Disgusted

It was an off colored email message. It was the norm from this particular individual. Comedic. I responded with a hello, how are you? The response was extremely disgusting and rather shocking. The thought of alcohol being involved crossed my mind. I was rendered speechless. It took an entire evening to pass before I was able to respond. A business contact made a crude sexual advance towards me, and I am completely confused as to what made him think such a gesture was perfectly okay.
They say that people are taught how to treat you based on how you react. He thought playing my strings below my waist was a perfectly acceptable message to send to my business email. He thought there was humor in it. The idea that a man in his 50s would think such a thing is a huge problem. I am gravely disappointed by this gross display of the patriarchy. Women are not placed on the planet to service the sexual desires of men. Women are not mere sexual objects that are expected be treated in any manner that a man deems acceptable at any given time.
The backbone of society is maintained and in existence because of the queen. We give birth to the universe and stay in touch with Mother Earth at the expense of our bodies. Unfortunately, our proper position is often defecated upon by men that pretend to recognize us for our talents, for our minds. The bottom line always seems to be, “When can I play your strings?”. The individual has been deleted and blocked. I pray to God that I never encounter him again in this life or the next.

Feminist Hope: Brief Reflection

After teaching my two hour bellydance workshop, my body felt completely empty. I treated myself to a ginger shot and slinked home in the hopes of eating before passing out. The type of work that I enjoy doing is helping women to discover themselves. When a woman presents herself and voices her insecurities, more often than not, I see her a more divine version that she is completely unaware of. A woman that knows herself and what she can do is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, too many spew their shortcomings and endless complaints about predicaments that entangle them. It is easy to say cut the cord or walk away when it is not you in the middle of the storm. This is especially true because true change only happens when the individual decides that it is going to happen; not a minute before. Such a transformation is not easy and often affects each aspect of the human psyche: emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental. It is not uncommon to lose friends and gain new ones or even to go into a period of solitude.

My Community of Women: New Thoughts, Basic Needs

Crystal & Crystal

Crystal & Crystal

What is the name of the magic that happens when women congregate with each other? It is a universal sensation. At some point, the thought enters our heads that you know, I want to hang out with other women such as myself. No kids. No men. No talk about the 9-5pm. Let’s just get together and enjoy the finer things in life. Connections and new support systems occur because of such gatherings. Memories are made and selfies galore attack social media.
Movements exist in the modern day on this very ancient concept: Sister Talk, Girl Connections, Girls’ Night Out, Women’s Circles….all of them are based on the various needs of our feminine community. As a proud facilitator of women’s circles, I know of the need for such concepts because of how they sustain us. Women need their own space in which to express themselves and develop. It is also a chance to see the wonderful personalities that exist among us.
As the first month of a new year comes to a close, my heart wants more for my little circle. It is time for us to leave the beach as a main fixture. We need to get out into the community and be seen by others sitting down in coffee houses. December saw the introduction of focus groups which will continue into the Spring. Discussions should remain but let’s step up the accountability of each other. There are new business owners that would benefit from casual mentoring conversations. Every single one of us would benefit from tea, coffee, or even a nice glass of wine. Our village should be in place so that it can grow. It is our responsibility to do such things so that our daughters can easily take our places.
What thoughts do you have about your community of women? Do you think that it should focus on a new agenda?

Boring to Interesting

While driving home, the dullness of my daily routine began to set in once again. My life is rather boring. I wake up, go to work, follow the schedule, stay out of trouble, and return home. This happens five days a week every single week. There are many other interesting things that happen to me but lately, life has not offered much as far as action. The phone rang.
It was a friendly phone call from my favorite women’s shelter. About five years ago, I used to teach bellydance to the residents. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. It came time for me to move away from the world of bellydance and thus I passed on my volunteer responsibilities to another dancer. My presence remained with musical performances and donations, but the shimmy was gone. Well, the friendly phone call was inquiring if I would like to return to my former position. I felt like it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
A smile crossed my face. This would allow me to work with women on a regular basis. I will be able to show them how to be themselves and have fun at the same time. It is very exciting to return to this women centered holistic space. It is my intent to offer my current workshop and develop new ones to tailor the needs of these wonderful women. It took one phone call to erase the word boring from my vocabulary….

Captivated By the Seduction

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It was early Friday afternoon when I realized that there was an event that I should attend. It involved all of the things that I loved: women, art, poetry, and healing. My attire consisted of goddess material and out the door I went, daring to be social. Upon entry, it was not clear what was to be expected. People surrounded tables that had live painted bodies of art simply sitting and talking. Albums of the life of each piece of artwork lay in front of them on the table. My feet carried me to a table with questions. As I began to read it, one question leaped off the paper into me: If you were to forget the last ten years of your life, what memory would you miss and why? As my face turned to wondrous expression, the friendly MC caught me. She asked me if I would be willing to share my response to the question on stage. I smiled and responded yes.
The memory that I shared left me quite happy and flushed. Coincidentally, it did involve an artist and a lovely art gallery filled with his work. It is a memory that remains vivid to this day. It was quite exhilarating to share such a story with a gallery filled with complete strangers, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The entertainment began soon after I took my seat.
The spoken word artists were quite familiar to me. The second one in particular, Nubian, struck a chord with me from many years ago. She made a statement on stage in the middle of her performance that completely boggled my mind. It stayed with me for all of these years. Naturally, when she passed by me after the show, I made it my business to stop her and tell her how beautiful she was. She was pleasantly surprised and engaged me in polite conversation. She managed to catch my attention as I was sitting on the floor speaking to one of the works of art.
She was painted as the Queen of Hearts. Her story of survival was harsh and passionate all at the same time. She had unimaginable experiences and eventually came to realize that her sexual orientation was not focused on men. The pictures in her album had carefully been selected to depict the healing journey that is her life. The opportunity to connect with her on such a level was uplifting for me. There is something about listening to another human being as they lay their soul bare before you. The question that I asked her was, if she had the chance to know me, would she hear me or feel me. She said that she would feel me because I would probably mention something that would resonate with her. It was a powerful connection of two people sharing with one another.
Once I found my way home, I removed the rose quartz necklace and settled into a chair. My womb was happy. My spirit soared. My heart felt light, and I knew…..that I had been captivated by the seduction of the evening. Everything in me knew what I wanted to do with my life.

Spectacular Sunday

11045851_10153543851182229_5541165270809880776_o (1)11751934_10153398836096206_8123995599057430458_n It was a day for me to step out of my box and do things that are not in my routine. Yesterday, I taught a bellydance workshop at a local dance studio. Afterwards, I made a guest appearance with Deep Fried Funk at Ginger Bay Cafe which was literally moments away from the studio. Life was quite interesting.
It was a good feeling to create a space for women to come and share the dance with each other. My facilitation led to thoughts and application to daily life. Women discovered things that were lacking in their lives and made steps to change. Smiles glowed across the room as each woman was given a chance to own the stage in her own way. I look forward to doing this again in the near future.
Upon arrival in the cafe, I flashed the drummer a wicked smile. We met years ago when I presented myself for a spoken word night at Bed on South Beach. We have worked together ever since. He smiled back and motioned for the sound engineer. “Oh, I forgot to tell you, we have a harpist..”. “A WHAT?!”. Laughter filled the air as the words slowly sunk in. After a discussion with the pianist, Misty & All of Me (John Legend) opened the night. There is no feeling in the world that can match performing in an ensemble. Nothing comes close. The listening and blending make for an uplifting experience.
As a glass of wine met my hand, thoughts of the day flashed through my mind. My CDS were ready to be sold. The workshop went well. The performance was fun. All of this made me feel as if I had many things to offer which brought a smile to my face. It felt good to be creative and in service all at the same time.

A Surprise Party: The Operation

new dressspread As Fall rolled around, I knew that this time of introspection could possibly be chaotic for my newly widowed mother. It would be the first birthday without her husband. The thought of her having a nervous breakdown while I was at work was more than I could take. What could I do to avoid such a fate? Simple. I planned a surprise party.
Once this idea popped in my head, I contacted one her main associates. She was thinking the same thing and jumped at the chance to be a part of the inside scoop. The amount of text messages that this woman received from me probably caused her to upgrade her cell phone plan. The Surprise Pajama Potluck was well under way with a guest list of 26 women. Cake, furniture, and entertainment were coordinated in between performances and readings. Instead of running to Publix for the common dessert standby, I decided to upgrade to a Cake Couture Specialist. After sending two sketches of what I thought would be a jaw dropper dessert, she created the most beautiful cake that I could imagine. Candles were designed and four shopping trips followed just to make certain that the gift bags were on point: fine chocolate, Sandalwood sachets, and the candles all made their way into the Fall themed gift bags. Tables and chairs were collected from various sources including a party center. Games were gathered as well as balloons, confetti, and orange cutlery.
In the middle of the day of madness, it occurred to me that nothing was going to occur on the actual date of my mother’s birthday. Would there be a feeling of a daily routine? I made my way to a local florist to order flowers for October 22nd. As my mother reveled in her party, she would have a visible reminder of all of the merriment that was made…..and there was merriment running amuck. As the ladies began to arrive at 7pm, my mother was enjoying a pedicure with the decoy. I sent word to her that neighbors wanted to use her yard for a party. When she returned to her own house, she still had no idea that it was filled with friends anxiously awaiting her pleasant shock. The joyous expression on my mother’s face at the sight of everyone gathered in her honor was more than a million dollars. She was caught by pleasant surprise.
The women prayed, danced, ate, sang, and played an intense game of bingo. Testimonials were given and presents were shared. The cake was cut and consumed. The guests left filled with happy memories while others yet stayed behind and created an after party. My mother reported to me that people did not leave until 2am. Well, it was a pajama party after all. One guest was even in town without her knowledge and surprised all of us late in the night with her colorful presence.
Here it is two days after the party, and I have done absolutely nothing besides get a massage and write thank you cards. A cleaning lady is coming to my home tomorrow to take care of its needs while I attend to the matters of the week. One of those matters include the planning of the next party. Now that my mother knows all of our tricks, I have to take it to the next level without alerting her suspicion.
At one point during the evening, I heard a male voice. It was very strange because my brother had informed me that he wasn’t attending the party. I even opened the door to see the face of the voice and no one was there. My ear soon rang which indicated a spiritual presence. I am certain that my father wanted me to know that he was pleased with what I had accomplished on behalf of his wife. I realize that it is my responsibility to do all that I can to make sure that she smiles as she adjusts to him being in the land of the ancestors. Happy Birthday Mommy. Many, Many happy returns.cake

BRAVE: THE MOVIE

A rebellious girl with a stash of bring red curly hair plays the lead role. It reminded me of the Tudors with its Celtic setting. The music and legends simply delighted me as the plot engaged me. She refused to marry simply because she was told to do so and competed in a tournament for her own hand against the wishes of her parents. I saw myself in this girl.
She had her own mind and was not afraid to voice it without any regard for the opinion of others or tradition. It made me wish that my voice was found sooner in life instead of being the person that did everything that everyone wanted at my own expense. It was refreshing to watch this Disney character make her own way in the world. She eventually changed the opinions of her mother and opened her eyes to an exciting world.
More movies of this nature should be made. I will forever love Cinderella but Prince Charming does not exist in real life. Not every ending is going to be happy. Most of the time there is just an ending. Young girls should be encouraged to have an opinion that is heard by all so that they can grow into women with strong backbones and loud voices.

Bridal Consultation: The Love & The Music

It is not my practice to do bridal consultations. My schedule is quite busy between performances and spiritual readings, not to mention workshops, classes, and….I like to sleep daily. However, I made an exception for a returning client, and it has left me reconsidering my own policy because of what transpired. It was simply a proud moment for women.
The future mother-in-law made the appointment for herself and the bride to meet with me. When I opened the door, there were four women present. All of them were invited in to grace the nice soft sofa. There was the mother of the bride, the future mother-in-law, the bride, and the aunt. Each woman was excited about the upcoming nuptials and were obviously enjoying the preparations. They were present to support the young bride as she carefully made her musical selections. The smiles, chatter, and insightful questions all made for a delightful time. It was refreshing to see two families coming together to work as one bloodline.
It was rather fitting for me to see the strong female support as one woman moved forward to embrace the love of her life. What a far cry from the mother daughter issues that we so often hear about. I often here about the celebrity wives that have issues with each other and go so far as to attack in bouts of physical emotion. Instead of getting therapy, they splash themselves all over the screen for high ratings at the demand of money grubbing television networks. There should be more displays of the support and love that truly does exist. These feelings were the bottom line in the middle of a business transaction. So, yes I am here rethinking my own policy….

Professional Harpist
Crystal Sawyer
www.ladyofharp.com
866.592.5926 X0

There were Three

Before my car trouble last night, I saw a sight that has not been in my vision for a long time. I saw three ladies of the night. They were not dressed in a manner that would indicate that they were selling themselves for petty cash. As a matter of fact, I was alerted to their presence. I was wondering why one of them was walking down the street in the pouring rain in shorts at that length. They looked homeless and displaced. I couldn’t help but wonder how this became their occupation.

In the land of the free, equal opportunities are not always given to everyone. Without the proper support, it is possible for a person to make bad choices and wind up in undesirable situations. Any number of pathways could have led these women to cheap labor on the street.
My question is how could this have been prevented? How can this be prevented in the future?
Are we failing somewhere in our society where some women feel the need to sell their precious bodies for a nickel?

The sight of her there on the corner with those tatterred shorts was puzzling because of the torrential down pour. This was not the glamor of the Bunny Ranch. This was an average girl in her twenties that looked as if she could stand a good meal and a blanket. She was just there in that meloncholy scene of unending water awaiting a cash wielding patron. Where is her family? Isn’t there anyone that cares enough about her to say, “Sweetheart, there are other ways?”
I know that women have the right to choose what they will and will not do with their bodies contrary to the opinion of the Republican Party; however, were options in place for these marginalized individuals?

When my car broke down, I was able to call for help. I was able to pray for protection and patience as I awaited the tow truck. As friends realized what happened to me, concern began to stream in throughout the day. The vehicle is ready to be picked up. There hasn’t been any great disruption to my life. Was there anyone there for this girl to call? Where is her higher power to come to her rescue? What about the other two? Why was the one in the dress just standing there trying to primp her hair when she should have been asleep inside a warm home? I had a nice cup of hot tea with honey this morning for breakfast. Did these women have a body part shoved down their throats as their most important meal of the day?

Those were women that I saw last night, sisters. There are programs that target those that choose to help themselves and perhaps those programs need more marketing and additional funding and the list continues. There really isn’t much that I can do about that memory of her there on the corner in the rain except this….

Always extend the hand of friendship. We do not know the personal troubles that people face on a daily basis and your one hello or that friendly smile could be the one thing that keeps them from going off the deep end. If you pray, pray for those that did not have the support or the guidance to make better choices for themselves. If you have a problem, do not suffer in silence; seek help from an appropriate source. No woman is an island. Life can be very rough sometimes but there are ways, there are resources to help with whatever the problem is. There is at least one person that you know that cares more about you than you will ever know and would want to be there for you when your world is turned upside down. Be thankful for what you have and what you will have. These women are obviously operating on less than what most take for granted, such as proper clothing for the brutal elements.

There were three of them last night that came across my path. What about the others that I do not see? What is to become of them?