Browsing Category

Owning It!

Beating Fear with a Stick, depression, Owning It!

Stop Judging So Much. By Jen Pastiloff

January 4, 2013

I wrote this a year and a half ago but it felt timely to repost. ~ Jen Pastiloff

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black

Click to order Simplereminders new book. simplereminders.info

Click to order Simplereminders new book. simplereminders.info

 

The layers upon layers of judgments we hail at people all day. At ourselves. Morning and night.

I can’t believe you would do that.

I would never do that if I were them.

My family wouldn’t do it that way.

What are you wearing?

She is a good person.

I am ugly.

I am not smart enough.

Maybe you don’t do it.

I do. I judge all the time.

As I click clack my boots down the sidewalk in a hurry. As I waste time on Facebook, or sit on a plane, as I am now, my mind is full of misgivings and they did it wrongs. Its full of I am doing it wrong, I look fat/bad/ugly, I am stupid, this woman is walking so slow, that man looks like this, she looks like that, they must be a nice person, they are rude, a cacophony of noise all at once, and in between it all, moments of I feel good/happy, I am safe, I am not my body.

There are many parts to me. To all of us. We know this. There is the me that teaches my workshops, a combination of a Jewish/Baptist preacher in a Revival tent who likes to sing and dance and downward dog and read poetry and who knows damn well that we can manifest the life of our dreams if we change our thoughts and is spiritual and knowledgeable in the ways of the body, the heart, the mind. And then there is the other me who is also me, here and now. Drinking a shit ton of wine and wearing glasses and reading like I may never be able to read again.

Continue Reading…

Inspiration, Owning It!, Self Image

What is True About YOU?

December 22, 2012

I get emails daily. Really beautiful, humbling, sometimes Oh My God, this is making me bawl emails. I can’t always respond but I always read them at least twice. A while ago I posted some questions on my Facebook as I do often. I asked What do people tell you about you? What do you tell yourself about you? What do you know to be true about you?

Below is an email I got from someone who has given me permission to share. I will omit her name, however.

I love you all.

~~~~

Jennifer, I’m too shy or maybe too private to post to Facebook; although, I really would like to try and answer your questions. It’s mainly for myself that I would like to answer the 3 parts of your question:

1) what do people tell you about you?

2) what do you tell yourself about you?

3) what do you KNOW to be true about you?

People tell me that I’m a sweetheart, very loving, friendly, spiritual and they can tell me anything. They also tell me that I always know what to say when they need help! My fiancé and partner thinks I’m extremely intelligent, good to the core and made for him. People tell me I look way younger than my age and I’m beautiful.

 I tell myself that thank God I have taken the right paths in life to change my life around and become the woman I am today at 65. I finally realize that I’m a great Mother, Grandmother, partner and friend and that I treat all people like they are important, whether it’s the cashier, mail carrier that I stop to chat with or the woman carrying her Hermes bag! I also tell my self that deep down I am fragile, but on the outside I am a very strong women who knows how to survive.

What I know is the truth about me is that I am truly very vulnerable, I know that I am very pretty and don’t look my age, but feel that is a curse as well as a compliment, I want to grow old gracefully and want to experience aging without feeling that I’m being judged every step of the way because I too will look old any day now. I also know that I am much brighter that I ever thought I was and very grateful that I have come so far in my life. I am also grateful for the gifts that have come my way from the universe and I’m trying to live my life as the best person I can be and yet be a little bit naughty at times. I wish I had a better sense of humor and knew how to laugh out loud and be able to cry out loud as well.

Jennifer, thank you for all of your postings, I have become a fan of yours because I am too a yogi and love all of your spiritual thoughts. Love, J. your fellow yogi

seek-truth1

 

I would love to hear below YOUR answers to the 3 questions. Don’t be shy! Happy Holidays. I love you guys.

Inspiration, my book, Owning It!

The Undoing of Yourself.

December 2, 2012

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. ― Joseph Campbell

My original ancestors must have been beautiful.

I have traced of them, healed scars, visible only after being pointed out. And I don’t usually point them out, just so you know. There’s one on my neck, however, that I am pointing out to you. A red line that looks like a hickey until you look closer and ask. I was 16 when I had it removed and the last thing I remember is them asking me Do you have a boyfriend? I didn’t at the time and I thought This is not working! The anesthesia is not working and I am going to feel when they cut into me and

That was that. I woke up and the lump that I had ignored for years was gone and along with it the diseased lymph node that had been living in my neck for as long as I could remember, and, which I ignored profusely until a guy I was (sort of) dating, that way you “date” when you are 15 and 16, wrapped his arm around my shoulder and touched my neck. He asked me what it was which made it real. Until then, I could pretend it was my imagination but as soon as he said Baby, what is that lump on your neck? I went into a panic. I am going to die. Oh my God, am I going to die?

The way we can ignore something and let it silently torture us and not until another points it out do we acknowledge the realness of it. I am making this up. This is not real.

This is not happening.

There’s also less visible ones like the one on my head where the point of an iron came down after my cousin bit me in the thigh. I didn’t feel it until I saw the iron lying on the floor next to me, on top of all the dirty laundry. Then I got scared and cried and thought I was going to die with all the blood on the leggings and underwear and socks.

I remember riding on the back of a bus, going from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where I had a fellowship at Bucknell University, to Philadelphia where my boyfriend would pick me up with my own car. I had lent him my car because I wouldn’t need it for the month I was at my fellowship but sitting on the back of that empty bus I wished for my sweet car. If I’d had one wish it would have been to have my little grey Volkswagen Fox so I wouldn’t be so swallowed by the night pressing its black body into the morning in those towns. I could tune in to the road or the traffic or nothingness but there on the back of the bus I saw how darkness never let up, just kept pressing down. The buildings so used to that darkness that any light made them cringe and sink further in. They would turn their tar faces from the sky and droop bloated toward their floors. I saw myself in them and couldn’t stand it. The ride felt like it was 17 hours. I hated those buildings.

I sat on the back of that bus and thought of my ancestors and of my Bubby and my father. And Shetland ponies. How they’d been trained to trudge in coal mines, through dark damp spaces, weight on their small backs, taking fast uneven paces and how they’d been used to it. I imagined the sound of their steps. (What else was I to do on that million hour bus ride?) Hooves hitting hard ground and how they must have sounded like the tongues of sewing machines, clicking to my mother, keeping her company as she worked all night in basements, the television on mute. My mother with pins in her mouth, fingers pinching the fabric in place.

I thought about what coal mining could do for me as I sat on the back of that bus, not being able to drive or change the radio station. What else could I do?

The lift, descent of a hammer, breaking open dark parts of the earth, splitting what’s solid. Cracking. The pattern of days. Falling into one another the way all things without change tend to.

The original ancestor of these ponies gradually grew over centuries, changed forms over and over, emerging from swamps to enter coal mines. Like him, I could adapt to living in muck I thought. To traveling and feeding in marshes and swamplands.

I could get used to anything. 

And I have.

(Ask me what it’s like to have gotten used to hearing loss.)

I too have changed forms. Emerged from dark wet tunnels, basements, buses.

Capable of all kinds of change.

My ancestors were short and stocky, at least on my father’ side, and I see parts of me when I look at old photos. My hands are thick and I notice this more often than I care to admit as I am adjusting someone in my yoga class, in savasana, my hand over their heart. How can I have such ugly hands? until I feel the person’s chest heave remining me of my task at hand which is simply to be here, be here now. Be the net. Be the love. No one cares if you have fat little hands or long hand-model fingers in this moment. Be here now.

My ancestors knew me as I rode on the back of that bus all those years ago, perhaps even rode along with me, a few rows ahead. Just as they know me now. They have built me and formed with me with discarded pieces of heartache and hardship and love and geography and food.

My grandfather on my mother’s side (the only one I have ever met) is obsessed with our genealogy, making maps and taking trips to town to visit the Native American Tribal Center. He is a proud Native American and I always sort of scoffed at his pride. Ok, we are related to Pocahontas. Okay, Pop I would say as a teenager.

I get it now though. This privilege of understanding, of unscrewing your limbs and draining your own blood in search of answers and questions. This undoing of yourself to find the us and the we. 

This What has built me? looming every time you react in a way that surprises yourself or breaks your own heart.

In the afternoon of my life ( I am not sure if that is a thing or if I am even there. I may be in the morning or the twilight or the night but I sure like the way it sounds. So.) In the afternoon of my life I realize now why I turned away for so many years.

I did not want to know.

I did not want to understand why a certain sadness found its way into my face in photographs, why I am inexplicably drawn to a certain stories and people and moments in history. Why being Jewish and Native American and all of it felt like one big Who gives a shit as I counted the grapes I would allot myself for the day.

If I knew where I came from I would be accountable. I would have to turn my face upward and take on the challenge. As it stood, I did not want to know so I kept looking down until I was underfoot and broken.

I am not my past.

But I want to know. Were I came from. Whose blood courses through mine? Who in my family was in the Holocaust? Was my grandmother’s brisket really all it was cracked up to be? Does addiction really run in my family?

(Many. I am not sure. Yes and yes.)

I will not be defined by it but I will look upon it as a duty, this privilege, before I let it was away and disappear like it never existed.

My dad and I at the Jersey shore.

My dad and I at the Jersey shore.

And So It Is, Owning It!

What is Your Truth?

November 12, 2012

I love Jenni Young. She took my words and made a poster with a photo she took of me!

 

What is your truth?

Not everything fades away. In fact, what is most true doesn’t.

What is most true always finds you no matter how long and far you try and run from it.

 

This quote from my essay entitled “Update Your Vision”. Click here to read and please feel free to share. I would love to hear below what your truth is. I will start. My truth is: I am a writer.

Your turn…

Tweet me @JenPastiloff your truth with hashtag #MyTruth by clicking here.

And So It Is, Owning It!

Update Your Vision.

November 8, 2012

I’m sitting here at my desk and I stare at my Vision Board that’s pinned to the wall next to me, willing it to write for me. Come on, write my book, damnit! 

I distract myself from writing my book by putting what I think to be, but probably won’t be, my first paragraph on Facebook as a teaser. I can’t help myself, I am used to writing with such immediacy. Don’t we all live our lives like that now? I want a response now! 

I put the paragraph up and people go crazy “liking” it and commenting. They love it. My ego soars!

Here is said paragraph:

I had my nervous breakdown behind the restaurant. Where everyone went out to smoke once their tables had their food and seemed to be as happy as they would ever get during a meal. It was that little secret cove for smokers that I found salvage in, oddly enough. I leaned against that red brick wall and slowly slid down it onto dirty butts and that is where I had my nervous breakdown. My chest heaved and I started to drown in the cigarette butts. There were millions of them and they were smothering me with ash and nicotine and lipstick stains and bird shit that had been on the ground with them. There might have been bubble gum as well, but when you are drowning you don’t pay attention to anything except oxygen and that is what I couldn’t find anywhere. Somebody help me my brain told my mouth to say but my mouth was drowning and closed and nothing came out except the word Enough.

Except that one guy who proceeded to send me a private email about all the grammatical errors and how shocked he was that  would put it up like that. Naturally, I got a little hooked and defensive and told him that my amazing editor would handle it and that I had bigger fish to fry than worrying about their and there. The truth is, I let myself get insulted. It’s my fault. Why did I put it on Facebook?

What is this need for such immediacy? Such connection? Such validation? All the time. Relentless validation.

Do you like me? Do you like it? Do you like this? From strangers, no less. From people who feel the need to correct my grammar when I write a paragraph about having a nervous breakdown on a pile of dirty cigarette butts and bird shit.

But I digress.

I sit here and stare at my Vision Board which was made over a year ago. I stare at it because I have given up writing my book for the night and I decide to write a blog and one of the ways I think is by staring. When I stare I soar into the depths of my imagination. When I stare, I am not on Facebook or distracting myself in any other way. I am simply there or here, more aptly. Just staring into my mind and its abyss of possibilities.

So I see on my old vision board some things that I realize need clearing up.

One thing in particular: Yoga Journal Conference. Yea, that’s on there.

I do not want to be a part of the Yoga Journal Conference.

I might have one day in the past. Or maybe I didn’t. Maybe I thought that’s what is expected of yoga teachers?

I am getting more clear lately on who I am and what I want, and although I do teach yoga, it is not my dharma. There I said it.

Most of you know that.

I will keep doing it. I promise. It will be just a few classes a week, if that. It fuels me. It sources me. I love it through and through but it is not my goal. I am a writer. I am a communicator. I am a connector. Teaching yoga is one of the many ways I do that. But mostly, I kind of sneak yoga in as I do what I want to do. What I am saying is that I don’t hope to be on the cover of Yoga Journal or a star teacher at Yoga Works or known as the best yoga teacher in Bla Bla Town or the key speaker at The Yoga Journal Conference. I love that my friends are doing this but it is not for me!

If you are reading this, you are okay with all of this because you know me and follow me and have a deep understanding of who I am. Which I didn’t when I made this vision board last year. So as you sit here with me (metaphorically) I am tearing down the Yoga Journal Conference to make room for something else.

It ripped when I tore it off!

What about you?

What is no longer relevant? What doesn’t feel natural to you anymore?

What can you boldly admit? It’s pretty bold that I am admitting this. Yes, I am feeling vulnerable because I am in the process of writing a memoir. And that’s a good thing. Vulnerability is good. Just watch this.

There are some things I want to keep. Like this:

Do you see? It says: The smart though provoking absorbing engaging novels of New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer Pastiloff. I will leave that.

Not everything fades away. In fact, what is most true doesn’t.

What is most true always finds you no matter how long and far you try and run from it.

I.

Am.

A.

Writer.

My dear Jenni Young of SimpleReminders made this out of my vision board

 

 

 

Manifestation Workshops, manifesting, Owning It!, Wayne Dyer

What’s Your Miami?

October 8, 2012

What’s Your Miami?

Somewhere between Albuquerque and Flagstaff, headed back to Los Angeles. That’s where I am right now. I get my best writing done on airplanes. Flying back after a weekend of workshops in Miami. It was my first time in Miami, which seems slightly unbelievable being that I am a Jew from Jersey, a fact I attribute our moving to California and then back again like gypsies in search of sustainable weather or a father. Nonetheless, it was my first time and I felt more like I was visiting from some distant country (or Kansas) than L.A. How in awe I was at the balmy weather, at the sky, the view from my friend’s condo, water on all sides. The sky seemed lower, close enough to me that I could reach up and grab a fistful of air if I wanted to. The clouds with their secrets stuffed inside of them and if we waited long enough with our iPhone cameras and Instagrams we could catch the secrets exploding into a million particles of light, raindrops, streaks of purple and pink, golden ambers, all the things that make people click “like” or “share” on a photo.

The moodiness of the place felt like home to me. I recognized how easy it was to one moment be bright and yellow and the next, a misty grey where you couldn’t see the gaudy cruise ships or the lights any longer, just a fine haze with all its edges lost.

And it was hot. It was a whole new world for me, only having been to Florida one other time, last summer, on a road trip with my sister, her husband, their new puppy Timber, and my two nephews. My oldest nephew Blaise has a rare genetic disorder called Prader Will Syndrome and his doctor is in Gainesville at the Univeristy (people drive and fly from all over the world to see her.) We were taking a weekend mini-holiday at a small coastal town a couple hours away from the University called Flagler Beach before heading to Dr. Miller on the way back to Georgia where they live. I sat wedged in the back between Maddock (who hit me almost the whole time) and Blaise and Timber.

It was a long long ride.

The beach town had been cute. It was so different than California and I spent most of the weekend tickled by this difference. The water is so warm! So different than California! It’s so calm! It’s so humid! As if I hadn’t grown up in New Jersey and spent summers down the shore. As if I had never experienced this type of weather or the Atlantic Ocean.

Its easy to forget that our lives are not it. That it doesn’t stop and end with our town, our street, our weather, our children, our problems. I forgot that there was weather outside of California. I forgot that there was another ocean besides the Pacific. I forgot that palm trees actually grew places and weren’t simply placed there as an aesthetic gem. Miami is very different from that sleepy town last summer although I adored that sleepy town and the little local fish restaurant we went to where we ate off paper plates and drank beer. I was also with my nephews and I wouldn’t trade anything for Blaise saying Ocean, Jenny, ocean? And then sitting at the shoreline with him on my lap as he grips me for dear life with that combination of terror and delight children love to feel.

My Miami workshops at Green Monkey went really well.

It was a big step for me. Being flown to a place where I have no “following” per se, to do my thing.

What if no one came? and all the other usual fear based thoughts fought their way to the top of the food chain of my mind.

They came. They loved it.

The biggest deal for me really was the fact that Skye and Sommer Dyer came to my Friday night Karaoke Yoga workshop. They are 2 of the daughters of my beloved teacher, Dr. Wayne Dyer. (Sommer is the one who will be assisting me at my Maui retreat in February and if I can manifest Wayne coming over to talk to my group then I will have accomplished one of my greatest dreams.) Wayne truly changed my life and anyone who has spent any time with me, especially in my classes or workshops, knows how often I quote him and speak of him. I have become friends with his daughters and they drove 1.5 hours to come. It was a little unnerving at first because I quote him all the time so I felt nervous and self-conscious.

That lasted a few moments. Once I start, I get channeled in a way that I don’t pretend to understand and I forget all about who is in the room. My intention becomes clear. Skye is a beautiful singer (if you have ever heard Wayne speak or seen his PBS specials, you have heard her sing.) She sang for us in savasana and it was like one of those moments when you are at once outside of yourself and yet so utterly present at that it is almost unbearable, the surge of emotion a reminder that you are very much alive despite moments of depression or feeling lost or confused or any of the other ways in which we go slack. Its like the feeling you have when you get married, and, I am guessing, when you give birth. Is this my life? and Yes, this is my life! joining in such a way that time stops, your breath catches and you feel solid and essential to the world like soil air.

The workshop on Saturday was lovely as well. I felt really proud of myself. I have taught in Philly and NYC and NJ and sold the workshops out, but Miami? I had one friend there and no students or tribe. Yet, I did it.

I. Did. It.

And they showed up.

One woman, the beautiful Sue, flew from Michigan to take my workshops in Miami. That was a huge moment for me, to acknowledge that. She follows me on Facebook and reads my blog and from that she flew all the way to another state to attend my workshop. I am owning that. I think it can be too easy (for me at least) to own the things about me I don’t like or what I have done “wrong” but when it comes to just being with the fact that someone is moved by me, or thanking me, well, that is as difficult as telling someone just who you are and having them look in your eyes for 3 minutes without speaking or moving. And yes, we do that in my workshops.

So I am looking in the proverbial eye of it all and accepting it. Owning it. Taking responsibility for what I did. This is not a random thing. There is a cause and effect.

I manifested this. By imagining it first and then working toward it, all the while staying true to myself and being authentic.

I wonder how often we don’t realize our own gifts? Or else we do, and we feel we somehow don’t deserve to own them?

I am on a plane heading back and feeling good. I will be back. I feel calmer than I have in a while, less anxiety, more present. Perhaps it has to do with all the travel I had over the last few months and I can sit here and say Wow from 30,000 feet at all I have accomplished. Perhaps because there is no wi-fi in flight. Perhaps its hormones? Who knows? Who cares.

It is terrifying going into the unknown. It really is. I get it.

I was told before going how Miami loved its physical practice, its handstands, its power yoga. Its not that I don’t do that stuff, I do. I slip it in, I use it as a causeway. But it is not what you think of when you think of a Jen Pastiloff class or workshop.

I went anyway and I stayed true to who I was and what I do and they came and they loved it. If I had let my fear sway me I would have cancelled, I would have shirked, I would have changed myself to fit in with the status quo.

I leave you with this as we are about to land and I have to shut my computer:

Where are you playing small?

What is your “Miami?”

What are you scared of?

What are you willing to do anyway?

Where can you go that you have never been before, both literally and in your imagination?

Simplereminders.com are incredible. Check them out. Thanks for this poster of me in Miami!

Looking into someone’s eyes is powerful business. I am ______.

Here are 3 emails I got today from 3 people who attended my Miami workshops: 

Dear Jen, I don’t think I can thank you enough Jen. I would have never thought taking a karaoke yoga workshop could have changed my life that way that it is. I was very hesitant to sign up for the workshop. It was something that initially I didn’t think I would have enjoyed it as much as I did. I have so many things to be proud of but always searched for the approval of the people that wronged me and never believed in me. I always belittled my accomplishments. I always made excuses. Now I am finally starting to feel free from them. I value myself so much more than I did before I walked into that workshop on Friday. I put on my post-it: LOVE. When I first put it on my post-it I was thinking of manifesting an awesome man to love and love me back. I had it all wrong though. I want to manifest love for myself. Thank you for inspiring me to be my true self without the fear. I wish you nothing but the best! You are a God send and it has been such a blessing for me to have had the chance to meet such an amazing person!

~~~~~~~

Hey Jen ~THANK YOU for yesterday. It was beyond what I thought it would be and it was life transforming, truly. I feel like I woke up today with fresh eyes and a better outlook. It was astonishing to me how much you and the workshop resonated with me. I too have battled depression, its always nice to know I’m not alone. I too ALWAYS say “i’m tired.” Not today! I have literally talked myself out of it, manifesting an abundance of energy 🙂 Yesterday, I posted on the Green Monkey wall ‘happiness.’ Thats what I am manifesting. And our ‘HI-YA!!!’ bit, I was kicking the shit out of fear! Ha! Thank you!

~~

Hi Jennifer, I cannot stop thinking about the workshop you did on Saturday at Green Monkey. It’s amazing how we weren’t supposed to participate but by a twist of fate were able to. There are no coincidences in life. I loved every minute of it. When we were doing the forgiveness/breathing exercise you came up to me and gently placed your hand on my back as if to say “it’s ok to let go”.

I was in the process of forgiving myself for not being the person who I thought I would be in my life right now.

 

Owning It!, Self Image

I Failed Gym Class In High School & Why It Doesn’t Matter.

August 7, 2012

I have blocked most of my school years out. Lately I have been thinking about those years for my book and I realize that I actually did not like school. When I was young, really young, before my father died even, I would do anything to stay home from school and be with my mom. I hated school then.

I see my nephew Blaise starting kindergarten and how excited he is to be getting on the bus and to be wearing his oversized backpack. I literally feigned sickness so I didn’t have to go. I would have rather stayed home and watch soap operas and eat pickles.

In 11th or 12th, I got an F in gym class. In P.E. In whatever the heck you call it. Oh, the irony. (I am a yoga teacher now.)

I would take my car and leave the premises and go home. This was not allowed, but I did it anyway, almost every day during the latter part of my high school years. I have blocked most of it out but I would leave during gym class, or study hall, or lunch, or any other time I could. Just to escape. During this time I was also severely anorexic and all my thoughts were consumed by what I had eaten or what I was going to eat. I could not be bothered with going to gym class. I could not be bothered with much.

Gym class alternated between things like archery and tennis, track and golf. Archery? Things I didn’t care about. I was horrible at P.E. and math and science (except physics which is an inexplicable fact that I will never understand.) A shell of a person, I sped away from school and went home for one or two hours. I have no idea what I did at home. I can’t remember. Maybe I exercised. I exercised hours a day back then. This was before the internet so I wasn’t at home playing on Facebook. Maybe I stared at a wall.

I think I just wanted to be by myself.

I got thinner and thinner, as close as I could get to not existing. When I drove home illegally during school hours in my little grey VW Fox I could pretend I was alone in the world. I was safe in the cocoon of my house on Madison Avenue in Cherry Hill, NJ, but I could pretend I was completely alone and that there were no ringing bells at the end of every hour or stairs to climb to get to pre-calculus. I could pretend there were no lunch periods where I’d hide in the library so I wouldn’t get forced into eating. I could pretend that I was a shell and not a person who felt things and had to eat food.

I have recurring dreams. Now, in my thirties. Three major ones.

The tidal wave. That’s one.

Two and three are the math and gym class dreams.

I am failing math and gym in my dream all the time. I am not graduating high school in my dream because I haven’t passed algebra and I have gotten a D or an F in gym. I wake up sweating from these dreams.

So here is what I have deducted. I still hate math and am pretty ambivalent about gym class. I am not very good at sports. I was very bad at archery. The point is that my life was not affected by my poor math skills. Nor was it changed my my ditching gym class or my inability to kick a soccer ball.

My life was changed by the choices I made.

Just as it is now.

I thrive when I am passionate about something. I thrive when it is something I want to do. I realize that as kids, and in high school, and often in our jobs as adults, we don’t always have that luxury to be passionate about what we are doing.

I am passionate about writing. You may hate writing. That’s the beauty of life. We go after what we are passionate about. We do what we love. Hopefully.

Now, was it the best choice for me to just leave school and go home and ignore what I had to do simply because I wasn’t very good at it and I didn’t like it? I don’t know. But I did it. It’s done. It’s out there floating in the timeline of my life.

I was a dancer when I was a little girl and I quit because I was uncoordinated. Gym class brings back those feelings of two left feet. That panic. That being on the stage in a sparkly tutu and having absolutely no clue what is going on.

So I failed gym and went on to NYU.

I remember the shock when I saw the F on my report card. Who fails gym class? I remember thinking and then actually laughing because I knew it was a sign. My life  would be full of unexpected F’s. It would also be filled with many A’s and Wins. 

I will never go to another math class as long as I live and most likely never go to another gym class either.

I failed gym because I never went. I literally didn’t show up. 

I am showing up now.

Where can you show up in your own life?

Where have you gotten an F because you didn’t show up? It’s like me in my acting years. I never booked a job because I never wanted it. I walked around moping that I was failing when I wasn’t even showing up. It was like me getting in my little grey VW Fox and driving away and then being upset that no one picked me for the job.

Not showing up in the cop-out. And, that’s fine if that’s your choice. No big deal. Choose one way or the other. But then don’t whine about failing because you weren’t good at it if it’s because you really just didn’t show up to kick the ball.

And it’s ok too if you aren’t good at everything. I suck at math. There I said it. I count on my fingers.

Just. Show. Up.

Owning It!, Self Image

I Can’t Decide What To Eat. Why Decision Making Is So Hard.

August 3, 2012

If I can’t even decide what to order in a restaurant, then, My God, how am I supposed to  make a decision like: Do I want to have a baby? Or, do I want to write a memoir or a “How To” book or should I do another retreat to Italy again or go to Aruba? Should I have coffee or tea?

I am in a restaurant having dinner. Waiter comes over. Me: Which is better, the cedar plank salmon or the lobster baked potato or the gluten free crust pizza?

Waiter: Ah, all so different. Wow, that’s hard. How about the pizza?

Me: I don’t know… Do I even want pizza? Is the salmon really good?

Waiter: Really good. 

Me: Ok, I’ll have the potato and a cabernet. 

Waiter says ok and walks away.

I get up and run after him and change it to the pizza.

Some events and details have been changed to protect the innocent but the point is, I have trouble making up my mind.

I always want someone to make my mind up for me.

This morning I taught a class which felt really off, like I entered the Twilight Zone and someone forgot to tell me. I walked in at 7 am to start and there were 4 people (they are usually 15-20. More came in late but at start time there were 4.) 4 people and they were each in a corner of the room. It felt like a message but I wasn’t sure what the message was except this is awkward. 

The energy felt stuck and low like it had gotten trapped on something and gave up the fight and stayed there. I tried to bring it back up to sea-level, or at least I think I tried. It didn’t work. It was drowned.

Class ended and one my sweet regulars said that she had felt like she was in the wrong class that morning. That it didn’t feel like my class.

Aha! So it wasn’t just me being sensitive as I have been all week. There was a marked difference in the air.

I talked my friend Frank Gjata on the phone when I got home. I told him how my 7 am class is the least “Jen” class I teach.

I told him that I think about dropping it a lot. Not to mention getting up early is not on my joy list. But I feel like I can’t drop it. I mustn’t. How could I? How dare I? Who was I to turn down work? And I “needed” it. 

He suggested I give the class up. Drop it, he said.

That’s all he had to say for me to say: Okay, I will drop it! You’re right!

Why do I wait for someone to tell me what to do? To tell me it is okay? The right choice? To decide for me?

I didn’t realize that I did this until I said it out loud this morning on the phone to him.

He said something brilliant.

He asked me what brings Jen out the most? That is what I needed to be focusing on.

I think sometimes I am scared to make up my mind because I don’t trust myself to make the right choice. Someone else’s decision will validate mine. What if I chose wrong?

So what!

So I chose wrong? There is no wrong, really. The pizza isn”t wrong. Keeping my 7 am class isn’t wrong nor is dropping it.

There is only what makes me more right, more Jen.

I am taking back my life, and claiming my power over it.

As I look back on areas of my life I can see where I stopped depending on my own knowing and inner compass and started to look desperately outside of myself for any sight of land so a wave wouldn’t swallow me up out there in the ocean.

Asking for help is okay. Not trusting your own judgement, your own instincts, your own love letters to yourself, now that’s a shame.

As things expand and heat up in my life, as they are at such a level I sometimes feel as if I am in a pressure cooker, I realize that there are more choices to be made.

The more choices I have to make, the more in control I am, the more powerful. Powerful in my own life.

And therein lies the rub. That is the great fear.

Having such power in my own life, having such control over what course I steer my boat. I want it so bad I can taste the saltwater on my tongue and yet I am terrified because I forgot my life jacket.

I will go out without a life jacket and learn to swim.

I will focus on things that make me the most me. That bring out the best of me. That make me better than I was yesterday. That allow me to shine.

Pizza or salmon?

Owning It!, Self Image

What’s Your Constant?

July 31, 2012

This morning as I was teaching I asked my class: What is your constant?

I said: Your bank account may have changed and your husband or wife may have or your hairline but what hasn’t? What is your constant?

What makes you you? Who are you are the core of you, deep under the layers of hurt and change and successes and jobs, that you can safely say Yes, this is in my DNA no matter what. You cannot take this away from me.

I have fallen slightly and not-so slightly in love with the sky over certain parts of the earth. The sky: a constant constant. The Santa Monica sky, for example, like gradations of a new bruise: purple, then the yellow amber of a swollen cheekbone to magenta is the same sky as when I was little and my father carved twigs with his pocket knife after dinner. In New Jersey, the evening’s expression never had the sweeping gestures of human skin and bone after being bumped or broken, but surely it was the same sky and I am the same me.

My constants are:

I am kind. No matter what has happened and how many scrimmages of the heart and mind I have fought, no matter how many years I scrambled for someone to tell me who I was, I have stayed kind. Or done my best.

I love connecting and making people I care for feel good about themselves. I have a sense of humor and most times have kept it, except for a few dark nights of the soul to which I am deeply indebted for without them I wouldn’t know what it feels like to not want to get out of bed in the morning and without that knowing I wouldn’t understand what it means to overcome.

The theme this morning was Honoring Yourself or Acknowledging Yourself. For something. For anything. I gave the example of my hearing loss. Yes, oftentimes I want to scream at the ringing in my ears and pull out my hair in frustration but I honor myself and acknowledge myself for being exactly where I am despite this little hurdle.

I asked my class to think of the things that maybe they wouldn’t think to honor themselves for. It’s also a tricky one because we start to maybe feel arrogant or like a big shot honoring ourselves for being kind or being generous or being really good at math. (Which I am not, by the way. I suck. I really do. I can honor that.)

What are the things that have been with you always, even if sometimes they were cloaked in dark rags and mistaken for garbage? Even if they got lost in a bad marriage or a crappy job or confusion?

The constant is the part of you that you might think of as your highest self. For some that may sound to woo woo. Today the mantra when the hands came to prayer was I am honoring ______.

If mantra sounds to airy-fairy or mumbo jumbo then call it a Mind Tattoo.

Tattoo in your mind your constant. Your constant is your mind tattoo and if you don’t tattoo it there, you might forget it.

And if you don’t look at the sky you might forget that too.

Go on. Go outside. Look up right now. 

Today the posture of the sky is suggestive as a father’s back hunched over a picnic table. Twig in between teeth as he struggles with a red Army knife is the color of the sky   and I am reminded of my obsession with the t.v. show Lost.

For a while, they introduced an idea that there were characters who were someone else’s constant. Or something like that. It got murky and confusing and I loved it even more for that fact. These constants kept them grounded I suppose, or anchored, and in a state of remembrance so they would’t get “lost” and forget who they were.

Think of your constants like that. Like anchors pinning you to the earth so you don’t float away up into the ether every time someone breaks your heart or you forget what is unique as a cloud about you.

Without these constants we might decide that every name someone has ever called us is a fact.

That every job we applied for and didn’t get must be because we suck.

That every person who didn’t love us back the way we wanted them to must see the truth about us.

Use your constants as mind tattoos often so you remember who you really are. Like the sky, it may change color slightly and it may look bigger in some places but it’s not. It’s the same.

It’s always there reminding us that no matter what we name it, it will always be the sky.

.4x05 CallingPenny.jpg 

 

What are your constants? Own them! Share below.

Inspiration, manifesting, Owning It!

The Freedom That Comes With Changing Your Mind.

July 30, 2012

When I was 11 years old I discovered acting. I became obsessed with it like a magical something I had found under a rock in my backyard, a magical something that was all mine. Once I turned the rock over I had found my little magical kingdom and got lost in it, spending afternoons after school cleaning toilets or sweeping so I could be part of the acting troupe.

It was all mine and I loved it. 

Me with the white face in a play called
“Dear Gabby” at the Santa Monica Playhouse when I was 11.

I remember jumping up and down yelling Energy and Enthusiasm! as we were directed to do, when the teachers asked us what the most important qualities in acting were. (Not sure I agree with that answer anymore but we were like little soldiers waving our flags energetically, enthusiastically.

Prior to moving to California, my father had just quietly slipped away one night in July. Slipping right on out his body and right on out of this world and I knew very little of energy or enthusiasm.

He had ducked out of his life by way of his heart and it is no small irony that the heart is the great focal point of my teachings now, on and off the mat. So my father had passed away like a sonofabitch and left us stranded in Pennsauken, NJ, right outside of Philadelphia. What were we to do besides remodel our kitchen and spend a lot of money fixing up our house before deciding we wanted nothing more to do with this, with any of it.

By we I am speaking of my 34 year old mother but when you are 8 and your sister is 5, your mother gets to be the decision maker. She gets to be the We.

So we agree to leave it all behind and move to California to start over. We are starting over we would say when people would ask why we had moved from New Jersey.

I made friends for life in that acting bubble of my life. I would sit in 7th grade and doodle as my teacher was talking about maps or math and write I looooooooove acting.

I stopped writing when my dad died. It reminded me of him and I resented it and wanting nothing to do with it. It embarrassed me like I was a teenager and it was my parent. Go away, I yelled at it.

We write to remember and I in no way wanted to remember.

We moved back to NJ, which is all part of my book and if you want to know all the details you will have to buy said book that I should be writing as I write this blog instead.

We move back to NJ and my energy and enthusiasm is nowhere to be found as I am in 8th grade, possibly the worst grade ever, and everything that had made my life worth living was now 3,000 miles away and here I was in a place with seasons and regional accents and cheesesteaks and obsessions with Philly sports’ teams.

Later, much later, as I lived in NYC and was studying at NYU, I fell back in love with writing. Like I had left my teenage years and could once again be seen with my parents in public places.

I thought about acting a lot and considered trying it in NYC but I thought I would rather get a good education as an English major. (Insert a WTF icon here.)

I was very sick in my final years in NYC, starving myself and abusing laxatives and freezing all the time with big dilated pupils and purple fingernails. I hated the city as I loved it but more I think I hated it because I felt swallowed and alone and honestly, a little crazy. Because I never ate.

Here is a fact: Not eating makes you a little crazy. And very cold.

So I left NYC to come back to California at age 21 to feel safe. My mom and sister had moved back to California. You may start to see a theme here with all the moving. Not sure yet what that theme is exactly.

Here we are again in California.

I start hosting first, then waitressing at The Newsroom Cafe in West Hollywood where I would stay for 13 years. I had no clue what I wanted to do with myself. I had gained weight back, not enough to not be thin anymore, but enough that I did not look like I was dying. That would change over the years. I would go up and down.

I didn’t know what I wanted so I went back to acting school. This one was different than my earlier affair with acting. This was a serious, and I mean serious, two year Meisner Technique Program. We did not jump up and down yelling Energy and Enthusiasm, I can tell you that.

After the training ending I was 23 or 24 years old and when people would ask me what I did as I tool their order for veggie burgers or chicken pot pies, I would say I am an actor and do you want anything to drink with that?

Most people assumed I was an actress. Part of the territory of waitering in L.A. I suppose. I wasn’t doing much about this acting business except charming people that came in and making them laugh and hoping that one would stop and say “There you are! I have been waiting for you! Come with me and I am going to make you a star! Put down that apron now!.”

This. Never. Happened.

What also never happened is that I never really tried to work as an actress. I had a commercial agent and went on the random audition but here is the thing: I don’t think I ever wanted to be an actor.

And I think I knew this early on but I was so scared because if I did not want to act then what would I say when people asked me what I did and what did I want and oh My God and I will just stick with saying I am an actor.

And then ten years passed.

My commercial agent dropped me because I never booked. They never sent me out and I never really wanted it so I don’t blame them although their line of We think you are more dramatic and not really commercial was actually a line of bull, if I may say so.

I took a deep sigh in and exhaled: I am done.

I change my mind.

I went to a very Hollywoody part Saturday (another blog entirely) where I realized the freedom I had given myself. Not because I wasn’t in the cesspool of insecurity and competition and heartache anymore, (although that does feel really good), but because I can say No, I am not an actress. I used to be.

So what if I never booked a job? I used to be an actress. I did! I loved it and I certainly acted although I lied to myself and others by saying I wanted a career of it. And I was so scared for a long time to give up that identity because it was all I had.

Who would I be if I said I wasn’t an actor?

Would I be ‘just’ a waitress?

That thought used to make me want to hide in shame. I look back can see I am the same Jen now as I was then.

I could never visualize myself on a movie set. True story. I just couldn’t do it. That should have been my red flag but I pretended for years that if I could just get a break then I would book a job.

The truth is if I could just be honest and change my mind about who I was, or even about the fact that I had no idea who I was, then I would get a big break.

I did and I did. I changed my mind and here I am doing very well at something I love and making money and living my bliss.

Is my life perfect?

No. It’s a little messy, and disorganized and over-caffeinated and I love it.

Do I miss acting? Yes! I am a ham who loves performing and telling jokes and stories and laughing and being different people. But it’s ok. I tell stories in my writing and I laugh with my friends and I tell jokes in my classes. I get my fill.

I am no longer scared to say who I am. Or what I want. Or that I don’t know what the Hell I want.

Or that I waitressed at the same cafe for 13 years after being a Scholar at NYU and majoring in English because I was too stuck and terrified to move in any direction.

You can change your mind at any moment.

Go ahead. Change it right now.

Eating/Food, Inspiration, Owning It!, Self Image

If You Are Looking For Hope, You Must Read This.

June 14, 2012

How honest are you willing to be with yourself?

I am going to share some stuff with you from my upcoming book.

Some deeply personal stuff.

The reason I am going to share this deeply personal stuff is because I have become an Inspirational Speaker, a force of Positivity, a Mentor, and someone who loves themselves. I lead sold out Manifestation Yoga® Retreats and workshops around the world! And, I want you all to understand just how dark my life was, just how much I overcame to be exactly where I am right now, just how far I have traversed through very muddy terrain.

And where am I?

I am at a place called Happy.

It’s unsettling to look through these old journal entries and not be able to recognize any part of me, but it is also extremely exciting not to recognize any part of me. This looking through my past business is firming up my knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be.

I hope it inspires you.

It certainly inspires me to see how far I have come.

I will be damned if I cannot provide hope for anyone suffering RIGHT NOW.

If I made it to the other side, which I indeed have, YOU can too.

I was severely anorexic and depressed for years on end. Please read this earlier post to understand more.

I hope that you read the journal entries I am about to show you from years ago and feel a surge of Hope. 

How can you not feel hopeful?

I want you to know how sad and unhappy and anorexic I truly was so you can really appreciate where I am in my life right now. How I got so un-stuck. 

You will, of course, have to buy my book…..

It’s hard for me to look at these old posts but I want to share them with you. There are pages and pages and books upon books of saying the same things over and over and over….

Look at me now.

I made it, guys.

I made it.

Inspiration, manifesting, Owning It!

Speeding.

March 15, 2012

Yesterday as I was on my way to have a coaching session with the incomparable Frank Gjata I got pulled over.

“FOLLOWING OUR BLISS IS THE DESTINATION.”

– Frank Gjata

The cop didn’t like that when I told him that was my destination and thus explained why I had been speeding.

Where you going? Bliss! I’m in a hurry to get there, Officer. Please!

Ok, I didn’t really say that. I did beg and cry. A lot. It didn’t work. I got the speeding ticket.

Frank offers what he calls “Life Changing Moments” Sessions.

Imagine the irony that I am on my way to my very own life changing moment sesh and I get pulled over by a cop on a bike. It felt ironic to me.

Why?

Because I got the metaphor before Frank and I even began to dive into it.

Frank is the creator of Conscious Ink and Manifestation Tattoos and I am surprised he hasn’t come up with one yet that says “You are going past the speed limit.”

(Frank read: please create that tattoo, my friend?)

I am always speeding. It’s true.

Just look at my Facebook. Or Twitter. I am always getting asked “How do you do all you do? How do you keep up?”

A secret? I don’t!

I miss appointments and I forget. I double book. I get speeding tickets. Doh!

Yesterday’s ticket came at a perfect time. A life changing moment ( thanks Frank). Last week, one of my dearest friends, Steve Bridges passed away, as you may have read in earlier posts, and it was like a bucket of ice cold water poured over the body of my life.

I got very cold and very awake and very alive.

I also realized I no longer wanted to speed through.

Well, apparently I didn’t realize it fully because yesterday’s ticket was a gentle reminder that I had not committed to slowing the f*ck down.

I have committed to slowing down but I have not yet committed to giving up cursing. (Sorry folks with sensitive ears.)

I made some huge shifts yesterday which I am still processing but I will say this: I needed to get that ticket. I need to frame it and use it as a reminder that I can take my time. That I can breathe. That I can be present.

There it is.

Be present.

Frank asked me a question no one has ever asked me before.

In case you didn’t know I have profound hearing loss.

He asked me what part of my “not being able to hear” keeps me “from not being here”?

I wanted to leave when he asked me this. I had a realization that for as much as I talk about vulnerability, I didn’t like to be vulnerable. Damn you, Frank!

Yet I stayed. I won’t share all that we talked about but I will share that I think you need to get your arse over to see him. (Please do not speed.)

I will share that yes, yes it was a life changing moment and like his tattoo says that I wear on my forearm: There are no accidents.

Speeding ticket an accident? Nah.

A gentle reminder that I deserve to be fully here and that I am doing a disservice to others otherwise? Pretty much.

Is the ticket annoying and a waste of money? Maybe.

But maybe not.

Maybe, if I really follow-through on my break-through I will realize that although it cost me $400 or whatever a speeding ticket goes for these days, it will have gained me my life.

I may not be able to hear perfectly but I can be here perfectly.

Thank you Frank.

***So here is my question for YOU: Where, in your own life, can you stop speeding?***
I am excited to announce that I am an ambassador to the Ink.
I love being an ambassador for the amazing Manifestation tattoos! I am pleased to announce also that Frank will be a part of my Manifestation retreat May 4-6 and each retreat attendee will get a tattoo at the start of the weekend. It is sure to be amazing! Sign up here. www.jenniferpastiloff.com ( at the time of this writing there are 6 spots left)

Jennifer Pastiloff will be teaching at the Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets. Enter the code Pastiloff for a $50 discount! (Please note that discount codes expire April 1.)

Guest Posts, Owning It!, Self Image

Confessions of a Naked Yogini. Guest Post by Liz Arch.

March 2, 2012


Liz Arch is a dear friend of mine. In fact, last year we were roommates when Lululemon sent us, as ambassadors, to Whistler B.C. for an Ambassador Summit. Liz is ambassador to the Santa Monica store and I’m ambassador to the Beverly Hills store. It was a huge honor!

We had a great time together jumping on the bed and having pillow fights at the Four Seasons. (It’s a verrrry comfy bed.) 

It was truly an epic experience and life changing for both Liz And I. Thank you Lululemon for believing in us.

Liz shared with me that I inspired her to begin writing and to be vulnerable. After I read this fantastic piece, I was even more touched. Talk about living my life on purpose. I told Liz yesterday on the phone that in my fantasy life “The INSPIRER” is my job title. 

“Thank you for inspiring me to start writing! Your blog, classes, life and message are a source of daily inspiration.  You have such a powerful voice and have helped so many others to find theirs.  Infinite gratitude.  Love you soul sister! Love, Liz.”

This article and my buddy Liz make me happy. Read on. Yes, she is naked in the picture. 

This article was originally posted on Elephant Journal.

                     Confessions of a Naked Yogini. ~ Liz Arch {nudity}

If you had asked me a few years ago about my thoughts on posing nude, my answer would have been: Hell, no!

What self-respecting woman would ever want to pose naked for public viewing? Doing ass-up yoga poses, no less? Not me.

I now stand corrected, and upside down and ass-side up.

So how did I end up in a calendar with legs spread, sporting nothing but my birthday suit? I got on my yoga mat. I learned how to breathe. I learned how to let go. I learned how to accept myself and stop judging others for my own insecurities. Let’s face it, it’s hard to celebrate others for being comfortable in their own skin, like Briohny Smyth (in her underwear-clad video that went viral) or Kathryn Budig (in her nude toesox ads), when we’re not comfortable in our own.

I certainly wasn’t always comfortable in mine.

But, before you write this off as another article from a skinny girl whining about her body image, let me concede. At 5’8”, I am aware that I am tall and slender. I wear a size four-six and openly admit that my ass looks great in a pair of lululemon leggings. But insecurities come in all shapes and sizes.

I come from a large Hawaiian family and I mean large in every sense of the word. My sisters and I were raised on spam, rice andmalasadas (deep fried Portuguese donuts covered in sugar). My father has diabetes and so did my grandparents who both died young due to health complications.

So while I might be able to squeeze into a size four on a good day, I am fighting an uphill battle with genetics. I have womanly hips (easily hidden in tight-fitting luon) and cellulite on my ass that I’ve had as long as I can remember (even luon has its limitations). I used to refuse massages because I didn’t want anyone getting a handful of my butt jiggle. On the rare occasions when I would get a massage, I would spend the entire session trying to subtly tilt my rear toward the ceiling to make everything seem rounder and smoother. At the end of the hour, I would hobble off the table with my lower back on fire from all of the effort it took to keep my ass skyward.

Photographed by Sven Hoffmann

My insecurities went deeper than my cellulite.

Growing up, I was an awkward looking kid with mouthful of crooked teeth because we couldn’t afford braces. My parents let me get a boy haircut in the third grade and instead of looking like my idol at the time, Mary Lou Retton, I looked like Justin Bieber. Awesome if you’re a boy. Not so awesome if you’re a girl. To add to my awkwardness, my family owned a funeral home. Nothing paints a larger target on your back as a child than being picked up from school in a hearse. Let’s just say, I spent a lot of my childhood being teased and crying in bathroom stalls.

Thankfully, I grew up. My hair grew back, I got Invisalign braces in college and thanks to HBO’s hit series Six Feet Under, funeral home families had become cool. All was well in the world and I had, as my sister would say, “turned out much prettier” than everyone thought I would.  Thanks guys.

But that ugly duckling feeling never really went away. It ultimately manifested with me marrying a man who constantly validated all the worst things I thought about myself. I wasn’t good enough, skinny enough, and strong enough. I just wasn’t enough. Period.

It was yoga and meditation that I turned to to help me find the strength to leave an unhealthy relationship. It was yoga that helped me create a new and healthy relationship with myself. Tuning into my breath allowed me to tune out all the bullshit I had been telling myself since childhood.

All that I had learned from yoga and meditation was all tested when I got a call from Jasper Johal, one of the best fine art photographers in the yoga industry, asking if I would be interested in shooting nude for the 2012 Body As Temple Calendar. I was incredibly honored and agreed. But when the initial excitement of the call wore off, panic set in and all the old insecurities came flooding back.  The shoot is this Thursday? Thursday as in three days from now? Shit. 

That wasn’t nearly enough time to prepare my body for its naked debut.

I found myself stepping onto the scale and immediately stepping off to Google the lemonade diet. Thankfully, before I could head off to the store for cayenne pepper and maple syrup, I had a, “What the f**k?!” moment. Was I really back to this place? Don’t I tell my students on a daily basis to accept and embrace themselves exactly as they are?

I wish I could say that I silenced my inner voice right then and there. But instead, I went to the tanning salon. If I couldn’t starve myself skinny in three days, I could at least fake and bake a few pounds off (that should have been the real WTF moment!). And, baked was what I got. I walked out feeling like a lobster with crispy nipples.

To make matters worse, I got my period the night before the shoot and a big fat pimple to go along with it. As I sat there bleeding, bloated, blemished and burned (are you turned on yet?), that nagging little voice popped up and told me to cancel. But I resisted the urge to slip back into old patterns.

Shooting nude suddenly became a powerful opportunity to silence my inner critic for good.

The shoot itself was an incredibly freeing experience. The lens was able to capture what I couldn’t see, a strength that only arises from vulnerability. The final photo now hangs in my living room and when I look at it, I see much more than a naked body. I see an inner confidence that exudes outward.

Now I embrace every line, every freckle and every wrinkle. I embrace my small breasts. I embrace my hips. Admittedly, I’m still working on embracing my cellulite. Perhaps for my next shoot, I’ll do a nude version of half moon and finally show off my full moon in all its glory.

Hey, even the real moon has craters, but that doesn’t stop us

from admiring its beauty.

Liz Arch is the creator of Primal Yoga®, a dynamic yoga/martial arts fusion class that merges Vinyasa yoga with the playfulness of Capoeira, the artistry of Kung Fu, the grace of Tai Chi, and the agility of Budokon into a creative and mindful flow. She has over 10 years of experience in various yoga and martial arts styles including Power Yoga, traditional Northern-style Kung Fu and Yang-style Tai-Chi. She is a yoga ambassador for lululemon athletica and YogaEarth and a proud advocate for A Window Between Worlds, a non-profit in Venice, CA that uses art as a healing tool for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Visit her here or find her on facebook or twitter @primalyoga.


Jennifer Pastiloff will be teaching at the Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets. Enter the code Pastiloff for a $50 discount! (Please note that discount codes expire April 1.)
Delight, manifesting, Owning It!

Share of the Day: An Inspiring Email & A Dream Coming True.

January 21, 2012

Dear Manifesters, I just have to share this email I received from a student.

And for those of you who take my class and have been in it when we write stuff down on paper or stickies.. Take note of this email below which made me smile all day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Jennifer,

So this is the paper from my 1st class EVER with you! I walked in, I was late… (kinda a problem I’ve been working on…) You said, “Here’s a piece of paper, write down what you’re manifesting right now in your life. Whatever that is. The first thing that comes to your mind”. I was late, so I just scribbled this down in 2 seconds.

The Hay House
Sarah DeAnna Supermodel
Model Skealthy Man of my 
Dreams Dream Life Spirituality
Family Friends Money
Love Dream is
*ALIVE*
Then you told us to fold it up put it under or next to our mat and think of it every time our hands came together. I never felt so alive in that class! So connected to my dream and everything I wanted. Then class ended and I took that piece of paper and put it in my backpack only to find it months later. And when I unfolded it, it put the biggest, happiest, and most authentic smile on my face.
The truth is I’ve been chasing these dreams for sometime now and I have only recently began to manifest them in the most amazing and incredible ways. As for did I manifest everything in that class before or after I signed my dream book deal with my dream publishing house and my dream writer, I can NOT recall precisely. But the timing of both definitely coincided and definitely influenced one another. Now this piece of paper is tacked on my wall as a reminder about the power of manifestation and the invaluable impact that one class, one person, and or one moment in time can have on your life! I really do feel like I am living my dream life and the words on this piece of paper from your class can NOT feel more active in my vibration than if I was hit on the head with a gong!
Jennifer, you are an incredible person and a wonderful teacher! My wish is that all your dreams come to fruition and that you live your life to it’s fullest manifestation possible!
With Love and Gratitude, SarahDeAnna
ps Sarah will be doing a Q&A very soon so stay tuned…… So excited for her book.
Like her Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/ModelSkinny
%d bloggers like this: