What made you happy today? I am so in love with my project of asking people what made them happy. It’s been so transformative and heart-mending!


I am in South Dakota.

I saw these ladies at the Hy-Vee grocery store in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I was there to lead two workshops and to visit with my friend and of the editors of my site The Manifest-Station, Melissa Shattuck.

She sang me the store’s tag line, “Where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle” as we walked under the awful bright lights looking for hummus and wine.

I saw these pink sweatshirts from behind, standing by the flowers and knew I had to ask. “What made you happy today?”

One of them: “What made me sad was that my nephew died.”

Other one: “But it was a blessing.”

Me: “Are you sisters?”

Them: “No.” Younger one: “She’s my mom.”

Me: “Did you plan the coordinated sweatshirts?”

Them (giggly): “No.”

Me: “I am so sorry about your nephew.”

Both, at the same time: “It’s ok. It was a blessing.”

Me: “What made you happy?”

The mom: “Smelling these flowers.”

The daughter: “Being able to do this with my mom.”

I’m telling you beloveds, this is it.

My friend Annie Sertich said that to me yesterday at coffee. She said, “Jen, this is it. This root canal I just had. Your weird arm shit.” (I’m dealing with some medical stuff where I am having severe pain in my arm and hands and not able to use them as I once could.) She said, “This is it. Right now. Right here.”

And we drank our $5 coffees and laughed and the sky was blue and here I am in South Dakota and it’s weirdly cold for September but this is it.

And here are these incredible ladies in pink sweatshirts smelling flowers in a chain supermarket in South Dakota. The Pink Ladies. And this is it.

And here we are.

That’s what Beauty Hunting means, in case you wondered. Why I am calling my book that!


But you probably knew. Inherently.

You probably already knew that:

Beauty hunting is the only way to live. @JenPastiloff (Click to Tweet!)

I mean, I think so, at least. I know so.

Love you guys, ox jen.

See you in Dallas Nov 1, Miami Nov 8, London Nov 22 and Vancouver Jan 17. All listed here. Keep beauty hunting!

P.S. Many a #beautyhuntingchallenge is happening over on my instagram at @jenpastiloff!

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 will be leading a Writing + The Body Retreat Jan 31-Feb 1 as well Other Voices Querétaro with Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp, Stacy Berlein, and Rob Roberge in May . Follow Jen on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find her at BeautyHunting.com. 

Image courtesy of simplereminders.com