BUSINESS is the focus of #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 3. Since I launched my first web site Kiamsha.com in March 2000, the Internet has helped me market myself and conduct business as an artist and author. Today, I was reminded of the Internet’s power when I opened an Etsy Shop to support my new and improved AnandaLeeke.com, and attended an Etsy for Creators class at the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Memorial Library.
The free class taught by DC Librarian Emily Graves helped me flush out my ideas for the official launch of my Etsy Shop in June. Improving my photography skills is something the class helped me realize I need to do. Lucky for me the MLK Library is sponsoring a free digital photography class in April. How has the Internet helped your business?
Today begins the countdown for the new and improved AnandaLeeke.com. The web site will make its debut during the WordPress Press Publish Conference session, “A Tale of Two Sites: Case Study” led by my amazing web designer Michelle Langston on March 28 in Portland, Oregon. Check out some of the new photos below that will appear on the web site. Many thanks to my photographer Leigh Mosley for helping me to create my 2015 photos.
Reiki is a Japanese word that means “universal life energy.” It is a healing technique that is administered by “laying on hands” for energy cleansing, pain management, stress reduction, and relaxation. A Reiki practitioner uses her or his hands to help channel an individual’s life force energy (known as prana or chi) and is guided by Creator (Higher Spirit, Divine Power, or God). Creator’s wisdom knows exactly where to go and how to respond to restrictions in the flow of an individual’s life force energy. It can work directly in the unconscious parts of the body and mind. There are several Reiki hand positions. Click here to watch a video for Reiki self-treatment.
ENERGY is #Yogaat50 Lesson 3. For the past 10 years, I have used Reiki hand positions during my home yoga practice and when I teach students one-on-one. Reiki helps me experience and manage the flow of my prana when I am on and off the mat. Check out the photo collage above featuring some of my favorite Reiki hand positions. I always end my Reiki session by bowing, chanting OM, and saying Namaste. Have you received Reiki before? How was your experience? Have you used it in your yoga practice?
This week’s #FierceLivingat50 Lesson 2 focuses on RELATIONSHIPS. I have learned that relationships are some of my life’s greatest gifts. The relationship I have with parents is very special because we have been able to cultivate a great friendship.
Last year, my relationship and friendship with my father deepened when he invited me to help write his memoir about being a change agent with over 50 years of experience in race and diversity. To learn more about him, visit his blog: http://drjohnleeke.tumblr.com. Our writing journey officially began when we took a road trip to his alma mater, Indiana State University in Terre Haute (see photo collage). During the trip, he hired me to document his talks on race and diversity to three classes with social media. While we were at Indiana State University, he gave me a tour of the campus. He showed me the places where he and my mother met and fell in love just like his parents did 20 years earlier. We also visited his grandparents’ home and churches and many of his old stomping grounds in Terre Haute. Our road trip also gave us a chance to have some very honest conversations about writing a book together. Those conversations taught me how important it is to have patience with the process of listening and sharing. I continue to learn about and practice patience as we write his book. What have you learned from your relationships?
COLLABORATION is #Creativityat50 Lesson 2. While writing my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One, I learned that my creative expression relied on the collaboration of others. Leigh Mosley, my amazing photographer, is one of the people I have collaborated with on the publication of my three books. Since 2007, Leigh has worked with me to produce author and book cover photos.
This month, we had a photo shoot and editing session for my new web site photos. Leigh’s master photography skills were in full effect! I’m deeply grateful for our collaboration. Do you collaborate with others?
PARTICIPATE is #DigitalSisterhoodat50 Lesson 2. Over the past 11 years of blogging, I’ve learned firsthand how important it is to participate in local and national conferences, events, and meet ups. My participation has given me opportunities to build community and establish relationships with women in social media and technology. Some of my favorite conferences are Black Bloggers Connect, Blogalicious, BlogHer, FOCUS100, LATISM, She’s Geeky, and Women Interactive. I also enjoy hosting Digital Sisterhood Network meet ups and attending events sponsored by DC Web Women and the Fabulous Women Business Owners DC. What types of events do you participate in?
SKILLS is #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 2. One thing I know for sure about being an Internet Geek is that learning new skills is an ongoing process. This month, my web site content creation skills are growing as I work with Michelle Langston, a fabulous WordPress developer, on the design and relaunch of AnandaLeeke.com. Picking the new web site design and creating a content outline was fun. The hard part has been creating and posting content. My fear of not having the perfect words paralyzed me for two weeks. Thanks to Michelle’s patience and guidance, and a video chat I had with Press Publish conference organizer Andrea Middleton, I put the finishing touches on my new content on Monday night. What skills have you developed as a result of being online?
HEALING is #Yogaat50 Lesson 2. Last week, I added a series of Yin Yoga hip opener poses to my home practice. As I held them for five to six minutes, my mind quieted down and space was created for me to hear my inner voice. She revealed some fears I was hiding from and encouraged me to surrender and embrace them. I used each yoga session to follow her wisdom. After a few days, I started journaling about my fears and how I could face them head on. By the end of the week, I had shared them with my accountability partners and began to take baby steps to overcome them. I now realize that a healing had begun thanks to my yoga practice. Have you ever experienced any form of healing through yoga?
#FierceLiving Friday is back on the blog with a special five-week series entitled #FierceLiving@50 Lessons. Each week, I’ll be sharing one of the five key lessons I have learned about fierce living. MINDFULNESS is #FierceLiving@50 Lesson 1. I started practicing mindfulness during my first meditation class in 1992. It is the practice of being present in the moment without judgment.
Since then, I have used a variety of breathing exercises, Buddhist meditation, mantra chanting, Reiki healing touch, and yoga to enhance my practice of mindfulness. They help me stay in the present moment where I can access stillness. Practicing mindfulness helps me communicate better with myself and others. Do you practice mindfulness?
I’m bringing #CreativityThursday back with #Creativityat50 Lessons, a five-week blog series that will share the five key lessons I have learned as an artist and writer over the past 20+ years.
SURRENDER is #Creativityat50 Lesson 1. Each time I have created a piece of artwork or written a book, I have faced creative blocks stemming from fear and/or feelings of being overwhelmed. The one thing that has helped me overcome the fear and overwhelming feelings is making a choice to surrender my will and need to control. The act of surrender opens the door to my intuition and imagination. It also jumpstarts my courage to move with my fear and feelings while taking positive steps to express my creativity. I surrendered my fear and overwhelming feelings surrounding the content I am creating for my web site relaunch, upcoming email campaigns, and the creation of a newsletter today when I decided to attend a free class on MailChimp email campigns and newsletters offered at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC (see photo above). Thanks to DC Librarian Victor Benitez I walked away with tons of creative tips I can use in my MailChimp email campaigns and newsletter, web site content, and work with clients seeking to launch and offer newsletters. I also walked away feeling energized and more committed to the creative surrender process. Have you ever practiced surrender in your creative process?