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 ✌🏽

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

Womxnhood

The 3rd Annual Women’s March happened today, but for me it was the first. I was wholeheartedly determined to go regardless of whether or not I was going alone because ironically, the last two years I had to work for a woman-owned and woman-run company during the March. I didn’t realize how much the Women’s March meant to me until I missed it. After work last year, I found myself walking through the streets of San Francisco post-March desperate to find my friends at an after party with the promise of the same “I am woman, hear me roar” energy only to find that everyone had gone home and I felt like the weather: overcast and gloomy.

I cried in public. Which isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things because let’s face it, I’m a crybaby. But I was just so heartbroken to have missed out on such a historical experience. So this year I promised myself I would go with friends or alone, it didn’t matter because I found assurance in knowing I would be surrounded by thousands of women who have my back, just like I have theirs.

photo of owik collection sweater

I woke up, put my Hoe Zone sweater on, pumped up my tires, turned on Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer album, and biked downtown. I felt excitement creep in as crowds of people made their way to Southside Park in Sacramento. I didn’t expect to see 100% elder white women in attendance, but in my experience they make up a large part of the protesting demographic so I was pleasantly surprised to see men, people of color, young and old, babies and everyone in between. The influences we have on each other by just being present is really an amazing thing.

Protesters marching

The scene was rather beautiful actually. Not only were we all here to collectively take a stand, but so many people utilized their creative and artistic abilities to design signs, clever phrases, wearing costumes and coordinating props with their allies. As women we have a lot to say (or talk to you much if you want to further support the stereotype) but the plethora of messages I saw that day were all over the board from DACA, to equal pay to reproductive rights. The common denominator among all signs was that each person was fighting for more than just themselves and sometimes not even themselves at all. I was moved.

Two women protest with signs

Instead of a sign I carried my camera, assumed my role as photographer, documentarian, historian, keeper of truth. Funny thing is I was actually recognized because of it. I ran into a beautiful soul I bonded with at Burning Man. I walked away from that interaction feeling grounded, anchored by the same beautiful energy I experienced in the desert, only here marching for women’s rights.

marching band
aztec dancers

The entire experience was ushered along by a New Orleans style marching band and a drumming circle. “How perfect!” I thought because I know how much women love to dance! (or is it just me?) I felt an unspoken bond with the musicians as we made eye contact, like we recognized each other‘s roles in facilitating such an event. Midway through, as the majority of the March was happening in the street, the Latinx community forged their way at a somewhat quicker pace up the sidewalk brandishing artistic feminine renditions of Che Guevara and Angela Davis, chanting “hermana escucha!!” (Sister listen!!) as they followed the Aztec dancers in full traditional garb. I’m not of Latinx or Spanish descent but growing up in California, looking as I do, I’ve had a Latina experience and it warmed my heart to see my Latinx sisters showing up and showing out. I stepped aside to document their display before I merged back into the crowd.

8 piece band sings

At that moment I found myself getting emotional because the energy was palpable. Here we go crying public again! But there was a photo op I couldn’t miss so I had to temporarily swallow the tears and get back to my mission. Just then an older woman reached out to me for an embrace, smiled and said “thank you for showing up“ as if validating all of the emotional history I had surrounding this day. I hugged her back and smiled, speechless. I cried (in public) as I wrote this because her gesture was so impactful.

Our caravan of festive and outspoken people rounded the corner after passing an eight piece acoustic band of elders playing “Let It Be” by The Beatles. We joined in and sang an encore chorus or two before we hit Capitol Plaza and everyone spread out to get their photo taken in front of the Capitol building. Some stylized, some capturing the moment, me wondering what’s next. I came across the Raging Grannies harmonizing with vigor as their sweet little voices were heard, recorded and admired by all who witnessed their movement. I silently vowed to myself to be exactly like them when I’m their age.

raging grannies
keynote speakers at the Capitol

That’s when I heard the first speaker of the event coming through on the loudspeaker. Her focus was on the ongoing struggles of the Indigenous/Native Peoples of California. She was followed by several empowering women who touched on reproductive rights, health care, the prison system, the government shut down to name a few topics. But one woman, Angelique Ashby got the crowd fired up as she highlighted an entourage of women standing behind her who were voted into office in the Sacramento area. All of the guest speakers were inspiring, motivating and their messages were very clear: Don’t give up. This fight takes work and we can all do a little bit more.

speaker at womens march

Just as hunger set in, I heard the MC Coco Blossom from Sacramento Youth Speaks announce that Beyoncé was hitting the stage. Did I question why Queen Bey would grace Sactown with her presence and not her hometown of Houston, Texas? Yes. Did I make my way back to the stage to see what all the hoopla was about? Of course. Sure enough there was an amazing performance happening on stage, with lots of hair flipping, thigh high boots and sensational choreography. Turns out after the 30 minute set, the headliner Miss Shalae who entertained us with her high energy performance skills announced proudly that she was the First Black Trans Woman to headline a Women’s March and she was praised for it by all in attendance.

And that, my friends, is what womanhood is all about.

-Isabel