Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur

Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
Valerie Anne Burns

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Differences, Division, United


Differences, Division, United



     It fascinates me to observe the differences in all of us. We human beings have two legs, two arms, bodies, brains, ears and eyes. What's seen in the eyes is an endless mystery. The differences in voice, personality, nature, and what's important to us can range to such a vast variance. I've observed people ever since I can remember. I'm curious by nature and am known for asking many questions because I'm truly interested in people. It includes long-time friends as well as the incredibly remarkable conversations I've had with strangers. Some people are uncomfortable with this, but it's often how I learn, contribute, and grow. It also opens doors in my writing.
     Billions of us are walking the earth individually moving and maneuvering to our own drum beat. How can this be? Even as I write this at my coffee spot, I notice the idiosyncrasies of everyone around me. The gestures, laughter, and speech prove to be unique. One is showing her distinct personality and style by many tattoos, short hair and a masculine look. She has the sweetest nature with a broad white teeth smile and works harder than anyone. Another woman dressed for work is taking her lunch break with a designer cup of coffee. She's enjoying her quiet time. I notice a man casually dressed and perhaps on vacation in Santa Barbara who's adept at eating heartily while carrying on a lively conversation.
     These few observations are a small frame of what can be noticed from the outside. Even more curious, are the treasures that lie deep within the recesses of the heart, mind, and spirit. Some of us wear our hearts on our sleeve while others are highly skilled at hiding deeper emotions or possess an easy going persona. I envy and admire lighthearted natures. I have my days when I feel as if I'm more floating rather than being weighed down. But, not only do I have my own wounds like everyone else, but fail at hiding most of it. I also feel the hurts of the planet, and my mind and heart are often preoccupied with these thoughts. Through every enlightened path I've practiced, the absolute truth is the expression of love, and finding balance. I'm searching for balance on a daily basis.
     The state of our country and who's running it has caused many of us to witness a severe imbalance to what is just. We stand up and speak out, fight for what we believe in. I wonder about those who support the policies and actions against middle and lower class America, the health of our planet, wildlife, etc. I think about it daily. I take action daily, but feel separated and, at times, alone in the process. We are so divided. How did we get to a place in history where we've gone backwards instead of leaders moving this country forward in a progressive fashion? What brought about the divided differences? In my entire life as a voter, citizen, and human being, I've never seen the country (world) in such an obvious dark time. I also believe it's brought out a notable uniting of people standing together for what they feel is right and has to change for the good of mankind. I've seen this at the marches. It's filled with folks standing as one, and it suffuses my heart with hope.
     I contemplate how we carry our wounds. Traumatic imprints early in life can cause shadows. I think environment, parents, individual nature all play a part. I have a tendency to take on other's hurts and want to contribute to their healing. Maybe it's because I know what it's like to be both supported and alone. When I'm around someone I've grown fond of and see, sense, and feel armor around their heart, I want to take a chisel and break it apart. As I continually work at living life with an open heart, I want those who land in my life, to do the same. It's a cliche to mention that "life is short" in this writing piece. Lately, after an arduous journey that could've taken me beyond the oceans of this world, I truly feel within every cell of my being, that time sails as if in a perpetual strong wind you can't possibly stop. I'm no longer at an age where there's plenty of time to grasp those dreams and deep desires. I'm deeply aware that I'm closer to the 'short' in the old wise saying of, "life is short". 
     The rest of the years could be our best time of life whatever our age may be. Hopefully, people worldwide will come to an awakening to unite together for a more enlightened world during and after the current dark state of affairs.
     Interestingly, I left the coffee spot after the above writing to have an unexpected 'united' experience on my beach power walk. The tide was out far enough to get on the beach and feel the cool water on my feet where my exercise mingled with sea air and a gorgeous temp and day. Ahead of me, I spotted a seal sitting on the shore and in the sand of the public beach. I was surprised. As I grew closer, I noticed several people standing at a respectful distance observing the seal. As I passed, I saw blood. I stopped, turned and joined the others. There was a man on his phone. He informed me that the blood was from the birth sack. I asked him if he was calling a rescue team. He thought I was a part of a rescue team because of my World Wildlife t-shirt. Another man came by and pulled out his wallet carrying the Marine Mammal Rescue number showing it to be sure the correct number was dialed.
     We were concerned the mama seal was in distress. A message was left. There were about ten of us beginning at twenty-something to seventy-something. All differences, divisions and other concerns disappeared. We were focused and united in compassion. We were united in the beauty of nature. We were united in the goal to see the seal safely give birth to her baby so they could both swim free and happy at sea. I felt heartened by the kindness and united front. I continued my walk and when I made my U-turn to head back, the man who made the call told me the seal swam back out. She may have been scared by the people and beach activity. We both exchanged our shared hope that she swam back in the ocean because it was all part of her birthing process. I saw our seal friend just out past the waves and sent her love and blessings for well-being, as well as the gift of new life she was presenting to the sea and miraculous flow of mother earth.


Keep on swimming through life,
Valerie

     


    

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Color


Color in Life


     When I first walked in the unit I've now moved into, my eye went straight to the industrial white semi gloss walls everywhere. Semi gloss is rarely used in homes any longer. It immediately reminded me of the many sterile walls I'd been surrounded by, which sent a chill up my spine. Most medical institutions paint in clinical white or green semi gloss because it's easy to clean. The thought of living in a similar environment would have brought up trauma memory. I knew what I needed to do as a first step to generate beauty in my apartment.
     I nearly raced to a paint store visualizing color, and it had not only been a long while since I had my own space, but color that I love in my space. I conspired with a friend who shares my fondness for design, decorating with vibrancy, and all things beautiful. I asked her for the specific orange she'd used in her kitchen years back. It has the exotic name of Micado, and it's a sunburst orange reminding me of the orange-apricot afternoon glow in Florence. I drove to various paint stores to hunt for exactly what I wanted to transform my small nest. I'm not one of the decorators that believes color makes a small room look smaller, and there are many elite designers that would agree with me. I believe it defines a space. 
     Through the living room and hallway is a color called Magnolia (cream) to which I had a few drops of red oxide added for a punch of glow. Sage blue/green with orange accent in the bathroom, and my favorite bedroom blue discovered again after disappearing for a few years, only to rise again in the computer at Osh. It gives me the feeling of waking up at the bottom of an ocean looking up to promise. Feng Shui thought believes that a bedroom should be in a color you cherish that would also bring in a sense of romance. I'd go further by saying, a bedroom should feel sumptuous in decor and texture. Fabric came next. Resourceful and budget oriented, I know how to search and find the perfect fabric accent (keeping bigger pieces neutral like sofa, chair, etc.) to tie in all the colors creating a flow not only in my home, but a flow within myself. One fabric I chose brought in all my paint and accent colors, and it's of blossomed joyful flowers (photo below) providing the exact flare and statement I desired to make. 
     Since I was a very little girl, lonely for a mother who left the world far too early, I've found ways to surround myself with whatever could nurture me in the moment. Cats, definitely cats. The warm tropical sea on Key Biscayne offering breezy sea green to aqua colored water, and skies from cornflower blue to midnight blue as a storm came in. Sunsets were a gift of flamenco pink and orange creamsicle. The beauty of color fed me then, and will for as long as I remain on the planet. When I've had many days in the past, and even occasional days in the present, where staying under the covers is all I want to do, I find my way back to what I know brings me encouragement.
     I write in my book how it's moments of beauty, connection, passion, and a willingness to be open that's kept me alive; that's kept me going. During the most grueling medical journey that felt endless when I would stare at those sterile walls, I sought the friendship of my hummingbirds in contrast to feed my fragile soul and fill me with hope, inspiration, and healing energy. When these bird angels would fly to my hand for nectar, and hover with wings going so fast they were translucent, I'd have close proximity to study the vibrant colors; fuchsia, iridescent emerald green, royal purple, scarlet red, and deep orange. These exquisite colors inspired my spirit and deep adoration for wildlife; as well as inspiration for home design, wardrobe, and an imprint of sense memory I'll never lose.
     It's my hope that I make the effort to live a colorful life - to color outside the lines, and bring a spark of color to others. Especially since I've survived a challenging journey and losses that still sting at times, I look toward a new beginning. I yearn to seek things that make me feel alive and full of wonder - Connection that surprises, swimming in aqua marine water that sweeps you away into another living world, sitting in that cafe in Florence deep in the afternoon where the orange glow drops on your wine glass; or something close to home where I snuggle with a child or animal. I urge you to look for the unexpected around the corner - The gift of chemistry and kissing for hours any time of day, enveloped by a summer breeze, finding the perfect color that brings you comfort and delight; or whatever pursuit brings radiant zest in your life. Color far outside the lines and feel the sensation of catching the perfect wind in your sails that creates a dynamic space for the soul to soar.
     While I was writing this blog, I gazed at vivid sails in the ocean making their way in the breeze of the day. I went out for a power walk to take a closer look. One of the sails is shown in photo below.



     

Keep on swimming through life,
Valerie