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The other day, as I was home with a cold, nursing it so I didn’t have to relive the horror I experienced in Italy with getting sick like a dying dog, I amused myself by playing on the computer and reading. I found a funny eCard (a lot of them are actually really funny!), and it resonated with me (sadly), so I posted it. I thought it was hysterical. I still do.

Here it is:

Anyone who knows me well knows my slight addiction (read: not so slight) to my iPhone. Needless to say, I thought it was cute and funny so I shared it on my Facebook Fan Page, which, incidentally, says “Jennifer Pastiloff Yoga.”

The irony of this story I am about to tell is not lost on me. Just this morning, I was once again fretting that my page with almost 7,000 “fans” says “Jennifer Pastiloff Yoga” and not just “Jennifer Pastiloff,” as if the “yoga” part limits me. As if it will make me not a real writer, but a wannabe yoga teacher-slash-writer. Once you get over 100 “fans,” though, you can’t change a name.

Except I obsess on it. Like it matters.

(It doesn’t.)

I posted this funny iPhone eCard, and a girl whom I have never met and who apparently lives in The Netherlands (I told the story in my yoga class and, by sheer Freudian slip, called it Neverlands), posted under it: 

“OMG! You are too annoying and superficial to be a yoga inspiration.”

What the what?

You are in my house, woman!

She is on my page. Why even comment? Don’t like it? Ignore it. Don’t like me? Don’t like my page!

I looked her up, and her profile had one quote. A Mother Theresa quote on love: “I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love,” and her religious views as “love and peace” were written over and over again.

Where is the congruency? 

Of course it made a few things happen inside of me.

1. Question Myself

Until I got how absurd that was. The fact that I was letting a woman (Who knows if she is a woman. It could be a fake profile.), whom I have never met, determine how I feel about myself.

2. It Had Me Look at Where I Am Not Being Congruent

Where am I posting love and peace, love and peace, love and peace yet living hate and gossip? It was actually a little gift because I chuckled at her quotes, not because I was making fun of her but because I thought we all do this. To some degree, we all have discrepancy in our lives. Maybe not that big. Maybe you would never post on someone’s Facebook or the equivalent how annoying and superficial they are. But still.

3. How I Defended Myself, and I NEVER Need to Do That

Under the said picture, I wrote “how important it was for you to have a sense of humor in my world and in my class…blah blah blah.” The thing is, I didn’t need to say that. Or think it. I was defending myself to someone who is not in my tribe, who in no way has any bearing on my life, who said something that actually has nothing to do with me.

4. How Happy I Felt That I Was a Kind Person and That I Attract Kind People

After she wrote that, I wrote the following on my page:

Find Your Tribe.

You know, the ones that make you feel the most YOU. The ones that lift you up and help you remember who you really are. The ones that remind you that a blip in the road is just that, a blip, and not to mistake it for an earthquake, and even it were to be an earthquake, they’d be there with the Earthquake Emergency Supply Kit. They are the ones that, when you walk out of a room, they make you feel like a better person than when you walked in. They are the ones that, even if you don’t see them face to face as often as you’d like, you see them heart to heart. You know, that kind of tribe?”

She is not in my tribe.

Why do we spend time on the people who don’t like us? I certainly can’t be the only one.

So, I am happy she wrote that I was superficial and annoying. It made me dig deep.

As far as being a yoga inspiration? She made that up. Cuz I never said those words!

As Wayne Dyer says:
“If you meet 200 people, you will have 200 reputations.”

I know who I am.

That’s all that matters.

I will tell you right now who I am if you tell me below. Will you? Start the sentence with “I am______.”

Here goes: I am compassionate, empathetic, sloppy, disorganized, witty, perceptive, pretty deaf, someone who loves sleep, wine and coffee, a yoga teacher, inspiring, distracted, a lover of her phone and being overly connected to a fault, loyal, sometimes obsessive, a healer, a connector, a manifester, authentic, nostalgic, sensitive, moody, and a writer.

Where can you own who you are and live with congruency? Take the challenge. I am.

*Since I have written this essay, Facebook actually did drop the “Yoga” from my Facebook. Once I decided it didn’t matter at all, that I was a “real” writer no matter what, that I was being silly, that I was going to let it go and and be happy, they sent me a sweet little note that they changed my page name. Hmm.


Jennifer Pastiloff was recently featured on Good Morning America. She is a yoga teacher, writer, and advocate for children with special needs based in L.A. She is also the creator of Manifestation Yoga® and leads retreats and workshops all over the world. Jennifer is currently writing a book and has a popular daily blog called Manifestation Station. Find her on Facebook and Twitter and take one of her yoga classes online at Yogis Anonymous.

Jen will be leading a Manifestation Yoga® weekend retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires, Massachusetts Feb 1-3, 2013.

*Image from SimpleReminders.com