Browsing Category


Delight, Video

Thank You To The Today Show & Cosmopolitan UK & The Daily Mail UK!

June 17, 2014

This is exciting! A post I published a week ago called “I Like This Picture of My Cellulite: A 19 Year Old’s Journey To Self-Acceptance” has gone viral. It’s been picked up by Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Mail and now The Today Show. Congrats to Victoria and yay to The Manifest-Station. The readership is through the roof! Here is the video!

click the picture of Victoria Erickson to watch The Today Show clip.

click the picture of Victoria Erickson to watch The Today Show clip.

I will be doing my workshop in London on July 6th so please let your UK friends know… I cannot wait to see so many of my UK readers. There are a few spots left. Click here. No yoga experience required. xojen 

ps, send submissions in to


Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, among others. Jen’s leading one of her signature retreats to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day in Ojai, Calif and she and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October. Check out for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: SeattleLondon, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas. She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

Next workshop is London July 6. 

healing, Owning It!, The Hard Stuff, Video, Vulnerability

A Video About Guilt Wherein I Tell It To F*ck Off.

May 19, 2014

Eff Guilt. With my dirty hair, bad lighting, no makeup, and a big ass glass of wine, I send you a video I did on one take. Because that’s how I’m rolling right now. Free. Or, as my friend Kathleen Emmets would say, “F*ck it.”

Here is the blurb I wrote on guilt:

Sitting here with my broken foot has allowed me a lot of time to think. I’ve been thinking about guilt and how so much of my life has been swaddled in guilt. The last words I said to my dad when I was 8, and he was 38 were: I hate you. Then he died. Just like that. I mean, there were a few hours in between where I jumped on a bed and my aunt babysat while paramedics tried to revive the life back into him but basically the time between those words and his death was minimal. I felt guilty. All my life, my “go to” emotion is guilt. I take off work, I feel guilty the whole night. I feel guilty for this or that. It’s work for me to let go of guilt. It’s an old old deeply imbedded seed.
So, I’m laying around, pretty much immobilized because of my foot. And I’m bummed. I won’t lie to you. Why would I? I’m a truth teller. I’m bummed, but get this- I feel oddly calm and present. You know why? For the first time, in a long time, I don’t feel like I SHOULD be doing something else, I SHOULD be somewhere else, that I have to go, go, go. Because I can’t. I truly cannot move right now so I have to be still. Normally, if I lay around with pajamas on, I feel guilty. I do it but I feel guilty about it. But right now I am freed of any guilt and I feel good about that. I have space to write and create, even though I am a little sad. What I realize, even though I already knew this obviously, is that guilt is a trap. It immobilized me way more than any broken foot could.
I am so tired of it. It keeps you from being here. It keeps us locked in a land of SHOULDS, and I SUCK.
When my foot heals, I will remember this moment of absolute freedom- this moment of knowing that the only possible place I can be is right here. Yes, I am forced (literally forced) to learn this knowledge the hard way but you reading this? You don’t have to break your foot to release yourself from the prison of guilt.
If you f*cking like something, like it. And be done with it.
The prisons we build for ourselves are far stronger than any casts on our feet.
So, I don’t feel guilty that I should be out enjoying this gorgeous sunny day.
I don’t feel guilty that I am not out exercising.
I don’t feel guilty that my hair is ten days unwashed.
I don’t feel guilty that I feel frustrated.
I don’t feel guilty that I am sitting all day.
I don’t fel guilty that I took a week off of work.
I hope you understand the freedom I am talking about here.
It took a broken foot for me. For you? Just do what you’re gonna do. And let that, be that.



xo Jen. ps, I am only doing ONE workshop in LA. June 7th. I have only a couple spots left so book asap here or email barbara at to sign up. 

Jennifer Pastiloff is a writer living on an airplane. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, among others. She’s the founder of The Manifest-Station. Jen’s leading a long weekend retreat to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day in Ojai, Calif. She and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October. Check out her site for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up:  Los Angeles, SeattleLondon, Atlanta, South Dakota, Dallas.

Beating Fear with a Stick, Video

Do You Say “I’m Sorry” All The Time? The Vlog!

February 16, 2014

Do You Say “I’m Sorry” All The Time? Stop.

That’s a link to the essay I mentioned in the video. Please read and SHARE. Needs to be heard. So much in it I did not have time for in the video. .. Do you say “I am sorry” all the time? Do you apologize for being who you are, for saying what you want? For existing? Do you stay quiet when you should speak up. A video on the way we keep ourselves underfoot. An important one. Here is to living unapologetically.
A line from my essay “This is my paltry attempt at understanding the way we keep ourselves underfoot, the way we don’t say what we want to say for fear of losing what we probably never had in the first place.”

ps, by the time you see this, I am in London! weeeeeee! Brrrrrr! xo jen
Making Shit Happen, manifesting, Video

Ask. The Vlog.

January 21, 2014

Ask. For. What. You. Want.

Ask for what you want? And why shouldn’t you?
The worst that will happen? A No.
In the words of The Smiths ( a band I love) in a song called “Ask”:

“Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You’d like to

So, if there’s something you’d like to try
If there’s something you’d like to try

Coyness is nice, and
Coyness can stop you
From saying all the things in
Life you’d like to
So, if there’s something you’d like to try
If there’s something you’d like to try….



Vlog: Do You Compare Yourself To Others You See on Facebook, Instagram, etc?

January 19, 2014

Remember when comparing yourself to another’s life (especially their life as carefully CONSTRUCTED via Facebook or Instagram, etc.) to keep in mind that everything SEEMS better when you are looking in from the outside.

People (you, me, us, all of us) choose what they want the world to see and how they want it to be interpreted. When you read a memoir or a (my) personal essay, it is NOT a diary entry. Each word has been carefully thought out and crafted.

Whenever you have feelings of unworthiness—whether towards your body, career, lack of career, bank account, children, lack of children, spouse, lack of spouse, travel as compared to someone else’s—remember this:

You have no idea what the person’s life you are comparing yourself to is really like.

When the doors are closed. When the lights are off. When the computer is shut down. When they are depressed or scared or lonely or afraid.

The proverbial grass is always greener.

When in reality, it’s probably not. It’s probably yellow and needs watering. Yes, in some cases, in may actually be greener. A helluva lot greener.

But we’ll never really know. Not really. Not unless we are actually living that person’s life (which is an impossibility unless you are living in a Twilight Zone episode).

All I’m saying is to be careful what stories you make up—about yourself, about other people, about yourself in comparison to other people. About how great so-and-so’s life is.

Don’t let so-and-so’s “great life” make your own life feel irrelevant/small/sh*tty.

Social media (as much as I love it, and I do loooove it) can be a trap. You can sit here all day and look through photos and wish you had so-and-so’s life because it must be so nice to travel so much,

  • or have their “perfect” job,
  • or to be able to do all those crazy upside down fancy yoga poses they post on Instagram,
  • or, look how cute their kid is, so well behaved, always saying the darndest things,
  • or look how happy they are!
  • or, wow, they have ANOTHER book out, and I have one (or none) etc. etc.

It cheapens our lives and wastes our time when we do this. (This is a note to self as much as I am reminding all of us, as well. Excuse me while I tattoo this on my brain.)

I know that people sometimes compare themselves to me just as I am guilty of doing to other people. Look at your life, Jen. Must be nice. How many people do you think can realistically travel to the Galalpagos, Jen? was a recent comment on one of my photos from my Galapagos retreat on my Facebook. And when I am supposed to be working or writing, I instead sometimes sit here at my desk and look at all the writers who are more widely published, more this, more that.

Today, I ran into someone in the grocery store. I was in full shlumpadinka mode. (Thanks, Oprah, for that word. It’s a gem, and I borrow it often.) I looked distracted (I was) and pale, messy hair, mismatched socks. Things were falling out of my purse. I ran into someone who follows me on social media. “Hey Jen! Looks like everything in your life is amazing! I see all your posts. Your life. So amazing.” I probably had food in my teeth as I spoke to her.

I don’t post when I am having an anxiety attack or when I go to the bathroom or when I feel lousy and unworthy.

It can be a trap. (But hot damn, I love social media—just look at my Facebook page; look at that community I’ve cultivated.) So here I am. Here I will be. Posting away.

We just need to remember to look inward more than looking outward.

For the love of cliché, I just said that. I did. Look inward rather than outward.

Become aware when you are doing it—the comparison BS. The making up stories nonsense. The making yourself feel less than.

And be happy for people. Be really, really genuinely happy for people.

But don’t compare. And don’t assume.

And by all means, remember that almost everything you see on the internet is a careful construct.

Even this.

Jen will be leading a Manifestation Writing/Yoga retreat at Kripalu Center in Massachusetts in February 2014 as well as in Costa Rica at the end of March and her annual retreat to Tuscany in July 2014. She travels around the country leading her signature Manifestation Workshops. Check out her site for all retreat listings.

courage, Guest Posts, Video

The Bravery Tapes.

December 13, 2013

The Bravery Tapes.

By Jens Erik Gould.


Why bravery?

It helps build a better world. It’s inspiring to watch people doing acts of courage in the face of adversity. It shows us the resilience of the human spirit, and inspires us to be brave in our own lives. This can be powerful because it stirs up the emotions and moves people deeply.

The problem is that we often don’t examples of bravery even though they’re all around us. People do acts of courage on our streets, in our office buildings, in their cars as they pass by. They’re everywhere; yet we don’t know it. Bravery Tapes aims to uncover these stories and acquaint people with them in a moving way, so that they will be inspired in their own lives. Even if someone makes the smallest change in their lives, it’s worth it. That’s growth.

Take a look at the most recent Bravery Tapes episode (below) that was released this week.

Ted Wiard had the classic, all-American life: he was a schoolteacher and tennis pro who married his high school sweetheart and had two beautiful daughters. Then in a short time period, his brother, wife, mother-in-law and two daughters all died. It was tragic. Ted could no longer bear the pain and had thoughts of ending his life. But he found the courage to turn everything around and use these awful experiences as fuel to help others. In beautiful Taos, New Mexico, he opened Golden Willow Retreat, the country’s first treatment center dedicated to grief and loss. Hopefully people will see this video be inspired to be better in they’re lives.


Jens Erik Gould is a journalist, singer-songwriter and creator of the web series Bravery Tapes. He is currently TIME Magazine’s main contributor from Los Angeles, and has reported from over a dozen countries for The New York Times, Bloomberg and National Public Radio. Bravery Tapes has been featured in the LA Times, TIME and Huffington Post. As a musician, Jens has released three albums, has performed in multiple countries and performs regularly across Southern California. His most recent record “Guns Down” was released in 2012.

And So It Is, Manifestation Workshops, Video

Walk Around With Your Head Up Your Ass & You’ll Have Smelly Hair.

October 24, 2013

Do you make up stories about people? We all do it at times. We assume things. Today’s video is a challenge to NOT make up stories. I mention Howard Godnick, who I met at my NYC Manifestation Yoga® workshop, as my latest messenger. Here is the video I talk about in the vlog where Howard accepts a Courage award and talk about why he always has to wear black shades He reminded me how important it is to stay present rather than to make sh*t up. I constantly get stories made up about me with my hearing loss; it’s easier for people to assume I ma not paying attention. Thanks Howard for reminding me. Watch my video and his youtube vid and share them both if inspired xo

Trust, Video

My Most Personal Vlog. The One on Trust.

October 6, 2013

Hello from Lenox, Mass. This video is deeply personal and deals with the theme of trust. Here is the video I mentioned in the above with video Christy Turlington Burns and Every Mother Counts
Love you, my beloved Tribe xo Share this video if inspired to, as always.


Jennifer Pastiloff, Beauty Hunter, is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Check out for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health, Tuscany. She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 30-Feb 1 in Ojai (sold out) as well as Other Voices Querétaro with Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp, Stacy Berlein, and Rob Roberge. She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

5 Most Beautiful Things, Self Image, Travels, Video

Video: Me, Christy Turlington, Dr. Zucker & More. Plus, a Little Seattle Love.

September 20, 2013

Hello my Tribe!

What a couple of days! Last night I went to see The National here in Seattle with my friend Rachel, who is the lead singer’s sister. It truly was a remarkable performance that left me speechless.

Thanks Matt!



Then, this morning, I did a video conference on body image and why every body counts with the founder of Every Mother Counts, Christy Turlington, as well as Dr. Jessica Zucer, Jeanne Faulkner and Erin Thornton. It was so inspiring that I wanted to share with you all here. Please continue this dialogue!


In case you missed my essay on Every Mother Counts, click here.

After that chat, I went to the Snoqualmie Falls. Holy wow!



Upon entering Seattle I saw a heart made of flowers, so of course, I had to stop. Definitely one of my #5mostbeautifulthings.



Here’s to wishing you all an amazing beauty filled weekend.

Love, from Seattle, Jen