Resisting Change in 2020? Flip the Script on Your Life & Career Before Spring Begins!

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Hey Groovy People!

How has your February been?

Have you embraced or resisted it?

My February has been filled with moments of me embracing and resisting CHANGE. The one thing that has helped me navigate all of these moments of CHANGE is my mindful self-care practices of meditation, prayer and accountability sessions with my brother Meico, crystal reiki, mindful movement (gentle yoga, barre classes, and walking), journaling, astrology and moon rituals, and intuitive bodywork sessions with my soul brothalove Ken Yamaguchi-Clark a/k/a “Dharma Farma.”

Go here to visit Ken’s Facebook page to learn more about him. Email him at dharmafarmaken@gmail.com.

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Earlier this week, I had a powerful intuitive bodywork session that included inversion therapy with Ken (see photo above of me laying on an inversion table).

Inversion Therapy? What is it?

Inversion therapy is a nonsurgical treatment designed to remove gravitational pressure off the spine and create more space between the spine’s vertebrae. A common form or tool of inversion therapy is the inversion table. To use it, you strap yourself into the inversion table (typically by your ankles and waste) and then you hang completely upside down. Your head faces towards the floor and gravity’s effects on your body are reduced.

Laying on the inversion table can help you clear your mind. When you’re upside down, fresh oxygen floods your brain, sweeping out cobwebs and mental fog. Also, when you get your head below your heart, your world is literally turned upside down. Being upside down can help you see all sides of things, shift your perspective, and make different choices.

Here’s what happened during my inversion therapy experience…

Laying on the inversion table was INTENSE for me. Why? Because I was guided by Ken to release and surrender my resistance to CHANGE in my life and career through deep breathing, sound healing using my own voice, his bodywork (a unique blend of acupressure and massage), and mindful reflection and journaling. The end result was greater clarity, a deeper understanding of who I truly am — the REAL ME in 2020, and a complete release of my resistance to making changes to how I show up in my life and share my gifts as a wellness professional, author, and artist. In short, it helped me make a choice to FLIP THE SCRIPT ON MY LIFE & CAREER before the Spring season begins in a few weeks.

My choice to FLIP THE SCRIPT ON MY LIFE & CAREER is a process. It’s not gonna happen in one day, week, or month. It requires me to give myself time and space to experiment, learn, grow, reflect, and make modifications along the way. It requires me to practice mindful self-care with what I call the Big 5: loving kindness, compassion, nonjudgment, patience, and forgiveness.

Four years ago, I gave an Ignite talk about the four lessons I learned through CHANGE at the Nonprofit Technology Network’s annual conference in San Jose, California. During my talk, I shared how I embraced and resisted CHANGE in my career. The four lessons I shared included:

  • Lesson #1: Ask for help.
  • Lesson #2: Take great care of yourself.
  • Lesson #3: Be a lifelong learner.
  • Lesson #4: Be open to possibilities.

Watch the video above to hear my entire talk.

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Did you know you can use your breath to navigate change?

Go here to listen to my Thriving Mindfully Podcast episode on how to breathe through change.

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February has definitely been a month of CHANGE. Earlier this month, I decided to change how I offer meditation. So I enrolled in sound meditation + yoga teacher and massage therapist Dante Baker’s sound healing certification course that was held at a recharj in DC (see photo above).

Sound meditation is the practice of becoming aware of what’s happening inside and outside of yourself in the present moment with the use of sound and music.

Sound meditation is also known as Sound Healing and Sound Baths. It uses a range of Tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, gongs, Ting-shas (tiny cymbals), dorges (bells), didgeridoos, and other small bells. The tones and frequencies that these bowls and instruments carry affect us in specific ways. They activate a different chakra energy center and organ system within the body.

Sound healing is one of the best ways to deepen your meditation practice. It can help reduce tension, anger, fatigue, anxiety, and depression while increasing a sense of spiritual well-being.

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One of the changes I made in how I share my gifts in my wellness company, Ananda Leeke Consulting, is shifting when I offer my meditation classes, Moon Circles, and mindfulness workshops and webinars. After I completed my sound healing certification course, I added sound meditation to the Mindful Monday Meditation class.

Starting in March, the Mindful Monday Meditation class will only be held on the first Monday of each month. Classes will not be held on July 6th or Labor Day, September 7th.

Mark your calendar and plan to join me on March 2nd, April 6th, May 4th, and June 1st, October 5th, November 2nd, and December 7th. Go here for more details.

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Even though we’re wrapping up the second month of 2020 and headed towards Spring, it’s okay to pause for the cause and give ourselves a do-over in our life, career, and business. That’s right! It’s perfectly fine to stop and hit the reset button on our 2020.

Here’s the thing we must always remember. When we choose to give ourselves permission and space to breathe, reflect, and step back from the hustle and bustle of our lives, relationships, careers, and businesses, we are reclaiming our birthrights to mindfulness and self-care. These choices are investments in our resiliency. They lay the foundation for us to embrace Thriving Mindfully in all that we think, feel, say, and do.

Now ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you moving forward or away from your dreams?
  • Are you struggling, stressed out, stuck, afraid, overwhelmed, in need of a shift, unsure of what to do next?
  • Is 2020 calling you to be more than you have ever been before?
  • Are you noticing a need to dive deep and explore who you are becoming in the new year?
  • Are you resisting what you need to be and do in order to express the REAL YOU?
  • Struggling or stress out with how you are showing up in your life, relationships, career, and/or business?

IF YOU ANSWERED YES OR MAYBE to any of these questions, then it’s time you flip the script on your 2020 and press the reset button.

It’s time you give yourself permission to start the year over and create space in your spirit, heart, mind, body, and life to embrace Thriving Mindfully with my support during my two intensive Master Classes on February 28th (for women only) and February 29th (for everyone). See the details below.

Intensive Online Master Class for Women

Register and get your tickets here.

Intensive Online Master Class for Everyone (2)

Sign up and buy your tickets here.

2020

Have you thought about how you want to live your life in 2020 and beyond? Do you need support in planning out your year? Looking for accountability? I’d love to work with you! Check out my one-on-one coaching below.

ONE-ON-ONE COACHING: I love coaching and supporting people just like you who are committed to exploring mindfulness, meditation, and mindful self-care in their lives. My coaching areas include:

  • Mindfulness 101
  • Mindful Self-Care (can incorporate meditation, gentle yoga, reiki, crystal therapy, journaling, chakra healing, and rituals from world cultures, eight phases of the moon, astrology, and goddesses)
  • Mindful Creativity
  • Mindful at Work
  • Mindful Communication
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Mindful Technology

Interested in exploring how we might work together to manifest your heart’s desires for your life, career, and/or business this year?

Fill out my client intake survey and then let’s set up a free 20-minute consultation call.

Click here to complete the survey. I will follow up with an email once you complete it.

I offer an hourly rate and three-month and six-month packages.

 

MINDFULNESS, SELF-CARE & YOGA-INSPIRED BOOKS: Check out my three mindfulness books here: Love’s Troubadours, a yoga-inspired novel; That Which Awakens Me, a mindful creativity memoir; and Digital Sisterhood, a mindful technology memoir. My books make great gifts for yourself and others.

De-Stress, Make Your Breath Your BFF & Embrace Thriving Mindfully Commitment: Slow Your Living

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How are you planning to de-stress in 2020?

Need tips and inspiration on how to de-stress this year?

Watch the video below and be inspired to open your heart and practice mindful self-care by embracing the first Thriving Mindfully Commitment: Slow Your Living with several deep breaths. My breathing exercise is called Make Your Breath Your BFF. It takes less than one minute to practice.

Also, check out what I had to say about my S-T-R-E-S-S tool in my client, Body Connect Health Wellness’ January newsletter here.

In case you want to know how I am practicing and teaching high achievers and mission-driven companies, organizations, and communities to embrace Thriving Mindfully, a heart-centered centered approach to being the REAL YOU, check out the 5 Thriving Mindfully Commitments.TM2020-REVISEDApproachand5commitments (1)

Guess what’s coming in March 2020?

My Thriving Mindfully Academy and signature online course, Thriving Mindfully as the REAL YOU.

The online course will help you de-stress, practice mindful self-care with the 5 Thriving Mindfully Commitments, and learn how to avoid burnout in 90 days.

Sign up for my newsletter here to learn more about the Thriving Mindfully Academy and Thriving Mindfully as the REAL YOU online course.

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Ladies, don’t miss the chance to dive deep into mindful self-care with me during the Thriving Mindfully as YOU in 2020 and Beyond, an online women’s retreat, on Sunday, January 26th from 3-5 PM. Get your tickets here and invite your friends to participate.

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ONE-ON-ONE COACHING: I love coaching and supporting people just like you who are committed to exploring mindfulness, meditation, and mindful self-care in their lives. Contact me at ananda@anandaleeke.com if you need more support. I can set up a free 20-minute consultation call to discuss we can work together. I offer an hourly rate and three-month and six-month packages.

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THRIVING MINDFULLY PODCAST: Listen to over 100 episodes of my Thriving Mindfully Podcast here. The podcast episodes cover mindfulness, mindful self-care, mindful communication, mindful at work, mindful creativity, mindful technology, mindful journaling, and more. Guided meditations are also included.

MINDFULNESS, SELF-CARE & YOGA-INSPIRED BOOKS: Check out my three mindfulness books here: Love’s Troubadours, a yoga-inspired novel; That Which Awakens Me, a mindful creativity memoir; and Digital Sisterhood, a mindful technology memoir. My books make great gifts for yourself and others.

 

 

 

Stress Awareness Month: How I Outsmart Stress with Mindfulness (DC Events on April 16, 21, 23 & 30)

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S-T-R-E-S-S. Stress impacts everyone. It happens when we experience pressure or a situation that exceeds our ability to cope. It’s also one of the main sources of wear-and-tear on our spirits, minds, bodies, and relationships.

In the United States where I live, the most common sources of stress include work, money, the current political climate, the future of the nation, violence, and crime. Guess which ones are the most common among adults? Here’s how the American Psychological Association’s 2017 Stress in America survey answered the question.

  • #1 – The Future of the Nation, 63% of adults (specific issues include health care – 43%, economy – 35%, trust in government – 32%, crime and hate crimes – 31%, terrorist attacks – 30%, high taxes – 28%, social security – 26%, and government controversies and scandals – 25%)
  • #2 – Money, 62% of adults
  • #3 – Work, 61% of adults
  • #4 – Current Political Climate, 57% of adults
  • #5 – Violence and Crime, 51% of adults

What are the most common sources of stress in your life?

How do you manage them?

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Over the past several years, my most common sources of stress have included money, relationships, work, health care, the political climate, and hate crimes. I have used mindfulness and mindful living, creativity, and technology practices including meditation, breathing exercises, deep listening, journaling, yoga, and unplugging from my digital devices to manage them.

In case you are wondering what mindfulness is, I thought I’d share my two-part definition. Mindfulness is our birthright. Each of us is born with the ABILITY TO BE AWARE  of what’s happening in our spirit, heart, mind, body, and surroundings.

Mindfulness is also a practice that we can CHOOSE to PAY ATTENTION to what’s happening in our spirit, heart, mind, body and surroundings ON PURPOSE in the PRESENT MOMENT and WITHOUT JUDGMENT.

I am using Stress Awareness Month and National Stress Awareness Day on April 16th to outsmart stress with more mindful moments in my life. If you are in the Washington, DC area on April 16th, join me at the #ThrivingMindfully Meetup Group event below. Sessions will also be held on April 23 and 30. Go here to join the free group.

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Not able to attend the event? Check out my #ThrivingMindfully Podcast on how to outsmart stress with mindfulness meditation. Listen here.

I am offering a Saturday morning meditation on April 21st from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park. Go here for more details.

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My blog, podcasts, and meetups are offered as a gift to the community. Donations are encouraged to show gratitude. Feel free to make your donation in-person at the #ThrivingMindfully Meetups. You can also support me via the PayPal app or website – paypal.me/anandaleeke or the Cash app – cash.me/$AnandaLeeke. Your generosity is deeply appreciated!

 

 

Celebrate Spring & International Day of Happiness with Mindfulness & Mouth Yoga (Smiling)

Are you ready for Spring? Start it by celebrating International Day of Happiness on Tuesday, March 20, with a mindful practice of mouth yoga a/k/a smiling. Smiling is one of the best ways to create positive energy inside of yourself. When you smile mindfully, your positive energy can help open your heart to more gratitude. Also, your smile also has the power to brighten another’s person’s day!

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Check out my #ThrivingMindfully Podcast resources.

How are you planning to celebrate Spring and/or International Day of Happiness? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Enjoy Spring & International Day of Happiness!

11 Ways to Use Mindfulness for Unplugging & Sleeping Well

 

One of the lessons I learned during National Day of Unplugging last weekend was about sleeping. I discovered a better way to enjoy sleeping by turning my smartphone off and allowing myself to wake up without the alarm on Saturday and Sunday. Read my opinion piece on unplugging that was published in the Afro-American Newspaper to learn more.

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On Sunday evening, I decided to use Sleep Awareness Week (March 11-17) to add several mindful sleep practices to my daily routine. Check out the practices I used below. Since today is the last day of Sleep Awareness Week, consider trying one or more of them.

  1. Place your smartphone and digital devices in your living room, kitchen, or home office. Mute the sound on your phone ringer and notifications. If you can, turn the phone off. Use an alarm clock. Muting the sound on my phone and placing it in my living room really helped.
  2. Give yourself a few hours off from using social media, email or texting in the evenings. Set a curfew. Try 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. I tried a curfew of 11:15 p.m. to 8 a.m. on several days.
  3. Express gratitude for people and experiences. This practice opens my heart.
  4. Say a forgiveness prayer for yourself and others before you go to sleep at night. My forgiveness prayers help me release anger, disappointment, grudges, judgments, thoughts, and stories I have made up about myself and others. They help me clear my mind and cleanse my spirit and heart.
  5. Drink your favorite decaf tea before bed. I love to sprinkle turmeric in hot water or use Trader Joe’s turmeric and ginger tea.
  6. Use your favorite sheets and blankets on your bed. I love my purple sheets and cream blanket.
  7. If you are NOT allergic to scents, smudge yourself and your bedroom or home with a smudge stick to remove any negative energy. I use my smudge stick in the morning and evening.
  8. If you are NOT allergic to scents, burn your favorite incense or candle in your bedroom or home an hour or two before you sleep. You can also use a room freshener with essential oils to spray your bedroom or home. I like to use Mrs. Meyer’s lavender room freshener.
  9. Take an evening shower or bath to relax yourself. Showers are my favorites.
  10. Meditate for a 1, 5, 15, 20 or 30 minutes before going to sleep. Meditation with breathing exercises is a great mindfulness practice that can help you slow down and become aware of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. It can also help you go within and connect to your higher self. I like to practice a short meditation while laying in child’s pose, one of my favorite yoga poses, before going to sleep. Listen to my #ThrivingMindfully Podcast Series for a guided mindfulness meditation. Here’s a guided compassion meditation to open your heart. Check out my Mindful Living podcast playlist for more resources.
  11. Try gentle yoga. Like I mentioned above, child’s pose helps me relax before sleep. Go to YouTube and try my teacher Faith Hunter’s gentle yoga session. Also, do a search for gentle yoga or restorative yoga for beginners on YouTube. Check out Yoga In Bed: 20 Asanas to Do in Pajamas by Edward Vilga, one of my favorite yoga books. Learn more about my journey as a gentle yoga teacher (includes my yoga, reiki, and meditation services) and my yoga-inspired novel, Love’s Troubadours (available on Amazon). My novel tells the story of Karma Francois, a 30-something yoga teacher who is on a self-discovery journey that allows her to heal, forgive, and reinvent her life with art, meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, therapy, yoga, travel, and the support of family and friends.

If you are unable to try these tips today, I encourage you to use Sleep Awareness Week as inspiration for getting more rest in your life in 2018. Try one or more of the tips and let me know what happens in the comment section.

Happy Unplugging and Sleeping!

Photo Credit: National Sleep Foundation

 

Mindful Living: Mindfulness 101

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I discovered mindfulness when my career as a young lawyer and investment banker did not produce the level of success I expected. Mindfulness is the practice of taking a deep breath, coming into the present moment, and paying attention without judgment. The present moment is where you can access awareness, balance, and calm with loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Mindfulness is the gateway to who we truly are. It helped me overcome panic attacks, release my career expectations, develop self-care practices, and pursue my calling as an artist, author, Reiki master practitioner, speaker, and yoga teacher.

Are you new to mindfulness?

Looking for information on how to practice mindfulness in your life?

Curious about how to use mindfulness to practice gratitude, identify your fears, and become aware of the stories you tell yourself?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, check out my Mindfulness 101 Podcast playlist with 15 episodes. The episodes feature small steps you can take each day to practice mindfulness with guided meditations, a body scan, a mini toolkit, and more.

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Need more mindfulness tips and information? Check out my resources page with three free gifts created especially for you!

Click here to learn more about my mindful living offerings. Contact me at ananda@anandaleeke.com to learn how you can work with me as a speaker for your next event, trainer for your organization, or coach (one-on-one or group sessions). I look forward to hearing from you.

ALWebsite-LovesTroubadoursLooking for a great book to read? Check out my yoga-inspired novel, Love’s Troubadours and learn how the main character Karma uses mindful living practices including meditation, prayer, therapy, and yoga to heal her spirit, heart, mind, and relationships, and reinvent her career.

 

 

 

 

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