I had the presence of mind in the third grade to know that I wanted to be a writer. I started writing poetry at that time. But I caught the writing bug at the age of 6 when my Great Cousin Lep told me to write him a story (so I wouldn't interrupt him from watching his t.v. show). I sat in that reclining leather chair and banged out the longest story on a pad of paper that any 6 year old could write. Cousin Lep was my first editor. He let me know I needed punctuation and to stop using "and" between what were supposed to be sentences. Since the earliest of days, I recall wanting to write lyrics and make music after looking at the lyrics from albums. (Sly and The Family Stone, Ojays, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5)
Playing "school" and being the teacher game me a reason to write lessons, test questions and short stories that none of my playmates would read. All this writing went in the trash. What was the use? Well, I can say that all that early writing made me feel important, like I had a voice, that all my thoughts found a way outside of my head and spirit. The occasional diary entry as a teenager about affairs of the heart put me on the right track when I was heartbroken over some boy who didn't like or love me. (Laughing Out Loud!!!)
Even the physical process of writing is what I now know to be therapeutic.
It has been calming to write.
It's yoga for my hands, arms, fingers and back.
It's down right empowering to write!
As I put words down for my first and forthcoming memoir I've had to exercise my brain and stretch myself to deal with the sensitive subject matters of family life and the connection of mental health issues. I've had to reach inside myself to be authentic, transparent and expose my vulnerability. All of this exercise has left me increasingly empowered, charged and open to receive more clarity and enlightenment.
The therapy received from my words and thoughts through journaling or what I, at times, call "My To Do List", have produced such positive results in my life because they come from a place of gratitude, clarity, determination, strength, inspiration and motivation!
I encourage you to take a stab at writing on a sheet of paper, back of an envelope or, better yet, a journal. What about a book! Get your thoughts out of your head, creative intentions and lists of "to do's" on paper or a device. It may provide energy or power to your day and throughout your life. It has definitely done that for me.
Awareness is opening a door that leads to light, love and freedom.
Open your mind, listen, look around and receive awareness!
Lately the themes in my writing have focused on awareness. The mind's ability to open up and receive knowledge. Knowledge can be good old horse sense. Of course, knowledge is imparted in a high level discussion from an expert in her field. Or better yet, knowledge can be (are you ready for this) a whisper from God! The ability to perceive and feel are forms of awareness that I'm tapped into most.
Awareness has been a life changer for me during this season of my life - an upcoming divorce after 28 years of marriage! Who knew that I'd be transitioning to a life without the man I met over 30 years ago! They call it a Golden Divorce at this stage of the game. (soothing sounds of Jill Scott come rolling in about now!) I'll say it - awareness has saved my life! When I became aware that my husband/life partner/father to our children and I weren't meeting at the table, acting like we were married and doing grown folks business it was time to listen to the Whispers.
I often talk about the morning I received the Whispers because the message was so clear and brought me to a higher level of awareness. It was a beautiful sunny day and the strong and definitive voice said, "Get up and don't turn back", "Keep moving and don't look back". I laughed but did just what the Whispers told me. I am chuckling to myself as I put these words down because I had received other forms of knowledge, perception and AWARENESS without budging but on that day, about a year and half ago, I promptly got myself out of my bed and gotta' steppin'! I decided I was no longer going to question or hesitate, I just knew that I needed to make a difference and follow the steps. I was curious about where I was being lead.
Be quiet so you can hear the Whispers!
I've always been a curious person. I believe curiosity is the seed that sprouts awareness. It's not being nosy or sneaky but the desire to know:
At this time in life, awareness has saved me from trouble or what could have been troublesome had I not had the intuition, the feelings, the notion that things were not what they appeared to be. I'm thankful for my questioning, lack of fear, probing for answers and seeking the truth. In fact, when going through the gut wrenching decision to end my tattered marriage, I gained strength, self-love, self-worth and a new world just waiting for me to explore.
I'm writing my first book and the genesis of the book comes from curiosity, knowledge and an awareness of my larger family regarding issues that were never discussed and for the most part aren't discussed currently. It took decades for me to acknowledge what I had felt and ultimately now know. Most families store all of their knowledge and awareness in closets, under rugs or in the depths of their minds - never to be seen or heard of. As a storyteller, I will focus on the yoke of mental illness and depression throughout my family.
Well, you might say, "So what, she knows stuff. People know a lot of things. Who cares?" "Ignorance is blissful".
It's not simply knowing stuff, it's knowing the answer. It's about being aware of the how, what, why and even who that makes it important. Young people call it being "woke". It's a deeper meaning of knowledge and awareness. When one is woke, the lights come on, there is a clarity and brightness that comes with the knowledge. The darkness is gone and you can see the path or person you have been struggling with seeing or getting to know.
I encourage you to be fearless. Don't fear what's on the other side of the divorce, the acknowledgement of physical or mental health issues, the light being shone on the depression or anxiety. Reach out for help. Listen to the Whispers, be quiet and still and allow knowledge, feelings, good ole' common sense awaken you to AWARENESS. It is a beautiful thing.
Welcome to One Day Written. . .
I’ve started up again and I can't quit, get distracted or delay. I've been writing but now I'm letting everyone see, judge, criticize and admire my words. I've got a lot to say and so many stories to tell. It is my intention to help, inspire and motivate readers. My story telling will focus on betterment and wellness of the mind, body and spirit.
Join me here in this space for my views, my friends perspectives and announcements of forthcoming published books and events!
My friends and family have been encouraging me and I have decided to go down this path, they have said, "Kathy, Write On!"
Kathy A Hampton is a writer, storyteller- focused on "wellness writing"; research analyst, creative thinker and advocate; she has a love for learning and is the author of the forth coming book On a Good Day My Sister Speaks Mandarin. Educated - Howard University, Army Brat, Hometown - San Francisco; currently residing -Newark, NJ