On Finding Real Love

“I’m looking for love. Real love.
Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming,
can’t-live-without-each-other love…”
(Carrie Bradshaw; “Sex in the City”, HBO)
I watched “Sex in the City” every Sunday night during its run on HBO only to have this timely and poignant line escape me until recently. To analyze the psychology behind this quote flying over my head with the thrust and turbulence of a 757 accomplishes precious little. The quote stands before me now, awaiting both my acknowledgement and call to action. 
2011 will go down as the year that I tried to find, define, shape and compartmentalize “love”. Thanks to the objectivist’s musings of Ayn Rand, I have a definition of love that satisfies my intellect. Offerings from Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Wayne Dyer, helped me to see the roles, past and present that I play in the successes and failures of what is considered a game by many; an idea in which conceptually I take quite seriously.

 As a new year begins, I move forward, having arrived at two important realizations:

1)   “Love”, like the Creator, is not lost; it is and lives in infinity. It is ever-present and requires no pursuit or discovery;
2)   As an offspring of the Universe, I am the “Love” that I seek: I am the love of my life.
Within this heightened level of consciousness, my challenge is to truly be the “Love” which is the core of my essence; my spiritual DNA, if you will; an undertaking that requires an awareness that is easily lost in a world gripped by fear, careless perception and its own agendas, intended and otherwise.
This occasion of continuance finds me better than I once was and promises that I am all that the Universe intends me to be. 
I am all that I ever wanted; Love…real love.
Selah,

Camille 

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The Sway of My Voice

Over the past year I have given time and geography their liberty with certain matters of my heart. Both have served me well. The doubt and skepticism that once anchored my being have given way to a fresh perspective and a determination not to allow the past to have any more power than I have already surrendered. In fact, the past and the persons who once occupied that space of former time hold no power whatsoever.
Neither magic nor volition unraveled the defensive web that once spun around my heart. On the contrary, it is what I like to refer to as “my quiet cooperation with the Universe” that charts my present course; illuminating a pathway which promises me the gift of my deepest desires; to love and to be loved in the manner in which I am most deserving.
This time last year I was negotiating with the Creator with my lists, prayers and affirmations. Not anymore. I have learned the power of a simple whisper into the ear of the Universe, the value of waiting in confident silence; moving in an abundance of confidence; and watching with eternal gratitude the manifestation of my desires.
My constant challenge is to make certain that the desires of my heart are constantly aligned with the sway of my voice. It should be your challenge as well; so that when you tell the Universe that you want love and wealth, abhorrence and poverty are not inadvertently invited in; when you request health and creativity, your voice does not mistakenly petition illness and lack of originality; and when vision and intellect require consideration; your life is not contradicted by the imprudent visor of thoughtless expression.
Later this month, I will close the door on my 47th year of existence and open the door to the 48th.  I will enter another year with immeasurable gratitude and fully aware of the range and sway of my own voice. It will be a great 48; filled with the promise of love and prosperity; inspiration and well-being; as well as revelation and understanding. Because I say so.
Selah.
Camille

Passion Speak

I fear that “passion” may one day be reduced to a common emotion, much the same way that “love” has been in some instances relegated to a place absent of its most mystical meaning.
People describe their “passion” for one thing or another, as a matter of routine these days; as if having an emblazoned desire for their purpose is the latest fad.
Most disheartening, I think, is that most of the talk about passion is just talk. Whether on my daily trek to my office or in casual conversation, people are talking, and very few are taking action. The excuses for not acting on ideas, utilizing talents or maximizing opportunities laying in wait are compelling, mundane and many times without sufficient merit.
My decision to follow my passions (writing and teaching) was thoughtful, enthused and tenacious. But most important, it was absolutely necessary. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe the Creator the recompense of my talent, creativity and intellect. Every sentence that I fashion; every poem that I compose; and every book that is realized by my hand is an offering. It is my honor to present them to the audience of Universe.
I am hopeful for the “passion of passion”; that its meaning and truth are never bent beyond recognition. I promise to do my part to retain passion’s mystery; and to let love have its way; to not be complicit in their demise in my world. I invite you to do the same.
Selah,
Camille

Many thanks…Reflecting on the “Bearing Witness” Book Launch Party

It has been almost two weeks since the launch of my latest book and the memory of an absolutely wonderful evening still lingers.  I am so thankful to all of you who attended the book launch party and to those who assisted me in the days leading up to the event.
The evening was the elegant and intimate celebration that I envisioned. I was able to share my passion with friends and strangers, many of whom shared theirs in return. I have learned so much about myself and others; namely that being grateful sends a call out into the universe to usher a larger measure of prosperity into your life. I have prospered in all of the ways that matter in this life, and I remain committed to helping those who wish to find their passion and purpose; their peace and prosperity.
The days since the book launch find me scheduling appearances and writing classes, tracking sales, managing distribution, staying connected to friends and family and most important, finding time to write.  I cannot rest on the laurels of this book; it is time to write the next one.
There are presently two books in the works; one based on this blog and another that finds its heroine dealing with “the Church”. I will discuss the process of completing each of these offerings as time goes on.
In the meantime, I ask the universe to allow each of you to see your passion clearly. May you garner the courage necessary to bring your passion to fruition; for the universe can give you the vision, but you must give the vision its wings.
As you wait for clarity, be Thankful. When clarity arrives, be thankful; grateful in times of bright light and in ink-black darkness. Resolve to be grateful within the simplicity of “being”. Stay in your “now”: the past is over and the future will take care of itself. It is in the “right now” that your purpose and passion have their say…listen, and say “thank you”…always.
Selah,
Camille

To order “Bearing Witness”, please visit:

Change of Season

On Friday, September 23rd, friends, family, acquaintances and fans will join me to celebrate the launch of my seventh book, “Bearing Witness”. This poetry collection is my most important undertaking to date. It is my best offering; the one in which I am most proud. The combination of previous published poems and the musings that have shaped the past year are a loving and detailed map of my life’s journey.
It is no accident that the date of this book launch is the same day as the Fall Equinox. Just as nature cools down from the scorch of summer and prepares the meadows and foliage for winter’s cold affection, I too am preparing to don my own cloak of cool change; looking forward to the color and growth of next spring.
In addition to book signings, speaking engagements, and my occasional classroom appearances, Fall will find my writing transitioning from poetry to prose. The novel that has begged for my attention for the last three years will finally have its way; as will my unnamed essay collection; and the fifty or so books that are on my “must-read-by-the-end-of-the-year” list. The season will also find me in total surrender to “love”; its honor and challenge, its innocence and clarity.
I remain grateful for my journey and the companionship, support and affection of friends, fans and, yes, the words that continue to accompany me; I celebrate them often, both in public and in private.
Selah,
Camille
*For additional information about the “Bearing Witness” book launch party, please send a message via the following link: http://cammyslanding.yolasite.com/contact-cammyslanding.php.

“Gaslighting”: Are You Fanning the Flame?

In her book entitled, “The Gaslight Effect” (Crown Archetype, 2007), Dr. Robin Stern describes “gaslighting”, an unfortunate emotionally debilitating phenomenon that occurs in relationships where a strong, intelligent person is undermined by the insecurities of another. The tendency manifests as a person of low self-esteem seeks to undermine the confidence of another in an effort to bring stability to their own instability. It appears in personal and professional relationships without regard for race, class or gender. Dr. Stern first observed and identified this exploit as typically occurring among women in their romantic and business relationships.
As you turn the pages of this very enlightening psychological read, it is easy to identify with the anecdotes of the “Gaslightee”; the victims of the “Gaslighter”. We remember our own experiences with lovers, family members and workplace acquaintances: seeds of pathological and narcissistic manipulation sown in the gardens of a once healthy mind; or compliments peppered with “constructive criticism” spoken softly over a toothy passive aggressive smile. Spend enough time reminiscing and you will eventually find yourself wearing the cloak of victimization, which I vigorously discourage.
Psychology has an array of programs and pills for victims of emotional abuse. For all of the attention that is given to those singed by the flames of another’s insecurity, I wonder how many people are brave enough to admit to having been the “Gaslighter” at some point in their lives. To admit that in the heat of relationship or workplace battles and because of a measure of perceived inner insufficiency, you took deliberate aim at the psyche — the heart and soul of another human being in order to simply have your way. Admit it, and take steps to refrain from this and all other acts of emotional terrorism.
The “Gaslighter” constructs a prison in the mind of their so-called beloved. Most people forget that the jailer is always confined with the inmates. The Gaslighter can only do what is permitted by his victim. As long as there is someone bowing to his mental exorcism, he will have regular work and fresh prey; hurting people hurt people. Without his well-chosen prey, then and only then is he forced to face himself…or perish.
If you read Dr. Stern’s book, I challenge you to do so without assuming that just because you recognize yourself in a scenario or two, or find yourself in disbelief with regard to your answers to the questionnaire in chapter one, that you must immediately seek professional help because yet another author, survey or manuscript has branded you as a victim. Rather, reflect on the text with brutal honesty, admitting to and finding a remedy to your own prior bad acts.
Endeavor to extinguish the flames fanned by irrational emotion and perpetual self-doubt. Each of us is responsible for self-reflection and appropriate course correction to ensure we live in a manner that is wholly pleasing, purposeful and prosperous.
Selah,
Camille
You can read an excerpt from “The Gaslight Effect” by clicking on the link below.

Light as a Feather

The morning walk to my office is festooned with the eclectic leftovers of the previous night: homeless men and women still sleeping; booted and ticketed automobiles waiting on owners or tow trucks; bicycled, segwayed and equestrian members of local law enforcement; a muddle of condom wrappers, lost lingerie, and containers that once held assorted spirits. Among these trappings I routinely come across an array of feathers, mostly from the pigeons that boldly walk these downtown streets competing with human hunger for sustenance.
Their charming, morning-grey plumes are castoffs of biological necessity. That the separation from their avian proprietor carries the pain of amputation, lightens the load required for flight or goes completely unnoticed is a mystery to me. But as I bend to add a captivating quill or two to my bookmark collection, I remember those things that I have discarded or abandoned: by accident or necessity; excruciatingly or without a fight; fully aware or otherwise. And I wonder if there are spectators, whether gauche or enthused, stooping to retrieve whatever I may have left behind.
I have relinquished unsubstantiated judgment and abject suspicion for the serenity of “it is what it is”. This keeps me out of nests of anxiety constructed by impractical acts that are based on raw emotion.
I am working to relegate emotion to her proper place in my psyche, particularly as it relates to matters involving the opposite sex. I am no longer easily riled or surprised by the relationship components of human interaction.
I am resigned to the inconsequence of the opinions of others. It has been said that “what people think of you is none of your business”; there is peace in this assertion.
I understand that Love is my choice; and a reflection of what I think of myself. I will love in the language required and reciprocity is non-negotiable: I insist on being loved in the manner I require.
I know that I own my self-esteem and self-preservation. No one can or should be responsible for my happiness; it is my sole responsibility. I must be selfish enough to fashion my own contentment and pleasure.
I have learned to reject and return compartmentalization. I do not answer to or live in the expectations of traditional or stereotypical assignment. If anyone attempts to label me, I am swift to peel and remove the layers of false identification, placing them squarely back into the hands or at the feet of the accuser.
I am joyful! Joy…Full! Whether enjoying the calm before a storm, or dancing around the winds of temporary adversity, I choose to remember and celebrate the things for which I am truly grateful; people and possessions too numerous and personal to record at the present.
As you move in cooperation with the creator and this great universe, welcome the manifest shedding of your “plumage” and rejoice in the fruition of renewed productivity and prosperity, and improved mental and spiritual well-being.
Selah,
Camille