Celebrating Alice Coltrane’s b-day on August 27

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Happy Thursday!

Today marks the birthday of Alice Coltrane a/k/a Swamini Turiya Sangitananda, one of my greatest spiritual teachers.  She was an amazing woman, teacher, leader/founder of an ashram, musician, mother,  and wife to jazz musician John Coltrane.  Click on the following link to see a YouTube video of a 1978 interview of Alice Coltrane and friends in concert in Bombay, India: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgqimZjJZ3U.

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In 2004, my sistalove Shantam introduced me to Alice’s music.  Journey in Satchidananda was the first CD I purchased.  It remains one of my favorites.  

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Alice’s music deepened my practice of yoga, mantra chanting, and meditation.  It also helped me write and complete my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com). 

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I even included her music and teachings in Love’s Troubadours.  Her husband John Coltrane’s music and life also play a major role in my novel.  Hint hint … One of the main characters is named Ohnedaruth, the spiritual name of John Coltrane.  Watch Love’s Troubadoursvideos on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/kiamshaleeke.  You can purchase Love’s Troubadours on Amazon.com for $20.95.  Click here: http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Troubadours-Karma-Book-One/dp/0595440819/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2834089-1615222?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192066805&sr=8-1.

One of my best memories of Alice is from 2007 when Shantam and I drove to Newark, New Jersey to see her perform with her son Ravi Coltrane (www.ravicoltrane.com). There are no words to describe the power and presence of such a beautiful soul. Her devotion to Spirit manifested in each composition she lovingly offered to the audience.

 

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LOVE was the only vibration we could feel in her presence. Shantamand I sat mesmerized with tears rolling down our faces for most of that magical evening. We knew then that it was a lifetime experience we would always cherish.  Alice made her life transition in January 2008.  To learn more about her, visit www.alicecoltrane.org. For more information about her husband John, visit www.johncoltrane.com.

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That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness, 2005 (painting on cover of my new book)

My new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (September 2009)  includes a quote from Alice, several references about her music, and a poem about her transition.  I thought you might enjoy reading the quote I use to open my new book. See below. Enjoy!

“Go within. God is working on the inside. Just go into the sanctuary of your heart, offer your prayers and your worship there.”

Thank you for stopping by!

Many blessings,

Ananda

 

PS:  Please remember to honor the following days of remembrance this week.

1) August 26 – 89th Anniversary of American women’s right to vote (passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution)

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2) August 28 – 46th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have A Dream Speech and my brother Mike Leeke’s birthday

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My brother Mike Leeke, an amazing comic book graphic artist

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Copyright by Michael D. Leeke

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Copyright by Michael D. Leeke

Tune into Go Green Sangha Radio on August 29that 11:00 a.m. for my interview with my brother Mike about his career as a comic book graphic artist and the power of diversity in his artwork and comic book stories.  Click here to listen to the show:  http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/21325.  Visit Mike’s Facebook page to learn more about his artwork and career as a comic book graphic artist:  www.facebook.com/michaelleeke.

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4) August 29 – 4th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Michael Jackson’s birthday

Send love and light to all those who were and remain affected by Hurricane Katrina. If you are in DC, join me for a free yoga class that honors everyone impacted by Hurricane Katrina on August 29th from 9am to 9:30am in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park. Click here for more information: http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

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.

Ananda Leeke TV New Webisode Series – Chicago Tour of Pilsen Neighborhood and National Museum of Mexican Art featured in Ananda’s debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One

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Happy Monday!

While I was in Chicago for the Blogher conference (www.blogher.com), I visited the Pilsen neighborhood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_West_Side,_Chicago#Pilsen) and National Museum of Mexican Art (www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org).  Thanks to my VADO Creative pocket video camera I was able to film five webisodes of Ananda Leeke TV (www.youtube.com/anandaleeke) featuring Pilsen and the Museum.  They play a major role in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).  Love’s Troubadours main character Karma Francois visits Pilsen and the Museum with her brother.  See videos below.  Watch them and let me know what you think.

 You can watch more Love’s Troubadours videos on YouTube:  www.youtube.com/kiamshaleeke.  If you would like to buy Love’s Troubadours, click on the Amazon.com link:  http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Troubadours-Karma-Book-One/dp/0595440819/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2834089-1615222?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192066805&sr=8-1.

 Enjoy your day and week!

 Peace and Creativity,

 Ananda

 

Ananda Leeke TV New Webisode Series

1) Love’s TroubadoursChicago Tour #1 – Visit to Pilsen neighborhood – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtWdhKKRaR0

 

2) Love’s Troubadours Chicago Tour #2 – Visit to National Museum of Mexican Art Pt. 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI9mxmyFSFA

 

3) Love’s Troubadours Chicago Tour #3 – Visit to National Museum of Mexican Art Pt. 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FefJngrLTxk

 

4) Love’s Troubadours Chicago Tour #4 – Visit to National Museum of Mexican Art Pt. 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw4WOTIWe6M

 

5) Love’s Troubadours Chicago Tour #5 – Visit to National Museum of Mexican Art Pt. 4 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5KRq0CvV8E

Diversity Among African Americans: We are not monolithic!

 

 

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Photos taken at Oyster Harbor Beach in Annapolis, MD

 

Happy Monday!

While my dad and I were getting some much needed “plage de temps” (French phrase that means beach time a/k/a chilling out, chill-axing, cooling out, R&R) on Sunday morning in Annapolis, he shared soundbytes from the Washington Post about Judge Sonia Sotomayor and his all-time favorite person, President Barack Obama.  He spent time talking about Eugene Robinson’s op-ed that discussed several comments President Obama made about his speech at the NAACP’s 100th anniversary. Click here to read Robinson’s op-ed:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/18/AR2009071801045.html.

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Robinson’s op-ed also referenced President Obama’s statement about how the civil rights movement weakened itself by promoting a one size fits all definition of what it means to be Black: 

“One of the ways that I think that the civil rights movement . . . weakened itself was by enforcing a single way of being black — being authentically black. And, as a consequence, there were a whole bunch of young black people — and I fell prey to this for a time when I was a teenager — who thought that if you were really ‘down’ you had to be a certain way. And oftentimes that was anti-something. You defined yourself by being against things as opposed to what you were for. And I think now young people realize, you know what, being African American can mean a whole range of things. There’s a whole bunch of possibilities out there for how you want to live your life, what values you want to express, who you choose to interact with…  I do think it is important for the African American community, in its diversity, to stay true to one core aspect of the African American experience, which is we know what it’s like to be on the outside… If we ever lose that, then I think we’re in trouble. Then I think we’ve lost our way.”

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Love’s Troubadours: Black Folks Ain’t Monolithic by Ananda Leeke (2005)

Message on painting: The truth is that Black folks ain’t monolithic.  No folks are. You dig! When Deno and I started writing the novel, we wanted to show the depth and breadth of Black folks loving themselves and each other in and out of life’s joys and pains … in and out of our identities…gender…class…religions…ages… We wanted to tell the truth.  The truth being that Black folks are Love’s Troubadours.”

 

I am so happy that President Obama talked about the diversity among African Americans and how being African American means many things.  His statement echoes a familiar chant that I have addressed in my novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com), Love’s Troubadours Art Collection, and my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (Summer 2009 – iUniverse, Inc.): African Americans are not monolithic.  See the photo of my painting, Love’s Troubadours: Black Folks Ain’t Monolithic above.  The lives of African Americans are filled with multi-layered stories.  We are much more than what we read about in mainstream media.  Our lives are richer and deeper than what we see on television and movie screens.  That’s why we must be vigilant in telling and documenting our stories. 

More on President Obama

Last night I had a chance to catch up on my reading. So I read an op-ed by Shayne Lee, one of my favorite authors. Click here to read Shayne’s op-ed: www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/50451437.html?cmpid=15585797.  In his op-ed that was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 10, Shayne discussed how former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka cleared President Obama’s path to becoming Senator and President.  How could that be?  The topic itself made me blink a few times.  To see why I blinked, read an excerpt from Shayne’s op-ed below.

“Let’s go back to 2004. National Democratic leaders strategize feverishly in an effort to win enough seats to control the U.S. Senate. They have their eyes on Illinois, a state with no incumbent running for reelection. Obama wins the Democratic nomination for the open seat, and the Republican nominee, Jack Ryan, drops out of the race due to the embarrassing details of his divorce records.

Obama is looking down a clear path to the Senate – until Mike Ditka begins flirting with the idea of running on the Republican ticket.

Some Democrats are champing at the bit for their Harvard-educated lawyer to pit wits against the charismatic but nonetheless inarticulate jock. But others fear that the former NFL coach, who brought Chicago its first and only Super Bowl championship, enjoys instant name recognition, while Obama is still establishing himself with Illinois residents. They find the prospect of a young politician with a weird name running against one of the state’s greatest sports legends somewhat daunting.

So, to raise Obama’s visibility, they grant him the great privilege of addressing the 2004 Democratic National Convention in prime time. Ironically, Ditka announces he will not enter the race shortly before the convention. But Obama’s name is already carved in stone on the schedule.

Almost 10 million Americans watch Obama deliver a riveting speech that changes his life and American politics. Before long, Obama is the new face of the party, criss-crossing the nation in fund-raising efforts for struggling candidates, building strategic alliances, and thereby taking steps toward a viable presidential candidacy.

I sum things up with a sort of syllogism: Obama’s presidential run is unimaginable without the political power and rock-star status bestowed upon him by his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. His speech never happens without a sports legend threatening to run against him for the vacant Illinois Senate seat. Therefore, Barack Obama would not be president today without Mike Ditka.

There is a lesson to be learned from the president’s remarkable journey. Even an immensely gifted, highly competent, Ivy League-trained talent such as Obama needs a bit of luck to achieve great success in America. How much more of it do the rest of us need”?

Okay now what do you think? 

If you are like me, you might be saying, “this cat made me think.”  That’s why I am a huge fan of Shayne’s work.  His writing always pushes the envelope and causes me to consider a different perspective.  He uncovers facts and weaves them together with insightful commentary that sheds light on areas most folks miss.  I think Shayne moonlights as an “Easy Rawlins” detective when he leaves his gigs as an author, sociologist, and professor at Tulane University.  

For more information about Shayne, visit http://www.tulane.edu/~sociol/slee.pdf

Be sure to check out and buy Shayne’s books on Amazon.com: T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher (NYU Press, 2005) and Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace (NYU Press 2009).  Support Shayne!  His work will enrich your life! 

To read my review of Shayne’s book, T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher, click here: http://kiamshacom.blogspot.com/2009/02/book-review-td-jakes-americas-new.html.  

Visit BAP Living Radio to listen to a recording of my February 23rd interview with Shayne (search for Episode 13):  http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/18598.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

African American Art at the White House and in Ananda’s Debut Novel, Love’s Troubadours -Karma: Book One

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Cut by Kara Walker – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Walker

 

Happy Saturday!

I read a great post on Black Visual Artist’s blog that featured an article by Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History & Culture. It discussed African American art, one of my passions and a major subject area in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com). Click here to read the post: http://blackvisualartist.blogspot.com/2009/07/african-american-art-still-needs.html.  The article was published in the July/August 2009 issue of The Art Newspaper: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/African-American-art-still-needs-support/18560

I enjoyed reading about how President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have launched the White House campaign to bring greater diversity to its art collection—including more works by African American artists.  I agree with Conwill’s assessment that the Obamas’ efforts are having “a catalytic effect—stirring conversation, raising expectations. And that’s a good thing. The move is also throwing a strong light on African American art and the artists who create it.”  Several of the artists that Conwill mentions such as Kara Walker, Betye Saar, and Lorna Simpson are featured in my novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).  I have included a blurb about the artwork in my novel below.  Enjoy!

Who are some of your favorite African American artists?

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

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African American Art Featured in Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com): 

Art plays a major role in the life and museum curator career of Love’s Troubadours’ main character Karma Francois. It inspires, consoles, and teaches her. Love’s Troubadours offers you a wonderful opportunity to look at life through Karma’s eyes as an art enthusiast and museum curator. Through Karma’s eyes, you will learn about exciting artists and photographers from the African Diaspora, such as Lois Mailou Jones, Kara Walker, Renee Stout, Faith Ringgold, Chris Ofili, Marion Perkins, Elizabeth Catlett, Jean Michel Basquiat, Annie Lee, Betye Saar, Alison Saar, Amalia Amaki, Joyce Scott, Lorna Simpson, Eldzier Cortor, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Archibald Motley, Adrian Piper, Hughie Lee Smith, and Charles W. White.  Artists from other countries are also featured.  Click here to read more: http://kiamshacom.blogspot.com/2007/09/blessings-all-my-debut-novel-loves.html.

Are you looking for a great summer read that discusses African American art?  If yes, click here to purchase a copy of Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One from Amazon.com:  www.amazon.com/Loves-Troubadours-Karma-Book-One/dp/0595440819/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2834089-1615222?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192066805&sr=8-1.

Ananda will talk to the amazing MamaLaw bloggers on July 19th episode of BAP Living Radio

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Happy Thursday,

Join me for the sixth episode of BAP Living Radio’s series about Black women in social media on Sunday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m EST.  The show will feature a discussion with attorney mom bloggers Justices Fergie, Jonesie, and Ny about their amazing MamaLaw blog (www.mamalaw.com) and MamaLaw Media Group. We will also discuss their Blogher (www.blogher.com) event that will be held next week in Chicago and Blogalicious (http://www.blogaliciousweekend.com), their first annual conference for women of color bloggers that will be held on October 9 to October 11 in Atlanta, Georgia. Click here to listen to the show: www.talkshoe.com/tc/18598.

About BAP Living Radio

BAP Living Radio affirms the lives of women of African descent who self-identify as Black American Princesses (BAPs) and educated Black women (EBW). BAP Living Radio features programs about self-love, self-care, spirituality, health, finances, social media, politics, technology, beauty, fashion, art, music, culture, community service, creativity, fitness, travel, and more.

BAP Living Radio supports the following BAP Living social media projects:

-BAP Living social networking site – http://baplivingforbapsandebw.ning.com

-BAP Living Facebook Group – http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15124364305

-BAP Living on Twitter – http://twitter.com/bapliving

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I created BAP Living social media projects in response to positive feedback from readers of my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).  Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One tells the story of Karma Francois, a thirtysomething California-born BoHo BAP (Bohemian Black American Princess) with Louisiana roots and urban debutante flair. The book shows how a woman uses therapy, yoga, meditation, art, music, poetry, and support from family and friends to confront the effects of her poor life choices and embrace a spiritual journey of healing and love. It was published by iUniverse, Inc. in August 2007 and is available on Amazon.com.

Phase 2 of Summer Creativity Adventures – Maxwell’s BLACKsummers’ night CD

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Happy Thursday!

Yesterday I began phase two of my 2009 summer creativity adventures with Maxwell’s new CD, BLACKsummers’ night.  Each of the nine tracks has been added to my summer joie de vivre playlist.  So far my favorites are “Pretty WIngs,” “Stop the World,” “Love You,” “Playing Possum,” and “Phoenix Rise.”  

Are you a Maxwell fan?

When did you discover Maxwell?

If yes, what are your favorite Maxwell CDs, songs, and concert moments?

I discovered Maxwell while watching the movie Love Jones (one of my favorite films) in 1997.  All of Maxwell’s CDs are my favorites!  I adore “Til the Cops Come Knockin,” “Sumthin’ Sumthin’: Mellosmoothe,” “This Woman’s Work,” “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder),” and “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever.”  I could listen to them all day and night long.  My favorite Maxwell concert moment was seeing him perform at the 1997 Essence Music Festival Concert held in New Orleans. He was amazing!  Maxwell’s music also kept me company while I wrote my first novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (2007 – www.lovestroubadours.com).   

Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, and Maxwell Music Love,

Ananda

The Ananda Leeke Show launches on June 30@8pm EST.

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Me and my best brothalove friend/book editor extraordinaire Wayne P. Henry

 

Tune into the very first episode of my new creative baby — The Ananda Leeke Show (http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/15820) on June 30 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Wayne P. Henry, my best brothalove friend and book editor extraordinaire, will join me for a discussion about my insights on writing my books, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (Summer 2009 – iUniverse, Inc.) and Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (August 2007 – iUniverse, Inc. – www.lovestroubadours.com). Our conversation will explore the hardest and greatest moments in my writing process, 7 lessons I will never forget, and the main reason I choose to write books. Click here to listen to the show:  http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/15820If you miss the live recording, don’t panic.  You can download a recording to your computer or iPod after the show has aired. 

More information about Wayne He is a writer and contributor to the book How We Love – Letters to the Next Generation edited by Karyn Langhorne Folan, Wendy Coakley-Thompson, and Tanara E. Bowie.  How We Love is a collection of letters and lessons published by the Capital Bookfest in 2008.   

Click here to watch a YouTube video (2 minutes, 10 seconds) that features me explaining how I prepare to write: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1v0nMObacY. The video was filmed during the question and answer session of a book launch party for my novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com) on November 18, 2007, at Mocha Hut Cafe in Washington, DC.

Summer Creative Adventures – Museum Visit to see Mami Wata Water Spirit and Yoga Movie Treat – Enlighten Up!

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Mami Wata, circa 1987 by Zoumana Sane (dates unknown, Senegal)
Photo Credit: Don Cole

 

Happy Thursday!

Today I reflected on how I launched my annual summer museum adventures last weekend.  I started with a visit to the National Museum of African Art.  The goal of my trip was to soak up the beauty and splendor of the Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and the African Atlantic World exhibit. http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/mamiwata/intro.html.  It arrived at the Museum on April 1 and leaves on July 26. 

 Mami Wata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mami_Wata) is a water spirit celebrated throughout most of Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Haiti.  I first learned about Mami Wata in 1991 when I discovered the West African Yoruba goddesses Oshun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oshun) and Yemaya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemanya) who are her sister water spirits.  I immediately embraced her image which is often portrayed as a brown-skinned mermaid.  I love that fact because she reminds me of me.  Her power as a nurturing mother, sensual woman, healer, and provider of riches also appealed to me.  Mami Wata, Oshun, and Yemaya introduced me to Erzulie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erzulie), the Haitian goddess of love.  These water goddesses played a pivotal role in my early artwork and writing.  They still do!  Erzulie is a major force in the artwork and characters featured in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com— iUniverse, Inc. – 2007).  Click here to see Erzulie’s veve which appears inside my novel and serves as the logo for the Love’s Troubadours novel series (scroll down to the second photo and look for the black and white drawing of a heart-shaped image): http://www.lovestroubadours.com/id26.html.  It also appears in the painting featured on the back of my novel.  Click here to see a photo (scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the heart-shaped symbol in the center of painting): http://www.lovestroubadours.com/id7.html.

The Mami Wata exhibit was powerful because it explored the visual culture and histories of Mami Wata and her sister water spirits. It also taught me about several new water spirits such as  Lasirèn from Haiti and Santa Marta la Dominadora from the Dominican Republic.  At the end of the exhibit, I decided to participate in the creative exercise set up by the Museum. I never turn down an invitation to play!  The exercise involved making drawings of Mami Wata-like mermaids, fish, and shells.  Iloved the exhibit so much that I purchased the exhibition book as a keepsake.  I plan to go back later this month to see the Mami Wata exhibit one more time before it closes.  Yes it’s that good! 

So do you have any summer museum adventures planned?  If so, where are you going and what will you see when you get there?

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After the museum, I stopped at Teaism in Penn Quarter for lunch (http://www.teaism.com/Restaurant/PennQuarter7.html).  Teaism is one of my favorite places to drink tea, eat healthy food, meet friends, and write.  I wrote several chapters of Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com) and my soon-to-be released poetic memoir, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discoverywhile sipping tea at Teaism.  I even wrote about my novel’s main character Karma Francois eating a salty oat cookie and drinking tea at Teaism on Dupont Circle!  I treated myself to one of my favorite entrees, the salmon bento box.  As always, it was delicious.  Before I left, I purchased a chocolate salty oat cookie for my afternoon movie snack.

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Enlighten Up! (http://enlightenupthefilm.com) is a new yoga documentary by filmmaker Kate Churchill.  It tells the story of Nick Rosen, a twenty-something journalist from New York City, who explores the world of yoga in search of a practice that meets his needs.  The film was yoga yummy and funny. The yogini/yoga teacher inside of me adored the Enlighten Up! because it gives everyday people an opportunity to witness Rosen’s down-to-earthsearch for a yoga practice with some of the most widely known and not so known yoga teachers in New York City, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and India.  I highly recommend the film.  If you go see Enlighten Up!, tell me what you think about it.

 Do you practice yoga? If so, describe your practice. 

Right now I am practicing yin yoga (www.yinyoga.com and http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/580?print=1) in the early morning before I get out of bed and before I go to sleep at night.  My morning practice includes sun salutations, twists, cat-cows, cobras, and forward folds. 

If you are in DC this weekend, please consider attending my free community yoga class on Sunday, June 14 at 9:00 a.m. in Malcolm X – Meridian Hill Park in Northwest, DC. For more information, visit http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

 Thanks for stopping by!

 Peace, Creativity, and Summer OMs,

 Ananda