Monday, March 29, 2010

People React to Your Self-Image

by Cassendre Xavier

Have you ever noticed you treat people according to how they carry or what they think of themselves? You may return one person's call or answer their email much more quickly than you do another - letting the response languish until the last possible minute.
Have you noticed you are treated differently depending on how you feel about yourself on any particular day?
We teach people how to treat us, not only by what we accept or don't accept from them, but by our own thoughts about ourselves.
If you're feeling bad about yourself, you may hunch your shoulders or have a defeated facial expression. You may radiate the opposite of confidence and make people want to avoid you.
On the other hand, feeling good about yourself makes you look more confident, stand taller, have a brighter disposition and be more pleasant to look at and be around.
Remember, it doesn't take long to smile, and that can make all the difference! Even if you're feeling bad, a smile can turn all that around and significantly improve your self-esteem and confidence for the day.
Try to smile regularly every day, stand taller, and tell yourself you're a wonderful and worthy person - anyone would be proud to know you.
You're worth it, and it makes all the difference, not only in how you are treated, but in how others feel about themselves, too. After all, confidence makes everyone feel good, just as being a downer makes everyone feel bad. Choose confidence and a smile for a healthier and brighter self-image!

(c) Copyright 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. (Please forward freely.)

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls) is an award-winning multi-media artist and community/arts organizer. She is the founding director of Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and has a growing presence on YouTube where she features her music, writing, guided meditations, and raw/living foods lifestyle tips. Visit for more info.

Source: or

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How to Be Beautiful - Show Others Their Beauty

by Cassendre Xavier

I try to do something frightening as often as I can. This grows my spirit and encourages me to overcome fear and generally comfortable or accustomed to being courageous. The latest thing, my latest challenge, is children! Or, more accurately, “youth”, as I believe most non-adult human types prefer to be called. As the Universe would have it, I was then invited to perform at a progressive private school, where I would sing and interact with an auditorium full of middle schoolers.
I chose to sing two of my original pop songs, accompanying myself on guitar, then I led the group in an affirmation sing-along.
One of the reasons I’m so scared of kids is that I was made fun of a lot growing up. A child of immigrant parents, and having spent part of my childhood in their country (Haiti) I dressed and talked "funny", and was teased relentlessly.
Even though I’m an adult now, there are still many aspects of my life that I thought would warrant being made fun of again. My braided extensions were severely in need of a touch up. One could say they looked downright “ratty” , or a “hot mess” as a young fashionista/o might say.
The whole time preparing and being in the school before my set, I worried someone would make fun of me and I’d hear the kids laughing, and my subsequent embarrassment. I wasn’t wearing the fancy clothes I thought would impress the kids – I wasn’t rich and I wasn’t famous.
Rather than continue to worry about these things, I decided to leave the fear behind and focus instead on my purpose for being there.
I wasn’t there to do a fashion show or teach them how they could go into the modeling profession. I was there to share my gift of music, and to teach them some tools I used to feel better, and empower myself to create the things I wanted in my life.
I spoke with my host, who invited me and introduced me, and found out from her what the students’ concerns were. They wanted confidence. That’s not what she said, but that was my interpretation. Confidence to do well on their tests, confidence to get along well with their peers, confidence to feel good about themselves, their looks, their abilities. They wanted confidence. She didn’t say, “They need to be around black women with very well groomed braids as often as possible.” Nothing she said remotely rhymed with, “They want to only be around cool people coming out of limos all the time.”
We all want the same thing: love. We want to be comfortable in life, and to feel good about ourselves. We want things to go well in our families, in our work, and to have fun friendships. We want to know our lives count, and that we are important.
I decided I would go to impart upon those kids as many feel-goods as I could. And as much as I focused on this, my ratty hair completely disappeared, both in my mind, and in their eyes.
I focused on my goal of being more comfortable talking with kids, and wanting to be a bold actress. So I did this event, and I focused on improvisation – something really scary to me.
I improvised and collectively wrote an affirmation song with the students, and invited two of them to play percussion drums on stage behind me while I sang.
It went really well, and I’d also written a special affirmation song just for them.
Afterwards, they asked me to sign autographs for them (me?!) and I signed their assignment books, “Love yourself and stay beautiful”.
In the picture of me with the kids as I’m signing my autographs for them, I don’t see my “ratty” hair in severe need of a touch up. I don’t focus on my overweight self in my inexpensive clothes. That’s not what I see. I just see a beautiful, bold woman in room full of beautiful young people, young people who taught me much, made my day, and helped me feel much better about myself. I realized then that it really doesn’t matter how much or how little you weigh, what clothes you wear, or what kind of hairstyle you have. Real beauty is inside and much more of it shows when you focus on the real beauty in others. If you tell people they’re beautiful, handsome, and lovely, they will feel it, and they will see the same in you.

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls) is an award-winning multi-media artist and community/arts organizer. She is the founding director of Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and has a growing presence on YouTube where she features her music, writing, guided meditations, and raw/living foods lifestyle tips. Visit for more info.

Source: or

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Self-Love Tip - Make a Contribution to the Universe

One of the best ways to improve your outlook on life and automatically and significantly increase your self-love is to shift the focus from yourself and your own pain or so-called inadequacies to helping make someone else's life better.
I've read countless stories of people who were despondent, but once they made up their minds to help others, and did that, not only did they feel much better, but their life circumstances also improved significantly!
From Joel Osteen's book "Your Best Life Now" he recounts talking with a friend who was near suicide. The guy had been left by his wife, he was jobless, and almost homeless. Joel advised him to help someone, then he went out and started helping drug addicts recover. Very soon he was so grateful to be alive, BECAUSE HE WAS NEEDED. Someone depended on him and made him feel very important, which he was, even before that.
Soon he had a job, and the overwhelming feeling of joy from helping recovering drug addicts never left him.
Another story is from the move "You Can Heal Your Life" in which Gay Hendricks recounts a story in which one of his clients called him, very sad and depressed. Gay asked him if there was something he could do to "contribute" to the universe. He answered there was an elderly woman who lived nearby. Her doorway was full of old papers and trash. Gay advised him to put the phone down and go clean it up, then come back to the phone. He did that and there was a dramatic shift when he returned to the conversation. He felt elated!

So, if you're feeling down today, or are working on improving how you feel about yourself right now, consider how you can be of service or contribute to the universe. It doesn't have to be something big or elaborate. And it doesn't even have to be for another person. You can be significantly helpful to either the animal, plant, or mineral kingdoms, too!

For years I've tried to contribute as a volunteer to various causes, but none of them ever worked out. I lamented my lack of service to humanity, but now I don't see it that way. Now I see my efforts everywhere. My taking the time to write and send this note, even as my tummy growls because I was on my way to the kitchen to make a late dinner :-), I tell myself, I am contributing to humynkind. I am making a difference. I am being of service to the collective call for comfort and the cause of self-actualization.

Do what you can according to who YOU are as a special humyn being with your own unique interests, talents, and life experience. You have your own schedule, your own resources, your own abilities and things you want and can do to make the world a better place.

Making your own unique contribution will make you feel amazing about life, and about your own unique wonderful self!

(c) 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

About the author: Cassendre Xavier is a multi-media artist and founder/director of Philadelphia's annual Black Women's Arts Festival (Est 2003). You can visit her at

Time Tested Beauty Tips, by Sam Levenson

For attractive lips,
Speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes,
Seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure,
Share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair,
Let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise,
Walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored,
renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed;
Never throw out anybody.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands;
one for helping yourself,
the other for helping others.

By Sam Levenson (1911-1980)
From his book: "In One Era & Out the Other"

[This quote was used by Audrey Hepburn.]

Our Deepest Fear Quote by Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson

A Return to Love: Reflections on the
Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

[This quote was used by Nelson Mandela in his inaugural speech.]