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I was lying in bed nursing a cold last week, so I started to toy around with writing down some of my beliefs. Really, I was dreaming of my upcoming trip to London for a workshop and how I will be dipping my chips (fries) in mayo in the local pubs with glee.

I came up with just a few of my beliefs. I’d love to hear yours in the comment section below. Have fun with it, will ya?

- I believe fiercely in helping others.
- I believe in not wallowing in your own suckery.
- I believe in mayo (especially with French fries).

- I believe in dark chocolate with sea salt. Salted caramels work, too.

- I believe in making up your own rules.

- I believe in empathy. In the words of Colum McCann: “radical empathy.”
- I believe in making s*it happen. (The good kind, hopefully.)

- I believe in asking for what you want. And then being open to receiving it.

- I believe in changing your mind if you feel like it. I believe in owning your choices.
- I believe in the power of language and words.
- I believe in poetry. (Naomi Shihab Nye slays me. And Tony Hoagland. And Stanley Kunitz. Mary Oliver. On and on.)

- I believe in putting the words “should,” “have to,” “supposed to,” and all their pesky cousins into the fire (as I have done. I’ve literally written down the word “should” on a paper or candy wrapper or whatever was handy and chucked it into the flames before roasting my marshmallow.)
- I believe in naps. Long naps.
- I believe that money doesn’t buy everything. (But I won’t lie and say that it doesn’t make life easier now and again.)

I believe in being able to say “Damn, I look good today.” (And meaning it.)

- I believe that you can believe in yourself (and promote yourself) without being an a-hole about it.
- I believe in doing what makes you feel good. In letting your joy be contagious, so that when you forget it, you can catch it from someone else.
- I believe in being real. I believe in not ass-kissing but rather true sentences, the kind that make your arm hairs stand up with their truths. The that-gave-me-the-shivers kind of truth. I believe it keeping it real.
- I believe in coffee. And wine. And curse words (when used properly—yes, there is such a thing).
- I believe in turning your pain into art. Or trying to.

- I believe in saying “thank you.” Even to the pain. And to your past. (I just did, and it feels good. Thank you to my past. Thank to all the weirdos and inappropriate old men and to all the kind people I waited on during those thirteen years at the same restaurant. Thank you to my co-workers, the ones who escaped and the ones who still haven’t. Thank you to those who believed in me, and thank you to those that didn’t—in the words of Tina Fey at the Emmy’s to her haters, “Suck it.”)
- I believe in healing.
- I believe in just saying “F*ck it!” sometimes.
- I believe in learning how to say no. (Practice. It’s liberating!)
- I believe in saying YES.
- I believe in doing the work.
- I believe in acknowledging yourself for damn good work.
- I believe in trying to be better than you were the day before. Or at least kinder.
- I believe in asking.

I believe in living life like you want to be here.

- I believe that your past does NOT define you. That you get to define yourself. Or be un-definable.
- I believe in exorcising demons as well as exercising your body. (The demons that live in your head. And the demons of your past.)
- I believe in making mistakes.
- And making them again.
- I believe in enjoying food. Like really enjoying it. Like I will be with my pub fries and mayo.
- I believe in really great television, fantastic films, and can’t-put-down books.
- I believe in George Saunders.
- I believe that people are just people. (We all eat, sleep, poop.)
- I believe, sometimes, the word poop needs to be said so we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Poop.
- I believe that most people deserve a second chance. (However, don’t push it!)
- I believe in believing in yourself but not thinking you are better than everyone else.
- I believe in taking it easy. (Writing this from my bed!)

- I believe in the power of imagination.
- I believe in being a beauty hunter. A relentless beauty seeker.
- I believe in paying attention.
- I believe everyone should have a service job at least once in their life. Oh yes, this I believe!
- I believe in silence.
- I believe in having a moment of sorrow a day. Just not a lifetime of it.
- I believe in dance parties and singing out loud (especially when alone).
- I believe in shutting off the TV.
- I believe in House of Cards. And yes, still Breaking Bad.  (And Vince Gilligan).
- I believe in mangoes. And samosas. And cheese. And quinoa. I believe in that, too.And ice cream and pizza.
- I believe in The Twilight Zone. (Brilliant. Ahead of its time. Seriously. Two words: Rod Serling.)
- I believe in knowing your worth.

I believe in putting yourself out there, whatever “out there” is for you.
@JenPastiloff (Click to Tweet!)

- I believe in having a sense of humor, especially about yourself.

- I believe in the magic of physical touch.
- I believe in daydreaming. (Just not while driving.)

- I believe that sometimes a little good old fashioned face to face is better than a text.
- I believe honoring those who taught you and those who’ve loved you.
- I believe in giving credit where credit is due.
- I believe in lit fireplaces. And candles.
- I believe in ZERO self-torture (did all that in my twenties).
- I believe in knowing when to say “enough is enough.”

That feels like enough for now, Positively Positivers. I believe in YOU. Can’t wait to hear yours. Love, Jen 


Jen will be leading a Manifestation Retreat in Costa Rica at the end of March and her annual retreat to Tuscany is in July 2014. All retreats are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this Positively Positive post to understand what a Manifestation retreat is. Check out her site jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Jen and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October.

*Image courtesy of Simplereminders.com.