WATCH #THRIVINGMINDFULLY COMMUNITY’S IG LIVE VIDEO: Conversation About Impact of World Champions Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles & Simone Manuel Prioritizing Their Mental Health & Declaring Self-Care Birthright

Go here to watch the IG Live video.

My Thank You Letter to Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles & Simone Manuel for Declaring Their Self-Care Independence Unapologetically!

Hey Groovy Friend!

July was a powerful self-care month in the lives of three of my favorite women athletes, Naomi Osaka, a 23-year old Japanese-Haitian American world tennis champion and entrepreneur; Simone Biles, a 24-year old African-American Olympic gymnast; and Simone Manuel, a 24 year-old African-American Olympic swimmer. Each of these women of color have chosen to make their mental health, well-being, and self-care a priority. Watching them put themselves first above their demanding careers and public scrutiny has been a master class in what it means to embrace, embody, and express the radical self-care wisdom of African-American writer, womanist, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” I think we can all learn something from these self-care sheroes!

NAOMI OSAKA

Photo Credit: TIME Magazine

After watching Naomi step away from the French Open and withdraw from Wimbledon to prioritize her mental health, I read her essay in TIME and watched her Netflix documentary. Her courage to be vulnerable with herself and willingness to share her vulnerability on the world stage filled my heart with deep gratitude. Gratitude because here is a woman who clearly has her own personal issues (like the rest of us) and is deeply engaged in her own wellness journey, stepping out and shining a light on a topic most of society is hesitant to acknowledge, discuss, and address. In her TIME essay, she writes, “I do hope that people can relate and understand it’s OK to not be OK; and it’s OK to talk about it.”

SIMONE BILES

Photo Credit: Health Magazine

Naomi’s decision to speak openly, honestly, and from her heart inspired Simone Biles (“Simone B.”) when she decided to withdraw from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games. During one of her interviews, Simone encouraged other athletes to “put mental health first, because if you don’t, then you’re not going to enjoy your sport and you’re not going to succeed as much as you want to.” She also reassured them, “it’s OK sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong of a competitor that you really are, rather than just battle through it.” Her mental health activism stems directly from the deep commitment she has made to herself to get help when needs it. In her most recent interview with Health Magazine, she shares how she uses the support of a psychologist, her family, and her boyfriend to navigate her life and career.

It is worth noting that after Simone B. followed her own mind and took a week to rest and focus on her mental health, she decided to return to the Tokyo Olympics and compete in the balance beam final on August 3, 2021. Once again, she has shown women and girls of color and all people how to love, honor, and nurture oneself. Her decision and actions illustrate what it means to be an IN-POWERED HUMAN BEING. A person who is able to put being before doing to honor their own mental health, well-being, and self-care. In the end, she came back on her own terms and won a Bronze medal!

SIMONE MANUEL

Photo Credit: TYRxSIMONE Collection

Like Naomi and Simone B., Simone Manuel (“Simone M.), represents a new wave of women of color who are using their global platform to champion mental health, well-being, and self-care as they express their own vulnerability and how they are nurturing themselves. Last year, Glamour Magazine interviewed Simone M. about the importance of mental health. Check out her candid response: “Mental health is so crucial because it contributes to how you navigate through this world and what you think of yourself. I’ve been seeing a sports psychologist since I was 15 and I use that to talk about my experiences as a Black swimmer and a Black woman in this world. I think that it genuinely has helped me be able to handle some of the hardships or the experiences that I’ve dealt with in my life. It’s such a powerful, powerful tool to be able to exercise your mind and strengthen your mind.”

Throughout the interview, she gives an inside look into her self-care which includes two of my favorite mindfulness practices, meditation and journaling. She urges us to resist numbing our feelings. She also reassures us that it’s okay to feel and talk about our emotions and listen to our bodies. I know she was following her own advice when she took a break from training after being diagnosed with overtraining syndrome earlier this year.

THE GEN Z + GEN X CONNECTION

When I look at these three 20-something women who represent my niece Jordan’s Gen Z generation and their self-care journey, I realize we share a similar path. As a 56 year-old African-American woman who sometimes self-identifies as a Gen X member, I remember what it felt like to be an overachieving stressed and time-pressed lawyer and investment banker in my late 20s and early 30s. My self-worth was tied to my career. When my career didn’t produce the success I expected, my mental health and well-being were nonexistent. With the support of my parents, family, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority sisters, Howard University School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center classmates, friends, and a therapist, I started to recognize how important it was to ground myself in self-care. It became the foundation for how I currently live my life. It also inspired me to express my creativity as a writer and an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital and Walter Reed National Military Hospital. In addition, it led me to study and become a certified yoga and meditation teacher, a reiki master and sound healing practitioner, and a digital wellness educator. Today, I am blessed to use my experience and expertise in my work with people of all ages who are struggling with self-care as the Chief Mindfulness Officer of my wellness company, Ananda Leeke Consulting, and the founder of the Thriving Mindfully Community and Academy.

As I closed out July, I decided to write a thank you to letter Naomi, Simone B., and Simone M. for showing up as their REAL selves. Check out what I had to say.

Dear Naomi, Simone B., and Simone M.,

Your courage to stand up, speak your truth from your heart, say HELL NO to society’s hustle culture, and say HELL YES to your mental health, well-being, and self-care has become a powerful gift to all of us Black and Brown women, women of color, all women and girls, and folks on Mother Earth.

You are showing many of us how to declare our self-care independence unapologetically.

Your choice to honor yourself on the global stage is helping some of us see what it means to be vulnerable, loving, kind, gentle, and compassionate with ourselves. When we see you, we are able to look in the mirror and see folks who look just like us claim and practice their birthright of mental health, well-being, and self-care.

Without even knowing it, you are helping us all recommit ourselves to a healthier life mission. One where we are humans being instead of humans doing. One that carves out a public pathway to self-care beyond survival, the very thing Dr. Maya Angelou spoke about in her ancestral wisdom statement: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.”

One last thing! I wrote a poem, “What’s Next: A Lifeline to Stop Doing, Start Being” that expresses what this thank you letter could not. Watch a video of me reading it below.

Deeply grateful,

Ananda

Check out the IG Live conversation I had with Xina Eiland, President of X+PR, co-founder of Unmute, and co-host of the Get Found Get Funded podcast on August 1, 2021, about the impact of Naomi, Simone B., and Simone M.’s decision to prioritize their mental health and self-care.

SELF-CARE SUPPORT FOR READERS

Just in case you need self-care support, I invite you to do three things.

  1. Go here to take my self-care survey (4 easy questions that take less than 5 minutes to answer).
  2. Click here to claim your complimentary membership in my Thriving Mindfully Community, a digital sacred space that inspires you to nurture, transform, and celebrate your life and career.
  3. If you wanna deepen your wellness commitment and expand your personal growth journey with my support, join me for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Master Class on August 4th at 8–9:15 PM ET or August 7th at 1–2:15 PM ET. Click on the links below.

-Buy your ticket here for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Master Class on August 4th at 8–9:15 PM ET

-Buy your ticket here for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Master Class on August 7th at 1–2:15 PM ET

Wellness Wednesday Check-In

Happy Wellness Wednesday Groovy People!

I love Wellness Wednesdays because they give me a chance to check-in with myself and clients on how we are taking care of ourselves. That ‘s why I am reaching out to you today.

How are you doing this week?

How are you starting and ending your days?

What mindful self-care practices are working?

Who or what are getting in your way?

What resources do you need to take better care of yourself?

This week I started my mornings with my personal practice of prayer, meditation, reiki, and yoga. I also had an opportunity to lead two mindfulness meditation sessions at the Nonprofit Technology Network’s virtual conference. During the sessions, I reminded everyone we get 1,440 minutes each day. We can choose to use one or more of these minutes to practice mindful self-care. I encouraged folks to use the Spring Homework (mentioned in the graphic above) to check-in with themselves and recommit to self-care. 

Need more support with mindful self-care? Join me for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Spring Virtual Retreat on Saturday, March 27th at 7-9:30 PM ET

During the virtual retreat, you will:

  • Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing exercises, a mindfulness meditation with self-touch, and gentle chair yoga
  • Learn how to align and manage your energy with the wisdom of the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice, New Moon, Full Moon, and crystal therapy
  • Participate in an intuitive movement exercise and a sound bath meditation that will help you open your heart to release and forgive
  • Reflect on and journal about what’s working and not working in your life and career, and what’s getting in your way
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest who you want to be and what you want to manifest in your life and career
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins

A Zoom video link will be emailed to you once you register for the online retreat. Get your ticket here: March 27th Retreat at 7-9:30 PM ET.

Create More Happiness in Your Life with Self-Hugging This Spring

Hey Groovy People!

Can you believe the Spring season begins on March 20th and the first quarter of the this year ends on March 31st?

How are you planning to welcome the new season and second quarter into your life, career, and/or business?

My Spring Self-Care Commitment & Personal Retreat

For me, Spring is about fresh starts, new beginnings, new ideas, and new possibilities. It is a time of rebirth and renewal. I welcome Spring into my life as my second new year. For the past several years, I have used the astrological calendar and moon cycles to create personal retreats during the Spring Equinox, New Moon, and Full Moon. My personal retreats help me rest, restore, and recharge my spirit, heart, mind, and body. They allow me to slow down, become still, breathe deeply, and practice mindful self-care. They also help me recommit to myself by reflecting on how I started the year, exploring the lessons learned, releasing what no longer serves my highest good, setting new intentions, identifying goals, and mapping out action steps for the rest of the year.

One of the things that has been coming up for me in my Spring personal retreat reflections is the need to to invest more time and energy on maintaining a healthy well-being with better boundaries around my sleep and news and social media consumption. Right after the domestic terrorist attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, I started staying up later and later in the evenings to read articles and social media, and watch videos, movies, and live discussions about racial injustice, politics, and the COVID-19 pandemic. That choice was a disaster recipe for my well-being. It increased stress and anxiety levels in my body. It made it harder to sleep peacefully. It chipped away at my happiness.

Recently, I decided to recommit to my well-being with one daily mindful self-care practice this Spring: self-hugging. Why? Because I need more physical touch in my life due to COVID-19 social distancing and quarantining. Going without it for long periods can impact our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Also, hugging helps boost serotonin, the happiness hormone that is produced and spread by neurons in the brain. Feeling more happiness strengthens our well-being.

Self-Hugging: Why Does It Support Well-Being and Create Happiness?

Hugging yourself is FREE and takes less than five minutes. It offers you an opportunity to practice loving kindness and strengthen your resiliency. A self-hug is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. All you have to do is decide and set an intention to give yourself a hug or hugs on a daily basis. Once you set your intention, take action and watch how your self-hugs turn into acts of self-love and self-empowerment.

When you hug yourself, your body releases the hormone, oxytocin, the “love hormone.” Oxytocin helps reduce stress and tension by lowering cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body. It also lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate, and improves moods.

Hugging yourself for 20 seconds or more is a serotonin booster. Serotonin is known as the “feel good” hormone that is produced and spread by neurons in the brain. It helps you feel happy, calm, and confident.

Consider following the advice of family therapist Virginia Satir who is famous for saying, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

 

Let’s Welcome Spring with More Happiness Through Self-Hugging on March 20th, Spring Equinox and International Day of Happiness

Let’s use the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Happiness Moment Self-Hug Challenge that is rooted in the HUG3 self-care practice. HUG3 is an acronym that stands for:

H: Hold space for yourself with

U: Unconditional Love

G3: Grace, Growth, and Gratitude

6 Self-Hugging Tips

There are many ways to hug yourself. Check out the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s tips below.

  1. Fold your arms around your body. You can fold your arms across your stomach or just below your chest. Do what feels most comfortable.
  2. Take a moment to consider the type of hug you need in the moment. How do you want the hug to feel? Strong, intense, soft or soothing?
  3. Give yourself a nice squeeze with just enough pressure to create the hug experience you need.
  4. Feel free to gently rock back and forth while hugging yourself.
  5. If hugging isn’t your cup of tea, try giving yourself a gentle massage in the areas of your body you feel most comfortable with. You can start with your face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, chest or belly. If it feels good, try the entire body!
  6. Use the Thriving Mindfully YoutTube playlist to keep you company as you hug yourself. Warning: The music may inspire you to dance and hug yourself at the same time! Watch out for the Thriving Mindfully theme song, “Be the REAL YOU” by Garnet Jay of Footprint Productions.

Get Started with the Happiness Moment Self-Challenge Today!

Pick one of the challenges below and dive deep into your self-hugging today.

30-Day Self-Hugs: Try 1 hug for 20 seconds per day. Consider giving yourself a hug in the morning before you get out of bed. If the morning doesn’t work, take a mid-day hug break or end your day with a hug before you go to sleep.

60-Day Self-Hugs: Try 4 or more hugs that last 1 minute or more per day. Notice how the increase in hugs makes you feel. If it feels good, add more hugs to your day.

90-Day Self-Hugs: Make hugging a self-care maintenance practice with 8 or more hugs per day.

120-Day Self-Hugs: Take your hug life to the next level of growth with 12 or more hugs per day.

Need More Support?

Join me for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Spring Virtual Retreat on March 21st at 2-4:30 PM ET OR March 27th at 7-9:30 PM ET via Zoom.

During the virtual retreat, you will:

  • Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing exercises, a mindfulness meditation with self-touch, and gentle chair yoga
  • Learn how to align and manage your energy with the wisdom of the Spring Equinox, New Moon, Full Moon, and crystal therapy
  • Participate in an intuitive movement exercise and a sound bath meditation that will help you open your heart to release and forgive
  • Reflect on and journal about what’s working and not working in your life and career, and what’s getting in your way
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest who you want to be and what you want to manifest in your life and career
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins

Click on the links below to buy your tickets today! Give a retreat ticket to a loved one, friend or colleague.

Our Hidden Superpowers: Personal and Ancestral Resilience

Last month, I led a training for the Sierra Club that addressed how people can tap into their resilience through a mindful self-care check-in. Since then, I have been reflecting on the ways I struggled emotionally, mentally, and physically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, economic instability, politics, and the elections in 2020 and the domestic terrorist attack by white supremacists on the U.S. Capitol during the first week of 2021. I remembered the stress and anxiety, and the way they triggered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) moments from living in DC during the first and second Iraqi Wars, Rodney King civil unrest, and 9/11. I thought about the ways I used mindful self-care practices to nurture myself; the support I received from family, friends, and a therapist; and the strength I gained.

My reflections led me to the wisdom of Dr. Maya Angelou, one of my wellness women warriors: “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” Dr. Angelou’s wisdom embodies resilience. For me, resilience is my ABILITY and CHOICE to rise like a phoenix from the ashes and bounce back when I overcome adversity, face a challenge or navigate change.

When you hear the word resilience what comes up for you? How do you define it?

My struggles taught me three things about resilience.

1. Resilience is one of our superpowers. We just have to remember to tap into and use it.

2. Mindful self-care practices lay the foundation for resilience. Mindful self-care practices help us release stress, rest, and restore ourselves.

3. We each have a personal and ancestral legacy of resilience. A personal legacy of resilience includes past experiences of overcoming adversity, facing challenges, and coping with change. An ancestral legacy of resilience is the strength of the people in our family, community, and culture who overcame adversity, faced challenges, and navigated change. They are our sheroes, heroes, and theyroes.

This month, I invite you to slow down and reflect on the two questions below.

  1. Think back to one moment in 2020 (or another time in your life) when you overcame adversity, faced a challenge or navigated change. How did it make you stronger? 
  2. Pick one person you admire in your family, community or culture for overcoming adversity, facing a challenge or navigating change. What did they teach you?

Do you and/or your business, organization or community need my training or coaching support on resilience, mindfulness or self-care? Contact me at ananda@anandaleeke.com and head on over to Ananda Leeke Consulting to learn how we can work together this year.

 

Digital Wellness Movie Recommendation: The Social Dilemma

Last year, I watched The Social Dilemma, a documentary film that paints an alarming picture of how technology and social media shape our lives, on Netflix. The film features interviews with tech professionals including former Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest employees who discuss the risks technology and social media bring to our emotional and physical well-being, mental health, human rights, freedom, and democracy. Watch the trailer below.

Given the fact the film was released in the midst of a global pandemic, mass mobilizations for racial justice, a major U.S. presidential election, and a new socially distant school year, I think it is a MUST SEE! Why?

1) Because our society’s dependence on technology for connection, education, health and social services, consumer shopping, news, and entertainment has expanded tremendously.

2) Because the tech companies and social media platforms have a lot power, are not heavily regulated, and if left unchecked, can hurt our emotional and physical well-being, mental health, freedom, human rights, and democracy. Medical News Today addressed the following negative physical, emotional, and mental health effects of technology in a February 2020 article:

-Physical Health: eyestrain, poor posture (neck and back pain), poor brain development in children and teens, lack of sleep, and a sedentary lifestyle that reduces physical activity and contributes to obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and a premature death; and

-Emotional and Mental Health: anxiety, depression, isolation, loss of focus, digital distraction, and tech overload

Read the Digital Detox’s blog post, The 19 Negative Effects of Technology in 2019. Also, check out the Pew Research Center 2020 Survey that reported 64% of Americans thought social media had a mostly negative effect on the way things in the U.S.

After watching the film, I took a hard look at my digital life and habits and decided to recommit to my own digital wellness. I recommend you watch the film on Netflix this weekend or later this month. May it inspire you to use digital wellness practices to transform how you use technology and social media this year.

Need more help with digital wellness?

Visit the Thriving Mindfully Academy here for digital wellness resources.

Need coaching or training support for yourself and/or company or organization? Head on over to Ananda Leeke Consulting to learn how we can work together this year.

Use De-Stress Tool to Manage Political Stress

According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of American Psychological Association (APA), more than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) say that the 2020 U.S. presidential election was a significant source of stress in their life. The APA survey also reported that regardless of political affiliation, majorities say the election is a significant source of stress (76% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 64% of Independents). Read more here.

Do these statistics describe how you felt last year?

Do they describe how you are currently feeling in the wake of what happened on January 6th when domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol?

Do they represent how you feel about local and national politics, the current White House administration, the electoral certification process, Georgia Senate races of newly elected U.S. Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on January 20th, and the coming days of getting a new Democratic-controlled government in place?

If you answered YES or MAYBE to any of these questions, I ‘ve got something you can use to manage your stress.. Watch the video below and learn how to use the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s De-Stress Tool.

Need more support? Visit the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s mindful self-care resources here.

Need coaching or training support for yourself and/or company or organization? Head on over to Ananda Leeke Consulting to learn how we can work together this year.

2020 Lessons Learned: What did you learn? Read my 20 lessons from 2020.

Before I really get started in a new year, I step back and go on a personal retreat to review and reflect on the year I completed. Looking back before I move forward helps me explore the lessons I learned. In my one-on-one coaching sessions and Come Home to Yourself Retreats, I’ve been having some great conversations with people about the valuable lessons they learned in 2020. Many of the lessons they learned helped them see they were more resilient than they thought.

Have you had an opportunity to reflect on your 2020 and the lessons you learned?

What did you learn last year?

In December (my favorite month because it is my birthday month), I carved out time to do my own personal retreat, I used my Come Home to Yourself Retreat exercises and discovered 20 key lessons I learned last year. They included:

1) CONTROLLING THE UNIVERSE DOESN’T WORK SO SURRENDER: I learned to have a better relationship with my archetypes who often want to control everything. They include inner critic Broomie a/k/a Broomhilda, Chief Executive Assistant woman Madelyn, warrior woman Sapphire, and girl child Puf. Instead of shutting them down, I listen to them and let them know they have been heard. I tell them that my wise woman Ancestor, spirit woman Ananda, creative woman Kiamsha, and peacemaker Cheryl appreciate their concerns. Paying them respect and treating them as a full member of my inner counsel of arcehtypes reduces their need to control. It also creates space for me to ask the Universe what I need to feel, think, say, and do with the information they provided. Most times, I am not called to do anything. This process allows me to slow down and joyfully surrender to Spirit’s will. I flow so much better now.

PS: If you’d like to learn more about my archetypes and how I have worked with them in my life, check out my mindful creativity memoir, That Which Awakens Me here. You can buy the book on Amazon here.

2) I HAVE A RIGHT TO BE VULNERABLE: I learned tt is healthy to be vulnerable and have conversations with my heart regularly.

3) I GET TO PRIORITIZE WHAT I NEED: I learned what I truly need and to make rest, joy, laughter, and self-hugs daily priorities.

4) MY HEALTHY LIFESTYLE IS MY CREATION: I learned to live as a relaxed vegan which means use a blend of vegan and alkaline lifestyle practices.

5) MY PHYSICAL FITNESS IS MY SALVATION: I learned how to release stress and stay grounded by moving my body with yoga, dancing, walking, Barre 3, and bike riding daily (which means use one, some or all of them each day depending on my energy level).

6) MASTERING MY ENERGY IS KEY TO MY ABILITY TO THRIVE: I learned how valuable it is to manage and align my energy, time, creativity, and business with meditation, chanting, reiki, tapping, astrology, chakra and crystal therapies, and the moon cycles.

7) ASKING FOR HELP AND BEING A PART OF COMMUNITY SAVED MY MENTAL HEALTH: I learned not to waste time with stress and mental health struggles by pretending I don’t need help. So I got support through daily self-care, monthly therapy sessions, spending time with family and friends (social distancing, Zoom calls, phone calls, and texting), and participating in online meditation, self-care, and spiritual communities and events (Thriving Mindfully Academy’s weekly meditation community, InsightLA POC Sangha, Noble Indigo women’s circle, Rickie Byars’ B-Hood programs, Agape International Spiritual Center, and others) regularly.

8) MY CREATIVE EXPRESSION WAS LONGING FOR FREEDOM TO JUST BE WITHOUT ANY EXPECATIONS: I learned how to allow myself to be creative in smaller, intentional ways that didn’t require writing a book or creating artwork for sale. I learned how to create and schedule weekly and monthly creative sessions to play and have fun.

9) SOUND HEALING KEEPS ME SANE AND BALANCED: I discovered a new healing medicine by playing my Soul Orchestra of sound healing bowls, gong, koshi chimes, thumb drum, and rainstick regularly.

10) MY TECH AND SOCIAL MEDIA USE WAS WAY WAY WAY OVERBOARD AND CAUSED TREMENDOUS STRESS: I learned to take a summer social media vacation and how to transform my relationship with technology and social media with digital wellness through a 10-week course organized by the Digital Wellness Institute. It was one of the best educational and personal growth experiences I had. I am really get how my tech overuse has stressed me out. Now I am certified as a Digital Wellness Educator and can use what I learned in my own life and Thriving Mindfully Academy work with clients.

11) I DON’T NEED ALL OF THE STUFF I THOUGHT I NEEDED: I learned to simplify where I can in my life, career, and home.

12) BRINGING MY YOGA FLEXIBILITY INTO ALL AREAS OF MY LIFE HELPS ME AGE WELL: I learned how important it is to stay open, curious, and flexible to prevent myself from getting stuck in my way of being and doing as I move through my 50s.

13) I FEEL MUCH BETTER WHEN I WEAR LIP GLOSS: Wearing lip gloss each day (even with my mask) is a positive energizing self-care practice. I purchased lip gloss by Black and Brown beauty companies such as AJ Crimson, Kami Cosmetics, and Mented, and from Black and Brown-owned stores like Brown Beauty Coop.

14) I COME FROM POWERFUL PEOPLE: I learned to be more aware of, connected to, and celebrate my ancestral resilient sheroes, heroes, and theyroes. They are a source of inspiration. They also remind I come from people who loved, lived with joy, and overcame struggle.

15) I AM STRONGER THAN I THINK AND I AM NOT SUPER WOMAN: I learned to take regularly inventory of my own legacy of resilience.

16) PLANTS ARE MY NEW BFFS: I learned to reconnect with nature by following in the footsteps of my niece Jordan a/ka/a “The Plant Momma” by keeping plants around me for inspiration and positive energy.

17) KOOL AND THE GANG’S SONG CELEBRATE NEEDS TO BE MY NATIONAL ANTHEM: I learned to find special ways to celebrate my small, medium, and big wins daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. It taught me how to inspire and encourage others to do the same .

18) MAKING PEOPLE SMILE WITH ACTS OF KINDNESS OPENS MY HEART: I learned how to expand my practice of loving kindness by increasing my appreciation for and gratitude for people who make my life special, juicy, and blessed.

19) MY VOICE NEEDS TO BE LOUDER: I learned how to speak up with more strength and grounding when I feel overwhelmed and need to set boundaries.

20) I DESERVE TO BE A CUTIE ON DUTY: Wearing crop tops from Zara is EVERYTHING. Pure Fire!

I’ve got several ways to help you and your family, friends, colleagues, company or organization in 2021. Read on….

Join me for the Come Home to Yourself Retreat on January 10th at 2-4:30 PM ET. The virtual retreat will help you wrap up 2020 and start 2021 with more intention, ease, and gratitude. REGISTER HERE.

Explore working with me in a one-on-one coaching relationship or as a virtual trainer and speaker for your virtual event. Check out the services I offer through Ananda Leeke Consulting and the Thriving Mindfully Academy. Contact me to set up a complimentary 20-minute consultation call to explore how we can work together this year via Google Meet, Zoom or the phone: ananda@anandaleeke.com.

Are You Really Ready for 2021?

Are you really ready for 2021?

Have you set an intention, identified your personal and professional goals, mapped out action steps to achieve your goals, chosen accountability partners to help you stay on track or created a self-celebration plan to honor your small. medium, and big wins?

If you answered NO or MAYBE to one or more of these questions, you deserve self-care coach Ananda Leeke’s support.

Start 2021 right where you are with Ananda’s help during the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Come Home to Yourself Retreat on Sunday, January 10th from 2-4:30 p.m. ET.

Go here to sign up today!

Invite your family members, friends or colleagues to join you. Go one step further and buy one of them a ticket to attend.

Let’s SOAR Together in 2021!

Welcome to 2021 Groovy People! 

Are you ready for a new year? Have you set an intention?

Before I begin each new year, I take time to come home to myself with a personal retreat. During the retreat, I open myself up with mindful self-care practices including meditation, prayer, chanting, gentle yoga, reiki, and tapping. These practices ground me and prepare me for deep reflection. I use mindful journaling to review and reflect on the person I became, how I showed up in my life and career, the lessons I learned, the blessings I received, and the actions I took and people that need releasing and forgiving. Once I am able to pour my emotions and thoughts on paper, I am able to take in the growth and barriers that got in the way. From this place, I am able to set an intention, map out goals, identify accountability partners who will support my goals, and create a self-celebration plan that will help me honor my small, medium, and big wins.

For the past three weeks, I have led several Come Home to Yourself Retreats. During each retreat, I have supported a phenomenal group of people as they reflected on their 2020 lessons and blessings, released and forgiven themselves and others, set intentions, mapped out goals and action steps, identified accountability partners, and developed a self-celebration plan they can use to honor their small, medium, and big wins. 

During one of the retreats, I chose the word SOAR as my 2021intention. SOAR is an acronym that outlines my intention to:

S: SHOW up and show out fully as the REAL ME in 2021

O: OWN all of ME in 2021 – the good, in-between, and not so good

A: I am ABUNDANT!

R: I REST daily!

Do you want to SOAR with me in 2021?

Take one step towards soaring with my Come Home to Yourself Retreat on January 10th at 2-4:30 PM ET. The virtual retreat will help you wrap up 2020 and start 2021 with more intention, ease, and gratitude. REGISTER HERE.

Need more help navigating 2021? Looking for one-on-one coaching support, a virtual trainer for your organization or a speaker for next virtual event?

Check out the services I offer through Ananda Leeke Consulting and the Thriving Mindfully Academy.

Contact me to set up a complimentary 20-minute consultation call via Google Meet, Zoom or the phone: ananda@anandaleeke.com.

Looking for easy ways to practice mindful self-care in 2021?

Check out the resources below.

  1. Slow down and listen to the new Thriving Mindfully playlist on YouTube. Allow the music to inspire and energize you. Open your heart and get ready to move your body with the special music here.

2. Take the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s self-hug challenge. Go here to learn the benefits of a self-hug and how you can get started with the self-hug challenge.

3. Check out over 100 episodes of the Thriving Mindfully Podcast here.

4. Visit the Thriving Mindfully Academy for mindfulness, self-care, and wellness resources here.

5. Connect with like-minded folks who enjoy sharing information about mindfulness, self-care, and wellness in the A Mindful Cup of Tea Facebook page here.

6. Join me for the weekly Mindful Monday Meditation virtual class at 7-7:30 PM ET via Zoom. Register here.

7. Go here to learn about and purchase my three mindfulness books: Love’s Troubadours, a yoga-inspired novel; That Which Awakens Me, a mindful creativity memoir; and Digital Sisterhood, a mindful technology memoir.