Great News! Ananda is a Blogging While Brown Conference presenter!

Today the Blogging While Brown Conference planning team announced its 2010 speakers.  I am proud to say I am one of them.  On June19, I will be teaching “Yoga and Stress Relief for Social Media Users” at The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. (Mt Vernon/ Convention Center Metro on Yellow Line). Watch the video below to learn more about the amazing speakers.  You can also read their bios on the Blogging While Brown web site.

Have you registered for Blogging While Brown yet?  If not, don’t wait. Click here. It is a dynamic conference you don’t want to miss.  FYI – I attended the 2008 conference in Atlanta and 2009 conference in Chicago.  Loved them!!!

30 Days of Poetry, Jazz & Earth Day Awareness – Listen to Ananda’s audio blogs from April 14 – 23

My daily practice of posting audio blogs and six-word memoirs for my online campaign “30 Days of Poetry, Jazz, and Earth Day Awareness” has been happening on Twitter and Facebook.  Today, I decided to post links for the period of April 14 to April 23 on my author blog.  Enjoy!

What are your favorite poems from my collection of audio blogs?

Are you reading any poetry and jazz  this month?

How did you honor Mother Earth on Earth Day?

Do you have plans to honor Mother Earth every day?

Oh yeah, please share any six-word memoirs you have! I am going to post all of the ones I wrote so far this weekend!

Enjoy your weekend!

Links for my audio blogs with poetry for April 14 to April 23:

Ananda’s April Creative Adventure: Soul Collage Workshop at Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts

Happy Friday!

Last week I scheduled a creative adventure with myself and attended the “SoulCollage Studio” workshop with Barbara Black at Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts.  Before I arrived at the workshop, my inner critic archetype Broomhilda tried to disturb my creative flow by ranting and raving about me being 45 minutes late.  Instead of dismissing Broomhilda’s rant, I allowed her to speak her mind.  Why you might ask? Because she represents one of my chosen 8 archetypes who serve as windows of self-discovery.

Ananda's Inner Critic Archetype - Broomhilda

Do you know what archetypes are?  The word archetype is a term coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung.  It refers to the various personalities that live inside of individuals. In my opinion, archetypes invite me to explore, embrace, and accept myself. They bring me closer to myself in ways that allow all of my personalities to serve my highest and greatest good. That’s why I have to take the time to identify, nurture, and welcome them into my life.  Make them feel comfortable. Treat them as team players who use their strengths and share their gifts with one goal in mind: healthy living.  I promise them I will listen to what they have to say. I reassure them I won’t pick favorites or judge their commentary, creativity, communication style, criticism, and concerns. I try to honor their presence with gratitude daily.  I do my best to accept and bless who they are because without my chosen eight I would be lost.

Okay so back to my visit from Broomhilda … my inner critic archetype.  As I walked down U Street to Smith Farm’s offices, I asked Broomhilda why she was upset.  She confessed she was worried I was wasting the $12.50 I paid for the workshop.  She was also worried I would not get what I needed to receive from the workshop. When I listened to Broomhilda’s concerns, I noted that she was trying to make sure I my workshop needs were met in her own unique way (minus her rants).

Once I arrived at Smith Farm’s offices, I promised Broomhilda that I would be fully present in the workshop so my needs would be met. She seemed happy and drifted into the background of the evening.  Here’s the lesson I learned about my inner critic Broomhilda: when I listen to her without judgment or resistance, I demonstrate that I am present and aware of her concerns.  I don’t have to agree with her or take action. I just have to be present and aware.  My gift of presence affirms that she is being heard.  It also creates space in my spirit, mind, body, and heart  to embrace my full self — all eight parts of me.

Barbara Black’s “SoulCollage Studio” workshop was exactly what I needed last week.   SoulCollage is an intuitive collage  process created by Seena Frost, a psychotherapist and spiritual counselor.  During the collage-making process, you create your own cards that mirror a unique and different aspect of your soul and self.  It is the perfect creative adventure for an artist like myself … I love collages and archetypes!

Before I started making my SoulCollages, Barbara guided me through a series of exercises based on ‘The Guest House,” one of my favorite poems by Sufi poet  Rumi. See below.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

(From The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)

I also read the quotes below.

  • “I am large. I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman
  • “One must separate out the parts of something before these parts can come back together in a new and truly whole and precious way.” C.G. Jung
  • “When the soul wants to experience something, she throws an image of the experience before her and enters into her own image.” Meister Eckhar

I also journaled about my personal qualities, traits, patterns, behaviors, fears, and favorite activities, past times, passions, and pursuits. My journaling opened me up to writing about my inner voices (another phrase for my chosen eight archetypes).  When I completed my journaling, Barbara instructed  me to put my writings away and sit in silence for a few moments.   After those moments passed, Barbara invited me to join the workshop class in creating SoulCollage cards in silence.

Being able to sit in silence with my fellow workshop participants was a special treat.  The silence allowed me to tap into my soul’s intuition.  Check out what I created below. After the collages were made, Barbara facilitated a guided meditation that asked us to discover who the card was in our lives. We were given an opportunity to share one-on-one.  That was a very powerful experience to have someone listen and write down what I thought.  As a result, I developed six-word memoirs to describe each collage. They are included below.


Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage#1 – Joy. Travel. India. Books. Heels. Dresses.

SoulCollage #2

Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #2: Sparkle. Magic. Goodness of My Life.


Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #3 – – Touch Earth. Relaxation. Yoga. Meditation. Sangha.

SoulCollage #4

Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #4 – Smart for Two. Partners. Friends. Lovers.

Have you had a creative adventure this month?

What was it?

Have you made any collages or written any six-word memoirs? Please share them in the comment section.

Enjoy your weekend!

Ananda’s video adventures at the Social Media Club DC’s Breakfast on April 12 at Busboys and Poets

My Monday morning started with a bang! I attended the April breakfast meeting sponsored by the Social Media Club DC at Busboys and Poets.  I had a great time and learned many things from the speakers Jill Foster, Jong Lee, and Frank Gruber.  I interviewed two social media mavens Candace Tyler and Amy Melrose.   I also had a chance to chat with my social media buddies Alex Priest and Loryn Wilson.

Guess what? I was inspired to join Social Media Club Education Connection, a really cool social networking site that Jong Lee mentioned during his talk. Click here to view my new page on the site.

My Creative Vado flip camera also had a fun time videotaping my update, segments of the speakers’ talks, and interviews with two social media mavens. See below.

30 Days of Poetry, Jazz, and Earth Day Awareness – Celebrating abolitionist & poet Frances Harper

Francis Ellen Watkins Harper

Click on the Cinchcast audio blog below to hear me read abolitionist and poet Frances E. W. Harper’s poem “Slave Auction.”  I also read my poem “Ask the Troubadours Who Have Come from Those Who Loved” published in my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One.

Do you have a six-word memoir for today? Mine is: beauty creates peace.


Day 12 of 30 Days of Poetry, Jazz, and Earth Day Awareness – Celebrating Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

Listen to me share Langston Hughes’ poem “In Time of Silver Rain” on April 12. I also read my poem “Wake Up Call #24” from That Which Awakens Me.

Today’s six-word memoir is:  poetry. jazz. earth.divine wakeup calls.

Share yours in the comment section.  Enjoy!

Day 11 of 30 Days of Poetry, Jazz, and Earth Day Awareness – Celebrating Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton

Listen to me share Lucille Clifton’s poem “Generations” on April 11. I also shared my poem “wake up call #9” from That Which Awakens Me.

My Sunday six-word memoir was: poetry.jazz. earth. weaving creativity’s oneness.

Did you have one?


Day 10 of 30 Days of Poetry, Jazz, and Earth Day Awareness – Celebrating Ralph Waldo Emerson


Ralph Waldo Emerson - from Wikipedia

Click on the Cinchcast button below to hear me share Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Berrying.” I also share my poem “All Souls” from my book That Which Awakens Me.

Read my six-word memoir for Saturday: Poetry. Jazz. Earth. Reflect. Rejoice. Reconnect.

If you have one, share it in the comment section. Enjoy!

Check out Ananda’s’s article about National Poetry Month & social media


Today I returned to writing my DC Social Media Examiner Column. Click on the link to read my article about National Poetry Month and social media:  Let me know what you think.

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for poetry and social media,


Day 9 of 30 Days of Poetry, Jazz & Earth Day Awareness: Celebrating Sufi poet Rumi


It’s day 9 0f my 30 Days!  So today I started my morning with yoga, meditation, and poetry by Sufi poet Rumi.  Click on the Cinchcast audio blog to hear me read one of Rumi’s poetry about love and art. I also read my poem “Loving You” from my new book That Which Awakens Me.   

Do you have a six-word memoir for today?  Here’s mine: Poetry. Jazz. Earth. Listen. Dance. Heal.

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for Rumi’s love of poetry,