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

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.