What Jen Pastiloff’s Retreat is Like: According to a 22 Year Old.January 21, 2016
By Haley Jakobson.
Imagine you are 22 and freshly graduated and suddenly sucked into the city of New York like a vacuum, dust pounding into your ears and grit clouding your eyes. Imagine that you feel very alone, despite your dad being a ride away on the 6 train and your college friends scattered around Manhattan like bread crumbs. Imagine you are depressed with a heavy coating of anxiety, a strong nail lacquer that you can’t chip off with the underside of your fingernail. And now you are at work, and despite all of these things, or maybe because of them, work still bored you and you find yourself scrolling through the vortex of your Instagram feed.
This is when you find her. Somewhere buried beneath the yoga pictures that intimidate you and the dogma that comes with them that sometimes bites you from inside the screen, somewhere beyond the pictures of Saturday night snapshots that might have been forgotten otherwise, and hungover Sunday brunch photos you were invited to be a part of but were too sad to join – you find her. She says: “girl power you are enough.” She says “fuck.” A lot. She says, “don’t be an asshole.” Well, duh, you think – and then remember how often you forget this. You read on. Continue Reading…
Haters Gonna Hate. Taking Things Personally.March 29, 2015
Happy Sunday! I make loads of videos (shockingly bad production valyue, but hey!) which you can find on my Youtube channel here.
Today’s (well, I made 2, as you will see after you watch video. Go to my Facebook page or Youtube to watch first), today’s is about taking things personally. One of my faves.
Haters gonna hate.
Lovers gonna love. (Pssst…I say we love!)
This one is on taking things personally. Do you? I do at times.
But I get over it quicker now. That’s the thing- recovery time gets quicker. Are you going to take what “they” say as truth?
Also this: don’t defend who you are. And yes, some people may not like you. But so so many do. I do.
I like you.
BY TONY HOAGLAND
Don’t take it personal, they said;
but I did, I took it all quite personal—
the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;
the price of grapefruit and stamps,
the wet hair of women in the rain—
And I cursed what hurt me
and I praised what gave me joy,
the most simple-minded of possible responses.
The government reminded me of my father,
with its deafness and its laws,
and the weather reminded me of my mom,
with her tropical squalls.
Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness
Think first, they said of Talk
Get over it, they said
at the School of Broken Hearts
but I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’t
believe in the clean break;
I believe in the compound fracture
served with a sauce of dirty regret,
I believe in saying it all
and taking it all back
and saying it again for good measure
while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries
like wheeling birds
and the trees look seasick in the wind.
Oh life! Can you blame me
for making a scene?
You were that yellow caboose, the moon
disappearing over a ridge of cloud.
I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;
barking and barking:
trying to convince everything else
to take it personal too.
It Was All A Dream.December 16, 2014
By Jen Pastiloff.
So last night I was waiting to board my flight at JFK.
It was a long day. We (hubby and I) had taken the bus Sunday morning from NYC to New Jersey, after my “birthday that never ends” celebration. I had never done that before- really let myself be loved like that. It was also the first time I traveled that wasn’t work related in ages.
It felt good.
It was the first time my husband came back east with me and met many of my friends and my family and got to see where I was from. We have been married 5 years this coming February and it was the first time he has come back with me, so it was special.
On my actual birthday, I saw one of my dearest friends, Laura Donnelly, shine on Broadway in The River. I sat there and watched someone whose dream was realized- she was onstage in this gorgeous red dress and she sang and I thought,”This is my friend. This is my people.”
And I teared up. Because, Fuck yeah! She did it!
I hung out with Hugh Jackman on my birthday. <<< Yea, that’s kind of amazing. I could probably stop this blog with that line. “I hung with Hugh on my birthday.” I sound like an asshole. Don’t be an asshole, Jen.
Eff that. I shall be an asshole. I hung with Hugh on my birthday. And he is just as lovely as you would imagine. Kind and funny and generous and present and humble.
I’m getting back to the JFK bit, bear with me.
I hung with Hugh Jackman and drank tequila with him and he made a “don’t be an asshole” video with me and then my friends took me to the fanciest dinner I have ever had in my life- 7 courses at Jean-Georges. In true NY fashion, we didn’t start eating until midnight. And there were copious amounts of wine. And dessert.
I spent the following evening at Viceroy New York (thank you for the champagne!) with so many of my beloved friends, some since childhood. And my husband. And my agent came. And I was in NY! My first roommate from NYU came. My friend Tanya (owner of tanya-b clothing line, who organized Saturday’s party and who I am flying out to NYC to do a photo shoot for on Jan 12) gave me a candle with a Biggie Smalls quote on it. It said, “It was all a dream.”
I had the candle in my pocket and I thought, it was all a dream.
Who’s to say which is the dream and which is real life? I sometimes wonder this.
One time, when I was leading a retreat at Kripalu (were you worried I was going to say, One time, at band camp…?) I was getting a massage and I said to the woman, “I don’t want to go back to real life.” She said, “This is real life. This. Here. Now.”
And I thought about how she was right. Maybe that’s not even what she said. I was in massage-land but she said something to the effect of letting the fantasy part feel “real.” Because me? I always worry that the other shoe is about to drop. This is going to end. I have to go back to real life and real life is bad and messy and painful and something always hurts. This is going to end- I always think that. And yet- it will. It all ends.
But letting go of the idea that just because something good happens to me or for me or I am happy means that something awful is waiting is some straight up bullshit.
I went to bed happy.
The next morning Robert and I took the bus to New Jersey so we could drive to Delaware with my mom and visit Benny in the hospital. Those of you new to my page, Benny is a little boy my family and I have fallen in love with, who has Prader Willi Syndrome like my nephew Blaise. He is legally blind and just had a terrible accident that has left him paralyzed. Benny loves princesses.
For my birthday, I knew that the one thing I wanted more than anything was to meet him.
So I made that happen.
We drove to Delaware bearing the gifts (all princess stuff) that people had given us for Benny. People like you who have never met him but have been following his story. Someone brought me a present to my NYC birthday party for Benny. It was the greatest gift. Made me cry. She said she had gone to FAO Shwartz and that she “had no idea princesses were so confusing.” People can be so good when they aren’t being assholes. (Myself included.)
This little boy is such a warrior.
I won’t lie- I have been struggling with understanding why some people have to have so much pain in their lives? This kid has so much with having Prader Willi (google it, it sucks) and being blind. And now, he is fucking paralyzed? I wish I had a greater faith in times like this. I’d say, “Take me!! Take me!” but truly, I am not sure who I would be saying that to. How much can one little boy take??
And then this, in Pakistan this morning as I was posting this blog. All these children. Why? Why? Fists to the sky! Why!
What Doesn’t Kill You.December 1, 2014
By Jen Pastiloff.
I wrote this for Thanksgiving but hey, it’s still close enough to Thanksgiving. It’s “Cyber Monday.” Who the hell uses the word “cyber” anymore, anyway? Happy Cyber Monday! Another reason to shop! This is America!
This was my T-Day post:
Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful. Two of my friends just lost their sisters two days apart, right before Thanksgiving. This little boy, Benny, the one I posted about a few weeks ago (click here to donate), is legally blind, has Prader Willi Syndrome like my nephew Blaise, has had fifteen surgeries on his back, and now, just last month, had an accident that left him paralyzed. Happy Thanksgiving.
But the thing is, and I mean, this really is the crux of my forthcoming book Beauty Hunting – we must find the good in the bad, we must find the slivers of beauty in the pain, we must find what we have to be grateful for. Otherwise – life is torturous and ugly and mean and filled with pot-holes.
I created this series I’ve written about called “The Don’t Be An Asshole” series or otherwise known as The DBAA Series, whereupon I make fun of myself. I call myself out. I hope to lead by example and remind us all not to take ourselves so seriously, because hey, life sure can suck at times already. Why should we add to that suckiness?
Happy Thanksgiving Or “Don’t Be An Asshole” Day!November 27, 2014
By Jen Pastiloff
Happy Thanksgiving! I realize many of the readers of this site are not in The U.S. so I have also named this holiday The Don’t Be An Asshole Day because really, what better day to not be one? To be grateful? It’s a perfect day to NOT be an asshole.
Last night I was talking to one of my most cherished friends (Annie Sertich) about the joys of getting older. I am being a bit sarcastic (crows feet, drooping eyes, receding hairline, ext) but hear me out: I am very grateful to get older. My dad did not get that. He did get to say, “Wahhh, poor me, I am turning 40.”
Getting older is a joy. Even if sometimes the things that happen to our bodies and skin and hair and all the rest don’t feel like it. It’s an honor. Continue Reading…
What Fear Looks Like.November 26, 2014
By Jen Pastiloff.
This was my status update on my Facebook just now but I thought I would share here since some of you crazy (read: smart) kids are not on Facebook:
Let me tell you about stepping out of your comfort zone and fear and being ballsy and what that looks like to me.
A few years back I started doing these workshops which have since morphed into something else entirely. I have no idea what to name this thing. What to call it. It’s not really a “yoga” thing but I do it at yoga studios and we sit on yoga mats.
It’s not really a writing thing because you don’t have to be a writer or even like writing, but we write.
And we share. And we laugh. And we cry.
And it’s heavy but also really really light.
And like, how do you describe that? How do you say, call up a studio in Chicago and say, “Hey, I want to come do this thing I do there at your place. I can’t really describe it. You’ll just have to see for yourself. People will come. Trust me.”
And I mean, there’s a deep knowing that I will sell it out (but there’s also the other part of me that’s like, “OMG, you have never been to Chicago or Vancouver or whatever city it is. Who do you think you are?”)
I do not listen to that voice for very long. I put on my big girl panties and shut that voice up and carry on with my cup of coffee and hush that little voice that says, “How dare you create something that is not definable and expect people will show up?”
Why do I hush that voice?
Because I did do that. I am doing that.
Is it scary as f*ck? Yes. Continue Reading…