Notice Nature by Camilla Downs

Thomas Walking Bartley Ranch Summer 2016“Notice”

Notice nature.
Feel and smell the air.
Study the clouds and the trees.
Listen to the birds.
How many different kinds of songs can you hear?
What kinds of birds are they?
Injoy a sunset.
Notice and smell freshly bloomed flowers.
Notice and study new buds on a tree.
Notice the smell of newly fallen leaves.
Study the moon, stars, and clouds.
Walk barefoot in the grass, dirt, or sand.
Watch the waves in the ocean,
Or the ripples in a lake,
Or the rushing water of a river.
Notice the glimmer of freshen fallen snow.
Watch the sunlight dance and sparkle on the water.
Study all types of trees.
Get up close. Touch them.
Go for a walk for no reason other than to commune with nature.”

-2016 Camilla Downs – Author, Lessons from Nature


Why I Involve My Kids in Practicing Mindfulness


February 3 2016:

Dear Thomas,

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

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

We Shall Emerge by Camilla Downs

Looking Through To River San Antonio 7.2016

And out of the darkness
We shall emerge.
A darkness that
Has been necessary.

A vital and pivotal point
Of confronting the
Shadows within.

For to have more
Than brief glimpses
Of the light,
This acceptance, forgiveness,
And dissolution of shadows
Must be met.

As what awaits is
The eternity of light and love,
Ever there, ever lovingly
And patiently waiting
To welcome us home.” -2016 Camilla Downs – Author, Lessons from Nature

Do You Live Life with Abandon

January 15 2017:

Last one! Top 10 Countdown Finished! The Number TEN 2016 blog post with the most views: “Why I Live Life With Abandon” …. xoxoxo ….

Another I’m blessed to have revisited just now. WOW!

Why I Live Life with Abandon

” …… My therapists have been the authors of the books I read. Two of my greatest teachers have been my kids, Thomas and Lillian. Other teachers have been the suffering brought on by my thoughts, beliefs, and ideas, and those with whom I have shared un-lovely moments. The friends I share absolutely everything with are nature, meditation, and my own version of praying …… “