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frank gjata

Video

Are You Addicted To being Busy?

June 27, 2013

Are You Addicted to Being Busy?

Are you addicted to being busy? Or, at least telling people how busy you are? Here’s the post on this topic http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6260/5-Things-Nobody-Wants-to-Hear.html. Please share the video and thoughts below. Order the tats here http://www.consciousink.com/. Say I sent you. Love jen www.jenniferpastiloff.com.

Owning It!, Self Image

I Can’t Decide What To Eat. Why Decision Making Is So Hard.

August 3, 2012
pizzapic

If I can’t even decide what to order in a restaurant, then, My God, how am I supposed to  make a decision like: Do I want to have a baby? Or, do I want to write a memoir or a “How To” book or should I do another retreat to Italy again or go to Aruba? Should I have coffee or tea?

I am in a restaurant having dinner. Waiter comes over. Me: Which is better, the cedar plank salmon or the lobster baked potato or the gluten free crust pizza?

Waiter: Ah, all so different. Wow, that’s hard. How about the pizza?

Me: I don’t know… Do I even want pizza? Is the salmon really good?

Waiter: Really good. 

Me: Ok, I’ll have the potato and a cabernet. 

Waiter says ok and walks away.

I get up and run after him and change it to the pizza.

Some events and details have been changed to protect the innocent but the point is, I have trouble making up my mind.

I always want someone to make my mind up for me.

This morning I taught a class which felt really off, like I entered the Twilight Zone and someone forgot to tell me. I walked in at 7 am to start and there were 4 people (they are usually 15-20. More came in late but at start time there were 4.) 4 people and they were each in a corner of the room. It felt like a message but I wasn’t sure what the message was except this is awkward. 

The energy felt stuck and low like it had gotten trapped on something and gave up the fight and stayed there. I tried to bring it back up to sea-level, or at least I think I tried. It didn’t work. It was drowned.

Class ended and one my sweet regulars said that she had felt like she was in the wrong class that morning. That it didn’t feel like my class.

Aha! So it wasn’t just me being sensitive as I have been all week. There was a marked difference in the air.

I talked my friend Frank Gjata on the phone when I got home. I told him how my 7 am class is the least “Jen” class I teach.

I told him that I think about dropping it a lot. Not to mention getting up early is not on my joy list. But I feel like I can’t drop it. I mustn’t. How could I? How dare I? Who was I to turn down work? And I “needed” it. 

He suggested I give the class up. Drop it, he said.

That’s all he had to say for me to say: Okay, I will drop it! You’re right!

Why do I wait for someone to tell me what to do? To tell me it is okay? The right choice? To decide for me?

I didn’t realize that I did this until I said it out loud this morning on the phone to him.

He said something brilliant.

He asked me what brings Jen out the most? That is what I needed to be focusing on.

I think sometimes I am scared to make up my mind because I don’t trust myself to make the right choice. Someone else’s decision will validate mine. What if I chose wrong?

So what!

So I chose wrong? There is no wrong, really. The pizza isn”t wrong. Keeping my 7 am class isn’t wrong nor is dropping it.

There is only what makes me more right, more Jen.

I am taking back my life, and claiming my power over it.

As I look back on areas of my life I can see where I stopped depending on my own knowing and inner compass and started to look desperately outside of myself for any sight of land so a wave wouldn’t swallow me up out there in the ocean.

Asking for help is okay. Not trusting your own judgement, your own instincts, your own love letters to yourself, now that’s a shame.

As things expand and heat up in my life, as they are at such a level I sometimes feel as if I am in a pressure cooker, I realize that there are more choices to be made.

The more choices I have to make, the more in control I am, the more powerful. Powerful in my own life.

And therein lies the rub. That is the great fear.

Having such power in my own life, having such control over what course I steer my boat. I want it so bad I can taste the saltwater on my tongue and yet I am terrified because I forgot my life jacket.

I will go out without a life jacket and learn to swim.

I will focus on things that make me the most me. That bring out the best of me. That make me better than I was yesterday. That allow me to shine.

Pizza or salmon?

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Hearing Loss, Self Image

Who Are You? The DMC: Daily Manifestation Challenge.

May 30, 2012
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Yesterday, a girl came up to me before my class at Equinox and told me that my sister Rachel’s blog is her saving grace; that she feels she is on the same journey as my sister. That she is, in fact, a little obsessed with 3 Words for 365. So am I, I thought.

So am I.

I felt proud, happier than if it was my own blog she was talking about (which, due to my hearing loss, I thought she was at first!)

Serendipitous too, as I had just started this guest post for my sister’s blog. It was a gentle nudge from the Universe to get writing.

The past few days I have been in my bed, with the blanket over my ice-pack covered head.

Sound fun?

No, I didn’t think so.

Unless you are a vampire.

I haven’t suffered from one of my migraines since last May. Then BAM! Without warning I got one on Tuesday night.

I felt the panic set in.

It makes it hard to talk. To see. To focus.

I slur a bit.

Like I said: not fun. Unless you’re drunk, then these symptoms might feel a bit more celebratory.

I cancelled my private yoga sessions on Wednesday and Thursday due to how bad I was feeling.

I called Frank Gjata, who has become my life coach and dear friend, and before I knew it, I was lying in the dark, my throbbing head screaming Get off the Effing Phone, while the rest of me was off having a profound life changing moment. (That’s Frank for you, folks.)

What he does.

LCM. Life. Changing. Moments.

He asked me: Why now? Why do you think your migraine is coming back now?

I wanted to yell I don’t know and I don’t care. I just want the pain to go away.

He asked me to describe what I was feeling.

I said: throbbing. All I could get out. One word. Throbbing.

He suggested how perfect that was because it was actually how I was living my life.

On, off.

On, off.

Stop, go.

Stop, go.

Why did he have to be so spot on?

I told him I was feeling guilty that I gave up so much work the last few days. I said ” Who am I to give up $200 an hour jobs? I didn’t even make 200 A DAY when I was waitressing?”

He says: Exactly. Who are you?

There it is. That question.

“Who are you?”

(Just for the record, I hate when things get turned on me.)

I got it. Here we are back to my favorite exercise in my workshop. The “I am ____” exercise.

I realized that I keep myself so busy and run down because there is this mantra running through my head. You know how I love a mantra.

The mantra is: Who am I to ever say no to something?

Who am I to ever allow myself to say No to something?

What a question!

How many times a day do we say yes to things because we don’t feel we deserve to say no? Or, because there might not be another time to say “yes”? Or because the only way we know how to live is to keep ourselves busy all the time? Or because we feel guilty?

The list is endless.

I decided to fill in my “I am ___.”

I am: a successful writer. I am: a loved yoga teacher. I am: financially abundant.

I am: powerful. I am: A connector. I am: healthy. I am: well.

Who are you?

Last week Frank helped me realize how I was speeding through life ( again with the on, off, stop, go) and that helped me stay not present.

In fact, I got a speeding ticket on my way to his house. Just for fun. So I had proof I was speeding.

It wasn’t that fun, to be honest. I cried.

He also helped me get clear on how my hearing loss, “my not being able to hear” was related to my “not being able to be here.”

I hope this doesn’t sound too airy fairy, too woo-woo.

But the reality is, I don’t care if it does.

I am: someone who is independent of the good opinion of other people.

Is my migraine gone? Mostly. I wouldn’t be able to write if it was fully with me. There is enough of a remnant though for me to remember who I am.

Enough of a subtle pulsing and slight nausea to have me stop and take a breath. To have me pause and ask myself “Do I want to say yes to this next thing?”

Because the truth is: I get to choose.

Somewhere along the line I forgot that I get to choose who I am.

I forgot who I was and thought I was someone who would always be broke and who always had to say yes to any and every job or offer that came my way.

I forgot that I am worth it, and I get to take care of myself, especially when I am not feeling well. Especially when I am laying in a dark cell with ice over my face. Especially then.

Keep going, don’t stop, keep pushing, it’s never enough.

These mantras are broken and no longer serve me so I am throwing them away with my migraine if you don’t mind.

I would love to hear what your mantra is.

Just who do you think you are?

Sorry it’s been so long since a DMC was out, folks! In the comment section below, answer the question: Who Are You?

***This originally appeared in my favorite blog 3wordsfor365.
Manifestation Workshops

Manifestation Workshop: Remember Who You REALLY Are.

May 17, 2012
Click on photo to sign up for workshop. Cost is $45. bring a pen, journal, towel and water. And a big open heart!

“Thank you, Jennifer, for shining your light on mine.” ~Christy Turlington

Just a quick post to let you all know that due to popular demand (ok, a few tweets and Facebook messages) I am doing another Manifestation Yoga® Workshop in Santa Monica on June 2nd at Pop Physique. The last one oversold and sold out fast. You must pre-register here via my paypal http://www.jenniferpastiloff.com/PayPal.html

Here is the event on Facebook.

Click on photo to sign up for workshop.
**Photo by Jimmy Knowles

Join Jen Pastiloff as she brings her signature Manifestation Workshop® to the brand new Pop Physique in Santa Monica! http://popphysique.com/.

The cost is $45 and can be paid via paypal here http://www.jenniferpastiloff.com/PayPal.html or directly to Jennifer. Email Jen jennifer@jenniferpastiloff.com

This will be Jen’s last workshop in LA for until next fall. The last one we did here was a jam packed sold out success so by demand we are back!

Space is limited to 26 people. You must pre-register (we will have a wait list after number 26.)

Prepare to sweat, laugh, twist, open your heart, go upside down, write, sing, dance and manifest your dreams! We will have dance parties on the mat and in the soul!

There will be wine and treats after of course. Please rsvp asap to jennifer@jenniferpastiloff.com.

*****You will also get a Manifestation bracelet and Manifestation tattoo by Conscious Ink when you attend and Manifestation tank tops and tees will be for sale where all $$ goes to Prader Willi Research.

* About Pop Physique: PopPhysique incorporates a ballet barre inspired exercise system into an efficient one hour class set to excellent music that blends ballet, pilates and light weight work into a methodical series of strengthening, isometrics, core shaping and luxuriating stretches. ( there is street parking and a public lot directly across street.)

Click on photo to sign up for workshop. Cost is $45. bring a pen, journal, towel and water. And a big open heart!

Uncategorized

Frank Gjata of Blississippi. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

May 13, 2012
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Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A Series.

I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.

I first met Frank Gjata when someone who took my classes gave me an envelope filled with his beautiful Manifestation tattoos. Naturally, I was intrigued as to who this guy was. I started wearing the tattoos all the time. When Frank and I finally met in person it was if we had known each other our whole lives and we pretty much have talked 5 times a day since that first meeting.

He truly has become my family.

He is one of the most gifted and prolific minds I have ever come across.

He founded a site called Blississippi and I want you to stop what you are doing right now and have your mind blown. Here it is: Blississippi.com.

Right?!?

He also happens to be one of the most generous and big-hearted people I am lucky enough to know. Last weekend he joined me at my 6th Manifestation to Ojai and we had a blast. His answers below are thoughtful, humble, honest, funny and provocative. If you don’t have a little Frank in your life, you don’t know what you are missing.

Get Frank……

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most proud to have manifested in your life?

Frank Gjata: Man, you ask good questions Jennifer. Don’t waste anytime do you? Just go for the goods right off the bat. Love it.

Okay…I’m most grateful for manifesting…letting go of trying to manifest anything….other than being my true self in the moment and living my bliss. As I do that, I naturally manifest lots of fun stuff, like getting to hang out with you Jennifer ;-).

Jennifer Pastiloff:  Love that answer!

What’s the greatest lesson that you have learned from being a coach?

Frank Gjata: I’ve learned that everyone has a deep desire to connect…that everyone is fully equipped to connect…and that it’s blissful and life-giving to connect. Did that connect with you? 😉

Frank giving a lecture at my May 2012 Ojai retreat. Photo by James Vincent Knowles.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?

Frank Gjata: God/the universe in all “its” infinite forms, including human ones. Every human qualifies here….and I mean everyone. I have this website called humangels.com that illustrates in a fun way how even the most challenging people can be our most blessed teachers…as they invite us (okay, challenge us;-) to be more of our true essence. I really believe…Everyone on earth is an angel. Sometimes, you just have to squint really hard to see their wings;-)

Now, speaking in more “practical” terms, a couple of my favorite human teachers are Drs. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks of The Hendricks Institute. I’ve learned so much from these lovely, genius people. Check them out: Hendricks.com.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you share with us a bit about your journey? Leaving the corporate world of advertising to follow your heart and your bliss?

Frank Gjata: I really think of it more like I brought the corporate world of advertising with me rather than leave it behind. I believe every step of our journey prepares us perfectly for our next step. I loved working as a writer in advertising and it has come in very handy. (I feel a tangent coming here, bear with me;-) To me, good advertising at its essence is simply effective communication. Effective communication is a good thing. The “problem” lies in what we choose to effectively communicate. I found it frustrating that some very good communicators were working for some very “bad” companies and some very bad communicators were working for some very “good” companies.

That’s why I created “Advertising For A Better World” (AdvertisingForABetterWorld.com). My group ONLY works with like-minded companies focusing on bettering the world. It brings together very good communicators with very good companies. Are you with me Jennifer? Do you like that? :)

(note from Jen: I do! I do!)

It’s still in its infancy stage and has been hired mostly by me to work on my various projects, causes, services and a variety of “websites on a mission” that you can see on my new website: BLISSISSIPPI.com.

Click photo to “like” Blississippi on Facebook.

Frank Gjata: But I digress…

I know what you really meant with your question about leaving advertising. I just knew I had to uncover more of who I really was at my core and be that. Quite honestly, I really didn’t have much choice in the matter. I was being “called” as we ALL are. And if we don’t answer that call…that incessant ringing will drive us mad…in more ways than one.

So, nowadays, I’ve gotten pretty good at not arguing with what comes up for me and simply listen and follow. It’s one of my most important lessons really. I even created a tattoo for that: Listen. Follow.

One of the things I say often is that the best leaders are simply the best followers. Think about truly great leaders. Gandhi. Martin Luther King. Mother Teresa. They we’re just following their hearts…following what was being called from inside of them…not outside of them. If you’re gonna follow someone, follow a follower!

Jennifer Pastiloff: Conscious Ink. My obsession is your Manifestation Tattoos. Tell us about the story behind them and where can folks buy them?

Frank Gjata: You’re so sweet. You’ve been such a great supporter of Conscious Ink. Thank you.

At my retreat wearing our “Follow Your Bliss” Conscious Ink tats! Photo by James Vincent Knowles.

Well, as a coach and as a human, I’m always thinking of fun ways to help me and others stay on the path. I love these tattoo messages on a different levels. On a practical level, each tattoo empowers the wearer (and anyone who happens to see it) to stay true to their intentions.

But perhaps, on an even more fundamental level, these empowering words can seep deep within us and perhaps can organically shift us at a cellular level…well, at least, according to Dr. Emoto. He studied the impact of different types words on water finding that positive words like “love” turned frozen water crystals into beautiful patterns, where as negative words like “fear” turned the crystals into ugly irregular patterns. Well, if the energy of words can make such a profound impact on water, imagine the impact on our bodies, since we’re mostly made of water. This point was also illustrated in the powerful movie “What The Bleep Do We Know?”

Conscious Ink currently offers over 150 Manifestation Tattoos with a variety of empowering words, quotes and affirmations. It’s also just a lot of fun getting all tatted up. You can see all the different designs at: ConsciousInk.com

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you the most?

Frank Gjata: I’m constantly humbled, inspired and often moved to tears…seeing (and feeling) that God is everywhere, in everything, in everyone, in every moment.

I’m also inspired by anyone being their true self…those who have overcome the fears and barriers that may have opposed that. In fact, I’ve devoted an entire website to these amazingly courageous and frank people called: LiveFrank.com. The site simply features a weekly video of a frank person making a bold contribution to our world. People can also sign up to receive the weekly video in the inbox for free. I’m sure I’ll soon be featuring you Jennifer. You’ve already impacted so many of us with your life, your work and, well, your frank sharing;-) It’s good to be frank, isn’t Jennifer? Thank you!

Jennifer Pastiloff: I teach many of my classes to the theme of gratitude. If you could say thank you right now to one person who would it be?

Frank Gjata: Hmm, one person, eh? The list is endless…okay, okay, let’s see, who comes up first is… the person reading this right now. Hi there. Thank you. Appreciate you hanging out here with Jennifer and I…who knows where our new connection will lead?!

Love these tats!

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are some words you live by?

Frank Gjata: As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big believer of simply listening and following…to our truth within. We all say we want answers. Many people search and search….sometimes for their entire lives.

Yet, we all have the answers within us all the time. It’s just that sometimes we don’t like those answers. We argue with those answers. We distract ourselves from hearing those answers. And so, we make up answers that perhaps don’t feel as “scary” to us as the truth.

Of course, it’s only within our truth does our freedom lie. The truth will truly set us free…another good set of words.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Acknowledge is Power. You just gave me that tattoo. Share with us a bit about that idea.

Frank Gjata: Yes! The simple act of acknowledging is so very powerful. This has become the foundation of my work as a coach/facilitator. It’s based on connecting to our truth in the moment…no matter what it is. When we fully connect with our truth and follow it, it always leads to peace, love and freedom. Yes, always. Guaranteed.

Problem is, most of us never reach that blissful destination because often scary feelings pop up along the way…so we give up that idea real quick and turn the #%@! around. Fast. That’s sad…because it typically only takes a few minutes of facing, breathing and allowing… the storm (of feelings) to move through before the sun starts shining again.

The journey to peace and freedom starts with what I call, asking the “One” question: What’s your truth right now?

Below are 5 key points why acknowledging our truth is so powerful:

1. ANY TRUTH taps into the source of ALL TRUTH.

2. There is universal desire for truth and wholeness.

3. Our body wants to be healed. Our soul wants to be free.

4. Waves of energy change as they are observed.

5. When we acknowledge our truth…NO MATTER WHAT IT IS…we are actually practicing unconditional love and acceptance.

You can read more about these 5 key points here: acknowledgeispower.com/how-this-works.php

 

 

Jennifer Pastiloff: Let’s get naked Frank. My Naked Guru. What is this? ( Love the this by the way!)

Frank Gjata: Let’s do! Naked is good. All kind of naked. “My Naked Guru” is about uncovering our true selves. I (and my naked guests) send out a short personally-written text message at a random time to wake people up in the moment…at a time when they’ve perhaps lost touch with their true selves. I’m looking forward to having you on as a naked texter. It’s fun. It’s free to sign up: MyNakedGuru.com

Jennifer Pastiloff: You seem to be dabbling in so many exciting things and endeavors with your different companies and websites and coaching. What is the key to managing all you do and staying focused?

Frank Gjata: Lol.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Ha! me too.

What is one message you would pass on right now to someone looking to manifest their best selves?

Frank Gjata: Following our bliss IS the destination.

(Put your bliss FIRST and everything will flow from there.)

Jennifer Pastiloff: What brings you the most joy? Your joy list….

Frank Gjata: Oh man, great question. I talk a lot about this…about the power and the necessity (yes, necessity) of living our bliss….on a daily basis.

This was the inspiration for launching blississippi.com. I speak about why living our bliss is so vital for each of us and the world. You can find a brief article I wrote about that here: http://frankgjata.com/bliss-join

My personal bliss day:

–Quiet morning with a cup of coffee (I’m not so enlightened to

drink tea yet. Maybe someday;-) I meditate, write, contemplate.

–Connecting to myself, others, clients, spirit and my blissful friends

throughout the day. (My dear friend, Adele Swan, is a longtime

favorite. You, too, Jennifer, are starting to grow on me;-)

–“Working” on my various projects.

–Having fun/laughing with my awesome daughter.

–Yoga (or surfing when the water is warm;-).

–Making love

–Laughing

Jennifer Pastiloff: How did you come to be a life coach? Did you feel as if it was your dharma, all along?

Frank Gjata: I didn’t set out to be a “life coach” (and yet I did). This is just another great example of the “listening and following” thing I speak so much of.

A few years ago, I knew there was more of me to be revealed. So I just started exploring, reading a lot and attending conferences etc. I continued to listen and follow…and that landed me graciously at The Hendricks Institute: www.Hendricks.com. This is where I received much of my coaching training.

And yes, to answer your second question, I do feel it was my dharma all along.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who are 5 people on your dream team to be wearing your Manifestation tattoos?

Frank Gjata: Hmm…I honestly get a kick out of seeing everybody wearing the tats. But, let’s see, my dream tat team…hmm…

Jim Carrey

Alanis Morissette

Bono

It would be pretty cool to see Obama sportin’ a couple tats.

How could I leave out Oprah?

And why not your favorite, Wayne Dyer? I love the space he’s in right now…and who he’s hangin’ with lately, Anita Moorjani. Love her. I know you love her, too. But for the other peeps out there that may not be aware of her yet, check her out at: www.AnitaMoorjani.com. Her experience will change yours.

Okay, that turned into 7 dream tatters.

Jennifer Pastiloff: When is the last time you’ve laughed at yourself?

Frank Gjata: A couple minutes ago to one of your questions above:-)

I have to say one of the coolest things that I experience now is that laughter has become my automatic default response to practically everything. Broken plate: Laugh. An argument: Laugh. Get humbled: Laugh. Admittedly, a passerby may think that’s nuts. But even that’s funny!

I know, you too, are a big fan of humor and laughter. I honestly believe that it will be humor and levity that will save the world. Humor is literally disarming. And couldn’t our world use a bit more disarming?

Jennifer Pastiloff: Connection. You and I have talked at length about this. What does connection mean to you?

Frank Gjata: Yes. Connection is where it’s at. When we connect to our true selves, we feel fully alive. We tap into source of one and all…and feel our connection to one and all.

Plus, connecting is a bargain. When we connect to ourselves, we automatically connect with spirit and others. And it works that way all the way around. I call it the best three-fer deal on the planet.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What’s up next for Frank Gjata?

Frank Gjata: I’m not sure…I’m excited to find out.

Thank you for having me Jennifer.

Connect with Frank on Facebook

Connect with Frank on Twitter

Read about our adventure at my last Manifestation Retreat in May. It’s called: A Delicious Pack of Weirdos. That should give you a clue.

The tattoos are amazing!

Frank captivates us at my retreat.

Gratitude, Guest Posts, Inspiration, Manifestation Retreats

A Delicious Pack of Weirdos. By James Vincent Knowles.

May 10, 2012
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 Poster by SimpleReminders.com Pre-order their book www.SimpleReminders.info Subscribe for more: www.bryantmcgill.net


Poster by SimpleReminders.com
Pre-order their book www.SimpleReminders.info
Subscribe for more: www.bryantmcgill.net


 **Jen Touchette brilliantly coined our group: A Delicious Pack of Weirdos.

A Delicious Pack of Weirdos** by James Vincent Knowles.

I saw God in Ojai and then I saw my life flash before me.

He was in me and She was in the others.

Evidently He’d been there all along.

I felt powerful.

What an awesome feeling, knowing oneself and God all at once.

This past weekend I did a little yoga retreat in Ojai. I say I “did” it because it took some doing to ignore “reality” and move towards a more real ideal. The reality was, I’d never been on a yoga retreat. Another reality was, I had no money. That was one of those get-real, realities. Also, I’d never before attended a yoga class, much less a retreat filled with yoga weirdos. That’s some scary reality. The reality was I had plenty of real-reality that woulda, coulda, and some might say, shoulda kept me at home rather than boppin’ over to Ojai for one of Jennifer Pastiloff’s yoga retreats.

A few months ago I’d stopped taking private yoga lessons and that experience and photographing 25 yoga girls turned me on to the idea that yoga people had it more together than any other group I’d ever met. I felt I had plenty of reasonable reasons for not having at least been doing a few down dogs at home every day. For the most part it pretty much came down to having given up on living life fully, if not having given up on living at all.

After attending this retreat in Ojai, that story, the one behind my feeling like giving up, is over.

To get the reality particulars out of the way: this yoga retreat was held at an estate Retreat and Vineyard in Ojai, CA about an hour drive north of L.A. The main building on the estate is a large house built in that solidly gorgeous craftsman style. If you’ve ever been over to Brad Pitt’s house, it’s a lot like that, only more acreage, quieter, sexier, more tranquil, better food, better pool, way more trees, gardens, wild animals, birds, and laughter. Let me describe it a bit more below before I get back to the reality that really matters.

And just to give you a little reality on my own real life perspective for comparison, I’ve stayed at many of the 4 and 5 star hotels in America as well as a few in foreign countries. As many of you are no doubt aware, if you’re staying at a Four Seasons or a Ritz Carlton, you’re going to be very comfortable and wake up in a bed you want never leave. And these sorts of many starred hotels have really great, really expensive room service as well as big plush towels to tempt you.

Jen’s Ojai retreat was not the Four Seasons and there was no room service nor any big fluffy towels. Indeed, as soon as I arrived, I could feel this place was so much more than fluffy towels and comfy beds and room service. The estate is a certified, bona fide Estate.

A place where I could do at least one of the two most important things in life. Connect wholeheartedly with other people. Sure enough, it was like a three day vacation but for angels only.

Being there was to experience what the world would be like if everyone understood what love means.

It was like falling in love, phase one, when everything is strange and exciting and even though you’re not sure, you’re sure.

And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. This retreat was about connection. Connection with self, others and the Universe / God.

Mind you, I’m not just speaking of my own experience, though my own experience was indeed about connection with God in me and others. I’m speaking of connection in such an enormous way, I actually saw God in Ojai in other people. All of them, strangers. A whole pack of ‘em~!

I’ve been a professional observer for 44 years, so when I say I saw others connecting and sharing and being and loving and giving and caring and understanding and being interested and being empathic and compassionate and friendly and smiling and beaming and spreading kindness before them and trailing kindness behind, well, all I can say is, I witnessed it and felt its effects. For real.

I’ll give you just a teeny-tiny glimpse of just a couple little things that actually happened in me, to me, and with me whilst there. You’ll have to take my word for it that much more happened than I’ve room to share.

To start with, every part of me was afraid to go. I’d never met any of the others attending this retreat, including Jennifer Pastiloff. Indeed, I’d not been around any people at all for 18 months prior to this retreat. Oh sure, I’d been out a few times in public to get a cup of coffee, but in a strange town with no friends the extent of my socializing was saying hello to a barista or bank teller.

I’d been studying, editing, thinking, writing, contemplating and meditating for most of this past year and a half. In the process of doing so, I’d finally arrived at the conclusion I am a good guy who’s in need of connection with others. I realize that might sound weird but as some of you may have already experienced, sometimes life can be a bit confounding. I’d seen a few of Jennifer’s blog posts a few months previous to this retreat and I’d recognized something unique. Something that resonated importantly and loudly. She appeared to be authentic. You know … “real.” I suppose that’s why I was so afraid to go to Ojai. What if this was just another phony, fake, pretender?

What if this was just another gaggle of superficial, shallow a-holes whose favorite subject is me, me, me?

And by that I don’t mean me, I mean, themselves. But I felt ready for reality, either way. I couldn’t take cave dwelling, friendless and alone any longer. It was time to find out if I’d grown up at all.

So I went.

The way I came to connect with Jennifer was via Facebook. Isn’t that kinda weird in and of itself? Last December she’d posted something on her blog that got my attention. I can just hear her right this second saying, “there are no accidents.” It truly was uncanny how what I’m about to share with you came to be. I was in a dark place.  Still reaching for light. Searching for something that was really real. Something that matters. Something that helps change perspective. I still believed such a thing was possible. And as it turned out, when I saw it, I felt it, right there in one of her blog posts. Mind you, this is a FB friend and I can’t even be sure how exactly we got to be FB friends. If I had to venture a guess it would be that she was FB friends with someone whom I really loved in the real world.

When I read Jennifer’s blog, I left a comment and noticed she replied … authentically.

That got my attention. I read more of her posts. Everything she wrote resonated. I continued to comment.

One day she suggested / requested me to attend her Ojai retreat. I was shocked but I said I would, even though I had no idea how I could pay for it, let alone get the vagina to do it. (Some of you will get the joke, some will google it, others will have to learn the hard way that if you want “tough,” grow a vagina).

So here’s what the retreat was like.

It was like coming home to her, the loveliest lover, love of my life, after a long arduous road trip traveling with Pandora with her damn already opened box containing all the evils in the world, for thousands of miles, locked inside with her in an old VW Bug. It was like the first kiss after you’d learned, or so you thought, how to make love without any obvious insecurity, and how after that first kiss with your last love, the final one you know will be lasting, even your hidden fears disappeared.

It was like being under the veranda in Ojai on the most perfect balmy evening, full moon light glowing, casting dancing shadows amongst the trees, adding sparkling little catch lights each time someone turns to speak, to speak to you! … and discovering you’re surrounded by all your best friends, ever, in this one small huge paradisiacal place.

Everyone who was there was fully there. Each of them was the most valuable being in the Universe.

At first, I couldn’t believe it, even as I felt this connection and felt these delicious people touch my heart. Oddly it wasn’t overwhelming.

There was an immediate flow of acceptance.

Each person there, one by one and all at once, were connecting immediately with one another.

This experience wasn’t orchestrated by Jennifer, though she’s obviously the maestro. All these people were sharing: understanding. Here’s what was really weird, and it was indeed bizarrely weird. There were no stories being told!

These beneficent, magnificent beings had somehow arrived in one place together and each of them were willing to be understood without pleading for attention or anything like it.

And they were understood. Is that not excruciatingly amazing? From reality to real to strangely weird. An automatic bam without an exclamation mark? Just like, wow man, wow. Bam.

Everyone who was supposed to be there, was fully there, right there, in Ojai, under a full moon in the most beautiful garden, and every single one of them, including me, was glowing.

Again, I’ve never participated in any sort of yoga retreat before this one. Perhaps they’re all like the one I attended in Ojai. If so, there is more than enough hope for the world. To spend three days around 40 people, not once hearing a single cynical, sarcastic, mean word. Not once did I see anyone so much as get annoyed, let alone act upset or angry or bummed out by anything.

And that story thing~! I mean, I’m not the most gregarious dude, meaning I don’t go out of my way to bug people with talk. Nevertheless, in 3 days, all of which were spent without any distractions other than the beauty and splendor of the place and the delightful people attending, I experienced several soulful, heart-and-soul-level conversations with others but not one story. Not one. It was effing evolved, man. Stories were just unnecessary. That’s just freaky.

I could go on and on about this amazing Jennifer chick and her Ojai weekend. Fill a book, probably. It would be more than enlightening, filled with love, infinitely fascinating and awe inspiring, an exciting mystery, a thrilling adventure and the most sensual thing you’ve ever read. But that would take far too long. This is the sort of news that needs be disseminated wide and far.

Positively positive news. When’s the last time you got that on t.v., or anywhere else?

Egoless would be another way to describe this past weekend. 40 souls who attended a yoga retreat and found a way to live with one another and love each other without anyone’s ego screwing it up? That’s just astonishing. Really.

And now a little practical reportage about some of the physical realities of the weekend … Caspar Poyck, Culinary Therapist prepared the most delectable meals. Just one dude. One chef for 40 people. I feel good about what I’m about to say about this cat. Before attending this retreat, a salad to me was just lettuce with maybe a sprinkling of cheese and balsamic. I grew up eating hamburgers, hotdogs, pork chops and steaks with canned veggies and potatoes, so I’m the pickiest eater you’ve ever met. Caspar’s meals were so beyond what I’ve eaten in some Michelin 3 star restaurants the only thing that makes sense as to why he does what he does the way he does it is that it is all about love. You can taste it. You can see him putting love into the food. All the food he prepared was straight out of the garden. You could see it and you could taste it and the fact that 40 people all devoured every morsel of every meal proved it. How he found time to patiently teach a class of almost everyone attending the retreat how to cook a healthy meal is beyond me.

The fact “the class” created one of the best meals of the weekend just blew my mind.

The place itself was, let’s just say, better than the best resort I’ve stayed at in Hawaii or Cabo or in the Caribbean or Acapulco or Puerta Vallarta. What’s really amazing is, during all three days, not one staff member was seen. I’m not even sure there are any. And there was not one authority figure. That’s what you get when you’re a responsible person, I’m told. Freedom.

Mind you, I paid for my weekend with money I didn’t have when I committed to attend yet somehow the money to attend “manifested” the day before I was to head to Ojai.

After experiencing Jen’s yoga retreat, I felt compelled to share with you some of what I observed. I’d never met one single person in attendance at this retreat but I will reveal I fell in love with more than one person whilst I was there.

Firstly, I fell in love with myself. Then I actually fell in love with several other people whom I know will always be friends.

I’m gonna start collecting friends this way. What an amazing discovery~!

I can see that butterfly theory thing going on here.

I posit that this could be the pyramid scheme to end all pyramid schemes. This could be the quantum physics, quantum mechanics solution to living life wholeheartedly. If I’m even half right, there are 20 other people who feel the same (or better) and who’ll do the same (or more). And this just from attending one yoga retreat~! Wow.

They say the teacher appears when the student is ready. Yep.

How do I put forth with such certainty something like this can and will help change the world? Because I met 40 people who care about something other than and greater than, themselves. 40 people who are connected with the God / the Universe in themselves and within others. It’s gonna spread like mad-crazy-love should.

I should also mention Frank Gjata, though he’s the sort of fellow one doesn’t really need to mention. I suppose that if you go to one of Jennifer’s yoga retreats, you’ll either meet him or get connected with him. Everyone who was in Ojai met Frank. Everyone who was in Ojai is now connected with Frank, not to mention with each other, in large part due to Frank. Frank is awesome. That’s all need be said about Frank.

I’d say a bunch of stuff about Jennifer but you can find out all you need to know the same way I did. Go to her FB page or google or listen to this one story. This is the only story I’m going to share about this weekend. For now, anyway.

Imagine that you have 40 disparate people at a yoga retreat who’ve paid money to be there. 40 people who are there to grow spiritually, who are there to connect with themselves, God and others on a spiritual level. 40 people who are there to have fun. Now imagine you’ve got 40 people to guide towards goodness and some huge and horrible news lands in your lap during your yoga retreat. Something that would no doubt more than momentarily distract most people from work. Something which would cause most people to get shouty or angry and which would diminish most people’s ability to be joyful for a day or two, at least. This happened to Jen this past weekend. But it didn’t happen to Jen. And it didn’t happen to anyone else, either. There was no story. She dealt with it in a couple hours, and went straight back to being the maestro of joy, the heartfelt, heart-full conductor, the maestro-maestress yogi yoga girl, the dance-putter-onner and dj, the empath-true-ist, the manifesting maniac and the authentic compassionate soul she obviously is.

A few months ago I’d never have imagined anyone could do that. Certainly not myself. But seeing her, witnessing her do it, and not just do it but seeing and feeling her deal with it the way she did gave me strength and lifted my soul to soaring.

This chick is weird in a very delicious and strange way. She’s really real. Not just strong. Not just genuinely caring and kind. Not hippy dippy or woo-woo either. She talks funny because she can’t hear worth a crap and yet she hears everything that matters. She notices stuff most people don’t or won’t. She’s wholehearted.

She’s honestly growing and learning so she can help others grow and learn. And she deals with stuff right now. And she does it so honestly and with such integrity and empathy and gratitude, one has to at least acknowledge just how marvelously amazing that is. I mean, she’s really real~! Which just blows my mind right the eff up and melts my heart all the way to the God in us all.

I hope for everyone who reads this, this message gets passed on. Tell someone you love them today. Create your life and manifest goodness in it for others. Let go of the stuff that’s no longer serving you. Connect with the Universe / the God in yourself first so you can connect with others. Be astonished.

See how astonishing you actually really are for real. There are only two things that matter in life after all the contemplation is thrown out: Spending time with others we love and that which we do for others without expecting something in return. I think you might find all the reality in the world comes down to just those two things. I hope you do. And it’s at such a place as Jennifer’s Ojai retreat this reality was made fully real for me amongst a delicious pack of weirdos. You know who you are, obviously, because you’re all really real, which is what makes you all so weird.

Wine tasting

Randy and Marla getting their groove on! Click photo to find more info on Randy aka the Malibu Healer!

Being silly

Frank Gjata, creator of Blississippi, giving an amazing lecture on BLISS!

Chef Caspar doin’ his thang

Yes, it was a Super Moon!

Halo!

Some of the group.

Jimmy captured the Super Moon!

Connection.

Lunch

Milk Maid! Love this shot of Jen Touchette by Jimmy!

Manifesting bliss. Check out the Conscious Ink “Follow Your Bliss” tattoos.

To oder James Vincent Knowles book “Yoga Girls” please click here.

 

Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. She has been featured on Good Morning America, NY Magazine, Oprah.com. Her writing has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, and more. Jen leads her signature Manifestation Retreats & Workshops all over the world. The next retreat is to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day/New Years. She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 31-Feb 1 in Ojai. Email retreats at jenniferpastiloff dot come for info. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: Seattle, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Miami, Tucson & The Berkshires (guest speaker Canyon Ranch.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff. Next Ojai retreat is Labor Day and there are a few spots left.

Manifestation Retreats, manifesting

Destination: Blississippi.

May 3, 2012
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I am so excited. Tomorrow I leave for my 7th Ojai retreat in 2 years.

This weekend is not only titled The Manifestation Retreat, but I’ve added Destination: Blississippi because my soul brother Frank Gjata is joining me and will lead workshops with me.

If you do not know who he is, boy are you in for a treat! His q&a will be up next week.

Here is his new site called BLISSISSIPPI, which I am addicted to. Have fun playing!

I will blog from retreat about all the magic that will be going down.

PS, apparently I have a big spread in MAX Sports & Fitness Magazine. However, it is was April’s issue. It’s now May. Oye, does anyone have a copy? Here is link online in the meantime. I thought it was some cool manifesting.  (Page 33 and 34)

Inspiration, manifesting

PMM: Pinch Me Moments.

April 1, 2012
Skye and Serena Dyer (Wayne Dyer's daughters) wearing their Manifestation Man-festing bracelets.

I’m writing to you from the Upper East Side. As in New York City.

It’s so good to be back here. I feel more alive. I am awake. Really awake.

Thursday night, as I was teaching in SoHo at Yoga Vida, there was this moment when I caught my reflection in the windows facing Broadway. The buildings across the street and all the sweaty bodies reflected behind me in the reflection, and I thought This is where I am meant to be. I’m home.

I feel very much at home and comfortable on the East Coast.

Those that know me in person know that I am a bit of an anomaly in California.

So, I am here and loving it.

I taught my life affirming Manifestation Workshops in Philadelphia at Dhyana Yoga, my home studio there, and now in NYC at Yoga Vida in Soho and PURE Yoga West on the Upper West Side.

(By life affirming I mean we: sing, dance, journal, laugh, cry, play, go upside down, do partner work, write letters to our younger selves, twist, sweat and create new ideas of who we are. That kind of life affirming.)

I’ve never done this before but last night, as I sat at dinner with Wayne Dyer’s 4 ridiculously amazing and talented daughters, Eric Handler whose baby is Positively Positive and Oprah people, I pinched myself.

I reached under the table and pinched myself.

It hurt.

(I was just checking.)

Here I am in cities that are not where I live, selling out workshops. People are showing up in droves because they have read my words. That is my dream. Holy guacamole! They have read my words and have been so moved or affected that they came to my workshop which cost money. The green kind.

Here I am in the Village having a 5 hour lunch with my muse, the superstar and best selling author Karen Salmansohn, who also writes for Oprah. Telling her I would love to write for Oprah as well. (Wouldn’t you know just a few hours later I am at dinner with Oprah people and they are saying ” You should write for Oprah.com.”) Karen and I couldn’t part ways. Soul sisters is an understatement.

Here I am at a trendy Thai place in the Meat packing District of Manhattan having dinner with these folks and laughing my Pad Thai stuffed face off.

Three years ago I was asking: Egg whites or whole egg?. Chips or salad? More coffee?

Three years ago I was depressed and still did not have my hearing aid so I was half deaf and depressed. Ugh.

I had one of those moments last night where I simply stopped and acknowledged myself.

How often do you do that?

Like really, really acknowledge? Like the kind where you get goosebumps acknowledging?

Like when you get clear on what you have done and the goosebumps come.

Like when you get clear on who you are and the goosebumps come.

Like when you get clear on what you have overcome or broke through and the goosebumps come and never go away.

How often do we stop and acknowledge?

And, as my dear friend Frank Gjata always says: Acknowledge is Power.

(One of my favorite temporary tattoos of his from Conscious Ink.)

Lats night I looked at everyone at the table wearing my blue band. Yes, the misprinted ones that say Man-fest instead of Manifest. I sat across from the top producer at HARPO Studios wearing my blue bracelet as she ate her shrimp.

Skye and Serena Dyer (Wayne Dyer's daughters) wearing their Manifestation Man-festing bracelets.

It was such a chuckle moment.

I love chuckle moments.

When I realize how life works and how sometimes it is just so comical. How easeful. How’s it’s like one big ride.

When they all started toasting me last night I had to laugh at the hilarity of it. Toasting me, Jennifer Pastiloff, for making last night happen, for bringing everyone together.

(Funny because that is what I think of myself as: The Connector. Not the Yoga teacher, but the Connector.)

I have Wayne Dyer, Oprah and Positively Positive all on my vision board next to NYC. I have a picture of Oprah and under it says “Oprah’s Favorite Things” where I taped the words “Manifestation Retreats.”

Hee hee.

So yea, Oprah may not be at my next retreat just yet or saying that it is her favorite thing, but hot damn, her producers are having dinner with me, wearing my bracelets, asking me all about my blog. I’d say it was kind of a chuckle pinch me moment.

A CPMM: Chuckle Pinch Me Moment.

I may change my flight and stay for Oprah’s life class on Monday. My flight is out of Philly so I can be back for my early Equinox class Tuesday morning.

Last night I started to fret. I cannot miss another class. Bla. Bla. I have to get back. Bla bla.

I cannot recall the exact fretting. But it was something along those lines.

Then I thought: Wait a minute, Jennifer Pastiloff, just you wait a minute.

This is your dream, you nincompoop.

You would say no?

What am I afraid of?

Why would I say no?

Here it is. I am going to divulge the fear.

When I am happy I fear that it will be taken away, that I will wake up and be back to working at the Newsroom so I can say ” See, nothing good lasts.”

Eww, pop psychology is so cheesy and predictable.

I refuse to be cheesy and predictable.

My Equinox class will still be there for me if I miss one more to see Oprah.

I deserve to have my dreams come true.

There. I just said that.

Can you say that?

Join me please so I don’t feel like I am alone in a cab on the Avenue of Dreams all by my lonesome.

And guys? Bliss goes with everything.

Wear it all the time.

Serena Dyer, Harriet Seitler (executive VP for Harpo, as in Oprah, studios), and Eric Handler of Positively Positive all wear their Manifestation bracelets. Bam!

Serena tweeting. Follow her at @serenadyer
She is co-writing a book with her dad Wayne Dyer which I cannot wait for!

My most favorite tweet ever came last night from Serena Dyer.

Now, as you know, Wayne Dyer, her father, is my beloved teacher. She tweeted this:

Serena Dyer ‏ @serenadyer

The Dyer’s have adopted an honorary sister @ManifestYogaJen, just call her Sennifer :)

Contests & Giveaways, Man-Festing

What You Think About Men Is What You Man-Fest.

April 1, 2012

How I love Karen Salmansohn (you may know her as NotSalmon)

She came up with that line. Clever thing, she is.

What You Think About Men Is What You Man-Fest.

After my whole debacle with my Manifestation bracelets saying Man-fest instead, Karen, Frank Gjata and I decided that it was a happy accident.

So here it is.

Man-festing. 

 

Let’s celebrate all the wonderful men in our world! I want to hear from you below about some of the incredible men in your life! Please share either their name with a lot of “xoxoxo’s” next to their name – or share a little description about why they are the rock in your world – or have rocked your world.

 

AND….if you’re a single woman – and you want to be in a happy relationship – it’s especially important you let go of your anger at any men/man from your past – and celebrate men! If you’re holding onto anger at men as a category – you will have trouble being in a happy, loving relationship with a man as an individual – for oh so many reasons! Indeed, in my book PRINCE HARMING SYNDROME I strongly encourage women to let go of their resentment for their ex! Some of this is because: Just as there is alluring sexual attraction (which people can feel but not see), there’s also angry energy repulsion (which people can feel but not see). If you think angry thoughts about men and love, then you will be emitting an angry vibration which can be intuitively felt by others—as if you’re giving off an anti-charisma. (For more on this topic, check out the FREEBIE excerpt from PRINCE HARMING SYNDROME by clicking here now…

http://notsalmon.com/2011/09/21/the-law-of-attraction-really-begins-with-the-law-of-subtraction/

 

With all this in mind – and because men deserve our appreciation for a range of terrific reasons – Karen Salmansohn, Conscious Ink (Frank Gjata) and I will be doing a series of posts which celebrate men for the wonderful beings they are – with some fun giveaways! Stay tuned.

Leave your comment in the box below or on Karen or my Facebook pages!

 

Inspiration, manifesting, Optimism, Owning It!

Speeding.

March 15, 2012
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Yesterday as I was on my way to have a coaching session with the incomparable Frank Gjata I got pulled over.

“FOLLOWING OUR BLISS IS THE DESTINATION.”

– 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.

Why?

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. www.jenniferpastiloff.com ( 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.)