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Monday, January 28, 2013

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 soufflĂ© 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 1st and 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.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Seduction Series #4: F*#! Your Best Life (The Art of Seductive Timing)

If you are like me and you have interest in things like personal growth, inner inquiry and self-reflection, it is likely that you are constantly being bombarded with messages like this: "Live your best life NOW!" or "You only get one chance at living this day. How are you going to make it GREAT???" or "No matter what has happened before this moment, you can always start fresh and commit to living your dreams!!!!"

Do you ever just feel like, get off my friggin' jock?

I do. 

When I hear messages like this, the feeling that used to come into my body was one of inspiration. Maybe I’m jaded, maybe I’m just over saturated, but lately when I hear these messages they irritate me like a buzzing fly that I just want to swat.

When someone tells me to live my best life, it indicates the assumption that I am in some way not living my best life already - that something is missing. It instantly puts me into a state of the feeling like I should be doing something more in order to validate or earn my existence.  This leads to a perpetual state of dissatisfaction and self-doubt.  If I wake up in the morning and think: “How am I going to make this day GREAT??  Like, so great that all other days that have come before it will be ashamed to have ever existed!!!” - I am so fucked.

Why? In my opinion, when life is approached as a never-ending episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, it is exhausting. Renovations are necessary every now and then, but when done on a constant basis all you end up with is a house that is constantly under construction - not very relaxing, or seductive.

This is installment 4 of 5 in the Seduction Series, a series of blog posts designed to offer insight on living seduction as a lifestyle and spiritual practice. This week, our topic is mastering the Art of Seductive Timing. Let’s begin.  

Last week I assigned the task of taking an inventory of of the things in your life that you are dissatisfied about not yet having achieved, such as a house, or a new lover, or to lose ten pounds.  Usually when we want something and do not have it, we take on one of several philosophies:
  1. I’m so lazy. I should be doing more to achieve my dreams.
  2. I’m a loser, if I was smarter and more determined I’d have my dreams by now.
  3. I’m working on it, I’m in process, those things will come someday, I just know it!
Now, try this one on for size:

4. These dreams? Well, yes I’d like to have them, but they have simply not seduced me yet.

Dance goals! Dance I said!
Photo Beth Mayesh
Imagine saying “I’m sorry weight loss, but you are just going to have to get sexier if you want me to give you the time of day.”

“Come on now new house, you can do better than that.  Make me want you. I dare you.”

Feels a bit different, huh? It takes you out of the role of playing jester to your dreams and into the role of a Queen or a King, demanding that your dreams dance for you if they want your approval and attention.

For example, last night I planned a big day for myself today that included going to a coffee shop to write this blog, getting my hair cut and running a bunch of errands around town. I had planned to leave the house around 10 AM.  At 11:42 AM I was sitting at my dressing table painting my nails.  I started to call myself lazy and feel like a wuss for not going out into the cold weather.  “You’re going to be stir crazy later if you don’t go, just tough it out!” my brain said. But instead, I chose to just be honest with myself. If going out had really seduced me, I would be gone by now.   So here I sit in bed, under the covers all bundled up in layers, drinking ginger tea and listening to the Dixie Chicks.  My cherry red fingernails are dancing across the keyboard as I write this, sparkling in the afternoon winter sun, and I am happy as a clam.

Haircuts and laundry can happen another day.  I trust in the tides of seduction.  I trust that this morning I had a plan for what I thought a productive day would look like, but seduction had another plan for me.  I refuse to doubt myself or think that I am not realizing my full potential because I have not crossed 8 things off my to-do list today.  I trust that what I have right now must be what I really want, and that is all I really need. 

Reporting from my office

What I’d like to know from you is: Can you envision yourself trusting the tide of seduction to be your inner metronome? Do you get overwhelmed with all the messages out there telling you to live a life better than the one you have?  Tell me in the comments below.

This week’s assignment, the final in the Seduction Series: Take a moment to practice savoring.  You see an email you’ve been waiting for in your inbox, take a moment (just one) to savor the anticipation before opening it. Before you take a bite of food, look at the food for one second and feel yourself want it.  Come back next week and I will tell you what continued practice of this can create.  (Hint: it involves making everyone want you)

PS –If you are wondering if there is a way to make your goals appear more seductive so that you tak action, there ABSOLUTELY is.  I will not be teaching about it in this blog. Not just because I am a tease, but because it is something that must be learned in person. Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice on the first weekend of February is almost sold out.  If you felt a whoosh of wanting more after reading this blog, trust the tide. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seduction Series Week #3: How To Never Be Boring

First of all, thank you for your emails and blog comments on how it’s been going with the Seduction Series.  Keep them coming! (And, let me just get this out of the way: if you are liking this series, COME TO SEDUCTION IS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE! February 1st and 2nd.  This is the last time I will be offering this class until at least the Fall.  I promise, the very last thing you will ever do is regret it.)

Okay, now on to the good stuff.

Last week’s step toward becoming a Sacred Seductress was this: “when someone does something that pisses you off, no matter how little, say something. Or, if you choose to not say something, take notice of how it feels in the moment, and then in the days after.”

One of the common misconceptions we have about the seductress is that she is either a) always cool headed and never has to deal with people pissing her off because she would never let things get to that point; or that b) she is a raging bitch and no one dares cross her because she is so cold and ruthless. 

Yawn. These theories need a refresh.

The entire point of my work is to take the seductress out of the realm of a mythical figment and into a human being.  Human beings get pissed off. Human beings piss each other off.  This is normal.  The craft of our seduction practice is how we deal with being pissed off, and use it to hone our seduction abilities.

First, a review - what does it mean to be a Sacred Seductress? It means living in a state of magnetism, attracting and seducing the things you want into your life, and surrendering to your partnership with the Divine in order to set this process in motion.

The average Monday Morning of a
seductress, in our fantasies.

Reclining River Nymph at the Fountain
  Lucas Cranach the Elde
When we think of the seductress, we often envision a female lust-pot reclining on a red velvet fainting couch smoking an exotic type of cigarette. You may not own a red velvet fainting couch (I don’t…yet) and you may not give a toss about exotic cigarettes, but in this imagery, it is not the surroundings that are the fiber of seduction. This woman does not seem like the type to be barraged by a million requests to go out of her way for others. She sets boundaries, she has standards.  You respect her because you can tell she respects herself.

There is a quote by Marcel Proust: “An absence, the decline of a dinner invitation, an unintentional coldness, can accomplish more than all the cosmetics and beautiful dresses in the world.”

 In our culture we are taught to say yes to everything, to take on as much as we can and please everyone no matter what. How many of us have ever put up with something that is un-pleasurable, or even downright painful, just so we could avoid the discomfort of saying no? Most often the reason we find saying no to be so uncomfortable is because we are afraid of meeting another person’s disapproval. 

Well people, get ready for me to blow your mind.

Your ability to say no is the key to being liked, adored and admired.

Let’s say that again: your ability to say no is the key to being liked, adored and admired.

A real seductress knows what she wants.  She knows when she wants it.  She also knows what she doesn’t want, and she is unafraid of expressing all of this. A woman who owns her no is never a bore because she never says yes to things that bore her. This is a woman who can teach you a thing or two, you can sense it.  She is someone you naturally want to be around because you know you can trust her.  You know you can trust her because you can tell she trusts herself.

She is skilled in giving out something I call...The Seductive Smackdown.

Secretly? Yum.
The Seductive Smackdown is not about intentionally hurting others or spreading ill will. It’s not a form of aggression, where you throw a verbal flame-thrower at whoever is in your path. Nor is it passive; putting up with annoying behavior and talking yourself into the idea that it is the “nice” thing to do to be tolerant.  It is not passive aggression, where your friend asks you to pick up her kids from school for the tenth time, and instead of expressing your feelings directly, you are 30 minutes late to pick them up and feed them gummy worms for dinner.

The Seductive Smackdown is not about hurting others or winning a game.  It is not about saying the right thing or putting on a mask that will manipulate the other person into doing things your way.  It is actually about taking off the mask and simply speaking what is really on your mind. A seductress knows she cannot control other people’s viewpoints, nor can she control outcomes.  What she can do is contribute her thoughts and viewpoints to a situation, gently steering the ship in her desired direction.  If the ship keeps going in the opposite direction of where she wants to go, she has the option either get off and swim to a new adventure, or take a firmer hold on the wheel.   

I chose NOT to swim away from this adventure.
Either way, she will leave that situation triumphant because she has given it all she’s got.  If things don’t go her way, it’s no big deal.  It only clears the way for something even better to appear, and for her to surrender more deeply to the fact that that ship was never really meant for her in the first place.

When I gave you this assignment some of you may have found it a challenge.  You are not unique.  We think of the seductress as being someone who always knows what to say, and when to say it. If you find yourself tongue tied, you might think you are too meek to really play the game. But actually, it is in these precise moments of being tongue tied when TRUE seduction can enter the room.

True seduction is not based on tricks or false pretenses. Falsities are not attractive, and you can smell them from a mile away.  True seduction is about letting yourself be vulnerable; allowing your throat to get dry, letting your cheeks get flushed.  This may make you feel embarrassed, but I say take it as a wink from the heavens that you are in exactly the right spot. There is nothing sexier than the truth. When you tell the truth you are attracting what you TRULY want, and repelling what you do not.  You instantly activate the law of attraction, because when you tell the truth, no matter how messy or vulnerable it makes you feel, you attract what is true FOR YOU. And this, my friends, is the science behind Sacred Seduction.   

I would love to know what you think.  Do you agree? What is your take on seduction and vulnerability? How did it go with practicing this assignment? Tell me all about it in the comments below. 

This week's assignment: Make a list, mental or written of all the things you want in life that you feel impatient about not yet having.  They can be material (like a house) or otherwise (like losing 10lb.s) Notice what you get frustrated over, and bring that list to next weeks blog post, where I will be revealing some of the Secrets to Seductive Timing. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Seduction Series Week #2

Last week’s assignment was to take time out for some Serious Sensual Pleasure.  You’ll remember it was not the “I’ll put a rose on my desk during my twelve hour work day” kind of pleasure, which, don’t get me wrong, is extremely valuable and badass.  But Serious Sensual Pleasure is when you go on vacation in your very own body.  I have loved your blog comments and reports of what you chose to do, and in this blog, I am going to share why I told you to do it. 

Right now I am not working.  Every morning I wake up with this gripping fear of “what am I going to produce today? How am I going to validate my existence today! I don’t have time for a bath, or a movie, or laundry for God’s sake! I have to figure out what I’m doing with the rest of my life!!”  Ironically, the hardest thing to do during this time has been to…not….work.  All the things I dreamed of doing like watching movies, taking baths, etc. when I longed for time off suddenly feel slovenly and pointless. Who am I if I don’t produce?

There is a quote by Megon McDonough: “sometimes deepest answers come when you’re out there having fun.”  I first heard this in the song “Amazing Things” at the life altering Sacred Success retreat by my friend and teacher Barbara Stanny.  I remembered Barbara talking about how as women we have a serious addiction that many of us don’t even know about: the addiction to busyness.

When I first stopped working, I felt like I had to figure everything out about my life in two weeks. That seemed like enough time.  I busied myself with plans, promotions, new classes, etc.  All of that was fine and good, but financially and otherwise, I couldn’t see beyond the next three months. I knew I had to start thinking way bigger than ever before.  But in order to do that, it’s not so much thinking, but listening longer and harder than you have ever listened before.

I began to take my baths more seriously.  This was not just frivolous relaxation; this was the equivalent of going to the office. Going to yoga was not just a way to squeeze in a work out and fill the time; it was crucial for downloading my ideas.  I began to see one of the most simple, yet often overlooked concepts in human history showing up big time.  Yin and Yang.

The Yin/Yang symbol is not just a hippie tattoo, or something you see in the new age bookstore.  It is the fundamental science behind living a life of Sacred Seduction.  Yin energy (the energy of rest, the moon, cool water, meditation, darkness, intuition) is both opposite from and interdependent on yang energy (the energy of activity, motion, the sun, light, action), and vice versa.  You will notice in the symbol that both energies contain a small amount of the other. This might sound like mumbo-jumbo, and I get way more into this when I teach a class, but hang with me because we’re about to get to the good part.

In Seduction, there is the yin of refusal, the yang of indulgence.  The yin of wanting, and the yang of satisfaction.  The yin of the maternal, cozy, loving energy and the yang of the Seductive Smack-down that leaves a gorgeous pink flush on the soul of whoever receives it.  A seductress is not one of these things; she is ALL of these things.  She must possess both of these energies in balance in order to be her most seductive self. 

When I gave the assignment I said that you would come up with 1000 excuses why you can’t include Serious Sensual Pleasure in your week. One of the most common is time.  “I barely have time to tie my shoes let alone light a candle.” This is not because we are all workaholics necessarily.  Often it is because our lives are so full of good things that we barely have time to keep up with them all.  We start to resent all these good things and feel constantly pissed off. “God, I have to go out and see my friend do an aerial act tonight.  Poor me!” 

You might be thinking your should just suck it up and get into gratitude but I say yes, poor you.  Your body is craving downtime and if you don’t listen, it will poison everything in its path.  The aerialist, the spouse who is giving you a spontaneous gift, the lover who wants to take you to Balthazar, all of em’ get the shaft when there is too much of that yang energy and not enough yin. 

So, the moral of the story is: not only is rest not detrimental to productivity, it is the most crucial ingredient.  When you find yourself overwhelmed with all the tasks you have to do, scribbling out a to-do list a mile long – I challenge you to do something completely radical.  Like watch an episode of Mad Men.  Or order your favorite lunch that costs $5 more than what you normally spend.  Savor.  When you slow down, the chatter in your mind quiets.  You begin to differentiate between what is truly important on that list, and what is on there just to make you feel validated.  Take your rest and relaxation as seriously as you take your work. This is one of the essential keys of living Seduction As A Way Of Life.

Next week’s assignment to becoming a Sacred Seductress: when someone does something that pisses you off, no matter how little, say something. Or, if you choose to not say something, take notice of how it feels in the moment, and then in the days after.  See you next week Seductress.

PS – If you’d like to lay back in the warm waters of Seduction in just three weeks time, my Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice on February 1st and 2nd is filling up.  Get it while you can, this may be the last time I teach this class!  The value of it is immeasurable.  Trust me, you want in.