need of this wonderful reminder too!

“If you can recognize, even occasionally, the thoughts that go through your mind as simply thoughts, if you can witness your own mental-emotional reactive patterns as they happen, then that dimension is already emerging in you as awareness in which thoughts and emotions happen – the timeless inner space in which the content of your life unfolds. The stream of thinking has enormous momentum that can easily drag you along with it.” and “When you feel bored, you can satisfy that by reading, texting, using a digital device, etc ….. Or you can stay bored and restless and observe what it feels like to be bored and restless. As you bring awareness to the feeling, there is suddenly some space and stillness around it.” – Stillness Speaks

I so love it when this happens for me, and I especially love it when it happens for our whole family. I am so blessed to have chosen the path to learn and practice mindfulness, meditation, and emotional connection … and to share and facilitate this for others. May this be helpful in some way for YOU, too! xoxo

Huge Step for Lillian – Using Mindfulness

December 18 2017:

Huge step for Lillian Monday night!

I did not feel well all weekend and spent as much of Sunday as possible in bed. We needed groceries and I had planned a date day with Thomas on Monday. I woke up Monday feeling great! I did the grocery shopping, then came home to whisk Thomas off for his date.

When he and I got home, it hit me again. I could hardly move! Lillian was doing what she does when she’s not had enough interaction with me … messing with my hair and head. I could not take it as I was aching all over.

I sensed her energy beginning to shift so made sure to stay calm in letting her know I did not feel good and needed her to stop. She got very quiet and sat with her back to me; which, many times in the past meant the switch was about to flip to meltdown mode.

Instead she said she needed to tell me something. She said she needs some attention from me and hasn’t been getting enough. Hallelujah! This is huge when she can lean into the uncomfortable feelings, halt the near immediate switch to meltdown, and put into words what she needs.

I was in the middle of working on something and suggested when I got done that we could color for a few minutes in the mindfulness coloring book we had just received from a friend. So, we did that and before bed, danced to one Christmas song. I was barely moving but knew she needed this.

Must remember to celebrate this when I feel better! So incredibly grateful for our path of mindfulness and allowing and connecting with feelings! Hugs to all who celebrate this with us! xoxo

Lillian in Snow 2013 or 2014 - Fire Poppy

Will You Please Help Lillian Get Back to Herself

**THROWBACK POST**

November 6 2013:

Lillian had a melt down a few mornings ago complete with she’s moving out, she hates it here and calling Thomas and I idiots. Once she calmed down, she asked in a different, quiet, deep and more mellow voice, “Camilla, will you please help Lillian get back to herself”.

I said, “Absolutely!”, and asked how I could help? Then I helped her get dressed. Later I asked who it was that asked me to help get her back to herself. She told me her name, which I forgot, and said that she was a professional ballet dancer. I said that it was very kind of her friend to come along and help her get through that rough moment …

Lillian has these melt downs about 1 to 4 times per week. Usually it’s when we are getting ready to leave for school or anywhere else. She does not like to be rushed and reminded to complete the next step of getting ready. I choose to mostly ignore her unkind comments as I know that’s not the true Lillian.

The more I do not acknowledge the melt down and the more I remain calm the sooner she is able to bring herself back to the true Lillian. I am so truly grateful for all that this beautiful little soul has taught me about myself and life! xoxo

Thoughts on This Parenting Journey

November 13 2017:

The key for me has been the understanding that I have no idea what I’m doing … HA! ….

Improvising like crazy; and, in fact, letting myself BE Crazy! Along with finally understanding if something comes from my heart, it is always to be trusted and the right thing to do.

And as much as possible not giving a hoot what anyone else thinks … xoxo

Book Musings: The Awakened Family – A Revolution in Parenting

May 27 2017:

I highly recommend this book to anyone considering becoming a parent, who is already a parent, and anyone who works with children. Another that came into my life in divine and perfect timing. xoxoxo

Our Children, Our Awakeners

“In my illusion, I thought I was going to raise you
To be whole, complete, and worthy,
To be educated, kind, and wise,
To be a leader, empowered and free.

I was deluded to think I knew it all,
fooled by my age and might.
I thought I had it all together,
Ready to teach, inspire, and change you.

Only now, after so many moments
With you
Do I realize how foolish these ideas were,
How baseless and grandiose.

I now understand ….
That it is you who is here to teach me,
To guide, lead, shift, and elevate,
To transform, awaken, and inspire
Me.

I now realize how I had it wrong,
Upside down and outside in,
It is you who are this perfectly designed clarion
To wake me up to my true self.”

A New Commitment to Shedding Expectations

“I shed my expectations and agendas,
Knowing they stem from my small mind-space.
Instead, I will enter my expansive heart-space
And release you from meeting my needs,
Expecting only that I do this for myself.

When I see you, I will no longer reflect
My fears, insecurities, longings, and drama.
Instead, I will clear the mental cobwebs
That cloud the shine of your brilliance
So that I can be a mirror of the diamond you are.

As my agendas melt away, so does the hollowness I feel,
Leaving only wholeness in its place.”

Awakened Family Book 2017

How to be a Peaceful Parent

January 7 2017:

Top 10 Countdown Continues! The Number FIVE 2016 CamillaDowns.com blog post with the most views: “The Power and Magic of Connected Parenting” ……. xoxoxoxoxo ……

The Power and Magic of Connected Parenting

from the article … “Ever since Thomas was 1 year old we have been going to the library every 2 or 3 weeks. We live as a team rather than a dictatorship. Mostly, I am the team leader, yet I give them many opportunities to lead. We have letting go burning ceremonies every quarter.

We continually talk about why we are here, what are our goals, how are we doing personally and as a family, we make gratitude lists, create yearly vision boards for each of us and one as a family, write “compliment” notes for each other, and we openly discuss and practice mindfulness and emotional connection. We are not typical … and we like it ….. “

“Most people see what is, and never see what can be.” -Albert Einstein

An Open Letter to My Daughter’s Meltdowns

January 3 2017:

bench-at-vintage-lake-february-2016

Top 10 Countdown! The 2016 blog post on CamillaDowns.com with the most views: Dear Meltdown – The article which was quickly accepted and published by elephant journal.

May this land in front of the one who would benefit from reading it …

Dear Meltdown: Meet My Friend Mindfulness

 

Reset Button and Beautiful Colors and Coots and Clarity walks

November 1 2016:

Beautiful afternoon walk ….. Going for walks is like pressing the reset button. So inspiring …. xoxo

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November 3 2016:

Thomas and I enjoyed a wonderful walk yesterday afternoon! Such fabulous clouds too! Beautiful colors abound!!

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November 3 2016:

I got to take Happy for a walk this morning and there was a beautiful pinkness in the distance. This kind of shows it, yet it was much more beautiful than this! xoxo

pink-sky-vintage-lake-11-3-16

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November 4 2016:

Oh so fabulous walk with Lillian yesterday afternoon. We stopped by a large gathering of coots who were eating grass. We stood in silence and listened to the sound of their grazing. It was incredibly beautiful and soothing. Similar to the sound of water running over rocks. xoxo

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November 4 2016:

Walk of clarity this morning!! Check out the ball floating in the middle of the lake. Is it hovering above the mountain or floating at the bottom of it? Perspective is a magical thing! xoxo

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What She Likes Best About Our Nature Walks

September 5 2016:

Walk tonight with Lillian. It’s getting cooler for these walks and still so beautiful! The killdeer were being really vocal tonight! Lillian answers a question from one of our friends in this one. Have a question you want answered? Let us know. xoxo

Magic and Stairs and Cookies and Rainbows

June 12 2016:

I have been working on this post for two days now! Done! It’s a throwback to 2010 and 2011 with updated content. I came across an article the other day that moved me to the core and just knew in my heart I must write this.http://camilladowns.com/…/the-power-and-magic-of-connected…/

Now we can go on a little adventure and then back to create a special poem to accompany a very special painted rock for a beautiful soul way down in the bayou.

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June 15 2016:

She set a goal of going up 2 stairs, without holding onto me, before her physical therapy appointment today. She did it yesterday afternoon! By next Wednesday it will be 4 or 5 steps! Wahoo!!!

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We’re working on the book trailer for Thomas’ upcoming book … “Grand Adventures of the Biggest Little Photographer” … Here’s a fun picture I took of him taking a picture of the mini figure taking a picture.

The book will contain many of the photos he took during the 365 day photo project he decided to do on his own when he was 8 years old. It will also include an introduction of how it began, quotes, and a bit of the story along the way. Coming Fall 2016 – You can pre-order if this sounds like something that interest you or if you know a LEGO enthusiast!!  … xoxo

Thomas Taking Picture of Minifigure Taking a Photo 2014

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June 16 2016:

And just because. We made chocolate almond flour cookies last night at 8:30. Toasted to Team TLC and read our read-aloud-book!!! So YUM!!!

Chocolate Almond Flour Cookies June 16 2016

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Looks like a grand adventure awaits us next month! The Chromosome 18 conference is in San Antonio this year, July 10-13th and we are going to drive. We found out today that an organization that has helped us get there the past two years is not able to help this year. xoxo

Google Maps suggests three different routes. Has anyone out there driven any of these routes, know the road conditions, etc … Need to decide which is the best route. What about campgrounds on any of these routes? Know about any?

Every year Thomas and Lillian both want to contribute to getting us to the conference. They come up with their own ideas and offer their creations through each of their websites. Here are the different ways to support our trip if it feels right to you (and a link to a blog post with more information …http://camilladowns.com/…/2016-chromosome-18-conference-sa…/):

Route suggestions per above
Painted Rocks by Thomas
Leaf at Sunset by Thomas
Nature Adventure Set by Thomas
Mini-figure photo a day prints by Thomas
Pre-order “Grand Adventure of the Biggest Little Photographer” by Thomas
Random Act of Love Cards
Services by Thomas (errands and poop scooping – in Reno area) (email me regarding this one)
Egyptian Eye by Lillian
Rainbow of Emotions by Lillian
Custom Abstract Art by Lillian
Mystique Boutique
Walk With Me
“D iz for Different” book
Custom Poem by Camilla

Google Maps June 2016

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This. Just when this message was needed. I was drinking my water earlier today and this is what I saw.

Received some news today that is not what I expected and kinda leaves me feeling really tired. Yet, I know there is a different way to see this … And this was a reminder. Sharing for anyone else who needs it …. xoxo

Heart Bottom of Glass June 2016

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June 17 2016:

Lillian’s latest blog post and her latest abstract art creation, Rainbow of Emotions. Let her know if you’re interested in having an 8 X 10 print of it. This is just a picture of it. The scanned version will have crisp clarity. May you enjoy her story about Rainbows and Love! xoxo

“Hey, everyone! This story is about rainbows and love. I hope you enjoy!

Once there lived 2 rainbows who didn’t want to separate for the love of nature. Their names were Candy Rainbow and Princess Rainbow. One day, Candy Rainbow was accidentally separated from Princess. What they didn’t know was the Nature fairy had split them in half.

Candy desperately looked for Princess but there was no sign of her. Meanwhile, Princess was where Candy wasn’t. She was anxious to find him but the Nature fairy wouldn’t let her. Candy got up to ask the Nature Fairy. What the fairy said, “No, I haven’t seen her. I didn’t separate you.”

Candy thought the fairy was being suspicious. Princess started suspecting the fairy. After a year past, they accidentally ran into each other. When the fairy found out, she was furious.

The fairy decided to put Princess invisible so she couldn’t be seen when they bumped into each other. Candy tried to explain to the Nature fairy that rainbow magic was more powerful than fairy magic. Since the nature fairy wouldn’t listen, Candy decided to show her what he tried to explain.

So his plan was to use his magic and power to get Princess out of the invisible world. So when Princess saw he was stretching out to use his power, she decided to reach over and touch his stretched arc. Candy felt lighter somehow but he didn’t know how.

Suddenly the invisible spell broke. The fairy was shocked at what happened but the fairy had to vanish. “It was me who helped you, Candy”, said Princess softly. “Thank you, Princess!” and the rainbows’ love was returned.

Princess thought if people saw them, it would be easier to have 1 rainbow be invisible. Princess decided to go invisible but Candy was able to see her. Every once in awhile, Princess appeared behind Candy. That is why some people see double or triple rainbows.”

Lillian's New Abstract Art May 2016

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June 17 2016:

Setting family intentions, making a plan, creating a “happy songs” play list, listening now, deciding on new rituals, and discussing the importance of gratitude.

That’s what Team TLC did this morning. Next up, framing our intentions and rituals and hanging on our wall. We are family and It’s a wonderful world with Three Little Birds singing “Every little thing’s gonna be alright” …. Hakuna Matata xoxo

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This one’s headed to live in Houma, Louisiana!! Have fun down in da bayou!! Rock is hand painted rock with acrylic paint and sealed. Poem created by me and handwritten on recycled materials ready to hang.

Walk With Me

I walk this path with legs
that have walked many miles.
I walk this path with arms
free of heavy burdens from the past.
I walk this path with a mind
that supports and encourages the heart.
I walk this path with a heart
that is pure and ripe with love.
I walk this path with eyes
fresh with new perspectives.
I walk this path with ears
awakened to natures sounds.
I walk this path with a nose
that inhales the sweetness.
I walk this path with mouth and lips
parted to breathe the benevolent essence.
I walk this eternal path home
with all beings as one. ~Camilla Downs 2016