Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Write Intentions: Understanding Mindfulness and Stress Management

 Happy July #JustWrite!! We've made it to the second half of 2021 and this month we are talking about that dreaded "s" word. No, I'm not referring to an explicit word or the word, "sin". The "s" word is "stress," something that we all can relate to. The current pandemic has brought on so much stress for many of us in addition to getting back to a so-called "normal" after being stressed out. The irony, right? Anyways, this topic is another on time subject as there have been many conversations relating to stress management, mindfulness, and establishing work/life balance. The topic of mental health cannot be stressed enough as it is on the same level of importance of physical health. A lot of dis-eases in our bodies stem from stress so this month's book club discussion pick, "Mindful Living Everyday" by Dr. Kathleen Hall is the perfect topic. Dr. Hall is the founder and CEO of the Mindful Living Network and the Stress Institute. As a world-renowned stress expert, she believes that the remedy for stress relief is mindful living as she focuses on 3 components: Mindful Living, Mindful Living Community, and Mindful Work. We all can agree that our mindset and the thoughts that we think affect the rest of our body and how we respond. We all can use effective stress management strategies to help us cope, be whole, and healthy.


Join Just Write on July 27 at 6pm as Minister Natolie Warren shares her thoughts and insight. Minister Warren is a licensed therapist who specializes in the healing of women, while helping them to grow confidently and thrive in all of their relationships. In addition, Minister Warren believes in the motto, "Each One, Reach One, Teach One" where she helps other therapists build and grow their respective businesses through "InPowerment", hence the name of her practice. Thank you Minister Warren for being the change agent for therapy and healing. Thank you Just Write for this topic and starting the conversation.



In His service,




Lequvia Ousley 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Write Health: Knowledge and Prevention in the African-American Community


Happy June!! We are 6 months into 2021 and the topic of health continues to resurface again. As COVID has ravished many communities in the last year, there has been uncertainty and many questions regarding if this virus is permanently here to stay and if it's safe to let our guards down with no longer masking up and not following other protocol. The truth is whether or not the virus is subsiding or not, we as a people, especially in the African-American community have to be knowledgeable and in tune with our health. We can't allow ourselves to get too relaxed. We as a people are afflicted with more cases of hypertension, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, renal failure, and cancer than any other group. Because of our views on health and relaxed stance, we run the risk of becoming a people once again known for bad health habits. This month's book club discussion will be focusing on this topic as we discuss the book, African-American Healthy: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Health. Written by an African-American doctor, Dr. Richard W. Walker, Jr., this guide will explore the lifestyles within the black community,  diseases that have plagued the black community, the symptoms, and treatments that can prevent the health decline. Understanding and then applying the knowledge is the key to longevity and progression within our communities. Join us on Tuesday, June 29 at 6pm as we learn from host Talema Cannon (faithful servant at the B.E.L.L. Family Center) more on how to improve our health, one tip at a time. In addition to our writing gifts, we are "Called to Conquer" our health and well-being too so let's do it!!



In His service,


Lequvia Ousley

Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Write Village: Parenting, God's Way

 


Hey #JustWrite!! We have MAYed it to another month and another blog!! In the month of May, we not only celebrate Mother's Day, but we also celebrate the end of year educational accomplishments of our children (biological and non-biological). Sometimes parents gauge their parenting skills from how many achievements their children have mastered. But what about what God's Word says about parenting?  By the title of this blog, you can probably guess what the topic will be. Yes, we are discussing parenting as it relates to God's principles. This month's book club read is "Raising Kingdom Kids" by acclaimed author and pastor, Dr. Tony Evans. Parenting looks different to different people but Dr. Evans discusses how parents can help shape their children into growing adults who will be well-equipped for their purpose and Kingdom work. At the time of our birth, the Lord knew that we would look and speak in the manner we speak. The Lord also knew what our purpose was and how we would embody His principles to fulfill Kingdom assignments. It is very important that parents understand that in order to teach their children Kingdom principles, they must first live by those principles. Children learn by what they see so it's imperative that parents are well-equipped mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually. Many of us can attest that we picked up habits and patterns because we unknowingly processed what we witnessed from our parents and other influences in our lives. It is very important that parents understand from the time of their child or children's birth the gifts and talents they will possess through spiritual lenses. We must guide the future generations through prayer, understanding, and God's will. Join us on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 6pm as Host and Elder, Dr. Lynette Dandridge leads the conversation and breaks down the concepts and principles of Dr. Evans teachings. Parents, educators, or anyone who is currently impacting the lives of children for the Kingdom, please bring your insights and questions.



 


In His service,


Lequvia Ousley



Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Write Success: Rework Your Business

Hey #Just Write!! Have you ever heard the saying "less is more?" Or what about the phrase, "work smarter, not harder?" I use to hear the latter mantra a lot at the restaurant job I had upon my move to Atlanta in 2008. I was already dealing with a rough season of getting adjusted to a new city, graduating during a recession, and just life happening. The last thing I needed at the time was my "bread and butter" as my father would say being affected. A dear friend in college once said that God made everything easy, it's us as people that make things difficult. I still believe that today. When it comes to business, the concept of less is more is intertwined throughout the book "ReWork" by authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

 

The book basically dives into concepts that many of us who never had examples of entrepreneurship before starting our own businesses. For example, the authors believe that what we were once taught is counterproductive to what is necessary for a successful business such as a need for a business plan, focus on competition, investors, increasing staff, and the need to be a workaholic. In all transparency, I followed no blueprint for my business. I spent years perfecting my craft and I saw a need which led to having clients. My previous clients, referrals, and partnerships were my marketing for me. No one really knew I was starting a business. I didn't even ask any close friends to invest in my business. The investors that I have encountered didn't put any money towards my business; they just deposited words of encouragement and knowledge for growth. I'm quite sure many of you who are reading this can also relate when it comes to business. Many of us were simply minding our busyness before God made a way for us to be about His business in the most unconventional way. I'm interested to know how this book "ReWork" speaks to this same unconventional definition of success. If you are interested as well, be sure to join us this month as we have Elder Craig Heath as our guest who will lead the conversation for our Book of the Month discussion. I pray that many of us have seen this pandemic as a blessing in disguise in terms of reworking our business plans and simply just thinking outside of the box. Don't forget to tune in to the discussion on April 27th at 6pm via Zoom (link will be posted in forthcoming Facebook event post within the Just Write group). 


In His service,



Lequvia Ousley

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Write SOULution: Cultivating a Healthy Soul

Hey #JustWrite!! We are in March and I remember this time last year the world was getting use to lockdowns and mask mandates. I was preparing for my last semester in graduate school and enjoying the freedom to really be still and focused. As I witnessed many lose love ones to COVID and other ailments (I lost a cousin during the summer from a long-term illness), I couldn't help but wonder about their life, physically and spiritually. Usually people tend to think about their spiritual health when they are getting closer to older age. During this pandemic, many of us have been hardworking at obtaining healthy eating, living, finances, businesses, families, but what about a healthy soul? What does it mean for us to have a healthy soul? This month's featured discussion will be centered on the book, "Soul Care: 7 Transformational Principles for a Healthy Soul" by Dr. Rob Reimer. 


These principles for a healthy soul include securing your identity, repentance, breaking family sin patterns, forgiving others, healing wounds, overcoming fears, and deliverance. As humans, we are composed of the body, soul, and spirit. In other words, "we are spiritual beings having a human experience." _Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. "God knew who we were before He formed us in our mother's womb." (Jeremiah 1:5) God created us and it is very important that we take the time to recharge our souls as much as we rest our bodies, minds, while incorporating other activities in our regime. Crosswalk.com provides the following 8 practical ways to care for one's soul: 

1. Schedule time for solitude 

2. Sit in silence. 

3. Abide in prayer 

4. Practice God's presence 

5. Institute 'Grace Breaks'

6. Express Gratitude 

7. Slow Down 

8. Journal

Feel free to read the article as these tips help to dive deeper into the principles Dr. Reimer discusses in his book. The last tip from the article, journaling, is a tip we as scribes know very well. It helps us to get before God and tap into what is being said while creating focus and building relationship. Join host Natolie Warren on March 30 as she leads the discussion on a journey of discovery within. The overall goal is a healthy soul, one principle at a time.


In His service,



Lequvia Ousley

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Write Enhancement: Repairing Love and Relationships

Hello #JustWrite and hello February!! I'm sure most of you reading this had an interesting January especially after reading the book Pivot that was featured in last month's blog and book club discussion. This month's topic is about love and relationships. As we know February is the month we celebrate Valentine's Day, a day set aside to celebrate and commemorate love in all forms from family, friends, and intimate relationships. This month's discussion will be centered around the book, "Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love" by author Dr. Sue Johnson. For over 30 years, Dr. Johnson has demonstrated success in her expertise of couples therapy and adult attachment. She has won numerous awards for her development of her acclaimed Emotionally Focused Couples and Family Therapy (EFT). Her best-selling book speaks to her therapy which has helped many to repair their love and relationships. It has also been utilized in a workshop format. The following is a quote from Dr. Johnson: 


This quote speaks to how many of us have experienced love in this lifetime. Love has been a picture of bliss for some while for others, love appeared to be a false reality of hurt and shame. No matter where we are in life, we all desire love and relationships. As a matter of fact, we were all created to love and relate. No matter what life has brought us through, we all deserve to love and to be loved. Of course that love should be from a healthy place though. In the Gospel of John, Jesus speaks a similar message about love to his disciples in two verses. "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you", John 15:12. "These things I command you, that ye may love one another," John 15:17. These two verses speak to the overarching message of love according to the Gospel. We as believers are not only commanded to disciple each other but we are also commanded to love. Discipleship happens in singleness and marriage. Dr. Johnson's book mainly speaks about love and how it is important to find what disconnects many from their spouse and the tools that can be used to mend those relationships. Those same principles can be applied for everyday relationships with others and ourselves. We all deserve healthy and whole relationships. Join Just Write's book club discussion on 2/23 at 6pm with host Lynette Dandridge as she dives into these principles and connects the dots to the picture of repairing and enhancing love in relationships. 


In His service,



Lequvia Ousley

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Write Shift: A Time to Pivot

 Happy 2021 #JustWrite!!


We all can admit that all of 2020 and the latter part of it set the tone for the shift that has taken place this year and it's only day 15. We've each experienced a shift, personally, professionally, spiritually, and most recently politically. I've witnessed with others and myself that the recent political shift has pushed a spiritual focus for many like no other. Many of us are on our face diligently praying and seeking God for revival and restoration. As always, the new year signifies new perspectives, new goals, and new projects. Also, most of us are seeking new business opportunities and new careers which leads to the following introduction for the January book of the month: Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One by author Jenny Blake. 


The word pivot means a turn, a rotation, or a shift. Jenny Blake is no stranger to a life's pivot as she "is a career and business strategist and international speaker who helps people move beyond burnout and create sustainable careers they love. She left her job in career development at Google in 2011 after five and a half years at the company to launch her first book, Life After College, and has since run her own consulting business in New York City" (Google Books, 2017). Her story resonates with many Generation Y individuals such as myself who have experienced constant changes within our careers and in some cases are left wondering what is next. Without giving much away, the book discusses four components when faced with a career change: Planting, Scanning, Piloting, and Launching. First, one plants by deciding that he or she needs to make a change by assessing their value and what they can bring to the table. Next, the scanning process includes the pursuit of new opportunities. A great network of mentors and advisors can assist with this process. Third, before any great launch there comes a moment of piloting one's opportunities. This means testing the waters and taking baby steps to reach the final goal. For example, before becoming the blogmaster for Just Write, I began blogging for myself and later as a freelancer. Once that previous season ended, I was confident to showcase my skills even further. The great thing about the pilot stage is that if something doesn't work, there is always the opportunity to receive feedback, adjust, and revisit the plan and scan stages.  Finally, there is the launching stage which is the moment one is enthused about new opportunities and ready to take the leap. It's like the saying goes, "don't reinvent the wheel." Find what works and continue on a journey of being fulfilled. Be sure to grab your copy of Pivot and look out for a discussion on January 26th. Remember future discussions for the books of the month are on the last Tuesday of each month. Whether you are a veteran writer or aspiring writer, continue to perfect your craft and work on those things that need improvement.


I leave you with the following quote from Dr. Martin Luther King: 


“Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.” Here's to an amazing #2020Won!



In His service,



Lequvia Ousley