Friday, March 27, 2009

Affirmation to Heal Judgment: “I Approve of You”

Affirmation to Heal Judgment: “I Approve of You” by Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah)

One of the powerful lessons in Louise L. Hay’s groundbreaking bestseller You Can Heal Your Life is to learn to approve of other people.
I started doing this a few weeks ago and found it to be very powerful.
What I do is notice as soon as I’ve made a harsh judgment or critique about someone, I immediately replace my thought with “I approve of you.” I feel a switch from the bad way I was feeling when I was making the judgment to a peaceful and healing feeling.
I get to see hundreds of people every day in my travels about town and in the hours I spend playing music in the subway. I see lots of different sizes, shapes, and behaviours in people. I learn from them all, identify with many, and judge way more than I’d like to admit.
Whenever we have a negative thought about someone, it shows us how we’re feeling about ourselves. Whatever we don’t like about them is something we either don’t like, haven’t accepted, or learned to love about ourselves.
What I’ve noticed is as soon as I say “I approve of you” (hopefully silently in my mind!), I immediately not only feel better, but as if I’ve come a long way in learning to heal and approve of that part of myself.
When I see a very overweight person and I judge them and feel bad about them and have negative, critical thoughts, I’m thinking and feeling just as badly towards myself and my own weight, my own difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight for myself – my own weaknesses, which I then notice I’ve been bashing myself over the head about. As soon as I think, “I approve of you”, I am also saying “I approve of myself. I approve of my fat. I am okay. I love myself. Hello, fat! Wanna hang out? “ I say. Okay, well, maybe not exactly, but pretty darned close!
Tonight I was on the bus, and sitting in front of me was a woman who could be younger than I am (I’m 40). With her was one of 3 teenage mothers and their children. The woman ahead of me took one of the babies from a girl who looked to be about 14 – then I heard the young girl call the woman, “Grandma.” Immediately, I flew into disgust and disapproval, that someone could be so young and have a grandchild. That a 14 year old could be a mother already. I thought of the Chris Rock joke about this kind of upbringing, and how it almost always leads to the children having disciplinary problems and going into a life of crime. I looked into the eyes of this adorable infant boy, thinking, “Is prison in your future?”, as Rock’s joke played in my mind,
If the kid call his grandmamma ‘Mommy’ and his mama ‘Pam’, he goin’ to jail!” Then I realized I was having negative thoughts about this beautiful child. I blessed him instead with thoughts of abundance and success, saying to him in my mind while I looked at him, “You’re going to be brilliant. You’re going to do the best, greatest things. You’re going to be a success story.” I started saying also, “I approve of you” to and about his mother and his grandmother – the young women sitting in front of me. As soon as I said I approved of them, I felt a healing inside of everything I’d ever done to garner disapproval from the outside world insofar as sexuality and so-called decorum was concerned. I’m sure these women are looked down upon anytime they’re far away from their neighborhood and people who are like them. It must be something like wearing a scarlet letter to be barely in high school and pushing a baby stroller.
I thought of the things I’ve done that my parents and society didn’t, wouldn’t approve of, and won’t approve of when The Book(s) come out, heh-heh! In approving those women, I was approving of, forgiving, and in some cases, defiantly celebrating those aspects of my past and present.
I’m really glad I learned to do this, and I hope it helps you, too. Next time you have a harsh thought about someone, think, “I approve of you” about that person. You may instantly feel relief, love for that person, and love and forgiveness, and total acceptance of yourself.

Related interest: Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love, Guided Meditations by Amethyste Rah with music of light composed by Thaddeus and performed by Sanaya Roman.

To read some touching responses to this post, visit

To view this at blogspot, visit

(c) Copyright 2009 by Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah). All rights reserved.

renaissance negresse museletter 2009/2

the renaissance negresse museletter
art inspiration community
brought to you by Cassendre Xavier aka Amethyste Rah

Sunday, March 22, 2009 - In This Issue:

1) The Renaissance Negresse Defined
2) What Ever Happened to "ME! ME! ME!"?
3) Article: The Importance of Self-Love by (with Self-Love Affirmations)
4) United States of Kudera Interviews Cassendre
5) Product Feature: "Capable of Love" CD & MP3
6) Featured Song (with Lyrics & Video): Hope (Find Me This Way)
7) House Concerts: Great Fun for Everyone!
8) Discovering Eva Cassidy
9) Household Hint – Satin Pillowcases & Razor Lint Shaves
10) Community Bulletin Board
11) The Renaissance Negresse Catalogue
12) More Blessings for You

1) The Renaissance Negresse Defined
Haitian-American multi-media artist Cassendre Xavier coined this term in 2002.
A musician, writer, actress, and visual artist, Xavier says the term describes a black woman who is skilled or gifted in 3 or more arts. "Negresse, Negre: In the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Islands, these words often have a connotation of affection, entirely non-racial in meaning. `Ma petite negresse, mon negre, are equivalent to `My dear, my darling, my sweet.'" – From Masters of the Dew, a contemporary classic novel by the Haitian author Jacques Roumain, translated by Langston Hughes and Mercer Cook.
Xavier is a recipient of a Leeway Transformation Award for her work as a community cultural arts advocate, having founded and directed several Philadelphia arts initiatives including the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (2002-2006) and the Black Women's Arts Festival (2003- Present). She is originally from Brooklyn, NY and has resided in Philadelphia since 1990.

2) What Ever Happened to "ME! ME! ME!"?
In the first week of February 2009, I turned 40, and thus put aside my "childish things" and kept the childlike ones. I began the multi-step process of going forward (not back) to school, school, school, am writing several manuscripts which will sometime soon be books, books, books, and am studying and networking as a lightworker to be of better service, (through my writing and guided meditations), to you, you, you! I hope that the new format of my newsletter is more effective for, and pleasing to you. I thank warmly those of you who responded to the debut issue with kind words of support, praise, and encouragement. It is my goal, hope, intention, dream, and vision, to bring you many more words of encouragement in the form of books in very little time. That will be a childhood dream come true. SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) says of writing and artmaking to "Delight yourself first!" Well, I find my new writing delightful to do and to read, so I know I'm on the right track, which is a wonderful way to feel. Thank you all!
(You can visit the ME! ME! ME! archives at

3) Article: The Importance of Self-Love by Cassendre Xavier (with Self-Love Affirmations by Amethyste Rah)
In celebrity acting coach Larry Moss's essential book The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor, he goes into the most universal, yet powerful longing for love as motivation behind most of the characters being played by his students.
The first of two striking examples is American former president Richard Nixon, whose dream of being, according to Moss, "the most revered president in the history of the world", stemmed from an extremely humiliating childhood.
The second example is American movie starlet and tragic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, who heard her mother say she never wanted her, and early in her life began seeking love from sex with boys who, of course, used her (not because they were boys, but because her intention was incorrect and rooted in low self-esteem). Her Moss-interpreted dream was to "have a feeling of being deeply cared about and loved", which she sought from Hollywood's illusion of fame, and again, the misdirected sexual adoration of men.
I highlighted several passages and wrote notes in the margins: "He [Nixon] was looking outside of himself for redemptive love. Self-love, spirituality, and service are always the answer," and about Monroe: "[She wanted to] be/feel loved, finally, for the 1st time."
Moss writes that, "She never truly attains `the feeling if being deeply cared about and loved'", and, my notes follow, "…because she never gave it to herself. She always sought love from the outside."
I believe that to transform our outside world, we must first transform our insides. The quickest and most effective way to transform our insides is by flooding our thoughts and actions with self-love. Once our actions become motivated by deep care, concern for, and value of our inner self, our belief systems change accordingly and we then begin to create an environment that supports our highest good.
We're always attracting people and circumstances that match our belief, so why not believe the best about ourselves?
If every time one of us was hurt or felt lacking we stopped and shifted the focus back to our Self, there would be so much less pain and suffering in the world. People would stop looking outside of themselves for peace, joy, love, romance, etc.
Self-love is the key to a happy life. Your life should feel satisfying, enriching, and full of love regardless of your marital/relationship status, or whether you feel your parents loved you enough or how you would have preferred.
You can love yourself enough to heal all of that. In fact, we each have enough love in our hearts to heal the planet (according to Louise L. Hay, and I believe her!). If you already have a healthy amount of self-love, make a commitment to add more, because things can always get better!

Here are some affirmations to help you on your path of radical self-contentment.

Affirmations for Self-Love, by Amethyste Rah

I love myself.
I am lovable.
I am wonderful just the way I am.
I love myself.
I have wonderful friends.
I am lovable just the way I am.
I love myself.
I accept myself.
I am acceptable just the way I am.
I love everything about me.
I accept and appreciate everything about me.
I enjoy the person I am.
I take wonderful care of myself.
I treat myself like the precious being of light and love that I am.
I recognize myself as a precious being of light and love.
I am a precious being of light and love.
I adore myself.
I see the light in my soul.
I honor myself and my spirit in all that I do.
I honor myself and my spirit in all that I do.
I am easy to love because I give love to myself easily.
I am easy to love because I love myself freely.
I have a healthy self-image.
Others see how well I treat myself.
I am a good example of healthy self-image.
I am a wonderful person.
I love myself and care deeply for my well-being.
I allow no one ever to harm me in any way.
I am very protective of my inner child.
I honor the existence of my inner child.
I honor myself in every way.
I am healthy in every way.
I take wonderful care of myself.
I am very generous with love for myself and others.
I am very happy to be me.
I love myself.
I enjoy my own company.
I sometimes choose or prefer solitude.
I am a well-liked person.
I am loved.
I am valued.
I am honored.
I like myself.
I love myself.
I value myself.
I honor myself.
I take the time to get to know myself.
I enjoy learning more about myself.
I like taking care of myself.
I take great care of myself.
I appreciate every opportunity to care for myself, for I am a valuable person.
I love myself deeply, and I know that I am enough.
I love myself deeply, and I know that I am enough.
I love myself deeply – I am enough.

These affirmations are transcribed from "Increasing Self-Love", track 4 of my Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love (by Amethyste Rah. With Thaddeus Music performed by Sanaya Roman) CD & MP3 download, which I've been listening to every night before going to sleep for the past week and found very comforting and helpful.

4) United States of Kudera Interviews Cassendre
Writer Alex Kudera, formerly from Philadelphia and now teaching college in South Carolina, recently interviewed me for his USK blog. It was great fun to discuss the craft of writing, and mention for the first time ever, how much of an influence Nancy Friday's "My Secret Garden", Maya Angelou, Anis Nin, and Cookie Mueller were to me.

USK Interview with Cassendre Xavier:

Cassendre Xavier does it all in locations ranging from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Philly to New York City. Her words are found in stories, poems, blogs, and songs; you can access Ms. Xavier online or look for her live at a performance near you.USK: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?CX: I've written since age 4. (In Haiti, school starts when you can talk, so at age 3 I was taught to read and write). At 4 I was writing love letters, at 8 I…

To read more, visit

5) Product Feature: "Capable of Love" CD & MP3
[8th Album/2009] Cassendre Xavier just can't make up her mind. If it isn't love songs, it's inspirational songs, or it's songs just to make us laugh. The one thing this acoustic pop artist described as "a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade, and Enya" (Steven M. Wilson, Borders Music Expert) does consistently is soothe, entertain, and inspire….

To read more, visit

…Recommended. Order at or

6) Featured Song (with Lyrics & Video): Hope (Find Me This Way)
Lyrics and music (c) Copyright 2004 by Cassendre Xavier
Should you find yourself wandering; Through the woods wild one dayIf you've lost your direction; You will find me this wayIf a lover should leave you; and your plans thrown astrayWith you, you're never lonely;turn and find me this way If somebody should hurt you; leave you far from okayAnd you need self-forgiveness; you will find me this wayIf your heart remains broken; when it heals who can sayIf you're seeking compassion; you will find me this way If you're ever abandoned; and there's no one at your sideWhen you're your own companion; you will find me this wayIf you're working towards healing; it's up and down every dayJust look over your shoulder; and you'll find me this way ---------------------Hope (Find Me This Way)---------------------Lyrics and music by Cassendre XavierCopyright 2004From the album Live at the Kraftbrau, Kalamazoo by Cassendre Xavier

7) House Concerts: Great Fun for Everyone!
Having a small gathering of 20 or so of your friends and family, and hearing one of your favorite singers up close, live, and personal is one of the nicest ways to spend an evening. Your guests are pleased, you're pleased, the artist appreciates the attentive audience of usually very nice people, and an opportunity to work in a smoke, alcohol, heckler-free environment.
I've enjoyed many a house concert in my day – mostly performing them, but also attending. If you'd like to design the perfect party with entertainment, don't hesitate to contact me or any of your favorite local indie artists like Lili Anel, Vanida Gail, Marc Silver, Monica McIntyre, Nedra Johnson, or Roia Rafieyan – all of whom I've shared a stage with and can highly recommend.
The following quote is from Laura Bligh, cousin of late "Songbird" Eva Cassidy:
"Support the hardworking musicians in your area by attending live performances. Go out to the little clubs and restaurants that offer live music, and if you like what you hear, tell the performers! Clap long and loud! And if they're selling CDs and tapes from their guitar cases, as Eva once did, support their talents and efforts that way too. As someone once wrote in the Guestbook, `There will never be another Eva Cassidy, but there will be someone else.'"

8) Discovering Eva Cassidy
In the late 90s, I made a friend who built my first website later was instrumental in the release of my first album. He also compared my singing to Eva Cassidy, thereby introducing me to this amazing singer for the first time. That was one of the few times I've been compared to her. Friday, it happened again, for the first time in years, and minutes later, someone else walked by and called out, "You're a songbird," which was not only the title of one of Cassidy's greatest albums, but the first time anyone had called me that, ever. So, that said, I think I'm supposed to tell you about Eva Cassidy.
A fellow Aquarian, Eva was from Washington DC, where she developed a loyal and ardent following. She sang a range of music, mostly folk and blues, and had an amazingly clear and soulful voice. It was angelic, really almost indescribable. She played guitar and had a wonderful ear for arrangements, making you hear so much more in a classic song.
(Her "Danny Boy" is the best I've ever heard, and brings tears to my eyes each time I have the pleasure of listening to it. Another favorite of mine is her Blues Alley live performance of "What a Wonderful World". And I defy you not to shed a tear while watching her performing "Autumn Leaves" with her band also at Blues Alley, and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from the same night.)
An avid horticulturist and visual artist, she died of melanoma (the most deadly form of skin cancer) at age 33. Please give yourself the gift of her artistry when you have a moment.
Particular links of interest are, which is run by her cousin Laura Bligh, and, which showcases and sells her artwork and is run by her parents and other family members. Both have other links to other sites run by fans to keep her legacy alive, not out of sadness, but joy. I am honored to be sometimes compared to her, and it makes me feel to good to know that this post will surely garner new fans of her work.

9) Household Hint – Satin Pillowcases & Razor Lint Shaves
Hair is at its weakest and most fragile when it's wet. You should never towel it dry very roughly or brush it when wet, but pat it gently and if you must, only run a large-toothed comb through it.
Cotton sheets and pillowcases wreak havoc on hair – yanking it out with every turn or rub. Satin pillowcases are the easy solution for that, and often you can find zippered ones in bright and pastel colors at your friendly neighborhood dollar store. (That's where my Diva-In-The-Making supply comes from!)
If, like me, you like to keep things til they're threadbare (also the environmentally-friendly way of doing things), you may notice that the edges of your trusty satin pillow cases develop "pills", or tiny balls of yarn.
I discovered a quick and easy way to solve this. I remembered I'd once purchased, but never used, and promptly lost, an electric shaver designed specifically for said de-pillery (a.k.a. "de-pilleration"). If it operated as a shaver, then, why wouldn't a standard blade-style razor work? So, I grabbed one of my pretty-in-pink disposables, went to work and learned that, yep, sure enough, you can razor those bad boys right off!

10) Community Bulletin Board
[Please note: I will NOT be performing at the following event, as was previously announced. Thanks!]
The Lansdale Live Music & Food Festival sponsored by Arnold's Way Raw Vegan Store & Café 5/2/09

Puppet Slam Philly 2009 , 5/30/09 Info:

Greater Philadelphia Drumming Circle 3/29/09

[Louisa/VA/USA] The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for anyone interested or involved in co-operative or communal lifestyles. 8/14/09-8/16/09

[Phila/PA/USA] 1st Fridays on Vine, Hosted by Aziza Kinteh Info:

[Los Angeles/CA/USA] Lacey C. Clark! Workshop Presenter & Author on Teen Girls' Self-Esteem, founder of Sisters' Sanctuary
Also check out Lacey's book Celebrate HER Now at

[{Phila/PA/USA] Melanie Jones, Yoga Teacher of Size

[San Diego/CA/USA] Vessa Rinehart-Phillips – Spiritual Intuitive Counselor & Instructor. For a complete list of courses and workshops led by various instructors at her Intuitive Insights School of Clairvoyance, or to sign up for their really great and free newsletter, visit www.MyIntuition.Net.

[Brooklyn/NY/USA] *Aerial ROPE * Classes with Kiebpoli
Climbing, swinging, stretching, airdancing. Full body fitness.

[Quebec/Canada] Patty Contenta, dance instructor of over 17 years and author & producer of books and videos that teach women to enhance their femininity and confidence. Free newsletter at

REAL Raw Support Group Forming
Holistic practitioner and soon-to-be certified life coach Judi Rhee Alloway and CX/ARah are organizing this raw vegan/live foods "support & transformation" group, which will meet in Center City, Philly starting April or May 2009. Join the REAL Raw Yahoo Group for updates. We're also at MySpace and Facebook.

Runner(s) Wanted – Low Fitness Level Preferred
I'm looking for one or more person(s) interested in running with me in Center City at least twice a week. Email: cxmusic AT gmail dot com.

11) The Renaissance Negresse Catalogue
This just in!! "Capable of Love" CD is now available at Giovanni's Room Bookstore at 12th & Pine Streets in Center City, Philly. Reserve yours today by calling (215) 923-2960, or visit
~For my current Calendar of Events, visit
~Visit the Cassendre Xavier Music Gallery at (800) BUY-MY-CD
~Guided Meditation CDs & MP3s by Amethyste Rah, with music of light by Thaddeus. Visit
~For CX Direct Mail Orders, reply to this message, or email "cxmusic AT gmail dot com" for the latest product order form.
~Coming Soon – Books! In meantime, to see Cassendre's out-of-print chapbooks as well as the anthologies she's contributed to, visit
~Coming Soon – Visual Art! In the meantime, to see Cassendre's art images, visit
12) More Blessings for You
~May you be healthy and feel beautiful and abundant all ways and forever.
~May your inner glowing light inspire us all.
~May your positive outlook be easy to maintain.
~May you experience joy frequently and profoundly.
~May you know your path and follow it with faith, hope, and expectation.
~May all of your fondest dreams and visions come true, surpassing all your imaginings (or something better), and may it be for the good of all.

In art, spirit, and community,

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah)
renaissance negresse

Feel free to forward, reply, advertise, subscribe, or unsubscribe at any time.

Contact: cxwriting AT gmail DOT COM, or simply reply to this email.

Visit And I'm on Facebook, too :-)

(c) Copyright 2009 by Cassendre Xavier a.k.a. Amethyste Rah. All rights reserved.

renaissance negresse museletter DEBUT 2009/1

the renaissance negresse museletter
art inspiration community
brought to you by Cassendre Xavier aka Amethyste Rah

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In This Issue:

who is a "renaissance negresse"?
Fan Alert: Pics for the Last Licks Crowd
Product Feature: "Capable of Love" – the latest musical album by Cassendre Xavier
Raw Vegan Support Group Forming
Runner(s) Wanted – Low Fitness Level Preferred
Household Hint – How to Hold Flowers
Article: How To Accept a Compliment from Your Man (Or From Any Man) by Cassendre Xavier
Community Bulletin Board
the renaissance negresse catalogue
Farewell Blessing

Who Is A "renaissance negresse"?
A renaissance negresse is a black woman who is either skilled or gifted in 2 or more arts. Haitian-American multi-media artist/writer Cassendre Xavier coined this term in 2002. "Negresse, Negre: In the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Islands, these words often have a connotation of affection, entirely non-racial in meaning. `Ma petite negresse, mon negre, are equivalent to `My dear, my darling, my sweet.'" – From Masters of the Dew, a contemporary classic novel by the Haitian author Jacques Roumain, translated by Langston Hughes and Mercer Cook.

Fan Alert: Pics for the Last Licks Crowd
On January 23rd, I had the pleasure of singing before Cheryl Wheeler at her Last Licks Café show on Long Island. I met some of you in the audience and we took some pictures. Well, here they are (scroll to the bottom). If you like them, please copy and save them because as per your lovely and requested constructive criticism about my website, I'll be deleting all but one site. I'll be keeping most of my pictures at my primary MySpace page and will be probably opening a Flickr account for the rest and future images. Incidentally, at that fabulous open mic, I met Rupert Wates, who sang that touching song about his father, remember? Well, my friend saw RW and his band play recently and said they were "pretty good". So check him out when you can

Product Feature: "Capable of Love" – the latest musical album by Cassendre Xavier
[8th Album/2009] Cassendre Xavier just can't make up her mind. If it isn't love songs, it's inspirational songs, or it's songs just to make us laugh. The one thing this acoustic pop artist described as "a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade, and Enya" (Steven M. Wilson, Borders Music Expert) does consistently is soothe, entertain, and inspire. Her voice is as light and sweet as it is deep and sultry. She can joke and cajole as well as comfort and uplift. Nowhere is all of this variety more expressed than in her latest effort, "Capable of Love" (released January 11, 2009). All but two tracks are new original songs – check out her haunting "Water is Wide" and uniquely peppy yet fervent "O Shenandoah". And all but one, an emotional "Wanna Heal", which features her hip-hop producer brother Giscard "Jee Eye Zee" Xavier (City High and C Knowledge of the Diggable Planets) on drums, features only Xavier's multi-layered vocals and her own acoustic rhythm and lead playing. Humor is here in abundance, as "The Damn Dog Song" shows. A plea for owners to leave their pups at home when dining out or shopping for take-home movies, this song alone is worth the price of the CD/download. Xavier wanted to honor her self-described "Sapphically-inclined constituents" with a tune – that's where "The Chapstick Lesbian Song" comes in. The song claims to speak to those who identify as neither "butch" nor "femme" but is sure to bring smiles to anyone regardless of gender or orientation. In addition to the soul-stirring, political anthem "I Am Free", the motivational "Reach", the unabashedly joyful "You Make Me Happy" and the aforementioned survivor's theme "Wanna Heal", all other songs on "Capable" are rich in her soulful expression of emotions. The usual angst around relationships and romance abound, but are enhanced by multi-layered, bell-like harmonic chanting not unlike Bobby McFerrin, and reminiscent of jazz composer/pianist/vocalist Tania Maria. When asked why some of the songs are so long ("Run to You", for example, runs almost 10 minutes alone), Xavier says, "This album is for people who like to sing along. I often find that the end of a song is the most fun sometimes, and I am often disappointed when it ends. And I love to harmonize. I have always done a lot of harmonizing when I sing. To me, these are sacred chants, and I hope there are people out there who will enjoy singing and harmonizing along. If not, well, I figure you can always skip ahead to the next track!" Indeed, the lengthiness may not be for everyone, but at 10 songs totaling a little over an hour of her lovely music, most will be pleased and satisfied. Recommended. Order at or

Fan reviews wanted! Fan reviews, along with the author's name and/or contact info/email address/link will be posted in forthcoming issues of the renaissance negresse museletters and other possible/internet outlets. If you have this or any other CX/ARah album and would like to say a few nice words about it, please email your comments to: cxmusic(at) (Please replace the "at" with "@")

Raw Vegan Support Group Forming
Holistic alternative healer Judi Rhee Alloway and I started meeting back in February to plan a support group for people wanting to remain raw vegan but struggling with intense emotional issues making it difficult to give up (significantly or completely) highly addictive cooked foods. (We each have been 50% or more raw since 2005.) We've applied for a grant and are planning to meet in Center City in April. We'll keep you posted on this email list, or you can forward the following contact to anyone you think may be interested: realrawlife(at) (Please replace the "at" with "@").

Runner(s) Wanted – Low Fitness Level Preferred
I'm looking for one or more person(s) interested in running with me in Center City at least twice a week. I can run one block, then walk a block, run, walk, etc; and I stop often for breaks. I took up running last year when I moved to NYC and left my beloved bicycle back at my raw vegan household. If you're interested, let me know. If you happen to be in better shape, that's fine, as long as you're patient! Contact cxwriting(at) (Please replace the "at" with "@").

Household Hint – How to Hold Flowers
It's better to hold fresh flowers upside down during the time before you get them in water. This keeps their fluids in the flower and makes them stay alive longer. (I saw this in a French movie, inquired and had it confirmed by 2 florists!)

Article: How To Accept a Compliment from Your Man (Or From Any Man) by Cassendre Xavier
I was watching Angelina Jolie on "Inside the Actor's Studio". When host James Lipton read the list of compliments she'd received from the industry, including "Sexiest Woman Alive", I expected her to giggle with emotion from being flattered so. I expected her to express extreme gratitude over having been showered with compliments the way Bill Gates' bank account is showered with cash. I expected her to at least say "thank you". But she didn't. She merely smiled and kept her bedroom eyelids at a fuzzy woozy half-mast. She is a goddess and she knows it. Why does she know it? Because every single man on the planet reinforces this truth every single day. Every single moment of her life. Every man, mostly likely, except her partner, Brad Pitt, who treats her as a beautiful woman, his beautiful woman, but just that. And that's why she's with him. Because he's super fine and is treated that way by the world, and she's super fine and is treated that way by the world, but between each other, their children, relatives, and close friends, they're just regular ol' folks.
So it must be with you and your man.
Sure, at first, he will be wowed by your beauty. And if you play your cards right, he will not only continue to think you beautiful, but his admiration for you will grow over time.
But in the beginning, you must remember that when a man compliments you, it's your job to react as if you're used to getting compliments. In fact, his is the 10th one you received that day. Compliments are a dime a dozen to you. You get them so often, you don't even blink. You're a kind person, so you smile. You say, "You're sweet". Then you move on to the next subject.
You never say "thank you". That would mean you're grateful. That would mean they're doing you a favor by giving you a compliment. They're not. You know you're beautiful. The world knows you're beautiful. You choose to focus your energies on making the world a better place – on setting, reaching for, and accomplishing your goals – on being a good friend, sibling, daughter, employee, employer.
These things make you even more beautiful, and you know it. But you also know that beauty in the physical superficial sense is fleeting. All the more reason to delve deeper into your own brand of spirituality and what brings you the most joy in life. All the more reason for you to offer your energies in friendship, in civil interests, in volunteering, in getting involved in the political process, etc.
When a man says you do something well, say, finish writing your book or winning an award for your work, you say, "You're sweet". That's it. That should be your response. Never say thank you.
Are there instances when you can say thank you? Sure, when he pays the tab (which should be often, if not always). When he opens doors for you or pulls out a chair at a restaurant. When he does you favors or runs errands for you. When he buys you jewelry or a romantic card. But not when he gives you compliments. Why? Because compliments are a given. Compliments should be a way of life for you. It's not that you don't appreciate them – it's just that there is a different expression of appreciation for every act. Some things require a hug, a kiss, a "thank you". Others, like compliments, just warrant a slow and lazy, sultry and mysterious Angelina Jolie-like smile. Blink slowly and say, "You're sweet". Then give him what he loves best – that fabulous view of you…walking away.

Community Bulletin Board
(To be included in the Community Bulletin Board please send a plain text email – no symbols or images – maximum 100 words including your public contact info to cxwriting(at) Please replace the "at" with "@". Or mail your business card to Cassendre at the address near the end of this message.)

The Lansdale Live Music & Food Festival sponsored by Arnold's Way Raw Vegan Store & Café
DATE: Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 (Some outdated sources, including the Arnold's Way website & MySpace pages, may have listed the wrong date.)
Time: I'll be going on around 3pm (Music from 12pm-6pm)
Location: The Lansdale Center for the Performing Arts, 311 West Main StreetLansdale, PA 19446 (2 doors down from Arnolds Way on Main Street in Lansdale)
Cost: 15$ before March 15th! 20$ before April 15th! $25 after that!
Register: Call 215-361-0116.
Event info: arnoldsway(at) (Please replace the "at" with "@").Venue info:

Puppetry Slam Philadelphia
Saturday, May 30th 2009 - 7:00PM spaghetti dinners starts being served. Curio Theatre - at The Calvary Center, 4740 Baltimore Avenue Philadelphia,PA, 19143 at 48th and Baltimore Aves. Cost - Cash only (we'll give you a receipt upon request) - at the door only. suggested $15 for dinner,show and entry. suggested $10 for dinner and show - or - pay as you can per act at the show - we'll pass the hat after each act.

Greater Philadelphia Drumming Circle
Do you want to play on the drums all day?
What is shamanic journeying? What is the Upper World? What is the Lower World? What is the Middle World? What would your life look, if you started drumming? How would your life be different, if you began your journey of creativity? Do you hear what I hear?
Come and join us for an experience that will leave you buzzing! Sunday, March 29th, 2009 from 1-3pm. Love donations are greatly appreciated! If you have a drum, rattle, and a journal, please feel free to bring them. It's optional to bring something to cover your eyes and anything to make your journey more comfortable. Contact/info: Greater Philadelphia Drummng Circle, New Moon Sun., 1-3pm Phone: (856) 952-2269 Email: huesoul1(at) (Please replace the "at" with "@") For more drumming dates, visit

The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for anyone interested or involved in co-operative or communal lifestyles.
Join us for a weekend of sharing and celebration!
Friday August 14 through
Sunday August 16, 2009
$85 (sliding scale) includes
meals and camping.
Twin Oaks Communities Conference
138 Twin Oaks Road, Louisa, VA 23093

1st Fridays on Vine
Hosted by Aziza Zenzile Kinteh. Every First Friday. Be part of an Art Extravaganza. *Spoken Word * Music Freestyle*Open Mike.
Where: Jose Sebourne Graphic Design, 1213-15 Vine Street Philadelphia PA 19107
7-10pm $5.00 Cover, Contact info: Aziza Kinteh (215) 668-4500

L & S Band in Concert at the Clef Club
Sure to be a wonderful soulful show! March 20, 2009, Philadelphia Clef Club, Broad & Fitzwater Streets, first show at 10:30pm. Contact/info email: sumeround(at) (Please replace the "at" with "@").

Another Level *Aerial ROPE * March 2009
[By Kiebpoli] Hello and look below! ANTIGONE review! I'll be hanging a silk also in class starting April!
Climbing, swinging, stretching, airdancing. Full body fitness - all skills transferable to silksSign up now for as many classes as you'd like! CLASS CARD discounts - $100=4 classes-Call or email for more details and to RSVP-Beginners welcome. Anyone can learn itCome check it out, Best, *Kiebpoli (kay-po-lee)
Embody Aerial Dance Studio, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City*Actor and Aerialist, Director, Dancer, and Arts Educator. *

[Quebec] Patty Contenta is a renowned ballroom dancer who teaches women to adore their curves and express their feminine attractiveness. Through her books and DVDs, she says, "You are about to discover the secrets that will help you heighten your sensuality, regain your power and unveil the phenomenal woman within you." You can visit Patty at

[South Carolina] Alex Kudera, writer. Alex writes a blog called The United States of Kudera, which "purports to be a humorous and humane look at life and literature". You can read interviews here of writers talking about the craft – latest entries being with Philly poet and Drexel prof Don Riggs as well as Yorz Trooli. Visit Alex is also contributor to When Falls the Coliseum: A Journal of American Culture (Or Lack Thereof).

[Pennsylvania] Anthony Riley (Soulful Singer) Email: anthonyrileysinger(at) (Please replace the "at" with "@")

[Pennyslvania] Erica "Young E" Mendez (Hip Hop / R&B / Latin singer/recording artist)

the renaissance negresse catalogue
Currently available to order:
~ Musical CDs & MP3s by Cassendre Xavier. Visit You can also order from CD Baby by phone (800) BUY-MY-CD [800-289-6923] or by mail order from CD Baby (call them toll free for details), or from Cassendre direct from Philly, PA, USA (Ordering details below.)
~ Relaxing, Spoken Word Guided Meditation CDs & MP3s by Amethyste Rah. To order online only, visit

----------------------------------------MAIL ORDER INFO------------------------------------------------------
Titles available directly from Cassendre are: Capable of Love, Affirmations for Survivors: Spirituality, Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love, Live at Tin Angel, Beautiful, Live at the Kraftbrau, Kalamazoo, Live at Café Improv, and The Whittenberg Sessions.To order a CD directly from Cassendre, send your name, street/shipping address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email, along with the album title and style ($10 per paperless slimline case version and $15 per full color jewel case version – price includes postage – money order only please – no personal checks, sorry), to:

Cassendre Xavier
c/o Black Women's Arts Festival
3721 Midvale Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1743 USA
Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.

Farewell Blessing
~May you stay healthy, wealthy, and young forever.
~May your self-contained joy inspire others.
~May you nurture your true friendships.
~May you experience exquisite pleasure on a regular basis.
~May your path be clear and steady.
~May all of your best dreams and wishes come true, surpassing all your expectations (or something better), and may it be for the good of all.

Sincerely in art, spirit, and community,

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah)
renaissance negresse

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