After writing her first motivational book, “I Needed This," Weslyn Mahogany Bowers has now released a guidebook called “The Journey to Your Well-Being” centered around peace of mind. We spoke with Bowers about the inspiration for the book and the positive impact she hopes it will have.
In your own words, can you just tell me a little bit about what the book is about?
Mahogany Bowers:“The Journey to Your Well-Being” is a guide and when I was picking out the title, the first title that I thought of was “The Journey to Well-Being.” But then, I thought about it, and I said, ‘who am I to tell somebody what the journey is to well-being?’ Because I'm still figuring [out] my personal well-being, what that looks like and as people grow and as people adjust in certain life situations happen, that may change or that that may grow with us. So, with that being said, that's the reason why the title is “The Journey to Your Well-Being” because the book is a guide. And that guide is to help facilitate your journey where you are in life right now, and where you hope to go. So, the book essentially is just a guide so that people can have an opportunity to have a foundation to pull from because a lot of times in life people will give you advice, but they don't tell you how to get there. So, this book is just a small guide to assist people as they move through life.
How did you first get the idea and when did it really begin?
Mahogany Bowers: This book actually has been inside of me for the past four to five years. I started the thought process to write a book for a guide because my first book that I wrote was a motivational book. This book is actually an instructional guide. So, this was something that I felt was needed, especially during the time of the pandemic, you had people with a lot of downtime, and a lot of time to self-reflect because you couldn't go anywhere. So, during that time, I really stopped and looked at life and actions and interactions that we were having as people. And one of the things that I realized is during that time, people were very vulnerable. So social media gave us the opportunity to see people in those moments where they were asking for guidance. They were just like, ‘I don't know what to do.’ And that's something that people usually don't want to admit that they don't know. And so, with that being said, I started writing down little notes, just journaling, trying to figure out how I can bring this all together. And this year, thankfully, I had the opportunity to sit down and put everything together to really figure out what was the best way and the most precise and easiest way for readers to be able to get in, get the knowledge or the guidance that they needed, and be able to apply it to what it is that they have going on, on their journey to well-being.
In terms of the inspiration, why do you feel like people need this guide and need this sort of resource?
Mahogany Bowers:One of the things that I saw during the pandemic is people were very vulnerable, people were willing to help to donate to support because they had time and they just really had an opportunity to think about other people and not just themselves. We've seen a shift in the past two years. We have seen a shift. I think that I'm not the only person, but I think that the majority of people will say that they saw a shift as well from people's personalities and their structure or their support from COVID to now and there has been a shift because the world has opened up completely over the past two years. So fortunately, and unfortunately, we are back and off to the races and when you are moving fast, you go it alone. But when you move slow, you're able to support, build a team, help other people while you're helping yourself, and you're just able to do more, you're able to go further. And one of the things that this book—the reason why I felt it was so important to get it out—is because it's right before New Year’s. You have people's attention right before New Year's because people are making their New Year's resolutions. And they're taking that moment, no matter how big or small it is, to really think about the next year is here and where do I want to be? What do I want to do? What haven't I done? Am I applying myself? Am I pushing myself? And this book helps you to question and test yourself on your goals and your mission and where you want to be.
In terms of an overall takeaway, what do you hope that people can change in their own lives or apply or do because of the book?
Mahogany Bowers:I pray that this book helps others to really find that balance for themselves, whatever that looks like. Because no one person can tell someone what it should look like. I'm not an off the shelf person, and what that means is, I don't think that there's one right way for anything. We have also been a part of people's lives and stories where we've seen someone beat the odds, where we’ve seen someone rewrite the story. We have seen someone take initiative and start from the ground from the ground and now have this thing that is amazing. And that comes from people's determination, and it also comes from people's willingness to push past their own personal things that they have. So, I pray that this book breaks generational curses, and I also pray that this book serves as a guide for those who may be lost. Coming out of the pandemic and coming back into the world and seeing themselves through new eyes which are their eyes but seeing themselves through new eyes and feeling like they have to keep up. And hopefully this book serves as a guide for them to find out what that balance in life is for them. I can say that I know for a fact for me, this book is breaking generational curses. I said this morning about the fact that my grandfather could not read or write. But he was one of the first African Americans to have his own sanitation route here in the city of Savannah, because he did not make excuses, he just demanded results and not just from others, but from himself first. My mother never graduated middle school, but I am a child who was on the accelerated reader list in Georgia, Chatham County Public School System. I am the child who graduated from Savannah Arts Academy’s first class when everyone thought it was unpopular to go to that school. Now, that school is the Ivy League high school. I'm also the person who has written this second book so each generation gets better. And I'm thankful to be able to personally break my own generational curses and be an example to my 12-year-old daughter that in life, no excuses, just results.
What has been your favorite part of this whole process?
Mahogany Bowers:Finishing it! And the reason why is because as a writer, a lot of people have different styles. And I want to make sure that I say I am so thankful for my professor at Savannah State University Mass Communications Department. My professor’s name was Sylvester Sloan. Sylvester Sloan no longer teaches at Savannah State, but he had met Dr. Seuss, he had been blessed by the pope three times, he just was an amazing professor. And one of the things that he taught me, working in journalism, he said, ‘You will cultivate your style and whatever your style is, stick with it, because it's going to make you unique and it's going to make you great.’ And as we go through life, sometimes we see people’s styles and we try to mimic those things. But one of the things that I've learned for myself in writing this book is that you have some people who can sit down for a few hours or lock themselves in a room for a day and they get a book done and you have other people like myself, who journal, just write notes, paragraphs. And then you sit down, and you bring all of that together, and then you fill in and you tighten up and you complete it. There's no wrong way to get to your ending. So that's what I would say, finishing this book and just remembering all the people who have helped me along the way for me to get to where I am. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Kim Gusby. Kim Gusby just celebrated her 30th year with WSAV News. It is women like her who paved the way for me to have done radio for 11 years. It is women like her who have paved the way for me to be able to stand up in front of audiences and be a TEDx speaker, and to be able to speak to people and motivate people and be a constant in people's lives here in the city of Savannah. So, this morning, I'm just humbled and thankful. Not necessarily because I finished the book, but thankful for all the people who have helped me to be able to get to where I am in my life right now and this book is a part of that.