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Guest Posts, healing

Getting Hit By a Bus & What It Taught Me. By Margaret Westley.

July 24, 2013

I met Margaret when she came to my workshop in April in New York City. I asked her to write this piece specifically for my site. I am deeply honored. 

Getting Hit By a Bus & What It Taught Me. Margaret Westley.

During my freshman year of college, I almost died. While walking back to our dorm room with one of my roommates, I innocently stepped off of a curb and got run over by a bus.

Thankfully, the driver stopped. If he hadn’t, I would have been killed. The bus struck my right shoulder and threw me to the ground, pinning my left foot underneath one of its front wheels. Within a moment, my life changed forever and it would never be the same again

Getting run over by a bus during Freshman year of college had not been part of my plan.

I came to New York City to attend a small liberal arts school to study Sociology with hopes of becoming a social worker. Second semester had gotten off to a good start. I was reacclimating myself to a full-time school schedule and had set some goals. I wasn’t going to party as much as I had during first semester. I gave myself a curfew and aimed for perfect attendance. I felt the need to reinvent myself and finally after years of being heavy, I was going to lose weight.

Over the course of the ten years since the accident, people say I am crazy when I tell them, “I kind of asked for it.” A look of disbelief is quickly followed by, “how could you say such a thing, Margaret?”

Because it’s true.

Three days before the accident, I was working out to an exercise tape with the same roommate who’d be there at the scene of the accident. Out of my other four roommates, she was the closest one to me. We shared a room. Both of us loved to laugh. We were bi-racial and our hair was a mix of straight and curly; hers more wavy than mine, but we still commiserated over how humidity was never our best friend. It turned our hair into what my roommate and I referred to as, puffs.

During our workout, sweat had caused my hair to turn into one of these puffs. I needed a hair tie. I wanted to take a break. Pressing pause on the VCR, I turned to my roommate and sighed, “you know what? I feel unfulfilled with my life. It’s like I want something big to happen to me.”

Three days later I got hit.

The bus driver was speeding, turning left (I had the right of way), and not looking. Thankfully, my roommate grabbed enough of my coat just in time for me to miss being hit in the face. Later, she confessed she felt guilty for not being able to pull me all the way back, but I told her that was silly, there was nothing she or I could have done.

“Don’t, ” my roommate ordered me when I, in shock, tried to get up after being hit. She gently pressed my shoulder to encourage me to stay down. I wanted to know why I couldn’t get up and why I was in so much pain.

“You right ankle looks broken.”

“But what about my left leg?

My roommate paused, “that looks broken too. I’ve got to call 911.” Soon after she was back at my side letting me squeeze her hand and pull her hair because I told her it helped with the pain. In seeing her gesture, the bus driver who’d been screaming and running frantically up and down the length of the asphalt above my head stopped. He too knelt down by my side, dipped his head toward my face and offered up what little hair he had on top of his head.

Sirens called from a distance.

“Can you hear them, Margaret? They are coming.” An ambulance arrived shortly. My roommate and the bus driver were taken away. Strangers now surrounded me and reassured me everything was going to be fine. One of the EMT workers knelt by my side, “stay with us sweetheart you have the entire city of New York behind you.”

My clothes were cut off and I shivered feeling the cold February air on my skin. Members of the EMT team draped a sheet over me before lifting my body onto a stretcher and then into the back of an ambulance. When I started to black out they covered my mouth with an oxygen machine, “stay with us, Margaret. You gotta stay with us.”

Thankfully, Bellevue Hospital, one of the best medical centers to treat trauma was not that far away. Once in the Emergency Room, I was placed on a metal table to be examined. People were everywhere. I overheard someone say, “we need to get emergency contact information,” and this is when I yelled my mother’s name and home telephone number. After the examination, the lead doctor told me my right ankle was indeed broken and my left foot was severely damaged.

“We will have to take x-rays.” I knew this was going to hurt and I bit my lip when my body was transferred upstairs and then back downstairs where the doctors examined the x-ray slides

” A portion of your foot has been damaged, Margaret and we will have to amputate. We just don’t know how much yet.”

No medicine had been administered. I was tired and in pain and all I wanted to do was sleep, “that’s Ok. I’ll just get a new foot. I turned to Sarah, the ER nurse who’d been by my side since arriving into the ER, “Sarah, I just want to sleep. Can I have some medicine now please?”

“Of course you can.” Sarah squeezed my hand gently while I was given medicine and put under. In the darkness, sleep came.

My parents’ faces were the first images I saw after waking up from the initial surgery. Their hands covered mine as if, in that moment, we made a silent pact to get through this together.

I spent six weeks in Bellevue and had multiple surgeries.

Two screws were inserted into my right ankle to stabilize the bone. The doctors attempted to salvage the damaged part of my left leg, but after three weeks its condition had not gotten any better. Signs of infection were showing. They were worried it would spread. The idea of having my leg amputated didn’t frighten me. I was ready. Earlier in the week, during an examination, I caught a glimpse of my limb which was covered in wounds. I knew the amputation would help me return to the life I’d left behind sooner than later. And, that’s all I wanted to do.

Rehabilitation was no joke. I had to learn how to do everything all over again at the age of 19. Hard and painful are an understatement. And, I was exhausted. Naps were a must after an afternoon’s worth of physical and occupational therapy, but with time, I got stronger. March was coming to a close and my physical therapist put a test before me. She wanted me to crutch from my hospital room on the sixth floor all the way to the entrance of the hospital. Even though it was early Spring and it was still cool out, by the time I reached the main entrance I was sweating and wiped. But, I made it, and that’s all that mattered.

I was discharged in April. As planned, I hopped through the sliding glass doors of the hospital and once I was on the other side, I looked through the glass at my parents and some of the medical team that had come to say goodbye, and smiled

Rehabilitation alone taught me re-adapting to life with limb loss was not going to be easy, and I knew it was going to be even harder in the real world.

My doctors, nurses and members of the medical staff who I relied on so heavily during my hospitalization were not going to be coming home with me. Naturally, my parents worried and wanted to be around me as much as they possibly could but they and I knew that would not be healthy. I had to learn how to stand once again on my own.

That Summer I returned home to DC to work and save up money for the Fall when I would be returning to New York to complete my Freshman year. I was excited about starting outpatient rehabilitation at a local hospital and finally meeting a prosthetist who would fit me for my very first temporary artificial limb.

However, that never happened.

One morning while getting ready for work I noticed a wound on my residual limb and immediately called for a taxi to take me to the closest hospital. The ER doctor referred me to an orthopedic doctor who wanted to keep an eye on my limb and administer antibiotics. After a few weeks, the medicine failed to work and the surgeon said what I was frightened to hear, “we will have to operate.” The doctor needed to see what was happening underneath my skin.

“Promise me you won’t cut off anymore bone until I know you have to.” She promised. Unfortunately, the wound turned out to be an infection and it had traveled to my bone. In keeping her promise, the doctor waited until the day after the surgery to tell me the news and also get my consent to perform another surgery.

A couple more inches would have to be cut off.

I have this image of myself after this particular surgery. I am standing in the hallway outside of my hospital room. I wanted to get out of bed and move. I had made so much progress and I refused to let another amputation set me back. I tightened my grip around one of the banisters that lined the hospital walls. Once standing, I paused to catch my breath and balance. I was still drugged and knew I had to be careful. Blood rushed to the end of my residual limb and the pain overwhelmed my body as it had when I first stood a few months before at Bellevue. My mother, who was standing in the doorway of my hospital room reminded me to take my time. All I wanted to do was crutch down the length of the hallway, but after a few hops I felt the ace bandage which was covering my residual limb begin to unravel and when I looked down the bottom half of the bandage was covered in blood.

The limb healed, but it was after the last surgery my optimism waned. On the outside I put on a happy face and smiled because I didn’t want anyone to worry. Inside however, a shift occurred. I started to believe I wasn’t trying enough–wasn’t good enough–and I sought out a way I could stay in control of the situation. I started with my weight.

I ate little. Counted calories too closely. I’d been heavy my entire life, but after dropping sixty pounds in the hospital I was finally thin-skinny even–and loving it. In the mornings before work, I counted my ribs and measured the space in between my thighs. Delighted over the fact I was getting thinner everyday, I went on the Slim Fast plan and gobbled down their weight loss bars as meal replacements

For the first time in my life I fit into the skinny jeans that were sold in the popular sections at the store and wore tank tops without shame. I had yet been fit for a prosthetic leg and relied on crutches to get around. My arms had never been so defined.

I didn’t yet know eating disorders were a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) I didn’t even know what PTSD was.

Nor did I know why I’d started shaking while trying to cross certain street intersections or why I was anxious and uncomfortable around people, even the ones I loved

That Fall, I stuck to my original place and returned to New York. Everyone was glad to see me. Many people noted my weight loss and said at first glance they hadn’t even recognized me. I hugged those who said I looked great more closely than those who gave me a worried look which was all I needed to see before telling myself I had not lost enough weight. One of the first things I did after moving into the dorms was join a gym.

The gym became one of my hideouts when I realized I couldn’t juggle a full-time school schedule with the several medical appointments I attended over the course of the week. When I did attend class, I fell asleep during the lectures and only woke up when another student shook me awake, “the teacher just asked you a question.” I didn’t know the answer because I hadn’t heard the question. So I mumbled, a quick “sorry” and looked down at the small pool of drool that had collected while I was sleeping.

If I’d dared to go to school but wanted to skip class, I hid out in the bathroom where the stalls were my cocoon of safety. Eventually, I started skipping class altogether and spent more time at the gym, going three or four times a day. If I wasn’t at the gym, I was crutching around town so I could burn calories and when I wasn’t burning calories I was trying not to consume them by sticking to a low-fat and coffee diet. The coffee was what kept me awake so I could concentrate on the class assignments I rarely completed. Coffee didn’t help my trembling and at times the cup I was drinking out of never touched my lips.

Having control over what I ate wasn’t enough. I had to control other things too. Like doing my laundry over and over again and when they were clean enough I folded the clothes only to unfold them and fold them again. When the fold was deemed perfect I put them away, only to re-open the drawer to count every article of clothing and obey whatever it was that existed inside of me that told me to do it again.

And, then I crashed. My bed was a close second to gym as my favorite place to be. No one told me how good I looked anymore. Mostly, people commented on how I was too thin. Looking back now, I can see how everyone was just concerned and didn’t know how to help me because I wasn’t listening. I couldn’t take school. I couldn’t take the worry. I couldn’t take the touch of somebody else encircling my emaciated wrists with their fingers to prove I wasn’t eating enough. There were too many questions and I didn’t have the answers. I felt like a failure in my attempt to be in control over everything.

I decided to drop out. During a meeting with my college advisor, I sat on my hands because they were trembling. He encouraged me to stay but I told him it was in my best interest to leave. Immediately, I went down town to see my mentor who consoled me while I cried. When I told him what I’d done, he called a friend who owned a bar near Union Square that had a boarding house on top it, and this is where I could live after leaving the dorms.

My room in the boarding house was the size of a walk in closet. Having the space all to myself was both comforting and frightening. I liked the quiet but I was also forced to sit with myself. I was provided with an opportunity to listen to what it was my body needed.

At times, it felt like my world was crumbling, but I knew I would not have made it this far had I not had hope. I decided to find a therapist and after a Google search came across a woman who specialized in PTSD and eating disorders. I loved her right away because she listened to me without asking too many questions, but then I hated her when she told me flat-out I was not consuming enough calories. I stayed because deep down inside I knew she had my best interest in mind. Eventually, I trusted her enough for us to go deeper into the effects being hit by a bus had on my mind, body and spirit. She was the first person I remember telling me, “it’s OK not to be OK.” I wasn’t crazy. I just needed to take the time to heal. *

Yoga became a life saver.

I stumbled across a studio’s schedule one day when I was working late and feeling miserable. Instinctively, my fingers went to my computer’s keyboard, and typed “yoga.” There was a class in 30 minutes. I immediately shut down my computer, and hurried to the closest subway. I was a few minutes away from being late to class and there was little time to discuss details with the instructor about how I had a prosthetic leg and had never practiced yoga with it on before.

Interesting how I wasn’t nervous during class. It was as if my body knew being on the yoga mat was exactly where I should be. Using my prosthetic leg throughout the entire class, I did the best I could and smiled at the teacher when he asked if I were Ok. I was. After the deep relaxation, when we were all sitting cross-legged, I hummed a long as the other students and teacher chanted. When he ended the class with, “Namaste,” I burst into tears. I didn’t understand why I was crying, but I reminded myself of what my therapist had been telling me since the beginning, “it’s OK not to be OK.” And, I let myself cry. *

People are often curious about my healing process. I prefer the word process to overcoming because I don’t believe I have overcome anything.

My amputated leg isn’t going to grow back and to be quite honest I wouldn’t want it to.

The accident and recovery are teaching me invaluable lessons about myself, life, and how important it is to take the time to be. I call it showing up.

Life still has its challenges. My residual limb swells on a hot day and shrinks when it’s cold outside which makes walking difficult a lot of the time. Phantom limb sensation feels like there are hundreds of little ants crawling all over my residual limb and spasms suck. Although I am still considered young, my disability has aged me in the sense I burn 60% more energy now then I did before losing my leg. Bed time is rarely past 9:30 pm. I do worry about the future. Though I’ve been in relationships since the accident, I wonder if the person I eventually settle down with will be able to handle the challenges I face living with limb loss. I question having children and about being a capable mom.

Sadness hits from time to time, but it’s not the type of depression I experienced directly following the accident. Eating can still be a struggle but I am no longer starving myself or working out for hours on end. I enjoy quiet time but have traded in the bathroom stalls with a meditation practice or by taking walks. Laundry is a nuisance. I no longer see the need to fold anything perfectly. I no longer feel perfect exists. When I made the decision I no longer wanted to be sick anymore, shifts occurred. I opened up to the importance of being vulnerable and sought out people who became my support system

At times I can’t believe the accident was ten years ago-as if it happened just yesterday. Other times, ten years feels like twenty. I’m OK with both. No matter what day it is I take the time to connect with myself. I pause. I breathe. I cry. A lot of the time I smile. Always, I am grateful to be alive.

Click photo to connect with the ever inspiring Margaret. Leave comments below and she will also respond.

Click photo to connect with the ever inspiring Margaret. Leave comments below and she will also respond.

My next workshop in NYC Oct 12, 2013, is almost sold out already due to my being featured in New York Magazine. Please sign up by clicking here.

cancer, Guest Posts, healing, Inspiration

Cancer Took My Leg Not My Spirit.

July 30, 2012


This original piece, never seen before, is by the awe-inspiring Danielle Orner. I love how the Universe works and how we met. I wrote a piece for MindBodyGreen about Putting Your Excuses in a Pile Of Sh*t and the editors chose a picture of a girl in a yoga pose holding up her leg. The leg she was holding was a prosthetic leg. A woman commented on the post saying “Hey that is a picture of my daughter.” The daughter, Danielle, reached out to me and since then we have become friends. I have even put her in touch with Emily Rapp, one of my best friends, who is also a yogi, writer and amputee and they are now friends. Connection is amazing, isn’t it? However it occurs.

Below is Danielle’s inspiring story! Please read and share and spread her message. She may have lost her leg but she saved her life and is sharing her generous spirit with us. 

The gorgeous Danielle Orner practices a twisted dog pose, Sunday, March 4, 2012. Click photo to like her Facebook page please!

By Dani Orner.

With the crown of my head on the mat, I watch my toes. I walk my feet, one plastic and one real, toward my face.

Sweat trickles down my back and my core contracts. Even though I feel my body working, it still seems like magic to see one foot and then the other float off the floor. I can hover in headstand for only a moment but I’ve learned by now that today’s limits will be tomorrow’s victories. After all, I used to believe that yoga wasn’t for me.

I used to believe my body was the enemy – the ticking time bomb, daring me to try to live between cancer treatments.

At fifteen, I was an honors student, a varsity runner, a singer, and an aspiring actress. When a running injury grew into a lump just below my knee, I discovered I was also a cancer patient.

I began my life in the children’s oncology ward with fake tattoos and body glitter on my bald head. Armed with a dedicated family and supportive community, I did everything I could to remain positive. People called me an inspiration, but honestly, I did whatever I could to survive. With four younger brothers and a dad in the Marines, I felt guilty for taking up all my mom’s time. She had to give me daily shots, help me bathe, and slept beside me in the hospital room during weeklong chemotherapy sessions. I knew if I couldn’t smile my family and friends would drift away. My greatest fear was that I’d be left alone, left out, and left behind.

Just before my sixteenth birthday, the doctors decided I needed an amputation to prevent the spread of my bone cancer. Although I felt a strange sense of peace about this decision, I also knew that no one would ever see me as well again. I would always be sick and broken in everyone else’s eyes.

I learned to walk again. When I had legs made, my prosthesis’ goal was always to make me look and move as normally as possible. The best I could do was “pass” for able-bodied. Ashamed of my flesh-toned covers, I stuck to wearing pants and avoided walking past windows where I could see the reflection of my halting gate. I auditioned for school plays but avoided changing in the dressing room. My body was an obstacle to my goals. An actress is supposed to be able to melt into whatever character she is playing. She should be able to be beautiful and sexy when the role calls for it. Try as I might, I couldn’t transcend or pretend my way out of my identity. I was always anchored to reality by a hunk of metal.

I had what I believed was my last chemotherapy treatment on the night another girl died. We had shared hospital rooms and I knew her family members, who often brought homemade tamales. I went to hold her hand one last time before I left. Her family had decided against amputation, fearing their daughter would be damaged beyond repair. Who would marry a girl like that, they worried. I walked out of the hospital that night, broken but alive, wondering why I had been saved. I vowed to make a difference, to be worthy of the work and resources the doctors and my family had put into me.

Before my high school graduation, the cancer returned in my lungs. The doctors cut through muscle and spread my ribs to surgically remove the tumors. Two years later, more grew back. The pattern of re-occurance continued until the heart-stopping doctors’ calls blurred into one memory of hopelessness. Even when I was well, I planned my life in the three-month incriminates between scans. I couldn’t feel the cancer growing, so I stopped trusting my body.

For over a decade, I let doctors, specialists, and the scans take control of my health. I felt completely out of control. I stopped telling people about my amputation and cancer. I didn’t want to be defined by it. In college, I threw myself into a frenzy of acting, journalism, working as a resident advisor, and writing. After graduation, I got my teaching credentials as a way of giving back to the community. A second full round of chemotherapy after four lung surgeries woke me up. I had to learn to care for myself.

The doctors recommended removing my ovaries to protect my fertility from a second year of toxic treatments. I declined. I already knew the side effects of my treatments included Leukemia along with cardiac damage, hearing loss, and many other debilitating possibilities. Fertility concerns seemed vain and frivolous compared to these risks. No one had promised me a future since my initial diagnoses when I ask my mom, for the first and only time, if I was going to die. If I ever managed to attain health, I decided I would adopt. I didn’t know then that preexisting conditions make the already difficult process of adoption nearly impossible. All I knew was that I’d always worked extensively with kids so I could love any child when the time came. Besides, I couldn’t stomach the idea of yet another surgery and additional medical bills my parents would have to pick up.

By this point, I was angry with God. I grew up in a very spiritual family and was taught to look for lessons in all experiences. But I wanted to know what I could possibly learn from having the same horrible experience over and over again. I had done all I could to inspire people with my faith and courage in the face of adversity but I still wasn’t getting well. I was deeply frustrated at not being able to build a life worthy of all the sacrifices made to keep me alive. Depression and survivors’ guilt set in as I began to fear my life would never change. Apparently, I still had everything to learn.

Those years for me are what we writers like to call “the dark night of the soul.”

Struggling in a marriage to my high school sweetheart who grew frustrated with my emotions and needs, I was terrified that letting go might mean no one would ever be able to love me again. Our ten year relationship had protected me from the trauma of trying to figure myself out and date as an amputee and cancer patient. He knew what I had been through. He had witnessed my body shutting down from an anaphlactic reaction to experimental chemo and taken me to get a brain scan at two in the morning because I kept blacking out. If he didn’t want to work on building a life with me and encouraging my dreams, maybe no one would. Maybe I had nothing left to give.

Desperate for new tools, I started doing my research. I discovered Kris Carr, The China Study, and many other anti-cancer diet books. I began experimenting with new recipes. I visited a farm animal sanctuary. I became a vegan and focused on a diet rich in whole foods. I started craving a form of exercise that could reconnect my mind and body. I wanted to find peace, strength, and balance. I had already returned to weight lifting and cardio. Still, I needed to reach a deeper level of acceptance.

I was worried I wouldn’t be welcome in a general yoga class. I was afraid of making a fool of myself or of being pitied. So, I practiced at home with DVDs and books. I couldn’t find any specialized classes for someone like me. Still, I had the nagging desire to overcome my fears and practice with others. I had to dismiss the idea that yoga is only for the few – for the graceful, the flexible, and the whole.

Finally, I attend a class. I hid in the back. I was terrified that I’d end up standing around the whole time unable to follow the flow. Self-conscious and awkward, I did what I could. I kept showing up and the amount of things I could do increased. The number of poses I learned to modify grew. I found myself moving through entire classes. I no longer cared that people could see my prosthetic leg in certain poses.

Yoga defies expectations. Over the years I’ve watched people walk into class with an array of expectations of what yoga will be for them: easy, torturous, simply exercise, youth-restoring, spiritual, woo-woo, relaxing, boring, weird, and life-changing. Once you begin your practice, you learn to give up those labels and just show up. In each of my classes, I never know what is coming next. I never know if it will be something I can do or something I have to work on or something I’ll never be able to master. I’m okay with that now. I’m okay with showing up to uncertainty.

Yoga helps me realize that life is a combination of practice and letting go.

As a writer and actress, I deal daily with the cycle of creation, risk, rejection, and getting back out there. Creation happens in the midst of doubt and obstacles. I never know if a book will sell but I start writing those first words anyway. I don’t know when or where funding will come from when I sit down with a team of directors and producers but I edit my screenplay anyway. Like a strength pose where I am learning to relax muscles even as I they shake with effort, I breath into my projects. Yoga reminds me to live in the now. It reminds me, if I keep showing up for myself, I can do more than I imagined.

Several times, I have gone into auditions only to have directors say some version of “you’re great but what’s wrong with your leg.” One even told me he was ready to cast me in the lead as long as my leg was healed by opening night. He thought I had a brace. He ended up casting me anyway. Some casting directors would be excited about me until they watched me walk, painfully slow, up the stairs. I always wore pants and worked hard at “overcoming” the problem of my limp.

In an industry that is all about appearance, I’ve often thought I was at a disadvantage. Sure I could get theater scholarships and do community productions, but make a career out of it, no way. Then, I started combining my talents and writing my own roles. I’ve discovered that I am in the perfect place to tell stories that haven’t been told. I decided to embrace all parts of my identity and stop judging myself by how well I passed for “normal.” I began connecting with other amputees and think of our shared identity as a culture – one we could celebrate.

Now, I dream of pushing the boundaries – both in my life and work – of what is considered feminine, healthy, and sexy. I had to let go of my survivors’ guilt and stop trying to be someone worthy of being saved. Being “an inspiration” can be extremely lonely; especially when I let that title keep me from being, saying, and doing what my true self desired. Despite disappointed friends and family, I let go of a marriage that no longer served me. Currently, I continue to work on the fear associated with the type of films I’d like to make and messages I’d like to send. Will people see me differently after they know what goes on in my head? Maybe. But I’m opening myself anyway. I’m tired of clutching my life so close.

In the western world, we are so competitive and so focused on keeping hold of things we have no control over. We set ourselves against our own bodies. We talk in terms of fighting back the bulge, the disease, and the clock.  We hold tight to images of what we need to be before we find happiness. We think of diets and exercise in terms of deprivation and torture. We push and we struggle. I had to let go of the fight. Now, I listen for where I need to go and take steps into the darkness. I embrace my body in sickness and in health, in triumph and in failure, in strength and in weakness.

Three years into remission, I am no longer afraid. I used to spend so much time worrying about whether or not cancer was growing inside me. I worried about what the treatments would take away from me – my hair, my energy, my career, comfort, future plans, pieces of my body. Now, I treat my body like a temple with fresh vegan food, relaxation, and forgiveness. I celebrate what is here now. I put more scars on my mat than there are scars on my body. No matter what comes, I will be present for it.

Being committed to my health and the environment gives me a sense of stability in a tumultuous, and at times toxic, world. I love it when people ask me how they can change their lives to be more like me. I think it’s kind of funny when people forget to pity me. Together, we are learning to see vibrance instead of disability. I’ve changed the intention behind the question: why me?

For me, yoga is more than an exercise; it is a spiritual practice. When I am on my mat, I remember to just be. I remember that life is a balance between what we can control and what we can’t. I’m learning to live between effort and surrender.

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photo of Danielle for Manduka Mats

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

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

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

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