When Gratitude Is Toxic

Of all our spiritual practices, the one thing we know we can depend on is gratitude, right?

WRONG.

Gratitude is indeed a blessed, beautiful, important practice, when it is sincere. But when forced, gratitude can be manipulative, toxic and a waste of time.

I spent my 20’s dating, engaged, then married to a wonderful man. This was a man who served me at every turn. He was supportive and caring. I thought I had the husband of the century. So when I felt that something was off in the relationship and developed a mysterious resentment towards him, I figured the problem had to be me.  I was convinced I just needed to become more grateful for what I had.

I wrote gratitude lists for all the qualities I loved about him, which sounds like a nice, wise, spiritual thing to do. But when it came down to it, I wasn’t writing those lists because I was grateful. I was trying to turn up the volume on “grateful”, in order to the volume down on my truth.

Ten years into the relationship, he revealed a deep betrayal that had been going on since day ONE.  Do you know what I feel grateful for now, five years later? MY INTUITION.

In this instance, gratitude caused me not to trust myself. It quieted the spiky, suspicious voice of my truth; soothing and smoothing it like a honey-voiced Professor Umbridge from the Harry Potter movies.

Gratitude was like the shrunken gel air freshener in a smelly gas station bathroom.

Genuine gratitude is of course, important. But when used to push our feelings away, gratitude can be downright toxic. (click to tweet)

An example of this from my current life is the city in which I live. I hate living in North Carolina.

There, I said it.

Am I grateful for the lessons I’ve learned here, and the wonderful people I’ve met? 100%.  Am I grateful for the river, the mountains, the crickets I hear at night? About 20%. I’m a city girl, through and through. In the words of Walt Whitman, “Keep your quiet places by the woods, give me the streets of Manhattan!”

Here’s the thing – that does not make me ungrateful.  It makes me HONEST.

In my new book Club Macaron (available now through May 31st), there is an entire chapter dedicated to this particular kind of honesty, which is what I call Vérité.

Vérité is the French word for truth, but its meaning goes deeper than one word. Vérité is the truth beneath the truth.  Vérité is not nice, nor is it mean.  It is the truth that can’t be glossed over with gratitude.  It is the truth that takes a bit longer to rise because it is not coming from the knee jerk reaction of “I’m fine.”

The moment you enroll in Club Macaron you will receive instant access to the print and PDF book with a whole chapter on Vérité (how to listen for it, speak it, and live it) as well as a members-only class on The Art of Assertiveness.

Ready to trade in forced gratitude for silver tongued truth telling?

Club Macaron is only available for a limited time, click here to join us now!

An Ode To The Betrayed

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Cinnamon Sticks,

In my recent class and story hour called “I’m Going To Be Completely Honest With You”, I shared fairly candidly about my own journey with betrayal.

Like many, betrayal has been one of the biggest teachers in my life.

When I first learned that the person I had shared my life with for 11 years had essentially been living a double life, the pain was indescribable. I spent many nights howling harshly, like a wolf who had been badly bitten in the leg.

Over time however, I realized there was a pain even deeper than what had been done to me. It was the betrayal I had done to myself by ignoring inner voice.

See, my mind may not have known that there was something going on behind the scenes, but my bones sure did.

The bones are a powerful symbol. They represent our most indestructible life force. The bones are what remains of us long after we are gone, and they are the very structure around which everything else in the body organizes.

In my marriage there was wonderful communication, we took excellent care of each other and we genuinely loved one another. And yet, there was always a feeling in my bones telling me something was off.

It was a feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It was a blunt, fuzzy vibration, like a church bell being banged on from the outside, rather than a clear, clean clang from the inside.

Because I had no evidence or even suspicion, I thought the ringing in my bones must have meant there was a problem with me!

I thought I just needed to be more grateful for this wonderful man, or read more books on how to open up to love, or take more classes on how to have hour-long orgasms…blah, blah, blah.

At the end of the day, I didn’t need any of those things. What I needed was the truth.

And yet, hadn’t I pushed away the truth over and over again every time I ignored this clanging in my bones? If I had been feeling this way the whole, time, why hadn’t I been honest about it with him?

I had to come face to face with the fact that I had kept my truth from him too.

I had not given him my Vérité.

Vérité being the truth beneath the truth. The truth that is not nice, nor is it mean. The truth that is the essence of intimacy.

It was a bitter pill to swallow, but I had admit to myself that by not giving him my full truth, I had betrayed him too.

When I was finally able to admit that, I was free.

A woman in the class asked me the question: do you ever get over the pain of betrayal?

My answer after having gone through this experience is that getting over my pain doesn’t really interest me as much as listening to what it has to teach me. Because when I finally took off the blinders and looked my truth square in the eye, what I saw was not pain, but POWER.

In choosing to listen to my pain, I got the power of my bones back.

And I can honestly say that I would not have skipped this pain, because being able to KNOW who I really am, and live that freely in the world, is a deeper pleasure than any I have ever known.

The question I have for you is: what is your truth underneath the truth?

What is the truth that risks everything in order to share it, and yet the risk of not sharing it is even greater?

Right now, there is a society of women who are LIVING the answers to these questions, and their name is Vérité.

This group of gutsy babes believes that knowing, telling and living their truth is the most important thing they can do to show up completely in their own lives, and create positive change in the world (not to mention the sexiest.)

Vérité replaces the idea of being “brutally honest” with being “beautifully honest.”

Because telling the truth is powerful. Telling the truth is sexy. But most importantly, telling the truth is what we are here for.

Vérité is only open for enrollment through September 29th. The community is intentionally kept small to create a more intimate environment, so there is no scheduled date as to when it will open again.

Click here to join us, and become a member now

P.S. – have questions? Send us an email at support@kittycavalier.com, we would love to hear from you!

THE DRUNK GUY WHO SHOWED ME MY PURPOSE

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Beloveds,

One night several years ago, I arrived early to meet a friend at a bar, and started chatting with three Scottish gentleman who were visiting New York for the first time. When they asked me what I did for a living I said “I teach classes for women on the connection between sensuality and spirituality.”
Record scratch.

“Oh realllllly!!” said the most boisterous of the bunch, leaning back on his heels, thumbs in the front pockets of his jeans. All of sudden a photo was snapped of him posing next to me with his thumbs up like a poacher who had just made a kill. The photo was then posted on social media with the hashtag #internationalsexexpert (which I am not.)

Then he said something that changed my life forever:

“Women need coaching in this stuff? Come on, all a woman has to do is talk to me and I just assume she wants to fuck me!”

Record scratch again. A deeper cut this time.

The group laughed tentatively, offering me a “we can’t take him anywhere” awkward side glance.

The most painful part of this interaction was not the comment itself, it was my own reaction to it. The comment scared me and I froze. My blood turned cold, and worst of all, I laughed along with them like nothing was wrong.

As painful as it was, I needed to have that moment. It was a profound moment of: This. Needs. To. Stop.

The pattern of dissociation where it is more safe for a woman to freeze her truth inside her own blood than it is to speak it out loud, needs to stop.

The pattern where men are so discouraged from feeling their vulnerability that it is easier to view a woman as an object to conquer, rather than a human being whose beauty and power could very well break their tender hearts, needs to stop.

The pattern of courage being defined by one’s ability to harden, numb, and endure; rather than to soften, wake up, and feel, needs to stop.

I don’t take responsibility for the way the culture has shaped my sensuality to be included in Manifest Destiny. But I DO take responsibility for the ways I contribute to it when I choose to numb out and fake it, rather than pause and feel (no matter how uncomfortable it may be for myself OR for those around me to witness.)

It occurred to me in retrospect that he wouldn’t have been able to make me feel like an object if I didn’t already feel like one myself; and that in order to stop these patterns of how women are perceived, we MUST BEGIN with the way we perceive ourselves.

There is a depth to Sacred Seduction that is not always visible to the naked eye. To an outsider it might sound like classes on how to stroke your lover with a feather or walk successfully in high heels. But Sacred Seduction is much more than that.

When a woman enters this community she is often slouching and hiding in ways she herself may not even be aware of. When she leaves, she is open, bright and shining, with a confidence that is completely authentic and utterly impenetrable.

At it’s heart, Sacred Seduction is a practice that results in no longer feeling like you need to hide who you are, or what you feel. Period.

Without that interaction with my Scottish friend, I don’t think I would  have been able to see that so clearly. That interaction shaped the course of my work. Every program, every coaching session and every retreat I create all center around interrupting that moment of “freeze”, and help us all to heal through our willingness to feel. For that I am extremely grateful.

Today is the last day of the Flash Sale Fundraiser where all of my signature courses are on sale, and 20% of all purchases go to Rise As One; an organization that provides shelter and education for young women and girls exploited through child marriage.

Let’s change the way feminine sensuality is perceived, by changing the way we perceive it in ourselves.

Click here to shop the Flash Sale Fundraiser now!

P.S. – This flash sale ends tonight at 10pm. These courses are being offered at 50% off, (WHAT??) and are normally only available seasonally! They will be taken out of the shop tonight. Click here to explore and enjoy this massive savings now!

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FREE Q & A ON SLOWING DOWN

Treasures,

Do you ever wish you could slow things down, but despite your best efforts, can’t ever seem to make it happen?

When it comes to slowing down, it’s not that we don’t know how to do it. If anything, we know way too much.

We know very well how to draw a bubble bath, how to make a fragrant cup of tea, how to sit outside in the sunshine.

Slowing down is not the problem.

The problem is that when we do it, we have to face the whiplash that comes from going 80 mph to going 10 mph, and all the things that come up as a result. For example:

  • Sitting in the bathtub for half an hour may sound relaxing, but it also means having to listen to your racing thoughts. Alongside that comes acknowledging that as hard as you try, you just can’t seem to quiet your mind and seem to slow them down. And that frustrates you.
  • Sitting outside in the sunshine sounds good, but it would mean pressing pause on your kids, your parents, your spouse and/or your work. Not only would those things crumble without your care, secretly, you would crumble if for one second you thought they didn’t need you to survive. Catering to their every need makes you feel powerful. Depleted, burnt out and resentful, yes. But powerful.
  • Making a cup tea sounds nice, but it means that you would probably have to pay attention to that nagging feeling in your gut telling you that something doesn’t feel quite right in your relationship, or your job, or some other aspect of your life, and since you don’t know how to fix it, you just don’t want to face it.

So we stay busy, we keep working, we keep serving; all the time wondering when we are going to finally be able to relax, savor, and enjoy life. But as you can see.

To slow down in life, it’s not more TIME we need, it’s more COURAGE.

Courage to listen to what the racing thoughts, feeling in your gut, and the need to people please are really trying to say.

It’s listening to and acting upon those messages that truly cuts your energy and your power loose. (The bubble baths are really just the icing on the cake.)

On Thursday, April 13th I am hosting a free, live-video Q & A call to address your personal blocks on slowing down. 

In this hour we are going get to the root what keeps you from slowing down, address the areas where energy is leaking from your life, and take your power BACK.

You can even submit your questions anonymously and I will answer them live on the call.

 SIGN UP FOR THE FREE CALL HERE:

Also,  parties are always more fun when you invite your GIRLFRIENDS!

To share this powerful class with your tribe, just copy/paste the link www.kittycavalier.com/freecall, or click here to share on Facebook.

See you on the 13th!

 

Cutting The Ribbon On Something Brand New

Dearest Turtle Doves,

As promised, today is the day I cut the ribbon and draw back the curtain on a secret project I’ve been working on for months.

But first, I want to ask you a few questions:

  • How much more energy would you have if you never had to put on a mask?
  • How much more genuine fun would you have if you never laughed at things that aren’t funny?
  • What if the purpose of life isn’t to be happy all the time, but it is simply to be honest?

Vérité is the French word for Truth, but Vérité has a much deeper meaning than just it’s literal definition.

Vérité is a radiance, a presence, and a confidence.

Vérité is the ability to be fully in the present moment and not run away.

Vérité is the glow that comes from taking the truth that lives inside of you, and proudly allowing it to exist on the outside.

Click here and let me be the first to welcome you to Vérité

VERITE NOUN ROSE IMAGE

 

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