Browsing Tag

dhyana yoga

Grief, Guest Posts, healing, poetry

On The Anniversary Of My Father’s Death.

February 25, 2014

By Stacey Brown-Downham

This piece is written in honor of Stacey Brown-Downham’s father, Peter Brown–photographer, carpenter and jack-of-all-trades (with a special finesse for the art of cursing)– who passed away three years ago today at 60 years old, but maintained his sense of humor through years of illness (e.g. After one of his many heart attacks, a nurse says to his wife, “He’s had a very bad heart attack.” His response from the other room, “It must not have been that bad. I’m still here.”) 

BREAK HERE. AND HERE. AND HERE.

It should break us all–to feel so much, to love so hard, to hold on so so tightly only to let go willingly (or not).  Maybe it does break us all in different ways only to put us back together better, at least different.

As children and perhaps parents we are made of each other, of our nasty and glorious insides and outs. I had (and still have, in some ways) no idea the ways that I could be broken, and then healed–all the things nobody talks about. Scar tissue in unmentionable places. Scenes etched in cerebral sharpie.

Scene 1: I dropped my son down the stairs, and listened to him roll down all twelve wooden steps in his three-and-a-half-month old body. We drove ourselves to the hospital in a dream. I ran into the emergency room, pleading for someone to help us, not knowing if he was okay. Somehow he was–the hairline fractures in his tiny skull healed long before I could shudder the memory away. It held onto me or I it, or both. I can only write about it now, five years later, and almost not hear it or see it happen in front of me.

We have since carpeted the stairs, but they are still wooden underneath. We have not fallen again, so carefully now we tread.

Scene 2: When my father passed away two years later, after years of illness, at the young age of sixty, we drove through the night to Canada from New Jersey, to sit by his side as he went wherever it is we all must go. I sang in his ear, watched him stare intently up at the corner of the room, and nod in communion with some unseen friend, pull his gaze back down with all his might to search for my mother, then with her permission, allow his soul to slip out and to leave his body still and quiet at last. I sang again at his memorial, ate far too much maple coffee cake and promptly returned back to work, suggesting to all who asked that it would be an adjustment.  An adjustment? You could call that term a gross understatement and perhaps it was at the time, but what else can any of these earth-shaking moments require of us than wholesale adjustments of the body and soul?

Scene 3: I tried to be okay–I was strong, right?– but my body revolted. I became unbearable to be around. I liked no one and nothing. My husband braced himself when I opened my mouth to speak–what accusation, what complaint might issue forth?  So I had to adjust, alright, or risk breaking it all.

Scene 4: At exactly the right time and place (a Saturday afternoon, Spring 2011, at Dhyana Yoga in Haddonfield, New Jersey) I found myself sitting cross-legged on the floor in Jennifer Pastiloff’s Manifestation yoga workshop and she told us to partner up and sit directly across from each other. I was odd woman out so I was paired with her. Our job was to stare into each others’ eyes for two minutes straight–into a stranger’s eyes for two minutes straight. I don’t think I’d looked into anyone’s eyes for that long, ever. My eyes welled up–no big deal. I can hold it together. But then she smiled, nodded and gave a little wink, just simple gestures of kindness. It was like she knew, knew that I had had no one to whom to bare this grief, no one whom I thought could bear it. But she smiled permission and so I gave it up, all that grief to a sister-like stranger and I did not break.

She set me on my way back. From there I talked, I breathed, I took strange supplements and new age tests, I stopped eating wheat, I moved my body and I wrote.  I was sick for months, maybe years, and then I was better.

These things should break us, and they seem to for a time, but they don’t. For here we are. We are here. And that’s the nasty and glorious truth of it all, at least for now.

Stacey and her father.

Stacey and her father.

But if you want it in other words:

“Resolution”

Each year at this time as
The earth revolves
Around the closest star
It slows just long enough
For us to stop and take
One last sweaty look at summer
Then reluctantly face forward
With immense resolve
To begin the year anew
(I keep a students’ calendar
If the sun does not)

In its recent circles
It has turned us askew
All the big things, you see,
It has let us see
The greatest of loves
Joined and divided and divided again
Two times made mother
Once the wife
And the grieving daughter
And the one who slipped
And watched him tumble down the stairs
Over and over and over
As the world spun too

It shone in their eyes
While we made humble promises
And donned rings
Outside it waited
While in those windowless rooms
We were first and then again made mother and father
It rose as we drove
Glinted off snowy banks in the
Hospital parking lot as we arrived
And was traveling westward too
As he took flight
And we walked out into the cold evening with and without him

No matter how far we go
We end up right back here
Parts the same but
Wholly different.

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Stacey Brown-Downham is these things (in no particular order):  Canadian ex-pat/recently baptized American citizen, the mother of two ceaselessly charming (charming and ceaseless?) boys, wife to an equally charming American gentle-man, high school English and Special Education teacher, singer-songwriter under the moniker of The Classic Brown, soul-student of Jennifer Pastiloff and when windows of time permit, an amateur writer of prose and poetry. 

Jennifer Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, is a writer living on an airplane. 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 jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up:  SeattleLondon, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Tucson. She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff. Join a retreat by emailing barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com.

Next workshop is London July 6!


Manifestation Workshops, Yoga

Origin Magazine & The Huffington Post.

September 5, 2012

A big day as I get ready to leave for the East Coast for my 3 workshops!

Excited to say that DJ Gina Mooring and my Karaoke Yoga® was featured in the Huffington Post today! Click here to read article. 

I also picked up Origin Magazine for September where I have a whole layout on manifesting on page 50. It is a beautiful magazine. Please check it out. You can get it at Whole Foods, among other places!

 

***Philly Fri. Sep 7th workshop at Dhyana Yoga Old City has 2 spots left

Saturday Sep 8th Karaoke Yoga NYC Pure Yoga East has room. Click here

Sunday Manifestation Workshop at Pure Yoga East has only 2 spots left so act fast! Click here.

Saturday Sep 15th in Los Angeles has 10 spots left.

Here is link with all workshops where you can sign up

To book me for a workshop or Karaoke Yoga please email Barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com

 

Uncategorized

Share Of The Day: Inspired.

May 25, 2012

I received the following email yesterday and it made my heart burst so I asked C. if I could share it. C. took my workshop in Philly at Dhyana Yoga ( I will be back there Sep 2012.) Such honesty and courage. 

 

Dear Jennifer,

Just want to send a thank you your way for being such an inspirational force.

I attended your manifestation workshop at Dhyana Yoga in Philly and was really moved by it. I have to say though, I was met with a lot of self-resistance before I could finally let myself start to “make shit happen” haha. After leaving your workshop I actually felt a little bit anxious, a little bit panicky that I was not in fact making anything happen that I wanted to be happening!!

I was (and still am) working at a job that I feel is “dulling” me, and could not put my finger on what it was I even wanted to be doing in life. It took a while, nearly two months, before the answer just suddenly came to me and seemed so simple and obvious. I have been doing yoga for the past year and committed myself to it in a big way. It has changed my life in every sense and makes me feel good to know I am still capable of being motivated and passionate about something (because my job was starting to make me feel like I had no fire left in me).

I decided about two weeks ago that I am going to to do the teacher training at Dhyana, and fully dive in to my yoga practice. When it finally dawned on me that I should do this, I had such a “duh” moment, like why on earth had I not realized this already?? Because it just wasn’t time for me to realize it yet.

I wasn’t ready to recieve it.

Now that I am, I feel so greatful that I attended your workshop, because it really lit a fire in me I think. All that anxiety and fear I felt after leaving was so neccessary for me to get to where I am now. I am still at a job I am not loving, but I am making moves to get myself into a much better place.

Thank you so much for sharing your positivity, realness, and courage. I hope to be half as inspirational as you are to others.

Love, CP

 

Q & A Series, Yoga

Brock & Krista Cahill. iFly Lands at The Manifestation Q&A Series.

May 23, 2012

Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A Series.

I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.

Today’s guests are my friends Brock and Krista Cahill, which many of you know because you have taken their classes, seen some of their amazing photos, or the best yet, caught some of the work they have been doing for our planet. 

The following interview is a mixture of both husband and wife, as are most of their classes and retreats. I hope you will get a feel for the power behind this couple. The power of flight, the power of love and the power of seva. I am honored to have them with me here today. I also urge you to check out www.kurmalliance.org or to check them out at Yogis Anonymous, in the studio or online. The Cahills and I both teach in Philadelphia at Dhyana Yoga a few times a year, as well. 

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most proud to have manifested in your life?

Brock Cahill: i am most proud to have manifested a community of incredibly strong and dedicated yogis, that are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, to show up and put in the hard work in their daily practice, and use our practice as a training platform to activate body, mind, and spirit, …resulting in an elevation of consciousness in decision and lifestyle. awesome work amigos!!

Krista Cahill: It always comes down to the LOVE. I really can’t believe the love I have in my life…it’s incredible… I love a lot everyday, and I feel love everyday from the people who are closest to me. in the most overwhelming way, i really believe that love is the most valuable comodity on earth, we all can use more love.

Jennifer Pastiloff: How did you find yoga, or perhaps a better question would be, how did yoga find you?

Brock Cahill: great question, i like how you put that… yoga found me through a series of horrendous shoulder injuries that the docs wanted to cut and sew back together with no real hope of a true recovery. sounded like horseshit to me… i thought there must be another way. a friend suggested yoga. from day one i was hooked, just as you all were. i felt as if i had finally come home to my Self. as my mat unfolded beneath me day after day, i saw that my true injuries were not living in my shoulders, but in my soul… the shoulders were a symptom of my toxic lifestyle, the heavy partying, the dishonesty and denial, and my own inability to wake up in my own skin and connect to my soul. perhaps you know what i mean? shoulder soldiers unite!

Krista Cahill: 13 years ago I really fell in love with Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. I loved stepping to the side for Standing poses and flowing throughout seated sequences, the many predictable drishti’s and sequencing… now I practice the opposite and Yoga is still the love of my life, so I am excited to see what my evolution will be for the next 13 years. Maybe I will study Iyengar more…

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite yoga pose?

Krista Cahill: Handstand, of course.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I am moved by your commitment to seva. Kurmalliance. Tell us a little about that and how it was born?

Brock Cahill: kurmalliance is our nonprofit org aimed at oceaniconservation and yogactivism. i am very much in love with the ocean. i believe that she is the soul of our planet. not to mention the lifesource! without the ocean, we wouldn’t be here. …& without the ocean we won’t be here. the ocean is alive, and we must fight to save her.

i believe the yogis have the strength and focus to do so …or at least to ignite the revolution. but it is going to take solidarity: it is going to take union: it is going to take yoga. i hope we can band together and make this our fight. in my years as an avid oceanic romantic, i have seen the state of the ocean take a massive nosedive toward unsustainability, with the amount of plastic trash discarded into her guts, massive oil spills leaking all over her pretty face, the rape of hugemongous commercial fishing practices, and the destruction of her coral reefs that is akin to breaking her back with a sledgehammer. i couldn’t sit by and watch… but i didn’t know what to do? the problem is huge, & it is with society at large; how we have chosen convenience over consciousness. when you look at it in macro it is tremendously overwhelming. what difference can i make? how can i change the world? a better question is, how can i not?? she needs us. she needs you. …and all your yogasuperhero friends. she needs me too. on my birthday a few years ago, the sledge that broke my camels back was unleashed. enter the bp oil spill, the worst ecological disaster of all time. i was up in arms about the millions upon millions of gallons of oil that were being spewed into the gulf of mexico, and nobody really doing a damn thing about it. you remember, it was crazy!! and then on june 22, the news broke that bp was sanctioning the corralling of crude oil on the surface of the gulf, and lighting it on fire to try to quell the accumulation of so much of an eyesore. in doing so, they also happened to be trapping extremely endangered juvenile kemps ridley sea turtles that were mired in the surface slicks… and burning them alive. oh fuck… i have always had a very special and fond affinity for sea turtles. from my first days in the ocean, they have accompanied me on nearly every journey, and awakened me to the divinity of the sea. every time i have a chance to look into the eyes of a sea turtle, i see myself a little more clearly. i found a very spiritual bond there… and one that cannot be explained, but can be felt very deeply. these are the kind of bonds that ignite us; that motivate us; that activate us. on that day, i felt like i got kicked square in the balls, and i knew god was saying directly to me, “you just gonna stand around and watch this shit go down?” absolutely not. the kurmalliance was born. kurma is the sanskrit name for the second avatar of god, vishnu. in an ancient hindu parable, vishnu came down to earth in the form of a turtle and was able to churn the elixir of life out of the ocean, in order to save the world. it was our turn to pay the turtles back! the yoga community rallied, and in just a few short weeks we had raised about $35,000, to spearhead a mission to the gulf in conjunction with our buddies at the sea shepherd conservation society, and get to work saving turtles, collecting data, and being an honest witness to the shitspray that bp was attempting to sweep under the rug. I’m happy to say that the evidence that we were able to bring to court in the case against bp did help the people, the turtles, the sharks, and the coastline of the gulf gain some retribution from the crimes committed against them. I’m bummed to say that it wasn’t nearly enough. many were lost. and the way of life in the gulf will never be the same. but the alliance is strong. and we will never give up. not until mother ocean is safe from harm. join us. www.kurmalliance.org

Photo by Jasper Johal.
I take Brock’s class often at Equinox Santa Monica, where we teach together. He is kind, compassionate and kick ass!

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a yoga teacher?

Brock Cahill: using integration, tapping into strength to cultivate balance.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From being a yoga teacher who travels so much?

to stay grounded and focused, no matter what the world throws at you, and no matter what continent you are on, you are home in your body, and with your soul.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From being married?

Brock Cahill: that you can’t do it all alone. it is real nice to have a teammate. especially one that rocks as hard as krista!

Jennifer Pastiloff: From saving turtles?

Brock Cahill: that even if you are not ready, the time is now, and it is not going to wait for you. activate!

Jennifer Pastiloff: From your beloved handstand?

Brock Cahill: to stand up for what you believe in. if you pour your entire self, your focus, your dedication, your devocean into something, there is no stopping you. there will be obstacles. there will be hurdles. get over them! and this is from someone that could not lift his arms over his head when he began practicing! let alone even think about a handstand…

 

Brock and The Yogitoes Prism. Click to connect with Yogitoes.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Krista, what about you?

Krista Cahill: Brock is a very good teacher, the harder he is on you the more he believes you can do better. He is teaching me about my greatest potential. he is extracting the best from within me. it has been a powerful journey. As a yoga teacher the greatest lesson to learn is how to be yourself. People love a teacher because they offer something different, something unique and original…it’s not always easy to be creative, but a daily practice is the only inspiration you need!!! if your getting your inspiration from youtube videos, then there’s is a problem…

My personal practice is my best friend, I have enjoyed every breath, new pose, ideals and friendships. Most of all, it is where I met Brock, so i know it brings you what you need.

Jennifer Pastiloff: How has being married changed your life?

Krista Cahill: Being married to Brock has been a massive life change. I am now yoked to this man for the rest of my life… everything I do I have to consider his feelings and preferences too. For someone as impulsive as me that has been my biggest shift thus far:)

photo of Brock by Jasper Johal

Jennifer Pastiloff: Gratitude is the greatest force In my life. Most of my classes are set to this theme. If you could say thank you right now, who would it be to?

Brock Cahill: yoga.

Krista Cahill: I would thank Brock, he has shown me that i am a tough cookie.

Photo of the couple by Jasper Johal

Jennifer Pastiloff: How has Kurmalliance changed your life?

Brock Cahill: It has given me purpose. it has allowed me to recognize my dharma.

Jennifer Pastiloff: When was the last time you laughed at yourself?

Brock Cahill: i’ve been doing that a lot lately… thankfully! i was taking everything too seriously, with the state of the oceans and much of the globes apathy to her condition…

So i grew this frickin hilarious mustache. it was comedy. just about every time i would look at myself in the mirror i would launch almond milk out of my nose, cracking up so hard!

Krista Cahill: I laugh everyday, mostly when i am teaching I laugh at myself because I am ridiculous… I try to be tough because it’s what I like as a student, but sometimes I just can’t keep a straight face.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you most?

Brock Cahill: the ocean.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?

Brock Cahill: my wife, krista.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite part about teaching with your wife?

Brock Cahill: that we approach the middle ground from completely opposite sides of the spectrum, and as we meet at the meridian line, our teaching is so much more effective, informed, intelligent, and precise than it ever could have been on its own.

Jennifer Pastiloff: If you could impart one message to the readers of this, what would it be? Your message to the world………

Krista Cahill: Practice Yoga Everyday!!! Find a way to quiet the mind, for some of us that gets easier in an upside-down position…

Jennifer Pastiloff: Some words you live by?

Brock Cahill: elevate! activate! uplift! get conscious, and never give up. ever.

Krista Cahill: Don’t give up, if you want something you have to try and try again.

Jennifer Pastiloff: If you weren’t teaching yoga what would you be doing?

Brock Cahill: i’d be dead.

Krista Cahill: I would be a professional yoga student, i would get the most B.S. job ever and I would practice 2 or 3 classes everyday!! I would wake up for Ashtanga, then take a mid-day Iyengar class and then end the day with a hot’n sweaty flow.

 Jennifer Pastiloff: How can we get involved in Kurmalliance and Pluckfastic?

Click photo to learn more about Kurmalliance.org

Brock Cahill: we are in process of launching five very important projects into the water, including the adoption of a leatherback sea turtle in costa rica, a turtle tagging mission to the cocos islands, development of a turtle hatchery and nursery in french polynesia, and in our very own backyard of the santa monica bay, we are trying to pluckfastic on a grand scale, by organizing beach cleanups, standup paddle excursions to collect plastic refuse along our coast, and bioboat missions out to the rim of the channel islands to document and collect the unfathomable amount of plastic refuse choking our own local ecosystem. folks can help us with fundraising, if that is an avenue that they feel moved to explore. perhaps they would like to make a donation, which is always very much appreciated… or have an idea of how to become an instigator in the yogactivism revolution and create a project that will help generate awareness, as well as funding. …because all these projects require a steady influx of cash to help keep mother ocean afloat. once we have launched our bioboat this summer we will have active opportunities for members of the kurmalliance to spearhead a pluckfastic mission and become a member of the crew, by donating toward fuel costs and then joining us on a cruise to commune with ma ocean!

for more info, please check www.kurmalliance.org

Check out the video of Brock and Yogitoes

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is on your joy list?

Krista Cahill: I’m pretty boring actually, I like a super hard yoga class, a warm snuggly bed, a hot man to snuggle with and 9 hours of sleep.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What’s up next for The Gravity Cowboys?

Brock Cahill: a big big summer chock full of festivals and travel. we will be teaching at wanderlust in tahoe, and vermont. midwest yoga conference in chicago, and our amazing annual retreat… this year we hit aruba! scuba in aruba, anyone?? uh yeah, count me in!

Krista Cahill: I am manifesting Fun and Flight this year:)

Aruba anyone? Click on pic for more info!

They lead retreats all around the world!

Krista poses for Jasper Johal. Every picture he takes of her is stunning!

Krista by Jasper Johal

brock was wearing a pair cowboy boots and a bit of a hangover when he accidentally stumbled across the path of yoga. he was out there fumbling around in the dark, trying to find himself, when the light of yoga clicked on and pointed him in the right direction. through the physical nature of the practice, and his intense dedication to it, brock has been able to enliven the body and clarify the mind, preparing him for a momentous trek on the winding road leading to the self and the soul. it is a road he loves to share..wanna go for a walk?

Krista fell in love with the practice of yoga in 1999 when she took her first Ashtanga class with Tim Miller. Since that day she has devoted her time and energy into exploring the numerous dimensions, both as a teacher and student. “I look forward each day to the possibility that my practice both on and off the mat can promote a greater awareness in our immediate need for global peace and unification. ALL is ONE.”

Krista teaches retreats around the world and regular classes at Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica, CA. She teaches a vigorous Vinyasa flow class filled with challenging armbalances and inversions; she believes that our obstacles are our greatest blessings.

Click the magazine cover to learn more about Krista

Inspiration, Manifestation Workshops

Philadelphia.

April 5, 2012

I was born in Philly.

I spent the first few years of my life there then moved over the bridge to Pennsauken, NJ. Then a lot of stuff happened and my dad died and my mom moved my sister Rachel and I to California to start our lives over. Then a lot of stuff happened and after about 4 years my mom decided she wanted to move back to NJ. Then a lot of stuff happened and when I was 20 my mom and sister moved back to California. I came out a year or so later. The end.

Oh, and my mom dates Neil Diamond after she moves back to California when I am around 21.

A brief history of the Pastiloff family as told by me.

I go back to Philly quite often now and teach at my home studio there: Dhyana Yoga.

It’s a deep connection I have with this city. One filled with sadness and nostalgia and  memories both real and made up. One filled with ghosts and places my father visited and streets he stood on corners of.

In South Philly, back in the day, everyone had a nickname. My dad’s was: Mel the Jew.

Yes, you read right.

My uncle, who isn’t really my uncle at all, was Johnny Boy. He is still called that by many.

I walk around the city and imagine Mel the Jew with a cigarette hanging from his lips and wonder what he would think about what I am doing now.

Tonight in L.A., as my whole class laughed at something I said, something corny, a small part of me high-fived my dad in Heaven because he would be so proud. He would be most proud of my sense of humor and my ability to connect with others. He wouldn’t care about much else.

He might care that I married a Jew, which I didn’t.

No harm no foul, right?

Part of my reason for going back to Philly is to stay connected to my father.

This past workshop in Philly at Dhyana was oversold. It was mat to mat to mat.

I really felt like I had come home.

I booked a photo shoot with my talented friend Joe Longo. We drove to Philly from NJ before my workshop and landed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I used to watch Rocky with my dad. The same dad, Mel the Jew dad who made me memorize each city’s hockey team. The same dad who mooned people at holiday parties.

I stood on the steps of the museum with Joe and I looked out at this city of my father’s and felt a deep ache for him, for all the years I missed with him, for how different I think my life would be. I realized how far I have come as I looked out at at this city with different eyes.

My eyes are the same, come on now.

It’s a metaphor.

I see the world through different eyes now, through a different lens than I used to when I actually lived here. I used to be scared, sad and depressed. I looked down from the steps of the Museum and felt good, I felt happy in my skin and my body and although I missed my dad and what may have been, I felt confident that I was actually where I was meant to be.

A feeling I had never had before.

I did this shoot for my dad.

I wanted to lay in the grass he walked in. I wanted to stand on the sidewalks he knew. The buildings he leaned against I wanted to touch.

Here I am in Philadelphia, the city of my birth, the city of my father (and mother’s) birth.

I have come home.

Does that mean I will stay?

No. It means I can always come back and feel this connection.

Joe immortalized it for me.

There are well over 120 shots so I will just add a few.

We had a blast!

Of course I am wearing my favorite Tanya-b clothes in the pics. I am an Urban Legend for Tanya-b and I live in her clothes. Check the site out here.

And of course the tattoos I wear are from Conscious Ink where I am “Ambassador of The Ink.”

To book a shoot with Joe Longo please contact him here.

joelongophotography.photoshelter.com

I will be back at Dhyana Yoga in a few months so stay tuned to my blog.

Inspiration, manifesting

PMM: Pinch Me Moments.

April 1, 2012

I’m writing to you from the Upper East Side. As in New York City.

It’s so good to be back here. I feel more alive. I am awake. Really awake.

Thursday night, as I was teaching in SoHo at Yoga Vida, there was this moment when I caught my reflection in the windows facing Broadway. The buildings across the street and all the sweaty bodies reflected behind me in the reflection, and I thought This is where I am meant to be. I’m home.

I feel very much at home and comfortable on the East Coast.

Those that know me in person know that I am a bit of an anomaly in California.

So, I am here and loving it.

I taught my life affirming Manifestation Workshops in Philadelphia at Dhyana Yoga, my home studio there, and now in NYC at Yoga Vida in Soho and PURE Yoga West on the Upper West Side.

(By life affirming I mean we: sing, dance, journal, laugh, cry, play, go upside down, do partner work, write letters to our younger selves, twist, sweat and create new ideas of who we are. That kind of life affirming.)

I’ve never done this before but last night, as I sat at dinner with Wayne Dyer’s 4 ridiculously amazing and talented daughters, Eric Handler whose baby is Positively Positive and Oprah people, I pinched myself.

I reached under the table and pinched myself.

It hurt.

(I was just checking.)

Here I am in cities that are not where I live, selling out workshops. People are showing up in droves because they have read my words. That is my dream. Holy guacamole! They have read my words and have been so moved or affected that they came to my workshop which cost money. The green kind.

Here I am in the Village having a 5 hour lunch with my muse, the superstar and best selling author Karen Salmansohn, who also writes for Oprah. Telling her I would love to write for Oprah as well. (Wouldn’t you know just a few hours later I am at dinner with Oprah people and they are saying ” You should write for Oprah.com.”) Karen and I couldn’t part ways. Soul sisters is an understatement.

Here I am at a trendy Thai place in the Meat packing District of Manhattan having dinner with these folks and laughing my Pad Thai stuffed face off.

Three years ago I was asking: Egg whites or whole egg?. Chips or salad? More coffee?

Three years ago I was depressed and still did not have my hearing aid so I was half deaf and depressed. Ugh.

I had one of those moments last night where I simply stopped and acknowledged myself.

How often do you do that?

Like really, really acknowledge? Like the kind where you get goosebumps acknowledging?

Like when you get clear on what you have done and the goosebumps come.

Like when you get clear on who you are and the goosebumps come.

Like when you get clear on what you have overcome or broke through and the goosebumps come and never go away.

How often do we stop and acknowledge?

And, as my dear friend Frank Gjata always says: Acknowledge is Power.

(One of my favorite temporary tattoos of his from Conscious Ink.)

Lats night I looked at everyone at the table wearing my blue band. Yes, the misprinted ones that say Man-fest instead of Manifest. I sat across from the top producer at HARPO Studios wearing my blue bracelet as she ate her shrimp.

Skye and Serena Dyer (Wayne Dyer's daughters) wearing their Manifestation Man-festing bracelets.

It was such a chuckle moment.

I love chuckle moments.

When I realize how life works and how sometimes it is just so comical. How easeful. How’s it’s like one big ride.

When they all started toasting me last night I had to laugh at the hilarity of it. Toasting me, Jennifer Pastiloff, for making last night happen, for bringing everyone together.

(Funny because that is what I think of myself as: The Connector. Not the Yoga teacher, but the Connector.)

I have Wayne Dyer, Oprah and Positively Positive all on my vision board next to NYC. I have a picture of Oprah and under it says “Oprah’s Favorite Things” where I taped the words “Manifestation Retreats.”

Hee hee.

So yea, Oprah may not be at my next retreat just yet or saying that it is her favorite thing, but hot damn, her producers are having dinner with me, wearing my bracelets, asking me all about my blog. I’d say it was kind of a chuckle pinch me moment.

A CPMM: Chuckle Pinch Me Moment.

I may change my flight and stay for Oprah’s life class on Monday. My flight is out of Philly so I can be back for my early Equinox class Tuesday morning.

Last night I started to fret. I cannot miss another class. Bla. Bla. I have to get back. Bla bla.

I cannot recall the exact fretting. But it was something along those lines.

Then I thought: Wait a minute, Jennifer Pastiloff, just you wait a minute.

This is your dream, you nincompoop.

You would say no?

What am I afraid of?

Why would I say no?

Here it is. I am going to divulge the fear.

When I am happy I fear that it will be taken away, that I will wake up and be back to working at the Newsroom so I can say ” See, nothing good lasts.”

Eww, pop psychology is so cheesy and predictable.

I refuse to be cheesy and predictable.

My Equinox class will still be there for me if I miss one more to see Oprah.

I deserve to have my dreams come true.

There. I just said that.

Can you say that?

Join me please so I don’t feel like I am alone in a cab on the Avenue of Dreams all by my lonesome.

And guys? Bliss goes with everything.

Wear it all the time.

Serena Dyer, Harriet Seitler (executive VP for Harpo, as in Oprah, studios), and Eric Handler of Positively Positive all wear their Manifestation bracelets. Bam!

Serena tweeting. Follow her at @serenadyer
She is co-writing a book with her dad Wayne Dyer which I cannot wait for!

My most favorite tweet ever came last night from Serena Dyer.

Now, as you know, Wayne Dyer, her father, is my beloved teacher. She tweeted this:

Serena Dyer ‏ @serenadyer

The Dyer’s have adopted an honorary sister @ManifestYogaJen, just call her Sennifer 🙂

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