Rawness Is My Jam.

rawness

I can’t resist a person who exposes the jagged edges, broken fragments, delicate trimmings and fiery sparks of their own chaotic soul.

Rawness is my jam.

I’m drawn to the eight-year-old who’s emotive eyes aren’t afraid to shed tears, who’s expressive smile is on the constant verge of laughter.

Rawness is my jam.

I’m enchanted by the teenager in monochromatic clothing and a mane of wild dreadlocks who’s razor blade scars are inked over in art.

Rawness is my jam.

I’m enamored with the girl persisting under the weight of social stigmas, feminine ideals and media labels, who’s inner voice refuses to accept that she’s other…unequal…subpar.

Rawness is my jam.

I’m wonderstruck from the coffee shop romantic who’s suffocated words become poetry, who’s suppressed pain is funneled into creativity.

Rawness is my jam.

I notice them. I stare. They are fearlessly authentic. I watch them reclaim the windswept debris of their spirits. Undaunted. Unshaken. Making sense of the rubble, affirming beauty in the fallout.

Rawness is my jam.

I hear them testing out their vocal chords, tuning up their heartstrings, rehearsing for the anthem to rouse our weary culture.

Rawness is my jam.

I feel them pressing into the secret, sacred fissures they’ve been warned to squelch inside, peeling off the artifice to reveal a human underneath.

Rawness is my jam.

I observe. I listen. I fall true…mad…deep in love with the quiet strength, fierce honesty, unabashed resolve and soft intensity mirrored on their faces, etched upon their hearts.

Rawness is my jam.

I learn from the example and derive meaning from the narrative. I muse over the artless candor, the radical abandon. And feel my own sidelined passion stir within.

Rawness is my jam.

I abruptly grasp the message now. In a sudden burst, I know. It’s more real than anything I’ve touched before. It’s bold and loud and new. I sense their heads all nodding. There is no place for shame. Together, we march forward into truth…and mess…and free.

Rawness is our jam.

I Want to Feel Effective

Throughout my entire life, one recurring theme has dominated the choices I’ve made, detours I’ve taken and convictions I’ve latched onto—the need for efficacy. I crave that sense of influence, achievement, validation, agency. To feel command over setbacks. Invincibility over hardships. An upper-hand over karma.

Even when the feeling is tenuous or contrived, I want to believe it’s there.

Why this desperation for control? I have a few guesses, but one sticks out—fear that my contributions don’t matter. That my existence lacks purpose. That I’m destined for mediocrity when this heart of mine clamors for passion and inspiration. That I’m just not effective.

Call it a “futility phobia,” but I often wonder if that desire for impact will ever come to fruition. After all, I can’t dictate the course of social justice. I can’t force another person to embrace the potential I know lives inside them. I can’t transform our culture.

True. But I can shift my own attitudes and perceptions.

Instead of being a defeatist who second guesses where my life is headed and what significance it could possibly have, I gotta do some major mental rewiring. Exchange the hesitance for confidence. The cynicism for enthusiasm. The anxiety for vitality.

Perhaps in the future, these words flowing from my spirit won’t get trapped in the obscurity of time and space. They won’t seem like a rambling stream-of-consciousness without focus, intent or direction. Maybe this urge to write—to express, to create meaning—will change the world someday.

Or not. I can’t predict an outcome. Nor can I control it. But to become more effective, I don’t need all the answers. I just need faith.

Faith that adversity forges empowerment.

Faith that mistakes build wisdom and character.

Faith that dedication reaps accomplishment.

Faith that each story—even mine, even yours—is worthwhile.

change-yourself-effectively

6 Uplifting Activities to Boost Your Mood Naturally {Guest Post}

Ever experienced one of those days where you just feel crappy for no apparent reason? Yep, we’ve all been there. And if this mood describes your current situation, then read on because the following activities are proven to turn that frown upside down!

6-uplifting-activities-to-boost-your-mood-naturally

1.   Dance To the Groove.

Crank some upbeat music, sing those lungs out and dance around your bedroom. Even if this seems ridiculous, loosening up that body and embracing the freedom of movement can dissipate physical, mental or emotional tension. So, express yourself without inhibitions and reduce underlying stress in the process.

2.   Enjoy a Massage.

This healing modality dates back to prehistoric times as a method for relaxation and rejuvenation. In fact, the earliest text on massage Cong-Fu of the Toa-Tse was written in China around 3000 BC. Since then, massage has been used to soothe muscle discomfort, combat mental strain, and even relieve symptoms of arthritis or Parkinson’s disease. Not to mention, the calming atmosphere and invigorating smells awaken your senses for whole-body rejuvenation.

3.   Read In the Sun.

The benefits of Vitamin D are manifold, but did you know that frequent exposure can actually increase your serotonin levels? This chemical is the body’s “feel good” hormone, and spending time in the sunshine can trigger a serotonin release to make you feel both happier and healthier—with no extra effort on your part. Combine that with an enticing book, and you’ve got a recipe for optimism.

4.   Take Yourself On a Date.

Quality time with just “number one” might sound awkward or foreign, but it can work wonders for your mood. So, treat yourself to a lavish meal at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to check out, and maybe even purchase an outfit for the occasion. If the prospect of  new clothes, a gourmet dinner and free-flowing wine doesn’t make you smile, then bigger issues might need some addressing!

5.   Learn to Meditate.

This mindfulness practice is ideal for refocusing on the present and calming your distracted thoughts. The purpose of meditation is to direct your attention on deep, conscious breathing which generates inner peace. Numerous studies show that meditating for at least 20 minutes each day can reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression. If you’ve never tried meditation, this guide covers all the basics.

6.   Get Your Body Moving.

Although exercise might be your least concern in stressful situations, physical activity is a surefire mood booster. Movement releases endorphins which most people credit for that post-workout energy and gratification. In fact, endorphins create the same “high” experienced by certain drugs—but in a more natural and healthier way, of course! Plus, consistent exercise helps that body function at peak level.

Hopefully, these suggestions are just what you need to shake off the funk and get back to your own life. Because a positive mindset can make ALL the difference!


Akshata Mehta has a passion for traveling and exploring the world. She loves to write, and is especially interested in sustainability for everyday life. Being a foodie, she also enjoys cooking up healthy concoctions in her kitchen, recording these recipes and more on her blog With Love From Akshata.