It’s Friday confession time. One of my favorite past times is writing and sharing six-word memoirs on the Smith Magazine six-word memoir web site. Today, I posted one that I wrote during a six-word memoir networking icebreaker held on Day #2 of the Blogalicious 2010 conference. After posting it, I rediscovered 30 (yes 30) six-word memoirs I posted. See below. Some of them are gonna show up in my next book Digital Sisterhood: A Gen X-er Memoir on Life & the Internet.
Do you have a six-word memoir? Share it.
Go ahead and join the six-word memoir movement on Smith Magazine’s site: http://www.smithmag.net. It’s a lot of fun!
-July 5 @9pm EST – Women who attended Blogging While Brown conference on June 18 and 19 in DC
-July 6 @8pm EST – Najeema Thompson
-July 8 @8pm EST – Amanda Jones
-July 12 @8pm EST – Shon Bacon
-July 20 @8pm EST – Michele McGraw
-July 26 @8pm EST – Devra Renner
-July 29 @8pm EST – April Davis
5) Listen to Ananda host Sisterhood the Blog Radio’s July 31st episode at 1:00 pm EST featuring a discussion with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. members about their use of social media during Boule 2010 (national convention) held from July 14 to July 22 in Palm Springs, California. FYI – Ananda is a member of Sigma! The show will also include a discussion on how Ananda’s Sigma sorority sisters use social media in their businesses. www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.
February is one of my favorite months. I am celebrating February by offering online yoga classes, author chats, and creative coaching sessions. See my schedule of online events below. I hope you can join me. Please share them with your network.
If you like or learn anything from these online events, please consider making a donation to support Doctors Without Borders’ work to improve the lives of Haitians impacted by the January 12th earthquake. Click here to learn more and make a donation: www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
1) YOGA FOR WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH AND PEOPLE OF HAITI ON STICKAM.COM
I will be teaching a series of online yoga classes on February 5, 12, 19, and 26 to honor women’s heart health month and the people of Haiti on Stickam.com: www.stickam.com/anandaleeke. Each class will be held from 7:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. EST.
I am hosting three author chats on The Ananda Leeke Show, my new BlogTalkRadio program, on February 8, 15, and 22 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anandaleeke. During the author chats, I will read excerpts from my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One and share reflections that answer the question of the day. See the list of questions of the day below.
1) Who are love’s troubadours? – February 8
2) What does love look like in my main character Karma Francois’ life? – February 15
3) What is love mentalism? – February 22
3) CREATIVITY COACHING SESSIONS ON USTREAM.TV
Join me for two creative coaching sessions on Ananda Leeke Live!, my UStream.tv show, on February 11 and 25 from 9:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. EST. Click here to watch the show: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ananda-leeke-live. Don’t worry if you miss the live recording. A recording will be archived on the web site.
My online coaching sessions will utilize creativity exercises included in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery. See the list of topics below.
a. How to use six-word memoirs to identify the many parts of yourself – February 11
b. What does creativity look like in your life? – February 25
Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for Love,
Today I listened to NPR journalist Michel Martin’s conversation with James Braxton Peterson, assistant professor of English and Africana Studies at Bucknell University, about the meaning of service and its connection to Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s legacy of service. It was aired on Martin’s NPR show, Tell Me More on January 18. Click here to listen to the conversation (11 minutes): www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122626581.
I was really moved by Professor Peterson’s definition of service:
“Service has got to be not just the action but also a mind state and that’s something that’s got to be sustained over the course of the year, throughout your life. It’s a very, very important act, particularly people of color and people who come from certain circumstances understand that service is what helps folk who are underprivileged to rise above and transcend their own circumstances.”
I totally agree with the idea that service is a mind state. My mind state of service started when I was growing up in my parents’ home. They both believed in service to their family, friends, local neighborhood in P.G. County, Maryland, and St. Joseph Catholic Church.
My mother exposed me to the meaning of service through her active membership and participation in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Sigma’s motto is “Greater Service, Greater Progress.” It became my personal motto when I joined Sigma in 1983. It also helped me develop my personal plan on how I contribute to my community and the world.
During Martin’s radio show, Professor Peterson also shared the following remarks:
“Remember, the idea around service is that it’s grassroots so that if everyone does a little bit, then actually that’s where the movement comes in. So, every small contribution does count. And listen, if you don’t have time contributing a few dollars to particularly service-oriented organization, it’s very, very important.”
“Part of community service is being an outstanding, contributing citizen within your community. That’s the first step, that you actually are someone who handles their own economic business, their family business and is responsible as a citizen in the United States.”
“So if everyone helps the elderly person to cross the street or if everyone goes into a school and tries to mentor one child even if it’s for one day, that’s going to be very, very powerful. That’s going to be extremely powerful. So, every little bit counts. We’re thinking aggregate here. And we’re thinking and hoping that everyone will rise to the challenge and the responsibility of service in our society.”
WOW! Professor Peterson’s really hit home with me. They made me go back and read my path of service discussed in my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on Amazon.com – http://tiny.cc/7uFsg). I have included an excerpt below.
Excerpt from Chapter Seven: Service. Vocation. Answering Your Life’s Calling. (one of my favorite six-word memoirs – www.smithmag.net)
Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke
The Birth of Service
A thousand thoughts ran through my mind as I tried to trace the birth of service in my life.
Three thoughts cemented themselves into my psyche.
Thought #1 – My parents taught me the more you have, the
more you are called to give through service they provided to
their neighborhood, church community, and membership
Thought #2 – The Catholic Church reinforced this teaching by
promoting charity to others.
Thought #3 – Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority required its
members to perform community service as an extension of its
motto: Greater Service, Greater Progress.
One question followed.
How did these thoughts shape my ideas and commitments to
My journal opened itself and soul searching unfolded onto its
Each page was decorated with one sentence.
I read them out loud and realized they were affi rmations I can
use to create a service creed for guidance and reminders.
I serve because I want to honor my ancestors by leaving Mother
Earth better than I found her.
I serve based on a family legacy that cherishes giving back through
I serve from the center of my spirit which is rooted in sacred
teachings that promote charity, compassion, and contemplative
I serve individuals, communities, and organizations that connect
to my deepest passions: creativity, healing, yoga, meditation, Reiki,
green living, people of color, and women.
I serve because my work contributes to greater service, greater
I serve because giving creates a vacuum for receiving, completes a
cycle of abundance, and says to the universe I claim my oneness
with everyone and everything.
Join me in celebrating the release of Smith Magazine’s new six-word memoir book, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure which features one of my six-word memoirs: Go Green BoHo BAP. Urban Debutante. The book is available on Amazon.com.
As many of you know, I am a HUGE fan of six-word memoirs. They became an elixir for writing blocks during my memoir writing process. They were so powerful that I used them to create chapter titles and several poems in my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery(2009 – available on Amazon.com). That Which Awakens Me also includes a series of six-word memoir writing exercises in the Creativity Appendices. I use them with my creativity coaching and yoga clients.
This month I thought it would be fun to celebrate the six-word memoir movement with a series of blog posts featuring a collection of new and favorite six-word memoirs from That Which Awakens Me. I also want you to share your six-word memoirs in the comment section. So to get us started, I have posted an excerpt from That Which Awakens Me which explains six-word memoirs below.
Excerpt, Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke: “A six-word memoir is a statement that tells a story about who you are and how you live your life. It expresses your identity, personality, emotions, family connections, personal interests, favorite things, wisdom, life philosophy/motto, beliefs, professions, and/or experiences. The rules that govern the six-word memoir writing process are very relaxed. You only need to use six words! They can come from any language you choose. Six-word memoirs are revolutionary because they don’t require you to follow English grammar rules. What a relief! You are free to write fragmented sentences, one word descriptions followed by a period or dash, six words that mirror a grocery list, or six words no one can understand or relate to but yourself. Your six-word memoir is your gift to yourself.”
Here’s my six-word memoir for today: January in Washington offers sunshine chills.