Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ARTIST INSPIRATION INTERVIEW: Cassendre Xavier & Brook Woolf

ARTIST INSPIRATION INTERVIEW: Cassendre Xavier & Brook Woolf

Cassendre Xavier is a multi-media artist and community cultural arts organizer. Visit her at

Brook Woolf is a visionary artist, coach, and healer. Visit her at

CX: Hi, Brook! When I first saw a post of yours on Facebook, I think it said something about co-working and travel and I was very intrigued. Since then I've Googled you and looked at your websites in search of more detail about what you do as a career, how you coach others to work and travel, and what those careers actually are or look like. It's been very ambiguous so I thought I'd ask you questions as if I were a 9-year old! Hope that helps!

1)What are your business names and brief descriptions?

BW: I run a blog called where I discuss mindfulness and travel. I also do private coaching and have a facebook group for people looking to start a coaching business and travel called Mindful Modern Nomads. They work together and have a lot of cross-over. 

2)What would you say you do for a living, and how would you describe your work?

BW: One, as mentioned before, I coach online both empowerment in business and mindfulness in life for people aiming to make the world a better place through their services. I teach them how to montetize and transform their hobbies into their careers. 

Secondly, I am a holistic practitioner that teaches my healing modality* emotional body mapping, and has one on one clients I do a mixture of counseling, bodywork, and nutrition and exercise programs. 

3)Would you say you have a mission in life, and if so, what is it? How does it combine with your occupation/profession/work/employment?

BW: My mission in life is to help facilitate others to see the best in themselves and share their skills with others. The hope is the more I can guide others to be authentically sharing the more people can grow and share and learn. It plays a role in everything I do for my occupation, whether or not it is my bodywork practice, my healing practice, or my coaching. It is essentially the embodiment of my everyday life and I am so grateful for it. 

4)Do you believe that employment is our best form of income, or do you also believe in and practice "passive income"?

BW: Personally, I love my career and its hard to say. I do believe that having a purpose and payment for that purpose helps motivate both the recipient and the doer. As for "passive income", I personally feel that gets tossed around a lot and generally passive income is in sales of products. I currently do not generate income that way but I would be interested in promoting things and people that I believe in on my site and in my life. I don't believe in competition and love all my people to prosper and be abundant. If there was a way I could help with that, I totally would do it! 

5)If you do have one or multiple streams of passsive income, what are they?

BW: All my income takes some form of work, even if it is minimal.  Occassionally, I will design and sell accessories made from natural dye textiles around the world just because I have a passion for keeping cultural arts alive and supporting local communties and the planet. While, it is effortless for me to do most of what I do because I love it so much. I am not doing any sort of ads on my site or anything that is serious passive income. 

6)I saw that you prefer to live in the places you travel, for 3-6 months at a time. Where have you traveled this way?

BW: I have lived many different cities in America (Bay Area in California, Chicago, San Diego area) Paris, San Miguel de Allende Mexico, and now I am in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the second time! I think I am going to stay here for a couple years though as part of my way of traveling is learning the language and giving back. Thai takes a lot of time to learn and quite a lot of dedication, so it may be awhile in this country. I don't mind, I love it here! 

7)If this doesn't repeat a previous answer, how do you work in other countries or part of the US? Are you always earning income when you travel, or do you sometimes travel to promote your work and spend money you earned previously?

BW: I do massage and counseling everywhere I go and online work as well;) I run courses in Thailand and will be expanding to the states next year. My prices in person change from country to country as well.  I have done lectures in other countries and not worked rigorously, but most of the time I have a flow of income from my private clients wherever I go. 

I have also considered working larger festivals but have not fully been drawn to do that as of yet. I used to sell garments (the world textiles) at art fairs around the US, but it was tiring! So, I am apprehensive to that form of work. I fully believe in order to inspire and facilitate it is important to make ample time for self-care and inner work. 

CX: I have noticed since joining the raw food movement in 2007 that many bohemian-type of entrepreneurs move out of the country and then create programs they then sell to people to teach them how to do it to. I never signed up for those because they are out of my range financially and also professionally... I am not ready for that, but in interviewing you I am learning about other ways folks travel and work and make their own livelihoods and careers.Thank you for this opportunity, and I hope this conversation yields material we can both use. If not, I still appreciate it, and you!

BW: Thank you !!!! This was awesome! I hope it was helpful! 

CX: It was, and I hope it helps lots of folks to dream and more clearly and effectively form their careers and right livelihood - thank you!

(c) Copyright 2017 by Cassendre Xavier. Permission is granted to reprint for non-commercial purposes only. Please share ethically. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

He Loved Me (for TDT) poem

[Relationship 2009 until his passing in 2013]

Tom never told me he liked my voice
He never said I sang well
or that he liked my music

But he came to my shows
towards the end of his life
And he climed stairs
to see me
On weakened legs
ravaged by a damaged heart
On a six foot five inch
three hundred pound frame
When he had to lift his ankle
by the scruff of his pants
to cross his legs as he sat
He came to see me

And he smiled
Oh, how he smiled
as he watched me sing
He looked so proud 
and happy
and pleased 
and comforted
by a sound I hoped he found
and soothing

Tom never told me he liked my voice
But he thirsted for it
Like a man in the dessert
He leaned in and was quiet
and let me feed him my words
He needed to hear me talk
He needed me

Tom told me he loved me
a few times near the end
But I never needed to hear it
Because he showed it many ways
Like the day he carried a bed
Up the small staircase 
of my apartment
Towards the end
when his heart was weakest
He worked for me
He helped make my life
more comfortable
as he always had
That was love

One of the times he said I love you
that I believed him the most
the time I often play back
in my memory
Because it fills me with joy
to know I was truly loved
is when he said,
"We don't choose who we love."

That was the most concrete statement
to me about his love.
But he never had to say it.
He showed it many ways.
He loved me.

(c) Copyright 2017 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Tag: poetry, widow, grief, bereavement, polyamory, poly

Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier

"renaissance negresse"

$15,000 Leeway Transformation Award-Winning musician, writer, and community cultural arts organizer.

Founder & Executive Director of the Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002).

Official website:

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Let Me Be a Blessing (Wisdom plus bonus!)

Dear Friends & Total Complete Strangers!

Please enjoy my July 2017 Wisdom Magazine article "Let Me Be a Blessing" at


Let Me Be A Blessing

Years ago I had a job working as a server at a mom-and-pop Southern style breakfast joint. I was very unhappy there, because I had to be up so early to get to work it was still dark out (it was winter time which made it even more unpleasant), tips were bad (low), and I ruined 61 consecutive days of raw veganism by eating the meal that had been presented to me at the interview. (I felt I "had" to accept it, lest I destroy or weaken my chances at getting the job.)

 One usually miserable morning as I was walking from bus stop to restaurant, I went right from praying, "Please help me get out of this job," to "Let me be a blessing." I love moments like this - when we are given a moment of clarity and wisdom, to tune into our inner wise selves, and listen to the angels' whispers of love...

 Walking into the restaurant, I felt different - free. I didn't have to worry about what would happen that day that would make me miserable. Suddenly the focus was not on what would happen outside of me, and to me, but what I could create from within me, to send outwords to others. I saw myself as a true server now, no longer as a taker. I was not looking for tips, and how to "get" them. Now I was looking for love and how to give it. I was looking out for the love within myself.

 Whereas before I felt resenteful of my patrons, past, present, and future, all of whom either did tip badly or whom I expected would if I served them... Now I felt totally neutral. They had nothing to do with my happiness, because now I saw my happiness as being the direct result of my outpouring and expression of love. I didn't even care how my efforts would be received - that part wasn't my problem. I was simply assigned to love. Only I didn't intellectually know that at the time. I just sensed that being a blessing would come effortlessly to me and that I would be shown when the time came, how to be this way, on a case by case basis. 

 I don't know exactly how or what happened, or what I did, but for that day and every other for the rest of my time there, I had joyful exchanges with my customers, who n ow, suddenly, tipped very well!

 Did it have to do with my smiles? Or my having released the need for them to tip me? People can feel energy, and perhaps now they could feel that I didn't need them. I was simply there to serve them. Whatever they did was their choice, and they were not my source of joy. When we are not being demanded of anything, we can relax and show our love. When we are with people who are relaxed with, smile at, and are kind to us, we want to return that kindness with our own smiles and relaxed feelings.

 That is what happened, and I never forgot it.
 In February I moved in to temporarily stay with a partner I'd been seeing. 

 For various reasons including the fact that we weren't in a serious, committed relationship, he was not keen on making a copy of the housekey for me, even though I was trustworthy and had hinted at wanting one more than once. Having a key would make it much more convenient to get back and forth and not have to rely on someone being at the house when I arrived in the evenings. I even offered to make a copy, which would have been very easy for me to do at the little shop across the street from my office. When he said no again, I didn't pressure.

 I let it go and started focusing on being a blessing to the household (him, and his adult daughter who commutes to college). 

 Very soon after I put it out there in the Universe: "Let me be a blessing..." I was sweeping under the couch when a little keyring with two keys showed up in the dust.

 I didn't know they were keys to the house - I just knew they were keys. Later, when I gave them to him, he said, "Oh, these are housekeys." And he let me keep them (for the duration of my stay, that is). So, in one fell swoop, and with no significant effort on either of our parts, a problem had been solved. 

 I was thrilled to have the keys! Now I come and go as I please, and I don't have to call or text first to make sure anyone's "home" to let me in.

 I highly recommend this "Let me be a blessing" prayer and intention.

 Try it anytime you feel you are in a funk with your relationships or at work or at home or temporary residence. For when we seek to be a blessing, we too are blessed!

"Prayer/Intention: Let Me Be a Blessing", an April 2014 post on my primary blog: 

Cassendre Xavier is a $15,000 Leeway Transformation Award-winning self-described "multi-media healing artist" who writes, records music and guided meditations, and creates community cultural arts events. She has written for Wisdom Magazine's webzine since 2009. Visit her storefront of recordings, and books of poetry and inspiring essays  at


(c) Copyright 2017 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved and stuff.

Cassendre's chapbooks and recordings are sold exclusively at Bindlestiff Books, 4530 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143 Never let it be said!