WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE AND JASMYN RUJA
Since reading In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, a curation of motivational and insightful content from over 100 women creative entrepreneurs (review coming soon) I've been particularly inspired to share the stories of young women who are using their gifts to cultivate brands that not only create great opportunities for them, but also uplift and inspire others in the process. So, expect to see more interviews and collaborations in future posts. My latest interview is with student, self care advocate and writer Jasmyn Ruja who believes that her words are her super power.
Jasmyn and I follow each other on both Twitter and Instagram, and I always found myself encouraged by her tweets and posts. Upon checking out her blog, JasmynRuja.com, I was even more inspired by the genuine words of wisdom that come from such a young soul, via Jasmyn's written pieces that she shares with the world. I had to know more about this positive spirit. Check out my interview with Jasmyn on the topics of her life's purpose, what it means to be successful in today's world, women collaborating in business, personal style, and more.
Tell me about yourself! Share whatever you feel is necessary.
Hello all! I'm Jasmyn Ruja. I'm currently a student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, studying Psychology. I love all things women's empowerment. I love all things mental health. Writing is my passion. It's like an escape for me, really. It's so fun for me because I learn so much about myself through my writing. Sometimes I don't even realize how amazing my mind is until I read things I've written. People that follow me on social media probably don't know that I'm really weird. Ask my friends.
I'm really artsy. I love museums, books, HGTV, and space. I follow all of NASA's IG and twitter pages.(My dad works there, so I get it from him.) The corniest things can make me laugh. I love nature. I love being outside. My friends call me a flower child, mother earth, things of that nature because I love the environment and the earth. I'm just really in tune with myself, the world, nature, God, everything..to sum my personality up. My brothers and some of my friends call me a "hipster", but I don't think I'm a hipster. I don't like putting my personality into like a label/category because then it's like I have to fit that label all the time. I'm just Jas, and I'm constantly growing and evolving, so whatever things come with that are apart of "me".
What do you believe is your life's purpose?
I believe my life's purpose is helping people. I believe you get your purpose from where your passions meet the world's needs. There's a lot of people in the world that struggle with how they view themselves and being ok with who they are. There are so many people that are scared to talk about things that they go through because they fear they'll be judged. There are so many people who feel like they're alone and that's not ok because that's so not true. Everyone is fighting their own battles in different ways, but we are essentially all trying to find ourselves daily. Whether or not people choose to show their struggles is a different story, but we're all trying to figure ourselves, and life, out. I feel like it's my job to let people know that. Like, we're all in this together. It's a journey that we can't do alone. So, I just like to make sure people understand that and help them get through it any way that I can.
What inspired you to be an advocate for self care?
I've always had a very compassionate and caring spirit. When I was younger, I was always caring about people I didn't even know. People that would be left out, the people that got made fun of, etc.I had moments in school when I was bullied, when people I thought were my friends betrayed me and excluded me, so I understood. I never wanted people to feel the way I felt. I'm always curious about people like that. (which is probably why I'm a psychology major) So, everything that I went through in life led me to want to start telling people about the importance of self care. It really is so important, because we can get so caught up in the world that we forget to deal with ourselves. My great-grandmother always told me to take care of myself, so that I could take care of others.
Tell me about JasmynRuja.com. It seems to be a bomb destination for uplifting, spiritual content and inspiration. What drove you to create it and how do you develop the content for it?
Well, jasmynruja.com started off as so many things. The name changed so many times. I started and stopped so many times. I used to watch youtube faithfully. So, I really started it wanting to make a youtube channel. I found that it was easier and more helpful for me to get all of my words out on paper. I love when I can see the things in my mind on paper because it makes it make sense to me. So, I figured why not start a blog. I doubted myself a lot, like a lot. But, one day I just kinda said to myself: "Girl, you have all of this stuff that you hold inside of your mind that could be helping someone" and I just went for it. It's like, why sit there and doubt myself over things, you know? Nobody can really say anything negative about it because it's my mind, and if they do it's none of my business. If it touches someone, I've done my job.
Another big part of it is my twitter rants. If something is on my mind, I might rant about it on twitter. They are always positive though. So, essentialy, jasmynruja.com is a website built on my own personal journaling and twitter rants.
All of my content comes from my notebooks. I write every day. It helps me to clear my mind. One of the things I do the most is write letters to myself. I started this a long time ago when I started the self love journey. I would have days where I was being really hard on myself, and I would just write myself a letter of what I needed to hear in that moment. I would tell myself I was beautiful, talented, smart, worthy of amazing things. I love that I experienced whatever it is that I felt that drove me to start writing letters to myself because now, when I write. I just write the things that I feel like I need to hear the most. Then, I just share it with you all.
What are some projects/goals that you are currently working on and how do they tie into your overall life purpose?
Well, my biggest project/goal right now is getting my undergrad degree and going to Grad school for Social Work. Then, to go get that PhD in Social Work, yes ma'am. I'm also working on some photoshoots and collabs with other bloggers. Fun stuff. I'm really focusing on my happiness at the moment, so anything that can add to that I'm open to trying out.
One other big thing I'm working on is something I really think the people that follow my blog and inspiration are going to like. I'm not going to spill that tea yet, but just know it's coming.
What is your definition of success and happiness and how do you work to create that success in your everyday life?
When you find what you're passionate about, it makes it easier to figure out what you want to do in life. The ultimate success is waking up everyday and not having to work. The way you do that is by finding something that makes you happy and turning it into your career. When you're doing what you love, you never have to work a day in your life. So happiness and success go hand in hand in my eyes.
You're more successful when you're truly happy with what you're working towards or producing. So, I found a lot of things that make me happy. I love love love kids. I love their spirits. I love helping people. I'm truly passionate about the way children are raised, how they view themselves because I believe it has a big effect on their adult lives. So, that led me to want to be a Community Social Worker focusing on children and families, which is what I'm going to school for.
The Walking Art Blog concept is all about artistic self expression through style. Besides a lot of uplifting, positive, insightful content on your website and social media, you can also catch a slay on your feed! What does expressing yourself through personal style mean to you?
Thank you!! Girl, I be trying. Expressing myself through my personal style is so fun for me. I love to do my makeup. I love getting all cute and taking pictures. I think I express myself the most through my hair. I can never keep a single hairstyle for too long. I love different looks. It's so fun. It's like "Who do I want to be this time?" I actually do my own hair most of the time because I really enjoy it. It's therapeutic, and I know exactly how I want it to look so it's just easier.
I love urban looks. Chunky twists, braids, faux locs. I love colors too. I'm always trying new things with my hair. I love doing my natural hair, also. Personal style is literally whatever makes you feel the most beautiful and the most like yourself. I don't think I have one exact style. If I like the way something looks, I'll wear it and I'll slay. I have a lot of fun getting dressed and made up though. I have my own mini fashion show most of the times.
With the whole era of the "girlboss" going on, what is your perspective on women coming together on professional/ business ventures?
Honestly, if women worked together more instead of competing and hating on eachother, we'd be so unstoppable. I don't even think we understand how powerful we are individually. We LITERALLY give life. We are such incredible creatures, so imagine us actually coming together to work on projects, and events, and things like that. I mean, I think it would be so bomb. Unfortunately, we're taught by society that we have to compete with eachother or be better than the next woman to get ahead. But, girl if we worked together and built each other up? It would really be magical.