My dear friends, family and readers, today I want to highlight someone who embodies the bravery and courage that I am constantly encouraging, and has been an inspiration to me since 1994. Like so many of us women, from the outside I always thought she was so pulled together, so hip, fashionable and gorgeous, but as she discloses in her Diary entries struggled with eating disorders and low feelings of self-worth. For many years we went on separate journeys and we lost touch, hers taking her to New York City, and eventually led her to taking Burlesque classes. Through the magic of Facebook I have been delighted to be able to follow her journey from simply teaching burlesque classes to becoming the most self-confident, seductive, and fierce women I know.
I am speaking of course, about my sensational friend, Kitty Cavalier. She has taken the world by storm and has a message that all women must hear. I am so glad that she was a friend first, because normally I tend to steer clear of messages about being sexy or seductive. I have always been plain in my dress, I don’t get fancy, I wear pants always, once a month or so I put on mascara to go out to dinner, I never paint my fingernails or toenails, or wear perfume. And these are not practices I mean to apologize for. I made these choices on purpose. I am proud that my face can look so clear and young without makeup. I stand up for all women to be and do and dress and look as they want, whatever feels comfortable, not what the media or men want them to wear. When it comes to fashion most messages out there to women start off by telling them what is wrong that this product will be fixing for them. Botox for those ugly wrinkles, concealer for those unsightly blemishes, foundation to “even out” your complexion, mascara to make your eyelashes appear longer than they are. And of course, your clothing should make you look as skinny as possible, while enhancing your boobs and butt. And heels! We are invited to stand on our tippy toes all day, on a 4 inch spike so that we can appear taller and make our legs, specifically our calves look longer and thinner.
So whenever I see messages about seduction, looking sexy, glamorous, my initial reaction is to sneer and turn away. What was so different about Kitty Cavalier? First, I have known her for so long that I know she would never be comfortable selling something to women that would make them feel ashamed of their bodies or believe themselves to have something wrong that they need to fix. There was the initial sharing about her connection with Mama Gena and The Case for Pleasure. There were her posts about being brave and getting on stage in nothing but pasties and her feelings of pure joy and freedom in the dance. There was something about the look in her eyes in her photos. There was more to this “seduction” that she was speaking of than sex and looking good for someone else. This was feeling good for myself. And when she got her blog going I was hooked, not just on an old friend, who I’m extraordinarily proud of, but of the work she is doing. Seduction as a spiritual practice.
Kitty’s blog, her book, her group, her classes are one of the few places that I feel like being sexy was safe, and that it doesn’t look like naked. It has nothing to do with anyone else but me. Sexy is a feeling of freedom and loving what I am and what I look like. It operates independently of what I am wearing, who I am with or where I am. Seduction is a way of being that invites what you want and what the universe wants for you into your life. It brings with it the pleasure of wanting and waiting, not necessarily the having. It has nothing to do with a trade of self for something you want.
How beautiful is that? It allows me to embrace my jeans and t-shirt and honor the goddess within. It got me on a path to start loving my body no matter what it looks like. I have taken to looking at my stomach and my arms (you know you have your so-called weak spots, the ones you immediately look at in a picture and wish they were different/better/thinner/_______) with love. I have started to look at my stomach in the mirror and admire the shape of it. To try to view myself the way a loving sister or friend would. Would they sneer in disgust at the minor bulge over my pant line? Would they grab at the soft skin and see how much pulls away from the body? Would they tell me that I am worthless because I have allowed the size of my belly to become a certain size? No. My stomach is not flat. I do not have a six-pack although I eat healthy and I do crossfit, because I do not do either obsessively. I eat ice cream and put milk in my coffee and enjoy curry with rice. I workout for fun. And I rest when I feel like it. The side effect of allowing myself not to obsess, is that I will have some belly fat.
Does my belly fat make me worthless? No! In fact, after a year of looking at myself with love, I can admit that it’s pretty cute. I’ve started looking at other women with similar body shapes and types and think how adorable it is. And the curves are totally sexy. And when I walk with confidence, no one could care less about the size of my belly.
This is just a taste of what Kitty Cavalier’s work has done for me. Her book, Sacred Seduction is a must-read. I encourage anyone to pursue her work, her blog, her magic. She has an upcoming course, called Deep Dive, which I know little about, except that what she does is phenomenal, so I encourage you to check it out. I am not an affiliate, I get nothing from you clicking on that link, and I get nothing if you sign up. Check it out for you.
Kitty Cavalier, to me, is the embodiment of courage and bravery. I imagine that it is terrifying to get up and dance almost naked in front of a crowd. That it is terrifying to quit your “stable” job and go into business for yourself. It is terrifying to be the voice for women, to encourage them to embrace their feminine, seductive qualities and to put your personal journey out into the world for everyone to read. But she has. And she has proven that there is a place for you, for what you have to offer in this world. The world needs you! We need you. We need you to be who you are and share it with us. We need you to be brave and to follow the path that your heart is leading you on.
Get brave with us and share your journey in the comments below, how you are stepping out of your comfort zone and how you are (or would like to) get courageous in your own life.