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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday – Supporting Civilination Fundraiser & Digital Civility

Photo Credit: CiviliNation.org
Photo Credit: CiviliNation.org

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Technology, the Internet, and social media are amazing.  They have empowered people with information, a global space, and a portfolio of tools to communicate, to promote, and to debate their ideas and experiences.  They have also presented challenges in how people communicate and engage with each other as they exercise their freedom of speech on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites in cyberspace.  Some of these challenges include speech that causes fear or creates a threat of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment, or lies.  Thanks to organizations like CiviliNation, an education and research nonprofit that focuses on advancing the full capability of individuals to communicate and to engage in cyberspace in a responsible and accountable way, work is being done to educate people about these challenges.

Photo Credit: CiviliNation.org
Photo Credit: CiviliNation.org

I first discovered CiviliNation and interviewed its founder Andrea Weckerle, an attorney and author of Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks, on Digital Sisterhood Radio during Digital Sisterhood Month in 2010. The following year I made a commitment to support CiviliNation through my work with the Digital Sisterhood Network’s Digital Civility & Security Initiative.

Shashi Bellamkonda, Andrea Weckerle, and Ananda Leeke at Weckerle's March 2013 book signing - Photo Credit: Shashi Bellamkonda
Shashi Bellamkonda, Andrea Weckerle, and Ananda Leeke at Weckerle’s March 2013 book signing – Photo Credit: Shashi Bellamkonda

I had a chance to reconnect with Weckerle during her March book reading for Civility in the Digital Age at Georgetown University in March. Her book educates readers in great detail about the depth of online hostility and reputational attacks against people and organizations. It also offers solutions on how to transform the current digital space into a place that honors and respects each person’s voice. It’s definitiely one of my favorite books of 2013!

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - www.leighmosley.com
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

CiviliNation recently launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to create the CiviliNation Academy for Online Conflict Management. The CiviliNation Academy plans to build a worldwide community and resource library that will become the go-to source for real-world information and expert advice people and organizations can use to cope with misunderstandings, clashes, and reputational hits in the digital space. Please support this campaign (ends on August 7). Any amount you can give will help! I gave $10.

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Happy Yoga Monday – Read A Yoga-Inspired Poem About Kundalini Energy

Happy Yoga Monday!

Lately, I have been reading my yoga-inspired poetry. Here’s one of my favorite poems. Enjoy!

yogame

Kundalini from That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery

Her vital energy rises like a coiled serpent up my spine through my body’s seven energy centers.

She sends

Muladhara red light to my root in my spine to support my survival.

Svadhisthana orange light to my sacral in my womb, abdomen, lower back, and hips to enhance my joy, healing capacity, creativity, sexuality, and financial abundance.

Manipura yellow light to my solar plexus to strengthen my sense of self, purpose, will power, determination, and courage.

Anahata pink and green light to my heart to increase my ability to love unconditionally, forgive, and empathize.

Visshudha turquoise light to my throat to purify my communication so it reflects the truth and is expressed with integrity.

Ajna indigo light to my third eye in the middle of my forehead to help me perceive my intuition and follow divine wisdom.

Sahasrara violet light to my crown in my head to transform my consciousness.

The vibrational pattern of her energy movement leaves me in a state of ecstasy.

Sweet sensations permeate the core of my being.

I am the beneficiary of her elixir of immortality.

She has come to awaken me.

So I may know the truth of my being.

The truth that I am a temple of the Divine.

She is Shaktipat.

Descent of Grace.

Aadhya Shakti.

Power of the Divine.

I humbly bow to her with the deepest gratitude.

I chant OM Kundalini OM until the silence of my breath communes with her infinite presence within.

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Happy Creativity Thursday – Celebrating the Creativity of Alice Walker

Photo Credit: www.alicewalkerfilm.com
Photo Credit: http://www.alicewalkerfilm.com

Happy Creativity Thursday!

When I need creative inspiration, I turn to the many creative women and men that I admire. Two weeks ago, I needed some creative inspiration so I visited author and activist Alice Walker’s web site. Walker has been one of my favorite authors since I started reading her work in the early 1990s. I adore her books. In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, Warrior MarksOvercoming Speechlessness, Anything We Love cCn Be Saved, Sent by EarthPossessing the Secret of Joy, and The Color Purple are some of my favorites.

Photo Credit: www.alicewalkerfilm.com
Photo Credit: http://www.alicewalkerfilm.com

While visiting her web site, I read her March blog post about Director Pratibha Parmar’s newest film, Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth My excitement led me to YouTube. Guess what I found? The entire film. I watched it and gained so much insight into her early life, deep connection to nature, marriage, life as a mother, literary achievements, meditation practice, and activist work. It was medicine for my creative heart and soul.

Who do you admire in the creative world?

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Key Takeaways from My #BlogHer13 Social Media Leadership Talk on July 26 & July 27

blogher13icon

Hi All!

As you may know, I am talking about social media leadership at the BlogHer conference on July 26 and July 27 in Chicago. Just in case you miss my talk on “What Type of Social Media Leader Are You?”, I have included my handout and the key takeaways from my talk below. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - www.leighmosley.com
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

BlogHer 2013 Session Handout – What Type of Social Media Leader Are You? by Ananda Leeke – www.anandaleeke.com

9 Key Takeaways

1)  Michael McKinney’s Leading Blog. McKinney writes, “Leaders are ordinary people that understand that they make a difference and have made the decision to determine the kind of difference they will make. Leadership is intentional influence.” www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog

2) You are social media leader because you have two things: Digital Power and a Digital Platform of Influence. Digital Power consists of your digital footprint (blog, online business, web site, and social media), communities, and efforts. A Digital Platform of Influence is derived from the impact you have on your blog readers and social media followers and friends when you advocate causes. build communities; create mobile applications, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; curate content; educate and inform; give voice to your thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; share information and experiences; explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; participate in social good campaigns; inspire and motivate; mentor; network; tell your personal stories; and promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others.

3)  As you engage in these activities, your blog readers and social media followers and friends are watching what you say and do online. They are learning from your example. Whether you know it or not, you are leading them.

4) You have the power to decide what type of social media leader you will be. I am here to share what I have been watching ordinary people like you and me do as they lead in the digital space.

5)  The Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project has identified 12 key leadership roles that women in social media are currently playing. They include the roles of:

  • Advocate
  • Community builder
  • Content creator
  • Content curator
  • Educator
  • Influencer
  • Mentor
  • Motivator
  • Promoter
  • Social do gooder
  • Storyteller
  • Thought leader

6) You can use the seven Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetypes to identify, understand, and manage the leadership roles you play in blogging and social media. Archetypes are various personalities that live inside of us. You can use them as windows of self-discovery. They can help you explore, embrace, and accept yourself. Treat them as team players who help you express your strengths and share your gifts. The seven Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetypes include:

  •  Creativista is a woman who gives birth to creativity (art, books, films, products, services, and webisodes).
  • Empirista is a woman who thinks of herself as CEO of her own corporation, ME, Inc.; maintains an entrepreneurial mindset; and gives birth to ideas and transforms them into businesses, economies, institutions, networks, and organizations that add value to people’s lives.
  • Empowerista is a woman who creates and curates content, shares information and experiences, connects with others and establishes positive relationships, and builds and participates in communities that empower her and others.
  • Enchantista is a woman who taps into the magic of her spirit as she focuses her energy, opens her heart, trusts her intuition, embraces her fears, and shares her gifts in service to others.
  • Evangelista is a woman who supports and advocates a philosophy, a values system, a lifestyle, a cause, or a campaign that improves her life and others’ lives.
  • Flowista is a woman who unplugs from her digital life and tech devices for periods of time so she can recharge and take care of herself; and encourages women to unplug from their digital lives by incorporating mindfulness and self-care practices
  • Lifestylista is a woman who lives her life as a work of art; expresses it through her passion for beauty, entertaining, fashion, food, home décor, personal style, and travel; and inspires others to live their lives as works of art.

7) While you are here at BlogHer, you are surrounded by a cadre of amazing social media leaders. Some are speakers, sponsors, fellow attendees, party hosts, PR and marketing professionals, volunteers, and BlogHer staff. Keep your eyes open for people who represent your social media leadership style. Find out who they are. If you can, have a brief conversation with them. Make a point of following up with them when you get home. That follow up could be connecting with them via their blog or social media accounts. You can learn a lot by reading about someone and watching what they do. You can also send an email to the person just to keep in touch. If you are not able to reach out to the person at this conference, find the person online. Google them and start watching what they say and do online for information and inspiration. Now everyone that you may identify as a virtual leadership mentor may not be able to connect with you one-on-one.

8) Resources: Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project Pinterest board http://pinterest.com/anandaleeke/blogher13-social-media-leadership-bh13smleader

9) Homework Assignment: Write a six-word about your social media leadership style. Six-word memoirs are six words you use to describe yourself, a state of being or an experience. Tweet Ananda @anandaleeke your six-word memoirs using the hashtag #BH13SMLeader.

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday – Celebrating My Cyber Citizen Father “J”

John Leeke volunteering at Obama Phone Bank in PG County, MD, 2012
John Leeke volunteering at Obama Phone Bank in PG County, MD, 2012

Happy Internet Tuesday!

Today, I am paying a special tribute to my father, Dr. John F. Leeke, an entrepreneur, organizational development consultant, social justice activist, over 70 cyber-citizen, husband, and father. I call him “J” for short.

J joined Facebook on the evening of January 20, 2009, the day President Barack H. Obama was sworn into his first term in office. Since 2009, J has used his digital presence on Facebook and Twitter to support President Obama. He has attended several D.C. social media events including the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in 2011. He also started live tweeting and Facebook posting while watching many of the political news programs on MSNBC and any late breaking news programs.

Dr. John: Change Agent l Change Advocate l Change Influencer blog
Dr. John: Change Agent l Change Advocate l Change Influencer blog

Last year, he launched his blog, Dr. John: Change Agent l Change Advocate l Change Influencer. Initially, his blog was dedicated to supporting President Obama’s re-election campaign. Earlier this year, he decided to devote his blog to sharing thoughts, opinions, and information, and raising questions about issues of race, diversity, and differences. As a cyber-citizen blogger, “J” hopes to serve as a motivator, stimulator, agitator, questioner, and hopefully an advocate for improving the quality of life for all regardless of who they are. One of his most recent blog posts discussed the Trayvon Martin case. Click here to read it. This week, he wrote a blog post that offers tips on how to have discussions about race in your local community. I encourage you to check it out. J knows what he’s talking about (yeah I am bit biased …. he’s my father, but he is the real deal when it comes to race and diversity work)!

Are your parents active online? What tools do they use the most?

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Happy Yoga Monday – Yoga Wisdom Quotes & Yoga-Inspired Poem About Yoga & Meditation

Happy Yoga Monday!

Here’s some yoga wisdom from some of my favorite yoginis and a yoga-inspired poem from my OM soul and heart! Enjoy!

Yoga Wisdom from Some of My Favorite Yoginis:

“I did not come to yoga to stretch. I came to live.” Maya Breuer, African American yoga teacher and entrepreneur“

“Yoga is the uniting of consciousness in the heart.” Nischala Joy Devi, American yoga teacher and author

“Yoga serves as my catalyst, my core, that place I turn to when my world is spinning.”  Kimberly Wilson, American yoga teacher, author, activist, entrepreneur, and designer

Ananda at the London Buddhist Meditation Centre, 2007
Ananda at the London Buddhist Meditation Centre, 2007

My Yoga Poem:

yoga and meditation in the morning (from That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery)

morning comes.

with it a host of thoughts begging for attention.

i take a deep breath and release them into open space.

they magically file themselves away in my cerebral
portfolio.

how sweet they are to make room for my meditation and yoga practice.

i wink and wave a quick goodbye.

they wink back and remind me they never ever say goodbye.

i return the wink with a grateful smile for having been granted a reprieve from
their chatter.

one thought escapes and attaches itself to my conscience.

she dances meringue style through my meditation.

i try to detach.

she dances harder.

i relax and allow her some space.

she quiets down.

i breathe in and out allowing my breath to travel out of my mouth.

she hears me breathing a series of audible “hahs” and joins me.

we merge and marry ourselves in the moment.

me and my thoughts exit stage left into a slow style salsa step.

our beat is harmony.

together we float into the morning silence making way for yoga to begin.

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Happy Creativity Thursday – Honoring The Creative Legacy of Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry - Photo Credit: Associated Press -
Lorraine Hansberry – Photo Credit: Associated Press –

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am thinking about one of my creative sheroes, Lorraine Hansberry, a Chicago born and bred activist, writer, and playwright. Hansberry is best known for her 1959 Broadway play, “A Raisin in the Sun.”

be-young-gifted-black-lorraine-hansberry-paperback-cover-art

My first taste of her literary genius occurred while reading her play, “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black.” I adopted her as a creative shero and inspiration for my first novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One, after reading bell hooks’ Salvation: Black People and Love which contains many references to Hansberry’s work. Click here to read how she inspired my novel.

Tracy Heather Strain - Photo Credit: www.thefilmposse.com
Tracy Heather Strain – Photo Credit: http://www.thefilmposse.com
Photo Credit: www.vitaminw.co
Photo Credit: http://www.vitaminw.co

Over the years, her words have been medicine for my creative soul:

…life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love. Therefore, since I have known all of these things, I have found them to be reason enough and—I wish to live. Moreover, because this is so, I wish others to live for generations and generations and generations.”

Her wisdom on life has inspired me to live fully. That’s why I was excited to financially support the Lorraine Hansberry Documentary Project fundraiser (ends on July 19)sponsored by Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain and VITAMIN W. Since 2004, Strain has been working to make the Hansberry documentary a reality. Strain’s film will cover Hansberry’s life on the South Side of Chicago in the 1930s, her life in Greenwich Village in the 1950s, and her final days of living with pancreatic cancer in the 1960s. Click here to watch a short video about the project. Please consider supporting the Lorraine Hansberry Documentary Project fundraiser by July 19. Click here to make a donation. Any amount helps. I gave $10.

Photo Credit: www.fem2pt0.com
Photo Credit: http://www.fem2pt0.com

Many thanks to Fem 2.0 for sharing information about the fundraiser on its web site!

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

BlogHer.com
BlogHer.com

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

I am getting ready for my social media leadership talk on July 26 and July 27 at the 9th Annual BlogHer Conference in Chicago. Here’s a sneak peek!

bloghersocmedpage

“What Kind of Social Media Leader Are You?” is the official title of my talk. It’s based on a section of my upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

Photo Credit: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-yes-yes-yes/
Photo Credit: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-yes-yes-yes/

If you answer yes to one or more of the six questions listed below, my talk will be of interest to you.

  • Do you have a blog with more than one blog reader?
  • Do you use social media and have more than one follower or friend?
  • Do you use social media to build community and connect with others?
  • Do you use social media to share information and resources?
  • Do you use social media to advocate for causes or social good campaigns?
  • Do you use social media to promote your business, personal brand, products, or services?

A “yes” answer to these questions opens the door to what my talk is all about: showing BlogHer attendees that they are social media leaders because they possess Digital Power and a Digital Platform of Influence.

Digital Power consists of your digital footprint (blog, online business, web site, and social media), communities, and efforts.

A Digital Platform of Influence is derived from the impact you have on your blog readers and social media followers and friends when you:

  • Advocate causes.
  • Build communities.
  • Create mobile applications, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes.
  • Curate content.
  • Educate and inform.
  • Give voice to your thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors.
  • Share information and experiences.
  • Explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters.
  • Participate in social good campaigns.
  • Inspire and motivate.
  • Mentor.
  • Network.
  • Tell your personal stories.
  • Promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others.

As you engage in these activities, your blog readers and social media followers and friends are watching what you say and do online. They are learning from your example. Whether you know it or not, you are leading them. That makes you a social media leader. Yes, I said it. You are a social media leader!

bloghersocmediatalk

My BlogHer talk will help conference attendees define the type of leadership they want to bring to their readers and social media followers and friends. During the talk, I will introduce the 12 key leadership roles I have witnessed social media leaders play in my work with the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project. They include the roles of advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader. I will also share how I have used these roles to create the profiles of seven Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetypes that can be used to develop leadership styles in blogging and social media: Creativista, Empirista, Empowerista, Enchantista, Evangelista, Flowista, and Lifestylista. To learn more about these archetypes, click here to visit my #BlogHer13 Social Media Leadership Talk Pinterest Board. I have pinned photos and a short blog post for each archetype. Happy reading!

If you are seeking additional leadership resources, check out the links below.

Hope to see you at #BlogHer13 in Chicago!

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Happy Yoga Monday!

Photo Credit: Associated Press
Photo Credit: Associated Press

Happy Yoga Monday!

This morning, I dedicated my yoga practice to the spirit of Trayvon Martin, his parents and family, and everyone impacted by the recent Florida jury’s decision that found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and of manslaughter in the 2012 death of Martin. I used Ahimsa, a Sanskrit word that means nonviolence, as my mantra during my meditation. It helped me quiet some of my anger and disappointment about the not guilty decision.

Photo Credit: http://blog.meditazionetrascendentale.it
Photo Credit: http://blog.meditazionetrascendentale.it

While I was eating breakfast, I noticed my anger and disappointment began to rise as I thought about Zimmerman being released from jail. That’s when I decided to use Ahimsa as my mantra this week (and as long as it takes) to stay focused on practicing nonviolence, kindness, and compassion towards all living things. I started thinking about ways I could honor Trayvon’s life and promote nonviolence.

Master Yoga Teacher Yirser Ra Hotep - Photo Credit: www.yogaskills.com
Master Yoga Teacher Yirser Ra Hotep – Photo Credit: http://www.yogaskills.com

Using my blog to share my thoughts was the first idea I came up with. And then more ideas about what I should share followed. Before I knew it, I had written a blog post that promotes Ahimsa and highlights the innovative yoga therapy programs created by Yirser Ra Hotep, a master yoga instructor of Kemetic Yoga and the founder of the YogaSkills Method, for pre-school children, school-age children, and teens who are predominately African American.

Photo Credit: KemeticYoga.com
Photo Credit: KemeticYoga.com

Kemetic Yoga is the ancient Egyptian yoga system that focuses on physical movements combined with controlled deep breathing and meditation. Click here to read about the history of Kemetic Yoga. Watch Hotep’s YouTube Channel for more information. See my profile of Hotep below.

Photo Credit: YogaSkills.com
Photo Credit: YogaSkills.com

During my yoga teacher training at Flow Yoga Center in 2005, I wrote a report about Kemetic Yoga. My report included a discussion of Hotep’s YogaSkills Method. A few years later, I had a chance to take Hotep’s class at The Bellydancers of Color Association Conference held at The Inn and Conference Center located on the campus of University of Maryland’s University College. His class brought me back to the first yoga class I took during an African American study group tour of Egypt in 1995. As I moved through the poses, I noticed I was practicing yoga at a slower and more methodical pace. I discovered I had more patience with my mind and body throughout the class. After the class, I felt more focused.

Photo Credit: www.yogaskills.com
Photo Credit: http://www.yogaskills.com

I think yoga is a great way for people to manage their emotions and take care of their bodies. I also think Hotep’s YogaSkills Method is a great way for African American children, teens, and young adults to strengthen themselves, manage stress, create wellness, and practice self-control. To learn more about Hotep’s YogaSkills Method, visit his website. You can purchase his DVDs online. You can also visit the Kemetic Yoga web site to find a Kemetic yoga teacher to study with in major cities.

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#BlogHer13 Social Media Leadership – Meet Enchantista

BlogHer.com
BlogHer.com

Calling all BlogHer 13 attendees! Be sure to check out my 30 minute talk on “What Type of Social Media Leader Are You? on July 26 and 27. During my talk, I will introduce the seven Digital Sisterhood Leadership archetypes that have helped me understand the leadership roles women play in social media. Today, I would like to introduce you to the Enchantista, one of the Digital Sisterhood Leadership archetypes.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

An Enchantista is a woman who taps into the magic of her spirit as she focuses her energy, opens her heart, trusts her intuition, embraces her fears, and shares her gifts in service to others.

DSoftheyear300

During Digital Sisterhood Month 2012, the women listed below were named Digital Sisters of the Year – Enchantistas. Recognize any familiar names?

Enchantista Manifesto Collage by Ananda Leeke
Enchantista Manifesto Collage by Ananda Leeke

While writing my upcoming Digital Sisterhood book, I created manifesto collages to better understand each leadership archetype. Check out the Enchantista’s key phrases.

Do any of the words resonate with you?

Are you an Enchantista?