Available for Public Speaking and Workshop Share:
Valerie Anne Burns is a public speaker on swimming through unimaginable waves of life and remaining above water with one's humor, curiosity, and dreams intact. She also offers a workshop titled, “Living and Healing Through Color”. Valerie discusses how you can discover magical beauty that speaks to you and your own healing. Learn how to become aware of color in nature to inspire its use in your own life and notice beauty all around you even in the medical world! Find ways to add color you love in your home sanctuary and wardrobe accent to assist you in your well-being.
Valerie has survived cancer twice (more recently from a long ordeal with breast cancer and complications resulting in 9 surgeries), many losses, sexual assault and an interesting collection of hurdles and choppy waves. She's also had amazing adventures and magnificent experiences.
Valerie is an an author of a book of personal essays titled, “Caution: Mermaid Crossing”—Voyages of a motherless daughter. It tells the story of her warrior ride to heal by capturing moments of ethereal beauty. When Valerie is not writing, she has a business as a style consultant for home decor and wardrobe image makeovers. She is also a graduate of the Hollywood school of hard knocks.
Additional Topics of Discussion:
*Find moments-of-beauty and staying centered; tips to endure a long journey with breast cancer, surgeries, and complications.
*Women Navigating Breast Cancer - Tips on How to get through medical micro-managing and overcome an isolating journey.
*Building confidence again post-surgery/reconstruction with an individualized Image Makeover.
Below is the blog I wrote that inspired the workshop I share for conferences, retreats and healing workshops
Living and Healing 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 shiny white or green 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 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 mermaid style inspiring a feeling of 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 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. My cats were hugged too tight. Key Biscayne transported my spirit by warm, 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 breast cancer medical journey that felt endless when I would stare at those sterile walls, I sought the friendship of my jewel-toned hummingbirds to fill me with hope 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 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.
I trust that I will make the effort to live a colorful life as I move forward - 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 me away into another living world, sitting in that cafe in Florence deep in the afternoon where the orange glow drops on a 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. It could be everything from 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.
Keep on swimming through life,