13 comments on “Week 3 of Wreck This Journal – Come Alive CD by The Roots Became My Creativity Playlist”

Week 3 of Wreck This Journal – Come Alive CD by The Roots Became My Creativity Playlist

wreckjournal

rootscomealivecd

The_Roots_2007

Hi All,

It’s week 3 in the Wreck This Journal Book Blogging journey:  http://tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com.  This week I started wrecking my journal on June 15 while listening to the Come Alive CD by The Roots.  My favorite songs for wrecking my journal were:

  • “All I Know”
  • “Y’all Know Who”
  • “What You Want”
  • “Love of My Life”

Do you have a Wreck This Journal playlist?

My favorite journal wrecking activities were:

  • p. 58 – Pretending to doodle on the back on an envelope with an orange magic marker (lots of hearts, scribbles, and square boxes).
  • p. 98 – The page of good thoughts was filled with reminder that God is love in pink magic marker.
  • p. 146 – The space for negative comments and what is your inner critic saying awakened my inner critic Broomhilda. Click here to learn more about her:  http://kiamshacom.blogspot.com/search?q=broomhilda. Broomhilda criticized me for writing a book  (my new poetic memoir – That Which Awakens me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir – Summer 2009) with too many pages that folks won’t read. She accused me of pretending to be more than I am. She also told me I wasn’t ready to shiine.  She released her usual criticism about my muffin Buddha belly and told me my current work with my life coach Yael to tone my belly and improve my core and self-acceptance were worthless.

Archetypes-Broomhilda-innercritic

My inner critic Broomhilda

This week was full of insights. The inner critic exercise was the main source of the insights.  I’m glad I am working with my life coach Yael to strengthen my self-acceptance.  That’s why I am smiling right now about  Broomhilda’s criticisms.  They let me know I am on the right path to shining my beauty and sharing my gifts. 

I will visit more Wreck This Journal sistalove blogs next week after I get back from Chicago and the Blogging While Brown conference (www.bloggingwhilebrown.com).

Thanks for stopping by.

Enjoy your day and weekend!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

0 comments on “I am launching Sisterhood, the Blog Radio on June 24th at 8pm.”

I am launching Sisterhood, the Blog Radio on June 24th at 8pm.

sisterhood

feministsymbol

Great News! I am preparing to launch Sisterhood, the Blog Radio (http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015) on Wednesday, June 24th at 8:00 p.m. “Sisterhood 2009: What does it mean to be a feminist today?” is the theme.  Join me for a one-on-one interview with Jennifer Nedeau, Women’s Rights Blogger for Change.org – http://womensrights.change.org

Sisterhood, the Blog Radio is a monthly radio show hosted by Talkshoe.com.  It features one-on-one conversations with women about sisterhood, self-discovery, self-expression, spirituality, self-care,  self-expression, social justice advocacy, and social media.  If you are on Facebook, join the Sisterhood, the Blog Group:  http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23050254985.  Be sure to follow Sisterhood, the Blog on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sisterhdtheblog.  Stop by Sisterhood, the Blog on WordPress.com: http://sisterhoodtheblog.wordpress.com.

Mark your calendars for upcoming episodes of Sisterhood, the Blog Radio. See schedule below.

July 29 @ 8pm – Self-Expression: The Writing Life

  • A conversation with Joy Brambles Oehlkers, Senior Editor, McGraw-Hill Professional

August 26 @ 8pm – Spirituality: Blooming Right Where You Are 

  • A conversation with Kelli Jarreaux, an ordained Interfaith Minister, attorney, arbitrator, mediator, global peace facilitator, life coach, and co-author of Hopwood, Bakke, and Beyond: Diversity on our Nations Campuses and Sacred Secrets: Finding Your Way to Joy, Peace and Prosperity

September 30 @ 8pm – Self-Care: Yoga As A Life Practice

  • Guest TBA

October 28 @ 8pm – Self-Discovery: The Connection We Share With Our Mothers 

  • A conversation with Gail Straub, co-founder of Empowerment Training Programs and author of Returning to My Mother’s House: Taking Back the Wisdom of the Feminine – www.empowermenttraining.com

November 25 @ 8pm – Social Justice Advocacy: Making Your Life Count Through Service

  • A conversation with Gloria Pan, Vice President, Internet Communications, Turner Strategies

December 2 @ 8pm – Social Media: Building Creative Online Communities

  • A conversation with Jamie Ridler, a certified professional co-active coach, leader/builder of creative online communities, founder of Jamie Ridler Studios, and blogger/founder of Starshyne Productions – http://jamieridler.blogspot.com
0 comments on “Headed to Chicago to have fun and attend the Blogging While Brown Confrence”

Headed to Chicago to have fun and attend the Blogging While Brown Confrence

chicago

bwb2009

Happy Wednesday!

I am on my way to Chicago to chill out, have fun, attend the Blogging While Brown conference (www.bloggingwhilebrown.com), eat some great Indian food on the North side, and check out some great exhibits at the National Museum of Mexican Art (www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org) and the Du Sable Museum of African- American History (www.dusablemuseum.org).  I will share my thoughts about my trip and conference participation in the coming days. 

Enjoy your day and weekend!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

2 comments on “Creative Play Confession – Me & the Hula-Hoop”

Creative Play Confession – Me & the Hula-Hoop

hulahoop

Happy Monday!

 Confession time. Friday night I rediscovered a childhood love — the hula hoop — while eating dinner at my sistalove Yael’s home.  Yael is also my fabulous life coach, yin yoga teacher, and copy editor for my poetic memoir and novel.  She’s loaded with talent!  After a yummy dinner, Yael reintroduced me to hula hooping during my coaching session.  She suggested that I try it out as a tool to strengthen and tone my core.  After hooping for several minutes, I felt this tingling rush that reminded me of how I used to feel when I played as a child.  I call it the hula-hoop magic!  What a natural high!  After my coaching session, I walked home, carrying the hula-hoop magic with me.  Guess what happened next?  I logged onto my computer, visited Amazon.com, and ordered an inexpensive rainbow-colored hoop that I can travel with.  When it arrives in a few days, I will officially enter the land of HOOPNOTICA, a kingdom of creative play!

What kinds of creative play activities are you involved in or plan to do this summer?

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, and Hula-Hoop Magic,

Ananda

PS:  For more information about hooping, visit www.hooping.org.

2 comments on “Ananda teaches Free Morning Yoga Class in DC & hosts Go Green Radio featuring soulful & green living musician Mikuak Rai on June 14.”

Ananda teaches Free Morning Yoga Class in DC & hosts Go Green Radio featuring soulful & green living musician Mikuak Rai on June 14.

Summer1

Happy Weekend!

Jumpstart your summer a week early with a free community yoga class on Sunday, June 14 at 9:00 a.m. in Malcolm X – Meridian Hill Park in Northwest, DC. For more information, visit http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

mikuakSoulful and Green Living Musician Mikuak Rai

Be sure to tune into the June 14th episode of Go Green Sangha Radio at 7pm EST on Talkshoe.com (http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/21325) for a one-on-one interview with soulful and green living musician Mikuak Rai, a member of Go Green Sangha social networking site. Rai will discuss his music and work with Planet Restoration (http://www.planetrestoration.com/), a global arts movement that emphasizes humanity’s essential connection to one another and all life on Earth. For more information about Rai, visit http://www.myspace.com/mikuakrai.
Enjoy your weekend!
Peace and Summer OMs,
Ananda
2 comments on “The Ananda Leeke Show Launches June 30@8pm”

The Ananda Leeke Show Launches June 30@8pm

Radio

Great News!  The Ananda Leeke Show, an online radio program that celebrates creativity in everyday life, will launch on June 30, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on Talkshoe.com: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/15820.

Join me as I share my own creative adventures, advice, artwork, books, challenges, discoveries, healthy life practices, insights, inspiration, lessons learned, resources, and tips as an artist, author, writer, blogger, creativity coach, yoga teacher, Reiki Master practitioner, and innerpreneur.  

The first episode will discuss my insights on writing my upcoming poetic memoir, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir (Summer 2009 – iUniverse, Inc.). 

Click here to read the press release: http://www.prlog.org/10257014-authorartistcreativity-coach-ananda-leeke-launches-the-ananda-leeke-show-to-celebrate-creativity.html.

18 comments on “My Creative Fire Is Burning – Wreck the Journal Week 2 of Next Chapter Book Blogging Group”

My Creative Fire Is Burning – Wreck the Journal Week 2 of Next Chapter Book Blogging Group

fire

wreckjournal

http://www.tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com/

 

Happy Friday!

So it’s week 2 in my Wreck the Journal journey (http://www.tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com).  Yesterday morning I played in my book and finally faced my fear of following the instructions to burn page  4.  Remember page 4 scared me last week.  Even though I was born under the fire sign of Sagittarius and have no problems lighting candles and incense with a lighter, I am still afraid of lighting a match and watching paper burn. 

First let me say that Jenn Lee was my inspiration.  Jenn’s video blog (http://www.lifeunfoldsblog.com/2009/06/04/wreck-this-journal-week-1-playing-with-fire) last week really hit home.  The image of her burning the page stayed with me all week. So here’s what went down in the wee hours of my chakra castle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakra). Yes indeedie sweetie, I have all of the chakra colors represented on the various walls of my apartment. 7 bold colors.  Red, royal blue, light blue, orange, yellow, pink, and purple.  Sounds wild, right? 

My morning began a wee bit early. 6 a.m.  I must admit that my Wednesday afternoon acupuncture session really relaxed me and sent me to sleep early.   Getting acupuncture on a monthly basis for the past four years has been such a healing experience for me and my body.  After I did a series of yin yoga poses in bed, I walked into my sunny yellow kitchen and got the urge to light some Nam Champs incense and smudge myself with sage. 

When I finished smudging myself, I decided to smudge my entire chakra castle.   As I walked around, I chanted one of my favorite Tibetan Buddhist mantras: Om Mani Padme Hum (http://www.dharma-haven.org/tibetan/meaning-of-om-mani-padme-hung.htm).  I lit another stick of incense and a yellow candle when I returned to the kitchen.  I placed the yellow candle on my Buddha altar sitting in my red window.  My eyes closed as I stood in the mountain yoga pose.  The morning echo of birds lulled me into a place of stillness.  After a few minutes, my inner voice (you know Ms. Intuition … She is my Ananda archetype … a spiritual woman – click here to see a photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anandaleeke/3161424573) instructed me to get my Wreck the Journal.  So I walked back into my pink and purple bedroom and picked up the journal.  My inner voice invited me to turn to page 4. I stared at the page and smiled.  My hands gently grabbed the lighter and flicked a flame onto the page.  I watched in sheer delight.  A few seconds later I noticed the flame had left  its own footprint of sorts.  It looked like someone had taken a bite out of the page.  That was really cool! 

So later in the day I found myself thinking about my newfound courage born out of creative fire: How could I use it in my life?  The answer came early this morning when I realized that I could use the creative fire to overcome my current fear of delaying the publication of my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery with a request to have the font of the text changed (the current manuscript that I received from the publisher this week doesn’t look right….it makes my words look messy).  I didn’t want to face this fear because it means more WORK and summer is a time for play, right?  Well, I am working to transform my concept of WORK.  I decided to say that I am PLAYING with my creative fire to make sure others can play with it when it finally comes out in my new book at the end of the summer. 

My other favorite exercises from Wreck the Journal were:

  • page 26 – tearing the strips up
  • page 36 – chewing on the paper
  • page ? – crumbling the paper
  • page ? – making a paper cup and drinking water

Confession time.  I still haven’t made it around to most of my Wreck the Journal sistaloves’ blogs.  The one thing that I am looking forward to is visiting everyone’s pages this weekend.  Me and my creative fire are gonna have some good times with our online visits.

Thanks for stopping by!

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

4 comments on “Summer Creative Adventures – Museum Visit to see Mami Wata Water Spirit and Yoga Movie Treat – Enlighten Up!”

Summer Creative Adventures – Museum Visit to see Mami Wata Water Spirit and Yoga Movie Treat – Enlighten Up!

MamiWata-ZoumanaSanesm

Mami Wata, circa 1987 by Zoumana Sane (dates unknown, Senegal)
Photo Credit: Don Cole

 

Happy Thursday!

Today I reflected on how I launched my annual summer museum adventures last weekend.  I started with a visit to the National Museum of African Art.  The goal of my trip was to soak up the beauty and splendor of the Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and the African Atlantic World exhibit. http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/mamiwata/intro.html.  It arrived at the Museum on April 1 and leaves on July 26. 

 Mami Wata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mami_Wata) is a water spirit celebrated throughout most of Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Haiti.  I first learned about Mami Wata in 1991 when I discovered the West African Yoruba goddesses Oshun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oshun) and Yemaya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemanya) who are her sister water spirits.  I immediately embraced her image which is often portrayed as a brown-skinned mermaid.  I love that fact because she reminds me of me.  Her power as a nurturing mother, sensual woman, healer, and provider of riches also appealed to me.  Mami Wata, Oshun, and Yemaya introduced me to Erzulie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erzulie), the Haitian goddess of love.  These water goddesses played a pivotal role in my early artwork and writing.  They still do!  Erzulie is a major force in the artwork and characters featured in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com— iUniverse, Inc. – 2007).  Click here to see Erzulie’s veve which appears inside my novel and serves as the logo for the Love’s Troubadours novel series (scroll down to the second photo and look for the black and white drawing of a heart-shaped image): http://www.lovestroubadours.com/id26.html.  It also appears in the painting featured on the back of my novel.  Click here to see a photo (scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the heart-shaped symbol in the center of painting): http://www.lovestroubadours.com/id7.html.

The Mami Wata exhibit was powerful because it explored the visual culture and histories of Mami Wata and her sister water spirits. It also taught me about several new water spirits such as  Lasirèn from Haiti and Santa Marta la Dominadora from the Dominican Republic.  At the end of the exhibit, I decided to participate in the creative exercise set up by the Museum. I never turn down an invitation to play!  The exercise involved making drawings of Mami Wata-like mermaids, fish, and shells.  Iloved the exhibit so much that I purchased the exhibition book as a keepsake.  I plan to go back later this month to see the Mami Wata exhibit one more time before it closes.  Yes it’s that good! 

So do you have any summer museum adventures planned?  If so, where are you going and what will you see when you get there?

Teaism-PennQuarterInner1Img

After the museum, I stopped at Teaism in Penn Quarter for lunch (http://www.teaism.com/Restaurant/PennQuarter7.html).  Teaism is one of my favorite places to drink tea, eat healthy food, meet friends, and write.  I wrote several chapters of Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com) and my soon-to-be released poetic memoir, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discoverywhile sipping tea at Teaism.  I even wrote about my novel’s main character Karma Francois eating a salty oat cookie and drinking tea at Teaism on Dupont Circle!  I treated myself to one of my favorite entrees, the salmon bento box.  As always, it was delicious.  Before I left, I purchased a chocolate salty oat cookie for my afternoon movie snack.

enlightenup

Enlighten Up! (http://enlightenupthefilm.com) is a new yoga documentary by filmmaker Kate Churchill.  It tells the story of Nick Rosen, a twenty-something journalist from New York City, who explores the world of yoga in search of a practice that meets his needs.  The film was yoga yummy and funny. The yogini/yoga teacher inside of me adored the Enlighten Up! because it gives everyday people an opportunity to witness Rosen’s down-to-earthsearch for a yoga practice with some of the most widely known and not so known yoga teachers in New York City, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and India.  I highly recommend the film.  If you go see Enlighten Up!, tell me what you think about it.

 Do you practice yoga? If so, describe your practice. 

Right now I am practicing yin yoga (www.yinyoga.com and http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/580?print=1) in the early morning before I get out of bed and before I go to sleep at night.  My morning practice includes sun salutations, twists, cat-cows, cobras, and forward folds. 

If you are in DC this weekend, please consider attending my free community yoga class on Sunday, June 14 at 9:00 a.m. in Malcolm X – Meridian Hill Park in Northwest, DC. For more information, visit http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

 Thanks for stopping by!

 Peace, Creativity, and Summer OMs,

 Ananda

8 comments on “Collage-Making from Full Strawberry Moon Weekend Celebration”

Collage-Making from Full Strawberry Moon Weekend Celebration

Hi All,

On Sunday, June 7, I participated in Jamie Ridler’s Full Strawberry Moon Dreamboards event. To learn more about Jamie and her full moon events, visit
http://starshyneproductions.blogspot.com/2009/06/full-strawberry-moon-dreamboards-june-7.html. I ended up making five collages that reflect my intention and commitment to live a juicy sweet, tranquil, and joyful life this summer.  I labeled them Honey Oshun Mooon Collages.  See below.  I was inspired by the West African Yoruba goddess Oshun, a love goddess who governs creativity, sweetness, honey, femininity, sensuality, joy, abundance, the arts, dance, sweet rivers, motherhood, jewelry, and healing. She is one of my patron goddesses.

Do you have a favorite goddess?  If yes, who is she?

Enjoy your day!

Ananda

 

Honey Oshun Moon Collage Series

hm-yoga

This collage is called “Aspire.Learn.Love.Create.Evolve.” It honors my yoga practice and use of ayurveda. It reminds me to maintain a daily practice of honoring my body temple. I included two pictures of myself. One shows me sitting in the easy yoga pose. The other shows me smiling. I also included a photo of Ganesh, the Hindu god of overcoming obstacles. I took it at Shakti Mind Body Studio (owned by my yoga teacher Faith Hunter – www.shaktimindbodystudio.com and www.faithhunter.comin DC). There are several clippings of a tea pot with herbs, meditation sculpture, and the phrases – your practice will bloom, yoga, om ayurveda, and aspire-learn-love-create-evolve. A quote by Joanna Macy is included: “The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.”

hm-tranquil

This collage is called “Tranquil.” It reminds me to practice extreme self-care (a phrase coined by life coach and author Cheryl Richardson). I included a picture of me smiling and clippings with the lunar phases of the moon, a woman relaxing, and fireworks. There is an affirmation at the bottom which reads, “love your life.” A quote from Audre Lorde is featured: “and look mother I am a dark temple where your true spirit rises beautiful and tough like a chestnut.” I also pasted in a message about inspiration: “Stay inspired! Your soul goal – to acknowledge all your successes, not only those measured in pounds and inches; Your soul payoff – Increased determination and a renewed sense of Yes-I’m-amazing! confidence.”

hm-obama

The name of this collage is “Serving America with My Gifts.” It reminds me to use my gift of optimism to create positive change in the world like President Obama is doing. The collage also contains two pictures of me. One shows me posing in the warrior yoga pose. There are several clippings with messages: 1) optimism rules, 2) give optimism, and 3) the world is a magical place. A quote by poet Lucille Clifton is included: “may the tide that is entering even now the lip of our understanding carry you out beyond the face of fear.

hm-lovelife

The name of this collage is “Vive La Vie” (live life). It reminds me to live my life fully without limitations and with joy and fun. The collage contains 2 magazine clippings featuring a man and a woman enjoying time together. It also has a butterfly with flowers, a clipping of American playwright Lorraine Hansberry (one of my favorite creative folks and inspiration for my novel and poetic memoir), a clipping of a woman as she relaxes, and picture of me. There is also a quote which says, “Women who have an abundance of joy are those who make a priority of finding pockets of it within their own lives.”

hm-free

The name of this collage is “Quintessentially Free.” It reminds me to live freely as a golden girl who loves butterflies, tunics, flat sandals, fashion, style, polka dots, and yoga clothing. It contains a picture of me along with a quote that says, “You already know it: Money can’t buy joy, so instead of spending your earnings, spend time on things that really do delight you.”

6 comments on “Summer Reading & Creative Inspiration from The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron’s creative memoir Floor Sample”

Summer Reading & Creative Inspiration from The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron’s creative memoir Floor Sample

floo sample

Happy Tuesday!

On Saturday evening I finished reading Floor Sample, a creative memoir by Julia Cameron (www.theartistsway.com), author of The Artist’s Way. The Artist’s Way is one of my favorite books. My sistalovefriend Toni Blackman (www.toniblackman.com) introduced me to the book in 1995. Together, we embarked on an accountability journey of morning pages, artist dates, and long walks. I know the work that I did during this period solidified my calling, commitment, and creative expression as an artist. It also laid the foundation for my current role as a creativity coach who midwifes the creative efforts of other creative folks.

Cameron’s Floor Sample was a powerful read. When I learned that she grew up Catholic and attended Georgetown University like me, I felt more connected to her story. Floor Sample helped me understand Cameron’s journey as a creative person, divorced mother, and sober, recovering alcoholic. I learned a great deal about her creative process and the importance of taking great care of yourself, claiming your creative life, and nurturing your creative gifts. I was inspired by the way Cameron has been able to work on multiple creative projects and produce a timeless body of work that serves others. Her creativity energized mine! I needed that boost of energy for the final round of my new book’s publication process. My favorite quotes from Floor Sample were:

“Stop trying to be a great writer … That’s your ego. Get your ego out of your writing. You should be writing from a spirit of service. You are just the vehicle, the channel. Let God write through you.”

“My story was one more story amid many. And that story wasn’t over. I wasn’t at an end. Instead, I was at a beginning. I could add my voice to a choir of voices. I could try. That’s all you need to do.”

Aren’t they? I’m going to write them on a piece of pink construction paper and keep them near my writing desk for inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

PS: My copy of Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor hasn’t arrived yet. So I started reading a social media book, The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media by Paul Gillin (http://paulgillin.com/newinfluencers). The BAP Living Radio (http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/18598) series on Black women in social media that I have been hosting this month inspired me to pick up the book. I am so glad I did. It is so yummy because I am gaining a big picture perspective of 21st century communications and how to use them in branding myself as an author/artist/creativity coach/blogger/innerpreneur/radio host/yoga teacher/Reiki Master practitioner/social media strategist. It also help me revise my social media marketing strategies for my author web site (www.anandaleeke.com – launch date at the end of June) and new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery. After I finish The New Influencers, I am moving on to Gillin’s second book on social media, Secrets of Social Media Marketing: How to Use Online Conversations and Customer Communities to Turbo-Charge Your Business. I plan to finish both books before I head to Chicago for the Blogging While Brown Conference next week (www.bloggingwhilebrown.com). 

I am trying to decide which books to take with me to Chicago. I really need to finish Toni Morrison’s A Mercy before I take on another book. However, Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, a coming-of-age novella that tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina growing up in Chicago.

So what are you reading this summer?