Browsing Tag

Prader Willi Syndrome

Guest Posts, Prader Willi Syndrome

Welcome to Holland

January 10, 2012

Welcome to Holland. Truly a post reading and sharing, Manifesters! A brilliant essay by Rachel Pastiloff on love and acceptance. BRILLIANT!

don’t listen to what anybody tells you that your child is capable of doing. What do they know. Children have spirits that are unmatched by anything I have ever seen in this world. Children can move mountains with their will and determination. I have been blessed to have an amazing doctor for Blaise who always tells me that he has and will continue to have a great life. ” Click here to read more.

Eating/Food, Guest Posts

Feeling Hungry

January 4, 2012

Feeling Hungry. (Today’s is a MUST READ, folks…. This blog was written on my nephew Blaise’s 5th birthday by my sister as she was fasting. Blaise has Prader Willi Syndrome which makes him feel hunger ALL THE TIME….

an excerpt~

“Today is day 2 of my juice fast. Today is also Blaise’s birthday. I am not going to lie, today was really hard. I was really hungry today. Worse than yesterday. Let’s not forget to add the massive headache and acne breakout in the mix.

Today I really understand what it is like for my son.

Today I understand what it is like to have Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Please read this one by clicking here.

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Video

I Can!

December 18, 2011

 

 

 

This was my Status Update from Facebook yesterday:

Jennifer Pastiloff Yoga
I am just going to declare it.
Things I am manifesting for 2012.
~ Giving a TED talk.
~Being on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show show talking about Prader Willi Syndrome and making lemonade when life gives you lemons.
~ Being a contributor for Oprah Winfrey magazine
~Raising $500,000 at least for The Foundation for Prader-Willi Researchby selling my Manifestaion t-shirts and bracelets and through my retreats/fundraisers etc.
~My blog Manifestation Station www.manifestationyoga.com) having 1 million subscribers. And awesome featured guest posters.
~ Selling my book
~ being on Modern Familyas I teach Cam yoga. I can teach the rest but it must be Cam especially. ( Eric Stonestreet)
~ Joining Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (my mentor) on his tour to at least one city. And having him write a “blurb” for my book since he was my inspiration.
Gifts And Miracles Everyday: GAME ~ Free Yoga for Kids w/ Special Needs (my seva project) becomes an official non-profit and has volunteers in at least 5 cities
~Living outside of my comfort zone more often with more humor

~~~~

Thanks to all my students who shouted ” I can!” in class while we were in boat pose!
Birthday, Prader Willi Syndrome

My Birthday Request.

December 12, 2011

Dear Manifesters,

It is my birthday today and I can safely say it is the best birthday I have ever had! What would complete it is if you supported PWS research and bought a Manifestation shirt or bracelet!

My latest TinyBuddha piece got published today, of all days! Here it is.

It is called “The Future is Completely Open” and along with GMA, it is an incredible way to celebrate my birthday! (http://tinybuddha.com/blog/the-future-is-completely-open/)

Click this icon to read my birthday post on TinyBuddha.

I had Good Morning America on my vision board and yesterday we filmed my segment at Equinox South Bay during my karaoke yoga class. My interview is later today. Yes, I visualized it and it happened.

I acted AS IF.

 

A picture of my vision board that I made at my Manifestation Ojai retreat in September. See Good Morning America at bottom? (GMA)

It will air Dec 26th or 27th. I tell you as a reminder that you can manifest anything you put your attention on.

Deem yourself worthy to receive. (Took me a long time to get this one, folks. But I got it now. I am worthy!)

Thank you Wayne Dyer for teaching me that years ago! I look forward to teaching yoga at your conferences, my mentor!

All I want for my birthday is that you buy a Manifestation t-shirt or at least share the link. All money is going to charity for Prader Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder my nephew has, and also to research for Tay Sachs (a fatal disease my friend Emily’s baby Ronan has.) Please consider buying or at the very least sharing and learning what these disorders/diseases are. I sent my first $500 check into the Foundation for Prader Willi Research last week and it felt so good.

You will notice on the Good Morning America segment that I am wearing a Manifestation tank and so is Cameron Mathison. Many of the class did as well and everyone wore their Manifestation bracelet. The bracelets are by donation, with a minimum of $3.

Here is link for bracelets.

Lego men manifest too! You can also get them from me in my public classes. Please post a picture of yourself wearing your bracelet declaring what you are manifestinh!

 

Here is link for tees and tanks. Please feel free to email me with questions and of course, we can ship them. Please specify if you want a tee or a tank in the message. http://www.jenniferpastiloff.com/PayPal.html 

 

My client and friend Alex Albrecht manifests with the gold shovel he got when he was on Jimmy Fallon a couple weeks ago. (Check out Alex's Voltron short that he manifested!)

Renowned yoga teacher Tamal Dodge manifests at The Yoga Collective in Santa Monica.

 

GMA correspondent and actor Cameron Mathison and I wear our Manifestation gear.

 

Thank you all for being a part of my life.

Keep manifesting your life,

one laugh at at time.

@manifestyogajen

ps, I am teaching a special birthday yoga class tonight at The Yoga Collective in Santa Monica. Feel free to join us at 8 pm. I will bring shirts and bracelets and a big hug for you.

Birthday, Delight, Prader Willi Syndrome

The Love of My Life Sings Me Happy Birthday.

December 12, 2011

Ok, ok, My hubby is also the love of my life but my nephew Blaise stole my heart when he was born. He has Prader Willi Syndrome. Please buy a Manifestation t-shirt by clicking here and support research.

My nephew Blaise and I at my wedding. Click on picture to buy a tee and support research for PWS

This video melted my heart. Enjoy. He is as sweet as they come. He gives the best hugs too.

Beating Fear with a Stick, Birthday

Bucket List

December 3, 2011

I know.

Bucket List sounds like that movie. The one a few years ago with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman that you probably saw on an airplane. And it has connotations of dying.

But that’s not what I am talking about here.

At least not for me.

This post is a LIFE LETTER. A LIFE LIST. A I-am-living-this-year-and-every-year-as-if-it-is-my-last-list.

My father died at 38 years old when I was 8.

It sucked. It sill sucks. Still makes me sad but I manage to get through it by writing and laughing and teaching and doing yoga and letting myself experience what I need to daily without judgement.

Naturally, even though it was on a subconscious level,  I assumed people died at 38. I don’t think I was aware I even had this belief. But, on a cellular level, somewhere deep in the most Jennifer parts of Jennifer, I simply vanished after 37 years of age. In my imagination. I could not, for the “life” of me, visualize a future for myself.

It gave me anxiety to think about.

I have never been much of a planner. This will come as a surprise to those that know me these days, as every day is booked and I have to plan out even a year in advance for most things. I definitely didn’t get delivered from the Stork in this fashion.

Planning scared the bejesus out of me especially when it came to the future. My future.

When we are children our world revolves around us little people. It should be that way. When my father died, on some level I thought it was my fault. I was 8. It’s what we do. Just as some kids think it is their fault when their parents divorce. It’s common. It’s expected when you’re a young whippersnapper to be the center of the Universe. You are.

It’s also common to form your inherent beliefs of yourself and the world at that young age. This is fine and good, except when it isn’t.

Case in point: your father dies at age 38 and you assume that is when life ends in general.

And here I am, Dear Manifesters, about to turn 37. I’ve made it pretty far, I’d say.

So this year, the year between 37 and 38 is to be filled with life. Since my father’s life ended at 38, I am going to enter my 38th year with the most BAM and the most LIFE.

Here is my letter.

Dear Age 37,

I am very excited to meet you! I can hardly wait.

I didn’t think I would be. For a long time, up until recently even, I would lie about my age. Mainly because I was an actor, and well, that is what actors do. But I think I also lied because I was scared about getting older. My dad never got to get older, so I falsely assumed that was to be my lot in life too.

Things have changed for me in the last few years and somewhere along the way I have lost that fear. My life has gotten better and better, and in fact, you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to my 20’s. Not that you offered. I’m just saying. I am happy here. Now.

This next year will be very powerful and I just wanted to let you know I am glad you are here. I already love you very much. 

We are going to travel around the world together. We are writing a book. We are going on Good Morning America. We are teaching workshops all over the world. We are laughing more than we ever thought possible. We are thinking about having a baby soon. We will probably wait until 38 gets there though. So don’t go starting any rumors.

I know your cousins “Ages 17-31” don’t think I liked them very much because of the way I treated them. I doubt you will ever see them again, but if you do, could you apologize for me? I don’t want to go back and tell them myself, but I truly am sorry I didn’t appreciate them as I appreciate you.

You Dear 37, look so much better than I imagined you to look. I am really proud of you.

Anyway, we have 10 days until you arrive but i just wanted you to know that you are very welcome in these parts.

Oh, and one last thing. Buckle your seatbelt. It’s going to be one helluva ride! See you on December 12th!

Love, me xo 

So my “Bucket List” isn’t a list of things I will do before I kick the bucket. It is a list of things I do before I turn 38 when my dad passed and I mistakenly assumed, as child, that life ended. I am living this year as a testament to my father. As a loving memory and a G-damn party in his honor. He may not have gotten past 38 but I am making it up for him. Daily.

Watch out world.

PS, All I want for my birthday is for you to buy a Manifestation t-shirt. All money is going to charity! I am committed to finding a cure for Prader Willi Syndrome and Tay Sachs. Here is the link. Help me have a happy birthday by giving back. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO OWN A MANIFESTATION TEE? http://manifestationyoga.com/what-does-it-mean-to-own-a-manifestaion-t-shirt/

Guest Posts, Inspiration, Prader Willi Syndrome

Warrior.

November 23, 2011

Please watch this video my sister Rachel Pastiloff Owings made today. PWS Warrior Mom.

Which indeed she is.

You will gain a better understanding of what Prader Willi Syndrome is and what my nephew Blaise goes through on a daily basis. You will also understand why I am raising money for research. Buy a Manifestation t-shirt® to help us if you are so inspired. Click here to order. All proceeds go to research. The money will be split between PWS research and Tay Sachs research which my friend Emily’s baby Ronan has. We will ship you the t-shirt is you cannot pick it up.

Please share this far and wide.

Also, please click on the “LIKE” button on Youtube as it will help us get more views. We want to educate the world. Knowledge is power.

What does it mean to own a Manifestation t-shirt®? Well, click here to find out!

Please learn more about Prader Willi Syndrome so we can come together and find a cure. Visit www.fpwr.org or pwsausa.com. My sister also has a “fan page” on Facebook called ” I am a Fan of Somebody with Prader Willi Syndrome.” Join today. Support!

My nephew and best buddy Blaise who has Prader Willi Syndrome aka PWS

Keep manifesting your life,

One laugh at a time,

Jen (@manifestyogajen on twitter)

ps, I started an organization last year called GAMEyoga.org which provides free yoga for kids with special needs. Email me for more info. GAME= Gifts And Miracles Everyday!

Guest Posts, Little Seal

Closing the Exit Door. Guest Post by Emily Rapp.

November 20, 2011
The following guest post is by my favorite writer and dear friend, Emily Rapp. Many of you know her already because I talk about her endlessly. Some of you may even follow her own blog Little Seal.  Emily is a great source of inspiration and love for me. I urge you to take the time and read her words. Also, my Manifestation t-shirts are an effort to raise money for Tay Sachs, as well as Prader Willi Research. It is my greatest honor to introduce you, Dear Manifesters, to the brilliant and gorgeous Emily Rapp.

Closing the Exit Door by Emily Rapp

When I first learned that my son, Ronan, would die before he turned four years old of a rare, progressive neurological disease called Tay-Sachs, I felt too sad to live. I thought I cannot stay awake.

I thought I want to die.

All of the self-destructive coping mechanisms I had relied on in the past – binge drinking, starving, extreme exercise, overworking, impulse shopping – were no longer any use to me. There was no place to go where I did not feel pain. There was no method of transformation available to me, which is another way of saying that there was no exit door. For several months grief became my life, and for the rest of my life grief will be a major player in it.

How do people survive a world when every step forward feels like dropping through a trap door? Some people don’t.

In 1944 my grandfather, a man from whom I inherited my red hair and many other traits (I’m told), shot himself with a rifle in a hot barn. Nobody knows the full story; nobody knows why. Was it depression, addiction, or a combination of these? Did the same fate await me, the recipient of at least some of his genetics? He was a unique man in a unique position in a unique period of time: an Irish Catholic father of two who, if he had asked for help for his depression or addiction or other problem, would have had limited resources. Depending on what he needed he may have been judged harshly by his conservative rural community, maybe even been outcast. The fact that my grandfather took his life makes me much more likely (if you believe in statistics) to do the same. I understood this in the first thunderous days after Ronan’s diagnosis, and I was afraid.

I understood the deepest shadow side of myself.

But when I looked at my fear straight on, a strategy I learned, in part, from yoga, I found something I hadn’t expected – not an exit, but an entrance.

When I looked into the fire of my grief and despair, and then sat down in it, then got familiar with it (tasting, touching, breathing, smelling, eating it) I found a new coping mechanism – my vocation as a writer – to be the only one that offered any assistance, any help at all. I couldn’t have been more surprised. Up to that point, most of my life as a writer consisted of procrastination, spurts of inspiration, cross country trips to residencies where I spent the bulk of my time “getting settled in my new environment,” racing to meet deadlines, and hours and hours logged at coffee shops in Austin, Texas and Provincetown, Massachusetts, and then West L.A., staring at a painfully white screen and longing to write while simultaneously wishing I’d already written whatever it is I was attempting to write. Not anymore. Writing became (and perhaps it always was) a compulsion, a necessary ritual fueled by a desire as strong as wanting that next drink, that next award, that next expensive sweater, that next (and even lower) number on the bathroom scale, only instead of tearing my world down to its most destructive components, it made my world huge, massive, much bigger than I ever thought it could be. I wrote a book about my son to keep me in the world, and I’m still doing it. Writing closed that particular exit door. It kept me in the room of my life.

I try to imagine myself, years from now, without my son, and I try to envision what I want that life to look like: chaotic, filled with dogs and children and books and good food and cheap wine and brilliant friends and travel and hours of contemplative thinking time. Space. Room. Joy. Light. A life of the mind; a state of the heart.

Some may believe this is heartless or cruel, to fast-forward to my life without Ronan, to try and manifest a vision of this happiness, but without this future-directed act of manifestation, an activity I’ve learned much about from Jen’s yoga classes and from her presence in my life, I couldn’t imagine and I couldn’t write, and if I couldn’t write I couldn’t live. Without the hint of this promise, we look to our lives and see only ways out, doors to the outside, an overabundance of possible exits.

Yoga teaches us that we are both limited and enhanced by our desires, and the energy behind them can serve you – through breath, meditation, mindfulness. Sitting in a room with other people, moving and making shapes with the body is a kind of magic, but it’s also a kind of meditation, manifestation, a kind of necessary work that can last throughout your life and also help you live it.

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

I hope you will all consider buying a t-shirt or spreading the word about them in an effort to raise money for research and to help with any costs Ronan many need.

Order one here. http://www.jenniferpastiloff.com/PayPal.html

Manifesting Your Life,

One Laugh at a Time,

Jen (JenPastiloff on Twitter)

Daily Manifestation Challenge

RUN-DMC. Today’s DMC.

November 17, 2011

DMC= Daily Manifestation Challenge

I had to do it.

Get it? The DMC as in Daily Manifestation Challenge?

Do you ever feel like running? As in: running away from it all? As in: not being present? As in: escaping your life? As in: feeling like if you moved away life would be somehow better? 

Today’s Daily Challenge is about the idea of running away rather than looking within or at what is.

For a long time, it was not just a a metaphor for me. I literally ran and ran and ran. I was an exercise-aholic. Instead of facing anything in my life, I simply ran.

When I was 18 and I got a call that my step-father Carl had died in his sleep, I simply hung up the phone, laced up my sneaks and ran for two hours around Cooper River in New Jersey. It was an old habit of mine, this not wanting to feel anything.

I am sure it was the same impetus that drove me to get skinnier and skinnier. The less I weighed the less I felt. Bla bla. You have heard all of these things before if you have ever known someone with an eating disorder.

I eventually got tired of running.

Literally.

Run-DMC (They love my DMCs!)

I discovered yoga. I discovered that if I sat quietly with myself I could begin to heal old wounds and, more importantly perhaps, I could begin to be present in my life.

I spent many years being very much not present.

In fact, I can barely remember my 20’s.

I know sometimes life sucks. There, I said it.

I have a friend that you all know by now, Emily Rapp, whose baby is dying from Tay Sachs. I am sure in her fantasies she wishes she could just run away from her life.

Ain’t gonna happen.

She writes a daily blog about what she is going through called Little Seal, she exercises (a lot), she teaches her writing classes at the University, she is publishing a book, she calls her friends for support (me) and she sits with her sweet baby and husband and tries to be present as best she can be.

She does what she needs to do even when the impulse is to RUN!

Today’s DMC: Where can you stop running in your life? Where can you look at what “is” and accept it. (Remember the mantra from an earlier DMC: “And so it is“?)  Have there been instances in your life where you have run away? Please share any and all comments about this idea of Running. I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts, Brave Ones.

Keep Manifesting Your Life,

One Laugh at a Time,

ManifestYogaJen

PS, if you want to support Emily and baby Ronan who has Tay Sachs buy a Manifestation T-shirt. All money goes to charity. Click here. And if you are not getting a shirt but still want to pay it forward, please share link. It also goes toward Prader Willi Research, which my nephew Blaise has.

And Dear Manifesters, please stop running. Walk instead. In fact, walk this way…..

 

 

And speaking of Run-DMC, follow RevRunWisdom on Twitter. How do you like that? Used to be in Run-DMC and now is a motivational leader. So inspiring!

 

Guest Posts, Inspiration

Compassion. Guest Post by Rachel P.

November 11, 2011

The following is a guest post by this girl named Rachel Pastiloff. Oh yea, she happens to be my sister. She is the mom of the little boy who prompted me to start GAMEYoga.org: Gifts And Miracles Everyday. Free Yoga For Kids With Special Needs.

COMPASSION

(by Rachel Pastiloff)

I have had the concept of compassionon my mind a lot lately and how important I believe it is to have it.We live in a crazy world. For so many of us these times are tough times. I know people right now who have lost their home, lost their jobs, have a child who is dying, have a marriage that is failing, are diagnosed with breast cancer. The list goes on, sadly. My God, it can be overwhelming.

I think to myself everyday:I must have compassion, I must have empathy.
Why do I do this? I do this because all of these people deserve it. I believe everybody deserves compassion. I do it sometimes even for those that we think are unworthy. Again, some of you may ask why?
Here is the nitty gritty of it all. I want others to have compassion for me and compassion for my son.If you want to see change, then you have to be the change!

I was recently told a story by a friend of mine about his little brother who has Aspergers’ Syndrome. Everyday when his little brother goes to school the kids say to him, “What’s up Forrest Gump,” “Hey Forrest Gump,” and then the other slurs begin. I cried when I heard this.

How could this be in 2011 that our children could have such little empathy and compassion for each other?
THEY LEARNED IT AT HOME.
We have got to start teaching our children young about how to feel for others, how to care for others, and how to really see people for who they are and not what they “can” and “cannot do”.
As the mother of a child who has special needs, I am continually baffled by the lack of compassion in the world. Often times, it is those who are closest to us who have the least amount of empathy for our situations. As the parent of a child with special needs I spend everyday just trying to get through the day. Let me repeat myself. I spend everyday just trying to get through the day.
It is tough when you have a child with special needs or any medical condition.Okay, so where am I going with all of this…what the true purpose of this entry, on my sister’s blog is…

What can you do?

Yes, you.Compassion and empathy can make such a difference in the life of a person with special needs or the parent of a child with special needs. When you are out at the store and you see a mom struggling, and you see the child in the midst of a crisis, PLEASE DON’T JUDGE! What you can do is: reach out.

HAVE COMPASSION.
Instead of mumbling to yourself, “Oh that kid is such a brat” why not walk by and just smile at the mother? Do you know how much it would me to her? Just smile at her, and without even saying anything, let her know that it is okay, that she is okay.I was recently at the airport with Blaise. We were waiting to board the plane and he was beginning his meltdown. He was really struggling and I was so tired and just exhausted from running to the gate to make the plane. I just couldn’t bring him out of the meltdown. Then all of a sudden an older couple in front of me turned to look at me. The woman must have read Blaise’s name on his backpack and so she started talking to him. Low and behold he stopped being upset. We started to board the plane and she turned again and smiled at me. I smiled back and thought to myself, “Thank you, thank you sweet stranger, thank you for reaching out!”

Such a small little gesture went such a long way.


How many of you out there have a friend with a child with special needs, or have a family member with special needs? I bet a ton of you answered yes. If you answered yes, then please think about doing this.

  • Reach out to your friends or family, send them a message just to say hello. 
  • Don’t get mad at them if they can’t come to all of your parities or get togethers, sometimes it is just too hard. 
  • If they seem to disappear sometimes it is not personal, life can be rather tricky for them. 

I only ask this of you, always have empathy, always remember that every family looks different. Please don’t judge your friends or family or strangers on how you think they are raising their kids.

PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS ONE LAST THING (I said it earlier)

As the parent of a child with special needs we are just trying to get through the day!

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My sister Rachel is an amazing person, Dear Manifesters. Please share this post and support us at GAMEyoga.org even if it is just by smiling at someone who may seem a but different. 
I have made t-shirts and all money is going to Prader Willi research and well as Tay Sachs research. Please order shirts by emailing Jennifer@JenniferPastiloff.com and specify size. Also, if you are not a fan already, become one of the ” I am a Fan of Somebody with Prader Willi Fanpage” on Facebook here.
Daily Manifestation Challenge

Daily Manifestation Challenge: Weekend Edition. FEAR.

October 22, 2011

“First you jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.”                                                                ― Ray Bradbury

Fear.

We all have it.

It helps us.

Sometimes.

When you’re in a dark alley and you see a man with a long trenchcoat running towards you with a big knife and your adrenaline kicks in and causes you to fly away as if you had wings. Totally helping you.

Good fear.

For many years of my life I lived under its guardianship. Fear watched over me. Helped me make my choices. Was my voice of reason.  Helped me stay in the same job for 13 years, live in the same apartment, eat the same foods over and over again. It helped me stay in a rut. It helped me stay depressed.

Bad fear. Cape Fear.

Lately the word fear has been popping up more than usual so I though I ought to pay it a visit.

I was in a yoga class last weekend with my mentor and teacher Annie Carpenter, and she had us all in navasana (boat pose) for a verrrrrrrrrry looong time. We all started to shake. I started to get angry. Then she started talking about fear. She asked us to identify a fear that we had previously had in our lives which we had conquered. Still in boat pose.

Then it hit me like a ton of navasanas. I had conquered my fear of gaining weight.

There I said it.

Of course, it was not simply a fear of just gaining weight, but to simplify it, I’ll call it that. I was, for many years, in the throes of a bad eating disorder.

Still in boat pose, I realized I had transcended the darkest, hardest years of my life. I felt like I could stay in navasana forever with this newfound realization.

Annie was saying how fear protects us at times but when it stops us from playing and living then it no longer serves us. Or something like that.  We were still in still in boat pose at this point…and here I was lost in my own newfound revelation, so I wasn’t exactly getting everything word for word.

 

I became severely anorexic when I was 17 years old after a doctor told me that if I wanted my breasts smaller, (they caused me a lot of unwanted attention and discomfort back then) I should just lose five pounds. (If I could go back in time and shake him uncontrollably for saying that, I would. Although I know it really wasn’t his fault. Even if it was a crappy thing to tell a teenage girl.) That was the exact moment I went home and made a list of all the foods I would and would not eat. Up until that point I had never exercised and I ate cheese steaks and TastyCakes. A lot. I’m from the Philly area. It’s what we do.

I quickly lost five pounds. Then 10. then 20.

Then I kept going.

Many years of my life were lived under a blanket of fear. I exercised four hours a day.  I was terrified to gain weight because I finally felt I could control what was happening around me and inside of me through my weight.

Cliché? I know.

I had a fear that people would stop asking me “Are you ill? ”  It made me feel like I stood out. Like I was special. When someone told me I looked “healthy,” I panicked. (I know that this is hard to believe for the people who know me now, especially my students. I am so at ease with my self these days. Most days.)

Well, here I am in boat pose still in Annie’s class last Sunday at Exhale in Venice, realizing all of this. I am at ease. I have released a huge debilitating fear. Finally. For the most part.

Of course, during times of stress, the eating disorder rears its ugly head. I never worry about what truly is the matter, such as, let’s say: getting married or letting go of a waitressing job I had for 13 years or my nephew having Prader Willi Syndrome. But rather, it becomes simply “I am fat.” My brain takes the path of least resistance, what it knows best. Much as the body will do. That is the old tape it knows.

This happens rarely these days.

I have, for the most part, conquered this thing that had such a clutch on me.

So here I am in boat pose, shaking like a dog, and I realize I have conquered this fear. This is huge. Finally we come out of the pose and I get a little teary-eyed. I start to feel sad for all the years I let this fear rule my life. What was the fear truly of?

It’s so dark and ugly. I mistakenly thought my self-worth was my appearance. Now, as a teacher of yoga, with so many beautiful young girls coming to me, I recognize the same thing in them. I know them immediately. Perhaps they recognize me as well. I somehow got programmed to believe that what I looked like signified who I was. Inside.

There is nothing farther from the truth. Nowadays, I feel such a deep love for who I am inside that it never even crosses my mind to think people even notice my weight or my face. How can it be so complicated? I am not, nor was I ever, a shallow person. I know better. And yet, for 15 years I battled this idea.

I was also terribly afraid to deal with life. With feeling or loss responsibility or death. When my stepfather died, 10 years after my father had passed away, I just ran. I went out to Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, New Jersey. and ran for over two hours straight. There, all better.

Not quite. It never works that way. Even if we want it to.

The pain and the feelings are still there, we have just distracted ourselves. Maybe fear is just a big distraction?

My sister said something savvy tonight. I love my sister. She said, “Ha. An article on fear? I could write that one in my sleep.”  (She could.)

As much as she has an innumerable amount of irrational fears, she is fearless when it comes to her son Blaise, who has Prader Willi Syndrome. She says that you find the courage somehow.

I get it. I have found courage through my own yoga practice, through my teaching yoga, through the amazing man I married, through my nephew Blaise.

I still have many fears and am working through them daily. Sometimes they feel so real, as if at any moment the fear will come true and I will be homeless, my family will perish, I will be without a job, people will hate me, that I will have to go back to waitressing. I will go completely deaf. A fear of the Future. The abnormal fears. They run the gamut.

But sometimes, when I am in navasana in Annie’s class, or teaching my own class, I look up at the sky and shake my fist and say “Eff you Fear! You ain’t real!”

And anyway, as the amazing Wayne Dyer says, worrying is like saying little prayers for the things you do not want.

And of course, in a sense, it is real. But as Martin Luther King Jr said…….

Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us. Normal fear motivates us to improve our individual and collective welfare; abnormal fear constantly poisons and distorts our inner lives.

Our problem is not to be rid of fear but, rather to harness and master it.

This Weekend’s DMC (Daily Manifestation Challenge®): In the Comment Section Below write down a fear you have and then tell it to buzz off! Extra credit: add something you are FEARLESS about. Where is Fear Running Your Show?

WHAT ARE YOU SO SCARED OF, ANYWAY?

(This is a variation on an older post I wrote originally on Elephant Journal)

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Gratitude, Self Image

What Do You Love About Yourself? Daily Manifestation Challenge

October 16, 2011

Today’s Challenge is a Love Note.

To Yourself.

When I teach kids, special needs or not, and I ask them the question What do you love about yourself? it’s easy for them to answer. It’s like saying yes to cake or staying up late. A no brainer. They have a long list even.

It’s especially inspiring to me to watch the kids with special needs answer this. One of my girls, who is autistic and blind, answered ” my life!” when I asked her what she loved about herself.

She loves her life even though she can’t see a damn thing!

I know a few people I would like to have her hang out with. I would hire her as their teacher and have her show them what self-love and gratitude looks like, in the dark, with no mirrors or television.

I ask my adult students What do you love about yourself?

Dead silence.

Crickets.

Tumbleweeds.

What the hell did she just say? 

Or they pretend I was not talking to them.

Yes you. I am talking to you.

I am not suggesting that you to be conceited or arrogant or think yourself better than anyone else. Quite the contrary. Do you have any idea how inspiring and contagious and humbling it is to be around someone filled with self-love? They never come across as “cocky”.

There is an inherent difference between being arrogant and truly loving yourself. Just think of this: The guy you went out with and maybe even slept with who didn’t call you ever again after he said he would; he’s most likely arrogant. The person who looks at the reflection of themselves in the window instead of looking at you as you speak is arrogant and, frankly, kind of rude.

That’s not self-love we are talking about. These aren’t the people we look to and think Wow, I’d love to live my life like that. I aspire to be that way. The love they have for themselves is overflowing and now I love myself even more! 

I went and saw my mentor Wayne Dyer speak in Pasadena Friday night as his daughter Skye’s guest. She sings at his events. It was a dream come true for me and something I have manifested into my life. He spoke of the the God within each of us. One of the most profound things he talked about was the fact that the only place in the Bible where God is named is the Old Testament. And God’s name is….. I AM.

I am.

Wow.

God is in every single one of us then? 

Yes.

This is not blasphemy. It is finding the part of you that is birthless, deathless and never changing. Call it God, call it what you like, call it “I” even. It is the “I am” in you. In plainspeak, it is the most YOU part of you.

People are often scared to love themselves. I know, I get it. I didn’t love myself for a very long time and even went to great lengths to abuse myself, emotionally and physically.

It’s as if we have been raised by a pack of wolves and told never to love ourselves, at least not openly, or other wolves will eat us.

With children there is no stigma. I taught the kids at the Prader Willi Research Conference of Saturday and we sat in a circle and I asked ” What do you love about yourself?” There was a fight over who would answer first. They all wanted to tell me.

Can you imagine adults being this way? Authentically? Why not? What are we so afraid of? What the tribe will think? The wolves will get us? We’ll sound stupid?

Probably.

Some may not even be able to think of one thing they love about themselves. It takes practice and a willingness to see the parts of you that at first may not seem like the “best” parts. My hearing loss for instance. It used to make me despise myself but now I feel as if it has made me more compassionate and a healer.

One of the boys this weekend told me he loved his artwork. One said he loved his life. One loved her smile and her belly.

I am still waiting for the day where I say ” I love my belly.”

One of the boys had this tshirt on:

What makes you uniquely you and not Joe the Plumber or your mom or the person texting in the car next to you?

Today’s Daily Challenge is to make a list. You don’t have to check it twice. You just gotta live it! Each day write down at least one thing you love about yourself. No crossing it off, just adding on. For the rest of your life.

In the comment section below, if you feel brave enough and inspired, leave your “Love Note” as it were.

I love my injuries because they have allowed me to be a better yoga teacher.

I love my heart and it’s capacity to love.

I love my hearing loss because my other senses, such as my touch, are that much stronger.

I know it will get hard at times. It gets hard when you are out of work or in a bad mood or feel like you have gained weight or hurt someone or they have hurt you or you have gotten sick. I know it’s hard. Trust me, there are days when I yell and cry and scream “Fu*k you Ears!”

I curse. Get over it.

I am still spiritual but I do curse and drink wine and coffee. And I love that about me, Damnit!

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

I Am that I Am:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I Am that I Am (Hebrew: אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‎, pronounced Ehyeh asher ehyeh [ʔehˈje ʔaˈʃer ʔehˈje]) is a common English translation (JPS among others) of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for His name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means “existed” or “was” in Hebrew; “ehyeh” is the first person singular imperfect form and is usually translated in English Bibles as “I will be” (or “I shall be”), for example, at Exodus 3:12. Ehyeh asher ehyeh is generally interpreted to mean I am that I am, though it can also be translated as “I-shall-be that I-shall-be.”[1


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