June 24, 2020
Anita Oommen on Finding Her Voice
Anita Oommen, author of “Picking Up the Shards” and “3-Minute Inspirational Reflections For the Soul”Source: Anita Oommen
Despite her career as a speech-language pathologist, it took her two decades in the field to realize she had yet to find her own voice.
After sharing her healing journey in “Picking Up the Shards: Healing the Pain of Mother-Wounds, Discovering the Mother-Heart of God,” author Anita Oommen inspired readers yet again with her second book earlier this year, “3-Minute Inspirational Reflections For the Soul: 50 Daily Truths and Journal Prompts.”
Recently, we spoke to Oommen via telephone to learn more about how she found her voice, began writing, and what readers can look forward to seeing next from her.
Tell me a little about yourself and your work as a writer
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Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms I know out there today! Technology failed us for the last couple of days to add a bow to our tumultuous week. For some of you, I know this day was hard… I see you. God sees you. I felt God’s presence with us this week in ways I cannot explain. The Unseen God of the Universe who stays up all night to watch over us like a mama does her children watched over us this week. God gave us supernatural strength in the midst of chaos, the difficult and the scary stuff this week. God holds us tight with a fierce, protective love that never fails. #mothersday2020 #gratefulinthetrials #healingmotherwounds
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I’m a wife, a mom, and a speech-language pathologist by profession. I never imagined I would be a writer, but after publishing two books I have to add that title – author!
When and how did you begin writing?
For the past twenty years in my profession, I’ve been helping people find their voice. Literally. I’ve worked with a lot of folks after a stroke, neurological illnesses, find their voice and help them communicate.
I started again to process my past and where I’ve been. I began writing, journaling, putting my thoughts on paper. It just started as a healing journey.
And here I am. After a couple years, I have books in print. I guess it was meant to be.
What do you think drew you to writing, as opposed to another creative medium like art or music?
I know different creative outlets work for different people. Writing has been very therapeutic for me. Like I talked about, I was looking for my own voice.
When I turned 40, I felt like my whole life just fell apart. The day of my birthday, I woke up from this dream where I saw myself buried alive in my future grave with all this mud sliding over me.
In that moment, it dawned on me: I’ve been living this narrative of my past, all my traumatic events.
I had a choice to make in that moment. I could either live in the past wounding, or I could decide to face those broken pieces of my life and begin to rewrite the script of my life.
For me, I feel like writing has really helped me face the reality of my story. It’s helped me face my past, name the things that were hurtful, process and heal the wounds of my past.
What have you found most beneficial about writing?
Words have the power to impact change. I have experienced that personally in my own life. But I also believe writing helps me impact the life of others.
It really helps me pay forward the feeling that I’ve experienced.
What’s the story behind your latest book, “3-Minute Inspirational Reflections For the Soul?”
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For those of you who have been asking me, yes a paperback version is coming soon! I am so excited to be sharing this book with you. I can’t wait to hold this book baby in my hands. #bewhoyouare #createdforapurpose #inspirationalquote #godscreation #youmatter #yourstorymatters
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Three years ago, I was on vacation with my family. We were driving from Tampa to Captiva Islands in Florida. My husband was driving and during that time I just kept reflecting on my life and my past.
I really feel like these reflections were being born into my soul during that drive. The time on the beach was so refreshing. I felt like I was sitting in serenity, it felt like paradise all around me. There was so much beauty all around me.
I took the time to really reflect and meditate. I still remember – like a little kid – I would gather sand in a bucket and I would put aaaall my worries in a bucket, then see it wash away in the ocean. And then I would fill it with this inspiration each day. I literally feel like God put it in my soul.
Earlier this year, when I did my first author event for my first book, I wanted to find a way to honor the people who took the time to come to my event. I felt like I had to bless them with these handwritten bookmarks.
So I sat and wrote these reflections on paper for weeks ’cause I wasn’t sure how many people would show up, but I really felt like I needed to handwrite those.
I put it down on paper, and as people were picking them up, they were like, “Where can we order these?”
In that moment, I realized, “Okay, I need to put this in print and I need to put this in a book.”
Within the intro of the book, you write, “There is no pain too deep, nor no one too lost, nor is it ever too late to pick up the pieces of your past and rebuild a new life with resiliency.” What helped you come to that realization?
I believe this is true for every person. As I was processing and writing my first book, “Picking Up the Shards,” I felt like I was able to look in the rearview mirror of my life and realize how much strength and resilience I had even through deep, dark circumstances in my life.
I truly believe that we as humans have a deep strength within ourselves to survive. We are neurobiologically wired to survive, regardless of whatever happens to us. And I believe this is a God-given, supernatural gift to us.
As I processed, I also began to believe, “Hey. I have survived all of this because I have been uniquely put in this world. I have a unique story and a calling that only I can live out.”
I began to name it, face it, feel it, and process it, and heal it. I experienced life again. So I truly believe that for every person. I do.
What was the most rewarding part of writing and publishing the book and why?
The most rewarding part of writing and publishing this book has been to pass the gift of healing forward.
I’m passionate about sharing, inspiring others, and pointing others towards hope and healing.
Which mantras/excerpts from “3-Minute Inspirational Reflections for the Soul” mean the most to you and why?
That’s a hard one [laughs]! I think there are several, but if I were to pick one, it’s this:
“You have unmatched dignity. You’re priceless, you have inherent worth, you’re invaluable and irreplaceable.”– “3-Minute Inspirational Reflections for the Soul” by Anita Oommen
I know what it’s like to have no self-worth. Most of my life, my self-worth was in the ditch. I had felt the sting of rejection, deep rejection to the point of self abandonment. It’s very painful to live in that space, hating yourself and hating who you’ve become – and I did this for a good part of my life.
When I grabbed ahold of these truth statements, I began to see myself as a healed warrior woman. It’s not a process – and it’s still a process! I would be lying if I said I have all arrived.
But when I began to see myself through the lens of these words and the truth of these words that I am one of a kind, that I am irreplaceable, and I am created for purpose and destiny, that changed my whole perspective.
I believe that for others, too.
What did you find most challenging about opening up and sharing your story with others?
If you knew me as a young child, I was so mute. I had no words. I could never look people in the eye, start a conversation. I always had my head hanging low, I always heard labels, negative things about myself.
Opening up and sharing about my life and my story – gosh, it was so difficult. But our stories are sacred and I believe we can only heal what we name and what we put words to.
The only way I could process my story was to find safe people. People who would honor my story with empathy, no judgment. People who could validate me right where I was. I believe that is the only way to healing; we have to be able to process our stories with safe people in safe communities.
When we share authentically, and when we bring our vulnerability alive, it’s sacred. It’s not to be given away to everyone. But when we find the right people and safe communities, we can heal our past.
This includes generational wounds. I believe trauma is just trauma from previous generations bleeding on to us and it’s being passed down at some level. Even down to our neurobiology.
Honestly, finding safety and finding safe people was challenging, but I also learned to trust incrementally. I didn’t just trust everyone – it was easy not to trust, so that was very challenging.
You have to risk vulnerability to be able to trust. You trust a little and you may get hurt. Then you trust a little bit more and you may find a safe person. Then you get validated, and you trust a little bit more, and you keep building trust.
So I believe trust and safety are the two pillars for healing.
What have you learned from your carrier as an author so far?
I have learned the power of story. I believe story has the power to heal us, it has the power to heal others. It can impact change, it can change the trajectory of our lives – it has changed the trajectory of my life.
I believe I can change the trajectory of lives of others that I encounter. And it can change the trajectory of our families and communities!
There’s so much power in our authentic stories.
What do you hope readers take away from your latest book?
If you’re breathing and alive, it’s never too late. It’s never too late to heal. It’s never too late to realize your full potential. That’s what I truly believe.
If you could give your readers just one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
Your story matters. You matter. You are created by purpose for destiny. Your circumstances, your inner critical voice, or what others say about you, their opinions about you, or other perspectives about you, doesn’t need to define who you are.
What’s next for you, Anita? What can readers look forward to seeing from you?
I believe I’m called to continue to write – but then again, it is a struggle. When I wrote my first book, I knew there was more. There is a series that I plan to write, but I’m in process.
Sometimes I write, then I take a break and come back to it. You know, but I believe I will continue to write about healing, trauma, healing from past wounds and finding your worth, your purpose in life. Those are the themes I will continue to write on.
I’m going to be really vulnerable here and really authentic. One of the biggest struggles for me is speaking in front of people.
A lot of my life, I was criticized for the way that I talked, looked, walked, all of these labels. I can write – it’s easier to put it on paper – but talking to people, getting in front of people, and putting my audible voice to my story is something I hope to accomplish one day. Whether it’s through sharing my story on a podcast, or like we’re doing right now, having conversations on the phone with others.
It’s easier for me to put it down on paper, but I continue to challenge myself to use my voice and motivate others. I hope to do more of that in addition to my writing.
I would love to see that from you. Honestly, I can’t see anyone ever criticizing your voice because here I am thinking you sound so sweet and so relaxing. I would love to see a podcast – I could even see you being on a TedTalk some day. I think you should definitely keep moving in that direction.
Thank you! I recently did my first podcast, I was definitely nervous – but I did it! I’m challenging myself, one step at a time.
Is it live yet?
It is live. It’s about mother wounds – it’s very faith-based – and how I found God in those spaces.
Do you have any additional comments or final thoughts to share?
I truly believe that for each and every individual. If I can come this far, then anybody can.
Head on over to Amazon to get your own copy of “3-Minute Inspirational Reflections for the Soul”, visit Anita Oomen’s website to learn more about her, and give her first podcast a listen on Spotify!
Be sure to follow Anita on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with her work!
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This entry was posted in Hot Stuff, Blog, Interviews, 2020, Summer 2020, June 2020, Blog, Advice, Only Positivity, Blog, Science, Health, Psychology, Blog, Advice, Reflections, Blog, Wellness and tagged in 3-Minute Inspirational Reflections for the Soul, 3-Minute Inspirational Reflections For the Soul: 50 Daily Truths and Journal Prompts, anita oommen, anita oommen 3 minute inspirational reflections for the soul, anita oommen author, anita oommen books, anita oommen interview, Anita Oommen on Finding Her Voice, anita oommen picking up the shards, author, author interview, authors, blog, blogging, blogging community, blogs, book, book blog, book community, book lover, book worm, books, burgundy zine, burgundyzine, burgundyzine.com, emotional wellness, healing, healing from trauma, healing journey, hot stuff, june 2020, picking up the shards, Picking Up the Shards: Healing the Pain of Mother-Wounds, Picking Up the Shards: Healing the Pain of Mother-Wounds Discovering the Mother-Heart of God, reading, self care, self help, self love, self worth, the burgundy zine, trauma, wellness, writer, writing, writing community.
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