Happy New Year & My 2012 Fierce Living Theme

2012 is all about Fierce Living

Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already day 13 of the new year.  How has 2012 been so far?

I’ve been taking my southern sweet time to arrive in this new year.  It is what I call my “Fierce Living” approach.  I love that phrase!  That’s why I adopted it as my personal life theme and the 2012 theme for the Digital Sisterhood Network.

So what is Fierce Living all about?  I define it as,

“the mindful practice of unplugging, understanding, and unifying who I am online and offline from the inside out so I am able to express myself fully in my healthy living journey, Digital Sisterhood book writing, art, and work as a coach, digital media producer, yoga teacher, and innerpreneur.”

This definition has been a regular topic of discussion in my “Follow My Heart” journal.  My journal entries have explored the various colors, scents, yoga poses, travel adventures, physical exercises, magazines, music, movies, books, beverages, teas, foods, sheroes, jewelry, shoes, boots, and clothing that inspire Fierce Living.

I also created a six-word memoir: Dream. Imagine. Create. Inspire. Express Peace. These words are my 2012 Fierce Living mantras. Click here to listen to a short audio blog about what Fierce Living means to me in 2012.

Pinterest logo

Have you joined the Pinterest revolution of digital vision boards?  I am happy to admit that I did.  I created a Pinterest board with images and statements that remind me to practice Fierce Living in 2012 and beyond.  Click here to check it out.

My journal entries have also explored what Fierce Living looks like in my digital life: the time I spend online, the content I post, the comments I make on social media sites, the email and blog subscriptions I maintain, the words I use to describe myself, the photos I use to represent myself, the blog templates I use to express my thoughts, the businesses I patronize, and the causes I support.  After writing in my journal, my life began to manifest some of my thoughts.

Ananda wearing her Fierce Living orange
My Fierce Living Nine West patent leather wedge books
The Digital DIet, my new Fierce Living book I
Experience Life, one of my Fierce Living magazines
O Magazine, one of my Fierce Living magazines
Poets & Writers, one of my Fierce Living magazines
Yoga Journa, one of my Fierce Living magazines

Ananda is speaking about Fierce Living from Your Creative Heart at Blissdom

So here’s what happened during the first 12 days of the new year.  I unplugged from the web on most days and got a lot of sleep.  I also practiced yoga, meditation, mantra chanting with my mala beads, and Reiki daily.  My MINT Gym membership was used regularly.  I gave the TRX training equipment and bike a serious workout.  The medicine balls and mats were great for all of my planks, sit ups, crunches, boat poses, side planks, and forearm planks.

I went crazy reading my fashion, health, yoga, poetry, and tech magazines at healthy cafes like Sweet Green and Teaism.  I discovered a hot chocolate made with rice milk  at Teaism. Delish!  It protects me from soy and dairy allergies!  Cosi, Starbucks, and Love Cafe were the hot spots for my journal writing.  Love the tomato basil soup at Love Cafe!

Long walks home from the subway in the evening helped me practice mindfulness as I noticed the different changes in my neighborhood.  Thanks to my friend Gustavo, the owner of Habitat Live & Wear on U Street, I started having my own personal dance parties with new music from Spain.  Gustavo gave me two great CDs! Love them!

The January shopping goddess helped me score a pair of Nine West black patent leather wedge boots and a smokey quartz ring from Habitat that I have been stalking since early fall.  What bargains!

By the way, I am deep into the meaning and power of gemstones. My new smokey quartz ring has some powerful energy.  Did you know smokey quartz is nature’s stone of endurance?  It promotes personal pride and joie de vivre (joy in living), creativity in business, and opens the path for perception and learning.  It is also a protection stone that cleanses and clears negative energy. I like that it facilitates your ability to get things done in the practical world and enhances organizational skills in the workplace or home office. I definitely need all of these things as I move into my Fierce Living 2012!

I watched Young & the Restless, PAN AM, The Practice, and Grey’s Anatomy online as I organized my shoe and boot collection with Real Simple organizers, folded clothes, and decluttered my closet.

I took some time to launch my digital streamlining project for my WordPress and Tumblr blogs (still works in process … web sites will be added later this year).  That led me to select new photos for my online presence, edit and repost my bio, and reduce the amount of email I receive.

I even found a few moments to submit two speaking proposals for BlogHer 2012.  That process did not take long.  I used old proposals and added a few new lines.  I call it Fierce Living Recycled.

I also said NO to several opportunities that were exciting, but not appropriate for what I am called to do now.  Guess what?  That saying NO really does allow you to say YES when great things show up.  And that’s what happened when I accepted an amazing speaking opportunity to discuss “Fierce Living from Your Creative Heart” at BLISSDOM 2012 in February.

As a result of this Fierce Living, I received three HUGE blessings.

  • A fresh, open mind that led me to begin writing a chapter of my Digital Sisterhood book (which will be published later this year).
  • A better understanding and practice of boundaries to ensure I have creative time to write, time to play, and time to rest.
  • A renewed sense of joie de vivre (joy in living).

Now that’s Fierce Living for me!  What is Fierce Living to you?

What are your Fierce Living (FL) 2012 colors, scents, foods, yoga poses, clothing, shoes, boots, jewelry, and music?

Orange is my FL color. Pink, purple, red, yellow, blue, and black are second runners up!  Almond oil is my FL scent.  Sweet potatoes and beets are my FL food.  The forward fold and warrior one are my FL yoga pose.  My fuchsia coat from Violet Boutique is my FL clothing.  My black and pink Saucony jogging shoes are my FL shoes. My Nine West black patent leather boots are my FL boots.  My smokey quartz ring is my FL jewelry. Eric Roberson’s Mr Nice Guy CD is my FL music.

Who are your Fierce Living sheroes?

My mother Theresa and Oprah are two of my FL sheroes.

Well, that’s enough FL for a Friday! Enjoy your weekend and 2012!

Yours in Fierce Living,

Ananda

Ananda is launching the Digital Sisterhood Network’s Digital Civility and Security Initiative in July

http://civilination.org

Technology, the Internet, and social media are amazing.  They have empowered people with information, a global space, and a portfolio of tools to communicate, promote, and debate their ideas and experiences.  They have also presented challenges in how people communicate and engage with each other as they exercise their freedom of speech on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites in cyberspace.  Some of these challenges include speech that causes fear or creates a threat of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment, or lies.  Thanks to organizations like CiviliNation, an education and research nonprofit that focuses on advancing the full capability of individuals to communicate and engage in cyberspace in a responsible and accountable way, work is being done to educate people about these challenges.

In an effort to support CiviliNation’s work and to promote digital civility, the Digital Sisterhood Network is launching its Digital Civility & Security Initiative on July 4, 2011.  From July 4 to July 11, the Digital Sisterhood Network will use its web site, Digital Sisterhood Wednesday celebration, Twitter page, and radio show to promote and celebrate women in social media and organizations that provide awareness and outreach on digital civility, Internet freedom of speech, online security,  privacy, and digital etiquette.  In addition, Andrea Weckerle, CiviliNation’s founder will co-host the July 6th Twitter chat on digital civility from 8:00 pm ET to 9:00 pm ET.  Please use the hashtag #digitalsisterhood to participate in the conversation.

What do you think about digital civility?

Do you feel safe in expressing your thoughts online?

Share any stories about online communication challenges you have faced in the comment section below.

Be sure to check out the videos below featuring CiviliNation Andrea Weckerle and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke.


Please support Ananda’s Digital Sisterhood Part 2 Kickstarter Fundraiser by Making a Donation by June 28.

 

 

Hi All,

Today I am sharing a video that I recorded yesterday about my Digital Sisterhood Part 2 Kickstarter Fundraiser.  My goal is to raise $500 by June 28. Click on the link to make a donation of $1, $5, $10, $20, $30, $40, $50 or more:  http://kck.st/i15fwC.  Each person who donates will receive a gift. Check out what you will receive with your donations: http://kck.st/i15fwC.

The Story Behind My Current Fundraiser:

In September 2010, I  launched my first Kickstarter campaign to raise money for my book, Digital Sisterhood, a memoir that discusses her Internet adventures, digital sisterhood experiences, and reflections about women and the Internet during the period of 1986 to 2011.  My short-term goal was to raise $500 by December 23, 2010. My long-term goal was to raise $1,600. Guess what happened? With the support of 39 backers, I successfully raised $1,159 online and an additional $70 offline. The grand total was $1,229.

To date, I have $371 to raise in order to meet my long-term goal of $1,600. That’s why I have come back to Kickstarter with Digital Sisterhood – Part 2.  My Digital Sisterhood Part 2 book fundraising goal is $500 by June 28. This amount will cover the balance of my self-publishing expenses and help offset the cost of mailing and photography expenses.

More on Digital Sisterhood:

To learn more about Digital Sisterhood, visit the web sites below.

Web Site: http://digitalsisterhood.wordpress.com/
Book: http://digitalsisterhood.wordpress.com/book/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/digitalsisterhd

Thank you for your support! Many blessings!

Ananda is speaking at BlogHer 2011 Conference on August 5

Photo Credit: http://www.blogher.com

Something special is happening in August. I am going to the BlogHer conference as a speaker.  I will join a dynamic panel of women who will discuss peer networking. Check out the BlogHer agenda description below (text from BlogHer web site).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Session Date: August 5, 2:45 pm to 4:00 pm

Session Title: Skills: Minding Your Own Business – Peer Networking: Working together to help all boats rise

Photo Credit: http://www.blogher.com

Session Description: Much of our online business is conducted with online friends. And we all know that blogging has provided a source of support and understanding. Are you regularly taking that support offline? Are you using that support to the advantage of your business? Have you put some structure around it? This session will look at the value in creating structured peer networking groups…offline if possible, online if not…in order to accomplish specific professional goals. Whether you want to work on your writing, your business model or your value proposition, being supported by and accountable to a group of trusted peers can be exactly the boost you need. Liz Strauss moderates the conversation with Ananda Leeke, Heather Mann and Vikki Reich, who will help you figure out what kind of group you need, and how to set it up to deliver.

Smith Magazine Names Ananda as April Member of the Month for

Photo Credit: http://www.smithmag.net

Great news! Smith Magazine selected me as member of the month for April.  Click here to read Smith Magazine editor Vivian Chum’s blog post.

If you recall, Smith Magazine is one of my favorite online destinations. Why? It’s simple. Six-word memoirs.  Click here to learn more about the six-word memoirs movement.

Six-word memoirs have been creative lifesavers for me, especially when I was writing my book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery ( 2009).   have also used them in my creative coaching practice.  Click here to watch a creative coaching session (15 minutes) I hosted on UStream.tv  last year about six-word memoirs. I am also using them in my current book project, Digital Sisterhood, a memoir.

My six-word memoir for today is:  rainy skies don’t stop rainbow news.

Do you have a six-word memoir you would like to share today?  Include it in the comment section of this post below.  Thanks.

Enjoy your day!

Ananda is speaking at YWCA USA Conference on April 9

Photo Credit: http://www.ywca.org

Great news!  I am speaking about digital sisterhood and the women’s movement as a panelist for the “Conversations across the Generations on Women’s Issues and the Women’s Movement” workshop at the YWCA‘s annual convention on April 9 from 1:45 pm to 3:00 pm.  The event will be held at the Mayflower in Washington, DC. The YWCA’s conference theme is “Own the Future.” Click here to learn more.

Ananda’s March Digital Sisterhood Book Project Update (Video Blog)

Photo Credit: Ananda's Stack of Writing Goodies

Happy Last Day of March!

I hope this month has been a good one for you and your family. It’s been a wake up call for me and a time to get real about where I am in my writing process for my Digital Sisterhood book.  This morning I made a video update on my writing process so you would know exactly what I have been doing since January and what I am planning to do in April. See the video below.

What do you think about my writing process?

Enjoy!

Support Ananda’s Digital Sisterhood Part 2 Kickstarter Book Fundraiser Goal of $500 by June 28

Photo Credit: http://www.kickstarter.com

It’s Digital Sisterhood Wednesday! What a great day for the launch of Digital Sisterhood Network’s second Kickstarter.com book fundraiser.  The fundraiser supports the publication of my next book Digital Sisterhood, a memoir.  The goal is $500 by June 28.

As many of you know, my first Kickstarter.com fundraiser (September-December 2010) was extremely successful. With the support of 39 backers, I successfully raised $1,159 online and an additional $70 offline. The grand total was $1,229.

I have $371 to raise in order to meet my long-term goal of $1,600. That’s why I have returned to Kickstarter with Digital Sisterhood – Part 2. Our $500 fundraising goal will cover the balance of the iUniverse, Inc.  self-publishing, mailing, and photography expenses.

Click here to listen to my audio blog about the fundraiser.

Click here to learn more about the fundraiser and make a donation.

Many thanks for your support!

PS: Please spread the word about the Digital Sisterhood Part 2 Kickstarter Book Fundraiser.  Please use this link: http://kck.st/i15fwC.

Ananda is speaking on 3/19 @ WOMANIFESTING IN ACTION in DC and will share lessons learned from Heart of Haiti trip.

Photo Credit: Womanifesting's Logo - http://www.womanifesting.org
Photo Credit: Ananda Leeke - Tracy Chiles McGhee at DC women in social media focus group in October 2010

Have you heard of Womanifesting a/k/a WOMA? WOMA is a DC-based non-profit organization established by attorney Tracy Chiles McGhee to develop and support  programs that foster self-empowerment, sisterhood, and service in the lives of women and girls.  Tracy and I met two years ago during a writers’ workshop and realized we shared similar interests – law, writing, women’s creativity and empowerment, social justice, and service.

Last fall, I invited Tracy to participate in a focus group that discussed how social justice and nonprofit women leaders use social media. She stepped up to the plate and shined her wisdom and insights during the focus group.  She also supported my Digital Sisterhood Network and Kickstarter book fundraising project.  Her commitment and support to women and girls is above and beyond the call of duty. That’s why it was so easy for me to accept her invitation to participate as a panelist for WOMANIFESTING IN ACTION: How Local Women Leaders Make A Difference Through Community Building, Collaboration and Social Activism on March 19 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW, Room A-5, Washington, DC. During the discussion, I will share some lessons learned from my recent trip to Haiti as a Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador and work with the Digital Sisterhood Network.

Check out the dynamic women who will be speaking at the event below.

Discussion Moderators:

  • Marita Golden, Acclaimed Author, Master Literary Teacher and Co-Founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation
  • Nikita Mitchell, Gen Y Writer/Blogger,  who was recently named one of the Top 10 Nonprofit Bloggers to Watch in 2011

Keynote Speaker:

  • Yasmine Arrington, a DC high school student who started a college scholarship fund for aspiring college students with incarcerated parents

Program Participants:

  • DC Councilwoman Muriel Bowser
  • Patricia Nalls, Founder & Executive Director, The Women’s Collective, 2010 Washingtonian of the Year
  • Carrie L. Ellis, Director of Project Management, KaBOOM! & Board Chair, Teaching for Change
  • Shannon and Chai, Co-Founders  of Holla Back DC
  • Marielle Mariano, East Coast Coordinator, Chalk4Peace
  • Jessica T. Solomon, Founder, The Saartjie Project & Chief Visionary Officer, Spark Creativity

Ananda’s #HeartofHaiti Post: Next Haitian President Could Be A Woman – Mirlande Manigat

 

Poster of Haitian Presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat in Jacmel, Haiti


While I was visiting Jacmel, Haiti during my Heart of Haiti blogger trip in February, I saw posters of Rally of Progressive National Democrats’ Presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat, a 70 year old politician, legal scholar, former Senator, Sorbonne-trained academic, mother, grandmother, and wife of former Haitian President Leslie Manigat.  Guess what? In three days, the former First Lady and vice rector of the Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince could make Haitian women’s history by becoming the first woman President of Haiti. Click here to learn more about her.