An inspirational memoir about how Jennifer Pastiloff's years of waitressing taught her to seek out unexpected beauty, how hearing loss taught her to listen fiercely, how being vulnerable allowed her to find love, and how imperfections can lead to a life full of wild happiness.
Centered around the touchstone stories Jen tells in her popular workshops, On Being Human is the story of how a starved person grew into the exuberant woman she was meant to be all along by battling the demons within and winning.
Jen did not intend to become a yoga teacher, but when she was given the opportunity to host her own retreats, she left her thirteen-year waitressing job and said “yes,” despite crippling fears of her inexperience and her own potential. After years of feeling depressed, anxious, and hopeless, in a life that seemed to have no escape, she healed her own heart by caring for others. She has learned to fiercely listen despite being nearly deaf, to banish shame attached to a body mass index, and to rebuild a family after the debilitating loss of her father when she was eight. Through her journey, Jen conveys the experience most of us are missing in our lives: being heard and being told, “I got you.”
Exuberant, triumphantly messy, and brave, On Being Human is a celebration of happiness and self-realization over darkness and doubt. Her complicated yet imperfectly perfect life path is an inspiration to live outside the box and to reject the all-too-common belief of “I am not enough.” Jen will help readers find, accept, and embrace their own vulnerability, bravery, and humanness.
In this candid memoir, Manifest-Station blogger Pastiloff transforms from a troubled restaurant server at a celebrity haunt in Santa Monica, Calif., into a yoga teacher and maven for self-discovery. At eight, the author lost her father to drug use-related heart failure; shortly after, Pastiloff began losing her hearing but managed to hide it from everyone, even from herself ("unknowing became a theme" for her), by relying on lip-reading. In high school she became anorexic, which plagued her as a student at New York University, where she often lost "consciousness at nights on my dirty kitchen floor." After dropping out of college, she moved to L.A. There, she worked serving veggie burgers to Hollywood stars and eventually found an exit ramp from her pain via yoga. Pastiloff learned to quiet her "Inner Asshole" her term for the internal monologue of self-doubt that keeps people stuck in "bullshit stories" about themselves and realized her burgeoning dream of helping others do the same, all the while overcoming depression, finding love, and becoming a mother. With can-do enthusiasm, Pastiloff tells of creating her On Being Human workshop retreats throughout the world, and shares her successes, including the thrill of doing "Karaoke Yoga" on Good Morning America. Readers feeling stuck in their lives will devour this inspiring story of a woman finding her way.