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I will host the BlogHer 2009 Discussion on Sisterhood, the Blog Radio on Aug. 12, 13, 14 & 15

blogher2009

Happy Wednesday!

Sisterhood, the Blog Radio’s Lessons Learned from BlogHer 2009 series continues this week with four more interviews.  I will serve as the “blog hostess with the mostess!”  See the schedule below.   Click here to listen to the shows:  www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.    If you miss them,  don’t panic.  You can download and listen to  recordings from the web site.  

1) August 12 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Denene Millner, the founder of MyBrownBaby blog (www.mybrownbaby.blogspot.com) and co-author of What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know: The Real Deal on Love and Relationships, What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Sex, and Money, Power, Respect: What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know;

2) August 13  at 8:00 p.m. EST – Holly Buchanan, a women’s marketing consultant (www.thesoccermommyth.com) and co- author of The Soccer Mom Myth;

3) August 14 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Lucrecer Braxton, the founder of Art-Slam blog (www.art-slam.com); and

4) August 15 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Deb Rox, the founder of Deb on the Rocks blog (www.debontherocks.com)  and author of 5 Ways to {Blank} Your Blog. 

What makes you feel beautiful? August Issue of Real Simple Magazine

 real_simple_logo

winifred

Writer Winifred Gallagher

asha

Writer Asha Bandele

 

Happy Tuesday!

On Friday afternoon, I escaped from D.C. and traveled to Annapolis.  Why?  Plage de tempsPlage de temps is a French word that means beach time.  Beach time in my world means chilling out and chill-axing.  I had a great weekend hanging out with parents, practicing yoga outside (OM yummy!), eating seafood, playing on the beach, making a beach webisode of Ananda Leeke TV (www.youtube.com/anandaleeke– will post the webisode soon), and reading the August issue of Real Simple (www.realsimple.com).  My favorite article in the August issue was “What makes me feel beautiful.”  It featured essays by several women writers.  Two writers really touched my heart with their words:  Winifred Gallagher, author of Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life and Asha Bandele, author of Something Like Beautiful: One Single Mother’s Story, Daughter, and Prisoner’s Wife (one of my favorites).  Winifred was a new discovery for me.  Asha has been one of my favorite writers for several years. Her books and essays really move me.  She always speaks to my soul, mind, and heart!

Below are excertps from the essays written by Winifred and Asha. Winifred wrote about how being active every day makes her feel beautiful. Asha wrote about how writing makes her feel beautiful. They are my favorites!

Winifred – “That exercise makes me feel beautiful, struck me around age 40, right after I had taken a quick run… The way to stay lively is to stay active.”

Asha – “Writing requires us to take the world on more slowly, to notice its harshness as well as its richness.  Writing reduces the chaos in my mind.  As the gospel song says, it orders my steps and makes me feel in control of myself and therefore appreciative of the world.”

To learn more about Winifred and her books, visit www.harpercollins.com/authors/3432/Winifred_Gallagher/index.aspx. Click here to learn more about Asha and her books: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Asha-Bandele.  She is on Facebook too:  http://www.facebook.com/asha.bandele

After I read these women’s words, I sat on my parents’ deck and finished eating a healthy green salad for dinner.  In between bites, I paused and thought about what makes me feel beautiful.  A list emerged in my mind.  Here’s most of what I thought about.

  •  When I practice yoga, I feel beautiful.
  • When I meditate, chant with my mala beads, and give myself Reiki healing touch, I feel beautiful.
  • When I play on the beach, I feel beautiful.
  • When I drink green tea and eat oatmeal with raisins and honey in the morning, I feel beautiful.
  • When I work as an artist-in-residence for Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts, I feel beautiful.
  • When I run my mile down 16th Street, I feel beautiful.
  • When I write notes and cards to family and friends, I feel beautiful.
  • When I wrap myself in my blankets and comfy sheets, I feel beautiful.
  • When I wear the colors pink, purple, orange, yellow, and red, I feel beautiful.
  • When I read books out loud, I feel beautiful.
  • When I have dates with handsome, witty, attentive, well-read, mature, and charming men at Rice, Love Café, Busboys and Poets, Utopia, and 24/7 Café in my neighborhood, I feel beautiful.
  • When I connect with family and friends through conversation, I feel beautiful.
  • When I color, paint, draw, and create wire sculpture, I feel beautiful.
  • When I get caught in a summer rainfall, I feel beautiful.
  • When someone special says my name “Ananda,” I feel beautiful.
  • When I kiss a man I like on the first date, I feel beautiful.
  • When I dance, I feel beautiful.
  • When I get in bed before 10:30 p.m., I feel beautiful.
  • When I walk or sit in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park, I feel beautiful.
  • When I host radio shows, I feel beautiful.
  • When I meditate with my People of Color sangha, I feel beautiful.
  • When I sit in All Souls Unitarian Church and worship with my spiritual community, I feel beautiful.
  • When I shop for healthy organic food at Yes! Organic Market in my neighborhood, I feel beautiful.
  • When I put on my MAC lipstick with Burt Bees lipgloss, I feel beautiful.
  • When I listen to my voice on Talkshoe.com radio shows, I feel beautiful.
  • When I touch flowers and trees, I feel beautiful.
  • When I cry after watching a good film, YouTube video, or television show, I feel beautiful.
  • When I walk home after getting a massage, pedicure, and manicure, I feel beautiful.
  • When I travel and fly on airplanes, I feel beautiful
  • When I write poetry, blogs, essays, emails, and books, I feel beautiful.
  • When I teach someone how to use yoga, Reiki healing touch, social media, and creativity to expand their vision of their life and work, I feel beautiful.
  • When I listen to music by Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Eric Roberson, Maxwell, Julie Dexter, Pat Metheney, Fertile Ground, Deva Premal, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Sista Shree, Donny Hathaway, and Dwele, I feel beautiful.
  • When I hug folks, I feel beautiful.
  • When I greet people on the street with a big smile and hello, I feel beautiful.

 What makes you feel beautiful? Please share your list in the comment section.

 Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, and Beauty,

Ananda

Blogger Yoga for BlogHer Community: Another Way to Share As a Blogger/Yoga Teacher

blogher

Have you heard about BlogHer – www.blogher.com? It is a great online community for women who blog.  There are several male members. 

2008 TWAM Photo Shoot 1 049

I recently attended my first BlogHer conference in July and had a fabulous time.  After I returned from the conference, I started thinking about how bloggers spend numerous hours in front of computers. We tweet, text, blog, vlog, audio blog, and post photos from our phones.  Our brains work really hard to create and write status updates, blogs, comments on blogs, content for social networking sites and other web sites, online magazines, op-eds, articles, and emails.  All that finger action on keyboards gives our hands a mighty workout.  Our eyes read a lot of information.  The way we sit while we interact online may be hurting our bodies (shoulder, neck, back, hips, etc.). That’s why I decided to create a Blogger Yoga Group for the BlogHer community. 

Blogger Yoga is a group for people who want to learn more about, share, and diiscuss how to use kind and gentle yoga, office yoga, eye yoga, chair yoga, keyboard yoga, hand yoga, face yoga, laughter yoga, meditation, mindfulness practices, breathing exercises, mantra chanting, Reiki healing touch exercises, stress-relief exercises, and self-care practices to enhance their lives as bloggers.  Blogger Yoga also offers me an opportunity to share my gifts as a kind and gentle yoga teacher and Reiki Master practitioner with the BlogHer community.  Click here to learn more about the Blogger Yoga Group:  http://www.blogher.com/groups/blogger-yoga-stress-relief-exercises-meditation-self-care-practices.

Blogging OMs to you,

Ananda

Great News! Ananda & Sisterhood, the Blog Radio Mentioned in Natalie McNeal’s Frugalista Files blog (published in Miami Herald)

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“Frugalista” Natalie McNeal

 

Happy Monday!

Great News! Sisterhood, the Blog Radio and I were mentioned in a post written by Natalie McNeal, founder of the Frugalista Files blog (http://miamiherald.typepad.com/frugalista) that appears in the Miami Herald. Click here to read the post:  http://miamiherald.typepad.com/frugalista/2009/08/frugalista-talks-about-blogher.html.  Many thanks to Natalie!

Here’s some more great news!  Natalie will appear as my guest on Sisterhood, the Blog Radio tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST.  Natalie will share her reasons for blogging and lessons learned from Blogher 2009.  Click here to listen to the show:  www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.    If you miss it,  don’t panic.  You can download and listen to a recording from the web site.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

RIP Poet Linda Karlin

Dear All,

I just received news that a dear poet friend Linda Karlin made her life transition yesterday.  Linda had been battling cancer for many years.  We met while serving as artists-in-residence at Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts (www.smithfarm.com).  Linda was a true creative spirit and healer who shared her gifts of poetry, creative writing, drumming, and Reiki with the world.  She was passionate about many things including art, museums, service, butterflies, nature, the beach, water, reading, spirituality, labryinths, gemstones, and healing modalities.  I am so glad that I was able to know her. I know Linda is now one of my guardian angels.  May she rest in peace surrounded by light and love. May her husband Peter, family, and friends navigate her life transition with peace and grace. 

Blessings to my friend Linda,

Ananda

Ananda hosts Blogher 2009 Series on Sisterhood, the Blog Radio This Week – August 10, 12, 13, 14, & 15

blogher2009

Great News! I am hosting  a series of episodes that discuss lessons learned from the Blogher 2009 conference (www.blogher.com) on the August 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15 episodes of Sisterhood, the Blog Radio.  Visit www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015 to listen to the show.  If you miss the live show, you can download and listen to a recording from the web site: www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.

The first episode aired on August 6 and featured Prisoner’s Wife, a blogger who attended the Blogher 2009 conference.  Prisoner’s Wife shared her reasons for attending Blogher, favorite Blogher moments, lessons learned, and definition of sisterhood. To learn more about Prisoner’s Wife, visit http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com.  

Additional episodes in the Lessons Learned from Blogher 2009 will air on:  

1) August 10 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Natalie McNeal, the founder of The Frugalista Files blog (http://miamiherald.typepad.com/frugalista) and savings expert for www.geezeo.com, a financial site;

2) August 12 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Denene Millner, the founder of MyBrownBaby blog (www.mybrownbaby.blogspot.com) and co-author of What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know: The Real Deal on Love and Relationships, What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Sex, and Money, Power, Respect: What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know;

3) August 13  at 8:00 p.m. EST – Holly Buchanan, a women’s marketing consultant (www.thesoccermommyth.com) and co- author of The Soccer Mom Myth;

4) August 14 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Lucrecer Braxton, the founder of Art-Slam blog (www.art-slam.com);

5) August 15 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Deb Rox, the founder of Deb on the Rocks blog (www.debontherocks.com)  and author of 5 Ways to {Blank} Your Blog;

6) August 17 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Kamy Wicoff, the founder of SheWrites.com (www.shewrites.com) and author of I Do but I Don’t: Walking Down the Aisle without Losing Your Mind and I Do but I Don’t: Why the Way We Marry Matters; and

7) August 24 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Bronx Bohemian, the founder of Bronx Bohemian blog (http://bronxbohemian.wordpress.com).

Ananda’s Audio Blog – Listen to her read “Creative Paradigm,” a poem about artist/musician/songwriter Eric Roberson

Listen to Ananda share her thoughts about Eric Roberson, a talented artist, musician, and songwriter who inspires her creativity. She also reads “Creative Paradigm,” a poem that pays tribute to Eric Roberson. It will be featured in Ananda’s new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (September 2009).

Mobile post sent by AnandaLeeke08 using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

My Creative Paradigm: Eric Roberson, A Music Man First

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Happy Sunday!

This morning I got up early and practiced yoga outside, meditated, chanted the Sanskrit word dharana (concentration) with my mala bead, read my Science of Mind daily devotional book, and ate my usual breakfast –  oatmeal with raisins and honey.  Right now I am sipping a cup of green tea as I pause from reviewing the latest version of my poetic memoir manuscript that my publisher sent a few weeks ago.  The music of Eric Roberson, a brilliant independent artist from New Jersey (a Howardite like me and my brother Matt!), is keeping me company.  His new CD,  Music Man First drops on August 25.  Click here to learn more about Eric: http://blueerrosoul.blogspot.com.  You can pre-order a copy of Music Man First here: https://ericroberson.btruu.com. It’s $12. When you pre-order the CD like I just did, you get an autographed copy. What a treat!  Don’t sleep on this one folks!  Eric’s music is AMAZING! Check out his latest video below.

Eric’s music has been a creative inspiration for my writing process over the past eight years.  When you read my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com), you learn about Eric’s music and the role it played in the life of the main character Karma Francois.  Love’s Troubadours even begins with a scene that discusses Eric’s music! Now you know that shows how much I love his work! This cat is fantastic! And yes I am a HUGE fan! Does it show?

My new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (September 2009) also pays tribute to Eric and his music through a poem.  See below.  Let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

Have a positively wonderful day and week!

Peace, Creativity, and Music,

Ananda

 

POEM

Creative Paradigm

Inspired by Eric Roberson, an African American independent soul artist, musician, and song writer.

Something more happens when I hear his music or see him perform.

His energy sparks my imagination.

It helps me dig deep and uncover what I have been hiding from: fear to put my creative expression in full rotation without industry support.

The moves he makes as an independent artist liberate my consciousness.

They offer a creative paradigm I can duplicate in my own world.

They bless my indie artist soul.

I Stand with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor

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Poster by artist Favianna Rodriguez – created for Presente.org (you can buy it for $20 – www.presente.org)

 

“I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor

 

Happy U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Saturday!

It feels so good to offer that greeting.  It makes me think about last summer when many people in America and around the world chanted,

“Yes We Can. Si Se Puede.”

This memory kept me company today as I sat around  the dining room table eating breakfast and watching CNN’s coverage of  Justice Sotomayor’s swearing in-ceremony with my parents.  Our hearts were filled with the same joy we had when President Obama was elected on November 4, 2008, and sworn into office on January 20, 2009. Once again, we were witnessing a landmark day in American history.  I will always remember it as the day a “wise Latina” stood with judicial elegance as she repeated her oath in front of a portrait of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States of America.  My chest protruded with fierce pride when I saw Justice Sotomayor calmly raise her right hand, gently lay it on the Bible her mother was holding, and clearly state she was prepared to take the oath.  The words she confidently repeated tingled my spine:

“I, Sonia Sotomayor, do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as an associate justice under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

After Justice Sotomayor completed her oath and Chief Justice John Roberts congratulated her, I yelled:  Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor!  Si Se Puede. Yes We Can.  In that moment, I realized how her very presence “as an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences” can be used to inspire women and girls to live authentically and fully, dream big, learn, grow, achieve, create, and serve.   That’s also when I realized Justice Sotomayor had set the 21st century women’s revolution on fire.  Yes I said revolution!  And the revolutionary question we, women and girls, must ask and answer from this day forward is:  How will I as an ordinary person seek, have, and share extraordinary opportunities and experiences that allow me, my family, my community, and my country to live and thrive better?

Enjoy your day and weekend!

Peace, Creativity, and Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Shining Light,

Ananda