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bali

Grief, Guest Posts, healing, Letting Go

How Dare You?

January 15, 2014

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By Gayle Brandeis

1990

Bali Belly is kicking my ass.

I blame the fruit ices. They had been so refreshing, those glittering mounds of mango and passionfruit and papaya snow. They had been so artfully arranged in their large glass bowl, decorated with spears of pineapple and sprigs of mint. I had just neglected to ask whether the water for the ice had been boiled. I don’t know why I overlooked it; I love the word for boiled—rebus. I love the word for water–air. I am paying the price for being so remiss with my words. Now my language training is expanding to include words like sakit perut (stomach ache), kentut (fart), and bau (bad smell).

I am in Bali to study the local dance and music; my eyes and wrists have grown more flexible while learning the graceful, twitchy pendet, my ears have acclimated themselves to the jangly gamelan instruments. I’ve fallen in love with the green terraced rice fields and the cheeky monkeys and the women holding three foot tall offerings on their heads and the tempeh satay with peanut sauce. It is my final semester at the University of Redlands; I chose to travel to the island for my study abroad with a group from the Naropa Institute, a Tibetan Buddhist college out of Boulder, CO. For about a week, while most of the group begins their day with sitting meditation, I begin (and fill and end) my day squatting over the pit toilet in my outdoor bathroom.

I share a stone bungalow with three women—my roommate Celia is a healer, with a specialty in releasing trauma from the body; next door are Rebecca, an herbalist and former midwife, and Angela, a nurse. If I have to be sick in Bali, at least I am surrounded by the right people.

The Naropa folks leave to attend a cremation ceremony, but Angela stays behind to act as my guardian angel. Every time I stumble out of the bathroom, or drift out of sleep, I find a small gift on my bed stand—a fresh bottle of Sprite, a sprig of flowers, a bendy straw, a mini Paddington bear clipped to the handle of a mug.  Rebecca—who, to my continual amazement, has one brown eye, and one half-brown, half-blue, split down the center–introduces me to the pleasures and healthful properties of ginger root tea. And Celia–well, Celia saves me.

She climbs inside the mosquito netting around my bed one day when I am feeling feverish and fretful, and kneels beside me. Light pours through the window cut into the stone wall, filling her curly hair with fire. The air is humid as a mouth. She puts one hand flat on my stomach. I flinch.

“You’re carrying a lot of pain in there,” she says, her British accent an instant balm.

“I was sick as a teenager,” I tell her, blinking back tears. I watch a lizard climb through the window, skitter across the wall. “I spent a lot of time in the hospital.”

“For what?” she asks. I can feel heat pour from her hand, through my shirt, through my skin.

“They thought it was Crohn’s disease, but that turned out to be a misdiagnosis. I found out I have porphyria a couple of years ago.”

I don’t tell her that after I started getting better when I was 15, I pretended to be sick for almost an entire year more. Being sick had become a safe thing for me, a way to stave off the real world. I haven’t told anyone about my deception, not the boyfriend I’ve been living with for two years; not my sister, who had had her own teenage health issues and is the person I am closest to in the world. Certainly not my parents–especially not my mom, who had turned being the mother of  a sick child into a vocation, a calling. My year of fake illness is my deepest, darkest secret.

“You have a lot to release,” Celia says. I really start crying then, but she continues, her voice as calm as ever.  “I know you’ll probably want to have a baby some day, and you won’t want to have so much negative energy stored up in your belly. The baby wouldn’t like that.”

I nod, sniffling. My period is a week late, but I haven’t said anything, haven’t been ready to confront my own suspicions. I will find out a week later that I am pregnant with my first child.

“I’m going to lift my hand,” she says, “And I want all the bad stuff in your belly to lift up with it. You don’t need it anymore. Let it go and trust in your body’s ability to heal itself.”

I close my eyes. I feel her hand rise from my stomach. My diaphragm bounces like a trampoline. I feel a space open near my solar plexus. I feel the pain and shame of those earlier years begin to dribble out, then stream, then shoot into the monsoonal air like a sprinkler, a geyser, a fine gray spray.

2013

Celia’s name appears in my inbox and my heart does a happy flip. Other than a brief visit in New York about 10 years ago, I haven’t seen Celia since Bali, haven’t heard from her in ages.  Crazy how time has passed; my eldest son, the one in my belly in Bali, is now 23, my daughter almost 20. and my baby from my second marriage is just about to turn 4. Celia is going to be in Southern California visiting friends, she writes. She saw my essay in The Rumpus about my mom’s suicide and is wondering if we might get together.

I desperately want to see Celia, but life has me off kilter and overwhelmed. My house was recently burglarized, and I’m dealing with the clean up and insurance and police reports, along with some medical issues and other general chaos, and I am unable to write back right away. By the time I finally do, she’s almost ready to leave for the Bay Area.

“I’d love to give you a healing session as a wedding present if you have time,” she writes; she had read about my new marriage in my essay.

“My husband and I are actually separated now,” I tell her. I could use that healing more than ever.

The last few years have been deeply disorienting–within a two year period, I  divorced my first husband, moved two times, was laid off, got pregnant in a new live-in relationship, got married, moved again, gave birth, lost my mom to suicide one week later, lost my mother in law to a sudden heart attack less than four months after that, moved for a fourth time when we bought and renovated a house, and started to quietly loathe my new husband. I slowly and subtly fell apart during this time, so subtly that no one realized it was happening, not even, maybe especially not, me. I only started to feel like myself again when I began to correspond with a man who lived across the country, a writer who dazzled me, who ignited a deep and ardent longing in me, a man who professed to be mad about me, as well, although he cautioned that he had nothing to offer, that he was not in a place where he could disrupt his solitary life. I heard this, but I didn’t. I asked my husband for a separation; I told myself it wasn’t because of this other man, that there were plenty of reasons for the separation, and there were, but I was a creature driven by desire–it was my engine, my headlights, my GPS system. I was practically levitating with it. I arranged to meet this man in another city, where we spent five sweet and intense days together. I shouldn’t have been surprised when he grew distant afterwards–he had all but predicted it–but I was. I flailed around like a wounded animal, dredging up all of the grief I had pushed underground–grief for my mom, for my aging dad, for both marriages, for shattered illusions (sometimes the hardest things to let go). I’m still flailing a couple of months later.

I juggle some things on my calendar so I can drive out to San Diego to see Celia before she leaves town. As soon as I find her friend’s house and she walks toward me, time folds in upon itself. Her soft British accent brings me right back to Bali, to black rice pudding for breakfast and the jangle of gamelan music and funeral processions running zig zag through the streets to outfox the demons who can’t turn corners.

Celia’s hair is now a pale coral orange–”I have help”, she smiles when I remark upon it; my hair is threaded with white. Both of our faces show signs of the two decades that have passed, but I would never guess she is almost 70, 25 years older than me. We are still ourselves, still the same women who whispered to each other through mosquito netting so many years ago.

Celia heats up some mung bean soup she had prepared the night before, an ayurvedic soup golden with turmeric. She slices up radishes and tomatoes and celery for a simple salad, douses them with olive oil and lemon. She toasts some bread in the oven, fries up some daikon, grabs a little pot of roasted garlic. We eat our lunch, delicious, outside in the lovely backyard garden and catch up, laundry draped over the backs of our chairs to dry in the sun. I tell her about my recent diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, how strange it is to have that disorder pinned to me 30 years after the first diagnosis and subsequent fake illness (which I finally reveal to her) and talk of misdiagnosis, especially since my symptoms are wildly different now. My mom had painted a large canvas titled “It Was Not Crohn’s Disease” as part of a triptych in the mid 90s. When the porphyria I was diagnosed with at 18 also turned out to be a misdiagnosis a few years ago, my mom didn’t believe me–she even called my doctor to make sure the tests had really been negative. She had her own narrative about my illness, about the family’s illnesses, the rare disorders she thought we all suffered from–porphyria, Ehlers-Danlos. Around the time of her suicide, she had been working frantically to finish producing a documentary she called “The Art of Misdiagnosis”, centered around her paintings about her family’s supposed maladies.

“You’ve had so much to deal with,” Celia says, and the concern on her face makes me realize that yes, yes I have. Maybe I shouldn’t feel so guilty about being so upset lately–feeling weak, feeling like I don’t know anything about life or love; feeling like I don’t know anything at all. I think back to when I graduated from the University of Redlands in 1990, five months pregnant. My dad had asked me what I had learned in college, and I imagine he was expecting me to say something about literary theory or the like, but I told him “I’ve learned three things: stay in the moment, keep my senses open, and don’t take myself too seriously.” I had been so sure at the time that I had learned everything I ever needed to know, that if I could only remember those three things, I’d be happy the rest of my life.

We drive out to the park her friend recommends by the harbor. As we pull into the lot, my mind takes me up the coast to the harbor in Oceanside where we released my mom’s ashes, where they had plumed underwater like mushroom clouds. We find a stretch of grass that seems fairly quiet, and Celia lays out a shawl for me to lie down upon, my purse as a pillow. I settle onto the fabric, the grass crackling beneath it.

I imagine we’re going to focus on my belly, the way we did in Bali, the site of so much illness and stress, but her hands keep being pulled like magnets over my chest.

“What’s going on here?” she asks, and I find myself aware of a constriction I hadn’t noticed before, or maybe have grown so used to, I don’t notice any more. I inhale and my ribs contract, as if they don’t want me to take a deep breath.

“Wow,” I say. “I had no idea my chest was so tight.”

“How would you describe it as an image?” she asks, and a board surfaces in my head, in my chest, a heavy gray board set firmly over my heart, weathered like driftwood but solid as slate. The board I had erected against my husband, against my own grief. Somehow I had been able to open my heart recklessly, lavishly, to this other man, but I had kept it closed off to myself. Her hand stays there, sending light and heat, and I can feel that board start to soften, can feel the pain and love I’ve trapped beneath it start to pulse and breathe as tears start to stream.

We don’t have much time–I have to race back to Riverside soon to pick up Asher at preschool–but Celia packs our hour with one profound revelation after another, saying things like ”Your mother claimed ownership over your body; it’s time to take it back” and “You had a contract with your mom–you need to identify it so you can break it”. She tells me that part of this contract was colluding with my mom over my illness as a teenager, that pretending to be sick is how I was able to survive.

“Your mother is still hovering around you,” she tells me, and part of me is skeptical about this, about such things being possible, but the trees above us are full of crows–I’ve associated crows with my mom ever since her death, ever since my sister and I pulled into her driveway for the first time after she hanged herself and a crow swooped right over the windshield, as if in welcome or in warning. I remember the time a week or two after she died when I was lying on my side, nursing my new baby, and I felt a hand press upon my left shoulder. There was no one else in the room, and I knew it was my mom, that she was asking for forgiveness. I wasn’t ready to give it to her. I shrugged my shoulder to knock her away.

Celia puts her hand on my left shoulder just as I am thinking about this. “She’s right here,” she says, sending shivers through my whole body. “You’ve been carrying her on this shoulder all your life.” That shoulder has always been lower than the other one; my shirts tend to slip off on that side, Flashdance style. “It was part of your contract with her.”

My hands and feet start to tingle.

“I think I’m hyperventilating,” I tell her, remembering a time shortly before I left my first marriage when I was curled on our bed, crying so hard, I hyperventilated; crying so hard, I couldn’t move my tingling hands.

“I think you know what you want to do and you’re just scared to tell me,” my husband had said, and he was right, he was so right–I knew I wanted to leave, but I couldn’t admit it out loud to him yet; all I could do was sob my body into uselessness.

“People often experience tingling during a healing,” Celia tells me. “It’s energy being activated.”

Breathe into it, I tell myself. Don’t be so afraid. Don’t knock her away this time. Celia’s hand is still on my shoulder, sending warmth that radiates all the way down to my hips.

“What is it you want to say to your mom?” she asks, and I want to say something loving and forgiving, but the words that come barreling out of me, straight from my gut, words I had never thought to say before, are “How dare you.”

“Yes,” says Celia, and the tears pour and the same words keep coming out of me, louder and stronger each time. People are walking by now–I can hear them on the grass–but I don’t care. I keep saying, over and over again, “How dare you. How Dare You. HOW DARE YOU!” and Celia keeps saying “Yes”, encouraging, the way the man I fell for said “Yes, baby, yes, baby, yes” when I started to come.

The words finally stop. I lie on the shawl breathing heavily, my entire body tingling now.

“It’s time to let her go,” Celia says quietly. “It’s time to return to your true nature.” She asks me to imagine I’m holding a knife, that I should use it to cut the invisible umbilical cord that still ties me to my mom. I start to plunge the knife toward my own belly–a hari kari of sorts–but then she clarifies that I should sweep it over the front of my body, slicing the knife above all the chakras. I feel an especially deep tug as my hand travels over my pelvis, severing my mother from places she never should have been.

When I am ready, Celia helps me up and hugs me back into the world.

“Thank you,” I tell her, but the words don’t feel strong enough. How can you thank someone for softening the board over your heart? For helping release a burden you’ve carried all your life? For resurfacing just when you need her? For saving you again, almost 24 years after she saved you the first time?

I don’t have the same youthful hubris I did when I thought three aphorisms would spare me from sadness. I know I am not healed forever, absolved from pain for the rest of my life; I know I will still grieve for my mom, that my heart will still try to protect itself. Still, I feel both lighter and more grounded than I have in a very long time, more clear inside my body. And when I turn my head, I am stunned by the ocean; it looks more beautiful than ever, specks of my mom glinting in the waves.

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Gayle and Celia, the day of the healing.

Gayle and Celia, the day of the healing.

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Gayle Brandeis grew up in the Chicago area and has been writing poems and stories since she was four years old. She is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne), Dictionary Poems (Pudding House Publications), the novels The Book of Dead Birds(HarperCollins), which won Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change, Self Storage (Ballantine) and Delta Girls (Ballantine), and her first novel for young readers, My Life with the Lincolns (Holt). She released The Book of Live Wires, the sequel to The Book of Dead Birds, as an e-book in 2011.

Gayle’s poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies (such as Salon.com, The Nation, and The Mississippi Review) and have received several awards, including the QPB/Story Magazine Short Story Award, a Barbara Mandigo Kelley Peace Poetry Award, and a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Her essay on the meaning of liberty was one of three included in the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial time capsule in 1986, when she was 18. In 2004, the Writer Magazine honored Gayle with a Writer Who Makes a Difference Award.

Gayle teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Antioch University and lives in Riverside, CA, where she is mom to two adult kids and a toddler.

Jen Pastiloff will be up next in Vancouver (Jan 17th) and London (Feb 14th) with her Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human. Click here to book any workshop. 
Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Join Jen Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in Feb of 2015 for a weekend on being human. It involves writing and some yoga. In a word: it's magical.

Join Jen Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in Feb of 2015 for a weekend on being human. It involves writing and some yoga. In a word: it’s magical.

Contact Rachel for health coaching, weight loss, strategies, recipes, detoxes, cleanses or help getting off sugar. Click here.

Contact Rachel for health coaching, weight loss, strategies, recipes, detoxes, cleanses or help getting off sugar. Click here.

 

Gratitude, Guest Posts, healing, Manifestation Retreats

Thank You Big.

November 20, 2013

Bali… One Year Later…..

By Lockey Mitten Maisonneuve

A year ago this month,  I left my two children, my husband and my job for an 11 day adventure. I went to a Manifestation Retreat led by Jen Pastiloff in Bali, Indonesia.  As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, The retreat dates included Thanksgiving.  So not only was I traveling half way around the world, I was also missing Thanksgiving with my family.   It was the first time in my life that I did something solely for myself and I was determined to not only go, but for this to be a life-changing trip.

The process of getting ready to go in and of itself was a transformative experience.  In preparing to leave my family and go to the other side of the planet, I was doing what any guilt-ridden, control freak mom would do;  I was trying to plan for and create plans and contingency plans for every possible, albeit unlikely, scenario that might occur in my absence.  I quickly turned this amazing opportunity into a problem, for me and everyone around me.

I always knew I was a control freak and that mommy-guilt was my achilles heel.  But isn’t “knowing” our stuff really the “booby prize”?  It’s when we can actually observe our stuff holding us back and in the moment and consciously choose to make the change – that’s when we get the real prize.  Having this experience in front of me allowed the space for me to observe where guilt and control stop me, and that I can let go and be okay with the situation.

From the very moment my friend and I boarded the plane to fly to Hong Kong for a 19 hour layover, our first leg of the trip, then a 4 hour flight to Bali. The first thing I learned is that a 3 hour flight is very, very different from a 19 hour flight.  Let’s just say that putting a hyper active woman in the middle seat in the back of the plane for a 19 hour flight was not the best idea.  My sincere apologies to the man who sat on the aisle seat in my row. While my friend slept like a baby on the flight, I couldn’t sleep. I had to ask this man to move so many times, we quickly went from polite smiles, to dirty looks and muttering under the breath. Lesson learned; I will never not have an aisle seat on a plane again (it’s sort of a public service.)

During our short stay in Hong Kong, I discovered noodle dishes. Let me just say I would happily get back on a plane for 19 hours just for a bowl of noodles. I just wouldn’t sit in the middle seat.  While enjoying a breakfast of noodles and shrimp a thought occurred to me;  for the first time in my life, I am in a country where I know exactly one person; my friend who is sitting across the table from me.  That’s it.  One person. I’ve never felt so isolated and empowered at the same time.  I knew anything that would happen would be left for us to handle.  I decided then that I would flow like water throughout this trip. I wasn’t going to try to be in control, nor would I feel guilty if I did or didn’t want to do something.  I didn’t want either my friend or me to feel obligated to have to do (or not do) something just because the other one wanted it.  It was a liberating feeling to know that we were on our own.

We met some of our fellow retreat-goers at the airport in Bali.  We got to know each other along the drive to the Soulshine Villa, where we would be spending the next week together. I don’t want to sound all woo woo, but from the moment I met the people I would living with for the next week, I felt a connection to them.  Each of the 19 people attending this retreat had their reasons for being there some shared with the group and some were private. But all 19 of these people touched my life in such a way that I think about them every day.

From the very first day we were a cohesive group.  Due to the time change, we all woke up very early (between 4 and 5am), we would gather in the reception area for tea, some would watch the sun rise, some would be catching up with relatives at home, some would be chatting.  We got to know each other in these early morning hours.

Jenn would lead us in morning yoga at 7am.  I should point out that yoga with Jen is not your average yoga.  There are the traditional asanas (poses), meditation and music (I can’t listen to Elton John or the Notorious B.I.G. without thinking of Jenn).  What Jen brings to the table is unique in that she creates a theme for her class, forgiveness, gratitude, love… she reads relevant poetry, then invites class participants to journal about their thoughts on the theme for the class – in between the poses.  Somehow the mix of the out door yoga studio overlooking rice patties, the monks chanting in the distance, the thought that I was doing yoga in the same place that Michael Franti does yoga (he owns the Soulshine and I am, by far, his BIGGEST fan), she creates a space of safe, self-reflective discovery.

Walls are broken down.

My walls-breaking-down moment was during a forgiveness-themed class. To understand this, I have to provide a bit of background. When I was 12,  I was abused by my father and some of his friends.  Even sharing this is part of my life is a testament to what Jen provides.  Previous to this retreat I would never have told anyone this, let alone writing it in a blog!

In this forgiveness-themed class, Jen asked us who in our lives we could forgive.  At first I did what I always do when I’m asked this question, I thought I’d try (again) to forgive my father.  I started writing the same things I’d written in therapy and on my own. I was getting the same result – I just wasn’t ready to forgive him.  Then, it occurred to me; I never wrote to the other men who abused me. In this letter I verbalized what they took from me, how deeply I hate them and what I have become in spite of what they did to me. I wrote that I am free of them, all of them, they will never have control over me again.

As I wrote this letter, I didn’t realize I was crying until I saw that my paper getting wet.  For some reason this seemed funny to me. I couldn’t stop laughing. Then it was over.  No drama, no anger, no nothing. For the first time in my life I experienced truly letting go. This was also the first time I was able to be in a room full of “strangers” and feel peace.

After class I walked out with Jen, I shared my experience with her.   She turned to me with a smile and said (almost to herself) “huh, you just never know who is going to be in your class.”  We hugged. It was the response I needed to hear.  She didn’t judge me, she didn’t give weight to the experience or get emotional.  She gave me the space to process my feelings in a whole new way.

Throughout the retreat we practiced yoga twice a day, we ate breakfast and dinner together and explored Bali during the day.  The space at the Soulshine seemed to become part of our group as well. (In full disclosure I have to admit that I loved the Soulshine before I arrived simply because of who owns it.) But, in truth, I believe that space provided the opportunity to transform 19 strangers in to a family.  The staff is a living example of the culture of Bali. This culture is one of gratitude, community, spirituality and genuine love. This culture and the space we lived in infused itself with our family of 19.

Throughout our time in Bali we shared, expressed gratitude and loved one another.  We celebrated Thanksgiving, we rode elephants, we saw monkeys, we spoke with Michael Franti on the phone, and I may (or may not) have eaten cat at a restaurant.

I am grateful for every moment I spent in Bali, at the Soulshine, with my family of 19.  I am grateful for what it took for me to get there and for everything I’ve learned since my return.

Thank You Big.

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Lockey began her fitness career as a personal trainer in 2004.  In 2006 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Lockey underwent chemotherapy, bi-lateral mastectomies with saline implant reconstruction and radiation.  During this time, she saw a real need for recovering cancer patients to exercise.  Not just for the physical rehabilitation, but also the mental aspect of regaining control over their bodies.  She believes that if you gain a little more strength and a little more flexibility in your body every day, you gain a little more strength in your soul to continue on.After completing specialized exercise training through the Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Lockey created ‘MovingOn’, a rehabilitative exercise program for cancer patients. With the creation of the MovingOn program, moving through her own experience of survivorship and discovering yoga, Lockey soon learned there is more to MovingOn than simply moving the body.  It became time to share a long held secret that could no longer be hidden.  Lockey shared her story on Positively Positive, of being sexually abused as a child.  Sharing her story and practicing yoga saved her life. When she let go of both the cancer and the secret of abuse she was able to heal in both mind and body. Lockey openly shares her past with cancer and child abuse to help others in what ever they are surviving in their lives.Lockey and the MovingOn program have been profiled in magazines, television, radio, and blogs. Print:  Shape Magazine, Origin Magazine, Overlook Magazine and ParkPlace Magazine.  Television: The Couch, News12 and ABC7. Blog Contributor:  SheKnows.com and MindBodyGreen.She is featured in The Ultimate Guide to Breast Cancer by the Editors of Prevention Magazine.  Recently she presented a vidoechat for the GE Healthcare Breast Cancer Mosaic.

 

**To go on a retreat with Jen visit jenniferpastiloff.com

healing, love

What Love Does.

December 11, 2012

Have you ever felt it? That Don’t leave me pang right square in your chest, in that place you didn’t know existed until you did?

In yoga class, someone is pressing your shoulders down in savasana (final resting pose) or rubbing your back as you are in child’s pose, and you never want them to leave, as if a possibility existed in some corner of the world where you two could exist like that: as giver and receiver in some dark space? How it almost feels like the first time you have ever been touched in your whole life. You feel that safe.

That wide open.

This is why most of us love being touched in yoga, especially during passive poses, when we are nothing but a receiver, a net for love. When else do we let our guards down that much? I know I don’t.

Yesterday I got a massage as treated to me by my friend Katie for my upcoming birthday tomorrow. This massage was much needed because apparently a train had been running through my head and had crashed behind my eyes, leaving me a broken heap of steel and muscle. I had subbed out my 4 pm yoga class and couldn’t leave the dark of my room until the massage appointment.

There’s a point early on in a massage where I start to obsess about when it is going to end. As early as two minutes into it. This won’t last long enough. Same when someone touches me in a yoga class, my own shoulders pinned down like some kind of stuck thing and I think I know you are going to leave. You are going to get up and go and my shoulders are going to fly back up and I might even fly away with nothing holding me in place any longer. 

Last night, about three minutes into my massage, I felt myself drifting and then catching myself right on the cliff of pleasure wondering how much time was left. Push me off the cliff, dammit! 

How can I worry about when something is going to end when it is barely just beginning?

In Bali at one point very early in our trip, I looked around at the pool and our house in Ubud with all the little flowers on the towels and the fried cassava in bowls by our feet and I’d said I am sure going to miss this place. My husband, as if I was insane: We haven’t even left yet! It was as if it was the first time I’d noticed that fact. Oh, we haven’t left yet, have we? We are still here. We are still safe. So I’d eaten a “cassava chip” which was oddly like a “potato chip” and sat back to enjoy the way it felt, the salt and the greasy crunch and the way it made me thirsty and I wondered if everyone worried that there wasn’t enough.

Am I terrified of being comfortable? Because it won’t last?

Nothing lasts. Not forever anyway. When a teacher comes over to me and that end of a yoga class to press down on my shoulders or rub my head I always ask can you stay there? sometimes out loud, sometimes not.

That is the crux of it all, isn’t it? Can you stay there? can you not go? Can you make me feel safe?

I want to make people feel that way and I think that I do, at least in some small way, that blanket of limbs and touch and non-judgement and fireplaces and glasses of wine and unparalleled listening skills and here I have you. I am not going anywhere.

I used to think I wanted things to last forever.

I remember my first boyfriend Danny, my first serious love and one of my only serious loves, and how he would call me from his dorm room in Boston and how I would lie in my bunk bed at NYU and ask him to tell me that we would last forever. He wouldn’t. A smart move. And we didn’t.

After four years, he broke up with me one February like someone with no balls! How dare you do this over the telephone after so many years? So naturally I got on the Peter Pan bus, a teary eyed skinny and freezing mess, schlepping all the way to Boston in the snow so he could break up with me to my face. And who am I kidding? I am sure a part of me (most of me) wanted to beg him not to break up with and to tell me that he’d made a mistake. I arrived and knocked on all his friends’ doors until I found him. They’d all had that part sympathy and part I am so glad I am not that guy look.

I spent the weekend in his apartment in Boston curled in a ball and sobbing and when he put my spaghetti limp body on the bus back to New York City, he hugged me for 3 solid minutes, (again I had hope, Maybe he won’t let go.) He did let go and that was the last time I saw him for years. And that was that. We didn’t last forever and I am glad he refused to give me that promise, even as a lie,  because I would’ve thrown it in the river with him and then jumped in after it.

I do want to be touched. (Don’t we all?) But more than that, it’s what is behind the touch, what’s under the fingers and the skin. How the touch makes me feel, and even though I know it won’t last forever, what it will, even is just for that moment, connect me to the world and hold me in place.

What’s behind everything is love. Whether it is a fear of it, a desire for it, a Fuck you I don’t believe in love or a giving away of it.

Some form of love is what beats our hearts and what carries us through those broken moments in the snow of Boston. Its what we all want and why when someone puts their hand on that spot on our chest or forehead (how do they always know the exact spot I need to be touched?) that we want to put our own hands on top of theirs and whisper in some secret language of the hands, Yes, this feels right. Yes, you can stay. Yes, I love you too.

And then your eyes open and the lights are back and you put on your boots or your sandals, depending on the weather, and your leave the yoga class. And you may get off that bus in NYC after a miserable 8 hour ride in the snow from Boston and you may forget that vow to love and how good it felt but it is there and it will always be there.

If you let it exist as if it belongs to you. As if you deserve it.

You do.

love

Inspiration, loss, Manifestation Retreats, Things I Have Lost Along The Way

I Have Not Died.

December 1, 2012

I don’t remember much of China.

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To not be cold, Please let me get warm, I remember this. To stay in my hotel room and watch the ice skaters on the Houhai Lake from 16 floors up, Please I promise I will eat if I don’t die from frostbite. Am I dying? I remember that.

That’s really all I wanted at the time: to not be cold. (I was always so cold.) To dream of what I would eat. More white rice than I had ever allowed myself to have in the past . I didn’t trust any of the food, (not just there but anywhere during that period of my life, and especially in China where I had no idea what I was eating except it was in a brown sauce). I will just have white rice I would ask someone who looked like they spoke English to translate for me. More white rice. So much white rice. It’s all I saw when we rode in the backs of buses in search of temples and people living on houseboats in Suzhou. All I wanted was to be warm like it was a life or death situation, which is how it felt to me during all those years I was starving myself, and, which in actuality, it probably was. All I can remember about those years is that I was always freezing, nails purple, lips blue, hands cold. China in Janary was brutal. I was freezing and hungry and my eyes were closed during most of the trip because if I opened them I would have to see.

I think about that trip a lot, and my years living in NYC. If only I had been awake! How different my life would be. If only I had paid attenion. Where was I?

I don’t know where I was. Somewhere beween living and dead. Closer to dead.

But I haven’t died.

I am still here.

I am now closer to the living.

In 11 days, I am turning the age my father was when he died in. I was 8 years old and I knew for sure this is when people die. Yet here I am. Here I am in my pajamas and a glass of wine, listening to the muted rain competing with the ringing in my ears and wondering if other adults stay in their pajamas at 6:30 on a Saturday night and how could I be an adult when I don’t know how to do so many things? 

And then I come back. Come back, Jen. Come back. To the land of the living, come back.

Here I am. I have not died.

I kept hearing that line in my head and I wanted to write it as we took off from Taipei to Los Angeles but I thought that if we crashed I would have caused it. See, if Jen had never said that, if she had never assumed that we would be safe, we would be fine. It is her fault. So I didn’t write it then. But now here I am in my pajamas that belonged to my grandmother who died less than a year ago. I didn’t have any feelings for my grandmother, (hold off on judging please), so when my mom gave me the pajamas: Jen, take these, they’re new. Never been worn, I had no issue. I needed some pj’s. I have no sentimental I miss my gramma so much every time I wear them. They are my pajamas and if I didn’t know they had been hers I wouldn’t know. There aren’t any ghosts or messages within the fabric or any secret keys to forgiveness in the little flowers. They are kind of tacky and I love them for that. I write well in them.

So I am in a dead woman’s pajamas on a Saturday evening but I did not die.

I am here.

I am having a hard time being back from Bali. I taught two classes this morning then came home, put on said pajamas and curled back in bed. I hit decline every time the phone rang. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want the trip to end, I want to stay in the safety of being away from responsibility, from fear, from I have to’s.

When we went to China we stopped in Alaska on the way. It was dark and looking out the windows of the airport were fields of snow or at least that is how I like to remember it. I wrote postcards and leaned against the glass as we waited for the flight to China. Flying to Bali made me remember these things as if I tucked them away and forgot where I put them. Oh, there you are, years of my life! Ah! Age 20-30, there you are. I thought I had lost you.

Maybe it all comes rushing back at you like they say in the movies. Maybe your life comes rushing at you whether you are dying or not. Maybe this birthday is like a re-birth. I mean, I survived it. All those years I planned on being gone by 38. No, not consciously, but in the deep recesses of my sadness and the place where my poems are born, where I drowned myself in yoga, in those kinds of places.

Maybe your life comes rushing at you and you better be prepared or you will miss it again. I think the second chance is really the last chance. If you survive. I mean, if you make it past your due date, (which I have, so to speak), and you miss your life again because your eyes are closed. Well, that’s your fault, Kiddo.

But hey, who’s missing anything?

I am here.

The flight from Bali was much better than the flight from China from what I remember although, again, I don’t trust my memory. I could have flown first class for all I recall (I didn’t) but I was so checked out, so hungry, so tired and old at 21 that I wouldn’t have realized it.

Each place you go, you take a piece of that place with you to the next.

Whether the place is literal or not. Whether it is pain or joy or a child or darkness or heartbreak or love or your 20’s. You take a piece of it with you whether you realize it or not. In China, I saw women who would not be broken by the cold. Women who lived on dingy boats on a freezing river. Eventually, when I stopped being cold and started eating I realized I had taken a piece of their tenacity with me. And from Bali a sense of commitment to their offerings, how seriously they take what they give. And how I do the same.

I have not died yet. I am here to share with you my journey which is about to start. I have crossed over to the other side and I am taking with me all the things I want to which include the places I have been and the people and the cold and the places I think I went but can’t remember. They are mine to not remember. I am taking all of it because I realize at this threshold of life and death that what makes us is not just blood and bone but what we have seen, where we have been, who we have loved, who we have hurt, where we are going and what we know we can do.

I know I can do this. I can go beyond where I thought I would ever go with grace and dignity and when I finally get there, wherever my dad is, if I ever get there, I will have earned it. And it will be my time. And I will tell him all about my adventures and how 38 is not really the age all people die. How young it really is and how although I am sure he is happy, wherever he is, he missed out on so much.

But that’s neither here nor there.

For now, I am here.

I am among the living. 

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~Bali

China

China

Guest Posts, Manifestation Retreats, Travels

Why Bali?

December 1, 2012

Why Bali?

by Bianca Martorella, life coach.

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When I first learned about the trip, I was so excited to go. My friend (in order to protect the innocent, let’s just call her …) Sonia, initially told me about the Yoga retreat, led by Jennifer Pastiloff. We had just finished our coaching certification program with IPEC (Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. With some initial supportive coaching and a minimal down-payment a day later, I committed. The more I talked about it, one week soon turned into a month away from work and loved ones, as a sabbatical of sorts. In addition to the yoga, I also decided to volunteer at an orphanage. Also referred through friends and with much additional research, I signed up with Volunteering Solutions for a 2 week program in Bali. Fortunately, the timing coincided nicely with the retreat. Planning was easy and therefore meant to be.

As I started to talk more and more about my adventure, I was often asked why I was going. To be clear about my intentions, just in case you’re curious, I thought I would share them here …

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To immerse. One thing has become clear to me over the past few years, is that I love immersion experiences. Experiences that will challenge me to grow and learn. Experiences that are so far out of my comfort zone, that I have no choice but to embrace them. Although it may have always been the case for me, it first became clear through my experience at Landmark Education. For better or worse, the experience transformed my life and my way of being. Among many other things, I found a sense of courage and confidence – that again, may have always been there – but wasn’t realized until that time. Next, came running the NYC marathon which took months of focus and training to run 26.2 miles through my beloved city. With that, I realized my humility and ability to commit. And most recently, IPEC, a coaching certification program. Throughout the course, I learned to embrace people fully, love openly and to be vulnerable. A tall order for this type-A, tough and feisty New York’er. Regardless of the experience, there are always lessons to learn when you immerse yourself in something new and different. You never know what it will be …

To give back. This is an obvious one. Life in the big city can get pretty selfish sometimes. I have done some volunteering in the past, but not like this. I always thought about it, but never really had the courage until now. This would be an opportunity to give my full time, attention and focus on to others. Time to not care about myself, what I am wearing, how my hair looks, or if my toes are perfectly pedicured. This would be an opportunity to embrace, support and love others selflessly.

To love and nurture. If there is one that I’ve learned over the years is that there are many sources of love that can be experienced and expressed … first and foremost the love that comes from within. I was never really sure if having children was in the cards for me. I have always wanted a family and children to love on, but I’m 36 – rounding the corner to 37 – and up until recently, very single. I do of course believe it’s still possible and I will never give up on wanting a family of my own, however, this is an opportunity to explore the lover and nurturer from within. A chance to embrace that side of me that seldom gets to be expressed in this ‘cut-throat world’.

To embrace spirituality. I’m no expert … but from what I know … Bali is dominantly Hindu, and being home to thousands of temples and holy shrines, is a spiritual place. The Balinese embrace tradition, are constantly praying, believe in karma and focus their whole existence on worshiping their ancestors through rituals and offerings. Families stick together through thick and thin – love, support and accept each other. Although I believe in God, I never truly embraced my religion and I want to define for myself what spirituality means to me. I want to embrace the act of prayer and really get what it’s like to give of yourself in blind faith.

To heal. There is nothing like a good stretch and some meditation to heal the mind, body and soul. After a few years of some hard running, I realized I needed to take a break. I need a form a exercise that has less impact on the body. Additionally, it’s great to be a able to take time everyday to focus on your health to kick off some new good habits into your daily routine back home.

So, there they are … without judgement and without needing to prove anything, those are my reasons.

Namaste,

xoxo B

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by Madison Rosner

by Madison Rosner

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photo by Madison Rosner

photo by Madison Rosner

thank you Simplereminders.com

thank you Simplereminders.com

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To book a coaching session with Bianca please email binxmarto@yahoo.com. To read her blog click here.

Jen’s next week long retreat is in Maui with The Travel Yogi feb 16-22. Assisted by Sommer Dyer, daughter of Wayne Dyer. Click here to book.

Inspiration, Manifestation Retreats, Steve Bridges, Travels

The Unearthing of Things

November 27, 2012

photo by Madison Rosner

Sitting outside our private villa in Ulutwatu, the breeze just enough to be deemed perfect, and I wonder if I am really here. I must be. Awan, one of the staff here at Uluwatu Surf Villas, just brought us out our morning eggs (yes, he comes into the villa every morning and prepares us breakfast to our liking.) My eggs a little less runny, Robert gets the toast and the weird flourescent jam. We both drink the coffee, me always going for the second and third cup, my husband always the moderate one, taking one cup and sipping it slowly. I must be here. I can see the ants crawling all over the table. (They don’t bother me.) I see the ocean just past our private little pool (a private pool!). I hear the sound of the waves crashing, one of the rare occasions the ringing in my ears is lessened. I must be here. I must be.

So it’s established. Here I am.

Is it the being here or the memory of being here that I am after?

Is it the having had it happen or the ability to write about it in such a way that I can make you feel as if it happened for you too?

I am not sure.

From Wikipedia:

Memory is the processes by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. 

I am equally in love with floating in the pool naked, a light rain falling and an almost full moon above as I am with the drinking of a Bintang and the being able to tell you about it in words that will (I hope) last forever, longer than the sea, longer even than me. I know there are different types of people. I get that. The types of people that are so present, who wouldn’t dream of the moment meaning anything than what it was.

You’d think I would be that way, being a yoga teacher and everything. I am here. I am. I strive to be present but there is something in me that screams Hey! This is your dharma. You were meant to share this. Who are you to keep this locked in your mind? Go! Go now and write!

So I am here, indeed. I am here with every intention to send my experiences out in capsules for you to open and discover what it is you want to share. What it is you want to feel. Where it is you want to go.

People often ask me how I have such a steel trap memory. My sister and I both. (Although as I have aged my memory has become less steel-like and more sponge-like.) Here’s the thing: when you lose a parent so young, all you have are your memories of him bringing you home chocolate covered marshmallows and carving magic wands out of sticks and seesaws by the Cooper River Park in the rain. That is all you have so you preserve them and seal them so they can never disintigrate into I don’t remembers. You become an expert memory maker. You have no choice really, because how else could you survive?

Your imagination must have someplace to call home.

My imagination is calling this home: The rain clicking its heels on the swimming pool here in Bali. The nothing to do-ness that comes with being on vacation and just how inspiring that nothing to do-ness can be. Floating on a surfboard in the Indian Ocean, the red sun a character in your life like an ex-lover or a grandfather with its legendary personality. The twin girls dancing a traditional Balinese dance, moving their fingers precisely, elegantly, in a way my stubby hands could never coordinate themselves to do on their own. Their eyes darting left and right, each sharp movement a story with a beginning, middle and end. The sky opening up and letting in color that no camera can talk about. Not even on a good day. Secret colors and gestures that fall apart when an iPhone tries to lock them in. The happiness here. The happiness here is where I am calling home. It is getting placed next to: my father eating his nightly chocolate ice cream in between two waffles with powdered sugar on top and my summer at Bucknell University churning out poems before bed like they were sleeping pills. I will place it next to my retreat last February in Mexico, the last time I saw my dear friend Steve Bridges before he died and how close our eyes were there, for that long moment above the beach there in Puerta Vallarta as he told me he could never leave the earth before having a family and how we became that family because he did leave the earth. Too suddenly and too soon not a month later and that moment we shared was the best conversation and the most treasured I have ever had with anyone so as I sit here in the rain in Bali I am placing this pool and this palm tree and these offerings for the gods right there next to Steve.

My imagination is that large. It can hold it all.

That line above makes me feel Walk Whitman-esque: Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. 

Who can explain why the value of something increases, decreases. Or what we choose to store as memories? Why we fall in love with someone, as quick as the pressing of your face into their shoulder blade as you ride on the back of their motorcycle, the wind slapping you with confirmation- Yes! This is love! Or a moment like the one when you watch them sleep and a surge of protectiveness knocks you awake. You want to make sure they take the next breath, and the next.

You want to watch them forever.

We never know where we will find our history, where we will discover what has formed us, what we will find in the rice paddies. Exhuming beauty from the soil, excavating remains.

The unearthing of things long forgotten.

Part of the way memory works is by being able to locate it and return it to our consciousness. How can we do that if we haven’t saved it? What are your ways of saving it? What are you saving?

This is an important question. Think hard before you respond. What are you storing up in there? I hope it isn’t traffic jams and being pissed off and upset and gossip although, hey, I am not perfect and I have some of that up there. I am making room though. I am pushing it aside and making room for this watermelon and these flowers and my husband at Padang Padang Beach in Bali and what it feels like to have achieved a dream like this.

And what does it feel like?

It feels like a sigh. It feels like a dropping the shoulders down away from the ears and returning as well as a departure. It feels like a bumpy car ride along Balinese country-side and it also feels like my sofa at home with a glass of wine in my hand. It feels like all of me and also a part I have yet to know. Or rather, yet to remember.

Because it has always been there, hasn’t it?

It has always been there next to my father and my grandmother and my little 3 year old nephew showing me how he “drops in” on the skateboard ramp and all the other memories I have sought out to bring back into consciousness, it has always been there but like the red sun I had just thought it was a myth.

I did not believe it until I saw it and felt it and reached up into the sky to call it mine before sending it back into the world.

 

 

by Madison Rosner

by Madison Rosner

Steve Bridges and I. www.stevebridges.com

Inspiration, Manifestation Retreats, Travels

Had We Loved In Time.

November 24, 2012

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-blackBy Jen Pastiloff

“In which at last I saw what a child must love, I saw what love might have done had we loved in time.”Mary Oliver ‘The Visitor’

Isn’t that what I am searching for? What we all are searching for? To love in time?  Isn’t that what we are all looking for? Under all the layers of hard rock and hurt and in between the rain and the spurts of sun across Southeast Asia or Southern California or Santa Fe? Just past the temples, past the shore, past the man washing his chicken in a dirty creek as he gets it ready for the fight. Isn’t this the great journey, this pilgrimage to love, to not running out of time, to dying with a heart empty of misgivings and misunderstandings rather than a heart full of I am sorries and I wish I did it better?

Here I am in Bali. My Manifestation Retreat in Ubud has ended. A sold-out retreat with all women (minus my husband who gave us the room to create the sisterhood we needed.) The retreat was very much a retreat toward love. One of the definitions of retreat according to the dictionary is: an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable. And that is just what we did. We withdrew from the comparisons and the judgements and the traffic and the old beliefs and the children and the cooking and the phone calls and the heartache and the sameness of daily life. We withdrew towards our center.

Our mantra: May I always be this happy, May I always be this free. At least for this moment. And then this one. And this one. All of it in moments.

Moments experienced with a presence that could be likened to an offering. Here: Here I am, offering you my undivided attention and acceptance. This is my offering. There is nothing in my way. There is no past, no sickness, no going back to work, no dreading the plane ride back, no discomfort. There is just this. This perfect morsel in time. And I am here. Fully. This past week we retreated towards our center and as the sun rose in the morning and we looked out towards the temple and the men in the fields and the ducks waddling all along in a row like a cliche, our hearts knew what they have known all along: That this is what love feels like. This is what it is all for.

To know a beauty so precise that it aches in the place where pain has lived and also heartache, loss. This ache is more of a returning, a piece of ourselves we thought we may have lost along the way is slid back into itself without any kind of hassle or confusion. An offering. The term achingly beautiful finally and rightfully understood. And yes, it is felt in the same place. The heart doesn’t know any different, it just knows to feel. If we let it.

This past week was a letting. Take this offering and feel it. Tie yourself in knots and the undoing is a retreat, a coming home.

We all want to love in time. To think we could possibly run out of time is what causes traffic and wars and broken hearts. The actual running out of time is less common but it does happen. We can die without fully loving the things right in front of us and inside of us. We can let that happen. When I asked what everyone was manifesting many of the women said vulnerablity. It came up a lot during the week in journaling and class themes and throughout our visits to the temple. My heart should be this vulnerable, this open, so I may feel this beauty inside of me as I feel my own breath breaking the air above me as I snorkel with the most colorful fish I have ever seen and may I know this beauty in the way I have known other facts about myself, like I am this or I am that. This beauty is the knowable part of me just as any other. But to feel this beauty, to really see it as it is means I must be vulnerable to the pain as well.

Here is the sunrise with the knowing that the sun will indeed set, the sky will open at some point today and the rain will come down without explanation, the flowers will die, but that to miss it while it is right there in front of us means we are not accepting the offering. We are not accepting what has been inside of us all along, no matter how dormant or inactive. In Bali, they give offerings to the gods three times a day. It is their daily ritual to give back what the gods have given them. They do not take this lightly, it is a duty and an honor at the same time. Why should we not have the same system? I will take the love offered to me. I will take this gorgeous spicy food and the flowers left on beds and towels and the lily pads and the terraced rice fields and the silent Thank You from the toothless woman washing her clothes in the stream and the not so silent Thank You from the thunder. I will take the I love you as fact and the I believe in you as a Go signal. I will then offer back my heart since it is mine to give away. I will offer my support and my mistakes and what I have seen here and what I know to be possible and the smiles the Balinese wear which you might think to be myth and which I can assure you is not. I will offer back my words and my imagination and describe to you in the best detail I can just what I saw and how in the healing waters at Tirta Empul I prayed for my nephew and my dead father, and how my friend, just before she ducked her head under a spigot said And this one is for me and how I held her back as her shoulders shook under her sarong, under her sobbing. I will offer them all to you without holding back at all so you believe me when I tell you that there is time.

You will believe me when I tell you that if you let yourself be the beauty and never stop seeing the beauty, no matter if you are in Bali or traffic or a yoga class, that you will never run out of time. That although your father will still have died and you cannot take back what you said, that although you will still have had your heart broken or gotten hurt, the offering is this: You. You are the offering.

We are the offering.

We must place the beauty in our hearts right there next to loss and pain and whatever else is we have in there and we must pass it on. We must love like the Balinese do. Shamelessly and fully without any but this might not last. With acceptance and duty and honor and grace. When Agung, our beloved driver and host brought us to his home for dinner and so his twin 11 year old daughters could do a traditional Balinese dance for us, he spoke of his son. With a huge smile he said his son was artistic. So proud he was. We then realized he was saying “autistic.” His son came out and said hello to us, and Agung hugged him close and with a pride I am not sure I have ever seen as he introduced his whole family. They all live together in the compound with his father-in-law (it was his wife’s home first, a rare thing in Balinese culture.) A lot of the girls on the retreat cried, as I did, not because it was a sad thing, but because the love that came from them, that little clan standing there in front a of a bird cage, was more perfect than anything I’d seen. With its lack of judgement and story and shame it was a divine moment in time and we all felt blessed to witness it and we all made a mental note to love more like they loved. To be happy in the way they were even though a few of them shared a bed and the son was autistic and they had never left the island of Bali. And so what? What did they know besides love? No, they aren’t perfect. But they were loving in time.

May we all love in time.

With love from Uluwatu, Bali xo jen ps, I am doing Tuscany next rather than Bali.

If you visit Bali you must see Ugung’s daughters dancing!

thank you Simplereminders.com

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All of Jen Pastiloff’s events/retreats/workshops listed here.

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!

Join Jen Pastiloff at a writing retreat in Mexico this May!  Jennifer Pastiloff is part of the faculty in 2015 at Other Voices Querétaro in Mexico with Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp, Stacy Berlein, and Rob Roberge. Please email Gina Frangello to be accepted at ovbooks@gmail.com. Click poster for info or to book. Space is very limited.

Join Jen Pastiloff at a writing retreat in Mexico this May!
Jennifer Pastiloff is part of the faculty in 2015 at Other Voices Querétaro in Mexico with Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp, Stacy Berlein, and Rob Roberge. Please email Gina Frangello to be accepted at ovbooks@gmail.com. Click poster for info or to book. Space is very limited.

Guest Posts

Manifest-Station Message of the Day.

June 22, 2012

Manifest-Station Message of the day for 6/22/12

No Matter what happens, No Matter what anyone says, Remember This:

You Are Peace.

Your Mantra is not I am Stressed. Nor is it I am Tired

Your Mantra is I Am Peace.

Please do not confuse it with: I Hope To One Day Maybe Feel Some Peace

Right Now, say It With me: I  Am Peace.

If you forget what peace feels like simply look at this photo and imagine yourself here. (Why do you think I am leading a retreat to Bali, folks?)

***Pause before everything you say or do and ask yourself this question: Will this bring me peace, what I am about to say or do? 

Tweet me #iAmPeace by clicking here.