The Biggest Secret in Self-Help
by Cassendre Xavier
I'm a youthful 45 years old and have been dreaming about writing self-help since I was 26. Finally, after years of taking baby steps, I began.
I also began doing other work I now describe as being “multi-media healing art”, meaning I did whatever I could or was fun to do to address my personal challenges in a creative, artistic way for myself and others. I started support groups, I wrote poetry chapbooks, I created community cultural arts events, and I started writing self-help and publishing my articles in periodicals such as this one.
One of the reasons I didn't have the courage to begin earlier was that to me it was clear that all the self-help or psychology authors I'd read had the issues they wrote about. I didn't want the world to know my troubles in that way. I was too ashamed, and I also felt I had to cure myself quickly lest I be judged as someone who wasn't getting better, and whose books would be judged as well.
I realize now I was only judging myself. I also realize I was hurting myself by putting off “the work” because doing the work heals the suffering. A teacher becomes a better student by teaching, and the teacher doesn't have to stop teaching by a certain point. The teacher doesn't have to be perfect, nor recover quickly. There are authors writing about the same issues after 25 years and 10 or more books. All they've done is grow stronger, healthier, make a good living, and assist their countless readers on all of their respective journeys as well.
I've been struggling with compulsive overeating and obesity since adolescence. A few years ago I started posting videos of my raw vegan journey on YouTube and decided to declare myself a raw vegan leader to keep myself accountable. This was a wonderful idea and a system that helped me greatly. I wrote a raw vegan book for people with special issues like I have, started a support group for raw vegans, and lost some weight and gained some spiritual clarity.
I stopped doing that work after a few years, and have backslidden considerably. I didn't think it made a big difference, but now I do. Now, I've returned to recording videos of my progress, re-instating myself in the raw vegan community, and writing blogs and articles that are soon becoming manuscripts for forthcoming books. I will never stop doing this work again.
I believe the biggest secret in self-help is the creators of those works rely on the work for their basic survival. I believe the work we do is not a choice. If we are called upon to be healing artist and lightworkers, we are built in such a way that neglect of sharing our life's journey and struggles damages us to a significant degree.
If you have been trying to change something in your life, and you are a healing artist, consider making your work a more important part of your journey. Don't take for granted the platform you have been granted to not only assist others on their journey but help yourself as well. We are stronger in some ways, as lightworkers, but we are also much more sensitive and fragile in others. If we neglect the call to duty, we suffer.
The biggest secret in self-help is that those of us who are called to teach it, to share, are the most vulnerable and weak of all, as well as being the strongest.
Related by Cassendre Xavier:
Start Where You Are ¨C A Call to Healing Artists
How to Tell If You Are Ready to Write Self-Help
Write the Books of Your Successes
The Importance of Tools: Notice Your Needs & Build Your Dream Life
Three (3) workshops at SisterSpace Weekend in Darlington, Maryland
Fri-Sun Sept. 5-7, 2014
Raw Foods for the Rest of Us
Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us
Sexual Healing with the Angels
Raw Foods for the Rest of Us (a new Mt. Airy Learning Tree class!)
Sat. Nov. 8, 2014
11:30am ¨C 1:30pm
Unitarian Society of Germantown, 6511 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Cassendre Xavier is a Leeway Transformation Award-winning Philadelphia-based multi-media healing artist. She is author of Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: A Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal (2009/ARtivist Publications), and the creator of the Affirmations for Survivors guided meditation series (featuring Music of Light by Thaddeus), with “Self-Love,” and “Spirituality” (2007/Amethyste Affirmations), “Sexuality” and “Life Skills” in progress. Cassendre is also the founder and former facilitator of several community initiatives including Sisters Healing Together (a peer support group for women survivors of incest with a special focus on compulsive overeating), and AIM: Artists In Motion (a peer support and accountability group for artists). Cassendre has written for Wisdom Magazine's online edition since May 2009. For more information, please visit http://cassEndrExavier.com.