Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur

Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
Valerie Anne Burns

Monday, July 20, 2020

Endlessness of Current Times and the Comforting Endlessness of the Sea

Endlessness of Our Current Times and the Comforting Endlessness of the Sea

There is a feeling of endlessness in my orbit...perhaps felt in the world, very likely in this country and perhaps by you. I'm in a perpetual state of losing sleep. I am worried and rightfully so. It is my deep desire to be back in my bliss--swimming and snorkeling in the warm turquoise ocean. I long to feel innocence, even oblivious but that's never been who I am. I simply can't hide my head in the sand but I so desire to be temporarily set free in my bliss--a respite in my second home--the tropical ocean where there are no boundaries and a welcomed endlessness as far as the eye can see. Thankfully, from my patio, I can see the Santa Barbara sea where I can look to the horizon that goes on forever and walk on the beach. But for a tropical island girl, swimming in the SB ocean is too cold for this mermaid.

Additionally, there is my endless thinking, contemplating, concern, and stress. What do we do at this time, this place in history? The country has gone mad. The Corona virus has surged with no end in sight. Many of our conservative states want to be up and running (Covid-19 be dammed), attending Trump rallies and to hell with the masks. Now we're paying for it. Far too many Trump supporters actually believe wearing a mask is a Liberal act. This insane thinking is mind-boggling. Wow, what year is it? What century are we in? During the plague a hundred years ago, wearing a mask was the thing to do. Everyone did to prevent death to themselves and others. Recently, when I social distanced myself during a power walk on Shoreline moving several feet away to get around two women I heard one of them say, "Some people are so uptight." Really? I think the more appropriate word she was looking for was "polite".

One might say that there's an endlessness of feelings this time around in my blog.

Racism is endless. We have a White House that promotes white power instead of the Constitution stating, "Liberty and Justice for All." John Lewis, a giant in civil rights movement left our planet and Congress when we need him most. We need all the brilliant, courageous, diplomatic, fighting spirits to continue their path and purpose of speaking out and fighting for what's right, that would include rule-of-law. And, the endless attack by Trump on journalists and media for intelligent investigation and the TRUTH (Trump dismisses any journalism that doesn't make him look good) needed to inform citizens (including science & medical experts) must end. We are in dangerous territory of becoming a country run by fascism that is growing by the day. This is what I can't turn away from and this is what we all must be aware of and vote out.

On a personal note, my path of health challenge to do with all I've been through as a twice cancer survivor and dealing with the symptoms of a genetic autoimmune condition feels endless. But I manage it pretty well. Stress doesn't help. I find myself in this endless need to check-out, which comes in the form of my bed. I crawl in early and watch animal videos (while my foster cat who has become a fixture cat in my home is curled at the end of the bed) to distract my mind and make myself smile from cuteness overload.

I am tired all the time, which can feel endless as does depression. The feeling of being tired is something I've heard is a common experience in the time-of-Corona. I was telling a friend that it feels as though a veil has dropped over the world with a pandemic that has no politics and relentless in nature.

There is also a positive endlessness by those who are doing good in the world. They are the dedicated front-line workers, service workers, protesters that are speaking out against police brutality toward those of color, environmentalists and animal advocates who are fighting harder than ever since Trump is determined to lift all bans that protect mother-earth and wildlife. I've been an environmentalist and animal advocate my whole life and never thought we could end up here when science has warned of climate crisis for decades. We have an endless amount of public servants in DC fighting for a better country. Bless them.

I know there is an endlessness to those with big hearts and intelligent minds that will beat out the sociopath as much as this last 4-years has felt endless. My heart is and will always be as big as the sea. It's sensitivity that causes my restless nights and sadness in my heart for the depth of destruction, divisiveness, and discourse in this country.💔

And, there is an endlessness to loneliness. I don't think I've ever felt so lonely in my life. I know this is true for many, which is why I'm going to be truthful and write about it. While I've been on my own and experienced loneliness throughout my life, this moment in time has hit me hard. I began a partnership with loneliness beginning as a baby when my mother grew sick and died. I've lost a lot of family, friends, and lovers at a young age. I went through breast cancer and multiple surgeries over a course of several years beginning in 2013 on my own with little help or company and certainly felt isolated but I was also on auto-pilot, which is a blessing we've been bestowed because it's enormously beneficial--It numbs you out to get through and survive. Unfortunately, since my 9th surgery in January, and feeling as if all 9 surgeries hit me at once, I've felt so alone in processing trauma and getting through physical pain that held on without letting up...specifically the PTSD easily triggered. Once I began to feel more physically recovered after several weeks moving into March, we all went into isolation. There are many who struggle with isolation even when they have family in their household or a bubble created with family and friends nearby.

But there are also those of us that are completely alone in the pandemic isolation where the disconnect is absolutely palpable. Don't forget us. You may know someone going through this where family or friends are far away or perhaps you know someone (like me) single and without family that you may want to reach out to. A masked social distancing get-together or a simple phone call can go a long way.💕

Meantime, I seek the boundless ocean with endless rolling waves to comfort me and set my sights to get to the tropics (or the Italian Mediterranean sea) and swim in warm, turquoise water with balmy breezes that embrace me so I can escape the madness for a little while. Until I get there again, my walks, staring at the magnificent trees outside the living room window, watching my hummingbirds at the feeder, looking out to the pacific blue ocean from my patio provides the brief reprieve so needed for my spirit.

I trust you find your escape and respite in the beauty of your garden, a walk by the ocean or in the woods, catching a beautiful sunset, swimming in a blue sea, observing hummingbirds buzzing around your feeder or bloom-to-bloom, listening to beautiful music such as Four Last Songs by Strauss--; hugging your pet or enjoying a great cup of coffee. I send you love and best wishes to stay well and safe.

Keep on swimming through life,
Valerie Anne

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Is Anyone Listening?

Is Anyone Listening?

Does anyone else feel as if the world has been flipped on its axis? Does anyone, perhaps those that are in self-quarantine completely alone and experiencing an even deeper isolation feel that anyone is listening? Are we listening to what mother-earth is telling us? Have we noticed that the birds seem to be singing louder and more joyfully this spring while we are in the #stayathome mode allowing for a cleaner and quieter environment? Is anyone listening to the ultimate message in our extended time of Corona? These have been a few of the many questions that have been running through my head. More than a couple of months in isolation has my mind not only working overtime but in overwhelm.

Most of us have been in self-isolation due to the necessity of safety and the protection of others during a pandemic. Isolation is not new to me. As humbling as it may be, I've been on my own for some time. Granted, it's not just being single but getting through a long journey with breast cancer and the 9 surgeries that ensued from complications tends to set you apart--to live in a parallel Universe where life and connection starts to get blurry and you feel as if you're disappearing and risk becoming obsolete.

But I've survived and have always wondered about anyone really listening. Is anyone paying attention to opportunities to connect with others more vulnerable in the most authentic way, even if it's not pretty or pleasant? I understand that difficulty is repelling to some. A person's troubles or illness can be off-putting but it's a reality of life. Is there someone in your life that might be going through this all alone, struggling without income, or burdened in other stressful ways that you can call on? Yesterday, for the first time in more than 2-months, a friend dropped by. She wore her mask, we kept our social distance and couldn't give each other a hug, but a short visit with her and the little bag of treats she brought was so meaningful to me. It did my heart good.

Our world may be forever changed. Will we listen to the message in the big picture? Wildlife have been coming out bravely in the streets, air and oceans. After all, they were here before us. Swans and dolphins have been appearing in the Venice canals. All over the world (even in the most polluted cities), wildlife are feeling free from people and pollution to be themselves. If we listen to one another and mother nature, perhaps good can come on the other side of this. The planet is, (like all of us are) divinely designed and created. When the natural order of things is being destroyed, illness

and a continued sad demise will be the result. Will we listen? Did it take a pandemic for all of us to wake up? There's an incredible opportunity here to show more care and hear the cries of a planet hurting and the discourse that has developed not only in the world, but our own country is damaging to the soul. We can listen to what the planet and wildlife need. We can treat our planet and fellow-man with care. We can treat ourselves well by eating sustainable and organic, which builds our immune system and takes better care of the earth.

With all this said, (and in absolute sane honesty) there is also a virus called Trump, and he has caused massive destruction not only from his corruption,  narcissism, ignoring the warnings of a pandemic crisis, the health of the planet, wildlife; as well as decency, dignity and democracy itself. When many are looking at the message our lockdown has given us and the distraction of the Corona virus threat, Trump lifted ALL the EPA restrictions...restrictions that protect our fragile environment, health and well being.

It has been a struggle for many, financially and otherwise. I include myself in experiencing periods of stress and deep sadness. I will always express raw truth in my writing because I know that there are others that are going through great difficulty and either unsure how to express it, feel all alone in their challenges, or embarrassed to show their vulnerability. Some of us are totally alone, lost loved ones, challenged with more responsibility, or loss of work and income. Even when lockdown lifts and we go back to a somewhat normal way of life, it will take a long time to recover in our grief, economy, as well as our minds and hearts.

Be well. Listen well. Live well.

Keep on swimming through life,
Valerie Anne