Sometimes I think I miss a lot.

My hearing loss seems to be getting more profound by the year (or day.) I perceive these losses as missing, perhaps never to be found-parts of conversation, someone’s name, a pertinent part of the story. Sometimes I try and locate the missing items, “What?” “Sorry?” “What did you just say?”

Other times, I just sit back and watch because it’s exhausting keeping up. I have become a master at observing nuance, watching mouths make their various shapes and deciphering what those shapes mean, and body language. I mean, what else can I do when my godamned ears fail me?

Sometimes this: I think about how much is wasted with words.

I love words. Obviously.

But how about this – a guy comes to my class. Quiet and serious in the front row. A beautiful man, maybe thirty, if that. The theme that particular night was “paying attention.” My Manifestation Yoga® class always has a theme.

He took his time in between poses, often coming into child’s pose. At one point, he put a towel up to his face and held it there for a few minutes, burying his eyes.

I asked him if he was alright. He said Yes, I am alright.

After class, I saw him on the bench outside the studio, staring into space. I sat down next to him to put my sneakers on. I felt his shoulders move. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw his shoulders move up and down.

I turned to him and asked if I could hug him.

He said yes.

I didn’t know his name. (I still don’t.)

He wept in my arms, shoulders heaving there like that for what felt like ages but was probably two minutes. Two minutes is a long time when a stranger is weeping in your arms on a red bench in a hallway.

I would’ve stayed longer.

He finally stopped crying and pulled away.

Thank you, he said.

So like that, that situation, words – useless. Besides thank you and can I give you a hug? – what needed to be said?

What did I miss with my hearing loss?

This is what you are missing: NOTHING. @JenPastiloff (Click to Tweet!)

I hope he’s feeling better. I really do. I hope I see him again.

That was two weeks ago but he spoke louder to me than anyone has in a while.

My class yesterday was on self-love. I told the class it was “self-love” not the other SL: Self-Loathing, which can be a full time job in and of itself.

So much self-loathing over feeling stupid at not being able to hear. But then. I remember that guy and the red bench and I’m all: it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.

We’re going to be okay.


I will see you at my workshop in Dallas Nov 1, in Miami with Wayne Dyer’s daughters, Skye and Serena, on Nov 8 or Vancouver Jan 17! I hope to share some of these insights with you in person! Make sure you let me know you are from The Positively Positive tribe! I am also doing a retreat over New Years in Calif and a writing retreat to Mexico in May as well as my annual Italy retreat. All info is listed here. Love you guys! xo jen You can also shoot an email over to or join me on instagram at @jenpastiloff, where I hang out mostly these days. 

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. Check out for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you (Dallas, Miami, South  Vancouver, NYC & London 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 is leading Other Voices Querétaro in Mexico with authors Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp, Stacy Berlein, and Rob Roberge in May . Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find her at 

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