Sunday, April 19, 2009

Refusing to be Lonely at the Leading Edge of Thought

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Oprah has, like, three friends.
I mean, she has millions of admirers, thousands of business associates, hundreds of friendly acquaintances, dozens of people who consider themselves her friends, and three very close actual friends. Who are these people? Well, if my reading on what she puts out publicly is correct: Gayle King, Stedman Graham, and Maya Angelou.
It seems to me that Gayle King, her very best platonic female friend, from her early days in television journalism, is her closest and dearest friend. The woman who recognized her talent very early on, was her peer, and later her cheerleader when Oprah’s star truly began to shine. Gayle isn’t threatened by Oprah’s success – she is enhanced by it. She loves her best friend, and she supports her, because she doesn’t need to compete against Oprah. She benefits by working alongside Oprah in projects that excite and stimulate and expand her own personal and professional growth. She can be Oprah’s close confidante, because Oprah’s success truly does become hers as well. This is how it should be in most close friendships, but isn’t, because of competition and jealousy, both professional, and personal.
From outward appearances, and what Oprah has said repeatedly, Stedman Graham is her lover, her partner, and longtime good friend and supporter. He helps hold her up in the world. He, too, is not threatened by her success, and in being aligned with her, and her name, his businesses thrive additionally. Being very secure with his masculinity, no doubt in part because she helps him to feel this way, he can live with her in peace, love, and cooperation, not crumbling, like so many other men have, when the rude and the ignorant call him by his woman’s last name. He does not compete with her, nor is his ego shrunken by her all-encompassing greatness.
Maya Angelou, a true renaissance woman, is Oprah’s elder, mentor, and mother figure. Oprah is probably a daughter figure to Maya, who only wants the best for Oprah, and who has succeeded in living a proud and worthy life of excellence, elegance, and political awareness and activism. Oprah, no matter how “big” she gets, professionally, or financially, will never be bigger than Maya. There is no comparison, no threat, and no competition on either side.
This is what I realized recently, when reading “Ask and It is Given: Manifesting Your Desires” by Esther Hicks & Jerry Hicks, channelers of Abraham. In it, they say that we, lightworkers and many of us who don’t know that term, but are lightworkers nonetheless – we, they say, are on the “leading edge of thought”. And, as they say, there are very few of us on that leading edge of thought.
Lately, I’d been feeling pretty lonely.
I go out and play my music, and go home alone. I may have a lover or four (heh-heh), but no spouse. I may have friendly acquaintances, but can count my true and close friendships on two fingers. And even they are geographically far away from me.
Why is this, I asked myself? Is there something wrong with me? On paper, I look pretty good, as they say. I’m intelligent, bright, spunky, friendly, sweet, considerate, charming, and generous. What’s the problem? Why don’t I have more friends?
I realized a few things:
1) I’m on the leading edge of thought. While it may be super fun for me to spend hours a day studying my spiritual texts, holding and peering in my favorite crystal, asking it questions, channeling my angels, meditating, writing, and so forth - this isn’t exactly the behavior of the common folk. They’re out shopping, or out with their friends at a club “Sex in the City” style. I guess, I mean, I don’t know – all my information about the “dominant culture” comes from YouTube these days!
2) I work almost all the time. Being self-employed means you work twice as long as everyone else. The diff is we tend to enjoy our work much more, but it’s still a long work day. I’m at my office when others are out bike riding with their kids.
3) Because of the nature of who I am and what I’m here to do, my circle of peers is much smaller than it used to be. In my teens and twenties, I could more easily “hang out” with people I didn’t have much in common with. Or rather, I had more in common with them because I hadn’t yet discovered my calling or necessary work as a lightworker. Back then I was just a budding musician with a penchant for writing and starting support groups for every little thing that ailed me! Now, at age 40, it’s time to hunker down. I’ve got things to do – I’ve got pain to soothe, I’ve got people to reach, books to write, healing to inspire. I have goals that my soul’s evolution depends on.

I decided to refuse to be lonely at the leading edge of thought. I joined Lightworkers.org, a website dedicated to building community among like-minded folks, and began meeting a whole spiritual network of people who actually “get” me. Whereas before I’ve either alienated or inspired professional jealousy in people, at Lighworkers, I get to completely shine. I am learning to be myself, and am writing better and infusing all of my work with joy and love.
I am in no hurry to make friends, but I am in a hurry to do my most joyful work, for I know that when I work with love, I attract loving circumstances. When I write a spiritual essay from the heart, to comfort, soothe, and inspire, and that essay is met with compliments, praise, not of my writing, but of my Spirit, I know that I am closer to meeting a new circle of friends. I may need to relocate at some point – in fact, I know I will, and I already know where, but for now I am building the blocks – the friendship blocks.
If you feel you’ve been lonely for a very long time – find your joy again. Get deeply into what makes you happiest, and do that in an outward way – into the world outside of you. Find what makes you happy, or increase your doing of the thing that makes you happy. Find a way to make what you love to do a service that others can use. When you put your love out into the world, it will come back to you.
Seek mentors. I have asked people whose books have inspired me to be my mentors. More often than not, they have said yes, and sometimes, their mentorship becomes friendships.
Consider that you may be lonely because you’ve been setting your sites too low. Look beyond eye level. Your peers may be steps up higher creatively or professionally, than you’d originally thought.
Be patient with yourself, and don’t expect miracles overnight. Be your own best friend first. Take yourself out to dinner, movies, buy yourself flowers. Celebrate yourself. Celebrate your difference. Laugh a lot. Be a friend to someone else. Don’t focus on your loneliness. Enjoy your solitude. Be in service to others. Volunteer somewhere. Make sure someone needs you. Be happy to be alive.
And through it all, keep adding more of what makes you happy, do it in service, and watch the new friends and lovers enter your life. Friends and lovers who cherish you exactly as you are, aren’t threatened by you either professionally or personally, and want only the best for you in every way. Blessings to you!


© Copyright 2009 by Amethyste Rah aka Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. www.cassEndrExavier.com.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

renaissance negresse museletter 2009/3

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

Saturday, April 11, 2009

In This Issue: (To read this online visit http://cassendre.livejournal.com/18233.html)

1) The Soundtrack to this Ediccione, if you will (as it were).
2) Who is the Renaissance Negresse?
3) Upcoming Performances, Music Gallery & Booking Info
4) News! Cassendre is now a Wisdom Magazine Columnist!
5) Fan Appreciation: “Untitled” Poem by Venus
6) Community Bulletin Board
7) Well-Wishes For You


1) The Soundtrack to this Ediccione, if you will (as it were).
Joyce Sims (Extended Mix) Come Into My Life
Michael Bolton – Can I Touch You There
Simply Red – It’s Only Love
Power Station – Some Like It Hot (Extended Mix)
Julia Haines – The Mystery (I am so grateful to own this CD. The first time I heard this song, I sobbed like I never recalled having done so before. I felt like the music was healing, cleansing, and awaking something very deep and previously forgotten. I hope I can create music someday that does this for someone. Julia recorded (celtic harp) on my first album, with the late Juan Avila. This album has not been released yet because it’s in a rarely used format – quarter inch reel-to-reel tape. Other musicians on this album are Elliott Levin (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes) on sax and flute, bassist Chico Huff (James Taylor), upright bassist Jack Kinslow, and Ronny Crawford on drums (Lisa Loeb). Keep you posted!)
LL Cool J – Doin’ It
U2 – Numb Is it me, or is it kinda sexy when 3:19 into the video, The Edge has his face and mouth rubbed by two bare female feet – one black and one white? You check it out for yourself ;-)
Thin Lizzy – Still In Love with You
Oran “Juice” Jones – The Rain


2) Who is the *Renaissance Negresse?
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. 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. [*“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.]


3) Upcoming Performances, Music Gallery & Booking Info

04/12/2009 07:30 PM - Community Outreach Partnership
Trinity Memorial Church, 2212 Spruce Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 US Cost: Free Description: Music at Trinity Once again, Trinity is proud to present a full year of offerings to music lovers throughout the Philadelphia area. And, with the most gifted performers, diverse music programs and the fine acoustic quality of our great hall, Trinity has truly become a center of music and culture for the entire region. Call: 215-732-2515 or click here for more information.

04/24/2009 07:00 PM - Benefit for Girls Leadership Camp
Studio 34, 4522 Baltimore Avenue Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19143 US Cost:$10 Description: From Girls Leadership Camp: (Quote) We are trying to be creative to peak people’s interest and are planning a Camp Fire Concert, in the spirit of camp. We are a new organization and deeply feeling the blow of the economy so we are needing to do what ever we can so we can make camp happen. The event for Girls Leadership Camp is April 24th at Studio 34(www.studio34yoga.com), 4522 Baltimore Avenue, from 7-10. We are still putting a line up together. The event is going to have music, story telling, camp songs. In addition we are trying to create a camp atmosphere so there will be some snacks and decorations. (Unquote) From Cassendre: This will be my 2nd time performing at a benefit for this worthy group. Hope you can make it! Details: www.girlsleadershipcamp.org

04/25/2009 12:00 PM - WOAR’s 4th annual Take It All Back Event
Independence Ball Room, Visitor’s Center, 6th & Market, 2nd Fl Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 US Cost: TBA (most likely free, but I need to double-check that)Description:WOAR celebrates it’s 4th annual Take It All Back event. Activities include survivor speakers, live music, children’s art activity, and information on anti-violence organizations. Time: 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM Location: Independence Ball Room, 2nd Floor of the Visitor’s Center 6th and Market Streets Contact us at 215-985-3315 ext. 193 for more information. Hope to see you there! http://www.woar.org/news-events.html

The Cassendre Xavier Music Gallery

10) Capable of Love (Jan 2009) (Also available at iTunes and Giovanni’s Room Bookstore in Philly)9) Affirmations for Survivors: Spirituality ( Aug 2007) (Recommended by Dr Geryll Robinson)8) Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love (Aug 2007) (Recommended by Dr Geryll Robinson)7) Live at Tin Angel (May 2006) (Also available at iTunes)6) Beautiful (2004)5) The Cassendre Xavier Collection, Vol. 1 (2004)4) Live at the Kraftbrau, Kalamazoo (2004)3) 4OUR: A Cassendre Xavier Sampler (2003)2) Live at Café Improv (2002)1) The Whittenberg Sessions (2002)
The above CDs are also orderable by toll free phone call: 800-BUY-MY-CD or by mail order, email: cxmusic(at)gmail.com or reply to this email for instructions.

Booking Info: Reply to this email, or write: cxmusic(at)gmail.com.

Cassendre has performed music at the following colleges/universities, and fine acoustic listening rooms & community gathering spaces as well as private home residences/house concerts:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, LaSalle University (twice), Temple University, the African American Museum, Warmdaddy’s, Tin Angel, World Café Live, the William Way Community Center, and more.

Cassendre has presented classes, lectures, and workshops on blending creativity with commerce at the following venues: Temple University, the Mt. Airy Learning Tree, the Wise Women’s Learning Center. (Previous lectures/workshops include: Active Artist 101 & Creating and Supporting the Active Artist)

Cassendre has founded and led support groups at the following venues: the William Way Community Center, Essene Natural Market & Café. (Previous groups include Sisters Healing Together and REAL Raw- Vegan Live Foods Support Network)



4) News! Cassendre is now a Wisdom Magazine Columnist!
Beginning in May 2009, Cassendre will be writing spiritual articles for Wisdom Magazine NJ/PA edition’s webzine. Article/Excerpt: Affirmations for Trusting the Process. Poem: Normal. You can read more of Cassendre’s archived and new writing here.


5) Fan Appreciation: “Untitled” Poem by Venus
Well, this is a first in my 18 year singer-songwriter career: a fan has written a poem inspired by listening to one of my albums, Capable of Love, my latest, to be exact. Yes, tis true! But you don't have to take MY word for it:From: venusTo: Cassendre Xavier - renaissance negresseDate: Mar 3, 2009 3:38 PMSubject: poetry from venushello Cassendre:I just wanted to send you a note.i was inspired to write some poetry while listening to your new cd "capable of love"/trax2-3

words are meant to be spoken.words are meant to be awoken.rythms are meant to be like a african beatspoken by a griot of timeless age and space.words are meant to inspire and uplift the soul.

For more of the poem and dialogue, please click here.


6) Community Bulletin Board
Cassendre Xavier’s Running Club launched last Thursday 4/9/09!!
Thank you to the two people who responded to my call for runner’s in low physical shape :-) We are now running twice a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00am both days. We meet at Barnes & Noble bookstore 18th & Walnut in Center City Philly, then we walk across the street to Rittenhouse Square. We run for about 5 minutes to warm the muscles, then stretch, then run, then stretch, then go home. Last time it was 45 minutes cardio total, but we started at 7:30. This time we’ll be doing about a half hour more. All are welcome to join us. NO RSVP, please. I would like to add Wednesday morning at 7:00am. Is anyone interested? Twice a week really isn’t enough exercise for me, and I know now that I’m not motivated enough to do it alone. So, let me know if you want to run on Wednesday morning with me. Thanks (especially to my mentor Gary Null who’s had “Gary Null’s Running & Walking Club” for decades, inspiring me to start my own similar physical accountability exercise program!

REAL Raw – Vegan Live Foods Support & Transformation Group
(Founder: Cassendre Xavier, Co-Founder, Judi Rhee Alloway)
We had our first meeting on Monday 4/6/09 and it was really good! We discussed what we wanted from the raw lifestyle, our journey, our struggles, and we did a very cool and inspiring eyes-closed visualization. We discussed doing guided meditations with a double CD album called “Creating Your Ideal Body” next time. I’m hoping that will happen as well as something else I’ve got my third eye on right now. We meet 1st & 3rd Fridays 6-8pm at Essene on 4th near Bainbridge in South Philly. All who are interested in becoming or remaining 50% - 100% raw vegan (uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and herbs) are welcome to our free in-person plus online membership. Visit www.realrawlife.com.

RUSTIC MUSIC PRESENTS…
Julian Root & Friends. Fergie’s Pub, Sunday 4/12/09 8pm FREE. 1214 Sansom St, Philly. 215.928.8118.


MOVIE MONDAY on a TUESDAY at the Balcony (The Trocadero, 10th & Arch, Philly) presents THE WRESTLER (2009)
**Movie Monday is on a TUESDAY this week! Tue. 4/14
A film by Darren Aronofsky with Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomwi & Evan Eachel Wood.Special: Arrive before 7pm and get a FREE beer and a bag of popcorn! $3.00 gets you in & goes towards a drink or snack of your choiceDoors: 6:30pm - Show: 8:00PM - 21+

VOLUNTEER & INTERN OPPORTUNITIES WITH THE BLACK WOMEN’S ARTS FESTIVAL
The 6th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival is gearing up for another exciting summer event. Don’t miss your opportunity to make a difference/give back/build community, learn or improve your skills in event production, and meet interesting people. Choose from a wide array of activities based on your own schedule, skills, and interests. Visit www.BWAFphilly.org to learn more or email Monica at BWAFphilly(at)yahoo.com. Next volunteer meeting Sat 4/25/09 12NOON at the BWAF office, 3721 Midvale Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19129. All are welcome.


The Lansdale Live Music & Food Festival sponsored by Arnold’s Way Raw Vegan Store & Café 5/2/09 Info: www.myspace.com/arnoldsway

Puppet Slam Philly 2009 - 5/30/09
Info: http://www.studium-praxis.org/wordpress/?page_id=36

[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
Info: www.communitiesconference.org

[Phila/PA/USA] 1st Fridays on Vine, Hosted by Aziza Kinteh Info: www.Aziza-lockdiva.com

[{Phila/PA/USA] Melanie Jones, Yoga Teacher of Size www.abundantyogini.com

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



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7) Well-Wishes for You

~May you be loved, healthy, strong, wealthy, and wise beyond your years.
~May you always trust your own inner voice and guiding light.
~May you all ways be gentle with your Self and others.
~May you have passion in many areas of your life and experience much and frequent delight and pleasure.
~May your life’s path be joined by friends, helpers, and angels of light and love.
~May you always trust in the abundance of the universe, easily replacing thoughts and unpleasant feelings of fear, scarcity, and panic, with thoughts and pleasant feelings of love, security, and joyful gratitude.
~May all of your fondest dreams and visions come true, surpassing all your expectations (or something better), and may it be for the good of all.


In art, spirit, and community,

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah)
renaissance negresse
www.cassEndrExavier.com


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

Contact: cxwriting(at)gmail.com, or simply reply to this email.

Visit www.cassEndrExavier.com. And I’m on Facebook, too :-)



© Copyright 2009 by Cassendre Xavier a.k.a. Amethyste Rah. All rights reserved.

Fan Appreciation: Venus's Poem "Untitled"

Well, this is a first in my 18 year singer-songwriter career: a fan has written a poem inspired by listening to one of my albums, Capable of Love, my latest, to be exact. Yes, tis true! But you don't have to take MY word for it:

From: venus
To: Cassendre Xavier - renaissance negresse
Date: Mar 3, 2009 3:38 PM
Subject: poetry from venus

hello cassandre:
I just wanted to send you a note.
i was inspired to write some poetry while listening to your new cd "capable of love"/trax2-3

words are meant to be spoken.
words are meant to be awoken.
rythms are meant to be like a african beat
spoken by a griot of timeless age and space.
words are meant to inspire and uplift the soul.
words can be spoken in a whisper or through the touch of your silent hands.
the sunrise has a language of its own and it speaks volumes
as its rays touch your skin.
words are meant to be spoken like the music that carries
the wind of love unspoken and so divine.
words are meant to be like a silent sigh as waves
crash along the sandy beach of salt and gold.
words can sometimes kill and turn the sun into a dark moon.
words can be anything and i want them to be poetry.
like the way gods hand made somethings perfect as her
reflection when the stars one,by one become your crown.
and the garden became your home that carried dreams
just to be spoken or thought.
words whisper why slept of guiters and stings and harps.
words meant to be spoken.

untitled by: venus http://www.myspace.com/nuvenusxm

-----------------------------

To: venus
Date: Mar 25, 2009 8:47 PM
Subject: RE: poetry from venus

Dear Venus,

Thank you. I am truly touched! Your poem is beautiful. I especially like the phrase "silent hands". It reminds me of the best times spent with a lover - in my bed by the window, at dusk with the glowing sunset against my orange-painted walls.
May I proofread your poem and include it, along with your note, in one of my next "renaissance negresse museletters", including your MySpace link?
Also, to be sure, the songs that inspired you most in this poem were track 2: REACH and 3: YOU MAKE ME HAPPY. Please confirm. Thank you so much!

Cassendre
sister artist

---------------

RE: poetry from venus

Dear Cassender xavier:

thanks for saying you like the poem i wrote for you. yes you may use the poem in anyway you wish. you can read it or put it to music. its all yours. i was listening to your cd and was thinking that it was a nice melody to write to. the poem was inspired and inked while listening to trax 2,but was complete during trax 3. in short i was inspired by trax 2 ("Reach"). thanks for including me in your space…[etc].

Affirmations for Self-Love, by Amethyste Rah

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 Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love by Amethyste Rah. With Thaddeus Music performed by Sanaya Roman.

(c) Copyright 2007 by Amethyste Rah aka Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Affirmations for Trusting the Process

Everything I do or don't do brings me closer to my dream life.

Everything I do or don't do benefits all living things.

Everything is perfect right now.

I'm doing everything well.

I go with the flow of life.

I respond well to resistance and allow it to guide my next steps.

I act and dwell on my pleasant feelings.

I act on and redirect my unpleasant feelings.

One of the ways I create what I want is by loving what I have.

I identify with and am happy for those who have what I want.

I have and I am everything I need to create and allow my best life now.

© 2008 Amethyste Rah aka Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

For guided meditations by Amethyste Rah, with music of light by Thaddeus (performed by Sanaya Roman) visit www.lulu.com/cassendre

Normal (Poem)

Happiness is normal.
Constant joy is normal.
Permanent peace is normal.
Optimum health is normal.
Order is normal.
Balance is normal.
Ongoing bliss is normal.
Ever-present love is normal.
Friendship is normal.
Abundance is normal.
Forgiving is normal.
Caring is normal.
Nurturing is normal.
Being happy is normal.
All feelings are normal.

© 2005 by Cassendre Xavier a.k.a. Amethyste Rah. All rights reserved.