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Guest Posts, Manifestation Retreats, Retreats/Workshops, travel

How To Manifest Under The Tuscan Sun With Jen Pastiloff.

October 15, 2016

First, discover Jennifer Pastiloff accidentally. This is after the boyfriend leaves, after the mom gets cancer, and after you start asking Is this all there is? Let her crack you open in a crowded Manhattan yoga studio, show her your broken heart, read to her your list of fears, and let her place a hand on your knee and lean in closer. You will sit like that for awhile, with her hand on your knee and all of your tears puddling on the mat. The woman next to you will place a hand on your back, someone will offer you a box of tissues, you’ll hear a voice nearby say It’s ok, I got you. You’ll find that this is what Jennifer creates: space to be heard, space to listen.

Fallinloveable. She’ll say in her deep and raw voice, That’s what you are. Fuck yeah. Completely Fallinloveable. She says it in a way that makes you believe it too. It happens just like that. Then, you laugh through the tears, something Jennifer calls “letting the snot fly”, and the feeling of connectedness will cocoon itself around you.

Months later, you might forget how fallinloveable you are and you’ll scroll through Jennifer’s Instagram feed searching for a reminder. She will be there telling you not to be an asshole, especially to yourself. She will post pictures of her retreat in Italy and you will sit at your desk every lunch period swiping over images of people laughing, drinking wine, and dancing. The pictures alone ignite something inside of you, you will call it hope. You decide to go despite a full-time job with little vacation time and your lack of money. Listen, because this part is important: start with willingness, even if you don’t know how you will ever get the time off of work or the money in the bank, begin with willingness to believe in possibility, willingness to be transformed. Trust me. The rest will take care of itself.

Then, something like this will happen:

You will arrive in a van filled with strangers. Driving down a narrow, dusty road in the Tuscan countryside, you’ll find yourself equal parts nervous and excited. As you pull up to the sprawling villa, all of you will promptly and unanimously decide that none of the photos do it justice. Jennifer will meet you in the main room outside of the kitchen and insist that you take a tour right that minute. Go. Drop all of your heavy bags and follow her.

In fact, that’s pretty much good life advice: Drop the heavy shit weighing you down and let Jennifer Pastiloff show you how to stand in awe and wonder.

You’ll find one perfect-for-napping-writing-and-manifesting-nook after another, a large, dimly lit wine cellar, a gym, and several uniquely beautiful bedrooms with wooden windows that open to postcard-worthy views. You can even see the rolling Tuscan hills from the bathrooms. Take a minute to really see all of the beauty and notice how even the air smells different, fresher, full of hope. Consider this practice because Jennifer will ask you to hunt for beauty all week. She won’t ask you to take yourself too seriously or even yoga for that matter. Actually, least of all yoga. But. She will ask you to listen, to say yes, to sit in your discomfort, and to sit in the discomfort of others. This is the work, she’ll say, not turning away from someone’s pain, from their vulnerability.

You will remember the box of tissues at your feet in the crowded Manhattan yoga studio, the warmth of a stranger’s hand on your heaving back. You will watch Jennifer untie knots in your new friends and you know what you will do? Put a hand on their back, hand them tissues, and tell them I got you. I got you.

This is what Jennifer creates: space. Safe, open space. She asks you only to bring your willingness and a journal. Then, she listens. She listens with no agenda and no judgement. This is why it all works. Because we all begin listening to one another simply to hear, to understand, to say I got you, I got you. Don’t get me wrong, there is as much laughter as there is crying, as many heartfelt secrets being shared as there are dirty jokes, for every long, beautiful hour of quiet, there is another of loud, magical conversation around the dinner table, there is as much dancing as there is … well, there is a lot of dancing.

So, if you are wondering if you should go, just go. You don’t need to go looking for transformation, you don’t need to be sad or lost or grieving to go. You, right now where you are, can be delighted with your life, you may be filled to the brink with gratitude. Go. Share it. Show up with what you have wherever you are and let Jennifer greet you at the door, take you by the hand, and say How unbelievable is this? You won’t know whether she is talking about the view or her hand in yours or this moment in your life and it won’t really matter anyway.

Go. I got you. We all do.

 

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Lexi Weber is a writer, certified health coach, and newbie World traveler. Currently, she is writing at home in Annapolis, Maryland, but she always has her suitcase packed and ready to go. You can find pictures of her latest travels and smoothie bowls on her Instagram account @_lexiweber_ and read more of her writing at lexiweber.com.

 

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany June 17-24, 2016 by clicking the photo above. Please send an email to retreats@jenniferpastiloff.com letting us know why you would like to attend.

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany June 17-24, 2016 by clicking the photo above and putting down a non-refundable deposit. Please send an email to retreats@jenniferpastiloff.com letting us know why you would like to attend.

 

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany Sep 9-16, 2016. Please send an email to retreats@jenniferpastiloff.com letting us know why you want to attend. Click the photo above to put down your non-refundable deposit.

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany Sep 9-16, 2016. Please send an email to retreats@jenniferpastiloff.com letting us know why you want to attend. Click the photo above to put down your non-refundable deposit.

Fall Tuscany Retreat.

September 26, 2015

Sep 26- Oct 3, 2015.

*Please send email to info@jenniferpastiloff.com letting us know why you want to attend. This is an intimate retreat. We can’t wait to have you! This is Jen’s 5th year doing Manifesting Under The Tuscan Sun!  Please note that Joe Longo will be leading meditations at this retreat and he will be our resident photographer. Check him out here.

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Please read this so you understand what Jen’s retreat is like.

And this.

Join Jennifer Pastiloff of Manifestation Yoga® on an excursion to Italy for some yoga, journaling & writing for all levels, delicious food, wine,

an occasional dance party, seeing the gorgeous countryside and whatever else your heart may desire. These classes are more than just Asana. There is writing/journaling and sharing outloud –It is not your typical yoga retreat. La Dolce Vita! Please read this before you send your email in

 

Ebbio is a magical place surrounded by an evergreen forest, nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano

that was sacred to the Etruscans. Located in the breathtaking countryside of Tuscany, it is only 42

km from Florence, 11 km from Siena, 9 km from Castellini in Chianti and 1km from Monteriggioni,

a little medieval jewel.

 

Ebbio is an 800 year old classic rustic Tuscan farmhouse converted into a charming yoga retreat. Looking

out one of the many windows of the different accommodations in Ebbio, you will be captivated by the

undulating hills swept with thriving vineyards, olive trees and enchanting evergreen forests. The

amazing part of Ebbio is that it is still a working, organic Tuscan farm with its own

Chianti wine production and delicious Olive Oil.

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Ebbio’s kitchen serves vegetarian meals only. Most of the produce comes from their organic production.

The picnic on the day of the ocean excursion is included. Meals are served in the outside porch if

the weather is warm and not raining; otherwise they will be served upstairs where the bedrooms

are also located in a common living/dining room.  That room is a living/gathering place where

there is quiet time between 10 pm and 6 am to respect the people sleeping on the 2nd floor.

 

Water and seasonal fruit are available throughout the day.

 

The accommodations are in double, triple or quadruple rooms.  All rooms are shared, cute

and cozy & have a special name. There is about 1 bathroom for every 2 rooms. All bathrooms

are different, some with showers, some with bathtubs. There is also a bathroom with showers

off the yoga room with privacy for two people. Please remember this is a very rustic 800 year

old stone Tuscan Farmhouse with open windows & fresh air and you will hear animal noises.

 

This retreat will be held at  Ebbio in Tuscany, Italy a short walking distance

from the ancient town of Montereggioni. You will have time to explore on your own.

Prices include:

7 night/8 day shared accommodations

Three Daily vegetarian meals at Ebbio including wine with lunch & dinner and fresh

fruit available during the day (dinner on arrival day and breakfast on departure day)

(Lunch is not provided by Ebbio on full excursion day trips.

Daily Journaling/Yoga or Manifestation Workshop on most days

except full excursion days.

A day-trip visit to a thermal hot springs. Terme San Giovanni Rapolano.

The entrance fee is covered by us. There are services there that you may

want to take advantage of at your expense

There will be one excursion after lunch to a local town in Chianti with winery/wine tasting.

There will also be a day trip transportation included to the wonderful town of Siena.

(Your lunch while there will be self-catered and not provided by Ebbio).

Once you are there you are on your own to shop, explore the cobblestone streets

and have fun until we meet to be taken back to Ebbio. You will have dinner upon

returning to Ebbio. Be sure to see the magnificent Duomo di Siena while

you are exploring the town. We will be going on Wednesday when they

have the market day in town . Streets are filled with stalls with selling

everything including clothing. This is where the locals shop.

A day-trip excursion to the town of San Gimignano/Volterra

with a Pecorino cheese tasting first.

(Your lunch while there will be self-catered and not provided by Ebbio).

You will return to Ebbio for dinner.

You can simply explore on foot or rent a bicycle to explore the hills around Ebbio.

You can walk to the ancient town of Monteriggioni which is about 1 km away

Note: The itinerary can be changed at any time by the discretion

of the organizer or due to weather or other unforeseen

circumstances.

Driving To Ebbio/Taxi From Siena Train Station

If you are driving to Ebbio, simply reach Monteriggioni Castle and go to the local information center directly next to the

church. From there, they will direct you to Ebbio. If you miss your pick-up at Siena Train Station you can take a taxi.

Here is the address for the cabbie: Ebbio, Strada del Gallinaio – 53035 Monteriggioni, (Siena, Toscana)

All Rooms & Bathrooms Are Shared. Accommodations see below.

A $500 Non-Refundable/Non-Transferable Deposit Secures Your Space

Deposit – PAYPAL- Credit Card, ATM Sign Contract & Fax

Balance due by check please contact Barbara for mailing address. Balance due by July 25th, 2015

Note: Please Read Contract , Sign & Fax to: 661 825-8104

The Consent Contract Must Be Returned For You To Be Able To Attend The Rereat

Flying To Ebbio

*Retreat cost does not include airfare. Check for the best prices to Florence or Rome or Pisa.

You can take a train to Siena Train Station from your arrival airport where you will be picked up on

arrival day at 1 pm or 4 pm.

Time to get to Siena by train: Rome 3 hours, Florence 1.5 hours, Pisa 2 hours.

Note: (If you miss your pick up time at the Siena Train Station on September 26th (1 or 4 pm)

you can take a taxi to Ebbio for around 30 euro estimated. Four people can share a taxi. )

Important: Do not book your return flight home for the same day the retreat

ends on October 3rd. You will be driven to the Siena Train Station in the morning after a light breakfast on

departure day Oct 3rd around 10 a.m. . The airports are a distance from the retreat and most flights leave in the early

morning. Take some time to explore the towns you are flying out of before the day of your return flight and spend

the a night or two there. This is Italy!! Helpful tip: If you are planning on visiting Florence after the retreat then

fly into Florence or if you plan on visiting Rome after the retreat then fly into Rome the same with Pisa.

You can also fly in to one airport and fly out from another if you plan to do some traveling.

 

*PRICING $2300All rooms & baths are shared. Flight Is Not Included.Balance is due by check in US funds by July 25th, 2015(Sending In Your Deposit Means You Have Read Contract Terms & Conditions And Have Accepted It)If balance is not received by July 25th we reserve the right to consider your booking as cancelled.(See Contract) The Contract Must Also Be Signed, Sent In & Received After You Send Your Deposit

In Order For You To Be Able To Attend.

 

**If you are considering coming on this retreat please email to apply.  Please let Jen know why

you want to come and be part of this group as space is limited and she would love to know something

about you. General questions about retreat please email or call Barbara 702 524-5686.

 

If you like Italy, writing/journaling, yoga, wine, organic vegetarian food and relaxation then join

Jennifer Pastiloff in Tuscany! This retreat is about sharing out-loud, connecting and there will be writing.

The main focus is “not Asana”. This is her yearly retreat to Italy and she looks forward to sharing some of

her favorite places with you, all wrapped in the comfort of journaling, Manifestation Workshops &

especially connecting with amazing people, laughter & joy with an occasional dance party too!!!

Don’t Forget to Bring: – Valid Passport– Comfortable clothing for yoga and movement-

– Slip-on shoes for indoors-

(Shoes are not permitted in Yoga Studio)

 

-Walking shoes and clothing for outdoors and hiking trails

sunscreen, hat and sunglasses-

 

– Camera, extra batteries & chargers-

 

~Toiletries shampoo & conditioner & any medicines you may need~

 

-Casual clothes for any excursions

you may take-

 

-Bathing suit (sunscreen, hat, sandals, water shoes, flip flops etc.

for the hot-spring and in case it is warm enough for the beach.~

 

~Save room in your luggage for any clothing you may buy while there~

 

-Water bottle to fill during your stay-

(Filtered water on premises)

 

-Italian AC adapter (for 220V compatible electronics)-

(Please do not bring electronics with heating elements)

There is (1) hairdryer at Ebbio to share.

 

-Insect repellent-

 

-You can hand-wash your clothes and line-dry outside while there-

 

-The farmhouse provides linen and towels.-

 

-Sheets are the same for 1 week. There is a change of towels in mid-week.-

 

-Yoga Mats are provided by Ebbio-

 

~A light jacket in case it is chilly~

 

~Something to cover your shoulders while visiting churches~

 

-A Journal for Jen’s Classes-

 

~Your Happy Face & A Sense of Humor~

 

Note:~Travel Insurance Is Required~

Contact Barbara For More Info702-524-5686 or Email
Photograph Barbara PotterLove Outside My Bedroom Window
Jennifer Pastiloff’sManifestation Yoga Retreats®
Exploring Surrounding AreaMonteriggioni  (5 minutes drive or you can easily walk whenever you want). There areplenty of Tuscan hills to walk and enjoy by foot or bicycle (rental available).On Site Activities At An Additional Charge Paid In Cash (euro)You can arrange with Franz the owner of Ebbio for these when you are there.

 

Horseback Riding (€20/Hour), Mountain Biking (€20/Day), Hiking With Guide (€20/Hour)

 

Hiking with Donkey & Guide (€20/Hour) Hot Tub (€20/Hour) Max 4 People

Gratuities & Other InfoTaxes are included however gratuities for housekeepers and drivers are welcomewhich is given on the departure day if you like.Please use your cell phone in the privacy of your own room.Please don’t count on having at WiFi signal at Ebbio.

Check with your cell phone provider before going to make sure you

are signed up for International Service and Data Plans.

 

The retreat is a smoke-free environment. Synthetic fragrances, perfumes

and colognes are not permitted.

 

Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. while using the main upstairs gathering room/dining

room on the 2nd floor to ensure a peaceful retreat for everyone. You may use the room

during those hours but please be mindful of others sleeping on the 2nd floor.

 

All bedrooms (except for the apt suite located outside of the farmhouse and the bodywork

room) are on the 2nd floor of the main farmhouse. Built in the 1300s the floors are stone

and tile. They can be cool in the non-summer months. Bring slippers.

 

There is a massage room downstairs at Ebbio next to the Yoga Studio and a local massage

therapist is available that can be called in for optional massages at your

expense in cash (euro).

Funds In Italy You can exchange your US Dollars for euro in SienaNote: The exchange rates change all the time and may be different in June/JulySome credit cards do not charge fees for shopping in Italy-check with your bank.  Most other cards do as much as 5% fee.Please remember that cash in euro is what is accepted in most places especially the outdoor vendors in Siena on Market

Day. Restaurants & stores accept cards. Check with your bank to see if they have a sister bank in Italy. Usually you can

withdraw euro from your account with no fee  with your ATM card at one of those places.

There are no ATM machines at Ebbio on site.

*ACCOMMODATIONS SHARED:This is an 800 year old Tuscan Farmhouse without air conditioning.It is not a spa or a modern hotel and air comes from the windows.All bedrooms & bathrooms are dormitory style/shared and are on the 2nd floor.A few of the rooms are for 2, most are for 3 and two are for 4 people.There are steps leading up to a sleeping loft inside of two of the

bedrooms. There are no private rooms available.

 

The rate is based per person (Min in a room is 2 people).

If we have space (s) for a couple you can be in a room for 2

people only so we suggest you book early as it fills up fast

if that will be your situation.

Combined Max total capacity 27

The retreat leader Jennifer Pastiloff retains the right to change anything on this itinerary due toweather or other circumstances according to her discretion.  During the times when excursionsare not planned (all are optional) you can enjoy your time on your own.
Driving To Ebbio/Taxi From Siena Train StationIf you are driving to Ebbio, simply reach Monteriggioni Castle and go to the local information center directly next to thechurch. From there, they will direct you to Ebbio. If you miss your pick-up at Siena Train Station you can take a taxi.Here is the address for the cabbie: Ebbio, Strada del Gallinaio – 53035  Monteriggioni,  (Siena,  Toscana)
All Rooms & Bathrooms Are Shared. Accommodations see below.A $500 Non-Refundable/Non-Transferable Deposit Secures Your SpaceDeposit – PAYPAL- Credit Card, ATM   Sign Contract & FaxBalance due by check please contact Barbara for mailing address. Balance due by July 25th, 2015

Don’t Forget to Bring:

– Valid Passport-

– Comfortable clothing for yoga and movement-

– Slip-on shoes for indoors-

(Shoes are not permitted in Yoga Studio)

-Walking shoes and clothing for outdoors and hiking trails

sunscreen, hat and sunglasses-

– Camera, extra batteries & chargers-

~Toiletries shampoo & conditioner & any medicines you may need~

-Casual clothes for any excursions

you may take-

-Bathing suit (sunscreen, hat, sandals, water shoes, flip flops etc.

for the hot-spring and in case it is warm enough for the beach.~

~Save room in your luggage for any clothing you may buy while there~

-Water bottle to fill during your stay-

(Filtered water on premises)

-Italian AC adapter (for 220V compatible electronics)-

(Please do not bring electronics with heating elements)

There is (1) hairdryer at Ebbio to share.

-Insect repellent-

-You can hand-wash your clothes and line-dry outside while there-

-The farmhouse provides linen and towels.-

-Sheets are the same for 1 week. There is a change of towels in mid-week.-

-Yoga Mats are provided by Ebbio-

~A light jacket in case it is chilly~

~Something to cover your shoulders while visiting churches~

-A Journal for Jen’s Classes-

~Your Happy Face & A Sense of Humor~

Note:~Travel Insurance Is Required~

 

*Photo by Linda Hooper.

Guest Posts, love

Reading “Justine” in Milan

April 14, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Louise Fabiani

The sea is high again today, with a thrilling rush of wind. In the midst of winter you can feel the invention of spring. A sky of hot nude pearl until midday, crickets in sheltered places, and now the wind unpacking the great planes, ransacking the great planes…. –Lawrence Durrell, Justine

 

I am forty-four, married a decade, and in love with another man, a man I haven’t seen since we traveled together in Italy 17 years ago.

The matchmaking skills of a search engine brought us together last year. In a flash we re-established whatever had sizzled between us for four days in our late twenties. In my e-mails, I found myself echoing the quirky grammar and imaginative allusions of his Danish English, as if they were creative prompts. Those exchanges proved that we spoke the same language. A kind of intimacy, distance be damned.

Back and forth went the e-mails. Forth went a few of my letters and packages; nothing back from him. We conversed by phone a few times. We discussed meeting up in a few months.

It was all very cyber-Romantic.

Before long, a pattern began to emerge. He would let more and more time elapse between replies, and those messages appeared less intense, more perfunctory. He gave me the impression that he was overwhelmed by everything between us, maybe—as a therapist theorized—even scared. Of his own feelings or of mine? The most likely scenario: I no longer amused him. The responsibility of soothing and placating a clearly love-sick former travel mate outweighed any semi-illicit excitement she provided. We still spoke of meeting, in his Sweden or my Montreal, or somewhere neutral, but we both knew it was always too much to ask of the stars to grant us time and courage. They have more deserving people to line up for.

He vanished. I languished. For months. Not even a Christmas greeting from him.

So that is why I am here, six months later. I’ve taken a two-month trip back to Italy. Not to retrace our youthful steps (too painful). Not to forget about his most recent incarnation (impossible). Just to be in Italy. Isn’t that enough? Continue Reading…

Abuse, Binders, Guest Posts, Race/Racism

A Glossary of Ambiguous Terms for Difficult Situations.

February 5, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88

By Laurence Dumortier.

Cocksure (adj.):

In September I arrive in Italy for my Junior Year Abroad thinking I know a thing or two about life. I have had two “big” relationships, each lasting about two years. I’ve had sex a lot, mostly with my boyfriends, but also a few weird one-night stands. I’ve also been hurt, and this makes me feel tough. I’ve been alone since the summer and liking it. I don’t need anyone. I just want to learn Italian, eat with abandon, drink it all in.

In truth I know nothing about a million things—including love and sex—I just don’t know that I don’t know them.

Infatuation (n.):

When I first meet Arthur he seems shy but friendly, and with a winning smile.

Everything feels new and exciting, though, so there isn’t a lot of excitement left over for boys. I’m more intrigued by my flat-mate Carolyn. She seems even more knowing than I think I am. She grew up in New York; she is knowledgeable about art; she studies film and semiotics and in an argument she can make her point with deadly accuracy; she is on the tail end of a painful breakup and looking for distraction; she is devastatingly funny and beautiful. I don’t know it yet but she will become, and remain to this day, one of my closest friends and co-conspirators.

Tight (adj.):

There is a lot of drinking in Italy, but it feels joyous and grown-up. We make dinner in our tiny Italian kitchens and though we are inexpert, it all somehow ends up tasting delicious. It’s hard to go wrong with tomatoes and zucchini and whatever is in season, all ripened to bursting, glorious with flavor, picked up from the little fruit-and-vegetable man down the block.

Our little group of Junior-Yearers is intimate and funny. It feels safe somehow to flirt, to laugh, to begin new adventures. There are a few outliers in the group, doing their own thing, but there is no hostility, we are chill.

Thirst (n.):

On Halloween we dress up. This is over twenty years ago in Italy, in a town with few Americans or Brits, so Halloween is just our little group. We party. I end up on the balcony of one of the flats with Arthur. We are kissing and it is surprisingly, electrifyingly, good. Back in his bedroom we take off our clothes. I notice his body which is beautiful and strong in a way I never knew I would care about. His beauty, and his interest in my body, the way he looks at me, makes me feel beautiful too. I have never felt that way before, I’ve always thought of myself as okay, cute-ish, verging on ugly at times. It is a strange thing to feel beautiful. In his bed, his face, which had earlier struck me as pleasant, looks beautiful too. It’s like love at first sight, except we’ve been exchanging pleasantries for months.

In the next weeks we spend whole days curled up in bed together, laughing, fucking, sleeping, listening to music. I feel like I’m on the drugs. The feel of his skin under my fingertips is like that weird velvety buzz of being on X. Continue Reading…

And So It Is, Awe & Wonder, Guest Posts

The Art Of Doing Nothing. By Mirela Gegprifti

July 29, 2013

The Art Of Doing Nothing. By Mirela Gegprifti.

I think I have always loved the Italian language. Having a BA in Italian language and literature makes this fact by no means a surprise. Growing up and watching RAI – one of the Italian TV channels – somewhat instilled in me the love for this melodious language. I studied Italian for eight years and God knows how many componimenti (essays) I have had to write and analyze Italian poets, writers, and scholars.

Learning a new language is a transformative process – one learns of a country’s culture and point of view on different subjects: love, social attitudes and customs, likes and dislikes, history and politics. To this day, whenever I communicate and engage in Italian, I feel transported to another dimension of my being.

Through the years I have also had my share of heartbreaks with it too. I have fallen in love with different Italian poets and eventually ‘cheated’ on some of my favorite writers. It is never hard to have a favorite Italian tune on the tip of my tongue either, whether I am cleaning my apartment or just being in a good mood.

The list of likes is substantive when it comes to anything Italian. My critique of it follows too, but that would be another essay altogether. Yet, my love for this beautiful language, its singers, food, capuccino (or cappuccio as the Italians call it) as well as my fascination with this rich culture simply resist time.

In the midst of such vast cultural repertoire where so much can be admired and appreciated, oddly – at first sight – my love of it does not land in Gabrielle D’Annunzio’s and Francesco Petrarca’s (Petrarch) poems, which I joyfully used to memorize during high school, nor does it go in the direction of Dante’s fascinating idea of Inferno, aka karma (hey, you only rip what you sow!), or towards a long list of past and current writers and scholars. Instead, it lands in one particular verb: Oziare.

I respectfully like to add that the translation of this word to English just doesn’t do justice to its embodied conceptual and cultural richness. Idleness is but one of the connotations of oziare as the rest would be reflecting, absorbing, enjoying and cherishing – all in the NOW. The idea of being present in the now, while applying all of the above, is what oziare is all about. It is an active act of relaxation – one where while almost doing nothing, the subject is submitting him/herself to a meditative process of sorts.

With this semantic background in mind, and realizing this is a word that comes from a civilization that has given so much to the human tradition, would you be surprised if I speculated that the great Leonardo da Vinci would take time for some serious oziare in order to create the cupolas that hundreds of years later don’t cease to wow us?

But let’s not speculate at all actually. Any culture that has dedicated an actual word to the process of oziare needs to be applauded and studied carefully. In a way or another, a good part of the creative process consists exactly of this concept: doing ‘nothing’ on the outside, i.e., physically, while mentally, emotionally and intuitively one crosses worlds and runs through universes in search of a brush stroke, a musical note, or just a word.

Oziare. In Italy the act of taking time to enjoy food, be with yourself and family, is an art with deep roots. Those who have traveled there know way too well that people sit around the dinner table for a while, in order to enjoy each other’s company and conversation. Sadly, however, as globalization trends continue to sweep the globe we see how such customs start to change at least at a generational level where youth, for instance, start to adopt a lifestyle that emulates more and more the American culture.

Before summer is over, make it a point to pronounce this word out loud to yourself and actually live it even for an hour. Next time you decide to give yourself some time, as you lay on a beach chair, sand, or close to the one you love, say it like you mean it – mi piace oziare! (I love to rest!). Take your time to savor the moment – a moment that will never repeat itself in its full entirety.

We don’t always have the good fortune to travel to faraway wonderful places but luckily, we can let our minds and attitudes rest for a while as we adopt the best that cultures have to offer.

Wherever you are this summer give yourself permission for some well-deserved Oziare experience.

Make this your summer of Oziare.

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image001Mirela Gegprifti is an Ayurveda Consultant, in-training, with the renowned Kripalu Center. She is also an avid yoga practitioner and a student of Paramahansa Yogananda; a published poet; and writer with an interest in wellbeing and culture. A passionate advocate of self and human development–with a Master’s degree in Feminist Literary Theory and another in International Education–you can follow her reflections in her new bloghttp://LivingLightClub.wordpress.com/.

**To join Jen on her next invite only Italian retreat please email barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com or click here 

Guest Posts

Be Moved. Right Here. Right Now.

June 26, 2013

Wanted to share this email from my editor Melissa Shattuck who was meant to come on my Italy retreat but couldn’t.

“Italy. These were my first thoughts today as I woke up and saw my calendar. Italy is still written there. Originally this was the day I was going to leave so I could have a couple of days to walk the streets of cities I dream of being in!! 

And so I know I will never totally be a part of the group that is going as that is such an intimate space……but I already feel like I am on my way there:):) 

You are going to be great Miss Jennifer Pastiloff. I know it. And you will message me and tell me it’s the best group you’ve ever had! And I will be so happy for you. Sending you lots of love and energy as you change lives….as you inspire….as you empower people to live life to the fullest. Love. I didn’t write this for you to share necessarily if you were not called to…instead I wrote it for me to go to that space in my mind of courage I experienced in Maui. 

To those in Italy.

Less than a month ago I was laying in bed one night pondering what would happen if the call came that a deadly cancer had spread further than they could remove in my body. And though I didn’t reside there for very long as I have discovered many times over nothing good has ever come to me from swimming in fear, I am grateful for the thoughts that arose in that space. Being reminded of how precious each moment really is. And though I hid much of it well from my children, the truth is we all know that they knew and they felt what I was experiencing. And I know the idea that something could happen to me took it’s toll on all of us. And the idea that they need me to be here for them right now played into my decision to stay home with them this time. 

With that said, part of me is right there in Italy with you. I close my eyes and feel myself in a room of bravery, courage and love. A room of people who are about to embark on an incredible journey. 

Some of you have been on such an experience with Jen before, but some of you have not. And you have no idea what is about to happen for you. Everyone has a unique experience to be sure, but there is no way you will leave the same person you were when you came. And I already have tears of joy for all of your transformations, all of your growth, all of your courage, all of the love you can open to in your hearts.

There is no grade given. But if it were possible to fail at such an event, why could that be. I know for me before daring to open to all that is possible at such an event I can tend to fall into old patterns and habits of thought. I can sometimes believe that perhaps I made a mistake. Maybe this is meant for everyone else but not for me. Or maybe I fall into some idea that I already know it all and so I’m ready to find a little bit of fault. Maybe I walk into the room the first day and start comparing and judging myself to and against everyone else. I sometimes might try to gauge where I fit….or if I even fit at all. And most of the time I don’t feel that I do. Not right away. My fears begin to show up and the walls start to build a little around me.

If this sounds like anything you might do, do it different this time. Take the invitation. Accept the opportunity to let the walls crumble to the ground. Look around and see the faces and know now versus later in the week that these are your sisters and brothers. Trust yourself to open in whatever way that presents itself to you. Release any need to put on any mask. Feel the layers of past masks melting away. Be open to touching that space within you that holds the truth to who you really are beneath all the stories and conditioning and expectations and judgments and all the things we should or shouldn’t have done.

Breathe. Always breathe. 
Hug. Don’t forget to hug.
Be real and Authentic. If you forget, Jen will call you on it. Oh yes she will. 
And if you are tempted to hide in the corner like I was, that is when you most need to come forth and let yourself shine in the center of a room filled with acceptance. The most acceptance maybe you have ever known in your entire life. 

Who are you in the midst of complete acceptance and being seen? Are you willing to take that in and find out?

I close my eyes as I begin my morning meditation…..And I send you love for who you are and who you will become.

PS I have not been able to run or do much yoga since my surgery to remove melanoma on my thigh that now looks as though someone or something took a large bite:) And so I ask you one thing. Please run through a field in Italy for me……a dream of mine to do one day.”

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ps leave Melissa a comment below and she will reply. She is our editor and we love her.

Delight, Inspiration, Manifestation Retreats, Travels

Re-Entry into Awe and Wonder.

July 17, 2012

Confession: I am having the blahs.

I am back from my the retreat I led in Tuscany and my post-retreat vacation in Paris, with an empty feeling like I came back a shell, having left the meat of me somewhere in Monteriggioni, inside the walled city, perhaps eating gelatto or maybe in a field of sunflowers as the light splays down on them in such a way that my eyes burn, not so much with pain, but with an overwhelming sense of wonder.

One of the things I asked my retreat attendees (a fantastic group that I am still pinching myself over) was to carry their journals around them with during the day, whether they were in Siena eating a slice of pizza or in Florence with the ghosts of Ponte Vecchio, long dead but still floating around with their gold and jewels somewhere just above the ether. I asked them to carry their Awe and Wonder Journals and jot down every singe thing that cause them to feel awe or wonder. Whether it was a conversation with someone who didn’t speak a word of English or the way the Tuscan hills looked at 9:30 at night as the sun was going to bed or a piece of Pecorino cheese and the way it lingered in the mouth waiting for the perfect splash of chianti to join it before descending.

It didn’t matter how big or small the things were that they were jotting down. What mattered is that they were paying attention. To the things that made them feel alive, to the things that made them stop and say Wow.

I wonder how many things we miss because we feel we have seen it before or simply because we are looking at the wrong things to wake us up. I want more things to stop me in my tracks. I want more things to make me ask questions. I want more things to make me feel connected to something bigger than myself, longer standing than myself, and way beyond what I can ever understand. Those type of things.

Whether it is a a piece of pizza in Rome or a moody sky in Paris. Whether it is the high ceilings at the Ebbio and how they have been there for 800 years or the way the olive oil tasted and how time seems slower there as if it has nowhere to be.

So I asked them to be filled with awe and wonder and to bring their journals around so they wouldn’t forget.

It’s easy to forget. Or to not look in the first place.

One of my favorite Mary Oliver poems (you know my obsession with her) in The Mockingbirds.

It is my favorite story–
how the old couple
had almost nothing to give
 
but their willingness
to be attentive–
 

Their willingness to be attentive!

That’s it, right there. Are you willing to be attentive? To allow yourself more moments of awe and wonder and inspiration and grace?

I came back and feel empty because in some way I believe that is only possible when I am away. That when I am back here, in my normal life, in the real world, I must go back to feeling like the same old me.

Sure, my retreat was a cocoon of love and safety. I got terribly ill, sicker than I can remember being, and despite that, I felt safe and free and happy. I want that back, yes. Sure, the food tasted different and the sky lingered longer than it does here and I didn’t have to deal with emails and bills and traffic and making breakfast and Facebook.

But what I realized there in Tuscany and Paris, and now in hindsight, sitting here with my too strong coffee and feeling nostalgia, as I am prone to feel (is it any wonder I love Facebook?) is that: I can be Italy anywhere. I can be Paris anywhere.

What I mean is: I do not have to escape to feel alive. I do not have to get away to remember the beauty around me or inside of me, to pick up small tokens of beauty wherever I am, on the sidewalk or in a conversation. I simply have to allow it.

I simply have to take out and Awe and Wonder Journal and pay attention.

No I won’t have the same treasures here. I won’t be able to duck into a Parisian cafe in the rain and snap photos of the macarons or take the train and watch buildings speak their stories of defense and heartbreak and disintegration from centuries or eat Brie and actually enjoy it because it does taste different in France and the wine in Italy. The wine in Italy is it’s own treasure.

But, I brought 25 people with me to Italy. I got sicker than I have ever been and they stood by me and not for one moment let me feel as if I was letting them down, or they were disappointed or this was anything other than exactly what they dreamed of.

I did that. I attracted 25 people who got along perfectly as if they chose each other, who laughed together in Italian cities, who stayed up late and painted fingernails and drank Limoncello and wrote in their journals what they would do if they weren’t afraid, who swam in the Mediterranean and then had a picnic with tomatoes and cheese and hard boiled eggs and ate it happily with their hands. There were no cliques, there was no negativity, there was no complaining. I brought these people with me. From here.

So, if that is the case, it would make sense to say that I could bring them anywhere. I could have the same experience here in Santa Monica or in New York City or Mexico or my sofa. It wouldn’t matter.

All I have to do is keep being who I am and the right people will show up.

And then pay attention.

And then be awe.

Be wonder.

**Click here to see some amazing shots on my site of my amazing retreat.

 

Manifestation Retreats

Tuscany Retreat With Jen Pastiloff.

September 26, 2011

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Please send email to info@jenniferpastiloff.com letting us know why you want to attend. This is an intimate retreat. We can’t wait to have you! This is Jen’s 5th year doing Manifesting Under The Tuscan Sun! Please specify if you want to attend summer (June 27-July 3rd) or fall 2015 (Sep 26-Oct 3rd.) 

Please read this so you understand what Jen’s retreat is like.

And this. Continue Reading…