Browsing Tag

hearing loss

Inspiration, manifesting, Owning It!


March 15, 2012

Yesterday as I was on my way to have a coaching session with the incomparable Frank Gjata I got pulled over.


– Frank Gjata

The cop didn’t like that when I told him that was my destination and thus explained why I had been speeding.

Where you going? Bliss! I’m in a hurry to get there, Officer. Please!

Ok, I didn’t really say that. I did beg and cry. A lot. It didn’t work. I got the speeding ticket.

Frank offers what he calls “Life Changing Moments” Sessions.

Imagine the irony that I am on my way to my very own life changing moment sesh and I get pulled over by a cop on a bike. It felt ironic to me.


Because I got the metaphor before Frank and I even began to dive into it.

Frank is the creator of Conscious Ink and Manifestation Tattoos and I am surprised he hasn’t come up with one yet that says “You are going past the speed limit.”

(Frank read: please create that tattoo, my friend?)

I am always speeding. It’s true.

Just look at my Facebook. Or Twitter. I am always getting asked “How do you do all you do? How do you keep up?”

A secret? I don’t!

I miss appointments and I forget. I double book. I get speeding tickets. Doh!

Yesterday’s ticket came at a perfect time. A life changing moment ( thanks Frank). Last week, one of my dearest friends, Steve Bridges passed away, as you may have read in earlier posts, and it was like a bucket of ice cold water poured over the body of my life.

I got very cold and very awake and very alive.

I also realized I no longer wanted to speed through.

Well, apparently I didn’t realize it fully because yesterday’s ticket was a gentle reminder that I had not committed to slowing the f*ck down.

I have committed to slowing down but I have not yet committed to giving up cursing. (Sorry folks with sensitive ears.)

I made some huge shifts yesterday which I am still processing but I will say this: I needed to get that ticket. I need to frame it and use it as a reminder that I can take my time. That I can breathe. That I can be present.

There it is.

Be present.

Frank asked me a question no one has ever asked me before.

In case you didn’t know I have profound hearing loss.

He asked me what part of my “not being able to hear” keeps me “from not being here”?

I wanted to leave when he asked me this. I had a realization that for as much as I talk about vulnerability, I didn’t like to be vulnerable. Damn you, Frank!

Yet I stayed. I won’t share all that we talked about but I will share that I think you need to get your arse over to see him. (Please do not speed.)

I will share that yes, yes it was a life changing moment and like his tattoo says that I wear on my forearm: There are no accidents.

Speeding ticket an accident? Nah.

A gentle reminder that I deserve to be fully here and that I am doing a disservice to others otherwise? Pretty much.

Is the ticket annoying and a waste of money? Maybe.

But maybe not.

Maybe, if I really follow-through on my break-through I will realize that although it cost me $400 or whatever a speeding ticket goes for these days, it will have gained me my life.

I may not be able to hear perfectly but I can be here perfectly.

Thank you Frank.

***So here is my question for YOU: Where, in your own life, can you stop speeding?***
I am excited to announce that I am an ambassador to the Ink.
I love being an ambassador for the amazing Manifestation tattoos! I am pleased to announce also that Frank will be a part of my Manifestation retreat May 4-6 and each retreat attendee will get a tattoo at the start of the weekend. It is sure to be amazing! Sign up here. ( at the time of this writing there are 6 spots left)

Jennifer Pastiloff will be teaching at the Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets. Enter the code Pastiloff for a $50 discount! (Please note that discount codes expire April 1.)

Hearing Loss

The Born Identity.

February 11, 2012

I sleep a lot.

When I was in Philly, I stayed with my friends in Chestnut Hill. Their 5 year old Jack thought something was wrong with me because he had to pry me out of bed in the morning. “Is it because California has a different time zone?” he asked me.

He’s pretty smart.

It’s kind of always made me feel ashamed how much I like to sleep. How much I need sleep. Busy people, successful people, (at least the ones I know), do not take marathon naps like I do.

It dawned on me lately why I require so much. Why I get so tired.

I work hard.

Yea, yea, we all work hard.

I work hard in a different way. I realized in the last few days, as my hearing has gotten much worse for whatever reason, that I have been wanting to hibernate more than usual. I have been avoiding the phone.

The reason?

It’s too much damn work.

I have to struggle to hear and keep up and make sense of what’s going on.

No, I am not fully deaf.

My hearing is distorted and I have tinnitus. I hear sound but I cannot make out what that sound is, for the life of me.

Imagine talking underwater. Imagine someone talking with a sock over their mouth.

I cannot watch tv without subtitles. I cannot hear what you say unless I look at your mouth.

It gets old. It gets boring. I get very tired of having to tell people. I get really over myself at making bad jokes about it.

I get scared that it will get worse and worse.

I try not to get scared that it will get worse and worse.

(The truth is, any worse and I will be 100% deaf.)

So I go to sleep.

It is exhausting putting forth so much energy simply to hear someone tell you their name.

So I sit here and watch The Bourne Identity with the sound turned down because I actually find it soothing, and, like good company, it doesn’t have to say a lot, just knowing it’s here is enough. Plus I have seen it 17 times.

More than anything it frustrates me. I want to hear, I work hard to hear, but frankly, whether I work hard or not, it doesn’t make a difference. It just makes me exhausted.

I am going to work less.

I accept that I cannot hear perfectly and if I miss a thing or two, well, then I miss a thing or two.

The energy I exert to be part of the world is taking it’s toll on me and whether my ears can hear it or not, I am in fact very much part of the world.

It’s taken me quite some time to understand my fatigue.

Why my friends can go and go and teach 4 yoga classes and keep going and why I need to crawl in bed and pass out? What stuff am I made of? Yikes, how am I going to be a mother if I have to rest so often?

Well, the fact of the matter is: I will have to work less in the irony of all ironies.

I must lessen the struggle. Practice radical acceptance that the things I am meant to hear will be revealed to me even if someone has to pass me a note like we are in 8th grade or text me. I have to stop pretending that I can hear and then spend 5 minutes replaying the sounds in my brain so I can make sense of them.

And if I need to sleep a little more to be the best teacher I can be, then so be it.

Now Indiana Jones is on. Still on mute. I have seen this one many times, as well.

I guess the reality is, that my life, much like these films I can watch and enjoy on silent mode, can be enjoyed without so much noise. I can probably sit back and relax a little more because whether I admit or not, I probably know what is going on. I have to trust a little more and maybe just get a really good translator.

My own born identity is that of a healer.

The older I get and the longer I have had to deal with this hearing loss the closer I get to fulfilling my destiny. I am an empath. I am a healer.

I do believe this is largely due to my struggles with hearing. It has allowed me to fine tune my other senses and become highly aware of what it means to be human.

Does it suck sometimes? Yes.

Do I feel really tired a lot because I spend 90% of the time trying to figure out what the f*ck you just said? Yes.

Do I miss jokes? Yes.

Do I miss what the yoga teacher says? Yes.

Am I happy? Yes.

Am I grateful yes?

Am I love? Yes.

That’s what it is. I trade a bit of fatigue and some struggle and some deafness for a pretty awesome life and a heightened sense of compassion.

I’ll deal with it.

Just please don’t whisper, talk to me while upside down or while in another room.

In turn, I will give up the fight and realize that when I really really need to hear you, I will.

I will find a way to hear and the things I don’t, well, my guess is that they weren’t meant for me anyway.

Just a hunch.

Things I Have Lost Along The Way

What Was Lost.

October 2, 2011

Ah, Loss.

My hearing loss to be precise.

Last week I went through a period of depression where I was feeling very very sorry for myself because what I am missing out on must be so much, so spectacular, so profound. So much must be lost on me. I am the lone angel with just one wing.

Then I come back from the Very Dark Place. The VDP.

Things which I have lost: My eating disorder, my keys, my 20’s, my appetite for drama, my desire to be an actress, a wallet once with 400 dollars in tips from waitressing right before Thanksgiving, on my way to buy pies at Polly’s Pies, while it was still Polly’s Pies. My diamond earrings.  Things I have not lost but thought I had: my father, the sound of quiet. If I try hard enough I can find these things I thought I lost in corners and caves and unexpected rooms of my life.

What have you truly lost along the way? What have you thought you lost only to wake up and realize that it was with you all along, it’s hand right there, over your heart, where you left it.

What if I am not missing anything at all? What if everything I ever needed is right here even if it sounds a little different to my elephant ears? What if my father is right over there, on a couch in my room right now, smoking his Kools, having a good old laugh at how serious I take my life. What if he’s telling me to ‘Lighten up, you’re not missing much, kiddo’?

Maybe elephants can hear mountains. Maybe each mountain range creates a different sound, a different tone when the wind blows over it. A soundscape as vivid as a landscape, only visible to an elephant’s ears.

I am like an elephant.

I can hear the mountains talking to me. I can hear the sun and the wind, the sky also when no one else can. These phantom sounds have guided me through the plains of my life.  I read lips to guide me through the terrain. And when the lips fail me, I have always thought I was lost.

The below video is a 29 year old girl hearing her voice for the first time. Found!

The thick jelly roll of noise

Filled with soft syllables and unspoken words

Is all around you if you just

Open the ear in your heart.

Tune the fork which vibrates in your chest

which knows when something is said,

even if it isn’t.

 I am the deaf poet.

 I hear you.

Clamoring up there in your head

Fighting with your own thoughts who

Use swords and knives and vicious words to win.

Relying on trickery.

 Some things will break or be lost.

 There will always be a hole

Where the sound of wind passing through

Will be a loud lonely sound

that I alone can hear.

You must fill that hole with memories, 

songs your father sang you, people you love,

Your children, favorite songs, photographs.

You must fill it and seal it

With wet sand, bricks, mortar.

And then hang a sign that says

“ No Vacany”.

You’re full up.

I am the deaf poet.

I rely on the train of the invisible,

it’s texture dense, heavy mud.

Your heart has an ear.

My ear has a heart.  

I can hear things that you can’t though. I can feel the warrior in yoga, the curl of the back. The opening of the heart. Even if I miss the direction. I can hear the quiet in between the quiet, the arches of eyebrows, the pursing of lips. I can hear the music of unspoken gestures, the tick tock of need, the roaring of lust, the whining of dissatisfaction. I can hear the tree frog sound of anger even though your mouth moving  in circles alludes me.

Nothing is lost.



The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
~Elizabeth Bishop