Guest Posts, Jen's Musings, Owning It!

Here’s What The F*ck I Am Going To Do About It.

February 26, 2015

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By Jen Pastiloff.

For Lidia Yuknavitch, my teacher, my heart sister, my friend.

I haven’t blogged in a while so here I am. Hi, hello, hi. I’m in Los Angeles, here at home for a few days before I hit the road again for more workshops.

A few weeks ago, I led a retreat in Ojai, California, with Lidia Yuknavitch, who wrote The Chronology of Water. The Writing & The Body Retreat. And yes, it was everything you’d imagine- and then some. And yes, we are doing it again in September.

In my own workshops, I ask people to write about the things that get in their way and the fears they have and what they are afraid of. I ask them to write and share about all sorts of things. That’s why the subtitle is On Being Human. It is not a “writing” workshop, per se, although there’s writing. Mostly, it’s about what it means to be a human being. They laugh and cry and let the snot fly, as I like to say.

And then I always ask this: Now what? Now what?

So you wrote about it and shared it out loud and you may “want to be a writer” and you may not, no matter really, what really matters is this: what now?

Writing and sharing is hard, and I think a pretty big deal, but you can write until you are blue in the face and go on retreats and camps and workshops and whatever but what are you going to do?

This is where I get stuck.

I talk a good talk.

But then I sit here and stare out the window all day.

So, when Lidia gives a prompt that is so similar to what I ask except she asks it in her Lidia-esque way, I know that this woman is my heart. She asks the group what was main thing was that was getting in their way. I participated in this one.

What was getting in my way? She asked us to write down the first thing we thought of.

Okay, done.

My own self gets in my way. Me.

Then she gave this exact prompt, and this is really where I knew I loved her for life, “And here’s what the fuck I am going to do about it.” We had five minutes.

This is what came out of it for me. This is my Now what?

 

And here’s what the fuck I am going to do about it. I’m going to, I’m going to, I’m going, there’s so much I promise, so much future, so much that has not yet happened.

My self is in the way. My beliefs about the way I am. My anti-beliefs. The things etched into my skin that I think the world can see but really which no one can and which no one gives a shit about anyway. (It’s worse than you think, they’re not thinking about you at all.) I have things I want to say, things I must get done, yet I’m incapacitated most days and I simply pace, walking back and forth in front of the window, in the bathroom, back and forth in front of the refrigerator.

What do I want? A bite of chocolate, a bite of yogurt, close the door, open it again, a bite of hummus, I’m so full, ugh, open it again, a hard boiled egg, a spoonful of peanut butter, pacing, falling asleep, the day is gone.

My anti-beliefs: I am not smart enough, I can’t finish anything, I am bad.

Anti-anything, anti-anything, and I, and I, sounds like anti.

And I am in my own way.

Anti-in my own way.

Here’s what the fuck I am going to do about it: I am going to stand in front of the refrigerator and talk to it. I am going to tell it how I feel, and what the handle feels like in my hand, and what I smell, and how the juice from the kraut spilled on the floor and I didn’t bother to clean it up and how I don’t know what it means to be full and how full I am and I’ll take all those words and sit down with them and my anti-beliefs and my and I beliefs and I’ll try and create something.

And I will.

And I will probably get up again and eat or sleep or look at my scalp in the mirror, at how patches of my hair are missing, but I won’t pull any more out. I won’t grasp at the mirror in an effort to crawl inside of it.

I’ll sit back down somewhere and even though I can’t type and my anti-beliefs are crowd funding. I’ll write words, and strings of sentences and I’ll speak, I’ll make, I’ll keep making.

And one day maybe my own self won’t be as much In the way as it will be The way.

 

Do you want the space and joy to get back into your body? To get into your words and stories?  Join Jen Pastiloff and best-selling author Lidia Yuknavitch over Labor Day weekend 2015 for their 2nd Writing & The Body Retreat in Ojai, California following their last one, which sold out in 48 hours. You do NOT have to be a writer or a yogi.  "So I’ve finally figured out how to describe Jen Pastiloff's Writing and the Body yoga retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch. It’s story-letting, like blood-letting but more medically accurate: Bleed out the stories that hold you down, get held in the telling by a roomful of amazing women whose stories gut you, guide you. Move them through your body with poses, music, Jen’s booming voice, Lidia’s literary I’m-not-sorry. Write renewed, truthful. Float-stumble home. Keep writing." ~ Pema Rocker, attendee of Writing & The Body Feb 2015

Do you want the space and joy to get back into your body?
To get into your words and stories? Join Jen Pastiloff and best-selling author Lidia Yuknavitch over Labor Day weekend 2015 for their 2nd Writing & The Body Retreat in Ojai, California following their last one, which sold out in 48 hours. You do NOT have to be a writer or a yogi.
“So I’ve finally figured out how to describe Jen Pastiloff’s Writing and the Body yoga retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch. It’s story-letting, like blood-letting but more medically accurate: Bleed out the stories that hold you down, get held in the telling by a roomful of amazing women whose stories gut you, guide you. Move them through your body with poses, music, Jen’s booming voice, Lidia’s literary I’m-not-sorry. Write renewed, truthful. Float-stumble home. Keep writing.” ~ Pema Rocker, attendee of Writing & The Body Feb 2015

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. Yoga + Writing + Connection. We go deep. Bring an open heart and a sense of humor- that's it! Summer or Fall 2015.

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. Yoga + Writing + Connection. We go deep. Bring an open heart and a sense of humor- that’s it! Summer or Fall 2015.

Featured image by Gabby Oltean.

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply annie February 26, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Boom bitch. Fucking boom. So good. Just as good as when you read it live. So good. So so so good.

  • Reply Meredith Merritt February 26, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    You are such a badass.

  • Reply Laura Alonso February 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    This is SO good (jinx, Annie – but it really is the best way to describe it. So, so, SO good!!!) – this is one of those “Aha! You nailed it!” pieces (btw, those kind of pieces are what I think of as “your way” of writing). You always find such a unique way of expressing things – as if you were in our heads pulling this stuff directly from our thoughts, before the filter but without the mess (does that make sense?) . . . you have such a gift for presenting the stuff that’s so hard to express in such honest, *human* language. I’m always nodding, yes, yes, yes!! when I read your blog posts (I miss them!) – and again today – Yes! This is SO what being in a writing slump feels like (and guess how I know that?) – it’s like the actual *feeling* of writer’s block put into words. Thank you for that – and keep on getting out of your way so you can gift us with more of the same. Your voice is *necessary* – remember that. <3
    P.S. I really did need this today. So, now what the fuck am I going to do about it? Thanks for the question. I needed that, too. 😉

  • Reply Barbara Potter February 26, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I love this big time. The yellow brick road is right there and you are on it. I love that you found a partner that sees right into you. That’s right Lidia you are magic.

  • Reply EB WExler February 26, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    *adore*

  • Reply megan March 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Ooh. I did this, asked this, for myself as I was reading along. Did not expect that answer, me. good one. Thanks Lidia-Jen.

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