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Spiritual Guidance On Life My Journey A Story By LaTara Venise Bussey

Mental Health and You By Tyler Miller, B.S. , MHP

1&1 Workouts The POWER Of Forgiveness I Had Lost IT

By Dr. Chiquita Miller, PhD, SWS

Love The Skin You Are In Told By Jayme Godoyo

Gabriel King

CEO of Next Level Focus, LLC

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Spiritual Guidance On How To Overcome The Struggle of Depression


n life there are moments when life throws a wrench causing you to see darkness even on a bright day. The battle with depression can be life changing causing you to become a prisoner in your on life with depression having all the control. No matter what type of depression you’re going through know that God will never leave you nor forsake you. God is love and you are loved and important! Down below is a list of bible verses to help you overcome any form of depression. It’s key that you develop a spiritual foundation to help you when nothing else will. During this time in your struggle understand that an opportunity of growth is hidden in the mix of your storm, increase your spiritual faith! Study and create a foundation strong enough to overcome and be a successor in defeating depression.

Psalm 8:1-6 “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your

heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord

himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for

the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a 2

rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”

2 Samuel 22:29 “You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.”

Psalm 32:10 “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves,

therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Ecclesiastes 9:4 “Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!” John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have

Focus M agazine trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 “Dear friends, do

not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”

Psalm 9:9 “The Lord is a refuge for

the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”

Psalm 34:18-19 “The Lord is close

to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;”

Psalm 143:7-8 “Answer me quickly,

Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Psalm 37:23-24 “The Lord makes

firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” Psalm 3:3 “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be

to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 3

Psalm 42:11 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” When the enemy starts to tell you lies of why you are worthless and a failure, don’t listen to him! Read Psalm 139 and focus particularly on these verses: 13-14: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

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Journey MY

“God Has A Plan�

A Story By L


aTara Venis eB

i my name is LaTara Venise Bussey. I am a 48 year old mother of two, daughter to a 77 year old mother that I take care of. I am a woman who has been there; done that, and now I write books and speak nationwide about a life not lived and the dangers it causes. After losing my business in 1997 and becoming homeless, I went on an 11-year journey of depression, anger, bitterness, and un-forgiveness that taught me the value of soul prosperous living. I understand that life is not to be taken for granted and have discovered that it is the core of the woman, where the success she desires, lies. There are a LOT of people teaching about the meat and bones of business but they miss the core‌the soul! It is now my mission to help others have necessary conversations around the stories of their lives for mental and emotional health. I create this type of healthy atmosphere because I was a victim of depression. I now thrive beyond depression because I did the work. I had a thriving day care in Los Angeles,

ussey California for 4 years and in 1997, it all changed. Overnight, I lost just about everything and found myself homeless. I had to send my child to live with my mother here in Oklahoma because I did not want him laying his head just anywhere, like his mother was going to have to do. It was one of the lowest points in my life. I think that was the day my depression started. I think it was the day my life began to shift in ways I never imagined. It was the day my soul met my mind but the two had a difficult moment of connecting and I started splitting them apart. I was unable to think clear enough to sort through the emotional mass of mess and I just melted into a depressed state of being. I had no idea what was coming next and I did not make any plans to try and figure it all out. I just tried to keep my head above water every day. Suicide was sometime a thought other times I wanted to disappear on the streets of LA somewhere where no one knew who I was. Yeah, that would have been perfect, but I never tried it. The thought 4

would end up scaring me and I would give up thinking about street life, until the next time it would hit me. There were men, about three, that became my source of comfort during my depression, each on a different night, because they made me feel wanted. I needed that or so I thought. They made me feel good as long as I was in their bed but the moment I left the bed, I was no longer a person of interest. But whenever they phone rang, I came, ready to be needed again. I came ready to try to release the emotions that that were stuck somewhere inside. One encounter led to a pregnancy that led to the abortion of my second child. That only caused the depression to worsen. I started smoking cigars and drinking more than normal as a result. I was not able to see that the depression was getting worse, but it was. I was still seeing men, until one day I just grew tired of

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I tried to get myself together but without recognizing I was in a deep depression, I was simply wearing a mask that made it seem like everything was ok. I found a place to stay and after my son completed his kindergarten year in Oklahoma, he came back home to a brand new me. Or so I thought. I was still in a bad place, making very awful choices, all while trying to be a good mother, show up I church, be a helpful friend, work every day to make ends meet, and just live above water every day.

Depression cost me a lot and it hurt not only me but my children and business as well. My youngest does not remember much about my early moments of depression but my oldest does and he himself feel into a depressed stated that made him sad and angry. Over time it drew a wedge between us and for a good five years, he did not really care for his mother. Even after seeing all the changes I had made, he was not feeling momma at all. I get it and I know why, but it did not hurt any less. It was not just the depression but what I made me do. I became a hermit, relied on him to help me far too much; after all I had a husband for that. Right?

In 2002 the depression was worse and I meet another man. He said he loved me and wanted the best for me. I believed him, gave up everything and relocated to Chicago. He was after all the man of my dreams. I lived with him for 10 years, under the guise of man and wife. I was pregnant within the first 60 days and that is when his ugly side came out. It was as if I had cursed him and I turn, I suffered. It only worsened the depression and after my youngest son was born, postpartum depression coupled with the depression that I had been suffering with and it wreaked havoc on my life. I would give my son to his brother, while I slept or just laid in my bed, crying or simply looking out the window. My oldest son loved his brother and knew something was not right with me, so he would often just come to the room and get his baby brother from me. I stopped bathing every day, combing my hair, and was a very unkept woman until it was time to dress up for church. Eventually I stopped going to church too. It was too hard to face people and smile. Plus, the relationship I was in was in was abusive in a mental and spiritual nature and that only added to elevation of the symp-

It took him moving away, my joining a year later, and my mother taking me a dollar jewelry store that changed everything. I have learned that we should always take a moment to notices details. It helps us to have mental marks of healing and we can go back to those details for encouragement, when depression tries to rear its ugly head again. When I moved to Chicago I had to find something to do. I was bored just being at home every day. So in 2004, I started writing and the writing brought me into the world of internet marketing. I became an pro-blogger and podcaster. My podcast, Vegan Family Living gained quite a bit of momentum; so much so that each episode was downloaded more than 2000 each week. This led to other ventures like ghostwriting, graphic design, and virtual assistant work. The kicker was that depression showed up there as well. I would miss deadlines, forget meetings, lose valuable information and more. Eventually my trust with

Psalm 139:13-14 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 5

others began to wane and they could not figure out what was wrong with me. I knew I was unhappy and even depressed but I had no idea it would affect my business as well. If I were perfectly honest, there was an up and down flow in my business until around 2015, Even after walking out depression, I had some residual effects of all the years of depression I had welcomed into my soul, and it brings a lot of luggage with it. In 2005, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder. I learned over time that conditions like anxiety disorder often happen when one is depressed, especially on my level, which was major depression. It was scary feeling like I would die or being overly concerned about situations. My heart would race, I would become super sensitive, and my mind would race a mile a minute with unhealthy thoughts. The night I found out I actually had this debilitating condition, I thought I was having a heart attack. They gave me a Xanax and that is when the diagnosis was handed down. I felt so looney on those meds and most days I could not function while on it. That is when I learned how to take care of the condition naturally. Natural remedies helped me a great deal throughout

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my journey with depression. Even after the diagnoses and the natural remedies, I still struggled. There was a great deal of pressure on my life every day and the depression seemed to begin to take its toll again. In February 2008, at my heaviest weight of 360 lbs, in the midst of an emotionally, mentally, and spiritually abusive marriage, with my kids in the next room, I tried to take my life. That was my rock bottom and the reason why today I believe in laughing, loving, and living each day to the fullest. Trying to take my life was an eye-opening moment for me. It showed me that something was not quite right. Something had to be fixed and that something was me. The first order of business was figuring out why God stopped me. Why was I allowed to live? Why did my oldest son hear my whisper, run into the room, and snatch the scissors out of my hand? Why?

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. — (Psalm 139:13-14) God gave me a scripture. One that I had heard time and time again. One that I often quoted when speaking or teaching. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Yeah. Yeah. I get that, but why am I still here? Why am I still here? This was the question I kept asking again and again, until I looked at the scripture one morning after waking up. I had missed such an important message from God. I am marvelous. That was the message God wanted me to get. I a marvelous. I rested on this scripture all through my recovery efforts. God loved me enough to show me that he was mindful of me. I had not noticed that for a while because I was at a place where I did not think God loved me very much. The spiritual abuse I had dealt with, had taken to a place of thinking that God hated me and longed to punish me. For him to 6

reach out and pull me out my out of my darkest place, rescue me from myself, and place on a rock where I was safe was something that took me a few years to truly understand. He was showing me that depression did not have to be my final destination and suicide was not the answer. The answer was to live, kick this mess in the face, find my healing space and be free in Christ. It was a hard road to start because the first thing he did was move us in with a man and his children who changed my life. It was uncomfortable having my husband, my child, and me under someone else’s roof but the house was big enough for everyone and my friend was grateful that we moved in. We were in transition from one state to another but this move not only helped us but him as well. I was not quite sure what to expect but this man turned out to be my saving grace in so many ways. He became a big brother and someone who protected my soul. He saw how I was treated and while he never said anything to me directly, he

Focus M agazine said plenty to my ex but it never worked. He was attentive and caring and so was his entire family. They helped me start to find myself again. So much so that on April 10, 2009 with my youngest son and our bags, I had concocted a plan to leave what was most toxic for me, my “husband”. At the time, I did not know that I was leaving him for good, I was told by God to go and so I did. When we tried 4 years later to make it work, it did not and I left him for good. The abuse was just too much and while he moved to Oklahoma under the guise of change, it did not take me long to figure out, not only had he not changed, but he wanted to try to control my mother, aunt, and sister too. I had been working through my depression by that time for a couple of years. As long as I was out of his view, I did not have to fear his words of doom and damnation to hell; which would often drive me back into my shell. No, in Oklahoma, under my momma’s roof, I was free enough to take small steps, every day, to make changes. At this point in my depression, I had never met with a counselor and I was not on any type of meds. You see after my suicide attempt, he claimed there was no money for a counselor and that God would heal me. I was too controlled to see that the help God would send would be a team of counselors and coaches. While in Oklahoma, I would begin connecting with some wonderful women who would become the wind the beneath my wings, offering free sessions to help me heal. I learned a great deal about depression, anxiety, and the causes. These women taught me how to breathe, how to journal more effectively, and even how to eat better so that the chemicals in my body began to balance out. The more I healed, the more I began to appreciate who I was. I struggled in the self-department but I still appreciated myself more than I had in a long time. My relationship with my oldest son began to mend as well. It took him a while to trust me as he once had. Leaving my ex was a freedom point for us both. Seeing me do the work to get to changed, was another freedom point because it helped him too. Both of my children needed to see

me do the work because they too had a lot of work that needed to be done. My growth and adjustments was not only beneficial to LaTara. The process was beneficial to my sons, and my mother too. It has been a rather long battle but today I am healed. Yes, I still suffer with bouts of depression, but that I have learned that depression is normal during moments of tragedy and grief. However, I know how to cope now. People wonder how I found my way to being healed. There were many steps I took, but only one was that I found myself again. I always give the ultimate credit to the Being that loves me more than anyone can. My Daddy, Yahweh, saw me through every moment. In my darkest period, he was there. In my highest moments, he was there too. It was my Kingdom-focused foundation that truly saved me. I believe that there is a presence, The Holy Spirit, that guides me and I know there are angels who walk all around me because I have experienced their active presence in my life. When my depression was at its worse, it was the Word I was guided to first to show me how valuable and necessary I am. This guidance has helped me to find a focus in business and ministry that helps others too. I run an organization, Color Your Soul, where the goal is to help people have necessary conversations around the stories of their lives for mental and emotional balance. It offers creative and reflective opportunities to do the work necessary for healing. There is not a day that goes by without a message of gratitude for the work I do to help others heal. It is a good space to be in. This is the life I never dreamed of, but today I envision the potential and opportunities of a life under God’s abundant grace. My life is so different than it was 20 years ago. I can see that I am worth the work to stay on the sane side of life and my value is far above rubies. I am the apple of God’s eye and his marvelous creation. I am his and he is mine. I delight in him and he gives me the desires of my heart. How awesome it is to be kept by Jesus. 7

Learning to take control over your mind: The mind, it is our greatest asset as a human being. The mind separates us from any other creature that is created. The power of the mind allows creativity to flow allowing you to create the world that your heart desire. How are you treating your mind and the mental health of it? Here are some important tips that will help retrain your mind and begin the process of developing a healthier mindset. 1. Win the first hour of the day: Think about the first thing you do once you wake up for the day. Are you already upset due to the alarm going off? Do you immediately dive right into a social media sight? What music do you chose to listen to and are the lyrics contributing to a positive mindset? Start your day off with something positive and healthy from the content you see or hear even to the food and drink you choose to part take in!!!! Win the first hour, it will set the tone for the rest of your day! 2. Make a “To-Do-List”: Adding some order into your early day can definitely help you focus in, allowing you to dominate in a positive and productive way. 3. Take on fear: Focus on your goals and the vision you have for your life. Begin to increase your believe, faith, focus, and your works. Be creative and dominate! Run towards reaching your goals and dreams! Live with purpose and fulfillment. 4. Mindfulness of what you listen to: It’s key to have awareness of the content that you choices to listen to. If the content is negative will affect your mood and mindset. If the content is positive or educational it will affect your mood and mindset in a positive way. You become your thoughts! 5. Win the last hour of the day: Focus on your nightly routine. Are you properly preparing your mind for rest? Getting good rest is a very important need to your mental health. Create a relaxing process that allows you to rest in a positive state of mind that slows down the thoughts that causes you to fight the rest you need.

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Now think about this what choices do you make when it comes to managing your mental health? Why it is most people try to deal with their mental health struggles on their own, or simply ignore it with the hope “everything will get better”. Do not face mental health issues alone. There are professionals out there that specialize in helping those that struggles with overcoming mental health issues. Let us come together in order to help one another become happier, enjoy life more, have the ability to focus more on what matters, and ultimately feel better, with a mind-set of becoming a healthier you! Take the time to FOCUS on your mental health, you deserve to live life more freely! Reach out to family, friends, and professionals to help.

Let us take a second or four to talk about Mental Health. Mental Health is something that everyone should be focusing on more sharing stories, struggles, asking questions about the unknown when it comes to your mental health, as well as helping others become overcomers. Taking care of your mental health can be one of the most important thinks you can do for you, and your loved ones. However, this is commonly overlooked. Taking care of your mental health can have a tremendous impact on your day to day life. In my thought, what do you do when you break your arm? How about when you have a toothache? The answers to these questions are quite simple right? You will seek professional help or a doctor.

Tyler M. Miller, B.S, MHP


Become Who You Are & Create Your Own Reality! The time is now, tomorrow may not be promised! Take control over your life and live life with joy, passion, freedom and fulfillment that your heart desires. Stop settling there greatness in you and you are an overcomer! Create a Next Level Focus and become who you were designed to be!

The Principles: 1. Believe - Having the mindset to know that you can do it, you will do it, and you deserve it.

3. Focus - Applying time, attention, discipline into your center of interest, vision, and dreams.

2. Faith - Anything is possible no matter what life has thrown at you and trust in God’s process.

4. Works - Applying positive energy and effort to your focus, creating your legacy.


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Owner: Darrian Williams


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he technological advancements made in the 21st century have undoubtedly made life easier in many ways, but this golden age of gadgets has not come without some negative side effects. Thanks to the nearconstant availability of the Internet and devices like smartphones and tablets, many men and women find it difficult to maintain their focus throughout the day. But while such distractions are never too far away, there are some ways to stay focused and productive.

· Get more exercise. Studies have shown that exercise and improved mental focus are linked. In a 2013 analysis of 19 studies involving more than 500 children, teenagers and young adults, researchers found that exercise sessions between 10 and 40 minutes immediately boosted concentration and mental focus. That improvement might be a result of exercise increasing blood flow to the brain. Men and women who find themselves struggling to focus at work after lunchtime may benefit from incorporating some exercise, whether it’s a brief walk or a more strenuous workout, into their midday routines.

· Perform breathing exercises.

Nervousness is an oft-overlooked cause of loss of focus. When nervous, breath can become shallow and restricted, which can have a negative impact on the flow of oxygen to your brain, making it more difficult to concentrate. Professional athletes have long espoused to the virtues of breathing exercises as a means to calming their nerves, and professionals can follow suit. Some simple breathing exercises can help busy professionals multitask more effectively by helping them concentrate on the tasks at hand and overcome the distraction of having so much to do at one time.

· Stay hydrated. A recent study

published in the Journal of Nutrition found that dehydration caused loss of focus and a sense of fatigue among women. While the loss of focus was considered insubstantial and the study only examined women, remaining hydrated throughout the day may make it easier to focus on work and other tasks throughout the day.

· Get adequate sleep. One of the best ways to improve focus during the day is to make sure you’re getting 10

enough sleep at night. Sleep deprivation produces a host of negative consequences, not the least of which is its impact on cognitive functioning. Research has shown that sleep deprivation compromises alertness and concentration, making it more difficult to focus at work and tackle tasks that require deep analysis and thought. In addition, a survey from the National Sleep Foundation found that sleep-deprived men and women are less likely to exercise and eat healthy diets, each of which can boost mental acuity. Focusing in today’s atmosphere of constant distractions can be difficult, but men and women can overcome diversions by employing a handful of successful strategies aimed at improving concentration.

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tatistics indicate more and more men, women and children are overweight or obese. The National Institutes of Health state that more than 35 percent of adults in the United States are obese and more than 34 percent are overweight, while 17 percent of children and adolescents in the United States are obese. Obesity rates are three times as high among today’s children as they were among youngsters just one generation ago. As individuals attempt to lose weight, they may wonder what the most effective way to accomplish that objective is. Some argue that the secret to weight loss is lots of exercise, while others insist that calorie control is the key. When it comes to slimming down, some may be surprised by what the experts have to say. The Mayo Clinic advises that cutting calories through dietary changes appears to promote weight loss more effectively

than physical exercise alone. According to Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist and former director of the University of Utah Nutrition Clinic, weight loss is about 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. People generally see the largest short-term results when they eat healthy foods and healthy portions. Poor diets can be difficult to overcome, as it takes a lot of exercise to spur dramatic weight loss, whereas a low-calorie, healthy diet can be a simple and effective means to losing weight. Nutritionists often point to a balanced diet that focuses on fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole-grain carbohydrates over fad diets or ones that require the adherence to strict guidelines that are difficult to follow for lengthy periods of time. But exercise should not be abandoned in favor of a low-calorie diet. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, who runs one of the largest obesity clinics in Canada, says that 12

weight loss occurs from what’s created in the kitchen, but health is gained in the gym. Dr. Freedhoff often advises his clients to make smart changes to the foods they eat to spur weight loss, and then incorporate exercise into their lifestyles as a way to keep the body in top form. Regular physical exercise is necessary to maintain strong bones, build muscle, improve flexibility, and keep the cardiovascular system working efficiently. Exercise also releases endorphins, which can improve mental alertness and feelings of well-being. The Mayo Clinic notes that studies have shown that people who lose weight and keep it off over the long haul are those who get regular physical activity. When it comes to losing weight, the foods a person eats play a bigger role than exercise. But it is the combination of both diet and exercise that can lead to greater overall health and sustained weight loss. Let’s just begin to eat better.

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The Power of Forgiveness


n life one of the hardest things to do is to forgive, no like to really forgive. Why is it we choose to live with that not so good feeling and thought? Is choosing to not forgive helping you or actually hurting you? Learning to forgive or choosing to not to forgive really speak more about you then that person. Yes, there are cases where people do negative and wrongful things to you and it makes it tough to forgive. There are also cases where people do wrong things to themselves caused by their weaknesses and your were a victim of it. Do you really want to live with that grudge and

feeling that comes along with it? There are many life lessons that comes from choosing to forgive. Forgiveness is a act of strength and allows you to heal from the hurt caused by others and the pain you caused yourself for not forgiving. Forgiveness is a character act and says a lot about the type of person who you aim to be and stand for. Forgiveness is a act of learning to let go in which a lot of people struggle with rather its in connection of their past, their relationships, and what’s deeper the cleansing of the heart.

In closing, become mindful of what your holding on to and chose to live with. Its interesting how we all want to be forgiven but struggle with forgiving others. Forgiveness is more powerful when understanding is involved. Lets begin to focus more on understanding, lets focus on mercy, and lets focus on the difference between acts of weakness and acts of wickedness. So before judging others and choosing to not forgive understand that you also have weaknesses and will need forgiveness as well.

Forgive anyone who caused you pain or harm. Keep in mind that forgiving is not for others. It is for you. Forgiving is not forgetting. It is remembering without anger. It frees up your power, heals your body, mind and spirit. Forgiveness opens up a pathway to a new place of peace where you can persist despite what has happened to you.

— Les Brown.


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Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp

Cherry Cheesecake Made Over


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Prep Time

Total Time




6 servings

Create an impression with Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp. Our Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp is very close in taste to a high-end entrĂŠe. 3 cups bow-tie pasta, uncooked 1/4 cup sun dried tomato vinaigrette dressing, divided 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined 1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and black pepper 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed 2 cups grape tomatoes 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese 8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until shrimp turn pink. Use slotted spoon to remove shrimp from skillet; cover to keep warm. Discard any drippings in skillet. Add remaining dressing, broth and seasonings to skillet; cook 2 min. or until heated through, stirring frequently. Add cream cheese; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until melted. Stir in tomatoes; cook 1 min. Drain pasta. Add to ingredients in skillet. Stir in Parmesan and half the basil; top with shrimp and remaining basil. 8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips Prep Time

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12 servings

Fit a creamy cherry cheesecake into a smart eating plan with a cherry-topped dessert with a chocolate crumb crust. Do it with Cherry Cheesecake Made Over. 2 chocolate graham crackers, crushed 2 cups 2% Low Fat Cottage Cheese 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cubed, softened 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided 2 Tbsp. flour

1 tsp. vanilla 1 whole egg 2 egg whites 1 cup drained canned pitted tart cherries in water with 1/3 cup liquid reserved, divided 2 tsp. Tapioca

Heat oven to 325ÂşF. Sprinkle graham crumbs onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Process cottage cheese in food processor until smooth. Add cream cheese, yogurt, 2 Tbsp. sugar, flour and vanilla; process until blended. Add whole egg and egg whites, 1 at a time, pulsing after each just until blended. Pour into springform pan. Bake 40 to 45 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours. Meanwhile, bring reserved cherry liquid, tapioca and remaining sugar to boil in large saucepan on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Simmer on medium-low heat 2 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Gently stir in cherries. Cool, then refrigerate until ready to use. Spoon cherry sauce over cheesecake just before serving. 15

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s we are at the tip of a New Year many have a fresh fervor however, there are still others who feel that they have lost momentum for life and don’t know how to get “it” back. Have you ever lost “it”? The “it” I’m referring to maybe be passion for one person and focus for another, it may be determination for someone else and it may be drive to another. Whatever “it” is for you, know that Life happens, and before you know it you’ve managed to survive through heartaches and heartbreaks, disappointments and let downs, pressures and challenges, yet something is missing. Your desire to be your best self has dwindled, your passion to pursue your purpose has faded and your focus to fulfill your destiny is disoriented. In Luke 2:41-46 Mary and Joseph actually LOST JESUS! Not only did they lose him but they also went a whole day without him before they knew it. It took them a total of three days to find him again and when they did, they found him right where they left him. No one is exempt from Life and all of the curve balls it throws you. However, in order to have a fulfilling journey it requires having Christ in your life. The moment

I Had it, I Lost it… Lord Help Me to Find IT Again. you add Him to the mix you will find your life has meaning and purpose. The key is making sure you stick with him even after life happens. If you find yourself just merely surviving and not thriving I challenge you to do like Mary and Joseph did the moment they recognized something was off and it was that Jesus was missing; they didn’t continue on their journey hoping he would return, they began to search to find him. As they traced their path they found him right where they left him! I want to leave you with three tips on what to do once you recognize you were on target at one point and later see yourself flailing in the wind. 1. Reflect

3. Repent Realign yourself with the one who knows the blueprint to not only get you through life but to help you be fulfilled as you make the journey. Always remember that no level of learning, counseling, or relationship can ever take the place of Jesus Christ in your life. He is the one who will lead you to the Father and connect you to the Spirit, thus empowering you with “it”, everything you need to succeed. Forever His, Dr. Chiquita Miller, PhD SWS

Stop and assess; where was the last place I was fulfilled, full of passion, on point? 2. Review Assess what happened that threw you off course and made you continue going through the motions without ALL of what you needed to thrive.


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HOW THERAPY CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE 1. Insight and self-awareness 2. Help make a connections to your emotions 3. Learn more about forgiveness 4. Learn more about trauma solution 5. Helps align emotions creating a healthier emotional balance 6. Increase effective communication skills 7. Improve greater connections to self and to others 8. Increase positive creativity on ways to self-regulate 9. Helps set boundaries 10. Begin to love again

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Focus M agazine

Share a brief intro about yourself and where you are from.


My name is Jayme and I’m 33 years old. I moved around a lot growing up but I graduated from Salem Community High School so I consider that “home.” My parents divorced when I was 1, so I grew up with two families – 2 half brothers and a half sister (all younger) on one side and a step-brother and step-sister (both older) on the other. I lived with my mom and step-dad until I was in 8th grade; I then moved in with my dad and step-mom when my stepdad took a job in Michigan. After high school, I went to the University of Illinois and majored in advertising with the intention of moving to a big city and working in a big ad agency. I settled for a marketing job at a textbook publishing company in Champaign because I loved it there so much. Unfortunately, my dad ended up having a pretty significant back injury that required a major surgery a year and a half after I graduated from U of I, so I left my full-time job and moved back to Salem to help out.

Love TheSkin You AreIn

Eventually, after working some odd jobs (bartender, cashier), I found my way to Centralia and back in the marketing field. I’ve now worked for a nonprofit child welfare agency as a Donor Relations

Officer for almost 7 years and last year, I earned my Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from Lindenwood University.

Jayme Godoyo


I met my husband through that move to Centralia and we’ve been together for 8 years now (married for 5). I never wanted children of my own and my husband has 4 kids, so it’s like the best of both worlds. We also have 2 Maltese dogs, Henry and Bella.

Focus M agazine

Name some of the mental health struggles you dealt with during low moments in life? I was a pretty happy kid, although I did go through some periods of what was likely depression in junior high and high school. I didn’t really know what was happening when I finally admitted to my dad on the phone my sophomore year of college that I was having a lot of emotional struggles. I was difficult to get along with and I was irritable all the time but I couldn’t verbalize that – I just cried. A lot. I also started having some significant eating issues at this point; I found that I was eating all the time and when I wasn’t eating, I was thinking about eating. It escalated from there, really. I went home to see a doctor in the spring of that year and for the next couple of years, I would be switched from one medication to another to battle what I was finally diagnosed with – depression.

chronic strep throat for about 6 months and rarely felt like doing much other than sleeping. For someone who was already depressed, this was significant. The bigger problem was that I started having anxiety issues, too, and experienced my first panic attack right before school got out for the summer. I had a tough couple of years after that and gained around 60 pounds on top of the nearly 40 I’d gained since starting college. I hated everything about myself and found solace in the things I could control – food and alcohol. I lived alone through the rest of college and for that year and a half after and could hide basically everything going on. I went from home to work and back home every day. On the weekends that I visited my parents, I spent the majority of time with my newborn niece and kept the focus off of myself. I eventually stopped taking my medications cold-turkey (which I would never,

This past summer, I felt myself going back to that dark place for the first time in nearly 8 years. I think the difference this time was that I was pretty self-aware that it was happening and could pinpoint the triggers. Working in the mental health field has a way of doing that. I also went back to church about a year ago and that helped a lot this summer because I knew that I needed to turn things over to God and relinquish that control that I have such a hard time with (I’m a little bit of a control freak, so it’s a struggle!). I still have those obsessive tendencies but now they typically manifest through excessive exercise and diving into personal development (books, podcasts) instead of the eating and alcohol abuse.

What did you learn about yourself? Oh wow, so much. It took a long time for me to learn how to focus on the positive things about myself and truly learn to


2008 My junior year, I had a horrible fight with my roommate and it continued to escalate over the course of a few weeks. I finally moved into an apartment by myself. A couple of months later, I got really sick, which ended up being mono, and nearly failed the semester. I had

and cry all the time but at least be able to have some hope.

ever recommend to anyone). But the reason I did it was because I never really felt better and on the last thing I tried before I quit all of it, I started feeling completely hopeless, which I had never felt before. I felt like the medication was making me worse and I decided I’d rather just be sad 19

love those things. It became less about hating the things I disliked and more about seeking out ways to develop those things to maybe not be the best, but to learn to appreciate them more. I used to think that if I wasn’t good at something that I shouldn’t even try and as I’ve got-

Focus M agazine ten older and learned more about self-love, I purposely seek out things that make me uncomfortable. We can’t grow unless we learn how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Share how life has been now that you have overcame your struggle and how you feel loving the skin you are in? Life is really beautiful and I’ve started making a conscious effort to be present in every moment, which has brought me a lot of joy and a lot of love. I care about other people a lot more than I ever have in my life, which is both amazing and hard because giving extra of yourself sometimes leads to getting hurt. But I also know that feeling alone for so long was hurting me in a different way so I never apologize for caring about someone too much. I believe that other people deserve to feel that self-love that I’ve found.

Share how your experiences with exercised has helped your mental health? Exercise has been such a huge part of my transformation, both inside and out. I had gone to the doctor during that phase with the depression medications and remember her telling me that if I didn’t lose weight, I was going to start having some serious health complications. My BMI at that point put me in the “Extremely Obese” category. Obesity, heart problems, asthma and other weight-related issues run in my family and I was already having some issues with my knee and had developed asthma. What I wish that someone could have told me at that time was that making some modifications to my life in terms of nutrition and exercise could help me battle those depressed and anxious feelings. In the last 5 years, I’ve lost that 100 pounds and kept it off. It started slow; I ran very little at first and eventually built up to running half marathons. Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve cut back on running because I enjoy other things but on days I feel anxious, I tend to take off and log a few miles. I look forward to my workouts because I know how much better it makes me feel. I’ve done some of those uncomfortable things – I’m certified to teach PiYo and Turbokick and hold classes 4-5 days per week at a local gym. I am also an online health and fitness coach and help women like me not only lose weight, but learn to love themselves and learn to eat and exercise in a healthy way.

Share some advice to someone that may be struggling with loving themselves and the skin that they are in? I believe that we are all here for a purpose – God doesn’t make mistakes. Loving yourself is not something that comes easy – like anything else, it takes practice. And start small, don’t expect that you will all of a sudden love everything about yourself when you wake up tomorrow. Work on battling those self-defeating thoughts first. And find something that you really enjoy, whether it’s exercise or some kind of hobby. When I have a client who says she doesn’t enjoy working out, I always tell her that she just hasn’t found her soulmate workout yet. Keep experimenting until you find something you truly enjoy and can look forward to. Here’s a story I thought of as I was writing this. I coached 4th-8th grade girls in volleyball this year and when one of them made a negative comment about herself, I stopped practice and made her come up with three positive things 20

Focus M agazine about herself. It was really uncomfortable at first but eventually they all started calling each other out and were very positive. That’s a small example, but just starting to think positive thoughts about yourself can be very powerful. I also always recommend personal development. I used to think it was unnecessary but when I started to read books about just being a better person, I could tell my thoughts started changing. I also suggest podcasts; Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations and Havilah Cunnington are two of my favorites and I always feel inspired after listening to those. We have to learn to be nicer to ourselves; we all make mistakes but those mistakes do not define us. And focus on the present – the past is behind you. If there’s something you’re holding on to that is making you feel bad about yourself, let yourself feel it completely and then schedule a time to let it go and move on.

Also share your info about your fan page and PiYo info I teach classes at The Body Shoppe in Centralia, IL on Mondays at 5, Tuesdays at 5:30, Wednesdays at 5:30 and some Saturdays. PiYo is a fusion of pilates and yoga but with some cardio – it’s a great full-body workout using nothing but your own body weight. Turbokick is like a party! It’s kickboxing inspired and set to music – it’s an amazing calorie burner! I also run online accountability groups and am an online health coach. For more information, recipes, workouts and tips, “like” my page at


Focus M agazine Time to recognize the top athletes that use a next level focus to maximize the mental preparation and mental discipline to become great in their respected sports.

1. Floyd Mayweather: some call “Money Mayweather” as he been able to master the world of boxing in the ring handling business and outside the ring handling business. Floyd Mayweather a prolific boxer with a perfect 50-0 record something no other boxer has done, retired in August of 2017. Floyd Mayweather displayed his ability to focus on the science of boxing, execution, and defense. 2. Michael Phelps: A professional swimmer who is now retired, and the “best swimmer” to grace the earth. Michael Phelps has displayed a next level of focus in his ability to attack the water breaking and setting records. Michael Phelps is the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Michael Phelps mental preparation and mental discipline has propelled him to greatness. 3. Serena Williams: The best single women’s tennis player in the world. Serena has been dominating the tennis world for years first being ranked number 1 in 2002. Serena vicious serve and ability to focus serving ace after ace the second-most Grand Slam tournament women’s singles titles (23) of all time. 4. Roger Federer: Known as one of the best tennis player to grace the courts. Roger Federer has been dominating the tennis world for years. Roger Federer has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for a male tennis player and has held the world No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a record total of 302 weeks showing his ability to focus and remain focus on a next level. 5. Usain Bolt: A Jamaican Olympic Sprinter in which some would say is the faster sprinter in the world. Usain is the first person to hold records to both the 100 meters and the 200 meter for the fastest times. Usain is ELITE and do to his ability to mentally focus and prepare for the race he been able to sprint to winning a total of 19 Olympic and World Championships, retiring in 2017. 6. Simone Biles: One of the best gymnast in the World Simone has proven what it takes to focus on a next level in her craft. Simone overall has a total of 19 Olympic and World Championship medals and now is the most decorated American gymnast. Simone is showing that when you apply the right mental focus anything is possible. 7. Maya Moore: One of the Captains of the WNBA Minnesota Lynx and named “The greatest winner in women’s basketball” by other sources. Maya Moore is the ULTIMENT CHAMP winning titles in every stage from high school, to college, overseas in China, and in the WNBA. Maya Moore ability to focus and prepare mentally is one reason why she is a prolific winner. 8. Tom Brady: Captain of the NFL New England Patriots and reigning champs continues to display a mental focus like no other. The 4x champion Tom Brady has lead his team yet again to having one of the best records in the NFL and is breaking records game by game. Tom Brady age 40, is one of the front runners for MVP of the 2017-18 NFL regular season. 9. LeBron James: Captain of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers and arguably the greatest basketball player the world has seen. LeBron embodies his ability to focus and stay ahead of the game. Now a 3x time champion 3x NBA Finals MVP, 4x NBA MVP, 13x NBA All-Star, LeBron continue to strive for greatness having one of his best seasons in 2017-2018 while it being his 15th year in the NBA. LeBron has proven that his I.Q. and mentally preparation has been one of the keys to his success. 10. Christiano Ronaldo: Captain of the Real Madrid becomes the first soccer player to score in all six Champions’ League group stage matches. Christiano Ronaldo continues to display greatness year in and year out with his ability to score goals.


Focus M agazine

15 tips to Living a Healthy Life 1. Spiritual Connection/Foundation. 2. Pray and Meditate. 3. Self Care, start the day off feeling and looking good. 4. Become organized have your day planned. 5. Serve others, always find ways to give. 6. Stay focus on task and away from distractions. 7. Feed your mind healthy content. 8. Embrace healthy or positive touch‌ (Hug more). 9. Be alive and active or join fitness. 10. Increase thoughts and feelings of gratitude. 11. Select healthier eating choices. 12. Take time out just for self, breaks are good. 13. Enjoy earth and the beauty of it, take in creation. 14. Incorporate fun, enjoy your life. 15. Always get proper amount of rest.

Focus Question of the Month: What is your focus? If what you are focusing on is not bringing you closer to who you desire to be; right now is the time to shift your focus. Yes challenges and distractions will come, be an overcomer. You do not need to change who you are, simply be you. You are a creator, and it is important that you connect with something that allows you to experience passion and shine light on another life. Become who you are and increase your faith. You deserve to create your own reality. You are worthy! So I will ask again. What is your focus? — Gabriel King

Gabriel King CEO of Next Level Focus, LLC 23

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Focus Magazine  

Focus Magazine Volume 1 Bringing more awareness to mental health, spiritual guidance, and becoming a healthier you.

Focus Magazine  

Focus Magazine Volume 1 Bringing more awareness to mental health, spiritual guidance, and becoming a healthier you.