Mercury Retrograde

I love astrology and all things seemingly inexplicable. Astrology, numerology, tarot cards, chakras, crystal therapy, energy healing, you name it, I’ve read a few books and watched a few docs on it. I’m not here to convince you one way or another but rather to share some of my own insights that have become recently relevant.

Now we all know the phrase: Mercury in retrograde. It’s become the scapegoat for why things go wrong, especially poor communication. I’m sure you’ve seen the pun-intended memes “Mercury is in Gatorade” but there is some background information that I want to share so the next time you drop the phrase in conversation, you know what you’re talking about.

Mercury is the first celestial body in our solar system closest to the Sun. It’s orbit is the fastest, clocking in at 88 days and stays in each zodiac sign/constellation for 15 days. When a planet retrogrades, that means it’s relative position to Earth makes it appear as if it is moving backwards. Seeing as how Mercury is the planet that represents travel and communication, so it is named after the Roman god Mercury/Greek god Hermès, aka the quick-footed messenger of the gods.

Now when Mercury retrogrades, us Earthlings appear to lose all sense of how to communicate efficiently, technology crashes, and we live in confusion for roughly 3 weeks at a time. Skeptic or not, you probably noticed the shift. If you read your horoscope during Mercury retrograde, you’ll probably be advised against signing contracts, making big decisions, traveling to far away places etc.

To combat the temporary chaos, be mindful of the shift. Speak with care, proceed with caution, in general just slow down a bit. Be more aware of things not going your way earlier on In the process than usual and don’t force it. This too shall pass.

For an extra boost, you can utilize crystal energy to aid in easing communication of all kinds. The throat chakra is a communication center and it’s corresponding color is turquoise. Carry stones of a blue-green hue like turquoise, chrysoprase or amazonite. You can also use crystal quartz for clarity in thought or speech. If you know me, you know I’m not the most eloquent person at times, and often fill in the gaps with laughter so my favorite earrings to wear during Mercury retrograde, a job interview or and important conversation are terminated crystal quartz.

If you have any questions regarding crystals and their meanings, feel free to leave a comment, I’m happy to help!

-Isabel

Dreams Do Come True!

Hey Dreamers!

We have been busy little bees over here nursing our newest brainchild Dream Broad Magazine and took a step back from the blog for bit. Don’t worry folks, the Blooming Dreamers are still here, still creating content and sharing our stories. We are so grateful for all the hard work and recognition from our friends, family and extended communities. This magazine has been in the making for quite some time but catapulted this year and we are so grateful!

We hosted our launch party on June 8th at Broad Room in Sacramento and we have been floating on good vibes ever since. At the launch we sold our entire inventory of printed zines and are looking forward to the next round of sales so follow @dreambroadzine on Instagram for info on how to snag a copy of your own!

Until next time…

Shedding Negativity with Spiritual Medicine

In an effort to do some spring cleaning, I went to a sweat lodge last weekend. A friend invited me unexpectedly and I went into the experience not knowing what to expect. The journey left me feeling at peace but also motivated by the spring energy or renewal and rebirth. I channeled my inner spiritual goddess, faced the physical challenges of visual depravation and pushing my physical body to its limits. I shed all the negativity that I had been carrying. I don’t know about you, but this was a hard winter for me, emotionally speaking so this experience was the most rewarding.

As someone who prefers to communicate visually, I leave these photos here for you to enjoy. I hope they peak your curiosity and you find your own way to clean out the proverbial closet because spring is here and it’s time to start anew!

Peace and love,
Isabel

V.3 She’s Got The Juice

Maker and Creative – heart, mind, and soul. Akilah Interviews her Co-Founding Bestie of Blooming Dreamers on her dreams and passions. Owner of Lebasi Photography, Isabel Gonzales shares her love for capturing photos through Environmental Portraiture and what she wants people to know about her relationship to her craft. Click the link below and follow us on SoundCloud.

V.3 She’s Got The Juice

Creating A Sacred Space

Spring is finally here so to honor this beautiful change in seasons I decided to create an altar. In the past I always had an unofficial altar: my prized possessions, small treasures and jewelry purposefully placed atop my dresser with photos of loved ones arranged with intention. I enjoy maintaining that space, it’s something that I’ve always done naturally, but I never took the time to reflect on why I did it. Now that I’m older and have found my interests veering more toward unconventional spiritual or energetic practices, my altar has taken on a new vibe.

Currently, I have a special handmade bowl gifted to me that holds all of my smaller crystals I’ve collected over the years, crow feathers I collected on a spiritual journey years ago in San Francisco, a Ganesh statue from Thailand gifted to me by an old friend, my oracle and tarot card decks, smudging supplies like sage, palo santo, abalone and fresh camellias, attributed to living in the Camellia Capital of the World; Sacramento, CA. Not only do all of these items you see on my altar have a deep personal meaning, they are objects and supplies that I use when I want to center myself, clear my mind or sort through emotional challenges.

Altar for Virgin de Guadalupe
Altar for Virgin de Guadalupe

Traditionally speaking altar making is a common practice among many cultures across the world. You may have seen altars dedicated to Asian or Indian deities in various restaurants or markets where incense is burning and gifts of sweets or fruit are placed on the altar at certain times of the year. Specifically in India, altars dedicated to Ganesh are commonly placed near the entryway of homes or businesses as he represents new beginnings and the removal of obstacles in one’s path.

In Mexico on the other hand, people build altars to honor the deceased. It is a beautiful tradition to build ornate altars in remembrance of those loved ones who have passed. This tradition is practiced during Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

In the Celtic and pagan traditions honoring Ostara (Easter) or Spring Equinox, people create altars laden with fresh flowers, seeds, aromatherapy oils and fruits to set the intention of looking forward towards growth and abundance.

There’s no one way to create an altar and your altar can change throughout the year. Make it personal and set your intentions for your altar this spring. Feel free to leave comments and questions below and please share your altars with us here or on social media by hashtagging #bloomingaltars

Navigating Impostor Syndrome

I initially saw this post representing some form of expertise, citing intellectual science papers and well known psychologist. However, I think we have all had enough of the over complication of this phenomenon. We hear the words a lot these days, even though the term was coined well over 40 years ago by mental health practitioners – it comes up almost everyday like it was introduced a short time ago. Impostor Syndrome has everything to do with self and what’s happening on the inside. Or is it really that simple?

Arguably, the conditions in which this particular syndrome develops in a human being is spread wide across the spectrum. Therefore, making it damn near impossible for someone to quickly identify the simple fact that they may have feelings around being undeserving of the success they experience.  These ideas lead me to share some personal feelings on what that looks like and how I navigate that uncomfortable space.

For such a long time I let people and circumstances decide what I was capable of doing. I’m not entirely sure how I molded my thinking, but I’m sure it started in the 4th grade. Being ranked against school mates, meaningless testing, introduction of puberty, the divide of the ‘who’s who’ on the playground that has now become a platform for observing differences; really I can go on. All of these things have to do with a lovely feeling  of confidence.

I was never short of extracurriculars on the schedule. Band, volleyball, cheerleading, art and dance we’re apart of my life for over a decade. I loved being a part of them but sometimes, it was a bit hard. I’m a firm believer that representation matters, when we don’t see a lot of people that look like us, or aren’t accepted by many people that meet those same qualifications – things sometimes feel a little bit lonely. Confidence in these instances, lacks a bit. Sometimes it’s over compensated with a false confidence leading people to believe you’re fine when really, you need the ear of someone who understands your challenges and who holds your hand through them.

This is where college got fun. All that life experience boosted me, my connections with people and new ideas were forming and I was really excited about them. I found what I loved most in this phase of my life – psychology, philanthropy, journalism and business. I honestly thought to myself – “This is impossible, no one likes all of these things.” I had a passion for them that conflicted with the model of 1 major, 1 minor or at most a double major. I convinced myself that my goals were unrealistic and therefore I was confused and lost. I gave up here.

I would love to write fast forward here, but there is too much juice so I’ll keep it short. A career choice I would learn later to be not at all in line with any of my loves, a marriage to my best friend, some devastating life events; all lead me back to face myself and inspired me to live wholly and outright. I started emerging myself in all my true loves again in the name of self-care; psychology, philanthropy, journalism and business. Reading books, discovering new ways to make myself happy, meeting new people, conversing and sharing common interest. I, in short was developing in all areas I held near and dear. The time came where Isabel and I were discussing what we wanted from life again and then came Blooming Dreamers. From there we developed relationships and aligned ourselves with peers and mentors who were in these same fields. Without saying it, we were molding our expertise.

Reality check; how in the world can I look at myself as someone suffering from impostor syndrome when I am doing all of the things it would take for me to become well versed in becoming an expert? Maybe it’s the social media culture we live in or the performance appraisal hysteria we face around this time of year. Either way we were raised to seek out validation. Some of us I might even reach to say, I heard the words impostor syndrome and made up an excuse as to why we just weren’t doing well in life. Let us not fall victim to the placebo effect, or read our ways out of following our dreams.

My goal is to always be constructive and productive. To read up on things that will educate me in all my endeavors. To reach out and embrace new experiences. To live like this is my shot and I’m going for it. In order for me or any of you to move through paralysis, we have to reframe our thought processes by finding new ways to approach challenges. Finding circles that support my dreams and goals has been absolutely crucial in showing me that anything is possible.

If you want more fascinating info in an extremely tasteful and informative perspective, check out Matt O’ Keefe’s take here:

https://www.comicsbeat.com/impostor-syndrome/amp/

With that, I wish us all the best success and I cannot wait to hear your stories of how you conquered your fears of success.

Her•Story

I’ve noticed something. Women are celebrating eachother more and more these days. I like it. Coming from an adolescent youth where I had plenty of poorly managed friendships and not a whole lot of trust in general, I’m very happy to be a part of a community that is driven by supporting one another.


Being around creatives is magical. The conversations are full of healing and powerful language. I can’t really recall a time in my life where I have felt so inspired to share and embrace others which such vulnerability. For a larger part of my life I hid how much I loved all things art.


That only lead me to a place where I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was trapped inside this body looking to others for validation, for permission to move. I thank those individuals. Without them, I wouldn’t have found my way back to the person I was always meant to be. Me.

I am not my trauma. I am not my pain.
I am all that I choose to be.

I lift that woman up and wish her the absolute best life. Because after all it takes a hell of a person to bask in creativity and make something beautiful to share with the world. Here’s to the makers, artist, writers, painters, musicians and more – I dedicate this poem to you.

What does my love look like?

Is it safe? Is it warm?

The reflection of it sometimes feels cold like the surface it beams from.

Realizing the story of my mystery all of a sudden, is not mine.

Strangers have played a role in giving me a tale. Desperately, I held it. Not even knowing what of it.

Where do I find my story? The one written just for me?

Chasing it down like the shadows chase the sunset. Stretched and dark, fading into the night.

Who do I confide in, about the way that  I love?

My love story is abandoned and hiding from the light.

Until the steady beat of my yearning heart; is my favorite song.

Until I no longer feel shushed by the thoughts of being wronged.

Until I sing my praises with notes of joy.

This indescribable emotion is an old abandoned cabin, blanketed by the tallest towering trees.

Hope lurks in desperate need, to find it’s way in.

It seeps through the branches and begins to break through, rejoicing in celebration.

Light finally emerges.

Take extra care.

Build with grace and restore in faith.

My story is not mine until I address my HERstory.

– Akilah Oni

Community Fosters Opportunity

I say that. A lot. It’s something I firmly believe in. Especially as a freelancer/maker/artist/creative or title of your choosing, those professions don’t always come with a built in community or set group of friends like elementary school did. In my own experience as a hypersensitive extrovert (I may have made that up), I love to be around people, building relationships, teaching each other things, growing and struggling together. 

One thing I’ve learned is the struggle is real when your network is stunted. Sure your friends and family are supportive and rooting for you to succeed but do they really get it? Do they understand what you’re trying to do with your art, your vision, what drives you? It’s ok if they don’t but you can’t hold it against them. You know why?  

Because sharing is caring. Have you actually taken the time to share your passion with the people you interact with daily? Does the girl who serves you coffee everyday at your favorite coffee shop know you started a non-profit for homeless teens? Does your brother know that you just created an app that helps people organize their lives? Does your mom know that you want to make custom made fanny packs for a living? Let’s flip it. What happens when you witness someone speak about something their passionate about? Their eyes light up, their speech speeds up and you as a listener are captivated by their excitement to share. The feeling is contagious even if you never experienced what they’re talking about. Do yourself a favor and embody that energy. Tell everyone, even your cat, how passionate you are about whatever it is and I promise you positive results within yourself. Don’t feel too confident about speaking your passion into existence? You know what to do: 

Fake it til you make it! We’ve all heard it before but how many of us practice it? When I graduated with a MFA in Photography back in 2014, the first few months of conversations I had while meeting new people felt weird. They’d ask, “so what do you do?” and I’d stumble on my words and say, “well I’m…uh…a photographerrrrr….” with a few more long, indecisive pauses sprinkled in. I mean yes, on paper, I am a Master of Photography. But at that point in my infantile career, I was more comfortable saying I worked at Peets Coffee than declaring to the world that I followed my passion, studied and acquired skills and got really good at something. It’s all so surreal until you speak it into existence. Even the “impossible” stuff. 

Am I an artist? Yes. Am I making a living as an artist? Well that doesn’t pay the student loan debt but everything I do is infused with my artistry so at the end of the day I still feel confident and comfortable in identifying as an artist. I’m hoping to one day be living proof that if you do what you love, the money will come. So what am I saying to you? Carve your own path. Trust me, it’s doable. Hard. Unpredictable. But the only person that can make shit happen for you is you. Sure there are Threshold Guardians but it’s up to you to keep knocking down those barriers until you feel 100% you 100% of the time.

Is that a tall order? If so, hang in there. When you feel like you’re pushing a boulder uphill, on one leg, blind, in the snow, with no shoes on…hold up, I got carried away…so, blind and forgot why you’re even doing this, remember that there are so many fucking people by your side, being your other leg, smoothing out the path uphill, setting up a pulley system to get that boulder uphill faster of just whispering in your ear every 5 minutes that you can do it.

If you want to know where I am in my journey, I’m currently carving my own path. I have no idea what’s ahead but if I keep at it, I know it will be made for me, just how I like it and laid out so others can follow if they so choose. Moral of the story is we’re all in this together folks (remember it started with community) so drop the spotlight syndrome, speak your truth and live your passion to the fullest!!

-Isabel

Do you have a similar experience to share? Or something totally different and you want to start a discussion? Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂

P.S. (Thank you to all the meme-makers out there, you know who you are. You’re the best. Sorry I didn’t give each one of you credit.)

Floating High

This past year I have finally recognized how committed to my growth I am. At moments it feels like a high school relationship that began with a slow dance and others, a 32-year-old marriage that has finally found its stride. My husband has been instrumental on this journey I have found myself on. One of the things he brought to me was floating. The spa is located in my old stomping grounds, which holds a lot of nostalgia for me. That’s right – down the street from Immaculate Conception, around the corner from 4th Ave park and smack dab in the middle of Broadway.

“In this stimulant-free environment, gravity, temperature, touch and sound drop to nearly non-existent levels. 1,100 lbs of dissolved Epsom salt in 10 inches of water holds your body effortlessly on the surface, removing all pressure from your muscles, joints and bones. At the perfect temperature, the water around you exactly matches your skin temp, causing you to loose connection between where you end and the water begins. With no body to attend to, your mind is unleashed to explore and expand untouched depths of consciousness and relaxation.”

-Capital Floats’ website

He’s been so many times that I thought, “okay – this has to be good if he keeps going.” I didn’t research it, just booked and showed up. Surprisingly, I showed up at 8:15 AM already in a very zenful state. I say surprisingly because weekday mornings are full of chaos and commuting for me, which for me are recipes for the road rage I have been working on managing. Amber was the person to greet me that morning and I’m thankful that she is an empath because she served me with the same energy I was giving and that level of thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated. After my tour, I found myself in my private room naked and in love.

Image courtesy of Capital Floats

I took a warm shower to rid my body and hair of excess dirt and oils. Then, I opened the door to my chamber. Ya’ll, let me tell you technology has just come so far. I opted for the low frequency spa tones and blue light over the dark and silent space. But, I plan on going back so many times I will have tried something new every single time.

Once I got used to the buoyancy of the water, I was able to easily recline and began to float. Eyes closed I was daydreaming about what other sensations would be comparable to this – swimming in the ocean, gliding through space or a child being thrown in the air. It took some time for my brain to settle and stop making to-do list but I actively pushed them out so I could enjoy the experience. I felt like a mermaid. I closed my eyes and felt like I was traveling dimensions. The weightlessness of your body allows you to do things and experience them pain free. For instance, I’ve had a pain in my lower back since i’ve had my baby. Something told me to arch and release until I felt better and it was better than popping an Advil. Your brain and nervous system are thankful to you for letting them handle the situation. I followed suit with other little aches I didn’t even know bothered me until now.

Halfway through, my senses were extremely heightened. I could hear things very clearly, as if I wasn’t under water at all. My body got warmer and I am pretty sure I fell asleep on the most comfortable bed I’ll ever be on. The dreams I had were vivid and thought provoking. Many things were going through my head at the end. I was enjoying this warm weightless feeling but I also couldn’t wait to get out and tell the world about floating.

This was such a wonderful experience. I’ve finally had a couple of days to reflect, and here is what I would recommend and do differently next time:

Meditate – Identify what your intentions are before going in. My intentions were to take better care of my health and nurture my business.

Journal – Write it out the night before or day of. Mike calls the thoughts that rapidly surface and keep you from focusing, Monkey Brain. I was having a lot of disruptive thoughts. Everywhere from my last meal to going back to work in a week.

Sedate – Maybe this is a place where you want to be alert and in the moment. I did that, I don’t want to do it again. Whatever you decide to use to relax, do it. The facility has tea and CBD oil on hand.

Travel Light – I arrived with not 1, but 2 bags. I’m gonna tell you what I had so you understand you do not need anything. In my B A G S – whole makeup kit, rose oil, rosemary water, new change of clothes, shoes, body spray, lotions, lap top, journal, planner and purse.  You are going somewhere to feel free and lifted. Do not go in there the same way you come out; weighed down.

Have Fun Guys, I’ll see you there. Float on!

http://www.capitolfloats.com/benefits-of-floating/

Post Float Room @ Capital Floats Image: BD Kila

Happy Holidays!

What’s up Dreamers!

We put together a special video for you guys for the holiday season with a guided journal question to get you thinking about the new year. We hope you enjoy it, get a laugh or two, and then go spend time with your loved ones.

Please share your responses to the journal question in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you guys!

This is us signing off so Merry Christmas to you and yours from us here at Blooming Dreamers!! ✌🏽❤️

(Journal question found at forbes.com)