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I read a poem recently in my yoga class. A girl came up to me after and kind of batted her eyes, “That poem was so sad. Ugh.” She was in a little fight with herself not to feel any sadness. “It was beautiful though, wasn’t it?” I asked her. “Yes,” she said, “but sad.”

This past weekend, a woman in my workshop hesitated to read something out loud because, as she explained with a mouthful of guilt, “It’s sad?”

She said it as a question, as if I’d have to give her permission to share this sadness, as if her own sadness would be powerful enough to corrupt our perfect, happy, flawless lives.

Life is sad.

Life is sad, I would have said, and it’s also awesome and f*cked up and whimsical and has moments of joy and pain and laughter. But it’s sad sometimes.

I wonder why we bury that so much.

Life is not just one thing. And sometimes, yes, it is sad. Embrace it all.
@JenPastiloff (Click to Tweet!)

By the way, here is the poem I read:

“Touch Me”
by Stanley Kunitz

Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that’s late,
it is my song that’s flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it’s done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.


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 Manifestation Writing/Yoga retreat at Kripalu Center in Massachusetts in February 2014 as well as retreats in both Costa Rica and Tuscany in 2014. She travels around the country leading her signature Manifestation Workshops. She is also leading a New Year’s Retreat in Ojai, California.

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