Me! Me! Me! A Cassendre Xavier Museletter
The “Celebrating Abundance” Ediccione, if you will. (As it were.)
Friday, July 8, 2011
How are you? I am well and I trust you are well also!
Thank you so much for your support of my art/work, and therefore, life, whether via financial support, prayers, well wishes, or visualizations of me as happy and successful.
I apologize for having been so focused on my lack when I wrote last time. I’m glad I did it, and that I expressed myself authentically, but doing so actually made things worse a little bit, in a way! Some folks started avoiding me, because of the vibe of “suffering” I had put out there. I think it made some people feel bad.
In the book Creating Money: Attracting Abundance by Sanaya Roman & Duane Packer (http://orindaben.com), they list qualities that attract and qualities that repel money, or abundance. One of the qualities that attracts is “Giving to people’s prosperity” and one that repels is “Giving to people’s need”. I understand that now. This doesn’t mean that one oughtn’t help when someone is asking for it, it means to affirm abundance, and to focus on this, rather than on lack. (This information is also in the older edition of Creating Money: Keys to Abundance, available for Dirt Ass Cheap at http://amazon.com).
Not to get all “scripture-y”, but in Matthew 25:29 Jesus Christ says, “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” (NKJV). I read that a few days ago and so, absolutely, totally got it! It really resonated with me. Doesn’t it seem to you that folks who are usually doing well are usually doing well, and those who are usually complaining always have “material”, if you will? (As it were.)
Energy is energy, and money is energy. You are energy, I am energy, it’s all energy. And energy attracts like energy. An object in motion stays in motion. Do you want your energy to be flowing in the lane of lack, or in that of abundance? Once I realized that, I became more determined to be serious about celebrating my abundance, of which I have a lot. Everything we think is affirmed by the universe. Everything we focus on and say magnetizes things that are like it. This affirms our beliefs. The good news is we get to choose where we place our focus. We can choose to start ignoring negative thoughts and feelings, and replacing them with the positive. Think and do what makes you feel good! Believe the best is yet to come for you!
But getting back to the aftereffects of my most recent museletter, the one called “Gifts of Suffering”...
I also asked the angels to give me more clarity to see what I am doing that’s not serving me and how I can, with their help, make some changes.
One thing is I’m going about fundraising the wrong way. You, my fans, and my friends, and sometimes both, are not my Source. And you’re not my livelihood. It wasn’t just Divine Guidance that gave me this little lesson. It was numbers. Pure and simple math. .
Of all the outlets I sent my fundraising plea last month, I yielded the record-shattering amount of $98. Three folks sent money, and one made a purchase. All were close friends of mine. I didn’t get the windfall of CD Baby or Lulu orders I expected from a high and random number of fans from anear and afar.
Observing the flow of energy is something that comes very easily to me and that I am grateful to be able to do very well and often. I looked at other places where there is a good flow of energy for me – and that is in two places: Grants, and CD sales at concerts.
So, having made that observation, I am focusing on those two things.
In that line, I’ve been researching grants to apply for, feeling very, very good about them, for two reasons: One: I have good chemistry with institutions that have lots of money :-) They tend to like to give it to me, and I’m very happy to be there to assist them with that. But I do have to apply. Therein’s the rub as we say in the business.
Regarding the CDs, I had a realization recently: I am going back to jewel cases complete with picture and liner notes that I wrote and drew myself.
Because I was such in scarcity-thinking mode, for the last several months I had gone to paperless slimline cases. My reasoning was two-fold, one: they were 75% less expensive for me to produce. And secondly: I figured folks were so into just making MP3s out of CDs and playing them on their portable digital listening devices, that they wouldn’t miss the “album art” as it were (if you will). But I’ve noticed that I’ve had way less repeat sales than I’m used to having. And I’m pretty sure it’s because folk aren’t as excited about just a CD in a skinny case – no lyrics, no picture of my lovely face :-)
I had a guy a couple of weeks ago who was passing through when I was busking, and he purchased a CD, and insisted on taking my display copy which has my photo on it. Because he was an older gentleman, pretty cocky, and also from out of town, not likely to see me again anytime soon, I relinquished the copy to him.
I was thinking a couple of days ago, this: I enjoy making liner notes. I love drawing the artwork on them. It’s my holding back of my joy, and *cutting corners from a space of scarcity and lack that reduced my sales, not the quality of my music or performing. (*By the way “Doing your best” is on the list of qualities that attract money, while “Cutting corners” is its opposite.)
We are supposed to be happy. We are supposed to enjoy ourselves in life. That’s why certain things feel good to us, because we’re supposed to do them.
I was thinking yesterday about how I was when I was just starting out as an artist. I was really happy, really free, and really confident in making my CDs. I got into the album art, I enjoyed making the lyrics sheet, I was like a kid playing in the sandbox, not wanting to come in the house for dinner. Just that happy.
I asked myself why I wasn’t happy like that anymore. When had it become just numbers and bitterness and jadedness about the lack of online sales and concert turn-out?
Why was I so sure that following my bliss would indeed yield (eventually) high numbers for me? Why was I so comfortable in that knowing – and completely without doubt or any sense of lack?
It was because I had the physical comfort and stability of gainful employment. I was always comfortably employed full-time at one of a series of bookstores that would be the bulk of my career in retail in Philadelphia.
Because I had plenty of money coming in (I wasn’t rich, but being an Aquarian with a penchant for trash picked and thrift store bought furniture and milk crate everything, I didn’t need much to be happy and comfortable), so I not only easily paid my living expenses, I also had plenty left over to make CDs and go around playing places for fun.
I used to think it was because I was younger that I had more folks coming out to my shows back then. That’s a part of it, I’m sure. But I’m aware that the major thing is energy: I’m out there with an energy of take and not give. And as I’ve learned from busking, which is one of the very best ways to learn the power of the law of attraction, an energy of take repels, while an energy of give attracts. Back then I was excited to perform. I was new to the game. There were coffeehouses, and bookstores and bars and community centers and house parties, and folk venues and Unitarian churches (which were sometimes one and the same), and all sorts of opportunities and invitations to perform, and I enjoyed many of them, because I was new to it and I was living my long-held dream.
If I only made twenty bucks at a gig, I didn’t care, because I had a paycheck. Everything else was extra. Well, that was then. Years went by and I started to feel bad. I started to literally suffer mental anguish (in the form of severe depression) because I wasn’t born to be a bookstore clerk my whole life. I started wanting to become a full time multi-media artist, a performing and recording singer-songwriter-musician and multi-genre publishing author who also acted and did visual arts on occasion. Then I started working towards that. Eventually, I succeeded, but not with financial success or stability, yet. So then, the goal became to be a gainfully and comfortably employed multi-media artist. I’d have spots of windfalls and comforts here and there (Like the $15,000 Leeway Transformation Award I received in 2005, and getting paid upwards of $300, $650, and $750 to perform at higher learning institutions).
The 1990s for me were about me developing a strong desire to become an active, multi-media artist. That’s when I was working at bookstores full time and performing and getting published “on the side” or “in my free time”. The early 2000s were when I became and started fully working as a multi-media artist. That’s when I started community cultural arts events, like the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series (http://WomensWritingSeries.org - Click to read and see pretty pictures about the next event on July 20, featuring Jeanine Hoffman, Angel Rollins, and myself as musical host!) and the Black Women’s Arts Festival (http://BWAFphilly.org - Click to read about the 8th Annual BWAF, happening July 27 – 31 at 3 different venues!). I released several albums of music described as “a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade and Enya” (Steven M. Wilson, Borders Books) http://tinyurl.com/CXCDBaby. I also was published in various anthologies and periodicals (
http://ARTivistPublications.homestead.com, or http://cassEndrExavier.com, click “Writing”) and produced and performed in a 4-cast member play (including theatre artist and spiritual teacher O, cellist/vocalist/lyricist/composer/former BWAF Creative Director Monica McIntyre, and poet Samantha Barrow) for 3 days of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. But those years were more full of financial famine than of feast, although the creative output was tremendous, inspiring me to coin the term “renaissance negresse” to define myself as an artist most succinctly and clearly.
The next few years are about my balancing my creative output with my financial abundance.
I had begun to rest on my laurels, expecting certain rewards because of my previous years of experience in the arts. But now I have relinquished all of that, because it created an attitude of bitterness that isn’t pretty at all!
I am ready to work for what I want again. I have discipline. I am ready to pay the dues I thought I had already paid. I now know there are new dues all the time, because the dream is always changing and growing. I don’t want for myself alone anymore. I have a family to think of – and by family I mean the initiatives that I’ve created. I want to them to last and grow, and do so without me. So I must do whatever it takes to start getting smart about my business as an ARTrepreneur.
The Black Women’s Arts Festival is very important. It deserves to have someone running it who is well taken care of and able to do good work in a comfortable, relaxed way.
So, wish me luck as I embark upon this new adventure!
I intend to remain disciplined in my intention and focus on my abundance from now on. And I am grateful for the lesson that your response, or lack thereof (unless you went to iTunes and ordered a bunch of 99 cent songs that I won’t know about until I get my royalties a few weeks from now!) taught me: You are not my Source of abundance. Spirit is my Source. God/The Most High/the All that Is/Goddess, etc. And the way to be is joyful. I am back to following my bliss. I get it. And I thank you!
Thank you for your kind attention, as always, and I wish you the very best.
In art and community, and ABUNDANCE,
renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur
Number of times the word “ass” was used in this ediccione, if you will. (As it were.): 1 (Maybe I’ll do better next time :-)
© Copyright 2011 by Cassendre Xavier. All rightzen reservenitzken.
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