My phone rang just after reading this. It was my mom (as we speak 2-20 times/day). “Hi,” I said before continuing, “this woman is amazing.” Naturally my mom asked what woman I meant. “Jennifer Pastiloff. I have yet to even meet her face to face and she has changed my life.”
Jen Pastiloff has changed my life.
She has given me the tools to unlock my own courage. She has actively showcased that when one unveils their deepest, darkest, most haunting experiences, fears and “rock bottom,” that people don’t read it and say, “Ew.” They say, “Oh my GOD, ME TOO.” Maybe not about the anorexia (though I said “ME FREAKING TOO, Jen, ME TOO!”). Maybe not about feeling stuck. Maybe not about drug abuse or alcoholism or bulimia (as the exquisite Anne Lamott divulges in her breathtaking, Anne Lamott-y way). But whatever the subject, there’s a universal thread. The confession thread, the “oh look I really am HUMAN” thread, the “I BLEED, I FAIL, I CRY, I FALL,” thread. The cord that connects us all, the natural urge to hunker down beneath the covers in “comfort zone” (even when it’s a disease or masochistic behavior we’re happily wedged beneath) so as not to have to face it and DEFINITELY not have to admit it to other people. GOD, what would they think??
That’s what I always thought. That’s what I thought about writing my story. My experiences. My little secrets that I locked up and tucked so far beneath my heart and ribcage and belly that I thought I could just shimmy it right out of me and pretend it wasn’t my back pocket from which it dropped. “Oh miss you dropped something!” Nope, that’s not mine, and just keep on walking.
But it doesn’t fall out of your back pocket. It’s not that simple. It stays stuck, and the further you bury it, the more sickeningly it festers. Like moisture without air it molds. It grows spiny and painful.
Jen, you’ve shown me that when you really write about the muck and gunk that is so terrifying to write about, it’s detoxifying. It’s cleaning out that space, scrubbing away the mold, shedding light on a place that was shrouded in darkness. Not only is it cathartic, it helps OTHERS!
Did you know when you sat down to your computer that you would change my life? Nope. Did you know that you’d change so many others? Nope. You’re changing lives just by being you. By manifesting. By putting it out there. By stepping out of your comfort zone and then sprinting full speed ahead, and TELLING us about it. You could do all that and find happiness, find freedom, manifest magic, but you choose to do it and take us with you. Naturally, we have to cash in the ticket, but the fear grows insignificant when there’s someone as beaming and glowing as you waiting on the other side.
Thank you for inspiring in me the purpose that I knew was mine, that I was teetering on the edge of manifesting. Thank you for teaching me that divulging what’s hardest to divulge is a pivotal step in healing, in connecting with others, and in paving the way for this beautiful journey to continue.
My comfort zone was in writing fiction, wellness pieces and creative nonfiction. By stepping out of my comfort zone I will write more and more and more about the hell of anorexia, the hideousness of up and down recovery, the absolute fear, denial and shame that solidifies after surviving such a disease.
I am willing to take the challenge.
Please read Jen’s full essay, published today on MindBodyGreen, here:
For full understanding and enlightenment, please visit her incredible page and join her Manifestation Journey: