Today I spent time working on my new book Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution. My creative inspiration to dig deep into my creative process came from social media: a YouTube video. It featured author, artist, and activist Eve Ensler’s passionate talk about embracing the inner girl and how powerful it is for women and men to tap into this female strength (compassion, vulnerability, intuition, empathy, creativity, emotion, and so much more). That’s why I love the Internet. It gives us so many soundbytes from the lives of women. That’s the 21st century women’s online revolution!
Eve’s talk engulfed my entire being. It was exactly what I needed. As a result, I began creating six-word memoirs for chapter titles and 20 pieces of artwork that can be used in my book. Check out the video of Eve’s talk below (20 minutes). Let me know what you think.
Enjoy your weekend and February!
Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Intuition, Empathy, Emotion, and Gratitude for My Inner Girl,
February is one of my favorite months. I am celebrating February by offering online yoga classes, author chats, and creative coaching sessions. See my schedule of online events below. I hope you can join me. Please share them with your network.
If you like or learn anything from these online events, please consider making a donation to support Doctors Without Borders’ work to improve the lives of Haitians impacted by the January 12th earthquake. Click here to learn more and make a donation: www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
1) YOGA FOR WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH AND PEOPLE OF HAITI ON STICKAM.COM
I will be teaching a series of online yoga classes on February 5, 12, 19, and 26 to honor women’s heart health month and the people of Haiti on Stickam.com: www.stickam.com/anandaleeke. Each class will be held from 7:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. EST.
I am hosting three author chats on The Ananda Leeke Show, my new BlogTalkRadio program, on February 8, 15, and 22 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anandaleeke. During the author chats, I will read excerpts from my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One and share reflections that answer the question of the day. See the list of questions of the day below.
1) Who are love’s troubadours? – February 8
2) What does love look like in my main character Karma Francois’ life? – February 15
3) What is love mentalism? – February 22
3) CREATIVITY COACHING SESSIONS ON USTREAM.TV
Join me for two creative coaching sessions on Ananda Leeke Live!, my UStream.tv show, on February 11 and 25 from 9:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. EST. Click here to watch the show: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ananda-leeke-live. Don’t worry if you miss the live recording. A recording will be archived on the web site.
My online coaching sessions will utilize creativity exercises included in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery. See the list of topics below.
a. How to use six-word memoirs to identify the many parts of yourself – February 11
b. What does creativity look like in your life? – February 25
Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for Love,
If you have been reading my blog, you know how much I adore Jamie Ridler’s Next Chapter book blogging groups. They are amazing and always keep me uplifted, inspired, and on track with my personal and creative goals. I write about their powerful impact on my creative journey in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on Amazon.com – http://tiny.cc/7uFsg).
Since I am just getting started with The Happy Book journey, I thought I’d share my top four happy moments in January. See below.
FYI – I just ordered The Happy Book from Amazon.com. What a happy moment! I’ll be posting weekly updates on my Happy Book journey over the next several weeks. I invite you to join me in sharing your weekly happy moments in the comment section of my blog.
Enjoy your weekend!
Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for Daily Happy Moments,
Ananda’s Top Four Happy Moments in January
1) Happy Aha Moment
On the morning of January 13, I boarded a plane at BWI Airport to Indianapolis to attend my grandmother Dorothy Mae Johnson Gartin’s funeral. While on the plane, I read an article in the February issue of O Magazine that included the followingquote:
“You’ve just got this glow about you – some combination of wisdom and inner peace, plus a lovely self-awareness. You’re not sweating the small stuff; you know what feels good, feels right, and you simply don’t muck around with the rest. You’re not a kid anymore, and we mean that as a high compliment. There’s a new kind of lightness about you. And your hair has never looked better.”
Reading these words help me see who I have become at 45. So I tore them out of the magazine and pasted them into my pink 2010 day planner I purchased during my NYC birthday weekend in December.
2) Happy Yoga and Reiki Healing Touch Moment
My cousin Finis gave me a magnificent Christmas gift this year. It was all about reflexology … The Reflexology Path Kit by Barbara and Kevin Kunz – http://reflexology.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_reflexology_path_kit (Barnes and Nobles sells the kit online). Finis also gave me a great pair of reflexology socks. These gifts were exactly what I needed to take my yoga and Reiki healing touch personal practice and business to the next level. So far, I have been studying and using the kit’s tools. It is an exciting learning journey that will bless my body, life, and clients.
3) Happy President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Moment
This photo was taken right before President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address on January 27. I love the affection that he and First Lady Michelle Obama shared. Priceless moment. I also loved his tie and Michelle’s dress.
4) Happy Inner Shopping Goddess Moment
My inner shopping goddess has been prompting me to check out a pair of sassy black patent leather Bandolino boots for several weeks (since Christmas). On January 28, I answered my inner shopping goddess’ call and popped over to the Bandolino shop in Pentagon City Mall. Guess what I discovered? A fantabulous yes FANTABLOUS blowout sale on those sassy black patent leather boots. My new best boot gal pals are a pair of size 7 1/2 patent leather boots. My feet are nice, warm, and fashionable. I love the boots so much that I named them Joie de Vivre #2 … JDV2 for short. The first Joie de Vivre is my lap top!
I call President Obama’s television appearances “Barack Obama TV.” He takes over my entire being when he speaks. I am truly an Obama-ite! I watched the SOTU online via CNN.com and Facebook. Below are some of my thoughts captured during my Facebook viewing experience. Don’t you just love the Internet!
What did you think of our President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address for 2010?
Enjoy your day!
Peace, Joy, Gratitude, Compassion, and Hope that America will be restored with healthcare, education, jobs, and financial reform,
My Facebook Comments
Summary of the SOTU – President Obama is an amazing leader. Let’s keep supporting him. Let’s make Congress accountable. Let’s serve our local communities and help each other out. Let’s offer HOPE. Let’s be realistic. Let’s take one step at a time. Let’s do what we need to do to make our lives, our communities, and America better. Enjoy your Wednesday evening and Thursday.
Yesterday at 10:12pm
President Obama’s Administration is the first time I have followed American politics on a daily basis. He and his team made me step up my game. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube really help me stay on track.
CNN.com Live: State of the Union
Yesterday at 9:54pm via CNN
Remind them President Obama about what you inherited. Keep it all in perspective folks. I loved how he just paused and gave the look of a brotha about to read folks.
CNN.com Live: State of the Union
Yesterday at 9:51pm
Today I listened to NPR’s Tell Me More with journalist Michel Martin and learned that 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Congresswoman Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm’s 1970 autobiography Unbought and Unbossed.
I first learned about Sistalove Shirley when my mother Theresa supported her 1972 presidential campaign. She was my mother’s shero and later became mine. Sistalove Shirley ran for Congress and headed to Washington, D.C. in 1968 to represent her Brooklyn community. In 1972, she became the first woman and African American to run for president of the United States. She had her own mind and was a true force of nature. Sistalove Shirley rocked her entire life and always told her truth in her own words. Her legacy inspires me to do the same. FYI – I wrote a poem about her in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on Amazon – http://tiny.cc/7uFsg). See below.
During Tell Me More, Martin spoke with one of my favorite filmmakers Shola Lynch, who created the film “Chisholm 72: Unbought and Unbossed,” and Barbara Ransby, a professor of History and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Click here to listen to the show (17 minutes): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122984022.
Chocolate Bar (from That Which Awakens Me’s Chapter Two: Girlhood Memories. Defining Self.Identities. Archetypes.)
Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke
My mother flipped through JET as we stood in the line at the grocery store.
I was busy trying to con her in to letting me get a chocolate bar from the candy stand located near the checkout counter.
She paid me no mind.
Persistence was my middle name.
So I continued and eventually got on her last nerve.
She threatened to use her Dr. Scholl’s on me.
I quieted down for fear of her wooden shoe.
That’s when she showed me a picture of this coffee-colored woman with glasses from some place in Brooklyn.
At first glance, the lady looked like a school teacher.
My mother proudly told me that she was Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for President.
I smiled and thought my mother might bend and let me get that chocolate bar, but she wasn’t having it.
Maybe if this lady wins the election I might be able to get a chocolate bar then.
Enjoy your day and week!
Peace, Creativity, Joy, Compassion, and Gratitude for Sistalove Ancestors,
Last year I attended Fem 2.0’s conference and was inspired to write a poem. See below. It is included in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on Amazon.com –http://tiny.cc/7uFsg ). That Which Awakens Me also includes a chapter about my reflections on feminism and womanism. Enjoy!
At A Crossroads of Awakening
Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke
Inspired by the Fem 2.0 Conference held at George Washington
University on February 2, 2009, and African American artist
Meta Warwick Fuller’s sculpture, Ethiopia (1921)
We are at a crossroads.
It is off ering us a grand opportunity filled with great
One that can bring us into a new day that gracefully unfolds
into a new tomorrow and future.
It is happening everywhere.
Can you see it?
Can you feel it?
Do you want to be a part of it?
Whether we know it or not, we are manifesting the words
of our very own American artist sistalove Meta Vaux Warrick
Fuller: “awakening, gradually unwinding the bandages of [our]
past and looking out on life again, expectant but unafraid.”
The bandages we are unwinding are complex layers of identities
that include our ethnic groups, socioeconomic classes,
educational backgrounds, professions, places of residence,
sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and political beliefs.
Many of us wear an array of t-shirts that mark us as feminists,
womanists, pro-choicers, right to lifers, democrats, republicans,
green party members, socialists, communists, independents,
conservatives, progressives, and middle of the roaders.
Our labels of identity have often created barriers to our
growth, coalition-building, understanding, and affirmation as
Despite the differences, our identities make us who we are.
They give us individual and collective meaning.
They must be valued, understood, respected, and affirmed.
With all that said, I am left with a question:
How do we awaken and unwind the bandages from the barriers
of the past that created exclusion and misunderstanding?
The answers for those of us who are connecting online reveal
themselves a little each day as we interact with social media
tools that have the capacity to expand our quilt of sisterhood.
When we tell and document our stories, seek support and
advice, educate and train, create and share content, advocate
for common causes, launch businesses and nonprofit
organizations, market and sell products and services, express
our creativity, and engage in dialogue on our blogs, Twitter,
Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, and other social networking
and bookmarking sites, we give ourselves the opportunity to
learn more about each other.
Our learning efforts can open the door to ways we can honor,
promote, and practice diversity, tolerance for a difference
of opinion, self-care, compassion, patience, acceptance,
mindfulness, loving kindness, and forgiveness.
It all begins with our choice.
If we choose to do the work of understanding whowe are
and what we believe and want, and seek out common interests
without imposing our own strong wills, agendas, beliefs, and
branding strategies, we can usher in a much-needed paradigm
shift that creates space for our right brain to jump the broom
and marry our left brain so that our power, passion, and
purpose as women are aligned in strategic ways that give birth
to new ways of being, communicating, and working together.
Are we ready to awaken and fully unwind the bandages of our
Are we ready to look out on life again, expectant but unafraid
of manifesting a shared destiny of common interests while
affirming and maintaining our separate identities and causes?
These questions are rhetorical.
We already know the answer.
We are smart, capable, and talented women.
So let’s walk past the crossroads and make what we know a
I hope my class makes you smile OMs inside and teaches you something you can do to take better care of yourself. If you like my class, please consider making a donation to Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org) or another organization working to make the lives of Haitians better. Merci beaucoup! Gracias! Thanks so much!
FYI – I will be teaching a series of online yoga classes on February 5, 12, 19, and 26 to honor women’s heart health month and the people of Haiti. Each class will be held from 7:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. EST. If you miss the classes, you can watch the videos. They are all free! Click here to watch them: http://stickam.com/anandaleeke.