Trust Beauty

Beach Plums,

Do you ever go to the grocery store, and when you get to the check out you think “Dammit! I forgot my reusable bags, AGAIN!”

I do. Every. Time. I Shop.

Recently when I was at the checkout, I noticed a display of beautiful, handwoven baskets that caused me to teem with desire.

“$30 is alot when reusable bags are only $1.99, or free,” I thought.

Then I remembered the LOADS of reusable bags I’ve purchased that just sit in the backseat of my car collecting dust.

“Maybe if I had a thing of beauty hanging off my forearm, and the pleasure of placing my produce in a gorgeous basket, I’d actually remember to bring it in the store.”

Girls, this is where the ego actually really comes in handy.

My desire for beauty, style, and looking/feeling good knows no bounds. I know that STYLE is an ultimate motivator for me. If I had a beautiful basket, I would be a thousand times more likely to use the basket than I would the traditional grocery bags.

Hell, I’d even walk back to the car to get it if I forgot!

So I bought the beautiful basket. And I am SO….HAPPY!

I use my basket for everything – trips to the bookstore, the supermarket, going to yoga, I brought my basket to the spa  and filled it with snacks, a water bottle, my book and my journal. It has become a true companion; my little bundle of wonder.

This $30 purchase has saved many a plastic bag, AND brought so much joy and luxury into my life.

May this be a reminder to always trust beauty…trust beauty…trust beauty.

All my love,

 

 

 

 

P.S. – the basket on my arm is by African Market Baskets, a fair trade company that imports directly from artisans in Africa. They are so beautiful and durable. Use the store locator to check ’em out!

Healing Trauma Through Beauty

When I was a kid, I struggled in school. Bullying from other kids mixed with a learning disability made it REALLY hard to focus on learning. I passed  classes by the skin of my teeth, often feeling stupid, lost, and exhausted by trying to make sense of things that just didn’t seem to make sense.

Thank goodness, there was one shining beacon in my week: our art teacher Marybeth.

When Marybeth walked in the room, it was like the gleam of sunshine after a week of rain. Things like multiplication and phonics went right over my head, but art went straight into my heart.

Art made me feel uplifted, empowered, and excited.

Later in life during a traumatic time, I remember working with a therapist for weeks and weeks without making any progress. One day, rather than asking me to talk about how I was feeling, she asked me to draw it. That day, everything changed. The image of that drawing is something I still reflect on 25 years later.

Since the beginning of time art has been a way for us to heal, process, honor and express.

That’s why I am thrilled to share that today begins a special summer flash sale for a great cause. 

Now through Friday evening all my courses are $100 off, and 20% of all purchases goes to The Art Therapy Project.

Remembrance of Peace, mosaic by war veterans served through The Art Therapy Project

The Art Therapy Project is an organization dedicated to bringing free art therapy to traumatized individuals.  They work with veterans, domestic abuse survivors and at-risk youth to help heal trauma through the creative process. Together, the participants work to turn negative energy positive,  repression into expression, and to transform their pain through BEAUTY.

Right now my signature programs – The Art of Self Massage, Body Church, and The 7 Virtues of the Seductive Woman, are all on sale. And, as a special bonus, you can also purchase a copy of my new book Club Macaron, usually only available to club members!

This sale ends Friday at 5pm  –  click to shop and support The Art Therapy Project now!

Tiny Change, Huge Result

It was day three of a nasty cold, and you know how difficult nighttime can be with a racking cough and stuffy nose. Before bed, I assembled an artillery of defense on my nightstand: a cluttered mess of cough syrup, tissues, cough drops and Vicks Vapo Rub.

It all looked so…DEPRESSING.

“Wait a minute” I thought. I grabbed the tin platter from my dresser that my perfumes had been sitting on, stuck a flower into a vintage bud vase, added my medicinal array in an orderly fashion and voila! Instant beauty. My new tray of treats caused my nervous system to relax. As I climbed into bed I felt like I had gone from a cold clinic to the Ritz hotel.

Such a tiny change, such a huge result. Such is the power beauty has.

Beauty is prayer in it’s original form.

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Since before we had words to speak, we used beauty to communicate things like thank you, I love you, I honor you, I’m grateful, please.

In these violent times, beauty can be seen as a frivolous luxury. And yet, is our collective discourse and agitation not simply a symptom of the way we have forgotten the true value that beauty brings?

As a child and young adult, where I found solace and respite was in the world of beauty. Initially, with the naïveté that is natural to youth, I thought beauty meant keeping up a flawless exterior. I used beauty to conceal the shame of feeling like my insides were permanently dirty from how I grew up. I invested almost all my time and money in trying to make things “look good.”

I no longer use beauty to cover up.

I use beauty to express and honor the woman I have become.

My signature red lipstick has nothing to do with trends. Red is the color of passion and power. In Feng Shui, red is the color of good luck. I use red to adorn my lips the same way one would light a red candle at Christmastime; to express joy, celebration and wonder.

When you add a scarf to your outfit that brings out your eyes, when you sprinkle green parsley over pink salmon, when you toss rose petals into your bathwater; I urge you to remember this simple fact — every act of beauty is a form of prayer.

Every day is a new opportunity to experience the healing power of beauty, but creating a unique, authentic style can feel overwhelming and intimidating. That is exactly why I’ve created a powerful free guide to show you how to find your Signature Style. 

More than how we dress, style is how we EXPRESS.

You know that feeling when you find a piece that was just MADE for you? Like a beautiful thing inside of you has just found its soulmate outside of you? What if that feeling wasn’t something you had to wait for destiny to bring? What if you could study, cultivate, and master it, so that feeling fabulous about the way you’re dressed becomes the rule, not the exception?

3 HOT TIPS TO MAKE FLOWERS LAST LONGER

3 Hot Tips to Make Flowers Last Longer

One day while strolling through the Union Square Farmers Market in New York, I came upon a booth with the most gorgeous flowers wrapped in brown paper.  You could tell that the man selling them took his work very seriously. 

I stopped to talk with him about the different varieties for sale, and he spoke about each bouquet like they were his children. He was what I call “A Beauty Keeper.”

Whenever I encounter A Beauty Keeper, I feel like a fly who is happily drowning in a pot of honey.  People whose work is to bring beauty into the world are magical, sacred creatures to me. I can’t get enough of them! 

After all, beauty is what we turn to in times of grief and joy.  Beauty is how we mark the celebration of a milestone.  In even the most desperate times, beauty helps us remember who we really are.

When I purchased a dozen, swollen pink roses from this man, he bestowed upon me three masterful tips to release his pride and joy into my care.  With spring right around the corner, it is my pleasure and delight to deliver them to you today!

3 HOT TIPS FOR KEEPING SPRING FLOWERS FRESH

 1. Prepare a vase with HOT tap water to place the flowers into. 

The water should be hot as in “yowza” when you touch it, but not so hot you can’t touch it at all.  The heat increases the amount of water the stems can drink in,  causing them to last longer, and also slowly seducing the bloom into being. (note: this is true for most flowers, but if you have a particularly delicate flower such as an anemone, use lukewarm water instead.)

2. Add a penny to the vase.

The copper in the penny adds acidity, keeping the water and the flowers fresher for longer.

3. Cut stems at a 45 degree angle under running water.

Any time the cut stem comes into contact with air, it increases the speed at which the flower will decompose.  For that reason, cut the stems using a knife at a 45 degree angle, removing about one to two inches of the stem.  Once cut, immediately place the stem into the vase of hot water.

After care: change the water and snip the stems every 1-2 days.

Not only will this keep the water fresh, I find that this keeps my bond with the flowers fresh too! It’s an act of love and appreciation for the beauty they bring to my life. An act of beauty for a thing of beauty, because after all:

Beauty begets beauty. (Click to tweet!)

Once the flowers start to die, don’t throw them out!

Take the flower petals and sprinkle them in the bath, across your doorstep, or keep them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for your future adorning needs.

May these tips bring as much joy and reverie to your life as they have to mine.

Love,

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SWOON OCTOBER: Moonlight & Pillow Fights

Swoon by Kitty Cavalier

Pumpkin Seeds,

It is with great pleasure that I bring you the October edition of Swoon!Swoon is a monthly feature of all things currently tickling my fancy, that I think will tickle you in just the right places too.

This month we have classy dames, pinup pillow fights, things that will make your heart sparkle and swell, and more.  Enjoy your swooning my darlings!


 

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The nighttime is the right time to salute the moon!   I’m really enjoying easing my way through this moon salutation by candlelight to settle into my evening.  (P.S. Current yoga song obsession – Explorers of Infinity.)

I think that lunch is actually our most important meal, as it offers us an oasis of pleasure in the middle of the day. Let’s snazz it up sister with these simple but elegant recipes. 

Check out these cheeky record covers for instant, awesome, apartment glam!  I am eyeing that cover of “A Star Is Born!”

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This divine wrap, inspired by Phryne Fisher, is a statement piece indeed. What statement do you think it makes?

A sweet and touching peek into the tender beauty of new motherhood, Caroline Hardin writes 100 letters to her baby girl and shares them candidly on Instagram. Pass the hand-embroidered hanky please!

What’s more fun than a pin-up pillow fight? A pin-up pillow fight in the SHOWER, that’s what!

IMG_9814Because we can never have enough Ageless Grace in this world, now can we?

This gives me a tremendous amount of inspiration and hope for changing our relationship to work/life balance and encouraging more holidays!

 Interesting ponderings on the impact that internet use has on not just our minds but on our bellies.

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I’m in the process of  turning a corner of my home into a dedicated Qoya space.  I have a plush fuchsia carpet on the way and plan to hang this lovely addition above my altar.  Color explosion!

I recently saw a wall covered in several sets of these delightful paper fans and it made my heart SING!   Inexpensive and inventive – my favorite combo!

Your index finger feels like it’s missing something too? Well, good news! I found what we’ve been looking for! 

 


Sharing is sexy.

Click here to share swoon with a friend via Facebook or Twitter!

SAVORING SUMMER INSTAGRAM CHALLENGE!

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Summer Lovers,

There is a mantra that has profoundly changed my life these past few months.  It is:

Abundance is not measured by how much you can get, but by how deeply you can savor what you have.

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The true essence of Sacred Seduction® is allowing life to seduce you, and savoring the present moment through the senses.  As summer begins its slow spiral into fall, I invite you to slow down and taste all the fruits summer has borne through the Savoring Summer Instagram Challenge!

Every day is a different prompt, providing a focus point to give summer the full applause, attention and appreciation she deserves. Each post counts as an entry, and every week a winner will be randomly chosen to receive a very special prize!

 

To participate in this challenge follow these two simple steps:

  1. Click here to follow me for daily inspiration @kittycavalier
  2. Use the tag #sacredseduction when sharing your photos to be entered to win one of our fabulous prizes shown below!

SAVORING SUMMER IG CHALLENGE


 

PRIZES

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Every week a winner will be selected to receive a gorgeous new oracle deck*! Oracle decks are one of my favorite ways to use beauty as a tool to connect to the divine.

*This challenge is not sponsored by or affiliated with the authors or publishers of these decks.

You will be amazed at how noticing the beauty right under your nose will make this last month of summer so much sweeter.  Remember to follow me here and use the tag #sacredseduction to win!

All My Love,

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Ministry In A Miniskirt

1987, 2017

As a child, the future career I longed for most was to become a priest.  Every Sunday morning before the rest of my family woke up, I would put on my Dad’s bathrobe and my Mom’s scarf, set out two candles (which I couldn’t light because I was too young to light a match), and pretend I was the preacher giving a mass. 

I spoke sermons, baptized my baby dolls and cut tiny circles of bread to serve as the Eucharist.  As I would play I could feel a calling of service and spirituality unfold inside me like a fragrant Easter lily.

In the faith I grew up in however, women were not permitted to be priests.  That dream died on the vine until a recent weekend when I was asked to create a service for the Unitarian Universalist church, of which my Mom is a member.

This particular congregation has a part-time minister, which means that half the time the minister creates the service, and on the off weeks someone from the congregation itself does the job. When the worship organizer learned of my work and asked me to create a service, I may have knocked her over with the volume of my resounding “YES!”

Not only was this a chance to live my childhood dream, it was an opportunity to give back to a community that has given so much love, friendship and kindness to my mom and myself.

The U.U. principles are inclusive of all roads to faith.  The theme I chose for the service was “Letting Spirit Speak Through The Senses.” We sang the songs Morning Has Broken and Wake Now My Senses, and read the touching, simple poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. 

For my homily, I shared straight from my heart about my personal journey of disowning and then reclaiming my body as an instrument through which I communicate with Spirit.  I shared stories about using my senses to pray, like this one about the day my Dad passed away. We did a meditation that honored the body as a temple, and an exercise to open our eyes to the beauty all around us.

I recorded my talk to share with you here. Just click the image to have a listen. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!   (Note: The audio quality did not come out as superb as I planned so I invite you to use it as an opportunity to listen more deeply.)

To close the service we sang “Annie’s Song” by John Denver, (a.k.a. “You Fill Up My Senses”.)  Mom was standing next to me, and as I put my arm around her shoulders and she put her arm around my waist, we both started to cry.  That song was a lullaby she used to sing to me as a baby.  As the whole congregation sang together, I swelled with gratitude at how lyrics to this song were imprinted into my cells as a child, and helped to shape my destiny.

Here’s to childhood dreams coming true in unexpected ways, and dreams we may not even know we have, like performing ministry in a miniskirt.

All My Love,

KITTY_CAVALIER_ICON(1)

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A Radically Different Way To Love Yourself

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Hazelnuts,

You’ve heard me say many times that self-love is more than just a game of the mind.

In order to have a genuine experience of LOVE, our thoughts and beliefs are a crucial first step.

But we cannot stop there.

When you love someone or something; be it a partner, a friend, a child or even an animal, you hug them, cuddle them, caress and kiss them.

That is because touch causes the hormones oxytocin and prolactin to be released, which are the physical components of bonding and love.

This chemical reaction, a literal potion of love, happens when you touch another person.

But it also happens when you touch your own skin and body.

Touch is the physical manifestation of love.

Our bodies are starving for tender, loving touch.

But not everyone has the time or money for a professional massage every week, let alone every day.

And mindlessly slapping on lotion after a shower every morning won’t satisfy your hunger.

That is why I’ve taken my 15 years as a professional body worker and created something brand new, unlike ANYTHING ELSE out there.

Are you ready for self-care to feel fun and sexy, rather than obligatory?

Would you like to learn a skill that will bring you back to your body anytime, anywhere?

Let’s revolutionize your self-love affair RIGHT NOW.

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P.S. – There has never been a better time to invest in the most sustainable source of happiness at your disposal: feeling deeply at home in your own skin.

Click here and let’s get started.

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A LITERAL LOVE POTION IN YOUR VERY OWN HANDS

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Hello Scrumptious Soul,  

Last night I was up late putting the finishing touches on the Beauty Queen course, which begins tomorrow.  The piece I was working was the routine for self-massage.  I am so fucking passionate about the physical practice of self-love, and and I want to share something very special with you from the workbook:

Imagine how much more peaceful this world would be if all of us received daily massage. Massage lowers the heart rate, rejuvenates the mind, reduces depression, increases mental clarity, increases circulation, moves stagnant energy, reduces stress, decreases cortisol, increases serotonin and so much more. Sounds like someone you’d want to go on a date with, yes?  

Self- massage has all of these same benefits, PLUS it fosters a deep, intimate, physical form of self-love.  Loving your body is not just a mental state, it is a physical experience.  Have you ever had a moment of holding hands with someone and on a biological level you feel yourself bonding? That is because there is a hormonal cascade of oxytocin, the hormone of devotion, love and bonding, being released ecstatically into your blood stream. In nursing homes when dogs are brought in to visit the patients, it creates an improvement in their overall health. Babies who are born prematurely gain weight faster when they are held and massaged. It’s like like a literal love potion in your very own hands.

The same exact process happens when we perform self- massage. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING compares to getting in there, squeezing, touching, caressing, and dragging my fingernails across my own skin.  It is literal love made flesh.  After all, when you love someone, the first thing you do when you see them is give them a hug. Why would the rules of loving yourself be any different?

And that’s really it right there.  My mission with Sacred Seduction® is to create a feminine spiritual practice that is fun, fulfilling and DEAD SEXY.  Self-care can be so BORING sometimes, my God! What if self-care was a total turn on? What if you felt a flutter an the bottom of your heart when thinking about your self-love practices, the same kind you feel when you are about to kiss someone?

I have spent my entire life trying to heal the relationship with my body by changing the thoughts of my mind.  Read that sentence one more time.  Body.  Mind.  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to include my actual body in the equation, rather than just dwell in the wounds between my ears?

The female body has been desecrated and robbed of it’s divinity for the last 5,000 years. Isn’t that long enough? Beauty is how we return to reverence. It is how we take back the power of the feminine, i.e. the power of CREATION, and allow that creative power to show proudly on the inside AND the outside. It has absolutely nothing to do with how you look to another person (except for the fact that the more art there is in the world, the more calm and peaceful we become.) Take for example this excerpt from a blog I wrote about an experience I had just moments after my father had died:

In that somber and swollen moment just after his spirit had left his body, it naturally felt like some sort of prayer was in order, however I don’t really pray with words.  I find them cumbersome and complicating in moments such as these. Personally, I pray with beauty.

I took a yellow rose I had brought from home and peeled off the petals one by one. Each petal was a prayer of love, a tangible tribute to his physical form. I then took an essential oil blend called “release”, and I anointed his forehead, followed by the bottoms his feet, symbolizing my prayer for him to have a smooth transition, and letting him know he was free.

Beauty takes moments that could be riddled with and darkness, and miraculously, it lets in the light.  Without beauty, this memory could have been a trauma in itself-. But because of beauty, I will always remember my Dad’s body in that tender moment, shining as beautifully as a bright yellow rose.

Adorning, polishing, tending and honoring the temple of your soul.  

THAT is what it means to be a Beauty Queen.

We start tomorrow, and I would be honored to have you as part of this royal assembly. Join us now! 

 

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“Excuse Me, Would You Help Me Find My Clothes?” I said.

FLOWER BATH

One night, I went swimming under a moon so bright you would swear it was dawn at 12am. I was naked in the warm ocean surrounded by friends. On the beach was a crowd of about 100 people, all getting high off the vibrant moonlight. As I emerged from the waves like a mermaid, I saw this really hot guy. So I walked straight up to him (me naked, him fully clothed) and said:

“Excuse me, I can’t seem to find my clothes. Would you be so kind as to help me look?”

(SIDE NOTE: I knew exactly where my clothes were the whole time.)

After making that brazen move I felt more radiant than ever before in my life. Not because of how I looked, but because of how I felt. It is what I deem to be True Beauty.

You know, the kind of beauty that happens when you take a risk and your cheeks flush. Or when a friend hears you are sick and brings you flowers, which are beautiful to begin with, but when laden with love are downright sacrosanct.

But that’s not really the way we approach beauty in our culture. In fact, our understanding of the joy it can bring to our lives has been whittled down to the width of a razor. These fucked up beliefs about beauty hold us back in ways we don’t even comprehend. They limit our power, joy, pleasure, creativity and confidence.

It makes you want to throw your hands up and abandon the beauty industry all together. But don’t throw your false lashes on a bonfire just yet, my love.

A simple shift of perspective can change everything.

For example, think of how many times in your life you have mindlessly put on lipstick. What if lipstick was a prayer of tribute to that which shapes the expression of your truth through words – i.e. your lips? What if applying the color red was not just about making your lips pop, but about the fact that red is the only adornment befitting of these portals of your power and passion?

I once had a boyfriend who said to me “I usually don’t like makeup on women. But it’s not the makeup on you that is beautiful, it’s the look on your face when you wear it.”

This was a grand compliment. It let me know he was seeing more than my prettiness, he was seeing my ART.

There is an artist in all of us.  But for most of us that artist is hidden and starving.

It’s time for that to change RIGHT  NOW.

In the Beauty Queen course, which starts this weekend, I teach you all the “rules” of a great beauty ritual; how to draw straight eyeliner, whether or not eye creams are worth the money,  how to do a complete at-home spa like a professional, etc. But it’s not the rules that interest me. 

It’s breaking the rules that really turns me on, and I want to give you the education and permission that will make your creativity SOAR.

Your ritual should be one of joy, fun, delight, creativity and EMPOWERMENT.

After all, you do it every single day of your life.

Together, let’s put the power of  beauty back where it belongs, in your own hands.

Enrollment closes in just a few days, the time is now.

Click here and join us!

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PS – Want a taste of Beauty Queen and how it can change your life? Click here to sign up for my free class “Eyeliner As A Means To Enlightenment” before it’s gone!

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