Browsing Tag


Guest Posts, motherhood, Self Love

Don’t Should On Yourself.

May 16, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Rachel Pastiloff

I don’t think it is just a “mom” thing or a “woman” thing, although I do think that mothers are susceptible to the “should epidemic.” I know how often I feel that pressure. I recently had, as Oprah would call it, my “a-ha” moment.

What if I let go of all the “should” in my life?

I am a mother, a wife, a health coach, a blogger, a friend, a sister and a daughter. I am no different from you in that many of you out there also juggle wearing different hats. I sometimes find myself at the end of the day saying things to myself like, “I should have gotten more work done,” or “I should have cleaned the house,” or “I should have gotten to the gym,” or “I should have not yelled at the kids this morning.”

The Should List.

I don’t know who writes the should list. I don’t know where it originated. I just know that I am often shackled by this master of all lists that I need to be checking off everyday. I find that the should list leaves me feeling defeated, less than, and often times as if I have failed.

I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

What would my life look like if instead of my should list I celebrated everything as a victory, instead of focusing on the should list that I didn’t accomplish?

I declared yesterday the first day in my victory revel.

I got out of bed, I am magnificent. I got my children out of bed and fed them breakfast. Yes, I am awesome. My kids got to school with clothes on, socks and shoes and underwear that isn’t on backwards. I am a superhero, yes it’s true. I kissed both of my kids goodbye and told them I loved them, I am on fire today.

What if that is all that I did that day? What if that is all that I was capable of accomplishing?

When you see everything as a victory it takes away from all your perceived failures.

I am still a damn good mom, even if at the end of my day I could say that was all I did that day. I can still feel that my day is complete. When I go to sleep tonight I will think to myself, I did such a great job today at what I was able to accomplish, and not feel a sense of shame from what I feel I should have done better. Continue Reading…

Beating Fear with a Stick, Guest Posts

Snakes & The Things That Shut Us Down.

December 30, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Jen Pastiloff.

I went with my sister to take my nephew to school yesterday in Georgia. Ola Elementary School. We drove right up and parked in front like we were loading or unloading, which, I guess we were. Blaise gets excited by school. School! School! Schoolbus!

He’s in kindergarten, which he will repeat again next year. He has a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome and autism.

He loves school and cries the snot-running-down-the-face-kind-of-cry if he has to miss it for any reason.

Me? I hated school. I was reminded of that hatred yesterday morning as I walked the narrow little hallway to take him to the therapy room where he plays with the other kids who have special needs.

I smelled that same school smell and immediately felt nauseas there in McDonough, Georgia, a suburb just south of Atlanta which proudly hosts a church on just about every corner and sometimes even in the shopping center.

I haven’t been inside an elementary school in at least 25 years and yet that smell hit my nose like a familiar thing: a cup of coffee, the way the back of my hand smells, gasoline, my husband’s pillow. It was as if all at once I knew it like any of the other mundane things in life. The things of the everyday. As if my nose never forgot This is what school smells like! And the minute it registered the scent, like a dog, I was there, right up in it, tail wagging, crying that I didn’t want to go back. Don’t make me go!

I always preferred to stay at home with my parents then to go to school just as I preferred to hang out with adults when I was a kid. School was insular. It made me feel claustrophobic and lonely at the same time. As the school year would progress, I would make my way in the world, as people do, but still, I hated it.

Come September every year I would have the same anxiety. Don’t send me back.

In fact, I almost didn’t graduate high school because I was absent so many days. I suppose literally and figuratively although I am sure they meant literally. I hardly went.

Isn’t it just a miraculous thing how a smell can do that for us? Bring us right back to the third grade, sitting at our desk, pulling our thumb out of our mouth because someone finally said You shouldn’t suck your thumb at your age. Especially not in public. It’s the first time someone has pointed this out to you and you want to crawl under the desk, inside the desk. You want to disappear into your own mouth.

The things that shut us down.

Someone telling us we’re not good enough, or fat, or shouldn’t suck our thumb in front of other people. The things that stop us and make us go Maybe you are right. 

I worry about my nephew being shut down. I worry that as he gets older people will make fun of him and that it will slowly disarm him.

Little by little, we are eaten away by people. By life. By opinions. By defeat. Until we are hardly recognizable as that thumb sucking 8 year old.

I worry about that even though I know I shouldn’t.

Blaise and my sister were just on The Doctors on CBS to talk about Prader Willi Syndrome. People with PWS (as it is commonly called) never feel full. They literally feel like they are starving and can actually eat themselves to death. There are a whole host of other issues that come along with it as well but the food thing feels like the most torturous. The behavior issues, a close second. It’s a spectrum disorder too, as I suppose all of life is. So all bets are off.

The producers of the show sent my sister equipment so that she could videotape him every time he had one of his meltdowns. They would take the footage she sent and edit it for the show.

We cried when we saw the finished piece as part of the show. It was horrible to watch him begging for food and all the photos of him as a baby when he’d gained all the weight as they put it together slickly with foreboding music. I am glad they did it that way as it was probably more effective. We are visceral beings. We respond to scary music. We respond to kids suffering. We respond to things that make us feel vulnerable and helpless. We respond to big things.

Subtlety doesn’t go over well with the masses.

Apparently when Blaise saw the footage at school (they watched it in his kindergarten class) he said I a fat baby. 

He came from school and asked me to watch it on my computer, over and over. I watched him watch himself on tv and it seemed like he was having a surreal experience, which most of life is anyway. Is that really me? Is this really happening?

It’s like he is starting to become aware that there is a difference between him and other kids. He’s looking at himself with discernment and seeing a difference in himself, which he doesn’t fully understand. Just like with the rest of us. Perhaps he never will.

I see a difference in myself and yet I don’t understand it.

We’re not all that different. His 15th chromosome might be partially deleted but we’re not all that different. He knows on a guttural level that watching the show makes him sad even though he keeps asking to watch it over and over. Then suddenly: Off! Turn it off. Away!

Just like us. Eventually we all get sick of ourselves at one point or another.

He loves school because, so far, everyone there loves him. None of the kids bully him and no one rejects his hugs. No yet anyway. He gets to hang out in the therapy room and jump on a bouncy castle and make crafts and learn letters.  B. B is for Blaise.

I was not happy as a child and my first memories of kindergarten didn’t involve jumping on bouncy castles. I went to a Jewish day school where it was Hebrew all morning and English all afternoon. It was some serious business. Even in kindergarten. I couldn’t handle the anxiety school instilled in me.

I wanted the safety of my house and my cream cheese and olive sandwiches.

Things got worse after my dad died. The school was terribly small, only a handful of kids in each class, and I felt exposed and ashamed. Everyone knew I was fatherless. And that I sucked my thumb.

I was glad when we moved away to California for 4th grade.

I didn’t hate school as much once I left the yeshiva school in Jersey but I was never one of those kids that couldn’t wait for summer to end. I used to get depressed on Sundays because the next day was Monday. I couldn’t even enjoy Saturday nights because I knew the next day was Sunday, which meant Monday was right there, jaws open, waiting to eat you alive.

School shut me down. I didn’t feel smart. Maybe I couldn’t hear back then either? I can’t remember. I just remember hating it.

The things that shut us down.

As I was walking through Ola Elementary School yesterday morning I thought how happy I felt that I would never have to be back in school. I would never again have to deal with that shutting down, with that pressure. (Enter foreboding music and slickly edited images.)

Maybe nothing will ever shut Blaise down? Maybe he will keep wanting to hug everyone even though everyone might prove to be an asshole sometimes.

I was on the plane when I started this piece, as I often am when I write, and, I got stuck, as I often do when I write. I closed the computer and my own eyes watching the back of my eyelids butterfly their way into quiet.

We landed and I turned on my phone.

An email came through from a man named “Kevin” accusing me of not crediting people and not having integrity and how he should call me out in front of all my Facebook followers and how he wasn’t a fan of ego and Good Luck to me. 

Good luck. It seems like the two worst words in the English language when someone says it and really means “Fuck You.”

Who was this man? Who didn’t I credit? What’s he talking about? Is it even a real name or email?

It wasn’t until last night, in the middle of the night, as I lay awake in a river of I Can’t Sleep did I realize how profound it was that the email came in when it did. Sure, I was upset. Look, I literally want to crawl out of my skin and wail when I feel like people take my own work. I want to email them and sue them and say It’s not fair! But I don’t. I breathe and write. Then I write more.

The email came in and shut me down. The things that shut us down.

I went to teach my yoga class and felt ungrounded and sloppy. I was an alien and everyone stared at me with my two heads. I was tired and mean and shut down.

How quickly I was back in the third grade, thumb in mouth, then under my me in shame. How I would have cut my thumb off if I could’ve. How quickly that email brought me back to school. To being shut down.

The things that shut us down.

So Kevin: Good Luck to You. And yes, I mean “Fuck You.”

Look, don’t worry, I’m over it. I almost shut down. My impulse was to hide. To stop writing for a while. To stop sharing. To cut my thumb off.

You know why I won’t shut down? I have the choice. We always do. Who or what are we going to give the power to? This “dude”, if it even was a dude, didn’t even say what he was referring to. And yet I was going to accept it as a truth? As some validation that I am a bad person? No. My choice is No. My choice is I will not shut down. 

It’s okay to get angry once in a while. Does that make me a bad yogi? Then so be it. Get angry and then let it go. As I did. But, refuse to shut down. Get angry and get it out of your body like a snakebite. Suck that venom out and know that it was you who handled the poison like a champ.

If anyone tries to shut you down you must deal with it as you would a snake bite. Sometimes it’s: It’s not poisonous, keep walking. Sometimes it’s: I don’t know what to do. And sometimes it’s: I am getting this out of my body as fast as possible and running far far away because I know it will try and kill me if I let it.

You get a choice. The snake can’t help its nature.

The snakes will always be there but if we step over them and around them and keep going, we hardly notice because they mostly leave us alone.

I think there might be caves though, where all the shut down people live. They live alone in dark holes of the earth and wait for everyone to say It’s Okay before they come out. They never speak and they hardly look up. They are scared and frail but every once in a while when they do look up, they see a light in the sky and remember what they once were.

VANCOUVER! The Manifestation Workshop in Vancouver. Jan 17th. Book here. No yoga experience required. Only requirement is to  be a human being.

VANCOUVER! The Manifestation Workshop in Vancouver. Jan 17th. Book here. No yoga experience required. Only requirement is to be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Join Jen Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in Feb of 2015 for a weekend on being human. It involves writing and some yoga. In a word: it's magical.

Join Jen Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in Feb of 2015 for a weekend on being human. It involves writing and some yoga. In a word: it’s magical.

Don't Be An Asshole Series, Gratitude, Guest Posts

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?

Don't be an asshole & shut down just because sometimes tries to shut you down.

Continue Reading…

Awe & Wonder, Birthday, There Are No Words To Describe This

Heartwarming Amazing Video On My Birthday!

December 12, 2013

Hello there! Today is my birthday and this is the best gift ever! You all helped raise the money to get my nephew Blaise, who has Prader Wili Syndrome and autism, his service dog. Here is Blaise with Simba. “My doggy, my baby!” Blaise says. It’s just too cute. Thank you all so much. Thanks to Dogwish for Simba. For more on Prader Willi click here. 


Please share and comment on this video on Youtube so people know how much is possible through social media, and, how important service dogs and animals are 😉

healing, Inspiration, Mindwebs


September 22, 2012

I was driving down Main Street in Santa Monica last week and I thought I saw my mom’s second husband. My stepfather Carl.

He died in 1993.

A week before I graduated high school we got the call that he died in his sleep, a call so unexpected that you move the phone away from your ear to look at it and make sure it is really a phone and that its really a voice on the other end saying Carl died in his sleep last night. So we boarded a plane and flew from New Jersey out to California to help go through boxes and pictures and things that had belonged to him. My mother and Carl had divorced a few years before. Looking back I can see what a complicated beautiful mess this relationship was, what a complicated beautiful mess all relationships are really.

Why were we the ones to fly out and sort through a dead man’s stuff? I think now, from the vantage point of 20 years too late.

I am here now in Atlanta, just outside of Atlanta actually, down south in McDonough, at my sisters, where we just finished a fundraising walk for my oldest nephew who has Prader Willi Syndrome. PWS, as its called, is a rare genetic disorder with a host of shit that goes along with it but the most well known and unfair is the feeling of starvation the people who have PWS experience.

Blaise, my nephew, was eating out of the trash can tonight.

You catch him and he hugs you right away because he knows how to manipulate. Like we all do. It’s heartbreaking to think that he has to manipulate for food. The other kids today at the walk ate like they were never going to see food again whereas with Blaise we have to be constantly vigilant. He can literally eat himself to death. He can have a piece of banana. He can have just more snack, just one more, then that’s it, really that’s it, this is the last one.

My mom and my sister and me get together. And we fight. We are transported back in time and every reaction is a reaction to something in 1993 or in 1978. And Blaise is in the garbage eating banana peels.

All relationships are complicated beautiful messes.

Filled with ghosts.

We flew to California in 1993 a week before I graduated and went through pictures of Carl’s ex-girlfriends and then we spread his ashes out in the ocean in Malibu. I was so thin that people thought I was dying and I quite liked that. It made me feel something and nothing at once. Pretty much how most people feel when someone dies anyway.

Last week I saw a man on the corner, leaning into the light post, waiting for the Walk signal. He had a wetsuit on, a beard, barefeet, surfboard. I almost got into an accident right there on Main. Carl? It wasn’t him. Surely it couldn’t be. We went through his things and we drove to Malibu and read poems about him as his brother rode out on a surfboard and left him out there on a wave.

But God it made me miss him. It made me remember. Maybe that is why we see ghosts? So we don’t forget?

He would run to the beach barefoot. Then he would come back to the condo we were living in and chase me. I hated how he smelled after his run. You have b.o! I would yell and he would laugh and laugh and run around the sofa and try to catch me in his barefeet. I would laugh too even though I was equally mortified.

What if we had no ghosts?

What if every moment we were, we just were? What if there was no prior? No history? What if you could just be with your family and not be transported back into childhood with all of its ghosts?

The bare feet are what got me with that man on the corner the other day. That and the red beard. The signs were all there. Remember me! 

The ghosts are alive and well here in Atlanta. Maybe that’s what drives my nephew to the trashcan to find food. My younger nephew Maddock looks just like my father Mel. He asks us Why he died? Why Grandpa Mel died?

Tonight he came in and tattled on his brother Blaise (who had taken my iPhone and called certain friends 40 times) that Bwaise is cawwing people.

He told me: Bwaise called Grandpa Mel.

Did he?

I don’t know, the signs are all around us. The ghosts never want us to forget them so they send missiles and food in trash cans and memories and red beards and other things to wake us up. The trick is, the real work is, to not pay too much attention to them.

To just acknowledge them with a nod, and keep on keeping on.

It’s funny, I have been wanting to write about this since I saw my dead stepfather’s ghost on the street in Santa Monica last week, and then tonight someone who took my classes religiously and then moved away sent me this blurb he wrote:

God give me the strength and the energy to be the superhero that I am today. And give me the insight, to see the signs, that point the way to the light.

Then he said:


Maybe I am somebody’s ghost already.

They are everywhere.

Guest Posts

Joys of Motherhood

August 20, 2012

Joys of Motherhood.

This is a beautiful blog by my sister about my nephew Blaise. Blaise has come so far since he was diagnosed with Prader Wille Syndrome 3 years ago. Please check this blog out. It is gorgeous.

When I finally collected myself I was filled with questions.

What will my son look like?

Will he be morbidly obese?

Will he fall in love?

Will he have friends?

Will he be bullied in school?

Will he ever talk?

Will he ever play sports or swim in a pool?

Will he live on his own and go to college?

What will his life look like?

Click here to finish reading….


Angels in Heaven

May 22, 2012

Angels in Heaven.

This is a MUST READ. Please stop what you are ding and read my sister’s latest blog.

I had an incident this week with Blaise ingesting medication, even with the child safety lock on he managed to get the lid off and drink the bottle. My heart stopped and it hit me like a sledge hammer to the head. My child could DIE because he is so hungry he would drink medicine because it tastes good………

Click here to read full blog.

manifesting, Wayne Dyer

Hanging with Wayne Dyer in Atlanta.

April 14, 2012

With God all things are possible. 

Wayne talked of this a lot today. Now, I have heard him speak a lot. But today this got me. A chill ran through my body, as it does more and more lately. A sign that I am paying attention to what resonates. Or that more is resonated lately? That I am connecting to things I am meant to be connecting to more often?

All of the above.

And then some.

All. Things. Possible.

So what does that leave out?


I love this.

I had that feeling today as I sat there in the second row as a guest of the author, my sister Rachel on my side. All the Dyers and Anita Moorjani and her husband wearing my blue Manifestation bracelets. Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX and the world’s youngest billionaire wearing my Manifestation bracelet.


Because: Anything is possible.

I dreamed this.

Over and over.

This is the life I want.

I want to be inspiring people on the level of Wayne and Anita and Sara. So why should I not be hanging out with them?

I told Wayne about my retreat to Maui next February and asked him if he would come over and talk to my group. He said “Anything is possible. Why not?

Ha! Wayne at my retreat? Pinch me.

(Who knows what will happen but… anything is possible kids.)

He told a great story today which I loved. He had just led a retreat on a cruise ship and he had asked everyone to go out and stare at the wake from the ship. He asked them to contemplate the wake. ( I feel a poem being inspired here already.)

The wake is the trail the ship leaves behind.

3 questions he told them to ask themselves:

1) What is the wake? Answer: the trail.

2)What is driving the boat? Answer: the PRESENT moment energy being generated is driving the boat. ( Key word: Present. Obviously.)

3) Is it possible for the wake to drive the boat? Answer: NO.

He suggested that most of us live this illusion though. The wake driving the boat! Ha!

I had such a breakthrough today. That kind of aha moment that happens before inspiration sinks in and kicks you in the teeth.

I think it is the poet in me that loves a good metaphor but, wow, is it ever an opportunity to give up your personal history, your crap, your story, when it is put so succinctly. So simply. So truthfully.

Another gem from today: Inspiration is when an idea gets ahold of you.

Motivation is ego driven.

Now that is something to think about.

I’d much rather be inspired.

As I am now in my life.

An idea has gotten a hold of me and I am being channeled. This is the best way, the only way I can truly describe my life these days.

Today Wayne said: writing is not something I do. It is what I am.

How beautiful a sentiment is that?

He talked so much about the “I Am” and I was so happy to be wearing my ” I am” Conscious Ink tattoo ( I gave him some and he went wild for them!)

Wayne talked about Divine Love as never changing, never varying.

There was so much to process today that it will take a few blog posts. Heck, a few years, but I wanted to share with you some inspiration and highlights.

Anita Moorjani, whom has become a friend, got up and spoke. She had a Near Death Experience after having Stage 4 cancer.  She came back because she has work to do. (Thank God she came back!)

Her message, to remind us all to be ourselves, is simple and IMPORTANT. She says more important than being positive is being yourself!

Her book Dying To Be Me has been called, by many, the most important book they have ever read. Wayne is a huge fan of Anita, as am I. She is so incredible, as is this work she is doing. Please take a moment and read my earlier interview with her.

She will change your life. As she says, remember your magnificence.

My dear friend Anita Moorjani. Please buy her book “Dying To Be Me”. It will change your life. Seriously. Go!

As usual my friend Skye sang (Wayne’s daughter.) She added Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love of All which made everyone bawl, of course. Saje Dyer also got up and spoke. She is Wayne’s youngest. Adorable and hilarious. She talked (spontaneously) about how she healed herself at age 5 or 6 with a child’s belief system. It was so beautiful and funny and impromptu. Another Dyer with a big inspiring future in front of her.

Sommer Dyer was also there, who will be guest posting very soon on my blog. Wait until you read this Dyer daughter’s post. She is very special to me.

Sommer Dyer, Saje Dyer, me , my sister Rachel, Skye Dyer

I met Tracy, his eldest and bought a purse from her amazing company Urban Junket. Tracy is gorgeous and funny. It’s like there is something in the water they drink? Tracy creates purses from recycled water bottles. Hello, Awesome!

My sister and I each bought one. Get one. They are cute and support the Earth. Hello, More Awesome!

Lastly, Sara Blakely. The world’s youngest billionaire and founder of Spanx. She got up and said a few words about how Wayne had been a great inspiration to her and was one of the reasons she is so successful. I gave her my blue Manifestation bracelet which you can see in the photos and my Manifesting tee. She was talking to us forever. To say she is cool would be an UNDERSTATEMENT.

The coolest billionaire I ever met.

And she is manifesting, no less.



Wayne and Sara Blakely are so funny! They are showing off their Spanx! ha!

My dad and his other daughters. Hee hee.
Saje, Sommer, Wayne and Skye Dyer.

Tracy Dyer and I. I am holding up my Urban Junket bag. Recycled Water Bottles. Bad-ass!!!

My buddy Skye Dyer and I. She sings so beautifully.

Skye singing on stage with her dad. So moving.

Saje got called up. Surprise!
She was funny and inspiring.
You can heal yourself with LOVE, she says.
This girl rocks so hard.

So here it is:

I am manifesting:

Sara Blakely sponsoring my sister’s One Small Step Walk for Prader Wille Syndrome and doing a q&a on this blog, as Wayne did.

Wayne Dyer definitely coming to my Maui retreat next February. It’s happening folks. I see it. Book early as we will go deep and it will be intimate. (click here to sign up.)

Wayne writing the foreword for my book.

Writing for



Join me here at @jenpastiloff

Join me here at @jenpastiloff