0 comments on “Mindful Living: Mindfulness 101”

Mindful Living: Mindfulness 101

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I discovered mindfulness when my career as a young lawyer and investment banker did not produce the level of success I expected. Mindfulness is the practice of taking a deep breath, coming into the present moment, and paying attention without judgment. The present moment is where you can access awareness, balance, and calm with loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Mindfulness is the gateway to who we truly are. It helped me overcome panic attacks, release my career expectations, develop self-care practices, and pursue my calling as an artist, author, Reiki master practitioner, speaker, and yoga teacher.

Are you new to mindfulness?

Looking for information on how to practice mindfulness in your life?

Curious about how to use mindfulness to practice gratitude, identify your fears, and become aware of the stories you tell yourself?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, check out my Mindfulness 101 Podcast playlist with 15 episodes. The episodes feature small steps you can take each day to practice mindfulness with guided meditations, a body scan, a mini toolkit, and more.

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Need more mindfulness tips and information? Check out my resources page with three free gifts created especially for you!

Click here to learn more about my mindful living offerings. Contact me at ananda@anandaleeke.com to learn how you can work with me as a speaker for your next event, trainer for your organization, or coach (one-on-one or group sessions). I look forward to hearing from you.

ALWebsite-LovesTroubadoursLooking for a great book to read? Check out my yoga-inspired novel, Love’s Troubadours and learn how the main character Karma uses mindful living practices including meditation, prayer, therapy, and yoga to heal her spirit, heart, mind, and relationships, and reinvent her career.

 

 

 

 

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PS: Don’t keep me a secret. Use the links below and share me with your network!

0 comments on “Mindful Creativity: Celebrate National Vision Board Day on January 13”

Mindful Creativity: Celebrate National Vision Board Day on January 13

Have you ever used a vision board? A vision board is a mindful creativity tool you can use to help clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on the highest and best vision of your life.

I started using vision boards in the early 1990s after reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist WayI have used them for my artwork, business, career reinvention, fitness, home decor, personal style, relationships, travel adventures, yoga practice, and overcoming writer’s block with my creativity memoir, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery and tech memoir, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

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A couple of years ago, I learned about National Vision Board Day, an annual celebration held on the second Saturday in January. National Vision Board Day is my opportunity to practice loving kindness as I give myself the gift of time to reflect on, journal about, and create a written statement and visual expression of my highest and best life. Last year I started my vision board process on January 14 and finished it several days later with three different vision boards (see a photo of one of my boards above).

This year I am spending National Vision Board Day as a creativity coach. I will be facilitating a vision board-making session with a client. Listen to the latest episode of the #ThrivingMindfully Podcast to learn how I use mindful creativity to help my clients create their vision statement and board. The episode includes a guided meditation, breathing and journaling exercises, and tips. Feel free to use it to prepare for your National Vision Board Day celebration.

Interested in learning more about how I help people just like you become aware of and express creativity in your own unique way while outsmarting stress and overcoming blocks and challenges? Check out my mindful creativity services.

0 comments on “#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 2 – Compassion”

#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 2 – Compassion

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Today marks the beginning of the second week of the #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Did you miss the first week? Go here to learn about it. Feel free to start the challenge at any time!

Each week during the Self-Care Challenge, you are invited to watch a video and participate in an exercise that includes breathing exercises, reflection questions, and journaling. See the schedule below.

Week 1, December 4-10: Loving Kindness
Week 2, December 11-17: Compassion
Week 3, December 18-24: Joy
Week 4, December 25-31: Equanimity

Week 2 of #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge: December 11-17

Theme/Video: Compassion

Compassion or karuna is the act of never giving up on yourself as you recognize and accept that anger, jealousy, arrogance, judgment, and other emotions you prefer to keep hidden exist within you. When you are able to do this for yourself, two things happen. You are able to see the connection you share with others. You are also able to put yourself in their shoes which strengthens your capacity to have compassion for them. Compassion helps you never give up on yourself and others.

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Invitation: Slow down and take three deep breaths. Touch your heart with one or both of your hands as you enter into a moment of stillness.

Take three more deep breaths. Right where you are repeat the first prayer out loud or silently three times: May I embody and express compassion for myself.

Take three more deep breaths and repeat the second prayer. May I have compassion for others.

Inhale deeply and as you exhale thank yourself for showing up in the stillness.

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Reflection Questions and Journaling Exercise: Take some time this week to reflect on and journal about one or more of the questions below.

  1. What does compassion mean?
  2. What does self-compassion look like in your life?
  3. What prevents you from embodying and expressing self-compassion? and compassion for others?
  4. What do you want your self-compassion and compassion for others to look like in 2018?
  5. How can you add more compassionate moments into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines?

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0 comments on “Befriend Yourself”

Befriend Yourself

Becoming your own best friend is one of the greatest self-care gifts you can give yourself. It is loving kindness.

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Take a moment to look into your eyes and befriend yourself today or this week. In that moment, ask yourself what you need to outsmart stress and thrive+work mindfully. Do one thing that helps you meet your need.

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Join the #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

0 comments on “Happy December: #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 1 – Loving Kindness”

Happy December: #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 1 – Loving Kindness

AL-MeditatingatEMIHappy December! It’s the last month of 2017. It’s also my birthday month and an opportunity for me to share what I have learned so far in my mindfulness facilitator training program with the Engaged Mindfulness Institute (EMI). The EMI program started with a week-long silent retreat that was held in Deerfield, Massachusetts in September. One of my biggest takeaways from the retreat is the value of practicing loving kindness or metta towards myself each day. It is one of my four self-care vitamins (loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity) I use to outsmart stress and thrive+work mindfully.

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Here’s my special gift for you: #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

Each week, I will share a video and invite you to participate in a self-care exercise that includes breathing exercises, reflection questions, and journaling. See the schedule below.

  • Week 1, December 4-10: Loving Kindness
  • Week 2, December 11-17: Compassion
  • Week 3, December 18-24: Joy
  • Week 4, December 25-31: Equanimity

Week 1 of #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge: December 4-10

Theme/Video: Loving Kindness

Invitation: Slow down and take three deep breaths. Touch your heart with one or both of your hands as you enter into a moment of stillness.

Take three more deep breaths.

Right where you are repeat this prayer out loud or silently three times: May I embody and express loving kindness.

Take three deep breaths. Thank yourself for showing up in the stillness.

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Reflection Questions and Journaling Exercise: Take some time this week to reflect on and journal about one or more of the questions below.

  1. What does loving kindness mean?
  2. What does loving kindness look like in your life?
  3. What prevents you from embodying and expressing loving kindness for yourself?
  4. What do you want your loving kindness to look like in 2018?
  5. How can you add more moments of loving kindness into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines?
0 comments on “Poetry Month Day #21: “Play” Poem”

Poetry Month Day #21: “Play” Poem

Happy Day #21 of National Poetry Month!

“Play” is the title of today’s poem. It is inspired by an affirmation I read on author Louise Hay’s Facebook page.

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Play

Go on and be the joy that dances inside
Dress up in your favorite colors.
Enter the world seeking adventure.
Eat your favorite foods.
Watch your favorite movies.
Laugh so loud that everyone can hear.

Close your eyes and stretch out your hands.
Expect to receive the beauty that blossoms with faith when you believe.
Grab hold of the moment.
Allow your heart to hug it deeply.

Populate the earth with your smile.
Give everyone the gift of hearing your song.
Go on and sing the joy that brings happiness to your eyes.
Play with love.
Play with gratitude.
Play with silliness.
Play with freedom.
Play with an heart open.
Live from who you are from start to finish.
Play.
Play.
Play.
Be authentic.

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

Photo Credit: LouiseHay.com

0 comments on “Poetry Month Day #17: “Sanctuary” Poem”

Poetry Month Day #17: “Sanctuary” Poem

Happy Day #17 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem is entitled “Sanctuary.” It celebrates the many places my soul has found a peaceful sanctuary including my creativity (art and writing), yoga and meditation practice, home affectionately known as “The Chakra Castle,” Elmina Slave Castle in Ghana, La Regla in Cuba, the city of London (Brick Lane and Forest Gate neighborhood in East London, London Buddhist Centre, and the Southbank Centre), museums like the Brooklyn Museum and the National Museum of African Art, and Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park in Washington, DC.
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Sanctuary

My soul seeks a sanctuary
Where the peace that passeth all understanding resides
And the grace of the Almighty exists in abundance.
I travel from DC to La Regla in Cuba to Elmina Slave Castle in Ghana to Forest Gate in East London only to find that which I’m seeking is always seeking me because it lives inside.
So I settle into myself and travel within.
And I discover what sages have written about for ages.
My sanctuary of peace exists in my present moment.
It appears wherever I go and in whatever I feel think, say, and do.
It is my creativity.
It is my yoga and meditation practice.
It is my Chakra Castle home.
It is my cup of ginger tea.

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

0 comments on “#FierceLiving Friday: #FierceLivingat50 Lesson 6 OWNERSHIP”

#FierceLiving Friday: #FierceLivingat50 Lesson 6 OWNERSHIP

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Happy #FierceLiving Friday!

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.

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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.
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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.
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How are you claiming and expressing ownership of your life?

What does your soul signature look like?

Photo Credit: PanacheDesai.com, Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com, and Tim Okamura

1 comment on “Happy August! Check out my upcoming events.”

Happy August! Check out my upcoming events.

Happy August All!

I am celebrating all of the creative women who inspire me this month. Many of these fabulous and fierce ladies will be featured during my August events. See the schedule below.  I hope you can join me online and offline.

Who are the creative women that inspire you?  Celebrate them this month.  Call or email them. Make time to see them in person. Tell your network about them. Sing their praises on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Support their creative efforts.

Ananda’s August Events:

1) August 15 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room 307 (Washingtoniana Division’s Program Room), Washington, DC (Please register for the event: http://sisterhoodtheblogaugustfocusgroup.eventbrite.com)

Join Ananda for Sisterhood the Blog’s focus group on how creative women use the web and social media to express, share, market, and sell their creativity and/or creative services. Come share your thoughts, insights, and lessons learned. Guest panelists include (more names will be added shortly):

Feel free to use the Twitter hashtag #STB10 to chat about the event and panelists.

If you are planning to participate, please complete an online survey about women and social media and release statement. The release statement gives Ananda permission to use information shared during the event as research for her book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

2)August 16 @ 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST, Online Conference Call – To access the call, dial (424) 203-8400 and enter Participant Access Code 943041#.

Ananda is hosting a fabulous conversation on how creative women use the web and social media to express, share, market, and sell their creativity.  Guest panelists include:

Feel free to use the Twitter hashtag #STB10 to chat about the event and panelists.

If you are planning to participate, please complete an online survey about women and social media and release statement. The release statement gives Ananda permission to use information shared during the event as research for her book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

3) August 17 @ 9:30 pm EST, BlogTalkRadio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anandaleeke/2010/08/18/blogatique-with-ananda-leeke

Tune into the launch of Ananda’s new BlogTalkRadio radio show Blogatique with Ananda Leeke. People. Passions. Politics.  The first episode features creative woman extraordinaire Toni Blackman.  Blackman is an artist, cultural ambassador, and social entrepreneur, based in Brooklyn, New York. Toni is the author of Inner-Course: A Plea for Real Love.  She is also the founder and director of Freestyle Union, a cipher workshop that uses free styling as a tool to encourage social responsibility. Her “I Rhyme Like A Girl” series is a Freestyle Union initiative. In addition, she is a former Echoing Green Fellow and fellow with the Open Society Institute. Visit Toni’s blog to learn more about her creative endeavors: http://toniblackman.wordpress.com. Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/toniblackman.

4) August 18 @ 8:00 pm – 8:30 pm, MomTV – http://www.momtv.com/kg-yoga

Watch Ananda’s kg yoga life practices class on Mom TV on 8:00 pm EST.  The theme is celebrating Shakti, the creative feminine energy.

5) August 24 @ 9:30 pm, BlogTalkRadio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anandaleeke/2010/08/25/blogatique-with-ananda-leeke-people-passions-polit

Blogatique with Ananda Leeke. People. Passions. Politics. features Orlando W. Darden, Jr., owner of BodyFitDC (http://bodyfitdc.com) on the second episode of its first season. Darden is a Washington, DC-based certified personal and group fitness trainer,and running coach. He will discuss his life reinvention journey from a seasoned finance professional with 20+ years of experience and a MBA from New York University to a fitness entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people to become more fit and healthy,and improve their overall well-being. Follow Darden’s BodyFitDC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bodyfitdc.

6) August 26 @ 9:00 pm, Sisterhood the Blog Radio, http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015

Tune in as Ananda continues the creative women and social media discussion with the following creative ladies:

Please register for the show: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/794878503.  This radio show is a follow up to an offline event held on August 15 in DC and conference call on August 16.

Feel free to use the Twitter hashtag #STB10 to chat about the event and panelists.

If you miss the live show on August 26, don’t fret. You will be able to listen to the audio posted on Sisterhood the Blog Radio’s web site: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.

If you are planning to participate, please complete an online survey about women and social media and release statement. The release statement gives Ananda permission to use information shared during the event as research for her book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

7) August30 @ 9:00 pm, Sisterhood the Blog Radio, http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015

Listen to Ananda’s second discussion about  creative women and social media with the following creative ladies:

Please register for the show: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/814373814.

This radio show is a follow up to an offline event held on August 15 in DC and conference call on August 16.

Feel free to use the Twitter hashtag #STB10 to chat about the event and panelists.

If you miss the live show on August 30, don’t fret. You will be able to listen to the audio posted on Sisterhood the Blog Radio’s web site: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.

If you are planning to participate, please complete an online survey about women and social media and release statement. The release statement gives Ananda permission to use information shared during the event as research for her book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

8) August 31 @ 9:30 pm, BlogTalkRadio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anandaleeke/2010/09/01/blogatique-with-ananda-leeke-shayne-lee-author-of-

Blogatique with Ananda Leeke: People. Passions. Politics. features Shayne Lee, author, sociologist, and Tulane University professor on the third episode of its first season. Lee will discuss his new book Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture.

0 comments on “Happy July! Check out my July events”

Happy July! Check out my July events

Happy July!

Below is a list of my July events.  Join me for some incredibly fun adventures online and offline! Enjoy your month!

1) Tune into Sisterhood the Blog Radio’s Women in Social Media series for Ananda’s interviews with digital divas. See schedule below.

-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

Click here to join the conversation: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.

2) Spend an afternoon with Ananda at a book reading for her new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery on July 10 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Flow Yoga Center (Shakti Studio Room), 1450 P Street, NW, Washington, DC (located several blocks from Dupont Circle subway station). Click on the link to register for the event at Flow Yoga Center: http://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ws.asp?studioid=736&stype;=-8&sView;=week&sTrn;=100000122.

3) Join Ananda for kind and gentle yoga in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park in DC on July 11 from 9:00 am to 9:30 am. Click on link for more details:  http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

4) Watch Ananda’s kg yoga life practices class on Mom TV on July 21 at 8:00 pm EST. Click on the link to watch the show: http://www.momtv.com/kgyogalife.html.

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.