We had the good fortune of connecting with Sakina Ibrahim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sakina, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk has been a major factor in all aspects of my life. I’ve wanted to craft a unique lifestyle and experience for myself deeply rooted in personal freedom and wellbeing. I think risks should be embraced as part of life. This is where your faith is activated. Only through risk can we learn who we are and how we show up in this world. Every day for me feels like I am walking on a tightrope trying to keep my balance. I have tried to enjoy the risks that I have taken, while also knowing if I fall I will recover.
One of my biggest risks was moving to the other side of the country where I didn’t know a single person. Leaving the comfort of your home is a risk for anyone. That risk has changed my life. It was one of the scariest and best decisions I could have made.
Another risk I have taken was having a vision for my first book Big Words to Little Me: Advice to the Younger Self. I had the nerve to take a risk to pour my resources into self-publishing. I had no idea what I was doing! I was an average writing student and when it comes to marketing to an audience… forget about it. All I had working for me was faith and determination not to fail.
This resulted in my first NAACP Image Award and features on platforms I’ve always dreamed about like Black Enterprise. This risk was a game-changer in my career, it shifted me from only seeing myself as a Professor of Dance to an International Author and a businesswoman. Now, I have a book deal for my most recent title To Begin: A Journey in Self Love and Healing.
Taking a risk is the only way to grow. Growing is how we fulfill our purpose and learn life lessons. I’ve taken some risks and fallen completely on my face. Although it has hurt, I’ve learned how strong my support system is, I’ve learned how important perseverance is. I’ve also learned the difference between taking risks and being reckless.
If anyone tells me I’m thinking about taking this risk, my answer will be “Go for it!” I strongly believe in the statement “No Risk, No Reward.” Taking a risk is learning you have wings to fly and most people need a little push off of the ledge of life’s comforts in order to discover that.
I have many successful friends and no one got to where they are in media, tech, and entertainment field playing it safe. People have slept on sofas knowing there were 6 figures deals in progress. There is no blueprint to life, you have to create the life you want and be willing to risk some things, in order to have it. My business consultant founder of the Graysegments told me “do what you have to do now, so you can do what you WANT to do later.” That is what risk taking is all about.
I am a woman of faith and I follow this word “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” The keyword for me is “purpose”, as long as I have been pursuing and discovering my purpose things have worked out.
I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THE RISKS! WHAT’S NEXT?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My first art is dance, I have always been a lover of performing arts and studied at prestigious schools like the University of the Arts, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and Bates Dance Festival. I performed dance and Musical theatre and worked with amazing choreographers like Rennie Harris, Anthony Burrell, Donald Mckayle, and more. This love of dance has been a guiding light in my path towards education and success. After graduate school at UC Irvine, I started writing, forming my business and building a platform for personal growth, wellness, and professional development through the arts and literacy. If it wasn’t for dance I wouldn’t have discovered my gift of writing.
It has not been an easy journey, but each year I look back and I am grateful for the process and the progress. We don’t live in a society where balance and wellbeing are prioritized in households, companies, and institutions. I have to kick down doors and convince people and companies that integrating arts, wellness and diversity is for the greater good of us all. We are much more productive by allowing energy and joy to flow in our bodies and lives vs stress. Many companies have a bottom line and stopping the day to have a dance and mindfulness workshop requires a very open mind in leadership.
I have been doing this work for a long time, I have overcome the challenges by simply not giving up. I have had to learn to embrace the process of becoming an entrepreneur by being able to take criticism and rejection.
Some key lessons I have learned are:
“keep swinging and eventually, the tree will fall.”
Authentic relationships are a valuable currency.
There are people in this world that are “mean you no good.” Trust the energy and vibe you feel as a guide.
There is power in Prayer, Fasting, Tithing, when I started embracing those elements of success my life began to improve.
I want the world to be inspired by me, I want my life’s work of service, purpose, and passion to light a flame in others to make this world a better place, by healing ourselves first. I want others to know that every day you are creating your legacy, and that has nothing to do with fame. I want others to know my story which has experienced, pain and grief to know they too can choose to believe in something greater and choose LOVE. Love will change your life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My friends know that I am not a planner! I go with the flow every day, but a outline of the week/weekend would look something like this:
Morning Hike – Culver City Stairs or Top of the World
Breakfast and Fresh drinks – Gratitude cafe in beverly hills
Napping (I love beauty naps)
Pool or Beach time (Blast music and dance in the ocean)
Evening dinner at PLANT, FOOD,WINE or CrossRoads
Dancing or lounge vibes at hotel sofitel-los-angeles
Farmers Market/Wholefoods trip to make vegan charcuterie boards
Veg out and watch chic flicks then brag or complain about men we are dating
Church on Sunday
We would also visit:
The Huntington in Pasadena
Glynn Ivy Spa
My favorite masseuse Adil at Healing arts touch
Shopping in Cabazon
Attending some type of concert or live theatre performance
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to Jesus, my mom and family. Also some people who have had my back in the hardest times of creating this new version of myself. Tish Thomas- Graysegments/The Body Butters and New Yorks realest Real Estate Agent- Fatima Kargo. I am giving the biggest shoutout to AYEISHA K. FAINES who we lost this summer but guided myself and many others with her work and profound insights on the Grapevine. WE MISS YOU QUEEN. BIG Shoutout to creator of the Grapevine Ashley Akunna.
Lenny Underwood Gray Segments