The Best Camera money CAN’T buy

 

Last weekend I was curled up reading a fascinating book that was advising me to foster a relationship with spirit that transcends the material, physical world. Essentially it was saying that the best things in life aren’t things.

“Sure, I agree with that.” I thought.

The chapter then finished with this quote from Emerson: “Nothing of the senses can ever satisfy.”

AHEM.

Ralphie, you know I love you. But with all due respect, WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT. 🙂

It is well known that we store a great amount of emotion in our bodies and tissues. It’s common to pour tears during pigeon pose in yoga, or to soak the face cradle crying during a massage as emotions are released from the body through touch.

The body stores trauma and negative emotions for sure, but here’s the thing: let’s not forget that the body and tissues ALSO store goodness, joy, glee, and happiness.

After closing the book that afternoon I headed to the local salon for a blow out in preparation for a photo shoot. My best friend was with me and we were having heaps of fun getting creative about the shoot. It was a perfect summer day, and I felt full, excited and happy.

I wanted to cherish this simple moment of joy for a long time to come, so I captured it with the most hi-definition camera I know of: my senses.

As the stylist worked her fingers through my scalp I felt my hip bones expand and settle into the reclining seat. I inhaled the foamy, fragrant aroma of a coconut shampoo, and with my ears, took in the sacred, ancient music of women chatting while hairdryers hummed.

Thanks to my body and senses, this moment of joy is now sealed into my cells forever, creating a well from which to pull when waters run thin. 

As summer rolls toward the height of its fever pitch, may every bite of watermelon, rush of air conditioning against damp, sweaty skin, and sip of cool water help you to savor more fully what is right here, right now.

Squealing and savoring while running through a sprinkler,

 

 

THE MOST POTENT MAGIC I’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED

ARTEMIS RINGArtemis Ring by BelladonnanoirJP on Etsy

Friends,

Like you, I’ve created many a ritual, potion, and ceremony in my life. But nothing has proven to be as potent or as simple as the magic I share with you today.

On a recent lazy Sunday, an entire afternoon stretched out wide before me. Wide open space like this often sounds like paradise, but this particular Sunday I was a bit burnt out. There was no food in the house, and chore after chore beckoned from my to-do list.

I sat on my porch feeling deflated and defeated. Yet I knew that if I took no action, I would feel even more irritated by these tasks being left undone. So I did what I often do in moments where I feel stuck and lost: I prayed.

I asked for guidance on how to surrender my Sunday. With my eyes closed and a hand on my heart I heard something inside me utter the words:

“Turn Off Your Phone.”

I made a commitment that no matter what did or did not get done on my to-do list, I would turn off technology completely for six hours and just see what happened.

After about three minutes of staring at the wall, I glimpsed the breakfast dishes out of the corner of my eye. I felt the pleasant prickle of desire to wash them, rather than the blunt pressure of obligation. Then, just like kissing leads to heavy petting, dishes led to mopping the floor, and before I knew it I was in the sweet spot of housecleaning ecstasy. #magic

Later, without social media or Netflix to entertain me, I sat down to read a cooking magazine and felt the most wonderful and unfamiliar sensation: A GENUINE DESIRE TO COOK SOMETHING. This was bordering on a miracle.

Cooking has never been my strong suit, but as I looked over these magazines I felt the oh-so-pleasant ache of craving.  I deeply desired a tall glass of hibiscus iced tea and a summer squash frittata. These were not desires coming from what had been put in front of me in a news feed. These desires were coming from inside of me. My burn-out was being replaced by a burning appetite, not just for food, but for savoring the present moment.

As the 6-hour experiment came to a close, you couldn’t have paid me to turn on my phone! That night, I snuggled into freshly washed sheets with a book about Tuscan life in my hands. My belly, my heart, my mind, and my soul felt FULL. Not full from all I had squeezed into the day, but full from all I squeezed out of it by turning my attention toward what is real.

May this story serve as a powerful reminder of connection; not the digital kind, but the kind that comes from tasting fresh zucchini and smooth Gruyere baked into fluffy eggs, mixed and made with one’s own hands.

Toasting you with a glass of hibiscus iced tea,

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What Spring Teaches Us About The Soul

SEASONS OF THE SOUL

As spring gives way to early summer, it becomes easier and easier to see the parallels that exist between seasons of the earth and seasons in ourselves.

Recently while hiking high in the mountains, I noticed beneath the dead leaves and dry branches a small, sweet spray of wildflowers, silently singing their song of tender beauty.

They each had tiny, fragile little buds. All rich with color, and radiant with loveliness.

We know that our bodies reflect the rhythm of the seasons, but these flowers showed me how true that is also of the soul. When the soul is tender, moments of ease, trust, safety and peace can feel as rare and vulnerable as a budding spring wildflower.

Small. Delicate. Easily stepped on, easily unnoticed.

As time grows, these flowers will grow. Summer will come. Their stalks will strengthen and their blooms will brighten. Much like those times where feelings of trust, ease and safety are in such abundance we take them for granted, we become so accustomed to the beauty of the flower’s bloom we forget they are even there.

There are times where these flowers, and these feelings, will literally die on the vine, and all we can do is watch. How powerless we are to stop the blaze of glory that is their beautiful demise.

When winter comes, it can seem like the flowers never even really existed in the first place. Like they were just a dream, a ghost or a fantasy.

But they are always there, even when they are not. Deep within the frozen earth, their seeds, those tiny pods of pure potential reign eternal.

Like the earth, these seasons of the soul are not singular. We get more than one bud at a time. Some may be in summer, some may be dead and crunchy underfoot.

While we can’t control how fast they bloom, with nurturance, protection, and trust, we can make space for their roots to grip, and their blossoms to rise.

There is a certain prayer I love: ”God, I have only to look to nature to see proof of the abundance you provide.”

May we all rest easy in the harmony of the seasons, and in truth that everything is changing, always. And that that change is ultimately what we are all here for in the end.

Over to you mi amor – How do you notice these changes happening in your own life, physically, emotionally and spiritually? Do tell in the comments. I’d love to hear how you are weathering the seasons in style.

Here’s to a wild, naked spring,

KITTY_CAVALIER_ICON(1)

50 Songs To Slow You Down (Playlist)

50 Songs To Slow You Down

‘Tis Autumn darlings.

Time for the seduction of long sleeves, technicolor falling leaves, and the extra zing your taste buds feel when seeing the word “pumpkin” next to anything.

One of my favorite things about the turn of the season is how the cool air makes it feel even more delicious to take a baths, oil my skin by candlelight, and linger in the kitchen over a fresh, aromatic batch of chicken stock. It’s easy to forget these simple pleasures…unless you have a soundtrack! 

That’s why I made you this playlist to perfect the art of savoring: 50 Songs To Slow You Down. I hope these dulcet tones will sway you and swoon you into all the seduction this season has to offer.

50 Songs To Slow You Down

Your Personal Slave To The Rhythm,
KITTY_CAVALIER_ICON(1)

 

 

 

PS – November just got a little sexier…introducing the Sacred Seduction November Instagram Challenge! Follow me @kittycavalier and tag your SASSIEST friend for daily inspiration, weekly prizes and straight up seduction all month long!

INSTAGRAM CHALLENGE BLUSHPhoto: Becca Kannapell

 

 

How did the rose ever open its heart?

rose into the sun

One of the questions I am most frequently asked by my clients is: “How can I make my life more of a seduction? One where I wake up and everything has a magic to it, rather than just the droll of my to-do list and every day tasks?” It’s a great question, an eternal question, one that’s been around since before we learned how to chop wood and carry water. The thing is, a life of seduction is not about waking up to bon-bons and bunny slippers any more than it is putting on a suit to work a 16-hour day.  Either of those things would bore you to tears in time.

Seduction is both yin and yang, masculine and feminine, the heat of a fire and the structure that contains it. So rather than reaching for extremes, we follow the golden rule of creating a seductive life: we make art with what we have. As an example, I’d like to tell you the story of how I moved out of New York City last winter, and onto the new adventure of living in the South:

The month I left NYC was like one long going away party…

  • I remember being showered with fragranced rose petals as a circle of soul sisters whispered the words “farewell Kitty” in a magical ritual.
  • I remember tracing my fingertips across every square inch of the walls of my empty apartment whispering “thank you, thank you, thank you”.
  • I nuzzled my nose into the neck of a man who smelled like cedar and looked like James Dean, moving slowly across a dance floor while a hot jazz band crooned out St. James Infirmary.

  • I drank gallons of rose petal tea with my roxy-star assistant, laughing uproariously to the sound of Jack White’s guitar mixed with the screech of packing tape stretching across box after box.
  • I remember the street grate steam that once felt like a nuisance, now becoming my swirling good-bye kiss. The hustle and bustle that had grown to drive me crazy over the last few years, I now realized was just the city doing what it does best: showing me tough love like a parent shows a child, knowing all along that I was capable of so much more than I thought, and taking me to task.
  • I gave myself permission to buy a pack of Parliaments and lean out my kitchen window like a teenager, blowing smoke into the freezing cold air. (Sue me.)
  • Lot’s of people bought me drinks. Lot’s of people bought me tea. Lot’s of people bought me dinners. Lot’s of angels came out of the woodwork to give me that one last hug.
  • The day of my move, as the seconds counted down to my 3pm departure, my dear friends Lauren, Fabiola, Vivi and Stephanie descended on my home like Flora, Fauna and Meriwether. Suddenly, all the last minute stressors like sweeping dust bunnies, disposing of the last haul of throw-aways, what to do with the god damn effing cable box, etc. were taken out of my hands like a screaming baby, happy to now be in the arms of doting Aunties.

Once all was done we had one long, luxurious hour to savor each other, do a despacho gratitude ceremony and order a pizza. Fabiola opened the ceremony with this poem by Hafiz:

How
Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give to this world
All its
Beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light,
Against its
Being,
Otherwise,
We all remain
Too
Frightened.

I love this poem so much. If you ever want to see a seductive life in action, plant a rose bush and watch it grow. For it is this continual encouragement of the light against our being and our willingness to open to it’s embrace that gives us the wisdom, intelligence and inspiration to turn the mundane into the magical, and make art with what we have.

Now, your turn…

Tell me in the comments, how have you made art out of life recently? I read every one of your replies, because I need your stories just like you need mine. Seduction takes a village, and we are all in this together.

It’s the beauty that we’ll remember,
k swirl signature

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post? I’d be honored if you shared it on Facebook and Twitter, and the next time I see you you’ll get a big fat kiss. xx

Photos: Fotothing, Saveur Vegetale, Audrey Hepburn for Vogue

From My Bowl Full Of Jelly To Yours, With Love.

Oh, the holiday ten. 

The holiday ten is the much-loathed and dreadfully feared ten pounds that we tend to gain around the holidays. There are thousands of articles out there telling you how to avoid the holiday ten and how to “survive” parties without going overboard.  This is not one of those articles.  This article is going to share with you some tips on how to (reader beware) enjoy your inevitable indulgences, and clear out the some of guilt that may be standing in the way of you taking as much pleasure as possible from this time of year.

Let’s start by making one thing clear. There are two types of holiday indulgences: joy driven ones, and stress driven ones.  An example of a joy driven indulgence would be the other night when I consumed a downright nauseating amount of eggnog while laughing it up around a fireplace with my best friends.  The eggnog made me feel festive and I was in full acceptance of the bellyache that ensued afterwards.  It was well worth it. This is much different than year I snuck a bottle of reddi-whip into the bathroom because my family was stressing me out. I ran the water so that no one would hear me squirting it into my mouth with a speed and efficiency that would only have been rivaled by being hooked up to an IV.

Ahh, memories. 


The antidote to guilt when it comes to indulgence is to slow down and enjoy.  But if you are having a reddi-whip moment and you are anything like me, you may be prone to spontaneously bitch slap the idiot who tells you to ‘slow down’. Slowing down means feeling and often that is the exact thing reddi-whip moments are allowing us not to do. 

First of all, I still love you and think you are awesome no matter what kind of reddi-whip, cookie, biscuit, champagne overdose’s you may have experienced this month.  So if you choose not to slow down, no biggie. There are no points lost.  I’ve been there and I will be there again myself.  What I do want to offer you is a game that I play that makes slowing down entertaining and fun, rather that punitive.  Or, if you are already slowed down and simply want to enjoy on a deeper level, will give you a whole new dimension of enjoyment. 

It is a game of traveling the world through the senses. It gives savoring a purpose, and if you let it, it can take you on the ride of your life. 

I played this game recently on Sensual Sunday, a weekly date I have with Vivi La Voix, where we go on sensual adventures throughout the city to constantly up our seduction game.  This week we went to a restaurant that specializes in chocolate and wine pairings.  As we slowly wove our way through five different truffles that were elegantly displayed on the husk of a giant cocoa bean (which we promptly threw in our purses to bring home to our altars) we closed our eyes and went on a journey. 

The first truffle we tried was pomegranate and dark chocolate.  Oh my heavens.  Letting this masterpiece melt on our tongues, we both agreed, was like slipping into bed under the softest hot pink sheets under big, warm, fluffy dark brown duvet for a long winter’s nap.

Hand baked by Vivi La Voix.
Photo Beth Mayesh

The next bundle of joy was a cluster of hazelnut and milk chocolate.  As I bit into this slice of heaven I could feel the fierce heat of a fireplace warming my skin as I sat next to it.  For Vivi, she also felt the warmth of a fire, but in her vision, the fire was inside waiting for her as she felt cold nip her cheeks and the crunch of snow fill her mouth after biting into a firmly packed snowball.

On to the mango with paprika and white chocolate.  As I let these exotic flavors penetrate me I could feel myself swaying side to side in a howdah (carriage) on the back of an elephant.  I saw gorgeous silks inside the carriage, feeling the dust around me as my entourage made it’s way across a sandy plain.  (Note: howdahs are extremely inhumane, so I am not endorsing them. I digress.)  For Vivi, she felt the caress of an ivory silk garment woven with golden threads and saffron tassels, all being illuminated by a late afternoon sun. 

Finally, the orange peel with dark chocolate.  There was an effervescence to this one, almost a bubbling.  This took us to a fizzing hot tub filled with orange slices and cocoa beans being tossed about around us, giving fragrance to the steam that rose into a chilly December night.

The one that I did not mention was Pistachio and Rose Hip.  We didn’t really like it that much, it didn’t take us anywhere. 🙂

If you are someone for whom this resonates, good.  If this is making no sense to you at all, that’s also good.  Because the senses don’t actually make “sense”.  What they make is sensation.  

So my invitation to you this holiday as you bite into, let’s say, a mushroom tart, is to see if as you allow that mushroom to dance across your taste buds, you might simultaneously feel soil underneath your fingernails from digging your hands into the earth to retrieve it.  Or maybe you taste the brine of a Wellfleet oyster as the mushroom’s slippery texture slides across your tongue.  Perhaps the flaky, fluffy texture of the tart itself brings visions of being in Paris on a warm spring morning, enjoying a croissant as you stroll through the Tuileries. 

Whatever happens when you embark on your journey, the only rule is to not take it too seriously.  It’s just a game.  It can be played with any of the senses.  Myself, I keep a journal of these joyrides and it’s fun to look back at them” “When having my belly massaged, it feels like biting into fresh baked bread.  When smelling the inside of a cookie jar, I can feel the tight squeeze of my Aunt Cathy’s hugs.  When having an orgasm, I feel like a flower that has been filmed through it’s entire unfolding but the film has been sped up to display the whole process in a total of 15 seconds”.

Just some musings from my diary. 

I wish you the most blessed, delicious, light filled holiday this year.  If you wish to send me a note with your sensual discoveries, please do not hesitate.  There are few things that would delight me more.

I am so grateful for you.

Let the games begin!

Kitty

PS – Ever wonder what the difference is between Seduction and Sex? Or how you can use seduction to have your way outside the bedroom as well?  Join me for a free tele-class January 2nd at 8pm ET.  (If you are too busy having a seduction adventure at that time, the call will be recorded and signing up will get you access to the recording.)  

Seduction Series #5: Make Me Want It (The Art of Seductive Savoring)

This is the final post in my Seduction Series, a series designed to inform my readers about living a life of Sacred Seduction.  It has been so much fun to write, and oh, do I have so much more to tell.
This past weeks assignment was to practice savoring. I will explain a bit more about what savoring really is in a moment, but first let’s look at an example of what savoring can do in the life of a seductress.
I have a student who has completely revolutionized her relationship to dating by adopting the mantra “come to me with diamonds or do not come at all”.  Previously she would accept dinner invitations to places she didn’t want to go, from people she didn’t want to see. By learning how to savor and expect only the things she really, really wants, she is able to weed out people and experiences that would previously waste her time. 
Simplicity can be so seductive
Another student is experiencing major shifts in the way she keeps her home.  She used to buy anything and everything that was on sale in an effort to fill her closets, shelves, and home full of stuff.  To her, seeing a visual of emptiness signified not having enough – it would be better to have a closet full of stuff she half-liked than just a few items she really enjoyed.  Since learning how to savor, she has done a major purge of her cluttered home, and now enjoys opening the closet to see one set of fine white cotton sheets, rather than 5 sets of (her words) ‘heinous florals’.  As a result of de-cluttering her home, the rest of her life has begun to de-clutter too. 
The measure of a true seductress is not how many people or objects she has seduced into her life. The lifestyle of a seductress is actually quite slim and simplified. She strictly surrounds herself with the objects, people, relationships, behaviors and experiences she truly treasures, rather than cluttering her life with what she does not really want just to please her ego. She achieves this by learning how to savor each experience, one moment at a time, gleaning maximum satisfaction before moving on to something new.
Others might call this “being in the present moment”.  But savoring is actually more than that, because savoring involves not just enjoying the experience itself, but a sensation we often ignore or even discard:  the sensation of wanting. 
An example:
Aww yeah grape!
Photo by Liz Linder
Let’s say you receive a text from the person you went out with last night whom you really like.  “Oh My God!” you think as you retrieve the phone from your back pocket where you have been making sure it is on and working all day.  You grab the phone, see the person’s name, and instantly open it to see what’s inside.
Now, imagine this playing out a little differently.  The phone buzzes.  You feel the anticipation of who it could possibly be.  You slowly pull your phone out of your pocket, feeling the anticipation the whole time.  You see that the person in question is the one who sent you a text.  Rather than tearing into the message, you force yourself to hold off on opening it for a whole ten seconds, savoring all the possibilities of what the message might say. Really, it could say anything, good or bad.  As a seductress, through savoring the anticipation, it doesn’t even matter what the message says.  You have already gotten what you wanted from the experience: the thrill and excitement of this person’s attention.  Those 10 seconds of savoring are yours.  No matter what the message says, no one can take that away from you.
Savoring can be the most challenging practices of living a life of Sacred Seduction. It is a practice that is often sabotaged by the instant gratification culture we live in.  Have you noticed that high is the new normal? If we are not constantly doing something, consuming, being entertained, etc. we get instantly frustrated and bored.  Savoring requires a seduction skill that is near-endangered species: patience.
Practicing savoring my pre-show jitters
backstage at Cherrybomb
Burlesque.  Being best friends
 with Vivi Le Voix helps.  
Patience is something that can be practiced, cultivated, and REALLY enjoyed, in addition to making you a much more pleasurable person to be around.  You know how it is when a person doesn’t get what they want, and they go from being a mature, grounded person into an insecure child.  “The skirt I ordered for my date on Saturday won’t be here until Monday???!! WHAT??!!!”  Or, they completely give up on themselves: “Oh, the soufflé takes an extra 15 minutes to make? I’ll just have a hamburger I guess”.  Or, they turn into a sweaty, wide-eyed, desperate werewolf:  “When am I going to hear about this job? They should have called me by today right? Call my phone and make sure it is working.  Send me an  email too, just in case.”
Oi!  Now I say they, but we all know who I am really talking about here, right?
ME! Savoring has been one of the hardest things to practice in seduction.  It has also been the most rewarding.  It has taught me that there is a whole valley of pleasure to be experienced between wanting and getting.  It has taught me to go for quality over quantity.  It has taught me to value and treasure the wholeness of an experience, not just the end result.  And this, like all sacred seduction techniques, so comes in handy when things go differently than expected. A seductress understands that there are things she can control, and things she cannot.  Through savoring we are given the freedom to surrender and give up control, opening us up to adventures we could have never even dreamed on our own.

Tell me in your comments: did you enjoy the practice of savoring the anticipation this week? If you haven’t tried it, do so today and report back. I’m VERY interested to hear how it goes. 
This last lesson brings the seduction series to a close. Thank you for reading, commenting and doing the exercises. I learn so much from you. If you’ve enjoyed these posts and you’d like to hear all my Sacred Seduction Secrets (almost all), this coming weekend (February 1stand 2nd) is the last time I will be teaching Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice until the Fall.  Recently I had an amazing adventure in seduction as I sent my husband on a scavenger hunt to find me in NYC. If you’d like to hear that and other stories of mystery, intrigue and wanting, do join us in class Friday night. 
Blonde wigs are essential to Seduction Scavenger Hunts. Come hear the whole story this Friday night.