Joys of Caregiving


 A Blog from Digital Sisterhood Network Founder Ananda Leeke

Photo Credit: AARP.com

Photo Credit: AARP.com

Happy November Digital Sisters,

I believe caregiving is rooted in the spirit of compassionate service. When I serve compassionately and give back to others, my heart opens and fills with joy. Click here to read AARP’s Bulletin on the unexpected joys of caregiving.

Over the years, I have learned that caregiving happens in many ways. It can be a short-term project that a wiser family member, friend, neighbor, colleague, or person needs help with. It can also be a daily, weekly, or monthly series of activities that support the wiser person’s needs as they navigate the aging process, daily life, health concerns, financial matters, or transportation.

Photo Credit: CNet.com

Photo Credit: CNet.com

Recently, I used my digital skills to support a family member’s short-term project. It was a Digital Sisterhood moment for me. Here’s what happened. While I was visiting my 74-year-old aunt one evening, she asked me to give her a tutorial on how to use her brand new tablet. The digital sister inside of me jumped for joy! We spent 90 minutes reviewing her tablet’s features, experimenting with her camera by taking photos and recording short videos, and exploring numerous apps including one that would allow her to read the Holy Bible. She wanted to find one that would be easy for her 97-year-old mother to use for her weekly Bible study class. So we researched options and downloaded several free apps that she plans to show her mother. When we finished the tutorial, my aunt hugged me and told me how much she appreciated my support. I smiled and said it was my pleasure to help her become a digital sister!

Photo Credit: AARP.com

Photo Credit: AARP.com

This month, I invite you to celebrate National Family Caregivers Month by sharing your caregiving stories through AARP’s “I Heart Caregivers” online initiative. “I Heart Caregivers” is set up as a microsite for people to share stories about being a caregiver. It includes a newsletter signup for regular emails about caregiving and links to AARP’s caregiving resources. Check out AARP’s blog about the initiative.

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Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s #CareSupport Campaign.

 

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Using Your Digital Citizenship to Give Back in July


digcitizen

Happy July and Happy Digital Citizenship Month Digital Sisters!

This month Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is celebrating Digital Citizenship Month and the theme, “Using Your Digital Citizenship to Give Back.” How are you using your digitial citizenship to give back?

Today’s blog invites you to explore who you are as an Evangelista. Check out the Evangelista Profile below. It is an excerpt from Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, www.leighmosley.com

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, http://www.leighmosley.com

Evangelista Profile

 An Evangelista is a woman who supports and advocates a philosophy, a values system, a lifestyle, a cause, or a campaign that improves her life and others’ lives.  If you identify with one or more of the Evangelista’s characteristics, please check out the Evangelista Manifesto collage below. Consider making one to jumpstart your writing process. All you need are some of your favorite magazines, construction or poster board paper, scissors, and glue sticks. Look for words, phrases, and images that represent your definition of an Evangelista. Paste them on to your paper. If you need to write some of your words and phrases, use magic markers, crayons, or pens. After you finish the collage, give yourself a few days to look at it. Record any thoughts you have while looking at it. Use them  as writing prompts for your Manifesto. Feel free to use the one contained below as a sample or adopt it as your own.

Evangelista collage by Ananda Leeke

Evangelista collage by Ananda Leeke

Evangelista Manifesto

I am a woman who believes I can be heard, persuasive, enthusiastic, optimistic, passionate, articulate, generous, outgoing, and inspiring when I pursue what matters most. That’s when I am a force. One for others. One for humanity. I am a voice for those who have no voice. The change maker. The advocate involved in supporting a great cause. A woman making a difference. A woman starting something good and helping the planet. A woman making the world a better place for all.

Chakra Connection

Evangelista’s energy is connected to the:

  • Sacral, or second chakra, which corresponds to creativity, pleasure, sexuality, and well-being. It governs the bladder, circulatory system, and sexual and reproductive organs.
  • Solar plexus, or third chakra, which corresponds to willpower, persistence, self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. It governs the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, and spleen.
  • Heart, or fourth chakra, which corresponds to love, joy, harmony, and inner peace. It governs the heart, chest, lungs, and circulation).

Color Connection

Wear or surround yourself with the colors orange (second chakra), yellow (third chakra), and green or pink (fourth chakra) to connect with Evangelista’s energy.

Gemstone Connection

Wear or surround yourself with amber or carnelian (second chakra), citrine or tiger’s eye (third chakra), and aventurine or rose quartz (fourth chakra) gemstones to connect with Evangelista’s energy.

Goddess Connection

Evangelista is connected to the goddesses mentioned below.

  • Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of creativity, and Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of the arts (second chakra)
  • Al-Uzza, the Arabian goddess of confidence, vigilance, and preparation; Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess of royal power; Durga, the Hindu warrior goddess; and Sekhmet, the Egyptian warrior goddess (third chakra)
  • Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love; Erzulie, the Haitian goddess of love; Kwan Yin, the Chinese goddess of compassion; and Venus, the Roman goddess of love, (fourth chakra)

Yoga Connection

Practicing bound angle, downward facing dog, triangle, and wide angle poses (second chakra); bow, boat, warrior one, warrior two, warrior three, sun salutation, and all twisting poses (third chakra); and camel, cat, cobra, fish, sphinx, upward facing dog, and upward facing bow poses (fourth chakra) can help you connect with Evangelista’s energy.

 dsoftheyear300

During Digital Sisterhood Month 2012 and 2013, the women listed below were named Evangelista Digital Sisters of the Year. Take a few minutes to learn about them. They are great Evangelista virtual mentors.

2012 Digital Sisters of the Year

2013 Digital Sisters of the Year

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Learn More About Digital Sisters of the Year and Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetypes

Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (available on Amazon for Kindle and as a paperback) includes a list of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Digital Sisters of the Year. It also features an appendix that helps you explore and identify your own Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetypes. The interactive exercises encourage you to journal your thoughts in the book’s notes section.

Happy June Digital Sisters: Are You An Empirista?


Happy June Digital Sisters!

This month Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is celebrating the theme, “Lean In and Build Your Empire.” How are you serving as CEO of your life in 2014? What does CEO mean to you? What is your empire? How are you building it?

Today’s blog invites you to explore who you are as an Empirista. Check out the Empirista Profile below. It is an excerpt from Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

Empirista - Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, www.leighmosley.com

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

Empirista Profile

An Empirista is a woman who thinks of herself as CEO of her own corporation, ME, Inc.; maintains an entrepreneurial mindset; and gives birth to ideas and transforms them into businesses, economies, institutions, networks, and organizations that add value to people’s lives. If you identify with one or more of the Empirista’s characteristics, please check out the Empirista Manifesto collage below. Consider making one to jumpstart your writing process. All you need are some of your favorite magazines, construction or poster board paper, scissors, and glue sticks. Look for words, phrases, and images that represent your definition of an Empirista Paste them on to your paper. If you need to write some of your words and phrases, use magic markers, crayons, or pens. After you finish the collage, give yourself a few days to look at it. Record any thoughts you have while looking at it. Use them  as writing prompts for your Manifesto. Feel free to use the one contained below as a sample or adopt it as your own.

Empirista Collage by Ananda Leeke

Empirista Collage by Ananda Leeke

Manifesto:

I am a woman whose time has come as an entrepreneur, trailblazer, thought leader and pioneer. I am amazing in motion, taking aim, and leading by example. Carpe Diem is my mantra. It helps me start something that matters. It reminds me I got the power. So I own it. I can do what I love and love the rewards. All I have to do is focus, dream it, plan it, and do it. I can take it to the next level when I think outside of the box, act boldly, spark a change, and have fun. Being confident and taking risks makes me unstoppable. I build, adapt, develop diverse perspectives, plot the future, and even make mistakes. I own my tomorrow now!

Chakra Connection:

Empirista’s energy is connected to the:

§  Root, or first, chakra which corresponds to survival issues including food, shelter, money, and financial independence. It governs the feet, legs, bones, and spine.

§  Sacral, or second chakra, which corresponds to creativity, pleasure, sexuality, and well-being. It governs the bladder, circulatory system, and sexual and reproductive organs.

§  Solar plexus, or third chakra, which corresponds to willpower, persistence, self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. It governs the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, and spleen.

§  Third-eye, or sixth chakra, which corresponds to intuition, imagination, wisdom, and the ability to think and make decisions. It governs the eyes and base of the skull.

Chakra Colors

Chakra Colors

Color Connection:

Wear or surround yourself with the colors red (first chakra), orange (second chakra), yellow (third chakra), and indigo blue (sixth chakra) to connect with Empirista’s energy.

Gemstone Connection:

Wear or surround yourself with garnet or ruby (first chakra), amber or carnelian (second chakra), citrine or tiger’s eye (third chakra), and lapis lazuli (sixth chakra) gemstones to connect with Empirista’s energy.

Goddess Connection:

Empirista is connected to the following goddesses mentioned below.

§  Atira, the Pawnee Native American goddess of the earth; Coatlicue, the Mexican goddess of the earth; and Gaia, the Greek goddess of the earth (first chakra)

§  Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of creativity, and Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of the arts (second chakra)

§  Al-Uzza, the Arabian goddess of confidence, vigilance, and preparation; Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess of royal power; Durga, the Hindu warrior goddess; and Sekhmet, the Egyptian warrior goddess (third chakra)

§  Tara, the Tibetan goddess of wisdom (sixth chakra)

Yoga Connection (Click here to search Yoga Journal’s web site for instructions on how to do each pose):

Practicing mountain, warrior two, standing forward fold, and bridge poses (first chakra); bound angle, downward facing dog, triangle, and wide-angle poses (second chakra); bow, boat, warrior one, warrior two, warrior three, sun salutation, and all twisting poses (third chakra); and bridge, child’s, downward facing dog, shoulder stand, and standing half forward bend poses (sixth chakra) can help you connect with Empirista’s energy.

Badge designed by Dariela Cruz

Badge designed by Dariela Cruz

During Digital Sisterhood Month 2012 and 2013, the women listed below were named Empirista Digital Sisters of the Year. Take a few minutes to learn about them. They are great Empirista virtual mentors.

2012 Digital Sisters of the Year

2013 Digital Sisters of the Year

 

 

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Visit Amazon.com to read about and purchase Ananda’s Digital Sisterhood book (available for Kindle and as a paperback). The book includes a list of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Digital Sisters of the Year. It also features an appendix that helps you explore and identify the Empirista and the six other Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetypes. The interactive exercises encourage you to journal your thoughts in the book’s notes section.

AnandaLeeke.com logo by Madelyn C. Leeke

AnandaLeeke.com logo by Madelyn C. Leeke

If you are in Washington, DC on June 18, plan to attend the DSN June Meet Up and Book Signing for Ananda’s Digital Sisterhood from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Lettie Gooch, a high-end specialty boutique for women, 1517 U Street, NW, (located on 15th and U Streets, two blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green/Yellow Line Metro). Click here to register for the event.

 

Happy April Digital Sisters! Are You A Creativista?


Happy April Digital Sisters!

This month, Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is promoting the theme, “Giving Birth to Your Creativity” as a Creativista. What are you giving birth to this year?

Today’s blog invites you to explore who you are as a Creativista. Check out the Creativista Profile below. It is an excerpt from Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - www.leighmosley.com

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

Creativista Profile:

A Creativista is a woman who gives birth to creativity (art, books, content, films, mobile apps, products, services, webisodes, and videos). If you identify with one or more of the Creativista’s characteristics, please check out the Creativista Manifesto collage below. Consider making one to jumpstart your writing process. All you need are some of your favorite magazines, construction or poster board paper, scissors, and glue sticks. Look for words, phrases, and images that represent your definition of a Creativista. Paste them on to your paper. If you need to write some of your words and phrases, use magic markers, crayons, or pens. After you finish the collage, give yourself a few days to look at it. Record any thoughts you have while looking at it. Use them  as writing prompts for your Manifesto. Feel free to use the one contained below as a sample or adopt it as your own.

Creativista Collage by Ananda Leeke

Creativista Collage by Ananda Leeke

Manifesto:

I am a woman who makes beautiful things. I embrace Virginia Woolf’s wisdom: “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” I create a life I love. It starts with a desire to chase what moves me the most. I discover it. I live it. I own it. I add my own scenery. I am colorful. I use my voice. I express myself. I take a deep breath and dream big. I rediscover myself. I am intuitive, open-minded, imaginative, adventurous, and curious. I am creative inside and out!

Chakra Connection (click here to learn more about chakras):

Creativista’s energy is connected to the:

§  Sacral, or second chakra, which corresponds to creativity, pleasure, sexuality, and well-being. It governs the bladder, circulatory system, and sexual and reproductive organs.

 

§  Solar plexus, or third chakra, which corresponds to willpower, persistence, self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. It governs the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, and spleen.

 

§  Heart, or fourth chakra, which corresponds to love, joy, harmony, and inner peace. It governs the heart, chest, lungs, and circulation.

 

§  Throat, or fifth chakra, which corresponds to communication, expressions of feelings, and the truth. It governs the throat, ears, nose, teeth, mouth, and neck.

 

§  Third-eye, or sixth chakra, which corresponds to intuition, imagination, wisdom, and the ability to think and make decisions. It governs the eyes and base of the skull.

 

Chakra colors

Color Connection (click here to learn more about colors):

Wear or surround yourself with the colors orange (second chakra), yellow (third chakra), green or pink (fourth chakra), light or sky blue (fifth chakra), and indigo blue (sixth chakra) to connect with Creativista’s energy.

Gemstone Connection:

Wear or surround yourself with amber or carnelian (second chakra), citrine or tiger’s eye (third chakra), aventurine or rose quartz (fourth chakra), turquoise (fifth chakra), and lapis lazuli (sixth chakra) gemstones to connect with Creativista’s energy.

Goddess Connection (click here to learn more about goddesses):

Creativista is connected to the goddesses mentioned.

§  Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of creativity, and Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of the arts (second chakra)

 

§  Al-Uzza, the Arabian goddess of confidence, vigilance, and preparation; Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess of royal power; Durga, the Hindu warrior goddess; and Sekhmet, the Egyptian warrior goddess (third chakra)

 

§  Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love; Erzulie, the Haitian goddess of love; Kwan Yin, the Chinese goddess of compassion; and Venus, the Roman goddess of love, (fourth chakra)

 

§  Vach, the Hindu goddess of speech and communication (fifth chakra)

 

§  Tara, the Tibetan goddess of wisdom (sixth chakra).

 

Yoga Connection (click here to search Yoga Journal’s web site for instructions on how to do the poses below):

Practicing bound angle, downward facing dog, triangle, and wide angle poses (second chakra); bow, boat, warrior one, warrior two, warrior three, sun salutation, and all twisting poses (third chakra); camel, cat, cobra, fish, sphinx, upward facing dog, and upward facing bow poses (fourth chakra); bridge, fish, lion, plow, and upward plank poses (fifth chakra); and bridge, child’s, downward facing dog, shoulder stand, and standing half forward bend poses (sixth chakra) can help you connect with Creativista’s energy.

Badge Design by Dariela Cruz

Badge Design by Dariela Cruz

 

During Digital Sisterhood Month 2012 and 2013, the women listed below were named Creativista Digital Sisters of the Year. Take a few minutes to learn about them. They are great Creativista virtual mentors.

2012 Digital Sisters of the Year

 

2013 Digital Sisters of the Year

 

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Visit Amazon.com to read about and purchase Ananda Leeke’s Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (available for Kindle and as a paperback). The book includes a list of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Digital Sisters of the Year. It also features an appendix that helps you explore and identify Creativista and the six other Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetypes. The interactive exercises encourage you to journal your thoughts in the book’s notes section.

 

Great News – Digital Sisterhood Book (Book Cover Artwork)


Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday!

We’ve got great news! Last week, the final manuscript Ananda Leeke’s upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online to the publisher. See a description of the book with a copy of the artwork below. Dariela Cruz, an amazing graphic designer and co-founder of Dari Design Studio, created the artwork. She did a fabulous job!

Photo Credit: Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke

Photo Credit: Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke

Book Description: Digital Sisterhood provides insight and inspiration for any woman seeking to celebrate, express, or reinvent how the Internet, social media, and technology impact her life. Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke became a pioneer in the digital space when she first logged into the LexisNexis research service as a first-year law student at Howard University School of Law 27 years ago.  She was immediately smitten with what the World Wide Web could do and in this compelling memoir, we follow her on her journey as she finds herself in an Internet café in Beijing, China and has an interaction that changes her life.

Leeke begins to embrace and define the concept of “digital sisterhood” and through interactions and conversations both on-line and in-person, she embraces a complete career reinvention (spoiler alert, she leaves the legal field) and finally embraces her enormous creative spirit. We get to know the digital sisters in her life as true sheroes and virtual mentors. Their experiences and insights helped her use the Internet as a self-discovery tool and identify leadership archetypes that shaped her role as a social media leader.

Her blogging and social media adventures will highlight the lessons she learned while tapping into the power of her leadership archetypes, the reasons she launched the Digital Sisterhood Network, and the experiences that caused her to adopt what she terms the “fierce living” commitments. At the end of each chapter, you’ll have an opportunity to explore aspects of your own Digital Sisterhood journey through a series of interactive exercises.

Digital Sisterhood DC Summer Field Trip: FUNNEL CAKE FLOWERS & THE URBAN CHAMELEONS by HaJ on July 2@8pm at American University


funnelcake

Join Digital Sisterhood Network for a summer field trip to the Washington Women in Theatre’s 10th Anniversary Celebration featuring the D.C. premiere of FUNNEL CAKE FLOWERS & THE URBAN CHAMELEONS by HaJ on July 2, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. at American University.  FUNNEL CAKE FLOWERS & THE URBAN CHAMELEONS  highlights real life stories of code switchers, people who seamlessly transition from white America to their kinky hair taming– coco butter wearing– tipping up the courthouse steps in Manolo Blahniks to bail cousin Pookie out of jail—America.  With her uniquely hilarious, deadpan style, Funnel Cake Flowers reveals the truth and complexity behind why Urban Chameleons…chameleon. Click here to watch a preview of Funnel Cake Flowers in action. She will rock your world!

Ayoka Chenzira and HaJ

Ayoka Chenzira and HaJ

This creative project is a mother-daughter collaboration between and HaJ and her mother, Dr. Ayoka Chenzira. HaJ, an Emmy nominated writer, producer, performer, and founder of Tickles.TV, wrote the show and plays Funnel Cake Flowers in the show. Dr. Ayoka (Ayo) Chenzira, an Award-winning filmmaker and interactive digital media artist, will direct the show. One of the first African American women to write, direct and produce a 35mm feature film, Ayo is currently adapting the novels of New York Time Best-Selling Author Pearl Cleage to the screen. She is also the founder and director of Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon.

Event Location: Katzen Arts Center Studio Theatre on the campus of American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC (American UniversityTenleytown/Metro on Red Line)

Event Fee: $12 for Adults and $10 for Seniors (over 65) and students  –  You must buy your tickets in advance or at the door. Click here to buy them online. Digital Sisterhood Network is NOT selling tickets directly or providing free tickets or a ticket discount. You MUST purchase your tickets in advance or at the door.  

Digital Sisterhood Eventbrite Notice: Please click here to sign up for the Summer Field Trip. When you sign up, we will know who to look for on the day of the event. Thank you!

Celebrating 28 Black Women’s Digital Sisterhood Leadership in Creative Crowdfunding Projects


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Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday!

Black History like Women’s History is made every day. During the month of February, Black History celebrations are held online and offline to recognize the contributions of Black people in America. Today, Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle, and Living Well Initiative is celebrating 28 Black women who are making history as they use crowdfunding platforms to bring their creativity and dreams to life with art, books, blogs, creative learning opportunities, dramatic performances, films, music, photography, social entrepreneurship, webisode series, and travel experiences. These women represent the best of Digital Sisterhood Leadership. Their efforts are AMAZING because they inspire and empower others to dream and act bigger. They embody our 2013 theme, “Too Bold for Boundaries = Fierce Living.” See the list below.

We encourage you to get to know them and their work by visiting their web sites and blogs regularly in 2013. Talk about them to your network. Support their creative efforts. Follow them on Twitter. LIKE them on Facebook. Connect with them on Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo, YouTube, and other social media sites. Celebrate their beauty, brilliance, courage, creativity, and leadership in the digital space!

About Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a web-based financial model that allows individuals to network and pool their money in community to support projects and ventures initiated by other people and organizations. gofundme, indiegogo, and Kickstarter are three of the most popular reward-based crowdfunding platforms. PayPal is also another platform people use to collect crowdfunding donations. To learn more about crowdfunding, click here to see Ananda Leeke’s Crowdfunding Pinterest board of resources.

Celebrating Black Women’s Digital Leadership in Creative Crowdfunding Projects:

Photo Credit: girltank.org

Photo Credit: girltank.org

1) Crowdfunding Projects You Should Know About

gofundme.com

gofundme.com

2) gofundme Campaigns

indiegogo.com

indiegogo.com

3) indiegogo Campaigns

kickstarter.com

kickstarter.com

4) Kickstarter Campaigns

NOTE: This post is an excerpt from Ananda Leeke’s Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013). If you would like Leeke to facilitate a workshop, give a presentation, or speak about crowdfunding, please contact her at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com or 202.607.3509. Visit www.anandaleeke.com.