Episode 87 – Unstoppable Kickass Single Mom with Vanessa Osage

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Curious why that title? Listen in and see. The title was given to Vanessa in 2017 for her work for her social change efforts when she was presented with an award with the same name.

Vanessa now resides in Bellingham, Washington although she was born and raised primarily in the East until she graduated high school.

By choice, she has spent much of her life alone. She has been an avid explorer of life and speaks out when she feels social injustice exists. She is passionate about bringing about social change especially for youth having experienced her own personal challenges in school while growing up.

Vanessa is the author of two books. She will tell us about them Currently she is working on a third book which she would like to see published next year.

About the Guest:
Her social change memoir, Can’t Stop the Sunrise: Adventures in Healing, Confronting Corruption & the Journey to Institutional Reform earned a 5-Star Review for Politics & Current Events at IndieReader in 2020. Her second book, Sex Education for Girls: A Parent’s Guide, was released in early 2022. Vanessa Osage was celebrated as a “champion of change” by the Boston Herald in 2019 for her daring efforts to advance gender justice institutional reform. She won the Kickass Single Mom award in 2017 for her work in youth empowerment and sexual health. As a Certified Sexuality Educator, she has taught hundreds of young people ages 6 & up, supporting diverse youth and families for over twelve years.

Vanessa Osage has been the founder and leader of two nonprofits, Rooted Emerging, for puberty rites of passage and The Amends Project, to bring healing and transparency to private education through The Justice CORPS Initiative. As an organization leader, she has gathered dozens of people to collaborate for a new vision of positive social change. She hosted over a dozen community events in her hometown of Bellingham, Washington, from 2010-2019. Most beloved was the April Fool’s Day storytelling celebration, Love’s Fool, with tellers ages 22-90 sharing tales of their foibles in early romantic love on stage.

She has been a featured speaker at nearly thirty events and gatherings throughout the Pacific Northwest. Vanessa has also been a guest on eight unique podcasts, a repeat guest on live, CBS-broadcast radio, and a featured entrepreneur on television at BizTV. Her early work as a small town newspaper reporter helped inform her interactions with the media and shape her ability to tell a compelling story. Most recently, she traveled to a Northern California youth organization to speak, provide training, and lead Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshops.

Vanessa is also a Certified Professional Coach, CPC, with a private practice consulting and coaching adults in emotional health and personal empowerment for twelve years. Recent offerings include Transforming Conflict, Truth to Empowerment, and The Turning Point Package. Her speaking, coaching, and educational services can all be found at Love & Truth Rising. She is currently working on her third book, an exploration of narrative nonfiction, self-help, nature writing, and diverse voices. It is set for release in late 2023. You can reach Vanessa Osage on LinkedIn, Instagram, or through her author website, vanessaosage.com

Social Media Links:

Vanessa Osage, author website
LinkedIn
Instagram
Can’t Stop the Sunrise at Audible
Love & Truth Rising
https://loveandtruthrising.org/we-are-the-solid/

About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.

Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.

https://michaelhingson.com
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https://twitter.com/mhingson
https://www.youtube.com/user/mhingson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhingson/

accessiBe Links
https://accessibe.com/
https://www.youtube.com/c/accessiBe
https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/

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Transcription Notes

Michael Hingson 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.

Michael Hingson 01:20
Well, here we are once again. And yes, it is time for another episode of unstoppable mindset. And today, we get to interview someone who has some very unique attributes. The most important one it seems to me is that she has been given an award as the kick ass single mom. So we’re gonna hear about that she’s a professional life coach. She has written two books and is working on another and I’m sure we’re going to hear all about that stuff. So Vanessa Osage Welcome to unstoppable mindset.

Vanessa Osage 01:52
Thank you, Michael. It’s good to finally be doing this with you.

Michael Hingson 01:55
Yeah, we’ve been working at this a while haven’t we? Yes. Well, let’s start it. I love to with just kind of learning about you, early life and all that growing up and anything that you want to tell us about being a kid and any of that kind of stuff.

Vanessa Osage 02:09
So, okay, so I’m 26 years ago, I left the East Coast. So I grew up north of Boston, and kind of a small town, New England. Very Catholic, little town pretty charming. You know, it’s very old with a town center and we could walk what, what town? I grew up in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Okay,

Michael Hingson 02:30
I know where that

Vanessa Osage 02:32
is. All right, people know Lowell. And I was I was born in Concord, which is right by Walden Pond. So that’s some historical reference. There

Michael Hingson 02:39
you are. Yeah.

Vanessa Osage 02:41
So I grew up there. I’m one of five kids within six years, which is pretty wild. And I was very much what they call the tomboy, you know? So I was, I feel fortunate to even just generationally that I was I grew up as in a time where like, I spent the bulk of my time outside, like climbing trees playing in the dirt. I had three brothers, so I was skateboard with them and you got to run my hurt. My first love was horses. So I found a way to, you know, be around horses as a young person. And yeah, that was, that was my childhood in New England.

Michael Hingson 03:16
But you don’t have that Massachusetts accent.

Vanessa Osage 03:19
I don’t. Like I said, it’s been 26 years I’ve been on the West Coast. Now. I live up in Bellingham, Washington near the Canadian border. And my folks were from the south. And so every once in a while, I’ll meet someone and they hear a little bit of southern accent. But I have some of the East Coast sensibility. I think a little bit of that, like straight talking. tell it like it is. There are things I try to hold on to from the East Coast. You know,

Michael Hingson 03:44
so do you miss the snow?

Vanessa Osage 03:47
No. Well, we get snow here in balance some

Michael Hingson 03:49
Yeah, that’s a bit. Yeah. Yeah.

Vanessa Osage 03:53
I love living here where there’s some season, you know, I lived up and down California and, and that got strange to not have the seasonal markers of time. So I like I do like having some season. Definitely.

Michael Hingson 04:05
I like the snow. The ice was more of a challenge after the snow was there and froze just from a walking standpoint, but I love the snow. Yeah, it was it was totally different. For me. I had experienced a little bit of snow in California, but not a lot. And so when I lived in Winthrop mass for three years, and spend time in Boston before them in Back Bay, I did experience a lot of the snow and of course, all the walls of snow part set up along the streets when they were plowing the streets and navigating those. So it was fun, though.

Vanessa Osage 04:43
Yeah, it’s a way of life. It’s skills that are worth having. For sure.

Michael Hingson 04:46
Yes, absolutely. It’s good to have lots of experiences. So you, you went to high school and everything back there and did you go on to college?

Vanessa Osage 04:56
So I had a pretty poignant high school experience and I write about this in my first book can’t stop the sunrise. I, you know, I almost ran away when I was nine. And then I brought me back home. And then I almost left when I was 17. And I ultimately decided to stay until I was 18. graduate high school, and then I ran away to California. So I did go to high school in Massachusetts. And right, so all my, my later schooling up and down California, little bit in Oregon as well.

Michael Hingson 05:29
Where did you go to college?

Vanessa Osage 05:31
You want the seven schools?

Michael Hingson 05:34
Whatever you want to say, sorry?

Vanessa Osage 05:37
Yeah, let’s see. You’re trying to think how much backstory you all want. So it took me 12 years to earn my Bachelor’s degree because I spent the bulk of my 20s driving back and forth across the country. And, you know, that story, I won’t go into it, because I’ve told times that other people are curious, you know, it’s can’t stop the sunrise, it’s my memoir, it’s in print. It’s also an audiobook. So I, the quick version is that I was sent away for speaking up about an obvious injustice. And that was a real turning point in my life, you know, had to call into question the, the right order of adults and right and wrong. And, and so when I left home, it wasn’t just the kind of going off to pursue my education. It was like, getting away from my own inner survival. And so I did all this time traveling around the country, back and forth, living out of my car, then to all 48 contiguous states and parts of Canada. And so I had a rhythm where I would pick a town in California that had a junior college, and then stay there, you know, eight, nine months to a couple of semesters, I also paid my own way through college, which was really satisfying. And then I would get the urge and I would just go and travel the country. I’ll give you those colleges. So I went to Sierra College and Rocklin, which is north of Sacramento, Ventura College, which is on the coast north of LA, Sierra Ventura, College of the Redwoods in Eureka was where I earned a 50th in social science. I went to Humboldt State University Science and Environmental Resource engineering, I went to the University of Oregon and studied sociology. And then I guess it’s six I was I was seven. There’s a college and or there was a college called New College of California, in San Francisco. And in this Mission District, they were able to take all of my credits, and let me put some life experience to it. And I got a Bachelors of Arts and Humanities, with gender and ecology being the focus. So that was 12 years, earned and paid by myself, no debt, which is really a nice footing to start on. But I was 30 years old when that degree came in the mail. So it’s not the path for everybody. But for me, it was a really sweet balance of like, kind of theoretical study of what the world is, and then real experience and encounter with what I could see of the world. Well, there

Michael Hingson 08:07
doesn’t need to be a defining path. You know, it’s everyone does things in their own way at their own time. So that certainly sounds like it makes sense to me.

Vanessa Osage 08:16
Okay, yeah, it worked for me. And there was there was value in it, for sure.

Michael Hingson 08:21
Well, so what did you do with all of that, that knowledge? And I mean, the knowledge isn’t just what you got in terms of a degree, but you had 12 years with lots of exposure to lots of different things. And I gotta tell you, I’m a little envious, but what did you do with all that knowledge?

Vanessa Osage 08:39
Yeah, you know, it’s interesting. There’s thing about that concept of being envious, you know, I, I gave myself all the time to see all I needed to see and so what I’ve done with that knowledge, I was a birth doula in my 20s. So I assisted women in childbirth. And then after I had my own child at 30, I was pregnant when that degree came in the mail. It’s kind of cool, good thing that’s done. And so I have this vision to do kind of what like a doula program go support for the the puberty and sexual maturity transition. And it wasn’t like I sat down and said, I’m going to start a nonprofit. It was more than I had a vision, and I was committed to making it happen. And really, it does correspond to my degree. So I created what became a nonprofit called brooded emerging. And we did puberty, vitae passage programs, just a lot of awareness raising, to like I put on a dozen events and it was really satisfying to gather all these amazing people, you know, therapists and educators and wilderness guides and, and create this experience for young people to bring them from childhood into adolescence with this message of like, you can trust your body you can know your body and, you know, there’s a lot to be gained in this time. And so that was a beautiful story. for about a decade, and that was my first nonprofit. And I’ve also trained as a sexuality educator, and I’ve taught hundreds of people young and old, and comprehensive sexuality education.

Michael Hingson 10:13
What’s been if you were to find that you have one, what would you say your biggest challenge has been? Through the years?

Vanessa Osage 10:22
Yeah, um, I think as I was just saying it, like, that experience of being sent away for speaking up was really a turning point in my life, you know, such a loss to like lose connection and faith in society. And, but I think the bigger thing and because you know, your show has a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, I do want to speak to this experience, that I’m kind of part of an invisible minority, and that I’m estranged, or what I like to think of is emotionally liberated from my original family. And you don’t hear a lot about it, but we’re out there. And so I have a colleague in his 70s. And we work together and they use rite of passage programs. He also had this experience, and he later he was actually fostered by the local knock tack knock sack tribe here in Washington. He told me that about one in 10, young people have the experience where neither parents is, you know, reliable or trustworthy enough that a child can, you know, stay at home or stay in relationship. And so yeah, so that’s, that’s been, it’s not so much that it’s a challenge in itself. It’s, it’s a way I moved through the world that as like, like I said, we’re kind of invisible, right? Like, I don’t have that net, to fall back on. And this has been true from something like 2030 years. So I don’t have that to fall back on. And it’s also kind of tough, because people assume that I have the majority experience, which is that, you know, part of the family is there. So when things happen, you know, when life experiences or life events come up, people just assume that I have, oh, that you’ll do that with your family. And that’s hasn’t been the right choice for me for a long time.

Michael Hingson 12:15
You said that one in 10, your colleague says one in 10 Children kind of fit somewhere in that mold. Why do you think that is?

Vanessa Osage 12:23
Why do I think it exists? Or why do I think the numbers are what they are? Maybe a little bit of both? Yeah, well, so I think what he talked about, what he and I have talked about is, usually there’s some combination of addiction, or mental illness or violence. And, you know, kids get to the point where they just recognize it’s not going to be a safe or healthy place for them to grow. And, ya know, it’s also, it’s, like, if the state doesn’t get involved, you’ve got people who just grow through that, and are in the world and who have adapted to the world without that structure around them. Yeah, you know, people, and I think part of I can say, too, I think part of what that is, is we just have so much that we’re recovering from over the generations, you know, you’ve got wars or racial hostilities, or religious persecution, you like any of these things, that, that people suffer and have to recover from the effects of those into how people can and can’t, you know, be in relationship and raise families well, and sometimes those equate to, you know, some limitations within family structures. I do have lots of thoughts about it. So it’s not a lot that you don’t hear about it a lot. Because it kind of challenges a social structure, which is like, you know, you honor your father and mother, and you’d be a dutiful son or daughter. And, and I think people just don’t want to believe that it can go that poorly. And so, in my experience, it’s, it’s fairly misunderstood. Like, on the one hand, you have people like I’ve had people say to me, like, oh, well, I, you know, went away to college when I was 17. Or 18, you don’t actually don’t relate to that, because there’s a difference. For me, there’s a difference between like, being delivered from one secure structure to another, and then knowing that you have to leave kind of for your own well being and not having something that you can go back to. And then on the other side of it, there’s kind of this like, minimizing of that conclusion. Like, oh, come on, it can’t be that bad, but that your family, you know, and, and I think the key piece about that, is that, you know, there’s something to be said, well, the biological urge to go to a parent for protection and support and nurturance that’s really strong, like it’s primal. And so, I’ve met some people who have this life experience. And when someone gets the point where they say like, I actually have to really stat just for my own well being, it’s a last resort. You know, I would want people to understand that. And I think there’s something to be said for believing kids. And even when kids grow up, right, the Yeah. Experience?

Michael Hingson 15:20
Well, the the concept of family, I think, overall has been accepted as being pretty important. And I’m not hearing you say you disagree with that. But there are times when things may go sideways, and not really be exactly what one would expect a, quote, normal family to be.

Vanessa Osage 15:40
Yeah, I appreciate that. Yeah. I mean, the concept of family is beautiful, and pretty fundamental and huge. And I think because we’ve got all these generational things that people are, you know, reeling from and recovering from it, there’s this opportunity to redefine what that means. Yeah, and I, and I can say to it, because I’ve put some thought into this is like, there are a lot of rewards in that path, you know, much as it’s challenging. And I could name those, just because I know you, I don’t know if you got listeners who have this. But yeah, I think the primary one would be like growing through that experience. It’s like, I know, I can rely on myself. And I can count on myself to meet my needs and be resourceful. And it does lead to this worldview. Like, it causes me to see the world as a very wide place full of possibility and you know, resourcefulness. And it’s a certain stance toward the world, but I think has benefits, right that like, like, I don’t look to a small group of known people to, to meet my needs or to feel at home, it’s like, it’s a much wider gaze. And then also, we have so much choice in who we become. And, like these qualities of reliability, and trustworthiness and loyalty, like, I’ve chosen to cultivate those in myself. And I get that feedback from the people in my life. And then when I encounter it in the world, it’s like I, I know the value of it. And there’s beauty in that, right, because I’ve seen how rare it can be. Yeah. And then it also doesn’t like, if I decide somebody’s not welcome in my life, it doesn’t cancel out the fact that I can hold all kinds of gratitude in my heart for what they were able to give. And, you know, the benefits that I received, you know, even when things weren’t quite right. And the last thing, I’m just kind of roll through the top five benefits is that this beautiful thing happens as I get older, right? Like, I’m in my mid 40s. And like, this has been how I moved through the world for about 2030 years. And as I get older, you know, both my parents were living and I keep a distance by necessity and choice. But when I looked to them now, as human beings, it’s like, they’re not the primary figure. It’s like it the way I experience it is, it’s kind of like a folding the pages of a coloring book. Like they’re a fifth year, but I opened it up. And around them, I see all this context, right? Like, over time, like, oh, look, there’s the impact of poverty. Like, there’s the impacts of shame over being indigenous. And I see them kind of with my heart, I see them in a, in a bigger picture. Like it doesn’t change who they are the choices they made, or how I’m going to relate or not relate. But there’s something about what that does to, to my ability to love in all aspects of my life. That’s really sweet as I get older.

Michael Hingson 18:53
Do you do you have any interactions with them anymore?

Vanessa Osage 18:56
No, it’s my parents now.

Michael Hingson 18:59
Well, and, you know, you’ve said a number of things that are really interesting, and that that connect with me, I think probably the most important is in the way I worded is life’s an adventure. And we really should take full advantage of what it has to offer. And as you said, the world is a very large place and it opens lots of choices. And we should explore those choices, which for a lot of people doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t deal with family and they don’t go back to family. But if we close ourselves off from opportunities to view other choices and experience things, that’s a problem too.

Vanessa Osage 19:42
Yeah, I appreciate that feedback. Right and when I when you said I like It’s like chose closing yourself, the risk is closing yourself to the possibility of greater health. You know, like, I think there along the way there there are these trade offs, right, like, do I want security or do I want the past ability of a healthier environment. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to keep moving toward the possibility of healthier and there’s grief in that, you know, when there’s unsteadiness in moments and sadness, or you know, there are all sorts of things. But when you look at the trade offs of the ways to live, you know, the trajectory of my life has pushed me toward always pointing toward health. There’s something else that you said that sparked something in me Oh, it’s, you know, I think a big part of the way I strive to live, it’s like, reminding myself, it’s not what you get. And it’s not what you encounter, like, like Biden eat corruption at six 916 at my former high school, or, you know, I happen to have parents who struggle in these ways, that it’s not what you get, it’s what you do with it, you know, and like the what you do with it is, I think, the adventure that you’re speaking to.

Michael Hingson 20:51
Right? Yeah. Well, moving, moving, as you said, toward health and in what you view that as being as opposed to security, maybe of a smaller family. It doesn’t seem to me that they’re mutually exclusive, because opening yourself up to making choices. Yes, there’s risk in that. But there are so many more rewards, five open by opening yourself to being able to make choices and exploring new things. Because you learn so much more. Because if you just stick with family, or with a small group of people, let’s not just say your family, but a small group of people. And you don’t look beyond that. We all miss so much by that happening.

Vanessa Osage 21:44
Yeah, well, sad, right? It’s like, the trade off is like going with the known versus moving toward the unknown, right? You’re saying? And I? Yeah, and I think that, right, like we were saying the concept of family, and, and home, and connection, like those things can exist in so many beautiful forms. And again, it doesn’t cancel out, you know, people who brought me here Are always the people who brought me here, like what they gave is always there. Like, it’s this, this, this balance of like, hold, like I said, holding the gratitude in my heart. And what I think I hear you saying is like optimizing the time that we have alive on this in this amazing place, to say like, what, how am I going to craft the life that’s possible for me? So yeah,

Michael Hingson 22:34
that’s exactly it. I know. I had choices to make growing up. And I had a very loving family and a very supportive family. But yet, coming out of college in 1976, I had the opportunity to accept a job. And literally on one Sunday, fly from Southern California to Boston, where I’ve never been, never been anywhere close to Boston, fly alone, and essentially start a whole new life with a job that I had no idea exactly what all was going to happen, because it was really defining a new process and a new project that I became a part of, but the value of it was so immense, who could resist even though there were a lot of scary parts to it, just go into a new place. And as I said, getting used to the snow in Boston and experiencing the for the first time when it when it happened, that there were sidewalks that had these mounds of snow or walls of snow along the sides of them between them in the street, and finding that little pathway to then go out into the street and cross the street was fun was an adventure. And it was daunting, but still, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

Vanessa Osage 24:04
Yeah, yeah, that’s beautiful. Right? But like what it takes to step into the unknown. And I, I, you know, it’s this moment of acknowledgement for the courage of the levels of unknown that you navigate, you know, and with the limited sense that you have to write, draw on all this courage to, like, move through spaces that have these phenomena that just make that challenging. Yeah, but the other

Michael Hingson 24:31
part about that is that I had 26 years and eight months, if you will, before or seven months before taking that step, to learn the tools, the techniques and the processes that helped me make that step successfully. So it wasn’t such a risk. Because I had already learned the tools that allowed me to be able to do that. Whether I was doing work, close to home, or 3000 miles away, and I think that’s really the important part about it is that we need to recognize this the tools that we learned and how we learned to put those tools to use. So in a sense, it wasn’t nearly the risk that it could have been. Because it didn’t matter whether I needed to cross the street in Irvine, California, or Boston, Massachusetts, and more was an issue of putting the tools to use calming down, stepping back, and recognizing that, Hey, how is it really so much different here? Other than a lot of people said that the people who drive in Boston and Massachusetts are as crazy as the people out here, which is probably more true today than it used to be.

Vanessa Osage 25:50
Wow. Yeah. I mean, it’s been, it’s beautiful. But I hear you saying is like, there’s almost this template that you reinforce in yourself when you’re navigating the unknown. And, like the lived experience of taking a moving through the unknown can be applied in other places that sound like what you’re speaking to,

Michael Hingson 26:12
whether you’re living in one place, or that you’re used to or another place, what’s the difference of the two, you’re used to one and not the other? But you also had to get used to that place originally. So is it really all that different if we remember and learn and use the techniques that we have gathered along the way?

Vanessa Osage 26:33
Yeah. Yeah. And that’s a positive reinforcement, right? You, you figure it out something once you navigate in the unknown. And so, right, it can be done again, and again. And again.

Michael Hingson 26:46
Yeah, that’s nice, all that magical. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges. But it isn’t all that magical. If you remember, you’ve already been through those challenges, and you can move on. Right? Well, in your life today, what is the one thing that maybe you’re kind of the most proud of accomplishing to date?

Vanessa Osage 27:09
Yeah, I know, I went, the first things that come to mind have to do with character, you know, I just pay a lot of attention to the choice in what we cultivate. And I think what I’m most proud of, is that I’ve become somebody who’s, you know, solid and loving and uplifting to so many people in my life, and that my life has so much loved in it. I mean, it’s probably the primary one. And, you know, there’s, I have all this energy and excitement for what I’m still wanting to accomplish. And I feel satisfied that they’ve been able to pull so many amazing people together, and create a structure for ways that we can make the world better together. And that’s been a satisfying accomplishment. I also get a lot of good feedback that the books that I’ve written, just help people so much, like inspire them and affirm them. And so it’s sweet to know that something that I’ve devoted time and energy into, continues to, yeah, positively impact people. That’s, that’s sort of the secondary accomplishment.

Michael Hingson 28:14
Well, you say you’ve brought a lot of people together. Tell me more about that. What what does that mean?

Vanessa Osage 28:20
Yeah, that first nonprofit with the puberty rites of passage? No, I had a girls program and a boys program. And all of these events are all for youth empowerment and sexual health. And so it would mean like, yeah, it would mean collaboration and creating offerings. And, you know, and then just kind of some board meeting discussions about how can we improve this aspect of life for young people. So we’re just gonna get that there was about a decade that I think about that. And I, as I reflect over it quickly, I just see all like the incredible strength and heart and the people that came together and that I was able to create this outlet for doing something with that is satisfying. And then second, I also founded the amends project for reform and private education. And it has waves to it like, and who knows what, I’m in this nice place of release of like, I don’t know exactly what the future holds with that work. But when I reengaged, that in 2016 1718, people from around the country reached out and were so happy that I was no kind of naming the unspoken truth that there was all this energy, they want to contribute to making things better. And I was able to create this initiative for transparency and oversight. And yeah, I think be the spokesperson for what’s possible as far as transforming systems. And even if you know the initiative isn’t running fully, it’s like just being able to craft a solution and let people contribute to that the hope that gives This is something that I’m glad to have, you know, made possible for people to use.

Michael Hingson 30:05
Can you tell us a little bit more about the initiative, what it is and what you do or what you did with it?

Vanessa Osage 30:12
Yeah. So I want to be succinct as well, is that, you know, the Boston Globe revealed in 2016, that there have been hundreds 1000s Most likely, you know, just these abuses of young people, by staff AND, and OR clergy in the church, right, like the Boston Globe in 2001, expose the Catholic Church for all this abuse of children by authority figures. And then in a similar vein, I guess this knows a better word. But in a similar power structure, I think, elite boarding high schools, you know, we’re kind of abusing the same dynamic with young people. And so is this intricate system, you know, people staying silent and wanting to get the rewards of belonging, and, you know, affluence, and in the case of elite high schools. And so the issue really was that it wasn’t just the people were doing this abuse of young people, it was that there was all this strange pressure to be silent. And, you know, that was the thing I was sent away for was when the when that popped up at my high school, and I said, Well, this is wrong, of course, you know, something has to be done. They didn’t want that. Right. Like, they wanted me to just be quiet about what I’d seen, and I wasn’t willing. So they, again, can’t stop sunrise, the whole story, the initiative has to do with creating a group of people to receive those reports that aren’t the police, because the police are scaring, but you know, generally to young people, and especially to people of color, you know, it’s like we’ve seen that that’s just, it’s a space, that’s hard for a young person to bring vulnerable information to, right. So if you only have the police, and or the staff and faculty of these schools, as people to receive information, when the kids are probably unlikely to go to them, right. Like if your options are police or your teacher, you’re probably going to choose your friend or nothing, or your parents if you’ve got that backup. And so the initiative is called the Justice Corps, the committee to oversee the rights and protections of students and the model is, and people can go to the amends project by to the justice corps initiative. But the idea is to create this other entity of volunteer non affiliated adults who are trained in you know, mandated reporting, to just track and receive these reports not to judge right or wrong, or this happened or doesn’t didn’t happen. But just to create this database of like, this is the information that we’re gathering of what young people are saying, and, and let that be accessible to parents, when they’re choosing whether or not to send their kids to these schools. There’s so much I can say about it, I presented it to the association of Title Nine Administrators Conference in 2020. And I think what’s happened so far is I just spent the past year consulting with a school in the Bay Area, because they were reckoning with, you know, a young person who had grown up with that experience and was coming back for legal action, or restorative action. So I worked with them for a year, and I just flew down there to do professional development with their staff and faculty, to talk to parents, and then to also work with students, because I’ve been a sexuality educator. I’ve opened that door for that it was beautiful work, you know, they’ve really met this with a lot more courage and honesty than any school I’ve seen so far. And I had a lot of collaboration with the press in 2018, back East. So it had some exposure. But I worked with them for a year and then got to go down there just recently did a dei assessment, diversity, equity inclusion assessment at the school as far as safety for, you know, equality and the rights of young people. And I left the door open for them, you know, it’s like is this if this is a model you want to take on? I’m here. And I think pushing too hard, has not been a way that I want to proceed. And we’ll see it tends to go in waves, right, like waves of reckoning. So hopefully that gives you kind of an overview and a sense of how I’ve tried to channel that into something more positive.

Michael Hingson 34:29
Can you or would you give us a story of maybe someplace where the database really helped resolve or deal with an issue, you know, you you’re keeping a database, and that’s great, but what is it done? So what’s the story where it really was very successful in your eyes?

Vanessa Osage 34:52
I wish I had that story. I’m not quite there yet. So really, what I’m asking schools to do is take a huge step. and no one has officially taken the step yet. And so what it could, what I see being possible is that it’s basically an acknowledgement of like, Hey, this is a problem. And it’s been a problem across the country for decades. I mean, yeah, I give a lot of credit to the internet for making what was hidden, no longer hidden. But the idea would be that a school instead of trying to keep things quiet, and brushed, you know, confidentiality agreements, and all of these moves that lawyers especially will encourage a school to do to keep themselves safe, to keep the institution safe. But instead of doing that, they make it available for public review, not just whether it happens, but what the response is. So, yeah, I look forward to the day when I can tell you that story. But yeah,

Michael Hingson 35:54
let me ask the question in a slightly different way, because I would think you have some of this, do you have any stories of where say a parent used your database and made some decision that they really, then were very positive about because they made the decision that history proved them? Right, because they made the decision using your database? Maybe you don’t hear those? I’m just curious.

Vanessa Osage 36:20
Yeah, yeah. And again, I think close, you know, like, if you look at that process, say like phase one of the process is, bring, like, in the amends project has got the three steps like bring the truth to light, hold leaders accountable, enact lasting positive change, I was really engaged with this, you know, 2016, to 19. And so, if the first step is bring the truth to light, and reveal what’s really happening, can’t stop the sunrise has a number of stories. Of course, my former high school, Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, is the one that I’ve gotten most insight with, and most engagement, you know, trying and doing, like the first phase one, bring the truth to light kind of reveal what everybody’s work to keep hidden. There was a lot of revelation of things happening there. And a mom. So when the, you know, it reengaged in the school offered kind of this this thing, too, because it’s such a long story, I chose instead of suing my former high school for $2 million, they wanted me to agree, they basically said, we didn’t do anything wrong, and you can’t talk about it. But we can settle this in court. And that wasn’t acceptable to me, because that only reinforces the problem. So because I wasn’t willing to take that route with them. I then went to the press. And what was really sweet was one, here’s the maybe the the kind of story you’re you’re requesting is it was a long and difficult road because they really didn’t want they wanted to invalidate everything I was saying because it pointed to a really pleasant truth about how things happen there. So I got an anonymous letter in the mail, and it’s 2019 from a mother and her children, I think either were almost graduating or had graduated high school. And she basically wanted to thank me like they had been trying to get the Lowell sun, that paper near the Boston Globe. They were trying to get the little sun to expose this pay attention to it. But they weren’t going to put their names on it. So the sun didn’t print anything. And so she Yeah, she wrote to me say how grateful she was that I was one that I wasn’t willing to be bought by the system that silences people, and that I was willing to speak out and try to make things better for young people. So there were there were a number of those people. When I went had that article in the little sun in 2018. I was amazed at the way people found me. Like even with the last I’m not putting this petition I had created. People just found me through my first nonprofit, and we’re so eager to have that relief of like, oh, you’re saying that truth that they tried to bully us into keeping quiet. So you know, whether they chose to send their kids to school or not, or that that still kind of played out with this, but it’s really, it’s really energizing for people when someone names the formerly unspeakable and I got to witness a lot of that really, back then.

Michael Hingson 39:31
And that’s what I was asking about. You you’ve had and seen those experiences and that’s my point is that people value what you did. Well, your first nonprofit, is that still going on?

Vanessa Osage 39:47
No, I essentially it kind of had a natural it was tapering off. And so 2019 was the switching year, like read it emerging my first one you know I let that go slowly. And then 2019, I filed articles of incorporation for the immense project to be a Washington State, nonprofit. So I basically said wanted to be other.

Michael Hingson 40:13
So you did that in 2019. And, and you’re, you’re keeping busy with that,

Vanessa Osage 40:20
you know, it’s kind of an evolving process. So 2019 I was doing that I presented in 2022, the title nine folks. And then, you know, pandemic, march 2020. And there was always that question of, you know, there’s that for me, that was the balance because I wasn’t fully funded. It’s like, how do I support myself and contribute to this work? That’s, you know, what parents called? Oh, hey, Michael, I gotta tell you and your listeners. It actually just started snowing here in Bellingham right now.

Michael Hingson 40:50
There we go. We have snow in Victorville, but they’re saying we’re gonna get some, we probably won’t get snow in Victorville, but we will get rain later in the week. So thanks for sending it down this way when you’re done with it.

Vanessa Osage 41:04
Yeah, it’ll warm up in California. I just view out my office window. I was like, wait, no. Um, yeah, so the pandemic early 2020. I was just kind of like, go no, and go on how do I get this initiative going, and allies and, and then everything got quiet. And it was such a blessing. Because I’ve always been a writer first and foremost, you know, like, I was 10 years old. And it was like, this way of life. For me, it was a lot of it was a lot of things, what kept my inner world healthy and alive as a young person, to the pandemic shut everything down. And what, march 23, I think Washington did stay home stay safe. And then I, it was so clear to me what to do, like I had a position disappear. And so by April 1, I was writing full time. And I wrote my memoir can’t stop the sunrise in about six months. And it was really a chance to like pause and say, like, Okay, what is the long history of this issue? I want to get a record of everything I’ve been doing, because I was so engaged, you know, just interacting with the school and lawyers and not lawyers. And so I had the book, ready in time for my presentation to the title nine minutes, administrators. In October, it was a whirlwind. But it taught me that I can really hunker down and write a book. And it’s been a really powerful tool to keep that message spreading. And yeah,

Michael Hingson 42:30
did you did you publish the book yourself? Or did you find a publisher?

Vanessa Osage 42:34
So especially for two reasons, I so here’s the truth, stone and feather press is my publishing company. I have all these businesses, so I just, you know, added a training stone and feather press and it’s got, you know, a mission about advancing human and civil rights through powerful storytelling. So I could publish books through there if I choose to now. But uh, you know, I, I had had so much experience people trying to keep me quiet and not say things and I didn’t want I was I was ready to take all of the risk. And I mean, ultimately, some reward. Yeah, I talked to my attorney friend, a guy who went to high school with me. And I was like, hey, people are telling me to be careful that I don’t get sued, you know? And he was like, Well, here’s the thing. You know, the ultimate defense of libel is the truth, you know. And so he read the book, he was one of my six readers to review it. And he was like, you know, if they try to sue you. So he’s basically said, because they have done all these really terrible things to try to get me to go away, which is sort of a decade’s old dynamic with my former high school, unfortunately. He’s like, if they sue you for anything you put in your book, you just countersue them for all the things that they’ve done in the last two years. You know, and I don’t, I don’t like seeing the world through that lens. But I was willing to, you know, it was it was very much worth doing. And it was satisfying because I got in the reader gave it a five star review for politics and current events. And then recording the audio book was really satisfying. Yeah, so my first book was essentially through my publishing company.

Michael Hingson 44:15
So I’m, I’m presuming maybe I shouldn’t but they didn’t sue you.

Vanessa Osage 44:22
Not yet. No, I’m just kidding. No, they have not.

Michael Hingson 44:25
And what’s happened as a result of publishing the book and concerning them? Well, you’re aware.

Vanessa Osage 44:34
Yeah, I think I still feel a heavy heartedness if like, I wish I had anything close to positive to say about how they handled me. Sure. So I sent a copy of the book to the current headmaster, you know, and I do reveal in the book something that he worked really hard that he would also like to keep quiet. You know, I think that’s why I so value characters like I’ve watched too many adults. Opt for I don’t know Comfort over character. I sent a copy of anyway, I sent a copy to him. And so I just wanted you to see this, you know, and here’s to a brighter future and no comment. The sad thing I can share, you know, as reminded of this when I went to that school in the San Francisco area recently, because I tried my former school that tried to arrest me on campus when I went to open house, just really absurd. And you know, the stories then can’t stop the sunrise. My 25th reunion came up during pandemic, and all of these former students had been reengaged, right, because I was working with the press, and they wanted to see some accountability and positive response. So the tragic thing to me is that all these former classmates of mine tried to get me invited, everybody gets an invitations to a reunion. But even despite the efforts of at least two of my former classmates, I never got an invitation to my high school reunion. Just all these ways, and I the thing is, I actually know it’s not specifically personal, you know, it’s what I recommend, like I represent the person who’s not willing to be quiet about what they do that harms young people, because I don’t I’m not looking for what they’re offering, you know, like, anyway, yeah, I don’t have anything positive to report there. But the future is open. You know, like, I don’t know what that looks like. I always hold an open heart, for there might come a day when there’s acknowledgement, I let go of any money. You know, I just I like, there are ways to make things right, that don’t involve me sacrificing my dignity. And if if one of those pops up down the line, like, may we walk it, you know, but I’ve just had to say like, there are ways for me to focus on positive change that don’t hinge on them doing the right thing. So

Michael Hingson 46:56
ultimately, you don’t have control over what they do. That’s their choice or their choices. How do you keep from becoming bitter, though, when you don’t see acknowledgement about? What, what they they haven’t done to address anything?

Vanessa Osage 47:15
Yeah, that’s a great question. Um, so a couple of things, you know, I was, in preparing for this, I was reminded of this kind of life philosophy that I laid out five years ago, which is before all of these things. reengaged in 2016, that wasn’t five years ago, I don’t think. But some years ago, I laid out a personal philosophy, and three points. The first one is to embody health, you know, everything starts with that. And I’m sure when I put your question through that filter, like, hearing about how it’s impacting me, and who I become, is really one of those screens. Anyway, the first piece is embody health, the second one is love better. And, you know, it’s kind of uncomfortable looking at them through that lens. But I think a way is sort of like, okay, this is the severe limitation that they’re still operating under. And I think loving well, is to say, like, you are firmly planted in that limitation. And I see that that’s where you are, and letting go kind of what you were just saying. The third piece, I think more directly applies to this. And to any social justice work that I engage in, is to create meaningful beauty. Like, these are the three things I strive for in my life, and body health, love better, there’s always a way to love better, and create meaningful beauty. So I can create something meaningful in social justice work, which is how I look at this kind of institutional reform. If I’d let go of the beauty part, I run the risk, like you’re saying, of, you know, meeting, what the staying with the same, right they handle me with disdain, because I an out of the pale of, of their world and how things work. And if I respond with disdain, then I’m not creating meaningful beauty. I’m creating potentially meaningful disdain, you know, and it is a challenge, right? Because

Michael Hingson 49:15
and it’s a health issue too. Because if you’re meeting with disdain and anger, that hurts you.

Vanessa Osage 49:23
Yeah, it’s a journey, you know. And I think as a woman, in my experience, anger can be very chastise and women. And there’s a function for that, like, I have a lot of reverence for, for anger, and it has a powerful place in my life. And I see it as like, it’s the energy to do what you need to do to honor to protect what’s important to you, you know, so I always leave a place for anger. But when it goes to bitterness, or a certain darkness, yeah, definitely have to watch for that. And then it kind of comes back Yeah, like you’re saying comes back to embody how? So yeah, how do I not stay fitter? And I think panning back, you know, and spending more time with the school on the west coast and collaborating with people who do have willingness to look with honesty and, and humanity at the situation like that’s been really healing for me as well. It’s like, there are different ways for institutions to respond. I’d rather put my energy into working with this other school that I had no connection with prior. And she found me because of the headmaster found me because of an article I had written. But yeah, it’s it’s a discipline that you have to watch. And those three criteria at help, you know, keep me on track.

Michael Hingson 50:45
Do you find that schools are more open? And less like the schools that you went to in the east? Do you find them more open in the west at all? Or do you think it’s pervasive all over?

Vanessa Osage 51:00
I’m smoking because, you know, just so much of my life, like more of my life is on the west coast now on the East Coast. And I do, I’ve done so much contemplation on, you know, the East Coast versus West Coast. And open mindedness would be something I definitely place on the west, on the west coast side of strength. The sad truth is that the issue is nationwide, you know, and I think international as well, I had an interview with a gentleman in the UK years ago. And so the issue, the West Coast isn’t immune to the issue, as the tragedy of it, right. The response? You know, yeah, I mean, my data set is small, you know, like, I have a number of East Coast schools. And then, you know, my book is one of the three books about the whole boarding school, they all came out around the same time to Lacey Crawford wrote a book about a school in New Hampshire. So just, you know, 2030 minutes in my school. Anyway, I believe the West Coast has a lot more open mindedness. And I could say, you know, I have all thought all sorts of thoughts about why we just the spread of puritanical ethos on the in New England, and even how sexuality is regarded in the Northeast versus how it’s regarded on the west coast. So yeah, yeah. I’ve just had the one school that reached out to me for help in San Francisco, but so it’s not a whole lot to go on. But yeah, given my East Coast, West Coast life experience. Sure.

Michael Hingson 52:40
It seems to me that perhaps one of the reasons for your perception is that things are so much newer out here, and maybe haven’t, or didn’t get the opportunity, if you could put it that way to settle into such rigid kinds of things that we find on the East Coast. And I’ve seen some of that too, in different ways. There are some things that I see that are the same in terms of some attitudes, the attitudes about blindness that people have run the course from positive to not, and it goes all over the country all over the world. But I think a lot of things are a little bit more open out here, because they’re newer, that is the whole institution system is newer. Maybe that helps. I don’t know.

Vanessa Osage 53:37
Yeah, I think there’s definitely something to that, you know, and the part of me, that’s part indigenous has to say like, well, the, you know, the United States of America experiment is newer. And, but yeah, I think also, like somebody was saying, This, to me is like, the, the seller, you know, the European colonial settlers on the West Coast are also the ones that were, you know, they were pioneers that thought out this mythological wilderness. And so, you know, it’s not that many generations ago. Yeah. So, it is totally intriguing to me, and I’m appreciating that right? You have the California and the Boston perception as well. And, yeah, I lived in California for seven years, up and down. And so yeah, those are some pretty stark cultural contrasts there, you know, even though it’s still the United States, there’s a lot to be said.

Michael Hingson 54:30
And unfortunately, we do have some cultural perceptual racial kinds of issues that that do go across the board, which is unfortunate. And we need to, to deal with that. Maybe one of the advantages of technology, social media, or, or at least the electronic media is that over time, more of the challenges will come to light. So that people People will learn to deal with them.

Vanessa Osage 55:02
Absolutely. Yeah, you know, I was a late adopter, your all things technological I and I didn’t foresee how grateful I would be to the internet for, you know, bringing things out of the shadows that really need to be aired. So yeah, I absolutely agree. Does that?

Michael Hingson 55:21
Well, I’ve always regarded the internet as a treasure trove. And I understand there are lots of issues with different parts of the internet. And there are a lot of things that are not so good. But overall, such a tremendous way to get access to so much valuable information and what a great learning experience it is. Which is kind of hard to beat. Yeah. So tell me about your second book.

Vanessa Osage 55:54
So that was really sweet. I got an email one day out of the blue, I was getting all this great press, we can’t stop the sunrise and I got an email from Callisto media, saying, you know, we’re really impressed with your work with sexual health and young people. And would you write a book for us, you know, and at first, I was like, Is this for you? And yes, it is, you know, they have their Rock Ridge press, which released some great books about sexuality. And so it was I it’s just a rhythm. So pretty quickly, I, you know, did that contract with them. And sex education for girls, a parent’s guide, is a lot shorter than my memoir. But you know, a very practical book that I looked over their outline, and just realized, you know, how culturally inclusive and you know, open minded, we’re saying, the content they needed me to create was, so I was happy to work with them on that. And a similar timeline, like, we got that book out, and about six months, maybe seven months with a chapter added. So that came out in early 2022. And that’s been really sweet, too. For me, it was kind of a retrospective of a decade of sexual health work, you know? Yeah, just to kind of put everything I gathered from working with young people and families into it an accessible little guide, kind of as I move away from sexual health work was, was really sweet. So yeah,

Michael Hingson 57:21
that’s yes. Is that going to be an audiobook to?

Vanessa Osage 57:25
They have not asked. And I can almost see why they really try to make the format accessible for parents, you know, lots of little paragraphs. And so yeah, it hasn’t come up. I believe it’s an ebook. So yep. But

Michael Hingson 57:40
well, ebooks may or may not be accessible, which is kind of the reason I asked. And so just to formally put it in so, so worth exploring, well, what did you write when you were 10 years old, by the way?

Vanessa Osage 57:54
I remember this so well, um, I talked about it in an article. But it was just so sweet. So out, we’re sort of in the 80s. And I write, like I said, I loved horses. So I found this horse barn, I could ride my bike to and make money, you know, cleaning out the stalls, and I came home from the horse barn, and I had a little blue typewriter. So I set it up in front of my window, and just really wrote about my day, and I got to this really calm and meditative place. And, you know, it wasn’t like I wrote anything profound, right? But it was, there was something profound in the experience that I could go quiet and let something come through me, and just capture my experience in a way that I could then look at it and make sense of the world. And, yeah, it was like, this huge door opening for me. And so it was really thrilling to discover that outlet at that age.

Michael Hingson 58:51
So what are you doing? Now? You’re obviously you have amens and so on, but what are what are the things are you doing? I know, you’ve talked about coaching and so on. So tell us a little bit about that.

Vanessa Osage 59:02
Yeah, the coaching turn page on my big notebook here. The, the coaching has been a really sweet part of my professional work because it just kind of grew naturally, like putting on events and programs and being the spokesperson and people would come to me, you know, for support. So at love and truth rising, I have a number of coaching packages. I put together one and transforming conflict, just like I see how important it is for people on the one on one scale to have skills to you know, meet each other in a restorative way. So working with people and in their intimate relationships and how they do conflict and personal empowerment. So it’s been a nice stream throughout my work just getting to work with people one on one and I do have space now for one, maybe two new coaching clients. So that’s how you know that’s has stayed with me for about a decade and I got certified as a Professional coat in 2018 because I was working with so many adults one on one. So that’s there. And, yeah, I’m letting the immense project, like I said, kind of rests after this wave and seeing who comes toward me now to adopt that initiative goes, Yeah, and you know what you’re talking about, like, staying unstoppable. I think a big part of it for me is like, in, I have this appreciation for like in the cycle of creating something meaningful, like, uncertainty and doubt. I just accept that that’s part of it. And they don’t let that stop me. But yeah, just also trusting that like, there are moments when it’s, it’s healthier to step back and see what, what was vibrant. So did you want me to talk about my, my next book? Well, I

Michael Hingson 1:00:57
was just going to ask you about that. Yeah. So you’re gonna do more writing?

Vanessa Osage 1:01:01
Yeah, I’m, I’m kind of on a rhythm now that it’s not quite once a year, right. It was 2020 I released can stop the sunrise, and then by 2022, sex education for girls a parent’s guide. And yeah, it’s really sweet for me. So a couple of people in my life. Were basically like, you know, they love the travel riding and can’t stop sunrise and some person I had an interview with was like, you know, I think there’s another book in there. And so yeah, I was on a run one morning with the dog. And all of a sudden, this whole concept started coming to me. And so I ran home work quickly, and got out my notebook. And I’ve just, I’ve done so much moving in my life, both like the traveling and then I just moved residences a lot, a lot. That’s part of how I keep my priorities where I want them. Yeah, so this, I decided October 1, I think it was to just meet that book and give it when I can to bring it into being. So. Yeah, so part of what are you know, I’ll say for your listeners, I want to tell you, but I think you found me on LinkedIn. Right? Correct. Right. Yeah. Which is still my favorite social media, just a little plug for LinkedIn. And so yeah, I I realized, like, I’ve done essentially the self publishing route, you know, and then I did contract book writing for a publishing company. And I’m ready to go the traditional publishing route and work with an agent and a publisher. So I learned about making a book proposal and he didn’t need and so yeah, I was I october first settled in to, to that. And then just last week, I think it was just last week. I sent off a 58 page book proposal to my top 10. Agents. Yeah, I’m excited to see, you know, who, who will take the bait and I don’t know how quickly this conversation goes live. But yeah, I’m looking for the right person to bring that message.

Michael Hingson 1:03:04
Well, and then the spirit of John Steinbeck maybe you should call the book travels with Vanessa. I mean, travels with Charlie worked really well. Nothing wrong with if it worked once, they’ll love it the second time. I don’t know that I’ve ever read travels with Charlie. It’s about John Steinbeck traveling across the country with his dog.

Vanessa Osage 1:03:23
Oh, my goodness. I never even heard of that one. Well, there you go.

Michael Hingson 1:03:26
So okay, we do to read.

Vanessa Osage 1:03:30
Yeah. Oh, did you? Okay, no, go ahead. I was just to say if it’s not just a book about my travel, writing, but it’s really that I’ve got this unique way of seeing the world through the different kinds of motion. So I understand. Yeah, so it’s like, it’s narrative nonfiction, and self help, and nature writing. So I use like metaphor in nature, about the different ways we move. And then I’m gonna gather diverse voices. So basically, stories from people around the country about times that they’ve moved in similar ways. And, yeah, it’s really this framework for seeing how we move and how we can, you know, individually and collectively evolve through that framework.

Michael Hingson 1:04:13
Well, cool. Well, if people want to reach out to you and learn more about what you’re doing, and maybe we’ll even help find an agent or something. Who knows. So how can they how can they reach out to you? Can you give us info about that?

Vanessa Osage 1:04:28
Yeah, thanks for asking. Again, LinkedIn is my favorite. A little note about why folks want to connect is always useful. I do have Instagram. So people want kind of like a more casual, private message there. And then I definitely welcome email. So hello, Vanessa Osage.com. That’s my author website. People can.

Michael Hingson 1:04:50
Vanessa Osage has spelled is

Vanessa Osage 1:04:52
So Vanessa is V A N E S S A and then Osage is O s a g e, and then you go Calm. Yep. Great. Yeah. Always happy to hear from your listeners.

Michael Hingson 1:05:04
And what’s your your name on LinkedIn? How will they find you to search for wouldn’t Vanessa Osage? Yeah, I’m the only one. Cool. Yeah. Well, I really appreciate you coming on with us today and being here. And now we should let you go enjoy the snow. Yes, that’s important to be able to do that. But I hope people enjoy what we all got a chance to talk about today, I found it very insightful and valuable. And I am sure that our listeners will as well. So I want to thank you for that. And if any of you have comments, I would love to hear from you. As usual, you can reach me at Michaelhi at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com. Or, you can go to our podcast page, which is www dot Michael hingson h i n g s o n.com/podcast. We’d love to hear from you. Please give us a five star rating when you have the opportunity to listen to this. And I will, as I always do, say, tell you that your ratings are so vital and so important. But your comments are as well, your reviews your thoughts, we want to hear those. And Vanessa, you and anyone listening if you can think of anyone else that you think we ought to have on unstoppable mindset as a guest. I would appreciate hearing from you and we’ll talk with them and work it out. But I really love to hear what people say. So thanks very much. Wherever you’re listening, and Vanessa, one last time, thank you for you being here today and for all the things that you taught us. Thank you so much for having me. Glad you could do that

Michael Hingson 1:06:50
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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