Today we’d like to introduce you to Sakina Ibrahim.
Sakina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am from Springfield, MA where I grew up dancing at Shooting Star Dance Center and Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School, I think my mom sending me to dance class changed the trajectory of my life. Springfield has a lot of drugs, violence and high teen pregnancy rates. There were a lot of circumstances I could have been caught in as a curious black girl from the inner city. I’m a first-generation graduate, I went to college in Philadelphia where I did a lot of youth development work with programs like Jill Scott’s Blues Babe Foundation. I gained experience in the entertainment industry with the Grammy Foundation and working with Gamble and Huff at Philadelphia International Records. Being around so many legendary artists and entrepreneurs gave me a lot of insight into the business of entertainment and education. I loved entertainment, but working with young people made me feel like I was making a difference in the world. I wanted to make sure they had access to the things that saved my life which was the arts, yoga, books, and being able to travel and see outside of my community.
I moved to California to pursue my Master’s degree in dance and become an actor (like the rest of Los Angeles) in 2012. While I was doing my research in Inglewood, the students at Crozier Jackson Middle School inspired me to write a book focused on the things I wish I knew when I was a little girl. My first book Big Words to Little Me: Advice to the Younger Self landed an NAACP Image Award nomination and my vision for my career began to shift. I always wanted to dance and act professionally and opportunities have come, but when my book gained popularity, I found myself doing workshops and speaking engagements with girls and women all over the country.
Over the last several years, I have been building a vision and gaining the necessary experience for my company S.E.W Solutions LLC. I have been discovering how my professional work experience as a dance/yoga teacher, writer, and performer could make sense in the form of a business.
I have been following intuition, flow, and paying attention to the little signs that life has given me on which direction to take. None of this was planned at all! My life is becoming better than the plans I had for myself, just like the bible says, “exceedingly and abundantly above all that you can ask of think of.”
One of the most incredible parts of my journey is filling in the gaps of what isn’t discussed when we talk about goals, dreams, or success, which is how to balance REAL life and how to become truly happy. My ideas of success have shifted from being career and money centered to gaining spiritual wealth and having abundant meaningful relationships. I explore a lot of this on my podcast Quest for Truth.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
CHILLLLEEEEEEEE, NOOOO!!! The road to success has not been smooth at all. There have been so many ups and downs, life is just full of them and I don’t think you can avoid things like grief, losing loved ones, losing jobs, or maybe even losing yourself. I feel like my journey has been filled with highs and lows. I have launched ideas and events that FAILED, I have pitched content to networks that have FAILED, but I’ve also impacted many lives all over the country and been stopped in the strangest places with people asking if that was me on TV talking about the importance of self-care. The nature of being creative comes with rejection and disappointment but fear isn’t something that has ever stopped me. Some of my most rewarding moments have come when the road was the rockiest.
When I got my award nomination, I was living back at home and serving food at a homeless shelter to avoid getting depressed, when I did the most important show of my career so far with my favorite actor Phylicia Rashad, I only had a few dollars to my name for the train to get to the theatre. When I decided to start S.EW. Solutions LLC and take on private clients I had just lost my job. Rewards and losses come hand and hand. I haven’t always felt supported or that people even care about my services as a social entrepreneur. There have been many moments of doubt, but that hasn’t stopped me. I just wipe my little tears and keep plugging away at the vision. There is a saying “if you keep swinging the tree will fall.”
Most of us think success is overnight, but if you know the true stories of anyone successful, you realize a lot of hard lessons and hard work had to be paid. I spend a lot of time laughing at my failures and the moments of doubt. I have a lot of fun trying to figure out how to get myself out of tough situations or from point A to Point B. Life should be laughed at more often, cause the fact of the matter is that the s*** is hard, might as well GROW through it and have fun putting the pieces together. My faith practice and meditation help me through hard times.
Please tell us about S.E.W Solutions LLC.
My business is a self- development company that specialized in empowering through yoga, dance, education, and travel. I teach classes, workshops, one-one coaching, and mentor young women. I specialize in providing inspiration and motivation so that my clients feel supported and empowered as they navigate the peaks and valleys of life. What sets me apart from others is the unique personalized experience everyone I work with gets. When we are finished with a class or workshop, they know they are special and great. I make it my mission to help each person discover themselves, heal, and find their purpose in a meaningful way.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory is traveling with my family to the south. We still talk about some of the memories and can laugh for hours about them. I also enjoyed church, singing in the choir and playing dress-up. I would put on old holiday dresses and pretend I was on the red carpet or in a beauty pageant.
- Private Yoga/ Dance/Movement Therapy $75-$150/hour
- Personal Coaching $250
- Large Group Empowerment Workshops $2,500
- Website: sakinaibrahim.com
- Phone: 9499297966
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: sakina_world
- Twitter: sakina_world
Tavis Johnson – Stay in your frame