Save the Dates! 12th Black Women’s Arts Festival!

BWAF Philly 2018 – Sat-Sun, September 15-16 at The Rotunda! Call for Submissions coming soon!

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Black Women in the Arts Holidays 2018

Did you know the Black Women’s Arts Festival, which I started in 2003, has official holidays?
February: International Month of Black Women in the Arts
February 7: International Day of Black Women in the Arts (not 2/1 as I mistakenly posted recently! The 7th is also my birthday!)
February 1 to February 7: International Week of Black Women in the Arts
Enjoy and celebrate!

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Survivor’s Corner: Love, Courage & Connection

A former and very brief friend just reached out to me and I was thinking about how I had never wanted our friendship to end, but it did anyway, and how when we became friends I was afraid or rather I knew it would end soon because we both had such harrowing and abusive childhoods.

Plus we have difficulty finding and maintaining healthy romantic relationships with peers. Or platonic ones with other survivors, it seemed.
Or was it just me? Am I too difficult for other survivors, because I also have bipolar, PTSD, and an eating disorder (the latter of which also affects emotional intimacy and bonding with others).
I was excited to hear from this person and was preparing to make contact when I realized it would have to be detailed.
I am in therapy twice a week now and am both building a foundation upon which to live the rest of my life well, in addition to breaking down and neutralizing patterns that have negatively impacted my past.
I recall SARK’s (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy’s) statement that she would (never again have an unsupervised relationship), meaning she and her romantic partners now always go to counseling (whether together or not is unclear).
My last partner didn’t want to go to counseling with me, and I didn’t think at the time to ask if they would have gone alone.
My current companion enjoys hearing about my sessions and I believe my going benefits our relationship.
So this morning I was thinking about how I would like to approach reconnecting with this person. Perhaps being postal paper pen pals might be all I can do right now, and ask all of my questions there.
I need a very slow paced social lifestyle, and I have my Facebook Messenger notifications muted, I hate disruptive texts and phone calls, and do 90% of my business correspondence via email.
I think the struggle for connection is a beautiful thing, especially between people who have particular challenges to intimacy and who are perhaps overly stimulated by the world around us.
I am often reminded that “we are meant to need each other.” If that weren’t the case I would not have felt sad when my friendship ended, nor made an effort to connect again, nor would I now be spending so much time and care designing the best approach.
If we were not meant to need each other I wouldn’t have spent the 30 minutes to write and share this, and readers would not identify and appreciate seeing themselves and their experience reflected and affirmed.
If you struggle with some significant challenges in your life, and they affect your ability to connect with, love, trust, and feel safe with others, be patient, willing, and persistent in your efforts at connecting.
Consider psychotherapy, and write personally, privately, and/or publicly about your experience. Be true to who you are and how you prefer to communicate, correspond, and socialize.
Make your own rules and be sure to have fun! You deserve good things. You *can* be happy. The world is safe and loving. People are good. And you are worthy.
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Morning Molasses Tonic (for mood mgmt, weight loss, etc.)

Morning Molasses Tonic (for mood management, weight loss, and reversing gray hair… You know… The usual!):

Hi! If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to start your day on top, with an easy-to-chug (or ponderously sip) tonic rich in vitamins and minerals, and also too additionally let’s say you might have just one, three, or five physical and mental health issues including depression, anxiety, obesity, and hypertension, ALL of these ingredients, put together can really help!

I am an artist, not a physician or nutritionist. Do your own research and make your own decisions. Thanks and enjoy!


Supplies needified:

* A glass or mug that holds 8 or more ounces of liquidation of the healthal sort
* Tablespoon and/or teaspoon

* 1 Tablespoon (or more) organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses (rich in calcium, potassium, and iron; said to reverse gray hair)
* 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (increases alkalinity in the body)
* 1-2 Tablespoons raw organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV – promotes weight loss, clears skin, increases alkalinity in the body, and many other benefits)
* Sprinkle of turmeric (from the ginger family, this bright orange, common Indian curry spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory)
* A few ounces of carrot juice (rich in vitamin A and other vitamins and minerals)


1)In a glass, put the molasses, ACV, and baking soda in a little bit of carrot juice – just enough to mix with splashing or diluting too much.
2)Add all the other ingredients.
3)Mix and drink prayerfully and/or mindfully, with gratitude and appreciation for it, and for having it. See your body, mind, and spirit being enriched, healed, and empowered by all the nutrients and divine intention of the maker. Enjoy!

Cassendre Xavier is a musician, writer, and community arts organizer based in Philadelphia, PA, USA. A person living with bipolar, posttraumatic stress, and binge eating disorder, she has been incorporating raw and superfoods into her symptom management since 1996.
* In 2007 she lived and worked in the Arnold’s Way raw food community, where she received training in raw prep, and wrote the popular Green Smoothie Raw Blog on MySpace.
* In 2009 she co-founded, with Judi Rhee Alloway, a raw vegan support group at Essene Market & Café.
* In 2009 Cassendre also released Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: A Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal, which was stocked at Essene, Arnold’s Way in Lansdale, Giovanni’s Room Bookstore, and is still available in as an ebook.

* YouTube link:

* Cassendre’s website:

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Social Contact on Your Terms (Mood/Anxiety/Eating Chronicles)

When it comes to being social, kind, and attentive to others, you don’t have to operate along mainstream social media lines. Remove the stressors, reduce the stimuli, and you will create other ways to conneconnect people who care about you will understand and appreciate your efforts. They will and seeing, hearing from, and/or being with you!
[Tags: bipolar, PTSD, trauma, binge, disorder, compulsive, overeating]

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Bipolar, Depression & Exercise

If you have depression, the below scenario may look a wee familiar. Here’s to us musterin’ up the gumption to do the right thing when we can, so there will be less times that we can’t!
My recent Facebook and Twitter post:
OH THE IRONY OF IT ALL! I’m so depressed (physically but thankfully not emotionally or psychologically – in those ways I’m still in very high spirits – wheeee!) it’s hard for me to even imagine doing any exercise. Yet it would be the number one and most immediate healer of my depression! And even more hilariational is the fact that all the exercise I ought to have been doing weeks prior just may have prevented this here episode to begin with! Ha!
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New YouTube video! From Victimhood to Self-Empowerment (Bipolar/PTSD Chronicles)

Video link:

Video description:
Do you have a victim mentality? Do you find the same hurtful things happening to you year after year (or decade after decade)? Do you feel trapped in a current situation?
Beginning to work on becoming self-empowered could help you reverse the behavioral patterns that attract painful circumstances in your life.
I am a multi-media healing artist and I like to share my journey!

You can read my personal growth articles at Wisdom Magazine
Personal website:

Tags: posttraumatic, stress, disorder, mental,health,well-being,black, African, American, depression, anxiety, recovery, wellness, dreams, come, true, Law, Attraction, success, never, too, late, bloomer, HSP, highly, sensitive, person, creative, Julie, Fast, SARK, Susan, Ariel, Rainbow, Kennedy, Orin, DaBen, Sanaya, Roman, Doreen, Virtue

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