Special Needs Adult/Disabled Artist – Sept. 20, 2019

Special Needs Adult/Disabled Artist – Sept. 20, 2019




After, I dunno, maybe three years of mostly social isolation I am particularly touched to see how many of you, my appreciators, are still there, and here supporting me one way or another. Whether it’s your prayers, holding a vision of my success, sending a warm and encouraging email, showing up in real actual physical persun to an event of mine (shocker!) or sending a donation to one of my online fundraiser, I am so appreciative! Thank you so much. You remind me that although I may not write “Me! Me! Me!’s” as often as I used to, or gig as much as I used to, or upload YouTube’s as often as I used to, I am still here, too 🙂
I started using the term “Special Needs Adult” for myself a few months ago, because I identify with the term “special needs child” except that I’m not a child. And I also add “Disabled Artist” because I saw a peer artist use that and she and her partner are both disabled artists who seem to be doing just fine. I figure if I use that title, I too, a few years from now, could be doing just fine – no major housing crisis every few years because I can’t work enough to keep my bills paid. Oh how I wish I had listened to my first therapist, who in the early 90s, told me I had a mental disability. But mental health stigma being even stronger back then than it is now, I didn’t want to admit there was something with my brain – and also quite frankly I didn’t believe her. (Denial.)
I used to always think of admiting a weakness as strength, that only when we admit we have a problem, be it an addiction, a personality flaw, or a disability, can we then address and work around the issue and then be much more successful and effective than if we continue to deny or ignore it. It took my being in my late 40s to come to that realization. It was 2015, actually, and I was in a women’s homeless shelter. I remember sobbing into the arms of the only friend I made there (we are still friends today), that I was starting to realize there really was something wrong with my brain. So began the journey, and now here we are – here I am 🙂

On Sept. 10th there was an incident that made my moving out much more urgent than before. I called for a fundraiser, and gave myself the date of Oct. 10th to hopefully find a place. In the interim, I’ve been receiving donations at http://gofundme.com/CXYear50 but I don’t really have a clear cut idea of how a persun who can’t work at least in the typical ways, has no recent work or landlord references, gets a place. So, I decided to relax and not focus on that for the moment. I will continue to meet with my life coach and therapist and focus on today and tomorrow. One of the most important things to do is stay in feeling of having what I want. My life coach reminded me that what helps us manifest things is to feel the way we will when we have it. Find that feeling, and hold it for as long and as often as possible. She said that this feeling will help attract what we want, as well as help to remove the obstacles to what we want. And my therapist reminded me that I manifested a place to live for 3 1/2 years (where I am now). In session today, I suddenly realized that, “Hey! I tend to manifest places to live easily – I always have. But they just don’t last long.” And that’s when she pointed out that this one did. That was really helpful to remember. It’s always been very easy for me start working on something, once I know I have done it before, even just a little bit.
One thing I do know is that I love being an artist. I am so excited about the Black Women’s Arts Festival this weekend (more on that later). Not even the performances, but just being there and running, or helping to run the event. I really love the hustlery and bustlery. I can’t believe it’s only 2 days a year of my life. I really must try to figure out a way to have more of that kind of thing in my life. I feel certain that this, along with other things I will do to earn income, will help make me resolve and solidify my housing issues. Thank you for listening!

Alternate methods of donation:

Check or US Postal Money Order – Payable to Cassendre Xavier
Mail to: Cassendre Xavier, c/o Bindlestiff Book, 4530 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia PA 19143-3705

I am the founder and executive director of Philadelphia’s 13th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival. It’s happening this weekend (starting tomorrow), Sat-Sun, Sept. 21-22, 2019. Sat hours 1pm-9pm. Sun hours 1pm-5pm. Location: The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Free. All respectful persuns are welcome. Non-smoking, no alcohol, all-ages, wheelchair accessible. Very thankful to outgoing producer Amor La Luna for her stellar contributions to BWAF in the previous two years.
Please join us!

Wanted: Organizers and volunteers for BWAF Philly 2020
Email: BWAFphilly (at) gmail.com
Or via Facebook Messenger

I don’t sing or play my guitar anymore unless I have a gig booked. So, because I’m singing and playing guitar at the Black Women’s Arts Festival tomorrow (Sat 9/21) from 5:40pm-6pm yesterday I practiced for less than an hour. The good news is that I started by trying to write a song, and I haven’t written a song in years. My guitar needs to be tuned and I have no idea how I’ll sound tomorrow if I to belt anything. So, that, plus the fact that I know there will be several bands that bring the house down makes me think I don’t need to belt at all tomorrow, although I would like to. I don’t know, I still may. I know I have to use my instrument – the instrument that is my body as an artist – to sing. Even if I may not still be committed to the guitar as my instrument. But I realized a few days ago, that I do want to sing. That’s it. I love to sing, and I have a voice that should be used and heard. There is a lot of healing in my voice, both in my giving and in my receiving it. Meaning both from the inside and the outside.
I have had always had false statements blocking my road to success as a singer. I thought the music industry was corrupt and cruel and would destroy me. I am not a nightclubber, and I thought all singers had to be out late at night and perform in those partying kinds of settings. I also thought I had to look a certain way or I just would never get to be heard or seen. I believed all those things when I was more conventionally attractive than I am now. I was in my twenties, I weighed less than I do now, I removed my facial hair 🙂
Today, I’m 50, I weigh 220, and I sport a rather significant lady goatee – proudly! I don’t know what that says about what my music career will do over the next few years. But I’m not worried about that. I’m just going to continue pursuing what makes me happy.
My music is sold online various places:

And a store that sells my CDs (and chapbooks) is:
Bindlestiff Books
4530 Baltimore Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143

One of my greatest joys in life is writing a monthly column for Wisdom Magazine online. I’ve done this since 2009. Special Needs/Disabled Artist tip: You may notice when you review my archives that sometimes I skipped a month. This was due to my bipolar symptoms – mania and depression. I had asked my editor if I could submit two or more at a time when I was manic, to help offset the times I couldn’t send any when I was depressed. I don’t think I told her the mental health reasons at the time – I only asked to send more than one periodically. She said no, and I don’t recall the exact reason why, but I believe it had to do with her system, and it being more convenient to do it the way I was asked to. So I tried to continue, even though I had missed a month now and then, due to depression. At some point, it was becoming a pattern of my skipping months, and so I asked her again, only this time, with the mental health backstory. She obliged right away. Since then, I have been much more consistent in submitting my articles by deadline, each month.
I’m really proud of the one below, although the title may be a wee lengthy! I had been having some challenges with a partner, and wrote the article. But being a conflict-avoidin’-like-the-plague-Libra, when we got together next, he very gently intuited what was bothering me and we never even had to do this exercise! Enjoy!
(P.S. And I really do believe resentments block intimacy, and should be cleared as soon as possible, no matter how minor they may appear to be!)
Soulmate Attraction (& Tantra) for the Rest of Us: Clearing Resentment for Improved Intimacy:

I’m recording a lot more these days. In my 20s I was all about sharing my life as an artist – my struggles and such. I suppose I did in my 30s as well. But in my 40s that mostly stopped for various reasons – I think mostly to do with the way the music industry went insofar as CD sales go. I guess I gave too much value to selling CDs, and lost hope when that stopped in my life. Traveling folk artists can still do well. I know that , but I may have another story a brewin’ as an artist. We shall see what that will be! Meanwhile, I will share my journey via my little free government phone ($15/month for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and enough data for my needs)!
Here is the video I recorded today:
Special Needs Adult/Disabled Artist/Housing GoFundMe Update

At a cute and charming little West Philly bookstore called:
Bindlestiff Books
4530 Baltimore Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705

I am super sleepy. I saw a great documentary on YouTube today about the importance of sleep. It’s called “The Price of Sleep,” and is about how the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders is rapidly becoming big business. We need 8.5 of sleep nightly for the body to do all the healing work that it does. Most of us are sleep deprived. Good sleep prevents diabetes as well as other conditions. Very interesting!
Anyway, I hope to be in bed soon, but I know I have to go get my laundry from the dryer first.
Hey! Did I say this was a farewell *blessing*? Well, let’s get on to the blessing part, shall we? 🙂
May you get plenty of sleep every night, and feel the rewards.
May you become adept at navigating your emotions to help more quickly attract and attain your desires.

Wishing you a wonderful day, and I thank you for reading!

In art, spirit, and community,

Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse
Multi-Media Healing Artist

About cassendre

aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls “renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur” (musician/writer/actress/fine artist) Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). Visit: http://cassendrexavier.com
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