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What the Hell is Happening?

(End of August blog with a strong build-up need to express!)

How does one take it all in? Oh how I yearn to be a Pollyanna by nature. But that day will never come because I've always been keenly aware of what goes on around me, especially when mother nature, mother nature's wildlife, and the human race is crying out. My emotions, sensitivity, and intuition gets the best of me. What do I do -- What do we do?

There are severe fires all over the world, including right here in CA with the devastating, Caldor fire, Dixie Fire, McFarland Fire, and multiple others that rage on. Even Siberia has a big fire. Imagine that. The world is heating up and mother nature is screaming for help! I'm screaming along with her from a place of deep concern and compassion. And as an environmentalist for as long as I can remember, I can't help but feel exasperation over the decades of scientific facts not listened to and how greed seems to always be the winner. It's not just severe fires, but severe hurricanes and blizzards. Climate deniers are blind to the reality going on all around them and continue with their lives as if nothing is amiss.

Speaking of science, there's the ongoing pandemic worldwide. With too many episodes as it is, how many seasons will the pandemic run? While I may be one who has practiced a natural and organic, healthy lifestyle for decades, cured myself of cervical cancer in my 20's holistically, and has never even had a flu shot, there comes a time when logic must be used by listening to the medical experts. As if 2020 wasn't taxing enough, the multiple variants are wreaking havoc and guess what, the uptick in the variant spread is from the unvaccinated. Dammit, it's messing things up for the rest of us. Scream.

This is not to be a Debbie Downer, but c'mon, how does one wrestle all of this along with the personal scrambling in life? My hopeful and planned trip to Italy has escaped my grasp primarily because I'm immune compromised and have been advised by my Immunologist not to travel. I am dismayed. I was asked to facilitate again (an honor) for for breast cancer survivor 🎀retreats in Rome and Tuscany. I was meant to depart September 1st. It was that bright glimmer of hope ahead of me that acts as the golden carrot in the midst of isolation and other challenges. Tears. Scream.

No matter how spiritual we are or how much we meditate and focus on peace and well-intentioned progressive ideas and policies put forth, we can't control the difficulty, wish or pray it away. And the smart, logical progressive policies that are ignored or excused because an agenda of greed and fear-based conservatism blocks them as if on continued auto pilot. Scream.

Afghanistan: A thousands year old culture of deep religious beliefs and extreme militant Islamism by force of Taliban rising up in the 90's is going to bend to our ways or a democracy? Trump brought home 25,000 troops from Afghanistan and so proud of himself for doing so (he has no leg to stand on blaming Biden for bringing home troops and eruption) and Biden has wanted to end this war since Obama era with trillions of dollars spent and too many American lives lost. No matter when we would have pulled out, violent mayhem would commence. It's horrible and a disgrace.

Don't get me started on the Governor recall in CA and the right-wing agenda behind it. It's such severe stupidity and a big waste of time and money when CA needs both to address fires. Voted no and mailed it in. The line-up of those running is an embarrassment.

So, what do we do?

I'm an activist as much as I can be and get behind things (petitions/policies/progressive candidates) I believe in, and stand up for what I feel is right. But I also must find ways to find balance and hope. We all do!

We all need something to look forward to and for me, Italy was to be just that. Instead, the monies raised for sponsoring me as a facilitator will go toward the December 2021 retreat in the Dominican Republic. Whatever monies may be left, will go toward Italy next year where my soul resides. The gods willing.

Surviving a long haul with breast cancer, my writing was a saving grace. 90% of my book Caution: Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter was written in between 9 surgeries and recoveries. When SMOV invited me to a breast cancer retreat in August 2018, it was titled as a Mermaid retreat in Mexico, which was ironic since 'mermaid' is in the title of my book. After meeting the director of the nonprofit and hitting it off immediately, she read many of my essays and became so supportive of my work. I created the workshop, Healing and Living Through Color out of my own background in fashion and design, as well as using my writing skill.

Being an author and facilitator is my purpose in this new chapter in life! And the workshop idea came to me when I was in the middle of my ordeal and had moved for the 8th time (finally secure) and the place was painted in an industrial white semi-gloss that reminded me of the sterile medical world. I said out loud, "My God, I need color to create a sanctuary." I called my painters and chose pleasing and balanced beauty by color. I spent hours hunting for the perfect fabrics to tie everything in. I was inspired by the colors on my favorite hummingbird. Nature inspires me in a way like no other. My kitchen is painted in the most beautiful orange that is not only on the throat of my favorite hummingbird, but everywhere in the villages of Italy. When I feel like screaming from all the worries, I go out in nature and ground myself in color. I walk by the sea and stare at the pacific blue and discover ways that bring me wonder. I watch my gorgeous hummingbirds fly toward the feeder at my screen door and take the nectar, and I nurture all the plants on my patio providing abundant blossoms up-close.

I trust you find ways to ground yourself in nature and discover ways to create color you love in your own home sanctuary and outdoor space if you have one. It's also wonderful to have color in your wardrobe that not only makes you feel great but is flattering. Color is a magnet to good. Nature is a magnet to good. Being kind to nature is crucial--I conserve power and water, as well as recycle and live simply with a minimum of collecting stuff to benefit mother earth.

I also trust we will find a way to heal, protect one another, do right by our fragile mother earth and precious wildlife struggling to survive. My relationship to hummingbirds taught me a deeper lesson to survival and resilience. I long for all of us to take a lesson from nature that is so amazingly divinely designed by an infinite Universe. Be well and safe. And, if you need to scream, scream your heart out. Breathe and repeat when necessary. I do and at times, it's with the crashing waves. Keep on swimming through life, Valerie Anne

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