Author, Speaker, Advocate, and Entrepreneur

Author, Speaker, Advocate, and Entrepreneur
Valerie Anne Burns


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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Living Through Color

Living Through Color

     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 500 sq feet place. I conspired with a friend who shares my fondness for design, decorating with vibrancy, and all things beautiful and efficient. I asked her for the specific orange she'd used in the kitchen years back. It has the exotic name of Micado, and it's a sunburst orange reminding me of the deep apricot glow presented late afternoon 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 can make a small room look smaller, and there are many elite designers that would agree with me. I believe bold coloration defines a space. 
     Through the living room and hallway, I picked Magnolia (cream) to which I added a few drops of red oxide for a punch of glow. Additionally, I chose a perfect shade of Sage for the bathroom with orange accent accessories; and my favorite blue in the bedroom with a deep green undertone, discovered again after disappearing for a few years, only to rise again in the computer at Osh. This exceptional blue 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 adds 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 pattern (keeping bigger pieces neutral like sofa, chair, etc.) to tie in all the hues creating a flow not only in my home, but a flow within myself. One fabric I coordinated all my paint and accent colors. It displays blossomed joyful flowers 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 our vulnerable planet. When I've had many days in the past, and far too many 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, "Caution: Mermaid Crossing", how it's moments of elegance, connection, passion, and a willingness to be open that's kept me alive; that's kept me going. During the most grueling four-year plus medical journey, that's felt endless when I would stare at those sterile walls, I sought the friendship of my hummingbirds in contrast to feed my 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 were inspirational and deepened my adoration for wildlife; as well as providing artistic ideas for home design, wardrobe, and an imprint of sense memory I'll never lose.
     When I lived far up in the hills of Santa Barbara, where the hummingbirds were plentiful, there was one that stood out in vibrant orange. He or she revisited me every spring, and was smaller and shyer than the others if you can imagine that. It also made a sound that came out like a squeak rather than the usual familiar clicking sound. I waited for the moment that this iridescent orange hummie with soft cream accent and green wings would come to my hand. Weeks went by. One afternoon, home from a surgery with drains tucked in my underwear, I stood near the feeder with hand held out holding a small red spice cap of nectar. Right before I gave up to find the sofa again, 'squeaky' came to me. I studied the colors inches from my heart. In retrospect, I realize that subconsciously, I chose all the colors in my treasured hummingbird - Color so memorable in its splendor, I recreated it in my space.
     With the worse behind me, it's my hope that I find faith again and that I make the effort to live a more colorful life than ever before - to color far 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 chaoter. I yearn to seek things that make me feel alive and full of wonder - Connection that surprises, swimming in aqua marine water that sweeps me away into another living world, sitting in that cafe in Florence deep in the afternoon where the orange glow drops on my 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 an autumn breeze, finding the perfect color that brings you comfort and delight; or whatever lofty 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 opportunity for the soul to soar.


Keep on swimming through life,

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Seven, Seven, Seven

     For the last several weeks, the number seven has been on my mind after realizing how much it's come up. I've had seven surgeries completing the process after a long road with breast cancer and complications. I'm also in the middle of my seventh move in seven years. All my belongings were in storage for the second time resting in a 10X10 storage. The photos, artwork, my mother's china, cherry wood family furniture, the gift of Herend china that was often displayed in Downton Abbey; are all proof of a life lived. I can't say that I've missed my possessions, but now that I'm unpacking, I feel like I'm opening a treasure chest. While unpacking, I'm also unloading to fit into a small living space. It feels good to lighten my load as if making room for new adventures.
     I've been more nomad than permanent resident this last seven years. This would have to do with my diagnosis, medical journey, and most especially, finances. I was on an important waiting list for seven years which finally came to fruition. I feel as though I'm on a roller coaster of change, and barely taking a breath before the next one rolls fast into my life.
     It's also the year 2017. And then there is the fact that the body completely regenerates every seven years. We have seven chakras, and perhaps mine are re-balancing since I've come through the other side of cancer. Scientific proof shows that cells of a human body change every seven years. Seven year cycles are significant and occur the moment we're born effecting us emotionally, physically, and mentally. "There is a natural release of energy every seven years which encourages you to move forward and make changes."
     I find myself having to take pause and look into the meaning of number seven. In one of the interpretations below, it mentions that if a number keeps showing up in your life, pay attention. I've been consumed in a move, but taking advantage of using this blog to pay attention. It seems obvious to me that I must look at this as a sign. Ultimately, I feel there has been a completion on a multitude of areas in my life. The number seven, in spiritual terms, indicates both completion and a new beginning. I feel that I'm embarking on a new beginning. My instincts tell me I'm now on a path full of surprises and receiving good things, as well as interesting opportunities coming my way - A path very different than the one I've been on this last seven years - A path of purpose and passion. It's time. 

     When I looked up the spiritual meaning of the number seven here are a few of the intriguing findings that I discovered. Although different roots, there's a similar take:

Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God's creation of all things. According to Jewish tradition, the creation of Adam occurred on October 7th, 3761 B.C. (or the first day of Tishri, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar). The word 'created' is used 7 times describing God's creative work (Genesis 1:1, 21, 27 three times; 2:3; 2:4). There are 7 days in a week and God's Sabbath is on the 7th day. 

Angel Number 7 is an exciting and important message to receive. Its meaning is thought to be one of reinforcement and encouragement. If you are finding that this number is being presented to you, then you should feel a sense of pride and comfort. Your angels are proud of the decisions you have made. They feel that you are on the correct path and are capable of fulfilling your divine purpose. From

Number 7 resonates with the vibrations and energies of the ‘Collective Consciousness’, faith and spirituality, spiritual awakening and awarenessspiritual enlightenment,spiritual development, mysticism, intuition and inner-knowing, inner-wisdom,psychic abilities, the esoteric, inner-selves, deep contemplation, introspection, eccentric, religion, thoughtfulness, understanding of others, natural healer and healing, secrets, myth, ritual, peace, poise, emotions and feelings, inner-strength, endurance and perseverance, persistence of purpose, the ability to bear hardships, quick-wit, the loner, solitary,  isolation, long-sighted, the non-conformist, independence and individualism, intentions, manifesting and manifestation in time and space and good fortune. From

Keep on swimming through life,