Happy Yoga Monday – Yoga-Inspired Music & Deva Premal & Mitren DC Concert

Photo Credit: http://devapremal.com
Photo Credit: http://devapremal.com

Happy Yoga Monday!

In honor of National Yoga Month, I’ve been listening to some of my favorite yoga-inspired music, especially the Password CD by Deva Premal and Mitren. I have been listening to their sacred chanting music since 2004. My favorite track is “Narishima.” The song repeats a strong and powerful mantra that removes negative energy and protects those on the path to light from negative influences: Narasimha Ta Va Da So Hum. I have adopted it as my theme song for the autumn season.

Deva Premal and Mitren’s music opens my heart and allows my spirit to surrender and be present to the “now” moment. It is also very healing and has taught me how to use mantras as healing tools in my Reiki healing touch, meditation, and yoga practices.

devapremal concert

My National Yoga Month celebration is really special this year because Deva Premal and Mitren will be performing on September 24 in Washington, D.C. Click here to learn more about the concert. Hope to see you there!


How are you celebrating National Yoga Month?


Happy Creativity Thursday – Read Some of My Favorite Writing Wisdom Quotes & Writing Life Poem

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I want to share some of my favorite writing wisdom quotes from writers I adore.

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” Joan Didion, European American author

“The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.” Toni Morrison, African American author

“Writing becomes a way to embrace the mysterious, to walk with spirits, and an entry to the realm of the sacred.” bell hooks, African American author, poet, professor, and cultural critic

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

Here’s a poem about my writing life.

My Writing Life from That Which Awakens Me


I’m a writer who writes even when she is asleep.

Right now I’m a writer who is in the midst of a long creative stretch.

One that involves birthing a book every two years.

My journey is both passion and paradox all at the same time.

At times it can consume me and keep me living on my own planet with enough rice milk, granola, ginger tea, honey, strawberries, bananas, apples, and split pea soup to last a lifetime.

This path has called me.

And I can’t begin to explain to folks what that exactly means because I am living it.

So I hope they can just get the meaning by watching me be me.


I write because language chosen from deep within me liberates my hidden thoughts and gives life to my dreams.

I write because it is one of the best ways I know how to access freedom.

I am talking about the kind of freedom that brings all aspects of my existence into one room so that I can appreciate the fullness of my complex beauty.

The words that express my thoughts and describe my dreams make their way into phrases.

Some find homes in sentences that question and answer.

Others join the gospel choir in my mind and participate in call and response.

A few dangle as sharp, shooting fragments with meaning.

And then there are those that cast their net wide and paint wildly sensational murals on the canvas of my life.

They all embody the voice of my soul.

Happy Internet Tuesday – Excited About Attending Blogalicious Weekend Conference on October 3-5!


Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

In less than 30 days, I’ll be traveling to Atlanta to meet up with some of my favorite digital sisters and brothers at the fifth annual Blogalicious Weekend Conference. The conference will be held on October 3-5 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. This year’s theme is “Create. Build.Fund.”

Ananda wearing Blogalicious 2012 t-shirt created by Shootie Girl created by LaShaun Martin -  www.shootiegirl.com/
Ananda wearing Blogalicious 2012 t-shirt created by Shootie Girl created by LaShaun Martin – http://www.shootiegirl.com/

I am excited about attending the conference because:

  • It will be my fifth time attending the conference. YES, I was there in 2009 at the W Hotel in Atlanta when it all started. Read my November 2009 Examiner.com blog post.
  • My dad, Dr. John F. Leeke, founder of the Dr. John: Change Agent/Change Advocate/Change Influencer blog, will be attending the conference. This will be his second conference.
  • Blogalicious is hosting a Scandal season premiere party on October 3.
  • EBONY Editor-in-Chief Amy DuBois Barnett, one of my digital diva sheroes and favorite magazine editors (former Honey EIC) is speaking.
  • Harriette Cole, a life stylist, writer, author, and one of my digital diva sheroes, is facilitating a session on mastering your elevator pitch.
  • I am looking forward to meeting new digital sisters and brothers.
  • I will get to see so many of my digital sisters and brothers like Stacey Ferguson (chief curator and co-founder of Blogalicious), Boni Candelario, Danica Kombol, Andrea Amir, Amy Vernon, Mike Street, Maura Hernandez, Elisa Camahort Paige, Terrence Gaines, Dariela Cruz, Marie Denee, Jenee Darden (my Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority sister), Thien Kim, Amy Mascott, Leticia Barr, Krystal Grant, Swarthy Daisy, Ana Flores, MJ Tam, Jeannette Kaplun, Denene Milner, Shameeka Ayers, Trina Small, Yoly Mason, Luvvie Ajayi, Afrobella, Ronnie and Lamar Tyler, and so many more groovy people!
  • I get to talk about crowdfunding (one of my favorite topics) with Bola Adewumi, Black Startup Chief Technology Officer and Black & Sexy TV founders Numa Perrier and Dennis Dortch on October 4 at 5:30 p.m. I am a HUGE fan of Black & Sexy TV webisodes!!!!! What a treat!!!!
  • I am providing 15 minute creativity coaching sessions to Blogalicious attendees during the conference. More details on how to sign up are coming soon.
  • I get to room with my digital sister Xina Eiland (it will be our third time as Blogalicious roomies!

To learn more about the conference, click here. The conference blog posts are filled with great information about the sessions and speakers. So go on and use my special 30% discount to register and attend the conference. Click here and use the code SpeakerFriend for your registration. See you in Atlanta!!

Happy Yoga Monday – Celebrating Yoga Teacher Kimberly Wilson’s New Book – Tranquilologie: a DIY Guide to Everyday Tranquility

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

Happy Yoga Monday!

How is your National Yoga Month celebration going? Mine is doing great. This week, I am excited about the release of my yoga teacher and friend, Kimberly Wilson’s new book, Tranquilologie: a DIY Guide to Everyday Tranquility. I love the name and the artwork on the book cover (especially the fleur-de-lis, a French symbol that refers to the lily flower)! Don’t you?  

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

Kimberly’s limited edition book (only 1,000 copies) combines two of my favorite things: joie de vivre and tranquil living practices. Based on her e-course, Tranquilologie offers readers a guide that covers mindfulness, self-care, nesting, do-gooding, work, style, creativity, and dreams for an entire year. It makes for a perfect birthday, holiday, or  “me” treat gift.

Photo Credit: http://blog.kimberlywilson.com/2013/07/youre-invited-910-charitea-in-dc.html
Photo Credit: http://blog.kimberlywilson.com/2013/07/youre-invited-910-charitea-in-dc.html

PS: Kimberly’s D.C. book release party will be held on September 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the Darlington House, 1610 20th Street, N.W. (Dupont Circle Metro). Be sure to RSVP to Kimberly@kimberlywilson.com. Hope to see you there!

Also, she is launching a Tranquility Tour across North America beginning September 14 and ending on November 16. Click here to learn more about the tour.

Happy Creativity Thursday – Celebrating the Artwork of Tanekeya Word

Photo Credit: www.tanekeyaword.com
Photo Credit: http://www.tanekeyaword.com
Photo Credit: http://www.vogue.it/en/magazine/daily-news/2012/09/milan-fashion-week
Photo Credit: http://www.vogue.it/en/magazine/daily-news/2012/09/milan-fashion-week

Happy Creativity Thursday! Happy First Day of New York Fashion Week too!

Today, I am celebrating the power of art and fashion by featuring Tanekeya Word, one of my favorite artists who has created artwork and a personal brand that celebrate fashion, popular culture, and her life experiences. She is also a fellow Howardite (Howard University, Class of 2006). I discovered her amazing artwork and purchased several prints in 2008. Word defines herself as a Hybrid Chic Afrofuturist Visual Artist. Currently, she serves as the managing editor, creative & art director, and literature & culture editor of neonV,  a biannual magazine for the contemporary peculiar woman that provides a compelling storyline of traditional and innovative content by exposing the cultural and subcultural continuums in fashion, art, beauty, and travel. Click here to learn more about Word and her incredibly stunning work.

Tanekeya Word's self portrait painting - Photo Credit: www.tanekeyaword.com
Tanekeya Word’s self portrait painting – Photo Credit: http://www.tanekeyaword.com

Here’s one of my favorite pieces of her work. It’s called “Issa Rae. Awkward Black Girl. Comedic Genius.” It represents Issa Rae, screen writer, actress, producer, and founder of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl webisode series.

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

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Great News About My Digital Sisterhood Book

Photo Credit: http://www.rwa-wf.com/2012/03/05/member-news-03-04-12/greatnews/
Photo Credit: http://www.rwa-wf.com/2012/03/05/member-news-03-04-12/greatnews/

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

I’ve got some great news to kick off this new month. Last week, I submitted the final manuscript for my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online to my publisher. See a description of the book below. The next steps include me reviewing the proofs (manuscript in book form) and approving the book cover design. My book should be available on Amazon.com in early October (paperback and Kindle). So get ready for a great autumn read!

One of the photos featured in the book - Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - www.leighmosley.com
One of the photos featured in the book – Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

Book Description: Digital Sisterhood provides insight and inspiration for any woman seeking to celebrate, express, or reinvent how the Internet, social media, and technology impact her life. Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke became a pioneer in the digital space when she first logged into the LexisNexis research service as a first-year law student at Howard University School of Law 27 years ago.  She was immediately smitten with what the World Wide Web could do and in this compelling memoir, we follow her on her journey as she finds herself in an Internet café in Beijing, China and has an interaction that changes her life.

Leeke begins to embrace and define the concept of “digital sisterhood” and through interactions and conversations both on-line and in-person, she embraces a complete career reinvention (spoiler alert, she leaves the legal field) and finally embraces her enormous creative spirit. We get to know the digital sisters in her life as true sheroes and virtual mentors. Their experiences and insights helped her use the Internet as a self-discovery tool and identify leadership archetypes that shaped her role as a social media leader.

Her blogging and social media adventures will highlight the lessons she learned while tapping into the power of her leadership archetypes, the reasons she launched the Digital Sisterhood Network, and the experiences that caused her to adopt what she terms the “fierce living” commitments. At the end of each chapter, you’ll have an opportunity to explore aspects of your own Digital Sisterhood journey through a series of interactive exercises.

Photo Credit: Design by Dariela Cruz of www.daridesignstudio.com; Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke
Photo Credit: Design by Dariela Cruz of http://www.daridesignstudio.com; Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke

In honor of this major accomplishment, I thought I would share a photo of artwork that appears on the book cover. Dariela Cruz, an amazing graphic designer and co-founder of Dari Design Studio, and I worked together on the design concept. Dariela created the final product. I think she did a fabulous job. What do you think?

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my writing journey. I am deeply grateful for your positive energy and prayers.

Happy Yoga Monday – Celebrating National Yoga Month in September

Photo Credit: http://yogahealthfoundation.org/yoga_month
Photo Credit: http://yogahealthfoundation.org/yoga_month

Happy Yoga Monday!

September marks the annual celebration of National Yoga Month. It’s a great time to recommit to your yoga practice.

What are you planning to do?


I am going to use the month to practice yoga outside more and take more yoga classes at my gym, Mint (like the Sunday evening flow yoga class I took earlier this year). I am also going to schedule some yoga dates with a few friends at local yoga studios.

Photo Credit: http://yogahealthfoundation.org
Photo Credit: http://yogahealthfoundation.org

If you are new to yoga, check out the Yoga Health Foundation’s free week of yoga available during September.