Join me on Sunday, August 5th at 1:00 p.m. for a summer reading book discussion of the powerful read, "Do the Work" by Steven Pressfield. Pressfield provides a direct approach on how to engage, get motivated and get out of your own way to accomplish goals, projects and dreams!
I found my copy of Do the Work at one of the newest and coziest book stores in Philadelphia's Germantown - Uncle Bobbies Coffee & Books owned by activist and scholar Marc Lamont Hill. The book was located in the self-help section. I was drawn to the cover more so than anything but once I flipped it open I was drawn to the directness of the words that screamed to me, "get yourself moving!" "run from the distraction!" and "fulfill those dreams!"
Meet me in Newark on Sunday, August 5th at 1:00 p.m for some light food, drink and good conversation. We will be at Launch Pad located at 625 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102.
RSVP using the link below!
STAY WELL !
HOW DOES KINDNESS LOOK?
Last month I completed a "Thank You" tour. My tour was to show appreciation to and connect with three people I call my three pillars - my support system or the founding members of my new tribe which has been divinely placed in my life - "Thank You for your unwavering SUPPORT and KINDNESS."
Within a period of two years I have traveled to three states. I enjoyed the company of each member of my small tribe. They were there when the rough got tough. They helped me through some real tough moments. I picked up the phone and let each one them know I was struggling. My marriage of 24 years (at that time) was on the skids, I had been hurt, I was confused and was going through trauma. These three people were willing and ready to provide whatever I needed - without question. They listened, provided advice if I asked for it, they screamed when I didn't scream, laughed when I needed to laugh and were present for me. Each one of them held me up when I thought I was going to topple. I wanted to thank them in person for their KINDNESS. So, I have made face to face contact with them to say THANK YOU and let them see that I am standing, succeeding, blessed and encouraged about the path ahead.
My tour could also be called the "Kindness Tour" because my support group provided and continue to demonstrate their thoughtfulness and generosity with love and affection. Each one of these people have exerted energy by giving of their time and attention.
I believe that kindness is within all of us but is often underrated because it is associated with meekness or weakness. Let me tell you that my three pillars are some tough folk! They are sound, tested, experienced and confident people. They are battled tested and know how to provide aid and assistance - they've been there.
What does it take to be KIND?
During the course of my journey there have been people who have embraced me when I thought I was alone. I realized that I had to be open to receive their embrace. My circumstance is nothing new or unusual but it was a deeply personal event that occurred to me just like death occurs daily. There is a process for grieving and during this process I could no longer hide behind the hush and crush of my transition of separation from my husband and the movement toward divorce.
I didn't want to walk around like nothing was happening to me - I felt no shame and didn't want to hide (51% of marriages end in divorce - no biggy, right?) Well, the hush comes from the fact that it's a death march, it's painful and can be demoralizing especially if you've been married for a long time and created a family. People don't want to acknowledge a transition that has so much perceived unhappiness, innuendo and derogatory (I'll write about this in a future post) Through all of this pain, there were people who opened their hearts to me when I felt I needed to open myself up and stopped hiding.
Angela was the first person outside of my original Three Pillars to just sit and listen intently to me. She absorbed every word I spoke. Unselfish with her time and concern, I felt that she would be a great sounding board to me because she has been someone I admire greatly. Angela has succeeded single-handedly raising a child, progressing in her professional and personal life while smiling through adversity. She's a Kind Warrior!
Some of my cheerleaders include: DeBora, Judie, Lori, Gail, Joy and Mychelle, Andrea - to name a few. They have smothered me with so much encouragement and compassion. They continue showing up kindly because they know who I am and where I come from. Their strength and non-assuming nature has provided a safe, soft space for me. With an open spirit, I have continued to receive kindness from some of the most wonderful and inspiring people!
Pass Kindness Around
The act of kindness is so special. It should be passed around daily as it is integral to our lives. It's my belief that we are in this world to assist, help, aid others for the benefit of all. If you can find some time to give to another, lend your ear to a troubled heart, make someone smile or laugh, provide energy and encouragement so that they may stand, get out of bed or feel that they are not alone - do it . Be Kind!
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.
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