Stepping Away to Get Closer


Cacao nibs,

Recently I was working on a project and my creativity felt like a jeep with it’s tires stuck in the mud.

No matter how many quality ideas surfaced, the mantra “what a dumb idea! what a dumb idea! what a dumb idea!” echoed through my head like a demented wind-up clown.

I called a friend for support. She calmly replied, “I think the best thing you can do in this situation is just be really kind to yourself.”

Ahhhh…deep exhale.

After hearing that prompt, my inner voice came through clear as a bell.

“Stop trying, Kitty. Today is just not the day. Working harder will only dig this hole deeper. Put the project down and step away.”

It’s common to get swept up in the fever of perpetual harvest.

But any artist will tell you that after days and days of working on the same painting, the art will actually suffer if you don’t take time away to freshen your perspective.

When you seek to live life as art, you’ve got to live it on art’s own terms. (click to tweet)

My friend Rochelle Schieck recently shared that lions in the wild will sleep 15 to 20 hours a day, and that rather than the expression “I’m a lion, hear me roar” it’s really more like, “I’m a lion, hear me snore!”

When it comes to creative energy, I find it to be more of a current than a well. When the current flows, it flows. When it’s not flowing, I know that my job is not to tell it to hurry up. My job is simply to remove whatever is blocking the flow, and do my best to patient as I wait for the river to rise again.

How do you flow with the wax and wane of your creative genius? Let’s compare notes in the comments.

Love,

 

 

8 Awesome Party Ideas For Grownups

party ideas

 

Dear Ones,

It’s Friday night.

You’ve had a long week and are dying to go do something fun, dazzling and exciting. You scan the local calendar for music, art or dancing, but don’t see anything that tickles your fancy. You text a friend to see if they’d be up for a night out, but they already have plans. You prod your partner for a date night but they are already in their PJ’s.

You sigh, flop down on the couch, and resign yourself to a boring night in.

Perhaps you enjoy boring nights in (I often do!), but you still long for exciting, enticing invitations that will create meaningful connections and lasting memories.

Does this experience sound familiar?

Are you waiting for the social life fairy to bonk you on the head with her wand?

When I moved to from New York City to the Blue Ridge Mountains two years ago, I know I sure was. I spent many weekend nights alone, frustrated, wishing for my N.Y. days of spontaneously meeting up with a friend for a late night at the 24 hour spa, or gathering for Sunday brunch and eating exotic food that I still can’t properly pronounce.

Living in a smaller city has pleasantly shaped me in many ways. It has made me less impulsive and more responsible. I am so much happier with so much less. I’m not constantly chasing the comet’s tail of excitement wherever it will lead, and I feel so much more content with who I am.

But no matter where I live, my culture loving, razzle-dazzle, inner Zelda Fitzgerald will always be alive and well in some capacity.  And this is a woman with NEEDS.

I adore this quote from the New York Magazine column, Ask Polly:

“When you go from doing whatever comes up and hating it, to being a visionary socializer who makes inspired, exciting plans with people who are deeply craving new, more meaningful ways of interacting, your life will change.”

After reading that quote I realized that when it comes to my social life: I must be the party I wish to attend.

“But I don’t know how to throw a fabulous party! Besides, I don’t have that many friends!” are all thoughts that may be running through your mind, as they did mine.

What I have learned from my own experiment is two key things:

1. Anyone can throw a party, for any reason.

I’ve thrown heartbreak parties, sensual chocolate tasting parties, it’s-Tuesday-night-and-caramel-corn-exists-so-let’s-celebrate parties. It really doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Spending tons of money and cleaning the house within an inch of it’s life are not requirements to throw a great party. If you’ve warm bodies, focused attention and good lighting, you’re already ten steps ahead of the game.

2. Everyone you know is longing for meaningful, in-person connection.

In-person connection is a delicacy these days. We are DYING for a reason to get out of the virtual world and dive into real, live conversation.  The best party memories are not made by the quality of cocktail napkins, they are made by the quality of connection between the people who attend.  Remember this as your priority to prevent getting lost in the swirl of trying to create the perfect party.  You already are the perfect party!

So, where to begin? Don’t worry doll, Kitty’s got you covered with eight jazzy, snazzy ideas to put this insight into action and be the party you wish to attend!


8 AWESOME PARTY IDEAS FOR GROWNUPS

 

  • Pampering Party

Have everyone bring over their favorite spa products for a group spa night! You could even hire a massage therapist.  Have everyone contribute $10-$20 and offer chair massage in another room while you and your friends catch up over cucumber water on the couch.

  •  Sommelier Wine Tasting Party

Most local wine shops would be thrilled to have you come to their store (or may even be willing to come to you) to host a group wine tasting. Or to keep things more simple, ask each person to bring their favorite bottle of wine with them to the party, and to do a little research on it in advance, then share that info with the group!

  • Oracle Dance Party

If your friends are open to a bit of woo-woo comin’ through, gather for an Oracle Dance Party. You’ll need space to dance and an awesome playlist with different kinds of music. How it works: each person gets a turn to sit in the center of the circle and share for a few minutes on an area of their life where they need support. Then, you hit shuffle on the playlist, and everyone gets up to dance the full song, listening for messages as they move. The group then returns to the circle, and  shares insights, messages or intuitions they received for that person in their dance. Credit to Rochelle Schieck and my Qoya family for this super fun, incredibly meaningful party experience!

  • Lingerie Party

Many lingerie boutiques will happily close early for a group to come in for a private shopping party. The staff will give you detailed attention and often offer fittings. You could even hire a burlesque dancer to come in and teach you some sensual moves to kick off the night! Tip: Bring your favorite shoes and do your hair and makeup to prepare.  I always find my lingerie shopping feels infinitely more luxurious experience with these details attended to!

  • Arts and Crafts Party

Are you a sucker for the sight of construction paper and a glue stick? Does glitter make your heart beat a little faster? Does a watercolor set make you swoon? Host a gathering for creative playtime! You could make homemade greeting cards, art postcards, or just create art for arts sake!

  • D.I.Y. Dinner and Dancing

You serve the Hawaiian fare while one of your friends learns and teaches the basics of the hula. Or, you learn a few Flamenco steps and put your friends in charge of the Paella and Tempranillo. There are literally thousands of videos on YouTube to learn the basic steps of almost any kind of dance. Add a little regional dish and voila! A magical evening is born. Samba and caipirinhas here we come!

  • Costume Seance

Invite each guest to dress up as their favorite historical figure. Light candles and say some prayers. One person sits in the center of the circle, and guests take turns asking questions of the person in the middle, who answers as the person they have dressed to honor!

  • Heartbreak Party

Some of my most cherished parties have been celebrations of life’s most difficult moments. I have had breakup parties, divorce parties, parties to honor the dead, rage parties, you name it! Choosing to celebrate the dark times rather than pushing them away changes our perception of difficult moments. (The people of New Orleans do this so well.) Second line parade here we come!

I hope you enjoy these party ideas, and that they spark your own limitless imagination. What are some of the most memorable parties you’ve ever attended? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! 

Wiggling and Giggling,

KITTY_CAVALIER_ICON(1)

Where Do I Even Start? (Creativity Overwhelm)

CREATIVITY OVERWHELM


Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by your wild, creative dreams that you don’t even know where to start?

Being the first week of Spring, this question is particularly auspicious.

To know where to begin, we first have to understand the fundamental differences between creation and production.

Production means “to bring forth.”

An example of production would be to take the pieces of a refrigerator out of a box, follow a manual, and assemble or “bring forth” said refrigerator.

Creation on the other hand, is different.

Creation means “to form out of nothing.”

In contrast, creation would not be the assembly of a refrigerator, it would be inventing refrigeration.

A much different game indeed.

Creation doesn’t tell us when we’ll finish, or where.

Creation doesn’t tell us what it will look like in the end, or if we will even arrive at an end at all.

To get in on the game of creation, we have to stop playing by production’s rules. (click to tweet!)

For example, when a woman is pregnant, she doesn’t say to her friends “I’m sorry, I can’t go to the movies tonight, I have to go home and make my baby’s toenails.”

She’s not assembling the baby inside of her. She’s CREATING it.

With every throb of her heart and every breath of her lungs, she lives the steady mantra of “grow, grow, grow.”

And so it is with every other thing we are “forming out of nothing.” Careers, relationships, art, life. We breathe, we pray, we grow…grow…grow.

Years ago I asked my friend Rochelle Schieck, creator of Qoya, how she took the seed of an idea for a new kind of movement class, and nurtured it into full blown tree that now shelters and feeds thousands of women on the journey back to their bodies.

“Just start” she replied.

Just start.

As in, rather than focusing on what will get you to your destination the fastest, just start walking.

Or rather than focusing on what the title of your book should be, just start writing it.

JUST. START.

When I first started my business I taught seduction classes under fluorescent lighting out of dance studios that smelled like gym socks. (I did my best with my candles and rose petals, but come on.)

My dream was to someday be teaching my classes inside a 17th century Tuscan villa. Today that dream is my reality.

I had no idea how that dream was going to happen. The only thing I knew for sure was that it was NEVER going to happen unless I was willing to just start.

So today, in honor of the little seeds that are courageously splitting wide open under the dark, frozen soil with absolutely no idea where they will end up, may we all be so brave. May we all “just start.”

SPOTLIGHT OVER TO YOU:

In what areas of your life are you currently leaping with no guarantee of a net, but a deep trust that if you just start, your actions will weave the net for you? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

I love you snowdrop,

KITTY_CAVALIER_ICON(1)

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Eyeliner As A Means To Enlightenment

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Dear Turtle Doves,

Last week when I was having A DAY, a friend texted me to ask how I was doing.  I texted back with the image above on the left. After one long cry, some deep conversation, a tie-front top and some tulip pink lipstick, I texted the image on the right as a follow up a few hours later.

It is truly amazing how investing time and attention to beauty can give my mood, my outlook and my confidence a 360° makeover. It’s not because I’ve made myself look more “presentable”. Beauty rituals give me the space to luxuriate in deep creativity, with my own body as a canvas to my art. 

I was raised a good little catholic girl who ran barefoot through the woods on the weekends.  Lipstick, glamour, high heels, and sensual beauty was reserved for a different type of woman than the one I was expected to be.  (That type of woman being a SLUT.)

As an adult, learning the craft of beauty has been a great act of individuation and claiming my true self.  It has freed me to leave behind the girl I was raised to be, in order to create the woman I was born to become.   This is a crucial shift: to realize that your beauty is not there to please someone else, it is there for your creative pleasure, to adorn and ornament the powerful, magnificent, feminine creature that you are. 

For most of us however, our beauty rituals have been robbed of their goddess given joy because of the lies we’ve been told by the media and beauty industry, many of which are sneaky tactics to secretly erode your confidence and make you buy their product!  

Well, when it comes to brainwashing, I’D LIKE TO TURN YOU ON TO A DIFFERENT KIND OF SHAMPOO.

This week I will be hosting a live class called Eyeliner: A Means To Enlightenment, and I would love to have you there as my guest.  In this hour I will teach you:

  • The truth about beauty: what our ancestors knew, how things have changed, and how to reclaim your beauty as a source of creative power
  • How to choose your products based on your own VALUES, rather than what the industry tells you you should buy
  • How to use a mirror in the way it was originally intended: as a source of sly pleasure, rather than a tool of constant criticism
  • My personal “quickies”, short, fast tips and practices that will instantly connect you to the sacred power of adornment
  • A special ritual to start fresh with your adornment practice, and go forward to beautify yourself with courage, authentic expression and deep self-love

EYELINER TITLE IMAGE

This is an exclusive education that you won’t find ANYWHERE ELSE.

Join us for this power hour of love & lip gloss – click here to reserve your spot now!

 

 

 

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A Ritual To Honor Your Dark Side

Imagine we are creating a ceremony to honor one of your most treasured character traits. Which one would you choose? As an example, let’s pretend we are creating an altar to your sense of kindness.  What would go on that altar? I imagine a big piece of pink rose quartz, maybe some gold confetti, a bright white altar cloth, a peaceful candle, etc. But what if we were to create an altar for the parts of you that are often not so cherished; like your rage, your sadness, your grief, or your pain? What would go on that altar? And why, pray tell, would you create an altar to such things in the first place?

When if comes to expressing and honoring our light in this lifetime, it is impossible to do that without also exploring and honoring our darkness. Our darkness is what brings dimension to our light. (click to tweet it!) You cannot have one without the other. Whenever I encounter a woman who seems to fully own her radiance, I know she is a woman who has also gone to the depths of some pretty dark places. The clarity of her light demonstrates that.  She has walked through the fire of her fears and come out on the other side, initiated.  This fearlessness creates the kind of glow that would make a vile of botox start to shiver in it’s boots.

our darkness brings dimension to our light

How we are used to dealing with our shadow side is through it coming up unconsciously. For example, someone says something that rubs you the wrong way and all of a sudden you are afraid to open your mouth because you just might belch a fireball. Or maybe you feel depressed, anxious, tired or irritable and can’t figure out why. Most likely something in your emotional ecosystem is asking to be honored.

But how do we honor these things that we are taught to avoid because of their destructive power? Well, it wasn’t so unusual to think of creating an altar to your sense of kindness, was it? Not at all, because kindness is something we are used to when it comes to women.  We honor women who are kind, as we should.  But in order to fully embody every dimension of our power, we have to honor all parts of ourselves, not just the “nice” ones.

In my book, Sacred Seduction, I call this part of ourselves the Femme Fatale.  Femme Fatale literally translated means “fatal woman”.  But rather than just a stereotype of a man eating Vampiress, in Sacred Seduction we take a closer look at her as an archetype.  In this context, our inner Femme Fatale is the part of us that does not fear death.  She understands the necessity of endings.  Like the Goddess Kali, she is unafraid to come charging forward with eyes rolled back and guns blazing in service to protecting what she loves. Embracing her is a powerful, beautiful and very necessary part of being a woman.

Today, I would like to offer you a seduction practice that I use to consciously honor my dark side.

A Ritual To Honor Your Dark Side

1. Begin by setting sacred space.  There are thousands of ways to do this, but my favorite way is to burn Palo Santo, light a shit-ton of candles, and put on some hypnotizing music like this song.

2.  Begin assembling an altar to your dark side, your inner Femme Fatale. Here are some items I love to use, and what they represent to me:

  • Dark wine or beer: represents the heady sweetness that comes from drinking in my dark side and not being afraid to feel her power.
  • Dark chocolate: the pungent bitterness that leaves me feeling alive when I allow my dark side to be honored.
  • Tobacco: I don’t really know why, I just like it!
  • Dark Liquor: makes me think of dancing on the sacred ground of New Orleans, swirling amidst all the voodoo and spirits who love a good alcohol offering.
  • Images of your favorite Femme Fatales: rather than the traditional Catwoman or Bond Girl, I like images like this one of Donna Gottschalk in 1970.

donna gottschalk

  • Flower Petals: reminds me of the perfection of nature and how my darkness is ever-unfolding.
  • Black cats: reminds me that the things I’ve been taught to fear are actually the most tender, exotic and misunderstood parts of myself.
  • Cloves: cloves are dark, spicy and notoriously healing.
  • Dark Stones: reminds me that darkness is an integral part of nature as a whole, and my nature as a woman.
  • Coffee beans: Dark, earthy, luscious.
  • Any special totems
  • Dry, Brown leaves: reminds me of how gorgeous and necessary the cycle of death is to life.
  • Images of wild, instinctive animals: hear me roar bitches! 🙂

3. On small pieces of paper write down some things you would like to release in order to embody your Femme Fatale more fully. What do you need to let go of in order to speak your truth? Some examples would be: fear of not being nice,  fear of not disappointing others or meeting their disapproval, fear of coming out of the comfort of denial, etc. Place these papers in a bowl as an offering and place them on one side of your altar.

4. Then, also on small pieces of paper, write the things you would like to invite into your life to live the legend of your Femme Fatale full out! Some examples would be fierceness, courage, letting go of what others think, being daring, being vulnerable, being a soldier of truth. Tuck these around the items on your altar.

5. Bow to your altar and say a prayer, incantation or mantra that makes you feel like your dark side is shining!

6. After 24 hours have passed, take the things you wish to release and burn them, bury them, or flush them down the toilet, releasing them as gifts to the earth like fertilizer.

7. Each day, take one of the papers you have tucked into your altar and tuck it into your clothing, such as under your bra or in the waistline of your pants so that you are literally wearing your Femme Fatale in all her glory.  Once you have worn each of these qualities on your physical body, you can dismantle the altar in gratitude, or keep it intact as long as you like.

 

I hope this ritual rocks your world and helps shake the crust off your rich, fertile, fecund, fabulous Femme Fatale. Please do tell me in the comments what this post inspires in you, I always love to hear from you.

All My Lovin’ ,
KITTY_CAVALIER_ICON(1)

 

 

P.S. – There are about ten sexy days left to savor this month in our #sacredseduction Instagram challenge.  It’s never too late to join us, click here for daily inspiration and weekly prizes!

INSTAGRAM CHALLENGE BLUSH

 

 

This Week In The Seduction Diaries

It’s the week before the very first Kitty Cavalier Seduction Retreat.  It feels a bit like a holiday week.  I can feel it coming in the air, like smelling the fragrance of cookies that were baked yesterday still lingering in the kitchen.
Last I left you, we were all on the edge of our seats to see if my Mom would say yes to my invitation to attend the retreat. On Saturday afternoon I emerged from the subway and felt my phone buzz in my pocket, and opened it to this joyous message!

YES! She is coming! Not without a few twists and turns in the seduction process but yes, Mama Cavalier will be joining us in seduction at this weekends retreat. I am so grateful to have this opportunity and experience with my Mama. 
This week I am steeping myself like a tea bag in the waters of seduction.  I made myself a list of things to do this week to prepare:
   
   1. Relax
   2. Pamper
   3.  Read
   4.  Qoya
   5.   Pray
In case I should find myself mindlessly trolling Facebook or experiencing pre-show jitters, I have this list to turn to, keeping my priorities in order.

Qoya, the #1 way to bring me back down to Earth.  Literally. 
I am writing this from the gorgeous home of Vivi Le Voix, burlesque star and professional baker.  She is my best friend and will be my right hand woman at the retreat, serving us her custom cupcakes at our champagne seduction gala Saturday night. 
Cupcakes by Vivi
Oh, and tomorrow I am having the six stitches that I incurred on my vacation taken out of my face. Wait until you hear that story!

The seduction wagon leaves for Chester on Friday morning with me, the husby, my assistants Vivi Le Voix and Freddie La Bum, huge bouquets of flowers, and all sorts of gifts and treasures waiting for the participants.  I can’t wait.

www.seductionretreat.com
Til’ next week, when my diary entry will be written by the hands of a woman who has seen yet another of her greatest dreams realized,
Kitty

The Simplest Seduction Technique I Know

Seduction is easy.  Really it is. 
It is far less complicated that we make it out to be.
Last night, I used one of my age-old tricks that has always inspired my seductive soul.  It cost me nothing, took one minute, and completely changed the destiny of my evening.
The secret? I lit every candle in my home.
I know. It sounds too simple to be destiny changing, but read on.

My budoir
Candlelight evokes an ancient, eternal sensual knowing within us. When I enter a room lit entirely by candles my blood pressure drops and my breathing becomes deeper.  Candlelight invites the spirit of the unseen.  That mystical glow that we cannot predict casts its spell over us. It creates an energy, a warmth that no appliance can re-create.  It reminds us that right there in thin air, magic does exist.
This past Sunday night I was feeling some anxiety. Sunday nights have always caused anxiety for me. Even when I wasn’t working and had nothing to do the next day, I would still feel that familiar “ok, fun’s over kids” anxiety on Sunday evenings. I had planned to watch a movie, but something about using technology to pass the time just did not feel satisfying enough. 
I know that when I feel anxiety, creating beauty in my environment and pleasure in my body is always the answer.  So, I turned out every single lamp in my home, and one by one, lit my way through each room along every candle.  Once all the candles were lit, I instantly felt myself relax.  This inspired me to turn on sweet, sensuous music (Annette Hanshaw Pandora to be exact).  Without even needing to ask, my husband began to draw me a bath.  Each room in my home had suddenly gone from being filled with noise and sharp energetic edges to being slow like honey, and sacred as an ancient temple. 
After my bath, I was going to watch the movie, but the slow, warm light of the candles was seducing me to do something more intuitive, something creative. So I laid on my bed with my journal and began writing.  After about 45 minutes, I had written the entire outline for my new book.   This is something I have wanted to write for months, resisting it every step of the way. But because of the ritual of of candlelight, my anxieties were calmed. The words that for so long had felt stuck like still water in a dried up creek began to flow like a river over a bed of stones.
Without these precious candles watching over me as I wrote these words that have been living inside me my whole life, this evening would have turned out much differently. 
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to do this.  I like a variety of tapers, pillars, glass poured candles, votives and tea lights.  Candleholders can be as simple as a juice glass, or as elaborate as a sconce.  I have certain candle brands that I love, but the most affordable and easiest way to supply your home with candlelight is to go to the grocery or dollar store and stock up.  At the grocery store you will find prayer candles, some have religious labels, some do not.  Below I have posted some photographs of how I cast a spell with candlelight in my home.
It occurred to me while writing this that my very first job ever was being a cashier at a candle store in my hometown.  Thank you Betty Lou, owner of The Village Candle, for giving my 16-year old seductress a great place to start. 
PS – To receive a full education and immersion in Seductive Ritual, check out my retreat, Seduction Is A Way Of Life, May 3-5th.  Your inner world and the world at large will not be the same after I unleash these secrets to you.  Join us in reclaiming seduction as our birthright.  

A Lavender candle warms my dressing table, casting it’s beauty onto my altar wall of necklaces, 
postcards and images that are special to me.  

In my hallway, a mirror waiting to be hung projects the light of these three grocery store beauties.  Having candles in transitional places like a hallway means there is no interruption to the sensual experience.

This little pink lotus on my altar brings life to an otherwise static spot. 

These candles bring sparkle and shine to this photograph
of my glamourous hat-wearing, suit-donning, clutch-purse holding Grandma. 

Those candles also bring beauty to the bathtub.  Look at the warm light reflecting on the water. 

Nothing quite captures romance like a beaded taper candle sconce above the dining table,
and a sweet votive holding the balance on the other side of the room (visible in the mirror).

PS – To receive a full education and immersion in Seductive Ritual, check out my retreat, Seduction Is A Way Of Life, May 3-5th.  Your inner world and the world at large will not be the same after I unleash these secrets to you.  Join us in reclaiming seduction as our birthright.  

Little Altars Everywhere

The first time I created an altar in my home, I remember treating it similarly to how I imagine one might treat nuclear material. I scrubbed the table I was using to the bone because I read somewhere that dust holds negative energy. I went to the health food store and saw all the different colored candles, each representing a different chakra. I was so afraid of excluding a chakra, I bought every color they had.  The same went for the incense. (thank you consumerism!) I started a “vision board” of all the things I wanted to transform in my life and placed it above the altar.  I would kneel in front of the altar when I got home from work every day (for about a week), burning the candles and trying to meditate, the whole time I was wondering if this was, indeed, the best feng-shui corner in the house to place the altar and whether or not it was clean enough.

JEEZ! It makes my palms sweat just thinking about that experiment.
I look back on that time with great compassion for myself.  What I realize now is that  I did not create that altar out of an overflow of devotion.  I created it because I wanted to find a way to heal things in my life that needed healing, but without having to do the scary stuff.  Like healing my ovarian cyst without surgery.  Or making all the people I hated at work less obnoxious without having to speak up.  And while we’re at it, adding more sex to my relationship without having to get out of my pajama pants.  And p.s., fixing my raging eating disorder.  No wonder the poor altar had performance anxiety!  
I have since learned that in the words of Annie Lennox, “Money Can’t Buy It.” You can ship salt from the Himalayas, fine incense from Tibet, the blood of a desert snake in Santa Fe and all the rest, but none of these things begin to compare with the power of collecting objects that mean something to you. 
My goal in my home is to make it one big giant altar.  I have little altars everywhere.  To me, an altar is any arrangement of beauty that honors the sacred.  It is something that reminds me that magic is real, that there is so much more to life that what we see with the naked eye.  What works best for me is to create altars of gratitude and honoring.  In contrast, I find that when I make an altar dedicated to a transformation I want to experience with images cut out of magazines and such, it makes me so fixed on the outcome that I start to obsess over it, excluding room for the transformation to actually happen. 
Here are some examples of altars I have created in my home and what they mean to me.  I would love to see yours too! You can post them here on the School of Charm and Cheek Facebook page. Or, if this post inspires you to see an altar where you did not see one before, as you will see in the photo at my Mother in-law’s house below, please share that too.
Altar On!
Kitty Cavalier

PS – Veronica Varlow is someone who taught me ALOT about finding the sacred and magic in the little things.  She is teaching a class at the School of Charm and Cheek March 23rd which is almost sold out.  I highly recommend this class if you would like to find beauty and magic in corners of your life that you would not have previously thought to look.

This is my bedroom dressing table.  Framing the mirror are necklaces , many of which were gifts, some which
were handmade by a dear friend.  On the dressing table are my favorite oils and lotions, handmade by my Mother. 

This Guest Altar belongs to my student Coco Chacnhil. It is an altar to Sacred Seduction that she created after taking my workshop.  It contains rose petals, chocolate, elegantly dressed fruit with goat cheese, the lyrics to a French song we learned in class, and a whole bunch of other personal items that mean something very special to her. 

This little bowl sits on my nightstand, and contains glass beads from  a vintage necklace, a stone from the driveway of my Dad’s horse stable in South Carolina, and a nut that fell from a tree while vacationing with my husband in France.  I sprinkled a little glitter on it for additional sparkle. 

This altar is the first altar I ever made to honor Sacred seduction.  It has a green buddha lit up from below with white light, representing enlightenment with a little more pizazz than what we are accustomed to.  The word rejection is turned on it’s head and covered with hearts to represent the belief that rejection is always a form of protection.  There are sweet watercolors to represent tenderness and vulnerability, sparkles and fur to represent making the old new again.  The marble carving reminds me of the Taj Mahal and honors the original archetypes of seduction. In the center, is an opera singer who is draped in red silk; a picture of pure passion in my eyes. 
I bought this when I was in Peru, and it graces a shelf in my bathroom, honoring true, long lasting love.

This is an altar, isn’t it?? 😉

A gratitude altar for a successful Seduction class with my favorite Rumi poem “dance when you are broken open”,  roses and a red candle from the classroom, and a variety of sacred objects surrounding the candle. 

This is a stone from the fire pit after my first fire ceremony at the Qoya Costa Rica retreat,  a piece of yarn from another ritual done in Costa Rica, a thank you charm that was a gift from a friend, and pink glitter to make everything shine.


This is in the home of my Mother in-law.  At first glance it is just an assembly of photos, but when looked at more closely it is an altar to family and love.  There are two photos of my nieces/her grandchildren, with a photo of her parents in the middle, and an album from our wedding under that, all placed on the piano where my husband learned to play his famous song “Ho-Down” as a kid.  So much sacredness on this altar!

  

A Story of Birth and Seduction

On this rainy afternoon, I find myself sitting down to write a blog because it’s time to write a blog.  Time to produce.  Time to pump one out.  But truthfully, I am post-partum people!  I have just given birth to a beautiful, gorgeous, powerhouse of a class – Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice.  And it is time to hold her in my arms, smell her little head, and tell her birth story.  

Until about six months ago, the topic of seduction used to simultaneously scare me to death and intrigue me beyond words. I always associated seduction with manipulation, never revealing one’s true self, never being vulnerable, and using sex as a commodity. But then, simultaneously, when I would read a story about a seductress, I would burn with envy and desire. When I looked at my icons, all of them seemed to be masters of seduction.  So, because I like a little buck in my bronco, I decided to take this topic on, plunge in head first, and make it a Pleasure Project.

A Pleasure Project is what I do when something scares me, or mystifies me, or just confuses me, and I take it on as research – like an anthropologist. Whenever I feel called to take on a new pleasure project, it is not because I’m bored or need something to do. It is because something in me is calling, tugging at me, desiring to be explored and expressed. Take, for example, G-spot orgasms.  This may be an over-share, (sorry parents and husband) but this topic is something that has been on my radar forever, and I’ve always wanted to learn more. But simultaneously I feel exhausted at the prospect of exploring such a diverse and confronting topic. So last night I when I went to buy my favorite skin care products and the store was closed, and I found myself right next door to Babeland (a female friendly sex shop here in NY) I knew it was time.  So, with the help of a sweet and knowledgeable female associate, I courageously blew $400 on all things G.  Wish me luck. We’ll see if that research makes it into the blog.

In The Tepidarium, Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema

So when the word seduction kept flying around my consciousness like a mosquito I couldn’t swat, I started by ordering countless books on Amazon. Some of these books were amazing, some were downright repulsive, but all were educative. I started noticing themes of seduction and opportunities for seduction showing up everywhere.  I would ask myself, “What would be the most seductive move in this situation?” And I started having ALOT of fun.
One of my most interesting findings is that we always associate seduction with sex, when in fact, true seduction is the opposite of sex. Sex is when desire is met. Seduction is not about the culmination or gratification of desire, it is about the thrill of the desire itself. It is the game that is played as the desire comes closer, and closer, and closer, and being able to maintain that tension of wanting for a long, long time. 
As I started practicing seduction not just in my love life but everywhere in my life, I noticed a few things.  Number one, I had more energy. Why? I no longer felt the need to people please.  Do you want to know one of the most seductive things in the entire world? The ability to say NO. I realized that in my effort to make people like me, I said yes way too much.  We’ve all heard that setting boundaries and saying no to things is necessary, but no one had ever framed it as being sexy. Well that was all I needed.  I started experimenting with saying no to people, offers, requests for help, etc.  Sometimes I actually wanted to do these things, but I would force myself to say no just to experiment with that delicious tension, and become more comfortable with it.  Of course, this can be every woman’s greatest fear, saying no.  What if I offend someone? What if they won’t like me? But you know what happened? People started liking me MORE. My time and my attention became way more valuable to myself and to others.  And the unnecessary things in my life began to fall away, leaving way more time and attention for the things I really, really, really wanted to do.  

The Fountain, Peter Fendi

What I also I noticed is that I became way more satisfied with where I am at in the timeline of my life.  Previously I would worry that I was not moving fast enough, or that because some of the things I want in my life have not yet arrived, it meant I was doing things wrong.  But when examined through the lens of seduction, I realized that if something is not in my life, it simply means that it has not yet fully seduced me, or I it.  This is where the spiritual practice comes in.  This dance of seduction is not just something to be done with other people, but with everything we want in life. Where a no can be equally as satisfying as a yes. A yes is great, but a no just means there is more fun to be had.  Knowing this can really help a girl relax.  

I have so much more to say on this topic, of course, I must now leave you wanting.  I am so proud of this new baby. It is truly the finest class I have ever taught. I am so grateful to every woman who came to the class and is willing to join me as we resurrect the holy, beautiful, sacred archetype of the Seductress. 
PS – My next Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice is happening July 13th and 14th.  I would love to have you join me.