Authentically Aligned Synchronicity

Let’s talk about building your entire self up organically; or what I also refer to as, “doing the work”. This is a practice, a practice of raw radical self-care that doesn’t come in the form of external gratification(or maybe sometimes it does but let’s focus on the soul). These are ideas that can sometimes be painful to explore. We tend to go through life shielding, escaping and evading. Avoiding all the truths we have to endure to find out what we stand for.

Discovering who you are and what footprint you want to leave in your community is crucial to finding your voice. We can chose to follow the beaten path and be left with the sad truth that we have not become familiar with the person that matters most in our lives, self. We see it everyday in social media or even in day to day interactions as we repost and share ideas that were presented to us but never taking the time to develop and assess what those ideas mean to us.

One of the best ways to start this process is by evaluating your own ideas and how they support you in your journey of creativity. From the very beginning of our thoughtful selves, it is the basis of imagination that shows us what things are possible through the most inventive ways of play. Teaching us how to solve problems, reflect on bigger and better possibilities; the driving forces in helping us to create over and over again an absolutely fulfilling life. Now does it make sense why your parents were hell bent on asking “how could you be bored!?” We are responsible for the light we bring to our own lives.

Our own imaginations are what builds our authenticity. It is the place in our minds where dreams exist in the most magical way. Only we can bring the moments to fruition. This is what makes us endearingly unique. We shouldn’t shy away from sharing that very eccentric part of us. It absolutely saddens me when I hear people say “ I don’t have a creative bone in my body”. I will forever believe this to be a lie. If we consistently compare ourselves to others, and their own ideas of what makes them special – we’ve already lost because we had the audacity to measure our own successes based on someone else’s blue print that we had absolutely nothing to do with. Authenticity starts and ends from within.

How do we support our own growth journeys as we start to bridge them with others? That my friends is alignment. A person who understands who they are, tends to make better decisions on who they come into agreement with. Whether it be in a friendship, intimate partnership, or business relationship. After all, how can one decide what’s best for them if they can’t offer that same reflection with self? It can be a difficult task to stay true to your own ethos; especially in such a comparative time. We all want to know what the next person is doing, just maybe they got it right better than all of us. W R O N G. They got it right for themselves. Then. And only then my friends, did their lives seemingly fall into a better alignment with their surroundings. You gotta do, what’s right for you.

Now. Let’s talk about the magic of synchronicity! I want to share a little anecdote of Isabel’s and my day last weekend:

It started off as a somewhat rough morning. Dealing with personal affairs and coming to the conclusion that we were losing steam with our ventures. No real motivation was coming to the surface. That didn’t stop us from setting out on our morning meet and great with someone we had been admiring and decided to approach about being apart of Dream Broad. What an experience! We had an amazing exchange, filled with hope, support and all of the gems we needed to push us into the next part of our day where we were going to be vending at the Sac Library downtown. We decided to stop off for coffee. Lowe and behold we run into another familiar face who’s divine purpose was to encourage us and give us all the props for what we have been doing. Primarily telling us, do not quit. Keep going. Off we went. At the event, we had a visit from one of our community sisters that was truly inspiring and encouraging. Out of that interaction came ideas for our next 2 events. Our day and hearts were completely full.

Keep thugin’ it out family. Take the time to build a relationship with yourself, so you can have stronger relationships in your community. It will lead to a purposeful life.

Work/Life Balance

That’s a phrase I picked up from living in the tech bubble for 11 years. Say it with me “work life balance.” The concept is self explanatory and quite frankly is a no-brainer but for some reason we more often than not find it hard to do. Think about it; How many times have you found yourself picking up an extra shift at work, clocking in that OT, then find yourself surprisingly fatigued, unmotivated or overwhelmed by activities that typically bring you joy?

I just spent the last 2 1/2 months doing just that. I was working 6 days a week, sometimes up to 55 hours, without any respite in sight. I pushed through as I usually do, but found myself getting progressively tired all the time, not realizing I didn’t make time to check in with myself, let alone rest and recuperate. We find ourselves thinking “I can’t spend time with you because I want to sit in my couch and be a vegetable, to–say it with me–balance out the energy I just spent working too much.” We convince ourselves we’re being productive but in reality we’re depleting ourselves of creativity, secluding ourselves from our community and ultimately limiting our potential for personal growth.

In order to break that cycle there are a few things I like to do:

1. Get organized. I schedule everything in my iCal. The trick is to block out the time frame for each activity, that way you visually see how many free hours you have in a day or week, to do more of what you love. Or just breathe.

2. Play hooky. Take an unexpected day off. Changing your routine can open the doors for spontaneity and get those creative juices flowing. Pro tip: Make sure you incorporate a self care practice. That could be anything from reading a book in the park to baking your favorite cookies. My personal favorite is setting intentions for the coming lunar cycle, burning some incense and doing a card reading.

3. Quality time. Time is money but it’s also priceless when you spend it with those you hold near and dear. Go have coffee with an old friend, make dinner with your parents or participate in the hobby of your significant other. Taking time to be present with those who hold you up can refill your reserves when you feel like your cup is empty. My partner’s newest obsession is plant parenthood so we bought a bunch of new plants and repotted old ones.

Most importantly take a deep breath. All the things are manageable if you take the time to check in with yourself, listen and fulfill your needs accordingly. That’s it for me folks! I’m playing hooky today and have to go pack for an impromptu picnic with friends!

Until next time ✌🏽

Vol. 4 Star Quality

Josiah Gonzales, Featured Dreamer and avid renaissance man. If anyone knows how to chase dreams and tackle them down, it’s this guy. Blessed are we to be the ones he embeds his big brother wisdom on. Glad are we that he is our first male dreamer. As a designer of all things in his life – Josiah gives us a personal look into his cool demeanor and how he’s taken charge of the things he loves.

Breaking Barriers: The Beauty Edition

want to tell you all how transitioning my hair to it’s most natural state helped me remove and break barriers that I had been trying to get a hold of for years.

Simply put, I want to tell you all how transitioning my hair to it’s most natural state helped me remove and break barriers that I had been trying to get a hold of for years but I just couldn’t make any headway. 


Let me start by explaining what transitioning really means in case this is a new term. A lot of women with curly, kinky hair go through a process of relaxation to get soft straight manageable hair. This is called a relaxer, or most comedically known as ‘Creamy Crack’. Less time doing your hair, no one makes fun of you in school, and now you fit the beauty standard set by society. But, what does this do to some people? Or more pointedly, what did it do to me?


I got to a point where if I didn’t have hair extensions or relaxers – I didn’t know what to do with myself. It became my costume. I even had ridiculous thoughts like if I didn’t look on point, everyone was going to talk about me and I was gonna be miserable as a result. You know why? As a kid some really close friends did exactly this. So at 14, I established a learned behavior about how I presented myself to the world. 


I took these behaviors with me in my professional carrier. Always hiding this big secret. One time I was told I looked like Beyoncé. I laughed so hard out loud because I thought it was the most ridiculous thing. Inside, I said “hells yes”. The world was sending confirmation that I looked like a package. Why did I need that validation from people that don’t know my heart? Or my story? I had no idea. I just knew for a long time that I wanted to be pretty. And pretty looked like everyone else, to me.


Fast forward to a new job. Where now my look was bringing me attention but not how I wanted it. You know, look beautiful but still be a wallflower. You don’t want anyone to say anything to you about it but just to see it is enough. That’s not how it was going. I had a male coworker who liked men so he didn’t give a damn about me in that sense, but he always made comments about my look. He gave his approval and disapproval whenever his mouth felt the urge. Next to him, was an older white woman who also felt the need to take this route.


By now, maybe even a little before them – I was starting to reject chemically processing my hair because I became a mother and didn’t want those chemicals in my body, let alone my child’s during an already high risk preganancy. I danced with the idea of what would happen if I stopped paying $$$$$$ (yes, a lot) for these things I’ve begun to associate with as improving my look?

I blew people’s minds when I walked in one morning with my natural hair. Some didn’t care,  some thought it was awesome and the two from above couldn’t not say anything:


“ I have a black friend, she has a hairstylist. Would you like their number?”

“Why’d you do that to your hair?”


Almost crushed at this point. But still standing. 


I went home and made a video saying I will not conform to someone else’s standards. 


Being on this journey, has built me up from the inside. I feel good about me. Finally, it’s not because I was trying to look like or be someone else. I started paying attention to myself. Discovering that my hair should be cared for with love, natural products and it will flourish. All of that has transitioned into the way I live life, the way I raise my child, how I support my husband and my family. 


I am thankful for being grounded in the best way that I know how and it being from a place of complete submission and authenticity to my truest self. This abundance I’ve been searching for could only have come from me finding my own way and not trying to blaze someone else’s trail. Going on a loc journey was everything I imagined and more. Even on my worst hair days, I still feel beautiful because there is so much more to me than I ever could have imagined. 


Be inspired to be your whole self.

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.

I Called, The Therapist Answered

A personal perspective on going to therapy.

The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind personally and professionally. No matter what I did – I was obsessing over my decisions and experiencing all types of physical symptoms. My stress was growing and my body was paying the price. The two worlds decided to intertwine and it was less like two ribbons dancing in the wind, and more like two big rigs crashing into each other while speeding down a slippery mountain pass. Dramatic? I know. 


I made an executive decision to sit in silence for a minute and think about the things that were truly bothering me. I journaled, made list, read books and came to a solution. I figured it’s not acceptable to let my stress and anxiety run loose on the people I love. It was time to reign it in but I really had no clear direction on where to start breaking cycles. I called a therapist that my girlfriend recommended and it was the best decision I could have made. 


The very first meeting with her, I showed up and had no idea what to expect. The lobby was a 10 ft hallway that seemed to lengthen itself the longer I stood in the doorway trying to figure out if I was in the right place. She finally came out to greet me; tall, sweet and warm. The LMFT quickly gave me her speech about confidentiality and asked me why I came to see her. I smiled through my troubles the first five minutes and then cried the next ninety-five. 


I left her office with my next appointment already scheduled. Even though I took her all over the map of my thirty-two-year life journey and explained my dozens of speculations as to how I ended up right there in her chair, she gave me a short list of ideas and concepts to think about. I thought, “wow, what a relief”. I was finally able to share with someone ALL of my feelings.  Someone who was able to help me untangle knots and create some sort of line of reasoning and helped me find the words to build crucial language. The language I needed to communicate at work and at home. 


I started to feel different. I was looking at situations with new lenses. The things that were driving me crazy about scenarios at work, became puzzles that I was happy to sort out. The conversations I didn’t want to have at home seemed less intimidating. I was building my tool kit. Communication was one of the main fundamentals that were becoming sharpened. Somewhere between the end of week one and the beginning of my second week, emotions started to resurface and I felt ill prepared to face anything seemingly negative. 


My second therapy appointment was here and I didn’t want to go. I was ashamed that I was feeling sad and not proud of myself that day. Silly feelings when I look back on it, but the primary characteristic of my work ethic is being accountable. For way too many reasons to list in this edition, I’ve always worried about what people think. It translates in different ways but it manifests itself as a bitch fit or some other inappropriate form of expression when conflict arises. I was growing tired of that and knew it wasn’t an acceptable approach at working through things with my family or professionally. 


This time I noticed my appointment was more focused. Less homework and more acute in helping me get through some of those challenges that were coming up more frequently. Here I am a week later, and it’s honestly the best week I have had in such a long time. Despite more disappointing news in a couple areas, I’m dealing with unfavorable surprises better. The dynamics in my household are settling into some sort of normalcy and it feels really good to stop blaming outside forces for my unhappiness. 


Needing to speak to a professional about how to sort out the issues you are facing in whatever areas of your life, is not something to be ashamed of. I am speaking very loudly to proud women and minorities at this moment because for some reason we do not go. We do not go and some of our life stressors are flashing right in our face as and screaming, “you need a little bit of help and it’s okay!” We do not have to do things alone. We weren’t designed to take on so many problems and not have an outlet to release. 


Therapy comes in so many forms. Everything from peer counseling, life coaching to psychiatrists. We all have different needs and the fact that we have all these diverse methods available, something is bound to fit. I hope this piece finds you all well. 

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

V. 2 What About Your Friends…

Here at Blooming Dreamers once a month we like to showcase people in our community who are sharing their love and their light through their work. For the month of February, Black History Month, it is our privilege to introduce you to a longtime friend, a woman for the people, Eryn Reeder. Have a listen as we discuss her journey becoming a therapist, her unique perspectives on mental health maintenance and self-care.

Website: http://strengthtogrowcounseling.com
Email: ErynReeder.LCSW@gmail.com
Instagram: @strengthtogrow

What About Your Friends…