Meet Marvel’s smartest new superhero: a 9-year-old black girl from Manhattan, New York.
Stressed about school? Or looking to do some physical activity that’s calm and relaxing? Yoga may just be the activity for you! Yoga has so many benefits and DOP just happens to offer a monthly class! On the surface when people think of yoga, they think of these crazy pretzel shapes that seem uncomfortable or like just not at all exciting. I’m here to let you know that is the farthest thing from the truth! Our Flower Empower Yoga with Lauren Wilsman is like a dream, she works with you and makes you feel comfortable while focusing on the present.
Here are some reasons you should come out to our next Flower Empower Yoga session!
Reading is my absolute favorite pastime. There so much beauty and adventure in books that when I was younger you’d most likely find my head in a book. Since becoming an adult reading now seems like a luxury that I take the moments in whenever and wherever I can. I have favorite genres and authors, I even follow a lot of them on Instagram because I’m that obsessed. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy reading your spare time, reading in general is difficult to escape. You’re going to need those skills for the rest of your life. Now that my summer is becoming less crazy I’m finding some time to relax and read. So if you’ve just ran out of show to binge on Netflix, here’s a list of Young Adult books to check out!
Hey DOP girls! Brianna here! I wanted to share a piece I wrote a few months back about my feminism journey and what I’ve learned so far in the great community of women I’m so proud to be around. Continue reading
This Saturday (June 17) we’ll be celebrating our 6 month anniversary of Flower Empower Yoga! It’s sure to be a great day full of relaxing yoga and relieving stress in a productive way. Our once a month class is taught by Lauren Wilsman. She’s practiced yoga for over 15 years and make’s the experience welcoming to everybody.
I recently sat down with her to talk about the importance of yoga for young girls and being a total #GIRLBOSS!
Dream On Purpose: What ignited your spark to start Zen Vibe Yoga?
Lauren Wilsman: “Zen Vibe Yoga was started by me to help to fill a nitch in the yoga industry that I felt had a void in it and that is making people feel comfortable doing yoga who have no idea what they’re doing, who have never done yoga before. I did that by making my business mobile and going to people into their homes rather than creating a group yoga studio space which a traditional route that a lot of yoga instructors take.”
DOP: How did you initially get involved with Dream on Purpose?
LW: “I met Shareen [Baptistie] through Ad Works, my experience was positive and at the least got connected with her. I was looking for opportunities to work specifically with young girls of the Gainesville community and when I heard of Dream on Purpose had the perfect target market, in regards to age and everything. It was just a perfect match.”
DOP: What motivates you personally?
LW: “At this point in my life I’m motivated by my family. Always having that long-term goal to keep my eyes on and I think that’s important for everyone. It’s good to have short term goals but ultimately what are those short term goals going to lead up to, and that’s what always keep me motivated.”
DOP: Why do you think it’s important for young girls to role models like you making a difference in the local community?
LW: “Well sometimes the role models that we’re born into whether that be mom, dad, family or even schoolmates, don’t suffice being a positive role model unfortunately. With the girls we work with through Dream on Purpose yoga we have a role model outside of that realm is important and to have someone like myself educated in yoga makes it a perfect match for a young person who wants to learn more about yoga. Having a role model who’s already experienced and fully immersed in an interest where someone wants to learn more about is really awesome.”
DOP: What has been the most satisfying moment in your business thus far?
LW: “I think the most satisfying moment for me is when people who have tried yoga in the past who are about to give on it and for me to be able to change their perspective of it by doing yoga with them is pretty rewarding by being able to hand over that tool to them through yoga to help them improve their overall life.
DOP: When things don’t go as planned how do you respond to those situations?
LW: ” The key word is respond. All of us have moments where we react, including myself. It is really about responding and not overreacting. For me I always like to do the 5 year test in my mind, if something doesn’t go as plan. I ask myself; Is this truly going to matter 5 years from now and usually the answer is ‘no’. That really scales the impact and the magnitude of the issue in that present moment. I’m a big believer in the universe knows more than we do and life flows at the pace the universe wants for us has positive things for everyone.
DOP: What women in your life or in the media do you look at for inspiration?
LW: “I’m not big into media. For me I’m really motivated by my circle of friends. A lot of my girlfriends are a little bit older and to see what they’re achieving, a lot of them are nurses saving people’s lives literally and always challenging themselves and growing themselves and not being afraid to be independent. I’m definitely inspired by them.”
DOP: If you could travel back and have 15 minutes with your former self before you started your business, what kind of lessons would you communicate?
LW: ” When I was in college I never thought that I would be running my own business so I think I would have told myself: You’re not going to know all the answers but they will come with time and as long as I’m taking steps forward in in the right direction it doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as you keep on moving
Saturday, we had our quarterly Cupcakes and Conversations! The event was a success, girls came out and we had open and honest conversations about mental health, bullying and self-love.
Tons of girls made their way out to Cone Park Library, we learned about coping strategies, how to recognize if we’re going through something or someone we know is going through something and of course enjoyed cupcakes.
Laurel Nesbit was our keynote speaker. She’s an Outreach Coordinator at the Alachua County Crisis Center and she did an amazing job teaching us about mental health.
Here’s an interview I had with her:
Dream On Purpose: What’s your education background and how did you become an outreach coordinator?
Laurel Nesbit: “This is actually a career change for me. I worked in printing for about 10 years then went back to UF and got my masters in degree in Counselor Education with a specialization in Mental Health Counsuling, all in a 3 year period.
DOP: When did you start working at the Alachua County Crisis Center?
LN: “I’ve been involved with the crisis center since 2011 as a volunteer then I joined the staff in August of 2015.”
DOP: You go out into the local community to teach young adults about mental health, tell me a little about that experience.
LN: “There’s a staff of 6 and we do a lot of collaboration with different community organizations so we work a lot with the public schools, local law enforcement and other mental health organizations. We provide training, acting as the consultant or resource.”
DOP: Was this the first time you heard about Dream on Purpose?
LN: “Yes! Patrice Fletcher was in my Youth Mental Health First Aid class in April, and that was the first time I heard about it.”
DOP: How important do you think it is for girls at this age to know about this stuff and talk about it?
LN: “It’s hugely important. It’s important for everyone to have conversations about these topics but the younger we start the better. It’s important to use age-appropriate language and present it in a way that’s not so threatening and as comforting as possible. And I think our young people are having a really hard time. I have nieces and nephews who are in school and it’s evident to me that this is a problem.”
DOP: Do you think social media has an impact?
LN: “Yes. Yes I do. Most commonly what I hear is from parents and teachers who didn’t live in that world is in previous generations if we had a conflict in school, the conflict would end when the last bell rang. And now that’s not necessarily true it carries over to social media and messaging platforms. And that can make your social life that much more difficult.”
DOP: There were a lot of questions from the audience while you were giving your presentation, are some of them difficult to answer?
LN: “It gives me a nice chance to clarify. When I do this sort of event, I love to have more of a conversation and if one young girl had a question odds are other people had that question as well. I’m really appreciative to clear anything up.”
DOP: Do you think that Alachua County has a lot of resources for people who are struggling?
LN: “We are definitely working on it. I do believe that Alachua County spends a lot of time and energy to the community. It’s a topic that’s been on the lagging end of national conversations. Alachua County is doing a lot of things right but we have a lot of room to grow.”
Thanks for coming out everyone!!
These dolls are so important for the representation of young girls! They show beauty and strength in diversity! Watch the video below!