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amy esacove

Manifestation Retreats, Manifestation Workshops, Travels

From Austin, With Love

February 27, 2012

A more apt title would be: To Austin, With Love.

I led my first workshop in Austin this past Saturday.

Just look at their faces! Joy!

It was the second time I’d been to this fantastic and charming little city.

The first was about ten years ago when two of my best friends were living here and I acted in a short film they were making in Austin. Needless to say, the short film is probably somewhere in short film heaven, but one of the girls, Shana Feste, has gone on to write and direct The Greatest and Country Strong.

I didn’t really remember much of that first trip. Those were sort of the Dark Years for me, I was deeply unhappy and I have somehow managed to unglue most of those memories from my mind from that period of time.

Most of my 20’s fall into that category. TDY= The Dark Years.

I remember I had liked Austin. I had covered a few shifts from my waitressing job so I could fly out and ‘star’ in a short film being shot somewhere near the University. I remembered that the people were really friendly. We had gone out and listened to music. I think we’d eaten good Thai food. I remembered my character’s name in the short film was “Jane.” I think.

I was excited to come back to Austin during this particular period of my life. I am more alive and present and, as far as I can tell, doing my life’s work.

I figured it would make for a different experience.

I was right.

My Manifestation Workshop on Saturday was at Black Swan Yoga (which is now my yoga home in Austin, Texas.)

To be clear: I had no students to speak of in Austin, prior to this workshop. I knew only one person: my beloved friend Amy Esacove, who happens to be an incredible teacher at Black Swan Yoga.

What can I say about the workshop last Saturday?

It was like coming home.

That’s how I described it to someone last night. The first thing that came to my mind was: it was like coming home.

The students were so receptive, so open-minded, so gracious, so full of beauty and humor that it was hard for me to process the fact that I had never met them before. That I hadn’t personally picked all my favorite people on the planet and asked them to come support me at my first ever workshop in Texas.

After the workshop ended, I jokingly suggested that I moved here. I won’t move (not yet) but I will be back. Often.

The workshop itself was beautiful, heart-achingly so. I wish I could describe it to you in words but it doesn’t work that way. As most experiences go, you simply have be there, body and soul to understand what transpired in those moments. You can get close to an experience, through words or music or art, but in order to fully live it, you must be there.

And boy, were we we ever there.

They laughed and cried and sang and danced. They did handstands and worked with partners and journaled and meditated. It was like a full experience of “Life” condensed into two hours.

It’s hard for me to describe what it is that transpires in my workshops and retreats. Here is what one student said of the workshop: “it was a blissful self immersion. Like being wrung out and reawakened.” Another said it “was a a forest of love love love.”

One woman who showed up after reading my blog said “workshop was incredible! Tears, laughter, singing, dancing, asanaing and loving every minute of it!”

(As a side note: this is what is great about social media. You can touch people you might never have touched before and profoundly affect their lives. And vice versa.)

What struck me most about this group in Austin was their willingness.

They were willing to show up and go on this journey with someone they had never met. They were willing to trust, themselves, the others in the room, and me. They were willing to leave fear and judgement at the door.

They were willing, and this is perhaps my favorite, to play.

Regarding our dance party, one person said “I didn’t exactly expect this out of a yoga class…and yet, it was just a small part of a hugely awesome, totally perfect, much needed class. Thank you so much!”

They were true yogis, through and through.

I am honored I was able to lead this group on this journey. I am honored to say “I taught at Black Swan Yoga.”

I am not sure what is going on down there. I am not sure what sort of Awesome they’re drinking but I do know this: I want some.

I am going to steal a bit of of their Awesome and bring it back to LA with me.

Hope y’all don’t mind.

Dear Austin, I love you.

I thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Dear Black Swan Yoga, keep singing and dancing until I return.

 

Alli Akard  “Austin is a little better after such an amazing workshop. manifesting, laughter and yoga…three of my favorite things. love, love, loved it!!!”

Michael Grey, the amazing owner of Black Swan Yoga

Black Swan Yoga, Austin, Texas.

The lovely and talented Amy Esacove who teaches regularly at Black Swan Yoga

Lilyana ( who manages Black Swan and teaches there), Amy and Michael

I am proudly wearing my OMIES tshirt! " I am a Giddy Omie" The lovely Dahlia, who owns the Austin based company with her husband Rick, stands with me and 8 year old Jen, who also attended my workshop. Love both these ladies! In fact, at one point as I read a quote, this 8 year old was the only one who picked up her pen and paper to jot down what I was saying! OMIE-indeedy!

You can order your OMIES shirt here.

You can learn more about Black Swan Yoga by following them on Facebook here.

To learn more about me or to book a workshop with me email jennifer@jenniferpastiloff.com

Or visit my site jenniferpastiloff.com.

I lead workshops and retreats around the world.

Guest Posts

There’s No “Making It” In Life. Guest Post By Amy Esacove.

November 23, 2011

Dear Manifesters,

So many exciting posts lately! Today’s post is by one of my closest friends: Amy Esacove. Amy recently relocated to Austin. Insert sad face. I will, however, be visiting her there in February when I teach  my Manifestation Workshop at her home studio: the fabulous Black Swan Yoga. Amy is one the most talented people I know. She makes me laugh when I don’t feel like laughing. And when I do feel like laughing. She is as stunningly beautiful outside as she is inside, which is such a treat, isn’t it? I am proud of her beyond words for her braveness in going after what she wants, and especially for her upcoming feature film “North Blvd.” This blog post came out of our recent phone conversation about enjoying the ‘journey’. Meet Amy and learn about her journey. Get to  know her here as soon her name will be up in lights. 

Funny and Hot?! Why yes! It's: The Amy Esacove!

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There’s No “Making It” In Life.  By Amy Esacove.

Iʼm wondering how to describe how Iʼve been feeling lately. 

Listless? Apathetic? Distracted?

I have recently crossed a threshold. I am starting to see success in something I have dreamed of for a very long time.

A goal is like a glistening oasis. It sparkles at the end of a long road. That road is hot and dry, no doubt. The dust and tumbleweeds and honeybadgers have defined my experience.

Theyʼve made me who I am.

And I have enjoyed the company along the way.

Having this dream, this goal, has been a great source of comfort. This dream is HUGE- at least it felt that way when I first envisioned it almost a decade ago.

I used to lay in bed and let the moonlight illuminate the room. The nighttime shadows of trees cast across my bedroom ceiling.Those clear, crisp Santa Monica nights would kiss me so sweetly. I would giggle and squirm with delight at the beauty of my dream becoming a reality. I was all alone and bathed in romance.

This dream, you might be wondering, is the feature film “North Blvd” which, for many years, has been a one woman show that I have been performing for audiences across the country. It tells the true story of my journey as an adopted child and my inevitable search and discovery of my birth parents. The experience was life changing. The film is dark, humorous, heart opening and hopeful.

Along the dusty road I have only had my instincts to survive. Water can be scarce in the desert.

After fifteen years in Los Angeles, I crawled out of the desert and moved to Austin, TX to make my film. I never thought I would be leaving the entertainment capitol of the world to make my film but what can I say, my instincts have never failed me.

The film is short; an abbreviated version of the soon to be funded feature film. When I watch it, I get little tears. Every time. Iʼm proud of what I have created, no matter what comes of it.

The staircase keeps going.

Thereʼs no “making it” in life.

Thereʼs satisfaction…but no real applause.

Thereʼs just me checking in with me. I find myself consoling the younger version of myself that thought that this dream was next to impossible.

“Oh honey, its not that big of a deal.”

She, in turn, reminds me to be incredibly proud. She canʼt believe how beautiful the film turned out! Sheʼs still in her pjʼs. Sheʼs still giddy and squirming with delight.

I wonder what future version of myself will be coming back to console this current version of myself. What has she accomplished?

That dusty road, that desert, helped me develop faith. And now that I am fixed on that path, I am incredibly grateful.

Just calm.

It might take some getting used to.

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

Keep Manifesting Your Life

One Laugh at a Time

(Amy sure does!)

Jen (@manifestyogajen on twitter)

PS, If you live in Austin you are lucky enough to be able to take Amy’s yoga classes at Black Swan. Click here. (Yea, she pretty much does it all.)

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