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 my Ananda Leeke Consulting LLC page 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 CAUSING ME 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. Purchase 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 they-roes for inspiration and reminders that 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, and inspire and encourage others to do the same .

18) MAKING PEOPLE SMILE WITH ACTS OF KINDNESS OPENS MY HEART: My learned how to expand my practice of loving kindness by increasing my appreciation for and gratitude efforts 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 LLC 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 LLC 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.

Today’s Great News: Completed Digital Wellness Institute’s 10-Week Digital Wellness Certification Program

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve struggled with tech-life balance. That means I was overusing technology … spending way too much time online looking at my smartphone, tablet, and laptop screens. My eyes, ears, and mind consumed an incredible amount of information and news. It all overwhelmed me. It cost me sleep. It disturbed my normal zen attitude.

In May, I realized I needed to transform my relationship with social media and technology. So I took a summer vacation from social media. When I returned in September, I decided I needed digital wellness support for my own well-being. I also wanted to get more digital wellness training to strengthen the mindful technology work I do through the Thriving Mindfully Academy.

I found support and training in the Digital Wellness Collective‘s Digital Wellness Institute (DWI) Fall 2020 Certificate Training Program. It was exactly what I needed! Today, I completed the program and have become a certified digital wellness educator. Learn more about the program here.

Special thanks to the Nina Hersher, Amy Blankson, Shaunelle Curry, the DWI faculty, DWC team, and my fellow DWI Fall 2020 classmates!

Wellness Wednesday Treat: Opt Into Self-Care with Me on Black Doctor’s Facebook Live Tonight at 6 PM ET

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Tonight, head over to Black Doctor’s Facebook Live at 6 p.m. ET for The Doctor Is In conversation on opting into self-care for 2021. I am talking with Dr. Monique Gary and Ricki Fairley of TOUCH The Black Breast Cancer Alliance. Go here to watch tonight’s Black Doctor’s Facebook Live.

Need more help opting into self-care? Sign up for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Come Home to Yourself Retreat on December 20th (option #1) or December 27th (option #2).

REGISTRATION LINKS:

December 20th, 2-4:30 PM ET

December 27th, 2-4:30 PM ET


During the Come Home to Yourself Retreat, you will:

-Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing, meditation, affirmations, and gentle chair yoga

-Reflect on and journal about who you have been and the lessons you learned in 2020

-Identify who or what’s been getting in your way in 2020Release and practice forgiveness

-Explore who you want to be and how you want to show up in 2021

-Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest the person you want to be in 2021

-Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins in 2021


A Zoom video link will be emailed to you once you register for the online retreat.

Thriving Mindfully on the Way to Fantabulous 56 and 2021

Birthdays are some of my favorite celebrations. I love mine so much that I celebrate it monthly. I use my monthly birthday to slow down, reflect on, and celebrate my small. medium, and big wins. This year, I used many of my monthly birthdays as a personal retreat due to my emotional struggles with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on my life, career, and business.

During my personal retreats, I looked at my full self in a mirror and came face-to-face with my vulnerabilities, challenges, wins, and losses. As a result, I gained new insights, brainstormed innovative solutions, participated in women’s healing circles, read inspirational books and magazines, and spent more time walking in nature. I also decided to change my pescatarian diet to a vegan diet, get more sleep, seek support from a therapist, join a virtual meditation community, deepen my study and practice of digital wellness, and move my body with more dance, Barre 3, yoga, walking, and bike riding. All of these efforts helped me set intentions and create shifts in how I choose to show up in my life, relationships, and career. They prepared me to walk into my fantabulous 56th year later this month and 2021 with a new mantra and intention: SOAR.

The best thing about a personal retreat is you get to choose how long it will last and what you will focus on. Over the past several years, I have used several formats for my personal retreats. Here are several examples.

  • A week: one to three hours per day starting on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday)
  • A three-day weekend: several hours per day beginning on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday
  • A full-day: two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, and one hour in the evening
  • A half-day: two or three hours

What changes occurred in your life and career this year?

Have you embraced or resisted the changes?

Do you need a personal retreat before 2020 ends?

Do you need help getting started on your personal retreat?

Join me for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Come Home to Yourself Retreat on December 20th or December 27th from 2-4:30 p.m. ET via Zoom.

The Come Home to Yourself Retreat will be offered twice. You can choose to attend the virtual retreat on December 20th or December 27th. Consider giving the Come Home to Yourself Retreat as a holiday gift to your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Register here for the December 20th retreat. Go here for the December 27th retreat.

During the virtual retreat, you will:

  • Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing, meditation, affirmations, and gentle chair yoga
  • Reflect on and journal about who you have been and the lessons you learned in 2020
  • Identify who or what’s been getting in your way in 2020
  • Release and practice forgiveness
  • Explore who you want to be and how you want to show up in 2021
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest the person you want to be in 2021
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins in 2021

A Zoom video link will be emailed to you once you register for the online retreat.

Register for the December 20th retreat here.

Register for the December 27th retreat here.

3 Holiday Gifts for You & Your Family, Friends, Colleagues & Clients

How are you and your family, friends, colleagues, and clients taking care of yourselves this holiday season?

If you need support, I’ve got three special holiday gifts that will help you and your colleagues stay grounded and calm this holiday season.

If you need more support with a personal retreat, join me for the Come Home to Yourself Retreat on December 20th or December 27th at 2-4:30 p.m. via Zoom. Use the links below to purchase tickets. Feel free to get holiday gift tickets for colleagues, family, and friends.

Enjoy your holiday season!

Come Home to Yourself with a Personal Retreat Before 2020 Ends

In times of great change, I have often engaged in an internal boxing match where I resist and struggle with accepting my normal life has been altered. That struggle is a boxing match I always lose. Why? Because change is inevitable. It’s always going to happen. In 2016, I gave a talk on how I used mindfulness to embrace change in the midst of career reinvention at the Nonprofit Technology Network’s annual conference in San Jose, California.

During my talk, I shared the four lessons I learned:

  • Lesson #1: Ask for help.
  • Lesson #2: Take great care of yourself.
  • Lesson #3: Be a lifelong learner.
  • Lesson #4: Be open to possibilities.

This year, I almost forgot these lessons as I struggled to deal with changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movements, economic instability, fake news, politics, and the national and local elections. I tried to ignore the changes by filling my time with serving others through the Thriving Mindfully Academy. That strategy lasted for about three months until I realized I was burning out in May. So I stepped back from many of my obligations, took a social media summer vacation, and changed the way I practiced self-care. I began giving myself more time and space for do-it yourself (DIY) personal retreats. My DIY personal retreats helped me recharge, reflect, and reconnect with my authentic self.

During my personal retreats, I looked at my full self in a mirror and came face-to-face with my vulnerabilities, challenges, wins, and losses. As a result, I gained new insights, brainstormed innovative solutions, participated in women’s healing circles, read inspirational books and magazines, and spent more time walking in nature. I also decided to change my pescatarian diet to a vegan diet, get more sleep, seek support from a therapist, join a virtual meditation community, deepen my study and practice of digital wellness, and move my body with more dance, Barre 3, yoga, walking, and bike riding. All of these efforts helped me set intentions and create shifts in how I choose to show up in my life, relationships, and career.

More on personal retreats …

The best thing about a personal retreat is you get to choose how long it will last and what you will focus on. Over the past several years, I have used several formats for my personal retreats. Here are several examples.

  • A week: one to three hours per day starting on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday)
  • A three-day weekend: several hours per day beginning on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday
  • A full-day: two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, and one hour in the evening
  • A half-day: two or three hours

What changes occurred in your life and career this year?

Have you embraced or resisted the changes?

Do you need a personal retreat before 2020 ends?

Do you need help getting started on your personal retreat?

Join me for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Come Home to Yourself Retreat on December 20th or December 27th from 2-4:30 p.m. ET via Zoom.

The Come Home to Yourself Retreat will be offered twice. You can choose to attend the virtual retreat on December 20th or December 27th. Consider giving the Come Home to Yourself Retreat as a holiday gift to your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Register here for the December 20th retreat. Go here for the December 27th retreat.

During the virtual retreat, you will:

  • Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing, meditation, affirmations, and gentle chair yoga
  • Reflect on and journal about who you have been and the lessons you learned in 2020
  • Identify who or what’s been getting in your way in 2020
  • Release and practice forgiveness
  • Explore who you want to be and how you want to show up in 2021
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest the person you want to be in 2021
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins in 2021

A Zoom video link will be emailed to you once you register for the online retreat.

Register for the December 20th retreat here.

Register for the December 27th retreat here.

Practice Self-Care in 5 Minutes or Less During 2020 COVID-19 Holiday Season

The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed how we connect with each other and our holiday celebrations. Many of us are unable to see, touch, and show affection towards our loved ones in person. Most of us have to follow mask and social distancing guidelines when we spend time with them. Living this way has left so many of us starving for physical touch.

Physical touch is a basic human need. Going without it for long periods can impact our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Giving ourselves daily hugs is one mindful self-care practice we can use to strengthen our well-being.

Hugging yourself is a FREE self-care practice that requires less than five minutes of your time. It offers you an opportunity to practice loving kindness and strengthen your resiliency. A self-hug is also 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.

Did you know that 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.” 

In an effort to help you navigate the 2020 COVID-19 holiday season, the Thriving Mindfully Academy has created the Self-Hug Challenge. It is rooted in our 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

May it inspire you to take better care of yourself with a daily hug!

Self-Hug Challenge Tips: To help you get started with the Self-Hug Challenge, we have included tips to support you.

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.

Additional Resources: Check out the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s resources and virtual meditation classes.

Self-Care

Self-Care Awareness Month

Loving Kindness Month

Register for the Thriving Mindfully Academy meditation classes in November and December.https://www.eventbrite.com/e/130348739589

Eventbrite: November 30 at 7-7:30 PM ET via Zoom

Eventbrite: December 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 7-7:30 PM ET via Zoom