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Sunday, November 25, 2012

An Announcement That Just Can't Wait


This summer, I did a lot of biking around the city, both recreationally and getting places.  One day in mid August I was biking through Prospect Park and I saw something unusual.  It was a bright yellow leaf on an otherwise completely green tree.  I pedaled on and saw another.  I began to see them all over, some on trees, some on the ground.  The reason this felt so strange is because I usually don't notice the seasons changing until the trees look like they are all on fire.  This was strange, and it made me feel like something was coming. I felt it in my bones, like when a dog can sense that a storm is on the way.  Big change was on the horizon.
Leaves in Brooklyn
Big, big change has recently occurred in my life.  As a seductress, don't expect me to give you the goodies on what that change was until the end of this post.  If you are one of those instant gratifiers: go on, skip ahead.  But if you are the type who likes things slow, who likes to savor and hear the whole story, not just the one climactic detail, read on.

At the start of 2012, Kitty Cavalier went on sabbatical.  I stopped teaching, stopped writing blogs, all so I could focus on the busiest season at my job.  I adore my job, and I gave it my all.  We had a really great, successful season.  I also felt relief from not having to keep up with Kitty. "This is nice!" I thought. I had evenings and weekends all to myself for the first time in a long time. I would get home at the end of the day feeling satisfied, and ready to rest.

Then Spring arrived, and I heard a new song on the wind.  Seduction was calling Kitty out of hibernation. 

I first encountered seduction as a lifestyle after visiting Paris.  When I returned from my trip, a book caught my eye called La Seduction: How The French Play the Game of Life by Elaine Sciolino.  This book explains how in France, seduction is not just a game that is played by two lovers. It is a part of everyday life. Going to the market is an experience in seduction.  Negotiating a contract requires great knowledge of the art of seduction. This book changed the way I saw my life, and the way I pursued the things I wanted.  I began to see seduction not as a technique, but as a way of living.  When I am living in seduction I am acting from a place of total attraction. I am completely surrendered to listening to my intuition. I am unafraid to say an enthusiastic yes to the things I want, and to the things I don't want, I say no without regret.

There is a deep spiritual component to seduction. To practice it, one must see the big picture.  It requires great patience and trust. To practice seduction one must surrender to trusting that there is order in the unpredictable. In a world where you can text someone in Indonesia and receive an instant alert two seconds later once they've read it, it makes no sense to us when what we want does not arrive in our time.  We get frustrated and agitated, and think we must be doing something wrong.  This, right here, is the opposite of seduction.

One thing I know for absolute sure: seduction cannot be rushed.  What this means is that the chase is not something to become frustrated by, it is actually the best part. Rather than stomping out feet and getting down on ourselves for not making the things we want appear, seduction helps us to relax and savor each step of the journey.  There is a Chinese proverb: "Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are." This, right here, is the essence of seduction. 

Dancing through change
For a long time I was trying to figure out who and what Kitty Cavalier really was. I started out teaching burlesque, and I love burlesque, but I am not a burlesque expert. And burlesque is not my deepest passion.  My deepest passion is (new age jargon alert) serving the new feminine conscious that is emerging on this planet.  For the last several thousand years there has been a consciousness that everything about being a woman is wrong.  Damn our stupid periods.  Damn that we are the ones who have to suffer through the pain of childbirth.  Damn that we are so sensitive. Well, we all know this is getting turned on its fucking head right now.  Women everywhere are waking up to the truth that everything about being a woman is not only right, it is completely awesome. Our periods and the cyclical nature of our bodies? Awesome.  Being the creators, bearers, and portals to new life? Totally awesome. Feeling things so deeply that we tap into our intuitive, eternal senses rather than just logically trying to work them out? Rad.

Last week I finished my final day at my beloved job.  Many of you know I worked at Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts , a school whose teachings I am incredibly devoted to.  This was not an easy decision, as this was my dream job come to life, beyond my dreams actually.  But seduction has finally seduced me.  I have decided to stop working and dedicate myself entirely to growing The School of Charm and Cheek.   

This is a big step, a huge risk, an enormous change, and an exhilarating ride.  We are coming up on winter, and I have some hibernating to do.  I am going to be going off the radar for a bit to create the next phase of the School of Charm and Cheek.  I'll still be blogging and teaching Qoya, but I am preparing to dive deep with seduction and I need time and space to do that.  This weekend, my diamond of a class: Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice,  is the last time I will be teaching seduction for a few months.  The reason this email is so urgent is because yesterday we sold out, but I ordered more supplies and figured out a way to take five more Seductresses. I don't want you to miss this chance.  If you are being called, jump in. I can't wait to seduce with you, this weekend, or whenever the stars bring us together.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where Hunger Ends And Life Begins

Enjoying my morning apple


Recently I was watching a certain doctor on daytime TV, not by choice.  It was playing in the waiting room that I was…well, waiting in.  The topic of the show was how to reduce belly fat.  There was a grandiose demonstration of what happens when we pour things like soda, fried chicken, coffee, M&M’s and the like down our gullets.  They had a giant mock belly onstage that inflated as each item went in.  “Now, would you like to hear the solution??” the Doctor shouted like a preacher at a revival.  “YEAH!” the audience cheered.

At this point, even I was on the edge of my seat. Being a woman who has a magnificently round belly, this got my attention.  Number one, because anytime there are messages going out to womankind about their bodies I’m intrigued at what the message really is.  Number two, well, I hate to admit it girls, but I have to really work at loving my belly.  As the body love queen this is a soft spot for me.  When I look in the mirror I still have to do real mental and physical work to generate feelings of love towards my belly, rather than the knee jerk feeling of hatred I have been taught by the culture. 

So, back to the set.  The solution everyone!! Hallelujah! I would like to say I was shocked by what was revealed, but I was not.  The solution included three things: eat fennel seeds to reduce bloating, drink slippery elm tea to stimulate better bowel movements, and a bunch of other poppycock that involves spending more money on more things that don’t actually address the problem.

What is the problem? At face value, we might think it is the soda and fried chicken.  Just replace those things with kale and carrots, right? Then you won’t have a fat, bloated belly.  But it is not that simple friend.  I seriously doubt there is a single adult in this country that does not already know that carrots will make your tummy less bloated than fried chicken.  We have so much knowledge about health nutrition that we are literally drowning in it.  The fried chicken is not the problem. The problem lies in what causes us to choose the fried chicken in the first place.

My husband is very passionate about food and politics.  I have learned so much from him about why we eat what we eat from a socio-economic and political standpoint.  There are so many forces at play that many of us don’t even know about.  I won’t try to address them all in this blog. What I will share is the resources that have helped me to weed out my truth around, food, eating, and hunger.
 
At the end of the day, there is some truth to every nutritional concept and theory out there.  But the only way I think a person can really get to health is by trusting the voices inside, instead of the voices outside.  The voices outside can provide guidance and wisdom, but it is our bodies that know what’s up.  I hope these resources are helpful for you. Please know that trusting your cravings - the ones that go beyond your taste buds straight to that which will nourish and satiate your soul - in my experience this is where hunger ends and life can begin.

Books
  • Fat Is A Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach - a must read to discover what really drives you to pick up food, even when you think you don't want to
  • Women Food and God by Geneen Roth - I love all of Geneen's work, but this one I find to be truly a masterpiece when it comes to intuitive eating
  • Eating In The Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston - this book changed everything for me with regards to listening to my hunger, and understanding what drives it. There is not a line that has gone un-highlighted by me in the entire book!  I read from it all the time.  This one is truly a winner.
  • Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet - don't be scared off by the diet part.  This book is really about taking on a lifestyle that is rooted in self love, living life as you want to live it, and letting your health practices be a reflection of that. 

Movement
Qoya is a movement class founded by Rochelle Schieck that has completely and utterly changed my relationship to exercise, my body, and my life.  Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember - we remember that as women, our essence is inherently wise, wild and free.  Do you ever have moments in your day where you forget that? I do. Qoya draws from the wisdom of yoga, the wildness of creative dance, and the freedom of sensual movement.  The whole point of Qoya: feeling pleasure.  It’s not about feeling the burn, though you do.  It’s not about toning up, though you will.   It’s about listening to your body, rather than telling it what to do. We dance to playlists that take you from the ocean caves of a desert island to the Lower East Side of NYC, up to the clouds of heaven and back down to the dance floor of Soul Train, all at the same time.  The music is as much of a teacher in Qoya than the actual human teacher.

When I dance Qoya, I close my eyes and it is like going to Disneyworld within my very own skin. It is the deepest state of meditation I can imagine.  My head lets go, my body takes over, and I receive deep insights through just feeling, rather than thinking things through. In Qoya we dance it all: our love, our loss, our understanding, our confusion, our gratitude, our frustrations, our ecstasy, our devastation…everything.  All of it is left on the sacred dance floor and blends into the most beautiful mosaic that grounds us into our power as women, our intuition, and brings us a deep state of bliss.  To dance Qoya right now, go to www.embodyqoya.com.  You can also come to my Qoya class every Tuesday from 7-8pm at The Yoga Collective, 135 W.29th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in NYC.

Programs
Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts is a place that teaches women about using the power of pleasure to have their way with the world.  My life has been profoundly changed by this work, specifically when it comes to realizing what my true hungers are, and going for what it takes to satisfy them.  www.mamagenas.com  

I would love to hear some of your favorite resources in the comments below. Wishing you a happy, peaceful and pleasure filled Thanksgiving.

PS - If deciding what you truly want on your plate, in your life, in your relationships, etc. is something you would like to delve into, there are three spots left in Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice, November 30 & December 1st.  Seduction is all about listening to yourself, and acting on that information. This is the last time I will be teaching this class for a few months.  Grab your spot now, I would love to have you. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Secret, Secret, Secret Weapon

Veronica In Action


One of the questions I often get asked is about my spiritual practice.  People notice I have a strong relationship with spirit and want to know the actual practices I use to nurture and engage in that relationship.  Until age 18 I was forced, (and I mean forced!) to go to Catholic mass at least once per week.  Until age 13, I loved it.  After age 13, all hell broke loose.

No matter how much I stomped my feet, cried, pleaded to not have to go to Church, my parents held fast to their values.  At the time, I thought this was poppycock. Ridiculous.  Tyrannical.  Going to Church felt was straight-up obligation to me.  I found no inspiration there.  As a teenager who was dying to live as close to the edge as my social circle would allow, I just felt a continual layering on of guilt and that only reinforced my will to rebel. 

Today - Spirit, The Universe, God, Goddess, what-have-you; informs every breath I take and every move I make.  In retrospect I am grateful for my devotional upbringing.  Even when it moved beyond the point that I could relate to it, because this strengthened my resolve to find what did work, rather than just resent what didn't. It took a lot of research to find what worked for me to get close to where I felt the sweet embrace of the divine. One of the most unexpected places has been witchcraft.

I remember seeing the movie The Craft as a teenager.  My Mom was so terrified that she secretly sat in the back of the movie theatre so that she could see what I was being exposed to.  After all, that term, witchcraft, instantly conjures the imagery of the demonic, devil worship, black magic and the like.  I never went down that path, though I did sprinkle a fair amount of fennel seeds over my telephone in the hopes that my high school crush would someday call me and profess his love.  (something I read in the Supermarket Sorceress)

But what is witchcraft really? There are a great many ways to describe it: knowing the future, controlling the future. Having the ability to enchant, allure, captivate, hypnotize, enthrall, entrancing and spellbind. 

What is interesting is that in this day and age, I can think of very few women who would not like to be considered enchanting, alluring, captivating and hypnotizing.  Possession of these qualities strike me as something unique to feminine power, which not so long ago was considered an unforgivable crime. 300 years ago during the Salem witch trials, being called hypnotic could quickly get you lynched, or worse, slowly crushed under a giant boulder, torturing you in the hopes of attaining a confession of witchcraft.    Aye-ye-aye.  

Thank goodness we have pioneers like Veronica Varlow and her Grandmothers.  Veronica has been one of the greatest inspirations in my life.  My muse, my teacher, my friend, she not only has an entrancing quality that casts its spell over you body and soul the moment you encounter her, she is also one of the most generous and wonderful teachers I have ever met.  Kitty Cavalier would not exist without Veronica.

One of the most powerful classes she teaches is called "Light My Fire: Candle Magic with Veronica Varlow".  I took this class a few years ago, and I swear to you, everything I have created in my life has been the result of using this sacred art to attract what I want.  I have the most knock-down, crazy-amazing, blow your mind marriage in the universe, thanks to a candle spell.  I am making 3 times more than the highest salary I have ever made in my life, and my abundance continues to expand.  Candle magic again.  I have a career where my sole purpose is to have as much fun as possible in my life and then share it with the world to empower others.  Yup.  Candles again.

To try to describe why this class is so life altering would be like trying to describe what if feels like to swim in the ocean.  It is a power you just have to experience yourself. 

This Friday, November 16th, a dream of mine is coming true.  Veronica is bringing her candle magic class to The School of Charm and Cheek.  JUST FOR US. Ladies, believe me when I say, you would be crazy not to jump on this opportunity.  We have no plans to re-create this in the future.  Veronica travels the world and it is extremely rare that she is available to teach at all. 

So come on, join us. Be the best kind of crazy there is - no matter what plans you have to cancel, no matter how you have to drag your tired ass downtown - follow your desire to join us.  Your life will transform, I guarantee it.  

A Million Prisms Of Seduction



Recently I delivered a tele-class on the true meaning of the word seduction. After five years of teaching at the School of Charm and Cheek, I have to say, this was the hardest curriculum I've ever had to create.  The reason: seduction is a great many things, but straightforward is not one of them.  In my experience, there is no way to describe this intricate art in five words or less.  Seduction is like a diamond: at first what looks like a hundred prisms explode into a million when held up to the light.

Here are a few of the highlights from the class:

  • Seduction is the power to attract what you truly want.
  • Seduction is a practice in surrendering to the fact that what you want but do not have, has yet to seduce you.
  • Seduction is a practice in restraint, saying yes only to the things you truly, truly want, and saying a firm definitive no to that which you do not want.
  • Seduction is the ability to be in the present moment - to enjoy and SAVOR every moment of an experience, not just the culmination of a goal. 
  • Seduction is coming to terms with the fact that even though something might look perfect and sound perfect, if it doesn't feel perfect, it's not the right fit.
  • Seduction is the practice of surrendering only to that which truly seduces you, even if that means turning something else down at least 25 times.
  • Seduction is a practice in trusting yourself. Taking the risk of saying yes to what you truly want with enthusiasm and gusto, without questioning it or doubting it. It is also taking the risk of saying no, trusting that by saying no what you really want will appear when you are ready to receive it.
Seduction does not require T&A.
Seduction takes guts.
Seduction takes smarts.
Seduction requires trusting the voices inside of you, rather than the voices outside of you.
Seduction is a spiritual practice.
Seduction is a way of life.

This  just barely scratches the surface of how deep we delve into this sacred art form in Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice.  November 30 & December 1st.  This will be the last time I deliver this course in 2012.