Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Are Confident Blacks Considered Arrogant? An Open Letter

by Cassendre Xavier

Today, I posted the following quote on my Facebook wall:

"Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It is beyond me." -Zora Neale Hurston

A "friend" of unknown ethnic heritage responded:

"Cassendre, the quote makes Black people out to be somewhat arrogant. Careful. Do you really want to be perceived as being that? Hoping not."

To which I responded on my wall:

"After wailing, 'Oh Lawd, puh-leeez help me keep it together, Jesus, please!' and holding my crystals to seek guidance from my spirit teachers, I got the answer on how to respond. Then after I started writing the response in my head, before I started typing, I realized, no, this should be a public response. This is too good an opportunity to miss. So, Dear Lady, stay tuned for a blog that will answer your very controversial question. And thank you for asking it, because in the spirit of 'even bad press is good press', it created a space for dialogue to occur - between myself and the other readers who probably saw your question and thought, 'Oh NO she didn't!' Thank you."

And now, here's that aforementioned blog:

Why Are Confident Blacks Considered Arrogant? An Open Letter

I realize I know several people who have died of cancer in part because they spent their entire lives focusing on what was wrong in their worlds, and even though they were activists and made a difference in the world, they still died of cancer. I'm one of the many people who believe that cancer is a dis-ease of long-term and deep-seated resentment - it's a dis-ease of nonforgiveness.

I prefer to focus on what's working in my world - on being joyful - on health. That's the road I'm on. Form follows thought, and our thoughts create our reality, so I'm focusing on health and what makes me happy. That means I must ignore anything to the contrary (not hate it, because that also grows it - all focus grows the object of the focus).

But that doesn't mean I have to turn a blind eye or be silent when I see injustice, or when something has upset me. So I will say this: Your statement is, to me, incredibly racist, and worse: it's damn condescending.

I highly recommend you copy and paste the quote you were responding to, along with your exact response - search online or in person for anti-racism workshops led by progressive whites, and let THEM inform you of exactly how and why you've crossed a serious line. Or, you might show it to an African American history or AF-Am feminism professor. They can help you understand how your statement is racist. But, as my people say, "I am not the one."

Now, I don't hate you. Don't become one of those guilty white people who, for fear of never again offending a Black person, never speaks up again. It's better to become educated and to do this, risk offending and hurting people's feelings, as your statement did.

I mean, maybe you're not even white. Maybe you're even Black - I don't know, but your statement was racist, to me. And I don't want to talk about it anymore, because doing so will take up energy I'd rather spend being happy and generating health in my body. Health and only health.

And to cap, Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist, short story writer, folklorist, and anthropologist. She was amazing and fierce and lived a juicy life despite dealing with racism throughout. (Imagine trying to be your fabulous self with a constant almighty thumb pressing on your throat? She thrived besides.)

Because she was black and female and died poor, she was buried in an unmarked grave and her impressive body of work went largely ignored until many years later when Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Color Purple" Alice Walker took an interest, and brought her work out into the general American public, where it since has become part of the curriculum of many colleges and universities. Halle Barry has starred in a television movie based on Hurston's work.

While I don't have the educational background to give you more facts about American race politics, I can speak personally from my own experience as a Haitian-American born here in the US, which technically also makes me African American.
I can also speak as a writer who is female, and has dealt with racism in her work as an artist, like Zora, who often had to clean houses to make a living.

I was incredibly offended by your statement of "Careful." Do you know how condescending that is? What am I, your child? Why the blank do I have to be "careful"? Who am I afraid of offending, by sharing a quote by a woman who left a legacy of art behind for generations to learn from and enjoy? Do I not want to offend the racists in Texas who still enjoy a lovely evening of dragging black men to their deaths behind a pick up truck? Is that who I want to avoid "offending"? Or perhaps the cops who stop my brother in his car simply because he wears his hair in dreds. Is that whose feelings I don't want to hurt?

Why does knowing one is good company make one sound arrogant? If a white person said, "Why would any want to deprive themselves of my my company?" would you respond by warning, "Careful. You don't want to sound arrogant"?

Whenever someone thinks I'm arrogant, that's equal to them calling me "uppity", which is racist and basically says, "You've got to be kept in your place - and that is as my slave." That's what it says to me. On occasion, a white woman who herself hasn't been encouraged to be fierce and fabulous is the culprit of that. So it's not always racism, I'll grant you that. Sometimes it's sheer NON-fabulousness.

I believe the truly fabulous adore the other truly fabulous. I'm fabulous, so I adore Barbra Streisand. It's the ones who are not divas who don't believe anyone should be a diva, either. I believe if she needs rose petals to walk on, then goddamn it somebody bring her those petals and quick! She's got work to do!

We applaud the product of so-called divas- the ones whose bodies of work are vast and prolific, but we don't allow them what they need to create it.

I am sickened and so frustrated when men (usually jealous, insecure, less talented men), call Streisand a bitchy perfectionist. Any male her equal would be called a "genius", but she gets "bitch". (I knew I had reached a significant level of success when I first was called "bitch" by a man in the business.)

No, Zora Neale Hurston wasn't "arrogant". She was brilliant, she was courageous, she was extremely gifted and creative. And she was probably indeed very, very fine company.


Cassendre Xavier is an award-winning multi-media artist, founder and executive director of Philadelphia's annual Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003). Visit her at http://cassendrexavier.com.

(To reply to this article, please post a comment on the same page/website/blog on which it appears.)

Copyright (c) 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. Please share and include the following link: http://cassendrexavier.com.

Source: http://cassendrexavier.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-are-confident-blacks-considered.html or http://tinyurl.com/24vaksy

Friday, April 23, 2010

Your Soul & Your Emotions Know Your Worth

by Cassendre Xavier

Why is it that when someone insults you, you feel bad? Have you ever thought about that?
When we’re in the depths of self-loathing, or even if it’s only for a quick second, we temporarily believe we are really bad. We don’t look good enough, we’re not smart enough, we haven’t accomplished enough, etc.
But if all that were actually true, wouldn’t we feel good when insulted? Wouldn’t it be inherent and natural to accept and feel good about hearing that we’re dumb, or stupid, or clumsy, or that we don’t measure up in some way to what our partner, friend, parent, or boss says we should?
If you were really a bad person, if you were anything less than a splendid spiritual being having a humyn experience - then you wouldn’t feel so bad when someone said something bad about you. You would agree and not dispute it.
But that’s not what happens, is it?
When we hear, read, or feel criticism from anyone, including ourselves, it hurts. It hurts a lot. And the reason for that is because it doesn’t match the truth of who we are: beings of light and love here only to expand and grow, to love and be loved.
It hurts when we’re criticized, or when we criticize ourselves, because our spirits, our true selves, know the real deal. We are light and love, and whenever we are not expressing that, it’s time to check in and return to that truth.
Remember this the next time you experience a challenge in loving yourself. Remember the proof in how badly you feel when criticized, and how good you feel when someone says, “Hey, gorgeous, what’s shaking?” or “How are you doing today” or “I care about you.” Remember how good you feel when instead of saying “I love you”, a friend or sweetie acts it out in a gesture of true friendship, generosity, care and affection.
How good you feel when someone treats you well, or something good happens to you is your soul communicating that all is well. You are experiencing what life can be like on a regular basis. You are feeling valued, worthy, and loved.
Feel good about yourself today knowing that your emotions are doing such a wonderful job of taking care of and showing you how precious you are.
You are as good, really and truly, as you feel when good things happen to you. And this is why you feel so bad when the opposite happens. You are wonderful and that’s the only truth!




Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah) is a multi-media artist and creator of the Affirmations for Survivors guided meditations series featuring Music of Light by Thaddeus. She is a widely published multi-genre writer and the author of the print and e-book Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: a Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal. A folk-rock singer-songwriter described as “a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade & Enya” (Steven M. Wilson, Borders Music Expert), Ms. Xavier recently released her 7th musical CD/MP3 download Capable of Love to critical acclaim. She maintains a vibrant YouTube channel of her original, cover, parody, live and recorded songs, as well as her stark, thought-provoking poetry and enlightening, comforting guided meditations. In 2003, she founded Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival, which she currently serves as executive director, and in 2005 she received a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award for her “work in art and change”. Visit Cassendre at http://cassEndrExavier.com.



© 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.


Source: http://cassendrexavier.blogspot.com/2010/04/your-soul-your-emotions-know-your-worth.html or http://tinyurl.com/37gs6kg

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How Quickly Do You Accept Abundance?

by Cassendre Xavier

As a self-employed multi-media artist and director of a nonprofit arts organization, aside from actually being creative, probably my biggest focus is that of raising, and receiving funds with which to not only continue my work, but just get through my day to day necessary activities, like grocery shopping and other such glamorous things.

I noticed recently that I had a pile, albeit a small pile, of checks and money orders awaiting my attention. One of the checks was from a dear friend and frequent artistic collaborator, who had included a form from her company which offered a matching funds program. This meant her donation would be doubled once I submitted the properly filled-out paperwork.

I was very happy to receive the funds, and I recognized opportunities to maximize the experience, including a visualization that the checks and money orders multiplied and attracted more and larger amounts of their kind in the very near future. Although I gave a lot of thanks for this opportunity to live my dream life and receive financial and emotional support for the privilege, I still thought too much of the paperwork required to process them. I wouldn’t just be able to immediately deposit the checks and money orders, I had to fill out the necessary forms for our accounting department to process them. Meanwhile, my life’s schedule and obligations felt overwhelming, and I kept putting this “work” off.

Finally, just a little over a month later, I sat down to start this project. I asked myself why it took so long, and was even more frustrated with myself when I noticed how easy it was to do the paperwork, which I’d done before and was never difficult. Why did I wait so long to receive this money? Why did I procrastinate about doing a very easy exercise? Why did I spend weeks struggling financially when I had checks sitting right there that could’ve been in action to make my life a little easier?

Has anything similar ever happened to you? Do you, like me, spend hours a day visualizing abundance, believing you deserve more and can have it, work on your law of attraction techniques, and meditate for your financial prosperity? And then what happens when you receive it? Do you immediately accept it and do whatever is necessary to keep or grow the money or similar gift? Or do you let it sit there and continue living your life as you were before, in struggle or living at a lesser level than you now know you are capable of?

I invite and challenge you today to become a different person financially. I invite you to join me in being the kind of person who immediately accepts money, gives thanks, and processes the abundance accordingly.

Prosperity is right there for you. When it comes, accept your abundance quickly, and with open, non-resistant arms. Be ready, process, and receive money as soon as it comes to you, so that it can go right out again and begin to attract more to come your way. This keeps the money cycle flowing quickly, surely, and smoothly – without blocks or sluggishness.

When you get money, do the paperwork, do the math, file it accordingly, and/or do whatever else you need to do, what rich people do, to continually attract and grow the abundance you can achieve.

Remember, money is energy, and we can all do our best to give, use, receive, and share in such a way that it becomes, or remains, an abundant and beautiful flow.


Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls) is an award-winning multi-media artist, personal growth author/recording artist, founder and director of Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (since 2003). She is the founder and moderator of several Facebook groups including Creating Money: Using the Law of Attraction & Other Spiritual Tools for Abundance, Self-Love at Any Weight, among others. Visit her at http://cassendrexavier.com

© 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. www.cassEndrExavier.com

Source: http://tinyurl.com/y5bh4cd

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Green Smoothie Raw Blog 4/13/10

by Cassendre Xavier

Advice for an Aspiring (Yet Struggling) Raw Foodist

W. (female) writes:
Hello, I have been trying to become a raw foodie but living in a house with my whole family eating the SAD sad american diet. I fall off the wagon even to where now i am back eating cheese and butter .. I know being raw is better for me ..I want to do it but am at a loss how to keep doing it.. Thank you again for all your positive and uplifting messages. Its great to hear ! Peace and Love from W. in Minneapolis

Hi, W.!
I completely understand your struggle. Cooked food is highly addictive, and we who want to be really healthy and raw often don't have the support we need. That's why we need to create our own support. For me, that is in making YouTube videos and writing about my journey. That helps me stay on the path, which is really challenging for me as a food addict and child abuse survivor. Whenever I lose weight, I freak out and gain it back again - anyway, that's my path and you'll hear all about it on my Oprah-like journey!
Check out Victoria Boutenko's book about ending your addiction to cooked foods. I forget the new title, but it used to be "12 Steps to Raw Foods:". You can find it, and other great articles at http://rawfamily.com.
Please stay in touch and let me know how you’re doing, and remember, the thing is to simply add more raw to your diet to start. Don't worry about how you'll stay a high percentage - to 100% raw right now. I've been on this journey since 2005. It doesn't always take this long for folks (Matt Monarch went raw overnight and never went back), but everyone's path is unique.
Stay focused, keep dreaming, and imagining yourself as fully raw, healthy, and surrounded by raw or raw-supportive friends. Also, writing raw affirmations and saying them in front of the mirror is very helpful. Just one will do, "I am a healthy, wealthy, beautiful raw vegan living the life of my dreams." I say a similar sentence every morning in the front of my mirror and that's been helping me. Also, the times I've been most "on my game" with raw is when I've written my raw affirmation enough times to completely fill out at least on one whole sheet of paper.

Best of luck and let me know how you're doing. It was lovely to hear from you.

Make yourself a beautiful day!

Love and light,

Cassendre

Multi-media artist founder & director of Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003), Cassendre Xavier is the author of “Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: a Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal” available at Arnold’s Way Raw Vegetarian Café, Store & Education Center (Lansdale, PA), Essene Market & Café (Phila), and Giovanni’s Room bookstore (Phila), as well as an e-book at her website http://cassendrexavier.com. You can see her raw vegan posts at http://youtube.com/cassendrexavier.

Cassendre’s Song of the Day: “Reach” http://tinyurl.com/ydu73ps, from the album “Capable of Love” available in CD or MP3 download format at http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre and http://stores.lulu.com/cassendre.

© 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/yceado5

Monday, April 12, 2010

What is Your Body For?

What is your body for, do you know? Reared Fundamentalist Christian, I was taught the body houses the holy spirit. Later, when I studied other spiritual paths, I came to realize the body means different things to different people or groups. Some, like Catholics, think we are to be pious and only be sexual for procreation. Others, like Tantra and Tao practitioners, believe the body to be, in part, instruments of pleasure. What do you believe for yourself?
When we decide for ourselves what our values are, then we can begin living our lives according to what we choose for ourselves, and not what our parents or the dominant culture told us we should be or do.
Take the time to get to know different cultures’ ideas of what the body is for. Choose, or create for yourself, what you would like your body to mean to you. Then go about living your life according to your own system of values. This will increase your self-esteem and self-confidence, especially as time goes by and you become stronger and stronger in your faith.
This is what happened to me. I grew up a pagan queer girl surrounded by people who told me that the likes of me were evil. I internalized a lot of that, but in my 30s (I’m now 41), I decided to reclaim for myself my own values.
Since then I’ve had a spiritual path that is right for me, and I decide for myself what my body is for – and much of that is to make my dreams come true. To me, my body is a tool to bring forth and wo/manifests all the gifts I’ve been given. I’m here to sing, to write as I am to you now, to dream and to live my dreams. I’m here to serve and enjoy life and have pleasure. I’m here to love and to receive love. And none of those things are dependent on what my weight is.
I love myself much more than I ever have, and it’s largely because I decided, for myself, what my body is for.
If you haven’t already, I invite you to take a similar journey. What’s your body for?


Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls) is an award-winning multi-media artist, personal growth author/recording artist, founder and director of Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (since 2003). Visit her at http://cassendrexavier.com

© 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. www.cassEndrExavier.com

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dodson & Ross / With Pleasure Newsletter

Hello, Beautiful!

Welcome to another sexy ediccione (if you will) of the Dodson & Ross / With Pleasure double newsletter, by group creator/moderator Cassendre Xavier (aka Amrita Waterfalls).

It's been a while since I've written, as I've been busy with producing Philadelphia's 7th annual Black Women's Arts Festival. Many of us are super busy with various projects, so I'm sure you're not angry with me!

I just want to say thank you for celebrating your sexuality! I believe self-love of all kinds is a revolutionary act and definitely makes the world a better place. So, thanks for joining other like-minded folks and being in community here at Facebook!

The Official D & R Group (389 Members and growing) is http://tinyurl.com/yjoo6h8.
The Official D & R Fan Page (179 Fans and growing) is http://tinyurl.com/y6t83bt.
Please join, regularly post on, and widely forward the links to both!

Betty Dodson is a shero of mine and along with Carlin Ross, Dodson & Ross are doing a lot of great work in promoting healthy sex and relationships at http://dodsonandross.com. Please go to the site often to visit and see the blogs, products (like Betty's Vaginal Bar Bell), articles, and news there.

You can also visit them on YouTube. Their official channel is http://tinyurl.com/yyj4mzm. There you can see exciting posts about masturbation, sex, male & female genital issues, toys, kinks & fetishes, female ejaculation, public sex, relationships and more. The posts are not only informative, but they're extremely delightful and entertaining as both Betty's and Carlin's personalities shine through. They laugh a lot!

If you would like to be included in this newsletter, please send a 75 word blurb/free classified ad with link/contact to: cxwriting(at)gmail.com, or reply to this post. I'd be happy to do so in the next newsletter, but I make no promises when, and if I'm very overwhelmed I may not be able to do so.

If you'd like to be one of the "admins" of the Dodson & Ross group, and write a newsletter that includes our members' news and ads, please let me know! One of the best features of Facebook and all online social networking is that it allows those of us who are self-employed and/or doing creative/alternative work to share news about our work to like-minded folks who are also potential/future friends, creative collaborators/business partners, clients/customers, or audience. Let's optimize the opportunity!

I'm glad that I had this opportunity to create, with their approval, the Official Dodson & Ross Facebook group.

Enjoy your weekend!

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amrita Waterfalls, aka Amethyste Rah)
renaissance negresse (musician/author/visual artist/actress)
http://cassEndrExavier.com

Founder & Director of Philadelphia's annual Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003)
http://BWAFphilly.org
Late submissions end soon!
7th Annual Festival dates: Thurs July 29 thru Sun Aug 1, 2010

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For more information about Betty Dodson & Carlin Ross, visit http://dodsonandross.com

Source: http://tinyurl.com/yyktnyc

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fat Girl Pledge, or: No More Headshots

by Cassendre Xavier


i am a fat girl
i have fat cheeks
fat arms
and a big fat belly
that gets in the way sometimes
my thighs rub together
and my behind is not as big
as i wish it were
i'm not hourglass shaped
like the big girl models
in the plus size fashion magazines
but i'm not going to hate myself
anymore
from now on i pledge to love myself
big girl belly
pert butt and all
i refuse to detest
my double-chin and profile
no more headshots from the top view only
no more headshots for that matter
when a full-body shot is an option
for as long as i am big
i will be proud of my big body
i will show it off
and give other big girls (and big boys)
something to feel good about
i won't be shy to show my curves
whether they're societally approved or not
i'm tired of seeing only the faces
of my sisters
pictures taken from above
to hide the so-called unflattering curves
i'm tired of only headshots
on my big girl sisters
what about your body?
i want to see more of us in fishnet stockings
and photographed from head to toe, not just our faces
and our pretty pretty hair
since i must be the change i want to see in the world
i start with myself
and from here on, i pledge and i promise
to be a diva goddess big girl
proud of my everywhere curves
and not afraid to show them
in my pledge it's my intention
that all who see my full-body shots
are increased in your own self-love
and feel more like you, too, can boldly
show yourself as beautiful
and lovely
and/or handsome and attractive
no matter what your weight, your size,
your shape, or your age
so bring on the heels, the short skirts
and the corsets
bring on the t-shirts and jeans that are made
to find, fit, and flatter my own specific
woman curves
and bring on the cameras so the world can see
that i love myself
double-chin
big belly
tiny hiney
and
all
and, please
no more headshots
i'm saving those
for promotional purposes only


(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 http://cassEndrExavier.com for more info.

Source: http://cassendrexavier.blogspot.com/2010/04/fat-girl-pledge-or-no-more-headshots.html or http://tinyurl.com/y94nkug