Browsing Tag

Rachel Pastiloff

Guest Posts, motherhood, Self Love

Don’t Should On Yourself.

May 16, 2015

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

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

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

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

The Should List.

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

I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

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

I declared yesterday the first day in my victory revel.

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

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

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

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

Guest Posts, parenting, Special Needs

Before You Judge Me.

October 8, 2014


By Rachel Pastiloff.

When you are out in the world, be it at a restaurant, grocery shopping, driving in traffic, or at the doctor’s office, and you see a child screaming and a mother losing her cool and grabbing that child by the arm and being stern: BE CAREFUL BEFORE YOU JUDGE THEM.

Be careful placing judgment upon others, for you know not what battles they are fighting.

Before you judge me, or anyone. Take a breath. Consider what you might not know. Look inward. Look outward. Whatever it is, realize this: you may never have any idea of someone else’s story, so judging them is a tricky business.

Continue Reading…

courage, Grief, Guest Posts, healing, I Have Done Love

When You Believe You Are Unlovable.

February 9, 2014


By Rachel Pastiloff.

If I close my eyes and think hard enough I can almost remember the house. Almost. I can’t remember if it was brown or green. Maybe it was brown with yellow trim. I do remember the chain link fence in the back yard, and the rabbit hutch my Poppy made for us. I wish I could remember more. I just said to a friend this past weekend, “I wish I had a photographic memory,” but then realized that would probably be a curse.

I still dream of those days. The ones that happened before July of 1983. Maybe I could go under hypnosis and while in a trance bring a Polaroid camera with me. I had a Polaroid camera once. It was pink and I loved the instant gratification. I would take my Polaroid and snap a photo of all the moments from January 15th, 1978 until July 15th, 1983.

I have a snapshot of the day my daddy died. I have that moment etched in my brain. Chinese checkers, shag carpet, curse words and fist slamming, sirens, strange men, family arriving. I remember all of that. The den where I was held captive as they took Mel, my dad, away on a stretcher. I snuck away and caught a glimpse of his lifeless body. I had no idea it would be the last time I saw his beautiful face, although it did not look beautiful on that stretcher, blue and dying.

In the weeks before he passed my mom and dad had “the talk” with my sister and me. It was the “we are getting a divorce talk.” I remember the bedroom and the bed we sat on with its putrid ugly yellow sheets. My father had an armoire that held all of his “cool” stuff. Probably the same place he placed his drugs, the ones that would weeks later rip him out of my life. That talk would leave an imprint on my life.

I carried it around with me like a 200-pound appendage.

My last memories of my father were of him saying, “You can have Rachel and I will take Jennifer.”

A few weeks later he died. I carried the burden of his poison laced words with me, the words that a five year old hears, in five-year-old comprehension.

  • You don’t love me?
  • Why don’t you want me?
  • Why won’t you take me?
  • I am unlovable. 

For years I’d ask my mother why?

Why didn’t he think I was worth taking, loving, or keeping? She always made excuses for him. None of them ever took it away.

His words became my inner voice.


I am a mother now. I have the choice now. As I read the post on Facebook it knocked me over.

“How you speak to your children becomes their inner voice.”

I couldn’t breathe when I read it.

I have to make sure that their inner voice is one that says: I am loveable. I am wanted. I am smart and kind. I am heard. I am special.

This is a challenge as the mother of one child with a rare genetic disorder and autism, and another child with ADHD and a mood disorder. It’s a major battle sometimes to remember to breathe, and sometimes, just to conquer minute by minute of the day.

I have not been the most gracious mom over the last six months. I am depleted in every possible definition of the word. I have had more than my fair share of ugly mom moments, last night being one of them. I was yelling and pounding my fists, scaring even myself. Watching myself as if I were in a movie, looking at my little one stare at me as if I was a monster.

Those moments pass and we are fine, but what is the ripple that I have created inside his voice pool? Rachel, your words become their inner voice.

Your words are what they hear when they lay their heads on the pillow and fall into their dream state. I finally had that epiphinany.

“Epiphany,” the book written by Elise Ballard. I bought it and kept wondering when my epiphany would come. I want it to be profound and earth shattering. I want the world to feel a mini earthquake when my brain finally gets it.

That isn’t even close to what happened. Instead, I lay in my bed last night and told myself to just breathe in and just breathe out, over and over again. I remembered that Facebook post I read.

I want my voice to lift my children up. I want my voice to inspire my children everyday so much that they think to themselves, “I am so lucky, I have such a good life.” I want my voice to be the thing that lights a fire in my children, and keeps them going even when it hurts. I want my voice to be the one they hear in their dreams that tells them, you are so loved, you are so wanted, you are a special gift, and you are love.

My sister Jennifer often says: At the end of your life when you ask one final “what have I done?” Let your answer be “I have done love.”

At the end of my life when my children say their good bye to me they will say, She did love. She gave me my voice.


Rachel is a native of Philadelphia/South Jersey. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband and two young sons, ages 7 and 4. In 2009 Rachel’s oldest son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi Syndrome, with a diagnosis of autism to follow shortly after. The diagnosis was traumatic and forever altered the course of her life. Rachel has made it her mission to educate the world about children who have special needs and their parents. In her spare time between doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions, and the normal stuff everyday parents do, she writes a blog Rachel is also a yoga teacher and a health coach in Atlanta. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her passion for food, nutrition and wellness are her biggest passion. You can find her on Facebook, at her studio or assisting her sister Jen at one of her retreats around the world.

tattoos by Conscious Ink. Click to order.

tattoos by Conscious Ink. Click photo to order.

Contact Rachel for health coaching, weight loss, strategies, recipes, detoxes, cleanses or help getting off sugar. Click here.

Contact Rachel for health coaching, weight loss, strategies, recipes, detoxes, cleanses or help getting off sugar. Click here.

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

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

Jen Pastiloff is back in London for ONE workshop only Feb 14th. Book by clicking poster. This is her most popular workshop and space is limited to 50 people.

Jen Pastiloff is back in London for ONE workshop only Feb 14th. Book by clicking poster. This is her most popular workshop and space is limited to 50 people.

Guest Posts, parenting

The One Everyone Should Read: On Navigating Parenthood.

December 10, 2013

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-blackBy Rachel Pastiloff

I am constantly navigating through a crazy maze of trials in my life. Always trying to figure out if what is now is what it’s supposed to be. I constantly examine this concept with my children and myself.

Last Tuesday was an especially difficult day. I struggled through the day, and my kids weren’t even home from school yet. Once my littles arrived home, things went from hard to climbing Mt. Everest hard. Blaise, my sweet boy who has Prader Willi Syndrome and Autism, was in a state of destruction. As dinner approached, I asked my sweet angel where his glasses where. Very nonchalantly, he responded that they were broken. The two of us found our way into his bedroom where he showed me both pairs of his glasses broken, twisted and shattered in little pieces. I found myself cracking into those same little pieces.

I lost my patience and started yelling. I hate that part of me that comes out when I crack.

I screamed at him, “Why, Why, Why?”

He never answered. He didn’t understand what I was asking him. This led to the real issue. The glasses aren’t the issue; they are at the surface; they are like the skin; they are just the part you see. The real issue was exploding inside.

Why can’t my son understand me? Why can’t my son be “normal?” Why doesn’t my son’s brain work?

There it is: the guts of it all. It’s the insides coming out, the organs and the blood.

Seven years of dealing with special circumstances doesn’t make it easier. Seven years doesn’t make those bitter moments sting less. Seven years doesn’t close the wounds. I have spent the last few years stuffing down my feelings and pretending that all is cohesive. That it’s tough but working.

In reality, it was all still there under the surface, inside a pressure cooker about to explode.

I found myself crying after my kids went to sleep that night. I cried for myself. I cried for the stress that his syndrome can create in me, but mostly, I cried for him. I cried for what I thought was missing. I was quiet after I let it all out; I was quiet all through the days that followed. Something had opened up, and I finally had to face it and deal.

I had to accept what is.

Blaise accepts his life. It’s time I remember how to live more like him. Blaise doesn’t see failure or lack of in his life. He accepts things and does so with a smile.

I am working on accepting “the what is” now. I added into my a-ha moment that I can accept what is now and trust that things may look different in the future.

I have to let go of what I think it is “supposed” to look like in my life and in my kids’ lives.

As the parent of a special needs child, I tend to be on a roller coaster of emotions. Going through the struggles with my child. Walking the path of his life right by his side. It can be a daunting task. One thing I don’t need to add to my plate is judgment to what I think the picture of my child’s life should be.

I happily bought the little one a new pair of glasses. Hopefully this experience will have us both see a little clearer.




Rachel Pastiloff is a native of Philadelphia/South Jersey. After years of living on the West Coast, she transplanted to Atlanta, Georgia from Berkeley, Ca in 2006. Rachel is a mother with 2 young boys, ages 5 and 7 years old.. In 2009 Rachel’s oldest was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome. The following year her son was diagnosed again with Autism. Both of these events would help shift the direction of Rachel’s life. She began her path with health and wellness to create a better life for her family. It then became her passion. Rachel became a certified yoga teacher in 2012 and is a graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Health and Wellness Coach. A life long lover of food and cooking, Rachel helps her clients get back in the kitchen and enjoy it. She is helping people have a new relationship with not only food, but also their personal health and wellness. Her work can be seen here on the site and on Positively Positive. Reach her at to work with her or visit her site. 

Gratitude, Guest Posts, Manifestation Workshops

Moments by Kate Berlin.

January 29, 2013

So last weekend I led a sold out workshop in Atlanta. One of the girls in the workshop had driven from Tampa! That’s a 7 hour drive, folks. It blew my mind and what blew it even more was conencting with the girl. Her name is Kate Berlin and she is a phenomenal writer. Anyway, send her some love, will ya? Here is her link on Tumblr.

Here’s what she wrote about the experience:


That’s all we have with the people we love. I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere.

Moments are all we ever have. We no longer have the past. We will never hold onto the future. We can’t.

Last weekend was an out of body experience for me. I ran my first 5K and met Jennifer Pastiloff (writer/yoga inspiration) at a Manifestation Workshop led by her. HUGE stuff. Huge. Huge. HUGE. stuff. So incredibly universally huge that I am seriously left speechless by it all.

I am still speechless by it all.

There were tears, many tears, there was laughter, connection, letting go, forgiving, manifesting, conquering. You name it and it was there.

(There were moments)

And at one point during the workshop we had to sit across a partner and state what we were, no excuses, no explanation. Just straight. I am. This is hard for me, because usually ‘I am’ proceeds with, needy. [I am needy], insecure [I am insecure], not worthy [I am not worthy], you will never make it [I will never make it], but there was none of that allowed, so I really had to dig deep, or actually not really, because our magnificent truth is right there at the surface. It’s peeking, itching, anxious to jump out and proclaim who it is!

(Give it a moment)

So I sat there, dismissing my negativity, dismissing the cliche and spoke the truth, the thing that has always lingered at the tip of my tongue, the brink of my heart, but that normally seems too much of an unattainable dream to be truth, yet it is, so I went for it and proclaimed, “I am a writer”

And I sat there, while this absolute stranger stared into my eyes, into me, her eyes probing, seeing what I just stated as it unfolded…

(in that moment nothing else could be more true).

She was looking, past my thinkings of what if; what if she thinks I am nothing I just proclaimed? And there I was, staring back, and the only thing I could think of was that I had to hold onto this moment. I had to never forget this face. This person who is touching every corner of my truth. Who saw me, as I was, and who I saw, as she is.

(hold onto this moment)

She turned out to be a writer also. She wants the same thing I want. She was a reflection of myself. And I could see her thinking the same thing, feeling the same fears. We both want it, badly, we do and as we stared at each other we were both fearful.

“I just proclaimed I am a writer, to a writer, she will see right through me and question my ability to write, like how I question my own ability to be a writer on a daily basis.”

We both write, but which one of us is the writer? As if there is only room for one, when there is room for many. There are moments for everyone.

(hold onto this moment.)

(hold onto this moment tight)

we lifted each other to such heights, there was nothing else there but the truth. Two writers, sharing a space, sharing energy, sharing a dream.

(sharing a moment)

She wants to be on the best-seller list and she will be. I know this. I never once doubted her ability to be a writer, and when the moment was over I hugged her and told her the only truth I knew of her; she is a writer. She is.

She is a writer. And I am a writer. And we both hold onto moments. We will both forever hold onto that one. Where we were nothing but two writers, wanting so bad to have our words be read.

And all I want is a book, a page, a sentence, read and understood. I want to reach out of these words and hold onto the person who reads this. Can you feel it? Do you see this? I understand. [I understand]. I want that.

I want to do, and see, and hear, and feel and I want to write about it.

I want moments, and I want to showcase them forever with the beauty only words know how to.

I want from point A to point B, I want heaven and hell, the ugliness truth holds and the beauty once it sets, I want all those moments and I want to write about it.

Moments make me a writer.

(Moments will forever proclaim me a writer)



Jennifer Pastiloff, Beauty Hunter, is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Check out for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health, Tuscany. She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 30-Feb 1 in Ojai (sold out) as well as Other Voices Querétaro with Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp, Stacy Berlein, and Rob Roberge. She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

Guest Posts, Manifestation Retreats

I Am No Longer Asleep: Jen’s Manifestation Retreat.

November 2, 2012

The following blog is by Stephanie Neutze who owns my favorite bakery For The Love of Bakery! It beautifully describes what went down at my Manifestation Retreat to Ojai. I was pretty blown away by this, and by her, so I felt I must share. Enjoy! My retreats sell out fast so please click here to book or for info. Keep being f*cking amazing!

I Am No Longer Asleep by Stephanie Neutze

You know when you have one of those “AHA” moments? Well I just experienced my first “AHA” weekend, which I could easily say was best weekend of my life up to this point. I went to my very first weekend long yoga retreat (alone) in Ojai led by Jennifer Pastiloff and assisted by Rachel Pastiloff with 46 other people.
Words cannot describe how excited I was for the weekend, but I was also completely nervous and fearful that I wouldn’t meet anyone or even worse, that no one would like me. I was feeling very stuck in my life, without any control and desperately longing for a change. I was hoping this retreat would give me clarity or at least help me figure out techniques to reduce my stress levels.
For 3 straight days, we lived together, did yoga together, danced together, ate together, cooked together, drank wine together, laughed together, cried together, sat silently together, manifested our dreams together and we let go of our fears, doubts and stories together.
What did I leave with?
Community. Support. Love. Friendship. Safety. Laughter. Comfort. Bliss. Dancing. Awakening. Clarity. Joy. Guidance. Power.
I have never felt more supported, loved and lifted up by any other single person or group of people in my life. Jen attracts beautiful souls and being surrounded by such love only means you will love yourself even more. To find the beauty that lies within is such a blessing and Jen makes this possible. She sees you for who your really are and leads you to the place where you can see it as well. You have to dig deep, and be willing to get through the sh*t, but when you do, it is life-changing. There is a light inside each of us waiting to radiate out to the world. In all seriousness, when you are surrounded by 46 other people chanting “Be F*cking Amazing” how can you not let your light sparkle and shine?
I met Jen in March when I took her yoga class. From that moment on, I was hooked on Jen. She oozes with love, support, kindness, generosity and strength. She builds community, connects people and her message is so powerful. The thing I admire most about Jen is her rawness and her ability to see things for exactly what it is, and then to laugh about it, because really, what else can you do. I felt this immediate connection to Jen, her life and what she represents. She is love, courageous, strong, powerful, genuine and authentic. I am now all of these things.
It has been a really tough battle for a really long time and without Jen in my life, I don’t think I would be the person I am today. I was in a place of confusion, unhappiness, fear, uncertainty and aloneness.
Now, I am free. I am inspired. I am open. I release all of my fears and doubts and am only allowing love.
Thank you to Jen, Rachel, Barbara, Caspar, Joe, Allison, Jo-Ellen and the rest of Jen’s healers who made this weekend special for all of us.
And even more thanks to my new soul sisters and brothers. You are all beautiful, inside and out. You are brave, strong, powerful, smart, funny and deeply loved and supported. Without you, I would not have the courage to follow my bliss. I love you all.
I am no longer asleep in my own life. I am alive, I am loved and I AM F*CKING AMAZING!
** Steph makes the most amazing vegan and gluten free treats. Tweet her to place an order. She delivers too! I am obsessed. Click here to tweet her.
Guest Posts

Wear Batman Pajamas!

October 25, 2012

Wear Batman Pajamas!.

Love this post from my sister Rachel, who, by the way had her very first blog up on Positively Positive and had it do AMAZINGLY WELL!! Way to go!

Here is an excerpt from Wear Batman Pajamas:

Here is what I came up with. As kids, all you know is fun. Kids don’t know financial stress, they aren’t worried how the mortgage will get paid. They just want to know that Mommy and Daddy want to play with them and tuck them in at night. Kids don’t know love lost, they love everybody. Kids don’t know self-consciousness, they don’t care what others think of them. If they love those batman pajamas then they will wear them to school no matter what anybody thinks.

Click here to read.

Guest Posts, Inspiration, Positively Positive

Carfeul When Judging.

October 24, 2012

Whoa! My sister Rachel Pastiloff is on fire! She flew from Atlanta to assist me in my biggest ever Manifestation Retreat last weekend, led her own for Cedars Sinai Hospital on Monday and today her first blog post is up on Positively Positive. Way to manifest!

Click here to read article “Be Careful When Judging.”

Here’s an excerpt:

It isn’t polite to stare, but since you are, let me break it down for you. This is my five-year-old son. He suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome and autism. Although he may look “normal” to you, I assure you that he is fighting many battles. Before you judge my behavior regarding how I handled my son, you should know this: I only slept for three hours last night. My son is sick, and when that happens, his behavior becomes more than any of you could understand. My husband and I are in the middle of the most difficult financial time of our lives, and I am dealing with my mystery medical issues that seem to elude my doctors. I am human; I am not a robot. I have one child with PWS and autism and a second with hyper-activity and mood dysfunction disorder. I may have looked like a crazy woman to you, but you couldn’t imagine that I have been up handling this since 4:00 a.m. today.

Please support her and leave a comment on the post. I am so proud of her.
I also thought I would add this amazing letter written to Ann Coulter by a man with Down’s Syndrome in response to her calling Obama the “R” word.
Please read this. It brought me to tears.  

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

Guest Posts

All Grown Up

August 22, 2012

Two years ago we lived in a big house, had beautiful things, and lived a pretty good life. Last year we lost our home, moved into a very modest house to rent, and gave up many of our ‘things.’ That all being said I am still the same person I was when I had the big house. I didn’t change because of the square footage of my house. I haven’t changed because of the quantity, or lack of quantity of ‘things‘ in my life.

Click to here finish reading All Grown Up, a new post by Rachel Pastiloff.

Guest Posts

Joys of Motherhood

August 20, 2012

Joys of Motherhood.

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

When I finally collected myself I was filled with questions.

What will my son look like?

Will he be morbidly obese?

Will he fall in love?

Will he have friends?

Will he be bullied in school?

Will he ever talk?

Will he ever play sports or swim in a pool?

Will he live on his own and go to college?

What will his life look like?

Click here to finish reading….

Prader Willi Syndrome, Q & A Series

The Manifestation Q&A Series. Rachel Pastiloff: Writer, Yogi & SuperMom.

July 20, 2012
Blaise and Maddock having the giggles.

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.

Ok, maybe I am a bit biased because Rachel Pastiloff is my sister but she is the coolest person I know. She is an amazing mom, yogi and writer. In fact, she writes my favorite blog called 3 Words For 365. She is also the founder of the Facebook page I Am A Fan of Somebody with Prader Willi Syndrome (my nephew has Prader Willi Syndrome.)

Below find her inspiring Q&A where she talks about being a mom of a child with special needs, quitting smoking and becoming a yoga teacher among other fabulous gems.

I am so proud of my sister, who also happens to be my closest friend. I have invited her to assist me at my Manifestation Ojai Retreat Oct 19-21 in Ojai, which is almost sold out. Click here is you want to sign up. She will also be assisting me at Kriplau at my weekend program there Feb 1-3, 2013. (Email me to sign up for Kripalu weekend in the Berkshire of Massachusetts.)

Get ready Atlanta, because Rachel will be taking Manifestation Yoga to new heights. 

Put down whatever you are doing and read about her inspiring journey and her love of meditating, pizza and her boys.

My sister Rachel and I with our beloved Steve Bridges who passed away shortly after my Mexico retreat. This was taken in Mexico at my retreat.

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

Rachel Pastiloff: I am proud of manifesting my children. They are my greatest gift in life. They are my teachers, my best friends, and the most honest people I know in this world. They give my life purpose and a reason to wake up and smile at the sun everyday. I am proud to have manifested amazing relationships in my life with my family and new and old friends. I am blessed to have the most amazing relationship with my mentor, the incredible Jennifer Pastiloff, the one who inspired me to Yoga Teacher Training, and to start writing my blog. I feel blessed to have people who believe in me.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson you have learned this past year about yourself?

Rachel Pastiloff: That is really an interesting question. I have learned so many lessons about myself this last year. I have learned that I am lovable and worthy of being loved in the truest form.  I have learned not to have expectations. I think the most important lesson I learned this year was how to communicate with people in an authentic nature. We take communication for granted. We hide behind our emails and texts and forget what it feels like to be part of a community. The greatest lesson I learned was to have courage to live with my heart, that helps me communicate much more effectively with not only my children and husband, but my community at large.

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

Rachel Pastiloff: The greatest lesson I learned from my boys is to wave your Freak Flag high. We all are different. We all love differently, learn differenlty, look differently, but inside we all want the same thing. TO BE LOVED. My children are such resilliant little creatures full of wonder and they are oblivious to much of the discrimination that fills our world. I get strength from them to realize it is ok to be different, in fact I am rather fond of being “Not Normal” it fits me and my personality just fine.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From having a child with Special Needs?

Rachel Pastiloff: Having a child with special needs is a challenge, but one that I happily face everyday. I have always been what I considered a strong person, but this challenge took me to new heights. I have learned how to have real compassion, real strength, and unconditional acceptance. There are days that go by with no problems, not most, but some.  Then there are days where I feel like I am drowning. All these days offer me the gift to grow and learn and keep building compassion in my life. As the parent of a special needs child I see all the things he does as miracles, things that many parents of “typical” children take for granted. I celebrate all the moments, be they big victories, or just small baby steps. I am filled with pride for all that my child accomplishes everyday. He is definitely not a quitter, and it pushes me on to higher mountains with him everyday.

Blaise, who has PWS, rocking out! He loves music.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you tell us about Prader Willi Syndrome? I think most people do not know what it is.

Rachel Pastiloff: Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder that occurs in approximately one out of every 15,000 births. PWS affects males and females with equal frequency and affects all races and ethnicities. PWS is recognized as the most common genetic cause of life-threatening childhood obesity. The symptoms of Prader-Willi Syndrome are thought to be caused by dysfunction of a portion of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a small endocrine organ at the base of the brain that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, including hunger and satiety, temperature and pain regulation, sleep-wake balance, fluid balance, emotions, and fertility. Although hypothalamic dysfunction is believed to lead to the symptoms of PWS, it is not yet clear how the genetic abnormality causes hypothalamic dysfunction.

Basically, to sum it up it can be said that it is a syndrome of STARVATION. To learn more please visit

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your vision of yourself in 1 years time?

Rachel Pastiloff: In one year from now I will be teaching yoga full time. I will have my meditation practice down to a definite everyday not matter what. I will have surrounded myself with amazing people and infinite possibilities. I plan on traveling with my sis Jennifer as much as possible. Doing yoga as much as possible, oh and let’s not forget that I will be writing a book. I hope to have my book out in 2014. If you need inspiration I got plenty to go around.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What has been the toughest decision you have ever made?

Rachel Pastiloff: The toughest decision I ever made choosing to live a life of sobriety and health, simultaneously I moved to the other side of the country from my family, the people I am more in love with then anyone. It was the toughest and the sweetest thing I ever did for myself and my body. I am such a blessed person now to have seen the other side of a the “dark knight” that we all have at least one of in our lives. I am 34 years old now and loving every minute of my life.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you the most?

Rachel Pastiloff: I am inspired when I see people being kind to my son, not because they have too, but because they want to . I was inspired the other day as I watched a car drive by and offer an umbrella to her mom and baby in the rain. I am inspired when my family and friends live their dreams and happiness in their lives. I inspired by real love and real friendships. I am inspired by myself and who I am today, as I look back on who I was 7 years ago. It is pretty damn close to a miracle.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What do you think your Dharma or you’re your calling is?

Rachel Pastiloff: I believe that my calling is to work with people. I can’t say that it is limited to yoga, but I am here to connect people. I think I am here to inspire people to live their fullest potential. It may be that it happens through my book, my blog, my yoga teaching, or my energy work that I plan on studying soon. I feel as sense of onenes with the world and that is “Where I live!”

Jennifer Pastiloff: What was your “aha” moment that this was what you were meant to do with your life?

Rachel Pastiloff: At the hospital recently with my father in law. He was in severe pain and I just put my hands on his legs. He asked me what I was doing? My reply was energy work. I was focused on sending all the light inside of me to his legs where the pain was. He told me that he felt it very strongly and that it was working. I knew right then that there is a light in me that burns bright, and I am just on the verge of recognizing it.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?

Rachel Pastiloff: Oh such an easy one to answer. You, my dear sister have been my greatest teacher. I am so overwhelmed at your dedication to me, your faith in me, and your constant hand that is always there to hold. It has without a doubt brought me to the place I am today.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I love how after my Mexico Retreat, you came home and decided to quit smoking and sign up for a yoga teacher training in Atlanta. Tell us about that.

Rachel Pastiloff: WOW….I came back from Mexico, but not as me; as somebody else. I left the old me back in Xinalani. I realized that smoking did not serve me anymore and with no help at all, I put those smokes down and never looked back and that was over 4 months ago. As nervous as I was to start teacher training it was the ultimate gift I ever gave myself. I am a new woman. One who loves her self. Takes care of herself and, oh yeah can do a handstand. Oh yeah baby!

Jennifer Pastiloff: What would a snapshot of Rachel Pastiloff’s day look like?

Rachel Pastiloff: Are you sure you want an answer to that? Ha.

Today I have been up since 4:30 with Maddock, and he never napped. I spend all day running around trying to keep the children active and happy and away from food as much as possible. I usually don’t ever get a minute to sit down, and yes there are days where I just feel that I have been given more than I can handle, but those days are rare. Every day is a new day, a fresh start. Life is hard having a child with PWS and Autism and another child with a mood disorder and severe ADHD. As long as I am meditating I can stay calm through the storm. It has saved my life, literally.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I remember 3 years ago when Blaise was diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome like it was yesterday. What would you say to someone who just found out their child has PWS?

Rachel Pastiloff: Don’t panic, all will be OK. It is the scariest diagnosis to receive but our kids are amazing. My son has accomplished all and more than I ever could have imagined. My heart hurts that he feels hunger, but that will be gone one day as we find a cure. Reach out the PWS community. We are large and strong and a definite family. You will never feel alone. Our kids are unstoppable and capable of climbing the highest mountains with the right guidance.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What would you say to your 16 year old self?

Rachel Pastiloff: I would definitely say to myself that boys are just not that important and to focus more on what matters to me. HA HA. I think really what I would say is have confidence in yourself. Find what fulfills you and fill your heart with love. The most important thing I would tell young me is that you can’t ever fill the void in your heart from the outside in. All good starts within you and doesn’t’ come form the validation of others.

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?

Rachel Pastiloff: I would say thank you to my mom and dad. Although my dad has been gone for almost 35 years he gave me life, and big blue eyes, so thank you. Thank you to my mom for teaching me how to be a woman who can do anything on her own. Thank you to my step-dad Jack, the man who has been with me through my teenage and adult years. The man who is always there if I need him, the man I feel true strength and comfort with. Thank you to my sister for being the the push that I needed in life.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What fulfills you?

Rachel Pastiloff: A good meal fulfills me, especially a good pizza. No, OK. I am fulfilled when I am fully self expressed, and when I am not looking outwardly for confirmation of who I am. When others see me as a calm and together person I feel so fulfilled.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I know these past few years have been really hard for you. What has been the silver lining to come out of those years?

Rachel Pastiloff: Yes, the last few years have been really tough. The silver lining is easy. I live everyday as a new day. I never ever think of myself as broke and I always believe that things can work themselves out. This keeps me going everyday of my life.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are some words you live by?

Rachel Pastiloff: Words to live by are:





Jennifer Pastiloff: How do you stay connected to your own bliss and sense of self while dealing with 2 children, one of whom has Special Needs. I know you spend almost every day at a doctor or therapy appointment.

Rachel Pastiloff: I stay connected with my bliss by meditating. I take those few minutes to myself and it is truly blissful. I also take time for myself before where that was a fantasy in the past. I live bliss now, even when I can’t get my private time, I make time for me to write, or read, or meditate, or rest. My body shall be neglected no more.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are your favorite 3 memories?

Rachel Pastiloff: Driving cross county with you and mom is one of them. The other two are easy. The day Blaise was born and the day Maddock was born. My life changed forever. I am happy to say for the better.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you share with us about your yoga/meditation practice?

Rachel Pastiloff: I meditate every day for 15 minutes twice a day and that is what keeps me sane. I take as many yoga classes as I can in a week. When I am home with the kids I start doing yoga in the house all around their chaos. If they are playing I will do a bridge pose and they can play under me. You do what you can. You get creative when you are a mom.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What’s up next for Rachel Pastiloff?

Rachel Pastiloff: Opening my own yoga studio. Traveling as much as possible. Reading at least one book a week, and studying energy healing. I think that is as much as I can fit into my day as possible. 😉

Blaise and Maddock having the giggles.

Rachel and Blaise

Rachel and Maddock when he was a baby

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Rachel’s family.


Maddock chilling out!

Taken in Mexico at the life-changing retreat

taken in Mexico!


I Am Balanced

July 16, 2012

I Am Balanced.

Life changing doesn’t always mean pleasant. Life changing can be difficult and very uncomfortable. I have been very introspective over the last 4 months, and this past weekend was particularly tough for me. As my day ended yesterday I realized that I was looking at the darkest parts of myself that I dread the most, the parts that I wish were different. It is challenging for me to examine something about myself that needs adjusting and not tear myself down in the process.

Click here to read the rest of my sister’s amazing post….