Dana & Jeanne DowellYoga Instructors, Co-Owners Green Buddha
When I met Dana and she told me about the incredible bond and business she shared with her 84 year-old mom Jeanne, I was instantly in love. With their company Green Buddha and a motto of “AOG-Attitude of Gratitude”, these two women have dedicated themselves to loving one another and sharing that premise of love, community, and graciousness with everyone around them. Their inspiration couldn’t be a better story on this Mother’s Day and I am excited to open up The Moms Project to multiple generations of women sharing visions, philosophies, and resources for every age of woman.
I’m Dana…I am 48 years old and a mother of three boys. I am an actress, yoga instructor, and co-owner of Green Buddha with my mother. I used to ride motorcycles with Mickey Rourke, I completed Outward Bounds, and I grew up fishing on The Little Red River in Arkansas every summer.
I am an artist and I am passionate about working on my Dollhouse I bought from an M&M commercial when I was 12. I studied yoga in Greece for a summer with my mother when I was 20. I love anything that has to do with self-discovery, therapy, group therapy, meditation, and books. I especially love learning about other people. I have been studying yoga for 28 years and I learn something new daily.
I am beyond inspired by my 84 year old mother. She raised two brothers and I completely on her own by teaching yoga. She downhill skiis all over the country, runs a business, teaches yoga daily and has a very active social life.
I am completely inspired by music when I am painting or creating other art pieces. Led Zeppelin’s song Kashmir was my inspiration when I co-designed the Mandala t-shirt. Deborah Oropallo is one of my favorite artist-provocative nursery rhyme art.
I’m Jeanne…I am a single mom having raised three children alone.
I have taught yoga for over 45 years and was chosen to represent and teach yoga to the U.S. Olympics team of synchronized swimmers.I have taught seniors, the blind, the disabled, athletes, instructors at Mills College, and presently teach yoga to all levels. I studied yoga in India, Morocco, Cuba, Mexico, and Costa Rica. The philosophy and principles of yoga and how to apply it in our daily life.
My daughter and I have a company called Green Buddha based on living a life of Gratitude. These inspirational clothes and accessories remind us of living gratefully. We send out a weekly quote and a monthly newsletter based on these philosophies. I am 84 years old- I feel healthy, energized, and mentally/ physically sound.
My inspiration, first and always, comes from my children. I am also continuously inspired by my studying of yoga & zen and what benefits it brings to my life. I love going to workshops and centers where you can gain more knowledge and experience like Tassajara and http://www.sfzc.org/ggf/ in San Francisco.
Things I Admire Most About My Mom
1. Her personal strength.
2.Her endless wisdom.
3.Her ability to ignore her age number and to embrace so many of life’s adventures.
4.She has more energy and passion for life then anyone I know!!!
The hardest part about working with my mom is have 3 kids so my time is very limited .. I think this is frustrating to her because I always have to make our meetings quick.
My most important job is raising my three boys. I have one in college and two more to go. My kids have taught me to lighten up and not take things so seriously. Being a girlie girl and not much into spectator sports, all three boys have taught me to enjoy sports more. All three are athletes who play baseball, basketball and football. My oldest is currently playing football in college and it is terrifying to watch him out on the field. I have learned to chill out and go with it more-they aren’t going to stop just because it makes me nervous. I have also learned that when they say it doesn’t matter if I am at their game, that it really does. Having grown up with two older brothers and now having three boys, I continue to understand just how different men and women are. They show me that women tend to worry too much and that men tend to let things go easier.
My best advice was given to me years ago. To take each of my boys after age 13 on a trip with just me. It really has been the greatest advice and experience I could think of. You get to know one another better and they get to see that you are not just a mom, but a person who can be fun to hang out with. My first son wanted to go to a USC football game. I took him to the set of Ugly Betty to get the tickets from my brother who was a cameraman for the show. We went shopping and out for a nice dinner in LA. And the next day was the game-we had a blast. He saw the world I grew up in (TV set) and I experienced his passion for football.
Things I Admire Most About Dana
1.Dana is very kind and she share her kind heart with everyone.
2.Dana is very thoughtful.
3.Dana is a great mom and has taught her kids good values and shows her love to them openly.
4.Dana works very hard to improve herself and is always introspective.
5.Dana expresses herself lovingly to her mom (me), it is hard to think of a better daughter. And I love working with my little Buddha
I would say the single hardest thing about working with Dana has been to give her room to work at her pace and not mine. I want to move faster on things we do and I get frustrated when she’s not on my page. I am learning, however, to let go a bit.
I bring honesty, loyalty, and humor to the table. Without these, life would be very difficult. A shared sense of humor is very important for all the hurdles in life. My kids all have one, thank god.
The hardest moments being a mom are when you see your kids making mistakes and poor choices and not giving advice when it is not asked for. Even if they ask, they really don’t want to know. “Each river must flow at its own pace”- is my daily motto.
My beauty loves are quite expansive, as I love playing with product. I use the whole line of La Prairie-Love it! The essence of skin caviar eye cream complex is to die for-especially on those mornings when you really have puffy eyes. I also use an incredible moisturizer by Erno Lazlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Balm at night. I grew up on Lazlo and it has never failed me. My two favorite moisturizers are Epicuren Tahitian vanilla for Spring and Summer. It has a hint of vanilla that my husband goes crazy for. Fall and winter I use Luxe Butter Milk Scent by Pre de Provence I can’t wait to put it on after a shower. I have worn one fragrance for the past fifteen years Hermes eau des merveilles.
My style interchanges between workout and really dressing up, girly style. I am ½ classic and ½ Boho. My favorite designers are Alexander McQueen, Azzadeh, Carolina Herrera, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Thomas Pink, Jil Sander, and Dolce and Gabbana. I love my gypsy sundresses and Roberta Roller Rabbit tunics. Young, Fabulous and Broke I adore.
I have used Obagi Skincare years because of my brown spots on my skin from too much sun exposure. I now use coconut oil to take my makeup off with. And I love my hairstylist Joseph Cozza in San Francisco who I have gone to for years. He would be the last thing to go if I had a serious financial problem.
I love my daughter Dana’s style, which I try and copy quite often.
Yoga has taught me to not only focus on my outer body, but on my inner body and mind as well- how they are all inner-connected and need equal attention. It has changed my ability to deal with the stresses of life, be a more present mom and person in society. And the ability to help others has brought me so much joy!!! Seeing my students at the end of my class look so much different from when they came in- is a true gift. Knowing I have helped others unleash some stress and connect on a deeper level is beyond rewarding.
Green Buddha is a company my mother and I created to help people learn the importance of Gratitude. We have created eco-friendly tees with the slogan AOG on them. Each tee comes with a gratitude bracelet to help remind us all to be grateful. This daily reminder and message have spread wonderfully through this product.
We are in the process of developing workshops in hotels around the world to offer our service in yoga/ gratitude and to help hotels become not only beautiful places to stay, but places where wellness and health evolve. This step is part of the continual journey, we feel so blessed to be on.
Dana and Jeanne, your journey is something we all feel blessed to be on today. You are the perfect story on this beautiful day. Thank you for the amazing experience and the belly laughs.
Happy Mother’s Day. Love and xo, TMP.