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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Simplest Seduction Technique I Know

Seduction is easy.  Really it is. 
It is far less complicated that we make it out to be.

Last night, I used one of my age-old tricks that has always inspired my seductive soul.  It cost me nothing, took one minute, and completely changed the destiny of my evening.

The secret? I lit every candle in my home.

I know. It sounds too simple to be destiny changing, but read on.

My budoir
Candlelight evokes an ancient, eternal sensual knowing within us. When I enter a room lit entirely by candles my blood pressure drops and my breathing becomes deeper.  Candlelight invites the spirit of the unseen.  That mystical glow that we cannot predict casts its spell over us. It creates an energy, a warmth that no appliance can re-create.  It reminds us that right there in thin air, magic does exist.

This past Sunday night I was feeling some anxiety. Sunday nights have always caused anxiety for me. Even when I wasn’t working and had nothing to do the next day, I would still feel that familiar “ok, fun’s over kids” anxiety on Sunday evenings. I had planned to watch a movie, but something about using technology to pass the time just did not feel satisfying enough. 

I know that when I feel anxiety, creating beauty in my environment and pleasure in my body is always the answer.  So, I turned out every single lamp in my home, and one by one, lit my way through each room along every candle.  Once all the candles were lit, I instantly felt myself relax.  This inspired me to turn on sweet, sensuous music (Annette Hanshaw Pandora to be exact).  Without even needing to ask, my husband began to draw me a bath.  Each room in my home had suddenly gone from being filled with noise and sharp energetic edges to being slow like honey, and sacred as an ancient temple. 

After my bath, I was going to watch the movie, but the slow, warm light of the candles was seducing me to do something more intuitive, something creative. So I laid on my bed with my journal and began writing.  After about 45 minutes, I had written the entire outline for my new book.   This is something I have wanted to write for months, resisting it every step of the way. But because of the ritual of of candlelight, my anxieties were calmed. The words that for so long had felt stuck like still water in a dried up creek began to flow like a river over a bed of stones.

Without these precious candles watching over me as I wrote these words that have been living inside me my whole life, this evening would have turned out much differently. 

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to do this.  I like a variety of tapers, pillars, glass poured candles, votives and tea lights.  Candleholders can be as simple as a juice glass, or as elaborate as a sconce.  I have certain candle brands that I love, but the most affordable and easiest way to supply your home with candlelight is to go to the grocery or dollar store and stock up.  At the grocery store you will find prayer candles, some have religious labels, some do not.  Below I have posted some photographs of how I cast a spell with candlelight in my home.

It occurred to me while writing this that my very first job ever was being a cashier at a candle store in my hometown.  Thank you Betty Lou, owner of The Village Candle, for giving my 16-year old seductress a great place to start. 

PS – To receive a full education and immersion in Seductive Ritual, check out my retreat, Seduction Is A Way Of Life, May 3-5th.  Your inner world and the world at large will not be the same after I unleash these secrets to you.  Join us in reclaiming seduction as our birthright.  

A Lavender candle warms my dressing table, casting it's beauty onto my altar wall of necklaces, 
postcards and images that are special to me.  

In my hallway, a mirror waiting to be hung projects the light of these three grocery store beauties.  Having candles in transitional places like a hallway means there is no interruption to the sensual experience.

This little pink lotus on my altar brings life to an otherwise static spot. 

These candles bring sparkle and shine to this photograph
of my glamourous hat-wearing, suit-donning, clutch-purse holding Grandma. 

Those candles also bring beauty to the bathtub.  Look at the warm light reflecting on the water. 

Nothing quite captures romance like a beaded taper candle sconce above the dining table,
and a sweet votive holding the balance on the other side of the room (visible in the mirror).

PS – To receive a full education and immersion in Seductive Ritual, check out my retreat, Seduction Is A Way Of Life, May 3-5th.  Your inner world and the world at large will not be the same after I unleash these secrets to you.  Join us in reclaiming seduction as our birthright.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Staying Seductive At Times That Are Like, So Not

One of the questions I am most often asked about practicing seduction is “how do you stay a seductress when you are in an environment that is so not seductive?” (such as being at work, or with family, or stuck in traffic)

This is a question that has many answers.  One of the answers will be revealed in this blog post. A few more will be sprinkled in over the next few weeks.  (The really juicy ones will be delivered live in my new April 5th class The Seductive Life.  Just sayin’. ;)

Let’s be clear about one thing first.  Seduction is not roses, candles, dark chocolate and lingerie.  Seduction is a force.  It is an elemental component of our lives.  Let’s say, for example, you find yourself in a rest stop bathroom.  Not the most seductive of environments.  And you know what? That is OK.  A seductress is not a magic fairy who can change a stinky bathroom into being as much of a pleasure as a field of lavender. The seductress? Her magic does not reside solely in the ethereal. Her real magic is her humanity. 
I bring this up is because many of my students doubt their abilities as a seductress when they are not feeling happy, and aroused in every moment of every day. Listen:  life is a mosaic, not a Lisa Frank illustration.  There are as many smooth pearls in this work of art as there are spiky bits of glass.  There are diamonds twinkling right alongside bits of aluminum can and shiny porcelain next to rough, rugged clay.  That is what makes it so interesting.

My actual childhood lunchbox, thank you Lisa Frank. 
We are fortunate to live in an age where there is a developing consciousness of the fact that we have the power to create our life, rather than lay victim to it. But when this philosophy is adopted as edict, it can often bring with it a sense of perpetual dissatisfaction.   When we feel dissatisfied, we think “Uh-oh.  I am not living the law of attraction! I need to get into gratitude, fast!  Let me write a gratitude list. Think positive! Think positive!”  That’s all fine and good if you are really feeling grateful, but there is a big difference between genuine gratitude and trying to cheat the system. There is no right ratio of self-love to humility, gratitude to ambition.  There are tools, but there is no formula.

So, how does this relate to seduction?  How do we stay in our seductress, even when we are in a situation that is un-seductive? It all starts by understanding that there is no ‘staying in our seductress’, because we never leave our seductress.  Seduction is a force, not a state. We are always seducing and being seduced, constantly.  Let’s say for example, you eat an entire microwave pizza and bag of dried mango like I just did.  I can tell myself that that was so not seductive, that seductresses don’t overeat.  Hell, seductresses don’t even eat microwave pizza.  Certainly not while standing in the kitchen in their pajamas at 3pm on a Monday.

I do love a good dressing gown.
Where’s the dressing gown with a long train spreading out over the bed as she slowly consumes one fresh cherry after another out of a pristine porcelain bowl?  The truth is, those things just didn’t seduce me today. 

Today, I am pumping out multiple articles and adding three new items to my website.  I am feeling a bit stressed. I am coping by eating a little more than I need to, and rebelling against the system by staying in my pajamas.  This, people, I hate to tell you, is seduction.  The pajamas, the mango, the to-do list; they all seduced me today.  The way I stay in my seductress is that I don’t berate myself for not doing things another way.  I have pride in my pizza bloat.  I think it’s really cute. And there is no force on Earth that is more potent or seductive than total ownership and pride in oneself and one’s actions.

In contrast, last night I wanted to do something but had no plans, and didn’t really want to leave the house.  So I took a bubble bath, massaged every inch of my skin with sweet smelling lotion, and put on a party dress and makeup.  I lit every candle in my home and got out my craft bin to make homemade greeting cards and send secret admirer cards to my best friends.  This may sound like it was a more seductive venture than the pizza, but that is not true. It would only be true if we were defining seduction as looking good to other people.  But seduction is not about doing things that look good to other people.  Seduction is doing the things that look good to YOU. 

Do you feel like seduction is a state that is dependent on what your wearing or where you are? Do tell in the comments below. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Journey In Seduction - An Interview with Veronica Varlow

I recently went over to the house of my muse and inspiration, Veronica Varlow, to interview her about our upcoming class, Journey In Seduction. (which is almost sold out. like, for real.) Knowing Veronica I had an expectation that her place would be pretty awesome.  What I did not expect is to have my breath literally taken away the moment I walked in the door. 

I have never been in an apartment like this.   The entire place vibrated with seductive, magical energy.  There were plush purple carpets, golden silk draperies, chandeliers made entirely of candles and altars everywhere.  

This is exactly what I love about Veronica.  She LIVES IT.  She is not just a pretty face that uses smoke and mirrors to give the illusion of living a seductive life.  Whether she is in a truck stop bathroom or a suite at the Ritz, this woman knows how to create her temple wherever she goes.  

When I got home from doing this interview I immediately rearranged my bedroom furniture and now spend my evenings in bed by the light of about 20 candles, with Bessie Smith lulling me to a sleepy state, writing in my journal the seductive adventures of that day.  

Veronica inspires simply by being who she is, that is my favorite thing about her.  I did not adopt this evening ritual because I want to be more like her.  It was because I saw her living in her seductive essence, and it inspired me to do the same for myself. 

Right now, enjoy this interview, the very tip of the iceberg of secrets to be revealed.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

When The Teacher Is Ready...

About two years ago, I had the idea that I would like to have my own retreat.  I got the idea while I was attending a weekend called Sacred Success with my teacher Barbara Stanny. At the weekend, one of the girls attending asked me if I could help her in posing for some photographs, as she was having her portrait painted and needed some shots to give to the artist as a starting point. In five minutes flat we had found an antique couch, draped her in a 5-string set of pearls and a green pashmina and were off to the races.  I coached her through how to pose, how to look at me, and what to be thinking of as I shot  the photos. The pictures came out PHENOMENAL.  As I was walking back to my room, a vision flashed before my eyes.  Sacred Seduction.  A retreat.  Someday I would do a Kitty Cavalier retreat.  I had always longed to create an oasis for women to really understand seduction as a spiritual practice. A temple of beauty where I could really go deep with all I was learning about the true nature of seduction, which is so different that what we have all been taught. (the polar opposite really) My mission was clear.

For two years I googled retreat centers all around the country. Nothing seemed to fit.  I needed something that was beautiful but affordable. Great energy from the staff and the place itself was a must. I swear I must have typed “New England Retreat Center” 1000 times into google.  Then, one  night, I found something new. When the teacher is ready they say, the classroom will appear.

Hiding in the corner of my computer screen was something called Guest House in Chester, Connecticut. I knew from the minute I saw it, this could be the place.  It is a facility nestled into the gorgeous woods of Connecticut.  It is newly renovated and gets it's name from a Rumi poem.  These were good signs. I called the facility and spoke to Jim.  I asked him if I could come to see the place that day.  He appreciated my eagerness, but it was already 4 o'clock and I was still two hours away in NYC, so could I please come by tomorrow.  This is when I really know I am onto something - when I  just leap in the direction of what is calling me without a second thought. I had never been more ready for my dream to come to life and I was willing to go to any lengths to make it official.

After that it was just one charmed event after the other.  

My friend Vivi Le Voix was so seduced by my enthusiasm she decided to join me to on the scouting trip. On the way to Grand Central Vivi was stuck in traffic and we feared she would miss the train.  I taught her how to do a traffic clearing charm over the phone and literally before I knew it she was standing right in front of me. While on the train, there was a malfunction which left us stranded us in the middle of nowhere. We didn't care because we were having so much fun catching up, but when we were ready to go, we decided read love poetry to each other to see if it would speed things up.  Wouldn’t you know, we crack the book, and literally at that moment the rescue train shows up. 
After leaving the train we set our intention for a taxi that smelled good, was clean and had a friendly, knowledgeable driver.  A van showed up that was more like yellow limousine than a taxi, and we hopped in. The driver was charming and lovely.  There was a beautiful prayer flag of Mecca hanging in the cab. (A cab with decor!) These were all really good signs and I could feel the magic already. 

When we pulled into the driveway of Guest House I got the same feeling I had when we pulled into Locust Grove, the place I got married.  "This is right.  This is it.  This is what I’ve been looking for."
When we walked in, I immediately felt the energy of a living, breathing hug.  There were gorgeous fireplaces, chandeliers and windows everywhere. Guest House is decorated with classic New England charm. The guest rooms are actually beautiful, (rare for a retreat center) with toile curtains and antique headboards, and the staff is a dream. 
When I spoke to Jim about dates, he said that the only weekend available for the whole year was May 3rd-5th.  I put down my deposit on the spot. 
On the train ride home I was looking at the brochure for Guest House, and came across this quote by Rumi "Let the beauty you love be what you do.  There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground." If I could describe the retreat in one quote it would be this one. Welcome to