OWNERSHIP is #FierceLivingat50 Lesson 6. Last year, I was blessed to read Discovering Your Soul Signature by Panache Desai. Desai’s book and online offerings (videos and wisdom Facebook quotes) have guided me in my healing work and helped me fully grasp the importance of knowing and loving myself.
Through this process, I am learning to accept and embrace my strengths and weaknesses. The end result is me claiming and expressing ownership of my magnificence each and every day while realizing life is a journey and I’m a divine magnificent being in process. Check out artist Tim Okamura’s painting, Sunrise on U Street (2013). Okamura captured my soul signature in his work.
My photographer Leigh Mosley captured my soul signature during a 2008 photo shoot of my eight archetypes for my book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on Amazon). Meet my Sapphire archetype below.
How are you claiming and expressing ownership of your life?
While I was at the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon, I had a great conversation about writing poetry with the “Naughty Poetess,” author of the Naughty Poetess blog. I shared how much I missed writing poetry. On the flight home to DC on Sunday morning, I decided to participate in the April Poem-A-Day Challenge. I participated in 2008 and 2009. Both experiences helped me blog and publish my second book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery.
This year, I have chosen Fierce Living at 50 as my theme for the April Poem-A-Day Challenge. I will be using some of my poems in my new e-book series and artwork that will be available on my Etsy shop this summer, Here is the first poem, “Unmasked.”
Buried wounds began to rise to the surface. I tried to run and hide, but there was no safe haven. So I stood in the tsunami of my pain. My legs tired. I sat still and allowed it all to come undone. 45 46 47 48 49 Five years of looking inside, looking outside, looking above, and looking below. Peeling back the layers of my mask … the person who I thought I was and making peace with who I have become. Arriving at 50 unmasked with acceptance, compassion, forgiveness and love…knowing and giving thanks that the journey continues.
Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.
I am very much like my mother. We are both lifelong learners. I call my lifelong learning experiences #FierceLiving learning opportunities. They help me dream, imagine, create, and grow.
What helps you dream, imagine, create, and grow?
My day started with a series of #FierceLiving learning opportunities at the DC Sustainability and Social Enterprise Summit held at the University of District of Columbia’s David E. Clarke School of Law.
Seth Goldman, founder of Honest Tea, gave a keynote on “Scaling an Authentic Brand While Keeping it Honest.”
The first session I attended focused on “Social Entrepreneurship and Social Value Creation.” It was facilitated by Sara Herald of the Center for Social Value Creation at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Alex Simon, Executive Director of Compass Partners, conducted the second session I attended on “Breaking Into the Scene: The Who,/What/How of the DC Social Enterprise Landscape.”
My greatest takeaway from these #FierceLiving learning opportunities was clarity around how I describe the work I do and services I offer through my company, AnandaLeeke.com. I was able to share my new and improved company elevator speech during several conversations with fellow participants. Here’s what I shared: AnandaLeeke,com is a digital social enterprise company that creates value through Digital Citizenship, Digital Communications, Digital Sisterhood, and Digital Wellness.
Listen to today’s podcast that features my reflections on my evolving definition of Fierce Living. I shared it during my conversation with Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, founder of Digital Moving Image Salon at Spelman College yesterday. We had an opportunity to explore it and other topics including Digital Sisterhood and social media with an audience of college students from Spelman, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta College (see photo collage above). Click on the link to hear the podcast. http://soundcloud.com/ananda-leeke/happy-fierceliving-friday
I am headed to Atlanta this week to participate in a conversation about fierce living online on April 10 with my digital sister, Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, founder of Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon. We’ll be talking about digital sisterhood and social media too. Copies of my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online will be available for sale. If you are in Atlanta, plan to attend the event which will be held at 4:00 p.m. in the NASA Auditorium in Spelman’s Science Center, 350 Spelman Lane, SW, Atlanta, Georgia.
PS: For Digital Sisters in Atlanta: Drop by the Digital Sisterhood Meet Up: Cocktails & Conversation on Creativity and meet me on April 9, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Proof and Provision at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, 659 Peachtree Street, NE. Click here to register on Eventbrite.
This week I have been surrounded by many Fierce Living women. The way they live their lives and the work they do inspire me. I have included photos of several Fierce Living women below.
Who are the Fierce Living women that inspire you?
The 10 women who were named 2014 International Women of Courage (#IWOC) by the U.S. Department of State on March 4 and First Lady Michelle Obama are Fierce Living women in my life. The #IWOC awardees were honored for their exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk. See list of #IWOC awardees below.
Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil, Director, Malalai Maternity Hospital Kabul (Afghanistan)
Ms. Roshika Deo, Feminist and Political Activist, Be the Change Campaign (Fiji)
Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze, Bishop, Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia (Georgia)
Dr. Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar, Tribunal President, High Risk Court, (Guatemala)
Laxmi, Campaigner, Stop Acid Attacks (India)
Ms. Fatimata Touré, Etude, de Formation Femme-Action (Mali)
Dr. Maha Al Muneef, Founder and Executive Director, National Family Safety Program (Saudi Arabia) *To be awarded in absentia
Ms. Oinikhol Bobonazarova, Director, NGO Perspektiva Plus (Tajikistan)
Ms. Ruslana Lyzhychko, activist and pop artist (Ukraine)
Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa, human rights lawyer (Zimbabwe)
First Lady Michelle Obama has always been a Fierce Living woman in my life. Meeting her in person at the #IWOC Award Ceremony was an incredible experience.
Meeting, talking to, and working with my fellow #IWOC social media leaders Kelsey Glover, Salma Bahramy, Jen Charlton, Erin Dunne, Laila Alawa, and Katie Kaestner during the Award Ceremony and meetings with State Department officials gave me a chance to witness how fierce these ladies are. After one day together, they became Fierce Living women in my life!
During the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s event, I sat next to Toni Dunton-Butler, Founder/President of A Silver Thread, Inc. Toni has known me since I was in high school. She has been a Fierce Living mentor and friend for numerous years. Spending time with her at the event and having a juicy lunch chat reminded me how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many Fierce Living women.
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. It is a day to honor Fierce Living women all over the world. One way you can do that is by participating in the State Department’s Instagram and Twitter #WeAreCourage campaign. All you need to do is post a photo of your woman of courage with the hashtag #WeAreCourage.
Today is the last day of February. Where did the month go? The days moved by so fast. They were filled with aha moments, blessings I had not expected, conversations that made me dig deeper, days spent on the grind, evenings spent hanging out with friends, focused energy sessions during meditation and yoga, and gratitude reflections.
This morning, I had a gratitude reflection about my Fierce Living practice. It inspired me to create #FierceLiving Friday, a weekly blog series that shares my thoughts on Fierce Living. For me, Fierce Living means being too bold for boundaries which starts from inside of the inside…. my spirit and heart. Click here to listen to today’s #FierceLiving Friday podcast.