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Meet Lena Franklin of Buckhead

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lena Franklin.

Lena, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story is a convergence of East and West both personally and professionally. I grew up with a Vietnamese Buddhist mother and Southern Psychologist father. I was exposed to meditation by my mother when I was very young. Through ancestral altars, visits to Buddhist temples and trips to Vietnam, spiritual seeds of meditation were planted within me…but they wouldn’t blossom until years later. My early life was dominated by being a high-level soccer player so when I earned a scholarship to play division 1 soccer at the University of Georgia, I was ecstatic to return to my dad’s home state for college. I majored in Psychology and went on to the Masters of Social Work program at UGA. The first year of graduate school was when I experienced what I call my *spiritual awakening*. My beloved 57-year-old mother suddenly passed away from a sudden stroke. In this moment, my world was turned upside down and I began to sense that life possessed meaning far beyond the constrictions of our human mind. I intuitively came to my yoga mat to heal — knowing I needed more than traditional talk therapy could offer — this is when I began practicing yoga and meditation consistently. It was my lifeline.

Instead of turning away from the grief, I practiced the art of turning toward it through yoga and meditation. Here, as I explored my inner landscape, I sensed that I was made of more than my grief and loss, and that the most vibrant inner light radiated from the depths of my darkness. In those moments of stillness, I experienced embodied peace like never before. As I began to conceptualize my career path, I felt called to offer the ancient practices of mindfulness (cultivating present moment awareness), meditation and healing yoga into my mindfulness-based business. I received training in Buddhist Meditation, Lifeforce Yoga and Insight Yoga. I organically began integrating these ancient Eastern healing modalities into my practice with individual clients, on wellness retreats and in workshops. The healing that I’ve had the honor to witness has been astounding! It’s true that we can’t THINK out way into healing, so eliciting the power of our mind through mindfulness and using the energetic body to heal emotional wounds can become the key to liberation and living a life beyond our wildest dreams. Today, I own an internationally recognized mindfulness business. I’m beyond grateful to be a conduit for this work.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been many challenges on my path! First, my mom’s death presented the greatest obstacle of my life. But our strength stems from our suffering and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her consistent spiritual guidance.

I fully believe that growth cannot happen without discomfort. My unconventional brand of psychotherapy has been challenged for sure. I’ve received judgements from my own clinical community saying that I’m “not a social worker” because of the holistic way I practice and because I’m unafraid to charge what I’m worth for the services/experiences I offer. Historically, all visionaries and change-makers have been criticized for their new ways of being in the world. My intention is to transform others’ judgments (that stem from fear) into courage that fuels my path. I’m actually grateful for all feedback — it becomes energetic momentum.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Lena Franklin, LCSW is a mindfulness-based business that offers individual psychotherapy, meditation instruction sessions, corporate mindfulness trainings, speaking, and retreats of all kinds (international mindfulness vacations, retreats at Serenbe wellness-community and customized retreats for private groups). I’m known for the integration of therapeutic techniques with guided meditations, customized for that person or group. All of the experiential meditations, yoga skills and contemplative exercises I teach are curated to enhance human potential in all areas — career, love, relationship and moment-to-moment living. I’m most proud of the way I’m able to merge Western science with Eastern healing modalities, particularly Buddhist meditation and yogic philosophy. It’s truly my life’s work.

What were you like growing up?
I was a curious, caring child growing up. I would collect all the wounded animals in my yard and care for them. Nature was my sanctuary and I loved being quiet and contemplative in the woods. I enjoyed climbing to the top of a pine tree in my backyard to write poetry. Naturally, all of my friends gravitated towards me for compassionate advice on how to “feel better” and deal with issues in their lives. Overall, as a child, I was full of love, awe, and altruism for all humans and animals.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Chelsea Patricia
Renee Choi

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