I love jewelry. Actually, let me rephrase that. I more than love jewelry and I buy it all the time. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved playing in bracelets, necklaces, and stones that sparkle and shine. To me, I feel like a princess or a red carpet starlet.
I *love* to go to conferences and events. I am very active in my community and I get invited to or I host my own events. Part of the fun for me is shopping for that oh-so special outfit or accessory. Another part of the fun is when I am there at an event and see I vendors selling bling. *Raises hand* Yes, please!
So this leads me to my Paparazzi journey. At first I was like wait…$5 jewelry? I gave it the side eye at first, until I saw it for myself and YES it was cute. Then I got excited.
Most of these are $5 and some are a little more, but still affordable. I am used to dropping $$… ok make that… $$$ on jewelry. Can you relate? So what does this mean to me? What does it mean to you? It means we can fill up a bag with LOTS of pieces for the price of one. I’ll take it!
Plus, jewelry makes great gifts. You know… the gifts for all your friends, the girls, your cousins, your sisters, your aunties, your co-workers, your organizations, your neighbors. These make great gifts. Fill up a gift bag. A care package. A birthday bash. That white elephant/secret Santa gift. The gift for the teacher. Fellas, get some for the ladies in your life. Plus we even have a male line too.
These pieces are all nickel and lead-free. So they are good gifts for even the most sensitive of us.
Who is going to stock up early for the holidays? This girl right here.
Come play in jewelry with me and start your collection today! We have something for everyone.
Click on the link below to take a peek on my jewelry site at what Paparazzi is offering today. (New items download daily.Insert happy dance here ******)
You are here because you want to know MORE about this amazing healing of the womb.
I think about the womb often. I tune into to my womb and take time to nurture my womb. The womb has such an amazing power to BIRTH life! It also changes throughout your life and has a special timing to it, aligned to nature. Imagine that your womb aligns to 28 day cycle just like the moon. It also works within your body system to know when to birth, when to release, when to start your cycle in menarche and when to end in menopause. There is more that I want to teach and go into and will do during one of my healing circles and workshop intensives.
I think as women it is SO important to care for ourselves mind, body and spirit. One of the ways that I care for myself is through healing elixirs and teas that have herbs that traditionally have been used by previous generations and indigenous populations to care for the womb.
I used these techniques to nourish my womb though out my five live births, and to also to heal from two miscarriages, heal and give birth again. Womb health and healing is something we definitely need to practice continually. I love to get more into it and I love the nourishing foods and herbs that help to support the womb.
I made a video about the teas I drink.
Take a peek at the video and tell me what else you want to know about supporting your womb health below!
Disclaimer! Please note: I am not a doctor or a healthcare professional. These are testimonials that have worked for me and are folk remedies that have been used by women all over the world and in indigenous populations. Please do not try anything without consulting your healthcare provider to make sure it is safe for you. Do not take anything if pregnant or breastfeeding without consent from your doctor.
If you are interested in attending one of my healing women’s circles and intensives, message me and I can get you on the mailing list ASAP! They are coming up!
Earlier this year I had the amazing experience of having one of my dreams come true. Being a featured author in a book was something I had wanted to do since I was a little girl.
I loved working with Tanicia “Shamay Speaks” Curry. Her business is “Write It Away Publishing.”
Her author workshops were amazing and helpful. I am so glad I took the step and was able to put into words life-changing amazing experiences as the ones found in this book.
I posted at the bottom of this page, my mini speech that I performed at the event to discuss my chapter. I pray it inspires you as it did me! Take a peek, and follow me on YouTube! Get a copy of your book below!
To order the book click on the Buy Now button.
It’s $20 including shipping and makes a great gift to yourself and a friend!
If you would like to book me to speak at your event, fill out the form below to request. (Spanish/English available.)
Summer is here in all its sassiness, in all its fierceness, in all its gorgeousness.
And then there’s you. You have been working hard all year, and the time to shine is now.
Being amazing is something you have to own. First own it on the inside, and then you own it on the outside. It is not something that comes unnaturally. It starts first in your mind.
The mind has the ability to shape your current situation. What you think about yourself and who you are definitely begins to ripple out into your surrounding areas of life.
So step one. The first thing you need to do to be amazing, is to fully accept yourself for who you are CURRENTLY. That’s the key. Not saying to yourself if I just had x,y,z then I could accept myself. No. Accept yourself where you are right now. Understand you are a work in progress. WE ALL ARE. As you do this, you will grow and things will begin to shift and change for the better as your work towards your goals and continue in your journey. No one has it all figured out at this precise moment. However I am NOT suggesting mediocrity. No passive, raggedy excuses. (I cannot stand those.)
I am simply saying to embrace yourself and be you. For who you are right now. You are worth it.
Truth be told, there are a lot of people who lie. They lie about who they are, what they are, what they have done, and what they are doing. We are not even going to waste our precious energy on that circle of people right now. You did not cause it, you can’t help it, and getting caught up in all of that is just going to drain you.
Then there are people who want to bring you down when you embrace your amazing self. They want to point out your flaws, your issues, and dwell on negativity. “The Negative Nellies of Life” is what I call them. There will always be those. But you do not have to listen to them. Choose to excel and continue to be amazing.
You might ask yourself, “Well, this sounds nice but how can I be amazing?”
Here are 7 ways that you can be amazing. There are more ways, but this is a good roadmap to work through!
Let me know in the comments which one that you love the most.
1. Be Yourself. I think this is the biggest thing that you can do. When you are yourself, it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. I see too many people these days trying to be someone else. You are unique and are created with your own specific gifts. We need everyone to be on board, fully operating in who they are to make proverbial magic happen. If you have stuff to work on, then work on it. Own your ISH and keep it moving. Strive to be the best you possible. Rock like never before and put insecurities and limitations aside. It is time to go to the next level and you’ve got to start with yourself first. You’ve got this.
2. Embrace Self-Care. I am a huge fan of self-care. I think it is integral to have a positive outlook, enjoy life, and have a good work-life balance. Working ourselves into the proverbial grave is not noble. Take time for you and do the things that you love. Get together with friends. Enjoy those dinners and lunches. Go to the spa if that is your thing. (Hello! It’s mine!) Take time to revisit the things you love and the people you love. You will start to radiate amazing.
3.Practice Personal Self-Development. So important! If you ask the average person what is a book they love to read, or who they are following that inspires them, a lot of people won’t be able to answer that. Continue to read books that inspire you to be better and that teach you something! There is a saying that I’ve heard that talks about how you can only go as high as your personal development, and to a certain extent there is truth in that. I read amazing books, follow people that inspire me, challenge myself, listen to podcasts, go on retreats and take time to develop who I am deep down inside. Input equals output. What you fill your mind and life with with surrounds you. What you put in, will come out. Fill yourself with the best and the most amazing things you can find. Fill your well. Mind, body and spirit. Go deeeeeepppppp. You cannot draw from an empty well. So fill it up! You will see a difference quickly as you move into this more and more.
This book will be an inspiration to your mind and soul! We all need inspiration. Get your copy today and gift one to a friend!
4. Evict Negativity from Your Circle. You know the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together?” Well this is true. If you keep negative, petty, rude, and hostile people around you, then eventually it will drain you and you will start to pick up those traits yourself. That is not to say that you have to cut off family and friends who need you and are going through a rough spot. That is not what I mean.
I was JUST talking to one of my beautiful friends about this and we were discussing how we do not have petty, mean, hostile or jealous women around us. We keep positive and uplifting women around us, and we are all too busy to have time to judge each other, or cause drama for each other. Hello #GIRLBOSSES! When you build together, celebrate each other. When you win, she wins. When she wins, you win. It is what I’ve coined a COLLECTIVE WIN. Start thinking like that, and your world will start to fill itself with more positive moments, more wins, and more positivity.
In your social circle or relational circles, choose positive people to surround yourself with and you will see as you build your tribe that you will attract to yourself more amazing people who have similar mindsets, goals, and interests. Keeping your circle uplifting is so important as it affects your day-to-day. You are poised for success. Keep people around you who are on the same journey!
If you have negative people in your family, workplace, or near you that you cannot cut from your circle then set boundaries. Set boundaries with those who you cannot get away from if they are toxic and protect yourself from hostile, negative, and draining people. Do not tell what I call “dream killers” your personal dreams, because you know they won’t support you. Do not tell all your business to someone who will just use it against you. You do not have to share yourself with everyone and everybody. Some stuff is just for you. Treasure it and care for it.
Disclaimer: (If you are in an abusive situation I am not condoning you that you have to endure that. Please reach out for help to your health provider, a hotline, or a community based organization for your particular situation. Keep reaching out until someone listens. You are not alone and help IS out there.)
Get together with your tribe. The ones that lift you up, encourage you and that you thrive with! Catch up often during the good times and support each other with genuine connections.
Getting together with friends is key! Do it often.
Celebrate your collective wins! Enjoy your time.
5. Practice Compassion and Love. I make it a point to give back in service. What is amazing about that is that when you give selflessly, the world is a better place. Share love and compassion in the world. There are so many people who need it. Engage in service. Help out your community. Accept people for who they are. Have compassion on yourself and others. Lift your voice for those who aren’t able to. Feed the hungry, help kids…you know that sort of amazing thing. This love radiates out of you and ripples into the community around you and then around the world. It is the same with hatred and ugliness. That ripples too. Which will you choose to radiate?
Me in Uganda working with children Gaba near Kampala. The second picture is me working with a woman in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, CA.
6. Go for It. You know that dream you have? Go for it. That trip you have been meaning to take for 15 years? Go for it. That book you want to write? Go for it. That place you have been meaning to visit? Go for it.
I’ve visited over 12 countries in my lifetime by using this principle. It is how I got my M.A. It is how I became an author. Take one step at a time and go for it. Keep pressing towards the goal. Even when people do not understand, or support it. If it is the right thing to do for you, then go for it.
Seriously, take a moment and write a list of the things you have been wanting to do. Choose 1 and work on a plan to get it done. Cross that off and work on the next. Time ticks on and 2 years from now…will it still be on your list? Consider your short and long terms goals. Make a plan, calculate the cost, and start working on them. Imagine if you took one intentional step per day, how far you would be in a month, or two, or a year even! Here are two of my quotes that speak to this situation!
“If you do not take a step towards your dream, then it stays just that. A dream. Take moves to turn those dreams into reality.”- Vanessa Oden
“If you do not ask, and you do not try then the answer is always a NO!”- Vanessa Oden
Why shut the door on yourself before even trying? Make the moves. Try it out. Work towards your goals and dreams and soon they will become reality. Do not self-sabotage yourself. Don’t sell yourself short. If you fall flat on your face, pick yourself up and keep on going. Try again, several times if needed. And then don’t be afraid to revisit the plan and maybe change directions if you need to. In business, I have had to change directions sometimes. I have had to start over and recalibrate at times. IT.IS.OK.
You are resilient. You’ve got this. Go for it.
7. Love. Laugh. Live.
Make moves towards your goals today, and towards your dreams. Love yourself and others. Take time to have some belly laughs and often. Laughter really is medicine for your soul. Connect with some amazing people and start building your tribe.
Be a part of my tribe by signing up for my newsletter. We will be having workshops, masterminds, sessions on women’s topics, business, inspiration, home, beauty, and faith. We will also be holding life-changing retreats! There will be specific offers and amazing content just.for.tribe members! (Yesssssssssssssssssss!)
There is so much to see in the world and so much to do. Remember to shine and be amazing every day, and in doing so you will attract a tribe of amazing people to you that will make the world a better place for everyone in it.
Welcome to Vanessa Oden.com!
I invite you to join my AMAZING CHALLENGE.
Do one thing per day from this list for 7 days and then comment below. Which one will you be working on first? I would LOVE for you to join me. Let’s do this!
Get one of the AMAZING CHALLENGE shirts to commemorate your completion of your 7 days and wear the shirt after it arrives to serve as a talking point to what you are doing and also to remind yourself of your journey!
Today is Father’s Day and if you clicked on this story…. you are missing your Dad.
First, let me say I am so very sorry… I know what you are feeling. My heart goes out to you and I give you a big internet hug. Today can be tough. Seeing the posts where others are with their dads enjoying themselves can be hard. In the first few years after my dad died, I could not even look at those posts without crying. Now I can look at them and smile as I scroll past and not cry, although I still miss him. You never fully get over it, but as the days go in it gets a little easier.
Dancing with my dad on my Wedding Day in 2005.
I remember that day as if it were yesterday.
In 2009 my Dad suddenly died. I did not know how sick he really was and I did not get the chance to say a proper goodbye.
When he died, it was like a part of me crumbled. I shattered in some ways it felt. I kept going on the outside, but inside I felt crushed. All my hair broke off. Then I got laid off from my job, and my husband lost his. I had two small children at the time. It seemed as if my world and my dreams came tumbling down. I cried out to God, and I shook my fist at God. I was angry and sad all at once. God is big enough to handle my raw emotions. Take a look at the Psalms and we can see the life of King David and his ups and downs.
I missed my dad a lot. I relived the day he died over and over and it was hard. It began affecting me in many areas and spilled out into many negative things. I had so many questions, so many should a, could a, would-as.
I had to make a change. Someone close to me said, “grieve but do not grieve with torment.” I did not know how. But I had to learn how because the way I was grieving was not working.
That was so key, because I was not allowing myself in the midst of grief, to actually heal and have moments of joy.
To have moments along the journey to take care of myself.
At that time, I engaged in a lot of self-care activities. I went to get spa treatments often and did a lot of self-work. Some of the treatments I had to DIY at home. Ok, make that many of them were DIY.
It was really difficult season to go through and I often felt alone. Alone because not many people knew what I was going through, and alone because it took me a long time to go THRU this wilderness experience.
Some people did not understand. You know the types that like to have their eyebrows raised in judgment. I had went to college and graduated, gotten a good job, gotten married and had children. I took the path that I felt was right, and then it seemed that it was all going so wrong. I felt judged by people. People who judged my situation without knowing that it was all out of my hands at the time. I shed many tears. My faith was tested.
The scripture that helped anchor me in my season of grief was this:
Then my hairdresser told me that my hair had broken off so bad, that I would have to cut it into a short cut to save it. My hair was really long so that was a shock. It seems that I kept going on the outside but my hair took the shock of my Dad’s passing. I first cut my hair in a long bob, but then I cut my hair off in a big chop and then began to let it grow. I did not know what it was to have short hair. I had to find myself again. Some people made really mean comments although they did not understand the WHY behind what happened. Ever been in this spot? Where you had to regroup, change or revisit? Where you had to continue on amidst naysayers and people who did not know the full story?
My hair journey became a symbol to me of growth and healing from the time when I lost my dad to a time of healing. I learned to love my short hair, embrace my curls, and enjoy all stages of my hair. It was tricky sometimes.
If you are in this situation I want to encourage you. There is no timetable to grief and it is a process. Please visit the 7 stages of grief when you get a chance and see that you may go through them all at once, or one at a time. You may feeling anger, sadness, acceptance, or other stages. It is all a process.
Take as good care of yourself as you can, and try to reach out to people who will listen and who are positive. If you do not have anyone to talk to you can call a hotline for a referral to a professional near you where you can talk through your grief and work on it. It is helpful to get out your feelings. I am not a doctor, so please if you have lingering feelings of extreme sadness please keep reaching out to your doctor or a counselor in your area. Keep reaching out until you get the help that you need. Although it may seem like it, you are not alone!
I started praying more though the situations, I began to do more self-care, more meditations, more affirmations, and connected with more people.
It felt as if I was I continued to press ahead and throughout the years I regained working, my business began to flourish, and I graduated with my Master of Arts in education. I am now teaching again, living in the Bay Area again, and my hair has grown so long. It’s not the look of long that I care about. I love short hair too. I am talking about the JOURNEY of what I went through. It is what it represents.
When people comment on my hair, I smile now. And the reason I smile is because it represents GROWTH from that sad, hard place to where I am now.
When I look back at that journey I see how God was with me, even though I could not see it at the time. I wrote some tips here on how to help yourself on this journey and what has worked for me. My prayer is that it will inspire you, encourage you and bless you. You are not alone.
Please read these, and pass them along.
1. Be Easy on Yourself
During your journey it is important to take care of yourself and to be easy on yourself, especially in the days surrounding holidays where we are missing loved ones. Don’t revisit sad memories or engage in guilt. Evict negative thinking out of your speech patterns and try to speak positive things as much as possible. I found this helps me a lot. Be good to yourself. Take it easy.
2. Try to Stay Active
Try to stay active. Actively moving out in nature if you can, or at a special place that you love. Maybe you are keeping your mind active by reading a good book, or watching a video that you love. Try to keep it light and keep it positive. This helped me a TON.
3. Get Enough Rest
I found that when I do not get enough rest, I am not the funnest person to be around. Sleep and rest are important, especially while you may be feeling grief. Rest can mean sleeping, or just chilling. Rest can mean going on a quiet outing with a friend or doing some pastime that you enjoy. Rest is different for each person.
4. Celebrate Other Fathers
I find this helps especially because there are so many people who need love out there and when we share OUT we can also gain sometimes. Visiting a nursing home, or a place where there are people in need is helpful or even calling some father that you know or posting on social media can help. Sometimes there are people who do not have anyone to call them, you could be a light to them.
5. Cherish the Memories
The last tip I will give has worked for me. While I do not have my Dad in the present, I have him in my memories and I had the chance to love him. I can’t go back and change anything but I can enjoy the moments we did have and for those I am so grateful. I sometimes look at pictures and reminisce. I remember that what my father would have wanted more than anything is for me to continue to go on with my life and take the lessons he taught me in my heart and live them out. The last moments I did spend with him were ones of love and of laughter. We made Puerto Rican food, we went shopping at a store and he even drove. We told good stories and we hugged tightly. I did not know that would be the last time I saw him, but now looking back, I had a feeling that he knew. For those memories I am thankful and I bet you have some of those also. Some memories that live on. Even if they are in a picture, or stories told handed down generations you can honor your dad.
This picture reminds me of going sea shell diving with my dad in Puerto Rico as a child. We also did this in Hawaii and it is a favorite memory. I can share these memories with my kids and honor his memory and his love in my heart.
I pray this post was helpful for you and that these tips will bring your comfort.
Which of the 5 were your favorite? Please comment below!
Take a peek at my hair journey is below, it represents healing.
My hair now in 2018!
Join my tribe by signing up for my newsletter and you will be a part of this wonderful community.
Do YOU know that you are amazing? Yes, you are! Sometimes we need a little reminder especially as busy people who wear many hats.
Let me tell you a dirty little secret. Shhh…… It isn’t always easy to feel amazing. Even as inspired and empowered as I am, I sometimes have days where I do not feel that amazing. But when I start to revisit all the ways that I am, the inspiration comes back and the amazing vibes start flowing again! YES!
Can you relate? You are amazing! You are an overcomer! You have come so far, and will continue to do amazing things.
Affirmations are SO important and speaking blessings and words of truth over yourself are important too. I do this daily and it helps a TON!
I want to personally invite you to join my YOU ARE AMAZING Challenge!
You are amazing! Show your magic and sparkle everywhere you go. Join the YOU ARE AMAZING challenge.
Go on this link, pick up your AMAZING gear and join me. Post a pic with #URAMAZING hashtag and let’s get this movement going where we spread a little of our personal magic and glitter wherever we go. Amazing blessings are on their way!
This book will be an inspiration to your mind and soul! We all need inspiration. Get your copy today and gift one to a friend
Several years ago, I needed a change. I’m talking a BIG change. I found myself in a place surrounded by MILES of agricultural fields and it forced me to dig down deep inside and revisit my core WHY.
My landlord was moving back into the house, so we went looking for a new place.
The economy was such that people were bidding thousands of dollars OVER the asking price for housing. It was tough to find a place for our growing family.
We moved out of the Bay Area. Very hard for us to do because we are Bay people! We relocated to a tiny town of just around 5,000 people an hour above Sacramento. I knew only one family in that town and it was quite the culture shock. I missed the Bay Area and instead of feeling defeated, I knew I had to make a big change and find inspiration SOMEWHERE.
I started meditation everyday, I prayed a ton, I did my sea salt scrubs, I made mud masks, I made smoothies, I spent even more time with the kids, and I was on a serious QUEST.
I knew I had two choices. I could wallow and be miserable or I could dig deeper and find my inspiration.
I chose the decision to make the best of it. I met people, I joined a book club, I became involved in the local city government. But more importantly, I dug down deeeeppppp inside to find inspiration. Inspiration that had been in there all along, but had become buried by STUFF.
I had to take many moments to revisit the times where I felt inspired. Where I felt God’s presence and where I had been refreshed. I knew that since I had these moments in the past, I would have them again. Once I started this inspiration quest, things shifted and we ended up moving back to the Bay Area. How that happened is a miracle in itself!
I share more life experiences and miracles with you in this book.
THE KEY WORD IS INSPIRATION.
Inspiration. We all need it. We need it like the air we breathe!
What inspires you?
You know, what really gets your motivation going? Your creative juices flowing, and your heart dreaming?
That inspiration is found for different people in different ways!
I had the privilege of being an author in a book compilation recently. It was an amazing experience, and it was a dream come true~
I would LOVE for you to share this experience with me.
In my portion of the book, I share amazing experiences that will definitely make you see blessings and moments that are undeniably hand ordained.
My prayer is that this book will inspire, equip, and encourage you.
You can get your copy of Meeting in the Middle: Stories that Will Bless You Chapter by Chapter today here: It is $15 plus $5 shipping.
This inspirational book is great to inspire you, or to gift to a loved one!
GET YOURS HERE $20
Get one for yourself, your friends, your family, your co-worker, your hairdresser~
Anyone who could use a deep blessing, inspiration and encouragement!
Have an amazing day!
You are amazing!
I would love to hear from you! Leave me a message below!
Ladies. I get it. We are so busy. Many of us, myself included can totally find time to pray for our families and friends, but when it comes time to meaningful, personal devotional time for OURSELVES, this can get rushed or can be penciled in amidst a sea of commitments.
Whether we are single, students, working women, stay at home moms, work at home moms, empty nester moms, work outside the home moms, or women who do not have children, most of us are very busy. Does this sound familiar? If you are like most women in these times, it probably does!
But even in the busy season, we should slow down and spend some time in devotion daily. It is essential. With all the pressures that can surround us, it is so important to start off with some quiet, personal time. Very important! This “me time” enables us to be focused, more even-keeled, balanced and focused. Starting the day with purposed intention, prayer, meditation and quiet moments is so helpful. If you have not taken time to put this into practice, here is an idea for a Morning Ritual.
Starting our day off with intention, positivity and devotions are a great way to ease into the day.
Start somewhere quiet.
Grab your favorite beverage such as an herbal tea, water with lemon, etc.
Maybe light a candle and a journal to record thoughts or set an intention.
Read from an inspirational text, or a wisdom book. I love the Bible and also read from inspirational texts.
Meditate or pray.
Do some morning movement, stretching, exercise or yoga.
Eat a healthy breakfast and get ready for your day.
On a perfect day I get all of these in in an un rushed manner. On a rushed day I get some of them in. Either way, I if I aim for this routine, I have a better day, am more productive, and am more focused. What each person needs is different. Take some time and see what might work for you! You can change it up as time unfolds.
I think about the times when I rushed out without breakfast and without any type of devotion, and sort of shudder at how my day went. I compare that to days that I take *intentional* time to sit and reflect and just thank the Lord for blessings and worship the Lord for who He is. There have even been times when I just worship along in the car, or steal a few minutes before my students come into the classroom, pray together with my children, and then pray on my own and reflect.
I even have a small devotional book for moms stashed away in my desk at work and read snippets in the morning, lunch, break and whenever I need a pick-me-up. Busy ladies, let’s take time each day for us to rejuvenate and reflect on the goodness of the Lord. Let us pray to the Lord to bless us and our families and let’s worship Him for who He is. Even in the season of busyness let’s carve out this time daily, just as much as we get our food or water in. Let’s be intentional about it. Will you join me? Let me know who is in!!
How about you? What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate devotions into your day? What are your morning routines to be focused and start the day of right? I would love to hear from you below!