Self-Care Coach, Wellness Speaker + Trainer, Author & Artist: when my career as a lawyer, an investment banker, and a digital communications professional stressed me out, caused burnout, and did not produce the level of success I expected. During my healing journey, I studied and practiced meditation, yoga, reiki, journaling, art-making, and creative writing. They helped me develop self-care practices, navigate change, and become resilient. As a result, I became a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher, a reiki master practitioner, a sound healer, and an artist-in-residence for the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Today, I share my gifts and expertise as the founder and Chief Mindfulness Officer of Ananda Leeke Consulting, a wellness company, and the Thriving Mindfully Academy, an online learning platform. Through my work, I am able to hold space for and support your growth and resiliency.
Can you feel the change of seasons yet? What about the astrological energy of Mercury Upgrade (Retrograde) that started on September 27th? I definitely can. That’s why I decided to slow down and say YES to carving out time for my personal retreat this week.
One of my retreat activities is taking walks in my favorite park, Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park. Being in the park yesterday gave me a chance breathe deeply, become still, and reconnect with myself and nature. Having that time helped me release the need to pile up my to do list with a bunch of tasks. Instead I decided to breakdown the tasks into a few weekly priorities I can tackle over the next three of four weeks with greater ease.
A retreat helps you carve out time and space see your full self in a mirror and in the present moment. It gives you an opportunity to come face-to-face with your vulnerabilities, challenges, wins, and losses. It can also help you set intentions and create shifts in how you choose to show up in your life, relationships, career, and business.
Before you dive deep into your Fall season, I encourage you to slow down and get still for a moment. Breathe in and out three times. Now touch your heart and ask yourself how you need to show up and what you need to embrace, release, forgive, and do to navigate the final months of 2021 and 2022. Need more support in slowing down, reflecting, and exploring this question?
Your life, relationships, and career as a busy person in 2020 and 2021 aren’t what you expected them to be. You’ve been dealing with a helluva lot of sh$t, stress, and struggles. They have caused you to feel afraid, angry, anxious, depressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, and overworked.
You may feel like you don’t have time to take care of yourself.
You may think you don’t deserve self-care.
You may believe self-care isn’t affordable.
You may not know how to take care of yourself.
You may not know where to start when it comes to taking care of yourself.
I am here to help you reclaim one of the 1,440 minutes you get each day for self-care.
Self-care is your birthright. Self-care is also a muscle that only needs 1 minute per day for exercise. When you practice self-care for 1 minute each day, you are building self-care muscle memory. You are also creating space to release the sh$t, stress, and struggles you have faced over the past 18 months.
Self-care is FREE. It starts with your breath. Breathing deeply is one way you get free self-care.
It’s time for you to reclaim your self-care birthright and learn how to take care of yourself in 1 minute each day with my help.
It’s time for you to create a mini mindful self-care toolkit you can use this year and in 2021.
Check out the Instagram (IG) Live conversations I am having with some amazing folks about joy, self-care, self-discovery, self-love, mindfulness, and creativity on August 11th at 8 PM ET, August 15th at 10 AM ET, and August 21st at 11 AM ET. Click here to watch the live conversations on my @ananddaleeke IG account.
Being stressed, time-pressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, and exhausted leaves you in survival mode in your life, relationships, and career. Existing in survival mode stops you from being the REAL YOU.
The best way to say goodbye to the survival mode is to learn how to embrace Thriving Mindfully, a heart-centered approach to being present, well, and the REAL YOU in your life, relationships, and career.
Thriving Mindfully begins with slowing down and going within to your heart. When you tap into your heart, you start to hear what you need to be present, well, and the REAL YOU. It’s not always easy to slow down and listen to your heart. Your emotions, thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, habits, choices, and experiences may scare or stop you from moving forward. Getting help and support is the first step toward moving forward in your life, relationships, and career.
Don’t worry! You have landed in the right place for support.
As a Thriving Mindfully Coach, I will show you how I have used Thriving Mindfully as a heart-centered approach to being present, well, and the REAL YOU, in my own life for the past 30 years and with numerous clients.
As a Master Class student, you’ll receive the following benefits:
1) Get access to in-powering content that will help you embrace, trust, listen to, and follow your heart’s wisdom. Ananda has designed the TMA Master Class: Thriving Mindfully 101 to inspire, instruct, and engage YOU! You’ll also:
-Gain a deeper understanding of the Thriving Mindfully approach to being present, well, and the REAL YOU in your life, relationships, and career.
-Get access to the Thriving Mindfully tool and learn how to use to be present, well, and the REAL YOU in your life, relationships, and career.
-Practice two mindful self-care exercises.
-Receive the Thriving Mindfully 101 Master Class Guide Book with helpful reminders and 21-Day “heartwork.”
2) Meet new people. Your fellow classmates are as motivated as you are to master what we’re exploring here in TMA Master Class: Thriving Mindfully 101. You’ll also participate in a group discussion and receive peer support.
3) Grow at your own pace within a supportive community. As you dive into the class and interact with your classmates, you’ll experience the power of what it means to travel a similar path of mastery. While it’s not necessarily easy, the transformation you’ll experience will help you move through the world as the REAL YOU!
After you register for the class, a Zoom link will be emailed to you.
ONE LAST THING! If you are ready to go deeper in your wellness and personal growth journey, join my Thriving Mindfully Academy (TMA). TMA is a virtual wellness and personal growth learning platform and playground that invites you to grow beyond your comfort zone and flourish in your life and career with my support. See the memberships below.
I have a favor to ask you. Help me build a stronger Thriving Mindfully Academy that can support your life, relationships, and career. All I need you to do is to compete my self-care survey. It consists of four questions that take less than 5 minutes to complete. Go here to complete it.
July was a powerful self-care month in the lives of three of my favorite women athletes, Naomi Osaka, a 23-year old Japanese-Haitian American world tennis champion and entrepreneur; Simone Biles, a 24-year old African-American Olympic gymnast; and Simone Manuel, a 24 year-old African-American Olympic swimmer. Each of these women of color have chosen to make their mental health, well-being, and self-care a priority. Watching them put themselves first above their demanding careers and public scrutiny has been a master class in what it means to embrace, embody, and express the radical self-care wisdom of African-American writer, womanist, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” I think we can all learn something from these self-care sheroes!
After watching Naomi step away from the French Open and withdraw from Wimbledon to prioritize her mental health, I read her essay in TIME and watched her Netflix documentary. Her courage to be vulnerable with herself and willingness to share her vulnerability on the world stage filled my heart with deep gratitude. Gratitude because here is a woman who clearly has her own personal issues (like the rest of us) and is deeply engaged in her own wellness journey, stepping out and shining a light on a topic most of society is hesitant to acknowledge, discuss, and address. In her TIME essay, she writes, “I do hope that people can relate and understand it’s OK to not be OK; and it’s OK to talk about it.”
Naomi’s decision to speak openly, honestly, and from her heart inspired Simone Biles (“Simone B.”) when she decided to withdraw from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games. During one of her interviews, Simone encouraged other athletes to “put mental health first, because if you don’t, then you’re not going to enjoy your sport and you’re not going to succeed as much as you want to.” She also reassured them, “it’s OK sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong of a competitor that you really are, rather than just battle through it.” Her mental health activism stems directly from the deep commitment she has made to herself to get help when needs it. In her most recent interview with Health Magazine, she shares how she uses the support of a psychologist, her family, and her boyfriend to navigate her life and career.
Like Naomi and Simone B., Simone Manuel (“Simone M.), represents a new wave of women of color who are using their global platform to champion mental health, well-being, and self-care as they express their own vulnerability and how they are nurturing themselves. Last year, Glamour Magazine interviewed Simone M. about the importance of mental health. Check out her candid response: “Mental health is so crucial because it contributes to how you navigate through this world and what you think of yourself. I’ve been seeing a sports psychologist since I was 15 and I use that to talk about my experiences as a Black swimmer and a Black woman in this world. I think that it genuinely has helped me be able to handle some of the hardships or the experiences that I’ve dealt with in my life. It’s such a powerful, powerful tool to be able to exercise your mind and strengthen your mind.”
Throughout the interview, she gives an inside look into her self-care which includes two of my favorite mindfulness practices, meditation and journaling. She urges us to resist numbing our feelings. She also reassures us that it’s okay to feel and talk about our emotions and listen to our bodies. I know she was following her own advice when she took a break from training after being diagnosed with overtraining syndrome earlier this year.
THE GEN Z + GEN X CONNECTION
When I look at these three 20-something women who represent my niece Jordan’s Gen Z generation and their self-care journey, I realize we share a similar path. As a 56 year-old African-American woman who sometimes self-identifies as a Gen X member, I remember what it felt like to be an overachieving stressed and time-pressed lawyer and investment banker in my late 20s and early 30s. My self-worth was tied to my career. When my career didn’t produce the success I expected, my mental health and well-being were nonexistent. With the support of my parents, family, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority sisters, Howard University School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center classmates, friends, and a therapist, I started to recognize how important it was to ground myself in self-care. It became the foundation for how I currently live my life. It also inspired me to express my creativity as a writer and an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital and Walter Reed National Military Hospital. In addition, it led me to study and become a certified yoga and meditation teacher, a reiki master and sound healing practitioner, and a digital wellness educator. Today, I am blessed to use my experience and expertise in my work with people of all ages who are struggling with self-care as the Chief Mindfulness Officer of my wellness company, Ananda Leeke Consulting, and the founder of the Thriving Mindfully Community and Academy.
As I closed out July, I decided to write a thank you to letter Naomi, Simone B., and Simone M. for showing up as their REAL selves. Check out what I had to say.
Dear Naomi, Simone B., and Simone M.,
Your courage to stand up, speak your truth from your heart, say HELL NO to society’s hustle culture, and say HELL YES to your mental health, well-being, and self-care has become a powerful gift to all of us Black and Brown women, women of color, all women and girls, and folks on Mother Earth.
You are showing many of us how to declare our self-care independence unapologetically.
Your choice to honor yourself on the global stage is helping some of us see what it means to be vulnerable, loving, kind, gentle, and compassionate with ourselves. When we see you, we are able to look in the mirror and see folks who look just like us claim and practice their birthright of mental health, well-being, and self-care.
Without even knowing it, you are helping us all recommit ourselves to a healthier life mission. One where we are humans being instead of humans doing. One that carves out a public pathway to self-care beyond survival, the very thing Dr. Maya Angelou spoke about in her ancestral wisdom statement: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.”
One last thing! I wrote a poem, “What’s Next: A Lifeline to Stop Doing, Start Being” that expresses what this thank you letter could not. Watch a video of me reading it below.
Check out the IG Live conversationI had with Xina Eiland, President of X+PR, co-founder of Unmute, and co-host of the Get Found Get Funded podcast on August 1, 2021, about the impact of Naomi, Simone B., and Simone M.’s decision to prioritize their mental health and self-care.
SELF-CARE SUPPORT FOR READERS
Just in case you need self-care support, I invite you to do three things.
Go here to take my self-care survey (4 easy questions that take less than 5 minutes to answer).
Click here to claim your complimentary membership in my Thriving Mindfully Community, a digital sacred space that inspires you to nurture, transform, and celebrate your life and career.
If you wanna deepen your wellness commitment and expand your personal growth journey with my support, join me for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Master Class on August 4th at 8–9:15 PM ET or August 7th at 1–2:15 PM ET. Click on the links below.
-Buy your ticket here for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Master Class on August 4th at 8–9:15 PM ET
-Buy your ticket here for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Master Class on August 7th at 1–2:15 PM ET