A Quick Tool For When Things Are A Hot Mess

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Rosebuds,

Recently I received an email from a client who had thrown out her back and was laid up on the couch. She was FREAKING OUT about all the areas of her life that needed tending but was literally paralyzed to take action on. She asked:

“I can’t help feeling like this is a sign that I need to let go. I know there is a part of me that needs to soften, but I’m so afraid that if I do that it will all fall apart.”

I think we can all relate.

Just the other day I was recalling a time when I was deep in the trenches of my eating disorder, and how I used to pray for body acceptance. When I look back on it now, I can see that what I was really praying for was to lose weight. I had read somewhere that once you accept your body as it is, that is when you start magically dropping the pounds!

I certainly wasn’t praying to love myself as I was, because that would mean “letting myself go”.

I never in a million years thought I could accept, much less love, much less want to have sex with myself exactly as I was, the way I do now.

I wrote back to my client with an assignment to help separate letting go from letting yourself go, two concepts that easily become enmeshed.

I’d like to invite you to do this exercise with me now.

  • On the left side of a page of paper, write one or two different areas of your life: job, career, family, love, friendships, body, etc.
  • Next to that column, make two new columns – one that says “Let Go”, and one that says “Give Up”.
  • For the next five minutes, fill in the two columns on the right. Just let your consciousness take a big, fat dump. :) Ready? Go!

What I find every time I do this exercise, and what I hope you found too, is that letting go is in fact quite different from giving up.

We think letting go will turn our lives into a hot mess.

But in fact, letting go is often the most GRACEFUL thing a person can do.

Letting go means being like the gorgeous river stone that allows water to shape it into smooth, polished perfection.

Letting go means taking an elegant bow to the power of being fluid over being solid.

Letting go means WE, instead of just me.

Letting go means admitting that the my human mind is in fact limited in what it has the power to do, and that if I’m willing to loosen my grip, even just a little, I make room for help to arrive.

You know who really ROCKS at letting go? A rose.

As the Mae West of the floral world she arrives tight and closed, concealing soul-quenching beauty beneath her folds. The price of admission to that big burlesque of a bloom? To just…patiently….wait.

The definition of the word “let” is: “to allow”.

The definition of the word “go” is: “to move from one place to another”.

Imagine if all you had to do to make real progress, and move from one place to another, was to slow down and allow?

(To my client who asked the question: makes the couch seem a hell of alot more productive, hey?)

With A Wet Handful of Smooth Pebbles,

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Image via Flirty Fleurs

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If You Ever Feel Like The Anti-Seduction…

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Recently I experienced a pretty traumatic event in my life, and currently I feel like lighthouse that is out of service on a foggy night. My normal spiritual tools of cheering myself up with red lipstick, big adventures, grand dinner parties and dancing the night away could not be further from my mind. And that is just fine by me.

Today I was in a coffee shop and there was an adorable, chirpy little barista taking orders. I walked up to the counter looking like Baba Yaga herself (pictured above), the ultimate iconic hag witch. The barista chirped away lovingly trying to infect me with her joy.  In fact, there were hot, attractive people all around the coffee shop, each saying good morning to me, making eye contact, smiling and the like.

I wanted to slap them all.

Actually that’s not true.  I didn’t want to slap them, I just didn’t want them near me.  I just didn’t want anything or anyone near me other than a small circle of family and friends that I know and trust.

It is no secret or surprise that feeling sad, angry and alone is not exactly honored in our world, collectively or individually.  No one is immune from the impulse to pop a pill, buy a self help book, or bully themselves into “being more grateful” to try to escape the feeling of sadness and self-pity. 

But there is a big difference between wallowing in self-pity and marinating in the truth of how you feel. (click to tweet!)

QUOTE. THE TRUTH OF HOW YOU FEEL

 

I define Sacred Seduction as attraction through authenticity. Right now, I feel decidedly un-attractive. Opportunities, people, chances to be happy or “cheer up” are passing me by like cars speeding down a highway, and I am completely content to remain here in my lawn chair watching them pass, not feeling attract-ive or attract-ed to a single thing.

True seduction is an act of surrendering to your own true nature. And like all things in nature, seduction is cyclical.  It cannot be rushed. To do so would be like showing up to your own birthday party while your friends are still hanging the decorations. You’ll be disappointed, they’ll be pissed. So for today, though it is uncomfortable, I am content to wallow in this silky darkness, knowing that my willingness to do so is the exact lubricant necessary to move me closer to next phase of coming alive again.

Now, I turn the spotlight to you in the comments:

How do you practice soaking up your darkness like a sponge? What are your methods and tools for trying to feel deeper, rather than just trying to feel better?  I read every one of your comments, and would be so grateful to hear your wisdom.

With my best Baba Yaga bad breath,

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Tissue Box Syndrome (And It’s Cure)

Tissue Box Syndrome (And It's Cure)

Today I want to talk to you about something that is at the heart of seduction being a spiritual practice.  It’s called “Tissue Box Syndrome” and in my opinion, it is the number one killer of a woman’s confidence. Allow me to take you on a tour:

After a long day at work you decide you should go to the gym.  After your workout you feel glad you went, but in the back of your mind is a voice saying “yeah, you worked out, but you didn’t do any ab work”. On your way home you feel a little tight in your body and still stressed from your day at work, and wonder if maybe you should have gone to a yoga class instead. When you get home you decide to practice a little self care, so you pour a bath.  While in the bathtub, you decide to watch something on Periscope.  The whole time you feel good that you are taking a bath but think you should probably be reading a book or meditating to relax and work on being more present. Before bed, you decide you should clean up the kitchen so you can rest easy knowing your work for the day is done. But as your head hits the pillow, you wonder if maybe you should have gone straight to bed because now it’s so late. Or, if you did to go straight to bed, you think about how maybe you should have cleaned up the kitchen…

OH MY GOOD LORD.  It’s exhausting even to read, isn’t it?

Tissue Box Syndrome is when you are striving to do the right things in life, not just in your big achievements but in the little things like self-care. However, you find that once you get that one thing done, another thing pops up that you could do in addition, or that you should have done differently, like tissues popping up one after the other out of a box.

I remember one particular Tissue Box moment years ago when I was trying to decide what to have for dinner. “Salmon with orzo or veggie pizza?” was a thought I had turned over in my head a hundred times that day, like a hamburger that just wouldn’t cook. It wasn’t the calories I was worried about, I had kissed my inner-perfect-eater goodbye long ago. What I was obsessing over in that moment was what my intuition was telling me to eat.  I couldn’t get a read on my inner pilot light and was freaking out about not being able to listen within. In that moment had a stunning realization: whether I was stressing about calories or stressing about listening within, I was still STRESSING. THE EFF. OUT.

The tricky thing about this syndrome is that it doesn’t just effect what we have for dinner or what we do before bed.  This cannibalistic consciousness embeds itself insidiously into every area of life, diminishing our sense of confidence and power, and needlessly taking up acres of precious psychic space. When it comes to winning this race you might think that working harder and becoming more agile will put you ahead, but here’s the deal my darling: it’s impossible to win a race when the finish line is constantly moving.  In order to win, and I mean truly win, you’ve got to take yourself out of the game altogether.

A beacon of a woman who has made this transformation is Liv. Liv is a graduate of my signature program Deep Dive, which has just opened for enrollment. Liv has experienced massive change from making this simple shift, and she generously offered to share her story:

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“Before Deep Dive I was the girl who could make anything into a guilt fest. Guilt was my best friend and also my worst enemy. My day revolved around thoughts like, “why did you eat so much? You could be a better mother. You need to pay more attention to your husband.” Kitty transformed this for me. Deep Dive has created one of the deepest healings in my life. It taught me that rather than face my guilt and shame with positive thoughts and affirmations, I literally had to just step out of the war. I stepped out and started living. This program will teach you to peel back the layers to get to that jewel of authenticity that lives inside. This program will give you an amazing community for when you feel like you can’t make the last mile. This program is a life saver and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to step out of the battle within. Kitty has the guts and the determination to help you drop the load you are carrying. Do it.”

 

I am deeply honored and grateful to Liv for this glowing testimonial, but even more than her words I am awed by the way I see her living her life, free from the voice of “should” and flying on the wings of Power, Pleasure and Purpose, the three pillars of a Seductive Life.

Deep Dive is the last program I will be teaching in 2015 and I would love to count you as one of my mermaids this year.  Click here to watch the trailer and learn more.

Love, Love & More Love Still,
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Photo by: Sonja Lekovic

 

Turning Shyness into Seduction

image. shyOne of the questions I most often receive from my clients is this:

“How do I feel more seductive in front of people who intimidate me? I am always so shy, I hate it, I clam up. At work, at meetings, when I’m with someone I like; I know I should speak up but I just can’t.”

Maybe you know there is a side to yourself that is cheeky, funny, and confident or red hot and seductive.  When you are comfortable, this side of yourself can be more dazzling than the stage at the Moulin Rouge, but when you are uncomfortable those curtains zip closed faster than you can say “Toulouse”.

If you can relate to this scenario even a little bit then this bud’s for you: how to be shy and seductive at the same time.

When shyness or insecurity comes up, it can be tempting to want elbow that side of yourself out of the way like some annoying little sister. The problem is, feeling insecure about feeling insecure only leads to you feeling more…you get the picture.

The thing to know about a sacred seductress is this:  there is no part of herself that she does not own.  For all you Harry Potter nerds out there, (Like me. Sorry but I have to) like the Sword of Gryffindor, she only takes in that which makes her stronger.  When we try stuff down or hide our shy side, it initiates the exact thing we are trying to avoid: we feel even more awkward.  What must be done in order to integrate the introvert? We must welcome her to the table, set out a place just for her, and prepare a feast.  We must choose to love her, rather than fight her.  In doing so, she transforms from being the awkward insecure teenager to the stuff of seduction legend: a sly, teasing coquette.

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In the book “Mists of Avalon” , Morgaine, the main character is a priestess who is defending her matriarchal culture against the Christian patriarchal takeover in Arthuruian times.  To get to the island of Avalon in this story, you can’t just hop on a boat and sail on over. Avalon cannot be found on GPS.  One must go on a journey, like walking a labyrinth, and stare deep into the mist.  Only once a person has proven their worth, and looked deep enough into the mist does Avalon reveal herself.

This legend is metaphor for the nature of seduction itself.  When you feel shy, it is not because you are awkward, lame or fumbling.  It is simply a gathering of the mists.

Discernment is a virtue of seduction, and you prove to have it in spades.  You don’t just let anyone behind the curtain.  They must earn that privilege.  If this is something you can accept and love about yourself, it will make you even more desirable.  It becomes your asset, rather than your flaw.

Swing low, sweet chariot,

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How I lost 30 pounds…(you asked, and it’s not what you think)


Thank you all so much for your feedback and responses to my recent blog “I lost 30 pounds…Oh No”! It has been a big leap of faith to live my relationship with my body so transparently and I thank you for all your support. Many of you have asked me, “So…how’d ya do it?”.  Here’s the story:

    • I went to Costa Rica and became a certified Qoya teacher. I now teach Qoya every Tuesday. Qoya has completely revolutionized my relationship to my body and exercise. Because of that, I now look forward to exercising like I look forward to a massage.
    • I read Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Diet, really jived with her philosophy, and have started eating a ton more whole foods, raw veggies, and drinking green juice.
    • I really upped the ante of love and passion in my life, my marriage, my friendships and my career. Like, REALLY upped the ante.
    • I’m working with an amazing therapist, which has led to more truth telling, and less smiling while flipping the bird under the table.

     

 

 
The list goes on and on. My point is, none of the things on this list, nor the weight loss itself, would ever have transpired without one thing.

Prescription Drugs. :)

Not what you were expecting to hear? Me either. Here’s the story.

My whole life I have experienced moderate to severe depression  (I know, who hasn’t?).  The last few years it got more severe as it began to be served alongside a hearty serving of nighttime anxiety, which led to intense insomnia. Pretty much everyone knows what it feels like to be depressed, but this was depression resulting in an average of 4-6 hours of sleep every night for a good three years.  I would sometimes catch up on weekends, but most of the time I walked around in a state of bitchiness at best, what-the-fuck-is-the-point of-even-living at worst. It was like I had forgotten how to sleep.

 
Sleep is an essential bodily function, like being able to pee.  Imagine if you just somehow forgot how to pee. The thing about sleep though, is you can survive without it, unlike being unable to pee.  So for a good two to three years I would chase my tail each day and night, lying awake, praying for sleep.  I’d wake up a few hours later in an absolute panic that I hadn’t slept, terrified that I wouldn’t be able to sleep again that night, and the cycle would repeat. This fear would paralyze me throughout the day, and the lack of sleep made me an absolute grouch, anti-social, and opened the door for severe depression.

I tried everything I could think of. Therapy. A new king size bed.  Quitting my corporate job that stressed me out so much.  Rescue Remedy.  Gemstones under the pillow.  All of these things would help temporarily, but each time it was like getting a taste of my tail only to have it slip through my teeth once more, when I’d find myself wide eyed and awake at 2am yet again.  

Now, you might be thinking, “girl, go to the doctor!” I wasn’t raised by hippies, but I do seem to have this gene that leads me to believe I should be able to fix everything with my mind and behaviors (or at least by taking some herbs).  If I just started eating right, exercising each morning, taking the right supplements, meditating, doing the things I really wanted to be doing with my time,  took a watercolors class, did a cleanse at an Arizona spa…I’d be able to work it all out.

Thank God for my husband.  Imagine this poor guy having to deal with a cracked-out insomniac, clinging to her gemstones and chamomile tea as he gently nudged me for two solid years in the direction of getting medical help.  

Sleep aids? I think not.

Antidepressants? Oh no, I am not letting the pharmaceutical companies catch me like a fly in their spider web.

Seeing a psychiatrist to examine my family’s history of depression and mental illness? And then take some magic pill to make it all go away? No thank you.

Wait a minute.  What if there was a magic pill that could make this all go away? Not exactly make it all go away, but at least get me sleeping again. If I could sleep maybe I would have the energy to do something other than barely survive.   And what if there is something going on in my body where I was not getting enough serotonin or whatever.  I mean, even my therapist told me it is not normal to wake up every morning with a feeling of absolute dread.

So finally, I surrendered to the experiment.  I moved the gemstones to a pretty bowl on my nightstand and I went to see a psychiatrist.  After a two hour evaluation, his response was basically, “How has it taken you this long to come see a psychiatrist?” He gave me some Prozac and Klonopin and told me to come back in a month. I figured, let’s give this a go for a year or so, and see what happens.  It can’t get any worse.

That was about six months ago.  I’m happy to say, the experiment is working. I sleep like a dream now. But not a drugged-out, “Can’t sleep without me pills!” sleep.  I am back in the pattern of going to bed, reading or watching Downton Abbey repeats, and just nodding off.  I wake up refreshed and ready.  This morning I have already practiced my Qoya routine for tonight’s class, made lunch for this afternoon, and a green juice for later.  I’ve dressed cute for the day, and I gave myself the luxury of 30 minutes of writing instead of 30 minutes of Facebook.  Because I am rested I now have the energy now to do all the things I described in the bullet points above which, yes, led to my eventual weight loss.

Now, let me make one thing VERY CLEAR.  This is not an ad for prescription drugs. I am not saying that everyone should go get some Prozac and in turn we’d create world peace.  It is simply a transparent account of my journey with my health.  And how interestingly, the thing we resist the strongest, even if that thing might be the easiest way out, is often the very thing that will create real, lasting change. Again, I’m not saying it takes the pharmaceutical industry to create lasting change.  I’m simply saying that this step, which I resisted for so long, is the one thing that has finally worked.    

There will come a day when I’m ready to stop taking these drugs, and I will probably resist that for way longer than I need to as well.  But this has been a powerful learning experience: the thing you think is the last thing you need is at least worth a try.  

I know this is a charged topic.  And I want to hear from you.  What has been your experience with making big life changes you resisted for a long time, and what finally worked? Leave me a comment below.

There are two more chapters coming on this topic. The next is how you can use the art of seduction to make those big life changes with ease and grace.  But that one my doves, you will have to wait for. Unless you want to jump right in with me in September’s Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice.