Digital Wellness Series: Digital Sisters Are You A Flowista?


Greetings Digital Sisters!

This month, Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is promoting digital wellness. In yesterday’s blog post, we shared tips on how to create a digital wellness plan. It was based on an excerpt from Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. Click here to read the tips.

Today’s blog invites you to explore the question: Are You A Flowista? The Flowista Profile description is an excerpt from the Digital Sisterhood  book.

Flowista - Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley

Flowista – Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley

Flowista Profile – Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke

A Flowista is a woman who unplugs from her digital life and tech devices for periods of time so she can recharge and take care of her own needs; and encourages women to unplug from their digital lives by incorporating mindfulness and self-care practices.

If you identify with one or more of the Flowista’s characteristics, please check out the Flowista 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 Flowista. 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.

Flowista collage by Ananda Leeke

Flowista collage by Ananda Leeke

Manifesto:
I am a woman who disconnects from her digital life and to-do list in order to find my flow and be present to what matters most in my life. When I unplug, I am giving myself the gift of self care. I am nurturing my spirit, mind, heart, and body. I am releasing stress and tension from all parts of my spirit, mind, heart, body, and life. I am creating space to relax, rest, and enjoy life. The end result is a healthier me.
Chakra Connection (click here to learn more about chakras):
Flowista’s energy is connected to the:
  • Throat, or fifth chakra, which corresponds to communication, expressions of feelings, or 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.
  • Crown, or seventh chakra, which corresponds to the crown of the head and pituitary gland. It governs the higher self or inner spirit.
Chakra colors
Color Connection (click here to learn about the connection between chakras and color):
Wear or surround yourself with the colors light or sky blue (fifth chakra), indigo blue (sixth chakra), and purple (seventh chakra) to connect with Flowista’s energy.
Gemstone Connection (click here to learn more about the connection between gemstones and chakras):
Wear or surround yourself with turquoise (fifth chakra), lapis lazuli (sixth chakra), and amethyst (seventh chakra) gemstones to connect with Flowista’s energy.
Goddess Connection (click here to learn about Goddesses):
The Flowista is connected to the Goddesses mentioned below.
  • Vach, the Hindu goddess of speech and communication (fifth chakra)
  • Tara, the Tibetan goddess of wisdom (sixth chakra)
  • Shakti, the Hindu goddess of divine feminine energy (seventh chakra)
Yoga Connection (click here to search YogaJournal.com for instructions on how to practice the yoga poses):
There are certain yoga poses that can help you connect with your Flowista chakra energy.
Practicing bridge, fish, lion, plow, and upward plank poses (fifth chakra); bridge, child’s, downward facing dog, shoulder stand, and standing half forward bend poses (sixth chakra); and corpse, headstand, lotus, and half lotus poses (seventh chakra) can help you connect with Flowista’s energy.
Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com as a Kindle download and paperback book.

Happy New Year: Tips on Creating A Digital Wellness Plan


Happy New Year and Happy Digital Sisterhood Wednesday!

This month, the Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is focused on the topic, “Creating Your Digital Wellness Plan.” In an effort to help you incorporate more digital wellness moments in your life, we have included an excerpt from Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (available on Amazon as a Kindle download and a paperback book). The excerpt provides tips on how to create your own digital wellness plan. We hope you find these resources helpful. Please be sure to visit the DSN web site tomorrow for a blog post about living as a Flowista, a woman who unplugs from her digital devices from time to time.

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Excerpt from Appendix C of Digital Sisterhood by Ananda Leeke –  Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke.

 
Creating Your Digital Wellness Plan
A digital wellness plan is a gift you give yourself to help manage your time online with mindful self-care practices. Mindful self-care practices encourage you to slow down, become aware of how you spend your time online, and identify and take small steps towards having a healthier digital life. Examples include breathing exercises, journaling, massage, meditation, physical movement (walking, running, yoga, and aerobic classes), rest (naps and a good night’s sleep), setting time boundaries, and using time management tools (HootSuite, TweetDeck, and an editorial calendar) to schedule your blog and social media posts.
TIP 1: BREATHE!
 
  • Before you begin thinking about your digital wellness plan, find a comfortable seated position in your chair. Come to the edge of your chair and place your feet flat on the floor. If you are wearing glasses or shoes, take them off to relax. Create hip width distance in between your legs. Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale it through your mouth. Notice how you feel. Now do it SEVEN more times.
  • When you breathe intentionally and deeply, you invite yourself into the present moment.  The more you breathe intentionally and deeply, the more open you become to PEACE.  When you have PEACE, you are free to IMAGINE. Your imagination helps you DREAM. Your dreams help you CREATE and INSPIRE others in your blog, business, career, and family.
  • Four Takeaways from Breathing: Breathing creates Peace. Peace helps you Imagine. Your imaginations helps you Dream. Your dreams help you Create and Inspire.
  • Breathing Exercise: Take SEVEN deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth to release any stress or pause any thoughts or to do lists you carried with you into this moment.
TIP 2: BREATHE AND WRITE WHY YOU NEED TO PRACTICE SELF CARE IN YOUR DIGITAL LIFE.
  • Take SEVEN deep breaths. Inhale and exhale through your nose. Ask yourself why you need to practice self-care in your digital life. Use the next 10 to 20 minutes (or more if you need it) and a piece of paper, journal, smartphone, iPad, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to write or type your response to the following writing prompt: “I need to practice self care in my digital life because _________________ (fill in the blank).”
TIP 3: BREATHE AND WRITE WHAT YOU NEED TO PRACTICE SELF CARE IN YOUR DIGITAL LIFE.
  • Take SEVEN deep breaths. Inhale and exhale through your nose. Ask yourself what you need in your digital life to practice self care. Use the next 10 to 20 minutes (or more if you need it) and a piece of paper, journal, smartphone, iPad, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to write or type your response to the following writing prompt: “To practice self care in my digital life I need _______ (fill in the blank).”
  • Feel free to include the amount of time you need on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis to unplug. Consider taking sabbaticals or vacations from your digital life, too!
  • Share the types of activities you can do to rest, relax, and recharge.
  • Identify one or two people in your life that you can ask to be your accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who will gently remind you to practice self care in your digital life.
  • If you can, give yourself a start date for launching your digital wellness plan.
Just in case you need more suggestions for creating mini unplug moments, I have included a list of my favorites below:
  • Before you get out of bed, incorporate breathing exercises into your morning routine by taking SEVEN deep breaths. Place your hand on your heart as you inhale and exhale through your nose.
  • Establish FIVE minutes of “soothing your soul time” at the end of your day. UNPLUG from your electronic devices. Start with playing your favorite music. As you listen to the music, take SEVEN deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. As you exhale, release any thoughts, stress, to do list items, or emotions that may prevent you from being in the present moment.
  • While you’re working during the day, UNPLUG from your electronic devices and take a THREE minute break by inhaling and exhaling through your nose three times.
  • During your morning and evening commutes, UNPLUG from your digital devices and take FIVE deep breaths (inhale and exhale through your  nose) before you turn your car or motorcycle/scooter, start to bike, or when you sit down on public transportation.
  • Before answering your phone, take a deep breath (inhale and exhale through your nose).
My Final Thoughts
Remember to be patient with yourself as you make changes in your digital life. Take baby steps. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small or big they are. Enjoy your digital wellness journey!

Digital Sisters at the Minority Media & Telecom Conference in DC


Conference Program

The Minority Media & Telecom Council (MMTC) hosted its 10th Annual Access to Capital and Telecommunications Policy Conference on July 18 and 19, 2012, at the Westin Georgetown Hotel in Washington, D.C. “Financing the Transition to the Digital Economy” was the conference theme. Many thanks to Maurita Coley, Esq., Chief Operating Officer of MMTC, for inviting Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke to the conference.

MMTC Conference Audience

Digital Sisters Ananda and Maurita Coley

About MMTC:

MMTC was established 26 years ago as a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications, and broadband industries. Today, MMTC is the leading advocate for minority participation in the communications industries.  The organization’s programs seek to preserve and expand minority ownership and equal employment opportunity in these industries and to close the digital divide. Visit http://www.mmtconline.com. Follow MMTC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mmtconline. Use the hashtag #MMTC2012 to learn more about the 10th annual conference.

Conference Highlights:

Ananda with the MMTC Program Book

Women Entrepreneurs Panel

Kristal High and Issa Rae

Digital Sisters Kristal and Ananda

One of the perks of living in Washington, D.C. is having access to amazing events such as MMTC’s conference session on Five Decades of Entrepreneurial Women moderated by Kristal High, Editor-In-Chief and Founder of Politics365 – http://politic365.com.  The panel discussion focused on five women entrepreneurs’ experiences, successes, challenges, and coping strategies used to overcome barriers in the media and communications industries. Click here to see event photos.

Members of the panel included:

1) Issa Rae

Producer/Director/Writer of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, a webisode series launched in 2011

http://twitter.com/issarae

http://awkwardblackgirl.com

2) Lauren deLisa Coleman

Founder of Punch Media Group and Independent Mobile and Emerging Tech Specialist

http://www.ldcoleman.com

http://twitter.com/mediaempress

3) Brigitte Daniel

Executive Vice President, Wilco Electronics Systems, Inc.

http://twitter.com/brigittedaniel

http://www.wilcoinc.com

4) Debra Berlyn

President, Consumer Policy Solutions

http://consumerpolicysolutions.com

http://www.consumerawarenessproject.org

http://twitter.com/dberlyn

5) Clara McLaughlin Leath

Owner/Publisher/Editor of The Florida Star and The Georgia Star (she also advocated to bring journalism to Howard University’s School of Communications during her Howard undergraduate years)

http://www.thegeorgiastar.com

Women Entrepreneurs Panel

Women Entrepreneurs Panel

The panelists shared their perspectives on access to human and financial capital. The human capital discussion addressed the advantages of being a woman in the media and communications industries, and the impact of having or not having mentors and sponsors to support career and business goals.

The financial capital discussion provided case studies on how the women entrepreneurs financed their businesses. Issa Rae shared her Kickstarter fundraising experience. The first episode of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG) cost $25 to make. Issa used the money to buy her crew lunch. When she created the fourth episode, she hired a crew that offered their services at a reduced rate. She and her team decided to use Kickstarter, a crowd funding website for creative projects, to raise additional money to complete the filming of ABG’s first season. The initial goal was to raise $30,000 in 30 days. At the end of the 30 day process, the team raised $56,259: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1996857943/the-misadventures-of-awkward-black-girl.

Several key lessons Issa learned during the Kickstarter fundraising process included:

  • People treated the Kickstarter campaign as an ABG movement.  As they made donations, they recommended and promoted the show to their network.
  • Her team was successful because they were very specific on what they needed the money for and shared their goals in a compelling video that was posted on the Kickstarter campaign web site.
  • People invest in your talent and craft when they are donating to Kickstarter campaigns.
  • Kickstarter is great for people who have tech products and projects.

Women Entrepreneurs Panel

Lauren deLisa Coleman discussed how she is funding her efforts as a socio-economic ditigalist through fellowships and grants that offer funding for projects with a digital perspective. Lauren learned about women of color in the tech industry who are using fellowships and grants to finance their efforts such as Tara Roberts, co-founder of GirlTank, a female-focused social start-up that supports young women entrepreneurs all over the world, by writing a series of profiles for MadameNoire.com: http://madamenoire.com/182461/behind-the-click-tara-roberts-co-founder-of-girltank.

Debra Berlyn shared how she has used corporate support to finance Consumer Policy Solutions’ projects that educate consumers about wireless, broadband, and online safety and security issues.  She discovered that companies have embraced the consumer education projects as good business practices.

Clara McLaughlin Leath spoke about how she expanded the distribution of her newspapers  to include Walmart stores as a way of increasing her business’ capacity to sell more newspapers to a wider audience.  She also used her newspaper’s audience to confirm whether they still have an interest in purchasing it on a regular basis.

Digital Sisters Ananda and Issa Rae

Wisdom Takeaways from Panelists:

1) Lauren deLisa Coleman: Use what is innate. Bring it out and express it organically so that it represents who you are.

2) Clara McLaughlin Leath: You have to look at things, decide what’s missing, and ask for help to get what you need.

3) Brigett Daniel: Have patience while building your business.

4) Lauren deLisa Coleman: Always check in with yourself to see if you are thinking in a larger way.

5) Issa Rae: Define what you need. Be clear about the positions you need people to play in your business or project. You can learn a lot from your mistakes and by simple doing what you are called to do.  Trial and error are key.

If you missed the powerful session, don’t fret. Click here to watch a video (64 min.) on UStream.tv (technology is beautiful!).