We Are Resilient When We Practice Mindfulness & Self-Care!

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Here’s a much needed reminder I received recently.

WE ARE RESILIENT!

That’s right I used the big “R” word and claimed it for all of us!

What is resilience?

It’s a human quality and a choice that allows us to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of any adversity, crisis, difficulty, disappointment or failure in our lives, careers, and businesses. It takes choosing to tap into the quality of resilience that lives within us. It takes making a commitment and then doing the work needed to navigate the rough spots and tough times that I like to call our greatest growth opportunities.

So how can we tap into our resiliency?

Here’s what I know to be true from my own life and work as a wellness professional, an artist, an author, and a recovering high achiever, a lawyer, and an investment banker.

When we tap into our human birthright of mindfulness and choose to practice it along with self-care, we are nurturing and strengthening ourselves.

These two efforts begin with the Thriving Mindfully framework I have used in my mindfulness, self-care, and wellness work with individuals, companies, organizations, and communities for the past 20+ years.

The Thriving Mindfully framework consists of:

  • AWARENESS: We become aware of our birthrights of mindfulness and self-care:   1) Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of what’s happening inside and outside of ourselves in the present moment; and 2) Self-care is the act of nurturing ourselves in ways that uplift our spirit, heart, mind, body, life, career, and business.
  • ACCEPTANCE: We accept and claim our birthrights to mindfulness and self-care.
  • AFFIRMATION: We set an intention and affirm our birthrights to mindfulness and self-care with what I call the Big 5 on a daily basis: loving kindness, compassion, nonjudgment, patience, and forgiveness.
  • ACTION: We commit to and practice mindfulness and self-care by taking action steps.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: We seek and secure accountability partners to support our efforts to practice mindful self-care.
  • APPRECIATION: We appreciate ourselves and mindful self-care efforts by celebrating our small, medium, and big wins on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis.

BONUS TREAT: Listen to the Thriving Mindfully Podcast episode on resiliency.

RESOURCES

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If you need mindfulness, self-care, and wellness resources, I am here for you! Check out the links to my Thriving Mindfully Academy, blogs, podcasts, and more below.

  1. Thriving Mindfully Academy, an online learning platform that provides personal and professional development education, coaching, training, and resources on mindfulness, meditation, self-care, and wellness.
  2. Thriving Mindfully Podcast has over 100 episodes on mindfulness, meditation, self-care, and wellness.
  3. Thriving Mindfully Weekly Recipe of Mindful Self-Care Themes
  4. Recent Blog: Mindfulness & Self-Care Resources for Navigating Coronavirus Emergency
  5. Recent Blog: Welcome Spring with A Digital Wellness Plan that Helps You &Your Loved Ones Navigate COVID-19
  6. Recent Blog: Embracing Home Sweet Home with Mindfulness

ONE LAST THING!

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Don’t miss out on my Stress Awareness Month (April) and National Meditation Month (May) updates, resources, tips. online classes, and trainings. Sign up for my updates here.

 

Embracing Home Sweet Home with Mindfulness

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During this week’s Wellness Wednesday Meditation Class on Facebook Live, I shared a quote from the “phenomenal woman,” Dr. Maya Angelou, one of my favorite sheroes, about home.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

I used Dr. Angelou’s quote to introduce a mindful reflection on how we are nourishing our physical home and the homes we inhabit in our body, mind with our thoughts, emotions with our heart, and soul with our spirit.

I also shared an excerpt from my poem, “Home” that is published in my book, That Which Awakens Me (available on Amazon).

Go here to watch this week’s class video on Facebook.

In case you missed last week’s class, watch the video here.

Sign up and get ready for the April 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th classes here.

Watch the class on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/anandaleeke64.

Special Treat: Thriving Mindfully Podcast Episode

 

Listen to the latest Thriving Mindfully Podcast episode on embracing your home sweet home with mindfulness. It includes a reading of my poem, “Home” that is published in That Which Awakens Me (available on Amazon).

Mindful Journaling Exercise

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Guess what I have for you? A mindful reflection and/or journaling exercise that will help you explore your relationship with your home.

Check out the questions below. You may want to share the questions with your loved ones to spark a discussion.

  • When you hear the word ‘home’ what comes to mind?
  • How does your current home nurture and support you?
  • Do you feel at home in your body, mind, heart, and/or spirit? Why or why not?
  • What can you do in the next 30-90 days to support yourself in feeling at home in your body, mind, heart and/or spirit?

BONUS QUESTIONS: If you want go deeper, spend time exploring these questions.

  • Who will serve as your accountability partner and support you in taking the actions steps in the next 30-90 days?
  • How will you celebrate your small, medium, and big wins from the action steps in the next 30-90 days?

Meditation and Mindfulness 101 Session Videos

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This week, Meico Whitlock, Founder/CEO of Mindful Techie, and I have led a series of Meditation and Mindfulness 101 sessions during the Plugged In Nonprofit Tech and Transformation, a free digital conference hosted by Keela. see the videos below. Feel free to watch them with your loved ones at home. We hope they will support your mindful self-care practice.

Wanna join me for the March 26th class? Sign up here.

March 24th class led by Meico

 

March 25th class led by your truly

Do You Need Help?

Help

Does your company or organization need help in navigating the new normal of working from home?

Do you and your colleagues and clients need training and coaching support to learn how to mindfully work from home, manage stress with mindful self-care practices, use mindful creativity and communication practices to be more effective, and use technology mindfully to be more productive?

If you answered YES or MAYBE to one or both of these questions, contact me to see how we can work together: ananda@anandaleeke.com.

Go here to complete my online client in-take form to get the ball rolling!

I look forward to hearing from you in the coming days and weeks.

PS: I am happy to support you and your team with online coaching and trainings. It’s something I’ve been doing for years!

Thriving Mindfully Academy

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I decided to offer a soft launch of the Thriving Mindfully Academy to support and help people just like YOU and mission-driven companies, organizations, and communities navigate the COVID-19 emergency.

The Thriving Mindfully Academy is an online learning platform that provides professional development education, coaching, training, and resources in the following areas:

  • Mindfulness 101
  • Mindful Self-Care
  • Mindful Creativity
  • Mindful at Work
  • Mindful Communication
  • Mindful Relationships
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Mindful Technology

April is Stress Awareness Month. Outsmart stress in your life, career, and business during my Wellness Wednesday Meditation classes on April 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and April 29th from 7-7:15 AM ET via: Facebook.com/AnandaLeeke64.

If you miss the class, I will post the replay on my social media channels.

Mindful Self-Care Weekly Themes

Watch my video to learn how you can bring more mindful self-care into your life, career, and business with the Thriving Mindfully Weekly Recipe of Themes (for each day of the week; includes tips).

Spring Reading Recommendations

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Check out my three mindfulness books (available on Amazon): 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.

Mindfulness & Self-Care Resources for Navigating Coronavirus Emergency

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Hey Groovy People!

How are you and your family and friends doing with navigating the coronavirus emergency?

How are you practicing mindfulness and self-care?

If you need support with your mindfulness and self-care practice, check out the resources and video below.

Go here for more free resources on my website.

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Check out the Thriving Mindfully Podcast episodes below.  Go here to listen to the over 100 Thriving Mindfully Podcast episodes on mindfulness, meditation, self-care, and wellness. Share them with your family, friends, and colleagues.

Watch my video (above) to learn how I’m using the coronavirus (kora-virus is what I call it by accident; read the description on YouTube to find out what kora refers to) as a personal development growth and service opportunity to support you with the soft launch of the Thriving Mindfully Academy next week (mindfulness exercise is included at the end). Look out for more news about the launch of the Thriving Mindfully Academy and online events next week.

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.

Need to Press the Reset Button on Your 2020?

ResetButtonJanuary is almost over and I have a HUGE confession to make. I needed to press the reset button on 2020 last week. That’s right I had to start the year over again. Does that sound like you?

Here’s why I hit the reset button on 2020. I discovered I wasn’t living what I have been preaching in the way I manage my home. This year, I made a commitment to Thriving Mindfully in my home with more joy, beauty, organization, and less stuff. I committed to using many tips based on the Marie Kondo method. FYI: Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author.

I love Kondo’s approach to live with things you cherish and release those things you no longer want, need, and cherish. My struggle came with following through on my commitment. I procrastinated doing the work. So I enlisted the support of Meico, my brother, BFF, and accountability partner; Lauren, my BFF and Howard University School of Law classmate (affectionately known as the Black Martha Stewart); Wayne, my BFF and book editor; and Wayne’s amazing wife, Joy, my friend and home decor and lifestyle expert. Yep, I assembled a team of folks to help me overcome my struggles. Having a team made me more accountable and gave me tips, strength, support, and that extra nudge to get things done. They were also my cheerleaders and helped me celebrate my small, medium, and big steps

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With my accountability team’s support, I was able to complete a large portion of my home beautification project over the weekend. Dig how I am using the phrase home beautification to describe my decluttering and cleaning efforts. I had to rename the process because the words decluttering and cleaning were too heavy. They made me resist the process. Using the phrase home beautification gave me more JOY and motivation to reset my 2020 button on my home. Check out photos of my new and improved living room above.

What'sNewwithYou

So what’s happening with you so far?

Do you need to restart 2020?

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 be the REAL YOU?

Struggling with how you are showing up in your life, relationships, career, and/or business?

Well, let’s reset the 2020 button together and create space within ourselves to embrace Thriving Mindfully with self-care.

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Start with the Thriving Mindfully Podcast about the meaning of Thriving Mindfully as a heart-centered approach. Go here to listen to the episode.

Need more support?

Join me this week for the encore offerings of my mindful self-care online retreats for women on January 30th and all people on January 31st. The online retreats offer you an opportunity to take a deep dive into who you were in 2019, who you want to be in 2020, and how you can use mindful self-care practices to support yourself throughout the year.

During the online retreats, you will:

  • Breath deeply and meditate
  • Practice affirmations and gentle chair yoga
  • Learn about mindfulness and mindful self-care
  • Reflect on and journal about who YOU have become
  • Explore how you have loved, valued, and honored yourself
  • Find out who or what’s been getting in your way
  • Release and practice forgiveness
  • Dive deep and discover the YOU that you want to be in 2020
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest the person you want to be in 2020
  • Write a love letter to yourself about who you want to be in 2020
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins in 2020

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Go here to buy your tickets for the Online Women’s Mindful Self-Care Retreat: Thriving Mindfully as YOU in 2020 and Beyond on Thursday, January 30th from 8-10 PM ET via Zoom ($107).

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Go here to get your tickets for the Online Mindful Self-Care Retreat for Everyone: Thriving Mindfully as YOU in 2020 and Beyond on Friday, January 31st from 8-10 PM ET via Zoom ($107).

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SOMETHING BIG IS HAPPENING IN MARCH!

SIGN UP HERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION.

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One of the best ways I have been able to practice self-care over the past two decades is through marrying my mindfulness practice with my practice of honoring the new and full moons and the astrological wisdom that supports each moon cycle. I call it being MOONFUL.

Being MOONFUL has helped me strengthen my relationship with myself and others. It has also helped me become more intuitive, intentional, focused, and open-hearted. All of these efforts have led me to the process of MOONIFESTING, the act of manifesting my heart’s desires in my life, career, and relationships with the support of the power and presence of the new and full moons. Last year, I launched the Thriving Mindfully Moon Circles to share what I have learned with folx in DC and online.

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Join me for the Thriving Mindfully Moon Circles at Qi Kratom CBD Tea, 1517 U Street, NW in DC in February.

Coaching2ONE-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 seven coaching areas include: mindfulness, mindful self-care, mindful creativity, mindful communication, mindful leadership, mindful at work, and mindful technology. Contact ananda@anandaleeke.com if you need more support. We can set up a free 20-minute consultation call to discuss how we can work together. I offer an hourly rate and three-month and six-month packages.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

What Needs A Fresh Start in Your Life and Career? — Embrace Your Fresh Start with the Thriving Mindfully New Moon Circles on Nov 24th & 26th

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As we get closer to the end of 2019, I have been asking myself and my coaching clients one big question.

WHAT NEEDS A FRESH START IN YOUR LIFE AND CAREER?

My response focused on my fitness routine. It’s been stuck and not producing the results I had hoped to see before my December birthday. So I decided to hire a personal trainer. Yesterday, a friend recommended his trainer. I contacted the trainer and scheduled an evening consultation call. Well, it was a totally different call than I expected. I actually did a mini workout while we were on the call. The workout was climbing my steps 10 times within four minutes. During my first round, I completed eight trips up and down my steps. My second and third rounds were much bettter. I completed 10 rounds in less than 4 minutes.

That mini workout session sent me to sleep with a big smile. Why? It was a step in the direction of my fresh start!

This morning, I had my first full session with my new trainer. I completed the power walking routine in the alloted time and felt energized by the next step in my fresh start.

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During the past 27 years, I have been on a juicy self-discovery journey with no end date in sight. Throughout my journey, I have incorporated mindful self-care practices that tap into the power of new and full moons, astrology, crystal therapy, chakra healing, meditation, reiki, yoga, sound healing, journaling, and art-making. All of these practices have been essential to fresh starts and new beginnings in my life. This weekend, I am carving time out to explore the power of the new moon in Sagittarius which occurs on November 26th at 10:06 AM ET. The new moon will give us an opportunity to tap into the lunar energy of fresh starts and new beginnings.

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On Sunday, November 24th, I am hosting the Thriving Mindfully Moon Circle to welcome in the new moon from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Qi Kratom CBD Tea in DC. If you are in DC, plan to join me. Bring a friend! REGISTER HERE.

If you can’t make it, sign up for the online Thriving Mindfully Moon Circle on Tuesday, November 26th from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET via Zoom. Invite your friends to join you! REGISTER HERE.

 

5 Mindfulness Resources: Podcasts to Jumpstart 2018

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January 2018 is almost over. How is it treating you? How are you treating it? When is the last time you slowed down and breathed deeply? How often are you present and aware of what’s truly happening? Need more mindful moments in your life?

I’d like to you invite you to explore how mindfulness can support you in your daily living, creativity, and career with the podcast resources below.

1) Mini Mindfulness Toolkit (43.40 minutes): Includes a reflection on the meaning of mindfulness, a tune-in (pre-meditation check-in with breathing exercises), a guided meditation, and journaling exercises

2) Be Present (16.31 minutes): Includes a body scan to help you relax and come into the present moment

3) Outsmart Stress with Meditation (16.56 minutes): Includes a basic guided mindfulness meditation

4) Open Your Heart with Compassion Meditation (20.07 minutes): Includes meditation that helps you have compassion for yourself when dealing with difficult people

5) Mindfulness on the Go (6.15 minutes): Includes breathing exercises and a guided mindful moment

 

 

Mindfulness & Self-Care Practices for #WomensMarch, Social Justice & Human Rights Activists

In 2017, I attended the Women’s March with my Sigma Gamma Rho Soror Karla Ray Thompson and Unity sistafriend Kim Davis in Washington, DC. It reminded me of the experiences I had while attending the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, Million Woman’s March in Philadelphia in 1997, and the March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC in 2004.

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Did you participate in the 2017 and 2018 Women’s March events? Are you involved in social justice and human rights in your local community, city, state, or country?

Your social justice and human rights’ work is important. The time you invest to support equality, fairness, and justice is appreciated. I have one question for you: how are you taking care of yourself as you do the work?

If you need tips and tools on how to practice self-care with mindfulness in your social justice and human rights work, listen to the #ThrivingMindfully Podcast. It includes three mindfulness exercises: a tune in (check-in), a meditation, and journaling. May they support you in your self-care practice!

Coming Home to Myself

Ananda at the Artists-in-Residence Retreat sponsored by Smith Center for Healing the Arts in May 2010

This morning I woke up thinking about a collage book that I made during the Artists-in-Residence Retreat sponsored by the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in May 2010.  I remembered I posted photos of the book on my Flickr page.  So I used my smartphone to access the site.  My eyes were drawn to three images with wisdom messages that spoke to my heart.

Photo Credit: Always Open Your Hand to Receive Collage and Photo by Ananda Leeke

Image #1 Wisdom from Yours Truly: Always open your hand to receive.

Photo Credit: Ananda Leeke's collage of author Clarissa Pinkola Estes' wisdom quote

Image #2 Wisdom from poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes: “In the face of ‘too much’ we gradually become dry, our hearts get tired, our energies become spare, and a mysterious longing for – we almost never have a name for it other than ‘a something’ rises up in us more and more.”

Photo Credit: Ananda Leeke's collage featuring author Madeleine L'Engle's qisdom quote

Image #3 Wisdom from author Madeleine L’Engle:  “Every so often I need OUT.”

These messages represented a Spring wake up call:  Continue practicing awareness of what I need.  They also invited me to return to the first page of my 2012 journal.  Here’s what I wrote on January 1.

Photo Credit: Road Home by Ananda Leeke (2010)

2012 must be different from 2011. I must return to the deep, juicy space of creativity that I discovered in 1992, the year I baptized myself in poetry, meditation, journal writing, self publishing my own work, art, daydreaming, museum and gallery visits, and travel adventures. I must come home to myself. What road must I take?  When I start walking along the road, how do I come home to myself? Through fierce living from your creative heart. What’s that?

Fierce Living is

F – Finding your

I – Inner women inside of you by

E – Exploring who they are and

R – Receiving them into your life as your

C – Community of

E – Expression and

When you tap into your inner women be sure to

L – Listen to them because they offer

I – Intuition

V – Vulnerability

I – Imagination

N – Nurturing and

G – Growth opportunities

This acronym of fierce living from my creative heart has become my personal theme for 2012 and a reminder of what I need to do to come home to myself.

Coming home to myself has allowed me to spend time reconnecting with my eight inner women otherwise known as archetypes and personalities. We’ve known each other for many years now. They include Ancestor, my wise woman; Ananda, my spirit woman and mystic; Kiamsha, my creative woman; Madelyn, my CEO woman; Cheryl, my balanced woman and peacekeeper; Puf, my girl child and Black American Princess; Sapphire, my warrior woman and sexy vixen; and Broomhilda, my inner critic.

Since January, we have reconnected through mindful meditation, Reiki healing touch, yoga, journaling, collage making, writing an intention statement, playing with six-word memoirs, going on creative adventure dates and walks, reading magazines, listening to music, shopping for our favorite things, and playing dress up in my closet. This investment of time has helped me deeply listen to myself.  So far, I have discovered that I need to do a better job of taking care of myself.  I need to practice self-compassion.  I need more ME time to just be, to rest, to daydream, to imagine, and to create.  I need to set better boundaries with my time, energy, resource sharing, and relationships.  I also need to say NO to certain people and requests so I can have space to say YES to the people and things that nourish my creative heart.  Today, I discovered coming home to myself is a daily necessity and an essential part of my life journey.

Copyright 2012 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All Rights Reserved.

Wreck This Journal – Week 4 Update

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Hi All,

Last Friday marked week four for my Next Chapter Book Blogging Group. We are having a grand time with the book Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.  Click here to see what my creative sistaloves are doing:   http://tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com/2009/06/wreck-this-journal-week-4.html.

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This morning I woke up feeling very anxious about a series of changes I am experiencing.  These changes are transforming the landscape of what my current life looks like.  They are pushing me out of the cocoon of a ten-year comfort zone.  Sometimes they scare me.  They show me my fears.  They make me revisit old wounds.  I don’t like them, but they don’t care. They are happening and will continue to happen.  How do I want to respond?  That’s the question I asked myself over and over again before I got out of bed and headed to the yoga mat.  As I came into child’s pose, I asked Creator for guidance and help.  The music of Jai Uttal kept me company.  It seeped into my throat and before long I found myself chanting Sita Ram over and over again. The chanting helped ease some of my anxious feelings.  Feeling more grounded, I began doing a series of 10 sun salutations. At the end, I sat down on my mat and did several rounds of alternate nostril breathing before chanting Sita Ram with my mala beads 108 times. 

When my morning practice was over, I headed back to my bedroom to grab my Wreck This Journal book.  Me and the book walked into the kitchen and sat down at a table filled with magic markers, scissors, gluesticks, and magazine clippings.  I noticed a quote by Dante and decided to paste it on the cover of the book: “Follow your own path and let people talk.”  I wondered what is my path in the midst of change?  Four wisdom phrases emerged:

1) Keep your heart open.

2) Surrender and do not resist.

3) Embrace and enjoy the destruction and release of your old life as an opportunity to actively witness and participate in the transformation process.

4) Give thanks and be grateful for all changes even the ones that make you panic,  scare you into old wounds, and cause you to feel doubts and fears.

Enjoy your week!

Peace, Surrender, Change, Release, Transformation, and Creativity,

Ananda

Summer Wisdom Collage

Happy Wednesday All,

This morning I woke up with a lot of energy. So I made several collages for my Sisterhood, the Blog site and a summer wisdom collage.  The wisdom messages that selected me (that’s right … they selected me) were exactly what I needed.  Check them out below.  Do you have any summer wisdom? 

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

AKML-personalwisdom

Summer Wisdom collage by Ananda Leeke

Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke.

 

My Summer Wisdom Messages:

1) What I know for sure … love your body!!!!

2) Better health means more energy to do things you want to do.

3) She’s got the power.

4) Change, in all shapes and sizes, can definitely bring out our deepest fears–but it also offers us vital new encounters with the bountiful magic of life.