During the Blogalicious Weekend Conference that was held on October 3 through October 5 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, I had an opportunity to conduct creativity coaching sessions with a dynamic group of bloggers and social media influencers. It was my first time offering 15-minute sessions. During the sessions, I used a breathing exercise, six-word memoirs, key questions, and deep listening to support each person in identifying strategies they could begin using to focus on their creative dreams and projects. After the sessions, I realized how much I enjoyed working with the Blogalicious Weekend Conference community. That’s why I am offering community members a special discount package on my creativity coaching services that expires on December 31, 2013. See details below.
My Creativity Coaching Practice: Click here to read more about my approach and background as a creativity coach.
Discount Period: The creativity coaching packages must be purchased via PayPal by October 31 to December 31, 2013. They must be used by December 31, 2014.
Contact Information: If you are interested in one or more of the packages, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you a SurveyMonkey link with 10 easy questions that will help me determine how best I can support you.
Every culture in the world appreciates and understands laughter. It is part of the universal human vocabulary. It also helps us stay healthy by enriching the blood with ample supplies of oxygen. In addition, laughter helps to remove the negative effects of stress and boosts our immune systems. Other benefits of laughter include:
• controlling high blood pressure and heart disease
• increasing stamina through increased oxygen supply
• alleviating pain and giving a sense of well being by releasing endorphins
• serving as an effective antidote for depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders (laughter boosts the production of serotonin, a natural anti-depressant)
• massaging the digestive tract and enhancing blood supply to the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and adrenal glands
• ensuring a good night sleep and reducing snoring because laughter is very good for the muscles of the soft palate and throat
Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga, discovered that anyone can laugh for fifteen to twenty minutes without depending upon a sense of humor or comedy. As a result, he designed a blend of playful, empowering laughter, gentle breathing, stretching, rhythmic clapping and chanting exercises to help release tension. Through his work, Dr. Kararia discovered that laughter yoga is a great way to distance yourself from anger, stress, fear, limitations, and anxiety.
AEDM is the brainchild of Leah Piken Kolidas, an artist who is one of my digital diva sheroes and a 2012 Digital Sister of the Year (Creativista). Leah launched AEDM in 2004 as a month-long challenge that happens every November to encourage creating in all forms. The rules are simple. You are free to make just one piece of art per week or just one for the whole month. Leah says, “The idea is to bring more creativity into your life, not to make you feel overwhelmed, pressured or guilt-stricken.”
She is also the founder of Creative Every Day Challenge, a challenge that was launched in 2008 to encourage individuals to add more creativity to their daily lives. Click here to learn more about the challenge.
I discovered AEDM in 2008 when I was in the midst of a serious writer’s block. Making art each day helped me recapture my joie de vivre! It also helped me surrender to the creative process of making art without any judgment. After a few weeks, I was able to return to my writing with more clarity and energy.
The AEDM community is nurturing and supportive. Through their daily posts on the AEDM blog and Flickr group, they taught me how to create art on the go and to leave the judgment behind. I was able to see the beauty and fun in making art just for the sake of making art. The community reminded me how essential art-making is to my spirit. That’s why I plan to join the AEDM challenge this November to celebrate its 10th anniversary. I hope you will join us too.
For AEDM newbies, be sure to check out the AEDM Survival Guide for tips on how to thrive throughout this 30 day adventure in daily art-making.
Today’s blog discusses how I use my digital presence for social good and to support Zuri Works for Women’s Health, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that creates national beauty, arts, and health programs that enhance the quality of life, improve their survivorship rates, and increase the health knowledge of women of color impacted by cancer. Click here to listen to my audio blog which includes a short excerpt from my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (available on Amazon).
My first artist-in-residency was at Howard University (HU) Hospital from 2003 to 2009. During that time, I shared my gifts as an artist, poet, writer, Reiki practitioner, and yoga teacher with patients living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other illnesses. I also conducted staff workshops with the HU Hospital nurses. Click here to read my Flickr blog and see photos of my work.
After my contract with HU Hospital ended, I began working with wounded warriors, their family and friends, patients, and staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. For the past two years, I have created interactive Breast Cancer Awareness Month wall collages (see 2012 collage above) for the Walter Reed staff to pay tribute to their family and friends impacted by breast cancer. Staff use the collage to write their thoughts about breast cancer and their loved ones.
In addition to my Smith Center artist-in-residence work, I have also taught yoga classes as a volunteer and used my digital presence to support social good campaigns like Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, I was introduced to Zuri Works by Xina Eiland, my digital sister, PR coach, and publicist. I immediately fell in love with the organization’s mission and work right after I watched Andrene’s video about her cancer journey which began at 25 when she was a second year graduate student. Her story inspired me. Her cancer advocacy work that marries two of passions — health & art — moved me to donate a few hours of my coaching time to help Xina develop crowdfunding strategies for Zuri Work’s Indiegogo campaign.
The Indiegogo campaign will support The Exposures Project, a photo education exhibit shot by cancer survivors and THRIVERS which depicts survival stories of women that would otherwise go untold. Watch the powerful campaign video to learn more. I know you will be inspired like I was to give a financial donation. Click here today and make a donation before the campaign ends on October 24. Tell your family and friends to donate too!
This week, I get to show my love for Zuri Works in person at its Big Chop to Stop Cancer Anniversary Benefit. It will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1200 in DC. If you are in DC, join me for an absolutely fabulous event. Register here.
What’s Next for Me & Zuri Works
In a few weeks, I will launch my fundraising campaign for Zuri Works. It will invite my family, friends, Digital Sisterhood Network, clients, colleagues, and social media network to make a donation in honor of my December 18th birthday. Click here to learn how you can create a similar campaign.
When I was training to be a yoga teacher at Flow Yoga Center in 2005 and 2006, my teacher, Debra Perlson-Mishalove, gave the class a homework assignment to define yoga. Her assignment me to develop a YOGA acronym.
Y – Your
O – Opportunity to
G – Graciously
A – Accept yourself in the present moment.
I still use this acronym and definition in my classes and workshops.
Digital Sisterhood Book Graphic Design Process: This week, my amazing graphic designer, Dariela Cruz published a blog post about the work she did to make my book’s cover art come to life. Click here to read all about it.
Author Chat Video Series: On October 14, I hosted my first author chat for my Kickstarter donors. The chat was divided into two videos. See the links below. Let me know what you think about the videos in the comment section.
2) October 23 @ 9-10:00pm EST – Author Twitter Chat – Follow @digitalsisterhd on Twitter. Use the hashtag #digitalsisterhood and Tweetgrid.com, Tweetchat.com, or Hootsuite to participate in the conversation.
Today’s blog features my latest discovery, YogaJournal.com’s office yoga program. It offers 15 videos featuring yoga poses that can help you release tension in your neck, shoulders, wrists, lower back, and hips. Sienna Smith, a certified teacher of Viniyoga and Anusara yoga, provides instructions for each video. Click here to get started with the office yoga program.
Happy Saturday! It’s Day #5 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog features an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. The title of Chapter 2 is Truth: I Am My Mother’s Daughter. It discusses the impact Ananda’s mother, Theresa B. Leeke has had on her life and digital experiences.
Chapter Two: Truth: I Am My Mother’s Daughter (Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke)
“Information, media, and technology opened up a new world for me.” Theresa B. Leeke
One morning while I was sitting at the 16th and U Starbucks drinking my Venti decaf Café Americano with three pumps of raspberry and a dash of my own rice milk, thoughts about my mother Theresa occupied my brain when I should have been writing this book. Little did I know those thoughts would inspire this chapter. Don’t you just…