Jelena (Yelena) Popovic is best described as a “hearticulator" and an "experienced beginner", who inspires others to search for their inner genius with curiosity and compassion. She is a life-long inquirer with a passion for education and teaching social-emotional skills to children. She is a mom, Teaching Peace in Schools leadership council lead for The Peace Alliance (www.peacealliance.org), Mindful Schools mentor (www.mindfulschools.org), brain science buff, recovering school psychologist, Relax Kids trainer/coach (www.relaxkids.com) and mindfulness educator.
She holds a graduate degree in school psychology from Tufts University, but is most proud of listening to the wisdom of a third grade boy who questioned her purpose and told her she is much better at teaching with a “breathing ball” (aka, Hoberman sphere) than giving that “boring test”. Now Jelena spends most of her time in classrooms connecting with educators and students, teaching mindfulness (with and without the “breathing ball”) and with Lucy MacGregor co-facilitates school districts efforts in skillful and sustainable implementation of mindfulness practices though their unique Communities Of Practice model. She also co-facilitates mindfulness workshops and retreats for educators, trains others on the Relax Kids model, co-facilitates cross-cultural dialog for Soliya (www.soliya.net) and finds herself immersed in numerous and perpetual pilot projects.
Jelena is a lover of books, especially picture books and poetry, and is a devoted admirer of Renaissance art. She finds joy and gratitude in everyday, ordinary moments. People with kind, beautiful hearts inspire her. She tends to question everything and her most frequent response is “Don’t know. How might we work on it and grow together?”
Lucy MacGregor is an adventurer through the joys and intensity of human life. While honoring that we each travel our own unique journey, Lucy believes that each of us are deeply and intricately connected to one another. She believes that we awaken to the fullness of of living when we are present with open eyes, nurturing inclusive hearts, and the support and challenge of authentic community. Her work is to support individuals and communities as they adventure in this “one wild and precious life”.
Lucy leads adventure based programs that empower young women, and offers mindfulness workshops, retreats, and communities of practice in North Carolina and beyond. In her work, Lucy combines her experience as a classroom teacher, her background in adventure based learning, and her training in mindfulness and yoga. She calls on the power of nature, storytelling, and the wisdom inherent within groups.
Lucy holds a degree in Sociology/Social Work and is an accredited Montessori teacher. She is a certified Children’s Yoga instructor, certified Mindful Schools instructor, and is trained as a Relax Kids Coach She is honored to serve as Mindfulness Consultant for Rainbow Institute. She is classroom teacher at Rainbow Community School.
Lucy continues to be challenged, inspired, uplifted, and opened by her own journey through life, and is incredibly grateful to the entire community of beings travelling with her.