And So It Is, Guest Posts, Jen Pastiloff

Share Your Manifesto.

September 28, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-blackBy Jen Pastiloff.

Hello from Canyon Ranch in The Berkshires of Massachusetts, where I’m the guest speaker this week!photo

My workshop in NYC at Pure Yoga was so beautiful yesterday. I did an exercise where everyone wrote their manifestos and spoke them aloud. I promised to post a segment on my site where people could post their manifestos so here it is. This is my manifesto that I wrote quite a few months back. Add yours in the comment section. I cannot wait to read them all! And yes, I think I will be back in NYC to do another workshop in March!

I came up with just a few of my beliefs. I’d love to hear yours in the comment section below. Have fun with it, will ya?

– I believe fiercely in helping others.
– I believe in not wallowing in your own suckery.
– I believe in mayo (especially with French fries).

– I believe in dark chocolate with sea salt. Salted caramels work, too.

– I believe in making up your own rules.

– I believe in empathy. In the words of Colum McCann: “radical empathy.”
– I believe in making s*it happen. (The good kind, hopefully.)

– I believe in asking for what you want. And then being open to receiving it.

– I believe in changing your mind if you feel like it. I believe in owning your choices.
– I believe in the power of language and words.
– I believe in poetry. (Naomi Shihab Nye slays me. And Tony Hoagland. And Stanley Kunitz. Mary Oliver. On and on.)

– I believe in putting the words “should,” “have to,” “supposed to,” and all their pesky cousins into the fire (as I have done. I’ve literally written down the word “should” on a paper or candy wrapper or whatever was handy and chucked it into the flames before roasting my marshmallow.)
– I believe in naps. Long naps.
– I believe that money doesn’t buy everything. (But I won’t lie and say that it doesn’t make life easier now and again.)

I believe in being able to say “Damn, I look good today.” (And meaning it.)

– I believe that you can believe in yourself (and promote yourself) without being an a-hole about it.
– I believe in doing what makes you feel good. In letting your joy be contagious, so that when you forget it, you can catch it from someone else.
– I believe in being real. I believe in not ass-kissing but rather true sentences, the kind that make your arm hairs stand up with their truths. The that-gave-me-the-shivers kind of truth. I believe it keeping it real.
– I believe in coffee. And wine. And curse words (when used properly—yes, there is such a thing).
– I believe in turning your pain into art. Or trying to.

– I believe in saying “thank you.” Even to the pain. And to your past. (I just did, and it feels good. Thank you to my past. Thank to all the weirdos and inappropriate old men and to all the kind people I waited on during those thirteen years at the same restaurant. Thank you to my co-workers, the ones who escaped and the ones who still haven’t. Thank you to those who believed in me, and thank you to those that didn’t—in the words of Tina Fey at the Emmy’s to her haters, “Suck it.”)
– I believe in healing.
– I believe in just saying “F*ck it!” sometimes.
– I believe in learning how to say no. (Practice. It’s liberating!)
– I believe in saying YES.
– I believe in doing the work.
– I believe in acknowledging yourself for damn good work.
– I believe in trying to be better than you were the day before. Or at least kinder.
– I believe in asking.

I believe in living life like you want to be here.

– I believe that your past does NOT define you. That you get to define yourself. Or be un-definable.
– I believe in exorcising demons as well as exercising your body. (The demons that live in your head. And the demons of your past.)
– I believe in making mistakes.
– And making them again.
– I believe in enjoying food. Like really enjoying it. Like I will be with my pub fries and mayo.
– I believe in really great television, fantastic films, and can’t-put-down books.
– I believe in George Saunders.
– I believe that people are just people. (We all eat, sleep, poop.)
– I believe, sometimes, the word poop needs to be said so we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Poop.
– I believe that most people deserve a second chance. (However, don’t push it!)
– I believe in believing in yourself but not thinking you are better than everyone else.
– I believe in taking it easy. (Writing this from my bed!)

– I believe in the power of imagination.
– I believe in being a beauty hunter. A relentless beauty seeker.
– I believe in paying attention.
– I believe everyone should have a service job at least once in their life. Oh yes, this I believe!
– I believe in silence.
– I believe in having a moment of sorrow a day. Just not a lifetime of it.
– I believe in dance parties and singing out loud (especially when alone).
– I believe in shutting off the TV.
– I believe in House of Cards. And yes, still Breaking Bad. (And Vince Gilligan).
– I believe in mangoes. And samosas. And cheese. And quinoa. I believe in that, too.And ice cream and pizza.
– I believe in The Twilight Zone. (Brilliant. Ahead of its time. Seriously. Two words: Rod Serling.)
– I believe in knowing your worth.

I believe in putting yourself out there, whatever “out there” is for you.

– I believe in having a sense of humor, especially about yourself.

– I believe in the magic of physical touch.
– I believe in daydreaming. (Just not while driving.)

– I believe that sometimes a little good old fashioned face to face is better than a text.
– I believe honoring those who taught you and those who’ve loved you.
– I believe in giving credit where credit is due.
– I believe in lit fireplaces. And candles.
– I believe in ZERO self-torture (did all that in my twenties).
– I believe in knowing when to say “enough is enough.”

Jen Pastiloff is part of the faculty this year at Other Voices Querétaro. It is a vibrant, multi-faceted writing program in Querétaro, Mexico. Focusing on both fiction and nonfiction, as well as on the ins and outs of contemporary publishing. Application: We're keeping it simple! Admission forms and letters of recommendation are not required. Please email Gina at ovbooks@gmail.com or click photo above. Also on faculty are authors Emily Rapp, Gina Frangello, Stacy Bierlein and Rob Roberge.

Jen Pastiloff is part of the faculty this year at Other Voices Querétaro. It is a vibrant, multi-faceted writing program in Querétaro, Mexico. Focusing on both fiction and nonfiction, as well as on the ins and outs of contemporary publishing. Application: We’re keeping it simple! Admission forms and letters of recommendation are not required. Please email Gina at ovbooks@gmail.com or click photo above. Also on faculty are authors Emily Rapp, Gina Frangello, Stacy Bierlein and Rob Roberge.

All Jen Pastiloff’s events and workshops listed here including both Tuscany retreats.

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply Toni - Reclaiming Your Future September 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    I believe in trying.
    When you can’t do something, do the next best thing and try! I have failed at so many things over the years, not least myself, but all you can do when you get knocked back or down is to find your ‘army’, get that support and stand up again however long it takes.
    And so, I believe in trying. I believe in learning who you are as a whole person and putting yourself out there in the world. I believe remaining vulnerable in a world so harsh is one of the strongest things you can do but most of all, right now, I believe in myself.

    Thank you for the opportunity to admit this to myself Jennifer! xx

  • Reply Barbarapotter September 28, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I believe that you can have a good life even if you did not have one growing up. Treat others as you want to be treated is the magic trick.

  • Reply Betsy (Eb) (AuntBee) September 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I believe in loving….even if I get hurt.
    I believe that my kitty cuddled on my shoulder purring can be a salve for every pain in my heart.
    I believe in Nutella.
    I believe in my own courage.
    I believe in smiling at people I don’t know.
    I believe in HUGS. Long, 3-breath-Thich-Nhat-Hanh hugs.
    I believe in going to the movies in the middle of the day on the spur of the moment.
    I believe in forgiveness. Even if it takes a year. or years. or my whole life.

  • Reply Phil Ray Jack September 29, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I believe in change.

    When I’m celebrating the joys in life, I savor them because I know that the world keeps turning and there will eventually be a storm to deal with. When I’m going through dark times, I remind myself “This, too, shall pass.” Accepting that change is a part of life has helped me appreciate the present.

    This is a theme in a lot of my poetry. I wrote this one after losing my nephew.

    A Break in Routine
    by
    Phil Ray Jack

    “Uncle Phil, do you want to karaoke tonight?”
    “Sorry, Devin. It’s been a long day.
    I’m home for the night.”
    Shoes kicked off,
    Settling into the routine.
    Simple dinner for one,
    Mind-numbing television programs
    Turned on to fill the silence
    More than satisfy any interest.
    Staying up until I can’t keep my eyes open,
    Crawling into bed to become wide awake.
    Another day without change.

    A few short days later,
    My brother calls.
    “Is there anything I can do?
    I’m on my way down.”
    “There’s no need to come down, Kelvin.
    The rumors are exaggerated.
    The forest fires are twenty miles away.
    Everything’s okay.”
    A moment of silence.
    “You haven’t heard?”
    Fear squeezes my heart.
    Who is it?
    Mom,
    Dad . . .
    “Devin was killed in a car accident last night.”

    Oh, Devin, if I had only known,
    I would have walked away
    From my empty routine,
    Gone with you to do karaoke,
    Listened to you sing Beatles’ songs,
    Accepted your praise when I sang the Blues.
    We would have had
    One more conversation,
    Explored the mysteries of
    Life, the universe,
    Love and women
    One more time.

    Routine is an illusion,
    A brief pause between change,
    But nothing stays the same.

  • Reply Sarah September 29, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I believe in forgiveness, I believe in never holding a grudge, I believe in God Almighty, I believe that in EVERYTHING we see God’s blessings, I believe we are never given a trial or tribulation we can not handle, I believe in the power of prayer, I believe my sister will be healed from this terrible cancer, I believe everything will work out for my good, I believe in karma

  • Reply Joe Downie September 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    That’s really good !

  • Reply Becky Benson September 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I believe in a form of grief that overcomes you, over powers you.
    I believe that this grief is so mighty and all-consuming that you never even knew you were swallowed by it until you were. Blindsided.
    I believe that healing is a euphemism and exaggeration of wishful thinking.
    I believe that this grief hides itself in smiles and pleasantries and small talk.
    I believe that a life touched by this form of grief will never be rid of the last of its tiny morsels.
    I believe that it peppers every thought you construct and every breath you take.
    I believe this grief lives in me.
    I believe I live in it.
    I believe it hides behind dry-eyed tears and silent cries. It hides in rainbows, and sunsets, and birthday cake.
    I believe I can move about in society. Blend in and pretend to be normal.
    I believe it ebbs and flows with the changing of life’s seasons.
    I believe in carrying on, not moving on.
    I believe, years later that the pain of my daughter’s death will live in my heart forever.

  • Reply Maria September 30, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I believe in falling in love quickly.
    I believe in parenting my daughters with kindness and openness to get the best outcome.
    I believe that love doesn’t always last forever.
    I believe that if something is working, especially a marriage, you should rethink your options and not feel like a failure for wanting to be happy.
    I believe in drinking lots of coffee.
    I believe in type of art being a beautiful form of communication.
    I believe in standing up for yourself at all costs.
    I believe in my father’s memory and all he taught me and how he shaped me to be the person I am.
    I believe that you only deserve respect if you give respect, regardless of your age or status in life.
    I believe that books have saved me from myself and my thoughts on more occasions than I can remember.
    I believe in having sleep overs with my daughters whenever possible.
    I believe in exposing my daughters to as much culture, even if they don’t want it at the time, and knowing about their likes and dislikes even if I don’t love every singer or movie they are into.
    I believe we should all have at least one sibling in this life.
    I believe in taking care of physical and mental ailments immediately and not waiting until you HAVE to.
    I believe in science because it makes much more sense in so many areas of our lives.
    I believe in technology because it has made my life so much better.
    I believe in keeping in contact with people you love even if they are not as great at keeping in contact with you.
    I believe in quiet time even in a house full of people.
    I believe in always telling people the truth even if it is an awful truth.
    I believe in being a good friend and a good listener and trying to help others.
    I believe that the crazy events of my earlier years happened for a reason so I would be able to help my daughters have better outcomes in their lives and not be a mom who puts her head in the sand saying she doesn’t understand the youth of today.
    I believe I had my daughter so young because the universe knew my dad wouldn’t be around for much longer and he deserved to be a grandfather for a little time while he was still here.
    I believe in signs, especially on special days like anniversaries and birthdays.
    I believe in doing things at the moment I want to do them instead of waiting for the “right time” since I have never known what the right time is.
    I believe in traveling to any and everywhere.
    I believe in leaving home, I did it way later than I thought I would, because you should see what life is like outside of your bubble but also because in some cases, mine included, you learn how much you actually love where you are from.
    I believe that I was born in the wrong time period and I want to believe in reincarnation but am not sure that I do.
    I believe in being unique and not conforming to the masses.
    I believe laughter is truly the best medicine.
    I believe in going to the movies all alone.
    I believe you should hug and kiss you children as much as possible for as long as they will let you because they won’t always let you.
    I believe you should dance whenever possible, even if you can’t.
    I believe in experiencing all 4 seasons in the year, since now I rarely experience 2 and I miss the other ones.
    I believe in taking a million pictures wherever I go because you never know when you might need those pictures to jog your memory.
    I had no idea I believed in so much. And I can feel there is more! I am going to stop myself but thank you for asking us to write this back to you.
    <3

  • Reply Denise Dare September 30, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    WE

    We are more than words will ever express.

    We are infinite.

    We are strong.

    We are alive and abundant.

    We are more powerful together.

    We create change.

    We allow for transformation.

    We embrace new ideas.

    We are excited about what could be.

    We are willing to be bold and brave.

    We are beautiful.

    We are in this together.

    We are love.

    We are one.

    Join me…a seeker, writer, dreamer, thinker, teacher, student, healer, yogi, activist, optimist, mommy, lover and friend…who knows:

    Imperfection IS Lovable.

    Our lives are a powerful gift, sometimes pure ecstasy and sometimes a rocky road.

    We can CHOOSE to reflect, to learn, to grow…

    to TRANSFORM, EXPAND, and OPTIMIZE our life experience.

    Happiness is OUR choice.

  • Reply Denise Dare September 30, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    And YES to the magic of physical touch…absolutely power + healing + magic, for sure!

  • Reply Mirka October 1, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I believe I can fly.
    I believe in love.
    I believe in magick.

  • Reply janine Canty October 8, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I believe in that tiny spot on a newborns neck. The part where a sweet little curl of hair meets brand new skin. A piece of divine, in a pamper

    I believe it’s okay to not like your 16 year old.

    I believe in holding doors and saying please, and giving up my seat on the bus.

    I believe in the power of touch.

    Hugging.

    Hand holding.

    Or just reaching out to someone through words or deeds

    I believe in the power of I love you.

    I believe there are many ways to say I love you.

    I believe there are a thousand ways a day to be a compassionate human being. I believe in practicing those ways

    I believe in crayons and gel pens

    I believe in pretty stationary

    I believe in Shalimar and downy fabric softener.

    I believe in fluffernutter sandwiches, and chocolate milk.

    I believe in the smell of a new book

    Or an old book.

    I believe in the power of laughing.

    I believe in showing up.

    I believe in ice cream and iceberg lettuce.

    I believe in the color red.

    I believe in a well placed F bomb.

    You can try a “dang it”

    But there’s just something more human in a heartfelt. ” F#ck It”

    I believe in a wet puppy and a warm fire.

    I believe in rain on the roof

    I believe in dirty, ripped, blue jeans, and scuffed shoes.

    I believe in bubble gum and Barbie dolls.

    I believe in breathing through fear.

    I believe in real leather.

    I believe in a cute handbag.

    I believe in saying I’m sorry.

    I believe in kindness.

    I believe there’s just some shit I can’t control.

    I believe I am the best judge of what’s best for me.

    I believe love is worth it.

    I believe Just me, is a great thing to be.

    I believe I belong.

  • Reply Joe Downie October 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Part of my manifesto 🙂

    For the past however many years, there seems to have been this sense of fear driven into society. I say that in a very positive way, because I see it as a concern for others… when you have a lot of fear/concern, society is effected in a lot of ways, each of us included someway or another. Some move to the opposite extreme and feel completely liberated, some hold onto those fears to keep them grounded. And then everywhere in-between on that spectrum, applied to all areas of our lives. We all have used fear to help us throughout our lives, even an absence of fear. Understanding where the fear comes from, having a relationship with it, is important. Or maybe its not !

  • Reply Rod WILLIAMS October 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    My manifesto: Love and Respect for All, everyone included, I volunteer at Darebin Intercultural Centre in Melbourne Australia where we use this as our ethos and it occurs daily. As it can be done here that means it can be done everywhere, so I have taken on it becoming the world paradigm. I have created an open Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/Interulturalism/, so people can post their examples of it. it is to late for the evil deeds of the world we have begun the transformation

  • Reply Susan Cohen October 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    I believe in writing.
    I believe in writing even when what I’m writing makes me feel bad things
    I believe in the power of writing to morph hurt into helping others
    I believe in the alchemy of writing to transform pain into beauty
    I believe in the magic of writing to reveal parts of myself to me
    I believe writing is the highest form of prayer there is
    I believe in writing as the ultimate truth-teller

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