Trust Beauty

Beach Plums,

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

I do. Every. Time. I Shop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All my love,

 

 

 

 

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

A $4K lesson on putting yourself back together

 

I once had a friend who was a photographer at a famous NYC auction house.  His job was to photograph very expensive antiques, jewels and art for display in the auction catalogue. Handling these items, you can imagine how careful you’d have to be.

One day, while carrying a $4,000 antique dinner plate from one display table to another, his hand slipped and the plate dropped straight to the floor.

That’s a $4,000 whoopsie.

The company did not dock his pay, nor did they just sweep it into the bin. What they did is carefully bring every fragment of the plate down to the special restorations department. These artisans painstakingly took each tiny fragment and put it back together so perfectly you would never know the plate had been broken.

I can’t help but see the metaphor here, in how we put ourselves back together after a fall.

Yes, there are the big sweeping moments like our life altering choices, taking big risks, venturing out on a wing and prayer; these are like the big pieces of the plate.

But then there are the tiny fragments. The daily grind of things like making the bed even when you’re depressed, calling your senator even when you’re discouraged, not texting that certain someone who treats you poorly, even when you are aching with loneliness.

It reminds me of the time at my friend Rochelle’s wedding when she kicked off the weekend by saying, “Thank you all so much for being here for this important moment. But even more so, thank you for every single moment that led up to this one.”

Here’s to the ALL your pieces, great and small.

Much Love,

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,

 

 

It’s June, Let’s Swoon!

Happy start of summer darlings! Let’s kick it off with a brand new edition of Swoon! Swoon is a semi-monthly feature of all things currently tickling me pink, that I think will bring a healthy blush to your cheeks too. Enjoy!


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!

Get Penetrated by the Present Moment (Free Class)

 

Recently I was speaking with a friend about the topic of being in the present moment.  We were both aware of the immense power that this ability brings.

Not only does being present allow us to enjoy simple pleasures and profound beauty in life, it is also the key to speaking your truth in difficult situations. It helps you be a good listener and a great lover.  When you are in the present moment, you manage your time well, you make eye contact with the people you care about — you even become a better cook! (An area where I need all the help I can get.)

My friend told me about the first time she ever saw the Eiffel Tower in person.  “I was standing there with my fiancé and I said to him: ‘I can’t wait to travel even more.  I’d really like to see the Taj Mahal!”

This moment was a wake up  call for her. 

There she was, a desire she longed for her whole life coming true before her very eyes. But rather than letting the moment in, all she could do was push it away with greater desires for the next best thing.

Can you relate?

Do the words “this isn’t it” run through your head like a mantra? Whether it’s your partner, your job, your home, your life path — what  seemed like your dream come true at first, once met with reality, all of a sudden, “isn’t it?”

You’ve done meditations. You’ve written scores of morning pages. Maybe you’ve even walked on hot coals. You’ve done so much to learn to “be” with who you are and what you have, and yet, nothing seems to actually PENETRATE you.

If this feels true, I invite you to join me for a fun, sassy, new approach at my free class: Get Penetrated by the Present Moment, happening Thursday May 17th at 7pm ET.



Meditation, breath work and other forms of building present moment awareness are great and all, but they can sometimes feel so disenchanting.  If you’ve had a hard time being consistent with them,  it’s not that you’re undisciplined, it’s just that you haven’t found what really works for you.

In this class I will be sharing how build your present moment awareness in fresh, snazzy, new ways.  We will also be raising our glasses to toast the debut of my new book and program “Club Macaron: Charm School for Femme Vitales.”

The tools I will be sharing with you at this class have massively changed my life, and the lives of my clients. I can’t wait to share them with you — see you Thursday night! 

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)

Satin Gowns, Sexy Coasters & Siren Intellectuals: March Swoon!

JUNE SWOON

 

Happy Spring Sweet Ones!

I’m thrilled to bring you the March edition of Swoon! Swoon is a monthly feature of all things currently tickling me pink, that I think will bring a healthy blush to your cheeks too.  Happy Swooning!


Photo Mar 08, 4 52 18 PMWords can hardly articulate how passionately I follow @trans.disney. Medicine for the eyes and the heart.

Oooh la la la LA! Thank you Table Teasers for putting four of my favorite real life burlesque stars on these adorable coasters!

We Ab-Fab fans can now even use Edi and Patsy quotes when referring to our Journals!  (“It’s a Lacroix sweetie, alright? A Lacroix.”)

Photo Mar 08, 4 53 40 PM

Venice to Paris on the Rolls Royce of trains.  Want to go?

J’Adore these gorgeous pastel dressing gowns, perfect for a Sunday morning in Spring!

Do you love the NY Times column Modern Love? Me too.  Check out their top ten articles of 2017 that has sage wisdom for real life loving.

Photo Mar 08, 4 54 17 PMThe wildly successful book “Stories for Rebel Girls” now has its own PODCAST that will read you feminist bedtime stories!

To me, The most fascinating part of any language is the stuff you can’t find in the dictionary.  Check out these 11 Italian Words & Phrases, and take a Meriggiare this afternoon.

Ninon De Lenclos was a legendary intellectual, entertainer, and skillful courtesan. We have much to learn from this zesty babe! Click here to read her story.

2018 Retreats

Bonus: Only a few spots left in my Europe and U.S. retreats – grab them while you can!

Do you dream of eating grapes still warm from the Tuscan sun, looking out over the sparkling Mediterranean as you sip a peppery Chianti, and learning the art of sensuality in its native home, Italy?

Or perhaps you want to deep dive into learning your personal astrological Venus blueprint through intellect AND embodiment, high up in the gorgeous, most ancient mountain range in the entire world?

There are three spots left in Tuscany in the Fall (one private room just opened up!) and two spots left for Venus Rising in the Blue Ridge mountains this summer.  I’d love to meet you join us in these adventures of a lifetime!

 

Community: It’s Not Just The People You Like (It’s More)

community quote

Snow Angels,

When it comes to community, I used to thing that word meant a big gang of friends to have impromptu Friday night pot lucks with. That’s part of it, but more and more I’m learning that community simply means: the person standing next to me.

A place that has taught me so much about community is my local yoga studio, Asheville Community Yoga. They are a world class studio that is completely non-profit. They believe yoga should be for available everyone, whether you can afford it or not. If you can’t give back with money you can give back with time. Everyone comes together to keep this place not only running but flourishing. It inspires me so.

In this age which allows us to keep in close touch with friends all over the world, I find it’s easy to feel like I have a million friends, but not a strong sense of “community.” I’m committed to changing that in 2018.

I’m daring myself to have a party for all my neighbors I haven’t met yet. I’m volunteering for the Carolina Abortion Fund. I’m going to host Friday pot lucks (rather than just wish for them), and encourage every friend to bring a new friend we don’t already know.

In 2018 I’m committed to investing in my community members, whether I know them or not, whether I like them or not. (P.S. – usually I find that if I don’t like them, it’s most likely because I haven’t taken the time to know them yet.)

As Glennon Doyle says, “We belong to each other.”

Do you too find that in this digital age you long for a sense of community? What are you doing to change that this year?

I would love to hear from you here.

See you at the potluck,

KITTY_CAVALIER_ICON(1)

 

The Original Supermodels (& A Liberating Mini-Lesson)

george michael
Peppermint Sticks,


I have always been OBSESSED with the music video of George Michael’s song “Freedom.” In the video he featured five of the most prestigious supermodels of the 90’s lip syncing his legendary tune in crisp white shirts and steamy bathtubs. 


We may think supermodels are a phenomenon dating back to the 1970’s, but worship of the female form goes back way farther than that. 


goddess
Take this blond Betty on the right for example, the famous sculpture of Venus of Willendorf. It’s TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OLD.

Venus is round, ripe, full and voluptuous. Like a heavy Tuscan fig that draws the branch closer to the earth with the weight of it’s nectar, her curves symbolize the abundance and fertility of the earth itself. Just like the Italian hills, you could get lost in her for days.

The Minoan snake Goddess (pictured left) is a mere 5000 years old by comparison. With bare breasts, a snake in each hand and a cat on her head, she is the definition of fierce. She embodies a woman’s ability to shed her skin and reinvent at a moments notice, all while wearing a pleated, floor-length metal skirt.

As I said, worship of the female form is nothing new. What IS NEW is the lens through which that worship is being delivered and designed; otherwise known as “The Male Gaze.”

The Male Gaze is a feminist theory which states that because we live in a patriarchal culture, we cannot help but see ourselves and each other through the toxic lens of patriarchal control. 


The Male Gaze is not just something that lives in men, it is something that lives in all of us. 


Let’s look at an example:


lynx-ad-0011-1
If we look at this advertisement from the male perspective, we see that if he purchases this antiperspirant, he will have his primal need for nourishment addressed by that giant turkey, as well as his primal sexual needs taken care of by this woman’s body. Notice that we don’t see the actual woman in this image, we see her as a caricature, a product to be consumed, just like the turkey in her hands. 


From the female perspective, we see that if we conform to the standards of this image, our sense of power will drastically increase. Why? Because when men control the leadership positions in government, the economy and world religions, being wanted by those in power (men) makes us more powerful by default.

This information may make you want to scream, rage, cry, and spit on the ground. I support you in all of these. But the question remains, how do we unplug from this Matrix we know as the Male Gaze and reclaim dignity when it comes to the female form?

Rebellion is important and necessary, but even more important than our rebellion, is our commitment to reverence.

Here’s the deal:

What we regard as sacred, we intuitively respect.

What we respect, we instinctively protect.

That is exactly why I created Body Church, a powerful 8-week course that will teach you how to create a loving, reverent, respectful relationship with your body.

This course goes deeper than changing the beliefs in your mind. 


To change the way you feel in your body, you have to involve your body in the process. 


That is why every exercise in this program is a physical, tangible practice that will teach you how to move like meditation, how to worship your reflection in the mirror, how to view pleasure as a form of prayer, and so much more. 


There are 16 interactive mini-lessons, a 40 page full color workbook, and thriving online community. When you sign up today, you will receive the additional bonuses of my book Sacred Seduction, a live kick off call with me and the group, and $100 off the tuition. 


Now, I know what you might be thinking. 


“But Kitty, it’s the holidays! All my money is going to buying “stuff”, and all my time is going to other people!”

I hear you sister. 


On a logistical note, please know that this course can be done completely at your own pace and you are supported every step of the way. 


Additionally, right now you can get Body Church for only $197. That’s $100 off the regular price of $297. There are payment plans available, and the course comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. 


But more importantly, I would like you to consider that there is no greater gift you can give yourself or the people you love than your calm, confident, focused, present attention.

The greatest cost of subconscious negativity towards your body is the way these thoughts steal your precious attention away from the things you really care about. 


I would be so delighted to support you this season in taking back the keys to your very own temple. 


Click here to join us in Body Church today.