Sunday, June 12, 2011

6/20 Nikki Powerhouse & Laurie Pollack – Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series

[Scroll down for feature bios! You're invited to attend in person or watch us from anywhere in the world!]

The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series, a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing, presents Nikki Powerhouse & Laurie Pollack!

Monday, June 20, 2011
7pm-9pm, $5 Admission
Moonstone Arts Center
110A S. 13th St (at Sansom)
Philadelphia, PA

Hosted with live music by Cassendre Xavier!

Always includes a Mixed-Gender Open Mic!

Streams LIVE at www.moonstoneartscenter.org, click on the Watch Live button.

Your contribution of $5 or more helps to support the featured readers, the Series, and Moonstone. (No one turned away.)

ABOUT NIKKI POWERHOUSE
Nikki Powerhouse is a native of Philadelphia, PA soil. An actress, playwright, poet, nude figure model and freedom dancer are many of her artistic expressions. She considers herself “commissioned by the ancestors” and is a channel for many characters, ranging from small child to elders, which she plays starkly and convincingly. Nikki began her extensive theater training at the Philadelphia Creative Performing Arts High School, and continued her theater passion at Black Nexxus, Theatre for New Generation, and many theater classes in New York City. Her New York City stage credits includes: Notice Me presented in NYC Fringe Festival, Sex, God, and Heels, Queen Mary of Scotland and Khepera. In Philadelphia she has trained with The New Freedom Theater, and currently in her second year at Community College of Philadelphia and will finish her BFA at Temple University School of Theater Communications. Philadelphia stage credits includes: her one-woman show Fantasy is an Addiction (2005 Philly Fringe Festival), Black Women’s Arts Festival, lead role in Antigone, Seven Guitars, Fences, and Merry Wives of Windsor. Ms. Powerhouse’s flexibility leaves her audiences captivated by each every performance giving true mean to the name: Powerhouse! Contact: NikkiPowerhouse(at)yahoo.com

ABOUT LAURIE POLLACK
Laurie Pollack believes that by creating, we honor, and connect to, the Source of inspiration and creative “fire” and create a more peaceful, gentler world. She honors Brighid, goddess of creativity and healing. She has self-published one book, “Peace Walk”, and is working on a new book, “Musings”, expected to be self-published in 2012. She is the facilitator of The Blank Canvas: a monthly creativity circle/gathering that meets in Delaware County to do creative “stuff” together. She walks for peace every year in Nevada with Nevada Desert Experience and maintains the website for the Delaware County Peace Center. Laurie has recently branched out into collage and is experimenting with several forms of visual arts. She is in love with color in all its forms.
In her “day” job she is a computer programmer for a health related company. Writing and art feed her “right brain” after a day of precise report writing. She lives with her life partner of 16 years, Mary, and two carnivorous cats, Maggie and Kyra, who generously allow her to be vegetarian while under their roof. Contact: webpoet1(at)aol.com

Founded in 2002 by Cassendre Xavier, the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series is a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing. For submissions and other information, please visit www.WomensWritingSeries.org

[To see author pics, visit http://tinyurl.com/WWSWS or visit www.MoonstoneArtsCenter.org and click “Calendar” June 20]

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

ME! ME! ME! CX Museletter “Gifts of Suffering” ediccione

ME! ME! ME! The Cassendre Xavier Museletter

The “Gifts of Suffering” ediccione, as it were. (If you will.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A) GREETINGS
1) GIFTS OF SUFFERING
2) ORDER STUFF! SEND DONATIONS! PLEASE! THANKS!
3) SOULMATE ATTRACTION FOR THE REST OF US
4) COME SEE ME IN CONCERT!
5) BLACK WOMEN’S ARTS FESTIVAL NEWSLETTER
Z) FAREWELL BLESSING


A) GREETINGS
Hi, there, friends! I am very happy once again to be sharing my life with you via this writing. It is my hope that those of you who are on a similar path of art-making as life-living (okay, that was a strange turn of phrasing, but, hey, it’s late and I’m a quirky one anyway!), that this will help you somehow. If not, simply delete and move along, folks – there’s nothing to see here!
My life is all about gratitude these days. Ever since I read in a book by renowned psychic Linda Georgian that she gives thanks to her migraine headaches as they are happening, and the result is they are lessened and gone sooner, I have been on a gratitude mission even more than usual.
I am grateful for my first active library card in many years. I am addicted to the Mr. Monk novels by Lee Goldberg based on the popular TV series, and as soon as I’m done those, I intend to attack with equal vigor the Diagnosis Murder novels he writes, too. I am grateful for every cool summer day between heat waves, for the friendly dogs in my neighborhood, for the hay fever allergy-healing benefits of local honey made by my friendly neighborhood Amish-operated farmer’s market, I’m even grateful for the occasionally and partially effective drugstore purchases which attempt to bring me ease from the same ailment. I’m grateful for air conditioning and for www.FamilyRadio.com for keeping me company in the wee hours of the day and helping me aim my thoughts on high things, even though I’m not too keen on all their teachings, in particular the prophecies of a certain teacher there whose name needn’t be mentioned constantly, in my opinion.
I’m grateful for lots and lots of things, but time and space are a wastin’...
Most of all I’m grateful right now for your two eyes (at least I hope you have two, and if you don’t, I hope you’re grateful for what you do have and can see with)!

1) GIFTS OF SUFFERING
In my lifelong mission to turn my experiences into art that you, my readers and listeners, can use, part of my job as a performing singer songwriter has become highly challenging in recent weeks and this has caused some, um, “discomfort”, financial and otherwise, on my part. I wrote an essay about it, which will soon be published hither and yon, to, and fro. I thought you might like to read it here:

Gifts of Suffering by Cassendre Xavier

Nationally recognized personal growth coach, spiritual teacher, and New York Times bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant was once a regular feature of the television show “Starting Over”. I remember once watching when she was talking to a Starting Over household and cast member about how to deal with her past. The woman had been abused in her youth and seemed to have a difficult time embracing a more positive present and creating a better future for herself.
Iyanla coached her to talk about her abuse a little bit. Then, she looked deeply into the woman’s eyes, held her hands, and with great compassion said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry those terrible things happened to you. Is that what you want to hear?” The woman’s face quickly went from contorted in sadness and wet tears to straight, plain, and incredulous. She was listening, and maybe a little startled and embarrassed.

To read more, please visit http://tinyurl.com/CXGOS2011.


2) ORDER STUFF! SEND DONATIONS! PLEASE! THANKS!
Folks, I need your help to get through some particularly challenging times I’ve been having financially in recent weeks. I realize I need to be that blatant and bold (aka “clear and direct”) about asking for help, because that’s what strong people do – ask for help when they need it.
It’s not enough to just affirm my abundance as I do by donating regularly to others.
I donate to and share my resources with folks for three reasons: a) Out of gratitude for the monies I am regularly receiving in my daily performing work from folks who tip my services and buy CDs at performances and to keep the flow going. As I receive, so I also give to receive again, and so on... b) They ask. I get letters, Facebook posts, and more requesting donations from various sources for various reasons. The ones that get my quickest response are from actual realtime associates who happen to be in my Facebook network. For instance, one posted an urgent request for $2. Even though I was struggling myself and had only about $6 in my Paypal account, I right away, minutes after seeing her post, went to Paypal and sent $2 to her. I’ve also given much more here and there, and again, I do it because I receive so much from the universe, of which you are a very vital and appreciated part! c) We are all one. Because I recognize that, and because I receive, I also give, because it’s math. What goes up must come down, and what comes in must go out, or else it will be stagnant, and who wants that? Not me!
Anyway, it occurred to me that one of the reasons I’m having a hard time these days is because I haven’t been doing what my contemporaries do on a regular basis – hittin’ ya up for cash!
I’m supposed to remind you that I’m a full-time self-employed artist and that absolutely every single sale of my CDs, downloads, books, e-books, etc. goes directly to my day to day living costs.
It’s my job to make what I do so irresistible to you that you feel compelled to support my art/work, and therefore life, so I’m working on that.
Because right now I don’t have concert tickets to some cool ass venue, or a brand new CD (because I need to raise production costs first – oy vey!) I must do what I can.
I’ve been paying the bills by performing and selling CDs and chapbooks. I’ve also been receiving income from application/submission and ticket sales to events I produce. Needless to say these haven’t exactly been earth shatteringly high numbers, to say the least, but I am soooooo grateful that I have been able to do what I love (produce events, make art, write, publish my works, basically live a creative life and make a living from sharing my life experiences). Absolutely sooooo lucky and blessed!
It’s my job to make these things attractive to you, and it’s my honor to step up to the challenge.
For now, I am fully experiencing my feelings and putting them in writing, then sharing any lessons I’ve learned with my reading audience.
I intend to continue doing this over the next few weeks, and always include an order form and links of my available works for you to support or consider supporting, and forwarding to any of your writer friends.
I would so appreciate if you could either make a purchase every now and then or make a free will open donation to my Paypal account email address cxmusic(at)gmail.com. This is very simple to do. You just go to www.paypal.com, find the “Send Money” button, and send to: cxmusic(at)gmail.com (replace the “at” with @). Even if it’s just two bucks, trust me, it adds up and makes a difference.
I promise I will continue to be the best artist I can be, share my stories with others, and re-gift a portion of my own income to other performers and authors and artists doing similar work. As a former co-worker of mine used do say, “You know I love to do it!”

Ways you can financially support my art/work, and therefore, life:

CD Baby http://tinyurl.com/CXCDBaby
iTunes http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes
Lulu http://tinyurl.com/CXatLulu
CX Direct http://cxdirect.eventbrite.com
CX Books & E-Books http://cxbooks.eventbrite.com
Paypal http://paypal.com “Send Money” to cxmusic(at)gmail.com (replace the “at” with “@)
Paper postal mail: Please send a US Postal Money Order payable to Cassendre Xavier, POB 30204, Philadelphia, PA 19103-8204


Lastly, I want to so, so, so, so, sooooo thank each and every one of you who regularly help me or have helped me in the past in various ways, financial and otherwise. I appreciate you all so very much. Yes, the tips and CD sales are paramount because my landlord and utility companies don’t accept smiles and hugs :-) but I also appreciate thoughts, prayers, well-wishes, blessings, visualizations, forwarding my emails to your friend(s), and even just your taking the time to read my work is a blessing which I appreciate. It is very often in my mind the time I watched Jill Scott being interviewed in a room of black women while she was getting her hair done. I was looking at her bright and smiling, talented face, and I knew, I just knew and could see and feel all the love and support that she had received not only from those women, but from the women who reared her and from her poetry community and her entire fan base and supporters in Philadelphia who held her up in their psychic arms. Whenever I am blessed in public by someone, I feel that same thing is happening to me, and that someday, people will say, “I used to see that girl playing in the subway.” You are one of those people and I thank you very, very much, not exactly in advance because it’s been happening for years and I have been witnessing the gradual effects of your well-wishes for me! Thanks, and right back atcha!


3) SOULMATE ATTRACTION FOR THE REST OF US

Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us by Cassendre Xavier

I’ve been really enjoying lately reading and listening to audio guided meditations of works about manifesting one’s ideal romantic partnership. The two best that I can recommend are the “Soulmate Secret” materials by Arielle Ford, which focus on “using the law of attraction to manifest the love of your life”, and “Attracting Your Soul Mate” a single guided meditation audio download by Sanaya Roman, who channels her spirit guide named Orin. In this single meditation, Orin teaches a powerful method to help you actually reach through space and time to communicate now with your ideal partner of the future. I find it a very peaceful meditation, and I sense that my communications are real and effective. (Complete audio course on “Attracting Your Soul Mate” also available.)
Arielle Ford has successfully used the law of attraction for decades to grow her business and develop a wonderful single life. When, in her 40s, she found herself still single, she decided to apply these laws to manifest the love of her life. Not long after that, at age 44 she met and married her husband of over 12 years, Brian Hilliard.

To continue reading the complete, unedited article and reader comments at Wisdom Magazine, visit http://tinyurl.com/CXsaftrou
To continue reading a very attractive edited version and reader comments at Inner Self Magazine, visit http://tinyurl.com/CXISsaftrou.


4) COME SEE ME IN CONCERT!
Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:00pm FREE! Elixr Coffee, 207 S. 15th St. (between Walnut & Locust) Philadelphia, PA 19102
-----------------------------------------
Monday, June 20, 2011 7pm-9pm $5
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series presents...
Laurie Pollack and Nikki Powerhouse
Hosted with live music by Cassendre Xavier
Includes Mixed-Gender Open Mic
Streams LIVE at www.MoonstoneArtsCenter.org! (Click "Watch Live")
Moonstone Arts Center, 110A S. 13th St. (at Sansom St.), Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-735-9598
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002 at Robin's Bookstore) is a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing. For submissions information, our complete calendar, email list sign-up, and more, please visit http://www.WomensWritingSeries.org. SASE to: Women's Writing Series, PO Box 30204, Philadelphia, PA 19103-8204.

-----------------------------
Saturday, June 25, 2011 10:30am-12:30pm FREE
Lansdowne Farmer's Market
with David Falcone

Address and link coming soon!
Complete calendar at www.cassEndrExavier.com

5) BLACK WOMEN’S ARTS FESTIVAL NEWSLETTER
Some little girls are born wanting to make humyn babies. Others have a different destiny and later learn to call their projects their “children”. The latest update about my main offspring, if you will, was released just yesterday. (As it were.) Read it at http://bwafphilly.org/news.html


Z) FAREWELL BLESSING
If you’re in Philadelphia, may you daftly manage the coming heat wave this week. It’s about to get hot as ass up in here! But, seriously, folks...

May you constantly find yourself increasing in self-love, and compassion for all living beings.
May you learn to accept that all of life contains painful moments, and that these challenges are necessary and helpful; no one will ever be completely satisfied with all of life. This realization will bring peace and most joy.
May you step by step surround yourself with people who “get” you and love you exactly as you are right now, not when you’ve improved your body or become more “actualized” in your mind.
May you never give up seeking the love your deepest, most innocent self has always known you deserve.
May children and animals like and want to be around you.
May each day bring you closer to your dream life, more peace, and more smiles, more health, and always, big, real LOVE.


Thank you for your continued support of my art/work, and therefore, life. I appreciate YOU!

In art and community,

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

Founder & Director of Philadelphia’s 8th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival
(Thurs July 28th thru Sun July 31st, 2011) Accepting year-round submissions at http://BWAFphilly.org

Founder & Director of the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002)
Accepting year-round submissions at http://WomensWritingSeries.org


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Number of times the word “ass” was used: 2. (I’ll do better next time!)



Last call for financial support: If any of the contents of this was helpful or inspiring to you in any way, please place an order at any of the links below, or donate to Payapal (also below). Thank you so very much and see you soon, hopefully! Oh, and please tell your friends!
Ways you can financially support my art/work, and thefore, life:

CD Baby http://tinyurl.com/CXCDBaby
iTunes http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes
Lulu http://tinyurl.com/CXatLulu
CX Direct http://cxdirect.eventbrite.com
CX Books & E-Books http://cxbooks.eventbrite.com
Paypal http://paypal.com “Send Money” to cxmusic(at)gmail.com (replace the “at” with “@)
Paper postal mail: Please send a US postal money order payable to:
Cassendre Xavier, POB 30204, Philadelphia, PA 19103-8204



Copyright (c) 2011 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint is granted provided the passage’s title, author, copyright info, credit, and URL http://www.cassEndrExavier.com are included. Thank you for sharing responsibly!


“You needn’t have a perfect life to have a moment of true appreciation of your life, and having those feelings as often as possible will help make your life more perfect. So, take a moment every day to appreciate and feel really good about all you have.” ~Cassendre Xavier

“Strong people ask for help when they need it.” ~Cassendre Xavier


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Want “ME! ME! ME!” in your inbox? Send a blank email to: cassendrexavier-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

To Unsubscribe: Reply with “Remove” in the subject. I won’t cry, honest. Well, not much, anyway.

Gifts of Suffering by Cassendre Xavier

Nationally recognized personal growth coach, spiritual teacher, and New York Times bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant was once a regular feature of the television show “Starting Over”. I remember once watching when she was talking to a Starting Over household and cast member about how to deal with her past. The woman had been abused in her youth and seemed to have a difficult time embracing a more positive present and creating a better future for herself.
Iyanla coached her to talk about her abuse a little bit. Then, she looked deeply into the woman’s eyes, held her hands, and with great compassion said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry those terrible things happened to you. Is that what you want to hear?” The woman’s face quickly went from contorted in sadness and wet tears to straight, plain, and incredulous. She was listening, and maybe a little startled and embarrassed. “You have been waiting all this time for someone to tell you they’re sorry. You want people to acknowledge your pain. I’m doing that now. I’m sorry that happened to you. It’s terrible. But you must let it go and never speak of it again. Never speak of it again.” Well, that threw me for a loop, so I can imagine the woman hearing it was also surprised at this new information.
I started then taking Iyanla’s advice. I, too, started trying to forget about my painful abusive past, and not thinking about. Months and years later I even got into story making as a craft, and creating and recreating the kind of parents and childhood I would’ve liked to have had to become the person I wanted to be. It was very helpful, because in the doing, in the “making believe”, I also realized I actually did have some very good and pleasant things in my childhood and in my parents. I didn’t have to make it all up.
This work is very good to do – to let go of a painful past, and to stop reliving the stories and sadness we sometimes keep bringing up.
But there is something to being truthful about our present sorrows, too.
If in being so focused on “magickal living” and creating a reality based on our desired fantasies and affirmations we forget to sometimes talk about our struggles, we miss out on some important and even helpful experiences.
This happened to me recently when I started having a hard time at a job that had been for some months paying me quite well and meeting several of my basic needs.
I had been enjoying this work, which was a temporary job, and not working hard enough on creating more permanent, and appropriate work. I had also been spending most of my time speaking positively of my financial situation, even though things were usually much more dire than I spoke of, because of the spiritual work and studies I’d done that focused on positive affirmations and speaking “as if”. The books I’d been reading had said to speak of my life as I wanted it to be, and so I did, without lying, just being creative in my speaking. While this did work and I saw their benefits in my well-paying temporary job, I was also missing out on an opportunity to make progress in my permanent business and receive more donations and sales from my audience of fans and customers who often were reminded that my success was largely reliant on their support.
Because of circumstances that arose a few months into my temporary job bliss, I began experiencing difficulties, resistance, and other challenges in my work. Because of the way people around me were responding to how my work was being received by the majority of my customers, my work was beginning to be sabotaged. Now, going to work was no longer pleasant, and because of the sabotage, I was making a third of the income and a third of new customer growth.
The suffering I began experiencing at work was becoming too much for me to be able to creatively and positively speak about. I decided to drop all pretence and just admit to myself and to my audience that I was suffering. As soon as that decision was made, I had some experiences, which turned into lessons I would like to share in hopes that they may help you. Here’s what can happen when you can fully accept, experience, and share your suffering with others:

1) Physically, you may relax. Your shoulders may drop, and you may be able to feel all of your feelings about the circumstance you are in. You may realize then, that you were holding a lot of tension pretending everything was great, or even just okay.

2) You get to really look around and see that you deserve more. You may see that you were selling yourself short by settling for less than you deserve.

3) You can take the opportunity to express gratitude to everyone and everything, including those who were attempting to hurt you. In doing so, you may see things you didn’t see before and learn about yourself and your so-called enemies. Everything and everyone, even if they are hurting you, is a gift if you see at that way and make it one in your life.

4) You may see direct parallels in your present situation and past relationships that link to a possible past painful or traumatic experience. You may have the opportunity to examine what beliefs where created in your past and how you may have been replaying a traumatic experience by not demanding more for yourself. You may discover that you need to, and could heal your past pain by loving yourself more and by giving yourself new beliefs to replace the old.

5) In feeling the pain of your experience, you may use those moments seeking spiritual guidance to direct your next steps. Often, it is in our most challenging moments that the best questions and answers to our deepest life issues arise.

If we face our difficulties with grace, gratitude, and a willingness to honor all of our feelings, if we can combine occasional expressions of pain and sadness with our usual routine of focusing on the positive and speaking our most desired realities into being, we can live a more balanced, whole life, and manifest our dreams and best life ever.


Cassendre Xavier is an award-winning multi-media Haitian and Chinese-American artist. Her latest print and e-books are This is What a Millionaire Looks Like: Inspiring Essays (ARtivist Publications, 2011) Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: A Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal (ARtivist Publications, 2009) her latest CD/download of music (described by Borders Music’s Steven M. Wilson as “a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade and Enya”) is Capable of Love (Serious Creature Music, 2009), and her latest guided meditation recordings Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love, and Affirmations for Survivors: Spirituality (Amethyste Affirmations, 2007) feature the music of Thaddeus (Sanaya Roman www.orindaben.com). Visit www.cassEndrExavier.com for more information about Cassendre.



Copyright (c) 2011 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint granted as long as "Gifts of Suffering by Cassendre Xavier" appears with the aforementioned copyright date, credit and website www.cassEndrExavier.com are included. Thank you for sharing responsibly!