Holy wow, mother of all cups of coffee (even though I am on a cleanse right now with Rachel Pastiloff and today is Day three of no coffee < OMG! OMG! OMG says the Coffee Addict!) just holy mother of coffeeless days. I was recently the guest speaker at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts, which I do twice a year. If you follow me, you know I am also always beauty hunting. I am always on the lookout for stories and connection, for anything that creates wonder in me. For people who seem to be living life in a big way, out loud, who have had adversity – people who are willing to share who they are with the world. So, imagine this: I am just about to teach my karaoke yoga class (yes, it’s a “thing”) and I see these ladies in front of me holding hands. So I snap a picture.
Then I run up to them and ask them about it – the holding hands. They were the cutest women ever (like, in the world) and they happily obliged my wish to video them. Check it out.
She almost said We were married. This one trips a lot.
It brought tears to my eyes. I know, I know. I’m a sap. (So, what?) But it did. I got all weepy because I have had friends a really long time (Hi Jen, Shana, Loren, Nami and Kara), friends I have had since I was eight years old. I watched them and got weepy because it moved me, to the core, to the deepest place where I sometimes forget I can be moved. Love does that, huh?
I asked them if they were coming to my karaoke yoga class and they said yes. That’s you? they asked. That’s me, I said. Of Karaoke Yoga fame. I asked them if they’d met on J-Date and we all laughed and went in to my yoga class. And it was everything. They inspired the whole room. They danced like they loved to dance, they danced and sang like they were children and they held each other up in the yoga poses. I couldn’t get enough of them. I kept videoing them and told them I was going to create the Rachel & Lila Show and have it go viral on the internet.
Their youth, their joy, their vibrancy for life and living was apparent and contagious. They made me want to be better. A better person. They made me want to love more, and hold more hands and dance more and not worry about aging.
Cheesy, maybe? But truer than true.
Then, the class ends and one of them, Rachel, tells us all how special it was for her. And how she had been in the Holocaust.
The class happened to be all women that day and we, all thirty of us, had tears streaming down our faces.
I felt like I was in love. What do you call a love like this?
So, what do you call a love like this?
What these women have? Their love for each other? Their love for life? I took so many videos of them and obviously can’t insert them all here even though I totally wanna. I mean, couldn’t you just watch them forever? Their fierce love for each other and for their families and for life. And Rachel, having been in the Holocaust, she could have been embittered and angry and all sorts of ways besides how she actually was. She embodies beauty hunting.
She told me a story about the family that saved her and her brother. They had teenagers at the time and risked the lives of their own children to save Rachel and her brother. They paid the rent on Rachel’s parents apartment for five years so when they came back they would have a home. They never did come back from the concentration camp. They saved a bottle of wine so that when Rachel’s parents came home they could all celebrate. She said, “They saved the wine for so long that it became vinegar.”
She asked me again, What do you call a love like this? Is there a word for this? I don’t think so.
The other woman, Lila, my beloved Lila, talked about how Rachel saved her life so many years ago. The love they had for each other made me cry into my coffee there at Canyon Ranch.
Don’t you think though, that they are living examples of what it means to say: I have done love?
At the end of my life, when I ask one final “What have I done?” Let my answer be: I have done love.
@JenPastiloff (Click to Tweet!)
What do you call a love like that? There is no word for it, she is correct. There is only acknowledging it and holding it so closely in your own heart that it becomes part of your DNA and then going out into the world and spreading it everywhere. Everywhere.
I love you Positively Positive tribe. I hope you will share this one. These stories need to be heard and remembered. You can find more of The Rachel & Lila Show on my YouTube channel here.
See you at my Tuscany retreat! This is my very favorite retreat in the world. Sign up soon because both (summer and fall) only have a few spots each left. I am so excited that so many of you are coming! It’s a beautiful experience. Life changing!! Email us at email@example.com. All info here.
Up next is Princeton and Seattle and Dallas and Chicago. Philly sold out
My retreats/workshops are NOT your typical yoga thing-a-majigs. They combine yoga and writing and you do not have to have any yoga experience. Just be a human being with a body. But mostly with a heart! Read this to “get it. All info here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure when we meet you tell me that you are from The Positively Positive tribe! xoxo.
Come hang with me on instagram at @jenpastiloff as that is where I am most days!
Jen leads retreats that are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this post to understand. Check out manifestationyoga.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you (NJ, Seattle, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, NYC & London are next). She leads an annual invite only retreat to Tuscany. She is the founder of the popular The Manifest-Station website. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find her at BeautyHunting.com.