What turns you on?

What I mean is: what books excite you? Movies, songs, words? Which people?

I think about this a lot and pose it as a question in my Manifestation Workshops as well, as I think it is important to really consider what makes us come alive. And then do that. For me it’s words. I am a writer so words do it for me.

This is my manifesto as far as what lights my fire:

I am interested in inspiring, not fluff. In truth, not bullshit. @JenPastiloff
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I am interested in the way certain words string together in a seemingly impossible way to create a disarming sentence. The kind that makes you sit down and give pause.

I am interested in the fantastical, as long as it is fantastic, and in poetry and science alike. I am interested in science that reads like poetry, or rather, finding the poetry in it. In every molecule. In every discovery. I am interested in history, even if it’s recreated for the reader’s pleasure, as long as it is written well enough that you slip into belief and stay there for the duration.

I am interested in the quiet in back of words, in what is hidden behind what is said, the silent stubbornness of the details. I am interested in imagination, not in regurgitation. I am interested in freshness of voice and “Holy Hell, that is risky. But it works” kind of stuff.

I am interested in originality, in the bold rather than same old.

I am interested in poetry and fiction and stories of the heart, not in fingers counting ways I can lose five pounds.

I am interested in anything that moves me, challenges me, breaks me. Not in anything that patronizes, manipulates, insults.

I am interested in unique and brave, not mimicry and safety.

I am interested in getting lost in words, ending up in Asia or Bali.

I am interested in things that make me recognize myself or parts of myself and all of humankind at once with the sleight of a hand, with a paragraph, with a metaphor, with skilled use of adverbs. Whatever it takes, I just want to be taken there.

I am interested in literature, but also in things unable to be categorized. I am interested in zero self-consciousness. I am not interested in anything so concerned with itself that it constructs a false self to sell.

I am interested in risk-taking. I am interested in what speaks for itself; words so right that nothing needs to be done except nod and keep reading.

This is what I am interested in as a reader, and, as a writer.

I do not care for the nonsense, until it is beautiful nonsense. I don’t want the preachy or overly sentimental or the try-too-hards. I want what is pure creation or pure hard work or pure inspiration, just not what is pure contrivance.

I want to be touched and shook and grabbed.

I don’t want lists unless they make me a better human. Even then, they ought to be distinct, and, at the very least, funny as Hell.

I don’t need a lot. Or maybe I do.

Maybe I want everything.

I want the writer to have given me everything.

As the writer, I want to give everything.

I want words that send me to the moon.

I want what we all want, really.

To be shown what beauty is. What love is. What inspiration is. What the power of language and words can do.


What do you want? What turns you on? What’s your manifesto? Post below! Make sure to follow me on instagram at @jenpastiloff as I am doing a #beautyhunting Challenge there with giveaways! (Beauty Hunting is the name of my book and it is my mission to spread my beauty hunting movement!) See you Sep 27th in NYC, Pos Pos Tribe! Make sure and let me know that’s who you are so we can hug. xo jen

Jen will be leading a New Year’s Manifestation Retreat: On Being Human in Ojai, California. All retreats are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this post to understand more. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you (Dallas, NYC, Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, South Dakota, Vancouver, Princeton are next). Jen is the guest speaker 3 times a year at Canyon Ranch and leads an annual retreat to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health every February, as well as an annual invite only retreat to Tuscany. She is the founder of the popular The Manifest-Station website. Jen and author Lidia Yuknavitch (“The Chronology of Water”) will be leading a Writing + The Body Retreat Jan 31-Feb 1. Follow Jen on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find her at BeautyHunting.com.

Image courtesy of Simplereminders.com