What Doesn't Feel Natural to You Anymore?

I'm sitting here at my desk and I stare at my vision board on the wall next to me, willing it to write for me. 

Come on, write my book, dammit! 

I distract myself from writing by sharing a paragraph from my book on Facebook. 

I can't help myself, I'm used to writing with such immediacy! Don't we all live our lives like that now? 

I want a response, now! 

I put up the paragraph and people go crazy "liking" it and commenting. 

They love it. 

My ego soars!

Here is said paragraph:

I had my nervous breakdown behind the restaurant. Where everyone went out to smoke once their tables had their food and seemed to be as happy as they would ever get during a meal. It was that little secret cove for smokers that I found salvage in, oddly enough. I leaned against that red brick wall and slowly slid down it onto dirty butts and that is where I had my nervous breakdown. My chest heaved and I started to drown in the cigarette butts. There were millions of them and they were smothering me with ash and nicotine and lipstick stains and bird shit that had been on the ground with them. There might have been bubble gum as well, but when you are drowning you don’t pay attention to anything except oxygen and that is what I couldn’t find anywhere. Somebody help me my brain told my mouth to say but my mouth was drowning and closed and nothing came out except the word Enough.

Except that one guy who proceeded to send me a private email about all the grammatical errors and how shocked he was that I'd put it up like that. 

Naturally, I got a little hooked and defensive and told him that my amazing editor would handle it and that I had bigger fish to fry than worrying about their and there

The truth is, I let myself get insulted. It's my fault. Why did I put it on Facebook?

What is this need for such immediacy? Such connection? Such validation? 

All the time. 

Relentless validation.

Do you like me? Do you like it? Do you like this? From strangers, no less. From people who feel the need to correct my grammar when I write a paragraph about having a nervous breakdown on a pile of dirty cigarette butts and bird shit.

But I digress.

I sit here and stare at my Vision Board which was made over a year ago. I stare at it because I have given up writing my book for the night and I decide to write a blog and one of the ways I think is by staring. When I stare, I soar into the depths of my imagination. When I stare, I am not on Facebook or distracting myself in any other way. I am simply there or here, more aptly. Just staring into my mind and its abyss of possibilities.

So I see on my old vision board some things that I realize need clearing up.

One thing in particular: Yoga Journal Conference. Yea, that's on there.

I do not want to be a part of the Yoga Journal Conference.

I might have one day in the past. Or maybe I didn't. Maybe I thought that's what is expected of yoga teachers?

I am getting more clear lately on who I am and what I want, and although I do teach yoga, it is not my dharma. 

There I said it.

Most of you know that.

I will keep doing it. I promise. It will be just a few classes a week, if that. It fuels me. It sources me. I love it through and through but it is not my goal. I am a writer. I am a communicator. I am a connector. Teaching yoga is one of the many ways I do that. But mostly, I kind of sneak yoga in as I do what I want to do. What I am saying is that I don't hope to be on the cover of Yoga Journal or a star teacher at Yoga Works or known as the best yoga teacher in Bla Bla Town or the key speaker at The Yoga Journal Conference. I love that my friends are doing this but it is not for me!

If you are reading this, you are okay with all of this because you know me and follow me and have a deep understanding of who I am. Which I didn't when I made this vision board last year. So as you sit here with me (metaphorically) I am tearing down the Yoga Journal Conference to make room for something else.

What about you?

What is no longer relevant? What doesn't feel natural to you anymore?

What can you boldly admit? Yes, it's pretty bold that I am admitting this. Yes, I am feeling vulnerable because I am in the process of writing a memoir. And that's a good thing. Vulnerability is good. As Brene Brown says, "it's the birthplace of creativity."

There are some things I want to keep. 

Like this vision board. 

Do you see? It says: 

The smart though provoking absorbing engaging novels of New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Pastiloff. 

I will leave that.

Not everything fades away. In fact, what is most true doesn't.

What is most true always finds you no matter how long and far you try and run from it.

About the Author

Jen Pastiloff is a writer living on an airplane. She travels the world with her signature Manifestation Yoga: On Being Human workshop/retreat. Featured in New York Magazine, Oprah.com & Good Morning America and published on Salon, Jezebel, The Rumpus, xojane, among others. Next retreat with availability: Labor Day in Ojai, Calif. Attend a workshop in your city by visiting jenniferpastiloff.com. Upcoming: Seattle, Los Angeles & London & Dallas.

Visit Jen's blog The Manifest-Station. On Facebook, Twitter & Instagram both at @jenpastiloff .

She & author Emily Rapp's Vermont writing retreat Oct 2014.

Jen is The Inspiration & Wellness expert for the new magazine Reimagine. Next up is Seattle in May.

All workshops listed here. The Manifestation Yoga® Workshop is an experience about life: unpredictable, sometimes messy, beautiful, human. Jen is currently finishing her first book, a memoir.

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