Heart of the Matter Blog

A collection of insights into life, love and the search for truth


Some things are really hard to say. For organizations, some things are incredibly hard to talk about. But, what about the powerful grace of Transparency? Does anything ever truly stay hidden indefinitely? Cheers to The National Association of Independent Schools, NAIS, for getting this piece into print.  Enjoy.

The Long-Term Vision for Healing full article


We watch the social and political world take form, we watch the world change form, and sometimes, the intersection of big ideas becomes perfectly clear…

Enjoy the full article here:


There’s telling a story, then there’s telling a story. Wow. Working with audio engineer, James Dunstone, of Rafiki Music over months of COVID… bringing in narrator Andy Wargo. Enjoying the help of (lovely-voiced) friend Nicole Whitney. Adding original recording of the speech I gave in 2001 (yes, hear me in-the-moment at 23, when I couldn’t even imagine a day I’d record an audiobook). Well, this is a personal, vulnerable telling like no other.

Visit this page at Audible to hear a sample of the telling – sign up, get the book, be transported. Enjoy!



Some people hide from accountability, and leave a maze of confusion in their wake. Some people face themselves and their choices fully, then become a beacon of light for what comes next. Reverend Jeff Grant has been serving the White Collar community on the other side of these reckonings for eight years now. He provides counsel, facilitates a support group, and hosts two podcasts. This is the kind of social healing that can support all of us!

Enjoy my conversation with Jeff Grant of Progressive Prison Ministries and co-guest, Advocate Associate Chloe Coppola, about systemic abuse and institutional reform. Aired Monday November 16, 2020. Such an honor to share with these fine folks!

Listen through SoundCloud, Podbean, or watch on Youtube. All available at:



What can you do when the Governor of your state says, “Stay Home, Stay Safe”?  Well, I thought of something:


Announcing my very first book!  Published by Stone & Feather Press, October 7, 2020. Can’t Stop the Sunrise is the inspiring true story of one person speaking up over decades to reveal the truth that so many have tried to silence…

In 1980s New England, a young tomboy and naturalist grows among the hypocrisies of elitist culture. At 16, she witnesses the ills of corruption at close-range, when officials at Lawrence Academy, a boarding high school in Groton, Massachusetts, tell her they are going to keep a child molester on campus – and remove her to hide their secret.

Feel captivated by this “courageous and magnificent tale” (IndieReader) of her ongoing fight for gender equality and sexual health in a society on the brink of great social change. Enjoy a front seat ride across America and discover the surprising graces of believing in the goodness of humanity.

“When a book comes along that is not only timely, but… makes a reader want to get involved, it’s cause for celebration, even in these troubled times. Vanessa Osage’s Can’t Stop the Sunrise is just such a book”.

   — IndieReader Five Star Review
  Politics & Current Events 

An illumination of activism, love, resilience, truth and repair, Can’t Stop the Sunrise transforms collective outrage into hope for the brighter future that awaits.

Now available at:         









Just before the world-as-we-knew-it shut down, a fabulous parent educator named Casey O’Roarty reached out to ask me to be a professional speaker on her Joyful Courage podcast. This is my hour-long interview on the Sex Ed for Parents of Teens Summit. Our topic? Emotional boundaries, codependency vs. clarity, abusive vs. healthy relationships, a framework for talking to kids about sex, and more . . .

Listen here!



Sometimes, when corruption is everywhere you turn, and the work of transformation leaves you weary . . .
Humor Heals.


A feature article in Coaching World, of the International Coach Federation (ICF), published September 19, 2019




I was just featured (May 2019) as a contributor to a Fupping article on emotional health. See if you can guess which book I suggested (my clients have a good chance of hearing about this one from me). Here’s to the emotional health revolution!



Another gem from the archives: The theme was  “Liminal Spaces & Altered States”, from The Confluence Journal, Winter 2017.


The prompt was “The benefits of a period party”. I know it as a Red Party. The lifeblood of humanity – as represented in the female body – deserves to be celebrated!


An oldie, but a goodie. Here is my first published piece in print. “Ascending, On Being a Mentor”, from the 2016 Circles on the Mountain “Wild Card” Issue, #22. Scroll the page 57 to read my philosophy on what it means to fill this role for anyone in our lives.


Ok, who wonders about the nature of language and how that shapes culture? Ever given serious thought to the way we use curse words? Only proceed if you are ready to question the way we talk about sex, and giggle at some adult-language-words. Enjoy.

Featured December 17, 2018 on the Role Reboot blog:

Or, in full here: 


What was that storm that blew through the American (worldwide?) consciousness this late summer? A woman was compelled to share a very relevant truth and hold someone accountable. It had never been done to that extent, and with such consequences. It was a high moment in a rallying cry for far better encounters in the sexual realm. It turned out rather oddly… But what did it all mean?  My spoken word piece:


Have a listen to my conversation with Emma Johnson at on the Like a Mother Podcast. Emma gives away $1,000 of her own dollars every month to single moms doing amazing things. I was selected for November 2017 as the “Kickass Single Mom” grant recipient.

How did I get into this work? What is a rite of passage? Who was my inspiration?  Hear my very first recorded conversation online. 


So, how do we begin talking to kids about sexuality?  What are some guidelines, parameters… give me context, please!

A piece I wrote for the Youth Passageways Network blog, called Speaking Reverence, Speaking Truth. Written for rite of passage guides, but relevant to anyone who cares for and oversees young people (and longs for more comfort in addressing sexuality).  Enjoy!