Browsing Tag

manifestation q& a series

Q & A Series, Uncategorized

Go Big or Go Home. Meet Cheryl Kellond. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

June 25, 2012

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.

Someone like Cheryl Kellond.

Today’s guest is Cheryl Kellond, one of my students, who I’ve gotten to know really well over the past year. Cheryl is a mother of four, an entrepreneur, and a triathlete. And somehow she balances it all ….while being able to chew gum at the same time. Grrr. She has a really big goal to hit by July 13th and it is forcing her to manifest in a whole new way and reach WAY beyond her comfort zone. 

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the biggest lessons you’ve learned from triathlon

Cheryl Kellond: The three most important things I’ve learned through tri are:

  • Unleashing your inner athlete creates awesome power in every aspect of your life that goes WAY beyond sport. <= This fires me up so much I want every woman to experience it.
  • If you push outside of your comfort zone long enough and hard enough, you’ll establish a new threshold. The ability to own and control this growth is very powerful.
  • The biggest – and only – real competition is me vs. me. I don’t beat myself up if others do better. But I am also accountable to push myself to my own best performance. Merely doing better than others is not enough.

…that said, even when competing against yourself, it’s always fun to “chick” the boys!

Fast Bike

Jennifer Pastiloff: Is triathlon the only thing you are passionate about.

Cheryl Kellond: No. I come from the business world so one of my favorite things is to support other women in business. I am constantly drumming up support for other female-founded businesses. Through my corporate career I’ve mentors dozens of up and coming women. I am one of a small group that can show the choice between career and family doesn’t have to be binary. I actually I feel I have an obligation to “give back” because of this.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you Manifesting right now. You know, what sh*t are you making happen?

Cheryl Kellond: I’ve combined my passion for endurance sports with a ballsy “Go Big or Go Home” business. I’ve started my own company – Bia — around women’s sports and fitness. And I am not talking about a services business, or a software business, but a business that also involves consumer electronics. []

We’ve spent the past 18 months bootstrapping, borrowing, begging and hustling to design and prototype the first GPS sports watch designed for women (although guys are scooping it up too.) Other products are big ugly wrist computers that just give you data on how fast or how far you’ve gone. Ours has an iconic look, fits beautifully on smaller wrists, and has this brilliant safety feature.

Bia isn’t just selling a product, we are enabling motivation, pride, and freedom for the 45M women making running, fitness, and endurance sports part of their lives.

Here is a fun video of Bia in action.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you share with us a bit about your journey, leaving the safety of a corporate paycheck to follow your passion?

Cheryl Kellond: My journey reads like an inspiration board from Pinterest.

It started like this:

Do What You Love

This was easy. I have four kids, a career, and training – there is only so much time in the day – it was like the ultimate multitasking!

Then it went like this.

On the Way Down

I’ve always been a risk taker and truly believe I can do anything. And I have. We built a killer team, developed prototypes of an amazing product and secured a large manufacturing partner. It sounds impossible, but I did it.

Despite all we did, we still need additional investment to get the product to market. Traditional venture capital investors believe in the business plan but the don’t think women care enough about fitness and sports to be a real market for us. They won’t invest until they see sales. But I can’t sell until the product is done. The classic Catch-22. Again, seemingly impossible. I was stuck.

And then someone reminded me of this. And I came full circle.

Magic Happens

Business is like sports. I wasn’t going to create magic unless I was outside of my comfort zone. The emphasis on MY. The only way to achieve MY big magic was to push MY big limits.

Jennifer Pastiloff: So what is outside your comfort zone?

Cheryl Kellond: Asking for help. And that is what I am doing right now.

In order to prove to investors that we have a market – and to raise the money we need to finish up our product – we launched it on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform that lets people pledge money to products and projects they are passionate about to ensure they get to market. Based on the amount of the pledge, backers get different rewards. In the case of Bia, backing our project means you can be the first to rock your wrist with a Bia sports watch. It’s sort of like pre-buying a Bia, but at a discount! There are other rewards too. And pledge – even $1– makes a difference.

The trick with Kickstarter is that it’s an all or nothing funding model. We have until July 13th to reach a $400K fundraising goal. If we don’t reach that goal, none of our backers will have their credit cards charged, but we also don’t get any funding and we aren’t able to get this product to market. High stakes!!

So this means I need to ask hundreds of friends and strangers to help, both by backing my project and spreading the word to get their friends to back it too. This is WAY outside of my comfort zone.

I need to constantly remind myself that asking for help is actually offering someone the opportunity to share in my success. It proves them the satisfaction of helping create it. You actually do a great job of reminding me that and I’ve blogged about it before. You are my role model on this. To bring it back to a triathlon analogy, it’s like letting someone draft off of you on the bike.

It’s should be even easier with Bia, because asking someone to back us on Kickstarter means they can ensure this product they love becomes a reality and that they get it first.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Ok, so let’s manifest some MAGIC. 30 seconds outside your comfort zone. Go!

Cheryl Kellond: Bia’s most unique feature is that it’s the only sports watch with a safety alert. If you are ever in trouble out on a solo workout, just press a button, and your location is sent to loved ones and emergency services. Bia gives you the freedom and peace of mind to run whenever, wherever. That’s a pretty awesome gift to yourself or to a friend.

So if you are a runner, if you know a runner, or just want to be part of proving magic happens when you leave your comfort zone: check us out on Kickstarter and back our project so we can get this amazing product to market!

Jennifer Pastiloff: Nice work! And how about to wrap up. What are some words you live by?

Cheryl Kellond: That’s easy.

Pretty Form + Pretty Smile = Pretty Fast

It started as a running mantra but it applies to everyday life. Pretty Form is really just acting with intention and mindfulness and staying focused not just on the end goal, but the path you take to get there.

Pretty Smile. We all know that a smile begets another smile. It’s also the perfect way to “Act as if”…sort of wearing your vision board on your face, if that makes any sense. More interestingly, and I’ve done some reading on this, scientifically smiling also releases endorphins which give you more energy, more creative powers and more strength. It actually has hardcore physiological benefits….very similar to endurance sports.

And both together are the fastest way to achieve your dreams.

Support Bia on Kickstarter

Follow Cheryl Kellond on Twitter

Bia’s Website

Follow Jen Pastiloff on Twitter

manifesting, Q & A Series

The Magical Serena Dyer: The Manifestation Q&A Series.

March 21, 2012

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.

This next guest is an exciting one, not only because she is the daughter of my beloved teacher and mentor Wayne Dyer, but because she happens to be one of the most beautiful, authentic and inspirational women I have come across. Oh, and she is funny. Really funny.

Serena Dyer is the second of Wayne Dyer’s daughters that has been featured on the Manifestation Q&A Series. The first was my friend Skye Dyer, the incredible singer, whom many of you have heard during Wayne’s specials. Wayne Dyer himself has also been featured here. I am working my way, slowly but surely, through the Dyer clan. One “S” name at a time.

And just to be clear on this whole manifesting business I am so fond of: it works.

Wayne Dyer is THE reason I call my company “Manifestation Yoga.”When I started to achieve success as a yoga teacher very early on in my career people would ask how it was that I made such profound changes in my life so quickly. How so many amazing things kept showing up for me, from being on Good Morning America and traveling around the world with sold out retreats/workshops or becoming a writer for Positively Positive. As Wayne says: it is not our job to ask “how” or “when” but to say YES! 

That is just what I did.

I do not think all of this happened because of Wayne Dyer but I do know that he was the most powerful teacher I could have ever prayed for. (And, to be clear, I did pray for a teacher.)

He showed up in my life exactly when I needed him to, as the teacher will do when the student is ready.

To see how incredible his daughters are is truly a testament that he walked the talk. That he lived the life he spoke of.

Serena is currently busy writing a book, traveling the world, cooking her butt off, running an anti-child trafficking site and laughing at herself. The last one just might be my favorite. 

Not only is she stunning, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. (One of my favorite qualities in a person.) She was lucky enough to grow with spiritual parents who taught her and her siblings that: “they are unique little creations of God, perfect exactly as they are, no matter what, and no one can take that from them. My parents raised us on this principle and I am so grateful they did.”

Her answers are profound and funny, hilarious and humble. I cannot wait to read her book and sit down to the meal she has made for me. (Serena, did you read that last bit? I’ll bring the vino.)

I almost want to put her in my pocket and keep her for myself, but, I won’t be so selfish. World: here is the amazing Serena Dyer….

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

Serena Dyer: Travel. I regularly daydream about places I would like to go and experiences in foreign lands that I would like to have and even though I don’t usually know how I am going to pay for the trip or how I am going to get there, it always works out. I am constantly baffled how everything falls into place so easily. I have been to 30 countries so far and I don’t plan to stop traveling anytime soon!



Jennifer Pastiloff:  Not -For Can you share with us a bit how this was born and how you became so passionate about this subject of child trafficking?

Serena Dyer: I was an undergrad at the University of Miami studying religion and human rights. I came across a statistic that said “there are more people enslaved today than there were at the height of the Atlantic slave trade.” I considered myself to be a well-informd and conscientious young woman and I couldn’t figure out how there could be more people in slavery today if it wasn’t in the news everyday. I kept wondering, “if this is true, why don’t more people know about it. Why am I not learning about this in school?”

So I began a long journey to discover as much as I could about modern day slavery and what I found is that although it has a new name, human trafficking is essentially the same thing as slavery and not only is it an enormous problem in our world today, but it is increasingly on the rise.

I have always had a desire to serve others in the ways that I knew how and so I decided to start a non-profit organization that uses advocacy and education to spread awareness about this horrific practice. My organization, is in the beginning stages but I am proud of our web-presence and some of the ideas we have begun to generate.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite part about traveling?

Serena Dyer: My favorite part about traveling is that I not only get to learn something about humanity and the world, I also get to learn something new about myself. I love new things and change and traveling, for me, is better than opening a present on Christmas morning. Waking up in a foreign place and having the whole day to just immerse yourself in a new culture is really exhilerating and energizing for me.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Tell us a bit about your love of cooking.

Serena Dyer: I love to cook because I love to eat! I like taking a whole countertop filled with ingredients and turning them into a delicious meal for everyone to share. I cook about 4 or 5 nights a week for my boyfriend!

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson you have learned from running your anti-child trafficking site?

Serena Dyer: Since I am in the beginning stages of the site I am still learning a lot but basically that things take time and you have to be patient with the process and with others if you want to see really good results.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From your father, Wayne Dyer?

Serena Dyer: The greatest gift I have learned from my dad is that I was born with a little piece of God inside of me and that little piece of God connects me with everyone and everything. It is God that is looking out from behind my eyes, from all of our eyes, and knowing that I feel perfect, I feel safe and I feel incredibly loved.

Also, that if there is anything I want to manifest into my life I just have to align my thoughts and energy with it in order to become it, because you attract who you are, not what you want.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From the process of writing a book?

Serena Dyer: To be patient with myself, to accept myself as I am and not be so hard on myself.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From having 7 siblings?

Serena Dyer: You are never as cool as you think. (note from Jen: This girl is hilarious!)

Jennifer Pastiloff: From traveling?

Serena Dyer: Have an open mind to everyone and everything you meet. Just because something isn’t familiar to you, or makes sense to you, does not make it wrong or bad.

Also, don’t go to foreign countries expecting to get scrambled eggs and bacon the way we can get it in America… in fact, just don’t order scrambled eggs at all cause you will never get what you expect. Or iced coffee for that matter.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From cooking?

Serena Dyer: Sometimes when things don’t turn out they way they looked online, you didn’t fail.. they just used photoshop.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Gratitude is the greatest force In my life. Most of my classes are set to this theme. If you could say thank you right now, who would it be to?

Serena Dyer: My parents. Every week I see a story of another kid that committed suicide because of bullying. Every week I am reminded that kids weren’t taught that they are unique little creations of God, perfect exactly as they are, no matter what, and no one can take that from them. My parents raised us on this principle and I am so grateful they did.

Jennifer Pastiloff: When was the last time you laughed at yourself?

Serena Dyer: I crack myself up all day long and usually I laugh out loud and people look at me funny. About an hour ago I just saw paparazzi jump out to photograph this actress and there was a split second that I thought they were photographing me and afterwards when I realized that I actually thought that I laughed really hard- and almost tweeted it but then realized other people might not find it as funny as I did!

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you most?

Serena Dyer: Children inspire me the most. They are present, they are in awe of everything they see, they seek adventure and they are always learning and expanding. Children just want to love and be loved and when you are loved by a child, you really come alive. I have 8 nieces and nephews and I spend a ton of time with them and I always feel so present and aware when I am with them.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?

Serena Dyer: I am not sure yet, at the end of my life I may have an answer but right now there are about 12 people vying for first place.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite part about traveling with your dad?

Serena Dyer: Watching him do what he loves to do and seeing the reactions of people whose lives he has touched.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Some words Serena lives by?

Serena Dyer: Arrange whatever pieces come your way- Virginia Woolf

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you share with us about the book you are writing?

Serena Dyer: I am writing a book about being raised with spiritual parents, from the perspective of the child (me). People always ask my brothers and sisters and I what it was like to be raised by Wayne Dyer and so I am telling them- and let me tell you, it was weird. Haha only kidding!

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who would be your dream person to do a Foreword for your book?

Serena Dyer: My dad is doing it, I never even thought about someone else!! 

Jennifer Pastiloff: How can we get involved in helping to stop child trafficking?

Serena Dyer: You can go on and sign up for an e-alert that will let you know when a new bill or law is being passed that might need your support.

Also, the Somaly-mam foundation is incredible and the work they are doing all over the world would literally blow your mind. Somaly-mam builds shelters for girls in foreign places to escape to if they are being forced into prostitution or sexual slavery. Somaly-mam is a survivor and every penny donated goes toward helping the girls she rescues, some who are as young as 4.

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

Serena Dyer: Offer to the world what it is you want to attract. If you want love then offer love to everyone you meet. In other words, become what it is that you feel is missing in your life.

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

Serena Dyer:  My family

My boyfriend Matt

My best friend Lauren

My nieces and nephews (which are family but they deserve their own category cause they are so f’ing cute)

My friends





Great dinner with friends and great wine

Feeling successful and knowing i am doing great work

The little voice inside of me that says thank you to all of my food and God bless you to people I walk by that look like they need an extra blessing

Jennifer Pastiloff: I do an exercise in my class called “I am-ness.” Finish the sentence I am _______________.

Serena Dyer:  I am divine love, I am. (I say this at night before bed).

Jennifer Pastiloff: Where can we find more of Serena Dyer?

Serena Dyer:


Jen’s “rules”:

1. Be Kind.

2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to yourself

3. Write poems, even if only in your head

4. Sing out loud, even if badly

5. Dance

6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal

7. Find things to be in awe of

8. Be grateful for what you have right now .

9. Watch Modern Family, read Wayne Dyer, and end every complaint with “ But I’m so blessed.”

10. Duh, do yoga

11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.

12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.

13.. Take more pictures.

14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. no such thing.

15. Thank the Universe in Advance


Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Her work 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. Check out for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: SeattleLondon, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Tucson & The Berkshires (guest speaker Canyon Ranch.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

Q & A Series

Jodyne Speyer: Author of ‘Dump ‘Em. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

February 15, 2012
She manifested a bestseller!

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 worked at The Newsroom Cafe on Robertson Blvd in West Hollywood for 13 years. Yes, you read right. One of the best things about this fact is the people I met. In fact, a good number of the Q&As so far have been with friends I met along the way, whom I served the famous artichoke and veggie burgers. When the Universe wants someone in your life, it will seat them in your station.

Today’s guest, the gorgeous and funny Jodyne Speyer is one of those very people. I had probably waited on her for 10 years. (A side note: because of my hearing problem I always thought her name was Jody. Literally until we became Facebook friends a few years back. Please, I beg of you, if I am calling you Sue, and your name is Sarah, TELL ME!)

I always have thought Jodyne was funny, but, it wasn’t until I started reading her writing that I realized just how powerful and poignant she was. Funny yes, but also brave and sensitive and honest. I am honored she is with us here today. I recently read a piece of hers on the Huffington Post which prompted me to reach out.

In another life, we would have been sisters. In this life, I am happy to call her Friend. 

She is the author of the book, Dump ‘Em: How To Break Up With Anyone From Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser, featured on: The View, Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, The Bonnie Hunt Show, The Early Show, TIME Magazine, USA TODAY, The Guardian, Fitness Magazine as well as hundreds of other local TV and radio stations worldwide. She has helped thousands of people speak up for themselves to get what they want by being direct and honest in how they communicate. Jodyne empowers men and women alike through her one-on-one and group coaching, as well as her lectures and seminars. She’s also a contributor to The Huffington Post.

So, you can see why I asked her to sit down with me today. She empowers people to manifest what they want in life.

Without further ado, the amazing Jodyne.

PS, get her book, kids. It’s that good.

She manifested a bestseller!

Jodyne Speyer

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

Jodyne Speyer: The check I got from Harper Collins for my book Dump ‘Em. It was more about what the check represented. As a writer you always dream that one day someone other than you mother will acknowledge your writing. Oh, and by the way, thanks mom! Even when Harper Collins put an offer in on my book, I still didn’t fully grasp that I was going to get paid to write it, or that anyone would actually be reading it. There was something so powerful about having that check in my hand and walking to the bank to deposit it. I remember I was at the Bank of America on Broadway and 53rd St. in New York and I told a complete stranger in line that I was cashing my first check as a writer. He couldn’t care any less, but it didn’t matter because I knew I had achieved something great.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What’s the greatest lesson that you have learned from being a writer?

Jodyne SpeyerThat everyone has a story. You just have to listen.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?

Jodyne Speyer:  My grandmother. The woman survived Auschwitz, yet loved life, people and laughter. She survived the concentration camps because she had a son, my birth father, who she knew she had to return to. She taught me that when there’s a will, there’s a way. That nothing is impossible, and that laughter will get you through anything.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I loved the piece about the “other woman” in The Huffington Post. Can you share a little about that for those that haven’t read it? Click here to read.

Jodyne Speyer: I always wanted to write a story about the woman who my father left my mother for. When people talk about the other woman they usually portray her in such a negative light, and I wanted to show another side to that. In my case, I loved the other woman very much and was so grateful that she was there for me during a very difficult time, my parent’s divorce. I was so happy that the Huffington Post printed the story and was so incredibly touched by the number of other women who reached out to me, thanking me for sharing my story.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I have a list of “rules”. See below. What would some of Jodyne’s rules be?

Jodyne Speyer: The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.


Kidding aside, I’ve always found rules to be too confining, so I don’t adhere to any.

Jennifer Pastiloff:  Who/what inspires you the most?

Jodyne Speyer: My sister Susan Silverman and brother-in-law Yosef Abramowitz. They live in Jerusalem with their five kids. I just got back from visiting them and can honestly say my sister does more in one day than I do in an entire year. Not only is she a gifted Rabbi, a super talented writer, amazing mother and wife, she always finds time to listen to anyone that needs her. Meanwhile my brother-in-law, Yosef, is in the process of bringing solar energy to Israel while at the same time creating a new business model, one that helps employ and empower disadvantaged communities. Last week his company, Arava Power, helped launch a solar field on Bedouin land in Israel so that not only will jobs be created for Bedouins, they will also be able to profit from the earnings. He’s already looking ahead to Haiti and other struggling communities around the world. I hope that more businesses will be inspired to create similar models, in which social justice is integral.

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?

Jodyne Speyer: Well, today is my mother’s birthday, so I have to say that on this special day, I am most thankful to her for giving me the gift of life and for being such an amazing and loving mother.

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

Jodyne SpeyerI always find that the people who are most authentic and present in the moment are the ones that shine bright.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What brings you the most joy? Your joy list, as it were.

Jodyne Speyer: You are so fancy Jennifer. “As you were.” I feel like we’re in an episode of Downton Abbey. As it were, I enjoy a good laugh. It’s the fastest way of getting me out of foul mood. Give me a funny story or joke any day and I am a happy camper. I also get a tremendous amount of joy from my best friend’s three little girls who fearlessly leap into my arms every time I see them.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What can we expect you to be manifesting in 2012?

Jodyne Speyer: I hope to write my first screenplay this year. It’s based on a blog I wrote for the Huffington Post called, “Up For Grabs”.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you share with us a bit about your book ‘Dump ‘Em? I know for me this is a tough one, the idea of “breaking up” with someone?

Jodyne Speyer: Sure! I wrote Dump ‘Em: How to Break Up With Anyone From Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser for totally selfish reasons. I hadn’t the faintest idea of how to break up with people. I had always been the classic avoider. But as we all know, avoiding a person doesn’t mean they magically go away. I was sick of living in the grey, so I went in search of a book that would teach me how to do it. Shockingly there was no such book. So I decided I would devote one year of my life and interview therapists, doctors, lawyer, you name it; while at the same time interview everyone I knew and asked them to share their stories. By the end of the year, I learned that not only is there really a way to kindly and respectfully end a relationship, but that it only requires a few simple steps!


Jennifer Pastiloff: When was the last time you laughed at yourself?

Jodyne Speyer: This morning when I tried to use the word “Vag” while playing Words with Friends. 

Jennifer Pastiloff ( as soon as I finish laughing): Where can we find more of Jodyne Speyer?

Jodyne Speyer: People can check out my website

Or if they want to learn more about my book, they can go to

Or visit my twitter page!/jodynel

Dump ‘Em is not just funny, it’s practical. Jodyne Speyer has figured out a way to sever the ties that so many of us would rather miserably live with forever.”     

comedienne— Sarah Silverman

Jen’s “rules”:

1. Be Kind.

2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to yourself

3. Write poems, even if only in your head

4. Sing out loud, even if badly

5. Dance

6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal

7. Find things to be in awe of

8. Be grateful for what you have right now .

9. Watch Modern Family, read Wayne Dyer, and end every complaint with “But I’m so blessed!”

10. Duh, do yoga

11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.

12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.

13.. Take more pictures.

14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. No such thing.

15. Thank the Universe in advance.


Inspiration, Q & A Series

Joe Longo Photography. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

January 21, 2012
I love this guy. He truly emanates love!

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 today’s guest through the powers that be, also known as: Social Media. I noticed someone named Joe Longo was sharing my blog and tweeting my stuff so I checked him out. I come to find out he is an incredible and passionate photographer and yogi who shoots a lot for Dhyana Yoga, my home studio in Philadelphia. Dhyana Yoga is my family and apparently Joe Longo is their family, so the way I see it, Joe and I were family. Before we even met.

We finally met. I was right. It was like we had known each other lifetimes.

We literally had 5 minutes, just 5 minutes to take some pictures and he snapped some of my very favorite pictures I have of myself. To know Joe is to love him.

In an elevator at Dhyana Yoga West Philly where I will be teaching again Wed March 28.

I am very excited because he lives in Pennsylvania, but is planning a west coast tour to do shoots and we plan on having a yoga photo party. Yes, you read right. I mean, if I can do karaoke yoga, I can do a yoga partay!

Seriously, this guy is the real deal. I love him like a brother. Some of his answers blew me away and some humbled me tremendously. Joe Longo is inspiring, in a word. Please get to know him, and, if you can, book a session with this guy! 

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


Joe Longo: There is so much to be proud of and thankful for, including manifesting my inclusion in this Q & A. I am so inspired by everything you’re doing. Thank you for kicking ass. Life is blowing me away. Even as I type, your (Jennifer) Facebook status reads: “My dreams are becoming a reality faster than I could have ever dreamt.” with a link to your blog about Wayne Dryer being on the Manifestation Station. I am so happy to be living this life I have created

I am most proud of following my passion of photography and teaching yoga and being able to unite them both.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson that you have learned from being a yoga teacher? from your own personal practice? from being a photographer?


I love this guy. He truly emanates love!

Joe Longo: I’m learning something new in every class, but mostly I have learned to be grateful for the opportunity to share this practice with the world.

From my personal practice to photography, I’m learning how to let go of fear. I have been practicing yoga for about ten years and for about nine of them, I feared going upside down. All I could see was me falling on my head over and over and over again. Either way, I didn’t try. Whenever I was in class and the teacher asked us to do handstands, I would take a break, have some water, and chill out in child’s pose. Then one day last year, a good friend said, “I thought you we’re an athlete.” At that moment, my practice changed. My life changed.

I remembered, “I am an athlete!” and I was letting fear get in the way of who I truly am. Now, all I want to do are handstands. I’m still getting over the fear, but now I love falling on my face. I’m learning the same thing from photography. I was shy and quiet. But now, I talk to new people every day; not only do I have to talk to them, I make them feel comfortable on the other end of the camera. I believe, too often, we allow fear to control us so much, it changes our whole life. That athlete comment shook me out of a deep sleep. I woke up knowing I needed to be as awesome as I possibly could be, and I needed to love myself again. Do you remember when you were a kid and all the grownups would say you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you? Then all of a sudden we grow up and forget this; we think we’re not supposed to be awesome. Really?… Really!… Really?… I say be awesome! Kick ass! Do what you love and let everything fall into place. God, The Source, The Universe, whatever you want to call her/him… They have your back.. If you believe in yourself, be grateful, share your love with the world, and the universe will get your back. But YOU must BELIEVE!

Jennifer Pastiloff: I have a list of rules. See below. What would some of Joe Longo’s rules be?

Joe Longo: Joe’s Rules

1. Believe in yourself

2. Love yourself

3. Love everyone

4. Be Awesome

5. Give back

6. Give back some more and don’t let anyone know it was you

7. Inspire people. In the words of Yogi Bahajan: “Be the light house”

8. Sing

9. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from doing what you love

10. Stop listening to the mind and start listening to the little voice inside of you, that voice that keeps you breathing and your heart beating when you’re sleeping. That voice will never lie to you.


Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you the most?


Joe Longo: You! The light you shine is contagious. I see how you inspire people and it makes me want to inspire people. People following their dreams inspire me.

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?


Joe Longo: This question really made me think. I have to thank everyone who has ever come into my life. Good or bad, they all helped me get to where I am today. I thank you all!

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


Joe Longo: Know that you already are your best self, believe that you’re awesome and you’ll be awesome. My friend Mike Barata has this great little saying, “You have two choices in this life. You can choose to suck or you can kick ass. Which would you prefer?”

I prefer kicking ass and you should, too.

When you believe in yourself, the universe will get your back. When you follow your passion and listen to the voice inside with an open and grateful heart, everything will fall into place.  

Jennifer Pastiloff: What brings you the most joy? Your joy list, as it were.


Joe Longo: My dog Timber… singing, cold weather, fireplaces, friends, family, teaching, learning and then some more learning, photography, yoga, nature, and inspiring people who believe in themselves. 

Jennifer Pastiloff: What can we expect Joe Longo to manifest in 2012?


Joe Longo: For 2012, I am manifesting some creative photography work with fun inspiring people and companies. Doing a photo shoot with Ellen Degeneres because I have a feeling she would be a lot of fun to photograph. Getting a photo agent, a book, A Yoga Photo Party Tour.. Yoga workshop on an island (well this is happening just not talking about it yet…hehe…stay tuned.) Developing a large kickstarter yoga photo project with a huge gallery showing, limited edition book and a creative photo layout in Yoga Journal. Oh, and let’s not forget co-teaching a Kundalini / Vinyasa manifestation class with you! 

Jennifer PastiloffCan you tell us a little about your journey. Giving up your 9-5 job to pursue your dreams…..


Joe Longo: It has been a long journey, from failing my first photography class to getting my first professional photography gig. For some reason, I left my passion of photography to follow the standard path. You know, the 9-5 401K joy crushing real world work force path? After about 10 years, I started to wake up and realize this was not the life I wanted. I had a failed marriage, a 9-5 job making good money and I was miserable. Sounds great… I was working with people who somehow we’re able to just follow the standard, show up for work at 9 and stay till 9… The crazy thing is they expected me to sit in my cube just like them and do the same damn thing.

Yada yada yada, I woke up one morning and decided it was time to plan my escape. I made a little sign that read “I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER” and put it on my bathroom mirror. I know sounds so cliché, but I looked at that note every day. I was already doing some freelance music photography. I had been practicing yoga for a couple of years, and had a lot of good friends that were teaching. After about a year of having this note on the mirror, it hit me. START PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR YOGA FRIENDS! It was also at this time I had decided to enroll in a Kundalini Yoga teacher training program. I had a new job managing a customer support department for a small software company. I thought everything was falling in to place. I recall thinking to myself, “I got this job. I’ll be able to pay for the training. I’ll save some money and in a year or so, quit the day job, teach yoga and be a photographer.” It sounded like a great plan, until about two months into the teacher training. While on a trip to Vermont with some friends, I received about 50 phone calls and 150 emails from my “great” new job. Something in me changed.  Maybe it was almost being taken out by carbon monoxide poisoning the night before, but a fearlessness showed up in my life.

I arrived at the cabin around 11PM and by 11:30, I decided I was never going back to that job again. Crazy, I know. I got home on Superbowl Sunday, called my boss, and quit. I told him I could not live this way anymore. He asked what I was going to do; the first thing I said was, “Photography.”

The rest, as they say, is history…


Follow Joe on Facebook here.

Joe Longo Website

Joe on Twitter!/joelongophoto

Dhyana Yoga ( I will be teaching here Wed March 28. Sign up asap. West Philly Studio.)

My family in Philly. My home studio there: Dhyana Yoga. John and Dhyana, shown here, are the owners. They are expecting their first child late April 2012. Mazel Tov!

Jen’s rules:

1. Be Kind.

2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to yourself

3. Write poems, even if only in your head

4. Sing out loud, even if badly

5. Dance

6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal

7. Find things to be in awe of

8. Be grateful for what you have right now .

9. Watch Modern Family

10. Duh, do yoga

11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.

12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.

13.. Take more pictures.

14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. no such thing.

15. Thank the Universe in advance.

Inspiration, Q & A Series

Alimi Ballard: Divine Source of Inspiration. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

January 16, 2012
Alimi Ballard

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.

Alimi Ballard

Dear Manifesters, I have been bugging this guy for ages and it has finally happened! He did a Q&A! I have known Alimi Ballard for about 15 years. I first met him when I was working at the Newsroom Cafe and his girlfriend Dahn (now wife) became my regulars over a period of 13 years. I watched them grow and marry and have kids. 

This is a special guest for many reasons. He has seen me on my journey in a way most have not. He has watched me transform into what I am now, and, he is one of my biggest champions. He is also my go-to source for inspiration.

Alimi is an actor by trade but I think of him as my spiritual guru. I stalk his Twitter and Facebook daily for positive messages and simply to feel good. ( I recommend you do the same.) I find people in my life who I want to model my life after and he is at the very top of my list. His positivity is infectious, Manifesters. 

You may recognize from the film Fast 5 or the tv show Numb3rs, where he was one of the leads. I want you to get to know him because he is a divine source of inspiration, wisdom, joy, and goodness for me. He is an amazing father, husband, actor, friend, and teacher. His answers below made me smile as I knew they would. It is my greatest honor to introduce you to one of my oldest regulars from my waitressing days who is now one of my dearest friends and teachers.

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

Alimi Ballard: Most proud of manifesting….well co-manifesting ( the wife and GOD had a part in it too 😉 the two DAZZLING, DYNAMIC, DIVINE souls that are my children.

– Secondly, it would be MANIFESTING my path.. my earth-walk.. my calling.. my way.. having discovered why I AM HERE. 🙂

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson you learn from your kids?

Alimi Ballard: Humility. I believe, if you are paying attention, the presence of children reconnects you to GOD. To that vast other side. The very act of them EXISTING from a drunken night of naughtiness with my wife STILL bugs me out. I can always FEEEEEEL the aspect of life that is BIGGER than what I can put my two hands on, when I see them.

Jennifer Pastiloff:  You are such a source of positive inspiration for me and for so many people. Where does all this positivity stem from?

Alimi Ballard: About two year ago something happened to me. In the most mundane of events, I was watching a music video ( yup, it was Wale ‘Nike Boots’ ) and had an epiphany. Hahahahahahaaa….I kid you not. I’m watching, enjoying the song and BAM, a light comes on. I realized that I didn’t have to WAIT to make a difference. I could affect POSITIVE CHANGE from right where I was at AT the moment. What I have to give.. share.. offer.. is ready right now. “You can make a DIFFERENCE….no matter WHO you are. No matter WHERE you are.”

Jennifer Pastiloff: What can we expect Alimi to be manifesting for 2012?

Alimi Ballard: My first BILLBOARD!!!! Look for me on the side of the BUS when you’re in traffic. 🙂

Jennifer Pastiloff: If you could say thank you to one person right now, who would it be?

Alimi Ballard: Kwasi. He was a father figure to me from about 10 months to 4 years. 

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you the most?

Alimi Ballard: The ACT of sharing that INNER LIGHT that LIBERATES, HEALS & TRANSFORMS. Whether you’re on a street corner, Thanksgiving diner or in a Yoga Studio you can sometimes FEEL it. Sometimes you can FEEL when the air is charged with that special BUZZ that gives off goosebumps. OOOOHHHWEEEEE!!!!!

Jennifer Pastiloff: When was the bets part of working on Fast 5?

Alimi Ballard: Running the risk of playing favorites, it was Dwayne THE ROCK Johnson. I’ve been in the ent. industry for about 20yrs and know that how people SEEM, may not always match up when you meet them in person. I can honestly say that Dwayne exceeds all expectations of Graciousness, Warmth & Sincerity. Being roughly the sized of a Sherman tank, it would be so easy to have an intimidating persona. THE EXACT OPPOSITE. 🙂 The man is like the Mayor wherever he goes. Humility in ACTION is such sight to behold.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I see you are directing now. How did that come about and can we expect more of that in the future?

Alimi Ballard: I haven’t gotten to directing just yet, but I have begun producing and writing. The 1st short film I’ve produced, along with my wife ( she also wrote it :), ‘INTERCEPTION’ it getting great Film Festival reception. YES!!! 

Currently developing an action based web series that I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED ABOUT!!!! So yes, more behind the camera fun-ness in the future. 🙂 

Jennifer Pastiloff: I miss seeing you on my tv screen weekly. Any plans to return to episodic television?

Alimi Ballard: MANIFESTING as we speak. 🙂 Very Excited!!!

Jennifer Pastiloff: If there was one message you could share with people who want to manifest their dreams, what would it be?

Alimi Ballard: “Visualize this thing you WANT. See it, feel it, BELIEVE in it. Make your mental BLUEPRINT and begin.” – Robert Collier (Note from Jen: this is manifesting folks! This it it!)

Jennifer Pastiloff: I have a list of rules. See below. What would some of Alimi’s rules be…..

Alimi Ballard: Be KIND


– Do as much GOOD wherever and WHENEVER you can.

– Worrying is a habit….STOP THAT!!!

– Learn to love yourself FIRST, before trying to LOOOOOOOOOVE anybody else. ( It’s like being on a plane when the Oxygen masks fall. Put yours on FIRST, then get to the person next to you. 🙂

– Nobody is allowed in the bathroom when daddy is occupying the throne. PERIOD!

– This life is NOT a dress rehearsal. This is the BIG SHOW….and the clock is ticking. BRING THE RAUCOUS BABY!!!!

Jennifer Pastiloff: Where can we find more of you?





Jen Pastiloff’s rules:

1. Be Kind.

2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to yourself

3. Write poems, even if only in your head

4. Sing out loud, even if badly

5. Dance

6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal

7. Find things to be in awe of

8. Be grateful for what you have right now .

9. Watch Modern Family

10. Duh, do yoga

11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.

12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.

13.. Take more pictures.

14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. No such thing.

Inspiration, Q & A Series

Amy Dixon: Queen of Fitness. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

January 3, 2012

Hello again from London!

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. 

Today’s guest is the “Queen of Fitness” otherwise known as Amy Dixon, or Mommy to her kids. Amy happens to be one of my best friends as well as one of the people who gave me my first shot at teaching yoga. She took a risk on me because she believed in me, and that, Dear Manifesters, is the type of person I choose to surround myself with. Someone who takes risks, who follows their gut and who is not a cookie cutter of everyone else. Enter Amy Dixon.

The Queen of Fitness: Amy Dixon.

I love so many things about Amy, but the first is her dedication to her family and, by extension, her friends who have become her family. To watch Amy with her husband and children truly is an inspiration. I am fascinated by strong women who seemingly balance career and family like they were born to do it with a smile and with grace.
Anyone who takes Amy’s classes or does her dvds knows that she takes that same dedication and commitment she has for her family and brings it to her classes/students. She is a coach, an inspirational leader and someone who lives their joy. 
As far as fitness goes, I don’t do much these days except yoga and Amy’s classes. This is because I forget when I am in an “Amy class” that I am actually exercising. A dear friend of both Amy and I named Emily Rapp, once said of Amy and my own classes “You both create an experience rather than a class.”
The experience of Amy Dixon. That is what I am after today. Read and enjoy this interview by one of the most beautiful, powerful and talented people I know.


Amy and I a couple years ago.

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

Amy Dixon: The joy and love that I feel with my husband and children.

Jennifer Pastiloff:  What is the greatest lesson that you have learned from your daughters?

Amy Dixon: Bella teaches me everyday how to show my sensitive side and to sing out loud with confidence. Ava shows me everyday how to be independent and fierce beyond words.

Jennifer Pastiloff:  How do you balance being a mom and being a ‘Queen of Fitness’, as many call you?

Amy Dixon: Balance is a funny term to me because I truly never feel balanced unless I am home for the holidays with my family just relaxing. And the truth is that everyone, young to old feels unbalanced from time to time. I believe that “balance” is having awareness that life just isn’t balanced and using that information as a tool to help me tip the scales back in the direction of where I need to re-focus my energy. If the scale tips to deeply towards my career, it helps me be mindful to tip it right back towards my husband or my children.


Jennifer Pastiloff:  I have a list of rules. See below. What would some of Amy Dixon’s rules be?

Amy Dixon: 1) Love and have compassion for others.


2) Never take yourself too seriously.

3) Laugh as often and and loud as you can.

4) Spend real time with your loved ones.

5) Be free of hate and judgement.

6) Don’t be afraid to speak your mind even if you think it might be hard. Be REAL.

7) Exercise your body often and don’t be afraid to push yourself.

8) Don’t ever believe that anyone owes you anything.

9) Earn it…work hard for it.

10) Be confident, strong and kind.

11) ATTITUDE is everything.

Jennifer Pastiloff:  Who/what inspires you the most?

Amy Dixon: People that face adversities every single day that are free of blame and full of love.

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?

Amy Dixon: My husband Jeff. He is truly one of the greatest people that I know. He supports me in everything that I do…he is the Wizard. (Note from Jen: Jeff is indeed the Wizard. I know him well.)

This picture explains why I love the Dixons so much. And the guy with the beard? The "Wizard" himself.


Jennifer Pastiloff: I have taken your classes and done your videos and I am inspired by your “Can do ” attitude. Your positivity is infectious. Your messages have gotten me through many times I wanted to quit, whether on the bike or in real life. What is one message you would pass on right now to someone looking to manifest their best selves, both physically and mentally?

Amy Dixon: I am a firm believer that change requires change. If you want to do what you have always done, then be prepared to stay exactly the same. If you want to test your limits and truly make a change you have to be willing to get uncomfortable…maybe even breathless. It’s scary but totally worth it.


Jennifer Pastiloff:
  SuperFitBod. Tell us a little about that, and about how you have taken that idea way beyond simply the body.

Amy Dixon: SuperFitBod is a class that I developed over the years that incorporates strength training and cardio all rolled into one package. My motto and belief is that so many women are afraid to lift heavy weights or work out hard in fear that they will get “BIG” or look “HEAVY” and that just isn’t the case. I wanted to prove to women that being FIT is what exercise is about…it’s not about being skinny. I can tell you that people that do my workout DVDS and that are in my classes are ridiculously fit and lean. I think that every single person at some point in their life struggles with their body image and I want above all else for everyone to feel good about living in their own skin and know what it feels like to have a SuperFitBod.

Jennifer Pastiloff:  What brings you the most joy? Your joy list, as it were.

Amy Dixon: 

1) Spending time with my family.


2) Exercise of all kinds.

3) Listening to music.

4) Enjoying amazing food and wine.

5) Exploring the great outdoors. I LOVE the mountains.

6) Laughing.

Jennifer Pastiloff:  What can we expect Amy Dixon to manifest in 2012.

Amy Dixon: 

1) Spend more time with my husband and children.

2) Learn how to cook or at least try. 🙂

3) Create and produce two new DVDS

4) Create an Amy Dixon App

5) Write a book

6) Help Fitness Glo hit its groove

7) Work for a major health and lifestyle magazine as a contributor

8) Take at least ONE yoga class per week.

9) Go running ONCE per week.

10) Ride my bike outdoors.


Jen Pastiloff’s rules:

1. Be Kind.

2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to yourself

3. Write poems, even if only in your head

4. Sing out loud, even if badly

5. Dance

6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal

7. Find things to be in awe of

8. Be grateful for what you have right now . yes, even your little one bedroom apartment with the ugly carpet

9. Watch Modern Family

10. Duh, do yoga

11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.

12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.

13.. Take more pictures.

14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. no such thing.


Amy Dixon is one of the most dynamic fitness instructors and Master Trainers in the industry today.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise physiology as well as many other fitness certifications.  Amy is a contributing fitness expert for many major Lifestyle magazines, a master trainer for Schwinn, BOSU, and GRAVITY and stars in many critically acclaimed fitness DVD’s.  She is a former World competitive power tumbler and coach and uses that experience everyday in her classes.  With over 15 years of teaching experience, she is best known for her energy and enthusiasm for fitness.  Her energy is contagious.

She delivers a fun, performance based class and works hard to educate and motivate her students to achieve extraordinary results.  She has also been a part of the Nike Rockstar Fitness Academy in Los Angeles.  Her talents have been featured on The Today Show, ABC News, Exercise TV, Your LA, Fox News, and MTV.  Her classes and insights have been reported in Women’s Health Magazine, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine, Variety Magazine, In Touch, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.  Amy is the Group Fitness Manager for Equinox in Santa Monica.



Q & A Series

Stirling Gardner. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

January 2, 2012

Hello from London!

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. 

Stirling Gardner

I met Stirling Gardner at an event last year that was a hybrid of hippies making art. Some sang, some painted, some danced. I felt a bit like a fish out of water until I heard Stirling read his work. We had both been invited to read our poetry/prose.

The best way to describe the feeling I had as I listened to him was that he felt like one of my own, a tribe member. I listened to him, riveted. He was honest and funny and charming and from that moment on I started stalking him on Twitter.

Well, not really stalking. 

Okay, yes, sort of really stalking.

I asked him if he would like to do a Q&A because frankly, I wanted to get into his brain. I wanted to learn more about his fixation with mullets. He responded with ” As long as I can be myself and be honest.”

My response: “Duh!”

So here you have it, folks. Unedited and as Stirling as Sterling gets. It’s a real treat to have him as my guest today. He is fascinating and brilliant. If you don’t agree after you read this, the next pint is on me. (I’m still in London, after all.)

Plus, there are some gorgeous lessons from angels included that you will want to print out and hang somewhere where you can look at it often and I purposely left a typo because his response was too funny not to share.

Obviously anything that includes lessons from angels who tell you to dance as much as you can is a personal favorite of mine.

Happy New Year, British style. Mullet Style. Stirling Style! Enjoy!

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

Stirling Gardner: I am part of a mastermind group and we decided to do an experiment together. Instead of visualizing individual things we wanted, we picked the sum of $10,000 and decided to all focus on that simultaneously. 4 days later, I got a call from my agent that one of the ad agencies I had worked for made a mistake and aired a commercial I shot without my knowledge. My agent negotiated a fee of exactly $10,000 for me. I’ve never come closer to crapping myself except for that time I crapped myself. I still have a copy of the check stub.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I have a list of rules. See below. What would some of Stirling’s “rules” be?

Stirling Gardner: I have a few:

Don’t be a douche.

Do good deeds privately. No one needs to know how good of a person you are. If you have to tell someone, ask yourself why you did the deed to begin with.

Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas.

If things aren’t falling into place, stop trying to force them… “someone” is trying to tell you that you’re paddling up stream.

Just because you are a vegan-promoting, Universe-loving, “Namaste” to the checker at Whole Foods-saying Zen master doesn’t mean you’re allowed to be anymore judgmental about the people you complain about who judge you! To each their own, peace-loving patchouli-man with scruffy facial hair and stinky pits.

Before you read the following, I am aware that some people will roll their eyes while others won’t believe me. I don’t care.

The rest of my ‘rules’ were given to me by angels: (Note from Jen: Start printing NOW folks. These are stunning!)

15 Lessons from the Angels:

I had been visited by angels only once in my life to date. It was about 12 years ago and they did some very interesting work on my body. They came down and three of them took hold of this stringy tar-like substance and from the top of my head and both my shoulders began pulling… this ‘stuff’ just kept coming and coming and coming out. It was like the magician and his ‘endless’ scarves… afterwards I awoke and felt very clear and much lighter. I hadn’t heard from them again until the morning of September 14, 2006.

They arrived early that morning while I was sleeping and told me that I would receive “15 Lessons from the Angels” and as of this date, I have been given three.

Lessons 1-3

I was taken to a house. I didn’t know whose it was or why I was going. The angels led me there and told me that my first lesson was to honor my feelings- no matter what they are.

I walked into the house and noticed that it was a bit less put together than I would keep mine… a bit more run down…

They could read my thoughts and then shared with me the second lesson. They told me that it was natural for us as humans to experience ‘judgmental’ thoughts and that there is no harm in that- but to let those judgments simply pass through, give thanks for them and to clear yourself for being open. It is only the self-judgment of seeing those thoughts as ‘bad’ that creates any sort of problems. (I was told that the ‘judgment’ was simply us creating contrast and that it is not good or bad – only what is.) The only time that we can get tripped up is when we blame ourselves for ‘knowing better’ than to ‘judge’. Welcome the judging, it is the Universe inviting you to experience an infinite number of options.

The third lesson I received was that “there is time for everything”. And in the same breath, they lovingly said that there is no such thing as time- so do what pleases you now. “That is all there is to do”.

They told me to go write this down and I thought, but where are the other lessons… but it was too late. I had already awakened.

Lesson #4

September 25, 2006

Just before I woke up Friday morning, an angel appeared to me… s/he was laying across a row of children’s alphabet blocks smiling… the blocks spelled out “BE FREE”… I asked how one does that and when I looked up again, s/he was now laying across the blocks that spelled out, “BE HONEST”. (not just with others, but with yourself too.)

4 down, 11 to go.

Lesson #5

September 30, 2006

I am awakened by a third dream. Something spoke very loudly in my ear, “The 3rd Volunteer!”. I woke up trying to figure out what it meant… what the hell is the 3rd volunteer?… and after several hours (I never claimed to be that bright), it dawned on me… “the lesson in your third dream is to volunteer.” I know that if the voice wasn’t as loud I would not have put it together.

Lesson #6

Dance! Dance as much as you can.

Lesson #7

Forgive your parents. They did the absolute best they could given their perception and circumstances.

Lesson #8

October 5, 2006

I am moving things around my apartment. I am moving a bookcase to accommodate for some new bedroom furniture that will be coming in soon.

One of my journals falls on to the floor. Without thinking about it, I flipped it open to a page that I had written over 9 years ago (Easter Sunday, 1997)…

“Angel scent left on my pillow.

Who slept in my bed?

Angels sent a secret message

That rests gently in my head.

Memories of the night before

Waltz on the morning sunshine

Dancing the dance they love so much

Trying their hardest to show me a sign.

Urged on by a smile

Daring to walk on their cloud

“Fall free, fall hard, fall fast“, they whispered again,

Take the chance, make yourself proud…”

Then I signed it and wrote a P.S. The P.S. was as follows:

“P.S. They said I’d figure out the rest on my own.” (This completely blew me away!)

Lesson 9

Everything you could ever need is already inside of you. There is nothing else you could ever hope to find.

Any time you get ‘off track’ with a feeling: sad, mad, confused, etc., know that there is nothing that you are seeking. You are never lost. All you have to do is let your ‘you’ come back out. Dissolve the feelings of inadequacy and know that they are an illusion.

Lesson 10

(September 6, 2010)

I haven’t had dreams like this in nearly 4 years, but the angels were clearly there. I could sense at least 7 of them. They were there watching me go through a huge range of emotions. I was running into all kinds of people I have known in my life and that left a lasting impact on me in one way or another. I could sense every one of their insecurities and false perceptions about themselves, specifically in how it related to conflict between the two of us. There was no judgment, but simply pure love for this person. And in this moment, I was told lesson #10, that “imperfections are what make people perfect”. I was filled with such relief and awe and love that I broke down uncontrollably. And nearly in the same instant, I was told by the angels that there was a second part to Lesson #10 – that “you can heal anything yourself.” I broke down even harder.

I was immediately taken to each one of these people individually and in the span of about 5 seconds each, I could ‘read’ all of their false perceptions again and by simply holding out my hands, LISTENING to their hearts and truly understanding them, I was able to fill them with so much unconditional love that they became “whole” again. We became one momentarily and I received visuals of what each person needed: for example, my mother was crouched in the front yard of the house I grew up in. And when we connected, all of a sudden, this amazing and lush greenery sprang up and began to cover the house. It was beautiful and covered the house so much so that it looked almost like a greenhouse. The sun came out and my mother and I sobbed with joy. There were many others that I got to bond with in our own unique way.

I want to be clear that I was not the “healer” in these situations, but that that was how the Lesson was taught to me.

Everyone can do this for themselves… these were just the people I personally needed to heal relations with.

Lesson 11

Deception and Betrayal were the only way you could learn the Lesson that you needed to learn at that time.

You can be as angry as you want at the person(s) that deceived or betrayed you, but it serves you in no way. In fact, it is counter-productive. What you want to look at is the Lesson you needed to learn. And if you still haven’t learned it, you will be betrayed and/or deceived again. It is inevitable for your growth. Only love is meant for you.

It is not the angels first choice to teach you in this manner. In fact, if you look closely enough, you may discover millions of ways you could have learned the same lesson without having been deceived or betrayed. Deception and betrayal are the “final stop”. Think of it like doing extra laps or having to stay after school for not finishing your homework. It’s the means by which you HAVE to learn the lesson. And again, it is only meant with love from the angels and it is necessary for your growth and empowerment.

Jennifer Pastiloff: When was the last time you laughed at yourself?

Stirling Gardner: This afternoon when I opened up a bottle of kumbucha for the 100th time and forgot that it always explodes. Always.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who or what inspires you most?

Stirling Gardner: Experiencing someone’s talent and creativity in nearly any form. I also enjoy a good butter pecan ice cream.

Jennifer Pastiloff: As far as modalities go with art, what is your favorite form: video, poetry, stand-up etc etc? Where do you feel the most self-expressed?

 Stirling Gardner: Story telling. I was telling my shrink today how narcissistic one has to be to take the time to write down their stories and expect people to listen to them and/or read them and give a shit. You better have some damn good stories to share. There are good stories and bad stories. Both can be well told or horribly told. It’s really rare to find an exceptional story well told. That’s why I like it so much. I think it’s incredibly challenging and genius when done well.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What can we expect Stirling to be manifesting in 2012 and where can we find more of him?

Stirling Gardner: I am writing my first book called “An Open Apology to All My ExGirlfriends, Vol. 1” – each chapter is a letter to every girl I’ve crushed on, dated, etc… from the first memory I have at 3-years-old of wanting to kiss a girl in my pre-school class through the girl I thought I was going to marry last year. It’s funny, genuine and narcissistic of me to think anyone will read it.

For better or worse, you can see my seeds all over the internet:

It should also be stated that very little of my work is safe to view while on the job, but feel free to show it to your children as an example of what not to do if you ever want to work in the corporate world.

personal website:

twitter:!/stirlinggardner and Facebook:

iTunes: Comedy Story Telling CD:


funny or die:

Jennifer Pastiloff: How did you come up with the name for your book of poetry? Where can we find it?

Stirling Gardner:  It ain’t poetry. Unless you consider a guy that’s the son of a minister and a child psychologist and who has floundered around in countless relationships looking for his soulmate inevitably making some colossal error in judgement shattering said relationship into irreparable pieces a poet.

Jennifer Pastiloff: You seem to be found of mullets. Did you have one at one point?

Stirling Gardner: You’re welcome.

[Please note the beams of light from Heaven (also known as God’s arms) bending down to touch my glorious and sacred mullet.]

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can we expect a feature film coming from you anytime soon?

Stirling Gardner:I’ll leave features to the people with patience. And Judd Apatow. It seems he makes about 83% of all the films these days.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What of the things I am drawn to about you is your diversity and the way you seem to have manifested a unique niche for yourself. You are doing your own thing and marching to the beat of your own drum as it were. Can you share with us a little about your process. Do you create daily or do you wait for the muse? Give us a glimpse into the mind of Stirling Gardner.

It’s always amazing to hear how someone else sees me. I have no idea what niche I have manifested. I know what absurd things make me laugh and my brain usually goes immediately towards the darker-style joke. When you are yourself and don’t know any other way to be, it is naturally “doing your own thing”. I remember my mom saying once after I moved to LA that I marched to the beat of my own drum. I spent my entire life never really feeling like I belonged anywhere. I was an athlete, honor student, stoner, delinquent, theater dork, math geek, opera singer and rebellious pain in the ass. So, when you’re a part of all of those groups, you’re not really wholly any one of those things. I have always felt like I was on the outside of everything. And I never mixed groups of people. I have my ‘spiritual’ friends that have never met my comedy friends who have never met my triathlon friends who have never met my pot-smoking friends and on and on… even after all these years. I would say that social media has a lot to do with these groups coming together in some ways. I post some of the crudest, darkest, most politically incorrect jokes that come to mind and then I will post a video I made documenting a holiday event where we buy clothes and gifts for battered women and their children who are homeless. I don’t know how that works and I am sure some people think that’s hypocritical. I stopped caring about that. I used to be incredibly self-conscious about any of these groups knowing another side of me, but the older I get, the more I realize that this is who I am and that God gave me this “voice” (this perspective) for a reason. I know it’s specific. I know it’s too sharp for some, but incredibly appealing to others. I didn’t set out to carve a niche and am flattered anyone would think I did. I am just me, spitting out what is in my brain. There is not much “process” to it. I am doing my best to simply listen to what I am being given by my version of God and sending it out into the world. What happens with it after that isn’t entirely up to me as much as I would like to think it is. If I was to say anything about any process I may have, I would say that I am taking dictation in some form or another from something larger than me, yes, even the darker, more twisted stuff. My brain is sharp, clever and lonely a lot of the time. It can just as easily make someone’s day as it can cut someone’s legs out from under them. I believe people are inherently good beings and sometimes let the crappy things happening around them get the best of them. I think it’s referred to as life.

The thing that hit me most in the heart was a private email I got via Facebook from someone I have never met in real life. She enjoys my twisted and heartfelt postings (sometimes the same post) and said this to me: “You know, that’s your real talent … helping people laugh when every societal bone in their body tells them not to… thanks!” I remember reading this for the first time and going, “whoa… so that’s what it is. Awesome.”

Jennifer Pastiloff: If you could have dinner with one person tonight, who would it be?

 Alive: David Sedaris Dead: Einstein

Jennifer Pastiloff: Neal Donald Walsch says  “lufe begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Do you believe this to be true? Do you live this way?

 First of all, I will have you know that I had to google “lufe” to know what the fuck you were talking about and what came up was a lot of information about a Russian speed metal drummer, so I would like to amend my answer to question #3 and replace it with this. 

I will share this with you. I recently started a 12 step program and am 59 days “sober” as I write this. What my personal addiction happens to be is not relevant, but what is extremely relevant is the clearing that has been created in my life. When you can identify, trap and set the addiction beast to the side so that it is not running every goddamn thought in your brain, you will be left standing in a clearing the magnitude of which is quite literally indescribable. It is from this place that you can genuinely begin to create your life, because everything you thought you once were was actually the addiction talking and acting for you as you. The addiction has become, unbeknownst to you, your identity. And when that identity is consciously destroyed, it is from this place that true creating can begin to take place. And what I am discovering is that when you create from out of nothing that which you truly want from conscious choice (not that which you think you want because it will bring about some perceived idea of making you feel good which is just your addiction tricking you), you can glimpse the person you know you can be and it is simultaneously terrifying and beautiful. So, yes I agree with Mr Walsch, even if he has a big smelly beard filled with bits of food (I’m guessing bacon).

And, for the record, every single person has an addiction running them. Just because you don’t drink or do drugs means nothing. Most people will never identify it, let alone arrest it and stare it down until it shuts the fuck up and gets out of your way. An addiction can look from the outside as someone doing something good for other people (one of my doctors, for example), but his quest to help and heal overrides his own ability to take care of himself. What is your addiction? Great. Now what are you going to do about it?



Jen Pastiloff’s rules:


1. Be Kind.


2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to yourself


3. Write poems, even if only in your head


4. Sing out loud, even if badly


5. Dance


6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal


7. Find things to be in awe of


8. Be grateful for what you have right now . yes, even your little one bedroom apartment with the ugly carpet


9. Watch Modern Family


10. Duh, do yoga


11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.


12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.


13.. Take more pictures.


14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. no such thing.




Guest Posts, Q & A Series

Best Selling Author & Oprah Columnist Karen Salmansohn: The Manifestation Q&A Series.

December 24, 2011

Dear Manifesters, I am so honored to bring Karen Salmansohn, one of my greatest inspirations and muses to the Manifestation Q&A. 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.

By now, you have all seen Karen’s posters (NotSalmon) on my blog or my Facebook page. As is Christy Turington, our last guest, and myself, Karen is also a contributor for the incredible Positively Positive website. i decided a few months ago to surround myself with people who inspire me and make me want to write more, dance more, sing more and love more. Her posters and words make me feel good. They make me want to get up on my desk and do a little jig. Sometimes I do just that. 

Karen has a generous spirit and a ” I-don’t-take-myself-too-seriously” attitude which I admire. That is one of my favorite qualities in a person, to be sure. Her joy and humore shines through in all her posters and her books. 

I am also in love with her story. She was very high up in the advertising world and left it all to follow her bliss. Truly, a woman after my own heart.

Please read the following post and fall in love with my friend Karen Salmansohn. It is impossible not to. She is simply irresistible. Yea, like the song.

I have also included links to her books because you will want one.

You’ll see.

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

Karen Salmansohn: I am most proud of my now 16 month old son – my miracle child – as I’m a late in life mom. My son is the kindest and happiest child – always smiling. Already at 16 months, it’s obvious he’s a milk bottle “half full” kinda guy! 🙂 Truly. Someone in my building came up to me the other day and said, “Your son is doing the building a public service. He’s always smiling that big happy smile – and waving hello to everyone – making everyone who sees him so very happy. He always makes my day.” My son truly has the most beautiful spirit. 

And I also have great appreciation for being able to do my passion of writing and designing books and posters which help empower people to live their most fulfilling lives – my brand of what I call “self help for people who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self help.”

Jennifer Pastiloff:  What are your favorite top 5 NotSalmon posters?(include pics.)

Karen Salmansohn: These 5…

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson have you learned from your son?

Karen Salmansohn: I’ve become aware of how closely linked curiosity and happiness are. My son is always so curious about everything he sees, hears, tastes, touches – and this curiosity keeps him in a constant state of delight and appreciation.

I’ve been reminded how the best way to stop negative thinking is not merely by stopping it. You also have to swap it. You have to do what I call a “stop and swap.” What I mean by this: If my son is crying over something – like how I won’t let him play with my laptop – I can’t simply tell my son, “No you can’t play with mommy’s laptop.” I have to offer him something new to play with – so he can refocus his mind away from the laptop. Without swapping in something new, my son will naturally keep returning to his negative thoughts about how he’s upset he can’t play with my laptop. But as soon as I give my son a fun toy to play with, his mind is refocused and not thinking about my laptop at all. Ditto with us adults. If we’re stuck in a negative mindset – thinking about regrets, worries, fears, resentments – it’s not enough just to tell ourselves we have to stop these negative thoughts. If we don’t have something new to think about in replacement, we will keep going back to them. Hence we have to swap these negative thoughts for positive ones. We adults also have to do a stop and swap – and trade in our negative thoughts for a positive thoughts to latch onto. This is one of the many reasons why I’m a big believer in writing gratitude lists. When you’re having a negative thought, you can stop it and swap it for something you’ve written on your gratitude list – and immediately refocus your attentions onto something which will make you feel happier.

Jennifer Pastiloff: How was NotSalmon born? I believe I read that you came from an advertising background. I am inspired daily by you, and so are all my readers, and we would love to know how you manifested this dream into what it is today?

Karen Salmansohn: Yes, I used to be in advertising – but I always wanted to be a writer. I was a senior VP and creative director at the age of 27 – and I won a CLIO my first year in the business. I worked with the big guy agencies like J. Walter Thompson, Young and Rubicam and McCann-Erickson. I kept threatening to quit to write books, and my parents would say, “How can you quit now – when you’re doing so well?” But the truth is, if I were doing lousy, I probably would have stayed to prove something to myself. But I figured if I could do well at something I didn’t like so much, I’d do far better at something I was passionate about – and I was passionate about books. And so I quit and didn’t tell my parents for a few weeks. I just didn’t want them to keep talking me out of quitting. I developed what I call “Mr Magoo Vision.” You remember how the near blind Mr Magoo cartoon character never noticed all the cars honking as he crossed the street? He focused on MUST GET TO OTHER SIDE OF STREET. That was me when I left advertising. I stayed focused on MUST GET PUBLISHED and tried not to notice all the honking naysayers. To keep my intentions strong, every time I passed a book store I’d head to the shelf where all the authors who’s last names began with “S” were. I envisioned my book on the shelf next to them. I was excited to see I’d be in good company. My last name in Salmansohn. I’d be a neighbor to Salinger. My first published book was a novel – which I sold to St. Martin’s Press to be book – and then got optioned by Miramax to be a movie starring Marissa Tomei. I wrote the screenplay – but alas it was never greenlit to be filmed. But you never know… 🙂

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most inspired by? Where does the daily source of inspiration for your posters come from?

Karen Salmansohn: A lot of what I write is inspired from my own life – the challenges I’m dealing with – and trying to gain insight about. I love writing. I’ve been writing in journals since I was 12 years old – and for me writing has always been cathartic and therapeutic. For me a journal is like a Ouija board. I sit down in front of it with no clues as to what I’m going to be writing, then start writing, until then suddenly I realize, “Ohhhhh, so that’s what I’m thinking.” Basically, I not only write about what I know – I write about what I didn’t know that I knew until I started to write! I’m joking – but I’m serious.

As far as my posters, I started to design them each morning after my son was born, because I no longer had the time and concentration to write pages of concentrated thoughts with a baby in the house. I now had diaper changes and Mickey Mouse Hot Diggety Dog dances to do. I found it was easier to start designing a poster – be interrupted by my little dude – then return to finish this poster – than it was to start/stop/start/stop writing cohesive paragraphs of thought. And so I started to create these posters in replacement for my morning writings.

 When I’m designing my posters, I usually have Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse playing on the TV in the background as I work. Sometimes I wonder if the playful creativity and music from these terrific shows is somehow contributing to my creative process. I also take breaks in designing a morning poster to play with my son – and perhaps this loosens up my creative thinking.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What do you do when you feel stuck?

Karen Salmansohn: I meet a friend. I read a book. I see a movie. I drink too much coffee. I look at videos on youtube. I go for a walk. I dance with my son to all kinds of music. I drink too much coffee. I play on Facebook. I re-organize my closets. I drink too much coffee.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you up to now? Is there another book on the way? Where can we find more of Not Salmon?

Karen Salmansohn: I love writing and designing books – and am excited to have a new one coming out next year called INSTANT HAPPY – published by the same pub house as my best selling HOW TO BE HAPPY DAMMIT. The mission for this book is to create an instant peptalk for people dealing with challenging times – in the same way my BOUNCE BACK BOOK offered support.

I’m also psyched to now be offering new ebooks on my site — like my newly released BUSINESS LESSONS OF A SWIMMING COCKTAIL WAITRESS and PRINCE HARMING SYNDROME. Plus I’m excited about my new shop at my site – which offers a line of goods which inspire people to feel and do good – like inspiring, tees, totes, clocks, coffee mugs, etc. (I’m drinking coffee out of my NICE GUYS ARE THE SEXIEST coffee mug right now!) Plus, my website presently offers all kinds of FREEBIE screensavers and ecards – which I’ll be continuing to be updating.

 Basically, I invite everyone to come visit my site to find more stuff – and find out more about my stuff. 🙂

Jennifer Pastiloff: My favorite things in a person are a sense of humor and gratitude. You possess both, obviously. If you could say thank you right now, who would it be to?

Karen Salmansohn: Well, first – love to thank you for all your kind comments – and inviting me to come play with you and be on your wonderful site! I think you’re terrific – and am thankful that the wacky world of social media connected us.Next up, I’d thank coffee – for making finding time to do everything I need to do in a day possible. Next up I’d thank my wonderful and supportive partner Howard – my human caffeine. 🙂


Follow Karen on Facebook too!