Meditating in High Heels

 

Recently I headed back home to New York City for a very special event. Jo Weldon, the woman who first taught me how to fan dance and founder of the New York School of Burlesque, wrote a new book called “Fierce: The History of Leopard Print.” Jo was doing a book signing and a burlesque show with some of my favorite performers of all time. I knew I had to be there, so I packed up my leopard velvet fascinator and hit the road.

Being back in the city after a long absence quenched my senses in a way I didn’t even know they were thirsting.  I zoomed in and out of the streets of Soho wearing a vintage black wiggle dress and bright white Keds. Femme Fatale on my body, Chantilly lace on my feet.

As I neared Crosby street where the event was being held, I pulled over to switch my footwear to something a bit more elegant. With pointed toes I slid my feet into a pair of camel colored, suede, T-Strap stilettos. These were really more of a sitting shoe, but I felt confident I could handle the half block walk to my destination.

I steadily strode the short distance to the show, but when I arrived, all I saw was a long row of garage doors. I pulled out my ticket. The event was being held at 126 Crosby St. I was at 26 Crosby street.

FACK.

It was just far enough to make walking in stilettos painful, but not far enough to warrant another shoe change. So I began my 4 block journey to the correct address.

When distance walking in stilettos you just want to get it over with, so my strategy is usually to walk at a brisk pace. But after just two minutes I was entering the red zone; pinched toes and burning in the pads of my feet – so I slowed everything WAY down.

I noticed things I never would have seen had I kept my blinders on with the Scissor Sisters blasting in my ear buds. Faces, places, colors and moments that would normally have escaped my tunnel vision snapped into 20/20 clarity. The fast moving city which holds herself like a tight bud began to soften and bloom around me.

When I finally arrived at the show, I was relaxed, open, and grounded. Because my nervous system had been tended to, I was able to enjoy the show from a state of total receptivity, the way a hungry five year-old devours a chocolate chip cookie.

May this be a reminder dear one, that you can meditate anywhere, even in high heels. (click to tweet)

And that any experience can be savored more deeply through surrendering to the miracle of your senses.

Strutting and Savoring,

 

 

 


 

HEADS UP! Next week is our annual…

Ready for a stay-cation this summer? A chance to savor life through the senses, FEEL FOXY in your own skin, save big AND give to a great cause??

Next week is our annual Flash Sale Fundraiser! All courses will be $100 off, and a portion of all proceeds go to a wonderful organization.

I’ve got a few sweet surprises up my sleeve too, be sure to open up on Wednesday!

Are you sitting on your assets, but calling them flaws?

django_wide-c0793de0a0caa09c3c110ffc92186147641e510dDear Ones,

Do you love a good miracle story?

Especially one about a legendary 1930’s French musician with a polka dot tie and a pencil mustache?

Good. Read on.

Yesterday was Django Rheinhart’s bithday.

Mr. Reinhardt was one of the greatest guitar players of the 20th century. He was born in Belgium in a wooden trailer to a family of Roma (or gypsies, as they’re commonly called.) The word gypsy gets quite romanticized these days, but in 1910 this was no glamorous title. Being a Roma meant being an outcast; distrusted and persecuted wherever you went.

Django was a wildly talented self-taught musician, mastering the guitar and banjo as a child, and playing Paris nightclubs in his teens. But one night in 1928, at the age of 18, a tragic fire brought on by a dropped candle set his caravan aflame. He and his young wife made it out alive, but his leg and hand were badly burned.

He permanently lost the use of two fingers on his left hand.

For many, that would have meant the end of their career. But Django persevered. He adapted his playing to accommodate the loss of his fingers and went on to become one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.

In fact, many say that it was BECAUSE OF his impairment that his music had such personality and distinction.

Did you catch that?

Not in spite of his impairment. BECAUSE OF.

His flaw became his greatest asset.

Before I started performing burlesque, I couldn’t even wear short sleeves because I was so ashamed of my arms, not to mention the rest of my body.

But when I started attending burlesque shows and saw legends like Dirty Martini,  Little Brooklyn,  World Famous *BOB*, Tigger,  Jo Weldon and Perle Noire, I saw that it wasn’t conformity that made them so spectacular. It was their NON-conformity that made them irresistible to watch.

When I started performing myself, the best compliment a fan could give me was to say “After watching you, I feel so much permission to just be exactly who I am.”

In my case, my once perceived flaws – my belly and hip flesh that jiggled, my breasts that swung low – were now my greatest assets.

The Course in Miracles says: “A miracle is just a shift in perception from fear to love.”

What “flaws” might you be trying to hide right now, that may just be your greatest assets waiting to be uncovered?

What miracles have you been searching for, that you may in fact be already sitting on as we speak?

Hit play on this playlist I made for you, and Django may just help you find out.

Rooting for you,

KITTY_CAVALIER_ICON(1)

Monday Morning In My World

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It’s Monday morning.

I’m in bed.

There is glitter in my sheets. Glitter in my hair. Glitter on the dogs nose.

The heat is roaring so the window is cracked and an icy cold breeze tangos with the curtain.

Last night I debuted a new act at The Slipper Room at Doctor Lucky’s Burlesque Student Showcase.

It’s 8am. I’ve been up since 5. I went to bed at 2.

For a whole week I’ve been in abject terror about the debut. Performing is such a trip, sometimes I don’t know why I do it. There were many times over the past week I thought about bailing on my dream. I will write more about that this week, but suffice it to say I am NOT an early riser, yet I feel energized and galvanized after last night. Life feels so magical after the rush of creating art and then performing it for a live audience that (yes I am about to loosely quote that Aerosmith song from the Armageddon soundtrack right now, DEAL WITH IT) I don’t want to go to sleep because I don’t want to miss life!

This is not how a typical Monday morning goes for most people. Of this I am aware.

Outside my door, people are heading out to work, many of them stressed out and grumpy as all hell. I know because I used to be one of them. But inside my home this Monday morning, I am curled up.   The radiator hisses. Candles flicker on my altar. Glitter dog snoozes and snores.

And I am grateful that I went for my dream.

 

“Things I Love”

Sex Magic Candle Spell

Whenever I get asked “what do you do?” at a cocktail party, it’s always a crapshoot.  Since I teach seduction as a spiritual practice (and am proud of it), I never know what the response will be to my answer.  Recently I was standing near my dear friend Fabiola as she answered this question.  Her response? “Things I love”. To this day I do not know if Fabiola works or has a job, nor do I care.  This weekend I realized that “things I love” is actually the most truthful answer I could give to this question. 

This weekend I hosted three events.  Otherwise known as: work.  My work = the things I love.   

The things I love are going back in time to a gypsy caravan with my iconic friend Veronica Varlow and about 30 other women. On Friday night Veronica took us on a tour of Sex Magic; tried and true ancient rituals passed down to her from her gypsy lineage that cast an unforgettable spell on everything we encountered. We anointed ourselves, we built a sex altar together, we blindfolded one another and fed each other juicy fruit, and we ignited our seductive spirits with a candle spell. See, I loved that.

Opera, Seduction and Burlesque

Then on Saturday I had the honor and privilege of hosting an evening of Opera, Seduction and Burlesque with my best friend and courtesan of the arts, ViVi La Voix. Under a red, sheer, bejeweled tent we had our bones rattled and our worlds rocked by Viv’s epic and eternal operatic voice. We lounged on piles of red velvet pillows and were dazzled by compelling and unforgettable opera burlesque striptease vignettes. Tears were shed as we watched Tosca bleed, Carmen surrender, Butterfly choose, and Maria bless. Yup, loved that too.

 Brooklyn Goddess Salon at Sacred

On Sunday I got to step into the sanctuary that is Sacred Brooklyn Studio, and be pleasantly surprised by the group of 7 women I had planned for multiplying to 15 before my very eyes. I still have full body chills as I recall te potent sensual power that electrified the air as the women mastered the Queen’s walk, and blessed every inch of Earth with every sensual step. Ahhhhhh. Love.

And now today is the day where I get to spread the love all around the world like I am frosting a cake. Today is the launch of my brand new online program – Your Seductress: Unveiled. It is a four week adventure in uncovering the seductress that lives within you. Yes, you. Every woman is a seductress. All she needs to embody it are exercises, reminders, information and some  girlfriends by her side. It is really that simple.  For years I have been receiving requests to put my work on an online forum, rather than just in a classroom.  Finally, this has seduced me, and I am ready for you. 

www.kittycavalier.com


I don’t know about you, but personally I feel like a bubble that just sailed over the rim of an overflowing champagne glass. Wheeeeeeee! 


Embodiment Of The Arts

Embodiment.
It’s a word that get’s a little over-used these days, but just for fun, let’s chew on it a bit and let the flavor really sink in. 
Yesterday I was at a cupcake shop with my best friend and soul sister Vivi Le Voix, planning our June 1st event “A Night of Opera, Seduction and Burlesque”. We were talking about what makes this event different from just going to the opera, or a burlesque show, or a class.  What we discovered is that this event is not just an observation of the arts.  It is a chance for a person to EMBODY the arts.
Vivi performing Tosca
One of the things I love about going to see a performance is that it opens my senses to a whole new experience.  However, sitting in an opera audience involves a lot of…sitting.  Hearing the different languages is beautiful but can cause the mind to wander. I always have the desire to know: what is the story behind the story? Ok, so this woman gets killed by this guy for the sake of her true love. Got it. But what was the writer really trying to express in telling that story through opera?
Similarly, when I see burlesque, it lights me up and changes my life every single time.  But it goes by so fast! I want to know, when one pastie is a different color than the other, why did the performer choose that? Was it a nod to the artist who wrote the song, like the way Carol Burnett used to tug on her ear for her Grandma at the close of every show?  Or is it a secret far more personal?  These things keep me up at night. 

Hey Sailor!
Photo by Beth Mayesh

When Vivi and I designed this event, we wanted to take these art forms that are often observed from far away and allow the audience to cradle them in their hands.  For example, have you ever stood 5 feet away from a real opera singer?  Your bones, your heart and your soul tremble at the vibrations of her voice. For most people, when they first hear Vivi sing, they get tears in the corners of their eyes and they have no idea why.  This is why we all love art so much.  It awakens us to a mysterious yearning that comes from a part of ourselves that can never quite be “figured out”. With all the things that can be figured out nowadays, this is a code we wouldn’t dare try to crack.  That, my friends, is a miracle in the flesh. 
The same goes for burlesque.  Watching a burlesque act is like witnessing an entire lifetime in three to five minutes. Burlesque uses the power of the physical body to manifest the most significant, intense emotions a person can feel.  The way the energy changes in the room when even a glove comes off of a forearm is like switching the channel on a television.  Whenever we get naked, literally or metaphorically, we are risking it all.  We are telling the full truth – showing up in our greatest vulnerability, which ultimately represents our greatest power. 
Nipples of Venus Cakerie
Photo by Beth Mayesh
On this evening that Vivi and I have planned, we intend to take you through a sensory tour of living art.  There will be Nipples of Venus Cakerie delights, beautiful wines and bubbly beverages to tease your taste buds.  Your ears will experience every sensation imaginable; from the lightest tickle to the deepest massage stroke by hearing opera up close.  Your eyes will take you on a journey of the heart with every conceal and reveal you witness.  Hearing the story behind each story will touch your very soul, and add a whole new layer of meaning to the experience.
Most of all, you will learn how to take this experience and apply it to every encounter you have with the arts after this one. Whether you are front row at a concert or reading “Poetry In Motion” on the subway, this experience will be something your body will never forget. 
We invite you to embody the arts with us, Saturday June 1st
For a sample of what you will hear at the event, click hereto listen to Vivi singing one of her favorite arias. 

Feathers are a Feminist Issue

This week I graduated my very first 6 week series, Sacred Seduction. This class prepares five students for one main event: performing a group Burlesque routine in a real NYC Burlesque show.
One thing you should know about me, is that I am a slut for rituals. Nothing gets me goin’ like a good blessing or intention setting. Which is why I filled this class chock full of them, and made sure that throughout the entire series, we were all really clear about why we are doing this.

What always surprises me about burlesque, is that it is a dance, but it is so not about the dance. It is about freeing yourself, expressing yourself, and transcending any belief that you are too old, fat, pimply, dimply, flat chested, uncoordinated…or whatever other fill-in-the-dis-empowerment-blank that comes your way. It’s about claiming it, right here, right now. These women are not dancing just because they like sequins and feathers. Some of them don’t even like sequins and feathers. They are dancing for their Light. They are dancing for their own daughters, and for yours. They are dancing for every woman who has ever doubted herself, held back on her genius because of how she might be ridiculed.



Take Belle Du Jour, who is 7 months pregnant with baby Sebastian, dancing for every woman to know it is ok for a woman to be a Mommy, and hold onto her sassy sensuality. Or Glitzy Cougar, who is 58 years old, and has never felt more beautiful in her life. She is dancing for every woman who has ever put her sensuality on a shelf, or felt like she is resigned to a life of short hair and turtlenecks after she turns a certain age. Then there is Calla Lily Rapture, who is celebrating her birthday on performance night, and claiming every ounce of the gorgeous gift she is, unwrapping herself for all the world to see. We’ve got Ginger Altar, who after backpacking the length of India alone, describes this experience as the bravest thing she’s ever done. And last but certainly not least, there is Madame Rouge, who after a lifetime of being afraid of exposing her delicious body, is tossing everything she’s ever known about “supposed to” out the window, revealing her innate beauty with a gusto that just brings me to tears.

Every time I see a burlesque show, it changes me. The reason: burlesque requires you to stand in your most profound vulnerability, literally naked. And counter-intuitive to everything we’ve been taught, it is here that our deepest power lies. Burlesque is a dance of discovery, for the performer and audience member alike. Discovering that our power does not live in the hard shell we wear each day, it resides in the softness that lies behind it.

This Tuesday night, June 14th, the world will change. The Earth will not be the same after these women dance their Light. Come join us if you would like to bear witness to this extraordinary act of beauty, and have your world changed too.