We had the good fortune of connecting with Dorian Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dorian, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Taking risks is a necessary pre-requisite to achieving growth and success. You can either live in doubt and fear and come up with all the reasons why you are going to fail, or you can decide that you are going to accomplish whatever you set out to do. Either way, you are right. The way I see it, you have nothing to lose in taking action towards your dreams. Even a business or a relationship that “fails” is an opportunity to learn and grow. The most successful people in the world have “failed” many times. Thomas Edison went through over 9000 experiments before finally inventing the light bulb! It is perseverance and a positive mindset that will take you wherever you want to go in life.
From a very young age, my mother taught me that in life there are no obstacles when it comes to dreams you want to achieve. Obstacles do not exist for me because I do not see them. Yes, there may be challenges along the way, but I know that I can overcome and do anything I set my mind to. This belief has been ingrained in me and it is what has allowed me to fearlessly pursue my dreams, both in my personal life and in my career.
Nearly 8 years ago, I took a chance on love and moved from my home in Granada Hills (Los Angeles) to San Diego to be with my love who is stationed here in the Navy. This move was a huge risk as I left behind family, friends and everything I ever knew. There was no guarantee that this relationship would last, but there was nothing, not even the need to uproot my whole life, that could hold me back from being with the man I love. 8 years later I am happy to say that SD already feels like home. I have built some of my most cherished friendships through communities such as my yoga studio, B3yond Yoga in Kearny Mesa, and through teaching Zumba and Pilates at TruSelf Sporting Club in Allied Gardens, and all the wonderful families I have met at Allied Gardens Little League. And as for me and my love, we are happily married and raising our sweet blended family. None of this would have happened without taking a risk.
In regards to career, again I see no obstacles. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an attorney. My maternal grandparents migrated here from Mexico. Neither of my parents graduated high school because they had me at such a young age. I was the first person in my family to graduate high school and move on to college, despite being in an abusive relationship during this time. I did this with no financial support from my family while working full time. Halfway through college I had my son but this did not stop me from achieving my goals. My son walked the stage with me when I received my law school degree. I finished college and 4 years of law school while breastfeeding my son for 5 years. Anything is possible!
Recently, I took a huge leap and started my own law practice helping families with their estate planning needs. I love helping people find practical solutions to their individual goals and needs. I am so grateful every time I can help someone achieve peace of mind. None of this would be possible if I did not take risks.
Once you decide what you want to achieve, take the steps you need to take to make it happen. Build the website, hire the coach, get the degree. The only obstacles that exist are the ones you see. You only have one life. Might as well try and fail than to never try at all. Failure is an opportunity to grow. Fear stunts your growth. Choose faith over fear and take the risk. Surrender, knowing and trusting that the Universe not only has a plan but also has your back.
What should our readers know about your business?
Aside from my law practice, I also own Yogiscapes, a small business that brings peace and the beauty of nature to your yoga or pilates experience. The inspiration behind Yogiscapes began in 2013 when I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. This genetic disease attacks the spine by causing severe inflammation of the vertebrae leading to chronic pain and deformity through the fusion of the spinal disks. It took 5 long years and several doctors to finally receive an official diagnosis. On that day, I came home and read everything I could find about AS on the internet. I came across a blog of a woman in her mid-60s who had been living with the disease for nearly 30 years. She talked about her saving grace, a practice called Bikram yoga, which I had never heard of. She attributed her continued mobility to this practice and even said that she is more flexible in her 60s than ever before. Since that day, I began to practice Bikram Yoga and I committed to living a healthy and happy life. I view my diagnosis as a blessing because it is what led me to the beautiful practice of yoga.
When I first started as a practitioner of hot yoga, I could not believe how extremely expensive yoga mat towels were and how they were just plain boring. In an attempt to maximize the mind-body-soul experience yoga provides, I was inspired to make quality yoga mat towels that are affordable and accessible to all. Yogiscapes is on a mission to bring more peace and happiness to one person, one mat, one practice at a time.
I am also a lawyer specializing in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning. I became a lawyer because I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless. As a survivor of domestic violence, I am a fierce advocate in the fight against DV. I am passionate about serving other survivors and helping them thrive. For every towel I sell, a portion of the proceeds goes to support those affected by DV. I am a member of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council’s Steering Committee. As part of my dedication to the cause, I also assist pro-bono as co-counsel in family law cases representing victims of DV.
As a lawyer, one of the biggest challenges I have faced is other people’s perception of me. I remember one time I walked into a deposition and the defense attorney assumed I was the court reporter. He was in shock when he realized that not only was I the attorney representing the Plaintiffs in a complex construction defect case, but that I also spoke fluent Spanish and proceeded to interrogate his Spanish speaking sub-contractor client without a hitch—something he could not do. Being a young, female, Latina lawyer, I am constantly underestimated. I am thankful that my mom taught me to never care about what other people think of me. Instead, I choose to focus on being the best attorney I can be and zealously represent my client.
What brings me the most joy in life, aside from my husband and kids, is music and dancing. Regardless of the struggles I faced growing up, I always had music to lift me up. A couple of years ago I decided to follow my passion and I became a Zumba instructor. During this time I also began practicing Inferno Hot Pilates. When the creator of Inferno Hot Pilates came to do a training at my studio, I jumped at the opportunity of learning more and became a certified Pilates instructor. I now teach Zumba and Pilates every Saturday morning which has quickly become one of my favorite things to do. I love connecting with people and helping them feel good.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned so far is the importance of following your heart, even when others think you are in over your head. If you feel compelled to explore something or pursue an interest, just do it. There is no rule that says we should fit in a one size box. The only obstacles in life are the ones you see. Anything is possible when you set your mind to it.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I always love it when visitors come from out of town because it gives me the opportunity to show them beautiful San Diego. For a fun filled weekend in SD, one of the first stops is usually SeaPort Village. I love sharing the fun fact that the same architects who designed Fantasy Land at Disneyland also designed SeaPort Village. I love all the shops, seeing the ducks and walking alongside the water. The next stop might be Old Town. There are a couple of really yummy coffee shops near the museums where you can get fresh churros and donuts. I also enjoy having brunch at Casa De Reyes while listening to live Mariachi music. And of course, more shopping. There are so many artisanal shops and carts it’s almost impossible to see them all in one visit. Next, we would head over to Barrio Logan where we would admire the murals that depict the history of the Chicano movement and the significance of this place. Then we would cross the bridge into Coronado, where we might visit Clayton’s coffee shop, one of the first restaurants on the island. We would stop at one of the grassy knolls that overlook the water and have a wonderful view of Downtown San Diego. For dinner and view, we would head to Coasterra, one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego. The food is as amazing as the views. I would request a table on the water to have the full experience. For some late-night fun, we would head over to the Clairemont Mesa area and enjoy a private karaoke room. One of the most fun and high tech karaoke experiences I have had was at Melody Karaoke & Cafe.
The next day we would head up North to enjoy a beautiful hike in Torrey Pines. For lunch, we would eat amazing Peruvian food at Coya Peruvian Secret in Del Mar. For some afternoon fun, we would head over to La Jolla and visit my friend Eric at La Jolla Kayak Tours. Exploring La Jolla Shores via kayak is a must! Before dinner we would head to Balboa Park and enjoy a nice walk on the grounds. We would stop and admire the coy pond and botanical gardens. A stroll through the Japanese Garden is worth every penny. It is so peaceful and so beautifully maintained. After a long day of outdoor fun, nothing soothes the soul quite like a good bowl of Ramen. For that, we would head to Underbelly in North Park. They have a fun outdoor community atmosphere and some of the best Ramen in town. Depending on how adventurous my visitor is feeling, we may head down to Tijuana for a day of shopping, walking, and some al pastor tacos…yummy.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to dedicate my Shoutout to all of the speakers that spoke at the Super Soul Session on September 12, 2015, at Royce Hall in UCLA: Brene Brown, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Shawn Achor, Marianne Williamson, Tim Storey, Iyanla Vanzant, Rob Bell, Elizabeth Gilbert, Janet Mock, Deepak Chopra, and Oprah. You all spoke to my heart and it has forever changed me and led me on a path of light and love. A special shot out to my friend, Erika Cortez, who invited me to the event and to the Universe who placed us in the second row center stage. And to my favorite book… “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson.
Website: dlopezlaw.com and yogiscapes.com
Max Young of Film Foto Fusion