Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur

Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
Valerie Anne Burns

Wednesday, February 8, 2017



Revealing Dreams in the Wee Morning Hours

     Do you ever wake up too early in the morning and then eventually fall back to sleep where you have a very vivid dream? It's then a dream that sticks with you all day or even forever. I've had a handful of those dreams that I will always remember, and at times, draw upon them for strength. While in the murky waters of my breast cancer ordeal, I had several memorable ones. Some believe that early morning dreams are venting dreams where you dump what you don't need from your subconscious. And then there are those who believe that angels and guides visit you in your dreams to deliver an important message.
     I believe it's possible that divine messages were delivered when I wasn't sure that I would live or find the endurance to keep going. It's comforting to think that someone is watching over us. In my book of personal essays, I include writing about two very significant early morning dreams. Today, I'm sharing an excerpt (dream at the beginning of the essay that sets the tone) to demonstrate how powerful the mind and spirit can be. The following dream occurred during one of my many post-surgery recoveries, and turned out to be quite telling. The message I received is that I am strong enough to get through anything. We are all stronger than we think.

Wall of Water

Sitting in the passenger seat, while my friend drove north on the 405 freeway, I looked straight ahead aware that the LA airport was on my left. I felt the clear, warm day as we whirled past slower cars. Suddenly, without a trace of warning, a Tsunami style wall of pacific blue water appeared directly in front of the car. As we hit that wall in freeway speed, it turned into a solid sapphire towering over us, and death would seem the only way out. It was a powerful force of water with a capacity to swallow you up as if you’re nothing; an ant on the busiest freeway in the country, if not the world. And then, just as the wall of water appeared higher than the eye could see, we drove right through it. And my first thought as we made it to the other side was, “well, we came through”. It was a near casual estimation of a death defying event - Unscathed on the other side of a tidal wave in life. I remember looking at my friend and there being a calm acknowledgement between us that we both had just survived the impossible. The initial fear hit hard for a mere few seconds; and then bam, we hit that wall of water, and in a few seconds more, continued our drive north on the freeway. The California sun was shining again, and when I turned to look behind us, the wall of water had disappeared.

Keep on swimming through life,
Valerie

Valerie Anne Burns © 2017 
   

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Resilience


     For weeks all I could think about was getting to Washington DC for the women's march. It's the historical event of my time. I've watched all that I believe in, from equal rights to healing our planet, crash to the rocks. Getting to DC would be costly, and being on disability from a long haul with breast cancer and complications, wiped out my income. I was discouraged and felt helpless. I kept signing petitions and posted about the good fight.
     A friend of mine came into town and was staying with me. I told her that we have to at least march in the little town of Santa Barbara not expecting much in the way of an electric energy charge. Many residents filled up the buses and vans to LA, and when I looked into a seat for myself, I discovered there was no room. While driving on the freeway to make our way downtown Santa Barbara, I commented that I didn't understand what all the traffic was about. As it turns out, they were all heading to De La Guerra Square for the rally and march. So full of passionate protesters, we could not push our way into the square for the rally. Over six thousand people showed up to march. I began to feel an excitement and camaraderie I hadn't felt in a long time.
     Two women in their thirties were standing behind us with their kids and signs. I asked one of the women to take a photo of my girlfriends and me to commemorate the moment. She said, "Sure, and here's a sign you can hold." The sign said "Resilience" in bold bubbled white letters. She told me to keep the sign because her young son would be happy to not have to carry it. I smiled, and gratefully accepted the sign. Little did this lovely woman know just how meaningful and symbolic the sign was. Resilience will be important for all women, and anyone who believes in equal rights for the long road ahead.
     But it's resilience that kept me alive, and other women like me, who've fought an ordeal with breast cancer. I commend all of us who are resilient daily and gracefully jump over those hurdles thrown in front of us. Somehow, I'm fiercely resilient which truly is a blessing. My mother didn't make it through breast cancer in a time when little was known. I have no doubt that she wanted to fight. I have no doubt that it wasn't an accident when a stranger connected to me, in a critical moment of unity, by passing her sign to a survivor. I won't forget her. And I stand with everyone, living on this precious spinning globe of ours, in need of their own resilience to survive and thrive.

Keep on swimming through life,
Valerie 





Valerie Anne Burns © 2017