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Happy Creativity Thursday – 2/28

Kelly Rae Roberts' book
Kelly Rae Roberts’ book

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am celebrating the creative work of Kelly Rae Roberts, an artist, author, and blogger I discovered last year when I was in need of creative inspiration. Kelly’s blog and book, Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings, were a breath of fresh air. They helped me move through some major blocks to my creative expression. They reminded me of my joie de vivre for making collages and encouraged me to make wall collages in my work as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Check out several of my wall collages below.

Are you into making collages?

What types of images do you use in your collages?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2012 wall collage
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2012 wall collage
Valentine's Day wall collage
Valentine’s Day wall collage
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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday! 2/26

DigitalUnDivided.com
DigitalUnDivided.com

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today, I am reflecting on digitalundivided’s FOCUS100 Symposium that was held on October 6, 2012, at Oglivy & Mather’s World headquarters in New York City.

digitalundivided is a social enterprise that builds forward thinking initiatives that fundamentally change the digital space by increasing the number of Black and Latino women digital entrepreneurs. It was established by Kathryn Finney, Editor-At-Large at BlogHer, Inc and CEO of TBF Group, LLC, parent company of The Budget Fashionista brand, in 2012.

I served as a FOCUS100 advisory board member. My Digital Sisterhood Network was a media partner for the event.

Me at Focus100
Me at Focus100

My digital sister and PR coach Xina Eiland attended the event with me. Some of my key moments included:

1) Reconnecting with my digital sisters, Luvvie Ajayi, Cheryl Contee, Dr. Goddess, Elisa Camahort Page, Susan Getgood, Shireen Mitchell, and Felicia Pride.

2) Meeting some of my favorite digital sisters such as Dupe Ajayi, Marcia Wade Talbert, Majora Carter, Elayne Fluker, and Sian Morson for the first time in real life (gotta love IRL).

Ananda and Majora Carter at FOCUS100
Ananda and Majora Carter at FOCUS100
Elayne Fluker, Xina Eiland, and Ananda at FOCUS100
Elayne Fluker, Xina Eiland, and Ananda at FOCUS100

3) Connecting with some of my favorite digital brothers such as Mike Street and  “ILUVBlackWomen” Martin Johnson Pratt for the first time in real life.

4) Feeling Majora Carter’s gratitude as she shared how powerful it was to be in the room with so many amazing Black women during her morning keynote.

5) Gathering wisdom from Mayor Cory A. Booker’s afternoon keynote.

Kathryn Finney and Mayor Cory Booker at FOCUS100
Kathryn Finney and Mayor Cory Booker at FOCUS100

6) Hugging #FOCUS100 team members Nichelle Stephens and Alisha Miranda.

7) Chatting with Kailei Richardson, a Chicago-based entrepreneur, about her lifestyle site, Vyneworld.com.

8) Gaining pearls of wisdom during panel discussions featuring Monif Clarke, founder of Monif C Plus Sizes; Ella Gorgla, founder of I-ELLA; Heather Hines, founder of Pathbrite; Kelly Hoey, co-founder of Women Innovate Mobile; Deborah Jackson, co-founder of Women Innovate Mobile; Jess Moore, co-founder of StyleBook;  and Zuhairah Scott-Washington, founder of Kahnoodle (Focus100 Ptichcamp winner).

9) Sitting next to Rachel Brooks and learning about her Chicago-based tech company, CitizenMade.

10) Talking with Marcia Cole, founder of Ivy Digital, about meeting each other at Heart and Soul magazine in 2001 (Heart and Soul published an article about my life as an artist).

11) Having a deep sista-to-sista chat with Lena West, CEO of Influence Expansion,  in the break room (powerful and deep).

12) Listening to digitalundivided founder Kathryn Finney’s presentation of key trends, statistics, and emerging patterns regarding Black women’s engagement across a variety of technology sectors (amazing slides!).

Kathryn Finney's presentation slides at FOCUS100
Kathryn Finney’s presentation slides at FOCUS100
Kathryn Finney's presentation slides at FOCUS100
Kathryn Finney’s presentation slides at FOCUS100

13) Networking with several DC-based women entrepreneurs such as Ama Marfo, founder of Airfordable, a travel app (still in development). They reminded me that DC women entrepreneurs rock!

14) Chatting about popsicles and the Miami tech scene with Felecia Hatcher, founder of Black Tech Miami.

To learn more about the 2012 FOCUS100 events, check out digitialundividvided’s recap and read Marcia Wade Talbert’s article on BlackEnterprise.com. Click here to read the FOCUS100 speaker and mentor bios.

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Happy Yoga Monday 2/25

Photo Credit: Nakeva Corothershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/nakevanc/6395975919/
Photo Credit: Nakeva Corothers
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nakevanc/6395975919/

Happy Yoga Monday!

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand in my life. I love using heart meditations and deep breathing in my yoga practice. Whenever I do a heart meditation that allows me to place my hand on my heart, I feel a deep sense of gratitude. Click here to learn about a heart meditation you can use in your own yoga practice.

Take some time today to watch a video of my Opening Your Heart yoga class. Have fun! Enjoy!

OM #YogaMonday OM!

PS: If you would like to read about my yoga journey, check out my memoir That Which Awakens Me on Amazon.com. It is available on Kindle

My debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One features a main character who works as a yoga teacher in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit the Love’s Troubadours’ Pinterest board which contains some great information about the novel. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.

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Happy Creativity Thursday – 2/21

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am celebrating the power of creative community. Being around like-minded creative people inspires me to open my heart more to all forms of creativity. It also helps me to express my creativity in unique ways.

Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com
Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com

On February 8, I attended Live Unchained’s Anniversary Celebration and launch of its “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign at Local 16 in my U Street neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Live Unchained is an international arts organization for women across the African diaspora that was established by Kathryn Buford. Click here to read Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project’s profile of Kathryn.

Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com
Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com

Live Unchained’s “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign is preparing to bring London-based Somali poet, Warsan Shire to Washington, DC for a “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” series and awards ceremony in 2014. The campaign’s name “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” is taken from a line from one of Shire’s popular poems, “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love.”

Kathryn Buford on video
Kathryn Buford on video
Kathryn Buford at event
Kathryn Buford at event

During the February 8th celebration, I had a chance to hug and chat with Kathryn about her amazing work. I hung out with one of my favorite digital sisters and creativity accountability partners, Jessica Solomon, Live Unchained’s Connectivity Director. We chatted about the powerful images Live Unchained has been able to share with its online community for the past several years.  In addition, I had some great conversations with my digital sisters Nae Carter, founder of I Choose the Sun blog, and Adrienne Burke, a media curator, as we posed for photos.

Adrienne, Ananda and Nae
Adrienne, Ananda and Nae

My creative heart was thrilled to pieces when I viewed the video introducing the “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign on indiegogo.com. Click here to watch the video. And if you are like me, you will make a donation to support Live Unchained. For more information about the fundraising campaign, click here to read the press release.

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#InternetGeekTuesday Update – Ananda’s Social Media Week DC Schedule

Photo Credit; Social Media Week DC
Photo Credit; Social Media Week DC

Happy Social Media Week DC!

My Social Media Week DC adventures started yesterday with a visit to Judy’s Bar and Restaurant on 14th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Although Judy’s is located in my neighborhood and I have walked past it many times, it took the DC Comedy Writers vs. Social Media event to bring me inside.

Photo Credit: Judy's Bar and Restaurant
Photo Credit: Judy’s Bar and Restaurant

Once I was inside, I realized I had been missing out on some great Latin American cuisine. Judy’s is just the kinda neighborhood spot I’ve been searching for. It’s not too big or too crowded. The scene is cozy with delicious drinks and food. The margaritas will rock your world!

I attended the DC Comedy Writers vs. Social Media event for one reason only: TO LAUGH!!!! And guess what? I achieved my goal and learned how to write Instagram jokes with a creative team led by one of my digital brothers, Leon Scott, founder of ListenToLeon.net. I also witnessed the courage of several comedy writers try out their new work which focused on social media themes. If you missed the event, don’t fret. You can drop by Judy’s every Monday night at 8:30 p.m. to witness the creative storytelling efforts of the DC Comedy Writers. Click here to read a recent City Paper article about the group.

Photo Credit: SVELTE, LLC
Photo Credit: SVELTE, LLC

Starting tomorrow (which is #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday on Twitter — appropriate don’t you think?), I’ll be live tweeting from several Social Media Week DC events. See my schedule below. My live tweets will include key takeaways from sessions and photos of DC’s Tech Style. Be sure to follow me on @digitalsisterhd.  Also, follow @smwwdc and the hashtag #smwwdc to stay updated on all Social Media Week DC events.

Ananda’s Social Media Week DC Schedule:

Are you celebrating Social Media Week? What events are you attending or following on Twitter?

Enjoy #InternetGeekTuesday and Social Media Week!

Photo Credit: Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward
Photo Credit: Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward

PS: I am really excited about attending Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward’s book launch party. Why? They are two of my digital diva sheroes!

FYI – Allyson was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Empowerista.

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday! 2/19

MMTC January 2013 Panel
MMTC January 2013 Panel

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

I love attending conferences, meet ups, panel discussions, and workshops. These events offer amazing learning opportunities. In January, I attended the 2013 Broadband and Social Justice Summit sponsored by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC). MMTC’s session on How To Become a Next Generation Digital Media Entrepreneur was very informative.

MMTC Panel
MMTC Panel

I enjoyed learning from the panelists Shawna Renee Odour, Host & Special Projects Producer, SiriusXM; Lateef A. Sarnor, Head of Multicultural Marketing, AOL; and Navarrow Wright, Chief Technology Officer, Interactive One. The moderator Joycelyn James, Esq., Senior Attorney and Cathy Hughes Fellow at MMTC, did a great moderating the panel. I used Twitter to capture several takeaways. See below.

  • Shawna Odour: the next entrepreneurs and content creators have to be brave and creative.
  • Odour suggests researching and keeping up w/ targeted audience’s usage, adoption trends and behaviors are essential to success.
  • Odour believes that sensible content should be created for minorities and women of color.
  • Odour says entrepreneurs can engage in “Information Affluence” by listening first.
  • Find your niche then engage with your targeted audiences using user-friendly social media and other online media says Odour.
  • Navarro Wright: It is easer to create Internet content today than it  was five years ago.

Click here to watch the session’s video. Check out the official event photos.

Before I left the Summit, I had a chance to chat with my digital sisters Maurita Coley, MMTC COO and Joycelyn James, MMTC Staff Counsel and Cathy Hughes Fellow.

Me with Maurita Coley (middle) and Joycelyn James (R) of MMTC
Me with Maurita Coley (middle) and Joycelyn James (R) of MMTC

 

 

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Happy Yoga Monday 2/18

Photo Credit: Fish Pose from Yoga Journal
Photo Credit: Fish Pose from Yoga Journal

Happy Yoga Monday!

Today I am focused on my heart chakra and opening my heart with yoga poses.  The heart chakra is the fourth chakra. Chakras are energy centers in the body.

The heart chakra governs the heart, upper chest, and upper back. It ensures that harmony and balance exist in the body. When it is in balance,  you feel open and give love and are able to connect with others in a peaceful,  harmonious way.

The Fish pose is a great heart-opener. I can do it on my bed which makes it even sweeter. Click here to learn more about it.

Yoga in Bed, one of my favorite books
Yoga in Bed, one of my favorite books

I am huge fan of yoga poses that I can do in my bed. A few years ago I purchased Yoga in Bed by Edward Vilga. What a great book! It has helped me incorporate several poses into my home yoga practice and classes with clients.

Have you ever tried yoga in your bed?

Which poses work best for you when you practice in your bed?

Enjoy your day!

OM #YogaMonday OM!

PS: If you would like to read about my yoga journey, check out my memoir That Which Awakens Me on Amazon.com. It is available on Kindle

My debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One features a main character who works as a yoga teacher in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit the Love’s Troubadours’ Pinterest board which contains some great information about the novel. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.

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Happy Creativity Thursday! – Celebrating the 100th Birthday Anniversary of Photographer Gordan Parks

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am honoring Black History Month by celebrating the creativity and 100th birthday anniversary of Gordan Roger Alexander Buchannan Parks (November 30, 1912 — March 7, 2006), an African-American activist, composer, film director, journalist, musician, novelist, poet, and photographer. What a Renaissance man!

Gordan Parks
Gordan Parks

Parks made history in 1948 when LIFE magazine hired him as their first African-American staff photographer. Another history making moment occurred in 1969 when he became the first African-American artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, “The Learning Tree.”

Photo Credit: Gordan Parks for LIFE Magazine
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks for LIFE Magazine

I discovered him through his LIFE photo essays and work as the director of the 1971 film “Shaft.”

Gordan Parks' Shaft film
Gordan Parks’ Shaft film

I fell in love with his photographs of D.C. street scenes in the 1940s, the Black Muslim women from the Nation of Islam (1963), and Malcolm X.

Photo Credit: Gordan Parks - Street Corner, 7th Street and Florida Avenue, Washington, D.C., 1942. (Courtesy Library of Congress/ICP)
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks – Street Corner, 7th Street and Florida Avenue, Washington, D.C., 1942. (Courtesy Library of Congress/ICP)
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks - Ethel Sharrieff, daughter of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. Chicago, 1963
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks – Ethel Sharrieff, daughter of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. Chicago, 1963
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks - Malcolm X in Chicago, IL in 1963
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks – Malcolm X in Chicago, IL in 1963

In 1997, I had a chance to see Parks’ work when the Corcoran  Gallery of Art mounted a career retrospective, Half Past Autumn: The Art of Gordon Parks. Click here to watch a video of the Half Past Autumn (1 hour 29 minutes).

Photo Credit: Gordon Parks
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks

To learn more about Parks, read his memoirs, A Hungry Heart: A Memoir  and To Smile in Autumn.

Gordon Parks memoir
Gordon Parks memoir
Gordan Parks' memoir
Gordan Parks’ memoir

For additional information check out the Gordon Parks Foundation and Gordon Parks Center.

Next week, Macy’s, the Gordon Parks Foundation, and American Black Film Festival are honoring Parks’ 100th birthday anniversary with an in-store celebration, art installation, and discussion about his work on February 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Macy’s Metro Center (lower level in Furniture Gallery) in Washington, D.C.

DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s Black History Month event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

 

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday! 2/12

Pinterest Logo
Pinterest Logo

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Pinterest is probably my all-time favorite social media tool. I love looking at the beautiful images! My heart is filled with Pinterest joy when I share images and information on my 62 boards. Yes, I have 62 boards! My Internet Geek brain is tickled silly when I visit the Pinchat Facebook group and read stimulating posts written by various group members.

Photo Credit: Sistasense.com
Photo Credit: Sistasense.com

Last year, LaShanda Henry, SistaSense.com founder, invited me to speak about “Understanding Pinterest” for the SistaSense Power Circle Telesummit for Web Entrepreneurs. What an honor! In preparation for the Telesummit, I created an Understanding Pinterest board as a resource for participants. Creating the board helped me stay updated on the latest Pinterest articles, best practices, infographics, and trends. It helped me market the event and engage my audience on various social media platforms. I received a lot of positive feedback from my social media audience. Their feedback convinced me to create Pinterest resource boards for my future events, talks, and workshops.

Do you like Pinterest? Why?

What are your favorite Pinterest boards?

How do you stay updated on Pinterest trends and pinning wisdom?

 

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Happy Yoga Monday 2/11

Practicing and teaching yoga by candelight is yoga yummy!
Practicing and teaching yoga by candelight is yoga yummy!

Happy Yoga Monday!

Today, I am celebrating the beauty of my Yin Yoga practice. Yin Yoga consists of poses that stretch the connective tissues of the body including the hips, thighs and lower spinal area. These types of tissues stretch and exercise the bone and joints areas of the body. Yin Yoga poses are slow and steady. You hold each pose for several minutes which allows your muscles to relax so you can focus on lengthening and strengthening the connective tissues.

I’ve been a lover and practitioner of Yin Yoga for many years. My Yin Yoga love affair started during my yoga teacher training at Flow Yoga Center in 2005. That’s when I learned about it and purchased yoga teacher Paul Grilley’s DVD.

Yin Yoga DVD
Yin Yoga DVD

Through her studies with Grilley and Sarah Powers, my yoga teacher Yael Flusberg (a fabulous yoga therapist, coach, Reiki Master, poet, and writer) has given me a deeper appreciation for the various poses (including Swan, one of my favorites)  and how they connect to the energetic flow of my chakras and meridian points in my body. Her teaching style has influenced the way I share Yin Yoga with my clients.

My yoga teacher/life coach/copy editor Yael Flusberg, a poet/writer/coach
My yoga teacher/life coach/copy editor Yael Flusberg, a poet/writer/coach
Yael practicing yoga in nature
Yael practicing yoga in nature

This year, I gave myself the gift of regular yoga classes at Tranquil Space. One of my favorite classes is Candelight Yin taught by Danielle Polen. The class helps me release the concerns of my day, settles my mind chatter, and opens my heart.

Yin Yoga by Paul Grilley
Yin Yoga by Paul Grilley

Yin Yoga has been a true blessing. It works magic in my creative life. Whenever I have writer’s block, I love to do a series of poses because they CHILL me out. They get me out of my mind and into the present moment. The NOW! That’s where all of the juicy creativity lives which makes it possible for me to write and publish books. Click here to read a Yoga Journal about Yin Yoga. Enjoy!

What type of yoga do you practice?

What does yoga do for you?

PS: If you would like to read about my yoga journey, check out my memoir That Which Awakens Me on Amazon.com. It is available on Kindle

My debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One features a main character who works as a yoga teacher in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit the Love’s Troubadours’ Pinterest board which contains some great information about the novel. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.