Happy #CreativityThursday: Celebrating International Soul Art Day

Happy #CreativityThursday!

Have you ever heard of Soul Art and International Soul Art Day?

Photo Credit: SoulArtStudio.com
Photo Credit: SoulArtStudio.com

Laura Hollick, an artist and shaman, is the brainchild behind them (see photo above). She is also founder of Soul Art Studio, a business that guides people to connect with their spirit and create a life and business that expresses it. Hollick says, “Soul Art awakens your inner artist so you can create your reality.”

Photo Credit: SoulArtDay.com
Photo Credit: SoulArtDay.com

International Soul Art Day is annual celebration held on May 14 that brings together Soul Artist from around the world to connect virtually and create art together for the day. Yesterday, I joined the Soul Art Day celebration by listening to recordings of two Google Hangout session and creating my own body mapping art project.

My Soul Art Day mixed media collage
My Soul Art Day mixed media collage

The body mapping art project allowed me to trace my hands and feet, journal, and create a mixed media collage (see photo above). The collage has become a visual affirmation and celebration of what’s living in my creative heart.

Have you ever participated in an online creativity challenge, event, or project that encouraged you to explore and honor your creative process?


Happy Creativity Thursday: What are your favorite art forms?

Ananda's Collages
Ananda’s Collages

Happy Creativity Thursday!

What is your favorite art form?

Mine is collage. I can make them all day long. They help me express what’s waiting to burst forth from my creative heart. They also help me visualize my creative making process. I use them when I am writing my books and working on other projects. I also use them in my visualization boards.

Ananda's books and paintings
Ananda’s books and paintings

What creative dreams are you longing to give birth to?

I long to give birth to more books and paintings. I have a few e-books and a novel inside of me. I also have some big paintings that long to live on the canvas.

May we all use the Spring season to give birth to our creativity!


From now until March 31, I am offering a special discount package on my creativity coaching services. See details below.

My Creativity Coaching Practice: Click here to read more about my approach and background as a creativity coach.

Discount Period: The creativity coaching packages must be purchased via PayPal by March 31, 2014. They must be used by July 31, 2014.

Fees and Services:

1) 1 one-hour session with 2 email follow ups – $99.95 (original price – $139.95)

2) 3 one-hour sessions with 4 email follow ups – $359.95 (original price – $389.95)

3) 6 one-hour sessions with 7 email follow ups – $769.95 (original price – $799.95)

4) 9 one-hour sessions with 10 email follow ups – $1,169.99 (original price – $1,199.99)

5) 12 one-hour sessions with 13 email follow ups – $1,569.95 (original price – $1599.95)

Contact Information: If you are interested in one or more of the packages, please send me an email at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com to schedule a free 20-minute consultation call (available via telephone, Skype, and Google Hangout).


Happy Creativity Thursday: Collage Births My Holiday Spirit


Happy Creativity Thursday!

Have you gotten into the holiday spirit yet? What was the driving force? Was it a song, commercial, memory, office party, tree with decorations, or a Starbucks hot beverage?

My holiday spirit arrived while working as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts and creating an interactive wall collage for staff at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday afternoon (see photo above). As I cut out images from magazines and asked staff about their holiday season traditions, my heart opened up to the beauty of the season. The beauty for me is captured best in a six-word memoir: joyful gratitude for family and friends.

Do you make holiday art and/or decorations?

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Happy July 4th and Happy Creativity Thursday!

Guess what I am doing next week? I’m taking artist Tina Lassiter’s “An Evening in the Garden of Goddess Delight” workshop on July 11 at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. Tina describes the workshop as a collage-making “joyshop” that will evoke change, stimulate thinking, and transform the lives of those who accept an invitation for exploration. It’s just what I need to jumpstart my own collage-making painting process.

Tina Lassiter at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery
Tina Lassiter at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery

In June, I had a chance to chat with Tina at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery  opening of the “From the Outside” exhibition. Some of her work is featured in the exhibit. I love her goddess collages!

More About Tina: She is also a writer, photographer, and Director of Creative & Therapeutic Arts Services at Children’s National Medical Center. Last year, She became a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist in addition to receiving certifications in Reiki and Acupressure. She is currently working to help Children’s National Medical Center establish an integrative medicine program.

What are you doing to celebrate creativity in July?

Digitial Diet Update & Nurturing Creativity with Collage

Collage and photo by Ananda Leeke

Happy Monday!

My digital diet for the week of April 9 helped me be more mindful about my time.  I was able to write, rest, practice yoga/Reiki/meditation, go to the gym, take care of home and personal finance responsibilities, attend an art exhibition opening at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, participate in the monthly artists-in-residence meeting held at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, create collages with patients and staff at the Walter Reed National Medical Military Center, and read chapters from Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection during my morning commute with greater ease.  I noticed my creative juices were flowing much better.  The best part of the week was not carrying my smartphone with me most days.

My biggest challenge was going online in the evenings to check my email and other social media accounts.  On some days, I spent more time than I originally budgeted. So I am working this week on sticking to my plan.

My greatest lesson learned was that when I write my Digital Sisterhood book chapter drafts on paper instead of my lap top I am less likely to go online in the evening.

Collage and photo by Ananda Leeke

Last month I started making a weekly collage to nurture my creativity journey.  These collages help me stay on track with my commitment to expressing my visual voice.  Many of them serve as visual affirmations that I use to support my fierce living commitment to self-care, fitness, unplugging, and completing my Digital Sisterhood book.  I included two collages above from my April collection.  What do you think?

How are you nurturing your creativity?

Are you making collages or artwork?  If yes, share links in the comment section.

My Creative Process: Art Making and Memoir Book Writing

Ananda writing at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts

I am in the middle of writing my second memoir, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years.  It’s my third book in five years!

My creative process is magical, messy, and SLOW right now.  I am struggling with the fear of writing a new book and wondering how it will be received.  I have turned to my artwork for comfort.

My creative soul has found sanctuary in Collagetry.  Collage + Poetry = Collagetry.  It is a technique I developed while working as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital.

Ananda's art supplies
Ananda's art supplies
Ananda's art supplies

A few weeks ago I created several Collagetrys (my made up word) for patients I was working with at The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  I took photos of the collages because they spoke to my writing fears and life as an artist.  See below.


This Memoir Collagetry reminded me to own my story and voice in my writing process.  It also reminded me of the collages I made during my first memoir writing process and the energy and inspiration I received after creating them.  So I made a mental note to make more time in my writing process for collage.

Healing Artist Collagetry

The message of this Healing Artist Collagetry really touched me: Self-expression.  This is you. This is now. Healing artist. Your heart. Watercolor landscape.  It offered me permission to use my healing artwork as a path back to my  memoir writing.

Six-word memoir Collagetry

I adore six-word memoirs and have used them in my work as an artist-in-residence.  This six-word memoir’s message states: The Creative Kingdom. Healing Ways Soothe.  It led me to do a Google search for blogs written by collage artists who use words in their work.  My search introduced me to artist/blogger Kelly Rae Roberts and her book, Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings

Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings by Kelly Rae Roberts - photo credit: Amazon.com

After reading the book’s description on Amazon.com, I ordered a copy.  I started reading the book and have enjoyed the journaling exercises which are forcing me to confront my writing fears.  One of my fears is running out of inspiration.  So I have turned to Pinterest. I created two inspiration boards for my art and writing.  I use them on a regular basis to stay energized.  Check out the links below.

I also started listening to TED Talks about writing and creativity.  Two of my favorites include author Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on a new way to think about creativity and novelist Amy Tan’s talk on where does creativity live.

Photo Credit: Poets and Writers, February 2012

I returned to reading Poets & Writers on a regular basis.  The February issue focused on inspiration. I have been rereading Frank Bures’ article about creating inner space for inspiration.  It reminds me to UNPLUG from technology, my to do list, my writing deadlines, etc.  Unplugging creates more time to relax and recharge.  When I do it, I am able to surrender.  SURRENDER is the key that unlocks the door to my creative process.  So wish me luck as I practice the art of surrender from now until the fall season, make Collegetrys to overcome my writing struggles, and complete my  fabulous Digital Sisterhood book!

Ananda’s April Creative Adventure: Soul Collage Workshop at Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts

Happy Friday!

Last week I scheduled a creative adventure with myself and attended the “SoulCollage Studio” workshop with Barbara Black at Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts.  Before I arrived at the workshop, my inner critic archetype Broomhilda tried to disturb my creative flow by ranting and raving about me being 45 minutes late.  Instead of dismissing Broomhilda’s rant, I allowed her to speak her mind.  Why you might ask? Because she represents one of my chosen 8 archetypes who serve as windows of self-discovery.

Ananda's Inner Critic Archetype - Broomhilda

Do you know what archetypes are?  The word archetype is a term coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung.  It refers to the various personalities that live inside of individuals. In my opinion, archetypes invite me to explore, embrace, and accept myself. They bring me closer to myself in ways that allow all of my personalities to serve my highest and greatest good. That’s why I have to take the time to identify, nurture, and welcome them into my life.  Make them feel comfortable. Treat them as team players who use their strengths and share their gifts with one goal in mind: healthy living.  I promise them I will listen to what they have to say. I reassure them I won’t pick favorites or judge their commentary, creativity, communication style, criticism, and concerns. I try to honor their presence with gratitude daily.  I do my best to accept and bless who they are because without my chosen eight I would be lost.

Okay so back to my visit from Broomhilda … my inner critic archetype.  As I walked down U Street to Smith Farm’s offices, I asked Broomhilda why she was upset.  She confessed she was worried I was wasting the $12.50 I paid for the workshop.  She was also worried I would not get what I needed to receive from the workshop. When I listened to Broomhilda’s concerns, I noted that she was trying to make sure I my workshop needs were met in her own unique way (minus her rants).

Once I arrived at Smith Farm’s offices, I promised Broomhilda that I would be fully present in the workshop so my needs would be met. She seemed happy and drifted into the background of the evening.  Here’s the lesson I learned about my inner critic Broomhilda: when I listen to her without judgment or resistance, I demonstrate that I am present and aware of her concerns.  I don’t have to agree with her or take action. I just have to be present and aware.  My gift of presence affirms that she is being heard.  It also creates space in my spirit, mind, body, and heart  to embrace my full self — all eight parts of me.

Barbara Black’s “SoulCollage Studio” workshop was exactly what I needed last week.   SoulCollage is an intuitive collage  process created by Seena Frost, a psychotherapist and spiritual counselor.  During the collage-making process, you create your own cards that mirror a unique and different aspect of your soul and self.  It is the perfect creative adventure for an artist like myself … I love collages and archetypes!

Before I started making my SoulCollages, Barbara guided me through a series of exercises based on ‘The Guest House,” one of my favorite poems by Sufi poet  Rumi. See below.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

(From The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)

I also read the quotes below.

  • “I am large. I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman
  • “One must separate out the parts of something before these parts can come back together in a new and truly whole and precious way.” C.G. Jung
  • “When the soul wants to experience something, she throws an image of the experience before her and enters into her own image.” Meister Eckhar

I also journaled about my personal qualities, traits, patterns, behaviors, fears, and favorite activities, past times, passions, and pursuits. My journaling opened me up to writing about my inner voices (another phrase for my chosen eight archetypes).  When I completed my journaling, Barbara instructed  me to put my writings away and sit in silence for a few moments.   After those moments passed, Barbara invited me to join the workshop class in creating SoulCollage cards in silence.

Being able to sit in silence with my fellow workshop participants was a special treat.  The silence allowed me to tap into my soul’s intuition.  Check out what I created below. After the collages were made, Barbara facilitated a guided meditation that asked us to discover who the card was in our lives. We were given an opportunity to share one-on-one.  That was a very powerful experience to have someone listen and write down what I thought.  As a result, I developed six-word memoirs to describe each collage. They are included below.


Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage#1 – Joy. Travel. India. Books. Heels. Dresses.

SoulCollage #2

Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #2: Sparkle. Magic. Goodness of My Life.


Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #3 – – Touch Earth. Relaxation. Yoga. Meditation. Sangha.

SoulCollage #4

Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #4 – Smart for Two. Partners. Friends. Lovers.

Have you had a creative adventure this month?

What was it?

Have you made any collages or written any six-word memoirs? Please share them in the comment section.

Enjoy your weekend!

Just For Women Manifesto – Poetry Marries Collage

Hi All,

Yesterday I posted a collage with a poem made from magazine clippings.  Some folks have asked for a typed version of the poem. See below. Please share it with others.  Consider making one of your own.  If you do, feel free to post it in the comments section below. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace and Creativity,




Just for Women Manifesto by Ananda Leeke (based on collage)

Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke


Practice loving yourself 

Drawn inward take a personal time out.

Age gracefully.

Experience your own divine nature.

Become yourself.

Reserve a day for yourself.


Living your best life.

Share. Serve. Make a difference.

Think the environment is important.

Our roots make us stronger.


Be more sensuous.

Discover the power to create.

Go ahead … PLAY.

Join the movement.

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,



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.