Tag Archives: motivation

Seven Ways to Kick this Week’s Ass with Atmosphere.


I believe one of the greatest living rap groups that exist is Atmosphere. I attended a concert with my brother last year, and it was one of the most incredible shows I’ve seen (so much energy). Slug’s humble words and Ant’s heart-string plucking beats will make you melt. And the boys aren’t messing around – They’ve been around for over a decade. If you are still sitting in your chair wondering who in the hell Atmosphere is, I highly urge you to pay your respects and head over to Rhymesayers or the iTunes store and support these artists.

This week’s Seven Ways was put together by hand picking some of my favorite lines from their songs (and it was quite a chore to just choose seven). These are just a few of the lyrics that resonated with me, and below is my personal interpretation. Feel free to create your own meaning and run with it. Enjoy.

  • Every day can’t be the best day / Do what you can right now, don’t hesitate / That’s why we try to make love and get paid / Take the bad with the good, now let’s play. Shit happens. Get over it. Shit is happening to him, them, her, us. Bills are knocking at everyone’s door and a lot of people are working jobs they hate to pay rent at a place they can’t stand. Every day may not be the best day, but you can sure as hell make the best of what you’ve got.  “The Best Day” from To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy.
  • I think it’s great how you used to great / I can’t hate on how you choose to relate / But I know that you had the potential / I understand why you wanted to let go / A lot of pressure / In the middle of those shoulders / And we ain’t gettin nothin but older / Ain’t nothin’ changed  / But the day we run from / But nobody knows that / Better than you huh? My favorite line from this bit is probably “I can’t hate on how you choose to relate.” With so many billion people in this world, it’s extremely unlikely that we’re all going to be able to relate to something in the same way or from the same source as our neighbor. Don’t hate on someone who chooses X to cope with Y. You’ve never been in anyone else’s shoes but your own, so sympathize all you want, but it takes a real series of events for you to empathize with any other human. “Puppets” from When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
  • “When the grand scheme plan keeps all these people wonderin / Why we still runnin in place frustrated? / Pride is mistaken for hate, it’s upgraded / I got a little breath left, let’s suffocate it.” When society tries to whip out their cookie cutter, knock it out of their hands and run like hell. The “plan” most people choose to follow doesn’t allow them to live up to their fullest potential and unlock true happiness. And, to quote Fight Club, “You’re not your fucking khakis.” A 9-5 job does not define happiness, nor does a Mercedes, designer shoes or a white collar. Follow your dreams and make a living doing what you love. Also, “I can’t fight your war until I’m finished with mine.” Fight your own battles. People may be there to help you, but they’ve got their own handful of issues to overcome before they offer their hands. Same goes for you. Take care of you. “Get Fly” from You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having.

August 16, 2011 show in Cincinnati

  •  “Spoke up, hold up, I’m on that grown-up stuff. / I’ll be the butt of your joke, ’cause I can hold my cup.” Don’t take life too seriously. Hold your own and don’t take things to heart. Shrug off smug comments because you’re better than that. “Ain’t Nobody” from The Family Sign.
  • “I wear my scars like the rings on a pimp / I live life like the captain of a sinking ship.” Simple enough. Live your life to the fullest. Head-on. Maxed out. When life give you scrapes and scars, when the world ruffles your feathers, flaunt it. Make the most out of life and embrace it. The entirety of the song focuses on staying true and dreaming big, as the chorus blasts “God loves ugly.” Regardless of your religion, it’s safe to say that we should embrace the “ugly” – our “flaws” – the characteristics that make us who we are – because that person is incredible and capable.  “Godlovesugly” from God Loves Ugly.
  • “Freefallin’ when you shook from the pack / Keep walkin’, let the foot leave a track / We often gotta look for the path / These problems, are the good ones to have.” We’re all thrown into this life and we all make choices to shape our current realities. A lot of this song revolves around the idea that things really aren’t as tough as we make them out to be. So, you’ve got a shitty job? At least you’ve got a paying gig. A thousand people would probably kill to be in your shoes, so bug off with you “FML, Woe is me” self-pitying mindset. “Freefallin’” from To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy.
  • “I’ma roll a couple of boulders off the cliff / On the road below (look out below) / ‘Cause I don’t know what I’ma hit (yo).” Sometimes you don’t know what’s going to result in your actions, but you’ve just got to go with your gut and roll with the punches. If you spend your life meticulously planning each and every detail, you’re going to be either exhausted or highly disappointed. Jump before you test the waters. “Tears For The Sheep” from Lucy Ford.

If you found this article helpful, please consider a small donation to The Radical Uprise. This site exists because because readers like you choose to support it. Please click here to submit a donation or drop by the shop. Thank you for supporting my creative endeavors. Stay radical. xx 

Seven ways to kick this week’s ass.

  • Number one: READ MY DISCLAIMER. I love my readers of TRU and want to make sure you have a good experience with my posts. However, I’m not licensed to render legal, medical or financial advice. Period. Let’s kick ass together, but please don’t use my blog as an alternative to professional advice.
  • Take stress and pressure with great stride. Pressure builds character and apparently can turn coal into diamonds. (;
  • “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” A popular saying my best friend tosses around is, “Why not?!” Why not ask someone out on a date? Why not try something new? What have you got to lose? This mentality can open you up to a new world of possibilities.

  • Become a dog foster. There are several great reasons to foster a dog and this blog names 11 of them.
  • Give yourself a neck rub. Don’t even finish this article. Roll your neck, breathe deep and treat your neck to a little TLC. Chances are, if you’re reading this at a computer, you’re most likely hunched over anyway. So, stand up, stretch and take five.
  • Don’t attend every argument you’re invited to. There’s most likely another guest you don’t care to see anyhow. (; Sometimes it’s just easier to shrug and walk away, or blatantly turn down an invite to debate. Take this week to practice avoid arguments with ease.
  • Tell one person a day how much you appreciate them. Say more than “Thank you” when someone covers a shift at work. Instead say, “I really appreciate you being flexible and swapping shifts with me. It really means a lot to me and I’m very grateful for your kind gesture.” The phrase “Thank you” can lose it’s meaning since it’s said so often without thinking (i.e. “Thank you, have a nice day!”). Try to make people feel genuinely appreciated for their efforts.

If you found this article helpful, please consider a small donation to The Radical Uprise. This site exists because because readers like you choose to support it. Please click here to submit a donation. Thank you for supporting my creative endeavors. Stay radical. xx 

Seven Ways to Kick This Week’s Ass.

  • Do a somersault. Because, let’s face it – When is the last time you did a somersault? Do three if you feel like it. If you’re feeling really adventurous, do one in public (at the library, on the bus, at the grocery, etc). I’ve never seen a sign posted that says, “No Somersaults.”  Yet.
  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel. Shamelessly self promoting myself, and it will kick my week’s ass if you do. (; PLUS, I generally post a new video every week, including a podcast of this “Seven Ways” article!
  • “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” / Helen Keller. The best part about this is that you can choose whether it’s a great big adventure or not.

| Source Unknown |

  • Read “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau. Mainly because I just did yesterday, it was lovely and everyone should indulge in Thoreau. “Walden” is next on my list, a piece I’ve been highly anticipating reading.
  • Zone out. You may want to do this on your own time instead of at the office, but in the end it doesn’t really matter (Damn you Linkin Park). Simply sit there in silence. Don’t move. Don’t do anything. Just stare out into the distance for a good ten minutes or so.
  • Walk a mile (or three) a day. You’d be surprised how much you walk anyway. This is an easy task for me because I generally walk or take a bus everything, and some days end up walking five to seven miles a day. Snag a cheap pedometer from a drug store and track your progress.
  • Learn to like something you don’t like. Take this week to flip your mindset on a person, place, food, or something of the like. If you don’t like something, learn to. If there’s a coworker at work who just plain annoys you, try to think about the positive aspects, smile at them and make a conscious effort to be accepting. If you don’t like avocados (shame on you), try preparing them a few different ways and perhaps you’ll find a way that strikes your fancy.
Have a stellar week. (:

If you found this article helpful, please consider a small donation to The Radical Uprise. This site exists because because readers like you choose to support it. Please click here to submit a donation. Thank you for supporting my creative endeavors. Stay radical. xx 

The Radical Uprise Zine 021 is here!


It’s here and it is magnificent. I’m not just saying that – it truly is one of the most inspirational zines The Radical Uprise has ever produced. So far. It’s thirty two page with a full color cover, and jam packed with reader feedback, quotes and many inspirational stories from photographers, artists, writers and free spirits. Glorious, truly. You can pick it up in the Storenvy shop, or continue reading to learn how to make a cash order!

The cover, designed by Olivia Kowalcyzyk, features a balloon in a field, grounded by roots. One snip and it could surely float away. That’s what this zine is all about. Floating away. I’ve never been one to capitulate to the norm and that’s what this issue explores. Anti-9-to-5-ers, free thinkers, dreamers and wanderlusters all throw in their two cents and share some extremely inspirational stories. Ben Malisow, author of 1,001 Things To Do If You Dare, has quite a humorous and entertaining take on life/living. Melissa Robin shares her joy regarding doing what she loves (which is producing absolutely stunning photographs). Alice, one of my all time favorite pen pals offers an extremely amusing and delightfully inspiring piece on taking the road less traveled. Alice has such a way with words, as I told her, I feel like I’m sitting on a rickety old porch sipping hot tea, listening to her tell stories.

Photographer, writer and reiki master, Alli Woods Frederick offers a dose of “Liberation from The Machine,” ACHoule woos you with her words of wisdom (she’s a walking sonnet, I swear), Magy Hoyer encourages you to do what you love with reckless abandon, Kriss Stress offers a bite of a reality sandwich (and I won’t even dog on him for “raining negatively”) and there are lots of inspiring quotes, a word search and some reader feedback. You definitely will love this issue. It’s true.

Yes, yes and yes, I DO accept cash orders. If you don’t have a credit card or PayPal account, no worries. The zine retails for $4.75 in the Storenvy shop with $1.00 for shipping. Since cash orders save me on fees, you’ll get to save a bit as well. Simply send $5.00 concealed cash to Jetta Vegas / PO Box 20233 / Seattle, WA 98102.

What are you waiting for? Get your copy today!

Seven ways to kick this week’s ass.

  • Make your number one intention this year to “Do Better.” Do better at your job. Be a better friend/partner/sibling/human being. Make it a point to educate yourself, appreciate more, laugh often, spread joy and just simply “Do Better” regarding every aspect of your life. Read more on the topic from yesterday’s post.
  • Read. Read some more, then a little bit more. You can check out what I’m reading at any moment by visiting my 2012 Reading List. Dedicate a couple of hours a day to adventures in fantasy lands or learning more about the history of your country. If you claim you “don’t have time” to read, I call shenanigans. I’ve been reading on my walk to the post office, as I’m waiting in line and on bus rides. There is time if you make it.
  • Host a pot luck. It’s a fun way to surround yourself with folks who share at least one vital interest – food. I recently attended a vegan pot luck at my friend Sam’s and it was a delight. Aside from the huge array of vegan dishes, it was a great way to meet new people and emerge from my cave I’ve been keeping myself barricaded in lately. Prepare for food coma. Wear loose fitting clothes. It’d even acceptable to break out the stretch pants.
  • Look for new worlds in puddles. Soon enough, I plan on going on a puddle capturing extravaganza (there’s enough of them among the streets of Seattle). Reflections in puddles are one of those small wonders that I find to be simply beautiful. Start a puddle reflection set on Flickr and share your new worlds with others.
  • Adopt a Body Posi mentality. This means disregarding any and everything Cosmopolitan, Glamour and other beauty magazines have to say. Scratch the idea of “beauty” that society has engrained in us and realize that every body is perfect and beautiful in it’s own way. And, if you don’t agree with that idea, realize that no one’s body is anyone’s business but their own. If someone doesn’t live up to your [most likely tainted] expectation of “in shape” or “hot,” that’s your own business. Never shame anyone for their body type because, short and simple, it is none of your concern. Let people know that you have zero tolerance for body shaming with my body policing is for losers button on Storenvy.
  • Expand your musical world. Take the week to explore new artists and genres that you typically wouldn’t indulge in. I recently got out of a Mary Bells, Brenton Wood, Al Green and The Flamingos kick. A few years prior, I would have completely dismissed such music, but it’s really quite charming.
  • Watch Adventure Time. Not quite the typical “Seven Ways” material, but, you will not be disappointed. Finn and Jake will take you on many adventures, and your cheeks will be hurting by the end of each episode. For those of you already hooked on the adorable duo, double your AT intake this week. (;

Stay radical,

Seven ways to kick this week’s ass.

  • Take a month hiatus from the Internet. Purchase a journal and every time you have the urge to surf the web, go indulge in something else. Track your time and see what you could be missing out on.
  • Take note of detail. Throughout your day, use your eyes to their very best ability. Acknowledge every crack in the side walk. Admire the ridges on the loose change in your pocket. Recognize the highlights in the person’s hair standing in front of you in line.
  • Create a good mood inducing mix tape / CD / playlist. Make a copy for a friend.

  • Dress weather appropriately. For the first time in about ten years, I have a weather appropriate coat. Through school, I never wore a winter coat. I just layered shirts and hoodies and maybe accessorized with some gloves or a scarf. I just bought a new weather resistant jacket from The North Face and I now know the warmth and comfort I’ve been missing out on all of these years.
  • When you are faced with a difficult problem or troubling emotion, smile. Lay back, close your eyes, breathe and smile. Hold it for a good minute or two.
  • “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Epictetus. Age old saying that still, and always will stand true. Not much of an explanation needed.
  • Flaunt your flaws. After all, they are a part of who you are.

BOOM. <3

Seven ways to kick this week’s ass.

  • Feed your brain!  Learn a new word every day.  There are plenty of apps out there for smart phones that encourage expanding your brain with new vocabulary words.  I use an app called Vocabology, which sends you a push notification every morning as a reminder!
  • Get more in tune with yourself through your senses.  Dedicate one day a week to really focus on one sense at a time.  In case you forgot, Karen, you’ve got five of them – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.  When focusing on taste, sit back and close your eyes as you’re eating and focus all of your attention to the taste of your food.  When you’re at the park, block out all of the background noise, and focus solely on the beautiful sights you see.  You get the point.  This will allow you to tune in with yourself, and be a reminder not to take a single one of them for granted.
  • “Let sleeping dogs lie.”  Meaning, don’t instigate trouble.  Don’t welcome negativity into your life by stirring up unnecessary circumstances.

  • Schedule a daily meditation time.  The roommates and I are all thinking about establishing a certain time set aside from each day to sit together and meditate.  Our apartment is positively charged, and it’s a great creative atmosphere.  Meditating together will allow us to bond and grow closer together, as well as make positive projections and tune in with ourselves.
  • Make dinner for your family.  Cook your favorite dish just because.  Surprise your spouse, roommate or family with a delicious home cooked meal as they come home from school or work.
  • Don’t answer the phone just because it is ringing.  In this world of gadgets and technology, somehow we feel as though we are bound to them.  As soon as our phone chimes to notify us of a new text message, we are quick to jump up and respond.  Slow down.  Miss calls.  Don’t return text messages right away, especially if you are in the company of loved ones, doing something that needn’t be interrupted.
  • Take time to appreciate each moment.  Stop several times throughout the day to smile and reflect on your current situation.  Express gratitude for even the simplest situations, like a soft breeze as you’re waiting at the bus stop, or a genuine smile from a passing stranger.
Wishing you the very best. <3

Seven Ways to Kick this Week’s Ass!


Good day!  The sun is shining (here in Cincinnati, at least) and it’s a brand new week!  Time to get that PMA going, gather that momentum and make this week the best one yet!

  • Keep in mind that there are several sides to every story.  Don’t be quick to jump to conclusions or take sides.  Keep an open mind, always.
  • Learn to ignore your negative thoughts.  It takes some practice, but you will eventually get the hang of it.  When you feel a negative thought coming up, acknowledge it, and move on with your day.  Sometimes it helps me to use a visual aid, such as someone coming into my head and sweeping bad thoughts away.
  • Learn the benefits of a vegan diet.  Many people don’t realize the process it takes turning a cow into a burger.  Learn how things are made, and the effect it has on the things around us.  I just posted an interesting article to Facebook yesterday about how factory farms produce 100 times more waste than all people in the US combined and it’s killing our drinking water.  Educate yourself.  If you’re interested in adopting a vegan lifestyle, this article may help you.  (:
| Source : We Heart It |
  • Get to know your family.  Learn your mom’s favorite movie as a child.  Learn what your grandpa did as his first job.  Just because they are your family doesn’t mean they can’t be your friends.
  • Be good to yourself.  Eat well.  Live well.  Practice self love.  When you are good to yourself, it shows, and it lets others know you won’t accept any less.
  • Compliment at least five people a day.  Whether it’s a complete stranger standing in front of you at the post office, or your best friend.  Put a smile on someone’s face.  If five seems too little, strive for ten.  Break out of your shy shell and tell the cute girl in front of you that she has a great smile.
  • Divide and conquer.  Divide your big problem or project into smaller parts.  Conquer each one individually.  Combine these results together.  Sometimes a few small projects can be less overwhelming than one very large problem.
Enjoy your week.  PMA.  Remember – it’s all in your head.  xx

A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee.


My mom was telling me this story last time I went to visit, and I loved it.  She sent it over as an e-mail yesterday, and I wanted to share it with my amazing readers.  Hopefully it puts some things into perspective for you.  Print it out.  Hang it on your fridge or at your desk at the office.  Read it every now and then to keep yourself in check.  (;

| Mama Vegas and I |

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.  When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  He then asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly.  The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full.  The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.  The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions – and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else – the small stuff.  “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Play with your children.  Take time to get medical checkups.  Take your  spouse out to dinner.  Play another 18.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter.  Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.  The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.   It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

| Source: Chih Chen |

Wishing you an absolutely lovely weekend.  Make it the best one yet!

Seven ways to kick this week’s ass!


First and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Call you mom today.  Tell her you love her.
  • Think twice before you hit send.  Don’t use words carelessly, especially on the Internet.  Once you hit publish, it’s like setting it in stone.  Think twice before you commit to publishing.
  • Get in the habit of putting your keys in a designated spot when you get home.  If anyone in the world needs to follow this advice, it’s me.  I generally spend anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes a day trying to track down my keys.
  • Do something today.  A friend of mine sent me this link – WTF Should I do today?  There are some pretty fun and interesting things on there if you’re bored and looking for something to spice up your week.
  • Clean out your car.  Just do it.  I know you may be attached to that pile of garbage building up on your back floorboards, but do the world a favor and just clean your car out.
  • When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  • Have a relative teach you something.  A while ago, I had my grandma teach me how to crochet.  It was fun to visit and learn something new, and I’m sure she appreciated the opportunity to spend time with me and teach me something.  (:

Make this week a good one.  xx