|Valerie J Burke||
I was born and raised in Sacramento, California, with the exception of one exciting year in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I attended first grade. It was in that little almost-Mexican town that I learned about cactus, tumbleweeds, horny toads, scorpions and baton twirling (which I did badly).
Growing up an only child, I learned to enjoy solitude, spending most of my days reading, writing, drawing, painting, listening to music, and thinking up questions with which to torture my parents... why is the sky blue? If God created us, then who created God? Why do cats purr? My mind was overflowing with questions and no one seemed to have the answers.
I've been writing for most of my life and it never gets old. I've always needed a creative outlet. Before the writing, I did pottery. When I no longer had a pottery studio, writing, graphic art, and gardening took its place. More recently, jewelry and metal work.
When I'm not writing, I can be found relaxing in yoga class, cooking, reading, or watching anything sci-fi with a nice glass of merlot in my treehouse apartment--with two elderly (but adorable) felines vying for lap space. Yoga and mediation are important for me, as they force me to extract my nose from the computer, stop thinking, and practice being a human being, rather than a human doing.
My educational background is in the sciences. My first Bachelors degree was in Geology (1985), second in Nursing Science (1989), and then I completed my Master’s in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 1996. I am a total science nerd with a passion for research and get bored very quickly when I’m not learning--I guess I have a high-maintenance brain. My favorite genre of fiction is science fiction, of course.
Upon completing my Master’s degree, I moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Twin Falls, Idaho, where I went into private practice with children. I utilized play therapy, art therapy, and Sandplay (a Jungian-based form of psychotherapy) to help kids suffering from various types of trauma and abuse. I also worked part-time as the Staff Educator at a local psychiatric facility and served as Designated Examiner for the State of Idaho, assisting the police with on-call emergency mental health evaluations for individuals in protective custody, as well as testifying in commitment hearings.
Over the past decade, my passion for health and healing has moved away from allopathic medicine and toward more natural healing methods. I've developed a fascination, and a deep appreciation, for energy medicine and the powerful liaison between the mind and the body.
In 2007, I moved to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and essentially stumbled into freelance writing. In 2008, I began writing for Dr. Mercola of Mercola.com, and in 2012, I completed my certification as an EFT Practitioner (Emotional Freedom Techniques). I am also a Reiki Master and dedicated student of A Course in Miracles--which to me, explains far more of the mysteries of life than any other ideology or theology. I presently live in Olympia, Washington.
Thank you for taking the time to come by!