Writing Every Day, Bloom. was a journey. Let me tell you. I started writing it in April after deciding to take some time away from traditional diversity and inclusion work. What started out as a simple project of compiling the affirmations I had written to myself along the way of navigating white supremacy turned into an incredible personal project that I was unsure I’d actually finish. I learned so much about myself during this process that I simply couldn’t have learned any other way. I saw myself flex and grow. I developed a deeper level of grace for myself. And I learned to trust myself and my process in moments of intense doubt. The journey of writing Every Day, Bloom. was the perfect start to my thirties, because I got to start this decade of my life with the most beautiful gift - a tangible reflection of who I’m continuously becoming. And that’s lit.
So many hiccups were had in the writing of this book. Almost comically so, if they hadn’t stressed me to the max, haha. I lost the entire manuscript in early June due a computer crash and had to start the entire project over. My first pre-sale order was mailed to the wrong address (to where, I still don’t know). I had to wait nearly 30 days to recoup the refund for that order before I could place the new one. And then my grandmother passed away days before my last edits were due. It was a rough summer. But Every Day, Bloom. made it and I couldn’t be happier that this piece of my heart now exists in black and white print for anyone who needs it.
Since it’s been published, a lot of people have asked me about the thought process behind Every Day, Bloom. So I figured I’d create a small post sharing a little bit of that information with you. Hopefully it won’t be too boring for you. But if it is, don’t tell me, haha.
The Dedication: Every Day, Bloom is dedicated to both of my grandmothers - Georgia Lee Green and Bessie Lee Johnson. I adored them. I see so much of their strength in the woman I’m becoming. By the time EDB was published, they were both no longer earth side and I really wanted them to be a part of this journey with me. So I put their names on the first book I’d ever written, knowing that they’d be beaming with pride at their granddaughter for not giving up. After all, they were the most resilient women I’ve ever known. How could I with that legacy?
The Cover: I’d love to tell you that the cover was a long thought out process, but it wasn’t. The day before I was to submit my final cover edits for publication, my husband bought me a dozen roses in my Grandma Georgia’s memory. She absolutely LOVED red roses. Like LOVED LOVED them. I never asked her why, but I legit can’t look at a single one without thinking of her. She’d passed away a few days before and Levi knew she was on my heart a lot that day. My mind was running through the many memories I shared with her and just how damn strong she was. My goodness. SO strong.
She had a really bad stroke when I was 10 years old and became paralyzed on her entire left side. But that didn’t stop her from living her best life for another 20 years. She was a fighter and refused to let that slow her down. Before we knew it, she had taught herself how to drive again and was back to cooking full family meals over the holidays like nothing happened. She was amazing that way.
Roses always made me think of her and what it meant to bloom as your best self in the face of adversity every day you were given the chance. She took nothing for granted. Blamed no one for her limitations. And never waited on someone to make her feel whole. She did her own heavy lifting and I was in perpetual awe of her determination to live a full life, despite everything she’d been through. So when Levi brought those roses in to our cozy little Denver apartment, I just knew one of those were going to be on the cover of Every Day, Bloom. And now, even though those roses are long gone, I get to see her every day on the cover of my first book and it feels like that was always how it was supposed to be.
For me, when I see that rose, I can hear my Grandma Georgia telling me how proud she is of me. I can hear her telling me to forget all of the reasons I shouldn’t be filled with joy, and just bloom anyway. Because time waits for no one and neither does life.
The Title: The words “every day, bloom” serve as the book’s first affirmation and is an old favorite of mine. It’s not a expectation that I will actually be in bloom every day. I know that’s impossible. But they are a reminder to live as fully alive as I possible can, each and every day. They are a call for me to do what I need to do to change my environment so that I can bloom whenever I feel the movement to.
The Affirmations: The 90 affirmations that you’ll find in Every Day, Bloom. are separated into six different emotions that grow in my heart on any given day: FEAR, ANGER, PAIN, LOVE, JOY, AND CARE. All of the areas of my life I continue to heal or nurture. I wrote most of these at the end of some really heavy journal entries back during the 2016 Presidential election. America had worn me out and I needed an outlet for that fatigue and angst. I turned to journaling because, it made me feel heard. I felt empowered and emboldened to be the change I wanted to see. Even in the midst of all that ugly. They helped me stay optimistic.
They are written from my black woman lived experience, but I believe they can find a home in anyone. They’re for anyone who finds themselves in the heaviness of life on a regular basis, where their work and/or the expectations of others leave them prioritizing everyone but themselves. They aren’t a one-time read and don’t need to be processed on a 90-day timeline. They are just there. For you. Whenever you need them.
I hope you enjoy your copy of Every Day, Bloom. as much as I do. I thumb through my personal copy on a weekly basis. They help me stay in check with myself. And they remind me to pour into myself. May it do the same for you.
— L. Glenise Pike