Lee Sowles, MPH
Founder, Executive Director, and Educator
Lee started this program because she is a true example of someone who has developed resilience, self compassion, and purpose in her own life. Struggling with healthy sleep patterns and chronic worry since childhood, she noticed a dramatic shift when she started practicing yoga several times a week in her early 20’s. Better sleep improved her focus as well as a feeling of overall less anxiety and more ease. Her self-awareness deepened from there, as she recognized how pervasive self-doubt and fear were in her life and the need for more balance in order to feel happy and well.
At the same time this transformative practice entered her life, Lee was working with the most vulnerable communities in Maine. She quickly recognized the disparity in who is able to access the life changing practices.
With the goal to one day make yoga and mindfulness accessible to more people, Lee took a leap and moved to Los Angeles to attend a Yoga Teacher Training in 2011. After her training, she moved to Boston where she taught part time under a mentor who supported her growth as a teacher working with a diverse group of people living with long-term injuries, disabilities, and other ailments. During this time, Lee also received her Master of Public Health degree where she focused on social determinants of health, program development, and public health research.
Lee was drawn to work with children as she sees the innate wisdom in each of them and wanted to stay connected to that. Societal expectations and old patterns can be disruptive when it comes to being with children, deeply listening to them, and learning from what they have to say. Lee learns from children every day and works to remind them (and adults!) of their inherent ability to be present and mindful. Through practice and guided discussion, classrooms uncover how looking inward can support health, happiness, and wellbeing.
Lee’s mindfulness work with children is underscored by the belief that understanding and processing emotions in a healthy way, feeling empowered and focused, and reconnecting with innate qualities of compassion for ourselves and one another, can transform lives and halt adverse outcomes. Through these teachings, we can re-wire our brains to promote resilience in times of stress, build a stronger sense of compassion and kindness, and find comfort being with ourselves.
A mother of two young children herself, Lee hopes to touch children, teachers, and caregivers in Maine and contribute to building resilience within communities. Lee fully embodies her yoga, mindfulness, and compassion based practices, all of which support her need for a well balanced life.
Applied Compassion Training, Stanford University (2020)The Science & Practice of Purpose (2019); Compassion Cultivation Training (2019); Yin and Meditation Certified Teacher (2017); Children’s Mindfulness and Yoga Workshop, Little Flower Yoga (2017); Mindful Schools Fundamentals Course (2017); Mindful Schools Educator Course (2017); Master of Public Health, Northeastern University (2013); Bikram Yoga Certified Teacher (2011)
Kamilah Majied, PHD
Founder of Joyfully Just, Kind Mind Collaborative Partner
Dr. Kamilah Majied is a mental health therapist, social work educator, researcher, and internationally engaged consultant on building inclusivity and equity using meditative practices. She teaches clinical practice to graduate students employing psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness-based, and artistic approaches to well-being. She also teaches research methods, social and organizational policy analysis, and community organizing through a social justice lens. Kamilah has taught contemplative practice from several perspectives including mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness and racial justice, Buddhism and mental health, and mindfulness practices to preserve the environment. She gave opening remarks at the first White House Conference of Buddhist Leaders on Climate Change and Racial Justice, where she also facilitated a dialogue on ending racism amongst the internationally represented Buddhist leadership. After 15 years of teaching at Howard University, Dr. Majied has recently joined the faculty at California State University, Monterey Bay as a Professor of Social Work. She is a member of the Koru Mindfulness team at CSUMB. She serves as the Inclusivity Advisor for the Contemplative Coping During COVID 19 Research Project at the University of California Davis, Center for Mind and Brain. She also serves as Anti-Racism and Inclusivity Advisor for the Center for the Contemplative Mind in Society (CMIND). Drawing from her decades of contemplative practice and diversity, equity and inclusion leadership, Dr. Majied engages people in experiencing wonder, humor and insight through transforming oppressive patterns and deepening relationships towards ever- improving individual, organizational and communal wellness.
Mindfulness Educator, Kind Mind Collaborative Partner
Erica Marcus, founder of Wise Minds. Big Hearts., is thrilled to be collaborating with Kind Mind to bring mindfulness to educators throughout Maine. Her current work is the culmination of nearly fifteen years of experience in classroom teaching, wilderness youth therapy, and outdoor education combined with Mindful Schools and Kripalu Yoga certifications.
Erica believes that educators benefit immensely from cultivating a mindfulness practice, and those benefits have the power to transform classrooms. She learned this first hand during her tenure as a middle school language arts teacher in Washington, D.C., where she experienced how growing her own practice profoundly shifted her ability to be present with her students and colleagues. She invites teachers to both consider not only how they can teach mindfulness to their students, but teach mindfully, from a place of compassionate awareness.
She currently is enjoying the balance of being an adjunct wellness faculty member at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, working with educators on building their own capacity, and raising her toddler. She also enjoys hiking, running, surfing, painting, and eating ice cream.
MindBe Curriculum Education (2019); Trauma-Informed Care for Professionals Working with Youth (2017); Building a Better World, Practical Skills for Mindfulness & Social Change (2017); Mindful Schools Difficult Emotions (2016); Mindful Schools Mindful Communication (2016); Mindful Schools Teacher Certification (2015); MAT, Trinity Washington University (2013); Mindful Schools Educator Essentials (2013); Mindful Schools Fundamentals Course (2017); Center for Inspired Teaching Certification (2011); Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training (2010); BA Haverford College (2015)