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.

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.

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…

Walking The Line of Authenticity

An inspirational story of staying the course.

Each being will walk a different life path created with a special footprint to help guide our marches through the steps it will take us to achieve our dreams. Every design is custom made for the individual and who needs to experience their own specific journey.

Isabel and I have been making so many connections and hearing from all walks of life on how long it’s taken them to get where they finally feel like they’ve found their niche or how long has it taken them to match their hearts with the others their creativity has been longing to connect with. Each person sharing that the time it took, varied anywhere from a month to 6 years. When you think about it, it’s actually really motivating because so much time is spent in judgment of what others are doing. Then one could say, you’re really not looking out for others with love or you’re not trying to be your most authentic self. The other day we talked about how no one has really subscribed to our blog, yet. Which is okay, because while we are growing, it’s slow and steady. That is exactly what the universe set out for us to experience.

We started quite a few months before December 1st of 2018, but that was the day we introduced ourselves as Blooming Dreamers. It was so exciting, adrenaline was pumping because, dammit we did it! We took this blog off the ground and we were diligent about it. All the other times we tried to work on projects, talked about working with one another, this project is actually happening. I’ve been looking around and seeing these ads through our Instagram feed on “how to become an influencer ” and not gonna lie, my first thought was sweet another masterclass let me see how much money this will cost. Immediately thought to myself, wtf. If I keep getting sidetracked by everything that is put in front of me instead of focusing on things that align with Blooming Dreamers, it will be very hard to get things accomplished. I’m enjoying this part of the process. When we are ready, the stars will align like stepping stones into the next chapter of our growth. I want to do it as our most authentic selves. We found our stride, have proven that people can work together and do it graciously – for a vision that they believe in.

It’s been an extremely rough week for me but through all of this, one thing that I have learned about ‘labors of love’ is, they produce light. When you’re having a hard week, remember that there are just things that you specifically will have to go through. They most likely won’t be your favorite experiences but because you are always moving with love, you’ll be able to embrace and appreciate the process. You will find methods to cope. You will find the team that you need to support you. You are going to find the tools and resources that you will deem most valuable. Whatever level you are on, whether it’s a personal project or the creative career of your dreams, make it happen. Your journey depends on it.

Ground Zero: We Forsee Magical Growth

Founding Mothers

As we’ve mentioned before, one of our missions is to bring together people in an effort to build community. The Blooming Dreamers are launching off our ‘Featured Dreamers’ section with us as the guinea pigs. This was a lot of fun and a huge learning experience. We are already scheduling interviews and fine tuning our platform so that we can bring you pure quality interactions once a month. Stay tuned, please enjoy the read. We may even get some vlog bloopers up for your entertainment.


Akilah: What is something you wish older generations did with or for you?

Isabel: Whew, teach me how to manage money.  Granted, my older generations weren’t taught much; we know the economy has changed but you know they did what they could. They didn’t teach me enough.

Both ladies sip their  PBR simultaneously *

I: What about you?

A: Okay, well I would love to say that they paved the way for me but I felt a little lost along the way. Not only with finances but school, friendships, family relationships, and business. Now that I’m a mom, I do get help – I just wish the things with motherhood were more openly discussed with people other than your gyno and your girlfriends.

I: Oh ya! Seriously. Next question, where do you see your project and your company in the next 5 years?

A: Where do I start?! EVERYWHERE! I’m serious when I say, this is for us and everyone around us. Right now, I have the energy to take on the world. I don’t just want to be a blog and an Instagram account. That is stupid. I want to provide a service, embrace people and love on them. I may be a product of the Bay but I grew up here in Sacramento and this is the education system I came from. I’m giving back. Where do you see us?

I: I see us building this amazing community, which is pretty small right now. And a lot of you out there don’t even know you are apart of this. I think potentially we will have a space that feeds the minds and the souls of everybody, not just the women. Families, men, kids, everybody. I’m ready for the next one.

A: How does/did not having a sacred space affect your well being?

I: I have a personal anecdote. Back when I started dating Neko, I did not have a place to call my own. I had to put all my stuff in storage and I ended up crashing on Neko’s bed. For 7 months, I could not find a place to live! I finally found one, moved out for 5 months and only to move back in, again.

A: Were you trying or were you snuggling?

I: Both. But in that process, I realized I didn’t have a space to call home. I lived out of a back and everything I would have surrounded myself with to make it feel more like home was in a storage unit. It was depressing. It’s discouraging but it makes you push harder.

A: I don’t have a sacred space. I guess my sacred space is in my car, where my music is. It’s taxing I find I lash out when I’ve hit my brink, or I pack up all my stuff and run away but not for long because I have a 2 ½-year-old. I take on everyone’s problems if I can and then I find my allegorical suitcase is full of things that do not serve me.  I feel like having that space would help me; tidy up, release and breathe. I’m working on it.

I: I like it. How do you exercise self preservation?

A: We just loaded that one. We don’t have any self preservation!

Isabel is bent over laughing at this point. Now we are both drummed up into a maniacal hysteria*

I: Drinking this beer, using this camera. Going inward.

A: Okay, I loc’d my hair. That’s self-preservation. My tattoos. My painted toenails.

I: OOOO.

Shows off her painted nails*

I: Christmas Colors!

A: We are exercising being grateful right now.

I: What is your greatest tool to help you tune into your higher frequencies?

A: Easy, large bodies of water that I can dunk my head in. I like to swim. If you know my son’s name, you would know how much I love water.

I: I do two things. 1 – I travel, it helps me reset. I come back Zen’d out whether its a day trip or another country.

A: That’s a big tool. Nice.

I: The other thing I do, going inward once again – I do card readings, cleanse my crystals and burn some incense.

A: You had good answers, mine was very short to the point and get out of my face.

I: But you knew your answer and I had to think about mine. Ready?

A: Yup, Last one! Where is self-care in your schedule? And what do you do?

I: Once a year, I get a tattoo. I would show you the last one, but then I’d have to take my pants off. They are the ultimate collaging of life experiences.

A: Yeah, we’re totem poles.

I: Also, when I’m riding my bike – I’m listening to music, looking at trees and singing my heart out even though I can’t breathe.

A: It almost eliminated itself out but, whenever I have time. I journal. One of the things that I’ve told myself – use the pretty things. I have to tell myself to do this because I will not use these things. I think what I am writing or what I have to say needs to be perfect in order to do so.  But, I’m really wrong in my thought process.

I: This is us signing off.

A: Salud.