Ananda Lotus is an international scholar, writer, producer. Her life work has led her to develop techniques creative wellness: the utilization of artistic expression to cultivate health on all levels. Ananda recognizes that creative expression and holistic wellness are vital skills that are much needed in today’s world. Her ultimate goal is to propel the discovery of sustainable solutions to personal, familial, local and global issues, while exploring creative rituals that uplift society to higher levels of consciousness.
She has coined her movement “The Lotus Lifestyle”, which revolves around 5 principles:
Creation: The Promotion, Production, and Curation of High Quality Art and Creative Expression (Poetry, Theatre, Stories)
Wellness: The Cultivation of Natural Living (mind, body, and spirit) and High Quality Sustainable Health Products & Processes
Education: Classes, Workshops, and Development Materials to Facilitate and Share the Philosophy of Creative Wellness
Experiences: Events, Salons, Parties, Theatrical Productions, Readings, and other IMMERSIVE activities that promote creative expression and assist the community in relating with one another in a healthy way.
Technology: Innovative Perspectives on Wellness, Sustainable Living, and Creative Expression
Ananda always knew she would be a scribe, a deliver of stories, of truths that came to her in the darkness of night and the colors of sunrises. She is a playwright, poet, essayist, and all around writer. From a young age, Ananda travelled the Diaspora between her parents hometowns of Houston, TX and Somerset, Bermuda. Their family settled in Atlanta and placed Ananda in a bubbling hotbed of sound, color, and movement. By the age of 13 she was memorizing the words of Ntozake Shange, George C. Wolfe and Nikki Giovanni. The daughter of an English professor, she delved into the words of Octavia Butler, Tsitsi Dangeramba, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright and witnessed the work of creatives such as Haile Gerima and Julie Dash.
Ananda began writing poetry shortly after at the age of 14 and began performing on the spoken word circuit during her years at Benjamin E. Mays High School. Through her years at Howard University she was heavily involved in academic research, which focused on style and continuity of Diaspora stories that exists beyond time, language, of geography. During her studies at Howard University, she travelled to Egypt and began studying the mythology and history of Ancient Africa and its relationship to modern literature of the African Diaspora. Ananda also began studying film and theatre production and served as a producer and stage manager for the first time during a Pan African Youth Summit.
Ananda has continued to write and perform poetry, and has also written for local press, commercials, and independent television shows. She has found a special affinity for the transformative ritual of live theatre. Following the work of Shange and Shakespeare Ananda has incorporated her poetry into her first professional production: Synthesis. Synthesis is a new age dramady that merges improvisation and traditional theatre together through strings of meditations, poetry, music and movement. It was first produced in 2014 and has continued to run throughout the Southwest Atlanta arts scene, most notably at the Atlanta University Center and the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival.
Ananda has travelled—teaching, speaking, and writing. Her adventures include: Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, China, Thailand, Germany, and France. Each of her experiences have provided inspiration to cultivate her art in a way that is culturally relevant, beautiful, and uplifting. Her most extensive journey to Beijing China for two years actually opened the portal to theatre and provided a deep influence on her style, word choice, and design.
Ananda’s ultimate goal is to create a sacred space within herself, her local neighborhood, and the larger global community that allows authentic and transformative art to emerge and reach the masses of people who are suffering at the hand of systemic oppression. Through the ritual of story telling, communities she plans to continue to empower her audiences and fellow artists to imagine and create a reality that is customized to provide them their best life possible.
As a result of her work in art, education, and business, Ananda recognizes that mental health, emotional stability, spiritual centeredness are vital skills that are much needed in the Black academic and professional world.