Mantra of the month: Where I am is not who I am.

Mantra of the month: Where I am is not who I am.

I was recently majorly inspired by this Nayyirah Waheed quote. It's true.

Most people don't know that less than four months ago, I was still working full-time at a restaurant. Yes, full-time, while managing Black Girl In Om, building Party Noire, launching Lifestyle with Ivory + Ash, and a number of other projects. 

I ended up leaving abruptly after experiencing overt racism from my superiors, but I can laugh about it now because I wasn't meant to be there anyway. I was at that particular restaurant for just about three months, but I returned to the industry after nearly a year after promising myself I wouldn't return. It was one of 10 restaurant jobs I've held within the past three years of being a creative entrepreneur. All throughout these jobs I've experienced overt sexism and racism, condescension, and a number of problematic encounters that I'll probably write about in a future book. 

I learned firsthand that entrepreneurship isn't always glamorous. Excuses are just that. And operating from fear, rather than faith, is useless.

I learned to maintain perspective: I am not my situation. I am not this "job." I am what I see before me. I am whatever I want to manifest.

So, now that times are pretty great for me, I continue to maintain this perspective. I count my blessings while I have them, and try to not attach myself too much to them. 

Join me throughout the month of February in conjuring up lots of magic toward the possibilities, rather than what is

What's been up lately?

I just returned from a five-day whirlwind of black girl magic and black joy in NYC! 

I kicked off my yoga-tour at Harlem Yoga Studio and And Yoga Studios to a sold-out group of some of the most incredible women of color I've had the pleasure of vibing with. Keep your eyes onmy Facebook page for gorgeous photos from these workshops, captured by the phenomenal Deun Ivory! I also partnered with Tiffany Hardin of She Knows Now in an amazing fireside chat, answered your questions about my career and trajectory, and guided a meditation that took me to another place. 

Additionally, Nick Alder, Rae Chardonnay, and I hosted Party Noire's first Brooklyn day party, which sold-out on Super Bowl Sunday! Shout out to Nick and Rae for always being such amazing cultural workers for Black Joy! And Deun Ivory and I were hosted by the amazing crew at CRWN Magazine for our very first NYC kiki! Read about that here.

And there's been lots of amazing press coming my way, too! From my feature in The Riveter Magazine about my multi-city yoga tour focused on women of color, to NYLON shouting out Lifestyle with Ivory + Ash as one black business YOU should support, to NYLON continuing the love and featuring me in what is, to date, the most layered and contextualized story about my journey as a creative entrepreneur creating a path in the wellness industry for and with women of color.

What's on the horizon?
Mark your calendars, Atlanta! On March 4th and 5th I'll continue the next leg of my yoga and self-care for women of color tour in your city! Word on the street is that one of my workshops is already more than halfway full! Learn more and register here.

This Sunday, Deun Ivory and I make our first appearance at Dose Market, one of Chicago's most amazing artisan markets! Join us for Love Dose between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and shop our Lifestyle with Ivory + Ash Gratitude and Love collections just in time for Valentine's Day! See firsthand why NYLON Mag encourages you to buy black with us! Shop online, if you can't make it!

Black Girl In Om Self-Care Sunday is sold-out this Sunday, but join the BGIO e-mail list on our website (if you aren't on it already) today for a special code giving you a discount on both March and April! Or just go ahead and secure your spot now.

Last, but not least, Nick Alder, DJ Rae Chardonnay and I are hosting our first Chicago day party of the new year! We celebrate Nina Simone at Party Noire on Saturday, February 25th. Join us

Happy Black History month, loves! Get in touch with me for all things yoga, meditation, and self-care for your communities this month!

Lauren Ash

Mantra of the month: I am worthy of self celebration!

Intention of my year: Find More Joy. Be More Bold. Cleanse from the Inside Out.