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The Zen Mother: Lauren Ash

Lauren Ash

Beauty and Health

The Zen Mother: Lauren Ash

Lauren Ash takes pride in helping Black women thrive. She moved to Chicago in 2013 for a promising job at a policy-focused organization; when the role didn’t turn out to be as stimulating as she’d hoped, she turned to yoga and meditation. Ash became so passionate about self-care that she founded Black Girl In Om, a lifestyle website that helps other Black women see themselves included in conversations about mental health and health-conscious living.
“At the time when I created it, I needed it myself as a Black woman,” she says. “It was really key for me to be able to merge my appreciation and love for sharing spaces with other Black women with my love and appreciation for wellness. And obviously, within the Black community, we are disproportionately affected by the systems of oppression that keep us down. So creating Black Girl In Om was a no-brainer.”
Black Girl In Om also offers in-person self-care events and hosts an iTunes podcast. In each episode, Ash and her creative director Deun Ivory (who is also on this list!) sound off on everything from the lessons they wish their younger selves knew to the benefits of organic food.
Even though her soothing voice and direction have won over crowds through her guided meditations, Ash’s approach to wellness is more than just downloadable tips — it’s a lifestyle. “Growing up my grandmother always told me, ‘Don’t take any wooden nickels,’ which I think ..

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

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