The Business of Being Ananda Leeke – Working with Publicist Xina Eiland on Branding

Photo courtesy of

Greetings All,

On Saturday, I met with my publicist Xina Eiland ( about my 2010 PR and branding goals.  Having access to Xina’s expertise and support is helping me take my time to:

  • streamline my online presence, business card, and logo,
  • develop a professional PR package, and
  • reorganize and relaunch

I have committed to completing phase 1 of this process by March.  One of my homework assignments was to test out branding identity labels.  The first one I tested was Urban Debutante Innerpreneur who promotes the practice of self-care in her work as an artist, author, blogger, coach, speaker, and yoga teacher. I put it on Twitter. I still have to create a short tag line.

So far, I have received a mixed bag of feedback. My fabulous sistalove Corynne Corbett ( offered amazing feedback on Saturday evening via Twitter.  Corynne dug deep into my wordy statement and picked it apart.  Her food for thought helped me get even clearer about the importance of adding  self-care in my statement.  I still have to do a few things to create a tag line and tweak my bio.  My creative brothalove Andrew Ward a/k/a HKB FiNN ( gave me his comments via a Sunday email from London.  My life coach Yael Flusberg ( made a great point about the use of “urban debutante innerpreneur.”  As a 45 year old woman, the title makes me sound like a young 20 something who is just coming out.  Yael  reminded me that I am an expert and want folks to see me as that.

Today I am testing out a new Twitter bio: 21st Century Innerpreneur & Self-Care Strategist who promotes authenticity, balance, and calm as an artist, author, blogger, coach, speaker, and yoga teacher.  I still gotta come up with a tag line. Any ideas? Let me know what you think.  Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Gratitude, and Compassion,


PS: Big thanks to Corynne and my dad J for helping me get clear about the use of the word maven. Corynne suggested self-care strategist. WOW this is such an organic process!

Join me in honoring the memory of my grandmother Dorothy by supporting breast cancer awareness campaigns.

Happy Monday! My grandmother Dorothy affectionately known as “Nanan,” was living with breast cancer when she made her life transition on January 8.  Nanan was 95 when she learned she had it and decided not to have any surgery.  She was taking a pill as medication to support her healing process.
My other grandmother Frederica Stanley Roberts Leeke (affectionately known as “Freddie”) lived with breast cancer from 1989 to 1996.  When Freddie died, I made a commitment to use my artwork to honor her breast cancer journey.  At first, I started participating in art exhibits sponsored by George Washington University’s Breast Cancer Center in the late 90s.
In 2001, I connected with Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts ( and trained to be an artist-in-residence who works primarily with cancer patients in hospital settings.  My training allowed me to work as an artist-in-residence with many breast cancer patients at Howard University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, and Holy Cross Hospital from 2003 to 2009.
Three years ago, I decided to teach a free yoga class honoring breast cancer awareness for my Kind and Gentle C-OM-Munity Meetup group ( in D.C.’s Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park during the month of October.  In 2008, I created the annual Frederica Roberts and Dorothy Gartin Breast Cancer Awareness Yoga Weekend (free classes held in the Park) in October.  This year, I will host a series of online and offline events.  Stay tuned for more information about these events in the fall.
Today, I want to ask all the ladies to take care of themselves by conducting regular monthly breast exams and getting an annual mammogram.  If you are a loved one or friend of a lady, please support her in doing these things.  It would be a real blessing. Click on the links below for more information:
Also, if you have time, send love and light to anyone impacted by breast cancer.  Go one step further and support an online or offline breast cancer campaign or event such as:
Enjoy your day and second week of 2010!
Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and Healthy Living,

Listen to Ananda share a poem honoring her grandmother Dorothy Gartin who made her life transition on 1.8.09.

Greetings All,

Many thanks to everyone for your prayers offered on behalf of the life transition of my grandmother Dorothy Mae Johnson Gartin.  I posted an audio blog on Cinchcast below that includes a poem about “Nanan”.  It is featured in my new book That Which Awakens Me:  A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on 

My grandmother Dorothy was 97 1/2 years young. She was the last grandparent of mine on earth. It feels really strange to not have a grandparent alive.  Time is something else. It moves us forward and leaves us with opportunities to remember our ancestors.  I have been doing a lot of remembering this weekend.  I am grateful that I had an opportunity to know all of my grandparents.  They each left me with wonderful gifts of love, character, stories, and a rich family history. I am blessed to have their spirits with me.

Please share any memories of your grandmothers or grandparents in the comment section below.

Enjoy your second week of 2010!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for all those ancestors who came before me,


Kudos to my environmental justice advocate and cousin Michele Roberts

Greetings All,

Check out my cousin Michele Roberts,  an environmental justice advocate, speaking at the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen. She rocks!


Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and Green Living,


Celebrate Ananda’s feature in Smith Magazine’s new book and the Six-Word Memoir Movement in January!


Greetings All,

Join me in celebrating the release of Smith Magazine’s new six-word memoir book, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure which features one of my six-word memoirs: Go Green BoHo BAP. Urban Debutante.  The book is available on 

As many of you know, I am a HUGE fan of six-word memoirs.  They became an elixir for writing blocks during my memoir writing process.  They were so powerful that I used them to create chapter titles and several poems in my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (2009 – available on  That Which Awakens Me also includes a series of six-word memoir writing exercises in the Creativity Appendices.  I use them with my creativity coaching and yoga clients.    

This month I thought it would be fun to celebrate the six-word memoir movement with a series of blog posts featuring a collection of new and favorite six-word memoirs from That Which Awakens Me. I also want you to share your six-word memoirs in the comment section.  So to get us started, I have posted an excerpt from That Which Awakens Me which explains six-word memoirs below.

Excerpt, Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke:  “A six-word memoir is a statement that tells a story about who you are and how you live your life. It expresses your identity, personality, emotions, family connections, personal interests, favorite things, wisdom, life philosophy/motto, beliefs, professions, and/or experiences. The rules that govern the six-word memoir writing process are very relaxed. You only need to use six words! They can come from any language you choose.  Six-word memoirs are revolutionary because they don’t require you to follow English grammar rules. What a relief! You are free to write fragmented sentences, one word descriptions followed by a period or dash, six words that mirror a grocery list, or six words no one can understand or relate to but yourself. Your six-word memoir is your gift to yourself.”

Here’s my six-word memoir for today:  January in Washington offers sunshine chills.

What’s yours?

Also, you may want to post your six-word memoir on Smith Magazine’s web site for fun (that’s how I got started!):

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Joy, and Gratitude for Six-Word Memoirs,

Ananda … Woman training for a half marathon… (another six-w0rd memoir — watch out they are addictive!)

Ananda’s 2010 MORE Magazine Half-Marathon Training Officially Begins Today – It’s Week 1 and 2 miles to do!

My favorite MORE Magazine cover (2008) featuring FLOTUS Michelle Obama, one of my fitness inspirations

Happy Tuesday!

Today marks the official launch of my MORE Magazine Half-Marathon Training.  Tonight, I will be doing yoga, weights, and running 1 mile in preparation for the April 25th event in New York City.  I’ll share my training adventures later this week.  Until then, check out the first week of training regimen:  Half-Marathon Training: Week 1 – MORE Magazine.

Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Inner Quiet, and Yoga/Weight-training/Running Joy,


Ananda is on BlogTalkRadio’s The Motivation Mama on January 17 at 6pm EST.

Join me on January 17 for a conversation on BlogTalkRadio’s The Motivation Mama at 6:00 p.m. (EST): “What will make the world a better place?” is the theme.

Happy Monday! – The Ananda Project – Inspiring music for the 1st week of 2010

Happy Monday!

I just made a station with The Ananda Project. My brothalove Tim’m West ( reminded me of my passion for this group. I have them on my iPod and simply love them. What a way to groove through the first week of 2010!

What music are you listening to in 2010?

How does it support your new year?

The Ananda Project’s music reminds me to have fun while living healthy.  It makes me smile. It keeps me energized!

Do you have any commitments, affirmations, or resolutions to guide you through 2010?

I am committed to a deeper practice of surrender, self-care, compassion, gratitude, joy, humility, fun, and healthy living in 2010.

What is your 2010 theme?

Mine is morphing into something called inner quiet.  IQ for short!

Enjoy your first week of 2010!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and Inner Quiet (IQ),


Me and my father “J” John F. Leeke at the 13th annual Leeke Family Kwanzaa Celebration


Greetings All.

Here’s a photo of my dad John affectionately known as “J” in my world at the Leeke Family Kwanzaa celebration held on December 26, 2009. Our 2009 theme was Umoja (unity). Many thanks to my mom Tee Leeke for taking the photo. We had a great time planning and facilitating our family Kwanzaa celebration. It’s something we both love to do.


Peace. Creativity, Joy, and Umoja (unity the 1st Kwanzaa principle),