Surreal Self-Care, Cultivating spaces where we can breathe!
Who is Keonna? What do you want to be known for in this lifetime?
Keonna: Keonna is a loving individual who is dedicated to creating a life that is freeing and fulfilling. I want to be known as someone who was fully present and authentically myself.
Who/What inspired you to start your business, Surreal Self-Care? What is the goal of your business?
Keonna: Surreal Self-Care started in 2018 after having a break from teaching (winter break). I was reflecting on my experience and the experiences of other educators and activists who are trying to transform institutions and dismantle systems of oppression. Seeing how they were putting so much energy into their work...but there weren’t a lot of resources created for them for their own personal self-care. I did a creative visualization after just feeling tired and feeling like I wasn't completely fulfilled by just teaching. I realized I wanted to do something that was one on one where I was engaging with educators and supporting people in their self-care journey. This was something I was still navigating and learning about in my experience of teaching. I wanted to love on educators and love on activists so that they can be more present in their work.
Surreal Self-Care can be in person or virtually so I am able to connect with a lot of people on their journey of self-care! Surreal Self-Care is not just focused on individuals, but also communities. I’m working on finding different ways to support communities in building cultures of self-care within organizations, non-profits, classrooms, or schools. How do we create a space where self-care is normalized? Whether it’s creating a physical space or creating room for a meeting. How do we build within our structures room for self-care?
I’ve been using a process called appreciative inquiry which focuses on acknowledging the gifts and talents of everyone involved for the betterment of the whole. For me, I see the beauty of what is already here, you already had everything, my only job is to help you see what you already have, not to create it. How can i help you to see all the great things that are already here so you can use that to get closer to your vision?
Was there someone who inspired you to start your business or was it rooted more from your own self-care journey?
Keonna: More so rooted in my journey. I did do research on other people but this really came from my own need. It was me wanted to creating what I didn’t see for myself.
Who are some of the brands and/or creatives/entrepreneurs that you would love to collab with in the near future? *let’s speak it into existence*
Keonna: I’m not that into social media...for me I’m really open. As much as I would like to manifest a particular relationship, I’m open to whatever comes. Today, I connected with someone who is already doing yoga and creating events around self-care; she reached out via Instagram. For me every moment is an opportunity for me to collaborate with others. I feel like the people who I am supposed to collaborate with will come!
Favorite women of color to follow on Instagram?
Keonna: Alex Elle, Valencia Clay and @HelloLaurenAsh
Who are you listening to right now?
Keonna: For a really good chill vibe...Fink and Louis Baker. Hiatus Koyote is really soulful. To get me hype, little Dragon. Sometimes I look up different playlist like Rap Caviar and find some music I would never listen to but I know it’s going to get me hype.
You’re really big on self-care and self-love, what are your self-care rituals/tips? How do you stay looking so bomb!?
Keonna: Every morning I read. I specifically read a book on love or spirituality. I wake up like 2 hours before I need to leave so that i can have a slow morning. I take long showers, silent or with music in the background. I love to sing. Also, yoga has been calming and a great space for self-reflection. I enjoy journaling and doing the work that needs to get done for my full-time job because that creates the room to do more of what comes more naturally. Also, investing energy into Surreal Self -Care because it’s really aligned with my purpose; it’s natural and it fills me up.
What was your 1.11ven moment /a time you realized you could do anything you set out to do?
My 1.11ven moment came towards the end of my winter break before coming back into teaching. I decided that I was done being exhausted. I was done being afraid of putting too much on my plate in fear that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I wanted to make the most of my experience in California and shift my mindset from what wasn’t going my way to being focused on what could go my way. I felt a shift in my classroom space. I found the energy to start my journey as a yoga teacher. That winter break, I was able to acknowledge that the mind is so powerful. I wanted to focus my mental energy on things that are positive and things that are hopeful and based in gratitude and sufficiency. Anything is possible. When I’m not in alignment I am always able to ground myself again and recognize that I have done a lot of what I said I wanted to do. I’m doing the work!
If you could give one piece of advice to women out there, what would it be?
Keonna: Self-love is a journey, but it will happen. Not in a sense that’s it’s a destination, but every day there are moments where you can get closer to yourself. . Whatever you are experiencing now is ok. Pain, fear, sadness, anxiety, etc. You can accept that this is a part of your journey, but you don’t have to live there.
You can show compassion and show acceptance of where you are while also being excited and creating room for being in a different space.
What are some upcoming projects that we can expect to see you flourish in?
Keonna: Right now I’m in the process of an early soft launch where I am doing a four session video conferencing or two sessions nature walk sessions with individuals who are ready to do the work . I’m also building community care workshops. One of the events will be at the Teacher Self-care Conference in Atlanta. On both days I’ be presenting one of my workshops called “Save yourself, not your kids.” During the summer, I plan to be working with individuals and myself doing self care work!