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Do you ever feel like running away from it all?

For a long time, it was not just a metaphor for me. I literally ran and ran and ran. I was an exercise-a-holic. Instead of facing anything in my life, I simply ran.

When I was eighteen and got a call that my stepfather Carl had died in his sleep, I simply hung up the phone, laced up my sneaks, and ran for two hours around Cooper River in New Jersey. It was an old habit of mine, this not wanting to feel anything. If I felt something, I’d bury it down deep or run it out of me.

It also had a big hand in my eating disorder. The less I weighed, the less I felt. Blah blah.

Being numb isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I eventually got tired of running.

I used to do this thing called The DMC. The Daily Manifestation Challenge. When I started thinking about running away from my life and how easy it was, I thought about calling it the Run-DMC. (I love hip-hop and rap so I couldn’t help myself.)

Except I try not to run anymore. Especially now, being off my anti-depressants, I am really attempting to face what is.

Recently, during a rereading of Annie Dillard’s For the Time Being, I found this quote by Theresa Mancuso to ring my bell of the familiar.

“The thing we desperately need is to face the way it is.”
@JenPastiloff (Click to Tweet!)

Once I stopped running so much, both literally and figuratively, I discovered yoga. I discovered that if I sat quietly with myself, I could begin to heal old wounds, and, more importantly perhaps, I could begin to be present in my life. (Still working on this one.)

I spent many years being not present. Like a walking dead person. In fact, I can barely remember my twenties.

I know sometimes life sucks. There, I said it. Life sucks at times.

My sister Rachel (who also writes for Positively Positive and assists me at my retreats) just flew out to California with her two small boys so they could pick up the service dog for my eldest nephew, Blaise. Blaise has a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome and autism. My sister flew alone out here and wrangled the two boys and the dog alone all week before flying back with all of them. There were some moments when she cried. There were lots in fact. It was an emotional week, and, for anyone who has ever attempted to travel alone with two small children, one of whom has special needs, you know how hard it can be. I am sure in her fantasies she has wished once or twice that she could’ve just run away from her life.

Ain’t gonna happen.

My challenge to you is this:

Where can you stop running in your life? Where can you look at what is and accept it. Have there been instances in your life where you have indeed run away? 

I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Post below where you can stop running and what you can stop running from. Post below where you can be more present. Share anything you like.

xo, Jen


Jen will be leading Manifestation Writing/Yoga retreat at Kripalu Center in Massachusetts in February 2014 as well as her annual retreat to Tuscany July 2014. She travels around the country leading her signature Manifestation Workshops. Check out her site jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings.

*Image courtesy of Simplereminders.com & Danielle LaPorte (fellow PP blogger).