0 comments on “Happy Yoga Monday – Read A Yoga-Inspired Poem About Writing and Yoga”

Happy Yoga Monday – Read A Yoga-Inspired Poem About Writing and Yoga

Happy Yoga Monday!

My yoga practice has helped me focus my creative energy and anchored me during my writing process for several books over the past 16 years.  I have even wrote poetry about the connection between two of my favorite practices. See my poem below.

yogame2

Yoga and Writing from That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery 

#1

When I practice yoga, my ego disappears.
I merge into the Infinite.
We become one.
One Love.
One Creation.
One Vessel.
Messages pass through me.
They become stories, essays, poems, truisms, quotes, prayers, affirmations, letters, e-mail messages, blog posts, and journal entries.

#2

I inhale and raise my hands above my head, pressing the palms of my hands together.
My gaze is focused on my thumbs.
My head is balanced on my shoulders.
My shoulders are rolled back.
My heart shines forth.
My spine is long and strong.
My belly is soft but tucked in.
My arms hang gracefully with splayed fingers.
My legs support my core as my feet ground themselves to Mother Earth.
In this space, I breathe in and out five times.
On my next inhalation, I come into a forward fold.
The blood rushes down from my head.
I get a buzz.
It feels like nirvana.
I take a deep breath and raise myself up one vertebrae at a time.
As I exhale, my arms find comfort by my side.
I stand in place for several moments, feeling the benefits of my short practice.
The next moment encourages me to inhale and bring my hands into prayer against my heart.
I close my practice chanting seven Oms.
Om in my spirit.
Om in my heart.
Om in my breath.
Om in my mind.
Om in my body.
Om in my thoughts.
Om in my writing.

mewriter

I have also taken yoga and writing workshops taught by my yoga teachers, Yael Flusberg and Kimberly Wilson. Their workshops offered me a chance to explore how different yoga poses and breathing exercises can stretch and energize my body, open my heart to new ideas, quiet my mind and clear emotional space so I can hear my inner wisdom, and focus my energy to meet deadlines for writing projects. They also gave me an opportunity to complete writing exercises after doing yoga poses and to share my reflections with a supportive community of fellow yoga students and writers.

Do you use yoga to support your creative work? How has it helped?

Have you ever taken a yoga and writing workshop? What did you learn?

gailsher

If you are looking for yoga and writing resources, check out the list below.

0 comments on “Happy Yoga Monday – Read A Yoga-Inspired Poem About Kundalini Energy”

Happy Yoga Monday – Read A Yoga-Inspired Poem About Kundalini Energy

Happy Yoga Monday!

Lately, I have been reading my yoga-inspired poetry. Here’s one of my favorite poems. Enjoy!

yogame

Kundalini from That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery

Her vital energy rises like a coiled serpent up my spine through my body’s seven energy centers.

She sends

Muladhara red light to my root in my spine to support my survival.

Svadhisthana orange light to my sacral in my womb, abdomen, lower back, and hips to enhance my joy, healing capacity, creativity, sexuality, and financial abundance.

Manipura yellow light to my solar plexus to strengthen my sense of self, purpose, will power, determination, and courage.

Anahata pink and green light to my heart to increase my ability to love unconditionally, forgive, and empathize.

Visshudha turquoise light to my throat to purify my communication so it reflects the truth and is expressed with integrity.

Ajna indigo light to my third eye in the middle of my forehead to help me perceive my intuition and follow divine wisdom.

Sahasrara violet light to my crown in my head to transform my consciousness.

The vibrational pattern of her energy movement leaves me in a state of ecstasy.

Sweet sensations permeate the core of my being.

I am the beneficiary of her elixir of immortality.

She has come to awaken me.

So I may know the truth of my being.

The truth that I am a temple of the Divine.

She is Shaktipat.

Descent of Grace.

Aadhya Shakti.

Power of the Divine.

I humbly bow to her with the deepest gratitude.

I chant OM Kundalini OM until the silence of my breath communes with her infinite presence within.

0 comments on “Happy Yoga Monday – Yoga Wisdom Quotes & Yoga-Inspired Poem About Yoga & Meditation”

Happy Yoga Monday – Yoga Wisdom Quotes & Yoga-Inspired Poem About Yoga & Meditation

Happy Yoga Monday!

Here’s some yoga wisdom from some of my favorite yoginis and a yoga-inspired poem from my OM soul and heart! Enjoy!

Yoga Wisdom from Some of My Favorite Yoginis:

“I did not come to yoga to stretch. I came to live.” Maya Breuer, African American yoga teacher and entrepreneur“

“Yoga is the uniting of consciousness in the heart.” Nischala Joy Devi, American yoga teacher and author

“Yoga serves as my catalyst, my core, that place I turn to when my world is spinning.”  Kimberly Wilson, American yoga teacher, author, activist, entrepreneur, and designer

Ananda at the London Buddhist Meditation Centre, 2007
Ananda at the London Buddhist Meditation Centre, 2007

My Yoga Poem:

yoga and meditation in the morning (from That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery)

morning comes.

with it a host of thoughts begging for attention.

i take a deep breath and release them into open space.

they magically file themselves away in my cerebral
portfolio.

how sweet they are to make room for my meditation and yoga practice.

i wink and wave a quick goodbye.

they wink back and remind me they never ever say goodbye.

i return the wink with a grateful smile for having been granted a reprieve from
their chatter.

one thought escapes and attaches itself to my conscience.

she dances meringue style through my meditation.

i try to detach.

she dances harder.

i relax and allow her some space.

she quiets down.

i breathe in and out allowing my breath to travel out of my mouth.

she hears me breathing a series of audible “hahs” and joins me.

we merge and marry ourselves in the moment.

me and my thoughts exit stage left into a slow style salsa step.

our beat is harmony.

together we float into the morning silence making way for yoga to begin.

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday – 3/14”

Happy Creativity Thursday – 3/14

That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness by Ananda Leeke
That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness by Ananda Leeke

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Every person is born with a spark of creativity that can awaken them to an amazing life. Throughout my life’s journey, I have witnessed my spark of creativity expand through the nurturing support of other artists. Today, I am remembering Tasko Bey, an amazing master artist I met while working as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital. When I met Tasko, he was a patient living with cancer and a graduate student in Howard University’s Master of Fine Arts program. Prior to attending Howard, his work was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Our first expressive arts sessions turned into a mini workshop where he served as a teacher and coach. He even gave me homework. For the next two years, he utilized our sessions as teaching moments. In 2005, he urged me to pick up a pencil and draw and use a paint brush to paint my first series of paintings. He showed me how to tap into my intuition for creative guidance and encouraged me to experiment with watercolor, gouache, and acrylic painting.

Photo Credit: http://columbus.utrechtblog.com/2012/03/
Photo Credit: http://columbus.utrechtblog.com/2012/03/

I fell in love with acrylic paints. As a result, I created a series of paintings that I later used to illustrate my book covers for Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One and That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery. One of my favorite paintings from this series is “That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness.” See photo above. It hangs in my sunny yellow kitchen and reminds me of Tasko and his passionate love of art. Click here to watch a video about the painting (starts with an introduction to another painting and some of my collages) and my art studio. Enjoy!

Do you draw or paint?

Who or what inspired you to begin drawing or painting?

What do you like to draw or paint?

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday – 3/7”

Happy Creativity Thursday – 3/7

Ananda at Walter Reed
Ananda at Walter Reed
Artwork at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center - 4th Floor
Artwork at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – 4th Floor

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am celebrating the amazing wounded warriors, military families, and hospital staff I get to work with as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts each week at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - www.leighmosley.com
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

I’ve been working as a Smith Center artist since 2002. My work at Walter Reed began in 2010. Since then, I have grown to deeply appreciate the many sacrifices our military women, men, and families make on behalf of the United States of America. I have also been able to witness the fantastic creative expressions of military women, men, and their families. What a blessing!

Art supplies
Art supplies
Wounded warrior's water color painting
Wounded warrior’s water color painting

wr-artwork3

Click here to see photos from my Walter Reed experiences. Enjoy!

When I am not working at Walter Reed, I am always on the look out for creative inspiration. I find it in books, films, magazines, music, social media (Pinterest), web sites, and yoga. This month, I am getting a lot of inspiration from Poets & Writers magazine.

March 2013 issue of Poets & Writers
March 2013 issue of Poets & Writers

What are your sources of creative inspiration?

PS: If you would like to read about my creative journey, check out my memoir That Which Awakens Me on Amazon.com. It is available on Kindle.

My debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One features a main character who works as a museum curator and art consultant in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit the Love’s Troubadours’ Pinterest board which contains some great information about the novel. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.

0 comments on “Smith Magazine Names Ananda as April Member of the Month for”

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!

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.

2 comments on “My promotion tips for authors who are planning book talks and signings”

My promotion tips for authors who are planning book talks and signings

Here are some of my promotion tips for authors who are planning book talks and signings. If you have tips, please share them. Thank you in advance!

1) If you use Facebook and LinkedIn, create an event for your book talk and signing. Post it on your personal profile, book page, and/or Fan page. Also post it on any group pages that serve as your audience. Make sure you invite all of your friends to the event. Ask them to share the event on their pages. They can be your ambassadors of goodwill and PR!

For LinkedIn Users: Once you post your event, you can share it with members of groups you belong to. That helps to promote your event to a wider audience.

2) Create and send an Eventbrite invitation to your email list on Yahoo, Gmail, or AOL. I used Eventbrite a few days ago and plan to use it again for my July and September events. Here is my invite: http://anandaleekebookreading.eventbrite.com.

3) Hold a Twitter chat (haven’t done this one yet, but have watched some friends do it) or UStream.tv live chat before the event (have used this before; it gives folks a chance to see you and ask questions).

4) Talk about your event on Twitter and get a group of your followers to retweet your event notices. Let your peeps help you. They love it. It feels good to be able to ask for help and then show appreciation.

5) Post your event on your blog and social networking sites where you have blogs. Ask folks to spread the word.

6) Ask your fellow bloggers to post notices about your event and book on their sites. You may need to swap some guest posts or event promotions, but it is worth it. Sometimes folks post your events without a request. That’s a true blessing too. It happened to me recently when the Hell in a Hand Bag blog posted about my event. Many thanks to blogger extraordinaire  Original Najeema for the post and tweets on Twitter.

7) Consider doing audio blogs with excerpts from your book and posting them on your web site, blog, and social networking sites. You can use www.cinchcast.com or www.utterli.com. I use Cinchcast a lot these days. Check my page out: www.cinchcast.com/anandaleeke.

8) Create a short video commercial about your book events and post it on YouTube (used for my book release in November 2009 – did a 7 day countdown in December 2009), Vimeo, or Blip.tv. You can use your computer’s web cam, cell phone camera, digital camera, or a flip camera. Share a summary about the book and read an excerpt. Post the video on your web site, blog, and social media sites. Ask your friends to share it with their friends as posts on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites.

9) Connect your book and event to a national observance or local event. I tie a lot of my book events to national observances. For example, I am having a book reading during June which is Black Music Month. My novel Love’s Troubadours and memoir That Which Awakens Me discuss Black music. So I have been tweeting about the music in both books this week. I also mention my book web sites and book reading dates. In addition, my book reading is happening during DC Digital Week. So I am hosting a free yoga class to support the Week. During my class I will read a short excerpt from my memoir because it is yoga-inspired. I will also share that my novel is yoga-inspired too. I am teaching the yoga class in a park that I discuss in my book. So I will mention that too. My memoir includes insights about my social media journey. So that will be included too.

10) Share what you learn from the book promotion process with others. It helps you establish social capital and participate in the gift economy author Tara Hunt discusses in her book The Whuffie Factor (one of my favorite books). When we give and share, we will be blessed. That’s the universal law of give and take!