Browsing Tag

black swan yoga

Guest Posts, Inspiration

Little Ripples…

March 28, 2012

That’s what we are all doing here.

That’s what my mission is when I CONNECT with you. Whether it is here or through my classes or workshops or retreats.

It is my intention to always be authentic. Always. 

My hope is that I am a facilitator. That I can help you to pay attention to the ripples in your own life and start causing those ripples yourself.

Here is a letter I just received from someone who took my workshop in Austin at Black Swan Yoga. I was so moved that I am sharing it (with her permission of course.)

Dear Jen,

Since taking your manifestation workshop I have been trying to make sense of some things that have been going on in my life.

I think it is important to express gratitude to those who make an impact and I needed to let you know your role in my journey.

I came to the Black Swan Yoga training with the last ounce of energy I had to make my life work. I had struggled for the last several years with PTSD after a near death experience and I was on the verge of ruining my life. My marriage was falling apart, I dreaded getting out of bed and my kids deserved better. A few months before I decided to do the training I hit a cross road.

It was a particularly nasty argument with the spouse and I took off for a few days to clear my head. As I was driving down the highway, I had downloaded some good ole Dr. Wayne Dyer audiobooks. I was literally praying out loud in my car for something, ANYTHING to help me stop banging my head against the wall.

At that moment when I am about to make one of the toughest decisions of my life, I heard Dr. Dyer say, “We are not humans having a spiritual experience, but rather a spirit having a human experience.”

I kid you not, my world literally moved. It felt like an earthquake happened inside my body. I had to pull off the highway I was shaking and sobbing so hard. At that moment everything I had been trying to understand my whole life totally made sense. I immediately emailed my husband to tell him that I was choosing compassion and understanding over anger and frustration.

All in that moment I realized that I was, as is everyone else, an all encompassing light of love and that anything that didn’t reflect that was just a simple misunderstanding of the mind. As this new idea resonated with me, I started changing my perception and allowing the light to flow through. I started to notice things coming a little easier. As I moved through the training process I started to become more alive, energetic and centered.

By the time your workshop came around I was marveling in this new found happiness and gratitude for the thing the were coming into my life. During the workshop when you talked about how Dr Dyer had impacted your life, I had chills run down my spine.  I realize the global impact he has on people, but I had been sitting with this immense appreciation for him in the recent weeks and I was taken aback when I heard his name. It felt like you were somehow speaking directly to me. And then it happened again!

You started talking about our choices and opening up to the experience life has to offer and Eminem started playing, “If you had one shot. one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment. would you capture it or just let it pass you by.” That earthquake inside happened again. I remember laughing, almost uncontrollably.

I finally realized I was aligning myself with God and my purpose. I saw in you exactly what I wanted to see in my self, authenticity. It took one more tiny internal earthquake a few weeks later (when I heard Dr. Dyer’s daughter was named Skye, like my son’s name. Little hints that remind me that we are all connected) to fully understand that my mind, body and spirit were aligning and I was finally understanding my purpose in life.

Last night I laid in bed with my eyes wide open in complete ahhh of this magical transformation. I could feel the light passing through me. My life long question, that I have prayed for every single night since I was a little girl, has finally been answer. My purpose is to be authentic and the rest will undoubtable fall into place. My faith in the Universe is unwavering. The people that need to come into my life will present themselves at just the right time.

I am so eternally grateful for my life.

Thank you for being a guiding light in my journey. namaste.

~~~~~~~~~

Wow. Wow.

Wow.

Listen folks: “I started changing my perception and allowing the light to flow through. I started to notice things coming a little easier.”

Did you read that? Can you hear that? Are you listening?

Let me write her words again: I started changing my perception and allowing the light to flow through. I started to notice things coming a little easier.

That’s a ripple. She started paying attention and observing the ripples. Or miracles, as I also like to call them!

Anita Moorjani and Wayne Dyer

This line makes me cry because it is so spot-on, so beautiful and so reminiscent of my mentor Anita Moorjani’s book Dying To Be Me

My life long question, that I have prayed for every single night since I was a little girl, has finally been answer. My purpose is to be authentic and the rest will undoubtable fall into place. 

That folks, is a ripple.

Go out and cause some!

Guest Posts, Inspiration, Manifestation Workshops

The Power of Connection. A Must Read.

March 1, 2012

I wrote a piece yesterday calledWhat I Learned From an 8 Year Old, which, as it turns out, was a helluva lot.

And which, was my most popular blog post to date. I had thousands (yes, you read right) hits on this particular piece yesterday. Guess we can all learn from children?

Here is that post. 

What I Learned From An 8 Year Old.

I got an email later that day from the mom of Little Jen (L.J.), the 8 year old I learned so much from. I met her mom through social media. She found me on Positively Positive and then entered my Twitter Contest I was running with Karen Salmansohn about inspiration. I loved reading her hourly tweets.

With her permission I am sharing the email she sent me yesterday. It made me cry and it also inspired me to be a better person. To be the best possible parent when I have kids. To live more fully and be more vulnerable. To be real. To connect with people I might never have connected with. To allow life to touch me.

She did not win the contest ( by choice). Katherine, a young college student who tweeted us about every 15 minutes won instead. It was a tie between the two and the “mom”, in true mom fashion, let the kid win.

Without further ado, here is the email.

It is beyond gorgeous. I am humbled.

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

“The Email”

 

Wow. Seriously? Wow, Jen.

After reading your post today, my mind is spinning. There are both no words and a flood of words swirling around in my head.

Let me share with you what brought me to your class on Saturday.

Last year I was offered my dream job. It had the big fancy title, an impressive paycheck, and lots of prestige. It was in my area of expertise and a field I wanted to explore. I leapt at the chance. My heart swelled. I was so excited that finally, FINALLY, I had the brass ring. This past January, a little over a year after accepting my dream job, I resigned. It broke my heart, but my year working at my dream job was one of the worst years of my life. I was constantly stressed out, unhappy, unhealthy and I now had both Xanex and Prozac in my medicine cabinet. But worst of all, I felt like a failure. By the company’s standards I was doing well. By my standards I was failing. After a year, I wasn’t making the progress or having the impact I knew I could make. I felt like I could have been doing so much better. My whole life I’d gotten ahead by working harder and being smarter than the average bear. That didn’t work here. It was too political and I’m too blunt and impatient. I had ideas and strategies that I knew would be successful, but couldn’t get approval to implement them. Mediocre is not my style. I couldn’t do the work I set out to do and I was MISERABLE. And worst of all, my misery was impacting my sweet family.

So, without another job lined up, without a clue what my next move would be, in a crappy economy, I quit my job. Everyone told me I was crazy. For decades, I have worked my ass off to be successful, thinking success would make me happy. I was wrong. I had literally won showcase #2 and I was miserable. I had saved up enough money to give myself some time to figure things out. I am blessed that my husband has a good job, so I didn’t have to give up any benefits. But still. I’m used to taking care of my family and myself, so this was scary.

I moved forward knowing three things:

1. I had to find a way to be my own boss so I could set my own hours and be able to put my family first.

2. I had to be able to wear flip flops and jeans every day. No more dress up.

3. Whatever my new venture would be, it would be a social enterprise that benefitted my community.

My first course of action was to read. I read books, blogs, magazines, recipes for success and the back of cereal boxes. I read your Manifesto Of My Identity on the Positively Positive website and started following your blog. I read the books You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay, A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, among others. I started reading A Course In Miracles. A whole new world opened up to me. One based on Love, Faith, and more Love. One where fear did not exist. One where happiness was a decision, not a result. A world where I am amazing and not less-than. A world I wanted to share with my family and friends.

I also entered your amazing twitter contest. I wanted to go to Ojai – I even wrote it on my manifestation mirror. The retreat pictures were intoxicating and I’m pretty sure I’ve been to that building in a previous life. For the contest, I made rules for myself. I couldn’t get out of bed until I found something inspiring to tweet. There were days the kids were almost late for school. Also, I couldn’t stockpile inspirational tweets. If I felt inspired at any time, I made myself tweet it right then– no saving something for tomorrow. Halfway thru the contest I almost quit because the exercise of saying Wow, Life is Great one or two times a day was its own reward. Ojai became irrelevant.

Flash forward to last Saturday. I almost didn’t come. I was listening to my fears:

1. I’m out of shape and Austin is filled with healthy, athletic people and I knew I’d be the biggest one in the room.

2. You would be disappointed meeting me, like online dating 🙂

3. I was worried I had put you on a pedestal and that you’d turn out to be human.

But I really wanted to meet this sparkplug, rock star, manifesting yoga teacher I had found on the Internet – there is a reason I found you when I did. I really wanted to experience manifestation yoga. More than anything, I really, really wanted the opportunity for my daughter to meet you. She is amazing and along with her twin brother (!), a gift from the gods. It’s my job to show her how wonderful life is and have her meet amazing people (Someday, some way, someone will break her heart. Someone will try to crush her dreams. I need to fortify her for that time so she can say “So what. Life is still amazing, awe-inspiring, and beautiful. Next”). Finally, I really felt the need to tell you in person how happy I am that you are on this earth, doing what you are doing. I don’t think we tell each other those kind of things as much as we should.

I’m so glad I came and brought Jen. I fell in love the minute you were kind to my daughter and I could see that you got her. She is over the moon about you, too.

You have helped me on my journey more than you will ever know, and for this I am eternally grateful. I hope all your dreams come true.

Jen will be sending her own note 🙂 Thank you for all of your kind words about her.

Love,

cj

Inspiration, Manifestation Retreats, Manifestation Workshops, manifesting

What I Learned From An 8 Year Old.

February 29, 2012

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black

By Jen Pastiloff.

This past weekend I taught my first workshops in Austin, Texas.

It went incredibly well. Here is the blog about that and my love letter to Austin.

I have been holding a Twitter contest with my friend Karen Salmansohn. It goes like this: Whoever tweets us the most what inspires them, wins. They also have to use the hashtag #manifest.

It’s been a little life changing to see what everyone has been tweeting to us.

It’s a win-win contest. The actual prize is a spot at my May Manifestation retreat to Ojai and a book by Karen (notsalmon.com).

So two people are in the lead for the contest. One woman lives in San Antonio and has a family and one is a college student who lives in Santa Barbara. I look forward to their hourly tweets. It’s a bit of an addiction. They keep me going throughout my day. Here are a few examples of their tweets.

@CarolJackson365 Inspired by kick ass cool contests that make me a better person. Thank you @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

The sun rising on unfamiliar horizons inspires me to replace concept with reality. #manifest @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen

Inspired by chats w/strangers that fill heart w/joy. Funny how lovely folks r when u let them b them @ManifestYogaJen @Notsalmon#manifest

Inspired by london and the oneness and connection of different cultures. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

inspiration is a cheeky pub waitress who gives you hell when you order a diet coke. such a delight! @ManifestYogaJen @Notsalmon

Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us-Pema chodron. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest

@KthrnGee The past couple of years I’ve been SO inspired by those who are AWAKE..if you know what I mean 😉 @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest

Inspiration makes my heart beat faster, it excites and motivates action for a better self. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

8yrs ago I was pressured to be in a gang. Crazy, right? Inspired by how far I’ve come. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

Lately, friendships have inspired me to stay away from those who add little value to my life. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

I choose to be inspired by the beauty of everyday life. I also choose love & wisdom. What do u choose? @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

People who are cold towards me inspire me to be kind. Love is a human need. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

What would you do if your toddler told you she’s too fat? Love your INNER child; this inspires me. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest

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

Carol is the mom who lives in San Antonio and Katherine is 21 and in college.

Carol shows up to my workshop in Austin. Get this: with her 8 year old daughter! Naturally at first I am thinking: Oh Shit!

Because yes, I say Shit a lot and I was a bit afraid I would have to censor myself.

Boy was I wrong!

(As a side note: Carol lives in San Antonio. She drove all the way to Austin. How did she find me in the first place? From my articles on Positively Positive. That my friends, is the power of social media. )

So Carol walks in with her daughter wearing my “What Are You Manifesting” tee which she had ordered last month. Her daughter gives me a gift. Two books about poetry. Because she told her 8 year old that I love poems.

(As a side note. Dear Universe, Thank you for sending me these people. There. Are. No. Accidents.)

I immediately ask Carol if she won the Twitter contest (as I knew at that time she was tied with sweet young Katherine) would she be able to fly out to California and get away? She said ” Oh, let someone else win. I have gotten more out of this then you will ever ever know.”

To say I was touched would be an understatement.

The people you need to meet always show up when you need them. I feel that way about them and I am sure they feel that way about me. Bam!

I needed to meet someone who was participating so fully in their life. Who was raising a child in this way. Who was so willing to be attentive and present and inspired.

And did I ever need to meet this kid of hers.

By the way, the 8 year old? Her name was Jen, too.

So at one point I ask the group to write a letter to their 16 year old selves. (Everyone had journals in the class. It’s a big part of the Manifestation workshop.)

I felt bad because Jen was only 8 so I said to her ” Jen, you can write a letter to your 5 year old self, ok?”

She wrote ” Dear 5 year old self…. being 8 is awesome!”

At one point everyone was in child’s pose. I was reciting one of my favorite quotes:

“If you knew who walked beside you at all times, on the path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again.”

― Wayne W. Dyer

No one budged from child’s pose except 8 year old Jen.

She got up to pick up a pen and write down what I was saying!

I needed to meet this little angel to be reminded what is possible and to be inspired again.

To allow myself to be surprised.

She asked her mom after they got back to San Antonio if, for her birthday in July, she could have a yoga lesson by me.

I learned from an 8 year old: how to be brave, how to ask for what you want, how to pay attention, how to listen, how to laugh, how to do a fierce backbend, how to show love, how to be okay with the fact that you might be the only one in the room who doesn’t understand something and conversely how to be the only one in the room who DOES understand something.

So here is a letter to my 8 year old self, which is the age I somehow feel I stopped growing. It’s when my dad died. (Maybe that little Jen was a version of me. I have to make sure I didn’t imagine her.)

Dear 8 year old me:

Being 37 is awesome! I know you don’t believe me now because life sucks since your daddy died but it will be ok. You will fall in love and you will go out and inspire people with dance parties and twitter contests and you will meet little girls who will show you what it means to be fearless. You will never get over that little piece of sadness, that part of you that died when your dad died but you will indeed transform that into a whole lotta love. You will make up for all that frowning you do now when you are 37. You will remember who you really are. I’m here waiting for you.

Oh, and that noise in your head? Get used to it. It’s called tinnitus.

My Manifestation Workshop. Me, Carol from San Antonio and her 8 year old daughter Jen. Black Swan Yoga, Austin Texas.

Thank you mini Jen for showing up Saturday and showing me what it means to be inspired and committed and fearless. That’s what an 8 year old looks like to me.
 All of Jen Pastiloff’s events listed here.
Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!

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!

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

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.)