0 comments on “What is power? Share your definition. Also Ananda Leeke TV Episodes – Wrap Up of Wreck This Journal Journey”

What is power? Share your definition. Also Ananda Leeke TV Episodes – Wrap Up of Wreck This Journal Journey

o-sept

Happy Tuesday!

The September issue of O Magazine is probably my favorite issue for 2009 because it discusses power.  I read the issue from cover to cover during the weekend.  It was delicious!  I even created several collages with magazine clippings in my copy of Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith (www.kerismith.com). Watch the Ananda Leeke TV webisodes to see what I am talking about.

 

 

o-sept-oprah

Here’s my favorite Oprah quote on power:

“For me, there is no real power without spiritual power. A power that comes from the core of who you are and reflects all that you were meant to be. A power that’s connected to the source of things. When you see this kind of power shining through someone in all its truth and certainty, it’s irresistible, inspiring, elevating. I can feel it in myself sometimes, mostly when I’m sharing an insight that I know will have an impact on someone’s life and I can see that they “get it.” I get real joy from helping other people experience aha moments. That is where my power lies. Gary Zukav writes in The Seat of the Soul, “When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning… When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment.” Fulfilling your purpose, with meaning, is what gives you that electrifying “juice” and makes people stand in wonder at how you do it. The secret is alignment: when you know for sure that you’re on course and doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, fulfilling your soul’s intention, your heart’s desire, or whatever you choose to call it (they’re all the same thing). When your life is on course with its purpose, you are your most powerful. And you may stumble, but you will not fall.”

 

What is your definition of power?

 

What makes you feel powerful?

 

My definition of power mirrors Oprah’s words.  I think power comes from within me.  It is a marriage between the masculine and feminine parts of my spirit.

When I breathe in and out deeply, I feel powerful. Deeply loving myself and others also makes me feel powerful. I feel powerful when I pray, sing, write, create art, practice yoga, meditate, chant mantras, say affirmations, and give myself Reiki. Connecting with others makes me feel powerful.  Another source of power comes from sharing my gifts and serving others. Learning something new makes me feel powerful too.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

PS:  Below are more power quotes from women featured in the September issue.

  • Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron is one of my Buddhist teachers.  Her teachings and books have helped me navigate my life for the past 15+ years.  She talked about the power of the pause:  “Pausing is very helpful in this process. It creates a momentary contrast between being completely self-absorbed and being awake and present. You just stop for a few seconds, breathe deeply, and move on. Chögyam Trungpa used to refer to this as the gap. In the middle of just living, which is usually a pretty caught-up experience characterized by a lot of internal discussion, you just pause. And once you start doing it, pausing nurtures you; you begin to prefer it to being all caught up.” http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200909-omag-power-list/6
  •  Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson is an amazing woman. She is the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate from MIT, the first woman and first African-American to chair the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the first African-American woman to serve as president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She discussed power as an equation that is rooted in persistence, preparation, compassion, courage, and connection (I have been using her words as a mantra!): “Follow your passion with persistence, magnified by intense preparation. Use compassion and courage to weave a strong web of connections. Use focused excellence to drive achievements and gain wisdom. It is through the combination of all these things that your power will reveal itself.  The magnitude and reach of your power is up to you. You must be prepared; you must commit the time, energy, and effort required to achieve. Be persistent. The passion you exhibit for your ideas and ideals and the compassion you show for others will further enhance your power. Connectivity is key; it is what creates and strengthens your web of opportunity. The more connected you are, and the stronger your connections, the more effective you will be in obtaining and using power to achieve your goals. All of this requires courage: the courage of your convictions, the courage to get started, the courage to keep going.” http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200909-omag-power-list/9 
  • Kara Walker is one of my favorite artists. I feature her work in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One  (www.lovestroubadours.com).  She reflected on the power of image in her body of artwork: “The work began by thinking about my own body as it encountered the mythologies of the world: I was fed up with the expectations of what a black girl ought to be, but instead of rejecting them outright, I thought I would embrace every concept out there, sort of flouting the notions and taunting those who held them at the same time. I’ve met people who feel they are in complete cahoots with the work, and with my bizarre imagination; people who don’t know what I’m trying to do, who don’t see any irony in the work; and people who take it as a personal affront. There’s something beautiful about that discomfort, and about the potential for images to contain such raw emotion. These pictures—they’re the way history sees us; they’re derogatory images of blackness with deep psychic pain attached, and I use and mess around with all of it. But I’m not looking for conclusions, or meaning. I’m not interested in that. It’s about unleashing the unmentionable, the antisocial, the sociopathic—and then walking away. To let these images work their magic, their horror, their power—that’s tremendous.” http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200909-omag-power-list/12
  •  Author Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of The Omega Institute always touches my heart.  I met and talked to her at the Sacred Circles: Women’s Spirituality Conference held at the Washington National Cathedral in February.  She wrote that she finds true power when she trusts her soul’s voice: “I feel peaceful yet strong, gentle yet courageous” – http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200909-omag-finding-power.  She also explored the power of mamimsa:  Mamisma is not to be confused with machisma, which is the sister of machismo. The world does not need patriarchy to be replaced by matriarchy. It needs mamisma. It needs women to harness their hearts and drive the chariots of love into the center of town. It needs men to choose empathy over aggression. It needs each of us—and especially the most powerful among us—to put away the drive for ego power and take up the banner of protection, inclusion, and care. I have hope about this. Over the decades, I’ve seen mamisma gaining strength. I’ve seen it in my husband, a jock from West Texas who harnessed mamisma when he became a single father to his 5-year-old son; I’ve seen it in business leaders who are beginning to include the needs of their people in the bottom line; I’ve seen it in young women who want to redefine power itself, to change the rules and the priorities and bring the totality of their intelligence into their work and their relationships and families. And now I’m seeing it in my son, poised to use the power of love to pave a boulevard of opportunity and joy for his own baby. So here I sit, in a strange café, gripping my cell phone, awaiting a call. If anyone asks, I’ll say mamisma made me do it.” http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/200909-omag-power-stories/3
2 comments on “Wreck This Journal – Week 6 – Creative Play & Gratitude”

Wreck This Journal – Week 6 – Creative Play & Gratitude

WTJ

Happy Wednesday!

Today I decided to share what I have been doing in my Wreck This Journal book for Week 6.  Click here to see what my creative sistaloves from the Next Chapter Book Blogging Group have done during Week 6:  http://tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com/2009/07/wreck-this-journal-week-6.html.

2008 TWAM Photo Shoot 1 052

2008 TWAM Photo Shoot 1 058

On Sunday morning, I served as a volunteer yoga teacher for my free monthly yoga class (http://yoga.meetup/584) in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meridian_Hill_Park), a local slice of paradise in my U Street neighborhood in DC.  After the class, I walked up 16th  Street to All Souls Unitarian Church (www.all-souls.org) and picked some leaves from various trees. One leaf was shaped in a heart. It was yellow and green.  It reminded me of my intention to maintain an open heart.  This morning, I created a collage by pasting the heart-shaped leaf on a green piece of construction paper.  I also wrote a statement about gratitude on the collage: I am grateful for waking up and seeing Mother Nature in a new day.  While reading page 168 of Wreck This Journal,  I decided to paste my collage as a secret message in my journal.  I used the last two digits of the year I became a debutante for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. as my secret page.  That was a lot of fun to remember.  I had big fun with the debutante training process and coming out celebration. What great memories!

I also enjoyed playing on the following pages:

  • Page 142 asked me to create a sign of what I wanted to say.  I wrote a wisdom message that I have been using all week: be grateful for everything and everyone.
  • Page 122 asked me to trace my hand.  I traced my left hand with a black ballpoint pen and thought about how I use my left brain (logical, analytical, objective, and rational) to manage the publication process of my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (Summer 2009 – iUniverse, Inc.).  My left brain has been spearheading the final stages of my book publication process (something I have tried to escape because all I wanna do this summer is play!).
  • Page 112 invited me to infuse the page with a smell of my choice.  This was so much fun.  I used my lavender oil and rubbed it on the page.  Now my book smells fresh like lavender!  Lovely!!!!!
  • Page 138 told me to write with my left hand.  This was silly.  I ended up writing “love is all we have.”  I can barely read the message!!!!
  • Page 115 and 116 encouraged me to close my eyes and connect the dots from memory.  My lines were all over the place. A few connected the dots. The exercise made me laugh a lot.  It was all about CREATIVE PLAY!!!!!
  • Page 150 felt good to do because it told me lose the page, throw it out, and accept the loss.  I needed to do this exercise.  Last week I started releasing a lot of clutter in my home and life.  After I dumped everything, I felt so much spaciousness in my home and heart. I also felt a sense of loss.  I got a little stuck in a sad place until I realized that I needed to accept the loss.   

So that’s all I have for Week 6. 

Thanks everybody for reading my weekly updates.

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

4 comments on “Wreck This Journal – Week 4 Update”

Wreck This Journal – Week 4 Update

WTJ

Hi All,

Last Friday marked week four for my Next Chapter Book Blogging Group. We are having a grand time with the book Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.  Click here to see what my creative sistaloves are doing:   http://tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com/2009/06/wreck-this-journal-week-4.html.

change

fear

This morning I woke up feeling very anxious about a series of changes I am experiencing.  These changes are transforming the landscape of what my current life looks like.  They are pushing me out of the cocoon of a ten-year comfort zone.  Sometimes they scare me.  They show me my fears.  They make me revisit old wounds.  I don’t like them, but they don’t care. They are happening and will continue to happen.  How do I want to respond?  That’s the question I asked myself over and over again before I got out of bed and headed to the yoga mat.  As I came into child’s pose, I asked Creator for guidance and help.  The music of Jai Uttal kept me company.  It seeped into my throat and before long I found myself chanting Sita Ram over and over again. The chanting helped ease some of my anxious feelings.  Feeling more grounded, I began doing a series of 10 sun salutations. At the end, I sat down on my mat and did several rounds of alternate nostril breathing before chanting Sita Ram with my mala beads 108 times. 

When my morning practice was over, I headed back to my bedroom to grab my Wreck This Journal book.  Me and the book walked into the kitchen and sat down at a table filled with magic markers, scissors, gluesticks, and magazine clippings.  I noticed a quote by Dante and decided to paste it on the cover of the book: “Follow your own path and let people talk.”  I wondered what is my path in the midst of change?  Four wisdom phrases emerged:

1) Keep your heart open.

2) Surrender and do not resist.

3) Embrace and enjoy the destruction and release of your old life as an opportunity to actively witness and participate in the transformation process.

4) Give thanks and be grateful for all changes even the ones that make you panic,  scare you into old wounds, and cause you to feel doubts and fears.

Enjoy your week!

Peace, Surrender, Change, Release, Transformation, and Creativity,

Ananda

13 comments on “Week 3 of Wreck This Journal – Come Alive CD by The Roots Became My Creativity Playlist”

Week 3 of Wreck This Journal – Come Alive CD by The Roots Became My Creativity Playlist

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rootscomealivecd

The_Roots_2007

Hi All,

It’s week 3 in the Wreck This Journal Book Blogging journey:  http://tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com.  This week I started wrecking my journal on June 15 while listening to the Come Alive CD by The Roots.  My favorite songs for wrecking my journal were:

  • “All I Know”
  • “Y’all Know Who”
  • “What You Want”
  • “Love of My Life”

Do you have a Wreck This Journal playlist?

My favorite journal wrecking activities were:

  • p. 58 – Pretending to doodle on the back on an envelope with an orange magic marker (lots of hearts, scribbles, and square boxes).
  • p. 98 – The page of good thoughts was filled with reminder that God is love in pink magic marker.
  • p. 146 – The space for negative comments and what is your inner critic saying awakened my inner critic Broomhilda. Click here to learn more about her:  http://kiamshacom.blogspot.com/search?q=broomhilda. Broomhilda criticized me for writing a book  (my new poetic memoir – That Which Awakens me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir – Summer 2009) with too many pages that folks won’t read. She accused me of pretending to be more than I am. She also told me I wasn’t ready to shiine.  She released her usual criticism about my muffin Buddha belly and told me my current work with my life coach Yael to tone my belly and improve my core and self-acceptance were worthless.

Archetypes-Broomhilda-innercritic

My inner critic Broomhilda

This week was full of insights. The inner critic exercise was the main source of the insights.  I’m glad I am working with my life coach Yael to strengthen my self-acceptance.  That’s why I am smiling right now about  Broomhilda’s criticisms.  They let me know I am on the right path to shining my beauty and sharing my gifts. 

I will visit more Wreck This Journal sistalove blogs next week after I get back from Chicago and the Blogging While Brown conference (www.bloggingwhilebrown.com).

Thanks for stopping by.

Enjoy your day and weekend!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

25 comments on “New Creative Adventure for Summer 2009 – Wreck This Journal byKeri Smith”

New Creative Adventure for Summer 2009 – Wreck This Journal byKeri Smith

 

 

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Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith – www.kerismith.com

crayons

Good Morning All!

Happy Friday!

It’s 6:40 a.m. in D.C.  The June rain that is hitting the pavement outside of my apartment fills the air with autumn chills.  It’s hard to believe that summer will be here in 15 more days.  I’ve already had two cups of green tea.  They warmed me up and got me energized for my new creative adventure : Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.  

Wreck This Journal is an invitation to play and be free.  It was extended by Jamie Ridler, a certified professional co-active coach (http://www.jamieridler.blogspot.com).  Jamie founded Next Chapter, a book blogging group that has created an online sisterhood of support for creative women like myself.  I recently participated in Jamie’s Next Chapter book blogging group from January to April.  We read and blogged about The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin (one of my favorite books – read it for the first time in 2000).  Click here to learn more about the group:  http://www.tnc-12secrets.blogspot.com.

Today marks the first step in my Wreck This Journal adventures with a group of groovy creative women. Click here to learn more:  http://www.tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com. Read about my first Wreck This Journal adventure below.

The clock registered 6:00 a.m. when I started my Wreck This Journal adventure.  I opened the book and read the title page.  My heart jumped when I read: “To create is to destroy.”  What a powerful mantra!  It was medicine for my creative soul.  It was also a permission slip to just be without an agenda.  I needed the medicine and permission slip after spending the past year and half working on my poetic memoir.  I really got excited when I read Keri’s warning statement: “You may begin to live more recklessly.”  My giggles let me know that I was on the right journey!  I shouted “Hallelujah!”

The first page I wrote in asked me to fill out who this book belongs to.  I wrote nice and neat like a good Catholic girl: Ananda Leeke.  The next line asked me to write my name in white.  I panicked and realized I didn’t have a white pen.  My sense of play left for a nanosecond until I wrote my name in any ole’ way.  That’s when I started to do my own thang despite the instructions.  My archetype called Madelyn, the lawyer/CEO lady, cringed.  My archetype called Puf, the little girl who rocks the world with her BoHo BAP (Black American Princess) fabulousness and Black-eyed susan southern debutante swagger, grinned and got on with the wrecking process.  Puf got the party started! It lasted 30 minutes. 

My favorite pages were:

1) Pour, spill, drip, spit, fling your coffee here.

I used green tea instead.  Rebel girl Puf didn’t blink an eye at my choice.  Then I dipped my finger three times in my tea cup and fingerpainted 3 long drips on the page.  

2) Color This Entire Page.

Kiamsha, my creative woman archetype, took over on this page. She decided to write a poem first. Here’s the poem.

Untitled

It is a rainy today.

Play is what’s on my mind.

Play opens the space of gratitude in my heart.

It reminds me of my Yogi tea bag message.

“Gratitude is the open door to abundance.”

Color it all with love. 

 After writing the poem, I walked from my bedroom into my art studio and picked up my box of crayons.  I brought them back to my bed and proceeded to randomly pull out a few colors.  I started coloring the page with two different crayons.  I shaded in places and scribbled in others.  I added more colors.  When I was finished, I realized that my coloring had given birth to a new poem.  So I copied it on the opposite page. 

Untitled

Coloring is my favorite.

It is scribbles of  joy.

Two crayons together going sideways, upside down, and all around.

Yellow and orange.

Pink and red.

White and violet.

Blue and green.

They kiss a blank page with their rainbow colors with joie de vivre.

My final act from this scene in my creative adventure was coloring the page. When I finished, I looked at the page with all of its colorful shadings and waved a cheery goodbye.

3) Fill this page with circles.

I decided to skip several pages and have some more morning fun.  That’s how I landed on page 32.  I let out a big WOW when I read the direction about filling the page with circles.  My Puf archetype loves to draw circles.  So much fun, right?  I pulled out my crayons again and made crazy swirls of colorful circles until I got dizzy. I drew blue circles on top of pink ones.  Yellow ones layered the pink ones.  Green ones moved next door to orange ones.  They were a family of swirling circle dervishes that  Rumi would be proud of! After I finished with this page, I closed the journal and made my way to my yoga mat for a round of sun salutations, mantra chanting, and meditation before my oatmeal breakfast!  What a way to start a Friday!

To my Next Chapter book blogging group sistaloves:  Thank you for joining me on this journey.  I am so excited to be taking it with you.  This summer I have more time on my hands so I will be able to visit your blogs more regularly (didn’t do that on the last Next Chapter book blogging  journey due to my poetic memoir writing).  I look forward to learning more about your Wreck This Journal experiences. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your day and weekend!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda