Good morning, my readers. In this week’s author profile, we get the opportunity to learn about the work of La’Shay Crayton. La’Shay is the author of Living Well and Living Well Loved, a collection devotionals, and reflections from her life experiences. She is also a mental health professional, and facilitates workshops aimed at communities of faith. We spoke with La’Shay about her writing motivations, as well as how her faith, that guides her work.
Polite On Society: As a mental health professional, what do you think is one of the biggest stigmas in our community on the treatment of these issues?
La’Shay Crayton: As a mental health professional, one of the biggest barriers of mental health treatment and access to care is stigma. Stigma keeps individuals and especially men of color from seeking treatment, it is the idea that they will be judged. Or that seeking mental health care means that you are “crazy”. Or that you have a problem that you cannot handle which translate to men as meaning you are less than a man. I see many clients at the Hope center where I am a practicing therapist and the barrier for many of the men is what will people think about me if they know I go to therapy. Instead I hope that people feel empowered because to seek out the help you need is actually very very very powerful and it says a lot about how much you value yourself.
POS: What motivated you to write “Living Well and Living Loved?”
LC: The book Living Well and Living Well Loved was birthed from the struggles that I faced and continue to face as a woman. I have grown so much and have been nurtured by powerful women and men. But it took people to teach and train me and prepare me/ for me to be where I am today. We are taught as women that we have to somehow be everything and have it all together in order to be valuable and productive to our families, life and society. But It is Jesus that perfects us, redeems us and it is He who has already given us initial value and worth because of what he did on the cross in dying for our sins. For example I talk about in the book anxiety. As a child I would come home and attempt my homework. I would not leave the table until I finished the homework. For many people they would say wow, La’Shay you are such a good student. But if we are honest..that’s anxiousness. That’s not to be commended. My parents did not know anything about the words anxiety or toxic stress.
The reality is that is not living well. I did both my masters at Columbia University and believe I received an excellent education but it came at a cost. That cost was stress and the pressure I put on myself to succeed. The attitude of Ivy Leagues are that that is normal. But in the end what good is a degree when you sold your sould and esteem to get it. So I talk about in the book the need to do well but not wear our stress and pressure as a badge of honor but rather we can live well and live well loved with out the pressures that society puts on us, or that we put on ourselves.
I want to encourage women but men as well to live a life that is steeped in being well and well loved.
POS: On your blog, you talk about Faith in Action. How does your faith guide your work?
LC: Faith is an interesting word for many people. When we say faith many people think of it as a way to approach issues or problems. Faith is that but its much bigger. Faith is a lifestyle. When I think of faith I think of it as a way of life. Its a formula to use at all times. Specifically faith impacts my work believing that I walk in the counsel of the Godly and seek the Lord for every aspect of my life and because I seek the will of the father and not my own that the Lord empowers me with the Holy Spirit to walk faith out. When you are aligned with God you can live life well and live well loved.
Faith in action means that I can receive grace and give it, it means that I can trust that my life is pre-orchestrated.
POS: What events and workshops do you have coming up that you would like our readers to know about?
I’d like to thank La’Shay for taking the time to talk with us about her book. Until next post.. Peace!