farm girl leadership for today's woman

Camilla’s Books

My goal is to share my unique “farm-girl” perspective, with simpler answers to those questions that complicate our lives.

books on living your best life... naturally

2023 Finalist
National Indie Excellence Awards

My New Book Available Now!

Harvest Your Happy

A Farm Girl’s Guide to Leading, Succeeding and Living Your Best Life

In Harvest Your Happy, Camilla Gray-Nelson shares the life-changing principles that turned a farm girl into a successful entrepreneur, mentor and leadership trainer.  The book shares her practical field-tested methods for growing happy relationships and nurturing attitude, gratitude and purpose in order to harvest ultimate happiness.

Living on a working farm, Gray-Nelson sees profound lessons in the simple cycles of the natural world, and in observing the hidden rules for social interaction animals instinctually know, that allows them to get along and get what they want without fighting. Gray-Nelson reveals that by understanding these universal instincts and social rules we, too, can influence by instinct, for more productive relationships and begin living our best life.  In this groundbreaking step-by-step guide to  your own Ultimate Happy you will learn:

  • How you can succeed, even without rank or power
  • How to turn conflict to cooperation
  • The hidden reasons we argue or fight
  • How to heal division and build real unity
  • The everyday conscious choices which lead to a happy and fulfilled life

Change your life today using Nature’s simple secrets!

Over years of introspection and observation on the farm, an epiphany unfolded for me, especially in difficult times. Life is not as complicated as it appears to be or that we have been led to believe! The secret of success and being happy in my life were not complex; they weren’t even “modern.” The secrets, it turned out, were Mother Nature’s all along and were being practiced with success in the Animal World all around me. In that moment of realization, I felt like Dorothy in the final scene of The Wizard of Oz, when she realized, she didn’t need to look any further than her own backyard to find true happiness. The answers had been there all along. Like Dorothy, I didn’t really need ruby slippers to find the secrets to Happiness in my own life.  I needed only my eyes and a listening heart to receive the message being acted out by my animal mentors that were, quite literally, in my own backyard. I share with you here these secrets and how to use them in your daily life. You will not find them anywhere else.

Lipstick & the Leash:
Dog Training a Woman's Way

It redefines power and leadership from Nature’s own perspective, where boundaries replace confrontation and psychological control is more effective than physical dominance or strength. LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH is teaching quiet power and changing the lives of dogs and humans alike.

“Stand up straight, dear.” “Don’t mumble.” “No one finds that frown attractive.” “Be a lady and stick to your principles.”

My mother’s words still ring in my ears. Through my childhood, teens, and college years, her advice and her role model of grace, kindness, and quiet strength were instrumental in preparing me for an effective and successful life.   I had no idea, however, that her advice was also preparing me to be a dog trainer!

The animals on our farm were also my teachers.  In their own way, they taught me the true nature of power and influence.  The Queen of the Herd, the Lead Horse, and the Top Dog all got there without serious fighting or confrontation.  Instead they used body language, boundaries, focus, and quiet determination to achieve and hold their positions of power.  Had my mother been talking to them, too?

When I started my dog training business over twenty years ago, I did house calls. It was usually women who sought out my help because they were being overwhelmed by the family dog.  They were either mad and yelling, or being overly permissive and smothering which made them ineffectual and the dogs ran their lives.  Because these were house calls, I also got to observe their kids. Invariably, the women that could not control their dogs, could not control their kids.

Something started to click in my brain.  The very skills these women needed to control their dogs were the SAME ones they needed to control their kids… and probably other parts of their lives as well.

  • Don’t yell; stay calm
  • Set the boundaries and then enforce them
  • Be a leader, not a friend, a follower or a doormat
  • Power is achieved through control, not confrontation  (fights and confrontation in the animal world are the exception, not the rule)
  • Leadership is about being effective, not being loud (the dog doing the barking and the woman doing the yelling are not powerful or effective; the leaders are the quiet ones that simply get the job done)
  • If you don’t set your boundaries, no one respects you – not your peers, or your dog.

Because the vast majority of the dog-owning families leave dog responsibilities to us women, literally thousands of you have come to me over the years – feeling powerless, frustrated and defeated.  You assume that dog training requires either masculine strength and bravado (which you do not possess) or endless cookies and treats (which you are reluctant to use or have not solved your issues).  You are desperate for help.

I am passionate about helping women and saving dogs. If you have a dog that seems beyond control, don’t give up!  Read this book.  Your dog is not impossible; he’s just confused because you are not communicating in his language.  He ignores your frustration and yelling because he sees it as weakness, not strength.  Learn the secrets of calm, effective power and leadership in this book and you will be amazed at the turnaround in your dog.  Try it on your kids, your husbands and your co-workers while you’re at it!   What makes LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH special is that it points out the profound parallels between canine behavior and that of human beings.  We are all connected! The nature of power, how it is achieved quietly, and how clever leadership uses that power to influence (not force) the behavior of others is the real message of LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH. Dog training becomes a metaphor for life!

By focusing on a woman’s special challenges in dog training, and revealing her hidden strengths, LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH can help you discover your Inner Leader, train a dog that will make you and your family proud and, ultimately, give you a road map for getting more of what you want in life.


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