Have you experienced being rejected over and over again?
We all face our own fair share of rejection, which is normal in life. But how many people have given up due to rejection? How many people have plunged into despair and depression due to a rejection?
How about you? Have you given up a cause or a career because of rejection? Sometimes, rejection is a way of the Universe telling us that something isn’t right for us — that we deserve so much better. It’s all about mindset on how we approach rejection — either in a negative way or positive vibe.
Our guest today has experienced rejection many times, but through it all, she has learned to trust the Universe and find better opportunities. Lauren Ash is a phenomenal woman who created the Black Girl in Om, and she is an alumna of the very first Get Loved Up Yoga Teacher Training.
In this episode, we’re going to really dive deep into her life and her journey to spirituality, how she looked at rejections in a positive way, and how to set healthy boundaries. Let’s get started.
Who Is Lauren Ash?
Lauren Ash is a spiritual teacher, engaging speaker, writer, visionary, CEO, and founder of the culture-shifting, Black Girl in Om, which is a wellness and lifestyle brand about Black women empowerment.
Her vision of the brand, which she founded in 2014, is to share transformational content and experiences centered on the marginalized global community. From the living room of a condo unit in Chicago without an extensive network doing a single-night weekly performance to three times weekly plus monthly events and numerous world tours, the Black Girl in Om podcast quickly became a phenomenon with millions of listeners worldwide within its four-season run.
Her past speaking engagements included the University of Missouri, Squarespace, Girlboss Rally, the California African American Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Lauren Ash also had previous partnership endeavors with famous brands, the likes of Nike, Adidas, Bon Appetit, OWN, Samsung, Target, SXSW, Glossier, and American Express, among many others.
Lauren Ash was recognized as a trendsetter in the modern wellness movement, and she was featured by the New York Times for fostering a community of healing. She was also featured by Well+Good as the “Visionary the Wellness World Needs Right Now.” As a yoga teacher, she received her training in Vedic Meditation with Ellie Burrows, completed a 200-hour of Vinyasa Yoga with myself, and trained in Power Yoga with Ryan Lloren. Today, she continues to share her expertise in meditation with several companies and produces audio meditations and digital meditation experiences for her global community.
Lauran Ash found success in meditation yoga and spiritual healing. But her achievements were not part of her initial career plans. Instead, it is a result of a couple of rejections in the past that paved the path to a career where she can make the most impact on other people’s lives, especially among women of color.
Facing Rejection in a Positive Way
It’s a fact — rejection hurts, regardless of why you are rejected or who is rejecting you. And that hurt feeling is often misinterpreted. We view it as a sign that we’re not worthy of acceptance, eventually leading to loss of self-confidence and self-worth.
“I had three powerful job positions that I saw, and I applied for all three of them. … I went through the interview process, and I almost got the job for all three. For whatever reason, three of my potential supervisors all told me, ‘We almost hired you, but you were the runner up.’ Three times, and that’s a magical number.” – Lauren Ash
When you are experiencing rejection, you may feel lonely, jealous, envious, and anxious. Lauren certainly felt disappointment herself.
“I was definitely disappointed! … A part of my ego was rude because it was like, ‘I have great experiences. I have a Master’s degree. Why wouldn’t they?’” – Lauren Ash
Rejection to your dream career opportunities can be devastating, especially when you know that you deserve to have that opportunity or job. However, the pain of rejection may actually benefit you in the end. Rejection helps you build the resiliency to grow by applying the lessons to future difficult situations. But, in order to reap the rewards from the experience, you must learn to manage rejection in a positive way. This is exactly what Lauren did.
“Now [as] I look back and I realize, ‘You were never supposed to get any of those jobs,’ that was God telling [me]. ‘There’s actually something that you are supposed to do, that you are supposed to create.’ … But I think I am also a resilient person. So, it was just like, ‘Okay, something else must be out there that’s better for me.’ And I was absolutely right. And I had to create it.” – Lauren Ash
Always remember that the career path is usually not a straight line where every experience will move you in the direction of your choice. Some experiences are meant to be added to your course to move you in another direction. In other instances, something must be put to the side because you are meant to reinvent yourself and make a greater impact on others.
However, as you transition to another direction, you must also learn to set boundaries with yourself. The last thing you want to do is sacrifice who you are, so by setting boundaries in our careers, relationships, and lives, we can step into our true purpose with confidence and grace.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
We usually set boundaries when we communicate with others to get the treatment we desire in a relationship. But we must also set boundaries with ourselves so that we can make wiser choices for our best interest, even if we may feel uncomfortable at the moment. Boundaries let you track your actions and behaviors, creating your life’s structure and a foundation for values to thrive and grow.
“When you grow so quickly, both on a personal level and on a career level, you actually have to lovingly force yourself to pause and realize that growth. Because every level of growth demands new boundaries. … When I decided to do Get Loved Up Yoga Teacher Training with you, [it] was a very big moment for me about boundaries and the level of self-love that I needed to make sure I was investing in myself.” – Lauren Ash
Setting boundaries is a way of loving and respecting yourself. These boundaries will keep you healthy and safe and serve as your guide in various aspects of life. They reflect your priorities and needs and allow you to grow mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. But there are many ways of opening up your spirituality. For Lauren Ash, traveling allowed her to discover her true self, opening spiritual awareness.
Opening Up Your Spirituality by Traveling
Spirituality is an experience of connection to something bigger than yourself, like a Universal Being or God. It is a journey towards your purpose or meaning in life that provides a deeper sense of interconnectedness or aliveness.
People have varying experiences with spirituality. For some, it is linked with their association with worship in sacred places like a church, mosque, or temple. Others are more private with their spirituality through personal and silent prayers. For adventure-seekers, they find meaning and spirituality through their connections with nature.
“So I’m a Sagittarius. And one thing about us is that we are just constant learners and teachers, and travel is a huge part of how we learn and how we absorb life. So, … if I don’t travel, I don’t feel myself. And I feel like I’m missing out and other people are missing out. So when I travel, … I share so much when I come back because of what I absorbed from these experiences. So for me, every single day that I travel, I get some divine spark of inspiration or a synchronistic experience that leads me to somewhere I need to go.” – Lauren Ash
Our spiritual journeys can sometimes happen in unexpected ways and in unforeseen strange places. You can connect with your spirituality in various forms and awaken to the life-changing lessons that are meant to transform your spirituality closer to God. Lauren found traveling as transformational experiences for opening up her spirituality.
“I just look forward to sharing my journey as a means to inspire — that’s really one of my purposes, using my story to inspire particularly Black women to really live with intention, show up and even recognize, ‘What is my authentic self, what is my authentic life?’ … And to move in alignment with that and to recognize what are your values, what is your purpose, and how you can say ‘yes’ to that and ‘no’ to the things that [don’t serve your purpose].” – Lauren Ash
How about you? How do you find awareness with your spirituality? Do you also experience a divine spark when you connect with nature and create an impact on others by sharing your experiences to inspire them?
We all experience spirituality in different ways — for Lauren, it’s through traveling, but for you, it might be through journaling, dancing, or being out in nature. Whatever way you experience spirituality, make sure that activity is a priority in your life.
Get Loved Up with Lauren Ash
This was such a wonderful conversation with Lauren Ash, and I’m so happy to have a student of my yoga class here on the show. If you have friends in search of spiritual enhancement, I’m sure they will learn some valuable lessons from Lauren’s spiritual journey. So, give them love by sharing the full episode with them. You could make someone happier today.
Check out the Black Girl with Om website for more wisdom from Lauren Ash and experience consciousness shifts, spiritual awakening, and intergenerational healing occurring within the diaspora. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter for some inspirational quotes, or subscribe to her YouTube channel for some free resources.
If you felt the love and motivation from Lauren Ash, tag her, @blackgirlinom, and me, @koyawebb, on Instagram with a screenshot of this episode and your greatest takeaways. We would love to know what you learned from this conversation. And if you’re interested in the same yoga teacher training Lauren graduated from, you can check that out here.
I would like to conclude this session with a quote from Lauren Ash: “Always remember that you were loved for who you are and not for what you do.”
People may admire you for your accomplishments, your successes, and the milestones you achieved, but it takes love to accept you for who you are, including your imperfections. How can you expect other people to love you for who you are if you can’t accept who you are?
So, remember to love yourself first, love others, and share the love with the whole world.
Until next time, love.
- How Lauren awakened to her identity while in college (2:50)
- A new perspective on rejection and how it can be positive (10:20)
- Where the phrase “black girl in om” came from (15:05)
- How Lauren started and grew her business from an idea to where it is today (16:15)
- How to set healthy boundaries (20:21)
- Where to start when you want to follow your intution and dreams (28:20)
- Ideas for living intentionally (33:11)
- What spiritual activism looks like (41:02)
- Lauren’s encouragement to try yoga if you’re new to it (46:03)
- How traveling can open up your spirituality (49:49)
Links mentioned in this episode
- Black Girl in Om
- Get Loved Up Yoga Teacher Training
- Gary Zukov The Seat of the Soul
- Black Girl in Om Podcast episode featuring Koya
- Order Koya’s new book Let Your Fears Make You Fierce